The Groove / Synthesis Design + Architecture

Courtesy of

Architects: Synthesis Design + Architecture
Location: Bangkok,
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of Synthesis Design + Architecture

ZX FLUX Adidas Gallery / Arquitectos Asociados.lo

© Francisco Ibañez

Architects:
Location: Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan Region,
Architect In Charge: Eduardo Labra B., Diego Ortuzar F.
Area: 60.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Francisco Ibañez

Heatherwick to Construct $170 Million “Pier 55″ Park Off Manhattan’s Hudson River Shoreline

Pier 55 from the esplanade looking west. Image © Pier55, Inc. and

Billionaire Barry Diller, chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp and former head of Paramount Pictures and Fox, has commissioned Thomas Heatherwick to design a $170 million “futuristic park” on Manhattan’s lower west side. Replacing the deteriorated Pier 54, the new “Pier55” will be a lush undulating landscape, raised atop 300 mushroom-shaped concrete columns placed 186 feet off of the Hudson River shoreline, that will host outdoor performances, act as a marine sanctuary for striped bass and guard the city against storms.

Heatherwick will be collaborating with landscape architect Mathews Nielson. Read on to learn more about the project.

Koolhaas’ Career in Film: 1,2,3 Group

1,2,3 Group: Samuel Meyering, Rem Kolhaas, Frans Bromet, , Jan de Bont. Image courtesy of . Via The Architecture Foundation

Before studying architecture at the Architectural Association in London, Rem Koolhaas embarked on a short but fruitful career in film as a member of 1,2,3 Group, a youthful band of five who shared different roles in front of and behind the camera in a kind of anti-auteur cinema.

The first film produced by the group came from the longtime friendship between Rem and scriptwriter and director Rene Daalder, who along with Jan de Bont, Frans Bromet and Samuel Meyering produced 1,2,3 Rhapsody (1965), a short film which featured Koolhaas as an actor in some scenes and a cameraman in others.

UNESCO Launches Design Competition for Bamiyan Cultural Centre in Afghanistan

As Afghanistan begins its second decade of democratic governance after nearly 30 years of political instability, through the funding from the Republic of Korea, has teamed up with the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture, to build a Cultural Center close to the boundaries of the Bamiyan World Heritage property. With the realisation of the Bamiyan Cultural Centre, Afghans have the opportunity to recapture their heritage, to create a new impact on a historical site and to foster a positive relationship between their struggles and their hopes.

“This new architectural programme can challenge cultural barriers, reaffirm Afghanistan’s remarkable ancient history and enforce culture as a foundational component to Afghan national identity and peace-building,” states UNESCO.

Hardesty Arts Center / Selser Schaefer Architects

© Ralph Cole Photography

Architects: Selser Schaefer Architects
Location: , OK, USA
Area: 43000.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Ralph Cole Photography

13 Things You Didn’t Know About Rem Koolhaas

A still from the film 1,2,3 Rhapsody (1965), in which Rem Koolhaas served as both cameraman and actor. . Image Courtesy of Rene Daalder

1. When he was young he collaborated with the director Jan de Bont, whose credits would later include Speed and Twister.

2. Koolhaas dates his desire to become an architect to a speech he delivered to a group of architects at the University of Delft when he was 24. 

3. The drawings from his final project at the AA are the most requested items from MoMA’s Architecture and Design collection. (Smithsonian Magazine)

“Hypotopia”: Architecture as a Vehicle for Political Action

© Armin Walcher

In the wake of the global financial crisis, banking scandals and government bailouts have made countless news headlines around the world. With such large sums of taxpayer money being funneled to the troubled financial sector, ordinary individuals are left to wonder how it will affect their own lives. But how can an entire country rise up and make their voices heard when it is nearly impossible to understand the magnitude of such an injustice? In Austria, a group of innovative students from the Technical University of Vienna set out to answer this question and have taken to a new form of in order to make the consequences of one Europe’s largest financial scandals in recent history a tangible reality.

To demonstrate the €19 billion price tag of ’s recent bailout of Hypo-Alpe-Adria, students designed and built a scale model of a fictional city called “Hypotopia,” a portmanteau of the bank’s name and “utopia.” According to Lukas Zeilbauer, “while utopia stands for an ideal fictitious world, ‘hypo’ is a Greek word meaning under, beneath or bellow – so a change coming from the bottom, from the folk.” Embodying an idealistic society with plentiful renewable resources and public education for people of all ages, the model city would theoretically contain 102,574 inhabitants, making it the sixth largest city in Austria.

Read on after the break to find out how an architecture model has drawn international attention and propelled an entire country to take action.

Minoyanagi House / TAB

© Masaki Yokoyama

Architects: TAB
Location: , Gifu,
Area: 69.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Masaki Yokoyama

The Seattle Public Library / OMA. Image Courtesy of OMA
The Seattle Public Library / OMA. Image Courtesy of OMA

Spotlight: Rem Koolhaas

The celebrated architect Remment (Rem) Koolhaas, the 2000 Pritzker Prize laureate and curator of the 2014 Venice Biennale, began his architectural education at the Architectural Association in London in 1968, eventually founding OMA (Office of Metropolitan Architecture) with one of his former professors, Elia Zenghelis (along with Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp).

Despite OMA’s current ubiquity, the firm’s beginnings in 1975 were fairly modest. The commission of the high-profile Euralille project in 1989 was a turning point; the firm then began to move away from small scale projects (such as the Villa dall’Ava) to the large scale works that they’re known for today. Koolhaas’ firm is now known almost exclusively for large-scale works, such as the CCTV Headquarters (named the “Best Tall Building in the World” in 2013) and the Seattle Library (which is widely regarded as one of the most important buildings of the 21st century).

Are Postmodern Buildings Worth Saving?

New York City is home to a plethora of Postmodernist designs — from the impressive Sony Tower to the diminuative Central Park Ballplayers’ House — but most remain unprotected by traditional heritage registries. The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission is at the threshold of its 50th anniversary but has yet to recognize the architectural successes of 1970 up to the most recent eligible year for landmarking, 1984. The commission has been unnecessarily slow to recognize Postmodernist structures in New York City, say Paul Makovsky and Michael Gotkin writing for Metropolis Magazine, who argue that the absence of historical recognition for has come at a high cost, citing the recladding of Takashimaya Building on Fifth Avenue as a “wake-up call” for the Commission. 

House VVK / UR architects

© Luc Roymans

Architects: UR architects
Location: , Belgium
Architects In Charge: Nikolaas Vande Keere, Regis Verplaetse, Ana Pontinha
Area: 302.0 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Luc Roymans, Courtesy of UR architects

Rotterdam Named Europe’s Best City By The Academy Of Urbanism

Renzo Piano Bulding Workshop / OMA / UNStudio / Siza / Mecanoo. Image

The Dutch city of Rotterdam, often referred to as a hotbed of architectural activity, has been named as the best city in Europe by The Academy of Urbanism at the 2015 Awards. Pitted against two other finalists – Aarhus in Denmark and Turin in Italy – the city has been praised for its “predominantly young, open, tolerant community that is embracing innovative architecture and urban design and new business models.”

Despite being a very closely fought battle, the Academy said that Rotterdam was a vote winner for its “unique approach to governance. Appointed for six years by central government, the role of mayor sits outside of political structures and with no portfolio, allowing greater engagement with citizens and businesses.” Steven Bee, Chairman of the Academy, said that “a long-term perspective, a high level of autonomy, strong leadership by the mayor and municipality, and strong partnerships between public and private sector, are all helping Rotterdam grow positively.”

Concert Hall Blaibach / peter haimerl.architektur

Courtesy of peter haimerl.architektur

Architects: peter haimerl.architektur
Location: ,
Design Team: Karl Landgraf, Ulrich Pape, Tomo Ichikawa, Felicia Michael, Jutta Görlich, Martin Kloos
Area: 560.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of peter haimerl.architektur

Rosto do Cão House / M-Arquitectos

© Paulo Goulart

Architects: M-Arquitectos
Location: , Portugal
Partners: Fernando Monteiro, Marco Resendes, Miguel Sousa
Architect In Charge: Fernando Monteiro
Project Team: Marco Resendes, Miguel Sousa, Pedro Furtado, Diana Policarpo, Maria Melo Bento
Project Area: 240 sqm
Project Year: 2014
Photographs: Paulo Goulart

Stone Art Gallery / O- Office Architects

© LIKYFOTO

Architects: O- Office architects
Location: , Guangdong,
Area: 1270.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: LIKYFOTO , Courtesy of O- Office

Open Call: jumpthegap Seeks Ideas for “Bathroom of the Future”

Open Call: jumpthegap Seeks Ideas for “Bathroom of the Future”

Encouraging young designers and architects to create and design innovative, sustainable solutions for the bathroom, the sixth edition of the international design contest jumpthegap, organized by Roca and the Barcelona Design Centre (BCD), has been launched at the Roca London Gallery with a presentation from the contest’s UK judge Tom Dyckhoff. An ideal platform for new generations to show their talent and visions for the bathroom of the future, jumpthegap is aimed at young professionals and students of architecture and design under 35. Registration closes February 2015. The jury, which will be led by MAD principle Ma Yansong, is expected to announce the winner in October 2015. More information, after the break. 

Aedas’ Leaf-Shaped Sales Gallery Nears Completion in Shanghai

Sales Gallery. Image Courtesy of

Aedas is nearing completion on the sales gallery for the mixed-use Greenland Qingpu Xujing District complex. The gallery, shaped as a leaf, is designed to fit with the “clover leaf” concept of the nearby Qingpu Xujing Conference and Exhibition Centre, in which it will be connected with by a pedestrian bridge.