Derek Leavitt (@architectderek on Twitter) recently posted an opinionated blog entry on ‘Why Open Architecture Competitions Are Bad for Architects’ . The author outlined why entering competitions is detrimental not only to the individual, but also to the field of architecture.
Competition has been a defining characteristic of architecture for centuries. Without competitions to spur creativity, a young woman would have never submitted her graceful yet powerful black line…and we would be without the Vietnam Memorial. Without architects using competitions as a way to test urban gestures, a young team would have never submitted their idea to use just a portion of their allotted site, leaving the rest for a public plaza…and we would be without the Pompidou Center in France. And, dating quite farther back, without an Italian man initially losing a competition and then determined to further his architectural understanding, we would be without the grand achievement of Brunelleschi’s dome.
The point is that although competitions are demanding, and at times may seem unfair, they are a staple in our profession which pushes the field forward. With this in mind, we will attempt to argue in favor of the open competition, in the hope that we can persuade and inspire you to keep listening to your instinctive competitive nature and keep compiling those entries.
An international ideas competition SEA-CHANGE 2030+ has been launched by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA). This is the world’s second urban sea level rise ideas competition and the first to invite active participation from both design professionals as well as tertiary and school students to tackle the effects of climate change.
The competition invites design proposals to either protect the city from rising Harbour water or to make modifications to the environment to ensure sea level rise does not adversely affect property, parks and open spaces.
Entries are due by June 30 and prize winners announced in late July. For complete information, visit the competition’s official website.
It seems that after Cornell overcame the danger of having both their accreditation and new architecture school eradicated from the campus, there has been smooth sailing in terms of the physical construction of OMA’S Milstein Hall. The building is right on schedule to be fully completed in the Fall of 2011, as the structural steel, and the exterior structure + roof are being erected.
More images of the steel and more about the current construction phase after the break.
Architecture: Katsuhiro Miyamoto & Associates
Location: Takarazuka-City, Hyogo, Japan
Site Area: 121.10 sqm
Built Area: 62.24 sqm
Total Floor Area: 128.65 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Katsuhiro Miyamoto & Associates
As the previous pavilions we have featured on AD for the World Expo 2010 illustrate, the exhibition is, undoubtedly, a giant testing ground to experiment with the latest avant-garde design concepts. In late March, we featured Naço Architectures‘ pavilion and we have just be informed of some details of the facade treatment. The facade’s main focus was to capitalize on Monaco’s seemingly eternal presence of sun and sea. Designed so visitors will experience different lighting effects, the pavilion’s prominent water screen casts its reflections on and around the pavilion’s façade, “to symbolize a country surrounded by sea and sunshine and attached to respect its environment.”
More images and more about the facade after the break.
The 2010 Washington UNBUILT Awards Program recognizes excellence in projects that to date remain unbuilt – theoretical, academic, and other unbuilt projects. Projects entered will be displayed and judged as part of the DesignDC conference in August 2010. This competition is conducted by the Washington Chapter/AIA and is conducted independently of other awards programs sponsored by the National American Institute of Architects and other AIA components.
It was just announced that OMA + AMO will collaborate with Strelka, a postgraduate school for media, architecture and design in Moscow. The new school is launching an educational program where a select group of students will work intensely and innovatively on a series of themes aimed to reshape Russia’s current role in the world. In an attempt to raise the ambition of the creative industries in Russia, the institute will challenge students with a variety of projects. The students will guided by the expertise of both Russian and international creative leaders.
More about the collaboration after the break.
The International Competition “Celebration of Cities Maxmix Cities” winners were announced last year. Three projects from architecture students and three from architects were awarded in the three categories (W. Europe, E. Europe and Asia).
See the winners after the break.
By addressing the capacity to cope, the ability to bounce back, and the mitigation and management of risk, proposals are welcome that showcase a fresh understanding of the possibilities and opportunities of resilience in architecture, from the large to the small scale. Whether resilience stems from natural disaster, civil conflict, global warming, catastrophe, and so on, is the applicant’s discretion. Please visit the submission site for more details.
The winner will receive a prize of $2,500 and the opportunity to have their manuscript published by Princeton Architectural Press as Pamphlet Architecture 32. The registration fee is $25 for students and $50 for professionals. The winner will be announced in September 2010.
More information can be found here.
This past weekend, we were invited to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Panton chair and other Vitra creations at their showroom in the Meatpacking District in Manhattan. The showroom was buzzing with people socializing and viewing the different designs on the showroom’s staggered levels. We were especially excited to see Alejandro Aravena’s novel “Chairless“, a strap of fabric that is a way to eliminate the need for the traditional chair, and yet allows the person to become the integral part of the furniture. Inspired by the Ayoreo Indians who sit on the ground with a tight strap around their back, Aravena developed this concept to produce a seating device that relieves the spine and legs. “It is obvious that many things have evolved since the beginning of time and that progress has accumulated in our lives in the form of sophisticated needs and desires. But it is also true that there are many things and needs that haven’t changed much since our origins and they can still be satisfied in an extremely simple way: sitting comfortably on the ground is one of them,” explained Aravena.
More about Vitra after the break.
ArchDaily had the privilege of attending the Pritzker Prize ceremony last night on historic Ellis Island as Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa were honored. Regarded as the highest honor bestowed upon an architect, the Pritzker Prize’s newest laureates were continually praised throughout the evening for their keen ability to teach us that what is not present can be as important as what is present.
As past laureates, such as Renzo Piano, Frank Gehry, Thom Mayne, Richard Meier, Jean Nouvel, and Rafael Moneo looked on, Lord Palumbo, chairman of the jury, discussed Sejima’s and Nishizawa’s work style; an intensively collaborative design process which is so balanced between the two minds that it is impossible to say which one of the pair is responsible for which architectural decision within a given project.
Although the two share similar philosophies when it comes to light, form and space, their differences create “all the possibilities”. Sejima explained that within SANAA, there are actually three firms: each has his/her own individual practice, yet come together to discuss and critique their work under the international firm SANAA. While some criticize this process as inefficient and confusing, Sejima replied, with a laugh, that the organization is simply how they like to work.
Greek architects Point Supreme shared their urban plan + architecture foundation building competition proposal for Cordoba, Spain with us. The proposal seeks to connect the San Pablo block with the more central part of the city by capitalizing on the site’s diversity of entry points. The building, an architecture institution, is designed to frame the void that resides next to and under the structure.
More about the proposal after the break.
Martin Fenlon‘s rusted steel canopy was recently constructed in LA. The canopy was a facade renovation that took the existing building and added a ‘tube frieze’ in place of typical canopy signage, where a band of undulating stainless steel tubes evoke the surface of the nearby ocean. The approach provides a textured effect and adds to the industrial character of the area.
More images and more about the facade after the break.