Architects Ital design & Arco projekt recently won second prize with their competition entry for the Ulcinj Montenegro Hotel. Additional images and lengthy description of their project follows after the jump.
The AIA Consensus Construction Forecast predicts that spending for nonresidential and commercial construction will continue to decline before a modest recovery in 2012. The reason for the continued decline, of course, is due to the overall uneven economic recovery. The hesistency on the part of lenders to finance construction projects, the weak financial position of governments at all levels, and rising costs of key building material commodities all restrain the nonresidential and commercial construction sectors.
Overall, many sectors of the building industry are seeing a decline this year followed by a slight rebound. The nonresidential sector is projected to decline 5.6 percent this year and recover at 6.4 percent in 2012. The commercial sector will see a 6.5 percent decline this year and rebound approximately 12 percent next year. Manufacturing facilities will see a steep decline at almost 16 percent, with a rebound of 8 percent. While the stable institutional sector will see the least amount of decline at 3 percent and rebound at 4 percent.
With such a week recovery, most businesses and institutions are refraining from building new facilities. However, spending on renovations of existing facilities has remained strong. Unstable home prices, unusually severe weather conditions, rising energy costs, concern over growing debt, and the rising national unemployment rate (up from 8.8 percent in March to 9.2 percent in June) have made consumers extremely nervous. This also threatens international markets that have seen rapid growth in recent years.
For a more thorough breakdown of the AIA Consensus Construction Forecast refer to this chart by following this link: http://info.aia.org/aiarchitect/2011/charts/consensus-survey/july/july.html
Soon after Mark Noad’s vision of the London Tube Map was viewed, debate ensued about whether the integrity of the original diagram was misused to create a hybrid between the original information as a concept of the underground train system and its pathways and the concept of a geographically accurate map. With a slightly more condensed font style, the map is intended to be more legible, especially on mobile devices. Eminent typographer and designer Erik Spiekermann headed the debate stating that Harry Beck original depiction of the Tube was not a map at all, “it’s a diagram. Not meant to show geographic relationships, but connections.”
Therein lies the schism between the concept of depiction and illustration. Fastco Design writer John Pavlus discusses the value of the designer’s intent – to produce something of use – rather than the initial concept of the first drawing. Most users of the train system diagram are likely to call it a map. The visual information implies that it will be used to guide travelers to particular destinations, thereby making it useful as a map. The initial intent of the information becomes irrelevant when its use and usefulness comes into play. Did Mark Noad achieve the clarification that the Beck’s original diagram was lacking by adding elements of a geographical map into it?
The question that Pavlus concludes with is how does the designer extend his or her role beyond solving problems; how does a designed artifact continue to evolve with each iteration, engage the public and continue to develop new and better uses?
(via Fastco Design)
Hadrian Predock + John Frane’s project for the 2010 GLOW festival in Santa Monica titled “Luminous Passage” links the City to the Ocean as a porous and luminous land bridge. Connecting the existing Bay Street boardwalk to the ocean’s edge, the passage makes visible the connection across the sand to the edge of the Pacific. This is a physical tensile structure that supports light and connects the urban landscape of Santa Monica to the edge of the water, but also forms a conceptual leap that transitions from the “logics” that define the city to the those of the ocean. Taking the vertical nature of the city and merging it with the horizontal impulses of the pacific, a visceral and intense space twists and emerges. Composed of luminous lines of color (Electroluminescent wire – EL wire), the ambitious scale of the project is a relatively simple construction with only six fixed paper struts as primary support.
Each year the Texas Society of Architects recognizes a building that was completed 25-50 years ago which they believe has “stood the test of time by retaining its central form, character, and overall architectural integrity”. This year, the prestigious honor is awarded to Fountain Place, designed by Henry Cobb of I. M. Pei & Partners and completed back in 1986 in Dallas, Texas.
The aim of ARHIS for the kindergarten competition proposal in Riga, Latvia is to create a new type of kindergarten, where children can easily learn to incorporate with each other, the urban environment, and with society. The project solution is a public building with a three-dimensional park integrated in the urban structure and to become a part of the city public space and greenery system, which is a part of the Riga development plan. More images and architects’ description after the break.
School of Nursing and Student Community Center at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston / Lake|Flato Architects and BNIM Architects
Architect: BNIM Architects, Lake|Flato Architects
Location: Houston, Texas, United States
Project Team: Steve McDowell, FAIA; Kimberly Hickson, AIA; Chris Koon, AIA; David Immenschuh; David Lake, FAIA; Greg Papay, AIA; Kenny Brown
Consultants: BNIM Architects, Jaster Quintanilla & Associates, Carter Burgess, Inc., Ferguson Consulting, Inc., Supersymmetry, Clanton Associates, Epsilon Engineering, Walter P. Moore, Coleman & Associates, Apex Busby, Rolf Jenson & Associates, Philo & Wilke Architects, Arup, Pelton Marsh Kinsella, Worrell Design Group, Lerch Bates & Associates, Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, Rocky Mountain Institute, Elements
Contractor: Jacobs/VaughnGreg Papay, FAIA
Project Area: 18,023 sqm
Project Year: 2004
Photographs: Hester + Hardaway
Each year the Kultur Gut Poggenhagen Foundation opens up a competition for young architects to design temporary low-cost dwellings for artists. The aim of Studio Bang’s design is an optimal cost-benefit ratio reached by well selected, qualified materials and a simple multifunctional form. More images and brief description after the break.
Calling for a 3.500 sqm combined community center and sports facility with an emphasis on sustainability, both in construction and use, PARK decided to go with a bold strategy they titled ‘Pulsen’. Rather than applying the traditional repertoire of green technologies to the building, after initial concept design was developed, the client called for an architecture that embodied the idea of the sustainable approach. More images and project description after the break.
The ARTCUBE exhibition contains a novel interactive sculpture comprising photographs of the artistic processes and techniques captured by Brandon Shigeta. Stacked into random arrays forming a single cubic massing, the sculpture includes hidden signed cards and custom artwork on the surface of the postcards by artists. Perhaps qualifying the exhibit as the heaviest photographic exhibit ever, the sculpture consists of approximately 65,000 postcards of approximately 80 various images to be removed by visitors as souvenirs. More images and description of the exhibition after the break.
A new set of tools have been developed by researchers at MIT in collaboration with China’s Tsinghua University that will evaluate the performance and energy consumption of large-scale projects. Led by Dennis Frenchman and Christopher Zegras from MIT’s School of Architecture + Planning, these new set of guidelines and tools are a proactive response to the rapid urbanization of China and its ever-increasing development and infrastructure projects. The main goal is to introduce sustainable methods of implementation and construction, and responsible energy patterns one neighborhood at a time.