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Quality Hotel Expo / Haptic Architects

  • Architects: Haptic Architects
  • Location: Fornebu, Norway
  • Design Team: Nikki Butenschøn MNIL, Tomas Stokke MNAL RIBA, Scott Grady RIBA, Timo Haedrich RIBA
  • Project Manager: AB Invest AS, Anders Buchardt
  • Main Contractor: HENT
  • Graphic Design: Bob Design
  • Area: 14000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Simon Kennedy, Trine Thorsen

© Simon Kennedy © Simon Kennedy © Simon Kennedy © Trine Thorsen

Duplex House in Küsnacht / Rossetti + Wyss Architekten

© Jürg Zimmermann © Jürg Zimmermann © Jürg Zimmermann © Jürg Zimmermann

Palafito del Mar Hotel / Eugenio Ortúzar + Tania Gebauer

  • Architects: Eugenio Ortúzar + Tania Gebauer
  • Location: Pedro Montt 499, Castro, Castro, X Región, Chile
  • Collaborator: María Teresa De La Fuente Castellón
  • Structures: Eugenio Ortúzar
  • Site Management: Eugenio Ortúzar, Francisco Valdes
  • Area: 380.0 m2
  • Year: 2013
  • Photography: Eugenio Ortúzar, Alvaro Vidal, Tania Gebauer, Marco Polidura

© Alvaro Vidal © Alvaro Vidal © Eugenio Ortúzar © Eugenio Ortúzar

Video: IKEA Foundation Design a Shelter for Refugees

To mark the occasion of World Refugee Day on June 20th, the IKEA Foundation announced an important new collaboration with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Refugee Housing Unit to design a new type of shelter which will replace the outdated tents currently in use in refugee camps worldwide.

As you'd expect from IKEA, the result is a flat-packed, modular design (ideal for cheaply transporting to refugee camps) that can be assembled in 4 hours. Though it is expected to cost about twice as much, it will last much longer than the tents, which must be replaced roughly every six months - a particularly important improvement, as the average family stays in a refugee camp for 12 years.

The design also carries a number of other advantages, such as increased space and privacy, better temperature control and enough solar energy to power a light in the evening. The design is currently being tested in Ethiopia before being deployed worldwide, however, this is not the end of IKEA's collaboration with UNHCR. These shelters are just the first part of a long-term collaboration which will hopefully provide healthcare and education - and ultimately a better quality of life for the world's refugees.

More coverage of architecture's involvement in refugee aid, after the break.

The Serpentine / Turner

  • Architects: Turner
  • Location: Bilgola, NSW, Australia
  • Client: CABE Development
  • Site Area: 763 sqm
  • Gross Floor Area: 520 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Courtesy of CABE

Courtesy of CABE Courtesy of CABE Courtesy of CABE Courtesy of CABE

'Floating Plaza' Competition Entry / NC-Office

NC-Office shared with us their 'Floating Plaza' proposal for the competition that called for the urban concept and architectural design and development of Sveta Nedelya Square, in the city of Sofia. The main strategy for the project is to provide a clearly defined plaza for congregation in the heart of Sofia. To achieve this, the architects propose a plane which “peels” away from the north side of Sveta Nedelya Church and floats over Boulevard Vitosha. This ‘plane’ alludes to the historical use of that area of ancient Serdika. More images and architects' description after the break.

Could Goldiblox Get Girls Into Architecture?

TechCrunch reported today that GoldieBlox, the startup that created “GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine," a girl-oriented alternative to LEGO, has struck its first nationwide distribution deal with Toys ‘R’ Us. Responding on twitter, the Harvard GSD (@HarvardGSDExecED) asked its followers: could GoldieBlox be one of the answers to encouraging women to enter the architecture and engineering professions? The response from Tabitha Ponte (@tcpg) became an interesting exchange - check it out, after the break...

AMADIP Center / Juan Alba + Ester Morro

  • Architects: Juan Alba, Ester Morro
  • Location: Carrer Miquel Santos Oliver, 9, 07181 Calvià, Balearic Islands, Spain
  • Area: 1135.0 m2
  • Year: 2009
  • Photographs: José Hevia

© José Hevia © José Hevia © José Hevia © José Hevia

MOMA PS1 Rockaway Call for Ideas Winning Proposal / Sorg Architects

In response to the MOMA PS1 Rockaway Call for Ideas, ‘The Water Dyke’ proposal, which was one of the selected entries, focused not only on rebuilding the boardwalk, but on creating the boardwalk as a community gathering place and a functional infrastructure to protect the shoreline. Designed by Sorg Architects, their concept of the Water Dyke is to harness water itself to retain a storm surge and thereby the shoreline from damaging floods.  More images and architects’ description after the break.

Sou Fujimoto Awarded Marcus Prize

As the youngest architect ever to design the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London, it is no surprise that 41-year-old Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto has been selected as winner of the $100,000 Marcus Prize. Awarded by the Milwaukee-based Marcus Corporation Foundation, the biennial prize is dedicated to honoring emerging designers by requiring only a decade of exceptional leadership in their field.

This award doesn’t come with responsibility, as Fujimoto will be required to visit the graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning a handful of times through the next year, in addition to skyping with a class as often as once per week. 

Inspiration: Contemporary Design Methods in Architecture / Mark Muckenheim and Juliane Demel

From the Publisher. Inspiration: Contemporary Design Methods in Architecture is a comprehensive compilation of work samples and ideas on design and gestalt, illustrations and graphic configurations, textures and structures, as well as form and spatial development. This book features more than 800 examples of abstract compositions that relate to architectural design methods and principles. These methodologies find their ground in the work of contemporary architectural design practice, while still being highly applicable to other related creative fields. Inspiration showcases hundreds of examples, models, sketches, and renderings of abstract architectural design applications. In addition to this substantial body of visual work, the book also documents and details the generative process and production of these design creations.

CAP-CSM SARRIÁ / Sulkin Marchissio

Courtesy of Sulkin Marchissio Courtesy of Sulkin Marchissio Courtesy of Sulkin Marchissio Courtesy of Sulkin Marchissio

Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam 2013

The 2013 Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam (AFFR), which focuses around the theme, 'Time Machine,' is set to take place in the cinemas of LantarenVenster October 10-13. The event will all be about evaluating the past and dreaming about the future. This will be done with movies, lots of movies, in which 'the world called city' is the leading character. The festival will also hosts television series, debates and talk shows. More information after the break.

Why Green Architecture Hardly Ever Deserves the Name

7 World Trade Center / SOM. Image © Ruggero Vanni.
7 World Trade Center / SOM. Image © Ruggero Vanni.

The following article, by Michael Mehaffy & Nikos Salingaros, originally appeared in Metropolis Mag as "Why Green Often Isn't"

Something surprising has happened with many so-called “sustainable” buildings. When actually measured in post-occupancy assessments, they’ve proven far less sustainable than their proponents have claimed. In some cases they’ve actually performed worse than much older buildings, with no such claims. A 2009 New York Times article, “Some buildings not living up to green label,” documented the extensive problems with many sustainability icons. Among other reasons for this failing, the Times pointed to the widespread use of expansive curtain-wall glass assemblies and large, “deep-plan” designs that put most usable space far from exterior walls, forcing greater reliance on artificial light and ventilation systems.

Partly in response to the bad press, the City of New York instituted a new law requiring disclosure of actual performance for many buildings. That led to reports of even more poor-performing sustainability icons. Another Times article, “City’s Law Tracking Energy Use Yields Some Surprises,” noted that the gleaming new 7 World Trade Center, LEED Gold-certified, scored just 74 on the Energy Star rating — one point below the minimum 75 for “high-efficiency buildings” under the national rating system. That modest rating doesn’t even factor in the significant embodied energy in the new materials of 7 World Trade Center. 

What's going on with these supposedly "sustainable" buildings? Read on, after the break...


  • Location: Carrer de València, 199, 08011 Barcelona, Spain
  • Architect in Charge: Tomeu Ramis, Aixa del Rey and Barbara Vich
  • Area: 200.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: José Hevia

© José Hevia © José Hevia © José Hevia © José Hevia

AD Interviews: LOT-EK

Not long ago we sat down with Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lignano of LOT-EK—a New York City- and Naples-based architectural design studio. Known for their work with shipping containers, they discuss the learning curve they have endured by using objects that fall outside of the typical materials specified in manuals. LOT-EK also explains that they have been influenced by the freedom exercised in contemporary art. In their attempt to look at the world through “different eyes,” they find that networking is indispensable since it “makes what [they] do relevant” and opens them up to new opportunities.

Re-born House / DL Design/TL Architects & Associates

  • Architects: DL Design/TL Architects & Associates
  • Location: Taipei, Taiwan
  • Architect in Charge: Dolly Lin
  • Design Team: Dolly Lin, Fidi Feng, Jimmy Chen, Rock Chiu, Aki Tang, Chloe Chen, Stephen Strugala
  • Area: 750.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Courtesy of DL Design/TL Architects & Associates/HY KO

Courtesy of DL Design/TL Architects & Associates/HY KO Courtesy of DL Design/TL Architects & Associates/HY KO Courtesy of DL Design/TL Architects & Associates/HY KO Courtesy of DL Design/TL Architects & Associates/HY KO

Captain Melville / Breathe Architecture

  • Architects: Breathe Architecture
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
  • Design Team: Linda Valentic, Jeremy McLeod
  • Construction Team: Ficus Constructions, Exzibit Design
  • Area: 286.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Andrew Wuttke

© Andrew Wuttke © Andrew Wuttke © Andrew Wuttke © Andrew Wuttke