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Living Landscape: The Great Fen Visiting Center Proposal / Atelier CMJN

Atelier CMJN shared with us their proposal for the Great Fen Visiting Center which aims at reconnecting humans with nature. In terms of sustainable development, or in the broader term ecology, is the reconnection of humans with their environment by restoring links between the users and the fen. By maximizing one’s chances to connect to this raw and simply beautiful environment, the project intends to not just restore a piece of anthropogenic nature, but reconnect mankind with its deepest self, nature. More images and architects’ description after the break.

The Indicator: On Disappearance, Part 2

Factory Worker Dormitory, Dongguan, Guangdong Province, 2005. Photograph, Edward Burtynsky
Factory Worker Dormitory, Dongguan, Guangdong Province, 2005. Photograph, Edward Burtynsky

As Mr. Betsky asserts, “Robots, connected computers, miniaturization, and etherization are taking the work out of both the social and the physical sphere.” But isn’t this just a fantasy because this has not yet happened on a large enough scale to produce a true paradigm shift? Or, if the shift has happened, then where is everybody rushing off to on the Monday morning commute? And what are all those buildings jammed in-between the roads for? Most of them seem to be for work as opposed to play.  

We may all float in and out of working networks as we move around, untethered to carpeted cubicles, telecommuting, flex-timing, logging in at all hours, but we are still and will primarily be working in places designed by architects—often without access to sunlight, fresh air, or nature of any sort.

Tanatorio de Almudevar / Sixto Marin Gavin

© Pedro Pegenaute
© Pedro Pegenaute

© Pedro Pegenaute © Pedro Pegenaute © Pedro Pegenaute © Pedro Pegenaute

Design Awards: 2013 AIA New York Design Awards

After reviewing hundreds of projects submitted by New York City-based architects and firms, a jury of twelve eminent architects, landscape architects, educators, critics, and planners convened by the Center for Architecture in New York has selected 42 thoughtfully considered projects for the 2013 AIANY Chapter’s Design Awards. From small installations to large-scale projects, each awarded submission spanned a breadth of innovative ideas in a large variety of design solutions for projects throughout the world. 

Winning projects received either a “honor” or “merit” award in four different categories: architecture, interiors, projects and urban planning. All will be on view at a Center for Architecture exhibition designed by Kokoro & Moi, from April 18th through May 31st.

Join us after for the complete list of winning projects.

Casa Malpartida / Cuartoymitad Arquitectura

© Lucía Miret
© Lucía Miret
  • Architects: Cuartoymitad Arquitectura
  • Location: Cáceres, Spain
  • Architect In Charge: Ana Miret, Miguel Paredes, Ruth Vega
  • Contractor: Pajuelo SL
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Lucía Miret

© Lucía Miret © Lucía Miret © Lucía Miret © Lucía Miret

Culture Art Center Changsha / Coop Himmelb(l)au

Courtesy of ISOCHROM.com, Vienna
Courtesy of ISOCHROM.com, Vienna

Coop Himmelb(l)au has come up with an incredibly unique design for the new Grand Theatre and International Culture & Art Center for ChangshaChina. The site is located on the northeastern side of the newly created Changsha Meixi Lake in the Daheexi District, with the design engaging both land and water with a flowing and undulating white form of enormous scale. The architects hope to create a new cultural center that interacts with the existing natural landscape, not only visually, but scientifically by running on alternative energy sources and efficient passive energy systems to reduce environmental impact.

The architects' description after the break...

LF House / Itara Arquitectos

  • Architects: Itara Arquitectos
  • Location: Chiclayo, Lambayeque, Perú
  • Architect In Charge: Eduardo Itabashi, Martin Ramírez.
  • Area: 467.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Itara Arquitectos

Courtesy of Itara Arquitectos Courtesy of Itara Arquitectos Courtesy of Itara Arquitectos Courtesy of Itara Arquitectos

Re-Think Athens Competition Entry / ABM Arquitectos

Courtesy of ABM Arquitectos
Courtesy of ABM Arquitectos

The main idea of ABM Arquitectos in their Re-Think Athens proposal, which was a finalist in the competition, is to join the two parks at the end of the intervention (Pedion Areos and Lotos Likavitou) with a green mass that will flow all along the intervention. By doing this, the architects hope to bringvback the greenery to an area that used to be a green zone in the outside of the old Athens walls and creating a green corridor that joins the old Athens with the new Athens. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Two Sports Centers Boshuizerkade / René van Zuuk Architects

  • Architects: René van Zuuk Architects
  • Location: Leiden, South Holland, The Netherlands
  • Design: René van Zuuk, Kersten Scheller, Peter Hagelaar, Wulf Oschwald, Javier Paz Taibo
  • Design Team: Kersten Scheller, Peter Hagelaar, Wulf Oschwald, Javier Paz Taibo
  • Area: 1590.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2009
  • Photographs: Courtesy of René van Zuuk Architects

Courtesy of René van Zuuk Architects Courtesy of René van Zuuk Architects Courtesy of René van Zuuk Architects Courtesy of René van Zuuk Architects

U.S. EPA: Creating Equitable, Healthy, and Sustainable Communities: Strategies for Advancing Smart Growth, Environmental Justice, and Equitable Development

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released an extensive new publication that serves as a guide for low-income, minority, tribal and overburdened communities to build smart, environmentally just, and equitable developments using strategies that are accessible and affordable.  The guidelines build upon precedents of past successes within struggling communities, whether these struggles are in the face of discrimination, social or economic prejudices, or environmental injustive.  The EPA identifies seven common elements that have been illustrated in in-depth case studies of communities that have struggled with those very issues.  By targeting community groups, governmental agencies, private and non-profit partners, regional and local planners and residents of these communities, the EPA's smart growth guide for "Creating Equitable, Healthy and Sustainable Communities: Strategies for Advancing Smart Growth, Environmental Justice, and Equitable Development" seeks to bring access to valuable information about the inherent possibilities to creating healthful, sustainable, and prosperous communities under a variety of circumstances.

Join us after the break for a breakdown of the EPA's findings and how they address equitability in community development.

How to Balance Local Traditions and New Solutions in Public-Interest Design

Butaro Hospital by MASS Design Group. Image © Iwan Baan.
Butaro Hospital by MASS Design Group. Image © Iwan Baan.

Marika Shioiri-Clark is an architect who uses design to empower global change and battle inequality. While attending Harvard for her Masters in Architecture, she co-founded the non-profit MASS Design Group and began working on what would become the the Butaro Hospital in Rwanda. In this article, which originally appeared on GOOD as "Building a Rwandan Wall", she explains the process by which the hospital was built and defends claims that the project, led by a group of Western architects, was somehow colonialist in nature. 

As she puts it: "In a place like Rwanda, it’s not neo-colonialist to work on high-quality design projects as long as you’re deeply and authentically engaged with the community. In today’s world, it’s more neo-colonialist to assume that African people don't want well-designed buildings and spaces."

Read about Ms. Shiori-Clark's experiences, and the delicate balance that must be struck between local knowledge and innovative techniques, after the break...

R House / Frei + Saarinen

© Stefan Wülser, Zürich
© Stefan Wülser, Zürich
  • Architects: Frei + Saarinen
  • Location: Kilchberg, Zurich, Switzerland
  • Architect In Charge: Barbara Frei, Martin Saarinen, Stefan Wülser
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Stefan Wülser, Zürich

© Stefan Wülser, Zürich © Stefan Wülser, Zürich © Stefan Wülser, Zürich © Stefan Wülser, Zürich

Sant Just Desvern / ONL Arquitectura

  • Architects: ONL Arquitectura
  • Location: Carrer Sant Ferran 19, Sant Just Desvern, España
  • Arquitectos A Cargo: ONL arquitectura - Joan Nogué , Txema Onzain , Félix López
  • Area: 512.78 m2
  • Year: 2008
  • Photography: Marcella Grassi

© Marcella Grassi © Marcella Grassi © Marcella Grassi © Marcella Grassi

eVolo 2013 Skyscraper Competition Winners

1st Place / Derek Pirozzi / United States
1st Place / Derek Pirozzi / United States

Organized in 2006 by eVolo Magazine the Skyscraper Competition recognizes outstanding ideas for vertical living. After reviewing more than 600 projects from 83 different countries, the winners for the eVolo 2013 Skyscraper Competition have just been announced. 

First place was awarded to Derek Pirozzi from the United States, currently an intern at Olson Kundig Architects. Second place went to Darius Maïkoff and Elodie Godo, from France. And third place was awarded to Ting Xu and Yiming Chen from China. Check the images and more info on the winners after the break.

Buckminster Fuller's 50-Foot "Fly's Eye" Dome to be Restored

Noted architectural historian and preservationist Robert Rubin has purchased the largest of Buckmister Fuller's "Fly's Eye" domes and plans to reopen it to the public this summer for the first time in 30 years. 

Cargocenter Frankfurt / Kölling Architekten

  • Architects: Kölling Architekten
  • Location: Emser Brücke, 60327 Frankfurt, Germany
  • Builder: Messe Frankfurt Venue GmbH & Co. KG
  • Area: 74750.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2007
  • Photographs: Christoph Kraneburg

© Christoph Kraneburg © Christoph Kraneburg © Christoph Kraneburg © Christoph Kraneburg