New York, San Fran, Chicago…Columbus, Indiana. Which of these doesn’t go with the others? Well, according to the AIA, none. Columbus, Indiana, a small town of about 44,000 has been ranked by the AIA as the nation’s 6th most architecturally important city, right after Washington DC.
So what’s so special about Columbus? Apparently, a 1950s philanthropist by the name of J. Irwin Miller took it upon himself to foot the bill for any new public building in the city. The result? Today, Columbus has more than 70 buildings designed by internationally renowned architects – including I.M. Pei, Eliel Saarinen, Eero Saarinen, Richard Meier and Harry Weese.
Check out a Video on Columbus “The Athens of the Prairie,” after the break…
Each of this year’s winners of the Curry Stone Design Prize are incredible examples of the powerful, and truly varied reach, of Public-Interest Design – which is why we’re sharing these short films, by Room 5 Films, on each of the winning projects. From the Butaro Hospital in Rwanda designed by MASS Design Group to the “Liter by Light” project (that recycles plastic bottles to bring a safe source of light to the slums of the Phillippines), each of these films are inspiring snapshots into the work and worlds of each of these winners.
More videos on Curry Stone Prize Winners, after the break…
For once, British architects, the Prince’s Foundation, and NIMBYs have something they can all agree on. In a speech to the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), UK planning minister, Nick Boles, has come out swinging against the “pig-ugliness” of British housing, which has given it a bad name:
“We are trapped in a vicious circle. People look at the new housing estates that have been bolted onto their towns and villages in recent decades and observe that few of them are beautiful. Indeed, not to put too fine a point of it, many of them are pig-ugly [...]In a nutshell, because we don’t build beautifully, people don’t let us build much. And because we don’t build much, we can’t afford to build beautifully. My personal mission as planning minister is to help us break out of this vicious cycle once and for all.”
The criticism has been welcomed by many British architects as a necessary wake-up call for Britain and a call-to-action for its architects.
More on this story, after the break…
Going back to the times when cinema was recorded with no colours or sound, the German film “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” by Robert Wiene is a masterpiece that utilizes fully stylised sets with abstract spaces to represent different scenes. It’s considered one of the most influential movies of German expressionism, since many of the film’s unusual characteristics (from the geometric nature of the sets to the actors’ costumes) were decades ahead of their time.
Have you seen this classic? What do you think about how silent-era films depict space? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture (KKA) shared with us their winning proposal for Nya Kollaskolan, which is expected to be the largest passive-house school in Sweden, as well as one of the largest passive house buildings in the country. A centerpiece in the new Kollastaden area in the center of Kungsbacka, the school will supplement the existing school, built in 2000, and host around 360 students and 75 employees. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The new Água Espraiada Operação Urbana urban planning program in Sao Paulo has taken a major approach to sustainability. With this plan in action, the Rochaverá Corporate Towers, a high profile mixed residential, office, and shopping complex, is a great example. The recently built project is located at a former industrial area along the Pinheiros River Basin. This enormous 1.2-million-square-foot development, designed by Aflalo and Gasperini Architects, was built to be highly energy efficient, control water usage, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and ease traffic congestion. With the success of the mentioned project, we can begin to ask ourselves, ‘How can a development accomplish all of those objectives?’ Start with urban planning that mitigates sprawl, one of biggest threats to the planet today. More information after the break.
Architecture: LeNoir & Asoc. Estudio de Arquitectura
Location: Universidad, San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León, Mexico
Architectural Design Project: Alexandre Lenoir, Ramón Garduza, José María Pérez
Construction Documents: LeNoir & Asociados, Alejandro Arreguín, Antonio Ibarra, Julia Díaz
Area: 45,660 sqm
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Eduardo Alarcón Ceballos
Location: Escobar, Provincia of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Architects In Charge: Jorge Hampton, Emilio Rivoira
Associated Architect: Cristian Carnicer
Design Team: Roberto Lombardi, María Eugenia García Castera, María Eugenia Viña Raznovich, Juan Reartes, Ignacio Ruiz Orrico, Diego Tablada, Emilia Alvarado, Anahi Fedrizzi
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Jorge Hampton, Emilio Rivoira, Fernando Mayán, Fundación Temaikén
Opening at 6:00pm tomorrow at the Museum of Finnish Architecture, UNBUILT HELSINKI is an exhibition about the Unbuilt City and its inhabitants as part of the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 program. Drawn from the museum’s archive and beyond, unrealized…