The idea that a diverse population needs a diverse environment to succeed seems easy enough to grasp. Certainly, it is easier to comprehend than a one-size-fits-all design philosophy. Why then, in the name of universal design and equality, do architects continue to design uniform one-size-fits-all environments? Answering that is not so simple. Some may suggest that construction methods, costs, and site restrictions make diverse environments economically and physically infeasible. Others may fault the lack of courses architects take in human biology and psychology. This might make it impossible for them to understand the diverse range of people their buildings affect. Even more may fault the ever increasingly abstract design process. This may hinder architects’ ability to identify with real future occupants. All of these conceivably play a role, but the most likely culprit is Plato’s philosophy of essentialism for the same reason biologist Ernst Mayr felt it caused evolution’s insufferably late discovery; essentialism has and continues to fundamentally shape how we see and deal with diversity.
An Architect in the Palm of Your Hand: ACME’s newest collection of roller ball and card case winners!
Last week we told you about ACME Studio’s newest collection of roller balls and card cases with designs by Charles and Ray Eames and Hariri & Hariri. We asked you which architect and project would you like to see in future collections, and among all the comments by registered users we now have two lucky winners!
Grace Whang will receive Charles and Ray Eames “Dots-Etched” collection, and Tim Grantham won Hariri & Hariri “Site Plan”. Congratulations to you both! We will contact you directly with the details.
Remember you can also become a registered user of ArchDaily to have access to all our special features and so you can participate in future giveaways! More information on ACME Studio’s collection after the break.
Farshid Moussavi Architecture has just shared their winning residential proposal for the La Défense financial district to the west of Paris with us. The new 11,000 + square meter building is part of the larger urban renewal project, La Parvis Jardin de l’Arché, which links La Défense and les Terrasses de Nanterre. The design’s slender volume – which contains 7,500 sqm of residential units, 2,930 sqm of student accommodation and 1,000 sqm of retail space – is comprised of slightly rotated floor plates that produce oblique balconies and loggias. The shifting form builds upon the site’s visual connection to La Grande Axe, providing uninterrupted views down the historic boulevard. The winning project marks Moussavi’s first built work in France, as well as FMA’s first major project since the dissolution of her previous firm Foreign Office Architects with co-founder Alejandro Zaera-Polo.
More images of the winning design after the break.
Architects: dKO Architecture
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Project Team: Zvonko Orsanic, Hannah Jonasson
Contractor: Total Construction
Collaborators: Norman Disney & Young, Felicetti, JNAT, McCutcheon MacDonald, Invotec, Like Butter
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 450 sqm
Photographs: Michael Gazzola
Architecture Workshop in Rome (AWR) is proposing an international architectural ideas competition, “Life Saving – First Step Against Disaster”, with the aim of developing tsunami-proof strategies that could lessen the impact of these events on human lives. Architects, engineers, designers and students, around the world, with passion and creativity, can deal with this sensitive issue. More information on the competition after the break.
Envisioned as an urban grove, this central gathering space represents the convergence of community in this diverse, mixed income, residential development. The design accommodates a complex program, layering the varied multi-cultural and intergenerational uses with a number of meaningful gathering and recreational spaces for the residents. Tai Chi, chess, children’s play areas, and contemplative seating areas allow for various groups to utilize the garden spaces in different ways. Lawn areas can be used for sunbathing in the summer and also provide the community with areas for flexible programming during larger gatherings, such as celebrations for the Chinese New Year, Russian Unity Day, and other cultural and civic events.
As part of Little Tokyo Design Week, a recently successful event hosted by Los Angeles, offices deegan day design and Open A of Japan curated an exhibition of 40 houses from Japan and California. The goal was to highlight 20 Japanese and 20 Californian architectural practices that explore new efficiencies of scale, construction and reduced ecological impact, posing innovative possibilities for the future of small-scale residential design. They had many exciting architects participate in this exhibition, such as, Neil Denari, Greg Lynn, Wes Jones, Sou Fujimoto, Makoto Tanijiri, Mt Fuji Architects just to name a few.
As part of their exhibition, most architects also donated a model to auction benefiting the recent disasters in Japan. Although their exhibition only lasted for four short days and they were able to raise over $3,000, they are also starting another auction for the remaining models on eBay. They are currently coordinating with the US-Japan Council in setting up an eBay account that will directly benefit the Japan Platform. The auction is tentatively scheduled for October 17th.
Van Alen Institute, a New York-based organization dedicated to projects in public architecture, is joining the U.S. National Park Service to launch Parks for the People: A Student Competition to Reimagine America’s National Parks. Students and faculty will have a…
Architects: Hawkins Brown with Studio Egret West
Location: Sheffield, England
Landscape Architects: Grant Associates
Main Contractor: Urban Splash Build Ltd (North)
Structural Engineer: Stockley
Services Engineer: Ashmount Consulting Engineers Limited
Project Area: 130,000 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Daniel Hopkinson, Keith Collie and Peter Bennett
STREET WORKS, an initiative of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA NSW), is a competition to create temporary installations that transform under-utilised public spaces into vibrant places. An exhibition of the 67 entries they received from landscape architects, architects,…
It is an exciting week in the Windy City. Chicago Ideas Week (CIW) kicked off yesterday and runs through the 16th, featuring 100 speakers in 7 days. CIW is a combination of the world’s top speakers and Chicago’s best thinkers. The result, a newly created ecosystem of innovation, exploration, and intellectual recreation. Head to CIW’s website to download the schedule and purchase tickets, or to view a webcast.
Designing in Lima, a city of marked eclecticism is more a provocation than a challenge. The vibrant movement of forms, heights, colors, reflections, textures and all kinds of elements competing for the leading role is a particularly interesting framework for XTe a+d‘s proposal for an exclusive, loft apartment building. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Architect: Ravnikar Potokar Arhitekturni
Location: Idrija, Slovenia
Competition Team: Robert Potokar, Sabina Colnar, Ajdin Bajrović, Mateja Šetina, Carlos Graca
Project Team: Robert Potokar, Andrej Strehovec, Marjan Starič
Interior Design Project: Andrej Strehovec, Maja Slapernik, Robert Potokar
Project Area: 7,740 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Andrej Strehovec
Architects: Semple Brown Design
Location: Englewood, Colorado, USA
Project Team: Bryan Schmidt, AIA, LEED AP, Dru Schwyhart, LEED AP, Sarah Semple Brown, AIA, Tom Gallagher, Architect, LEED AP, Mary Kay Sunset, ASID, LEED AP
Project Area: 20,000 square feet (8,000 square feet existing/renovation 12,000 square feet of new construction)
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Ron Pollard Photography