Let’s begin with the obvious: kids like to climb, and run, and get their hands on anything that could (and probably will) break. They like to explore and imagine, create and destroy and create again.
Thankfully, a movement in the world of Education has begun to account for this reality (see:Ken Robinson’s seminal 2007 TedTalk), to leave behind the antiquated schema that children are little adults, and to engage students’ creativity, energy, and need for expression – a task often complicated by the physical constraints of a traditional classroom.
When designing a classroom, architects are keenly aware of the importance of the physical conditions of a learning environment (temperature, crowding, even permeability to the community) on a child’s psyche.  However, as much as we depend upon studies to help us design the “correct” environment, what we ultimately need is a practical, playful perspective that understands what excites and engages children.
We need a source of inspiration. To look at spaces that welcome interaction with the environment and encourage the free reign of energy and imagination. We need the playground.
Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Architect of Record: Ghafari Associates
Completion Date: September 2011
Owner: Instituto del Progreso Latino (IPL)
Design Team: Juan Gabriel Moreno, Cosmin Vrajitoru, Jason Nuttelman, John Rausch, David Ruffing, Linda Chavez, Michael Cady
Design Builder: McShane Construction
Project Area: 100,000 sf
Photographs: Courtesy of JGMA
Located in the small village of Jukkasjärvi in northern Sweden 200 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, ICEHOTEL may be the epitomy of ephemeral and temporal architecture. The world’s first and largest hotel built out of snow and ice is an inhabitable work of art that takes on a new form each year. The existence of the ICEHOTEL is entirely reliant upon the climate and Torne River, from which the 4000 tonnes of ice are harvested each year between March and April. The architecture is a form of exhibition as well. Each year artists are handpicked to design and build the Art Suites within the ICEHOTEL. The whole process invoved about 100 people and is constructed between November and December.
Architect: Satoru Hirota Architects – Satoru Hirota
Location: Tochigi, Japan
Structural Design: Cremona Institute / Masahiro Shirasu
Machinery Design: Ymo / Hiroyuki Yamada
Contractor: Maruyama Kogyo / Hitoshi Akutsu + Katsuaki Ito
Interior Coordination: Ozone / Miki Sakamoto
Total Floor Area: 1,094.05 sqm
Year of Completion: 2010
Photographers: Atsushi Nakamichi, Satoru Hirota Architects
RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) recently announced the finalists in their Cronton Colliery Competition. The challenge to design a pioneering new visitor destination on a former colliery has inspired creative teams across the world to push the boundaries of landscape and architecture. Hassell, Hawkins/Brown, Michael Lee Architects and Edward Architecture & Matthew Riley are the four of the most inventive schemes that have been invited to the final stage for the chance to see their vision become a reality. More images and information after the break.
We have been following the rising popularity of CLOG, beginning with their inaugural thematic issue on BIG and, their second issue on Apple which highlighted Jobs’ Apple Campus 2 in Cupertino by Foster + Partners. This latest architectural publication seeks to slow the pace at which architectural information is distributed, allowing people to pause and absorb the projects and ideas presented and discuss the topics at hand.
For CLOG’s Apple issue, the publication included over 50 international multidisciplinary contributors and discussed topics from ranging an interview with one of Apple Computer’s original three founders, Ronald Wayne, to articles about the innovative glass engineering, and design critique of the project. After the large success of both issues, CLOG is gearing up for their next issue and calling for submissions about renderings. For this addition, the team will address the persuasive power of renderings and their important, and perhaps dominant, role in project presentations.
More about CLOG after the break.
Designed by ExS Architects
Concept: Elina Karanastasi
Design team: Nikos Asimakis, Eri Badouva, Stathis Vlachiotis
Consultant: Maria Mandalaki
and Matthijs Moelee, Alexandros Vazakas
The WarmWall house is a project of ExS Architects. It was designed for the Deventer Havenkwartier…
Architects: Padilla Nicás Arquitectos
Location: Santo Domingo, Spain
Project Manager: César Martín
Area: 471 sqm
Collaborator: Isabel Colino
Technical Architect: Jaime Santos
Structure: R7 consultores / Alejandro Bernabeu
Photographs: Padilla Nicás Arquitectos
In their design proposal for the Netanya City Hall, Zarhy Architects aimed to create an urban square that functions as a space which creates a direct connection between the public entities, the residents, and the rest of the city. Their approach was to refrain from building one tower which is indifferent to the street and instead, to introduce a “campus” of municipal buildings that provides an integral public space designed to serve the residents of the city of Netanya, as a generous and active urban square. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The Greek urban design project “e_co_llectiva” by Athanasios Polyzoidis (Architect-Landscape Architect) and Katerina Petsiou… (Architect) was awarded with the Salon Grand Prix in the 4th Landscape Architecture Exhibition in Belgrade. In their design, the public space of the streets and
The planetarium and science center project by Gillot + Givry… is designed to be a strong image in the urban context of the city of Chalet-a-Gobet, Switzerland. Worth and deserving specific treatment, it is important to strike the right balance
Thanks to our readers’ help like, Jonathan Choe, we bring you an Architecture City Guide to Singapore. The city’s “recent prosperity and extremely dense urban situation has lead to a wealth of incredible architecture from architects around the world,” says Choe. Today we bring you only 12 buildings as a starting point. Please leave some of your favorites in the comment section below as we intend to expand it in the near future.
Thousands gathered Saturday to celebrate the grand opening of Santiago Calatrava‘s Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge that connects east and west Dallas seamlessly over the Trinity River. A parade of builders, including everyone from those to poured the concrete to Calatrava himself, were the first to march across the new Dallas icon, followed by nearly 16,000 other people. Although the bridge is still not quite ready for vehicular traffic, the city celebrated its commencement with an impressive display of fireworks. Continue reading for more.
Architects: Batlle & Roig Architects – Enric Batlle, Joan Roig
Location: Can Bisa, Vilassar de Mar, Barcelona, Spain
Collaborators: Eva Polío, Oriol Vañó, architects; Carme Balada, ceramist; Diana Calicó, Elisabeth Torregrossa, technical architects; Marta Ballester, architecture student; Gerardo Rodríguez, engineer; STATIC, structure; Albert Colomer, engineer; SJ12, installations
Client: Vilassar Societat Municipal de Promocions Urbanes SA
Photographs: A. Flajszer