Images have been unveiled of BIG and Heatherwick Studio’s design for Google’s Mountain View headquarters. The plan, submitted to city council today, proposes to redevelop and expand the company’s home office with a series of lightweight canopy-like structures organized within a flexible landscape of bicycle paths and commercial opportunities for local companies.
“It’s the first time we’ll design and build offices from scratch and we hope these plans by Bjarke Ingels at BIG and Thomas Heatherwick at Heatherwick Studio will lead to a better way of working,” says Google. “The idea is simple. Instead of constructing immoveable concrete buildings, we’ll create lightweight block-like structures which can be moved around easily as we invest in new product areas… Large translucent canopies will cover each site, controlling the climate inside yet letting in light and air. With trees, landscaping, cafes, and bike paths weaving through these structures, we aim to blur the distinction between our buildings and nature.”
A video about the design and a statement from Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick, after the break.
The Architects’ Journal as named Teresa Borsuk of Pollard Thomas Edward “Woman Architect of the Year 2015.” The prestigious title, awarded last year to Mecanoo’s Francine Houben, is being presented to Borsuk for her “remarkable” ability to improve equality within her practice.
Borsuk was chosen over an impressive shortlist of women architects. Find out 10 facts about Borsuk and see why the jury consider her to be an ideal role model for future generations, after the break.
Yesterday afternoon, I was able to visit the University of Arkansas exhibition “Fay Jones and Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture Comes to Arkansas” – without purchasing a ticket or leaving my apartment. This extensive exhibition on the life and development of these two notable architects was made possible through a collaboration between University of Arkansas Libraries’ Special Collections and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Library and Archives. Exhibitions such as this are part of a broader movement in recent years towards making archived content more easily accessible to the public through web platforms. The concept of the online exhibition, however, is still in its infancy and there remains significant room for innovation.
Architects: S3 Schmidt Arquitectos
Location: Viña del Mar, Viña del Mar, Valparaíso Region, Chile
Project Architects: Nicolas Norero
Collaborators: Karen Pradenas, Lina Rojas, Cristián Maze, Constanza Larach, Paloma Sanchez
Associated Architects: Horacio Schmidt Cortes, Horacio Schmidt Radic, Martin Schmidt Radic
Project Area: 43000.0 m2
Project Year: 2013
Photographs: Aryeh Kornfeld
Brazilian planner, preservationist and modernist thinker Lucio Costa (27 Feburary 1902 – 13 June 1998) is best known for his 1957 plan of Brasília that shaped the Brazilian capital into a monument to utopian modernism. A resolute and often controversial figure in the Brazilian establishment, Costa’s contributions to Brazilian architecture helped to shape the distinctive modernism that was practically Brazil’s official style until the 1980s.
British architect David Chipperfield has been selected to receive the 2015 Sikkens Prize, one of the oldest independent art prizes in the Netherlands. The prize’s 36th recipient, Chipperfield is being recognized for his “revolutionary use of color,” much like his predecessors; Gerrit Rietveld, Le Corbusier, Donald Judd, HEMA and Bridget Riley have all received the Sikkens Prize.
According to the jury, “Chipperfield’s work on the Neues Museum in Berlin is a magnificent example of his way of working. Like no other he knows how to combine the old with the new. In his spatial compositions he achieves a delicate balance between color, material end texture. Chipperfield uses the colors provided by the architectural context and the building materials in an unemphatic yet expressive way.”
Being such a recent movement in the international architectural discourse, the reach and significance of post-modernism can sometimes go unnoticed. In this selection, chosen by Adam Nathaniel Furman, the “incredibly rich, extensive and complex ecosystem of projects that have grown out of the initial explosion of postmodernism from the 1960s to the early 1990s” are placed side by side for our delight.
From mosques that imagine an idyllic past, via Walt Disney’s Aladdin from the 1990s, to a theatre in Moscow that turns its façade into a constructivist collage of classical scenes, “there are categories in post-modernism to be discovered, and tactics to be learned.” These projects trace forms of complex stylistic figuration, from the high years of academic postmodernism, to the more popular of its forms that spread like wildfire in the latter part of the 20th century.
AA Istanbul Visiting School is beginning an exciting collaboration with Istanbul Bilgi University in 2015. Continuing its expertise on generative design methodologies and large-scale prototyping techniques, the programme will investigate patterns of emergence, differentiation and complexity in natural formation processes, which will then be transformed into digital simulation platforms for design purposes. In contemporary architectural processes, a significant diversion from linear parametric tools towards generative design simulations is taking place. The design and analysis processes will reflect this shift by focusing on simulations, whereby attention will be focused on the process of design generation as opposed to the final form itself. The design agenda of the programme will revolve around the design and fabrication of a one-to-one scale pavilion.
The city of Uppsala invited BIG to design a biomass cogeneration plant that would offset its peak energy loads throughout the fall, winter and spring as part of an international competition (ultimately won by Liljewall Arkitekter). Home to Scandinavia’s oldest university and landmark Uppsala cathedral, the plant proposal’s biggest challenge was to respect the city’s historic skyline.
Considering the project’s proposed seasonal use, BIG envisioned a dual-use power plant that transcends the public perception; in the summer months, the “crystalline” proposal was designed to transform into a venue for festivals during the peak of tourism.