As part of “Time Space Existence” at the Venice Biennale — the exhibition which has brought over 100 architects, including Norman Foster, Eduardo Souto de Moura, and Ricardo Bofill, together — the young Spanish architect, Alejandro Beautell, presents the installation: “about architecture_without capital letters.”
Beautell’s video, which explores his recent works completed in the Canary Islands (including ArchDaily 2014 Building of the Year, St. John Baptist Chapel), provokes the viewer to consider the essence of architecture, smaller scales, and the tradition inherent in the architectural profession.
Enjoy the video above and make sure to revisit Beautell’s stunning Building of the Year, the St. John Baptist Chapel.
Clocking in at just under six hundred pages, Neeraj Bhatia and Mary Casper’s The Petropolis of Tomorrow (Actar, 2013) presents a series of dueling monstrosities—land and sea; ecology and industry; isolation and circulation—at the hard-edged site of their collision. The product of an intensive research studio directed by Bhatia at the Rice School of Architecture, Petropolis documents and explores Brazil’s rapidly developing network of offshore petroleum and natural gas drilling infrastructures as a site ripe for the deployment of architectural expertise and imagination. Conducted as part of a broad collaborative research investigation on resource extraction urbanism initiated by the South America Project (SAP), the studio, as introduced by SAP Co-Director Felipe Correa, is a speculative experiment that “tests an extreme scenario” with the aim of identifying “new hybrids between industry and urbanism for an alternative twenty-first century extraction town.” Complementing the studio work, the editors have marshaled an impressive array of text and photo contributors whose essays offer distinctive takes on the book’s three thematic threads: archipelago urbanism, harvesting urbanism, and logistical urbanism.
Today the President of Estonia announced the Spanish firm Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos as the winner in an international competition to design a new Cultural Centre in Estonia. The Arvo Pärt Centre is dedicated to the Estonian composer and will house an archive of his work, making it available to researchers and enthusiasts at the new site in Laulasmaa.
Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos came first from a shortlist of 20 architects, including names such as Zaha Hadid Architects and COOP HIMMELB(L)AU. Second and third prize went to US practice Allied Works Architecture and Kavakava Architects of Estonia respectively. See images of the top three projects after the break.
Adding to the world-famous collection of buildings and structures at its campus in Weil am Rhein, Vitra has just unveiled its latest project, a viewing tower and slide designed by Carsten Höller. Located on the Alvaro Siza-designed promenade linking Herzog & de Meuron‘s Vitrahaus with Zaha Hadid‘s Fire Station, the new tower offers two ways to see the Vitra Campus as never before: from above, looking out over the other buildings at the tower’s viewing platform; and on the dizzying descent, as the transparent roof to the slide gives fleeting views of the buildings around you.
More on the Vitra Slide Tower after the break
For time immemorial, humanity has sought to outdo itself architecturally, building longer tunnels, taller towers, and stronger walls. Now, the Master in Civil Engineering program at Norwich University has compiled a definitive top ten list of these impressive structures. In the following infographic, you’ll find some familiar entries – such as the Great Wall of China and the Hoover Dam – as well as some lesser known greats, like the Qingdao Haiwan Bridge. Spanning over 2000 years of architectural ingenuity and invention, this list is sure to teach you something new about the most impressive engineering projects of all time.
The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) have announced the winners of the 2014 RIAS Awards. Selected from the 83 entries, these buildings represent the best in Scottish architecture from the past year. This year Glasgow buildings make up significant number of the 13 winners, demonstrating the positive results of the city gearing up to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games later this summer.
The RIAS Awards are held in parallel with the RIBA National Awards, with submitted projects eligible for both. This year, 4 RIAS Award winners were also RIBA National Award winners. See the full list of winners after the break.
Architects: Studio O+A
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Design Team: Primo Orpilla, Denise Cherry, Verda Alexander, Perry Stephney, Clem Soga, Steve Gerten, Elizabeth Guerrero, David Hunter, Alma Lopez, Renee Laput-Mendoza, Sarunya Wongjodsri, , Jeorge Jordan, Olivia Ward, Kroeun Dav, Chase Lunt, Amie Zemlicka, Maleesa Pollock, Will Chu
Area: 106,000 sqft
Photographs: Jasper Sanidad
London based Heatherwick Studio have won a competition to design a Learning Hub at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. The construction of the Hub, part of a £360 million scheme, will be the first redevelopment of its campus in twenty years. Having already won the BCA Green Mark Platinum Award for Sustainability from the Singaporean Government, the design seeks to redefine the aspiration of a university building. Within this new context the purpose of the university is to “foster togetherness and sociability” so that students can meet and learn in a space that encourages collaboration.
Last year I saw Beatriz Colomina present Radical Pedagogies, a research project that she led together with PhD students at Princeton University School of Architecture. Radical Pedagogies focuses on schools and programs from around the world that emerged postwar, strongly tied to social changes of the time. The material produced over three years of seminars, interviews and archive digging shows a compelling story of the ways that “architectural pedagogy” have impacted today’s architecture education.
Invited to the Monditalia section of the Venice Biennale, Radical Pedagogies paints a global picture while focusing on some of the strong Italian influences of these new movements—such as Lina Bo Bardi in Brazil and Aldo Rossi in Argentina—in an interactive exhibit that includes augmented reality content by dpr-barcelona.
The exhibition was awarded a Special Mention, cited by the jury for ”highlight[ing] the emergence of new poles of architectural thinking in the current world and mak[ing] these accessible as a living archive. The research project is part of an ongoing global project that shows that knowledge is produced and develops in a networked way beyond national borders and national identities.”
We wanted to show our readers more about this project, but focusing on the physical armature of the exhibit, a dimension that is often ignored from a technical point of view. That’s why we asked Chilean practice Amunátegui Valdés Architects to share the architectural details of the Radical Pedagogies: Action – Reaction – Interaction exhibit and construction. Read more after the break.
Architects: MPH Architects
Location: TAFE SA Tonsley Campus, 1284 South Road, Clovelly Park SA 5042, Australia
Architect In Charge: Tony Materne
Project Leader: Peter Hoare
Design Team: Thomas Hansen, Vicki Jacobs, Carlo Pennino, Tonia Mudie, Sally Bostock, Matt Spinaze, Daniel Pike, James Jones, Maureen Fry, Diana Thompson
Area: 43000.0 sqm
Photographs: David Sievers
Morocco was heavily influenced by European modernism due to its strategic position in Northern Africa. It was governed as a European protectorate for much of the 20th century, and it was in this region that the modern movement found a place for experimentation; a place where modernist ideals met such particular climate conditions that they evolved a unique regional expression.
The Morocco Pavilion for the 2014 Venice Biennale—their first presence at the event—acknowledges this particular expression aligned with the theme of Absorbing Modernity under the title of Fundamental(ism)s. Curator Tarik Oualalou erected it over a ground of desert sand to create a setting for Morocco’s architecture in the past, entitled Living in the City, and the future, Inhabiting the Desert.