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The Culture of Landmarks Preservation

Ada Louise Huxtable was a renowned architecture critic who started at The New York Times in 1963.  Her probing articles championed the preservation of buildings regarded as examples of historic design still imperative to the life of the city. Her arguments were leveraged by research and an in-depth understanding of architecture as an ever-relevant art form ("the art we cannot afford to ignore").  Alexandra Lange of The Nation points to the connection between Ada Louise Huxtable's writing and its influence on the culture of preservation that eventually resulted in the establishment of the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1965. 

More after the break.

HAD Office / Had Architects

© Tang Jiajun
© Tang Jiajun
  • Architects: Had Architects
  • Location: Harbin, Heilongjiang, China
  • Design Team: Tang Jiajun, Wang Conglong
  • Area: 515.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Tang Jiajun

© Tang Jiajun © Tang Jiajun © Tang Jiajun © Tang Jiajun

Territoria / Cazú Zegers

© Carlos Eguiguren
© Carlos Eguiguren
  • Architects: Cazú Zegers
  • Location: El Regidor 66, Las Condes, Región Metropolitana, Chile
  • Architect in Charge: Cazú Zegers
  • Area: 1825.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2009
  • Photographs: Carlos Eguiguren

© Carlos Eguiguren © Carlos Eguiguren © Carlos Eguiguren © Carlos Eguiguren

Central Mosque of Pristina Competition Entry / Maden GROUP

The idea behind the proposal for the Central Mosque of Pristina comes from the first religious needs and the study of the earliest styles of mosque architecture in Kosovo. Designed by Maden GROUP, the concept is to convey tradition through contemporary architecture while combining in the best mode of architecture and religious rules. Therefore, the architects developed in geometric foundations, by combining simple geometrical elements. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Motorway Control Centre / meier + associés architectes

  • Architects: meier + associés architectes
  • Location: Saint-Maurice, Valais, Switzerland
  • Collaborators: Joana Pimenta, Amalia Jimenez, Victor Ferreira, Ludovic Durand, Cathie Martinie, Nicolas Pailler, Michael Schaub, Linda Serra, Jean-Philippe Tournigand-Demilly
  • Area: 3115.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Y André

© Y André © Y André © Y André © Y André

Nursery and Communal Premises / Heams et Michel

  • Architects: Heams et Michel
  • Location: Tourrette Levens, France
  • Area: 1050.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Serge Demailly, Heams et Michel

© Serge Demailly © Heams et Michel © Serge Demailly © Serge Demailly

Villa Wallin / Erik Andersson Architects

  • Architects: Erik Andersson Architects
  • Location: Yxlan, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Client: Mats Wallin, Petra Ryrberg
  • Budget: EUR 150,000
  • Area: 108.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Åke E-son Lindman

© Åke E-son Lindman © Åke E-son Lindman © Åke E-son Lindman © Åke E-son Lindman

Aga Khan Award for Architecture Shortlist Announced

From innovative mud and bamboo schools to state of the art “green” high-rises, the Master Jury for the 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture has selected 20 deserving nominees to be in the running for the prestigious, US$1 million prize. Since the award was launched 36 years ago, over 100 projects have received the prize and more than 7,500 building projects have been documented for exhibiting architectural excellence and improving the overall quality of life in their regions. 

Farrokh Derakhshani, the Director of the Award, remarked: “The Master Jury, which includes some of the most prominent architects of our time, made interesting choices this year. For example, they chose schools in Afghanistan and Syria, but they also chose a hospital in Sudan, a high rise in Bangkok and the reconstruction of a refugee camp in Lebanon. In many ways, the choices reflect a central preoccupation of the Award: the impact of buildings and public spaces on the quality of life. Now this seems fairly mainstream, but we must remember that the Aga Khan Award has been talking about 'human scale' and 'sustainability' since 1977”.

The 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture Shortlist includes: 

Motisons Tower / Kothari Associates

  • Architects: Kothari Associates
  • Location: Jaipur, India
  • Director: Utkarsh Kothari
  • Chief Architect: Ravindra Verma
  • Senior Architect: Rajesh Singh
  • Area: 50000.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Kothari Associates

Courtesy of Kothari Associates Courtesy of Kothari Associates Courtesy of Kothari Associates Courtesy of Kothari Associates

Hotel Park and Seeallee Heiden Competition Entry / Kubota & Bachmann Architects + Martinez

Located in a strategic point in Heiden, where different urban conditions come together, the Hotel Park and Seeallee Heiden proposal is shaped by the surrounding landscape. The landscape continuity crossing the plot area, the particular building density, and its relevant position from the main entrance to the city are all used to achieve a perfect urban integration. Designed by Kubota & Bachmann Architects + Martinez, this strategy enhances the environmental qualities, while staying within the strict respect of urban regulations. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Fiesta Del Vino Wine Bar / mode:lina architekci

© Marcin Ratajczak
© Marcin Ratajczak
  • Architects: mode:lina architekci
  • Location: Górczyn, Poznań, Poland
  • Design Team: Paweł Garus, Jerzy Woźniak, Kinga Kin, Agnieszka Owsiany
  • Area: 120.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Marcin Ratajczak

© Marcin Ratajczak © Marcin Ratajczak © Marcin Ratajczak © Marcin Ratajczak

Herzog & de Meuron to Design the National Library of Israel

After carefully considering six international architecture firms - Ammar Curiel; Frank Gehry; Herzog & de Meuron; Kimmel Eshkolot, Kolker Kolker Epstein and Renzo Piano - an esteemed selection committee has chosen Herzog & de Meuron to design the new National Library of Israel in Jerusalem. The result comes after a controversial first attempt that ended in the dismissal of the initial competition winner for alleged copyright infringement.

More information after the break...

Sejong Art Center 2nd Prize Winning Proposal / Tomoon Architects & Engineers + Ison Architects

Designed by Tomoon Architects & Engineers, in collaboration with Ison Architects, their second prize winning proposal for the Sejong Art Center is a cultural center for opera, music, dance, drama, art exhibitions, cinema, and all types of formal and informal performances. With a total program area of approx. 11,000 square meters, the architects proposed that all of the program elements be brought together into a single mass made as compact as possible, maximizing functionality and efficiency, while conserving open space. More images and architects’ description after the break. The center is composed of an opera house with 800 seats, a flexible black box theater with 300 seats, a cinema theater with 400 seats, an art gallery, a cultural center, a VIP lounge, a cafe and a restaurant. In addition there are other necessary spaces such as rehearsal rooms and administration offices, as well as parking. All of the major public spaces are accessed by a single common lobby which acts as an elevated platform and frame, providing views on one side to the city, and on the other, to the central park and the landscape beyond. The walls of the common lobby are glazed from floor to ceiling and sheathed in a metal mesh, so all of the pre-concert and concert activities can be seen from inside and outside, creating a visually rich dynamic environment for both audience and passersby. Also, because the art gallery, cultural center, café and restaurant are in close proximity, this ensures that the common lobby and all foyer areas will be used all throughout the day and into the evening. The compact building mass means that a variety of open and green spaces can be designed around the building. The northwest facing main entry plaza contains water features to attract people coming from the city. In addition the main entry stairs form a grand backdrop leading to the magnificent view of the opera house, the black box theater, and the cinema behind the glazed common lobby wall. The east facing rear plaza is more informal and park-like and is designed so that it can accommodate a wide variety of outdoor performances in addition to providing wide scenic views of the park and surrounding landscape. The north entry plaza is conceived as a vibrant café / cultural plaza. The opera house is in the shape of the classic horseshoe which provides excellent acoustics and good sightlines from all areas of the hall. The black box theater has been designed for good acoustics and for maximum flexibility in stage and seating configurations to accommodate a variety of performance settings and events. The Sejong Art Center is a culture center for the 21st century, bringing a state-of-the-art cultural facility to Sejong City that is a new symbol for the new city. It is a place to enjoy and contemplate culture, the city and nature, and provides a wonderful place for relaxation and enjoyment for all people and citizens. Architects: Tomoon Architects & Engineers, in collaboration with Ison Architects Location : Nasung-dong, Sejong, South Korea Project Architects: Cha Yong-wook, Son Jin Project Manager: Choi Jae-won Project Team: Shin Eun-ho, Choi Jong-bae, Peter Oh, Lee Joon-ho, Lee Doo-hyeong, Lee Woo-joo, Choi Min-wook Acoustics: OSD Engineering & Consulting Stage: TSD STAGE Structural Engineers: Hyung-sang Engineering Mechanical Engineers: Sahm-shin Engineers Electricity / Telecommunication: Young-Kwang Enginneering CG: 3D Focus Architectural Model: OPUS Site Area: 43,493㎡ Building Area: 11,009㎡ Gross Area: 15,205㎡ Structure: Reinforced Concrete + Steel Structure Material: White Tile, Metal Fabric, Wood, Stone Total Stories: 4 Floors Parking: 354 Project Period: December 2012 – March 2013

The Architect and the Accessible City: The Prize-Winning Essay

Each year, the Department of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley bestows the Berkeley Prize(s) in order to promote the investigation of architecture as a social art. This year's theme was "The Architect and the Accessible City." The following essay, "A day in the life of a wheelchair user: navigating Lincoln," written by Sophia Bannert of the University of Lincoln, took first prize. 

Architectural discourse has gradually become incoherent with the social and ethical needs of the contemporary city. With the relationship between theory and practice strained, lack of social relevance in design is ubiquitous. Practising architects frequently regard theory as esoteric and non-transferable, whilst many theorists do not manifest their ideas into reality and build. With the connection gripping the precipice by its fingers, this paper is conceived; written to persuade, motivate and encourage that there is real value in instigating ideas put forth in this paper. Concepts proposed are not only applicable to the city of Lincoln but are relevant and adaptable to all cities. Inspired by the architecture which has not yet manifested, it hopes to ignite the spirit needed to eradicate social inequities in urban design.

As Albert Einstein said: “If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts”. In order to palpably grasp an understanding of what it is truly like to be physically disabled in Lincoln, I rented a wheelchair for one day to see for myself whether the facts fitted the theory.

Read more of Sophia Bannert's prize-winning story, after the break...

Market Hall in Ghent / Marie-José Van Hee + Robbrecht & Daem

© Tim Van de Velde © Tim Van de Velde © Tim Van de Velde © Tim Van de Velde

House in Konan / Coo Planning

  • Architects: Coo Planning
  • Location: Kobe, Hyogo, Japan
  • Architect in Charge: Akiyoshi Nakao
  • Area: 75.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Yuko Tada , Coo Planning

© Yuko Tada , Coo Planning © Yuko Tada , Coo Planning © Yuko Tada , Coo Planning © Yuko Tada , Coo Planning

Apartment Building and Learning Center In Barceloneta District / EC Compta Arquitectes S.L.

  • Architects: EC Compta Arquitectes S.L.
  • Location: Barcelona, Spain
  • Project and Construction Manager: Ana Garcia
  • Project and Design Team: Joan Cortés, Rubén Férez
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: nieve | Productora Audiovisual

© nieve | Productora Audiovisual © nieve | Productora Audiovisual © nieve | Productora Audiovisual © nieve | Productora Audiovisual