Skate Villa by Philipp Schuster

Have you ever dreamed of customizing you own house and transforming it into… maybe an indoor skatepark? In collaboration with Redbull, that’s exactly what Philipp Schuster did in an old house in Slazburg, . It’s an inspiring DIY project with a good deal of concrete bags and a few hard working friends. You can watch the construction process video after the break.

L House / Architects Collective

Courtesy of ZT GmbH

Architects: Architects Collective ZT GmbH
Location: , Austria
Completion: 2012
Area: 300 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Architects Collective ZT GmbH

ArtPlace Announces $15.4 Million in Grants for 47 Projects Across the U.S.


SCI-Arc will design and build two new arts venues that will energize and transform downtown Los Angeles, while an undeveloped light rail station in Minneapolis accelerates transit oriented development by transforming into a cultural gateway and arts market, and an abandoned six-building, two-block public school campus in New Orleans’ Tremé neighborhood will be redeveloped into an arts and education center that will provide 73 units of affordable live/work space for low income families.

Creative placemaking initiatives are sweeping the nation, and the three projects above are just a few examples of what’s going to become of it. ArtPlace has awarded 47 projects across the with $15.4 million in grants in order to support the use of the arts and design to improve quality of place and transform communities.

“As a result of these Artplace grants, 47 art and cultural projects will play a critical role in 33 local communities, driving the revitalization of a diverse group of neighborhoods across the country,” said philanthropist and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “This is an important, innovative program that highlights the positive impact and essential contribution the arts can have on the economic vitality of neighborhoods and the communities they serve.”

Continue after the break to review all 47 projects and see what may be happening in your city!

Capilla del Retiro by Undurraga + Devés, winner of the Premio Internazionale di Architettura Sacra Frate Sole

© Sergio Pirrone

The Capilla del Retiro (Retirement Chapel) by Chilean office Undurraga + Devés has been announced as the winner of the prestigious Premio Internazionale di Architettura Sacra Frate Sole, now in its 5th edition.

The award, given by the Frate Sole Foundation every four years, has been conferred in the past to architects such as Tadao Ando (Church of the Light, Church in the Water, Church in Rokko, 1996), Alvaro Siza (Santa María Church, 2000), Richard Meier (Jubilee Church, 2004) and John Pawson (Novy Dvru Monastery, 2008).

With this recognition the small concrete chapel formed by 4 concrete beams floating over a rustic excavation in Auco, , joins a group of iconic contemporary religious buildings, where the delicate balance of light and matter are the common denominator.

The chapel rises as a confirmation of the extraordinary geography that surrounds it, while respecting the axes established by the series of preexisting buildings. Concrete is the main material of the building’s structure. Its volume, strictly economical, rises up from a crosspiece of 4 beams in the shape of a cross that is supported with the least possible structural elements so that its relationship with the ground is slight but sufficient. Shape and structure here are an indissoluble synthesis.

Under the strict geometry of the concrete a patio was excavated, whose rustic stone wall rises hazardously up and around the chapel, compressing and expanding that space of light. As a counterpoint to the magnitude of the geographic surroundings, the interior was designed in the shape of a wooden box recycled from old railway lines. This box hangs from the concrete structure and lies 2 meters under the beams that support it, limiting the view of the emptiness outside.

 - Undurraga + Devés

Learn more about the Capilla del Retiro in our previous article at ArchDaily.

Kevin Roche: Architecture as Environment

Ford Foundation HQ/ Courtesy John Dinkeloo and Associates

Kevin Roche: Architecture as Environment will be opening June 16th, 2012 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The exhibit, organized by Yale Institute, will celebrate Kevin Roche’s expansive portfolio, from his early days as Eero Saarinen’s “right-hand man” through the founding of his practice in the 1960s with John Dinkeloo (KRJDA). The exhibit will include images, drawings, interviews, models, as well as original slide presentations to clients. More on the exhibit after the break.

Infographic: Architecture for Humanity

Since 1999, Architecture for Humanity has been putting Architects in service of those communities who need them most. After disaster strikes, AfH uses its expansive network of contacts to get well-designed buildings built – and fast. Today, AfH has built over 2,000 structures that have positively impacted about 2 million people worldwide.

Co-founders and Cameron Sinclair (you can find our interview with Sinclair here) also run design competitions, manage the Open Design Network, WorldChanging, and have published the best-selling books Design Like You Give a Damn and Design Like You Give A Damn [2]. Together, and with the Architects who work for them, they are redefining the role of Architecture and Design: to truly make an impact on our world.

Giveaway: Color Light Time + Scale / Steven Holl

Thanks to the courtesy of Lars Müller Publishers, we are giving you the chance to win one of these two great books: Scale and Color Light Time, two of Steven Holl’s latest publications (see our review here). We have three copies of each book and all you have to do to participate is become a registered user (if you’re not one already) and answer the following question in our comments:

uses watercolors. With all the technology available today, what are the advantages or benefits of the analogue process of creating architecture?

You have until Tuesday 19 to submit your answer. Winners will be announced and contacted next Wednesday 20. Good luck!

York Minster Abbey Goes Green – Literally

The Nave of York Minster Abbey covered in 1500 square meters of grass to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's . © STANDALONE PHOTO

While many buildings try to go Green these days, few attempt to do so literally.

Last week, York Minster Abbey, one of the largest Gothic Cathedrals in Europe, was decked out with 1,500 square meters of – what else - grass. 

The occasion for the makeover, the York Minster Rose Dinner to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee (which we marked with a post on Britain’s Built Legacy), hosted about 900 people to raise funds for the York Minster Fund. And with £150-a-head tickets, sold months in advance, perhaps we’ll start seeing other Gothic Cathedrals turn green too (and not just with envy).

Story via The Huffington Post UKMore photos after the break…

VIDEO: Cien House / Pezo von Ellrichshausen Architects, by Cristobal Palma

Cristobal Palma brings to life Pezo von Ellrichshausen Architects‘ Cien House. Nestled on top of a grassy hill in Concepcion, , this beautiful home and large workshop were designed with the concept of “decisive coincidences”, for the architects themselves. This video allows us to experience a day in Cien House, taking note of each nook and detail. Enjoy!

More videos by  at ArchDaily:

China Replicates Austrian Village

Hallstatt, , the Unesco Heritage Site literally re-built, brick by brick, in . Photo © Boris Stroujko via Inhabitat/Shutterstock

The Chinese are well-known for their penchant for knock-offs, be it brand-name handbags or high-tech gadgets, but this time, they’ve taken it to a whole other level.

A small Unesco-protected village in Austria, Hallstatt, has been recreated, brick for brick, in the subtropical district of Guangdong, China. While Hallstatt residents were at first unhappy with this clone, most have come around to the idea (aided in large part by the influx of Chinese tourists now making their way to this small Austrian site).

As odd-ball as this cloning idea may seem, it’s highly possible that Hallstatt will only be the first of many. When you consider ever-improving 3D Printers and the increasingly-common open sharing of “physible data” (digital data that has the potential to become physical objects), it’s not so difficult to imagine that – one day – cities will be downloadable and reproducible all over the globe. Perhaps in the future, Architects will work purely in the conceptual realm, designing plans that consumers will then produce.

If that’s the case, can there be any doubt that China will lead the way?

Check out a video, after the break.

Story via Inhabitat and Reuters

KGN Residence / Carazo Architects

Courtesy of Carazo Architects

Architects: Carazo Architects - Rodrigo Carazo
Location: ,
Project: KGN Residence
Design team: Rodrigo Carazo, Carlos Mena
Engineering: Guidi Estructurales
Project year: 2008
Project area: 400 sqm
Photographs: Julian Trejos, German Fonseca


Botín Center / Renzo Piano

Botín Center. ©

While all eyes may be locked on the Shard’s latest push toward the sky, Renzo Piano is preparing for his first major Spanish project to officially break ground in about one week in Santander. The Botín Foundation, the largest private foundation in Spain, will invest over 150 million USD for the construction and programming of a new Botín Center that will become an international reference in culture and education for the development of creativity through art. The building will inform a new cultural axis to connect the best art circuits in Europe and will serve as a cultural catalyst to bridge the community with art.  Emilio Botín, President of the Botín Foundation, is confident the Center will establish a new community space and link the city with the bay.  ”To accomplish it, we have called on the best architect in the world. The architect, who best knows how to link cities to the sea, to build urban spaces, and to generate magical places where art may be enjoyed,” explained Botín.

More about the project after the break. 

In Progress: Anhui Broadcasting & TV Centre / NDA

Courtesy of New Design Architecture

Architects: NDA New Design Architecture
Location: , Anhui Province, China
Study Type: Architectural Design
Main Architect: Emmanuel Delarue
Site Area: 133,314 sqm
Building Area: 320,000 sqm
Delivery Date: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of NDA New Design Architecture


Films & Architecture: “Lost in Translation”

The second film by was acclaimed by the critics, and with fair reasons. It shows in a subtle but deep way the contrasts between Japanese and American cultures, utilizing the amazing city of Tokyo as a background for this.

Characters are immerse in a quite different environment, which atmosphere is shown through the scenes where they interact with the foreign surroundings. This atmospheres are represented in a way beyond the typical approach of other films, trying somehow to really understand how this spaces are perceived.

As always, we wait for your comments about the movie and specifically about this culture shock concept and architecture.

Daegu Color Square Stadium Mall / Jerde

Courtesy of

Architects: Jerde
Location: Daegu,
Completion: 2011
Area: 50,000 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Jerde


Courtesy of Peter Sand

Klaksvik City Center / Peter Sand

Danish architect Peter Sand… recently received the 4th prize in the open urban international competition for a new city center in Klaksvik on the Faroe Islands. The new master plan, which is composed of 21,000 new square meters in the

Timberyard Social Housing / O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects

© Dennis Gilbert

Architects: O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects
Location: ,
Completion: April 2009
Project size: 3,800 sqm
Photographs: Dennis Gilbert, Alice Clancy


House F / Biasi Bonomini Vairo Architetti

© Marco Zanta

Architects: Biasi Bonomini Vairo Architetti
Location: Trieste,
Completion: 2012
Photographs: Marco Zanta