See ArchDaily's exclusive coverage of the 2012 Venice Biennale

[UN] RESTRICTED ACCESS Winners Announced!

Grand Prize: “OCO – Ocean & Coastline Observatory” – Courtesy of
Architecture for Humanity has announced the winners of the 2011 Open Architecture Challenge: [UN] RESTRICTED ACCESS competition. Designers were challenged to team up with community groups from across the globe and develop innovative solutions that re-envision closed, abandoned and decommissioning military sites. The response was overwhelming, as 600 international teams registered from 70 countries. A jury of 33 professional evaluated the submissions based on community impact, contextual appropriateness, ecological footprint, economic viability and design quality, and filtered the teams down to only 23 semi finalists. Now, the winners of those finalist have been revealed!

“We wanted people to look at former military installations and ask ‘How can we re-envision spaces that exist in difficult, sometimes hostile environments and transform them into something positive?’” stated Architecture for Humanity executive director Cameron Sinclair, as reported on Wired. “We want to  use the design process to weave the community back together. It might be a quilt of many different pieces, but in the end, it’s a quilt, and that’s what makes it work.”

Continue after the break to review the winning proposals!

Villa SK / Atelier Thomas Pucher

© Lukas Schaller

Architects: Atelier Thomas Pucher
Location: , Austria
Design Team: Thomas Pucher, Christa Pucher, Hannes Stöffler, Gustav Ibing
Project Area: 240.0 sqm
Photographs: Lukas Schaller

Aqua at Dover Street Market / Zaha Hadid Architects

© James Harris

Dover Street Market has commissioned Zaha Hadid to design this site-specific installation to showcase in their London store during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The concept behind “Aqua” references the formal language of Hadid’s London Aquatics Centre.

Zaha Hadid: “Designing for Dover Street Market is an exciting opportunity to install a piece inspired by the fluid geometries of the London Aquatics Centre: a wave of liquid, frozen in time, right in the heart of London.”

Continue after the break for more images.

Futurumshop / AReS Architecten

© Thea van den Heuvel

Architects: AReS Architecten
Location: Europaweg 165, Zuidwest, The Netherlands
Project Architect: Sen Heesen
Project Team: Tjeerd Hermsen, Rogier Penning
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 2,158 sqm
Photographs: Thea van den Heuvel

© Stefanie De Clercq
© Stefanie De Clercq

Curo Garden / Raumlabor

The 2012 edition of Parckdesign, a biennial event dedicated to green space planning initiated by Brussels Environment and the Brussels Ministry for Environment, Energy and Urban Renovation, aims to reinterpret industrial wastelands, leftover spaces and interstices in Brussels. With this…

London 2012: Thinking Past Day 17 / Part II

Photo by Karl Mondon/L.A. Daily News

In our second segment of Thinking Past Day 17 – our series examining the larger implications of hosting the Olympic Games – we explore social issues must address while creating the necessary infrastructure for the Summer Games.

The forty-five minute proposal London presented to the International Olympic Committee in Sinagpore was filled with amazing flyovers of natural terrain depicting the most challenging obstacles, walk-throughs of state-of-the-art athletic facilities, and planning overviews of accommodations for athletes amidst a city speckled with old and new cultural offerings.  When the final votes were counted and London won the bid, it was time to turn those glossy virtual images into reality.

Of course, we are accustomed to the blankness of a site transforming into the awesomeness of a dynamic rendering, but an entire city?  Where is all the available space coming from as London is the most populated municipality in the European Union with 8.17 million residents? And, more importantly, what was on the land before the Olympic transformation?

More after the break.

Sacred Museum / Fernando Menis Architects

© Simona Rota

Architects: Fernando Menis Architects
Location: , Spain
Project Year: 2006
Photographs: Simona Rota, Courtesy of

Housing Development / kit Architects

Courtesy of

Designed by kit Architects, in collaboration with schibliholenstein architekten, the winning proposal for a 33 apartment housing development in Nuerensdorf, , Switerland consists of six buildings, which occupy the land equally. The loose alternating arrangement allows multiple connections to the open countryside in the north and to the garden framed single and multi-family dwellings in the immediate neighborhood. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Roller Coaster / Peripheriques Architectes + BERRANGER & VINCENT Architectes

© Stéphane Chalmeau

Architects: Peripheriques Architectes +  BERRANGER & VINCENT Architectes
Location: Île de Nantes, Nantes,
Project Managers: Sébastien Truchot (), Antoine Roy (BERRANGER & VINCENT Architectes)
Project Year: 2008
Project Area: 6,200 sqm
Photographs: Stéphane Chalmeau

Y Project / Rami Kopty

Courtesy of Kopty Architects and Engineers

Architects: Rami Kopty
Location: Ya’el, Nazareth Illit,
Architect In Charge:
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of Kopty Architects and Engineers

© Pierre Berthelomeau
© Pierre Berthelomeau

Reframe / Paul Scales and Atelier Kit

Created by Paul Scales and Atelier Kit… for the 7th annual ‘Le Festival des Architectures Vives ’ in Montpellier, France, Reframe explores the theme of ‘surprise’ through the creation of an object that reframes the relation of the visitor to

Crusch Alba / Gus Wüstemann

© Bruno Helbling

Architects: Gus Wüstemann
Location: , Spain
Project Year: 2009
Project Area: 190.0 sqm
Photographs: Bruno Helbling

Sunken Courtyard / Gestalten

© Nils Koenning

Architects: Gestalten
Location: VIC,
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Nils Koenning

Google’s New Super HQ / PENSON

Courtesy of

Architects: PENSON
Location: Covent Garden, Covent Gardens, , Greater WC2E 7BB, UK
Project Managers: CBRE
Photographs: Courtesy of PENSON

Livraria da Vila / Isay Weinfeld

© Nelson Kon

Architects: Isay Weinfeld
Location: São Paulo,
Design Team: Cristiano Kato, Flávia Oide, Daniela Kurc
Project Manager: Monica Cappa
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Nelson Kon

Video: Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center / Kengo Kuma

Located in front of the Kamiari-mon gate in Asakusa, Kengo Kuma’s Culture Tourist Information Center serves as a beacon to the local area as well as housing programs to serve both tourists and the local community. This video via ja+u  takes you through the 7 stacked volumes that make up the 8 internal floors that house a wide variety of programming ranging from meeting rooms to tourist information kiosks. The construction uniquely integrates HVAC equipment in the gaps between the stacked volumes. The interior structure of heavy timber members are left exposed which complement the dynamism of the vertical volumes, while the language of wood is continued onto the exterior by means of laminated timber louvers.

CLF Houses / Estudio BaBO

Courtesy of

Architects: Estudio BaBO
Location: Villa La Angostura, Neuquén Province,
Project Architects: Francisco Kocourek, Francesc Planas Penadés, Marit Haugen Stabell
Design Team: Marcos Buceta
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of Estudio BaBO

Films & Architecture: “My Uncle”

This week we want to introduce a film by one of the filmmakers that cannot be out of this list. We’re talking about , the French director, writer, and actor that made his first color movie in 1958, ”Mon Oncle”.

Tati shows how the modern age affects and dramatically changes the way that people live. All the new technologies at that moment are incorporated in the scenes, were the interaction between this new concept of “modern spaces” and people is an element present in most of the movie.

What do you think about this approach of how modernity influenced (or still influencing) the way of living of our societies?