Theory: Chapter 5

Now he is sitting in his hotel room in Beijing and the world seems far away. He flew coach and there is a pain in his neck that won’t go away. The room is small and smells a little mildewy despite being new and relatively upscale. The window is not operable. The air-conditioner purrs. The TV is on constantly. He leaves it on. The bed is the desk. Laptop and papers spread out. He doesn’t move them when he sleeps. He hasn’t changed his clothes. He has one small bag.

Every few hours he takes the elevator down, walks past the lobby fountains, the bar, the tired tourists in their shorts and caps, fanning themselves, young women standing around, pouting, waiting, looking bored, men in dark suits on cell phones. Lots of black leather shoes with metal buckles.

Casa M / Plan B Arquitectos

© Sergio Gomez

Architect: Plan B Arquitectos
Location: Medellín, El Poblado Quarter,
Project Manager: Felipe Mesa + Federico Mesa
Project Team: Daniel Tobón, Carlos Blanco, Sebastián Serna, Ivanovha Benedetto
Project Year: 2011
Area: 360 sqm
Photographs: Sergio Gomez

A tribute to Steve Jobs, by Lord Norman Foster

Apple Campus © Foster + Partners

Today Lord Norman Foster issued a tribute to Steve Jobs (1955-2011), who passed away yesterday at the age of 56. Foster + Partners is working on the new Apple Campus in Cupertino, scheduled to be completed in 2015.

With my colleagues I would like to pay tribute to . Like so many millions our lives have been profoundly and positively influenced by the innovations pioneered by Steve and Apple, names which are inseparable.

We were greatly privileged to know Steve as a person, as a friend and in every way so much more than a client. Steve was an inspiration and a role model. He encouraged us to develop new ways of looking at design to reflect his unique ability to weave backwards and forwards between grand strategy and the minutiae of the tiniest of internal fittings. For him no detail was small in its significance and he would be simultaneously questioning the headlines of our project together whilst he delved into its fine print.

He was the ultimate perfectionist and demanded of himself as he demanded of others. We are better as individuals and certainly wiser as architects through the experience of the last two years and more of working for him. His participation was so intense and creative that our memory will be that of working with one of the truly great designers and mentors.

- Norman Foster Architect Chairman + Founder of Foster + Partners

Video: Interview with Winy Maas

Our friends from Studio Banana TV shared with us their interview with MVRDV‘s . Founded in 1993 by Maas along with Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries the firm has produced impressive works among them the well known Balancing Barn and WoZoCo.  In recent news (featured just this week on ArchDaily) MVRDV along with COBE were chosen as the winners of an international competition for their design scheme to transform a former concrete factory into a multifunctional creative hub.

In the video Maas discusses a number of MVRDV’s projects including their Market Hall project in Rotterdam and The Why Factory (T?F) which was established at Delft University of Technology  in 2008 as a thinktank for future cities.  Earlier this year Maas was recognized for his design contributions in by receiving the French Legion of Honor.

Happy Birthday Le Corbusier!

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Today marks the Swiss-born French architect ’s birthday. Noted as one of the pioneers of modern architecture, ’s architecture career spanned some five decades.  Born in 1887, which would make him 124 today, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret adopted the pseudonym in the 1920s. Known for both his architecture and furniture design you can visit the Galerie Anton Meier where some of Le Corbusier & Pierre Jeanneret furniture is currently on a special exhibit.   More of ArchDaily’s coverage on Le Corbusier, books, buildings, and articles can be found here.

AD Interviews: Steven Holl

A few months ago I had the chance to meet Steven Holl, whose work I admire. I think that he has been able to innovate and challenge programs as we used to know them, and experiment with materials and structures, while sticking to what really matters in architecture: space, context and light.

When I attended his “Disobedience” lecture in Columbia (during Kenneth Frampton’s 80th birthday) I  understood how this disobedience is tied to his constant investigations, and then reflected on his buildings (like the competition for the Nelson Atkins museum as he tells on the video). I also really liked the fact that he’s very down to earth, and how he started his career and moved to the east coast. If you ever had the chance to attend one of his lectures, don’t miss it!

Steven Holl along with partner Chris McVoy lead Steven Holl Architects, one of the more innovative architecture and urban design offices in the world. A graduate of the University of Washington, Holl also studied in Rome and London before heading to to establish an architecture practice.

Holl has also contributed to the profession as an educator; the architect and watercolorist has taught at Columbia University since 1981, where he is a tenured faculty member. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, and the recipient of the New York American Institute of Architects Medal of Honor and the prestigious Alvar Aalto Medal.

Steven Holl Architects’ has been recognized internationally by some of architecture’s most prestigious awards. Recent recognition for SHA work includes 2010 P/A Award for LM Harbor Gateway and the 2009 CTBUH Best Tall Building Overall for Linked Hybrid. Their numerous AIA awards include the AIA 2008 Institute Honor Award as well as a Leaf New Built Award 2007 for the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City; the AIA 2007 Institute Honor Award, AIA New York Chapter 2007 Merit Architecture Award, and a RIBA International Award for the School of Art & Art History at the University of Iowa. And the New Residence at the Swiss Embassy in Washington, D.C was awarded an AIA New York Chapter 2007 Honor Architecture Award and the RIBA International Award.

Steven Holl is also present in the social web via their Facebook page and @stevenhollarch on Twitter.

SHA’s completed works featured on ArchDaily:

In Progress:

Video credits: J.P. Barrera Faus (Editing), J.C. Labarca (Camera).

O-STRIP Pavilion / Tongji University Team

Courtesy of Team

O-STRIP Pavilion is one of the projects in Tongji University’s Fabrication workshop that aims to bring back the liveliness of the place. The site is located at a sinking space of the teaching building, which connected with an indoor exhibition hall. In non- exhibition time, there is few people using this space, and the space itself becomes negative. How to energize this place? The key is the strong representational power of the new structure, which can attract passers-by. Computational technology made complex-structure clear and speed up fabrication process. At the same time, the pavilion will be available for all kinds of campus activities. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Okanagan College Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation / CEI

© Ed White Photographics

Architect: CEI Architecture Planning Interiors
Location: , , Canada
Landscape Architect: Site 360 Consulting Ltd.
Text: CEI Architecture Planning Interiors
Project Cost: $27,600,000
Project Area: 6,780 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Photography: Ed White Photographics

Update: BOFFO Building Fashion / Irene Neuwirth + Marc Fornes / TheVeryMany

Irene Neuwirth + THEVERYMANY. Photograher: Evan Joseph.

We introduced BOFFO’s fashion + architecture collaborative project, and began the week with the first installment by Nicola Formichetti + Gage/Clemenceau Architects.  As each pair of fashion designer and architect shows their project for  two short weeks, the second team of Irene Neuwrith and Marc Fornes is now in place.  Neuwirth, a leading US jewelry designer, has transformed the 1800 sqf space at 57 Walker Street into a crazy biomorphic playground to display her designs with the hep of  Marc Fornes, one of the leading figures in the development of computational protocols applied to the field of design and fabrication.

More about the temporary gallery after the break. 

Farewell Steve Jobs

photo via

A few hours ago one of the most influential figures in computing, product design, and in a way architecture, passed away.

Back in the 70s and 80s played a key role in personal computing as the founder of Apple, bringing technology to the masses. I won’t go into details here, as I think that this ad featured on the Wall Street Journal back in 1981 pretty much explains it: “Putting real computer power in the hands of the individual is already improving the way people work, think, learn and communicate and spend their leisure hours”. I knew about his death via a notification on my iPhone, and I’m writing this on my iPad. None of these devices are what we define as “computers”, none of them are wired to what we call a “local network”.

As for product design, the “i” factor is pretty well known, and has been recognized by design masters such as Dieter Rams. In this field, his legacy will last forever.

“In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains of the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service. When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.” — Steve Jobs

Apple Shanghai Store, © Roy Zipstein

But back to our field, Steve Jobs was a patron of architecture. Jobs worked with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, one of the most renowned US architecture firms, to develop state of the art retail stores across the world. In these iconic projects they took glass, one of the most essential materials in architecture, to the next level.

Coleman Oval Skate Park / HAO

Courtesy of

HAO (Holm Architecture Office), along with five other New York design offices, have been invited to participate in the re-design of the Coleman Oval Skate Park and the master planning of the Coleman Oval Park. The competition is sponsored by Architecture for Humanity.

The Coleman Oval Park, situated partly under the Bridge, has long suffered from lack of exposure, little upkeep, and the “off the beaten path” factor. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Viborg Town Hall / Henning Larsen Architects

© Thorbjoern Hansen Kontraframe

Architects: Henning Larsen Architects
Location: , Denmark
Client: Municipality of Viborg
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 19,000 sqm
Photographs: Thorbjoern Hansen Kontraframe

Wuxi Civic Centre / Serie Architects

Courtesy of

Serie Architects has been awarded first prize by the competition Technical Committee for the Wuxi Xishan Civic Centre in . Serie saw off strong competition from a high-powered international shortlist which included NihonSekkei, GMP Architekten, AS Architecture-Studio, and Arte Charpentier.

The scheme is oriented around a large public plaza which is intended to form the centre of public life and expression within the Civic Centre. This unadorned open space hosts public gatherings and events, government displays and temporary exhibitions. The importance of symmetry within the composition of the plan is expressed in the strong axial relationship to the main entrance. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Celtic Museum / kadawittfeldarchitektur

© Werner Huthmacher

Architects: kadawittfeldarchitektur
Location: , Germany
Project Managers: Oliver Venghaus (architecture), Ben Beckers (exhibition design)
Client: Federal State of Hessen represented by HMWK and HBM
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 2,190 sqm (GFA)
Photographs: Werner Huthmacher

Courtesy of STL Architects

Taiwan Tower Competition Proposal / STL Architects

The Taiwan Tower, designed by STL Architects…, will act as a monumental building that will frame the new center and provide the entire city with a renewed and iconic identity, such as Eiffel Tower in Paris or The Sydney

LYP House / Estudio BaBo

© Curro Palacios Taberner

Architects: Estudio BaBo
Location: Buenos Aires,
Project Team: Francisco Kocourek, Francesc Planas Penadés, Marit Haugen Stabell
Collaborators: Marcos Buceta, Marco Fumagalli
Construction: DAC S.A.
Structure: Ing. Carlos Calissano
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 265 sqm
Photographs: Curro Palacios Taberner

AD Round Up: Public Facilities Part VIII

© Adam Mørk


Five great projects from 2009 for our 8th selection of previously featured public facilities, including a winner of our Building of the Year Award from 2009! Check them all after the break.

Community centre Herstedlund / Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter
Community Centre Herstedlund provides the framework for joint activities for a new residential area, housing approximately 600 families. The site plan, designed by Juul & Frost, is based on the idea of “the forest and the glades”. We elaborated on this theme as we designed the building as a large stylized tree at the edge of a glade (read more…)

In Progress: Student apartment studios in Paris / OFIS

© Robert Janez

We first brought you this project when OFIS won the design competition back in 2008. Here it is now under construction. For the renderings and further information check out our previous post.

More construction photos after the break.

Architect: OFIS arhitekti
Location: , France
Project leaders: Rok Oman & Špela Videčnik
Design Team: Rok Oman, Spela Videcnik, Robert Janez, katja aljaz, Andrej Gregoric, Javier Carrera
Structural Engineering: INTEGRALE 4; Bruno PERSON
Mechanical, Electrical engineering & economy: Cabinet MTC; Cyril GANVERT
Photographs: Robert Janez