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Iwan Baan

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Plastic Architecture: 12 Projects that Highlight the Potential of Polymers

17:30 - 23 March, 2016
Plastic Architecture: 12 Projects that Highlight the Potential of Polymers

Over time, an endless spectrum of materials has become available for use within the realm of architecture. However, one material that seems underrepresented is plastic, a versatile and malleable compound that can be used for a wide variety of purposes. In light of the many applications of plastics in architecture, we have compiled a list of 12 projects that utilize plastic: from repurposing plastic bottles to the use of translucent plastic siding, these projects represent just a few of the many ways that plastic can be used as a primary material.

Blavatnik School of Government / Herzog & de Meuron

03:00 - 8 March, 2016
Blavatnik School of Government / Herzog & de Meuron, © Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

© Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan +4

  • Architects

  • Location

    Woodstock Rd, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX2 6GG, United Kingdom
  • Partners

    Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Ascan Mergenthaler (Partner in Charge)
  • Area

    9800.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

Jeanne Gang Named Architect of the Year in AR's 2016 Women in Architecture Awards

10:30 - 4 March, 2016
Jeanne Gang Named Architect of the Year in AR's 2016 Women in Architecture Awards, Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership / Studio Gang. Image © Steve Hall for Hedrich Blessing
Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership / Studio Gang. Image © Steve Hall for Hedrich Blessing

The Architectural Review has announced the final winners in its 2016 Women in Architecture awards, awarding Mexican architect Gabriela Etchegaray with the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture, and Jeanne Gang with the Architect of the Year award. In honoring Gang and Etchegaray, the AR noted that both "have demonstrated excellence in design and a commitment to working both sustainably and democratically with local communities." The pair join other Women in Architecture Award winners Odile Decq and Julia Peyton-Jones, who last week received the 2016 Jane Drew Prize and Ada Louise Huxtable Prize, respectively. Read on for more about the awards.

"Array of Things" is A Ray of Hope for Big-Data-Based Urban Design

10:30 - 3 March, 2016
"Array of Things" is A Ray of Hope for Big-Data-Based Urban Design, © Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

For a number of years now, Smart Cities and Big Data have been heralded as the future of urban design, taking advantage of our connected, technological world to make informed decisions on urban design and policy. But how can we make sure that we're collecting the best data? In this story, originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "'Array' of Possibilities: Chicago’s New Wireless Sensor Networks to Create an Urban Internet of Things," Matt Alderton looks at a new initiative in Chicago to collect and publish data in a more comprehensive way than ever before.

If it hasn’t already, your daily routine will soon undergo a massive makeover.

For starters, when your alarm clock goes off, it will tell your coffeemaker to start brewing your morning joe. Then, when you’re on the way to work, your car will detect heavy traffic and send a text message to your boss, letting her know you’ll be late. When you arrive, you’ll print out the agenda for today’s staff meeting, at which point your printer will check how much ink it has left and automatically order its own replacement cartridges.

At lunch, you’ll think about dinner and use your smartphone to start the roast that’s waiting in your slow cooker at home. And when you come home a few hours later, your house will know you’re near, automatically turning on the lights, the heat, and the TV—channel changed to the evening news—prior to your arrival. It will be marvelous, and you’ll owe it all to the Internet of Things (IoT).

Julia Peyton-Jones Wins Ada Louise Huxtable Prize

12:00 - 26 February, 2016
Julia Peyton-Jones Wins Ada Louise Huxtable Prize, SelgasCano's 2015 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion . Image © Iwan Baan
SelgasCano's 2015 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion . Image © Iwan Baan

Julia Peyton-Jones has won the 2016 Ada Louise Huxtable Prize. Awarded as part of the Architectural Review's (AR) annual Women in Architecture Awards, the prize honors Peyton-Jones' "incredible global impact achieved with limited resources – and as someone who has done so much to nurture architectural vision and make architecture available to many people."

Peyton-Jones has serves as the Serpentine Gallery co-director for the past 25 years, overseeing the start of the Serpentine Gallery Pavillon commissions and opening of Zaha Hadid ArchitectsSerpentine Sackler Gallery. She will step down from her longstanding position this summer. 

Making Sense of The Broad: A Milestone in the Revitalization of Downtown Los Angeles

09:30 - 22 February, 2016
Making Sense of The Broad: A Milestone in the Revitalization of Downtown Los Angeles, © Benny Chan
© Benny Chan

Unlike most American cities, which spent the 20th century radiating out into suburbia, Los Angeles befuddles outsiders because it doesn’t really have a definite center. The phrase “LA” is loosely used to refer to a collection of small yet distinct cities across the Los Angeles basin that grew together over time. Traditionally, a handful of these localities have been the cultural centers and tourist destinations (Hollywood, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Silverlake, etc). While these districts thrived, “downtown” sat largely neglected; its financial towers and retail spaces had severe occupancy issues for much of the 90’s and 2000’s. Ten years ago, downtown street life outside of working hours was virtually nonexistent.

That fate was largely the result of poor urban planning. The tragic destruction of the vibrant Bunker Hill residential neighborhood in the 1960’s created a series of vacant freeway-flanked “superblocks” intended for ugly, efficient modernist towers - many of which never reached fruition. To this day, the area is still plagued with empty lots. Developers and architects have considered downtown as a risky return on investment ever since.

DTLA wasn’t just the butt end of jokes (Family Guy: “There’s nothing to do downtown!”) it was treated with disdain. Even Frank Gehry said on record that he wished the Walt Disney Concert Hall had been constructed 12 miles away in Westwood (near UCLA). He went on to add that he felt the current attempted revitalization of downtown was: “both anachronistic and premature.” Ouch.

© The Broad and Diller Scofidio + Renfro © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan +8

Nine Projects to be Highlighted in 'In Therapy', the Nordic Contribution to the 2016 Venice Biennale

04:00 - 19 February, 2016
Nine Projects to be Highlighted in 'In Therapy', the Nordic Contribution to the 2016 Venice Biennale, RRA's National Tourist Route in Trollstigen is among nine selected projects which will be displayed in-depth. Image via RRA
RRA's National Tourist Route in Trollstigen is among nine selected projects which will be displayed in-depth. Image via RRA

The Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design (ArkDes) have revealed that In Therapy: Nordic Countries Face to Face—the exhibition for the Nordic Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, curated by David Basulto—will partly comprise "a contemporary survey of Nordic architecture." 300 projects, drawn from over 500 submissions to a recent open call, will be complemented by an in-depth study of nine projects completed post-2008 by practices including Tham & Videgård, Reiulf Ramstad Architects, and Lahdelma & Mahlamäki.

"Just as Sverre Fehn’s pavilion is a crystallisation of Nordic architecture—embodying a precise and fluid articulation of structure, light, and nature—the nine we have chosen to focus in on as particularly representative of the contemporary scene have a similar gravitas and complexity – but with their own distinct identities" says Basulto, who has made the selection alongside James Taylor-Foster, Assistant Curator.

Tree Hotel / Tham & Videgård (Harads, Sweden). Image © Lindman Photography Finnish Nature Centre /Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects (Haltia, Finland). Image © Mika Huisman Puukuokka Housing Block / OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture (Jyväskylä, Finland). Image © Mikko Auerniitty Råå Daycare Center / Dorte Mandrup (Kustgaten, Sweden). Image © Adam Mørk +12

The 14 Stories Behind the 2016 Building of the Year Award Winners

10:30 - 16 February, 2016

Last week, ArchDaily unveiled the 14 winners of this year’s Building of the Year award. Selected by ArchDaily readers from a pool of over 3,000 candidates, these 14 projects represent the best designs published by ArchDaily in the past year, as determined by an unbiased network of 55,000 voters who took part - each of them a judge in one of the world's most democratic architecture awards.

Representing a diverse field of architects, locations and project types, each design has a very different story about how it came into being, how its design responds to its context, how it fits into an architect's oeuvre, or what it says about the direction which architecture is traveling in. But despite the many different types of story represented, each of the stories behind the Building of the Year winners is a fascinating architectural tale. Here are those 14 stories.

SelgasCano's Louisiana Hamlet Pavilion to House a School in Nairobi's Kibera Slum

04:00 - 13 February, 2016
SelgasCano's Louisiana Hamlet Pavilion to House a School in Nairobi's Kibera Slum, Courtesy of SelgasCano
Courtesy of SelgasCano

SelgasCano's Louisiana Hamlet Pavilion, designed in collaboration with Helloeverything, has been dismantled from its Copenhagen home and is set to be reconstructed in the sprawling Kibera slum, Nairobi, where it will begin a new life as a school. The structure, which is in transit to one of the largest slums in the country, will replace a dilapidated shelter which currently houses 600 pupils. The pavilion, originally commissioned by the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Copenhagen), has been relocated following discussions between Iwan Baan, SelgasCano, the museum, and Second Home.

Form Follows Fiction: Ole Scheeren’s TED Talk on Why Architecture Should Tell a Story

08:00 - 28 January, 2016

In his TED Talk filmed at TEDGlobal London in September 2015, Ole Scheeren eschews what he describes as the “detrimental straightjacket” of the modernist mantra “form follows function” in favor a phrase he attributes to Bernard Tschumi, “form follows fiction.” While Tschumi was referencing how cultural artifacts, such as literature, impact architecture, Scheeren reinterprets the phrase, imagining the stories of building users in order to inform the design process. Scheeren recounts, for example, how the daily activities of CCTV employees, the lifestyles of residents of a Singapore housing block, or the traditional tools of Thai fishermen have informed his various designs for OMA and Büro Ole Scheeren.

Of course, this “fiction” that Scheeren describes, these stories, are not really fictions at all, but the real experiences of the people who live or work in his buildings. In that sense, the fiction that drives his forms is really just another type of function, albeit a more human approach to function. Nevertheless, for Scheeren the stories of these designs goes beyond just the users, also encompassing the stories of the hundreds of people it takes to make such buildings a reality, and even how architecture can become a character in the narratives of our own lives.

It’s Elementary (Not): On the Architecture of Alejandro Aravena

09:30 - 25 January, 2016
Siamese Towers. Image © Cristobal Palma
Siamese Towers. Image © Cristobal Palma

When reading about the work of Alejandro Aravena, it can sometimes seem like two distinct discussions: one about his widely praised social housing innovations, and another about his impressive (albeit more conventional in scope) buildings for universities and municipalities. In this post originally shared on his Facebook page Hashim Sarkis, the Dean of the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, connects the two apparently separate threads of Aravena's architecture, discovering the underlying beliefs that guide this year's Pritzker Prize winner.

Much of the work of Alejandro Aravena, whether designed alone or with the group ELEMENTAL, embodies a eureka moment, a moment where after a careful interrogation of the program with the client, the architect comes up with a counterintuitive but simple response to the charge. (For the computer center at the Catholic University, the labs have to be both dark and well-lit. For the social housing in Iquique, instead of a full good house that you cannot afford, you get a half good house that you can). In turn, these simple equations are embodied in buildings that usually acquire similarly simple forms. The clients and occupants repeat the “aha” with Aravena’s same tone and realization. “If I cannot convincingly convey the design idea over the phone, then I know it is a bad idea,” he says.

Las Cruces Lookout Point. Image © Iwan Baan Design for Casa OchoQuebradas. Image Courtesy of ELEMENTAL Innovation Center UC - Anacleto Angelini. Image © Nico Saieh Quinta Monroy housing. Image Courtesy of ELEMENTAL +11

Exhibition at Chicago's Graham Foundation to Examine African Modernism

07:00 - 21 January, 2016
Exhibition at Chicago's Graham Foundation to Examine African Modernism,  Rinaldo Olivieri, La Pyramide, 1973, Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire). Image © Iwan Baan
Rinaldo Olivieri, La Pyramide, 1973, Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire). Image © Iwan Baan

new exhibition opening later this month at Chicago's Graham Foundation seeks to explore the complex history and legacy of modernist architecture in sub-Saharan Africa during the 1960s and 1970s. Architecture of Independence: African Modernism will feature nearly eighty buildings in commissioned photographs by Iwan Baan, Alexia Webster, and Manuel Herz. Alongside archival material, the exhibition "imparts a new perspective on the intersection of architecture and nation-building in Ghana, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Zambia and investigates some of the most compelling yet under-studied examples of 1960s and 1970s architecture worldwide."

2016 Pritzker Prize Winner Alejandro Aravena's Work in 15 Images

14:00 - 20 January, 2016
2016 Pritzker Prize Winner Alejandro Aravena's Work in 15 Images, © Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma
© Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma

Alejandro Aravena is the first Chilean architect to ever receive a Pritzker Prize. Praised for reviving the socially engaged architect, the 48-year-old architect and executive director of ELEMENTAL has proved architecture's ability to solve pressing global issues through his diverse portfolio. Read on to see 15 projects that exemplify Aravena's contribution to architecture so far. 

Spotlight: Thom Mayne

10:30 - 19 January, 2016
Spotlight: Thom Mayne, Emerson College Los Angeles. Image ©  Iwan Baan
Emerson College Los Angeles. Image © Iwan Baan

The principal architect of LA firm MorphosisThom Mayne was the recipient of the 2005 Pritzker Prize and the 2013 AIA Gold Medal, and is known for his experimental architectural forms, often applying them to significant institutional buildings such as the New York's Cooper Union building, the Emerson College in Los Angeles and the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters.

Alejandro Aravena Wins 2016 Pritzker Prize

09:10 - 13 January, 2016
Alejandro Aravena Wins 2016 Pritzker Prize

Alejandro Aravena has been named as the winner of the 2016 Pritzker Prize. Highlighting his dedication to improve urban environments and to address the global housing crisis, the Pritzker Prize jury praised the way in which the Chilean architect has "risen to the demands of practicing architecture as an artful endeavor, as well as meeting today's social and economic challenges." Aravena is the 41st Pritzker Prize laureate and the first Chilean to receive the award.

At 48 years of age, Aravena has a large portfolio of private, public and educational projects in Chile, the USA, Mexico, China and Switzerland. But perhaps more notably, through his “Do Tank” firm ELEMENTAL he has managed to build 2,500 units of social housing, engaging in the public housing policies of governments where he works and taking an opportunistic approach to market forces to generate a powerful impact on lower-income communities.

"Alejandro Aravena epitomizes the revival of a more socially engaged architect, especially in his long-term commitment to tackling the global housing crisis and fighting for a better urban environment for all,” explained the Jury in their citation. “He has a deep understanding of both architecture and civil society, as is reflected in his writing, his activism and his designs. The role of the architect is now being challenged to serve greater social and humanitarian needs, and Alejandro Aravena has clearly, generously and fully responded to this challenge."

UC Innovation Center – Anacleto Angelini, San Joaquín Campus, Universidad Católica de Chile. Santiago, Chile 2014. Image © Nina Vidic Monterrey Housing. Monterrey, Mexico 2010. Image © Ramiro Ramirez Medical School, Universidad Católica de Chile. Santiago, Chile 2004. Image © Roland Halbe Siamese Towers, San Joaquín Campus, Universidad Católica de Chile. Santiago, Chile 2005. Image © Cristobal Palma +23

Shulman Home and Studio / Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects

13:00 - 10 January, 2016
Shulman Home and Studio / Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects, © Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

© Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan +13

  • Architects

  • Location

    Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Architect in Charge

    Lorcan O’Herlihy, FAIA (Principal-In-Charge), Donnie Schmidt (PM), Lisa Pauli
  • Area

    4000.0 ft2
  • Photographs

In Praise of the Glitch: WAA's Yinchuan Contemporary Art Museum

09:30 - 7 January, 2016
In Praise of the Glitch: WAA's Yinchuan Contemporary Art Museum, © Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

In November, the Architectural Review concluded its search for this year's most promising young designers, awarding a total of 15 projects in its annual Emerging Architecture Awards. Selected by a jury comprising David Adjaye, Peter Cook and Odile Decq alongside AR Editor Christine Murray, these 15 projects included just one firm from China: WAA (We Architect Anonymous), whose Yinchuan Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) was commended by the judges. In this article, former associate member of Archigram Colin Fournier reviews the awarded building, showing an appreciation of WAA's work equal to - or perhaps even greater than - the award's jury.

This contemporary art museum is not what it seems. It appears, at first, to be a fairly familiar manifestation of the contemporary architectural discourse, and indeed the striking fluidity of its lines and its impressive mastery of parametrically-enabled tectonics as well as GRC technology put it on a par with recent buildings by Zaha Hadid or MAD, but this first impression is somewhat deceptive: the building is, in fact, refreshingly unique and a radical point of departure from the dominant design ideology of our times, a significant rupture from the orthodoxy. And a very promising one.

© Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan +12

The 20 Most Popular Projects of 2015

09:30 - 28 December, 2015
The 20 Most Popular Projects of 2015

If there's one word that sums up our most popular projects of 2015, it's "diversity." The list features architects ranging from old favorites such as SANAA, Diller Scofidio + Renfro and OMA down to newer names like Sculp[IT] and Tropical Space; it also includes everything from museums to multi-family housing and spa retreats to chapels - along with the usual smattering of private residences. Interestingly, this year's list also shows the symbiosis between great architecture and great photography, with no less than 4 projects also appearing in our most bookmarked images from this year's World Photo Day. But despite their diversity, there's one thing all of these 20 projects have in common: great architecture. So settle in, relax and read on - here's our 20 most popular projects of 2015.