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Iwan Baan

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Spotlight: Bjarke Ingels

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels is often cited as one of the most inspirational architects of our time. At an age when many architects are just beginning to establish themselves in professional practice, Ingels has already won numerous competitions and achieved a level of critical acclaim (and fame) that is rare for new names in the industry. His work embodies a rare optimism that is simultaneously playful, practical, and immediately accessible.

Callous Indifference or Fetishizing Poverty: What Exactly Can Architects Do About Slums?

In an excellent essay for the Architectural Review, Charlotte Skene Catling deftly ties together a number of recent debates in the field of morality in architecture, from the false accusations aimed at Zaha Hadid by critic Martin Fuller to recent debates over whether architects have any responsibility to tackle poverty, an ostensibly political issue. Taking aim at one article in particular - in which Dan Hancox argues that architects such as Urban Think Tank who engage in humanitarian work are often 'fetishizing poverty' - Catling dissects the work of many of those in the field to find that they in fact do vital work to connect the top-down and bottom-up approaches that would otherwise never meet in the middle. Or, as Urban Think Tank's Alfredo Brillembourg says, in opposition to the horizontal city of the 19th century or the vertical city of the 20th, "the 21st century must be for the diagonal city, one that cuts across social divisions." Click here to read the article in full.

Take a Walk on the High Line with Iwan Baan

View looking west along one of the Rail Track Walks. Image © Iwan Baan, 2014 (Section 3)
View looking west along one of the Rail Track Walks. Image © Iwan Baan, 2014 (Section 3)

Sunday marked the completion of the New York City High Line, a three-phased project that transformed the once disused elevated rail tracks on Manhattan’s West Side into one of the world’s most respected public parks. With the first section opening in 2009, architectural photographer Iwan Baan has been documenting the entire process. Now, for the first time we present to you a photographic journey through the completed High Line designed by James Corner Field Operations with Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Take a look, after the break.

Diébédo Francis Kéré and Architectural Energy in Burkina Faso

"Architecture is much more than art. And it is by far more than just building buildings" says award winning Burkina Faso architect Diébédo Francis Kéré. In the latest video from Louisiana Channel, Berlin-based Francis Kéré deliberates on the purpose of architecture in a changing society and the influence exerted by his home nation, Burkina Faso. For Kéré, context and medium are key: "I try to use local material: mostly clay and wood, to create buildings that are modern," he says. Kéré's clay modernism represents a new Burkina Faso, using natural and renewable materials as shown in School Library Gando. "If we build with clay we will have a better future, because we will use the resources we have," he adds. 

"My people are proud, and that can deliver a lot of energy," says Kéré, optimistic for the future of architecture in Burkina Faso. Watch the video above to find out more about Kéré's approach to his European-based African practice, and read on after the break for ArchDaily's own Interview with Kéré from July.

Five Buildings Compete to be Named "World's Best Highrise"

Rem Koolhaas, Steven Holl, Jean Nouvel and Boeri Studio are the masters behind five skyscrapers competing to be crowned the “World’s best.” Chosen as finalists for the 2014 International Highrise Award (IHA), the four practices are in the running for a prestigious title and €50,000 prize. 

Award organizers from the City of Frankfurt/Main, Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) and DekaBank at Frankfurt’s Paulskirche will announce a winner in mid-November. The chosen skyscraper will be selected by an esteemed, multidisciplinary jury based on the criteria ranging from future-oriented design and innovative building technology, to the building’s integrative urban development scheme and cost-effectiveness. 

“Good architecture requires a willingness to take risks and a desire to try things out. All the finalists took this approach – there can be no innovation without experimentation. Our shortlist comprises three different prototypes of the future,” commented Jury Chairman Christoph Ingenhoven.

View all five of the competing highrises and the jury’s comments, after the break… 

The Conflict Between the Global North and South at the 2014 Venice Biennale

A view from the floor of the Latvian pavilion. The sheets of paper carry images of Modernist buildings; the ceiling asks, "There is no Modernism in Latvia", commenting on the lack of historical scholarship. Image Courtesy of NRJA
A view from the floor of the Latvian pavilion. The sheets of paper carry images of Modernist buildings; the ceiling asks, "There is no Modernism in Latvia", commenting on the lack of historical scholarship. Image Courtesy of NRJA

“Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014 is an invitation to the national pavilions to show, each in their own way, the process of the erasure of national characteristics in architecture in favor of the almost universal adoption of a single modern language and a single repertoire of typologies.” In this article, originally published on Metropolis Magazine as "Whose Modernity?", Avinash Rajagopal investigates the conflict this mandated theme at the 2014 Venice Biennale unintentionally created between the Northern and Southern pavilions - with Northern pavilions tending to declare sole ownership over Modernism and many Southern pavilions denying that their countries were passive recipients of the North's globalization. For more on how the Southern pavilions challenged the typical conveyance of architectural history, continue reading after the break.

World Photo Day: Iwan Baan by Steven Holl

In honor of World Photo Day (August 19th) ArchDaily wanted to thank the photographers who bring to life the projects that we publish every day. So we asked 15 architects to weigh in on the work of some of our most-appreciated architecture photographers. Here, Steven Holl writes on behalf of Iwan Baan

© Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan

Spatial Relations Take Centre Stage in MoMA's Newest Architectural Exhibition

What influence do art and space have on the contemporary architectural design process? MoMA's most recent exhibition on architecture and design Conceptions of Space strives to answer this question. Themed under the umbrella of spatial relations, Curator Pedro Gadanho ruminates on the subject in a broad and philosophical sense. The exhibition delves into the topic using an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating research from French philosopher Michel Foucault on the subject of the expanded field. The exhibition aims to explore the relationship between the development of space and its deep-seated roots in the creative arts. 

Video: Inside Steven Holl's Reid Building at Glasgow School of Art

Steven Holl Architects, in collaboration with Spirit of Space, have created two short films of the recently completed Seona Reid Building at Glasgow School of Art. The film series explores the complementary contrast of the new Reid Building and Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s 1909 building (which recently suffered a devastating fire), where "each work of architecture heightens the integral qualities of the other."

The first film takes the viewers on a "poetic climb" up and through the building's social circuit, which "purposefully encourages inter-disciplinary activity, with the hope to inspire positive energy for the future of art." The second film unpacks the design of the Reid Building in a conversation with design architects Steven Holl and Chris McVoy.

Urban Think Tank Responds to the Forced Eviction of Torre David Residents

Following yesterday's news story about the forced eviction of the thousands of inhabitants living in Venezuela’s Torre de David (Tower of David), the world's tallest vertical slum, Urban-Think Tank has issued a statement. The group, which spent two years researching the remarkable urban space for their Golden Lion-winning Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2012, has spoken with residents and hopes to provoke the architectural/design communities by adding their voice to the debate. Read the full statement, after the break. 

Village Health Works Staff Housing / Louise Braverman

  • Architects: Louise Braverman
  • Location: Burundi
  • Architect In Charge: Louise Braverman FAIA
  • Area: 6000.0 ft2
  • Photographs: Iwan Baan

© Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan

Library and Learning Centre University of Economics Vienna / Zaha Hadid Architects

  • Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects
  • Location: Vienna, Austria
  • Partners In Charge: Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schumacher
  • Project Architect: Cornelius Schlotthauer
  • Construction Project Team: Enrico Kleinke, Markus Planteu, Vincenco Cocomero, Peter Irmscher, Katharina Jacobi, Constanze Stinnes, Peter Hornung, Frédéric Beaupère, Mirjam Matthiessen, Marc-Philipp Nieberg, Tom Finke,Kristoph Nowak, Susanne Lettau, Jahann Shah Beyzavi, Florian Goscheff, Daniela Nenadic, Judith Wahle, Rassul Wassa, Julian Breinersdorfer, Nastasja Schlaf, Muhammed Patat, Elisabeth Dirnbacher
  • Competition Project Team: Cornelius Schlotthauer, Marc-Philipp Nieberg, Enrico Kleinke, Kristoph Nowak, Stefan Rinnebach, Romy Heiland, Richard Baumgartner
  • Area: 28000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Roland Halbe, Iwan Baan

Model. Image  © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Roland Halbe

ArchDaily Editors Select: Our Favorite Projects in the USA

Happy 4th of July! To celebrate the USA's Independence Day, our editors have selected their favorite projects located in the USA, from architecture classics to extraordinary newcomers. Enjoy them all, after the break!

Critical Round-Up: 2014 Serpentine Pavilion / Smiljan Radic

Last week, the 2014 Serpentine Pavilion opened in London's Hyde Park. The Serpentine Pavilion program invites architects who are yet to work in the UK to create a temporary installation at the gallery's grounds for one summer, and this year it was the turn of Chilean architect Smiljan Radic, who rarely builds outside his native country and is arguably the least well-known architect in the Pavilion's 14 year history.

Always a highlight in London's architectural calender, critics almost line up to write their reviews. This year, they are almost entirely unanimous: Radic's pavilion is, unquestionably, weird. But they're also unanimous on another judgement: it may be one of the best Serpentine Pavilions yet.

Read on after the break to find out what the critics said about this year's design

© Daniel Portilla © Daniel Portilla © Daniel Portilla © Iwan Baan

London Design Museum's Design of the Year: Heydar Aliyev Center / Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid’s Heydar Aliyev Center has beaten out seven shortlisted designs to win  Design Museum’s Designs of the Year Awards. The shortlisted proposals - from a portable eye examination kit to Volkswagen’s XL1 CAR - will remain on view at the museum through August 25. 

Not only is Ms. Hadid the first woman recipient in the Awards' seven year history, but the center is the first architecture project to be lauded: "It's beautiful, it's inspiring, it's the clear vision of a singular genius and we thought it was a remarkable piece of work," jury member Ekow Eshun noted.

Other nominated architecture projects included: NLE Architects' Makoko Floating SchoolThe Turbulences FRAC Centre by Jakob + Macfarlane Architects, and the interior remodeling of the St. Moritz Church by John Pawson. See more stunning images of the Heydar Aliyev Center here.

© Hélène Binet © Hufton + Crow © Hélène Binet © Iwan Baan

AR Names its 2014 House Awards

The winners of the 2014 AR House Awards have been announced, celebrating excellence and innovation in the design of a one-off house. This year, the jury consisted of AR Editor Catherine Slessor, Ben van Berkel (UNStudio), Yvonne Farrell (Grafton Architects), William Mann (Witherford Watson Mann Architects) and Abraham Thomas (Director, Sir John Soane's Museum).

Read on after the break for the full list of winners

Butaro Doctors’ Housing / MASS Design Group. Image © Iwan Baan Cerrada Reforma 108 / DCPP arquitectos. Image © Onnis Luque Dragon Court Village / Eureka. Image © Ookura Hideki Bb Home / H&P Architects. Image © Doan Thanh Ha