Ochoalcubo (Eight-Cubed) is a pioneering project in Chile that seeks to unite leading Chilean and Japanese practices with ground-breaking architecture. The collaborative enterprise was started by Eduardo Godoy, a design impresario who began working in Chile in the 1980s and who has always been a strong advocate for innovative design and architecture in the country. For a nation that boasts more than forty individual schools of architecture, the ever growing number of professionals seems to have had a relatively small impact on Chilean cities. Faced with the seemingly infinite landscape of ‘cookie-cutter housing’ in the suburbs, Godoy implemented Ochoalcubo in order to provide opportunities for young professionals, alongside fostering a new kind of appreciation for the profession itself. With a large number of architects having taken part in the first stage, including Smiljan Radic (designer of the 2014 Serpentine Pavilion), the third and fourth stage of what is certainly one of the world’s largest active architectural laboratories will be launched in the coming days.
See images from all sixteen proposals from third and fourth stages of the Ochoalcubo project, including those by SANAA, Sou Fujimoto, Kengo Kuma, Alejandro Aravena and Atelier Bow Wow, after the break.
In Chile, a very special project is being developed.
Eduardo Godoy, a design impresario who started his business in Chile in the 80′s, has always been an advocate for design and architecture in the country. In Chile, more than 40 schools of architecture have flooded the market, but the ever growing number of professionals has had a relatively small impact on Chilean cities. Seeing the almost infinite landscape of cookie cutter housing in the suburbs, Godoy asked himself: why not break this model into smaller pieces, each designed by a particular architect, each an opportunity for a young professional? With this in mind, and to foster the appreciation for architects, Eduardo and his team at Interdesign started a project called “Ochoalcubo” (Eight-Cubed). His original idea was to make 8 projects, with 8 buildings designed each by 8 architects, to create developments where the singularity of each piece was key, in order to demonstrate how the individuality of the architect could result in good architecture.
Under the guidance of Toyo Ito, Japanese architect Akihisa Hirata envisioned an futuristic, experienced-based installation which sought to express “manifestations of flow as they relate to people and nature” to the spectators of the 2013 Milan Design Week. Titled “Amazing Flow”, the installation offered a “vision of the city of tomorrow” with a multi-sensory experience that embodied the “Lexus’ world vision” and a glimpse into how cars flow throughout built environment The display consisted of a continuous, wooden structure that represented a moment in which “roads, humans, wind and water flow as a single entity.”
Compare the installation to the Lexus “Create Amazing” promotional video for the 2014 LF-LC Concept car and watch an interview with Hirata after the break…
Envision a future where undulating “solar plants” transform the rectangular masses of our cities into a vibrant metropolis where technology aids in the coexistence of humans and nature. Represented in the conceptual installation “Energetic Energies” at the Milan Design Week 2013, this notion of redefining our relationship with the sky through photovoltaics is based on years of technological research and development by the Panasonic Corporation, who commissioned Japanese architect Akihisa Hirata to imagine the possibilities.
The exhibition features a 30 meter-long makeshift city, whose “hills” of photovoltaics overtake clusters of white, translucent buildings while shadows of clouds move in and out of the space.
A video interview with Akihisa Hirata and more images after the break…
Presented in an “interwoven tangle”, Japanese architect Akihisa Hirata has revealed his view of architecture and ecology, along with form and function, in his first ever international solo exhibition at the The Architecture Foundation in London. Now on view, the immersive 1:1 scale installation – “a contorted loop” – display’s over a hundred study models and conceptual sketches, an interview with the architect, and intimate films of based on his projects.
The exhibition opened shortly after Hirata’s receipt of the Golden Lion award at the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale for his contribution, with Kumiko Inui, Sou Fujimoto and Naoya Hatakeyama, to the Japanese Pavilion, curated by Toyo Ito.
Continue after the break for more.
In the following videos you can see Toyo Ito, curator of “Architecture. Possible Here? Home-for-all”, along with collaborators Akihisa Hirata and Sou Fujimoto, discussing what Architecture means to them, the role of architects in our society, and how they approached the Biennale’s theme “Common Ground” on this particular exhibition, which reunites Japanese architects and an architectural photographer collaborating on the design of houses for those affected by the 2011 tsunami.
We thank the Japan Foundation for this interview.
Akihisa Hirata and Sou Fujimoto videos after the break:
Bridging the gap between nature and architecture, the Tokyo-based architecture office of Akihisa Hirata have designed an organic residential complex in Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan to break the typical layered architectural form seen very often in residential architecture. The result is very ambiguous interior and exterior spaces creating a more dynamic experience for its users. More images and architect’s description after the break.