Rotterdam’s skyline is set to welcome a soaring new addition in the form of Cooltoren, V8 Architects’ 150-meter tower that upon completion, will become the city center’s tallest residential tower. Located in the Baan quarter, the design aims to integrate itself within the post-war urban fabric of the district and embody Rotterdam’s historical double layered characteristics – that of the low rise and the skyline.
Now in its 20th year, Berlin-based firm TOPOTEK 1 has been an enterprising player in the field of landscape architecture and public design, with a portfolio of projects that emphasize the social and formal roles that landscape assumes within built work. Largely responsible for the firm’s success this far is the man at the helm, Martin Rein-Cano, who has served as one of the founding partners since 1996.
Complex wood joineries have long been staples of Japanese architecture and construction, demonstrating an impressive and even artistic craft passed down through generations of Japanese carpenters and woodworkers. In recent times, with increasingly available resources and technology, these techniques have been further explored and made publicly accessible, be it through demonstrative gifs or downloadable fabricated joints.
In relation to these resources, Aryan Shahabian, a researcher at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna has developed an algorithm that generates over a billion distinct combinations of interlocking 3D objects, inspired by Japanese joineries. Both single joints and free forms are smoothly handled by the software, combined with endless resultant forms.
Bee Breeders have selected the winners of the Mango Vinyl Hub Competition, challenging entries to marry architecture, music, industry, and design in the repurposing of a decrepit tin foil factory in Cesis, Latvia. With a focus on the revival of the vinyl record industry, “successful projects temper the impulse of retrojecting nostalgic hallmark or tradition, through revitalization of purpose of an artifact and history of a bygone era.”
Here are the winning visions of the Mango Vinyl Hub:
Rome-based firm Schiattarella Associati have unveiled the design of a new community mosque complex in the city of Ha’il in Saudi Arabia, using traditional cultural elements of Najd architecture to create a new landmark in the area. The 22,500 square meter Al Jabri Mosque accommodates 3000 people and focuses on “the principle of a people-oriented city and proposes it back again using a contemporary language respectful and attentive in the use of shapes and materials.”
The Curry Stone Design Prize has selected 11 honorees as part of June’s Social Design Circle, whose work responds to the question: Can Design Reclaim Public Space? From NGOs to design collectives across the globe, each winner addresses notions of usage, organization, and amenities within the realm of public space, and is featured on the prize’s website. In addition to a new circle of monthly winners, the prize hosts a weekly podcast, Social Design Insights, complimenting the featured work and expanding on the monthly themes with leading practitioners in social design.
Here are the 11 members of June’s Social Design Circle:
With a modular composition inspired by traditional sub-Saharan African building typologies, MASA Studio’s safe lodging proposal for Tanzanian cancer victims has been selected as the winner of the Hostels for Hope competition, which called for solutions to issues of health and safety in regards to the rehabilitation of cancer victims away from home in rural Africa. Organized by Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, an international foundation combatting women’s cancers, the competition responds to the unfortunate decision that thousands of Tanzanian women have to make every year – to travel great lengths for unaffordable treatment and lodging, or to remain at home unable to fight the disease.
Praksis Arkitekter has been awarded 500,000 DKK as winners of Nykredit's Architecture Awards, the most prestigious architectural distinction in Scandinavia. Founded in 1987 by the Nykredit Foundation, the awards also honored two practices with 250,000 DKK Prizes: the Motivation Award, won by ADEPT, is “an encouragement to continue and further develop an already obvious talent” seen in young architectural practices, while the Sustainability Award, which was introduced in 2016, was won this year by Leth & Gori.
With a combination of resilience, sustainability, and pleasing aesthetics, the use of copper in architectural design is often indicative of a building’s craft and attention to detail, as demonstrated by fifteen projects selected as recipients for the 2017 North American Copper in Architecture Awards (NACIA). The 10th edition of the annual awards celebrates a variety of projects throughout North America for their “outstanding use of architectural copper and copper alloys.” Projects were selected across three categories: New Construction, Renovation/Restoration, and Ornamental Applications.
Here are this year’s fifteen NACIA winners:
Continuing the ever-increasing growth of timber construction architecture in North America and around the world, Carbon12’s recent topping out has resulted in its newly achieved status as the tallest mass timber building in the United States. Situated in Portland and designed by PATH Architecture, the 8-storey condominium is an example of the cost-effectiveness and labor sensitivity of engineered wood products while helping regenerate Oregon’s local timber industry.
With a growing population and rapid development, much of recent focus has been on Portland’s city center, in an effort to preserve the existing natural landscape that surrounds the urban areas. Built of prefabricated cross-laminated timber panels and glu-lam beams around a steel core, Carbon12’s hybrid construction aids the city’s densification, given its off-site construction and quick assembly that help both reduce costs and respond to residential needs.
The New York High Line is set to receive a new British sibling, in the form the Camden High Line – a conversion of the defunct railway line connecting Camden Town and King’s Cross, into an elevated public space and commuting route. The invited competition for the project was won by London-based practices Studio Weave and Architecture 00, whose proposal is one of three international designs that have followed the success of the High Line in New York, with the other two situated in Bangkok and Mexico City.
“We think the re-use of this railway line for the Camden High Line outweighs the benefits and costs of leaving it vacant,” said Simon Pitkeathley, Chief Executive at Camden Town Unlimited. “This new transport link can reduce overcrowding and journey times on the existing, cycling and pedestrian routes nearby like Regent’s Canal.”
Serving as a new gateway to the city through the connection of various green spaces and public programs, The Green Entrance is DELVA Landscape Architects’ masterplan for a historic district of The Hague. Given The Hague’s future inner-city densification, which involves the creation of 50,000 new houses, the Dutch firm’s aim is to aid these developments through sustainable and green urban strategies, manifested “through an integral approach between landscape design, cultural heritage, mobility, programming and technology.”
Commenting on the project’s primary function, the architects state: “’The Green Entrance’ connects areas that have been isolated over the years. It starts in the spacious and open ‘City Hall' that connects to the train station and continues to the ‘Koningin Julianaplein’. No narrow doors or gates, but a wide view over the green and lively surrounding public space.”
A competition for the interior renovation of the Alte Oper, one of the world’s most prominent opera houses in Frankfurt, has been won by German firm Buero Wagner, selected ahead of heavyweight runner-up Zaha Hadid Architects. The scope included the conversion of one of the building’s multipurpose foyers into a central social space, to be activated by the 450,000 annual visitors that attend the Alter Oper’s 400-plus concerts.
New renderings of Herzog & de Meuron’s upcoming luxury hotel have been released, showing the 28-storey tower’s updated interiors at its location at 215 Chrystie Street in Manhattan’s Bowery District. Constructed of raw concrete, the 370 rooms are capped with eleven open-plan luxury residences and is set to open to the public in June.
“To introduce a sense of scale and to further foster the expression of each individual floor, each column is slightly inclined,” explained Jacques Herzog with the announcement of the project back in 2014. “The prominent corner of the building facing Chrystie Street is where the two geometries of the inclined columns meet. Rather than giving one direction priority, the two directions are braided together. The result is a sculptural corner column that becomes the visual anchor for the entire building.”
Through a revisiting of Zaha Hadid's MAXXI Museum of Art in Rome and Heyder Aliyev Center in Baku, as well as the practice’s exploration of materiality and composition, Boffi_Code Kitchen is a custom kitchen island created by Zaha Hadid Design and Boffi, an Italian furniture company founded in 1934.
“Boffi_code offers customization to the highest standards, tailoring individual solutions with selected materials, finishes and cabinetry,” explains Zaha Hadid Design. “The Boffi_Code Kitchen by Zaha Hadid Design marries exceptional detailing and design with functionality, carefully chosen materials, and traditional craftsmanship.”
With decaying infrastructure and a lack of viable public amenities, Hong Kong’s popular yet problematic waterfront is the focus of the latest undertaking by James Corner Field Operations, aiming to transform the site into an attractive tourist and local destination. Home to Hong Kong’s Avenue of Stars (the equivalent of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame), the Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) waterfront is in need of severe revitalization, with areas requiring demolition if not reinforced within the decade.
Part of a larger project known as Victoria Dockside, the landscape architecture firm’s vision incorporates new seating, shading and green space to reinvigorate the promenade while offering panoramic views of the city’s skyline as it guides visitors towards the harbor, allowing visitors to get closer to the harbor than ever before. Trellises will provide 800 times more shade than what is currently offered, while seating will increase 325-fold to encourage public engagement and interaction with each other and the space.
Founded in 1996 by Buenos Aires-born Martin Rein-Cano, TOPOTEK 1 has quickly developed a reputation as a multidisciplinary landscape architecture firm, focussing on the re-contextualization of objects and spaces and the interdisciplinary approaches to design, framed within contemporary cultural and societal discourse.
The award-winning Berlin-based firm has completed a range of public spaces, from sports complexes and gardens to public squares and international installations. Significant projects include the green rooftop Railway Cover in Munich, Zurich’s hybrid Heerenschürli Sports Complex and the German Embassy in Warsaw. The firm has also recently completed the Schöningen Spears Research and Recreation Centre near Hannover, working with contrasting typologies of the open meadow and the dense forest on a historic site.
Placing third place out of 69 entries in an international competition for a new cultural building in Shenzhen, China, Mecanoo’s proposal for the Bao’an Public Culture and Art Center aiming to re-evaluate the “inwardly focused identity of cultural facilities in Hong Kong," through the form of an elevated cube. Situated near the Bao’an Metro Station and the Binhai School, the Dutch firm responds to the site’s challenges by reconnecting the center with its adjacent infrastructure.
The metro station and cultural center are united by the large masses of people that are channeled by the former and engaged but the latter. In order to capitalize on this condition, the design combines the metro entrance with that of the museum, thereby connecting the wider community with the arts and creating a more appealing public network.