Fundamentals, the title of the 2014 Venice Biennale, will close its doors in a matter of days (on the 23rd November). From the moment Rem Koolhaas revealed the title for this year’s Biennale in January 2013, asking national curators to respond directly to the theme of ‘Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014’, there was an inkling that this Biennale would be in some way special. Having rejected offers to direct the Biennale in the past, the fact that Koolhaas chose to act not only as curator but also thematic co-ordinator of the complete international effort, was significant. This announcement led Peter Eisenman (one of Koolhaas’ earliest tutors and advocates) to state in one interview that “[Rem is] stating his end: the end of [his] career, the end of [his] hegemony, the end of [his] mythology, the end of everything, the end of architecture.”
In an article for The Walrus, Adele Weder examines Antoine Predock‘s (who was recently made a National Academy Academician) Canadian Museum for Human Rights: a “colossal, twelve-storey mountain of concrete and stone, 120,000 square feet of tempered glass, and 260,000 square feet of floor space.” Early advocates of the museum “felt that Winnipeg was ripe for such a statement piece,” just as Bilbao had been for the Guggenheim. Welder’s explorations are clear and concise, finding all sorts “of paradoxes swirling around the Museum for Human Rights.” Noting that “it’s definitely a kick-ass building, with its aggressive outer form, jagged paths inside, big black slabs of basalt, thick sheets of glass, and the huge metal girders that hold it all together,” Weder argues that it’s position as a “failed memorial and white elephant” may be it’s eventual undoing.
Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter has unveiled the winners of “NEXT BIG ONE,” an open call for design solutions to high-magnitude earthquake and tsunami events that plague cities around the world. Project teams were challenged to propose a solution that ”can mitigate natural disasters while simultaneously providing community permanence.”
A jury comprised of leading architects and professionals from Architecture Research Office (Stephen Cassell), Perkins + Will (Susan Gushe), Bing Thom Architects (Eileen Keenan), Scott & Scott Architects (David Scott), and the City of Vancouver (Doug Smith) evaluated the projects. Entries were evaluated based on three key criteria: the exemplification of innovation in disaster design, promotion of community resiliency before and after disasters, and compliance with multi-hazard parameters for worst-case disaster scenarios.
The NSA Muscle, an interactive inflatable structure built in 2003 that responded to touch and presence by changing its shape, is the latest subject explored in the Canadian Centre for Architecture‘s series on pioneering projects of digital architecture. Joining a roster of influential names including Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry and Chuck Hoberman, this e-book recounts a conversation between Greg Lynn and the author of the project Kas Oosterhuis of ONL [Oosterhuis and Lénárd]. The ‘breathing’ structure was covered by a grid of ‘muscles’ that contracted and relaxed in response to external stimulus, combining commercial pneumatics and virtual control technology in new ways to prototype an new kind of interactive architecture.
Discover the story by downloading NSA Muscle for free after the break.
UK architects OS31 have recently won a competition to design RAW:almond, “the first ever outdoor dining restaurant on a frozen body of water.” The temporary restaurant has set up for business in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada for the last two years, and for 2015 the organizers held an international open competition for the winning design. This year’s design establishes itself as an expressive frame that appears to float across the ice like a frozen jetty. Learn more about the winning proposal after the break.
Architects: Gair Williamson Architect, Ankenman Marchand Architects
Location: 53 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1G4, Canada
Design Team: Gair Williamson, Jenny Chow, Brian Liston, François Marchand, Julien Leger
Photographs: Ed White, Courtesy of Gair Williamson Architect + Ankenman Marchand Architects
The Royal Architecture Institute of Canada (RAIC) have announced that Li Xiaodong has been awarded the inaugural Moriyama International Prize, named after esteemed Canadian architect Raymond Moriyama. The prize, which comes with a monetary value of CAD$100,000, has been established to recognise buildings that are judged to be “transformative, inspired as well as inspiring, and emblematic of the human values of respect and inclusiveness.”
The jury deliberated projects submitted from nine countries: Canada, China, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom and Tajikistan. According to the citation, the jury was “impressed by the breadth of international interest in the prize and encouraged by the high level of engagement with the aims and objectives of the program revealed in the submissions.” The prize is open to all architects irrespective of nationality and location and seeks to recognise a single work of architecture (as opposed to a life’s work), celebrating buildings in use.