BSA Urban Design Workshop: Suffolk Downs Concept Presentations

09:15 - 5 February, 2016

The Suffolk Downs Urban Design Workshop is the third in an ongoing series of Urban Design Workshops organized by the BSA Foundation. The workshops’ overall goal is to open up dialogue and stimulate thinking about the design potential of places with particularly significant and compelling opportunities.

BSA Urban Design Workshop: Suffolk Downs Panel Discussion

19:30 - 4 February, 2016

The Suffolk Downs Urban Design Workshop is the third in an ongoing series of Urban Design Workshops organized by the BSA Foundation. The workshops’ overall goal is to open up dialogue and stimulate thinking about the design potential of places with particularly significant and compelling opportunities.

The evening will include an introduction to the scope of and goals for the workshop, followed by a lively panel discussion moderated by Renée Loth, editor of ArchitectureBoston magazine. Suffolk Downs represents an opportunity to create a forward-looking 21st-century neighborhood that is equitable, diverse, environmentally aware, and in tune with shifting development trends.

How Schønherr is Transforming Aarhus with Experimental Urban Interventions

08:00 - 30 January, 2016
The City Park / Schønherr. Image © Martin Dam Kristensen for Aarhus Festival
The City Park / Schønherr. Image © Martin Dam Kristensen for Aarhus Festival

Since 2010, the Danish architects from Schønherr have been developing a series of large-scale urban interventions for the Aarhus Festival, the largest cultural festival in Denmark. These temporary projects have transformed the streets and parks into extraordinary public spaces, changing the natural topography of the city to attract citizens and bring them together.

We present their last four projects: "The Forest" (2010), "The City Park" (2012), "The Plaza" (2014) and "Bishops Square" (to be completed this 2016).

The City Park / Schønherr. Image © Martin Dam Kristensen for Aarhus Festival The Plaza / Schønherr. Image © Martin Schubert The City Park / Schønherr. Image © Martin Dam Kristensen for Aarhus Festival The Plaza / Schønherr. Image © Martin Schubert +49

Loop PDX: A Design Competition to Connect Portland's Central City

14:26 - 24 January, 2016

The University of Oregon John Yeon Center for Architecture and the Landscape and Design Week Portland invite proposals to define, design, and bring to life Portland’s proposed “green loop”—a six-mile pedestrian/bike urban promenade linking the city’s east and west sides.

The winner(s) will receive up to $20,000 to further develop and implement schemes.

Proposed by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability in the Central City 2035 Plan, the loop offers a potentially powerful new means of thinking about and traveling through the city. Connecting the two sides of the Willamette River at the Broadway Bridges and Tilikum Crossing, the loop will link

CatalyticAction Designs Playgrounds for Refugee Children in Bar Elias, Lebanon

06:00 - 8 December, 2015
Courtesy of CatalyticAction
Courtesy of CatalyticAction

"Within humanitarian responses, programmatically, children often become invisible." (Marc Sommers)

The Syrian crisis has forced thousands of families to leave their homes in search of safe places to continue with their lives. Many families have moved to Lebanon, where the UN has raised a series of informal settlements. While effective in providing shelter, they don't provide specific solutions for children, many of whom have had their studies interrupted and don't have public spaces equipped to play sports and interact with other kids.

In response to this situation, the architects of CatalyticAction have designed and built a playground in one of the schools developed by The Kayany Foundation and American University of Beirut's Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service, involving children throughout the entire process and allowing the structure to be easily disassembled, transported and either reassembled or repurposed.

Courtesy of CatalyticAction Courtesy of CatalyticAction Courtesy of CatalyticAction Courtesy of CatalyticAction +23

IFAC: A Romance Between Art and Architecture

08:00 - 24 November, 2015
© Ana Asensio Rodríguez #IFAC2015
© Ana Asensio Rodríguez #IFAC2015

Held annually, the International Festival of Art and Construction (IFAC) is a 10-day event that brings together 300 students from all over the world, joined by architects, scientists, musicians, artists and craftsmen. Together they carry out 30 workshops across different disciplines that “are bound together by the architecture through which they are expressed,” according to the website. In an article originally written in Spanish for ArchDaily en Español, Ana Asensio Rodríguez shares her experience at the 2015 edition of  IFAC, reflecting on the powerful intersection of art and architecture, and the collective nature of the event.  

Sometimes you get to meet people who fill you with energy and electricity -- fleeting, intense crossroads full of shared views and beautiful ideas. Spontaneous connections, which however tiny, will remain with you for a very long time.

Sometimes, these crossroads are not between people, but between arts, crafts, talents and experiences. Among these intersections is the inevitable attraction between art and architecture: explosive collages, a romance drunk with imagination. And, on very few occasions these two types of crossroads occur at the same time. And in those moments you can only hope that it will happen again.

It's called IFAC, the International Festival of Art and Construction. It is a 10-day long celebration that brings together more than 300 people from all over the world - creatively restless individuals, who meet somewhere in the European countryside. I felt immeasurably lucky to be one of those 300 people, and so I wanted to share how fascinating IFAC is from the inside. 

Architects Team Up with Khmer Women to Build a Community Centre with Fabric and Concrete

08:00 - 17 November, 2015
Courtesy of Orkidstudio
Courtesy of Orkidstudio

Using an innovative method of casting concrete in lightweight fabric molds, the architects of Orkidstudio -- along with StructureMode -- teamed up with a group of Khmer women in Sihanoukville, Cambodia to rebuild a community centre in the city’s urban heart.

The construction technique was developed and tested by engineers from StructureMode using a combination of physical testing and computer analysis software, Oasys GSA Suite, to predict the stretch of a particular fabric when concrete is poured inside. Through three-dimensional sketches the seamstresses and building team could understand the construction sequence of the form, completing the entire project in just eight weeks.

Courtesy of Orkidstudio Courtesy of Orkidstudio © Lindsay Perth © Lindsay Perth +39

3 Experimental Homes Address Hyper-Urbanization in Africa

06:00 - 3 September, 2015
Courtesy of Bauhaus Experimental Building
Courtesy of Bauhaus Experimental Building

By the year 2025, the urban population in Sub-Saharan Africa is predicated to increase by almost 70% -- a rapid urbanization that will inevitably affect the construction sector. 

To address this expected growth and to help lay the foundations for a sustainable urban and social development, students from the Institute of Experimental Architecture at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar and EiABC (Ethiopian Institute of Architecture Building Construction and City Development) worked together to build three residential prototypes at a 1:1 scale for Addis Ababa: the capital of Ethiopia and the heart of hyper-urbanization. See all of the project details, below. 

Courtesy of Bauhaus Experimental Building Courtesy of Bauhaus Experimental Building Courtesy of Bauhaus Experimental Building Courtesy of Bauhaus Experimental Building +62

These Schools for Refugee Children in Jordan are Built Using Scaffolding and Sand

06:00 - 27 July, 2015
Za'atari Refugee Camp, Jordan. Image Courtesy of Pilosio Building Peace
Za'atari Refugee Camp, Jordan. Image Courtesy of Pilosio Building Peace

Using the ground “beneath your feet,” the Pilosio Building Peace organization, along with architects Pouya Khazaeli and Cameron Sinclair, have developed RE:BUILD, an incredible constructive system for building safe and comfortable structures in refugee camps. The system allows for the construction of temporary buildings of high quality through the use of wall panels formed with scaffolding and grids, which are then assembled and filled with gravel, sand or earth, creating well insulated interiors at a low cost. 

Although the structures can be used for hospitals, housing, and other functions on this occasion we present two schools constructed using this system in Jordan.

Za'atari Refugee Camp, Jordan. Image Courtesy of Pilosio Building Peace Za'atari Refugee Camp, Jordan. Image Courtesy of Pilosio Building Peace Queen Rania Park, Amman, Jordan. Image Courtesy of Pilosio Building Peace Queen Rania Park, Amman, Jordan. Image Courtesy of Pilosio Building Peace +53

Nikolay Polissky Creates Towering, Handcrafted Structures Across Russia

08:00 - 12 July, 2015
Beaubourg (2013). Image © Ilya Ivanov
Beaubourg (2013). Image © Ilya Ivanov

Born in 1957 in Moscow, artist Nikolay Polissky creates impressive, handcrafted structures in the middle of Russia's vast landscapes. Mostly carried out in the town of Nikola Lenivets -- located 200 km from the Russian capital --  his works are built entirely by the area's residents, using local materials, such as branches, trunks and wooden tables. Traditional construction techniques are used as a starting point for the projects. 

His work is inspiring not only because of its imposing form, but also because he managed to re-activate a semi-abandoned village through art and architecture, involving residents in the creative process and transforming the region into a sort of open cultural center. Since 2003, his work has been part of Archstoyanie, the largest Land-Art festival in Russia.

Gates of Perm (2011). Image © Tima Radya Hyperboloid / Volcano (2009). Image Courtesy of Nikolay Polissky Lighthouse (2004). Image Courtesy of Nikolay Polissky Media tower (2002). Image Courtesy of Nikolay Polissky +39

Punta Arenas Tourist Service Station / Colectivo Taller Independiente + Ruta 4 + Pico Estudio

15:00 - 6 July, 2015
© Rafael Barragán
© Rafael Barragán
  • Architects

    Colectivo Taller Independiente, Ruta 4, Pico Estudio
  • Location

    Punta Arenas, Venezuela
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

    Rafael Barragán, Veo Productores

© Rafael Barragán © Veo Productores © Veo Productores © Veo Productores +22

The Courtyard of Our Dreams / Lukas Fúster

14:00 - 11 March, 2015
© Federico Cairoli
© Federico Cairoli
  • Architects

    Lukas Fúster
  • Location

    Remansito, Paraguay
  • Project and Construction

    Lukas Fúster, Carlos Irigoitia, Martin Aponte
  • Design Process

    girls, boys, youth and mothers of the community center "UNIDOS AVANZAREMOS", Global Infancia, Amelí Schneider, Sofía Alfieri
  • Photographs

© Federico Cairoli © Federico Cairoli © Federico Cairoli © Federico Cairoli +27

School in Chuquibambilla / AMA + Bosch Arquitectos

00:00 - 24 December, 2014
© Paulo Afonso / Marta Maccaglia
© Paulo Afonso / Marta Maccaglia
  • Architects

    Marta Maccaglia + Paulo Afonso, Bosch Arquitectos
  • Location

    Chuquibambilla, Peru
  • Architecture

    Paulo Afonso, Marta Maccaglia, Ignacio Bosch, Borja Bosch
  • Project Area

    985.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

    Paulo Afonso / Marta Maccaglia

© Paulo Afonso / Marta Maccaglia © Paulo Afonso / Marta Maccaglia © Paulo Afonso / Marta Maccaglia © Paulo Afonso / Marta Maccaglia +21

It's "Time For Strategic Architecture"

00:00 - 5 September, 2014
Bolling Municipal Center - Roxbury, Boston (MA). Image Courtesy of Mecanoo / Sasaki Associates
Bolling Municipal Center - Roxbury, Boston (MA). Image Courtesy of Mecanoo / Sasaki Associates

In an article for the New York Times, Alexandra Lange discusses a number of US projects which are "transforming, but not disrupting," their respective communities. In this vein, she cites Mecanoo and Sasaki Associates' new Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building in Roxbury, Boston, as a prime example of a new kind of architecture which "comes from understanding of past civic hopes, redesigning them to meet the future." Examining some of the key concepts that make for successfully integrated community buildings, such as the creation of spaces that actively forge personal connections, Lange concludes that perhaps it is now "time for strategic architecture."

Interested in Public-Interest Design? Apply to the Enterprise Rose Fellowship By July 10

00:00 - 23 June, 2014
A Rose Fellow working on a community design project. Image Courtesy of Enterprise Community Partners
A Rose Fellow working on a community design project. Image Courtesy of Enterprise Community Partners

Shelter is a basic human need, but over 11 million families cannot afford a safe and stable place to live. In a crusade to change this sad fact, the Enterprise Rose Fellowship gives socially-minded architects the tools they need to pursue careers in affordable housing and community development. For more on the learning opportunity, head over to Next City and click here.

Cape Town Adopts Re-Blocking Strategy for Informal Settlements

00:00 - 22 May, 2014
In Kuku Town, dwellings were rearranged to face a communal courtyard - where people can gather for activities and keep an eye on their neighbors and shared facitilies.. Image Courtesy of Future Cape Town
In Kuku Town, dwellings were rearranged to face a communal courtyard - where people can gather for activities and keep an eye on their neighbors and shared facitilies.. Image Courtesy of Future Cape Town

The city of Cape Town has adopted a new strategy for improving informal settlements - re-blocking, "the reconfiguration and repositioning of shacks in very dense informal settlements in accordance to a community-drafted spatial framework." Re-blocking serves to create communal spaces, make neighborhoods safer, and improve dwelling structures - among many other things. To see how it has been implemented and where, head to Future Cape Town and continue reading here.

A McDonald's Controversy Raises Debate on Designing for the Elderly

00:00 - 5 February, 2014
© Flickr CC User symmetry_mind
© Flickr CC User symmetry_mind

In an article for the New York Times, Michael Kimmelman gets to the bottom of an unusual local dispute: a McDonald's in Queens, New York is kicking out groups of elderly Koreans who are out-staying their 20-minute welcome (and who have no access to community spaces nearby). The story raises an important question: how can we design our cities with elder populations in mind (a generation on track to out-number all others in the next few years)? You can read this poignant tale in full here.

Strelka Talks: Architecture and Community / Reinier de Graaf

00:00 - 26 May, 2013

"The Community" might be the most frequently used term over the last 50 years of Architectural and Urban discourse. For decades, "the community" has served as a legitimization for anything from Team X to New Urbanism, from Celebration to "vancouverism". But what is "the community"? Where should we look for the proper definition? How did communities appear in the past and how do they form today? Can 'the community" influence the design of its own space, territoiry or context? If yes, what could be the relationship between the community and architecture in the future? 

In his Strelka talk Reinier de Graaf is trying to answer these and other, even more complex questions.

Via the Strelka Institute.