Despite being awarded the 2011 Pritzker Prize, Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura has admitted difficulty in finding work. In a recent interview with El Mundo, the 59 year-old, Porto-based architect stated that he would prefer to work in his homeland, or even nearby in Spain, but the current economic crisis has him extending his search to other parts of Europe, mainly Italy and France.
Currently immersed in the worst crisis in recent history, Portugal became the third country within the 17-country eurozone in need of financial rescue to avoid bankruptcy, following Greece and Ireland. In February, the country’s unemployment rate reached new heights at 15 percent. Meanwhile, as Souto de Moura pointed out, Spain seems to be struggling even more with the possibility of becoming the fourth member of the eurozone in need of a bailout. Spain’s astonishing 23.6 percent unemployment rate has Bloomberg Businessweek referring to it as the greatest European country in danger. Continue reading for more.
The Centre for Central European Architecture is organizing an international project focused on the situation of contemporary Central European suburbia. They have just launched an open call which invites architects, artists and other individuals to send their proposals of interventions. During the next year in 2012, 30 interventions will be realized in 6 different Central European municipalities. In each locality, five acupunctures will be realized. By acupuncture treatment, actions will have a long term impact created with minimal means. Actions may be physical or immaterial, temporary or permanent and should be addressed to local residents. All required materials must be submitted no later than January 31st. For more information, visit their official website here.
The 11th edition of the Europan competition explores a European urban realm undergoing dramatic changes. The global financial crisis has led to tires burning in Greece and protesters marching the streets of Paris. A wave of young, unemployed but highly educated Europeans has been called “The Lost Generation”. Europe is a territory of emerging conflicts. Strained public budgets will force architects to develop strategies for public space that serve a greater set of purposes – political, economical, social, and environmental. Future emphasis is not on how architecture looks, but what it does. Even in Norway, an economic island in many ways, a new post oil era is closing in. Paired with rising pension costs, a new reality of fiscal constraint is emerging even here. Europan Norway believes we will need to develop an architecture that does more with less. Europan 11 will be an arena where we can explore this on a broad international level.
Europan Norway presents three sites this edition. The Oslo site addresses the issue of by-product space of consumerism, as contenders are asked to design a dump yard transformation in Oslo east.
The Skien/Porsgrunn sites deal with a common space beyond communal borders and the need for developing sustainable infrastructure in urban sprawl, a reality for much of Norway’s widespread urban landscape.
Haugesund invites contenders to develop a concept that shows how the margins of existing urban centres can contribute to an expanded city centre model. Suffering from reduced activity in the historical down town, the city needs a design for a symbiotic coexistence between history and future, centre and outskirt. For more information, click here.
In 010, the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies will inaugurate the first “European Architecture Prize.” The European Architecture Prize is to be given annually to any living architect whose built work exemplifies the highest ideals of European civilization and embodies vision, commitment, and a profound respect for humanity and for the social and physical environment.
Nominations are encouraged from all nations inside the European Union, as well as non EU states. Nominations are invited from architects, writers, critics, academicians, government officials, architectural societies and associations, museums, developers, corporate executives, professionals in the building industry, and the general public at large —and any individual who has an interest in advancing great architecture. The prize is awarded irrespectively of nationality, gender, race, creed, or ideology.
Candidates for the Prize are drawn from the professions of architecture,landscape architecture or urban planning who have profoundly impacted or influenced contemporary architecture philosophy and design ideas today. Nominations are submitted to the Chairman of The European Centre for consideration by the jury of The European Architecture Prize. For more information on the submission, click here.
The project is a design for a feasible and affordable Europe-wide power infrastructure which can be implemented by 2050 with existing technology. With the political will and capital investment needed to realize the design, Europe could reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80%, and set an example for the rest of the world.
The initiative is lead by the European Climate Foundation, looking to chart a policy roadmap for the next 5-10 years based on the European leaders’ commitment to an 80-95% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. The goal is to achieve a 2% energy efficiency saving per year in order to meet this goal, with power and vehicle transportation being the most important areas.
OMA is one of the institutions commissioned to develop this strategy trough its think-tank AMO, focusing on the production of a graphic narrative which conceptualizes and visualizes the geographic, political, and cultural implications of the integrated, decarbonized European power sector.
We now present you a series of videos produced by AMO that continue this narrative to help us understand the implications of this plan:
AMO is a design and research studio inside OMA, a think tank operating on the boundaries of architecture: media, politics, sociology, sustainability, technology, fashion, curating, publishing and graphic design. Some of their works include the barcode flag for the EU and a study for Wired magazine.
And while OMA covers sustainable strategies on a building or master plan scale, AMO is approaching it on en European scale as one of the five consultants conducting technical, economic and policy analyses for Roadmap 2050, an initiative by the European Climate Foundation which looks to chart a policy roadmap for the next 5-10 years based on the European leaders’ commitment to an 80-95% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. You can download a brief of Roadmap 2050 in PDF.
The goal is to achieve a 2% energy efficiency saving per year in order to meet this goal, with power and vehicle transportation being the most important areas.
Through the complete integration and synchronization of the EU’s energy infrastructure, Europe can take maximum advantage of its geographical diversity. The report’s findings show that by 2050, the simultaneous presence of various renewable energy sources within the EU can create a complementary system of energy provision ensuring energy security for future generations.
AMO’s work focuses on the production of a graphic narrative which conceptualizes and visualizes the geographic, political, and cultural implications of the integrated, decarbonized European power sector.
On their study you can find an interesting approach to a diverse european energy grid, including energy trade and the use of new non-traditional sources.
The image of “Eneropa” appears as a new continent based on its energy production: Biomassburg, Geothermalia, Solaria, the Tidal States… are part of this new territory. Other branding concepts are introduced on the study, creating a tangible image of this ambitious plan, which reminds the powerful (yet simple) idea behind the barcode flag.
You can download the full study in PDF format at the Roadmap 2050 website.
More after the break: