BIG's 2016 Serpentine Gallery Design Revealed (Plus Four Summer Houses)

09:05 - 24 February, 2016
BIG's 2016 Serpentine Gallery Design Revealed (Plus Four Summer Houses), Pavilion design by BIG. Image © BIG
Pavilion design by BIG. Image © BIG

The Serpentine Gallery in London has unveiled the designs for this year's prestigious Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, designed by BIG, showing an "unzipped wall" which rises to a point above the entrance. In addition to the pavilion, this year the Serpentine gallery will host four smaller "summer houses" designed  by Kunlé Adeyemi - NLÉ, Barkow Leibinger, Yona Friedman and Asif Khan. For these summer houses, the Serpentine Gallery asked the participants to take inspiration from Queen Caroline's Temple, a small, classical summer house near to the gallery that was built in 1734.

Read on to find out more about all five designs.

Summer house design by Kunlé Adeyemi - NLÉ. Image © NLÉ Summer house design by Barkow Leibinger. Image © Barkow Leibinger Summer house design by Yona Friedman. Image © AECOM Summer house design by Asif Khan. Image © Asif Khan +17

BIG to Design 2016 Serpentine Pavilion While Four New 'Summer House' Architects are Announced

06:22 - 10 February, 2016
BIG to Design 2016 Serpentine Pavilion While Four New 'Summer House' Architects are Announced, The Mountain, Copenhagen / BIG. Image Courtesy of Serpentine Galleries
The Mountain, Copenhagen / BIG. Image Courtesy of Serpentine Galleries

The Serpentine Galleries have revealed that the 2016 Serpentine Pavilion will be designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), alongside a surprise announcement that four "Summer Houses" will also be built by internationally acclaimed practices. Kunlé Adeyemi – NLÉ (Amsterdam/Lagos), Barkow Leibinger (Berlin/New York), Yona Friedman (Paris), and Asif Khan (London) will each design a 25sqm structure inspired by the nearby Queen Caroline’s Temple, a neo-Classical summer house built in 1734 and "a stone’s throw from the Serpentine Gallery." In line with the criteria for the selection of the Serpentine Pavilion architect, each chosen to design a Summer House has yet to realise a permanent building in England.

Video: 7 Architects On What Makes Global Architecture Work

15:00 - 21 January, 2016

Doing architecture is listening. - Norman Foster

Peter Zumthor, Jean Nouvel, Norman Foster, Diébédo Francis Kéré and three other great architects come together in this Louisiana Channel video to share their thoughts on how to design for different cultures. For most of them, understanding context, collaborating with locals and using architecture to address larger social issues are what makes global architecture a success. 

Louis Becker, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen and Kunlé Adeyemi also share their insights in the video above - "Bridging Cultures in a Global World."

RIBA Announces New International Prize for Global Architecture

08:00 - 26 December, 2015
RIBA Announces New International Prize for Global Architecture, RIBA Headquarters. Image © Philip Vile
RIBA Headquarters. Image © Philip Vile

The Royal Institute of British Archtects (RIBA) has announced the launch of its new global architecture award for the world’s best new building, called the RIBA International Prize. Open to any qualified registered architect around the world, the new prize will be awarded to a building that “demonstrates innovative and visionary design whilst making a distinct contribution to its users and to its physical context.”

NLÉ Architects' “Rock and the Bean” Invites the Public to Leave a Mark on their Lakefront Kiosk

08:00 - 8 October, 2015
NLÉ Architects' “Rock and the Bean” Invites the Public to Leave a Mark on their Lakefront Kiosk, Summer View. Image Courtesy of NLE Architects
Summer View. Image Courtesy of NLE Architects

With its Lakefront Kiosk competition, the Chicago Architecture Biennial is hoping to leave a long-lasting impact and legacy for its city. The ROCK, a submission from NLÉ Architects in collaboration with School of the Art Institute of Chicago, is giving the public the opportunity to shape that legacy. Throughout the course of the event, which opened on October 3rd, eventgoers are invited to Millennium Park to add value to the 1930s limestone rocks that will create the pavilion through carving, painting, performances and other unimagined processes.

Kunlé Adeyemi: My Practice "Is Not About 'Floating Architecture'"

14:00 - 4 September, 2015

"We're not only invested in building on water. It's not about 'floating architecture,' that's really not what my practice is focused on. It's really the relationship between water and the city, between water and humans."

In this intriguing interview produced by Louisiana Channel, founder of NLÉ Architects Kunlé Adeyemi discusses the relationship of his work to water through projects such as Chicoco Radio, their proposal for the Chicago Lakefront Kiosk contest, and of course the Makoko Floating School project. Reflecting on the role of water in human settlement, Adeyemi explains how designing with in the context of water introduces both challenges and opportunities, adding that around the world he believes "we are just starting to brace ourselves and learn to live with water as opposed to fighting it."

7 Architects Designing a Diverse Future in Africa

10:30 - 26 February, 2015

As the legacy of the Cold War fades and Western preeminence gradually becomes a thing of the past, population booms in Asia followed by the growth of a vast non-western middle class have seriously challenged the Western perception of the world. The East has become the focal point of the world’s development.

If East Asia is the present focal point of this development, the future indisputably lies in Africa. Long featuring in the Western consciousness only as a land of unending suffering, it is now a place of rapidly falling poverty, increasing investment, and young populations. It seems only fair that Africa’s rich cultures and growing population (predicted to reach 1.4 billion by 2025) finally take the stage, but it’s crucially important that Africa’s future development is done right. Subject to colonialism for centuries, development in the past was characterized by systems that were designed for the benefit of the colonists. Even recently, resource and energy heavy concrete buildings, clothes donations that damage native textile industries, and reforestation programs that plant water hungry and overly flammable trees have all been seen, leaving NGOs open to accusations of well-meaning ignorance.

Fortunately, a growth in native practices and a more sensible, sensitive approach from foreign organizations has led to the rise of architectural groups creating buildings which learn from and improve Africa. Combining local solutions with the most appropriate Western ideas, for the first time these new developments break down the perception of monolithic Africa and have begun engaging with individual cultures; using elements of non-local architecture when they improve a development rather than creating a pastiche of an imagined pan-African culture. The visions these groups articulate are by no means the same - sustainable rural development, high end luxury residences and dignified civic constructions all feature - but they have in common their argument for a bright future across Africa. We’ve collected seven pioneers of Africa’s architectural awakening - read on after the break for the full article and infographic.

Pretoria's Freedom Park, designed by MMA Design Studio with GAPP Architects and MRA Architects. Image Courtesy of MMA Design Studio, GAPP Architects and MRA Architects The Makoko Floating School in Lagos, Nigeria. Image © NLÉ Architects Butaro Hospital in Rwanda. Image © Iwan Baan Red Pepper House in Lamu, Kenya. Image © Alberto Heras +29

The Z Axis International Conference to Explore "Great City, Terrible Place" in India

00:00 - 7 December, 2014
The Z Axis International Conference to Explore "Great City, Terrible Place" in India, Courtesy of The Z Axis
Courtesy of The Z Axis

Curated by the Charles Correa Foundation, the Z Axis is an annual conference bringing together pioneers, thought leaders, influencers, professionals, and students in the fields of architecture and urban design to create an intellectual community focused on issues related to the context of India and the developing world. Fifteen speakers will gather from across the globe to explore the theme of Great City…Terrible Place, including Charles CorreaDavid Adjaye, Alfredo Brillembourg of Urban Think Tank, Spain's "guerrilla architect" Santiago Cirugeda, Simone Sfriso of Studio TAM Associati and more.  

AD Interviews: Kunlé Adeyemi / NLÉ

01:00 - 3 December, 2014

"The architects of the future will begin to be seen more as agents of change,” Kunlé Adeyemi told us outside the 2014 Pritzker Prize Award ceremony in Amsterdam. One of the five international jury members for the 2014 Venice Biennale, Adeyemi is the founder of NLÉ, an architecture and urbanism practice focused on developing cities and known for projects like the Makoko Floating School in Lagos, Nigeria.

“There are many lessons learned from the floating school project, starting from engagement with the community…,” Adeyemi said. “The innovation of Makoko Floating School came not only from us, but largely from the community itself. We were simply agents to compose those ideas into a new form or an improvement of what’s already existing.”

Adeyemi was born and raised in Nigeria where he studied architecture at the University of Lagos.  In 2002 he joined OMA where he worked closely with Rem Koolhaas for nearly a decade, playing an important role in OMA’s research on the urbanization of Lagos.

See what else Adeyemi had to say about the Makoko Floating School, what it’s like to lead an architecture firm and the role of architects in society in the full video above.

AD Interviews: Kunlé Adeyemi / NLÉ AD Interviews: Kunlé Adeyemi / NLÉ AD Interviews: Kunlé Adeyemi / NLÉ AD Interviews: Kunlé Adeyemi / NLÉ +5

How Kunlé Adeyemi "Engages the Local and Specific To Have a Powerful Effect on a Global Level"

00:00 - 30 October, 2014
How Kunlé Adeyemi "Engages the Local and Specific To Have a Powerful Effect on a Global Level", Makoko Floating School / NLÉ Architects. Image © Iwan Baan
Makoko Floating School / NLÉ Architects. Image © Iwan Baan

Kunlé Adeyemi, the 38 year-old former disciple of Rem Koolhaas, made headlines last year with his Makoko Floating School, which enabled better access to education a slum community in Lagos. In this profile of Adeyemi and his Practice NLÉ Architects, originally published by Metropolis Magazine, Avinash Rajagopal explores what drives the young architect, explaining why he was selected as one of 10 designers in Metropolis Magazine's 2014 New Talent list.

When the Makoko Floating School was completed in March 2013, it received wildly enthusiastic critical acclaim from the international news media. The simple A-frame structure, buoyed by recycled plastic barrels in a lagoon in Lagos, Nigeria, was designed by NLÉ, a Lagos- and Amsterdam-based studio founded by the architect Kunlé Adeyemi. The project, intended as a model for how Lagos’s floating community could build simple, sustainable structures for themselves, subsequently faced a few challenges. One of the biggest was winning over local officials, who simply did not know what to make of such a building.

Al Jazeera’s Rebel Architecture: Episode 5, “Working on Water”

01:00 - 16 September, 2014

The latest episode of Al Jazeera’s Rebel Architecture takes us to Nigeria, where architect Kunlé Adeyemi has designed floating buildings to help solve overcrowding and flooding in the country’s waterside slums. “I am constantly inspired by solutions we discover in everyday life in the world’s developing cities,” he says. Yet, despite his studio NLÉ’s easy-to-build, low-cost, sustainable prototype for a floating building, Adeyemi still struggles to get approval for their construction from the local authorities. This 25-minute episode follows Adeyemi as he seeks to implement his floating buildings.  

Watch the full episode above and read on after the break for a full episode synopsis and a preview of upcoming episodes…

© Al Jazeera © Al Jazeera © Al Jazeera © Al Jazeera +17

Rebel Architecture: Al Jazeera’s New Series to Feature Activist Architects

00:00 - 13 August, 2014

On August 18 Al Jazeera will launch “Rebel Architecture,” a new series featuring architects who use design as a form of resistance and activism. By designing for the majority rather than the elite, the architects in “Rebel Architecture” are tackling the world’s urban, environmental and social problems. Through six, half-hour documentaries the series will highlight architects working in Vietnam, Nigeria, Spain, Pakistan, the Occupied West Bank and Brazil.

“In contemporary architecture, people are always concerned with ‘what a beautiful building’; or ‘what a pretty project’ – architecture should be about something more,” said Spanish architect Santi Cirugeda, who will be featured in the series’ first episode. Cirugeda works in Seville reclaiming abandoned urban spaces for the public, despite the fact that self-building is illegal in Spain.