We’ve all heard of the record-breaking times, longest distances and of course, winners of those coveted medals, but according to 99% Invisible there is a lesser-known Olympic Games honor participants have received: awards in architecture. In an article tracing the history of this bizarre tradition, Kurt Kohlstedt explores how medals were awarded to five categories of the arts during the Olympic Games, presented to participants alongside their sporting competitors.
Dutch architectural firm, Studio Komma, in collaboration with concept-developer The Men of Foam, have won the Lot 2 Urban Lab Challenge, with their proposal, ZIP2516. Located in The Hague, The Netherlands, in an upcoming living and working district, the project “seeks to create an iconic building that is an accelerator for the transformation of an industrial area into a new energetic urban district.”
ZIP2516 will house a variety of programs, including social and commercial entrepreneurship and public space. The ground floor of the building will accommodate the flagship store of social entrepreneur, Happy Tosti. The first floor of the building will feature a public square and “urban playground,” with office and start-up space on the floors above, and a “gin bar with roof terrace” on top.
Steven Holl Architects has released updates on four of its latest projects slated for completion this year. The projects, located in the United States and the United Kingdom, include two university arts buildings, a community library, and a cancer support center.
We are very excited about the intensity of the architecture for an unprecedented four Steven Holl Architects’ projects opening in 2017, said Steven Holl. Each ones serves as an inspiring ‘social condenser’ for their community.
A competition for the transformation of a former cemetery in Nikea, just west of central Athens, has been won by Greek firm Topio7, with a proposal that creates a revitalized public park as a result of “a mutual osmosis between the park and the city”. A number of green buffer zones – “the elastic limit” – are utilized to frame a procession-like journey from the bustle of the city to the calm of the park’s landscape.
Highlighting the importance of the site’s previous use, the architects explain that the “main objective of the project is the creation of an open, accessible public space, a contemporary urban park with ecological-bioclimatic character, with special emphasis on the social dimension and the site’s memory.”
San Francisco-based Form4 Architecture have won the 2017 American Prize for Architecture, by The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. Also known as The Louis H. Sullivan Award, the prize is awarded to outstanding practitioners in the United States that have “emblazoned a new direction in the history of American architecture” and “demonstrated consistent contributions to humanity through the built environment and the art of architecture."
These may well be the ultimate, true romantic architects, said Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, President of The Chicago Athenaeum. Form4 Architecture’s design philosophy conveys a ‘vision of the future’ and all the artistic possibilities of imagination, emotional meaning, and lyrical expressionism for a consequentially better and more enlightened world around us.
A simultaneous celebration of their cultural iconicity and distillation from their various contexts, Beautified China is a photographic essay by Kris Provoost (one-half of the vlogging duo behind #donotsettle) that tracks the evolution of Chinese architectural landmarks over the course of the past 7 years. Beginning his investigation with the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, Provoost considers a decade of architecture proposed for China by the profession’s biggest names, many of which have been built now with monumental reputations in rising cities.
“Most ‘starchitects’ had their chance to build, or to fulfill their wildest dreams,” explains Provoost. “Some of them became landmarks: CCTV headquarters by Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren or the Bird’s Nest/National Stadium by Herzog and de Meuron for example. Others have turned a suburb into a new center, or have established a new city on its own.”
With the intention of maximizing available space and avoiding steep construction costs, researchers from ETH Zurich’s Department of Architecture have devised a concrete floor slab that with a thickness of a mere 2cm, remains load bearing and simultaneously sustainable. Inspired by the construction of Catalan vaults, this new floor system swaps reinforced steel bars for narrow vertical ribs, thus significantly reducing the weight of construction and ensuring stability to counter uneven distributions on its surface.
As opposed to traditional concrete floors that are evidently flat, these slabs are designed to arch to support major loads, reminiscent of the vaulted ceilings found in Gothic cathedrals. Without the need for steel reinforcing and with less concrete, the production of CO2 is minimized and the resulting 2cm floors are 70% lighter than their typical concrete counterparts.
79 shortlisted buildings have been selected as winners of the 2017 American Architecture Awards, which honor the best new buildings designed and constructed by American architects in the United States and abroad, and by international architects for buildings designed and built in the United States.
The Awards, hosted by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, were juried by a group of Greek architects, who chose from 300 buildings and urban planning projects.
The winners of the 2017 American Architecture Awards are:
A luminous tetrahedral mesh spanning 10 meters, (Ultra) Light Network is the latest 3D printed innovation achieved by Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) Professors Felix Raspall and Carlos Banon, who were also behind this mesh pavilion last year. Displayed at this year’s iLight Marina Bay in Singapore, the interactive light sculpture is an exploration of how full-scale 3D printed components can create a system to “address not only structural requirements but also power transmission, and information communication within a seamless and continuous aesthetic.”
Suspended over its visitors, the display engages the public through responses to their movements below, controlled by over 50,000 distinct LED pixels and their parent algorithm. This is made possible through five Teensy microcontrollers, working in conjunction with three ultrasonic sensors at the base of the structure, resulting in a lively and illuminating experience.
NO ARCHITECTURE Emphasizes Urban Sustainability and Interaction with Alternative Residential Towers in China
One of the great ironies of modern urban life is the underlying disconnect that exists amongst us global citizens, despite living and functioning within such dense and close proximities. In order to address this issue in the context of China’s urban landscape, New York firm NO ARCHITECTURE has proposed two alternatives to the typical high-rise – two vertical residential typologies that feature a combination of courtyards, terraces, and gardens, and could be located in a wide variety of cities.
“Conceived around a series of cascading shared walls, ventilated courtyards, stepped terraces, and wind towers, these new vertical organizations re-connect urban living to nature, suggesting how we can live in close proximity today and can continue to do so sustainably for generations to come,” explained the architects.
Beomki Lee and Chang Kyu Lee of Atelier L have unveiled their speculative project, Instant City: Living Air-Right, which proposes that affordable housing and public programs be built in the air rights of existing buildings in New York City.
As a response to the lack of home ownership in the city, the project aims to provide living space, as well as to foster community in an overlooked space.
The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) have awarded Montreal’s Bibliothèque du Boisé with the annual Green Building Award for 2017. Designed by the trio of Consortium Labonté Marcil, Cardinal Hardy and Eric Pelletier architectes, the library is situated in the city’s Saint-Laurent district, and received the distinction as an example of “buildings that are environmentally responsible and promote the health and wellbeing of users.”
"The library offers a variety of beautifully lit and welcoming spaces throughout, maximizing daylight and views and the use of natural elements, such as wood, to create an environment that contributes to health and wellbeing,” said the jury. “Their approach to high-performance building through whole systems design and strategy has resulted in an impressive achievement.”
Renderings have been released for Hollwich Kushner’s first European project – Die Macherei, a new mixed-use business district based in Munich. Designed by the New York firm in collaboration with local practices msm meyer schmitz-morkramer and OSA Ochs Schmidhuber Architekten of Frankfurt/Cologne and Munich respectively, the financial hub will feature 64,000 square meters of rental space, bringing together offices, shops, dining experiences, a hotel and a gym.
“I could not be more excited to realize our first European project in my hometown. Designed not just as a series of buildings but as an exploration of the spaces between the buildings, Die Macherei is an innovative design for a new way of working and interacting, integrating social activity and behaviors to promote a sense of community,” expressed Matthias Holwich, principal at HWKN.
The Norman Foster Foundation has announced plans for its new Madrid-based headquarters to be opened in June this year, whose inauguration will be marked by the first session of the global forum Future is Now, addressing future social, economic and design concerns architecture will face. With the intersection of art, technology, and design, the Foundation facilitates multifaceted thinking and discourse among architects and designers. The opening of its new headquarters is a vital step in “establishing a world-class archive and inaugurating an international program of research, education, and interdisciplinary projects.”
According to the Foundation, “the decision to establish the Foundation as an independent entity, separate from the architectural practice of Foster + Partners, grew out of the perceived need for a permanent physical space that could house the Archive and study center, receive students and graduates, and present programs and projects."
Brooklyn’s Iconic Macy’s Store to Receive 10-Story Glass Office Addition to its Historic Architecture
Plans have been announced by Tishman Speyer for "The Wheeler", a glassy new addition above downtown Brooklyn’s iconic Macy’s store on Fulton Street. The design is a collaboration between Shimoda Design Group and Perkins Eastman, and incorporates 10 stories of dynamic office and mixed-use space that will sit atop the existing department store.
Paying homage to the renowned 19th century Brooklyn developer Andrew Wheeler, the new offices will come complete with 16 foot ceiling heights, an acre of combined outdoor terrace gardens and decks, an amenity floor, and 360,000 square feet of rentable space, all while capturing the surrounding views of Lower Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and New York harbour from its vantage point above the existing architecture.
A new housing complex in the form of 500 terraced units has been proposed by London practice Architects of Invention for the city of Birmingham, in response to its growing multicultural population. Drawing inspiration from the ancient Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Garden Hill’s formal composition is that of two staggered 25-storey towers, with private and communal gardens on each level of terraces.
With the project's swooping mass, the residences aim to offer panoramic views of Birmingham, given its central location in the Digbeth area, a 10-minute walk from the city center. Additionally, the staggered towers capture ample daylighting over the course of the day, with the south end benefitting from the morning sun and the north end in the evening.
The European Commission and Europa Nostra have unveiled the winners of the 2017 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards, which honor achievements in conservation, research, dedicated service, and education, training and awareness. Out of 202 applications from 39 countries, 29 winners have been selected.
With high hopes of contributing to the reformation of Russia’s secondary schooling system, construction has begun on Smart School, a planned 31,000 meters square educational complex in Irkutsk, Siberia, which combines multi-use educational facilities, outdoor learning spaces, and housing developments for adoptive families. Designed by Danish firm CEBRA, the project was the winning proposal for the school’s international competition back in 2015, beating 48 other firms, including MVRDV and Sou Fujimoto Architects.
“Based on the program and principles of Smart School, an architectural concept has been developed which integrates buildings, a plot of land and the surrounding urban community into a complete, diverse and activating learning environment, a ‘school park’, explain the architects. “There is school life not only in specialized premises but also in open areas inside and around buildings."