Olson Kundig Designs Rooftop Play Space in South Korea

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In collaboration with client Shinsegae, Olson Kundig Architects has designed a 20,000 square foot roof garden in Uijeongbu, South Korea.  Sitting atop the ninth floor of a twelve story department store, the park acts as a playground for children and a cultural center for the community.  The project follows a rising trend: placing green spaces on top of buildings in urban areas to create safe and secluded public places.  This particular garden uses entirely native species and incorporates sculptures by the artist Do-Ho Suh.

Big Ideas, Small Buildings: Some of Architecture’s Best, Tiny Projects

Suzuko Yamada, Pillar House, Tokyo, Japan. Image © Iwan Baan/TASCHEN

This post was originally published in The Architectural Review as “Size Doesn’t Matter: Big Ideas for Small Buildings.

Taschen’s latest volume draws together the architectural underdogs that, despite their minute, whimsical forms, are setting bold new trends for design.

When economies falter and construction halts, what happens to architecture? Rather than indulgent, personal projects, the need for small and perfectly formed spaces is becoming an economic necessity, pushing designers to go further with less. In their new volume Small: Architecture Now!, Taschen have drawn together the teahouses, cabins, saunas and dollhouses that set the trends for the small, sensitive and sustainable, with designers ranging from Pritzker Laureate Shigeru Ban to emerging young practices.

Presidio Trust Enlists 5 to Envision New Schemes for Crissy Field

Presidio From Southeast. Image © Robert Campbell

San Francisco’s Presidio Trust isn’t giving up. After rejecting three shortlisted schemes earlier this year that envisioned a “cultural institution of distinction” for the underdeveloped Crissy Field, the Trust has now invited five new teams to envision “kid-friendly” plans for a 13 acre portion of the site.

The five teams, which include , and Snøhetta, are expected to present their ideas publicly in just three months. A winner will not be selected, though each team will receive $25,000 for their efforts. However, the Trust will be inclined to work with one of the teams should their concepts “dazzle” the audience.

A complete list of the five teams and more project information, after the break…

9 Architects Reflect on the Homes That Most Inspired Them

The homes that inspire architects.

Where do you receive inspiration? Nalina Moses asked the question to nine contemporary residential architects, asking each to choose one residence that had left an impression on them. The following answers were first published on the ’s website in the article “Homing Instinct.”

When nine accomplished residential architects were asked to pick a house—any house—that has left the greatest impression on them as designers, most of their choices ran succinctly along the canon of American or European Modern architecture. Two—Alvar Aalto’s Villa Mairea and ’s La Maison de Verre—were even tapped twice.

If the houses these designers chose weren’t surprising, the reasons they chose them were. Rather than groundbreaking style or technologies, what they cited were the moments of comfort, excitement, and refinement they offered: the restful proportions of a bedroom, the feel of a crafted wood handrail, an ocean view unfolding beyond an outdoor stair.

AIA Names 10 Most Impressive Houses of 2014

Sol Duc Cabin; Seattle /

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected ten recipients for their 14th annual Housing . Considered to be the year’s most impressive works, the awards are designed to “recognize the best in U.S. housing design” and “promote the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource.” The winners, after the break… 

Olson Kundig Architects to Design Kirkland Museum in Downtown Denver

Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art Conceptual Sketch. Image © Olson Kundig Architects

’s Olson Kundig Architects has been tapped to design The Kirkland’s new headquarters in downtown Denver, just a block from Daniel Libeskind’s Denver Art Museum and Allied Works’ Clyfford Still Museum. The commission, which is expected to cost “tens of millions,” will double the museum’s gallery space and be used to display  ’s largest repository of art that includes a collection of 15,000 objects by Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Gehry, Andy Warhol, Eero Saarinen, Philip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe. 

Bezos Center for Innovation / Olson Kundig Architects

© Lara Swimmer

Architects: Olson Kundig Architects
Location: 860 Terry Avenue North, , WA 98109,
Architect In Charge: Alan Maskin
Project Manager: Stephen Yamada-Heidner
Project Architect: Marlene Chen
Project Staff: Simon Clews
Year: 2013
Photographs: Lara Swimmer

Material Inspiration: 10 Projects Inspired by Metal

To celebrate the launch of ArchDaily Materials, our new product catalog, we’ve rounded up 10 awesome projects from around the world that were inspired by one material: metal. Check out the projects after the break…

Wagner Education Center / Olson Kundig Architects

’ $6.6 million Wagner Education Center at The Center for Wooden Boats (CWB) in is scheduled to break ground this winter. Reminiscent of historic Northwest boatbuilding facilities, the projected LEED Gold center will serve as the “modern front door for the growing museum, Lake Union Park and the surrounding South Lake Union neighborhood.” The design will feature large windows and movable exterior panels that, consistent with Kundig’s signature use of inventive details, will grant users maximum flexibility in controlling the interior’s exposure to the elements.

Tacoma Art Museum Expansion / Olson Kundig Architects

Art Museum Expansion. Image Courtesy of Olson Kundig Architects

Construction begins in late October on the approximately 16,000 square foot new wing and building renovation of the Tacoma Art Museum. The new wing will provide a home for the  Collection of Western American Art, double the museum’s gallery space, provide greater art experiences for visitors, and increase the museum’s role in downtown Tacoma. Award-winning architects Olson Kundig Architects will design the expansion and renovation.

Olson Kundig Architects to Design New Museum of Art for WSU

The Pierre / Olson Kundig Architects © Benjamin Benschneider

Seattle-based architect Jim Olson of Olson Kundig Architects has been selected by State University to design a new Museum of Art. Over the years, Olson has complied a spectacular portfolio of stunning homes designed for art collectors worldwide. This experience has given Olson a “wealth of experience in not only crafting beautiful environments for works of art, but in working with artists to discover new opportunities for expressing their creativity,” according to Chris Bruce, director of the museum.

Shadowboxx / Olson Kundig Architects

© Tim Bies

Architects: Olson Kundig Architects
Location: Lopez Island, ,
Year: 2009
Photographs: Michael Burns, Tim Bies, Kevin Scott, Benjamin Benschneider

The Pierre / Olson Kundig Architects

© Benjamin Benschneider

Architects: Olson Kundig Architects
Location: San Juan Island, Washington,
Project Team: Tom Kundig, FAIA
Project Architect: Jon Gentry, LEED AP
Project Manager: Chris Gerrick, LEED AP
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 2,500 sqf
Photographs: Benjamin Benschneider

Foss Waterway Seaport / Olson Kundig Architects

Courtesy of

Designed by Olson Kundig Architects, the Foss Waterway Seaport, Puget Sounds premier maritime heritage, education and recreation center began undergoing historic rehabilitation and adaptive re-use. When building rehabilitation is completed, the new 45,000 square foot public facility will feature an expansive maritime heritage museum, compelling indoor program spaces (including a K-16 marine science and environmental education center), a heritage boat building shop and the “Discovery Wharf” childrens learning center. More images and architects’ description after the break.

2012 AIA Housing Awards for Architecture

Nakahouse / XTEN Architecture - Courtesy of the AIA

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected the 10 recipients of the 2012 Housing . The AIA’s Housing Program, now in its 12th year, was established to recognize the best in housing design and promote the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource.

Continue after the break to view the 2012 recipients.

Delta Shelter / Olson Kundig Architects

© & Tim Bies

Architects: Olson Kundig Architects
Location: , Washington, USA
Project Team: Tom Kundig, FAIA – design principal; Ellen Cecil – project manager; Debbie Kennedy – interior designer
Contractor: Tim Tanner
Consultants: Monte Clark Engineering – structural engineering; Turner Exhibits – shutter engineer and fabricator
Size: 1,000 sqm
Photographs: Olson Kundig Architects / Tim Bies, Benjamin Benschneider

Record Store Installation at [storefront] / Olson Kundig Architects

© Tim Bies
[storefront] Olson Kundig Architects is an experimental work place for their community collaborations, pro‐bono design work, philanthropic and volunteer work, and for design research and the development of design ideas. Since its inception this summer, [storefront] has served as an artist’s working studio, a dancer’s stage, a non‐profit’s arts education on workshop and outreach hub, a design festival’s pop‐up space, and more. Record Store is the latest and current iteration of [storefront]. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Jim Olson: Architecture for Art Exhibition

Rolling Huts / OSKA Architects

The Museum of Art at Washington State University is organizing ‘Architecture for Art,’ the first comprehensive exhibition devoted to the career of Jim Olson, one of the Northwest’s most significant architects and founder of the internationally recognized Seattle-based firm, Olson Kundig Architects.

The exhibit, which is open from now until December 10th, will serve as a retrospective for Olson’s 45-year career, highlighting his residential legacy, including his own homes-an apartment in downtown Seattly and his cabin on Puget Sound-as well as his public design work, which encompasses the Lightcatcher Museum in Bellingham, Washingtom, St. Mark’s Cathedral and the Pike and Virginia Building in Seattle, and the Noah’s Art Exhibit at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.  More information on the event after the break.