Each summer, the French cities of Montpellier and La Grande Motte host Le Festival Des Architectures Vives (Festival of Lively Architecture). These twin festivals seek to raise awareness about architecture among the public, and to give needed exposure to the work of up-and-coming designers. In the process, they also draw attention to previously unknown places in the two cities—in Montpellier, many of the private courtyards in the city are opened to the public specifically for the festival. In La Grande Motte, the exhibition weaves its way through the city center, a site designated as “Heritage of the 20th Century” due to the prevalence of works designed by architect Jean Balladur. This year’s festivals featured a total of 18 temporary installations. Read more about the festivals, and view photos, after the break.
New York-based firm Biber Architects has unveiled its design for the US pavilion – “American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet” – at the Milan Expo 2015. An airy, barn-inspired structure, the design represents the pavilion’s food-centric theme, focusing on a farm-to-table food model and sustainable production.
Norwegian architect and Pritzker Laureate Sverre Fehn’s original drawings for the Nordic Pavilion in Venice are to be presented alongside Ferruzzi’s monochromatic photographs of the building in an exhibition at the National Museum of Architecture in Oslo. Venice: Fehn’s Nordic Pavilion documents the incredible task undertaken by Fehn who, at the age of thirty-four, won the competition to design the pavilion and subsequently won international acclaim when the building was completed in 1962.
During this year’s Architecture Biennale in Venice, homes rented through AIRBnB (although not the company itself) will host an independently curated pavilion. AIRBnB is a six-year old platform through which home owners can rent out rooms, apartments, and entire houses, allowing “the fortress of the family and the individual” to be infiltrated. The pavilion will take advantage of this “infiltration” and how it reveals “the house, the home and today’s life.” To learn more, follow @airbnbpavilion on instagram and twitter.
Paraguay means “water that flows toward the sea” in the language of the country’s indigenous Guarani people. It is no surprise, then, that Paraguay’s entry for the 2014 Venice Biennale uses water as the primary structural member. Titled “Aqua Alta,” the Paraguayan pavilion responds to the Biennale’s focus on modern fundamentals by stating that modern architecture must achieve more with less.
Today marks the fifth anniversary of the opening of OMA’s Prada Transformer. This fantastical temporary structure, erected in 2009 adjacent to Gyeonghui Palace in Seoul, Korea, is one of Rem Koolhaas’ most popular projects to date. Composed of a stark white membrane stretched across four steel frame shapes, The Transformer was often referred to as an “anti-blob” –a hexagon, a rectangle, a cross, and a circle leaning against each other to create a tetrahedron-like object reminiscent of a circus tent. The name Transformer came from the idea that any one of the pavilion’s sides could serve as the building’s floor, allowing for four unique spaces in one building devoted to exhibitions of modern art, fashion and design.
The Prada Transformer played host to four such events, being lifted up and repositioned onto a different face each time via crane. The first was a garment exhibition, displayed using the hexagonal floor plan. The second, a film festival that took place on the rectangular floor plan. A fashion show was staged using the Transformer’s circular floor plan, and an art installation was shown using the cruciform floor plan. As patron Miuccia Prada stated in an interview with The New York Times, “In my mind they [the arts] may be mixed but I want to keep them separate… So the Transformer concept was not for a generic space, but to be very specific, with all things separate in one building.”
We asked OMA’s Vincent McIlduff to tell us more about this project. See his answers, a photo gallery and a time-lapse video of the transformation after the break!
The design/buildLAB at the Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design has recently released a new documentary by Leon Gerskovic titled Reality Check, a film that chronicles the journey of 16 students as they undergo the design and construction of their Masonic Amphitheatre in Clifton Forge, Virginia. The project was a complete redevelopment of a post-industrial brownfield into a public park and performance space; the video relates how students collaborated with local community and industry experts to bring meaningful architecture to this struggling American rail town.
Each December, Design Miami/ commissions early-career architects to build a designed environment for the fair’s entrance as part of its biannual Design Commissions program. This year’s winning proposal, dubbed “Tent Pile,” was designed by the New York-based architectural practice formlessfinder. Its design harnesses the properties of sand and aluminum to create shade, seating, cool air and a space to play for Miami‘s public.
Synthesis Design + Architecture (SDA), the forward-thinking Los Angeles-based architecture firm led by architect and USC professor, Alvin Huang, has recently won an international competition to design a rapidly deployable pavilion to showcase and charge Volvo’s new plug-in electric hybrid, the V60.
Volvo’s “Switch to Pure Volvo” competition, organized by international architecture magazine THE PLAN, called for an innovative and original design for a temporary pavilion that expressed a “strong and creative identity” to showcase the car at fairs and open air presentations in Italian squares. SDA’s approach was to use the car’s design as a flexible and sustainable vehicle as the basis to reimagine the typical trade show pavilion.
“Our research integrates computational form-finding strategies with biologically inspired fabrication“, claims the ‘about’ page of MIT Media Lab’s Mediated Matter Group. Though this may sound like run-of-the-mill architectural boasting, you are unlikely to find any more exemplary combination of scientific research, digital design and biomimetic construction than their recently completed Silk Pavilion.
Saturday in Marseille, France, pedestrians and city officials joined Foster + Partners to celebrate the completion of the Vieux Port Pavilion at the mouth of Marseille’s World Heritage-listed harbor. Minimal, yet effective, this “discreet” intervention provides a new sheltered events space on the eastern edge of the port. With six slender pillars supporting its razor-thin profile, the polished 46 by 22 meter stainless steel canopy amplifies and reflects the surrounding movement of the harbor, creating a spectacle that encourages pedestrians to linger.
More on Foster’s Vieux Port Pavilion after the break…
Design: CoOB Architects (Office Jarrik Ouburg + Paulien Bremmer Architects)
Location: Zuid-Holland, The Netherlands
Client: Duivenvoorde Castle, Voorschoten (NL)
Artists: Rineke Dijkstra, Koos Breukel, Hendrik Kerstens, Mirjana Vrbaski, Amie Dicke and others.
Project year: 2010
Photographs: CoOB Architects
Get It Louder, an acclaimed biannual media and arts festival sponsored by Modern Media of China, features a series of lectures, screenings and exhibitions by over one hundred Chinese and foreign designers, artists, writers and filmmakers. Organized by an international team including Chinese curator and writer Ou Ning and design writer Aric Chen, this year’s theme “SHARISM” focuses on the relationship between public and private realms in the digital age. SO-IL was commissioned to design Get It Louder’s main pavilion, which serves as a central hub for the event and houses many of the festival’s activities.
UNStudio shared their new pavilion for the 29th Art Biennale in Sao Paulo, Brazil with us. The project is intended to encourage interaction between the participants and visitors by creating a place for display, discussion, and debate. An artistic expression that also functions programmatically, the pavilion embodies the dynamic geometry and spatial qualities common in the firm’s work (to compare, be sure to check out UNStudio’s New Amsterdam Pavilon or the Burnham Pavilion previously featured on AD).
More about the pavilion, including photographs by Ding Musa after the break.
New York’s Sukkah City competition was a great success, as both the winning entries and the other proposals developed creative and thoughtful spaces. Check out Studiometrico’s proposal for the competition which is more of a do-it-yourself sukkah. People can build their own space using a triangular module that folds over itself to provide a sheltered condition. Interested in the actual construction of the sukkah, the studio built a 1:1 scale prototype to test its feasibility and decided to present the idea to the Citizens of New York by telling the story of how it was built once upon a time, in a hypothetical place, by three imaginary boys.
More images and information about the sukkah, including a short video after the break.