World Photo Day: Hertha Hurnaus by Ulla Hell

Paramount Alma / . Image © Hertha Hurnaus

In honor of World Photo Day (August 19th) ArchDaily wanted to thank the photographers who bring to life the projects that we publish every day. So we asked architects to weigh in on the work of some of our most-appreciated architecture photographers. Here, Ulla Hell of Plasma Studio writes on behalf of Hertha Hurnaus.

PLASMA Studio Breaks Ground on Chinese Eco-Restaurant

Courtesy of

PLASMA Studio‘s latest project in Xixian City’s Eco-Park isn’t just a restaurant – it’s also a greenhouse, hydroponic garden, and indoor playground. The project, which broke ground this past July, will twist and fold across the green landscape. Future dinners will enjoy meals featuring local ingredients and in-house produce (which they will also have the opportunity to pick themselves), echoing the sustainable approach taken by the rest of the park. Keep reading after the break to learn more about the interrelated, mixed-use program.

Schäfer Roofscape / Plasma Studio

© Michael Pezzei

Architects: Plasma Studio
Location: 39038 Bolzano, Italy
Architect In Charge: Eva Castro, Holger Kehne, Ulla Hell
Design Team: Peter Pichler
Area: 844.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Michael Pezzei

AD Round Up: Women Architects Part II

Paramount Alma / . Image © Hertha Hurnaus

In honor of International Women’s Day, we’ve once again rounded up some stunning architecture designed by female architects (In case you missed Part 1, featuring work by Zaha Hadid, Jeanne Gang, and more, click here).

This time around, we’re featuring Paramount Alma, an unusual renovation featuring a stunning timber skin, by Plasma Studio- an avant-garde studio in which two of the four partners ( and Ulla Hell) are female; Lullaby Factory, a playful intervention for a Children’s Hospital designed by Studio Weave, co-directed by Maria Smith; from Ábaton Arquitectura, co-directed by Camino Alonso, Portable House, a 27 square meter home for two that can be assembled in only one day; from C+S Architects (co-founded by Maria Alessandra Segantini), the award-winning Law Court Offices in Venice, a building with a simple & yet powerful archetypical shape; and by Piuarch, the Italian studio co-founded by Monica Tricario, Bentini Headquarters, whose distinctive street-side façade features rectangular components of varying dimensions. Enjoy!

PLASMA Studio and Groundlab Win Competition to Relocate and Enhance Italian Railway Station

Render. Image Courtesy of

PLASMA Studio, in collaboration with Groundlab, won first prize in an international competition to masterplan the relocation of the Innichen/San Candido train station in North . The project, now under construction, forms a new “Mobile Centre” that integrates a new public plaza, skate park, youth centre and more into a streamlined rail station that enhances connectivity throughout the town.

More information, after the break…

Xi’an Greenhouse / Plasma Studio

Courtesy of

Architects: Plasma Studio
Location: Xi’an, Shaanxi,
Architect In Charge: Eva Castro, Holger Kehne, Ulla Hell
Area: 4000.0 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of Plasma Studio

Cube House / Plasma Studio

© Cristobal Palma

Architects: Plasma Studio
Location: 39030 Sexten, South Tyrol,
Architect In Charge: Eva Castro, Holger Kehne, Ulla Hell
Collaborators: Angelika Mair, David Preindl, Daniela Walder
Structural Engineering: Ingenieurgemeinschaft Team 4
Service Engineering: Ekon Bruneck
Area: 220.0 sqm
Year: 2008
Photographs: Cristobal Palma

Paramount Alma / Plasma Studio

© Hertha Hurnaus

Architects: Plasma Studio
Location: 39030 Sexten, South Tyrol, Italy
Architect In Charge: Ulla Hell, , Holger Kehne
Project Architect: Peter Pichler
Area: 420.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Hertha Hurnaus

Dolomitenblick / PLASMA Studio

© Hertha Hurnaus / hurnaus.com

Architects: PLASMA Studio
Location: Sesto, South Tyrol,
Project Architect: David Preindl
Design Team: Nicoletta Gerevini, Peter Pichler, Daniela Walder, Maya Shopova, Libny Pacheco
Area: 1,050 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Hertha Hurnaus / hurnaus.com

“Processing Environments” Symposium

The Processing Environments symposium is organized by the Architectural Association in collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum and sponsored by the Municipality and the Institut Français in . It will take place next 19th June at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

The symposium is directed by Maider Llaguno and and some of the invited speakers are Alejandro Zaera-Polo (ex FOA, currently AZPA), Juan Herreros, Iñaki Begisitain, Eva Castro & Alfredo Ramirez (Groundlab), Philippe Rahm, and Efrén García Grinda & Cristina Díaz Moreno.

The admission is free.

More information and the complete program after the break

Exclusive Interview: Plasma Studio on Xi’an International Horticultural Expo

©

In conjunction with our recent coverage of the Xi’an International Horticultural Expo, we would like to share Aidan Flaherty’s with Holger Kehne, co-principle of Plasma Studio and GroundLabPlasma Studio, GroundLab and LAUR Studio worked together to win this international competition with a 37-hectare master plan for the International Horticultural Expo, a 5,000SM Exhibition Hall, a 4,000SM Greenhouse, and a 3,500SM Gate Building. The project initiated the re-development of a large area between the airport and the center of the ancient city of Xi’an – known as the home of the Terracotta Army of the Qin Dynasty.

The Expo opened in the spring of 2011 and welcomed more than 16 million visitors before it closed in the fall of 2011. The Expo park will remain as a new contemporary addition to the Xi’an region. The particularities of this legacy plan are currently underway. Holger Kehne discusses his firms’ unique design methodologies and multidisciplinary approach while working on this large-scale project. Read the interview after the break.

Update: Xi’an International Horticultural Expo 2011

© Aidan Flaherty

Throughout the past year we have been keeping you updated on the events leading up to the commencement of the Xi’an International Horticultural Expo which ran from May through October 2011 and welcomed over 15 million visitors during its 178-day run. As the largest and best attended international horticultural event of 2011, the Expo offered architects and landscape architects the unique opportunity to design for a traditional event model which became the precedent for the world’s fairs of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. To define the expo’s primary experience, the organizers held an international competition, selecting the “Flowing Gardens” project by London-based design firm Plasma Studio and GroundLab. Developed in collaboration with the local landscape practice , “Flowing Gardens” is comprised of a 37 hectare master plan, including a 5,000SM Creativity Pavilion, a 4,000SM Greenhouse, a 3,500SM Gate Building and various landscapes which run along an extended spine that delineates the site. The project initiated the redevelopment of a large area of Xi’an between the airport and the city’s ancient center, famous as the home of the Terracotta Army of the Qin Dynasty. More after the break.

VIDEO: Xian Expo / Plasma Studio + Groundlab, by Cristobal Palma

Photographer Cristobal Palma shared with us the extended version of his video of the Xi’an Expo, a project by Plasma Studio that we saw during several stages, from the award winning entry in 2009, to conceptual design and opening, when it was visited by more than 200,000 people on the first weekend.

The Expo embodies the idea of transformation as the site was formerly a sandpit where the water was severely degraded during the 1980s.  Efforts over the past two decades have restored the ecosystem and now the Expo is able to demonstrate what can be accomplished through the use of the most advanced technology, ideas, and materials, as seen on the video. As we reported earlier, the 37 ha complex includes three buildings that are interconnected with a dynamic landscape of unfolding paths and networks of water, circulation and foliage.

More videos by Cristobal Palma at ArchDaily:

Architecture City Guide: Madrid

This week, with the help of our readers, our Architecture City Guide is headed to Madrid. As the third largest city in the European Union, Madrid is the economic and political capital of Spain. The streets and neighborhoods for the most part remains historic, but the city is punctuated with moments of engaging and interesting contemporary architecture. For those who have followed our city guides, you will have noticed that this is our second stop in Spain. That said, Madrid is distinctly different from Barcelona. The differences between the two are manifested in their architecture, both old and new. Our lists only cover relatively recent projects, but a quick glance at the two will give you a sense of the differing cultures and lifestyles (Barcelona’s City Guide). Both lists are far from complete and we are looking to add to them in the near future. In the meantime add more of your favorites to the comment section below.

To check out other cities visit our world map or our Architecture City Guide  page.

The Architecture City Guide: Madrid list and corresponding map after the break.

Update: Xi’an Expo 2011 Officially Opens

and Huashang Newspaper

The Xi’an Expo 2011 has officially opened and, as expected, the international horticultural event has attracted a staggering 200,000 in just the first weekend! We’ve been covering the Expo beginning with Plasma Studio + ’s conceptual design, and we have been featuring updates about the project over the course of the last few months.  The Expo embodies the idea of transformation as the site was formerly a sandpit where the water was severely degraded during the 1980s.   Efforts over the past two decades have restored the ecosystem and now the Expo is able to demonstrate what can be accomplished through the use of the most advanced technology, ideas, and materials.  As we reported earlier, the 37 ha complex includes three buildings that are interconnected with a dynamic landscape of unfolding paths and networks of water, circulation and foliage.

More images after the break.

Update: Xi’an International Horticultural Expo 2011

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With only 16 days until opening day, the city of Xi’an, is preparing for one of the largest international horticultural events of the year. Unified under the exhibition’s theme of “Eternal Peace and Harmony between Nature and Mankind,” the 418 hectares of well crafted landscape and landmark architecture are rooted in cultural symbolism and designed to illustrate the city’s promising future. Twelve million guests are expected to visit Xi’an and experience the exposition’s new perspective about the harmonious coexistence between human and nature, city and nature.

More about the architecture of the exposition after the break.

Is China Architects’ New Dubai?

West Kowloon Cultural District Theater Village from Water © OMA

The latest buzz from China is all about the West Kowloon Cultural District, a large performing arts venue incorporating studios, theaters, performance venues, and cultural and public spaces.   We’ve brought you coverage on OMA’s proposal as well as Foster+Partners‘ and Rocco Design Architects‘ schemes, and as the master plan develops, we’ll be sure to bring you the latest updates.  As CNN reported, China has become “an increasingly attractive territory for leading architects.”  And, we couldn’t agree more.  Over the past few months, we’ve seen great projects from Holl emerging in China, such as his Horizontal Skyscraper in Shenzhen, as well as Hadid’s Guangzhou Opera House,  OMA’S CCTV Tower, Vector Architects + CCDIP’s Tianjin Elementary School, and, not to mention,  ’s Flowing Gardens.  Plus, in terms of experimentation, China’s recent Expo 2010 offered the perfect opportunity for architects across the world to demonstrate their newest concepts about space, materials and performance.  This explosion of architecture in the West has brought with it a sense of fresh experimentation of form and analysis of programmatic elements and organization.  Together, the buildings are forming a rich and diverse vocabulary of architecture sprinkled throughout China.   Koolhaas commented to CNN, “I think that any architect today has to be interested in China.”

What do you think of this growing “architectural playground”?

Plasma Studio Nodal Landscapes Exhibition

In physics the term ‘plasma’ describes a particular state of matter in which energy is readily conducted through a material. Folding space into space, Plasma Studio draw landscapes into buildings, streets into facades, inside to outside.

The exhibition at the DAZ presents their characteristic approach within a jump in scale; from built projects in Europe to recent work-in-progress planning in . It is the start of FORMULA_X, the new DAZ exhibitions series, dedicated to presenting architectural positions of the up-and-coming generation. In a triptych, three emerging offices will show their sustainable ideas and individual ways of working within the overlying theme of ‘Visions’.

The exhibition will open October 2 till November 14. For more information click here.