Kjellander + Sjöberg’s Swedish Urban Block to Increase “Civic Dialogue”

Courtesy of Kjellander + Sjöberg

Kiruna, Sweden’s northernmost town, made international headlines last year when it was announced that the entire town would be relocated two miles to the east due to mining operations by the state-controlled company. Now, the first phase of the Kiruna square redevelopment is set to commence with a design by Stockholm-based Kjellander + Sjöberg for an urban block of housing units around the town’s central square.

Kjellander + Sjöberg, along with development group Skanska, won a competition held by Municipality for the square’s regeneration. Under the moniker Fjällbäcken, the urban block responds to the idiosyncratic subarctic climate in a manner the architects describe as “sustainable in the long term.” When realized, the 2000m2 housing development will have 90 apartments and feature a host of sustainable solutions. Onsite rainwater management facilities are incorporated into the project’s planning, alongside provisions for green space and ecofriendly heating and cooling systems.

Learn more about the project and view selected images after the break.

New York to Complete First Prefabricated “Micro-Apartments” this Year

With floor areas clocking in at as little as 260 square feet, My Micro NY housing units by nARCHITECTS are the latest singles-oriented housing option to enter the New York rental market. The modular units will be fabricated at the Brooklyn Navy Yard for stacking in Kips Bay this spring, and are projected to welcome their first inhabitants by the end of 2015.

Current city zoning and density rules set a minimum apartment floor area of 400 square feet, yet this regulation was waived for My Micro NY in the interests of creating more affordable housing. An inflated rental market has long posed issues for those seeking housing in the city, particularly singles and students with tight budgets. My Micro NY will create 9 stories and 55 individual , whose features include 9 and 10 foot ceiling heights, Juliette balconies, and concealed storage space.

A look inside, after the break. 

Make It Right Releases Six Single-Family House Designs for Manheim Park Community

Home design by DRAW. Image Courtesy of Make It Right

Make It Right, the organization formed by that builds affordable and sustainable houses for people in need, has released a series of new single-family home designs by local architects to expand their efforts in Kansas City, Missouri. The new homes will become part of Make it Right’s established work in Manheim Park, complementing the affordable housing and community complex opened by the organization in 2013.

View the designs, after the break.

Creating A ‘Domesday Book’ Of Post-War Tower Blocks

Hulme Crescents, Manchester (c.1971)

The Edinburgh College of Art have announced that they will be creating a ‘Domesday Book’ catalogue of every multistory post-war project in the UK. The project – called Tower Blocks – Our Blocks! - will contain over 3,500 publicly accessible photographs from the 1980s, documented “at a time when post-1945 high-rise housing is continuously under threat threat across the [UK].” All images will be made searchable in a digital archive.

According to Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, “as the high rise towers that have dominated many towns’ and city’s skylines begin to disappear, it is important for us to capture this heritage and give voice to the experiences of those who live in these flats and communities. The Heritage Lottery Fund is delighted to be able to help make this happen.”

The project is set to be completed by 2017.

Story via AJ

HHbR Develop A “Palladian Model” For Contemporary Affordable Housing

Courtesy of HHbR

based practice Henley Halebrown Rorrison’s (HHbR) have unveiled a scheme for affordable housing based on a model inspired by ’s Villa Capra (1566-1571) near Vicenza. The Pocket Rotunda model hinges around their developer’s ambition to offer new two-bedroom accommodation that will help open up home ownership to couples with young children, joint buyers, and single parent families who earn too much to qualify for social housing but are, nevertheless, priced out of the UK market.

Video: Alison And Peter Smithson On Housing

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In 1970 the followed architects Alison and Peter Smithson through the construction of their seminal housing project, Robin Hood Gardens (). The impact of their architecture continues to resonate well into the 21st century, most recently in the British Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale. Robin Hood Gardens was demolished in 2013, bringing an end to the Smithson’s utopian vision. Listen to Alison Smithson explain the European Housing Condition (as the vision stood in 1970), the state of British infrastructure as it was, and hear Peter Smithson discuss the impetus for their most famous collective housing project.

Zaha Hadid Unveils ‘Blossoming’ Towers for Brisbane Riverfront Development

Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid Architects have unveiled their latest design, an urban riverfront development in Brisbane. The project consists of three 22 and 25-story sculptural residential towers containing 486 and eight riverfront villas, along with car parking spaces and 7,300 square meters of landscaped public parklands. According to property developer Sunland Group’s Managing Director, Sahba Abedian, Grace on Coronation is slated to reinvigorate a historic site.

Island with a View: Dutch Kitchen Incorporates Elegant Aquarium

Courtesy of Rene van Dongen

Amsterdam-based design firm Kolenik Eco Chic Design have released designs of their unique Ocean Kitchen, a transformative new take on residential space. The contemporary minimalist kitchen offers a moment of serenity to the viewer through the inclusion of a vast aquarium beneath the island’s countertop. Positioned as the architectural centerpiece of the space, the island in Ocean Kitchen gracefully animates the surrounding kitchen.

Immerse yourself in photos of Ocean Kitchen after the break.

Will Alsop Designs Apartment Tower on Stilts for London’s South Bank

Courtesy of

Led by Will Alsop, aLL Design’s funky apartment tower will soon add a whole lot of interest to London’s south bank. The tubular building, which tapers at the bottom and top, will rise above an existing four-storey building on purple stilts and be adorned with corten steel cladding, brightly colored balconies, and irregular rounded windows. Each apartment will include two balconies overlooking the River Thames and the neighboring heliport – bringing about the name “Heliport Heights.” To learn more about the lively design, keep reading after the break.

Inside SeARCH’s Utopian Hobbit Hole at the Architecture Biennale Rotterdam

Courtesy of Ronald Tilleman

Windowless, sparse, and connected to nature — this is how architecture and urban design firm SeARCH envisions the home of the future. In their new project “Yourtopia,” they challenge stereotypical ideas about what a home should be and demonstrate an awareness about our relationship with our environment. This article originally published on Metropolis Magazine investigates the home’s minimal design and construction process.

Our homes shield us from distractions so that we may cultivate our own interests and, in the process, sense of selves. Dutch architecture firm SeARCH has taken this idea to the extreme with “Yourtopia”, a temporary refuge that radically reconsiders what a home can be.

More on Yourtopia’s radical living environment after the break

Video: Artist Animates 5 Iconic Modern Homes

Five of history’s most iconic modern houses are re-created as illustrations in this two-minute video created by Matteo Muci. Set to the tune of cleverly timed, light-hearted music, the animation constructs the houses piece-by-piece on playful pastel backgrounds. The five homes featured in the short but sweet video are Le Courbusier’s Villa Savoye, Gerrit Rietveld’s Rietveld Schröder House, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, ’s Glass House and ’s Fallingwater.

Four Design Firms’ Takes on Multigenerational Living

Namly House by CHANG Architects, A House for Multi-Generation Living. Image © Albert Lim K.S.

Multigenerational homes are nothing new. But with life expectancy increasing, young people staying longer in their childhood homes, and Baby Boomers aging, children, parents, and grandparents under the same roof might soon become the norm. To explore this possibility, Metropolis Magazine asked four design firms to consider what multigenerational living might look like in the future. Check out each unique take on sharing resources and space by reading the article here.

Tammo Prinz Architects Propose Platonian Tower in Lima

Courtesy of Tammo Prinz Architects

Tammo Prinz’s competition entry for a new tower in Lima, , proposes the use of platonian bodies to generate dramatic interior and exterior spaces.

The concrete dodekaeder structure drives the form of the design whilst smaller cubic shapes are strategically placed within this to generate spaces for everyday living. The relationship between these two spatial qualities, of interior and exterior, reveals a series of unique spaces that can be used as an extension of the interior, or as a balcony-like outdoors area.

AD Interviews: Ben van Berkel, UNStudio on London’s Canaletto Tower

Ben van Berkel. Image © Inga Powilleit

ArchDaily recently spoke to Ben van Berkel, co-founder and principal architect at UNStudio, an international network of specialists in architecture, urban development and infrastructure based in the Netherlands. The office, which was founded in 1988, has completed projects around the world ranging from Rotterdam’s Erasmus Bridge to the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. With over 81 built projects, and 54 currently in progress (including Raffles City in Hangzhou and Scotts Tower in Singapore), London’s Canaletto Tower (which is due to be completed in 2015) marks the practice’s first major project in the .

Patio House / Undurraga Devés Arquitectos

© Cristóbal Palma

Architects: Undurraga Devés Arquitectos
Location: , Santiago Metropolitan Region,
Architect In Charge: Cristian Undurraga
Design Team: Orlando Etcheberrigaray, Eduardo Castillo, Cristian Larrain
Landscape Architect: Juan Grimm
Area: 460.0 sqm
Year: 2007
Photographs: Cristóbal Palma

House in Rubí / BETA OFFICE ARCHITECTS

© Miquel Coll Molas

Architects: BETA OFFICE ARCHITECTS
Location: Rubi, Barcelona,
Architects In Charge: Raúl Bañón Tomás, Brian Ramón Aguilar, Xavi Freire Cano
Area: 511.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Miquel Coll Molas

AD Classics: Villa dall’Ava / OMA

© Peter Aaron/OTTO

Much of the spatial composition of the Villa dall’Ava was influenced by its site, in a garden on a hill. It was completed in 1991 in the residential area of , overlooking . The clients selected OMA to design a house with two distinct apartments—one for themselves and another for their daughter—and requested a swimming pool on the roof with a view of the Eiffel Tower.

Solar Decathlon 2013: Team Alberta Designs Modular Home for Remote Locations

Render. Image Courtesy of

Borealis, Team Alberta’s entry to the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013, addresses the housing needs of professionals working in remote locations. This modular house was designed in consideration of severe housing shortages and high housing costs driven by booming industries in northern Canada. Named after the iconic Northern Lights and lush Boreal forest, Borealis is designed to be sustainable and ecologically sensitive.