Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung has temporarily “pulled the plug” on Sou Fujimoto’s ambitious Taiwan Tower, saying he would rather pay a penalty for breaking the contract than spend an estimated NT$15 billion to realize the “problematic” project.
The Banyan tree-inspired tower was hoped to become the “Taiwanese version of the Eiffel Tower,” as well as a model for sustainable architecture by achieving LEED Gold with its energy producing features. Its steel superstructure, which proposed to hoist a triangular section of the Taichung Gateway Park’s greenbelt 300-meters into the air, intentionally had “no obvious form” and was to be perceived as a natural phenomenon.
The Wall Street Journal has named Sou Fujimoto the “Architecture Innovator of the Year.” The 43-year-old Japanese architect, who first gained international acclaim in 2008 with the completion of the Hokkaido Children’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, has been lauded by the magazine for his “future primitive” structures that are, as Fujimoto’s believes, creating opportunities to explore “more possibilities” for daily life.
“Fujimoto’s goal isn’t just to make spaces—the basic function of architecture—but to make people relate to spaces in new ways,” stated WSJ author Fred Bernstein.
In response to Fujimoto’s selection, WSJ has published a comprehensive article about Fujimoto’s life and work. You can read the article, here.
Over the weekend, Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto exhibited an inhabitable sculpture of stacked and suspended aluminum cubes as part of the FIAC art fair in the Parisian Jardins des Tuileries’ gardens. The installation, “Many Small Cubes” is his first project in Paris and was commissioned by the Philippe Gravier art gallery as an exploration of nomadic structures and Sou Fujimoto’s concept of bringing architecture closer to nature.
“The floating masses of Many Small Cubes creates a new experience of space, a rhythm of flickering shadows and lights like the sun filtering through leafy trees,” described Sou Fujimoto.
Ochoalcubo (Eight-Cubed) is a pioneering project in Chile that seeks to unite leading Chilean and Japanese practices with ground-breaking architecture. The collaborative enterprise was started by Eduardo Godoy, a design impresario who began working in Chile in the 1980s and who has always been a strong advocate for innovative design and architecture in the country. For a nation that boasts more than forty individual schools of architecture, the ever growing number of professionals seems to have had a relatively small impact on Chilean cities. Faced with the seemingly infinite landscape of ‘cookie-cutter housing’ in the suburbs, Godoy implemented Ochoalcubo in order to provide opportunities for young professionals, alongside fostering a new kind of appreciation for the profession itself. With a large number of architects having taken part in the first stage, including Smiljan Radic (designer of the 2014 Serpentine Pavilion), the third and fourth stage of what is certainly one of the world’s largest active architectural laboratories will be launched in the coming days.
See images from all sixteen proposals from third and fourth stages of the Ochoalcubo project, including those by SANAA, Sou Fujimoto, Kengo Kuma, Alejandro Aravena and Atelier Bow Wow, after the break.
Architects have always questioned what the cities of the future will look like. In the 1960s and 70s, one of the most prominent advocates of this field of “futurology” within architecture was historian and critic Michel Ragon. In an upcoming exhibition entitled City As A Vision, the FRAC Centre pays tribute to Ragon by presenting both historical and prospective urban concepts by architects throughout the last fifty years.
What happens when seven internationally acclaimed architects are invited to design sculptural bus stops for a tiny Austrian village of 1000 inhabitants? Collaborating with local architects and utilizing local materials to design the pavilions, Alexander Brodsky, Rintala Eggertsson, Ensamble Studio, Architecten de Vylder Vinck Taillieu, Smiljan Radic, Sou Fujimoto, and Wang Shu’s Amateur Architecture Studio worked with Austria’s Verein Kultur Krumbach to carry out the BUS:STOP project and usher in a unique new facet of culture to Krumbach. We brought you images of the design proposals earlier, and now we have photos of the incredible results: Hufton + Crow has just released a stunning new set of images showcasing the completed bus stops.
Hufton + Crow’s brilliant photography captures the inimitable originality and sensational quality of the uniquely crafted pavilions embedded within the Austrian landscape. Immerse yourself in Krumbach and check out the latest images after the break.
A year in the making, Krumbach in Austria has unveiled seven eye-catching bus shelters which have turned the world’s gaze on the tiny village. Designed by internationally renowned architects such as Wang Shu, Sou Fujimoto and Smiljan Radic, who worked in collaboration with local architects and craftsmen, the whimsical structures will put the village of 1000 residents on the map.
Curator Dietmar Steiner praised the commitment of those involved, saying “the entire project succeeded because it was supported in the most generous fashion by more than 200 people.” This included the architects, who took up their projects for little more than a free holiday in the area and the chance to engage in an unusual challenge. However, BUS:STOP was not merely a vanity project: Verena Konrad, Director of vai Vorarlberger Architektur Institut, noted that the project was important for “the successful connection of infrastructure and mobility for the rural area.”
See images of all 7 shelters after the break
French developer Christian Bourdais has enlisted eight architects to develop vacation homes on a 50-hectare nature reserve about two hours south of Barcelona. So far, so normal. However, each participant in the “Solo Houses” experiment was given what every architect dreams of (and hardly ever receives): carte blanche. The results, from the likes of Sou Fujimoto, Pezo von Ellrichshausen, and more, are stunning. See them all after the break…
UPDATE: The Washington Post reports that Japan’s minister of education, Hakubun Shimomura, has announced a plan to trim the budget proposed for the Olympic stadium (now expected to cost $3 billion) designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. While he did not reveal the details of the scale-down, he maintained that the “design concept will be kept.”
Pritzker Prize laureate Fumihiko Maki has rallied together a number of Japanese architects – including Sou Fujimoto, Toyo Ito and Kengo Kuma – to oppose the massive scale of Zaha Hadid’s competition-winning National Stadium. Planned to be Tokyo’s main venue for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games, Hadid’s 290,000 square meter stadium is accused of being “too big and too artificial” for the surrounding context.
The Miami Design District, an 18 square-block neighborhood between Miami’s downtown and South Beach, has announced that the facade of its new mixed-use retail building will be designed by Sou Fujimoto. The two-floor, 17,000 square foot structure, which will feature “an elongated series of glass fins extending from the rooftop down to the open courtyard,” will create unique pedestrian arcades covered by a “structural waterfall.”
The Miami Design District, owned by Miami Design District Associates, aims to combine commerce with high-quality design, fashion, art and architecture, and has chosen Fujimoto on the merit of his past award-winning works, from House N in Tokyo, to the Musashino Art University & Library, to – most recently – his design of the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London.
Sou Fujimoto has unveiled three design proposals for an extension to Philip Johnson’s Kunsthalle Bielefeld in Germany. Since its completion in 1968, the museum has built a reputation for hosting temporary exhibitions. However, with the construction of the new wing, Kunsthalle Bielefeld will expand their services to accommodate a contemporary art gallery.
Read on to review Sou Fujimoto’s three proposals…
AECOM has published an article detailing the way they helped engineer this year’s Serpentive Pavilion. “A typical building might have between 1-2,000 such steel supports, and it’s estimated that the Eiffel Tower has just over 18,000 steel struts, but the Serpentine’s new pavilion has over 26,000 – each one working hard to lend form and strength…The level of detail nearly brought AECOM’s computer systems to a halt. In fact a system upgrade was required to manage the information.” On AECOM’s website you can read more about the challenges of lighting and fireproofing Fujimoto’s complicated structure.
As the youngest architect ever to design the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London, it is no surprise that 41-year-old Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto has been selected as winner of the $100,000 Marcus Prize. Awarded by the Milwaukee-based Marcus Corporation Foundation, the biennial prize is dedicated to honoring emerging designers by requiring only a decade of exceptional leadership in their field.
This award doesn’t come with responsibility, as Fujimoto will be required to visit the graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning a handful of times through the next year, in addition to skyping with a class as often as once per week.
BUS:STOP Krumbach is a recently initiated project in the Bregenzerwald region of Austria that will pair seven well-known architecture offices from around the world with seven local architects and allow them to work together on the design of seven new bus shelters in the town of Krumbach. A true collaboration between tradition and innovation, national and international, BUS:STOP hopes to create a series of small and functional buildings with their own unique characters that tell not only the story of these architects, but also of this special region.
For the list of participating offices and to learn more about BUS:STOP, read on.
Dazzling viewers with its “tron-like landscape of infinite white,” as described by Guardian critic Oliver Wainwright, Sou Fujimoto’s Serpentine Pavilion in Hyde Park is arguably “one of the most radical pavilions to date.” The 350 square-meter latticed structure melts into its surrounding by fusing together the man-made and natural world, creating a lush, semi-transparent terrain in which transforms into a variety of seating, steps and side tables that complement its interior coffee bar (view more images here).
Featured here are photos of Sou Fujimoto‘s 2013 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion taken by Danica Kus. Capturing the semi-transparent, multi-purpose social space situated in London, this delicate, three-dimensional structure is enjoyed by its visitors, creating an inviting social setting.
Fujimoto, the youngest architect to accept the Serpentine Gallery’s invitation at 41, describes his work as, “…a transparent terrain that encourages people to interact with and explore the site in diverse ways. Within the pastoral context of Kensington Gardens, I envisage the vivid greenery of the surrounding plant life woven together with a constructed geometry. A new form of environment will be created, where the natural and the man-made merge; not solely architectural nor solely natural, but a unique meeting of the two.” More images by Danica Kus after the break.
With the opening of his cloud-like gridded structure in Hyde Park last week, Sou Fujimoto became the youngest architect in the pantheon of Serpentine Gallery Pavilion designers. The pavilion is an annual commission for a temporary structure, always given to a well known architect who is yet to build in the UK. In previous years the commission has been awarded to Herzog & de Meuron with Ai Weiwei (2012), Peter Zumthor (2011), Jean Nouvel (2010), SANAA (2009), stretching back to the original pavilion designed by Zaha Hadid in 2000.
With such a prolific history of star designers over the past 13 years, Fujimoto’s ethereal design has a lot to live up to. But despite these high expectations, architecture critics have been gushing over the new design. See a full round-up of opinions after the break…
The pavilion, which has already gotten the “cloud” nickname because of its shape and lightness, is generated through a three-dimensional steel grid of about 40 centimetre modules which morphs on each side. The structure is broken to allow people access as well as to generate different uses around, below and upon it.
More pictures and the architect’s statement after the break.