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REX to Design World Trade Center Performing Arts Building in New York

A commission that was originally set to be Frank Gehry's, Brooklyn-based REX has been selected to design The Performing Arts Center at New York's World Trade Center site - PACWTC. REX was chosen over finalists Henning Larsen Architects and UNStudio through a "rigorous invitational process" that focused on the practices' experience with similar projects, including REX's Dee and Chales Wyly Theater in Dallas, Seattle Public Library and Vakko Fashion Center in Istanbul.

"Throughout the architectural selection process, REX presented us with an inspired vision. Joshua [Prince-Ramus] totally blew us away with his innovative ideas about how to present cutting-edge culture, but also about how to make the PAC relate to everyone who comes to the WTC site," said PACWTC director and president Maggie Boepple.  

Sneak Peek: UNStudio’s Arnhem Station to Open to the Public Tomorrow

Underway for 19 years, the UNStudio-designed Arnhem Central Station in The Netherlands will officially open to the public tomorrow. Carried out in collaboration with engineering firm Arup, the project has been underway since 1996, when UNStudio was awarded the contract for the Arnhem Central masterplan, which includes the development of office space, shops, housing units, a new station hall, a railway platform and underpass, a car tunnel, bicycle storage and a large parking garage.

© Ronald Tilleman © Ronald Tilleman © Ronald Tilleman © Ronald Tilleman

UNStudio Proposes User-Centric Design for the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport

Following the selection of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partnersproposal for the Taiwan Taouyuan International Airport as the winning design, UNStudio has released their own proposal, which received 2nd place. Called the “most innovative design concept” and the design that the jury “wanted to experience the most” by Michael Sparks (jury member and Dean and Professor at Syracuse University), the proposal, with a design team headed by Ben Van Berkel, re-imagines the scale of the airport typology. Read more about their shortlisted entry after the break.

Interior Rendered View. Image Courtesy of UNStudio Exterior Rendered View. Image Courtesy of UNStudio Interior Rendered View. Image Courtesy of UNStudio Interior Rendered View. Image Courtesy of UNStudio

UNStudio to Lecture at LACMA

In collaboration with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Cal Poly LA Metro Program in Architecture and Urban Design, Caroline Bos, co-founder and Principal Urban Planner of UNStudio (, will speak about recent architectural, infrastructural and masterplan projects carried out by UNStudio. She will also introduce UNStudio’s Urban Unit and the approach to knowledge sharing recently adopted by the practice to enable the development, application and dissemination of practice related research.

Video Series: Six Lessons from Six Leading Dutch Designers

There's something special about architecture in The Netherlands. From MVRDV's iconic Markthal in Rotterdam to WAM's whimsically stacked Inntel Hotel in Zaandam, for years Dutch design has questioned accepted architectural norms. The country has long been considered a leader in design, catalyzed in part by The Netherlands' famous architectural trailblazer Rem Koolhaas. Since 1975 Koolhaas' Rotterdam-based firm OMA has realized dozens of unorthodox designs and has been linked with the creation of more than forty major architecture practices worldwide.

In 2000 Bart Lootsma released Superdutch, a bestselling opus on the mythology of Dutch architecture and its thought leaders, which provided a glimpse into the enduring humanist approach to design that has earned global praise for the country's architects. In the book, Lootsma profiled a handful of Dutch firms including UNStudio, West 8 and MVRDV. Fifteen years later, students from Canada's Simon Fraser University formed a collective called Groep Drie to continue the conversation. From Herman Hertzberger to Ben van Berkel, Groep Drie sat down with The Netherlands' most innovative designers to talk urbanism, spiritualism, color, and more.

Read on to find out what The Netherlands' leading architects had to say.

Foster, RSHP and UNStudio Compete to Expand Taiwan's Largest Airport

Foster + Partners, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) and UNStudio have been shortlisted in a competition to expand the Taoyuan International Airport - Taiwan's largest airport, formally known as Chiang Kai-shek International Airport. Each team will now be given £126,000 to develop their proposals for a new 640,000-square-meter Terminal 3 building which, as the Architect's Journal reports, is expected to host 45 million passengers each year. 

The full shortlist includes: 

UNStudio’s Den Bosch Theatre Design Selected Through Public Voting

UNStudio’s design for a theatre in Den Bosch, the Netherlands has been selected through a competition in which the city’s residents voted on one of two finalist designs, receiving 57% of the votes. Their proposal, Theatre on the Parade, integrates the theatre’s four volumes into its surrounding environment.

UNStudio's Ben van Berkel on Designing High-Rise for Central London

In the latest episode of Monocle's Section D, Josh Fehnert talks to Ben van Berkel, co-founder and principal of Amsterdam-based UNStudio, about London's new Caneletto residential tower. The office, which was founded in 1988, has completed projects around the world ranging from Rotterdam’s Erasmus Bridge to the Mercedes-Benz Museumin 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 UK. The tower, located at the confluence of two London districts — Islington and Shoreditch — marks a significant moment for the Dutch practice's œuvre.

UNStudio and EHA Compete to Design 's-Hertogenbosch's City Center Theater

Residents of 's-Hertogenbosch have been asked to vote on proposals by UNStudio and Ector Hoogstad Architecten to decide who will design their new City Center Theater. Though vastly different, both proposals promise to provide a timeless main theater and flexible performance hall that connects to an inviting foyer and seamlessly merges with the adjacent public plaza.

The public's vote will count towards 50 percent of the final decision. Ground breaking is expected to occur in 2017, with completion scheduled for 2020. Read on for a preview of both proposals.

Zaha Hadid's 3D Printed Flame Heels Among 5 Designs to Re-Invent the Shoe

FLAMES / Zaha Hadid. Image © United Nude
FLAMES / Zaha Hadid. Image © United Nude

Zaha Hadid, Fernando Romero, and Ben Van Berkel are making headlines alongside two renowned artists for their 3D printed reinventions of the high heel. A collaborative vision spearheaded by United Nude and 3D Systems, the highly anticipated project was unveiled yesterday at the "Re-Inventing Shoes" exhibition at Milan Design Week.

Each sculptural heel was 3D printed using SelectiveLaser Sintering in a hard Nylon and all-new soft Rubber material, making a "fully functioning" shoe. Only up to 50 pairs of each will be sold. See them all, after the break. 

Defining a More Purposeful Architecture: A Guide to Current Architectural Trends

The current state of architectural design incorporates many contemporary ideas of what defines unique geometry. With the advent of strong computer software at the early 21st century, an expected level of experimentation has overtaken our profession and our academic realms to explore purposeful architecture through various techniques, delivering meaningful buildings that each exhibit a message of cultural relevancy.

These new movements are not distinct stylistic trends, but modes of approaching concept design. They often combine with each other, or with stylistic movements, to create complete designs. Outlined within this essay are five movements, each with varying degrees of success creating purposeful buildings: Diagramism, Neo-Brutalism, Revitism, Scriptism, and Subdivisionism.

UNStudio Brings Interactive Exhibit to Munich: Motion Matters 4.0

The evening of October 6th marks the grand opening of UNStudio's new exhibit, Motion Matters 4.0 at the Architektur Galerie in Munich. The opening ceremonies will coincide with the first day of the Expo Real International Trade Fair for Property and Investment and include a welcome speech by the Dutch Consul General Peter Vermeij, followed by an introductory talk about the exhibit from UNStudio co-founder and principal Ben van Berkel.

UNStudio Selected For Fifth West Kowloon Venue

The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority has selected UNStudio, in collaboration with AD+RG, to design its fifth major arts venue, the Lyric Theatre, which will sit alongside Herzog & de Meuron's planned M+ arts venue at the Western end of the Cultural District. The 1,200-seat theatre will be Hong Kong's first world class dance performance venue for ballet, contemporary and Chinese dance. It will also temporarily serve as a venue for drama, opera and musical performances during the construction of the other venues in West Kowloon Cultural District.

Read on after the break for more on the West Kowloon Cultural District and UNStudio's appointment.

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

Ben van Berkel. Image © Inga Powilleit
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 UK.

UNStudio Wins Yongjia World Trade Center Competition in Wenzhou

Dutch architecture firm UNStudio has announced that their proposal for the Yongjia World Trade Center Competition has been selected as the winning entry. Unlike the typical world trade center—which usually represents only a concentration business or financial programs—UNStudio has incorporated recreational and cultural facilities and residential units into their plan. For the site in the riverside city of Wenzhou, located in the southeastern Zhejiang province of China, UNStudio identified the driving force behind the project as the "notion of precious objects on a tray...where the continuous podium landscape occupies the entire site and serves as a tray-like, green plain for the towers."

'Motion Matters' Exhibition / UNStudio

Currently on view until July 4th at the Aedes Gallery in Berlin, UNStudio's 'Motion Matters' Exhibition presents ten of UNStudio’s milestone projects, in addition to conveying their perspective on 25 years of architectural production, their current approach to architectural practice and the wider discourse that determines design challenges today. For many years UNStudio has been investigating  the potential of the temporary installation as an experimental testing ground for manifold architectural concerns and  it is these investigations that form the basis of their exhibit. More images and architects' description after the break.

Haus am Weinberg / UNStudio

© UNStudio. Photography by Iwan Baan.
© UNStudio. Photography by Iwan Baan.

Our friends from UNStudio shared their latest completed residential project, a villa nestled on the outskirts of Stuttgart that offers amazing vistas over country vineyards which are juxtaposed with cityscape panoramas.   The sinuous curves of Haus am Weinberg are governed by the idea of creating a “twist” which organizes the programmatic flow of the residence. Ben van Berkel explained, “The Haus am Weinberg adopts a stereovisual spatial effect, acting almost as an optical instrument, whereby not a parallax view, but a parallax experience is created. Moments of parity with the surrounding landscape from inside the house form a constant experiential connection and awareness of its immediate context.”

More after the break, including a great photography set by Iwan Baan.

Update: Union Station / EE&K + UNStudio

We recently shared six conceptual visions for the transformation of Los Angeles’ Union Station.  Upon the release of the vision boards, the team’s proposals (EE&K, a Perkins Eastman Company, in association with UNStudio; IBI Group with Foster+Partners; Grimshaw with Gruen; Moore Ruble Yudell Architects and Planners, with Ten Arquitectos and West 8; NBBJ with Ingenhoven Architects; and Renzo Piano Building Workshop with Parsons Transportation Group Inc.) sparked much public interest.  As we reported earlier, the  Metro staff will recommend a winner to the Metro board on June 28th, but in the meantime, we’d like to share a closer look at some of the proposals.

UNStudio’s proposal with EE&K imagines Union Station as a multi-modal transit hub filled with mixed use development and outdoor spaces.  The conceptual vision board explores possibilities for the station and its surrounding areas, highlighting a key integration of transportation and outdoor park spaces with its “green loop” strategy.

More about the vision board after the break.