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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.

Honorary Professorships for Bos + van Berkel

Yesterday, we shared the appointment of Wiel Arets as the new dean of the IIT College of Architecture.   And, to continue with news in the academic realm, the UNStudio pair of Caroline Bos and Ben van Berkel have been awarded Honorary Professorships at two leading international universities, the University of Melbourne and Harvard University Graduate School of Design, respectively.

UNStudio designs the new UIC building ‘V on Shenton’ in Singapore

© UNStudio
© UNStudio

UNStudio has unveiled their design for the redevelopment of Singapore’s UIC Building (1973), located in the heart of the city’s Central Business District. The concept integrates lush sky gardens throughout a 53-story residential tower and a 23-story office tower, while distinguishing itself with a unique facade made up of five different textures that represent various programs. The climatically responsive structure is scheduled for completion in 2016. Continue after the break for the architects’ description.

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.

Six Visions for the Los Angeles Union Station Master Plan

Grimshaw / Gruen Via The Source
Grimshaw / Gruen Via The Source

Metro officials have released six conceptual visions that suggest how the historic Los Angeles Union Station could be transformed by 2050. Preliminary “Vision Boards” were released in a public forum at Union Station last week, and although they are not part of the formal evaluation process, they have ignited an immense amount of public interest in the competition. In an article posted on The Source, Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Antonio Villaraigosa described that this competition is “about preparing for the future.” As plans for the California High-Speed Rail System evolve, it is imperative that Union Station is redeveloped to meet the standards of a 21st century transportation hub. Continue after the break to view each Vision Board provided by the six well-known practices shortlisted for the competition.

UNStudio to move forward with 257 City Road

European real estate investment firm, Orion Capital Managers, teamed with development company, Groveworld, and received permission to move forward with a 30-storey tower for 257 City Road Basin in London.  Designed by UNStudio, the tower will become a new landmark residential development with waterside vistas. Aref Lahham of Orion Capital explained, “The Canal Basin is being transformed into one of London’s most stylish waterside residential quarters…With such an exciting design, 257 City Road will be a highlight of this regeneration effort and a landmark for the area.” More after the tower after the break.

Video: New Amsterdam Pavilion / UNStudio / Great Spaces

Earlier this week, we shared a great clip of a comparison video betwen Lady Gaga and SANAA’s new Museum – if the comparison has you scratching your head, be sure to check out the video!  Great Spaces has also made a short video of UNStudio’s Amsterdam Pavilion.  Upon its opening back in the summer of 2009, we had the opportunity to interview van Berkel about his inspiration for the design.   Since then, the landscape and hardscape around the pavilion have been completed, giving it a stronger presence in front of the Staten Island Ferry terminal as it seems more integrated into the swirls of the bike and pedestrian paths.  Thanks to Delaine Isaac for sharing the clip.