Ever present in the forum of architectural discourse, WORKac is known not only for their playful and well-developed projects, but also for their exhibits, installations and publications that all have a message: architecture has the power to change the way we live. Most recently, they’ve participated in the Chicago Architecture Biennial, re-producing famous speculative drawings by Antfarm to illustrate alternative ways of living. Even before that however, WORKac has been shifting its focus on the impact of architecture on the environment, looking at the way city planning and housing could improve to lessen our damage to the earth. Their book, 49 cities, explores the plans and strategies of its namesake to speculate on how we can begin to improve our own, current cities, while their exhibit at the MoMA PS1 event, “Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream” advertised a potential “Nature City” that could change the way we live.
WORKac has begun crowd-funding for the 3rd Edition of their book, “49 Cities”. As the title implies, the book follows examples of urbanism throughout several centuries, from the ideal Roman city to the 21st century visions of utopia. 49 Cities looks at sustainability beyond the notion of the “Green Building”, serving as a catalyst and fertilizer for discussion and ideas on the design of the City of Tomorrow. Going out of print in 2010, demand for the book has continued, and it may now finally be available once again thanks to partnerships by WORKac with Inventory Press and Project Projects.
With our annual Building of the Year Awards, over 30,000 readers narrowed down over 3,000 projects, selecting just 14 as the best examples of architecture that ArchDaily has published in the past year. The results have been celebrated and widely shared, of course, usually in the form of images of each project. But what is often forgotten in this flurry of image sharing is that every one of these 14 projects has a backstory of significance which adds to our understanding of their architectural quality.
Some of these projects are intelligent responses to pressing social issues, others are twists on a well-established typology. Others still are simply supreme examples of architectural dexterity. In order that we don't forget the tremendous amount of effort that goes into creating each of these architectural masterpieces, continue reading after the break for the 14 stories that defined this year's Building of the Year Awards.
After two weeks of nominations and voting, we are pleased to present the winners of the 2015 ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards. As a peer-based, crowdsourced architecture award, the results shown here represent the collective intelligence of 31,000 architects, filtering the best architecture from over 3,000 projects featured on ArchDaily during the past year.
The winning buildings represent a diverse group of architects, from Pritzker Prize winners such as Álvaro Siza, Herzog & de Meuron and Shigeru Ban, to up-and-coming practices such as EFFEKT and Building which have so far been less widely covered by the media. In many cases their designs may be the most visually striking, but each also approaches its context and program in a unique way to solve social, environmental or economic challenges in communities around the world. By publishing them on ArchDaily, these buildings have helped us to impart inspiration and knowledge to architects around the world, furthering our mission. So to everyone who participated by either nominating or voting for a shortlisted project, thank you for being a part of this amazing process, where the voices of architects from all over the world unite to form one strong, intelligent, forward-thinking message.
Starting December 10, the Hortitecture 01 Symposium will kickstart a (free) public lecture series in Braunschweig, Germany, centered around brainstorming synergistic strategies for integrating architecture and vegetal matter. Stefano Boeri, MVRDV and WORKac are among a list of interdisciplinary experts that will join together to offer discussions focused around the exploration of vernacular wisdom and contemporary architectural solutions to sustainable building problems.
Eyebeam, a non-profit art and technology center currently based in Manhattan, has commissioned WORKac to design its future Brooklyn home. Planned for the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Ashland Place, within a mixed-use development designed by Dattner Architects and Bernheimer Architecture that will include market-rate and subsidized housing as well as a restaurant, the 27,000 square foot cultural facility will accommodate for the organization’s world-renowned artist residency program, diverse public programming and innovative education offerings for adults and teens. According to the developer, Jonathan Rose Companies intends to break ground next year with completion slated for late 2016.
It is difficult to even imagine an architectural practice more influential than OMA. Not only has Koolhaas' practice completed high-profile buildings worldwide, but it has also been the incubator for some of the world's most famous architects, with many striking out alone after a period working under Rem. This article in the Wall Street Journal profiles some of the latest crop of "graduates", including Bjarke Ingels and Ole Scheeren, who have founded their own practices in the last decade and are now acting as some of OMA's biggest competitors. You can read the full article here.
The University of California Davis (UCD) has selected three pairings of architects and contractors to compete to design a $30-million art museum, expected to be completed in 2016. The university has decided against a traditional competition in favor of a design-build competition, requesting that each of the prospective architects - WorkAC, SO-IL (working with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, of Apple store fame), and Henning Larsen Architects - work with specific contractors in order to develop holistically conceived museum schemes. More information after the break.
The ten finalists competing in the final phase of the National Mall Design Competition are dreaming big. Proposals to restore the National Mall include flourishing lakeside gardens, contemporary cafés hovering over water, grassy new amphitheaters and underground pavilions exposed at the foot of the Washington Monument. Since the announcement of the finalists, the teams have been refining there proposals behind closed doors.
Now, the Trust for the National Mall has released the highly anticipated proposals to the public. From now until Sunday, at the Smithsonian Castle and the National Museum of American History, you can view each proposal in its entirety. If you don’t live in the D.C. area, no need to worry. Continue after the break to catch a glimpse of each submission and learn how you can help the jury decided who will revamp America’s “front yard”.
Last September, we attended MoMA’s PS 1 Open Studio event to catch a glimpse of the collaborative projects of five multidisciplinary teams focusing on how to re-think, re-organize and re-energize the concept of an American suburb in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. When we visited, the teams were in the final stages of their designs and preparing to send their visions to the Museum of Modern Art for the exhibition “Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream. One of the team’s we talked with was WORK Architecture Company about their Nature-City proposal, an extension of the suburb whichhas been designed in an abstracted way to serve as a plug in model to create cities elsewhere.
More about Nature-City after the break.
Starting today, through July 30, New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) will be running an exhibit featuring the proposals of five interdisciplinary studios that were asked to re-think and re-invent the future of housing in the midst of the foreclosure crisis that remains a threat to many Americans and their homes. Over the Summer of 2011, WORKac, MOS Architects, Visible Weather, Zago Architecture and Studio Gang Architects selected five “megaregions” across the country on which to speculate the form that housing could take: physically, socially and economically. Late this summer, ArchDaily has provided coverage while the work was in progress. Opening today, the results of those speculative efforts will be presented at the MoMA as part of an exhibit called Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream. The Open Studios exercise was organized by Barry Bergdoll, MoMA’s Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, with Reinhold Martin, Director of Columbia University’s Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture.
Read on for more on the proposals and details about the exhibit.
Earlier we brought to you WORKac‘s preliminary scheme for the transformation of Salem-Keizer, Oregon. We would now like to present the final scheme presented by Amale Andraos and Dan Wood. The project integrates elements of the city and nature across an existing 200 acre big box retail site. WORKac is one of five interdisciplinary teams participating in “MoMA’s Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream.” Each team is challenged to re-imagine struggling American cities and suburbs, seeing the current economic crisis as an opportunity to evolve.
This weekend, we had the opportunity to attend the Open Studio event at MoMA’s PS1. As we mentioned earlier, this project posed the daunting question of how to re-think, re-organize and re-energize the concept of an American suburb in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. As MoMA’s Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, Barry Bergdoll explains, “Projects will aim to challenge cultural assumptions concerning home ownership and associated settlement patterns, such as suburban sprawl, and assist the public in contemplating a potentially different future for housing and cities. The workshop and exhibition are premised on reframing the current crisis as an opportunity, an approach that is in keeping with the fundamental American ethos where challenging circumstances engender innovation and out-of-the-box thinking. It is our hope that new paradigms of architecture and regional and transportation planning become the silver lining in the crisis of home ownership.” The five multidisciplinary teams chose five different American suburbs to explore, and this Saturday, we jumped from Oregon to Florida, to Illinois, to California and New Jersey, to observe their five quite different solutions.
Check out our preview of the teams’ work-in-progress projects which will be exhibited at the MoMA this February.
As we reported last week, WORKac provided the winning entry for the invitation-only competition New Ideas for New Holland. The proposed city within a city concept is an exciting redevelopment and design of New Holland Island in St. Petersburg, Russia which takes shape in this video by Eric Lane with music by Darkstar.
Within St. Petersburg lies a triangle shaped island that has been home to a naval prison, lumberyard, a radio station, and military barracks. Off limits to the public for 300 years New Holland Island, with its unique identity of canals and existing warehouse structures, will be part of a $12 billion dollar redevelopment project. Identifying the island as one of St. Petersburg’s most significant historical sites The Architecture Foundation held an international invitation-only competition New Ideas for New Holland, which included entires from David Chipperfield Architects, MVRDV, Russia’s Studio 44, and winning proposal from WORK Architecture Company (WORKac).
Amale Andraos and Dan Wood, principals of WORKac shared, “We are very excited at the opportunity to work with the Iris Foundation and NHD on this critically important project for one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Our master plan balances preservation with innovation, respecting St Petersburg’s past while paving the way for its continued artistic development and future.”
A few years ago we had a chance to visit WORKac at their studio in New York and spoke with principals Amale Andraos and Dan Wood (be sure to take a look at our interview with them!) More on this winning proposal by WORKac along with renderings and drawings following the break.
For WORKac’s skyscraper design for the Shenzhen Metro Tower, the architects created a new a new kind of mixed density to promote a sustainable and a diverse stacked city. This vertical city holds places places of intense urban interchange that combine infrastructure, mixed uses, and public space. Located at an intersection with a horizontal crossroads of major boulevards, this vertical interchange between the underground metro, ground-level bus station, shopping podium and the offices and hotel above will essentially be linking the metro with the sky. ”We call this tower the Interchange – a vertical city that twists together natural green space with ecological systems, structural and functional efficiency with dramatic new forms and technology, while linking the underground to the sky,” added the architects.
More about the project after the break.