For Design and the City's sixth episode - a podcast by reSITE on how to make cities more liveable, the team interviewed Christele Harrouk, Archdaily's Managing Editor and Salim Rouhana, Senior Urban Governance and Resilience Task Team Leader at the World Bank Group. The two Beirut natives talk about the devastating explosion in August last year and share their perspectives on what rebuilding the city could look like.
I am a Bucharest-based architect with a keen interest in the programmatic complexity of the contemporary built environment, and I am passionate about architecture that enhances social capital and the quality of life. I see architectural space as a potential catalyst for social interaction, and I am inspired by the possibility of enabling human connections through design.
One of the most iconic examples of Metabolist architecture, Kisho Kurokawa's Nakagin Capsule Tower, might be headed for demolition, as the building was sold by the management association to the landowner earlier this year, as reported by Japan Forward. The tower's demise has been intensely speculated in recent years due to the structure's precarious state and incompatibility with current seismic standards.
Lehrer Architects converts several leftover plots in Los Angeles into micro-homes developments, unfolding an experimental template for tackling homelessness. Together with the Bureau of Engineering for the City of Los Angeles, the architecture firm creates an efficient yet functional design using prefabricated pallet shelters and brings character to the project through vibrant colours to shape a new sense of community and restore dignity through design.
Russian Contribution to the Venice Biennale Explores Digital Environments and the Future of Cultural Institutions
The Russian Federation Pavilion for the 2021 Venice Biennale explores the role of cultural institutions across physical and digital spaces. Titled Open, the program investigates the subject on multiple fronts, from the renovation of its physical architecture to the research into the social role of virtual environments and a collection of perspectives on the new ways of thinking in the institutional realm. The contribution builds on the Open? project, which debuted in May 2020 and continued throughout the year as a virtual platform for creatives and thinkers.
For its latest design in China, the Australian firm Koichi Takada Architects takes inspiration from Shanghai's forest-rich landscape and creates a series of architectural "trees" that branch out, forming a canopy above a new marketplace. Through its open, biophilic design, the Solar Trees Marketplace will be an extension of the outdoor public space, reinterpreting the traditional Chinese market as a community place.
Finnish Pavilion Presents the Country's History of Prefabricated Wooden Houses at the 2021 Venice Biennale
For the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, Finland's Pavilion revisits a moment in local history when a refugee crisis led to new ways of building and a reconfiguration of domestic space, which ended up influencing different places around the world. Titled New Standards, the exhibition curated by Laura Berger, Philip Tidwell and Kristo Vesikansa presents the story of Puutalo Oy, an industrial enterprise specialized in prefabricated wooden buildings that set new standards for residential design in the 20th century and created Finland's most widespread architectural export.
Swiss Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Biennale Explores the Political and Social Implications of the Country's Border
Titled Oræ -Experiences on the Border, (oræ, Latin for “borders”) the Swiss contribution to the 17th Venice Biennale explores the spatial and political dimension of the country’s border, investigating the social implications of this inhabited territory. Created by a Geneva-based team of architects and artists comprising Mounir Ayoub and Vanessa Lacaille from Laboratoire d’architecture, as well as filmmaker Fabrice Aragno and artist sculptor Pierre Szczepanski, the exhibition details a series of participative processes performed along the Swiss border that investigate the frontier and its inhabitants, revealing the poetic character of the space.
Although architecture itself is universal, the day-to-day practice still varies across the world, influenced by a wide range of factors, from the professional requirements and responsibilities of an architect, the local environment, history and building customs, to local priorities and challenges. In a hyper-connected world, where architecture seems to become more uniform, how do local contexts and characteristics shape the built environment? This article taps into the commonalities and the variations within the architecture profession.
The Fundació Enric Miralles has launched MIRALLES, a series of exhibitions and events celebrating the work of the influential Catalan architect, whose passing marked twenty years in 2020. Curated by Benedetta Tagliabue and Joan Roig i Duran, the program will unfold over the course of this year in different emblematic venues in Barcelona. The first three exhibitions of the circuit inaugurated this month showcase the multiple facets of Enric Miralles through archival materials ranging from drawings and collages to photography and models, exploring his legacy in architecture and artistic creation.
The Slovenian Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Biennale Explores the Social Infrastructure of Local Cooperative Centres
Slovenia's contribution to the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale explores interior public spaces as vital social infrastructure through the lens of the local cooperative centre typology. Titled "The Common in Community", the exhibition curated by Blaž Babnik Romaniuk, Martina Malešič, Rastko Pečar and Asta Vrečko details the architectural spaces of social interaction built after WWII in rural and suburban Slovenia, which continue to serve their purpose as local community centres to this day.
The internationally-acclaimed architecture firm Snøhetta has recently been selected to design two new art spaces in Australia and United States. Snøhetta will create the new Heysen Art Gallery in Adelaide- a rammed earth structure blending into the landscape and housing the works of renowned artists Hans and Nora Heysen. The studio was also selected to lead the expansion and re-design project for Dartmouth College Hopkins Center for the Arts, a vital creative hub for the New England Region.
Kengo Kuma and Associates, together with Bekim Ramku and OUD+ Architects, has recently been awarded first prize in the competition to redesign the Gërmia building into a concert hall and will lead the conversion of Prishtina’s architectural icon into a cultural landmark for Kosovo. The proposal preserves the existing structures and articulates the program within and around the modernist buildings. The design envisions a canopy weaving together the different volumes and creating a new layer of public space.
After an extensive renovation, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) completes the transformation of the Willis Tower observation deck and inaugurates a new interactive exhibition showcasing how architecture shaped Chicago’s identity through the city’s history. Now reopened to the public, the Skydeck is part of SOM’s ongoing design stewardship of Willis Tower, which started with the building’s conception and continued in 2009 with the addition of the Ledge.
In the second half of the 20th century, Soviet architecture has spread a common aesthetic across highly diverse environments, being an integral part in promoting the totalitarian ideology that disregarded local cultures, envisioning a unified, homogenous society. Nevertheless, in practice, the architecture proved itself susceptible to adaptations and local influences, perhaps nowhere more than in Central Asia. The article looks at the architectural heritage of a geographical area largely excluded from the Western-centric narratives on Soviet Modernism, encouraging a re-reading of a layered and nuanced urban landscape, with images by Roberto Conte and Stefano Perego.
Designed by 3LHD Architects, the new campus for the Croatian electric hypercar manufacturer Rimac brings together a wide array of programs and spaces, from production plant and offices to kindergarten, dormitory and even a sheep meadow. Located in the outskirts of Zagreb, within a natural landscape, the Rimac Campus is organized around two main volumes that follow the site’s natural topography, with several accompanying facilities tucked underneath a green roof that stretches out, meeting the surrounding landscape.
Ateliers Jean Nouvel's new mixed-use development in the Greater Paris area defines a complex vertical neighbourhood that caters to the latest changes in living, working and leisure. Located in the Gennevilliers Neighbourhood, on the banks of the river Seine, Jeuneville aims to create a sustainable and inspiring living environment, a place of synergy designed for a new generation of city dwellers and a new economy.
This year's Shanghai Biennale, themed Bodies of Water, examines the interconnectivity and interdependency of people, climates, ecosystems and technologies, exploring the idea of collectivity in the light of accelerating climate change and the current global pandemic. The 13th edition of the oldest biennial in China features works by 64 participating artists exploring the intricate web of interferences and connections in the contemporary world.
PLP revealed its design for a luxury residential tower in Singapore, featuring a lush vertical garden inspired by the city’s greenery. The biophilic design that blurs the line between indoor living areas and outdoor spaces strives to redefine metropolitan living by promoting health and wellbeing.