UK architects OS31 have recently won a competition to design RAW:almond, “the first ever outdoor dining restaurant on a frozen body of water.” The temporary restaurant has set up for business in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada for the last two years, and for 2015 the organizers held an international open competition for the winning design. This year’s design establishes itself as an expressive frame that appears to float across the ice like a frozen jetty. Learn more about the winning proposal after the break.
Barack Obama still has two years left in his presidency, but speculative planning for his Presidential Library has already begun for each of the four possible final locations. Just as the election of President Obama broke down historical precedents for who could hold office, could the design of his dedication library represent an architectural shift from previous libraries? This article by Lilah Raptopoulos from The Guardian presents four unofficial visions for the design of the new library, each of them from award-winning architects. Their bold design sketches expand our perceptions of what a presidential library could be, and explore new ways in which these libraries could serve their communities. See all four designs and read the full article from The Guardian entitled, “Obama's presidential library: four radical visions of the future from top architects.”
Joyce Hwang founded Buffalo-based firm Ants of the Prairie in 2004 as an architecture and research practice “dedicated to developing creative approaches in confronting the pleasures and horrors of our contemporary ecologies,” according to the Architectural League. In her lecture as one of winners of the Architectural League’s annual Emerging Voices awards, Hwang explains her fascination with the conflicted perceptions of urban wildlife, and discusses a series of projects that aim to incorporate diverse animal habitats into the built environment.
Scandinavian Design Group and Ctrl+N Create an Undulating Interactive Installation for Lundin Norway
Waves of golden light appear to shimmer and float from the ceiling in “Breaking the Surface” a new interactive installation from Scandinavian Design Group, ctrl+n, Abida, Pivot Product Design and Intek. The kinetic sculpture is composed of an array of acrylic plastic tubes extending through the floor of a two-story mechanized matrix, gracefully moving above and below the surface to evoke abstract images of the undersea geography. Read more about the interactive installation after the break.
How does contemporary architecture differ around the world and what causes these differences? In this video of a discussion between Rem Koolhaas and Nest C.E.O Tony Fadell at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit, Koolhaas gives some interesting insights into his experience with decision-makers around the world. Watch the video above and read Vanity Fair’s full article here to learn more about this seldom-considered factor in building design.
In this video from Zumtobel Group, Jan Wurm of Arup Deutschland GmbH and Lukas Verlage, CEO of Colt International GmbH, discuss the unique technological developments in “Solarleaf,” which recently won first prize in the Zumtobel Group Award’s Applied Innovations category. In addition to functioning as an effective shading system, this façade system uses solar panels to produce energy from algae to provide a new source of sustainable energy.
In the latest episode of his 99% Invisible podcast, Roman Mars digs into the work of lesser-known architect Tausendsassa Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser. Often cited for his colorful and curvilinear forms, his name translates to “Multi-Talented Peace-Filled Rainy Day Dark-Colored Hundred Waters.” In everything from his name to his unusual ideas put forth in manifestos, it is immediately evident that Hundertwasser was no ordinary architect. Listen to the podcast and check out some of Hundertwasser’s works after the break.
With more than 7 billion people now alive, the greatest population growth over the last century has occurred in urban areas. Now, a new series of interactive maps entitled "The Age of Megacities" and developed by software company ESRI allows us to visualize these dramatic effects and see just how this growth has shaped the geography of 10 of the world’s 28 megacities. Defined as areas with continuous urban development of over 10 million people, the number of megacities in the world is expected to increase, and while Tokyo still tops the list as the world’s largest megacity, other cities throughout Asia are quickly catching up. Find out more after the break.
Global design and consulting firm Woods Bagot has revealed its plans to collaborate with Plenary Conventions New Zealand, a consortium responsible for the development of the new Christchurch Convention Centre. The consortium also includes international infrastructure firm Plenary Group, local firms Ngai Tahu Property and Carter Group, Warren and Mahoney Architects, and environmental design consultancy Boffa Miskell. Read on after the break to see additional images and learn more about the proposed plan.
In “Elements,” an exhibition and accompanying book for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, Rem Koolhaas seeks to explore the omnipresent components of buildings that have never been intentionally articulated by architectural theory. Breaking down the history of architecture into its fundamental components, the text is divided into 15 volumes and functions as “a technophilic treatise on the state of architectural thinking in the twenty-first century.” Despite providing lessons in architectural history, does the book deliver a compelling synthesis of all its parts? In his full review of the book for Metropolis Magazine, Samuel Medina argues that Koolhaas "fails to unpack the language of his argument," resulting in a book that is "ambitious, overreaching, maddening" - much like the exhibition itself. Read the full review here.
Despite Finland’s relatively cool temperatures, climate changes have made heat waves more common in Northern Europe, and the demand for cooling buildings in summer is increasing. Instead of installing air conditioners for individual buildings, Helsinki is pioneering a vast network of underground infrastructure that pumps cold water from lakes and seas into local buildings. Beneath an unassuming park in downtown Helsinki sits a reservoir containing nearly 9 million gallons of water that is recycled and cooled by waste energy after it is used for cooling, replacing the need for air conditioning in the city and cutting carbon pollution by 80%. Read more about this undertaking in this article from Fast Co. Exist.
In this video from the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art's Lousiana Channel, three acclaimed writers - Sjón, James McBride and Daniel Kehlmann - talk about their experience of Olafur Eliasson's Indoor Riverbed at the Danish museum. Sjón describes how he felt when he saw 180 tons of rock from his home country of Iceland filling the room, saying "It was like a moment in a dream, when you enter a room and something is not right, but familiar."
In his lecture as one of winners of the Architectural League’s annual Emerging Voices awards, David Benjamin discusses his unique approach to environmental and computational design and how it manifests itself in the work of The Living, a firm he founded in 2006.
Throughout the lecture Benjamin discusses projects that are fundamentally linked to the natural environment and ideas related to sustainability. To introduce how the firm generates new ideas, Benjamin describes a method of experimentation developed in their practice called flash research: beginning with the idea that architecture could be dynamic and responsive, these are prototypes that operate under self-created constraints such as a budget of $1000 or less and a required time span of three months or less.
Read on after the break for further synopsis of the lecture.
Currently on exhibition at Barbican Art Gallery in London is Constructing Worlds, an exploration of architectural photography from the 1930s to now. The exhibition brings together over 250 rarely seen works by 18 leading photographers who have demonstrated the medium’s ability to look beyond simple documentation of the built world and reveal wider truths about society. Learn more about the exhibition after the break.
In their sixth Beyond the Building video, “Design That Heals,” MASS Design Group explores how architects can improve the lives and health of people everywhere. The video reveals how the work of MASS operates on various scales from everything to designing better furniture to influencing national policies. Their approach to humanitarian architecture begins by empowering the local community to take ownership of new projects, and in turn, bring about significant improvements in the quality of life in places that have previously been overlooked.
For example, talking about MASS Design Group's Butaro Hospital, Rwanda's Minister for Health Dr. Agnes Binagwaho says: "There's this idea of equity to put a hospital, state of the art, in the middle of nowhere. It was not nowhere for everybody, because there are 300,000 people living there." Watch the video above and get involved in the conversation on how architecture can go #beyondthebuilding.
Located close to Copenhagen, Vinge is Denmark’s newest sustainable city. The first neighborhood for the city, designed by Danish landscape architects SLA for the Municipality of Frederikssund is aptly named the Delta District. The plan takes advantage of man-made landscape features to create a unique residential community closely tied to nature. Read on after the break to learn more about the proposed plan.
Global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm HOK has recently been selected as lead designer and masterplanner for the redevelopment of Fort Regent, a former fortress turned community center in St. Helier on Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands of the English Channel.
The redevelopment of the 22-acre (9-hectares) site will make Jersey’s largest leisure and entertainment venue a premiere destination, and includes a masterplan that aims to strengthen the economic value of the site and encourage public funding for the redevelopment.
Continuing recent research trends in the ways nature can inspire new architectural methods and typologies, London-based architecture practice Tonkin Liu in collaboration with engineers at Arup, have developed a single-surface structural technique called Shell Lace Structure. The innovative technique takes advantage of advanced digital design, engineering analysis, and manufacturing tools. Read on to learn about their upcoming book and exhibition that reveals the process behind this nature-inspired material.