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A Greenhouse Restaurant in Iceland and a Transparent City Hall in Israel: 9 Competition-Winning Projects Submitted by the ArchDaily Community

Architectural competitions play a crucial role in developing the architectural profession and in advancing the quality of the built environment. They are also an opportunity for architects to showcase their creativity and experiment with innovative or unexpected architectural solutions, be it for real or imagines contexts. This week's curated selection of Best Unbuilt Architecture highlights different competition-winning designs submitted by the ArchDaily Community.

The Story Behind a Medieval Tower Restored to Reflect the History of an Overlooked Neighborhood in Cluj-Napoca, Romania

The skyline of Cluj-Napoca, a city located in the Transylvania region of Romania, is defined by a mosaic of historical and modern buildings, giving the city a unique and diverse appearance. Among the visible landmarks, the Firefighters’ Tower, or “Turnul Pompierilor” in Romanian, stands out for its mixture of styles, from Medieval stonework to Baroque detailing and contemporary interventions. Despite it being a relatively small monument, with a ground floor area of just under 50 square meters, the tower holds layers of history narrating the evolution of its neighborhood and city, from its beginnings during Medieval times until the present day. Left derelict in recent years, a new intervention by Vlad Sebastian Rusu B.I.A and Octav Silviu Olănescu B.I.A. aims to restore the tower’s position as a repository of local history and an attractive space for residents and visitors alike. This article explores the story behind the Firefighters’ Tower both narratively and visually, through the lens of Cosmin Dragomir.

Exploring Past Technological Innovations to Inspire the Future: The Romanian Pavilion at the 2023 Venice Biennale

The Romanian Pavilion at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia will showcase innovative, yet unusual ideas and past technological innovations as a source of inspiration for creating more enjoyable and resilient urban environments. Titled “Now, Here, There,” the project was chosen following a national competition. The curatorial team composed of Emil Ivănescu, Simina Filat, Cătălin Berescu, and Anca Păsărin suggests turning to forgotten early 20th-century inventions to open up the field of possibilities for future developments. The team also collaborates with a number of specialists and institutions, including the National Technical Museum in Bucharest, which will provide a series of original artifacts to be on display for the duration of the exhibition, from May 20 to November 26, 2023.

At Beta 2022, the “Another Breach in the Wall" Exhibition Aims to Expose Loopholes and Empower Citizens

“Another Breach in the Wall’ was the chosen theme for the main exhibition presented at Beta 2022, the Timișoara Architecture Biennial, which ran from 23 September to 23 October 2022. Curated by Daniel Tudor Munteanu and Davide Tommaso Ferrando, it aimed to explore the concept of loopholes, a term referring both to inadequacies in a set of regulations and an arrow slit in a defensive wall. The exhibition aimed to inspire action an empower citizens to appropriate the urban fabric by exposing submissive urban strategies. The projects and actions presented were selected based on their potential to create novel urban spaces by questioning the laws that regulate the use of public space.

LINIA, a New Photographic Installation Looks at the Communities Living near Borders and the Lines that Separate Them

LINIA, a project signed by VICE VERSA Association, is a photographic installation exploring and documenting the stories, and the collective mindset of the territories near one of the most fragile, yet rigid lines in today’s context: the line separating NATO from non-NATO nations. The project, initiated by Dorin Ștefan Adam and Laurian Ghinițoiu, is on display at the Timișoara train station, in Romania, and it represents one of the main exhibitions of the Timișoara 2022 Architecture Biennale, which ran from 23 September to 23 October 2022. The schedule of LINIA has been extended however to remain open to the public until April 23.

Timișoara Architecture Biennial 2022 Explores the Concept of “City as a Common Good”

The fourth edition of the Timișoara Architecture Biennial, or Beta, is focusing on the theme of “the City as Common Good”. Through a wide range of events, Beta aims to address topics that are relevant and urgent globally and explore their impact on the local built environment and its response to the needs of the communities. Taking place at various locations in the city of Timișoara, Romania, this year’s festival begins on September 23rd and ends one month later, on October 23rd.

UNStudio Wins Competition to Design a New Residential District in Iași, Romania

UNStudio has been announced as the winner of the international competition "Un Iași pentru Viitor" to design a new residential district in the historical center of Iași, Romania. For this competition, organized by Iulius company, four offices have been invited to participate, Foster + Partners, MVRDV, UNStudio, and Zaha Hadid Architects. The main challenge of the competition brief was designing a building well integrated into a complex urban environment marked by historic monuments of different ages, new archeological discoveries, and open public spaces and gardens. The winning proposal, titled „Bridging Time, Bridging Communities,” aims to offer a coherent response to the particularities of the site.

World Monuments Fund Announces 25 Endangered Heritage and Cultural Sites for 2022

The World Monuments Fund has released its 2022 World Monuments Watch list, a selection of 25 sites from across the globe that hold great cultural and heritage significance but are being faced with economic, political or natural threats. This year's selection highlights themes of global issues such as climate change, imbalanced tourism, underrepresentation, and recovery from crisis, urging for prompt preservation plans.

A Refugee Crisis Unfolding: War on Ukraine Triggers a Humanitarian Emergency

Last week, the unthinkable happened, and war has returned to Europe. As of yesterday, 520,000 people have left Ukraine in the span of only five days, triggering a rapidly-growing refugee emergency and what is considered the largest exodus of people in Europe since the Balkan wars. Unless there is an immediate end to hostilities, as many as 4 million Ukrainians are expected to leave the country in the coming days and weeks, according to the UN. Military violence and indiscriminate bombardments upon residential areas and civil facilities like hospitals and kindergartens further escalate the humanitarian crisis.

A Mountain Retreat in Romania and Modular Housing Units in Australia: 11 Unbuilt Projects by Established Firms

This week’s curated selection of Best Unbuilt Architecture highlights projects submitted by established firms. From river-side commercial centers to mixed-use towers, this article explores commercial and residential functions designed by global architecture offices that are either conceptual, have won first-prize in design competitions, or are currently being realized.