Winners have been announced for the 2014 LEAF Awards. Spanning 14 categories, including best refurbishment of the year (pictured above), all winning projects “demonstrate buildings that are setting the benchmark for the international architectural and design community.”
See which project landed Jean Nouvel top honors, after the break.
Jean Nouvel's long-awaited 53 West 53rd Street, also known as the Tower Verre or the MoMA Tower, may finally be ready to move ahead with construction after the project's developer Hines purchased $85.3 million worth of air rights from its neighbors MoMA and the St Thomas Episcopal Church and arranged the $860 million construction loan required for the project.
Originally proposed in 2007, the design has been plagued by problems, including significant delays due to the financial crisis and a difficult approval process which resulted in the building's height being slashed from 1,250 feet to its current planned height of 1,050 feet. However, according to a statement from Hines groundbreaking on the project is now "imminent."
Jean Nouvelhas unveiled the official design for the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC). Originally inspired by the simplicity of “a single brush stroke,” the 21st century art and calligraphy museum will become the centerpiece of a new cultural district at Olympic Park, rising next to the historic axis of Beijing and symbolically connecting to the Forbidden City.
New images of the NAMOC and more from Nouvel, after the break…
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has announced the regional winners of its 2014 Best Tall Building award. Chosen from a selection of 88 nominees, the four winning buildings will go on to compete for the Best Tall Building Worldwide Award, due to be announced in December.
The winners and finalists this year show significant diversity in form, function and philosophy; normally low-rise typologies such as education, green buildings, renovations and boundary-pushing shapes have all made the list. Jeanne Gang, founder of Studio Gang and Chair of the jury, said: "The submissions this year... reflect the dawning of a global recognition that tall buildings have a critical role to play in a rapidly changing climate and urban environment."
Read on after the break for the full list of winners and finalists
JeanNouvelDesign, the studio led by French architect Jean Nouvel, presented their new collection of furniture during Paris Design Week. Among them is the Oxymore chair, designed by JeanNouvelDesign and produced by specialty group-seating manufacturer Figueras International Seating. This fetishistic chair, a result of research conducted at the Figueras Design Centre, has a singular cubic appearance that provides extreme comfort, softness. It is precisely this unapparent relationship between look and feeling that gives the seat its name—since an oxymoron means a union of contradictory elements.
The rumors are true: Jean Nouvel has been selected as the official winner of the highly acclaimed National Art Museum of China (NAMOC) competition in Beijing. According to Dezeen, the news has been confirmed by Nouvel’s adviser, Oliver Schmitt. Though little has been released about the winning design, earlier reports have described it as a “vast structure” based on the simplicity of a single line - “a single brush stroke.”
In an interview with Financial Times, Nouvel quoted the Chinese artist Shi Tao (1642-1707): “A single line is the source of everything in existence. [...] We started with calligraphy. [...] Pupils used to spend half a year just on that first line with a brush. That first line contains all of Chinese culture – painting, writing and the energy of Chi.”
Madrid-based architect Angel Borrego Cubero of Office for Strategic Spaces (OSS) has directed and produced the first documentary focused on the tense process that characterizes an architectural competition. Appropriately titled The Competition, the film captures a fascinating account on how five world renowned architects - Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, Dominique Perrault, Zaha Hadid and Norman Foster - “toil, struggle and strategize to beat the competition.” The premise is based on a nearly forgotten, 2008 competition for a new National Museum of Art of Andorra, a small Pyrenees country nestled between Spain and France, which has yet to be realized.
The Competition is expected to debut in late 2013. Updates will be available on OSS’s website and facebook.
This week, 2008 Pritzker Prize laureate Jean Nouvel is expressing his vision for the workspaces of the future at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan. Nouvel was asked by Cosmit, the Salone's parent company, to create a huge project tailored specifically to the Saloni that would document the tremendous changes that have altered living and working spaces over the past few years. Nouvel responded with a project that "frees up the office space" and is a "counter to urban segregation and the zoning of other specially dedicated workplaces." He achieves these goals in his design by rejecting cloned and enclosed spaces as well as serial repetitiveness, suggesting more cohesive formulas that will better serve the domestic and international workplaces of the future.
More from Cosmit on "Project: office for living" after the break.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum, designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel, aims at creating a welcoming world which associates lights and shadows as well as shimmers and calm places in a serene atmosphere. Its objective is to belong to its country, to its history, to its geography, avoiding being either a dull translation of this reality or a pleonasm meaning boredom and convention. It also aims at emphasizing the fascination generated by rare encounters. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Jean Nouvel and Mia Hägg presented “Meetings Lines” at the Venice Biennale. For ‘Common Ground’ they decided to show their finalist project for the Slussen Masterplan competition, an ambitious urban design project that seeks to replace much of the degenerated water and transportation infrastructure in the heart of Stockholm. The project proposes three different public spaces, designed as living links for the city, inspired by infrastructure such as the Rialto Bridge in Venice.
Four innovative towers in Canada, Qatar, Australia and Italy have named the best tall buildings in the world for 2012 by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), the international not-for-profit association. These towers demonstrate the continued renaissance of tall building development worldwide, as a record number of 88 tall buildings soaring over 200 meters were completed in 2011, compared to 32 buildings in 2005. Another 96 tall buildings are projected to compete this year, with China being the largest contributor.
The four regional winners include the Absolute Towers in Mississauga, Canada (Americas); 1 Bligh Street, Sydney (Asia and Australia); Palazzo Lombardia, Milan (Europe); and Doha Tower in Doha, Qatar (Middle East and Africa). Additionally, Al Bahar Towers in Abu Dhabi won the CTBUH’s first Innovation Award for the project’s computer sun-screen.
“The winners display remarkable creativity, as well as a respect for the environment, connection with place, and the urban surroundings,” said Richard Cook, awards committee chairman and founding partner of Cook+Fox Architects.
R4 is a territory whose urban and river-port aspects have been marked by exchanges, artists and the public. Yet it is not characterised as having any particular identity, but rather as a melting pot and a territory which is singularised by its ever-changing content.