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Featured: The Latest Architecture and News

Botswana Innovation Hub / SHoP Architects

Ousting 17 other companies from Europe, USA and Africa, SHoP Architects was awarded first prize for their design of the Botswana Innovation Hub. The 270,000 sqf office and research building will be a testament to Botswana’s support of research, as well as her promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship.

More about the winning design after the break.

Ground Zero's Newest Restaurant

As workers labor over the newest development at Ground Zero,  moving, bolting and welding the 46,074 tons of steel can be tiresome and, well, make a person hungry.  With an allotted 30-minute lunch break, workers wait anxiously for the hoist that descends dozens of stories, making their 30 minutes often times extend to 60.  The solution – bring the lunch to the workers. The new sandwich shop, built by DCM Erectors (the same company that is putting up the steel girders and beams), is a movable pod made of stacked cargo containers which sit on either side of two tower cranes.

More images and more about the new restaurant after the break.

Pearl River Necklace / NL Architects

Dutch NL Architects newest bridge is part of their proposal to connect Hong Kong with the mainland of China. The bridge’s dynamic twisted form is a great resolution to the differences in driving styles, namely that in Hong Kong, people drive on the left side of the road and in the mainland China, they drive on the right side.

Pritzker Ceremony / SANAA

ArchDaily had the privilege of attending the Pritzker Prize ceremony last night on historic Ellis Island as Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa were honored. Regarded as the highest honor bestowed upon an architect, the Pritzker Prize’s newest laureates were continually praised throughout the evening for their keen ability to teach us that what is not present can be as important as what is present.

As past laureates, such as Renzo Piano, Frank Gehry, Thom Mayne, Richard Meier, Jean Nouvel, and Rafael Moneo looked on, Lord Palumbo, chairman of the jury, discussed Sejima’s and Nishizawa’s work style; an intensively collaborative design process which is so balanced between the two minds that it is impossible to say which one of the pair is responsible for which architectural decision within a given project.

Although the two share similar philosophies when it comes to light, form and space, their differences create “all the possibilities”. Sejima explained that within SANAA, there are actually three firms: each has his/her own individual practice, yet come together to discuss and critique their work under the international firm SANAA. While some criticize this process as inefficient and confusing, Sejima replied, with a laugh, that the organization is simply how they like to work.

Norway Pavilion for Shanghai World Expo 2010

Expo 2010 Shanghai is the first World Fair to adopt sustainable urban development as its theme. As consequence concepts which legitimise the extensive resource use and major investment of a World Fair must be promoted. The basic concept of “Norway Powered by Nature”, designed by Helen & Hard, directly engages this challenge, placing emphasis and awareness on multiple aspects of sustainability.

More images and architect’s description after the break.

Zollverein School of Management and Design / SANAA

© Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

Architects: Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA Client: Zollverein School Location: Essen, Germany Construction start: March 2005 Completed: July 2006 Project architect: Nicole Berganski Associate architects: Böll & Krabel Built area: 5.000sqm Masterplan: Rem Koolhaas, OMA Landscape: Agence Ter Photos: Iwan Baan

The Third & The Seventh / Alex Roman

We all remember how spectacular was Alex Roman’s CG Shortfilm about Louis Kahn’s Phillips Exteter Academy Library. Now, you can see Roman’s latest animated video called “The Third & The Seventh”. The video was created with 3dsmax, Vray, After Effects, and Premiere. You can also enjoy the making of after the break.

Edible Schoolyard / Work AC

Work AC, in collaboration with Edible Schoolyard NY and the Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Foundation, is designing a new schoolyard for PS216 that will offer the young New Yorkers a different learning experience. The Edible Schoolyard is designed as a series of interlinked sustainable systems where the building will produce energy and heat, collect rainwater, process compost and sort waste with an off-grid infrastructure.

More images and more about the school after the break.

AD Photographers: Fernando Guerra

In my opinion, Portugal has been producing a constant amount of high quality architecture, very well executed. Unlike countries in which there are a few “gems” and the rest doesn´t matter, the average level is very good as you can see on our Portugal section at ArchDaily, ranging from small houses to public projects.

And thanks to photographer Fernando Guerra, and his brother Sergio (FG+SG), we’ve had the chance to see it on ArchDaily with very good photos.

His website Ultimas Reportagens has become the most extensive archive on Portuguese contemporary architecture (385 projects, 20,000 images), and has been recently redesigned in order to improve the browsing experience. Also, as you can see on the interview, Fernando has worked very close with Alvaro Siza, documenting 51 of his projects so far. Most of this work can be see at the recent book “Álvaro Siza: The Function of Beauty“.

Fernando and Sergio are also into the publishing business, you can buy their books directly from their store.

Now, to the interview:

1. When and how did you start photographing architecture?

Burj Khalifa (formerly Burj Dubai) opens: the tallest building in the world

With its final height kept as a secret until the last minute, we witnessed the incredible opening of the tallest building in the world.

Sixpoints / Lyn Rice Architects

LRA‘s competition entry for a new 321,000sf, $140m Museum of Polish History campus, Sixpoints, includes extensive permanent & temporary galleries, academic & lecture mini-tower, bookstore & gift shop, indoor/outdoor cafes, and administrative/observation tower overlooking the dramatic Warszawska Scarp greenbelt.

The site is situated adjacent to the historic Ujazdow Castle in central Warsaw, and LRA articulated the six major program elements in discrete architectural elements that reduce the visible massing of the project and that each have a specific character and access. These pavilions radiate out from and define an indoor/outdoor public Forum, creating a vibrant, active museum center – a new hub of cultural and educational activity and a common point that connects all parts of the MHP. More images and full architect’s description after the break.

The Studio of Bark Design Architects

Bark Design Architects, a small Australian practice, have designed a studio for themselves that showcases their philosophy of design and provides a great space to work. The “workhouse”, an elevated steel, glass and plywood studio, “explores the notion of a mixed work / house typology.” The architects intended for the project to expresses lightness in its modular structural form, transparency, texture, and a seamless indoor to outdoor connection.

More about the studio after the break.

2010 United States Best Architecture Schools

Every year, the Greenway Group led by James Cramer (chief executive of the AIA from 1988 to 1994) assembles the architecture-schools rankings. The rankings include the top 10 undergraduate architecture schools and the top 10 graduate schools.

Also, there are different skills rankings, like “analysis and planning”, “communication”, “computer applications”, “construction methods and materials”, “design”, “research and theory” and “sustainable design practices and principles”. This may be a great tool for architecture students when looking for a school and useful also for architecture firms when deciding on who to employ.

Read the complete rankings after the break. Seen at Architectural Record.

Baton Rouge Downtown Library by Trahan Architects, update

We have received an update on the design of the Baton Rouge Downtown Library by Trahan Architects, which clarifies several aspects of the circulations, the relation with the surroundings and details of the facade.

The facade looks very interesting, and on the diagrams you can see how the exterior envelope varies along the elevation to achieve the folded paper like look. A detail of the section reveals further information about this.

All the diagrams/drawings, courtesy of Trahan Architects, after the break.

World Village of Women Sports / BIG

BIG, in collaboration with AKT, Tyréns and Transsolar, just won the competition for the World Village of Women Sports in Malmo, Sweden, a 100.000sqm complex for research, education and training of women’s sports.

Rather than a program organized around a sports arena disconnected from the city, the project becomes a town inside a town, offering rich public spaces as you can see on the renderings.

The central space of the village offers a large area for public gathering, which can host professional football matches, concerts, conferences, exhibitions and flea markets. Around this space we find a series of sloped buildings, which reduce the visual impact of the complex to the adjacent neighborhood.

Between these buildings we find a pedestrian network around the main sports hall which plugs into the surrounding street networks as well as the interior galleries of Kronprinsen, turning it into a complete ecosystem of urban life.

More images and drawings after the break.

2014 Winter Olympic Games Stadium / Populous

The global design practice Populous announced this week that they have been selected by the State Corporation ‘Olympstroy’ to design the main stadium for the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

New Amsterdam Pavilion / UNStudio

Richard Koek
Richard Koek

Yesterday afternoon, we had the pleasure of attending the opening day of Ben van Berkel’s New Amsterdam Pavilion in Peter Minuit Plaza, just outside Battery Park in Manhattan. After walking around the pavilion and watching New Yorkers’ first encounters with the new sculptural piece, we had the opportunity to study the project with Mr. van Berkel as he explained his ideas and process. The pavilion is a gift from the Netherlands to New York in honour of 400 years of friendship; yet the pavilion does not attempt to physically manifest a representation of that relationship. Rather, the pavilion can be interpreted in different ways and speaks to both the history and the future of the city.

More about our talk with van Berkel and more images after the break.

Facebook Fan Page: Top 10 websites of architecture offices

A great part of our day is spent browsing architects websites looking for new works to share with our readers, and we have noticed that some are very good, while others were such a pain to navigate…  So we decided to go and ask our community about this.

Last week, we asked our Facebook Fans for the best architecture office website they knew. We checked them out and decided the top 10, with no particular order. We looked for the best ones in terms of looks, navigation (is is easy to navigate? Is it fast? Can you go back without reloading the menu? Can you link directly to a specific project?), presentation quality, does it look up to date?, projects (can you sort them by location? by year?).

Also, you will notice that no flash website made the list. That’s because we think flash websites have some dificulties. For example, you can’t link a specific project and Google can´t index most of the contents. So we decided to create a ‘honorable mention’ list with all the flash websites we thought deserve it.

Remember to keep participating through our Facebook Fan Page! The complete list, after the break.