Courthouse architecture is defined by civic and monumental designs. These projects establish contemporary expressions that move beyond vernacular traditions to explore modern aesthetics and new forma approaches. As prominent landmarks in a city, courthouses reflect the beliefs, priorities, and aspirations of a people. They are also a meeting ground, cultural hub, and social gathering place.
Mecanoo Architecten: The Latest Architecture and News
The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design have presented Netherlands-based architecture firm Mecanoo with Europe's highest award of architecture for the year 2021. The jury awarded the firm for their human-centered approach that prioritizes the "enrichment of human life through a lens of generosity and freedom of use", benefiting the users socially, ecologically and economically.
Dutch design practice Mecanoo has shared initials details of the new Macau Central Library as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Designed for the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macau SAR Government, the project will be located by the Tap Seac square on the site of the former Hotel Estoril, the first casino resort in Macau. Activating the square and public realm, the library will encourage visitors to uncover and utilize this new public amenity.
Dutch design practice Mecanoo has created a proposal to reimagine a railway zone in Dordrecht, Holland's oldest city. As the first place in the country to receive city rights in 1220, Dordrecht has an extensive history at the heart of the Dutch Delta. The vision for Spoorzone Dordrecht outlines a future vision for the city in 2040. It explores the urban possibilities of accessibility, climate adaptation, socio-economic developments and housing.
Architecture and design practice Mecanoo has created a new vision for an iconic Maritime Center along the Rijnhaven in Rotterdam. Located in the middle of the water, the project includes an undulating, organic building form made to contrast with the industrial nature of the surrounding port. Partly underwater, the design features a triple helix and is made as a place for maritime entrepreneurs, science and culture.
A new masterplan and building scheme has been designed for the Codrico Factory and Rijnhaven in Rotterdam. With the overall plan created by Powerhouse Company in collaboration with developer RED Company, the proposal includes a series of buildings by Mecanoo, SHoP Architects, Office Winhov and Crimson Architectural Historians. Called the "Codrico Terrain", the project aims to celebrate local industrial heritage and embrace change for the future.
Dutch design practice Mecanoo has released a new documentary exploring the modernization of Washington DC’s Martin Luther King, Jr central library. Called "A Legacy of Mies and King", the documentary explores both architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's vision in the sixties, as well as the recent effort to create a modern library that reflects a focus on people while celebrating the exchange of knowledge, ideas and culture.
Dutch design practice Mecanoo has won the competition to design a new tower in Amsterdam. Dubbed Brink Tower, the project will rise 28 floors and accommodate nearly 400 new residents. The proposal is made to address a housing shortage for a range of tenants, including students and researchers. The new tower aims to become a green, sustainable and vibrant vertical neighborhood in the city.
Dutch design practice Mecanoo has unveiled a proposal for a new wing of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Taking aim at the structure's back of house and organization, the project is made to create clear circulation and connections throughout. In addition, the project is part of a larger renovation of the existing Museum Garden as it bring together the wings of the architects Van der Steur and Bodon as part of the collection.
Mecanoo has designed a new masterplan for the Marktkwartier neighborhood in Amsterdam. The plan aims to rethink the city's Food Center as the project makes room for the new residential neighborhood. The Marktkwartier is designed to be "a neighborhood for all Amsterdammers; families, singles, students and seniors will be accommodated in a varied residential program of around 1700 units."
The District of Columbia Public Library authority has unveiled a fly-through video tour of the final design for the renovation and intervention of its main downtown branch, the Martin Luther King Jr. Public Library. According to the architects, Mecanoo and D.C.-based Martinez+Johnson Architecture, it shows "a modern library that reflects a focus on people, while celebrating the exchange of knowledge, ideas and culture." Slated for reopening in 2020, the designs will add 9,300 square feet of additional space for the public, including a rooftop event space and a landscaped terrace.
Mecanoo has unveiled its design to transform The Soestdijk Estate into Eden Soestdijk, “an experimental garden for a sustainable society and a paradise destination for all” in The Netherlands. In an effort to become an educational tool for environmental awareness, the project aims to make a significant contribution to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“The world is facing pressure from increasingly larger and more complex problems when it comes to water, food, climate and energy,” said Anton Valk, chairman of the Eden Soestdijk foundation. “Eden Soestdijk wants to tackle these problems and contribute to a more sustainable society by stimulating and inspiring visitors to change their behaviour in a positive way.”
An architectural greenhouse behind the palace gardens will be the centerpiece of the project, and will house an interactive exhibition focusing on topics like circularity, ecological balance, and social aspects of sustainability.
Mecanoo architecten and MAYU architects+ have won a competition to design the new Tainan Public Library in Taiwan. Their winning design "represents the meeting of cultures, generations and histories," says the architects. It will feature an inverted stepped facade that houses reading rooms, special collections, study spaces, a children’s area, café, conference hall, a 200-seat auditorium, and public courtyards.
Mecanoo and Martinez + Johnson Architecture has released their completed preliminary designs for the modernization of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - the only library and Washington D.C. building ever designed by Mies van der Rohe. The team’s competition-winning scheme aims to improve “Mies in a contemporary Miesian way.”
“While not final, these renderings demonstrate the amazing possibilities as we work to transform this historic building into a center for learning, innovation and engagement for the District,” says the D.C. Public Library. Updated images and more information about the design, after the break.
Six years after the original announcement of the project, the first phase of Mecanoo's new Train Station and City Hall complex in Delft, The Netherlands, has been opened to the public. Within the new station hall an undulating 'vault', which has been designed to evoke an "unforgettable arrival experience", features a scaled 1877 map of the Dutch city rendered in blue and white. Columns wrapped in a mosaic of Delft-blue titles, also reminiscent of the colours of Delftware, one of the city's most famous global exports. The station platforms below ground have been designed by Benthem Crouwel, the Dutch practice behind Rotterdam Centraal Station.
Dutch based practice Mecanoo, nominated for this year's RIBA Stirling Prize for the Library of Birmingham, have begun work on vast cultural centre in Shenzhen marking their first project to break ground on Chinese soil. Comprising of a large public art gallery, a science museum, a youth centre, and a book mall, the 95,000 square metre development will strengthen Longgang District's identity by "providing citizens and visitors with a renewed sense of place." Forming a dynamic link between the high-rise of the city's commercial district and the open spaces of Longcheng Park, the four sculpted forms emerge from the ground to create a series of arches and sheltered spaces to facilitate public events.
See the full set of images and an illustrative film after the break.
Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has named Mecanoo architecten and Martinez + Johnson Architecture winners of a competition to reinvent Mies van der Rohe’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - the only library and D.C. building ever designed by the legendary architect. The Netherlands- and D.C.-based team aims to resurrect the neglected building by improving "Mies in a contemporary Miesian way." This includes opening up the boxy interiors to enhance flow and increase natural light and, most dramatically, sculpting two rooftop terraces by topping the historic landmark structure with a four-story, mixed-use addition.
Francesco Veenstra, one of six partners at the Dutch practice Mecanoo and Lead Architect on a number of major projects in the United Kingdom, recently spoke to Mies. UK about the practice's approach to design and their unique take on sustainability. Having recently completed a major public building in Birmingham (which was put to the vote and won the AJ's 2013 Building of the Year), and with more in the pipeline, the practice's international outlook is growing. How has the practice's design methodology and core ideas influenced this success? Read more after the break.