Henning Larsen has been selected as the winner of an international competition for the design of Kurfürstendamm 231, a new mixed-use urban development in western Berlin, Germany. Other finalists in the competition included Cobe, David Chipperfield, and Mäckler Architekten. The winning concept centers the neighborhood around an urban courtyard which acts as a large-scale meeting place for the local community. Nine buildings define the courtyard, including the existing Agrippina House, which is set to be rehabilitated through the project.
Renovation: The Latest Architecture and News
Henning Larsen Wins Competition for a New Urban Center for West Berlin
Ventilated Facades for Energy-Efficient Building Rehabilitation
Enhancing the energy performance of existing buildings through refurbishment processes provides the opportunity to create more comfortable and sustainable environments, while also improving their functionality, aesthetics, and safety. Architectural approaches to these renovations encompass various aspects of a building, including interior spaces, structure, internal systems, and facades.
When it comes to rethinking a building's envelope, STACBOND’s composite panel solutions delve into the development of ventilated facades. These facade systems serve as an architectural strategy for energy-efficient building renovations. Minimizing energy consumption for heating and cooling, the rehabilitation strategy incorporates thermal insulation, moisture management, and thermal mass optimization.
Energetic Retrofitting: A Solution for Environmental Obsolescence in Architecture
Architecture is a continually evolving form of human expression influenced by cultural and contextual factors. While many of the problems we face today aren't directly linked to architecture, it has the ability to provide or facilitate solutions to these challenges. This has been evident throughout history, as societal issues have played a significant role in shaping our built environments. For instance, during the Victorian era, the infamous "Great Stink" led to the modernization of London's drainage system and urban layout. Similarly, the 2008 recession gave rise to the sharing economy and coworking spaces. Nowadays, the climate crisis is transforming the way we conceive architecture, seeking to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings and cities to achieve the Paris Agreement objectives. Given this backdrop, what challenges should we expect in the future?
A New Layer of Public Space: The Case for Activating Urban Rooftops
In increasingly denser urban environments, there is a new-found interest in underused spaces as opportunities for further development. Representing up to 25% of cities' land area, rooftops are among the most exciting spatial resources. From sustainable infrastructure and urban farming to social spaces and cultural venues, the article looks into the potential of creating a multi-layered city through the activation of urban rooftops.
Bez+Kock Architekten and Koeber Landschaftsarchitektur Win First Prize in International Competition for Carthage Museum
Bez+Kock Architekten and Koeber Landschaftsarchitektur have won the competition for the Requalification of the Acropole of Byrsa and Rehabilitation of the National Museum of Carthage in Tunis project. An international jury, led by Alberto Veiga of Barozzi Veiga in Barcelona, has awarded the first prize to the studios based in Stuttgart, Germany, out of 94 design submissions for the competition.
Kengo Kuma's Proposal for the Egyptian Museum Expansion in Torino Creates New Urban Axis
Kengo Kuma and Associates have just been awarded second place in an architecture competition to design the expansion and renovation of the Egyptian Museum in Torino, Italy. It served for many decades as the primary civic space in Turin, with its public areas closed off from the rest of the city. Kengo Kuma’s proposal aims to recreate the public plaza, a city center covered by a thin glass canopy. Founded in 1824 and is the oldest museum for Ancient Egyptian culture, the Egyptian Museum in Torino held a competition earlier this year and received entries by Pininfarina Architecture, Carlo Ratti Associati, and Snøhetta. The winning project by OMA / David Gianotten and Andreas Karavanas will transform the museum into a cultural space, creating one covered courtyard and a series of connected urban rooms within the existing settlement.
Asti Architetti Unveils the Redesign of the Square Surrounding Torre Velasca in Milan, Italy
Torre Velasca, the renowned 1950s skyscraper by BBPR in Milan, Italy, is currently undergoing an extensive renovation process led by Asti Architetti and developed by Hines. After completing the work on the facades and with the extensive restoration of the interiors under way, the office has made public the project for the redesign of the Piazza Velasca, the square surrounding the tower. By turning it into a meeting and social gathering place, the architects hope to restore the status of the complex as a symbol of Milan’s architectural heritage. Pedestrian access to the building, and the renovation of previously disused adjacent spaces will open up the area for public access and will restore the original meaning of “piazza,” or square. The project is scheduled for completion by early 2024.
MVRDV Reveals Design for the Extensive Renovation Project of the Koblenz Theater in Germany
MVRDV has revealed its design for the extensive renovation project of the Theater Koblenz, in Germany. The project includes an interior redesign and a significant backstage element makeover. The proposal, which operates within the confines of the existing structure, balances the many requirements of the brief: history preservation is taken into account alongside essential technical improvements and roof rehabilitation. Additionally, the operations building's façade on Clemensstraße will be renovated to give this backstage entrance a contemporary, expressive appearance that emphasizes its inclusion in the theater complex, clearly separating it from the building's original guest entrance. The repair preserved a significant portion of the structure for future use and used biodegradable materials as much as feasible to reduce carbon emissions.
The Impact of Daylight on a School Renovation Project in Copenhagen
Architects have always considered the positive influence of natural light on the health and mood of a building's occupants, but measuring its actual benefits was a challenge for a long time. However, the past few decades have seen significant progress in this area, with research such as the comprehensive study conducted by the Heschong Mahone Group, which analyzed more than 21,000 student tests in three school districts in California, Washington, and Colorado. The results showed that students in classrooms with more natural light had a 20% faster learning progress in math tests and 26% on reading tests, compared to students in classrooms with less natural light. Many other studies reinforce that including natural light in spaces has immense long-term benefits for societies, especially during a child's valuable formative years, who spend about 90% of their time indoors and about 200 days a year in classrooms.
Portuguese Office Masslab Wins Competition for Mixed-Use Building in Helsinki, Finland
The Portuguese office MASSLAB, in collaboration with AFRY Ark Studio, won the Train Factory Mixed-Use Competition, an international competition in two stages whose main objective was to create a landmark for the city of Helsinki, Finland. The proposal was selected from five world-renowned architectural consortia.
The Train Factory Group and the City Council of Helsinki organized the competition, and the proposal “A roof for Helsinki” was chosen. The old electric train building will be transformed into a 45,000 m² complex for offices, retail and a hotel, reimagined as part of the social, commercial and cultural heritage.
CARE, a New Digital Tool, Helps Designers Quantify the Value of Reuse Versus New Construction
Refurbishment and adaptive reuse have been at the forefront of architectural discourse in recent years. This demonstrates that the profession is becoming increasingly aware of its impact on the environment and the opportunities presented by reusing what has already been built. Architecture 2030 has recently launched CARE, or Carbon Avoided Retrofit Estimator, a new digital tool that enables designers, owners, and communities to quantify the carbon benefits of adaptive reuse. By entering a streamlined set of project information, such as energy targets and potential building interventions, users can quickly estimate both operational carbon emissions generated by the use of the building and embodied carbon emissions, which are tied to the building materials employed.
AUER WEBER Receives the 2023 DAM Prize for the Extension of the Starnberg District Office
The DAM Preis for Architecture in Germany 2023 has been awarded to Auer Weber for the Extension of the Starnberg District Office. Honoring yearly outstanding buildings in Germany since 2007, the DAM Prize has been bestowed by Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) for the seventh time, in close cooperation with JUNG as a cooperation partner. Fritz Auer and Dominik Fahr from Auer Weber as well as Stefan Frey from Starnberg District Office as the client's representatives received the award, during a ceremony held on January 27, 2023. This year's finalist projects included works by Allmann Sattler Wappner, ELEMENT·A Architekten and Hiendl Schineis Architektenpartnerschaft, Hütten & Paläste Architekten, and LRO Lederer Ragnarsdóttir Oei.
Christian Kerez Unveils Winning Design for the Renovation of the Palazzo Rosso in St Gallen. Switzerland
Christian Kerez was announced as the winner of the competition for the renovation of the Palazzo Rosso in St. Gallen, home to the Textile Museum St. Gallen, in eastern Switzerland. The project, titled “Das Schwere ist des Leichten Wurzelgrund,” or “The Heavy Is the Root of the Light,” responds to the goal of raising the profile of the Palazzo Rosso and increasing its visibility and attractivity. The proposal is currently undergoing further development by order of the Textile Museum Foundation for clarifying questions of feasibility and finance.
Local Inspiration for Contemporary Design: Hilton Singapore Orchard
Focused on bringing spaces back to life, Avalon Collective takes a pre-existing building and transforms it into a contemporary hotel that relates to the locality and origin of Orchard Road, while capturing its modern retail context. Through a consistent design language and spirit that incorporates history and regeneration, the new Hilton Singapore Orchard has been selected among the five winners of the 2022 Best of Globe Winner.
Foster + Partners’ Bilbao Fine Arts Museum Extension Breaks Ground
The Bilbao Fine Arts Museum remodeling and expansion project was attributed to Foster + Partners following an international competition in 2019. Now the construction phase was initiated with a breaking ground ceremony on November 17th. The project includes the restoration of the existing 20th-century building and the expansion of the currently available spaces with a new public atrium and a contemporary art gallery organized in a floating pavilion. The design also highlights the relationship between the city and the museum by creating a new pedestrian path that runs from north to south. The path connects the original 1945 building, the 1970s extension, and a new visitor center while making the site more permeable at the street level.
MVRDV and GRAS Complete Phase One of Project Gomila in Mallorca, Spain
MVRDV and GRAS announced the completion of five of the seven buildings of Project Gomila in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The residential complex was originally comprised of four existing buildings, adding three new ones for a total of 60 new dwellings and new commercial spaces. The project aligns with revamping the historic neighborhood "El Terreno" as a vibrant and sustainable residential site, home of bohemian nightclubs that hosted iconic musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Ray Charles, and Tom Jones.
Plans to Renovate the Sainsbury Wing and National Gallery in London Receive Approval by the City Council
The Westminister City Council adopted a resolution to grant planning permission to the National Gallery for a series of adaptations, including Selldorf Architects’ restoration proposal for the Sainsbury Wing, originally designed by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown. The plans to remodel were revealed earlier this year as part of the NG200 Project to celebrate the National Gallery’s bicentennial in 2024. The first intervention proposal for the Sainsbury Wing was met with widespread criticism, which led to a revision of the plans, released in October this year.