Reykjavík: The Latest Architecture and News
WilkinsonEyre has gained planning permission for a major biodome complex in the Reykjavik region of Iceland, designed in collaboration with a local design team. The Aldin Biodomes consist of a Main Nature Dome and Tropical Dome, showcasing exotic plants from environments around the world, and the Farm Lab; an educational environment for local food production.
The Center for Globalization and Strategy from Barcelona’s IESE Business School has unveiled its annual list of the world’s smartest cities. In its fifth year, the IESE Cities in Motion Index has calculated the performance scores for 165 cities across 80 countries based on an exhaustive rubric of economic and social indicators. Familiar global power centers have maintained their position at the top of the heap, while expanded categories of assessment have helped a few small cities advance their position drastically.
Religious architecture in Russia, arguably, remains backward-looking. With the Soviet Union’s anti-religious stance in the 20th century, religious architecture found little opportunity to grow. Russian architect, Philip Yakubchuk argues that only recently has religious Russian architecture begun “learning to walk again” as it discovers its once-rich history. Quadratura Circuli, a trio of young Russian designers Daniil Makarov, Ivan Zemlyakov, and Yakubchuk, are eager to move beyond the image of St Basil’s Cathedral—seeking to revitalize and create a new image of Russian religious architecture for the 21st century.
The group’s Latin name translates to “Squaring the Circle” which is a metaphor used to describe a task that is believed to be impossible—a striking name for a group dedicated entirely to “designing temples for the people of today.” However, with their proposal for a Russian Orthodox Cultural Center in Reykjavik, Iceland, Cuadratura Circuli demonstrates that it is not impossible to link the art of the past and the culture of the present.
For this week's The Urbanist, Monocle 24's "guide to making better cities," Andrew Tuck and David Plaisant broadcast a Reykjavík special with a series of reports from the Icelandic capital. They explore how this city marks its spot on the world map, looking at its high-quality new museums alongside its growing cultural and culinary scene. With around one million tourists visiting the city last year, th Reykjavík is experiencing a boom in popularity — which some describe as "maybe too much". With only around 300,000 inhabitants, Monocle 24 asks how the world's most northerly capital is coping with this growing success.
Harpa Concert Hall wins the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award 2013
Harpa, the Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Iceland, is the winner of the 2013 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award the European Commission and the Mies van der Rohe Foundation announced today. Designed by Henning Larsen Architects, Batteríið Architects and Studio Olafur Eliasson the building has helped to transform and revitalise Reykjavik harbour and brought the city and harbour district closer together.
The 'Emerging Architect Special Mention' award goes to María Langarita and Víctor Navarro for the Nave de Música Matadero (Red Bull Music Academy) in Madrid, Spain. The award ceremony will take place on 7 June at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona, coinciding with the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the prize.
More information after the break.
Designed and directed by Iceland based architect Marcos Zotes and his studio UNSTABLE, their Pixel Cloud installation is the winning competition entry for the Reykjavik Winter Lights Festival 2013, organized by Höfuðborgarstofa, Orkusalan and the Iceland Design Center. The installation creates an opportunity for Icelanders to reconsider the use and management of their urban public spaces. With the current financial situation leaving a permanent landscape of obsolete scaffolding structures scattered across the city, this has resulted in urban scars that remind us of the fragility of their current society. This installation takes advantage of this condition by transforming an ordinary scaffolding structure into a fully immersive environment of light and sound in the heart of Reykjavík. More images and architects' description after the break.
Designed for the “Vigdis Foundation”, the Languages Center aims to be a rational building, where modulation is a key aspect. Designed by OOIIO Architecture, there is no architectural excess that might increase the budget, but quite singular and special at the same time, comfortable for users and interesting enough to get the pedestrians attention. Built to host exhibitions, a cinema-theater, café, library, and more, the construction of the building is efficient, quick and with a rational materials use. More images and architects’ description after the break.More images and architects’ description after the break.
Based on natural light, open spaces and greenery such as peat, grass and flowers, the proposal by OOIIO Architecture for the Female Prison in Iceland dismisses the dark spaces, small cells and grey concrete walls typical of a traditional prison. The construction will be economical and efficient while not giving off the appearance of a typical penitentiary and increasing a sense of freedom. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Designed by Henning Larsen Architects and Batteriid Architects, the Harpa Concert Hall was one of the finalists for Building of the Year. On the border between land and sea, the Center stands out as a large, radiant sculpture reflecting both sky and harbor space as well as the vibrant life of the city. This is all very elegantly represented in Pedro Kok‘s video which gives us more insight to the building from multiple viewpoints.