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Space: The Latest Architecture and News

Call for Submissions: International Competition in Architecture 2017

The architect, the engineer, the designer, all of them participate to the development and the construction of an upcoming world at their own level. Together, by looking further, beyond preconceived ideas and well-established concepts, these entrepreneurs, these creators, have the power to make up new rules, propose new directions: innovative facilities and housing bringing new living conditions, making room for new ways of moving, of consuming energy, to counter major environmental challenges of our era and others to come. The prizes of the Jacques Rougerie Foundation support and accompany this approach.

Innovation, architectural disruption, sustainable development and resilience against climate changes are the keywords of this 7th edition of the international competition in architecture of the Jacques Rougerie Foundation – Institut de France.

UNStudio Designs Teflon Pavilion to Test Concepts for Extraterrestrial Living

Designed by UNStudio in collaboration with MDT-tex, Prototype II is a modular membrane structure that recently premiered at Techtexil’s Living in Space exhibition. Providing a space at the exhibition for visitors to experience a Virtual Reality trip to Mars created by European Space Agency (ESA) and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). UNStudio and MDT-tex have previously teamed up on temporary envelope exhibits before; their contorting LED-backlit biomimetic Eye_Beacon pavilion debuted at the Amsterdam Light Festival late last year.

© Olaf Becker© Olaf Becker© Olaf Becker© Olaf Becker+ 14

Foster + Partners Awarded Top Prize in NASA’s 3D-Printed Mars Habitat Challenge

NASA has announced the completion of the initial printing stage of NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, awarding Foster + Partners | Branch Technology and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks as the two top-scoring teams from this round.

After Phase 1 of the competition (won by Clouds AO and SEArch) tasked architects and engineers from around the globe to imagine hypothetical concepts for the habitation of Mars, Phase 2 is challenging designers to manufacture actual, 3D-printed objects using techniques that could be employed to create shelters on a future mission to the red planet or beyond.

The Real Deal Behind the Dangling “Asteroid Skyscraper” Proposal

© Clouds AO
© Clouds AO

There’s a decent chance that in the last few days, you’ve seen images of Analemma, the futuristic proposal from Clouds AO to hang a skyscraper (or should that be “earthscraper”?) from an asteroid in orbit of the earth. The project has been difficult to avoid, having been picked up not only by much of the architectural media but also by NBC, CNN, Forbes, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, Mashable, IFLScience—the list goes on almost as long as the building itself.

Is the design realistic? Obviously not, and it’s obviously not intended to be. It’s intended as a utopian thought experiment. Clouds AO has something of a pedigree in this field, as winners of a NASA-backed competition to design a Mars base with their idea for a building made of ice. As a result, it would be facile to join the internet’s collective bottom-of-the-page comment mob to point out that it would be prohibitively expensive, or that it might be more enjoyable to live on the ground anyway.

But is the design a useful utopian thought experiment? There are some design failures that better technology, or a lot of money, or the changed mindset of a futuristic society just won’t fix. So without further ado, here are a list of the problems that this out-of-this-world design would face, in chronological order, with the issues that make it impractical in our current world marked as “minor” and the ones that would undermine the proposal in any universe marked as “major.”

© Clouds AO© Clouds AO© Clouds AOInitial construction of the tower in Dubai. Image © Clouds AO+ 14

KieranTimberlake is Using Virtual Reality to Design a Home for Future Life on Mars

This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Life on Mars? Architects Lead the Way to Designing for Mars With Virtual Reality."

If an architecture firm is lucky, it can hit two birds with one stone on a single project—for example, prioritizing both historic preservation and energy efficiency. But a team at KieranTimberlake, based in Philadelphia, is aiming for four ambitious goals with its pro bono project, the Mars City Facility Ops Challenge.

Architects Fátima Olivieri, Efrie Friedlander, and Rolando Lopez teamed up with National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), NASA, and the Total Learning Research Institute (TLRI) to create a virtual working city on Mars—one that might reap multiple rewards.

Call for Entries: The Jacques Rougerie Foundation International Architecture Competition 2016

Architects, designers, engineers, artists, urban planners are given a unique opportunity to win one of the three prizes of the Jacques Rougerie Foundation - Institut de France by creating innovative and ambitious projects. These architectural projects based on emerging developments and a prospective vision should address some core issues of mankind: greater environmental, industrial and technical responsibilities, while taking sustainable development principles into account.

Open Call: BEE / HOUSE / LAB: International Design Competition


BEE / HOUSE / LAB, is an international design competition open to students and designers in the field of environmental design, architecture, landscape architecture, industrial design, and other related fields. The competition calls for a design of a bee house prototype that can be fabricated and deployed for field testing. Up to ten designs selected by the Design Jury will be fabricated (30 prototypes per design) and deployed (300 houses), to study their space-form-habitat performances. 


Copenhagen Architecture Festival

Copenhagen Architecture Festival (CAFx) was founded in 2014 and aims to rethink the presentation of architecture, highlighting its qualities and diversity, and create a relevant discussion about how it affects - and is affected by - our way of being in this world. CAFx is a platform to discuss and display ideas within the architectural world through a public program of talks, film, performances, workshops, seminars and exhibitions in collaboration with different partners primarily in Copenhagen but also in the cities of Aarhus and Aalborg.

Lecture and Book Launch: International Space Station: Architecture Beyond Earth

Join David Nixon at the Architectural Association on March 2nd for an evening lecture and book launch for his new book – International Space Station: Architecture Beyond Earth – which is published by Circa Press on 1 March. This book offers the first comprehensive account of the Station’s conception, design development and assembly in space and its publication coincides with Tim Peake’s current mission to the Station.

Call for Submissions: Active Public Space Catalogue

Active Public Space is seeking case studies regarding existing public spaces with particular interest in new “active” forms that emerge from the technological advances of the Information Age. The call is aimed at detecting and mapping existing successful examples of active-smart public space in terms of design, technology, management and occupancy by citizens.

Open Call: TRANS-PLAN: WATER+ [curate/design/fabricate]

TRANS-PLAN is an international student design competition organized by A2G (Architecture Gallery at the Faculty of Architecture University of Manitoba). The competition is open to all students registered in spatial design and or exhibition design disciplines.

Will This Be the Concrete Used to Build on Mars?

"All we need now are a new generation of Martian architects to design buildings made of Martian concrete that will be suitable structures for humans to live and work in," concludes the MIT Technology Review in their report on a new type of concrete designed for use on Mars.

Developed by scientists led by Lin Wan at Northwestern University, this "Martian concrete" is just one of many scientific developments that will be required for the increasingly popular goal of sending humans to, and eventually colonizing, the Red Planet (apparently the un-colonized Moon is already old hat - just ask Matt Damon).

Exhibition "Expedition Wunderlich: 11 Interior Architects"

Darkness, light, warmth, cold, silence and sound – the ground zero of creating space – are the focus of a mystical experimental exhibition currently open at the Museum of Estonian Architecture in Tallinn.

An attempt to speak about space, its creator and its user as a coherent whole, the exhibition acts as an intimate meeting with professionals who create the environments we inhabit. "Expedition Wunderlich: 11 Interior Architects" is only open on Saturdays and Sundays, 1 hour at a time (12 pm – 1 pm).

Call for Ideas: Closed Worlds Design Competition

What do outer space capsules, submarines, and office buildings have in common? Each was conceived as a closed system: a self-sustaining physical environment demarcated from its surroundings by a boundary that does not allow for the transfer of matter or energy.

UTS Interior & Spatial Design Graduate Show 2015

Please join us for food and refreshments at Pier 2/3 to see the innovative showcase of spaces from the UTS Interior & Spatial Design students.

Architecture in Space: NASA Seeks Architect's Opinion on Habitat Design for Astronauts

Currently in the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Interim Design Center parking lot, students are constructing a 30 foot experimental structure that expands on the notion of housing astronauts in space. Funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the year-long research and experimentation project challenges students to design a vertical habitat capable of housing four astronauts in space for a period of 60 days. Not only is this an extreme case of micro-living, but to design a living quarters with no orientation, where walls, floors and ceilings are non-existent, is unworldly.

More after the break...

Casa Océano / SPACE

© Pim Schalkwijk
© Pim Schalkwijk

Architects: SPACE Location: Pedregal, Mexico City, Mexico Chief Designer: Juan Carlos Baumgartner, Jimena Fernández Navarra Design Team: Sergio Gaytán, Ana Mallón Project Year: 2011 Photographs: Pim Schalkwijk

© Pim Schalkwijk© Pim Schalkwijk© Pim Schalkwijk© Pim Schalkwijk+ 16