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Temporary: The Latest Architecture and News

An Abandoned 70s Building in Berlin Became a Contemporary Art Venue During the “The Sun Machine Is Coming Down” Event

© Berliner Festspiele / Eike Walkenhorst
© Berliner Festspiele / Eike Walkenhorst

For 10 days, Berlin's abandoned International Congress Centre (ICC) was transformed into a stage for performance, acrobatic and visual arts, films, concerts and talks during Berliner Festspiele's "The Sun Machine Is Coming Down" event. The 1970s futuristic building that remained closed for the last seven years provided the framework for a multi-layered experience, illustrating its potential for reactivation and adaptive reuse.

© Berliner Festspiele / Eike Walkenhorst© Berliner Festspiele / Eike Walkenhorst© Berliner Festspiele / Eike Walkenhorst© Berliner Festspiele / Eike Walkenhorst+ 11

Open Call: Pop-up Bazaar Istanbul

The oriental establishments of the Middle-East, Northern Africa and some parts of Europe all mention the bustling marketplaces in their popular culture. They weren’t just the main centers of trade and business, but were multifunctional entities that contributed to the social and cultural exchange between people and civilizations. These marketplaces were called by different names in different regions and languages; Bazaar in Persian, Souk in Arabic etc. Today, bazaars tend to be found in a city's medina (old quarter) and are often important tourist attractions.

Multi-Functional Lego-Like Plywood Building Blocks Create Limitless Design Solution

Out of 200 applicants, London-based Gilles Retsin Architecture won the Tallinn Architecture Biennale 2017 competition with their temporary outdoor installation. Participants were challenged to use the fabrication abilities of Estonian wooden house manufacturers in a new and creative way. Jury member Martin Tamke said the Retsin proposal is, “characterized by outstanding aesthetic and intellectually challenging, as it questions current beliefs and trends in architecture."

© Studio Naaro© Alina Chereyskaya© Studio Naaro© Studio Naaro+ 23

Students Construct 7 Inhabitation Structures at Hello Wood's 2017 Project Village

Since the first Hello Wood Project Village debuted in 2015, architecture, art and design students from all over the world have gathered together each summer in Hungary to imagine and build structures using innovative wood construction techniques. With each passing year, the village has grown more complex, with new students using the decisions of their predecessors to inform and evolve subsequent designs.

The 2017 edition has brought this exercise to its logical summit – exploring how the settlement could actually be inhabited by its builders. In doing so, participants created a village center consisting of 7 new structures containing spaces for sleeping, bathing, cooking, eating, viewing lectures and celebrating. New infrastructure including a village well and future solar panels also contribute to the village’s accountability and help to shape the relationships between the village’s structures.

“As architects, we all have an idea of what the ideal village is like, but what makes this programme interesting is that, once we are confronted with the actual needs of a community, constraints of the terrain, or the opinion of your neighbour, you need to be open to adapt,” said Johanna Muszbek, curator of Project Village.

See the 7 projects with descriptions from the designers, after the break.

Call for Submissions: [TRANS-]ient

It is often thought that architecture has a quality permanence. In the third issue of [TRANS-] journal we seek to understand that this is not always true. Exploring how the construction of spaces can speak to impermanence, transient design could be a variety of things: built one day and disassembled another; rootless, wandering, and drifting as a nomad among environmental and geopolitical conditions; or spaces that house impermanent populations or respond to temporary phenomena or needs. With transient space comes participants that condition its purpose and interpretation. Perhaps of equal importance is not the design itself but rather the symbolic significance of its remnants, which has the capacity to endure or pass.

ANSKA Unveils Floating Platform Design for Paris Olympics

ANSKA has unveiled Spots, a series of temporary floating platforms to host micro-events for the Paris Olympic Games of 2024. Intended as an alternative to classic river typologies like barges or heavy structures, Spots are modular systems that can easily be assembled or disassembled, allowing them to become durable programmatic solutions.

While Spots was designed for the Paris Olympics, where modules would be hooked to the riverbanks to create a complimentary route for the Games, facilitating a greater exploration of the city, the micro-typology of the project could be applied “to any river and city,” as well as to Parisian suburbs and industrial areas.


Adaptable Bamboo Geodesic Domes Win the Buckminster Fuller Challenge Student Category 2016

Launched in 2007, The Buckminster Fuller Challenge has quickly gained a reputation for being what Metropolis Magazine once called “Socially-Responsible Design’s Highest Award.” This year, for the first time, a Student Category was reviewed separately from the general applications, however still based upon the same criteria: comprehensiveness, feasibility, replicability, ecological responsibility, and how verifiable and anticipatory the project is. Students from the Centre for Human Habitat and Alternative Technology (CHHAT) claimed the prize with their adaptable and lightweight modular domes, made from natural, local or recycled materials.

Courtesy of CHHATCourtesy of CHHATCourtesy of CHHATCourtesy of CHHAT+ 12

Architects Construct Village of 14 Wooden Structures at Hello Wood 2016

Students and architects from over 30 countries have constructed a “village” of 14 wooden structures at Hello Wood’s Project Village 2016. Founded in 2010 as an art camp for students in architecture, art and design disciplines, Hello Wood has since grown into an award-winning interior summer school program focused on creating design through collaborative methods and bringing together the principles of architecture, art, innovation and social impact. The Project Village, conceived just last year, pushes these ideals to their limit by challenging students, teachers and designers to work together to create a new architecture of community at Hello Wood’s rural campus in Csoromfolde, Hungary.

Continue reading to see all 14 projects with descriptions from the designers.

A Floating Timber Pavilion Takes Center Stage at Manifesta 11 in Zurich

On June 11th, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, also known as Manifesta, began its 100-day stint in this edition's host city, Zurich, Switzerland. The festival's center-piece is a timber raft floating on Lake Zurich, known as the Pavilion of Reflections. The temporary structure was designed and realized by Studio Tom Emerson and a team of thirty students from ETH Zurich. Constructed primarily of timber, Christian Jankowski, curator of Manifesta 11, describes the exhibit “as a floating multi-functional platform with a giant LED screen, a stand for spectators, a swimming pool and a bar.”

© Laurian Ghinitoiu© Laurian Ghinitoiu© Laurian Ghinitoiu© Laurian Ghinitoiu+ 14

Call for Entries: Ship Point Pop-Up Design Competition

The City of Victoria invites teams and individuals to submit creative design concepts to temporarily transform Ship Point Plaza, an underutilized paved plaza space along Victoria’s downtown waterfront, into a magnetic and memorable ‘pop-up’ public space during the 2016 summer season.

From Ancient Rome to the Coachella Festival: A Brief History of Pop-Up Architecture

Ask some people, and they'll tell you that pop-up architecture is a quintessentially 21st century form of architecture, but in fact the idea goes back over 2000 years. In this article originally published on Curbed as "The Rise and Rise of Pop-Up Architecture," Marni Epstein-Mervis traces the development of pop-up architecture right from its origins in ancient Rome, analyzing how the phenomenon has transformed into what we recognize today.

For five weeks in August and September 2015, street artist Banksy opened a dystopian theme park with Disney-esque castles and theme rides in the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare in southwest England. Attractions included a police van mired in the muck and goo of a forgotten cityscape, and an overturned pumpkin coach and horses with Cinderella tossed half outside of it. These installations, one a commentary on our police state and the other a commentary on celebrity and the tragic death of Princess Diana, were just two of the many pieces at last summer’s temporary "bemusement" park, which Banksy called Dismaland. After its run, the timber and fixtures were sent to a refugee camp—home to over 3,000 people, mostly from Sudan, Eritrea, and Afghanistan—near Calais in France.

Pop-ups like Dismaland are everywhere. The impermanent, unexpected, and even slightly irreverent have become community staples. We can visit pop-up amusement parks, shop at pop-up stores, eat at pop-up restaurants, and stay at pop-up hotels. "Architecture has transitioned into an experience. An experience where, purposefully, it is difficult to tell the difference between the design and the art installation," says Melanie Ryan, Design Principal at the Los Angeles-based experiential and mobile design house Open For Humans.

Between the Kaleidoscopic Present and the Uncertain Future: A Case for Temporary Architecture

Plastique Fantastique: Sound of Light placed an inflatable structure into a 19th century music pavilion in Hamm, Germany in 2014. Image © RIBA Publications
Plastique Fantastique: Sound of Light placed an inflatable structure into a 19th century music pavilion in Hamm, Germany in 2014. Image © RIBA Publications

Temporary architecture is often misrepresented as a flimsy trend or photo-ready quick fix: easy, entertaining and often, mistakenly, cheap. This is Temporary concerns itself with a group of young, emerging, socially minded group of architects and designers who are taking the city back into their own hands and creating experimental sites for interaction and engagement. These architects, collectives, students and artists are designing transient structures, situations and events that invest and embed themselves in a community, public space or set of ideas.

Read an excerpt from the book This is Temporary after the break.

Hello Wood 2015: It Takes a Village to Raise Outstanding Architecture

Set in the depths of rural Hungary, Hello Wood has emerged from the landscape for its 2015 edition, entitled 'Project Village'. Since 2010, the Hungarian-led collective of architects, designers, students and artists have gathered from around the world to create temporary wooden installations. Now in its sixth year, Hello Wood was realized with the help of 150 volunteers from 30 countries, and co-curated by Johanna Muszbek, with the shared vision to build a series of community-driven pavilions. Together the teams created fifteen unique wooden pavilions, each centred on a different component of the architecture of a village.

The Towers. Image © Tamás Bujnovszky© Tamás Bujnovszky© Tamás BujnovszkyTea Totem. Image © Tamás Bujnovszky+ 46

Help Shigeru Ban Provide Emergency Shelter to Nepal

Shigeru Ban Architects, together with the Voluntary Architects' Network (VAN), has announced plans to send emergency shelter, housing and other community facilitates to the victims of Nepal's deadly April 25th earthquake. As part of a three-phase plan, Shigeru Ban will first delivery and assemble tents with plastic partitions acquired though donation to provide immediate shelter. A few months after, the Japanese practice will collaborate with local architects and students to build temporary housing with materials found prevalent in Nepal.

Permanent housing will also be provided in the architect-led recovery plan's third phase, although little details have been released. However, you can help make it happen by donating to Shigeru Ban's efforts (here).

Watch Shigeru Ban's TED Talk on paper emergency structures, after the break. 

Kumbh Mela: Designing the World's Largest Gathering Of People

As the location of the world's largest single-purpose gathering of people, the 2013 Kumbh Mela obviously required a significant organizational effort from those charged with planning it - but what is less obvious is exactly how this need to plan can be squared with the nature of the Kumbh Mela itself. Located in the floodplain of the river Ganges, most of the 23.5-square-kilometer area of the festival (commonly referred to as the nagri) remains underwater until a few months before the festival, and organization is at every stage challenged by the uncertainty and ephemerality of the festival itself. In this excerpt from the recently published book, "Kumbh Mela, January 2013: Mapping the Ephemeral Mega City," Rahul Mehrotra, Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the Harvard GSD, and Felipe Vera, Co-director of the Center for Ecology, Landscape and Urbanism at UAI DesignLab, explain how infrastructure and street grids are deployed in a way that not only enables the Kumbh Mela festival itself, but enhances its ephemeral and democratic spirit.

Deployment Process

Standing at the Kumbh Mela at night looking towards an endless functioning city where the temporary construction of the nagri is fused with the city of Allahabad, there are two things that one cannot avoid asking: 1) How was this enormous city planned in terms of scale and complexity? 2) How is the city actually constructed? One of the most interesting elements about the construction process of the city is that unlike more static and permanent cities—where the whole is comprised of the aggregations of smaller parts, constructed in different moments that are tied together by pre-existing and connecting urban infrastructure—the city of the Kumbh Mela is planned and built all at once, as a unitary effort.

Kumbh Mela: A Temporary (But Not Instant) City for 2 Million

Among the many complex interactions between humans and water in the Ganges river basin, perhaps none is more awe-inspiring than the religious festival of Kumbh Mela, which every twelve years hosts the largest single-purpose gathering of people on the planet, with an estimated 2 million temporary residents and 100 million total visitors in 2013. In the following excerpt from his book "Ganges Water Machine: Designing New India's Ancient River," Anthony Acciavatti recounts the history of this spectacular event, as well as the smaller annual Magh Mela - and explains why even though it is temporary, the huge tent settlement that supports these festivals is not the "instant city" it is often described as, but instead a microcosm of settlement patterns across the whole Ganges.

Dangling at the tip of the Ganga-Jamuna Doab, where the Lower Ganges Canal system terminates, the city of Allahabad overlooks the confluence of the Ganges and Jamuna rivers. While the Jamuna, to the south of the city, runs deep and narrow, the Ganges, to the north and east of the city, runs shallow and wide. Where these two rivers meet (and a third mythical river, the Saraswati), is known as the Triveni or Sangam, the most sacred site within Hinduism.

Every twelfth year, the sleepy university city of Allahabad is transformed into a colossal tent city populated by millions of pilgrims for the Kumbh Mela (literally Pitcher Celebration). And it all seems to happen so fast. After the deluge of the southwest monsoon (June-August), the waters of the Ganges and Jamuna slowly start to recede. A city grid is tattooed into the banks and shoals of the Ganges. Tents and temples pop up in October. Pontoon bridges stretch from one bank of the river to the other and pilgrims begin to arrive in January. Then come reporters and camera crews from all over the world, who come to document the life of what must at first appear to be the world’s largest Instant-Mega-City: a temporary tent city with the major infrastructure of a metropolis.

A Mobile Italian Garden Overlooking London

The Decorators, an interdisciplinary group of practitioners working with space in London, recently transformed the terrace overlooking the city at Alexandra Palace by installing a mobile Italian garden. As a "landscape of scattered objects" which geometrically piece together to resemble a formal garden, the designers describe the project as somewhere between "grotto and folly, garden and landscape, stage and amphitheater," all the while drawing from the historical character of the surrounding context. The scheme ultimately "breaks the monumental proportions of the main building to meet visitors with a more intimate scale on their first encounter" with the palace.

© Dosfotos© Dosfotos© Dosfotos© Dosfotos+ 8