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Unesco: The Latest Architecture and News

Praksis Arkitekter Designs Winning UNESCO Visitor Center for Denmark

Praksis Arkitekter has won the competition to design a new visitor center for the Stevns Klint UNESCO World Heritage site in Denmark. Four architecture firms were invited to participate, and Praksis was chosen as the winner working with Kristine Jensen Landscape and Henry Jensen engineers. The project was designed to fit into the landscape as visitors move from the geology of Stevns Klint to the sea.

Courtesy of Mike Dugenio Praksis Arkitekter Designs Winning UNESCO Visitor Center for Denmark Courtesy of Praksis Arkitekter Courtesy of Praksis Arkitekter + 9

8 Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings Given UNESCO World Heritage Status

Eight buildings by acclaimed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Titled “The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright,” the list of eight major works is a revision of a previous application lodged in February 2015. Submitted by the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, the list spans Wright’s 70-year career with schemes such as Unity Temple, Taliesin West, Fallingwater, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

The Ultimate List of Sites Declared World Heritage in Mexico

Centro Histórico de Guanajuato. Tomas Castelazo [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]. Image via Wikimedia Commons Convento Santo Domingo de Guzmán ubicado en el Centro Histórico de Oaxaca. El Ágora [Public domain]. Image via Wikimedia Commons Pirámide de los Nichos ubicada en la Ciudad Prehispánica del Tajín. AlejandroLinaresGarcia [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]. Image via Wikimedia Commons Templo y Convento de San Mateo Apóstol. Miandigra [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]. Image via Wikimedia Commons + 37

According to a statement published on the UNESCO page, the UNESCO World Heritage List is a legacy of monuments and sites of great natural and cultural wealth that belongs to all of humanity. The Sites inscribed on the World Heritage List fulfill a function of milestones on the planet, of symbols of the awareness of States and peoples about the meaning of those places and emblems of their attachment to collective property, as well as of the transmission of that heritage to future generations.

Foster + Partners Design a House of Wisdom for Judah's Scroll in Sharjah

Foster + Partners has released their design for a library and cultural center alongside The Scroll, a new piece of public art by British sculptor Gerry Judah. Called the House of Wisdom, the project coincides with Sharjah being named this year’s UNESCO World Book Capital. Aiming to be a new cultural quarter in the city, the House of Wisdom was made to establish and retain connections with the outside.

The Scroll by Gerry Judah outside the House of Wisdom, celebrating World Book Year in Sharjah. Image Courtesy of Foster + Partners The Scroll by Gerry Judah outside the House of Wisdom, celebrating World Book Year in Sharjah. Image Courtesy of Foster + Partners The Scroll at the House of Wisdom Sharjah by Gerry Judah. Image Courtesy of Foster + Partners House of Wisdom Sharjah to celebrate World Book Year. Image Courtesy of Foster + Partners + 8

The Notre-Dame Cathedral Fire: What Happened, and What Happens Next?

© Erieta Attali
© Erieta Attali

One day after the fire that partially destroyed the iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, we are left to look back at the night of unfolding devastation, and forward at plans to renovate and restore the structure back to its former glory. The 856-year-old structure, which has survived riots, wars, and revolutions, sustained major damage as fire destroyed its central spire, 66% of its roof, and parts of its vaulted interior. Despite the alarming images and videos of the Gothic masterpiece ablaze, it appears that the main structure, and much of the interior, has escaped destruction.

While a full investigation into the cause of the fire will likely take some time, new details continue to emerge on the course of the blaze, and initiatives from the public and private sector to fund the cathedral’s restoration. Below, we recap the timeline that unfolded on the evening of April 15th, before detailing the plans to recover a building emblematic of the history of its city and country.

© Erieta Attali © Erieta Attali © Erieta Attali © Erieta Attali + 9

Dorte Mandrup Designs Swedish Culture House in Karlskrona

Danish architecture studio Dorte Mandrup has designed new culture house and library in the heart of the Swedish baroque city of Karlskrona. Working with Marianne Levinsen Landskab and Torbjörn Nilsson, the team developed the cultural project to combine an art hall, library and cafe together in the city center. The culture house is meant to become a modern meeting place and hub for several cultural activities at the corner of Karlskrona’s central square.

Culture House and Library Karlskrona. Image Courtesy of MIR Culture House and Library Karlskrona. Image Courtesy of MIR Culture House and Library Karlskrona. Image Courtesy of MIR Culture House and Library Karlskrona. Image Courtesy of MIR + 22

Rio de Janeiro named the First World Capital of Architecture

UNESCO has named Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as the World Capital of Architecture for 2020. In keeping with UNESCO’s recent partnership agreement with the UIA, UNESCO designates the World Capital of Architecture, which also hosts the UIA’s World Congress. The World Capital of Architecture is intended to become an international forum for debates about pressing global challenges from the perspectives of culture, cultural heritage, urban planning and architecture.

UNESCO and UIA to begin Designating Cities as "World Capitals of Architecture"

UNESCO and the International Union of Architects (UIA) have announced the launch of a “World Capitals of Architecture” initiative, seeking to create a “synergy between culture and architecture in an increasingly urbanized world.”

Cities designated as World Capitals of Architecture will become a global forum for discussion on the world’s most pressing challenges “through the prism of culture, heritage, urban planning, and architecture.” UNESCO and UIA will collaborate with local city organizations to organize activities and events promoting buildings, architects, planners, and related sectors.

Oscar Niemeyer's Unfinished Architecture in Lebanon May Become a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The unfinished Tripoli International Fair, designed by Oscar Niemeyer for the Lebanese capital, could become a UNESCO's World Heritage Site. Conceived in the 1960s at the request of the then President Fouad Chéhab, the fair remained a symbol of projected modernity for the country.

Buddhist Monasteries and Spain's Islamic Palace-City Among 19 New Sites Added to UNESCO's World Heritage List

© Council for Inscription of Buddhist Mountain
© Council for Inscription of Buddhist Mountain

After carefully deliberating in their annual session, UNESCO's World Heritage Committee selected 19 new sites to inscribe on the World Heritage List in the city of Manama in Bahrain. Featuring 13 cultural sites such as Buddhist mountain monasteries in Korea, the industrial city of Ivrea in Italy, and the Caliphate city of Medina Azahara in Spain, alongside three natural sites and three mixed sites (classified as both cultural and natural heritage), the list now aggregates to 1092 sites in 167 countries.

From the historical Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul to the contemporary city of Brasilia orchestrated by Oscar Niemeyer, the World Heritage List has continuously exhibited varied examples of architecture and urban planning from different eras and movements from around the world. Amongst the new additions, there are several sites of religious importance, city organization, and natural conservation.

© Madinat al-Zahra Archaeological Site (CAMaZ)/M. Pijuán © IPOGEA © DAI/Göbekli Tepe Project © Förderverein Welterbe an Saale und Unstrut/Guido Siebert + 15

11 Brazilian UNESCO World Heritage Sites That Every Architect Must Visit

On August 17th, Brazil celebrated its National Heritage Day. Created in 1998 to honor the historian and first president of IPHAN (National Historic and Artistic Heritage Institute), Rodrigo Melo Franco de Andrade, who would have turned 100 years old. This date aims to reinforce the recognition and appreciation of the country’s cultural heritage.

Vega Archipelago to be Home to Norway’s First UNESCO World Heritage Visitor Center

Oslo-based architecture firm Ekberg Lous Arkitekter have designed Norway’s first World Heritage Visitor Center, after having won the open international architectural competition in 2008. Following the competition, the project was halted for seven years due to a lack of funding, but has been given the green light in 2015 with revised plans and a new site. The center, which will be built on the tip of the northern shore of Vega Island, is expected to be a gathering point for both locals and foreigners. It will provide visitors with knowledge about the natural and cultural values of the Vega Archipelago and world heritage sites in general. The center is set to be open in spring 2019.

Facade Elevation Section Courtesy of Ekberg Lous Architects / Visualizations by AZR Studio Courtesy of Ekberg Lous Architects / Visualizations by AZR Studio + 11

Dorte Mandrup to Design Her Third UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea Project

Denmark-based architect Dorte Mandrup has won her third UNESCO World Heritage Center project, with her design of the Trilateral Wadden Sea World Heritage Partnership Centre. The project was the winner in a contest to design a new headquarters for the Centre, an organization that aims to protect the Wadden Sea and is jointly run by Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Liminal Studio with Snøhetta and Rush Wright Wins Competition for UNESCO World Heritage Site Education Center in Tasmania

© Brick Visuals
© Brick Visuals

Update 3/2/18: A previous version of this article named Snøhetta as the leader of the team; the principal architect is in fact Liminal Studio.

Australian firm Liminal Studio, in collaboration with Snøhetta and Rush Wright Associates, has been selected as the winner of an international competition for the design of the new History and Interpretation Center at Cascades Female Factory Historic Site in South Hobart, Tasmania.

One of the most significant female penal sites dating back to 19th century, when Australia was still a British penal colony, the Cascades Female Colony was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. The new History and Interpretation Center will allow visitors to learn about the site’s history and how its social, cultural and political implications have impacted present day Australia.

Dorte Mandrup Wins Competition to Construct Heritage Center Atop a WWII Bunker 

© Mir
© Mir

Danish firm Dorte Mandrup A/S has been announced as the winners of a competition to design the new Trilateral Wadden Sea World Heritage Partnership Center on a historic UNESCO naval site in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Selected from 14 entries, the firm’s winning proposal will seemingly float atop an existing World War II bunker and house the offices of a joint Danish, German and Netherlandish corporation working to protect the Wadden Sea area.

Tel Aviv's New Skyline Brings Residential Density

Harugei Malchut by HQ Architects
Harugei Malchut by HQ Architects

With the completion of the citywide light-rail expected in 2020, connecting Tel Aviv’s city center to neighboring Ramat Gan, Ramat HaHayal, Bat Yam, Jaffa, and Givatayim brings a new wave of residential architecture to transform the skyline. The city of Tel Aviv boasts the highest land value in the Middle East, and with this new connectivity it is only projected to increase demand and value.

The city Tel Aviv is deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its collection of over 4,000 Bauhaus and Eclectic Architecture-style builds. The original city plan was made in 1925 by Sir Patrick Geddes, and is about to witness a significant shift. To promote density, the “TAMA 38” policy gives developers the opportunity to add additional units and floors in exchange for updating the existing units and infrastructure.

Temporary Porcelain Clad Pavilion Addresses The Notion of Ornamentation in Architecture

Courtesy of Alexander Wolhoff
Courtesy of Alexander Wolhoff

The Pavilion d’Eau, designed by EPFL architecture student Alexander Wolhoff, was constructed in Lake Geneva, Switzerland. The pavilion is a product of six months of research, prototyping, and coordination with different local and academic organizations done in conjunction with LHT3 labs. The exterior of the octagon pavilion has a structural aesthetic, while the interior -- only accessed by wading in the water -- is ornamental, clad in handmade ceramic tiles.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site municipality of Saint-Saphorin en Lavaux allowed for the temporary pavilion in the waters of Lake Geneva. The project is designed to touch the landscape lightly, not affecting the natural lake bed. The pavilion is comprised of materials including lake stones, wood, and porcelain tiles. To ensure a minimal and reversible impact on the site, the footings of the pavilion are made of seven gabions, metal cages filled with stones collected from the lake.

Courtesy of Alexander Wolhoff Courtesy of Alexander Wolhoff Courtesy of Alexander Wolhoff Courtesy of Alexander Wolhoff + 20

Smart Everyday Nighttime Design Aims to Use Light as a Means to Build Better Communities

Working out of a UNESCO world heritage site in Cartagena, Colombia, Smart Everyday Nighttime Design is a research project that aims to use light as a means to build better communities. The project, spearheaded by Arup’s Lighting team with urban-lighting leader Leni Schwendinger, seeks to address nighttime activation of Getsemaní’s streets and public spaces in a bid to improve safety, stimulate the night time economy and engage with the local communities and events.

This documentary, produced by PLANE—SITE, presents the project’s findings and explains the research process and the resulting prototype. The team had two main ambitions:

Getsemani -a UNESCO world-heritage district in Cartagena (Colombia): Citizen portrait. Image © Dr. Don Slater, Configuring Light Program, LSE Architect students from Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano demonstrate sketch lantern on site. Image © Dr. Don Slater, Configuring Light Program, LSE The universal lanterns were fabricated byiGuzzini, technical project partner,and then localized by theneighborhoodcommunity. This one has been designed by a workshop attendee to feature the Mariamulata bird, an important symbol of Caribbean identity. Image © Dr. Don Slater, Configuring Light Program, LSE The workshop participants created localized lantern "sketches" with everyday colors of Cartagena. Image © Dr. Don Slater, Configuring Light Program, LSE + 11