Paris has its answer to Silicon Valley, with plans to convert an historic train station into the world’s largest home for digital entrepreneurship. Architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte has been entrusted to rehabilitate the landmark building, situated on the southern bank of the river Seine, into a technological hub to accommodate 1,000 start-up companies by the year 2016.
Daniel Libeskind has unveiled his plans for a new apartment complex in the emerging Berlin suburb of Chausseestrasse. Set for completion in 2015, the 8-story building called Chausseestrasse 43, will accommodate retail functions on street level and 73 individual apartments on the upper levels.
Designer Naoya Matsumoto and her peers at Seian University of Art and Design have created a unique meeting space for students on the Japanese campus. Their creation, a pop-up bar, is created from six panels of locally-sourced reeds called Yoshi. The chaotic construction resembles a traditional gabled roof structure in abstract form. Each year, students of the design school are challenged to create objects from the Yoshi reeds which grow freely around Lake Biwa, an area close to the university campus.
The design team at MODU, in collaboration with Ho-Yan Cheung of Arup, have created an urban public space for the 5th China International Architecture Biennial. Their design pays homage to Beijing’s iconic Olympic Park, while drawing attention to environmental issues in the country’s densely populated capital. The biennial committee has also commissioned designs from leading international architects such as Wang Shu, Zaha Hadid, and Mohsen Mostafavi.
Engineering firm Arup has been at the heart of a massive regeneration project to transform the historic Kings Cross Station in London into a thriving civic space and major transportation interchange. The most recent phase of the project was the opening of Kings Cross Square in September 2013. The new public realm comprises of a 75,000-square-f00t space which will provide passengers exceptional views of the original station facade, access to the newly improved station, and an area for public art installations.
The Nobel Foundation, the body that administers all activities involved in the delivery of the prestigious Nobel Prize, has shortlisted 12 architecture firms to partake in an international design competition for the new headquarters in Blasieholmen, Stockholm.
In addition to providing a global headquarters, the establishment will also include a visitors center where the public can explore the natural sciences, humanities, and peace efforts of the United Nations. One of the key factors for the Foundation in selecting the architects to participate involved “their ability to work in intricate urban environments where historical context and the natural environment must be considered with sensitivity.”
The Sports Minister for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Hakubum Shimomura, is set to scale back the approved stadium, designed by Iraqi-born architect, Zaha Hadid. The decision was made in the wake of a big uproar from some leading Japanese architects who claim that the stadium is “too big and too expensive.” The Minister did not give specifics on how the structure would be scaled down, but stressed that the original design concept would be maintained.
Happy Halloween! With Jack-O-Lantern’s popping up on stoops across the country, it was only a matter of time before some creative type ran one through a laser cutter. Brooklyn-based design bloggers at DesignSponge have launched a contest for the most creative pumpkin carvings and artist Dan Funderburgh rose to the challenge and delivered an incredible deconstructed pumpkin, carved from lasers instead of by hand. After playing with a few different design motifs, Funderburgh decided to go with an intricate pattern inspired by Mexican punched tin lanterns.
The Swedish Transport Administration launched a conceptual design competition in 2011 for a new bridge in Skuru, Sweden. The competition received great national and international response, including one fanciful proposal by Danish firm, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). The competition brief stated that the new bridge should adhere to high aesthetic standards and coincide with the existing bridge and the surrounding valuable cultural and natural landscape. Ingels deploys his characteristic hedonistic sustainability to bring nature onto the bridge itself.
Situated on the fringes of Tokyo’s dense urban fabric, House K—designed by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects—provides an innovative take on the traditional duplex home. The architects were posed with the challenge of creating a joint-living arrangement for two families on a very narrow piece of land. While the structure may look small and narrow from the outside, the thoughtful design demonstrates that a building’s allocated footprint need not be a limiting factor in achieving a feeling of wide, open spaces.