Taiwan Reveals Another Star-Filled Shortlist

International, West
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
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Reiser Umemoto's Kaohsiung Port Terminal. (Courtesy Reiser Umemoto)

Reiser Umemoto’s Kaohsiung Port Terminal. (Courtesy Reiser Umemoto)

Yet another port in Taiwan is set to become an architectural icon. In 2012 Neil M. Denari Architects won the competition to design the Keelung Harbor Service Project. Before that Reiser Umemoto won a competition to design the Kaohsiung Port Terminal (pictured), which is set to open later this year.

Now the Port of Kinmen Passenger Service Center has shortlisted another stellar group of designers. They are: Josep Mias Gifre, Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects, Junya Ishigami + Associates, Tom Wiscombe Architecture, and Miralles Tagliabue EMBT.  A winner is expected to be chosen next month.

New Research Iniatives Examine How Vital Pollinators Function In Urban Areas

International, Sustainability
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
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bee

(Courtesy David Biesack/flickr)

As scientists search for the reasons why, large bee populations continue to die off at alarming rates. The insect’s role as a vital cog in agricultural processes makes their rapid disappearance all the more concerning. Habitat destruction must certainly be considered as one explanatory factor for the troubling trend, as urbanization and sprawl have dealt a considerable blow to the ecosystems where these insects flourish. Britain alone has lost 98 percent of its wildflower meadows in the past 70 years.

A new research initiative led by the University of Bristol is examining the way bees and their fellow pollinators function within the urban and suburban environs they are increasingly forced to inhabit. The Urban Pollinators Project, is studying pollinator populations in gardens in UK cities Bristol, Leeds, Edinborough, and Reading. The initiative is joined by a similar (and identically-named) project sponsored by the University of Washington that takes Seattle as its laboratory.

Boston Valley Brings a 100-Year-Old Dome into the Digital Age

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BOSTON VALLEY FABRICATED 18,841 INDIVIDUAL TERRA COTTA COMPONENTS FOR THE RESTORATION PROJECT (BOSTON VALLEY TERRA COTTA)

BOSTON VALLEY FABRICATED 18,841 INDIVIDUAL TERRA COTTA COMPONENTS FOR THE RESTORATION PROJECT (BOSTON VALLEY TERRA COTTA)

Boston Valley Terra Cotta restored the Alberta Legislature Building’s century-old dome using a combination of digital and traditional techniques.

Restoring a century-old terra cotta dome without blueprints would be a painstaking process in any conditions. Add long snowy winters and an aggressive freeze/thaw cycle, and things start to get really interesting. For their reconstruction of the Alberta Legislature Building dome, the craftsmen at Boston Valley Terra Cotta had a lot to think about, from developing a formula for a clay that would stand up to Edmonton’s swings in temperatures, to organizing just-in-time delivery of 18,841 components. Their answer? Technology. Thanks to an ongoing partnership with Omar Khan at the University at Buffalo’s School of Architecture and Planning, the Orchard Park, New York, firm’s employees are as comfortable with computers as they are with hand tools.

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Grains to Galleries: Heatherwick design converts South African silos into a cathedral for art

V&A Heatherwick

(Courtesy Heatherwick Studio)

A monolithic cluster of concrete silos on the Cape Town waterfront is the subject of a dramatic surgical intervention. The industrial relic will be transformed by Thomas Heatherwick into an art museum planned for the city’s V&A Waterfront. The project entails the conversion of the grain silo complex into a new space to house and display the Jochen Zeitz Collection, an assortment of art that will act as the foundation for Zeitz MOCAA a non-profit institution dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora.

More after the jump.

Merging Modernity Into Nature: Bjarke Ingels Takes A Trip to the Bahamas

(Courtesy BIG)

(Courtesy BIG)

Albany Bahamas Resort Honeycomb Building
Architect: BIG + HKS + MDA
Location: Albany Bahamas
Client: New Providence, The Bahamas
Completion: TBD

A team comprised of the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), HKS, and MDA has unveiled its design for the Honeycomb building at the Albany Bahamas resort. This 175,000-square-foot private residential building takes its name from its hexagonal facade, which mimics the naturally occurring shapes in the coral reefs found off the shores of New Providence. When completed, it will be the tallest structure on the island.

Continue reading after the jump.

Impressive Shortlist for New Dutch Cultural Center Revealed

International, Newsletter
Monday, March 3, 2014
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Arnhem, Netherlands is in the midst of commissioning designs for ArtA, a new cultural center planned for the city. Proposals from an impressive list of four international firms are being considered for the space, which is to house the Museum Arnhem and the Focus Film Theater. Beyond accommodating both exhibition and theater programming, the structure is also meant to act as a link between the city and the waterfront of the adjacent Rhine River.

All the proposals after the jump.

Review> 2014 Sundance Film Festival

International, Newsletter, Review
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
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“The future never existed, only the present.”—Paolo Soleri in Doug Aitken’s The Source

At the 2014 Sundance Film Festival last month, visitors were constantly reminded of architecture. The introductory bumper played before every single screened film featured a digitally-mapped projection on the facade of the Egyptian Theater, an art deco cinema on Park City, Utah‘s Main Street. Created by Klip Collective and filmed in July 2013, images of signature Sundance movie posters from the last 30 years flash by on vitrines, film titles cycle on the marquee, characters like Jay and Silent Bob step out from the walls, and much of the facade is divided into mini-screens. Architectural elements such as the columns, capitals, and entablature are outlined and patterned in colored lights.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Peter Eisenman Wins Prestigious Italian Award.  Peter Eisenman. (Chris Wiley)Peter Eisenman. (Chris Wiley) Peter Eisenman has been awarded with the 2014 Piranesi Prix de Rome for Career Achievement by the Accademia Adrianea di Architettura e Archeologia and the Ordine degli Architetti della Provincia di Roma. At the official ceremony to be held in Rome next month, Eisenman will give a lecture that “will concentrate on his theoretical work, with particular reference to the concept of ‘archaeology’ – understood as a design technique based on stratigraphic layering – and on the recent work entitled Piranesi Variations.”      

 

New Forest Installation is Equal Parts Alien and Harmonious

International, Newsletter
Monday, February 24, 2014
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CITYLABORATORY-ROTUNDA 02

(Courtesy Citylaboratory)

Not easily seen, a new installation by Spanish architecture group Citylaboratory is worth the trek. ROTUNDA was created as part of Quebec’s International Garden Festival (International Festival des Jardins de Metis) an annual event that includes a competition soliciting innovative garden designs from studios across the world. Rotunda was one of 6 proposals selected from 293 submissions ultimately selected for realization this summer.

More after the jump.

Mo Beach Mo Benches: Norwegian Firm Crafts Waterfront Plan Along Fjord Coastline

Mo i rana3

(Courtesy Arkitektgruppen Cubus AS)

Norwegian firm Arkitektgruppen Cubus AS has conjured up a subtle design intervention for a small stretch of Norway’s fjord coastline. Located in Mo i Rana, a town North of the studio’s Bergen headquarters, the plan reshapes portions of the waterfront through the placement of modular seating, shelters, and walkways. The components of the scheme are to be realized in steel and concrete that has long been-manufactured in the area.

Mo after the jump.

Santiago’s Savior? Graphene Paint Considered for Valencia.  Santiago's Savior? Graphene Paint Considered for Valencia As AN reported earlier, Santiago Calatrava‘s legal battles with a number of his former clients are ongoing. The Spanish architect is embroiled in a number of disputes regarding issues of budget, maintenance, and functionality the costliest of which concerns the rapid deterioration of the facade of an opera house Calatrava designed in his hometown of Valencia, Spain. Now Graphenano, a Spanish manufacturer of graphene paint is offering a possible solution for the beleaguered architect. The company claims that a coating of their product would be enough to save building’s problematic mosaic exterior. Graphenstone is a paint from a mixture of limestone powder and graphene and has already been used to protect the facades of older buildings in other parts of Spain. (Image: Courtesy Graphenano)

 

Must See TV> PBS Explores the World’s Super Skyscrapers

Rendering of the super-tall Shanghai Tower.

Rendering of the super-tall Shanghai Tower. (Courtesy Gensler)

PBS’s four-part TV series, Super Skyscrapers, deals with uber-high buildings around the world. It is rare to follow the process of constructing a building, let alone a monster-sized one. Yet here, a special characteristic of each of the four skyscrapers is highlighted within the context of maximum height: One World Trade Center’s safety measures, Leadenhall’s prefabrication, One57′s high luxury, and Shanghai Tower’s vertical city aspirations.

Continue reading after the jump.

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