Another Laurel for Peter Zumthor, the RIBA Gold Medal

International
Thursday, September 27, 2012
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Peter Zumthor. (Helene Binet / Courtesy Pritzker Prize)

Peter Zumthor. (Helene Binet / Courtesy Pritzker Prize)

Pritzker winner Peter Zumthor will be awarded the 2013 Royal Institute of British Architects Gold Medal, according to Building Design. Known for his meticulously-wrought projects like the thermal baths in Vals, Switzerland, the Brother Klaus Field Chapel in Eifel, Germany, the Bregenz Kunsthall in Austria, and the witch trial memorial in Norway, Zumthor is now designing a major expansion at LACMA. “We debate each of the six shortlisted candidates in turn then look at their writing and their influence in acadaemia, but there wasn’t one clear person who stood out,” RIBA president Angela Brady told BD.

More after the jump.

Rising Flood Waters Inspire Floating Houses in the UK

International
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
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(Courtesy Baca Architects)

(Courtesy Baca Architects)

Floods last spring in the United Kingdom have inspired a flood-resistant housing design that works with floodwaters instead of against them—homes that rise from their foundations with floodwaters and return to ground level once waters have dissipated. Baca Architects has proposed the first “amphibious house” in the UK, on the banks of the Thames River in Buckinghamshire, that if successful could reverse a decision to ban new construction in low-lying areas.

Continue reading after the jump.

Unveiled> MVRDV Designs a City of Flowers in the Netherlands

International
Monday, September 24, 2012
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(Courtesy MVRDV)

(Courtesy MVRDV)

A fantastical sounding urban garden paradise imagined by Rotterdam-based MVRDV and made up of jasmine hotels, lily pond swimming pools, offices decked with planted interiors and bamboo parks, and an alphabetized plant library will be brought to reality over the next ten years in the city of Almere, Netherlands. Today, the Nederlandse Tuinbouwraad (NTR) chose MVRDV’s plan for Almere as the winner of the esteemed Floriade 2022 World Horticulture Expo, which takes place only once every ten years. The blanket of new city fabric draped over a 111-acre peninsula will transform it into a permanent green extension directly opposite Almere’s existing city center.

Continue reading after the jump.

Parking Day is Coming!

International
Thursday, September 20, 2012
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Park(ing) Day Bogota (image courtesy deespacio)

Tomorrow cities around the world will celebrate Park(ing) Day . What started in 2005 when San Francisco firm ReBar converted a parking space in San Francisco into a temporary park has exploded into a global event. Last year 975 parks were built in 162 cities in 35 countries, up from 800 parks the year before. This year will be even bigger. To get you excited here are some pictures of our favorite temporary parks from last year. And for those of you who still want to do a last-second park, according to the organizers, doing it without pemits is risky, but not out of the question:  “It’s your call, but we do encourage you to look for creative ways to work with/within the law,” says the Park(ing) Day site. Read More

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Sao Paulo’s Infinity Tower

International
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
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http://www.kpf.com/projects/Project104/17346_hr.jpg

Rising almost 400 feet (120 meters) above Sao Paulo’s financial district, reminiscent of a ship setting sail, is the Infinity Tower designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates. With its cutting edge technology and unique design, one of Sao Paulo’s first Class-A towers is attracting high profile tenants, including Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Bloomberg, Facebook and Louis Vuitton.

Read More

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Denari Takes Keelung

International, West
Monday, September 17, 2012
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(image courtesy Michael Speaks)

Neil Denari Architects have won the challenge everyone is talking about: the international competition to design the Keelung Harbor Service Project in Taiwan. According to Keelung’s web site the project will become the “Gateway to the Nation,” developing unused waterfront land into a passenger and cargo terminal, a transfer station, an arts plaza, and a wharf for more industrial activity.

According to images posted by jury member Michael Speaks, Denari’s plan consists of carved out metallic-skinned masses floating above narrow bases above raised plazas. Surfaces are textured with graphic components including repeating angular window patterns and lime green and powder blue colors. The curved buildings interconnect forming internal courtyards and, at one point, a huge framed view onto the waterfront. The $140 million project is meant to accelerate development in the surrounding areas, including several commercial buildings near the site. Read More

A Wall of Pixels Comes To Life in The Hyper-Matrix

International, Newsletter
Thursday, September 13, 2012
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(Courtesy DesignBoom)

(Courtesy DesignBoom)

Imagine taking the fundamental unit of digital imaging—the pixel—and making it a dynamic part of physical reality. This is precisely what Seoul-based media arts group Jonpasang accomplished at the 2012 Hyundai Motor Group Exhibition. Comprised of what at first appear to be three blank white walls, Jonpasang’s Hyper-Matrix installation quickly comes to life as thousands of individual cubic units forming a field of pixels begin to move, pulsate, and form dynamic images across the room.

Continue reading after the jump.

Obit> Bill Moggridge, 1943-2012

International
Monday, September 10, 2012
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“Few people think about it or are aware of it. But there is nothing made by human beings
that does not involve a design decision somewhere.”
-Bill Moggridge

Bill Moggridge, director of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and an outspoken advocate for the value of design in everyday life, died September 8th, 2012, following a battle with cancer. He was 69. Designer of the first laptop computer and co-founder of the renowned innovation and design firm, IDEO, Bill pioneered interaction design and integrated human factors into the design of computer software and hardware.

Bill was a Royal Designer for Industry, a 2010 winner of the Prince Philip Designers Prize, and a 2009 winner of Cooper-Hewitt’s National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement. He described his career as having three phases: first, as a designer; second, as a leader of design teams and; third, as a communicator.

Continue reading after the jump.

Finding Common Ground at the Venice Biennale: Practice What You Preach, Mr. Prix

International
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
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Wolf Prix. (Elfie Semotan)

Wolf Prix. (Elfie Semotan)

“Venice Architecture Biennale ‘cannot get any worse’ says Wolf D. Prix,” read the headline on Dezeen’s August 30 wire post. In a press release titled “The Banal,” Prix declared that that architects participating in the biennale are “playing” while the profession is “sinking into powerlessness and irrelevance” at the hands of politicians, bureaucrats, and investors.

The broadside caused a stir in Venice during he opening and in the blogosphere but now it appears that Prix was never in Venice for the biennale in the first place and thus had not seen the exhibition he denounced. His office claims that Prix has been misunderstood and “the critique addressed the theme of the exhibition, not the show or its execution,” according to a spokesperson for the firm.

Continue reading after the jump.

Fine Feathers? Artists Paint Venice Pigeons Vibrant Colors

International
Thursday, August 30, 2012
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"Pigeon Safari" by Julian Charrière and Julius von Bismark. (Courtesy the artists)

“Pigeon Safari” by Julian Charrière and Julius von Bismark. (Courtesy the artists)

Between glass curtain walls and art installations, birds just can’t catch a break. For their Venice Architecture Biennale project Pigeon Safari Swiss artist Julian Charrière and German photographer Julius von Bismark captured, airbrushed, then released the pigeons of St. Mark’s Square. The resulting rainbow-colored flock has caused Biennale-goers and tourists alike to do a double take. Charrière told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, “Pigeons make up part of our urban landscape, but we view them as though they are an unrecognizable mass, whereas each one has its own identity.” While a newly teal pigeon may imagine itself a peacock, conservationists expressed concern that the birds’ unusual colors would deter mating.

Golden Lions Awarded Amid Divisive Venice Biennale

International
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
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Torre David / Gran Horizonte, 2012, Urban-Think Tank (Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner), Justin McGuirk. (Francesco Galli/Courtesy la Biennale di Venezia)

Torre David / Gran Horizonte, 2012, Urban-Think Tank (Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner), Justin McGuirk. (Francesco Galli/Courtesy la Biennale di Venezia)

It’s been a hot and highly stimulating few days at the Venice Biennale. David Chipperfield’s theme, “Common Ground,” which sought to establish connections across architecture culture, has proven surprising divisive. Some loved the elegant progression of projects in the Arsenale, which included everything from expressionist displays by Zaha Hadid, to neo-postmodern confections by FAT, to a hand built house by Anupama Kundoo, all of which managed to mingle thanks to Chipperfield’s tasteful curation.

Some formalists griped that the show was regressive, while more socially engaged architects thought it too estheticizing. Still, every Biennale must crown its winners. This year’s Golden Lion for the international exhibition went to Torre David/Gran Horizante by Urban-Think Tank (Alfredo Brillembourg and Herbert Klumpner) and Justin McGuirk, an investigation, featuring photography by Iwan Baan, of an informal community built in an abandoned, unfinished skyscraper in Caracas. The team created an bar inside the Arsenale which featured food, music, drinks, and neon lights to showcase their work and transform the atmosphere of the overall exhibition.

Continue reading after the jump.

Special Coverage from the 2012 Venice Biennale, Issue 3

International
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
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The Architect’s Newspaper is on the ground in Italy for the 2012 Venice Biennale. Here’s the third edition of a three-part series on the best of the Biennale, brought to you by The Architect’s Newspaperand Il Giornale Dell’Architettura. (You may also view the first issue and the second issue.)

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