Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction 2012

International, Newsletter
Thursday, March 29, 2012
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Urban Remediation and Civic Infrastructure Hub, São Paulo, Brazil

Urban Remediation and Civic Infrastructure Hub, São Paulo, Brazil

The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction in Zurich, Switzerland has announced the winners of its 2012 Global Holcim Awards and the Holcim Innovation Prizes. Regional prize winners (15 for Global Awards and 53 for Innovation Prizes) were examined, and from them 3 Global Awards and 3 Innovation Prizes were handed out to projects that address environmental performance, social responsibility, and economic efficiency.

Each of the winning projects are innovative, future-oriented, and usually have a social or cultural component as a key part of their program.  This year’s jury for the Global Awards was headed by TEN Arquitectos’ Enrique Norton and included critic Aaron Betsky and architect Mario Botta. The Innovation Prize Jury was led by architect Harry Gugger and included economists and engineers.

Check out all the winners after the jump.

Happy 126th, Mies!

International
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
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Happy 126th birthday, Mies van der Rohe! Google and San Francisco-based artist Willie Real are already celebrating with today’s Google Doodle of Mies’ iconic Crown Hall built in 1956 at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, where Mies was director of the College of Architecture. The Mies van der Rohe Society spoke with Real about his design and architectural ambitions. Here’s a sample:

What was the most important thing to convey about Mies in the doodle, and how was it achieved?

Celebrating Mies’ legacy was definitely a challenge. Mies did so many great buildings that are worthy of a doodle but it was pretty evident from the get go that highlighting what many consider his masterpiece was the way to go.

Read the full interview here. Or for another take on the famous architect, check out this creative tribute video.

Unveiled> Missoni’s Mondo Condo in the Philippines

International
Monday, March 26, 2012
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The Canopy at Acqua Livingstone by MISSONIHOME. (Courtesy Century Properties)

The Canopy at Acqua Livingstone by MISSONIHOME. (Courtesy Century Properties)

With bright colors, rich patterns, and futuristic forms that would make Verner Panton drool, Italian homewear company MissoniHome has recently completed their first fully-branded residential tower, the 52-story Acqua Livingstone in Manila, Philippines.  The project is the fourth tower of six in the $315.9 million Acqua Private Residences project, developed in the Philippine capital by Century Properties Group.

Groovy visuals after the jump

Facing Threats BMW Guggenheim Lab Swerves Away from Berlin.  Facing Threats BMW Guggenheim Lab Swerves Away from Berlin While the commercialization of museums raises eyebrows in some circles in America, in Germany such criticism is much more forceful and threatening. Activist groups have derailed the planned May 24th opening in Berlin of the BMW Guggenheim lab, according to Bloomberg News. They  argued that the mobile lab–which debuted in New York and is traveling the globe, all bankrolled by the German luxury carmaker–would accelerate the gentrification of the Kreuzberg district. The Guggenheim has faced criticism for its sponsors and activities many times before, so this episode is not likely to spur much institutional reflection. According to the report, the Museum is currently shopping for a new host city.

 

Diamond studded Eco-Developer?  Diamond studded Eco-Developer? Having successfully covered the world (or at least all 11 outposts of the global Gagosian empire) in colorful spots, Damien Hirst is turning his attention to architectural matters. The artist is planning to build more than 500 homes on the land he owns in Devon, England as part of a broader expansion of the glam seaside resort town of Ilfracombe. Mike Rundell of London-based MRJ Rundell+Associates is putting his undergrad degree in fine art to good use and working with Hirst on the project. “He has a horror of building anonymous, lifeless buildings,” said Rundell of his artist client. Pressed for details, Rundell described the houses as modern and possibly incorporating eco-friendly touches such as photovoltaic panels and wind turbines nestled in the roofs. Pickled sharks or spin art not included.

 

Big-Name Architects to Help Design a Growing Cambridge

International
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
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Northwest Cambridge masterplan (courtesy AECOM)

Northwest Cambridge masterplan (courtesy AECOM)

Cambridge, England is growing, but keeping hold of its urban pattern. A shortlist including some of the biggest names in European architecture has been released for a competition to design an urban extension of northwest quarter of the city. The University of Cambridge owns the 346 acre site, which was masterplanned by AECOM and contains seven individual project sites to be designed by different firms.

Continue reading after the jump.

Filed Under: ,

3-D Printer Creates a Cathedral Fit for a Flea

International, Newsletter
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
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St. Stephan's cathedral, courtesy Vienna University of Technology

Or maybe a dust mite. New 3-D printing technology developed by researchers at the Vienna University of Technology can fabricate intricate objects smaller than a grain of sand. This technology is made possible by a laser directed through a series of mirrors and a liquid resin that hits the surface and leaves a polymer line that is a few hundred nanometers thick; at 200 lines per layer, the printer can print 100 layers in just four minutes.

Continue reading after the jump.

Filed Under: ,

Shell Shocks

International
Monday, March 12, 2012
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A new shell structure will be tested on April 16 in Stuttgart.

A new shell structure will be tested on April 16 in Stuttgart. (Courtesy Universität Stuttgart ILSCD)

We have written about the Universität Stuttgart’s Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design before, but they keep pushing the boundaries of exciting new building technology. On April 16 they will introduce the “world’s first adaptive shell structure spanning 10 meters by 10 meters (to a scale of 1:1.), ” and the shell will be “exposed to hydraulic drives that produce movements at the support points in order to specifically reduce loads and deformations caused by externally applied loads.” Check back in on April 17th to see the test results!

The shell has a 10 meter x 10 meter span.

The lightweight structure has a 10 meter x 10 meter span. (Courtesy Universität Stuttgart ILSCD)

Mies’ Gas Station Gets Refueled

International, Newsletter
Thursday, March 8, 2012
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Courtesy Les Architectes FABG

Designed a year before his death in 1968, Mies van der Rohe’s Esso station on l’Île des Sœurs in Montreal has been vacant and shuttered since 2008. The station, intended to serve nearby apartment blocks also designed by Mies, was built during the early urbanization of the island and closed when another station opened closer to the island’s main thoroughfare. Having been declared a historic monument in 2009, the community eventually decided to restore the structure and convert it to an intergenerational community center.

Continue reading after the jump.

Pictorial> eVolo 2012 Skyscraper Competition Winners Announced

Dean's List, International
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
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Himalaya Water Tower: Zhi Zheng, Hongchuan Zhao, Dongbai Song

The winners of the eVolo 2012 Skyscraper Competition have been announced; get ready for an afternoon of browsing some pretty spectacular renderings. Entries offer innovative (and sometimes outlandish) solutions in an attempt to address the social, historical, urban, and environmental responsibilities of the 21st century mega-structure.

Continue reading after the jump.

Unveiled> Jean Nouvel’s Police Panopticon/Dance Studio

International
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
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(Courtesy Jean Nouvel)

(Courtesy Jean Nouvel)

It is unclear whether the newest Jean Nouvel project in Charleroi, Belgium is the first of the hybrid Police Headquarters/Dance Studio typology, but we would guess that it is. The collaboration between Paris-based Atelier Jean Nouvel and the Belgian firm MDW Architecture was selected in a competition and resulted in a scheme for a 246-foot tower and renovation of 19th century brick barracks.

Read More

DS+R and OLIN To Spin Granite Web In Aberdeen.  DS+R and OLIN To Spin Granite Web In Aberdeen Yesterday voters in Aberdeen, Scotland narrowly approved a plan to transform Union Terrace Gardens in the heart of the city into an ambitious hybrid park and cultural center designed by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro with OLIN, according to The Scotsman. The project is estimated to cost £140 million, though Sir Ian Wood, an oil services tycoon, has pledged £50 million toward the project. Aberdeen is known as the Granite City, and the design creates a new series of granite pathways criss-crossing over the sloping site, dividing it into different programmatic zones, including an amphitheater, exhibition hall, and a number of gardens.

 

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