April 21, 2014

VIDEO: Thomas Heatherwick: Building the Seed Cathedral

A future more beautiful? Architect Thomas Heatherwick shows five recent projects featuring ingenious bio-inspired designs. Some are remakes of the ordinary: a bus, a bridge, a power station ... And one is an extraordinary pavilion, the Seed Cathedral, a celebration of growth and light.

Thomas Heatherwick is the founder of Heatherwick Studio, an architecture and design firm that, among other projects, designed the astonishing "Seed Cathedral" for the UK Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010.

April 14, 2014

VIDEO: Michael Pawlyn: Using nature's genius in architecture

How can architects build a new world of sustainable beauty? By learning from nature. At TEDSalon in London, Michael Pawlyn describes three habits of nature that could transform architecture and society: radical resource efficiency, closed loops, and drawing energy from the sun.

Michael Pawlyn takes cues from nature to make new, sustainable architectural environments.

April 12, 2014

Hongcheng Office Building Lobby in Hangzhou, China by Peter Ruge Architekten


The Hongcheng skyscraper is located on the banks of the Qiantang River in the new administrative and business district of Hangzhou city and home to the offices of various companies. Commissioned by the buildings owner, the brief called for a unified interior design throughout the common areas that included upgrading the main lobby, foyers, corridors and amenities. The 3 story high entrance hall spans approximately 450 square meters to form the central reception, waiting and information area of the overall complex.

Views of the beautiful parklands opposite the main entrance are optimized through the use of extensive facade glazing. The configuration of the entrance hall has been inspired by the natural landscape, reflected through the use of organic elements. A bamboo grove, natural stone blocks, and cascading water feature define the space's functional zones to create a series of themed landscapes. By limiting the use of the various surface materials, the subtle combination of jurassic limestone, granite and bamboo amplified the experience of the spatial landscape. The result is a harmonious interaction between inside and outside, the elements and materials.

The bespoke translucent glass ceiling and overlying grid of bamboo rod down lights allow for varying levels of illumination that can be adjusted to the time of day and desired atmosphere.










April 7, 2014

VIDEO: Peter Haas: Haiti's disaster of engineering

"Haiti was not a natural disaster," says TED Fellow Peter Haas: "It was a disaster of engineering." As the country rebuilds after January's deadly quake, are bad old building practices creating another ticking time bomb? Haas's group, AIDG, is helping Haiti's builders learn modern building and engineering practices, to assemble a strong country brick by brick.

 Inveterate tinkerer Peter Haas is the co-founder of AIDG, the Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group, which connect people to electricity, sanitation and clean water through a combination of business incubation, education, and outreach.

April 2, 2014

National Architecture Week: April 6-12 | #archweek14


Washington, D.C. – April 1, 2014 – National Architecture Week (NAW) is a public awareness campaign from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) dedicated to increasing attention to the role architects play as a force for positive change in our communities and to elevate the public’s appreciation of design. NAW is annually held during the birthday week of our nation’s first president/architect, Thomas Jefferson (April 12).

Similar to previous years’ observances, National Architecture Week will be virtual and will include several events taking place on social media platforms. AIA National will post links to videos on Twitter and Facebook from several award-winning architects sharing what inspires them about architecture. You can follow the twitter activity by using the hashtag #archweek14. On Sunday, April 6, the NAW homepage will go live:http://www.aia.org/archweek

The Architecture Is Awesome contest on Instagram will use the social networking platform to showcase architects’ good designs and encourage architecture fans to share their thoughts and engage with like-minded professionals during the week. Instagram users will also have an opportunity to win prize gift cards in the Architecture Is Awesome sweepstakes by uploading tagged images of their favorite local architectural sites. Five lucky winners will be selected based on what is considered to be the best images of architecture. Winners will be announced on Wednesday, April 16, on Twitter.

The recipients of the 2014 AIA Housing Awards will be announced on Monday, April 7. This annual award showcases the best in residential design and includes amazing imagery. Each day AIA National will shine the spotlight on individual award recipients on the NAW homepage.

Additionally several AIA chapters will host special events such as receptions, lectures, tours, film screenings, award programs, and open houses. You can get more information on local events here:http://www.aia.org/about/AIAB101988.

Occurring simultaneously in several markets will be the premier of the PBS series, Cool Spaces! The Best New Architecture. The program will showcase some of the 21st century's most provocative and innovative public space architecture in North America. Each hour-long episode is organized around a central building typology theme — such as Performance Spaces or Art Spaces — and profiles three buildings. Learn more about this program and when it will be airing in your market here: http://www.coolspaces.tv/tvshow/on-air-schedule-2/


About The American Institute of Architects:
Founded in 1857, members of the American Institute of Architects consistently work to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public well being. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders, and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.

March 31, 2014

VIDEO: Kent Larson: Brilliant designs to fit more people in every city

How can we fit more people into cities without overcrowding? Kent Larson shows off folding cars, quick-change apartments and other innovations that could make the city of the future work a lot like a small village of the past.

Kent Larson designs new technologies that solve the biggest questions facing our cities.

March 24, 2014

VIDEO: Michael Hansmeyer: Building unimaginable shapes

Inspired by cell division, Michael Hansmeyer writes algorithms that design outrageously fascinating shapes and forms with millions of facets. No person could draft them by hand, but they're buildable -- and they could revolutionize the way we think of architectural form.

Michael Hansmeyer is an architect and programmer who explores the use of algorithms and computation to generate architectural form.

March 17, 2014

VIDEO: Michael Green: Why we should build wooden skyscrapers

Building a skyscraper? Forget about steel and concrete, says architect Michael Green, and build it out of … wood. As he details in this intriguing talk, it's not only possible to build safe wooden structures up to 30 stories tall (and, he hopes, higher), it's necessary.

Michael Green wants to solve architecture’s biggest challenge -- meeting worldwide housing demand without increasing carbon emissions -- by building with carbon-sequestering wood instead of concrete and steel.

March 11, 2014

STITCH: an AIA Portland Architectural Ideas Competition


AIA Portland is launching an architectural ideas competition that bridges between urban design, landscape architecture and architecture. It is an open competition and all are invited to enter inspiring ideas as individuals or as teams. 

ABSTRACT:
As the City of Portland continues to grow we find ourselves needing urban living rooms to offer space that is open and free for the public to use and gather. Pioneer Square is a great success as an urban space for the city, but as the population grows more public squares are needed. The opportunity to reclaim land that was consumed by the highway system provides a unique opportunity to address the need for more urban open space, but also to restitch two neighborhoods together. The square caps the highway, bridges between the downtown core and the growing neighborhood around Providence Park, and offers a perfect place for events related to both. This location is located along the max line integrating it with the entire City both near and far. Portlanders need urban space to express themselves, gather, protest, people watch, eat and generally contribute to community health and well-being.
This competition calls for ideas on ways to successfully cap I-405, bridging the downtown to Goose Hollow and the Stadium district. We are looking for extraordinary creative proposals that will spark the imagination, open up a dialogue and offer innovative solutions to this urban problem. The program for the competition is open to the entrants, although a mix of public space with other programming is recommended. The program should respond to the neighboring context and needs of the city. We encourage each proposal to address multi-modal transportation within the project.
SITE:

Image Courtesy of Google Maps 2013
The site sits over I-405 between SW Yamhill St. and SW Morrison St. and bridges the downtown core with the Goose Hollow neighborhood. Light rail transit travels along both the north and south sides of the site on Yamhill and Morrison streets while the east and west edges are active bike routes.
Project Site: 200’-0” x 200’-0”
ENTRY:
This ideas competition is open to all including students and professionals, architects and engineers, landscape architects and urban designers. You can enter as an individual, as a team or as a firm.  You can also submit as many entires as you wish although you will have to pay an additional entree fee for each one.
  • $25 for students & unemployed designers
  • $50 for professionals
PRIZES:Winners and any Honorable Mentions will be displayed on the AIA Portland Website and be displayed at a local Gallery space, as well as on talkitect.com. We will also be sending press releases to local newspapers and/or magazines as well as national architecture publications.
  • 1st Place – $500 + 2 Architecture Books donated from Princeton Architectural Press
  • 2nd Place – $200 + 2 Architecture Book donated from Princeton Architectural Press
  • 3rd Place – $100 + 2 Architecture Book donated from Princeton Architectural Press
DATES:
  • Competition Registration Starts: March 17th
  • Submissions Due: April 28th – 5:00 PM PST
  • Jury Deliberations: April 28th – May 16th
  • Winner Announced: May 16th
  • Celebration: May 16th
SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS*:
  1. 6 Images max
    • Jpg format
    • 2550 pixels wide by 1650 pixels tall (11×17 at 150 ppi in Landscape format)
  2. Project Description (Provided text file – fill out and attached as a separate file)
    • Project Title (less than 140 characters – tweetable)
    • 150 word max exec summary
    • 500 word max description
  3. Identification Form – (Provided text file) – fill out and attached as a separate file
    • Design Team names
    • Contact Email
    • Contact Phone
    • Website (optional)
No identifying logos, words or graphics on the images or project description
* any submission that does not meet the above requirements may be disqualified at our discretion.
JURY:
  • Brad Cleopfil – Allied Works
  • Carrie Strickland – Works Partnership
  • Becca Cavell – THA
  • Don Stastny 
  • Zari Santner - Portland Parks
  • TBA
REGISTRATION:Open on March 17th
Details we be posted here: http://aiaportland.org/stitch-an-aia-portland-ideas-competition
CONTACT:
For questions email: competitions@aiaportland.org
Sponsors:
AIA Portland | Emerging Professionals Committee
AIA Portland | Committee On The Environment
Center for Architecture Oregon
PAP_logo_line




March 10, 2014

VIDEO: Xavier Vilalta: Architecture at home in its community

When TED Fellow Xavier Vilalta was commissioned to create a multistory shopping mall in Addis Ababa, he panicked. Other centers represented everything he hated about contemporary architecture: wasteful, glass towers requiring tons of energy whose design had absolutely nothing to do with Africa. In this charming talk, Vilalta shows how he champions an alternative approach: to harness nature, reference design tradition and create beautiful, modern, iconic buildings fit for a community.

Barcelona-based architect Xavier Vilalta works in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He adopts and updates traditional design principles to construct modern buildings that truly suit their environment.