August 30, 2010

Slideshow: Architecture and Design in Japan



If you haven't been to Japan, go! It is a spectacular and often absurd country with some of the most amazing architecture and design I have seen. Serene elegance brushes against flamboyant opulence. Luxurious materials are juxtaposed to simple concrete. It is a mish-mash of creativity not rivaled anywhere in the world. These images are mostly from Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto and encompass various buildings as well as a lot of interesting retail interiors.


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August 25, 2010

Video: Alex Steffen sees a sustainable future



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August 23, 2010

Slideshow: Architecture of Alvar Aalto in Helsinki, Finland



Here lies a collection of images from a recent trip to Helsinki, Finland. Obviously, the first course of action was to hunt down the various Alvar Aalto architecture in the city. Unfortunately I didn't get to them all in the short time I was there, but here are some great examples of his work, his manipulation of light and some furniture and details.

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August 16, 2010

Slideshow: Sydney Opera House - by Jørn Utzon - Sydney, Australia



A building that is more impressive in person. The images we are bombarded with of this iconic architecture fails to capture the textures and details of Jørn Utzon's architecture. The tiled roofs glisten in the Australian sun and the interiors offer a stark look at the structure holding the curved roofs afloat. A truly amazing building that must be visited to appreciate fully.

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August 13, 2010

eVolo 2011 Skyscraper Competition

www.evolo.us eVolo – to study, to develop, to evolve, to fly away…

eVolo is pleased to invite students, architects, engineers, and designers from around the globe to take part in the 2011 Skyscraper Competition.

The annual eVolo Skyscraper Competition is a forum for the discussion, development, and promotion of innovative concepts for vertical density. It examines the relationship between the skyscraper and the natural world, the skyscraper and the community, and the skyscraper and the city.

The exponential increase of the world’s population and its unprecedented shift from rural to urban areas has prompted hundreds of new developments without adequate urban planning and poor architectural design. The aim of this competition is to redefine what we understand as a skyscraper and initiate a new architectural discourse of economic, environmental, intellectual, and perceptual responsibility that could ultimately modify our cities and improve our way of life.

The use of new materials, technologies, aesthetics, and novel spatial organizations, along with studies on globalization, flexibility, adaptability, and the digital revolution are some of the multi-layered elements that the participants should take into consideration. This is also an investigation on the public and private space and the role of the individual and the collective in the creation of a dynamic and adaptive vertical community.

There are no restrictions in regards to site, program or size. The objective is to provide maximum freedom to the participants to engage the project without constraints in the most creative way. What is a skyscraper in the 21st century? What are the historical, contextual, social, urban, and environmental responsibilities of these mega-structures?

Registration:Students, architects, engineers, and designers are invited to participate in the competition. We encourage you to have multidisciplinary teams.
  • Participants must register by January 11, 2011.
  • Early Registration: US $65 until November 16, 2010 
  • Late Registration: US $85 from November 17, 2010 to January 11, 2011
  • One registration = One project.
  • Participants may submit various projects, but must register each entry.
  • There is no limit as to the number of participants per team. Individual entries are accepted.
  • After your registration has been approved eVolo will send the registration number which will be necessary for submission boards.
Schedule:
  • July 19, 2010 – Competition announcement, registration begins, acceptance of questions
  • November 8, 2010 – Deadline for submitting questions
  • November 16, 2010 – Early registration deadline
  • November 30, 2010 – Answers to questions posted on website
  • January 11, 2011 – Late registration deadline
  • January 18, 2011 – Project submission deadline
  • February 28, 2011 – Winners’ announcement
Submission Requirements

This is a digital competition and no hardcopies are necessary. Entrants must submit their proposal via email no later than January 18, 2011 (23:00 hours US Eastern Time) to the following email address: skyscraper2011@evolo.us

The project submission must contain the following files:
  1. Two boards with the project information including plans, sections, and perspectives. Participants are encouraged to submit all the information they consider necessary to explain their proposal. These boards should be 24″ X 48″ in HORIZONTAL format. The resolution of the boards must be 150 dpi, RGB mode and saved as JPG files. The upper right corner of each board must contain the participation number. There should not be any marks or any other form of identification. The files must be named after the registration number followed by the board number. For example: 0101-1.jpg and 0101-2.jpg. 
  2. A DOC file containing the project statement (600 words max). This file must be named after the registration number followed by the word “statement”. For example: 0101-statement.doc.
  3. A DOC file containing the entrants’ personal information, including name, profession, address, and email. This file must be named after the registration number followed by the word “info”. For example: 0101-info.doc.
  4. All the files must be placed in a ZIP folder named after your registration number. For example: 0101.zip
Jury
  • Benjamin Aranda [principal Aranda¥Lasch] 
  • Juan Azulay [principal Matter Management, professor at Southern California Institute of Architecture]
  • Mario Cipresso [principal Studio Shift, professor at University of Southern California]
  • Ted Givens [associate director RMJM]
  • Eric Goldemberg [principal Monad Studio, professor at University of Miami]
  • Jose Gonzalez [principal Softlab, professor at Pratt Institute]
  • John Hill [editor Archidose] 
  • Mitchell Joachim [principal Terreform One, professor at New York University]
  • Andrew Liang [principal Studio 0.10., professor at University of Southern California] 
  • Chris Lasch [principal Aranda¥Lasch] 
  • Neri Oxman [principal Materialecology, Presidential Fellow at MIT Media Lab]
  • Javier Quintana [principal Taller Basico de Arquitectura, Dean of IE School of Architecture]
  • Rezza Rahdian [Architect, Second Place 2009 Skyscraper Competition]
  • Michel Rojkind [principal Rojkind Arquitectos]
  • Michael Szivos [principal Softlab, professor at Pratt Institute]
Regulations
  1. This is an anonymous competition and the registration number is the only means of identification.
  2. The official language of the competition is English.
  3. The registration fee is non-refundable. 
  4. Contacting the Jury is prohibited.
  5. Entrants will be disqualified if any of the competition rules are not considered. 
  6. Participation assumes acceptance of the regulations.

Awards
  • 1st place – US $5000
  • 2nd place – US $2000
  • 3rd place – US $1000
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August 6, 2010

Recent news from Steven Holl Architects

Steven Holl Architects presents Su Pietra, an exhibition of recent projects in China and Europe, at the Castle of Acaya in Lecce, Italy July 10, 2010 – January 15, 2011

New York, NY: June 14, 2010 – Steven Holl Architects is pleased to present Su Pietra, an exhibition of recent projects in China and Europe, which will be held at the Castle of Acaya in Lecce, Italy. The exhibition illustrates the design process of Steven Holl Architects, from conception to its current form, documenting the collaborative process of model making, drawing, and animation. In the exhibition, Steven Holl Architects’ recent projects merge with the early-16th-Century Castle of Acaya, with high- definition projections being cast onto the stone walls. It will be presented from July 10, 2010 through January 15, 2011. The Castle of Acaya is located in the Lecce Province, Apulia region of southern Italy.

The exhibition focuses on Steven Holl Architects’ recent projects in Europe and China. While the Chinese projects – the Horizontal Skyscraper in Shenzhen, Linked Hybrid in Beijing, and the Nanjing Museum of Art and Architecture – explore the macro scale of cities through the lens of architecture, the European projects show a vision of the preservation of natural landscape, as with the Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Knut Hamsun Center, Loisium Alsace, and the Cité de l’Ocean et du Surf in Biarritz.

As China experiences one of the world’s largest urbanizations in history, the Chinese works explore the creation of collective urban space - as opposed to object buildings. Rather than monofunctional buildings, these new hybrid buildings incorporate rich programmatic juxtapositions. At the micro scale, the European projects aim at shaping space, and investigating the phenomena of light and tactility through material development and experimentation.In addition, a series of stone sculptures has been created by Steven Holl specifically for Su Pietra. Complementing the exhibit’s projections “on stone,” Holl’s sculptures combine modern forms with an historic medium. Manufactured in Lecce and rendered from digital files sent from New York, his sculptures also demonstrate the possibilities of global collaboration.



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Steven Holl Architects opens the exhibition Urbanisms: Steven Holl + Li Hu 7 Projects in China by Steven Holl Architects July 30, 2010 at the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall in Hangzhou, China

New York City, July 26, 2010 – On Friday, July 30 Steven Holl Architects opens the exhibition Urbanisms: Steven Holl + Li Hu: 7 Projects in China by Steven Holl Architects in the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall in Hangzhou, China.

The exhibition tracks the process of designing ambitious projects in China from 2003-2009: Nanjing Museum of Art and Architecture, Beijing Linked Hybrid, Shenzhen Horizontal Skyscraper, and Chengdu Sliced Porosity Block. In addition, the exhibition will show three new projects in Hangzhou: the Triaxial Field Pavilion, the Shan-Shui Oxygen and Boiler master plan, and the recently won design for the Music Museum campus.

As China experiences one of the world’s largest urbanizations in history, these works explore the creation of collective urban space- as opposed to object buildings. Rather than monofunctional buildings, these are new hybrid buildings with rich programmatic juxtapositions. Each project investigates the phenomena of light and tactility through material development and experimentation. Geothermal cooling and heating, solar PVC and grey water recycling are among several green strategies utilized in all the projects.

The exhibition illustrates the design process from initial conception to current status; documenting the collaborative process of model making, drawing, and animation. The works presented are the product of a cooperative effort between Steven Holl Architects’ offices in New York and Beijing, where the difference in time zones often facilitates a continuous 24 hours cycle of production, the results of which are unprecedented works that are a fusion of landscape, urbanisms, and architecture.For more information on the work of Steven Holl Architects, please visit www.stevenholl.com

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Steven Holl Architects Chosen to Design the New Queens Library at Hunters Point 

Steven Holl Architects has been selected to design the new library at the Queens West Development at Hunters Point. This new library will provide state of the art library services to the community, as well as offer a space for community programming.

The new Queens Library is sited with spectacular views over the East River and major landmarks, such as the UN Building and the Roosevelt Memorial by Louis I. Kahn under construction on Roosevelt Island. It will function as a connector between waterfront activities and the city beyond. With residential buildings, three acres of new park land and public schools as neighbors, the library will serve as a new "urban forum" and aninvaluable resource for the community. The new Library will shape public space and create new connections across the Queens West Development, Hunters Point South, and the existing neighborhood of Hunters Point.

Tom Galante, Chief Executive Officer for the Queens Library, said, "Queens Library at Hunters Point will be a great resource for the whole community. We are looking forward to working with Steven Holl Architects to see a truly special library built on this site."

In addition to the stacks, the new library will house reading areas, a gallery, publicassembly multi-purpose meeting room for community programming including after-school study, readings, and various locally based events, and associated library staff and support areas. The project scope also includes the design of a separate structure to accommodate the users and staff of the adjacent Gantry Plaza State Park, to be located on the same site.

"This library will be a beacon for the Queens Library system and a cultural center for this growing and dynamic neighborhood" said David J. Burney, Commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction, which is managing the project. "Steven Holl Architects delivers dramatic architecture and innovative responses to complex client programs, and has proven to be adept at creating iconic buildings that respond to their site, culture, and history. This will be Steven Holl’s first public New York City commission, and we are looking forward to working with him on this exciting project."

Steven Holl states, "We are very pleased with this great commission for an addition to the growing community. We envision a building hovering and porous, open to the public park. A luminous form of opportunity for knowledge, standing on its own reflection in the east river."

For more information on the work of Steven Holl Architects, please visit www.stevenholl.com


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August 4, 2010

Video: Arthur Ganson Makes Moving Sculpture



The artwork of Arthur Ganson is both elegant and tranquil in its kinetic beauty. Throughout this talk he describes the process of imagining and crafting his moving masterpieces while showing the stunning results. I found it particularly interesting that he not only imagined these fantastical devices, yet he also invented many of the tools necessary to build them. The dancing chair machine at the end of the presentation is just incredibly beautiful, accompanied by the perfect soundtrack.


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August 2, 2010

Slideshow: Museum of 21st Century Art - by Sanaa - Kanazawa, Japan



An incredible museum nestled in the urban center of a relatively out of the way Japanese city. A trip to The Museum of 21st Century Art is well worth the time in transit as it reveals the minimalism of the architecture of recent Pritzker Prize winning firm Sanaa. The pure geometries of the simple boxes arranged within an enclosing circle offer visitors a range of internal spaces: long narrow corridors, open courtyards, cubic galleries and flowing public spaces. The detailing is superb, materiality simple yet elegant, and lighting perfect for displaying contemporary art. However, the true joy of this building was getting lost between the boxes, poking your head into galleries to see what discoveries lie within.

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