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Superspace Re-Imagines Prague’s Victory Square as a Social Center

13 August, 2018 - 08:00
Courtesy of Superspace Courtesy of Superspace

Istanbul-based studio Superspace has proposed a design for Prague’s Victory Square that transforms the dead zone in the middle of Prague into a space flourishing with nature and social activities. The simple but effective solution inverts traffic and pedestrian access to create a green urban center, where markets, art festivals and even wintertime ice-skating can take place. Tall, local evergreen trees would be planted in the horseshoe shape surrounding the inner ring, creating an iconic visual impact while shielding the community space from the noise of the busy traffic area beyond.

Courtesy of Superspace Courtesy of Superspace Courtesy of Superspace Courtesy of Superspace

The current design of Victory Square encourages heavy traffic congestion and its central green space is inaccessible and redundant. Superspace’s proposal increases the permeability of the space, as well as creates a holistic central urban space surrounded by easily accessible traffic lanes.  

Courtesy of Superspace Courtesy of Superspace

The form of the ring derives from the transition between the horseshoe plan and the existing central roundabout. It creates an intimate community space nestled within the trees, an oasis within the city.

Courtesy of Superspace Courtesy of Superspace

News via: Superspace

Top 20 A' Design Award Winners

13 August, 2018 - 06:30
Courtesy of A’ Design Awards Courtesy of A’ Design Awards

The A’ Design Award is an international award whose aim is to provide designers, architects, and innovators from all architecture and design fields with a competitive platform to showcase their work and products to a global audience. Among the design world's many awards, the A' Design Award stands out for its exceptional scale and breadth; in 2015, over 1,000 different designs received awards, with all fields of design recognized by the award's 100 different categories. This year's edition is now open for entries; designers can register their submissions here.

Organized as a way to showcase excellent designers in all disciplines and from all countries, the A' Awards are peer-reviewed and anonymously judged by an influential jury panel of experienced scholars, important press members, and experienced professionals. The awards offer prestige, publicity and international recognition to A’ Design Award Laureates through the coveted A’ Design Prize system. You can learn more about the call for entries process here.

A’ Design Competition results are announced every year on April 15. Best products, projects, and services worldwide that demonstrate superior design, technology and creativity are rewarded with the A' Design Award; the symbol of excellence in design and innovation. There are five different levels of distinction: Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Iron A’ Design Awards are distributed annually in all design disciplines. Designers, companies, and institutions from all countries are annually called to take part in the accolades by nominating their best works, projects, and products for award consideration. See more on the result announcement here

Entries will be judged by A' Design Award's jury of hundreds of experts from around the globe including scholars, professionals and media members. Each jury member is required to sign a jury agreement and follow a code of conduct. In addition, jurors may not be employees of the participating companies to avoid conflicts of interest. This jury process has been designed to lead to a more fair and equitable awards process, with no single juror exercising undue influence on the results of the awards. You can find out more about the jury and its process here.

The A' Design Award & Competition also has a network to reach millions of design-oriented audiences worldwide.  A’ Design Awards winners were seen directly at the A’ Design Award website 24,404,321 times. They also have 71,017 users on their platform and 45,906 project submissions. See more on the award in numbers here

Winners of an A' Design Award receive a trophy alongside a host of other benefits: a certificate, inclusion in an exhibition, inclusion in a yearbook publication, winners' badges, an exclusive interview to be featured on the A' Design Awards website, inclusion in the world design rankings, an invite to a gala night hosted by the awards for networking, feedback notes from the award jury, and participation in an extensive PR campaign are all offered to winners among other benefits. Click here to see the full list of benefits.

The submission period for the A' Design Award closes on February 28. You can submit your designs here. After the winners are announced on April 15th, a selection of architecture-related winners will be featured in a post on ArchDaily.

Below we have selected our Top 20 A' Design Award Winners. 

Tofana (Hotel) / Lukas Rungger

Platinum A' Hospitality, Recreation, Travel and Tourism Design Award Winner, 2017 - 2018

Courtesy of A’ Design Awards Courtesy of A’ Design Awards

 Light Waterfall Sales Center / Kris Lin and Jiayu Yang

Platinum A' Architecture, Building and Structure Design Award Winner, 2017 - 2018

Courtesy of A’ Design Awards Courtesy of A’ Design Awards

Cloud Park (Xixi Center Office and Business Building) / Meng Fanhao

Platinum A' Architecture, Building and Structure Design Award Winner, 2017 - 2018

Courtesy of A’ Design Awards Courtesy of A’ Design Awards

Qingtie CR Town Sales Office Sales Office / Kot Ge - LSDCASA and Studio HBA

Platinum A' Interior Space and Exhibition Design Award Winner, 2017 - 2018

Courtesy of A’ Design Awards Courtesy of A’ Design Awards

Xian Jiaotong-Liverpool University (Architecture - Education Facility) / Andrew Bromberg at Aedas

Platinum A' Architecture, Building and Structure Design Award Winner, 2013 - 2014

Courtesy of A’ Design Awards Courtesy of A’ Design Awards

Villafound Jade Hotel Lijiang Lodge / Nie Jianping

Platinum A' Architecture, Building and Structure Design Award Winner, 2016 - 2017

Courtesy of A’ Design Awards Courtesy of A’ Design Awards

ICE Krakow (Concert and Congress Centre) / Ingarden & Ewý Architects Ltd.

Platinum A' Architecture, Building and Structure Design Award Winner, 2014 - 2015

Courtesy of A’ Design Awards Courtesy of A’ Design Awards

Seehof: a Garden Architecture (Hotel) / Noa

Platinum A' Hospitality, Recreation, Travel and Tourism Design Award Winner, 2017 - 2018

Courtesy of A’ Design Awards Courtesy of A’ Design Awards

 Heavenly Water Service Center / Zhenfei Wang

Platinum A' Architecture, Building and Structure Design Award Winner, 2016 - 2017

Courtesy of A’ Design Awards Courtesy of A’ Design Awards

Google Campus Dublin (Office Interior Design) / Camenzind Evolution

Platinum A' Interior Space and Exhibition Design Award Winner, 2013 - 2014

Courtesy of A’ Design Awards Courtesy of A’ Design Awards

City Lounge, St. Gallen (Urban Living Room) / Carlos Martinez and Pipilotti Rist

Platinum A' Street Furniture Design Award Winner, 2016-2017

Courtesy of A’ Design Awards Courtesy of A’ Design Awards

Hubertus Hotel / Elisabeth Mitterer, Lukas Rungger, and Andreas Profanter

Platinum A' Hospitality, Recreation, Travel and Tourism Design Award Winner, 2016 - 2017

Courtesy of A’ Design Awards Courtesy of A’ Design Awards

Brickkiln Folk Inn and Museum (Make Village Newborn) / Kevin Hu

Platinum A' Interior Space and Exhibition Design Award Winner, 2017 - 2018

Courtesy of A’ Design Awards Courtesy of A’ Design Awards

Gamsei (Cocktail Bar) / Buero Wagner 

Platinum A' Interior Space and Exhibition Design Award Winner, 2013 - 2014

Courtesy of A’ Design Awards Courtesy of A’ Design Awards

Yukyu En Hofu City Crematorium / Shunmyo Masuno

Platinum A' Landscape Planning and Garden Design Award Winner, 2016-2017

Courtesy of A’ Design Awards Courtesy of A’ Design Awards

Zhongnan Mansion Clubhouse / Kris Lin and Jiayu Yang

Platinum A' Interior Space and Exhibition Design Award Winner, 2017 - 2018

Courtesy of A’ Design Awards Courtesy of A’ Design Awards

Black Eagle Residential House / Perathoner Architects 

Platinum A' Architecture, Building and Structure Design Award Winner, 2016 - 2017

Courtesy of A’ Design Awards Courtesy of A’ Design Awards

Malangen (Family Retreat) / Snorre Stinessen

Platinum A' Architecture, Building and Structure Design Award Winner, 2017 - 2017

Courtesy of A’ Design Awards Courtesy of A’ Design Awards

Wuhan Wushang Mall Cinema 9F / Ajax Law & Virginia Lung

Platinum A' Interior Space and Exhibition Design Award Winner, 2017 - 2018

Courtesy of A’ Design Awards Courtesy of A’ Design Awards

G Space Hair Salon / Ming-Hong Tsai

Platinum A' Interior Space and Exhibition Design Award Winner, 2017 - 2018

Courtesy of A’ Design Awards Courtesy of A’ Design Awards

Measuring Wheel: Ditch Roll-Up Tape for a Coin-Sized Pocket ‘Rollbe’ Ruler

11 August, 2018 - 19:00
[ By WebUrbanist in Gadgets & Geekery & Technology. ]

Architects, carpenters and other design and construction professionals often carry measuring tape wherever they go, but this small wheel makes for a much less bulky companion tool.

Measuring trundle wheels used to determine distances by rolling on a surface are not new, but they are big, and this design miniaturizes their function while maintaining a critical advantage: it can measure up to effectively any length as long as its operator keeps track of the number of spins.

The Rollbe comes in various sizes, but at its smallest it is just a few inches in circumference (around an inch in diameter), making it fit like a coin and easy to carry on the go. It also comes with a pouch, turning it into a keyring.

Thanks to the curved design and rolling function, it can measure not just flat but also curving and irregular surfaces, an advantage over a traditional measuring tape. The device also clicks with each rotation, making it easier to track the number of turns.

Designed by The Work of Mind, a Canadian company, the idea came from an unlikely direction — it wasn’t an attempt to figure out measuring, but to find new uses for coin-sized options. Numerals and markings are etched into the stainless steel using laser engraving to prevent fading over time. A larger version is also available — less portable, but a nice thing to pack in one’s kit of tools.

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[ By WebUrbanist in Gadgets & Geekery & Technology. ]

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Best Tiles Suitable For Your Home

10 August, 2018 - 06:09

It’s easy to think that you can install the tiles you want in your home, whether it’s your kitchen or bathroom or in an entryway. However, it takes more than choosing and watching helpful videos online to know how to install tiles properly. Consider a few reasons why it’s always good to choose the type of tiles for your home carefully.

The following tips will guide you in making the right choice.

1. Slip Resistance

Slippery floors are very dangerous especially if your home has children, elderly and disabled people. When choosing tiles, make sure you go for tiles that are slip resistant. A bathroom is the most affected part of your house and that is where most accidents tend to happen. You can choose to have pebbles, mosaic or ceramic tiles for your bathroom. Make sure the source of your tiles is reliable. This will ensure the safety of your floors or walls. Your kitchen too will need tiles that safe since there are a lot of activities that involve water and soaps in there that can make you slide and fall.

2. Quality

This measures the materials’ ability to withstand foot traffic and scratches. Tiles that are weak in texture break off easily. It may also be dangerous especially if they are to be put on the wall in a house with children around. You will need tiles that show resistance to wear caused by movement of surfaces or materials in contact with them. You should check the tiles before work begins to ensure that they meet the highest standards.

3. Color

Just like everything in life, colors evolve with time and you need to choose a shade that is right for your home. Make sure that the colors create a suitable backdrop from which to decorate the rest of the space. As much as other things like soft furnishings, furniture, and décor play a vital role in creating a good ambiance, the choice of tile shade you make does as well. If your house is painted in different shades, you can go for tiles of the same plain color not to give your home a busy look. You can ask a professional to choose colors for you if you are not sure of what works best with your other home decors.

4. Water Absorption

Tiles that have low water absorption have higher mechanical strength. It is important to purchase and fire tiles at high temperatures for this make them less water absorbent. Tiles that absorb water easily do not last long and you will need to keep replacing or repairing them. Go for tiles that are waterproof. You can ask your contractor or the tile company to identify for you the tiles that are water resistant.

5. Chemical and Stain Resistance

Installing tiles that are stain resistance is hygienic for they are easy to clean. Ceramic tiles are known to resist stains because of their glazed surface. This means that you do not have to scrub hard to get off food particles that stick on the walls of your kitchen or have to fight for space with pests that come to feast on those particles. You just wipe your kitchen walls after cooking and you are good to go.it is also important to put tiles that can withstand the heat that comes from the kitchen heat without bending or cracking. These tiles should be strong enough and they should not expand or contract during temperature changes.

6. Durability

You will need to go for tiles that will give value to your money. Tiles installed on driveways are supposed to be those that can withstand heavy and frequent use by vehicles. Low-quality tiles will crack and contribute to tear and wear of your car tires. This also applies to the tiles for your bathroom walls. They should be able to endure frequent splashing of water. Do not go for tiles that fall off within a short period after they are installed.

The interior and exterior part of your house needs a good finishing. Tiles are a modern way of flooring or walling and they give your home an attractive appearance. Choosing the right tiles for your home is important for it reduces the work of maintenance and cleaning. The wrong choice of tiles can cost you a lot in keeping them in good shape and you may end up not liking the appearance of your home. It is also important to maintain your tiles after installing them. Avoid leaks of water pipes behind the tiling and make sure the outdoor tiled space has a good water drainage in case of rains.

Holiday House on Prophet Ilias Mountain / Kapsimalis Architects

10 August, 2018 - 04:00
© Giorgos Sfakianakis © Giorgos Sfakianakis © Giorgos Sfakianakis © Giorgos Sfakianakis

Text description provided by the architects. The holiday house is located on the highest point of Santorini Island, on ‘Prophet Ilias’ mountainside. The building faces to the southwest and has a view of the Aegean Sea and the volcanic landscape. The residence consists of a living room, a dining area, a kitchen, a main bedroom and two bathrooms oriented towards to the view.

© Giorgos Sfakianakis © Giorgos Sfakianakis Plan Plan © Giorgos Sfakianakis © Giorgos Sfakianakis

The elongated, rectangular form is nestled into the slope. The excavation material that has resulted during the construction period, was used to shape the main façade of the house and its surrounding landscape. The house is integrated to the cliff-side, leaving the least possible imprint.

© Giorgos Sfakianakis © Giorgos Sfakianakis

Aim of the project is to merge the interior and exterior space of the house. The long, sliding glass door of 10meters length, opens and links the relaxation-cooking interior zone with the courtyard and the swimming pool. The interior space becomes an exterior one, under a shadow and at the same time expands into an infinity pool, an exterior lounge area and a wooden deck that compose the external space. Two main free standing walls highlight the two entrances of the holiday house, through two lateral staircases.

© Giorgos Sfakianakis © Giorgos Sfakianakis

Inside the residence, sections made by bricks, wood and glass separate the different rooms. Skylights on the rooftop allow the natural light into the space. Natural materials like oak, walnut wood, grey and beige rough marbles and black steel create warmth, while some colourful pieces of furniture, create a joyful mood. Stone and concrete are the materials that define the exterior form of the house. Wild Mediterranean plants, some of them into cylindrical pots made by black steel, are sparsely placed outdoor.

© Giorgos Sfakianakis © Giorgos Sfakianakis

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer: "To Understand a Building, Go There, Open your Eyes, and Look!"

8 August, 2018 - 09:00
© Nina Vidic, via ELEMENTAL. ImageUC Innovation Center / ELEMENTAL © Nina Vidic, via ELEMENTAL. ImageUC Innovation Center / ELEMENTAL

Six years ago Susan Szenasy and I had the honor of interviewing Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer for Metropolis magazine. While he was a federal appeals judge in Boston, Breyer played a key role in shepherding the design and construction of the John Joseph Moakley United State Courthouse, designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. In 2011 Justice Breyer joined the jury of the Pritzker Prize. Given his long involvement with architecture, I thought it would be fun to catch up with him. So, on the final day of court before breaking for the summer recess, I talked to Justice Breyer about his experience as a design client, how to create good government buildings, and why public architecture matters.

Martin C Pedersen: We can’t talk about your current involvement on the Pritzker jury, but I do want to talk about architecture in more general terms. You have a long engagement. When did it start?

Stephen Breyer: It began back in early 1990s. Doug Woodlock was the judge in the federal district court for Massachusetts (in Boston), and I was was chief judge of the First Circuit Court of Appeals,, and we needed a new courthouse. We wanted an attractive courthouse, but we also wanted one that would work. It was important that good architects applied, so Bill Lacey [then executive director of the Pritzker Prize] helped us with that. Eventually we found a very good architect, Henry Cobb [with Ian Bader].

But it took quite a while. Anyone who has worked with the General Services Administration knows that it’s not necessarily a smooth, flowing process. It took Doug and me a day a week for about two years—not to get the building built, but to to figure out what we wanted, to travel around and look at buildings by Cesar Pelli and Moshe Safdie and Robert Venturi, and other very good architects, to get the plans for the building approved and drawn.  

Harry taught us a lot. He spent time sitting in courtrooms, seeing what judges do, and tried to make a building that the public would be able to use and consider their own. It was not a private building. It was a government building. For me, just looking and listening, trying to deal with both the architects and the GSA, and the judges and the others, I learned a lot. I don’t consider myself an architectural expert, but I may be an expert in the choices you have to make if you want to design an effective courthouse.

United States Courthouse, Salt Lake City / Thomas Phifer and Partners. Image © Scott Frances United States Courthouse, Salt Lake City / Thomas Phifer and Partners. Image © Scott Frances

I came out of that with a belief that, for major government buildings, there always has to be someone who takes an interest—who’s not the architect, who’s not the director of security. It has to be a fairly high level person, in whatever organization is planning the building, who is willing to devote the time. Not to giving total free rein. But sitting there and trying to bring people together, so that the architect has the ability to contribute what he or she has the skill to do. That remains a necessary part of the process to produce good public buildings.

MCP: You get back to the Moakley courthouse every year.

SB: More than that, because my wife has always kept her job at Dana Farber, the cancer hospital in Boston, and we’ve kept our house up there. We’re back and forth quite a lot.

MCP: How has the building held up?

SB: It’s held up beautifully. It still looks good and works well as a courthouse. The courtrooms are attractive and people visit and hold public events there. The local bar association sponsors tours for thousands of school children every year, to observe how our legal system works. The jurors come, learn about their role, and serve as jurors, if selected. The courthouse is both a learning device and a building that the people of Boston feel they can use. Ellsworth Kelly produced a series of paintings for the building that are worth far more than the amount he was paid. And those paintings work perfectly. It’s a testament to what two talented people, Ellsworth Kelly and Harry [Henry] Cobb, can do when they put their minds to it, and they’re allowed to do it. That doesn’t mean non-interference. It doesn’t mean, “Just do what you want.” It means work with them, be helpful to the process. In the end the only way to understand a building is not to describe it, or even to take a picture of it, but to go there, open your eyes, and look.

Palais de Justice, Bordeaux / Ivan Harbour, RSH+P. Image via Wikimedia Palais de Justice, Bordeaux / Ivan Harbour, RSH+P. Image via Wikimedia

MCP: The process of moving through a building and experiencing it, that’s what separates banal, or even good building, from great ones.

SB: Yes. I agree with you. I think that building in Boston has been successful. And now what you have is a new generation of courthouses, all over the world, that are not fortresses or palaces. They’re public buildings. There is one that Richard Rogers designed in Bordeaux. There’s another in Tel Aviv, another in Johannesburg, South Africa. In a sense, they’re all alike, in that they’re immediately seen and experienced as public buildings. They’re beautiful and serious and part of the democratic process. Can architects do that? Yes. They’ve done it.

MCP: Have you seen some of the new embassies that have recently been completed?

SB: I know about the one in Santiago, Chile, which is not a new one. But I have a great fear of it, because it looks like Fort Knox. And if you build a building that looks like Fort Knox, that’s what people will think it is. And that’s what they’ll think of their government, too.

US Embassy in Santiago. Image via Wikimedia US Embassy in Santiago. Image via Wikimedia

MCP: As someone at least peripherally involved in architecture, I have a question that I ask a lot of architects. Architecture is the ubiquitous art form. It’s all around us, and yet the public’s perception of it is often weak. What do you think accounts for this disconnect?

SB: Part of it is, look, we breathe everyday, right? But you do not understand the need for clean air until it’s not there. People are surrounded by color, light, noise. Now that color, light, and noise, can be a cacophony, it can be garbage cans banging, or it can be Louis Armstrong or Duke Ellington. Buildings are part of that human dynamic. They can bring joy and harmony into the lives of people who encounter them. And those same people might not be able to speak in articulate terms that a great architecture critic would appreciate, but they’ll know when they miss it. They’ll know when it isn’t there. It seems to me that’s why it’s essential part of our lives.

MCP: In the past five years there’s been a cultural shift in architecture away from the celebration of the lone genius architect. What do you make of that shift?

SB: I don’t know. But I do know that one of the most interesting talks that I’ve heard recently was by Alejandro Aravena, the Chilean architect. He cited a statistic. By 2050, there will be as many as five billion people living in cities. And the number of those people who cannot afford ten thousand dollars for a home is huge. So we’re going to have billions more people needing buildings, for work, for living. Whether we like it or not, this is undeniably true. It seems inevitable. And when it happens, those buildings can, conceivably, promote harmony. They can work, they can be coherent, and provide a kind of beauty. That’s the challenge. How do you accomplish that? You can label it genius or you can just call it quality. I’d be satisfied with quality. Now how do we get there? The most I could do, as one client, was to help get a building built. The most I can do as a member of the Pritzker jury is to sit on the sidelines and say, “Keep going! This is important.”

MCP: We’re living in polarized times. Does architecture have a “political” role?

SB: Well, the political role is to try to create physical places where people’s natural needs for harmony, beauty and functionality are met. I would say that’s the job. Just like my job in law is to resolve legal disputes. Therefore, we have a legal system. Everything around us—particularly in the communications area—wants to shout, “It’s all political!” I say, “That isn’t what it feels like to me.” I’m a judge and I try to do my job. And I imagine that architects feel somewhat similarly.

MCP: There’s a phrase going around in architecture circles right now: democratic design. As someone who deals primarily in democratic ideals, and who deals a little bit in design, I wonder what that phrase means to you?

SB: I would prefer to use a legal phrase that was very popular at one time. It’s an Oliver Wendell Holmes term, called Jobsmanship. If you were to translate that into architecture terms, it would mean that every part of the building was designed well. The stairs, the handrails, the restaurants, how it looks from the outside, how it looks on the inside. There are no dead areas. The direction is clear. The signage is clear. Whatever the point of view, there is an attractive perspective. When we were looking around, for architects, we asked a series of questions to the people who worked in their earlier buildings and who used them: What do you think? Do you like it? Does it lift your spirits? Are you happy to be here? How does it still function ten or fifteen years after opening? Does it fit within the neighborhood? Does it add something to the community around it? These are all fair questions to ask of our buildings.

La Tourette / Le Corbusier. Image © Fernando Schapochnik La Tourette / Le Corbusier. Image © Fernando Schapochnik

MCP: What’s the most inspiring project you’ve seen in the last handful of years?  

SB: Most inspiring? We went on a tour and I loved the Le Corbusier monastery near Lyon. That was one of the things that was a surprise. But I can tell you a city I loved: Barcelona, not just because of the art Nouveau part, the Gaudi buildings, but because of the old city, which they’d redone, in a way that was not gentrified. There were all kinds of neighborhoods, and lots of different kinds of people. You’d go to look at a library, at night, and they’d be a cafe next door and there’d be a lot of young people sitting at the cafe, and you’d look through the windows of the library and see children reading books, younger people reading books, and old people reading books. Great. There they were, using that building. An attractive building, in an attractive neighborhood, so when I saw that I thought of that corny old political slogan, “Yes, we can do it.”

MCP: It is possible.

SB: It’s possible! Of course.

"Post-Digital" Drawing Valorizes the Ordinary and Renders it to Look Like the Past

7 August, 2018 - 09:00

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Can’t Be Bothered: The Chic Indifference of Post-Digital Drawing."

In architectural circles, the appellation “post-digital” has come to mean many things to many people. Some have used it as a shorthand descriptor for the trendy style of rendering that has become popular among students and, increasingly, architectural offices. Others have used it to describe a more profound shift in architectural production that is at once inoculated against the novelty of digital technique and attuned to the sheer ubiquity of “the digital” in contemporary life.  

Chiado Apartment. Image Courtesy of Fala Atelier Chiado Apartment. Image Courtesy of Fala Atelier

In both instances, tIn both instances, the post-digital signals awareness and savvy; a calculated world-weariness that has seen through the so-called “disruptive” promise of the digital. One need only be alive and minimally attentive in 2018 to be disabused of the stubborn positivism that has come to be associated with “the digital turn” in its broadest sense. Aspiring to an architectural sensibility of digital-skepticism is commendable, to be sure—many an artistic experiment has derived nourishment from meta-critiques of its tools of production. However, the term “post-digital” as it is used in popular architectural discourse has been shorn of its critical and subversive potential to fundamentally reconstitute disciplinary concerns and methods for a putatively post-digital age. What we have instead is the mere description of a description: just another style of architectural rendering.

This notion of “post-digital drawing” has been articulated by the architect and writer Sam Jacob, in an essay for e-flux, as “accentuat[ing] representation’s ‘representational’ quality, eschewing preset realism in order to expose how drawing and seeing are active in constructing the world.” Jacob uses “preset realism” to refer to the photorealistic renderings afforded by contemporary multi-platform workflows that combine advanced rendering software with Photoshop. Despite the wild architectural diversity depicted in these images, this “realism” can appear static and burdened with homogenizing visual tropes. More often than not, they are “all-in” images of high-contrast worlds rendered in wide angle, where street-style pedestrians abound under an HDRI sky.

This argument, pithy as it is, performs a sleight of hand by merely substituting one base form of representation with another, one set of smooth algorithmic processes for another. After all, what is “preset realism” if not a consummate form of “drawing and seeing” that actively and painstakingly constructs worlds?

Garage House. Image Courtesy of Fala Atelier Garage House. Image Courtesy of Fala Atelier

The post-digital drawing, on the other hand, renders space in a manner that variously recalls the paintings of Magritte, Sheeler, Hockney, Hopper, the large-format photographs of the New Topographics, even early OMA. Varied though these references may be, the post-digital drawing extracts from them an obsession with flatness and a virtuous refusal to engage with gloss, definition, fidelity, and multi-point perspective. Here, the visual accoutrements of photorealism have been replaced with another set of tropes: square aspect ratio, relentless frontality, impossibly high focal length, often the absence of perspective, the profusion of film-grain “noise” and texture overlays, the simulation of hand-made collage or montage, suppressed or mute coloration, fragments of iconic paintings, idiosyncratic furniture, potted succulents, and sundry domestic ephemera. By valorizing the ordinary and rendering it to look like the past, the post-digital drawing is a belated manifestation of the aesthetics of millennial disaffection that first came into prominence over a decade ago.

Alvenaria Neighborhood. Image Courtesy of Fala Atelier Alvenaria Neighborhood. Image Courtesy of Fala Atelier

In the mid-2000s, the British cultural critics Mark Fisher and Simon Reynolds reanimated the Derridean portmanteau “hauntology” to describe the work of an emerging group of musicians, including those associated with the label Ghost Box Records. This music was characterized by a retro-conscious impulse that mixed digital and analog processes to produce a seemingly imprecise and unsmooth electronic sound that was glitchy, scratchy, even old-timey. The aesthetics of this music reflected the cultural impasse of its time; 9/11, the invasion of Iraq, and the unprecedented expansion of finance capitalism. The murky sound betrayed a longing for a semi-imaginary Pre-Thatcherite past of benevolent state-planning and utopian Modernism. This spectral longing was represented through artfully scavenged musical samples and through the duotone collage aesthetic of the album art.

DOGMA’s Stop City arguably represents the first “hauntological” moment in architecture. Image Courtesy of DOGMA DOGMA’s Stop City arguably represents the first “hauntological” moment in architecture. Image Courtesy of DOGMA

Around the same time, architecture was witness to its own “hauntological” moment. This is best encapsulated in the early proposals of DOGMA and a handful of Western European architects whose work responded to the unbridled march of laissez-faire urbanization by teetering between full-blown welfare-state nostalgia and the possibility of a utopian future. Projects such as DOGMA’s Stop City (2007) and A Simple Heart (2011) harkened to not-so-distant architectural pasts by way of massive obdurate forms represented in stark drawings, painterly collages, and ominous aerial photo-montages. These projects sought to recuperate architectural form from the giddy hallucinations of neoliberal speculation by imbuing it with the power to imagine egalitarian collectivities. While the collages constructed sublime landscapes of idealized order and harmony, the “photo-real” montages grounded the projects in the banal omnipotence of the Google Earth aerial view; a rude awakening from short-lived reverie.

DOGMA’s Stop City (2007) polemically juxtaposed massive monoliths against traditional urban forms. Image Courtesy of DOGMA DOGMA’s Stop City (2007) polemically juxtaposed massive monoliths against traditional urban forms. Image Courtesy of DOGMA

In the decade since the appearance of DOGMA’s provocations, the post-digital style of architectural representation has internalized this repertoire of hauntological image-making and reduced it to a kind of filter-aesthetic that is obsessed with the look of the analog and the feel of the hand. The sexy gloss of “preset realism” has been replaced by an effete “preset retro-fetishism” that is agnostic to the functions of material, scale, program, and politics. The architectural content of post-digital imagery is overridden by the semiotics of a chic modesty, as the indifference to realism cloaks an anxious resignation to the impoverished present. The ontological promise of an architecture borne out of post-digital material ecologies and social relations is evacuated as are the radical political impulses of those early hauntological projects. What we have instead is the appearance of a pastel picturesque that renders architectural form inert to the point of meaninglessness. But perhaps that is the point.

Urban Rewilding: Reverse-Engineering Cities to Save Nature – And Ourselves

6 August, 2018 - 19:00
[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

In an age of mass extinctions and climate chaos, can we reverse-engineer some aspects of our built environments to live in greater harmony with nature? Many of our cities are built on former wetlands, fighting a losing battle with erosion and the sea. We’ve lined important ecological corridors with concrete. We’ve hunted into oblivion many of the very species that could help keep the rest of the food chain in check. Much of our architecture is focused on shutting ourselves away from nature, as if we could escape it. But advocates for ‘rewilding’ say all we have to do to repair some of the damage humanity has wrought upon the Earth is let go of our obsession with control.

The concept of rewilding has been around for decades, and it’s not necessarily a cohesive movement or concept, but rather a collection of related goals. Some define ‘rewilding’ specifically as the reintroduction of apex predators to certain regions, but just as often, it simply means allowing nature to take over far more often than we do. That might look like any number of things: removing sea walls and dams, reinstating river meanders, protecting certain marine sites from fishing and harvesting, allowing brownfield sites to grow wild after cleanup, making concrete channels more hospitable to wildlife or restoring floodplains.

Of course, we still have to build things. We need housing, agricultural fields, industry and transportation infrastructure. A metropolis like New York isn’t likely to pack up and move elsewhere in the face of rising seas anytime soon. But many cities around the world are already taking small steps toward rewilding, whether they define it that way or not.

Faux Riverbanks in Chicago Image via Urban Rivers Image via Urban Rivers

In Chicago, a nonprofit called Urban Rivers manages a project called The Wild Mile, which is in the process of transforming the manmade, steel-walled North Branch Canal of the Chicago River into a haven for wildlife. A few small sections are already complete, and by 2020, the canal will have wetlands, forest, walkways and kayak access points. The basis of the initiative is the creation of faux riverbanks anchored to the channel, made of coconut-fiber beds. The root systems reach into the water to filter and break down pollutants in this neglected section of the canal, and provide a place for mussels, birds and other species.

The Urban Wildlands of Dessau, Germany The city of Dessau, Germany. Image via DW

Dessau – kaputt.

The town of Dessau in Germany is shrinking. It never really recovered after its destruction at the end of World War II; it later became part of East Germany, its citizens mostly working in factories, but those industries ground to a halt when Germany was reunited in 1990. Many people left, and the residents left were mostly older. Before long, Dessau was essentially a ghost town, with wide swaths of empty parking lots and abandoned Communist housing blocks. The more it declined, the more people moved away. Instead of trying to lure people back in, the city’s government made an unusual decision: intentionally giving the land back to nature.

Many of the abandoned buildings were removed, and Dessau is in the process of buying up property along a nearly 300-acre belt that they hope to turn into a greenway – but they don’t have a lot of money for landscape design. Their solution mostly consists of wildflower meadows, which will grow into woodlands over time.

Restoring the Shoreline of New York City The Dryline by Bjarke Ingels Group

Surrounded by water, with many sections built right on former swamplands, New York City will likely see the kind of flooding wrought by Hurricane Sandy more frequently in the near future. It was that particular disaster that prompted Rebuild by Design, a federally funded program that solicited shoreline restoration proposals from major architecture firms like Bjarke Ingels Group. While many of the other submissions focused on areas like Staten Island and Hoboken, New Jersey, BIG’s Dryline proposal essentially wraps the Manhattan shore in 10 continuous miles of green carpet acting as a high water barrier. This “protective park” incorporates parks, bike shelters, skateboard ramps, seating and pavilions.

BIG’s vision may be – well – big, but whether or not it’s ever really built, similar buffers are popping up on a smaller scale, like the recently completed Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park in Long Island City. Other projects managed by city governments are restoring beach dunes, removing intrusive infrastructure and restoring coastal habitats or constructing new wetlands to help anchor soil in place. The installation of vegetated islands floating offshore could help break waves and host wildlife at the same time.

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Mind the Gap: Minimizing Data Loss Between GIS and BIM

6 August, 2018 - 09:00
via Wikimedia. ImageDom Luis Bridge / Porto, Portugal via Wikimedia. ImageDom Luis Bridge / Porto, Portugal

An unfortunate fact of the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry is that, between every stage of the process—from planning and design to construction and operations—critical data is lost.

The reality is, when you move data between phases of, say, the usable lifecycle of a bridge, you end up shuttling that data back and forth between software systems that recognize only their own data sets. The minute you translate that data, you reduce its richness and value. When a project stakeholder needs data from an earlier phase of the process, planners, designers, and engineers often have to manually re-create that information, resulting in unnecessary rework. 

The good news is that a disruption is brewing in the GIS (geographic information science) industry as it rapidly moves toward 3D modeling. This evolution mirrors the transformation that the design and construction industry is experiencing as it moves from 2D to 3D BIM (Building Information Modeling), and it signals the emergence of GIS and BIM integration into one holistic environment.

The BIM/GIS Alliance Begins

While GIS information is necessary for planning and operating roads, bridges, airports, rail networks, and other infrastructure in the context of their surroundings, BIM information is key for the design and construction of those structures.

Put the two together, and you have a layer of geospatial context blended into the BIM model. What this means, for example, is that GIS can provide insight about flood-prone areas and give designers accurate information to influence a structure’s location, orientation, and even construction materials.

Courtesy of Autodesk Courtesy of Autodesk

And then there’s scale: GIS information operates at city, regional, and country scales, whereas BIM data applies to designing and building a specific shape or structure. Now, in BIM, you may design a physical structure at an object level—sketching a door, a window, or a wall. By adding GIS, you’re managing that structure in the context of a larger, smarter landscape. A building will be connected to a parcel of land, utilities, and roads.

When you bring together these two relative scales and move information seamlessly between them, you eliminate data redundancy. Adding better geospatial context to the BIM process means the project owner gets better designs and saves money.

With all information stored in the cloud, stakeholders in both infrastructure and building projects will be able to manage data in any environment in any part of the world, yet reuse and repurpose that information in other contexts without having to continuously convert data.

BIM + Location Data = Better Design and Long-Term Savings

Whether general contractors bring the construction process into a factory for prefabrication or turn the building site into an open-air factory, there’s a new focus on improving logistics scheduling and minimizing job time and waste. Bringing a spatial dimension into this new industrialized-construction process will increase the efficiency of every project being built.

Esri and Autodesk are working on improved software interoperability for BIM and GIS, which will create a “digital twin” of a physical structure to enable better design in the context of the real world, making both construction and operations more efficient.

In the meantime, synthesis of the technologies is already underway. Case in point: Global engineering and design and firm Mott MacDonald is integrating GIS and BIM to support the rehabilitation of the lower Catskill Aqueduct on a project in New York. The resulting digital work product provides a progressive way for information to be recorded, indexed, and easily retrieved to support the successful delivery of the project.

via Flickr user alh1 via Flickr user alh1

The Science of “Where” in Risk Assessment

Maximizing the long-term value of new roads, bridges, and facilities means delivering better designs to solve many of the sustainability and resiliency issues facing cities today. This will require optimizing dynamic data interchange between BIM, CAD (computer-aided design), and the geospatial information provided by GIS.

Placing a digital design in a real place, within real geography, eliminates much of the front-end risk of designing and building. The biggest delays in large infrastructure projects come from the planning and permitting phases, which involve a lot of assessments of social, economic, and environmental impacts. Engineers and planners do much of that assessment outside of the design process using geospatial data; that’s how they look at floodplain maps or locate underground utilities. So, why not design using GIS and BIM data simultaneously?

This GIS and BIM integration is equally useful once a structure is built. Rather than oversimplifying the end data provided for facilities management, the flexible model—connected to GIS—delivers everything operations need. Customers have the ability to reuse that data throughout the structure’s lifecycle.

For example, operating a road in the real world means managing utilities, managing guardrail installation, maintaining striping, and overseeing maintenance crews. There’s a lot of retrofitting and renovation. When GIS, CAD, and BIM are connected, you’re improving operability and eliminating errors. This technology convergence will play an important role in predictive maintenance, too.

Courtesy of Autodesk Courtesy of Autodesk

Closing the Data Loop

To create smarter cities, we need to make smarter planning decisions, which is why connecting BIM and GIS is so critical. Think of what integrating these systems can do for the evolution of autonomous vehicles: Car sensors are constantly collecting real-time information. However, they rely upon a highly accurate machine map for navigation, local geometry, and the creation of their electronic horizon.

The machine map, which can be interpreted by computers, is best described as a 3D highway-design file enriched with real-world geospatial information. As the autonomous vehicles of tomorrow collect updated road geometry information such as lane closures or changes due to construction, they will identify high-risk areas, which can be fed back to planners designing and maintaining future roads. The whole process will become more seamless, and the Department of Transportation will become more responsive when fixing deteriorating roads.

Connecting real-time sensor systems, geographic data, and modeling data improves everyone’s insight, leading to better infrastructure-design decisions at any scale.

Ingenhoven Architects and Architectus Win Competition to Design Sydney's Tallest Residential Skyscraper

1 August, 2018 - 08:00
Courtesy of Doug and Wolf Courtesy of Doug and Wolf

A beautifully delicate design by ingenhoven architects, in cooperation with architectus, has bested series of internationally acclaimed architects to design Sydney’s tallest residential tower at 505-523 George Street. The 79-storey skyscraper will reach 270m, and include several uses, ranging from high-quality living and retail to hotel and leisure. The designers hope the tower will be “a profoundly visible landmark standing for an economical, environmental and socially sustainable, future-oriented development”.

Courtesy of Doug and Wolf Courtesy of Doug and Wolf

Location plays a significant role in the project's design; its site in Sydney's central business districtdictated the need for an “undisturbed view to the outside.” The single skin facade enables these views while shading devices maximize the daylighting effects and generate interest along the building’s profile. The balconies utilize glass windshields and are naturally ventilated, creating the perfect conditions for a winter garden.

Courtesy of Doug and Wolf Courtesy of Doug and Wolf

Pure materials are the focus of the designer’s material palette, using regional architecture as a touchstone. Consequently, the building features sand-colored fair-faced concrete, sand-colored precast concrete elements, low-iron glazing and anodized aluminium for the façade, mirror-finished stainless-steel cladding, recycled timber for terrace decks and venetian blinds.

Courtesy of Doug and Wolf Courtesy of Doug and Wolf

Ingenhoven and architectus pay special attention to the environmental impact and energy usage, leaving no stone unturned in their pursuit for an environmentally conscious product. Using sustainable and durable local materials will lead to a “drastically shorter” transport time, reduced energy usage and minimal maintenance, while the facade itself is designed to maximize the effects of daylighting within the tower. Sections of the facade are angled, acting as hybrid solar collector on the sunny north facade, while the south facade operates in tandem with “intelligent cooling systems”.

Courtesy of Doug and Wolf Courtesy of Doug and Wolf

While ingenhoven architects have extensive experience with regards large scale projects and sustainable schemes, they also have an existing relationship with their Australian collaboators architectus, with whom they built Australia’s first ‘green’ high-rise. “We are looking forward to working with the team at ingenhoven again on another significant Sydney project” said Ray Brown, Managing Director at architectus. “Our collaboration on 1 Bligh Street was very successful and we aim to emulate the same quality and success with 505 George Street.”

Now we have combined our expertise once again by designing a tower which will be highly integrated in the existing surroundings and offer a great public domain. This urban approach is based on the philosophy of a well-connected public and conceives of the tower as being a ‘friendly neighbour’. The combination of different uses and the timeless design of the building are integral parts of an environmentally sustainable approach but also expression of a deep understanding of the project goals.
- Christoph Ingenhoven, owner and founder of ingenhoven architects

Courtesy of Doug and Wolf Courtesy of Doug and Wolf Courtesy of Doug and Wolf Courtesy of Doug and Wolf

Other similar projects by ingenhoven architects include Toranomon Hills Project in Tokyo, the Breeze Tower in Osaka, and the Marina One in Singapore.

News via ingenhoven architects.

  • Architects: ingenhoven architects
  • Team: Christoph Ingenhoven, Martin Reuter, Wenwen Zhang, Kenta Mabuchi, Risa Kagami, Peter Pistorius, Zakiah Supahat, Soichi Kadokawa, Philip H. Wilck, Anette Büsing
  • Local Architect: architectus
  • Structural Design: Enstruct
  • Facade Design: DS-Plan and Arup
  • Landscape Design: Turf Design
  • Area: 66000.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2018

Call For Entries: Baghdad Design Centre

1 August, 2018 - 05:30
 Baghdad Design Centre Call for entries: Baghdad Design Centre

Tamayouz Excellence Award launched the “Baghdad Design Centre,” an international architectural competition to transform the current unused site of the Old Governorate Building into the Baghdad Design Centre in the city's Cultural District; Al-Rusafa. This year’s competition has been under the spotlight as stakeholders and the architectural community in the country urged the local authorities to halt implementation of their own scheme for the site and wait for the results and recommendations of the competition.

Courtesy of Tamayouz Excellence Award Courtesy of Tamayouz Excellence Award

The competition hopes to see a new architectural approach that helps Baghdad celebrate its architecture and heritage. The transformation of the site into a Design Centre that showcases the best of contemporary design and is also a space for creative collaboration forms the basis of the brief. Whilst creating a new and optimistic vision for the future of design within Iraq the proposals should also set a benchmark for the respectful treatment of cultural heritage in a true fusion of the old and the new.

This is the 2nd cycle of the Competition, in its first cycle, the theme was Rebuilding Iraq’s Liberated Areas: Mosul’s Housing, which Ania Otlik from Poland won.

Winners of the Baghdad Design Centre Competition receive a trophy design by the Internationally renowned artist Dia Azzawi alongside a host of other benefits: A cash prize of $8,000, flights and accommodation to attend the annual ceremony covered by the organisers, invitation to join the weeklong design workshop, a certificate, inclusion in an exhibition, inclusion in a yearbook publication, interviews to be featured on national and regional channels, an invite to the annual ceremony gala, hosted by Tamayouz Excellence award for networking, a trip with all the winners of the award categories to Petra in Jordan.

Courtesy of Tamayouz Excellence Award Courtesy of Tamayouz Excellence Award

Jury

  • Dr. Rasem Badran (Dar Al Omran)
  • Professor Wendy Pullan (University of Cambridge)
  • Professor Khaled Al-Sultany (Academic Architect and Historian)
  • Firas Hnoosh (Perkins and Will)
  • Akram Ogaili (Hill International)
  • Ali Naji (Najmat Al-Sharq)

Eligibility 

Architects, students, engineers, and designers are invited to participate in this prize. Participation can be on an individual or team basis (maximum of four team members). We encourage the participation of multidisciplinary teams.

Courtesy of Tamayouz Excellence Award Courtesy of Tamayouz Excellence Award

Schedule

  • 09 / February / 2018 - Start of Early bird registration
  • 06 / June / 2018 - Start of the Standard registration
  • 01 / September / 2018 - Last week for registration
  • 06 / September / 2018 - Closing date for Registration
  • 09 / September / 2018 - Closing date for Submissions
  • November / 2018 - Announcement of Results
  • December 2018 - Annual Tamayouz Excellence Award Ceremony

The winning entries will be celebrated during the annual ceremony of Tamayouz Award. This year’s ceremony will take place in Jordan followed by a weeklong International Design Charrette looking into the growth scenarios of the city of Amman in 2030, winners of all Tamayouz Excellence Award competitions will be invited to join the Charrette.

Register for the competition here: http://www.tamayouz-award.com/register.html 

  • Title: Call For Entries: Baghdad Design Centre
  • Type: Competition Announcement (Ideas)
  • Organizers: Tamayouz Excellence Award
  • Registration Deadline: 06/09/2018 23:30
  • Submission Deadline: 09/09/2018 23:30
  • Price: Free

No.1986 Coffee & Restaurant / Le House

1 August, 2018 - 01:00
© Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki
  • Architects: Le House
  • Location: 33 Đinh Tiên Hoàng, Hoàng Văn Thụ, Hồng Bàng, Hải Phòng, Vietnam
  • Area: 1000.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Photographs: Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki

“Have you ever wondered how to make a design impressive? Just give an architecture the basic material, he will create the miracles”. This project does light up those said.
This project, which is not outstood the featured orientation in design, still has its own story. Take the idea from the “Mo Qua” scarf (Vietnamese Kerchief - what has the shape of the crow's mouth), which popular known as Northern girl’s wearing, mixed with the new taste which created our wonderful lobby.

© Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki First Floor Plan First Floor Plan © Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki

The front made from natural materials tricked us into illusions as the layout divides the floor with the large floor space connected by two blocks of special long stairs, leads us every step up to "Paradise". “Now” and “then” is apparent in every dimension simultaneously.  If the old brick wall stays, the furniture and decorations put in don't have the connection, but greenery give the common voice. 

© Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki

when we walk through the lobby door, what we want to show is not displaying dense furniture items and the large bar for barista. The things I want everyone to know are the world where they have a discover adventure as the soul of the North girls. These things are shine upon all the shade tree on the surface of the water and a school of fish swims gently together.  We don't want the coffee shop is standardized.

© Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki Section Section © Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki

I would like to come to a quiet garden and watch it from all sides, watch the sunshine's emotions today which is short or long, grumpy summer or early fall. After all, sitting and having a little taste coffee will be very interesting hobbies. If you don't believe, please visit  "Mot Chin Tam Sau (No.1986) coffee, best black coffee, iced milk coffee in Hai Phong city".

© Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki

Zootopias: Forward-Thinking Zoos Designed to Advance Animal Welfare

31 July, 2018 - 19:00
[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

Historically, zoos have been both productive and problematic for the animals they house, in some cases advocating for and publicizing real issues faced by species but also criticized for locking them up in inadequate captive conditions.

Designers from dozens of countries submitted fresh ideas to the Coexist: Rethinking Zoos architecture competition, pitching non-intrusive paths, virtual exhibits and, above all, keeping the health and wellbeing of animals in mind as well as scientific learning and public education.

The winning proposal integrates its zoo into the fabric of the surrounding city rather than isolating it as a standalone institution. Instead of fencing animals in a park, it stretches out to form more natural and organic environments. It also rethinkings the kinds of interfaces and edge conditions that can and should exist between humans and various species.

In various entries, the basic relationship of observer and observed is challenged, giving visitors different windows into the lives of animals while also seeking to provide inhabitants with better places to live, play and interact. 

These strategies also recall an inverted zoo design proposed by BIG in which animals surround humans (rather than the other way around). And while there may not be a one-size-fits all solution to the problems posed by zoos, at least some designers are beginning to rethink the question of the role and function from the ground up.

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Hotel Jakarta / SeARCH

30 July, 2018 - 05:00
Courtesy of SeARCH Courtesy of SeARCH
  • Architects: SeARCH
  • Location: Java island, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Client: WestCord Hotels
  • Area: 16500.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2018
Courtesy of SeARCH Courtesy of SeARCH

Text description provided by the architects. SeARCH in collaboration with WestCord Hotels won the tender of the city of Amsterdam for the development of a unique hotel at the very tip of Java Island.

Courtesy of SeARCH Courtesy of SeARCH

Given the prominent location on the IJ river, the city council wanted a unique hotel concept, not only in its architecture, but also in its public programming and sustainability.

Courtesy of SeARCH Courtesy of SeARCH

HOTEL JAKARTA is an energy neutral building and BREEAM Excellent certified with 200 luxurious hotel rooms and a sky-bar, all offering stunning views over the river IJ.  Unique for the Netherlands is its 30-m high load-bearing timber structure. All the beams, columns, ceilings and window frames are made of natural, FSC or PEFC certified timber. For 176 of the 200 hotel rooms SeARCH developed 4-star luxury wooden prefabricated units of 30 m2. All were placed on site within 3 weeks, reaching a height of 30 metres above the quays of Java Island. SeARCH translated structural and architectural requirements into a clever design where thin high-quality prefabricated concrete floors are combined with cross-laminated structural wooden walls and ceilings. Each room fitted on a standard truck, and was delivered to site fully equipped with a passive façade, balcony and complete bathroom for plug-and play, including all necessary technical installations and interior finishes.

Longitudinal Section Longitudinal Section Courtesy of SeARCH Courtesy of SeARCH Cross Section Cross Section

HOTEL JAKARTA’S south and east façades are covered with Building integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV panels). The 350 PV panels - over 700m2 in total – are fully integrated into the loggias design. The glass rooftop covering the atrium also contains BIPV cells that, simultaneously collect energy and function as sun shading for the subtropical inner garden.

An atrium with the subtropical garden is the center of the hotel. It acts as a temperature regulator in both summer and winter. On every side of the building rooms have their own private covered exterior space which functions as structural shading. The single layered glass curtain of these balconies buffers noise and protects from the harsh winds of the sites exposed position at open waters.

Courtesy of SeARCH Courtesy of SeARCH

Above the IJ at the highest point in the triangular building, the sky-bar is fully enclosed in glass. Its tip is a curved double-layered glass with an outer radius of just 600mm. Its roof is made of triple-layered glass. Both façade and roof are brought together via a very subtle glass-on-glass connection, allowing the internal timber curtain wall construction to be visible throughout.

Courtesy of SeARCH Courtesy of SeARCH

HOTEL JAKARTA’S east and north façades are covered with anodized aluminum panels, each with their own unique perforation pattern that combines ancient trade ship illustrations from Amsterdam’s “Golden Age”.

Courtesy of SeARCH Courtesy of SeARCH

HOTEL JAKARTA symbolizes Amsterdam’s historic maritime connection with Asia. It is built on the quay where until the mid-20th century, immigrants would arrive after a long trip from Indonesia. For many families, the tip of Java Island was their first or last view of Amsterdam.

Courtesy of SeARCH Courtesy of SeARCH

The 4-star hotel houses a dynamic public space with various bars, restaurants, coffee corners, a wellness centre and cultural activities, all built around the central subtropical garden. The design and maintenance of the subtropical garden is a result of a collaboration with the Hortus Botanicus and completes the series of gardens on the island. By terracing the ground floor plinth the hotel is publicly accessible on all side through the transparent façade. SeARCH designed Hotel Jakarta as a truly public building. It is a lively cornerstone of the city and a second living room to both the curious globe-trotter, the neighbours of Java Island and the wider inhabitants of Amsterdam.

Courtesy of SeARCH Courtesy of SeARCH

Ruyi Bridge / ZZHK Architects

30 July, 2018 - 02:00
© Arch-Exist © Arch-Exist
  • Architects: ZZHK Architects
  • Location: Dayuan Park, Tianfuer Street, Gaoxin District, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
  • Architect In Charge: Ke Zhang
  • Design Team: Fan Chen, Jia Liu, Wenjie Zhen, Haochuan Ye, Bin Fan, Zhipu Cao
  • Collaborator: Southwest Municipal Engineering Design & Research Institute of China
  • Client: Chengdu Gaotou Construction Development Co., Ltd.
  • Area: 1151.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2018
  • Photographs: Arch-Exist
© Arch-Exist © Arch-Exist

Text description provided by the architects. Ruyi Bridge is located at Tianfu 2nd Street near the Jian’nan Road intersection in the High-tech Zone of Chengdu, south of CR Phoenix City. The bridge crosses Tianfu 2nd Street, and the main bridge is facing the greenway of Dayuan Central Park.

© Arch-Exist © Arch-Exist

There are 2 spans of the main bridge crosse Tianfu 2nd Street. To facilitate the pedestrian crossing, both sidewalks disposed spiral stairways with inclination 1:4 to 1:12. On the other hand, in order to connect the greenways on both sides of the street, 2 bicycle ramps are installed with inclination 1:12 at the ends of the main bridge.

© Arch-Exist © Arch-Exist

The bridge connects Dayuan Park on the south to the urban space and green landscape on the north side. The pedestrian and bicycle lanes are connected and continued.

© Arch-Exist © Arch-Exist

The design concept is called Sound of Panpipes, as the facade design is inspired by the Chinese Panpipes witch is one of the traditional Chinese musical instrument. The undulations and fluttering of the body are like the flow of music rhythm, fresh and elegant. It shaping a functional urban sculpture.

© Arch-Exist © Arch-Exist © Arch-Exist © Arch-Exist

Viewed from the air, the bridge seems just like a Ruyi embedded in the city. Ruyi, a Chinese traditional S-shaped ornamental object, usually made of jade, formerly a symbol of good luck. Bridge like this shape with the meaning that all things are going smoothly and good luck.

Plan & Elevation Plan & Elevation

In May 2016, this bridge was subordinated to the Chengdu High-tech Zone Major Landscape Improvement Project and was reported by many media. It was officially named “Ruyi Bridge”. The project was completed in February 2018, and was re-focused on a number of media outlets with the Chengdu Hi-tech Zone Green Road Signature Node.

© Arch-Exist © Arch-Exist

Microlino: Tiny Electric Car With Front “Hood Door” for Easy Urban Parking

26 July, 2018 - 19:00
[ By WebUrbanist in Technology & Vehicles & Mods. ]

The smallest of the small, this two-seat micro-machine features just one (quite literal) front door positioned where one would expect to find its engine, perfect for navigating and parking on tiny European streets.

Recharging is easy since the auto can plug into a conventional socket. Finding a spot also a breeze since the little car can slide into any old narrow slot then open in front (no need for side door clearance).

The electric vehicle was debuted last year in Geneva, but had to pass a series of safety tests before it could be approved for deployment on the open road. It has gotten the green light roll out next year in Switzerland, then Germany.

Built for city driving, the car tops out at just over 55 miles per hour, but it can accelerate from 0 to 30 in five seconds. Total range is up to over 100 miles depending on the battery purchased.

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Ukraine’s Endangered Brutalist Architecture Gets a Closer Look in Short Film

25 July, 2018 - 19:00
[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

Some of Ukraine’s most stunning Soviet Modernist landmarks are at risk of demolition, including the State Scientific and Technical Library, better known as the ‘UFO Building.’ Grandiose and imposing, these concrete wonders may be fascinating to many of us who live outside of former USSR territories, but they can also be a reminder of a painful history, and to some, not worth maintaining. Many of these structures have already begun to crumble, nearly overtaken on all sides by slick modern malls and other developments.

A new short film called ‘Soviet Modernism, Brutalism, Post-Modernism: Buildings and Projects in Ukraine from 1960-1990’ takes a closer look at the Soviet-era gems found in cities like Kiev. Inspired by a book of the same name, which is due to be published this October, the film examines the architectural importance of these structures, particularly those built in the 1960s.

“They symbolize the global idea of the ‘60s – the youth of the world,” says filmmaker Oleksiy Bykov.

Ievgeniia Gubkina, co-author of the book, notes that “modernism is about the way of thinking. Ukrainian architecture of modernism of both waves, postmodernism and contemporary architecture in particular, I realized that there is no continuity in generations of architects. Each succeeding generation does not just reject the previous one, but does not notice it at all, is not even aware of its existence.”

Brief as it is, the film offers a unique analysis of architecture that may soon be lost to history, its removal shifting the cityscape just as dramatically as did its arrival decades ago.

Top photo by Rob Schofield/Flickr Creative Commons

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Vietnam’s Daring Golden Bridge Takes a “Hands-On” Approach to Tourism

25 July, 2018 - 16:00
via News Examiner via News Examiner

In the mountains above Da NangVietnam sits a unique piece of bridge design. Winding its way around a 150-meter course lined with flowers, a golden bridge shimmers against the Ba Na Hills, supported by a pair of giant hands.

The Golden Bridge opened to visitors in early June, in the tourist retreat of Thien Thai Garden. The bridge sits 1,400 meters above sea level, an altitude which creates the illusion of a silk strip hiding in the clouds above Da Nang.

via News Examiner via News Examiner via News Examiner via News Examiner

The bridge’s 150-meter length is divided into eight spans. Along each perimeter is a line of Lobelia Chrysanthemum flowers, adding a further layer of color to the gold balustrades. The giant pair of hands has been finished with a weathered effect, creating the illusion of age and antiquity.

via News Examiner via News Examiner via News Examiner via News Examiner

According to The Spaces, the scheme is reportedly part of a $2 billion project to entice tourists to the area. Although a designer has not been linked to the realized structure, renderings of the scheme have previously been created by TA Landscape Architecture.

via News Examiner via News Examiner via News Examiner via News Examiner

While undoubtedly distinctive, the Golden Bridge is not alone in the architectural typology of oversized objects. Further examples including giant ducks, dogs, and dinosaurs can be found in our roundup of weird and wonderful architectural novelties.

News via: News Examiner

Earth Box / Equipo de Arquitectura

25 July, 2018 - 13:00
© Leonardo Mendez © Leonardo Mendez
  • Construction Of Mud Walls: Yago García, Nelson Pérez, Rodney, Casildo, Raúl y Diego.
  • Smithy: Javier Jimenez
  • Woodwork: Marcial Careaga
  • Glass Work: Carlos Melgarejo
  • Reinforced Concrete: Gerardo Pérez
  • Gardening: Lucila Garay
  • Electricity: Guillermo López
  • Structural Calculation: Emilio Richer
© Leonardo Mendez © Leonardo Mendez

“The sun did not know how great it was until it hit the side of a building”. – Louis Kahn

Dreams + Needs + Available resources = Project

Courtesy of Equipo de Arquitectura Courtesy of Equipo de Arquitectura Planta Planta

Resolving the basic equation of materializing the desires through a limited budget, we started the process of building an architecture office. The exercise starts with the experimental process of use and transformation of available and recovered materials, such as land, recycled glass and formwork wood, configuring them between two existing trees: the sneak, which is outside but framed, and the guavirá that is located in the middle of space to keep us company.

© Leonardo Mendez © Leonardo Mendez Corte Corte

The rammed earth walls of 0.30 support the weight of the slab, which rests on 20 cm of the wall, without any anchoring or mooring, taking advantage of the structural qualities of the material. The remaining 10 cm remain outside, to hide the slab, delimiting the exterior only with the walls. All the furniture and doors are from the phenolic plates that were used in the formwork of the slab. The library is detached from the walls so that the light continues its trajectory, suspending the books and paintings, precious treasures in the office.

© Leonardo Mendez © Leonardo Mendez

If light builds time, and gravity builds space, the atmosphere of the Earthbox is built by the sound of jazz, the smell of incense and the taste of freshly ground coffee.

© Leonardo Mendez © Leonardo Mendez

Virtual Atlas: New Book Explores Digital Cities Inside 40 Video Games

24 July, 2018 - 19:00
[ By WebUrbanist in Gaming & Computing & Technology. ]

Spanning 40 years of gameplay and 40 different games, this new volume dives into the design and history of dozens of virtual realities, acting as a travel guide to imaginative places that only exist in cyberspace.

Game developer and writer Konstantinos Dimopoulos’s upcoming book is called Virtual Cities: An Atlas & Exploration of Video Game Cities and features classic virtual environments from Fallout to Silent Hill, including some that overlap in uncanny ways with reality (like New Vegas).

Maps and illustrations will accompany commentary from the author, who has a PhD in urban planning and geography and designs spaces for games, making him well-suited to explore the layouts of these places.

“I would describe game urbanism as a relatively new and truly intriguing area that allows for exciting research possibilities,” he says. “Convincingly abstracting an actual urban setting into something both economical and believable can be very taxing.” But it has its rewards, too. “Tackling a truly exotic virtual city set in, say, outer space and inhabited by a variety of species, or attempting to imagine a fantasy town in an intricately crafted Tolkien-esque world can be immensely satisfying.”

The places have to be believable, following internally consistent rules that resonate with reality, while also being fantastical to experience. “A city can helps amplify a game’s atmosphere with its dark narrow streets and tall eerie buildings in a horror offering, provide with unique routes and good hiding spots in a stealth game, or even be used as a huge canvas for environmental storytelling.”

In a game with deserts, people will build places to shelter and get water, he recalls of one project. “The dev team went on and satisfied this almost mundane set of needs by having fresh water flowing over the roofs of the settlement in a network of connected, tiled pools and open canals that made sure all the digital denizens of the place lived in cooled buildings, and could easily access water,” Dimopoulos explains. In the end, each challenge is different, which is what keeps players coming back, too, when the cities within games are convincingly cool.

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[ By WebUrbanist in Gaming & Computing & Technology. ]

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