Snaking BMX race track installed in Toronto for Pan American Games

This undulating course was designed by Canadian firm Kleinfeldt Mychajlowycz Architects to host BMX races during the 2015 Pan American Games (+ slideshow).

The local architecture studio designed the BMX Supercross Legacy Project for the sporting event, which was held in Toronto during July.

Riders launched themselves onto the undulating dirt track via ramps enclosed in a board-marked concrete and steel-slatted structure.

The two starting hills measure 10 and five metres tall, and provided launchpads for both professional and amateur racers. The 517-metre-long course weaves towards a spectator stadium placed alongside the finish line.

Related story: Guy Hollaway plans to "put Folkestone on the map" with world's first multi-storey skatepark"It is an object in a landscape and a landscape in its own right," said the architects. "Board formed concrete, pre-finished concrete block and a smooth faced framing members all add to the distinct language of each element. At once separate and unified."

"The aesthetics of concrete allowed the practical considerations of storage, ramp heights and retaining wall sections to each be expressed as architectural elements within a single form."

The track was designed to the stipulations of regulatory board Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), making it the only UCI-certified track in Canada. BMX was first recognised as a medal sport during the 2008 Beijing Olympic games.

The track is set on a low-lying part of the site where water naturally collects. But race criteria meant the course needed to be dry just 30 minutes after rain, so the architects designed an underground drainage system.

The Pan American Games has taken place every four years since 1951, when the inaugural event was hosted in Buenos Aires. Toronto became the second Canadian city to host the games, which is beaten in scale only by the summer Olympic Games and the Asian Games.

A shooting range based on the jagged outline of a maple leaf was also designed by Berlin firm Magma Architecture for the 2015 games, where gymnastics, equestrian and ball sports tournaments were also held.
Photography is by Scott Norsworthy.
Project credits:
Design team: Kleinfeldt Mychajlowycz ArchitectsTrack design consultant: Elite TraxStructural engineer: Halsall AssociatesCivil engineer: EMC GroupElectrical engineer: Smith and Andersen Consulting Engineering
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Caruso St John reveals designs for university laboratory in Basel

Caruso St John Architects has unveiled plans for a new £160 million biomedical laboratory at University of Basel, Switzerland, which features a gridded glass facade and a concrete base with arch-shaped notches.
The firm saw off competition from studios including David Chipperfield Architects with its proposal for the 35,000-square-metre building, which contains six floors of laboratories.

Related story: Caruso St John's Gagosian Grosvenor Hill art gallery opens in LondonHollows in the concrete base of the Department of Biomedicine will form entrances and make sure the building clears a footpath. The upper storeys will be covered in a panes of glass measuring 80 by 80 centimetres, providing views into the laboratories.
"The large volume of the new building for biomedicine is uniformly covered with a skin of cast glass," said a statement issued by the studio. "The glass is transparent and clear and it allows all workstations an unobstructed view. But the glass is also thick, which corresponds to the curved details and its rounded corners."

The building will be attached to the university's pharmaceutical centre in the St Johann district of the city.
It will replace the institution's existing laboratory and teaching building, and stand on a site near other medical science departments and university hospitals.

Related story: Rippling aluminium fronts Bristol university laboratories by Sheppard RobsonAside from testing laboratories, areas of the building will be dedicated as offices, conference rooms, and for keeping rats and mice.
It will host 70 research groups specialising in oncology, immunology, neuroscience, stem cells and regenerative medicine.

An inner layer of pigmented glass will sit behind the building's gridded facade, designed to cast subtly coloured reflections.
Curving glass walls will enclose stairwells, while corrugated glazing will surround offices and laboratories. The project is due to complete in 2022.
Caruso St John Architects recently converted a row of theatre warehouses into a gallery for British artist Damien Hirst, and completed the third and largest of the Gagosian's outposts in London. Previously, the firm undertook a £45 million renovation of the Tate Britain.
Renderings are by Caruso St John Architects.
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BIG’s mountain-shaped resort in Taiwan is aimed at retired holidaymakers from China

The first holiday home has been built at the BIG-designed Hualien Residences in Taiwan, a resort development for retirees that still want active vacations (+ slideshow).
Photograph by BIGThe 1,000-square-metre house is the first building on the site, which is five kilometres south of Hualien City, between the ocean and mountains.
According to BIG, Hualein is experiencing a population decline with many of its younger residents moving out of the city. But a change in travel permissions between China and Taiwan is expected to bring in a new wave of older holidaymakers to the region. The ageing population is also creating a demand for second homes.

"In recent years the city has seen a consistent decline in population and has begun combating this through various infrastructure projects," said the Danish firm founded by architect Bjarke Ingels.
"The lifted travel restriction between China and Taiwan predicts a raise in popularity in the foreseeable future," it added. "Hualien residential seeks to tap into this new potential and targets the older demographic who seeks a retired, yet still active, lifestyle."

The model home consists of layered volumes that create a zigzagging profile, with "green landscape stripes" and solar panels on the roof, and full-height glazing on the front and back.
The wide variety of buildings planned for the site all have similarly-jagged outlines. Once completed, their shapes will create a stylised version of the spine of mountains to the west.

BIG described the Hualien Residences as "a mountain landscape of commercial and residential program that reflect their natural counterparts in the background."

Related story: BIG wants to create new styles of vernacular architecture, says Bjarke IngelsThe strips of green roof meet the ground in on either side and run from east to west to block out the glaring morning and evening sun. When the development is complete, the roofs will create "canyons" between the buildings.

"The angled silhouettes add an almost traditional vernacular feeling of attics and porches in the middle of the dense modern development," said BIG.
This photograph shows seating and a coffee table inside the model holiday home at Hualien ResidencesOutdoor paths will snake around the site, while underground "jogging pathways" will be added to encourage residents to exercise. The complex will also house an on-site medical centre.
KiBiSi's collection of furniture on show in the Hualien Residences model home has been designed to compliment the architecture of the housesA path that wraps around the whole area will include an observation point, stage, shops, and restaurants and cafes with outdoor seating areas. Media rooms, lounges, libraries, pools and meditation areas will provide other communal spaces for the residents.

BIG was commissioned by Taiwan Land Development Corporation, the owner of the site in a former industrial and factory region of Taiwan, to create the scheme.

The show home was built to tempt potential buyers ahead of construction of the rest of the development, which is scheduled to complete in 2018.

KiBiSi – the Danish design supergroup co-founded by Ingels – has created furniture to compliment the architecture of the houses, which is on show in the model home.
This visualisation shows the offset outlines of the buildings at Hualien Residences, which will create a stylised version of the spine of mountains to the westThe collection includes lounge seating and sunbeds, a wooden dining table, a lamp, a chest of drawers, a coffee table and shelving.
This visualisation shows the site of Hualien Residences, which is five kilometres south of Hualien City, between the ocean and mountainsBIG has created a number of other housing projects with green roofs, including a foliage-covered terraced block of apartments in Stockholm and a residential building in Copenhagen with sloping planted roofs.
Photography is by Jinho Lee, unless otherwise stated.
Project credits:
Client: Taiwan Land Development CorporationCollaborators: RJW, ARUP, Treegarden, Ken SakamuraPartners-in-charge: Bjarke Ingels, Jakob Lange, Finn NørkjærProject manager: Andrew LoDesign architect: Cat HuangShowroom team: Eric Li, Anu Marjanna Leinonen, Jinho Lee, Kekoa Charlot, Alberto Herzog, Jaime Oliver Galienne, Horia Spirescu, Min Ter Lim, Junjie Yan, Dominic Black, Angelos Siampakoulis, Qianqian Ye, Emily King, Lucas Carriere, Miao Zhang, Ren Yang Tan, Andre Schmidt
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Cross-shaped facade added to art museum in a former monastery

A cruciform facade marks the new entrance to this art museum, which occupies a 15th-century monastery building near Venice, Italy (+ slideshow).

The Museo Bailo hosts a collection of 20th-century art near the city of Treviso. The monastery was converted into a museum in 1889, but was closed 15 years ago as the building was in need of significant refurbishment.
Austrian architect Heinz Tesar and local firm Studio Mas won a competition to renovate the museum in 2010.

The architects added a new frontage to the southern end of the historic building, which was bomb-damaged during the second world war and reconstructed in 1952.

The cross-shaped form is made form panels of articifical stone dotted with small perforations. It is mounted in front of walls coated in a type of polished plaster called Marmorino, which is made from a mixture of Carrara marble and white cement.

A similar technique was used in the refurbishment of a Spanish art museum by Estudio Arquitectura Hago.

"It needed a new facade, more adequate to its institutional role and to its position in the centre of the ancient town," said the architects. "The existing facade, rebuilt in 1952, was totally lacking in quality."

Related story: Studio Fink covers Italian art museum courtyard with brightly coloured astroturf"The facade, a composition of eight precast artificial-stone slabs, stands out in a white marmorino background."

Behind the facade, an extension made from white concrete was slotted into a narrow inner courtyard. It forms the museum's new ticket hall and book shop, but is also used as an exhibition space and conference hall.

A skylight runs the length of the 28-metre-long extension, helping to bring natural light into the building and to dispel its formerly "gloomy" appearance.

Three windows – one in the axis of the cross, another to the right of the door and a third in the flank of the extension – face onto a small piazza in front of the building. Their frames are made from a mixture of stainless and Corten steel.

One window provides a view into the southern cloister, where a sculpture of Biblical figures Adam and Eve is displayed.
The work was designed by Arturo Martini (1889-1947), a Treviso-born artist whose paintings, sculptures and graphics are included in the museum's collection.

The gallery walls are covered in sand-coloured stucco and the floors are made of terrazzo, Carrara marble and white cement – a reference to the finish used on the building's outer walls.

Partition walls were removed from rooms in the old part of the building to reveal the original layout, which now features a series of wide, vaulted galleries.

"A conservative restoration of all the building's original decorative elements, materials and structures has been achieved in the cloister, in the vaulted rooms as well as in the wall's decorative paintings," said the architects.

Sculptures are displayed on a series of mottled grey plinths and in vitrines designed by the architects.

"All the bases, the glass cases, the tables and the furniture have been re-designed like a family of small architectures serving the art works, hosted in the ancient rooms of the museum," said the team.

The museum reopened to visitors at the end of October 2015.
Photography is by Marco Zanta.
Project credits:
Architects: Studio Mas (Marco Rapposelli, Piero Puggina), Heinz TesarExhibit and interior design: Studio Mas (Marco Rapposelli, Piero Puggina)Site supervision: Marco Rapposelli (Studio Mas)Collaborators: Elena Gomiero, Enrico Polato, Mattia ArcaroMechanical and electrical engineering: Studio Cassutti sasStructural engineering: Studio di Ingegneria RSClient: Città di TrevisoGeneral contractor: Due P CostruzioniInteriors contractor: Harmoge
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World Architecture Festival awards 2015 day two winners announced

World Architecture Festival 2015: the award winners from day two at the World Architecture Festival include a ballet school in Russia, a New York transport hub and a community facility for a flood-wrecked town.
The projects will go on to compete for the titles of Building of the Year and Future Project of the Year tomorrow along with yesterday's winners, which range from a bamboo community centre in Vietnam to a "vertical village" in Singapore.
Dezeen is media partner for both the World Architecture Festival and Inside Festival, held at the Marina Bay Sands hotel and conference centre in Singapore.
Scroll down to see today's winning projects:
Culture: Soma City Home for All, Soma-shi, Japan, by Klein Dytham Architecture

This community centre in Fukushima was designed by Klein Dytham as part of Toyo Ito's Home-for-all earthquake relief project, which won a Golden Lion at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale. Soma City features a latticed wooden ceiling, supported by tree-like columns that double as up tables.
Health: Walumba Elders Centre, Warmun, Australia, by Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects

A catastrophic flood devastated the town of Warmun in 2011, so Iredale Pedersen Hook was tasked with creating a replacement community facility and elderly people's home. Raised by three metres, the structure stands above the flood level, and is linked to the ground by walkways and stairs.
Transport: Fulton Center, New York City, USA, by Grimshaw

Grimshaw's New York subway station and retail space comprises a glass box topped by a large glass and steel dome spanning 37 metres. It is designed to accommodate over 300,000 daily commuters, providing a gateway to Lower Manhattan.
Hotel and Leisure: Lanserhof Lake Tegern, Bavaria, Germany, by Ingenhoven Architects

Located on the Tegernsee lake in southern Bavaria, this health resort was designed by Ingenhoven Architects to take advantage of its scenic setting with large windows facing out over the both water and a nearby golf course. Offering both hotel facilities and medical care, it contains 70 rooms, each conceived as a "little house".
Sport: San Mames Stadium, Bilbao, Spain, by ACXT-IDOM

San Mames Stadium is the new home of football team Athletic Bilbao. Located beside the Ría de Bilbao river, it features a sculptural facade of twisted ETFE plastic that is illuminated by night.
Religion: Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, Doha, Qatar, by Mangera Yvars Architects

Designed to have a "campus-like atmosphere", this four-storey building for the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies houses six academic programmes. It contains five columns, representing the five pillars of Islam, as well as library and classrooms.
New and old: Courtyard House Plugin, Beijing, China, by People's Architecture Office

People's Architecture Office developed this panelling system to make the ageing structures of Beijing's hutong districts habitable again. The lightweight and non-permanent solution provides structure, insulation, interior and exterior surfaces, all moulded into single panels.
Schools: Ballet School, St. Petersburg, Russia, by Studio 44 Architects

Studio 44 Architects created this ballet school within two existing buildings – a former cinema and a neighbouring house. Facades feature QR-code reliefs to help visitors navigate the campus using their smartphones, while translucent glass partitions allow light to penetrate all parts of the interior.
Production, energy and recycling: Fabrica de Oliva, Uruguay, Marcelo Daglio Arquitecto

Fabrica de Oliva is an olive oil factory in Uruguay. The judges said it "illustrates what architecture can do to lift the all-too-often banal factory form and language to a sublime exemplar".
Future projects:
» Education: Wellington College Performing Arts Centre, United Kingdom, by Studio Seilern Architects» Experimental: Home Farm, Singapore, by Spark» Competition entries: Quay Quarter, Sydney, Australia, by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp» Residential: Vancouver House, Vancouver, Canada by BIG» Commercial mixed-use: Gardens by the Waterway Neighbourhood Centre and Polyclinic, Singapore, by Serie and Multiply Architects
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Ström Architects applies superyacht concept to luxury housing with Superhouse

Swedish architect Magnus Ström wants to help the super rich commission a bespoke home the same way they buy a luxury yacht using his Superhouse brand (+ 360-degree render).

Superhouse seeks to apply the tailor-made service clients experience when commissioning a luxury "superyacht" to house design. Every element of each house it designs can be specified to the smallest detail, with the brand aiming to provide all services up until completion.
The company was set up to provide a "truly bespoke and unique service in this market segment, rather than just a nice house designed by an architect's practice," said Ström, who estimates project costs will start at around £2.5 million.

"The Superhouse brand exists to create the most beautiful, contemporary, bespoke, luxury private houses. That's it. Nothing else," said Ström."No commercial buildings, no art galleries, no housing schemes. Nothing but the most exceptional houses."

"Wherever you choose to make your dream house a reality, you can be assured that there won't be another house like it. Anywhere. Ever," he added.

Superhouse will operate separately from Ström's Hampshire-based firm Ström Architects, but be located alongside it on the south cost of England.

Related story: Carey House by Henry Goss: "Visualisation played a vital role in design decisions"To entice clients, the brand has released visuals of the first in a series of 30 conceptual Superhouses that will be "much like a limited-edition series of art or watches."

Created by The Boundary, the hyper-realistic renderings of the first home, named S/001, show a sleek linear block mounted on two timber podiums. Depicted in a 360-degree panoramic visual, the seaside house is fronted by a swimming pool, and features an outdoor fireplace and private moorings for a luxury yacht.

Ström, who has used the renderings studio to create visuals for several of his previous projects including a timber-clad house in Suffolk, has previously said that good architecture CGIs are "more effective than advertising."

Initially, engineering, interiors and lighting will be subcontracted out to other companies, but Ström hopes that as the Superhouse brand grows it will start to offer these services in-house to create a "one-stop shop" for house design.

Superhouses is working with superyacht designers Dubois Naval Architects – a Hampshire-based studio Ström says was his initial inspiration for the brand.
"The extreme quality of detail and finishing are what we will emulate in every way," he said. "Dubois yachts are works of architecture on the water."

The first Superhouse has yet to be commissioned, but Ström suggests locations could include secluded retreats in the Balearic Islands and the UK, a New York penthouse or homes on the top of a ski slope or on a private island.
Each Superhouse will be assigned an individual serial number, which will be engraved on its facade.

"To design and own a Superhouse – something that is utterly yours – will be a dream that only a select few will realise," said the architect. "Your Superhouse will represent you, your lifestyle, your family, how you work and how you play."
"I see a lot of really high-end luxury contemporary homes, but to me, they most of the time lack architectural integrity," he added. "It's an ambitious statement, but we want to design Superhouses all around the world."
Renderings are by The Boundary.
Project credits:
Architecture: SuperhouseCollaborators: Dubois Naval Architects, Staffan Tollgard Design, Panoramah Glazing, B&B ltalia
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“Academics need to break out of their loop and get back into the real world”

Opinion: dominated by old boys who think their view is the only one that matters, architecture academia in the US has become insular and out of touch, says Reinier de Graaf, who finds a perfect illustration in a recent debate at the Chicago Architecture Biennial.
"Can I see some hands raised? Who in the audience think of Frank Gehry's Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park as contextual?" (No hands raised.) "Who think of it as not?" (No hands raised.) "Since apparently none of you know, let me tell you!"
What follows is a lengthy exposé about what, according to the person asking the question, is a highly contextual piece of architecture. Speaking is Jeffrey Kipnis, theorist, designer, filmmaker, curator, educator, founding director of the Architectural Association's Graduate Design Program and professor at Knowlton School of Architecture, Ohio State University.
The exchange (if one can call it that) takes place during one of the parallel sessions at the biennial. Apart from Kipnis, the session includes Patrik Schumacher, design director at Zaha Hadid Architects; Peter Eisenman, principal of Eisenman Architects and a pivotal figure in American academia (present and past positions too many to list); Theodore Spyropoulos, founder of architecture studio Minimaforms; and me, a partner at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture. The panel has been assembled to express its views on a potential agenda for 21st-century architecture.
All the panelists are from a part of the world to which the 21st century will not belongThe composition of the panel seems odd: most of the panelists' formative lives have been lived in the 20th century, and all the panelists are from a part of the world to which – unless all current indicators are completely misgiven – the 21st century will not belong.
The venue is The Gold Room in the Congress Plaza Hotel. Tickets have sold at $50 and, while that ticket price suggests the event is in high demand, the room is only half full, making its grandeur perfectly inappropriate for the occasion. One of African architecture's rising stars speaking at a venue next door appears to have drawn a larger crowd. Still, the modest turnout hardly fazes the panelists. The epicenter of American academia thrives even in the absence of an audience.
Schumacher's opening salvo is a proclamation of the end of pluralism (delivered with an impeccable German accent) and of the imminent global dominance of a single remaining master-style – his own. Eisenman, who is next, suggests a change of format: "Only Patrik should present, while the rest of us put up a collective resistance." His request is denied and Eisenman has to content himself with "agreeing to disagree". His presentation calls for "heroes instead of stars in architecture". Not something anyone could agree to disagree with, although Spyropoulos tries. But here, in the context of an all-male, all-white stage, his call leaves a somewhat dubious taste.

Related story: "Architecture is finally moving beyond a homogeneous status quo"After Eisenman, it is open season, not just for each of the panelists' individual obsessions (in order of appearance: parametricism, Alberti, Gehry, Piketty and robots), but also for the audience. Someone, who introduces himself as humble teacher at a humble university, asks why there are no women on the stage. With almost Trumpian bravado, Kipnis replies that he LOVES women, but is dumbfounded by the stupidity of such a question, which he then views as a logical explanation for the career progress (or lack thereof) of the questioner. In an attempt to rescue the situation, Eisenman murmurs that women have become so popular these days that they have become unaffordable. We simply have to assume he means as panelists.
It is Kipnis' turn. His idea of offering the audience value for money is to subject it to a kind of intellectual waterboarding. His positions are invariably introduced via the same discursive formula: "Did you know…? You did not…? You should! Since you don't, let me tell you…" It is unclear to what extent – if at all – he is seeking a discussion. Kipnis tempts the audience with long pauses, invariably followed by "let me finish!" when someone interjects.
The main topic of his presentation is the Guggenheim Helsinki museum competition, a competition that to this day has not produced a realised building and doesn't look like it's going to any time soon.
As the evening progresses, the event turns into a painful X-ray of the current state of American academiaHe presents the many entries to the competition as a repository of contemporary design intelligence, showing a meticulously categorised inventory of apparently simultaneously emerging families of design solutions to particular problems. Akin to the prolific genres in contemporary music, certain "design waves" are identified and tagged with a name. Any link to the individual authors is discarded. Trends take priority over signatures. Originality is no longer a paradigmatic feature. The myth of individual genius is dismantled in favor of architects as a virtual, yet largely unaware collective.
His argument takes a bizarre turn when he digresses into a strange and unexpected endorsement of Frank Gehry, who in many ways personifies the exact opposite. Unlike the struggling souls of the Helsinki competition, Gehry is the ultimate signature architect. His approach to architecture is his and his alone, it permits no following other than through imitation. In bringing up Gehry, Kipnis turns his own suggestion of architecture as a form of collective progress into scorched earth even before it has landed.
Kipnis seems blissfully unaware of the contradiction. He proceeds to explain Gehry's design intentions as if he were the oracle of Zeus. The silence that ensues at his question about the contextual nature of the Pritzker Pavilion is not so much a sign of the audience's ignorance as it is of its bewilderment. Don't all Gehry's buildings look the same?
The western architectural ivory tower has become a theatre of the absurdIt is clear to everyone in the room (at least to those who have built a building) that whatever the magnitude of the intentions that go into a design, it must ultimately subside to the prevailing perception – however unfair – of its physical presence, at which point the only correct answer to Kipnis' question is that it is irrelevant. If legacy is ultimately a question of numbers, what constitutes the more significant intellectual fact: one person's supposed insight into Frank Gehry's design intentions, or the vast majority's willful ignorance of them? Who holds the key, Kipnis or the Simpsons?
As the evening progresses, the event turns into a painful X-ray of the current state of American academia: a strangely insular world with its own autonomous codes, dominated by some antiquated pecking order with an estranged value system and no hope of a correction from within. The often grandiose character of the debate stands in stark contrast to the marginal nature of that which is being debated.
The western architectural ivory tower has become a theatre of the absurd, blind to its decline into irrelevance. Self-referencing and obsessed by minutiae unrelated to the built environment, our academics need to break out of their closed information loop and get back into the real world.
Any notion that architecture might be shaped by a larger political context does not seem to registerKipnis' definition of context doesn't go beyond the immediate physical surroundings of the architectural object. Any notion that architecture might be shaped by a larger political, societal or economic context does not seem to register on his radar. It is as though America's architectural establishment is preoccupied with studying footnotes under a microscope hoping they will turn into a novel.
Those who attend the dinner afterwards are cautious with their alcohol intake. Even with the debate officially concluded, one has to remain alert. Dinners serve as extra time for the settling of undecided intellectual battles – a last chance to turn defeat into victory. When all other subjects appear to have been exhausted, for some unidentifiable reason the table conversation turns to the brain and the question whether it ought to be discussed as an organ or as a muscle.
Just when the vision of a brain without a skull is about to make me lose my appetite, Kipnis turns to a young woman at the table. He asks her to guess his favorite organ. When she looks at him in shock – she must be less than half his age – he smiles: "Rest assured, my favorite organ is my mouth." Eisenman points out that the mouth is in fact not an organ. For the first time that evening, Kipnis looks genuinely unsettled, prompting Eisenman to ask the question of the day: "Jeff, have you been drinking?"
Reinier de Graaf is a partner in the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) where he directs the work of AMO, the research and design studio established as a counterpart to OMA's architectural practice.
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World Architecture Festival awards 2015 day one winners announced

World Architecture Festival 2015: a bamboo community centre in Vietnam, a concrete music school in Tokyo and a "vertical village" of apartment blocks in Singapore are among today's category winners at the World Architecture Festival.
The second batch of category winners will be revealed tomorrow. Completed buildings will go on to compete for the World Building of the Year prize on Friday, while unrealised projects will be pitched against one another for the Future Project of the Year award.
Dezeen is media partner for the World Architecture Festival (WAF), which is taking place at the Moshe Safdie-designed Marina Bay Sands hotel and conference centre in Singapore until 6 November. The Inside Festival takes place alongside WAF, and the first category winners of the Inside Festival awards were announced earlier today.
Read on for the list of today's WAF category winners:
House: Saigon House, Hochiminh, Vietnam, by a21studio
Saigon House, Hochiminh, Vietnam, by a21studioOccupying a space just three metres wide, Saigon House was designed by a21studio, the winner of World Building of the Year 2014. It was built from recycled materials, including bricks, doors and windows.
Civic and community: Cam Thanh Community House, Hoi An, Vietnam, by 1+1>2 International Architecture
Cam Thanh Community House, Hoi An, Vietnam, by 1+1>2 International ArchitectureThis Vietnam community centre features bamboo roofs thatched with coconut leaves, which pitch inwards to direct rainwater towards a series of planted courtyards. It was designed by 1+1>2 to provide a hub for the local neighbourhood, but it is hoped that in future it will also serve as an information centre for tourists.
Mixed use: Casba, Australia, by Billard Leece and SJB Architects
Casba, Australia, by Billard Leece and SJB ArchitectsArranged around a courtyard, the curving blocks of this mixed-use development in Sydney negotiate a significant change in ground level and a risk of flooding. Offices and shops occupy the lower levels, while apartment are located on the floors above.
Higher education and research: Toho Gakuen School of Music, Tokyo, Japan, by Nikken Sekkei
Toho Gakuen School of Music, Tokyo, Japan, by Nikken SekkeiJapanese firm Nikken Sekkei describes the layout of rooms at this Tokyo music college as being "aligned along a central corridor in a jail-like manner". It comprises a series of concrete volumes, lined internally with oak to create appropriate acoustics.
Office: Box Office, Melbourne, Australia, by Cox Architecture
Box Office, Melbourne, Australia, by Cox ArchitectureAn "open box" forms the centre of Cox Architecture's own office in Melbourne, creating a tiered events space used for presentations, meetings and social events. Two work zones are located at the rear, and staff can pick and choose where they want to sit.
Housing: The Interlace, Singapore, by Buro Ole Scheeren
The Interlace, Singapore, by Buro Ole ScheerenHorizontal buildings are stacked diagonally across one another to frame terraces, gardens and plazas at The Interlace in Singapore, designed by architect Ole Scheeren before he left Dutch firm OMA. Conceived as a "vertical village", it is made up of 31 apartment buildings that create a honeycomb plan.
Shopping: Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li Chengdu, Chengdu, China, by The Oval Partnership
Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li Chengdu, Chengdu, China, by The Oval PartnershipThe Oval Partnership planned this shopping centre around an ancient temple in Chengdu. As well as retail units, it includes teahouses and gardens, divided up by narrow lanes and streets reminiscent of China's traditional hutongs.
Display: Brazilian Pavilion at Expo Milan 2015, Milan, Italy by Studio Arthur Casas and Atelier Marko Brajovićs
Brazilian Pavilion at Expo Milan 2015, Milan, Italy by Studio Arthur Casas and Atelier Marko BrajovićsClimbing frame met bouncy castle inside Brazil's Expo pavilion, where Studio Arthur Casas and Atelier Marko Brajović suspended a huge rope canopy over a garden. Visitors were invited to clamber over the expansive temporary landscape, and it gently flexed under the weight of footsteps.
Future Projects:
» Infrastructure: Cukurova Regional Airport Complex, Adana, Turkey, by Emre Arolat Architects» Masterplanning: Development Concept for the Historic Centre of Kalingrad, Russia, by Studio 44 Architects» House: Issa Grotto/Hill House, Vis, Croatia, by Proarh» Office: Reservoir, Rajasthan, India, by Sanjay Puri Architects» Health: Al Maha Centre for Children and Young Adults, Doha, Qatar, by HDR Rice Daubney» Leisure-led development: London Olympic Stadium Transformation, London, United Kingdom, by Populous» Culture: Museum of Painting and Sculpture, Istanbul, Turkey, by Emre Arolat Architects
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Peter Cook pans “awful” redevelopment of King’s Cross

World Architecture Festival 2015: architect Peter Cook has attacked the redevelopment of King's Cross in London, describing the huge regeneration scheme as "boring, unbelievable, really dour".
Speaking on the first day of the World Architecture Festival in Singapore, Cook told the audience he was "embarrassed" by the 67-acre redevelopment. "It's awful, boring, boring stuff," he said.
After his lecture, he told Dezeen that he found the new architecture at King's Cross "literally embarrassing" and said the buildings resembled "old biscuits".
The campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams is one of the main anchors for the King's Cross development"I can't believe it," he said. "It’s so dull, it’s like old biscuits lined up. Terrible. It’s so boring, unbelievable, really dour. It’s so worthy, like somebody wearing a sensible Harris Tweed suit but not a very stylish one. It’s awful."
Cook said the project presented a poor impression of London to visitors arriving in London on Eurostar train services, which pass through the site.
"This is London!" Cook exclaimed. "This is f*cking London. You come in from Paris and that’s the first thing you see."
Maccreanor Lavington's Roseberry Mansions apartment block is one of a number of brick buildings springing up around the King's Cross siteThe King's Cross redevelopment involves transforming former railway lands north of the King's Cross and St Pancras stations into a new urban quarter.
The project will involve the construction of 50 new buildings, 20 new streets, 10 new parks and squares and 2,00o homes by 2016, according to the website.

Related story: "London's new typology: the tasteful modernist non-dom investment"Developer Argent appointed architects Allies and Morrison and Porphyrios Associates to draw up a masterplan for the site, which won planning permission in 2006.
Buildings completed on the site so far include the new campus for Central St Martins art and design school designed by Stanton Williams, apartment blocks by David Chipperfield and Maccreanor Lavington, an office building by Allies and Morrison, student housing by Glenn Howells, social housing by PRP and a freshwater bathing pond.
Thomas Heatherwick recently revealed a design to turn the Victorian coal yards at King's Cross into a shopping centreThomas Heatherwick also recently revealed an image of his design for a shopping centre to be built in a former Victorian coal yard, and is also working on plans for a new headquarters for Google nearby. King's Cross rail and underground station was recently revamped by John McAslan, and St Pancras.
Cook was speaking on the first day of this year's WAF, which is taking place this week at the Marina Bay Sands convention centre in Singapore.
Moshe Safdie's Marina Bay Sands development in Singapore was among the projects praised as "heroic" by Peter Cook in his lectureIn his lecture, Cook praised recent architecture in Singapore and described landmark buildings including Moshe Safdie's Marina Bay Sands hotel and Wilkinson Eyre's conservatories at Gardens by the Bay as "heroic".
"Audiences such as us have got bored with the word 'iconic'," he said. "So I’m using 'heroic'."
Cook said that King's Cross didn't need to feature similar "high-jinks" architecture but said: "It seems to be set on being grey and grim. It could be elegant architecture."
The School of Architecture at Bond University, Australia, by Peter Cook's firm CRAB studioCook, 79, was a member of influential 1960s architecture group Archigram and is now co-director of Crab Studio, which he founded with Gavin Robotham in 2006. He won the RIBA Gold Medal in 2004 and was knighted for services to architecture in 2007.
Crab Studio projects include the Abedian School of Architecture at Bond University in Queensland, Australia. The building won the Health and Education category at last year's Inside Festival, which was held in Singapore alongside WAF 2014.
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Concrete home by Takuro Yamamoto Architects overlooks an allotment and woods near Tokyo

A bright orange wall screens a staircase that leads to a bathroom on top of this concrete house in Tokyo by Takuro Yamamoto Architects (+ slideshow).

The family house, named H-Orange, sits on a narrow plot between another home and the perimeter wall of a small field filled with allotments.
To provide a degree of privacy for the residents, the Tokyo firm directed a windowless wall towards the neighbouring building and arranged openings primarily along its western side.

Glazed living spaces are positioned on the first floor of the building to benefit from views over the top of the brick perimeter wall to the allotments and woods beyond.

Like the firm's Little House Big Terrace, H-Orange features a large patio that supplies the family with private outdoor space on the first floor. This takes the form of an L-shaped terrace that wraps around the exposed-concrete lounge and dining area.

"To emphasise the scene of the woods and big blue sky above the field, the west side of the first floor is widely opened with horizontal windows, and a large open-air terrace," explained the studio.

Related story: White Cave House by Takuro Yamamoto Architects"But the view of the field itself is not really beautiful because it was insensitively walled by bricks and these walls seemed to give closed feeling of the place."

The solution was to add a 12-metre-long tilted beam along the front of the terrace, blocking views of the offending wall below and also increasing the privacy of the house.

The beam tilts outwards, with a long narrow gap along the base to maximise the amount of natural light that reaches the terrace.

"An ordinary vertical low wall is enough for these purposes, but such kind of wall would make the open-air terrace dark and harm the spacious feeling," said the architects. "The "tilt beam" is lifted slightly above the floor to form a slit of light and tilted outwards to make the surface of the beam brighter with sunshine."

"The height of the 'tilt beam' was carefully decided to cut off the lower half of the scene from inside, and so the views from the terrace and the living room consist only of pure blue sky and green woods, and the open-air feeling of the house is emphasised."

A timber staircase that links the ground floor garage and bedrooms with the lounge and bathroom above is hidden behind a slab of orange-painted concrete.

The stairs rise through an atrium above the lounge to the bathroom, which is located on a small second storey. Here, picture windows and skylights are positioned to take advantage of the views.
Site plan – click for larger imageGround floor plan – click for larger imageFirst floor plan – click for larger imageFirst floor – click for larger imageSection – click for larger imageThe post Concrete home by Takuro Yamamoto Architects overlooks an allotment and woods near Tokyo appeared first on Dezeen.