The Guinness Book of World Records has crowned a new world champion sandcastle in a surprising location: the landlocked city of Duisburg, Germany.
Rising 55 feet (16.68 meters) into the sky, the sandscraper is formed from more than 3,860 tons of sand sculptured by a team of designers from 10 countries over a three week period. Stylized as a magnificent medieval city, the design also incorporates familiar structures from around the world, including an appropriately leaning scale version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
This was the second year in a row the city attempted to claim the title of world’s largest sandcastle. Last year, the structure suffered a significant collapse and was disqualified for using materials other than just sand and water. This year, the sculptors used a different variety of sand, composed largely of a very fine quartz measuring less than one millimeter per grain. The attempt hit a snag once again with a minor collapse mid-way through construction, but the designers were able to adapt their design on the fly to reach the final mark.
“I always had an affinity for architecture which I attribute to growing up in a neighborhood and town that was constantly under construction. Our house was the first on the block. I think that in a way I was more interested in the abstractness of the foundations and the initial framing then in the completed structures themselves.
The U.S. State Department has announced the individuals and institutions that will serve as curators and commissioners of the United States Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale.
Selecting through an open competition and recommendations from the Federal Advisory Committee on International Exhibitions, the exhibition will be led by co-commissioners The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and the University of Chicago and curators Niall Atkinson, Associate Professor of Architectural History at the University of Chicago; Ann Lui, Assistant Professor at SAIC and co-founder of Chicago-based architecture practice Future Firm; and Mimi Zeiger, a critic, editor, curator, and educator based in Los Angeles.
Under the theme of Dimensions of Citizenship, the exhibition will explore the meaning of citizenship as a cluster of rights and responsibilities at the intersection of legal, political, economic, and societal affiliations.
It is urgent that architecture act as an important tool in understanding, shaping, and envisioning what it means to be a citizen today, said the curators in a statement released with the news announcement.
Our goal is to present the United States as a site of critical research and practice in architecture, at the intersection of old and new forms of community engagement, political action, and public policy. Globalization, digital technology, and geopolitical transformations are continuing to challenge conventional notions of citizenship across scales. This exhibition will present works by architects, designers, artists, and thinkers who are responding to today’s shifting modes of citizenship, and putting forth visions of future ways of belonging.
The individual exhibitors that will contribute to the U.S. Pavilion will be announced over the upcoming months. The pavilion will be on display at the 2018 Venice Biennale from May 26 to November 25, 2018.
From the architect. The site is located in North Eastern part of Osaka prefecture, where its surrounding neighborhood in mature residential quarter remains quiet, even though it is just a little away from the main road. While the site has a flat condition as it does not have any height difference, the surrounding residential area has ups and downs, and the site is in a sunken part of the area.
This is a project to design a small house for three adult residents-an elderly couple and their grown up child. Since the site is large enough compared to the requested volume of the house, it was possible to provide a parking space on the north side, a garden space on the south side, and a space for a wide approach on the west side of the site.
1st and 2nd-floor volumes are layered in slightly shifted positions against each other, and a square hipped roof is placed on top of those volumes as if like an umbrella. The gaps produced by the shifted volumes are turned into elements such as an open ceiling space or a high side lighting-therefore the layering of the lower floor and upper floor volumes was carefully coordinated to define and adjust the dimensions of those elements. Finally, the depth of the eaves was defined in order to maximize the intake of daylight from the high side lighting.
The 1st-floor plan is set as a family gathering space and a space for the parents, while the 2nd floor is the space for the single child-thus each style of living is separately defined between the upper level and the lower level. However, each floor is connected through the open ceiling space so that each family member can feel the presence of others. It is also for the consideration of the possible case in the future for nursing the parents.
On the 1st floor, the family gathering space, a large earthen floor leading to the outside is provided for their dog, which forms a continuous space to the garden. This wide earthen floor is also considering the possibility in the future to be used as an approach for a wheelchair; thus the entrance door is provided as a large-sized swing door to be opened widely to the outside.
On the 2nd floor level, the shape of the square hipped roof with a slope of 30 is reflected the interior space. The space has a calm atmosphere, to be enveloped by the undulating ceiling in varying heights, with the daylight from the two top lights on the ceiling.
Such lighting condition is provided not only for those main living spaces, but also for the kitchen area, the water section with bathroom, and even for the storeroom. Various lighting conditions will promote changes and differences in those spaces, and that will enrich the living of the residents in this house.
People can improvise the city; people can improvise architecture. That means the city shouldn’t resist [its] inhabitants, but obey [its] inhabitants We need to get back to elasticity.
In this interview from the Louisiana Channel, architect and theorist Yona Friedman discusses the plight of the contemporary city, and how it is the responsibility of architects to design structures that can be inhibited for the widest range of individuals and purposes.
In the video, Friedman discusses his breakthrough work ‘Ville Spatiale’ (1956), an enormous superstructure that could span over existing cities and would allow people to construct their own habitats within the larger framework. With the growing influx of refugees and immigrants currently challenging many of Europe’s cities, the principles behind the work are once again topical by allowing people to select their own environment, new residents are empowered to operate independently and to the benefit of all.
Architect and theorist Yona Friedman has brought his playful “People’s Architecture” installations to Rome’s MAXXI Museum, Paris’s Les Halles and Denmark where they were recently assembled in a workshop at the Danish Association for Architects. Built using plastic hula hoops, each installation is assembled spontaneously, creating new variations of space with each turn.
From the architect. The apartment in the historical core of Maribor reveals the architectural beauty of the cities built at the end of the 19th century. Sometimes it turns out that the best an architect can do in favor of living quality is the entire purification of the existing space instead of adding new elements. When the ruined plaster was peeled off in the interior of the bourgeois apartment, the poetic essence of the construction appeared. Less than a century ago, brick was considered to be of a lesser value and was covered with plaster, at that time a more decent choice.
But in modern architecture, the central motif of designing the ambients is to exhibit the sincere cornerstones of space, such as visible concrete and wooden construction. A well-preserved brick, which has been hidden for a century by the finishing layer of the plaster, reveals the atmosphere at least as prominent as the raw concrete. A worn-out apartment at an exceptional location was bought by a Maribor soccer player. This should not be a shelter or a family home, but a place to enjoy, was the starting point of the client. But the architect can never foresee all the actual uses of space – the most interesting are those spontaneous, unforeseen, even secret or hidden. The architects opened the space completely.
They have removed all existing partitions and doors. They kept beautiful wooden frames in the sole preserved construction wall. The floor was covered with an old oak parquet. Thus the ambiance has become a space for the game for the endless possibilities of scenarios.
From the architect. Inspired by nature, BuzziJungle offers a solution to the conventional meetingspace. The launch of the BuzziJungle will introduce the design world to youngBelgian talent Jonas Van Put. This is Van Put’s first project with a majorinternational manufacturer.BuzziJungle is BuzziSpace’s reflection of theirvision for the social office and further pushing the traditional boundaries ofthe workplace.
Various elements within thestructure provide an opportunity for different interactions within thejungle. You can climb, lounge and meet in the elevated work-lounge space madefrom lacquered steel. The BuzziJungle creates an urban footprint in large andsmall spaces.
Colaborators: Marc Nadal + Ferran Laguna + Roman Ortega + Olga Schmid + Aida Espanyol + Tania Oramas
Client: Universitat Rovira I Virgili
The new building of the “Terres del l’Ebre” Campus is located in the area of the Tortosa Fairground, to the north of the city, situated between the Ebro river and the district of Remolins
The location is especially attractive because of its complexity. It is a representative and clearly identifiable ground as an urban framework. Halfway between the park and the city, the proposal aims to smooth the transition between the natural and urban surroundings. On the one hand, we can discover the new building in the middle of the trees, as a fragmented and discontinuous piece to allow easy integration with the surroundings of the park. From the other side, on the contrary, it is able to offer a more compact urban facade that overlies the urban topography assuming the usual height of the city.
Its settlement platform is at an upper limit of the park due to the risk of flooding. The difference of dimensions between the park and the building is solved through a series of ramps that give continuity to the space of the park.
In plan, the building moves away from the street to obtain the necessary perimeter for the layout of the program and at the same time can be easily traversed. Contrarily, what would represent a barrier-building, the layout facilitates the diagonal routes and allows to relate the park wiith the avenue that connects the city and the fairground. The new campus wants to be the door of the park creating a beginning and an end and, ate the sime time, be the antechamber of the mentioned avenue. This duality of location characterizes its implantation.
The plan form allows you to set a good layout of the requested program. External galleries are established grouping by thematic areas, reducing the interior circulation, minimizing the corridors and generating squares or small relation spaces. Between these common spaces and those of specific uses located in the facade these is an element of variable thickness that serves as transition and filter. Contains support spaces such as bathrooms, facilities patios, box office, etc… promoting acoustic absorption.
The section aims to bring natural light to the center of the building in those strategic spaces as the end of the circulation spaces. In addition, it allows to locate the most public or open program on the ground floor where the hall is located with the exhibition space, the library connected with the computer spaces, the study room and the bar. In the first floor there are three types of classroom that houses the teaching needs, while in the second floor are located the teacher’s room. Finally, the third floor houses the management room along with the university extension spaces.
The project comtemplates the construction of a building that presents the shape of a star when seen in the floor plan, with a central body practically square, where the dilatation joint is located. Around the central body are arranged five aisle with independent structures.
In the perimetal zones a unidirectional lining solution was planned with post-tensioned ribs supported on flat beams.
In the central zone, basically destined the distribution and vertical communication between common areas, lights are positioned between the pillars of 9,60m in two directions. Through this illumination, a reticular lining was planned.
Outwardly it was through a modular concrete coating that guarantees the continuity of the facade. The two types of pieces with dimensions 1.20 x 4.20m are differentiated: an opaque panel and a trellised panel that sifts the light. According to the needs of the interior spaces we can find the opaque piece, the piece of trellis or neither, so that we can discover the different views regarding the park and the city.
In the area of the ground access porch, a coating is placed on the ceramic seal of galvanized steel plates, on support system also made with galvanized steel profiles.