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News and Updates
  1. Digital Edition - a+u 322 97:07 Special Feature: Balkrishna Doshi

    A+U congratulates and celebrates this year's Pritzker Prize laureate, Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi. In commemoration of this occasion, we bring back one of our earlier issues - the a+u 1997 July issue - dedicated to the Indian architect, in digital format.

    Get to know Doshi through this special issue, from his notable works to interviews about the two masters of the 20th century, Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn. With a special introduction, "Doshi, The Architect", by Fumihiko Maki.

    Get yours here today!

     
  2. Video: Teiga da vaut

    Teiga da vaut is a forest hut located in Domat / Ems, Switzerland. The intention of the project was to use as much of the tree as possible. Caminada’s work is deeply engaged with the local timber construction techniques.

    October 2015 issue of a+u is dedicated to works by the Swiss architect Gion A. Caminada whose work has been mostly in Vrin, the Alpine village where he was born and raised. Gasthaus am Brunnen is one of the projects featured in the magazine which introduces 26 of Caminada’s works with newly taken photographs.

  3. Video: Gasthaus am Brunnen

    Our team visited Gion A. Caminada in Vrin to interview him and visit his works. We also photographed most of the works for this issue. Gasthaus am Brunnen in Valendas – a small village near Vrin – is a guesthouse containing a conference hall, restaurant, and guest rooms. It is a reconstruction of an old derelict barn, situated in the center of the village.

    October 2015 issue of a+u is dedicated to works by the Swiss architect Gion A. Caminada whose work has been mostly in Vrin, the Alpine village where he was born and raised. Gasthaus am Brunnen is one of the projects featured in the magazine which introduces 26 of Caminada’s works ranging from early works in Vrin to current on-going projects.

  4. A City Symbol Loved by Residents

    In October 2014, the Final Screening for the 49th Central Glass International Architectural Design Competition was held in Tokyo. This year’s theme was “A City Symbol Loved by Residents” which sought ideas for an urban symbol that not only has functionality and rationality but is fostered by the city’s people. Seven selected teams gave a presentation in front of the jury. “RE-SYMBOL” by Li Siqi (China) and Chen Xiaoting (The Netherlands) was selected as the winning proposal. The competition for 2015 is now open for entries until August 3, 2015.


    “RE-SYMBOL” by Li Siqi and Chen Xiaoting

    The entry by Mr. Li and Ms. Chen proposes rebuilding of an earthquake-struck temple in Qixin Village in China by the residents using bamboo structure. The process of communal reconstruction helps re-symbol the heart of the village. One of the judges Hiroshi Naito favored their approach of reconstructing what has been physically lost into a new form and make it a symbol which endeavors to claim historical character in a realistic way.


    “ESCOLA DE ESCADAS” by Itaru Yamamoto, Yuma Ogata, and Taku Inagaki

     


    “Informality & Dethematazation” by Long Zuo and Xuepei Wang

    Two teams were awarded second place. “ESCOLA DE ESCADAS” by Itaru Yamamoto, Yuma Ogata, and Taku Inagaki (Japan) uses streets and adjacent empty buildings in a favela in Brazil as publicly accessible space for education that could revitalize the community. “Informality & Dethematazation” by Mr. Zuo (USA) and Ms. Wang (China) loosened the form and sequence of traditional Asian temples and floated the structures on the lake to be used openly by the residents.

    Honorable mentions were awarded to four teams:


    “Architectures enhancing occupational features” by Masaya Ichikawa and Tatsuru Satoh (Japan)

     


    “WATER CREATED BY CITY” by Joong Hee Kim, Ik-jun Jang, Jong Han Suel (first three members, Korea), and Seok Jae Song (USA)

     


    “Flowered stack monument” by Takuya Oba and Koji Kinoshita (Japan)

     


    “‘Town Bookshelf’ – Residents’ used books build a new relationship –” by Koji Kawabata (Japan)

  5. Flux: Encoding the Logic of Design

    A digital version of the November edition of a+u, Data-Driven Cities, is now available via our online store. It includes numerous essays and interviews with leading innovators in the field of technology and urban design, including new writing by Carlo Ratti (MIT), Dan Hill (City of Sound), and Alastair Parvin (Wikihouse). We were granted an exclusive interview with the co-founders of Flux, a San Francisco startup born out of  Google[x], the semi-secret facility run by Google dedicated to making major technological advancements.

    JA+U: Flux: Encoding the Logic of Design ©Flux

    In late 2013 news emerged of a secretive Google-initiated startup poised to disrupt the architectural software industry. Since then, Flux has launched itself independently and received 8 million dollars in funding from several prestigious tech investors. a+u visited Flux co-founders Nicholas Chim and Michelle Kaufmann at their new offices in the heart of San Francisco’s South of Market district to see firsthand the technology they’re developing.

     

    a+u: Flux was born out of Google X, Google’s moonshot1 factory, dedicated to finding radical solutions to huge problems. So, what kind of world-changing solutions is Flux working on?

    Nicholas Chim (NC): We began our exploration with the premise that buildings and the sustainability of our modern lifestyle are deeply intertwined. In addition, buildings – more specifically, housing – is an issue of human dignity. We wanted to find ways to apply Google-scale thinking to tackle these important issues. We started with nearly a blank slate, literally because the software engineers on the team had no prior background in architecture or construction, then engaged thought leaders, interviewed practitioners, built prototypes, and tested our thinking with a broad cross section of industry. Through this process, we discovered a strong desire to address the industry’s challenges, yet practitioners are caught in the realities of today’s business relationships, legal structures, risk tolerance, and design tools. To break this cycle, we are focusing our efforts on improving collaboration during planning and early design, enabling data-driven decision making, reducing information latency, and building knowledge communities.

    a+u: Is Flux inventing new BIM (Building Information Modeling) software?

    NC: If “BIM” is defined as the 3D representational model of the building, then we are not building new BIM software. BIM is a mature technology; design and construction firms have invested heavily in it to achieve greater efficiencies and tackle increasingly complex projects. Instead, we’ll focus on integrating our system with industry-leading BIM and CAD platforms.

    We are building two classes of tools: the first class connects existing tools together to allow seamless execution of complex workflows, and the second class captures design intent. For instance, the rules to lay out exit stairs are fairly easy to explain. When converted to software, our system can apply those rules to generate a new design based on a project’s unique requirements. Moving design logic into software promotes reuse, knowledge sharing, and continuous improvement. This is the foundational concept needed for our industry to achieve scale.

    Collaboration is also a key requirement of our system. Collaboration around a shared model allows each expert to maintain their specialized domain model, while providing stakeholders with a holistic view of the entire project during the early design stages. Our tools provide decision support by computing key metrics such as construction cost and life-cycle operating cost in near real-time.

    JA+U: Flux: Encoding the Logic of Design ©Flux

    a+u: The first software you’ll release harnesses public urban data to inform development at its earliest stages. Can you explain how it’s used and who it’s for?

    NC: Our first product will be Flux Metro. Its immediate utility (as of this interview) is limited to Austin, Texas, but it’s an experiment. Two key observations surfaced when we were researching urban real estate development: that the real estate entitlement process is laborious and expensive, and that site context is the primary driver in building design. We noticed that real estate developers, land-use specialists, and architects were spending considerable time gathering and consolidating data from a multitude of sources to understand development potential and constraints. Furthermore, this process is repeated for every candidate site by every interested developer.

    Our first inclination is to help them integrate and manage these data, but that is just a starting point. We needed to create a 3D experience where they can visualize and comprehend the amalgamated data. Furthermore, we needed to show the cityscape not only as it is today, but as it might be as planned, so we painstakingly digitized Austin’s planning codes. Our product can interpret the spatial relationships that form the basis of zoning codes including district overlays, floodplains, distance from a specific street, parcel adjacencies, corner lots, and Austin-specific view corridors.

    Most of the data in the product can be accessed over the web for free after registration at https://flux.io/metro. We do charge a fee per land parcel if you want a more in-depth interpretation of the planning codes, which replaces several hours of combing through dense zoning and land-use codes. Once we prove out the model in Austin, we’ll expand Flux Metro to include more cities.

    JA+U: Flux: Encoding the Logic of Design ©Flux

    a+u: Seems it’s not only a tool for architects and clients to easily gauge feasibility. It could also be very valuable to city governments.

    NC: We were pleasantly surprised when we showed early prototypes of Flux Metro to city planning officials. Many of them have internal initiatives to harmonize datasets and provide access to the public, but progress has been slow due to lack of budget and expertise. Flux Metro gives planners a three-dimensional view of the zoning codes as they’ve never seen before. We showed them parcels that had so many competing zoning overlays that building anything short of a car park was impractical.

    Beyond visualization, planners immediately saw the benefits of using Flux Metro to plan and communicate changes to the zoning codes. They want to see the difference between the current codes and the proposed codes, and to be able to share proposals with community stakeholders to get feedback and build consensus. Providing this level of transparency and clarity will hopefully allow cities to strike the balance between the needs of existing communities, improving the urban living experience, and economic development.

    a+u: So this is the first demonstration of a larger vision concerning data and cities. Can you tell us how this fits into your bigger picture?

    NC: The key challenge for the industry is to achieve economies of scale. There is no shortage of innovative ideas, inspirational designs, and project leadership, yet their impacts are localized to a very small percentage of projects. How can our industry increase the rate of innovation and improve the quality of design for the mass market? We need to disseminate ideas, cull the bad ones, improve on the good ones, and encourage the generation of more ideas. But ideas alone are not enough, the tools to actuate the ideas need to be made accessible and evolve.

    Naturally, we should take advantage of low-cost cloud computing, mobile devices, and ubiquitous data networks. We also need to rethink the way we add value to our clients, the building owners. We have to focus beyond construction cost. Instead we have to deliver infrastructure with greater agility, while paying closer attention to human health and environmental impacts. The full-scale design problem is far more complex than our current scope.

    It will take many years for this vision to fully materialize. We’ll need to try out many ideas, some of which will not work. During our early development, we’ve been fortunate enough to enlist a committed group of partner firms. But in order to scale our efforts, we will need help from all corners of the industry.

    a+u: How do you predict the proliferation of urban data will transform the role of architects?

    Michelle Kaufmann: We become architects because we love to design and we thrive when we are creating environments that are inspiring, beautiful and sustainable. However, we end up spending most of our time doing mundane work such as data collection, code reviews, counting, e-mails, and repetitive work that has previously been done. I don’t know of an architect who loves reading code books and working on area calculations for multiple constantly changing schemes. Yet this is critical work and its accuracy is essential to a project’s success.

    By having urban data and code requirements provided instantly, it empowers architects to study many scenarios with the knowledge of how it aligns with city planning. We can be more intuitive (which most architects prefer when designing) with results that are more contextual. This allows the computer to do what it does best while allowing the architects more time to do what they do best which is innovation, creativity, and making buildings that improve our communities and peoples’ lives.

    Having tools like Flux Metro can also help architects’ business models, especially for firms that are moving towards compensation models based on the full value created, rather than on hours spent. Data-driven collaborative cloud-based technology helps with this new business model by allowing us to design better buildings in less time.

    JA+U: Flux: Encoding the Logic of Design ©Flux

    NC: Context is a primary consideration in architectural design. By creating a data-rich virtual environment, our tools can help architects assess the fitness of a proposed design in relation to its context. This contextual awareness is especially valuable when performing energy modeling, daylighting analysis, and traffic simulation.

    a+u: The software industry has appropriated the term architecture (for example, software architects, information architecture, etc). Do you find strong connections between these two very different industries?

    NC: Software engineering has indeed borrowed many concepts from the world of architecture including co-opting the title, “architect”. The structure of software with its frameworks, scaffolding, and interconnects parallels the structure of buildings. Christopher Alexander’s seminal work2 on architectural design patterns inspired the formalization of design patterns in software. Like building design, software development has a strong bespoke design culture; software projects are just as likely to run over budget and schedule as construction projects. Of course, the obvious difference with software is that copies can be made essentially for free.

    The software industry has been evolving at an exponential rate since its inception three decades ago. How can software engineering return the favor to architecture and help improve the scale economies of our industry? How can we amplify innovations in order to meet the twin challenges of urbanization and sustainability? Seeking answers to these questions motivates our team and our work.

    Notes
    1. Moonshot means to achieve innovative and almost impossible subject, coming from its original meaning of a rocket launch to moon.
    2. Christopher Alexander, (co-written with Sara Ishikawa and Murray Silverstein), A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction, (Oxford University Press, 1977).

     

    The November edition of a+u, Data-Driven Cities is now available via our online store.

  6. 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate: Shigeru Ban

    JA+U: 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate: Shigeru Ban © Shigeru Ban Architects

    Photo by Shigeru Ban Architects

    Japanese architect Shigeru Ban was named the 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize laureate.

    Ban is known for both innovative high-end works and humanitarian works. Some of his recent notable works include: Cardboard Cathedral in Christchurch, Tamedia New Office Building in Zurich, Center Pompidou-Metz, Container Temporary Housing in Onagawa, and Villa Sengokuhara in Hakone.

    JA+U: 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate: Shigeru Ban © Stephen Goodenough

    Cardboard Cathedral, Christchurch, New Zealand
    Photo by Stephen Goodenough

    The jury cites: “Since its establishment thirty-five years ago, the goal of the Pritzker Architecture Prize is to recognize living architects for excellence in built work and who make a significant and consistent contribution to humanity. Shigeru Ban (…) reflects this spirit of the prize to the fullest.”

    JA+U: 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate: Shigeru Ban © Shinkenchiku-sha

    Center Pompidou-Metz
    Photo by Shinkenchiku-sha

    JA+U: 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate: Shigeru Ban © Shinkenchiku-sha

    Villa Sengokuhara
    Photo by Shinkenchiku-sha

    Based in Tokyo, Paris, and New York, Ban has practiced in Japan, India, China, France and many other countries since 1985. In 1995, he established Voluntary Architects' Network (VAN), a nongovernmental organization dedicated to disaster relief works.

    JA+U: 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate: Shigeru Ban © Li Jun

    Photo by Li Jun

    JA+U: 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate: Shigeru Ban © Voluntary Architects’ Network

    Hualin Temporary Elementary School, Chengdu, China
    Photo by Voluntary Architects’ Network

    Ban has been questioning the role of architect at the time of natural and man-made disasters. He writes in December 2013 issue of Shinkenchiku:

    “When I first became aware of my role as ‘architect’, I realized, with disappointment, that ‘we, architects, are not needed very much in the society.’ (...) Except for some public apartments, architectus have not designed for the general public nor temporary housing for those who lost their homes in natural disaster. These people cannot afford an architect, the government does not require comfort in temporary housing, and architects are too busy working for the privileged. In this age, “natural disaster” should be called “man-made disaster”. For example, earthquake itself does not kill people, but fallen buildings do. Which means, the responsibility also belongs to the architects. We, however, have not been involved in building of temporary houses, even though we anticipate rebuilding works created by devastation. But, I believe that architects can help create temporary habitat that can provide comfort for the residents.”

    Translated from Japanese by JA+U

    JA+U: 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate: Shigeru Ban © Shinkenchiku-sha

    JA+U: 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate: Shigeru Ban © Shinkenchiku-sha

    Container Temporary Housing In Onagawa
    Photos by Shinkenchiku-sha

    Upon hearing the news, architect commented: “Receiving this prize is a great honor, and with it, I must be careful. I must continue to listen to the people I work for, in my private residential commissions and in my disaster relief work. I see this prize as encouragement for me to keep doing what I am doing — not to change what I am doing, but to grow.“

  7. Bringing the Urban Environment into Architecture

    In October 2013, the Final Screening for the 48th Central Glass International Architectural Design Competition was held in Tokyo. The theme for this year’s competition was “Bringing the Urban Environment into Architecture”, focusing on how architecture can contribute to the urban surroundings. Seven selected teams gave a presentation in front of the jury. As a result, URBAN RADIO CARAVAN by Ken Akatsuka and Gaku Inoue (Japan) was chosen as the winning entry.

    JA+U: Bringing the Urban Environment into Architecture by Central Glass International Architectural Design Competition 2013 ©Ken Akatsuka and Gaku Inoue
    “URBAN RADIO CARAVAN” by Ken Akatsuka and Gaku Inoue

    The proposal by Mr. Akatsuka and Mr. Inoue is a mobile radio station that travels from city to city in Africa every 30 days. The skeleton of the station is adorned with local materials and provides a place to live for the radio personnel. The radio station encourages the local residents to become involved in the city they live in. One of the judges Kiyoshi Sakurai appreciates the festive character of the project which resembles yagura, a turret used at Japanese festivals.

    JA+U: Bringing the Urban Environment into Architecture by Central Glass International Architectural Design Competition 2013 ©Yan Shi
    “House ABCDEF” by Yan Shi

     

    JA+U: Bringing the Urban Environment into Architecture by Central Glass International Architectural Design Competition 2013 ©Kyungsik Kim
    “Latent City _ bringing the urban potential into architecture” by Kyungsik Kim

    Two teams were awarded second place. “House ABCDEF” by Yan Shi (The Netherlands) inserts different forms into the traditional townscape of canal houses in Delft in order to introduce new platforms for public interactions. “Latent City _ bringing the urban potential into architecture” by Kyungsik Kim (USA) transforms a dilapidated manufacturing district in Seoul into an urban cultural village by adding new art studios.

    Honorable mentions were awarded to four teams:

    JA+U: Bringing the Urban Environment into Architecture by Central Glass International Architectural Design Competition 2013 ©Keisuke Morikawa
    “River in Architecture” by Keisuke Morikawa (Japan)
     

    JA+U: Bringing the Urban Environment into Architecture by Central Glass International Architectural Design Competition 2013 ©Tatsuya Fuyuno
    “Trees to keep memories” by Tatsuya Fuyuno (Japan)
     

    JA+U: Bringing the Urban Environment into Architecture by Central Glass International Architectural Design Competition 2013 ©Katsuma Ogino, Kohei Sato, Mizuki Emori
    “Network Epiphany – Architectural Design Process with a "SNS" as an Urban Environment –” by Katsuma Ogino, Kohei Sato, and Mizuki Emori (Japan)
     

    JA+U: Bringing the Urban Environment into Architecture by Central Glass International Architectural Design Competition 2013 ©Tomohiro Yoshida
    “TOWN HALL-STREET – urban spreading on to the main avenue –” by Tomohiro Yoshida (Japan)

  8. Preview: JA93 Spring 2014 "Kazuo Shinohara”

    JA+U: Preview, JA93 Spring 2014 – Kazuo Shinohara

    Umbrella House (1961)

    JA93 Spring 2014 issue features 55 works by Kazuo Shinohara, one of the most influential architects in the generation after the Metabolists. The issue consists of photographs and drawings which appeared in the original issues of Shinkenchiku and original descriptive texts by the architect.

    The issue will be out on March 10th, 2014.

     

    JA+U: Preview, JA93 Spring 2014 – Kazuo Shinohara

    House of Earth (1966)

    55 works

    House in Kugayama

    Tanikawa House

    House in Kugayama No. 2

    House in Komae

    House in Chigasaki

    Umbrella House

    House with a Big Roof

    House with an Earthen Floor

    House in White

    House of Earth

    Yamashiro House

    Suzusho House

    North House in Hanayama

    South House in Hanayama

    JA+U: Preview, JA93 Spring 2014 – Kazuo Shinohara

    Prism House (1974)

    The Uncompleted House

    Shino House

    Cubic Forest

    Repeating Crevice

    Sea Stairway

    Sky Rectangle

    House in Seijo

    House in Higashi-Tamagawa

    House in Kugahara

    Prism House

    Tanikawa House

    House in Uehara

    House in Hanayama No.3

    House in Ashitaka

    JA+U: Preview, JA93 Spring 2014 – Kazuo Shinohara

    Tanikawa House (1974)

    House on a Curved Road

    House in Karuizawa

    House in Itoshima

    House in Hanayama No.4

    House under High-Voltage Lines

    Ukiyo-e Museum

    Higashi-Tamagawa Complex

    House in Yokohama

    Centennial Hall, Tokyo Institute of Technology

    Clinic in Hanayama

    Hanegi Complex

    Tenmei House

    K2 Building

    Kumamoto-Kita Police Station

    JA+U: Preview, JA93 Spring 2014 – Kazuo Shinohara

    House in Uehara (1976)

    The Second National Theater

    Repeating Crevice Annex Project

    DOM Headquarters / Köln

    Goto House Project

    Euralille Hotel Project

    Agadir Convention Center

    Uncompleted House Annex Project

    Ukiyo-e Museum Annex Project

    Helsinki Contemporary Art Museum

    Paris: Circus on Seine

    Project for Hamburg Urban Vision

    Yokohama International Port Terminal

    House in Tateshina Project

    JA+U: Preview, JA93 Spring 2014 – Kazuo Shinohara

    House on a Curved Road (1978)

  9. Crux Pavilion

    JA+U: Crux Pavilion by Pezo von Ellrichshausen ©Diana Quintela / KAIROS Pavilion

    Chilean architects Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen – with whom we recently created an A+U monograph – have completed their intervention at KAIROS Pavilion in Lisbon, Portugal.

    JA+U: Crux Pavilion by Pezo von Ellrichshausen ©Diana Quintela / KAIROS Pavilion

    JA+U: Crux Pavilion by Pezo von Ellrichshausen ©Diana Quintela / KAIROS Pavilion

    Below is the architects’ description of the project:

    This somehow modest yet monumental piece appears as a simple form of opposition – that substantial role of Architecture – but in a temporal and non-conclusive manner. It is a duplicated archetypal figure of two columns supporting a beam that are articulated perpendicular to each other so as to define a cross shaped plan. The dimension in section, height and span is meant to unveil the hidden asymmetry of the existing pavilion.

    JA+U: Crux Pavilion by Pezo von Ellrichshausen ©Diana Quintela / KAIROS Pavilion

    JA+U: Crux Pavilion by Pezo von Ellrichshausen ©Diana Quintela / KAIROS Pavilion

    By a manifested displacement of the very gravitational point of the whole interior (literally materialized by a pending granite boulder that is suspended on top of the water mirror), the gap between column and wall defines a new and specific character for the east-west diagonal flanks. There are only three dimensions for the pine lumber: one for the structural frames, another one for the cladding and the third one to join the other two.

    JA+U: Crux Pavilion by Pezo von Ellrichshausen ©Diana Quintela / KAIROS Pavilion

    KAIROS Pavilion was designed by architects João Quintela and Tim Simon – in partnership with Gracifer and Lisbon Architecture Triennale – in 2012 as “an answer to an inhibitor and unsustainable social and economic context, with the aim of encouraging, generating and presenting exhibitions in which Space appears as the central theme”.

    JA+U: KAIROS Pavilion ©Diana Quintela / KAIROS Pavilion

    "The space is built by a very easy and primitive constructive system of overlapping and joining pieces, taking advantage of their own weight without using any glue or screws. It’s a square plan building with an inside square patio. Thus, there exists a perimeter all around that consists in a path developed both on the lower and upper level, generating two similar spaces with completely antagonistic ambiences. One is covered and black while the other is exterior and bright.

    JA+U: KAIROS Pavilion ©Diana Quintela / KAIROS Pavilion

    The inner patio is defined by the mirror created through the water inside which reflects the sky and duplicates the space. This becomes the central element, inaccessible and contemplative, able to freeze time and build an intimate moment, a dialogue with the past. It becomes the most significant space and acquires symbolism due to his impossible conquer.

    JA+U: Intervention by Alberto Campo Baeza at KAIROS Pavilion ©Diana Quintela / KAIROS Pavilion
    “Uma Chuva de Sonhos” by Alberto Campo Baeza

     

    JA+U: Intervention by Aires Mateus at KAIROS Pavilion ©Diana Quintela / KAIROS Pavilion
    “Reflectir” by Aires Mateus

    The invitation to participate and submit proposals in KAIROS Pavilion is open to architecture, fine arts, performance, theatre, music and other artistic languages in which the participants feel that fits inside this concept contributing to approach the creators and public."

    JA+U: Opening of Crux Pavilion by Pezo von Ellrichshausen ©Diana Quintela / KAIROS Pavilion

    On June 21st, 2013, June 2013 issue of A+U magazine – Pezo von Ellrichshausen’s monograph – was introduced at the Pavilion along with the project’s inauguration and the architects’ lecture and conversation with architect and curator Pedro Gadanho.

  10. Harvard University’s HORIZON HOUSE wins the 3rd LIXIL International University Architectural Competition

    JA+U: Harvard University’s HORIZON HOUSE wins the 3rd LIXIL International University Architectural Competition, HORIZON HOUSE by Harvard University

    HORIZON HOUSE by Harvard University

    In the final screening of the 3rd LIXIL International University Architectural Competition, which was held publicly on April 20, Sat, 2013, HORIZON HOUSE by Harvard University was selected as the top prize among three finalists. Harvard University, National University of Singapore and Delft University of Technology were previously selected from a total of 12 designated universities from 11 different countries, to proceed to the selection of the top prize.

    The competition was established by the LIXIL JS Foundation to inform the wider public of technological developments in the field. The foundation is actively engaged in search and verification of next-generation sustainable housing. In order to approach this multitude of experiments related to housing, Memu Meadows – Center for Research on Environmental Technologies – was opened in Taiki-cho, Hokkaido.

    JA+U: Harvard University’s HORIZON HOUSE wins the 3rd LIXIL International University Architectural Competition ©Shinkenchiku-sha

    Group photo with 3 universities and jurors (from right in back row: Kengo Kuma, Darko Radović; the second from left in back: Tomonari Yashiro)

    During the open final screening, a heated discussion occurred between jury president, Kengo Kuma (architect / professor, University of Tokyo) and jurors, Tomonari Yashiro (doctor of engineering / vice president, University of Tokyo) and Darko Radović (professor, Keio University). They stressed the importance of interpreting the theme of this year’s competition, “RETREAT IN NATURE” (i.e., creating a hideaway detached from everyday life).

    With support from Kengo Kuma and Associates, the team of Harvard University will arrive at a final design for HORIZON HOUSE, and the work is scheduled to be built in late October 2013 on a site at Meme Meadows.

    Below are the project descriptions of HORIZON HOUSE, kaze house by National University of Singapore (Award of Excellence), and Simply Adjustable by Delft University of Technology (Award of Excellence):

     

    Top Prize
    Harvard University – HORIZON HOUSE

    JA+U: Harvard University’s HORIZON HOUSE wins the 3rd LIXIL International University Architectural Competition, HORIZON HOUSE by Harvard University

    General view in summer season. In summer months, the skylight may be opened to expel warm air and encourage cool breezes to enter from windows below.

    HORIZON HOUSE presents a dialogue between private living space and the rural setting of Taiki-cho. Conceived as a horizontally continuous interior landscape – an interstitial space between two artificial constructs, floor and roof – the house provides a 360-degree view of its surroundings.

    JA+U: Harvard University’s HORIZON HOUSE wins the 3rd LIXIL International University Architectural Competition, HORIZON HOUSE by Harvard University

    Interior view.

    Taiki-cho experiences a seasonal change in natural ground plane elevation due to heavy snowfall; to avoid partial burial in winter months and maintain distant landscape views, the living space is raised 1.5 m above the ground on a massive wooden base, which is recycled railroad ties stacked together.

    JA+U: Harvard University’s HORIZON HOUSE wins the 3rd LIXIL International University Architectural Competition, HORIZON HOUSE by Harvard University

    Section

    JA+U: Harvard University’s HORIZON HOUSE wins the 3rd LIXIL International University Architectural Competition, HORIZON HOUSE by Harvard University

    Unfolded thermodynamic section

    Varied floor levels subdivide the interior space, and nature (greenery, topography, seasonal effects of climate) is on display from each room. Visual, acoustic, and tactile immediacy are used to heighten occupants’ awareness of their surroundings.

     

    Award of Excellence
    National University of Singapore – kaze house

    JA+U: Harvard University’s HORIZON HOUSE wins the 3rd LIXIL International University Architectural Competition, kaze house by National University of Singapore

    The sectional profile of the building forces the wind to deposit heavy amount of snow into the courtyard, producing an artificial snow dune. The accumulated snow could be tapped upon to run a Stirling engine to serve part of the daily energy needs of the retreat.

     

    Award of Excellence
    Delft University of Technology – Simply Adjustable

    JA+U: Harvard University’s HORIZON HOUSE wins the 3rd LIXIL International University Architectural Competition, Simply Adjustable by Delft University of Technology

    The house consists of the protecting triangular thatched roof and an adaptable box. By moving the box depending on the weather, they can adjust environment to the climate. The roof is made from hay which is a crop of this site. The hay-product workshop brings people from the cities in nature.

     

    Participating Universities:
       Aalto University (Finland)
       Dresden University of Technology (Germany)
    Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands)
       Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (Switzerland)
       The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (UK)
       Vienna University of Technology (Austria)
    Harvard University (USA)
       Tongji University (China)
    National University of Singapore (Singapore)
       Hanoi Architectural University (Vietnam)
       Kyoto University (Japan)
       Hokkaido University (Japan)

    Harvard University
    Advisors: Mark Mulligan, Kiel Moe
    Members: Ana Garcia Puyol, Thomas Sherman, Takuya Iwamura, Robert Daurio, Carlos Cerezo Davila, Matthew Conway, Mariano Gomez Luque, Natsuma Sigeo Imai

    National University of Singapore
    Advisors: Tsuto Sakamoto, Chaw Chih Wen
    Members: Firus Faizal, Zakiah Supahat

    Delft University of Technology
    Advisors: Michele Riedijk, Stefano Milani, Alper Semih Alkan, Marc Hemel, Niklaas Deboutte, Jago van Bergen 
    Members: Judith ten Kate, Nassim Nazaviam

    Organizer: LIXIL JS Foundation
    Cooperators: LIXIL Corporation Research Institute / Taiki-cho, Hokkaido
    Supporters: Obihiro Development and Construction Dept. / Hokkaido Regional Development Bureau / Hokkaido Government Tokachi General Subprefectural Bureau / Architectural Institute of Japan / The Japan Institute of Architects (JIA) / Japan Federation of Architects & Building Engineers Associations / Shinkenchiku-sha Co., Ltd.

    Visit the official website and Facebook page.

  11. Video: Teshima Art Museum

    In 2011, our team and Office of Ryue Nishizawa documented Teshima Art Museum – designed by Ryue Nishizawa for the artwork by artist Rei Naito – while it was constructed. The concrete shell slab with freeform curvature – spanning maximum of 60 m (197 ft) – was created without a seam by pouring concrete over the earthen form.

    May 2013 issue of A+U is dedicated to works by Ryue Nishizawa who – together with Kazuyo Sejima – was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 2010. Teshima Art Museum is one of the projects featured in the magazine which surveys all of his works from Weekend House (1998) to recent in-progress projects.

  12. ArchiAid Annual Report 2012

    JA+U: ArchiAid Annual Report 2012 by ArchiAid – Relief and Recovery by Architects for Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami

    ArchiAid is a reconstruction support network of architects jointly working toward the revival of the disaster-stricken areas in Tohoku, Japan. Recently, they released the annual report for the year 2012 which introduces various projects such as reconstruction plans in Oshika Peninsula, Ishinomaki and Shichirigahama, exhibitions, and working groups investigating the problems and possibilities in different towns in northeastern Japan. The collaborative relationship the architects have built with the residents, students from around the world, and many others suggest the possibility for reconstructing the towns to become something more sustainable – economically as well as environmentally – than what they were prior to the disaster.

    Below are some of the projects they initiated. Full report in PDF is available on their website.

    JA+U: ArchiAid Annual Report 2012 by ArchiAid – Relief and Recovery by Architects for Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami © Takumi Ota

    "Lost Homes" Restoration Model:Inner bay in Kesennuma / Production: Kobe University Tsukihashi Design lab
    Photo by Takumi Ota

    Shortly after the earthquake and tsunami that happened on March 11, 2011, “Lost Homes” Model Restoration Project was born from a discussion among students about ways to use the network of architects and universities to help more people get involved with regional reconstruction efforts. The project aims to reproduce an architectural model of the homes as they were before the disaster on a 1/500 scale in one square meter units. So far, research labs at 22 universities have participated, and more than 500 architecture students have participated. The plan to produce models of 33 areas of the 3 prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima has expanded into 120 models.

    JA+U: ArchiAid Annual Report 2012 by ArchiAid – Relief and Recovery by Architects for Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami © Takumi Ota

    “Lost Homes” Gallery Reading Kesennuma - inner bay / after the performance
    Photo by Takumi Ota

    Since the second year of the project, after the summer of 2012, the models have been transported to the local areas, and local people have been interviewed about their memories of the homes. Their memories were then displayed above the models as “flags of memories,” and an oral history of the regions was also collected at the same time to be used as part of an earnest effort to create a “Town of Memories: Commemoration Workshop.” The students who worked on the restoration models are now cooperating with local residents on a plan to bring the memories of these lost homes to life.

    JA+U: ArchiAid Annual Report 2012 by ArchiAid – Relief and Recovery by Architects for Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami © Archiaid

    Hearing session with local residents at Summer Camp 2012 x MOOM
    © ArchiAid

    The “Peninsula Support Study Meeting” derived from “Summer Camp” held in July of 2011 where fifteen university teams conducted short-term, intensive and all-encompassing surveys of conditions in the disaster affected areas. In October 2011, became involved with the “Group Relocation” for Disaster Mitigation initiative, giving advice about plans for multi-unit housing in relocation areas. The teams did have architects participating on them as instructors, but even the architects had almost no prior experience in disaster mitigation. And so the “Peninsula Support Study Meeting” was launched to enable all of the teams to share information. Shortly thereafter the Oshika Peninsula team joined in, as did Ogatsu Studio, which was continuing to provide support to the Ogatsu Peninsula, and SANAA, which was conducting recovery activity on Miyato Island. These groups continue to meet once every month in Tokyo.

    JA+U: ArchiAid Annual Report 2012 by ArchiAid – Relief and Recovery by Architects for Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami © ArchiAid

    Activity of interns at Summer Camp 2012
    © ArchiAid

    While fishing, forestry, or both is the main industry in many of the towns, other towns rely mainly on tourism. Students and professors from universities are faced with different problems unique to the towns they are working with. They continue to work jointly as a network of architects in support of reviving the homes and lives of the residents.

    JA+U: ArchiAid Annual Report 2012 by ArchiAid – Relief and Recovery by Architects for Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami © Archiaid

    Nagashizu BanyaⅡ at Minami-Sanriku town
    © ArchiAid

    JA+U: ArchiAid Annual Report 2012 by ArchiAid – Relief and Recovery by Architects for Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami © Yasutoshi Koimizu

    Tomarihama, Oshika Peninsula / August 25th, 2012
    photo by Yasutoshi Koimizu

  13. Takeshi Hosaka – Ku u so u

    JA+U: Takeshi Hosaka – Ku u so u Curated by Michal Skoda © Koji Fujii

    Currently on show in Budweis, Czech Republic, Japanese architect Takeshi Hosaka presents his work for the first time in Europe. The exhibition "Ku u so u" includes the sketches were drawn for his projects but were not adopted at the end. Yet, as the architects states, these unrealized 99 % certainly comprise his Ku-u-so-u (fantasy), the starting point of his architecture.

    Below is the text provided by the curator of the exhibition Michal Skoda.

    JA+U: Takeshi Hosaka – Ku u so u Curated by Michal Skoda © Koji Fujii

    The Czech Budejovice (Budweis) exhibition is the author's first activity in Europe. He is presenting a project here which he has entitled according to the concept of "Ku u so u“ (fantasy).

    This is a specific installation which can be perceived as the landscape inside his mind. The viewer thus has the possibility to pass through the sketches that display the author's imagination, or may sit in one of his collapsible chairs and fully experience the "Ku u so u" world of fantasy.

    JA+U: Takeshi Hosaka – Ku u so u Curated by Michal Skoda © Koji Fujii

    JA+U: Takeshi Hosaka – Ku u so u Curated by Michal Skoda © Koji Fujii

    Takeshi Hosaka has this to say about his project:

    "When I create an architectural design, I always make a sketch, 99% of which of course doesn't work out. From the remaining 1%, though, amazing things appear. 99% of my "Ku u so u" are my unsuccessful attempts, but even so, I decided to let these sketches take flight by themselves. This is a certain open look into my reality as an architect. Architecture is a reality, but we shouldn't call it simply a reality, since it creates something that exceeds reality. It attempts to do something which evokes "Ku u so u" (fantasy). It takes what was born into the imaginary world and transfers it to the tangible world of architecture. I would like everyone to experience this mini world between reality and architectural design – the world of fantasy."

    JA+U: Takeshi Hosaka – Ku u so u Curated by Michal Skoda © Koji Fujii

    As part of the exhibition, a workshop with selected students from the Liberec College of Architecture will take place from April 7-10 under the leadership of Takeshi Hosaka. The workshop will result in the design of a building for the spaces of the main town square in Czech Budejovice.

    JA+U: Takeshi Hosaka – Ku u so u Curated by Michal Skoda © Koji Fujii

     

    Here are some of the projects by Takeshi Hosaka featured in Shinkenchiku-sha's magazines:

    OUTSIDE IN

    JA+U: Outside In by Takeshi Hosaka architects © Shinkenchiku-sha

    ©Shinkenchiku-sha

    Hoto Fudo

    JA+U: Hoto Fudo by Takeshi Hosaka architects © Shinkenchiku-sha

    ©Shinkenchiku-sha

    Hongodai Church School & Nursery

    JA+U: Hongodai Church School & Nursery by Takeshi Hosaka architects © Shinkenchiku-sha

    ©Shinkenchiku-sha

  14. Video: Koyasan Guest House

    Kyoto-based architects Kentaro Takeguchi and Asako Yamamoto of Alphaville Architects have completed a small guest house for tourists visiting the sacred Koyasan (Mt. Koya) in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. The 96 m2 (1,033 ft2) building contains bedrooms, capsule-style dormitory rooms, a bar, and lounge. 2 x 4 and 2 x 6 timber frames are exposed inside at varying intervals to act as partitions between the bar, hallway, and lounge.

  15. White Cube, Green Maze: New Art Landscapes

    JA+U: White Cube, Green Maze: New Art Landscapes - Exhibition curated by Raymund Ryan © Iwan Baan

    Aerial view of Benesse House Museum and Oval by Tadao Ando, on the island of Naoshima, Japan

    In the April issue of A+U magazine, Raymund Ryan – curator for the Heinz Architectural Center at Carnegie Museum of Art – contributed a report on the exhibition White Cube, Green Maze: New Art Landscapes which was on show at the museum in 2012. In the report, Mr. Ryan discusses the current trend amongst museums where architecture, art, and landscape all play the integral part through six such museums located throughout the world.

    The exhibition is currently on display at Yale School of Architecture Gallery in Connecticut, USA, until May 4, 2013.

    Below is an excerpt from the text provided by Yale School of Architecture:

    The Yale School of Architecture Gallery presents White Cube, Green Maze: New Art Landscapes, an exhibition examining emerging trends in museum design through six new art sites that share the common thread of moving beyond the traditional “white cube” gallery space, and that juxtapose the experience of culture, art, architecture, and landscape.

    The exhibition features newly commissioned photographs of these sites by Iwan Baan, one of today’s most influential architectural photographers, as well as architects’ models, plans, and sketches; historical photographs; and maquettes and sketches by key installation artists. Each site represents a unique expression of the ambitions and collaborations of patrons, architects, landscape architects, artists, and curators. The architects range from such established masters as Tadao Ando and Álvaro Siza Vieira, to such emerging practitioners as Tatiana Bilbao and Johnston Marklee. All have ongoing relationships with museum design and collaborate with artists. They are more than conscious of the so-called “Bilbao Effect” – the pressure on architects to design “signature buildings.”

    JA+U: White Cube, Green Maze: New Art Landscapes - Exhibition curated by Raymund Ryan © Iwan Baan

    Ground floor of Adriana Varejão Gallery, by Rodrigo Cerviño Lopez, showing installation Linda do Rosário (2004–2008), by Adriana Varejão. (Inhotim, near Belo Horizonte, Brazil)

    Rather than displaying works of art in minimalist, enclosed spaces, the sites in the exhibition break apart the experience for the viewer into multiple pavilions, often with site-specific art, heightening the role of the landscape in which they are placed. Fragmenting traditional museums, they encourage exploration and non-linear experiences. They often reuse existing buildings, and yet affirm the importance of the spaces between the buildings themselves, and sometimes break down distinctions between “inside” and “outside”.

    The six sites or institutions surveyed in White Cube, Green Maze: New Art Landscapes represent a departure from the traditional museum gallery space, as well as from expectations of how a gallery should be experienced. They are:

    Raketenstation Insel Hombroich, near Neuss, Germany, including built projects by Erwin Heerich, Tadao Ando, Álvaro Siza Vieira, and Raimund Abraham.

    Benesse Art Site, Naoshima, Japan, including built projects by Tadao Ando, Hiroshi Sambuichi, Kazuyo Sejima, and Ryue Nishizawa.

    Inhotim, near Belo Horizonte, Brazil, inspired by the landscapes of Roberto Burle Marx and including built projects by Arquitetos Associados, Rodrigo Cerviño Lopez, and Rizoma Arquitetura.

    Jardín Botánico, Culiacán, Mexico, with architectural interventions by Tatiana Bilbao and landscape design by TOA – Taller de Operaciones Ambientales.

    • Grand Traiano Art Complex, Grottaferrata, Italy, with projects in design development by Johnston Marklee and by HHF architects and with landscape design by Topotek1.

    Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle, USA, designed by Weiss / Manfredi.

    Several of these sites have already achieved recognition, while others are only emerging as important models; all demonstrate the same open-endedness, and a close intertwining of art, design, curatorial vision, and the environment. Exhibition curator Raymund Ryan stated, “These evolving institutions, appearing almost simultaneously at radically different sites around the world, are forming a new typology that mixes professional disciplines and offers the visitors choice and surprise".

     

    Top image: View of Raketenstation Hombroich, with sculptures by Katsuhito Nishikawa and Oliver Kruse (foreground) and the House for Musicians, by Raimund Abraham (left) (Raketenstation Insel Hombroich, near Neuss, Germany).

  16. Visiting Can Lis – Jørn Utzon’s House on Majorca

    JA+U: "Visiting Can Lis – Jørn Utzon’s House on Majorca" Report by Yoshiharu Tsukamoto © Yasuhiro Nakayama (Shinkenchiku-sha)

    Architect Yoshiharu Tsukamoto of Atelier Bow-Wow shared with us his experience visiting Jørn Utzon’s Can Lis, a house on Majorca, Spain, which we visited and photographed in 2012. Through the photographs as well as the drawings, sketches, essays, and details, a+u March 2013 Special issue documents the house – originally built in 1972 – after the restoration by Danish architect Lise Juel.

    Below is Mr. Tsukamoto's text from A+U April 2013:

    I visited Majorca in November 2011 with the assistance of Lise Juel, the architect who was designing the restoration of Can Lis. Driving from the airport through fields of olive trees, we began to see windmills here and there. None of the windmills was spinning, and in their stillness, their triangular white blades, shining in the sun, stood out vividly. On closer look, no one could be seen working in the olive fields, either. These days, I was told, the olive fields are maintained less for production than for tourism. As we drove along, farm storage buildings of yellowish sandstone block also appeared. It was the same stone as used at Can Lis. Upon taking a liking to Majorca, Utzon had investigated the island in detail. By employing the same materials as those he found in use around the island, he had sought to place his own house in the lineage of the simple local architecture.

    Seeing the street name change to Jørn Utzon Street, I knew we were close to our destination. The pine trees lining the road all leaned in the same direction, a fact that spoke of strong ocean winds. Beyond them, near the street, the stone walls of Can Lis appeared. The walls were capped with a line of terracotta roof tiles, set at a slight incline toward the outside. With this simple small detail, directionality was born among walls of various heights. Because of the tiles and also the soft appearance of the sandstone, the walls, although built of stone, did not appear cold and impersonal.

    JA+U: "Visiting Can Lis – Jørn Utzon’s House on Majorca" Report by Yoshiharu Tsukamoto © Yasuhiro Nakayama (Shinkenchiku-sha)

    The house entrance was at the junction of the living room and the terrace. On opening the door, another outdoor space appeared, with a crescent shaped opening in the opposite wall. Below the opening, tiles of white and deep blue formed a pattern evoking the waxing and waning of the moon. This design had been inspired by the street’s original name: Cala media luna (Half-moon cove). The city, desirous of sharing Utzon’s fame as the Sydney Opera House designer, had changed the street’s name to impart a touch of local refinement. As a touch, it nevertheless seemed unrefined compared with the sensibility that had found a connection between a street name and the cliffs and moon and enshrined it in a building.

    Opening the door to the right, I entered the U-shaped colonnade surrounding the terrace. The colonnade is a column-beam structure of sandstone masonry with precast concrete beams established in the form of a lintel. Precast concrete joists connect the pairs of beams, and arched terracotta tiles are fitted between the joists to produce the roof. By grafting new technology – a precast concrete beam – onto the local stone storage house style of architecture, Utzon had produced a space that uses the same sandstone but enjoys greater openness. Through its exposure to modern conditions, the intelligence that informed the historical architectural style had been revived and put into practice, with result that a new generation of that style was born. Utzon’s method of approaching historical architecture is well expressed here.

    The sandstone terrace is a stage offered to the Mediterranean Sea, the sun, and the moon. What manner of varied program will the wind, light, and shadows unfold for us, amid this confrontation between flatness of sea and flatness of stone? The desire one feels to sit and enjoy dinner here is due to its arrangement: the east wall of the terrace behind one and the tiled table placed to look out across the terrace. The diagonal stone slabs protruding from the wall and the stone rising from the floor are also finished in tile. Their tiles appear cool and inviting to sit on, and when one does, one’s body connects them as the back and seat of a bench. Their edges, where they contact the body, are finished with smooth, half-cylinder tiles – tiles that were fired by Utzon’s daughter, Lin.

    To the opposite side of the house entrance, there is a small walled garden. Here, because of the humidity and the shadows from the building and pine trees, the surface of the sandstone has blackened. Two rows of columns form a corridor to the bedrooms at the east. Three sets of wood doors seal the spaces between the columns, and opening them, one enters a room with a high ceiling. On the sea side of the room, six niche-like apertures of moderate height protrude outward at different angles. The differences in their angles suggest the movement of the sun as it rises in the east and sets in the west. Because the opening in each aperture has no window frame, the room appears wide open to the elements. Yet, window glass has in fact been installed from the outside. The simplicity with which Utzon has bonded the glass to the stone from the outside, with a wood frame, is moving. Here, because of the windows, the wind that had played freely in the terrace is excluded, and only the sun and views remain.

    JA+U: "Visiting Can Lis – Jørn Utzon’s House on Majorca" Report by Yoshiharu Tsukamoto © Yasuhiro Nakayama (Shinkenchiku-sha)

    When one sits on the crescent stone sofa in the middle of the room, the horizon line of the sea reaches the very center of the windows in the apertures. The exterior view framed by the niche is divided in two, sky above and sea below. If one stands up, the volume of sea increases and there is less sky, but this cannot be considered the standard eye height for the room. The height of our eye when sitting on the sofa tells us that, here in this place, the sea and sky meet, and we are united with what lies beyond the horizon.

    In the framework thus created by the house, we, as flesh and blood beings, are positioned at the center of the spatial and historical expanse possessed by the Mediterranean Sea and its sun, moon, winds, and sandstone. That expanse, even though encompassed by walls, extends far beyond the site’s boundaries. The entire earth, one feels, is the house’s site. The impression given by the house of being divorced from reality perhaps derives from this fact. Living here, one would surely feel as if enveloped by the earth, embraced by the earth. Lise Juel’s design for the restoration, which in every detail inherits this spirit of Can Lis and progresses within a dialogue with Utzon, is superb. When I told her she had the most enviable job in the world, she answered back, smiling, It’s just as you say.

    Translated from Japanese by Brian Amstutz.

  17. Town Hall in a Regional Environment

    In October 2012, the second round presentation for the 47th Central Glass International Architectural Design Competition was held in Tokyo. The year’s competition was themed “Town Hall in a Regional Environment”. It aimed for a town hall in a specific (choice of each participant) regional environment that could address local issues and enhance the everyday lives of the residents. The winning entry was “Town Hall-Line – Regional town hall for nostalgia of exhausted mine” by Joohui Son (South Korea). The competition for 2013 is now open for entries until August 5, 2013.

    JA+U: Town Hall in a Regional Environment by Central Glass International Architectural Design Competition 2012 © Joohui Son

    JA+U: Town Hall in a Regional Environment by Central Glass International Architectural Design Competition 2012 © Joohui Son

    “Town Hall-Line – Regional town hall for nostalgia of exhausted mine” by Joohui Son

    Mr. Son’s entry planned for a town hall in disused mining train which is still considered as the regional symbol by the residents of Choongbook, South Korea. One of the judges, architect Riken Yamamoto, favored the idea of leaving extra compartments at stations for possible use as government branch offices.

    JA+U: Town Hall in a Regional Environment by Central Glass International Architectural Design Competition 2012 © Masashi Fujimura and Takumi Nakahara

    “Air corridor in the back of the town” by Masashi Fujimura and Takumi Nakahara

    JA+U: Town Hall in a Regional Environment by Central Glass International Architectural Design Competition 2012 © Kai Echigo

    “Town Hall sharing along a valley” by Kai Echigo

    Two teams were awarded second place. “Air corridor in the back of the town” by Masashi Fujimura and Takumi Nakahara (Japan) explores the possibility of a city hall as a corridor along the back streets of a hilly site. “Town Hall sharing along a valley” by Kai Echigo (Japan) studied the contour line of a valley in Otsuchi-cho, Iwate Prefecture, and planned a town hall along the slope using local timber.

    Honorable mentions were awarded to four groups:

    JA+U: Town Hall in a Regional Environment by Central Glass International Architectural Design Competition 2012 © Tony Leung and Alric Lee
    “Floating Town Hall” by Tony Leung and Alric Lee (Hong Kong)

    JA+U: Town Hall in a Regional Environment by Central Glass International Architectural Design Competition 2012 © Toshihiko Hatori, Koji Masuda, and Keiichi Sakamoto
    “a - Linkage...” by Toshihiko Hatori, Koji Masuda, and Keiichi Sakamoto (Japan)

    JA+U: Town Hall in a Regional Environment by Central Glass International Architectural Design Competition 2012 © Taiki Sato, Kaai Ono, and Mamiya Tanaka
    “Town's Seawall, binding the sea and the people” by Taiki Sato, Kaai Ono, and Mamiya Tanaka (Japan)

    JA+U: Town Hall in a Regional Environment by Central Glass International Architectural Design Competition 2012 © Gaku Inoue and Ken Akatsuka
    “Town Hall Hotel” by Gaku Inoue and Ken Akatsuka (Japan)

    Top 17 projects with comments from the judges (Riken Yamamoto, Kiyoshi Sakurai, Taro Ashihara, Teruo Kobayashi, Hiroshi Naito, Kengo Kuma, and Takashi Nagahama) are covered in JA88 (English) and Shinkenchiku 12:12 (Japanese).

  18. WAAR?

    JA+U: WAAR? Exhibition on Glass Farm in Schijndel curated by Winy Maas © MVRDV

    In the April 2013 issue, A+U magazine features Glass Farm in Schijndel, the Netherlands, by Dutch architect MVRDV. The building is entirely composed of glass with images of local farmhouses printed. The magazine also features a conversation between MVRDV’s Winy Maas and Japanese architect Yasutaka Yoshimura on Glass Farm which further explores the building’s unique process of conception as well as its monumentality.

    Currently, there is an exhibition called WAAR? (Where? in English) in Schijndel. The show was curated by Mr. Maas – who was born in the town – to investigate the relation between context and authenticity with the focus on Glass Farm. The exhibition will be open until May 5, 2013.

    JA+U: WAAR? Exhibition on Glass Farm in Schijndel curated by Winy Maas © MVRDV

    JA+U: WAAR? Exhibition on Glass Farm in Schijndel curated by Winy Maas © MVRDV

    Below is the text provided by the architect:

    Coinciding with the completion of the Glass Farm in Schijndel, an exhibition about Context and Authenticity opened at the local Museum Jan Heestershuis.

    The exhibition entitled WAAR (Where? in English) explores the relationship between context and authenticity with the Glass Farm as its focus, a hyper-contextual building inspired by the local farm typology, yet surprising for its scale and materiality.

    JA+U: WAAR? Exhibition on Glass Farm in Schijndel curated by Winy Maas © MVRDV

    JA+U: WAAR? Exhibition on Glass Farm in Schijndel curated by Winy Maas © MVRDV

    A series of Wunderkammern in the museum show the development of the Glass Farm and present studies of the local farm typology through historical drawings and photographs, a photo collage of the average farm as well as excerpts from the local media. Guest curator Winy Maas invited three artists, Jeanne van Heeswijk, Jeroen Kooijmans and Hester Oerlemans who place their work in the historical context of the museum or the village Schijndel, in which they, like Winy Maas, grew up.

    JA+U: WAAR? Exhibition on Glass Farm in Schijndel curated by Winy Maas © MVRDV

    The exhibition will be open through May 5th, 2013 and can be visited Tuesdays - Sundays from 13:00 till 17:00.

    For more information visit the website of Museum Jan Heestershuis.

  19. Paper Pavilion at IE University

    JA+U: Paper Pavilion at IE University by Shigeru Ban Architects © Fernando Guerra

    Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has completed a temporary paper tube pavilion on the campus of IE University in Madrid, Spain. The pavilion’s roof is supported by 173 paper tubes which were made in Zaragoza. The space will be used for meetings, presentations, receptions and other functions related to the school’s activities.

    JA+U: Paper Pavilion at IE University by Shigeru Ban Architects © Fernando Guerra

    Below is an excerpt of the description provided by IE University:

    “IE’s culture and Shigeru Ban’s work share a commitment to sustainability, the humanistic spirit, and the blending of multiple cultures,” said Santiago Iñiguez, Dean of IE Business School and President of IE University. “The Pavilion opened here today will serve as a hub for the exchange of ideas in a place that is light, open, elegant and functional, while its ephemeral nature serves to remind us of the need for the permanent transformation of knowledge.”

    The structural design is eminently efficient. It took only two weeks to build, is based on sustainability objectives, and there was a requirement that it be a temporary construction. It is made of 173 paper tubes held together by timber joints that rest on paper columns. “One of the main challenges in any project is that the design must take into consideration the specific characteristics of the location.  In this case, we used an existing wall and kept the pavilion as far as possible from the adjacent building”, said architect Shigeru Ban. “I try to use local firms for my work. In this case the tubes, for example, were made in Zaragoza”. Shigeru Ban also pointed out that students from IE School of Architecture took part in assembling the paper tubes, and underscored how important it was as an educational experience for them. The form of the pavilion, built by workers from the region using local materials, is an excellent example of design and construction for IE University’s architecture students. The construction will be used for diverse IE activities, including meetings, presentations and receptions.

    JA+U: Paper Pavilion at IE University by Shigeru Ban Architects © Fernando Guerra

    The latest JA (the Japan Architect) magazine covers two of Ban’s recent projects – Tamedia New Office Building and S Residence – which are planned to be completed in Spring, 2013.

  20. 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate: Toyo Ito

    JA+U: 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate: Toyo Ito © Shinkenchiku-sha

    “Home for All” for Rikuzentakata

    Tokyo-based architect Toyo Ito was announced as the laureate of 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

    71 year old architect is known internationally for his work such as Sendai Mediatheque in Miyagi Prefecture, Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2002, Tama Art University Library, and more recently, recovery projects in Tohoku region.

    JA+U: 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate: Toyo Ito © Yoshiaki Tsutsui

    Portrait by Yoshiaki Tsutsui, courtesy of architect

    The Hyatt Foundation – the sponsor of the prize – shared with us the comment from the architect:

    Architecture is bound by various social constraints. I have been designing architecture bearing in mind that it would be possible to realize more comfortable spaces if we are freed from all the restrictions even for a little bit. However, when one building is completed, I become painfully aware of my own inadequacy, and it turns into energy to challenge the next project. Probably this process must keep repeating itself in the future.

    Therefore, I will never fix my architectural style and never be satisfied with my works.

    JA+U: 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate: Toyo Ito © Shinkenchiku-sha

    Sumika Pavilion

    Below is the comment from the jury:

    Throughout his career, Toyo Ito has been able to produce a body of work that combines conceptual innovation with superbly executed buildings. Creating outstanding architecture for more than 40 years, he has successfully undertaken libraries, houses, parks, theaters, shops, office buildings and pavilions, each time seeking to extend the possibilities of architecture. A professional of unique talent, he is dedicated to the process of discovery that comes from seeing the opportunities that lie in each commission and each site.

    Top photo by Ishiguro Photographic Institute, courtesy of architect

Quote of the day

I don't build in order to have clients. I have clients in order to build.

Ayn Rand