Frida Escobedos 2018 Serpentine Pavilion unveiled in London

June 14, 2018 by  
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Mexican architect Frida Escobedo has unveiled this year’s Serpentine Pavilion —a dark and porous envelope that wraps around an inner courtyard with a shallow pool of water. Located on the lawn of the Serpentine Gallery in London’s Kensington Gardens, the temporary summer pavilion is built with walls of concrete roofing tiles stacked together in a staggered formation on steel poles. The open voids in the stacked tile walls give Escobedo’s pavilion a sense of lightness by allowing natural light and views to pass through. At 38, Escobedo is the youngest architect ever tapped for the design of the annual Serpentine Pavilion. She is also the first solo woman selected for the commission since Zaha Hadid , who designed the first pavilion in 2000. For the 2018 Serpentine Pavilion, now in its 18th iteration, Escobedo took inspiration from domestic Mexican architecture and British materials. An enclosed courtyard —a common feature in Mexican houses—forms the heart of the pavilion, which comprises two rectangular volumes set on a north axis in a nod to the Prime Meridian, a global standard for time and geographic distance. In contrast, the outer walls of the pavilion are aligned with the Serpentine Gallery’s east facade. Escobedo designed lattice-like walls of British-made cement roof tiles that take inspiration from Mexico’s traditional breeze walls, known as celosia. The mirrored underside of the canopy and the triangular pool on the ground reflect the movement of light and shadow to heighten visitors’ awareness of their surroundings. Related: Diébédo Francis Kéré’s rainwater-harvesting 2017 Serpentine Pavilion unveiled in London today “My design for the Serpentine Pavilion 2018 is a meeting of material and historical inspirations inseparable from the city of London itself and an idea which has been central to our practice from the beginning: the express of time in architecture through inventive use of everyday materials and simple forms,” Escobedo said. “For the Pavilion, we have added the materials of light and shadow, reflection and refraction, turning the building into a timepiece that charts the passage of the day.” The Serpentine Pavilion opens June 15 and will run until October 7, 2018. + Frida Escobedo Photography © 2018 Iwan Baan

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Frida Escobedos 2018 Serpentine Pavilion unveiled in London

This prefab pavilion in Zhejiang brings travelers closer to nature

June 7, 2018 by  
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There’s no better way to build appreciation for nature than to immerse people in its beauty. That’s the idea behind the Pine Park Pavilion, a recently completed structure by the riverside in China’s Zhejiang province. Designed by Beijing-based design studio DnA Design and Architecture , the prefabricated Pine Park Pavilion serves to bring cyclists and hikers closer to the landscape. Commissioned by the Songyang Department of River Control and Reservoir Management as a piece of tourism infrastructure near the village of Huangyu, the 197-square-meter Pine Park Pavilion was prefabricated offsite and then assembled onsite. The installation is parallel to the river and comprises a pavilion, retail store, toilets, an infant room, management room, a tearoom  and private meeting spaces. “The elongated pavilion consists of four segments,” the architects wrote. “The building elements are separated with glass surfaces, on which the production of resin is illustrated in an artistically alienated manner, thus giving rise to one picture in combination with the already existing group of trees around the pavilion.” The prefabrication of the project and the preservation of existing trees are indicative of reduced site impact. The structural components are deliberately exposed, giving the modern pavilion a raw appearance. The large panels of glazing used throughout also give the structure a sense of transparency. The glass walls frame the landscape like a painting. In addition to serving as a viewpoint, the Pine Park Pavilion also includes an art installation that explains the production of pine resin in the neighboring village of Huangyu. Related: UNStudio designs cocoon-like pavilion made of 100% recyclable materials “The simple wooden building with its clear constructive structure serves as a resting place at the dam on the river and provides information about a traditional method of producing resin,” the architects wrote. “It consequently combines information about the location with a tourism infrastructure that links history and future for visitors in a playful manner.” + DnA Design and Architecture Images by Ziling Wang and Dan Han

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This prefab pavilion in Zhejiang brings travelers closer to nature

Vatican Citys first-ever pavilion debuts at the Venice Architecture Biennale

June 1, 2018 by  
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The Vatican Chapels Pavilion of the Holy See opened to fanfare last week, marking Vatican City’s debut at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale. Curated by Professor Francesco Dal Co, the temporary installation consists of 10 chapel-inspired pavilions, each designed by a different renowned design practice from around the world. Perhaps the most anticipated of them all is the pavilion by Foster + Partners , which takes the form of an open-air chapel built with a tensegrity structure. Spread out across the picturesque San Giorgio Maggiore Island, the Vatican Chapels Pavilion of the Holy See is set in a contemplative wooded environment. Foster + Partners’ chapel is located between two mature trees on one end of the island and connects to the lagoon beyond. The chapel comprises a tensegrity structure made up of three upright crosses that support a larch latticework membrane connected with steel cables and masts. Italian furniture company Tecno built the installation. “The project started with the selection of the site,” explained Norman Foster, founder of Foster + Partners. “On a visit to San Giorgio Maggiore, close to Palladio’s magnificent church and the Teatro Verde, I found a green space with two mature trees beautifully framing the view of the lagoon. It was like a small oasis in the big garden, perfect for contemplation. Our aim was to create a small space diffused with dappled shade and removed from the normality of passers-by, focused instead on the water and sky beyond – a sanctuary.” Related: Foster+Partners unveil design for first-ever Vatican Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale The larch membrane allows dappled light to pass through the chapel’s interior. The tensegrity structure was also engineered to withstand wind loads. Jasmine vines are planted around the structure and will grow overtop it in time to soften its contours and add an extra sensory element. The pavilion will remain open to the public until November 25, 2018. + Foster + Partners Images by Nigel Young/Foster + Partners

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Vatican Citys first-ever pavilion debuts at the Venice Architecture Biennale

A breezy oasis-like home hits the market in Brisbane

May 7, 2018 by  
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The stunning, oasis-like Rosebery House is now for sale—including its surprisingly lush environment less than two miles from Brisbane . Built predominately of timber and steel, this breezy abode was designed by Brit Andresen and Peter O’Gorman, among Australia’s most renowned contemporary architects. The home is listed on The Modern House with the price available on request. Open to the outdoors on all sides, the nearly 2,700-square-foot Rosebery House comprises three two-story pavilions punctuated by two covered voids that let in light and ventilation. Stairways and open decks connect the various rooms. Each pavilion is designed to house a different programmatic function but is also flexible enough to adapt to changing needs. Key to the success of the home is the massive trellis that runs the building’s full length and provides privacy, protection from the elements, and access to cooling breezes. Related: Heritage-listed church repurposed into modern solar-powered home in Brisbane Among the many highlights of the four-bedroom, two-bath house is the library living room, where battened panel screens slide open to a canopy view. “It’s the type of space where you could feel like you are a hermit in the middle of a rainforest ,” says the current owner, “but then the sounds of a tennis match float in on the breeze from the opposite riverbank and remind you that you are in a city.” Interested in placing a bid? Head over to The Modern House to get in touch with the homeowners. + Rosebery House Via Dwell Images by Michael Nicholson

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A breezy oasis-like home hits the market in Brisbane

PUP Architects disguises a tiny house as a rooftop air duct

March 14, 2018 by  
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PUP Architects disguised a dwelling as a rooftop air duct to bring attention to London’s housing crisis . The “guerrilla habitation” project playfully exploits development loopholes by fashioning a habitable rooftop space atop a canal-side warehouse in east London. PUP Architects based their design off a loophole that allows development of rooftop service structures without planning permission. PUP Architect’s H-VAC structure beat out 128 proposals to win property developer Shiva’s annual Antepavilion program, a competition that calls attention to problems with the local planning department and the city’s housing shortage .  Disguised as an HVAC exhaust, this hidden two-story dwelling starts from within the brick warehouse and pops up onto the roof in a snaking linear form clad in silver waterproof shingles made from recycled Tetra-Pak offcuts. The timber-framed structure winds its way up and culminates into a periscope-like shape with small room with two comfortable benches accommodating up to six. Related: This tiny prefab solution to Finland’s housing shortage can pop up in 24 hours “The pavilion invites discussion about the occupation of the city’s rooftops by highlighting relaxed permitted development rights,” says the Antepavilion press release. “It suggests that if dwellings could be disguised as air conditioning equipment, thousands of micro houses could be built across the city providing new homes.” The unusual pop-up pavilion won 2017’s Architecture Foundation Antepavilion competition for sustainable housing alternatives. + PUP Architects Images by Jim Stephenson and Phineas Harper

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PUP Architects disguises a tiny house as a rooftop air duct

China is winning the war on air pollution

March 14, 2018 by  
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China is notorious for having some of the worst air pollution on the planet. In 2014 the country declared war on smog, and the results are in: China is killing it. In just four years, pollution is down 32 percent on average. Now, it’s fair to say that the country is leading the way in proving to the world that meaningful change is possible. Getting to this point wasn’t easy. The Chinese government has been very aggressive in controlling pollution by prohibiting new coal plants and forcing existing ones to reduce emissions, closing some steel and coal mines, and reducing automobile traffic. It has also invested heavily in renewable energy. And it’s working; Beijing has seen air pollution fall by 35 percent and Shijiazhuang has realized a drop of 39 percent. China’s most polluted city of Baoding had a reduction of 38 percent. Related: China calls America selfish amid Trump attempt to revive coal Almost every region in China has beat its targets, and the results go beyond allowing people to breathe easier – experts believe that Chinese citizens could live 2.4 years longer on average if these declines persist. Via Popular Mechanics and The New York Times Images via Deposit Photos ( 1 , 2 )

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China is winning the war on air pollution

Colorful bamboo pavilion champions sustainable design in Kuala Lumpur

February 28, 2018 by  
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Renewable and fast-growing bamboo is catching on in the world of construction. To spur on the green material’s popularity, architect Eleena Jamil designed and built Urban Brains, a temporary pavilion that shows off the versatility of bamboo from structural support to decorative cladding. Built for the World Urban Forum 2018 in collaboration with UNHabitat, the pop-up pavilion in Kuala Lumpur also encourages visitors to add their thoughts to the design by literally writing on the walls. Located on an open square next to Klang River, Urban Brains provided tranquil respite during the weeklong World Urban Forum 2018 that concluded February 13, 2018. The simple 16-square-meter pavilion is a four-wall structure covered in by 100-millimeter-long bamboo cross-sections. Some of the circular rings were filled in with colorful semi-translucent panels to evoke the effect of stained glass windows while other bamboo rings were left hollow. The colored panels are also a nod to the colors of the UN sustainable design goals. Related: This breezy bamboo amphitheater pops up in just 25 days Custom-designed stools made from short bamboo poles tied together with rattan were placed inside the pavilion in a square courtyard -like space. The roof, built with concentric square bamboo shapes, is fitted with transparent plastic and a large opening in the center to let in natural light. Visitors are encouraged to add their thoughts and ideas for improving the city by writing them down on the circular colored panels punctuating the pavilion walls. + Eleena Jamil Images via Eleena Jamil

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Colorful bamboo pavilion champions sustainable design in Kuala Lumpur

Asif Khan unveils the darkest building on earth for 2018 Winter Olympics

February 8, 2018 by  
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British-based architect Asif Khan unveiled a super-black pavilion at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics that he describes as the “darkest building on earth.” Built for Hyundai Motor, the temporary Pyeongchang Olympic Park pavilion is fully coated in Vantablack VBx2—a material that can absorb 99 percent of the light that hits its surface. As a result, the pavilion looks like a gaping black void even in broad daylight. Standing at 10 meters (33 feet) tall, the 2018 Winter Olympics Hyundai Motor pavilion draws inspiration from the automotive company’s technology and offers a unique interactive experience. Khan attached thousands of tiny white lights to the super-black parabolic facades, evoking images of a starry night sky. The steel-framed building measures 35 meters (115 feet) by 35 meters. In contrast to the super-dark facade, the interior is a brightly lit white room housing a multi-sensory interactive water installation. Haptic sensors allow visitors to interact with the hydrophobic installation that emits 25,000 singular water droplets per minute; the water droplets zoom down channels, collide, split, and eventually pool into a drain. “From a distance the structure has the appearance of a window looking into the depths of outer space,” said Khan. “As you approach it, this impression grows to fill your entire field of view. So on entering the building, it feels as though you are being absorbed into a cloud of blackness.” Related: Video: Anish Kapoor’s “Decension” is a black vortex in the floor of an old movie theater He continues: “The water installation visitors discover inside is brightly lit in white. As your eyes adjust, you feel for a moment that the tiny water drops are at the scale of the stars. A water droplet is a size every visitor is familiar with. In the project I wanted to move from the scale of the cosmos to the scale of water droplets in a few steps. The droplets contain the same hydrogen from the beginning of the universe as the stars.” The 2018 Winter Olympics Hyundai Motor Pavilion will open at the Pyeongchang 2018 Opening Ceremony on February 9, 2018. + Asif Khan Via WAN Images via Luke Hayes

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Asif Khan unveils the darkest building on earth for 2018 Winter Olympics

First international Serpentine Pavilion will open in Beijing

February 1, 2018 by  
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The Serpentine Pavilion is going global, with its first international debut in Beijing , China. Launched by London’s Serpentine Galleries and Beijing’s WF CENTRAL, this major international collaboration will be designed by multidisciplinary Chinese practice JIAKUN Architects. The inaugural co-commission will be modeled on the Serpentine’s annual pavilion program in London’s Royal Park of Kensington Gardens. Every year since 2000, the Serpentine Galleries invites an international architect who has not completed a building in England at the time of the invitation to design a temporary pavilion on its grounds. The inaugural Serpentine Pavilion Beijing took a different approach to architect selection, and instead began with a competition brief seeking designs sensitive to Beijing’s historic and social context as well as the Serpentine Pavilion’s 17-year history. A selection committee that included representatives from the Serpentine Galleries, Hongkong Land, and Made in China, chose JIAKUN Architects’ design. The winning design draws inspiration from Confucianism and the Chinese philosophical term of junzi, used to describe the ideal man. According to the press release: “The design is characterized by the figure of the Archer, in the form of a curved cantilever beam that incorporates the forces of elasticity through cables stretched between steel plates. Although modern architecture in Beijing has developed a series of powerful techniques to fight the external forces of fierce winds and unpredictable earthquakes , the Pavilion’s integral structure aims—like the Tai Chi Master—to conquer the harshness of those forces with softness.” Related: Diébédo Francis Kéré’s rainwater-harvesting 2017 Serpentine Pavilion unveiled in London today The inaugural Serpentine Pavilion Beijing will launch in May 2018 at the opening of WF CENTRAL on Wangfujing in Beijing’s Dongcheng District, just 600 meters away from the historic Forbidden City. The temporary public pavilion will be on display for six months. + Serpentine Galleries Images via Serpentine Galleries

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First international Serpentine Pavilion will open in Beijing

Perkins+Will unveil designs for Suzhou Science & Technology Museum

February 1, 2018 by  
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The Chinese city of Suzhou is ringing in the New Year with newly unveiled renderings of a green-roofed behemoth of museum rivaling those found in its ritzier cousin, Shanghai. Perkins+Will is behind the design of the Suzhou Science Technology Museum, still in its conceptual phase, that’s expected to cover 600,000 square feet. Inspired by the Chinese philosophy of shan sui (mountain and water), the project will be integrated into nature and form the centerpiece of a new cultural district in Shishan Park. It’s little wonder Perkins+Will was tapped for the project; the international architecture firm was also behind the spectacular Shanghai Natural History Museum . The proposed Suzhou Science Technology Museum will be located at the foot of Lion Mountain and next to Shishan Lake. Exhibitions will be housed within a 66,700-square-foot ribbon-shaped building that emerges from the base of the mountain, twists upwards, and then double backs onto itself and into a dramatic cantilever over the lake edge. The form draws inspiration from the infinity loop and is meant to evoke a flowing silk scarf, one of Suzhou’s most famous exports. Related: Form follows function at Shanghai’s new bioclimatic Natural History Museum Like the Shanghai Natural History Museum, the Suzhou Science Technology Museum will boast several green features from the green roof atop the exhibition hall to the addition of new man-made, teardrop-shaped Eco Islands that will be vegetated, accessible to the public, and serve as a natural filtration system for the lake. Natural light is optimized indoors, while a planted forest buffer provides a respite of fresh air from city smog. Permeable paving and bioswales will be integrated into the civic plaza designs and a water restoration strategy will be put in place. + Perkins+Will Via ARCHITECT Magazine Images via Perkins+Will

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