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Rafael de La-Hoz Arquitectos Takes a Page Out of the Quran to Design a Natural Oasis

Drawing both literal and theoretical inspiration from the Islamic Holy Book, Rafael de La-Hoz Arquitectos earned an Honourable Mention for their design proposal of a habitable natural oasis for the Noble Quran International Competition in Saudi Arabia.
Understanding the significance of… Sigue leyendo

McDowell + Benedetti’s Footbridge and Rail Station Underway in Terni

London based firm McDowell+Benedetti has recently announced that their design for a new 180 metre footbridge and improved rail station in Terni, Italy, has begun work on the site. A future landmark for the town, the £3.5 million (€4.4 million) project… Sigue leyendo

Make Architects Win Planning For First Building in Birmingham’s Arena Central

Birmingham City Council has approved Make Architects‘ designs for the first commercial building of the city’s Arena Central masterplan. Located on Broad Street and overlooking the historic Centenary Square, 1 Arena Central is set to be the first step in the master plan for… Sigue leyendo

Make Architects Win Planning For First Building in Birmingham’s Arena Central

Birmingham City Council has approved Make Architects‘ designs for the first commercial building of the city’s Arena Central masterplan. Located on Broad Street and overlooking the historic Centenary Square, 1 Arena Central is set to be the first step in the master plan for… Sigue leyendo

This Public Toilet has a Periscope That Offers a Serene Sea View

The terms “public toilet” and “seaside periscope” don’t usually go hand in hand. However, Adam Wiercinski has drawn inspiration from the location of his project in Gdynia, Poland, on the coast of the Baltic Sea to create a concept for a building… Sigue leyendo

3C Competition Winners Announced

Operation Resilient Long Island (ORLI) has just announced the winners of its 3C: Comprehensive Coastal Communities ideas competition. Entrants were asked to design solutions that were not just resilient but also contextually sensitive and pragmatic to the devastating aftermath of Super-storm Sandy as well as all future natural disasters. Over 60 submissions were received from 20 different countries and 32 finalists were engaged in a public education strategy through a public voting campaign. A jury panel of eight leading professionals in the fields of architecture, urban planning and disaster mitigation met in mid-September to review the top finalists and selected 3 winners.

The 2013 winners of the 3C Competition are:

First Place: Adaptive Urban Habitats / Mixed Paper


The first place project comes from a group of recent graduates from Northeastern University. Their design is entitled “Adaptive Urban Habitats” and was envisioned for Red Hook, Brooklyn. It is a standardized kit of parts produced by local manufacturing facilities that can be deployed to infill vertically above existing neighborhoods. It would increase buildable space and density, protecting future developments from rising sea levels.

Second Place: Flexing with the Tide / Movers & Shakers


Second place was awarded to “Flexing with the Tide”, devised by a team of Pratt graduate students. Their project was designed for Canarsie and looks at a phasing diagram that calls for a managed retreat from the coastline. Pre-fabricated modules would attach to existing homes allowing for an easy transition to more resilient housing designs with minimal modifications to existing structures.

Third Place: Hard-Core / Dany Durand-Courchesne, Marc-Antoine Dufault, Olivier Lord


Third place is entitled “Hard-Core” and looks at creating housing above destroyed boardwalk sections in Rockaway, Queens. A unique urban beach aesthetic is created and the repetition of the building typology could be imagined as a new way to develop the coastline, linking more and more inhabitants together with a new shared ground plane.

Reference: 3competition.org

3C Competition Winners Announced First Place: Adaptive Urban Habitats / Mixed Paper
3C Competition Winners Announced First Place: Adaptive Urban Habitats / Mixed Paper
3C Competition Winners Announced First Place: Adaptive Urban Habitats / Mixed Paper
3C Competition Winners Announced First Place: Adaptive Urban Habitats / Mixed Paper
3C Competition Winners Announced First Place: Adaptive Urban Habitats / Mixed Paper
3C Competition Winners Announced Second Place: Flexing with the Tide / Movers & Shakers
3C Competition Winners Announced Second Place: Flexing with the Tide / Movers & Shakers
3C Competition Winners Announced Second Place: Flexing with the Tide / Movers & Shakers
3C Competition Winners Announced Second Place: Flexing with the Tide / Movers & Shakers
3C Competition Winners Announced Second Place: Flexing with the Tide / Movers & Shakers
3C Competition Winners Announced Third Place: Hard-Core / Dany Durand-Courchesne, Marc-Antoine Dufault, Olivier Lord
3C Competition Winners Announced Third Place: Hard-Core / Dany Durand-Courchesne, Marc-Antoine Dufault, Olivier Lord
3C Competition Winners Announced Third Place: Hard-Core / Dany Durand-Courchesne, Marc-Antoine Dufault, Olivier Lord
3C Competition Winners Announced Third Place: Hard-Core / Dany Durand-Courchesne, Marc-Antoine Dufault, Olivier Lord

3C Competition Winners Announced originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 26 Oct 2013.

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Finalists Create Next Generation of Sustainable Building Products

In attempts to better define what it really means to be green, the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, in partnership with Make it Right, has selected products from ten companies as finalists in the Product Innovation Challenge. 144 applicants were screened by toxicologists and building professionals, proposing new alternatives from insulation grown from fungi and bricks from living organisms, to roofing made from waste limestone and recycled plastic. The ten finalists represent the shared values of practical sustainability and entrepreneurship, creating “a building product that is safe, healthy, affordable, effective and designed to be returned safely to nature or industry after use.”

Three winners will ultimately be announced on November 15, 2013 at the Institute’s Innovation Celebration in New York City, offering a $250,000 cash prize: $125,000 for first place, $75,000 for second and $50,000 for third. The jury members, who include executives from Google, US Green Building Council and the Schmidt Family Foundation, will judge each product based on five categories: material health, material reutilization, water stewardship, renewable energy and social fairness.

Without further ado, the 10 finalists are…

Ecovative: Mushroom Insulation
“A renewable, high-performance, and cost-effective replacement for plastic foams. Ecovative’s process combines agricultural byproducts with fungal mycelium, a natural, self-assembling binder, to literally grow structural rigid insulation.” 

Bellwether Materials: Softbatts Sheep’s Wool Insulation
“Made from sheep’s wool using little energy for manufacturing, safe for people, animals and the environment. Wool is known for its ability to absorb pollutants in the air, making interior spaces healthier. If a building catches on fire, wool insulation is difficult to burn and will delay the ignition of surrounding materials. If a building is demolished, the wool can easily be pulled out and reused, repurposed or recycled.” 

ROMA: Domus Mineral Paints
“Derived from natural materials, washable, free of toxic chemicals, free of asthmagens, hypoallergenic, and permeable, prohibit bacteria that form mold, and absorb CO2 (so no Sick Building Syndrome). They are ideal for use in commercial and residential areas: offices, schools, medical facilities, and homes.” 

StormWall Industries: StormWall Panels
“A structural wall, floor, and ceiling system with panels that supersede and replace the use of drywall. Based on the Composite Panel Associates Carbon Model, StormWall panels sequester more than 3X the CO2 emitted from the production process and supply chain.” 

GR GreenBuilding Products: GR Green Roofing and Siding
“Made from waste limestone and recycled plastic—milk bottles and grocery bags—GR Green Cedar and GR Green Slate look natural, cost less than the competition and can be completely recycled at the end of their 50+ years of use.”

bioMASON: Biobrick
“Employs bacteria to produce a natural cement within a mix of aggregate. Inputs are globally abundant and may be extracted from waste streams. The cementation process is achieved in ambient temperatures. A hardened brick requires less than 5 days to form, and is comparable in cost and performance to traditional masonry.” 

Ecococon: Straw Panels
“Prefabricated load-bearing Straw Panels are made for cost-efficient and precise construction of super-insulated houses. The Ecococon modular building system is made from 99.4% rapidly renewable and mostly locally sourced materials (straw and wood). The panels have been successfully applied in several passive houses.” 

HaploBuilt: HaploBlocks
“Prefabricated modular building enclosure components assembled and connected on site. All materials are biodegradable or recyclable. The manufacture and assembly is simple, requiring few tools, little energy, and no water. Haploblocks can be disassembled and used again in new construction.”

ECOR: Universal Construction Panels
“Utilizes a ubiquitous raw material, available worldwide: waste cellulose fiber. ECOR manufacturing includes a closed loop water system with 99.5% reutilization.” 

Dutch Design Initiative: Reinforced Wood Wool Cement Board
A versatile building material made from wood wool and cement. The wooden pole in the board results in a constructive element. It can be used for walls and roofs. Boards are fire-resistant, waterproof, rot-resistant, termite- and vermin-resistant, insulating, sound-absorbing, free of harmful emissions, and accept a wide range of finishes. 

References: Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, Make It Right, Schmidt Family Foundation

Finalists Create Next Generation of Sustainable Building Products Straw Paneling System Among Finalists. Image Courtesy of Ecococon via Cradle to Cradle
Finalists Create Next Generation of Sustainable Building Products Mushroom Insulation. Image Courtesy of Ecovative via Cradle to Cradle
Finalists Create Next Generation of Sustainable Building Products Softbatts Sheep's Wool Insulation. Image Courtesy of Bellwether Materials via Cradle to Cradle
Finalists Create Next Generation of Sustainable Building Products StormWall Panels. Image Courtesy of StormWall Industries via Cradle to Cradle
Finalists Create Next Generation of Sustainable Building Products Domus Mineral Paints. Image Courtesy of ROMA via Cradle to Cradle
Finalists Create Next Generation of Sustainable Building Products GR Green Roofing and Siding . Image Courtesy of GR GreenBuilding Products via Cradle to Cradle
Finalists Create Next Generation of Sustainable Building Products Biobrick. Image Courtesy of bioMASON via Cradle to Cradle
Finalists Create Next Generation of Sustainable Building Products Universal Construction Panels. Image Courtesy of ECOR via Cradle to Cradle
Finalists Create Next Generation of Sustainable Building Products HaploBlocks. Image Courtesy of HaploBuilt via Cradle to Cradle
Finalists Create Next Generation of Sustainable Building Products Reinforced Wood Wool Cement Board. Image Courtesy of Dutch Design Initiative via Cradle to Cradle
Finalists Create Next Generation of Sustainable Building Products Straw Panels. Image Courtesy of Ecococon via Cradle to Cradle
Finalists Create Next Generation of Sustainable Building Products Courtesy of bioMASON via Cradle to Cradle
Finalists Create Next Generation of Sustainable Building Products Courtesy of bioMASON via Cradle to Cradle

Finalists Create Next Generation of Sustainable Building Products originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 16 Sep 2013.

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‘C.O.P. (Creative Office Project)’ storage system by MA/U Studio (DK)

'C.O.P. (Creative Office Project)' storage system by MA/U Studio

MA/U Studio’s clever ‘Creative Office Project’ storage system, with its novel built-in-wall rail mounting system, now comes with adjustable magnetic shelf supports.

SANAA’s ‘Cloud Boxes’ Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition

SANAA, it is. In attempts to separate itself from its sister cities, Taichung City has named SANAA, led by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, winners of an international competition that intends to unite a newly formed city. As of December 2010, Taichung city executed a mega-merger that increased its population from 1 million inhabitants to 2.5 million, encompassing the skyscraping towers of downtown Taichung to the agricultural mountainside villages of Taichung County. As a result, the local government envisioned a new urban space that would place art at its core, celebrating the regions’ disparate cultures. 

First Prize: SANAA / Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa

The competition brief sought to combine a public library and a fine arts museum into one compound. But, of course, this is not all. The cultural center must aid in creating a local identity, “a piece of art in itself,” that represents the optimism and creativity of the locals, whilst attracting the attention of the international community. SANAA has managed to do just that.

The winning proposal is elegantly simple, successfully making an otherwise large compound seem light, as if it were to float away. In plan, the spaces resemble a child’s playful agglomeration of blocks, creating voids and plazas that suggest a collection of buildings that are equally active from the inside and outside. Reading areas, exhibits and gardens are dispersed as if to make no hierarchical distinction between programs, a design strategy characteristic of SANAA’s practice.


Second Prize: Jean-Loup Baldacci





Third prize: Eisenman Architects, PC / Peter Eisenman





Honorable Mention: MASS STUDIES / Minsuk Cho


Honorable Mention: Stucheli Architekten AG / Mathis Tinner


Jury List:

Yu-Chien Ann, Taiwan

Kurt Forster, Switzerland

Yu-Tung Liu, Taiwan

Joshua Jih Pan, Taiwan

Yeng-Horng Perng, Taiwan

Linda Pollak, USA

Mitsuru Senda, Japan

References: Taichung City Government, Taipei Times, Taichung City Cultural Center

SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition First Prize. Image Courtesy of SANAA via Taichung City Cultural Center
SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition Honorable Mention. Image Courtesy of Stucheli Architekten AG / Mathis Tinner via Taichung City Cultural Center
SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition Honorable Mention. Image Courtesy of Stucheli Architekten AG / Mathis Tinner via Taichung City Cultural Center
SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition First Prize. Image Courtesy of SANAA via Taichung City Cultural Center
SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition First Prize. Image Courtesy of SANAA via Taichung City Cultural Center
SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition First Prize. Image Courtesy of SANAA via Taichung City Cultural Center
SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition Second Prize. Image Courtesy of Jean-Loup Baldacci via Taichung City Cultural Center
SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition Second Prize. Image Courtesy of Jean-Loup Baldacci via Taichung City Cultural Center
SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition Honorable Mention. Image Courtesy of Stucheli Architekten AG / Mathis Tinner via Taichung City Cultural Center
SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition Honorable Mention. Image Courtesy of MASS STUDIES / Minsuk Cho via Taichung City Cultural Center
SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition Third Prize. Image Courtesy of Eisenman Architects via Taichung City Cultural Center
SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition Honorable Mention. Image Courtesy of MASS STUDIES / Minsuk Cho via Taichung City Cultural Center
SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition Second Prize. Image Courtesy of Jean-Loup Baldacci via Taichung City Cultural Center
SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition Honorable Mention. Image Courtesy of MASS STUDIES / Minsuk Cho via Taichung City Cultural Center
SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition Third Prize. Image Courtesy of Eisenman Architects via Taichung City Cultural Center
SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition Third Prize. Image Courtesy of Eisenman Architects via Taichung City Cultural Center
SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition Honorable Mention. Image Courtesy of MASS STUDIES / Minsuk Cho via Taichung City Cultural Center
SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition Honorable Mention
SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition Honorable Mention
SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition Second Prize
SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition Third Prize
SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition Third Prize
SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition Second Prize
SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition Honorable Mention

SANAA's 'Cloud Boxes' Wins First Prize in Taichung City Competition originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 12 Sep 2013.

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Summer Video Game Series: L.A. Noire

L.A. Noire, from Team Bondi and Rockstar Games, painstakingly recreates 1947 Los Angeles. Image: via augustman.com. “L.A. Noire” isn’t a video game. Or more accurately, “L.A. Noire” is a video game contained within a vast architectural, historical, and cultural project. It’s a compelling undertaking that portends the forthcoming complex relationship between architecture, video games, and …Continue Reading