To mark the city’s 375th anniversary in 2017, the Borough of Ville-Marie will offer Montréal residents and visitors a revamped, friendlier Place Jacques-Cartier that will host lively activities year round. The borough hopes to enhance the quality of this public space and flaunt the rich heritage of this emblematic site, a prime social gathering place between the Old Port and the Cité administrative, dominated by City Hall.

“We want to make Place Jacques-Cartier a must-see focal point of Vieux-Montréal for Montrealers and visitors alike,” says Montréal Mayor Denis Coderre. “Its design, occupancy and activity program should highlight the site’s historical character.”

Enhancing the architectural heritage

To revitalize the ambiance at Place Jacques-Cartier and facilitate events throughout the year, of building façades will be made more visible, to show them off, and flaunt the architectural diversity of the site. Currently, these façades are masked by awnings and terrasses (patios) used only during part of the year. The terrasses will be moved to the centre of the square. Merchants, artists and visitors can enjoy new furniture (terrasses, kiosks and benches).

To protect customers from the sun and the elements, patios will be surrounded by glass walls and will feature a roof with a retractable awning. Linked to the power grid, these installations will be well lit and heated as required. The new structure also sets the stage for winter events such as a Christmas walk, after the patio season is over.

“Place Jacques-Cartier has not had a makeover since 1998. All of these improvements will re-burnish the site by giving it the aesthetic coherence that it lacks today,” says Richard Bergeron, counsellor of the St-Jacques district and executive committee member responsible for development of the downtown core. Read the rest of this entry »

The Dodecaplex Space Ecosystem is a project conceived to solve the current needs for space exploration, focusing on: avoiding dependency on Earth’s resources, adaptation to new technologies, and maintaining life. The Spacecraft will act as a future place of residence and method of transportation to other planetary systems.

Applying membranes as functional units, separating spaces, protecting the Station from the exterior, we will maintain life.Using biological processes such as photosynthesis, essential for cell life, to produce oxygen for human life, we generate the capacity to sustain a whole organism, or in this case, a whole station. Capable of adaptation, as a modular installation in expansion and continuous evolution, the Station would welcome additions as a result of new scientific discoveries and technologies.

Team: O + R
Rafael Ortiz Martínez de Carnero, Architect (Spain)
Fernando Ortiz Martínez de Carnero, Biologist (Spain)
Manuel Domínguez de La Iglesia, Mathematician (Spain)

Woven Urban Pavilion in Sao Paulo

By: admin | February - 5 - 2016

Photo: Luciana Roça

The Trançado project is an urban furniture located at Largo da Batata, São Paulo, Brazil, selected by Batatalab competition held by the Instituto A Cidade Precisa de Você (The City Needs You Institute) and IPIU Instituto de Pesquisa e Inovação em Urbanismo (Institute of Urbanism Research and Innovation).

The first premise of the proposal is the competition theme “Shadow,” which initially refers to a closed cover. However, factors such as visual contact with the surroundings and the wind incidence on site, incited a project that also contemplated permeability. Another important aspect was the visual experience for citizens and reflection on how to achieve a compelling aesthetic that could offer interesting patterns of shadow. All these parameters should be aligned to the budget available.

During the design and building process, digital resources were employed for evaluating the performance of materials, structural strength, visual permeability, sensory experience and pedestrian flow, combined with parameters of sunlight incidence and shadow in order to ensure the most efficient weaved for this project.

Due to the geometric complexity of weave, code data were extracted and generated sequence to weave string; it rationalized the process, making it simpler.

It is hoped that the people at the Largo da Batata, Sao Paulo, Brazil, find comfort and sensory pleasure to transit or stay. The Trançado furniture is an interface for what truly matters: the occupation of public space, encounters, and living spaces. Read the rest of this entry »

What constitutes a museum today in the 21st century? Exactly this question forms the base to all accompanying questions within the AA Visiting School Program in Frankfurt/Rhein Main. The supreme discipline for an architect, a cultural building, will not be thought as a formalistic exercise, but rather as a neo-political question, a sociological development and territorial connection; allowing the design to form the answers.

Today’s central European landscape can be defined as a multiple image of a fragmented space with little dynamics within its territorial elements. A clear division towards the Hinterland is taking place resulting in a cultural split with the metropolitan space.

With a focus on the Rhein-Main area, its´ central power-house Frankfurt and the surrounding uplands, we aim at identifying, conceptualizing and realizing cross territorial supply chains to develop the Peripheral Museum of Contemporary Art. The museum exemplifies a cultural network through architectural interventions, which will redefine territorial strategies connecting the metropolitan with the Hinterland and vice versa; to broaden an exchange beyond political and economical boundaries.

Each year will focus on a different landscape and thematic strategy, developing various respective scenarios. Thereby, a unified policy with different levels of intensifications, new relations and negotiations within the territories and across the metropolitan space will be formed – the peripheral museum of contemporary art // PMCA.

While Last year visions for the Spessart have been thought through, 2016 will focus on the “Flughafen Wald“, an inner buffer zone.

Cultural Avenue HQ
Kennedyallee 100
60596 Frankfurt


16.05.2016 – 28.05.2016

Application Deadline

Friedrich Gräfling
Johanna Stemmler

Johanna Stemmler
T(+49)69 20167577

www.aaschool.ac.uk/STUDY/VISITING/Frankfurt Read the rest of this entry »

This is a proposal for the new Barack Obama Presidential Library located at Jackson Park in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago is a city that is heavily defined by grid and frame, giving birth to the commonly known term of the “Chicago School” or “Chicago Frame.” Our proposal utilizes this existing architectural language of the context as a starting point to define a new speculative architectural language for the city of Chicago.

Our project addresses the dichotomy between two independent and highly incongruous architectural problems – the monolith and the frame. As frame meets monolith and monolith meets frame, a symbiotic interdependency is produced where the final form does not rely exclusively on one system. Instead, it relies on a unique equilibrium between monolith and frame. The monolith can be perceived as a solid, legible, and even an icon, yet the logic of its generation is rationalized by the basis of the frame as an extensive system. However, this is not achieved by the mere assimilation of these dichotomies but through the slippage of frame and mass to generate a misregistration of the whole. Read the rest of this entry »

The foundational core of this project designed by Zack Matthews at the Harvard GSD focuses on the effect which digital technology has had on tourism and its repercussions on physical attractions such as the Castle of St. Jorge – the historical castle located in Lisbon Portugal, where this project takes place.

Digital technology has not only provided distractions to disengage visitors of the castle, but it has also provided windows of accessibility where users can tour castles, museums, and collections from their own bedroom. As much of the allure of the programming and collections in the castle is a result of the atmosphere of the castle itself, the effect of the attraction is inevitably lost if only experienced through an iPhone, tablet, or laptop.

To address this problem and persuade people to actually experience the atmosphere of the historical pinnacle within Lisbon, this project begins to perform in two ways. It serves first as funicular – a novel and practical way to traverse the intense landscape of Lisbon as well as the approach to the castle.

Secondly, by using the inherent mechanical properties of the funicular – movement, velocity, and sound – perceptions of visitors using the alternate funicular wrapped stair, are stimulated and engaged. Additionally, both of these paths are located below ground in an immersive cavity which burrows from the street to the castle plateau above. By first engaging user perceptions and interactions between the two systems of travel, and then immersing those engagements underground, a more encompassing atmosphere is created which celebrates and heightens the event of traveling to the castle.

Ultimately by stimulating user perceptions and providing attraction to get to the castle, this project addresses the two identified problems of digital technology in tourism mentioned above. It perceptually, physically, and socially engages visitors enough to temporarily cure their digital distractions. It also creates an incentive to visit the castle and experience its physical qualities and qualitative atmospheres. Read the rest of this entry »

New Museum of Art Sao Paulo

By: admin | January - 13 - 2016

The proposal for a New MASP in São Paulo, a project made by Oscar Abrahamsson at Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) is suggesting a new home for Museu de Arte de São Paulo in Brazil. It is an exploration in explicit shape, décor and adornment and new ideas of the urban ground in creating a museum that lowers the threshold between culture and life in the street.

The modern project and the universal cities it produced, utopian in their nature, has imposed an alienating effect upon us. The result of modernism is cities where we don’t feel like home. The New MASP is trying to find ways of re-introducing this sense of belonging into the city by creating new models of urban life, while dwelling within the context of urban fragmentation in the megapolis of São Paulo.

Two simple triangular shapes constitute the building volume – forming new, elevated, grounds – habitable sloped planes that are displacing the urban ground onto the top of the building. Massive, opaque and black, the figure of the building merges in its muteness with the ground. No apertures are present to confuse the simple volumes. Natural light still pours in through the massive skylights established by the “color dips” on the top of each of the triangular shapes. The “color dips”, glazed but highly reflective, are introducing new datums that are further shifting the perception of the ground through acting as fake horizons. Read the rest of this entry »

Our design for the 2016 Arch Triumph Energy Pavilion creates a dynamic focal point to the gardens and showcases energy-generation achieved through piezoelectricity, which converts pressure into an electric charge. The structure is shaped to echo the outline of the Museum Gardens site. The points of the diamond shape are oriented toward the main entrances to the park, and the diagonal divisioning of the panels draws visitors in and around the structure, which is configured as a torus. The curving panelized wall angles up to reveal an interior space lined in brightly colored metal panels. Visitors are encouraged to touch the pavilion to generate pressure-generated energy. Pushing on the panels of the structure and plucking the metal chords along the perimeter compresses sensors that will send electric currents that light up areas of the pavilion. The panels are clipped onto a structure of plywood ribs with polycarbonate struts. Apertures in the thick wall of the pavilion are lined with sheet metal to reflect light and color. Lights embedded in the apertures and in the edge of the projecting overhang will glow when the pavilion is touched, attracting the attention of passers-by especially on overcast days. Read the rest of this entry »

The new Aviation and Science Museum is located in Yeşilköy district, south-west of Istanbul in the same area where Ataturk International Airport is located and where the old aviation museum reside. An area where no horizontal boundaries could be found, only vertical boundaries (strict ones posed by air-traffic control from the nearby airport) and an ill-defined site that expands in all directions. There is no urban texture to be considered nor to be mentioned other than the mechanically and monumentally-scaled structures of the nearby airport and aviation museum.

Not only does the museum function as a showroom for airplanes, but also acts as an educational institution to conduct research, lectures, seminars and a place for people with similar interest in aviation science to meet.

Thus, the new Aviation and Science Museum aims to be the missing linkage between the opposing entities of the problem (the nearby mechanically-scaled airport, the museum itself, the airplanes and artifacts displayed inside and the human visitor). Therefore, the question of how to create a new structure that deals with big scales externally and with smaller human scale and airplane scale internally, respecting each scale on its own in a smooth transition, was raised.

In order to address that question on a boundless site, ordinary design process (a top-down one nor bottom-up) wouldn’t be fit. Instead, a mix of both ways that meets in-between was to be considered.

Starting both from the smallest scale, investigating the relationship between the subject and the object. The subject being the human visitor, and the object being the artifact ranging from a miniature model of an airplane to a full-size transportation and cargo aircraft, and also at the same time, starting from the master-planning of the site, considering the relationships between the historical watchtower, existing hangars (that date back to the first days of Turkish aviation history), the aviation monument and the paths flowing between.

After considering the main axis of circulation that connects the entrance between the historical structures and the aviation monument, this axis was set to expand in cross directions of the site. As a result, expanding the used space of the site, and setting up future plans for expansion.

The relation between the subject and the object was mapped in a catalogue that explains the different states of this relation and the resulting differences in the perception of the artifacts, whether the changes happen in the distance between the object and the subject or the viewing angle between them. The aim was to perceive the artifacts form as many views and distances as possible.

The result of the previous study was 4 different prototypes of viewing platforms combining the most of the cases in the catalogue. While placing the prototypes of the platform on the axis of the site, previously mentioned to expand in 4 directions, and keeping in-mind the future expansion plans, a modular unit was created. This modular unit could be easily arranged to create one continuous slab that flows from one scale to another (and from one level to another) in a smooth transition of spaces.

Each modular unit when combined with another creates outdoor spaces (protected from wind since it’s walled with the arrangement of units). With the expansion of the museum in the future, every time a new unit be added, a new outdoor “wind-free pocket” will emerge.

The end result of combining the modular units on an axis driven from the site’s existing condition was a continuous flow of spaces between levels that connects the historical watchtower and hangars with the aviation museum; connecting the visitor with the artifacts in many aspects, and connects the scales that the new shell structure deals with.

Project Designer: Anas Mahli

Institute: Bahcesehir University

Awards: Archiprix Turkey 2015 1st Place Award for the best graduation project in Turkey Read the rest of this entry »

The design of the new Viewpoint on the Pulpit Rock in Norway, is an attempt to combine art with architecture. Based on the famous painting “The Persistence of Memory” by Salvador Dali, fly Architecture wanted to take the surrealistic melting clocks as a template for the design of the new observation deck. A part of the rock is carved out to give the impression of a giant eye. In this cavity, a grandstand is provided with stairs and around it an aluminum/glass structure is stretched. This glass roof with the underlying grandstand, invites visitors to linger both in sunny and rainy weather.

In addition, the glass has a special coating. It allows the usage of augmented reality technology. With this technology reality and virtuality is reconciled. Thus, numerous opportunities arise. e.g. it is now possible provide the viewer additional information on the region, the climate just by looking at the sky. Additionally, small events such as movie-nights can be held on the platform.The layout of the new observation deck offers the visitor an unique experience of space and beyond that a distinctive perception from a distance. Read the rest of this entry »