ying yang architecture 4

Copenhagen Zoo, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, Schønherr Landscape Architects and MOE have collaborated on a new yin and yang-shaped Panda House that resembles the Panda’s natural habitat and creates a peaceful environment for one of the world’s rarest mammals.

The new Panda House is scheduled to open in 2018, just in time for the arrival of the two giant Pandas from Chengdu in China – a gesture of goodwill from the Chinese government following Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark’s visit to the country in 2014. Encompassing a 1,250 m2 indoor site and 1,200 m2 outdoor area, the circular shape fits perfectly between the existing buildings at one of the oldest Zoos in Europe, including the award-winning Elephant House by Norman Foster. The construction is scheduled to commence later this year, once the 150 million DKK construction budget has been secured.

“Copenhagen Zoo’s idea-driven organization was key in defining the team we wanted to work with on the new Panda House project. It’s part of our DNA to let everyone from zookeepers, to gardeners and vets, influence the design and function of the facilities to secure the well-being of our animals. The team understood our approach and successfully integrated it into their design process to create a world-class home for these adored Pandas.” Steffen Stræde, Zoo Director, Copenhagen Zoo.

The design of the new Panda House begins with a circular shape, formed by the surrounding existing facilities at the intersection of multiple walkways. Panda House is designed to feel like humans are the visitors in the Pandas’ home, rather than Pandas being the exotic guests from faraway lands. The habitat forms the freest and most naturalistic possible environment for their lives and relationship with each other, providing the freedom to roam about and the ideal conditions to mate – one of the major challenges facing Pandas from becoming endangered.

“Architecture is like portraiture. To design a home for someone is like capturing their essence, their character and personality in built form. In the case of the two great Pandas, their unique solitary nature requires two similar but separate habitats – one for her and one for him. The habitat is formed like a giant yin and yang symbol, two halves: the male and the female, complete each other to form a single circular whole. The curvy lines are undulating in section to create the necessary separation between him and her – as well as between them and us. Located at the heart of the park, we have made the entire enclosure accessible from 360 degrees, turning the two pandas into the new rotation point for Copenhagen Zoo.” Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, BIG. Read the rest of this entry »

crystal towers 2

The crystalline towers designed by MA2 are a study on office space design for related disciplines. Towers that are fragmented yet connected through bridging and public commercial space is the interest in this conceptualization of the midrise. By creating an office space to accommodate the design disciplines, it allows for a sharing of ideas in various studios and discourse, along with an exhibition showroom for the public to engage with. The study is placed in the setting of Shenzhen Bay, a developing community in the midst of a dense metropolis. With views facing the sea and city backdrop, it was important in the study to consider the scale and morphology of the design office center with these as focal points in the investigation. The torqueing of the crystalline massing allows for multi-angled views and projection walls for digital installations. Cityscapes and natural formations have a dynamic relationship on the formation on cultural buildings and design practices within each site and project condition. By exploring the concept of office space and culture within these conditions, it becomes an actor in its manifestation.  Read the rest of this entry »

VS_Hawaii_Flying Machine at Kaka'ako Park_©_ Costantino_di Sambuy _2016_06_17_4

© Costantino di Sambuy

The AA Visiting School Hawaii is a design workshop dedicated to the investigation of architecturally constructed flying machines.
Gliding between its leisurely vocation and its scientific relevance, we will immerse into this legacy designing the world’s oldest form of air-craft: the kite.
Ranging from abstract sculptures to flying photographic devices, the design, construction and flying techniques of our machines are going to be at the core of our studies and our explorations into the urban and tropical landscape of the island of Oahu.

Deadline for applications: June 6, 2017

-> Apply Now

VS_Hawaii_Flying Machine_©_ Costantino_di Sambuy _2016_06_17_7

© Costantino di Sambuy

VS_Hawaii_Flying Machine_©_ Costantino_di Sambuy _2016_06_17_1

© Costantino di Sambuy


From cubicle to bean bag, from white collar to t-shirt; the office has transformed rapidly from a professional to a personalized environment. Today your personality is part of your job, which has radically changed the nature of workspace. As a response to this evolution a group of researchers and architecture students will explore and propose a new balance between personal and social work, between individual and collective.

For two weeks participants will engage in the research based design workshop ‘Space Program’ which is followed by a conference and public exhibition. The workshop and research takes place in the San Francisco Bay Area, which pioneered the info-society and is a hotbed for disruptive ideas. From visiting the most innovative work places around the bay, and analysing the most crucial spatial components within each environment, the research gives a unique understanding for how the design of workspace can change the basis of our human relationships. This first hand research in combination with seminars and in-depth discussions with key individuals across different professional fields gives the Space Program group new tools for tackling one of the fastest changing forms of architecture – the office. By experiencing the existing condition in person and focusing on the social effects of spatial qualities, it becomes possible to design strategically in an era of tech companies and sharing economy phenomena.

Space Program San Francisco is organised by the AA School of Architecture and directed by Martin Brandsdal, Magnus Casselbrant and Jesper Henriksson, founders of the London-based architectural practice Hesselbrand. The concluding conference will have keynote speakers from the fields of art and architecture, and include round table discussions based on the research and designs of the Space Program workshop.

To join the workshop and team of researchers, apply online through the Space Program website. It is open to architecture students and architects form around the world. The workshop will take place in the San Francisco Bay Area from March 24 to April 7, and the registration deadline is March 10. The public exhibition and conference concludes the workshop on the final day, and tickets will be available through the Space Program website.

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Handout photo provided by London art-architecture studio Atmos and shows 'Dreamscape', a new room at the Ô365Õ Ice Hotel Sweden.

Photo provided by London art-architecture studio Atmos and shows ‘Dreamscape’, a new room at the Ice Hotel Sweden.

London art-architecture studio atmos has just opened Dreamscape, a new type of hotel room for a new type of Ice Hotel – the ‘365’ at ICEHOTEL Sweden, which will offer its guests icy escapes all year round.

Dreamscape presents an entirely new form of art suite, physically dramatising the mental journey into sleep and dreams.

A carpet of ice welcomes the visitor at the door, and whisks them up a dramatically curling ice stair (imprinted with an intricate unfurling pattern of radiating ‘grip’ grooves), widening to become a welcoming bed held aloft far above the floor.

Ice tentacles burst from the rear wall of the room to frame the bed, curling downwards as sculptural columns that bury into the snowy floor, or as pincers that carry the stair treads towards the door. Read the rest of this entry »

Gmond International Building, Shenzhen, China_01

Designed by Aedas, Gmond International Building is a representative regeneration project in the old town in Shenzhen. The project will house the headquarters for Tellus-Gmond, Grade 5A lettable office spaces and a jewellery trading centre. The well-facilitated transport hub nearby brings enormous circulation to the complex and generates excellent development potentials.

The architectural form of this 200-metre super high-rise is referenced to the traditional Chinese totem of bamboo which symbolises prosperity and moral integrity. The ascending podium massing recaptures a growing bamboo, featuring exterior landscaped staircases, public platforms, eco-friendly rooftop gardens and an art centre that will also serve as a jewellery exhibition venue. The podium façade expresses as large bamboo leaves to enclose the commercial component forming an interesting duet with the blooming tower. Read the rest of this entry »

LA Kretz Innovation Campus - JFAK Architects

LA Kretz Innovation Campus – JFAK Architects

This vital new work and research campus designed by John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects (JFAK) has quickly become a dynamic hub where government, business entrepreneurs, and community come together to forge creative new partnerships. The goal: to foster innovations that advance LA’s green economies within the framework of an unusual public-private coalition. The campus includes a transformed 61,000 SF warehouse in the vibrant Arts District. Offices, conference rooms, labs, prototyping workshops, and event space, in addition to facilities serving one of the City’s major public utility companies, exist alongside PV-shaded parking, greywater filtration, and a microgrid system.

Flexible open areas support new collaborations. An open circulation “loop’” supports a “village” concept that connects the existing 8 bowstring truss warehouse bays. Natural light penetrates deeply. As people don’t always want to work in the open, a variety of semi-open and closed workspaces is provided. The main event space, a “village square,” accommodates up to 120 seated people. The constant buzz of shared activity and knowledge gives rise to constant innovation and activism. Read the rest of this entry »

JFAK Peace Creek Villas. Chengdu, China

JFAK Peace Creek Villas. Chengdu, China

In a country known for massive housing blocks and residential environments that, as in many other cultures, rely on traditional architectural styles to attract the newly prosperous, John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects (JFAK) has created something unique: a peaceful, human-scaled neighborhood of single family detached houses that are completely contemporary in form and materials.

As part of a larger development called Luxe Lakes, the architects and their clients took the calculated risk to reject Western-based traditional architecture in favor of an aesthetic and design solution that would combine China’s longstanding respect for Nature with their own particular embrace of an aspirational future. The end result is a new prototype for middle to upper class single family dwellings in China and beyond.

Working within a constructed landscape in Chengdu’s rapidly growing “suburbs” designed by two Los Angeles-based landscape designers, Fei Huang of Famous Gardens and Pamela Burton, JFAK created something unexpected. “We wanted to offer a new kind of experience,” says John Friedman, “something more organic and based in natural forms, even anthropomorphic at times.” The guiding concept was to create spaces that flow into one another with continuous forms that enclose and engage as well as open up to the outside. “Without trying to mimic the actual environments seen in traditional landscape painting, we aspired to create the same kind of floating, dreamlike quality that is expressed in those paintings,” says Friedman.

The clients hired JFAK based on the firm’s reputation for adventurous and original design. “The clients wanted us to design something not seen before,” says Friedman. “They gave us the freedom to explore – not just for the sake of doing something new, but rather to find a unique model that would resonate with how people might want to live in the new China.” Read the rest of this entry »

PIUMA - black aluminum, titanium, brass

PIUMA – black aluminum, titanium, brass

How do we reimagine a classic pen design? Ensso, a small Los Angeles-based studio step up to the task of refining the classic fountain pen and bringing it into the 21st Century. The result is a streamline design focused on the purity of the materials with the utmost attention to detail. PIUMA is a fountain pen precision-machined from solid titanium, brass, and aluminum.

The interchangeable nib system screws inside the pen grip and resides a couple of millimeters in to create a unibody appearance. The cap threads are wider and allow a fast opening and closing of the pen. In addition, a milimetric-rounded gap defines the connection between the cap and the body.

PIUMA borrows its name from the same Italian word, which means feather. It pays homage to the simplicity of the first pens made from bird feathers. It is a writing instrument to be used for a lifetime and enjoyed by generations – a combination of the highest manufacturing quality and timeless design.

For a limited time, PIUMA is exclusively available on Kickstarter.

PIUMA - black aluminum, titanium, brass

PIUMA – black aluminum, titanium, brass

PIUMA - brass, black aluminum, titanium

PIUMA – brass, black aluminum, titanium

101716 POSTER BENAKI WINTER 2016 final 3


Two Weeks starting the 12th of December until the 22nd of December.

ArchitectScripta is organizing an international workshop of Advanced Architectural Design, part of an ongoing academic research, which introduces participants into contemporary discussions of formal exploration in Architecture and Art, through technical attainment of design and production. The Precise Inaccuracy by ArchitectScripta is under the auspices of Benaki Museum, the Hellenic Institute of Architecture and the Athens School of fine Arts. It is an opportunity for architects, students of Architecture and Art, professionals designers and artists to join and exchange ideas.


The Workshop will run primarily using AutoDesk MAYA and Rhino GRASSHOPPER, including other fundamental software digital design tools.

1.The main aspiration of this workshop is to precisely develop a critical argument based on an individual research, which will translate into pure geometrical-formal exploration; the format will be an ongoing deskcrit symposium.

2. Rather than assignments, the research will be divided into stages, tactics and strategies.

3. The students will develop an expertise in a specific Topological territory; this territory will emerge for a hybrid between 4 main intellectual fields, from the following menu:


A. STRUCTURAL-RIGID.  A topological development of dynamics techniques, corrupting structure, prosthetic, rigid structural system with soft components – paradox.

B. SKIN-SURFACE-MASS. We will approach ideas of color, transparencies, reflections, refraction, textures, patterns, textile animals skin, surface effects, skin as mass, skin as volume, transparencies, opacities, corrugations.

C. GROUNDSCAPE. Efficiencies Plug into, dig in/out, scratch, stitch, seams, corrode, erode, articulate organization, heterotopia, dystopia.

D. MULTIPLICATION-REPETITION-ACCUMULATION.  Efficiencies calibration of systems, quantification of parts, behavioral mechanism efficiency, Defensive mechanisms, attacking methods, attaching.

The multiple level of experimentation will occur incrementally every week, but each segment will have a clear main topic of investigation, these are the reasons for the 4 legs sequence, so everybody can have the proper time for each aspect of the problem (intellectual, technical, abstract, physical, etc).


The workshop is a discourse based in the use of multi-layered techniques and production processes that allow for control over intelligent geometries, calibration of parts, and behavioral taxonomies, normalizing an innovative field of predictability. Our goal is to explore innovative, potential architectural expressions of the current discourse around form through technique elaboration, material intelligence, formal logic efficiencies and precision assemblies as an ultimate condition of design.

The workshop will develop and investigate the notion of proficient geometric variations at a level of complexity, so that questions towards geometrical effectiveness, accuracy and performance can begin to be understood in a contemporary setting.

Within this context, our work will turn into design and production; each student will operate within an expertise towards intuition by means of software and advancement of the discipline through a precise contemporary understanding of Architecture’s reliance on surface performance, unspecified systems, scale within the scale, mechanical parts and absurd precisions to expand its discourse. We will focus simultaneously in the attempt to negotiate the question of topology vs. typology, odd genus (Greek. γένος) and species within the condition of space and how fragmented surface state emerges through, constituting a potential assembly of parts and quantified normalities.

-> Apply at architectScripta