Editor’s Choice
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Martin Wong Tuong Ying, Choong Wan Huey, Edmund Goh Yow Feong

“Your soul is like the seed, in a flower-a carnation, which gets buried when the carnation (the body) dies. It then “grows” again, into a new “carnation”, and is in a new “carnation”, thus “re-in-carnation” has occurred, and the “seed” ”grows” into a new flower.”

The mortality rate is decreasing due to the health, economic, social and other fundamental factors. Hence, the death of people is raising manifold unexpectedly compared to the past. In terms of urban planning, the proposal of the cemeteryscraper is aimed to house the dead in the deep underground expanding down vertically without the need of massive land excavation area in the future. The tower consists of a visitor interpretative centre for visitors, chapels, preparation and celebration platforms for the deceased family members for rituals conducting according to their native’s culture. The façade of the tower is inspired by the local natives’ artwork of weaving. The architecture tectonic of the tower’s lower part stone facade is the reinterpretation of the art of weaving, interlocking with push and pull design language. The open air garden in the middle separates the tower into below and upper part, narrating heaven and earth. The upper part is the gallery, café, management offices, and memorial platform that “float” above the garden tall in the sky. The upper part adopts the double skin façade wire mesh cladding that facilitates natural cross and stack ventilation.

An unexpected moment magnitude of 6.0 earthquake struck Ranau, Sabah, Malaysia on 5 June. The earthquake catastrophe causes tragedy death of 18 and 137 people were stranded at the peak of Mount Kinabalu. The proposal is aimed to commemorate the innocent death of the earthquake’s victims and remembering the heroes who save life of hundred. The group of heroes are the local Kadazan group. The mountain is sacred and they embrace the mountain as God. The monumental tower inspired by the spirit of the native group, re-incarnation which they believe the world after death.

A main core works as the heart of tower circulation, reflecting how natives view the mountain as God of Hill. It adapts earthquake-proof foundation and structural system to be sustained in case future catastrophes takes place. The natives believe soul rebirth in new body when the carnation dies. Soul brings bad things away and leave good to the family and the place they belongs. Thus, basement of cemetery aimed to house the local dead inspired by the local native culture and civilisations along with a visitor interpretive centre. An open-ramped garden meant to blend itself with surrounding landscape like a floating garden, symbolizing the rebirth of soul to their home. The heroes and victims are commemorated on memorial sky platform at the edge of the tower. Read the rest of this entry »

Zen Spinning Tops are precision instruments machined out of aluminum, brass and steel with unique concentric circles pattern for relaxing and meditation. Spinning tops are timeless toys often used for relaxation. Watching them spin could be a deep inner experience with your own thoughts. Los Angeles-based studio ENSSO wanted to design a top that would highlight these attributes. Upon studying different geometric patterns they decided to borrow the traditional concentric circles pattern found in Zen gardens and map it through out the entire body of the top. The result is a minimal design that reflects light in very interesting ways while providing a visual soothing experience.

Zen Tops are currently available on Kickstarter.

Editor’s Choice
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Woo Min Lee, Kang Min Yoo, Justin Baek, Tamin Song
New Zealand

While the use of glass in skyscrapers has proliferated, contemporary skyscrapers are effectively closed off from the environment. Since its inception, the use of closed and artificially controlled interior environments have caused large strains on the planet’s resources; have made these buildings homogenous experientially; and have also caused sicknesses related to this over-reliance on air-conditioning. Modern humans now live, work, play and learn in towers with the outside as if it were wallpaper: despite it snowing outside, the occupants feel no cold; nor feel any heat during a hot summer’s day. While comfort is of importance, this comfort-craziness has driven more and more advanced air-conditioning technology creating buildings that no longer open up to the nature’s seasonal changes and are the same all year round.

The Urban Tent seeks to change this static typology by reutilising the traditional tent concept: a breathable skin that adapts for multiple environmental settings without resorting to air-conditioning. Using innovations in smart fabric technology, such as the UHMWP fabric (ultra-high-molecular-weight-polyethylene), the Urban Tent Skyscraper can do more than traditional tent fabrics with its dynamic properties of transparencies, porosities, insulations, tensions, strengths and plasticity. The design for the Urban Tent Skyscraper is conceived as being more like the human skin with an outer porous fabric membrane around the outside of the building, like the epidermis, and different additional inner layers of fabric-walls around all the interior rooms and in particular spaces creating multiple temperatures and different layers of interior conditions within the whole building. Consequently, occupants can then choose to be in zones of different comfort and temperatures which also creates an opportunity for co-existence of different trees and plants. People can be enjoying the winter without feeling too cold in the outer zones, or feeling warm by being inside one of the warmer inner layer fabric rooms. The outside and inside fabric work together in a way that it creates different environmental conditions and different micro-climates on the inside of the building so that the harsh outside natural environment is filtered into the building in different amounts in different zones of the interior. Read the rest of this entry »

Waterworks, a 12-day architectural workshop in Granada, Spain, by the Architectural Association, is now open for registration. Waterworks transports architectural design back to its origins, tackling social-agricultural realities by offering participants a unique opportunity to work alongside local producers, architects, scientists, horticulturists and the larger community. As a historical region in Andalusia, the area of Granada combines scenic beauty with ecological importance and resources that meet the requirements of an agricultural economy. The area also relies on water that travels 3,482m down from the peninsula’s highest peak. Responding to these realities through architectural interventions, students will design water catchment and management solutions for the local inhabitants. Proposals will consider the effects of climate change on water distribution and the implications at local and regional scales. Students will be immersed in hands-on, site-specific experimentation; speculate on scenarios; develop prototypes at 1:1 scale using locally grown materials; and explore the potential of leading design software. You will work, live, swim, drink, question, explore and interact with this transparent fluid, vital to all forms of life, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, a Unesco Biosphere Reserve.

70% of our planet is covered in water, however the freshwater we use to drink, bathe in and irrigate our farm fields is incredibly rare. Agriculture consumes more water than any other source and wastes much of that through inefficiencies and traditional farming methods. Climate change is altering weather patterns and water distribution around the world, resulting in water shortages, droughts and floods.

What makes the teaching and learning of architecture unique at the AA is found in the demand it places on teachers as well as their students, to clearly communicate the larger cultural agendas relating to where they think architecture is heading. The AA Visiting School (AAVS) is an extension to and embodiment of the AA School’s ‘unit system’ of teaching and learning architecture.

Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed
– Sustainable Strategies, Methods and Applications
– Computational skills (Revit (BIM), Rhinoceros, Vray, 3D studio Max, Meteonorm, Adobe suite, Grasshopper)
– Lecture series
– Collaborative and group work
– Field work
– Innovative and integrated design
– Prototype fabrication
– Presentations to the larger community
– Dynamic simulations and representations
– Analytical learning and theoretical understanding of Agricultural and Social Economies
– Material explorations and prototype production

The Granada Visiting School sees architecture as a tool to question these issues and assess existing water management systems in an open dialogue. The historical water management of the Sierra Nevada mountain range responds to a dynamic, living system and, above all, extremely fragile, it is necessary to retain it as current local, regional and international needs evolve and outgrow that of the existing infrastructure. This engagement will embrace innovation in policy, institution and culture, advising students to adopt these ethics and apply their principle designs into a manageable routine for the custodians of the land.

If you feel up to the challenge join WATERWORKS this September in Granada, Spain from 5th-16th September 2016.

For more information visit www. granada.aaschool.ac.uk or email granada@aaschool.ac.uk . Connect with our social media channels via:

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The project is a contemporary evolution of the classic courtyard tipology, unfolding the four sides of the courtyard along the axis of the main road,creating a central urban square facing south for both students and citizens.The four sides go up from east to west according to the heights of the surrounding buildings. It allows to keep the view of the main Alvar Aalto building and creating a main access.The former carriageable roads are processed in the main pedestrian and cycle paths, keeping the total permeability of the site in the main points of access.The creation of two different external levels that takes shape from theterrain, has enabled the customization of two different open spaces.

The Lower square at 0.00 represents “THE HUG”, the most dynamic front, south faced, the New Centrality of the Alvar Aalto Campus. In this space of social interaction all the public university activities and the commercial/gastronomic frontare concentrated. The north side of “THE HUG”, which is less enlightened, becomes the Media Lume of the campus with the presence of two theatres and one exterior stage.

The Upper square at +5.00 is the quieter front of the project thought as a green open space with big terraces.The goal is to keep low in front the Alvar Aalto’s building.The program is developed in a linear way on the site. Placing on the south-east the commercial front and on the north-west the university activities. Following the logics of the planning, the program turns into a curve that ends on the VTT Building and generates the large central space,”THE HUG”.This approach creates an interactive environment for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, releasing and lengthening the visual outlook.The basement of the building is a vibrant glazed space, conceived like a green house, whereon the east side is concentrated a large retail front, such as grocery shop, copy shop, material shop, book shop, galleries and restaurants, and on the west side all the common activities of the university campus, such as exhibition spaces, lounge point, interactive and audiovisual areas, administrations,stages (Media Lume). Read the rest of this entry »

The practice of orienting a home to the path of the sun is as old as civilization itself, and in nature, significantly predates it. Just as plants and flowers orient themselves to the sun through phototaxis, the newest building designed by ODA New York, appears to be doing the same.

Designed for the emerging Lakeshore region of Toronto, this Bayside project focuses on several novel manipulations. By extending beyond a simple stepped distribution and strategically pivoting and sloping what began as an L shaped mass, ODA New York opens the vast percentage of its mass to the adjacent waterfront and it’s parks and promenades.

Almost as if planted from seeds, this building uses a staggered cascading orientation of the firms often modular approach to create a residential building where a staggering 71% of the units (163) have water views (100% above the 13th floor) compared to the far more traditional 25% in a standard extrusion.

Always seeking to provide and enhance connections to nature in urban settings, a simple 45% twist of the modules alongside creative staggering of the volumes – a hallmark of the firm – allows the creation of an astounding 68,550 square feet of terrace space. As a result, 221 out of 228 units (97%) have terraces, and 163 units (71%) have water views.

With a further tilting of the mass, this torsional shift opens 43% of 90 “back facing units” to water views, increases the size of the south facing terraces and even restores the water views to the neighboring condominium unit.

A natural extension of ODA’s quest to increase quality of life in urban areas through increased light, access to green space, and amenities that foster a sense of community, this project maintains the intimate scale and context of the community, while providing the perfect platform to celebrate the best of lakefront living year round.

Amenities include a large communal terrace and pool area on the waterfront, with glass walls that open fully, a daycare facility, and 10,228 sf of first floor retail.

This, like all of ODA’s buildings, not only challenges the status quo, but also offers a vision of a new urban reality. Read the rest of this entry »

View Terrace and Pavilion designed by Didzis Jaunzems, Laura Laudere in collaboration with architecture office Jaunromans & Abele are situated in memorial park “The Garden of Destiny”, the area of Consolation, Latvia which is the first zone of Future according to overall project of the island. The Garden of destiny is memorial place for all souls that have been lost to Latvia in last century and it will be completed as a gift to country on its 100th birthday in year 2018. The View Terrace project started as an architectural competition and with a help of donations is now first realized permanent building in memorial park. The tight bound between Latvian people and nature has been emphasized in the project. Nature is a source of inner energy, strength, peace and harmony and consolation for Latvians. The project has been designed considering and using sights particularities – trees, relief, most stunning view points. Viewing terrace and building has diversified levels of “openness”. This gives the opportunity to use the building in all kinds of weather conditions as well as lets visitors to choose the level which suits them better. The volume of the pavilion is designed so that it gradually grows from a bench into the building. Read the rest of this entry »

ArchitectScripta is organizing two Workshops in July 2016 in Athens, Greece taught by Nefeli Chatzimina [Lecturer at the University of Southern California,PhD Candidate NTUA] and Justin Brecthel [Adjunct Lecturer at University of Southern California,UCLA,LEED], both Alumni Graduates of Columbia University NYC [GSAPP, AAD], with Nikos Papavasileiou [ArchitectScripta Project Architect]. ArchitectScripta Workshops refer to Students of Architecture and Art, Professional Architects, Designers and Artists.

1) Workshop I from 27th of June until the 7th of July 2016 Workshop I, hosted by the Benaki Museum, under the auspices of the Hellenic Institute of Architecture and the Athens School of Fine Arts.

2) Workshop II from 11th of July until the 21st of July 2016 Workshop II, hosted by the Benaki Museum, under the auspices of the Hellenic Institute of Architecture and the Athens School of Fine Arts.

More information could be found here
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The Biological Morphologies workshop is focused on material efficiency in nature and how this can be the inspiration for innovative structural solutions. This will be a digital craft workshop that considers the forming of structures inspired by biology and realised through a feedback to computational platforms, specifically using the material Bamboo.

Over the duration of the workshop the students will work in teams to develop projects that are directly derived from biological logic, whilst at the same time help construct a bamboo pavilion at the BNCA College in Pune. The deadline for applications is 2nd July 2016.

Instagram  Read the rest of this entry »

Orproject developed a series of algorithms that digitally generate open and closed venation patterns, which can be used to simulate the growth of topiaries. The systems consist of a set of seed points that grow and branch towards target points in order to maximize exposure to light for each leaf. The resulting geometries fulfill these requirements and provide a suitable structural and circulatory system for the plant.

The structural system of topiaries acts mainly in compression and bending. Reversing this, we can obtain a geometry that performs as a tensile system. The installation Vana is designed as a single surface in tension that hangs from the ceiling and descends into the space as four columns of light. The surface is tessellated into triangular segments which are connected by stitched joints. Back lit with LEDs, light shines through the gaps and illuminates the space below with an immersive glow.

As the prototype for a large scale canopy construction, Vana has been developed as an iso-surface around an anastomotic network diagram, as the cortex around the venation system. In a continuous transformation, nature merges into architecture, columns merge into the sky and solid merges into the ephemeral. Vana appears to grow as tree-like branches blending into a continuous canopy that floats above the visitor. The installation was designed for the India Design Forum. Read the rest of this entry »