This colossal bridge design by Mexico City based BNKR Arquitectura is a unique approach to the problem of project financing. Knowing the municipal government of Acapulco wouldn’t be able to fund a three-kilometer bridge, BNKR thought to attract private investments by transforming the supporting structure into habitable spaces. Without a bridge to span it, the Bay of Acapulco is extremely inconvenient to round. The bridge would complete a loop around the bay and connect to existing highways and roads.

The roadway and parking for the bridge is set within a square tube that splits the superstructure from the support system below. The top of this is covered in walkways, bikepaths and green space. The triangular support structures house the habitable spaces above and below this main artery. The bridge is set upon island-like bases that could act as docks for watercraft and allow inhabitants and visitors to enjoy the bay at water level. Read the rest of this entry »

A lot more attention has been paid to natural disaster proof and survival architecture since the Japan quakes hit in March. One of the biggest problems facing survivors and responders after such a disaster is finding enough safe temporary shelter. Drawing inspiration from the Sao Paulo skyline, Designer Mike Reyes came up with the RISE modules to help solve this problem by taking advantage of the usable space surviving structures offer.

Sao Paolo is the largest city in the southern hemisphere and the 6th largest in the world. It’s also the most populous in all of the Americas and when a disaster like the constant floods Sao Paolo receives hits, hundreds of thousands of families are left homeless in unsafe conditions.

Reyes asks “What would happen when a mega flood comes; leaving only the strong survivors stranded? Could this catastrophe be a road for a new, sustaining civilization?

To basically create space where there wasn’t before, the RISE system hangs securely off the exteriors of existing high-rises, and is designed flexibly enough to allow it adapt to different kinds of structures; even bridges and other infrastructure. Construction is simple: helicopters would fly in folded individual units and together with the help of survivors inside the building would basically hook the RISE unit to the interior lip like the threshold of a window. Then the survivors would unfold the walls and ceiling of the unit. The unit is held securely by the force it creates against the walls of the building. Read the rest of this entry »

As we mentioned in our post on BIG’s E2 winning project PUU-BO, the first place prize in the E2 competition was also shared with Team Arup, headed by Arup Gmbh for their design E2volution. The E2volution design was chosen by the competition jury for, in their words, its“structural clarity, based on the use of three basic elements… quick construction and cost-effective transportation”.

E2volution’s design and materials are taken from the trees of the Finnish forests. Sustainably grown timber is used to create the laminated veneer lumber that is manufactured within 100km of the pilot site, and the design emulates a tree, with a strong base and trunk leading to offshooting branches. The E2 and E2 plus design allow a choice for tenants between passive house levels and zero-plus energy standards respectively.

Because of the linear arrangement of vertical load bearing elements, E2volution modules can be arranged in a multitude of ways including townhouses, urban blocks, and up to 8-story high-rises. And because system comprises only three main elements: decks, walls, and external shear plates, which allows a high degree of flexibility in configuration. Read the rest of this entry »

The Design Incubator is an exploration programmatic extremism by Boston architect and designer Alan Lu. The Design Incubator is a performance theatre by definition, but an atypical one at that. Lu embraces the existing vertical structure the Design Incubator is built around and used it to create a theatre that shifts the focus of performance to it’s production. The result is  the Design Incubator, a theatre of production.

In many of Lu’s designs, the exterior form is characterized by fluid curves; and the Design Incubator is no different. This particular design however borrows more from the physical characteristics of textiles than of a liquid substance like the majority of Lu’s designs. The rubber exterior appears as if it was draped over the existing vertically arranged ice storage facility like a blanket or cloth would. The exterior drape is lifted and pinned to reveal the entrance to the theatre, thus revealing the structure’s program. Read the rest of this entry »

Nicknamed the “veil and the vault”, Diller Scofidio + Renfo’s Broad Museum is designed to serve two main functions: provide gallery exhibition space for Broad Art Foundation and hold archive/storage space. For The Broad, the architects threw out the traditional layout for gallery and archive space to create a unique space for visitors to explore.

In most galleries, the exhibition space being the primary function, the archive and storage space is located in the basement or hidden away someplace else. With the Broad however, Diller Scofidio + Renfro put the massive archive space, the “vault”, directly in the middle and draped it with the “veil”: an “airy, cellular exoskeleton structure… (to provide) filtered natural daylight”.

The “heavy opaque mass” of the archive space is carved on the bottom to form the entrance level lobby and circulation routes and its flat top is the floor of the 3rd floor gallery space. The “veil” lifts at each corner to invite patrons to the museum. An escalator leads guests from the lobby up to the 3rd floor exhibition space, where 38,000 sq ft of open gallery space is located. Here, natural daylight is filtered into the 24 ft high room through the overhead “veil” to provide the ideal lighting for exhibitions. Read the rest of this entry »

This engaging design was created by Louisiana State’s Guy A. Avellone for a suckerPUNCH competition to design a new home for the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) in New York City. Avellone’s design is heavily centered around creating a connection with Delancey Street below and doing so with an aggressive aesthetic quality aimed at increasing the numbers of visitors. The design won an honorable mention from suckerPUNCH.

Avellone drew heavily influence from action comics, most visibly in the exploding exterior façade inspired by a comic illustration technique for expressing motion. The horizontal textured lines of the exterior walls are meant to emphasize that burst of energy towards the street. The 21 degree angle of the lean was purposely chosen as well, drawn from the environment around the site: it is the street angle of the Lower East Side, the desirable stadium seating angle, and complements the angle of Tschumi’s Blue Condos across the street.

Like in any good comic book, the MoCCA is a clash of opposing forces. Where the MoCCA smashes towards the street, the yellow circulation core counters its energy, appearing to slice into the museum from the street. The clash further creates a sense of connection between the museum and the street below. From the architect: “This dynamic is a comic expression of the way almost every building is experienced: penetrating the building mass from the street via a circulation system”. Read the rest of this entry »

This OFIS design was submitted into a competition for a carbon neutral office by the Slovenian public power supply company Elektro-Slovenija(ELES). For a site in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the solar powered office was custom designed to take advantage of local renewable energy sources.

OFIS created a site-specific energy system by studying rainfall and sunlight patterns and the renewable resources available in the area. Ljubljana is sunny for almost a half of the days of the year and receives around 1402 mm of rainfall a year, a slightly higher average than for most of Europe. OFIS put in place the enormous solar panel membrane around the office to take advantage of the high amount of sunlight, in the process defining the office’s exterior character. The amount of panels in the membrane is actually enough to generate the energy needed to complete the second phase of construction. The rainfall is incorporated into the office’s sanitation and watering systems, wind provides natural ventilation and groundwater is used in the climate control system. Read the rest of this entry »

The shortlist for the Victoria and Albert Museum Exhibition Road Design Competition have been announced and has been catching quite a lot of attention in the past week. One of the seven shortlisted projects, a team effort by Norway’s Snohetta Architects and Scotland’s Gareth Hoskins Architects, is an eye-catching sleek and contemporary design for one of London’s finest and historic public buildings.

The competition is to design a new courtyard and gallery space located on the Exhibition Road side of the V&A Museum. The courtyard will serve as a new entrance and exhibition space, the gallery will be located under street level and will be connected with and integrated into the courtyard design. The new design will also be a part of the larger re-development and pedestrianisation of Exhibition Road led by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Read the rest of this entry »

Designed for a location on the Umedalen Sculpture Park in Umea, Sweden, BIG’s hockey rink utilizes the local topography to connect interior and exterior design in a clean and seamless program. BIG was commissioned for the rink by Balticgruppen Fastigheter AB, a local real estate group. Post-design and construction considerations are currently in progress.

The Bjarke Ingels Group‘s (BIG) most important design goal in creating this hockey rink was to create a space that would not only maintain the natural qualities of the site but embrace them. In this case the dominating feature of the site is it’s natural recessed bowl shape, which the hockey rink structure becomes an extension of. The structure would also have to be designed to flow seamlessly with the surrounding Umedalen Sculpture Park. Read the rest of this entry »

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) have been selected as one of two winners in the E2 (Ecology and Economy) competition in Finland. The international competition was to design a sustainable timber construction multi-story residential unit that will be constructed at a pilot site outside of Kouvola, Finland. BIG’s design was chosen by the jury for the unique living environment it creates as well as the architects’ consideration of environment in the design process. The Arup Gmbh team’s design E2volution shared the first place award, chosen for its structural clarity as well for the speed and cost-effectiveness of construction.

The real design BIG has created is not the snaking design that will be constructed outside Kouvola, but the pre-fab timber construction system they call PUU-BO. PUU-BO is a multi-purpose modular system for use in any environment or typology. Like LEGO blocks they can be stacked and attached specifically for the site they will be built at. The designers drew influence from Le Corbusier’s DOMI-NO concrete structure system with PUU-BO, and see PUU-BO as a sort of updated re-imagination of the DOMI-NO system made to address the sustainable and resourceful demands of 21st century design. Read the rest of this entry »