News Round Up – July 2017
In July, we witnessed the announcement of a new partnership agreement to design refugee shelters, as well as the announcement of future plans for one of Paris’ most iconic buildings. In Denmark, we celebrated the opening of a new, innovative museum, meanwhile Royal Mail in London presented an alternative way of celebrating architectural landmarks.
Earlier this month, a new partnership agreement was established between UN Habitat and Japanese architect and Pritzker Prize winner, Shigeru Ban. The goal of the agreement is to develop potential shelter designs for refugees in Kenya’s Kalobeiyei refugee settlement. Based on cultural and socio-economic needs and available data material from UN-Habitat, the design proposes a sustainable and a vernacular approach with the use of local construction techniques, locally available and eco-friendly materials that respond to the existing climatic conditions and challenges. At first, the agreement revolves around 20 prototypes that will set a base for approximately 20.000 new homes for refugees in Kalobeiyei, Another dimension of the partnership deals with participatory design and the involvement of both representatives from the refugees, host community and relevant country officers who all will leave their mark on the results.
In the outskirts of the Southern Region of Denmark, BIG just revealed their design for the Tirpitz Museum. Opened earlier this month, the museum is the latest in a long row of projects by BIG in Denmark. The new Tirpitz Museum situated on the Danish west coast is a new subterranean exhibition space integrated into the dunes of an old Nazi bunker, the Tirpitz Bunker in Blåvand. The new museum has been designed as a portal to the Danish west coast’s treasure trove of a history from a hidden past. The firm succeeds in presenting a rather innovative approach when cutting passageways through the dramatic coastal landscape. The museum furthermore unfolds the unique stories of the Danish west coast and additionally reveals Hitler’s plan for a vast network of defensive coastal structures known as the Atlantic Wall.
Grand Palais, Le Louvre and Palais de Tokyo in Paris have several things in common, but the main thing is that they are all iconic, historic buildings that have been revitalized to serve another purpose, in this case art. The latest addition to this concerns Paris’ former Stock Exchange Building from the 19th century, Bourse de Commerce, in which renowned Japanese architect, Tadao Ando, has been appointed to transform into an art museum. “His ability to create a dialogue between architecture and its context, its past and present, and masterfully combining originality” (Francois Pinault, owner and art collector) makes him an excellent candidate for this assignment. As one of the great structural treasures of Paris, the new design for the building involves the redesign of the interior where Ando adds a concrete cylinder in the middle of the circular building.
The expected opening will be in 2019.
The global three-day festival, World Architecture Festival (WAF), was held for the first time in 2008, and ever since the festival has celebrated contemporary architects and interior design professionals annually. This year, WAF features no less than 434 completed projects ranging from cultural buildings to schools, homes, infrastructure and landscape. During the festival in November, the participating architects will be invited to present their projects to a jury of more than 100 international judges.
A row of the shortlisted projects have recently been featured on arcspace including BIG’s Urban Rigger, Cebra’s Experimentarium, AL_A’s MAAT in Lisbon, Marks Barfield Architects’ British Airways i360, and more.
The UK’s 10 most iconic buildings are being celebrated through the launch of a new set of stamps by Royal Mail. The 10 famous landmarks represent innovative structures serving culture, sports, government and business. They furthermore set the bar for world-class architecture projects and public buildings in the UK and include buildings and landmarks such as Tate Modern, Switch House, Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre, the Scottish Parliament – just to mention a few. The common thing for these buildings is that they represent “visionary buildings which combine stunning architecture and great engineering” Philip Parker – Stamp Strategy Manager, Royal Mail.
A new landmark and cultural hub in London is soon to be revealed when the Barbican will become the new home to London’s symphony orchestra. As a new landmark in the center of London, the new concert hall will include educational, training and digital spaces. The shortlisted firms include Frank Gehry, Amanda Levete, Renzo Piano, Snøhetta, and Norman Foster and present a selection of some of the most leading contemporary architects well known for their renowned cultural buildings around the world.