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… non hai osservato, camminando nella città, come tra gli edifici che la popolano taluni siano muti, ed altri parlino, mentre altri ancora, che son più rari, cantano?
 
PAUL VALÉRY, Eupalinos ou l’Architecte
 

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Basketball stadium in Dongguan, China, by gmp von Gerkan Marg and Partners
April 14, 2014

Basketball stadium Dongguan gmp von Gerkan Marg and PartnersIn the southern Chinese city of Dongguan – a city of several million – a basketball stadium has been completed to plans by architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp). The building can be seen from afar and is a landmark that provides identity and orientation to the people in the new district of Liaobu. The stadium has space for nearly 15,000 visitors and can be used for sports and other events; it is the new main competition venue for one of the most successful Chinese basketball teams, the Dongguan Leopards. Basketball is increasingly popular with the Chinese, particularly so since Yao Ming, who is celebrated as a national hero, made his entry into the US basketball league – the NBA.
The design of the stadium transforms the elements of the sport of basketball in various ways: situated on a raised platform, the circular ring is reminiscent of the hoop of a basketball basket to which the facade is attached like the net to the hoop. The typical orange colour of the ball appears behind the net-like facade in the form of the external structure of the arena, and also features in the interior design.
The stadium is surrounded by extensive parkland which acts as a buffer zone between the building and the relatively noisy surrounding roads. The design of the landscape takes its cue from the shape of the stadium. Extensive green areas and curved pathways along water features surround the stadium and serve as sport and leisure areas.
House of Music in Aalborg, Denmark, by Coop Himmelb(l)au
April 10, 2014

Coop Himmelb(l)au House of Music AalborgAfter four years of construction, the "House of Music" in Aalborg, Denmark was ceremoniously opened by the Danish Queen Margrethe II.
This cultural centre was designed by the Viennese architectural studio Coop Himmelb(l)au as a combined school and concert hall: its open structure promotes the exchange between the audience and artists, and the students and teachers. "The idea behind the building can already be read from the outer shape. The school embraces the concert hall," explained Wolf D. Prix, design principal and CEO of Coop Himmelb(l)au.
U-shaped rehearsal and training rooms are arranged around the core of the ensemble, a concert hall for about 1,300 visitors. A generous foyer connects these spaces and opens out with a multi-storey window area onto an adjacent cultural space and a fjord. Under the foyer, three more rooms of various sizes complement the space: the intimate hall, the rhythmic hall, and the classic hall. Through multiple observation windows, students and visitors can look into the concert hall from the foyer and the practice rooms and experience the musical events, including concerts and rehearsals.
2014 Pritzker Prize goes to Shigeru Ban
March 25, 2014

Shigeru Ban Pritzker Architecture Prize 2014Shigeru Ban will receive the 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Shigeru Ban, a Tokyo-born, 56-year-old architect with offices in Tokyo, Paris and New York, is rare in the field of architecture. He designs elegant, innovative work for private clients, and uses the same inventive and resourceful design approach for his extensive humanitarian efforts. For twenty years Ban has traveled to sites of natural and man-made disasters around the world, to work with local citizens, volunteers and students, to design and construct simple, dignified, low-cost, recyclable shelters and community buildings for the disaster victims.
Reached at his Paris office, Shigeru Ban said, “Receiving this prize is a great honor, and with it, I must be careful. I must continue to listen to the people I work for, in my private residential commissions and in my disaster relief work. I see this prize as encouragement for me to keep doing what I am doing – not to change what I am doing, but to grow.“
In all parts of his practice, Ban finds a wide variety of design solutions, often based around structure, materials, view, natural ventilation and light, and a drive to make comfortable places for the people who use them. From private residences and corporate headquarters, to museums, concert halls and other civic buildings, Ban is known for the originality, economy, and ingeniousness of his works, which do not rely on today’s common high-tech solutions.
His architecture is often called “sustainable”, and environmentally friendly, but he says, “When I started working this way, almost thirty years ago, nobody was talking about the environment. But this way of working came naturally to me. I was always interested in low cost, local, reusable materials.”

» Read more
Serpentine Galleries Pavilion 2014 by Smiljan Radic
March 17, 2014

Serpentine Galleries Pavilion London Smiljan RadicThe Serpentine has commissioned Chilean architect Smiljan Radic to design the Serpentine Galleries Pavilion 2014. Radic is the fourteenth architect to accept the invitation to design a temporary Pavilion outside the entrance to the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens. The commission is one of the most anticipated events in the cultural calendar, and has become one of London’s leading summer attractions since launching in 2000.
Smiljan Radic’s design follows Sou Fujimoto’s cloud-like structure, which was visited by almost 200,000 people in 2013 and was one of the most visited.
Occupying a footprint of some 350 square metres on the lawn of the Serpentine Gallery, plans depict a semi-translucent, cylindrical structure, designed to resemble a shell, resting on large quarry stones.
Smiljan Radic, designer of the fourteenth Serpentine Pavilion, said: “The Serpentine 2014 Pavilion is part of the history of small romantic constructions seen in parks or large gardens, the so-called follies, which were hugely popular from the end of the 16th Century to the start of the 19th. Externally, the visitor will see a fragile shell suspended on large quarry stones. This shell - white, translucent and made of fibreglass - will house an interior organised around an empty patio, from where the natural setting will appear lower, giving the sensation that the entire volume is floating. At night, thanks to the semi-transparency of the shell, the amber tinted light will attract the attention of passers-by, like lamps attracting moths.”
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ARCHITECTOUR.NET On-line Journal & International Contemporary Architecture Database
anno VIII/8th year, I semestre/1st semester, n. 1/2014
ISSN 1974-4552

 
 
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