Laka has published the results of the 2018 edition of their annual Architecture that Reacts competition, focusing on “architectural, design, or technological solutions that are capable of dynamic interaction with their surroundings.” This year saw 200 participants from more than 30 countries submit 130 designs, following an interdisciplinary approach reaching beyond typical building solutions.
This year’s winners hailed from the USA and Austria, confronting issues such as climate change, ubiquitous computation, and new ways of perceiving space in a machine-driven future. Below, we have rounded up the winners, special recognitions, and honorable mentions from the 2018 edition. For more information on the competition, and previous results, visit the official website here.
“Climate change experts predict a temperature rise of up to four degrees in the next millennium. This increase will result in a drastic reorganization of our planet as sea levels rise and more extreme weather events such as hurricanes and tsunamis disturb our cities. Ninety percent of the world’s largest cities are located next to water, and so to address increasing population density and differing environmental conditions, perhaps we need to start looking at using existing urban water as a place of opportunity to build on with new types of dynamic landscape which are able to respond flexibly with changing tidal levels.”
Embodied Homeostasis / David Stieler
“Today, we live in a world of ubiquitous computation. Advancements in information technology and sensing objects have fundamentally disrupted the way not only digital space is perceived but also altered the way social interaction is organized in our built environment.”
Platform of Motion / Nusrat Jahan Mim, Arman Salemi
“Through our project, we are envisioning a future, where human moments will not be replaced by the fastness of machines, rather human-machine interaction will start to develop a new set of vocabularies to perceive space, to visualize architecture.”
Surftopia / Eduardo Camarena Estébanez, María Urigoitia Villanueva
Platinum City / Sean Thomas Allen
Volcano Lite / Patorn Sangruchi
Cactus Pavilion / Andrés Martín-Pastor, Francisco González-Quintial
Lotus / Christopher Pin, Timothy Lai
GlazeNet / Marta Blaszczyk, Kacper Kania
Arctic Seed / David James Morgan
Expanding Space / Negar Behzad Jazi
Crisis Shelter for All / Zhiyong Wang, Zihao Wang
Wadi Re urbanization / Janki Shah, Jack Yang Bai, Betsy Daniel, Piyawut Koomsiripithuck
Retreat to Autonomy / Han Shen
Ground re-activator / ASA Studio (Alice Tasca, Francesco Stassi, Zeno Riondato, Giacomo Zambon, Eric Mutabazi Kayijuka
Transfigurama / Shalini D Amin
Sound Pods / Dan Liu
Second Nature / Robyn Houghton / Dana Muhsen
Autonomous Land-formations / Brandon Whitwell-Mak
An Architecture of Emotive Intelligence / Mona Ghandi
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) has unveiled details of Huamu Lot 10 in Shanghai. The three-tower scheme, totaling 279,000 square meters, is dedicated to commercial offices and a future museum, positioned around a central grand plaza.
Described as a “new form of participatory urbanism,” the scheme has been designed to accommodate large-scale artwork in a public setting, thus activating the central plaza as a cultural hub.
The urban significance of this cluster of buildings go beyond their office function. They combine with a major museum to make cultural space, and create a “sky plane” above that raises the aspirations of the city.
-James von Klemperer, President and Design Principal, KPF
Each tower has been designed with an efficient, rational massing to allow for flexibility in future contexts. Glass curtain wall facades allow for panoramic views and natural light, with strong horizontal elements emphasizing rigidity.
A series of subtle cantilevers at uniform heights create a visually connected Sky Gallery, “a dramatic and iconic gesture high above the surrounding neighborhood.” During the day, stepped gardens on the building roof and terraces offer outdoor garden space, while at night, the cantilevered elements are illuminated to become grand lighting features.
The project seeks to flip the equation of a tower which typically includes an iconic top, and instead uses the gallery program as a cantilevered volume near the mid-point of the tower. The result is a moment that engages the pedestrian realm while simultaneously sculpting the project’s identity within the Shanghai skyline.
-Jeff Kenoff, Design Principal, KPF
Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) has announced the six recipients of the 2019 cycle of the six recipients of their Richard Rogers Fellowship program. Inspired by Lord Richard Rogers’ “commitment to cross-disciplinary investigation and engagement,” the Fellowship established last year to support individuals “whose research will be enhanced by access to London’s extraordinary institutions, libraries, practices, professionals, and other unique resources.”
The 2019 winners were chosen from a pool of more than 140 applicants hailing from around the world. As in previous years, the fellowship allows the winners to spend a three-and-a-half month residency at the Rogers’ Wimbledon House in London. The recipients also receive funding to cover their travel to London and $100,000 cash.
This year’s selection committee included Alison Brooks, K. Michael Hays, Sharon Johnston, Hanif Kara, Mohsen Mostafavi, Patricia Roberts, Lord Richard Rogers, and Simon Smithson.
This year’s fellows and their bios below:
2019 Richard Rogers Fellows
Spring 2019 Fellows
Esther Choi (New York, NY) “The Organization of Life: Architecture and the Life Sciences in Great Britain, 1929-1951”
Esther Choi is a PhD candidate in the History and Theory of Architecture and the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities at Princeton University. She received a Master of Arts in the History and Theory of Architecture from Princeton in 2014, and a Master in Design Studies from Harvard GSD in 2008. Her research interests center on the entanglements between architecture and the life sciences in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the intersections between artistic and architectural movements throughout the twentieth century. Her Richard Rogers Fellowship proposal will explore the exchanges that took place between scientists, architects, artists, and designers to reimagine Great Britain as a scientifically-ordered world after the economic crash of 1929. Spanning twenty years, four case studies organized according to evolutionary themes—natural selection, adaptation, heredity and mutation—revisit schemes that championed the belief that the human mind and behavior are thoroughly shaped by the environment.
John Paul Rysavy (New York, NY) “A Brick is a Brick: Material and its Image in Postwar London”
John Paul Rysavy is an architect and Senior Associate at SHoP Architects in New York City where he has overseen work on the Botswana Innovation Hub, Uber Headquarters, Wave/Cave Pavilion, and US Embassy in Tegucigalpa. He has been a collaborator with Jenna Dezinski in the design and research practice And-Either-Or and worked previously with Will Bruder, Brian MacKay-Lyons, and David Heymann. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome and the Charles Moore Foundation. Rysavy received a Master of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin following study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a recipient of the Stewardson Keefe LeBrun Grant from the Center for Architecture Foundation and the Francis J. Plym Fellowship from the Illinois School of Architecture. He taught previously at The University of Texas at Austin. While in London, Rysavy will explore cultures of brick construction associated with late modern and postmodern practice. Through writing and photogrammetry, research expands from a larger study investigating technical and rhetorical applications of brick following the introduction of the cavity wall in Western Europe. The project traces antecedent models of material representation as an image and graphic in contemporary architectural production.
Summer 2019 Fellows
Sarosh Anklesaria (Ithaca, NY) “Embedded Resistances within Neoliberal Regimes: Activist-Architects and the Contested Spaces of London’s Traditional Markets”
Sarosh Anklesaria is an architect and educator. He has worked as an architect with Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York), Herzog & de Meuron (Basel), and Sangath, the office of Balkrishna Doshi, in Ahmedabad. He is currently a Visiting Critic at Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning and has taught design studios at The Pratt Institute and Syracuse University. Anklesaria has a diploma in architecture from CEPT University and a Master of Architecture from Cornell University. He runs an independent practice based in New York and Ahmedabad and has been a member of the Architecture and Design panel at NYSCA. His writing, work and research has been published in a variety of media, including Architectural Review, Domus, Architect’s Newspaper, and Design Today, among others. His proposal stitches together two broad themes of research that have occupied his creative pursuits: architecture’s capacity to generate inclusive forms of public space, especially in the context of the neoliberal city, and the traditional market as the site of these contestations. The primary objective of the research is to study the traditional markets of London as well as the role of activist architects in generating spaces of empowerment within, or of consequence to, traditional markets.
Maria Letizia Garzoli (Novara, Italy) “The Leasehold Uncanny Persistency: Shaping London Great Estates”
Maria Letizia Garzoli is an architect and researcher. She holds an architecture degree from the Politecnico di Milano and a Master in Design Studies from Harvard GSD. She has worked at practices including Machado Silvetti and Johnston Marklee, and is currently a researcher at Foster + Partners. As she argues in her proposal, the leasehold property is a centuries-old form of ownership that corroborated the lasting presence of large aristocratic estates in West London. Today, given the transition of these family holdings into proper corporate investment companies and the increased levels of frustration among small homeowners, the meaning and study of this persistent structure is especially important. The land ownership monopoly entails a monopoly of culture, form, and identity. Her Richard Rogers Fellowship research seeks to represent how this form of property law shaped and shapes the architectural and social panorama on the lands of the great estates of West London. The final product will consist of an illustrated atlas.
Autumn 2019 Fellows
Peter Christensen (Rochester, NY) “Materialized: the Global Life of Architectural Steel”
Peter Christensen is Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Rochester, and earned a PhD from Harvard University in 2014. His specialization is modern architectural and environmental history, particularly of Germany, Central Europe and the Middle East. His theoretical interests center on issues of geopolitics and multiculturalism. He also maintains a strong interest in infrastructure and its history. Christensen plans to use the Richard Rogers Fellowship towards research for his forthcoming second book. By following the life of steel from the collection of raw minerals and metals to the distribution of finished goods in the long nineteenth century, instead of examining heroic architectural forms made from steel, Christenen’s book aims to challenge the traditional narrative that architectural steel was the primary and heroic material responsible for architectural modernism. He intends to achieve this revisionist interpretation by combining the methods of environmental history, which focuses on ecology and the macro scale, with localized sources of business and trade history, especially corporate archives.
Michael Waldrep (Berlin, Germany) “Finding the Green Belt: Preservation, New Towns, and Development on the Urban-Rural Landscapes of Greater London”
Michael Waldrep is a media artist and researcher focused on architecture and urban planning. With degrees in Film Studies and City Planning from the University of California at Berkeley and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, respectively, he was selected as a member of the first generation of Fulbright – National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellows in 2014. Currently, he works in research and filmmaking at Studio Olafur Eliasson. As a culmination of an ongoing multimedia investigation into the global spread and differentiation of suburban planning and architecture, his proposal for the Richard Rogers Fellowship is to document the edges of Greater London. Waldrep’s practice, as a trained city planner and media artist, has been honed through similar studies of Mexico City, Cape Town, and Berlin. His project will seek to bring to light, through writing, interviews, archival research, and, above all else, first-hand photographic investigation, the myriad interacting factors that permeate the Metropolitan Green Belt and the symbiotic New Towns can be teased apart and brought to light.
News via Harvard University Graduate School of Design
After 52 years of waiting, Senegal is finally opening what has been described as the largest museum of black civilization in the capital, Dakar.
With close to 14,000 square metres of floor space and capacity for 18,000 exhibits, the new Museums of Black Civilisations is already capable of competing with the National Museum of African American History in Washington.
The exhibition halls include Africa Now, showcasing contemporary African art and The Caravan and the Caravel, which tells the story of the trade in human beings – across the Atlantic and through the Sahara – that gave rise to new communities of Africans in the Americas.
These diaspora communities– such as in Brazil, the United States and the Caribbean – are recognized as African civilizations in their own right.
Since the museum could contain works owned by France since colonization, Senegal’s culture minister has called for the restitution by France of all Senegalese artwork on the back of a French report urging the return of African art treasures.
Apart from suffering from the negative consequences of colonialism, Africans have had to negotiate for the return of valuable historical cultural artifacts that were smuggled out of their countries.
These priceless monuments, which symbolize African identity are currently scattered across the world, with an impressive number in British and French Museums.
Many African countries have called for the return of these treasures but are yet to receive any positive response from these western countries, which are making huge sums of money from these objects, with some even insisting that they were obtained legally.
French President Emmanuel Macron recently announced that his country will return 26 artifacts taken from Benin in 1892. The thrones and statues, currently on display at the Quai Branly museum in Paris, were taken during a colonial war against the then Kingdom of Dahomey.
Senegal’s late president Leopold Sedar Senghor was the first to propose the idea of a museum about the civilizations of black Africa during a world festival of black artists in Dakar in 1966.
In December 2011, Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade laid the foundation stone in the capital Dakar but works were suspended during a political change until the subsequent leader, Macky Sall set the project rolling between December 2013 and December 2015.
The museum was built thanks in part to a $34.6 million donation from China.
A historic hotbed of architectural styles and a current architectural capital of the world, cities in the United Kingdom are awash with iconic buildings from the Georgian, Neoclassical, and contemporary era. Such buildings, from the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol to the Southbank in London, have come to define the cities in which they stand, drawing the eyes of tourists and designers alike from around the world.
It is therefore an interesting exercise to examine what these cities would look like if such structures didn’t exist. To this end, Neomam Studios has partnered with QuickQuid to produce a series of images demonstrating what six British cities could have looked like, resurrecting some of Britain’s most surprising unbuilt structures.
We have republished the images below with an edited description by QuickQuid. For more detail on the buildings, as well as references for their creation, visit the official website here.
QuickQuid: The Royal Festival Hall is a relatively conservative construction, but only because the chosen design pipped a more imposing Brutalist blueprint in a competition to commemorate the 1951 Festival of Britain.
QuickQuid: Visitors to Liverpool today can’t fail to notice “Paddy’s Wigwam,” the tent shaped Catholic Cathedral at the opposite end of Hope Street from the giant Church of England Cathedral.
But believe it or not, the design could have been even more bizarre. C.H.R. Bailey’s entry to the 1959 competition for Liverpool’s new cathedral looks like it was ripped from the film set of sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet, released just three years previously.
The idea for a bridge first came about after the 1754 death of a local wine merchant, who bequeathed a small sum towards its construction. After violent riots against a toll on Bristol’s existing bridge in 1793, architect William Bridges unveiled a proposal for an overpass that would pay for itself.
QuickQuid: The architecture of Piccadilly Gardens has long been a site of controversy for the people of Manchester. But few realize it could have been settled once and for all with the construction of an art gallery on the spot back in the 1930s.
After the First World War, the council voted for the area – which had been a temporary infirmary for returning soldiers – to be partially put aside for a new gallery and library. While the gardens were re-landscaped, a competition was held, with the forerunning gallery design provided by 29-year-old E. Berry Webber.
QuickQuid: The 1960s was a swinging period for architecture, with new ideas, materials, and economic confidence rejuvenating the industry. All the same, Newcastle may seem an odd place to have become a ‘city in the sky’ – but it nearly happened.
In an effort to separate pedestrians from the modern blight of ubiquitous automobiles, Newcastle’s city planners looked up. Designs were drawn and work began on a system of overhead walkways between raised buildings. Searching for a modern equivalent, expert Professor Stephen Graham suggests that Hong Kong is one of the closest real-life ‘3D’ cities to use every dimension as Newcastle nearly did.
QuickQuid: Everyone is familiar with the way Edinburgh Castle peers down on the majestic city as it has, in many forms, for over 1,000 years.
David Bryce’s 1862 sketch for a Memorial Keep in honor of Prince Albert would have been a major change to the city’s skyline. But Queen Victoria, Albert’s widow, disapproved of the construction, and the tower was never erected.
Mumbai-based NUDES architecture office have revealed a new design called “Mosque of Light” as their entry in the Dubai Creek Harbor competition. The project was designed as a play in light with a multi-layered geometrical form to filter daylight softly into the prayer hall. The mosque explores the combination of light and built form around a spiritual experience.
Sited as part of the Dubai Creek Harbor Development, the Mosque of Light would be part of a larger development that expects to have 48,500 residential units with over 175,000 residents. Made to house daily prayers, the project is oriented towards the main qibla wall with spaces for prayer on the ground floor for both women and men.
Inside, NUDES created the design to play off formal patterns and bounce light off the doubly curved surfaces. In turn, a series of ‘mashrabiya’ apertures generated from the simple repetition of geometries intensifies this effect. The system protects from sunlight to provide a cool, comfortable space for prayer and gathering. The mosque would include an outdoor terrace and ground level plaza that connect to the building’s four minarets. Overall, the design utilizes a clear, simple concept to provide an inspiring place for assembly and prayer.
The International VELUX Award 2018 sought to highlight the work of architecture students around the globe who challenge the use of daylight in built environments. The award, titled “Light of Tomorrow,” was launched in 2004 and is awarded biennially for creative interpretation, exploration, and investigation of daylight in built environments. This year, the winners were selected from over 600 submissions.
The project winner in the category of “Daylight in Buildings” studied the traditional construction of contemporary buildings, their geometries, and their window placement to isolate the limitations of these contractions and propose new methods of building that maximize the natural light penetration and shadow play. The submission, titled “Light Forms Juggler,” is by Anastasia Maslova from Kazan State University of Architecture and Engineering in Russia.
The jury chose this project as the winner and emphasized its work as a manifesto of relevant questions, rather than a design. “The project exhibits rigorous exploration of daylight in buildings related to the urban scale. It showcases a strong architectural mind of thinking and the project raises a lot of interesting questions.”
The top prize in the second category, “Daylight Investigations,” was awarded to a team from Tianjin University in China. The four students explored the limited infrastructure in the rural towns in China’s mountains. The current topography and lack of walkable pathways inhibit students from getting to school safely. The lack of electricity in these areas makes lighting these pathways nearly impossible.
However, the team has proposed the introduction of a small amount of a natural-produced local fluorite as a solution. The natural material harvests energy from natural sunlight during the day and illuminates for several hours during the night. “It is a simple solution that changes the lives of children in remote rural areas. By introducing small pieces of local materials, it encourages optimal growth and thinking,” stated the jury.