Site conditions: advantages and challenges coexisting. The building is located in Shuangyue Bay Central Park, Pinghai Town, Huizhou City, Guangdong Province, China. The park is between the ancient town of Pinghai and the sea, not far from the famous Shuangyue Bay Turtle Reserve. The overall terrain of the park is high in the north and low in the south, with hills and valleys in the north and the sea in the south. The project base is close to the center of the park and is an independent and prominent “peninsula-shaped” hill. The trend of the hill is from northeast to southwest, so the view in the north is dominated by hills and valleys, and the view in the south is 270 degrees of excellent sea view. The hills in the park are soft in shape and not magnificent, but there are a number of boulders, which provide important support for the shaping of the landscape.
There are also challenges in the base: several residential buildings exist in the east and southeast of the base, and the high volume of the residence blocks the sight of the building to a certain extent. In addition, the height of the library must be strictly controlled to avoid blocking the sight of low-rise residents on the north side of the building to watch the sea. There is a multi-story building southwest of the park, the appearance is not ideal, and it also has a negative impact on the sea view of the library.
Location and shape: a white library under a pool of water. The design strives to integrate the cultural attribute of the library, the environmental attribute of the site, and the public attribute of contemporary society. The location of the building is planned at the end of the mountain top and arranged at the cliff mouth according to the topographic height difference. The building is integrated with the hill and becomes a part of the site. Such treatment can not only make the library have the largest viewing surface, but also control the height of the building to the greatest extent on the premise of reducing the amount of earthwork, without blocking the view of the sea of the residence behind.
Architecture is defined by the ways people bring spaces to life. For Matthew Ollier, Partner and architect at Hawkins\Brown, the best buildings encourage interaction, collaboration and exchange. Currently, Ollier is leading the development of the firm’s expansion into the North American market in Los Angeles. In an interview with ArchDaily, Ollier shares the team’s approach to community engagement and building social value.
The honest answer is that I didn’t give it a huge amount of thought, it was more of a process of elimination. There were plenty of subjects that I didn’t want to do! I enjoyed the idea of a vocational degree, and architecture ultimately appealed to me because the end result was something tangible that you could touch and experience. I think, in the end, that has served me well as I didn’t enter education (or the profession) with any preconceived ideas about what I wanted to achieve. It allowed me to go with the flow to a certain extent. I also think a certain amount of naivety is a good thing. Had I known how long the course was, or what was involved in getting professionally qualified at the outset, then I doubt whether I would have even started, but once I ‘boarded the train’ I didn’t want to get off!
Hawkins\Brown’s work centers on socially sustainable buildings across multiple sectors. What are some guiding values to the firm’s work, and in your personal approach?
Hawkins\Brown pride ourselves on not having a house style, more of a house approach. Social value underpins how we approach design across every sector and every scale of project. Ultimately, social value must be seen as a responsibility across every stage of a building’s life, from design and construction through to occupation and demolition.
Where possible we encourage the design process to be as inclusive as possible. Engaging the local community as a valued stakeholder and ensuring any development offers opportunities for community activity or local economic betterment is important to a project’s success. We also strive for outward-focused buildings that engage occupants and the wider public alike, rather than being inward-looking, with a focus on active streetscapes and improvements to the public realm that support greater community engagement.
Personally, I believe there is always opportunity to bring joy to any project. Architecture should facilitate social needs, personal enjoyment and fulfillment. Whether that’s by introducing artwork, adding some color, or simply considering where you hang your coat. It doesn’t matter how big or small, design gestures that speak directly to those that engage with a building raise the social capital of any project.
You’re expanding the firm’s European expertise to the North American market. What kind of projects are you hoping to take on?
We look at our experience in two ways – sector based, and specialism based. In terms of sectors, we are focusing primarily on Higher-Ed, Workplace and Multi-family residential projects, building on a strong European portfolio that allows us the opportunity to bring a unique perspective to the North American market. Where we think we can bring fresh expertise is around our specialisms, which include our approach to sustainability, our experience in Industrialized methods of construction as well as our research-led design initiatives.
We have recently published a joint research paper with JLL titled ‘Industrial Rehab’ investigating the value in re-purposing ex-industrial buildings into creative workspaces. Having successfully renovated the 1.2m sqft broadcast center on the London 2012 Olympic site into a new creative campus, we are looking to translate this specialism to the huge opportunities that exist in Los Angeles with this building type.
What are some recent projects you’ve been working on?
In January we completed our first project in the US, a 50,000 sq ft TI project in Playa Vista for an international production company – which is a great milestone for us.
We are also working on two large-scale mixed-use commercial projects in Hollywood combining workspace, retail, and hospitality uses. We are lucky to be working with a great client team who recognize the value in good design that not only achieves a ROI, but focuses on how we can improve the streetscape experience, enhance the public realm and sensitively introduce much needed urban density into emerging commercial neighborhoods.
In addition, we have been working as Specialty Prefabrication Design Consultants on a new 1,300 bed student housing project for UC San Diego, leveraging our European experience in Industrialized Methods of Construction to help unlock the potential for a more component-based approach to design and construction.
With changes to climate, technology, and construction, how do you think architects and designers will adapt ways of practicing to advance the profession?
As architects we have a great opportunity and responsibility to be at the forefront of these major advancements to shape the construction industry for the better. As a profession we must not simply react to these changes, but lead the charge. Technology offers incredible opportunities for us all to work more closely together in a more integrated and efficient way to drive innovation. At HB, we have invested heavily in our Digital Design Studio to explore new initiatives in addressing sustainability and construction improvements.
As an example, we have recently released a new open-source Carbon Reduction Tool-kit (HBERT) that links directly to BIM software, which enables us as designers to make better and more informed decisions around the selection of materials to greatly improve the embodied carbon footprint of each project. This initiative has just won the AJ100 Best Use of Technology Award 2020 in the UK. We decided to make this open-source as we felt a responsibility to encourage other firms to do the same.
Advancement in construction is long overdue. No longer should we be thinking about constructability at DD phase, but ensuring opportunities for Modern Methods of Construction are considered at the very outset. Prefabrication is a term that often brings with it negative connotations about design quality. We want to dispel these myths by demonstrating that more industrialized methods of construction can be utilized to achieve great architecture. As architects and designers, we must work more closely with our construction partners to push the boundaries of what is possible.
Changes due to COVID-19 have been swift. How do you think the pandemic will shape design?
Covid has helped accelerate a much-needed shake-up in how we work and how our workplaces (and homes) are designed and operated. Offices and workspaces will remain important, but there is likely to be a shift in emphasis of what the workplace will be used for and how it will be designed. For many industries, the office will become the shop window as opposed to the workshop. It will showcase the brand and embody an organizations culture, but not necessarily support 100% staff occupation or certain activities.
It’s becoming clear that the office might not be the most productive space for certain activities. More focused work or individual tasks could be done at home, and more collaborative tasks should be done in the office. This shift will allow a more purposeful approach to work and ensure we go into the office because we need to, not because we have to.
This will inevitably impact on design. No longer will the rigid lines of desks be the driving factor in efficient space planning. A more flexible and adaptable approach to design, that accommodates a greater level of interaction and collaboration will become prevalent. As companies support a greater amount of home working their office space footprints will likely shrink, meaning, as designers we will be challenged with creating spaces that work harder to support a fluidity of functions.
Also, the health and well-being of staff is thankfully now becoming more and more important. Airflow, daylight and connections to the outdoors all help support healthier and more productive work environments.
As you look to the future, are there any ideas you think should be front and center in the minds of architects and designers?
Above all else is our responsibility to help reduce the impact of climate change. All other challenges will either pale into insignificance or became more and more exacerbated if we can’t address this issue. Buildings are large contributors to overall carbon emissions, so we can have a big impact if we adopt sensible approaches to more sustainable design solutions.
In addition, attitudes around density and mobility should be front and center, especially in a city like Los Angeles that has a fantastic opportunity to embrace these ideas. More robust and diverse public transport infrastructure, coupled with a proactive approach to density and urban placemaking, can provide positive change to support more affordable and equitable cities.
The New York City Public Design Commission and Mayor Bill de Blasio have announced the 11 projects selected as winners of their 2018 Awards for Excellence in Design. Established in 1983, the award has been bestowed annually to projects from the city’s five boroughs that “exemplify how innovative and thoughtful design can provide New Yorkers with the best possible public spaces and services and engender a sense of civic pride.”
The 2018 awards recognized projects which responded to the de Blasio Administration’s commitment to providing an “equitable, resilient, and diverse city for all New Yorkers.” All five New York boroughs feature in the awards, with schemes encompassing education, culture, art, and recreation.
These eleven winning schools, parks, libraries, museums, and artworks aren’t only beautiful – they enrich their communities by bringing revitalizing existing spaces and creating vibrant new ones.
-New York Mayor Bill de Blasio
Aship, Aground, Anew by Saul Becker / Saul Becker and Studio Joseph
Saul Becker’s painting for the new Snug Harbor Cultural Center Music Hall depicts an 18th-century sailing ship run aground and transformed by nature with mature trees growing out of its hull. The artwork is an apt representation of a Staten Island community founded in a maritime tradition that is finding new ground and fostering growth.
The rehabilitation of the Brownsville Recreation Center will transform an outdated 1950s structure into a vital neighborhood resource with renovated fitness areas, a pool, and multi-purpose classrooms. The revitalized center will provide the Brownsville community with enhanced programming and recreation for years to come.
Concert Grove Pavilion / Prospect Park Alliance In-House Design
Designed by Calvert Vaux in 1874, the Concert Grove Pavilion is an open-air shelter comprising eight cast iron columns supporting a decorative metal and wood roof with a stained-glass skylight. The restoration of the pavilion will repair water damage, reconstruct missing elements, and repaint the structure based on historic images, bringing new life to this charming historic gathering space.
Convergence by Shawn Smith / Shawn Smith and Snøhetta
Inspired by the New York Public Library’s collection of 19th- and early 20th-century illustrations, artist Shawn Smith chose 20 local songbirds for his artwork in the new Westchester Square Branch Library. Each of the 100 sculptures will be constructed from individually painted pieces of basswood, resulting in a diverse mix of bright patterns, shapes, and colors.
Garrison Playground / Department of Parks & Recreation In-House Design
As part of the Community Parks Initiative, the reconstruction of this park will benefit the previously underserved neighborhood of Mott Haven. With flexible spaces for a variety of uses, the park will become a nexus of community engagement and recreation for all age groups.
Hamilton Fish Park Branch Library / Rice+Lipka Architects and Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects & Planners
The renovation of this 1959 library will restore and renew a modernist structure with energy-efficient systems and resilient materials, transforming this civic structure into a light-filled, accessible and active facility that is visually connected to the community it serves.
New York State Pavilion Observation Towers and Tent of Tomorrow / Silman, Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, and L’Observatoire International
The rehabilitation of the 1964 World’s Fair New York State Pavilion will provide stabilization, restored lighting, and maintenance access that will lay the foundation for future preservation and potential adaptive reuse of these iconic structures.
The prototypical plaza kiosks will provide a cost effective source of revenue for the continued maintenance of city plazas. The versatile design is aesthetically harmonious with the city’s street furnishings and will activate public spaces with amenities and lighting.
Reflecting Pool / Quennell Rothschild & Partners
The reconstruction of the Reflecting Pool is the first phase of a larger project to adaptively repurpose a series of fountains from the 1964 World’s Fair. The design references the original use of the space as a water feature yet transforms the site into an enjoyable and sustainable focal point in the park.
The Studio Museum’s new home will establish a distinguished architectural presence that celebrates the legacy of this critical cultural resource. Enlarged exhibition and program spaces will enhance the organization’s programming for Harlem residents and visitors from around the world.
As the northwest gateway to the Cornell Tech Campus, the education center and hotel will become an active and dynamic campus hub. The two buildings share a transparent podium that will house a mix of public and academic spaces, enlivening the exterior courtyard and campus and welcoming a diverse range of visitors from New York City and abroad.
To learn more about the award and see previous years’ winners, visit the Public Design Commission’s website, here.
“The Well” is set to be one of the most ambitious urban developments Toronto has seen. Estimated to host nearly 10,000 people living and working daily, “The Well” includes over 1.5 million square feet of retail, office space and food services, as well as 1,800 residential units all spread throughout seven buildings flanked by Front, Spadina and Wellington in downtown Toronto.
“The Well” will include connections to public transit, airports and major highways with the main focus of the development being “to keep the things people want most within easy reach.” In addition to the major building development, “The Well” will also include a vast green space along the southern edge with various spaces to eat, shop, live and play.
As with most urban development projects, it is the wide variety of spaces brought together by a cohesive design idea that makes the project so intriguing. Claude Cormier of Claude Cormier + Associés, the landscape architecture firm in the team of designers, said of “The Well”, “This is choreographed city-building.” Within the collection of programs is the idea that a sense of “exploration and discovery” is behind “The Well” experience. The relationships between the programs allow for community and individuality to thrive in unison.
Development partners behind “The Well” include RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust and Allied Properties REIT. The development partners also joined forces with Enwave Energy Corporation to extend the existing water distribution system by building a new energy storage facility within “The Well.”
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has revealed the 2018 RIBA International List, the longlist of buildings in the running for one of the world’s most prestigious architecture awards, the RIBA International Prize.
The biennial award considers the world’s best new buildings completed in the past two years that exemplify “design excellence, architectural ambition and delivering meaningful social impact.” This year’s longlist features 62 projects from around the world, more than double the number selected for the longlist of the inaugural prize in 2016.
“The RIBA International List 2018 shines a light on the world’s best new buildings and most impressive architectural talent,” said RIBA President, Ben Derbyshire. “Most importantly, this significant selection of 62 projects illustrates the meaningful impact and transformative quality that well-designed buildings can have on communities, wherever they are in the world.”
The shortlist for the RIBA International Prize will be selected from this list by a Grand Jury led by esteemed architect Elizabeth Diller of Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The overall winner of the RIBA International Prize will be announced in December 2018.
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The winners of the inaugural Africa Architecture Awards have been announced. Established by St. Gobain with the goal of “stimulating conversations about African architecture as it cements its place in a global continuum,” the event represents the first ever Pan-African awards program of its kind, with more than 300 projects from 32 African nations being considered by a steering panel led by Professor Lesley Lokko, ambassador Phill Mashabane, advisor Zahira Asmal, and architect David Adjaye.
“The Africa Architecture Awards are very critical,” said Adjaye. “Now is the time to promote excellence and best practice on the continent. The Africa Architecture Awards are particularly important because this is the moment that a lot is happening on the continent in terms of development, in terms of the architecture that’s being produced.”
An initial shortlist of 21 projects was chosen earlier in 2017 by the competition jury, which comprised leading African architects and academics including Anna Abengowe (Nigeria), Guillaume Koffi (Côte d’Ivoire), Professor Edgar Pieterse (South Africa), Patti Anahory (Cape Verde), Tanzeem Razak (South Africa), and Phill Mashabane (South Africa).
From those 21 projects, winners were chosen in 4 categories, with an overall Grand Prix winner taking home the top prize of $10,000 USD. Find the list of winners below.
Built and Grand Prix Winner
Umkhumbane Museum, South Africa / Choromanski Architects
[The Umkhumbane Museum] provides the opportunity for contemporary culture and powerful heritage to converge, serving as a tool for social, economic and ecological regeneration. As part of a broader urban strategy, the site seeks to activate and network various cultural nodes within the community of Cato Manor through community involvement, local artists and leaders.
The urban strategy aims to use technology and public space innovatively to access, network and enhance the culture, serving as a tool for community members to leverage in the co-creation of today’s Umkhumbane Culture. The stories of Umkhumbane in the 1940s were example of diversity and community during apartheid. Cato Manor today could provide much needed stories of regeneration and redress in South Africa.
Forum de Arquitectura / CEICA, Angola
“Fórum de Arquitectura” (which means Architecture Forum) is an annual event that takes place in October, in the historical heart of the city of Luanda, where it is located at the Lusíada University of Angola. It began in 2006, as part of the activities of the Department of Architecture and restricted to its teachers and students. Today, after years of continuous battles and perseverance, it can be said that it is the largest academic event in the area in Angola, which celebrates not only Architecture, but also everything that surrounds it. It raises debate on several disciplines, promotes interchange between universities at international level, has developed, over the years, own identity, and established a tradition in the angolan academic world.
The Territory In-between, Cape Verde / Guinea’s Aissata Balde, Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg
We live in an era of unprecedented migration. According to the UNHCR, the world is currently experiencing more human displacement and migration than after World War I. This project explores the interplay between physical and imagined spaces, through the fluidity and stasis of human mobility in Cape Verde in ways that allow us to rethink our ways of understanding the state, boundaries and space.
The Exchange Consulate: Trading Passports for Hyper-Performative Economic Enclaves, South Africa/ Nigerian student Ogundare Olawale Israel of the Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg
Located in the CBD of Johannesburg City and known to only the elite few, otherwise considered as the ‘outsiders or travellers”, lies a hidden architecture created by economic enclaves for ‘informal’ residents of the city including foreign migrants.These enclaves are organised activities, conducted by minority groups in order to maintain strong boundaries and a sense of identity within places they find themselves. Through these enclaves, migrants in Johannesburg city are able to access and obtain social and economic benefits that sustain their stay within the city.
In this, we discover the existence of a “neo” form of “passport” that determines when and how enclaves of Johannesburg city are accessed by migrants. These passports are in different forms ranging from ethic group, to language, to cultural beliefs and apparel. By way of appearance, a migrant urban dweller for example is able to have access to work opportunities within a particular space in the city. This access comes by way of identity, acceptance and a sense of belonging for the migrant, and trust and reliability for those providing the opportunity. We therefore find apparel to be one of the many passports used by those otherwise considered “outsiders”.
“Although this is only the first edition of the Africa Architecture Awards, we believe we have captured an incredible moment in time for Pan-African architecture,” commented MD of Saint-Gobain Retail Division, Evan Lockhart-Barker. “Having launched the first-ever awards of its kind, we’ve seen the incredible response from architects working across the continent. The values and aspirations displayed in the awards have led to incredible insights about the continent and its shape-shifting ways.”
“Yet we still have a way to go to write our own story about architecture and its role here. Africa is indeed rising… but due to the continent’s resourcefulness and complex regional identities, we’ve already learnt that our awards programme requires even more diversity to capture Africa and all its spectrums. We look to future editions of the awards to achieve this.”
More information about the awards can be found on the official website, here.