Keep informed about projects, recent developments and other interesting stuff.
On Friday 6th Dec the third edition of UNStudio’s Motion Matters exhibition opened at the MAXXI Museum in Rome. After successful installations at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in 2011 and at Aedes in Berlin this Summer, this site-specific exhibition concept has been tailor designed and realised for Gallery 2 of the MAXXI Museum. UNStudio’s installation brings to a close the ‘Nature’ cycle in which MAXXI has been experimenting with a different approach to monographic exhibitions.
UNStudio's site specific installation involves the public in a dynamic debate. The exhibition is a response to the traditional architectural exhibition in which rescaled representations of architectural designs are presented. In the Motion Matters installation the object exhibited is not in a display case, or merely an object to be looked at, but instead interacts with the visitor and requires their active participation.
Hanjie Wanda Square, a new luxury shopping plaza located in the Wuhan Central Culture Centre, has been completed.
In UNStudio’s design the concept of luxury is incorporated by means of focussing on the craftsmanship of noble, yet simple materials and combines both contemporary and traditional design elements in one concept.
The concept of ‘synergy of flows’ is key to all of the design components; the fluid articulation of the building envelope, the programming of the dynamic façade lighting and its content and the interior pattern language which guides customers from the central atria to the upper levels and throughout the building via linking corridors.
Ben van Berkel: “Reflection, light and pattern are used throughout the Hanjie Wanda Square to create an almost fantastical world. New microcosms and experiences are created for the shopper, similar perhaps to the world of theatre, whereby the retail complex becomes almost a stage or a place of performance and offers a variety of different impressions and experiences to the visitor.”
UNStudio's design for the Baumkirchen Mitte in Munich has been selected as the winning entry from a shortlist of six finalists . UNStudio worked in collaboration with OR else Landscapes on the design for the 18,500m2 residential and office complex located in the east of Munich. With its 60 metre high tower the project will become the focal point for the entrance to the new Baumkirchen Mitte development.
Ben van Berkel: “In the design for the facade of the building we chose for an articulated sobriety, incorporating contrasting scales of detail. The horizontal bands which wrap and organise the building present a sober articulation from a distance, however as you get closer to the building you discover a refined scale of intricate, complex detailing.”
UNStudio's Ardmore Residence in Singapore has been realised.
The primary concept for the design of the 36 storey, 17.178 m² residential tower is a multi-layered architectural response to the natural landscape inherent to the ‘Garden City’ of Singapore.
Ben van Berkel: “The highly textural façade of the Ardmore Residence works in unison with the organisation of the individual apartments, affording both extensive daylight to the unique residential spaces and panoramic views over the city of Singapore. The façade further generates a unique reading of the building in the neighborhood, with its layered contours extending the appearance beyond four façades and providing a variety of profiles and perspectives.”
UNStudio's Kutaisi 'King David the Builder' International Airport in Georgia has been completed.
UNStudio's design comprises the full airport development, including a revision of the runway, the master plan for the landscape and planned future development thereof, the terminal building, offices, a meteorological station and the air traffic control tower.
Ben van Berkel: "The design for the new airport embraces the traveller by embodying the circumstance of the site. Moments of both leaving and returning are celebrated by the large span, open spaces and high ceiling of the terminal structure - reflecting the ways in which such gestures were employed in the great railway stations of the past."
Caroline Bos recently gave a lecture and took part in a panel discussion at ARKIMEET 2013 in Turkey.
ARKIMEET is developed as the most significant meeting platform among the architects in Turkey. With the motto "ARCHITECTS MEET in ISTANBUL", the event comprises national and international conferences and panels and award ceremonies to honor individuals and institutions which contribute to the improvement of the urban quality.
The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) will today hold its 'topping out' celebration.
Located on a site of 76,846 m2 and close to both Changi airport - Singapore’s principal airport - and the Changi Business Park, the SUTD will be Singapore’s fourth and most prestigious university.
UNStudio’s design for the new campus directly reflects SUTD’s curriculum, using the creative enterprise of the school to facilitate a cross-disciplinary interface; interaction is established between the professional world, the campus, and the community at large. The design for the campus offers an opportunity to embrace innovation and creativity through a non-linear connective relationship between students, faculty, professionals and the spaces they interact with.
Ben van Berkel: “The main aim of the design for the Singapore University of Technology and Design was to create a campus that celebrates both teaching and learning in an open and transparent way. The network of horizontal, vertical and diagonal vistas within the double quadrant organisation of the campus enables professors, students and faculty members to see, meet and communicate with each other through a network of crossing points, presenting opportunities for continuous interaction and exchange.”
Project overview: http://www.unstudio.com/projects/singapore-university-of-technology-design
Concluding their successful trade mission to Germany, the Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima yesterday paid a visit to the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. The royal couple were given a tour of the museum by Ben van Berkel and Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, before attending a dinner held at the museum.
Photo courtesy of Daimler AG
In the exhibition ‘Motion Matters’ UNStudio presents ten of their milestone projects, as well as their perspective on 25 years of architectural production, the current architectural practice, and current topics that determine the design challenge today. In the exhibition UNStudio explores the theme Mobility in Matter. In various installations the effects of perspective, light, color, space, and material on viewer perception are tested. Within transitional spaces, optical illusions such as moiré and trompe l’oeil effects are brought to contemporary public places with the aim of engaging the visitor and generating perceptual experiences.
Exhibition dates: May 17 – July 4, 2013
Opening: Friday, May 17, 2013, 6:30 PM
Location: Aedes am Pfefferberg, Christinenstr. 18-19, 10119 Berlin
Further information: Aedes Gallery >>
Ben van Berkel / UNStudio’s Seating Stones for Walter Knoll have been awarded the “red dot award 2013” in the category product design.
With its origins dating back to 1955, the red dot design award ranks among the largest and most renowned competitions in the world today. The motto of the award in 2013 was “In search for excellence”.
The sculptural Seating Stones are inspired by the rhythmic smoothness of geological formations. They offer a diversity of options for placement, as individual objects or side by side as a family of forms in a variety of configurations.
UNIQUE KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPED THROUGH BUILDING PRACTICE IS THE NEW CORE VALUE OF ARCHITECTURE BEYOND COLLABORATION TOWARDS CO-CREATION
In June this year UNStudio will launch the new organisation of its practice as an
open-source knowledge-based practice operating projects around four specialised Knowledge Platforms.
As part of the reorganisation of the studio a new interactive online knowledge platform will be launched, aimed at facilitating the open exchange of knowledge, with the ultimate goal of introducing and encouraging the expansion from a collaborative to a co-creative working model for architecture.
Whilst the architect will continue to design his or her own projects, the practice of architecture needs to adjust, to gather, edit and apply co-creative intelligence in order to create responsive architecture that is more integral, more holistic, more responsible and more intelligent.
Ben van Berkel: “From the outset at UNStudio we have continually reexamined and reevaluated our practice, with the result that at certain key moments we have recognised the need for extensive reorganisation. Now, once again, the challenging climate within the profession today has in turn challenged us to take a close look and to rethink our organisational model with the ultimate aim of improving our architecture and ensuring its relevance within contemporary conditions. However, finding ourselves unable to locate a relevant model from within the profession, we became fascinated by the new initiatives put in place by online start-up companies - such as social networking firms - who have moved from an old economy to a far more innovative economy which celebrates communication, open exchange and co-creation. Believing that architecture can benefit greatly from adopting and adapting such an approach, in recent years we have set about the reorganisation of our studio into an open knowledge-based practice.”
Last weekend (14th April 2013) Ben van Berkel and Harm Wassink of UNStudio volunteered a day of teaching at the IMC Weekendschool in Amsterdam. The IMC Weekendschool is a national organisation in the Netherlands that provides children from disadvantaged neighbourhoods with supplementary education.
In an introductory presentation by Ben van Berkel the class was informed about the profession of architecture, what the role of the architect entails and was introduced to examples of important buildings from around the world.
Practical sessions followed in which the pupils created and sketched their own designs, were instructed in measuring and understanding floor plans, worked with a detail which they believed distinguishes their own home from others and learned about the differences between 2D and 3D representations. Following the workshops the children each presented their own design to the group.
Ben van Berkel / UNStudio's new seating series 'Studio' is launched by Swedish furniture brand OFFECCT at the Salone del Mobile in Milan.
9TH - 14TH APRIL 2013, EMPORIO BUILDING IN OPIFICIO COURTYARD, VIA TORTONA 31, MILAN
UNStudio will be presenting a selection of their product and interior works at TDW 2013. The designs will be exhibited in an inviting and interactive setting of shifting perspectives in the Emporio building in Zona Tortona.
A new product series designed by Ben van Berkel / UNStudio for the furniture brand Offecct will also be launched at this year's Salone del Mobile.
In collaboration with UNStudio’s Knowledge Platforms, a programme of Platform Dialogues by specialists from within the UNStudio network will also be organised throughout the week:
DESIGNING FOR CO-CREATING
TUESDAY 9th APRIL, 11:00-12:00
How can architecture and product design contribute to co-creation? Is co-creation a romantic idea driven by the democratisation and customisation of the consumer industry, or a true reflection of contemporary working practices? What are the potential benefits of co-creating within architecture and product design? This session investigates the importance of materiality at the human scale of design. Jurgen Bey, Ben van Berkel and Leo Schouten invite design critics and writers to actively share their opinions concerning the future of co-creation. Sharing an interest in encouraging dialogue, innovation and creative exchange through design, they will discuss the process of co-creating within their own practices, as well as the designing of spaces for the accommodation of co-creation.
Ben van Berkel - Co-Founder/ Principal Architect UNStudio
Jurgen Bey - Director/ designer Studio Makkink & Bey and director PROOFFLab
Leo Schouten - Founder / director PROOFF
FRIDAY 12th APRIL, 15:00-16:00
Every day we strive to find new materials and novel uses for old ones to discover inventive, effective and sustainable solutions. In the context of this Dialogue, ‘attainability’ is the combination of research and sustainability in the pursuit of advanced materials. For this dialogue we will explore what materials can do now, and what we want them to do tomorrow.
Gabi Böhm - Senior Architect/Project Manager, Premier Composite Technologies
Micol Costi - Director of Materials Research Material Connexion Italia
Giammichele Melis - Associate Director Buro Happold
James O’Callaghan - Director Eckersley O’Callaghan Structural + Facade Engineers
Federica Sem - Managing Director Permasteelisa Interiors
SATURDAY 13th APRIL, 15.00-16.00
Whether it is as a portal to the World Wide Web or active nano-technologies, the communication between users and materials is no longer only one-way. The surfaces and objects through which we communicate and design provide new tactile and virtual feedbacks. This Dialogue will explore the current and future possibilities of Interfaces with each other and through materiality.
Markus Benz - CEO Walter Knoll
Birgit Lohmann - Associate Editor-in-Chief Designboom
Jan-Christoph Zoels - Senior Partner user experience design Experentia
If you are unable to join us please view the recordings from the Platform Dialogues at:
FURTHER DISCUSSIONS AND EVENTS IN THE EMPORIO BUILDING
Opening - Mon April 8th at 10:00
PROOFF Breakfast - Wednesday April 10th, 10:00
PROOFF Breakfast - Friday April 12th, 10:00
Connecting Items (invitation only):
'To Curate, or not to Curate' - Connecting the Dots – Wednesday April 10th, 18:30-19:15 – with Domitilla Dardi, Ingeborg De Roode and Jurgen Bey. Host: David Heldt
'Fluid Collaborations' – Thursday April 11th, 18:30-19:15 - with Caroline Bos. Further speakers to be Confirmed. Host: Max Bruinsma
UNSTUDIO AND PROOFF
UNStudio’s approach to interior and product design is based on the combination of a deep understanding and working knowledge of materials and innovative technology with distinctive spatial design strategies.
UNStudio will be showing a selection of furniture designs including, among others, the Circle Sofa, the Red Dot award winning Seating Stones and MYchair (Walter Knoll), along with the Tea & Coffee Towers and the Switch Tray (Alessi). The pieces will be displayed in a spatial installation featuring large scale photographs of UNStudio interiors. By moving through the pavilion, shifting perspectives appear, demonstrating the visual and spatial effects of new, more dynamic, materializations.
At the same time and in the same space innovative furniture brand PROOFF will present their range of products and launch PROOFFlab. UNStudio and PROOFF will each exhibit their work in distinct yet reciprocal installations in the Emporio building. The presentations illustrate the collaborative nature of both practices and their shared interest in encouraging dialogue, innovation and creative exchange.
UNStudio and PROOFF will each exhibit their work in distinct yet reciprocal installations in the Emporio building at the Salone del Mobile in April. In addition, a series of presentations and workshops will be organised by both the UNStudio Knowledge Platforms and PROOFlab throughout the week.
The AIA Jury of Honorary Fellows announced on Friday that Ben van Berkel has been elected as an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
The AIA Honorary Fellowship programme was developed as the international counterpart to the Fellowship programme. Honorary fellowship is bestowed on architects of esteemed character and distinguished achievements who are neither U.S. citizens nor U.S. residents, and who do not primarily practice architecture within the domain of the Institute.
Election to honorary fellowship not only recognises the achievements of the foreign architect as an individual, but also elevates before the international public and the profession a model architect who has made a significant contribution to architecture and society on an international level. The Honorary Fellowship is among the highest honours the AIA can bestow upon a colleague who has contributed significantly to architecture and society.
Ben van Berkel will receive the Honorary Fellowship and medal during the Investiture of Fellows and Honorary Fellows to be held on Friday, June 21, 2013 in Denver.