Keep informed about projects, recent developments and other interesting stuff.
UNStudio have designed a new urban campus for the city centre of Amsterdam
The tip of Oosterdokseiland in Amsterdam will be a lively environment where people can meet, inspire, live, work and play. Yesterday, the developer BPD agreed to complete the realisation of this area. Spanning 225,000 m², Oosterdokseiland is one of the largest urban projects in Western Europe. The last sub-plan consists of a social hub, specifically designed to encourage encounters, and includes 72,500 m2 of total space for public facilities, apartments and additional office space for Booking.com. It is hoped that the area will be in use by the end of 2020.
Ben van Berkel: “The design for this fully integrated new urban campus is envisioned as a highly multifunctional living and working environment, enriched with special amenity and public
programmes. The urban gesture of the building weaves together with the existing streets, while the east side of the building will become a recognisable emblem for Oosterdok.”
The development of the area was started over fifteen years ago. Through perseverance and a strong belief in the area - and despite a slowdown in its development over recent years owing to challenging economic conditions - planning is now underway for the last two lots. Oosterdokseiland is an inspiring mix of living, working, studying, recreation and entertainment for residents and visitors to Amsterdam. In recent years companies including Vodafone, TomTom and Takeaway.com have settled here. Facilities such as the Conservatory, the Public Library, a hotel and a broad range of restaurants and cafes make the area attractive to a wide audience.
The Royal Institute of Dutch Architects has awarded its highest honour, the annual Kubus Award, to Ben van Berkel & Caroline Bos for their ‘exceptional contribution to architecture’.
Extract from the jury report:
The jury concluded that Van Berkel and Bos, together with their UNStudio team, are more than deserved winners of the 2016 BNA Kubus. 'No one controls the creative and technical process better than UNStudio. They prove that in-depth research pays off, as does network-driven collaboration with professionals in the fields of architecture, infrastructure and urban development. The cutting-edge nature and absolute craftsmanship of their body of work makes it both exemplary and innovative.’
Extract from the BNA announcement:
The jury’s decision was based on three criteria: excellent craftsmanship, a recognisable and innovative body of work, and a relevant contribution to the profession. Great attention to detail and execution is clearly visible in all the works.
Another factor that is in Van Berkel and Bos’s favour is the major contribution they make to dialogue and theory development within the profession. They do so by, among other things, participating in debates, giving lectures, teaching at architecture faculties abroad, and through their many publications.
The BNA Kubus is the highest honour bestowed by the Royal Institute of Dutch Architects (abbreviated as BNA). The prize is awarded to persons or institutions that have made an exceptional contribution to architecture in the Netherlands. This year, the Kubus will be presented for the 41st time.
The Kubus was awarded on the recommendation of a jury made up of Nathalie de Vries (chair), Steven Nobel, Ton Idsinga, Wienke Bodewes, Willem Hein Schenk and Willem Jan Neutelings. The presentation ceremony will take place on 3 November in Amsterdam.
An exhibition celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Erasmus Bridge, ‘The Swan of Rotterdam’, will take place at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam from 3rd Sept to 20th Nov 2016.
On this occasion we will also celebrate the launch of 'Knowledge Matters', the new book by Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos.
'The Swan of Rotterdam. 20 Years Erasmus Bridge'
2016 marks twenty years since the opening of the Erasmus Bridge. Celebrating this milestone anniversary, UNStudio, the Kunsthal and Heerema Group have organised an exhibition demonstrating the many and varied ways that the bridge has been embraced by the public and become a symbol of the city of Rotterdam.
The exhibition was curated with the help of the public, who have provided personal exhibits in the form of photos, stories and unique objects that are all linked in different ways to the Erasmus Bridge.
‘The Swan of Rotterdam. 20 Years Erasmus Bridge’ will run until November 20th, 2016 at the Kunsthal Rotterdam, Museumpark, Westzeedijk 341, 3015 AA Rotterdam
Launch 'Knowledge Matters'
Written by Ben van Berkel & Caroline Bos and published by Frame Publishers, 'Knowledge Matters' is an exploration into a more agile form of practice - one that is scalable, relevant and opens conversations about the future of the discipline in the context of today’s knowledge sharing society.
'Knowledge Matters' will be published by Frame Publishers on Sept 1st 2016 and is available now for pre-order (with 20% discount) via the Frame Store.
The companion app / Interactive book, 'Spaces of Flow - Arnhem Central Station', will also be available for iPad on the App Store from Sept 1st.
Further information and sample pages can be found here: www.unstudiobook.com
Following an international competition to design the main Samsung showcase at the Olympic Park Pavilion, UNStudio was engaged to develop a design that builds on the brand’s history with the Olympic Games.
The showcase exemplifies the theatre of multi-sensorial experiences that become possible when culture meets commerce. Providing an immersive retail experience that shifts from
transaction to entertainment, the Samsung studio invites the visitor to experience the brand through storytelling and the simulation of real-world experiences. At once a theatre and a gallery, the pavilion demonstrates what we can look forward to in the future of retail.
Project overview >>>
•Release: 1st September 2016
•Written by Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos
•Graphic Design by Proxi Design (Rein Steger)
•250 x 220 mm
•400 pages / full colour / soft cover
•Price: €29 - Pre-order with 20% discount available from Aug 15th from the Frame Store
UNStudio has created the exhibition design for the Cobra Museum's 'Constant. Space + Colour. From Cobra to New Babylon' exhibition.
The exhibition runs from May 28th until Sept 25th 2016 at the Cobra Museum in Amstelveen.
The concept for the exhibition design is based in the exploratory processes in Constant's work and creates a labyrinthine route through the exhibition, allowing visitors to experience the chronology of Constant's development through choreographed sight lines and spatial relationships. The design for the exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to discover unexpected relationships in the works, that span the period from 1952 to 1959.
Breakfast Session - “We work for tomorrow’s world”:
On the morning of Tuesday June 7th, from 7:30 to 9:00 AM there will be a Breakfast Session at the museum with Ben van Berkel and the Mayor and Aldermen of Amstelveen City Council.
Ben van Berkel will give the kickoff of a series of cross-sectoral meetings focused on research, reflection and debate with the various parties responsible for the organisation of the Netherlands in the future.
For further information about this event please contact the Cobra Museum.
Photo: @Tom Haartsen
In a collaboration with furniture brand PROOFF, we have researched the paradigm shift of the next generation of workers and the impact it will have on the design of the working environment and furniture concepts.
For the Clerkenwell Design Week 2016 we have together developed a VR experience free of the constraints that regular design processes face, taking workspace design to the next level.
Arnhem Central Station has been selected by the jury as the winner of the Architizer A+ Awards 2016 in the category Bus & Train Stations.
Ben van Berkel: “The Architizer A+ Awards are renowned internationally. This accolade by the jury places Arnhem Central - in only its first year of operation - among a select group of acclaimed
train stations and places it firmly on the map as a destination for architecture lovers. This award is also fantastic recognition for everyone involved in the completion of the station."
Zaha was a very great friend and colleague. When I was at the AA, she was an enormously influential, inspiring and encouraging tutor. In more recent years, she had become a truly great friend who I will dearly miss. She was a formidable force and influence within the profession. Her strength and determination were
second to none and what she has done for women in architecture will never be forgotten. My heartfelt sympathies go out to her family, friends and of course, her studio at this incredibly difficult time.
Ben van Berkel
Image source: @bbcarts
UNStudio’s winning concept for the former Deutsche Bank site in Frankfurt proposes a mixed-use development comprising offices, apartments, hotels, retail, gastro and open public spaces. Four high-rise towers, up to 228 metres in height, will provide approximately 600 new apartments for the new city centre district.
The main towers will become the highest residential and office buildings in Frankfurt, whilst the varied programme proposed for the plinth will invigorate the financial district.
Tailored lighting scenarios for activating the urban realm
Designed by Ben van Berkel / UNStudio for Zumtobel, Nightsight is a versatile new modular lighting system which aims to improve the quality, accessibility, usability and security of public spaces after dark.
Focusing on individual requirements in urban spaces, Nightsight provides architects and lighting designers with new opportunities for task-specific illumination of paths, squares, roads and façades.
Nightsight will be launched by Zumtobel at Light + Building this week (13th to 18th March 2016) in Frankfurt am Main (hall 2.0, stand B30/31)
For further information on Zumtobel and Light + Building 2016, or to register for a guided tour of the stand, please go to http://www.lightbuilding2016.zumtobel.com/de/zumtobel
Designed for ProWinko and in collaboration with Beligian architects Jaspers-Eyers, Le Toison d’Or - UNStudio’s first completed project in Belgium - celebrates its opening in Brussels today.
Located on the Avenue de la Toison d'Or, the complex is a hybridisation of a traditional building-block typology and a mixed-use development with a retail podium.
Le Toison d'Or contains 72 apartments (from 50 to 750 m2), 13,000 m2 of commercial space, a 1040 m2 crèche, 330 parking spaces and an elevated city garden of 2,950 m2.
Ben van Berkel: “It was important that the retail units be as open and light as possible. We wanted to contrast this with the apparent solidity of the upper floors, to create the illusion that the vertical balloon-like frames were carrying the building; as if the whole block almost has the potential to float above the avenue.”
Tuesday 8 December 2015
On December 8th, UNStudio and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Tbilisi State Academy of the Arts, and Studio L held an all-day seminar in Tbilisi, Georgia. Dutch and Georgian professionals, architects, students, designers and politicians reflected on a key question of the day, ‘What will Tbilisi be like in ten years’ time?’ Topics including historic preservation, disappearing public space, mobility and the city were discussed with the aim to exchange experiences from both Dutch and Georgian perspectives. Moderated by architectural curator Chris Luth, the seminar featured speeches by Caroline Bos (Co-Founder UNStudio), Mark Vernooij (General Manager THNK, The School of Creative Leadership), Lena Kiladze (Founder Studio L, Professor Tbilisi State Academy of Arts), Jeroen ter Haar (ABT Engineering), and Gogi Sulaberidze (Former Chief Architect Tbilisi, Tbilisi City Council, Founder, Art Studio).
The National Georgian newspaper Georgia Today published an article on the event: ‘UNStudio Helping Georgian Architects and Designers Dream for the Future’. The journalist Robert Isaf concluded that “Old Tbilisi courtyards might not be sprouting Portmanesque sky gardens ten years from now, and the ambitious riverside plans showcased or peripheral neighborhood designs – which really are being professionally discussed – might not have the transformative effect we hope. But thinking about Tbilisi as the city we want it to be is a good way to start off getting there”.
The interactive seminar comprised discussion of approaches from both Dutch and Georgian practices, including lessons learned and possible architectural and urban solutions for future inspiration. The day started with an introduction by Chris Luth, followed by a lecture by Lena Kiladze on ‘Preservation versus Transformation of the Historical City’ and a presentation by Caroline Bos ‘Mobility+: Spaces of Flow’. Mark Vernooij then kicked off a reframing workshop, followed by lectures by Gogi Sulaberidze and Jeroen ter Haar. The seminar was concluded by another workshop session with Mark Vernooij and a plenary closing discussion between moderator Chris Luth and all workshop participants.
Friday 30 October 2015
UNStudio’s design for Terminal 3 of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport was awarded 2nd prize amongst the shortlisted competitors Rogers Stirk Harbour and Fosters + Partners. Terminal 3 at Taoyuan airport is planned to accommodate 45 million passengers a year. UNStudio’s design challenges the accepted utilitarian approach to airport design in an effort to propose a new global standard for an efficient, sustainable, flexible and innovative terminal model.
The airport typology revisited
With a core team, comprising Bio-Architecture Formosana from Taipei, April Yang Design Studio from Ohio, and a multidisciplinary consultant team - UNStudio reexamines the airport typology through careful analysis of the existing terminals at Taoyuan, whilst anticipating airport operational requirements, infrastructure and the spatial constraints of the site.
Using personal travel experience as a starting point, UNStudio felt that in recent times airport architecture has become rigidly prescribed as a typology with excessive and monotonous use of space. Michael Speaks (jury member and Dean and Professor at Syracuse University) stressed that 'UNStudio offered the most innovative design concept'. He expressed that 'the entire jury agreed that UNStudio's airport design was the one they would want to experience most'. With ‘place making’ at the central core of the design concept, UNStudio strived to distinguish its design from a generic solution by designing for the users and by creating an interior ecology that is entirely distinct from the look and feel of comparable airports.
UNStudio’s design is characterised by its efficiency, short walking distances and optimised airport functions following the principles of natural wayfinding. A small footprint and enough area for landsite construction allow for a quick building assembly with a prefabrication strategy. All of which contribute to a simple, fast paced, sustainable and effective implementation of the overall design strategy.
To celebrate the completion of Arnhem Central Station, a new book “Arnhem. A Station with a Twist” (language: Dutch) will be available in bookstores in the Netherlands from November 19th - the day of the official opening.
“Arnhem. A Station with a Twist” charts the history of the redevelopment of the station and details the succession of challenges that were met during the 18 year long adventure. Containing in-depth details about the design and interviews with the numerous stakeholders,
the book tells the story of a collaborative endeavor between multiple parties, the challenges they faced, the solutions they found and the courage and commitment it took to deliver the project without compromising the original design.
This publication is an initiative from UNStudio, ProRail and bouwcombinatie Ballast Nedam – BAM. Plans are also afoot to publish an English version in the near future.