1 Heatherwick Studio
Established by Thomas Heatherwick in 1994, Heatherwick Studio is recognised for its work in architecture, urban infrastructure, sculpture, design and strategic thinking. Today a team of 140, including architects, designers and makers work from a combined studio and workshop in Kings Cross, London.At the heart of the studio’s work is a profound commitment to finding innovative design solutions, with a dedication to artistic thinking and the latent potential of materials and craftsmanship. This is achieved through a working methodology of collaborative rational inquiry, undertaken in a spirit of curiosity and experimentation.In the nineteen years of its existence, Heatherwick Studio has worked in many countries, with a wide range of commissioners and in a variety of regulatory environments. Through this experience, the studio has acquired a high level of expertise in the design and realisation of unusual projects, with a particular focus on the large scale.The studio’s work includes a number of nationally significant projects for the UK, including the award-winning UK Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010, the Olympic Cauldron for the London 2012 Olympic Games, and the New Bus for London.
Following a tradition that began with the Great Exhibition of 1851, World Expo is a vast international fair in which countries participate by creating themed pavilions, representing their nation’s technology, culture and achievements. In 2010, the event was held in Shanghai, China. With more than 200 countries taking part, it was the largest ever Expo. The competition to design the United Kingdom’s pavilion was won by a team led by Heatherwick Studio. Like the other western countries, the UK’s site was the size of a football pitch but, unlike those countries, the budget given to the project was much smaller. In addition, our brief was that the UK’s pavilion must be one of the expo’s “top five” most popular attractions.
2 Holl, Steven
The Museum of Ocean and Surf (Cité de l’Océan et du Surf) explores both surf and sea and their role upon our leisure, science and ecology. The design by Steven Holl Architects in collaboration with Solange Fabiao is the winning scheme from an international competition that included the offices of Enric Miralles/Benedetta Tagliabue, Brochet Lajus Pueyo, Bernard Tschumi and Jean-Michel Willmotte.
The building form derives from the spatial concept “under the sky”/“under the sea”. A concave “under the sky” shape forms the character of the main exterior space, the “Place de l’Océan.” The convex structural ceiling forms the “under the sea” exhibition spaces. The building’s spatial qualities are experienced already at the entrance where the lobby and ramps give a broad aerial view of the exhibition areas, as they pass along the dynamic curved surface that is animated by moving image and light.
The precise integration of concept and topography gives the building a unique profile. Towards the ocean, the concave form of the building plaza is extended through the landscape. With slightly cupped edges, the landscape, a mix of field and local vegetation, is a continuation of the building and will host festivals and daily events that are integrated with the museum facilities.
Two “glass boulders”, which contain the restaurant and the surfer’s kiosk, activate the central outdoor plaza and connect analogically to the two great boulders on the beach in the distance. The glass boulders can be reached through the main entry lobby, which connects the street level to the cafeteria and surfer’s kiosk, and but are also accessible independently through the plaza, which serves as a main gathering space open to the public. The museum store is located at the intermediate level of the exhibition spaces, with direct access to the entry lobby and the auditorium. The more intimate restaurant and the elevated outdoor terrace are at the top level of the museum, providing open ocean views.
The exterior of the building is a textured white concrete made of aggregates from the south of France. Materials of the plaza are a progressive variation of Portuguese cobblestones paving with grass and natural vegetation. A combination of insulated glass units with clear and acid-etched layers animates the visual dynamics enhancing interior comfort. The interior of the main space is white plaster and a wooden floor provides under-floor wiring flexibilities.
3 Sou Fujimoto
Visionary architect Sou Fujimoto creates surprising new buildings. Born in 1971, the University of Tokyo graduate established his practice in 2000. He is the recipient of numerous international awards, including the AR's Emerging Architecture Prize and Rice Design Alliance's Spotlight Prize. He's also the frontrunner at global design competitions. In 2013, he was appointed designer of the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. Fujimoto's innovative architecture inhabits a space between nature and artificiality. We focus on one of the most important architects coming to prominence worldwide.
4 Mario Botta
Mario Botta, contemporary architect, lives in Ticino, a small canton in southern Switzerland, in an extraordi narily beautiful landscape separated by the Alps from the rest of Switzerland. Most of his projects have been built within a few miles of Lugano where Mario Botta works. This area reflects Switzerland's peculiar situation: politically it is Swiss, yet culturally it is Italian. This setting has somehow produced an unusual empathy between the architects practicing here, and has inspired what Mario Botta describes as "a love for one's own habitat, in a constructive tradition which is extremly rigorous and closely fitted to the minimal contitions and demands of living'.
5 The Architecture of Future
The exhibition includes works by Yona Friedman, one of the first to examine issues of urban planning at a global scale, and one of many people who influenced the futurologist movement of the 1960s. His research included prospective urban forms that would encourage a “free and continuous circulation of people and information.” These theories gave rise to subsequent urban visions, including Superstudio’s Continuous Monument series, which envisioned monuments that would impose a rational order on the natural environment. Viewed alongside later drawings, scale models and photomontages, the exhibition documents how architects have considered new urban landscapes, from the optimism of the “Pop years” to the looming visions of megastructures in the late 1960s.
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3 D D A ( p a r t I )
Today we had to build out of bambou sticks a structure and cover it. It was a group exercise. I was surprised by how quick it was to build that structure. I enjoyed joining together the elements. It was a playful experience. But my favorite part was when we had to draw the work we build and try to give it a contexte, a life with collage and drawing. It gave a whole different vision to our work. A structure became a building, a house, an office, a parcel... It gave it a new dimension. That process was quite fascinating.