The Monthly European Architectural Newsletter - February 2012
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Crossed looks on architecture

Multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, crossdisciplinary architecture: these three concepts involve the variety of disciplines which are at the base of each project. If the first word refers to an association of disciplines to work together for a common achievement, the second one, more ambitious, also means a team work, but the effort concentrates more on the cooperation between the different members. Each partners’ look contributes to the group. The last concept connects the disciplines to each other by cultivating “an interior soil where subjective looks and objective data are associated like microorganisms in humus” This schematic definition leads to the question of architecture’s specificity which like all creation process refers to different knowledges in permanent evolution. The use of tools able to redefine the ways of working together is an essential component of architecture. Perhaps must one look for the specificity of architecture in its finality: transform the reality with a strong imprint on the real? This imprint is the result of a development involving varied knowledge and know-how. The selection criteria of the Audi Urban Future Award launched in 2010 was the capacity of the architectural studios to achieve crossdisciplinary projects and to transcribe their ideas in pertinent aesthetic forms. The winner was no one else than Jürgen Mayer, our portrait of the month. His practice is fed with artistic installations, with a predilection for technical challenges - the vast wooden structure about to become the symbol of the town of Seville is a nice example - and with the development of new materials. The latter illustrate the substance release and the new structuring approaches, feasible thanks to computers. One remembers also the Water Cube with a translucent skin almost organic (Chris Bosse, PTW Architects & Arup), one of the highlights of the Peking Olympic Games. These projects reveal a deep swing between the look and the use. As such, the interaction with digital arts where image becomes substance is still widely to be explored.

The ArchiWorld® team

Portrait of the month

1. Jürgen Mayer H.

2. Mensa

3. Danfoss Universe

4. Dupli.Casa

5. Aéroport de Mestia

6. SBC – Sarpi Border Checkpoint

7. Metropol Parasol

8. Palais de Justice de Hasselt
J. Mayer H. Architects, Berlin

Noticed for his visionary conceptions, the German Architect Jürgen Mayer H shows his cross disciplinary approach by basing his work on the communication and the relation between human body, technology and nature.

Born in Stuttgart, Jürgen Mayer H (°1965) is the author of the famous Metropol Parasol, a strong and peculiar construction in the heart of Seville, inaugurated last year. Winner of an international contest, the architect designs with poetry astonishing parasols in a wooden canopy developed at the city’s roof level. Let’s come back for a moment to his career. After studying at the Stuttgart University, at the Cooper Union of New York and at Princeton University, Jürgen Mayer H founded his agency in Berlin in 1966.It soon becomes famous for the strong cultural content of its projects. La Mensa Moltke, “elastic” space at the centre of the Karlsruhe University and Dupli Casa near Ludwigsburg with a sophisticated envelop in immaculate coated concrete are two projects with unusual forms immediately catching the eye. In Georgia, the original profile of the new Mestia airport building, medieval town included in the UNESCO World Heritage list, is part of an ambitious plan to develop tourism in the area. In the same country at the Turkish border on the Black Sea shore, a customs checkpoint shelters a range of cantilevering terraces. The tower is used as a viewing platform, with multiple levels, overlooking the water and the steep part of the coastline. In Denmark, the two buildings with irregular outline erected in the Danfoss Universe science park serve also as limit between landscape and green spaces on one side and constructions and technology on the other. The architect imagined them as two huge earth clods springing from the soil. Their silhouette is intriguing, encouraging observation and discovery, whilst respecting the spirit of the science park, especially created to stimulate knowledge.

With office and residential spaces, the four new buildings in the historical centre of Jena (Germany) allow for free access through the park. Their placement on the outer edges of the plot defines a small-scale outdoor space congruent with the medieval city structure. As to the imposing new Justice Palace of Hasselt (Belgium), in cooperation with a20 architecten /Lens°Ass architects (Twins) and the Eurostation engineering company, it fits very well into the cultural identity of the city. The central part has a “tree” form, respecting the city’s emblem. In Germany, the Jürgen Mayer H Architects office is presently active on an Urban development block with a high rise for office, hotel, wellness and commercial use in the Quartier M in Düsseldorf. With a work which fascinates by its strange beauty, Jürgen Mayer H has received many honours, among which a special Mention for Emerging Architects Mies van der Rohe Award (2003) and the International Architecture Prize from the Athenaeum in Chicago (2009).

Habitual elements at the basis of his work, the encrypted numbers and dates in Data Protection Pattern (DPP) serve to create numerous buildings, drawings, objects or astonishing installations. 3D models can thereby translate in concrete forms motives in two dimensions. These considerably enlarged repetitive elements are clearly present in Mayer’s façade designed for the “The Street” exhibition now taking place at the Hong Kong Urban and Architecture Biennale. If the architect concentrates on the digital technology, the starting point is however an existing urban environment. The results achieved are quite interesting and unexpected. Technology does not determine results but becomes a tool for the opening of new urban spaces to multiple interventions. A way to conceive this technology is to help to humanize our too densely populated cities.

1. Jürgen Mayer H.

2. Mensa (Karlsruhe, Germany 2006)

Located in the centre of the Karlsruhe University campus, the building links the university, the urban network and the Hardtwad forest.
© photo David Franck

3. Danfoss Universe (Nordborg, Denmark 2007)

The two buildings, including an exhibition hall (Curiosity Centre) and a restaurant (Food Factory), exceed their function as a container becoming an emblem, an attraction, a reference.

4. Dupli.Casa (Ludwigsburg, Germany 2008)
Built in the Neckar Valley (Germany), the house strikes on the green landscape by its blazing whiteness. It is a 2000 sqm villa, full of curves, with many patios and counter-slopes.

5. Aéroport de Mestia (Georgia, 2010)
Largely glazed, the building was designed and constructed within three months.
© photo J. Mayer H.

6. SBC – Sarpi Border Checkpoint (Georgia, 2011)
This unusual construction is a proof of Georgia’s evolution and its desire to be seen and acknowledged by everyone.

7. Metropol Parasol (Seville, Spain 2011)
Erected in the medieval centre of the city, a large canopy shelters a new covered market and the presentation of archaeology excavations, whilst giving a new life to the sleeping square. With the architect’s creativity, an extraordinary technical expertise has been developed by the engineers of Arup and the Finnforest company to root these giant mushrooms made of glued Kerto-Q laminated veneer lumber panels.

8. Palais de Justice de Hasselt (Belgium 2011)
Aiming to revitalise the area around the Hasselt Station, the building was designed as a sustainable energy consumption construction. There is a double façade with glass, concrete, wood and some aluminium claddings.
Project of the month

Les Grandes Tables de l’île, Paris

Architect: 1024 Architecture

With an architecture which must be able to disappear without leaving any traces, the tandem Pierre Schneider and François Wunschel wrong-footed the codes and fundamental mission of the profession.

Settled on the island Seguin, in the middle of a garden, this short-lived restaurant intends to reoccupy the space pending the implementation of Jean Nouvel’s macro-project. This temporary dimension opens a field for expression and stimulating liberty whilst shaking the rules and constraints of perennial projects which often limit creativity. Between barge and agricultural greenhouse, oil platform and wooden house, Pierre Schneider and François Wunschel’s building is voluntarily hybrid. Indeed, a big wooden fibre box insulating the restaurant hangs in a scaffolding structure, to which are hooked some freight containers. The whole sheltered by a transparent cover. This astonishing combination put on a 300 sqm land is striking. The starred chef Arnaud Daguin works there. The restaurant occasionally can be sublimated by video and lightning effects. For 1024 Architecture they are not at their first try to link the built and virtual worlds. This inventiveness mixing low and high tech in the same movement comes across the tool range used by the two designers, trained at the Strasburg Architecture School: “We use many simple, unprocessed and standardized materials most often coming from the building site or linked to industrialisation, transport and conditioning processes. In our catalogue of preferred materials you will find scaffoldings, containers, wood forms, pallets, building site nets, plastic used in conditioning and on asbestos removal sites. Our predilection technology is naturally video projection and especially mapping which means projecting directly on a 3D volume instead of a flat screen, but we like all products generating light, from leds to lasers as well as simple building site neon light” Everything now being digital, how not to see in the pixelized and shot-lived architecture of 1024 Architecture the symbol of a new acceleration of the virtual world?
Product of the month

Personalized glass creations: CREA-LITE®

CREA-LITE® gets its particular appearance from the reforming of glass under a high temperature. CREA-LITE® can come in both translucent and opaque colors.

Other non-standard CREA-LITE® techniques are possible.

CREA-LITE® is suitable for translucent and opaque applications, both as exterior and interior glazing.

• personalization
• unique aesthetic appearance
• special lighting effects
• security: hardened and heat-soaked as standard

Watch here some projects in following applications


Competitions in the spotlight
The first worldwide architecture contest for students in architecture Archi-World® Academy Award (AWA) 2011/2013: "Energy-saving projects and ideas for the future of architecture and urbanism".

Click here to see the Archi-World® Academy Trailer

Click here to register!
___________________________ __________________________________________________
MosBuild (2-5 and 10-13 April 2012) is proud to launch its first international contest in architecture. The competition is open to young architects (max 45 years) and students in architecture worldwide.

Click here to register!
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The Piscine 2012 international exhibition is launching Pool Vision 2012, an international architecture and interior design competition, in collaboration with Archi-Europe.

Pool Vision 2012 is open to all qualified architects, interior designers, pool designers from any country.

Click here to register!
Event in the spotlight
Ecobuild your future

Ecobuild is the world’s biggest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment and the UK’s largest construction event of any kind.

• More than 1,500 exhibitors
• Over 130 free seminars
• Free conference - three streams every day
• Renowned & influential speakers
• Dozens of interactive attractions and live demonstrations

Visit Archi-Europe stand S1001

Álvaro Siza – von der linie zum raum
(> 4/03/2012) - Neuss (DE)
(1 – 11/03/2012) Brussels (BE)
(6 – 9/03/2012) Cannes (FR)
(27 – 30/03/2012) - Milan (IT)
(20 – 22/03/2012) - London (UK)
(2 -5 & 10-13/04/2012) Moscow (RU)
Månedens Design
(> 12/03/2012) Oslo (NO)
>> read more
Deadline: 01/03/2012
MADA - Mosbuild Architecture and Design Awards
Deadline: 15/03/2012
Poolvision 2012
Deadline: 31/05/2012
Archi-World® Academy Awards 2011-2013
Deadline: 30/10/2012
>> read more

Eco-Urban Design
John A. Flannery & Karen M. Smith

232 pages
€ 22.68
ISBN 9789400703681
>> read more
Construire pour tous
Accessibilité en architecture

236 pages
€ 35.00
Editions Eyrolles
ISBN: 9782212123968
>> read more
Hong Kong Fantasies Challenging World-Class City Standards

176 pages
€ 25.00
NAI Publishers
ISBN 978-90-5662-764-5
>> read more

© 2012 ArchiWorld
Responsible Editor: Jacques Allard
Chief Editor: Marie-Claire Regniers

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