small WAN logo 15 January 2013
Issue 417
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World Architecture Day 2013 to be hosted in New York by AIANY
Sian Disson reports from WAN in London...
Following on from the success of WAN's inaugural World Architecture Day event in London last year, we're delighted to announce that
World Architecture Day 2013 (WAD 2013) will be held in New York in partnership with the American
Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY). 2012's engaging event revolved around the theme Better Cities, Better Lives; in 2013 we'll be looking at the past, present and future of international architecture. WAN's Editor in Chief Michael Hammond explains: "We're delighted to be partnering with AIANY for this year's World Architecture Day, building on the success of the inaugural London event last year and taking the concept forward to even greater heights. WAD 2013 will provide a fantastic platform to showcase award winning architecture. It's particularly exciting for us in the WAN newsroom as our largest readership is in the US; we're really looking forward to meeting the architects we have been working with over the past seven years. In many ways, it will be like coming home."... Read more
Top stories this week
1 H-House (Hyun Deok Jae), Seongbuk-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The H-House (Hyun Deok Jae) by Sae Min Oh of Bang by Min is a 404 sq m home in Seongbuk-dong, Seoul. The angular property was the recipient of several high profile awards last year for its exception interior and exterior design, including the 30th Seoul Architecture Prize and the 16th Korea Interior Design Awards... Read more
2 Rem Koolhaas to curate Venice Biennale 2014
At a meeting of the Board of the Biennale di Venezia it was announced that OMA founder Rem Koolhaas will curate the 2014 International Architecture Exhibition in Venice. Speaking on the official announcement, Koolhaas commented: "We want to give a new look to the basic elements of architecture - used by any architect, anywhere and... Read more
3 Chengdu Tianfu Cultural and Performance Centre, Chengdu, China
An international competition to design a 110,000 sq m cultural centre in Chengdu, China has been won by Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas of Studio Fuksas. The design duo will see construction begin on their concept for Chengdu Tianfu Cultural and Performance Centre in the next couple of months... Read more
4 Book Mountain, Spijkenisse, Netherlands
Officially opened in October 2012, MVRDV's Book Mountain in Spijkenisse, the Netherlands has been nominated for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture Mies van der Rohe Award 2013. Presented every two years to an exemplary architecture project in the European Union, the highly regarded prize celebrates... Read more
5 Iceberg, Quartier des spectacles, Montreal, Canada
It is undeniable that the human race is becoming ever more energy-dependent and that this drain on our resources is having a detrimental effect on the global climate. Almost every week we are presented with a new theory or update from climatic experts who warn us of rising sea levels and the effects of greenhouse gases.... Read more
View All Entries: WAN Sustainable Building of the Year Award
Dr Mike Entwisle: Do standard solutions reach the required standard?
Having been involved in the environmental design of schools for over 15 years, I have seen the sector emerge from old style PFI projects and adding extensions to clapped out buildings, through the first glossy academies of the early 2000s and BSF projects, and on to the cash straitened times in which we now live. Like many people, I am concerned that the policies of the current government may drive us back to the bad old days. I am also struggling to
work out how the policy of devolving education and curricula to a variety of types of providers - including individual and grouped Academies and Free Schools - in premises which range from purpose built schools to refurbished police stations can fit with a move to standardise the layouts of the schools themselves.

The reaction of the market to the limited cash is patchy. Some schemes are still of a reasonable quality, but others are very poor and do not represent good value, and may in turn be replaced sooner than should be the case. The flexibility of many designs to allow different learning methods is limited and the narrow corridors which are now reappearing may increase schools' management requirements if circulation issues are not to result in conflicts and flashpoints. It is notable that some of the framework contractors are not bidding for the projects, as they perceive that the available funding will not allow them to deliver a product of an appropriate standard. Many reputable designers are also turning their backs on the market for the foreseeable future. Maybe this is what Michael Gove wanted?

However, while many of the Academy and BSF school buildings completed under the last government were of an excellent standard and did a lot to allow education to develop, there are also quite a few which have significant issues. The procurement routes were expensive and wasteful (as many of us designers complained at the time!). In many instances the schools were fashioned around the ideas of a head teacher, who often left shortly after (or sometimes before) the building was completed, resulting in a bespoke solution which may not suit the new leadership. Some common problems are technical; poor ventilation and summertime overheating occur over and over again; the lack of awareness of the basics of sound environmental design in some designs beggars belief, and does nothing for our reputation as an industry which is capable of producing some of the finest designs anywhere in the world. An example of a more subtle issue is how the circulation of students around the building can change as the curriculum and timetabling of a school evolve over the years.

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Top 12 of 2012:
Art Installations in Sydney
Amsterdam leads the
way in becoming a Smart City
During 2012, Sydney saw various Public Art Festivals including: Vivid Sydney (May - June 2012); 18th Biennale of Sydney (June - Sept 2012); Art and About (Sept - Oct 2012); and Sculptures by the sea (Oct 2012) One Planet Living emphasises on reviving the local cultural heritage that is being lost throughout the world due to globalisation, by supporting and participating in the arts.
At the World Smart Cities Forum in Barcelona 2012, the city of Amsterdam won the World Smart Cities Awards for its Open Data Program for transport and mobility. The award, created to find the best projects and innovative cities, enhances the development of the cities of the future, where good living conditions, innovation, creativity and an efficient government
The various installations we saw this year in Sydney, both inside and outside, created opportunity for the community to interact, reflect and share the ideas, creativity and culture. Both local and global artists, by use of innovative ideas and at times high-tech technologies, presented some very fine installations lifting up the 'spirit of art' among Sydney-siders. The long queue at circular quay for ferry to Cockatoo Island and always full forecourt of MCA and Custom house during Vivid Sydney 2012 were among the few proofs... Read more are priorities. The winning Dutch scheme aims to improve the accessibility of Amsterdam. DIVV, Amsterdam's department for Infrastructure, Traffic and Transportation, won the award for its innovative products and services in the field of mobility. Since March 2012, DIVV has made available all its data on traffic and transportation to interested parties. Public data ranges from parking availability, taxi stands and cycle paths, as well as, live traffic updates are available on main roads across the city... Read more
Images from The View from The Shard
As you will doubtless be aware by now, the official opening of Renzo Piano's latest contribution to London's skyline, The Shard, is rapidly approaching. The 309.6m-high tower is being sold as a 'vertical town' in the heart of England's capital, rising sharply above London Bridge Station into a series of raw points which don't quite meet. In preparation of the grand opening of The View from The Shard - sky-high observation galleries on the building's 68th-72nd floors - developer Sellar Property Group and London Bridge Quarter
have released a series of astounding images taken from the long-awaited viewing platform. It is imagined that The View from The Shard will become one of the city's greatest tourist attractions with visitors enjoying 360 degree views stretching 40 miles.

Renzo Piano was not only responsible for the external design of The Shard but also, to an extent, for the internal exhibition. He explains: "London is a city of inspiration and imagination. When we designed The Shard, a viewing gallery was part of our thinking right from the start.

"We wanted to create a public space where people could visit the building to experience London in a different way and also feel that they have discovered the spirit of the building. Level 72 is a wonderful example of this: in the open air on the highest habitable floor, you are surrounded by the shards of glass as well as the sights, sounds, elements and atmosphere of the city below. On top of the city, but also within in."

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