small WAN logo 20 November 2012
Issue 411
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Libeskind's Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin officially opens
'Hear the truth, whoever speaks it'. These are the words emblazoned across the façade of Daniel Libeskind's latest major project, the Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin, an institution he extended
some eleven years ago with a glittering angular expansion project that received mixed praise. Translated into English, German, Hebrew, Arabic and Judeo-Arabic, this provocative quote from medieval Jewish scholar and philosopher Moses Maimonides welcomes visitors as they stroll across
the piazza which links the existing Jewish Museum Berlin and Libeskind's latest addition. The Museum has an ongoing relationship with Libeskind. He designed the institution's extension in 2001 in an acutely angled zigzag form and added two expressive landscaped areas known as the Garden of Exile and Glass Courtyard in 2007 and 2005 respectively. An established architect of Polish-Jewish decent, Libeskind has said of his latest project: "My ongoing collaboration with the Jewish Museum Berlin is a source of tremendous professional and personal pride. Each project offers a fresh chance to illuminate Jewish history and culture, to understand the tragedies and the triumphs, and to celebrate the resilience, creativity and erudition that have been Jews' enduring legacy." Following the reopening of the Jewish Museum Berlin in 2001, the organisation has seen a vast improvement in interest for its education programmes, with 7,000 guided tours undertaken every year and more than 400 educational programmes in demand from visitors. In order to cope with demand, Libeskind was brought back on board to conceptualise a fitting Academy extension located on a one-time flower market... Read more
Top stories this week
1 Tianlong Fortune Center, John Portman & Associates
The largely low-rise city of Nanning in Guangxi Province, China is soon to gain a sky-high building destined to act as a catalyst for the economic growth of the region. Over the past few years, Nanning has acted as host for the annual China ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Summit and the city is currently the regional leader in promoting...Read more
A gem has been created within the woods of Hechtel-Eksel in Belgium. Described as inspirational, The TREEHOUSE has the vision to bridge the extensive gap between ecology and the economy. Sappi, The Flemish Forest and Nature Agency, the commune of Hechtel-Eksel and Proximity have joined forces with the aim of encouraging... Read more
3 Japan National Stadium, Zaha Hadid Architects
The final shortlist may only have been announced a matter of weeks ago but Zaha Hadid Architects has been announced as the winner of the Japan National Stadium competition. Eleven international teams were shortlisted for the project but the London-based studio headed by the world's most famous female architect has triumphed over... Read more
4 Skidome Denmark,
"Most ski domes around the world are designed from the inside with no or very few windows" explains CEBRA, the Danish architecture studio behind the concept for the world's largest ski dome, destined for the city of Randers, Denmark. They continue: "An essential part of the skiing experience consists in being able to enjoy... Read more
5 Solar Carve Tower,
Studio Gang Architects
In last week's issue of News Review, we brought you details of Camlins' concept for a Linear Park through the Nine Elms area of London, demonstrating how inspirational the New York High Line is years after its conception. Today we are delighted to publish images of Studio Gang's latest scheme for a tower overlooking... Read more
WAN AWARDS Commercial Sector: View All Entries
Sustainability: Where are we going? Sofie Pelsmakers answers...
I believe that all good architecture is also sustainable architecture, going by the very notion of what 'good' architecture should be. But while we have come a long way in considering sustainability in our projects, there is still some way to go to integrate sustainability as an intrinsic part of 'good architecture', and not just as an add-on or box-ticking exercise, which is often about being seen to be green.

While I am a passionate advocate for all architecture awards to consider sustainability at equal merit with aesthetics, innovation, conceptual imagination and originality, I also appreciate that we are only at the dawning of this new architectural and contextual conscience.

So, until the industry has caught up with this new dawn, having a global sustainability award such as the WAN Sustainability category is to be applauded, as it will no doubt further the necessary merging of sustainable architecture and good architecture into one. And this is where I believe we are going - or at least we should be.

As part of this new architectural conscience, I also believe that in the next few years a renewed focus will be placed on occupant health and climate change adaptation. Indeed, we are not only facing the challenge of climate change mitigation, but also the need to adapt and future-proof our existing and new building stock.

At the same time, the use of innovative solutions should lead to new solutions and a re-grounding of material properties. For example, particularly in cold-climate regions, architects are working on increasing building airtightness. This process will require architects to develop an in-depth awareness of the properties of materials used and how they function most effectively, hopefully influencing innovations in the design and production of materials.

Alongside this, the global recession has also brought to the fore the importance of local product and material specification, and I hope we can see more local supply chains being established.

Read more
Decline and Fall: The perfect
storm looms for UK's infrastructure
Architects still in talks about cycle
lanes in the sky over London
It's been a good year for London. The successful delivery of two world class events, the Royal Jubilee and the 2012 Olympics, was no mean feat, but even during the pomp and razzmatazz of the summer, storm clouds were brewing over the UK's skies. A burning issue has been smoldering in the shadows for some years now and inevitably at some point it was bound to ignite.
At the beginning of November, the British government launched the campaign 'Get Britain Cycling'. The All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG), supported by the UK Cycling Alliance, is accumulating information on how to make cycling safer and easier across the country before a final report is produced in April 2013. In the UK, cycling makes up only 2% of all journeys in
In the past few weeks the future of London's vital air link to the rest of the world has exploded into the media. The gateway into London and the UK for millions of international visitors, and crucial link outbound to the emerging markets, Heathrow Airport is at capacity. A host of reports from all sorts of expert bodies are landing on desks around the capital. They all point to one thing: that the UK's financial growth is inextricably linked to air traffic capacity and that serious decline is inevitable unless something drastic is done... Read more comparison to 18% in Denmark and 27% in the Netherlands. In Amsterdam alone, 57% of its citizens use their bikes on a daily basis. The success of London Olympics and Paralympics has boosted the popularity of cycling but even world champions are not safe on British roads. Early this month, winner of the Tour de France and gold medalist, Bradley Wiggins was knocked off his mountain bike near his home in Lancashire. Less than a week later, his coach Shane Sutton... Read more
Reader Image of the Week
Johanna Hoffmann
Regular WAN readers will remember some time ago when we invited all subscribers to our weekly News Review to send in photos they'd taken of inspirational architecture. Our Newsdesk was flooded with emails from designers and architects the world over toting professionally-shot, glossy photographs to holiday snapshots where readers had stumbled upon a building which had caught their imagination and captured
it on film.

Although we had originally intended to use these images for a 'Photo of the Day' feature on the WAN homepage, with the complete redesign of our News Review we have decided to run a 'Reader Image of the Week' series, giving these gems as much exposure as possible. We're also welcoming sketches to this new series so please send your creations to complete with your name, the practice you work for and a short description of the photo or sketch noting what it is, the name of the architect and why it captured your attention.

Kicking off the series we have this stunning photo from Johanna Hoffmann in Toronto which depicts the main staircase at the Art Gallery of Ontario by Frank Gehry. The architect's first commission in his home city of Toronto, the transformation of the Art Gallery of Ontario saw a glass and wood façade rise 70ft above the street below

Read more
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