Townhall for Kiruna, Sweden by Henning Larsen Architects.

Images: Henning Larsen Architects.

Congratulations to the good burghers of Kiruna, Sweden, in their choice of Henning Larsen Architects to design their new town hall. The architects teamed-up with Tema Landscape Architects, WSP Engineers, and Designers UiWE to win the competition.

The scheme has two key components: a crystal-like inner form, a reference to the large iron ore deposits found in the area, and an exterior ring, metaphorically and physically protecting the inner form. Read more

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Primordial pleasure: Skate shelters by Patkau Architects.

Photo credits: Patkau Architects.

There is a primordial quality to these obelisk-like forms, evoking great stone circles such as Stonehenge. But far from being massive and heavy, these skate shelters are rather delicate ply structures. They are however primordial, in that they provide that most basic of human need, shelter. A response to the biting Canadian winter, a reprieve for the hardiest of winter skaters. Read more

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Flow. An installation of broken windscreens by Babtistte Debombourg.

Photo credits: l’Œil de Poisson – Québec 2013.

In our Western society, where obsolescence is planned, a trajectory is assumed that leads inexorably to broken and discarded trinkets that once had value. Such naked consumption threatens to consume us, whoever “us” might be. At least, that is a flabby strand of thinking expounded by some. It is clear however, that such consumption is widely believed to be unsustainable.

And then there are objects that have a protective function. For example, they save lives by say… preventing the spread of disease. But still, they are designed to be disposable. Should these items be exempt from concerns about what is legitimately allowed to be disposed of, on account of their loftier, more noble purpose?

This is the territory explored in Babtistte Debombourg’s installation “Flow” running from tomorrow in Quebec, Canada. Read more

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Interpretation centre, Limpopo, South Africa by Peter Rich Architects.

Photo: Entrance road. AKAA / Jean-Charles Tall.

Located at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers, is Mapungubwe Hill, a World Heritage site. Etched on stones uncovered from there, are ancient motifs that have provided the inspiration for the plan of this extraordinary building. It tells the story of the site in a series of gloriously, vaulted, exhibition and learning spaces. Read more

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Caen masterplan: Competition win for MVRDV.

The transformation of Presqu’ile de Caen moved a step closer with the announcement that MVRDV will be the chosen masterplanners. Their vision saw gardens from old factories, and an intensification of the urban area to create an attractive city quarter. There will also be a better connection to the sea. Read more

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