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Architecture for the People: The Stunning Winners of Architizer’s New Award

Winners of the first annual Architizer A+ Awards. But before getting into the specifics—don’t worry, they’re coming quick—we think that with the conclusion of the awards year one, we’ve accomplished our goal of breaking architecture out of the echo chamber™ (ha!). We’ve always thought that the oh-so-private world of architecture should be opened up to the public at large, where people can consume buildings (and maybe even some archi-drama) like they do the daily news, food porn, and movie trailers. We can say now that the A+ Awards helped us achieve this—in addition to the overwhelming number of submissions from over 100 countries, plus the highly-esteemed jury we amassed, Public Voting garnered 150,000 votes from every corner of the world. And with that #humblebrag, onto the winners!

A total of 87 buildings won the Jury and Popular votes for each of the Award’s 52 Typology andPlus categories. Instead of celebrating one architect and making architecture into something rarefied and arcane (ahem), the A+ Awards celebrate the diversity of the world’s architecture. The winners list runs the gamut of architectural typology and form, ranging from enormous towers to the smallest apartments and nearly everything in between. There are wind-swept memorials, a gallery/house with a pool in the middle of it, “iceberg” apartments in the Baltic, a conference center from the future, a floating chapel, a polka-dotted parametric pop-up, and the most sublime tourist path imaginable—the National Tourist Route Trollstigen by Reiulf Ramstad Architects. The latter held the title for most awards won by a single project, with a final tally of 4 awards, including two Jury awards and two Popular Choice awards.

Two firms, in particular, did exceptionally well: JDS Architects took home prizes for their Holmenkollen Ski Jump (best Sports Venue) and their spiky Iceberg Dwellings (Residential Mid-Rise). Similarly, Steven Holl Architects nabbed two awards for the Daeyang Gallery and House (Residential: Single Family Home) and the newly opened Sliced Porosity Block(Residential High-Rise) in Chengdu, China.

Fourteen projects won both the Jury and Popular vote, OMA’s Milstein Hall, Artech Architect’sChina Steel Coporation HQ, and Rafael Vinoly Architect’s Carrasco International Airport among them. Even with all those great buildings, we can’t neglect the other stunning projects that will be awarded an A+ trophy. Henn Architekten’s aquiline Porsche Pavilion, MASS Studies’ DAUM Space 1, Osterwold+Schmidt’s Bicycle Station, and LifeEdited—the modular 420 square-foot apartment—can all be found in the winners list below.

“The mission of the Architizer A+ Awards is to remind everyone in the world that they are fans of architecture, even if they don’t realize it. This year’s winners make our job easy. They are projects where noble ambitions match their formal sophistication – they represent the best architecture from across the globe – and more than one project that I had never seen before!” – Marc Kushner AIA, CEO Architizer.

Oh, and to wrap up our extensive Awards coverage, we’ll be rolling out profiles for each of the winning projects over the next month. Below is a sampling of the winners, and you can click hereto see the complete list of finalists of the A+ Architecture awards.

National Tourist Route Trollstigen by Reiulf Ramstad Architects

Dolomitenblick by Plasma Studio

Iceberg Dwellings by JDS Architects

Soumaya Museum by FR-EE Fernando Romero Enterprise

Louis Vuitton Yayoi Kusama’s Pop Up Store by MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY

Porsche Pavilion by Henn Architekten

Milstein Hall by OMA

Wuxi Grand Theatre by PES-Architects

Carrasco International Airport by Rafael Vinoly Architects

Sugamo Shinkin Bank / Shimura Branch by Emmanuelle Moureaux

Source : Good

Fabergé Big Egg Hunt Features Designs by Leading Architects

The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt’, launched on the 21st of February 2012, provided London, England with 209 giant and stunningly crafted Easter eggs, designed by artists, architects, jewelers and designers.


The ones presented here were designed by architects Zaha Hadid, Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, Fourfoursixsix and interior design firm Candy & Candy. The designs are unique, structural and conceptual. Thirty-one among the 200 will be chosen for a live auction on March 20th. The rest can be bid on on-line. The proceeds from the auction will go towards the £2million target for Action for Children, a charity for vulnerable and neglected children, young people and families, and Elephant Family, a charity for the endangered Asian elephant.ImageImage


This Easter egg hunt invited the whole public to participate in finding these eggs throughout the city; the scale of this event is set to break Guinness World Records for the most participants in an Easter egg hunt.ImageImageImageImage

Source –

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Organic Japanese Shell Residence Wraps Around a Centenarian Fir Tree

Situated within the enchanting Karuizawa forest in Japan, this curvaceous modern home was designed with respect for its delicate surrounding environment. Built around a centenarian Fir tree, the Shell Residence flows through the forest thanks to its organic, yet very strong structure. Designed by Tokyo-based ARTechnic Japan, the stark white building was built last in harmony with nature.

The Shell Residence is immersed in Nagano prefecture´s peaceful conifer forests, where it creates a stark contrast with its durable white facade. The house is located in Karuizawa, a popular weekend retreat for Tokyoites that is just 10 minutes away from the capital by Shinkansen. The residence was built around a centenarian Fir tree and is made from long-lasting, low-maintenance concrete, which shelters the home from the forest’s humidity and cold weather.

The Shell Residence is definitely a departure from traditional Japanese houses – it’s a striking, curvaceous shelter that seems to have landed from outer space. The outdoor wooden deck is made from locally sourced wood and it acts as an extension of the interior floors. The Shell Residence´s interiors are light, airy, and winding. Because of the house´s unique curvaceous interiors, the furniture is custom-made from strong, hard oak.

The floors are made from local cherry trees, and they exhibit a gorgeous red tint that contrasts with the oak furniture. The interior layout is very minimal and consists of two differentiated levels: the lower ground is used for public space, while the top floor is reserved for private use. An automated centralized system controls the house´s humidity, heating, and ventilation, optimizing energy use.



Source : Inhabitat

Whirlpool-shaped Blue Planet aquarium by Danish studio 3XN has opened to the public in Copenhagen

The whirlpool-shaped Blue Planet aquarium by Danish studio 3XN has opened to the public in Copenhagen.

The Blue Planet by 3XN

The building comprises a series of curved wings, designed to mimic the shapes generated by swirling water, and is clad in shimmering aluminium shingles that are reminiscent of fish scales.

The Blue Planet by 3XN

Containing around 7 million litres of water, the Blue Planet is the largest aquarium in Europe and contains a total of 53 aquariums and displays, housing over 450 different species of fish and creatures that can be found in rivers, lakes and oceans.

The Blue Planet by 3XN

Exhibitions are divided up between the curved wings and there is no fixed route around the building, which 3XN hopes will reduce queues for the most popular aquariums.

The Blue Planet by 3XN

The main entrance leads into a circular foyer at the heart of the building, where visitors can look up through a glass ceiling into a pool directly overhead.

The Blue Planet by 3XN

“Our wish was to bring our visitors all the way down to the world of the fish,” said 3XN partner Kim Herforth Nielsen. “The design of The Blue Planet is based on the story about water and life under the sea. We visualise the construction as a whirlpool which draws visitors into the depths to the fascinating experiences waiting among fish and sea animals from all over the world.”

The Blue Planet by 3XN

Located on the waterfront near the city’s airport, the aquarium is expected to attract 700,000 visitors a year.

The Blue Planet by 3XN

3XN won a competition to design the Blue Planet in 2008. We firstrevealed images of the building back in November, when it was nearing completion.

The Blue Planet by 3XN

Other recent projects by 3XN include the Plassen Cultural Centre in Norway and an experimental food laboratory at Copenhagen restaurant Noma. See more architecture by 3XN.

The Blue Planet by 3XN

Photography is by Adam Mørk.

The Blue Planet by 3XN

Source : Dezeen

5 Elements of a Low-Maintenance Kitchen

5 Elements of a Low-Maintenance Kitchen

With today’s busy lifestyle, people don’t always have the extra time to to allocate to keeping the kitchen sparkling clean. When I design kitchens for my interior design clients, my number one goal is to make design decisions that give create a low-maintenance kitchen.

Easy-to-clean countertops. Avoid selecting a tile countertops as the grout can be difficult to keep clean and requires sealing. Granite and Quartz has become the countertop material of choice these days due to its ease of care. Using a solid surface that also has some color variations helps mask any crumbs on the counters for pop-by visitors.

Full-sheet backsplash. Again, avoid using grout in your backsplash for a low-maintenance kitchen. Consider quartz or a marble stone slab for an elegant kitchen backsplash.

Flooring that can be cleaned with a damp mop. Porcelain tile, rubber or cork floors allow for spills to be easily wipe up and only require a minimal or no grout lines.

Simple cabinetry. Slab front cabinets are easy to wipe off, and shaker style cabinets are another clean friendly choice that work well with both traditional and modern styles.

Undermount sink. Having a sink that is integrated with your countertops allows you to easily wipe your messes into the sink for quick and easy cleanup.

easy to clean kitchen, kitchen design
Source : Luxury for the Home