What Happened in February

February has gone with the wind. Let’s review the news of February together.
  • Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Woods Bagot have revealed the Aboriginal Art and Cultures Centre in Adelaide, Australia. The design team presented the project describing as a gateway to the oldest living cultures in the world. The centre will be 11.500 square meters including event areas, indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces. The woven-like facade design praises traditional temporary shelter occupied by indigenous Australians called wurlie. The firm’s other project, London Centre for Music, has been canceled after failing to raise funding.
  • Zaha Hadid Architects’ design proposal for the world’s first timber soccer stadium is approved. The new Eco Park Stadium for the English Football League will be the first football stadium to be almost entirely made of wood including the structure and slabs. Also, the firm won the design competition for expanding the International Exhibition Centre in Beijing. The project consists of exhibition halls, conference centre, and hotels, which are arranged as a series of interconnecting lines and geometries that take inspiration from the textures of glazed tubular ceramic tile roofs within traditional Chinese architecture.
  • Haikou Tourism and Culture Investment Holding Group have commissioned renowned architects and artists to design 16 permanent seaside pavilions for Pavilions by the Seaside project in Haikou, China. The invited architectural participants are Bjarke Ingels (BIG), Kengo Kuma, Ong-ard Satrabhandhu, Patrik Schumacher (Zaha Hadid Architects), Sou Fujimoto, Stefano Boeri, Thomas Heatherwick, Winy MAAS (MVRDV), Liu Jiakun, Ma Yansong (MAD), and Zhu Xiaodi. And participating artists are Anish Kapoor, Sakamoto Ryūichi, Shen Wei, Kimsooja, Lin Tianmiao, Xue Song, Yang Fudong, Zhang Peili, and design team AHA.
  • Amazon has released The Helix tower, their second headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. The spiral glass tower is enwrapped with trees and walking trails creating an environment that prioritizes healthy work. The Helix is designed by NBBJ accompanying 3 other office buildings within a complex. The 260,000-square-meter complex will include offices, public gathering areas, street-front retail, and amenities such as dog daycare, childcare center, and community space.
  • OMA won the design competition to design a master plan for a science and technology Chengdu Future City. The car-free masterplan will focus on the existing geography and topography of the site. The project consists of 6 clusters including governmental, residential, educational, agricultural, commercial, and public clusters.
  • Kéré Architecture revealed their design for a new parliament hall of the Republic of Benin. The studio is inspired by the palaver tree, the age-old West African tradition of meeting under a tree to make consensual decisions in the interest of a community, in both appearance and function.
  • WEISS/MANFREDI unveiled the plans for the transformation of Longwood Gardens in collaboration with landscape architects Reed Hilderbrand. New plantings and buildings will be added across 17-acres. The project will expand the public spaces of the renowned central grounds.
  • Populous and OverActive Media published plans for an iconic performance venue in Toronto. The project includes a theatre-style entertainment venue and hotel complex as well. The building composition reflects a modern expression of a new age theatre for sports and entertainment.
  • 5 World Trade Center Tower, which will replace the Deutsche Bank Building that was demolished in the September 11 attack, got approved. The 275-meter-tall mixed-use tower is designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox.
  • Prime minister of the UK Boris Johnson proposed connecting England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland via tunnels connected to a giant underground roundabout beneath the Isle of Man. This idea is met with skepticism so far.
  • MVRDV’s second Bvlgari facade design at the flagship store in Bangkok is completed. The firm added a contemporary touch to Bvlgari’s classic image using a combination of brass and glass.
  • Framery unveiled Framery One, the world’s first connected phone booth. The single-person workstation responds to office needs prompted by COVID-19, such as video conferencing, in a revolutionary way. Framery One will allow workers to complete tasks and video conference from a comfortable and quiet environment.
  • TECLA, the eco-sustainable 3D printed habitat, is under construction in Bologna, Italy. The innovative habitat model engineered by WASP and designed by Mario Cucinella Architects took form, a new circular model of housing entirely created with reusable and recyclable materials, sourced from local soil, carbon-neutral and adaptable to any climate and context.
  • London Festival of Architecture announced the winners of the Nine Elms Arch 42 Gateways competition. Projects Office has won the competition with their project Tunnel Visions, which aims to bring the diverse and growing local community together through a new connection for Nine Elms, turning Arch 42 into a bold local landmark.
  • Love Letters, the winner of Times Square Arts’ 13th annual Times Square Design Competition, invites people to interact with it by leaving their own love letters within the sculpture. Visitors are invited to tie a wish, a memento, or an artifact onto the netted underlay. Love Letters is aimed to be a memorial of solidarity and hope. The installation is designed by Soft-Firm curated by Reddymade. You can send your message here.
  • Soil Lab is announced as the winner of an Open Call hosted by the Danish Arts Foundation in collaboration with the Chicago Architecture Biennial. The commission highlights Danish architecture and design traditions on a global platform while also facilitating conversations about the role of the arts and design in shaping communities. The project also emphasizes global collaboration—between cultures, between disciplines, and between the winning design team and the local community in Chicago. 
  • The Vilcek Foundation has partnered with artist and illustrator Hiroki Otsuka to create a series of manga biographies about past Vilcek Prize winners. The first manga will be about Denise Scott Brown who is the recipient of the 2007 Vilcek Prize in Architecture. You can download the manga here for free.
  • James Lee Nagle passed away at 83 due to Alzheimer’s Disease. He was known as one of the Chicago Seven. The original Chicago Seven is Stanley Tigerman, Larry Booth, Stuart Cohen, Ben Weese, James Ingo Freed, Tom Beeby, and James L. Nagle.
  • Leslie E. Robertson passed away at 92 due to blood cancer. He was the structural engineer of the World Trade Center.
  • The non-profit United States Artists has named architect Jennifer Bonner, landscape architect Walter Hood, and artist Olalekan Jeyifous 2021 Architecture & Design fellowships for their bold artistic vision and significant impact. See the full list here.

That’s all from the news of February. Let’s meet in the next episode of What Happened in !

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