MVRDV and Fugger Foundation mark 500th anniversary of the Fuggerei social housing

The world’s oldest social housing complex, the Fuggerei in Augsburg, Germany, begins the celebration of its 500th anniversary this weekend, launching a 5-week programme of interdisciplinary discussions and events about social housing and current global challenges. At the centre of the celebration is the NEXT500 Pavilion, designed by MVRDV, which opens today in the presence of numerous dignitaries and the founders of the Fuggerei, the Fugger family. Tomorrow on Saturday May 7, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, will view the exhibition housed within the pavilion, which shows an MVRDV study on the “Fuggerei of the Future”, presenting a new Fuggerei code and three proposals for new Fuggerei complexes around the world.

“Fuggerei of the Future”
At the centre of the Fuggerei's 500th anniversary celebration is the NEXT500 Pavilion designed by MVRDV | Photograph © Eckhart Matthäus

500 years of the Fuggerei represents the success that the people of Augsburg have achieved together over the centuries”, says Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. “Behind this is an admirable sense of citizenship, combined with entrepreneurial foresight. It has proven to be effective to always put the well-being of society above one's own and thus to meet with common strength the historical challenges but also the hardships of everyday life. Europe offers its sincere congratulations on this achievement!

The pavilion is a long, narrow, gabled building, its form inspired by the long terraced houses of the Fuggerei itself. However, rather than a single straight block, one end of the pavilion is curved and raised up to suggest its role in looking out to the future Fuggereien, both in Augsburg and around the world. This lifted end forms an 8.5-metre cantilever that houses a tribune for lectures, debates, workshops and other cultural events. The structure is made entirely from cross-laminated timber, pushing the boundaries of modern CLT technology with its eight-metre cantilever and double-curved elements. Sustainability played a critical role in the selection of this structural approach; wood stores carbon instead of releasing it into the atmosphere, while CLT allowed the pavilion to use a modular system that makes the pavilion easily demountable, ensuring it can have a second life within a social or sustainable context. The wood is sourced from the Fuggerei’s own forests, and a local carpenter created the wooden interiors.

“Fuggerei of the Future”
Photograph © Eckhart Matthäus

Inside the pavilion, visitors can experience an exhibition on the “Fuggerei of the Future”. Though the Fuggerei was founded in 1521 by the German merchant Jakob Fugger, in these times of housing shortage, climate crisis, social inequality, and isolation, the sustainability-oriented and people- centred concept of the Fuggerei still offers a model for our current era. For the exhibition, MVRDV and the Fugger Foundation studied the existing complex in Augsburg and, in line with the Fuggerei’s newly written “Fuggerei Code”, distilled the complex’s formula for successful social housing. The result is eight simple “building blocks” that provide the basis for a system for new Fuggerei that can be adapted to differing contexts worldwide. These building blocks are also referenced in the pavilion’s internal layout, with eight different spaces for the exhibition and events inspired by the eight building blocks.

The NEXT500 Pavilion is an extraordinary wooden building and the final highlight of our anniversary year”, explains Alexander Erbgraf Fugger-Babenhausen, the chairman of the Fugger Family Senior Council. “A varied programme will be offered over a period of five weeks, to which the public is invited. As a foundation, we want to open a new chapter in the history of the Fuggerei together with interested parties. To mark the 500th anniversary of the Fuggerei, we developed an initiative to ensure that the Fuggerei of the future can be replicated worldwide.

“Fuggerei of the Future”
The curved and lifted end of the pavilion forms an 8.5-metre cantilever that houses a tribune for lectures, debates, workshops and other cultural events | Photograph © Eckhart Matthäus

To test these principles, MVRDV also developed three proposals for Fuggerei both inside and outside Europe. The first is proposed for the original hometown of Augsburg, and is distinguished from the original Fuggerei by its educational focus, aiming to provide self-determination and to reduce the city’s wealth gap through education. The second Fuggerei of the future is intended for a community in rural Lithuania, focussing on elderly poverty and a crisis in social care due to an aging population with a complex set in a beautiful natural environment. The third Fuggerei focusses on Rothumba, a remote fishing village in Sierra Leone, with the strategy of empowering residents and creating a safe environment for women and children. Based on the Fuggerei Code and building blocks developed in the study, the appearances of these future Fuggereien depend on their purpose and location, but the principles are the same as the 500-year-old original.

“Fuggerei of the Future”
Image © MVRDV

"The lack of affordable housing is something that affects people all over the world,” says MVRDV founding partner Jacob van Rijs, “while in my view it is a basic right. Our team at MVRDV researched what kind of Fuggerei different places would need, with a focus on education, the elderly, gender equality, and the empowerment and economic independence of the inhabitants. I am delighted at the massive interest in the celebration of 500 years of Fuggerei, which shows that this is a global issue that needs urgent attention.”

“Fuggerei of the Future”
Image © MVRDV

The MVRDV-designed NEXT500 pavilion was unveiled on May 6 by UNIDO Director General Gerd Müller in a ceremony in the presence of among others the Bavarian State Minister for Building, Housing and Transportation Christian Bernreiter, Mayor Eva Weber, Alexander Graf Fugger- Babenhausen, CEO of the Kresge Foundation Rip Rapson, MVRDV founding partner Jacob van Rijs, and the three founders of the Future Fuggereien: Stella Rothenberger, Gintaras Grachauskas, and Rugiatu Neneh Turay.

AIA San Francisco Announces 2022 Design Awards Recipients

AIA San Francisco (AIASF) recognized the 2022 AIASF Design Awards honorees during the AIASF Design Celebration event on Thursday, April 28, 2022 at PROXY, an outdoor public open space in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley Neighborhood. This was the first in-person AIASF Design Awards for the Chapter since the 2020 lockdown. The Master of Ceremonies was Vas Kiniris, Director of Business Development at NextSF and Board Director-at-Large for the Center for Architecture + Design. 

1 De Haro by Perkins & Will
1 De Haro by Perkins & Will | Photograph © David Wakely Photography

This year’s program featured a diverse range of project types that highlighted the Bay Area’s rich history of design leadership. Award recipients included Perkins&WillGenslerFaulkner ArchitectsJENSEN ArchitectsField ArchitectureEID ArchitectsMork-Ulnes ArchitectsMichael Hennessey ArchitectureS^A | Schwartz and ArchitectureAxelrod DesignAidlin Darling DesignSidell PakravanJaJaCoSAW // Spiegel Aihara WorkshopSan Francisco Public Works, Bureau of ArchitectureDavid Baker Architects with Cervantes Design AssociatesGroup, 4 Architecture, Research + Planning, Inc.Integrus ArchitectureCMG Landscape Architecture, and WRNS Studio.

CAMPout by Faulkner Architects
CAMPout by Faulkner Architects | Photograph © Joe Fletcher Photography

In addition, AIASF’s People's Choice Awards in Architecture, a collaboration with the Center for Architecture + Design, awarded one project in each of two categories: projects with budgets over and under $10,000,000. This year’s recipients included the Harvey B. Milk Terminal in the “Over $10M” category, a project by Gensler in joint venture with Kuth RanieriHKSWoods Bagot, ED2KYA, and Hamilton + Aitken Architects, and the Brisbane Library in the “Under $10M” category, a project by Siegel & Strain Architects and Karin Payson architecture + design. The People's Choice Awards expands the AIASF Design Awards program to provide the public the opportunity to recognize excellence in architectural work in and by the San Francisco Bay Area design community.

Tetherow by Mork-Ulnes Architects
Tetherow by Mork-Ulnes Architects | Photograph © Bitterman Photography

The 2022 AIASF Design Awards was juried in a full-day virtual session by five esteemed leaders in architecture and design which included Rodolphe el-Khoury, of the University of Miami School of Architecture, Sharon Johnston, FAIA of Johnston Marklee and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Nader Tehrani of NADAAA and the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at the Cooper Union,Marion Weiss, FAIA of WEISS/MANFREDI and the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design, and Angela Wu, AIA of KPF.

Faust Winery by Aidlin Darling Design
Faust Winery by Aidlin Darling Design | Photograph © Adam Rous

This year’s Design Celebration was particularly meaningful, as it was the first time our community gathered together in-person in over two years,” commented AIASF Executive Director Stacy Williams, "it was great to honor the people and firms who contribute so much to our shared built-environment and help shape our city into a vibrant, sustainable, and equitable place with every new project.

The AIASF Design Awards submissions are divided into three main categories—Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Unbuilt Design—with three optional concentrations for Commendations that give special acknowledgment to projects that further encompass the values of good design within the context of Historic Preservation, Social Responsibility, and Urban Design. The Design Awards program incorporates the fulfillment of sustainable design principles into all categories.

Brisbane Library by Siegel & Strain Architects and Karin Payson architecture + design
Brisbane Library by Siegel & Strain Architects and Karin Payson architecture + design | Photograph © Cesar Rubio

This year’s AIASF Design Awards program was made possible by the generous support of sponsors including Salesforce, Forell|Elsesser Structural Engineers, Sixteen5hundred, Tipping Structural Engineers, XL Construction, AlfaTech,AssuredPartners, and Nibbi Brothers General Contractors.

In existence for nearly half a century, AIA San Francisco's Design Awards program recognizes the outstanding achievements in architecture and design of Bay Area individuals and organizations. It celebrates exceptional architectural design as well as the work of allied professionals from afar who contribute to our local built environment's framework. The program serves to inform the public of the breadth and value of the architectural practice.

JPMorgan Chase Unveils Plans for New Global Headquarters Building in New York City

JPMorgan Chase unveiled the design for its new state-of-the-art global headquarters at 270 Park Avenue, reinforcing its commitment to New York City. The 1,388-foot/423 meter, 60-story skyscraper – designed by Foster + Partners – will be New York City’s largest all-electric tower with net zero operational emissions and exceptional indoor air quality that exceeds the highest standards in sustainability, health and wellness. It will help define the modern workplace with 21st century infrastructure, smart technology and 2.5 million square feet of flexible and collaborative space that can easily adapt to the future of work.

JP Morgan Chase Headquarters

The project is the first under New York City’s innovative Midtown East Rezoning plan, which encourages modern office construction and improvements to the business district’s public realm and transportation.

JP Morgan Chase Headquarters

Norman Foster, Founder and Executive Chairman of Foster + Partners, said: “270 Park Avenue is set to be a new landmark that responds to its historic location as well as the legacy of JPMorgan Chase in New York. The unique design rises to the challenge of respecting the rhythm and distinctive streetscape of Park Avenue, while accommodating the vital transport infrastructure of the city below. The result is an elegant solution where the architecture is the structure, and the structure is the architecture, embracing a new vision that will serve JPMorgan Chase now and well into the future.

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of JPMorgan Chase added: “With our new headquarters, JPMorgan Chase is making a long-term investment in our business and New York City’s future while ensuring that we operate in a highly efficient and world-class environment for the 21st century. We are extremely excited about the building’s state-of-the-art technology, health and wellness amenities, and public spaces, among many other features. It is in the best location in one of the world’s greatest cities.

The new building will house up to 14,000 employees – replacing an outdated facility designed in the late 1950s for about 3,500 employees. It will offer 2.5 times more outdoor space on the ground level of Park and Madison Avenues, featuring wider sidewalks and a large public plaza on Madison Avenue with natural green space and other amenities geared toward the residents, workers and visitors who frequent the neighborhood on a daily basis.

JP Morgan Chase Headquarters

The concept for the new design was to create a timeless addition to Park Avenue, which celebrates the city’s iconic architectural history and serves as a powerful new symbol for the next generation of office towers in New York. Using a state-of-the-art structural system to negotiate the site constraints below and at ground level, the innovative fan-column structure and triangular bracing allow the building to touch the ground lightly across the entire block. By lifting the building about 80 feet/24 meters off the ground, it extends the viewpoint from the Park Avenue entrance through to Madison Avenue.

Nigel Dancey, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners said: “The designs for 270 Park Avenue emerged from an intense process, where architects, designers and specialist teams – in London and New York – worked in close collaboration with JP Morgan to understand the way they work, ensuring the designs embodied the true spirit of innovation that is at the heart of everything they do. Sustainability is at the heart of the project, with workspaces flooded with daylight and fresh air, incorporating biophilic elements and materials to improve wellbeing. As a team, we sought to question and re-evaluate every aspect of the design to create an ambitious future vision of the workplace for JP Morgan.”

JP Morgan Chase Headquarters

Sustainable Design

270 Park will be New York City’s largest all-electric skyscraper with net zero operational emissions and will be 100% powered by renewable energy sourced from a New York State hydroelectric plant.

In addition to operating on net zero carbon emissions, the building will use state-of-the-art building technology and systems to ensure it operates as efficiently as possible, including:

The project also recycled, reused or upcycled 97% of the building materials from the demolition – far exceeding the 75% requirement of the leading green building standard.

JP Morgan Chase Headquarters

Defining the modern workplace with a flexible design focused on health, wellness and hospitality

JPMorgan Chase is partnering with experts, including Director of Harvard University’s Healthy Buildings program Dr. Joseph Allen, wellness expert Dr. Deepak Chopra, and Union Square Hospitality Group’s Danny Meyer to create a world-class wellness and hospitality experience for employees, clients and visitors by:

JP Morgan Chase Headquarters

Joseph Allen, Associate Professor and Director of the Healthy Buildings program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and CEO of 9 Foundations commented: “Designed with a health-first mindset in all aspects, this project proves you can have both excellent indoor air quality for occupants, while also addressing sustainability goals that improve the health of the community by reducing impacts on the planet,” said “This building sets new standards of excellence for healthy building in New York City and around the world.

Vishaan Chakrabarti, Project Design Collaborator and Founder of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism added: “The new 270 Park will earn its place among Manhattan’s revered Jazz Age skyscrapers. It is a gift to our skyline and our streets, with a monumental axis connecting Park and Madison Avenues, gracious and enduring materials, generous public spaces and sidewalks, and robust connections to Grand Central Station. JPMorgan Chase’s new headquarters is a great example of New York’s resilience and rebirth."

Henning Larsen reveals all-Timber Design for World of Volvo

With the timber structure already coming up, Henning Larsen is pleased to reveal the design for World of Volvo, a unique experience center and meeting place for the famed Swedish brands, Volvo Cars and Volvo Group in Gothenburg that puts its focus on Scandinavian landscape, environment, and traditions.

“This project is incredibly special to us,” says Søren Øllgaard, Design Director at Henning Larsen. “With its deep connection to Scandinavia, from its landscapes to its architectural tradition, World of Volvo has given us to the opportunity to explore the profound relationship between architecture and the natural environment.”

At World of Volvo, Native Swedish Landscapes, and the Right to Roam take Center Stage
Render © Kvant1

After winning the interview competition for World of Volvo in late 2018, Henning Larsen is proud to share the design for the 22,000 sqm experience center as site work begins in Gothenburg. World of Volvo will unite the brands of Volvo Group and Volvo Cars to share the history, tradition, and future of the famed Swedish brand in a single structure. It will be an embodiment of the Volvo brand values and aspirations.

We commit to create a landmark, a new icon and destination in the city centre of Gothenburg. We also commit to gathering people in an inspiring meeting place reflecting Volvo’s human centric approach and perspectives. Our aim with World of Volvo is to deliver a premium experience in a place where we combine entertainment; exhibitions, talks, conferences, and music, as well as food, drinks and shopping." says Magnus Wrahme CEO at World of Volvo.

Located in Gothenburg’s Event district (home to many of the city’s museums, parks, and entertainment venues), the project is expected to be completed in late 2023 and open to visitors in 2024.

At World of Volvo, Native Swedish Landscapes, and the Right to Roam take Center Stage
Render © Kvant1


World of Volvo is designed around the Swedish concept of “Allemansrätten”, denoting the fundamental right that all citizens share to nature: the right to roam freely on any land (public or private), showing consideration for nature and for others. This tenet has become not just a right, but a central part of the Swedish ethos and one that lives in citizens, businesses, and organisations alike – Volvo included.
The circular form of World of Volvo, encompassing both care of nature and consideration for people, encourages visitors to make their own experience both inside and outside, regardless of whether they hold tickets to the exhibitions inside.
World of Volvo’s timber construction is at once the most forward-facing and most traditional element of the project. While Sweden (like many Nordic countries) has a long tradition of timber construction, World of Volvo takes a decidedly modern approach. The beams and columns are built from glulam timber, a wood product that constitutes multiple layers of dimensional lumber bonded by a durable moisture-resistant structural adhesive. Computer-controlled fabrication allows the curved glulam pieces to be cut with a high degree of precision. Rigidity and continuity in the structure is guaranteed with metal connectors that can be hidden inside the wooden members. The floor slabs are made of locally sourced CLT, cross laminated timber.

At World of Volvo, Native Swedish Landscapes, and the Right to Roam take Center Stage
Render © Kvant1

Embracing Swedish Nature 

The reference to nature in the arcing “branches” and roof “canopy” is by design, with the concept for the structure centered around the idea of The Mountain (the landscape and building’s base) and The Tree (the building itself.)
The large landscape that surrounds the building brings the nature of Sweden to the center of Gothenburg, covering the area in delicate flowers and native plants that bloom between, rocky outcroppings and meandering paths.And just like in the landscapes across the country, visitors are encouraged to inhabit the landscape however they like, keeping in mind the principle of allemansrätten: leave no trace.

Site Plan
Site Plan

A New Icon for Gothenburg

Located along Mölndalsån, the site for World of Volvo links to a promenade that traces the stream’s eastern bank up to Gothenburg’s city centre. A number of green and functional cross-links of different types connect both sides of the river, allowing visitors to wind their way towards the site as they choose. While these links promote physical accessibility for walking and cycling, they also restore Mölndalsån’s ecological and visual connectivity.
On the other side of World of Volvo site passes the E6 highway, from which travellers will catch a high-speed glimpse of the project’s tilted roof and exhibitions inside. Whether passing from the east at 80km/h or from the west at 5km/hm the building doesn’t fully reveal all its spaces from within. It is up to the visitors to make their way and determine their own experience.
World of Volvo is expected to reach completion in late 2023, with doors opening to visitors in 2024.

Project Facts:
Client: World of Volvo
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden 
Typology: Experience Center and meeting place
Concept: 2018 | Construction Start: 2022 | Expected Completion: 2023 | Inauguration: 2024
Size: 22,000 m2 / 237,000 ft2
Certifications: LEED Gold and WELL Gold
Main contractor: BRA Bygg
Architect: Henning Larsen | Landscape: Henning Larsen
Interior design: Nordström Kelly Arkitekter AB and Henning Larsen
Wood Structure: Engineering and production by Wiehag GmbH | Wood structure: interior claddings, and facade by Lindner Scandinavia AB
Structural engineering: Optima Engineering AB and BRA Teknik
Contractor Landscape: BRA Mark
Renders: Kvant1

AGO plans expansion to house growing collection of global modern and contemporary art

Following a rigorous selection process, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) today announces that it has contracted Selldorf Architects, Diamond Schmitt and Two Row Architect to lead the design phase of AGO Global Contemporary, the museum’s proposed expansion project. Each a recognized leader in the creation of dynamic cultural spaces, the three architects will work as a team to design an expansion that will display the museum’s growing collection of global modern and contemporary art. Annabelle Selldorf, of Selldorf Architects will lead the design, in collaboration with Toronto-based Don Schmitt of Diamond Schmitt and Brian Porter of Six Nations of the Grand River’s Two Row Architect as Indigenous architect.

A project with global impact requires an international perspective, grounded in this land and this city,” said Stephan Jost, Michael and Sonja Koerner Director, and CEO of the Art Gallery of Ontario. “AGO Global Contemporary is poised to launch the museum as a force in the international art world – and this team will get us there. It’s a group that is unmatched in its experience and caliber, and reflective of AGO’s Global Contemporary vision. Selldorf Architects is a leader in museum design, having recently completed the Luma Arles in France, and currently working on The Frick Collection in New York. Just last year, Two Row Architect’s Fort Severn Resilient Duplex project was awarded the prize for social equity design. And Diamond Schmitt is putting Toronto on the world stage with David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City and the Ryerson Image Centre here at home. I am confident that this team of architects will produce an exceptional expansion for our museum.

AGO Global Contemporary will increase exhibition space for the museum’s growing modern and contemporary collection, and present the museum with the opportunity to deliver exhibitions and programming that lead global conversations about art. The proposed building will be approximately 50,000 gross square feet for Modern and Contemporary art at the AGO. This will be the seventh expansion that the AGO has undertaken since it was founded in 1900. The most recent was the successful Transformation AGO expansion project, designed by Gehry International Architects, Inc.

A goal of this proposed expansion project is to achieve Net Zero Carbon certification, which if successful, would make the addition one of only a few museum spaces globally to accomplish this. The appointment of an architecture and design team is the first step for the project that will undergo a municipal and public review process and final AGO Board of Trustees approval. A public presentation of a concept is anticipated later this year. 

Montreal Holocaust Museum Announces Four Finalists of Architectural Competition

The Montreal Holocaust Museum (MHM) announced the finalists of the first stage of the international architectural competition for the construction of its new Museum on Saint-Laurent Boulevard. The jury has selected the following four finalists from among thirty-two projects received from nine countries and submitted anonymously to the jury in the first stage of the competition:

These four teams of architects have been invited to participate in the second stage of the competition, which will end with the jury’s selection of the winning project in July 2022.

Taking into consideration the objectives and evaluation criteria set out in the competition rules, the jury selected four finalists whose proposals stood out for their quality and for their potential for development in the second stage of the competition. 

The jury also wished to emphasize the relevance and thoughtfulness of the projects proposed and the diverse approaches taken by the finalists in addressing the Museum’s vision and program for its new building.

The Montreal Holocaust Museum would like to express its gratitude to all the teams that took part in this first stage of the competition. All of the projects received during the first and second stages of the competition will be made public once the winner is announced.


The Jury consists of MHM representatives and experts in Holocaust history, museology, architecture and landscape architecture:

This important project addresses a growing public interest and a need for opportunities to learn about the history of the Holocaust, genocide, human rights, and the fight against racism and antisemitism.

This is an $80-million project with contributions from the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec ($20 million), Canadian Heritage ($20 million), the Azrieli Foundation ($15 million) and numerous private donors who have contributed to the Museum through its Give Voice fundraising campaign.

Hopkins Center for the Arts Renderings Unveiled

Dartmouth and Snøhetta have revealed the first renderings for the forthcoming expansion and redesign of the Hopkins Center for the Arts (the Hop), a project that will create a renewed gateway to the campus’s thriving Arts District.

Designed to bring together artists and audiences, the rejuvenated and modernized Hop will build on a historic legacy of groundbreaking, interdisciplinary creativity by providing new practice and performance spaces, increased connections to surrounding arts buildings, as well as upgraded accessibility and mobility throughout the project. Along with state-of-the-art digital and broadcasting capabilities, the potential for interactive audience experiences, and increased rehearsal and production areas, the expansion will allow artists and audiences alike to create and enjoy contemporary forms of expression while complementing the Hop’s original architecture by Wallace K. Harrison.

Snøhetta’s expansion works alongside the playfully expressive existing architecture while also preserving the building’s iconic arches and presence on The Green, as well as its beloved spaces like the Top of the Hop, Moore Theatre, and Spaulding Auditorium.

The reimagined north facade
The reimagined north facade honors the building’s iconic historic architecture and creates new, contemporary spaces for music, dance, and multi-disciplinary arts inside and out | Image © Snøhetta & Methanoia.

Welcome, gather, create 

The Hop introduces visitors to a multifaceted arts and culture district that connects The Green at the center of campus with the town of Hanover, serving as a front door to the campus as well as a vital place of gathering for visitors, staff, and students. To extend The Hop’s welcome, the design reaches out to the adjacent streets of the campus and its surrounding New England small-town urban fabric, drawing inspiration from nearby mountains and native ecologies to celebrate its unique genius loci. The experiences of visitors, Dartmouth students, and the people of Hanover are all shaped by the region’s geography, and by its rugged natural beauty, which serves as a striking foil to the refined lawns, stately buildings, and accomplished arts practices of the campus. This combination of the rugged and refined is reflected in our design. The exterior plaza, taking inspiration from the gracious curves of the mid-twentieth century building, is sculpted for intuitive movement to guide visitors towards places for gathering, meeting, and entering. Designed as a platform to elevate the daily lives of students and faculty, the plaza welcomes visitors and offers a glimpse into the dynamism of the arts processes happening inside the building.  

The forum is the Hopkins Center for the Arts’ new central convening space
The forum is the Hopkins Center for the Arts’ new central convening space, providing a new orienting core for the building and conveying a vision of openness and invitation to the community to engage with the power of the arts | Image © Snøhetta & Methanoia

The plaza connects visitors to a new entry that expands inside the Hop to create a central meeting place linking the existing building spaces with new facilities dedicated to enriching the creative process. The new lobby, dubbed the forum, creates a vibrant social space that will be active with students, faculty, and staff throughout the day, and with audiences before and after performances. A central stair links the forum with the second-floor, connecting the new Recital Hall and a Performance Lab, two venues designed for innovative and interactive performance events, with the ground floor and plaza. The 150-seat Recital Hall is designed as a glass-enclosed lantern that overlooks the plaza and offers stunning views of the Baker Library Tower while looking into the Sugar Maples on The Green. Its tapered arch-framed windows are created using an innovative, curved mullion system, allowing for ample daylighting of the flexible seating configurations in the Hall. The space, outfitted with bespoke finishes and refined details, also offers state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment that will facilitate the creation of student-led performance media while transforming the Hop into a broadcasting center for digital performances. 

The Performance Lab
The Performance Lab will be the site of multidisciplinary performance innovation at the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth, boasting the latest in sound, lighting, projection, and broadcast technologies | Image © Snøhetta & Methanoia

A level below the forum sits the new Dance Studio, a partially-submerged rehearsal space with north-facing clerestory windows bringing in natural light and glimpses to the plaza tree canopy. As the Hop’s first purpose-built dance rehearsal space, the Studio’s 24-foot ceiling heights and well-lit interiors will offer the ideal place for dance troupes to perfect their routines. Our design also refurbishes the Hop’s 900-seat theatre, Spaulding Auditorium, while meticulously upgrading the Top of the Hop, a beloved gathering space. Several spaces on the lower level of the Hop, including the Theater Rehearsal Lab, will be reconfigured and redesigned as part of the project. 

Craig Dykers, Snøhetta Founding Partner said, “The voices of an ensemble, the production team for a dance video, and audiences themselves all represent the creative potential of diverse participation. We are excited to expand the Hop's pioneering legacy as a venue for emerging forms of artistic collaboration and creative expression by bringing new rehearsal and production spaces to the building, ensuring continued support for a variety of perspectives and ways of making.” 

An entirely new space at the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth
An entirely new space at the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth, the Recital Hall establishes an exceptional venue for the creation and presentation of musical performances and features spectacular views of the iconic Baker Library Tower | Image © Snøhetta & Methanoia

Snøhetta’s expansion of the Hop represents the latest improvement to the Dartmouth Arts District and follows the creation of the Black Family Visual Arts Center, completed in 2012 by Machado Silvetti, and the renovation of the Hood Museum of Art, redesigned by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects in 2019. Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2022, and the new, transformed Hop will reopen in 2025. During the construction process, the Hop will continue to offer a range of in-person performances and programs utilizing spaces throughout the Dartmouth campus and beyond.  

The expansion and modernization of the Hop is the latest performing arts venue designed by Snøhetta that envisions interdisciplinary arts collaborations as dynamic interactions between public space, performance facilities, and audiences. These projects include the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet (2008), the Wolfe Center for the Collaborative Arts at Bowling Green State University (2011), the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts at Queen's University (2014), the Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech (2014), and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Powell Hall Expansion (2025).  

About the Hopkins Center for the Arts  
Situated on the Green at Dartmouth, the Hopkins Center serves as a hub of performing arts and film for the campus and New England region. A leader in experiential education, it is dedicated to bringing together visiting artists, resident artists, student ensembles, and academic departments to produce and present work that represents diverse voices and perspectives and engages with a wide spectrum of artistic forms and ideas. It acts as a laboratory for creative experimentation and an instigator for exploring the connections among different artistic disciplines, the Dartmouth curriculum, and the wider community.  

About Dartmouth  
Founded in 1769, Dartmouth is a member of the Ivy League and consistently ranks among the world’s greatest academic institutions. Dartmouth has forged a singular identity for combining its deep commitment to outstanding undergraduate liberal arts and graduate education with distinguished research and scholarship in the Arts and Sciences and its four leading graduate schools—the Geisel School of Medicine, the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business. 

Estimated cost of damage to Ukraine's infrastructure reaches $63 billion

" Beyond the human toll of 1,100 civilian deaths and a quarter of its population displaced, according to UN estimates, the hit to Ukraine's economy is also massive. 

In order to calculate the cost of the country's damaged infrastructure, KSE researchers analyzed several thousand notifications from civilians, the Ministry of Infrastructure and local authorities. They also used indirect methods such as calculating the estimated area of war-damaged property in the most affected cities. [...]

[...] Europe's construction industry has also been impacted by the conflict, and contractors will likely find it increasingly difficult to source building supplies from Russia and Ukraine, according to Archinect. Growing European sanctions against Russia have exacerbated supply chain snarls, restricting the availability of materials like copper, iron ore and steel across the continent.

Ukraine produces building materials like steel, timber, pallets and clay for ceramic tiles, and these will be difficult to obtain since so much of its industrial capacity has been destroyed. Half of Ukrainian businesses have shut down completely, while the remaining ones are operating well below capacity, the United Nations Development Programme reported. [...]

Luminaire Authentik to Host Québec Brands During Intimate Showcase Event in Toronto

Luminaire Authentik, an innovative and fast-growing lighting company based in Québec’s Eastern Townships, announced a showcase event of five Québec brands in parallel with IDS Toronto. The exhibition, supported by Investissement Québec International (IQI) will take place from April 8-10 at the Toronto store of Luminaire Authentik, located at 1027 Queen Street East in the city’s Leslieville district.

LA Luminaire Authentik
LA Luminaire Authentik | Photograph © Jeremy Le Chatelier

La Maison Sensible

Luminaire Authentik focused on selecting complementary exhibitors and designing an exhibition space around the theme of ‘La Maison Sensible’ – The Sensitive Home. The design process began with the dismantling of Luminaire Authentik’s existing lighting showroom in order to redesign the 700 sq. ft. boutique into a welcoming home.

Maude Rondeau founder at LA Luminaire Authentik
Maude Rondeau founder at LA Luminaire Authentik

The idea was to create a sense of warmth and comfort, with seamless transitions of soft colours, raw materials, and an eclectic feel that embodies our roots as a local company,” explains Maude Rondeau, Founder and President of Luminaire Authentik. “We may be from Québec, but we’re neighbours, and we’re proud to offer Canadian-made products that support local businesses.

To showcase the designs of the five Québec brands, including Béton Architectural Johnstone, Élément de base, NumérArt, Coquo, and Luminaire Authentik, the companies collaborated on design schemes featuring coordinated colour palettes and natural textures to softly wrap their collective products. Each exhibitor makes unique contributions to the design of the home, from comfortable furnishings, to textured wallpaper, and a functional kitchen. Each room will be hosted by representatives of one of the five companies, with their products idyllically highlighted by the customized lighting designs of Luminaire Authentik.

Radix Braccas by Coquo
Radix Braccas by Coquo | Photograph © Matthew Williams

Special event during IDS Toronto

After opening their Toronto store in late 2020 during the pandemic, Luminaire Authentik was eager to leverage the opportunity to not only solicit business from the Canadian and international design community, but also to formally introduce themselves to the Toronto market.

Textile on wood by NumerArt
Textile on wood by NumerArt | Photograph © Jeremy Le Chatelier

Since we opened our Toronto store, we’ve wanted to do something special to take advantage of the traffic that Design Week brings to the city every year,”says Mrs. Rondeau.

Dates of the event coincide with IDS Toronto, kicking off on April 7th, with a day of invitation-only visits from 1-8pm by architects, designers, industry media, and influencers interested in commercial projects for hotels, restaurants, and home interiors. From April 8-10, ‘La Maison Sensible’ will remain in place, with doors open to the public from 10am to 5pm.

We do business with companies in other Canadian and US markets, but we are eager to reach people in the Toronto market who perhaps haven’t discovered us yet,” adds Ms. Rondeau. “The timing of this opportunity is perfect, and we look forward to entertaining guests in our home.

Event Details:
Exhibition: La Maison Sensible
Dates: April 8-10, 2022
Hours: 10am – 5pm
Location: Luminaire Authentik Showroom, 1027 Queen Street East, Toronto
Exhibitors: Luminaire Authentik, Béton Architectural Johnstone, Élément de base, NumérArt, and Coquo
VIP Launch for design professionals and media only:
Date: April 7th 
Hours: 1pm-8pm
Mandatory RSVP to: [email protected]

Foster + Partners and SHVO to revitalize the iconic Transamerica Pyramid Center in San Francisco

Foster + Partners has been appointed by SHVO, the luxury real estate development and investment firm, to revitalise the iconic Transamerica Pyramid Center in San Francisco. The biggest renovation in the building’s 50-year history, this redevelopment seeks to give a new lease of life to one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks and the second tallest building in the city.  The project will also expand and upgrade the adjacent Three Transamerica (545 Sansome) to a contemporary high-design office building.

Foster + Partners and SHVO to revitalize the iconic Transamerica Pyramid Center in San Francisco
Image © Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners was selected for its prolific expertise in melding historic architecture with contemporary design, following an invited competition including several other celebrated international architectural firms.

Located in one of the world’s premier gateway cities, and a symbol of San Francisco’s ambition, the Transamerica Pyramid Center encompasses an entire city block in the Financial District. The Transamerica Pyramid, designed by celebrated futurist architect William Pereira and completed in 1972, is emblematic of the skyline.  The broader site consists of two additional buildings – Two Transamerica (505 Sansome Street) and Three Transamerica (545 Sansome Street), and the famed central Redwood Park.

The new Foster + Partners design seeks to revitalize and restore the historic Redwood Park, while tying all three buildings together through a series of strategic interventions at ground level, creating a vibrant new destination in the heart of San Francisco while respecting and celebrating the unique heritage of the site. 

Foster + Partners and SHVO to revitalize the iconic Transamerica Pyramid Center in San Francisco
Image © Foster & Partners

SHVO and Foster + Partners are committed to conceiving high performance office spaces which enhance wellbeing.  The office is reimagined as a living space, with a sophisticated emphasis placed on comfort, hospitality, and flexibility for tenants and guests. In addition to the on-site private members club CORE, hospitality grade amenities and service elevate the offering.  Further incentivizing the return to the office, retail is carefully curated and two floors in the middle of the tower are dedicated to wellness, a lounge and conferencing facilities—all with panoramic city views.  Additionally, the top floor below the spire culminates these amenities with an enchanting private bar and lounge.

Foster + Partners and SHVO to revitalize the iconic Transamerica Pyramid Center in San Francisco
Image © Foster + Partners

Redwood Park – which consists of nearly 50 mature redwood trees transplanted from the Santa Cruz Valley to the site in 1974 and now over 100 feet tall – will also be upgraded and additional landscape will activate the site perimeter. Adding seasonal color to the space, Mark Twain Street - the alleyway from Sansome Street - will be lined with plum blossom trees, leading up to the base of the pyramid featuring curated cafes, shops and restaurants. The project is slated to be completed by the middle of 2023.

Distinguished architectural historian Paul Goldberger, an advisor to SHVO for Transamerica Pyramid Center, said: “The Foster team, known for the sensitivity of its juxtapositions of historic and modern structures, conceived a design highly responsive not only to Pereira’s spectacular original architecture, but to the nature of downtown San Francisco: not a generic redo of a 1970’s tower, but a unique project intended to celebrate a unique modern building, making the most of its exclamation point on the skyline and its presence on the street, uniting the two to become a place like no other.

Foster + Partners and SHVO to revitalize the iconic Transamerica Pyramid Center in San Francisco
Image © Foster + Partners

Lord Norman Foster, Founder and Executive Chairman of Foster + Partners, added: “This is an exceptional opportunity to restore the unique Transamerica Pyramid Tower and its historic Redwood Park, to create a very special destination in the heart of San Francisco. The existing buildings and new additions are tied together by generous landscaping which will breathe new public and community life at the sidewalk level. The previous office areas are reborn as new living spaces, with an emphasis on wellbeing. Working in collaboration with Michael Shvo and his team, we look forward to reinvigorating this truly iconic building.

Foster + Partners and SHVO to revitalize the iconic Transamerica Pyramid Center in San Francisco
Image © Foster + Partners

Norman Foster is renowned for his brilliant treatment of historic buildings and I am thrilled to partner with his team on the important task of redeveloping this extraordinary city block and reinforcing the Transamerica Pyramid as one of the greatest buildings in the world,” said Michael Shvo, Chairman & CEO. “The Pyramid is synonymous with San Francisco, representing the city’s optimism and forward-thinking nature. We have worked closely with the Foster team to respect the Center’s existing history and complement that with contemporary interventions that will only strengthen this magnificent building that stands as a beacon on this city’s skyline.

Tiny Home Village in Eagle Rock better than tents

"[...]At a time when permanent supportive housing takes years to build and the average cost per unit has climbed to nearly $600,000, the cost of these tiny homes came to about $68,000 each, or roughly $35,000 per bed, according to De León’s office.

I stepped inside a few of the tiny structures, which get their name honestly. But two beds fit comfortably in the space, there’s a window, a door, and a bank of bathrooms and showers outside.

You do have to shake your head at the thought of producing mini-homes for the destitute in a state of unprecedented public and private wealth, with sprawling mega-mansions selling for more than $100 million apiece.

But for all of that, are these tiny homes better than cardboard boxes and tents?

No doubt.

“It’s not just going to be interim housing,” De León told me. “It’s going to be three meals a day, psychotherapeutic services and drug addiction services.”

In his speeches, De León likes to ask, “in what parallel universe” is it better to leave people on the street than move them into various forms of temporary housing while awaiting more permanent housing?

During the ceremony, I wandered down the street to the homeless encampment. On both sides of Figueroa, tents line the 134 underpass. Over the years, I’ve seen the area cleared out as temporary and sometimes permanent housing are found, but the tents always return before long.

Pedro Cruz, 76, had just stepped out of his small tent on the east side of Figueroa. I asked him if he’d prefer to live in the tiny home village and he said yes. He’s already talked to outreach workers and is on a list to move in the coming days at the official opening.[...]"

Observer's Review: The Marshall Building, London

"Architecture’s role,” says Shelley McNamara of the Dublin-based Grafton Architects, “is to heighten where you are. It makes you more aware of the place you’re in.” It cannot, that is to say, cook a meal or mount a party or write a book, but it can profoundly affect your experience of eating or celebrating or studying. It cannot make a natural landscape or direct the course of the sun, but it can frame views or catch shadows in ways that make them more or less beautiful.

Which is what McNamara, her business partner, Yvonne Farrell, and their practice have collectively done with the Marshall Building at the London School of Economics, a £145m project partly funded by the hedge fund manager Sir Paul Marshall. They have made a place for teaching and for study, for gathering, work, sport and music, as well as for passing through, thinking thoughts and doing nothing in particular, all against the background of a varied and intricate part of London. They don’t take the most direct route to doing so, but have some fun and diversions along the way.

The project is at least three buildings in one. Its upper storeys contain cellular offices and meeting rooms for the LSE’s staff, plus the premises of the Marshall Institute, a body concerned with encouraging philanthropy and social entrepreneurship. Its large basement contains a sports hall, gym, squash courts and music practice rooms. In between, on the first and second levels, are lecture theatres and teaching spaces, distributed across generous spaces described as an “open student commons”. All are reached via a ground-level “great hall”, accessible to the general public, a gently sloping internal plaza that runs from one side of the building to the other.

It is located in two different cities, albeit both under the heading of “London”. On one side is the tree-filled rectangle of Lincoln’s Inn Fields, originally laid out in the 17th century, big and formal. On the other is a twisty tissue of little streets that the LSE has progressively inhabited over the decades. Its rickety spirit is set by an old cottage that claims to be the Old Curiosity Shop that inspired one of Charles Dickens’s novels.

Grafton takes all this complexity and plays with it. The three main elements of the building are built with concrete frames, each one rotated at an angle to the one below it. The offices above are small and cellular, arranged around an inner court or atrium in a way that Grafton calls monastic, in a constellation of relatively narrow blocks that allows each office to have a window to the outside world. The teaching levels are broad and expansive, filling the plot, the sports spaces another shape again. [...]

A colourful, diverse, mixed-use masterplan revives a cultural neighbourhood in Mallorca

MVRDV and Spanish co-architects GRAS Reynés Arquitectos jointly designed plan renovates four existing buildings and adds three new ones to reinvigorate El Terreno as a vibrant, green, sustainable residential neighbourhood. Each of the buildings have their own unique character derived from their colours, materials, and rooflines, together forming a distinctive place that is in tune with the Mediterranean lifestyle.

A colourful, diverse, mixed-use masterplan revives a cultural neighbourhood in Mallorca
Centred around Plaza Gomila, the plan by MVRDV and GRAS transforms the El Terreno neighbourhood | Photograph © MVRDV + GRAS

Centred around Plaza Gomila, close to the city’s harbour, El Terreno is among Palma’s most historic neighbourhoods. Until the 1990s, it was a cultural hub – home to many of the city’s famous artists and writers and known for its nightlife, with famous performances by musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Ray Charles, and Tom Jones in its bohemian nightclubs. However, it has recently seen a long period of neglect and decline. The Fluxà Family, owners of the Mallorca-based Camper shoe brand, purchased a series of neighbouring plots around the Plaza and asked MVRDV and GRAS to develop a renewal plan that echoed Camper’s philosophy of combining heritage with innovation and creativity. The resulting designs, collectively named Project Gomila, aim to recover the essence of a neighbourhood that occupies a lasting place in the memory of many Mallorcans.


The seven diverse buildings, each executed in a different colour and material, add 60 rental homes in a variety of styles and sizes intended for local inhabitants who work in the surrounding area, as well as additional commercial space. The many bright colours, emphasised by the Mediterranean sun, advertise the vibrancy and rejuvenation of the neighbourhood. Each of the buildings brings not only its own character, but also unique amenities, with facilities such as restaurants and bars being public while amenities such as pools are accessible to residents of all buildings within the plan. 

Five of the buildings of Project Gomila are already under construction. The largest building, at the heart of the ensemble, is the Gomila Center, a renovation of a 1979 design by architect Pere Nicolau. Also included in the first phase is Las Fabri-Casas, a set of blue row houses with a saw-tooth roof, the red townhouses known as Las Casitas, a sustainable apartment building built in rammed earth and, directly adjacent to Plaza Gomila, the green building simply named La Plaza, which transforms an existing building. A later phase will add two further buildings to the ensemble: the yellow Casa Virginia, and a small construction next to the Gomila Center, both renovations of existing neighbourhood buildings.

A colourful, diverse, mixed-use masterplan revives a cultural neighbourhood in Mallorca
Las Fabri-Casas is a set of blue row houses featuring a distinctive saw-tooth roof | Image © MVRDV + GRAS

By mixing new buildings and reused structures, we rejuvenate the neighbourhood while maintaining the connection to its illustrious past”, says MVRDV founding partner Jacob van Rijs. “Renovating the Gomila Center is not only ecologically sustainable, reusing the building in line with principles of circularity, but also offers a reminder of the history of the area.” 

We wanted to create a social, human neighbourhood in which all people would feel at home”, adds MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas. “The colour palette matches the sunny Mallorca, from terracotta and earth tones to bright blue and red. Because the roofs are cut in different ways – one stepped, one sloped, one with jagged gables – a diverse, recognisable district is created.

A colourful, diverse, mixed-use masterplan revives a cultural neighbourhood in Mallorca
The plan adds 60 rental homes to the neighbourhood in a variety of styles and sizes | Image © MVRDV + GRAS

The project goes beyond architecture or building design”, says Guillermo Reynés, the founder of GRAS Reynés Arquitectos and a native of Palma. “It creates a sense of community, a ‘Gomila belonging’ – something that has been missing for a long time in this part of the city but that has always been present in the memory of generations of Palmesanos. It is a unique opportunity, and a challenge that also brings a lot of responsibility.

Project Gomila is not just a mass of buildings; it is a concept that adds value to the neighbourhood via an effective public-private venture, including a unique residential housing project”, says the Fluxà family. “It restores the identity of the community square, which was a centre of avant-garde nightlife from the 1950s to the 1980s before slowly deteriorating and fading from relevance.

A colourful, diverse, mixed-use masterplan revives a cultural neighbourhood in Mallorca
The Gomila Center, a renovation of a 1979 design by Pere Nicolau, celebrates the building's original material qualities | Image © MVRDV + GRAS

The Gomila buildings have been designed according to Passive Haus principles, with high thermal efficiency and passive climate control measures such as shutters and cross ventilation to reduce energy needs. To utilize the many sun hours of Mallorca, solar panels are added to rooftops while heat recovery systems further reduce the buildings’ energy consumption. Materials will be sourced locally wherever possible, reducing the carbon produced by the construction.

Diébédo Francis Kéré Receives the 2022 Pritzker Architecture Prize

Diébédo Francis Kéré, architect, educator and social activist, has been selected as the 2022 Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, announced Tom Pritzker, Chairman of The Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the award that is regarded internationally as architecture’s highest honor.

I am hoping to change the paradigm, push people to dream and undergo risk. It is not because you are rich that you should waste material. It is not because you are poor that you should not try to create quality,” says Kéré. “Everyone deserves quality, everyone deserves luxury, and everyone deserves comfort. We are interlinked and concerns in climate, democracy and scarcity are concerns for us all.”

Diébédo Francis Kéré
Diébédo Francis Kéré | Photograph © Lars Borges

Born in Gando, Burkina Faso and based in Berlin, Germany, the architect known as Francis Kéré empowers and transforms communities through the process of architecture. Through his commitment to social justice and engagement, and intelligent use of local materials to connect and respond to the natural climate, he works in marginalized countries laden with constraints and adversity, where architecture and infrastructure are absent. Building contemporary school institutions, health facilities, professional housing, civic buildings and public spaces, oftentimes in lands where resources are fragile and fellowship is vital, the expression of his works exceeds the value of a building itself.

Francis Kéré is pioneering architecture - sustainable to the earth and its inhabitants – in lands of extreme scarcity. He is equally architect and servant, improving upon the lives and experiences of countless citizens in a region of the world that is at times forgotten,” comments Pritzker. “Through buildings that demonstrate beauty, modesty, boldness and invention, and by the integrity of his architecture and geste, Kéré gracefully upholds the mission of this Prize.

Gando Primary School
Gando Primary School | Photograph © Erik-Jan Owerkerk

Gando Primary School (2001, Gando, Burkina Faso) established the foundation for Kéré’s ideology– building a wellspring with and for a community to fulfill an essential need and redeem social inequities. His response required a dual solution – a physical and contemporary design for a facility that could combat extreme heat and poor lighting conditions with limited resources, and a social resoluteness to overcome incertitude from within the community. He fundraised internationally, while creating invariable opportunities for local citizens, from conception to vocational craftsmanship training. Indigenous clay was fortified with cement to form bricks with bioclimatic thermal mass, retaining cooler air inside while allowing heat to escape through a brick ceiling and wide, overhanging, elevated roof, resulting in ventilation without the mechanical intervention of air conditioning. The success of this project increased the school’s student body from 120 to 700 students, and catalyzed Teachers’ Housing (2004, Gando, Burkina Faso), an Extension (2008, Gando, Burkina Faso) and Library (2019, Gando, Burkina Faso).

The 2022 Jury Citation states, in part, “He knows, from within, that architecture is not about the object but the objective; not the product, but the process. Francis Kéré’s entire body of work shows us the power of materiality rooted in place. His buildings, for and with communities, are directly of those communities – in their making, their materials, their programs and their unique characters.”

Startup Lions Campus
Startup Lions Campus | Photograph © Francis Kéré

The impact of his work in primary and secondary schools catalyzed the inception of many institutions, each demonstrating sensitivity to bioclimatic environments and sustainability distinctive to locality, and impacting many generations. Startup Lions Campus (2021, Turkana, Kenya), an information and communication technologies campus, uses local quarry stone and stacked towers for passive cooling to minimize the air conditioning required to protect technology equipment. Burkina Institute of Technology (Phase I, 2020, Koudougou, Burkina Faso) is composed of cooling clay walls that were cast in-situ to accelerate the building process. Overhanging eucalyptus, regarded as inefficient due to its minimal shading abilities yet depletion of nutrients from the soil, were repurposed to line the angled corrugated metal roofs, which protect the building during the country’s brief rainy reason, and rainwater is collected underground to irrigate mango plantations on the premises.

Sarbalé Ke
Sarbalé Ke | Photograph © Iwan Baan

The national confidence and embrace of Kéré has prompted one of the architect’s most pivotal and ambitious projects, the National Assembly of Burkina Faso (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso), which was commissioned, although remains unbuilt amidst present uncertain times. After the Burkinabè uprising in 2014 destroyed the former structure, the architect designed a stepped and lattice pyramidal building, housing a 127-person assembly hall on the interior, while encouraging informal congregation on the exterior. Enabling new views, physically and metaphorically, this is one piece to a greater master plan, envisioned to include indigenous flora, exhibition spaces, courtyards, and a monument to those who lost their lives in protest of the old regime.

A poetic expression of light is consistent throughout Kéré’s works. Rays of sun filter into buildings, courtyards and intermediary spaces, overcoming harsh midday conditions to offer places of serenity or gathering. The concrete roof of Gando Primary School Library was poured around a grid of traditional clay pots, that once extracted, left openings allowing heat to escape while circular beams of natural light could linger and illuminate the interiors. A facade constructed of eucalyptus wood surrounds the elliptical building, creating flexible outdoor spaces that emit light vertically. Benga Riverside School (2018, Tete, Mozambique) features walls patterned with small recurring voids, allowing light and transparency to evoke feelings of trust from its students. The walls of Centre for Health and Social Welfare (2014, Laongo, Burkina Faso) are adorned with a pattern of framed windows at varying heights to offer picturesque views of the landscape for everyone, from a standing doctor to a sitting visitor to a lying patient.

The Citation continues, “In a world in crisis, amidst changing values and generations, he reminds us of what has been, and will undoubtably continue to be a cornerstone of architectural practice: a sense of community and narrative quality, which he himself is so able to recount with compassion and pride. In this he provides a narrative in which architecture can become a source of continued and lasting happiness and joy.”

Centre for Health and Social Welfare
Centre for Health and Social Welfare | Photograph © Francis Kéré

Kéré’s designs are laced with symbolism and his works outside of Africa are influenced by his upbringing and experiences in Gando. The West African tradition of communing under a sacred tree to exchange ideas, narrate stories, celebrate and assemble, is recurrent throughout. Sarbalé Ke at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (2019, California, United States) translates to “House of Celebration” in his native Bissa language, and references the shape of the hollowing baobab tree, revered in his homeland for its medicinal properties. The Serpentine Pavilion (2017, London, United Kingdom) also takes its central shape from the form of a tree and its disconnected yet curved walls are formed by triangular indigo modules, identifying with a color representing strength in his culture and more personally, a blue boubou garment worn by the architect as a child. The detached roof resonates with that of his buildings in Africa, but inside the pavilion, rainwater funnels into the center of the structure, highlighting water scarcity that is experienced worldwide. The Benin National Assembly (Porto-Novo, Republic of Benin), currently under construction and situated on a public park, is inspired by the palaver tree. While parliament convenes on the inside, citizens may also assemble under the vast shade at the base of the building.

Many of Kéré’s built works are located in Africa, in countries including the Republic of Benin, Burkino Faso, Mali, Togo, Kenya, Mozambique, Togo, and Sudan. Pavilions and installations and have been created in Denmark, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Significant works also include Xylem at Tippet Rise Art Centre (2019, Montana, United States), Léo Doctors’ Housing (2019, Léo, Burkina Faso), Lycée Schorge Secondary School (2016, Koudougou, Burkina Faso), the National Park of Mali (2010, Bamako, Mali) and Opera Village (Phase I, 2010, Laongo, Burkina Faso).

Kéré established Kéré Foundation in 1998 to serve the inhabitants of Gando through the development of projects, partnerships and fundraising; and Kéré Architecture in 2005 in Berlin, Germany. Kéré is the 51st Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, and is a dual citizen of Burkina Faso and Germany.

MCHAP 2022 Jury and Nominated Projects Announced

The Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) is proud to announce its jury chaired by Sandra Barclay of Barclay and Crousse Architecture along with over 250 nominated built works in North and South America for consideration in the 2022 prize cycle. There are over 200 works nominated for MCHAP 2022 and over 50 projects for MCHAP.emerge 2022 nominated by an anonymous network of international experts and professionals. 

The MCHAP 2022 jury is composed of Jury Chair Sandra Barclay (Lima, Peru), Founding Partner of Barclay & Crousse Architecture and Professor at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú; Mónica Bertolino (Córdoba, Argentina), Owner of Estudio Bertolino-Barrado and Professor at the School of Architecture, Urbanism, and Design at Córdoba National University; Alejandro Echeverri (Medellin, Colombia), Director of URBAM Centro de Estudios Urbanos y Ambientales, Owner of Alejandro Echeverri + Valencia Architects, and Distinguished Professor at TEC de Monterrey; Julie Eizenberg, FAIA (Santa Monica, USA), Founding Principal of Koenig Eizenberg Architects; Philip Kafka (Detroit, USA), President of Prince Concepts; and MCHAP Director Dirk Denison (Chicago, USA), Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture, ex officio.

“MCHAP recognizes the architectural quality and the complicity between architects and communities, institutions, or individuals at the origin of each project,” says Barclay, “Its importance echoes beyond the Americas, showcasing our continent's best Architecture, and is essential within it, as it encourages these virtuous collaborations to multiply.”

MCHAP 2022

The fourth prize cycle considers built works completed in the Americas between January 2018 to June 2021. The MCHAP Prize for Emerging Practice is a corresponding acknowledgment of the best built work in the Americas authored by a practice in its first ten years of operation. The fourth-cycle Prize for MCHAP.emerge symposium and award ceremony will be held in fall 2022, while the MCHAP symposium and award ceremony will take place in spring 2023. Both events will bring nominated architects, their teams and clients, and students and faculty into conversation at S. R. Crown Hall.

Restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic forced a two-year suspension of the biennial prize, but created an opportunity to assess its impact and reaffirm its agenda: to learn from architectural excellence that enriches lives. For this cycle jury criteria have been refined, and include consideration of how projects integrate natural, built, and human ecologies; create safe and new public spaces; engage communities as agents of change; use local workforces and materials; improve life in challenged communities; and more. The prize’s territory, the thirty-five countries of the Americas, includes a range of diverse, dynamic conditions that architecture must engage today. “MCHAP reinforces a unique North–South axis that creates potential for urgently needed cross-cultural learning at a moment of global change and crisis,” Denison said.