MPavilion, Melbourne

OMA founder Rem Koolhaas and colleague David Gianotten have unveiled plans to create a reconfigurable amphitheater topped by a translucent, floating roof for this year’s MPavilion in Melbourne. The two architects plan to create a “theatre for ideas” in Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens for the fourth edition of MPavilion, an annual commission billed as Australia’s answer to London’s Serpentine Pavilion.

This will comprise a circular performance space embedded into the park’s verdant landscape, with both seating elements and a roof that can be adapted to suit different activities. Koolhaas wants the project to become a model for how architecture can act as a trigger for activity in a city, particularly in Australia, which he describes as “an almost perfect society, but lacking in intensity”. “It’s not without ambition, it’s the kind of project that hopes to provoke a real discussion about what architecture can do in a context like Australia.

To accommodate this “intensity”, part of the pavilion’s seating will be able to rotate – so it can either face inwards, or out towards the park. Similarly, the building’s roof will incorporate lighting and other technological features, meaning it will be able to offer what Gianotten describes as “all kinds of technical and fun possibilities”. This roof will consist of a two-meter-high grid structure made from aluminum-coated steel, infilled with translucent panels. “The building is more or less a roof, under which we have an amphitheater that can be transformed in different configurations,” explained Gianotten, who is OMA’s managing partner architect.

“By rotating part of this amphitheater fully open towards the city, we create pockets where different activities can play a role, but where also suddenly the park – with the city as its backdrop – can be the scene for activity and debate. “Indigenous plants and flowers will surround the exterior of the structure to help it blend in with its setting.

Solar Egg, Kiruna

Riksbyggen is commemorating the start of Kiruna’s urban transformation project by opening Solar Egg, a public sauna art installation by prizewinning artistic duo Bigert & Bergström, to the city and its inhabitants. Solar Egg is an oval sauna created by the internationally renowned artists Mats Bigert and Lars Bergström. It draws inspiration from Kiruna’s Arctic climate, where light conditions change with the seasons from 24-hour winter darkness to round-the- clock midsummer sun. The egg shape seeks to symbolize rebirth and new opportunities at the start of Kiruna’s urban transformation, a project that involves the relocation of entire city districts in response to ground subsidence caused by decades of iron ore mining.

Standing five meters high and four meters wide, the Solar Egg has a shell of gold-plated stainless steel that reflects the city and surrounding countryside. Consisting of 69 separate pieces, the installation can be taken down and moved to different locations within the city. Inside, heat is provided by a heart-shaped wood-fired burner. The exhibition explores human attempts to control the planet’s weather and temperature. Solar Egg shifts that focus to practical use. Riksbyggen’s residential apartments at Luossabacken will be one of the first construction projects of Kiruna’s city transformation and will have views of the Arctic fells.

Lucky Knot Bridge, China

When NEXT architects first unveiled images for their extraordinary Lucky Knot bridge, the Möbius Strip-inspired design seemed too good to be true. But just a few months ago, fantasy became reality with the project’s opening in Changsha, China. Bridging local context and culture with modern design and technology, the Lucky Knot is a unique work of art that challenges how we see and design everyday infrastructure. Located in the megacity Changsha’s rapidly developing New Lake District, Lucky Knot spans the Dragon King Harbor River and serves as an auspicious icon for the region.

The steel-framed bridge stretches 185 meters in length and 24 meters in height and is painted red—a color symbolizing good luck and happiness in Chinese culture. The bridge’s unusual shape combines the principles behind the Möbius Strip and Chinese knotting, a decorative handicraft art typically made with red rope, and often used as auspicious wall hangings. The Lucky Knot’s eye-catching design isn’t the only way it stands out from most pedestrian bridges. Public engagement was a big focus of the design, which was crafted with recreational, ecological, and tourist activities in mind. Multiple landing platforms and cutouts, as well as the bridge’s multiple swooping levels that connect to different heights like the riverbank and the elevated park, encourage a sense of play.

An LED light show brings the bridge to life at night. The undulating bridge offers stunning views of the river, Meixi Lake, the city of Changsha, and the surrounding mountains. “The Lucky Knot is more than a bridge and a connection between two river banks. Its success lays in bringing cultures together, and in the fusion of history, technology, art, innovation, architecture and spectacle,” said NEXT architects Beijing partner Jiang Xiaofei.

Ricco Showroom, Brazil

Super Limao Studio was invited by Ricco to develop a design to their new space facade in São Paulo, Brazil. With the aim to provide more visibility and convey attributes linked to a century corporate furniture’s brazilin brand, the big challenge was to build a new facade to a pre-existing building located in one of the most important avenue in the city.

Ricco is located in an important corner of Avenida, Brazil. The new store position helped to establish some of the most important concepts of the brand, such as tradition and precision of its production. After several materials, composition and volume studies, Super Limao chose a metallic wrap element. The metallic wrap refers to the traditional Origamis and was mainly inspired by the Miura-Ori model, created by the Japanese astrophysicist Koryo Miura.

The project used approximately 600 pieces in composite aluminum plates, developed inside Ricco industrial structure. Super Limao designed a base structuring grid that was repeated sequentially covering the all surface. In the entire facade – 33 meters length in front side – only two forms were used, lozenges and triangles. Also, some different colors and textures were used, gray or withe, perforated or plain. The opening have the depth of 70 cm and permeates two still faces in both corners. The store entrance links this two windows and turning the facade in to one peace. This space fills the function of exposing various lines of securities of Ricco.

Maison Stephane Hessel, France

The competition for a new mixed-use building in Lille piqued our interest both in its unprecedented mixture of program and its prominent triangular site in the heart of the new district of Porte de Valenciennes.

The brief outlined a 70-cradle nursery, a 200-bed youth hostel, and an office dedicated to social and economic innovations all collected under one unified roof; a tall order even by multifunctional building standards. Rather than simply dividing horizontally by level or vertically by mass, our solution combines efficient organization with a programmatic strategy that converts the geometric constrictions of the site into social amenities, and resolves the seemingly contradictory functions in an intertwined social spiral.

Over the past twenty years Lille has become a European hub a destination for business and congress, a great place to study and live and also a tourist destination. It is a city with a turbulent history of conquest and reconquest, a heritage as an important medieval city and later on enjoyed and sometimes suffered the title of Northern France industrial capital.

The Maison Stephane HESSEL emerges from the idea of creating an urban catalyst, designed to accommodate the three ages of mankind, from birth, through adolescence, and into adulthood a volume that captures the stages of human growth. By placing each program at a separate point of the triangle, we maximize privacy at the edges with a continuous gradient of programmatic overlap towards the central, uniting courtyard space which becomes a calm cloister of retreat from the city.

The corners of the building are lifted to invite neighborhood interaction and provide spaces for public activities, extending the function of the building beyond its walls and intentionally blurring the line between private and public. Designed to meet strict energy efficiency targets, the Maison Stéphane HESSEL is an environmentally conscious and socially responsible intervention which responds to an ambitious brief with an equally ambitious solution a hybrid structure that facilitates the life of its users, from nursery to nursing home.

Senzoku Gakuen College of Music

The dome shape of the Silver Mountain building features a powerful outline and represents a remarkable landmark of the Senzoku Gakuen campus. Such a peculiar silhouette is a result of the building’s functional needs. The eye-catching 3-storey structure designed to host mainly rehearsal studios is a reinforced concrete shell with a truss wall system combined with steel rod truss and molding mesh form. The exterior stainless steel plates (think 0.3 mm) were developed to maximize the use of regular size plates that measure 600 x 400 mm. In fact, the complex curve surface of the Mountain is comprised of 7,800 external cladding panels of varying shapes and sizes developed one by one to fill in the gaps.

The expansion of Senzoku Gakuen College of Music in Kanagawa Prefecture is a striking game of opposites. Its Silver Mountain contrasts with Red Cliff, while its free form challenges the notion of a rigid geometric box. The two monolithic forms employ contemporary technology to meet the school’s educational philosophy and designer’s vision. Created by Kunihide Oshinomi’s K/O design studio based in Tokyo, the bubble building is clad with over 7,800 stainless steel panels designed using 3D surface analysis.

Given the reflective qualities of the cladding material, the façade of Silver Mountain is a scenographic solution. It suggestively mirrors ever-changing outdoor light and weather conditions. Red Cliff, on the other hand, is a rectangular 5-storey box, which hosts offices, the faculty lounge and student lounge, finished with a random geometric pattern combining 3 different shades of red. The third minor and almost unnoticeable element of the new complex is a light glass shelter known as Cloud. Strategically overlapping the main pedestrian axis of the campus, it visually links the metallic Mountain and Red Cliff to emphasize the entrances of the two buildings.

The interior of Senzoku Gakuen College of Music fully respects the exterior impressions. The silver rounded Mountain features a cave-like dramatic foyer space and undulating walls of rehearsal halls that benefit from acoustic properties of the rooms, avoiding any echo. The straight-lined Red Cliff features a quadratic layout, boxy furniture and regular geometry. Constructed on a site of 65,744,08 sq.m and featuring 5,084,00 sq.m of total floor area, Senzoku Gakuen College of Music is a bold work of architecture that explores such fundamentals as form, space, material and color.

Theme Pavilion, Qinddao

The World Horticultural Expo that took place the Chinese city of Qingdao and is expected to attract 15 million international visitors. The main theme of the expo was ‘From the Earth, For the Earth’ and aims to encourage the exchange of culture, technology and horticultural knowledge. In its design for the Theme Pavilion UNStudio combines expert knowledge of logistics, spatial organization, specialized typology, future flexible usability, function programming, façade intelligence, user comfort and sustainability.

Ben van Berkel: The architecture for the Theme Pavilion overflows and interacts with the surrounding landscape. The forms of the pavilion buildings respond to the nearby mountains, with their carefully composed rooftops acting as plateaus, each addressing a different portion of the master plan by different inclination and terracing and providing panoramic views which extend far into the surrounding landscape. The 28,000-square meter Theme Pavilion comprises the main Expo hall, a grand performance hall, a conference centre and a media centre.

The architectural design gesture for the pavilion is borrowed from the shape of the Chinese rose the city flower of Qingdao and converted into the floor plan layout of the design. The four pavilion volumes or ‘petals’ are connected by internal and external walkways and frame a central square which becomes a ‘stage’ for the visitors: a dynamic focal point surrounded by viewpoints on varying levels.

Ben van Berkel: The flowering out concept is integrated into the design of the Theme Pavilion as gesture of communication. Similarly, to how it occurs in nature, the action of flowering out in architecture attracts and invites through the senses. It alludes to the notion that a building can open itself up and encourage public interaction. The Theme Pavilion operates as the platform for monthly programmed and seasonally themed activities, featuring flowers in spring, shading in summer, fruits in autumn and greens in winter.

Ninja Star Shaped Pavilion, Tokyo


Architecture graduate students and design professionals at the Digital Fabrication Lab at the University of Tokyo collaborated on the design and construction of a unique and temporary pavilion. Constructed of prestressed cables and compressive steel components, the pavilion is built upon Buckminster Fuller’s principles of tensegrity. The pavilion was titled “Ninety-Nine Failures” after its experimental approach and adherence to the idea that repeated failures are the gateway to success.

The Digital Fabrication Lab is an initiative founded by architect Kengo Kuma and Yusuke Obuchi to explore architectural innovations through experimentation. The third non-programmatic pavilion undertaken by the initiative, Ninety-Nine Failures is a study of Buckminster Fuller’s concept oftensegrity, which defines a structure by its tension and compression forces rather than its structural elements.

In the design process, the designers repeatedly tested different structural models to find a geometry that could smoothly transition from a flat, two-dimensional surface into a sturdy 3D form. Digital mockups were created in Grasshopper and Kangaroo to simulate the tensegrity model and assembly process. Because even the slightest change in tension can cause collapse, the designers are built a physical 1:3 model from laser cut materials to study the behaviors of the tensegrity test the tension cables.

The prestressed cables pull together layers of thin stainless steel sheets welded together and inflated with hydraulic pressure to create the shape of inflated metal pillows. Each metal component was then carefully spaced apart to allow light to pass through and to minimize the impact of wind loads. After the materials were assembled on site, a crane pulled the structure upright into its final form.

Beersheba Station Bridge, Israel


Tel-Aviv firms Bar Orian Architects and Rokach Ashkenazi Engineers have built a bridge in the Israeli city of Beersheba, featuring arches that create the shape of two eyes. The 210-metre-long bridge traverses a series of railway tracks, providing a link between the Beersheba North Railway Station and the Gav-Yam Negev Advanced Technologies Park. Bar Orian and Rokach Ashkenazi won an invited competition for the project with their design for a curving structure intended as a new landmark in this fast-developing region to the north of the city centre.

To make an architectural statement, the bridge was designed with an expressive structure that is left visible, rather than being concealed behind cladding. The structure comprises over 200 different steel-beam cross sections that support four intersecting arches, creating the two eye-shaped forms. One is 110 metres in length, while the other measures just 70 metres.

The engineering and design scheme are based on four steel arches which twist and undulate, creating two ‘eyes’ in the space between them. The arched formation creates a protected space for pedestrians, an experiential and exclusive journey, in which each step reveals a surprising view of shapes, materials, and sights. The undulating and twisting form is intended to invoke the movement of the trains passing beneath.

The dramatic angles of the supporting foundations and the tapering cross-bracing elements add to the dynamic aesthetic. The steel bridge solves an accessibility issue for employees at the technology park, who previously had to navigate around the railway tracks to reach their workplaces when arriving at a car park on the opposite side.

The bridge’s open sides allow air to flow naturally through the structure, and ensures a constant visual connection with the surrounding city as users walk across. At night, lighting integrated into the arches illuminates the structural components in between, creating the impression that the bridge is hovering above the tracks.

Olympic Gymnastics Arena, Korea


The renovation of 1988 Olympic Gymnastics Arena is a National competition wining project. As one of Korea’s most prominent cultural performance venues, the building’s architecture, and its location within the Olympic Park, has a significant cultural importance, as well as representing the legacy of the 1988 Seoul Games an important event in modern Korean history. The site is situated within one of the city’s largest public parks, accessible to a wide range of visitors. The arena is being renovated with the intent to establish a new identity for the building, while preserving its historical significance. The design minimizes construction by reusing a majority of the existing structure. The circular gallery surrounding the outer edge of the building has been expanded to accommodate a wider range of retail and event-related programs, and prepare the facility for any future expansion. Much of the renovation is focused on the roof structure, which has been replaced with a dynamic truss system that references the form of a Tornado. The arena not only holds historic significance with its role in the 1988 Olympics, but, is also ‘the premiere cultural performance venue of Korea,’ with its location inside one of the largest man-made public parks in Korea. The redesign of the Olympic Arena was developed with the goal of establishing a new programmatic identity while preserving the historical and symbolic significance of the existing structure and façade as much as possible. The project will utilize the majority of the existing structure, but will expand the circular hall surrounding the edge of the building, to accommodate a wider range of retail and other event-related programs, as well as preparing it for any possible future expansions.