Zootopia


ZootopiaBjarke Ingels Group has revealed its scheme for ‘Zootopia’, also known as Givskud Zoo in Denmark.

The innovative design disguises its architecture within the topography, providing a playful and freer environment for the animals.

Overhauling the rigid style of most zoos and animal parks, BIG’s scheme uses three zones, each dedicated to a continent, within the doughnut-shaped zoo.

The imaginative features of the continental zones include bamboo cottages in the panda enclosure, a hill of rice fields in the elephant house and savannah craters for giraffes and zebras.

Read more about the fun design here.

LEGO Architecture Studio


LEGO Architecture StudioLEGO is releasing a studio set for designers and architects.

LEGO Architecture Studio, consists of over a thousand pieces – however, unlike ordinary brightly coloured LEGO sets, all of the components are either white or transparent.

LEGO said: “Anyone with an interest in architecture can now create their own LEGO original designs, as well as building mini architectural masterpieces such as the Eiffel Tower and the Trevi Fountain.”

A guidebook, with helpful diagrams and contributions from leading architecture firms, also comes with the set.

Discover more about the new product here – do you think this is a great idea?

Breath Box


Breath BoxA cabin covered in mirrors interacts with visitors and its environment.

Breath Box in La Grande Motte is covered with 345 steel flaps, which are hinged so both the wind and visitors can interact with them. The mirrored façade also reflects the sea.

Designed by NAS Architecture, the cabin has been created for the Festival des Architecture Vives.

Find out more about the Breath Box here and let us know what you think of the design.

Floating hotel offers purest view of Northern Lights


Krystall HotelA floating hotel is set to offer the purest view of the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights.

The 5-star Krystall Hotel will be the first of its kind in Europe and will be in the Norwegian fjords, as far away from light pollution as possible.

The snowflake-shaped hotel, which was designed by Dutch Docklands, has been described as an environmentally ‘scarless development’ and its glass roof will ensure guests will get the very best view of the Lights.

Take a closer look at the Krystall Hotel here and tell us what you think of it.

Magic Mountain Lodge


Magic Mountain LodgeThere is a hotel deep in northern Patagonia called the Magic Mountain Lodge.

Surrounded by forest, the Lodge slopes upwards to a fountain, which coats the stone and vegetation with water.

The arched windows add to the fairytale feel of the hotel, which even has a rope bridge connecting it to the forest.

The Lodge, which acts as a base for ecotourists, also has a bar, restaurant, and outside hot tubs made from trees.

Find out more about the hotel here and tell us what you think of it.

A house with rotating rooms


Sharifi-ha HouseA house in Tehran incorporates rotating rooms which accommodate changing seasons.

The seven-storey Sharifi-ha House includes three rooms that can rotate 90 degrees to let in more sunlight and make space as the seasons change.

The rooms are part of a motorised system, which also puts stairs and handrails into the adapted space.

The luxury house, by Nextoffice, also features a range of leisure facilities, including an underground gym and swimming pool.

Take a look at the house here and tell us what you think.

A window emulating sunlight from around the world


CoeLux windowA smart window can recreate different types of sunlight through ingenious technology.

CoeLux uses a full-spectrum LED lighting system, with a special pane that reproduces the Rayleigh scattering effect of sunlight travelling through the atmosphere.

The window is available in three options, mimicking the sunlight of the tropics, the Mediterranean, or Scandinavia.

Find out more about CoeLux here and tell us what you think of the idea.

Stirling Prize shortlist revealed


The ShardRIBA has released the shortlist for its prestigious Stirling Prize.

Six new buildings have been shortlisted for the Prize, which is awarded to the project that has made the most significant contribution to architecture in the United Kingdom.

The nominations, which include Renzo Piano’s The Shard, are drawn from the public, commercial, and educational spheres.

Zaha Hadid, a previous recipient of the Stirling Prize, has also been nominated for the London Aquatics Centre.

The winner will be announced by RIBA on the 16th October.

Find out which buildings have been nominated here.

Modernist buildings as mixed-media images


Lucy Williams - Modernist artA British artist creates incredibly detailed renderings of 20th Century buildings, with arts and crafts.

Lucy Williams painstakingly produces three-dimensional pictures out of materials including different types of wood, coloured card, acrylic paint and wool.

Inspired by photographs of modernist buildings, Williams’ work has recently been hosted by the McKee Gallery in New York.

Take a look at more of Williams’ architectural art here and tell us what you think of the handcrafted pictures.

Mall of the World


Mall of the WorldDubai has unveiled plans for the world’s first indoor city, called ‘Mall of the World’.

The giant dome, which will be climate-controlled, recreates iconic parts of cities from across the world, including Oxford Street, Broadway and Las Ramblas.

The 4.5 million sq m city will also boast the world’s biggest indoor theme park and shopping mall, along with 20,000 hotel rooms.

Dubai is already known for several record-breaking constructions, including the world’s tallest building.

Find out more about the Mall of the World here and tell us what you think.

Photographs of Design Museum revealed


The Design MuseumPhotographs of the new Design Museum in South Kensington have been released.

The museum, which is currently under construction, is due to open in 2016 and will be three times the size of the current building.

The £80 million project will include design workshops and a design library, a free-to-enter permanent collection and a gift shop.

A virtual tour of the site was made available online last year.

Find out more here and let us know what you think about the project.

Landesgartenschau: an exhibition hall built by robots


Landesgartenschau Exhibition HallAn exhibition hall has a structure created entirely from plywood prefabricated by robots.

The Landesgartenschau Exhibition Hall in Germany has been constructed using digital design and robotic fabrication techniques, which also included insulation, waterproofing and cladding.

The hall’s structure consists of 243 hexagonal plywood panels and the double-domed design is inspired by the skeletal structure of a sea urchin, which is described as ‘one of the most efficient modular systems in nature’.

Find out more about the design here and tell us what you think.

Maison des Fondateurs


Maison des FondateursBjarke Ingels Group has unveiled its spiralling design for a Swiss watchmaker’s museum.

The project, entitled ‘Maison des Fondateurs’, is partially sunken into the ground and incorporates spiral geometry, invoking the feel of cogs and other watch pieces.

Based at Audemars Piguet’s headquarters in Vallée de Joux, the building will hold the watchmaker’s workshops and galleries.

Find out more about the design here and tell us what you think of it.

RIBA Awards winners


Tate Britain, Millbank ProjectThe Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the winners of the 2014 RIBA Awards.

The fifty six winners are drawn from regional categories for the National Awards, with a separate category for projects by British architects in the European Union.

High-profile winners include The Shard by Renzo Piano Building Workshop; Tate Britain, Millbank Project by Caruso St John Architects; and Danish Maritime Museum by BIG.

The Stirling Prize shortlist will be drawn from the winners and will be announced in July.

Find out more about the Awards here.

Transarquitetônica


TransarquitetônicaA Brazilian museum is hosting an immense installation that resembles a giant network of roots.

Transarquitetônica by Henrique Oliveira is made of tapumes (a wood used for temporary construction), which is used as a skin over a metal framework.

The installation, which is so large that visitors can walk around inside its tunnels, winds around its space in the Museu de Arte Contemporânea and tapers into smaller roots at one end.

Watch the video below or take a closer look at the installation here – would you wander around Transarquitetônica?

Sky Habitat


Sky HabitatArchitect Moshe Safdie has designed an astonishing building with a sky pool 38 storeys high.

‘Sky Habitat’ consists of two white tiered towers connected by garden bridges and the sky pool –although there is also a swimming pool at ground level for less adventurous swimmers.

Located in Singapore, Sky Habitat will include over 500 apartments and is due to be completed next year.

Take a closer look at the design here and let us know if you would brave the sky pool.

Clerkenwell Design Week


Visualisation of Jaguar Foscarini installationThe fifth Clerkenwell Design Week opened on Tuesday 20th May, hosting the most innovative products, designers and brands around. Here are a few of our favourite locations on the showcase trail:

Design Factory – The Farmiloe Building

Jaguar and Italian lighting firm Foscarini have created a dramatic scene in the Design Factory’s atrium, pairing a bespoke Jaguar with a supersized light installation by Ferruccio Laviani.

Jaguar invited designers to submit concept wraps for its new Jaguar F-TYPE Coupé, using the #FearlessDesign hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.

The winning design, ‘Untamed Creativity’ by Justin Silke, resembles a dynamic scrawl, which Jaguar described as embodying their ‘design ethos of visual drama and individualism’.

Laviani’s Tuareg consists of orange and black tubular elements arranged into a three-dimensional structure and suspended from the ceiling. There are other Tuareg installations on display in the Foscarini stage, alongside other work, including Big Bang by Vicente Garcia Jimenez, Lightwing by Jean Marie Massaud and Rituals by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba.

Detail – St. John’s Square

Another exhibition worth visiting is Detail at St. John’s Square, which hosts luxury interior brands. One must-see is the edra showcase in the medieval crypt of the Order of St. John; featuring work from designers such as the Campana brothers, the pieces combine eclectic influences and reimagine them in classic furniture styles. The lowlights and tranquillity of the crypt somehow enhance the ‘otherness’ of the collection, ensuring a memorable experience.


Tile Mile – St. John’s Gate

Tile Mile - DezeenTile Mile invites visitors to revel in the kaleidoscopic effect of the transformed St. John’s Gate, which is described in The Icon Guide to CDW as being ‘reminiscent of the famous Basilica Cistern in Istanbul’.

Using mirrors in the inner arches and a complex, colourful floor tile design, Tile Mile also reflects the archway’s stunning vaulted ceiling. The temporary installation was created by architects russ + henshaw and sponsored by Turkishceramics.

Find out more about Clerkenwell Design Week (which runs until the 22nd May) here.

Viewpoint St Jansklooster


Viewpoint St JanskloosterAn old water tower in the Netherlands has been transformed into an observation point.

Zecc Architecten has overhauled St Jansklooster (St John’s Convent) Tower by installing three different staircases leading visitors to a stunning view of the surrounding wetlands, 45 metres high.

The most extraordinary staircase is the second, made of oriented strand board, which zigzags around the existing steel staircase, which the design team describe as creating ‘spatial interaction’ and reinforcing ‘spatial perception’.

As well as the staircases, four larger windows have been added to the viewing platform to give a 360 degree vista.

The St Jansklooster Tower was built in 1932 and now also incorporates a visitor’s centre.

Find out more about Viewpoint St Jansklooster here.

The Hive-Inn – a ‘Jenga-like’ hotel


An architecture firm has developed the Hive-Inn hotel, which uses the principle of Jenga.

The design, which is by OVA Studio, uses recycled shipping containers stacked in a metal frame.

The containers can be shifted according to the hotel’s requirements, which is made easy by the grid-like structure, and could even be sponsored by brands.

The design was entered for the Radical Innovation Award, which has been searching for creative hospitality solutions since 2007.

Find out more about the Hive-Inn here.

Brainwaves as a sculpture


Our brainwaves can now be mapped as three-dimensional models, thanks to an innovative art project.

Ion Popian uses electroencephalogram (EEG) sensors to measure brain activity, which is fed into a 3D modelling programme.

Changes in the fluid model are produced by different intensities of brain activity, but specific emotions, such as happiness, can’t be mapped on the model.

After editing the model, Popian creates a 3D-printed sculpture of the brainwaves; he now hopes to use his concept for architecture.

Find out more about the project, called ‘Mental Fabrications’, here and tell us what you think of the idea – would you map your brainwaves?

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