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AA alumnus Kien Pham (AADipl 2012) has been named as one of four individual winners of this year’s WinterStations competition in Canada, an international design contest that brings temporary public art installations to disused lifeguard lookouts on the beaches of Toronto, creating an exhibition celebrating the city’s winter waterfront landscape.

The competition, now in its fourth year, invited participants to explore the theme of ‘riot’ following a year of global tumult and uncertainty and received 240 entries. Organisers encouraged projects that promoted ‘creativity and joy… shared human qualities that bring us together and are needed now more than ever’.

Responding to the brief, Kien proposed ‘Obstacle’, a grid of 47 cross-shape columns surrounding the lifeguard stand, creating a seemingly impenetrable structure representing struggles in everyday life to wider global upheaval. The columns rotate to allow people inside, where they soon find their movements through the rotating obstacles affecting each other; the only way to get through it is to communicate and work together. The lifeguard lookout in the centre provides an elevated viewpoint from which visitors who overcome the obstacles together can sit and look hopefully to the world beyond.

The winning designs are now being installed ahead of the exhibition opening on 19 February 2018.  To find out more, visit winterstations.com/winners.

Image: Obstacle by Kien Pham

Date Submitted: 10/1/2018

The AA congratulates emerging practice Outpost Architecture & Design, co-founded by AA alumnus Robin Sjoholm (AADipl 2006), for winning the National Grid/RIBA competition to find innovative ways of redeveloping unused gasholder bases.

Outpost, established in 2016 by Sjoholm and Thomas Housden, is described as ‘hands-on; testing ideas, materials and their assembly through physical models, prototypes and full-scale mock ups’. Since graduating from the AA, Sjoholm spent four years at the award-winning design practice Project Orange, working as Project Architect on a series of large scale residential and commercial projects, including Shoreham Street, Sheffield, which won a regional RIBA award in 2013.

In a competition that attracted over a hundred entries, Outpost presented a solution for a sustainable, mixed-use development combining affordable housing and flexible workshops arranged around a large, sunken, communal courtyard. Sjoholm and Housden were said to be inspired by the round Tulou villages of the Hakka community of Fujian province in China. The design was unanimously selected as the winner ahead of five other short-listed practices.

The National Grid holds a portfolio of well over a hundred former gasholders to be dismantled within the coming years and is seeking an alternative to the labour and resource-intensive method of backfilling the sub-surface voids.

Find out more: www.architectsjournal.co.uk/10026789

Image: Outpost Architecture & Design

Date Submitted: 9/1/2018

AA Visiting School Little Architect worked with a class of 10 years old children from Clerkenwell Parochial Primary School, Islington to learn and discover their local heritage. A Heritage Lottery Funded project, the children learnt about Berthold Lubetkin and his architecture, discovering that social housing can be beautifully and respectfully designed for its inhabitants. Little Architect collaborated with John Allan (Berthold Lubetkin biographer) and visited Bevin Court with children. Its gardens, communal areas, and sculptural staircase were highly appreciated by all the children.  

A recently published outcome of this project can be read online at Issuu: https://issuu.com/littlearchitect-architecturalassoci/docs/summary_hlf-islington_bevin_court-l

Little Architect is an educational programme teaching architecture and the urban enviroment in London’s primary schools and is part of the Visiting School programme, at the Architectural Association School of Architecture.

The programme aims to teach children how to observe, understand and enjoy architecture and the built world and to become part of a more sustainable future. Little Architect's in-school projects and workshops are organised around interesting, creative and fun, cross-curricular activities for five to nine-year-olds. They provide an opportunity for students to think and communicate about buildings and cities through experimentation and drawing.

Find out more about AA VS Little Architect

Date Submitted: 23/12/2017

The AA extends its congratulations to Rory Sherlock (AADipl(Hons) 2017) who has received a commendation in the 2017 RIBA President's Medals dissertation category for his work ‘Multimedia Oblivion – Palmyra: Violence, erasure and the corporeal architectural body’.

Reflecting on his thesis and news of the commendation, Rory said: ‘elucidating the process of architectural destruction at Palmyra and the transfiguration of its monuments into media, the thesis attempts to understand the mechanisms by which this material is generated, the agendas by which it is governed and how it intervenes in the formation of history and the collective memory.

‘In the contemporary condition of mass media production, instant information transfer and expanding communications networks, stone is a volatile corporeal presence.’

Acknowledging Rory’s work, the Dissertation Medal judging panel, chaired by Professor Peg Rawes (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL), commented that ‘this thesis undertakes a highly sophisticated and complex research project into the material and digital understandings of the destruction of Palmyra. It combines a superb handling of theoretical literatures together with an insightful and critical understanding of the role of ideological, technological, economic, historical frameworks to argue that architectural heritage definitions are constructed by highly conflicted geopolitical interests.’

The RIBA President’s Medals were established in 1836 and are the RIBA’s oldest awards. Participation in the RIBA President’s Medals is by invitation only; in 2017, the RIBA invited 373 schools of architecture located in 70 countries to submit one dissertation for the RIBA Dissertation Medal, up to two design projects for the RIBA Bronze Medal, and up to two design projects for the RIBA Silver Medal.

Find out more about this year’s RIBA President's Medals at http://www.presidentsmedals.com/

Image: Rory Sherlock

Date Submitted: 12/12/2017

The Architectural Association has been part of the educational landscape in Greece through its various activities run by the Visiting School.

In December 2017, the pedagogical and research-based work of the AA in Greece will be presented at the Scientific Conference titled “Letter from London” organized by the Hellenic Institute of Architecture and ek magazine editions. The AA’s ongoing exchange of architectural knowledge and experience is going to be presented at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center by Alexandros Kallegias.

Alexandros Kallegias completed his postgraduate studies at the Architectural Association Design Research Lab (ΑΑ DRL) in London. He is the Programme Head of the AA Athens, AA Summer DLAB and AA Greece Visiting School. Moreover, he is a key member of the tutoring team of AA Istanbul Visiting School. His research has been published in peer reviewed reports and international publications.

For more information please stay tuned with the AA Visiting School in Greece.

Date Submitted: 5/12/2017

PODA architects, founded by Ulises Juliao and Ruben Taboada, 2013 graduates of the AA’s Emergent Technologies and Design programme, have won a five-star award within the Architecture Multiple Residence category for their Yacht House project at the USA & Americas Property Awards 2017-2018, one of the most prestigious industry events in the region.

Presented in Toronto on 13 November 2017, firms received awards for categories ranging across property development, real estate, interior design and architecture. Chosen from over 200 entries spread across the USA and Americas regions, the panel said that following the win ‘PODA Architects have proven themselves to be the very best in the architecture sector’.

PODA, based in Panama, is committed to producing high quality performative architecture, using advanced design processes to challenge the way in which the built environment is generated today. They employ innovative and sophisticated analytical methods and digital technologies as design basics; based on simulations and evaluations (quantitative and qualitative) to provide a new and comprehensive holistic approach to the design method, achieving control, precision and quality in the final product.

The top winners in the USA & Americas regions will automatically be entered into the overall International Properties Award competition, culminating in an awards ceremony to be held at the Savoy Hotel in London on 4 December.

Image: PODA Architects

Date Submitted: 22/11/2017

A group of three former and current AA students have received an honourable mention for their entry into the Modern Collective Living Challenge, part of the Bee Breeders Global Housing Crisis competition series; participants were tasked with envisioning new forms of accessible housing for relocated farmers in rural China.

Recent graduates Carolina Gismondi (AADipl 2017), George Guida (AADipl 2017), and PhD student Tatjana Crossley were commended by the judging panel for their design – Hutong 2.0 – which proposed a new housing typology defined by a new collective social order.        

When selecting winners, the jury panel were looking for projects that were flexible and adaptable to the differing needs of the users. Another defining attribute of selected winning projects was their demonstrable ability to reflect on the traditional Chinese lifestyle.

In an interview after the contest had concluded, the group remarked that such competitions ‘give an opportunity to speculate on design and test the limits of what architecture can do for society’ and that they ‘stress the importance of conceptual design and research that challenges the profession to create more dialogue’.

Read more about the competition here.

Image: Carolina Gismondi, George Guida and Tatjana Crossley

Date Submitted: 20/11/2017

The AA congratulates Arthur Mamou-Mani (AADipl 2008), who has been selected as one of RIBAJ’s 2017 cohort of Rising Stars.

Arthur is a London-based French architect and director of the award-winning practice Mamou-Mani Architects, which specialises in a new kind of digitally designed and fabricated architecture. Between graduating from the Architectural Association and founding the practice in 2011, he worked with Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Zaha Hadid Architects and Proctor and Matthews Architects.

Arthur, a 2016 American Architecture Gold Prize-winner, also lectures at the University of Westminster and the Bartlett in London and owns a digital fabrication laboratory called the FabPub which allows people to experiment with large 3D printers and laser cutters.

The Rising Star judges noted Arthur’s energy and commitment to ‘giving designers access to the technologies of both coding and making’ and by doing so helping to ‘break down the barriers between architects and related professions such as contractors, engineers and designers in other fields’.

Since 2016, he has been a fellow of The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

Read more about the 2017 Rising Stars cohort and RIBAJ’s profile of Arthur here.

Image courtesy Arthur Mamou-Mani

Date Submitted: 7/11/2017

dRMM, the practice co-founded by AA Past President Sadie Morgan and former AA tutor Alex de Rijke, has won the 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize for its widely acclaimed regeneration of Hastings Pier.

Closed to the public after severe storm damage in 2008, and ravaged by fire two years later, dRMM won the contest to bring the pier back to life with the backing of local residents and supporters. The practice was praised by the judging panel for its ‘utterly pivotal role’ in realising a ‘masterpiece of subtle, effortless design’.

The scheme transforms the surviving Victorian pavilion into an open plan café and adds a timber-clad visitor centre with a viewing deck, whilst the pier deck offers a vast expanse for public events and gatherings. It is third time lucky for dRMM who were nominated for the prize in 2010 and 2016.  

Sadie, who was president of the AA from 2013-2015, co-founded dRMM in 1995 along with Philip Marsh and Alex de Rijke, who is currently an External Examiner to the Design + Make programme at Hooke Park, the AA’s woodland campus.

Sadie will be opening the AA XX 100 conference in conversation with AA interim director Samantha Hardingham. To book a place, please visit xx.aschool.ac.uk/conference.

Read more about dRMM’s Stirling Prize win at www.architectsjournal.co.uk.

Image: Alex de Rijke, dRMM

Date Submitted: 1/11/2017

Mole Architects, led by AA alumnus Meredith Bowles (AADipl 1990), working in collaboration with Rebecca Granger have been awarded the RIBA 2017 Stephen Lawrence Prize for The Houseboat, a private home overlooking Poole harbour.

Established in 1998 in memory of Stephen Lawrence, who aspired to be an architect, the Stephen Lawrence Prize is now in its twentieth year and rewards the best examples of projects with a construction budget of less than £1 million.

The judging panel, which included Doreen Lawrence CBE and 2016 winner and fellow AA alumnus Taro Tsuruta (AADipl 1996), praised Mole Architects’ design for its  ‘great expression’ of ‘inspired concepts, experimentation and finely tuned craftsmanship’.

Funded by the Marco Goldschmied Foundation, the prize was open to buildings completed between November 2014 and February 2017. Marco Goldschmied (AADipl 1969), a RIBA past president and fellow judge said: ‘In an age where detail design and carefully crafted construction are all too often sacrificed to meet short term deadlines, the Houseboat is a welcome exception.’

Read more about The Houseboat here.

Image courtesy Rory Gardiner

Date Submitted: 1/11/2017

AA alumnus and past president Keith Priest (AADip 1975) has been announced as the keynote speaker alongside interim school director Samantha Hardingham at the forthcoming alumni evening event which will take place at the AA on Wednesday 22 November.

Keith studied at the AA from first year to diploma school and later became a design director at Wolff Olins, a European design consultancy based in London and Hamburg, working on design projects across Europe. He founded Fletcher Priest Architects with Michael Fletcher whom he met at Wolff Olins and who had also studied at the AA. The practice’s work covers urban design, architecture, interiors and design research. Now based in London with studios in Köln and Riga, Fletcher Priest are working on significant projects across the UK and Europe.

Keith’s work has won awards in most major programmes and it is published and exhibited extensively. He has lectured widely and been an external examiner at UK schools of architecture and art schools. A past AA Councillor, he was Chairman of the AA Foundation 2010-2011, AA President 2011-13 and returned to the AA as an external examiner in 2017. 

AA alumni from across the generations are warmly invited to return to Bedford Square for this event to re-connect with each other and the school.

Places are free, but limited. Click here to book your place.

Date Submitted: 30/10/2017

AA alumnus Andrew Mcmullan (AADipl 2006) has been appointed Vice President, Senior Project Designer of the London office of HOK, the global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm.

Andrew, who studied for his AA Diploma from 2004-2006, was formerly senior project leader at Heatherwick Studio where he led teams working on a number of prestigious schemes including a major New York urban development and a residential tower in Singapore. Prior to that and after leaving the Architectural Association, Andrew was a project architect at Allies and Morrison, delivering the London 2012 Olympic masterplan and the Rothschild’s Bank Headquarters in London which received a RIBA Sterling Prize nomination.

Larry Malcic, Senior Vice President, Design Principal at HOK said: ‘Design talent is the touchstone of every architectural practice, and Andrew has honed his unique talent working with world-recognised designers and clients. His ideas and experience will contribute to our continued growth in quality, size and expertise’.

Image courtesy of HOK

Date Submitted: 29/10/2017

Nader Tehrani, an alumnus of the AA graduate school, has been featured on the cover of the latest issue of Canadian Architect magazine and in the New York Times for his latest project: the University of Toronto’s school of architecture.

Tehrani, who is Dean of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at the Cooper Union in New York, is also Principal of NADAAA, a practice dedicated to the advancement of design innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and an intensive dialogue with the construction industry. He graduated from the AA in 1987.

His design for the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design features an origami-like floating roof creating floodlit studio and social spaces below; unusually it is his third building for a school of architecture.

Watch Nader Tehrani’s AA Public Programme lecture from 2012 here and read more about his latest work at www.canadianarchitect.com.

Image: John Horner

Date Submitted: 26/10/2017

A team led by former AA tutor and Councillor Sir David Adjaye OBE, working in collaboration with AA alumni Ron Arad (AADipl 1979) and Asa Bruno (AADipl 1998) of Ron Arad Architects, and Neil Porter (AADipl 1983) and Mary Bowman (AADipl 1988) of award-winning landscape architecture practice Gustafson Porter + Bowman has won the contest to design a £40 million national Holocaust memorial next to the Houses of Parliament.

The winning design, which was competing against nine other shortlisted schemes by practices including ZHA, Studio Libeskind, and Caruso St John, was described by the jury as ‘a living place, not just a monument to something of the past’.

The memorial, which will be built in Victoria Tower Gardens, features 23 tall bronze fins, the spaces between which represent the 22 countries in which Jewish communities were destroyed during the Holocaust, and will provide isolated pathways for visitors to descend into the subterranean learning centre.

Peter Bazalgette, chair of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation and the competition jury, said: ‘[The team’s] ability to use architecture to create an emotionally powerful experience, their understanding of the complexity of the Holocaust and their desire to create a living place as well as a respectful memorial to the past and its surroundings, will combine to create a new national landmark for generations to come’.

Click here to read more.

Image: Adjaye Associates 

Date Submitted: 25/10/2017

Four recent AA graduates and year out student Alix Biehler have been featured in the latest issue of Blueprint magazine in their review of the 2017 UK end-of-year shows.

Alix, who completed third year under the tutelage of Ryan Dillon and David Greene in Intermediate 5, was featured for her project, Moonday, which explores how we would experience life and the passage of time on the moon. Blueprint noted Alix’s ‘glowing constellation of egg-like living modules [which] celebrate the self-contained architectural environment’.

Other projects featured in the magazine, all by 2017 AA Diploma Honours graduates, were ‘Shared Roof’ by Jisoo Hwang, a tensile roof structure bridging the gap between housing and a school as a response to the ‘social and physical detachment caused by fragmented urban spaces’, Rory Sherlock’s work on the architectural form of information and the appropriation and management of the internet, Jonathan Cheng’s immersive audio experience ‘Where is the centre?’, and Nathan Su’s ‘hypnotic’ film, Through Leviathan’s Eyes, imagining a future in which reality is constructed collaboratively.

Find out more about all these projects at http://pr2017.aaschool.ac.uk.

Image: Alix Biehler

Date Submitted: 23/10/2017
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