Irish architect Sheila O’Donnell has claimed the top honor at this year’s Women in Architecture (WIA) awards, an annual prize hosted by Architects' Journal and The Architectural Review. Named Architect of the Year 2019, O’Donnell heads up the 31-year-old practice O’Donnell + Tuomey alongside partner John Tuomey. O’Donnell is being recognized specifically for her firm’s 2016 renovation and expansion of the Central European University in Budapest. The project is part of a multi-phase, campus-wide masterplan to connect and consolidate the institution’s physical footprint, which sits on a World Heritage site, while dually elevating its design with a 21st-century scheme. O’Donnell + Tuomey created a 376,700-square-foot vision that seamlessly linked the historic structures on the urban campus, all of which were previously disconnected from one another and included individual entrances. The design team also added two new contemporary buildings that became the public face of the school. One of those new buildings now serves as the main entrance to the university. Housing a giant, light-filled library and learning commons over a multi-purpose auditorium, it features warm yet bright minimalist materials that allow the structure to stand in contrast to the surrounding ornamented, sandstone buildings. The new construction boasts a geometric facade framed with local limestone and steel, two materials that are also used within the building, alongside slatted timber and concrete. Bespoke furniture featuring similar, natural-looking products dot the public spaces inside. The result of O’Donnell + Tuomey’s intervention is a university center that’s not only easier to navigate, but also an institution that’s stitched more thoughtfully into the urban fabric of central Budapest. The new structures add a modern feel to the historic site, thanks in part to the inclusion of a dramatic, pitched glass roof that hovers over the library and provides ample light, as well as a series of red-coated metal stairs. The highly sustainable structures also feature landscaped roof gardens that reduce heat gain and give views of the city’s downtown skyline. Courtyards in between the buildings also provide natural ventilation and respite for those indoors. The Women in Architecture Awards jury said O’Donnell exhibited a clear passion for constructing an improved physical environment for the university that resulted in a high-quality building people can admire. “She is a role model for young women in architecture,” the jury announced in a statement. “Sheila O’Donnell did not have to break the glass ceiling—she and John Tuomey created a new reality.” As of early December, the university announced it will be moving its operations to its sister site, a facility in Vienna, in the near future. It’s unclear how O’Donnell + Tuomey’s update to the school’s Budapest location will be used once classes cease. Other finalists for WIA Architect of the Year 2019 included Ellen van Loon of OMA, noted for the Quater National Library in Doha; Eva Prats of Flores & Prats for the Casal Balaguer Cultural Centre in Palma de Mallorca; and Carme Pigem of RCR Arquitectes for the De Krook Library in Ghent. Beijing-based architect Xu Tiantian, founder of the firm DnA (Design and Architecture), was also awarded the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture at this year’s ceremony. The honor, which goes to a woman designer under 45 years old, was presented to Xu for her body of work, which includes the Hakka Indenture Museum, a tofu factory, and the Wang Jing Memorial Hall, among others.
Posts tagged with "Hungary":
The Hungarian Museum of Transport is on the move, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), alongside local architecture firm Tempannon, has been chosen to design its new home in Budapest. Appropriately enough, the museum will move to a 17-acre site in the Northern Maintenance Depot in Kőbánya, a heavily industrialized area surrounded by both active and historical transportation infrastructure. The museum, one of the oldest transportation collections in Europe, is known for its wide showcase of both scale and full-sized buses, trains, cars, and other vehicles. The current building in Városliget has been closed for two years in anticipation of the move to the new site. The winning DS+R scheme heavily involves the idea of “ground transportation” and carving into the ground plane to afford visitors views from underneath the collection. By carving, lifting, and cutting into the ground, as well as using ample amounts of glass, the new museum will let guests explore the vehicles from every angle while still preserving them. Outside, a “Forecourt” will knit together the existing buildings on the site with the bike and pedestrian paths and railways. An intermingling of paved and landscaped areas, a picnic area, outdoor galleries, a café, and spaces for the nearby Törekvés Cultural Center will allow museum guests to decompress before and after entering. Carriage cars and locomotives will also adorn the Forecourt through a series of “breakout vitrines.” The museum itself will project from the Diesel Hall, a mid-century modern industrial building with nine, 360-foot-long parallel naves. Half of the new Grand Hall will remain in the Diesel building to reinforce the structure, while the other half will lie in the forecourt and create a symbolic bridge between old and new. A “second ground” will sit above the Gallery Hall and house space for special exhibitions, a museum café, and educational spaces, while providing uninterrupted views of the surrounding landscape. The museum's international design competition kicked off in August of last year. According to a statement by DS+R, the firm was selected out of a slew of other well-known practices: 3H Architecture, Amanda Levete Architects Ltd., Atelier Brückner GmbH, Bjarke Ingels Group, Caruso St John Architects, CÉH Zrt. + Foster & Partners, David Chipperfield Architects, Építész Stúdió Kft., KÖZTI Zrt. and Lacaton & Vassal Architects. No estimated completion date for the project has been given yet. As the proposed site sits on a brownfield, environmental remediation will need to be finished before construction can begin.
In Veszprém, a historic medieval town in western Hungary, 12 designers have coated walls of an aging school to illustrate the significance of architectural ornamentation and what it means for and to young architects today. The Elementary School of Music (formerly the Industrial School) was designed by Hungarian architect Lajos Schoditsch, a building which sits across the street from the Petőfi Theater, designed by another Hungarian, István Medgyaszay. Both buildings are integral to the city's architectural history and represent the changing use of motif and ornament in Hungarian architecture. Both are also scheduled to be renovated, with the now-vacant Elementary School of Music due to become an office building serving the theater. Seizing the moment before the renovation, the Hungarian practice Paradigma Ariadné, led by Dávid Smiló, Attila Róbert Csóka, and Szabolcs Molnár, saw the chance for architectural intervention. Working with Heléna Csóka, the curators of the 12 Walls project invited designers from across Europe to come up with wall installations that riffed on the history of ornament embedded in the former school. The result is a series of painted walls vying for visual attention in a cacophony of color and ornamentation. Each wall has its own agenda, courtesy of the 12 designers. The walls serve as standalone works but end up interacting with adjacent and nearby painted walls to create a dazzling landscape inside the vacant building. The designers and collectives commissioned include: Architecture Uncomfortable Workshop, Enorme Studio, False Mirror Office, Gyulai Levente, Adam Nathaniel Furman, Andrew Kovacs, MNPL Workshop, Giacomo Pala, Space Popular, TREES, Very Good Office, and Paradigma Ariadné itself. "Many emerging architects and studios are struggling to settle with the repeatedly omitted, yet constantly resurfacing ornament," the curators said in a statement. "Presenting different approaches by young collectives, the works at the exhibition examine the current roles and boundaries of the ornament, by appropriating the late Industrial School’s empty, undecorated walls." The majority of the walls are awash with bright colors. Austrian-based architect and researcher, Giacomo Pala's wall, titled, Frank Variation, riffs on the work of Austrian architect, Josef Frank. According to Pala, he was one of the first modern architects to deal with ornament, and Pala's work abstracts the late architect's approach to city planning, interior schemes, and watercolor architectural paintings. British designer Adam Nathaniel Furman's wall, Diadema, bursts with even more color. In a kaleidoscopic arrangement, brightly colored triangles and ellipses splay out across the wall creating an almost 3-D illusion. "Ornament is not a language. Ornament doesn’t speak," he said in a short text describing his work. "Ornament is the flush in the cheek, the color of life in the eye…it is the vigor of the fleshly moment captured in time for anyone and everyone who enters a space. Diadema is a taste of this, a crowning moment of chromatic delight in miniature." Space Popular, formed by Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg and based in London, has created one of the few walls to use text. At first glance, Tilt Lines looks like it was made with CAD sketching tools, but the piece was crafted by hand instead of digital tools to depict what Space Popular describe as an "endless mass." "Working with the line in 3-D space highlights the fact the we tend to identify spaces with enclosures," the firm added. "This notion is challenged when we are given a brush that draws in mid-air and we desperately try to fill in surfaces, consequently making everything look like gingerbread houses." Only one installation refrains from using color and that comes from MNPL Workshop from Odessa, Ukraine. The monochrome pattern has a hidden message, however. "By eliminating unnecessary decorative elements for modern society, modernism created a perfect environment for filling with elements of marketing and advertisement," said MNPL in a statement. One such element is a corporate logo and numerous logos have been embedded into the black and white ornamentation by MNPL.
The LEGO tower in Budapest, Hungary has broken the world record for "tallest structure built with interlocking plastic blocks." The tower was completed and registered with the Guinness Book of World Records on May 25th at a height of 114 feet. The previous record was 112.9 feet and was set through the combined efforts of students from the red clay consolidated school district in Delaware. According to the blog So Bad So Good, the new tower was erected by LEGO architects, who received some help from local primary school children. The tower was topped with a Rubik's cube: a Hungarian invention.