The submitted design projects were evaluated by a jury of 9 international industry experts. The jury was represented by architects and urban planners from Latvia, Lithuania, Great Britain and the Netherlands, and also representatives of the responsible institutions – Riga City Construction Board, Riga City Development Department, Riga City Architect’s Office, as well as the competition organizer.
Working together with a passionate car collector who owns a rural estate we have finished the design of two spaces for the growing collection of vintage and contemporary automobiles. Formed by two vaulted grid-shells in steel and glass that are nestled into the hillside, the exhibition spaces are part of a sequence of pavilions set into the extensive landscaped grounds. The tree cover and rolling hills of the context make them a distinguished and crystalline presence in nature.
I read with great sadness that the artist Christo Javacheff passed away on 31 May 2020 in his home in New York. I had gotten to know the artist and his late wife/ collaborator while working on the Reichstag project in Berlin in 1995 before, during and after the wrapping of the Reichstag. Their project office was immediately below the Foster office for the reconstruction of the building opposite the parliament building. The hectic summer of 1995 coincided with delivery of our building project and their amazing performance piece that was prepared over decades and appeared in two months before, lasted over two weeks, and disappeared again one month later.
We are living through a historic moment in society´s relationship with the automobile. A period of rapid technological transition in mobility choices has been radically altered in a matter of weeks by the advent of the Covid 19 pandemic. Movement restrictions and accompanying social distancing requirements have made this evolving scenario affect all levels of society and modes of transport – air, land, sea as well as public and private means of mobility. This new reality offers us an opportunity to reflect and reconsider the role of cars in our lives, our cities, the wider environment and economy.
Our new five-star hotel in the centre of Seville for the Millenium Hotel Group is progressing well losing only the minimum lockdown time over during the state of alarm in Spain. The contractor teams have topped-out the second building facing La Rioja street while the Magdalena building is enclosed with fit-out and final services being installed at present. Some recent images of the construction works are illustrated below.
On Monday 16 September the Lord Mayor of Potsdam, the Ambassador to Norway and our client Michael Linckersdorff inaugurated the re-built Ventehalle (reception building) for the Imperial Sailing station Kongsnaes in Potsdam. This event marked the completion of the first phase of works at the Sailing Station which Borgos Pieper has been working on as designers since 2015.
We were saddened to hear in July of the passing away of our esteemed collaborator and exceptional artist Carlos Cruz Diez at the age of 96 in Paris. His passionate and articulate power to communicate the power of colour and its mesmerising sense of wonder which he created throughout his career was an inspiration to many. We will miss his warm sense of humour and gentle character.
The Costa Brava in Northeast Spain has a well-earned reputation for the rugged natural beauty of its coastline and wonderful small bays and inlets. The sea and the dramatic landscape that form the jagged coastline still give way to the ancient agrarian order as one heads inland but the seaside towns and stretches of land have suffered from the excesses of land speculation and an abundant number of towns survive by providing seasonal accommodation that has strangled the once picturesque fishing villages that now depend on this seasonal influx of tourists. These seasonal shifts produce over demand in the summer and desolate autumn and winters seasons – leaving many communities with well-lit roads and streets, but empty buildings. The natural cycle also affects the habitat and our experience of nature as the rush for development leads to more roads and buildings that affect the darkness that used to distinguish the coast and its more rustic hinterlands. Even twenty years ago one could still see the night sky without any effort on clear nights. This is now more difficult.
Work is continuing at pace in the refurbishment and consolidation of the structures of the three remaining buildings that form part of the historic ensemble of Matrosenstation. Emperor Wilhelm II´s former Imperial Sailing Station on the Heiligen See in Potsdam has required a phased intervention beginning with the Ventehalle (arrival hall) building which was inaugurated last September and is now progressing with the remaining support buildings and park.
The studio was invited to speak at a panel discussion about the role of light in architecture with Claude Engle IV with whom we have collaborated on various projects over the last two decades both during our time at Foster + Partners and afterwards on our own public and private projects in Europe and overseas. The focus of the discussion was to explain the innovative approach that Claude and his father Claude Engle III have contributed to key public projects in the realm of architectural lighting. The discussion ranged from the early design stage concepts and their testing and documentation as the designs develop – via mock-ups and virtual testing. These were particularly important for ground-breaking schemes such as the Reichstag (the new German parliament in Berlin), Stansted airport, the Portia Winery or the Bilbao Metro system where the architects worked with the designer.
The studio was invited to presented its ground-breaking interactive all glass bus shelter at the Smart Cities World Expo in Barcelona by the regional government´s environment ministry and the Barcelona design museums innovation hub - MaterFAD. The display of the shelter included the presentation of the jury video of the competition winning scheme in Denmark as well as the scale model of the scheme that was under development with the Nordic Glazing Association.
The team formed by the joint venture between Borgos Pieper, Nova Ingenieria and Grupotec have been selected winners of the competition to complete the first phase of construction of the park which will start site operations in early 2015.