RIBA International Prize 2018 - The world’s best new building Brazilian school

Children Village, a new school complex on the edge of the rainforest in northern Brazil designed by Brazilian architects, Aleph Zero and Rosenbaum, has won the RIBA International Prize 2018. 

The RIBA International Prize is awarded every two years to a building that exemplifies design excellence and architectural ambition, and delivers meaningful social impact. It is one of the world’s most rigorously judged architecture awards, with every longlisted building visited by a group of international experts.  Children Village was chosen from a shortlist of four exceptional new buildings by a grand jury chaired by renowned architect Elizabeth Diller (DS+R).

The architects, Gustavo Utrabo and Petro Duschenes from Aleph Zero, designed Children Village in collaboration with Marcelo Rosenbaum and Adriana Benguela from architecture and design studio, Rosenbaum. 

The tropical climate, with summertime temperature in the mid-40 degrees, was one of the major challenges cleverly addressed by the architects. The large canopy roof, the structure of which is made up of cross-laminated timber beams and columns, provides shading. The overhanging canopy design has created an intermediary space, between inside and out, giving the effect of a large veranda overlooking the surrounding landscape and creating a comfortable environment with no need for air conditioning. 

Combining a contemporary aesthetic with traditional techniques, Children Village has been described by the judges as ‘reinventing Brazilian vernacular’. The building is constructed with local resources and based on local techniques. Earth blocks handmade on site were used to construct the walls and latticework, chosen for their thermal, technical and aesthetic properties. As well as being cost effective and environmentally sustainable, this approach creates a building with strong connections to its surroundings and with the community that it serves.

Children Village

Children Village provides boarding accommodation for 540 children aged 13 to 18 attending the Canuanã School. Pupils come from remote areas of the country, some travelling many hours by boat. Funded by the Bradesco Foundation, Children Village is one of forty schools run by the foundation providing education for children in rural communities across Brazil.

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Finnish library culture on display at the Venice Architecture Biennale​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

A new central library will open in the Finnish capital in December 2018 that promises to transform the way we think about public spaces and libraries. Finland’s library culture is on display at the Venice Architecture Biennale from 26 May to 25 November 2018.

Finnish library culture on display at the Venice Architecture Biennale

Oodi and Finnish library culture and architecture are currently on display at the Venice Architecture Biennale, which runs from 26 May to 25 November 2018. The Mind-Building exhibition at the Pavilion of Finland explores the development of Finnish library architecture over the years, from the country’s first public library in 1881 to the opening of Oodi in December 2018.

Mind-Building rests on the idea of the public library as a case study of modern monumentality. The exhibition considers libraries as buildings that remind us of the values of civic society and the power of enlightenment. The exhibition at the Pavilion of Finland and its library theme have attracted a lot of international media attention, including positive reviews in The Guardian, CNN, and Monocle. Both Wallpaper and the Financial Times have named Mind-Building one of the highlights of this year’s Biennale.

"We are delighted by the great reception that the exhibition has already received. Public libraries capture people's imaginations as key places of learning and sharing. Investing in their great architecture makes libraries stand the test of time, giving us buildings we love and are proud of. In Finland, this has been the case for more than 100 years. Helsinki Central Library Oodi will be the next great chapter, a pulsating heart for the Finnish capital," says Hanna Harris, director of Archinfo Finland and Mind-building’s commissioner.

The Venice Architecture Biennale is the world’s leading architecture event. In 2018 it presents 63 national pavilions alongside the main exhibition, Freespace. Finland has a strong presence in Venice this year, as it is also in charge of the Nordic pavilion. The exhibition is presented by the Museum of Finnish Architecture and features an interactive installation curated by Eero Lundén. In addition, the main exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale features a section by Talli Architecture & Design.

Central Library Oodi (Credit: ALA Architects) | Mind-Building exhibition at the Venice biennale (Credit: Ugo Carmeni)

Further information:

Mind-Building is organised by Archinfo Finland and presented with the support of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland as well as the City of Helsinki, the Embassy of Finland in Rome, Visit Finland, Visit Jyväskylä, Visit Seinäjoki, Artek, Konto Acoustics, MTAB Finland, the Building Information Foundation RTS, Arkkitehti – Finnish Architectural Review, Alvar Aalto Foundation and Helsinki City Library.

For more information:

Finland's cities are havens for library lovers
Why Finland is home to the world's most radical libraries
Helsinki Central Library Oodi
Mind-Building exhibition at the Pavilion of Finland


Victoria Dockside, Hong Kong

Cultural mastermind and Tatler 500 lister Adrian Cheng is 'making waves' with his latest mixed-use development, Victoria Dockside, in Tsim Sha Tsui. The US$2.6 million, three million square foot art and design district right on the Kowloon promenade is set to transform Hong Kong's iconic skyline with unique art and design spaces, along with a green oasis for the area's residents and 60 million visitors per year. Here's what you need to know about Hong Kong's most exciting new neighborhood. 

5 Things To Know About Victoria Dockside

1. History

Victoria Dockside is located on the site formerly known as Holt's Wharf, a global freight and logistics hub that dates back to 1910. The site played a major role in connecting Hong Kong with the rest of the world, eventually making it one of its busiest ports.

The plot of land was acquired by Adrian Cheng's grandfather, Cheng Yu-tung, in the 1970s to build New World Centre, and Adrian is now rebuilding it into a global art and design district with a strong focus on culture. 

2. A new neighborhood

Built in the '80s, the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade and Avenue of Stars was due for an upgrade and Victoria Dockside will transform it into an art, design and business hub, with a healthy dose of greenery. 

The masterplan for Victoria Dockside was conceptualized by acclaimed architectural firm Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF), landscape architect James Corner Field Operations (JCFO) in collaboration with Adrian Cheng, and over 100 designers and consultants around the globe.

You may know KPF for their work on Tokyo's Roppongi Hills and Hysan Place in Hong Kong—they are also credited for transforming New York's Hudson Yards into the city's most exciting new neighborhood.

3. K11 Atelier office concept

The first phase of Victoria Dockside—K11 Atelier—opened in late November 2017 and brings a brand new office concept to Hong Kong.

Pioneering a mix of art, commerce and innovation, an example of how this all comes together is the 'Office Academy'—a myriad of programmes ranging from spiritual and physical wellness, productivity and success, culture and creativity, and team building that all K11 Atelier tenants have access to.

K11 Atelier occupies 15 floors of the mixed-use tower and is already over 70 percent leased. World-class tenants include Mizuho Bank and Taipei Fubon Bank, and most offices command 270-degree views of Hong Kong's beautiful Victoria Harbour.

4. Art in the office

A well-known art aficionado, Adrian Cheng has handpicked a striking art collection for K11 Atelier, which includes the works of artists including Qin Feng, Nick Mauss, and Alexander Tovborg. The three works challenge traditional forms of image-making by exploring extraordinary materials, not unlike the materials used to create Victoria Dockside.

The interiors of K11 Atelier were designed by Japanese firm Simplicity, who have made use of natural materials such as wood and paper to create an intimate, minimal and calm setting.

5. A green oasis

Victoria Dockside will open fully in the third quarter of 2019 with the opening of the Rosewood Hotel and Rosewood Residences (run by Adrian Cheng's sister Sonia Cheng) in late 2018 and the new Avenue of Stars in early 2019.

For now, the area has already become greener with the introduction of Salisbury Garden, an outdoor public and exhibition space in the form of an oval-shaped lawn designed by landscape architect James Corner. We're told that the new Avenue of Stars will also contain more green spaces for the public to enjoy—it's the first project in Hong Kong to make use of wave energy generators, meaning that parts of it will actually be powered by waves.

With a combined three million square feet right at the foot of the world's most iconic harbourfront skyline, Victoria Dockside's mix of premier art, design and leisure experiences is all set to become a new landmark destination for Hong Kong.

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Photo: Courtesy of Victoria Dockside | Written by:  ERICA FONG from Hong Kong Tatler

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