Cool School: Design For An Extreme Climate

How do you get to school if it’s minus 45 °C outside?
How do you gain an education when your nearest school is 20km away?
We are asking you to help us design a ‘Cool School’ for a community in Mongolia.

Building Trust international have just announced their 6th international design competition which seeks to find an innovative school design proposal that can withstand the extreme Mongolian winters. The competition challenges architects, designers and engineers to provide a design solution which has the chance to shape the future of school buildings across cold regions globally.

Contestants should consider environmental conditions, materials, space, comfort, accessibility, adaptability and aesthetics. Building Trust international will work alongside competition partners, World Vision, local government and the school community in Khovd, Mongolia to build the winning school design.

The competition brief can be downloaded from below:

Registration Information:

Advance Registration : £75 (7th Feb – 27th Feb)
Final Registration: £100 (28th Feb – 6th March)

Closing date for all submissions – 3rd April 2015

Announcement of winners to be posted on – 1st May 2015

International Design Competition FAKRO inspires – space for new visions

FAKRO company, world roof window manufacturer and A10 new European architecture magazine invite architects worldwide to take part in the International Design Competition

“Fakro inspires – space for new visions”

The task is to implement the concept – visualisation of the architectural design of the new building anywhere. In the proposed building, use a wide range of products offered by Fakro (windows roof, flat roof windows, loft ladders and accessories for windows). The building must be designed to be the possibility of its implementation. It should also be functional, energy-efficient, full of light, user-friendly and the environment. The block should fully blend in with its surroundings.

Prizes include:
1 place- 5000 €
2 place- 3000 €
3rd place 2000 €

and 5 honorible distinction

Deadline for the contest:
01.02.2015 – 02.06.2015

Contest entries will be judged by an international jury!

Detailed information about the competition, please visit

The Lisbon Walker Flagship Store in Lisbon

The Lisbon Walker – Flagship Concept Store, a totally new premium concept brand, centrally located in the downtown of Lisbon, is where the very best of Portugal comes together, mainly in the art of men shoes and wine, besides belts, accessories and concept items, entirely designed and produced in Portugal. The goal was to create a space where products could be shown in a clear, objective and true way. Exhibiting shoes and wine bottles side by side in the simplest way possible, by making them float on the walls, was the architectural concept.

Architecture: Filipe Melo e Oliveira
Client: The Lisbon Walker
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Year: 2014
Net area: 59m2
Photography: João Morgado – Architecture Photography

NEST House by Gerardo Ars Arquitectura

Designed for a retired couple and their growing family who longed for a refuge that would offer respire from the city, with ample spaces for recreation and gardening. The inspiration for this house emerged between the combinations of two cultures; Chiapas, the state where the couple were born, and Veracruz a city they love and have built a life for themselves and their children.

The house is located on a hill, in a gated community “Playas del conchal” with an exceptional view of the Gulf of Mexico in the town of Alvarado, Veracruz. Mexico.
The plot is very regular with an interesting drop of 1.2 m from side to side and front to back, which led us to design a gradual change in the levels seeking a delicate flow between the spaces on the first floor. The idea was that the gardens surround the house, so the living room, dining room, and guest bedroom offers a view of them.

While entering the house is impossible not to see a dividing wall (coral wall) between the living room and the dining room, inspired by a coral that grows from floor to the ceiling, which references one of the dividing walls of the first houses that couple lived when they were young, located in the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez Chiapas

Security and privacy without sacrificing the privileged view were the most important requirements made by the owners, so we developed on the second floor an irregular layout that ensured a good view from multiple direction so that the master bedroom can see the sunrise and the sea while the other two bedrooms have views to the landscape.

The sun and the wind were important factors to consider during the design process because Veracruz is a very windy city. The facade of the second floor is wrapped with a screen of perforated concrete that flows with the form of the house that acts as a filter, ensuring the occupants privacy and safety also helps to reduce the wind and the heat gain.

The design of the Screen pays tribute to an abstract interpretation of traditional textiles made by the indigenous community of Chiapas, with repetitive geometric shapes. The pattern designed to look like random provides those inside an unnoticeable look of what’s going on outside at the same time allowing daylight to wash the interior of the balcony and the bedrooms creating a luminous atmosphere and an interface between interior and exterior.

The owners are hammocks lovers, so we designed a rooftop terrace with a special covered area for hammocks, the holes of the roof are not just for aesthetics but also were made by the shape of “pumpos” a typical fruit of Chiapas, so when the family enjoy the hammocks could remember a bit of its culture.

This is a house that manages to embrace and reinterpret the culture, as well as addressing modernity and the requirements of contemporary living with meticulous design resolutions.

LOCATION: Alvarado, Veracruz, Mexico.
DATE: Design: 2012. Completed: 2013
ARCHITECTS: Gerardo Ars Arquitectura.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Gerardo Robles.
AREA: Land: 290 m2. Constructed area: 285 m2
STRUCTURAL: Ing. Carlos Caballero
MATERIALS: Concrete and aluminum.
COMPOSITION: Gerardo Robles

SHIRASU house by ARAY Architecture

The resident did not rely on energy in South Kyushu of high temperature and humidity, and hoped for ecology life with the environment.The wind of land is felt, rain water is saved, and it enjoys gardening. It is native life. The site is a residential quarter that extends on a Shirasu plateau near from the Kagoshima City downtown. I then thought native house(Sustainable-house) with the soil (Shirasu) as the material that formed this plateau native by the made Shirasu block.

Shirasu has a lot of characteristics in other geological features like fireproof, adiabaticity, the humidity conditioning, thermal storage, and lightness, etc. without. Pressurizing and construction it the technology of a monotonous block in Shirasu for the pavement that had begun to spread in the city was made the best use of, and production with the block for the construction of Shirasu was tried for the first time. To secure material strength, the outside wall block changed mixing Shirasu. It inlaid with the raw ore of Shirasu to improve the adsorption and desorption of moisture to the inner wall block. At the same time, The character of this Shirasu appears as an expression of the memory accumulating to the block. The house where in all outer had been piled up on an inside and outside midair layer double wall became a space wrapped in the soil like the cave in Shirasu.

This inside and outside midair layer double wall has reduced the thermal loading to the inside. In addition, the inner wall block surrounds like finish in any room of the house, and adjusts the indoor humidity. Therefore, the inside is chilly cool, and warm summer in winter. It is a steady throughout the year thermal environment. It proposed the energy performance of underground resources accumulated in the Shirasu plateau.
And House of Shirasu block masonry which reused the volcanic soil, is the new Sustainable-house of environmental recycling.

In addition, The green roof of the Shirasu block, lightweight Shirasu block plays the role of soil. Therefore, it is to reduce the burden of the roof load.The green roof of the Shirasu block, also can improve housing energy efficiency while positively impacting the quality of the urban environment.
And now, The resident is enjoying the life with familiar nature, stopping installation of an air conditioner oneself and leaving control of a thermal environment to the shirasu block wall and roof.

Name of Project: SHIRASU
Architects: ARAY Architecture
Location: Kagoshima, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan
Architect In Charge: Asei Suzuki
Structural design: tmsd & takashi manda structural design
Contractor: tagzhaus
Site Area: 228.9 sqm
Building Area: 88.0 sqm
Floor Area: 143.9 sqm
Date of completion: 2013.07.15. 
Photographs: DAICI ANO Co., Ltd.

Historical Meets Contemporary

A competition where architecture students and recent graduates from all over the world can help plan the development of a modern and international study environment in a UNESCO heritage building while preserving the richness of its Art Nouveau beauty.

– to be part of a project supported by the Riga City Council;
– to add a challenging innovative project to you portfolio;
– to have your creative idea pitched to a wide audience;
– to have your name promoted through public discussion of your idea;
– to experience a charrette – a collaborative effort of developing a final – project draft while learning how to adjust your ideas to the needs of various parties.
Take part in an international competition for ideas to develop the building at 11 Skolas str., Riga, Latvia for the needs of RTU Riga Business School!


Ronald McDonald Haus, St. Augustin by GRAFT

The McDonald’s Children’s Aid runs 20 Ronald McDonald houses throughout Germany, like the recently opened house in Sankt Augustin, which provide a place of shelter for families while their children are being treated at nearby children’s hospitals. The futuristic building was designed by the GRAFT group of architects. The seemingly curved structural shell with its convincingly pleasant lightness nestles into its surroundings and has found its balance. The heart of the house is the open plan kitchen on the ground floor with a long table which invites guests to eat and talk together.

This is also where a »ramp« starts, off which further areas for communal use are to be found. The hallway with its three sweeping axes called for a precise coordination of lighting to the dynamic succession of rooms. For the basic lighting recessed and surface-mounted versions of Occhio’s Più spotlight series were chosen, the maximum mobility of which follows the different ceiling inclinations optimally and balances these excellently. To give the center of the family house a calming, familiar and private atmosphere LED lights in warm light colors and with best color rendering properties (a CRI of 95) were purposefully coordinated with the different zones. All rooms were equipped with Occhio luminaires and spotlights.

Year of realisation: 2014
Client: McDonald’s Kinderhilfe Stiftung, Munich
Architecture: GRAFT Gesellschaft von Architekten, Berlin
Realisation/building construction: Ed. Züblin AG
Lighting design: GRAFT Gesellschaft von Architekten, Berlin + Occhio projects / Helen Neumann
Architect consulting: Occhio projects / Markus Olesch
Lighting: Più piano, Più alto, Più alto 3d, io, Divo
Photography: Robert Sprang, Munich


HMMD Architecture Competitions is working with Samarth NMPD for its latest architecture competition to create plans for a Himalayan Mountain Hut which facilitates mountaineering and adventure tourism throughout the Himalayan region of Nepal.

The purpose of the Himalayan Mountain Hut is to provide trekkers safe, comfortable and inviting lodgings, where they and their guides can rest, refuel and, if necessary, wait out troublesome weather. The chosen design for the mountain hut will then be replicated in multiple locations throughout the Himalaya mountain range.

With a grand prize of US $5,000 and each finalist’s designs being put forward for consideration for the project’s actual construction, this is a fantastic opportunity for architecture enthusiasts to be a part of a real-life project that will help to increase tourism and the income it generates in a predominantly poor region of Nepal. The final deadline for registration on the 1st of April.

More information on

The Andy by 2fORM Architecture

The site of the Andy at 18th and Patterson near the University of Oregon had several old houses that were moved to allow for the project to begin. The Andy is a 4-story student housing development near the University of Oregon. The goal of the project is to create a place where seamless connections and interactions occur between the residents. To achieve this, the main public areas overlook and open onto an interior courtyard. The U-shaped building is oriented to create a south-facing courtyard.

This shared outdoor space allows light and air to flow through the site. The articulated exterior will be clad in durable, low-maintenance materials. Key features will include increased insulation, high-performance glazing, sun shades and passive cooling. In addition, a series of swales will help mediate stormwater run-off and provide landscaping. With amenities such as private balconies and entrances, skillfully crafted public spaces and day-lit units, 18th & Patterson is an example of a high-density infill housing project that will serve as a local model for sustainable housing.

The Andy by 2fORM Architecture

Architect: Richard Shugar AIA, LEED AP
Project Lead: Dannon Canterbury, Associate AIA, LEED AP
General Contractor: Andersen Construction

Housing complex in Chalandri by Golden Ratio

On a plot of three-sides, measuring approximately 30m * 50m in the area Patima Chalandri was constructed a nine-residence housing complex. Each house consists of three or four interconnected levels, with a total range in size from 220m2 to 120m2.

The field is slightly inclined on the long side, whereas the main facade, which coincides with the small size, is facing south. The building program for the development of individual volumes involves creating homes that fulfill the needs of functionality issues taking into account the requirements of future buyers.

Morphologically, key design principles are integration with its natural surroundings, unobstructed view, adaptation to its urban environment according to the principles of sustainable building design, integration of water cooling components and continuous interaction of each residence with the whole party, both through the green open spaces of the complex and the neighboring public open space areas surrounding the plot.

Functionally, the homes are characterized by vertical organization in three or four levels. Utility spaces and parks are situated in the basement. On the ground floor with a private entrance for each home, the option to create high living-room leads to a highlighting of individual architectural details and the inseparable connection of indoor and outdoor space. Bedrooms and restrooms are developed on the first and second floor ensuring privacy. At the level of the roof is created a recreation area – roof garden, offering uninterrupted view of the Penteli mountain.

Construction data
Taking advantage of the plasticity of the housing volumes, a whitish colour of coated sides was selected, combined with thermal break windows in gray color, the wood paneling in selected niches and horizontal wooden or metal linear elements on the facades. Inside the house, the dialogue between wood floor surfaces and the coatings with minimal off-white color accents sectional is maintained, leaving a leading role to the surrounding open space and the view through the large openings.

Golden Ratio _ Collective architecture
Michael Bakas Architect Engineer ntua,
Kostas Bakas Civil Engineer ntua
Alexis Bakas Mechanical Engineer

IZB Residence Campus at Home hotel by Stark Architekten

The concept of the IZB Residence is unparalleled: Since October 2014 the Campus Tower has housed scientists and business travelers from around the world. It forms the communicative focus of the Martinsried Campus and its special architecture makes it an unmistakable landmark. The solitary 27 meter-high building stands out above the monotony of the functional buildings on the campus, if only because of its height. An elegant seven-story building, whose glass front is embraced by white aluminum strips, rises from a triangular floor plan.

Inside the central theme is flowing space too: the diverse areas of usable space flow into each other on all stories. The lighting concept by Occhio pursues this principle of connection: architecture, interior design and lighting blend thanks to the comprehensive design.

Project: Campus Hotel
Year of realisation: 2014
Client: Fördergesellschaft IZB, Martinsried
Architecture + interior design: Stark Architekten, Munich
Lighting design: Occhio projects / Helen Neumann
Architect consulting: Occhio projects / Andreas Oberrenner
Area (GFA): ca. 2.970 m²

The Porter School of Environmental Studies by Geotectura + Chen Architects + Axelrod Grobman Architects

This building was built according to principles of green design and achieved a LEED Platinum, the first building in Israel. The project is a living lab of ecological and social values for the community and the environment. It tells the story of the complex sustainability term and simplifies it to the public by strolling along the eco-wall, the ground floor and the roof that present current research of energy, water, soil, vegetation, materials and so on that they can see, touch and learn.

Bamboo was used extensively in this building as a green resource as it is a grass with wood characteristics. Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on earth (up to 1 meter per day in tropical regions!).

Bamboo was used in this project as parquet on the bridges, as the inner skin of the “capsule”, as the walls inside and out at the looby, as the decking on the roof and as shutters on the cube hanging from the building.

Implementation: Kne’kash

The bamboo we use is manufactured to comply with Green Building Standards in order to reduce the overall impact of construction and building on human health and the natural environment. New technologies are constantly being developed in order to create greener materials from rapidly renewing sources to be applied in green building projects.

[DAKAR] Temporary Cinema Competition

Dakar is the capital and largest city in Senegal. It is located on the Cap-Vert Peninsula on the Atlantic coast and is the western most city on the African mainland.

Cinematography is the art or science of motion picture photography. It is the technique of film photography, including both the shooting and development of the film.

Cinema: A film theatre (also refered to as movie house, film house, movie theater or picture house) is a venue, usually a building or desiginated space for viewing films for entertainment.

Today, downtown Dakar, a city of 2.5 million people, has almost no films theatres with many of the old theatre if not all closing their doors in the last decade.

The aim of this International Competition is to design a Temporary Cinema within the city of Dakar in Senegal. This competition hopes to achieve the following:

_Encourage and reward design excellence which integrates function, structure and details.
_Analyse how the thoughtful development of the cinema within the surrounding neighborhood helps to create a livable community.
_Research, respond to and highlight the unique aspects of designing a temporary structure.
_Build knowledge of design principles related to cultural development within an urban area.
_Encourage the employment of sustainable design in all aspects of the proposal.

Winning participants will receive prizes totaling US$ 6,000 with the distribution as follows:
1st PRIZE: US$ 3,500
2nd PRIZE: US$ 1,700
3rd PRIZE: US$ 800
There will also be 7 honorable mentions.

Note: this is an open international competition hosted by [AC-CA] to generate progressive contemporary design ideas.There are no plans for the Cinema to be built.

_Competition Officially Announced – 01st November 2014
_Start of Competition – 06th November 2014
_Closing Date for Registration – 27th February 2015
_Closing Date for Submissions – 02nd March 2015

For more information please contact us and/or visit website.

Off the wall – Design contest for a new furnishing metal bookshelf

Mabele, brand of the Italian MA-BO, is looking for original solutions for metal bookshelves that might be hung on the walls just like pictures. The proposals should be able to adorn an empty wall characterising the surrounding environment in a different way with respect to the classical aesthetic canons.

Link to official page:

Upload phase: 5th November 2014 – 3rd February 2015
Community Vote: 4th February 2015 – 18th February 2015
Client Vote: from 19th February 2015

1st: €1000 + royalties contract
Mabele reserves the right to select more than one winner in case the projects satisfy the Client needs, in which event it will grant a further royalties contract.

Participation is free of charge and open to all creative people (at least 18 years old).

TRENDS Excellence Awards in Architecture & Design 2014

TRENDS Excellence Awards in Architecture & Design 2014 is brought to you by Home & Design TRENDS magazine (India). Categories are spread over architecture, interior design, product design and visual design. Open to all architects, interior designers, product designers, graphic designers and photographers – the submitted works must be located within India only.

Call for entry: Nov 15, 2014
Last date for submissions: Jan 5, 2015

A first-of-its-kind in the country, these awards are an endeavour to bring forth the best in architecture, interior design, concepts, forms, and practices in India.

To participate log on to

Sen Kapadia (Jury Chairperson)
Ambrish Arora
Bose Krishnamachari
Kapil Gupta
Shimul Javeri Kadri
Sunita Kohli

Trends Desk
022- 22735660 or 22735887

Pe no Monte – Rural Tourism / [i]da arquitectos [video]

Pe no Monte – Rural Tourism from Joao Morgado on Vimeo.

Located on the Alentejo Coast, the Monte Novo da Cruz is a rural property strongly characterized by a gently undulating land with slopes sometimes relevant. The presence of a curtain of high trees along the south-eastern perimeter of the site and a dense vegetation near a south-western stream stand out in the landscape.
In the centre of the property, in a high position, there is an old rural constructionin an advanced state of degradation.

The proposal for the Monte Novo da Cruz seeks to establish a contrast dialogue between the existing and the new building which sometimes merge with each other, creating a smooth transition between the past and the present. This relationship is materialized through two types of intervention, placed at different levels on the ground:
In the upper level, the intervention consists on recovering and expanding the existing building for owners’ house. The planimetric composition is made up by a succession of spaces,which ends with a double height common lounge with a central fireplace.On the north-west side are located the main entrance and supporting spaces intercalated with small garden courtyards for natural lighting and ventilation.On the south-east side, to the contrary, are located the main spaces overlooking the garden and pool.

In the lower level, the intervention results in a new independent building that adapts to the topography of the site and uses the slope of the ground to differentiate the owners’ house of the guestareas. This long volume, half-buried and perpendicular to the line of trees, preserves the scale of the house and reinforces the verticality of vegetation. Its unique façade is characterized both by a wide opening framing vistas of the landscape as well asby a stand-alone pergola reducing the amount of direct sunlight coming inside the rooms and providing privacy for guests.At the level of arrival the building is almost imperceptible to the eye,only a long terrace with seating areas for contemplation of the surrounding nature is visible.

The connection between the two volumes is developed through a central courtyard, the heart of the whole complex.It is from it that is organized the distribution and access to the different parts.

A roundabout for ceramics and the territory

Mirage, international leader in the production of Italian-made porcelain stoneware, with the patronage of the municipality of Pavullo nel Frignano, is launching the contest “UNA ROTONDA PER LA CERAMICA ED IL TERRITORIO”, aiming to seek new and original ideas for the design of a decorative installation on the roundabout opposite the company entrance along the S.S. 12, the main access road into the Frignano area.

A contest run in crowdsourcing mode, aiming to source a new design that reinterprets the use of porcelain stoneware in non-conventional settings.

To build the roundabout, the municipality of Pavullo and Mirage have chosen to call on the network of Italian and foreign designers and architects, who may submit their creative ideas in the form of concepts and design solutions.
Designers are required to use Mirage porcelain stoneware as the key material, and comply with the two main purposes of the contest: to enhance the history and local specificities of the Frignano region, set against the hills of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, and promote the value of the local ceramics industry, of which Mirage is an international point of reference.

To take part in the contest, participants must register at, submitting their design in digital format no later than 15 November 2014.

The panel of judges will select the winning project based on criteria including the nature of the design solution, the feasibility of the proposed idea and relevance to the concept of “ceramics and the territory”.
The results of the contest will be published on the official website from 1 December 2014.

For more information:


Vyta Santa Margherita offers the oldest and most traditional products, bread and wine, in one of the most representative places for our society, Central Milan Station, the symbol of Milan’s hectic urban life. ”Through simple products offered by Nature, such as water, wheat and fire, thanks to man’s expert hand, patience and creativity, forms and savours, aromas and flavours have been created for millennia, giving birth to bread and wine, ancient and modern nourishment for humanity.”

This food philosophy was the starting point that inspired the architectural concept. A contemporary look has been reformulated for the most “minimal” products on our tables. It originates from a restraint design and an innovative, cool elegance, the result being a sophisticated minimalism and a formal reduction to the essential.

The project features contrasting materials and colours: oak and corian as representatives of tradition and innovation, an integration of nature and artifice. The juxtaposition of soft oak and black declined in its various material aspects creates an exclusive, theatrical environment, where the warmth of the natural texture is enhanced by the contrast with glossy black surfaces. These come up as corian for the counter and black polymer for all the vertical panels that fold the space like in a treasure chest.

The counter with its soft curved line, is a fluid shape emphasised by a roof made of curved slats, one of the most significant components of the setting, due to the shape and size of its natural oakwood planks that evoke the interweaving of traditional bread baskets.

The wall of the back counter, usually just a functional space, becomes a new form of entertainment through a video wall that reproduces a perpetual movie in slow motion that celebrates the ingredients of the products Vyta-Santa Margherita such as water, wine, olive oil, wheat, flour, mozzarella, tomatoes and fire.

The light system contributes to soft and intimate atmospheres: it diffusely radiates on the counter and enhances the wooden roof by indirect fitting of recessed metal halide light sources Minimal by IGuzzini, it is an eye-catcher on the black wall where the bottles of wine and their history are celebrate like sculptures by the backlit decoration realized milling thickness of slabs, it gets highly technological to celebrate bread and its derivatives through a cluster of LEDs.

The monumental atrium station has been brought down to a human architectural scale, through the creation of technological and custom made umbrellas, made of black metal they are equipped with infrared light with low energy consumption for heating, LED lighting, sound system and an electrical outlet to recharge smartphones and tablets, so that the space has a less monumental and more intimate look and at the same time the ensemble evokes the ancient rite of eating together, a less common practice nowadays, but increasingly necessary in the third millennium’s life.

LOCATION: Central Milan railway station – Milan – Italy
SURFACE AREA: 180 square metres
DESIGN PERIOD: september – november 2013
USE: bakery
FINISHING MATERIALS: Floor: pearl sicilian marble slabs (inside), original decoration in mosaic
and marble (outside); wall: glossy black polymer; ceiling: black painted
plasterboard and curved oakwood slats.
DESIGN TEAM : Daniela Colli architect
CLIENT: Retail food s.r.l.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Matteo Piazza – Milan