Design Digest: Kanye Announces Yeezy Home, RIBA Reveals List of 20 Best New Buildings, and More

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
Here are the design headlines you need to know, including Kanye West announcing his plans for the Yeezy brand to establish an architectural arm, RIBA revealing its list of the 20 best new buildings in the world—and much more.

Kanye West Hints at Yeezy Home

Remember when Kanye West told students that "the world can be saved through design" during a visit to Harvard Graduate School of Design back in 2013? Well, the music mogul has since taken his interest in architecture and design one step further.

In addition to his recent controversial tweet, Kanye West gave a shout out to the architecture/design world when he took to Twitter on May 6th to announce his plans for a new design-focused business venture. 

"We’re starting a Yeezy architecture arm called Yeezy home. We’re looking for architects and industrial designers who want to make the world better." 

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After having long proclaimed his interest in architecture and design, Kanye West has recently announced his plans for Yeezy Home and is currently hiring for this new business venture.

After having long proclaimed his interest in architecture and design, Kanye West has recently announced his plans for Yeezy Home and is currently hiring for this new business venture.

Tadao Ando Covers a Buddhist Statue on a Lavender-Filled Hill

At the Makomanai Takino Cemetery in the Northern Japanese city of Sapporo, Pritzker Prize–winning architect Tadao Ando has designed an iconic lavender-covered temple to envelop a 44-foot-tall statue of Buddha. 

The original Buddha sculpture presided over the field for 15 years prior to the completion of the temple. Yet, because the stone structure was disproportionately out of scale with its site and unsettling to visitors, Ando was tapped to create a more compelling monument. 

The result is a temple that surrounds the statue, leaving only the top of its head visible from the outside. Lavender covers the hill, which allows the landscape to gracefully change colors during the seasons of the year.

via Arch Daily

Visitors now approach the Buddha through a 130-foot-long passageway into the circular space surrounding the statue.

Visitors now approach the Buddha through a 130-foot-long passageway into the circular space surrounding the statue.

RIBA Reveals the 20 Best New Buildings

The 2018 RIBA Awards for International Excellence have been awarded to 20 of the best new buildings throughout 16 countries, with results ranging from private homes to cultural destinations and places of worship. 

Recognized for their "architectural ambition, design ingenuity, and excellence of execution," the diverse projects include Boeri Studio's Vertical Forest; the Musee d’arts de Nantes refurbishment by Stanton Williams; the Sancaklar Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, by EAA-Emre Arolat Architecture; and the Children's Village in Formoso do Araguaia, Brazil, by Rosenbaum + Aleph Zero

Four of the buildings will be shortlisted in September 2018 and the big winner will be crowned in November 2018. More so, Gustavo Utrabo and Pedro Duschenes, founders of the Brazilian firm Aleph Zero, were awarded RIBA International Emerging Architect. 

The Sancaklar Mosque is a privately funded mosque built on the outskirts of Istanbul for the clients’ extended family and the local community. As you can see above, this structure by EAA-Emre Arolat Architecture has been radically imagined.

The Sancaklar Mosque is a privately funded mosque built on the outskirts of Istanbul for the clients’ extended family and the local community. As you can see above, this structure by EAA-Emre Arolat Architecture has been radically imagined.

Hawaii Aims to be Carbon Neutral by 2045

On May 8th, Hawaii’s legislature passed two bills which aim to be the most ambitious climate goal of any state in the US. House bill 2182 will create a task force with a plan to make the state carbon neutral "no later than 2045," and House bill 1986 will create a carbon-offset program to help the task force meet its target. 

One of the bills cites a study which found that Hawaii could suffer $19 billion dollars worth of damage to private property because of a rise in sea levels. The bills will become official laws once state governor David Ige signs them. After Trump withdrew from the Paris climate agreement, Hawaii was the first to enact a state law that aligned with the goals set under the global accord—in fact, the island state has already passed a law committing itself to be entirely powered by renewables by 2045.

via Quartz

It shouldn't be surprising that Hawaii, the state most vulnerable to climate change, is the first to try and mitigate the crucial impact of the rising sea levels.

It shouldn't be surprising that Hawaii, the state most vulnerable to climate change, is the first to try and mitigate the crucial impact of the rising sea levels.

Snøhetta Designs a 16,000-Square-Foot Planetarium

International architectural firm Snøhetta has just released renderings of a proposed planetarium and visitor’s center for Norway’s largest astronomical facility. Nestled in a dense forest 28 miles north of Oslo, the Solobservatoriet will feature a 16,000-square-foot planetarium, complete with "interstellar cabins," each shaped like small planets. The modern facilities will offer a range of scientific activities to the public, including ones on astronomy, sun studies, and natural science. 

"Here, researchers, school children, retirees, and international tourists can embark on a journey into the world of astronomy and learn more about natural phenomena, such as the Northern Lights and the night sky," explains the firm in a recent statement. 

via Snøhetta

The Snøhetta-designed facility will be imagined as if "architecture itself was asking the question: Where does the Universe come from?"

The Snøhetta-designed facility will be imagined as if "architecture itself was asking the question: Where does the Universe come from?"