New Mobile Performance Venue Images

3 new collages of the MPV in the Middle East

Our client, Arts Alliance Productions asked Various Architects to produce three new images of the Mobile Performance Venue situated in Doha and Abu Dhabi as a part of their marketing materials for the project. Plans continue to develop for the world-wide tour which will feature the MPV as home for the Identity of the Soul performance. Arts Alliance has also created a new trailer for the performance in 4 languages (English, Arabic, French, and Norwegian).

*background photo in slideshow image #2 ©Alan Holden

Munch + Stenersen Competition Exhibition

Exhibition of Munch+Stenersen and Diechmanske Library now open to the public

At 2:00 pm the 12’th of March the most important architecture exhibition in Oslo since the Oslo Opera competition opened. A representative from Hav Eiendom called the competitions and the exhibition their gift to Oslo. The “Frosken” exhibition hall at Tullinløkka was packed with architects, press, and an anxious public who all wanted to get the first glimpse of the works.

The 39 projects will be on display until the end of the month. Jury work has begun, and the winner will be announced on March 27.

Images of all Munch + Stenersen projects available here.

Images of all Diechmanske Library projects available here.

More information from Hav Eiendom available here.

For reasons of anonymity we will not post images of our project until after the jury announcement on March 27.


Photos by Magnus Greni

Yorkshire Diamond in the Press

Requests for information about the project from around the world

After posting the project to the Yorkshire Diamond Pavilion has been picked up by a numer of our favorite online design blogs. These include ArchDaily, Inhabitat, BD Online, and Dezeen. Several printed design magazines have asked for information for print, including Mark Magazine (Look in the front section of #20 when it comes out). Building Design featured it on the cover as ‘Pic of the Day’.

The project has struck a chord among sustainable design enthusiasts and a number of individuals and firms have also contacted us about renting the venue to feature it in building and design trade-shows ranging from Austrailia, to France and California. We would love to be able to rent it out, but we’ve got to get it produced first. At this moment we are still awaiting official word from Yorkshire Forward about the results from the competition, and their plans for the winning design. We will post more information about this when it is made available.

Mobile Performance Venue in Print

An overview of the latest publications featuring the MPV

Press requests for information about our Mobile Performance Venue project continue to stream in. The project keeps popping up in architecture and design magazines worldwide. Here is a selection of scans of the lastest hard copies we have received.

C3 Magazine from Korea published an issue entitled “Pavilions in the Vanguard of Architecture” which featured an 8 page article about the project. This is one of the most in-depth to date and includes a lot of our process images and early sketches. Building Design included the project in their “How We Cracked It” segment, which shows off difficult engineering challenges. MEADA (Middle East Art Design and Architecture) magazine presented the project over 6 pages and included our first description of the project in arabic. MARK Magazine (our favorite architecture magazine these days) included a two page case study about the project’s inflatable outer skin.

Partial list of publications to date:

•Design Interiør 05/08

•Mark Magazine (#16 and #18)

•C3 – Pavilions in the Vanguard of Architecture (#292)

•Building (08/08)

•Deutsche BauZeitschrift (9/2009)

•Baumeister (B9/2009)

•Perspektive (sept 2008)

•iLook (#39)

•AV Projectos (027-2008)

•Arkitektnytt (07.08.2008)

•VG “Grizzled og Moderne” (15.08.2008)

Elizabeth Diller in Oslo

Lecture in Oslo and Munch + Stenersen site visit


Various Architects is collaborating with Diller Scofidio + Renfro on the competition for the new Munch + Stenersen museum in Oslo. Elizabeth Diller of DS+R visited Oslo briefly on tuesday to give a lecture sponsored by Projekt 0047 and Kinnarps. Diller also visited the site of the Munch + Stenersen competition in Bjørvika. Jim, Ibrahim, and our new student intern Jonathan Evensen showed Liz around the site together with landscape architect Magnus Greni from Grindaker AS. Ibrahim also gave a tour of some of his favorite Oslo Opera details. Liz’ lecture in Sandvika was a big success and the conference room at the Hotel Oslofjord was packed with architects and designers.

Lecture invitation text:

Diller Scofidio + Renfro is an interdisciplinary studio at the crossroads of architecture, visual arts and the performing arts. Their work encompasses architectural design, master planning, temporary and permanent multi-media installations, experimental theater and dance, furniture, digital media, and print.

Among their most known projects are the Blur Building for the Swiss Expo 02; High Line, an urban park situated on an obsolete elevated railway stretching 1,5 miles in the Chelsea district of New York designed in collaboration with Field Operations; the Institute of Contemporary Art on Boston Harbor; the Viewing Platforms constructed immediately after 9/11 at World Trade Center site; the Eyebeam Museum of Art & Technology in New York; the Brasserie, a restaurant in the Seagram Building, New York; and Slither, 104 units of social housing in Gifu, Japan.

The office is currently participating in the competition for the new Munch Stenersen Museum in Oslo.

Lecture location:

Thon Hotel Oslofjord

Sandviksveien 184, Sandvika

Time and date:

Tuesday January 27th at 6 pm.

Refreshments will be served after the lecture.

Schiphol Prize Announcement

VA team win second place in business category

On January 23 at a ceremony held at Schiphol Airport the winner in the Schiphol: Create a Barrier of Silence was announced. All 8 finalists were present and presented their projects in front of a crowd that included Schiphol officials, netherlands press, and local residents of the Hoofddorp area. Jim Dodson from Various Architects and Lars Ostenfeld Riemann of Ramboll Denmark represented the team.

The quality of all the submitted projects was high. Despite an innovative and sustainable design, the Various Architects entry entitled “Dynamic Sculpture” received second place in the business category.

Images and information about the other projects can be found at The images from our presentation are presented above, more images and complete project description available on the Schiphol Sound Barrier main project page.

Official Schiphol Press Release follows:

‘Ecobarrier’ wins Schiphol international design contest

Today Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has announced the winner of the ‘Create a Barrier of Silence’ design competition. The winning design for an innovative noise-reduction facility at Runway 18R-36L is the ‘Ecobarrier’ submitted by Toine van Goethem. Of all entries, the Ecobarrier achieved the highest scores in terms of sustainability, innovation and noise reduction. Toine van Goethem submitted his design in the category of universities and private individuals. The winning entry in the design agencies category is the ‘Dobber’ by Brandes en Meurs, and in the business category ‘Elevation’, a design by Arup, Dura Vermeer and ONL, carried off first prize. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol received a total of 97 entries from 17 countries around the world, including China, Japan, New Zealand, the United States and several European countries.


In April 2008 Amsterdam Airport Schiphol launched an international design competition for a new noise-reduction facility at Runway 18L-36R (the Polder runway). Schiphol invited educational institutions, private individuals, design agencies and businesses to present an innovative solution for the complex problem of ground noise in Hoofddorp-Noord, produced by aircraft taking off from the Polder runway. The winning project has earned its designer a cash prize of € 750,000 (€ 250,000 as category winner and € 500,000 for the overall winning design). The two other category winners received € 250,000 each.


A clear majority of the jury selected the Ecobarrier as the best design. “The attractions of the Ecobarrier include its simplicity and its innovative and dynamic character,” said jury chairman and President of Schiphol Group Jos Nijhuis. “On top of that, the Ecobarrier contains several sustainability features, including algae cultivation and bio-fermentation, and fits well into the landscape.”

Building preparation work can begin once the zoning scheme has been approved and Air Traffic Control the Netherlands has performed the statutory design tests.


The designs were assessed by a jury that included the Schiphol Group Board of Management, Ms H.M. Blank, director of BVR adviseurs, Prof. H.A.J. Henket, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol supervisor, Mr W.M. Crouwel, architect, Mr A.J.A. Uiterhoeve of the municipality of Haarlemmermeer and Mr M.C.M. Backx, former chairman of the residents’ association Hoofddorp Noord.

Central Approval – Class 3

Sentral Godkjenning – tiltaksklasse 3


Various Architects has received Central Approval – Class 3 – from The Norwegian National Office for Building Technology and Administration in three categories: accountable applicant, acountable designer, and accountable controller of design. Class three is the highest category, reflecting an ability to work on projects of high complexity and consequence.


This implies that applicants must have relevant practice and education in addition to a quality management system based on the PBA´s provisions. A certificate of approval is granted to those companies that can document their competence accordingly. The certificate serves as an indication for what the companies are qualified to do in a construction projects. An approval is valid for three years. When this period has expired, companies need to apply for a renewal.