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L5 BUILDING, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA Architect: Bligh Voller Nield www. bvn. com. au Client: University of New South Wales The 12,400m 2 building is organised in three parts, defined by a central landscaped courtyard. Teaching spaces are located in a two-level podium below the courtyard.

The classroom modules' walls can be reconfigured to suit different requirements.

The ventilated cavity facade is the main articulation in a structural concrete frame, developed in response to both its urban expression and environmental performance.

The structural brises soleil support the full-height glazed panels, creating a facade that changes over the day in its degree of reection, transparency and shadowing.

Contract value: $AU 30 million (£12.5 million)

SCHOOL OF ART AND ART HISTORY, UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, USA Architect: Steven Holl Architects www. stevenholl. com Local architect: Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck Architecture Client: University of Iowa The building, a hybrid of open edges and open centre, seems like a 'formless' instrument instead of a built object.

Flat or curved planes are slotted together or assembled with hinged sections. The main passages are meeting places, with interior glass walls revealing work in progress. The interplay of light is controlled through shading created by the overlapping planar exterior.

Contract value: Confidential

BRITISH EMBASSY, SANA'A, YEMEN Architect: Design Engine Architects www. designenginearchitects. com Client: Foreign and Commonwealth Office The building's design addresses the dichotomy between the embassy's diplomatic and security functions. It is a concrete box bedded into the sloping site and eroded at the north-west corner to create a welcoming public face. The concrete's reassuring solidity is tempered by a delicate weathering-steel brise-soleil and extensive use of traditional elements in the landscape. Energysaving measures include a low-tech, below-ground labyrinth that exploits day/night temperature swings to pre-cool incoming air.

Contract value: YER 2.2 billion (£5.5 million)

EDITH COWAN UNIVERSITY, JOONDALUP, PERTH, AUSTRALIA Architect: JCY Architects and Urban Designers www. jcy. net Client: Edith Cowan University The building is a 'place' as well as a market for learning and communication - it contains more than just books. A bookshop, e-lab, coffee shop and Japanese-inspired courtyard bring life to the heart of the building. The exterior is an elegant, ephemeral fabric of coloured aluminium shading fins. Its colours, extracted from pixelated photos of surrounding vegetation, shimmer, meld and morph in response to the changing light and setting sun, just like Australia's landscape.

Contract value: $AU 29.3 million (£12.2 million)

NEW RESIDENCE AT THE SWISS EMBASSY, WASHINGTON DC, USA Architect: Steven Holl Architects & Rüssli Architekten www. stevenholl. com www. ruessli. ch Client: Swiss Federal Office for Building and Logistics This residence is not only a private house but also a cultural gathering place by which the standards and self-image of a country are measured. The conceptual starting point was a diagonal line of overlapping spaces drawn through a cruciform courtyard plan. Official spaces are connected along this line on the first level, with living quarters above. The building conforms to the Swiss environmental standard.

Contract value: $14 million (£7 million)

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