Mark Foster Gage's Manhattan Skyscraper Takes Gothic Architecture to New Heights

13:30 - 15 December, 2015
© Mark Foster Gage Architects
© Mark Foster Gage Architects

This isn't your typical New York skyscraper; Mark Foster Gage has been commissioned to design a 1492-foot-tall luxury tower in Manhattan - 41 West 57th Street. Described by Skyscraper City as the "missing link between Beaux Arts, Art Deco, Expressionism, Gaudi-Modernisme and Contemporary architecture," the outlandish design boasts a uniquely carved facade cloaked in balconies custom tailored for each of its 91 residential units. 

"I think that many of the supertall buildings being built in New York City are virtually free of architectural design - they are just tall boxes covered in a selected glass curtain wall products. That is not design," said Gage. 

Oscar Niemeyer Through the Lens of Haruo Mikami

12:00 - 15 December, 2015
National Congress. Image © Haruo Mikami
National Congress. Image © Haruo Mikami

Architecture photographer Haruo Mikami has shared with us a series of black and white photographs of some of Oscar Niemeyer’s most important works in Brasília. From the Cathedral of Brasília to the Alvorada Palace and the National Congress, see some of the Brazilian architect’s most iconic works after the break. 

Itamaraty. Image © Haruo Mikami National Museum. Image © Haruo Mikami Church of Our Lady of Fatima. Image © Haruo Mikami Alvorada Palace. Image © Haruo Mikami +27

Spotlight: Oscar Niemeyer

08:00 - 15 December, 2015
Cathedral of Brasília. Image © Brasilia
Cathedral of Brasília. Image © Brasilia

Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho, or simply Oscar Niemeyer, was one of the greatest architects in Brazil's history, and one of the greats of the global modernist movement. After his death in 2012, Niemeyer left the world more than five hundred works scattered throughout the Americas, Africa and Europe. Niemeyer attended the National School of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro in 1929, graduating in 1934. He began working with the influential Brazilian architect and urban planner Lúcio Costa also in 1932, a professional partnership that would last decades and result in some of the most important works in the history of modern architecture.

Alberto Campo Baeza Wins 2015 BigMat International Architecture Award

06:00 - 15 December, 2015
© Javier Callejas Sevilla
© Javier Callejas Sevilla

Alberto Campo Baeza’s Office Building in Zamora, Spain has been selected as the winner of the 2015 BigMat International Architecture Award, with the judges commending how the design combines “the contemporary nature of the building with a respectful understanding of its existing surroundings.” 

Recognized with a prize of 30,000 euros, Campo Baeza’s project was selected from 750 projects located in six different European countries. Five national winners and five finalists were also announced, while Samuel Delmas (a+ samueldelmas architects urbanistes) was awarded the Special Mention for Young Architects for his building in Nozay, France.

View all of the award winning projects after the break.

© Javier Callejas Sevilla © Aitor Ortiz © Gustav Willeit © Hugo Santos Silva +7

Japan Sport Council Unveils Two Shortlisted Designs For New Tokyo National Stadium

16:20 - 14 December, 2015
© Japan Sport Council via Curbed
© Japan Sport Council via Curbed

The Japan Sport Council has unveiled images of two designs now in the running for the new Tokyo National Stadium, the city's headline venue for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Named simply "A" and "B," with no hints yet as to who the architects might be, the designs replace a proposal by Zaha Hadid Architects that was controversially scrapped in July after fears about cost increases from the government and a petition against the design from prominent Japanese architects.

According to The Japan Times, the two new designs were both designed by Japanese architects. Both feature wood prominently in their design, something which prompted Japanese architect and critic Takashi Moriyama to tell the newspaper "I think the idea of using wood in large structures may globally impact architecture."

Richard Rogers Wins ULI J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development

14:25 - 14 December, 2015
© Andrew Zuckermann / RSHP
© Andrew Zuckermann / RSHP

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) has selected Richard Rogers as the 2015 recipient of the J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development. The Institute’s highest honor, the award "recognizes a person or a person representing an institution who has demonstrated a longtime commitment to the creation of communities that reflect the highest standards of design and development."

Rogers was selected as the prize's 16th recipient for "his career-long focus on creating sustainable communities that thrive by providing a high quality of life for all citizens."

Oliver Wainwright on London's "Tortured Heap of Towers"

12:15 - 14 December, 2015
© The Guardian
© The Guardian

The Guardian's latest, Oliver Wainwright and Monica Ulmanu discuss London's controversial skyline and the forces that shape it. "Perhaps the tortured heap of towers that seem to be the future of London’s skyline (some thrilling, some monstrous, all very large) is inevitable," says Wainwright. "It is a vertical expression of the Square Mile’s medieval street pattern, forced skywards by global finance and massaged by reactive planning – the chaotic cocktail of invisible forces shaping the city." Read the whole article, here

Who Should Win the 2016 Pritzker Prize?

10:15 - 14 December, 2015

The Pritzker Prize has announced that it will be revealing its 2016 laureate on the 13th of January, starting what is sure to be a month of intense speculation about who the next winner of architecture's most prestigious prize might be. Will the jury honor an influential member of the old guard, as they did this March when they gave the award to the late Frei Otto? Or will they recognize a young architect who has made a big splash? Will they reward virtuoso spatial design, or will they acknowledge the role of social impact, as they did in awarding the prize to Shigeru Ban in 2014? And will the award go to an individual or to two or more architects working together, as it did in 2010 when SANAA scooped the prize?

“Impulse” Installation Turns Montreal into a Musical Playground

08:00 - 14 December, 2015
Musical Seesaws at the Place Des Festivals. Image © Ulysse Lemerise
Musical Seesaws at the Place Des Festivals. Image © Ulysse Lemerise

The product of Toronto-based Lateral Office and Montreal-based CS Design, in collaboration with EGP Group, Mitchell Akiyama, Maotik and Iregular, “Impulse” is a winter installation in the city of Montreal. Thirty giant seesaws and a series of video-projections on surrounding building facades, all with accompanying music, transform the Place des Festivals into an “illuminated playground.” The project was selected as the winner of an open competition this past summer, for the sixth annual Luminothérapie event. Read more about this interactive installation after the break.

Arup Releases Report Envisioning a Greener Madrid

06:00 - 14 December, 2015
Courtesy of Arup
Courtesy of Arup

Arup’s Foresight + Research + Innovation, Madrid Sustainability and Master Planning, and Landscape Architecture teams have released Madrid + Natural, a series of guidelines to address climate change within the city.

The forward-thinking report to seeks to provide “multiple nature-based solutions to regulate Madrid’s urban environment and respond to problems like pollution, increased heavy storm events, drought, periods of abnormally hot temperatures, and local biodiversity loss.”

River stream restoration. Image Courtesy of Arup Urban farming. Image Courtesy of Arup Sustainable roofs. Image Courtesy of Arup Microclimates. Image Courtesy of Arup +8

A Rendered Recreation of Marcel Breuer's St. John's Abbey Church

04:00 - 14 December, 2015

A Belarus-based rendering studio, iddqd, have faithfully recreated Marcel Breuer's St. John's Abbey Church in a series of highly detailed images representing both the building's interior spaces and iconic external volume. The first in a long-term project called 'Unforgotten Heritage', this collection of drawings are complemented by a movie which shines a spotlight on a building which, according to the artists, "might otherwise be forgotten."

NKA Foundation Announces Winners of Designing for the Arts Housing Competition in Ghana

14:00 - 13 December, 2015
First place: Abode+Abode / Chowdhury Mohammad Junayed, Sheikh Ahsan Ullah Mojumder, and Erum Ahmed, of the Sheikh Ahsan Ulla Mojumder & Associates in Bangladesh. Image Courtesy of NKA Foundation
First place: Abode+Abode / Chowdhury Mohammad Junayed, Sheikh Ahsan Ullah Mojumder, and Erum Ahmed, of the Sheikh Ahsan Ulla Mojumder & Associates in Bangladesh. Image Courtesy of NKA Foundation

NKA Foundation has announced the winners of the 3rd Earth Architecture Competition, Designing for the Arts, in Ghana. The competition called for recent graduates and students of architecture and design to design innovative, modest, and affordable housing for artists that could be built using earth and local materials in Ghana.

The design was required to be a mud house type of about 2,400 square feet for eight to ten users on a plot of 80 by 100 feet in the Abetenim Arts Village, near Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. The overall design was designated for use by musicians, theater artists, potters, sculptors, painters, textile artists, designers, writers, or media arts practitioners. Total costs of construction were not to exceed $7,000 USD for materials and labor, not including the land value.

The winners of the competition are:

Europan 13 Winners Announced

12:00 - 13 December, 2015
“Twin Phenomena” Proposal by ArenasBasabePalacios, one of the winners of Europan 12. Image Courtesy of ArenasBasabePalacios
“Twin Phenomena” Proposal by ArenasBasabePalacios, one of the winners of Europan 12. Image Courtesy of ArenasBasabePalacios

With 1,305 projects submitted, 44 winners, 49 runner-ups and 61 special mentions have been selected in the Europan 13 competition. Held annually, Europan is a European competition to design urban and architectural projects for implementation. Europan 13 was done in partnership with governing bodies of cities across Europe in collaboration with 15 European structures, under the theme “The Adaptable City: Self-Organization – Sharing - Project”, with participants called on to address the economic and ecological issues of sustainability in European cities.

These Modular "Hobbit Houses" Can Be Assembled in Three Days

16:00 - 12 December, 2015
Courtesy of Green Magic Homes
Courtesy of Green Magic Homes

Have you ever wanted to live in a Hobbit House? Or maybe just be closer to nature? Now, with Green Magic Homes’ prefabricated houses, you can. Made with fiber re-enforced polymer modules, the homes can be customized, and take as few as three days to construct.

Tomás Saraceno Unveils Air-Filled Sculptures at COP21 That Will Travel the World

14:00 - 12 December, 2015
Courtesy of Studio Tomas Saraceno
Courtesy of Studio Tomas Saraceno

As part of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, Tomás Saraceno has revealed a sculptural installation, “Aerocene - Around the world to change the world," at the Grand Palais and Palais de Tokyo. The project features a series of air-filled sculptures that float without burning fossil fuels or using engines, solar panels or batteries.

Iñaqui Carnicero and Carlos Quintáns to Curate Spain Pavilion at 2016 Venice Biennale

11:40 - 12 December, 2015
Spain Pavilion at Venice 2012. Image © Nico Saieh
Spain Pavilion at Venice 2012. Image © Nico Saieh

Iñaqui Carnicero and Carlos Quintáns have been selected as co-curators of the Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016, directed by Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, under the theme "Reporting from the Front."

Gallery: SANAA's Grace Farms Through the Lens of Songkai Liu

16:00 - 11 December, 2015
© Songkai Liu
© Songkai Liu

Columbia University student and architectural photographer Songkai Liu has shared images with us from his recent trip to Grace Farms in New Canaan, Connecticut. The 80-acre non-profit farm, landscaped by OLIN, boasts a newly completed multipurpose pavilion designed by SANAA that provides a non-intrusive space for community events, services and worship.

"SANAA’s goal was to make the architecture of the River become part of the landscape without drawing attention to itself, or even feeling like a building, with the hope that those who are on the property will have a greater enjoyment of the beautiful environment and changing seasons through the spaces and experience created by the River," described the architect.

© Songkai Liu © Songkai Liu © Songkai Liu © Songkai Liu +21

New LEGO® Collection Lets You Recreate Skylines

12:00 - 11 December, 2015
New York City. Image © LEGO®
New York City. Image © LEGO®

Venice, Berlin and New York City are the first to be featured in LEGO®'s new Architecture Skyline Collection. Unlike its single-building series, these new kits will allow you to recreate famous skylines by constructing up to 5 of each city's most iconic buildings. 

New York City's skyline will be represented by the One World Trade Center, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Statue of Liberty, and Flatiron Building. Venice will feature the Rialto Bridge, St. Mark’s Basilica, St. Mark’s Campanile, St. Theodore and the Winged Lion of St. Mark, and the Bridge of Sighs. And Berlin's skyline will include the Reichstag, Victory Column, Deutsche Bahn Tower, Berlin TV Tower, and Brandenburg Gate.