World Architecture Festival to Move to Berlin After Four Years in Singapore

06:00 - 4 March, 2016
World Architecture Festival to Move to Berlin After Four Years in Singapore

The World Architecture Festival (WAF), the largest annual international gathering of architects, is decamping from its four year home in Singapore for Berlin later this year. The annual event, consisting of awards, a conference, and an exhibition, recognizes outstanding projects in a variety of categories, and is attended by over 2,000 visitors from 65 countries. The venue for this year’s festival is the Berlin Arena, a bus terminal designed by Franz Ahrens in 1927 and repurposed as an event space in the 1990s. This is the ninth edition of the festival and the first to occur in Europe since 2011.

Moscow's Strelka Institute and the HSE Graduate School of Urbanism Launch a New Course in Advanced Urban Design

04:00 - 4 March, 2016
Strelka Institute, Moscow. Image © Olga Ivanova
Strelka Institute, Moscow. Image © Olga Ivanova

The Moscow-based Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design and the HSE Graduate School of Urbanism have launched a new collaborative international Masters programme entitled Advanced Urban Design. The two-year English language program, specifically designed for Bachelors, researchers and young professionals, intends to guide students through best practices in the area of urban planning. Under the guidance of a collection of tutors from Russia and around the world, the course aims to investigate conditions of growing cities by focusing on unstable socioeconomic contexts. 

2016 Venice Biennale Will Begin a "Crusade Against Indifference"

14:15 - 3 March, 2016

Yesterday, and for the first time in La Biennale's history, the press tour included a stop in the Southern Hemisphere. From his home city of Santiago, Alejandro Aravena shared more details about the upcoming exhibition in Chile's presidential palace (La Moneda) alongside the president of the Biennale and the president of Chile. 

The main information to emerge from the press conference was the presentation of the lone image that represents this year's Biennale and the announcement of the participants. In the video above, Aravena gracefully explains how Bruce Chatwin's image of German archaeologist Maria Reiche encapsulates "the Biennale as a whole." 

Aravena stressed that he wanted the disclaimer for the exhibition to be the exact opposite of "Don't Try This At Home." He explained, "Given the complexity and variety of challenges that architecture has to respond to, 'Reporting from the Front' will be about listening to those that were able to gain some perspective and consequently are in the position to share some knowledge and experiences with those of us standing on the ground."

Los Angeles' Tallest Tower to Get Terrifying "Skyslide"

13:40 - 3 March, 2016
Los Angeles' Tallest Tower to Get Terrifying "Skyslide", via LA Curbed
via LA Curbed

The West Coast's tallest building, Los Angeles' US Bank Tower is going to be outfitted with a terrifying glass slide designed by engineering firm M.Ludvik & Co. Set to hang 1000-feet above the street, the project will be part of the building's Gensler-designed OUE Skyspace LA attraction - soon to be California's tallest open-air observation deck. 

5 Major Practices Shortlisted to Expand Buffalo's Albright-Knox Art Gallery

12:00 - 3 March, 2016
5 Major Practices Shortlisted to Expand Buffalo's Albright-Knox Art Gallery, © Flickr CC User Nick Stanley
© Flickr CC User Nick Stanley

Five major firms have been shortlisted for the Albright-Knox Art Gallery's $80 million expansion in Buffalo, New York. Chosen for their "design intellect" and ability to collaborate, the competing firms will envision ways to expand the gallery's exhibition space and create a new public urban area that maximizes the site's potential, as the Albright-Knox campus is located on the edge of Delaware Park - one of Frederick Law Olmsted’s major works.

“The selection of the architects reflects that malleability, because none of them has a fingerprint style,” Albright-Knox director Janne Sirén said. “All of them, almost, specialize in an ability to build for a given context.”

The five practices include:

Kimmel Eshkolot Architects Wins Competition for Masterplan in Tel Aviv

08:00 - 3 March, 2016
Courtesy of Kimmel Eshkolot Architects
Courtesy of Kimmel Eshkolot Architects

Kimmel Eshkolot Architects has won the competition to design the Kaplan North Masterplan, covering an area of 32,000 square meters in central Tel Aviv. Once a secretive and secluded area, the space has been opened to new development due to the decision to relocate the headquarters of the IDF.

“Located between one of the city’s busiest intersections and its cultural center, the design creates a new gateway to Tel Aviv, which will be an innovative series of structures that will connect this fragmented area,” with the goal of creating a “sustainable coexistence between a busy urban space and an intimate residential neighborhood.”

Sam Jacob Studio to Create a Russian Doll-Like Installation at London's Sto Werkstatt

04:00 - 3 March, 2016
Sam Jacob Studio to Create a Russian Doll-Like Installation at London's Sto Werkstatt, One Thing After Another. Image © Sam Jacob Studio
One Thing After Another. Image © Sam Jacob Studio

Sto Werkstatt have announced that Sam Jacob Studio will be creating "a unique installation" for their London gallery space that will "explore the exchange of information between digital and physical worlds." Entitled One Thing After Another, the project has its origins with what Jacob considers the most mundane, yet essential form, of architecture: the garden shed. The structure will be 3D-scanned to create a digital copy which will then be processed and scaled to fabricate a new CNC’d version from Verolith, a lightweight type of volcanic stone made of 90% perlite.

AL_A Wins Competition to Design Abu Dhabi Mosque

14:00 - 2 March, 2016
AL_A Wins Competition to Design Abu Dhabi Mosque, Prayer Hall. Image © AL_A
Prayer Hall. Image © AL_A

AL_A has won a competition to design a new mosque within the Foster + Partner-designed World Trade Center complex in Abu Dhabi. The 2000-square-meter project, envisioned as a "pathway to serenity" rather than a single building, leads visitors on a journey through an informal park of palm trees that slowly align with the mosque's shifted grid as users approach the Prayer Hall. Once inside, visitors are facing towards Mecca. 

"The mosque is envisaged as a piece of the city, one that reflects the journey from the temporal to the spiritual," said AL_A director Ho-Yin Ng. "The mosque and the garden become one, with the trees and the columns forming an informal vertical landscape and allowing Friday prayers to spill outside."

Frank Gehry Wins 2016 Annenberg Award

12:00 - 2 March, 2016
Frank Gehry Wins 2016 Annenberg Award, AD Classics: Walt Disney Concert Hall / Frank Gehry. Image © Dave Toussaint
AD Classics: Walt Disney Concert Hall / Frank Gehry. Image © Dave Toussaint

The Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE) has announced plans to award Frank Gehry with the 2016 Leonore and Walter Annenberg Award for Diplomacy through the Arts "in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to our country’s rich artistic tradition."

“We are thrilled to be honoring Mr. Gehry, one of the world’s greatest living architects, with our eighth annual Annenberg Award. For more than five decades, his innovation, vision, and boldness of spirit in the field of architecture has been a profound inspiration. His architectural contributions have had a significant impact, not only on the world of architecture, but on culture and humanity on a global scale,” said FAPE Chairman Jo Carole Lauder.

Live Streaming from Santiago: Alejandro Aravena Speaks at the 2016 Venice Biennale Press Conference

10:03 - 2 March, 2016

Today at 10am EST, the press conference for the 2016 Venice Biennale will take place at Chile’s Presidential Palace La Moneda. During the conference Alejandro Aravena will present “Reporting from the Front,” his central exhibition for the Biennale. 

You can watch a live streaming of the press conference above. 

The press conference will be in Spanish.

UNESCO and Italy Form Task Force to Protect Cultural Heritage in Conflict Areas

08:00 - 2 March, 2016
UNESCO and Italy Form Task Force to Protect Cultural Heritage in Conflict Areas, Destruction by the Islamic State of the Temple of Baalshamin in Palmyra (Syria) in August 2015. Image © Wikipedia licensed under CC BY 2.0
Destruction by the Islamic State of the Temple of Baalshamin in Palmyra (Syria) in August 2015. Image © Wikipedia licensed under CC BY 2.0

Italy and UNESCO have signed an agreement to create a special Italian task force to protect art, cultural sites, and ancient artifacts that are located in areas of war or conflict around the world. They will also form a center in Turin to train cultural heritage experts. The agreement arose from a proposal presented by Italy last October that was backed by 53 countries and the UN Security Council. 

Conceived as the cultural version of the Blue Helmets --  the UN’s peacekeeping forces -- the group will initially be composed of 30 police detectives specializing in art theft, and 30 archeologists and art restorers and historians, who “are already operational and ready to go where UNESCO sends them,” said Dario Franceschini, the Italian Minister of Culture, during the ceremony to sign the agreement.

Seattle's First Center for Architecture and Design to Open This Saturday

16:00 - 1 March, 2016
Seattle's First Center for Architecture and Design to Open This Saturday, © Suyama Peterson Deguchi
© Suyama Peterson Deguchi

Seattle’s first Center for Architecture & Design (CFAD), led by AIA Seattle, the Seattle Architecture Foundation, Design in Public and the AIA Washington Council, will celebrate its grand opening March 5. Located in Pioneer Square, this new civic hub will offer powerful year-round exhibitions, events and classes that explore how design shapes and inspires vibrant communities. You can learn more about CFAD Seattle, which was designed by local firm Suyama Peterson Deguchihere

LSE Reveals 6 Schemes for its Paul Marshall Building

14:18 - 1 March, 2016
LSE Reveals 6 Schemes for its Paul Marshall Building, Team A. Image Courtesy of RIBA
Team A. Image Courtesy of RIBA

The London School of Economics (LSE) and RIBA have revealed the six shortlisted proposals for their next major development: 44 Lincoln’s Inn Fields/The Paul Marshall. With designs from David Chipperfield, Diller Scofidio + Renfro with Penoyre & Prasad and Herzog & de Meuron, LSE is hoping their new building's "world-class architecture" will appropriately reflect the university's "global academic reputation." AL_A, Grafton Architects, and Niall McLaughlin with Scott Brownrigg complete the shortlist

“The amount of analysis and intellectual effort that has gone into the designs from each team is staggering and the results are impressive and very exciting. Given its size and prime location on Lincoln’s Inn Fields we want this to be a seminal university building; its legacy will endure for many generations so it is vital that we make the right decision,” said Julian Robinson, LSE’s Director of Estates.

All six schemes are being publicly exhibited at the LSE's Saw Swee Hock Student Centre through March 17. Read on for a glimpse of each. 

Frederick Steiner Named Dean of PennDesign

12:00 - 1 March, 2016
Frederick Steiner Named Dean of PennDesign, Frederick Steiner. Image Courtesy of University of Texas at Austin
Frederick Steiner. Image Courtesy of University of Texas at Austin

Frederick Steiner has been named the new dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design (Penn Design). Effective July 1, the appointment comes after Steiner announced his departure from the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin, which, according to The Texas Tribune, was partially due to the school's new gun law that will allow students to carry concealed firearms. 

HOK’s Hertsmere House Will Be the Tallest Residential Tower in Western Europe

08:00 - 1 March, 2016
HOK’s Hertsmere House Will Be the Tallest Residential Tower in Western Europe, via AJ © HOK
via AJ © HOK

HOK’s latest project, “Hertsmere House” on West India Quay in London’s Canary Wharf has been approved for development by members of Tower Hamlets’ Strategic Development Committee. At 67-stories and 789 feet tall, Hertsmere House will be Western Europe’s tallest residential tower. The design, inspired by flower petals, aims to create a unique addition to the London skyline. Read more about the project after the break.

French "Utopian" Architect Claude Parent Dies Aged 93

12:00 - 29 February, 2016
French "Utopian" Architect Claude Parent Dies Aged 93, Claude Parent. Image © Emmanuel Goulet
Claude Parent. Image © Emmanuel Goulet

Claude Parent, a celebrated French architect and Commandeur de la Légion d'honneur, died on the evening of the 27th February 2016, the day after his 93rd birthday. Born in 1923 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Parent was a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris and, throughout his career, developed a limited but extremely influential body of built work ranging from nuclear power stations to shockingly unconventional shopping centers, such as his project in Sens. Described as both a utopian and a 'supermodernist' in his own lifetime, the methodology he shaped has played a significant role for his peers of all generations and for contemporary artists and thinkers including Jean Nouvel, who began his professional life as a collaborator.

Women in Architecture's 2016 Survey Finds Widened Gender Disparities

06:00 - 29 February, 2016
Women in Architecture's 2016 Survey Finds Widened Gender Disparities , via Women in Architecture
via Women in Architecture

The Architectural Review has released the results of the fifth annual Women in Architecture survey, providing insights into the experiences of over 1,000 women worldwide.

One out of five women responding to the survey said that they would not encourage a woman to start a career in architecture, and a similar proportion said they were unsure—only six out of ten overall would recommend an architectural career to another woman.

Pauhu Pavilion Constructed for Tampere Architecture Week in Finland

12:00 - 28 February, 2016
Pauhu Pavilion Constructed for Tampere Architecture Week in Finland, Courtesy of Tampere Architecture Week
Courtesy of Tampere Architecture Week

The Pauhu pavilion was constructed as part of TampereFinland's 2015 Tampere Architecture Week, an annual event that aims to explore ideas about architecture and urban design by bringing together design students and professionals from the city. The 2015 theme -- interaction -- brought forth a discussion between architects and other citizens of Tampere.

The pavilion functions as an open-stage for performances and public debates, and also aims to promote forward-thinking ideas about the innovative use of wood in architecture. The name “Pauhu” refers to the “distant roar generated by the Tampere rapids, by the city around the pavilion, as well as by the artists and presenters the pavilion is hosting.”