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Call for Participation: Urban Realities Takes A Look At Abandoned Construction Pits in Ljubljana

In cooperation with the Museum of Architecture and Design Ljubljana an interactive Blind Date of European architects, planners and experts in urban development will be organized in autumn 2015. Under the title “Urban Realities” a collaboration of three selected teams together with local experts will be started. Invited architects and planners will work on a concrete topic and on abandoned construction pits in the city of Ljubljana.

SHoP Unveils Plans for New Uber Headquarters in San Francisco

SHoP Architects and Studio O+A have unveiled designs for a new Uber headquarters in San Francisco. Planned to rise on a 14-acre vacant site in the city's Mission Bay neighborhood, the 423,000 square-foot scheme will consist of two towers: an 11‐story tower at 1455 Third Street and a 6‐story structure at 1515 Third Street.

© SHoP Architects © SHoP Architects © SHoP Architects © SHoP Architects

Brooklyn Academy of Music Showcases 5 Murals by Michael Graves

Brooklyn Academy of Music is showcasing five murals by the late Michael Graves as part of the institution's permanent visual art collection. All completed in 1974, the paintings were originally commissioned by Charles Gwathmey - one of the New York Five, along with Graves. And, as the New York Times reports, their "heightened use of color and ornamentation" portray a "general shift away from minimalism." Read more about the murals, here

Step Back in Time with the New York Public Library's "OldNYC" Archive Project

Discover historic New York with "OldNYC," a digital archive of the New York Public Library's "Photographic Views of New York City, 1870s-1970s" Collection. Bringing together an extensive catalogue of images from the library's Milstein Collection, OldNYC organizes photographs geographically, allowing users to view images specific to individual blocks and streets.

The project is also collaborative, asking visitors on the site to comment on photographs with "what's there now, what's changed, and what's stayed the same." Users can edit or add to captions on the back of each of the photos, creating a personal element in the latest retelling of New York's vibrant history.

Learn more about the project and view selected images after the break.

"Bridges - Brooklyn Bridge - Manhattan Bridge - [New York Steam Corporation.]", Percy Loomis Sperr (1934). Image Courtesy of The New York Public Library http://www.oldnyc.org/ "Celebrations - Parades - Municipal events - The Victory Arch.", Unknown (1918). Image Courtesy of The New York Public Library http://www.oldnyc.org/ "Manhattan: 6th Avenue - 42nd Street (West)", Unknown (1939). Image Courtesy of The New York Public Library http://www.oldnyc.org/ "Manhattan: 5th Avenue - 46th Street", Unknown (1931). Image Courtesy of The New York Public Library http://www.oldnyc.org/

6 Winners Selected for OISTAT Competition to Design a Floating Theatre in Germany

Out of 197 entries from 38 countries, six proposals have been chosen as the winners of the 2015 OISTAT Theatre Architecture Competition, which sought proposals for a floating theatre that could be moved to different locations along the Spree River in Germany. The ideas competition was organized by OISTAT (International Organization of Scenographers, Technicians, and Theatre Architects), and the winning proposals will be showcased at the exhibition Stage│Set│Scenery in Berlin in June. 

Per the competition requirements, the floating theatre proposals accommodate audiences of up to 300 people with a backstage area for 20 or fewer performers. The performance space remains moored on the river, while the foyer, restrooms, and refreshments are housed in a temporary structure on land that can be moved when necessary.

RIBA Future Trends Survey Reveals Minor Drop In Some UK Sectors

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for April 2015 shows widespread consistency in comparison to March, the workload index remaining around the same at +35 from +36 last month. The private housing sector remains strong, rising to +38, while the commercial sector forecast dropped slightly to +15. In addition, the public sector forecast saw a drop to +3 while the community sector forecast "experienced a significant decline" to -3 from +9 in March. However, workload forecast balance figures have remained high, and practices in London and the South of England are most confident about medium-term workloads. Small practices continue to be positive about the outlook for future workloads, while medium and large practices "continue to be even more optimistic about future growth."

Graham Foundation Awards Grants for 63 Outstanding Projects

The Graham Foundation has awarded over $490,000 in "Grants to Individuals" of 63 "outstanding projects" that "engage original ideas in architects." From a photographic survey of Le Corbusier's completed works to an online oral history regarding efforts to building housing for homeless individuals living with HIV and AIDS in New York City, the awarded projects range from participatory workshops to exhibitions and documentary films.

As The Graham Foundation says, each awarded project "advances new scholarship in the field of architecture, fuel creative experimentation and critical dialogue, and expand opportunities for public engagement with architecture and its role in contemporary society."

View all 63 awarded projects, after the break.

Le Corbusier, Villa Savoye, 1928–32, Poissy, France. Photo: Richard Pare. From the 2015 Individual Grant to Richard Pare for “Le Corbusier, The Built Work.”. Image Courtesy of Graham Foundation Ying Xiao and Shengchen Yang, “Occupy Skyscraper,” 2012, New York. Courtesy of the artists. From the 2015 Individual Grant to Esther Choi and Marrikka Trotter for “Architecture is All Over.”. Image Courtesy of Graham Foundation Group Ludic, playground, “Quartier de la Grande Delle,” 1968, Herouville St. Clair, France. Courtesy of Xavier de la Salle. From the 2015 Individual Grant to Gabriela Burkhalter for “Group Ludic’s Visionary Urban Landscapes, 1968–1979.”. Image Courtesy of Graham Foundation Craig Hodgetts, collage from “Design Quarterly 100, Inside James Stirling,” 1976. Courtesy of Craig Hodgetts. From the 2015 Individual Grant to Todd Gannon and Craig Hodgetts for “Biography of a Teaching Machine and Other Writings.”. Image Courtesy of Graham Foundation

SHoP and West 8 Propose New "Innovation District" for Miami

© SHoP Architects
© SHoP Architects

SHoP Architects and West 8 have teamed up with developer Michael Simkins to propose a new 10-acre "Innovation District" in Miami's Park West neighborhood. If approved, the four-block area would foster the "growth of creative technology industries" within the city and provide "world-class urban amenities" to the surrounding communities. 

"True innovation today requires the very thing that cities, at their best, have always provided: creative proximity. Even as it continues its rapid development, the city of Miami does not currently offer significant urban environments that meet the necessary criteria," said SHoP in a press release.  

X-Architects Win Competition to Design New Masterplan for Mecca

X-Architects has won a competition to re-masterplan Mecca. As designMENA reports, the UAE-based practice has proposed a number of safe and streamlined pedestrian routes to "enhance the movement during the 'Nafrah,' the ritual of moving from Mina to Haram and vice versa" during the religious Hajj. The plan also includes a proposed mixed-use development adjacent to Hima Al Masheir (the holy ritual territories) that would provide service and facilities to those taking part in the pilgrimage. 

Beatriz Colomina And Mark Wigley Appointed As Curators Of The 2016 Istanbul Design Biennial

The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts have announced that internationally renowned architectural historian and theorist Beatriz Colomina and architectural historian, theorist, and critic Mark Wigley will curate the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial to be held in the summer of 2016. Colomina, a Professor of Architecture at Princeton University and curator of the recent Radical Pedagogies: Architectural Education in a Time of Disciplinary Instability exhibition (Lisbon Triennale, 2013; Venice Biennale 2014) will join Wigley, Professor and Dean Emeritus of Columbia University's GSAPP and renowned writer and curator, in helping to cement the biennial's international reputation.

China Set to Open World’s Longest and Highest Glass-Bottom Bridge

China will soon finish construction on what will be the world’s tallest and longest glass pedestrian bridge, floating 300 meters above a canyon in the Zhangjiajie National Park. Designed by Israeli architect, Haim Dotan, the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge will be 380 meters long, six meters wide and feature a transparent glass floor.

“The Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge was designed to be invisible as possible--a white bridge disappearing into the clouds,” said Dotan.

Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum Named European Museum Of The Year

Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, which was comprehensively restored and reimagined by Spanish practice Cruz y Ortiz over the course of a decade, has been named as the 2015 European Museum of the Year (EMYA) by the European Museum Forum. Lauded by the jury as "a great museum, at the height of its powers, providing a rich experience to the public, and a socially aware outreach programme for visitors of all ages," its success has also been in the museum's "ambition to 'reach every child in the Netherlands by the age of twelve'" - an aspiration which has been praised as "notable, impressive and achievable." The coveted award has previously gone to Zaha Hadid Architects' Riverside Museum in Glasgow in 2013.

Princeton Names Monica Ponce de Leon as Dean of Architecture

Monica Ponce de Leon has been named as the next Dean of Princeton's School of Architecture. Ponce de Leon, who co-founded Office dA in 1991, and then founded her own firm MPdL Studio in 2011, is the current Dean of the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She also previously taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design for 12 years, and is a recipient of the National Design Award in Architecture from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian National Design Museum.

Morphosis Architects Headline AIA's 2015 Technology In Architectural Practice Innovation Awards

The AIA has announced four projects as the winners of its inaugural Technology in Architectural Practice (TAP) Innovation Awards, with Morphosis Architects' Emerson College Los Angeles taking away the headline "Stellar Architecture" award. Started in 2005, the TAP Knowledge Community has led efforts to acknowledge and disseminate the best use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) technologies, and the AIA hopes that the new TAP Innovation Award will "enliven the discourse on how these innovations can advance the profession and practice of architecture and further the mission of the Institute."

See all four awarded projects after the break.

The building and site utilize best ‘green’ practices, including capturing stormwater in the landscape. Image © Tom Holdsworth The three main massing elements (south bar, atrium and north tower) are each designed with their own structural systems and floor-to-floor heights to maximize efficiencies. Image © Alene Davis The design's canted glazing intensifies reflections of immediate environment. Image © Point B Design A grand stair provides space for social gatherings, connecting the students to Sunset Blvd below with a view of the Hollywood Sign ahead. Image © Iwan Baan

NASA's 3D Printed Habitat Challenge Takes Designers into Deep Space

NASA and the National Additive Manufacturing Institute (America Makes) have launched the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, an inaugural design competition offering $2.25 million in prizes. Part of NASA's Centennial Challenges program, the competition challenges entrants to design and build a 3D printed habitat for deep space exploration. "The future possibilities for 3D printing are inspiring, and the technology is extremely important to deep space exploration," said Sam Ortega, Centennial Challenges program manager. "This challenge definitely raises the bar from what we are currently capable of, and we are excited to see what the maker community does with it."

Applications Open For The 2015 AA Visiting School In Rotterdam

This year the Architectural Association (AA) Visiting School programme will extend its reach to the Dutch city of Rotterdam – a place which, "by some strange twist of geographical and historical fate, has the highest concentration of architects and architectural thinkers in the world." The workshop, which will run for two weeks in July, will explore issues of inhabitance, perception, and intensity through analysis and creative interpretation of Rotterdam’s 'core' "or, more likely, its multiple cores, invisible to the untrained eye." Based in the Shell Tower on Hofplein, students will be afforded the opportunity to observe and analyse the city from on-high.

6 Teams Shortlisted for Canadian Canoe Museum

Six teams have been shortlisted for a chance to design the new Canadian Canoe Museum, as part of its relocation to the Parks Canada Peterborough Lift Lock National Historic Site on the Trent-Severn Waterway in southern Ontario. Selected from 90 international submissions, the competing teams are now expected to refine their ideas before presenting them to the public. A winner will be announced in the Fall.  

The complete shortlist, after the break... 

Images Released of OMA-Designed Chinese Pavilion at 2015 Venice Art Biennale

Completed images of OMA's design for the 2015 Venice Art Biennale's Chinese Pavilion have been released. Juxtaposing artworks "in a field of projections and stages," the exhibition is designed to be an "immersive environment" that brings together work by Tan Dun, Liu Jiakun, Lu Yang, Wu Wenguang / Caochangdi Work Station and Wen Hui / Living Dance Studio under the theme "Other Future."

Exterior window detail. Image © Italo Rondinella courtesy of OMA Exhibition interior. Image © Italo Rondinella courtesy of OMA Exhibition interior, video by Wen Hui. Image © Italo Rondinella courtesy of OMA Exhibition interior, performance area for Tan Dun. Image © Italo Rondinella courtesy of OMA