BIG and Heatherwick Reveal Revised Plans for Google’s Mountain View Campus

08:00 - 31 March, 2016
BIG and Heatherwick Reveal Revised Plans for Google’s Mountain View Campus, Exterior Rendered Perspective. Image Courtesy of Google
Exterior Rendered Perspective. Image Courtesy of Google

Following the loss of part of their proposed site to LinkedIn and the subsequent reveal of an alternative site, Google has unveiled the revised plans for their Mountain View Campus. Designed by BIG and Heatherwick Studio, the original proposal featured several “Lego-like” buildings covered by glass canopies. The new proposal uses similar design decisions, with the building massing adjusted to the new site.

Mecanoo’s Cultural Center in Shenzhen Set to Top Out in April

06:00 - 31 March, 2016
Mecanoo’s Cultural Center in Shenzhen Set to Top Out in April, Courtesy of Mecanoo
Courtesy of Mecanoo

A new cultural center designed by Mecanoo, located in the Longgang district of Shenzhen, China is currently under construction and is set to top out by end-April. With the goal of revitalizing an existing park-square, the new complex includes a variety of programs such as a bookshop, an art museum, a youth center, and a science center. The nearly 100,000 square-meter building is set to open to the public in 2018. 

The Strange Beauty of Soviet Sanatoria

04:00 - 31 March, 2016

Khoja Obi Garm is a Soviet sanatorium nestled high in the mountains of Tajikistan – a place known for its curative, radon-rich waters. When Maryam Omidi, a former journalist, visited in 2015 she was "blown away" by both the architecture and landscape: a enormous concrete, Brutalist block at the peak of a snow-capped mountain. She has since launched a Kickstarter campaign to develop a book of photographs exploring "the best sanatoriums" across the former Soviet Union.

© Dmitry Lookianov © Claudine Doury © Michal Solarski © Olya Ivanova +10

5 Practices Compete to Design Bournemouth Cultural Center

16:00 - 30 March, 2016
5 Practices Compete to Design Bournemouth Cultural Center, via BD Online
via BD Online

Known for its seven miles of "golden" beaches, the English town of Bournemouth is planning to build a £25 million cultural centre on the country's south coast. The project's organizers, Bournemouth Development Company (BDC) has shortlisted five international practices from 38 interested participants to vie for the commission: Zaha Hadid Architects, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Wilkinson Eyre Architects, Levitt Bernstein Associates and Jestico + Whiles.

C.F. Møller Wins Competition to Masterplan Copenhagen Shoreline

14:00 - 30 March, 2016
C.F. Møller Wins Competition to Masterplan Copenhagen Shoreline, © C.F. Møller Landscape
© C.F. Møller Landscape

C.F. Møller Landscape's Nordhavn Islands project has won the international competition for an innovative learning, activity and water landscape in the harbor basin in front of the new Copenhagen International School in Nordhavn, Copenhagen. The new Nordhavn district is taking shape fast, and, having won the international Nordhavn Islands project competition, C.F. Møller Landscape will now create one of the first and most unique projects in, on and under the water in the quarter.

Spotlight: Hans Hollein

07:00 - 30 March, 2016
Spotlight: Hans Hollein, Büro + Fabriksgebäude, Tainan, Taiwan, 2005-2008. Image © Atelier Adam Chen
Büro + Fabriksgebäude, Tainan, Taiwan, 2005-2008. Image © Atelier Adam Chen

Described by Richard Meier as an architect whose "groundbreaking ideas" have "had a major impact on the thinking of designers and architects," Austrian artist, architect, designer, theoretician and Pritzker Prize laureate Hans Hollein has worked in all aspects of design, from architecture to furniture, jewelry, glasses, lamps -- even door handles. Known in particular for his museum designs, from the Abteiberg Museum in Mönchengladbach to the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt to Vienna's Haas House, Hollein's work manifests a unique, fascinating take on 1950s Modernism.

Australian Exhibition at 2016 Venice Biennale to Reveal "The Pool" as Both Artefact and Catalyst of Change

04:00 - 30 March, 2016
Australian Exhibition at 2016 Venice Biennale to Reveal "The Pool" as Both Artefact and Catalyst of Change, Clovelly Bay enclosure, Clovelly, New South Wales. Image © Abdul Moeez
Clovelly Bay enclosure, Clovelly, New South Wales. Image © Abdul Moeez

Following the announcement that the swimming pool—"one of Australia’s greatest cultural symbols—will form the foundation of the Australian Exhibition at the 2016 Venice Biennale, more information has been revealed about what will be presented.

According to the organisers, "eight prominent cultural leaders from various fields have been selected to share their personal stories, using the device of the pool as a platform to explore the relationship between architecture and Australian cultural identity." These include Olympic swimmers Ian Thorpe and Shane Gould, environmentalist Tim Flannery, fashion designers Romance was Born, authors Christos Tsiolkas and Anna Funder, Indigenous art curator Hetti Perkins and musician Paul Kelly.

Over 30 Countries to Participate in the Inaugural London Design Biennale

14:00 - 29 March, 2016
Over 30 Countries to Participate in the Inaugural London Design Biennale, FREE City, the Mexico proposal. Image © FernandoRomeroEnterprisE
FREE City, the Mexico proposal. Image © FernandoRomeroEnterprisE

A total of 34 countries will participate in the inaugural London Design Biennale, according to a press release from the organization. Set to open on September 7th, the Biennale will center on the theme Utopia by Design, looking at “sustainability, migration, pollution, water and social equality,” among other issues. 

The theme was chosen in honor of the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s “Utopia,” and the Biennale will be “the centerpiece” of the Somerset House’s year-long programme celebrating the text. “We chose the inaugural theme, Utopia by Design, to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the publication of  Thomas More’s classic, and to reflect on the rich history of the modernist design it inspired,” said Christopher Turner, the Director of the London Design Biennale. 

The Biennale “will present newly commissioned works in contemporary design, design-led innovation, creativity and research,” bringing together “designers, innovators and cultural bodies” to explore “the role of design in our collective futures.” A diverse group of countries from five continents are set to participate: Albania, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Chile, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, SouthAfrica, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, UK and the USA.

US installation. Image © CooperHewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum The Cybersyn operations room, inspiration for the Chilean installation. Image © Gui Bonsiepe Aid Drop Yaniv Kadosh_ACT Shenkar, Israel’s proposal. Image © Sasha Flit 'Monstera Deliciosa, Volume I', South Africa proposal. Image © Southern Guild +7

Harvard GSD Shortlists 4 Architects for 2016 Wheelwright Prize

12:00 - 29 March, 2016
Harvard GSD Shortlists 4 Architects for 2016 Wheelwright Prize, The four finalists, clockwise: Samuel Bravo, Matilde Cassani, Pier Paolo Tamburelli and Anna Puigjaner. Image via Wheelwright Prize
The four finalists, clockwise: Samuel Bravo, Matilde Cassani, Pier Paolo Tamburelli and Anna Puigjaner. Image via Wheelwright Prize

Harvard GSD has announced the four shortlisted architects for the 2016 Wheelwright Prize. Awarded annually, the $100,000 grant is for travel-based architectural research. 

Selected from 200 applications from nearly 45 countries worldwide, the four finalists are from Italy, Spain and Chile. Each finalist will present their work and proposal on April 20. This year’s jury includes Eva Franch, Jeannie Kim, Kiel Moe, Rafael Moneo, Benjamin Prosky, Mohsen Mostafavi, and K. Michael Hays.

eVolo Announces 2016 Skyscraper Competition Winners

08:00 - 29 March, 2016
eVolo Announces 2016 Skyscraper Competition Winners, "New York Horizon" /  Yitan Sun and Jianshi Wu. Image Courtesy of eVolo
"New York Horizon" / Yitan Sun and Jianshi Wu. Image Courtesy of eVolo

A competition now in its 11th year, eVolo Magazine has announced the winners of its 2016 Skyscraper Competition: a group of three top prizes and 21 honorable mentions culled from 489 entries. The award annually recognizes the vanguard of high-rise construction "through [the] novel use of technology, materials, programs, aesthetics, and spatial organizations." Among this year's winners are a project that proposes digging down and creating a megastructure along the perimeter of Central Park, a skyscraper that acts as a hub for drones in future commercial applications, and a tower that takes advantage of the climate of Iceland as an ideal location for data servers.

Spotlight: Raymond Hood

07:00 - 29 March, 2016
Spotlight: Raymond Hood, 30 Rockefeller Plaza (formerly the RCA Building), 1933, Rockefeller Center. Image © Flickr User Maciek Lulko licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
30 Rockefeller Plaza (formerly the RCA Building), 1933, Rockefeller Center. Image © Flickr User Maciek Lulko licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In a short but prodigious career Raymond Mathewson Hood (March 29, 1881 – August 14, 1934) had an outsized influence on twentieth century architecture. Born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Hood was the son of a box manufacturer in an affluent Baptist family.[1] He attended Brown University before studying at MIT School of Architecture, later graduating from the École des Beaux-Arts in 1911. While in Paris, Hood met John Mead Howells, who in 1922 would select him as a partner for the design of the Chicago Tribune Tower. The team would beat out many more avant-garde entries by the likes of Walter GropiusAdolf Loos, and Eliel Saarinen, with their own Neo-Gothic edifice that mimicked the Butter Tower of Rouen Cathedral.

9 Projects That Feature Eye-Catching Windows

06:00 - 29 March, 2016
9 Projects That Feature Eye-Catching Windows

Some of the most integral parts of a building are related to light and air. Windows, for example, can help transform a project into a more liveable or better space, providing natural light or connecting the building’s users with their surroundings. 

From windows inserted into historic structures, to windows meant to give the building a distinct, landmark look, these nine projects utilize windows as a primary feature. View the nine creative uses of windows after the break.

Territory Without Ground: Designing in the Sahara Desert

04:00 - 29 March, 2016
Territory Without Ground: Designing in the Sahara Desert, © OUALALOU+CHOI
© OUALALOU+CHOI

The Pavilion of Morocco at the 14th Venice Biennale, Fundamentals, focused on territorial speculations in the Sahara: Inhabiting the Uninhabitable. For the exhibition, which was the country's first representation at the Biennale, Paris-based practice OUALALOU+CHOI proposed an urban structure for this desert territory – "a means of putting down roots, implanting urbanity and civilization. The Sahara, with its extreme geography and climatic conditions, remains unexplored territory for architectural speculation."

UNStudio Chosen to Transform Former Deutsche Bank Site in Frankfurt

14:00 - 28 March, 2016
UNStudio Chosen to Transform Former Deutsche Bank Site in Frankfurt, © UNStudio
© UNStudio

UNStudio has won a competition to transform the former Deutsche Bank site in Frankfurt's financial district into a lively mixed-use site comprised of offices, apartments, hotels, retail, gastro and open public spaces. With four high-rise towers reaching up to 228-meters-tall, the proposal plans to feature the city's highest residential and office buildings. 

“Bringing a mixed-use project into this financial district will not only enliven the area during daytime, but it will also introduce evening programs and create an essential form of social sustainability to this part of the city," says Ben van Berkel of UNStudio. "The introduction of the residential and the leisure components are key to this strategy. This sculptural family of towers will also create the suggestion of a cohesive neighborhood within the skyline and emphasize the importance of this part of the city within the whole."

U.S. Bank Stadium: A Game-Changing, Multi-Purpose NFL Stadium

12:00 - 28 March, 2016
U.S. Bank Stadium: A Game-Changing, Multi-Purpose NFL Stadium, Sun on West Glass. Image Courtesy of Minnesota Vikings
Sun on West Glass. Image Courtesy of Minnesota Vikings

Architecture's ability to bring people together is perhaps one of its greatest, awe-inspiring traits. And while the "bringing people together" part is usually meant figuratively, there is no building type quite as marvelous as the stadium, a place that literally gathers tens of thousands of individuals in one place, at the same time. Though the legacy of the stadium as a building type is already rich and storied, a new chapter in the history of American sports architecture will surely begin with the imminent opening of the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Arndt Schlaudraff's Lego Creations Re-Imagine Renowned Architecture

08:00 - 28 March, 2016
Arndt Schlaudraff's Lego Creations Re-Imagine Renowned Architecture, via Instagram
via Instagram

At last year’s inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, one of the celebrated exhibits was Architecture is Everywhere by Sou Fujimoto Architects, in which the firm used everyday items like staples, boxes, potato chips, rocks, and ping pong balls, coupled with scaled human figures to posit new architectural forms. Operating with the philosophy that “architecture is first found and then made,” the project expresses the firm’s belief that we need not look to typical sources for bold thinking on the formal possibilities of architecture.

Building on this philosophy and using only the white-brick Legos from the company’s Studio Architecture kit, Berlin-based artist Arndt Schlaudraff has created a series of constructions that emulate real-world precedents, but lack their materiality and color. The results are sterilized, scaleless forms restricted by the orthogonality of the interlocking brick forms. These stripped Brutalist and Modernist buildings morph into white-washed facsimiles which allow us to see many recognizable projects with a set of fresh eyes. Posting the completed projects on Instagram, Schlaudraff has reimagined icons like the Tate Modern, Alejandro Aravena’s Innovation Center UC, and the Barcelona Pavilion of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, interspersing them with his own creations and adding another layer of reality distortion to that which is already enabled by the Legos.

One Resident's Argument to Save London's Central Hill Housing Estate

04:30 - 28 March, 2016

London's Central Hill housing estate, located in Brockwell Park (South London) and designed by Edward ('Ted') Hollamby is, like many 1960s schemes of its ilk, under threat of demolition. In this short film by British filmmaker Joe Gilbert, the estate is viewed through the narration of a long-term resident, Clifford Grant, who discusses its history and argues for its future security.

Rock Print: The Remarkable Deinstallation of a Standout Exhibit at the Chicago Architecture Biennial

12:00 - 27 March, 2016

It’s a shame that the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial has already come and gone, and that the Windy City will have to wait until next fall for another dose of architectural euphoria. But it’s worth revisiting one of the event’s standout exhibits, an installation equally exemplary for its display as for its expiry. “Rock Print,” created by Gramazio Kohler Research of ETH Zurich and Skylar Tibbits of MIT's Self-Assembly Lab, was a four-legged, neo-primitive tower of stones and string that was erected without mortar or other reinforcement, meaning its disassembly would be the exact inverse action of its construction. The string, laid down by an algorithm, was the binder for stones laid by hand in thin stacks – the team called them “slices” – in what amounted to a type of analog version of 3D printing. The material process has been given the name “reversible concrete” and could be a paradigm shift in construction for its portability and versatility.

In the above video, the deconstruction of “Rock Print” is shown in abridged stages, where the structure’s string is dislodged and returned to a motorized spool on the gallery floor. The small stone fragments spew from the top of the structure like debris from the top of a volcano in the midst of eruption, and all that remains at the end is a small mound of concrete pebbles occupying a large circumference. A structure like “Rock Print” emphasizes that detritus can be avoided by adapting the process of building to vanguard materials that seek to match the brevity of contemporary construction with materials that curtail the waste.