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Invisible Skyscraper Unveiled for Seoul

California-based GDS Architects' new proposal, dubbed Infinity Tower, is designed to disappear from its Korean skyline. How? Cameras will be mounted at six strategic points; thousands of LED screens on the facade will then broadcast the real-time photos captured and logged by the cameras. Though no estimated completion date has been announced, the developers have received construction permits to break ground. More about this incredible vanishing act and how it's done at Fast Co-Design

Mark Wigley Steps Down as Dean of Columbia University's GSAPP

Mark Wigley announced Monday that he will be stepping down as dean of Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) at the end of the academic year in 2014. 

Koolhaas Revamps UN Building's Modernist-Era Lounge

Dutch designers, Rem Koolhaas and Hella Jongerius, have revamped the delegates' lounge in the United Nations building just in time for the 68th General Assembly this week. The "workshop of peace" lounge space, originally designed in 1952 by Wallace K. Harrison in collaboration with renowned modernists Le Corbusier and Oscar Neimeyer, now sports a range of pastel-colored sofas and lounge chairs, opting for minimal intervention in attempts to maximize the social space. Read more about the UN North Delegates lobby on Gizmodo.

Must Parking Garages Be So Ugly?

In his column in Providence JournalDavid Brussat questions why parking garages can't be designed to better compliment their surroundings. He believes that these utilitarian spaces should look like they "belong in a city," rather than resembling "a giant set of concrete shelves." He also examines cities which achieve this aim - incorporating styles from Art Deco to Neo-classical - and comes to the interesting conclusion that Richmond, Virginia is the "mecca of parking decks." You can read the full article here.

RIBA and Arb Team Up to Reform UK Architecture Education

The RIBA and Arb have teamed together to examine UK architectural education, with the aim of bringing the UK into line with other EU countries.

The move is part of a new EU directive, due to be ratified next month, which seeks to establish more uniformity across Europe by aligning the time it takes to qualify and by making mutual recognition of title easier between countries - a move which would make architects more free to move between countries.

Read more about the aims of the RIBA and Arb after the break...

San Francisco's Chrissy Field Proposals Released

The Bridge © Wrns, WRNS via SFGate. Image
The Bridge © Wrns, WRNS via SFGate. Image

With the news earlier this year that San Francisco's Presidio Trust was planning a new cultural centre on the former site of a military base, now a national park, further details have emerged on the three finalists. The competition has attracted proposals from George Lucas (for the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum), WRNS Studio and the Chora Group (for 'The Bridge'), and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy (for the Presidio Exchange). Each proposals offer different visions for the eight acre site, the ex-military building of which currently hosts the retailer Sports Basement.

Berkeley Prize 2014

The Berkeley Prize supports the study and teaching of the social art of architecture. The online, two-stage Essay Competition (in English) is open to undergraduate architecture majors in accredited schools of architecture throughout the world. 

AIA Investigates Home Design Trends in Second Quarter

Courtesy of AIA
Courtesy of AIA

The AIA Home Design Trends Survey is out for the second quarter of 2013. Since early 2012, business conditions have steadily been trending upwards, and within the past year alone, residential architects have reported a recovery in nearly every residential construction sector. Taking into consideration the "strong levels of inquiries for new projects, the growing levels of project backlogs, and the uniformly strong readings from firms across all regions of the country," workloads for residential architects are predicted to stay strong for the next quarters and future market conditions will only improve.

For more on the AIA's findings, keep reading. 

Four Post-War UK Buildings Given Heritage Status

Four post-war buildings, including the Spectrum Building by Norman Foster and Capel Manor House by Michael Manser, have been elevated to the Heritage List by the UK's Architecture and Heritage Minister Ed Vaizey. Upon announcing the news, the Minister commented that in spite of England's "fine and wonderful built heritage it's sometimes forgotten that we have many outstanding modern buildings too." His listings show that "architecture in this country is very much alive and well in the modern world."

Read more about the buildings after the break...

'Serp & Molot' Factory International Competition

The international competition for the architectural and urban planning concept of the 'Serp & Molot' Factory in Moscow opened its registration last week.

RIBA Announces 2014 International Fellowships

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the 2014 International Fellowships of the RIBA. RIBA International Fellowships reward the particular contributions non-UK architects have made to architecture.

Bloomberg to Announce Mega-Redevelopment of NYC's Lower East Side

After decades of contention between residents and politicians, the Bloomberg administration will announce on Wednesday plans of constructing a six-acre complex by SHoP and Beyer Blinder Belle Architects over a ten year period. Nine vacant lots in New York City's Lower East Side will be erected into a mega-development of retail, office, entertainment, cultural and housing units. The complex will be located in rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, once home to working-class Italians, Jews, Puerto Ricans and Ukrainians, and has struggled to preserve affordable housing against an encroaching luxury market. In response, developers have collaborated with local community groups agreeing that half of the projected 1,000 apartments will be for low-, moderate-, and middle-income families. 

However, is this enough to sustain a balance of varying incomes? 

2013 PARK(ing) Day Map

Today, September 20th, citizens, artists and activists have transformed hundreds of metered parking spaces worldwide into temporary public places with mission to call attention to the need for more open space. Since the establishment of PARK(ing) Day in 2005, by the San Francisco art and design studio Rebar, PARK(ing) Day has quickly become an international phenomenon. In 2011, close to 1000 parks were created in 162 cities, 35 countries and 6 continents. 

Kickstarter Campaign to Activate Vacant Storefronts in New York City

'Play'. Image Courtesy of Architecture Commons
'Play'. Image Courtesy of Architecture Commons

In an attempt to activate a vacant storefront in New York's Lower East Side, the miLES Storefront Transformer - a 6ft cube designed to "program any storefront" - is a versatile, movable set of furnishing and amenities designed by Architecture Commons. Seven individual pop-up interventions, curated by a collection of creative minds, would inhabit empty shops between November 4th and December 22nd 2013 if their Kickstarter campaign is successful.

FuturArc launches Green Leadership Award 2014 and FuturArc Prize 2014

Launched in 2007, FuturArc Prize aims to generate forward-thinking, innovative Green building design ideas for Asia. The Competition offers a platform to professionals and students who are passionate about the environment. Through the force of their imagination, it aspires to capture visions of a sustainable future. This is open to architects and architecture students in Asia and the world.

Ukraina Hotel Entryway Competition

The OAO HOTEL UKRAINA, with the support of the non-state educational institution Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, are pleased to announce the opening of a competition for the redesign of the entryway to this cultural heritage site of regional significance. This two-stage competition, lasting from 17th September 2013 to 25th February 2014, gives architects from all over the world the rare chance to work with an example of Moscow’s unique Stalinist architectural heritage.

Fumihiko Maki Unveils New United Nations Tower

Almost sixty years after Wallace K. Harrison was invited to design the United Nations Secretariat Building in New York City, plans have been unveiled for another UN skyscraper designed by Fumihiko Maki which would "consolidate currently scattered operations into a single structure that would rise on the western portion of the Robert Moses Playground, on First Avenue between East 41st and 42nd streets."

Kiruna City Hall / Henning Larsen Architects

Henning Larsen Architects has won a competition to design a new city hall for Kiruna in northern Sweden. The design, which has already been named Krystallen (The Crystal), is intended to "become the city's natural gathering point, where the traditions of democracy will be united with a vision about a dynamic meeting place for politics as well as social and cultural events". Comprising of two buildings, the outermost circular in form and the innermost "shaped like a crystal", the design has been "inspired by the enormous concentration of iron ore" that can be found beneath the site, the discovery of which led to the founding of Sweden's northernmost city.