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Famous Museums Recreated in Candy

Originally posted in Metropolis Magazine as "Iconic Museums, Rendered In Gingerbread", Samuel Medina looks into a fun project to realize world-famous buildings in various types of candy.

Had Hansel and Gretel stumbled across one of these sugary structures, they may have taken off in the opposite direction. Dark, gloomy, and foreboding, the confectionary architecture would have made quite the impression on Jack Skellington, however. The project, by food artist Caitlin Levin and photographer Henry Hargreaves, is clearly indebted to the gothic mise-en-scène of the latter’s expressionistic underworld, a dreary, but whimsical land where one might half expect to find a twisted (gumball) doppelganger of the Tate Modern or Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI.

Find out more about the process behind this sweet project after the break

Easily the most idiosynchratic choice, the Karuizawa Museum by Yasui Hideo is made of chocolate bars, gingerbread, hard candy, cotton candy, and sour flush. Image © Henry Hargreaves I.M. Pei's pyramids at the Louvre are recreated with gingerbread, hard candy, and licorice. Image © Henry Hargreaves The curving form of the Museo Soumaya by FR-EE is draped in candy balls, gingerbread, sour rolls, and taffy. Image © Henry Hargreaves Zaha Hadid's MAXXI in Rome, with gingergread replacing its concrete shell, hard candy for glass, and lollipop sticks for columns. Image © Henry Hargreaves

Latin America's Top 8 Smart Cities

In this article for Fast Company, Boyd Cohen counts down the top 8 smart cities in Latin America. Using publicly available data and his own comprehensive framework to evaluate how smart a city is, he has generated a list which even he admits features a couple of surprises in the top spots. To see the list and discover what each city has achieved to deserve its ranking, you can read the full article here.

MOS Architects Take on Humanitarian Design in Nepal

In this article, which originally appeared on Australian Design Review as "Reframing Concrete in Nepal," Aleksandr Bierig describes how New York-based MOS Architects, a firm better known for its experimental work, is designing an orphanage for a small community in Nepal.

Strangely enough it has become almost unremarkable that an office such as New York-based MOS Architects would find itself designing an orphanage for a small community in Nepal. Now under construction in Jorpati, eight kilometres north-east of the capital, Kathmandu, is the Lali Gurans Orphanage and Learning Centre, which finds itself at the intersection of any number of tangential trends: the rise of international aid and non-governmental organisations, the seeming annihilation of space by global communications networks and the latent desire of architects to use their designs to effect appreciable social change. Emphasizing simple construction techniques and sustainable design features, the building hopes to serve as a model for the surrounding communities, as an educational and environmental hub, the provider of social services for Nepalese women and as a home for some 50 children.

MOS Architects, founded in 2003 by US architects Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample, is not a practice known for its involvement in humanitarian projects. Its work is often experimental and, at times, willfully strange. Alongside its architecture, MOS makes films, teaches studios, designs furniture and gives lectures on its work. It was after one lecture in Denver, Colorado in 2009 that Christopher Gish approached Meredith and Sample to ask if they would be interested in designing an orphanage. 

Frank Gehry: "I'm Not a Starchitect"

For Peter Aspden's first encounter with the architect of the Guggenheim in Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LAFrank Gehry did not "exude sweetness." "You are not going to call me a [...] ‘star-chitect’? I hate that." In a candid interview with the Financial Times, Gehry discusses the problem of being branded for beginning the Bilbao Effect in spite of the fact that he insists that "you can’t escape your signature." Gehry talks at length about Facebook's latest headquarters and, in particular, his relationship with his client, Mark Zuckerberg. Read the full interview here.

Modernism in America Awards

DOCOMOMO US invites submissions for the first annual Modernism in America Awards. The awards celebrate the documentation, preservation and re-use of modern buildings, structures and landscapes built in the United States or on U.S. territory. The Awards recognize those building owners, design teams, advocacy and preservation organizations that have made significant efforts to retain, restore and advocate for the aesthetic and cultural value of such places.

Call for Expression of Interest: Connecting Divided Places

The Institute without Boundaries (IwB) is seeking curriculum partners for Connecting Divided Places, a project that investigates social, economic, environmental, and cultural divisions in cities. They are calling out to municipalities, not-for-profit organizations, and companies interested in working with them to address the wicked problems dividing their cities and regions. They are looking for organizations interested in collaborating on design solutions that make for more balanced, healthier, and resilient city-regions of the future. They want to know what challenges your city is facing.

DawnTown Announces 2nd Design/Build Competition

DawnTown, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting architecture in Miami, is announcing an open call for portfolios to their new competition: DAWNTOWN DESIGN/BUILD 2.

Lucid Stead: A "Disappearing" Cabin of Mirrors

In Joshua Tree, California, artist Phillip K Smith III has completed Lucid Stead: an optical illusion/installation that modifies an abandoned 70-year-old homestead with mirrors in order to make it appear transparent. The cabin was also fitted with LED lighting to “extract the distilled experience of how light changes over time — how a mountain can be blue, red, brown, white, purple, and black all in one day.” As Smith stated, the project is about light, shadow, and tapping into the quiet of the desert. Check out more images and a video of the cabin after the break!

© Steven King © Steven King © Steven King © Steven King

The Bank of Canada to Receive Controversial Renovation

In this interesting report in the Ottawa Citizen, Maria Cook exposes the plan to renovate the Arthur Erickson-designed Bank of Canada Building in Ottawa. The existing building, which features a public atrium complete with a tropical garden, is being extensively remodeled to improve security and building performance, although arguably at great cost to the design. Cook exposes how the bank turned down a prestigious design award in 2011 as it was already at that point privately considering the changes, and explains how its privileged position - related to the government but not controlled by it - effectively means that the bank has nobody it has to answer to who might stop these plans. You can read the full article here.

Rockefeller Foundation Selects 33 Cities for Resiliency Challenge

The Rockefeller Foundation has named the first group of cities selected in the “100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge.” Each city has been chosen for demonstrating “a commitment to building their own capacities to prepare for, withstand, and bounce back rapidly from shocks and stresses.” More than 1,000 registrations and nearly 400 formal applications from cities around the world were submitted. After careful review of each city's challenges, these 33 where chosen: 

Building Transformed Into Giant Rubik's Cube

For his thesis project, Javier Lloret turned a building into a giant, solvable Rubik's Cube. Making use of the media facade of the Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria, he projected the world's most famous handheld puzzle onto a huge scale - inviting passers-by to solve the puzzle. In the process, Lloret transformed the nearby area, showing that (when used correctly) technology can make the urban environment more fun.

Read on to find out how Lloret did it...

© Javier Lloret & Michaela Lakova © Javier Lloret & Michaela Lakova © Javier Lloret & Michaela Lakova © Javier Lloret & Michaela Lakova

Detroit Considering Converting Freeway to Pedestrian Street

According to John Gallagher of the Detroit Free Press, Detroit may soon be removing one of its downtown freeways, the I-375, and converting the trench-like road into a more pedestrian friendly surface level street. The change could be a boon to residents of nearby areas such as Lafayette Park and Eastern Market, which were cut off when the road was built in 1964, and follows a wider trend of cities removing freeways in order to regenerate downtown areas. The city government is currently working with major stakeholders to investigate the potential effects of the change, with a proposal due for summer 2014. You can read the full article here.

AIANYS announces The Excelsior Awards

The American Institute of Architects New York State (AIANYS) has announced a new competition celebrating design and professional excellence in publicly funded buildings in New York State. The Excelsior Awards will provide a model for future state-funded building design and professional practice and advocacy.

Moved to Care Design Competition

Building Trust International is very pleased to announce their 5th Design Competition. The challenge is to design a health facility that can easily be relocated. This could be in response to a natural disaster, or to inoculate and educate in areas with specific medical emergencies or outbreaks, it will also help aid agencies that don't have the funds or means to purchase land, offering short term leasing opportunities. 

Herzog & de Meuron Celebrates Opening of Pérez Art Museum Miami

Herzog & de Meuron just celebrated the grand opening of the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), alongside the commence of the Art Basel in Miami Beach. Located on a waterfront site overlooking the Biscayne Bay, near the MacArthur Causeway, the three-story museum’s low-profile seems to almost disappear into its surroundings - a pleasant contrast to the ornate and often form-based architecture that is typically found throughout the city. This lack of form, as Jacques Herzog described, is all about “permeability.” 

“Miami is known for its iconic art deco district – in fact art deco was about decorated boxes with no great relationship and exchange between inside and outside,” Herzog continued. “The greatest thing, however, that makes Miami so extraordinary is its amazing climate, lush vegetation and cultural diversity. How can these assets be fully exploited and translated into architecture? That’s the way we tried to go with our design for the new art museum in Miami.”

Continue reading for a sneak peak inside the Museum...

Eight Teams Shortlisted for Canakkale Antenna Tower in Turkey

Eight international teams have been shortlisted to design a 100-meter tall Observation and Broadcast Tower for the historic city of Çanakkale. The competition, now in its second stage, has required each team to develop their schematic designs before submitting them to the jury in February. 

As stated by the competition brief, “competitors are strongly recommended to consider the technological requirements of the broadcasting tower and recreational potentials of a public entity with equal emphasis.” Once complete, the forested hilltop site will be transformed into a public destination, offering exhibition spaces, recreational facilities and observation decks, in addition to an “iconic antenna tower.”

The complete shortlist includes: 

HOK Selected to Refurbish Palace of Westminster

Correction: The HOK-team has been appointed to appraise the options for refurbishment and has not yet been commissioned for the work itself. 

The Challenges of Post-Disaster Design

In the wake of the destruction of Typhoon Haiyan, architects were asking: "couldn't we have avoided this?" Technically, yes. But while the opportunity to build better exists, such measures are often expensive - and in poverty-stricken areas like the Philippines - cost-prohibitive. A recently published article by Carey Dunne on Co.Design breaks down why disaster-proof construction is such a complex challenge.