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WaPo's New Augmented Reality Series Begins With a Virtual Look at the Ceiling of Herzog & de Meuron's Elbphilharmonie

14:20 - 16 May, 2017
WaPo's New Augmented Reality Series Begins With a Virtual Look at the Ceiling of Herzog & de Meuron's Elbphilharmonie , © Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

The Washington Post (WaPo) has launched a new architectural augmented reality series that will provide readers with an in-depth look at the details behind some of the world’s most innovative new buildings. For its first edition, architecture critic Philip Kennicott narrates an AR projection of the unique ceiling of the main concert hall at Herzog & de Meuron’s recently completed Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany.

6 Projects Win 2017 RIBA West Midlands Awards

12:00 - 16 May, 2017
6 Projects Win 2017 RIBA West Midlands Awards, The Compound / BPN Architects. Image © Tom Bird
The Compound / BPN Architects. Image © Tom Bird

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the first wave of their 2017 RIBA Regional Awards, beginning with the West Midlands region. Six projects were selected as winners from the region, which includes the city of Birmingham and its surrounding area. 

“This year's winning projects prove that a good architecture should allow its user a space and time to absorb and to reflect,” commented Regional Jury Chair, Natalia Maximova. “The selected designs frame our experience of the buildings and spaces rather than dictate it. They highlight the fact that there is no true architecture without a clear vision and a strong concept. Originality remains a highly valued commodity and a source of inspiration for others and therefore should be recognised.

Alan Walters Building, University of Birmingham / Berman Guedes Stretton. Image © Quintin Lake Croft Lodge Studio, Leominster / Kate Darby Architects. Image © David Connor Remembrance Centre, National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas / Glenn Howells Architects. Image © Paul Miller Jaguar Land Rover Engine Manufacturing Centre / Arup Associates. Image © Simon Kennedy +29

Zaha Hadid Design Unveils Corian Dominated Custom Kitchen Island

08:00 - 16 May, 2017
Zaha Hadid Design Unveils Corian Dominated Custom Kitchen Island, via Zaha Hadid Design
via Zaha Hadid Design

Through a revisiting of Zaha Hadid's MAXXI Museum of Art in Rome and Heyder Aliyev Center in Baku, as well as the practice’s exploration of materiality and composition, Boffi_Code Kitchen is a custom kitchen island created by Zaha Hadid Design and Boffi, an Italian furniture company founded in 1934.

“Boffi_code offers customization to the highest standards, tailoring individual solutions with selected materials, finishes and cabinetry,” explains Zaha Hadid Design. “The Boffi_Code Kitchen by Zaha Hadid Design marries exceptional detailing and design with functionality, carefully chosen materials, and traditional craftsmanship.”

Indonesian Village Receives Technicolor Makeover with Just $22,000 of Paint

16:45 - 15 May, 2017
Indonesian Village Receives Technicolor Makeover with Just $22,000 of Paint, Image by Instagram user arieprakhman
Image by Instagram user arieprakhman

Seeking to liven up their town and make a splash in the realm of tourism, the small village of Kampung Pelangi, Indonesia, has undergone a vivid, multicolored transformation. The brainchild of 54-year-old junior high principal Slamet Widodo and inspired by similar efforts in other Indonesian towns, the entire repainting was done for just 300 million Indonesia Rupiah (about $22,500 USD).

Aga Khan Awarded The 2017 Architectural League President's Medal

14:20 - 15 May, 2017
Aga Khan Awarded The 2017 Architectural League President's Medal, Bait Ur Rouf Mosque / Marina Tabassum, winner of a 2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Image © Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Rajesh Vora
Bait Ur Rouf Mosque / Marina Tabassum, winner of a 2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Image © Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Rajesh Vora

The Architectural League of New York has announced the recipient of its 2017 President’s Medal: His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary Imam (Spiritual Leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Aga Khan Award in Architecture – an annual award established to celebrate building concepts that have successfully addressed the needs of Muslim communities from around the world.

The Architectural League’s highest honor, the President’s Medal is awarded annually to recognize individuals for an extraordinary body of work in architecture, urbanism, art, or design. The medal will be presented by League President Billie Tsien at a May 18 dinner in New York.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro Releases New Design for University of Chicago's Rubenstein Forum

12:00 - 15 May, 2017
Diller Scofidio + Renfro Releases New Design for University of Chicago's Rubenstein Forum, Courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro

The University of Chicago has unveiled new renderings of its planned David M. Rubenstein Forum that show major changes to the buildings’ form and relationship to the site. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the new scheme shows a more homogeneous structure featuring a uniform zinc and glass facade that will help to better signify the distinct “neighborhoods” located within the 8-story tower.

ELEMENTAL Selected to Design One of Qatar's Largest Cultural Centers – Doha's "Art Mill"

08:45 - 15 May, 2017
ELEMENTAL Selected to Design One of Qatar's Largest Cultural Centers – Doha's "Art Mill", ELEMENTAL's "Art Mill" concept design. Image © ELEMENTAL / Malcolm Reading Consultants
ELEMENTAL's "Art Mill" concept design. Image © ELEMENTAL / Malcolm Reading Consultants

ELEMENTAL, led by Pritzker Prize laureate Alejandro Aravena, has been selected as the design team for the Art Mill project in Doha, Qatar. Following a 26-strong longlist and a shortlist of eight internationally renowned practices, including Atelier Bow-Wow and the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, the Chilean practice have been lauded by the jury for developing "a serene artwork, [in which] the structure is the architecture." Once complete, the project will join two other nearby cultural heavyweights: the Museum of Islamic Art, designed by I.M. Pei, and the National Museum of Qatar designed by Jean Nouvel.

Runaway – A Temporary Splash of Color for the Santa Barbara Waterfront

08:00 - 15 May, 2017
Runaway – A Temporary Splash of Color for the Santa Barbara Waterfront, Courtesy of SPORTS
Courtesy of SPORTS

A vibrant pavilion has arrived to grace the boardwalks of California’s Santa Barbara waterfront. The pavilion entitled Runaway has been designed by SPORTS, an architecture and design collaboration of Greg Corso and Molly Hunker, recently selected as one of the Architectural League of New York’s emerging young practices for 2017. Blending a bright, colorful character with functional modernity, Runaway was installed on the Waterfront of Santa Barbara in March 2017, one of several locations the pavilion will travel to throughout the year.

Courtesy of SPORTS Courtesy of SPORTS Courtesy of SPORTS Courtesy of SPORTS +33

Urban Rural - Hybrid Habitation in the Heart of Istanbul

06:00 - 15 May, 2017
Urban Rural - Hybrid Habitation in the Heart of Istanbul, Urban Rural is set to become a landmark for Istanbul. Image Courtesy of Eray Carbajo
Urban Rural is set to become a landmark for Istanbul. Image Courtesy of Eray Carbajo

The American/Turkish architecture firm Eray Carbajo has unveiled Urban Rural, a new typology of urban living set to become a benchmark for future development in Istanbul, Turkey. The vision behind Urban Rural is for a hybrid model of living, combining close proximity to urban centers with the lush landscape of rural life. Challenging the status quo of typical residential typologies, the scheme will consist of modular hexagonal units with triangular gardens, forming an active façade designed to become a future landmark for the city.

Urban Rural aims to challenge the status quo of urban living. Image Courtesy of Eray Carbajo Modular hexagonal units with triangular gardens dominate the facade. Image Courtesy of Eray Carbajo Modular hexagonal units with triangular gardens dominate the facade. Image Courtesy of Eray Carbajo Urban Rural is set to become a landmark for Istanbul. Image Courtesy of Eray Carbajo +6

James Corner Field Operations’ To Lead Much Needed Revitalisation of Hong Kong’s Waterfront

16:00 - 14 May, 2017
James Corner Field Operations’ To Lead Much Needed Revitalisation of Hong Kong’s Waterfront , Courtesy of James Corner Field Operations
Courtesy of James Corner Field Operations

With decaying infrastructure and a lack of viable public amenities, Hong Kong’s popular yet problematic waterfront is the focus of the latest undertaking by James Corner Field Operations, aiming to transform the site into an attractive tourist and local destination. Home to Hong Kong’s Avenue of Stars (the equivalent of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame), the Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) waterfront is in need of severe revitalization, with areas requiring demolition if not reinforced within the decade.

The landscape architecture firm’s vision incorporates new seating, shading and green space to reinvigorate the promenade while offering panoramic views of the city’s skyline as it guides visitors towards the harbor, allowing visitors to get closer to the harbor than ever before. Trellises will provide 800 times more shade than what is currently offered, while seating will increase 325-fold to encourage public engagement and interaction with each other and the space.

TOPOTEK 1’s Martin Rein-Cano On Superkilen’s Translation of Cultural Objects

14:00 - 14 May, 2017

Founded in 1996 by Buenos Aires-born Martin Rein-Cano, TOPOTEK 1 has quickly developed a reputation as a multidisciplinary landscape architecture firm, focussing on the re-contextualization of objects and spaces and the interdisciplinary approaches to design, framed within contemporary cultural and societal discourse.

The award-winning Berlin-based firm has completed a range of public spaces, from sports complexes and gardens to public squares and international installations. Significant projects include the green rooftop Railway Cover in Munich, Zurich’s hybrid Heerenschürli Sports Complex and the German Embassy in Warsaw. The firm has also recently completed the Schöningen Spears Research and Recreation Centre near Hannover, working with contrasting typologies of the open meadow and the dense forest on a historic site. 

Sweco's Kulturkorgen Offers Gothenburg a Basket of Culture

08:00 - 14 May, 2017
Sweco's Kulturkorgen Offers Gothenburg a Basket of Culture, The Kulturkorgen emerges as an outcrop from the hills of Gothenburg. Image Courtesy of Sweco
The Kulturkorgen emerges as an outcrop from the hills of Gothenburg. Image Courtesy of Sweco

Growing like an outcrop amongst the hills of Gothenburg, the Kulturkorgen by Swedish firm Sweco Architects offers the public an opportunity to watch, engage, and perform. The scheme is a result of an architectural competition for a new Culture House in the city, run in collaboration with Architects Sweden. The winning proposal, who’s name translates to ‘Basket of Culture’, acts as both a building and a square – a social arena where flexible interior spaces act in tandem with a generous public green landscape for recreation and gathering. 

A generous public square contains seating, stages, and play areas. Image Courtesy of Sweco Interior functions are organised around a central atrium. Image Courtesy of Sweco The facade is a rich blend of timber, colour and pattern. Image Courtesy of Sweco The Kulturkorgen emerges as an outcrop from the hills of Gothenburg. Image Courtesy of Sweco +13

Mecanoo Envisages Cubic Cultural Center With Third-Place Proposal

16:00 - 13 May, 2017
Mecanoo Envisages Cubic Cultural Center With Third-Place Proposal

Placing third place out of 69 entries in an international competition for a new cultural building in Shenzhen, China, Mecanoo’s proposal for the Bao’an Public Culture and Art Center aiming to re-evaluate the “inwardly focused identity of cultural facilities in Hong Kong," through the form of an elevated cube. Situated near the Bao’an Metro Station and the Binhai School, the Dutch firm responds to the site’s challenges by reconnecting the center with its adjacent infrastructure.

The metro station and cultural center are united by the large masses of people that are channeled by the former and engaged but the latter. In order to capitalize on this condition, the design combines the metro entrance with that of the museum, thereby connecting the wider community with the arts and creating a more appealing public network.

© Mecanoo Architecten © Mecanoo Architecten © Mecanoo Architecten © Mecanoo Architecten +8

Höweler + Yoon Architecture Unveils Circus Conservatory Design

14:00 - 13 May, 2017
Höweler + Yoon Architecture Unveils Circus Conservatory Design, via v2com
via v2com

Höweler + Yoon Architecture, in collaboration with OFIS Arhitekti, has unveiled its design for a new building for The Circus Conservatory, which will house America’s first accredited degree program in the Circus Arts. Located in Portland, Maine, as the anchor tenant of a peninsula, the project aims to transform an undeveloped part of the city into a “vibrant artistic center complete with public performance venues and recreational facilities.”

Inspired by the historic circus shape—a circle with a radial audience—the design proposal utilizes a radial viewing strategy “in order to similarly activate the educational community.” Furthermore, in the design, acrobatics, performance, and classroom spaces are treated equally, “[challenging] the viewing relationship crucial to a circus and academic settings.”

via v2com via v2com via v2com via v2com +10

Ecological City Simulator Block'hood Launches on Steam

12:00 - 13 May, 2017

Love architectural video games like Minecraft or SimCity? Then it's worth checking out this ecological city simulator, Block'hood, which allows players to build their own arcology-style structures for humans and other species to coexist, all while managing a range of environmental and engineering conditions.

Following our review of the beta version of the game last March, the final edition has now launched on gaming platform Steam. New features include a 5-episode guided story mode, an increased maximum building size, an unlockable "unconstrained" mode, and compatibility in 8 different languages: English,  Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese and Russian.

Courtesy of Block'hood Courtesy of Block'hood Courtesy of Block'hood Courtesy of Block'hood +12

Modular Meranti Pavilion Premiers at Orlando’s AIA Conference

09:30 - 13 May, 2017
Modular Meranti Pavilion Premiers at Orlando’s AIA Conference, Courtesy of Eleena Jamil Architect
Courtesy of Eleena Jamil Architect

The centerpiece of the Malaysian Timber Council’s exhibition at this year’s AIA Conference on Architecture in Orlando, Florida was a completely dismantlable four-walled enclosure constructed entirely of Meranti timber. Designed by Eleena Jamil Architect, the wholly modular structure showcased the strength and adaptability of this sustainably sourced Southeast Asian hardwood.

Courtesy of Eleena Jamil Architect Courtesy of Eleena Jamil Architect Courtesy of Eleena Jamil Architect Courtesy of Eleena Jamil Architect +22

Contemporary Housing to Reinforce Finland's UNESCO World Heritage Fortress

08:00 - 13 May, 2017
Contemporary Housing to Reinforce Finland's UNESCO World Heritage Fortress, Perspective view. Image Courtesy of Heikkinen & Kangasaho
Perspective view. Image Courtesy of Heikkinen & Kangasaho

When placed in a historic landscape, contemporary architecture requires a layered approach. It must often strike a respectful, vernacular tone, whilst embracing the innovative, functional hallmarks of a modern building. This balance has particular relevance at Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, located off the coast of Helsinki, Finland. Throughout its 300-year history, it was once occupied by the armies of Sweden, Russia and Finland – a rich history attracting UNESCO World Heritage status, and almost one million annual visitors. The site is more than a museum, however, but a living district of Helsinki with 800 inhabitants and 500 jobs.

Against the prerequisites of past and present, Heikkinen & Kangasaho Architects have combined sharp, functional modernity with respectful, restrained simplicity in a new housing scheme to sit amongst Suomenlinna’s historic fortifications.

Perspective view. Image Courtesy of Heikkinen & Kangasaho View from the sea. Image Courtesy of Heikkinen & Kangasaho Section. Image Courtesy of Heikkinen & Kangasaho Site plan. Image Courtesy of Heikkinen & Kangasaho +7

The Kookiest Chinese Copies, from PompiDON'T to WRONGchamp

16:19 - 12 May, 2017
The Kookiest Chinese Copies, from PompiDON'T to WRONGchamp, <a href='http://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/yz6j9gBdt-lHjGSB-ICM6A'>via 不正经历史研究所</a>
via 不正经历史研究所

By now, most of the architectural world is aware of Chinese architects' penchant for ripping off their favorite works from foreign countries, from the latest Zaha Hadid landmark to entire historical villages. The issue is, admittedly, more complex than many often give it credit for—but even after debating the phenomenon from the perspective of Chinese cultural norms, copyright law, and even whether copycats might actually be good for architecture, China will always have more copycats to puzzle over. Some are baffling, some are in a way impressive, some are even (dare we say it?) even kind of cute. In short, all of them are in some way entertaining. Here are 6 of the strangest.

11 Projects Win NYC Public Design Commission's Excellence in Design Awards

14:00 - 12 May, 2017
11 Projects Win NYC Public Design Commission's Excellence in Design Awards, Woodside Office, Garage, and Inspection Facility / TEN Arquitectos + W Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Image Courtesy of NYC Office of the Mayor
Woodside Office, Garage, and Inspection Facility / TEN Arquitectos + W Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Image Courtesy of NYC Office of the Mayor

The New York City Public Design Commission and Mayor Bill de Blasio have announced the 11 projects selected as winners of their 2017 Awards for Excellence in Design. Established in 1983, the award has been bestowed annually to projects from the city’s five boroughs that “exemplify how innovative and thoughtful design can provide New Yorkers with the best possible public spaces and services and engender a sense of civic pride.”

Both built and unbuilt projects are considered for the award. Previous winners have included BIG + Starr Whitehouse’s 40th Police Precinct (2016), Studio Gang’s Fire Rescue 2 (2015), the Louis Kahn-designed Four Freedoms Park (2014), and Steven Holl’s Hunters Point Library (2011).

Bomb Squad Building / Rice + Lipka Architects, Liz Farrell Landscape Architecture. Image Courtesy of NYC Office of the Mayor Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center / Marble Fairbanks + SCAPE Landscape Architecture. Image Courtesy of NYC Office of the Mayor FIT New Academic Building / SHoP Architects + Mathews Nielsen. Image Courtesy of NYC Office of the Mayor The Cubes Administration and Education Building / LOT-EK. Image Courtesy of NYC Office of the Mayor +39

RCR Arquitectes to Design Catalan Pavilion at 2018 Venice Biennale

11:01 - 12 May, 2017
RCR Arquitectes to Design Catalan Pavilion at 2018 Venice Biennale, Rafael Aranda (left), Carme Pigem and Ramón Vilalta, founders of RCR Arquitectes and 2017 Pritzker Prize winners. Image © Javier Lorenzo Domínguez
Rafael Aranda (left), Carme Pigem and Ramón Vilalta, founders of RCR Arquitectes and 2017 Pritzker Prize winners. Image © Javier Lorenzo Domínguez

The winners of the 2017 Pritzker Prize, RCR Arquitectes, has been selected to lead the proposal and design of the Catalan pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale. The news was announced yesterday by Santi Vila, Minister of Culture of the Generalitat of Catalonia, during the opening of this year’s Venice Biennale of Art.

NL Architects and XVW Architectuur's deFlat Wins 2017 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award

06:01 - 12 May, 2017
NL Architects and XVW Architectuur's deFlat Wins 2017 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award, DeFlatKleiburg /  NL architects + XVW architectuur. Image © Marcel van der Burg
DeFlatKleiburg / NL architects + XVW architectuur. Image © Marcel van der Burg

NL Architects + XVW architectuur’s “innovative renovation” of the DeFlat Kleiburg apartment complex in Amsterdam’s Bijlmermeer neighbourhood has been selected as the winner of the 2017 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture-Mies van der Rohe Award.

One of the largest residential buildings in the Netherlands, the complex was saved from the wrecking ball through its transformation into a rejuvenated framework called a “Klusflat," within which inhabitants could renovate their apartments by themselves. This is the first time the award has been given to a renovation of an existing building.

DeFlat Kleiburg was selected from a list of 355 works from 36 European countries, including the four other finalist projects: Rudy Ricciotti + Passelac & Roques’ Rivesaltes Memorial; BBGK Architekci’s Katyn Museum; Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects’ Kannikegården; and Alison Brooks Architects’ Ely Court. NL Architects were also awarded the EU Mies Awards’ Emerging Architect Prize in 2005 for their work BasketBar in Utrecht.

DeFlatKleiburg /  NL architects + XVW architectuur. Image © Marcel van der Burg DeFlatKleiburg /  NL architects + XVW architectuur. Image © Marcel van der Burg 5 unidades de vivienda social en Navez / MSA / V+. Image © Serge Brison 5 unidades de vivienda social en Navez / MSA / V+. Image © Serge Brison +12

OMA's Feyenoord City Masterplan and Stadium Given Green Light by the City of Rotterdam

05:30 - 12 May, 2017
OMA's Feyenoord City Masterplan and Stadium Given Green Light by the City of Rotterdam, © OMA
© OMA

A large-scale masterplan for Feyenoord (or Feijenoord), a suburb-city of the Dutch city of Rotterdam, has been approved by Rotterdam City Council. The successful concept design from OMA, led by Partner David Gianotten, incorporates a historically-important football stadium—for the nationally significant Feyenoord football club—which "no longer fulfills modern demands." Aligned with the football club's "expanding ambitions" both in the Dutch and European football leagues, this proposal is the latest in a string of plans to expand, but the only one to have been accepted.

© OMA © OMA © OMA © OMA +10

Spotlight: Daniel Libeskind

04:00 - 12 May, 2017
Denver Art Museum. Image © Bitter Brecht
Denver Art Museum. Image © Bitter Brecht

In the architecture world, few designers can claim to have a more clearly-defined style than Daniel Libeskind (born May 12, 1946). Much of Libeskind's work is instantly recognizable for its angular forms, intersecting planes, and frequent use of diagonally-sliced windows, a style that he has used to great effect in museums and memorials—but which he has equally adapted to conference centers, skyscrapers, and shopping malls.

Denver Art Museum. Image © Bitter Brecht Jewish Museum, Berlin. Image © Mal Booth Dresden’s Military History Museum. Image © Bitter Bredt, Courtesy of Studio Daniel LIbeskind Vanke Pavilion – Milan Expo 2015. Image © Hufton+Crow +17

Winners of 2017 Land Art Competition Create Installations for Art Village in Ghana

16:00 - 11 May, 2017
Winners of 2017 Land Art Competition Create Installations for Art Village in Ghana , via Nka Foundation
via Nka Foundation

The winners of the 2017 Land Art Competition have been announced, with submissions responding to the challenge of creating site-specific installations in rural Ghana, as part of a larger initiative to enrich the Abetenim Arts Village. The aim was to complement the village’s learning center with other creative spaces for communal living and working, thus “creating a truly unique experience that becomes emblematic of what an art village is and how it needs to function as a place.”

Selected entries will also have the opportunity to be fully realized onsite, through various land art workshops held by the Nka Foundation over the course of the next two years. Here are the winning entries: