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Smart Moves for Cities: The Urban Mobility Revolution Will Start With These 3 Projects

A smart city isn’t necessarily a city brimming with technology. This crucial (and, thankfully, growingly accepted) clarification was strongly emphasized by a panel of experts during the Smart City Expo in Barcelona. However, the piloted driving—which, in layman's terms means cars that drive themselves—that Audi has been testing and implementing is as high-tech, impressive and brimming with technology as one might expect. Beyond the “ooh and aah” factor of a car that needs no human driver, the spatial implications for our cities are undeniable, and the sooner architects can learn to work with and appreciate this technology, the better. In a city equipped with smart mobility solutions, we can expect technology to drive positive changes to social behavior and the affordability of the cities. But for this, we need visionary leaders. 

Last week Audi showed their commitment to finding these visionary leaders in the field of architecture by announcing the implementation of three Urban Future Partnerships in Somerville/Boston and Mexico City. In the words of Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, the three pilot projects represent a key move for the car manufacturer: “The development of an investment logic for mobility infrastructure in cities will be an integral part of our company strategy.” 

OMA Selected to Design Manchester's 'Factory', Their First Public Project in the UK

Rotterdam-based Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) have been announced by the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer as the winning team in the competition to design the city of Manchester's high-profile Factory art space. Following the announcement of the shortlist earlier this year, featuring practices including Rafael Viñoly, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Zaha Hadid and Mecanoo, it has since been reported by The Guardian that the British government's original pledge of £78million ($117million) to the cost of the building will be raised by a further £9million per year from around 2018.

Bystrup Wins Nine Elms Bridge Competition

Bystrup Architecture Design and Engineering, working with with Robin Snell & Partners, Sven Ole Hansen ApS, Aarsleff and ÅF Lighting, is set to win the high-profile contest for the new pedestrian and cycle bridge between Nine Elms and Pimlico in London. The team was unanimously selected by the competition jury ahead of three other teams on the shortlist including Buro Happold Ltd with Marks Barfield Architects, Arup with AL_A, and another Arup-led team working with Hopkins Architects.

The competition for the new bridge attracted attention early this year when the competition organizers released images of all 74 entries online, sparking ridicule almost across the board from Reddit commenters to The Guardian's Oliver Wainwright.

SOFTLab’s “Nova” Transforms Flatiron Public Plaza for the Holiday Season

The Flatiron Public Plaza has unveiled its centerpiece for this year’s “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” – SOFTLab’s Nova, the winner of a closed-competition hosted by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) and Van Alen Institute. The project will become the center of the neighbourhood’s festivities for the holiday season, as well as “a highly visible landmark” in the heart of New York

Courtesy of Van Alen Institute Courtesy of Van Alen Institute Courtesy of 3M Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

Three Hundred Years Later, Enter Paris' Newly Restored Musée Rodin

After a meticulous multi-year restoration the Musée Rodin in Paris has reopened to the public. Dedicated exclusively to the work of Auguste Rodin, the state-owned museum has undergone a ground-up facelift designed to breathe new life into the ageing home of the artist's diverse body of work. Housed in an estate originally built in 1732 and open to the public since 1919, the comprehensive renovation has left no stone unturned, including a full structural and cosmetic overhaul. Project architect Richard Duplat was challenged to "recreate the atmosphere it must have had in Rodin’s day" while implementing current accessibility and safety standards, all with the goal to better represent Rodin's influential work. 

© Hervé Abbadie © Hervé Abbadie © Hervé Abbadie © Hervé Abbadie

Monocle 24 Explores Women in Urbanism

For this edition of The UrbanistMonocle 24's weekly "guide to making better cities," the team discuss women in urbanism, asking whether "a city planned or managed by a woman look different to any other?" From architects defending and stimulating Lisbon's public spaces, to new urban design in Niterói (situated in the "long shadow" of Rio de Janiero), this episode uses gender as a device to explore city-tactics.

Chicago's New Apple Store Is Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie Homes

Apple's new Foster + Partners-designed flagship store in Chicago is said to have been inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie Style Homes outside the city. Unveiled first by the Chicago Tribune, the store will feature a 14-foot entry pavilion that will usher visitors from Michigan Avenue down into the sales floor backdropped with views of the Chicago River. A "grand flight of stairs" will offer pedestrians an alternative route to the riverside walkway that flanks the bank. 

Libeskind Unveils Design for New Lithuanian Modern Art Center

Plans have been revealed for a new Modern Art Center (MAC) in the historic city of Vilnius, Lithuania. The 3100-square-meter "three-dimensional public space," as architect Daniel Libeskind describes it, is designed to be a "cultural gateway" that connects the city's 18th century grid and medieval walled city. 

“We wanted to create a museum for the people of Lithuania, and also give this collection a home and an international audience. This collection is about the cultural legacy of the country,” said founder Viktoras Butkus. “Libeskind’s work is expressive, innovative, and, most importantly, has the power to tell the story of the past while connecting to the future of the city,” added Butkus.

3XN Wins Approval for 200-Meter Tower in Sydney

Update: 3XN's Quay Quarter Sydney has received final approval. The article below was originally published September 25, 2014, after the practice won the commission. New interior images have been added to the gallery.

3XN has won an international competition to design the “50 Bridge Street” tower and masterplan for the Quay Quarter Sydney (QQS) precinct. Just west of Jørn Utzon’s Opera House, the new tower will feature five rotating glass volumes, each equipped with a multi-level atria and views of the Sydney harbour. 

Perkins+Will Unveil Master Plan for Antalya, Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Antalya Mayor Menderes Turel have announced their support for Perkins+Will’s sustainable master plan for Antalya, Turkey. The master plan will revitalize and preserve the Bogacay Creek Basin area of Antalya, improving its quality as a major tourist city along the Turkish Riviera.

Courtesy of Perkins+Will Courtesy of Perkins+Will Courtesy of Perkins+Will Courtesy of Perkins+Will

Is "Advocacy" the Most Influential Instrument in the Architect's Toolbox?

If Lord Foster—perhaps one of the greatest architects of our time—feels as though he has "no power as an architect, none whatsoever," people tend to take notice. His support, thoughts and opinions, he tells The Observer's Rowan Moore, are his most influential tools: "advocacy, he says, is the only power an architect ever has." Their conversation, held ahead of the Urban Age Global Debates which are currently taking place in London, also touches upon the importance of infrastructure, the social role of the architect, and the growing—if not undervalued—urgency to readdress sustainability within the profession.

DesignIntelligence 25 Most Admired Educators for 2016

DesignIntelligence has named 25 educators for being the most "exemplary professionals" in their field. With professors from some of the US' top architecture schools, each honoree was selected with "extensive input from thousands of design professionals, academic department heads, and students." 

The "most admired" US design professors of 2016, include:

AIANY and Center for Architecture Name Benjamin Prosky as Executive Director

Following the resignation of Rick Bell earlier this year, AIANY and The Center for Architecture have appointed Benjamin Prosky as Executive Director. Prosky will assume his new position in early 2016, after stepping down as Assistant Dean for Communications at Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD). 

“Ben brings a unique energy, intelligence, and experience to the executive director position,” said Carol Loewenson, incoming president of AIA New York and partner at Mitchell/Giurgola Architects, in a statement. “AIANY is poised for great change: more outreach, greater membership value, deeper connections to the academy, and a stronger role in actively impacting the design of our city. Ben is the right person to imagine the AIANY of the future. We are thrilled to have him on board to lead our organization.”

BIG High Line Project Unveiled

New York Yimby has unveiled BIG's latest New York skyscraper: 76 11th Avenue. Planned for one of the largest plots along the High Line, the nearly 800,000-square-foot proposed project is comprised of two towers perched on a podium of retail, gallery and hotel space in the city's Meatpacking district. Rising 302-feet to the east and 402-feet to the west, the towers are divided by a "diagonal cut" through the site that opens up more views for residents to the High Line.

AD Essentials: BIM

This article is part of ArchDaily Essentials, a series of articles which give you an overview of architecture's most important topics by connecting together some of our best articles from the past. To find out more about ArchDaily Essentials, click here; or discover all of our articles in the series here.

We often hear of the great tectonic shift that digital technologies have brought to almost every aspect of our lives, but in one particular yet understated way, architecture has been revolutionized by computerization. Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a background revolution that has implications on every stage in the building process from development through construction and onto the lifecycle of the building. As defined by the US National Building Information Model Standard Project Committee:

"Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. A BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition." [1]

While that gives some indication of BIM’s applications, many people may still be wondering how such a shift came about, what are its present applications and benefits, and how it will shape architecture’s future?

NL*A Reveals Plans for Open-Concept Green Office Building in France

Nicolas Laisné Associés (NL*A Paris) has revealed the plans for its new Offices With Terraces, an office building in Nice, France, which aims to set new standards for bio-climatic work environments. The building’s layout revolves around the idea of flexible workspaces, integrating landscape into the building as an eco-conscious approach.

The organization of the building has been reversed, with the circulation passages—typically at the center—moved to the façades to free up central space.

Courtesy of Nicolas Laisné Associés Courtesy of Nicolas Laisné Associés Courtesy of Nicolas Laisné Associés Courtesy of Nicolas Laisné Associés

Níall McLaughlin Architects Selected to Represent Ireland at 2016 Venice Biennale

Níall McLaughlin Architects, based between the United Kingdom and Ireland, have been selected to represent Ireland at the 2016 Venice Biennale. The practice, who were shortlisted this year for the RIBA Stirling Prize, will be working alongside Yeoryia Manolopoulo, an architectural academic based in London. Their proposal "reflects their interest in working as architects to understand and improve the quality of life for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease [by examining] the spatial experiences of people with Alzheimer’s whilst recognising that the experiences of the sufferer are unlikely to resemble any conventional architectural representation."

Willem Dudok: Meet the Father of Dutch Modernism

Willem Marinus Dudok (6 July 1884 - 6 July 1974) was one of The Netherlands' most influential Modernist architects. Formally trained as an engineer, Dudok spent his formative years designing military barracks for the Dutch forces, and his time with the military has been credited with the development of his early linear style, though he was known to borrow elements from Frank Lloyd Wright's prairie school of architecture. Dudok's architectural legacy is undeniable: with a career spanning several decades, his portfolio encompasses nearly all civic buildings in Hilversum, along with a series of projects in Rotterdam, Utrecht, and Paris, among others.

More than forty years after Dudok's death, Dutch journalist Peter Veenendaal has produced two videos documenting the architect's best projects, both in Hilversum: Town Hall and the Sports Grandstand. Serving as sequels to Veenendaal's documentary "City of Light" which delved into Dudok's design for retailer De Bijenkorf in Rotterdam, the videos highlight Dudok's impressive eye for form and linearity.

Check out Veenendaal's videos and find out more about Dudok's influential architecture after the break