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Foreclose: Rehousing the American Dream / MoMA

11:00 - 16 September, 2011

live streaming video

Update: Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero / dbox

10:00 - 15 September, 2011
Illustration(s) by dbox
Illustration(s) by dbox

During the last week of August, the first installment of Spielberg’s Rising aired on the Discovery Channel.   Throughout the three hour segment, the documentary played to viewers’ emotions by sharing family members’ stories of that day and introducing us to a few iron workers who are slowly, but surely, bringing the Freedom Tower to life.    The documentary also featured amazing visualizations showing the complex while designers’ discussed the strategies behind the project.  Back in 2002, dbox: a branding & creative agency, with studios in New York, London and Taiwan, became involved with the WTC and has been working on one or more of the projects at the site.  In collaborated with KPI, executive producer Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks, dbox provided brand identity, graphics, CGI and aerial cinematography for the Rising series which affords us glimpses into the future and reveals to the world the renewed skyline of New York.  We love the sunlight catching the edge of the sleek Tower and, for those familiar with the PATH at the WTC, the atmosphere shown in Calatrava’s transit hub leaves us anxiously awaiting its completion.  Take a look at the images and let us know which is your favorite.

View more illustrations after the break.

Stephen Breyer and Zaha Hadid: New Jurors for the Pritzker Architecture Prize Jury

12:36 - 14 September, 2011

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, as well as widely acclaimed Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate, Zaha Hadid of the United Kingdom, will join the jury that selects Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureates, it was announced today by Thomas J. Pritzker, Chairman of The Hyatt Foundation which sponsors the prize.

In addition to his distinguished career in the law, Justice Breyer has a long history of interest in art and architecture, having authored the foreword to a book titled, “Celebrating The Courthouse: A Guide For Architects, Their Clients, And The Public” in 2006. Further, in 2009, the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies honored him with the first Leonore and Walter H. Annenberg Award for Diplomacy through the Arts at a ceremony where the chairman of the foundation, Jo Carole Lauder, said, “His passion for ensuring that federal buildings — where our country’s democratic principles are upheld — represent modern day thinking and culture is truly admirable. Since the birth of our nation, America’s ever changing democracy has been captured through art and architecture and, thanks to Justice Breyer, this legacy will continue.”

Hadid, who received the Pritzker Prize in 2004, has since become one of the world’s busiest architects with projects in numerous countries, including the United States, China, Germany, Spain and Italy. The distinguished architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable, who at the time was a Pritzker juror, said: “Zaha Hadid is one of the most gifted practitioners of the art of architecture today.”

More after the break.

GRAPHISOFT BIMx™: The Latest GRAPHISOFT Innovation for the iPad/iPhone

11:00 - 14 September, 2011
Coutresy of GRAPHISOFT
Coutresy of GRAPHISOFT

Our sponsor GRAPHISOFT recently launched their new mobile device, called GRAPHISOFT BIMx™, which is their latest innovation for the iPad/iPhone. The development makes BIMx an interactive environment with game-like navigation, available to anyone, even those that do not hold a license of the professional authoring software in which the building model was originally created.

BIMx models can be viewed on the iPad/iPhone through a purpose-built app directly linked to the BIMx community for “social” model sharing on Facebook.

More information on their innovative product after the break.

10 Up and Coming Urban Neighborhoods

13:00 - 13 September, 2011
Photo by David Hilowitz
Photo by David Hilowitz

USA Today has put together a list of city neighborhoods which are satiated with activity, areas which offer a “great slice of urban life.” These districts trend from the urban vicinity to its very core, each in itself exemplifying the revitalization of the American city. The list includes regions which have been influenced by deliberate urban revitalization projects, such as High Line Park in Chelsea; while other neighborhoods have experienced an influx of a younger populace which has contributed to its growth, such as Lawrenceville in Pittsburgh.

See the 10 Up and Coming Urban Neighborhoods after the break.

9/11 Memorial and Museum / Handel Architects with Peter Walker, Davis Brody Bond

05:00 - 12 September, 2011
VIsualization by Squared Design Lab -
VIsualization by Squared Design Lab -

Ten years since the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the National September 11 Memorial was dedicated in a private ceremony with the victims’ families. It was officially opened to the public as of today, September 12th. The opening of the 9/11 Memorial is a first step towards the closing of a long chapter of construction at the World Trade Center site.

Map of Architecture Twitter Users

19:00 - 11 September, 2011
© Google Maps
© Google Maps

On August 22, 2011 a live map that charts members of interior design, architecture, and related consultants on Twitter was released into the wild. In only three days it had already surpassed 8000 views, and added 120 professionals to the map.

In Progress: One World Trade Center / SOM

17:42 - 11 September, 2011
© Paul Clemence
© Paul Clemence

Architecture photographer Paul Clemence shared with us a recent photo set of the current status of the One World Trade Center building by SOM.

I was downtown today, checking  out the commotion by Ground Zero and snapped these images of the Freedom Tower. Is for sure going up and we can already glance at its connection to neighborhood buildings, its presence on the skyline and some interesting architectural nuances.

- Paul Clemence

More photos after the break.

Reopening of the Museum der Kulturen Basel, by Herzog & de Meuron

18:00 - 9 September, 2011
© Museum der Kulturen Basel
© Museum der Kulturen Basel

Earlier this week one of Europe’s great ethnographic museums, the Museum der Kulturen Basel, reopened its doors. Two years of reconstruction, refurbishment and expansion including a Herzog & de Meuron design for the historical walls was among the updates that it received. Their design is described as a ‘stunning crown for the historical walls: the beautiful rooftop of irregular folds fits harmoniously into the rooftops surrounding the cathedral’.

Director Anna Schmid commented, “Our innovative approach to life’s cultural dimensions makes them more accessible. We want to be a place for new encounters and inspiration.”

A Room for London Public Bookings

19:41 - 8 September, 2011
A Room for London
A Room for London

Public bookings to spend a night above the Thames in A Room for London, opened today (for nights January to June 2012) more information about a second stage of bookings (for nights July to December 2012) can be found here.  The one-bedroom installation perched on the roof of Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall was designed by David Kohn Architects and artist Fiona Banner. The design competition for A Room for London initiated by Living Architecture, and Artangel, in association with Southbank Center attracted 500 architects and artists entries from across the world.

How to Get Hired at an Architecture Firm - Five Simple Steps

15:00 - 8 September, 2011
Photo by thinkpanama
Photo by thinkpanama

These five points were compiled by, BUILD LLC, a small architecture firm that recently expanded their office from 4 employees to 5.  So what inspired the partners at BUILD to take on a junior architect after receiving numerous resumes?  The hints lay within these five points, which may not be for everyone, but give an idea of what will make a candidate stand out among the rest.

BUILD offers a disclaimer: “This is not the politically correct version -this is the down in the trenches, get ‘er done version.”

Catch the points after the break.

Drake Hotel Tower / Macklowe + CIM + RVA

12:30 - 8 September, 2011
Via Curbed
Via Curbed

Earlier in the week, we shared a video of Cook+Fox’s Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park.   Recently, we’ve heard some talk of a new skyscraper that may be making an appearance in the skyline.   Situated on the site of the former Drake Hotel at the corner of 57th Street and Park Avenue,  the project is the work of California developer CIM, Harry Macklowe and Rafael Viñoly [although it is not designed by RVA].  Macklowe demolished the old hotel and the zoning allows new development to surpass a soaring 1,000 feet!  Although all is speculative, reported that the tower may reach 1,420 feet!  At that height, the tower will become the second tallest in the city – passing the Empire State and the Bank of America building – and, get this, it will even beat the height of One World Trade [if you don’t count the 400 ft antenna]!   Remember all the controversy surrounding Nouvel’s Torre Verre for Midtown?  We wonder what this project will stir up with its bland aesthetics and its crazy height.   Just to give you an idea of the project, we found these images on and as the site reports, “WNY user STR did some modeling of the Vinoly structure, and another commenter credits the drawings as ‘not official renderings, just rough sketches based on descriptions from some people who have been privy to the design process.’ ”  What do you think of the plans for the new Drake Hotel site?

More renderings after the break. 

Video: Architecture Controlling the Future of Sustainability

15:00 - 4 September, 2011

This video, produced by Maike Acosta and Javier Cuevas of Florida International University (FIU), was awarded the Grand prize for the AIA Florida Committee on the Environment’s (COTE) 2011 Video-Arch Competition. The competition asked for short video clips that emphasize the architect’s primary role in designing sustainable and energy resourceful environments, leading the state of Florida and the nation their sustainable potentials. The theme of Architecture Controlling the Future of Sustainability was required to carry through to the video, intending to be a public service announcement touching on the subjects of the entrants’ choice: energy, water, public health, economics, or land use.

Y. S. Sun Green Building Research Center Receives Top Awards

19:00 - 2 September, 2011

The Y.S Sun Green Building Research Center at National Kung University in Taiwan has recently been awarded top honors by the USGBC, in addition to receiving the Taiwan Ecology, Waste Reduction and Health Diamond Certification from the Ministry of Interior. The three-story 4800 square meter building utilizes 13 different sustainable building techniques in order to achieve a 65% energy savings and a 50% water savings over typical office buildings.

Centro Internacional de Convencions de Bogota awarded to Herreros Arquitectos in collaboration with Daniel Bermudez

15:00 - 2 September, 2011
© Herreros Arquitectos
© Herreros Arquitectos

Herreros Arquitectos in collaboration with Daniel Bermudez, were recently awarded the design of the Centro Internacional de Convencions de Bogota. Beating some of the world’s most prestigious architects, Zaha Hadid, David Chipperfield, Rem Koolhaas, Diller & Scofidio, Snøhetta, and Dominique Perrault, the winning design is defined as an urban experience, in which its inhabitants and strangers will come together to share their common interest in knowledge, innovation and the strength of civil society. Aspiring to obtain the Gold-status LEED certificate the new 70,000 sqm Centro Internacional de Convencions de Bogota will be the maximum exponent of Colombia’s ability to apply state-of-the-art technology as well as of the country’s commitment to the environment

An exhibition devoted to Herreros Architectos’ recent work is currently on display at the ROM for Kunst og Arkitektur Gallery in Oslo.

More renderings of the winning design following the break.

Restoring a Classic: Richard Meier's Douglas House

13:45 - 2 September, 2011
Courtesy of Dwell
Courtesy of Dwell

Referred to as one of Meier’s best works, the Douglas House hovers over the shores of Lake Michigan placed upon a steep slope over the water almost as if it is floating amongst the trees.   The Douglas House was designed for clients Jim and Jean Douglas and was completed in 1973 after a three year construction period (1971-1973).   Meier furnished the home with furniture designed by Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, and himself, and it needed no ornamentation other than the nature it was designed around.

As is typical of Meier buildings, the house is completely white made with reinforced concrete and glass except for two steel pipes that extend from the chimney up to the roof, framing views at the entry level. Taking the natural surroundings into consideration during the construction, the house was positioned to remove as few trees as possible.

Featured in Dwell’s latest edition (out this week!), the full article can be found following the break.

Courtesy of Dwell Courtesy of Dwell Courtesy of Dwell Courtesy of Dwell +16

Foster + Partners chosen for Thames Estuary Airport

13:00 - 2 September, 2011
New Thames Estuary Airport Masterplan, Foster + Partners
New Thames Estuary Airport Masterplan, Foster + Partners

From the people who brought you Masdar, an airport in the Thames Estuary.

Flights will be able to operate 24 hours a day at the planned site on the Isle of Grain, by the Medway in north Kent. London mayor Boris Johnson, previous champion of proposals to build an airport on two artificial islands on the Thames estuary, described the Foster proposal as ‘exciting’.

Foster + Partners previously  designed Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok airport, built on an island reclaimed from the sea.

In Progress: Four Freedoms Park / Louis Kahn

09:00 - 2 September, 2011
Via Bloomberg
Via Bloomberg

Last September, we shared the news of Louis Kahn’s memorial park for the southernmost tip of Roosevelt Island. Kahn had designed the park in the 70s, but after his sudden death, the plan was forgotten until 1992 when the MoMA featured the scheme in an exhibition.   Upon learning of Kahn’s thoughtful and architecturally compelling ideas to commemorate FDR and his Four Freedoms speech,  the public quickly advocated its completion.   As we reported earlier, at the end of Kahn’s axial tree-lined triangular “Garden”, a 72 sqf   “Room” will contain excerpts from the text of President Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech.  This room, contained by 12 foot high granite columns, is meant for contemplation and remembrance as Kahn’s stoic material palette, clear formal attitude, and forced perspective of the skyline will create, what we imagine will be, a quiet and peaceful atmosphere.   With Kahn’s simple gestures, the memorial will preserve a time in American history where FDR’s leadership inspired hope to endure the Great Depression and the second World War.  We’re excited for the memorial to be completed and we’ll keep you up to date with its progress.

A great sample of construction photos and renderings after the break.

INDEX: 2011 Award Winners

17:39 - 1 September, 2011

Just announced last night, the INDEX: Award winners for 2011 were unveiled highlighting five categories: Body, Home, Work, Play and Community.  The award ceremony was held in the Copenhagen Opera with a diverse audience from 48 countries.

The winners of the awards propose designs that focus on vastly improving the lives of people all over the world.  The non-profit Danish design organization received nearly 1,000 nominations from 78 countries, which were narrowed down to 60 finalist designs with the five award winners announced last evening.

Receiving the INDEX: Award HOME Category  was Chilean architecture firm ELEMENTAL for their project Monterrey, a revolutionary new model for social housing in Mexico.  ELEMENTAL’s social housing design for Mexican citizens, provides residents with the opportunity to construct part of the home themselves.  By only building half the house residents, when time, effort and resources permit, personalize the home reflecting the needs and wishes of each individual family.

Oyster-Tecture and the Gowanus Canal

15:00 - 1 September, 2011
Zone 4, Kate Orff of SCAPE studio
Zone 4, Kate Orff of SCAPE studio

The Gowanus Canal is one of America’s most polluted waterways, and its location in the New York Harbor made it one of the many places that were effected by flooding as a result of Hurricane Irene. If that isn’t enough to think about, last year the EPA declared the Gowanus Canal as a Superfund site, “As a result of years of discharges, storm water runoff, sewer outflows and industrial pollutants, the Gowanus Canal has become one of the nation’s most extensively contaminated water bodies. Contaminants include PCBs, coal tar wastes, heavy metals and volatile organics. The contamination poses a threat to the nearby residents who use the canal for fishing and recreation.”

Rising Currents, an exhibit that was featured at the MoMA just last year, was a cohesive showcase of five projects tackling the lingering truth that within a few years, the waterfront of the New York harbor will drastically change. We highlighted Zone 0 earlier this week, comprised of ARO and dlandstudio, they specifically took a look at the lower Manhattan landscape, proposing to develop a new soft and hard infrastructure solution paved with a mesh of cast concrete and engineered soil and salt tolerant plants.

Zone 4, or Oyster-Tecture by Kate Orff, dealt directly with the highly polluted Gowanus Canal. We shared with you Orff’s TEDTalk on Oyster-Tecture back in Februrary, and feel like it is a subject worth revisiting. Eastern oysters being her focus, she shares how the oyster can improve water quality as a natural bio filter. Blending urbanism and ecology she proposes an oyster reef for the Gowanus Canal and Governors Island, an accessible idea that can be implemented immediately.  A further description about Zone 4 Oyster-Tecture following the break.

Portaali / Gia Wolff

09:00 - 1 September, 2011
Courtesy Gia Wolff
Courtesy Gia Wolff

Gia Wolff’s latest architectural installation features a 25 ft diameter portal suspended above 2 Avenue between 36 and 35 Street in Industry City, Brooklyn.  As part of Superfront Public Summer, the site specific piece is a reaction to the existing typological conditions and explores potential scenarios for the future of Industry City. Finnish for ‘portal’, Portaali refers to the Scandinavian dock workers who used to occupy the buildings in the late 1900s.

More about the installation, including a video, after the break.

Sleep Suit Inspired by Dymaxion Sleeping

19:00 - 31 August, 2011
© Forrest Jessee
© Forrest Jessee

Forrest Jessee has recently unveiled his Sleep Suit inspired by Buckminster Fuller’s practice of Dymaxion Sleeping – 30-minute naps over 24 hours – while simultaneously exploring the materiality requirements to accommodate such a function. Interaction between the human body and the suit is the form generator as well as the threshold medium between the internalized occupant and their immediate surroundings.

10 College Campuses with the Best Architecture

13:00 - 31 August, 2011
Photo by Rex Hammock
Photo by Rex Hammock

Architectural Digest has compiled a list of college campuses throughout the United States which have the most remarkable architectural traditions, which broadcast their innovative philosophy through design. A number of colleges have fully incorporated modern architecture into their campus schemes, for example MIT; while others have preserved their historical edifices through the course of the years, like the University of Virginia. The list involves some prestigious institutions, in addition to some surprises, all possessing their individual architectural languages.

See the 10 College Campuses with the Best Architecture after the break.

Richard Meier & Partners Architects Wins American Architecture Award for Coffee Plaza

11:00 - 31 August, 2011

Richard Meier & Partners Architects has been awarded the American Architecture Award 2011 for Coffee Plaza in Hamburg, Germany. The American Architectural Awards is one of the most prestigious building awards program in the United States that honors “new and cutting-edge design”. This annual program is organized by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Center for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies to promote the best of new architecture and urban design.

The Coffee Plaza in Hamburg’s HafenCity is planned as a unique center for international coffee commerce and related lines of business. The project encompasses the design of the headquarters for one of the largest coffee trading companies worldwide and two office buildings with rentable areas as well as a public plaza and underground parking. The site is part of the ambitious new Master plan to redevelop Hamburg’s post-industrial port into a viable business, commercial and cultural center and is currently the largest urban development project in Europe. More after the break.