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FAKT Creates a Floating Metal “Cloudscape” in Montpellier

FAKT, an up-and-coming studio based out of Berlin and Zurich, has created an architectural installation for the Festival des Architectures Vives, which uses perforated aluminum sheets to produce a cloudscape. Sponsored by metalworking companies Karl Dieringer and AMAG Austria Metall, the exhibition explores aluminum's material properties and its ability to create new forms.

Cloudscape Surface Contours. Image © Giulio Boem An Interior View of the Exhibition. Image © Giulio Boem Visitors Looking inside Cloudscape. Image © Giulio Boem Top of Cloudscape. Image © Giulio Boem

RIBA Announces 2015 Stirling Prize Shortlist

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have revealed the six projects that will compete for the 2015 Stirling Prize, the award for the building which has made the greatest contribution to British architecture over the past year. Following a rigourous system of regional awards (all of which you can see on ArchDaily), the shortlist has been picked from a handful of nationally award-winning projects.

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, having previously won the prize in 2006 for the Barajas Airport in Madrid and in 2009 for the Maggie’s Centre at Charing Cross Hospital, has been nominated four times before. They are joined by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM), Niall McLaughlin Architects, and Heneghan Peng Architects, who have each made the shortlist before. This is the first year that McInnes Usher McKnight Architects (MUMA) and Reiach and Hall Architects have been shortlisted. The winning project will be announced on the 15th October 2015 at a ceremony in London.

See this year's full shortlist and read extracts from the judges' citations after the break.

NEO Bankside, SE1 (London) / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Image © Edmund Sumner University of Greenwich Stockwell Street Building, SE10 (London) / Heneghan Peng. Image © Hufton + Crow University of Greenwich Stockwell Street Building, SE10 (London) / Heneghan Peng. Image © Hufton + Crow Maggie’s Lanarkshire / Reiach and Hall Architects. Image © David Grandorge

Renzo Piano Teaches You How to Build the Perfect Sandcastle

In a recent article published by The Guardian, Renzo Piano encourages architects to make sandcastles. "There is no age limit," he says, "... it helps you think like a child." The Italian architect credits the start of his career to the first sandcastle he ever made on the Genoa shoreline. "Making things has always been a pleasure for me – happy hands, happy mind – and making sandcastles was my training in fantasy."

This New Brick by MIT-Researchers Uses Little Energy and Helps Deplete Landfills

Traditional Red Bricks. Image Courtesy of MIT Tata Center
Traditional Red Bricks. Image Courtesy of MIT Tata Center

India has one of the fastest growing populations in the world and to accommodate it, a better building material is needed. Currently over 200 billion of the country’s traditional clay fired bricks are manufactured every year, resulting in numerous pollution and environmental problems. To address these issues, a team from MIT –- composed of students Michael Laracy and Thomas Poinot, along with professors Elsa Olivetti, Hamlin Jennings and John Ochsendorf -- has developed Eco-BLAC bricks: an alternative to traditional bricks that reuses industrial waste and is low-cost and low energy. 

NCARB's 2015 Report Projects Positive Future for the Architecture Profession

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has released “NCARB by the Numbers,” their annual report featuring statistics important to the architecture profession in the US. NCARB’s research portrays a positive future for the profession, with statistics showing that diversity is growing, architects are becoming licensed at an earlier age and progressing through licensure paths more quickly than in previous years, and more architects are becoming licensed than ever before.

The 2015 report covers the causes and effects of the results, looking into the impact of location and education. A section entitled “Jurisdictions by the Numbers,” lays out standardized relevant information for viewers to investigate conditions in the architecture profession in each state. The report also includes an analysis of the role of NAAB-accredited programs in helping architects achieve licensure.

Learn more on the information in NCARB’s report after the break.

Monocle 24's 'Section D' Explores Public Space in Bandung and Housing in Montreal

This edition of Section DMonocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, travels to Indonesia’s third city Bandung, where former architect and current Mayor Ridwan Kamil "is transforming public space." The show also takes a tour of three early 20th-century apartment buildings in Montreal, and hears from Neri & Hu Design and Research Office in Shanghai.

10 Shortlisted to Re-Envision Kazan's Kaban Lake Embankments

Ten finalist have been shortlisted as part of an open, two-stage competition set to redesign the Kaban lake system embankments in Kazan. Held under the authority of the Republic of Tatarstan Government, the competition will now ask the remaining teams to work on other town-planning projects in the Republic of Tatarstan held within the three context of the Water-Conservation Zones Year - in Kazan, Naberezhnye Chelny, Nizhnekamsk, Almetyevsk and other cities. Visiting sessions with the President of the Republic will be organized to introduce the context of the competition to the finalists.

The Winner will receive one million Rubles and a contract for the design project development of the future embankment.

The 10 remaining finalists are...

"Hang Out" In These Extraordinary Peruvian Sky Pods

Adventure seekers have yet another reason to visit the Peruvian Andes; Peru-based tour company Natura Vive is now offering a luxurious night's stay 400-feet above the Inca Empire in these glass sky pods. Visitors can access the "Skylodge" by scrabbling up the mountainside. After staying the night, and indulging in some fine dining on top their 192-square-feet room, visitors return Peru's famed Sacred Valley via a series of (terrifying) zip lines. 

London's Royal Academy Launches 'Urban Jigsaw' Ideas Competition

The Royal Academy of Arts in London have launched a new international ideas competition which aims "to refocus attention to the huge potential of the brownfield sites that still exist across London." 'Brownfield' sites, or those earmarked for potential building development that have had previous development on them, are plentiful in the UK capital. This competition seeks "speculative ideas [which] make the most of these missing pieces in London’s urban jigsaw."

Prioritize Who You "See First" in Your Facebook Feed

Did you know you can manage who you "see first" in your Facebook news feed? Don't let advertisers take your top spot, as Facebook's new "See First" feature allows you to control which of your favorite friends and websites (hint: ArchDaily) are shown to you first. Make ArchDaily part of your daily newsfeed on Facebook by following these few simple steps: 

The Most Successful US Firms of 2014 are...

Architectural Record has named the "Top 300 Architecture Firms" in the United States, ranking the nation's most successful practices based on their architectural revenue from 2014. Gensler, whose annual revenue surpassed one billion USD, maintained the lead for the fourth consecutive year. The firm's recent commissions, such as Los Angeles' Metropolis, help them set new records for revenue. AECOM, who came in second, also recorded significant growth - both internationally and domestically. 

The top 25 firms are...

Frank Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial Wins Final Approval

The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) has awarded Frank Gehry's controversial Eisenhower Memorial final approval during a meeting held on July 9. This means all agencies overseeing the project has (finally) agreed on the design, which has taken 15 years and many design revisions to achieve. The project, now a joint venture between Gehry and AECOM, was initially granted preliminary approval last October. 

"The resulting Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial design satisfies the goals of the seven design principles established for this site in 2006 by the NCPC to preserve and enhance the unique character of this site and establish a new green space within the context of L’Enfant’s plan for Washington D.C.," said the NCPC in their final report. You can read the report in full, here

My ArchDaily: How to Create Your Very Own Architecture Library

Dear ArchDaily Readers,

One of the most important pillars of our mission is to constantly improve the way that we deliver inspiration and knowledge to architects around the world. Over time, the tens of thousands of projects we have featured in-depth have grown to form a large "ArchDaily Iceberg" in which most of this invaluable architecture content accumulates below the surface. In our quest to make this information more accessible, and especially given our understanding of how we (architects) collect and organize case studies and references, we launched a modest tool in late 2010: My ArchDaily. This tool allowed you to bookmark and save your favorite projects and sort them in folders, two concepts that relate to how you use your browser and desktop. 

My ArchDaily was also the authentication tool for voting in Building of the Year Award, and over the years this feature started to gain traction among our users--reaching more than 282,000 registered users as of today! But, My ArchDaily had taken a back seat to other development projects and wasn't updated until we launched our new platform a few days ago.

So now, we're happy to present the new-and-improved My ArchDaily! It was launched alongside other improvements that you may have noticed over the past few weeks. If you aren't using it already, we welcome you to start building your very own personalized architecture library and organize projects and articles using labels.

Whether you are researching specific precedents or just want to save a particularly inspiring project, My ArchDaily's seamless integration allows you to save information with one-simple click. 

Neri Oxman’s “Mushtari” Is a 3D Printed Wearable That Makes Products from Sunlight

Designer and architect Neri Oxman, working with the Mediated Matter group, has unveiled “Mushtari”: a 3D-printed wearable that can convert sunlight into usable products. Joining the “Wanderer” collection, Mushtari was designed as a relationship between the most primitive and most sophisticated life forms. The wearable contains 58 meters of internal fluid channels and functions as a microbial factory, using synthetic biology to convert sunlight into items for the wearer. 

Spotlight: Buckminster Fuller

Pioneering radical Buckminster Fuller, (July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983) an inventor, architect and the second president of Mensa, had a massive impact on the architecture and popular culture of the latter 20th century. Most famous for popularizing the geodesic dome, Fuller is also known as the father of sustainability, and was driven by his intention “to make the world work for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or disadvantage of anyone.”

Design With Company + Arup Create “Shaw Town” Theatre in Chicago

Chicago based architecture studio Design With Company, in collaboration with Arup, have constructed their winning proposal for the Ragdale Ring design competition, which asked entrants to redesign Howard Van Doren Shaw’s 1912 performance venue for a Chicago artists’ community. Their design lightheartedly references features of Shaw’s architecture, while creating a venue for acoustically unamplified performances.

Courtesy of Robert Becker/Design With Company Courtesy of Allison Derr/Design With Company Courtesy of Robert Becker/Design With Company Courtesy of Allison Derr/Design With Company

Create a Mini Metropolis with Sticky Page Markers

Building a city has never been so easy. With Duncan Shotton Design Studio's Sticky Page Markers you can create your own urban landscape, while marking the pages of your books, catalogues, or notes.

Amanda Levete's MPavilion Inspired by Forest Canopy

Images have been released of Melbourne's second annual MPavilion. Designed by British architect Amanda Levete of AL_A, the temporary structure will use the latest technology in nautical engineering to stimulate a forest-like canopy within the city’s Queen Victoria Gardens. A series of three- and five-meter wide petals made from ultra-thin translucent composite and carbon fiber will "sway" on top slender columns, mimicking the tree line to the site's east.