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Richard Rogers Speaks Out Against Japan's Decision to Scrap Zaha Hadid Stadium

Last month, Japan officially scrapped plans for the controversial Zaha Hadid Architects-designed National Stadium that was intended to be the centerpiece of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Since the decision, ZHA released a statement that denied responsibility for the project's ballooning costs, saying the Japan Sport Council (JSC) has been approving the project's design and budget "at every stage."

Now, British architect Richard Rogers, who served on the jury that selected ZHA's stadium design, has joined the conversation claiming Japan has "lost their nerve" and warning that their decision to "start over from zero" will harm Japan's "reputation as a promoter of world-class architectural design."

Read on for Roger's full statement:

Populous Unveils New Football Stadium for San Diego

Populous has unveiled plans for a new Chargers football stadium that is meant to capture the "essence of San Diego," California. The 68,000-seat stadium, planned to be built on the Qualcomm Stadium site in Mission Valley, will feature a "kinetic skin" that will mimic the sound of the ocean as it sways in the wind.

"We wanted to make sure as a team that we were making this a really authentic place and people who see it will say, 'That represents our city - that represents where the Chargers should be. They've been here over 50 years and they should stay here.' This stadium represents that. This is an expression of San Diego," Populous senior principal Scott Radecic told the San Diego Union Tribune.

Graham Foundation Announces 49 Grant Winners for 2015

The Graham Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2015 Grants—49 innovative architectural projects from a global range of “major museum retrospectives, multi-media installations, site-specific commissions, and documentary films to placemaking initiatives, e-publications, and academic journals.”

All of these newly funded project designs, chosen from over 200 submissions, show great promise in respect to impact on the greater architectural field. Overall, the Graham Foundation has awarded the projects $496,500 in an effort to help chart new territory in the future of architecture.

Out of the 49 projects, 12 are “public programs and exhibitions that will coincide with the inaugural Chicago Biennial, opening this fall.”

Learn about a few of the winning projects with descriptions via the Graham Foundation after the break.

Lebbeus Woods, Sarajevo, from War and Architecture, 1993. Image Courtesy of the Estate of Lebbeus Woods, New York P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S (Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich), digital image, Keelung Crystal, 2013, Taiwan. Image Courtesy of James Vincent and Karim Moussa Noritaka Minami, B1004 I, 2012, Tokyo, Japan. Image Courtesy of the artist Meredith Miller, detail view of Half-Acre/Half-Life, a decomposing landscape installation, 2012, Ann Arbor, MI. Image Courtesy of the author

Submit Your Project for Inclusion in ArchDaily's 2016 Building of the Year Awards

Just over six months have passed since we announced the winners of our 2015 Building of the Year (BOTY) Awards, in which 31,000 of our readers helped us to narrow down over 3,000 projects to just 14 winners. Over six editions of our BOTY Awards, we've given awards to 83 buildings - some of these have gone to established names in the field, from OMA to Álvaro Siza; however over the years our peer-voted awards have also brought attention to emerging architects like Tiago do Vale Arquitectos and given international exposure to architects that were previously only known locally such as sporaarchitects.

Of course, with six months since BOTY 2015 we're also around six months from the award's next installment, making now the perfect time to start looking ahead to 2016. Find out how to ensure your firm has a chance to join the prestigious list of ArchDaily's BOTY winners after the break.

NYT Style Magazine Explores the Cultural Reasons Behind the Demolition of Japan's Hotel Okura

About a year ago, it was announced that Hotel Okura, one of Tokyo’s best-known modernist landmarks, was headed for demolition. With the impending demolition date of the hotel, deemed a “beautiful orphan child,” set for this September, an article from T: The New York Times Style Magazine’s upcoming Women’s Fashion issue looks at Japan's "ambivalent — and unsentimental — relationship with its Modernist architecture."

Challenging the Rules of a City Simulator in Which There is No "Game Over"

As part of an ongoing series of articles for Guardian Cities, architect Finn Williams uses the Cities: Skyline Simulator to ask whether "the game’s growth-driven model proves incompatible with a post-growth strategy" — ultimately narrating its response to this challenge in the form of a "resounding no." The game, which is designed to "realise the thrill and hardships of creating and maintaining a real city," allows for players to deal with infrastructure issues, housing problems, and budgetary matters on a large urban scale.

This Innovative Brick Sucks Pollution From the Air Like a Vacuum Cleaner

These days air pollution in some cities is a big problem, and as a result, buildings that help alleviate that problem are all the rage. In recent years though, designers have started to move beyond simply reducing a building's emissions and started to work with techniques that actually remove pollutants from the air, through systems such as Nemesi's "photocatalytic" facade for the Italy Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo which captures and reacts with pollution in the presence of light.

However, in most cases these new technologies have been chemical, only affecting the air that physically comes into contact with them. What if buildings could take a more active role in pulling in pollutants from the sky? What if they could work a little more like a vacuum cleaner? This was exactly the inspiration behind the Breathe Brick developed by Carmen Trudell, an assistant professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's school of architecture and founder of Both Landscape and Architecture.

Kengo Kuma Breaks Ground on Luxury Rolex Tower in Dallas

Kengo Kuma & Associates and developer Harwood International have broken ground on a twisted, seven-story tower for Rolex in Dallas' Uptown district. The luxury watchmaker intends on using the 136,857-square-foot building as a new office space. It will rise adjacent to Rolex's original building on Harwood Street that was built in 1984.

According to Kuma, the building "fuses nature and architecture," and will feature a tiered Japanese-inspired garden. 

9 Projects Selected for AIA Education Facility Design Awards

William Rawn Associates / The Berklee Tower. Image © Robert Benson Photography
William Rawn Associates / The Berklee Tower. Image © Robert Benson Photography

The American Institute of Architects (AIA)'s Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) has announced the winners of its CAE Education Facility Design Awards, which honor educational facilities that “serve as an example of a superb place in which to learn, furthering the client’s mission, goals, and educational program, while demonstrating excellence in architectural design.”

A variety of project designs, such as public elementary and high schools, charter schools, and higher education facilities, were submitted to the Committee, many of which incorporated “informal and flexible spaces for collaboration and social interaction adjacent to teaching spaces,” as well as staircases with amphitheater or forum designs.

Find out which projects received awards, after the break.

99% Invisible Explores Brutalism, From London to Boston

In the latest episode of 99% Invisible, Hard to Love a Brute, Roman Mars and Avery Trufelman take a look at the potted history of the "hulking concrete brutes" of post-war Europe, centring on the UK, and the US east coast. Exploring Ernö Goldfinger's Balfron and Trellick towers, while making a pitstop in Boston, MA, this twenty minute podcast examines why people "love to hate" Brutalism and why, "as harsh as it looks, concrete is an utterly optimistic building material."

Spotlight: Joshua Prince-Ramus

Joshua Prince-Ramus (born 11th August, 1969) has made a significant mark as one of the most promising young architects working today. Named one of the five greatest architects under 50 in 2011 by The Huffington Post, Prince-Ramus made a name for himself as one of Rem Koolhaas' many protégés before forming his practice, REX, in 2006.

12 Architecture Schools to Offer "Integrated Path" to Licensure Before Graduation

In an ongoing effort to ease the path to licensure, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has accepted proposals from 12 accredited US architecture schools to implement an "Integrated Path" to licensure. The initiative would give students the opportunity to complete the Intern Development Program (IDP) requirements and take the Architect Registration Exams (ARE) prior to graduation. Students would not be required to pass all ARE divisions in order to graduate. 

“The programs in this inaugural class exhibited a high degree of creativity, and are focused on strengthening the relationship between schools, the practice community, and licensing boards,” said Licensure Task Force (LTF) Chair Ron Blitch, a Louisiana architect who is a former NCARB President and current member of the NAAB Board of Directors and the Louisiana State Board of Architectural Examiners.

Google (Alphabet) "Sidewalk Labs" Seeks to Improve City Life

Google has announced a major overhaul - the launch of their new parent company, Alphabet Inc. The new structure makes Google Inc. a holding company in an effort to provide more transparency to its investors and flexibility for its research endeavors. Thus, "G" will now stand for Google. The rest of the Alphabet will be a collection of companies that has yet to be entirely unveiled. 

Calico, Fiber, Nest Labs, Wings, and Google X will all be part of the Alphabet, as well as a new urban innovation company known as Sidewalk Labs.

Spotlight: Peter Eisenman

Whether built, written or drawn, the work of renowned architect, theorist and educator Peter Eisenman (born 11th August 1932) is characterized by Deconstructivism, with an interest in signs, symbols and the processes of making meaning always at the foreground. As such, Eisenman has been one of architecture's foremost theorists of recent decades; however he has also at times been a controversial figure in the architectural world, professing a disinterest in more pragmatic concerns such as environmental sustainability.

GAD Architecture's AHK Kundu Villas Shortlisted for WAF

The AHK Kundu Villas, a collection of homes by GAD Architecture, has recently been shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival (WAF) for Future Residential projects. The project, comprising 17 large, 56 medium and 50 small housing units, is sited next to a tourism zone in Antalaya on the Mediterranean coast of southwestern Turkey. Designed with sustainability in mind, the project makes use of resources available on the site.

Courtesy of GAD Architecture Courtesy of GAD Architecture Courtesy of GAD Architecture Courtesy of GAD Architecture

In-Depth Interviews With Jonathan Meades and Thomas Heatherwick, Plus More

Following the conclusion of a new radio series featuring in-depth interviews with inspirational names in global politics, business and the arts, we've picked out and compiled four of our favourites for you to listen to. Thirty minutes each, Monocle 24's collection of Big Interviews have heard from the likes of London-based designer Thomas Heatherwick, architectural critic, writer and broadcaster Jonathan Meades, plus developers and hoteliers Ian Schrager and André Balazs.

Japan's Abandoned Golf Courses Get Second Life As Solar Farms

With a goal to double the amount of its renewable energy power sources by 2030, Japan has begun to transform abandoned golf courses into massive solar energy plants. As Quartz reports, Kyocera, a company known for its floating solar plants, has started construction on a 23-megawatt solar plant on an old golf course in the Kyoto prefecture (scheduled to open in 2017). The company also plans to break ground on a similar, 92-megawatt plant in the Kagoshima prefecture next year. Pacifico Energy is also jumping on the trend; with the help of GE Energy Financial Services, the company is overseeing two solar plant golf course projects in the Okayama prefecture. The idea is spreading too; plans to transform gold courses into solar fields are underway in New York, Minnesota and other US states as well.

Justin McGuirk Appointed as Chief Curator of London's Design Museum

British writer and curator Justin McGuirk has joined London's Design Museum as their new chief curator. The former editor of Icon, design critic of The Guardian and director of Strelka Press was also named head of Design Curating & Writing at Design Academy Eindhoven earlier this year. As you may remember, McGuirk was awarded the Golden Lion at the 2012 Venice Biennale for an exhibition he curated with Urban Think Tank. He is also the author of Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture