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Zaha Hadid Named "New Londoner of the Year"

New London Architecture (NLA) has named the winners of this years New London Awards, celebrating the best projects and architects shaping London today. Taking home top honors, Zaha Hadid was crowned "New Londoner of the Year" for her influential work, both in the UK and abroad. The jury commended Hadid for "her role as a champion of design to both the government and the general public alike," citing her success with the London Aquatic Center and the Serpentine Sackler Gallery

Out of the 51 projects awarded, Pringle Richards Sharratt's Black Cultural Archives (BCA) in Brixton was named London's best new building. The Grade II listed structure, which had been on the English Heritage's Heritage at Risk Register since 1992, was restored as a new home for BCA’s extensive archives, serving as an exemplar for preservation and reuse

Building Elements Come Alive with this Pinecone-Inspired Material that Reacts to Moisture

Reactive materials hold huge potential for architects and engineers in the near future, offering forms of interactive and customizable construction that could, if used properly, seriously alter the way in which people interact with their built environment. The massive expansion in the capabilities of touch screens and other glass based technologies have opened up user interfaces to levels where interactive cityscapes are becoming reachable - but creating materials which are themselves reactive is a much less-explored solution. Water Reaction, a project by Royal College of Art student Chao Chen, is an attempt at exactly that: creating a material that reacts to external conditions with no human input required.

An artificial pinecone proof of concept. Image © Chao Chen The reactive surface when open. Image © Chao Chen The reactive canopy when dry. Image © Chao Chen The reactive canopy when wet. Image © Chao Chen

Spotlight: Philip Johnson

When he was awarded the first ever Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1979, the jury described Philip Johnson (July 8, 1906 – January 25, 2005) as someone who “produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the environment," adding that "as a critic and historian, he championed the cause of modern architecture and then went on to design some of his greatest buildings.” However, even after winning the Pritzker Prize at age 73, Johnson still had so much more of his legacy to build: in the years after 1979, Johnson almost completely redefined his style, adding another chapter to his influence over the architecture world.

AMO Designs Paris Pop-Up Club

On Saturday, July 4, designer Prada and AMO—a research studio subset of OMA architecture—hosted The Miu Miu Club, a pop-up event, featuring dinner, a fashion show, and several musical performances in Paris, France.

Inside of the 1937 art deco Palais d-Iena, Paris’ current CESE government offices, the one-night event was held in the Hypostyle, using a scaffolding ring to create a “room within a room.” Strip lighting, metal grids, PVC sheets, and arrangements of luxurious furniture were also used to enhance the space. 

©  Agostino Osio, Courtesy of OMA ©  Agostino Osio, Courtesy of OMA © Alberto Moncada, Courtesy of OMA ©  Agostino Osio, Courtesy of OMA

'The Future Will Just Have to Wait': London's 10,000 Year Masterplan

Alice Theodorou, a graduating masters student from London's Royal College of Art, has developed a project which attempts to combat the challenges that London is set to face over the next 10,000 years. Her scheme factors in projections for population growth and then decline, rising sea levels, stricter energy targets, material depletion, future space exploration and, most interestingly, language obsolescence.

The Depletion of World Lead Resources, 2049. Image © Alice Theodorou  The Depletion of World Sand Resources, 2200. Image © Alice Theodorou © Alice Theodorou World Surface Temperature Rises by 4 Degrees, 3000. Image © Alice Theodorou

RSHP Wins Competition to Build Conservation Facility for Louvre

The Musée du Louvre and the Nord-Pas de Calais region has selected Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) to build a new conservation and storage facility for the Louvre in Liévin, northern France (Nord-Pas-de-Calais). Built primarily for study and research, the 20,000-square-meter "landscape building" will feature a series of vaulted light-filled conservation studios and storage spaces topped with a lush green roof.

“The consortium of architects, headed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, has succeeded in taking the specific needs of properly preserving and accessing the Louvre’s collections, and turning them into a first-class architectural creation," said Jean-Luc Martinez, President-Director of the Musée du Louvre.

Snarkitecture Turns National Building Museum into Massive Ball-Pit

Now through September 7, you can take a "swim" in a massive "BEACH" that has taken over the National Building Museum's Great Hall. Spanning 10,000-square-feet, the BEACH was created in partnership with Brooklyn-based Snarkitecture to offer the people of Washington D.C. a one-of-a-kind installation as part of the NBM's "Summer Block Party."

The "ocean" is essentially a ball-pit comprised of nearly one million recyclable translucent plastic balls. It is contained within a mirrored, all-white enclosure flanked by a 50-foot-wide "shoreline" that offers visitors the option to wade the  "water" or sit back and relax. 

© Noah Kalina © Noah Kalina © Noah Kalina © Noah Kalina

GIVEAWAY: The Architect Says Notebooks

"Form ever follows function." "Less is more." Architects have long been providing us with inspirational quips and reflections on our profession. And now, thanks to our friends at Princeton Architectural Press, you can win a set a notebooks that feature the compelling words of Le Corbusier, R. Buckminster Fuller, and Cesar Pelli. The gold-stamped, gridded notebooks are a companion to  Laura Dushkes' best-selling book The Architect Says

Read on to find out how you can win a set of The Architect Says Notebooks!

Beautifully Banal: Kickstarter Campaign Seeks to Celebrate Beauty in the Ordinary

A competition proposal by Alexander Culler and Danny Travis, placed second in Blank Space's recent Fairy Tales competition, is now the subject of a Kickstarter campaign asking whether there is "a way to use architectural drawing to tell a story that was easy enough for everyone to understand?" The team behind the Beautifully Banal comic-zine are now seeking to transform their competition entry into a full-scale publication in order to "combine the intricacies of architectural drawing types with a form of story telling that allows those outside of the field to gain a new appreciation for the buildings and structures that occupy the world."

David Adjaye Unveils Plans for New Studio Museum in Harlem

British architect David Adjaye is set to submit plans for new Studio Museum in Harlem. Designed to replace the 47-year-old museum's existing facility on Manhattan's West 125th Street, the new $122 million proposal will more than double the museum's space, allowing it to become a premier center for contemporary artists of African descent. 

According to the New York Times, Adjaye was chosen to design the museum due to his sensitivity regarding the artists and surrounding neighborhood, which in turn inspired the project; the project's main space will feature a four-story, multi-use core marked by an "inverted stoop" that will act as an inviting "living room" and host for public programs. 

“I wanted to honor this idea of public rooms, which are soaring, celebratory and edifying — uplifting,” he told the New York Times. “Between the residential and the civic, we learned the lessons of public realms and tried to bring those two together.”

Pedro Gadanho Leaves MoMA to Direct MAAT in Lisbon

After serving as curator for the past three years at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, Portuguese architect Pedro Gadanho will be leaving his position to become the first artist director of the new Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) in Lisbon. Scheduled to open in the fall of 2016, the new MAAT museum will be responsible for the EDP Foundation's cultural program. 

"Pedro Gadanho’s profile and international experience are essential to our ambitions for MAAT, making it a distinctive space of contemporary culture in Portugal", says António Mexia, CEO of EDP. Pedro Gadanho adds that "MAAT will be a cultural institution of the quality and breadth seen in major European cities, offering an exciting contemporary program at the intersection of art, architecture and technology."

New York Hall of Science Reopens Great Hall with Renovations from Todd Schliemann

After renovations by Todd Schliemann of Ennead Architects, the New York Hall of Science’s (NYSCI) Great Hall has reopened to the public, reclaiming its place as the centerpiece of the NYSCI. Originally designed by Harrison and Abramovitz Architects, the Great Hall was the main exhibit space of the Hall of Science during the 1964-1965 World’s Fair, encapsulating visitors in an illusion of deep space with its irregular plan surrounded by undulating glass and concrete walls. Still one of the most formally interesting buildings in Queens, the Great Hall is one of the original World’s Fair’s last surviving structures and a landmark of mid-century modernism.

Cobalt Dalle-de-Verre Panels. Image © Jeff Goldberg / Esto © Jeff Goldberg / Esto Renovations in Progress. Image Courtesy of Ennead Architects Courtesy of Ennead Architects

Competition Results: "Filling Station(s)"

Filling Station(s), the latest ideas-based challenge organised by Combo Competitions, asked participants to "rethink refueling" in a competition which sought to re-imagine the ubiquitous filling station. The historical rise of this 20th century typology, from simple fuel dispensers to palatial rest-stops on the highway, grew with the proliferation of the car and became symbols for societal progression, personal status, and "a bright future." Although the number of vehicles worldwide "surpassed one billion in 2010, there has been a steady decline in filling stations since the end of the last century." As such, perhaps this is the time to start to rethink how these fragments of the international mobility infrastructure operate?

Third Prize: Fill Up Here / Alex Cox. Image Courtesy of Combo Competitions First Prize: Nu Oil / Felix Yang and Thomas Noussis. Image Courtesy of Combo Competitions Second Prize: Modular Filling Station / Mattias Dahlberg, Robin Krasse and Karl Lagerqvist. Image Courtesy of Combo Competitions Second Prize: Modular Filling Station / Mattias Dahlberg, Robin Krasse and Karl Lagerqvist. Image Courtesy of Combo Competitions

Enric Miralles Foundation to Offer Social Urban Regeneration Postgraduate Diploma

The Enric Miralles Foundation, in collaboration with the Polytechnic University in Catalunya (UPC), will offer a postgraduate program called Social Urban Regeneration, starting October 8. Students will create a social urban project over the course of 10 weeks specializing in integrated, contemporary, and sustainable urban planning. The project, entitled "2017 Grand Paris Clichy-Montferneil Suburbs of Paris," will look into the question of how new cities should be planned, and how older cities can be renewed and renovated. 

Estudio Guto Requena Creates Interactive Light Façade for São Paulo Hotel

Estudio Guto Requena has designed a new façade, which also doubles as an urban art intervention, for the Hotel WZ Jardins in São Paulo. Dubbed “The Light Creature,” the 30-story facade is visible both during the day and at night, changing to interact with its surroundings and responding to stimuli like air quality and sound. During the day the façade has a pixilated blue, gray and gold skin that serves as “a visual reflection of the soundscape of São Paulo’s iconic Avenida Rebouças,” and at night it is illuminated by interactive light patterns.

Learn more about The Light Creature after the break. 

© Andre Klotz © Andre Klotz © Ayla Hibri © Ayla Hibri

Photographer Max Touhey Gives a Rare Glimpse Inside Eero Saarinen's TWA Flight Center

Currently under renovation in order to turn its soaring shell into a hotel, Eero Saarinen's iconic TWA Flight Center has been off limits to the public since 2001. However last week, while a team of digital preservationists were making scans of the swooping curves of the building's interior, photographer Max Touhey was allowed access, camera in hand, to catalog the building's mid-century elegance. The photoset, published in full on Curbed NY, shows the building in a generally good condition considering its decade-long slumber. Read on after the break for a selection of these images.

© Max Touhey for Curbed NY © Max Touhey for Curbed NY © Max Touhey for Curbed NY © Max Touhey for Curbed NY

PORT Urbanism and R2 Companies Propose Plan to Revitalize Chicago’s Goose Island

Hoping to reverse the fortunes of this small but distinctive area of Chicago, real estate development firm R2 Companies and urban planning group PORT Urbanism have teamed up to devise a plan to renew Goose Island. A man-made island with a long history of manufacturing, Goose Island lacks the revenue stream of many other Chicago regions, but the development team hopes to improve conditions by 2025 by enabling it to develop into a sustainable, high-tech neighborhood connected to Chicago’s urban grid.

Diagram of existing conditions on Goose Island. Image Courtesy of PORT Diagram of proposed transportation improvements for Goose Island. Image Courtesy of PORT Rendered plan of the Goose Island proposal. Image Courtesy of PORT Diagram of the Goose Island proposal. Image Courtesy of PORT

Manchester's Whitworth Art Gallery Named 2015 Museum of the Year

The acclaimed Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, northern England, has been named by the Art Fund as the 2015 Museum of the Year. The project has been hailed by the jury as "one of the great museum achievements of recent years," citing its "transformation – architecturally, curatorially, and as a destination" – as a key reason for its success. The building, which has been received well by critics, was comprehensively restored and extended by MUMA (McInnes Usher McKnight) and re-opened to the public earlier this year. Since then it has seen record-breaking visitor numbers, partly due to the appeal of the building and partly due to "the creativity and originality of its outreach programmes during closure."