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Robin Hood Gardens, Once Again, Looks Set to be Demolished

The announcement in 2012 that London's Robin Hood Gardens — Alison and Peter Smithson's world-famous Brutalist housing estate — was set to be demolished was, on the whole, met with outrage among the architectural community. Since that time, many called for the profession to act in order to protect "one of Britain’s most important post-war housing projects," which led to a fresh bid to save the scheme in March of this year. Richard Rogers, Simon Smithson (a partner at RSHP and son of Alison and Peter Smithson), and academic Dirk van den Heuvel recently called upon members of the public to voice their concerns to the UK Ministry for Culture, Media and Sport.

In spite of this, it has now been announced that the UK Heritage Minister, Tracey Crouch, "is minded to approve the Certificate of Immunity for Robin Hood Gardens" meaning that the decision not to list the residential complex in Tower Hamlets will be upheld, giving a "legal guarantee that the building or buildings named in the certificate will not be considered for listing for five years."  This will be the second certificate of this type to have been issued for this complex. According to Historic England, "a period of 28 days [beginning on the 4th August 2015] is now allowed for review before the certificate is issued."

Why Urban Planners Need to Think Twice About "Aging in Place"

In many western countries, the demographic pyramid is beginning to look inverted, as elderly populations grow and increasingly few children are born at the other end of the scale. How, asks Metropolis Magazine, does society provide for the growing ranks of the retired and newly elderly? Elderly care scandals and and discomfort with the idea of retirement communities has led to a search for ways to care for senior citizens in their own homes. Urban planning expert Deane Simpson, however, warns against accepting the idea of what he calls "aging in place" entirely uncritically: his exploration of the way current retirement communities function goes into the social motivations behind care homes and the United States' elderly communities, and discusses the future of retirement for the emerging baby-boomer generation of retirees. Read the full story over at Metropolis Magazine here.

Own a Pied-à-Terre in the Heart of Middle Earth with the "Realise Minas Tirith" Campaign

Are you looking for the perfect walled city to lay down your roots? Look no further than Minas Tirith, J.R.R. Tolkien's fictional capital of Gondor, located in mountainous and remote Middle Earth. Except, if an ambitious group of British architects get their way, it might not be fictional for much longer. With their plans to construct a replica of Minas Tirith in the non-fictional hills of southern England, the Lord of the Rings-inspired community promises to be a bustling center of activity occupied by the most diehard Middle Earth supporters. This is only possible, of course, if the founders of Realise Minas Tirith are able to fundraise £1.85 Billion ($2.86bn USD) within 60 days on Indiegogo.

ARKxSITE Announces Winners of Portugal Art Centre Competition

ARKxSITE has announced the winners of its call for ideas for a hypothetical contemporary Art Centre to be built in the Fortress of Cresmina in Cascais, Portugal. Open to architecture students and architects under 40 years of age, entrants were challenged to preserve the significant cultural, historical and landscape elements of the Fortress of Cresmina, celebrating the existing ruins to create a unique experience for visitors. The jury comprised Alberto Mottola, (demogo studio di architettura, Italy), Felipe Grallert (Felipe Grallert Arquitectos, Chile) and Rasmus Jessing (COBE, Denmark). See the third, second and first place winners after the break.

Enrique Norten Designs New Campus for Mexico City's CENTRO University

CENTRO University, a premier university for creative studies in Mexico City, will celebrate the opening of its new campus this September. Designed by TEN Arquitectos, the 5,600-square-meter campus aims to embody CENTRO's "dynamic and inclusive atmosphere" with a cluster of intersecting, LEED Platinum buildings centered around a 450-seat auditorium and public park. With an ideal mix of indoor studios and outdoor work areas, the scheme hopes to offer a variety of collaborative and stimulating learning environments. 

Open Call: British Council in Search of Proposals for 2016 Venice Biennale

The British Council has launched an open call for exhibition proposals for the British Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. The exhibition, directed by Chilean architect and Pritzker jury member Alejandro Aravena, will be about "focusing and learning from architectures that through intelligence, intuition, or both of them at the same time, are able to escape the status quo."

Expressions of interest can be submitted in the form of short concept proposals for the theme and visual language of the exhibition. "The proposals should contribute an acute observation of contemporary British architecture," says the council. "You might critically analyze architectural practice or exemplary work where architecture makes a difference. We are also interested in the means by which these observations will be expressed and communicated to a wide audience, and the discussion that they will generate between professionals and the public."

Steven Holl, Tod Williams and More Reflect on the Importance of the Emerging Voices Award

Every year, the Architectural League of New York honors the rising stars of architecture with the Emerging Voices Award, a title offered only to the most promising professionals. Long known as a predictor of long-term career success, the award has been given to architects who have later become some of the best in the world, including Steven Holl, Toshiko Mori, and Tod Williams. For a recent article entitled 10 Emerging Voices Winners on the Program's Lasting Influence, Metropolis Magazine asked some of the award's most illustrious winners to discuss how their trajectories were changed by the award, and how they changed architecture.

AIA Launches Campaign Against Unpaid Internships

The American Institute of Architects’ Center for Emerging Professionals has announced its newest campaign, called Know Your Worth, which seeks to inform “all generations of architects about the value Emerging Professionals bring to the field, and the importance of getting paid for internship hours.”

While the issue of unpaid internships in the architecture field has gradually been improving, many students and emerging professionals are still faced with the dilemma. Thus, through the campaign, the AIA hopes that it will be able to inform students, architects, and others of federal compensation requirements, as well as to instill a sense of value for emerging professionals and the important work that they do. 

Monocle 24 Explore Architectural Competitions and 'Failed Bids'

For this week's edition of The Urbanist, Monocle's weekly "guide to making better cities," the team discuss urbanism projects that were planned and never realised, what 'paper architecture' really is, and the importance of the architectural competition.

In The Urbanist, Andrew Tuck explores how a terrace of old town houses in central London (152-158 The Strand, near Somerset House) have been recently saved from demolition by the efforts of campaigning journalists and a sympathetic public. In Brazil, the yet to be seen high-speed train link between Rio di Janeiro and São Paulo meets scrutiny while in Toronto, five unsuccessful architectural bids are examined. Finally, ArchDaily Editor James Taylor-Foster visits their London studio to talk about the architectural competition, from Brunelleschi to Guggenheim and Den Bosch.

Mies van der Rohe's Lafayette Park Named National Historic Landmark

One of the first and most successful examples of urban renewal, Detroit's 78-acre Lafayette Park is known for being the world's largest collection of works by Mies van der Rohe. Now, the mid-century modern "masterpiece" is the first urban renewal project to be declared a National Historic Landmark. This is partially due to the fact that, as Ruth Mills, architectural historian for Quinn Evans Architects told the Detroit Free Press, "Lafayette Park was one of the few urban renewal projects that's done it successfully." It is now Michigan's 41st landmark.

Santiago Calatrava's Turning Torso Wins CTBUH's 10 Year Award

Rotating a full 90 degrees along nine pentagonal sections, Santiago Calatrava's "Turning Torso" was deemed the world's first twisting skyscraper upon its completion in 2005. Still Scandinavia's tallest tower, the 190-meter Malmö skyscraper has been awarded a 10 Year Award by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) for its continued valued to the surrounding area and successful performance across a number of categories, including environmental, engineering performance, vertical transport, iconography, and others.

“The Twisting Torso is one of those superb examples that went beyond the creation of a signature tower and helped shape an entirely new and invigorating urban fabric,” said Timothy Johnson, Vice Chairman, CTBUH Board of Trustees and Partner, NBBJ

Are "Public Votes" in Architecture a Bad Thing?

UNStudio’s design for a theatre in Den Bosch, the Netherlands was selected in July thanks to support from 57% of the public voters. Image © UNStudio
UNStudio’s design for a theatre in Den Bosch, the Netherlands was selected in July thanks to support from 57% of the public voters. Image © UNStudio

For decades, one of the most pressing questions surrounding architecture and urban planning has been "who gets to decide what is built?" Various systems have been tried, but one of the most popular strategies to emerge in recent years has been "The Public Vote." Thanks to the new possibilities afforded by the internet, it's becoming increasingly common to display all the entries to competitions to the public, as in the Guggenheim Helsinki competition, and even to have the public vote for their favorite, as in the recent competition to design Den Bosch's city centre theatre, or even Karim Rashid's informal poll of his Facebook followers to choose a facade for one of his designs. In some ways these approaches seem like the perfect response to years of complaints that decisions are made behind closed doors, away from the people who they affect.

Istanbul Community Market Competition Winners Announced

Competition organizer Ctrl+Space has announced the winners of its Istanbul Community Market Ideas Competition, which sought culturally relevant designs for a marketplace to be located in central Istanbul, Turkey.

Out of 138 entries, 10 finalists were selected, three of which went on to win first, second, and third prizes, reflecting the best displays of the jury’s qualifications: communication efficiency, technical quality, aesthetic quality, functionality, and relation to context. See the three winning designs, after the break.

Call for ArchDaily Interns: Fall 2015

 is looking for motivated architecture geeks to join our team of interns for Fall 2015 (September - December)! An ArchDaily internship is a great opportunity to learn about our site and get exposed to some of the latest and most interesting ideas shaping architecture today.  Read on to find out what it takes to work for the world’s most visited architecture website!

WEISS/MANFREDI to Re-envision India's US Embassy

The United States Department of State has commissioned WEISS/MANFREDI to re-envision the Edward Durell Stone-designed embassy compound in New Delhi, India. Fifty years after its opening, the masterplan hopes to "restore the early modernist Chancery Building and recast the Embassy Compound as a multi-functional 28-acre campus setting." The masterplan's first phase will see the addition of a new office annex and restore the complex's landscape. 

Kengo Kuma Designs Cultural Village for Portland Japanese Garden

Plans have been unveiled for Kengo Kuma's first public commission in the US. The Portland Japanese Garden has commissioned Kuma to design a new "Cultural Village" to accommodate the garden's growing popularity.

Based off the Japanese tradition of monzenmachi (gate-front towns), where activity exists just outside the gates of shrines and cultural sites, the village will provide a "free-flowing" courtyard space for events and educational activities, as well as multi-purpose classrooms, galleries, a library, tea cafe, and more. In addition to this, a new visitor entrance will be built on an existing site at the bottom of the hillside site on Kingston Avenue, just on the outskirts of downtown Portland

"The Portland Japanese Garden's careful growth is a very important cultural effort, not only for Portland but also for the US and Japan," said Kuma in a press release.

How The Architectural League Gave a Platform to 30 Years of Emerging Voices

Since 1982, The Architectural League of New York's Emerging Voices awards have helped to launch hundreds of careers and consistently picked out the best and brightest in architecture. To highlight the release of a new anthology of the work of Emerging Voices' luminaries, Metropolis Magazine spoke with the League’s director, Rosalie Genevro, and the program director, Anne Rieselbach, about the mission of the Emerging Voices awards. The interview covers the changing criteria and contexts of the awards, adapting to a new form of voice in the information age and some of the award's most successful alumni. Read the full interview, including inside information on how the selection process works, over at Metropolis Magazine here.

As WeWork Acquires CASE, the Future of Office Design May Start Today

"Buildings shouldn't just be a place where you go to do stuff. How can we enable the buildings themselves to be a positive contributor to the activities that happen within them?"

This is how David Fano, co-founder of New York consultancy CASE, explained the logic behind their acquisition by WeWork, the company that provides flexible coworking spaces for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Announced today, the merger could potentially mark a new chapter in the field of office design, as CASE proposes to bring their trademark attitude to Building Information Modeling (BIM) and other cutting edge technology to every space developed by WeWork.

Find out how this acquisition could change the face of Office design after the break.

WeWork's Offices in New York's Meatpacking District. Image Courtesy of WeWork WeWork's Offices at South Lake Union in Seattle. Image Courtesy of WeWork WeWork's Offices in Soho, New York. Image Courtesy of WeWork South Station Conference Room at WeWork's offices in Boston. Image Courtesy of WeWork