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Winners Announced in Competition to Design Cultural Square in Seoul

06:00 - 23 October, 2015
Winners Announced in Competition to Design Cultural Square in Seoul, Seoul Chronicle. Image Courtesy of Sejongdaero Competition
Seoul Chronicle. Image Courtesy of Sejongdaero Competition

The winners of the Sejongdaero Competition to masterplan the former National Tax Service building site in SeoulKorea have been announced. The competition called for entries that not only addressed the site, but also the underground area of Sejongdaero and the old city area of Seoul. The jury was looking specifically for entries that addressed the many layers of culture and history in the area, promoting a new vision for the future.

After receiving 80 entries from 20 countries; first, second and third places, as well as 10 honourable mentions were awarded. See the three finalists along with the jury’s comments after the break.

Time Connector. Image Courtesy of Sejongdaero Competition Seoul Living Room. Image  Time Connector. Image Courtesy of Sejongdaero Competition Seoul Chronicle. Image Courtesy of Sejongdaero Competition +15

LOBBY #3: Meaningful Defiance in a Disengaged Culture

04:00 - 23 October, 2015
© Anna Andersen / Regner Ramos
© Anna Andersen / Regner Ramos

'Defiance' manifests itself in many forms: riots in Baltimore, makeshift housing in Rwanda, Pink Floyd in Venice and plants growing where they ought not sprout. To defy the norm is an act of rebellion and in architecture, doubly so. In the third issue of LOBBY, the burgeoning magazine from London's Bartlett School of Architecture, the notion of defiance and its incarnations are investigated in a collection of essays, interviews and discussions with leading and emerging thinkers in urbanism and architecture. From Swiss master Mario Botta to Carme Pinós, former partner to Enric Miralles, this latest LOBBY investigates the act of defiance as a core tenet of architectural practice.

© Anna Andersen / Regner Ramos © Anna Andersen / Regner Ramos © Anna Andersen / Regner Ramos © Anna Andersen / Regner Ramos +15

Yasser Elsheshtawy to Curate UAE Pavilion at 2016 Venice Biennale

16:00 - 22 October, 2015
Yasser Elsheshtawy to Curate UAE Pavilion at 2016 Venice Biennale, "Lest We Forget" - UAE's Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014. Image © Nico Saieh
"Lest We Forget" - UAE's Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014. Image © Nico Saieh

UAEU professor Yasser Elsheshtawy has been appointed to curate the United Arab Emirates' participation at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Elsheshtawy plans to work with a group of selected interns on an exhibition that will reflect the UAE's contribution to the advancement of architecture and culture. A theme for the exhibition has yet to be announced. 

3D Ocean Farm Creator Wins 2015 Buckminster Fuller Challenge

14:22 - 22 October, 2015
3D Ocean Farm Creator Wins 2015 Buckminster Fuller Challenge, © GreenWave
© GreenWave

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." - R. Buckminster Fuller

The Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) has announced GreenWave as the winner of its 2015 Fuller Challenge - "Socially-Responsible Design's Highest Award." The non-profit is responsible for designing the world's first multi-species 3D ocean farms with the intent to "restore ocean ecosystems and create jobs in coastal communities by transforming fishers into restorative ocean farmers."

Curatorial Team Selected for British Pavilion at 2016 Venice Biennale

10:55 - 22 October, 2015
Curatorial Team Selected for British Pavilion at 2016 Venice Biennale, 2016 Curatorial Team, British Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale (L-R) Shumi Bose, Jack Self, Finn Williams. Image © British Council
2016 Curatorial Team, British Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale (L-R) Shumi Bose, Jack Self, Finn Williams. Image © British Council

Shumi Bose, Jack Self and Finn Williams have been selected to curate the British Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale - "Reporting from the Front." Chosen by the British Council for their proposal "Home Economics," the team will "explore the future of the home through a series of full-scale domestic interiors." 

Home Economics addresses the frontline of British architecture: the family home," says the winning team. "The exhibition will ask urgent questions about the future of housing. Social and technological changes are collapsing the patterns of domestic life - but the design of the home hasn't caught up. Can the house ever escape its economic status as an asset? Should our homes still be considered private spaces? How do new types of families and households produce new spatial needs? What are the models of ownership, finance and work that make these conditions possible?"

Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Designs Low-Income Housing Prototypes in Mozambique

06:00 - 22 October, 2015
Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Designs Low-Income Housing Prototypes in Mozambique, © Johan Mottelson
© Johan Mottelson

The Department of Human Settlements at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts' School of Architecture, Design, and Conservation has developed a new low-income housing prototype for Maputo, Mozambique in southeast Africa as part of the Casas Melhoradas research project. The prototype reinterprets the area’s traditional “Casa de Madeira e Zinco,” which is made of wood and corrugated iron sheets, and the "Casa de Blocos," which is composed of concrete blocks.  

Florence's Museum of the Opera del Duomo set to Reopen to the Public

04:30 - 22 October, 2015
The 'Pietà' Room. Image © Antonio Quattrone
The 'Pietà' Room. Image © Antonio Quattrone

The new Florentine museum of the Opera del Duomo, affiliated to the city's cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, is set to reopen its doors to the public next week following years of restoration and reconstruction. 6000 square metres of exhibition space, designed by Adolfo Natalini and Guicciardini & Magni architetti, will house the largest collection of Florentine medieval and Renaissance sculpture in the world, including pieces by Donatello, Michelangelo (the Florentine Pietà), Andrea Pisano, Lorenzo Ghiberti (Gates of Paradise), and Luca della Robbia. It will also exhibit fifteen 14th century statues and almost seventy fragments from the cathedral's original medieval façade.

Read Monsignor Timothy Verdon's, Director of the Opera, narrative of the new spaces after the break.

SHoP's Vishaan Chakrabarti Launches New Practice Dedicated to Cities

14:30 - 21 October, 2015
SHoP's Vishaan Chakrabarti Launches New Practice Dedicated to Cities, Vishaan Chakrabarti discussing his book, "A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America". Image © Tina Gao, Columbia University GSAPP
Vishaan Chakrabarti discussing his book, "A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America". Image © Tina Gao, Columbia University GSAPP

Former SHoP partner, scholar, author and urbanist Vishaan Chakrabarti has announced the creation of Partnership for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU), a new practice focused on the "advancement of cities through cosmopolitan architecture and strategically innovative urban planning." As founder and CEO, Chakrabarti will lead the New York City-based firm with a mission "to create an ecological network of empowered citizens, generous buildings, discursive public space, strong infrastructure and a thriving urban environment."

PAU's first client will be Sidewalk Labs, a new urban innovation company funded by Google that seeks to solve urban issues through the application of technology.

Researchers Develop Smart Window Coating That Controls Light and Heat Transmission Independently

14:00 - 21 October, 2015
Researchers Develop Smart Window Coating That Controls Light and Heat Transmission Independently, © ACS Publications via Interesting Engineering
© ACS Publications via Interesting Engineering

In an era when both environmental comfort and sustainability are key concerns in architecture, the tendency to cover buildings entirely in glass is among the most criticized and controversial traits of contemporary architecture, as all-glass buildings often guzzle energy thanks to their demanding cooling and heating requirements. Over the years, a number of fixes for this problem have been attempted, including smart glass solutions that allow users to modify the transparency of the window. The problem with this solution, however, is that smart glass is unable to block infrared (heat) transmission without ruining the very thing that makes glass attractive in the first place: its transparency to visible light. That conundrum may soon be a thing of the past, though. As reported by Phys.org, a team of researchers at the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a new smart window technology that allows users to selectively control the transmission of light and heat to suit their requirements.

Renzo Piano Designs New Skyscraper for London

12:43 - 21 October, 2015
Renzo Piano Designs New Skyscraper for London , © RPBW
© RPBW

Plans have been unveiled for a "skinny Shard" in London's Paddington area. Designed by Renzo Piano, the 65-story skyscraper is the focus of a £1 billion plan aimed at revitalizing the "soulless" district.

"At the moment you only go to Paddington for two reasons - to catch a train or to see someone in hospital. It is soulless and has no life and yet it is only five minutes from Hyde Park and seven or eight minutes from Marble Arch," Sellar Property Group chairman Irvine Sellar told Evening Standard. "It is a fantastic location but it is stuck in a Fifties time-warp. We intend to create a place for people to go, where they will want to live, work, eat and shop."

September ABI Returns to Positive Territory

12:00 - 21 October, 2015
September ABI Returns to Positive Territory , September ABI 2015 . Image © CalculatedRiskBlog.com
September ABI 2015 . Image © CalculatedRiskBlog.com

After a slight contraction in August, the September Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has returned to positive territory. As the American Institute of Architects (AIA) reports, the September ABI score was 53.7, up from a mark of 49.1. The new projects inquiry index was 61.0, down from a reading of 61.8 the previous month.

“Aside from uneven demand for design services in the Northeast, all regions are project sectors are in good shape,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. “Areas of concern are shifting to supply issues for the industry, including volatility in building materials costs, a lack of a deep enough talent pool to keep up with demand, as well as a lack of contractors to execute design work.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break. 

These Children's Playhouses Mimic Contemporary Japanese Architecture

06:00 - 21 October, 2015
These Children's Playhouses Mimic Contemporary Japanese Architecture, via Etsy © SmartPlayhouse
via Etsy © SmartPlayhouse

Barcelona-based designer David Lamolla of SmartPlayhouse creates children’s playhouses based on contemporary architecture styles, aiming to create fun spaces for children that are also sculptural elements for the garden. His Kyoto playhouse series is inspired by minimalist Japanese architecture, taking on a form reminiscent of Toyo Ito’s Mikimoto Ginza 2 building. 

Stevens' Hurricane-Resilient SU+RE House Wins Solar Decathlon 2015

16:05 - 20 October, 2015
Stevens' Hurricane-Resilient SU+RE House Wins Solar Decathlon 2015, © Thomas Kelsey / U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon
© Thomas Kelsey / U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

A student-led team from Stevens Institute of Technology (SIT) in New Jersey has won the 2015 Solar Decathlon with a “Coastal Home of the Future" - the SU+RE House. Affordable, net-zero, and entirely solar-powered, the home was inspired by the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. It hopes to serve as a prototype for coastal homes.

"SU+RE HOUSE powers itself with clean solar power, and uses 90 percent less energy than its conventional cousins," says the winning team. "In the aftermath of a storm, SU+RE HOUSE can become a hub of emergency power for surrounding neighborhoods."

Wilkinson Eyre Selected to Design Australia's Second Tallest Tower

14:05 - 20 October, 2015
Wilkinson Eyre Selected to Design Australia's Second Tallest Tower, © Wilkinson Eyre
© Wilkinson Eyre

Wilkinson Eyre Architects has won an international competition to design Australia's second tallest tower. The proposed Queensbridge Hotel Tower, planned for Melbourne’s Southbank area, will be comprised of a 388-room luxury hotel and 680 apartments, as well as ground floor retail and rooftop garden terrace. As BDOnline reports, the winning scheme will rise 317-meters - just five meters shy of the country's tallest building: Q1 on the Gold Coast. Pending approval, it is scheduled for completion in 2020. 

Daniel Libeskind Discusses "Building Memory"

03:58 - 20 October, 2015
Daniel Libeskind Discusses "Building Memory", Daniel Libeskind (2015). Image © Stefan Ruiz
Daniel Libeskind (2015). Image © Stefan Ruiz

In this edition of Section DMonocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, David Plaisant speaks to Daniel Libeskind about the art and architecture of memory, with particular focus on his designs for his Ground Zero Masterplan and memorial in New York City. The show also discusses plans to transform John F. Kennedy airport's iconic TWA Terminal, and head to Singapore to meet the team at Ministry of Design.

WOHA and Liminal Architecture to Design Performing Arts Building in Tasmania

16:00 - 19 October, 2015
WOHA and Liminal Architecture to Design Performing Arts Building in Tasmania  , Creative Industries and Performing Arts Development. Image Courtesy of Liminal Architecture
Creative Industries and Performing Arts Development. Image Courtesy of Liminal Architecture

Liminal Architecture is partnering with WOHA and Arup Acoustics and Theatre on a new cultural and performance development for the University of Tasmania. Planned for the corner of Campbell and Collins Streets in Hobart, the building will envelope the existing Theater Royal and create a backdrop to the historic Hedberg Garage.

So far only one image of the schematic design has been released, revealing a porous structure that will, as the architect's describe, "evoke a sense of the activities happening within."

Breaking Ground: Steven Holl Architects Celebrates 8 Projects Currently Under Construction

11:30 - 19 October, 2015
Breaking Ground: Steven Holl Architects Celebrates 8 Projects Currently Under Construction, Visual Arts Building, University of Iowa. Image © Chris McVoy
Visual Arts Building, University of Iowa. Image © Chris McVoy

It is no secret that, in the last 10 years, a majority of the big budget construction projects have been centered in newly emerging world markets like China. But now, the markets may be turning. Steven Holl Architects is a strong example of this trend: with the groundbreaking of the Glassell School of Art in Houston on the 15th, the firm now has 8 projects under construction in the western world - 7 in the United States, and one in the United Kingdom. Owing to the steady strengthening of the US dollar over recent years, clients seem to be investing in high ticket architecture once again. After completing projects abroad such as the Sliced Porosity Block in Chengdu, and Nanjing’s Sifang Art Museum, Holl will now be working in cities like Richmond, Iowa City, New York and London.

Holl’s recent work also reflects a change in design scale. In projects such as the Linked Hybrid in Beijing and the Vanke Center/Horizontal Skyscraper in Shenzhen, design began at the urban level, resulting in inward-looking superstructures. In the firm’s return to the west, projects are usually designed as an object or extension of an existing environment, such as in their expansion project for the Kennedy Center. The reduced sense of scale is also evident in the square-footage in some of their recent designs, including a residence to be built at under 1000 square feet.

Visual Arts Building, University of Iowa. Image © Chris McVoy Maggie's Centre. Image © Steven Holl Architects Model of Hunter's Point Community Library. Image © Steven Holl Architects Hunter's Point Community Library. Exterior Concrete Mockup. Image © Steven Holl Architects +47

"It's Just the Beginning" — 'Real Review' Kickstarter Campaign Hits Milestone

04:55 - 19 October, 2015
"It's Just the Beginning" — 'Real Review' Kickstarter Campaign Hits Milestone, Editors Jack Self and Shumi Bose, and designers Oliver Knight and Rory McGrath (OK-RM). Image © REAL
Editors Jack Self and Shumi Bose, and designers Oliver Knight and Rory McGrath (OK-RM). Image © REAL

A Kickstarter campaign recently launched by Jack Self and Shumi Bose of the Real Estate Architecture Laboratory (REAL) has reached its funding target in only twenty days. Produced by an independent team of editors and designers, this bi-monthly magazine intends to "revive the review as a writing form" to a general readership within the architectural sphere and its orbital subjects, with a particular focus on politics and economics. Their campaign has so far seen considerable support from the architectural community and beyond — testament to their 'no-ads policy' and dedication to paying their contributors.

In a statement to those who have pledged so far, the editors have said that "the Real Review will happen, and it is directly and completely due to your commitment, your vision and your generosity. We can’t thank you enough for getting us here!" They are now looking to surpass this crowdfunded milestone, with Kickstarter remaining the only way to subscribe.

2015 Leading Culture Destinations Awards Announced

16:00 - 18 October, 2015
2015 Leading Culture Destinations Awards Announced , Museum of Modern Art; New York, United States of America. Image Courtesy of The Leading Culture Destinations Awards
Museum of Modern Art; New York, United States of America. Image Courtesy of The Leading Culture Destinations Awards

The winners of the 2015 Leading Culture Destinations Awards have been announced at a ceremony in London. The Awards recognize the success of “museums, art organizations, and cultural destinations from around the world [that] are investing in iconic architecture, cross-sector collaborations, [and] audacious programming […] to diversify the experiences offered to visitors and establish their global reputations.”

This year’s Awards honored the Museum of Modern Art in New York City as the leading cultural destination of the year.

The winners of the 2015 Leading Culture Destinations Awards are:

Knight Foundation Offers $5 Million to Realize Ideas to Improve Cities Across the US

16:00 - 17 October, 2015
Knight Foundation Offers $5 Million to Realize Ideas to Improve Cities Across the US, Courtesy of The Knight Foundation
Courtesy of The Knight Foundation

The Knight Foundation has announced their second Knight Cities Challenge – a grant with a pool of $5 million to be awarded for city-improving ideas. Applications can be submitted by anyone, professional, student or amateur. Projects must take place in, or benefit one or more of the 26 knight communities across the United States, and focus on one or all of three key drivers of city success: attracting and retaining talent, expanding economic opportunity, and creating a culture of robust civic engagement.

9 Aesop Stores that Revitalize Architectural Simplicity

14:00 - 17 October, 2015
9 Aesop Stores that Revitalize Architectural Simplicity, Aesop Prisensgate, Oslo / Snøhetta . Image Courtesy of Aesop
Aesop Prisensgate, Oslo / Snøhetta . Image Courtesy of Aesop

Australia-based cosmetics company Aesop is clearly dedicated to design. Over the years, the company has worked with architects such as Snøhetta, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, Torafu, and Ilse Crawford to create unique stores around the world. 

To pay "tribute to the creative processes, materials and features" that characterize each of its store designs, Aesop has a launched a new website called Taxonomy of Design. Inspired by the compendium, we’ve rounded up some of the best Aesop store designs, each of which is distinctly developed, largely by local designers who are inspired by the location of the store. Read on for nine Aesop shops that revitalize architectural simplicity.

"A Folly For London" Pokes Serious Fun at London's Architectural Troubles

08:00 - 17 October, 2015
"A Folly For London" Pokes Serious Fun at London's Architectural Troubles, The Green Fire of London. Image Courtesy of A Folly for London
The Green Fire of London. Image Courtesy of A Folly for London

London is in the throes of an architectural identity crisis, compounded by a severe shortage of housing. While politicians and public figures debate various solutions to the city's design dilemmas, a London-based artist has conceived of a "satirical competition for architecture of the absurd." Known as A Folly for London, the free open-call for solutions to London's architectural conundrums was created in response to Arup and Heatherwick Studio's proposal for the yet to be built, and highly controversial, Garden Bridge

Unlike traditional architectural competitions, A Folly for London sought to ignite debate on the current state of architecture in London. Presented with a distinctly British sense of humour, the competition received more than fifty entries. Winning proposals include the systematic burning of London's forests, construction of a massive inhabitable light bulb and the creation of a catacomb of submerged signature double-decker buses at the centre of the River Thames.

See the winners of "A Folly for London" after the break

The Bulb. Image Courtesy of A Folly for London The Green Fire of London. Image Courtesy of A Folly for London The Bulb. Image Courtesy of A Folly for London Floating Tidal Exploded Bus Maze. Image Courtesy of A Folly for London +7

TFP Farrells Selected to Design New Financial Center in Xiamen

16:00 - 16 October, 2015
TFP Farrells Selected to Design New Financial Center in Xiamen, Courtesy of TFP Farrells
Courtesy of TFP Farrells

TFP Farrells have been selected by Winland Group in an international competition to design "the pioneer project of an emerging financial district," the Xiamen Cross Strait Financial Center. Located on the eastern coast of Xiamen Island, the 500,000 square meter project will comprise four high-rise towers containing office buildings, a serviced apartment tower, a 5-star hotel and retail space.

Courtesy of TFP Farrells Courtesy of TFP Farrells Courtesy of TFP Farrells Courtesy of TFP Farrells +8

Bringing Design to a Broad Audience: The 7th New York Architecture and Design Film Festival

12:00 - 16 October, 2015
Bringing Design to a Broad Audience: The 7th New York Architecture and Design Film Festival, Still from "Concrete Love" showing Gottfried Böhm's Neviges Mariendom. Image Courtesy of New York Architecture & Design Film Festival
Still from "Concrete Love" showing Gottfried Böhm's Neviges Mariendom. Image Courtesy of New York Architecture & Design Film Festival

October has become a busy month in the design world. If you’re living in the United States, New York specifically, it means Archtober: a portmanteau that means the city is flooded with architecture activities, programs and exhibitions, piled onto an already rich design calendar. One of these events is the New York Architecture & Design Film Festival, which started on Tuesday night and runs through Sunday October 18th, and will screen 30 films from around the world in 15 curated, themed programs.

This week, I was able to visit the festival to absorb the atmosphere and speak to the festival's director Kyle Bergman, to learn the ins and outs of this year’s festival, how things got started, and where it will go in the future.