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BIG Unveils Design For Battersea Power Station Square

BIG has unveiled the design for their addition to the development at Battersea Power Station, a public square that will link the power station itself with the Electric Boulevard development designed by Norman Foster and Frank Gehry. Called Malaysia Square after the Malaysian development consortium behind the plans, the design features cascading steps that link the main public space at the lower level with the entrance to the power station above. The split-level design also provides for two pedestrian bridges and a road bridge that cross above the "urban canyon" of the public square.

Warming Huts v.2015 Competition Winners

A “blind” jury has announced the 2015 winners of the international Warming Huts competition. Selected from 100 entries, two winning “shelter” designs and one “installation” design were awarded. Each winning proposal will be constructed in January alongside the longest naturally frozen skating trail in the world: the Red River Mutual Rivertrail in Winnipeg, Canada. More about the winning designs, and four other highlighted proposals, after the break.

Kimmelman Reviews the One WTC: An Emblem of New York’s “Upside-Down Priorities”

Nearly a month since the official (and somewhat mundane) opening of New York’s One World Trade Center, New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman has published a scathing review of the SOM-designed tower, claiming it to be a “flawed” emblem of the city’s “upside-down priorities.”

Will Shimizu Corporation's Futuristic Deep-Sea City Concept Sink or Swim?

"Now is the time for us to create a new interface with the deep sea, the earth’s final frontier," says a brochure from Japanese development company Shimizu Corporation, presenting their outlandish proposal for the Ocean Spiral: a deep sea colony that can supposedly provide for up to 5,000 people in its 500m wide tethered sphere.

The proposal describes the Ocean Spiral as "safer and more comfortable" than existing land-based cities, thanks to the near constant temperature enabled by the ocean, the fact that it will be unaffected by typhoons or earthquakes, and the hope that the city's methods of oxygen generation will enable higher concentrations of oxygen then are found in the Earth's atmosphere.

Courtesy of Shimizu Corporation Courtesy of Shimizu Corporation Courtesy of Shimizu Corporation Courtesy of Shimizu Corporation

Aranguren & Gallegos to Design Museum for ICA Miami

Madrid-based Aranguren & Gallegos Arquitectos has been tapped to design their first US project, a permanent museum building for the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA Miami). The 37,500-square-foot building, planned to open in time for Art Basel 2016 on Northeast 41st Street in Miami’s Design District, will feature three stories of exhibition space and a 15,000-square-foot sculpture garden. Final designs will be released in early 2015. Groundbreaking is expected to occur in the summer 2015.

Six 'Cathedrals of Culture' Tell Their Stories in New 3D Film

If buildings could talk, what would they say about us? Cathedrals of Culture, a six part collection of films recently premiered at this year's Berlin International Film Festival, "offers six startling responses to this question". The project, filmed entirely in 3D, allows "six iconic and very different buildings to speak for themselves, examining human life from the unblinking perspective of a manmade structure". 

The Latest 99% Invisible Podcast Will Have You on the “Edge of Your Seat”

“A Chair is a difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier.” – Mies van der Rohe

In his latest 99% Invisible podcast, Roman Mars takes listeners to the edge of their seats (literally), as he tackles one of design’s unique challenges: the chair. From Van der Rohe to Gehry, Hadid, Libeskind and Corbusier, “if they’ve designed a big building, chances are they’ve designed a thing on which to sit,” begins Mars. Yet the complexity of chair design comes from the fact that a chair “disappears when in use...Chairs need to look fantastic when empty, and remain invisible (and comfortable) while in use,” states Mars. And with numerous recent studies showing the negative impacts of sitting too much, innovative chair design is now more important than ever.  

Listen to the full podcast and check out some well-known chairs designed by architects after the break. 

Farshid Moussavi on Style, Function, and Physical Space

In an era in which architectural style is constantly recycled and reinterpreted, how do we know which ideas are original and which characteristics reveal deeper functions? In a recent article by Rowan Moore from The Guardian, architect Farshid Moussavi discusses fashion, function, and physical space as they relate to the concepts of her latest book The Functions of Style, which examines style in architecture beyond external appearance with a belief that style is rooted in a building's organizational ideas. Consequently, says Moore, each of Moussavi’s works are unique and do not rely on repeating trademark artistic moves. To learn more about how Moussavi’s philosophy is embodied in her most recent works, along with her belief in the power of physical space in a virtual world, read the full article on The Observer here

Meet Archibald, a Cartoon Architect Who Never Gets His Way

"Hey dad, when can I become an architect?" says Archie, son of eternally-frustrated architect Archibald, an animated architect  who rarely wins an argument. "Architecture is not a final destination in time, it's a journey through life," Archibald says. His son's response: "Great! I love traveling! When can I buy the tickets?"

"arch." is a weekly online cartoon series by Mike Hermans, an Antwerp-based architect-cartoonist, that follows Archibald through the struggles architects know all-too-well: uncooperative models, angry clients, and periodic encounters with Tarzan, the jungle king. Archibald is a self-professed "visionary and romantic dreamer," while his business partner Gerald is the anti-creative in a constant struggle to ground Archibald's ideas in reality (hint: it doesn't go well). In "arch." study models have lives of their own, resisting modifications by the architect in favour of their own changes while meddlesome interns and junior architects attempt their own project modifications. Frank Gehry even makes a cameo appearance. 

Watch the mini-series in full after the break

The 2014 Venice Biennale, Socially Ranked

At a time when everyone is constantly interacting with the digital social universe, it's becoming increasingly easier to gather informal data on how well received, recommended, liked (or disliked) an event or exhibition is. Compiled as a series of diagrams for DomusMaria Novozhilova examines the 'social ranking' of the 2014 Venice Biennale by dissecting the three core exhibitions (Fundamentals, Monditalia and Absorbing Modernity) and revealing the apparent 'winners and losers' as far as social engagement is concerned. Noting that "it is only by starting from the end and working backwards, like a salmon swimming against the current, that we can see more exhaustively how things went,", Novozhilova's visualisations reveal a number of fascinating results. See all the diagrams here.

The Berlage Archive: Leon Krier (2010)

In this lecture, Leon Krier expounds upon his decades-long critique of modernist urbanism and design. Using his experiences planning and building the town of Poundbury, England as a lens for viewing contemporary planning practice, he compares modernist and classicist theory in their approaches to zoning and building construction.

1024’s “Vortex” Installation Unites Environmental Analysis and Art

Paris-based firm 1024 architecture has created Vortex, a generative light sculpture located within the Darwin Ecosystem Project’s green building in Bordeaux, France. The “architectural fragment” consists of scaffolding, raw wood, and twelve lines of LED light. With colored LED lights appearing to shoot across the structure, a new spatial experience is created, which also informs viewers about energy consumption within the building.

Learn more about the structure and 1024 architecture after the break.

Courtesy of 1024 architecture Courtesy of 1024 architecture Courtesy of 1024 architecture Courtesy of 1024 architecture

Video: The Latest Development at the 2015 Milan Expo Site Revealed with a Drone

The 2015 Milan Expo has been keeping architecture fans in the loop with "Belvedere in Città," its continuing series of videos filmed with the help of a drone. Since our update last month, two new videos have been released - and now that the recognizable forms of the pavilions are starting to emerge, the videos include labels for each feature of the expo site. With the help of these new videos it is easy to see the forms of highly-touted pavilions such as Libeskind's Vanke Pavilion, or Nemesi & Partners' smog-eating pavilion for Italy, gradually taking shape around the twin axes of the "cardo" and "decumanus," an ancient Roman planning tool borrowed for the site's masterplan by Jacques Herzog, Mark Rylander, Ricky Burdett, Stefano Boeri, and . Read on after the break for the second video, and screenshots of the construction works.

Video Screenshot Video Screenshot Video Screenshot Video Screenshot

Latest New Yorker Cover Addresses Ferguson Rift With Saarinen's Iconic Arch

With their latest cover, The New Yorker is addressing the tragic unrest in Ferguson which has followed Monday's decision not to indict the officer who shot Michael Brown in August, using an image of Eero Saarinen's iconic Gateway Arch. The image, designed by Bob Staake, shows the arch divided, black on one side and white on the other in reference to the racial tensions that underpin the dispute. "At first glance, one might see a representation of the Gateway Arch as split and divided," says Staake, "but my hope is that the events in Ferguson will provide a bridge and an opportunity for the city." To read more about the ideas behind Staake's design, visit The New Yorker's website.

Feast Your Eyes On These Stunning Kitchens

As many of our U.S. readers prepare for their Thanksgiving feast, we’ve decided to share with you one of the things we are most thankful for: stunning kitchens and the architects behind them. Continue reading after the break to view a compilation of kitchens we wouldn’t mind spending our day cooking (and eating) in. 

Pit House / UID Architects © Koji Fujii / Nacasa & Partners Nevis Pool and Garden Pavilion / Robert M. Gurney, FAIA Architect © Maxwell MacKenzie The Shadow House / Liddicoat & Goldhill © Keith Collie Transformation d'un Atelier en Loft / NZI Architectes © Juane Sepulveda

Rogers Stirk Harbour’s Geneva Airport Design Receives Planning Permission

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ (RSHP) design for the Geneva airport’s East Wing has received planning permission from the Federal Authorities in Switzerland. The 520 meter-long facility will connect to the airport’s existing terminal and includes additional Departures and Arrivals halls, contact stands and gate lounge seating as well as first class airlines lounges and technical basements, according to a press release.

Cause Of Glasgow's Mackintosh School Of Art Fire Revealed

The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) have revealed the unfortunate series of events that led to the school's iconic Mackintosh library, alongside a large collection of student work and archives, devastated in a fire in May of this year. According to BDOnline, who have spoken with Tom Inns (Director of the GSA), "final-year students were setting up their degree show projects in the basement and holes in some pre-built foam panels were being filled with the spray foam."

The flammable gas used as a propellant in the canister was sucked into [a nearby] projector’s cooling fan, setting it alight. A foam panel directly behind the projector then quickly also caught light. "The flames quickly spread to timber panelling and through voids around the basement studio and then into the library two floors above and up through the rest of Mackintosh’s 1909 masterpiece." To add insult to injury, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) reported that "a fire suppression system was in the latter stages of installation at the time of the fire but was not operational."

Gehry Sides with MAD, Defends Lucas Museum from Critics

With criticism forcing progress on MAD’s “mountainous” Lucas Museum to come to a standstill, Frank Gehry has released a statement on the Chicago Tribune urging critics to “take the proper time to review” the museum before dismissing it. 

“Chicago is a great city for architecture and has historically supported innovative, forward-looking work. There is a natural impulse to deride a project in the early stages of design, particularly one that has a new shape or expression. This is not a new concept,” says Gehry, citing that both the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and Los Angeles Walt Disney Concert Hall were shrouded in criticism before becoming “great assets to their mutual cities.”