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Janet Echelman Suspends Net Sculpture Over London's Oxford Circus

12:00 - 15 January, 2016
Janet Echelman Suspends Net Sculpture Over London's Oxford Circus, 1.8 London, Janet Echelman, Lumiere London 2016, produced by Artichoke, supported by the Mayor of London. Image © Ema Peter
1.8 London, Janet Echelman, Lumiere London 2016, produced by Artichoke, supported by the Mayor of London. Image © Ema Peter

London is the latest city to host one of Janet Echelman's stunning net sculptures. Suspended 180 feet above Oxford Circus, the city's busiest intersections, the colorful floating form was inspired by 1.8 - "the length of time in microseconds that the earth’s day was shortened" as a result of Japan's devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami. 

"The sculpture’s form was inspired by data sets of the tsunami’s wave heights rippling across the entire Pacific Ocean," says the studio. "The artwork delves into content related to our complex interdependencies with larger cycles of time and our physical world. The sculpture’s net structure is a physical manifestation of interconnectedness – when any one element moves, every other element is affected."

Winners of ArchDaily + IIDEXCanada Virtual Spaces Competition Announced

08:00 - 15 January, 2016
Winners of ArchDaily + IIDEXCanada Virtual Spaces Competition Announced , © Aysu Aysoy
© Aysu Aysoy

Aysu Aysoy and Roman Hajtmanek have been announced as the winners of the ArchDaily + IIDEXCanada Virtual Spaces Competition, which sought proposals for un-built, fantastical spaces. The designs were then developed into virtual spaces by Invent Dev as a part of a virtual reality exhibition at IIDEXCanada. 

Learn more about both of the winners, after the break.

STUDIOKCA’s NASA Orbit Pavilion Lets Visitors Listen to the “Sounds of Space”

06:00 - 15 January, 2016
© David Delgado / NASA JPL
© David Delgado / NASA JPL

Based on the concept of listening to the sounds of the ocean inside a shell, STUDIOKCA, commissioned by NASA, has created the NASA Orbit Pavilion to immerse visitors in the sounds of satellites orbiting in outer space.

The traveling, nautilus-shaped pavilion provides a space in which to experience the trajectories of 19 satellites orbiting Earth. Made with 3,500 square feet of water-jet cut aluminum panels, the pavilion is "scribed with over 100 'orbital paths' fitted together and bolted to a curved framework of aluminum tubes."

Elon Musk's Ultra-Fast Hyperloop Begins to Take Shape

14:00 - 14 January, 2016
Elon Musk's Ultra-Fast Hyperloop Begins to Take Shape, © CNN Money
© CNN Money

Hyperloop Technologies is starting to realize its high-speed transit system. As Tech.Mic reports, pipes for the project's first test tube are showing up in Nevada. Hyperloop was first outlined by Elon Musk in 2013 as a response to California's pricey bullet train plan that aim to connect Los Angeles to San Francisco. The ultra-fast, energy efficient Hyperloop proposes to send pods of people through a depressurized tube at speeds up to 700 miles-per-hour. It is believed that the new system could be running as soon as 2020. 

JSC Witholds Payment from Zaha Hadid in Exchange for Copyright Release

11:55 - 14 January, 2016
JSC Witholds Payment from Zaha Hadid in Exchange for Copyright Release, Zaha Hadid's design. Image © Japan Sport Council
Zaha Hadid's design. Image © Japan Sport Council

Zaha Hadid is facing new hurdles regarding her scrapped Tokyo National Stadium design; according to the architect, the Japan Sport Council (JSC) is withholding an overdue payment until ZHA agrees to relinquish ownership of their original designs. 

After working on the design for more than two years, the British practice was decommissioned from the project over cost objections last summer. Since, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has been reassigned the project, offering a design that ZHA says is suspiciously similar to their original proposal "in the structure, layout and numerous elements."

Now, the JSC has requested ZHA agrees to new "Compliance Rules" that would allow the stadium's new architect to "use any product of work ... regardless of its copyright."

Giancarlo Mazzanti’s “Speaking Architecture” Exhibit at The Chicago Biennial Gives a Voice to the Visitors

08:00 - 14 January, 2016
Giancarlo Mazzanti’s “Speaking Architecture” Exhibit at The Chicago Biennial Gives a Voice to the Visitors, © El Equipo de Mazzanti
© El Equipo de Mazzanti

In response to the question posed by the curators of the Chicago Architecture Biennial – what is The State of the Art of Architecture today? -- Colombian firm El Equipo de Mazzanti (Giancarlo Mazzanti) developed their exhibition “Speaking Architecture,” which looks at architecture as “a living process rather than a finished and static object.”

3 Winners Announced in Finland’s “From Border to Home” Competition

06:00 - 14 January, 2016
3 Winners Announced in Finland’s “From Border to Home” Competition, Courtesy of Museum of Finnish Architecture
Courtesy of Museum of Finnish Architecture

The Museum of Finnish Architecture, in collaboration with the Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA), has announced the winners of its “From Border to Home” competition, which sought solutions for temporary housing seekers who are awaiting a decision on their refugee status, prior to finding more permanent housing in Finland. Ninety-three entries were submitted from countries around the world including Finland, Sweden, Norway, China, Belarus, the United States, and Brazil, among others. Submitted proposals included solutions that would provide a positive social impact, and also support future ideas about long-term living arrangements.

The jury, comprised of architects, members from the Ministry of the Interior, the Finnish Red Cross, and the Finnish Refugee Council, shortlisted seven entries in the first round of judging. They praised the overall quality of the submissions, stating that they ranged in strategies from tackling national issues to creating new buildings, repurposing old sites, and even transforming housing solutions to digital platforms.

From those, three winners tied for first place, chosen due do their “logical coherence and compelling social impact,” according to the jurors. These entries will be showcased in the Finnish Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale this upcoming summer.

Alejandro Aravena Wins 2016 Pritzker Prize

09:10 - 13 January, 2016
Alejandro Aravena Wins 2016 Pritzker Prize

Alejandro Aravena has been named as the winner of the 2016 Pritzker Prize. Highlighting his dedication to improve urban environments and to address the global housing crisis, the Pritzker Prize jury praised the way in which the Chilean architect has "risen to the demands of practicing architecture as an artful endeavor, as well as meeting today's social and economic challenges." Aravena is the 41st Pritzker Prize laureate and the first Chilean to receive the award.

Winners Revealed for Toronto’s 2016 Winter Stations Design Competition

08:00 - 13 January, 2016
Winners Revealed for Toronto’s 2016 Winter Stations Design Competition, Courtesy of Winter Stations
Courtesy of Winter Stations

Now in its second year, Toronto’s annual Winter Stations design competition has revealed its four winning designs, and three student designs that will add art to Toronto’s beaches. Receiving almost 400 submissions from local and international designers, this year’s theme “Freeze/Thaw” challenged participants to respond to the changing climate of winter. Founded by RAW Design, Ferris + Associates, and Curio, the Winter Stations Design Competition uses design to inspire Torontonians back outside.

“The public participation in Winter's Station's inaugural year proves that even the most overlooked winterscapes can be injected with vibrancy and life," says Ted Merrick, lead designer at landscape architecture firm Ferris + Associates. "Our ultimate goal for year two remains the same - to encourage the community out of hibernation and back to the beach." 

The winning designs will be built along different beaches in Toronto, adding to existing lifeguard towers. See the winners after the break.

British Prime Minister Denounces "Brutal" Sink Estates

04:00 - 13 January, 2016
British Prime Minister Denounces "Brutal" Sink Estates, Broadwater Farm Estate ('The Farm') in Tottenham, North London. Image via Wikimedia
Broadwater Farm Estate ('The Farm') in Tottenham, North London. Image via Wikimedia

David Cameron has written an article for the Sunday Times denouncing "brutal" post-war housing estates as part of "an all-out assault on poverty and disadvantage" in the United Kingdom. Recalling time spent campaigning in "bleak, high-rise buildings, where some voters lived behind padlocked and chained-up doors" during the 1980s and since, he declares that "not enough has changed." "Some of them, especially those built just after the war," he writes, "are actually entrenching poverty in Britain – isolating and entrapping many of our families and communities."

Louis Kahn's Notorious Richards Laboratory Restored

16:00 - 12 January, 2016
Louis Kahn's Notorious Richards Laboratory Restored, Richards Medical Research Laboratories in 2010, prior to restoration. Image © Wikipedia CC user Smallbones
Richards Medical Research Laboratories in 2010, prior to restoration. Image © Wikipedia CC user Smallbones

Louis Kahn's Richards Medical Research Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, once deemed "the most consequential building constructed in the United States" since World War II by MoMA, has been notoriously hated by its users; scientists claim the building lacks privacy, has too much exposure to sunlight and is not suitable for lab experiments. Thus, the University's architect has just completed a full renovation of Richards' four brick towers, converting them into offices and computer labs for researchers, while, as Philly.com reports, restoring the structure to its original essence.

"The renovation has pared Kahn's spaces down to their essence, restoring a Zenlike calm, and revealing the muscular concrete structure that made the design such a revelation in the early 1960s, when International Style glass towers were all the rage," says Philly.com. Read the complete article here

New York to Expand Its Jacob K. Javits Convention Center

14:00 - 12 January, 2016
New York to Expand Its Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, Building after renovation. Image © Governor Andrew Cuomo
Building after renovation. Image © Governor Andrew Cuomo

Alongside a series of 2016 proposals, including the plans to transform Penn Station, Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that New York will be expanding its Jacob K. Javits Convention Center - the busiest convention center in the US. Originally designed by James Ingo Freed of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners in 1986, the structure has undergone a number of renovations since; this time, it will be expanded by 1.2 million-square-feet, totaling 3.3 million-square-feet, with the addition of "the largest ballroom in the Northeast," new exhibition space, a four-level truck garage, and a 34,000-square-foot solar array.

Mumbai Plans for World's First Slum Museum

12:00 - 12 January, 2016
Mumbai Plans for World's First Slum Museum , Dharavi. Image © Flickr CC User M M
Dharavi. Image © Flickr CC User M M

Mumbai, home of 1.5 million person Dharavi slum known to be one of Asia's largest, will soon be host the world's first slum museum. As Smithsonian Magazine reports, the Design Museum Dharavi is being envisioned by Spanish artist Jorge Mañes Rubio to showcase works that “reimagines and revives [forgotten] sites as attention-worthy destinations.” 

“Despite the tough conditions [the people of Dharavi] live in, they are capable of creating, designing, manufacturing and commercializing all kinds of goods,” said the museum’s founders. “We believe that the objects made in Dharavi could be as valuable as those collected by design museums.”

Cape Horn Illustration Creates Detailed Ink Drawings of Chicago Residences

06:00 - 12 January, 2016
Cape Horn Illustration Creates Detailed Ink Drawings of Chicago Residences, © Cape Horn Illustration
© Cape Horn Illustration

For the past two years, artist Phil Thompson of Cape Horn Illustration has been creating pen and ink drawings of Chicago's homes and residential buildings.

Inspired by the patterns and themes of the streets and neighborhoods and a love for art and architecture, Thompson began drawing two-flat styled homes, which are "long and narrow to fit on standard city lots, able to accommodate two-generation immigrant families, and have distinctive large bay windows, elements of Arts and Crafts style, exteriors heavy on masonry, and terracotta, but wood-framed interiors with built-ins," Thompson told us. "I love them." 

Kengo Kuma's Triangular Block Set Now Available

14:40 - 11 January, 2016
Kengo Kuma's Triangular Block Set Now Available, via more trees store
via more trees store

Check out this beautifully crafted 13-piece block set designed by Kengo Kuma - the (legendary) Japanese architect recently tapped to design Tokyo's controversial National Stadium. Light, wooden and soft to the touch, each four by four inch component is made of cedar from Japan's Miyazaki Prefecture and notched at the tips for easy stacking. You can order your own set for $70

Henning Larsen Selected to Design First US Project in Cincinnati

14:00 - 11 January, 2016
Henning Larsen Selected to Design First US Project in Cincinnati, © Flickr CC User Robert S. Donovan
© Flickr CC User Robert S. Donovan

Henning Larsen Architects has been selected to design the new Lindner College of Business for the University of Cincinnati - the Danish firm's first project in the US. Though renderings have yet to be released, the building is expected to "reflects Scandinavian design traditions of putting people, space, and daylight first." 

“Physical surroundings and educational achievements are not separate—they're interdependent. A successful educational building also enriches its users, fosters community and improves the daily lives of students and teachers. Our design will give shape to Lindner College of Business’ strong identity and be the catalyst to further its reputation and academic achievements,” said Louis Becker, Principal Partner, Design Director of Henning Larsen Architects and Professor (Adj.) at Aalborg University. Research suggests that students attain 5-14% higher scores on tests taken in rooms with good daylight conditions.

Rick Chen Wins Nature Viewpoint Competition with Vulnerability-Based Design

14:00 - 10 January, 2016
Rick Chen Wins Nature Viewpoint Competition with Vulnerability-Based Design, © Rick Chen
© Rick Chen

Australian architect Rick Chen has been announced as the joint winner of the ReTHINKing Architecture competition, "Viewpoint in Pulpit Rock." Chen's design, called "Fragile," was awarded first prize out of 195 proposals in the competition, which sought a creative take on Preikstolen, a popular natural viewpoint and rest area 600 meters above the Lysefjorden in southwest Norway.

New York Commits to Penn Station Transformation Plan

14:05 - 8 January, 2016
© Governor Andrew Cuomo
© Governor Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo has laid out plans to transform New York's congested Pennsylvania Station and neighboring James A. Farley Post Office into a world-class transportation hub. Penn Station, North America's busiest train station, was originally designed in 1910 to accommodate 200,000; currently it's serving more than 650,000 passengers each day. Though a number of firms have been enlisted in the past to re-imagine the station, the project's developer has yet to chose an official architect. 

“Penn Station is the heart of New York’s economy and transportation network, but it has been outdated, overcrowded, and unworthy of the Empire State for far too long,” said Governor Cuomo. “We want to build Penn Station to be better than it ever was, and that is exactly what we are going to do. This proposal will fundamentally transform Penn Station for the 21st century, and we are excited to move forward with the project in the days to come.”

China’s Newly Completed Shanghai Tower Is Now the 2nd Tallest Building in the World

08:00 - 8 January, 2016
China’s Newly Completed Shanghai Tower Is Now the 2nd Tallest Building in the World, © Thomas Jaehndel via CTBUH
© Thomas Jaehndel via CTBUH

Gensler's recently completed Shanghai Tower is now the 2nd tallest building in the world, and the tallest building in China, according to The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).  At 632 meters tall, it is the third building in the world to exceed 600 meters and be designated “megatall.”

Egypt Revives Plans to Construct an Underwater Museum in Alexandria

06:00 - 8 January, 2016
© Jacques Rougerie Architecture via The Smithsonian
© Jacques Rougerie Architecture via The Smithsonian

Egypt's minister of antiquities, Mamdouh al-Damaty, has announced plans to move forward with an underwater museum project in the Eastern Harbor area of Alexandria's Abu Qir Bay, according to a report by The Smithsonian Magazine. In the works since 1996, the project not only seeks to bring historic sunken artifacts and structures into public view, but also to preserve the site, which is at risk of damage from pollution, fishing boat anchors, and poaching by divers.

In 2008, French architect Jacques Rougerie learned of the project and reached out to the Egyptian Ministry to create conceptual renderings of what the space could become.

This Inception-Inspired Coffee Table is an Architect's Dream (Literally)

14:00 - 7 January, 2016
This Inception-Inspired Coffee Table is an Architect's Dream (Literally), © Moussaris
© Moussaris

Cyprus designer Stelios Mousarris has designed a cantilevering wood and steel table inspired by the Christopher Nolan thriller Inception. The "Wave City Coffee Table," as it's known, was designed based on the movie's scene where the power to bend dreams according to the dream architect’s will is demonstrated, according to Bored Panda

Mousarris, once a model maker for Fosters and Partners and an assistant designer at Duffy London, is making a name for himself by designing unique furniture for his self-titled design company Moussaris.

Carmody Groarke to Design New Members' Room for V&A Museum in London

12:38 - 7 January, 2016
Carmody Groarke to Design New Members' Room for V&A Museum in London, Sketch showing overlapping activities within the Members’ Room. Image © Carmody Groarke
Sketch showing overlapping activities within the Members’ Room. Image © Carmody Groarke

Carmody Groarke has won a competition to design the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum's new £1.3 million members' room in London. The practice, selected over a shortlist that included David Kohn Architects, Ordinary Architecture, SHH and Universal Design Studio, is offering a design that is "loose, relaxed" and "conversational" for members in a new space on the museum's fourth floor that overlooks the courtyard.

“We are delighted with the quality of the architects’ submissions," said V&A senior staff member David Bickle. "Carmody Groarke’s proposal created a stage not the performance, responding to our brief and the heritage of the Museum in a loose, relaxed, conversational way, creating a comfortable room for the Museum’s broad member constituencies and a framework for creative programming."

BIG Expected to Design New Redskins Stadium

11:45 - 7 January, 2016
BIG Expected to Design New Redskins Stadium, FedEx Field, current home of the Washington Redskins. Image © Flickr CC User David
FedEx Field, current home of the Washington Redskins. Image © Flickr CC User David

Reports indicate BIG will design the Washington Redskins new stadium. Details have yet to be released, however according to Sports Business Daily the practice's head of communications, Daria Pahhota confirmed BIG is working on an NFL stadium. The Redskins currently play at the 80,000-seat FedEx Field in Maryland; it is said that they are considering moving back to Washington DC or relocating to Virginia

New Construction Robot Lays Bricks 3 Times as Fast as Human Workers

08:00 - 7 January, 2016

A new construction worker has been lending high-efficiency help to job sites, laying bricks at almost three times the speed of a human worker. SAM (short for Semi-Automated Mason) is a robotic bricklayer that handles the repetitive tasks of basic brick laying, MIT Technology Review reports. While SAM handles picking up bricks, applying mortar and placing them at designated locations, its human partner handles worksite setup, laying bricks in specific areas (e.g. corners) and improving the aesthetic quality of the masonry.