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Sou Fujimoto Named WSJ’s Architecture Innovator of the Year

The Wall Street Journal has named Sou Fujimoto the “Architecture Innovator of the Year.” The 43-year-old Japanese architect, who first gained international acclaim in 2008 with the completion of the Hokkaido Children’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, has been lauded by the magazine for his “future primitive” structures that are, as Fujimoto’s believes, creating opportunities to explore “more possibilities” for daily life. 

“Fujimoto’s goal isn’t just to make spaces—the basic function of architecture—but to make people relate to spaces in new ways,” stated WSJ author Fred Bernstein. 

In response to Fujimoto’s selection, WSJ has published a comprehensive article about Fujimoto’s life and work. You can read the article, here

Deutsche Post Towers Wins CTBUH 10 Year Award

Deutsche Post Towers in Bonn Germany has received the 10 Year Award from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). Completed in 2002 and designed by Murphy/Jahn, Post Tower was a leader in introducing high performance design elements to create a more efficient and pleasant office environment, and has now been recognized by this unique award which rewards proven value and performance in a tall building over a period of 10 years since its completion, and offers a valuable look at the life of buildings long after the initial designs are realized. Read on after the break to learn more about the winning building.

Bogle Architects Win “Architectural Project of the Year” for Laser Research Campus

Bogle Architects has won the 2014 Czech Architect Week "Architectural Project of the Year” award for their ELI (Extreme Light Infrastructure) Beamlines project in Prague, Czech Republic. The campus, designed as four separate structures connected within a landscaped setting, will be the first laser research and technology facility to involve scientists from the global research community for high-powered laser experimentation. 

Courtesy of Bogle Architects Site. Image Courtesy of Bogle Architects Atrium (render). Image Courtesy of Bogle Architects Entrance (in-progress). Image Courtesy of Bogle Architects

Images Released of New Herzog & de Meuron-Designed National Library of Israel

The Israeli National Library has released images of Herzog & de Meuron’s design for the library’s new home in Jerusalem. The six-story building, awarded to the Swiss practice over five others following an extensive interview process conducted last year, will be built by 2019 on a prominent site at the base of the Knesset building and adjacent to the Israel Museum, Science Museum and Hebrew University.

More image and information about the new library, after the break.

UK's First Frank Lloyd Wright House Blocked by Planning Inspector

A plan by Stephen Brooks Architects to build the first Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in the UK has been blocked at the appeal stage by a planning inspector, reports the Architects' Journal. Based on a 1947 design by Wright for the O'Keefe family in California, the project was the brainchild of Dr Hugh Petter, a Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiast who negotiated for eight years with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation before gaining permission to build the unrealised design in Tyntesfield Springs near Bristol, thousands of miles from its intended location.

CEMEX Unveils Winners of the XXIII Building Awards

CEMEX has announced both the international and national winners of the XXIII Building Awards, which aim to recognize the best architecture and construction both internationally and within Mexico. All projects were reviewed by a panel of judges comprised of some of the most important and prestigious representatives of the industry at an international level.

The international awards recognizing housing, institutional/industrial and large-scale infrastructure projects that were built during 2013 and stand out for their constructive solutions, aesthetics and innovative techniques. Finalist projects ranged from Frank Gehry’s Biomuseo in Panama to Plan B Arquitectos’ Click Clack Hotel in Bogotá, Colombia, covering a range of countries and architectural styles.

The CEMEX Building Award is itself a unique piece of art created by Mexican sculptor Miguel Angel Gonzalez and made out of black marble and concrete. 

Read on after the break for both the international and national winners…

Light Matters: 7 Ways Lighting Can Make Architecture More Sustainable

Sustainable lighting design offers various well-being and environmental benefits in addition to economic advantages for clients and users. Although daylight provides a free lighting source,  for most spaces the amount and time of daylight is not sufficient and electrical lighting is necessary. A focus on sustainability becomes essential for minimizing energy consumption and improving the quality of life. Even though efficiency has significantly increased with LED technology, electrical lighting is still more widely used. Often the ambition for renovations or new applications goes along with a higher quantity of lighting instead of finding a better lighting quality with an adequate amount of energy.

Read on after the break for Light Matters’ 7 fundamental steps to achieve sustainable lighting.

SANAA and Jean Nouvel Among Seven Invited to Design Hungarian Museum Complex

An international jury behind Budapest’s new National Gallery has launched a second and invited competition for a select few of the industry’s best after the first, open competition lead to “disappointing” results. Jean Nouvel, David Chipperfield, Mecanoo, Nieto Sobejano, Renzo Piano, SANAA and Snøhetta have been asked to submit proposals for a 5-building museum complex on the edge of Városliget, one of the city’s main parks. It will house the new National Gallery, the Ludwig Museum, an ethnography museum, architecture museum and photography museum. 

The competition, known as the Liget Project, is being directed by jury members Wim Pijbes, the director of the Rijksmuseum, and Henri Loyrette, former director of the Louvre in Paris.

Australian Institute of Architects Announce 2014 National Awards

The Australian Institute of Architects has announced the winners of the 2014 National Architecture Awards. A total of 43 awards and commendations were given to 36 projects across the 12 national categories. "Projects honored include a housing project with an emphasis on communal spaces, a mental health facility with a welcoming domestic feel, a primary school that provides a sanctuary for the culturally diverse local population and a pro bono surf club that celebrates the coastal features and protects an adjacent fairy penguin habitat." View them all, after the break. 

The Commons. Image Courtesy of Australian Institute of Architects UQ Advanced Engineering Building. Image Courtesy of Australian Institute of Architects GASP! Stage 02. Image Courtesy of Australian Institute of Architects Stonehenge Exhibition + Visitor Centre. Image Courtesy of Australian Institute of Architects

TED Talk: My Architectural Philosophy? Bring the Community Into the Process / Alejandro Aravena

“If there is any power in design, that’s the power of synthesis.”

In this TED Talk Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, the founder of ELEMENTAL, speaks about some of the design challenges he has faced in Chile and his innovative approaches to solving them. Emphasizing the need for simplicity in design, Aravena talks about three of his projects: the Quinta Monroy social housing project, through which he developed the “half-finished home” typology for governments to provide quality homes at incredibly low-prices; his “inside-out” design for the Pontifical Catholic University’s Innovation Center UC – Anacelto Angelini, which reduced energy costs by two-thirds; and lastly his masterplan for rebuilding a resilient coastline in Constitución Chile after the city was hit by the 2010 earthquake.

Aravena also emphasized the importance of community participation in his projects, saying: “We won’t ever solve the problem unless we use people’s own capacity to build.” Watch Aravena’s full talk above and take a peek at some of his key projects below. 

TED Talk: My Architectural Philosophy? Bring the Community Into the Process / Alejandro Aravena TED Talk: My Architectural Philosophy? Bring the Community Into the Process / Alejandro Aravena TED Talk: My Architectural Philosophy? Bring the Community Into the Process / Alejandro Aravena TED Talk: My Architectural Philosophy? Bring the Community Into the Process / Alejandro Aravena

Centre Pompidou To Open Design and Architecture Gallery

Yesterday, during the opening of a new photography gallery, Centre Pompidou president Alain Seban announced the contemporary art museum will soon open a new design and architecture gallery inside the famed Renzo Piano- and Richard Rogers-designed building. “Eventually, there should be almost no offices in the building, and we'll keep only the technical facilities that are strictly indispensable," said Seban. “When allocating the spaces, the works and the visitors have to take precedence."

"Surprise Us!" City of Paris Invites Architects To Propose Innovative Urban Projects

The City of Paris has called upon the architects of the world to propose "innovative urban projects" to reimagine the city's urban future. As the first competition of its kind in the world, Mayor Anne Hidalgo and her Deputy, Jean-Louis Missika, will "select and implement the new forms of buildings that will shape the future of Paris," putting innovation at the top of the criteria. Offering 23 sites, located in the centre of Paris and on the peripheries, the City is convinced that "the challenges faced by the world can be addressed through local answers." According to the Mayor, "from today, world creators are given carte blanche to reinvent the ways of living, working and trading in Paris." "Surprise us!"

Images of SOM's Completed One World Trade Center in New York

The first tenant has moved into the One World Trade Center, making Monday, November 3, the official opening of the (arguably) tallest building in the Western hemisphere 13 years after the tragedy of 9/11. The “extraordinary moment was passed in the most ordinary of ways,” described the New York Times, as employees of Conde Nast entered into the white marble lobby (taken from the same quarry that produced marble for the original twin towers) and headed straight to the elevators to start their work day.

To celebrate its completion, renowned architectural photographers Iwan Baan and James Ewing took it to the sky to capture the One World Trade Center in all its glory. The images, after the break.

MLZD and Sollberger Bögli Win Competition to Design Lausanne Football Stadium

MLZD and Sollberger Bögli Architekten have won an international competition to design a 12,000-seat Tuilière Lausanne Football Stadium in Switzerland. The €70 million project is part of a larger redevelopment plan for northern Lausanne and will serve as the city’s main sporting venue upon completion in 2019. 

Bartlett Students Invent Skeleton-Inspired Structural Material for Lightweight Construction

A team of graduates from the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London have developed a new hybrid building material designed for use in uniquely challenging construction environments. "Augmented Skin" combines a regimented structural core with a flexible opaque skin, which is coated in PVA to serve as casting formwork for concrete. Inspired by biological skeletal frameworks, the material can be assembled quickly at a minimal cost with maximum flexibility. The project was designed by architecture graduate students Kazushi Miyamoto, Youngseok Doo, and Theodora Maria Moudatsou, and was exhibited at The Bartlett's 2014 graduation exhibition B-Pro

Read more about the flexibility of Augmented Skin after the break

Courtesy of Kazushi Miyamoto, Youngseok Doo & Theodora Maria Moudatsou Courtesy of Kazushi Miyamoto, Youngseok Doo & Theodora Maria Moudatsou Courtesy of Kazushi Miyamoto, Youngseok Doo & Theodora Maria Moudatsou Courtesy of Kazushi Miyamoto, Youngseok Doo & Theodora Maria Moudatsou

COBE Unveils Design for Danish Red Cross Volunteer House

COBE has released their competition winning design for a new Volunteer House at the entrance of the Danish Red Cross in central Copenhagen. An extension to the existing headquarters, the new space will serve as a common entrance to the entire facility and offer a public “hang out” atop its pitched, terraced roof. 

© COBE © COBE Site Plan. Image © COBE Elevation. Image © COBE

Does Devolution Hold The Key To Greater Investment In The Built Environment?

The British city of Manchester, often seen as the UK's second city alongside Birmingham, will become the first metropolis outside of London to be given greater local autonomy over budgets and city planning. The devolution deal, which will also see the city receive the right to directly elect a Mayor (in line with large cities in the US, for example), will furnish the city with "a new housing investment fund worth up to £300million." As it is understood that the first Mayor of Greater Manchester will be elected in 2017, there's time to discuss how this new political environment in the UK might help boost building in what has described as a "Northern Powerhouse."

Santiago Calatrava's Chicago Spire Finally Axed

Santiago Calatrava's much maligned design for the Chicago Spire has finally met its end, thanks to a lapsed payment deadline from the site's developer, Grant Kelleher. The project, which would have been the tallest building in the USA, began construction in 2007 but was halted at the onset of the global financial crisis, leaving nothing more than a large hole in the ground for over six years.

Despite numerous attempts to revive the Spire, Grant Kelleher's Shelbourne Development Group never overcame its financial troubles. Shelbourne Development Group and its partner Atlas Apartment Holdings received a court order to pay $22 million to one of their creditors, Related Midwest, who had bought $93 million worth of debt from the project. However, the Chicago Tribune reports that within minutes of the October 31st deadline lapsing with no sign of payment, Related Midwest filed papers in a Chicago court requiring that the deeds for the property be passed to them.