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London’s “Olympicopolis” Aims to Host Smithsonian’s First International Venue

The Smithsonian is considering opening its first international exhibition space in “Olympicopolis” - London’s former Olympic park that is to be transformed into a world-class cultural hub by 2021. Should the self-financed proposal be approved, it will be the first time in the institution’s 168-year history to build a public venue outside of the United States. 

“We see this as an unprecedented opportunity to show the breadth of the Smithsonian in one of the most diverse cities in the world,” stated Smithsonian acting secretary Al Horvath.

Open Call: Atlanta Bridgescape Competition

The Atlanta Bridgescape Competition is an urban design challenge seeking creative strategies to enhance existing freeway infrastructure in Midtown and Downtown Atlanta, Georgia. The objective of the competition is to solicit designs for the next two bridge projects: the 10th Street Bridge in Midtown and the Courtland Street/Ralph McGill Boulevard Bridge in downtown. The competition seeks broad participation from multi-disciplinary design teams to develop innovative approaches for enhancing existing infrastructure in a manner that will elevate the experience of travelers along the Connector and improve the environment for pedestrians and cyclists on the bridge surfaces.

Denton Corker Marshall's Australian Pavilion to Debut at the 56th Venice Biennale

The first building to be constructed in Venice in the past two decades, Denton Corker Marshall's Australian Pavilion will welcome its first visitors on May 9, as part of the 56th Venice Biennale. 

China’s Pearl River Delta Overtakes Tokyo as World’s Largest Urban Area

China’s Pearl River Delta has surpassed Tokyo in both size and population, making it the largest urban area in the world, according to the World Bank. The colossal megapolis - a conglomerate of several cities, including Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Foshan and Dongguan - is a central component to China’s manufacturing and trade industries. 

It is now home to 42 million - more people than the countries of Canada, Argentina or Australia. And, considering nearly two-thirds of the East Asia region’s population (64%) is still “non-urban,” the area is expected to grow exponentially. 

Arquine Launches Competition No. 17: Eastern Metropolitan Green Lung

Held annually since 1998, the Arquine International Architecture Competition explores important and relevant topics for society as a whole, creating a space for dialogue and promoting active participation of both national and international architects. It has become one of the best architecture ideas competitions, with over 400 teams from more than 21 countries participating last year.

This year, Arquine is asking: What could be the vocation of the [future, ex] International Airport Benito Juarez of Mexico City? Following the announcement that Mexico City’s new international airport will be constructed in Texcoco, this competition aims to generate proposals for the [future] urban zone. Comprised of a total of 746 acres, the area has the potential to become a catalyst for development and growth of the eastern part of one of the most complex and populated cities in the world.

Determining the future use of the space now occupied by the International Airport Benito Juarez in Mexico City is one of the most interesting urban development challenges worldwide. The public competition offers a way to dig into the potential use of the area and explore the possibility of creating a large green area in the eastern part of Mexico City.

Who Are Architecture's Best Young "Disrupters"?

In their fifth annual "Game Changers" survey, Metropolis Magazine sought to uncover the visionaries who have the potential to make waves in design and architecture. Profiling six of design's "foremost forward-looking talents," the list includes Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine, the filmmaking duo whose "Living Architectures" series takes a sideways glance at some of the world's most celebrated buildings; Amy Mielke and Caitlin Gucker-Kanter Taylor, whose work as Water Pore Partnership topped BIG and The Living for Holcim's North America Award; and finally Aggregate, a collaborative of architecture historians who are rethinking the way we do architecture theory. For the full list and profiles of all those featured on it, head on over to Metropolis Magazine.

2015 Wood Design Award Winners Announced

The 2015 winners of the Wood Design Awards have been announced at the Bay Area Wood Solutions Fair in Oakland, California. Presented by WoodWorks, an initiative of the Wood Products Council, the awards seek to "recognize extraordinary buildings that exemplify not only wood's beauty, but the versatility and structural performance attributes that make it such an interesting material to architects and engineers."

The Wood Design Awards celebrate excellence in nine categories at both regional and national levels. See the winning designs for 2015 after the break.

Mojave Rivers Ranger Station / Marcy Wong Donn Logan Architects + Gregory P. Luth & Associates  © John Edward Linden Photography   Stapleton Library /  Andrew Berman Architect + Gilsanz  © Naho Kubota Reveley Classroom Building / Patano Studio Architecture, LLC + DCI Engineers © Sozinho Imagery Venture Capital Office / Paul Murdoch Architects + Simpson Gumpertz & Heger © Eric Staudenmaeir Photography

Augmented Reality App “Lego X” Simplifies 3D Modeling

Imagine forgoing time-intensive 3D modeling programs to instead create 3D printable models by playfully stacking sensored LEGO bricks. This reality isn’t far from fruition, as the London-based studio Gravity has released plans for an augmented reality app that uses location-mapping and gyroscopic sensors to generate digital (and scalable) models of your creation in realtime. The program, “Lego X” uses an algorithm to intuitively smooth out edges and join corners, allowing for easy modifying and seamless 3D printing. 

See the program in action, after the break. 

120 HOURS Launches Student Competition: “Experimental Preservation”

This year's 120 HOURS student architecture competition is set to run from February 9th through the 14th. The international competition is open to any current Architecture student, anywhere in the world. There is no fee to enter, and you (and your team of up to three) can do so by visiting the 120 HOURS website.

Robert A.M. Stern 2015 Travel Fellowship Applications Now Available

This week, Robert A.M. Stern Architects released applications for its third annual Travel Fellowship. The $10,000 grant is given to an architecture student in the penultimate year of their Master’s degree study. The recipient must be attending one of 18 U.S. and Canadian schools, and show “insight and interest in the profession and its future, as well as the ability to carry forth in-depth research.” The prize money will be used to support travel and research based on Robert A.M. Stern’s own philosophy of reinventing traditional architecture. Check your eligibility and apply for the RAMSA Travel Fellowship here!

Pei Cobb Freed Breaks Ground on Boston’s Tallest Residential Tower

Construction has commenced on Pei Cobb Freed & Partners’ 61-story condominium tower in Boston’s historic Back Bay. The $700 million development will be the tallest residential building in the city, and the tallest tower to rise since the 1976 John Hancock Tower, also designed by Pei Cobb Freed. 

“The project allows us to consider once again how a tall building, together with the open space it frames, can respond creatively to the need for growth while showing appropriate respect for its historic urban setting,” says Henry Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners.

Spotlight: Félix Candela

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

“Every work of art is an interpretation of the world, of what you are thinking; a realization of your perception which creates and attempts a different world. In the end, a work of art is merely an offering to art."

Mexican-Spanish architect Félix Candela (Jan 27, 1910-Dec 7, 1997) was known for redefining the role of the architect in relation to structural problems, and played a crucial role in the development of new structural forms of concrete. His famous experimentation with concrete gave rise to projects like the Los Manantiales restaurant in the Xochimilco area of Mexico City and the Cosmic Rays Pavilion for the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Learn more about Candela after the break.

Michael Sorkin On 'The Next Helsinki' Competition

In an article for Metropolis Magazine, Zachary Edelson speaks to architect and critic Michael Sorkin about The Next Helsinki - a competition set up "to inquire as to whether this very valuable site in this wonderful city can’t somehow be leveraged beyond a franchise museum building." The esteemed jury, replete with distinguished artists and architects (many of whom are Finnish), is not just "a counter-competition" to the recent Guggenheim competition: "we’re trying to raise the question of whether a big foreign institution is the most logical way to prompt the arts to flourish at the community level." Read Sorkin's comments about the Finns' attitude to their city and his thoughts on the shortlist of the recent Guggenheim competition in full here.

The Critics Speak: 6 Reasons why Hadid Shouldn't Have Sued the New York Review of Books

Update: Last week, Hadid and the New York Review of Books agreed to a settlement agreement, with Hadid accepting the apology of the New York Review of Books and, in conjunction with the settlement, donating an undisclosed sum of money to a labor rights charity. You can read the full joint statement at the end of this article.

For those that follow the ins and outs of architectural criticism, it will have been hard to miss the news this week that Zaha Hadid is suing the New York Review of Books, claiming that the critical broadside launched by Martin Fuller against Hadid in his review of Rowan Moore's book Why We Build was not only defamatory but also unrepresentative of the content of the book. Hadid's lawyers demanded a retraction of the review, which they claimed had caused Hadid "severe emotional and physical distress."

Hadid's lawsuit did manage to elicit an apology from Filler, but probably not the one she was hoping for: Filler posted a retraction admitting that his review confused the number of deaths involved in all construction in Qatar in 2012-13 (almost 1,000) with the number of deaths on Hadid's own Al Wakrah stadium (exactly zero). However, much of Filler's comments criticizing Hadid's cold attitude to conditions for immigrant workers in Qatar remain unaddressed.

Throughout the week, a number of other critics took this opportunity to pile more criticism on Hadid, unanimously agreeing that the lawsuit was a bad idea. Read on after the break to see the six reasons they gave explaining why.

Call for Proposals: 2015 Deborah J. Norden Fund

In memory of architect and arts administrator Deborah Norden, the Deborah J. Norden Fund is calling for proposals from students and recent graduates in the fields of architecture, architectural history, and urban studies for awards up to $5000 in travel and study grants. A program of The Architectural League of New York, participants must submit a maximum three-page proposal, which succinctly describes the objectives of the grant request and how it will contribute to the applicant’s intellectual and creative development. The deadline for submissions is April 16, 2015. For more information, please visit here.

Aaron Betsky Appointed New Dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture

Critic, curator and educator Aaron Betsky has been announced the new dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. Betsky will assume his role immediately, taking over responsibilities regarding the School’s academic programs, personnel, students, finances, and character, as well as relations with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s broader programs.

“I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to continue the work that for so long made Taliesin into a workshop for reinventing American architecture,” said Betsky. “I look forward to continuing its traditions and making the School into the best experimental school of architecture in the country.”

Betsky's appointment comes at a critical time, as Taliesin is at risk of losing its accreditation should the school fail to raise two million by the end of 2015. Read on to learn more. 

Chinese Company Constructs the World's Tallest 3D Printed Building

Once again, Chinese company WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co has expanded the capabilities of 3D printing. After constructing ten houses in under twenty-four hours last year, now they are back with both the world's tallest 3D printed building - a five-story apartment block - and a 1,100 square meter mansion with internal and external decoration to boot.

On display in Suzhou Industrial Park in Jiangsu province, the two buildings represent new frontiers for 3D printed construction, finally demonstrating its potential for creating more traditional building typologies and therefore its suitability for use by mainstream developers.

A close-up of the construction system. Image via Image via Image via Image via

Win a Set of LEGO® Architecture's Newly Released Lincoln Memorial

We announced earlier this month that the LEGO® Architecture series will now include the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC! Thanks to LEGO® Architecture, two of our US readers now have the chance to win their very own set.

Official Rules: To participate, let us know what existing LEGO® Architecture set is your favorite. All you have to do is become a registered user at ArchDaily and leave us your answer in the comments below. Two winners will be chosen at random from entries received between Monday, January 26th and Sunday, February 1st at 11:59 EST. Anyone in the United States is welcome to participate. One entry per person. ArchDaily will enforce verification and remove duplicated ones before choosing the winner.

Good luck!