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8,000 Illuminated Balloons to Mark 9-Mile Stretch of Berlin Wall

25 years ago on November 9, East German protesters torn down the Berlin Wall. To commemorate this moment, the German capital plans to line the wall’s original 9-mile stretch with 8,000 illuminated, white balloons. The installation, named lichtgrenze or “light frontier,” will be open November 7. On the 9th, the balloons will be simultaneously released into the air to music provided by the Staatskapelle Berlin orchestra. 

OMA + OLIN Selected to Design D.C.'s 11th Street Bridge Park

The competition jury for Washington D.C.'s 11th Street Bridge Park has unanimously selected OMA + OLIN's design to turn the ageing freeway structure over the Anacostia River into an elevated park and new civic space for the city. With their dynamic intersecting structure, OMA + OLIN saw off competition from three other teams composed of: Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT), NEXT Architects and Magnusson Klemencic AssociatesStoss Landscape Urbanism and Höweler + Yoon Architecture; and Balmori Associates and Cooper, Robertson & Partners.

Read on after the break for more on the design and a complete set of images.

Courtesy of OMA Courtesy of OMA © OMA & Luxigon © OLIN © OLIN Courtesy of OMA Courtesy of OMA Courtesy of OMA + OLIN

Mapdwell and Jonas Dahlberg’s “Memory Wound” Ranked Top 10 Design Innovations of the Year

Fast Company has released what they consider to be the 10 best designs of the year. Selected from over 1500 international submissions and 53 finalists, the MIT-born Solar System platform Mapdwell and Jonas Dahlberg’s “Memory Wound” were among the winners to receive the 2014 “Innovation by Design Award.”

More about Mapdwell and Memory Wound, after the break.

5-Axis Milling: The Next Level In Accessible, Versatile Digital Fabrication

The 5AXISMAKER is a desktop 5-axis multi-fabrication CNC machine that hopes to expand the possibilities of digital fabrication by making it cheap and more versatile. Should the project receive backing on Kickstarter before the 27th October 2014, the possibility of 5-axis milling will become an affordable reality for manufacturing complex design prototypes. The product in development "provides a large cutting volume for it’s size, therefore producing "generously sized objects." Developed by graduates of London's Architectural Association, they hope to "shake the manufacturing world with new ways of fabricating using industrial robots right at your desk."

CEMEX Announces International Finalists for XXIII Building Awards

CEMEX has unveiled the international finalists for the XXIII Building Awards, which aim to recognize the best architecture and construction internationally. Spanning across three categories, the awards recognize housing, institutional/industrial and large-scale infrastructure projects that were built during 2013 and stand out for their constructive solutions, aesthetics and innovative techniques.

Both the international and national winners will be announced on November 5. Read on after the break for the international finalists and check out our coverage on the Mexican finalists for the XXIII Building Awards here

Luftwerk to Illuminate Mies' Farnsworth House this Weekend

Starting tomorrow (October 17), Chicago-based artists Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero of Luftwerk will be transforming Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House into a “canvas of light and sound” with the digital installation, INsite. “An exploration of the philosophy of Mies through light,” INsite will offer an entirely new nighttime experience at the Plano residence that highlights the architecture’s famed characteristics with an interactive light show pulsating to the original “sonic exploration” of Owen Clay Condon.

A video preview of the installation, after the break.

Call for Ideas: Rome Community Ring

In partnership with La Sapienza University, Progetto Forti and Rome municipality, Young Architects Competitions (YAC) is launching a competition to redesign one of the treasures of Rome: Forte Portuense.

#FairyTales2015: Blank Space Launches Architecture Storytelling Competition

After the record breaking success of Fairy Tales 2014, with over 300 entries from 50 different countries, Blank Space is excited to announce that the second edition of the competition is now open for registration. The Fairy Tales competition invites architects, designers, writers, artists, engineers, illustrators, students and creatives to submit their own unique architectural fairy tales. The scale, location, and program of the submission is up to each entrant. A successful entry crafts a text narrative, along with 5 images, in the most spectacular way possible. 

'People's Palaces': Behind The Scenes at Mecanoo's Upcoming Exhibition in Berlin

Mecanoo have shared with us a behind the scenes look at their upcoming exhibition at Berlin's Aedes Architecture Forum, entitled People's Palaces. Presenting some of the Dutch practice's recent public buildings, such as the 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize nominated Library of Birmingham and the Maritime and Beachcombers Museum in Texel, the Netherlands, the timing of the exhibition also celebrates the company's 30th anniversary. Founded in 1984, Mecanoo continues to develop a strong reputation for libraries, as well as cultural spaces and performance venues. This exhibition specifically traces the impact of Mecanoo’s public buildings on local communities.

Helsinki Announces Competition for City Centre High Rises

The city of Helsinki has announced plans for a design and build competition for a new commercial and residential district in Pasila, near the city centre. The competition, which calls for 8-10 buildings of 15 stories or more, will be part of the city's drive to make Pasila the "second centre of Helsinki," with a total of 150,000-200,000 square metres of residential and office space planned for the district. Read on after the break to find out more about the competition.

Rem Koolhaas: How the Age of the Decision Maker Impacts Building Design

How does contemporary architecture differ around the world and what causes these differences? In this video of a discussion between Rem Koolhaas and Nest C.E.O Tony Fadell at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit, Koolhaas gives some interesting insights into his experience with decision-makers around the world. Watch the video above and read Vanity Fair’s full article here to learn more about this seldom-considered factor in building design. 

Video: Jan Wurm and Lukas Verlage Discuss Arup’s “Solarleaf”

In this video from Zumtobel Group, Jan Wurm of Arup Deutschland GmbH and Lukas Verlage, CEO of Colt International GmbH, discuss the unique technological developments in “Solarleaf,” which recently won first prize in the Zumtobel Group Award’s Applied Innovations category. In addition to functioning as an effective shading system, this façade system uses solar panels to produce energy from algae to provide a new source of sustainable energy.

CEMEX Unveils National Finalists for the XXIII Building Awards

The CEMEX Building Awards recognize the best architecture and construction in Mexico, ranging from single-family homes to large-scale infrastructure projects. For the XXIII awards CEMEX will recognize projects that were built during 2013 that stand out for their constructive solutions, aesthetics and innovative techniques. 

CEMEX has already unveiled the national finalists for the 13 categories, and the winners will be announced on November 5. 

Read on after the break to see the finalists. 

Winners of the 2014 LEAF Awards Announced

Winners have been announced for the 2014 LEAF Awards. Spanning 14 categories, including best refurbishment of the year (pictured above), all winning projects “demonstrate buildings that are setting the benchmark for the international architectural and design community.” 

See which project landed Jean Nouvel top honors, after the break.

Public Building of the Year: Saw Swee Hock Student Centre; London, UK / O'Donnell + Tuomey Best Future Building of the Year - Under Construction: Mongkok Residence; Hong Kong / Aedas Commercial Building of the Year: cultura bookstore; São Paulo, Brazil / studio mk27 Best Sustainable Development of the Year: One Central Park; Sydney, Australia / Ateliers Jean Nouvel and PTW Architects

Daniel Libeskind Reflects On Designing Buildings With 'Emotional Weight'

In an interview with Shaunacy Ferro for FastCo DesignDaniel Libeskind looks back over his built works and discusses the significant 'emotional weight' imbued in many of his projects, from the Jewish Museum in Berlin to his masterplan for Ground Zero in New York City. When asked why he continually returns to projects such as Holocaust memorials - with the Canadian National Holocaust Memorial currently underway in Ottawa - Libeskind stated: "It’s not something that I choose very lightly, because it’s very difficult, but I believe that it’s very important." For him, creating these monuments is part of the act of doing "something that moves us beyond just the darkness and gives us something positive. [...] Even when it comes to the memory, you can’t just dwell on the irreversibility of the tragedy. You have to have something hopeful."

USC's ACADIA 2014 Conference to Focus on Design and Computation

Thursday, October 23 will mark the opening of the Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) 2014 Design Agency conference at the USC School of Architecture in Los Angeles. Hosted by faculty Alvin Huang, Jose Sanchez, and David Gerber, the conference will exhibit and share a broad spectrum of design and research that highlights innovation in architecture through a focus on design and computation. Headliners include Pritzker laureate Zaha Hadid, SimCity creator Will Wright and computational architect Mar Fornes. 

Marc Fornes & THEVERYMANY Fill Storefront with Immersive, Ultra-Thin Shell Structure

Marc Fornes & THEVERYMANY has constructed a light-weight, ultra-thin self-supported shell structure augmented by artist Jana Winderen’s engineered sounds at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York City. Now on view through November 21, the “Situation Room” presents itself, as Storefront describes, "a vibrating sound experiment that that aims to transform architecture into animated sensible form."

“The overall form is an aggregate of twenty spheres of incremental diameters, combined to create an envelope of experiential tension, a sort of sublime dialogue between the comfort of the known and an uneasy interaction with the unknown,” described Fornes. “The resultant morphology resonates with a series of distributed transducers and lighting sources playing out through streams of porosity derived from structural stress flows across the elements.”

More images and information about the “Situation Room,” after the break.

© Miguel de Guzmán © Miguel de Guzmán © Miguel de Guzmán © Miguel de Guzmán

AD Round Up: Canadian Architecture to Be Thankful For

Today marks Canadian Thanksgiving, and to celebrate the occasion we've rounded up some of Canada's best architecture. Our five selections represent five Canadian cities, each with a unique architectural sensibility. We begin in Toronto with the Royal Ontario Museum addition by Studio Daniel Libeskind, a striking intervention using prisms of glass and steel fused to a 102-year-old museum structure; next we go to Montréal for Habitat 67 by Moshe Safdie, an interlocking modular housing project designed for the World Exposition of 1967; to Calgary for Santiago Calatrava's understated Peace Bridge, a stunning glass-encased red lightning bolt spanning the city's widest waterway; then to Winnipeg's Old Market Square Stage by emerging firm 5468796 Architecture, a chameleonic performance space wrapped by a mesh curtain of steel cubes; and finally to the outskirts of Vancouver for the Richmond Olympic Oval, a masterpiece of engineering and the centre of attention during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Enjoy, eh.