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d3 Natural Systems 2014 Winners Announced

d3 has announced the winners of its Natural Systems Competition for 2014, an annual competition that offers architects, designers, engineers and students the chance to investigate natural processes from the microscopic to macroscopic scale and propose innovative, nature-based solutions in architecture, urbanism, interiors and product design for sustainable living.

The jury, a panel of architects and designers engaged in sustainable practices and computational explorations, has this year selected a top three as well as eleven special mentions. Join us after the break for images from all 14 designs.

Iconic Architects Photoshopped "Giving the Finger" in Support of Frank Gehry

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Image Courtesy of Supporting Frank Owen Gehry
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Image Courtesy of Supporting Frank Owen Gehry

Last week, Frank Gehry made headlines when he responded to a reporter asking about his “showy architecture” with the finger and a proclamation that 98% of today’s architecture is “pure shit.” Unsurprisingly, this got the architecture world storming. Responses ranged from “oh the irony” to “absolutely refreshing” (join the conversation here). Perhaps most notably, one tumblr has responded in support of the Pritzker Prize-winning architect with images of architecture’s biggest icons giving the finger and Supporting Frank Owen Gehry.

Charles and Ray Eames, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer are some of the few who have “shown” their support. See our favorites, after the break.

We're Teaming Up With CEMEX To Cover the XXIII CEMEX Building Award

CEMEX’s annual Building Awards recognize the best in architecture and construction both within Mexico as well as internationally, highlighting innovative design and building and construction techniques across nine different categories. International finalist projects this year range from Frank Gehry’s Biomuseo in Panama to Plan B Arquitectos’ Click Clack Hotel in Bogotá, Colombia.

Cruz y Ortiz Completes Renovation of the Rijksmuseum's Philips Wing

Cruz y Ortis, who famously spent ten years redesigning and renovating Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, have recently completed a comprehensive restoration of the adjacent Philips Wing. As an addition to the extensive exhibition spaces of the Dutch national museum, which was brought to completion in 2013, the Philips Wing will be dedicated to showcasing high-profile exhibitions from its own collection and on loan from international and national collections. Cruz y Ortiz's work has consisted of reorienting the entrance, accommodating diverse new functions and preparing the exhibition rooms for the temporary expositions starting next month. Several twentieth century interventions have been set back and corrected, whilst other areas have been appropriated for a new destination.

See drawings and photographs of the new wing, including a description from the architects, after the break.

The Philips Wing. Image © Rijksmuseum / Tilleman The Philips Wing. Image © Rijksmuseum / Tilleman The Philips Wing. Image © Rijksmuseum / Tilleman The Philips Wing. Image © Rijksmuseum / Tilleman

Sou Fujimoto Constructs Inhabitable Nomadic Structure for Parisian Art Fair

Over the weekend, Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto exhibited an inhabitable sculpture of stacked and suspended aluminum cubes as part of the FIAC art fair in the Parisian Jardins des Tuileries’ gardens. The installation, “Many Small Cubes” is his first project in Paris and was commissioned by the Philippe Gravier art gallery as an exploration of nomadic structures and Sou Fujimoto’s concept of bringing architecture closer to nature. 

"The floating masses of Many Small Cubes creates a new experience of space, a rhythm of flickering shadows and lights like the sun filtering through leafy trees,” described Sou Fujimoto.

Michael Rotondi to Receive Richard J. Neutra Medal for Professional Excellence

Michael Rotondi, principle of Los Angeles-based RoTo Architecture and former student of Cal Poly Pomona, has been selected to receive the Richard J. Neutra Medal for Professional Excellence from the College of Environmental Design at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Co-founder of SCI-Arc and long-time architectural educator at Arizona State University, Rotondi was selected for his “commitment to architectural education, for the concern he shows in his work for society and the environment, and for the inventiveness of his architecture,” says Cal Poly Pomona professor Sarah Lorenzen.

Safdie Architects to Design Medal of Honor Museum in South Carolina

Following a national search, the National Medal of Honor Foundation has selected Safdie Architects to design its new museum and education center at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Safdie was selected for their “extensive experience with cultural projects and national monuments across the U.S. and abroad.” The National Medal of Honor Museum will bring the stories of the Medal of Honor recipients to life for visitors. 

DESIGN SHAPES LIFE: Villeroy & Boch Launches Bathroom Design Challenge

Courtesy of Villeroy & Boch
Courtesy of Villeroy & Boch

Villeroy & Boch have kicked off their first North American Designer Bathroom Challenge, inviting architects and licensed designers to develop a concept for a contemporary and multisensory bathroom design for the chance to win a trip to Germany.

Bathrooms are an essential part of daily life from the moment you jump into the shower in the morning to brushing your teeth before hopping into bed at night. While well-designed bath and wellness products that are easy to use and maintain are essential for functionality, when they are enhanced with complementing textures, sounds, scents and lighting, the functional bathroom space is transformed into a true multisensory experience. Villeroy & Boch is challenging architects and designers to incorporate both of these elements into their design, creating a functional and a multisensory space.

AIA Report Finds Increasing Acceptance of Carbon Reduction Targets

The 2030 Progress Report for the American Institute of Architects (AIA)'s 2030 Commitment - a voluntary program for architects who want to commit their practice to advancing the AIA's goal of carbon neutral buildings by the year 2030 - has found a significant increase in the number of projects that meet its current targets for a 60% reduction in carbon emissions, with over 400 buildings in the program meeting the goal. "There is some very encouraging data in this report that shows how architects are making measurable progress towards reducing the carbon emissions in their design projects," said AIA Chief Executive Officer, Robert Ivy, FAIA. Read on after the break for more results of the report.

The Principals Install Sound Reactive, Silver-Coated "Quilt" at Neuehouse

Commissioned by Sonos to create a sound reactive installation in collaboration with the musician Dev Hynes (aka Blood Orange), The Principals created a 16-foot-tall canopy, 8-feet-wide by 36-feet-long covering the performance and grand stand seating area of the private workspace collective Neuehouse. Inspired by the work of Arthur Rimbaud, The Principals chose the name Ancient Chaos, a phrase from his poem Matinée d'Ivresse which speaks to a basic force of wonder within all of us at the hidden patterns of nature. The installation, both a sonic composition and a physical structure, creates sounds that verge on the architectural and architecture that verges on the fluid.  

More information and a video of the installation in motion, after the break.  

BBC Ranks Eight Greatest New Museums

According to the BBC, Frank Gehry’s Biomuseo in Panama City, Steven Holl’s Sifang Art Museum in Nanjing, and BIG’s Danish National Maritime Museum in Helsingør are among the top eight greatest museums recently completed. Do you agree? Let us know which recently completed museums tops your list in the comment section after the break and review the BBC’s complete selection here

Twitter Reacts to 1,715 Guggenheim Designs

The news that every single one of the 1,715 designs for the future Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki have been released via a new competition website was understandably something of a media storm earlier this week. As the largest ever set of proposals to be simultaneously released to the public, how could anyone possibly come to terms with the sheer number and quality of the designs - let alone all the other issues which the proposals shed light on?

In this instance, the answer to that question is simple: get help. Guggenheim Helsinki will arguably go down in history as the prototypical competition for the social media age, not just for releasing the designs to the public but for their platform which enables people to select favorites, and compile and share shortlists. In the days since the website launched, Twitter users have risen to the challenge. See what some of them had to say after the break.

Daniel Tobin Selected to Design AIDS Memorial in West Hollywood

The West Hollywood City Council has selected Australian designer Daniel Tobin to build an AIDS memorial for West Hollywood Park. As stated by the non-profit Foundation for an AIDS Monument, Tobin’s installation of 341 vertical strands “functions as a destination piece — recognizable as an AIDS monument, leaving no question about the work when you leave the space.” Each vertical strand represents 5,000 Americans who have died from or living with AIDS. You can learn more about Tobin’s selection and design, here

Get Playful on the Streets of Seattle with "Pop-Up! Street Furniture" from LMN Architects

Downtown Seattle was transformed into a playground for people of all ages in September with Pop-Up! Street Furniture, an creative take on interactivity in the built environment. Eight movable modules combine to create endless configurations capable of forming either seating or play space for a dozen people. The project was realized by Seattle-based LMN Architects, leading an inter-disciplinary team of students, professionals, designers, manufacturers, and contractors, intent on stimulating ordinary streets in the city's downtown core. Created for the Seattle Design Festival, the project created a temporary hub for conversation, play, and engagement.

Read more after the break on the many uses of Pop-Up! Street Furniture in Seattle

© Trevor Dykstra © Trevor Dykstra © Trevor Dykstra © Trevor Dykstra

In Progress: Stadskantoor / OMA

  • Architects: OMA
  • Location: Meent 119, 3011 JH Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • Partners In Charge: Rem Koolhaas, Reinier de Graaf
  • Associate: Alex de Jong
  • Project Team: Philippe Braun, Clarisa Garcia Fresco, Maaike Hawinkels, Andrew Linn, Takeshi Murakuni, Peter Rieff, Tom Tang, Sakine Dicle Uzanyayla, Mark Veldman
  • Interior Team: Saskia Simon, Andrea Giannotti, Ross O'Connell, Mafalda Rangel, Lucia Zamponi, Grisha Zotov
  • Area: 43370.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Ossip van Duivenbode, Courtesy of OMA

© Ossip van Duivenbode © Ossip van Duivenbode © Ossip van Duivenbode Facade Collage from North. Image Courtesy of OMA

RIBA Launches Centenery Square Regeneration Competition for Birmingham

The Royal Institute of British Architects have announced an international design competition to regenerate Centenary Square, one of Birmingham's largest public spaces, and neighbor to Birmingham's International Convention Centre, the Old Rep Theatre, and the the Library of Birmingham by Mecanoo which was shortlisted for the 2014 Stirling Prize

Spotlight: Paulo Mendes da Rocha

Courtesy of the Paulo Mendes da Rocha archive
Courtesy of the Paulo Mendes da Rocha archive

"All space must be attached to a value, to a public dimension. There is no private space. The only private space that you can imagine is the human mind." - Paulo Mendes da Rocha, May 26, 2004

Paulo Mendes da Rocha is one of Brazil's greatest architects and urbanists. Born in Vitória, Espírito Santo in 1928, Mendes da Rocha won the 2006 Pritzker Prize, and is one of the most representative architects of the Brazilian Paulista School, also known as "Paulista Brutalism" that utilizes more geometric lines, rougher finishes and bulkier massing than other Brazilian Modernists such as Oscar Niemeyer.

Competition Entry: JHK Architecten + Broekbakema's Proposal for Rotterdam School of Transport

JHK Architecten and Broekbakema have shared with us their competition entry for a higher education school in the field of transport for Rotterdam. The building, envisioned as part of Rotterdam’s transport and logistics district, was inspired by the “distinctive sturdy structures of the port.” 

© JHK BroekBakema © WAX © WAX © WAX