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CTBUH Names Stefano Boeri’s Bosco Verticale “Best Tall Building Worldwide” for 2015

16:00 - 13 November, 2015
CTBUH Names Stefano Boeri’s Bosco Verticale “Best Tall Building Worldwide” for 2015, Bosco Verticale, Milan / Boeri Studio. Image © Kirsten Bucher
Bosco Verticale, Milan / Boeri Studio. Image © Kirsten Bucher

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has selected Stefano Boeri’s Bosco Verticale as the Best Tall Building Worldwide 2015 for “its extraordinary implementation of vegetation at such scale and height," according to a press release.  The tower was selected from a shortlist of four buildings, which included SOM’s One World Trade Center, Toyo Ito and RSP Architects’ CapitaGreen and Foster + Partners’ Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid Tower.

Dubai Will Provide Jetpacks to Firefighters to Tackle Skyscraper Blazes

14:00 - 13 November, 2015
Dubai Will Provide Jetpacks to Firefighters to Tackle Skyscraper Blazes, © Naufal MQ via Shutterstock.com
© Naufal MQ via Shutterstock.com

Dubai, home of the Burj Khalifa and a significant number of the 21st century's tallest buildings, is set to match its futuristic skyline with an equally futuristic emergency response service. At the recent Dubai Airshow, the city's Directorate of Civil Defence announced a deal with New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft to bring jetpacks to their firefighting arsenal. Intended to be used in a "first responder role," the jetpacks will give firefighters access to higher locations and be able to navigate the tight spaces between buildings that helicopters can't access.

MVRDV Wins Competition to Build An Urban Lagoon in Taiwan

13:00 - 13 November, 2015
Courtesy of MVRDV. Image © APLUS CG
Courtesy of MVRDV. Image © APLUS CG

MVRDV, working alongside The Urbanist Collective and LLJ Architects, has been selected in a competition to transform downtown Tainan in Taiwan with their design for new green corridor and urban lagoon connecting the city to its waterfront. Transforming the area of Tainan known as the T-axis, the design will see the city's Haian Road turned into a public park and connected to the city's canal by demolishing the existing China-Town Mall, a commercial structure built alongside the canal in 1983 and described by MVRDV as a "rotten tooth of downtown Tainan."

Courtesy of MVRDV. Image © APLUS CG Courtesy of MVRDV. Image © APLUS CG Courtesy of MVRDV. Image © APLUS CG Courtesy of MVRDV. Image © APLUS CG +17

Monocle 24 Report from the World Architecture Festival

04:00 - 13 November, 2015
Monocle 24 Report from the World Architecture Festival, The Interlace / OMA. Image Courtesy of WAF
The Interlace / OMA. Image Courtesy of WAF

For this episode of Section DMonocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, Sophie Grove and the team explore the World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Singapore, take a considered look at post-war buildings across England, as well as hear from some longstanding manufacturers in East London who are "bucking the trend of constant change" that’s come to define their ever-developing neighbourhood.

Cy Twombly Painting Sells for $70.5 Million to Fund OMA's LA Synagogue Extension

16:00 - 12 November, 2015

OMA's first ever building for a religious institution will be constructed with a little help from one of the United States' greatest 20th century artists. In an auction at Sotheby's in New York yesterday, Cy Twombly's 1968 "Untitled (New York City)" - one of the artist's notable "Blackboard Paintings" - sold for $70.5 million, $30 million of which will be donated to LA's Wilshire Boulevard Temple by the painting's owner, Audrey Irmas, to fund the temple's OMA-designed extension.

As reported by the LA Times, the synagogue's new "Audrey Irmas Pavilion" has been designed to be "clearly in dialogue" with the 1929 Byzantine revival temple, and will be used in the celebration of weddings and bar mitzvahs, as well as for meetings, conferences, and gala events by other nonprofit groups. Though the design has not yet been unveiled, the pavilion is currently slated for a 2019 opening.

David Adjaye’s Aishti Foundation in Beirut Nears Completion

12:00 - 12 November, 2015
David Adjaye’s Aishti Foundation in Beirut Nears Completion , © Guillaume Ziccarelli
© Guillaume Ziccarelli

The David Adjaye-designed Aishti Foundation in Beirut, Lebanon is nearing completion. Located in central Beirut, the building replaces former warehouses, housing both an art gallery and retail space. This unique “juxtaposition of art and shopping” inspired Adjaye and Associates “to create a design for an entirely new typology that would integrate two, often conflicting, worlds,” write the architects in a press release.

© Guillaume Ziccarelli © Guillaume Ziccarelli © Guillaume Ziccarelli © Guillaume Ziccarelli +20

Hello Wood 2015: It Takes a Village to Raise Outstanding Architecture

06:00 - 12 November, 2015
Hello Wood 2015: It Takes a Village to Raise Outstanding Architecture , Mazzocchio. Image © Tamás Bujnovszky
Mazzocchio. Image © Tamás Bujnovszky

Set in the depths of rural HungaryHello Wood has emerged from the landscape for its 2015 edition, entitled 'Project Village'. Since 2010, the Hungarian-led collective of architects, designers, students and artists have gathered from around the world to create temporary wooden installations. Now in its sixth year, Hello Wood was realized with the help of 150 volunteers from 30 countries, and co-curated by Johanna Muszbek, with the shared vision to build a series of community-driven pavilions. Together the teams created fifteen unique wooden pavilions, each centred on a different component of the architecture of a village. 

The Towers. Image © Tamás Bujnovszky © Tamás Bujnovszky © Tamás Bujnovszky Tea Totem. Image © Tamás Bujnovszky +46

Swiss Students Design a Floating Pavilion on Lake Zurich for Manifesta 11

04:00 - 12 November, 2015
Swiss Students Design a Floating Pavilion on Lake Zurich for Manifesta 11, Rendering of of 'Pavilon of Reflections'. Image © ETH Studio Emerson
Rendering of of 'Pavilon of Reflections'. Image © ETH Studio Emerson

Manifesta—a nomadic, European biennial of contemporary art which "responds to the new social, cultural and political reality that developed in the aftermath of the Cold War"—emerged in the 1990s. For the eleventh incarnation of the event, which will take place in Zurich during the summer of 2016, Studio Tom Emerson have developed designs for a floating island which "will constitute a new temporary landmark in the city." Located on Lake Zurich and hosting an open-air cinema and integrated swimming pool, the Pavillon of Reflections will act as the central node for the 100-day festival. Designed and realised by a team of thirty students from ETH Zurich, the pavilion aims to offer a space for dialogue and reflection on the specific artworks created for the biennial.

Carbon Nanotubes, Kevlar and Spider Silk: Meet the World's Strongest New Materials

16:00 - 11 November, 2015
Carbon Nanotubes, Kevlar and Spider Silk: Meet the World's Strongest New Materials

Since the advent of the industrial revolution in the eighteenth century, materials experts have been in constant pursuit of the world's strongest materials. From stone to bricks, concrete to steel, innovation in building material has become a crucial element of architectural progression. For decades, steel has been considered the industry leader in building strength with applications in structures of all types. In a recent online documentary, researchers delved into the possibilities for alternatives to the strongest building materials on the market and arrived at some surprising results.

Could spider silk replace steel cables? Could carbon nanotubes become a substitute for rebar? Find out after the break.

New Images Released of Foster + Partners' Seagram-Adjacent Condos in New York

14:00 - 11 November, 2015
New Images Released of Foster + Partners' Seagram-Adjacent Condos in New York, © DBOX
© DBOX

RFR and Foster + Partners have released new images of One Hundred East 53rd Street, a 63-story luxury residential tower in New York next to Mies van der Rohe's famed Seagram Building. The skyscraper, which was announced last year, will contain 94 residences, a swimming pool, wellness facility, spa, library and sitting rooms, and its trademark Foster minimalism is intended to "provide a counterpoint to the Seagram’s bronze edifice," according to the developers RFR.

© DBOX © DBOX © DBOX © DBOX +7

Australian Institute of Architects Announces 2015 National Architecture Awards

06:00 - 11 November, 2015
Australian Institute of Architects Announces 2015 National Architecture Awards, Frederick Romberg Award – Upper House / Jackson Clements Burrows Architects (Vic)
. Image © John Gollings
Frederick Romberg Award – Upper House / Jackson Clements Burrows Architects (Vic)
. Image © John Gollings

The 2015 winners of the Australian Institute of Architects’ National Architecture Awards have been announced at a ceremony in Brisbane.

Overall, 42 projects received 46 awards in 14 categories, including commercial, public, and interior architecture. Winners were selected by a jury from the Chapter Architecture Awards, held earlier this year.

Read on after the break for a list of the winners.

Is Edinburgh's UNESCO World Heritage Status Under Threat?

04:00 - 11 November, 2015
Is Edinburgh's UNESCO World Heritage Status Under Threat?, View over Edinburgh. Image via College Tribune
View over Edinburgh. Image via College Tribune

"A spectre," writes Kevin McKenna for The Guardian, "thought happily to have been exorcised from the heart of beautiful Edinburgh, is stalking the city’s old wynds and crevices once more." To put it more bluntly, the "formal recognition of [the Scottish capital] as one of the world’s most beautiful cities is under threat, amid a battle for the soul of its most historic quarter." As the UNESCO inspectorate moves in to determine whether the city's World Heritage Status should be renewed McKenna laments, through a series of case studies, the potentially bleak built future of one of Britain's most loved urban centres.

schmidt hammer lassen to Expand ARoS Aarhus Art Museum

16:00 - 10 November, 2015
schmidt hammer lassen to Expand ARoS Aarhus Art Museum , Your Rainbow Panorama / Studio Olafur Eliasson. Image Courtesy of Studio Olafur Eliasson
Your Rainbow Panorama / Studio Olafur Eliasson. Image Courtesy of Studio Olafur Eliasson

schmidt hammer lassen architects has been commissioned to expand their ARoS Aarhus Art Museum in Denmark. The architects are expected to collaborate with American artist James Turrell, who will be designing two installations for the expansion's 1200-square-meter subterranean gallery: "The Sphere" and "The Dome." The €30 million expansion is being referred to as "The Next Level," symbolizing the museum's intent to "bring the museum into the world elite of modern art museums." The museum recently embarked on a similar collaboration that involved artist Olafur Eliasson, who designed "Your Rainbow Panorama."

Video: Amanda Williams On Color(ed) Theory

14:25 - 10 November, 2015
Video: Amanda Williams On Color(ed) Theory

In an effort to spark new ideas for "zero value landscapes," Amanda Williams has been painting abandoned houses in Chicago's South Side with a "palette of culturally coded, monochromatic colors" to "explore how academic and theoretical definitions of color map across veiled language used in American media/popular culture to describe racially charged city spaces... Think a female Gordon Matta-Clark parading around as a Black Josef Albers," says the artist. 

Madrid Río Wins Harvard's Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design

12:30 - 10 November, 2015
Madrid Río Wins Harvard's Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design , Courtesy of Harvard GSD
Courtesy of Harvard GSD

Madrid Río, a 120-hectare linear park that transformed the banks of Madrid's Manzanares River, has been awarded the Harvard Graduate School of Design's 12th Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design. Designed by Burgos & Garrido, Porras & La Casta, Rubio & Álvarez-Sala, and West 8, the public park completed its final phase this year - 10 years after being announced as winner of project's international competition.

“The decision to award Madrid Río the Green Prize in Urban Design was motivated by the jury’s desire to highlight the potential for thoughtfully planned and carefully executed mobility infrastructures to transform a city and its region,” commented jury chair Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Design and Planning at Harvard GSD. “The extent to which the project harnesses the deployment of new infrastructures as an opportunity to repair and regenerate the city through carefully articulated design interventions is particularly valuable within the context of contemporary urbanization globally.”

Courtesy of Harvard GSD Courtesy of Harvard GSD Courtesy of Burgos & Garrido Courtesy of Burgos & Garrido +20

Kengo Kuma Designs Sculptural Pavilion in Paris

06:00 - 10 November, 2015
Kengo Kuma Designs Sculptural Pavilion in Paris, © Stefan Tuchila
© Stefan Tuchila

Kengo Kuma & Associates has unveiled its latest project for the Galerie Philippe Gravier in Paris. Entitled Yure, a Japanese expression for a nomadic habitat moving in the wind, the project is made from identical wooden pieces, seeking to blur the lines between art and architecture with its organic structural geometry.

© Stefan Tuchila © Stefan Tuchila © Stefan Tuchila © Stefan Tuchila +25

RIBA Future Trends Survey Records Optimistic Prospects

04:00 - 10 November, 2015
RIBA Future Trends Survey Records Optimistic Prospects, Courtesy of RIBA
Courtesy of RIBA

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for September 2015 shows a level of consistency with the workload index remaining unchanged at a balance figure of +21. All nations and regions within the United Kingdom returned positive balance figures, with practices in Scotland responding most confidently about workloads in the next quarter. The report states that practices remain firmly positive about overall workload prospects in the medium term, though with "an apparent leveling-off in the rate of growth."

WSJ Names Richard Serra and Thomas Heatherwick Innovators of the Year

16:00 - 9 November, 2015
WSJ Names Richard Serra and Thomas Heatherwick Innovators of the Year, “East-West/West-East” / Richard Serra. Image © Nelson Garrido
“East-West/West-East” / Richard Serra. Image © Nelson Garrido

Richard Serra and Thomas Heatherwick are among the seven honored at WSJ. Magazine's fifth annual Innovator Awards last night at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Serra, who earlier this year celebrated the completion of his second Qatari sculpture, was deemed 2015's "Art Innovator;" Heatherwick's "adaptive designs" landed him the title of "Design Innovator" of the year. Read on for a short interview with both winners.

March Studio's Hotel Lobby in Australia Named World's Best Interior of 2015

14:00 - 9 November, 2015
March Studio's Hotel Lobby in Australia Named World's Best Interior of 2015, Winner: Hotel Hotel Lobby and Nishi Grand Stair Interior / March Studio. Image Courtesy of March Studio
Winner: Hotel Hotel Lobby and Nishi Grand Stair Interior / March Studio. Image Courtesy of March Studio

The "fragmented" lobby of Australia's Hotel Hotel in Canberra by March Studio has been named World Interior of the Year 2015. Announced at the INSIDE World Festival of Interiors in Singapore, concurrently with the World Architecture Festival's Building of the Year award, the winning project was selected over 100 nominated and 50 shortlisted projects for being the best global interior completed within the last 12 months. It also took top prize in the award's hotel category. 

The project has created a "Bilbao effect" that has helped rejuvenate the area, said the judges. Adding, it's a "masterful integration of different spaces into a seamless and delightful interior."

Brooklyn’s First Supertall Skyscraper to be Designed by SHoP

11:18 - 9 November, 2015
Brooklyn’s First Supertall Skyscraper to be Designed by SHoP, The proposed "340 Flatbush" Avenue tower. Image © SHoP Architects; H/T New York Yimby
The proposed "340 Flatbush" Avenue tower. Image © SHoP Architects; H/T New York Yimby

The first image of what will be Brooklyn's tallest building has been unveiled. Designed by SHoP Architects, the 1000-foot-tall skyscraper will boast a 12:1 ratio, as New York Yimby reports, making it one of New York's skinniest towers - despite being double the width of the practice's 111 West 57th Street project

"340 Flatbush," as it's known, is being developed by JDS. Upon its (tentative) completion in early 2019, the building will offer 466,000-square-feet of residential space, forming 550 units, and 140,000-square feet of commercial space. 

Can Anyone Win in Architecture Criticism? An Appeal for a "New Sincerity"

09:30 - 9 November, 2015
Can Anyone Win in Architecture Criticism? An Appeal for a "New Sincerity"

In the mid-1980s, after literature had long been held hostage by postmodernist irony and cynicism, a new wave of authors called for an end to negativity, promoting a "new sincerity" for fiction. Gaining momentum into the 1990s, the movement reached a pinnacle in 1993 when, in his essay E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction, pop-culture seer David Foster Wallace, a proponent of this "new sincerity," made the following call to action: “The next real literary ‘rebels’ in this country might well emerge as some weird bunch of anti-rebels, born oglers who dare somehow to back away from ironic watching, who have the childish gall actually to endorse and instantiate single-entendre principles... These anti-rebels would be outdated, of course, before they even started. Dead on the page. Too sincere. Clearly repressed. Backward, quaint, naive, anachronistic. Maybe that’ll be the point. Maybe that’s why they’ll be the next real rebels. Real rebels, as far as I can see, risk disapproval. The old postmodern insurgents risked the gasp and squeal: shock, disgust, outrage, censorship, accusations of socialism, anarchism, nihilism. Today’s risks are different. The new rebels might be artists willing to risk the yawn, the rolled eyes, the cool smile, the nudged ribs, the parody of gifted ironists, the ‘Oh how banal.'"

Architecture, ever in debt to the styles and ideas of other art forms, could learn a thing or two now from the resuscitation of American fiction at the turn of the millennium. It too is enduring an identity crisis, mired by pessimism and uncertainty - a reality made painfully clear this past January when a New York Times Op-Ed by Steven Bingler and Martin C. Pedersen, How to Rebuild Architecture, divided camps and made the design world fume. In the editorial, the authors spoke vehemently of an architectural profession that has become mired by egos and been disconnected from public needs. Things quickly got ugly, critics wrestled with critics and subsequently the public got involved. What no one seemed to take into account is that this type of hounding is at the core of the problem. In its current landscape the discipline has struggled with its past, been deferential to its present, and wrestled with the uncertainty of its future. In a moment when we have become addicted to despondency, can anyone win?

10 Striking GIFs That Bring Europe's Architectural Landmarks to Life

06:00 - 9 November, 2015

Funded through Kickstarter, Luke Shepard’s short film Night Vision is a “visual exploration of European buildings, monuments and landmarks after dark.” The film travels through 36 cities across 21 European countries, “creating image sequences of some of the most awe-inspiring European buildings.”

Shepard has also created a series of GIFs in conjunction with Night Vision, revealing in just a few seconds the beauty of 10 European heritage landmarks, ranging from the Metropolis building in Spain (featured above) to the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. 

View the GIFs after the break. 

MVRDV's Reflective 'Wunderkammer' in Rotterdam is Given the Green Light

04:00 - 9 November, 2015
MVRDV's Reflective 'Wunderkammer' in Rotterdam is Given the Green Light, © MVRDV
© MVRDV

Rotterdam will soon have a new cabinet of curiosities to add to its collection of architectural icons. For many years the city's Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, originally established in 1849, has required a safer space to house its world-class collection of painting, sculpture and prints – a collection which is said to have a total value of €7billion ($7.5billion). Last week the Municipality of Rotterdam voted in favour of the building’s construction and, with zoning approved, "the world’s first fully accessible art storage facility" is now slated to open its doors in 2018.

© MVRDV © MVRDV © MVRDV © MVRDV +19

Using Big Data to Determine the Extent of China's Ghost Cities

16:00 - 8 November, 2015
Using Big Data to Determine the Extent of China's Ghost Cities, Chenggong. Image © Barnaby Chambers via Shutterstock.com
Chenggong. Image © Barnaby Chambers via Shutterstock.com

In recent decades, China has undergone the most dramatic urban migration in the history of the world, so you might be forgiven for thinking all that is required from urban planners is to "build it and they will come," so to speak. However, as the Western media often reports with much schadenfreude, China's unprecedented urban explosion has not come without a few missteps, and many new cities are widely claimed to be "ghost cities," empty of residents even as more gigantic apartment blocks are being built. Such stories are usually accompanied by anecdotes of empty public spaces and a rough count of the number of homes left in the dark at night, but little further empirical data. So exactly how underpopulated does a city have to be to be a "ghost city," and just how rife are such places in China?

As reported by MIT Technology Review, one Chinese web company has started looking for answers to just such questions. Baidu, effectively a Chinese version of Google, has used their "Big Data Lab" to investigate the commuting patterns of their 700 million users, establishing exactly which cities are dramatically underpopulated.