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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

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

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.

Design Your Own Home With MUJI's Prefab Vertical House

Japanese design brand MUJI has taken a bold step into architectural territory. A few years after a collaboration with Kengo Kuma to design two prefab houses, the company has come forth with a Vertical House in Tokyo. Streamlined and efficient, the home accommodates all the demands of residential living within a small plot of land.

Interior images and more information, after the break.

Courtesy of MUJI Courtesy of MUJI Courtesy of MUJI Courtesy of MUJI

Find a New Life for Your Old Cardboard with these Geometric DIY Halloween Masks

Grab your cardboard, parcel tape, and model building skills: Halloween masks are no longer just for witches and warlocks, but for architects too. A furniture designer turned mask creator based in the United Kingdom has created a series of geometric masks for the creatively inclined, available as a template online. A great way to use up leftover model-making materials, the masks were designed "to create a set of masks that could be built by anyone using local materials removing the need for mass manufacturing or shipping and with the minimum environmental impact," says their creator Steve Wintercroft.

Hashim Sarkis Named MIT’s New Dean of Architecture and Planning

Hashim Sarkis - a prominent scholar of architecture and urbanism, a practicing architect whose works have been built in the United States and the Middle East, and a leading expert on design in the Middle East - has been named the new dean of MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P), effective in January. Sarkis is currently the Aga Khan Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism in Muslim Societies at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD). He has been on the Harvard faculty since 1998, and has been a full professor since 2002.

Woods Bagot's Alternative Penn Station Solution Would Keep Madison Square Garden

Invited by the Municipal Arts Society (MAS) and the Regional Plan Association (RPA), Woods Bagot has created an alternative design for the future of New York's  Penn Station which would allow Madison Square Garden to remain in its current location above the station's entrance. The design, produced as part of MAS and RPA's report into the future of the station, the design was unveiled yesterday at Penn 2023: Where will the Garden Go?, the first session of the Municipal Arts Society's 2014 Summit for New York City, which discussed the possible options for the site at the end of Madison Square Garden's current 10-year permit.

Though the report by MAS and RPA favors the idea of moving Madison Square Garden - identifying Farley Post Office’s Western Annex and the Morgan Postal Facility and Annex as potential new sites - it also says that "there needs to be a Plan B... In the event a deal between the state, city, railroads and Madison Square Garden does not get done in the next eight years, there needs to be a plan for improving Penn Station and the surrounding district with the Garden still in place." This is where Woods Bagot's designs come in.

Read on after the break for more on Woods Bagot's proposal

A Mobile Italian Garden Overlooking London

The Decorators, an interdisciplinary group of practitioners working with space in London, recently transformed the terrace overlooking the city at Alexandra Palace by installing a mobile Italian garden. As a "landscape of scattered objects" which geometrically piece together to resemble a formal garden, the designers describe the project as somewhere between "grotto and folly, garden and landscape, stage and amphitheater," all the while drawing from the historical character of the surrounding context. The scheme ultimately "breaks the monumental proportions of the main building to meet visitors with a more intimate scale on their first encounter" with the palace.

© Dosfotos © Dosfotos © Dosfotos © Dosfotos

Fentress Releases Final Design for Miami Beach Convention Center

Fentress Architects has released plans for the $500 million redesign of the Miami Beach Convention Center. The news follows the City of Miami’s controversial decision to nix plans provided by OMA, who was originally awarded the commission after a high profile competition against BIG. 

Fentress will be working with Arquitectonica and West 8 on a significantly scaled-down masterplan that will include the renovation of the 500,000-square-foot exhibition hall and 200,000-square-feet of existing meeting space, as well as a new 80,000-square-foot ballroom and outdoor event space.

Architect Develops the World's First Hoverboard

Architects can do far more than design buildings. In fact, some of history’s most acclaimed innovators were not only architects, but also inventors. Leonardo da Vinci himself, the epitome of the Renaissance man, sketched buildings alongside ideas for flying machines. Buckminster Fuller was the ultimate futurist and invented the geodesic dome in addition to his Dymaxion Car, an automobile that was far ahead of its time. Now, an architect has developed “the world’s first hoverboard,” and the technology has far-reaching implications for not only transportation, but also buildings themselves. Read on after to break to learn more about what this technology could mean for the future.

ODA Aims to Bring “Qualities of Private House” to Multi-Family Housing in Brooklyn

ODA Architecture has shared with us “510 Driggs,” a multi-family residential project that aims to provide residents with the “qualities of a private house” within Brooklyn’s dense urban landscape. Each of the six-story building’s 100 units will be equipped with a large, functional outdoor space and at least two exposures to maximize light and air. 

SCAPE Wins 2014 Buckminster Fuller Challenge with Climate Change Adaptation Plan

"Don't fight forces, use them." - R. Buckminster Fuller

SCAPE’s comprehensive climate change adaptation and community development project, Living Breakwaters has been announced as winner of the 2014 Fuller Challenge, “socially responsible design’s highest award.” Announced by the Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI), the proposal was selected over seven shortlisted humanitarian initiatives and will receive a $100,000 prize for their innovative solution to solve one of humanity’s most pressing problems. 

"Living Breakwaters is about dissipating and working with natural energy rather than fighting it. It is on the one hand an engineering and infrastructure-related intervention, but it also has a unique biological function as well. The project team understand that you cannot keep back coastal flooding in the context of climate change, but what you can do is ameliorate the force and impact of 100 and 500 year storm surges to diminish the damage through ecological interventions, while simultaneously catalyzing dialog to nurture future stewards of the built environment," said Bill Browning of Terrapin Bright Green, a 2014 senior advisor and jury member.

More on Living Breakwaters, after the break.

These Collapsible Paper Models Help Museum-Goers Navigate the Rijksmuseum

Marijin van Oosten of MVO& has revolutionized the way visitors navigate museums: The Dutch graphic designer has designed a collapsible, 3D paper model of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum to help ease visitor confusion through the 19th century museum's 100 rooms. Dubbed the “Paper Pathfinder,” the innovative concept was awarded a Dutch Design Award this week. 

An image of the Paper Pathfinder collapsed, after the break.

Gastro-Architecture: Nicholas Blechman Illustrates Architecture as Food

Have you ever had the urge to squeeze a lemon on the dome of St. Peters Basilica? Or perhaps, crack a beer with Kohn Pedersen Fox’s “bottle opener”? New York-based designer Nicholas Blechman has put into illustration what we’ve all been thinking, landmark architecture as the food-related items they resemble. Check out Blechman’s “Gastro-Architecture” series here on the New York Times and preview a couple of our favorites, after the break. 

See All 1,715 Entries to the Guggenheim Helsinki Competition Online

GH-7128234610. Image Courtesy of Malcolm Reading Consultants
GH-7128234610. Image Courtesy of Malcolm Reading Consultants

The competition for the new Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki closed last month, becoming the most popular architectural competition in history with 1,715 entries. Now, competition organizers Malcolm Reading Consultants have made every single one available to view online, with each anonymous proposal presented in a series of two images, and a short description fro the architects. "Since its inception, this competition has been organized to be welcoming, inclusive, and transparent, and the gallery presents a singular opportunity for the public to explore and consider the broad expanse of entries," says Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation.

Competition organizer Malcolm Reading added: "For anyone interested in design, the gallery is a tremendous resource that offers rare insight into the design process and further illustrates how the vision for a Guggenheim Helsinki... [has] captured the imagination of architects around the world."

And indeed, the website does provide a tremendous tool: with such a huge volume of entries, the database and its associated tagging system offer an interesting way to probe the architectural zeitgeist: for example, it seems 'curved' buildings are almost twice as popular as 'straight' buildings; and 'opaque' buildings are still unpopular, being outpaced by 'transparent' buildings by almost five to one, despite the traditionally opaque museum typology.

But when it comes to architectural quality, where do you even begin with 1,715 proposals? The competition's website has that covered too, with a favorites button, a six-building shortlist tool and a search-by-registration tool. ArchDaily is here to help too: after the break, we've hand-picked 50 of the most exciting, unusual, interesting and simply absurd proposals for you to start talking about.

GH-7957359931. Image Courtesy of Malcolm Reading Consultants GH-7734493657. Image Courtesy of Malcolm Reading Consultants GH-4443683769. Image Courtesy of Malcolm Reading Consultants GH-8642314774. Image Courtesy of Malcolm Reading Consultants GH-24454218. Image Courtesy of Malcolm Reading Consultants GH-2546922855. Image Courtesy of Malcolm Reading Consultants GH-4420168699. Image Courtesy of Malcolm Reading Consultants GH-8839631394. Image Courtesy of Malcolm Reading Consultants

Studio Gang Reveals 14-Story Residential Tower Planned for Miami Design District

© Studio Gang Architects
© Studio Gang Architects

Studio Gang Architects has released designs for a 14-story residential tower in the Miami Design District. Anchored by ground floor retail and topped with a resident lounge and swimming pool, the tower will, as the architects describe, “demonstrate Studio Gang’s principle of exo-spatial high-rise design in which the inside extends to the outside in a dynamic spatial arrangement.”

Each of the building’s 76 residential units will frame panoramic views of Biscayne Bay and surrounding Buena Vista neighborhood with Studio Gang’s contemporary reinterpretation of a “Florida Room.”