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Video: Amanda Williams On Color(ed) Theory

14:25 - 10 November, 2015

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. 

Watch the video above, commissioned by the Chicago Architecture Biennial and produced by Spirit of Space, to learn more.

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.

Leaking Water Becomes Latest Setback for the World Trade Center Hub

12:00 - 8 November, 2015
Leaking Water Becomes Latest Setback for the World Trade Center Hub, © Joe Woolhead
© Joe Woolhead

Adding to the controversy surrounding its construction, Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center Hub - set to be the world’s most expensive transit hub with a now-estimated budget of $3.7 billion - has delayed its opening until the first half of 2016 due to leaking water, according to an article in The New York Times. The water, originating from the site of an office tower to-be at 3 World Trade Center has been traced back to workers constantly spraying water to handle dust while breaking up concrete, exposing the construction site of 3 World Trade Center to the elements. Though the centerpiece of the Hub, The Oculus, has nearly finished construction, several retail spaces of the Westfield World Trade Center luxury shopping centre have been affected by the leaking and the Westfield Corporation has decided to postpone the move-in of all stores until the problem has been fully addressed. Despite the problems, the Westfield Corporation remains optimistic of the final result that the Oculus will produce and are working aggressively to remedy the leaking.

A Parametric Devotion: Patrik Schumacher Discusses "Architecture and Freedom" at the Royal Academy

16:00 - 7 November, 2015

For its fall season of architecture events, the Royal Academy’s working theme is “Architecture and Freedom: a changing connection,” in a program conceived and organized by Architecture Programme Curator, Owen Hopkins. One of these events was a recent lecture by Patrik Schumacher, Director of Zaha Hadid Architects, and ardent promoter of Parametricism. In his lecture, what starts out with a brief exercise in damage control over the barrage of criticism recently endured by the firm, emerges as an impassioned discussion of architectural politics, design philosophies, and social imperatives.

2015 LEAF Awards Announced

12:00 - 7 November, 2015
Overall Winner: Ribbon Chapel / Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP Co. Ltd. Image Courtesy of LEAF International
Overall Winner: Ribbon Chapel / Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP Co. Ltd. Image Courtesy of LEAF International

The winners of the 2015 LEAF Awards have been announced. Founded in 2001, the awards ceremony honors innovative architecture projects in 13 different categories dedicated to various aspects of building, including best façade design and engineering, best future building, and public building of the year.

Find out which projects won the awards, after the break.

The Best US Architecture Schools for 2016 are...

14:30 - 6 November, 2015
The Best US Architecture Schools for 2016 are... , The Trays at Harvard GSD. Image © Kris Snibbe/Harvard University News Office
The Trays at Harvard GSD. Image © Kris Snibbe/Harvard University News Office

DesignIntelligence has released their 2016 rankings of the Best Architecture Schools in the US for both undergraduate and graduate programs. Nearly 1500 professional practice organizations were surveyed this year, as part of the survey's 16th edition, and were asked the following question: “In your firm’s hiring experience in the past five years, which of the following schools are best preparing students for success in the profession?”

This information, along with detailed accounts on the best programs that teach skills in design, communication, sustainability and technology, resulted in the 2016 rankings. The two top schools, Cornell for undergraduates and Harvard for graduates, held their positions as the best programs to attend, according to the study.

Without further ado, the top 10 undergraduate and graduate programs in the US are...

OMA and Ole Scheeren's Interlace Named World Building of the Year 2015

13:01 - 6 November, 2015
OMA and Ole Scheeren's Interlace Named World Building of the Year 2015, World Building of the Year Winner: The Interlace (Singapore) / OMA and Ole Scheeren. Image © Iwan Baan
World Building of the Year Winner: The Interlace (Singapore) / OMA and Ole Scheeren. Image © Iwan Baan

OMA and Buro Ole Scheeren's vertical village in Singapore, The Interlace has been named the World Building of the Year 2015 at culmination of the World Architecture Festival (WAF). Celebrated for being "an example of bold, contemporary architectural thinking," as WAF Director Paul Finch described, the project is eighth building to ever win the illustrious award. It is considered to be a "radical new approach to contemporary living in a tropical environment."

Winners of the year's Future Project, Landscape, Small Project and Color Prize awards were also announced. Read on to see the who won with comments from the jury. 

Fernando Guerra Wins Arcaid Award for World's Best Building Image

12:06 - 6 November, 2015
Fernando Guerra Wins Arcaid Award for World's Best Building Image, Winner: EPFL Quartier Nord (Ecublens, Switzerland) / Richter Dahl Rocha & Associés'. Image © Fernando Guerra
Winner: EPFL Quartier Nord (Ecublens, Switzerland) / Richter Dahl Rocha & Associés'. Image © Fernando Guerra

Fernando Guerra's stunning image of Richter Dahl Rocha & Associés' EPFL Quartier Nord in Ecublens, Switzerland, has won the Arcaid Images Architectural Photography Award. Announced at the ongoing World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Singapore, the image was selected by a panel of judges for its ability to "translate the sophistication of architecture into a readable and understandable two dimensions."

"The architecture itself is the focus and the image regarded only as the medium. The Arcaid Images Architectural Photography Award aims to put the focus onto the skill and creativity of the photographer," said the Award's organizers.

Each shortlisted image was judged on the merits of the photography for composition, sense of place, atmosphere and use of scale; Guerra had the highest scoring image overall. 

"The high level of photography has made it a very difficult the task to choose the winners. The most important thing for us has been the concept and atmosphere of the images. How they have been perceived and expressed through the creativity and inspiration of the photographer," said architects and jury members Fabrizio Barozzi and Alberto Veiga.

The runners up included...

Granby Workshop: Assemble Launch an Eclectic Range of Socially Conscious Homeware

08:00 - 6 November, 2015
Granby Workshop: Assemble Launch an Eclectic Range of Socially Conscious Homeware, Courtesy of Assemble
Courtesy of Assemble

In the late nineteenth century the rise of the industrial revolution inspired a counter-movement to reignite the production of handmade goods across the world. Led by classically trained artisans from rural England, the Arts and Crafts movement briefly swept Europe and North America on principles of celebrating high calibre and unique goods resulting in an array of furniture, textiles, wallpaper and architecture, among others.

More than a century later, the Arts and Crafts movement is in the midst of a renaissance led by 2015 RIBA Turner Prize nominees Assemble Studio. Founded under the moniker Granby Workshop, the newly formed Liverpool-based artisan collective aims to eliminate widespread dereliction in one of the city's most blighted boroughs through the replacement of objects that have, over time, been stripped away. Sustained through a crowd funding model, Granby Workshop has launched a broad collection of locally sourced, designed and assembled homewares available for purchase online. 

Sutherland Hussey Architects' Wins Award for Best Building in Scotland

06:00 - 6 November, 2015
Sutherland Hussey Architects' Wins Award for Best Building in Scotland, West Burn Lane, St Andrews / Sutherland Hussey Architects. Image © SHA
West Burn Lane, St Andrews / Sutherland Hussey Architects. Image © SHA

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) has deemed Sutherland Hussey Architects' latest housing scheme the "Best Building" in Scotland by awarding it the 2015 Doolan prize. The "West Burn Lane" project was said to be the "clear winner" of the £25,000 award, as AJ reports, selected from a shortlist of 12 Scottish buildings.

The brick courtyard housing project was lauded by the jury for being "expertly woven" into the context of St. Andrews - one of Scotland's most historic areas.  

Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum 'Bans' Cameras to Encourage Sketching

04:00 - 6 November, 2015
Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum 'Bans' Cameras to Encourage Sketching, Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum (2015). Image © Rijksmuseum
Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum (2015). Image © Rijksmuseum

Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, which was recently renovated and restored by Cruz y Ortiz, have launched The Big Draw campaign, encouraging visitors to ditch the camera and pick up a pad and pencil. Under the tagline 'You See More When You Draw', the Dutch national museum want to "help visitors discover and appreciate the beauty of art, architecture and history through drawing" as a counter to what they describe as an often "passive and superficial experience" when seen through the lens of a smartphone.

CEMEX Announces Winners of the XXIV Building Awards

23:30 - 5 November, 2015
CEMEX Announces Winners of the XXIV Building Awards

CEMEX has announced both the international and national winners of its XXIV Building Awards during a ceremony held in Mexico City. A total of 637 projects competed in the National Edition across 13 categories, while 36 projects competing across five categories participated in the international awards.

This year’s Building Awards honor the best architecture and construction projects built during 2014 that use concrete technologies in creative and innovative ways with a focus on sustainability and social well-being.

In addition to honoring the best projects each year, CEMEX also recognizes an architect or engineer “whose contributions in the world of construction have been valuable and left great lessons to society” through the Lorenzo H. Zambrano Lifetime Achievement Award. This year Rafael Moneo was selected as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for “his invaluable architectural expressions and his contribution to education and construction both in Spain and abroad.”

View the 2015 Building Award Winners after the break. 

Zaha Hadid's Investcorp Building Honored with Oxford Preservation Trust Award

14:00 - 5 November, 2015
Zaha Hadid's Investcorp Building Honored with Oxford Preservation Trust Award, The Investcorp Building / Zaha Hadid Architects. Image © Luke Hayes
The Investcorp Building / Zaha Hadid Architects. Image © Luke Hayes

Since 1957, the Middle East Center at St. Antony's College has been the University of Oxford's facility for research and teaching on the Arab world, Iran, Israel and Turkey. Over the years, the center's world-class archive has grown exponentially, leading to the commission of Zaha Hadid Architects to expand its facility; the recently completed Investcorp Building doubled the center's library and archive space, while delicately integrating a new 117-seat lecture theater into the college's restricted site. 

Honoring its success and "vital role" in the community, the Investcorp Building has been selected as a winner in the Oxford Preservation Trust Awards' New Building category - now in its 38th year. 

Jeanne Gang to Expand New York's American Museum of Natural History

11:35 - 5 November, 2015
Jeanne Gang to Expand New York's American Museum of Natural History, The new Central Exhibition Hall, which also serves as the Columbus Avenue entrance. Image © AMNH/D. Finnin
The new Central Exhibition Hall, which also serves as the Columbus Avenue entrance. Image © AMNH/D. Finnin

A conceptual design by Studio Gang was unveiled today as the preferred expansion to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York. The proposed building, named the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation, aims to host an array of public exhibition space as well as become a premier "active scientific and educational institution" that enhances connections with the existing Museum and encourages exploration amongst its users. 

“We uncovered a way to vastly improve visitor circulation and Museum functionality, while tapping into the desire for exploration and discovery that are emblematic of science and also part of being human,” said Jeanne Gang, founder of Studio Gang. “Upon entering the space, natural daylight from above and sightlines to various activities inside invite movement through the Central Exhibition Hall on a journey towards deeper understanding. The architectural design grew out of the Museum’s mission.”

WAF Day 2 Winners Announced

08:30 - 5 November, 2015
WAF Day 2 Winners Announced, World Architecture Festival, the world's largest international architectural event, has today announced the second of two sets of category winners for 2015.
World Architecture Festival, the world's largest international architectural event, has today announced the second of two sets of category winners for 2015.

The second group of winners of the World Architecture Festival’s (WAF) 2015 category awards have been announced today with BIG’s future Vancouver House in Canada and People's Architecture Office’s The Courtyard House Plugin in China among the awarded projects.

The 14 winners from day two of the festival will go on to compete against the winners of day one to receive the title World Building of the Year. The projects will be presented in front of a Super Jury, which includes Manuelle Gautrand, Sou Fujimoto and Peter Cook.

Check out the Day 1 winners here and view the Day 2 winners after the break.