Rendering has become the ultimate tool in the architect’s arsenal for communicating designs directly to clients. But with the seemingly infinite number of real-life material options that exist today, the textures built into rendering programs often fall short. In some cases, one may be able to find appropriate texture maps for their desired materials online, but when experimenting with new materials or unique colors the need for greater customization arises. In the past, perhaps you could attempt to manually create and edit your own texture maps, but this can be a long and arduous process.
In the spirit of their popular London series, Polish studio Zupagrafika has designed another set of paper cut-out models, entitled "Eastern Block." The series highlights Warsaw's modernist architecture, ranging from the quintessentially functional (Rotunda PKO) to regionally recognized works (Za Żelazną Bramą, Smolna 8, Mokotów) and a prefabricated block on the city's outskirts (Tarchomin).
In collaboration with the Colombian Society of Architects, the National Centre for Historical Memory (NCHM) has announced a new international competition to design Colombia's National Museum of Memory. Commemorating decades-long internal conflict in Colombia, the competition is part of a series of initiatives to make reparations to victims of the unrest, and will be the first national museum constructed in the midst of ongoing armed conflict. It is hoped that the museum will bring together mainstream historical accounts and "voices of resistance" to create a cultural landmark that is "restorative, monumental and memorial in nature." On June 1, the organizers will conduct a competition Q&A live stream in Spanish, after which point competition registration will be open until June 19. Entries can be submitted until July 29, with a winner announced on August 13. To read more about the competition and to register, click here.
Brooklyn design studio The Principals have completed the Dynamic Sanctuary, an interactive installation at Sight Unseen OFFSITE, during the 2015 NYCxDESIGN festival. Commissioned by Ford Motors, the light-based installation detects and pulses with the biorhythms of its visitors, creating a dynamic space in both name and nature.
In cooperation with the Museum of Architecture and Design Ljubljana an interactive Blind Date of European architects, planners and experts in urban development will be organized in autumn 2015. Under the title “Urban Realities” a collaboration of three selected teams together with local experts will be started. Invited architects and planners will work on a concrete topic and on abandoned construction pits in the city of Ljubljana.
SHoP Architects and Studio O+A have unveiled designs for a new Uber headquarters in San Francisco. Planned to rise on a 14-acre vacant site in the city's Mission Bay neighborhood, the 423,000 square-foot scheme will consist of two towers: an 11‐story tower at 1455 Third Street and a 6‐story structure at 1515 Third Street.
Brooklyn Academy of Music is showcasing five murals by the late Michael Graves as part of the institution's permanent visual art collection. All completed in 1974, the paintings were originally commissioned by Charles Gwathmey - one of the New York Five, along with Graves. And, as the New York Times reports, their "heightened use of color and ornamentation" portray a "general shift away from minimalism." Read more about the murals, here.
Discover historic New York with "OldNYC," a digital archive of the New York Public Library's "Photographic Views of New York City, 1870s-1970s" Collection. Bringing together an extensive catalogue of images from the library's Milstein Collection, OldNYC organizes photographs geographically, allowing users to view images specific to individual blocks and streets.
The project is also collaborative, asking visitors on the site to comment on photographs with "what's there now, what's changed, and what's stayed the same." Users can edit or add to captions on the back of each of the photos, creating a personal element in the latest retelling of New York's vibrant history.
Learn more about the project and view selected images after the break.
Out of 197 entries from 38 countries, six proposals have been chosen as the winners of the 2015 OISTAT Theatre Architecture Competition, which sought proposals for a floating theatre that could be moved to different locations along the Spree River in Germany. The ideas competition was organized by OISTAT (International Organization of Scenographers, Technicians, and Theatre Architects), and the winning proposals will be showcased at the exhibition Stage│Set│Scenery in Berlin in June.
Per the competition requirements, the floating theatre proposals accommodate audiences of up to 300 people with a backstage area for 20 or fewer performers. The performance space remains moored on the river, while the foyer, restrooms, and refreshments are housed in a temporary structure on land that can be moved when necessary.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for April 2015 shows widespread consistency in comparison to March, the workload index remaining around the same at +35 from +36 last month. The private housing sector remains strong, rising to +38, while the commercial sector forecast dropped slightly to +15. In addition, the public sector forecast saw a drop to +3 while the community sector forecast "experienced a significant decline" to -3 from +9 in March. However, workload forecast balance figures have remained high, and practices in London and the South of England are most confident about medium-term workloads. Small practices continue to be positive about the outlook for future workloads, while medium and large practices "continue to be even more optimistic about future growth."
The Graham Foundation has awarded over $490,000 in "Grants to Individuals" of 63 "outstanding projects" that "engage original ideas in architects." From a photographic survey of Le Corbusier's completed works to an online oral history regarding efforts to building housing for homeless individuals living with HIV and AIDS in New York City, the awarded projects range from participatory workshops to exhibitions and documentary films.
As The Graham Foundation says, each awarded project "advances new scholarship in the field of architecture, fuel creative experimentation and critical dialogue, and expand opportunities for public engagement with architecture and its role in contemporary society."
View all 63 awarded projects, after the break.
SHoP Architects and West 8 have teamed up with developer Michael Simkins to propose a new 10-acre "Innovation District" in Miami's Park West neighborhood. If approved, the four-block area would foster the "growth of creative technology industries" within the city and provide "world-class urban amenities" to the surrounding communities.
"True innovation today requires the very thing that cities, at their best, have always provided: creative proximity. Even as it continues its rapid development, the city of Miami does not currently offer significant urban environments that meet the necessary criteria," said SHoP in a press release.
X-Architects has won a competition to re-masterplan Mecca. As designMENA reports, the UAE-based practice has proposed a number of safe and streamlined pedestrian routes to "enhance the movement during the 'Nafrah,' the ritual of moving from Mina to Haram and vice versa" during the religious Hajj. The plan also includes a proposed mixed-use development adjacent to Hima Al Masheir (the holy ritual territories) that would provide service and facilities to those taking part in the pilgrimage.
The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts have announced that internationally renowned architectural historian and theorist Beatriz Colomina and architectural historian, theorist, and critic Mark Wigley will curate the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial to be held in the summer of 2016. Colomina, a Professor of Architecture at Princeton University and curator of the recent Radical Pedagogies: Architectural Education in a Time of Disciplinary Instability exhibition (Lisbon Triennale, 2013; Venice Biennale 2014) will join Wigley, Professor and Dean Emeritus of Columbia University's GSAPP and renowned writer and curator, in helping to cement the biennial's international reputation.
China will soon finish construction on what will be the world’s tallest and longest glass pedestrian bridge, floating 300 meters above a canyon in the Zhangjiajie National Park. Designed by Israeli architect, Haim Dotan, the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge will be 380 meters long, six meters wide and feature a transparent glass floor.
Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, which was comprehensively restored and reimagined by Spanish practice Cruz y Ortiz over the course of a decade, has been named as the 2015 European Museum of the Year (EMYA) by the European Museum Forum. Lauded by the jury as "a great museum, at the height of its powers, providing a rich experience to the public, and a socially aware outreach programme for visitors of all ages," its success has also been in the museum's "ambition to 'reach every child in the Netherlands by the age of twelve'" - an aspiration which has been praised as "notable, impressive and achievable." The coveted award has previously gone to Zaha Hadid Architects' Riverside Museum in Glasgow in 2013.
Monica Ponce de Leon has been named as the next Dean of Princeton's School of Architecture. Ponce de Leon, who co-founded Office dA in 1991, and then founded her own firm MPdL Studio in 2011, is the current Dean of the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She also previously taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design for 12 years, and is a recipient of the National Design Award in Architecture from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian National Design Museum.
The AIA has announced four projects as the winners of its inaugural Technology in Architectural Practice (TAP) Innovation Awards, with Morphosis Architects' Emerson College Los Angeles taking away the headline "Stellar Architecture" award. Started in 2005, the TAP Knowledge Community has led efforts to acknowledge and disseminate the best use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) technologies, and the AIA hopes that the new TAP Innovation Award will "enliven the discourse on how these innovations can advance the profession and practice of architecture and further the mission of the Institute."
See all four awarded projects after the break.