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Triple Bridge Waterfront Competition Winners Announced

12:00 - 20 September, 2015
Triple Bridge Waterfront Competition Winners Announced, First Prize: Sun Yu and Zhao Xue. Image Courtesy of HMMD Competitions
First Prize: Sun Yu and Zhao Xue. Image Courtesy of HMMD Competitions

HMMD Competitions has announced the winners of its Triple Bridge Waterfront design competition, which called for designs to transform the Liepaja Canal coastline into a leisure avenue in Liepaja, Latvia.

Divided into four individually functioning zones, the site in question connects the famous Fontaine Palace, Great Amer symphony concert hall, Libava Hotel, the former railway bridge, and the newly proposed park in Zirgu Sala. In their submissions, designers thus had to include a “restaurant/café, nightclub/bar, exhibition space/conference hall, and an unprescribed tourist attraction.”

Entrants were additionally asked to consider the relationship between modern and historic developments and influences, as well as sustainable growth.

“Successful entries to the competition were refined, yet nimble to accommodate a vast site flanked by historic building and exposure to a canal.”

The winners of the competition are:

First-Year Architecture Students Design READER Shelter in Estonia

08:00 - 19 September, 2015
First-Year Architecture Students Design READER Shelter in Estonia, © Paco Ulman
© Paco Ulman

First-year architecture and urban planning students at the Estonian Academy of Arts have designed and created READER, a shelter based on the concept of removal from daily life, and focusing on oneself. Passers-by are invited to enter the shelter and “escape from the real world of problems into the fictional world of books.” And for those who don’t have a book on hand, the structure is meant to evoke the pages of a book through its ribbed wooden structure.

© Paco Ulman © Paco Ulman © Paco Ulman © Paco Ulman +8

Neri Oxman and SOM Among Fast Company's Innovation By Design Award Winners

16:09 - 18 September, 2015
Neri Oxman and SOM Among Fast Company's Innovation By Design Award Winners, © Design.Lab.Workshop via FastCoDesign
© Design.Lab.Workshop via FastCoDesign

From interlocking 3D printed bricks to SOM's "All Aboard Florida" train station in West Palm Beach Fast Company has named 13 winners for their 2015 "Innovation By Design Awards." Each winner was selected from over 1,500 projects worldwide for being "big ideas" with "meticulously though out details" and a "clear viewpoint about how we live now—and how it could be better."

This year's winners include...

Zaha Hadid Backs Down From Second Tokyo Olympic Stadium Bid

13:01 - 18 September, 2015
Zaha Hadid Backs Down From Second Tokyo Olympic Stadium Bid, ZHA's New National Stadium proposal. Image © Zaha Hadid Architects
ZHA's New National Stadium proposal. Image © Zaha Hadid Architects

Just two weeks after the Japan Sport Council launched a second call for New National Stadium proposals, Zaha Hadid Architects and partner Nikken Sekkei have withdrawn from the competition. Although the duo promised to develop a "cost-effective" design that strictly adhered to the new competition's scaled down brief, they were unable to secure a contractor and therefore were forced to step down from the competition. 

"It is disappointing that the two years of work and investment in the existing design for a new National Stadium for Japan cannot be further developed to meet the new brief through the new design competition," said ZHA in a press release.  

2015 PARK(ing) Day Map

12:00 - 18 September, 2015

Today citizens, artists and activists are "reclaiming their city" by transforming hundreds of metered parking spaces worldwide into temporary public parks and installations in an effort to call attention to the need for more open space. The yearly occurrence, known as PARK(ing) Day, has become an international phenomenon since its establishment in 2005 by the San Francisco art and design studio Rebar. Check out the official PARK(ing) Day Map to see if there are any pop-up parks happening in your area. 

Harvard GSD and John A. Paulson SEAS Launch Collaborative Design Engineering Degree Program

08:00 - 18 September, 2015
Harvard GSD and John A. Paulson SEAS Launch Collaborative Design Engineering Degree Program, Exhibit at Harvard GSD © Justin Knight. Image via Harvard GSD
Exhibit at Harvard GSD © Justin Knight. Image via Harvard GSD

Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) and John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have announced a new, collaborative program: the Master in Design Engineering (MDE) degree. Beginning in Fall 2016, the program, lasting for four terms over two years, will offer students the resources of both GSD and SEAS, combining skills and knowledge across fields to solve multi-scale, complex, open-ended problems.

David Adjaye Designs "Ruby City" for Linda Pace Foundation in San Antonio

16:00 - 17 September, 2015
David Adjaye Designs "Ruby City" for Linda Pace Foundation in San Antonio , Rendering of Linda Pace Foundation’s Ruby City in San Antonio, estimated to open 2018. Image © Adjaye Associates
Rendering of Linda Pace Foundation’s Ruby City in San Antonio, estimated to open 2018. Image © Adjaye Associates

The Linda Pace Foundation has unveiled plans for a new building designed by Adjaye Associates. Planned to open in San Antonio, Texas in 2018, "Ruby City" will house the Foundation's growing collection of contemporary art. The two-story structure, clad in "crimson-hued panels of precast concrete with glass aggregate," will be distinct with its "dramatic rooftop of sloping angles and skylights that rise to varying heights and echo cut-away spaces at the building’s base."

Mecanoo Replaces Foster on New York Public Library Overhaul

13:49 - 17 September, 2015
Mecanoo Replaces Foster on New York Public Library Overhaul, NYPL's main building on Fifth Avenue, is a Beaux-Arts masterpiece designed by architects Carrère & Hastings. Image © Flickr User CC wallyg
NYPL's main building on Fifth Avenue, is a Beaux-Arts masterpiece designed by architects Carrère & Hastings. Image © Flickr User CC wallyg

One year after scrapping Norman Foster's controversial redesign, the New York Public Library has commissioned Mecanoo to oversee the planned $300 million overhaul of its Mid-Manhattan branch and flagship Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue. The Dutch practice, who is also renovating Mies van der Rohe's Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington DC, will work with the preservation experts of Beyer Blinder Belle - the project's architect of record. 

"The building should be about the journey of learning," Mecanoo's founding partner and creative director Francine Houben told the New York Times. "Maybe you come in for a book but also take lessons in English." 

Images Released of Moshe Safdie's First New York Project

12:18 - 17 September, 2015
Images Released of Moshe Safdie's First New York Project, © Safdie Architects
© Safdie Architects

Images of Moshe Safdie's first New York project has been released. Planned to rise on a Manhattan site at West 30th Street, between Broadway and 5th Avenue, the 64-story mixed-use tower will feature a limestone base that compliments and serves its historic neighbor: the Marble Collegiate Church, one of the Collegiate Churches’ five ministries.

The building "will be distinguished by its vertical massing, which breaks down the scale of the tower into a series of three-story-high, offset projections," says Safdie Architects. "The offset projections also provide energy efficiency by self-shading the tower’s facade, further enhanced by additional sun shading at the south facade."

Proposals for Portland, New York Win US Tall Wood Building Prize

08:00 - 17 September, 2015
Proposals for Portland, New York Win US Tall Wood Building Prize, Framework; Portland, Oregon / Framework, LLC. Image Courtesy of LEVER Architecture
Framework; Portland, Oregon / Framework, LLC. Image Courtesy of LEVER Architecture

US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, in partnership with the Softwood Lumber Board and the Binational Softwood Lumber Council, has announced the winners of the US Tall Wood Building Prize Competition. The two winning projects—Framework, by Framework, LLC, and 475 West 18th, by 130-134 Holdings LLC—will each receive $1.5 million in funding for their development in Portland and New York, respectively. 

Each of the projects took a unique perspective on wood building systems, fulfilling the competition’s call “to showcase the safe application, practicality, and sustainability of a minimum 80-foot structure that uses mass timber, composite wood technologies, and innovative building techniques.”

75 Projects Advance in Reinventing Paris Competition

16:20 - 16 September, 2015
75 Projects Advance in Reinventing Paris Competition, Map of all 23 sites. Image © Reinventer Paris
Map of all 23 sites. Image © Reinventer Paris

Dominique Perrault, David Chipperfield, OMA, Shigeru Ban, Sou Fujimoto, and Jacques Ferrier are among 75 teams that have been selected to move onto Phase 3 of the highly anticipated "Reinventing Paris" competition. The first of its kind, the competition is calling on architects and designers to envision innovative projects to solve some of Paris' most pressing problems over 23 sites, from abandoned electricity substations to open spaces in the heart of urban areas. 

London Names RSHP's Leadenhall "Building of the Year 2015"

14:00 - 16 September, 2015
London Names RSHP's Leadenhall "Building of the Year 2015", The Leadenhall Building / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Image © Richard Bryant – Courtesy of British Land/Oxford Properties
The Leadenhall Building / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Image © Richard Bryant – Courtesy of British Land/Oxford Properties

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners' Leadenhall Building has been deemed the City of London's "Building of the Year 2015." The inaugural award, organized by the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects (WCCA), aims to "recognize the extraordinary examples of contemporary architecture across the London cityscape." 

The award's jury, chaired by World Architecture Festival director Paul Finch, selected the Leadenhall Building over 15 other publicly nominated buildings. It was lauded for providing a "world-class working environment" and having a positive impact on the city street. 

University of Michigan Researchers Improve Solar Panels Using the Ancient Japanese Art of Kirigami

12:00 - 16 September, 2015
University of Michigan Researchers Improve Solar Panels Using the Ancient Japanese Art of Kirigami , via Inhabitat
via Inhabitat

Solar energy is considered by many to be the future of electricity worldwide. Cities from Houston to Mumbai are embracing massive rooftop and rural solar infrastructure, a largely standardized system of fixed panels positioned to optimize sun intake at peak times. Only the most sophisticated adjustable panels which track the sun, however, are capable of absorbing the maximum amount of daylight allowed by the technology, meaning that the average immovable panel loses a significant amount of available energy.

Researchers at the University of Michigan sought to develop a solar energy system that could absorb the most daylight possible while reducing the carbon footprint from production of the panels themselves. The results are surprisingly beautiful: through the application of the ancient Japanese art of Kirigami, a variation of Origami, the researchers were able to capture up to 40 percent more sunlight than traditional panels.

Foster + Partners Unveils Design for Droneport in Rwanda

10:10 - 16 September, 2015
Foster + Partners Unveils Design for Droneport in Rwanda, Courtesy of Foster + Partners
Courtesy of Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners has unveiled designs for a droneport in Rwanda, proposed in an attempt to bring more efficient medical care and commercial delivery services to communities in Africa where there is a lack of infrastructure required to meet the population's needs.

"Just a third of Africans live within two kilometres of an all-season road," explains the press release. "It would require unprecedented levels of investment in roads and railways to catch up with the exponential growth in Africa’s population, which is set to double to 2.2 billion by 2050." Foster + Partners instead proposes to leap that development hurdle by making use of 21st century technology - namely drones.

OMA Launches New Website

16:40 - 15 September, 2015
OMA Launches New Website, © OMA
© OMA

The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has launched a new website in an effort to make their work more accessible. A collaboration with Oslo-based Bengler and NODE, oma.eu "functions as an omnivorous sensor," says OMA, that "redefines the office’s digital presence and offers a tool for many different users." Check it out for yourself, here

Gallery: OMA's Fondazione Prada Photographed by Laurian Ghinitoiu

14:00 - 15 September, 2015
Gallery: OMA's Fondazione Prada Photographed by Laurian Ghinitoiu, Fondazione Prada / OMA. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
Fondazione Prada / OMA. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu

In May, OMA celebrated the opening of Fondazione Prada. Set out to “expand the repertoire of spatial typologies in which art can be exhibited and shared with the public,” the project resulted in an “unusually diverse environment” staged within a historic 20th-century distillery south of Milan’s city center that goes beyond the traditional white museum box. 

Fondazione Prada / OMA. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu Fondazione Prada / OMA. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu Fondazione Prada / OMA. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu Fondazione Prada / OMA. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu +42

MoMA Mines Its Unparalleled Holdings for Its "Endless House" Exhibition

09:30 - 15 September, 2015
MoMA Mines Its Unparalleled Holdings for Its "Endless House" Exhibition, Elevation and plan of Raimund Abraham's The House without Rooms (1974). Image © 2015 Raimund Abraham
Elevation and plan of Raimund Abraham's The House without Rooms (1974). Image © 2015 Raimund Abraham

There is perhaps no better display of modern architecture’s historical victory than Jacque Tati’s film Playtime. In it, a futuristic Paris has left-for-dead the grand boulevards of Haussmann, in favor of endless grids of International Style offices. The old city is reduced to longing reflections of Sacré-Cœur and the Eiffel Tower in the glass of these shiny new monoliths. But the irony central to the film is that this construction is created through mere surface treatments, and as the narrative unfolds, cheap mass-production withers in a world where the veneer has triumphed over craftsmanship and polish. In short, Modernism hasn’t always been all it's cracked up to be.

In the Museum of Modern Art’s new exhibition, "Endless House: Intersections of Art and Architecture," the simplicities of mass-market modern homes are abolished by artists and architects who, in examples from the 1940s to the present, have chosen to use the dwelling as a platform for universal messages and as an arena for architectural experimentation. In the same way that photography freed painting from the terrestrial concerns of realism, the simplicity of modernism liberated artists and architects to subvert extant conventions of buildings.

Model of Asymptote Architecture's Wing House, Helsinki (2011). Image © 2015 Asymptote Architecture Model of Frederick Kiesler's Endless House (1950–60). Image © The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Department of Architecture and Design Study Center. Photographer: George Barrows Haus-Rucker-Co's Stück Natur (Piece of Nature) (1973). Image © 2015 Haus-Rucker-Co Model of Emilio Ambasz's Casa de Retiro Espiritual, Córdoba, Spain (1976–79). Image © 2015 Emilio Ambasz +20

LOHA’s WATERshed Reimagines and Reactivates the LA River

08:00 - 15 September, 2015
LOHA’s WATERshed Reimagines and Reactivates the LA River, Axonometric view of the Elysian Valley
Axonometric view of the Elysian Valley

Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA) has designed a speculative system of interventions for the Los Angeles River that “examines the relationship between urbanization and water use to develop new models of densification that recognize and tap into existing ecological and infrastructural patterns.” Called WATERshed, the design is part of the A+D Museum’s ongoing “Shelter: Rethinking How We Live in Los Angeles” exhibition that explores new typologies of housing in Los Angeles.

With their model for urban regeneration, LOHA hopes to address issues like the ongoing California drought, as well as the United Nation’s prediction that by 2030, nearly half of the world’s population will be living in areas of high water stress. Thus, the plan utilizes the Los Angeles River as a resource for water use and management in order to provide a path for sustainable growth in Los Angeles, and an example for other cities.

River Bridge Cap Bladder House Site section Transit Hub +16

9 Projects Shortlisted for WAF's Colour Prize

06:00 - 15 September, 2015
The winner of the 2014 Colour Prize - Departments Of Law And Central Administration / CRAB Studio. Image ©  Ronald Kreimel
The winner of the 2014 Colour Prize - Departments Of Law And Central Administration / CRAB Studio. Image © Ronald Kreimel

The World Architecture Festival (WAF) has announced the shortlist for its Colour Prize, which is supported by three-time Headline Sponsor AkzoNobel. Last year, the Innovative Use of Color on Exteriors Prize was awarded to the Vienna University of Economics and Business’ Department of Law and Central Administration, for its use of Copper Orange in a 200-meter-long pairing of buildings.

This year’s Color Prize shortlist includes nine projects that span the wide spectrum of WAF award categories:

The Best Structures of Burning Man 2015

14:48 - 14 September, 2015

It has been a week since the conclusion of this year's Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nevada, and images of its most imaginative structures are still surfacing. Even Bjarke Ingels has published a few of his favorite findings from the week-long event. Read on to see of the best structures and installations found at Burning Man 2015. 

Mecanoo Designs New Engineering Campus for University of Manchester

12:19 - 14 September, 2015
Mecanoo Designs New Engineering Campus for University of Manchester , © Mecanoo
© Mecanoo

Mecanoo has unveiled plans for a new £350 million engineering campus for the University of Manchester. Known as the "Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD)," the project will be the UK's largest, single construction endeavors ever conducted by a higher education institution. 

"The campus will help demonstrate how UK engineering is one of the most creative industries in the world – a key feature on the ground floor of the main hall will be a dedicated ‘maker space’ which will provide dynamic workshops for students and academics to share ideas and innovate," says Mecanoo.

Monocle 24 Examines Bilateral Inspiration Between Cities Across the World

04:00 - 14 September, 2015
Monocle 24 Examines Bilateral Inspiration Between Cities Across the World, New York City. Image © Harold Navarro
New York City. Image © Harold Navarro

For the latest episode of The UrbanistMonocle 24's weekly "guide to making better cities," the team explore the role of bilateral inspiration between metropolises across the world. Examples of cities relying on one another to draw lessons from and progress can be seen across the world: from the ways in which London and New York City tackle similar urban problems, to how a bike-sharing scheme in Paris has proven to be contagious. The show also visits Vienna, where its Imperial heritage is being imitated the world over, and the show ponders whether the fact that every continent "claiming to have its own Venice" is actually a good thing?

Nikolay Polissky Unveils His Latest Wood Installation in Russia

12:00 - 13 September, 2015
Nikolay Polissky Unveils His Latest Wood Installation in Russia, © Alexey Naroditskiy
© Alexey Naroditskiy

Russian artist Nikolay Polissky has completed yet another of his impressive, handcrafted installations. Located in Zvizzhi Village, in the Ugra National Park in Russia, Polissky’s newest creation—called SELPO, which stands for The Rural Consumer Association, in Russian—wraps around an abandoned soviet building, which used to house the village shop.

The project utilizes off-cut materials from Polissky’s previous work, which has ranged “from temporary pieces of landscape proportions, collectively created […] to public art works in city parks or sculpture parks […] in Europe and in Russia, as well as museum installations.”

© Alexey Naroditskiy © Kozhohin © Alexey Naroditskiy © Alexey Naroditskiy +12

Zaha Hadid: “Niemeyer Had an Innate Talent for Sensuality”

14:00 - 12 September, 2015
Zaha Hadid: “Niemeyer Had an Innate Talent for Sensuality”, © Steve Double
© Steve Double

The first woman to receive the Pritzker Prize in 2004, Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid tells newspaper El País that she was fortunate as a child to have traveled with her parents and seen some of the world’s most impressive works of architecture and engineering feats. 

Awed by the Mosque of Cordoba, Hadid says that the contrast between the darkness and the marble of the central church left a lasting impression, making this one of her favorite works to this day.