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10 Compete to Revitalize Los Angeles’ Oldest Park

Ten practices from around the world have been shortlisted in a competition that aims to transform Los Angeles' Pershing Square one of Southern California's top destinations. Located on a five-acre plot in the city's downtown, Pershing Square is Los Angeles' oldest park. Each semi-finalist has been challenged to develop proposals based off of experiences. A small selection of finalists will be selected in December to move on to the competition's final phase.  

The 10 semifinalists are:

Field Operations to Design National Building Museum's Next Summer Installation

James Corner Field Operations has been chosen to design the National Building Museum's 2016 Summer Block Party installation. Just like its predecessors, including Snarkitecture's popular BEACH and BIG's massive Labyrinth, the installation will take over the Museum's Great Hall. With the design in its preliminary stages, little has been revealed. However, its mission is to "present innovative, interactive experiences that experiment with new ways of seeing and understanding the built environment."

“We are very excited about this opportunity to once again transform the Great Hall for summer spectacle and pleasure,” said James Corner, adding that “it will be a great challenge to surpass the genius of previous installations, but also an opportunity to explore something new and unexpected.” 

LCD's VULCAN Awarded Guinness World Record for Largest 3D Printed Structure

Guinness World Records has awarded the title of "largest 3D printed structure" to VULCAN, a temporary pavilion designed by the Beijing-based Laboratory for Creative Design (LCD). Made up of 1023 individually printed segments, the structure was 9.08 meters long and 2.88 meters tall, and took 30 days to print and a further 12 days to assemble. The pavilion was on display earlier this month at Beijing Design Week, located in Beijing's Parkview Green retail center.

Courtesy of Laboratory for Creative Design and Beijing Design Week Courtesy of Laboratory for Creative Design and Beijing Design Week Courtesy of Laboratory for Creative Design and Beijing Design Week Courtesy of Laboratory for Creative Design and Beijing Design Week

Installation at London's Southbank Centre Opens Archive to the Public

The Southbank Centre—a large complex of Grade One listed, Modernist cultural venues on the banks of the River Thames—are poised to refurbish three of their most loved spaces: the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Purcell Room and the Hayward Gallery. As part of this transformation, London-based practice Jonathan Tuckey Design (JTD) have been commissioned to create a new 'Archive Studio' set within the foyer of the Royal Festival Hall, all part and parcel of the Southbank Centre’s desire to open up access to their collections and archives. JTD's free-standing, self-supporting structure is "an open framework which makes the scale the archival process apparent to visitors, held together by polished brass nuts and bolts and clad in perforated hardboard."

Studio Dror Designs Steel Sculpture for New Zealand Winery

Studio Dror has been commissioned by Brancott Estate in New Zealand to design a steel sculpture inspired by the winery's history. The result, "a flat matrix of CorTen steel" that "stretches open to become a nine-meter-tall volume of aggregated triangulations." Named "Under/standing," the installation was inspired by the winemaking process. It will be built in 2016. 

Renzo Piano Defends London's Skyscraper Boom

"Cities face a choice of building up or building out," says Renzo Piano, according to a recent article on the Daily Mail. Responding to backlash led by the Skyline Campaign, a campaign spearheaded by architect Barbara Weiss that "aims to stop the devastation of London by badly designed and poorly placed tall buildings," Piano is defending London's controversial skyscraper boom by saying it's giving the one thing the city needs most: "space on the ground."

EmTech TWISTs Plywood at the Timber Expo in Birmingham

Emergent Technologies and Design Programme (EmTech) at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London has recently exhibited their project, The TWIST at the Timber Expo in Birmingham. The project is an experimentation in the properties of milled plywood, developed throughout 1:1 tests. Through these experiments, The TWIST seeks to gain full control of the material properties, developing articulated surfaces with the variable orientation of its elements. Read more about the project after the break.

Fendi Fashion House Relocates to the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana in Rome

The Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana (also known as the 'Square Colosseum') is perhaps the most emblematic architectural project realised during Benito Mussolini's Fascist dictatorship, which governed Italy between 1922 and 1943. Now, sixty years later and having never been used, Italian fashion house Fendi and architect Marco Costanzi have—amid controversy—renovated the historically charged building into their headquarters, with office space to accommodate around 450 employees. Having reportedly signed a fifteen year lease with the municipality of Rome, the haute fashion house will be paying around €240,000 ($265,000) in annual rent.

SHoP Reveals Plan to Expand SITE Santa Fe

SHoP Architects have unveiled plans to expand SITE Santa Fe, a contemporary arts venue in the city of Santa Fe. With a mission to serve as a "dynamic cultural hub" within the heart of Santa Fe Railyard (one of America's six Great Public Spaces according to the American Planning Association), the new design "draws inspiration from traditional Navajo patternmaking" and will be anchored in the "distinctive material qualities" of its historic site. 

Sergey Skuratov Wins Competition for Multi Use Project on Moscow River Bank


A consortium led by Sergey Skuratov Architects (SSA) was selected over Steven Holl Architects and Miralles Tagliabue EMBT to develop a concept for a multi use complex on Moscow's Sofiyskaya Embankment. Planned for a historic area on the Moscow-river bank, opposite Kremlin, the winning concept calls for three "longitudinal units with roofs of different types and heights" that produce a "picturesque outline" and offers a "gentle transition" from the "old buildings to new."

Read on for a glimpse of the winning and two runner-up proposals. 

Snøhetta's SFMOMA Expansion Nears Completion

Snøhetta's 10-story expansion of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is nearing completion. As announced by SFMOMA, the "transformed" museum will reopen to the public on Saturday, May 14, 2016. Its new 235,000-square-foot addition (that nearly tripled SFMOMA's gallery space) was designed by Snøhetta to "weave" into the city and connect "seamlessly" to the museum's existing 225,000-square-foot building designed by Mario Botta

MVRDV Transfer Early Work to the Archives of Rotterdam's Nieuwe Instituut

Rotterdam-based practice MVRDV have begun a transfer of their early work, spanning fifteen years from 1993 to 2008, to Het Nieuwe Instituut — the central architecture archive of The Netherlands. This collection, which will eventually be made available to the public, will be in the institute's first primarily digital donation (approximately eight terabytes of data) and consisting of material from 400 of the practice's 680 total projects, including the Villa VPRO, the Silodam in Amsterdam, and the Markthal Rotterdam, as well as unrealised projects such as Meta City Datatown, Pig City, and 3D City Cube.

Famous Landmarks Reimagined with Paper Cutouts

For the past few months, Rich McCor has been traveling around the world reimagining famous landmarks with paper cutouts.

Starting with some research on the locations he visits, McCor shifts between finding instant inspiration and letting his subconscious drive his creations: “After doing the first few cut-outs, I think my brain learned to look for quirky shapes and ideas in architecture and everyday objects; it’s a pretty good mental exercise.”

Montmartre, Paris. Image © Rich McCor St. Paul's Cathedral, London. Image © Rich McCor Arc de Triomphe, Paris. Image © Rich McCor The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen. Image © Rich McCor

Spotlight: Paulo Mendes da Rocha

"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.

London’s Royal Academy of Arts Announces 4 Finalists for Urban Jigsaw Competition

The Royal Academy of Arts in London has announced the four shortlisted proposals in their Urban Jigsaw competition, which aims to generate ideas for the renewal of Brownfield sites in London. After appraisal of many high-quality entries, four finalists have been selected to move onto the next stage of the project. See the finalist proposals after the break.

These Interactive Graphics Show the Evolution of Tall Buildings in New York

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has released a new research study called New York: The Ultimate Skyscraper Laboratory, which utilizes data to “develop graphic features showing the progression of tall building development in New York City.”

The Timeline of Skyscrapers in New York City Region 1906-2018 graphic illustrates “how skyscraper construction aligned with social or political events in history” in the context of key events, for example, building inactivity around the period of World War II.

Forward Slash ( / ) ARCHITEKTUR Selected to Design Performa 15 Hub in NYC

Performa has selected the office of Christoph A. Kumpusch, Forward Slash ( / ) ARCHITEKTUR, as the winner of the competition to design the Performa 15 Hub. Held in New York City, Performa is a Biennale dedicated to live performance across artistic disciplines. This year’s Biennial, Performa 15, will take place November 1 -22, and the Performa Hub serves as the biennial's headquarters, offering a venue for special performances, screenings, panel discussions, artists’ seminars, a lounge, a shop and a visitor information center. Read more about the winning entry and Performa after the break.

Pop Up Box: A Customizable Retail Space in Germany

DITTEL | ARCHITEKTEN GmbH has created Pop Up Box, a convertible retail space located in a shopping center in Stuttgart, Germany. With its cube design, the Box serves as a self-contained, customizable presentation area, where retailers can move three of the four pieces to create his or her own sales space.