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Built Reminders of a Former Time: Europe's Dissolved Border Crossings Photographed

Citizens of central Europe, perhaps uniquely in the world, are used to a life of no borders and free movement between nations. Following two devastating wars fought primarily on European soil, the formation of the early European Union in the 1950s paved the way for a more liberal, less isolated continent. It was not until the signing of the Schengen Treaty in 1985 (which came into effect in 1995) that the majority of borders were truly dissolved and travelling between nations, cultures, and communities became as simple as walking down the road.

Ignacio Evangelista's series of photographs entitled After Schengen examine the remnants of the old, abandoned crossing points that still exist across the Union. No longer necessary to maintain a country's independent sovereignty, and almost twenty years since the revolutionary pact was ratified, these palimpsests of border control remain as striking today as when they when delineated the closed boundaries between nations.

See a selection of the collection after the break...

Border: Austria / Czech Republic. Image © Ignacio Evangelista Border: Austria / Hungary. Image © Ignacio Evangelista Border: Spain / France. Image © Ignacio Evangelista Border: Spain / France. Image © Ignacio Evangelista

Guardian Invites Readers to Submit the Best City Ideas for World Cities Day

With the first ever World Cities Day taking place on Friday, the Guardian is partnering with UN Habitat for the Cities Day Challenge, a day-long competition where representatives of 36 cities around the world will present their best city ideas, with the winner being selected for an in-depth article in the Guardian. Judged by Ivan Harbour of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Toronto City Planner Jennifer Keesmaat; Anna Minton, Dan Hill, Usman Haque and Adam Greenfield, the Guardian will be live-tweeting the entire day.

They are also reaching out to readers to "share your photos, videos and stories of something brilliant that your city does better than any other," some of which they will feature throughout the day. You can follow this link to contribute - or read on after the break as we take the opportunity to round up some of the biggest city ideas that have passed through the pages of ArchDaily.

PLOT's Copenhagen Harbour Bath has been a hugely successful precedent in the urban swimming trend. Image © Casper Dalhoff +Pool, the biggest ever urbanist project on kickstarter, hopes to reclaim a piece of New York's Hudson River for Swimmers. Image © Family, PlayLab Acting as Christchurch's cathedral until the actual cathedral is rebuilt, Shigeru Ban's Cardboard structure has been hugely popular. Image © Bridgit Anderson One of the most successful ways of pushing a social housing agenda has been ELEMENTAL's 'Half Finished House' typology. Image Courtesy of ELEMENTAL

Developer Says Problems with Prefabricated Homes "Must Not Stop Innovation"

Developer Tom Bloxham has argued that problems with prefabricated homes or other unusual building techniques "must not stop innovation" in the UK housing sector. Bloxham, whose company Urban Splash was responsible for the Stirling Prize-nominated Park Hill regeneration and has worked with architects such as Norman Foster, FAT and Will Alsop, was speaking at an Archiboo event titled "Housebuilding is Ripe for Disruption." Discussing the problems that have befallen RSH+P's Oxley Woods project, he said "Whenever we innovate something inevitably goes wrong. There are risks and it is difficult. But somebody has to take these risks for the industry to move forward," reports the Architects' Journal.

Diller, Scofidio + Renfro to Design Colorado Springs' Olympic Museum

The US Olympic Museum committee has selected Diller, Scofidio + Renfro to design a $60 million museum in downtown Colorado Springs. The New York-based practice will collaborate with Anderson Mason Dale Architects of Denver and exhibit designer Gallagher & Associates to showcase the Olympic and Paralympic's history through exhibits and artifacts. Once complete by early 2018, the museum will include a hall of fame, theater, a 20,000-square-foot exhibit hall and retail space. Designs are expected to be released by mid-2015. 

Grimshaw and Gruen's LA Union Station Masterplan Gains Approval from Planning Board

Open Space View in Forecourt. Image © Grimshaw / Gruen Associates, Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)
Open Space View in Forecourt. Image © Grimshaw / Gruen Associates, Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)

Update: The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors has approved approved the proposed masterplan by Grimshaw and Gruen; the scheme will now go ahead, subject to the availability of funding. The below article is from 22 September 2014.

The New York office of Grimshaw and LA based Gruen Associates were officially awarded the Los Angeles Union Station master plan in July of 2012 after six initial proposals for the project. Now the Metro Board has begun to finalize plans and move towards implementation, with their Planning Committee scheduled to discuss the proposals in early November. Read on to learn more about how the plan has developed over the past two years and the next steps towards its implementation. 

East Entrance View. Image © Grimshaw / Gruen Associates, Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Passenger Concourse View. Image © Grimshaw / Gruen Associates, Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Bus Terminal View. Image © Grimshaw / Gruen Associates, Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Open Space View in Forecourt. Image © Grimshaw / Gruen Associates, Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)

d3 Natural Systems 2014 Winners Announced

d3 has announced the winners of its Natural Systems Competition for 2014, an annual competition that offers architects, designers, engineers and students the chance to investigate natural processes from the microscopic to macroscopic scale and propose innovative, nature-based solutions in architecture, urbanism, interiors and product design for sustainable living.

The jury, a panel of architects and designers engaged in sustainable practices and computational explorations, has this year selected a top three as well as eleven special mentions. Join us after the break for images from all 14 designs.

Iconic Architects Photoshopped "Giving the Finger" in Support of Frank Gehry

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Image Courtesy of Supporting Frank Owen Gehry
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Image Courtesy of Supporting Frank Owen Gehry

Last week, Frank Gehry made headlines when he responded to a reporter asking about his “showy architecture” with the finger and a proclamation that 98% of today’s architecture is “pure shit.” Unsurprisingly, this got the architecture world storming. Responses ranged from “oh the irony” to “absolutely refreshing” (join the conversation here). Perhaps most notably, one tumblr has responded in support of the Pritzker Prize-winning architect with images of architecture’s biggest icons giving the finger and Supporting Frank Owen Gehry.

Charles and Ray Eames, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer are some of the few who have “shown” their support. See our favorites, after the break.

We're Teaming Up With CEMEX To Cover the XXIII CEMEX Building Award

CEMEX’s annual Building Awards recognize the best in architecture and construction both within Mexico as well as internationally, highlighting innovative design and building and construction techniques across nine different categories. International finalist projects this year range from Frank Gehry’s Biomuseo in Panama to Plan B Arquitectos’ Click Clack Hotel in Bogotá, Colombia.

Cruz y Ortiz Completes Renovation of the Rijksmuseum's Philips Wing

Cruz y Ortis, who famously spent ten years redesigning and renovating Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, have recently completed a comprehensive restoration of the adjacent Philips Wing. As an addition to the extensive exhibition spaces of the Dutch national museum, which was brought to completion in 2013, the Philips Wing will be dedicated to showcasing high-profile exhibitions from its own collection and on loan from international and national collections. Cruz y Ortiz's work has consisted of reorienting the entrance, accommodating diverse new functions and preparing the exhibition rooms for the temporary expositions starting next month. Several twentieth century interventions have been set back and corrected, whilst other areas have been appropriated for a new destination.

See drawings and photographs of the new wing, including a description from the architects, after the break.

The Philips Wing. Image © Rijksmuseum / Tilleman The Philips Wing. Image © Rijksmuseum / Tilleman The Philips Wing. Image © Rijksmuseum / Tilleman The Philips Wing. Image © Rijksmuseum / Tilleman

Sou Fujimoto Constructs Inhabitable Nomadic Structure for Parisian Art Fair

Over the weekend, Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto exhibited an inhabitable sculpture of stacked and suspended aluminum cubes as part of the FIAC art fair in the Parisian Jardins des Tuileries’ gardens. The installation, “Many Small Cubes” is his first project in Paris and was commissioned by the Philippe Gravier art gallery as an exploration of nomadic structures and Sou Fujimoto’s concept of bringing architecture closer to nature. 

"The floating masses of Many Small Cubes creates a new experience of space, a rhythm of flickering shadows and lights like the sun filtering through leafy trees,” described Sou Fujimoto.

Michael Rotondi to Receive Richard J. Neutra Medal for Professional Excellence

Michael Rotondi, principle of Los Angeles-based RoTo Architecture and former student of Cal Poly Pomona, has been selected to receive the Richard J. Neutra Medal for Professional Excellence from the College of Environmental Design at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Co-founder of SCI-Arc and long-time architectural educator at Arizona State University, Rotondi was selected for his “commitment to architectural education, for the concern he shows in his work for society and the environment, and for the inventiveness of his architecture,” says Cal Poly Pomona professor Sarah Lorenzen.

Safdie Architects to Design Medal of Honor Museum in South Carolina

Following a national search, the National Medal of Honor Foundation has selected Safdie Architects to design its new museum and education center at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Safdie was selected for their “extensive experience with cultural projects and national monuments across the U.S. and abroad.” The National Medal of Honor Museum will bring the stories of the Medal of Honor recipients to life for visitors. 

DESIGN SHAPES LIFE: Villeroy & Boch Launches Bathroom Design Challenge

Courtesy of Villeroy & Boch
Courtesy of Villeroy & Boch

Villeroy & Boch have kicked off their first North American Designer Bathroom Challenge, inviting architects and licensed designers to develop a concept for a contemporary and multisensory bathroom design for the chance to win a trip to Germany.

Bathrooms are an essential part of daily life from the moment you jump into the shower in the morning to brushing your teeth before hopping into bed at night. While well-designed bath and wellness products that are easy to use and maintain are essential for functionality, when they are enhanced with complementing textures, sounds, scents and lighting, the functional bathroom space is transformed into a true multisensory experience. Villeroy & Boch is challenging architects and designers to incorporate both of these elements into their design, creating a functional and a multisensory space.

AIA Report Finds Increasing Acceptance of Carbon Reduction Targets

The 2030 Progress Report for the American Institute of Architects (AIA)'s 2030 Commitment - a voluntary program for architects who want to commit their practice to advancing the AIA's goal of carbon neutral buildings by the year 2030 - has found a significant increase in the number of projects that meet its current targets for a 60% reduction in carbon emissions, with over 400 buildings in the program meeting the goal. "There is some very encouraging data in this report that shows how architects are making measurable progress towards reducing the carbon emissions in their design projects," said AIA Chief Executive Officer, Robert Ivy, FAIA. Read on after the break for more results of the report.

The Principals Install Sound Reactive, Silver-Coated "Quilt" at Neuehouse

Commissioned by Sonos to create a sound reactive installation in collaboration with the musician Dev Hynes (aka Blood Orange), The Principals created a 16-foot-tall canopy, 8-feet-wide by 36-feet-long covering the performance and grand stand seating area of the private workspace collective Neuehouse. Inspired by the work of Arthur Rimbaud, The Principals chose the name Ancient Chaos, a phrase from his poem Matinée d'Ivresse which speaks to a basic force of wonder within all of us at the hidden patterns of nature. The installation, both a sonic composition and a physical structure, creates sounds that verge on the architectural and architecture that verges on the fluid.  

More information and a video of the installation in motion, after the break.  

BBC Ranks Eight Greatest New Museums

According to the BBC, Frank Gehry’s Biomuseo in Panama City, Steven Holl’s Sifang Art Museum in Nanjing, and BIG’s Danish National Maritime Museum in Helsingør are among the top eight greatest museums recently completed. Do you agree? Let us know which recently completed museums tops your list in the comment section after the break and review the BBC’s complete selection here

Twitter Reacts to 1,715 Guggenheim Designs

The news that every single one of the 1,715 designs for the future Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki have been released via a new competition website was understandably something of a media storm earlier this week. As the largest ever set of proposals to be simultaneously released to the public, how could anyone possibly come to terms with the sheer number and quality of the designs - let alone all the other issues which the proposals shed light on?

In this instance, the answer to that question is simple: get help. Guggenheim Helsinki will arguably go down in history as the prototypical competition for the social media age, not just for releasing the designs to the public but for their platform which enables people to select favorites, and compile and share shortlists. In the days since the website launched, Twitter users have risen to the challenge. See what some of them had to say after the break.

Daniel Tobin Selected to Design AIDS Memorial in West Hollywood

The West Hollywood City Council has selected Australian designer Daniel Tobin to build an AIDS memorial for West Hollywood Park. As stated by the non-profit Foundation for an AIDS Monument, Tobin’s installation of 341 vertical strands “functions as a destination piece — recognizable as an AIDS monument, leaving no question about the work when you leave the space.” Each vertical strand represents 5,000 Americans who have died from or living with AIDS. You can learn more about Tobin’s selection and design, here