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7 Leading Architects Defend the World's Most Hated Buildings

12:38 - 5 June, 2015
7 Leading Architects Defend the World's Most Hated Buildings, Vele di Scampia. Image © Nick Hannes/Hollandse Hoogte/Redux
Vele di Scampia. Image © Nick Hannes/Hollandse Hoogte/Redux

From Paris' most abhorred tower to New York's controversial government center, seven renowned architects have stepped up in defense of the world's most hated buildings in a newly published article on T Magazine. As told to Alexandra Lange, the article presents direct quotes from Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind, Norman Foster and four others regarding controversial architecture whose importance goes beyond aesthetics.

See what hated building Norman Foster believes to be a "heroic" structure, after the break. 

Video: Pat Vale's Drawing Time-Lapse Brings NYC to Life

08:00 - 5 June, 2015

Back in 2012, we found "Empire State of Pen," an amazing video of London-based artist and animator Patrick Vale’s drawing of Manhattan from the perspective of the Empire State Building. Now, Vale has taken a different perspective of the city, this time traveling a bit farther uptown to the Rockefeller Center area. Vale’s new drawing looks south, with the Empire State Building in the center, and the Freedom Tower in the background. To the east you can see the Chrysler Building, and to the west lies the Bank of America Tower in the Times Square area.

Vale started the drawing in December of 2014, when he spent an afternoon in -15 degree weather sketching and taking pictures, which he then took back to his studio to create the piece. The whole process took over a month to complete. Watch Vale's drawing come to life in the time-lapse video above, and view images of his illustration after the break.

UNStudio and EHA Compete to Design 's-Hertogenbosch's City Center Theater

17:15 - 4 June, 2015
UNStudio and EHA Compete to Design 's-Hertogenbosch's City Center Theater, © UNStudio
© UNStudio

Residents of 's-Hertogenbosch have been asked to vote on proposals by UNStudio and Ector Hoogstad Architecten to decide who will design their new City Center Theater. Though vastly different, both proposals promise to provide a timeless main theater and flexible performance hall that connects to an inviting foyer and seamlessly merges with the adjacent public plaza.

The public's vote will count towards 50 percent of the final decision. Ground breaking is expected to occur in 2017, with completion scheduled for 2020. Read on for a preview of both proposals.

2015 AIA/HUD Secretary Awards Honor Housing Projects

08:00 - 4 June, 2015
2015 AIA/HUD Secretary Awards Honor Housing Projects, Step Up / Brooks + Scarpa. Image © John Edward Linden
Step Up / Brooks + Scarpa. Image © John Edward Linden

The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Housing Knowledge Community, together with the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has announced two selections for the 2015 AIA/HUD Secretary Awards, which recognize innovative housing projects with excellence in design. This year's projects were selected in the Excellence in Affordable Housing Design and Creating Community Connection categories. 

The Excellence in Affordable Housing Design Award was awarded to Brooks + Scarpa for their Step Up project in Santa Monica, California, which embodies the award’s recognition of “architecture that demonstrates overall excellent design responses to the needs and constraints of affordable housing."

Gossens Bachman Architects was announced as the winner of the Creating Community Connection Award for their Co-op Plaza Redevelopment in Brattleboro, Vermont. This award “recognizes projects that incorporate housing within other community amenities for the purposes of either revitalization or planned growth.”

More about the winners, after the break…

Gottlieb Paludan Architects Awarded Scandinavia’s Largest Architecture Prize

06:00 - 4 June, 2015
Gottlieb Paludan Architects Awarded Scandinavia’s Largest Architecture Prize, Kastrup Peak Load Power Pant. Image Courtesy of Gottlieb Paludan Architects
Kastrup Peak Load Power Pant. Image Courtesy of Gottlieb Paludan Architects

The 2015 Nykredit Architecture Prize has been awarded to Gottlieb Paludan Architects (GPA) for their contribution to the design of public utility and industrial buildings. Founded by the Nykredit Foundation, the 500,000-DKK prize has become Scandinavia’s foremost architectural award, with past winners including Jørn Utzon, Bjarke Ingels and CEBRA.

BIO4. Image Courtesy of Gottlieb Paludan Architects Kastrup Substation. Image Courtesy of Gottlieb Paludan Architects Odense Foot and Cycling Brdge. Image Courtesy of Gottlieb Paludan Architects District Cooling Plant. Image Courtesy of Gottlieb Paludan Architects +10

Foster + Partners Declared Largest Practice In The UK

04:00 - 4 June, 2015
Foster + Partners Declared Largest Practice In The UK, Foster + Partners' Riverside Studios in London. Image Courtesy of Foster + Partners
Foster + Partners' Riverside Studios in London. Image Courtesy of Foster + Partners

The Architects' Journal (AJ) have revealed the results of their fourth AJ120 award, an annual survey which ranks the largest and wealthiest practices based in the UK. Partially calculated on the number of ARB-registered (or equivalent) fully qualified architects in employment, the AJ have announced that London based Foster + Partners have topped the 2015 table. Describing the 48 year old practice as an "international powerhouse," employing 312 architects (out of their 1,066 employees worldwide), the survey also shows that "the £185million fees billed by the practice’s architects – up a huge £45 million from last year – made up 38% of the combined total of all of the companies in the Top 10." The survey saw BDP ranked second, while AHMM came in third.

Open Call: 2015 Faith & Form/IFRAA International Awards Program

16:00 - 3 June, 2015
Open Call: 2015 Faith & Form/IFRAA International Awards Program, 2014 Faith & Form Award Winner: Watermark Community Church / OMNIPLAN Architects. Image © Peter Calvin
2014 Faith & Form Award Winner: Watermark Community Church / OMNIPLAN Architects. Image © Peter Calvin

Submissions are invited for the 2015 Faith & Form/IFRAA International Awards Program, which recognizes excellence in the design of religious architecture, restoration and renovation of religious buildings, religious arts, religious landscape design, the design of unbuilt religious projects, and student design projects for spiritual environments. The winners of the awards program will be chosen by an independent jury panel of recognized experts in the field and will be published globally. All submissions are digital and the deadline is June 30, 2015. More information can be found here

OMA Among 5 Shortlisted for Singapore Rail Corridor

12:25 - 3 June, 2015
OMA Among 5 Shortlisted for Singapore Rail Corridor, Singapore Rail Corridor. Image Courtesy of OMA
Singapore Rail Corridor. Image Courtesy of OMA

MVRDV, OMA and DP Architects are among five shortlisted teams competing to design the Singapore Rail Corridor. Spanning the island south to north, from the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station to the Woodlands Checkpoint, the corridor is the site of Singapore’s previous rail link to Malaysia. With this competition, the Singapore government hopes to develop a feasible plan to transform the 24 kilometer stretch into a public greenway that connects four important urban nodes: Buona Vista, the Bukit Timah Railway Station area, the former Bukit Timah Fire Station, and Kranji. 

“The expanse of the corridor running through the centre of the entire country presents an unprecedented opportunity to develop a new typology of landscape with transformative effects for the country as a whole. This is a project that has the potential to improve quality of life for generations to come," says OMA Partner Michael Kokora. 

64 teams responded to the government's call for ideas, and now only five have been selected to move onto the competition's second stage. These five teams are...

Material Masters: The Traditional Tiles of Wang Shu & Lu Wenyu

10:30 - 3 June, 2015
Material Masters: The Traditional Tiles of Wang Shu & Lu Wenyu, via www.ilgiornaledellarchitettura.com (image of Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu) and © Iwan Baan (image of Ningbo Historic Museum)
via www.ilgiornaledellarchitettura.com (image of Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu) and © Iwan Baan (image of Ningbo Historic Museum)

Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu of Amateur Architecture Studio are known for their distinctly contextual attitudes towards design which prize tradition and timelessness above anything else. In many cases, their use of materials is governed by local availability of salvaged building elements. Tiles, in particular, represent a material used repeatedly by Amateur Architecture studio and for Wang Shu, who won the 2012 Pritzker Prize, they offer a political as well as an architectural message.

Mayer/Reed, Snøhetta and DIALOG Selected to Design Oregon's Willamette Falls Riverwalk

08:00 - 3 June, 2015
Mayer/Reed, Snøhetta and DIALOG Selected to Design Oregon's Willamette Falls Riverwalk, Courtesy of Snøhetta, DIALOG, Mayer/Reed
Courtesy of Snøhetta, DIALOG, Mayer/Reed

For the first time in 100 years, Oregon’s Willamette Falls will open to the public, with a Riverwalk proposed by Mayer/Reed, Snøhetta and DIALOG. The second largest waterfall in the US, Willamette Falls has a diverse history, and the proposed design seeks to celebrate and amplify the power of the falls, weaving the pedestrian through its rich cultural and geological history.

The final destination of many west-bound pioneers on the Oregon Trail during the 1800s, the falls also served as a gathering spot and source of fish for Native Americans. During the 19th and 20th century, it was an industrial powerhouse, accommodating woolen, lumber, flour and paper mills, and a brick making operation. Yet after the bankruptcy of the Blue Heron Paper Mill, the site has been inhospitable to the public, haunted by empty industrial buildings.

Hundertwasser's Last Unbuilt Work Could Become a Reality in New Zealand

06:00 - 3 June, 2015
Hundertwasser's Last Unbuilt Work Could Become a Reality in New Zealand, A representation of the Hundertwasser Art Center in Whangarei's Town Basin. Image © Wikimedia CC User Steve Sharp
A representation of the Hundertwasser Art Center in Whangarei's Town Basin. Image © Wikimedia CC User Steve Sharp

The future of Friedensreich Hundertwasser's last unbuilt work -- a proposed Art Center for Whangarei, New Zealand -- hangs in the balance and will be decided next week by a referendum. The center, backed by the Proper Northland Trust (PNT), was originally designed in 1993 by Hundertwasser to repurpose a waterfront government building, but was never completed.

Hundertwasser, an Austrian artist and architect who lived on and off in New Zealand from the 1970s until his death in 2000, centered his designs on colorful, organic forms, and the relationship between art and nature, as well as the practice of sustainable building.

Gallery: Inside Herzog & de Meuron's Bordeaux Stadium During Its Inaugural Match

16:30 - 2 June, 2015
© Philippe Caumes
© Philippe Caumes

Architectural photographer Philippe Caumes has sent us images from the open match at Herzog & de Meuron's newly completed Bordeaux Stadium in France. Sometimes compared to a classical temple, the all-white, rectangular stadium is distinct with a forest of slender columns touching down on an inviting grand staircase that ushers fans into its 42,000-seat "bowl." Take a look inside, after the break. 

© Philippe Caumes © Philippe Caumes © Philippe Caumes © Philippe Caumes +56

Qatar Searches for Architect to Transform Flour Mill into Museum Complex

14:27 - 2 June, 2015
Qatar Searches for Architect to Transform Flour Mill into Museum Complex, Project site. Image © Qatar Museums and Malcolm Reading Consultants
Project site. Image © Qatar Museums and Malcolm Reading Consultants

Qatar Museums has launched an international search for an architect to convert an existing flour mill within the Arabian Gulf port into a massive "Art Mill." Planned for a prominent site in Doha, near I.M. Pei’s Museum of Islamic Art and Jean Nouvel’s forthcoming National Museum of Qatar, the new museum will be realized through a three-stage competition open to practicing architects with at least seven years of experience. 

"The industrial process of milling has left a fascinating legacy in the layout and spaces of the existing buildings on the site, notably voluminous spaces and a rhythmic, patterned promenade of vertical silos. Some of the Flour Mills buildings possess an authentic monumentality in terms of positioning, scale and noble forms. Re-using and adapting these structures will be integral to the project," says competition organizer Malcolm Reading on the Art Mill's official site. 

Live off the Grid in Nice Architects’ Wind and Solar-Powered Ecocapsule

08:00 - 2 June, 2015
Live off the Grid in Nice Architects’ Wind and Solar-Powered Ecocapsule, Courtesy of Nice Architects
Courtesy of Nice Architects

Living off the grid just got a little bit easier, thanks to Nice Architects’ Ecocapsule, a self-sufficient, portable pod that is powered by solar and wind energy. Unveiled at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna, the micro-home’s spherical shape is designed to maximize the collection of rainwater and minimize energy loss.

The Ecocapsule includes a 9,744 watt-hour battery, which is charged by a built-in 750-watt wind turbine, and 2.6 square meters of solar panels. The energy system can support someone living off the grid for about a year, depending on the location, according to the architects. The unit also contains a built-in kitchenette with running water, a flushing toilet and hot water.  

Learn more about the Ecocapsule and view images after the break.

Inside the Spanish Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015

06:00 - 2 June, 2015
Inside the Spanish Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015, © Iñigo Bujedo-Aguirre
© Iñigo Bujedo-Aguirre

Spanish photographers Iñigo Bujedo-Aguirre and Adrià Goula have shared with us images of the Spanish pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015. Designed by B720 Fermín Vazquez Arquitectos, the pavilion represents the fusion between Spain’s traditional food and innovative gastronomy. This duality creates an attractive and flexible space, which incorporates an open, patio-like area with orange trees – another symbol of Spanish culture.  

The Rise Of Private Art Galleries

04:00 - 2 June, 2015
The Rise Of Private Art Galleries, © Ailine Liefeld
© Ailine Liefeld

In an article for The New Yorker, Ben Mauk examines the rise of the private art 'museum.' In the centre of Berlin there sits a "heavy, grey, and shrapnel-pocked" bunker, designed by Nazi architect Karl Bonatz under the direction of Albert Speer which, in 2003, was transformed into a private gallery. Having been bought by Christian and Karen Boros in order to display a portion of their sizeable collection of contemporary art, the only way for a member of the public to gain admittance is by registering online for a group tour. For Mauk, however, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Read the article in full here.

MGA Proposes World's Tallest Wood Building in Paris

16:00 - 1 June, 2015
MGA Proposes World's Tallest Wood Building in Paris, © MGA
© MGA

Michael Green Architecture (MGA) and DVVD has teamed up with REI France developments to propose the world's tallest wood building in Paris. The carbon-neutral proposal, developed as part of the city’s innovative Réinventer Paris competition, aims to alleviate the city's urban housing challenges.

“Our goal is that through innovation, youthful social contact and overall community building, we have created a design that becomes uniquely important to Paris,” said Michael Green, Principal of MGA. “Just as Gustave Eiffel shattered our conception of what was possible a century and a half ago, this project can push the envelope of wood innovation with France in the forefront. The Pershing Site is the perfect moment for Paris to embrace the next era of architecture.” 

New Site Revealed for BIG and Heatherwick-Designed Google HQ Expansion

14:00 - 1 June, 2015
New Site Revealed for BIG and Heatherwick-Designed Google HQ Expansion, © Google / BIG / Heatherwick Studio
© Google / BIG / Heatherwick Studio

Google has found another way to realize its futuristic Mountain View headquarter's expansion. As the San Jose Mercury News reports, the search engine giant revealed plans to utilize a vacant site just east of their existing Googleplex that was approved by the city almost a decade ago to host nearly 600,000 square-feet of office and commercial space. The approval occurred prior to the city implementing strict legislation that restricts office expansions in the North Bayshore district, therefore Google's entitlement is essentially "grandfathered in."

AD App Guide: Morpholio Launches Crit, a Messaging App for Architects

10:00 - 1 June, 2015

Adding to an already stellar range of apps for architects and designers, today The Morpholio Project has launched Crit, a messaging app for architects which allows users to critique designs, share ideas and send key information such as dimensions and materials. With modern architectural projects relying on increasingly large teams of architects, engineers, project managers and contractors, design decisions have to be shared with a large number of people - leading to slow decisions in an increasingly fast-paced world. According to Morpholio, the idea for the Crit App arose from the question: "What if photos, sketches, images, drawings, and comments could be instantly fused into a single legible “design” discussion?"

Courtesy of The Morpholio Project Courtesy of The Morpholio Project Courtesy of The Morpholio Project Courtesy of The Morpholio Project +12

Winners of the 2015 Auckland Architecture Awards Announced

16:00 - 31 May, 2015
Winners of the 2015 Auckland Architecture Awards Announced, Carlaw Park Student Village / Warren and Mahoney. Image © Simon Devitt
Carlaw Park Student Village / Warren and Mahoney. Image © Simon Devitt

From 159 submissions, 44 have emerged as winners of the NZIA's 2015 Auckland Architecture Awards. The titles were bestowed upon 20 firms for new projects spanning 10 categories, ranging from a restrained renovation of a historic building in a Victorian neighborhood, to a bold, modern transportation hub. This year's awards were grounded in three main areas of the city, with Britomart dominating in hospitality and retail designs, Hobsonville Point receiving educational and multi-unit housing awards, and Titirangi gaining recognition for its stellar public architecture and housing.

The winning projects will be considered for the highest honor in the NZIA's awards program, the New Zealand Architecture Awards, which will be announced in November. See the full list of winners after the break.

Boatsheds / Strachan Group Architects and Rachael Rush. Image © Patrick Reynolds Te Kohanga House / Wendy Shacklock Architects and Paul Clarke of Crosson Clarke Carnachan. Image © Sam Hartnett MIT Manukau and Transport Interchange / Warren and Mahoney. Image © Simon Devitt Pt Chevalier Bungalow / Megan Edwards Architects. Image © Patrick Reynolds +44

PixPlant 3: Create Custom 3D Texture Maps for Rendering

14:00 - 31 May, 2015
PixPlant 3: Create Custom 3D Texture Maps for Rendering , Courtesy of PixPlant
Courtesy of PixPlant

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.

Zupagrafika's "Eastern Block" Series Brings Warsaw to Life in Paper

12:00 - 31 May, 2015
Zupagrafika's "Eastern Block" Series Brings Warsaw to Life in Paper, © Zupagrafika
© Zupagrafika

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).

© Zupagrafika © Zupagrafika © Zupagrafika © Zupagrafika +16

Call for Entries in Competition to Design Colombia's National Museum of History

14:00 - 30 May, 2015
Call for Entries in Competition to Design Colombia's National Museum of History, Courtesy of Colombian Society of Architects
Courtesy of Colombian Society of Architects

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.

The Principals’ Dynamic Sanctuary Pulses in Time to Visitors’ Heartbeats

12:00 - 30 May, 2015
The Principals’ Dynamic Sanctuary Pulses in Time to Visitors’ Heartbeats, © Mike Vorrasi
© Mike Vorrasi

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.

The modular installation was manually constructed by The Principals in their Brooklyn studio. Learn more about the project and view selected images after the break.  

© Pippa Drummond © Mike Vorrasi © Pippa Drummond © Pippa Drummond +12