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AIA Names 10 Most Impressive Houses of 2015

13:00 - 18 April, 2015
AIA Names 10 Most Impressive Houses of 2015, La Casa Permanent Supportive Housing / Studio Twenty Seven Architecture + Leo A Daly
La Casa Permanent Supportive Housing / Studio Twenty Seven Architecture + Leo A Daly

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) have announced the recipients of the 2015 Housing Awards. Currently in its 15th year, the awards are designed to “recognize the best in US housing design” and “promote the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource.” This year, the jury awarded ten designs in three categories. See them all, after the break. 

Marlboro Music: Five Cottages / HGA Architects and Engineers Broadway Affordable Housing / Kevin Daly Architects 160 Massachusetts Avenue Tower / William Rawn Associates. Image © Bruce T. Martin Photography Bayview Hill Gardens / David Baker Architects. Image © Matt Edge +11

Living Building Challenge Now Fulfills LEED Energy and Water Requirements

19:00 - 17 April, 2015
Living Building Challenge Now Fulfills LEED Energy and Water Requirements, Living Building Challenge certified: Hawaii Preparatory Academy Energy Laboratory. Image © Flansburgh Architects
Living Building Challenge certified: Hawaii Preparatory Academy Energy Laboratory. Image © Flansburgh Architects

The Living Building Challenge will now fulfill the energy and water requirements for LEED. As the U.S. Green Building Council announced, this marks an important step in the USGBC's mission to make LEED an accessible platform that complements other construction rating systems.

The USGBC's decision essentially equates the two systems in the fields of water and energy efficiency, recognizing projects that meet the Living Building Challenge's standards within these areas as equivalent to LEED standards. By doing so, it encourages a spirit of collaboration toward sustainable goals across competing rating systems.

Tall Wood Building and Self-Supported Steel Structure Win RAIC's Innovation Award

17:30 - 17 April, 2015
Tall Wood Building and Self-Supported Steel Structure Win RAIC's Innovation Award, © Ema Peter
© Ema Peter

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) has awarded two British Columbia projects with the 2015 Innovation in Architecture award for their use of wood and steel: Michael Green Architecture's Wood Innovation Design Center in Prince George has been deemed to be an exemplar for tall timber buildings, while Patkau Architects' origami-inspired One Fold research project illustrates the structural potential of folding steel sheets. A closer look at both projects, after the break. 

A Look at China's "Nail Houses"

15:00 - 17 April, 2015
A Look at China's "Nail Houses", © Reuters / Image via The Atlantic
© Reuters / Image via The Atlantic

China's rapid growth has led to some unusual situations; shocking images of so-called "nail houses" continue to circle the internet, depicting defiant homeowners refusing to give up their homes for low compensation in the name of "progress." Standalone homes, and even some graves, are being surrounded by high-rise development and roadways, as land disputes play out in court. The Atlantic has just published a fascinating round-up of these peculiar situations. You can view them all, here.  

All the Buildings in Sydney Drawn by Hand

13:10 - 17 April, 2015
All the Buildings in Sydney Drawn by Hand, Courtesy of James Gulliver Hancock
Courtesy of James Gulliver Hancock

From James Gulliver Hancock, author and illustrator of the All the Buildings in New York book and blog, comes All the Buildings in Sydney, a vibrant guide to Hancock's home town.

Packed full of idiosyncratically meticulous and colorful illustrations, the book provides a whimsical account of Sydney's architecture and history. From icons such as Utzon's Sydney Opera House to lesser known gems like Mark Foy's building opposite Hyde Park, to the terrace houses of inner city suburbs, All the Buildings in Sydney presents each building with care, detail, and an abundance of charm.

See more images from All the Buildings in Sydney, after the break…

Courtesy of James Gulliver Hancock Courtesy of James Gulliver Hancock Courtesy of James Gulliver Hancock Courtesy of James Gulliver Hancock +5

Rem Koolhaas: "Soon, Your House Could Betray You"

07:00 - 17 April, 2015
Rem Koolhaas: "Soon, Your House Could Betray You", Courtesy of Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture, and Design, via Flickr
Courtesy of Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture, and Design, via Flickr

In the latest of a series of polemical arguments against smart citiesRem Koolhaas has penned perhaps his most complete analysis yet of the role that emerging technologies and the way they are implemented will affect our everyday lives, in an article over at Artforum. Taking on a wide range of issues, Koolhaas goes from criticizing developments in building technology as a "stealthy infiltration of architecture via its constituent elements" to questioning the commercial motivations of the (non-architects) who are creating these smart cities - even at one point implicating his other erstwhile recent interest, the countryside, where he says "a hyper-Cartesian order is being imposed." Find out more about Koolhaas' smart city thoughts at Artforum.

Shortlist Announced For 2015 RIBA East Awards

05:00 - 17 April, 2015
Shortlist Announced For 2015 RIBA East Awards, Shortlisted: Abode, Great Kneighton / Proctor & Matthews. Image © Tim Crocker
Shortlisted: Abode, Great Kneighton / Proctor & Matthews. Image © Tim Crocker

A total of sixteen projects have been shortlisted for RIBA East 2015 Awards, featuring buildings by Hawkins\Brown, Proctor & Matthews, Allies & Morrison, and AHMM. All shortlisted buildings will now be assessed by a regional jury. Regional winners will then be considered for a RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, the results of which will place some projects in the running for the 2015 .

See the complete list of shortlisted projects after the break.

Open Call: Our Future With/Without Parks 2105

19:00 - 16 April, 2015
Open Call: Our Future With/Without Parks 2105, Courtesy of JILA
Courtesy of JILA

The Japanese Institute of Landscape Architecture (JILA) will be celebrating its 90th anniversary in May 2015, and is pleased to host an international competition for design proposals envisioning future Tokyo with/without parks in 2105, 90 years from today.

Robert A.M. Stern to Build Britian's Most Expensive Flats

16:30 - 16 April, 2015
Robert A.M. Stern to Build Britian's Most Expensive Flats, Rendering. Image © RAMSA
Rendering. Image © RAMSA

If approved, Robert A.M. Stern will build London's most expensive flats. Aiming to replace a 1960s car park and a number of other buildings in city's Mayfair district, the £2 billion "Audley Square House" apartment block is being commissioned by Phones4U billionaire John Caudwell.

As BD Online reports, Caudwell abandoned an already approved £300 million Foster + Partners scheme in favor of Stern's neo-classical design, saying he chose the New York-based architect for his "ability to design high-quality buildings that do not stand apart from their surroundings but rather fit in comfortably amongst their neighbors.”

Milan Expo 2015: Wolfgang Buttress Completes UK Pavilion's "Virtual Beehive"

14:20 - 16 April, 2015
Milan Expo 2015: Wolfgang Buttress Completes UK Pavilion's "Virtual Beehive" , © Hufton+Crow
© Hufton+Crow

Wolfgang Buttress' “pulsating” beehive is one of the first pavilions to complete for the 2015 Milan Expo. Serving as the UK's contribution, “BE,” the “virtual hive” is designed to highlight the plight of the honeybee and offer an “immersive sensory experience” that leaves visitors with a “lasting flavor of the British landscape.”

C.F. Møller Designs Denmark's Largest Sewage Pumping Station

12:30 - 16 April, 2015
C.F. Møller Designs Denmark's Largest Sewage Pumping Station, © C.F. Møller
© C.F. Møller

C.F. Møller has unveiled designs for Denmark's largest sewage pumping station. Planned to be built on Copenhagen's Kløvermarken, the new building will serve as an independent counterpart to the site's historic 1901 pumping station, originally designed by city architect Ludvig Fenger.

According to the architects, the brick station aims to "set new standards for large-scale sustainable utilities in Danish cities," while "closely integrating itself into the dense urban context." It will be built as a circular structure - the optimal shape of an underground pumping well - and feature two rainwater harvesting green roofs, a distinctive set of 24 meter-tall pressure towers, and two recreational "gardens" for employees. 

A Rare Look Inside OMA's CCTV Building in Beijing

09:00 - 16 April, 2015
A Rare Look Inside OMA's CCTV Building in Beijing

Since the building's construction concluded in 2012, images of OMA's CCTV Headquarters have permeated the media. But inside views of this mutant skyscraper -- characterized by a soaring 72 meter cantilever -- have remained rare. Until now, that is. Images originally published by International Design and shared on WeChat by 广电独家 reveal the interior of OMA's CCTV Headquarters, including Emmy-winning set designer Jim Fenhagen's news studios. 

Take a peek inside the meeting rooms, hallways and control centers of CTBUH's 2013 Best Tall Building Worldwide. 

In Conversation With Will Hunter, Director Of The New London School Of Architecture

04:15 - 16 April, 2015
In Conversation With Will Hunter, Director Of The New London School Of Architecture, Will Hunter, founder and director of the LSA. Image © Simon Harris
Will Hunter, founder and director of the LSA. Image © Simon Harris

The great schools of architecture have been around since time immemorial, or at least that's how it can often feel. In London, a city particularly dense with institutions of this calibre, this is perhaps felt more acutely. How, then, do you develop an entirely new school in this tightly packed environment which has the potency and capacity to compete? Will Hunter, former executive editor of the London-based Architectural Review, began a process to do just this with an article in 2012. Following this, he set up the ARFA—Alternative Routes For Architecture—in order to explore different models for architectural education, calling upon professionals and academics to contribute to a series of informal discussions.

“When the tuition fees in the UK escalated to around £9000 per year in 2013, it got me thinking about different models for architectural education,” Hunter recalls. The casual meetings held around this time gradually become more serious until, “at a certain point, we decided to test them: to make a school.” The project gathered momentum from that point on and now, two years later, the London School of Architecture (LSA) are preparing to take in their first ‘trailblazing cohort’ of postgraduate students.

KPMB and West 8 Selected to Redesign Toronto Ferry Terminal

18:00 - 15 April, 2015
KPMB and West 8 Selected to Redesign Toronto Ferry Terminal, Courtesy of West 8
Courtesy of West 8

KPMB Architects, West 8 and Greenberg Consultants have been announced as winners of a competition to revitalize Toronto's Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and Harbor Square Park. The winning proposal, "Harbour Landing" envisions a terminal embedded within the surrounding park and topped with a lush public green space that expands the waterfront park. 

"The vision for the area will result in a welcoming gateway to the Toronto Islands – one of the City's most unique and cherished parks – with amenities and infrastructure to support the approximately 1.3 million visitors who use the ferry each year," said competition organizers, Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto in a press release. 

International Spy Museum Aims to Relocate to New Richard Rogers Building

16:00 - 15 April, 2015
International Spy Museum Aims to Relocate to New Richard Rogers Building, L'Enfant Plaza metro station. Image © Flickr CC User Brad Clinesmith
L'Enfant Plaza metro station. Image © Flickr CC User Brad Clinesmith

The Washington DC International Spy Museum is seeking permission to relocate to a new $100 million building designed by Richard Rogers at L’Enfant Plaza. Contingent on approval from the Commission of Fine Arts, as the Washington Business Journal reports, the new 100,000-square-foot, six-story proposed museum would be sited on an open area adjacent to the L'Enfant Plaza hotel.

“I think everyone in the city knows that’s somewhat of a dead area right now,” said Spy Museum Chief Operating Officer Tamara Christian to WBJ. “When we came to Penn Quarter, it was somewhat of a dead area. Now it’s completely energized, and we’re really hoping that we’ll be able to be a catalyst to energize L’Enfant.”

Zaha Hadid's 3D Printed Flame Heels Among 5 Designs to Re-Invent the Shoe

14:00 - 15 April, 2015
FLAMES / Zaha Hadid. Image © United Nude
FLAMES / Zaha Hadid. Image © United Nude

Zaha Hadid, Fernando Romero, and Ben Van Berkel are making headlines alongside two renowned artists for their 3D printed reinventions of the high heel. A collaborative vision spearheaded by United Nude and 3D Systems, the highly anticipated project was unveiled yesterday at the "Re-Inventing Shoes" exhibition at Milan Design Week.

Each sculptural heel was 3D printed using SelectiveLaser Sintering in a hard Nylon and all-new soft Rubber material, making a "fully functioning" shoe. Only up to 50 pairs of each will be sold. See them all, after the break. 

Is the Golden Ratio Design's Greatest Hoax?

12:00 - 15 April, 2015
Is the Golden Ratio Design's Greatest Hoax?, © Sébastien Bertrand
© Sébastien Bertrand

For more than 150 years, the Golden Ratio has been one of the main tenets of design, informing generations of architects, designers, and artists. From Le Corbusier to AppleVitruvius to Da Vinci, the ratio purportedly dictates which forms will be found aesthetically pleasing.  Yet mathematicians and designers have grown skeptical of the practical applications of the Golden Ratio, with Edmund Harriss of the University of Arkansas' mathematics department putting it at its most simple: "It is certainly not the universal formula behind aesthetic beauty." Writing for Fast Co. Design, John Brownlee collates sources as diverse as the mathematics department at Stanford University to Richard Meier, laying out the case against what may just be design's greatest hoax. Read the full article here.

6 Proposals Revealed for Oslo's New Government Quarter

09:00 - 15 April, 2015
6 Proposals Revealed for Oslo's New Government Quarter, © BIG
© BIG

Nearly 100 architects, designers, and consultants have been developing designs for a competition for the new government quarter in Oslo. Drawing an initial 24 entries, the intent of the competition was to generate viable solutions for the future relocation of all government ministries (excluding the defense ministry), emphasizing an urban atmosphere and public elements. In the six shortlisted proposals from both local and international firms, including BIG, Snøhetta, and MVRDV, the themes of building tall and introducing green space emerged.

Now a ten-member committee of industry professionals will assist Statsbygg, the public construction advisers collaborating on the government's behalf, with the evaluation of each design. Take a look at the six proposals after the break.

Courtesy of Asplan Viak Courtesy of Snøhetta Courtesy of White Courtesy of LPO +24

SANAA and Snøhetta Tie for Budapest's New National Gallery and Ludwig Museum

06:00 - 15 April, 2015
SANAA and Snøhetta Tie for Budapest's New National Gallery and Ludwig Museum, via inexhibit
via inexhibit

SANAA and Snøhetta have been jointly awarded first prize in a restricted competition to build a "New National Gallery - Ludwig Museum" in Budapest's 200-year-old Városliget (City Park). Lauded for their "equally outstanding" proposals, the winning teams will now meet with the jury to be judged "on professional and financial considerations." 

Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos and the joint proposal of Balázs Mihály's Architect Studio and the Faculty of Architecture of Budapest University of Technology and Economics were awarded second prize. 

The competition is part of a larger cultural project that aims to renew the city's Városliget by 2018 with five new museum buildings built inside the expanded park area.

A closer look at the winning schemes, after the break. 

Richard Rogers Restructures Practice Prior To Relocation

04:00 - 15 April, 2015
Richard Rogers Restructures Practice Prior To Relocation, RSHP's Leadenhall Building (the "Cheesegrater") in London. Image © Richard Bryant – Courtesy of British Land/Oxford Properties
RSHP's Leadenhall Building (the "Cheesegrater") in London. Image © Richard Bryant – Courtesy of British Land/Oxford Properties

The Architects' Journal have reported that London based practice Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP), headed by Richard Rogers, has refined its in-house structure "as the practice continues to implement its long-term succession plan." The practice, who will move into their new home on level fourteen of the Leadenhall Building following its completion last year, will operate one studio led by Richard Rogers alongside partner Simon Smithson; another by Graham Stirk with partner Richard Paul; and a third headed by Ivan Harbour.

3 Finalists Emerge in St. Petersburg Pier Redesign Competition

17:25 - 14 April, 2015
3 Finalists Emerge in St. Petersburg Pier Redesign Competition, © The Pier Park / Rogers Partners Architects+Urban Designers, ASD, Ken Smith
© The Pier Park / Rogers Partners Architects+Urban Designers, ASD, Ken Smith

After deliberating over eight shortlisted proposals to reimagine the St. Petersburg Pier, the Pier Selection Committee has narrowed the competition down to three designs. Though the proposals vary widely in aesthetics, the finalists all approached the project as an opportunity to express the past while embracing modern forms and incorporating strong public programs.

Next on the agenda, the Pier Selection Committee will conduct an initial public meeting on April 23 in which finalists will present clarifications on their designs, followed later that day with a second meeting to announce the teams' rankings. Based on these proceedings, one design will be chosen for further development, in collaboration with the city. Check out the three finalists, after the break.

Winner of Yeats2015 "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" Announced

08:00 - 14 April, 2015
Winner of Yeats2015 "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" Announced, © shindesignworks
© shindesignworks

Yong ho Shin and John Randle of shindesignworks have been announced as the winners of "The Lake Isle of Innisfree," a design competition held earlier this year as part of the Yeats2015 festival. Based in London and Daegu, South Korea, the pair of architects proposed "Square Moon," a light-based installation for the Irish Island about which Yeats wrote his eponymous1892 poem, and from which the competition took its name.

RIBA Future Trends Survey Shows UK Public Sector Workloads Dip

04:00 - 14 April, 2015
RIBA Future Trends Survey Shows UK Public Sector Workloads Dip, Courtesy of RIBA
Courtesy of RIBA

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for February 2015 has revealed continued optimism, although the public sector workload forecast has dipped with uncertainty about spending commitments ahead of the UK General Election in May. The workload index fell back slightly to +26 (from +29 in January) and workload forecast balance figures have remained high, the highest numbers being reported from practices in the Midlands and East Anglia (+43) and in Wales and the West (+39). In addition, practices have reported that they are now employing 16% more Part 1 (undergraduate) and Part 2 (postgraduate) students than they were twelve months ago.

Take an Architectural Tour of Milan with ParkMapp

02:30 - 14 April, 2015
Take an Architectural Tour of Milan with ParkMapp, Courtesy of Park Associati
Courtesy of Park Associati

Released in time for the opening of the Milan Furniture Show at EXPO 2015, ParkMapp is the ultimate guide to Milan's modern and contemporary architecture. An ongoing project by local architecture and design firm Park Associati, ParkMapp is a mobile app that identifies and geo-locates significant landmarks across the city. The app's sleek and legible interface is divided into modern and contemporary architecture, and features pictures and short descriptions of Milanese landmarks. A "lifestyle" section recommending cultural, retail, and dining attractions rounds out what Park Associati envisions as an "active map" for new and returning visitors alike. ParkMapp is available for download via the Apple App Store, or on Google play for Android devices.