We’ve built you a better ArchDaily. Learn more and let us know what you think. Send us your feedback »

London Mayor Rejects Skyline Campaign Proposals Amid Planning Controversy

London's Mayor Boris Johnson has largely rejected the proposals by the Skyline campaign, organized by the Architects' Journal and the Observer, which aimed to introduce measures to allow more considered development in London, following the news that the UK's capital is currently going through its biggest building boom in recent memory.

The Architects' Journal reported on Friday that the mayor rejected proposals for a presumption against tall buildings submitted for planning permission, a review of over 200 tall buildings currently either proposed or being constructed, a more rigourous system of masterplanning, and an independent skyline commission to examine new proposals. However, he did support the idea of a city-wide 3D model containing both existing and proposed buildings, which would allow planning officers to make more informed decisions.

More on the issue, and a detailed look at the mayor's response to the proposals, after the break

12 Projects Win Regional Holcim Awards 2014 for Latin America

Teams from Mexico and Colombia have received top honors in the 2014 regional Holcim Awards for Latin America, an award which recognizes the most innovative and advanced sustainable construction designs. Among the top three winners is a Colombian water reservoir turned public park and low-impact timber rainforest center in Costa Rica. 

The 12 recognized projects will share over $300,000 in prize money, with the top three projects overall going on to be considered for the global Holcim Awards, to be selected in 2015.

The full list of Latin American winners, after the break…

Rem Koolhaas and the New Frontline of Transformation

When you abandon the countryside in favour of the city, what do you leave behind? In a recent essay for Icon Magazine, OMA co-founder Rem Koolhaas deliberates on the intersection between the two, arguing that "our current obsession with only the city is highly irresponsible because you cannot understand the city without understanding the countryside."

Emerging Voices: David Benjamin of The Living

In his lecture as one of winners of the Architectural League’s annual Emerging Voices awards, David Benjamin discusses his unique approach to environmental and computational design and how it manifests itself in the work of The Living, a firm he founded in 2006.

Throughout the lecture Benjamin discusses projects that are fundamentally linked to the natural environment and ideas related to sustainability. To introduce how the firm generates new ideas, Benjamin describes a method of experimentation developed in their practice called flash research: beginning with the idea that architecture could be dynamic and responsive, these are prototypes that operate under self-created constraints such as a budget of $1000 or less and a required time span of three months or less.

Read on after the break for further synopsis of the lecture.

Winning Proposals Transform Power Plants into Public Art

Winners have been announced for the 2014 Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI). The competition, this year sited in Copenhagen, calls on interdisciplinary teams to design large scale site-specific artworks that provide renewable electricity to the city at a utility-scale (equivalent to the demand of hundreds or even thousands of homes). Once constructed, these public infrastructure artworks have the potential to offset thousands of tons of CO2 and provide iconic amenities that will serve to educate and inspire the communities in which they are built.

Check out the winning energy-generating sculptures, after the break.

Did the New World Trade Center Live Up to its Expectations?

The USA's tallest building shoulders one of the nation's greatest challenges: paying tribute to lives lost in one of the country's greatest tragedies. One World Trade Center in lower Manhattan has yet to be completed and yet has still recently been condemned by a number of critics, who cite the former "Freedom Tower" as an inspirational failure. Thirteen years after the attacks, the wider site at ground zero also remains plagued by red tape and bureaucratic delays, unfinished and as-yet-unbuilt World Trade Centers, Calatrava's $5B transit hub, and an absence of reverence, according to critics. Read some of the most potent reviews of the new World Trade Center site from the press in our compilation after the break.

Five Shortlisted for Marlborough College Science Building

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Nicholas Hare Architects, Orms, Sarah Wigglesworth Architects and Tim Ronalds Architects have been shortlisted in a competition to expand and develop the Marlborough College science building in Wiltshire, England. “The current Science Block has a fascinating heritage but needs a new life to accommodate new teaching methods,” explained Malcolm Reading, the competition’s organizer. “The competition is all about finding a balance between the architectural grain of the existing eclectic campus and a confident and exciting piece of contemporary architecture.” The teams will now develop proposals. A winner will be announced in December. 

The Architecture of Happy Hour: Plotted, Not Stirred

Frank Gehry, Daniel Libeskind, and Rem Koolhaas walk into a bar. What do they order? CAD Drinks, of course. It's a Singapore Sling like you have never seen before: drawn to scale, in elevation, and divided meticulously by content - ice cubes and orange slice included. Alcoholic drinks are colour coded, inventoried, organized and rendered in this downloadable DWG for Autocad. Architects rejoice: happy hour is that much closer to lunch hour.

TEDxTalk: Contour Crafting: Automated Construction / Behrokh Khoshnevis

Almost everything around us is made automatically: our shoes, our clothes, home appliances and cars – so why not buildings? Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis, the Director of the Manufacturing Engineering Graduate Program at the University of Southern California, has set out to change that through the development of an automated construction process known as Contour Crafting. “Contour-crafting is basically scaling-up 3D printing to the scale of buildings. What we are hoping to generate is entire neighborhoods that are dignified at a fraction of the cost, at a fraction of the time, built far more safely and with architectural flexibility that would be unprecedented,” Khoshnevis says in this TedxTalk in Ojai, California.

Take a Moment to Enjoy ArchDaily's 12 Most Popular Outdoor Spaces on Pinterest

Architects are notorious for working long, consecutive hours. So, in an attempt to remind you to take a break, we've compiled the top 12 most re-pinned images of inviting, well-designed outdoor spaces from our Pinterest. Take a look, after the break, then step away from the screen and go outside for some much needed fresh air. 

Beach House E-3 / Vértice Arquitectos. Image © Juan Solano Stone Creek Camp / Andersson Wise Architects. Image © Art Gray La Tallera / Frida Escobedo. Image © Rafael Gamo Santa Ynez House / Fernau + Hartman Architects. Image © Richard Barnes

Labour Minister Endorses UK-Wide Architecture Festival and More Competitions

The UK's Shadow Culture Minister Helen Goodman has outlined a number of ideas that she would like to put into practice should her party win the next general election, reports the Architects' Journal. The proposals, made at last week's Labour Party Conference in Manchester, include increasing the number of open architecture competitions held in the UK and holding a major UK-wide annual festival of architecture. Read on after the break for more on Goodman's proposals.

London Mayor Rules in Favour of Controversial Mount Pleasant Scheme

London Mayor Boris Johnson has ruled in favour of the controversial Mount Pleasant scheme in North London at a public hearing held earlier today. The scheme was called in for a hearing at the request of the site's owner Royal Mail who claimed that Islington and Camden councils (who are both responsible for parts of the huge site) were taking too long over the planning application, but has been criticized heavily by locals who feel that the scheme is not appropriate for the site, and by the councils who feel that the scheme's 24% affordable housing is unacceptably low. However, Johnson drew criticism in June for apparently “compromising his neutrality” in advance of the hearing when he stated that the redeveloped Mount Pleasant “will be a wonderful place to live.”

Johnson approved the scheme after a heated hearing attended by over 100 members of the public and press, with many in attendance booing and heckling the mayor and representatives of the Royal Mail.

More on the hearing after the break

Where Are the Women? Measuring Progress on Gender in Architecture

Today is American architect Denise Scott Brown’s 83rd birthday. It is no secret that the woman has made an indelible mark on architectural history and has significantly advanced the role of women in architecture, though many would argue that her success hasn’t fully been accredited.  

In light of Brown’s success and birthday, we would like to share some fascinating statistics presented by Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) that measure the progress on gender in architecture. According to the report, women make up 51% of the 316 million people residing in the US, however only 25% of the 193,000 registered architects are women. This presents the question, “Where are all the women?”

The statistics on US women in architecture, after the break.

Joyce Wang’s Hong Kong Restaurant Named World’s Best Interior of 2014

Joyce Wang Studio’s MOTT32 bar and restaurant in Hong Kong has been named the best interior space of 2014. The news was announced today in Singapore at the INSIDE World Festival of Interiors, alongside the World Architecture Festival’s Building of the Year announcement

MOTT32, which initially took first in it’s category, was selected as the world’s best interior from 60 nominations and a shortlist of nine. The project was lauded for it's "rich texture", "theatrical environment" and "sophisticated" detail. 

More about the “world’s best interior,” after the break. 

Trahan Architects Design “Expo Georgia” Convention Center for Tbilisi

Trahan Architects have collaborated with Christopher Counts Studio to design a 15-hectare, two-phase masterplan for a mixed-use convention center in Tbilisi, known as "Expo Georgia." Organized within a lush garden landscape, the masterplan’s first phase will see the completion of the convention center’s first half, which will be constructed in a sequence of repetitive gabled forms broken down as stepped, nine-meter modules. 

More about the center and masterplan, after the break.

World Building of the Year: The Chapel / A21 studio

The 2014 World Architecture Festival (WAF) has culminated with A21 studio’s The Chapel  being named the Building of the Year. Each winner of the categories from day 1 and day 2 had the opportunity to present their projects in front of WAF’s ‘super-jury’, comprised of Richard RogersRocco YimJulie EizenbergEnric Ruiz Geli and Peter Rich. Following all of the presentations, the jury selected the Building of the Year.  The winners of the Small Project of the Year, Landscape of the Year and Future Project of the Year were also announced today, in addition to two new prizes: The Colour Prize (sponsored by AkzoNobel) and the Wood Excellence Prize (sponsored by American Hardwood Export Council).

Read on after the break for more information on the winning projects…

AR Issues: Redefining Modulor Man for a New Era of Inclusivity

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this post, we take a look at AR’s September 2014 issue, which includes an examination of the sometimes difficult relationship between architecture and disability. Here, AR Editor Catherine Slessor argues that we should adapt our understanding of Le Corbusier's Modulor Man to be more inclusive, asking "What happens when disability is not seen as a problem for architecture to solve, but as a potential generative impetus?"

From Vitruvius to Le Corbusier, the mathematical proportions of the human form have historically been used to shape and define architecture. Man is, essentially, the ultimate measure of all things. The famous Modulor Man was originally based on the height of the average Frenchman (1.75 metres, or 5 feet 9 inches) but was later increased to a more strapping 1.83 metres (6 feet) because of Corb’s penchant for English detective novels in which (literally) upstanding characters such as policemen, were always 6 feet tall.

Foster + Partners Selected for $12 Billion Metro Project in Jeddah

According to the Architects' Journal, Foster + Partners has been selected to design all 46 stations of the new $12 billion metro system in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - a commission that could earn the practice up to £100 million ($160 million) in fees. Planned for a 2020 completion date and a 2022 opening, the metro project aims to remove 30% of Jeddah's traffic within the next 20 years, a significant goal as until now public transport has not been popular: currently just one or two percent of commuters in the city use public transport.