President’s day marks a moment of reflection in the United States, where citizens acknowledge the contributions of US presidents to the politics and culture of the nation. While some of these men are still with us, the majority are represented only by the monuments and buildings they left to posterity. Indeed, the legacy of a United States President has come to be embodied in a very specific type of building—a library. The last 13 presidents have commissioned national libraries to be built in their name, marking the end of their service. Libraries have also been posthumously dedicated to presidents who did not erect such monuments during their own lifetimes. In either case, recording the lives and legacies of these great men has made for some fantastic architecture. See some of our favorites, after the break!
The ancient stone-carved city of Petra is famous the world over. Known as one of the seven wonders of the world, the ruins generate most, if not all, of the tourism for Wadi Musa, the Jordan town that sits adjacent to the city. Tourism has also led Wadi Musa to develop into a sprawling thoroughfare of shops, kiosks, and hospitality services. This urban chaos would be an abrupt contrast to Petra, were it not for the intervention of Maisam Architects & Engineers. The design firm is responsible for “A Gateway to Petra,” a structure that frames the entrance to the ruins while incorporating the planned and existing tourist buildings in the area.
The word “treehouse” can conjure up fond childhood memories for many. As a kid, the idea of a house floating above the ground is an endless source of wonder– and that wonder never truly goes away! Countless designers have experimented with the idea of suspending their architecture among the trees, and a large number of those projects have made their way onto our site. See nine of our favorites, after the break.
Nearly eight months ago, a team of four design students won a competition to design an artist’s residence in the south-western countryside of the UK. Now, Charlotte Knight, Mina Gospavic, Ross Galtress, and Lauren Shevills (in collaboration with artist Edward Crumpton) have seen their design, “The Observatories,” realized. Conceived as two rotating structures that house a studio and living quarters, The Observatories will be moved to four different sites over the course of two years. During this time, they’ll take in twelve artists, each for two-month residencies.
International design firm NLÉ has recently shared its competition-winning design for the financial headquarters of the microfinance bank Credit Direct Limited. Located in Lagos, Nigeria, in the Ikeja district, the bank’s design abandons the forbidding presence of most financial institutions for one that is open and welcoming. This decision not only invites clientele inside, but creates opportunities for adaptation to the tropical weather of Lagos.
Group8asia is nearing completion on a first-prize winning proposal that is meant to revive the concept of public housing in Singapore. The Punggol Waterway Terraces, so named for the river on which they’re set, will be a sustainable community that aims to echo the utopic exuberance of Singapore’s first housing developments in the 1970s. Arranged around central courtyards, these high-rise apartments hope to create a sleek, graceful skyline that contrasts with the verdant greenery of their landscape.
This week, Robert A.M. Stern Architects released applications for its third annual Travel Fellowship. The $10,000 grant is given to an architecture student in the penultimate year of their Master’s degree study. The recipient must be attending one of 18 U.S. and Canadian schools, and show “insight and interest in the profession and its future, as well as the ability to carry forth in-depth research.” The prize money will be used to support travel and research based on Robert A.M. Stern’s own philosophy of reinventing traditional architecture. Check your eligibility and apply for the RAMSA Travel Fellowship here!
The practice of architecture has always been intertwined with the study of physics, both in structure and aesthetics. As the nuances of physics become better understood, architecture has the opportunity to grow and change, such as in Herzog and de Meuron’s particle physics-based designs. In the interest of nurturing the relationship between these two fields, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the Department of Arts of the Federal Chancellery of Austria are teaming up to offer the Accelerate@CERN Austria award. Read on to learn more.
STUDIO Architecture and Urban Magazine is calling for submissions for its ISSUE#8 publication: Pause. As the title suggests, the issue will look at the modern city’s propensity for change and movement by focusing on “the crystallization of a moment, a temporary stop out of time and space, where you can listen to the sound of silence.” The magazine is looking for a variety of different submissions, from essays to infographics, relating to any field of design. Interested contributors must send a 200-word abstract (in English) explaining their proposal. The deadline for this is February 25th. Final pieces chosen for the issue are to be submitted by March 20th, with an expected publication date in April. For full submission requirements, click here!
Cultures around the world attribute magical properties to the amethyst gem. The lustrous purple quartz is said to bring good fortune, heal illness, and calm the mind. It makes sense, then, that NL Architects have modeled their latest hotel chain proposal after an amethyst geode. Designed based on the original hotel layouts of John Portman, this visually striking tower series aims to serve as a symbol of hospitality and well-being for visitors around the world.
Berlin Art Link recently sat down with Russian-born, German architect Sergei Tchoban. In the interview above, he discusses his career, including working on the design for the Vostok Tower, Europe’s tallest skyscraper, and the recent opening of the Tchoban Foundation Museum for Architectural Drawing. This building houses his extensive personal works, as well as exhibitions by other artists. “What is very important for me is the quality of all details, so you create a building from outline, from the silhouette, to the door lever. This building brings out a lot of our and my personal ideas about architecture and about details in architecture,” Tchoban said regarding his design for the Museum for Architectural Drawing. The exterior of the building expresses Tchoban’s devotion to draftsmanship– the facade of the building is etched with a graphic pattern based on sketches from artists Angelo Toseli and Pietro di Gottardo Gonzaga. “I’m very active in drawings, as a draftsman myself. Drawing is a result of our thinking process and our thinking process is not only a thinking process with the head, with the mind, but also the process where you think with the whole body.”
Last week, the Knight Foundation announced the 126 finalists for its Knight Cities Challenge. This Challenge was an open call for ideas on how to invigorate the 26 US communities that receive funding from the Foundation. Over 7,000 submissions were received, with ideas ranging from the installation of street arcades to the transformation of vacant city lots. The Knight Foundation chose submissions from each of the 26 communities, selecting those that best encouraged community engagement, provided economic opportunity, and made the city a more attractive place to be. See the full list of finalists, here!
The Södermalm district of Stockholm will be receiving a unique new addition to its collection of residential housing. Utopia Arkitekter has proposed a redevelopment plan along Hornsbruksgatan that will include three apartment buildings and a new metro station. In total, the plan will create 29 units: twelve apartments and seventeen town houses. Rising two to three stories above the street, the connected roofs of each of these buildings will act as an extension to the nearby Högalid Park.
Artplace America is offering up to $3 million in funding to an applicant non-governmental organization (NGO) in six different regions of the US as a part of its Community Development Investments program. Artplace will select these six organizations based on their interest in “sustainably incorporating arts and cultural strategies into the organizations work.” If selected, NGOs will work with financial advisement teams, as well as creative consultants to make the best use of the grant money. To see if your organization is eligible, click here!
Chicago’s Jackson Park is expected to see some big changes in the coming years. Nonprofit organization Project 120 is working to revitalize the park, restoring many of the design aspects implemented by its landscape architect, the famous Frederick Law Olmsted. Alongside this restoration, the park will also receive a new Phoenix Pavilion, homage to Japan’s gift to the US for the 1893 Columbian Exposition. An outdoor performance space will be added to the park, as will an installation funded by musician and activist Yoko Ono. See the details, after the break.
Few remember the name Sérgio Bernardes. A prominent Brazilian architect in the 1960s, Bernardes was a contemporary of Oscar Niemeyer, renowned for his elegant upper-class houses, as well as his fondness for car-racing and womanizing. In the latter half of his career, Bernardes turned away from the decadence of high society, devoting himself to solving the world’s problems through his progressive strain of architecture. This devotion led him to partner with the Brazilian dictatorship, believing that he could reform the government from within. The result was a series of unsuccessful projects that left him unpopular and eventually ignored by the public. Now, a documentary about the rise and fall of this once-iconic architect has premiered this week in London. Titled Bernardes, and directed by Paulo de Barros and Gustavo Gama Rodrigues, the film explores the series of events that led Bernardes to anonymity.
The competition to masterplan Muscat, Oman’s new district, Al-Irfan, is over. Organized by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), five teams were chosen to submit proposals for the development project. Of those five, international firm Allies and Morrison has been selected to oversee the design process. The firm will be working in with the Oman Tourism Development Company SAOC (Omran) to develop a site of over 7.4 million square meters into a thriving urban center that will provide business and residential opportunities for the people of Oman.
This past year was a record-breaking season for skyscraper construction. According to a new survey by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), 2014 saw the completion of 97 buildings that were at least 200 meters tall. Of those, 11 were 300 meters or taller, earning them the classification of “supertall.” These are the highest figures on record, with 2011, for example, seeing only 87 200-meters-plus buildings completed.
In addition, in 2014 the total height of completed buildings (23,333 meters) broke the 2011 record of 19,852 meters. With major countries like China becoming increasingly urbanized, and the world economy recovering from recession, the CTBUH expects that these numbers will only increase. See the details of CTBUH’s report, and learn what the numbers may predict about the future of skyscraper construction, after the break.