Karissa Rosenfield

Zaha Hadid Designs Dune-Inspired Net Zero Headquarters for Bee’ah

© / MIR

Designs have been released for Bee’ah’s new headquarters in . The Middle Eastern environmental and waste management company commissioned Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA), following an invited competition, to design a facility that reflects their goal to operate entirely from renewable energy sources and move towards zero waste, as well as increase their educational outreach.

ZHA’s design builds from its desert context, acting as two energy efficient “dunes” that intersect to form a central “oasis.” Read on to learn more.

November ABI Continues to Drop

November . Image Courtesy of CalculatedRiskBlog.com

While the US Architecture Billing Index (ABI) has remained positive for seven consecutive months, the score continues to slowly drop and is now teetering on the edge of falling into the red. As the American Institute of Architects () says, any score above 50 reflects an increase in design services. However, November’s ABI score was 50.9, down from the mark of 53.7 in October, revealing a drop in demand. The new projects inquiry index was 58.8, following a mark of 62.7 the previous month.

“Demand for design services has slowed somewhat from the torrid pace of the summer, but all project sectors are seeing at least modest growth,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Architecture firms are expecting solid mid-single digit gains in revenue for 2014, but heading into 2015, they are concerned with finding quality contractors for projects, coping with volatile construction materials costs and with finding qualified architecture staff for their firms.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

Watch Now: World Premiere of ‘Archiculture’

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Now, after 130 private screenings in 26 countries, you can watch the official world premiere of Archiculture here on ArchDaily. The 25-minute captures a rare glimpse into studio-based design education, trailing five architecture students throughout their final thesis semester at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute.

Directed and produced by architect-turned-filmmakers and David Krantz of Arbuckle Industries, the film features exclusive interviews with leading professionals, historians and educators, such as Ken Frampton, Shigeru Ban and Thom Mayne. Since Archiculture completion, a number of schools, institutes and film festivals have hosted screenings of the film in an effort to shed light on the critical issues facing architectural education today.

We invite you to watch the film above, read our exclusive interview with film director Ian Harris, and share your thoughts in the comment section below. You can also join an ongoing online conversation regarding Archiculture on the #Archichat here.

Valode & Pistre Set to Break Ground on Africa’s Tallest Tower

© Valode & Pistre / iceberg.fr

Valode & Pistre is set to break ground on ’s tallest tower next June. More than doubling the height of Johannesburg’s 223-meter Carlton Center, which has been the continent’s tallest building since 1973, the Al Noor Tower (Tower of Light) will most likely rise 540-meters on a 25-hectare site in the Moroccan city of

It’s program will center around business, providing accommodations with a 200-suite luxury hotel, a trading platform, conference hall and large art gallery, as well as an astonishing 100-meter-tall atrium that hollows the tower’s base.  

Romanian Entry Wins “Unbelievable Challenge” with Santa Claus Logistic Center

First Prize: “Nothing is impossible” / Alexandru Oprita, Romania and Laurentiu Constantin. Image Courtesy of

A “magical” logistics center fit for the season’s most hardworking man has been awarded first prize for it’s innovation and feasibility in the “Unbelievable Challenge” architectural ideas competition. Submitted by Alexandru Oprita and Laurentiu Constantin of Romania, “Nothing is impossible” was selected from 243 entries spanning 59 countries and five other deserving projects that have been highlighted as runner-ups.

A closer look at Santa Claus’ proposed logistics center, after the break.

Save Japan’s Modern Architecture

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As preparations for the 2020 Olympics escalate, so do concerns regarding the of the city’s heritage; and more specifically, according to Tomas Maier, Japan’s modernist architecture. The Bottega Venneta creative director recently embarked on an “urgent visit” to Japan in an effort to evaluate the city’s risk of loosing its modernist icons. With special consideration for the overlooked and threatened Hotel Okura, Maier believes that this Yoshiro Taniguchi-designed landmark is just one of many structures at risk of falling to “progress.”

Watch the video above and learn more about how you can help preserve the Hotel Okura, here.

How to Rebuild Architecture

© Olivier Schrauwen via the NYTimes

Architect and architectural journalist fear that architecture is loosing its credibility. In their recent op-ed on the New York Times, the pair claims that our profession’s biggest challenge is regaining public trust by reconnecting architecture with its users. Referencing his mother’s aversion to a student-built affordable housing project that he considered a “bold statement of design,” Bingler believes the key to salvaging the profession is for architects to stop dismissing and start listening to the general public’s take on architecture.

“The question is, at what point does architecture’s potential to improve human life become lost because of its inability to connect with actual humans?” Read the complete article, here

BIG, MVRDV and Snøhetta Among 6 Shortlisted for Oslo Goverment Quarter

Opera House / Snøhetta. Image © CC Flickr User Howard Ignatius

Statsbygg has shortlisted six teams to develop proposals for a new government quarter in Oslo. Selected from 24 submissions, the chosen teams will now have until March 2015 to prepare their ideas. The unconventional competition, which requires the inclusion of students from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, will not culminate with a single winner. Rather, ideas from all the shortlisted proposals will be extracted and used in an eventual masterplan.

The six shortlisted teams are…

#ILookUp: AIA Seeks to Enhance Public’s Awareness of Design Importance

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What do you see when you look up? As part of the American Institute of Architects’ () #ILookUp campaign, this video seeks to elevate the public’s awareness of the impact and importance of the design profession by asking everyone to “look up.” It is the AIA’s goal to spark a two-way conversation on the value of architects and architecture. Please watch the video above and share your thoughts on social media using the #ILookUp.

Stereotank Designs Heart-Beating Urban Drum for Times Square

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Come February 9, will be celebrating the opening of its seventh annual Valentine’s Day installation in Times Square. As part of Times Square Alliance’s heart design competition, Brooklyn- based and Venezuelan-born firm Stereotank will be constructing a heart-beating urban drum in hopes that it will bring together New Yorkers through music. 

REX Cantilevers Stacked Library Entry Over Downtown Calgary Site

© Luxigon

REX has shared with us their competition proposal for Calgary’s New Central Library (NCL). Though Snøhetta and DIALOG ultimately won the competition, was shortlisted as a finalist with an unconventional scheme that was based on adaptability, serendipity and treating the librarians as curators. By literally stacking the library’s program according to the client’s desired sequence, formulated six typological clusters hoisted on top an illuminated plinth. 

Check out the complete proposal, after the break. 

OMA’s Pantheon-Inspired Faena Forum Set to Open in 2015

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Alongside the launch of Faena Circle, an experimental collaboration between Faena Art in Miami Beach and its sister institution in , comes new images of the OMA-designed Faena Forum. The new center for arts and culture planned for Miami Beach is designed to “catalyze experimentation within and across artistic disciplines and foster cross-cultural collaborations among artists throughout the Western Hemisphere.” A series of flexible spaces formed by interlocking cylindrical and cuboidal volumes will provide for a range of projects, commissions, performances and events. 

Studio Gang Tapped to Extend American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History. Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

Chicago’s Studio Gang Architects have been selected to design a new Center for Science, Education and Innovation for the American Museum of Natural History in . Named after its largest donor, the $325 million Gilder Center will include 218,000-square-feet of existing and new space. It is slated to open on Columbus Avenue at 79th Street on the west side of the Museum campus, in conjunction with its 150th anniversary in 2019–2020.

SHoP Architects Reveal Restoration Plan for New York’s Seaport District

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SHoP Architects have revealed a mixed use proposal to pedestrianize City’s historic Seaport District. Extending the Manhattan grid out into the waterfront, the scheme seeks to harmonize pedestrian infrastructure and increase access to the shoreline, while proposing a 500-foot luxury residential tower by developer Howard Hughes Corporation that would jut out into the harbor. More about the proposal, after the break.

Olson Kundig Repurpose “38 Beams” as Design Miami/ Collectors Lounge

© James Harris

Early this month at Design Miami/, Olson Kundig Architects celebrated the opening of “38 Beams,” a temporary collectors lounge named after the thirty-eight salvaged glulam beams that made up the structure. Originally milled in the 1950s, the Northwestern Douglas fir beams were once used to construct a Los Angeles building before being repurposed.

Approximately 15×30 inches around and up to 30 feet in length, 38 Beams formed a 2,400-square-foot lounge with an open lattice-work stacked 15-feet-high. The focal point of the space was a 28-foot Perrier-Jouët champagne bar lit by a chandelier of one hundred suspended light tubes designed by LILIENTHAL l ZAMORA.

More about the structure and images, after the break. 

Video: Salvador Dali Museum / HOK

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The first to use this type of free-form geodesic geometry in the United States, HOK’s Salvador Dali Museum is a Floridian landmark in known for housing one of the most important collections of a single artist’s work in the world. Referring to it as “The Dali,” architect Yann Weymouth and museum director Dr. Hank Hine discuss their intentions behind the building’s design in this interview with TheCoolist.com.

“Salvador Dalí was a monumental pioneer of twentieth-century art and this is perhaps the best collection of his work in the world,” said Weymouth. “Our challenge was to discover how to resolve the technical requirements of the museum and site in a way that expresses the dynamism of the great art movement that he led. It is important that the building speak to the surreal without being trite.” You can learn more about the building, here.

AIA Honors Edward Mazria with 2015 Kemper Award

Edward Mazria via DJC Oregon

Edward Mazria, , founder of Architecture 2030, has been selected to receive the 2015 Edward C. Kemper Award. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) chose Mazria for “catalyzing the architecture community to address climate change through the design of decarbonized, sustainable and resilient built environments.”

Video: Guinness World Records Pays Tribute to Burj Khalifa

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As a tribute to their 60th anniversary, has published a video about the Burj Khalifa. Towering 828-meters (27,160-feet) above the downtown , the Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM)-designed structure has been the world’s tallest building since its opening in 2010.