Karissa Rosenfield

Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book of Real and Imagined Cities From Around the World

via Steve McDonald

Canadian artist Steve McDonald has released “Fantastic Cities,” an illustrated coloring book featuring 60 cities from around the world. From Paris to New York, Tokyo to Istanbul, the will take any architect or urban planner back to childhood times. 

The book, with 48 full-view pages of real and imaginary places, is on sale Amazon and Chronicle Books. Take a look inside, after the break. 

The 17 Top Architect-Designed Products at Milan Design Week 2015

Re-launch of Meinhard von Gerkan’s Berlin Chair / gmp architekten. Image © Peter Schumacher, Stuttgart, Germany

The 54th edition of Milan Design Week (also known as Salone del Mobile) recently came to a close. In celebration of its success, we have compiled a list of the most talked about architect-designed products showcased this year. Take a look after the break to see new products from Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, David Chipperfield, and more.

Christo’s Floating Piers Will Let You Walk on Water in Italy

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By adjoining 200,000 fabric-lined floatable components, Christo hopes to allow the residents of two mainland towns in Italy‘s Lombardy region to walk on water for a duration of two weeks in June 2016. If approved, the ”Floating Piers” would connect both towns with the Lake Iseo islands via an extended, brightly colored fabric dock that would stretch across two miles.

Qatar Unveils Fifth World Cup Venue: Al Rayyan Stadium by Pattern Architects

Courtesy of SC

Qatar‘s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has unveiled the fifth proposed venue planned for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, this time designed by London-based Pattern Architects. Titled ”Al Rayyan Stadium,” the 40,000-seat Qatari-inspired structure will be built on the site of the former Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, of which 90 percent of its materials generated from demolition are expected to be re-used for either public art projects or on the new stadium.

Santiago Calatrava Commissioned to Design His First Bridge in China

Rendering of Huashan. Image © AECOM

The Hubei United Investment Group (HUIG) has commissioned Santiago Calatrava to design three major highway and pedestrian bridges in the AECOM-masterplanned city of Huashan, 12 miles east of downtown Wuhan. The bridges will be Calatrava’s first project in China. They will span a new man-made canal that bisects Huashan’s urban center and connects two lakes that feed the Yangtze River.

“It gives me great personal satisfaction and represents a grand challenge that I face with great enthusiasm to help develop this ambitious project that enables me to design my first bridges in the Far East,” says Calatrava.

6 Final Designs Unveiled for Guggenheim Helsinki

All 6 finalists. Image Courtesy of Guggenheim

Now for the first time, Guggenheim has unveiled the six fully developed designs competing to become Guggenheim Helsinki. Selected from 1,715 entries in world’s the most popular architectural competition, the remaining finalists have spent the past five months refining their designs after being shortlisted by an independent 11-member jury, of which includes Studio Gang’s Jeanne Gang and former Columbia University dean Mark Wigley.

The release foreshadows the April 25 opening of Guggenheim Helsinki Now: Six Finalist Designs Unveiled, a free exhibition that will open the projects up to public critique. A winner will be announced on June 23.

All 6 detailed proposals, after the break.

Safdie Architects Release Final Designs for National Medal of Honor Museum

© Neoscape, courtesy of

Images have been released of Safdie Architects‘ design for the new National Medal of Honor Museum in , South Carolina. The commission, awarded to Safdie following a national search in October, will honor the men and women who “served and sacrificed in defense of the US” and have received the nation’s highest military award – the Medal of Honor – from the Civil War to the present.

March ABI Continues to Increase

March 2015 . Image © CalculatedRiskBlog.com

For the second consecutive month, the US Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has indicated a “modest increase” in design activity in March. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the March ABI score was 51.7, up from a mark of 50.4 in February. The new projects inquiry index was 58.2, up from a reading of 56.6 the previous month.

“Business conditions at architecture firms generally are quite healthy across the country. However, billings at firms in the Northeast were set back with the severe weather conditions, and this weakness is apparent in the March figures,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “The multi-family residential market has seen its first occurrence of back-to-back negative months for the first time since 2011, while the institutional and commercial sectors are both on solid footing.”

Sergei Tchoban’s Mirrored “Mobius Strip” Debuts in Milan

© SPEECH architectural office

Russian architects Sergei Tchoban (SPEECH architectural office), Sergey Kuznetsov, and Agniya Sterligova are featuring the “Living Line” sculpture at this year’s Milan Design Week. Created for a central part of the University of Milan’s main courtyard, which occupies the Ca ‘Granda complex of 15th century Renaissance buildings, the mirrored plexiglass “Mobius strip” aims to reflect the exhibition’s theme “Energy for Life.”

Video: One World Trade Center Features 500 Year Timelapse of New York City

When the One World Trade Center opens its observatory elevators in May, visitors will embark on an unusual journey back in time with animated timelapse that recreates the evolution of Manhattan‘s skyline starting from the 1500s. In just 47 seconds, visitors will relive the city’s architectural history, including the devastation of 9/11, while being lifted up 102 floors. Watch the video above, courtesy of The New York Times!

George Lucas Unveils Plan for Bay Area’s Largest Affordable Housing Project

Marin County Headlands. Image © Flickr CC User Franco Folini

What some believe to be an act of revenge, George Lucas has unveiled plans to build the San Francisco Bay Area’s largest affordable housing project in the wealthy community of Marin County. As CBS reports, the news comes just three years after valley residents shot down Lucas’ proposal to develop the land with a 265,000-square-foot production studio. The new plan aims to provide veterans, firefighters, teachers and other service-oriented working class people with 224 low-income homes.

“We’ve got enough millionaires here. What we need is some houses for regular working people,” said Lucas, according to his lawyer Gary Giacomini who also ensured that the plan was “not a form of retaliation.”

OMA Designs Chinese Pavilion for 2015 Venice Art Biennale

© OMA

The has commissioned OMA to design the Chinese at the 56th Venice Art Biennale, just a year after Rem Koolhaas served as director of the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale. The exhibition, “Other Future” will feature the work of composer Tan Dun, architect Liu Jiakun, artist Lu Yang, filmmaker Wu Wenguang / Caochangdi Work Station and choreographer Wen Hui / Living Dance Studio in an “immersive environment where artworks are juxtaposed in a field of projections and stages connecting the interior and exterior works.”

Jean Nouvel Loses Court Case Over Philharmonie de Paris

© Flickr CC user Marko Erman

Jean Nouvel has lost a court battle aimed to remove his name from the newly opened Philharmonie de . As The Telegraph reports, Nouvel claimed that the £280 million concert hall was inaugurated prematurely and parts of the building was “sabotaged” in doing so, thus believing it to be morally inapt from him be associated with the building.

“The architecture is martyred, the details sabotaged,” he said in a Le Monde editorial, “so taxpayers will have to pay, once again, to correct these aberrational decisions.”

Sign Up Now for Porto Academy 2015

Now for its third year, ‘s famed Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto () will host ”Porto Academy“ - a week-long summer session of lectures, workshop studios and trips open to students internationally that provides the opportunity to work with the profession’s finest. Planned to take place from July 20th through the 27th, this year’s class will have the chance to work closely with the architects of Pezo von EllrichshausenMenos é Mais and many others. See a complete list of participating architects and find more details, after the break. 

Porto Academy 2015 Guests:

  • Adrien Verschuere of Baukunst
  • Angela Deuber
  • Arno Brandlhuber
  • Cristina Guedes & Francisco Vieira de Campos of Menos é Mais
  • Emilio Tuñón
  • Mansilla Tuñón
  • Guilherme Machado Vaz
  • Inês Vieira da Silva & Miguel Vieira of Sami
  • João Paulo Loureiro
  • Johannes Norlander
  • Ricardo Bak Gordon
  • Sofia Von Ellrichshausen & Mauricio Pezo of
  • Sonja Nagel & Jan Theissen of Amunt
  • Stéphanie Bru & Alexandre Thériot of Bruther
  • Wonne Ickx of Productora
  • Xavier Ros Majó of H arquitectes
© FAUP

Porto Academy will take place in the FAUP’s famous building, designed by Álvaro Siza. You can learn more about the program, here.

Ball-Nogues Compostable “Pulp Pavilion” Brings Shade to Coachella

© Joshua White

To demonstrate the structural potential of “pulp,” Ball-Nogues Studio built an experimental reclaimed pavilion this year at Coachella. The lightweight, self-supported structure, known as the ”Pulp Pavilion,” was made from a low-cost blend of , water and pigment sprayed onto lattices of organic rope. After its use as a place of refuge for festival goers, it will be either composted or recycled. See the pavilion illuminated at night, after the break.

Archiculture Interviews: Jess Zimbabwe

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“We as a species assign value to people based on the environments we ask them to live in. And I think most people are worth more than a lot of the environments that we ask them to live, work, attend school and shop in.”

In the latest Archiculture interview from Arbuckle Industries, architect and planner  discusses the power of design and its role in politics. As former director of Mayors’ Institute on City Design, Zimbabwe shares examples of proactive mayors who’ve used architecture as a way to spur economic development in their communities and help shape an environment worthy of its inhabitants. 

Open Call: Prize Searches for World’s Best Public Library

Mountain / MVRDV. Image © Jeroen Musch

Applications are once again open for world’s best public library award. As part of the Danish Agency for Culture‘s Model Program for Public Libraries project, the prize aims to generate new ideas about how the design of public libraries can change to meet the changing needs of today’s society. Considered libraries must “take digital developments and local culture into consideration” and “welcome a diversity of population groups with an open and functional architectural expression in balance with its surroundings and a creative use of IT to improve user experiences.” Learn more about the prize (here) and submit a library, here. Candidates for the “” have until June 15, 2015 to apply.

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

© Ema Peter

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) has awarded two 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.