Karissa Rosenfield

Arckit: Freeform Model Making System Hits the Market

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UPDATE: Arckit is now available in the US and EU! To celebrate, and ArchDaily are giving away two Arckit 240 kits (each worth $499). To participate, check out our Facebook Page!

Physical model making can be time intensive and expensive. However, thanks to the makers of Arckit, that will soon change. Based on a panel by panel modular system and a standard 1.2m grid, the newly released Arckit provides an easy-to-use, flexible model building system that allows architects to quickly construct and modify a diverse range of scaled structures. Architect tested and approved, the kit is currently available for purchase with a discount of 10% and FREE shipping until end July 2014. Simply log on to arckit.com to order (offer applies to US and EU regions only and while stocks last).

2014 Los Angeles Architectural Awards Announced

Red Building © Jeff Goldberg/Esto

Hosted by the  Business Council, the 44th Annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards has recognized three dozen of the year’s best architecture and design projects in Greater Los Angeles. From Morphosis’ Emerson College to the Los Angeles River project, each recipient has been awarded for their excellence in design, and community impact.

The 2013 Los Angeles Architectural Award Winners are…

KREOD to Construct International Trade Pavilion for Rio Olympics

© KREOD Architecture

Chun Qing Li, founder director of London-based KREOD, has revealed planes for a 1,200 square meter international trade pavilion for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Floating on a platform in the Barra de Tijuca lagoon, adjacent to Olympic Park, the pavilion is expected to bring together entrepreneurs and industry leaders from , the United Kingdom and China to discuss future of business and showcase their products.

Coffey Architects Design New Research Center for London’s Science Museum

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Coffey Architects has won a competition to design a new research centre for the Science Museum in South Kensington, London. Designed to enable a “new level of integration between exhibitions and research,” the new centre will act as a portal for over 500,000 items contained within the Wroughton Library.

Renzo Piano Returns to Bay Area, Designs “Plaza District” for City Center

© RPBW

Renzo Piano has been commissioned to return to the Bay Area, this time to design a 350,000 square foot “Plaza District” for a mixed-used City Center development in . Similar to his prized California Academy of Sciences building in ’s Golden Gate Park, the new multi-use district will feature expansive glass walls and a lush living roof.

Venice Biennale 2014: KAAN Architecten to Present “PLANTA”

Site. Image © Armin Linke 2012

This year at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, KAAN Architecten will present a Collateral Event featuring PLANTA – a partially subterranean space that will be dedicated to multidisciplinary artistic production and built within the confines of the “La Plana del Corb” quarry in Balaguer (Lleida, Spain) by 2016. Designed for Grupo and Fundació Sorigué, PLANTA is not only a building, but a concept; a concept in which is the “culmination of the desire to give back, to return through a balanced tension between art, institution, knowledge, ecology and manufacturing.”

VIDEO: Can Architecture Foster Dignity?

Believing the lack of dignity is a motivator of crime, MASS Design Group has dedicated their fourth Beyond the Building video series to the notion that architecture has the capacity to build peace. Focusing on how the building process can foster dignity, as well as economic and social justice, MASS encourages architects to ask themselves: “How can we use architecture to contribute to peace, conflict resolution, instill dignity, and promote justice?” Watch the video above and share your thoughts on how architecture can go #beyondthebuilding.

Zumtobel Group Awards 15 Projects for Sustainable Excellence

Port sudan: © Courtesy of Massimo Grimaldi and Emergency ngo

The Zumtobel Group Awards, now in its fourth year, has recognized 15 projects for their innovative contributions to and humanity in the built environment. Winy Maas of MVRDV and Kazuyo Sejima of SANAA were part of the seven person jury in which selected the winners within three categories: “Buildings,” “Urban Developments & Initiatives,” and the newly implemented “Applied Innovations.”

Ranging from Arup’s photo-bioreactor facade system to Lacaton & Vassal architectes’ “House of Transformation,” the awarded projects have been deemed sustainable exemplars for their contributions to the built environment.

See all the winners after the break…

Libeskind Breaks Ground on 60-Story “Century Spire” in Philippines

© Studio AMD

Last week, Daniel Libeskind joined Century Properties Group to celebrate the ground breaking of the “Century Spire.” Designed as a key building for Century City – a 3.4 hectare, mixed-use development in – the all-glass, 60-story office and residential tower sets itself apart with a “dramatic crown” that divides and expands the building’s top half as it rises.

Revised Renovation Plan Released for New York Public Library

The ’s (NYPL) main building on Fifth Avenue, is a Beaux-Arts masterpiece designed by architects Carrère & Hastings. Image via Flickr User CC wallyg.

Details have been released on the New York Public Library’s (NYPL) plan to renovate its Mid-Manhattan branch, while creating more public space within its flagship Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. The news comes shortly after Foster + Partner’s redesign of the the Beaux-Arts landmark was scrapped due to concerns of a ballooning budget. The revised $300 million overhaul suggests a more affordable option of relocating Schwarzman’s main stacks beneath Bryant Park, while establishing a more campus-like connection with a fully renovated Mid-Manhattan branch. All the details, here.

Budapest Breaks Record with World’s Tallest LEGO Tower

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Official Danish LEGO constructors have teamed up with locals in , Hungary to build the world’s tallest LEGO tower. Rising 34.76 meters (114 feet) in front of the St. Stephen’s Basilica, the towering spire was officially registered with the Guinness book of World Records for breaking the US’ previous record of 34.43 meters on May 25th. The structure was made of 450,000 colorful bricks and appropriately topped with an oversized, Hungarian-built Rubik’s Cube. 

Venice Biennale 2014: “M9″ to Discuss the Links Between Cultural Institutions and Urban Regeneration

Museum facing south. Image © Sauerbruch Hutton

This year at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, the Collateral Event M9 / Transforming the City will unveil an influential urban regeneration project planned for the heart of Venezia Mestre. Envisioned by British-Berlin practice Sauerbruch Hutton, the competition-winning design will be a new “multifaceted and encyclopedic” cultural center of “international appeal” that showcases the “fundamental” 100 years that “revolutionized the world.”

The will pair a complete architectural presentation of the project alongside the political motives behind it and an overview of the site’s history as an attempt to spark a “theoretical digression on the links between cultural institutions and urban-regeneration projects.”

More about the project, after the break…

Four Teams to Envision Proposals for D.C. “Bridge Park”

Artist Rendering. Image Courtesy of THEARC

The four teams moving on to stage three of Washington D.C.’s 11th Street Bridge Park competition has been announced. Selected from over 80 qualified design firms from across the U.S., the following multidisciplinary teams will receive $25000 stipends to envision a new civic space spanning the Anacostia River by early September:

Orizzontale’s Recycled Keg Wall Wins YAP MAXXI

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Just as the 2014 winners of the Young Architects Program (YAP) in Chile and Korea were announced this week, the architecture collective of Orizzontale was crowned victorious for the program’s MAXXI edition in .

The winning scheme, dubbed “8 1/2,” will be a translucent wall of recycled beer kegs and an inhabitable timber podium that will be used as a stage for summer events within the confines of the MAXXI piazza. Shaded during the day and illuminated at night, the glass wall is intended to inspire people to rest, play, watch and listen.

The Sprawled Desert City of Phoenix Sets Sights on Walkability

Light Rail crossing Tempe Town Lake. Image © CC Flickr User Alan Stark

When the profit-driven bulldozing of virgin desert quickly transformed into unfinished ghost towns in 2008, the city of Phoenix, , reset their sights on a more sustainable and desirable way of living: walkable communities. With the establishment of the city’s first light rail, the once car-centric communities of its urban core have turned into swaths of pedestrian havens. This has not only improved the city’s desirability, but has also been good for business. See how else Phoenix is trying to “pull off an urban miracle” and reverse it’s sprawled image here on Fast Company.

Grupo Talca Wins 2014 YAP Chile with “Wicker Forest”

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Grupo Talca’s four meter “Wicker Forest” has been announced as winner of the annual Young Architects Program (YAP) in Chile. Designed as an inhabitable landscape of wicker sticks, the red forested structure will “catch particles dragged by the wind, while providing shade and movement” to the visitors of CONSTRUCTO upon completion in Santiago next year.

Grupo Talca is the fifth winner of Chile, following the commission of UMWELT’s “climatically responsive container for artwork.” You can find more images of the Wicker Forest, after the break…

NCARB Endorses Licensure for US Architects Upon Graduation

© CC Flickr User Raja Sambasivan

The U.S. National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has released a statement endorsing upon graduation from accredited programs. Though the release did not specify a definite plan of action, the announcement acknowledges the benefits of restructuring U.S. so that “rigorous internships and examination requirements” are all fulfilled during the education process.

Envisioned by NCARB’s “Licensure Task Force,” the “new path” concept overhaul will move forward by identifying schools interested in participating in the program. A Request for Information will be sent out later this year, followed by a Request for Proposal process in 2015.

Though many U.S. architects have seemingly longed for news such as this, others argue that there are drawbacks to licensure upon graduation. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section after the break.

Venice Biennale 2014: Russia to Assemble Expo of Urban Ideas from Past Century

Apocalyptic panorama for “Ark-Stroy” booth, 2014, Evgeny Katin (Bang! Bang! Studio) / Courtesy — Strelka institute for media, architecture and design

True to the country’s experimental past, ’s participation for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale will expose the continued relevance of historical urban ideas by applying them as solutions for contemporary needs. Titled Fair Enough, the will be presented as an international trade show of ideas, a “marketplace of urban invention” that is both “made in Russia and open to the world.”

The full curatorial text, after the break…