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Karissa Rosenfield


Populous Unveils New Football Stadium for San Diego

Populous has unveiled plans for a new Chargers football stadium that is meant to capture the "essence of San Diego," California. The 68,000-seat stadium, planned to be built on the Qualcomm Stadium site in Mission Valley, will feature a "kinetic skin" that will mimic the sound of the ocean as it sways in the wind.

"We wanted to make sure as a team that we were making this a really authentic place and people who see it will say, 'That represents our city - that represents where the Chargers should be. They've been here over 50 years and they should stay here.' This stadium represents that. This is an expression of San Diego," Populous senior principal Scott Radecic told the San Diego Union Tribune.

Kengo Kuma Breaks Ground on Luxury Rolex Tower in Dallas

Kengo Kuma & Associates and developer Harwood International have broken ground on a twisted, seven-story tower for Rolex in Dallas' Uptown district. The luxury watchmaker intends on using the 136,857-square-foot building as a new office space. It will rise adjacent to Rolex's original building on Harwood Street that was built in 1984.

According to Kuma, the building "fuses nature and architecture," and will feature a tiered Japanese-inspired garden. 

12 Architecture Schools to Offer "Integrated Path" to Licensure Before Graduation

In an ongoing effort to ease the path to licensure, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has accepted proposals from 12 accredited US architecture schools to implement an "Integrated Path" to licensure. The initiative would give students the opportunity to complete the Intern Development Program (IDP) requirements and take the Architect Registration Exams (ARE) prior to graduation. Students would not be required to pass all ARE divisions in order to graduate. 

“The programs in this inaugural class exhibited a high degree of creativity, and are focused on strengthening the relationship between schools, the practice community, and licensing boards,” said Licensure Task Force (LTF) Chair Ron Blitch, a Louisiana architect who is a former NCARB President and current member of the NAAB Board of Directors and the Louisiana State Board of Architectural Examiners.

Google (Alphabet) "Sidewalk Labs" Seeks to Improve City Life

Google has announced a major overhaul - the launch of their new parent company, Alphabet Inc. The new structure makes Google Inc. a holding company in an effort to provide more transparency to its investors and flexibility for its research endeavors. Thus, "G" will now stand for Google. The rest of the Alphabet will be a collection of companies that has yet to be entirely unveiled. 

Calico, Fiber, Nest Labs, Wings, and Google X will all be part of the Alphabet, as well as a new urban innovation company known as Sidewalk Labs.

Japan's Abandoned Golf Courses Get Second Life As Solar Farms

With a goal to double the amount of its renewable energy power sources by 2030, Japan has begun to transform abandoned golf courses into massive solar energy plants. As Quartz reports, Kyocera, a company known for its floating solar plants, has started construction on a 23-megawatt solar plant on an old golf course in the Kyoto prefecture (scheduled to open in 2017). The company also plans to break ground on a similar, 92-megawatt plant in the Kagoshima prefecture next year. Pacifico Energy is also jumping on the trend; with the help of GE Energy Financial Services, the company is overseeing two solar plant golf course projects in the Okayama prefecture. The idea is spreading too; plans to transform gold courses into solar fields are underway in New YorkMinnesota and other US states as well.

Justin McGuirk Appointed as Chief Curator of London's Design Museum

British writer and curator Justin McGuirk has joined London's Design Museum as their new chief curator. The former editor of Icon, design critic of The Guardian and director of Strelka Press was also named head of Design Curating & Writing at Design Academy Eindhoven earlier this year. As you may remember, McGuirk was awarded the Golden Lion at the 2012 Venice Biennale for an exhibition he curated with Urban Think Tank. He is also the author of Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture

McGuirk will be responsible for coordinating the museum's new program after its relocation to Kensington in 2016. 

Frank Gehry "Quietly" Helps Redevelop the Los Angeles River

Frank Gehry is said to be "quietly" working on a masterplan for the Los Angeles River in California. Prematurely announced by the Los Angeles Times, the City's mayor Eric Garcetti has confirmed the news, saying Gehry is producing "a master plan, in the truest sense of the word,” pro bono.  

“To have the [Frederick Law] Olmsted of our time focusing on this, I think, is extraordinary,” Garcetti said, according to the Los Angeles Times. 

Enrique Norten Designs New Campus for Mexico City's CENTRO University

CENTRO University, a premier university for creative studies in Mexico City, will celebrate the opening of its new campus this September. Designed by TEN Arquitectos, the 5,600-square-meter campus aims to embody CENTRO's "dynamic and inclusive atmosphere" with a cluster of intersecting, LEED Platinum buildings centered around a 450-seat auditorium and public park. With an ideal mix of indoor studios and outdoor work areas, the scheme hopes to offer a variety of collaborative and stimulating learning environments. 

Open Call: British Council in Search of Proposals for 2016 Venice Biennale

The British Council has launched an open call for exhibition proposals for the British Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. The exhibition, directed by Chilean architect and Pritzker jury member Alejandro Aravena, will be about "focusing and learning from architectures that through intelligence, intuition, or both of them at the same time, are able to escape the status quo."

Expressions of interest can be submitted in the form of short concept proposals for the theme and visual language of the exhibition. "The proposals should contribute an acute observation of contemporary British architecture," says the council. "You might critically analyze architectural practice or exemplary work where architecture makes a difference. We are also interested in the means by which these observations will be expressed and communicated to a wide audience, and the discussion that they will generate between professionals and the public."

Mies van der Rohe's Lafayette Park Named National Historic Landmark

One of the first and most successful examples of urban renewal, Detroit's 78-acre Lafayette Park is known for being the world's largest collection of works by Mies van der Rohe. Now, the mid-century modern "masterpiece" is the first urban renewal project to be declared a National Historic Landmark. This is partially due to the fact that, as Ruth Mills, architectural historian for Quinn Evans Architects told the Detroit Free Press, "Lafayette Park was one of the few urban renewal projects that's done it successfully." It is now Michigan's 41st landmark.

Santiago Calatrava's Turning Torso Wins CTBUH's 10 Year Award

Rotating a full 90 degrees along nine pentagonal sections, Santiago Calatrava's "Turning Torso" was deemed the world's first twisting skyscraper upon its completion in 2005. Still Scandinavia's tallest tower, the 190-meter Malmö skyscraper has been awarded a 10 Year Award by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) for its continued valued to the surrounding area and successful performance across a number of categories, including environmental, engineering performance, vertical transport, iconography, and others.

“The Twisting Torso is one of those superb examples that went beyond the creation of a signature tower and helped shape an entirely new and invigorating urban fabric,” said Timothy Johnson, Vice Chairman, CTBUH Board of Trustees and Partner, NBBJ

Morphosis and Albert Kahn Join Forces to Expand Detroit University

Morphosis Architects has teamed up with Albert Kahn Associates to expand Detroit's Lawrence Technological University with a new "Taubman Complex." Marked by a "carbon-fiber circulation orb," the complex will form a new grand entrance to the University and provide flexible laboratory space for multidisciplinary research, including robotics and biomedical engineering. 

WEISS/MANFREDI to Re-envision India's US Embassy

The United States Department of State has commissioned WEISS/MANFREDI to re-envision the Edward Durell Stone-designed embassy compound in New Delhi, India. Fifty years after its opening, the masterplan hopes to "restore the early modernist Chancery Building and recast the Embassy Compound as a multi-functional 28-acre campus setting." The masterplan's first phase will see the addition of a new office annex and restore the complex's landscape. 

Kengo Kuma Designs Cultural Village for Portland Japanese Garden

Plans have been unveiled for Kengo Kuma's first public commission in the US. The Portland Japanese Garden has commissioned Kuma to design a new "Cultural Village" to accommodate the garden's growing popularity.

Based off the Japanese tradition of monzenmachi (gate-front towns), where activity exists just outside the gates of shrines and cultural sites, the village will provide a "free-flowing" courtyard space for events and educational activities, as well as multi-purpose classrooms, galleries, a library, tea cafe, and more. In addition to this, a new visitor entrance will be built on an existing site at the bottom of the hillside site on Kingston Avenue, just on the outskirts of downtown Portland

"The Portland Japanese Garden's careful growth is a very important cultural effort, not only for Portland but also for the US and Japan," said Kuma in a press release.

Ennead Unveils Plans for Shanghai's Taopu Sci-Tech City

Ennead Architects has designed a new research and development community for Shanghai. Located on the city's western edge, as part of a new district being planned around one of Shanghai’s largest future public parks, Taopu Sci-Tech City will be a vibrant and well connected research district that engages its context by establishing a multilayered pedestrian network.   

“Our design goal was to create something greater than a single building; our goal was to create a memorable and connected civic district,” said Peter Schubert, a partner at Ennead International.

Maki to Make UK Debut with New Building for Aga Khan Development Network

Maki and Associates has submitted plans for their first UK building. As the Architects' Journal reports, the Japanese firm has designed a nine story, 8,780-square-meter educational space for the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) - a group of non-denominational agencies focused on improving the welfare of people in developing areas in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The predominately limestone building pulls cues from its context; its facade is derived from the space within, which in turn responds to the surrounding Kings Cross site. 

Heatherwick Wins Planning for New Maggie’s Centre in Leeds

Heatherwick Studio has received planning permission to build a new Maggie's center on the St James' University Hospital grounds in Leeds. Aiming to harness the therapeutic effect of plants for the benefit of the center's cancer patients, the building was designed as a series of stepped "planters" that intertwine to form a unique and restorative layout of inside, outside, private and public space. 

"The site is a small patch of green surrounded by the huge volumes of the existing hospital buildings. Instead of taking away the open space we wanted to make a whole building out of a garden," said Thomas Heatherwick in a press release. 

Atkins Begins Work on Vietnam's Tallest Building

Atkins has broke ground on a 460-meter skyscraper in Vietnam that is set to be country's tallest. The 81-story development, Vincom Landmark 81 will rise in Ho Chi Minh City's Vinhomes Central Park, near the Saigon River, as a cluster of 25 extruded cubes capped with roof gardens. It will be comprised of serviced apartments, a hotel and retail anchored by a large shopping center and landscaped corridor.