We’ve built you a better ArchDaily. Learn more and let us know what you think. Send us your feedback »

Karissa Rosenfield

BROWSE ALL FROM THIS AUTHOR HERE

ABI Slows in April

For the second month this year, the US Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has revealed a decrease in design serves. As the American Institute of Architects (AIA) report, the April ABI score was 48.8, down sharply from a mark of 51.7 in March. The new projects inquiry index was 60.1, up from a reading of 58.2 the previous month.

“The fundamentals in the design and construction industry remain very healthy,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “The fact that both inquires for new projects and new design contracts continued to accelerate at a healthy pace in April points to strong underlying demand for design activity. However, April would typically be a month where these projects would be in full swing, but a severe winter in many parts of the Northeast and Midwest has apparently delayed progress on projects.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

Allies and Morrison and O’Donnell + Tuomey Chosen to Design London's Olympicopolis

Allies and Morrison, together with O’Donnell + Tuomey and Josep Camps/Olga Felip Arquitecturia, has been chosen ahead of David ChipperfieldFeilden Clegg Bradley Studios and three other teams to design London's Olympicopolis culture and education quarter. The major commission, which will be sited at the gateway to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park along the Stratford waterfront, will include new buildings for the Victoria and Albert Museum, Sadler’s Wells, the London College of Fashion, and potentially the Smithsonian Institute's first permanent museum outside the US

Thomas V. Vonier Elected 2017 AIA President

Thomas V. Vonier, FAIA, has been elected as the 2016 First Vice President and 2017 President of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Currently serving as 2014–2015 AIA Vice President, Vonier is the founder and past president of AIA Continental Europe from 1994 to 1995. He served on the AIA Board of Directors representing the AIA International Region from 2010 to 2012. Vonier received an M.Arch. and a B.Arch. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee after attending the school of architecture at Washington University in St. Louis. He is also currently Secretary General of the International Union of Architects, after previously serving as its Vice President. To see all other newly elected officials, follow this link

Tham & Videgård Designs Sweden’s "Most Sought After Home"

Tham & Videgård Arkitekter has designed a home with the help of two million Swedes. Made possible by big data, the Swedish office analyzed 200 million clicks and 86,000 properties on Hemnet properties to design "Sweden’s statistically most sought after home." The result, the Hemnet Home - a "new typehouse for everyone by everyone." 

© Tham & Videgård Kitchen. Image © Tham & Videgård Bathroom. Image © Tham & Videgård Section Perspective . Image © Tham & Videgård

Work Begins on Steven Holl's Hunters Point Library in Queens

Construction has commenced on Steven Holl Architects' Hunters Point Community Library in Queens, New York. Rising along the shoreline on the city's East River near a cluster of newly built high-rise condominiums, the 22,000 square-foot (6,705 meter) library aims to provide a community-centric public space and park to the increasingly privatized Long Island City waterfront. 

© Steven Holl Architects © Steven Holl Architects © Steven Holl Architects © Steven Holl Architects

Watch Herzog & de Meuron's 56 Leonard Take Shape in New York

Herzog & de Meuron's 56 Leonard is taking shape in New York. Due to top out this summer, the 60-story condominium has become known as the “Jenga tower” for its cantilevered glass facade. Upon its completion in 2016, the 821 foot-tall (250 meter) Tribeca building will be comprised of 145 residences and will feature a Anish Kapoor sculpture at its base. Check out the Rob Cleary time-lapse above to view the building's progress over the last year. 

8+8 Concept Studio Proposes Underwater Tennis Court in Dubai

Polish practice 8+8 Concept Studio has released images of a proposed underwater tennis court planned to be built off the coast of Dubai. Staged beneath an expansive glass roof that would put marine life on display, the radical proposal is being called into question as engineers debate its feasibility. As the Daily Mail reports, the scheme seems unlikely due to the challenges of manufacturing glass sheets large enough to span a tennis court and ensure that the structure is impact resistant. Refracting light is also a valid concern.

MAD Transforms Japanese Home into Unconventional Kindergarten and Residence

MAD Architects have broken ground on their first project in Japan, the "Clover House" kindergarten. "A kindergarten that feels like home," as MAD describes, the renovation project is transforming an existing 105 square-meter home in Okazaki, Aichi, into a fully functioning education institution that caters to students during the day and provides a home for its teachers at night.

Part of the original home's wood structure will be reused and incorporated into the new building's design. It's "signature" pitched roof will create a "dynamic interior space," while preserving some of the owner's past memories. 

Heatherwick's Garden Bridge to Represent London's Horticultural History

New images of Thomas Heatherwick's recently approved Garden Bridge depicts how it will look once built in 2018. With 270 trees, 2,000 shrubs, hedging plants and climbers, over 22,000 perennials, ferns and grasses and 64,000 bulbs planted on the bridge, the lush river crossing will take pedestrians through London's horticultural history, "from wild marshland to cultivated gardens," as the Garden Bridge Trust reports. Five distinct landscaped areas, created by landscape designer Dan Pearson, will span the bridge's 6000 square-meters of open space and represent the capital city's plant cultivation from centuries past. 

Vote for Your Favorite Atlanta Bridgescape Proposal

Five finalists have emerged in the Atlanta Bridgescape Competition. The urban design challenge, which was launched earlier this year, sought creative ideas to enhance two existing freeway overpasses in the city's Midtown and Downtown districts. Now in the competition's final phase, the finalists have refined their ideas, taking in consideration a budget of up to $3 million for each project. The proposals are now undergoing public review and you are invited to vote for your favorite design as part of the People’s Choice Award. Read on to review each proposal and find out how to vote. 

A winner will be announced this Friday, May 15 at the AIA's 2015 National Convention. 

Finalist C: "Illuminated Gateway" at Midtown's 10th Street Bridge . Image Courtesy of Atlanta Bridgescape Competition Finalist B: "(SIN)UOSITY" at Midtown's 10th Street Bridge . Image Courtesy of Atlanta Bridgescape Competition Finalist D: "Organic Canopy" at Downtown's Courtland/McGill Bridge. Image Courtesy of Atlanta Bridgescape Competition Finalist D: "Organic Canopy" at Downtown's Courtland/McGill Bridge. Image Courtesy of Atlanta Bridgescape Competition

MVRDV to Transform Abandoned Highway in Seoul into Lush Skygarden

MVRDV has won a competition to transform an abandoned elevated highway next to Seoul's Central Station into a 938 meter-long skygarden. The ambitious project, dubbed the "Seoul Skygarden," aims to "build on the city's ambition to be greener, more attractive and more user-friendly," while acting as a catalyst for the surrounding neighborhoods. 254 species of trees, shrubs and flowers will take over the overpass, creating a unique "library of plants" organized according to the Korean alphabet. Even more, the skygarden will cut pedestrian commutes to the station by more than half, reducing the walk from 25 to 11 minutes. 

© MVRDV © MVRDV © MVRDV © MVRDV

Open Call: Dear Architecture

Blank Space has launched "Dear Architecture" - an open competition that explores one of the most important communication tools of all time ­ the simple letter. Designers and architects worldwide are invited to address architecture, as a concept, as a social practice, and as a community, in no more than 500 words, and with an illustration as an auxiliary tool to convey the message.

Open Call: Peace Corps Host National Competition for Washington DC Memorial

The Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation (Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation">PCCF) is sponsoring a two-stage, national design competition to select an artistically exceptional design concept for a permanent commemorative work in the heart of Washington DC. This competition will provide designers from all across the United States an opportunity to create a compelling work of public art that will be bold and inspirational. The design should focus on and express American ideals and values that are the essence of the Peace Corps and Peace Corps service. It should be about America and our aspirations as a people, and about the Peace Corps as a manifestation of those aspirations. Submissions are due June 12, 2015. More information can be found here

BIG and Heatherwick Trudge On with Googleplex Plans

"Google now has to convince its hometown that its intentions are non-evil," commented Bloomberg Businessweek's Brad Stone on "Building Planet Google." Referring to the City of Mountain View's decision to award land to LinkedIn over Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick's proposed Googleplex in fear of becoming a "one-corporation town," Stone details the backstory of the futuristic plans and how the architects haven't given up yet. "Neither us or Heatherwick are in the business of producing a pretty painting,” Ingels said to Stone. Read the complete story here.  

Renzo Piano Designs New Handbag Inspired by the Whitney Museum

Renzo Piano has designed a limited-edition handbag for the Italian fashion brand Max Mara to match his newly completed Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. The leather, top-handle bag, inspired by the "pure design and sophisticated materials" of the Whitney, features distinct ribbing inspired by the museum's facade.

"Our aim was to apply one of the most characteristic elements of the museum project - the facade - to the bag: hence the idea of the modular strips enveloping the exterior," said Piano in an interview with Max Mara. "We tried to maintain a simple, pure design, working only on the details by applying a creative use of technology and placing the accent on respect for the materials."

Open Call: THINK public SPACE

The Think Space program serves as a platform for spatial experimentation and conceptual thinking. In 2015, THINK SPACE is conducting an international, public, anonymous, single stage, conceptual architectural – urbanistic idea design Competition under the topic THINK public SPACE. The focus of this Special Edition of Think Space will be directed on urban public space. Within the project Zagreb for Me, the Think Space Competition will strive to seek out solutions for present-day public spaces on conceptual and theoretical levels with the potential of realization of the selected competition projects in the public spaces of Zagreb, Croatia. Read on to learn more. 

The Learn'd: A Film About the Poetry of Light and Space at KAAN Architecten's Education Center

The Learn'd, a short film directed by Victor Vroegindeweij (The Office for Nonfiction Storytelling, Hazazah Pictures), captures the poetry of light and space within KAAN Architecten's Education Center. Part of the Rotterdam academic hospital Erasmus MC, the center was once an abandoned atrium that was transformed into an "enlightened inner square" that united all the building's medical student programs under a single roof.

Poll: Who Will Design Obama's Presidential Library and Museum?

On Tuesday, the Barack Obama Foundation is expected to officially announce its decision to build Obama's presidential library and museum in Chicago. With two sites under consideration - Washington Park or Jackson Park - speculation has now shifted towards the architect. Who will design the  Presidential Library and Museum?

Will it be David Adjaye, the London-based, Tanzanian-born architect who designed the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture (which will complete next year)? Or how about one of the city's leading architects: Jeanne Gang, Helmut Jahn, Ralph Johnson or John Ronan? Perhaps it will be Philip Freelon; as the Chicago Tribune's Blair Kamin points out, Obama made a recent visit to a library he designed in Washington DC. Some are even considering Renzo Piano; Michelle Obama seemed to have a deep appreciation for his newly constructed Whitney Museum when she spoke at its dedication ceremony a few weeks back.

With all this to bear in mind, who do you think will design the  Presidential Library and Museum? Answer a poll after the break.