Karissa Rosenfield

SFMOMA Tops Out

© Henrik Kam

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has topped out its Snøhetta-designed extension, marking the halfway point in the museum’s transformation. Rising behind ’s existing Mario Botta-designed building, the 10-story addition will add more than triple the amount of gallery space, 130,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor galleries, flexible performance art spaces and a dramatically expanded education program for students and teachers upon completion in 2016.

More images after the break…

Jean Nouvel Releases Official Design for National Art Museum of China

To the East, a fusion of sky and gardens. Image © Ateliers Jean Nouvel

Jean Nouvel has unveiled the official design for the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC). Originally inspired by the simplicity of “a single brush stroke,” the 21st century art and calligraphy museum will become the centerpiece of a new cultural district at Olympic Park, rising next to the historic axis of and symbolically connecting to the Forbidden City.

New images of the and more from Nouvel, after the break… 

New Images Take You Inside ALA’s Helsinki Central Library

Central Library. Image ©

Take a tour inside ALA Architect’s Helsinki Central Library with a new animation and set of images revealing the project’s spacious interiors. The project, which was awarded to ALA through an international competition, boasts a unique set of programs, such as a ground floor cinema, second story sauna, “Nerd Attic” and dreamy “Book Heaven” that is topped with a cloud-like undulating roof and includes a distinctive outdoor “Citizens’ Balcony.”

ASTOC and HPP Selected to Masterplan Moscow’s New Finance Center

© Team Moscow: ASTOC / HPP

ASTOC and HPP have been announced as winners of a two-stage competition to ’s” International Financial Center (IFC) in Rublyovo-Arkhangelskoye. The phased, 460 hectare development will capitalize on the Moscow River’s greenbelt by extending the river landscape throughout the IFC to achieve a balance between nature and city.

More information, images and a video about the winning proposal, after the break…

Trading Parking Lots for Affordable Housing

9×18 Scheme © Credit Peterson Rich Office/Sagi Golan via the NYTimes

The cost of living in has skyrocketed over the years, causing one of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s biggest challenges to be the integration of affordable housing. Considering this, architecture critic has spotlighted a plan that suggests trading parking lots for micro housing units. Envisioned by three young architects at the Institute for Public Architecture, the “9×18” scheme has the potential to transform the city by capitalizing on outdated zoning regulations that would unleash more than 20.3 million square feet of usable space. Read more here on the New York Times.

Construction Begins on Rogers Stirk Harbour’s First Towers in Middle East

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Details have been released on Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ first project in the Middle East: Maryah Plaza. The four-tower, one billion dollar scheme will be built on ’s 114 hectare Al Maryah Island, which is slated to become the emirate’s central business district.

High-Speed “Skyway” Aims to Shorten Commutes from Brooklyn to Manhattan

© via Daily News

New York real estate executive Daniel Levy of CityRealty has unveiled a proposal to connect Brooklyn’s waterfront to Manhattan with a $75 million “East River Skyway.” According to Levy, the high-speed gondola could shorten commutes to just four minutes and move more than 5,000 people per hour, while relieving congestion on ferries, subways and bridges. “[The Skyway] would be a relatively inexpensive and quickly deployable solution,” said Levy. “It is essential to adapt New York City’s transportation system to serve residents in these booming areas.” Levy will present the project in an effort to harness support at the Brooklyn real estate summit on Tuesday.

Richard Rogers Honored with Lifetime Achievement Medal

© 2013 Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners LLP

Richard Rogers has been honored with the for his “significant and fundamental contributions to the design industry,” an announcement made as part of the Design Festival in Rogers’ newly completed Leadenhall Building.

“He has played a leading role in designing buildings that made us think again about how we use them and how they function,” stated London Design Festival director Ben Evans. :His eminence is global, and he is part of a golden era of leading British architects who not only reshaped our city but also reshaped the world to some capacity.”

Obama Shortlists Four Potential Sites for Presidential Library

A proposal for Chicago’s South Side from earlier in the competition by Michael Sorkin (click image for more details). Image © Michael Sorkin Studio

The Foundation has listed four potential sites for Obama’s presidential library and museum: Columbia University, the University of Hawaii, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the Universities considered were selected for demonstrating the ability to develop a strong vision and design a library that could enhance the local economy. Each institution will now work towards refining their ideas and will submit formal proposals by December.

Sheila Kennedy Awarded 2014 Berkeley-Rupp Prize

. Image Courtesy of UC Berkeley

Shelia Kennedy has been awarded the 2014 , a $100,000 prize presented biannually to a “distinguished practitioner or academic who has made a significant contribution to promoting the advancement of women in the field of architecture, and whose work emphasizes a commitment to sustainability and the community.” Kennedy is a principal of Boston’s KVA Matx and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s first-ever female Professor of the Practice of Architecture who is internationally renowned for her explorations of material innovation in the fields of architecture and urbanism.

INABA to Construct “New York Light”

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Jeffrey Inaba’s practice INABA has been selected as the first-ever winner in the Flatiron Plaza Holiday Design Competition with New York Light. Organized by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute, the inaugural installation will be constructed in front of the famous Flatiron Building for the duration of the 2014 winter season.

VIDEO: Time-Lapse Through FR-EE’s Museo Soumaya

German photographer Yannick Wegner has shared with us his latest time-lapse exploration through the Museo Soumaya. Designed by FR-EE / Fernando Romero Enterprise, the 150-foot structure has become iconic in ’s Polanco district due to its sculptural physique and scale-like skin of 16,000 mirrored steel hexagonal tiles.

Stills of the museum, after the break…

SCDA-Designed Condominium to Rise Between High Line

Courtesy of

“515 Highline” is the latest luxury condominium planning to make its claim next to ’s beloved High Line. Clad in an undulating glass and steel facade, the 12-story, 12-residence development designed by Singapore’s SCDA Architects will be unique in that it is the only property bordered by the elevated park on two sides. 

Five Buildings Compete to be Named “World’s Best Highrise”

Bosco Verticale, Milan / Boeri Studio. Image © Kirsten Bucher

Rem Koolhaas, Steven Holl, Jean Nouvel and Boeri Studio are the masters behind five competing to be crowned the “World’s best.” Chosen as finalists for the 2014 International Award (IHA), the four practices are in the running for a prestigious title and €50,000 prize.

Award organizers from the City of Frankfurt/Main, Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) and DekaBank at Frankfurt’s Paulskirche will announce a winner in mid-November. The chosen skyscraper will be selected by an esteemed, multidisciplinary jury based on the criteria ranging from future-oriented design and innovative building technology, to the building’s integrative urban development scheme and cost-effectiveness.

“Good architecture requires a willingness to take risks and a desire to try things out. All the finalists took this approach – there can be no innovation without experimentation. Our shortlist comprises three different prototypes of the future,” commented Jury Chairman Christoph Ingenhoven.

View all five of the competing highrises and the jury’s comments, after the break… 

Shigeru Ban to Construct Tainan Museum of Fine Arts

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Pritzker laureate Shigeru Ban has won an international competition to design the future Tainan Museum of Fine Arts. With an agenda to promote arts culture and tourism in ’s cultural capital, the museum will foster the research of arts, literature and history, while exhibiting local talent.

Cascading volumes featuring an auditorium, classrooms and exhibition galleries will be capped with a pentagonal roof canopy and softened with lush terraces and landscaping. An outdoor sculpture park and public recreation area will allow the museum’s inner contents to bleed into its surroundings and activate the city.

More images, after the break…

APA Awards: James Ewing’s Matrimandir Photograph Places First for Architecture

The Matrimandir in Auroville, India designed by Roger Anger and Mirra Alfassa was constructed between 1971-2008. The inner chamber contains a meditation hall which houses the largest optically perfect glass sphere in the world. Auroville is an international peace community founded as a project of the Sri Aurobindo Society in 1968 with the endorsement of the Government of India and UNESCO.. Image ©

based architectural photographer James Ewing has placed first in the American Photographic Artists’ APA Awards for architecture. The image, as Ewing describes, “was created to describe the verdant landscape that surrounds the Matrimandir and the community of Auroville.” 

“The land was in an advanced state of desertification when the Auroville project was started in the 1960s. Heavy erosion had removed most of the topsoil and left a barren scorched earth. Through many years of careful engineering and land management Auroville has created a lush, wooded, garden city. I sought out an elevated vantage point that allowed me to present the building in context with its landscape. The building without the landscape would only be half of the story. The cyclists in the foreground show scale and provide a contrast between the familiar low-fi technology of the bicycles and the fantastic sci-fi form of the Matrimandir itself.”

Zaha Hadid Installs Ultra-Thin Shell Structure at London’s V&A

© Luke Hayes

Zaha Hadid Architects has constructed an experimental structure on the grounds of London’s V&A Museum, just in time for the London Design Festival. The temporary is the practice’s thinnest shell structure to date, testing new design and construction technologies for achieving minimal material thickness while “investigating the relationship between formal arrangement and structural performance.” 

AD Interviews: Will Bruder / Will Bruder Architects

A self-trained American architect residing in ’s urban desert, Will Bruder, FAIA, has built a reputation for being one of Arizona’s most prized place-makers. For more than 40 years, Bruder has refined his craft with the completion of over 500 commissions ranging from large-scale civic and cultural projects to private residences and multi-family housing.

Trained first as a sculptor with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Bruder pursued the art of building with an architectural apprenticeship under Paolo Soleri and Gunnar Birkerts. In 1974, Bruder opened his first studio in Arizona, Will Bruder Architects, where he still serves as a community-based architect and student mentor, while often participating in a number of visiting chairs and lectures at universities nationwide.

His most notable project is the Burton Barr Central Library; not only has the structure played a significant role in the evolution of downtown Phoenix, but it serves as an exemplar of Bruder’s heightened awareness of movement, materiality and light.

Learn more about Bruder’s design philosophy in the interview above and check out his projects on ArchDaily: