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Karissa Rosenfield

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SANAA and Snøhetta Tie for Budapest's New National Gallery and Ludwig Museum

SANAA and Snøhetta have been jointly awarded first prize in a restricted competition to build a "New National Gallery - Ludwig Museum" in Budapest's 200-year-old Városliget (City Park). Lauded for their "equally outstanding" proposals, the winning teams will now meet with the jury to be judged "on professional and financial considerations." 

Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos and the joint proposal of Balázs Mihály's Architect Studio and the Faculty of Architecture of Budapest University of Technology and Economics were awarded second prize. 

The competition is part of a larger cultural project that aims to renew the city's Városliget by 2018 with five new museum buildings built inside the expanded park area.

A closer look at the winning schemes, after the break. 

Morphosis Breaks Ground on Shenzhen Office Tower

Construction is underway on a striking new tower by Morphosis Architects in Shenzhen. "A departure from conventional towers," as the practice describes, the "Hanking Center Tower" merges commercial retail with private office space through the folding of its steel structure. Beyond that, tenants are connected via a series communal sky gardens and a massive sun-lit atrium that occupies the building's core. 

Plaza. Image © Luxigon, courtesy of Morphosis Architects Lobby. Image © Luxigon, courtesy of Morphosis Architects Retail. Image © Luxigon, courtesy of Morphosis Architects © Luxigon, courtesy of Morphosis Architects

Inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial Announces 2015 Participants

A 60-strong list of international studios has named the official participants of the first-ever Chicago Architecture Biennial - the “largest international survey of contemporary architecture in North America.” Chosen by Biennial Co-Artistic Directors Joseph Grima and Sarah Herda - who are supported by an advisory council comprising David Adjaye, Elizabeth Diller, Jeanne Gang, Frank Gehry, Sylvia Lavin, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Peter Palumbo, and Stanley Tigerman - each participating practice will convene in Chicago to discuss "The State of the Art of Architecture" and showcase their work from October 3 to January 3, 2016.

“The city of Chicago has left an indelible mark on the field of architecture, from the world’s first modern skyscraper to revolutionary urban designs,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “That’s why there’s no better host city than Chicago for this rare global event. The Chicago Architecture Biennial offers an unprecedented chance to celebrate the architectural, cultural, and design advancements that have collectively shaped our world.”

A complete list of participants, after the break. 

Studio Gang Goes Public with Chicago's Newest Tower: Wanda Vista

Studio Gang Architects has gone public with what will be Chicago's third tallest tower, Wanda Vista. The massive mixed-use development, planned to open adjacent to the Chicago River in the city's Lake Shore East community by 2019, will reach 1100 feet (335 meters) and encompass more than 1.8 million-square-feet of residential and hotel space. 

Defined by three vertical elements, the tower is shaped to maximize resident views of the city and river below. 

Erik Andersson Designs Carbon Fiber Pedestrian Bridge for Gothenburg

The City of Gothenburg has commissioned Erik Andersson Architects to design a new pedestrian bridge in the city's historic Haga district. The circular bridge, connecting streets Haga Kyrkogata and Arkitektgatan, will be made of carbon fiber, allowing for a narrow profile that seemingly floats over the water. It is envisioned that the landscape the crosses inside the circular form can be used as an amphitheater for riverside performances. 

Leonardo DiCaprio Taps Jason McLennan to Design "Restorative" Eco-Resort in Belize

Founder of the Living Building Challenge, sustainability aficionado and architect Jason McLennan has been commissioned by famed actor Leonardo DiCaprio to design a 68-vila eco-resort on a private island in Belize. As The New York Times reports, the ambitious 42 hectare (104 acres) "Blackadore Caye, a Restorative Island" will be carried out by New York developer Delos by 2018. 

The resort will feature an arc of floating suites built over the water and a network of artificial reefs and fish shelters, along with 48 millionaire villas and an indigenous plant nursery focused on manatee conservation.

“My goal was always the fact that I wanted to create something not just environmental, but restorative,” said DiCaprio to the newspaper. “A showcase for what is possible.”

Farshid Moussavi Elected as New Royal Academician

Farshid Moussavi has been elected into the Royal Academy of Arts, joining Eva Jiricna, Zaha Hadid, David Chipperfield, Nicholas Grimshaw, and 11 other architects as a Royal Academician in the program's architecture category. The Iranian-born architect best known for her work on the Yokohama International Cruise Terminal in Japan, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, the flagship store for Victoria Beckham in London, and her installation at the 2012 Architecture Biennale in Venice.  

"I’m particularly pleased to welcome Farshid because the Royal Academy architects currently comprise a more distinguished group than at any time in its long history," commented Christopher Le Brun, president of the Royal Academy.

Faculty Install Grid Structure for SUTD Open House

Associate professor Toni Kotnik and assistant professor Carlos Bañón have collaborated on the design of an exhibition platform for the 2015 SUTD Open House. Held in early, the exhibition was the main showcase for the department of Architecture and Sustainable Design at the Singapore University of Technology and Design.

"Classic Japan" Episode 3: Kagawa Prefectural Government Hall / Kenzo Tange

This installment of Vincent Hecht's "Classic Japan" series takes you through Kenzo Tange's 1958 Kagawa Prefectural Government Hall. Emulating traditional Japanese wood construction, the reinforced concrete structure forms an L-shape around a central courtyard with a connecting eight-story administrative office tower and low-rise assembly hall.

SHoP's 626 First Avenue Coming Soon to NYC's East River

© SHoP Architects
© SHoP Architects

Construction is underway on SHoP Architects' newest addition to the New York skyline - 626 First Avenue. The conjoined residential towers, slated for completion in early 2016, aims to stimulate development on the city's East River. Once complete, they will add 800 residential units to the area connected via a sky bridge. Featured amenities will include an indoor lap pool, communal lounge areas, rooftop deck, fitness center, and film screening room. In addition to the cooper structures, SHoP will also design all the buildings' interiors and furniture, making the development a true gesamtkunstwerk.

Read on for more images of the project and a fly-through around the structure. 

Museum of Cultures Completes in Milan

The Museo delle Culture (Museum of Cultures), or MUDEC, has completed in Milan. Overshadowed by controversy, the building has made headlines this week due to a disagreement over its "poor quality" flooring that has led its architect (David Chipperfield) to disassociate himself with the project. Despite this, MUDEC is moving forward with plans to open on April 26. Take a look inside the building, after the break. 

© Oskar Da Riz Fotografie © Oskar Da Riz Fotografie © Oskar Da Riz Fotografie © Oskar Da Riz Fotografie

Grimshaw to Masterplan Washington DC's Union Station

Grimshaw Architects has been asked to collaborate with New York-based Beyer Blinder Belle on a $10 billion masterplan that will modernize Washington DC's 1913 Beaux Arts Union Station. Along with the potential to triple passenger capacity, the plan aims to make the station more accessible and efficient, while integrate a new three-million-square-foot, mixed-use development by Amtrak and Akridge over its rail tracks. 

"Washington DC deserves a station that serves the region on a practical level whilst celebrating the gateway to the nation’s capital," said Grimshaw partner Vincent Chang.

Henning Larsen Designs New Branch of Swedish National Museum

Henning Larsen Architects has been selected over eleven finalists to design the new NORR - National Museum in Östersund, Mid-Sweden. Acting both as an extension to the existing Jamtli Museum and a new branch of the Swedish National Museum, the new building will feature a large and flexible exhibition hall, workshops, offices and a cafe. 

“The new exhibition hall is designed as wooden sculpture with an easily recognizable silhouette against the sky. The roof is quite remarkable because the deep skylights filter the soft northern daylight directly into the exhibition space. This gives a very sensitive light as well as a view to the sky,” says Søren Øllgaard, partner at Henning Larsen Architects and design responsible for the project.

Snøhetta Designs New Kitchen for The French Laundry in California

Snøhetta has unveiled designs for a new kitchen at "one of the world's best restaurants," The French Laundry in Napa Valley. The restaurant's first major overhaul in 20 years, its kitchen will be expanded by 25 percent while the historic structure will remain untouched. 

“An experience at any of Chef Keller’s restaurants transcends expectation. The kitchen is the starting point for an architecture of connection, energy and authenticity. As Chef Keller makes us aware, the kitchen is where all the senses are first ignited,” said Craig Dykers, Founding Partner of Snøhetta. “The French Laundry kitchen is both primal and innovative, setting the stage for culinary magic.”

Amanda Levete to Design Melbourne's Second Annual MPavilion

British architect Amanda Levete of London-based studio AL_A has been selected to design Melbourne's second annual MPavilion. The temporary structure will be used to house talks, workshops, performances and installations in the "downtown oasis" of Queen Victoria Gardens starting this October. 

"I’ve visited Australia three times in the past six years and without doubt Melbourne is my favorite city," said Levete, commenting on her commission. "It’s people that make a city creative – and that’s why I love Melbourne. The brief from the Naomi Milgrom Foundation is a great opportunity to design a structure that responds to its climate and landscape. I’m interested in exploiting the temporary nature of the pavilion form to produce a design that speaks in response to the weather."

Video: Jørn Utzon's Nature-Inspired Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House recently created a video exploring how Jørn Utzon was inspired by the form and function of nature. While Jørn Utzon may not have seen himself as a pioneer of sustainable techniques, sustainability was inherent in his design philosophy. Watch the video above to learn more. 

David Chipperfield Disowns Milan's Museum of Culture Over "Floor War"

The poor quality and laying of stone flooring in Milan's newly completed Museum of Culture has led its architect, David Chipperfield to dissociate himself with the building. Blasting officials for skimping on materials, the British architect is demanding his name be removed from the project, claiming the building is now a "museum of horrors" and a "pathetic end to 15 years of work" due to the low quality flooring. 

On the contrary, Milan's council says the material decision was made in the "interests of the taxpayers," further claiming that, according to councillor Filippo del Corno, Chipperfield has been "unreasonable and impossible to please." 

Sou Fujimoto-Led Team Selected to Design Ecole Polytechnique Learning Centre in Paris

With an idea based on "flexibility, mingling and openness," Sou Fujimoto Architects, Manal Rachdi OXO Architects and Nicolas Laisné Associates have been announced as winners of a restricted competition to design a new Ecole Polytechnique learning center at Paris-Saclay University. The winning scheme, chosen over four finalists, will consolidate six institutions under one roof: Ecole Polytechnique, Institut Mines-Telecom, AgroParisTech, ENSTA ParisTech, ENSAE ParisTech and Institut d'Optique (IOGS).

Courtesy of Sou Fujimoto Architects, Manal Rachdi OXO Architects and Nicolas Laisné Associates Courtesy of Sou Fujimoto Architects, Manal Rachdi OXO Architects and Nicolas Laisné Associates Courtesy of Sou Fujimoto Architects, Manal Rachdi OXO Architects and Nicolas Laisné Associates Courtesy of Sou Fujimoto Architects, Manal Rachdi OXO Architects and Nicolas Laisné Associates