Karissa Rosenfield

Venice Biennale 2014: Dutch Pavilion to Rethink the Open Society

Housing scheme Lekkumerend in Leeuwarden , 1962, collection Het Nieuwe Instituut, BROX_1337t339- 1, Van den Broek en Bakema Architects

This year for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, the Dutch entry Open: A Bakema Celebration will reflect on the idea of an open society through the work and research of (1914-1981).

The Dutch architect, identified as a “compelling exponent of the Dutch welfare state,” was a leading voice within the international avant-garde movements CIAM (International Congresses of Modern Architecture) and Team 10. Inspired by the belief that “architecture should accommodate the emancipation of the masses while allowing for the self-realization of the individual citizen,” his portfolio includes some of the Netherlands’ most important postwar projects, such as the Rotterdam shopping street Lijnbaan.

Foster + Partners’ Unfinished Vegas Tower Approved for Demolition

Harmon Hotel via Wikimedia Commons

A court approved ruling has sealed the fate of Foster + Partners’ half-built Harmon Hotel in Las Vegas. Unfinished due to structural defects, the 27-story glass tower was once envisioned to be the staple of the $8.5 billion CityCenter entertainment complex. However, since problems arose in 2008, the stunted hotel and casino has instead served as a glorified billboard.

Though it has yet to be determined who will be blamed for the faulty construction, owner MGM Resorts International has been granted permission to dismantle the blue glass building floor-by-floor at a cost of $11.5 million.

2014 AIA San Francisco Design Awards

Citation Award: East Oakland Sports Center / ELS Architecture and Urban Design © David Wakely. Image Courtesy of

The American Institute of Architects’ San Francisco chapter has announced the recipients of the 2014 AIASF Design Awards. The winners were lauded for their outstanding contributions to the built environment in the following categories: architecture, interior architecture, energy and sustainability, historic , unbuilt design and special achievement.

Preview all the award winners, after the break…

Milan Expo 2015: Sculpture to Construct Virtual Beehive for UK Pavilion

“BE”. Image Courtesy of UKTI

A team led by Nottingham-based artist Wolfgang Buttress has been selected over seven other architect-designed proposals to construct a “pulsating” beehive for the ’s participation at the 2015 Milan Expo. Entitled “BE,” the “virtual hive” will highlight the plight of the honeybee and offer an “immersive sensory experience” that leaves visitors with a “lasting flavor of the British landscape.”

A full project description from the creators after the break…

World Architecture Festival 2014: Submit Your Works to Compete as the World’s Best

World Building of the Year: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki / FJMT + Archimedia © John Gollings

Dear readers, the deadline is quickly approaching for you to enter the search for the 2014 World Architecture Festival (WAF) awards. Annually recognizing the globe’s most impressive works, is the largest architecture festival (and live awards) on the planet.

If shortlisted, you will be invited to defend your project this October at the Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore in front of a “super jury,” chaired by Richard Rogers, that includes architects Rocco Yim, Julie Eizenberg, Enric Ruiz Geli, Peter Rich and more.

Practices of all sizes from around the world will compete across 28 individual award categories for global recognition. The winners of these categories will then be considered by the jury for the coveted World Building of the Year award at the culmination of WAF 2014.

In addition to this, all entrants who submit projects that use wood as an integral part of its design will be considered for a free, new Wood Excellence Prize. Promoting wood as the renewable, indispensable material it is, the new prize intends on highlighting a project that is can serve as an exemplar of the material’s sustainable benefits and timeless beauty.

The live architecture presentations and debates will coincide with a seminar and keynotes by industry leaders focusing on “Architects and the City.” Though a complete list of participants have yet to be released, Richard Rogers and Rocco Yim, as well as policy makers and urban organizations, such as Thomas Wright, Executive Director of the Regional Plan Association of , are all expected to join.

Entries are now open until May 30. You can find more information about the award categories and how to enter here.

New York Public Library Scraps Foster-Designed Renovation Plans

renovation scheme. Rendering by dbox. Image Courtesy of

The Public Library (NYPL) has abandoned Norman Foster’s controversial plans to transform part of its 20th century Carrère and Hastings “masterpiece” into a circulating library. The news doesn’t come as much of a surprise, considering the city’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio expressed skepticism towards the $150 million renovation earlier this year. 

According to a report by the New York Times, Blasio does not intend on reducing the NYPL funding, however the money will now be allocated to other purposes. 

Several library trustees have stated that in order to keep up with the cultural shift from traditional stacks to online resources, they now intend on completing the renovation of the library’s mid-Manhattan branch on Fifth Avenue. 

A response from Norman Foster, after the break…

Architect Offers to Buy Paul Rudolph’s Endangered Government Center

© Flickr CC User Joseph A.

Paul Rudolph’s threatened Orange County Government Center has new hope. According to a report by Architectural Record, New York City architect Gene Kaufman has offered to purchase the building and transform it into artist studios, though under one condition: Kaufman’s practice Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman must be commissioned to design the city’s new government building adjacent to the brutalist landmark. This news comes a week after an 18-3 vote secured plans to restore a portion of Rudolph’s building and return it to its former use. 

Venice Biennale 2014: Japan Pavilion to Examine Radical Experiments of the 1970s

Pavilion Installation Image. Image © Keigo KOBAYASHI

The influence of Western civilization and the birth of modernization following World War II lead Japan to become the world’s second largest economy by 1968. With this came a host of problems, namely environmental pollution and the oil crisis, which triggered the reexamination of modernism in Japanese architecture and a series of radical experiments by young architects that inevitably lead to a new vision of the city. 

Highlighting the work of these young architects, as well as historians, urban observers, artists and magazines of the 1970s, Japan’s participation at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale will spotlight the “independent, fundamentally innovative responses” that “unfolded a new fertile field of architecture” and revealed the “essential power” our profession has in the real world.

Frank Gehry Wins 2014 Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts

Guggenheim Bilbao (1997). Image Courtesy of Peter Knaup

Frank Gehry has been bestowed with Spain’s prestigious . The Canadian-American architect was chosen as the award’s 34th laureate “for the relevance and impact of his creations in numerous countries, via which he has defined and furthered architecture in the past half century.”

“His buildings are characterized by a virtuoso play of complex shapes, the use of unusual materials, such as titanium, and their technological innovation, which has also had an impact on other arts,” stated the jury.  “An example of this open, playful and organic style of architecture is the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, which, in addition to its architectural and aesthetic excellence, has had an enormous economic, social and urban impact on its surroundings as a whole.”

More information about Gehry’s selection, after the break…

De Blasio Sets 10-Year Affordable Housing Plan for NYC

ODA Chosen to Design Largest Project in New York. Image © ODA

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has addressed the “crisis of affordability” by implementing a five-borough, ten-year plan that will build and preserve 200,000 affordable units over the coming decade. Believing affordable housing to be part of “the bedrock of what makes work,” Blasio hopes the plan will make New York, once again, “a place where our most vulnerable, our working people and our middle class can all thrive.” Review the plan in detail and check out one of the largest affordable housing projects planned for the city, here

schmidt hammer lassen Designs Cultural Hub for Ningbo’s Labour Union

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schmidt hammer lassen architects has unveiled a new cultural hub for ’s Labour Union. Planned to serve both the city and the union’s nearly three million members, the “Home of Staff” will unite two stepped complexes of support, health, education, culture and leisure facilities with a half a kilometer long central park.

John Simpson to Design New Architecture Building at Notre Dame

Notre Dame Driehaus Prize laureate Pier Carlo Bontempi and Leon Krier’s Watercolor of the Piazza Matteotti

London-based architect John Simpson, a leading practitioner of New Classicism and New Urbanism, has been commissioned to design a new School of Architecture for the University of Notre Dame. As Dean Michael Lykoudis stated, Simpson’s work reflects the “principles and highest aspirations” of Notre Dame’s school, “which embraces the timeless classical values of durability, functionality and beauty.” The 80,000-square-foot building will be located on the campus’ south end.

Wilson Architects Tapped to Design MIT Hub for Nanoscale Research

MIT.nano and the courtyard looking northeast from Building 4. Image © Wilson Architects Inc.

Boston-based practice Wilson Architects has been commissioned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to design a state-of-the-art research hub for nanoscience and nanotechnology: MIT.nano. Centrally located at the heart of MIT, the new -encased, four-story structure will house two floors of high-performance cleanrooms, as well as imaging and prototyping facilities that are all designed to foster innovation through cross-discipline collaboration. 

Sold! 100 Design Relics from Niemeyer, Le Corbusier, FLW and More

Alvar Aalto: Early cantilevered armchair with stepped base, model no. 31, designed for the Tuberculosis Sanatorium, Paimio, 1929-1933 (Sold for £23,750). Image Courtesy of Phillips

UPDATE: The auction has concluded and more than £5.6 million was made. Find out how much the famous, architect-designed relics went for after the break.

Next week, a rare collection of over 100 relics designed by some of architecture’s most significant practitioners from the last two centuries will be auctioned off at the Phillip’s in London. Ranging from a full-scale paper tea house by this year’s Pritzker laureate Shigeru Ban to the Peacock chair designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel, the items being showcased and sold are an ode to the ideas in which have had a profound impact on our built environment.

An exhibition of the items, appropriately titled “The Architect,” is already underway, prior to the auction on April 29.

Works by Gerrit Rietveld, Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer are all available for purchase. Read on for a preview of the highlighted items…

Presidio Trust Enlists 5 to Envision New Schemes for Crissy Field

Presidio From Southeast. Image © Robert Campbell

’s Presidio Trust isn’t giving up. After rejecting three shortlisted schemes earlier this year that envisioned a “cultural institution of distinction” for the underdeveloped Crissy Field, the Trust has now invited five new teams to envision “kid-friendly” plans for a 13 acre portion of the site.

The five teams, which include , Olson Kundig Architects and Snøhetta, are expected to present their ideas publicly in just three months. A winner will not be selected, though each team will receive $25,000 for their efforts. However, the Trust will be inclined to work with one of the teams should their concepts “dazzle” the audience.

A complete list of the five teams and more project information, after the break…

Registration Now Open for the 2014 Sukkahville Design Competition

Ombres Lumineuses. Image Courtesy of

Registration is now open for the fourth annual Sukkahville Design Competition. The open competition challenges entrants to re-imagine the traditional Sukkah. All finalists will be invited to construct their designs on the Nathan Philips Square in front of Toronto’s City Hall for the week-long holiday of Sukkot.

Find out how to enter and continue after the break to view the winners of 2013… 

Milan Expo 2015: X-TU Designs Latticed “Fertile Market” for French Pavilion

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Paris-based X-TU has envisioned a more cohesive, sustainable market where food is not only grown and harvested, but sold and consumed on the spot. Serving as the French pavilion for the 2015 Milan Expo, X-TU’s competition-winning scheme will celebrate the country’s “rich genetic heritage” and future in innovative food production with a timber “fertile market” that supports the growth of the produce it sells.

Brooks + Scarpa, Witold Rybczynski Win Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award

AIA 2014 Housing Award Recipient: Cherokee Studios / Brooks + Scarpa

Angela Brooks and Lawrence Scarpa of Brooks + Scarpa have been recognized for their “leadership in sustainable and socially progressive design” by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. The Los Angeles-based architects will receive one of 10 National Design given by the Museum in honor of “lasting achievement in American Design.”

, writer and professor of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, will also receive a National Design Award for his many written contributions to architecture, urbanism and design.

A complete list of the 2014 National Design Award winners, after the break…