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Karissa Rosenfield

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Henry N. Cobb Awarded Architectural League President's Medal

The Architectural League of New York has awarded its President's Medal to Henry N. Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects. The League's highest honor, the medal was awarded to Cobb “for the truly consequential work he has created as designer, educator, thinker, writer, and leader,” says the jury citation.

"We are inspired by his decades-long passion for the art of architecture; by his analytic rigor, manifest in subtle and articulate buildings and penetrating readings of history and place; by the broad and profoundly informed humanist culture that suffuses his writings and approach to education; and by the unbounded curiosity and delight he takes in new ideas, new work, and new talent. Henry N. Cobb embodies that combination of capability and conviction—artistic, intellectual, practical, and civic—that defines the ideal architect.”

Help Shigeru Ban Provide Emergency Shelter to Nepal

Shigeru Ban Architects, together with the Voluntary Architects' Network (VAN), has announced plans to send emergency shelter, housing and other community facilitates to the victims of Nepal's deadly April 25th earthquake. As part of a three-phase plan, Shigeru Ban will first delivery and assemble tents with plastic partitions acquired though donation to provide immediate shelter. A few months after, the Japanese practice will collaborate with local architects and students to build temporary housing with materials found prevalent in Nepal.

Permanent housing will also be provided in the architect-led recovery plan's third phase, although little details have been released. However, you can help make it happen by donating to Shigeru Ban's efforts (here). 

Watch Shigeru Ban's TED Talk on paper emergency structures, after the break. 

uncube Pays Homage to Frei Otto

uncube has published an entire issue dedicated to the late Frei Otto. The architect and inventor, known best for his tensile structures, was the first ever to be awarded the Pritzker Prize posthumously. Honoring Otto with more than a "simple retrospective homage," uncube has compiled an extensive online issue of "thoughts, anecdotes and observations" that reflect Otto's legacy and the ideas that lead him to be a significant part of architectural history. View the entire uncube issue on Frei Otto, here.

Norman Foster’s Advice for the Young: “Find Something You Believe In”

Unless architecture is truly your passion, Norman Foster thinks you should simply find something else to pursue. In the Louisiana Channel's latest, the prolific English architect advises the young to live "every living second of your life" doing what you love. 

Video: How Tesla's Powerwall Will Provide Energy to the World

The world's energy infrastructure may soon undergo significant change; Tesla Motors recently unveiled the Powerwall, a compact, lithium-ion battery pack that will allow residents to autonomously consume energy by drawing from their own sun-powered reserve. For just $3,500, you can purchase an attractive, wall-mounted battery capable of storing up to 10 kilowatt-hours of energy - about a third of what the average US household uses daily. Beyond this, the company will also be offering scalable Powerpacks to businesses and utility companies that will allow limitless storage. Powerwalls will go out for delivery this summer.

Hot Tub With Charles Renfro In Honor Of Public Architecture

Want to "smoke up" with Bjarke Ingels or fly over London in Norman Foster's private helicopter? The Van Alen Institute has launched an online auction to help raise money for its public architecture and design programs. Bid now for a chance to win "priceless" experiences with famous architects and designers that could potentially have you hot tubbing with Charles Renfro, birdwatching with Jeanne Gang, or touring Los Angeles by bike with Michael Maltzan. See all the experience being auctioned, here on Paddle8

Michael Graves and MOS Architects Win Cooper Hewitt National Design Award

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum has announced the winners of its 2015 National Design Award. Taking top honors, the late Michael Graves has been honored with the "Lifetime Achievement" award for "broadening the role of architects and raising public interest in good design as essential to the quality of everyday life."

MOS Architects was also selected to receive the "Architecture Design" award. The New York-based studio, founded by principals Hilary Sample and Michael Meredith in 2005, was lauded by the jury for their "academic research [that] occurs in parallel to the real-world constraints and contingencies of practice."

Open Call: Competition Seeks Ideas for Königsberg Cultural Center

The Kaliningrad Region Government, in collaboration with the Kaliningrad City Administration and the Non-Profit Partnership ”Urban Planning Bureau 'Heart of the City'” has launched an open international design competition for an architectural design of the Governmental historic and cultural complex on the grounds of the former order castle Königsberg in Kaliningrad (“Post-castle,” 4,5 ha). The competition aims to find a contemporary architectural image of Kaliningrad's historic center, while accommodate for new functions, such as a concert hall, museum of archaeology, and history museum of the King's castle.

Eileen Gray's Restored E1027 Opens to the Public

The controversial renovation of Eileen Gray's E1027 on the Côte d’Azur is complete. Once a "lost legend of 20th-century architecture," the quaint holiday home has been brought back to life and is now open to the public. Announcing the news, The Guardian author Rowan Moore has recounted the cliffside project's turbulent past, reciting its significance as Gray's first architectural project.

BIG and Heatherwick's Google HQ to be Built with Robots

Google's proposed California headquarters will be built with robots, according to the most recent planning documents received by the City of Mountain View Council. As the Architects' Journal reported first, the documents detail BIG and Heatherwick Studio's plan to construct the canopy-like structure's interiors with a team of robotic-crane hybrids known as "crabots."

These crabots would, in theory, establish a "'hackable' system for the building of the interior structures," says the documents, that would allow for limitless, easy, and affordable reconfiguration of space throughout the building's life. 

Dubai Design District Taps Foster + Partners To Design Its Second Phase

The Dubai Design District (d3) has tapped Foster + Partners to design its masterplan's second phase. Spanning one million-square-feet, the new development will be a "Creative Community" that will serve as a "thriving cultural epicenter" within d3, and an "incubator" for emerging designers an artists. 

“This is an exciting initiative, which supports young creatives, and allows Dubai’s design scene to flourish from within," says Gerard Evenden, Studio Head at Foster + Partners. 

Janet Echelman Suspends Massive Aerial Sculpture Over Boston's Greenway

Janet Echelman's latest aerial sculpture has been suspended 365 feet above Boston's Rose Kennedy Greenway. On view through October 2015, the monumental installation spans 600 feet, occupying a void where an elevated highway once divided the city's downtown from its waterfront. 

"The sculpture’s form echoes the history of its location," describes Echelman. "The three voids recall the 'Tri-Mountain' which was razed in the 18th-century to create land from the harbor. The colored banding is a nod to the six traffic lanes that once overwhelmed the neighborhood, before the Big Dig buried them and enabled the space to be reclaimed for urban pedestrian life."

© Peter Vanderwarker © Melissa Henry © Melissa Henry © Melissa Henry

Car Talk Deems Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion Car a Complete Failure

Car Talk has written a scathing review on Buckminster Fuller's three-wheeled Dymaxion Car, 81 years after its unveiling. The famed architect and inventor, known best for his geodesic dome, hoped to revolutionize the car industry with a three-wheeled, 20 foot-long, "highly aerodynamic" reinvention of the car. 

University of Chicago Selected to Host Barack Obama Presidential Library

According to Forbes, the University of Chicago has been selected to be the official home of the Barack Obama Presidential Library and Museum. The proposal, selected over sites at Columbia University, the University of Hawaii, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, will be built in the city's South Side Hyde Park, near a home owned by the Obamas. 

Hello Wood 2015: Project Village

Hello Wood is looking for students and young architects, designers, and artists in their Project Village, its 2015 workshop and symposium held 11-19 July. Applications are due before the 16th of May.

This year’s event follows the success of Hello Wood’s workshop in the summer of 2014, which saw participation from over 120 architects, artists and designers from 25 countries. Project Village will examine the typology of the village and the means for its production, proposing new and more efficient methods of master planning and construction. Among the invited team leaders of Hello Wood 2015 are: the founder of Invisible Studio and Studio in the Woods, Piers Taylor; winner of ArchDaily’s Building of the Year 2014 award, Katsuya Fukushima; and founders of 72 Hour Urban Action architectural group. Open Call for students is available here.

Open Call: PINGDI 1.1 Alternatives for Low Carbon Architecture

In order to effectively guide and improve the development and construction of the low-carbon pilot zone and to strength its international influence, Shenzhen Public Art Center, under the request from the Planning and Construction Management Office of Shenzhen International Low-carbon City and Shenzhen SEZ Construction and Development Co., Ltd., has organized an international competition for the PINGDI Pilot Zone – the urban design for the zone’s one square kilometer and the architectural design for its 0.1 square kilometer. The number in PINGDI 1.1 is the numerical sum of one and 0.1 square kilometers, and also represents the improvement and exploration of the low-carbon development method.

Take A Look At Milan Expo's 2015 Pavilions on Opening Day

Italy's global commercial fair, Milan Expo 2015 opened today. The six month event, expected to attract nearly 20 million visitors, is showcasing 54 national pavilions, among a number of corporate and multinational installations, all focused on "Feeding the Planet" and promoting their national cuisine. Pavilions by Foster + Partners, Herzog & de Meuron, SPEECHDaniel Libeskind and many others will remain on view through October 31. 

Take a look at some of the fair's most talked about pavilions on opening day, after the break. 

Richard Serra's East-West/West-East Rises in the Qatari Desert

A new sculpture has risen in the desert of Qatar: “East-West/West-East,” Richard Serra's second public commission by the Gulf nation. Sited in a barren landscape that was suggested by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the former Emir, the installation is comprised of four steel plates incrementally placed and standing perpendicular to the ground.

Much like Serra's first Qatari sculpture - "7" in Doha - the German rolled steel structure will oxidize, changing from gray to orange and eventually a dark amber, much like the Seagram Building in midtown, said Serra in an interview with The New Yorker. The artist hopes it will become a landmark within the country. 

A selection of images from architecture photographer Nelson Garrido, after the break. 

“East-West/West-East” / Richard Serra. Image © Nelson Garrido “East-West/West-East” / Richard Serra. Image © Nelson Garrido “East-West/West-East” / Richard Serra. Image © Nelson Garrido “East-West/West-East” / Richard Serra. Image © Nelson Garrido