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Karissa Rosenfield


17 Napkin Sketches by Famous Architects

The napkin sketch has always had its place in architecture. Now, some of the world's more respected architects have donated their very own conceptual doodles to the NewSchool and San Diego American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) in an effort that helped raise thousands to fund scholarships and programs for architecture students. 

"The event was a big success,” said David Garcia, a NewSchool architecture undergraduate and fundraising chair for the AIAS event. “Personally, this project means a lot to me, and not just because of the time and involvement, but because this is a nice way to bring students and their favorite architects together, even if it's just through a sketch. Plus, since it's a fundraiser, the proceeds have been a great help to the success of the chapter.”

Take a look at all 17 napkin sketches from Bjarke Ingels, Wolf Prix, Thom Mayne, Robert Venturi, Zaha Hadid and others, after the break. 

Zaha Hadid. Image Courtesy of NewSchool and AIAS San Diego Thom Mayne. Image Courtesy of NewSchool and AIAS San Diego Kurt Hunker. Image Courtesy of NewSchool and AIAS San Diego Massimiliano Fuksas. Image Courtesy of NewSchool and AIAS San Diego

7 Leading Architects Defend the World's Most Hated Buildings

From Paris' most abhorred tower to New York's controversial government center, seven renowned architects have stepped up in defense of the world's most hated buildings in a newly published article on T Magazine. As told to Alexandra Lange, the article presents direct quotes from Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind, Norman Foster and four others regarding controversial architecture whose importance goes beyond aesthetics.

See what hated building Norman Foster believes to be a "heroic" structure, after the break. 

UNStudio and EHA Compete to Design 's-Hertogenbosch's City Center Theater

Residents of 's-Hertogenbosch have been asked to vote on proposals by UNStudio and Ector Hoogstad Architecten to decide who will design their new City Center Theater. Though vastly different, both proposals promise to provide a timeless main theater and flexible performance hall that connects to an inviting foyer and seamlessly merges with the adjacent public plaza.

The public's vote will count towards 50 percent of the final decision. Ground breaking is expected to occur in 2017, with completion scheduled for 2020. Read on for a preview of both proposals.

Open Call: US Searches for Architect to Design New Embassy Compound in Brasília

The United States Department of State (DOS) has released a request for information (RFI) in search of architects interested in designing a New Embassy Compound (NEC) in Brasília, the federal capital of Brazil. The (up to) $350 million, design-bid-build project will be located on a 4.86 hectares (12 acres) site near the seat of the Brazilian Government within the city's planned "Diplomatic Sector." All proposals must take in considering the site's conditions, the city planning context and the architectural significance of Brasilia as a 1956 urban planned city and now UNESCO World Heritage Site. More details after the break. 

Video: Renzo Piano Reveals the Story Behind the Whitney Museum on Charlie Rose

Said to be the most long-awaited museum of the 21st century, the new Whitney Museum of American Art by Renzo Piano officially opened its doors in New York this May after a 30 year endeavor to expand its capacity. An unusual scenario, Charlie Rose sat down with Piano and the museum's director Adam Weinberg to discuss the "remarkable story" behind the expansion and how its design incorporates, what Piano believes to be, seven elements that represent the essence of architecture: social life, urbanity, invention, construction, technology, poetry and light.

We've provided a clip of the talk above. Watch the full 30-minute discussion, after the break. 

Open Call: 2015 Faith & Form/IFRAA International Awards Program

Submissions are invited for the 2015 Faith & Form/IFRAA International Awards Program, which recognizes excellence in the design of religious architecture, restoration and renovation of religious buildings, religious arts, religious landscape design, the design of unbuilt religious projects, and student design projects for spiritual environments. The winners of the awards program will be chosen by an independent jury panel of recognized experts in the field and will be published globally. All submissions are digital and the deadline is June 30, 2015. More information can be found here

OMA Among 5 Shortlisted for Singapore Rail Corridor

MVRDV, OMA and DP Architects are among five shortlisted teams competing to design the Singapore Rail Corridor. Spanning the island south to north, from the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station to the Woodlands Checkpoint, the corridor is the site of Singapore’s previous rail link to Malaysia. With this competition, the Singapore government hopes to develop a feasible plan to transform the 24 kilometer stretch into a public greenway that connects four important urban nodes: Buona Vista, the Bukit Timah Railway Station area, the former Bukit Timah Fire Station, and Kranji. 

“The expanse of the corridor running through the centre of the entire country presents an unprecedented opportunity to develop a new typology of landscape with transformative effects for the country as a whole. This is a project that has the potential to improve quality of life for generations to come," says OMA Partner Michael Kokora. 

64 teams responded to the government's call for ideas, and now only five have been selected to move onto the competition's second stage. These five teams are...

Gallery: Inside Herzog & de Meuron's Bordeaux Stadium During Its Inaugural Match

© Philippe Caumes
© Philippe Caumes

Architectural photographer Philippe Caumes has sent us images from the open match at Herzog & de Meuron's newly completed Bordeaux Stadium in France. Sometimes compared to a classical temple, the all-white, rectangular stadium is distinct with a forest of slender columns touching down on an inviting grand staircase that ushers fans into its 42,000-seat "bowl." Take a look inside, after the break. 

© Philippe Caumes © Philippe Caumes © Philippe Caumes © Philippe Caumes

Qatar Searches for Architect to Transform Flour Mill into Museum Complex

Qatar Museums has launched an international search for an architect to convert an existing flour mill within the Arabian Gulf port into a massive "Art Mill." Planned for a prominent site in Doha, near I.M. Pei’s Museum of Islamic Art and Jean Nouvel’s forthcoming National Museum of Qatar, the new museum will be realized through a three-stage competition open to practicing architects with at least seven years of experience. 

"The industrial process of milling has left a fascinating legacy in the layout and spaces of the existing buildings on the site, notably voluminous spaces and a rhythmic, patterned promenade of vertical silos. Some of the Flour Mills buildings possess an authentic monumentality in terms of positioning, scale and noble forms. Re-using and adapting these structures will be integral to the project," says competition organizer Malcolm Reading on the Art Mill's official site. 

Video: House of Music / Coop Himmelb(l)au

One of the best acoustically responsive concert halls in the world, Coop Himmelb(l)au's House of Music in Aalborg has been a lively center for music and creative exchange since its opening in 2014. Based off of the simple, yet powerful courtyard typology and inspired by Le Corbusier’s La Tourette, the 1,300-seat concert hall is embraced by a U-shaped education center and enhanced by a careful overlapping of public and performance areas. This has allowed the building to live up to its name, becoming an animated House of Music where music is not only heard, but seen. 

This video is the first of a series by Spirit of Space. You can watch Coop Himmelb(l)au's Wolf Prix talk about his intentions behind the House of Music, after the break.  

MGA Proposes World's Tallest Wood Building in Paris

Michael Green Architecture (MGA) and DVVD has teamed up with REI France developments to propose the world's tallest wood building in Paris. The carbon-neutral proposal, developed as part of the city’s innovative Réinventer Paris competition, aims to alleviate the city's urban housing challenges.

“Our goal is that through innovation, youthful social contact and overall community building, we have created a design that becomes uniquely important to Paris,” said Michael Green, Principal of MGA. “Just as Gustave Eiffel shattered our conception of what was possible a century and a half ago, this project can push the envelope of wood innovation with France in the forefront. The Pershing Site is the perfect moment for Paris to embrace the next era of architecture.” 

Norman Foster: Striving for Simplicity

“Quality is an attitude of mind.” - Norman Foster

In honor of Norman Foster's 80th birthday, we bring to you this extensive video interview by Louisiana Channel that gives an in-depth look into the life and career of the prolific English architect. Throughout the 40-minute interview, Foster reflects on his childhood obsession with technology, the evolution of his work, and his constant "strive for simplicity." 

New Site Revealed for BIG and Heatherwick-Designed Google HQ Expansion

Google has found another way to realize its futuristic Mountain View headquarter's expansion. As the San Jose Mercury News reports, the search engine giant revealed plans to utilize a vacant site just east of their existing Googleplex that was approved by the city almost a decade ago to host nearly 600,000 square-feet of office and commercial space. The approval occurred prior to the city implementing strict legislation that restricts office expansions in the North Bayshore district, therefore Google's entitlement is essentially "grandfathered in."

/ Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid has collaborated with the Hamburg-based shipbuilders Blohm+Voss to design a new concept for a family of superyachts: a 128-meter master prototype that will  eventually spawn five, fully-engineered, 90-meter “Unique Circle Yachts.” According to Hadid, the overall design is informed by “fluid dynamics and underwater ecosystems, with hydrodynamic research shaping the design of the hull.”

More from the architect, after the break. 

Call for Participation: Urban Realities Takes A Look At Abandoned Construction Pits in Ljubljana

In cooperation with the Museum of Architecture and Design Ljubljana an interactive Blind Date of European architects, planners and experts in urban development will be organized in autumn 2015. Under the title “Urban Realities” a collaboration of three selected teams together with local experts will be started. Invited architects and planners will work on a concrete topic and on abandoned construction pits in the city of Ljubljana.

SHoP Unveils Plans for New Uber Headquarters in San Francisco

SHoP Architects and Studio O+A have unveiled designs for a new Uber headquarters in San Francisco. Planned to rise on a 14-acre vacant site in the city's Mission Bay neighborhood, the 423,000 square-foot scheme will consist of two towers: an 11‐story tower at 1455 Third Street and a 6‐story structure at 1515 Third Street.

© SHoP Architects © SHoP Architects © SHoP Architects © SHoP Architects

Brooklyn Academy of Music Showcases 5 Murals by Michael Graves

Brooklyn Academy of Music is showcasing five murals by the late Michael Graves as part of the institution's permanent visual art collection. All completed in 1974, the paintings were originally commissioned by Charles Gwathmey - one of the New York Five, along with Graves. And, as the New York Times reports, their "heightened use of color and ornamentation" portray a "general shift away from minimalism." Read more about the murals, here

Graham Foundation Awards Grants for 63 Outstanding Projects

The Graham Foundation has awarded over $490,000 in "Grants to Individuals" of 63 "outstanding projects" that "engage original ideas in architects." From a photographic survey of Le Corbusier's completed works to an online oral history regarding efforts to building housing for homeless individuals living with HIV and AIDS in New York City, the awarded projects range from participatory workshops to exhibitions and documentary films.

As The Graham Foundation says, each awarded project "advances new scholarship in the field of architecture, fuel creative experimentation and critical dialogue, and expand opportunities for public engagement with architecture and its role in contemporary society."

View all 63 awarded projects, after the break.

Le Corbusier, Villa Savoye, 1928–32, Poissy, France. Photo: Richard Pare. From the 2015 Individual Grant to Richard Pare for “Le Corbusier, The Built Work.”. Image Courtesy of Graham Foundation Ying Xiao and Shengchen Yang, “Occupy Skyscraper,” 2012, New York. Courtesy of the artists. From the 2015 Individual Grant to Esther Choi and Marrikka Trotter for “Architecture is All Over.”. Image Courtesy of Graham Foundation Group Ludic, playground, “Quartier de la Grande Delle,” 1968, Herouville St. Clair, France. Courtesy of Xavier de la Salle. From the 2015 Individual Grant to Gabriela Burkhalter for “Group Ludic’s Visionary Urban Landscapes, 1968–1979.”. Image Courtesy of Graham Foundation Craig Hodgetts, collage from “Design Quarterly 100, Inside James Stirling,” 1976. Courtesy of Craig Hodgetts. From the 2015 Individual Grant to Todd Gannon and Craig Hodgetts for “Biography of a Teaching Machine and Other Writings.”. Image Courtesy of Graham Foundation