Karissa Rosenfield

2014 U.S. Wood Design Award Winners

Federal Center South Building 1202 / ZGF Architects © Benjamin Benschneider

WoodWorks, an initiative of the Products Council, has announced the winners of its 2014 National . Recognizing “outstanding projects that bring to life wood’s natural beauty and versatility in building design,” 13 projects have been selected from over 140 submissions for demonstrating “ingenuity in design or engineering.”

The 2014 National Wood Design Award Winners are…

Fast Company Names Top 10 Most Innovative Practices in Architecture

Domino Sugar Factory Master Plan Development / Architects

Fast Company has announced who they believe to be the most innovative practices in architecture for 2014. Topping this list is ’s SHoP Architects who has gone from “boutique to big commissions in only a few years.” See who made the list after the break and let us know who you believe is the world’s most innovative firms in the comment section below.

Woods Bagot Unveils Colosseum-Inspired Stadium for AS Roma

© Woods Bagot

Global firm Woods Bagot has unveiled designs for the Italian Serie A soccer club AS Roma’s new stadium: Stadio della Roma. Planned for completion by the 2016-17 season on the outskirts of , the colosseum-inspired stadium will be capable of hosting more than 52,000 fans and designed to be easily configured to accommodate multiple sporting and entertainment events.

“The design draws visual cues from the world’s most historic spectator venue, the Roman Colosseum,” says Woods Bagot Sport Design Leader, Dan Meis. “The design features a state-of-the-art steel and concrete seating bowl wrapped in a ‘floating’ stone scrim, evocative of the rhythmic facade of the famous arena; with polycarbonate clad roof is reminiscent in form of the historic retractable fabric canopy that once covered the upper tiers of the Colosseum.”

Foster to Design “First and Mission” Towers in San Francisco

© Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners, with Heller Manus Architects, has been commissioned to design a two tower, two million square foot mixed-use development in . The expansive “First and Mission” will be marked by a 605-foot “world class condominium” tower – which will be the tallest residential project on the West Coast – and a 850-foot “large floor plate office tower.” Together they will add more than a million square feet of flexible office and commercial space, as well as 650,000 square feet of residential units to the Transbay Area.

Construction Slated to Begin on 1km Kingdom Tower

Kingdom Tower. Image ©

Work on Kingdom Tower is moving forward, as above-ground construction is slated to begin April 27. Rising over 1000 meters (3,280 feet), the $1.2 billion skyscraper is expected to be the world’s tallest, surpassing the 828 meter tall Burj Khalifa upon completion in 2017.

MVRDV Begins Work on Cheung Fai Conversion in Hong Kong

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MVRDV has begun construction on an adaptive reuse project that will transform a former warehouse in ’s newly designated business area of East Kowloon – the Kwun Tong district – into a “luxurious loft style working environment” for creative companies. The 14-story structure will be stripped down to its raw concrete bones and reconstructed with glass and stainless steel to provide up to 37 naturally lit, affordable office units.

VIDEO: Charlie Rose Interviews Tom Pritzker and Shigeru Ban

Charlie Rose sits down with and 2014 Pritzker laureate Shigeru Ban to discuss the importance of architecture, the purpose of the Prize and the significance of Ban’s selection. The discussion starts at 40:00, following coverage on the Malaysian Airline’s tragedy.

3XN Designs “DreamCenter” Entertainment Hub for Shanghai

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Danish practice 3XN Architects will begin construction this year on an IMAX theater, retail and creative office complex for the massive DreamCenter entertainment district on Shanghai’s West Bund. Stressing the importance of the “red carpet” experience, 3XN will incorporate a “Shanghai version of the Spanish steps” which will be used for premieres, festivals and other cultural events.

Zaha Hadid to Present BBC Documentary on Kazimir Malevich

Malevich’s Tektonik. Image © Zaha Hadid Architects

The ’s Tony Hall has announced that Zaha Hadid will be presenting a 60-minute Secret Knowledge film based on . The Russian painter and theoretician, who founded the Suprematist movement, inspired Hadid’s AA graduation thesis which transformed Malevich’s 1923 Arkitekton model into a 14-story hotel that stretched across London’s Hungerford Bridge. Hadid will be one of many influential art leaders enlisted to participate in the program, which intends to place the arts on “center-stage.”

Robert A.M. Stern Tops NYC Tower with $100 Million Penthouse

© Zeckendorf Development LLC and Seventh Art; Courtesy of Curbed NY

Robert A.M. Stern’s luxury 520 Park Avenue condominium tower, which is set to take its place on Manhattan skyline by 2017, will be topped with a 12,400 square foot triplex priced at $100 million – the city’s priciest unit. The penthouse will be one of 31 expansive residences offered in the limestone-clad building which, according to the a recent press release, will be “evocative of the great apartment buildings of the 1920′s and 1930′s.”  Developers William and Arthur Zeckendorf gained approval for the 51-story skyscraper by purchasing $30.4 million in air rights from the neighboring Christ Church. 

Life of an Architect Launches 3rd Annual Playhouse Competition

Courtesy of

Life of an Architect’s Bob Borson has launched the 3rd annual Architect Playhouse Design Competition – a (free) competition open to all that benefits the abused children of Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). Entirely funded by Borson, the competition challenges participants to design a creative playhouse under $4,000 USD. The top two winning entries will be constructed then displayed and raffled at the nonprofit organization. All proceeds will be donated to Dallas CASA. Registration is now open and all submissions are due by May 12th. See last year’s winners, after the break, and register here to participate

Frank Lloyd Wright-Designed Research Tower to Be Restored

SCJ Research Tower / . Image © SC Johnson

Partially credited to the spotlight cast by MoMA’s “Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal exhibition, SC Johnson (SCJ) has agreed to restore their 15-story Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Research Tower as a museum and corporate office in Racine, . Wright’s only constructed taproot-core, the 1950s tower is “an inspiring example of cantilever construction with an inner core extending 50 feet into the ground that provides support for the 16 million pound structure,” described SCJ. “The taproot core bears a strong resemblance to the lily pad-like columns seen throughout SC Johnson’s Administration Building, another Wright-designed facility.” 

SXSW Features Parametric Vault Designed by OTA+ and UT Students

© Casey Dunn

If you made it to South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin this year there is a good chance you were drawn to this 11-foot, steel vaulting structure known as Caret 6. Designed by principle Kory Bieg and his 2013 design-build studio from the University of Texas’ (UT) Austin School of Architecture, the CNC-fabricated structure was originally conceived to exhibit the prototypes and winning project from the TEX-FAB’s 2013 SKIN Competition before being reassembled as part of the Next Stage and Renegade Craft Fair at the annual interactive, music, and festival. Grounded by a central catenary vault, the diamond-celled structure supports two cantilevering arms and a third cascading vault that forms a base for showcasing exhibition content. 

More information from the design team, after the break…

Arquitectonica Proposes Beckham’s MLS Stadium for Port of Miami

© and Arquitectonica

Miami-based Arquitectonica and 360 Architecture have unveiled preliminary details for a 25,000-seat, open-air Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium at the . One of 30 locations currently being reviewed as a potential site, the downtown location could serve as the home for David Beckham’s MLS expansion team as early as 2018.

J. Mayer H. Designs Interactive Playscape for Children

© Uwe Walter for Autostadt

An expansion to their permanent Level Green exhibition at Volkswagen Autostadt visitor’s center in Wolfsburg, J. MAYER H. has completed a “playful learning ”  of inhabitable solid wood sculptures that allow children to explore various aspects of sustainability. From the “issue of mobility” to cooking courses, the “MobiVersum” is designed to challenge children’s motor skills and imagination. 

AIA Happy to Announce Pharrell Williams as Keynote Speaker

Pharrell Williams. Image © Flickr CC User Merlijn Hoek

UPDATE: Sadly, according to ARCHITECT, Pharrell has canceled his appearance due to a “scheduling conflict.” 

Pharrell Williams, the Grammy awarding winning musician and entrepreneur whose recent collaboration with Despicable Me 2 has inspired the world to be “happy,” will be joining architect Jeanne Gangand “Cool Spaces” producer Stephen Chung as the featured keynote speakers at the 2014 AIA National Convention in Chicago. As reported by ARCHITECT, Williams is likely to discuss issues that transcend music, as his interests seem to be evolving from furniture and fashion design to architecture; he has even mentioned collaborating on a pre-fab home with the dame: Zaha Hadid

Competition Seeks Architects to Design Massive “Bridge Park” in D.C.

Artist Rendering. Image Courtesy of THEARC

A nonprofit (THEARC) has launched a nation-wide competition soliciting designs for the proposed 11th Street Bridge Park from architects and architects. With the culmination of the competition, the committee hopes to select a design that connects and re-engages residents from both sides of the river with the each other and the water, while establishing a new civic space that serves as stimulator for economic development.

Designated as a “21st century play space,” the new park will occupy a space spanning the length of three football fields across the Anacostia River. If approved, it would host a performance space, education center, cafe, water sport and activity areas, as well as integrate public art throughout landscape.

You can learn more and register for the 11th Street Bridge Park competition here. A video providing insight on the location can be found after the break…

Enter “Doors” – Our Newest Pinterest Board

Studio X Beijing / O.P.E.N. Architecture. Image © ShuHe

As Mies van der Rohe said, “God is in the details.” And what detail could be more important than the door – that pivotal point where architecture first greets the user? To help inspire, we’ve created a new Pinterest board dedicated entirely to functionally adept and beautifully designed doorways. 

You can view the board, here, and continue after the break for a selection of the board’s most popular