Karissa Rosenfield

UNStudio’s Responsive Facade to Transform Seoul Office Tower

©

UNStudio has won a competition to remodel the Hanwha headquarters in . With an aim to transform a building into a symbol of the leading environmental technology company’s values, UNStudio’s winning scheme will replace the skyscraper’s opaque panelling and single layer of dark glass with an animated facade designed to reduce solar gain, increase natural light, generate energy, and interact with its surrounding. 

Henning Larsen Wins Competition to Design Central Bank of Libya

Plaza. Image ©

Henning Larsen Architects has won an invited competition to design a new headquarters for the Central Bank of Libya in . Inspired by Libyan vernacular architecture, the structure will occupy two existing site excavations. The first, and largest, excavation will be transformed into a “shaded oasis” that serves both the bank and Gurji district by providing areas for operations, an education center, restaurant and hotel. The second will allow vehicular access to the treasuries. 

Heatherwick Tapped to Design “Sunken Oasis” in Abu Dhabi

Fractured Desert . Image ©

Thomas Heatherwick has been commissioned to transform a 125,000 square meter park in the heart of Abu Dhabi into a multifunctional “sunken oasis.” Inspired by “fractured desert crust,” the park is designed as a series of fragmented canopies that rise to form a three-dimensional landscape across the site. Beneath the cracked surface will be a series of interconnected public spaces cooled by lush vegetation that provide organic produce to local restaurants and space for community gardens.

U.S. ABI Declines Sharply in March

March ABI. Image Courtesy of CalculatedRiskBlog.com

It seems the U.S. Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has yet to recover from 2013’s end of the year decline. Though 2014 started with a “modest uptick,” the March ABI has reveals a share decrease in design services. As reported by the American Institute of Architects (), the March ABI score was 48.8, down from a mark of 50.7 in February. Despite this, the new projects inquiry index was 57.9, up from the reading of 56.8 the previous month.

“This protracted softening in demand for design services is a bit of a surprise given the overall strength of the market the last year and a half,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Hopefully, some of this can be attributed to severe weather conditions over this past winter. We will have a better sense if there is a reason for more serious concern over the next couple of months.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break…

Zaha Hadid Among 7 Shortlisted for “Design of the Year 2014”

Heydar Aliyev Center / . Image © Iwan Baan

Zaha Hadid’s Heydar Aliyev Center is among seven shortlisted designs being considered for this year’s Design of the Year award. As announced by ’s Design Museum, the undulating cultural center was pulled from 76 innovative nominations and placed first in the architecture category. The shortlisted proposals, ranging from a portable eye examination kit to Volkswagen’s XL1 CAR, will remain on view at the museum through August 25. A winner is expected to be announced June 30. 

AIA Names Top 10 Most Sustainable Projects in U.S.

Treehouse; Glen Jean, West Virginia / Mithun with BNIM © Joe Fletcher

In honor of Earth Day, we have complied a preview of the top ten most sustainable exemplars of U.S. architecture selected by the American Institute of Architects () and its Committee on the Environment (COTE). Each project featured will be honored with a COTE Top Ten Award for “sustainable design excellence” at the 2014 National Convention in Chicago. View them all, after the break…

George Lucas Looks to Chicago

Lucas Cultural Arts Museum proposal for Crissy Field. Image © Art Zendarski

After being rejected, alongside two other shortlisted proposals, by San Francisco’s Presidio Trust to build a self-tiled cultural arts museum at Crissy Field, has turned his attention to the windy city of . According to a report by the SunTimes, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has challenged civic leaders to find an “accessible” site for the proposed 95,000-square-foot Lucas Cultural Arts Museum by mid-May.

“There aren’t museums looking at digital art and the art of storytelling like this. It’s a fantastic opportunity for Chicago,” stated Polk Brothers Foundation CEO Gillian Darlow, co-chair of the project’s task force. “This is a real effort. The city is serious. He’s serious. And the task force is serious.”

The Trust Declares Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion a “National Treasure”

rSnapshotPhotos / Shutterstock.com

Philip Johnson’s “iconic” New York State Pavilion has been listed as a “National Treasure” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This designation, which was announced today at the 1964-65 World’s Fair’s 50th anniversary celebration in Queens, declares the pavilion a “historically, culturally and architecturally important site” and will help raise awareness and funding for its preservation. It is now one of just 44 national sites bearing this recognition.

“In the last 50 years, Flushing Meadows Corona Park has grown from the site of the World’s Fair to the home of the World’s Park,” said Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski. “As we celebrate this anniversary, it is just as important that we look to the next 50 years and plan for the Park’s future. I would like to thank the National Trust for Historic Preservation for honoring the State Pavilion as a ‘National Treasure’. This designation will highlight the importance of the Pavilion as a national icon, and help us to continue the conversation about how it can best serve Queens’ residents.”

New Video (and Images) Reveal Original Intent Behind Apple Campus 2

YouTube Preview Image

UPDATE: Did you know that Campus 2 will be solely powered by renewable energy? Also, 80 percent of its 176-acre campus will be entirely dedicated to green space. Watch the newly released Norman Foster interview (above) to learn more about the project’s sustainable features, as well as details about Steve Job’s original inspiration. The following news was originally published as “New Images Released of Apple’s Recently Approved Cupertino Campus” on November 13, 2013. 

Shortly after the approval of Apple’s new corporate headquarters in Cupertino, never-before-seen images have emerged to reveal a glimpse into the campus’ massive, 2.8 million square foot “mothership” and its surrounding facilities.

Provided by the City of Cupertino and released by Wired, the images depict just what Steve Job’s hoped for: a world-class, state-of-the-art office campus that promotes innovation through vibrant communal spaces and healthy employee amenities. From the net-positive main building to a private, subterranean auditorium placed within a forested, California-native landscape by OLIN, the Foster + Partners-designed Apple Campus 2 has the potential to be, as Job’s believed, “the best office building in the world.”

A collection of the newly released renderings, after the break…

Venice Biennale 2014: Dominican Republic Seeks Funding for “La Feria Concreta” Documentary

Fair of Peace and Fraternity of the Free World, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (1955). Image © Archivo General de la Nación

Laboratorio de Arquitectura Dominicana (LAD), curators of the Dominican Republic’s first-ever Venice Architecture Biennale participation, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a short that will reveal the daily life of La Feria. Originally built by brutal dictator Rafael Trujillo as a symbol of power and wealth, the 1950s fairground has transformed into an “architectural protagonist” within the city of Santo Domingo that serves various government bodies by day and illicit enterprises by night.

If successful, award-winning filmmaker Corinne van der Borch will capture the historic center’s dualistic nature, revealing untold stories about La Feria’s turbulent past as well as explore how its architecture changed the city.

Learn more and support the film here on Kickstarter!

Tour Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion Tomorrow

For the first time in decades, Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion will open to the public tomorrow (April 22) in celebration of its 50th anniversary. Built for the 1964-65 World’s Fair, “the Pavilion represents a pivotal time in American history when the allure of putting a man on the moon inspired renowned architect to create this emblem for Space Age enthusiasm,” described Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

LEGO® Architecture’s Newest Edition: BIG’s Unbuilt LEGO® House

© ®

LEGO® has released their newest, limited-edition architecture set: BIG’s unbuilt LEGO® House. Planned for completion in 2016, the creatively stacked “experience center,” which will commemorate the toy company’s history and future, is the first unbuilt project offered as part of the series. 

The minimalist, white block set is only available for purchase in LEGO®’s hometown of (or here on ebay). A glimpse of just how the blocks (and building) might be constructed, after the break…

Building Trust International Constructs Sustainable Housing in Cambodia

Courtyard House render. Image © Building Trust International

Building Trust International, in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity and Karuna , has realized three winning designs from the 2013 Future of Sustainable Housing in Cambodia competition. 

Built on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, the constructed designs sought to provide impoverished Cambodians with new options for safe and secure homes under $2000 that are capable of withstanding flood and able to be expanded in phases.

Check out the three completed designs, after the break…

“Unfinished Spaces” Wins SAH Award for Film and Video

Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray’s Unfinished Spaces has been awarded the 2014 Society of Architectural Historian’s (SAH) Award for and Video, an award presented annually to the “most distinguished work of on the history of the built environment.” Initially released in 2011, the critically acclaimed documentary reveals the turbulent past of Fidel Castro’s Cuba and tells the story of his utopian dream to construct the Cuban National Arts Schools. You can learn more about the film here, and the school’s history, here.

AMLGM Proposes to Top New York Transportation Hubs with Sprawling Tower

Train View. Image © AMLGM

Chad Kellogg and Matt Bowles of AMLGM have envisioned a new residential tower typology for that can connect and transform unused space surrounding various transportation hubs into a dense, mixed-use tower. 

The proposal, dubbed Urban Alloy, which won first in Metropolis’ Living Cities Residential Tower Competition and received honorable mention in Evolo Skyscrapers 2014, is capable of responding to a number of unique spacial and environmental situations, providing a new way for the city to grow “organically” and provide adequate housing for the expanding population. 

Read on for the architect’s description

US Pavilion Establishes Temporary Practice, Sets Agenda for the Future Production of Architecture

OfficeUS in U.S. Pavilion, Leong Leong, 2014. Image Courtesy of Leong Leong and Storefront for Art and Architecture

The curators of the U.S. Pavilion for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale has unveiled OfficeUS, a “radical experiment” that explores the ways in which “space, structures, and protocols of the U.S. architectural office” have influenced the construction of Modernity.

based architects Leong Leong, graphic designer Natasha Jen (Pentagram) and technology consultants at CASE have been commissioned to re-design the U.S. Pavilion in Venice’s Giardini as a modern architectural practice. Eight architects will be selected from an international open call to serve as the ad-hoc practice’s acting principles, collaborating with 90 satellite offices from around the world to revisit and re-envision historical projects from an onsite archive of 1,000 buildings so that they may construct an agenda for the future production of architecture.

Tod Williams Devastated Over Folk Art Museum’s Fate

© Flickr CC User Dan Nguyen

Tod Williams has broke his silence in his first interview since the Museum of Modern Art announced their decision to raze the former Folk Art Museum, expressing devastation that the building will be “reduced to a memory.”

“Yes, all buildings one day will turn to dust, but this building could have been reused,” Tod Williams. “Unfortunately, the imagination and the will were not there.”

Though MoMA has promised to preserve the building’s iconic copper-bronze facade, Williams is concerned it will forever stay in storage. 

Proposals are being suggested on how to resurrect the facade, as the New York Times reported, including a concept from Nina Libeskind, chief operating officer of Studio Daniel Libeskind, and executive director Fredric M. Bell that will be presented to MoMA next week. However, Williams expressed disinterest at the idea of installing fragments of the building elsewhere. 

Milan Expo 2015: Shortlisted Designs Revealed for UK Pavilion

Team 2. Image Courtesy of UKTI

Details have been released on the eight proposals competing to serve as the UK Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. Each design draws inspiration from the theme “Grown in Britain: Shared Globally,” which is intended to showcase Britain’s contribution in research, innovation and entrepreneurship to the global food challenges. 

Presented anonymously, the proposals will be reviewed by an esteemed jury before a winner is announced in May. 

Check out all the innovative proposals, after the break…