Karissa Rosenfield

RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship Awarded to Student Investigating Climate Change

Buffer Landscapes 2060. Image © Joe Paxton; Courtesy of

Joe Paxton of the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, was awarded the 2014 for his proposal “Buffer Landscapes 2060.” The £6,000 travel grant will enable him to study the impact of climate change in a number of locations, ultimately to propose some measures that might mitigate the threat of floods, droughts, melting glaciers and rising temperatures. A comment from Foster, after the break…

Grafting Architecture: Catalonia at Venice

Convent de Sant Francesc / David Closes. Image © Jordi Surroca; Courtesy of Institut Ramon Llull

is returning for the second time to the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale with the Arquitectures Empeltades / Grafting Architecture. Referencing the botanical process of grafting, the proposal seeks to elucidate the changes taking place in contemporary Catalan architecture by highlighting processes in which “living traditions” are being updated as new.

More on “Grafting Architecture” after the break…

J. Mayer H. Wins Competition to Design Berlin “Experience Center”

© J. Mayer H.

J. Mayer H. has won an invited competition to design “Volt ,” a new “shopping and urban experience” center near ’s Alexanderplatz. The winning scheme offers a variety of experiential offerings, including multi-brand shopping, an indoor skydiving and event space, and a 7,500 square meter hotel, all within a single cubed complex whose organization is based off an uneven grid.

Libeskind Selected to Design Canadian National Holocaust Monument

Daniel Libeskind’s “elongated Star of David” has been announced today, the architect’s 67th birthday, as the winner of an international design competition for ’s National Holocaust Monument. Selected from a shortlist of six, the winning ”Landscape of Loss, Memory and Survival” monument is expected to be constructed in the Canadian capital of on the corner of Wellington and Booth Streets sometime next year. 

Feilden Clegg Bradley to Design Biological Research Labs in Scotland

Courtesy of

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS) has been awarded first prize in a competition to design a new facility hub and two laboratory buildings at the University of ’s School of Biological Sciences. The commission, FCBS’ first in Scotland, will also include the modernization of an existing 10-story laboratory tower which was built in the 1960s at the University’s Kings Building Campus.

Plans Underway for “Russian Tate Modern”

Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage via Wikimedia Commons

Rumor has it that Constructivist architect Konstantin Melnikov’s Bakhmetevsky bus garage may soon be transformed into ’s prime modern art gallery. An “equivalent to London’s Tate Modern,” as the Calvert Journal describes, the historic 1927 structure has been said to be the most likely location for the new museum, dubbed “Pushkin Modern.”

Ma Yansong Listed as Top 100 Most Creative in Business

, . Image © Edoardo Giancola

2014 seems to be the year of Ma Yansong, as the founder of MAD Architects, who was recently named a Young Global Leader, has now been listed as one of the top 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company. Ranked at 53, the Beijing-based architect was the only architect featured on the list. 

Shortlist Released for D.C. “Bridge Park”

East River Blueway Plan – a recent project by shortlisted contestant WXY Studio (Click to learn more).

Six teams have been invited to form interdisciplinary teams in Washington D.C.’s 11th Street Bridge Park competition. Envisioned as a “21st century play space,” the project intends to unify two disconnected parts of the city with a single, multi-use parkscape that will span the width of the Anacostia River. If approved, the Bridge Park will host array of programs, from an education center and performance space, to a cafe and water sport activity areas. Review the complete list of shortlisted teams, after the break…

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 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 New York, 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