Related Companies founder Stephen Ross has commissioned London designer and architect Thomas Heatherwick to design what could be, according to the Wall Street Journal, “one of the most expensive works of public art in the world.” Planned to be the centerpiece of Related’s Hudson Yards project in Manhattan’s West Side, the estimated $75 million artwork and its surrounding 4-acre public space aims to become “new icon for the city.”
Banksy, the pseudonymous United Kingdom-based graffiti artist who is currently making his rounds in New York City, has proclaimed the One World Trade Center as the city’s “biggest eyesore.” In a brief op-ed piece, Banksy describes the SOM-designed tower as a “shy skyscraper,” one that declares New York’s “glory days” are gone.
“You really need to put up a better building in front of it right away,” stated Banksy. “… because you currently have under construction a one thousand foot tall sign that reads, New York – we lost our nerve.”
Read Bansky’s full op-ed, after the break.
The Documentation Center of Cambodia’s (DC-Cam) has commissioned Zaha Hadid to design the much-anticipated genocide studies institute in Phnom Penh. The new campus, known as the Sleuk Rith Institute, will serve as an extension of DC-Cam’s work as the country’s go-to archive for Khmer Rouge history as well as a leading center for genocide studies in Asia. Within a modest campus, the institute will house a “cross-section of pursuits,” including a genocide studies center, a school, a museum for memorial and education purposes, and more.
“Youk Chhang’s vision is inspirational,” stated Zaha Hadid. “His brief for the Sleuk Rith Institute calls for beauty and an optimism for the future to heal and reconnect a country, with the Documentation Centre of Cambodia being key to that process.”
Think traffic is bad now? One billion cars are already on the road today and another billion is expected to join in the coming decade. Pollution and stressful commuting is at an all time high, empowering many politicians and bicycle activists to declare war on the multi-billion dollar car industry which has profoundly impacted city development worldwide.
Bikes vs. Cars is a feature-length, in-progress film that hopes to be part of the global movement by shedding light on the city’s car-centric past and bike-friendly future. Learn more and join the cause at the Bikes vs Cars Kickstarter Campaign website.
For more, read “Why Cycle Cities Are the Future.”
UPDATE: The Washington Post reports that Japan’s minister of education, Hakubun Shimomura, has announced a plan to trim the budget proposed for the Olympic stadium (now expected to cost $3 billion) designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. While he did not reveal the details of the scale-down, he maintained that the “design concept will be kept.”
Pritzker Prize laureate Fumihiko Maki has rallied together a number of Japanese architects – including Sou Fujimoto, Toyo Ito and Kengo Kuma – to oppose the massive scale of Zaha Hadid’s competition-winning National Stadium. Planned to be Tokyo’s main venue for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games, Hadid’s 290,000 square meter stadium is accused of being “too big and too artificial” for the surrounding context.
The City Design Review Board has approved NBBJ’s tri-sphere biodome planned for Amazon’s downtown Seattle headquarters. Reaching up to 95 feet, the glass cluster of “Spheres” was designed to create an alternative work environment within the 3.3 million-square-foot office and retail campus that is currently under construction.
Swiss architect Peter Zumthor has been selected as the next architecture mentor for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. He will be the second architect to participate in the program, following Kazuyo Sejima’s inauguration in 2012. After choosing a protégé early in 2014, Zumthor will spend a year offering his expertise to support, guide, and collaborate with the young talent.
Expressing his desire to learn from the mentorship, Peter Zumthor stated: “I agreed to be a mentor because I believe in the professional exchange of people of different backgrounds, talents, skills and age. I highly appreciate the fact that Rolex offers funding for this professional artistic exchange and research outside of everyday economics.”
Demand for design services in the U.S. continues to increase, as the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has reached its second highest level this year. According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), September’s ABI score was 54.3, up from 53.8 in August. In contrast, the new projects inquiry index fell a few points from 63.0 in August to 58.6 in September.
Stockholm-based White Arkitekter, along with partners ARUP and Gensler, has been announced as the winner of the two-phase “For a Resilient Rockaway” (FAR ROC) design competition in New York. Selected from a shortlist of four and an international pool of 117, White Arkitekter’s “untraditional” proposal aims to transform an 80-acre shoreline site in the Rockaways into a resilient and affordable community through a series of small interventions that can be tested, adjusted, or redesigned overtime during the development process.
Gehry Partners and Foster + Partners have been selected to design phase three of the Battersea Power Station redevelopment project in London. Together, the prestigious duo will design a retail pedestrian street that will link the power station to the new Northern Line extension. In addition to this, each practice will design a residential building along the avenue, which will be Gehry’s first residential project in London.
“Our goal is to help create a neighborhood and a place for people to live that respects the iconic Battersea Power Station while connecting it into the broader fabric of the city,” Gehry stated. “We hope to create a design that is uniquely London, that respects and celebrates the historical vernacular of the city.”
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the winners of the President’s Awards for Research 2013. The awards recognize high-quality research and encourage its distribution and incorporation into the wider profession to foster innovation and strategic thinking. From an urban healing agenda for reform in Bahrain to a book that explores the incredible potential of concrete, the 2013 winners of the President’s Awards for Research are:
RIBA President’s Award for Outstanding Master’s Degree Thesis
The people have spoken: UNC Charlotte’s 2013 Solar Decathlon entry, UrbanEden has won the “People’s Choice Award.” Designed as an urban infill project for a couple in Charlotte, North Carolina, the net-zero solar-powered home defines itself by establishing a strong indoor and outdoor connection in the middle of the city. By enclosing the back deck with a seven-foot tall vertical garden and integrating a high-performance glass wall along the home’s south side, dwellers are presented with the unlikely option of privately enjoying the outdoors within a dense urban context.
The Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy has partnered up with the Indonesian Institute of Architect to appoint architects Avianti Armand and Setiadi Sopandi, along side architectural historian David Hutama, Arsitek Muda Indonesia (AMI) founder Achmad Tardiyana, and writer Robin Hartanto as the curator team in charge for the first ever Indonesian Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale.
The team, selected through a nation-wide open competition, will curate a pavilion that will tell stories about Indonesian experience on building things during the last one hundred years. As the team described, “It is inevitable that our way of building things – nowadays – is pretty much (still) dominated by handy works, through the hands of our skilled and unskilled laborers as well as well-trained artisans. Some utilize intricate and sophisticated tools, but many are relying on the touch of the hands and fingers.“
Lauded for incorporating warm, natural wood finishes to create a “comfortable place to dwell and reenergize,” the jury of the 2013 Solar Decathlon has named Czech Technical University as winner of the competition’s “Architecture Contest,” placing them third overall.
Based on a “house within a house” concept and inspired by the Czech tradition of spending weekends in the country, the “AIR House” features a flexible, open interior that is protected by an intelligent second skin – a “solar wooden canopy” that generates energy and provides hot water via photovoltaic and solar-thermal panels. Read for the team’s project description.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 12-year reign has left an undeniable impression on the built environment, which transformed “whole swaths of the city” but also made it “increasingly unaffordable to many.” According to architectural critic Michael Kimmelman, “The next mayor can keep architecture and planning front and center or risk taking the city backward.” Understanding that “the social welfare of all cities is inextricable from their physical fabric,” Kimmelman has laid out a comprehensive, mayoral “to-do list” to “building a better city.” Read it here on the New York Times.
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has collaborated with Vienna’s Museum of Applied Arts (MAK) to launch a 14-month initiative that will examine new architectural possibilities that address the rapid and uneven growth of six global metropolises: New York, Rio de Janeiro, Mumbai, Lagos, Hong Kong, and Istanbul.
Organized by Pedro Gadanho, Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities enlists six interdisciplinary teams of international architecture and urbanism scholars, experts, and practitioners to participate in a series of workshops, with each team focusing on a specific city.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced Italian architect Benedetta Tagliabue as the 2013 recipient of the annual RIBA Jencks Award for her contributions internationally to both the theory and practice of architecture.
Upon announcing the news, Charles Jencks stated: “I am delighted to announce that the judging panel of the 2013 RIBA Jencks Award was unanimous in premiating the extraordinary talent and career that Benedetta Tagliabue has had, particularly while leading the EMBT Miralles Tagliabue studio to create a tough, warm, surprising, complex and open-ended architecture that is very much like the city from where it springs, Barcelona.”