A 176-pound (80 kilograms) chunk of concrete cladding has fallen from year-old Library and Learning Centre at the University of Economics Vienna. This, unfortunately, isn’t the first time the Zaha Hadid-designed structure has malfunctioned; last year, an “assembly error” was deemed the reason why a large piece of fiberglass-reinforced concrete crashed down in front of the building’s entrance.
Daniel Libeskind has been commissioned to design a leisure destination for the Lithuanian city of Vilnius. Perched on the highest point in the city, between Vilnius’ historic center, business district and airport, the “Vilnius Beacon” aims to become a cultural and recreational attraction at the Liepkalnis Ski Hill that offers a range of summer and winter activities.
“I was inspired by the landscape of this beautiful city. My goal with this project was to bring an exciting dimension of architecture that respects the natural elements, while providing a year- round sustainable center for the citizens of Vilnius,” said Libeskind. “The Beacon is set to become a new epicenter of entertainment, leisure and culture for the city.”
Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA, CEO of Richter Architects in Corpus Christi, Texas, has been inaugurated as the 91st President of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), succeeding Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, in representing over 85,500 AIA members.
“As architects, we use our creativity to serve society—to make our communities better places to live. Through our profession and our life’s work, each of us has shaped and re-shaped the ever-changing narrative that is America in both humble and spectacular ways,” said Richter. “We have created harmony where there was none. We have shown we can see what is not yet there. We have shown we have the courage to grow, to change, and to renew ourselves.”
Read on to learn the three critical issues Richter plans to address during her presidency.
Sutherland Hussey, Faed Brown Architects, Daykin Marshall Studio, and Gibson Thornley Architects have been announced as finalists in the RIBA-backed competition for a new community hub and sports pavilion for the Sessay Cricket Club in North Yorkshire. The four shortlisted competitors, selected from over 80 entrants, will be reviewed by a judging panel on January 8. A winning team is expected to be announced shortly after.
NPR journalists David Eads and Helga Salinas have published a photographic essay by Patricia Evans alongside their story of Chicago’s public housing. Starting with Evans’ iconic image of a 10-year-old girl swinging at Chicago’s notorious Clarence Darrow high-rises, the story recounts the rise and fall of public housing, the invisible boarders that shaped it and how the city’s most notorious towers became known as “symbols of urban dysfunction.” The complete essay, here.
Herzog & de Meuron is said to be collaborating with Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands to explore options for expanding the Chelsea Football Club’s Stamford Bridge home stadium in west London. According to a report by the Architects’ Journal, news of the possible expansion first broke last June, after considerations of relocating the stadium were heavily criticized by the public.
The stadium, originally designed by Scottish architect Archibald Leitch and built in 1876, has already undergone several renovations. Chelsea FC hopes to increase its capacity from 41,837 to 60,000, as well as provide a new decking over the railway line on the east and north sides of the building.
More from Chelsea FC regarding the expansion, after the break.
Architecture critic Alexandra Lange recently stumbled upon “On Architecture” – an Audible.com collection of over 16 hours of Ada Louise Huxtable’s best writings from the New York Times, New York Review of Books, the Wall Street Journal and more. Displeased with the narration, Lange has taken it upon herself to read Huxtable’s 1971 New York Times critique “A Look at the Kennedy Center” in honor of its “many famous witticisms.” Give it a listen, here.
Sang-Uk & Heeyun has shared with us their entry for the AWR Copenhagen New Modern Library Competition. Centered around park, sea, and the city, the undulating ribbed library aims to connect to its surroundings seamlessly. “The form of building reflects the idea of continuous and extended circulation from everywhere to everywhere,” says Sang-Uk & Heeyun.
What happens at the intersection of urban culture and architecture? How can the four elements of hip hop (DJing, MCing, Breaking and Graffiti) inspire the built environment? Participants of JUX.TA.PO.SI.TION are encouraged to create a sketch using mediums of their choice to depict new building forms, urban design concepts, and/or architectural products inspired by the four foundational elements of hip hop. This international competition is open to all individuals including students, graffiti artists, architects, urban planners, landscape architects, graphic designers, muralists, etc. You can complete the free registration form and find more information, here.
What is a city? To technologist Dave Troy, a “city is the sum of the relationships of the people that live there.” By mapping the interests of dwellers in some of the world’s most populated cities by looking at what they share online, Troy has generated a new and incredibly detailed way to view a city’s diversity beyond race. This rich data, as Troy believes, provides a real opportunity to design cities that are truly desired.
MOBO Architects has won a competition to refurbish the vertical and horizontal access structures of the UNESCO protected fortresses that surround Cartagena’s colonial walled city. With an aim to create a walking tour through the bastions and walls that is both safe and pleasant, MOBO’s winning proposal offers a series of urban interventions that will unify the existing disparate structures and create a continuous pathway for pedestrians and cyclists. This, as MOBO describes, will “completely restructure the way that the citizens and visitors use not only the wall, but also the spaces in the city.”
The final exterior scaffolding has been removed from Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s “The Broad” in downtown Los Angeles, revealing its distinctive honeycomb-like “veil.” Comprised of 2,500 fiberglass reinforced concrete panels and 650 tons of steel, the structural exoskeleton “drapes” over the building’s interior “vault,” lifting at its south and north corners to provide two street-level entrances. At its side, the veil is torn by a central “oculus” that provides a direct visual connection between the museum and Grand Avenue.
“The Broad will be porous and absorptive, channeling light into its public spaces and galleries. The veil will play a role in the urbanization of Grand Avenue by activating two-way views that connect the museum and the street,” described Liz Diller.
In honor of Rockwell Group’s 30th year of design, Forbes has published a profile on its founder, American architect David Rockwell, detailing his life, work and thoughts on the power of theater. “My mother, Joanne, played a great role in forming my interest in design,” stated Rockwell. “She first introduced me to the excitement and spectacle of live theater, which has had a profound impact on my life and work. These productions really opened my eyes to the power of design to create emotional connections between people and their environment.” Read the complete article, here.
LEGO® has unveiled the latest buildings to join their architecture series: the Washington D.C. Lincoln Memorial and the New York City Flatiron Building. Both will be released in 2015.
The Lincoln Memorial, a national monument honoring the 16th President of the United States, was designed by Henry Bacon and features a sculpture of Lincoln by Daniel Chester French. The Flatiron Building, originally known as the Fuller Building, is a landmark Manhattan skyscraper designed by Daniel Burnham Frederick Dinkelberg.
The news was released following the grand opening of a new LEGO® Brand Store adjacent to the Flatiron.
More images of the new LEGO® sets, after the break.
John Quinlan Terry, one of Prince Charles’ preferred architects, is being recognized on the UK’s 2015 New Year Honours list and awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services in classical architecture. The Queen’s annual awards will also be honoring architect Cecil Balmond, former deputy chairman of UK Arup, with the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). Former City Planning Officer and professor Peter Wynne Rees, who oversaw the realization of the Gherkin and highly disputed Walkie Talkie, will also receive a CBE for his services. Katharine Heron, professor of Architecture University of Westminster, has been selected to receive a Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her services to architecture and higher education.
After public outcry rejected Michael Maltzan Architecture’s winning entry “The Lens,” which sought to replace St. Petersburg Pier with an ambitious sail-like concrete canopy and aquatic habitat, the fate of the structurally inapt inverted pyramid remained in limbo. Now, two years after the culmination of the original competition, the City of St. Petersburg, Florida, alongside the preservations of the Concerned Citizens of St. Pete, has selected eight scaled back proposals in hopes that one will provide a sensible solution that will both maximize the pier’s potential and satisfy the locals.
Shortlisted competitors, including FR-EE / Fernando Romero EnterprisE, Alfonso Architects, and Rogers Partners, received a $30,000 stipend to submit these preliminary design concepts, complete with reports, renderings and cost estimates. Take a look at all eight proposals, after the break.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital has selected NBBJ to design their $85 million Livingston Ambulatory Center in Columbus, Ohio. The six-story, 200,000-square-foot center will serve more than 100,000 patients annually. It will feature modular and flexible units centered around shared employee workspaces. Construction will begin in February.