Karissa Rosenfield

BIG Reveals 20-Year Restoration Plan for Washington DC’s Smithsonian Campus

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Nearly a year-and-a-half since the announcement of their selection, BIG has unveiled plans for a massive, 20-year-long overhaul for the Smithsonian’s southern campus in the center of . With an overarching goal to unite the site by dissolving the notable impediments and discontinuous pathways that plague the area, BIG plans to also expand visitor, education and gallery spaces, while updating aging and inefficient building systems. 

“Where today each museum is almost like a separate entity, in the future, it’s going to be a much more open, intuitive and inviting campus to meander around,” Bjarke Ingels explained.

2015 YAP P.S.1 Shortlist

has announced five finalists to compete in the 2015 Young Architects Program (YAP). Now in it’s 16th edition, the competition will challenge a group of emerging architects to design a temporary installation within the walls of the courtyard for ’s annual summer “Warm-Up” series.

The 2015 shortlist includes Office for Political Innovation (Andres Jaque; NY), brillhart architecture (Jacob Brillhart; Miami, FL), Erin Besler (LA, CA), The Bittertang Farm (Michael Loverich; NY), Studio Benjamin Dillenburger (Benjamin Dillenburger and Michael Hansmeyer; ONT, Canada). The winners will be announced in early 2015. 

Previous winners include The Living (Hy-Fi), CODA (Party Wall), Interboro Partners (Holding Pattern), Work AC (Public Farm 1), MOS (Afterparty) and SO-IL (Pole Dance).

Six Teams Studying Uneven Growth to Exhibit Proposals for Expanding Megacities at MoMA

Lagos Tomorrow. 2014. Water. Image © NLÉ and Zoohaus/Inteligencias Colectivas

As the culmination of a 14-month initiative to examine new architectural possibilities for rapid growth in six megalopolises – Hong Kong, , Lagos, Mumbai, New York, and Rio de Janeiro – the Museum of Modern Art is preparing to open Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities on November 22. The exhibition will present mappings of emergent modes of tactical urbanism from around the globe alongside proposals for a bottom-up approach to urban growth in the highlighted cities by six interdisciplinary teams made up of local practitioners and international architecture and urbanism experts.

Curator Pedro Gadanho, in collaboration with the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts (MAK), states: 

“The exhibition features design scenarios for future developments that simultaneously raise awareness of the prevailing inequalities in specific urban areas and confront the changing roles of architects vis-à-vis ever-increasing urbanization. Each team in the exhibition was asked to consider how emergent forms of tactical urbanism can respond to alterations in the nature of public space, housing, mobility, spatial justice, environmental conditions, and other major issues in near-future urban contexts.” 

A synopsis of each team’s work, after the break.

Patterning Iconic Architecture: Andre Chiote Illustrates Surfaces and Textures

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Portuguese architect Andre Chiote has shared with us his latest illustration series, this time exploring the graphic potential of surface’s patterns from some of architecture’s most iconic structures.

“Each building holds an aesthetic essence by which it stands recognizable. Some stand out for its volumetric expression while others remain in our memory because of their skin, the texture which builds its surface,” describes Chiote. “The universe of those textures is extremely rich and plays with different elements which alone or combined create expressive compositions. Colors, materials of diverse nature, light and shadow set in a random way or organized according to geometric rules, form patterns with such a visual impact that allows them to stand as icons themselves.”

The complete collection, after the break.

BIG Tapped to Design Public Square for Battersea Power Station

Masterplan. Image Courtesy of

BIG is set to make its debut. As reported by the Architect’s Journal, the Danish practice has been selected from an international shortlist to design a public square for Battersea Power Station. Though no formal announcement has been made, the “Malaysia Square” scheme will be a key element in the Wilkinson Eyre-designed masterplan, serving as the development’s “front door.” It will connect the masterplan’s first three phases, just south of the listed landmark, which include Frank Gehry and Foster + Partners’ proposed “Electric Boulevard.”

Karim Rashid Shifts Focus to Architecture

Lotte Amoje, Food Capital / . Image © Lee Gyeon Bae

Karim Rashid, internationally renowned for his work in industrial design, has recently shifted his focus towards real estate. Alongside his team of nine architects, the New York-based designer is currently working on 11 buildings worldwide, including four in New York. With extensive knowledge in product design and no formal , Rashid believes designing architecture isn’t out of his realm:

“I have to say, and I don’t mean this in a pejorative way, that architecture, in a sense the more pedestrian architecture, is generally quite simple compared to industrial design. In other words, it’s far more sophisticated to do something like a mobile phone than it is to do an average building.” Read the full interview, here.

Dorte Mandrup Designs Wadden Sea Center for Denmark’s Largest National Park

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The city of Esbjerg has selected Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter through a competition to extend and refurbish the Wadden Sea Center in Vester Vedsted. A UNESCO World Heritage area, the Wadden Sea is ’s largest National park. The new center aims to “create awareness and understanding for the marshland and the Wadden Sea,” as jury member and leader of the center Klaus Melbye explains. “The architecture is sustainable, visionary and bold and brings forth the Centre as an didactic information centre of the future.”

More about Dorte Mandrup’s winning design, after the break.

19 Great Monuments Destroyed by War

Great Mosque of Samarra, Iraq . Image © Flickr CC User James Gordon

One of the most important Islamic architectural monuments, the Great Mosque of Samarra in Iraq is one of many priceless monuments that has been “lost in conflict.” Paying homage to the architectural masterpieces that have been victims of war, has put together a list of 19 of the world’s “greatest buildings you’ll never see.” View them all, here.

Two Universities Win NCARB Award for Merging Practice and Education

“The Dean of Parsons: Design Education Must Change” (click image for article). Image Courtesy of Metropolis Magazine

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards () has awarded Parsons The New School for Design and the 2014 NCARB Award to aid the development of innovative programs that merge practice and education.

“The award honors innovative ways for weaving practice and academy together to address real-world architecture challenges,” says NCARB CEO Michael J. Armstrong. “The winning proposals for 2014 explore new paradigms of practice and move students from the theoretical to applied practices working with licensed practitioners.”

Robert A.M. Stern Reportedly Set to Retire from Yale in 2016

After serving as dean at the for nearly two decades, Robert A.M. Stern is reportedly stepping down. According to Yale Daily News, faculty and administrative staff members have indicated that Stern will be retiring when his term as dean concludes in Spring 2016. “[Stern] took [the school] from a place where people were not paying attention to it many years ago — he has brought incredible international attention to the school,” Professor Michelle Addington stated in regards to Stern’s widespread influence as dean. “He has given me the opportunity to rethink my subject, and that doesn’t happen at too many places.” More information, here.

Chipperfield Among Three Shortlisted Schemes Unveiled for Beethoven House of Music

. Image Courtesy of Beethoven Festspielhaus

In 2020, the world will celebrate the 250th birthday of Beethoven, and soon after the anniversary of his death. In light of this, a new “world-class” concert hall, a “Festspielhaus”, is being planned for the banks of Beethoven’s beloved Rhine River in his hometown of Bonn, Germany. More than 50 practices were considered in the pulmonary selection process, following a shortlist of ten, and now three final proposals by David Chipperfield Architects, kadawittfeldarchitektur and Valentiny hvp architects have been selected to move on to the competition’s final round.

“The new Festspielhaus will not only bring Beethoven’s music to life, it will serve as an international “” that brings together diverse genres – from classical to crossover to pop – and attracts music lover of all ages,” stated the competition organizer.

The privately-funded “Beethovenhalle” is planned for completion in 2019. You can review the top three final designs after the break, alongside the seven other shortlisted proposals – by Zaha Hadid, UNStudio, Snøhetta, and more – they were selected over.

Guggenheim Creates New Curatorial Position for Architecture and Digital Initiatives

AD Classics: Solomon R. Museum / Frank Lloyd Wright. Image © Flickr CC User Richard Anderson

Architect and scholar  has been appointed as the Guggenheim’s new Curator of Architecture and Digital Initiatives. Therrien will now contribute to the development of the museum’s engagement with architecture, design, technology, and urban studies, in addition to providing leadership on select new projects under the direction of the Chief Curator and the Director’s Office.

“Advancing innovative programming that relates to architecture, technology, and urban studies, particularly on a global stage, is a priority for the Guggenheim,” Richard Armstrong, director of the Guggenheim stated. “Troy’s impressive and dynamic background spanning academia, architecture, and computer science should expand our forward-looking curatorial team.” Read the complete press release, here.

Tengbom Prepares to Break Ground on New Trail Center in Kungälv

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Tengbom is preparing to break ground on their competition-winning proposal “Kotten” (The Pinecone) in the Fontin area of Kungälv municipality. Following the destruction of the old trail centre in a fire in 2013, Kungälv municipality arranged an architectural competition for a new, modern trail centre in the Fontin area.

Call for Proposals: Boston Living with Water

Courtesy of Living with Water

The Boston Harbor Association, City of Boston, Boston Redevelopment Authority, and have teamed up to launch Boston Living with Water, “an international call for design solutions envisioning a more resilient, more sustainable, and more beautiful Boston adapted for end-of-the-century climate conditions and rising sea levels.” The two-phase competition, open to all leading planners, designers and thinkers, will award the best overall proposal $20,000; the second and third best will each receive $10,000. Submissions for the first phase are due December 2, 2014. Learn more, here.

ONE Prize 2014: Smart Dock Winners Announced

First Prize: SELF GROWING LAB / Victor Diaz, Ariel Santiago, Carlos Garcia, Danniely Staback, Nestor Lebron (San Juan, Puerto Rico). Image Courtesy of

Terreform ONE has named “The Lucent Cube” and “Self Growing Lab” as joint winners of ONE Prize 2014: Smart Dock, an open ideas competition for a ONE Lab educational facility at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The challenge captured the attention of 99 teams from more than 22 countries. Ultimately, two winners, a third prize and an honorable mention were honored.

More details and the winning projects, after the break.

AIA|LA Honors Los Angeles’ Best with Design Awards

Emerson College / Morphosis Architects; , CA . Image © Iwan Baan

(AIA|LA) has announced the recipients of the 2014 Design Awards. Twenty-one Los Angeles firms and 14 presidential honorees have been honored for excellence in both built (Design Awards) and unbuilt works (Next LA Awards). 

Among the recipients include Brooks + Scarpa’s Pico Place and Johnston Marklee’s Vault House. View all the winners, after the break. 

Sheppard Robson Designs Rooftop Pavilion for Aldwych House

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The Westminster City Council has granted planning permission to Sheppard Robson for a “dramatic” rooftop extension to ’s Aldwych House. The £15m project – situated within the Westminster Conservation Area – will add 8,500 square feet of high-quality office and reception space by installing a series of geometrical-folded forms on top of the landmark Midtown office building.

Bogle Architects Win “Architectural Project of the Year” for Laser Research Campus

Entrance. Image Courtesy of

Bogle Architects has won the 2014 Czech Architect Week “Architectural Project of the Year” award for their ELI (Extreme Light Infrastructure) Beamlines project in Prague, . The campus, designed as four separate structures connected within a landscaped setting, will be the first laser research and technology facility to involve scientists from the global research community for high-powered laser experimentation.