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Karissa Rosenfield

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Grimshaw to Masterplan Washington DC's Union Station

Grimshaw Architects has been asked to collaborate with New York-based Beyer Blinder Belle on a $10 billion masterplan that will modernize Washington DC's 1913 Beaux Arts Union Station. Along with the potential to triple passenger capacity, the plan aims to make the station more accessible and efficient, while integrate a new three-million-square-foot, mixed-use development by Amtrak and Akridge over its rail tracks. 

"Washington DC deserves a station that serves the region on a practical level whilst celebrating the gateway to the nation’s capital," said Grimshaw partner Vincent Chang.

Henning Larsen Designs New Branch of Swedish National Museum

Henning Larsen Architects has been selected over eleven finalists to design the new NORR - National Museum in Östersund, Mid-Sweden. Acting both as an extension to the existing Jamtli Museum and a new branch of the Swedish National Museum, the new building will feature a large and flexible exhibition hall, workshops, offices and a cafe. 

“The new exhibition hall is designed as wooden sculpture with an easily recognizable silhouette against the sky. The roof is quite remarkable because the deep skylights filter the soft northern daylight directly into the exhibition space. This gives a very sensitive light as well as a view to the sky,” says Søren Øllgaard, partner at Henning Larsen Architects and design responsible for the project.

Snøhetta Designs New Kitchen for The French Laundry in California

Snøhetta has unveiled designs for a new kitchen at "one of the world's best restaurants," The French Laundry in Napa Valley. The restaurant's first major overhaul in 20 years, its kitchen will be expanded by 25 percent while the historic structure will remain untouched. 

“An experience at any of Chef Keller’s restaurants transcends expectation. The kitchen is the starting point for an architecture of connection, energy and authenticity. As Chef Keller makes us aware, the kitchen is where all the senses are first ignited,” said Craig Dykers, Founding Partner of Snøhetta. “The French Laundry kitchen is both primal and innovative, setting the stage for culinary magic.”

Amanda Levete to Design Melbourne's Second Annual MPavilion

British architect Amanda Levete of London-based studio AL_A has been selected to design Melbourne's second annual MPavilion. The temporary structure will be used to house talks, workshops, performances and installations in the "downtown oasis" of Queen Victoria Gardens starting this October. 

"I’ve visited Australia three times in the past six years and without doubt Melbourne is my favorite city," said Levete, commenting on her commission. "It’s people that make a city creative – and that’s why I love Melbourne. The brief from the Naomi Milgrom Foundation is a great opportunity to design a structure that responds to its climate and landscape. I’m interested in exploiting the temporary nature of the pavilion form to produce a design that speaks in response to the weather."

Video: Jørn Utzon's Nature-Inspired Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House recently created a video exploring how Jørn Utzon was inspired by the form and function of nature. While Jørn Utzon may not have seen himself as a pioneer of sustainable techniques, sustainability was inherent in his design philosophy. Watch the video above to learn more. 

David Chipperfield Disowns Milan's Museum of Culture Over "Floor War"

The poor quality and laying of stone flooring in Milan's newly completed Museum of Culture has led its architect, David Chipperfield to dissociate himself with the building. Blasting officials for skimping on materials, the British architect is demanding his name be removed from the project, claiming the building is now a "museum of horrors" and a "pathetic end to 15 years of work" due to the low quality flooring. 

On the contrary, Milan's council says the material decision was made in the "interests of the taxpayers," further claiming that, according to councillor Filippo del Corno, Chipperfield has been "unreasonable and impossible to please." 

Sou Fujimoto-Led Team Selected to Design Ecole Polytechnique Learning Centre in Paris

With an idea based on "flexibility, mingling and openness," Sou Fujimoto Architects, Manal Rachdi OXO Architects and Nicolas Laisné Associates have been announced as winners of a restricted competition to design a new Ecole Polytechnique learning center at Paris-Saclay University. The winning scheme, chosen over four finalists, will consolidate six institutions under one roof: Ecole Polytechnique, Institut Mines-Telecom, AgroParisTech, ENSTA ParisTech, ENSAE ParisTech and Institut d'Optique (IOGS).

Courtesy of Sou Fujimoto Architects, Manal Rachdi OXO Architects and Nicolas Laisné Associates Courtesy of Sou Fujimoto Architects, Manal Rachdi OXO Architects and Nicolas Laisné Associates Courtesy of Sou Fujimoto Architects, Manal Rachdi OXO Architects and Nicolas Laisné Associates Courtesy of Sou Fujimoto Architects, Manal Rachdi OXO Architects and Nicolas Laisné Associates

Nasher Sculpture Center Announces New $100,000 Prize

The Nasher Sculpture Center has announced the new $100,000 Nasher Prize, an international prize that will be awarded annually to living artists worldwide for "work that has had an extraordinary impact on the understanding of sculpture." The inaugural winner will be announced in Fall of 2015.

Norrmalm City District Sides with Nobel Foundation

With opposition seemingly mounting against the Nobel Foundation’s plans to build a new, David Chipperfield-designed center along Stockholm’s Blasieholmen, advisors for Norrmalm's neighborhood management has spoke up in favor of the project believing to be an opportunity to enhance the urban fabric and make the area more family-friendly. "The administration believes that the new park should be as green as possible and that more play environments for children and youth a priority in the development of public spaces," reads the statement, highlighting the open space provided in the plan. Their response is just one of many that will help sway Stockholm’s City Planning and City Council final decision later this year. 

Carsten Höller’s Giant Slides Return to London

German artist Carsten Höller is returning to London with plans for two new giant slides to be built at the Hayward Gallery this Summer. As part of his exhibition “Decision,” Holler will provide visitors with a two-slide exit option that will (hopefully) induce an “emotional state that is a unique condition somewhere between delight and madness.”

“[Holler] is "one of the world's most thought-provoking and profoundly playful artists, with a sharp and mischievous intelligence bent on turning our 'normal' view of things upside-down,” says Ralph Rugoff, director of the Hayward Gallery. Decision, he continued, "will ask visitors to make choices, but also, more importantly, to embrace a kind of double vision that takes in competing points of view, and embodies what Holler calls a state of 'active uncertainty' - a frame of mind conducive to entertaining new possibilities.”

New Images Released of Mecanoo's Plan to Modernize Mies' D.C. Library

Mecanoo and Martinez + Johnson Architecture has released their completed preliminary designs for the modernization of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - the only library and Washington D.C. building ever designed by Mies van der Rohe. The team’s competition-winning scheme aims to improve “Mies in a contemporary Miesian way.”

“While not final, these renderings demonstrate the amazing possibilities as we work to transform this historic building into a center for learning, innovation and engagement for the District,” says the D.C. Public Library. Updated images and more information about the design, after the break.

Harvard GSD Shortlists 3 Architects for 2015 Wheelwright Prize

Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) has announced three architects shortlisted for this year's prestigious Wheelwright Prize. The $100,000 grant, which is awarded annually to a single architect to support travel-based architectural research, is “intended to spur innovative research during the early stage of an architect’s professional career” and “foster new forms of research informed by cross-cultural engagement.” 

Similarly to previous years, the shortlisted applicants were chosen from nearly 200 submitters spanning 51 countries. Each finalist will be invited to speak at Harvard GSD on April 16 (starting at noon) to present their work and research proposals. The event will be free and open to the public. A winner will be announced at the end of April.

“The strength and diversity of the applications are growing each year, making the jury’s job increasingly difficult,” said K. Michael Hays, Wheelwright Prize organizing committee member and 2015 jury chair. “It’s gratifying to see so many young architects approach their work as part of larger intellectual projects.”

The shortlisted architects are...

Video: Sou Fujimoto's Polyhedral Naoshima Pavilion Opens in Japan

Tokyo-based French architect and filmmaker Vincent Hecht has captured the opening of Sou Fujimoto’s polyhedral Naoshima Pavilion on the Kagawa shoreline in Japan. The inhabitable, seven-meter, white stainless steel structure is part of the 2016 Setouchi Triennale. Watch the video above for a closer look.

Video: Olympiapark München / Frei Otto

Pritzker laureate Frei Otto was best known for his tensile structures. A prime example Otto’s ingenuity, the 1972 Olympic Stadium in Munich was a collaborative work with Gunther Behnisch that connected the park’s main programs - the natatorium, gymnasium and main stadium - with a whimsical, lightweight canopy structure that mimicked the “rhythmic protrusions” of the Swiss Alps. Watch the Spirit of Space short film above to see the project in its current state and learn more about the pioneering structure, here.

“Drylands Resilience Initiative” Awarded AIA Latrobe Prize

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected a team led by Woodbury University's Arid Lands Institute for its “Drylands Resilience Initiative: Digital Tools for Sustainable Urban Design in Arid and Semi-Arid Urban Centers” to receive the 2015 Latrobe Prize.

The Latrobe Prize, named for architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, is awarded biennially by the AIA College of Fellows for a two-year program of research leading to significant advances in the architecture profession. The $100,000 award will enable the Arid Lands Institute (ALI) and its cross-disciplinary partners to further develop and test a proprietary digital design tool, known as “Hazel,” that eventually will enable arid communities anywhere to design and build the infrastructure needed to capture, retain and distribute stormwater runoff. 

Opposition Mounts Against David Chipperfield's Nobel Center in Stockholm

Stockholm’s City Museum (Stadsmuseet) has spoke out against David Chipperfield’s competition-winning Nobel Center, saying the design is good but not at its proposed location. The museum, whose mission is to “preserve the city’s cultural heritage,” does not believe the new center should be build along the city’s Blasieholmen, as its site is “one of the few parts of the city that still allows close interaction with the old port.” 

Furthermore, the City Museum strongly urged against the Nobel Foundation's plans to demolish the site’s three historic structures - an 1876 Axel Fredrik Nystrom-designed Customs House and the city’s last two remaining wooden harbor warehouses built in the early 1900s. Agreeing, the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) has also spoke up, saying the proposal is “too big” and does not take “sufficient” consideration of the cultural environment and cultural heritage. 

Video: A Fascinating Tour Through Brasilia with Reggie Watts

"An alternately factual documentary presented by nameless hosts Reggie Watts and Carolina Ravassa Brasilia takes viewers on a whirlwind tour of the famed capital of Brazil. In topics ranging from architecture, religious ceremonial practices, and spiritual conscious alignment, Reggie and Carolina traverse some of the world's most impossibly futuristic human landscapes, extolling earnest advice about the culture, practices, and habits of the Brasilienese people. With a synthesizer soundtrack from the late 60/early 70s, Brasilia exposes the unknown truths of this exotic utopian city nestled in the cradle of South America." - Film description courtesy of Reggie Watts via Indiewire.

Álvaro Siza to Design 122-Meter Condo Tower in New York

Álvaro Siza has been commissioned to design his first ever US project. Planned to rise 122-meters on the corner of West 56th Street and Eleventh Avenue in New York City, the Siza - designed condominium tower will be developed by Sumaida and Khurana - the same firm who just released designs for Tadao Ando’s first New York City tower: 152 Elizabeth Street. Stay tuned for more details.