Karissa Rosenfield

Life of an Architect Launches 3rd Annual Playhouse Competition

Courtesy of

Life of an Architect’s Bob Borson has launched the 3rd annual Architect Playhouse Design Competition – a (free) competition open to all that benefits the abused children of Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). Entirely funded by Borson, the competition challenges participants to design a creative playhouse under $4,000 USD. The top two winning entries will be constructed then displayed and raffled at the nonprofit organization. All proceeds will be donated to Dallas CASA. Registration is now open and all submissions are due by May 12th. See last year’s winners, after the break, and register here to participate

Frank Lloyd Wright-Designed Research Tower to Be Restored

SCJ Research Tower / Frank Lloyd Wright. Image © SC Johnson

Partially credited to the spotlight cast by ’s “Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal exhibition, SC Johnson (SCJ) has agreed to restore their 15-story Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Research Tower as a museum and corporate office in Racine, . Wright’s only constructed taproot-core, the 1950s tower is “an inspiring example of cantilever construction with an inner core extending 50 feet into the ground that provides support for the 16 million pound structure,” described SCJ. “The taproot core bears a strong resemblance to the lily pad-like columns seen throughout SC Johnson’s Administration Building, another Wright-designed facility.” 

SXSW Features Parametric Vault Designed by OTA+ and UT Students

© Casey Dunn

If you made it to South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin this year there is a good chance you were drawn to this 11-foot, steel vaulting structure known as Caret 6. Designed by principle Kory Bieg and his 2013 design-build studio from the University of ’ (UT) Austin School of Architecture, the CNC-fabricated structure was originally conceived to exhibit the prototypes and winning project from the TEX-FAB’s 2013 SKIN Competition before being reassembled as part of the Next Stage and Renegade Craft Fair at the annual interactive, music, and film festival. Grounded by a central catenary vault, the diamond-celled structure supports two cantilevering arms and a third cascading vault that forms a base for showcasing exhibition content. 

More information from the design team, after the break…

Arquitectonica Proposes Beckham’s MLS Stadium for Port of Miami

© 360 Architecture and Arquitectonica

Miami-based Arquitectonica and 360 Architecture have unveiled preliminary details for a 25,000-seat, open-air Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium at the . One of 30 locations currently being reviewed as a potential site, the downtown location could serve as the home for ’s MLS expansion team as early as 2018.

J. Mayer H. Designs Interactive Playscape for Children

© Uwe Walter for Autostadt

An expansion to their permanent Level Green exhibition at Volkswagen Autostadt visitor’s center in Wolfsburg, J. MAYER H. has completed a “playful learning ”  of inhabitable solid wood sculptures that allow children to explore various aspects of sustainability. From the “issue of mobility” to cooking courses, the “MobiVersum” is designed to challenge children’s motor skills and imagination. 

AIA Happy to Announce Pharrell Williams as Keynote Speaker

. Image © Flickr CC User Merlijn Hoek

UPDATE: Sadly, according to ARCHITECT, Pharrell has canceled his appearance due to a “scheduling conflict.” 

Pharrell Williams, the Grammy awarding winning musician and entrepreneur whose recent collaboration with Despicable Me 2 has inspired the world to be “happy,” will be joining architect Jeanne Gangand “Cool Spaces” producer Stephen Chung as the featured keynote speakers at the 2014 AIA National Convention in Chicago. As reported by ARCHITECT, Williams is likely to discuss issues that transcend music, as his interests seem to be evolving from furniture and fashion design to architecture; he has even mentioned collaborating on a pre-fab home with the dame: Zaha Hadid

Competition Seeks Architects to Design Massive “Bridge Park” in D.C.

Artist Rendering. Image Courtesy of THEARC

A Washington D.C. nonprofit (THEARC) has launched a nation-wide competition soliciting designs for the proposed 11th Street Bridge Park from architects and architects. With the culmination of the competition, the committee hopes to select a design that connects and re-engages residents from both sides of the river with the each other and the water, while establishing a new civic space that serves as stimulator for economic development.

Designated as a “21st century play space,” the new park will occupy a space spanning the length of three football fields across the Anacostia River. If approved, it would host a performance space, education center, cafe, water sport and activity areas, as well as integrate public art throughout landscape.

You can learn more and register for the 11th Street Bridge Park competition here. A video providing insight on the location can be found after the break…

Enter “Doors” – Our Newest Pinterest Board

Studio X Beijing / O.P.E.N. Architecture. Image © ShuHe

As Mies van der Rohe said, “God is in the details.” And what detail could be more important than the door – that pivotal point where architecture first greets the user? To help inspire, we’ve created a new Pinterest board dedicated entirely to functionally adept and beautifully designed doorways. 

You can view the board, here, and continue after the break for a selection of the board’s most popular doors…

VIDEO: Yale School of Management / Foster + Partners

Our friends at Arbuckle Industries has shared this short clip that takes you inside Foster + Partners’ Yale School of ManagementCompleted earlier this year, the new school unites Yale’s faculty departments at the Edward P. Evans Hall with world-class teaching facilities and collaborative social spaces. This, as the architects described, brings a new level of transparency to education, abandoning traditionally closed-off courtyard buildings for an open design that embraces the campus community. More stunning images and information on the project can be found here

MoMA PS1 YAP 2014 Runner-Up: Underberg / LAMAS

Looking back from the stage to the barrel vault, the party’s in full swing. Image © LAMAS

Wouldn’t it be nice to save a little cold for when it’s hot (and maybe a little warmth for when it’s cold)? This was the premise of LAMAS’s runner-up proposal, UnderbergUnderberg is an urban iceberg. Though it isn’t a native New Yorker, it has adapted to its new home in New York City and its crevasses take on the form of the avenues and streets of the gridiron.

Underberg was one of five proposals shortlisted for the annual MoMA PS1 Young Architect’s Program (YAP) competition, which was won by the Living’s compostable brick tower. More on this proposal, after the break…

TED Talk: How Architectural Innovations Migrate Across Borders / Teddy Cruz

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In this TED talk, architect and urbanist urges us to rethink urban growth. Sharing lessons from the slums of Tijuana, Cruz denounces the “stupid” and consumption-driven ways in which our have been expanding and declares that the future depends on the reorganization of social economic relations.

Rice Selects Diller Scofidio & Renfro to Design Opera House

Alice Tully Hall Lincoln Center / Architects with FXFOWLE (Click image for more). Image © Iwan Baan

has commissioned Diller Scofidio & Renfro to transform an existing parking lot between Alice Pratt Brown Hall, the home of Rice’s Shepherd School of Music, and Rice Stadium into a 600-seat opera theater. Charles Renfro, a 1989 Rice graduate and the project’s lead architect, stated: “It feels really natural in a lot of ways to be returning to campus, a place I’ve spent so much time and love so much.” Completion is scheduled for 2018.

eVolo 2014 Skyscraper Competition Winners

First Place: “Vernacular Versatility” / Yong Ju Lee (US). Image Courtesy of

The winners of the 2014 eVolo Skyscraper Competition have been announced! Established by eVolo Magazine in 2006, the competition recognizes innovative proposals for vertical living. After reviewing nearly 600 projects from 43 different countries, the jury has selected three winners and 20 honorable mentions. View them all, after the break…

schmidt hammer lassen to Design Christchurch Central Library

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Danish schmidt hammer lassen architects has been selected with New Zealand-based Architectus to design the New Central Library in Christchurch. An “anchor project” for the city’s post-disaster Recovery Plan, which aims to resurrect Christchurch as a more “greener, accessible” city following the devastation of the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, the new library will serve as a catalyst to attract dwellers back into the city center.

Davis Brody Bond Releases New Details of the 9/11 Memorial Museum

Design Study for Foundation Hall featuring the Last Column. Image © Red Square Design

With completion in sight (May 2014), Davis Brody Bond has released detailed information on the design of the subterranean 9/11 Memorial Museum in Manhattan. Located beneath the sculptural voids that form the 9/11 Memorial, the new museum has transformed a fixed set of geometric constraints into an emotional journey that gently descends visitors 70 feet below the ground level to the original foundations of the towers. 

EAA to Design Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center

Chesapeake Child Development Center / (Click image for more). Image © Hedrich Blessing; Scott McDonald

Elliott + Associates Architects (EAA) has been commissioned to design the Contemporary Arts Center’s new home on 4.5 acre site at NW 11 and Broadway along Automobile Alley. Once complete, the new center will serve as a “gathering place for all ages to enjoy all forms of art” in addition to providing studios for artists, whether they are dancers, painters or ceramicists. More information, here.

Buckminster Fuller’s Geodesic Dome Home to be Restored as Museum

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On April 19, Southern University will begin to restore the world’s first home, built by Buckminster Fuller. Originally assembled in just seven hours from 60 wooden triangle panels, the dome was occupied by Fuller and his wife, Lady Anne, in the 1960s during his residency at SIU. After Fuller’s death, the dome was used as student housing before falling into disrepair. In 2001, the home was donated to a non-profit that had it listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. It will now be restored and preserved as a museum in Carbondale. 

Image of Jalan Bukit Ho Swee Wins Sony World Photography Award

Third Place, , National Awards: Jalan Bukit Ho Swee. Image © , 2014 Sony World Photography Awards

This image, by photographer Daniel Chia, of the 1960s Jalan Bukit Ho Swee public housing block has placed third in Singapore for the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards. It was one of 24 images awarded from a selection of 70,000 entries. You can view all the stunning, award-winning photographs here.