Karissa Rosenfield

Frank Gehry Wins 2014 Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts

Guggenheim Bilbao (1997). Image Courtesy of Peter Knaup

Frank Gehry has been bestowed with Spain’s prestigious . The Canadian-American architect was chosen as the award’s 34th laureate “for the relevance and impact of his creations in numerous countries, via which he has defined and furthered architecture in the past half century.”

“His buildings are characterized by a virtuoso play of complex shapes, the use of unusual materials, such as titanium, and their technological innovation, which has also had an impact on other arts,” stated the jury.  “An example of this open, playful and organic style of architecture is the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, which, in addition to its architectural and aesthetic excellence, has had an enormous economic, social and urban impact on its surroundings as a whole.”

More information about Gehry’s selection, after the break…

De Blasio Sets 10-Year Affordable Housing Plan for NYC

ODA Chosen to Design Largest Project in . Image © ODA

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has addressed the “crisis of affordability” by implementing a five-borough, ten-year plan that will build and preserve 200,000 affordable units over the coming decade. Believing affordable housing to be part of “the bedrock of what makes New York City work,” Blasio hopes the plan will make New York, once again, “a place where our most vulnerable, our working people and our middle class can all thrive.” Review the plan in detail and check out one of the largest affordable housing projects planned for the city, here

schmidt hammer lassen Designs Cultural Hub for Ningbo’s Labour Union

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schmidt hammer lassen architects has unveiled a new cultural hub for ’s Labour Union. Planned to serve both the city and the union’s nearly three million members, the “Home of Staff” will unite two stepped complexes of support, health, education, culture and leisure facilities with a half a kilometer long central park.

John Simpson to Design New Architecture Building at Notre Dame

Notre Dame Driehaus Prize laureate Pier Carlo Bontempi and Leon Krier’s Watercolor of the Piazza Matteotti

London-based architect John Simpson, a leading practitioner of New Classicism and New Urbanism, has been commissioned to design a new School of Architecture for the University of Notre Dame. As Dean Michael Lykoudis stated, Simpson’s work reflects the “principles and highest aspirations” of Notre Dame’s school, “which embraces the timeless classical values of durability, functionality and beauty.” The 80,000-square-foot building will be located on the campus’ south end.

Wilson Architects Tapped to Design MIT Hub for Nanoscale Research

MIT.nano and the courtyard looking northeast from Building 4. Image © Wilson Architects Inc.

Boston-based practice Wilson Architects has been commissioned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to design a state-of-the-art research hub for nanoscience and nanotechnology: MIT.nano. Centrally located at the heart of MIT, the new glass-encased, four-story structure will house two floors of high-performance cleanrooms, as well as imaging and prototyping facilities that are all designed to foster innovation through cross-discipline collaboration. 

Sold! 100 Design Relics from Niemeyer, Le Corbusier, FLW and More

Alvar Aalto: Early cantilevered armchair with stepped base, model no. 31, designed for the Tuberculosis Sanatorium, Paimio, 1929-1933 (Sold for £23,750). Image Courtesy of Phillips

UPDATE: The has concluded and more than £5.6 million was made. Find out how much the famous, architect-designed relics went for after the break.

Next week, a rare collection of over 100 relics designed by some of architecture’s most significant practitioners from the last two centuries will be auctioned off at the Phillip’s in London. Ranging from a full-scale paper tea house by this year’s Pritzker laureate Shigeru Ban to the Peacock chair designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel, the items being showcased and sold are an ode to the ideas in which have had a profound impact on our built environment.

An exhibition of the items, appropriately titled “The Architect,” is already underway, prior to the auction on April 29.

Works by Gerrit Rietveld, Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer are all available for purchase. Read on for a preview of the highlighted items…

Presidio Trust Enlists 5 to Envision New Schemes for Crissy Field

Presidio From Southeast. Image © Robert Campbell

’s Presidio Trust isn’t giving up. After rejecting three shortlisted schemes earlier this year that envisioned a “cultural institution of distinction” for the underdeveloped Crissy Field, the Trust has now invited five new teams to envision “kid-friendly” plans for a 13 acre portion of the site.

The five teams, which include , Olson Kundig Architects and Snøhetta, are expected to present their ideas publicly in just three months. A winner will not be selected, though each team will receive $25,000 for their efforts. However, the Trust will be inclined to work with one of the teams should their concepts “dazzle” the audience.

A complete list of the five teams and more project information, after the break…

Registration Now Open for the 2014 Sukkahville Design Competition

Ombres Lumineuses. Image Courtesy of

Registration is now open for the fourth annual Sukkahville Design Competition. The open competition challenges entrants to re-imagine the traditional Sukkah. All finalists will be invited to construct their designs on the Nathan Philips Square in front of Toronto’s City Hall for the week-long holiday of Sukkot.

Find out how to enter and continue after the break to view the winners of 2013… 

Milan Expo 2015: X-TU Designs Latticed “Fertile Market” for French Pavilion

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Paris-based X-TU has envisioned a more cohesive, sustainable market where food is not only grown and harvested, but sold and consumed on the spot. Serving as the French pavilion for the 2015 Milan Expo, X-TU’s competition-winning scheme will celebrate the country’s “rich genetic heritage” and future in innovative food production with a timber “fertile market” that supports the growth of the produce it sells.

Brooks + Scarpa, Witold Rybczynski Win Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award

AIA 2014 Housing Award Recipient: Cherokee Studios / Brooks + Scarpa

Angela Brooks and Lawrence Scarpa of Brooks + Scarpa have been recognized for their “leadership in sustainable and socially progressive design” by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. The Los Angeles-based architects will receive one of 10 National Design given by the Museum in honor of “lasting achievement in American Design.”

Witold Rybczynski, writer and professor of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, will also receive a National Design Award for his many written contributions to architecture, urbanism and design.

A complete list of the 2014 National Design Award winners, after the break…

Four Architects Shortlisted for Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize for Emerging Architecture

Maximilian’s Schell; Los Angeles, California, US / Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues

Four projects have been shortlisted for the inaugural Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) for Emerging Architecture. Announced by the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology () and its Dean Wiel Arets, the prestigious prize aims to recognize an emerging practice with the most outstanding built work in the Americas. The winner, which will be announced in May, will be awarded a $25,000 prize and an research professorship that will focus on rethinking the metropolis.

Spanning the Americas from Chile to , the shortlisted projects are… 

Morpholio Project’s New App to Measure Human Response to Built Environment

Smart phones are designed to collect a variety of personal data, from location and orientation to sight and sound. But what if these devices were capable of tracking our visceral response to the built environment?

The architects and academics behind The Morpholio Project have been researching ways in which biometrics, such as EEG, EMG, face tracking and pulse measurement, could be used to quantify the physical impact of an image on the human body. By turning to the medical industry, has studied the capabilities of photoplethysmography (PPG) and envisioned ways in which it could be integrated with the smart phone.

With a simple 3D printed fitting, the iphone can be transformed into a miniaturized blood pressure machine that records the heart rate fluctuations of a user while they photograph their surroundings. By tracking an individual’s unique emotional response to what they are seeing and experiencing, Morpholio believes they can unlock new potentials in which technology can evolve of the design process.

More information from the creators after the break…

Zerafa Studio Designs Memorial for Orange County Crime Victims

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Manhattan-based Zerafa Architecture Studio has been announced as winner of a competition to design a monument to Orange County’s crime victims. Placed between two natural mounds on axis with Irvine’s Mason Regional Park office, the winning scheme carves a subtle, circular void within the park’s forested that offers a range of experiences to the community.

U.S. Pavilion Launches “Call for Architects” to Join Temporary Practice

OfficeUS in U.S. Pavilion, Leong Leong, 2014. Image © Leong Leong and Storefront for Art and Architecture

The U.S. Pavilion has launched an international search for 90 architects to collaborate (via satellite) with the eight principles of OfficeUS. The radical experiment, which will last the duration of the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, is calling for architects to lend their “voices, expertise and skills” in an effort to “redefine the terms of design and production of architecture on the global scale.” See if you qualify and learn more about the intentions behind OfficeUS here.

Herzog & de Meuron to Design New Vancouver Art Gallery

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The Vancouver Art Gallery has unanimously appointed Herzog & de Meuron to design their new, 300,000 square foot gallery in downtown Vancouver. 

Selected from a shortlist of five - including Diller Scofidio + Renfro, KPMB Architects, SANAA , and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects - Herzog & de Meuron was ultimately awarded the commission for their vision of the new Gallery and “proven ability to create innovative museum buildings that place prominence on artists and institutional mission.”

The new museum building, which will be the practice’s first Canadian project, will double the Gallery’s current space and accommodate for their expanding collections, indoor and outdoor exhibition space, and new educational programs. Conceptual designs are expected to be released in early 2015. 

Preview the portfolio that landed Herzog & de Meuron the commission, after the break…

MAD Breaks Ground on Complex that Redefines Beijing’s “City Landscape”

Site. Image © MAD

Construction has commenced on MAD’s Chaoyang Park Plaza within one of Beijing’s largest public parks and central business district. A continuation of Ma Yansong’s “Shan-Shui City” concept, which aims reintroduce nature into the urban realm, the mixed-use complex reinterprets natural formations illustrated in traditional Chinese paintings as contemporary “city landscapes.” 

“Like the tall mountain cliffs and river landscapes of China, a pair of asymmetrical towers creates a dramatic skyline in front of the park,” described MAD. “Ridges and valleys define the shape of the exterior glass facade, as if the natural forces of erosion wore down the tower into a few thin lines.” 

Helvetia Commissions Herzog & de Meuron to Extend Headquarters

© Herzog & de Meuron

Herzog & de Meuron has been commissioned to design the fourth and final extension to Helvetia’s Head Office in St. Gallen. The new west wing will join three other structures, all of which share the same uniform facade treatment, to complete the insurance company’s headquarters and provide a prominent entrance, cafe, meeting rooms and additional office space.

TED Talk: How Public Spaces Make Cities Work / Amanda Burden

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, former animal behaviorist turned New York’s chief city planner, has discovered what makes cities desirable: great public spaces. During her time with the Bloomberg administration, Burden oversaw the fruition of the city’s most transformative public projects, including New York’s beloved High Line. In the video above, she reveals the many unexpected challenges of planning (and maintaining) parks people love, and why it is so important for cities to have great public spaces.