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Karissa Rosenfield

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6 Teams Shortlisted for Canadian Canoe Museum

Six teams have been shortlisted for a chance to design the new Canadian Canoe Museum, as part of its relocation to the Parks Canada Peterborough Lift Lock National Historic Site on the Trent-Severn Waterway in southern Ontario. Selected from 90 international submissions, the competing teams are now expected to refine their ideas before presenting them to the public. A winner will be announced in the Fall.  

The complete shortlist, after the break... 

Images Released of OMA-Designed Chinese Pavilion at 2015 Venice Art Biennale

Completed images of OMA's design for the 2015 Venice Art Biennale's Chinese Pavilion have been released. Juxtaposing artworks "in a field of projections and stages," the exhibition is designed to be an "immersive environment" that brings together work by Tan Dun, Liu Jiakun, Lu Yang, Wu Wenguang / Caochangdi Work Station and Wen Hui / Living Dance Studio under the theme "Other Future."

Exterior window detail. Image © Italo Rondinella courtesy of OMA Exhibition interior. Image © Italo Rondinella courtesy of OMA Exhibition interior, video by Wen Hui. Image © Italo Rondinella courtesy of OMA Exhibition interior, performance area for Tan Dun. Image © Italo Rondinella courtesy of OMA

Read Through Buckminster Fuller's FBI File

An unconventional man with radical ideas, Buckminster Fuller was an "affable weirdo" and "counterculture icon" who, as Gizmodo reports, often caught the attention of the FBI. For the first time ever, his (heavily redacted) FBI files have been released, revealing some of the reasons why the FBI felt the need to keep tabs on the world famous architect and designer, including speculations regarding Fuller and the Soviet Union. Though it seems nothing ever went beyond speculation, the files are fascinating. You can read them in full, here

AIA Signs Cooperative Agreement with Africa Union of Architects

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Africa Union of Architects (AUA) has signed a cooperative agreement to "share practice tools and resources, creating a framework for American and African architects to work collaboratively in achieving development and infrastructure goals in Africa." The agreement articulates their mutual interests to advance the “Africa Sustainability Campaign” in spirit of the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC.

"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to reinvigorate and formalize the AIA's relationship with our colleagues in Africa,” said AIA 2015 President, Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA. “We look forward to increased knowledge sharing on topics such as health and resilience which are critical to the sustainable future of our planet."

Video: Universal Everything Turns Sydney Opera House into "Living Mural"

Universal Everything has transformed the Sydney Opera House into a "Living Mural," as part of Vivid Sydney. Drawing inspiration from the early pioneers of animation - Len Lye, Norman McLaren and Walt Disney - the global animation studio first began to design their mesmerizing lightshow with a simple drawing. See it in fruition in the video above. 

Win Tickets to the IDEAS CITY Conference Next Week in NYC

Next week, the New Museum in New York will kickstart the annual IDEAS CITY Festival on Thursday, May 28th. Themed after Italo Calvino's "The Invisible City," the three-day event will "explore questions of transparency and surveillance, citizenship and representation, expression and suppression, participation and dissent, and the enduring quest for visibility in the city" through a number of platforms, such as panels discussions, poetry slams, mobile art installations, workshops, exhibitions and most notably the transformation of New York City's Bowery neighborhood into a "temporary city of ideas."

Interested in attending? Five of our readers have the chance to win tickets to the festival's opening conference. Enter the sweepstakes below for a chance to watch a screening of Mannahatta: Studies for an Opera about Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs, listen to Bjarke Ingels discuss the relevance of literary speculation, and much more (the full conference schedule). 

All those who will be in New York City on May 28th are eligible to participate. Follow the instructions to enter below. 

Mecca to Build the World's Largest Hotel

Mecca has unveiled plans to build the world's largest hotel by 2017. The 10,000-room Abraj Kudai hotel will be built in the Manafia district, just south of the Grand Mosque. It will be a city within a city, hosting 70 restaurants, food courts, a bus station, shopping mall, conference center, ballroom and five floors dedicated entirely to the Saudi royal family; all will be set within a cluster of 12 towers standing atop a 10-story podium and centered around a massive dome.

Open Call: US Launches Competition for National World War I Memorial

The US World War I Centennial Commission has launched a design competition for the National World War I Memorial in Washington DC. The competition will be a two-stage design competition, and is open internationally to any professionals, university-level students, and all other interested participants. "The objective is to transform Pershing Park from a park that happens to contain a memorial to a site that is primarily a national World War I memorial, within a revitalized urban park setting with a distinct sense of place that complements the memorial purpose while attracting visitors, workers, and residents of the District of Columbia," says the Commission. 

5 Projects Honored with ECOLA Award for Use of Plaster

The European Conference of Leading Architects has announced the winners of the 2015 ECOLA Award. The biennial prize, now in its eighth year, honors projects for their use of plaster. This year, two projects won first prize, including Portuguese architect Álvaro Fernandes Andrade for his Pocinho Center for High Performance Rowing in Vila Nova de Foz Côa, and three projects received honorable mention. Each project was selected from 149 shortlisted projects by a five-person jury, chaired by Peter Cook.

View all five winning projects, after the break. 

Conversion of a stone house in the Scaiano village centre. Image © Hannes Henz Housing at the old city wall. Image © Werner Huthmacher Christian Dammert Aviel Avdar 86 Apartments. Image via ECOLA Award Oostkamp. Image © Miguel de Guzmán

Video: The Bicycle Snake / Dissing+Weitling

The Louisiana Channel recently paid a visit to one of the world's most bike-friendly cities to view what is dubbed "Copenhagen's new architectonic landmark," Dissing+Weitling Architecture's "The Bicycle Snake." "Strikingly slender" and boasting a simple orange track, the Bicycle Snake is a 230 meter bridge dedicated entirely to bikes. The steel bridge tries not to "be more that it actually is," unlike many other landmarks, connecting bicyclists to two main parts of the city by elevating them up to seven meters above the sea.

ABI Slows in April

For the second month this year, the US Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has revealed a decrease in design serves. As the American Institute of Architects (AIA) report, the April ABI score was 48.8, down sharply from a mark of 51.7 in March. The new projects inquiry index was 60.1, up from a reading of 58.2 the previous month.

“The fundamentals in the design and construction industry remain very healthy,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “The fact that both inquires for new projects and new design contracts continued to accelerate at a healthy pace in April points to strong underlying demand for design activity. However, April would typically be a month where these projects would be in full swing, but a severe winter in many parts of the Northeast and Midwest has apparently delayed progress on projects.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

Allies and Morrison and O’Donnell + Tuomey Chosen to Design London's Olympicopolis

Allies and Morrison, together with O’Donnell + Tuomey and Josep Camps/Olga Felip Arquitecturia, has been chosen ahead of David ChipperfieldFeilden Clegg Bradley Studios and three other teams to design London's Olympicopolis culture and education quarter. The major commission, which will be sited at the gateway to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park along the Stratford waterfront, will include new buildings for the Victoria and Albert Museum, Sadler’s Wells, the London College of Fashion, and potentially the Smithsonian Institute's first permanent museum outside the US

Thomas V. Vonier Elected 2017 AIA President

Thomas V. Vonier, FAIA, has been elected as the 2016 First Vice President and 2017 President of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Currently serving as 2014–2015 AIA Vice President, Vonier is the founder and past president of AIA Continental Europe from 1994 to 1995. He served on the AIA Board of Directors representing the AIA International Region from 2010 to 2012. Vonier received an M.Arch. and a B.Arch. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee after attending the school of architecture at Washington University in St. Louis. He is also currently Secretary General of the International Union of Architects, after previously serving as its Vice President. To see all other newly elected officials, follow this link

Tham & Videgård Designs Sweden’s "Most Sought After Home"

Tham & Videgård Arkitekter has designed a home with the help of two million Swedes. Made possible by big data, the Swedish office analyzed 200 million clicks and 86,000 properties on Hemnet properties to design "Sweden’s statistically most sought after home." The result, the Hemnet Home - a "new typehouse for everyone by everyone." 

© Tham & Videgård Kitchen. Image © Tham & Videgård Bathroom. Image © Tham & Videgård Section Perspective . Image © Tham & Videgård

Work Begins on Steven Holl's Hunters Point Library in Queens

Construction has commenced on Steven Holl Architects' Hunters Point Community Library in Queens, New York. Rising along the shoreline on the city's East River near a cluster of newly built high-rise condominiums, the 22,000 square-foot (6,705 meter) library aims to provide a community-centric public space and park to the increasingly privatized Long Island City waterfront. 

© Steven Holl Architects © Steven Holl Architects © Steven Holl Architects © Steven Holl Architects

Watch Herzog & de Meuron's 56 Leonard Take Shape in New York

Herzog & de Meuron's 56 Leonard is taking shape in New York. Due to top out this summer, the 60-story condominium has become known as the “Jenga tower” for its cantilevered glass facade. Upon its completion in 2016, the 821 foot-tall (250 meter) Tribeca building will be comprised of 145 residences and will feature a Anish Kapoor sculpture at its base. Check out the Rob Cleary time-lapse above to view the building's progress over the last year. 

8+8 Concept Studio Proposes Underwater Tennis Court in Dubai

Polish practice 8+8 Concept Studio has released images of a proposed underwater tennis court planned to be built off the coast of Dubai. Staged beneath an expansive glass roof that would put marine life on display, the radical proposal is being called into question as engineers debate its feasibility. As the Daily Mail reports, the scheme seems unlikely due to the challenges of manufacturing glass sheets large enough to span a tennis court and ensure that the structure is impact resistant. Refracting light is also a valid concern.

MAD Transforms Japanese Home into Unconventional Kindergarten and Residence

MAD Architects have broken ground on their first project in Japan, the "Clover House" kindergarten. "A kindergarten that feels like home," as MAD describes, the renovation project is transforming an existing 105 square-meter home in Okazaki, Aichi, into a fully functioning education institution that caters to students during the day and provides a home for its teachers at night.

Part of the original home's wood structure will be reused and incorporated into the new building's design. It's "signature" pitched roof will create a "dynamic interior space," while preserving some of the owner's past memories.