Karissa Rosenfield

VIDEO: Can Architecture Foster Dignity?

Believing the lack of dignity is a motivator of crime, MASS Design Group has dedicated their fourth Beyond the Building video series to the notion that architecture has the capacity to build peace. Focusing on how the building process can foster dignity, as well as economic and social justice, MASS encourages architects to ask themselves: “How can we use architecture to contribute to peace, conflict resolution, instill dignity, and promote justice?” Watch the video above and share your thoughts on how architecture can go #beyondthebuilding.

Zumtobel Group Awards 15 Projects for Sustainable Excellence

Port sudan: © Courtesy of Massimo Grimaldi and Emergency ngo

The Zumtobel Group Awards, now in its fourth year, has recognized 15 projects for their innovative contributions to sustainability and humanity in the built environment. Winy Maas of MVRDV and Kazuyo Sejima of SANAA were part of the seven person jury in which selected the winners within three categories: “Buildings,” “Urban Developments & Initiatives,” and the newly implemented “Applied Innovations.”

Ranging from Arup’s photo-bioreactor facade system to Lacaton & Vassal architectes’ “House of Transformation,” the awarded projects have been deemed sustainable exemplars for their contributions to the built environment.

See all the winners after the break…

Libeskind Breaks Ground on 60-Story “Century Spire” in Philippines

© Studio AMD

Last week, Daniel Libeskind joined Century Properties Group to celebrate the ground breaking of the “Century Spire.” Designed as a key building for Century City – a 3.4 hectare, mixed-use development in – the all-glass, 60-story office and residential tower sets itself apart with a “dramatic crown” that divides and expands the building’s top half as it rises.

Revised Renovation Plan Released for New York Public Library

The ’s (NYPL) main building on Fifth Avenue, is a Beaux-Arts masterpiece designed by architects Carrère & Hastings. Image via Flickr User CC wallyg.

Details have been released on the Public Library’s (NYPL) plan to renovate its Mid-Manhattan branch, while creating more public space within its flagship Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. The news comes shortly after Foster + Partner’s redesign of the the Beaux-Arts landmark was scrapped due to concerns of a ballooning budget. The revised $300 million overhaul suggests a more affordable option of relocating Schwarzman’s main stacks beneath Bryant Park, while establishing a more campus-like connection with a fully renovated Mid-Manhattan branch. All the details, here.

Budapest Breaks Record with World’s Tallest LEGO Tower

YouTube Preview Image

Official Danish LEGO constructors have teamed up with locals in Budapest, Hungary to build the world’s tallest LEGO tower. Rising 34.76 meters (114 feet) in front of the St. Stephen’s Basilica, the towering spire was officially registered with the Guinness book of World Records for breaking the US’ previous record of 34.43 meters on May 25th. The structure was made of 450,000 colorful bricks and appropriately topped with an oversized, Hungarian-built Rubik’s Cube. 

Venice Biennale 2014: “M9″ to Discuss the Links Between Cultural Institutions and Urban Regeneration

Museum facing south. Image © Sauerbruch Hutton

This year at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, the Collateral Event M9 / Transforming the City will unveil an influential urban regeneration project planned for the heart of Venezia Mestre. Envisioned by British-Berlin practice Sauerbruch Hutton, the competition-winning design will be a new “multifaceted and encyclopedic” cultural center of “international appeal” that showcases the “fundamental” 100 years that “revolutionized the world.”

The will pair a complete architectural presentation of the project alongside the political motives behind it and an overview of the site’s history as an attempt to spark a “theoretical digression on the links between cultural institutions and urban-regeneration projects.”

More about the project, after the break…

Four Teams to Envision Proposals for D.C. “Bridge Park”

Artist Rendering. Image Courtesy of THEARC

The four teams moving on to stage three of Washington D.C.’s 11th Street Bridge Park competition has been announced. Selected from over 80 qualified design firms from across the U.S., the following multidisciplinary teams will receive $25000 stipends to envision a new civic space spanning the Anacostia River by early September:

Orizzontale’s Recycled Keg Wall Wins YAP MAXXI

© Orizzontale

Just as the 2014 winners of the Young Architects Program (YAP) in Chile and Korea were announced this week, the architecture collective of Orizzontale was crowned victorious for the program’s MAXXI edition in .

The winning scheme, dubbed “8 1/2,” will be a translucent wall of recycled beer kegs and an inhabitable timber podium that will be used as a stage for summer events within the confines of the MAXXI piazza. Shaded during the day and illuminated at night, the glass wall is intended to inspire people to rest, play, watch and listen.

The Sprawled Desert City of Phoenix Sets Sights on Walkability

Light Rail crossing Tempe Town Lake. Image © CC Flickr User Alan Stark

When the profit-driven bulldozing of virgin desert quickly transformed into unfinished ghost towns in 2008, the city of Phoenix, , reset their sights on a more sustainable and desirable way of living: walkable communities. With the establishment of the city’s first light rail, the once car-centric communities of its urban core have turned into swaths of pedestrian havens. This has not only improved the city’s desirability, but has also been good for business. See how else Phoenix is trying to “pull off an urban miracle” and reverse it’s sprawled image here on Fast Company.

Grupo Talca Wins 2014 YAP Chile with “Wicker Forest”

©

Grupo Talca’s four meter “Wicker Forest” has been announced as winner of the annual Young Architects Program (YAP) in Chile. Designed as an inhabitable landscape of wicker sticks, the red forested structure will “catch particles dragged by the wind, while providing shade and movement” to the visitors of CONSTRUCTO upon completion in Santiago next year.

Grupo Talca is the fifth winner of Chile, following the commission of UMWELT’s “climatically responsive container for artwork.” You can find more images of the Wicker Forest, after the break…

NCARB Endorses Licensure for US Architects Upon Graduation

© CC Flickr User Raja Sambasivan

The U.S. National Council of Architectural Registration Boards () has released a statement endorsing upon graduation from accredited programs. Though the release did not specify a definite plan of action, the announcement acknowledges the benefits of restructuring U.S. so that “rigorous internships and examination requirements” are all fulfilled during the education process.

Envisioned by NCARB’s “Licensure Task Force,” the “new path” concept overhaul will move forward by identifying schools interested in participating in the program. A Request for Information will be sent out later this year, followed by a Request for Proposal process in 2015.

Though many U.S. architects have seemingly longed for news such as this, others argue that there are drawbacks to licensure upon graduation. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section after the break.

Venice Biennale 2014: Russia to Assemble Expo of Urban Ideas from Past Century

Apocalyptic panorama for “Ark-Stroy” booth, 2014, Evgeny Katin (Bang! Bang! Studio) / Courtesy — Strelka institute for media, architecture and design

True to the country’s experimental past, ’s participation for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale will expose the continued relevance of historical urban ideas by applying them as solutions for contemporary needs. Titled Fair Enough, the will be presented as an international trade show of ideas, a “marketplace of urban invention” that is both “made in Russia and open to the world.”

The full curatorial text, after the break…

Moon Ji Bang Wins Inaugural MMCA Young Architects Program in South Korea

YAP Korea 2014: Shinseon Play / Moon Ji Bang. Image Courtesy of

The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 has announced a partnership with the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) in Seoul that has expanded the international Young Architects Program (YAP) to . Just as YAP presents opportunities for emerging architects to design and build temporary installations in New York, Chile, Rome and Istanbul, YAP Korea will offer the MMCA’s outdoor Museum Plaza as the summer installation site.

Already, a winner has been chosen from 26 submissions to serve as the inaugural YAP Korea installation. With completion planned for July 8, winning team Moon Ji Bang (Threshold) is amidst the final preparations for mystical, mythology-inspired installation that will transcend visitors from the daily hustle into a cloud-like landscape of air balloon structures.

Venice Biennale 2014: Portugal to Distribute “Homeland” Newspaper Based on Housing

Cover of “Homeland, News from

This year for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, Portugal will be officially represented by newspaper. This choice in media corresponds to the possibility of framing worldviews by revelling events, culture traits and socio-economic challenges of a country.

Extensively distributed in three different editions, over the six month period of the Biennale, Homeland, News from Portugal intends to report news about current architectural, social and economic life in Portugal, reflecting on and informing about a variety of aspects of the modernization of the country over the past 100 years.

More from the curator, after the break…

Sydney Illuminates Itself with City-Wide Light Festival

Vivid Sydney 2014: The Lighting of the Sails of the Sydney Opera House © James Horan

Now through June 9, the city of Sydney will be illuminated by its annual, world-exclusive light festival known as Vivid Sydney. Each night from 6PM until midnight, many of the Harbour City’s most famous landmarks will be transformed into an interactive visual spectacular, paralleled with street side , laser shows, (free) live music performances and over 200 creative industry business events.

One of the festival highlights, of course, is the illumination of the Sydney Opera House. Watch as Jørn Utzon’s famous white sails are transformed by a series of mind-bending, 3D projections designed by 59 Productions after the break…

Architects Compete to Design Goldsmiths’ New Art Gallery

Laurie Grove Baths. Image © Dr. Neil Clifton via Creative Commons

Harry Gugger Studio and 6a Architects are among six practices shortlisted in a competition to design a new art gallery at University in London. Selected from 80 submissions, the final teams, which also include Assemble, Dow Jones Architects, HAT Projects and Jamie Fobert Architects, will now have six weeks to submit designs. Once complete, the 400 square meter gallery will be a “significant showcase for contemporary art” that serves a combination of curated exhibitions, residencies and research projects. It will be built behind the Laurie Grove Baths, a Grade II listed 19th-century municipal bath that is currently used as fine art studios.

Venice Biennale 2014: Minsuk Cho to Present “Crow’s Eye View” of Divided Korea

Kim Il-sung Square, Pyongyang, 2010 © Philipp Meuser

Minsuk Cho of MASS Studies, commissioner and curator of the Korean Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, has announced that he will be responding to director Rem Koolhaas’ theme Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014 with an focused on the architecture of divided . With the exhibition Crow’s Eye View: The Korean Peninsula, Cho will present the architecture of North and South Korea as “an agent – a mechanism for generating alternative narratives that are capable of perceiving both the everyday and the monumental in new ways.”

The full curatorial statement, after the break…

Zaha Hadid and SOM Among 5 Competing to Design Scandinavia’s Tallest Tower

Proposal #1: “Ursa” (214 meters). Image Courtesy of Serneke

Zaha Hadid Architects, SOM, Ian Simpson Architects, Manuelle Gautrand Architects, and Wingårdhs Arkitektkontor are all competing to design what will be the tallest tower in Scandinavia. Submitted anonymously, the five shortlisted proposals have just been unveiled by Serneke, who has envisioned the skyscraper as an integral piece to a larger 32,000 square meter mixed-use masterplan in that has been in the making for more than ten years.

Check out each shortlisted design, after the break…