Karissa Rosenfield

Michael Kimmelman Wins 2014 Brendan Gill Prize

Penn Station, Re-Imagined. Image © Diller Scofidio + Renfro

The Municipal Art Society (MAS) of New York has announced New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman as winner of the 2014 , a cash award presented annually to the creator of a specific work that “best captures the spirit and energy of .” Kimmelman is being recognized, as President Vin Cipolla described, for his “insightful candor and continuous scrutiny of New York’s architectural environment” that is “journalism at its finest.” See why they singled out his coverage on the challenges of Penn Station, here.

Álvaro Siza + Juan Domingo Santos Design “New Gate of Alhambra”

Alhambra Atrium I Ivy Courtyard (Northwest Landscape View). Image © Vieira + Juan Domingo Santos; Rendering by LT Studios

Commissioned after winning an international competition in 2010, Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Viera and -based Juan Domingo Santos have unveiled designs for a new entrance and visitors center at the Alhambra World Heritage site. A result of “superimposing a regular geometry over a territory of topography,” the new gate rearranges visitor access into the more than 1000-year-old monument through a series of enclosed, shaded courtyards and open, sunlit terraces.

Following to his experience at the Alhambra in 2009, Siza journaled about his envision for the new gate, stating: “…from bright sun to shadows, from warmth to coolness, from wide to intimate focus, I like to dream about my project before I set it down in any detail.”

Imagine 2020: Denver Launches Arts-First Public Policy

Screen shot from Cristobal Palma’s documentation of ’s Biennial of the Americas 2013 exhibition. Click the image to view.

The City of Denver has launched “Imagine 2020,” a pro- cultural plan that will pave the way for more city-wide “art opportunities” over the next seven years. According to the Denver Post, this initiative will include the revision of “plans, permits and codes” to allow for more installations, offer small micro-art grants for residents and neighborhoods, and establish large public gathering places throughout the city. You can learn more, here.

Ines Lobo Wins 2014 arcVision Women and Architecture Prize

Francisco Rodrigues Lobo Secondary School / Inês Lobo Arquitectos. Image © Leonardo Finotti

Portuguese Architect Ines Lobo has won the second edition of the arcVision Prize – Women and Architecture, an international social architecture award instituted by the Italcementi Group. Commended by the jury for being a “versatile architect,” Lobo has built a reputation for “creatively attacking complex architectural problems” at a variety of scales “within the existing urban fabric.”

Rotterdam Unveils Mirrored, MVRDV-Designed Art Depot for Museumpark

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The City of has unveiled MVRDV’s competition winning design for a new public art depot in Rotterdam’s Museumpark. Clad in a highly reflective glass, the cylindrical BREEAM Excellent-planned “Collection Building” will store the “precious art collection of Rotterdam” as well as offer commercial interior storage for private collectors. It is designed to expose the inter workings of a museum, winding visitors up a public route, past storage rooms and restoration workshops, to a rooftop exhibition space, sculpture garden and restaurant.

Calatrava’s World Trade Center Transit Hub Fails to Impress

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“How can a $3.94 billion building be made to look cheap?” A small part of Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center Transportation Hub has been opened to the public, and the critics aren’t impressed. According to the  Times’ article by David Dunlap, the buildings “chunky fixtures” and “rough workmanship” “detract from what is meant to be breathtaking grandeur.” Read more, here.

UC Davis Selects SO-IL to Design New Art Museum

Courtesy of

UPDATE: SO-IL has broken ground on UC Davis’ new campus art museum. Completion is slated for 2016. 

The University of California, Davis has selected emerging -based practice SO-IL to design a new campus’ art museum, which is envisioned to be a “regional center of experimentation, participation and learning.” SO-IL, selected from three finalists following an intensive five-month design competition, will collaborate with San Francisco-based Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and national construction firm Whiting-Turner to complete the project.

UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi believes the winning design has turned the traditional notion of museum design inside out, as SO-IL’s concept will engage visitors with a sequence of interconnected interior and exterior spaces that are defined by curved glass walls and capped with a 50,000 square foot steel canopy. At night, the “Grand Canopy” will illuminate from within, establishing a new focal point for the campus and beckoning drivers along Interstate 80 between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe.

Milan Expo 2015: Tsinghua University with Studio Link-Arc to Design China Pavilion

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Tsinghua University, alongside New York-based Studio Link-Arc, has been announced as winners of a competition to design the Chinese Pavilion at the 2015 Expo. Expanding on the Expo’s overarching theme, “Feeding the Planet – Energy for Life,” the pavilion’s “Land of Hope” is centered on the idea that “hope can be realized when nature and the city exist in harmony.”

Tadao Ando to Design First New York City Building

© Architect & Associates

Tadao Ando has been commissioned to design his first building. Though little information has been released, the residential development firm Sumaida + Khurana has closed a deal with the Japanese architect to design a 32,000 square foot, eight-unit, luxury condominium building at 152 Elizabeth Street in Nolita. Construction is expected to begin later this year and the building will be completed in 2016.

David Adjaye Designs Art and Culture Center for Colgate University

© , Courtesy of Colgate University

Adjaye Associates has unveiled plans for a striated stone-clad cultural center at New York’s Colgate University. Inspired by the site’s surroundings, from the existing landscape to the “articulated volumes historic Village Hall,” the Colgate Art and Culture Center aims become a “high-quality, sustainable, and environmentally responsive building that creates a fantastic environment for art.”

William McDonough Designs Ultra “Clean” Manufacturing Facility for Method

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William McDonough + Partners has been selected to design Method’s first U.S. manufacturing facility on a brownfield site in ’s historic Pullman community. The company, known for producing environmentally conscious cleaning products, commissioned McDonough to design an ultra clean, LEED Platinum facility constructed from Cradle to Cradle Certified materials and powered entirely by renewable energy.

WORKac to Design Brooklyn Art Facility for Eyebeam

© Dattner Architects / Bernheimer Architecture

Eyebeam, a non-profit art and technology center currently based in Manhattan, has commissioned WORKac to design its future home. Planned for the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Ashland Place, within a mixed-use development designed by Dattner Architects and Bernheimer Architecture that will include market-rate and subsidized housing as well as a restaurant, the 27,000 square foot cultural facility will accommodate for the organization’s world-renowned artist residency program, diverse public programming and innovative education offerings for adults and teens. According to the developer, Jonathan Rose Companies intends to break ground next year with completion slated for late 2016. 

Sou Fujimoto-Led Team Designs Tree-Inspired Housing Tower for Montpellier

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The City of Montpellier has chosen Sou Fujimoto Architects, Nicolas Laisné Associés and Manal Rachdi Oxo architects’ “White Tree (L’Arbre Blanc)” as winner of the “Architectural Folie of the 21st Century” competition. Inspired by the city’s tradition of outdoor living, and the efficient properties of a tree, the mixed-use residential tower will feed off locally available natural resources as it rises 17-stories and connects the new and old districts of Montpellier.

AIANY Announces 2014 Design Award Winners

Campbell Sports Center – Columbia University (New York, NY) / Steven Holl Architects © Iwan Baan

The American Institute of Architects’ New York Chapter has announced the 2014 Design Award winners. Selected from nearly 400 submissions, the 35 awardees were commended for their “design quality, response to context and community, program resolution, innovation, thoughtfulness, and technique.” Of the 35 conferred, 13 received Honor Award Medals. The winners, after the break…

“Memory Wound” Fractures Landscape, Commemorates Victims of Norway’s Massacre

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Envisioned as a three-and-a-half-meter wide “wound” within the landscape, Swedish artist Jonas Dahlberg’s powerful monument to those lost in the 2011 Utøya terror attacks has won Oslo’s July 22 Memorial competition.

“My concept for the Memorial Sørbråten proposes a wound or a cut within nature itself. It reproduces the physical experience of taking away, reflecting the abrupt and permanent loss of those who died,” described Dahlberg.

Milan Expo 2015: Eight Teams Shortlisted to Design UK Pavilion

Site, prior to construction

Eight multidisciplinary teams have been selected to move forward in the second stage of competition to design the Pavilion for the 2015 Milan Expo. Drawing inspiration from the theme “Grown in Britain: Shared Globally,” the teams will now envision proposals that showcase Britain’s contribution in research, innovation and entrepreneurship to the global challenges addressed by the overarching exposition theme, “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” Presentations will commence mid-April and a winner will be announced in May. View the selected teams, after the break.

GRAFT + penda to Break Ground on Myrtle Garden Hotel

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GRAFT Architects and penda are preparing to break ground on Myrtle Garden Hotel in the outskirts of , China. Nestled on a hillside site within the largest Myrtle Flower Garden in Asia, the wooden annular structure is designed to provide a “soothing harmony between the architecture and its natural environment.” 

Norman Foster’s Ultra-Thin Condominum Tower to Rise Above Seagram Building

610 Lexington Avenue. Image ©

Construction is officially underway on 610 Lexington Avenue, a 700-foot ultra-thin condominium tower designed by Foster + Partners in . Designed as a contrast to its neighboring landmark, Mies van der Rohe’s midcentury Seagram Building, the slim 61-story tower will feature 91 luxury units encased within a pure white glass facade.