Basel-based Harry Gugger Studio and Boston’s over,under have collaborated to design the Museo Maya de América, Central America’s largest museum of Maya artifacts and culture. Planned for a prominent site at the Northern edge of L’Aurora Park in Guatemala City, the $60 million project will be the “capstone” to a “cultural nexus”, which will eventually include the Children’s Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art within the city’s largest recreational open space.
Seattle’s Olson Kundig Architects has been tapped to design The Kirkland’s new headquarters in downtown Denver, just a block from Daniel Libeskind’s Denver Art Museum and Allied Works’ Clyfford Still Museum. The commission, which is expected to cost “tens of millions,” will double the museum’s gallery space and be used to display Colorado’s largest repository of art that includes a collection of 15,000 objects by Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Gehry, Andy Warhol, Eero Saarinen, Philip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe.
New Zealand has appointed Auckland architect David Mitchell to serve as creative director and lead the country’s first participation at the 2014 Venice Biennale. Bridging from Rem Koolhaas’ theme, “Fundamentals”, Mitchell plans to exhibit New Zealand’s tradition of pacific-style architecture and light timber construction through a series of models.
“We’re going to show off some of the most unsung architecture in the world, our Pacific architecture,” described Mitchell. “It’s an architecture made out of poles, beams and panels and not out of heaps of rocks, bricks and tiles.”
Richard Meier & Partners has unveiled the “Reforma Towers,” a 40-story, mixed use development planned for Mexico City’s historic Paseo de la Reforma. Comprised of two high-rise towers, clad in Meier’s signature white concrete, the new development will bring high end office, hotel, and retail space, as well as restaurants and a fitness center to the city’s distinguished Boulevard upon completion in 2015.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected 18 recipients for the 2014 AIA Young Architects Award. Defined as professionals who have been licensed ten years or fewer, regardless of their age, the “young architects” will be honored for making significant contributions to the profession and providing exceptional leadership early in their careers. All recipients will be presented the award at the AIA 2014 National Convention and Design Exposition in Chicago.
BIG has released plans, alongside collaborators HKS and Michael Diggiss Architects, of a luxury, mid-rise condominium at the Albany Bahamas resort. Located on the south coast of New Providence Island, “The Honeycomb” will offer 34, 3,000 to 8,000 square foot apartments, each complete with a private outdoor pool and summer kitchen integrated into the structure’s hexagonal-shaped facade.
In response to the climbing potential of Polur, Iran, New Wave Architecture has designed a new rock climbing hall within the rocky lands of Mazandaran. Overlooking the country’s highest peak, the “fragmented mass” invites nature and landscape to “visually creep into the building” to offer daylight and establish a strong connection between climbers and the surrounding landscape.
NBBJ has unveiled a 250-meter-high, two-tower campus that will become Tencent’s main headquarters at the Shenzhen High-Tech Industrial Park upon completion in 2016. As the world’s third-largest internet corporation, and 2013’s most innovative Chinese company according to FastCo, Tencent hopes the new campus will serve as a vibrant workplace for an expanding workforce of 12,000 employees.
London-Moscow-Tbilisi-based practice Architects of Invention has completed a proposal for the Russian Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo as a part of the Expo’s Herzog & de Meuron-designed masterplan. Designed to evoke the connotation that Russia is one of the biggest agriculture exporters in the world, the pavilion “Russia: The Fields of Growth” will contribute to the Expo’s theme of “Feeding the Planet”, and at the same time introduce a dynamic and powerful image of the modern Russia that originates in the country’s great past.
When commissioned to design a church in Cebu, the oldest urban center of the Philippines, Carlos Arnaiz of CAZA hoped to create a “scared place that embodied the contemporary search for meaning.” Inspired by the world’s diversity, Arnaiz, together with his colleagues, envisioned the Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod, the “Church of 100 Walls.” Symbolic of “commonality and difference,” the church represents the many paths one may take through life and invites visitors to explore its many, distinct spaces made up of 100, uniquely-sized walls.
Foster + Partners has released new images of their revised, 19-story luxury condominium tower planned for West Chelsea in New York. Named after its address, 551 West 21st Street, the cast-concrete and glass structure plans to open its 44 residences, and three penthouses, to occupancy in the Fall of 2015.
schmidt hammer lassen architects, in collaboration with Thomas Chow Architects, has won a commission to design a new Island School in Hong Kong. Envisioned as a “sustainable learning landscape,” the 28,000-square-meter, state-of-the-art facility aims to promote optimal learning through flexible classroom spaces and by establishing a deep connection with the surrounding landscape and local community.
Following consistently increasing demand for design services throughout most of 2013, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has posted its first consecutive months of contraction since May and June of 2012. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the December ABI score was 48.5, down from a mark of 49.8 in November. This score reflects a decrease in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 59.2, up from the reading of 57.8 the previous month.
More highlights from the December ABI, after the break…
The Mayor of Lyon, France, has unveiled plans for a dense, mixed-use district planned for the Lyon Confluence. Masterplanned by Herzog & de Meuron, in collaboration with landscapist Michel Desvigne, the 35-hectare scheme will be the first plot developed in the second phase of a larger regeneration initiative that aims to “double the city-center” by reclaiming a massive, post-industrial site on the city’s central peninsula. Once complete, the second phase, known as “Ilot A3”, will provide more than 2,000 homes in a lush residential park and vibrant “market quarter.”
d3 has unveiled the 2013 winners of Unbuilt Visions, a competition designed to “promote critical debate about architecture and design by acknowledging excellence in unbuilt projects.” Get a glimpse of the four grand prize projects, which were awarded $750 each for their winning contributions, and the eleven special mentions after the break.
“A New Online Marketplace for Mobility,” an innovative proposal by city planner Philip Parsons and mobility expert Federico Parolotto that aims to optimize mobility in megacities, has been named the first participant in the Audi Urban Future Award 2014. Selected from a shortlist of three, the winners will now assemble a team of urban designers in order to pursue their visionary idea. Read more about their winning proposal, here.