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Karissa Rosenfield

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Heatherwick's Garden Bridge to Represent London's Horticultural History

New images of Thomas Heatherwick's recently approved Garden Bridge depicts how it will look once built in 2018. With 270 trees, 2,000 shrubs, hedging plants and climbers, over 22,000 perennials, ferns and grasses and 64,000 bulbs planted on the bridge, the lush river crossing will take pedestrians through London's horticultural history, "from wild marshland to cultivated gardens," as the Garden Bridge Trust reports. Five distinct landscaped areas, created by landscape designer Dan Pearson, will span the bridge's 6000 square-meters of open space and represent the capital city's plant cultivation from centuries past. 

Vote for Your Favorite Atlanta Bridgescape Proposal

Five finalists have emerged in the Atlanta Bridgescape Competition. The urban design challenge, which was launched earlier this year, sought creative ideas to enhance two existing freeway overpasses in the city's Midtown and Downtown districts. Now in the competition's final phase, the finalists have refined their ideas, taking in consideration a budget of up to $3 million for each project. The proposals are now undergoing public review and you are invited to vote for your favorite design as part of the People’s Choice Award. Read on to review each proposal and find out how to vote. 

A winner will be announced this Friday, May 15 at the AIA's 2015 National Convention. 

Finalist C: "Illuminated Gateway" at Midtown's 10th Street Bridge . Image Courtesy of Atlanta Bridgescape Competition Finalist B: "(SIN)UOSITY" at Midtown's 10th Street Bridge . Image Courtesy of Atlanta Bridgescape Competition Finalist D: "Organic Canopy" at Downtown's Courtland/McGill Bridge. Image Courtesy of Atlanta Bridgescape Competition Finalist D: "Organic Canopy" at Downtown's Courtland/McGill Bridge. Image Courtesy of Atlanta Bridgescape Competition

MVRDV to Transform Abandoned Highway in Seoul into Lush Skygarden

MVRDV has won a competition to transform an abandoned elevated highway next to Seoul's Central Station into a 938 meter-long skygarden. The ambitious project, dubbed the "Seoul Skygarden," aims to "build on the city's ambition to be greener, more attractive and more user-friendly," while acting as a catalyst for the surrounding neighborhoods. 254 species of trees, shrubs and flowers will take over the overpass, creating a unique "library of plants" organized according to the Korean alphabet. Even more, the skygarden will cut pedestrian commutes to the station by more than half, reducing the walk from 25 to 11 minutes. 

© MVRDV © MVRDV © MVRDV © MVRDV

Open Call: Dear Architecture

Blank Space has launched "Dear Architecture" - an open competition that explores one of the most important communication tools of all time ­ the simple letter. Designers and architects worldwide are invited to address architecture, as a concept, as a social practice, and as a community, in no more than 500 words, and with an illustration as an auxiliary tool to convey the message.

Open Call: Peace Corps Host National Competition for Washington DC Memorial

The Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation (Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation">PCCF) is sponsoring a two-stage, national design competition to select an artistically exceptional design concept for a permanent commemorative work in the heart of Washington DC. This competition will provide designers from all across the United States an opportunity to create a compelling work of public art that will be bold and inspirational. The design should focus on and express American ideals and values that are the essence of the Peace Corps and Peace Corps service. It should be about America and our aspirations as a people, and about the Peace Corps as a manifestation of those aspirations. Submissions are due June 12, 2015. More information can be found here

BIG and Heatherwick Trudge On with Googleplex Plans

"Google now has to convince its hometown that its intentions are non-evil," commented Bloomberg Businessweek's Brad Stone on "Building Planet Google." Referring to the City of Mountain View's decision to award land to LinkedIn over Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick's proposed Googleplex in fear of becoming a "one-corporation town," Stone details the backstory of the futuristic plans and how the architects haven't given up yet. "Neither us or Heatherwick are in the business of producing a pretty painting,” Ingels said to Stone. Read the complete story here.  

Renzo Piano Designs New Handbag Inspired by the Whitney Museum

Renzo Piano has designed a limited-edition handbag for the Italian fashion brand Max Mara to match his newly completed Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. The leather, top-handle bag, inspired by the "pure design and sophisticated materials" of the Whitney, features distinct ribbing inspired by the museum's facade.

"Our aim was to apply one of the most characteristic elements of the museum project - the facade - to the bag: hence the idea of the modular strips enveloping the exterior," said Piano in an interview with Max Mara. "We tried to maintain a simple, pure design, working only on the details by applying a creative use of technology and placing the accent on respect for the materials."

Open Call: THINK public SPACE

The Think Space program serves as a platform for spatial experimentation and conceptual thinking. In 2015, THINK SPACE is conducting an international, public, anonymous, single stage, conceptual architectural – urbanistic idea design Competition under the topic THINK public SPACE. The focus of this Special Edition of Think Space will be directed on urban public space. Within the project Zagreb for Me, the Think Space Competition will strive to seek out solutions for present-day public spaces on conceptual and theoretical levels with the potential of realization of the selected competition projects in the public spaces of Zagreb, Croatia. Read on to learn more. 

The Learn'd: A Film About the Poetry of Light and Space at KAAN Architecten's Education Center

The Learn'd, a short film directed by Victor Vroegindeweij (The Office for Nonfiction Storytelling, Hazazah Pictures), captures the poetry of light and space within KAAN Architecten's Education Center. Part of the Rotterdam academic hospital Erasmus MC, the center was once an abandoned atrium that was transformed into an "enlightened inner square" that united all the building's medical student programs under a single roof.

Poll: Who Will Design Obama's Presidential Library and Museum?

On Tuesday, the Barack Obama Foundation is expected to officially announce its decision to build Obama's presidential library and museum in Chicago. With two sites under consideration - Washington Park or Jackson Park - speculation has now shifted towards the architect. Who will design the  Presidential Library and Museum?

Will it be David Adjaye, the London-based, Tanzanian-born architect who designed the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture (which will complete next year)? Or how about one of the city's leading architects: Jeanne Gang, Helmut Jahn, Ralph Johnson or John Ronan? Perhaps it will be Philip Freelon; as the Chicago Tribune's Blair Kamin points out, Obama made a recent visit to a library he designed in Washington DC. Some are even considering Renzo Piano; Michelle Obama seemed to have a deep appreciation for his newly constructed Whitney Museum when she spoke at its dedication ceremony a few weeks back.

With all this to bear in mind, who do you think will design the  Presidential Library and Museum? Answer a poll after the break. 

Heatherwick and PlanGrid Featured on Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business List

Thomas Heatherwick and PlanGrid co-founder Tracy Young have been ranked in Fast Company's top 100 Most Creative People in Business list for 2015. Topped by an ASU professor who is fighting ebola with tobacco, the list features some of the world's most powerful creatives, including Google VP Rajan Anandan, who's working to get everyone online, and 3D printing pioneer Jennifer Lewis of Materials Lead.

Coming in at number 24, Heatherwick is being lauded for "collapsing the walls within design," says FastCo. Working on projects of all scales, from the London Olympic cauldron to a proposed $130 million floating park in New York, Heatherwick's practice is often labeled as "multidisciplinary" - a misconception challenged by Heatherwick, who told the magazine his work falls under "one discipline: solving functional problems and trying to make a difference."

Michelle Tianhui Chen Wins Robert A.M. Stern's 2015 RAMSA Travel Fellowship

Michelle Tianhui Chen, a Master's candidate at the Yale School of Architecture, has won Robert A.M. Stern Architects' $10,000 RAMSA Travel Fellowship. With the award, Chen will travel to India where she will study the architectural shift from a diverse fabric of expressive design languages to a politically and ethnically neutral vocabulary.

Davis Brody Bond to Expand Baltimore's National Great Blacks in Wax Museum

Davis Brody Bond's plan to expand Baltimore's National Great Blacks in Wax Museum has been approved. As the Baltimore Business Journal reports, the $75 million overhaul hopes to foresee a significant increase in attendance, bringing in more than 500,000 visitors annually. 

A destination for both tourists and locals, the expanded museum will open itself to the surrounding community beyond normal operating hours. It will house a multi-purpose space, retail, orientation theatre, changing gallery and educational programs as well as the museum and a bus drop-off on the main thoroughfare. 

© Davis Brody Bond © Davis Brody Bond Courtyard. Image © Davis Brody Bond Roof. Image © Davis Brody Bond

Renzo Piano's First US Residential Tower to Rise in New York

According to the New York Post, Renzo Piano has been commissioned by Michael Shvo and Bizzi & Partners to design his first US residential tower. Planned to rise in the southern Manhattan district of Soho at 100 Varick Street, the Piano-designed tower will include up to 280,000 square-feet of housing and reach nearly 300 feet. Featured amenities include a "gated private driveway" and "automated parking." Stay tuned for more details. 

Travelbox Combines Essentials for Living In A Portable Box

Permitting travel on a budget, the architects of Juust have designed a compact "Travelbox" that consolidates all the essentials - bike, bed, table, chair and storage. Beautifully constructed from wood and clad in aluminum, the clever arrangement brings the comfort of home to wherever life may lead you. 

"In its closed position it is rigid, efficient, and ready to endure the inevitable bumps of international travel. Upon arrival the Travelbox can be unfolded to instantly transform your new abode into a comfortable home," says Juust.

© Juust © Juust © Juust © Juust

ArchDaily Founders to Discuss Globalization and "Going Viral" at AIA Convention 2015

A week from today the 2015 AIA National Convention will kickstart in Atlanta, Georgia. With a plethora of options to consider, we encourage those attending to sign up for the hour-long discussion "Going Viral: Blurred Borders and Globalization." Presented by ArchDaily co-founders David Basulto and David Assael, and organized by the AIANY Global Dialogues Committee, "Going Viral" will discuss how you can take your practice (and profits) to a global level. The discussion will occur at 5PM on Friday, May 15th. Sign up for the course here, using the code "FR418."

BIG and Heatherwick's Futuristic Google HQ Proposal Loses to LinkedIn

Google's ambitious plans to expand its California headquarters in Mountain View took a major blow last night when council members announced their decision to award LinkedIn three-quarters of the North Bayshore area site. With just 500,000 square-feet of area to work with, Google would only be able to construct one of its four proposed buildings.

Unveiled earlier this year, the company's futuristic "Googleplex," designed by BIG and Heatherwick Studio, gained international attention for its outlandish plans to build four Lego-like buildings beneath a cluster of translucent canopies.

As The New York Times reports, LinkedIn won the council over by promising to "preserve business diversity."

Henry N. Cobb Awarded Architectural League President's Medal

The Architectural League of New York has awarded its President's Medal to Henry N. Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects. The League's highest honor, the medal was awarded to Cobb “for the truly consequential work he has created as designer, educator, thinker, writer, and leader,” says the jury citation.

"We are inspired by his decades-long passion for the art of architecture; by his analytic rigor, manifest in subtle and articulate buildings and penetrating readings of history and place; by the broad and profoundly informed humanist culture that suffuses his writings and approach to education; and by the unbounded curiosity and delight he takes in new ideas, new work, and new talent. Henry N. Cobb embodies that combination of capability and conviction—artistic, intellectual, practical, and civic—that defines the ideal architect.”