Karissa Rosenfield

Daniel Tobin Selected to Design AIDS Memorial in West Hollywood

© Daniel Tobin

The West Hollywood City Council has selected Australian designer Daniel Tobin to build an AIDS memorial for West Hollywood Park. As stated by the non-profit Foundation for an AIDS Monument, Tobin’s of 341 vertical strands “functions as a destination piece — recognizable as an AIDS monument, leaving no question about the work when you leave the space.” It will represent the 5,000 Americans how had died of AIDS-related causes or who are living with HIV.  You can learn more about Tobin’s selection and design, here.

The Principals Install Sound Reactive, Silver-Coated “Quilt” at Neuehouse

© Bryan Derballa

Commissioned by Sonos to create a sound reactive in collaboration with the musician Dev Hynes (aka Blood Orange), The Principals created a 16-foot-tall canopy, 8-feet-wide by 36-feet-long covering the performance and grand stand seating area of the private workspace collective Neuehouse. Inspired by the work of Arthur Rimbaud, chose the name Ancient Chaos, a phrase from his poem Matinée d’Ivresse which speaks to a basic force of wonder within all of us at the hidden patterns of nature. The installation, both a sonic composition and a physical structure, creates sounds that verge on the architectural and architecture that verges on the fluid.

More information and a video of the installation in motion, after the break. 

BBC Ranks Eight Greatest New Museums

Nanjing’s Sifang Art Museum / Steven Holl Architects. Image © Sifang Art Museum

According to the , Frank Gehry’s Biomuseo in Panama City, Steven Holl’s Sifang Art Museum in Nanjing, and BIG’s Danish National Maritime Museum in Helsingør are among the top eight greatest museums recently completed. Do you agree? Let us know which recently completed museums tops your list in the comment section after the break and review the BBC’s complete selection here.

Hashim Sarkis Named MIT’s New Dean of Architecture and Planning

The Courtowers (currently under construction). Image Courtesy of Hashim Sarkis Studios

Hashim Sarkis - a prominent scholar of architecture and urbanism, a practicing architect whose works have been built in the and the Middle East, and a leading expert on design in the Middle East – has been named the new dean of ’s School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P), effective in January. Sarkis is currently the Aga Khan Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism in Muslim Societies at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD). He has been on the Harvard faculty since 1998, and has been a full professor since 2002.

“The energy and forward-looking attitude I have encountered at one of the oldest schools of architecture and planning in the country makes it feel like the youngest,” Sarkis says. Read the complete press release here.

Competition Entry: JHK Architecten + Broekbakema’s Proposal for Rotterdam School of Transport

© WAX

JHK Architecten and Broekbakema have shared with us their competition entry for a higher education school in the field of transport for Rotterdam. The building, envisioned as part of Rotterdam’s transport and logistics district, was inspired by the “distinctive sturdy structures of the port.”

A Shed of One’s Own: An Exploration of Architectural Sheds and Writer’s Bothies

The Bothy Project - Pig Rock Bothy. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Scotland. 2014. Image Courtesy of

As part of the Dylan Thomas in Fitzrovia festivalThe Building Centre is examining the space Dylan Thomas and other writers depend on to create their work. A Shed of One’s Own is a photographic exploration of unique sheds with architectural significance and literary connections. From award-winning studios in Central London to weathered bothies in Scotland, this exhibition explores the importance of space for creativity and inspiration. 

ODA Aims to Bring “Qualities of Private House” to Multi-Family Housing in Brooklyn

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ODA Architecture has shared with us “510 Driggs,” a multi-family residential project that aims to provide residents with the “qualities of a private house” within ’s dense urban landscape. Each of the six-story building’s 100 units will be equipped with a large, functional outdoor space and at least two exposures to maximize light and air.

These Collapsible Paper Models Help Museum-Goers Navigate the Rijksmuseum

Paper Pathfinder. Image © MVO&

Marijin van Oosten of MVO& has revolutionized the way visitors navigate museums: The Dutch graphic designer has designed a collapsible, 3D paper model of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum to help ease visitor confusion through the 19th century museum’s 100 rooms. Dubbed the “Paper Pathfinder,” the innovative concept was awarded a Dutch Design Award this week. 

An image of the Paper Pathfinder collapsed, after the break.

Fentress Releases Final Design for Miami Beach Convention Center

© Fentress Architects

Fentress Architects has released plans for the $500 million redesign of the Miami Beach Convention Center. The news follows the City of Miami’s controversial decision to nix plans provided by OMA, who was originally awarded the commission after a high profile competition against BIG.

Fentress will be working with Arquitectonica and on a significantly scaled-down masterplan that will include the renovation of the 500,000-square-foot hall and 200,000-square-feet of existing meeting space, as well as a new 80,000-square-foot ballroom and outdoor event space.

SCAPE Wins 2014 Buckminster Fuller Challenge with Climate Change Adaptation Plan

© SCAPE

“Don’t fight forces, use them.” - R. Buckminster Fuller

SCAPE’s comprehensive climate change adaptation and community development project, Living Breakwaters has been announced as winner of the 2014 Fuller Challenge, “socially responsible design’s highest award.” Announced by the Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI), the proposal was selected over seven shortlisted humanitarian initiatives and will receive a $100,000 prize for their innovative solution to solve one of humanity’s most pressing problems.

“Living Breakwaters is about dissipating and working with natural energy rather than fighting it. It is on the one hand an engineering and infrastructure-related intervention, but it also has a unique biological function as well. The project team understand that you cannot keep back coastal flooding in the context of climate change, but what you can do is ameliorate the force and impact of 100 and 500 year storm surges to diminish the damage through ecological interventions, while simultaneously catalyzing dialog to nurture future stewards of the built environment,” said Bill Browning of Terrapin Bright Green, a 2014 senior advisor and jury member.

More on Living Breakwaters, after the break.

Frank Gehry Claims Today’s Architecture is (Mostly) “Pure Shit”

© EFE

“Let me tell you one thing. In this world we are living in, 98 percent of everything that is built and designed today is pure shit. There’s no sense of design, no respect for humanity or for anything else. They are damn buildings and that’s it.

“Once in a while, however, there’s a small group of people who does something special. Very few. But good god, leave us alone! We are dedicated to our work. I don’t ask for work. I don’t have a publicist. I’m not waiting for anyone to call me. I work with clients who respect the art of architecture. Therefore, please don’t ask questions as stupid as that one.”

This, followed by the middle finger, was Gehry’s response to a reporter asking the 85-year-old architect how he responds to the critics claiming he practices “showy architecture.”

Originally covered by El Mundo and translated by Gizmodo, the awkward confrontation happened at a press conference in Oviedo, Spain, which Gehry attended to receive the Prince of Asturias Awards for the Arts.

Emotions may have been running high considering this past week Gehry celebrated the opening of the new Fondation Louis Vuitton building which the critics have claimed to be not much more than a “spectacle.”

Studio Gang Reveals 14-Story Residential Tower Planned for Miami Design District

© Studio Gang Architects

Studio Gang Architects has released designs for a 14-story residential tower in the Miami Design District. Anchored by ground floor retail and topped with a resident lounge and swimming pool, the tower will, as the architects describe, “demonstrate Studio Gang’s principle of exo-spatial high-rise design in which the inside extends to the outside in a dynamic spatial arrangement.”

Each of the building’s 76 residential units will frame panoramic views of Biscayne Bay and surrounding Buena Vista neighborhood with Studio Gang’s contemporary reinterpretation of a “ Room.”

Gastro-Architecture: Nicholas Blechman Illustrates Architecture as Food

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Have you ever had the urge to squeeze a lemon on the dome of St. Peters Basilica? Or perhaps, crack a beer with Kohn Pedersen Fox’s “bottle opener”? -based designer Nicholas Blechman has put into illustration what we’ve all been thinking, landmark architecture as the food-related items they resemble. Check out Blechman’s “Gastro-Architecture” series here on the New York Times and preview a couple of our favorites, after the break.

Herzog & de Meuron Designs 205-Meter Tower and Research Center for Swiss Pharmaceutical Company

© Herzog & de Meuron

Herzog & de Meuron has unveiled plans for the modernization of the Roche pharmaceutical company’s headquarters. With the first tower already under construction, the overall vision is to consolidate and update all existing facilities, including a historic Otto R. Salvisberg-designed office building, as well as construct a new, four-tower research center and 205-meter tall office tower by 2022.

“The planned consolidation of the existing industrial site will eliminate the need to build over green zones”, emphasizes Jürg Erismann, Head of the Basel/Kaiseraugst Site. “Instead, Roche will be making more efficient use of those parts of the site that have already been developed but cannot be expanded.”

Studio Gang Breaks Ground on Chicago Writers’ Theatre

Main Entrance . Image Courtesy of

Studio Gang has broke ground on the new home for ’s beloved Writers’ Theatre. Situated on the sloped Tudor Court site of the Glencoe Woman’s Library Club, the glass encased timber structure will be a theatrical spectacle, as the main performance space’s second story catwalk is designed to peer through the transparent facade.

“Our process has been built around the creative team dialogue with Writers Theatre, its audiences, and the community, and we could not be more excited to celebrate this milestone today while looking forward to the ideas that will soon become a built reality in 2016,” said Jeanne Gang. “The design of Writers Theatre’s first purpose-built theatre reinforces their important mission and vision to maximize the feeling of intimacy between actors and audience within the park-like setting of downtown Glencoe.”

New renderings and more information from the architect, after the break.

David Chipperfield, Kengo Kuma and Renzo Piano Among 12 Shortlisted for Sydney Art Gallery Expansion

Art Gallery of NSW. Image © Flickr CC User Jason Starr

Twelve local and international practices have been invited to participate in a two-stage competition for the “ Modern Project,” a $450 million of the Art Gallery of New South Wales (NSW). Five practices from the shortlist, which also includes SANAA, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, and Herzog & de Meuron, will move on to produce conceptual designs in the competition’s final round.

“The Sydney Modern vision for expansion and transformation is much more than just a building project,” stated gallery director Dr. Michael Brand. “Through this invited competition the Gallery is seeking ideas that will create an architecturally ambitious, intelligent, sensitive, sustainable and highly functional design. Our site overlooking Sydney Harbor will inspire each of the invited architectural practices, all of whom have extraordinary design skills.”

The invited architectural practices are…

September ABI Indicates Robust Conditions for US

September 2014. Image Courtesy of CalculatedRiskBlog.com

The American Institute of Architecture (AIA) has indicated a “heightened level of demand for design services” throughout the US. As the latest Architecture Billings Index () reports, all regions and project sectors have shown positive conditions and the September score was 55.2, up from a mark of 53.0 in August. The new projects inquiry index was 64.8, following a mark of 62.6 the previous month.

“Strong demand for apartment buildings and condominiums has been one of the main drivers in helping to keep the design and construction market afloat in recent years,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “There continues to be a healthy market for those types of design projects, but the recently resurgent Institutional sector is leading to broader growth for the entire construction industry.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

Interview: Brian MacKay-Lyons on the State of Architectural Education and the Architect’s Role

Ghost 7 / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects. Image © James Steeves

Brian MacKay-Lyons is the founding partner of MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, a professor at Dalhousie University and the founder of Ghost Lab - the now legendary 2-week summer design/build program that took place on his family farm in Nova Scotia from 1994 to 2011. While relentlessly local, Brian’s work has been recognized internationally with more than 100 , 300 publications and 100 exhibitions. In 2012, the American Institute of Architects recognized the collective work and influence of Ghost with an Institute Honor Award for Architecture.

On August 22nd, 2014 Brian hopped off his tractor and wiped the diesel fuel off his hands to discuss architectural education with Keith and Marie Zawistowski, co-founders of the design/buildLAB at and partners of OnSite Architecture. Here is an excerpt from their conversation, which was originally published on Inform:

Keith Zawistowski: Your contributions to the discipline of architecture have been both in practice and in education. In 1994, you founded Ghost, an international laboratory that influenced all generations of architects with its simplicity and this affirmation of timeless architectural values of place and craft. It was a pretty bold move and it seems for us like it was a direct reaction to your discontentment with academia and the way architects were being educated. Do you still feel that strongly about the state of architecture education and the profession?