Karissa Rosenfield

Redesigning Los Angeles For Long-Term Drought

Los Angeles River (2013). Image © Flickr CC User Steve Lyon

With many of the world’s cities combating drought, it is apparent that channeling water away from populated areas with no intended use is not sustainable. Cities are depending on their “precious rain water” more than ever and, as Arid Lands Institute co-founder Hadley Arnold says, “the ace in our species pocket is the ability to innovate.” We need to “build cities like sponges,” starting with permeable hardscape, drought-tolerant landscaping and smarter plumbing. See what NPR has to say about issue of water treatment and Los Angeles, here.

Six Design Trends Reshaping City Life

48 Urban Garden / AK-A. Image © Nikos Alexopoulos

It is expected that by 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population will live in . However, as FastCoDesign points out, it is unlikely that cities will look the same as they do today. In a recent article, the company outlined six major in 2015 that are shaping city life, including restaurants starting to double as living rooms, healthcare become a retail product and smarter transportation systems. Find out all six trends, here.

NCARB to Assist Brazil with Regulating Architectural Licensure

Courtesy of uia2020rio.org

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has formed an agreement with the Conselho de Arquitetura e Urbanismo do Brasil (CAU/BR) to “exchange information and share best practices” regarding the regulation of architectural and professional standards.

is pleased to be in a position to help Brazil strengthen and solidify its regulatory approach governing architects,” said President Dale McKinney, FAIA, . “We are also excited to learn from Brazil’s activities, including its effective national system of monitoring various aspects of architectural practice.”

OMA Nears Completion of Fondazione Prada’s New Milan Venue

© and Fondazione Prada

When first commissioned by Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli to design Fondazione Prada’s new space in , OMA set out to “expand the repertoire of spatial typologies in which art can be exhibited and shared with the public.” The result, an “unusually diverse environment” staged within a historic 20th-century distillery south of Milan’s city center that goes beyond the traditional white museum box.

MVRDV to Construct Twisting “Hourglass-Shaped” Tower Near Vienna’s Famous Gasometers

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MVRDV has been announced as winner of a two-stage, BAI-backed competition for a new “spatially-flexible” tower with a twisting “hourglass figure” near Vienna’s world famous Gasometers. The 110-meter “Turm mit Taille” (Tower with Waist) was shaped to minimize the effect of the building’s shadow cast onto neighboring buildings and an adjacent metro station.

AJ’s Shortlisted Women Architects of the Year Share Advice for Aspiring Females

© Pollard Thomas Edwards

Architects’ Journal has released the shortlist of their annual Women in Architecture , naming 17 established and emerging practitioners who have raised the profile of women architects “in a sector where women still face an alarming degree of discrimination.” In honor of their selection, the nominees have shared their advice for aspiring female architects. 

See who was shortlisted and find out what they believe takes for women to succeed in the profession of architecture, after the break. 

360 Architecture Tops New Atlanta Stadium with Retractable “Roof Petals”

Courtesy of New Stadium

A fly-through over the new Atlanta Falcons’ stadium has been released, revealing an unprecedented retractable roof designed by 360 Architecture (recently acquired by ). According to the stadium’s official website, the Pantheon-inspired stadium’s “eight unique roof petals” can rotate open in less than eight minutes, much like a “camera lens.” It will also be clad in a translucent ETFE fabric that, when closed, will allow natural light to pass into its interior.

The video, after the break.

AIA Says December ABI Closed 2014 on “Solid Footing”

December 2014 . Image Courtesy of CalculatedRiskBlog.com

Rising from a score of 50.9 to 52.2 in December, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) closed 2014 on “solid footing.” As reported by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), design services continued to increase throughout the majority of last year and all regions, except the Northeast, experienced favorable conditions.

“Business conditions continue to be the strongest at architecture firms in the South and the Western regions,” said Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. , PhD. “Particularly encouraging is the continued solid upturn in design activity at institutional firms, since public sector facilities were the last nonresidential building project type to recover from the downturn.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

George Lucas May Reconsider Los Angeles as Potential Home of Self-Titled Museum

Courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts

Concerns regarding the environmental sensitivity of George Lucas’ proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago has caused the project to halt, and may even prevent it from being realized. According to a suit filed against the museum by the Friends of the Parks, environmentalists believe that the “mountainous” lakefront proposal, designed by MAD Architects, will disrupt the site’s ecosystem.

As reported by the Times, Lucas’ hasn’t given up on Chicago yet. However, considering that Lucas wants to see the museum built within his lifetime, the 70-year-old Star Wars director is starting to reconsider a University of Southern California (USC) campus site in .

Prada Launches FW2015 Menswear in OMA/AMO’s “Infinite Palace”

© Agostino Osio; and Prada

On Sunday, Prada ditched the classic runway to kickoff their 2015 Fall/Winter menswear line in a “disorienting landscape” designed by OMA’s research counterpart AMO. The partitioned catwalk transformed an exiting room inside the Fondazione Prada at Via Fogazzaro 36 in Milan into an intimate series of interconnected spaces affectionately referred to as “The Infinite Palace.”

“The existing room is disguised into a classic enfilade of rooms, gradually changing proportions as in an abstract mannerist perspective. As opposed to a single stage, the new sequence of spaces multiplies and fragments the show into a series of intimate moments,” described .

Mayor Rejects Sou Fujimoto’s Taiwan Tower Over Fears of Soaring Cost

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Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung has temporarily “pulled the plug” on Sou Fujimoto’s ambitious Taiwan Tower, saying he would rather pay a penalty for breaking the contract than spend an estimated NT$15 billion to realize the “problematic” project.

The Banyan tree-inspired tower was hoped to become the “Taiwanese version of the Eiffel Tower,” as well as a model for sustainable architecture by achieving LEED Gold with its energy producing features. Its steel superstructure, which proposed to hoist a triangular section of the Taichung Gateway Park’s greenbelt 300-meters into the air, intentionally had “no obvious form” and was to be perceived as a natural phenomenon.

Shelter Global Launches Dencity Competition 2015

© Shelter Global

Shelter is pleased to invite architects, planners, students, engineers, designers, thinkers, NGOs and organizations from all over the world to take part in the first annual Dencity Competition. Rapid world growth and urbanization is not allowing to adapt and provide for their inhabitants. Towns are quickly growing into , and some of the densest places in the world are comprised of makeshift homes, otherwise referred to as slums. Furthermore, already overcrowded have to absorb people leaving their rural hometown in hope of job opportunities. There are currently over 1 billion slum dwellers in the world. This number is expected to reach 2 billion by the year 2030. Now, more than ever, we need to play a central role in the development of substandard neighborhoods. Slums effect much more than just housing; they affect almost all living conditions and communities as a whole.

The intent of this competition is twofold: to foster new ideas on how to better handle the growing density of unplanned cities and to spread awareness of this massive problem. Contestants should consider how design can empower communities and allow for a self-sufficient future.

A First Look at Omniplan’s Proposed Dallas Holocaust Museum

© Holocaust Museum / Omniplan

The Dallas Holocaust Museum and Center for Education and Tolerance has officially gone public with plans to build a new permanent home in the city’s West End, across from the museum’s current location. Preliminary designs, by Texas-based Omniplan Architects, indicate a modest concrete and weathered steel structure with expanded galleries that would be built on parcel bound by Ross Avenue, Street and the Dallas Area Rapid Transit light. 

Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts Reveals Expansion Plans with Buildings by Steven Holl and Lake|Flato

The Fayez S. Sarofim Campus. Image ©

The Museum of Fine Arts, (MFAH) has released plans for an ambitious $450 million expansion that will transform it into one of the largest art campuses in the US. The 14-acre masterplan will include three new buildings – one by Texas-based Lake|Flato Architects and two others by museum aficionado Steven Holl Architects - connected by a pedestrianized landscape of reflecting pools and gardens.

The first scheduled to break ground (this year) is the Steven Holl-designed, 80,000-square-foot new home for the Glassell School of Art. The L-shaped, pre-cast concrete structure will, as MFAH describes, pride itself as an extension of the campus landscape, featuring a stepped amphitheater that leads up to a walkable, trellised roof garden.

Snøhetta Chosen to Design Le Monde Headquarters in Paris

© Snøhetta

French media company Group has chosen Snøhetta to design their new headquarters in . Clad with a pixelated matrix of glass that offers varying degrees of transparency, the building’s distinct facade will be embedded with clusters of LEDs that project “abstracted levels of data,” symbolically representing the group’s continuous “flow of information.”

“The intention is that the façade gives the building a homogenous character when viewed from distance, but at the same time reveals a greater level of complexity as the view approaches – like headlines and detailed content in a news story,” says Snøhetta. “The façade patterns are intended to represent the building as a complete volume, while the distorted pixel map creates a rich tapestry from inside and out.”

On View in LA: “ZOOM” / Steven Christensen and Mads Christensen

© NO RELATION

Now on view until January 18 at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum in Los AngelesZoom is an installation by the interdisciplinary collaborative NO RELATION, led by architect Steven Christensen and artist Mads Christensen. The project reflects upon the topic of scale, and the exuberant surface qualities one often observes in ordinary objects when magnified. The installation acts as a space multiplier, using form and light to produce an immersive and disorienting spatial experience at a scale seemingly larger than the project’s diminutive footprint.

Vincent Laforet’s Images of New York From Above Will Take Your Breath Away

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Something he has “dreamed of capturing for decades,” Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Vincent Laforet has released a stunning set of images that captures his hometown of New York in a way that has never before been seen. Taken from a nauseating 7500-feet above the city, Laforet’s “Gotham 7.5K” series reveals the unrelenting, pulsating energy that radiates from the Big Apple’s city grid.

All the images and the making-of video, after the break. 

New York’s “City of Dreams” Competition Selects Two Winners

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Two winners have been announced for the fifth annual cycle of ’s “City of Dreams” competition: the “Billion Oyster Pavilion” by locally-based BanG Studio and “Organic Growth” by Izaskun Chinchilla Architects of Madrid and London. Pending approvals and fundraising, both pavilions will be assembled on Governors Island and open to the public for the summer 2015 season. The winning pavilions, after the break.