Vanessa Quirk

Vanessa Quirk, the manager of editorial content at ArchDaily, is a writer who hails from New York. She studied English and Music at the George Washington University and Oxford University. When she's not thinking about the latest in Architecture and Urban Planning, she's either cooking or singing - often simultaneously. LinkedIn / @vmquirk

Ricardo Bofill’s Winning Proposal for the The Noble Qur’an Oasis Competition

Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura and Gerber Architekten have tied for first place in a competition to design a cultural and civic Islamic center in Saudi Arabia, beating several well known international competitors, including Zaha Hadid Architects and gmp Architekten. The ultimate winner will be announced at a later date.

Ricardo Bofill‘s proposal for the center, which is meant to foster the research, study and transmission of the Qur’an, takes geometric inspiration from traditional Islamic cities:

“The first Islamic city had a circular plan, with all spaces being enclosed in the circle representing the symbol of unity and the ultimate source of diversity in creation. This traditional city, or rather the idea of this city, serves as the base and the essence for the creation of the Islamic modern city. Such a background has led us to choose a circular concept as the main representational shape of the project for The Noble Qur’an Oasis. This unique civic and cultural landmark, with its sleek, minimalist design, is a symbolic container where the Islamic science and culture will be displayed.”

Read the architect’s description of their design, after the break.  

BIG Maze Opens at National Building Museum

© Matthew Carbone, www.matthewcarbone.com

Images and video of the BIG Labyrinth have begun to appear on social media since it opened on July 4th at the National Building Museum (NBM)  in Washington, DC. 

The 61×61 foot maze, housed in the building’s grand atrium, will be open to visitors until September 1st. See more images and video, after the break…

Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize to Celebrate the Best Built Works in the Americas July 9

Courtesy of MCHAP

This July 9th, the winners of the inaugural Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) – for which 36 outstanding projects have been shortlisted - will be announced in Santiago, Chile. Our editor-in-chief, David Basulto, has been named a founding member of the International Advisory Council of MCHAP, and will be covering the event. Read on after the break for details of the event.

ArchDaily, Fast Company, CLOG, and More to Lecture at “Viral Voices III: Globalization” in NYC

The AIANY Global Dialogues Committee has dedicated this year to “(dis)Covered Identities.” The theme aims to explore ways by which cultures, cities, and voices define or refine their identities through a global exchange of ideas and conversations covering multiple topics, perspectives and trends of our time. “Viral Voices” will specifically explore the impact of social media, technology, and device culture on our design process and the way we practice. How do we shape a global conversation?

Greg Lindsay, contributing writer for Fast Company and co-author of Aerotropolis with David Basulto and David Assael of will come together for a lecture discussing the relationships between social media and the profession. Following the lecture, Robyn Peterson from Mashable, Jaime Derringer from Design Milk, Diana Jou from the The Wall Street Journal, Rafi Segal from MIT Architecture / Architect/Blogger, Mark Collins from The Project | The GSAPP CloudLab, and Kyle May from Clog will join the speakers for a panel discussion. Visit http://aianyglobaldialogues.blogspot.com/ for further information.

ArchDaily Editors Select: Our Favorite Projects in the USA

Happy 4th of July! To celebrate the ’s Independence Day, our editors have selected their favorite projects located in the , from architecture classics to extraordinary newcomers. Enjoy them all, after the break!

Call for ArchDaily Interns: Fall 2014

 is in need of a select group of awesome, architecture-obsessed Interns to join our team for Fall 2014 (August- December)! If you want to spend your days researching/writing about the best architecture around the globe – and find out what it takes to work for the world’s most visited architecture website – then read on after the break…

PinUp 2014: Finalists Announced!

Some finalists in the Pinup2014 Competition

The Moropholio Project has just announced the finalists in the Pinup 2014 competition for outstanding studio, 3D-printed or unbuilt work from today’s emerging talent.

The Winner(s) will be selected by the Jury, which includes participants from Fast CompanyMetropolis Magazine, Columbia GSAPP, and even our very own Editor-in-Chief, David Basulto. However, a public competition “EyeTime” will also decide a winner; to vote for your favorite entrant, please download the competition app here.

Browse all the finalists here!

VIDEO: How The Living’s Mushroom Tower Was Built

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Our friends at The Creators Project have shared with us an awesome video of the latest MoMA PS1 installation: Hy-Fi. Designed by , who have – in a fascinating move – recently been acquired by Autodesk, the tower’s many organic, biodegradable bricks are grown from a mushroom root in five days, with no energy required and no carbon emissions. In fact, the tower will be composted after MoMA PS1′s summer program is over. Learn more about this ingenious tower from the creator David Benjamin in the video above. And check out more images of the tower after the break.

Copenhagen Hospital Draws Competition Entries from Snøhetta, Mecanoo, & More

Bispebjerg Hospital . Image Courtesy of http://www.bispebjerghospital.dk

After choosing British firm BDP to design its masterplan (over proposals from Mecanoo and seven others), Copenhagen’s Bispebjerg hospital has now announced the all-star shortlists of firms who will compete to design two of the hospital’s new buildings.

The “New Hospital and Mental Health Bispebjerg” is a complex 10-12 year project involving the construction of new buildings, the preservation/renovation of listed buildings, and the mergers of the current Frederiksberg and Bispebjerg Hospitals and the Mental Health Centre Copenhagen with the Children’s Mental Health Centre Bispebjerg. All construction will occur while the hospitals remain in operation and at full capacity.

Learn more about the project – including the architects vying to design its new buildings – after the break.

London Design Museum’s Design of the Year: Heydar Aliyev Center / Zaha Hadid Architects

© Hufton + Crow

Zaha Hadid’s Heydar Aliyev Center has beaten out seven shortlisted designs to win  Design Museum’s Designs of the Year Awards. The shortlisted proposals - from a portable eye examination kit to Volkswagen’s XL1 CAR – will remain on view at the museum through August 25.

Not only is Ms. Hadid the first woman recipient in the Awards’ seven year history, but the center is the first architecture project to be lauded: ”It’s beautiful, it’s inspiring, it’s the clear vision of a singular genius and we thought it was a remarkable piece of work,” jury member Ekow Eshun noted.

Other nominated architecture projects included: NLE Architects’ Makoko Floating SchoolThe Turbulences FRAC Centre by Jakob + Macfarlane Architects, and the interior remodeling of the St. Moritz Church by John Pawson. See more stunning images of the Heydar Aliyev Center here.

Smiljan Radic’s Serpentine Pavilion / Images by Danica O. Kus

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Architecture photographer Danica O. Kus has shared with us images of the 2014 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, designed by Chilean architect Smiljan Radić. For a closer look at this unusual pavilion, inspired by Oscar Wilde’s short story The Selfish Giant, check out all of Ms. Kus’ images after the break.

What Moscow Can Learn from Barcelona, Berlin, Amsterdam, & London: A New Series from the Strelka Institute & Fundació Mies van der Rohe

Clockwise: Barcelona (© Marcella/Flickr.com), London (© mariusz kluzniak/ Flickr.com), Amsterdam (@dbasulto / Instagram), Berlin (via strelka.com).

The for Media, Architecture and Design in partnership with the Fundació Mies van der Rohe have launched an exciting program of discussions and workshops titled: «Rethinking Europe – European experience in the city development»

The series, which, as part of the Strelka Institute’s summer program, will run from the June 30 to July 29, invites representatives from the architectural and urban planning communities of Europe’s four largest cities – Amsterdam, Berlin, Barcelona, and London – to discuss how their city’s approaches to urban development could be applied to urban territories in Moscow. Learn more about this fantastic series, after the break.

OMA / Ole Scheeren’s “The Interlace” Nabs Inaugural CTBUH Urban Habitat Award

The Interlace by OMA / Ole Scheeren. Photo ©

, the organization best known for its Tall Building Awards, has announced the winner of its inaugural Urban Habitat Award: OMA / Ole Scheeren’s The Interlace in Singapore. The jurors, including Studio Gang Architects‘ Jeanne Gang, praised the apartment complex, which includes communal gardens and spaces on the roofs and in between the apartment blocks, for responding to its tropical context and “integrating horizontal and vertical living frameworks.” 

CTBUH Jurors also recognized Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ NEO Bankside as a finalist. Read more about the The Interlace and NEO Bankside, after the break.

Iwan Baan to Judge Avant Guardian Photography Contest

Makoko, Lagos, Nigeria (Featured: Makoko Floating School by NLE Architects). Image © Iwan Baan

s reintroducing its famed Avant Guardian photography contest, a competition that has helped launch the careers of many photographers. Surface editors and a star jury – featuring international photographer Iwan Baan, along with Johan Lindeberg, Klitos Teklos (Air Paris), Benoit Lagarde (Splashlight), and Keren Sachs (Offset) – will select 10 finalists. Finalists’ work will be showcased in Surface’s October 2014 issue and in a traveling exhibition.

To inspire you to apply, we’ve rounded up some stunning images of Iwan Baan. Enjoy – and remember – the deadline for submissions is Thursday July 24th at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time!

3XN Chosen Over Windgardh, Arkitema to Design University Building in Sweden

Courtesy of

3XN has won an architectural competition – beating out WingårdhArkitema DotChristensen & CoJuul/Frost, and White – to design a new educational building for Mälardalen University in Eskilstuna (southwest of Stockholm, ). The project not only includes a new 18,250 square meter building, but also the renovation of a listed Modernist Public Bath Paul Hedquist. The new campus is planned to be ready in 2018. Read the architect’s description of the winning project, after the break.

Fernando Guerra’s Stunning Images of Álvaro Siza’s Most Inspiring Works

Alvaro Siza. Image © |

Today, the renowned Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza turns 81. To celebrate, we’ve rounded-up some of Siza’s most inspiring works, all courtesy of Fernando Guerra and Sergio Guerra – FG + SG.

Siza was born in Matosinhos, Portugal, in 1933. His first work was built in 1954, before Siza had even completed his studies at the School of Fine Arts at the University of Porto (now Faculty of Architecture, University of Porto – FAUP).

MCHAP Shortlists the 36 Most “Outstanding Projects” in the Americas

Wiel Arets, Dean of the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and Dirk Denison, Director of the (MCHAP), have announced the inaugural MCHAP shortlist – 36 “Outstanding Projects” selected from the 225 MCHAP nominees.

“The rich diversity of these built works is a testament to the creative energy at work in the Americas today,” said Arets. “When viewed alongside the innovative work by the MCHAP.emerge finalists and winner, Poli House by Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen which we honored in May, we see the evolution of a distinctly American conversation about creating livable space.” See all 36 winners after the break.

Video: “about architecture_without capital letters” / Alejandro Beautell

As part of “Time Space Existence” at the Venice Biennale — the exhibition which has brought over 100 architects, including Norman Foster, Eduardo Souto de Moura, and Ricardo Bofill, together — the young Spanish architect, Alejandro Beautell, presents the installation: “about architecture_without capital letters.”

Beautell’s video, which explores his recent works completed in the Canary Islands (including 2014 Building of the Year, St. John Baptist Chapel), provokes the viewer to consider the essence of architecture, smaller scales, and the tradition inherent in the architectural profession.

Enjoy the video above and make sure to revisit Beautell’s stunning Building of the Year, the St. John Baptist Chapel.