In Defense of Santiago Calatrava

Florida Polytechnic Sciencie, Innovation and Technology Campus. Image © Alan Karchmer for Santiago Calatrava

In recent years, few architects have had a tougher time in the media than Santiago Calatrava. Whether it’s his repeated legal battles over leaking roofs and peeling facades, the unceremonious death of his Chicago Spire project, or the media firestorm over his New York Transportation Hub that is $2 billion over budget, Calatrava has become a poster boy for those who criticize the supposed arrogance of today’s architects. However, in an engaging article for FastCo Design, Karrie Jacobs responds to what seems to be “a concerted effort to shore up his reputation,” coming to the defense of this “unreconstructed aesthete.” Read the article in full here.

BAG Transforms Wooden Pallets into Temporary Space Observatory

© Anita Baldassari

Rome-based firm Beyond Architecture Group (BAG) has designed “experimental furniture” – dubbed Looking (C)up – for the Frammenti Music Festival at the Archaeological Park in Tusculum, . The firm, known for building houses with bales of straw, chose to craft an astronomical observatory with wooden pallets.

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Could Smart Cities Slowly Destroy Democracy?

Songdo, South Korea, was built along the "" template. Image © Wikimedia User G43

Has the concept of the smart city ”crystallised into an image of the city as a vast, efficient robot?” In the age of the “Internet of Things,” where does the citizen fit in? In this article from The Guardian, journalist Steven Poole takes a critical stance against the purported utopian ideals of smart . Poole delves into the nuances of who the smart city is truly meant to serve, questions the debate over whether it should develop along a top-down or bottom-up approach, and poses the provocative thought: “a vast network of sensors amounting to millions of electronic ears, eyes and noses – also potentially enable(s) the future city to be a vast arena of perfect and permanent surveillance by whomever has access to the data feeds.” Questions of control, virtual reality, free-will, and hierarchies of power, Poole asserts are critical to the discussion of technology’s powerful role in the future. Read the full article to learn more about the possible potential of the smart city to “destroy democracy,” here.

Artist Uses Gehry’s Concert Hall as Canvas in LA Philharmonic Concert Series

Courtesy of Refik Anadol

The first week of December marked the beginning of the LA Philharmonic’s concert series. The multimedia series will incorporate images playing in sync with the performance, creating an immersive new way to experience the music for concert-goers. The first of these performances was the collaborative work of conductor Esa-pekka Salonen and artist Refik Anadol in an audio-visual rendition of Edgard Varèse’s Amériques. Using audio analysis and Kinect motion capture software to record Salonen’s movements while conducting, Anadol has created a stunning set of moving images that capture the very spirit of Varèse’s work. Learn more about this fascinating project, after the break.

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Interior Renders of Robert AM Stern’s 520 Park Avenue, NYC’s Most Expensive Apartment Building

© 2014 Zeckendorf Development LLC via 520parkavenue.com

This news article was originally published by 6sqft.

Robert A.M. Stern‘s 520 Park Avenue has already been called “the next 15 Central Park West,” and like its Stern predecessor, 520 is an ultra-luxury development with a stately façade wrapped in stone. Set to be completed in 2016, it will rise 51 stories high, but contain just 31 units, one of which is the $130 million penthouse, the city’s most expensive apartment. And though most of the attention has been on “the greatest apartment on the Upper East Side,” the fanfare has now shifted to the first batch of interior renderings for the building.

520 Park’s full website is now live, and not surprisingly, the residences have classic layouts, impressive Central Park views, and a host of high-end amenities.

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Open Call: Chicago Architecture Biennial Lakefront Kiosk Competition

Courtesy of Architecture Biennial

The Chicago Architecture Biennial announces the Lakefront Kiosk Competition, organized in partnership with the Chicago Park District and the City of Chicago. In keeping with the mission of the , the Lakefront Kiosk Competition is an opportunity to support innovative architectural work and to use the city—more specifically, the iconic shoreline of Lake Michigan—as a laboratory for architectural experimentation.

The competition calls for the inventive design of a new kiosk that will be installed on Chicago’s lakefront, one of the city’s most vibrant public spaces. A jury of architects, curators, and city representatives will select one winner to receive the BP Prize, which includes an honorarium for design development and a construction budget to realize the design.

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King George III, an Aspiring Architect

George III, Sketch of a palace floor plan, 1785-9. British Library Maps 7.TAB.17. Image Courtesy of British Library

Not sure if “manic” can be classified as an architectural style, but that is what some are choosing to describe the newly discovered, hand-drawn floor plans of a grand place envisioned by King George III. According to the British Library, the King was “passionately interested” about architecture and drew plans for a future living quarters in Kew – now a district in West – during a time when he was suffering from severe mental illness in the late 1780s. Learn more about the King’s vision for a grand palace, here.

Studio Gang Behind Supertall Tower Planned for Chicago

© City of

The City of Chicago has officially linked Studio Gang Architects to the massive mixed-use “Wanda Vista” development planned to rise alongside the Chicago River. A trio of interlocking supertall towers, the $900 million riverfront project is expected to become the city’s third tallest building.

According to the Chicago Tribune’s Blair Kamin, the tallest part of the skyscraper will reach 1,148 feet and 88 stories, one story less than rumors originally indicated, stirring speculation that the final count has something to due with its Chinese developer and “eight” being considering a lucky number in China.

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32 “Discarded” Guggenheim Proposals You Should Know About

The search for a design for Helsinki’s new Guggenheim Museum is well under way. Over a thousand entrants submitted anonymous proposals for the harbor-side museum, and though six finalists have now been chosen, the incredible wealth of talent and effort present in the submissions is hard to ignore. We celebrate that talent here, showcasing 32 great designs-that-could-have-been for the Guggenheim. Learn more about all of them, after the break!

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Garden Bridge Gains Final Approval From Mayor of London

©

London Mayor Boris Johnson has approved plans for the Thomas Heatherwick-designed Garden Bridge. The approval from the mayor is the third and final green light for the bridge, having previously been accepted by both Lambeth and Westminster councils. The project is now likely to begin construction within a year – in line with a self-imposed deadline by the Garden Bridge Trust that will allow them to complete the project before works on the proposed Tideway Tunnel cause disruption on the site.

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Alessandro Mendini Awarded the European Prize for Architecture

Museo del Casalingo -Forum Megna, 1996. Image Courtesy of Chicago Athenaeum Newsletter

Italian architect, philosopher, architectural theorist, visionary and design practitioner, , has been selected to receive the 2014 European Prize for Architecture. Awarded annually by the European Centre for Architecture, Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, the aims to recognize “influential architects that have changed and challenged the direction of contemporary architecture today and who have blazoned a more humane and intellectual approach to architecture.”

“Not since Frank Lloyd Wright has the world seen a more theory-driven and profound-thinking architect than Mendini,” said Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, the Museum President of the Chicago Athenaeum, in a press release.

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RIBA Future Trends Survey Reveals A Dip In UK Workloads

Courtesy of

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for November showed that confidence in workload among UK architects fell back slightly with the workload index returning back to +29. This is compared to +37 in October, which was the second highest ever balance figure. The highest balance figures were in Northern Ireland (+50) and the North of England (+46), areas with the RIBA state “were initially the slowest to indicate a return to growth.” In addition, the percentage of respondents reporting that they had personally been under-employed remained at 12% for the second month running – the lowest figure since the survey began in January 2009. Practices report that they are currently employing 6% more year-out and post Part II students than they were twelve months ago.

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Milan Expo 2015: Russia to Exhibit Expansive Timber Pavilion

Courtesy of Eventica Communications

has released designs for their participation at Milan Expo 2015. Taking in consideration Russia’s most successful world EXPO pavilions, of which the country has been producing since 1851, and the importance of “green technologies,” SPEECH has designed an expansive 4000-square-meter timber structure with a pronounced roofline that features a mirrored canopy extending 30-meters over the pavilion’s main entrance.

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ArchDaily’s 22 Most Popular Pinterest Pins

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We have just surpassed 100,000 followers on Pinterest! To celebrate, we would like to share with you the 22 most pinned images of all-time by our ArchDaily readers.

For those of you who have yet to join , we suggest you consider, as it is a marvelous way to visually organize inspiration and information. Just take a look at one of our many “boards;” from “stairs” to “interiors,” we promise to continually provide your Pinterest feed with new and inspiring work. 

Take a look at the 22 most popular ArchDaily pins on Pinterest, after the break. Happy pinning!

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Davis Brody Bond and KieranTimberlake Chosen to Design NYU Facility

US Embassy in London / Architects

As the culmination of a five-month selection process, (NYU) has announced that Davis Brody Bond and KieranTimberlake will be designing its major new facility along Mercer Street between Houston and Bleecker in New York. The facility’s many uses will include classrooms, teaching spaces for performing arts, a state-of-the-art sports facility, and student and faculty housing.

Collectively, the team was chosen for its high profile portfolio, which includes projects like the 9/11 Memorial Museum, the U.S. Embassy in London, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the 1983-2006 restoration and expansion of the New York Public Library.

Images Revealed of Zaha Hadid’s First Project in Brazil

© METHANOIA

Images of Zaha Hadid’s first project in Brazil – and in South America — have been revealed. The “Casa Atlântica” tower will have eleven floors and a rooftop pool and be built in Copacabana, , according to local paper O Globo.

Located on Atlântica Avenue, “Casa Atlântica” will be the only building on its lot, yet seeks to complement the surrounding environment and neighborhood.

The project was commissioned by businessman, Omar Peres, who acquired the land for R$ 23 million ($8.5 million).

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Spotlight: David Chipperfield

in 2012. Image © Flickr CC user Bruno Cordioli

Born and raised in London in 1953, British architect David Chipperfield‘s career has spanned decades and continents as an architect, designer and professor. Since 1984, he has been at the helm of David Chipperfield Architects, an award winning firm with over 180 staff at offices in London, Berlin, Milan, and Shanghai. Chipperfield is an honourary fellow of the American Institute of Architects and Germany’s Bund Deutscher Architekten, and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2004. In 2012, Chipperfield curated the Venice Biennale of Architecture under the theme Common Ground. Most recently, Chipperfield was named Artistic Director of Italian design brand Driade.

Read more about Chipperfield’s career and projects after the break

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Video: Alison And Peter Smithson On Housing

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In 1970 the followed architects Alison and Peter Smithson through the construction of their seminal housing project, Robin Hood Gardens (). The impact of their architecture continues to resonate well into the 21st century, most recently in the British Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale. Robin Hood Gardens was demolished in 2013, bringing an end to the Smithson’s utopian vision. Listen to Alison Smithson explain the European Housing Condition (as the vision stood in 1970), the state of British infrastructure as it was, and hear Peter Smithson discuss the impetus for their most famous collective housing project.

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