SFMOMA Tops Out

© Henrik Kam

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has topped out its Snøhetta-designed extension, marking the halfway point in the museum’s transformation. Rising behind ’s existing Mario Botta-designed building, the 10-story addition will add more than triple the amount of gallery space, 130,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor galleries, flexible performance art spaces and a dramatically expanded education program for students and teachers upon completion in 2016.

More images after the break…

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New Images Take You Inside ALA’s Helsinki Central Library

Helsinki Central Library. Image ©

Take a tour inside ALA Architect’s Helsinki Central Library with a new animation and set of images revealing the project’s spacious interiors. The project, which was awarded to ALA through an international competition, boasts a unique set of programs, such as a ground floor cinema, second story sauna, “Nerd Attic” and dreamy “Book Heaven” that is topped with a cloud-like undulating roof and includes a distinctive outdoor “Citizens’ Balcony.”

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Spotlight: Peter Smithson

(year unknown)

Peter Smithson (18 September 1923 – 3 March 2003), the acclaimed British architect often associated with New Brutalism, would have turned 91 today. He attended the school of architecture in Newcastle, but left to serve in the war in India and Burma. After returning to complete his degree in 1948, he enrolled in the Royal Academy architecture school. In 1950 he set up his own practice with his wife Alison, and the two went on to become some of the most influential British architects of the mid-20th century.

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ASTOC and HPP Selected to Masterplan Moscow’s New Finance Center

© Team : ASTOC / HPP

ASTOC and HPP have been announced as winners of a two-stage competition to masterplan “New Moscow’s” International Financial Center (IFC) in Rublyovo-Arkhangelskoye. The phased, 460 hectare development will capitalize on the Moscow River’s greenbelt by extending the river landscape throughout the IFC to achieve a balance between and city.

More information, images and a video about the winning proposal, after the break…

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Are Property Developers “Ruining Our Cities”?

Phase 3, Battersea Power Station redevelopment (London). Image Courtesy of Foster + Partners / Gehry Partners

Alongside a number of recent articles that explore the rise of the urban property developer and the subsequent “threat” to the built environment, of The Guardian explores at length how developers are “exploiting planning authorities and ruining our cities.” In discussion with Peter Rees, former Chief Planning Officer for the City of London and responsible for the financial district’s monuments of today, Wainwright discusses the lack of accountability of the vast majority of urban developers. While local councils attempt to secure the next iconic development for their area many planners, authorities and developers are locked in a battle over the built fabric of our cities. Read the article in full here.

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Trading Parking Lots for Affordable Housing

9×18 Scheme © Credit Peterson Rich Office/Sagi Golan via the NYTimes

The cost of living in has skyrocketed over the years, causing one of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s biggest challenges to be the integration of . Considering this, architecture critic Michael Kimmelman has spotlighted a plan that suggests trading parking lots for micro housing units. Envisioned by three young architects at the Institute for Public Architecture, the “9×18” scheme has the potential to transform the city by capitalizing on outdated zoning regulations that would unleash more than 20.3 million square feet of usable space. Read more here on the New York Times.

UK Politicians Invited to Workshop to Learn About Architecture

One possible activity for the workshop includes guided tours of from the Thames. Image © Flickr CC User Donna Rutherford

Oliver Colvile, chairman of the UK‘s All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Excellence in the Built Environment, has proposed that Members of Parliament should be invited to an architecture workshop to improve their understanding of the built environment. The workshop would be jointly run by the APPG and the Farrell Review, and could include activities such as designing a virtual town or an architectural sightseeing tour along the Thames. More on the proposal after the break.

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London Official Confirms that “The Pinnacle” Has Been Scrapped

© via wikipedia

The Pinnacle, the 63-storey tower that would have been the tallest in the City of London‘s central cluster, has finally been abandoned, according to Gwyn Richards, the City’s new head of design. Originally granted planning permission in 2006, the “helter-skelter” design by Kohn Pederson Fox Associates (KPF) was put on hold in 2011 due to financial issues. Now a replacement scheme is in the works which could be revealed in a matter of weeks.

More on the Pinnacle, and its replacement, after the break

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Combo Competitions: Emphasis On The Idea

Courtesy of Combo

Combo Competitions, an organisation founded by Swedish, London based architect Per Linde, organises international idea competitions for architects, designers and students. With a gentle emphasis on the ideas presented in proposals, rather than aesthetics alone, their main driver is to promote design concepts ”where everything comes together to form a whole that is larger than the sum of its parts.”

With the increasing ease in producing “amazing renderings and images,” underling concepts can often be lost – or hidden by – a seductive final image. Combo Competitions seeks to reverse this trend by rewarding an emphasis on “well advised concepts” alongside appearance and presentation. Their latest competition, entitled Hello , invites participants to explore a way of re-introducing nature into people’s consciousness.

Find out more about the competition and hear from Per Linde after the break…

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High-Speed “Skyway” Aims to Shorten Commutes from Brooklyn to Manhattan

© East River Skyway via New York Daily News

New York real estate executive Daniel Levy of CityRealty has unveiled a proposal to connect Brooklyn’s waterfront to with a $75 million “East River Skyway.” According to Levy, the high-speed could shorten commutes to just four minutes and move more than 5,000 people per hour, while relieving congestion on ferries, subways and bridges. “[The Skyway] would be a relatively inexpensive and quickly deployable solution,” said Levy. “It is essential to adapt New York City’s transportation system to serve residents in these booming areas.” Levy will present the project in an effort to harness support at the Brooklyn real estate summit on Tuesday.

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Richard Rogers Honored with Lifetime Achievement Medal

© 2013 Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners LLP

Richard Rogers has been honored with the for his “significant and fundamental contributions to the design industry,” an announcement made as part of the Design Festival in Rogers’ newly completed Leadenhall Building.

“He has played a leading role in designing buildings that made us think again about how we use them and how they function,” stated London Design Festival director Ben Evans. :His eminence is global, and he is part of a golden era of leading British architects who not only reshaped our city but also reshaped the world to some capacity.”

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Obama Shortlists Four Potential Sites for Presidential Library

A proposal for Chicago’s South Side from earlier in the competition by Michael Sorkin (click image for more details). Image © Michael Sorkin Studio

The Foundation has listed four potential sites for Obama’s presidential library and museum: Columbia University, the University of Hawaii, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the Universities considered were selected for demonstrating the ability to develop a strong vision and design a library that could enhance the local economy. Each institution will now work towards refining their ideas and will submit formal proposals by December.

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Al Jazeera’s Rebel Architecture: Episode 5, “Working on Water”

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The latest episode of Al Jazeera’s Rebel Architecture takes us to , where architect Kunlé Adeyemi has designed floating buildings to help solve overcrowding and flooding in the country’s waterside slums. “I am constantly inspired by solutions we discover in everyday life in the world’s developing ,” he says. Yet, despite his studio NLÉ’s easy-to-build, low-cost, sustainable prototype for a floating building, Adeyemi still struggles to get approval for their construction from the local authorities. This 25-minute episode follows Adeyemi as he seeks to implement his floating buildings.

Watch the full episode above and read on after the break for a full episode synopsis and a preview of upcoming episodes…

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Sheila Kennedy Awarded 2014 Berkeley-Rupp Prize

. Image Courtesy of UC Berkeley

Shelia Kennedy has been awarded the 2014 , a $100,000 prize presented biannually to a “distinguished practitioner or academic who has made a significant contribution to promoting the advancement of women in the field of architecture, and whose work emphasizes a commitment to sustainability and the community.” Kennedy is a principal of Boston’s KVA Matx and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s first-ever female Professor of the Practice of Architecture who is internationally renowned for her explorations of material innovation in the fields of architecture and urbanism.

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INABA to Construct “New York Light”

© INABA

Jeffrey Inaba’s practice INABA has been selected as the first-ever winner in the Flatiron Plaza Holiday Design Competition with Light. Organized by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute, the inaugural installation will be constructed in front of the famous Flatiron Building for the duration of the 2014 winter season.

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ArchDaily Editors Select Our Favorite Projects in Mexico

Today is Mexico’s Independence Day and in celebration of this national holiday we wanted to recognize the great tradition of modern and contemporary architecture in the country. We asked the editors of all our sites – ArchDaily, Plataforma Arquitectura, ArchDaily Mexico and ArchDaily Brasil - to select their favorite architecture projects in . From Barragan to Rojkind, check out our round-up below, originally published on our sister-site ArchDaily Mexico.

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Three-Team Shortlist Selected to Redevelop LA’s Convention Center

© Wikimedia CC User Cbl62

The Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering has selected three teams for the next phase of the competition to redevelop and expand the Los Angeles Convention Center. The teams, consisting of AC Martin + LMN; Gensler + Lehrer Architects; and HMC + Populous, will now receive $200,000 to develop detailed proposals to be submitted on December 8th.

However, according to The Architect’s Newspaper, the redevelopment of the Convention Center outlined by the brief is not yet guaranteed to happen; with the city under contract with AEG to build a football stadium on a portion of the site until October 18th, the Convention Center’s Executive Director Bud Ovrum confirmed that, if the city can secure an NFL team by then, the stadium is still the city’s first choice.

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BIO 50: Ljubljana Marks 50 Years of Design Biennales with “3, 2, 1… TEST”

Courtesy of BIO 50

From the organizers: On Thursday, 18 September 2014, more than 120 designers and multidisciplinary agents descend upon Ljubljana for the opening week of BIO 50, the Biennial of Design. Over the course of four days, they will unveil the results of a six-month long collaborative process, offering perspectives on possible futures for design. The for best collaboration will be presented by the BIO 50 jury comprising industrial designer Konstantin Grcic, design critic Alice Rawsthorn and designer and professor Saša J. Mächtig. Before the opening, the talk with Alice Rawsthorn, Justin McGuirk and Jan Boelen will be organized.

Brought together by the experimental framework that shaped BIO 50, eleven groups tackled the themes of Affordable Living, Knowing Food, Public Water Public Space, Walking the City, Hidden Crafts, The Fashion System, Hacking Households, Nanotourism, Engine Blocks, Observing Space and Designing Life, creating specific projects to be implemented during the Biennial and beyond.

Following a period of intense research, where collaboration and learning were fundamental values, the outcomes are widely diverse, ranging from a series of household appliances developed under the same principles that shape open-source software to a garden pavilion developed with the local residents to encourage new discussions about food. Other outcomes include a performative experiment that challenges the way one experiences walking in the city, as well as a multipurpose engine that doubles as a survival tool in a dystopian vision of the future.

BIO 50 runs from September 18th until December 7th in . For more information on the event, click here