Ticollage City / Costa Rica Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014

© Nico Saieh

Curated and commissioned by the German architects Oliver Schütte and , ’s first pavilion at the Venice Biennale focuses on a competition-winning project for the new Costa Rican Legislative Assembly, a project which illustrates the “vicious circle of social segregation and spatial fragmentation in the Greater Metropolitan Area of (GAM).”

Read the curators’ description and take a virtual tour of the Costa Rica Pavilion after the break.

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Venezuela Begins Relocation of Thousands Living in Torre de David, the World’s Tallest Slum

Monday night began the relocation process of thousands of inhabitants living in ’s Torre de David (Tower of David), the world’s tallest slum, according to reports by Venezuelan newspaper Últimas Noticias, BBC Mundo and tweets from journalists following the coverage. The relocation initiative is being carried out by the Interior and Justice Ministry, and comes just five days after the announcement that the Venezuelan government is in negotiations with Chinese banks interested in purchasing the building.

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Ideal/Real: The Argentine Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

© Nico Saieh

The Argentine pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale analyzes modernity in terms of the IDEAL and the REAL by looking at how the country has used “ideal” modern ideas to construct the reality of its cities.

The curators, and , structured the exhibit around eight periods, selecting cinema clips to represent the ideal and the real.

Enjoy photos from the pavilion and read the description from the curators after the break.

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OMA to Refurbish Paris Industrial Building for Galeries Lafayette

Exhibition tower, Three configurations, Model 1-100e. Image © / Frans Parthesius

OMA has unveiled its latest design project to blend the worlds of fashion and architecture: the refurbishment of a late 19th century industrial building for French high-end retail group ’s Fondation d’Entreprise, in Paris.

OMA is no stranger to the world of fashion, having collaborated on bold catwalk designs for Prada over the last decade as well as the renovation of a 16th century palazzo in Venice for Benetton. For Galeries Lafayette, a five-story, U-shaped, courtyard building built in 1891 will be transformed into a space for exhibitions and production. Located in Le Marais, one of Paris’ oldest neighborhoods, the architecture is protected under a heritage preservation plan. The building is to be fully preserved, cleaned and restored, and OMA’s design also includes the construction of a new exhibition tower for the courtyard. The tower will contain two sets of mobile platforms that can be split into four independent platforms, adding additional space and flexibility.

See photos and read a project description from OMA after the break.

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Pinup2014′s Competition Winners Showcase the Creativity of Emerging Talent Today

Jury Winner_Emerging talents_AE Superlab_Infinicities. Image Courtesy of The Morpholio Project

The Morpholio Project has just announced the winners of the Pinup 2014 competition. Drawing from an impressive shortlist of finalists, the Jury  – which included participants from Fast CompanyMetropolis Magazine, Columbia GSAPP, and even our very own Editor-in-Chief, David Basulto – has chosen nine outstanding examples of studio, 3D-printed or unbuilt works that exemplify the best of today’s emerging talent.

Amy Azzarito, jurymember and Managing Editor at Design*Sponge ”was impressed by the number of entrants who chose to devote their time and creative energy toward addressing social problems on a global scale, demonstrating an empathetic understanding that as the world grows increasingly smaller, the problems of our neighbors are problems for which we all bear responsibility.”

Duann Scott, jurymember and Designer Evangelist at Shapeways added: ”The breadth and quality of the entrants was truly inspiring, making it very difficult to pick the winners, or to put it better, not pick more to be winners,” said .

Beyond the jury’s picks, a public competition and The Morpholio Project chose five additional winners. See them all, after the break.

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Canary Wharf Development Including Herzog & de Meuron Tower Wins Planning Approval

Herzog & de Meuron’s Residential Tower. Image Courtesy of Group plc

A significant development at Canary Wharf has been approved by planners in London. The scheme, dubbed ‘Wood Wharf’ and consisting of 30 new buildings, was masterplanned by Allies and Morrison and includes a cylindrical residential tower by Herzog & de Meuron, and will provide 3,100 homes, 240,000 square metres of office space, a primary school, a medical centre, a community centre, a hotel, and around 100 retail outlets. Connecting the space will be a 3.6 hectare network of public spaces.

Read on for more on the development

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Condemned to be Modern: Inside Mexico’s Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014

© Nico Saieh

’s pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale is centered on Octavio Paz’s reflections on the contraposition between tradition and modernity. Echoing the request from that the national pavilions focus on the theme Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014, Paz’s writings establish that “…modernity, for the last one hundred years has been our style. It is the universal style. Wanting to be modern seems like madness, we are condemned to be modern.”

Architects Julio Gaeta and Luby Springall use this reflection as the starting point for their curatorial project, designing the pavilion to show two story paths: one traditional and one modern. This concept is executed through the selection of works emblematic of Mexican modernity juxtaposed with works, events and interviews that influence architecture.

Check out photos from the pavilion along with the official text from the curators after the break.

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Capturing Hong Kong’s Dizzying Vertical Density

© Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze

Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze is a French photographer who captures the dizzying heights and uncommon densities of . Inspired by “the geometry of the urban environment and the vivid lives it shelters,” Jacquet-Lagrèze has not only captured the verticality of Hong Kong’s built environment, but also compiled a new book, Vertical Horizon, “a photographic journey between the buildings of a relentlessly growing city.” See more of Jacquet-Lagrèze‘s images, and read an excerpt from Vertical Horizonafter the break.

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Building Skin Developed That Could Cool Our Cities

© Harunori Noda

The urban heat island effect - the hot, overwhelming temperatures that a city’s concrete produces – has a huge impact on livability and comfort within the city. Now, an elegant cooling system has been designed that not only reduces energy usage, but – should it be installed on multiple buildings – could even lower the overall temperature of a city itself. Learn more, after the break.

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Video: A 3-Minute History of Chicago’s Millenium Park

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Did you know Millenium Park in ChicagoIllinois was actually a desolate industrial wasteland until the turn of the century? The 24.5 acre public park, host to a state-of-the-art collection of architecture, landscape design, and art, is now a popular destination for residents and tourists alike — all thanks to an unprecedented public-private partnership pioneered by former Mayor Richard Daley. To learn more about how Daley made Millenium Park a reality, with the help of famous designers like Frank Gehry, check out the video above.

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London Announces Design Competition for ‘Olympicopolis’ Site

The Olympicopolis site is to the South-East of the Olympic Park, near to Zaha Hadid’s Aquatics Centre. Image © Flickr CC User Leo Reynolds

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has announced a new competition for the designs of a cultural quarter next to the 2012 Olympic park. The site has been dubbed ‘Olympicopolis’, and so far has expressions of interest from University College London, University of the Arts , the V&A, Sadler’s Wells Theatre and now possibly – according to the Guardian - Washington DC‘s Smithsonian.

Read on after the break for more details of the competition

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Álvaro Siza’s Archives May Soon Belong to Canada

Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

The archives of Álvaro Siza, whose drawings, sketches, and models have been exhibited in the most renowned cultural institutions around the world, may soon be transferred to the Canadian Centre for Architecture (Centre Canadien d’Architecture, ) in Montreal.

The architect confirmed on Wednesday to Portuguese paper PÚBLICO that he has been “in talks” with the CCA, as well as other un-named institutions from different countries, in order to “decide the future” of his archives.

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16 Reasons to Study at ESARQ-UIC

ESARQ-UIC has a teaching method based on a scalar approach which covers building to landscape design, incorporating all areas of knowledge. This allows the school to produce highly competitive professionals, who are multifaceted, innovative, committed and entrepreneurial and are also able to act as leaders when facing new challenges.

To learn more about the Master and Postgraduate programs offered at UIC, read on…

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Critical Round-Up: The 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize Shortlist

Though O’Donnell + Tuomey’s Building for the LSE is not the bookie’s favourite, many critics feel it is most deserving of the Stirling Prize. Image © Dennis Gilbert

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has now announced the six projects that form this year’s Stirling Prize Shortlist, the award that is the ultimate prize for any British building. As the ’s most publicly prominent award, the Stirling Prize is often a prime demonstration of the tension between architecture that is widely appreciated by the general populace, and that which is lauded by architectural critics and practitioners.

This year is no exception, with perhaps the country’s highest-profile project in years – the Shard - just part of the controversy. What did the critics make of the RIBA’s selection? Find out after the break.

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Emerging Practices in India: SPASM Design Architects

House at Alibaug. Image Courtesy of SPASM

Indian Architect & Builder, through a two-part series titled ‘Practices of Consequence’ (Volumes I and II) delves deeper into contemporary Indian practices that have carved a unique identity and place for themselves in the country today. This article, part of the first volume of the series, takes a closer look at SPASM, a Mumbai-based firm.

An emerging practice, SPASM has a unique and rigorous approach towards architecture. Headed by Sanjeev Panjabi and Sangeeta Merchant, the studio has designed and executed projects of varying scale and character.  Experimental in terms of materiality, technical innovations and construction, SPASM’s architecture is imagined in great detail – both technical and experiential. Their work in both India and East Africa is responsive to the context of its locations. Indian Architect & Builder’s interview with the founders, after the break…

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Smiljan Radic’s Serpentine Pavilion / Images by Hufton+Crow

© Hufton+Crow

studio Hufton+Crow is the latest to capture the 2014 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, designed by Chilean architect Smiljan Radic. Step inside this glass-fibre reinforced plastic shell with Hufton+Crow’s photos after the break.

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Mayor of London Unveils Three Visions for the Future of Heathrow

‘Romance of the Sky’ proposal / Hawkins\Brown. Image © Factory Fifteen

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has unveiled three proposals to redevelop Heathrow Airport into ‘Heathrow City,’ a new town occupying the site that according to one study “could provide 90,000 jobs and 80,000 homes” in West . Developed in parallel with Foster + Partners‘ proposal to create a new airport in the Thames Estuary, the three possible designs are part of a plan that Johnson believes will not only improve the capital’s aviation capacity, but also the quality of living in the area around the existing Heathrow Airport.

The three proposals, by Rick Mather Architects, Hawkins\Brown and Maccreanor Lavington, all take very different approaches to the brief, which was to create a mixed use residential and commuter town, with a focus on education and technology industries. Find out more about the three different proposals after the break.

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Competition: WHO Headquarters in Geneva

Aerial Site

The World Health Organization (WHO, the Commissioning Organization) is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. On 23 June 2014, WHO launched an international, two-stage architectural design competition for the extension and redevelopment of WHO Headquarters in .

French architect Dominique Perrault will preside the jury that also includes Bernard Tschumi, Momoyo KaijimaDiébédo Francis Kéré, and Bernard Kouhry. Registration closes September 19. For complete information, please go to the competition’s official guideline here.