Latest Details Released on Koolhaas’ Venice Biennale 2014 “Fundamentals”

Elements of Architecture Stair – Models at the Friedrich Mielke Institute of Scalology. © . Image Courtesy of la Biennale di Venezia

UPDATE: In a press conference on Monday, Venice Biennale director Paolo Baratta and curator Rem Koolhaas expressed their commitment to using the event to highlight “things that architects can’t ignore.” These “Fundamentals” get back to the basic inventions of modernity, thus individual exhibitions will look to the “elementary particles of architecture.” Paying special attention to the developments of the past century, Baratta and Koolhaas hope that the event will serve as “a reference point and source of inspiration for architecture.”

The Biennale website has posted new images and an expanded description of the Biennale and its events:

Fundamentals consists of three interlocking exhibitions – Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014Elements of Architectureand Monditalia – that together illuminate the past, present and future of our discipline. After several architecture Biennales dedicated to the celebration of the contemporary, Fundamentals will look at histories, attempt to reconstruct how architecture finds itself in its current situation, and speculate on its future.”

Read on to learn more about architecture’s most celebrated exhibition.

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Smiljan Radic to Design 2014 Serpentine Pavilion

© 2014 Smiljan Radic Studio

Joining the ranks of Sou Fujimoto (2013), Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei (2012),Peter Zumthor (2011),Jean Nouvel (2010),SANAA (2009),and more, little-known Chilean architect Smiljan Radic will be the fourteenth architect to design ’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. Renderings of his design reveal a semi-translucent, cylindrical structure that rests on large quarry stones.The pavilion, to open June 26th, will remain in Kensington Gardens for four months.

Although Radic has constructed little outside his home country, his work has gained attention due to its versatility and attention to context. If you’re unfamiliar, we recommend checking out Mestizo Restaurant, which similarly incorporates stone into its design, as well as his most recent. Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director, of the Serpentine Galleries explained their choice: “We have been intrigued by [Radic’s] work ever since our first encounter with him at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2011 [sic]. Radic is a key protagonist of an amazing architectural explosion in Chile. While enigmatically archaic, in the tradition of romantic follies, Radic’s designs for the Pavilion also look excitingly futuristic, appearing like an alien space pod that has come to rest on a Neolithic site. We cannot wait to see his Pavilion installed on the Serpentine Gallery’s lawn this summer.”

More info and images after the break…

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It’s Time to Quit Architectural Competitions

In an interesting article for the Architects’ Newspaper, Marshall Brown explains why competitions are bad for architecture (both the business and design) and challenges his fellow architects to kick the habit. While competitions used to drive architectural innovation, he says they have become little more than “fantastic and relatively affordable publicity” for the developers who commission them, with competition masters such as BIG driving “an arms race of gigantic object-scape.” You can read the full article here.

Winners of the 2014 Civic Trust Awards Announced

Aalborg Waterfront / C.F. Møller Architects. Image © Jørgen True

The Civic Trust Award scheme, established in 1959 to recognise “outstanding architecture, planning and design in the built environment”, has revealed their 2014 recipients. The thirty one projects, ranging from urban masterplans on the former 2012 Olympics site to a waterfront landscaping project in Aalborg, have all been recognised for their “positive contribution to the local communities that they serve.” See all of the recipients of the 2014 award here.

Elkiær+ Ebbeskov and Leth & Gori Win Competition for Multifunctional Sports Centre

© Bloom Images. Image Courtesy of Elkiær+ Ebbeskov /

Danish architects Elkiær + Ebbeskov (E+E) and Leth & Gori have won an invited competition to design a large multifunctional sports building in Langvang, Denmark. Competing against teams led by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter, CEBRA, COBE and Kontur, their winning proposal features a combined sports hall and community centre consisting of a series of multifunctional arenas for activities and events. The scheme also includes a masterplan of the surrounding area centered around sports and recreation.

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Michael Kimmelman Wins 2014 Brendan Gill Prize

Penn Station, Re-Imagined. Image © Diller Scofidio + Renfro

The Municipal Art Society (MAS) of has announced Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman as winner of the 2014 Brendan Gill Prize, a cash award presented annually to the creator of a specific work that “best captures the spirit and energy of New York City.” Kimmelman is being recognized, as President Vin Cipolla described, for his “insightful candor and continuous scrutiny of New York’s architectural environment” that is “journalism at its finest.” See why they singled out his coverage on the challenges of Penn Station, here.

Álvaro Siza + Juan Domingo Santos Design “New Gate of Alhambra”

Alhambra Atrium I Ivy Courtyard (Northwest Landscape View). Image © Vieira + ; Rendering by LT Studios

Commissioned after winning an international competition in 2010, Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Viera and Granada-based Juan Domingo Santos have unveiled designs for a new entrance and visitors center at the Alhambra World Heritage site. A result of “superimposing a regular geometry over a territory of topography,” the new gate rearranges visitor access into the more than 1000-year-old monument through a series of enclosed, shaded courtyards and open, sunlit terraces.

Following to his experience at the Alhambra in 2009, Siza journaled about his envision for the new gate, stating: “…from bright sun to shadows, from warmth to coolness, from wide to intimate focus, I like to dream about my project before I set it down in any detail.”

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Happy Birthday to Us: ArchDaily Turns 6!

Dear readers,

Six years ago, was nothing more than a little blog, started by two architecture grads with dreams. Six years later, and beyond all our expectations, we’re the most visited architecture website in the world, with over 300,000 daily readers and a staff of over 50 people working throughout the world — on both ArchDaily and our fast-growing local versions: ArchDaily BrasilArchDaily México and Plataforma Arquitectura (and a fourth coming soon!).

To celebrate these six amazing years, we’ve cooked up a doodle (see above), an ArchDaily original Infographic telling our story, and a post looking back at our 20 Most Visited Projects of All Time. Stay tuned for all of these throughout the day!

And of course, we’d like to use this occasion to thank you, ArchDaily readers. You’ve meant everything to us these past 6 years, and we’d love it if you could tell us what we’ve meant for you. So please share your thoughts in the comments below!

And have a very happy ArchDaily birthday!

The ArchDaily Team

A Collection of Striking Soviet Bus Stop Designs

Pitsunda, Abkhazia. Image Courtesy of herwigphoto.com

Over a decade ago on a cycling trip across Europe, photographer Christopher Herwig stumbled upon a curious phenomenon that would become his obsession for years: bus stops. Curiously for a regime usually associated – both architecturally and otherwise – with uniformity and with sameness, the bus stops built by the Soviet Republic display remarkable diversity and creativity. Herwig made it his mission to photograph as many of these remarkable structures as possible, travelling through Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Russia; Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and KazakhstanUkraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Abkhazia.

Now complete, Herwig has launched a Kickstarter to turn this remarkable collection of photographs into a limited edition book, which he describes as “the most mind-blowing collection of creative bus stop design from the Soviet era ever assembled.” Check out some of the images after the break.

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Imagine 2020: Denver Launches Arts-First Public Policy

Screen shot from Cristobal Palma’s documentation of Denver’s Biennial of the Americas 2013 exhibition. Click the image to view.

The City of Denver has launched “Imagine 2020,” a pro- cultural plan that will pave the way for more city-wide “art opportunities” over the next seven years. According to the Denver Post, this initiative will include the revision of “plans, permits and codes” to allow for more installations, offer small micro-art grants for residents and neighborhoods, and establish large public gathering places throughout the city. You can learn more, here.

Ines Lobo Wins 2014 arcVision Women and Architecture Prize

Francisco Rodrigues Lobo Secondary School / Inês Lobo Arquitectos. Image © Leonardo Finotti

Portuguese Architect Ines Lobo has won the second edition of the arcVision Prize – Women and Architecture, an international social architecture award instituted by the Italcementi Group. Commended by the jury for being a “versatile architect,” Lobo has built a reputation for “creatively attacking complex architectural problems” at a variety of scales “within the existing urban fabric.”

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Venice Biennale 2014: Full List of National Participants Revealed

A few hours ago in Venice, Rem Koolhaas presented his curatorial vision for “Fundamentals” in a live-streamed opening press conference. As we reported last year, “Fundamentals” will focus on architecture rather than architects and history rather than contemporaneity. Koolhaas will not just curate an exhibition of his own, but will be coordinating the “collective effort of all national pavilions.”

This year’s exhibition features the participation of 65 countries–including 11 first-time participants (Azerbaijan, Côte d’Ivoire, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, New Zealand and Turkey). See the complete list of national participants–which includes collaborations with , Hans Ulrich Obrist, FAT, Iñaki Ábalos and others–after the break.

Click here to see all of ’s previous coverage of the 2014 Venice Biennale. And stay tuned… we’ll be bringing you on-the-ground reports from Venice when the Biennale launches in the first week of June!

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Foster + Partners’ New York Public Library Redesign in State of Limbo

© dbox, Courtesy of

Foster + Partner’s controversial renovation plans for the (NYPL) are currently in a state of limbo while the city decides their course of action. Foster’s proposal for the 20th century Carrère and Hastings “masterpiece” on 5th Avenue is a response to the cultural shift from traditional stacks to online resources, as the library has experienced a 41% decrease in the use of collections over the last 15 years. 

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Calatrava’s World Trade Center Transit Hub Fails to Impress

© , LLC

“How can a $3.94 billion building be made to look cheap?” A small part of Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center Transportation Hub has been opened to the public, and the critics aren’t impressed. According to the New York Times’ article by David Dunlap, the buildings “chunky fixtures” and “rough workmanship” “detract from what is meant to be breathtaking grandeur.” Read more, here.

SketchUp 2014 Incorporates BIM Capabilities

Courtesy of Trimble

Trimble Buildings Group have recently released SketchUp 2014, the latest version of its 3D modelling platform for architects, engineers, design and construction professionals. With “more than 30 million unique activations in the past year”, is claimed to be the most widely used 3D modeling software in the world today. The latest incarnation of the simple tool features a new 3D Warehouse and some interesting integrations into the world of Building Information Modelling (BIM).

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UC Davis Selects SO-IL to Design New Art Museum

Courtesy of

UPDATE: SO-IL has broken ground on UC Davis’ new campus art museum. Completion is slated for 2016. 

The University of , Davis has selected emerging New York-based practice SO-IL to design a new campus’ art museum, which is envisioned to be a “regional center of experimentation, participation and learning.” SO-IL, selected from three finalists following an intensive five-month design competition, will collaborate with San Francisco-based Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and national construction firm Whiting-Turner to complete the project.

UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi believes the winning design has turned the traditional notion of museum design inside out, as SO-IL’s concept will engage visitors with a sequence of interconnected interior and exterior spaces that are defined by curved glass walls and capped with a 50,000 square foot steel canopy. At night, the “Grand Canopy” will illuminate from within, establishing a new focal point for the campus and beckoning drivers along Interstate 80 between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe.

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Designs Unveiled for London’s Natural History Museum Urban Redevelopment

Team 1. Image Courtesy of Natural History Museum

Following the news last year that five teams had been shortlisted to redesign and reimagine the grounds of London’s iconic Natural History Museum (NHM), five anonymous concept images have been unveiled. The brief called for proposals to “reshape the Museum’s grounds and reinvigorate its public setting” with an aim to creating “an innovative exterior setting that matches Alfred Waterhouse’s Grade I listed building and the award-winning Darwin Centre for architectural excellence, whilst also improving access and engaging visitors.”

Read on to see the competing teams, including individual concept images from , Stanton Williams and Feilden Clegg Bradley.

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OMA’s Latest Prada Catwalk: A Stage Punctuated with Geometric Pockets

© Agostino Osio / OMA

For the last decade, OMA / AMO have collaborated with to design their conceptually daring catwalks. We have images of the latest, designed for Milan’s Week, just after the break. For more on this collaboration, you should check out OMA’s website as well as Wallpaper‘s awesome article on how these catwalk collaborations have evolved throughout the years.

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