A New, Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Blade Runner Model Shop

Image via Imgur

It’s a well-known fact that architects, almost without exception, love the 1982 film Blade Runner. Architects also love scale models. So what could possibly be more exciting than seeing photos of the model shop of the film? Enter this Imgur album of 142 photos from behind the scenes, posted earlier this week by user minicity. After the break, check out our selection of images of the Tyrell Corporation’s imposing pyramidal fortress, among other things, under construction.

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6 Takeaways From NYMag’s Article On Calatrava’s $4 Billion WTC Station

© Bedel Saget/The New York Times

Ask any person involved in the construction of Santiago Calatrava‘s World Trade Center Transportation Hub, and they will probably admit that the world’s most expensive train station has not been a PR success. In fact things have gotten so bad that a recent article by Andrew Rice for New York Magazine describes the gradual opening of the building later this year as coming “at long last and great cost, to both the government and his reputation,” adding that “a decade ago, Calatrava would have made any short list of the world’s most esteemed architects. Today, many within the profession are aghast at what they see as his irresponsibility.”

But, unlike much of the press coverage that has greeted Calatrava in recent years, the New York Magazine article is much more forgiving, taking the time to investigate the twists and turns of the project’s controversial 12-year history and offering the architect the opportunity to give his side of the story. Read on after the break for a breakdown of six takeaways from the article.

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Peter Stutchbury Awarded Australian Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal

/ Bay House. Image © Michael Nicholson

The 2015 Australian Achievement in Architecture Awards have been allocated by the Australian Institute of Architects in Melbourne. The prestigious awards honor emerging and seasoned architects, students, and academics whose interdisciplinary designs have excelled in embracing the possibilities of the profession. Granting 14 awards in 9 categories, the recipients’ work spans a wide range of subject matter and addresses various aspects of architecture’s inherent influences both locally and globally.

The highest award, the Gold Medal, was awarded to Peter Stutchbury, whose lifelong commitment to architecture has spanned education, professional practice, and involvement in organizations. His international work consistently speaks to its specific cultural and site conditions, while adhering to sustainable design principles.

See all the 2015 award winners, after the break.

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New Readings Of Space: Placing Pools Of Oil Inside A Baroque Abbey Church

© We Find Wildness

This sculptural , created by Swiss artist Romain Crelier, was exhibited at Bellelay Abbey in 2013. Although the structure dates back to the 12th century, the current Abbey Church of the Assumption was built by Franz Beer in a Vorarlberg Baroque style and completed in 1714.

Almost three hundred years later Crelier’s piece, entitled La Mise en Abîme (which roughly translates to, ’to have put into an abyss’), placed two shallow pools of used engine oil to act as reflective mirrors. These ‘puddles’ “allow the viewers to interact with the architecture of the church by being pulled into the reflection so that they, in turn, become part of the sculpture themselves.” According to We Find Wildness‘ interpretation, “the installation not only dispenses multiple visual thrills and mysteries but also offers a moment where sculpture creates another reading of space.”

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February ABI Reports “Nominal Increase” in Design Activity

February 2015 ABI. Image © CalculatedRiskBlog.com

The US Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has returned to a healthy state, recovering from its first negative score in ten months. Showing a “nominal increase” in design activity, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported February’s ABI at a score of 50.4, up from a mark of 49.9 in January. The new projects inquiry index was 56.6, down from a reading of 58.7 the previous month.

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

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Female Architects Earn 20 Percent Less Than Male Architects in US

Source: Table of 2013 American Community Survey estimates, U.S. Census Bureau

In 2013, there were 145,439 full-time, year-round architects in the United States - roughly 31,000 of which were women. Making up just over 21 percent of the workforce, these women were on average paid just 80 percent the salaries of their male counterparts, according to the latest statistics released by the US Census Bureau. This means the median income for male architects was $14,877 more than female architects. 

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AZPML and SHARE Selected to Design 115-Meter Viennese Office Tower

© SBDA

AZPML and SHARE architects have won a competition to the design a new prominent office tower in Vienna. The building, Schnirchgasse 11 “aims to strike a balance between a distinctive identity for the complex and an efficient operation, both in terms of flexibility of use and environmental performance,” by taking on a rhomboidal shape derived from the site’s geometry and shade conditions.

More about the competition-winning scheme, after the break.

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RSHP Wins Planning for Massive LSE Redevelopment

© RSHP

The Westminster City Council has granted Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners planning permission for their competition-winning scheme to redevelop part of The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) campus. The largest project in the school’s 120-year history, the “Center Building Redevelopment” plan will replace an existing cluster of buildings along Houghton Street – Clare Market, The Anchorage, the East Building and part of St. Clements – with a modernized, sustainable and multifunctional academic building.

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Synthesis Design + Architecture Utilizes Gradient 3-D Printing in “Durotaxis Chair”

© IMSTEPF Films

Los Angeles-based practice Synthesis Design + Architecture has created a 3-D printed chair which uses the latest gradient technology to apply different material properties to different parts of the chair. Originally asked by leading company Stratasys to design a piece that would not be possible without utilizing , chose to go one better, designing a chair that would not be possible without the Stratasys Objet 500 Connex3, which is capable of combining a range of material properties into a single print run.

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View All 1,070 Entries for UNESCO’s Bamiyan Cultural Centre Competition Online

Winning Entry: Exhibition Space. Image Courtesy of UNESCO

Last month the UNESCO office in Afghanistan, in collaboration with the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture, announced the winning design for the Bamiyan Cultural Center. An Argentina-based team, led by Carlos Nahuel Recabarren alongside Manuel Alberto Martínez Catalán and Franco Morero, was selected from 1,070 design entries from teams in 117 different countries. Now, all of these submissions will be posted in an online gallery on the Bamiyan Culture Centre website for the next three months. “The competition achieved beyond expectation and contributed to portray a new and positive image of the culture sector in Afghanistan. This exhibition aims to showcase the extraordinary effort that the architectural community and each and every applicant put into this competition,” writes UNESCO.

With generous financial aid from the Republic of Korea, the culture center will be built on land adjacent to the Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of Bamiyan World Heritage property. The center aims to promote art, history, music and community interaction. When evaluating the submissions the seven-member jury focused on “design principles emphasizing innovation, community needs, environmental consciousness, sustainability, and connection to the natural and cultural landscape of the Bamiyan Valley.”

Read on after the break for a round-up of images from some of the most interesting, unusual and unique proposals. You can search by ID number, Team Leader or Country to view the full project board with descriptions, renders and plans on the online gallery.

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4 Fantastical Projects Take Top Honors in 2015 Fairy Tales Competition

First Place: “EMPTY” / Zigeng Wang. Image ©

The 2015 Fairy Tales competition, hosted by Blank Space, has drawn to a close with four winners and 11 honorable mentions emerging victorious. Now in its second year, the competition attracted over 1,200 entries from 65 countries and challenged participants in a number of fields to design architectural projects inspired and accompanied by fictional stories.

Check out the winning designs after the break.

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Fresh Bid To Save Robin Hood Gardens From Demolition

© Steve Cadman

It has been reported that ’s Robin Hood Gardens housing estate, which was thought to be finally condemned in March 2012, has re-entered a state of flux due to governmental indecision. The former Culture Secretary, Andy Burnham, gave the housing scheme an immunity from listing certificate in 2009, meaning that no concerned party could bid for it to gain protected status under British law. This certificate, designed to ensure that the buildings would be swiftly demolished, has now expired. This has led the Twentieth Century Society (C20) to launch a new bid for the estate to be both saved and protected.

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David Adjaye Unveils Major Residential Development Planned for Johannesburg

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Adjaye Associates has announced plans to transform a 17-floor post-modernist structure in Johannesburg’s central business district into a luxury mixed-use building that will be known as the “Hallmark House.” Scheduled for completion mid-2016, the project aims to “combine an African aesthetic with a contemporary vision” and form a new typology for urban living.

“The transformation of Hallmark House is an opportunity to apply fresh thinking to urban community and to address changing lifestyles with a more fluid approach to the way we inhabit cities,” says David Adjaye.

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Populous Wins Competition to Design Bristol’s £90 Million Arena

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Populous has been chosen to design the “UK’s most sustainable arena,” the new £90 million Bristol Arena. Selected ahead of Grimshaw, IDOM, White Arkitekter and Wilkinson Eyre, Populous will now work with Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and Buro Happold to realize their winning, “crystalline” venue. 

“Our design for Bristol Arena is unique,” says Populous principal Nicholas Reynolds. “It delivers a world-class live concert venue for 12,000 fans, and with seamless conversion the atmosphere and intimacy of a 4,000 seat amphitheater.”

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FR-EE Among 6 Shortlisted to Envision Atomic Energy Pavilion in Russia

Site. Image Courtesy of ROSATOM

Six teams have been shortlisted in stage-two of a competition to develop ideas for Russia’s “Atomic Energy Pavilion” in Moscow. Planned for a site at the Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy, the pavilion is intended to share the “history of the native nuclear industry” and its “contribution into modern economic development” as well as provide an open “communication forum” for the ROSATOM and the general public.

The six finalists are…

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4 Teams Shortlisted In Nine Elms Bridge Competition

Courtesy of Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership

Four teams including Hopkins Architects, Amanda Levete‘s practice AL_A and two separate teams from Ove Arup & Partners have been shortlisted in the competition to design a new in London spanning the Thames from Nine Elms to Westminster. The competition for the £40 million bridge, part of the dramatic new developments at Nine Elms and Battersea, made headlines last month when all 74 entrants were released to the public.

Read on after the break to see the entries from all four teams

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Share Your Tactical Urbanism Ideas with MoMA

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Along with rapid urban expansion comes uneven growth - one of the largest threats that face our society. Determined to combat this issue, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) sparked an international debate with the opening of Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities. The exhibition, a culmination of a 14-month initiative, highlights emergent modes of tactical urbanism from around the globe that offer ideas on how to mitigate inequality and preserve livability within an increasingly-expanding world. 

Now, at the height of Uneven Growth, MoMA wants you to join the conversation. No matter how small or modest your intervention may be, MoMA is encouraging the public to contribute examples of tactical urbanism – “bottom-up interventions that aim to make more livable and participatory” – on the exhibit’s online forum. All submissions will be considered for inclusion in the exhibition’s presentation at the Venice Biennale 2015: Ideas for Change. Submit your idea, here. 

Artefacts Under Attack: What Has Been Damaged And To What Extent?

Buddhas of Bamiyan (1963, 2008). Image Image via Wikipedia

In an article for the Financial Times (FT), writer and historian examines world conflict zones and the efforts to protect some of the world’s most vulnerable architectural and cultural sites. If history is a measure, then Schama’s study of William “Basher” Dowsing – an Englishman who, in the winter of 1643, “made it his personal mission to obliterate as much as he possibly could of sacred art in the churches and colleges of East Anglia” in the name of religion – is pertinent now more than ever.

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