Gather Around ArchDaily’s 12 Most Welcoming Fireplaces on Pinterest

House Müller Gritsch / AFGH © Valentin Jeck

Along with the holidays often comes many nights sitting fireside with good company. As Frank Lloyd Wright said, ”the hearth is the psychological center of the home.” This is why we have decided to start a new Pinterest board entirely dedicated to the hearth. Take a look after the break. Happy pinning! 

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Architects Send Their Season’s Greetings and Holiday Wishes

Pedra Silva Architects

It’s becoming a yearly tradition for us to share the greetings we’ve placed on the proverbial ArchDaily mantle. We’ve received dozens of well wishes from architects in all corners of globe. See them all after the break (or check out our reader-submitted cards). Happy

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Hello Wood’s Budapest “Charity Tree” Built from 5,000 Logs

© Dániel Dömölky

Made from 5,000 pieces of firewood, Hello Wood’s “Charity Tree” installation stretches 11 meters high, 4.5 meters wide and weighs 150 quintals (15,000 kilograms).  Hello worked with Design Terminal and the Hungarian Interchurch Aid to build the tree in one of Budapest’s central squares, and all of the firewood used in the temporary installation will be given to families in need in January.

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Confectionary Constructions: Architectural Icons Made From Gingerbread

Tate Modern, London, by food artists Caitlin Levin and Henry Hargreaves in production. Image © Henry Hargreaves/Caters News Agency

Guardian Cities have put together ”the best of baked architecture” in a countdown of their favourite confectionary constructions. See London’s Tate Modern rendered in precisely cut slabs of gingerbread alongside the curved shapes of New York City’s Solomon R. Museum. Alongside these, food artists have been more inventive by building Paris’s Louvre from translucent crystallised sugar glass and Mexico City’s Museo Soumaya from hundreds of spherical treats.

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Registration Open: European Award for Architectural Heritage Intervention AADIPA

© European Award for Architectural Heritage Intervention AADIPA

The Award for Architectural Heritage Intervention AADIPA, arises from the belief that heritage, as a vehicle for social integration and an economic vitalizing resource for the community, deserves to be appreciated and encouraged. In the current context, in which architectural heritage is considered not only to be a fundamental instrument of knowledge but also a first rate socioeconomic resource for the sustainable development of the territory, the disclosure, distinction and recognition of works and quality projects contributing to the preservation of the collective memory is imperative.

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M-Rad Proposes Live-Work Towers to Revitalize Downtown Las Vegas

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The idea of mixed-use residential buildings is rapidly gaining popularity in urban America. The concept of being able to work within walking distance of where you live is both convenient and economical. Matthew Rosenberg, design director of M-Rad Studio, recognizes this, and has proposed a dramatic live/work design for the Downtown Project of Las Vegas, Nevada. Titled Inter-Act Residence, the building (or, potentially, series of buildings) would incorporate modular offices and apartments, strategically arranged for interaction between residents.

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Allied Works Releases Design for Ohio Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus

© MIR

Allied Works Architecture has released designs for the Veterans Memorial and Museum in . Set to complete by 2016, the billowing museum will be constructed on the banks of the Scioto River, directly across from downtown, as part of Scioto Peninsula’s 56-acre redevelopment masterplan. It will host a variety of galleries, education and interpretive spaces that will house exhibitions and artifacts that serve as a testimonial to the 250 years of military service of Ohio Veterans.

“The Ohio Veterans Memorial and Museum is conceived as an architecture of two acts. The first is an act of landscape, where the surrounding parkland is cut, carved and lifted into the sky, creating a processional path to the sanctuary, a place of ceremony, celebration and reflection – a civic room for the city of Columbus,” explains Allied Works. Continue reading to learn more. 

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Sebastian Irarrazaval Proposes Urban Solution to Political Turmoil with Trans-Border African Cities

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As the continent with the fastest growing population in the world, African frontiers will soon become attractive areas for urban settlements and the potential for conflicts arising from colonial borders may inhibit necessary economic growth. Colonialism’s legacy continues to spark conflict revolving around arbitrary borders established by Europeans in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with no regard for ethnic, linguistic, and religious disparities across the continent. These decisions resulted in the separation of cultural communities within each nation and the creation of political boundaries that often did not reflect shared civil interests. Consequently sub-Saharan Africa has experienced sustained conflicts in the years following independence, resulting in diminished potential for further economic development in many regions. Today, border disputes have to a rise in separatist movements in numerous countries, but African governments are hesitant to abandon the colonial borders to avoid further disruptive conflicts.

As political approaches to this issue continue to be extremely contentious, an architectural intervention at the urban scale proposed by Sebastian Irarrazaval Arquitectos may be the key to a prosperous cultural and economic future for Africa. In their concept for an ideal African city, Sebastian Irarrázaval and his team have conceptualized their solution as a network of trans-border cities. This set of “bi-national urban entities” will serve to erase the old colonial borders and “will reintegrate the continent as it was prior to European domination when cultural and economic exchange flourished.”

Find out how the proposal aims to address some of Africa’s longest-standing social and political problems after the break

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Christmas Wars: The Fight to Hold the World Record for the Most Christmas Lights

The Gay’s house in LaGrangeville, New York. Image Courtesy of Guinness World Records

In the ongoing battle to hold the Guinness World Record for the Most Lights on a Residential Property (aka the house-with-the-most- lights), the Gay family in LaGrangeville, New York has once again reclaimed their title. This year the family used 601,736 lights, spanning two acres and set to more than 200 songs. RITZ Crackers, part of Mondelēz International, helped the family top the record, providing 200,000 lights. The Gay family and the Richards family in Canberra, Australia, have been fighting for the title over the past three years. But not to be outdone, the Richards family took home the Guinness World Record for the Largest Image Made of LED lights for their Christmas light installation this year. The installation in Canberra used 1,194,380 lights to make a 3D image of three Christmas gifts spanning 3,865 square meters and raised money for the charity SIDS and Kids ACT.  See more pictures and read more about the ongoing lights competition at City Lab and Guinness World Records

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Recycling In Practice: Perkins + Will Finds New Life for Cardboard Tubes

Phase one view of the ‘tube wall’. Image Courtesy of Perkins + Will

In architectural offices, the tubes used in large-format rolls of paper seem to multiply at an alarming rate, populating every nook and cranny until they fill the rafters. The team at Perkins + Will Boston have invented a cheeky solution to stem cardboard tube proliferation in the form of a privacy screen that behaves simultaneously as a sound and visual barrier, and as a storage space. Composed of dozens of reclaimed cardboard tubes fitted into a CAD-mapped and cut plywood frame, the ‘wall’ provides ample opportunities for drawing storage, sunlight mitigation, and playful interaction without disrupting workflow.

Find out more about Perkins + Will’s solution to cardboard tube waste after the break

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Students Head To Finland To Construct Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia From Ice

Reimagining the Sagrada Familia in ice. Image © Bart van Overbeeke / TU/e

A team of  from Eindhoven University are set to build a forty metre high model of Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia out of ‘ice’. The project, which follows their completion of the world’s biggest ice dome last year, will be constructed from pykrete and reinforced with wood fibres. The fifty-strong team will head to Finland on the 28th December 2014 to begin construction of the impressive 1:5 scale model, which will be built in only four weeks in order to officially open in the last week of January 2015.

Read about their unique construction method and see photos of the preparatory work after the break.

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Frank Gehry Tells the Story Behind Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. Image © Gehry Partners

In just three short years, Frank Gehry’s 450,000-square-foot Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will open. More than 12 times the size of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim New York, the expansive $800 million museum will showcase 1960s art from around the world within an asymmetrical mountain of plaster blocks and self-cooling translucent cones. Anticipating its completion, the New York Times sat down with Gehry to hear the story behind the building’s design. Watch the full interview with Gehry, here.

US Architecture Schools Express Interest in Conferring Licensure to Graduates

© Wikimedia Commons user Kit

Becoming licensed is no easy feat for the recently graduated architecture student. The combination of required internship hours and exam scores proves a daunting obstacle for most, often taking years of work after college to surpass. Now, however, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards () is testing the waters for an alternative system that could grant licensure to students immediately upon graduation.

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Sou Fujimoto Chosen to Design Liget Budapest’s House of Hungarian Music

© Sou Fujimoto Architects, Courtesy of Liget Budapest

Sou Fujimoto Architects has been announced as one of three practices chosen to design buildings for the Liget Budapest project, one of Europe’s largest museum developments. Selected through an anonymous competition process, the Japanese firm will realize an undulating House of Hungarian Music that was “inspired by sound waves.” Its distinctive perforated “smart roof” will float on top an airy glass-walled interior illuminated by the canopy’s lightwells. 

French practice was also chosen to construct a striated Museum of Ethnography, while Hungarian firm will realize the cuboidal PhotoMuseum Budapest and Museum of Hungarian Architecture

All three projects will be built in Városliget, the city’s largest park, by 2018. Continue after break to view images of each. 

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UK Housing Review Panel “Needs To Be More Balanced,” Admits Terry Farrell

© Agnese Sanvito, via Farrells Facebook Page

Last week the UK Government appointed a new design panel, intended to “ensure that new homes are not only lower-cost but also high-quality and well-designed.” The panel will be led by Terry Farrell, classical architect Quinlan Terry and aesthetics philosopher Roger Scruton, as well as representatives from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), the UK Design Council and lobby group Create Streets. However, the profession was quick to criticize the selection of the three lead members of the panel.

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Samsung Commissions Choon-Soo Ryu to Design Vietnamese Community Center

Courtesy of Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics is spearheading a village development project in , , as part of a new social contribution program named “the Nanum Village.” The Nanum Village is a project where the local government cooperates with residents of a village who are willing to develop their neighborhood, improving the public infrastructure and supporting local people’s initiatives for sustainable development of the village. This new community center by Korean architect Choon-Soo Ryu will be built in 2015 as a result of that initiative.

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Four Presidential Libraries for Obama to Consider

at Chicago. Image Courtesy of UIC

Of the four locations that are under consideration to host the future Barack Obama presidential library, two have released visions of what could be if their sites were selected – the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and the University of at Honolulu (UH). UH, who’s offering a stunning oceanside site on Waikiki Beach, paired Snøhetta, MOS, and Allied Works Architecture with local architects to draw up proposals, all of which share a deep connection to nature. UIC, on the other hand, has proposed an idea that reinterprets the library as a systemized network of public infrastructure focused on revitalization.

View all four proposals, after the break.

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TailorCrete Seeks to Revolutionize Concrete Fabrication

© STAMER KONTOR

Concrete construction has been an important part of architectural practice since the Roman Empire. Extremely malleable, fluid is capable of being poured into almost any conceivable form. In theory, this makes it an ideal building material. In practice, however, creating complex forms out of is extremely inefficient. Pouring on sight requires formwork that is painstakingly made by hand, and precast is usually limited by orthogonal molds. has become restricted to a few simple forms that are easy and cheap to produce when, in many cases, a building would benefit from casting that is optimized for its structural and economical needs. How do we make such optimization feasible? This is the question that the EU sponsored TailorCrete has attempted to answer. A research consortium lasting for four years, TailorCrete is exploring new technologies that could make non-standard concrete structures commonplace.

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