5 Finalists Selected for the 2015 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture- Mies van der Rohe Award

Five projects have been selected as finalists of the 2015 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture- Mies van der Rohe Award. The finalists were selected from a shortlist of 40 projects, and over the next couple of months the jury members will visit each of the finalist projects to evaluate the buildings firsthand and gather information from the people who use them. On May 7, the architects will present their projects to the jury. The winner will be announced the following day at a ceremony at Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion.

See the five finalists after the break.

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ArchiBlox Designs World’s First Prefabricated Carbon Positive House

© Tom Ross

Australian company ArchiBlox has released its design for the world’s first carbon positive prefabricated house. Representing a new movement in , the carbon positive house provides the option for a more environmentally-conscious design, through both reducing embodied energy that accompanies new-home construction and maintaining positive-energy production. The groundbreaking product line began its first installation on February 8 at Melbourne’s City Square.  

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O’Donnell + Tuomey’s Central European University In Budapest Breaks Ground

Work has begun on O’Donnell + Tuomey’s first project in . The new collection of buildings and restoration projects for the Central European University in Budapest sits within existing courtyards in a dense area of the city. Bringing a total of 35,000m² of new space to the inner-city campus, the project consists of a new library spread across five floors, an auditorium, multiple public spaces, teaching and learning facilities, study rooms, and a café.

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New York to Complete First Prefabricated “Micro-Apartments” this Year

With floor areas clocking in at as little as 260 square feet, My Micro NY units by nARCHITECTS are the latest singles-oriented housing option to enter the New York rental market. The modular units will be fabricated at the Brooklyn Navy Yard for stacking in Kips Bay this spring, and are projected to welcome their first inhabitants by the end of 2015.

Current New York city zoning and density rules set a minimum apartment floor area of 400 square feet, yet this regulation was waived for My Micro NY in the interests of creating more affordable housing. An inflated rental market has long posed issues for those seeking housing in the city, particularly singles and students with tight budgets. My Micro NY will create 9 stories and 55 individual apartments, whose features include 9 and 10 foot ceiling heights, Juliette balconies, and concealed storage space.

A look inside, after the break. 

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74 “Wild Designs” Considered for New Thames Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge

Courtesy of Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership

All 74 “wild designs” being considered to become London’s next “landmark” have been released to the public. As part of a two-stage competition, architects worldwide have submitted ideas for a new £40 million pedestrian and cycle that will connect ’s Nine Elms and Pimlico communities over the River Thames. 

The jury, chaired by Graham Stirk of Rogers Stirk Harbour, will choose four schemes to move onto the competition’s second and final round in March. These designs will be then shortlisted and further developed with input by the community and client before a winner is announced in July. 

See a selection of the considered bridge designs, after the break. 

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Here’s How BIG’s Power Plant Ski Slope Will Blow Smoke Rings

When BIG‘s proposal for Amager Bakke, a waste-to-energy plant in Copenhagen, was unveiled in 2011, there was a lot for skeptics to pick apart. Is it really possible to run a publicly accessible ski slope on the roof of an industrial building? Would they really be able to make it blow giant smoke (or rather, steam) rings? The whole idea seemed rather too good to be true. The project’s ground breaking in 2013 may have silenced some critics, but the video above should convince the rest of the design’s feasibility.

The video shows a test from August in which a miniaturized version of the smoke ring-blowing chimney finally demonstrates the concept. According to Danish website Ingeniøren, in the months since, the design has undergone further refinement by Peter Madsen, the artist, aerospace engineer and inventor that brought in to develop the chimney, and is ready for another major test tomorrow at Refshaleøen in Copenhagen.

SO – IL and FREAKS Win Competition to Modernize France’s Site Verrier

Visitor Center. Image Courtesy of

SO-IL, in collaboration with FREAKS freearchitects, has been selected as the first-prize winner of a competition to reinvent the historic Site Verrier in France. Located in the Northern Vosges Natural Park, the updated plan addresses three elements of the site’s industrial past while providing a dynamic space for cultural interaction and historic exploration of Site Verrier’s glass factory days.

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Lateral Office’s 2014 Venice Biennale ‘Arctic Adaptations’ Exhibition To Tour Canada

Lateral Office’s Arctic Adaptations exhibition, which was recognised with a Special Mention at the 2014 Venice Biennale, will travel make its debut in at the Winnipeg Art Gallery this week before heading to Whitehouse, Vancouver, and Calgary. The exhibition “surveys a century of Arctic architecture, an urbanising present, and a projective near future of adaptive architecture in Nunavut” though interactive models, photography, and topographical maps of the twenty five communities of the area, as well as Inuit carvers’ scale models of some of the most recognised buildings in the territory. In addition, it proposes a future of adaptive and responsive architecture for ’s northern territories.

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Two Architects Selected to Receive the 2015 AIA Thomas Jefferson Award

New Century Plan. Image © UC Berkeley

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected Thomas E. Lollini, FAIA, and Thomas Luebke, FAIA, to receive the 2015 Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture, recognizing their excellence for architectural advocacy and achievement. This year’s award recipients will be honored at the 2015 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Atlanta. Learn more about the winners, after the break.

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40 Projects Shortlisted for the 2015 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award

Update: The five finalists for the 2015 Mies van der Rohe Award will be announced on February 25 at 12 UTC. 40 projects from 17 European countries have been shortlisted for the 2015 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award. Chosen from the 420 original nominees, five of the shortlisted projects will be chosen for the next round of selection, to be announced at the end of February in London. These selected architects will then present their projects before a committee on May 7, who will select one recipient of the highly esteemed international design award, as well as one recipient of the Emerging Architect Prize. The winners will be announced the following day at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona.

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Tel Aviv Museum Of Art Examines The International Circulation Of Prefab Concrete Panels

© Elad Sarig

Between 1945 and 1981 around 170 million prefabricated (prefab) residential units were constructed worldwide. Now, as part of a study undertaken by Pedro Alonso and Hugo Palmarola of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile between 2012 and 2014, an exhibition at the  features 28 large concrete panel systems from between 1931 and 1981. In so doing, it explores a transnational circulation of these objects of construction, ”weaving them into a historical collage of ambitions and short-lived enthusiasm for utopian dreams.”

This show, curated by Meira Yagid-Haimovici, is an attempt to reveal “how architecture and urbanism was charged with historical, social, and political narratives, and how the modernist vision promoted the fusion of aesthetics and politics.” The models, which are being exhibited as part of the Production Routes exhibition, seek to highlight the richness embodied in ‘generic’ architecture through the lens of prefab construction methods.

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Last Call: Architects Summoned to Envision Public Space for Moscow’s Kristall City

© CENTER Agency of Strategic Development

Architects interested in proposing ideas for a new public space in , a former territory of legendary distillery, have until Tuesday (February 24) to submit applications. Organized by KRAYS development and the CENTER Agency of Strategic Development, the competition is calling on all architects and designers to consider three sites to host the cities premier public space. The newly developed area aims to “share the future look of the quarter” and establish a “new type of public space made out of form industrial city territories. Learn more and apply, here.

RTA-Office’s Mountainous “Cultural Container” Wins First Prize

Courtesy of

RTA-Office has released its first-prize winning proposal for the Wuhu Urban Planning , Office, and Archive. The design stems from the idea of an “urban cultural container,” holding both knowledge and space, and extracts its sculptural form from the surrounding mountainous landscape.

Pushing for the Exhibition Hall to be a recognizable landmark, the design is largely driven by its surrounding context. The building as a whole derives its shape from the rocky faces of the nearby Yashan Mountain, giving it a strong sense of place. Similarly, the structure is divided into three distinct sections all grounded by a central public space, each informed by the same rocky inspiration. The cracks in the rocks’ surfaces are mirrored in the irregular entrances and windows carved into the building’s volumes.

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Boston Society of Architects Announce 2014 Design Award Winners

Peter Rose + Partners / Island Residence. Image © Peter Vanderwarker; Matthew Snyder

The Boston Society of Architects (BSA) has announced the 2014 winners of its Design . The BSA Design Awards are allocated annually at the Gala, and concentrate on design excellence throughout New England. Each award recognizes projects that excel both aesthetically and technically, making a positive impact in the field of architecture.

Read on after the break to see the honor award winners in each category.

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Satellite Records World’s Largest Urban Art GIF in Rio de Janeiro

The Flamengo landfill in Rio de Janeiro was recently host the world’s largest . Created by anonymous artist INSA, the mural underwent minor changes recorded by the satellite 430 miles above the earth. 

Sponsored by Scotch whiskey brand Ballantine, the painting – 619,000-square-feet of yellow and pink hearts – was produced by a 20-person team over the course of four days. With each new picture, the team altered the illustration so that by the end of the process the recorded images created an animated GIF (as seen above).

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Win a BIG Trip to Copenhagen

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Daydreaming about a trip to Copenhagen? Now is your chance to go. As part of BIG’s HOT TO COLD exhibition on view at the National Building Museum, Visit Denmark is hosting a sweepstakes for two to see the architectural and cultural sights of Denmark’s capital. All you need to do is watch the video above, find out which seaside museum Bjarke Ingels believes to be one of the world’s greatest (hint: take a look after the break), and enter your answer here (click “Win a trip to !”). Only US residents are eligible.

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Nouvel, Gehry and Elemental Among 15 Shortlisted for “Design of the Year 2015”

One Central Park / Ateliers Jean Nouvel © Murray Fredericks

London’s Design Museum has released 15 shortlisted projects that are being considered for the prestigious “Design of the Year” award. From Wendell Burnette’s Desert Courtyard House to Jean Nouvel’s One Central Park skyscraper, the wide-ranging list spans all scales, showcasing some of the best newly completed projects from across the globe.

The award, now in its eighth year, “celebrates design that promotes or delivers change, enables access, extends design practice or captures the spirit of the year.” 76 nominees over six categories have been selected. The jury, chaired by artist Anish Kapoor and includes architect Farshid Moussavi, will choose category winners on May 4. An overall winner will be revealed June 4.

Last year, Zaha Hadid’s Heydar Aliyev Centre in Azerbaijan was the first building in the award’s history to win the overall prize.

View all the shortlisted buildings, after the break. 

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AA Visiting School Athens: Symmetry Sentience

This year the AA Visiting School aims to challenge the phenomenon of perceptual constancy through the design of architectural prototypical families. In line with the basic Gestalt principles, a variety of models of different shapes and sizes will be designed through means of digital computation. Various morphologies will be derived through a bottom-up approach via various coding techniques. To the gap between the digital and physical aspect of the design iterations, AA will make use of digital fabricating machines to produce architectural prototypes and add mechanics to amplify their communicative characteristics. A complete 1:1 scale structure will be constructed, enabling interaction via sight, hearing and touch as a result of a series of initial testing models. These proposals will be formulated through the combination of different design software.

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