Preston Bus Station to Become a Youth Centre Under New Proposal

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A proposal to ensure the future of Preston Bus Station could see part of the structure converted into a youth centre, as part of a £23 million renovation. The proposal by the building’s owners, Lancashire County Council, involves halving the number of bus bays used by the structure to 40, freeing up the western end of the building for other uses, including a sports hall, climbing wall, art centre and outdoor sports pitches.

In addition to the youth centre, the £23 million budget covers renovation to the existing structure and improvements to the surrounding highway. Funding for the proposal will come partly from the council and partly from Youth Zone.

More on the proposal after the break

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BIG and Morphosis Among Six Shortlisted for Des Moines’ Kum & Go Headquarters

Downtown . Image © Flickr CC User Jason Mrachina

Kum & Go has enlisted six internationally renowned practices to compete for design of its new $92 million headquarters planned for Des Moines, : Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Morphosis, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Safdie Architects, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM). The 24-hour convenience store chain plans to select an architect by mid-November. The 120,000-square-foot corporate office will be built on the north side of the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, between 14th and 15th streets.

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Three Finalists to Develop Strategies for Vacant Land Reuse in New Orleans

NOLEX. Image Courtesy of VAI

Three finalists have been selected to move forward in the Van Alen Institute (VAI) and Redevelopment Authority’s (NORA) “Future Ground” open ideas competition. Each will be provided with a $15,000 stipend to investigate and develop long-term design and policy strategies for vacant land reuse in New Orleans.

“Too often, vacant land has been seen only as a remnant of or absence within the 20th century city,” described the VAI. “Today, with a critical mass of designers, policymakers, scholars, artists, activists, and residents creating pilot projects, thoughtful studies, and new kinds of urbanism on abandoned properties, it is possible to imagine this land as an integral part of the future city.”

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Benedetta Tagliabue Appointed as Newest Pritzker Prize Jury Member

. Image © Vicens Gimenez

Barcelona architect Benedetta Tagliabue has been appointed as the newest and ninth member of the Pritzker Architecture Prize jury, joining Martha Thorne (executive director), Peter Palumbo (chair), Alejandro Aravena, Stephen Breyer, Yung Ho Chang, Kristin Feireiss, Glenn Murcutt, Juhani Pallasmaa and Ratan N. Tata.

As Tom Pritzker, president of the Hyatt Foundation described, Tagliabue was chosen for her “deep and international knowledge of the best in architecture today” which will bring “new perspectives” to the jury. 

“The has become the award that points out the most important directions in architecture,” stated Tagliabue. “For more than 35 years, quality in architecture at all scales and regardless of firm size has been the outstanding value of the prize. I feel incredibly honored to be part of the jury and I am looking forward to sharing ideas and beautiful moments with my colleagues.” 

More on Tagliabue’s selection, after the break. 

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Ohio State Researcher Team Invents Combined Solar Cell and Battery

Nanometer-sized rods of titanium dioxide (larger image) cover the surface of a piece of titanium gauze (inset). The holes in the gauze are approximately 200 micrometers across, allowing air to enter the battery while the rods gather light. Image Courtesy of Yiying Wu, The

A new technology developed by researchers at Ohio State University has the potential to increase the efficiency and decrease the cost of generating and storing the sun’s energy. Led by professor of chemistry and biochemistry Yiying Wu, the team has created a combined solar cell and lithium storage battery with an efficiency of electron transfer between the two components of almost 100%, in a design which they believe will reduce costs by up to 25%.

“The state of the art is to use a solar panel to capture the light, and then use a cheap battery to store the energy,” Wu said. “We’ve integrated both functions into one device. Any time you can do that, you reduce cost.”

Read on after the break for more on the news

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Built Reminders of a Former Time: Europe’s Dissolved Border Crossings Photographed

Border: Austria / Czech Republic. Image © Ignacio Evangelista

Citizens of central , perhaps uniquely in the world, are used to a life of no borders and free movement between nations. Following two devastating wars fought primarily on European soil, the formation of the early European Union in the 1950s paved the way for a more liberal, less isolated continent. It was not until the signing of the in 1985 (which came into effect in 1995) that the majority of borders were truly dissolved and travelling between nations, cultures, and communities became as simple as walking down the road.

Ignacio Evangelista’s series of photographs entitled After Schengen examine the remnants of the old, abandoned crossing points that still exist across the Union. No longer necessary to maintain a country’s independent sovereignty, and almost twenty years since the revolutionary pact was ratified, these palimpsests of border control remain as striking today as when they when delineated the closed boundaries between nations.

See a selection of the collection after the break…

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‘The Rom’ Becomes Europe’s First Listed Skatepark

© Played in Britain

English Heritage has awarded a Grade-II listing to “The Rom,” a skatepark in Hornchurch on the outskirts of London. Built in 1978, the Rom was one of the UK’s first wave of purpose-built skateparks, and probably the most complete example found in the UK today. The listing makes the Rom the first protected skatepark in , and just the second in the world after Tampa‘s “Bro Bowl” was added to the USA’s National Register of Historic Places last year.

More on the listing decision after the break

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Article 25 Auctions 100 Artworks By Leading Architects in 10×10 Fundraiser

By Derek Draper. Image Courtesy of

Architectural aid charity Article 25 has unveiled the drawings for its most important annual fundraising event, the 10×10 Drawing the City Auction. Featuring drawings donated by leading architects including Norman Foster, Ivan HarbourSheila O’Donnell, Terry Farrell and Ken Shuttleworth among many others, in previous years the 10×10 auction has raised over £90,000 for the charity, and this year it is hoped that it will top £100,000.

The 10×10 concept divides a section of the city up into a 10 by 10 square grid, with each participating architect assigned a section of the grid where they must find inspiration for an artwork. This year, the grid centred on the Shard, where this year’s auction will be held on November 27th. In the lead-up to the auction, bidding will also be available online from November 4th-25th, at the 10×10 website.

Read on after the break for another 20 of the pieces to be auctioned

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RIBA Council Member Calls for Overhaul of Presidential Elections

Courtesy of the

Ben Derbyshire, managing partner at HTA Design and a newly-elected member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Council, has called for a significant overhaul of the RIBA election process if the organization is to reverse ”a long term decline in the fortunes of the profession, the role of architects in commerce and society, the influence of design in the quality of environment and on long term sustainability.” Derbyshire, writing in his column for Building, argued that future RIBA presidents should only be drawn from the elected councillors if the RIBA is to avoid “the likelihood of successive Presidents failing to share agendas” – alongside five other proposals that he believes will strengthen the architectural profession. Read on after the break for more of his comments.

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d3 Natural Systems 2014 Winners Announced

Special Mention for Performative Landscape: Hydrophytic Urban Topography / Dustin Piercy, Xiomara Martinez (USA). Image ©

d3 has announced the winners of its Natural Systems Competition for 2014, an annual competition that offers architects, designers, engineers and students the chance to investigate natural processes from the microscopic to macroscopic scale and propose innovative, nature-based solutions in architecture, urbanism, interiors and product design for sustainable living.

The jury, a panel of architects and designers engaged in sustainable practices and computational explorations, has this year selected a top three as well as eleven special mentions. Join us after the break for images from all 14 designs.

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Diller, Scofidio + Renfro to Design Colorado Springs’ Olympic Museum

Downtown via Wikipedia

The US Olympic Museum committee has selected Diller, Scofidio + Renfro to design a $60 million museum in downtown Colorado Springs. The New York-based practice will collaborate with of Denver and exhibit designer Gallagher & Associates to showcase the Olympic and Paralympic’s history through exhibits and artifacts. Once complete by early 2018, the museum will include a hall of fame, theater, a 20,000-square-foot exhibit hall and retail space. Designs are expected to be released by mid-2015.

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Guardian Invites Readers to Submit the Best City Ideas for World Cities Day

© NLÉ architects

With the first ever World Cities Day taking place on Friday, the Guardian is partnering with UN Habitat for the Cities Day Challenge, a day-long competition where representatives of 36 cities around the world will present their best city ideas, with the winner being selected for an in-depth article in the Guardian. Judged by Ivan Harbour of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Toronto City Planner Jennifer Keesmaat; Anna Minton, Dan Hill, Usman Haque and Adam Greenfield, the Guardian will be live-tweeting the entire day.

They are also reaching out to readers to “share your photos, videos and stories of something brilliant that your city does better than any other,” some of which they will feature throughout the day. You can follow this link to contribute - or read on after the break as we take the opportunity to round up some of the biggest city ideas that have passed through the pages of ArchDaily.

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Grimshaw and Gruen’s LA Union Station Masterplan Gains Approval from Planning Board

Open Space View in Forecourt. Image © / , Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)

Update: The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors has approved approved the proposed masterplan by Grimshaw and Gruen; the scheme will now go ahead, subject to the availability of funding. The below article is from 22 September 2014.

The New York office of Grimshaw and LA based Gruen Associates were officially awarded the Los Angeles Union Station master plan in July of 2012 after six initial proposals for the project. Now the Metro Board has begun to finalize plans and move towards implementation, with their Planning Committee scheduled to discuss the proposals in early November. Read on to learn more about how the plan has developed over the past two years and the next steps towards its implementation.

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Developer Says Problems with Prefabricated Homes “Must Not Stop Innovation”

RSH+P’s Oxley Woods Development. Image © Flickr CC User Oxley Woods Photos

Developer Tom Bloxham has argued that problems with prefabricated homes or other unusual building techniques “must not stop innovation” in the housing sector. Bloxham, whose company Urban Splash was responsible for the Stirling Prize-nominated Park Hill regeneration and has worked with architects such as Norman Foster, FAT and Will Alsop, was speaking at an Archiboo event titled “Housebuilding is Ripe for Disruption.” Discussing the problems that have befallen RSH+P’s Oxley Woods project, he said “Whenever we innovate something inevitably goes wrong. There are risks and it is difficult. But somebody has to take these risks for the industry to move forward,” reports the Architects’ Journal.

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Michael Rotondi to Receive Richard J. Neutra Medal for Professional Excellence

Michael Rotondi, principle of Los Angeles-based RoTo Architecture and former student of Cal Poly Pomona, has been selected to receive the Richard J. Neutra Medal for Professional Excellence from the College of Environmental Design at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Co-founder of SCI-Arc and long-time architectural educator at Arizona State University, Rotondi was selected for his “commitment to architectural education, for the concern he shows in his work for society and the environment, and for the inventiveness of his architecture,” says Cal Poly Pomona professor Sarah Lorenzen.

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We’re Teaming Up With CEMEX To Cover the XXIII CEMEX Building Award

CEMEX’s annual Building recognize the best in architecture and construction both within Mexico as well as internationally, highlighting innovative design and building and construction techniques across nine different categories. International finalist projects this year range from Frank Gehry’s Biomuseo in Panama to Plan B Arquitectos’ Click Clack Hotel in Bogotá, Colombia.

As a media partner of the XXIII Building Award, we will be providing live coverage of the ceremony on November 5th via social media (#CEMEXBuildingAward) as well as in-depth coverage and analysis of the finalist projects and award winners. Make sure you check out our CEMEX Building Award page for the latest updates and project information.

Sou Fujimoto Constructs Inhabitable Nomadic Structure for Parisian Art Fair

© Marc Domage

Over the weekend, Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto exhibited an inhabitable sculpture of stacked and suspended aluminum cubes as part of the FIAC art fair in the Parisian ’ gardens. The installation, “Many Small Cubes” is his first project in Paris and was commissioned by the Philippe Gravier art gallery as an exploration of nomadic structures and ’s concept of bringing architecture closer to nature.

“The floating masses of Many Small Cubes creates a new experience of space, a rhythm of flickering shadows and lights like the sun filtering through leafy trees,” described Sou Fujimoto.

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DESIGN SHAPES LIFE: Villeroy & Boch Launches Bathroom Design Challenge

Courtesy of Villeroy & Boch

Villeroy & Boch have kicked off their first North American Designer Bathroom Challenge, inviting architects and licensed designers to develop a concept for a contemporary and multisensory bathroom design for the chance to win a trip to Germany.

Bathrooms are an essential part of daily life from the moment you jump into the shower in the morning to brushing your teeth before hopping into bed at night. While well-designed bath and wellness products that are easy to use and maintain are essential for functionality, when they are enhanced with complementing textures, sounds, scents and lighting, the functional bathroom space is transformed into a true multisensory experience. Villeroy & Boch is challenging architects and designers to incorporate both of these elements into their design, creating a functional and a multisensory space.

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