Australia to Highlight “The Pool” 2016 Venice Biennale

Courtesy of Australian Institute of Architects

Aileen Sage and Michelle Tabet have been announced as the creative directors of the Australian Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Selected by the Australian Institute of Architect’s  Committee, their proposal “The Pool” will be the first architecture exhibition displayed at Denton Corker Marshall‘s newly inaugurated pavilion.

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Spotlight: James Stirling

Portrait of James Stirling. Ray Williams, photographer.. Image Courtesy of Canadian Centre for Architecture

British architect and Pritzker Laureate Sir James Stirling (22 April 1926 – 25 June 1992) grew up in Liverpool, one of the two industrial powerhouses of the British North West, and began his career subverting the compositional and theoretical ideas behind the Modern Movement. Citing a wide-range of influences – from , a forefather of Contextualism, to , from architects of the Italian Renaissance to the Russian Constructivist movement – Stirling forged a unique set of architectural beliefs that manifest themselves in his works. Indeed, his architecture, commonly described as “non-comformist”, consistently caused annoyance in conventional circles.

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Norman Foster’s Manchester Maggie’s Centre Breaks Ground

© Foster + Partners

After being granted planning permission last yearNorman Foster’s new ’s Cancer Centre in his hometown of  has broken ground. The project is being built at The Christie, one of Europe’s leading cancer centres and the largest single-site centre in Europe. According to Foster + Partners, the new centre will ”provide free practical, emotional and social support for anyone living with cancer as well as their family and friends.” Surrounded by the Centre’s existing, lush gardens designed by Dan Pearson, Foster’s proposed structure aims to tap into the therapeutic qualities of nature by engaging the outdoors.

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Sergei Tchoban’s Mirrored “Mobius Strip” Debuts in Milan

© SPEECH architectural office

Russian architects Sergei Tchoban (SPEECH architectural office), Sergey Kuznetsov, and Agniya Sterligova are featuring the “Living Line” sculpture at this year’s Milan Design Week. Created for a central part of the University of Milan’s main courtyard, which occupies the Ca ‘Granda complex of 15th century Renaissance buildings, the mirrored plexiglass “Mobius strip” aims to reflect the exhibition’s theme “Energy for Life.”

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Video: One World Trade Center Features 500 Year Timelapse of New York City

When the One World Trade Center opens its observatory elevators in May, visitors will embark on an unusual journey back in time with animated timelapse that recreates the evolution of Manhattan‘s skyline starting from the 1500s. In just 47 seconds, visitors will relive the city’s architectural history, including the devastation of 9/11, while being lifted up 102 floors. Watch the video above, courtesy of The New York Times!

George Lucas Unveils Plan for Bay Area’s Largest Affordable Housing Project

Marin County Headlands. Image © Flickr CC User Franco Folini

What some believe to be an act of revenge, George Lucas has unveiled plans to build the San Francisco Bay Area’s largest project in the wealthy community of Marin County. As CBS reports, the news comes just three years after valley residents shot down Lucas’ proposal to develop the land with a 265,000-square-foot production studio. The new plan aims to provide veterans, firefighters, teachers and other service-oriented working class people with 224 low-income homes.

“We’ve got enough millionaires here. What we need is some houses for regular working people,” said Lucas, according to his lawyer Gary Giacomini who also ensured that the plan was “not a form of retaliation.”

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OMA Designs Chinese Pavilion for 2015 Venice Art Biennale

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The Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation has commissioned OMA to design the Chinese Pavilion at the 56th , just a year after Rem Koolhaas served as director of the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale. The exhibition, “Other Future” will feature the work of composer Tan Dun, architect Liu Jiakun, artist Lu Yang, filmmaker Wu Wenguang / Caochangdi Work Station and choreographer Wen Hui / Living Dance Studio in an “immersive environment where artworks are juxtaposed in a field of projections and stages connecting the interior and exterior works.”

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3 Projects Win 2015 Global Holcim Awards for Sustainability

Courtesy of Holcim Foundation

Emerging from over 6,000 entries, three winners of the fourth Global Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction have been selected. The international competition, occurring every three years, recognizes designs that provide sustainable solutions to local issues faced by communities throughout the world. This year’s winning projects addressed sites in Colombia, Sri Lanka, and the United States and will receive monetary prizes ranging from $50,000 to $200,000.

The winning entries were selected from last year’s top-prize recipients in the five regional competitions, a total of 15 proposals (see our previous coverage here). An international jury of industry leaders, led by Mohsen Mostafavi (Dean of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design), determined the winners of the 2015 Global Holcim Awards.

See the winners after the break.

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Competition Results: ‘The Next Helsinki’ Call For Ideas

#76 MUUSA / draftworks*architects. Image Courtesy of

The organisers behind The Next Helsinki, an ‘anti-competition’ masterminded by architect and critic Michael Sorkin, have highlighted a number of entries from 217 international submissions. Launched as an alternative to the controversial, “imperialised” Guggenheim Helsinki project, the call for ideas asked architects, urbanists, artists, and environmentalists to imagine how  and its South Harbour could be transformed for the maximum benefit of the city’s residents and visitors. It “sought to ask first if a massive foreign museum was the highest and best use for public resources, especially in an aspiration-focused egalitarian social democracy like .”

See a shortlist of eight entries that, according to the jury, “reflect the variety and depth of the submissions” after the break. “These entries are not to be viewed as refined and final proposals, but rather ideas.”

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Jean Nouvel Loses Court Case Over Philharmonie de Paris

© Flickr CC user Marko Erman

Jean Nouvel has lost a court battle aimed to remove his name from the newly opened Philharmonie de Paris. As The Telegraph reports, Nouvel claimed that the £280 million concert hall was inaugurated prematurely and parts of the building was “sabotaged” in doing so, thus believing it to be morally inapt from him be associated with the building.

“The architecture is martyred, the details sabotaged,” he said in a Le Monde editorial, “so taxpayers will have to pay, once again, to correct these aberrational decisions.”

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Ball-Nogues Compostable “Pulp Pavilion” Brings Shade to Coachella

© Joshua White

To demonstrate the structural potential of “pulp,” Ball-Nogues Studio built an experimental reclaimed paper this year at Coachella. The lightweight, self-supported structure, known as the ”Pulp Pavilion,” was made from a low-cost blend of , water and pigment sprayed onto lattices of organic rope. After its use as a place of refuge for festival goers, it will be either composted or recycled. See the pavilion illuminated at night, after the break.

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San Rocco’s Single Edition ‘Book Of Copies’ In Circulation

Book of Copies. Image ©

Earlier this year San Rocco, recipients of the inaugural Icon Award for Emerging Architectural Practice of the Year in 2013, published a limited single-edition run of a new publication: the San Rocco Book of Copies. Within five volumes of 4120 pages lies what they describe as “a database comprised of images that may be copied in order to produce architecture; a receptacle of a collective form of knowledge that we can provisionally call ‘architecture’.”

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NJIT Graduates Create A Biodegradable Pavilion For Sukkahville 2014

Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez

In the annual Sukkahville design competition in Toronto, entrants are challenged to reimagine the sukkah, a structure that the competition organizers describe as a “symbolic wilderness shelter, symbolizing the frailty and transience of life,” traditionally built during the Jewish festival of Sukkot to commemorate the 40 years that the Jews spent wandering the desert. For the 2014 competition, New Jersey-based graduates Michael Signorile and Edward Perez created “Reflect.Reveal.Rebirth,” a structure that responds to this challenge to create a transient space for contemplation by utilizing a biodegradable skin.

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Archiculture Interviews: Jess Zimbabwe

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“We as a species assign value to people based on the environments we ask them to live in. And I think most people are worth more than a lot of the environments that we ask them to live, work, attend school and shop in.”

In the latest Archiculture interview from Arbuckle Industries, architect and planner Jess Zimbabwe discusses the power of design and its role in politics. As former director of Mayors’ Institute on City Design, Zimbabwe shares examples of proactive mayors who’ve used architecture as a way to spur economic development in their communities and help shape an environment worthy of its inhabitants. 

Two New Books Claim Le Corbusier was a “Militant Fascist”

, by Willy Rizzo. Photos via Le Journal de la Photographie. Image © Willy Rizzo

Shocking allegations have surfaced in two new books that claim Le Corbusier was a “militant fascist.” Although the architect’s connections with a collaborationist regime in France have been known for some time, the authors claim new evidence reveals the depths of his sympathy toward Nazi activity.

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Open Call: Prize Searches for World’s Best Public Library

Book Mountain / MVRDV. Image © Jeroen Musch

Applications are once again open for world’s best public library award. As part of the Danish Agency for Culture‘s Model Program for Public Libraries project, the prize aims to generate new ideas about how the design of public libraries can change to meet the changing needs of today’s society. Considered libraries must “take digital developments and local culture into consideration” and “welcome a diversity of population groups with an open and functional architectural expression in balance with its surroundings and a creative use of IT to improve user experiences.” Learn more about the prize (here) and submit a library, here. Candidates for the “” have until June 15, 2015 to apply.

Spotlight: Jan Kaplický

© jan-kaplicky.com

Radical neofuturist architect Jan Kaplický (18 April 1937 – 14 January 2009) was the son of a sculptor and a botanical illustrator, and appropriately spent his career creating highly sculptural and organic forms. Working with partner Amanda Levete at his suitably named practice Future Systems, Kaplický was catapulted to fame after his sensationally avant-garde 1999 Lord’s Cricket Ground Media Centre and became a truly innovative icon of avant-garde architecture.

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AIA Names 10 Most Impressive Houses of 2015

La Casa Permanent Supportive / Studio Twenty Seven Architecture + Leo A Daly

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) have announced the recipients of the 2015 Housing Awards. Currently in its 15th year, the are designed to “recognize the best in US housing design” and “promote the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource.” This year, the jury awarded ten designs in three categories. See them all, after the break.

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