Woods Bagot’s Alternative Penn Station Solution Would Keep Madison Square Garden

© VISUALHOUSE

Invited by the Municipal Arts Society (MAS) and the Regional Plan Association (RPA), Woods Bagot has created an alternative design for the future of New York‘s  Penn Station which would allow Madison Square Garden to remain in its current location above the station’s entrance. The design, produced as part of MAS and RPA’s report into the future of the station, the design was unveiled yesterday at Penn 2023: Where will the Garden Go?, the first session of the Municipal Arts Society’s 2014 Summit for New York City, which discussed the possible options for the site at the end of ’s current 10-year permit.

Though the report by MAS and RPA favors the idea of moving Madison Square Garden – identifying Farley Post Office’s Western Annex and the Morgan Postal Facility and Annex as potential new sites – it also says that “there needs to be a Plan B… In the event a deal between the state, city, railroads and Madison Square Garden does not get done in the next eight years, there needs to be a plan for improving and the surrounding district with the Garden still in place.” This is where Woods Bagot’s designs come in.

Read on after the break for more on Woods Bagot’s proposal

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A Mobile Italian Garden Overlooking London

© Dosfotos

The Decorators, an interdisciplinary group of practitioners working with space in London, recently transformed the terrace overlooking the city at Alexandra Palace by installing a mobile Italian garden. As a “landscape of scattered objects” which geometrically piece together to resemble a formal garden, the designers describe the project as somewhere between “grotto and folly, garden and landscape, stage and amphitheater,” all the while drawing from the historical character of the surrounding context. The scheme ultimately “breaks the monumental proportions of the main building to meet visitors with a more intimate scale on their first encounter” with the palace.

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Frank Gehry Claims Today’s Architecture is (Mostly) “Pure Shit”

© EFE

“Let me tell you one thing. In this world we are living in, 98 percent of everything that is built and designed today is pure shit. There’s no sense of design, no respect for humanity or for anything else. They are damn buildings and that’s it.

“Once in a while, however, there’s a small group of people who does something special. Very few. But good god, leave us alone! We are dedicated to our work. I don’t ask for work. I don’t have a publicist. I’m not waiting for anyone to call me. I work with clients who respect the art of architecture. Therefore, please don’t ask questions as stupid as that one.”

This, followed by the middle finger, was Gehry’s response to a reporter asking the 85-year-old architect how he responds to the critics claiming he practices “showy architecture.”

Originally covered by El Mundo and translated by Gizmodo, the awkward confrontation happened at a press conference in Oviedo, Spain, which Gehry attended to receive the Prince of Asturias Awards for the Arts.

Emotions may have been running high considering this past week Gehry celebrated the opening of the new Fondation Louis Vuitton building which the critics have claimed to be not much more than a “spectacle.”

Gastro-Architecture: Nicholas Blechman Illustrates Architecture as Food

© Nicholas Blechman

Have you ever had the urge to squeeze a lemon on the dome of St. Peters Basilica? Or perhaps, crack a beer with Kohn Pedersen Fox’s “bottle opener”? New York-based designer Nicholas Blechman has put into illustration what we’ve all been thinking, landmark architecture as the food-related items they resemble. Check out Blechman’s “Gastro-Architecture” series here on and preview a couple of our favorites, after the break.

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Herzog & de Meuron Designs 205-Meter Tower and Research Center for Swiss Pharmaceutical Company

© Herzog & de Meuron

Herzog & de Meuron has unveiled plans for the modernization of the Roche pharmaceutical company’s headquarters. With the first tower already under construction, the overall vision is to consolidate and update all existing facilities, including a historic Otto R. Salvisberg-designed office building, as well as construct a new, four-tower research center and 205-meter tall office tower by 2022.

“The planned consolidation of the existing industrial site will eliminate the need to build over green zones”, emphasizes Jürg Erismann, Head of the Basel/Kaiseraugst Site. “Instead, Roche will be making more efficient use of those parts of the site that have already been developed but cannot be expanded.”

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Spotlight: Paul Rudolph

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Paul Marvin Rudolph (October 23, 1918 – August 8, 1997) was a leading American architect known for his contributions to modernism during the International School and Postmodernism eras.  He served as the Chair of Yale University’s School of Architecture for six years and famously designed the Yale Art and Architecture Building, one of the earliest examples of Brutalist architecture in the United States.

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See All 1,715 Entries to the Guggenheim Helsinki Competition Online

GH-7128234610. Image Courtesy of Malcolm Reading Consultants

The competition for the new Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki closed last month, becoming the most popular architectural competition in history with 1,715 entries. Now, competition organizers Malcolm Reading Consultants have made every single one available to view online, with each anonymous proposal presented in a series of two images, and a short description fro the architects. “Since its inception, this competition has been organized to be welcoming, inclusive, and transparent, and the gallery presents a singular opportunity for the public to explore and consider the broad expanse of entries,” says Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Museum and Foundation.

Competition organizer Malcolm Reading added: “For anyone interested in design, the gallery is a tremendous resource that offers rare insight into the design process and further illustrates how the vision for a Guggenheim … [has] captured the imagination of architects around the world.”

And indeed, the website does provide a tremendous tool: with such a huge volume of entries, the database and its associated tagging system offer an interesting way to probe the architectural zeitgeist: for example, it seems ‘curved’ buildings are almost twice as popular as ‘straight’ buildings; and ‘opaque’ buildings are still unpopular, being outpaced by ‘transparent’ buildings by almost five to one, despite the traditionally opaque museum typology.

But when it comes to architectural quality, where do you even begin with 1,715 proposals? The competition’s website has that covered too, with a favorites button, a six-building shortlist tool and a search-by-registration tool. ArchDaily is here to help too: after the break, we’ve hand-picked 50 of the most exciting, unusual, interesting and simply absurd proposals for you to start talking about.

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OS31 Designs Pop-Up Restaurant on a Frozen River

Courtesy of OS31

UK architects OS31 have recently won a competition to design RAW:almond, “the first ever outdoor dining restaurant on a frozen body of water.” The restaurant has set up for business in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada for the last two years, and for 2015 the organizers held an international open competition for the winning design. This year’s design establishes itself as an expressive frame that appears to float across the ice like a frozen jetty. Learn more about the winning proposal after the break.

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RIBA Future Trends Survey Shows UK’s Confidence Remains High

Courtesy of

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for September showed that, for yet another month, confidence is high among UK architects, with the workload index up fractionally to +29 from +28 in August. Again, this positive figure was spread right across the country, with the most optimistic reports coming from Northern Ireland and the North of England, reporting workload index figures of +80 and +46 respectively – promising figures considering that these two areas were “slowest to show signs of recovery” after the recession, according to the RIBA.

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Siza’s Iberê Camargo Foundation and Herzog & de Meuron’s 1111 Lincoln Road Win Inaugural MCHAP Award

The winners of the inaugural MCHAP Award, recognizing outstanding projects in the Americas: Álvaro Siza’s Iberê Camargo Foundation in Porto Alegre, Brazil and Herzog & de Meuron’s 1111 Lincoln Road. Photographs © Fernando Guerra | FG + SG – últimas reportagens and © Hufton + Crow

Álvaro Siza’s Iberê Camargo Foundation in Porto Alegre, Brazil and Herzog & de Meuron’s 1111 Lincoln Road in Miami, Florida have just been announced as the winners of the inaugural Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP).

MCHAP was established by the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in to recognize the best built works in the Americas. As Kenneth Frampton noted when the finalists were announced in Santiago, Chile, the MCHAP Awards are the first time that an architectural prize has been approached, not in a trans-atlantic, horizontal manner, but rather vertically across the Americas.

Although initially the jury intended to select one work to be honored for the 2000-2013 period, they felt that both projects represented “an uncommon expressive display of structure,” and divided the 13-year period into two parts. Siza’s Iberê Camargo Foundation was selected as the 2000-2008 winner, while Herzog & de Meuron’s mixed-use parking garage was selected for the 2009-2013 period. The two winning projects were selected from a total of seven finalists by jury members Jorge Francisco Liernur, Sarah Whiting, Wiel Arets, Dominique Perrault, and Kenneth Frampton.

Learn more about the winning projects after the break.

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Studio Gang Breaks Ground on Chicago Writers’ Theatre

Main Entrance . Image Courtesy of

Studio Gang has broke ground on the new home for ’s beloved Writers’ Theatre. Situated on the sloped Tudor Court site of the Glencoe Woman’s Library Club, the glass encased timber structure will be a theatrical spectacle, as the main performance space’s second story catwalk is designed to peer through the transparent facade.

“Our process has been built around the creative team dialogue with Writers Theatre, its audiences, and the community, and we could not be more excited to celebrate this milestone today while looking forward to the ideas that will soon become a built reality in 2016,” said Jeanne Gang. “The design of Writers Theatre’s first purpose-built theatre reinforces their important mission and vision to maximize the feeling of intimacy between actors and audience within the park-like setting of downtown Glencoe.”

New renderings and more information from the architect, after the break.

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David Chipperfield, Kengo Kuma and Renzo Piano Among 12 Shortlisted for Sydney Art Gallery Expansion

Art Gallery of NSW. Image © Flickr CC User Jason Starr

Twelve local and international practices have been invited to participate in a two-stage competition for the “ Modern Project,” a $450 million of the Art Gallery of New South Wales (NSW). Five practices from the shortlist, which also includes SANAA, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, and Herzog & de Meuron, will move on to produce conceptual designs in the competition’s final round.

“The Sydney Modern vision for expansion and transformation is much more than just a building project,” stated gallery director Dr. Michael Brand. “Through this invited competition the Gallery is seeking ideas that will create an architecturally ambitious, intelligent, sensitive, sustainable and highly functional design. Our site overlooking Sydney Harbor will inspire each of the invited architectural practices, all of whom have extraordinary design skills.”

The invited architectural practices are…

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September ABI Indicates Robust Conditions for US

September 2014. Image Courtesy of CalculatedRiskBlog.com

The American Institute of Architecture () has indicated a “heightened level of demand for design services” throughout the US. As the latest Architecture Billings Index () reports, all regions and project sectors have shown positive conditions and the September score was 55.2, up from a mark of 53.0 in August. The new projects inquiry index was 64.8, following a mark of 62.6 the previous month.

“Strong demand for apartment buildings and condominiums has been one of the main drivers in helping to keep the design and construction market afloat in recent years,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “There continues to be a healthy market for those types of design projects, but the recently resurgent Institutional sector is leading to broader growth for the entire construction industry.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

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Pratt Institute Students Create Sinuous Screen Wall From Concrete Blocks

© Lawrence Blough via the Architect’s Newsaper

Students from the Pratt Institute have created a wall of concrete blockwork… but not like any you’ve seen before. Challenged by their tutors Lawrence Blough and Ezra Ardolino to produce something highly customized from something highly standardized – the 8-by-8-by-24-inch AAC brick – the students used Rhino software and a CNC miller to create a 96-block screen wall composed of 20 different block profiles. “The earlier stuff I’d done was trying to use as much off-the-shelf material as I could,” said Blough. “Here we decided to really push it, and to take on more of the ideas of mass customization.” Find out more about the project at the Architect’s Newspaper Fabrikator Blog.

Wright & Wright Unveils Scheme to Replace Chipperfield’s Plans for Geffrye Museum

View from Hoxton Station, Geffrye Street. Image © Wright & Wright Architects

Wright & Wright Architects has revealed their designs for the Geffrye Museum in East London, a £15 million redesign that will increase the museum’s total space by almost 40% through “unlocking” previously unused areas of the museum’s 18th century almshouses. The design replaces a scheme by David Chipperfield Architects, which last year failed to secure planning permission in part because of the hugely controversial proposal to demolish the former Marquis of Lansdown Pub that occupies the corner of the site.

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Spotlight: Peter Cook

Sir . Image © vimeo.com

As one of the founding members of Archigram, the avant-garde futurist architecture group of the 1960s, Sir Peter Cook, the British architect, professor, and writer has been a pivotal figure within the global architectural world for over half a century; one of his most significant works from his time with Archigram, The Plug-In City, still invokes debates on technology and society, challenging standards of architectural discourse today. With a love for the slithering, the swarming and the spooky, Cook continues to teach at the University College London’s Bartlett School of Architecture and lecture around the world.

As one of the founding members of Archigram, Cook gained significant international recognition; however, he has now also been recognized for his built works around the world. His recent works, including the construction of his Art Museum in Graz, Austria (Kunsthaus) has brought his radical ideas to a wider public audience. He currently practices with Gavin Robotham as part of CRAB Studio (Cook Robotham Architectural Bureau). 

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Gehry’s Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris: The Critics Respond

Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris. Image © Iwan Baan

The people behind Frank Gehry’s Fondation Louis Vuitton (FLV) in Paris, which is set to officially open on the 27th October 2014, recently invited a band of architecture critics to take a look around and pen their thoughts. Gehry’s bold approach to architectural form, most evident in buildings like the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, matches the foundation’s aim to “promote and support contemporary and artistic creation” in France. According to their website, they in particular embody “a passion for artistic freedom.” How, then, has the enormous sailed structure, challenged by local opposition from the outset, settled into its Parisian parkland surroundings?

See what The Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright, The Observer’s Rowan Moore, Vanity Fair’s Paul Goldberger, The LA Times’ Christopher Hawthorne, as well as the Architectural Digests’ Mayer Rus, had to say about Gehry’s latest completed building after the break.

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Donna van Milligen Bielke Wins Prix de Rome Architecture 2014

Cabinet of Curiosities / Donna van Milligen Bielke. Image Courtesy of Prix de Rome

The Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science Jet Bussemaker has awarded architect Donna van Milligen Bielke the €40,000 2014. A 2012 graduate from the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, Van Milligen Bielke won the prize for her “radical and poetic intervention” – Cabinet of Curiosities – for the Hoogstraat in Rotterdam.

The Prix de Rome is the oldest and largest prize in the Netherlands for architects and visual artists under 40, previously awarded to alumnus Ronald Rietveld in 2006.

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