King George III, an Aspiring Architect

George III, Sketch of a palace floor plan, 1785-9. British Library Maps 7.TAB.17. Image Courtesy of British Library

Not sure if “manic” can be classified as an architectural style, but that is what some are choosing to describe the newly discovered, hand-drawn floor plans of a grand place envisioned by King George III. According to the British Library, the King was “passionately interested” about architecture and drew plans for a future living quarters in Kew – now a district in West – during a time when he was suffering from severe mental illness in the late 1780s. Learn more about the King’s vision for a grand palace, here.

Studio Gang Behind Supertall Tower Planned for Chicago

© City of

The City of Chicago has officially linked Studio Gang Architects to the massive mixed-use “Wanda Vista” development planned to rise alongside the Chicago River. A trio of interlocking supertall towers, the $900 million riverfront project is expected to become the city’s third tallest building.

According to the Chicago Tribune’s Blair Kamin, the tallest part of the skyscraper will reach 1,148 feet and 88 stories, one story less than rumors originally indicated, stirring speculation that the final count has something to due with its Chinese developer and “eight” being considering a lucky number in China.

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32 “Discarded” Helsinki Guggenheim Proposals You Should Know About

The search for a design for Helsinki’s new Guggenheim Museum is well under way. Over a thousand entrants submitted anonymous proposals for the harbor-side museum, and though six finalists have now been chosen, the incredible wealth of talent and effort present in the submissions is hard to ignore. We celebrate that talent here, showcasing 32 great designs-that-could-have-been for the Guggenheim. Learn more about all of them, after the break!

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Garden Bridge Gains Final Approval From Mayor of London

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London Mayor Boris Johnson has approved plans for the Thomas Heatherwick-designed Garden Bridge. The approval from the mayor is the third and final green light for the bridge, having previously been accepted by both Lambeth and Westminster councils. The project is now likely to begin construction within a year – in line with a self-imposed deadline by the Garden Bridge Trust that will allow them to complete the project before works on the proposed Thames Tideway Tunnel cause disruption on the site.

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Alessandro Mendini Awarded the European Prize for Architecture

Museo del Casalingo -Forum Megna, 1996. Image Courtesy of Chicago Athenaeum Newsletter

Italian architect, philosopher, architectural theorist, visionary and design practitioner, , has been selected to receive the 2014 European Prize for Architecture. Awarded annually by the European Centre for Architecture, Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, the European Prize for Architecture aims to recognize “influential architects that have changed and challenged the direction of contemporary architecture today and who have blazoned a more humane and intellectual approach to architecture.”

“Not since Frank Lloyd Wright has the world seen a more theory-driven and profound-thinking architect than Mendini,” said Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, the Museum President of the Chicago Athenaeum, in a press release.

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RIBA Future Trends Survey Reveals A Dip In UK Workloads

Courtesy of

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for November showed that confidence in workload among UK architects fell back slightly with the workload index returning back to +29. This is compared to +37 in October, which was the second highest ever balance figure. The highest balance figures were in Northern Ireland (+50) and the North of England (+46), areas with the RIBA state “were initially the slowest to indicate a return to growth.” In addition, the percentage of respondents reporting that they had personally been under-employed remained at 12% for the second month running – the lowest figure since the survey began in January 2009. Practices report that they are currently employing 6% more year-out and post Part II students than they were twelve months ago.

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Milan Expo 2015: Russia to Exhibit Expansive Timber Pavilion

Courtesy of Eventica Communications

Russia has released designs for their participation at Milan Expo 2015. Taking in consideration Russia’s most successful world EXPO pavilions, of which the country has been producing since 1851, and the importance of “green technologies,” SPEECH has designed an expansive 4000-square-meter timber structure with a pronounced roofline that features a mirrored canopy extending 30-meters over the pavilion’s main entrance.

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ArchDaily’s 22 Most Popular Pinterest Pins

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We have just surpassed 100,000 followers on Pinterest! To celebrate, we would like to share with you the 22 most pinned images of all-time by our readers.

For those of you who have yet to join , we suggest you consider, as it is a marvelous way to visually organize inspiration and information. Just take a look at one of our many “boards;” from “stairs” to “interiors,” we promise to continually provide your Pinterest feed with new and inspiring work.

Take a look at the 22 most popular ArchDaily pins on Pinterest, after the break. Happy pinning!

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Davis Brody Bond and KieranTimberlake Chosen to Design NYU Facility

US Embassy in London / Architects

As the culmination of a five-month selection process, New York University (NYU) has announced that Davis Brody Bond and KieranTimberlake will be designing its major new facility along Mercer Street between Houston and Bleecker in New York. The facility’s many uses will include classrooms, teaching spaces for performing arts, a state-of-the-art sports facility, and student and faculty housing.

Collectively, the team was chosen for its high profile portfolio, which includes projects like the 9/11 Memorial Museum, the U.S. Embassy in London, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the 1983-2006 restoration and expansion of the New York Public Library.

Zaha Hadid Designs Dune-Inspired Net Zero Headquarters for Bee’ah

© / MIR

Designs have been released for Bee’ah’s new headquarters in Sharjah. The Middle Eastern environmental and waste management company commissioned Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA), following an invited competition, to design a facility that reflects their goal to operate entirely from renewable energy sources and move towards zero waste, as well as increase their educational outreach.

ZHA’s design builds from its desert context, acting as two energy efficient “dunes” that intersect to form a central “oasis.” Read on to learn more.

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Images Revealed of Zaha Hadid’s First Project in Brazil

© METHANOIA

Images of Zaha Hadid’s first project in Brazil – and in South America — have been revealed. The “Casa Atlântica” tower will have eleven floors and a rooftop pool and be built in Copacabana, , according to local paper O Globo.

Located on Atlântica Avenue, “Casa Atlântica” will be the only building on its lot, yet seeks to complement the surrounding environment and neighborhood.

The project was commissioned by businessman, Omar Peres, who acquired the land for R$ 23 million ($8.5 million).

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Spotlight: David Chipperfield

David Chipperfield in 2012. Image © Flickr CC user Bruno Cordioli

Born and raised in London in 1953, British architect David Chipperfield‘s career has spanned decades and continents as an architect, designer and professor. Since 1984, he has been at the helm of David Chipperfield Architects, an award winning firm with over 180 staff at offices in London, Berlin, Milan, and Shanghai. Chipperfield is an honourary fellow of the American Institute of Architects and Germany’s Bund Deutscher Architekten, and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2004. In 2012, Chipperfield curated the Venice Biennale of Architecture under the theme Common Ground. Most recently, Chipperfield was named Artistic Director of Italian design brand Driade.

Read more about Chipperfield’s career and projects after the break

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Video: Alison And Peter Smithson On Housing

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In 1970 the BBC followed architects Alison and Peter Smithson through the construction of their seminal housing project, Robin Hood Gardens (London). The impact of their architecture continues to resonate well into the 21st century, most recently in the British Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale. Robin Hood Gardens was demolished in 2013, bringing an end to the Smithson’s utopian vision. Listen to Alison Smithson explain the European Housing Condition (as the vision stood in 1970), the state of British infrastructure as it was, and hear Peter Smithson discuss the impetus for their most famous collective housing project.

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Humorous Short Stories About Austin’s Madcap Growth

Courtesy of davidheymannauthor.com

Award-winning architect, writer, and professor David Heymann has just released his first work of fiction: My Beautiful City . Composed of seven humorous tales, the stories document the misadventures of a young architect in Austin and his accidental involvement in the slow decimation of his city’s charms. Unable to deter his clients from their poor choices, the well-intentioned designer finds himself complicit. Using fiction, Heymann paints a sharply dynamic picture of the architectural consequences of Austin’s rapid growth and “rediscovered allure.” Check out the book, here.

November ABI Continues to Drop

November ABI. Image Courtesy of CalculatedRiskBlog.com

While the US Architecture Billing Index (ABI) has remained positive for seven consecutive months, the score continues to slowly drop and is now teetering on the edge of falling into the red. As the American Institute of Architects () says, any score above 50 reflects an increase in design services. However, November’s ABI score was 50.9, down from the mark of 53.7 in October, revealing a drop in demand. The new projects inquiry index was 58.8, following a mark of 62.7 the previous month.

“Demand for design services has slowed somewhat from the torrid pace of the summer, but all project sectors are seeing at least modest growth,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Architecture firms are expecting solid mid-single digit gains in revenue for 2014, but heading into 2015, they are concerned with finding quality contractors for projects, coping with volatile construction costs and with finding qualified architecture staff for their firms.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

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How Cutting Edge Technology Helped Recreate the Stella Tower’s Concrete Crown

Screenshot from video by JDS Development Group

In some projects, preservation isn’t just about retaining what’s there, but also about putting back an element that has been forgotten to history (not always, though). This was the case at the Stella Tower in Manhattan, where as part of the building’s recently completed condo conversion, JDS Development Group and Property Markets Group, along with architects CetraRuddy have reinstated the dramatic Art Deco crown of Ralph Walker’s 1927 design.

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Valode & Pistre Set to Break Ground on Africa’s Tallest Tower

© Valode & Pistre / iceberg.fr

Valode & Pistre is set to break ground on Africa’s tallest tower next June. More than doubling the height of Johannesburg’s 223-meter Carlton Center, which has been the continent’s tallest building since 1973, the Al Noor Tower (Tower of Light) will most likely rise 540-meters on a 25-hectare site in the Moroccan city of

It’s program will center around business, providing accommodations with a 200-suite luxury hotel, a trading platform, conference hall and large art gallery, as well as an astonishing 100-meter-tall atrium that hollows the tower’s base.  

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ArchDaily’s 2014 Holiday Card Contest Winners Announced

Submitted by Patrick Grime

After receiving close to 150 holiday card submissions – including a “Bjarke, the Herald Ingels” singing, and several angry Gehry-Clauses – we’ve selected three winners! Take a look at the winning submissions as well as some of our favorite cards after the break, and get ready to celebrate the holidays the architect’s way.

’s 2014 Holiday Card Contest has been generously sponsored by Mosa.

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