Museum of Cultures Completes in Milan

© Oskar Da Riz Fotografie

The Museo delle Culture (Museum of Cultures), or MUDEC, has completed in . Overshadowed by controversy, the building has made headlines this week due to a disagreement over its “poor quality” flooring that has led its architect (David Chipperfield) to disassociate himself with the project. Despite this, MUDEC is moving forward with plans to open on April 26. Take a look inside the building, after the break.

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Patrik Schumacher: “The Denunciation of Architectural Icons and Stars is Superficial and Ignorant”

’ Heydar Aliyev Center. Image © Hufton + Crow

In the latest of his provocative posts on , Patrik Schumacher has come out in defense of iconic design and star architects, arguing that the current trend of criticism is “superficial and ignorant,” and “all-too-easy point-scoring which indeed usually misses the point.”

Schumacher says that critics “should perhaps slow down a bit in their (pre-)judgement and reflect on their role as mediators between the discourse of architecture and the interested public.” In the 1,400 word post, he goes on to elaborate that so-called icons and the star system are inevitable results of this mediation, adding that “explanation rather than dismissal and substitution should be seen as the critics’ task.”

Read on after the break for more highlights from Schumacher’s argument

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Maya Lin and Shepley Bulfinch to Redesign Smith College’s Neilson Library

Neilson Library. Image © Flickr CC user chipmunk_1

Maya Lin, best known for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, together with Shepley Bulfinch has been chosen to redesign Smith College’s Neilson Library. Selected after an international search conducted by the school, Lin’s interdisciplinary approach coupled with ’s extensive work with academic institutions ultimately brought them to the forefront. Construction is expected to begin in 2017 and last two years.

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FAT And Crimson’s ‘A Clockwork Jerusalem’ To Be Exhibited In London

Electric Pastoral. Image © FAT Architecture / Sam Jacob

A Clockwork Jerusalem, the exhibition showcased in the British Pavilion at last year’s Venice Biennale, will make it’s debut at London’s Architectural Association (AA) next month. Commissioned by the British Council and curated by Sam Jacob, co-founder of FAT, and , partner at Dutch practice Crimson Architectural Historians, the exhibition shines a light on the large scale projects of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s by exploring the “mature flowering of British Modernism at the moment it was at its most socially, politically and architecturally ambitious – but also the moment that witnessed its collapse.”

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First Renderings of Populous’ Downtown Milwaukee Stadium

View from Entertainment District Live Block. Image Courtesy of Populous

The Bucks have just unveiled Populous‘ initial renderings of their downtown revitalization plan for Milwaukee’s sports and entertainment district, anchored by a multi-purpose arena. The first step in their vision, the arena hopes to be a modern expression of Wisconsin’s heritage and a vibrant cornerstone to the growth of downtown Milwaukee.

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Grimshaw to Masterplan Washington DC’s Union Station

Existing Washington Union Station. Image © beautifulcataya

Grimshaw Architects has been asked to collaborate with New York-based Beyer Blinder Belle on a $10 billion that will modernize Washington DC‘s 1913 Beaux Arts Union Station. Along with the potential to triple passenger capacity, the plan aims to make the station more accessible and efficient, while integrate a new three-million-square-foot, mixed-use development by Amtrak and Akridge over its rail tracks.

“Washington DC deserves a station that serves the region on a practical level whilst celebrating the gateway to the nation’s capital,” said Grimshaw partner Vincent Chang.

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Henning Larsen Designs New Branch of Swedish National Museum

Courtyard. Image © Henning Larsen Architects

Henning Larsen Architects has been selected over eleven finalists to design the new NORR – National Museum in Östersund, Mid-Sweden. Acting both as an extension to the existing Jamtli Museum and a new branch of the Swedish National Museum, the new building will feature a large and flexible exhibition hall, workshops, offices and a cafe.

“The new exhibition hall is designed as wooden sculpture with an easily recognizable silhouette against the sky. The roof is quite remarkable because the deep skylights filter the soft northern daylight directly into the exhibition space. This gives a very sensitive light as well as a view to the sky,” says Søren Øllgaard, partner at Henning Larsen Architects and design responsible for the project.

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Spotlight: Jørn Utzon

Jørn Utzon in front of the Opera House during construction, 1965. Image Courtesy of Keystone/Getty Images

Pritzker Prize winning architect Jørn Utzon, who died in 2008 aged 90, was the relatively unknown Dane who, on the 29th January 1957, was announced as the winner of the ‘International competition for a national opera house at Bennelong Point, Sydney’. When speaking about this iconic building, Louis Kahn stated that:

The sun did not know how beautiful its light was, until it was reflected off this building.

Unfortunately, Utzon never saw the Sydney Opera House, his most popular work, completed. Learn of his fascinating story, after the break.

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Shortlist Announced For 2015 RIBA South West Awards

Shortlisted: Myrtle Cottage Garden Studio / Stonewood Design. Image © Jo Chambers

A total of sixteen projects have been shortlisted for RIBA South West 2015 Awards, featuring buildings by Glenn Howells Architects, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, AHR, and Stonewood Design. All shortlisted buildings will now be assessed by a regional jury. Regional winners will then be considered for a RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, the results of which will place some projects in the running for the 2015 .

See the complete list of shortlisted projects after the break.

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Win a FREE Full Pass to the 2015 AIA National Convention from reThink Wood

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In just over a month, the AIA National Convention is coming to Atlanta to celebrate world class innovations in architecture, new materials and technology. If you haven’t booked your ticket already, here is a chance to attend one of the largest architecture events, free of charge!

reThink Wood is offering a full pre-paid pass to the National Convention ($1,025 value) to one lucky ArchDaily reader. The winner will also be able to meet with architects on site that are passionate about innovative design with in mid-rise, and even high-rise structures.

To win, just answer the following question in the comments section before April 20 at 12:00PM ESTWhat is your favorite example of wood in architecture?

More on reThink Wood at the AIA National Convention after the break.

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Amanda Levete to Design Melbourne’s Second Annual MPavilion

Temporary structure from the "Move: Choreographing You" exhibition by . Image © Gidon Fuehrer

British architect Amanda Levete of London-based studio AL_A has been selected to design Melbourne’s second annual MPavilion. The temporary structure will be used to house talks, workshops, performances and installations in the ”downtown oasis” of Queen Victoria Gardens starting this October. 

“I’ve visited Australia three times in the past six years and without doubt Melbourne is my favorite city,” said Levete, commenting on her commission. “It’s people that make a city creative – and that’s why I love Melbourne. The brief from the Naomi Milgrom Foundation is a great opportunity to design a structure that responds to its climate and landscape. I’m interested in exploiting the temporary nature of the pavilion form to produce a design that speaks in response to the weather.”

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Spotlight: Richard Neutra

© Klaus Meier-Ude via architonic.com

Though Modernism is sometimes criticized for imposing universal rules on different people and areas, but it was Richard J. Neutra‘s (April 8, 1892 – April 16, 1970) intense client focus that won him acclaim. His personalized and flexible version of created a series of private homes that were and are highly sought after, and make him one of the United States’ most significant mid century modernists. His architecture of simple geometry and airy steel and glass became the subject of the iconic photographs of Julius Schulman, and came to stand for an entire era of American design.

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Mexican Company Develops Wood Substitute from a Tequila Byproduct

A sample of the material. Image © Plastinova via phys.org

Searching for an alternative to costly and resource intensive materials, Mexican company Plastinova has developed a wood substitute from a byproduct of tequila and recycled which it claims is not only renewable, but also stronger than the materials that it hopes to replace.

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BIG-led Webinar to Discuss the Manhattan “Dry Line”

Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.org

One of the six winners of the Rebuild by Design competition, Bjarke Ingels Group’s (BIG) “Dry Line” project aims to protect Manhattan from future storms like Hurricane Sandy by creating a protective barrier around lower Manhattan. The barrier will be formed by transforming underused waterfront areas into public parks and amenities. Now, you can learn more about the vision behind the project and how it was developed in a webinar led by Jeremy Alain Siegel, the director of the BIG Rebuild by Design team and head of the subsequent East Side Coastal Project. The webinar will take place on Friday, June 12. Learn more and sign-up on Perform.Network

The Architecture Of Death

At the 2014 Venice Biennale, away from the concentrated activity of the Arsenale and Giardini, was Death in Venice: one of the few independent projects to take root that year. The  was curated by Alison Killing and Ania Molenda, who worked alongside LUST graphic designers. It saw the hospitals, cemeteries, crematoria and hospices of London interactively mapped creating, as Gian Luca Amadei put it, an overview of the capital’s “micro-networks of death.” Yet it also revealed a larger message: that architecture related to death and dying appears to no longer be important to the development of architecture as a discipline.

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David Chipperfield Disowns Milan’s Museum of Culture Over “Floor War”

© Oskar Da Riz Fotografie via MUDEC

The poor quality and laying of stone flooring in Milan‘s newly completed Museum of Culture has led its architect, David Chipperfield to dissociate himself with the building. Blasting officials for skimping on materials, the British architect is demanding his name be removed from the project, claiming the building is now a “museum of horrors” and a “pathetic end to 15 years of work” due to the low quality flooring. 

On the contrary, ’s council says the material decision was made in the “interests of the taxpayers,” further claiming that, according to councillor Filippo del Corno, Chipperfield has been “unreasonable and impossible to please.” 

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Mark Zuckerberg Praises Frank Gehry: “He’s Very Efficient”

Early building model inside the completed headquarters. Image Image via Mark Zuckerberg

After Facebook began its move into its new Frank Gehry-designed headquarters last week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has praised his architect for his work. In a post on his personal Facebook page yesterday, Zuckerberg shares the story of how Gehry he initially turned down Gehry’s request to design the project, saying that “even though we all loved his architecture… We figured he would be very expensive and that would send the wrong signal about our culture.”

But Frank Gehry persisted, saying that he would match any bids the company received. As a result, Zuckerberg has now praised Gehry – in a somewhat uncharacteristic description of the architect – for being “very efficient.”

Read Zuckerberg’s full statement, after the break.

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‘Dimensionless’ Photographic Façade Studies By Nikola Olic

Twisted Building (Frank Gehry). Image © Nikola Olic

Nikola Olic is an architectural photographer based in Dallas, Texas, with a focus on capturing and reimagining buildings and sculptural objects in “dimensionless and disorienting ways.” His photographs, which often isolate views of building façades, frame architectural surfaces in order for them to appear to collapse into two dimensions. According to Olic, “this transience can be suspended by a camera shutter for a fraction of a second.” As part of his process, each photograph is named before being given a short textual accompaniment.

See a selection of Olic’s photographs after the break.

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