10 Facts about AJ’s Woman Architect of the Year 2015: Teresa Borsuk

The Granary. Image © Pollard Thomas Edwards

The Architects’ Journal as named of Pollard Thomas Edward “Woman Architect of the Year 2015.” The prestigious title, awarded last year to Mecanoo’s Francine Houben, is being presented to Borsuk for her “remarkable” ability to improve equality within her practice.

Borsuk was chosen over an impressive shortlist of women architects. Find out 10 facts about Borsuk and see why the jury consider her to be an ideal role model for future generations, after the break.

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Frank Lloyd Wright and Fay Jones on the Web: The Value of Online Exhibitions

Alexander Residence (Raheen) Swimming Pool. Image © Fay Jones Collection, Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries

Yesterday afternoon, I was able to visit the University of Arkansas “Fay Jones and : Organic Architecture Comes to Arkansas” – without purchasing a ticket or leaving my apartment. This extensive exhibition on the life and development of these two notable architects was made possible through a collaboration between University of Arkansas Libraries’ Special Collections and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Library and Archives. Exhibitions such as this are part of a broader movement in recent years towards making archived content more easily accessible to the public through web platforms. The concept of the online exhibition, however, is still in its infancy and there remains significant room for innovation.

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Spotlight: Lúcio Costa

Lúcio Costa. Image via archi.ru. ImageLúcio Costa

Brazilian planner, preservationist and modernist thinker Lucio Costa  (27 Feburary 1902 – 13 June 1998) is best known for his 1957 plan of Brasília that shaped the Brazilian capital into a monument to utopian . A resolute and often controversial figure in the Brazilian establishment, Costa’s contributions to Brazilian architecture helped to shape the distinctive modernism that was practically Brazil’s official style until the 1980s.

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David Chipperfield to Receive the Netherlands’ Sikkens Prize

Neues Museum / David Chipperfield Architects in collaboration with Julian Harrap. Image © Ute Zscharnt for David Chipperfield Architects

British architect David Chipperfield has been selected to receive the 2015 Sikkens Prize, one of the oldest independent art prizes in the Netherlands. The prize’s 36th recipient, Chipperfield is being recognized for his “revolutionary use of color,” much like his predecessors; Gerrit Rietveld, Le Corbusier, Donald Judd, HEMA and Bridget Riley have all received the .

According to the jury, “Chipperfield’s work on the Neues Museum in Berlin is a magnificent example of his way of working. Like no other he knows how to combine the old with the new. In his spatial compositions he achieves a delicate balance between color, material end texture. Chipperfield uses the colors provided by the architectural context and the building materials in an unemphatic yet expressive way.”

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Ten Buildings Which Epitomize The Triumph Of Postmodernism

Via Archive of Affinities. Image © Nils-Ole Lund

Being such a recent movement in the international architectural discourse, the reach and significance of post- can sometimes go unnoticed. In this selection, chosen by Adam Nathaniel Furman, the “incredibly rich, extensive and complex ecosystem of projects that have grown out of the initial explosion of from the 1960s to the early 1990s” are placed side by side for our delight.

From mosques that imagine an idyllic past, via Walt Disney’s Aladdin from the 1990s, to a theatre in Moscow that turns its façade into a constructivist collage of classical scenes, “there are categories in post-modernism to be discovered, and tactics to be learned.” These projects trace forms of complex stylistic figuration, from the high years of academic postmodernism, to the more popular of its forms that spread like wildfire in the latter part of the 20th century.

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AA Visiting School Istanbul: Cellular Re-Visions

AA Visiting School is beginning an exciting collaboration with Bilgi University in 2015. Continuing its expertise on generative design methodologies and large-scale prototyping techniques, the programme will investigate patterns of emergence, differentiation and complexity in natural formation processes, which will then be transformed into digital simulation platforms for design purposes. In contemporary architectural processes, a significant diversion from linear parametric tools towards generative design simulations is taking place. The design and analysis processes will reflect this shift by focusing on simulations, whereby attention will be focused on the process of design generation as opposed to the final form itself. The design agenda of the programme will revolve around the design and fabrication of a one-to-one scale pavilion.

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Álvaro Siza Says ArchDaily’s Building of the Year Award Provides “Strong Incentive” for Profession

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Speaking to the Portuguese communication agency Lusa, Álvaro Siza Vieira, winner of the 2015 Building of the Year Awards‘ office category, stated that the international award is a “strong incentive” to continue working in the architectural field.

Siza’s awarded building – named The Building on the Water – is located in Huai’na, Jiangsu Province (China), and was designed together with Portuguese architect Carlos Castanheira for the company Shihlien Chemical Industrial Jiangsu Co.

Showing gratitude for the acknowledgement, Siza highlighted that the building process went as planned, without any drawbacks, and client Mr. Por-Shih Lin contributed a lot with the project. “I use to say the building’s owner is the first architect and without his effort it’s nearly impossible to get satisfying results,” said Siza, the first Portuguese Pritzker laureate. 

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Bromley Council Abandons Plan to Rebuild Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace rebuild site. Image Courtesy of Bromley Council

The ambitious and seemingly well-supported plans to reconstruct London’s iconic Crystal Palace have been abandoned. As reported by the BBC, Chinese developer ZhongRong Group, who was leading the project, failed to meet the required criteria and 16-month deadline set by the south Bromley Council, resulting in the project’s demise.

The original glass palace, designed as a prefabricated modular structure by Sir Joseph Paxton, was built in 1851 at Hyde Park, prior to being relocated to Crystal Palace in 1854. In 1936, the structure was destroyed by fire.

More about the Council’s decision, after the break.

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Competition Seeks Ideas to Transform Preston Bus Station into Youth Center

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has launched an international design competition in search of ideas to transform Lancashire’s iconic Preston Bus Station into a new public hub and youth center. The anticipated £13 million plan hopes to not only provide a home for the new Preston Youth Zone Plus, but preserve the historic structure’s brutalist appearance.

, designed by BDP and completed in 1969, was previously slated for demolition. However, last year the success of an international preservation campaign saved it from destruction and helped the building achieve Grade-II listing.

The proposed program and competition details, after the break. 

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Astropad: Use Your iPad As A Professional Graphics Tablet

: use your iPad as a tablet for your Mac. Image Courtesy of

Astropad, an app for iOS and Mac, transforms your existing iPad into a professional graphics tablet without the need for additional hardware. Having been developed by Matt Ronge and Giovanni Donelli – both former Apple engineers – the app allows for the iPad to act as a extended trackpad as well as work with most third-party styluses.

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AIA Awards Two with 2015 Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement

Novartis Campus / Gehry Partners – A project with Transsolar KlimaEngineering. Image © Flickr CC user Novartis AG

The Lyceum Fellowship Inc. and Transsolar KlimaEngineering have been awarded the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement. The annual award is intended to “recognize and encourage distinguished achievements of allied professionals, clients, organizations, architect teams, knowledge communities, and others who have had a beneficial influence on or advanced the architectural profession.” Both winners will be honored at the 2015 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Atlanta.

Architects to be Given Chance to Design New Bauhaus Museum in Dessau

© GeoBasis-DE / LVermGeo LSA, 2015, Aktenzeichen C22-7000520-2015

In celebration of the 100th Bauhaus anniversary, the Foundation Bauhaus Dessau has announced plans to construct a new Bauhaus Museum in . As part of a competition “preannouncement” published on the museum’s site, an open two-phased international competition will challenge architects to design a museum for the foundation’s “outstanding collection” under the “best possible conservation conditions.”

Co-promoter of the competition, the City of Dessau-Roßlau is currently searching for possible sites that will allow the Bauhaus Museum Dessau to be integrated into the city’s central City Park. It is hoped that the museum and park will “strengthen and complement each other and enrich the location as a cultural centre.”

A breakdown of key competition dates, after the break.

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Google Taps BIG and Heatherwick to Design New California Headquarters

Image: Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick

The City of Mountain View is expected to receive a massive proposal from the city’s largest employer; reports confirm that Google has enlisted Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Heatherwick Studio to design its new California headquarters. With the few details released, it is unclear if the proposal plans to update the company’s existing 3.1 million-square-foot Googleplex or replace it. However, as the New York Times reports, the proposal will boast a “series of canopy-like buildings” on a campus organized around bicycle and pedestrian paths.

This means Google is now joining a list of powerful corporations who have enlisted world-renowned architects to design their headquarters, including Apple’s Foster + Partners-designed “spaceship” and Facebook’s Gehry-Esque 10-acre “room.” If approved, Google will shift its focus on new housing, ensuring there is enough living space within Mountain View to accommodate its growing workforce (a topic of concern for many residents).

The proposal will be submitted to the city this Friday. Take a look at the company’s existing Mountain View headquarters, after the break.

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#wikiD: Help ArchiteXX Add Women Architects to Wikipedia

Courtesy of

Inspired by Despina Stratigakos’ essay “Unforgetting Women Architects: From the Pritzker to Wikipedia,” ArchiteXX has launched #wikiD, a global event to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8. With the slogan of “Women. . Design,” #wikiD prompts people to “write into women designers, architects and all those involved in the creation of our environment.”

Learn more about the event and how to get involved after the break. 

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5 Finalists Selected for the 2015 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture- Mies van der Rohe Award

Five projects have been selected as finalists of the 2015 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture- Mies van der Rohe Award. The finalists were selected from a shortlist of 40 projects, and over the next couple of months the jury members will visit each of the finalist projects to evaluate the buildings firsthand and gather information from the people who use them. On May 7, the architects will present their projects to the jury. The winner will be announced the following day at a ceremony at Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion.

See the five finalists after the break.

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ArchiBlox Designs World’s First Prefabricated Carbon Positive House

© Tom Ross

Australian company ArchiBlox has released its design for the world’s first carbon positive prefabricated house. Representing a new movement in , the carbon positive house provides the option for a more environmentally-conscious design, through both reducing embodied energy that accompanies new-home construction and maintaining positive-energy production. The groundbreaking product line began its first installation on February 8 at Melbourne’s City Square.  

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O’Donnell + Tuomey’s Central European University In Budapest Breaks Ground

Work has begun on O’Donnell + Tuomey’s first project in Hungary. The new collection of buildings and restoration projects for the Central European University in sits within existing courtyards in a dense area of the city. Bringing a total of 35,000m² of new space to the inner-city campus, the project consists of a new library spread across five floors, an auditorium, multiple public spaces, teaching and learning facilities, study rooms, and a café.

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New York to Complete First Prefabricated “Micro-Apartments” this Year

With floor areas clocking in at as little as 260 square feet, housing units by nARCHITECTS are the latest singles-oriented housing option to enter the New York rental market. The modular units will be fabricated at the Brooklyn Navy Yard for stacking in Kips Bay this spring, and are projected to welcome their first inhabitants by the end of 2015.

Current New York city zoning and density rules set a minimum apartment floor area of 400 square feet, yet this regulation was waived for My Micro NY in the interests of creating more affordable housing. An inflated rental market has long posed issues for those seeking housing in the city, particularly singles and students with tight budgets. My Micro NY will create 9 stories and 55 individual apartments, whose features include 9 and 10 foot ceiling heights, Juliette balconies, and concealed storage space.

A look inside, after the break. 

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