George Lucas Looks to Chicago

Lucas Cultural Arts Museum proposal for Crissy Field. Image © Art Zendarski

After being rejected, alongside two other shortlisted proposals, by San Francisco’s Presidio Trust to build a self-tiled cultural arts museum at Crissy Field, has turned his attention to the windy city of Chicago. According to a report by the SunTimes, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has challenged civic leaders to find an “accessible” site for the proposed 95,000-square-foot Lucas Cultural Arts Museum by mid-May.

“There aren’t museums looking at digital art and the art of storytelling like this. It’s a fantastic opportunity for Chicago,” stated Polk Brothers Foundation CEO Gillian Darlow, co-chair of the project’s task force. “This is a real effort. The city is serious. He’s serious. And the task force is serious.”

3XN Beats Out OMA, Toyo Ito, Others to Design Olympic Headquarters in Lausanne

Screenshot of the proposed site of the new IOC Headquarters in , Switzerland.. Image Courtesy of Google Earth

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced 3XN as the winner of the competition to design the IOC’s new headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. The decision to choose the Denmark-based firm over eleven firms, including OMA, Toyo Ito, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), follows a unanimous recommendation by the IOC Architecture College.

The 14,000 square meter Headquarters will be part of a greater ‘Olympic campus’ of administrative buildings, located on a 24,000 square meter site on the banks of Lake Geneva.

The entire shortlist and more from 3XN, after the break…

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The Trust Declares Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion a “National Treasure”

rSnapshotPhotos / Shutterstock.com

Philip Johnson’s “iconic” New York State Pavilion has been listed as a “National Treasure” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This designation, which was announced today at the 1964-65 World’s Fair’s 50th anniversary celebration in , declares the pavilion a “historically, culturally and architecturally important site” and will help raise awareness and funding for its preservation. It is now one of just 44 national sites bearing this recognition.

“In the last 50 years, Flushing Meadows Corona Park has grown from the site of the World’s Fair to the home of the World’s Park,” said Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski. “As we celebrate this anniversary, it is just as important that we look to the next 50 years and plan for the Park’s future. I would like to thank the National Trust for Historic Preservation for honoring the New York State Pavilion as a ‘National Treasure’. This designation will highlight the importance of the Pavilion as a national icon, and help us to continue the conversation about how it can best serve Queens’ residents.”

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Níall McLaughlin Chosen for Redevelopment of London’s Natural History Museum

Courtesy of MRC/Picture Plane

British practice Níall McLaughlin Architects together with Kim Wilkie have been unanimously selected as the winners of the competition to reimagine the external grounds of London’s Natural History Museum. The competition, which attracted proposals from shortlisted teams such as BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), Stanton Williams Architects, and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, called for entries to ”reshape the Museum’s grounds and reinvigorate its public setting” with an aim to creating “an innovative exterior setting that matches Alfred Waterhouse’s Grade I listed building whilst also improving access and engaging visitors.”

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Happy Birthday James Stirling

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

On what would have been his birthday today, we celebrate and look back on British architect and Pritzker Laureate Sir James Stirling, who died aged 66 in 1992. Stirling, who grew up in Liverpool, one of the two industrial powerhouses of the British North West, began his career subverting the compositional and theoretical ideas behind the first Modern Movement. Citing a wide-range of influences – from Colin Rowe, a forefather of , to Le Corbusier, 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.

According to Rowan Moore, Stirling also “designed some of the most notoriously malfunctioning buildings of modern time.”  Yet, for all the “veiled accusations of incompetence”, as Reyner Banham put it, Stirling produced a selection of the world’s most interesting and groundbreaking buildings. Notably, the Royal Institute of British Architects’ highest award, the Stirling Prize, was named after him in 1996.

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New Video (and Images) Reveal Original Intent Behind Apple Campus 2

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UPDATE: Did you know that Apple Campus 2 will be solely powered by renewable energy? Also, 80 percent of its 176-acre campus will be entirely dedicated to green space. Watch the newly released Norman Foster interview (above) to learn more about the project’s sustainable features, as well as details about Steve Job’s original inspiration. The following news was originally published as “New Images Released of Apple’s Recently Approved Cupertino Campus” on November 13, 2013. 

Shortly after the approval of Apple’s new corporate headquarters in Cupertino, never-before-seen images have emerged to reveal a glimpse into the campus’ massive, 2.8 million square foot “mothership” and its surrounding facilities.

Provided by the City of Cupertino and released by Wired, the images depict just what Steve Job’s hoped for: a world-class, state-of-the-art office campus that promotes innovation through vibrant communal spaces and healthy employee amenities. From the net-positive main building to a private, subterranean auditorium placed within a forested, -native landscape by OLIN, the Foster + Partners-designed Apple Campus 2 has the potential to be, as Job’s believed, “the best office building in the world.”

A collection of the newly released renderings, after the break…

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Venice Biennale 2014: Dominican Republic Seeks Funding for “La Feria Concreta” Documentary

Fair of Peace and Fraternity of the Free World, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (1955). Image © Archivo General de la Nación

Laboratorio de Arquitectura Dominicana (LAD), curators of the Dominican Republic’s first-ever Venice Architecture Biennale participation, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a short that will reveal the daily life of La Feria. Originally built by brutal dictator Rafael Trujillo as a symbol of power and wealth, the 1950s fairground has transformed into an “architectural protagonist” within the city of Santo Domingo that serves various government bodies by day and illicit enterprises by night.

If successful, award-winning filmmaker Corinne van der Borch will capture the historic center’s dualistic nature, revealing untold stories about La Feria’s turbulent past as well as explore how its architecture changed the city.

Learn more and support the film here on Kickstarter!

Vancouver’s Granville Island: Setting the Standard for Urban Design

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In the 1970s, the principal designers at DIALOG, Norm Hotson and Joost Bakker, were commissioned by the Canadian government to redevelop ’s Granville Island, a former industrial site, into a people place. The architects envisioned a radically different type of waterfront characterized – not by beaches or parks – but by varied commercial and cultural programs. Today this iconic destination, popular with both citizens and tourists alike, is recognized as a pioneering precedent for urban development across Canada. In the above, the DIALOG duo chronicles the success of the mixed-use design, touching on how it has influenced the city of Vancouver as well as the firm’s more recent work.

Tour Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion Tomorrow

For the first time in decades, Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion will open to the public tomorrow (April 22) in celebration of its 50th anniversary. Built for the 1964-65 World’s Fair, “the Pavilion represents a pivotal time in American history when the allure of putting a man on the moon inspired renowned architect to create this emblem for Space Age enthusiasm,” described Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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App Review: Archisketch – “Sketch and Doodle to Scale”

Although tablets have opened up a whole new range of possibilities for architects and designers, using them for drawing and doodling is often a clumsy experience. In many cases there’s far too little accuracy and far too much complexity when it comes to working simple operations. Archisketch, which was formerly known as Archipad, seeks to streamline this experience with a smooth, cleanly designed for that not only allows you to import drawings and doodle over them, but also draw to scale.

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LEGO® Architecture’s Newest Edition: BIG’s Unbuilt LEGO® House

© LEGO®

LEGO® has released their newest, limited-edition architecture set: BIG’s unbuilt LEGO® House. Planned for completion in 2016, the creatively stacked “experience center,” which will commemorate the toy company’s history and future, is the first unbuilt project offered as part of the series. 

The minimalist, white block set is only available for purchase in LEGO®’s hometown of (or here on ebay). A glimpse of just how the blocks (and building) might be constructed, after the break…

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Herzog & de Meuron Completes First Project in Brazil: Morro Arena

Courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron. Exterior.

This last Wednesday, April 9th, Herzog & de Meuron opened its first project in Brazil – Morro Arena - located in the city of Natal. With a capacity for 350 people, the features multipurpose rooms for dancing, classrooms, a terrace overlooking the sea, locker rooms and a sports court.

The project is the first finished part of a broader urban plan for the region developed by the Swiss Office in partnership with the Centro Sócio Pastoral Nossa Senhora de Conceição in 2009.

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Archibot to Print CAD Data “Error Free” onto Construction Sites

Visualisation. Image Courtesy of Han Seok Nam

Archibot, a project currently being developed by South Korean architectural designer Han Seok Nam, aims to “revolutionize” how architects and contractors work on sites by printing digital CAD plans onto the ground “error free.” Having recently been granted a patent, the robot seeks to avoid the human errors associated with interpreting information from construction documents. 

According to Nam, a contractor “will be able to grasp exactly where the door and the wall needs to be constructed by having the construction documents be printed directly onto the site without measurements. Errors will be easily detectable since the construction document can be directly compared to a life-size print out directly on the construction site.” It would be “just like following a map and driving towards a destination.”

See a video of the robot at work, after the break…

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2014 Canadian Urban Design Award Winners

Jiigew – By the Water, Thunder Bay, Ontario, by Brook McIllroy Architects and SPMB. Image © David Whittaker

The winners of the 2014 Canadian Urban Design Awards, a biennial competition recognizing projects that contribute to the vitality and sustainability of Canadian cities, were recently announced by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), Canadian Institute of Planners, and Canadian Society of Landscape Architects. Eight individuals, organizations, and firms – including Perkins + Will for a masterplan in Edmonton - were recognized for their urban design efforts in categories such as Community Initiatives and Civic Design. For information and images on the winning entries, read on after the break.

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Divine Inspiration: 15 Spiritual Spaces

Kamppi Chapel of Silence / K2S Architects

In honor of those celebrating Easter Sunday, we’ve compiled a list of the most breathtaking places of worship from our Religious Architecture Pinterest board. From vast, open halls, to intimate places of prayer and contemplation, these works are sure to spark your appreciation for divine architecture. See them in all their glory, after the break…

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Video: Safer Crossings for Cars, Bicycles and Pedestrians

Well-designed, protected bike lanes are not only the desire for riders, but a necessity for cities to offer sustainable transport. Bikes sales are on the rise and it is imperative that cities meet the growing demand. As Portland-based planner Nick Falbo describes: “If your city is designed so that you may bike instead of drive, it would be a happier, healthier place to live.” With that in mind, Falbo has revealed a systematic proposal that can make the intersections safer for bicyclists, cars and pedestrians.

Fours steps for safer crossings, after the break…

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Boogertman Wins Competition to Design Educational Centre in Kenya’s Karura Forest

Visualisation (day). Image Courtesy of Boogertman + Partners

South African-based practice Boogertman + Partners has recently won a competition to design a new education centre for the  Forest Environmental Education Trust in Kenya’s Karura Forest ReserveThe centre, situated on around fifteen acres of a former sports club, will be surrounded by the closed-canopy forest close to the Kenya Teachers Training College, the International Center for Research in Agro-forestryand the United Nations Environment Programme Headquarters

Located in the northern part of Nairobi County, bordering the Muthaiga, Gigiri and Runda residential areas, the centre will seek to educate people on the many species of plants, birds, insects and mammals to be found within Karura’s diverse landscape.

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How Kiev’s Independence Square Helped Spur an Uprising

© Flickr CC User Michael Kötter

In a fascinating article for the GuardianOwen Hatherley visits Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) in Kiev, the public square at the heart of the Ukranian revolution that ironically was designed under Stalin as a Baron Hausmann-style weapon against uprisings. Hatherley examines how elements of the public space were utilized by protesters, and how different areas of the square are now hosting a variety of political factions. You can read the full article here.