APA Awards: James Ewing’s Matrimandir Photograph Places First for Architecture

The Matrimandir in Auroville, designed by Roger Anger and Mirra Alfassa was constructed between 1971-2008. The inner chamber contains a meditation hall which houses the largest optically perfect glass sphere in the world. Auroville is an international peace community founded as a project of the Sri Aurobindo Society in 1968 with the endorsement of the Government of and UNESCO.. Image ©

Brooklyn based architectural photographer James Ewing has placed first in the American Photographic Artists’ APA Awards for architecture. The image, as Ewing describes, “was created to describe the verdant landscape that surrounds the Matrimandir and the community of Auroville.” 

“The land was in an advanced state of desertification when the Auroville project was started in the 1960s. Heavy erosion had removed most of the topsoil and left a barren scorched earth. Through many years of careful engineering and land management Auroville has created a lush, wooded, garden city. I sought out an elevated vantage point that allowed me to present the building in context with its landscape. The building without the landscape would only be half of the story. The cyclists in the foreground show scale and provide a contrast between the familiar low-fi technology of the bicycles and the fantastic sci-fi form of the Matrimandir itself.”

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Spotlight: Renzo Piano

© Architecture Record

“Architecture is art, but art vastly contaminated by many other things. Contaminated in the best sense of the word – fed, fertilised by many things.” -Renzo Piano

, the Pritzker-Prize Laureate born in Genoa, Italy, turns 77 today. While Piano was originally expected to follow the family tradition of building, Renzo rebelled to study architecture in Milan. Even so, to this day, Piano maintains a healthy skepticism of academia; indeed, craftsmanship and experimentation are both pillars at the Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Check out more Renzo Piano, including inspiring quotes and all his works on ArchDaily, after the break…

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KAMJZ Reveals Proposal for Shenzhen Bay Super City Masterplan

Courtesy of KAMJZ Architects

Already one of the most remarkable examples of China’s urban growth in the last 30 years, Shenzhen will soon also host a bustling new financial district. The Shenzhen Bay Super City Masterplan aims to create a new city center with top headquarter offices for global corporations and related venues for international conferences, exhibitions, and cultural programs. KAMJZ Architects has recently revealed their competition entry with a plan that proposes a more sustainable city center through the design of a radical new typology for office towers. Read on after the break to learn more about the proposed masterplan.

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Refresh Yourself with ArchDaily’s 15 Most Popular Pools on Pinterest

Devoto House / Andres Remy Arquitectos. Image © Alejandro Peral

We present to you 15 of ArchDaily’s most re-pinned pools on Pinterest; designs which resonate with the profound power of the aquatic. As Lao Tzu reminds us, “nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it,” not even architecture. Now come on in; the water’s fine.

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Spotlight: Tadao Ando

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Tadao Ando (13 September 1941), the 1995 recipient of the Pritzker Prize, turns 73 today. Ando, a Japanese architect based out of Osaka, Japan, is highly regarded for his unparalleled work with concrete, sensitive treatment of natural light, and strong engagement with nature.

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Construction Begins on Miami’s Tallest Tower

Courtesy of Skyrise

Construction has begun on Miami’s tallest tower: SkyRise Miami. Standing 305 meters above the Biscayne Bay, the waterfront tower will offer three viewing decks, a restaurant, nightclub, ballroom, exhibition space, and even the chance to bungee jump off its upper floors.

It’s designers, locally based arquitectonica, hope SkyRise will achieve LEED Gold upon completion in mid-2017.

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National Building Museum Honors Charlie Rose with Vincent Scully Prize

Courtesy of Charlie Rose

The National Building Museum has announced Charlie Rose as the recipient of the 2014 Vincent Scully Prize. The American talk show host and journalist was honored for his exploration “good design, the growth of cities, and the shape of the urban form through his insightful and substantive conversations with leading thinkers of our day.”

“One of the great joys of spending twenty-five years at the table is meeting a cross-section of the best in culture and science and technology,” said Rose. “I have a special place for the men and women who inspire us with the buildings they create. Architecture is a passion of mine and I’ve been proud to know not only architects but also those who teach, assess, and love great buildings. Architecture is one of the reflections of the permanence of a civilization. I am indeed honored to be the recipient of the , named for a man I have known, admired, and interviewed.”

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Amazon to Occupy Stalled Foster Scheme

© with Brookfield

Amazon has confirmed plans to move more than 5,000 of its London employees into a Foster + Partners-designed office building planned for Shoreditch High Street. On hold since January 2012, the £290 million mixed-use scheme will compete with Amazon’s Farringdon office to serve as the online retailer’s new headquarters.

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AR Issues: Who Needs Architecture Critics?

Courtesy of

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this post, we take you back to AR’s June 2014 issue, which examines the state of architectural criticism in our age of online media and ever-present PR. Here, AR Editor Catherine Slessor argues that “more than ever, architecture is in need of provocative, engaging and entertaining critics.”

Ambrose Bierce, the great 19th-century satirist and author of the The Devil’s Dictionary, once defined a critic as ‘a person who boasts himself hard to please because nobody tries to please him’. Critics occupy a curiously parasitical position in the modern cultural milieu, and an architecture critic perhaps especially so. But in an age when architects can easily find obliging PR minions to dispense their gospel and biddable publishers to churn out infinite, anodyne oeuvres complètes, who still needs critics and criticism?

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Argentina to Build Latin America’s Tallest Skyscraper

Winning Proposal Image. © Fan Page de Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has announced the winning proposal for the Cinematography and Audiovisual Tower that will be built in capital Buenos Aires.

Out of five competing proposals, MRA+A Álvarez| Bernabó | Sabatini’s design was selected. At 335 meters, the skyscraper will become the tallest building in Latin America, surpassing the 300-meter Costanera tower in Santiago, Chile and a 330-meter tower under development in Monterrery, Mexico. To be used mainly for Argentina’s film and television industry, the tower will have 67 floors and 216,000 square meters of space. A hotel will occupy the top 13 floors.

More details after the break…

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Australian Institute of Architects Announces 2014 National Awards Shortlist

© Peter Clarke

The Australian Institute of Architects has announced the 61 projects making it to this year’s 2014 Australian National Awards. Selected from a pool of 153 regional winners across 13 categories, the jury have visited all the shortlisted projects (except the international shortlist) in preparation for the announcement of the National winners at a ceremony in Darwin on November 6th.

Commenting on the shortlist, jury chair Paul Berkemeier said: “As a jury and as members of the profession, we were inspired by the number of projects that had informed clients working closely with the architects to achieve better outcomes. In many instances, this relationship allowed the project to go well and truly above and beyond the original brief.”

Read on after the break for the full shortlist

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Competition Challenges Architects and Students to Design Zero Net Energy Housing in California

Architecture at Zero Citation Award: NZ + Beyond Net Zero Energy / Drew Adams, Joseph Yau and Mark Alocilja. Image Courtesy of Architecture at Zero

Architecture at Zero, now in its fourth year, is challenging all students, architects and designers worldwide to envision two mixed-use, zero net energy (ZNE) housing proposals for adjacent parcel sites in , . The competition is a response to the ZNE targets set out by the Public Utility Commission (CPUC) which aims for all new residential construction in the state to be ZNE by 2020. Entrants are eligible for winning up to $25,000. Early bird registration ends September 12. All projects must be submitted by October 31 at 1PM PST. Learn more on the competition website and review last year’s winners.

Sordo Madaleno & Pascall+Watson Presents Proposal for New Mexico City Airport

© Sordo Madaleno, render by MIR

Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos and Pascall+Watson has shared with us their proposal for the New City International Airport (often referred to as the NAICM for its initials in Spanish: Nuevo Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México).

We have already presented you with the NAICM’s winning proposal, though Sordo Madaleno and Pascall+Watson were one of seven participating teams in the invited competition. The team sought to redefine the concept of aviation architecture by centering their idea around passenger experience and business efficiency. See what they came up with, after the break.

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4 Visions Released for D.C.’s First Elevated Park

© / OMA

OMA, Höweler + Yoon, , and Cooper, Robertson & Partners are amongst four interdisciplinary teams competing to design Washington D.C.’s first elevated public park. As part of a six month nationwide competition, the shortlisted teams have just released their preliminary design proposals for what will be known as the 11th Street Bridge Park.

Suspended over the Anacostia River, the multi-use park aims to re-connect two disparate city districts and re-engage residents with the riverfront by offering a 21st century civic “playscape.” Education and performance spaces, as well as a cafe and water sport areas will all be included in the masterplan.

A preview of the four shortlisted schemes, after the break…

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CTBUH Announces Five Finalists in its Student Competition

© Alex Balchin Courtesy of

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has announced five finalists in their 2014 Student Design Competition, which asked entrants to respond to the theme of ”sustainable verticle urbanism” in order to “shed new light on the meaning and value of tall buildings in modern society.”

“There has been a major transition in the sense of the value of the tall building and what it can contribute to the urban realm, and society in general,” said former Competition Jury Chair William Pedersen of Kohn Pedersen Fox. “This transition moves the tall building away from just an instrument of financial exploitation and toward a development highly concerned with its impact on the city, the environment, and the urban habitat.”

The winner of the competition will be announced at a special judging session as part of the CTBUH’s 2014 Shanghai Conference which begins on Tuesday. Read on after the break for all the finalists.

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‘Olympicopolis’ Design Contest Officially Open

The Olympicopolis site is to the South-East of the Olympic Park, near to ’s Aquatics Centre. Image © Flickr CC User Leo Reynolds

The competition to design a cultural complex at London‘s new ‘Olympicopolis’ site formally opened today, seeking to attract “an exceptional team” of architects, masterplanners, engineers and landscape designers to transform the site next to ’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Organizers Malcolm Reading Associates say that the competition has already registered over 960 expressions of interest from firms worldwide before the details were even announced, thanks to their early announcement seeking interested parties in July.

The complex will house outposts for the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum, Sadler’s Wells and University of the Arts London. The designs for the complex will also respond to proposals for a new campus for University College London which is planned for an adjacent site, making it “one of the most exciting international developments in arts and culture,” according to Director of the V&A Martin Roth.

Read on after the break for more details of the competition

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Zaha Hadid Says She “Would Love To Do a Tower in London”

’ designs for three towers in Brisbane were recently unveiled. Image ©

Despite her position as one of the world’s most prominent and successful architects, Zaha Hadid yesterday revealed that there is one thing she feels is missing from her portfolio: a skyscraper in London. Speaking to BD at the announcement of her Science Museum competition win, Hadid said ”I’d love to do a tower in but it hasn’t arrived.” More of Hadid’s comments after the break.

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A Hidden London Will Be Revealed For Open House 2014

Lloyds of / RSHP. Image Courtesy of Open House

Open House 2014, a concept developed in London twenty two years ago which has now spread to cities across the world, will throw open the doors to some of the capital’s most inspiring spaces and interiors this month. “Revealing”, the theme of this year’s Open House, intends to “shed light on issues that are relevant to local communities.” In this way, the scheme hopes to examine how the built environment is evolving. Exploring the role of architects, engineers and contemporary design in revitalising places and spaces, the festival hopes to show above all “how good design can make London a more livable, vibrant and enjoyable city.”

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