ThinkParametric Offers Free Online Classes

Among the courses offered by ThinkParametric is one in which users learn to create “challenging designs” such as MAD Architects’ Absolute Towers. Image © Iwan Baan

Launched in May of 2014, ThinkParametric is an online platform for learning the tools of the digital architecture trade. Gaining access to their video tutorials and the benefit of their online community would usually set you back $29 per month, or $269 for an entire year. However, to celebrate a successful first year, on March 12th they announced an “Open Class Season,” a full month for people to enjoy their courses for free.

The courses offered include:

Those who haven’t already signed up for a ThinkParametric account need to act fast, however – the deadline to be able to access the courses for free is this Thursday, the 26th March. Find out more information here.

Open Call: Concordia Lighthouse Competition

Courtesy of matterbetter

On January 13 2012, the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia struck an underwater reef and capsized off Isola del Giglio, Tuscany, resulting in 32 deaths. In response to the disaster, matterbetter has announced the Concordia Lighthouse Competition, which invites teams of architects, students, engineers, and designers to “redefine a contemporary lighthouse typology.”

The project is sited in the small peninsula north of the Giglio Porto village, and is to fulfil criteria including “aesthetics and originality”, “clarity and comprehensibility”, “sustainability”, and “translation of the metaphorical power of the lighthouse archetype into the architectural design.” Registrations close on May 17, with project submissions due on May 24. The winning team will be announced on June 30, and receive 3000 EUR in prize money. Read more about the competition here.

Perkins+Will’s “Sleek” Manhattan Tower to Feature Five Open-Air Gardens

© Perkins+Will / MIR

Conceptual plans of Perkins+Will’s East 37th Street Residential Tower in New York City have been unveiled. Debuted in Cannes, France, during MIPIM, where the high-rise received a “Future Projects Award,” the 700-foot-tall Manhattan tower boasts a “shimmering, angled curtain wall” organized by five clusters of shared amenities and open-air gardens.

More about the 65-story, 150,000-square-foot condominium tower, after the break. 

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Izaskun Chinchilla Turns to Kickstarter to Realize “Organic Growth” Pavilion

Courtesy of Izaskun Chinchilla Architects

A few months ago, we announced that Izaskun Chinchilla Architects emerged as one of two winners of FIGMENT’s international “City of Dreams” pavilion competition in New York. Their proposal entitled “Organic Growth” is slated for assembly on Governors Island this summer, but they need your help! Due to the split funding of selecting two winners and FIGMENT’s non-profit status, the design team has launched a kickstarter campaign to make their proposal a reality through public contributions.

Learn more about how you can get involved, after the break.

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nps tchoban voss and Hager Partner Design Recreation Center for Nauen

Aerial view. Image Courtesy of nps tchoban voss

This first-prize competition winning proposal by nps tchoban voss and Hager Partner gives new life to the municipal outdoor pool facility in Nauen, Germany. Commissioned for future construction, the recreation center brings a multi-functional layout to the complex, activating the space year round and providing the public with a recreational hub.

Read on after the break for more on the proposal.

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“Urban Platform” Wins First in Lisbon Open Room Competition

Courtesy of Bumjin Kim, Minyoung Kim

Recent graduates Bumjin Kim of MIT and Minyoung Kim of Columbia University have won first place in ARCHmedium’s  Open Room competition for their project “Urban Platform”.

One of 67 teams to enter the competition’s “Young Architects” category, the team developed a modular urban intervention for Lisbon, Portugal, with the intention of “[providing] a more flexible space” for the city’s urban centre. Learn more about the winning project and view selected images after the break.

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Jan Gehl: “Architects Know Very Little About People”

© Basile Bornand via Tages Woche

Danish urban planner and committed pedometer user Jan Gehl is an expert in creating “cities for people.” Following a recent talk he gave on sustainable cities in Basel, Gehl sat down with Tages Wocke to discuss what makes a city desirable and livable. “We found people’s behavior depends on what you invite them to do,” says Gehl. “The more streets you have, the more traffic you get. A more attractive public realm will be used by more people.” Read the full interview and see why Gehl thinks social and psychological sciences should be taught in architecture school, here.

Carbon3D Can Grow Seamless Structures 100x Faster than 3D Printing

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3-D printing is slow; it’s really just “2-D printing over and over,” says chemist and material scientist . Addressing the three main issues that has prevented 3-D printing from being a mainstream manufacturing process – time, structural and material limits – DeSimone has unveiled Carbon3D at . A process inspired by the T-1000 from Terminator 2, Carbon3D uses light and oxygen to continuously (and quickly) grow parts out of a vat of liquid resin using a new technology known as CLIP – Continuous Liquid Interface Production. While the process’ potential has been immediately correlated with the medical industry, one can only imagine its effect on manufacturing as a whole. 

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SOM’s Expansive Four Seasons Hotel Opens in Bahrain Bay

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Skidmore, Owings & Merrill‘s (SOM) latest endeavor, a Four Seasons Hotel called Bahrain Bay, has been officially opened. Occupying a private 12-acre island, the hotel creates a dynamic new focal point and a thriving destination for the developing Bay district. As part of SOM’s masterplan, the hotel is an important milestone in activating the waterfront area.

Read on after the break for more on the hotel’s program.

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New London Architecture Reveals The Latest Figures in The City’s Tall Building Boom

© Jason Hawkes

“If London doesn’t grow up, it will need to grow out.” Following last year’s report, (NLA) in cooperation with GLHearn (an independent property consultancy) have released the results of their annual . In 2014, they forecast 236 new tall buildings for the British capital, a figure which has risen to 263 buildings over twenty stories for 2015. Alongside this, they believe that around 14,800 new homes are “under construction for London.” 

See these numbers broken down after the break.

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Henning Larsen Receives Planning for Danish Mosque

© Henning Larsen Architects

Images have been released of a new mosque planned for Copenhagen. Designed by Henning Larsen Architects, the mosque will replace an existing one on the corner of Dortheavej and Tomsgårdsvej in the Nordvest district of the city. ”One of ’s slightly forgotten districts will receive a new architectonic pearl,” says Morten Kabell, the city’s deputy mayor for technical and environmental issues. The Municipality has approved the project’s planning application and completion is expected for February 2016.

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Vincent Laforet Captures San Francisco From Above

© Vincent Laforet

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Vincent Laforet has made his way to San Francisco as part three of his dizzying series of city aerials. Capturing the tightly packed metropolis from 7,200-feet, Laforet became mesmerized by the city’s “clashing grids,” stunning bridges and overwhelming feeling of “peace and order.”

“There’s just something about this city’s vibe – a perfect balance between the hectic go-getter pace of New York and the more relaxed, laissez-faire rhythm of Los Angeles,” says Laforet. “It feels like every little piece of the puzzle has somehow found its place in what is an absolutely chaotic topography.”

See a selection of Laforet’s series, after the break. 

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Leslie Jones Architecture to Design International Airport for Dubai World Central

Courtesy of

London firm Leslie Jones Architecture has received a commission from Dubai Airports for Al Maktoum International Airport at the yet unbuilt . The latest firm to join development on the 140-square-kilometer site, it is hoped that Leslie Jones will deliver a mixed-use transit hub to cater for burgeoning local tourism and aviation industries.

Learn more about the project after the break.

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A New, Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Blade Runner Model Shop

Image via Imgur

It’s a well-known fact that architects, almost without exception, love the 1982 film Blade Runner. Architects also love scale models. So what could possibly be more exciting than seeing photos of the model shop of the film? Enter this Imgur album of 142 photos from behind the scenes, posted earlier this week by user minicity. After the break, check out our selection of images of the Tyrell Corporation’s imposing pyramidal fortress, among other things, under construction.

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6 Takeaways From NYMag’s Article On Calatrava’s $4 Billion WTC Station

© Bedel Saget/The Times

Ask any person involved in the construction of Santiago Calatrava‘s World Trade Center Transportation Hub, and they will probably admit that the world’s most expensive train station has not been a PR success. In fact things have gotten so bad that a recent article by Andrew Rice for New York Magazine describes the gradual opening of the building later this year as coming “at long last and great cost, to both the government and his reputation,” adding that “a decade ago, Calatrava would have made any short list of the world’s most esteemed architects. Today, many within the profession are aghast at what they see as his irresponsibility.”

But, unlike much of the press coverage that has greeted Calatrava in recent years, the New York Magazine article is much more forgiving, taking the time to investigate the twists and turns of the project’s controversial 12-year history and offering the architect the opportunity to give his side of the story. Read on after the break for a breakdown of six takeaways from the article.

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Peter Stutchbury Awarded Australian Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal

Peter Stutchbury / Bay House. Image © Michael Nicholson

The 2015 Australian Achievement in Architecture have been allocated by the Australian Institute of Architects in Melbourne. The prestigious awards honor emerging and seasoned architects, students, and academics whose interdisciplinary designs have excelled in embracing the possibilities of the profession. Granting 14 awards in 9 categories, the recipients’ work spans a wide range of subject matter and addresses various aspects of architecture’s inherent influences both locally and globally.

The highest award, the Gold Medal, was awarded to Peter Stutchbury, whose lifelong commitment to architecture has spanned education, professional practice, and involvement in organizations. His international work consistently speaks to its specific cultural and site conditions, while adhering to sustainable design principles.

See all the 2015 award winners, after the break.

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New Readings Of Space: Placing Pools Of Oil Inside A Baroque Abbey Church

© We Find Wildness

This sculptural installation, created by Swiss artist Romain Crelier, was exhibited at Bellelay Abbey in 2013. Although the structure dates back to the 12th century, the current Abbey Church of the Assumption was built by Franz Beer in a Vorarlberg Baroque style and completed in 1714.

Almost three hundred years later Crelier’s piece, entitled La Mise en Abîme (which roughly translates to, ’to have put into an abyss’), placed two shallow pools of used engine oil to act as reflective mirrors. These ‘puddles’ “allow the viewers to interact with the architecture of the church by being pulled into the reflection so that they, in turn, become part of the sculpture themselves.” According to We Find Wildness‘ interpretation, “the installation not only dispenses multiple visual thrills and mysteries but also offers a moment where sculpture creates another reading of space.”

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February ABI Reports “Nominal Increase” in Design Activity

February 2015 . Image © CalculatedRiskBlog.com

The US Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has returned to a healthy state, recovering from its first negative score in ten months. Showing a “nominal increase” in design activity, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported February’s ABI at a score of 50.4, up from a mark of 49.9 in January. The new projects inquiry index was 56.6, down from a reading of 58.7 the previous month.

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

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