Open Call: US Launches Competition for National World War I Memorial

Project Site. Image Courtesy of U.S. World War One Centennial Commission

The US World War I Centennial Commission has launched a design competition for the National World War I Memorial in Washington DC. The competition will be a two-stage design competition, and is open internationally to any professionals, university-level students, and all other interested participants. “The objective is to transform Pershing Park from a park that happens to contain a memorial to a site that is primarily a national World War I memorial, within a revitalized urban park setting with a distinct sense of place that complements the memorial purpose while attracting visitors, workers, and residents of the District of Columbia,” says the Commission.

The deadline for Stage I submissions is July 21, 2015, and Stage II finalists will be announced August 4, 2015. The Commission expects to announce its selected design in January 2016. Learn more about the competition, here.

5 Projects Honored with ECOLA Award for Use of Plaster

High Performance Rowing Centre in Pocinho. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

The has announced the winners of the 2015 Award. The biennial prize, now in its eighth year, honors projects for their use of plaster. This year, two projects won first prize, including Portuguese architect Álvaro Fernandes Andrade for his Pocinho Center for High Performance Rowing in Vila Nova de Foz Côa, and three projects received honorable mention. Each project was selected from 149 shortlisted projects by a five-person jury, chaired by Peter Cook.

View all five winning projects, after the break. 

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New Orlando International Airport Terminal Building – Call for Statements of Qualifications

The Orlando International (“OIA”), operated by the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, seeks innovative, visionary architects and engineers for its planned, new terminal compound. OIA is a world-class that welcomes over 36 million business and leisure passengers per year.  In order to better accommodate its increasing number of passengers, especially in the international sector, OIA has under construction an Intermodal Terminal Facility for multiple modes of ground transportation, an Automated People Mover System connecting the main terminal, a 2,500 unit parking deck, and all associated horizontal infrastructure to support this program and the future expansion for a new terminal building.

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A Bauhaus Façade Study by Laurian Ghinitoiu

While studying for his Masters in Architecture at DIA (Dessau International Architecture), Romanian photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu was inspired to capture Walter Gropius’ Dessau Bauhaus at different times of the day and throughout the four seasons. Taken from the same vantage point over the course of two years (September 2012-July 2014), Ghinitoiu’s photos show the school as snow covers its perfectly-manicured lawn and skateboarders and construction workers come and go.

“The building has been framed in direct relation with the dynamic process of daily life. Lights and shadows, changing during the day and during the year, underline the always-different elements of the silent, but potent building. It almost protrudes out of the scene, imposing its strict lines, its regular rhythm and the functionalism of its geometries. The surroundings play the most important role of the entire photo project: they create the atmosphere, establishing an intimate connection between the architecture and its context.” - Francesca Lantieri 

View the full photo series after the break.

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See All 38 Winners of the 2015 RIBA London Awards

NEO Bankside / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Image © Edmund Sumner

From a shortlist of 68 buildings, 38 London projects have been awarded the 2015 RIBA London Awards for architectural excellence, the city’s most prestigious design honor. The highlight projects that embody exceptional merit in their designs and positively impact the lives of their occupants. This year’s winners include three arts and leisure buildings, 11 educational and community facilities, 16 residential designs, and eight commercial buildings.

All of these designs will be further considered for the RIBA National Awards, to be announced in June.

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London’s Soane’s Museum Unveil A Series Of New Spaces

Courtesy of Soane Museum

In an article for The Observer, Rowan Moore dives into a set of newly recreated rooms in ’s Soane’s Museum, a gallery dedicated to ’s collection of architectural curiosities set within his eccentric former home. The experience, according to Moore, ”of an internal world of unknown boundaries” has just become more extensive. Visitors will now be afforded the opportunity to visit a series of private spaces that give “a view into Soane’s bizarre mind,” following extensive restoration work led by Julian Harrap.

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Official Image Released Of New York’s 1775-Foot Nordstrom Tower

Official render released May 2015. Image © Extell via New York YIMBY

Update May 20th 2015: Once again uncovered by New York YIMBY, development company Extell has released the first official rendering of 217 West 57th Street, also known as the Nordstrom Tower, as shown above. Below, see our coverage of the first unofficial images from last year.

The designs of the Nordstrom Tower in New York, the world’s tallest residential building at 1,775 feet tall, have been revealed to New York YIMBY by an anonymous tipster close to the project. The project at 225 West 57th Street by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture will be one foot short of 1 World Trade Center, and with its 1,451 high roof will finally reclaim the title of ’ tallest roof from Chicago‘s Willis Tower.

More on the Nordstrom Tower after the break

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ABI Slows in April

April ABI 2015. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com

For the second month this year, the US Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has revealed a decrease in design serves. As the American Institute of Architects (AIA) report, the April ABI score was 48.8, down sharply from a mark of 51.7 in March. The new projects inquiry index was 60.1, up from a reading of 58.2 the previous month.

“The fundamentals in the design and construction industry remain very healthy,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “The fact that both inquires for new projects and new design contracts continued to accelerate at a healthy pace in April points to strong underlying demand for design activity. However, April would typically be a month where these projects would be in full swing, but a severe winter in many parts of the Northeast and Midwest has apparently delayed progress on projects.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

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Allies and Morrison and O’Donnell + Tuomey Chosen to Design London’s Olympicopolis

© Allies and Morrison

Allies and Morrison, together with O’Donnell + Tuomey and Josep Camps/Olga Felip Arquitecturia, has been chosen ahead of David ChipperfieldFeilden Clegg Bradley Studios and three other teams to design ’s Olympicopolis culture and education quarter. The major commission, which will be sited at the gateway to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park along the Stratford waterfront, will include new buildings for the Victoria and Albert Museum, Sadler’s Wells, the London College of Fashion, and potentially the Smithsonian Institute’s first permanent museum outside the US.

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Watch These Italian Artisans Create Bubble-Wrap Inspired Glass

For Maya Lapp and Denis Perera, owners of the company Glass MaDe in the Italian town of Belluno, bubble wrap is just about the most everyday material they know. It is the utilitarian material they use to protect their products from damage – yet despite this, it still holds a certain amount of fascination, resulting in their latest project, “Fragile.” This video by Studio Meddle shows the making of the project, as the glassmaking duo create a mold of the bubble wrap, cast the glass and finally drape the resulting product over a wrinkled wire mesh to create an almost eery facsimile of the original, subverting our usual expectations of the familiar bubble pattern. Check out Studio Meddle’s Video above (make sure the captions are turned on), and see more images of the completed work after the break.

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Call For Entries: RIBA President’s Awards For Research

Stephen Gage: Winner – 2014 RIBA President’s Award for the Outstanding Master’s Degree Thesis. Image Courtesy of RIBA

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have announced a call for entries for the 2015 President’s for Research. For the first time this year will see the introduction of the President’s Research Medal, which will be awarded to the best work judged from across all four categories of research. RIBA President, , has said that “this award will help to give recognition to the ever increasing importance of research to architecture and our industry.”

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Thomas V. Vonier Elected 2017 AIA President

delegates chose Thomas V. Vonier at the 2015 National Convention in Atlanta. Image © Flickr CC User Jack Kennard

Thomas V. Vonier, FAIA, has been elected as the 2016 First Vice President and 2017 President of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Currently serving as 2014–2015 AIA Vice President, Vonier is the founder and past president of AIA Continental Europe from 1994 to 1995. He served on the AIA Board of Directors representing the AIA International Region from 2010 to 2012. Vonier received an M.Arch. and a B.Arch. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee after attending the school of architecture at Washington University in St. Louis. He is also currently Secretary General of the International Union of Architects, after previously serving as its Vice President. To see all other newly elected officials, follow this link.

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Michael Reynolds to Build a Sustainable Public School in Uruguay

© ‘Garbage Warrior’ Documentary

, a well-known proponent of sustainable building and the creator of the Earthship house, will construct a self-sufficient public school in Jaureguiberry, , reports local newspaper El País.

Reynolds’ design contemplates a 270-square-meter building with solar panels and a water-collection system that will supply water for the bathrooms and kitchens. In the architect’s usual style, recycled materials such as tires and bottles will be used for construction.

Learn more about the project after the break.

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ADEPT and Mandaworks Design Masterplan for Stockholm’s Royal Seaport

Birdseye view. Image Courtesy of /

ADEPT and Mandaworks have been declared the winners of a design competition for an urban development in the Kolkajen-Ropsten area of Stockholm‘s Royal Seaport. Dubbed the “Royal Neighbour,” the masterplan is anticipated to provide more than 12,000 new homes, supply 35,000 jobs in the next two decades, and create a new cultural area.

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Stay In Airbnb’s Floating Cottage On London’s River Thames

’s Floating House on the River . Image Courtesy of

Have you ever dreamed of dozing off as you sail along one of the UK’s busiest water highways in an eclectic bright blue cottage replete with a lawn, wisteria over the door and an apple tree? For five days and nights, between the 18th and 23rd May, this dream will come to life in the shape of Nick and Steve Tidball’s floating residence for Airbnb.

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8+8 Concept Studio Proposes Underwater Tennis Court in Dubai

© 8+8 Concept Studio

Polish practice 8+8 Concept Studio has released images of a proposed underwater tennis court planned to be built off the coast of Dubai. Staged beneath an expansive roof that would put marine life on display, the radical proposal is being called into question as engineers debate its feasibility. As the Daily Mail reports, the scheme seems unlikely due to the challenges of manufacturing glass sheets large enough to span a tennis court and ensure that the structure is impact resistant. Refracting light is also a valid concern.

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Spotlight: Walter Gropius

Gropius and Seidler by Dupain 1954; Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

One of the most highly regarded architects of the 20th century, Walter Gropius (18 May 1883 – 5 July 1969) was one of the founding fathers of Modernism, and the founder of the Bauhaus, the German “School of Building” that embraced elements of art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography in its design, development and production.

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