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 drawing tablet for your Mac. Image Courtesy of

Astropad, an app for 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 Museum in Dessau. 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 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 California 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 houses, 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 . The new collection of buildings and restoration projects for the Central European University in Budapest 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 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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74 “Wild Designs” Considered for New Thames Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge

Courtesy of Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership

All 74 “wild designs” being considered to become London’s next “landmark” have been released to the public. As part of a two-stage competition, architects worldwide have submitted ideas for a new £40 million pedestrian and cycle bridge that will connect ’s Nine Elms and Pimlico communities over the River

The jury, chaired by Graham Stirk of Rogers Stirk Harbour, will choose four schemes to move onto the competition’s second and final round in March. These designs will be then shortlisted and further developed with input by the community and client before a winner is announced in July. 

See a selection of the considered bridge designs, after the break. 

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Here’s How BIG’s Power Plant Ski Slope Will Blow Smoke Rings

When BIG‘s proposal for Amager Bakke, a waste-to-energy plant in Copenhagen, was unveiled in 2011, there was a lot for skeptics to pick apart. Is it really possible to run a publicly accessible ski slope on the roof of an industrial building? Would they really be able to make it blow giant smoke (or rather, steam) rings? The whole idea seemed rather too good to be true. The project’s ground breaking in 2013 may have silenced some critics, but the video above should convince the rest of the design’s feasibility.

The video shows a test from August in which a miniaturized version of the smoke ring-blowing chimney finally demonstrates the concept. According to Danish website Ingeniøren, in the months since, the design has undergone further refinement by Peter Madsen, the artist, aerospace engineer and inventor that brought in to develop the chimney, and is ready for another major test tomorrow at Refshaleøen in Copenhagen.

SO – IL and FREAKS Win Competition to Modernize France’s Site Verrier

Visitor Center. Image Courtesy of SO-IL

SO-IL, in collaboration with FREAKS freearchitects, has been selected as the first-prize winner of a competition to reinvent the historic Site Verrier in France. Located in the Northern Vosges Natural Park, the updated plan addresses three elements of the site’s industrial past while providing a dynamic space for cultural interaction and historic exploration of Site Verrier’s glass factory days.

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Lateral Office’s 2014 Venice Biennale ‘Arctic Adaptations’ Exhibition To Tour Canada

Lateral Office’s Arctic Adaptations , which was recognised with a Special Mention at the 2014 Venice Biennale, will travel make its debut in Canada at the Winnipeg Art Gallery this week before heading to Whitehouse, Vancouver, and Calgary. The exhibition “surveys a century of Arctic architecture, an urbanising present, and a projective near future of adaptive architecture in Nunavut” though interactive models, photography, and topographical maps of the twenty five communities of the area, as well as Inuit carvers’ scale models of some of the most recognised buildings in the territory. In addition, it proposes a future of adaptive and responsive architecture for Canada’s northern territories.

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Two Architects Selected to Receive the 2015 AIA Thomas Jefferson Award

New Century Plan. Image © UC Berkeley

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected Thomas E. Lollini, FAIA, and Thomas Luebke, FAIA, to receive the 2015 Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture, recognizing their excellence for architectural advocacy and achievement. This year’s award recipients will be honored at the 2015 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Atlanta. Learn more about the winners, after the break.

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40 Projects Shortlisted for the 2015 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award

Update: The five finalists for the 2015 will be announced on February 25 at 12 UTC. 40 projects from 17 European countries have been shortlisted for the 2015 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award. Chosen from the 420 original nominees, five of the shortlisted projects will be chosen for the next round of selection, to be announced at the end of February in London. These selected architects will then present their projects before a committee on May 7, who will select one recipient of the highly esteemed international design award, as well as one recipient of the Emerging Architect Prize. The winners will be announced the following day at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona.

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Tel Aviv Museum Of Art Examines The International Circulation Of Prefab Concrete Panels

© Elad Sarig

Between 1945 and 1981 around 170 million (prefab) residential units were constructed worldwide. Now, as part of a study undertaken by Pedro Alonso and Hugo Palmarola of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile between 2012 and 2014, an exhibition at the  features 28 large concrete panel systems from between 1931 and 1981. In so doing, it explores a transnational circulation of these objects of construction, ”weaving them into a historical collage of ambitions and short-lived enthusiasm for utopian dreams.”

This show, curated by Meira Yagid-Haimovici, is an attempt to reveal “how architecture and urbanism was charged with historical, social, and political narratives, and how the modernist vision promoted the fusion of aesthetics and politics.” The models, which are being exhibited as part of the Production Routes exhibition, seek to highlight the richness embodied in ‘generic’ architecture through the lens of prefab construction methods.

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Last Call: Architects Summoned to Envision Public Space for Moscow’s Kristall City

© CENTER Agency of Strategic Development

Architects interested in proposing ideas for a new public space in , a former territory of legendary distillery, have until Tuesday (February 24) to submit applications. Organized by KRAYS development and the CENTER Agency of Strategic Development, the competition is calling on all architects and designers to consider three sites to host the cities premier public space. The newly developed area aims to “share the future look of the quarter” and establish a “new type of public space made out of form industrial city territories. Learn more and apply, here.