Shelter Global Launches Dencity Competition 2015

© Shelter Global

Shelter is pleased to invite architects, planners, students, engineers, designers, thinkers, NGOs and organizations from all over the world to take part in the first annual Dencity Competition. Rapid world growth and urbanization is not allowing to adapt and provide for their inhabitants. Towns are quickly growing into , and some of the densest places in the world are comprised of makeshift homes, otherwise referred to as slums. Furthermore, already overcrowded have to absorb people leaving their rural hometown in hope of job opportunities. There are currently over 1 billion slum dwellers in the world. This number is expected to reach 2 billion by the year 2030. Now, more than ever, we need to play a central role in the development of substandard neighborhoods. Slums effect much more than just housing; they affect almost all living conditions and communities as a whole.

The intent of this competition is twofold: to foster new ideas on how to better handle the growing density of unplanned cities and to spread awareness of this massive problem. Contestants should consider how design can empower communities and allow for a self-sufficient future.

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A First Look at Omniplan’s Proposed Dallas Holocaust Museum

© Dallas Holocaust Museum / Omniplan

The Dallas Holocaust Museum and Center for Education and Tolerance has officially gone public with plans to build a new permanent home in the city’s West End, across from the museum’s current location. Preliminary designs, by -based Omniplan Architects, indicate a modest concrete and weathered steel structure with expanded galleries that would be built on parcel bound by Ross Avenue, Street and the Dallas Area Rapid Transit light. 

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Diller Scofidio + Renfro Commissioned for New Performing Arts Center in Massachusetts

© Peter Ash Lee / Courtesy of

Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) has been chosen as the winner of a design competition for a new performing arts center at the College of the Holy Cross in , Massachusetts. The competition received submissions from eight world-renowned firms, which were then judged by a selection committee. The $60 million building will tentatively begin construction in 2017, as part of the College’s plan to “Become More: The Campaign of Holy Cross.” DS+R ultimately won the competition due to its diverse design and interdisciplinary nature, just as the College hopes to instill in its students through this addition. 

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Knight Cities Challenge Selects 126 Finalists

© AIA Detroit Chapter’s Urban Priorities Committee

Last week, the Knight Foundation announced the 126 finalists for its Knight Challenge. This Challenge was an open call for ideas on how to invigorate the 26 US communities that receive funding from the Foundation. Over 7,000 submissions were received, with ideas ranging from the installation of street arcades to the transformation of vacant city lots. The chose submissions from each of the 26 communities, selecting those that best encouraged community engagement, provided economic opportunity, and made the city a more attractive place to be. See the full list of finalists, here!

Utopia Arkitekter Designs Apartment Block with Rooftop Park for Stockholm

One of three new housing blocks in Hornsbruksgatan. Image ©

The Södermalm district of Stockholm will be receiving a unique new addition to its collection of residential housing. Utopia Arkitekter has proposed a redevelopment plan along Hornsbruksgatan that will include three apartment buildings and a new metro station. In total, the plan will create 29 units: twelve and seventeen town houses. Rising two to three stories above the street, the connected roofs of each of these buildings will act as an extension to the nearby Högalid Park.

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Artplace Offering Grants for Cultural Installations

Courtesy of Artplace

Artplace America is offering up to $3 million in funding to an applicant non-governmental organization (NGO) in six different regions of the US as a part of its Community Development Investments program. Artplace will select these six organizations based on their interest in “sustainably incorporating arts and cultural strategies into the organizations work.” If selected, NGOs will work with financial advisement teams, as well as creative consultants to make the best use of the grant money. To see if your organization is eligible, click here!

Yoko Ono and Project 120 Collaborate to Reimagine Chicago’s Jackson Park

Aerial View of the Park. Image Courtesy of Project 120

Chicago’s is expected to see some big changes in the coming years. Nonprofit organization Project 120 is working to revitalize the park, restoring many of the design aspects implemented by its landscape architect, the famous Frederick Law Olmsted. Alongside this restoration, the park will also receive a new Phoenix Pavilion, homage to Japan’s gift to the US for the 1893 Columbian Exposition. An outdoor performance space will be added to the park, as will an installation funded by musician and activist Yoko Ono. See the details, after the break.

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Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts Reveals Expansion Plans with Buildings by Steven Holl and Lake|Flato

The Fayez S. Sarofim Campus. Image © Steven Holl Architects

The Museum of Fine Arts, () has released plans for an ambitious $450 million expansion that will transform it into one of the largest art campuses in the US. The 14-acre masterplan will include three new buildings – one by Texas-based Lake|Flato Architects and two others by museum aficionado Steven Holl Architects - connected by a pedestrianized landscape of reflecting pools and gardens.

The first scheduled to break ground (this year) is the Steven Holl-designed, 80,000-square-foot new home for the Glassell School of Art. The L-shaped, pre-cast concrete structure will, as MFAH describes, pride itself as an extension of the campus landscape, featuring a stepped amphitheater that leads up to a walkable, trellised roof garden.

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Snøhetta Chosen to Design Le Monde Headquarters in Paris

© Snøhetta

French media company Group has chosen Snøhetta to design their new headquarters in . Clad with a pixelated matrix of glass that offers varying degrees of transparency, the building’s distinct facade will be embedded with clusters of LEDs that project “abstracted levels of data,” symbolically representing the group’s continuous “flow of information.”

“The intention is that the façade gives the building a homogenous character when viewed from distance, but at the same time reveals a greater level of complexity as the view approaches – like headlines and detailed content in a news story,” says Snøhetta. “The façade patterns are intended to represent the building as a complete volume, while the distorted pixel map creates a rich tapestry from inside and out.”

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David M. Schwarz Named 2015 Driehaus Prize Laureate

Firewheel Town Center / David M Schwarz Architects. Image via news.nd.edu

Washington DC-based architect David M Schwarz has been selected as the recipient of the University of Notre Dame‘s 2015 Richard H. Driehaus Prize, which honors an architect whose work represents “the highest ideals of traditional and classical architecture in contemporary society.” In a press release from the , Schwarz is credited for his ”belief in humanism that emphasizes pedestrian-friendly and socially active architecture,” and praised for his ”historically informed designs create lively public environments that meet the needs of diverse audiences.”

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New Documentary Chronicles the Rise and Fall of Brazil’s Sérgio Bernardes

Few remember the name Sérgio Bernardes. A prominent Brazilian architect in the 1960s, Bernardes was a contemporary of Oscar Niemeyer, renowned for his elegant upper-class houses, as well as his fondness for car-racing and womanizing. In the latter half of his career, Bernardes turned away from the decadence of high society, devoting himself to solving the world’s problems through his progressive strain of architecture. This devotion led him to partner with the Brazilian dictatorship, believing that he could reform the government from within. The result was a series of unsuccessful projects that left him unpopular and eventually ignored by the public. Now, a about the rise and fall of this once-iconic architect has premiered this week in London. Titled Bernardes, and directed by Paulo de Barros and Gustavo Gama Rodrigues, the film explores the series of events that led Bernardes to anonymity.

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Pritzker Prize Appoints Richard Rogers As Newest Jury Member

© Andrew Zuckermann/RSHP

The Pritzker Prize has announced that Richard Rogers will join the ranks as the latest member of its prestigious jury. Rogers, a Pritzker Laureate himself in 2007, is known for his innovative High-Tech style, establishing his name in the 1970s and 80s with buildings such as the Pompidou Centre in Paris and Lloyds of London. Since then, he has also become known for his advocacy in a range of urban issues, being commissioned by the UK Government to produce a report on British entitled “Towards an Urban Renaissance,” and for his active role in politics as a member of the House of Lords. (more…)

2015 AIA Institute Honor Awards for Interior Architecture

Louisiana State Museum / Trahan Architects. Image © Timothy Hursly

Celebrating the most innovative spaces in the realm of interior design, the (AIA) has selected this year’s recipients for the prestigious Institute Honor Awards for Interior Architecture. These eight projects will be recognized for their exceptional design at the AIA 2015 National Convention and Design Exposition in Atlanta

Learn more about the winning designs after the break.

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Allies and Morrison to Masterplan New City District in Oman

Wadi Kabir, Muscat. Image © Flickr User MOHAMMED RAFIQUE2011

The competition to masterplan Muscat, Oman’s new district, Al-Irfan, is over. Organized by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), five teams were chosen to submit proposals for the development project. Of those five, international firm Allies and Morrison has been selected to oversee the design process. The firm will be working in with the Tourism Development Company SAOC (Omran) to develop a site of over 7.4 million square meters into a thriving urban center that will provide business and residential opportunities for the people of .

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Jean Nouvel Boycotts Opening of the Philharmonie de Paris, Saying It Is “Not Finished”

The concert hall under construction. Image © Yves Chanoit

Ateliers Jean Nouvel’s long awaited opening of the Philharmonie de Paris concert hall took place yesterday at a VIP event in which the French President, Francois Hollande, officiated the ceremony three years after it was scheduled to take place. Jean Nouvel, however, did not attend the event, instead writing an incendiary column for French Newspaper Le Monde, and releasing a statement saying he feels that the building has opened “too early” and it ”is not finished.” He argues that “there were no acoustic tests of the concert hall [as] the schedule did not allow the architectural and technical requirements to be respected, [...] despite all the warnings which I have been giving since 2013.”

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Vincent Laforet’s Images of New York From Above Will Take Your Breath Away

© Vincent Laforet

Something he has “dreamed of capturing for decades,” Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Vincent Laforet has released a stunning set of images that captures his hometown of New York in a way that has never before been seen. Taken from a nauseating 7500-feet above the city, Laforet’s “Gotham 7.5K” series reveals the unrelenting, pulsating energy that radiates from the Big Apple’s city grid.

All the images and the making-of video, after the break. 

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New York’s “City of Dreams” Competition Selects Two Winners

© BanG Studio

Two winners have been announced for the fifth annual cycle of ’s “City of Dreams” competition: the “Billion Oyster Pavilion” by locally-based BanG Studio and “Organic Growth” by Izaskun Chinchilla Architects of Madrid and . Pending approvals and fundraising, both pavilions will be assembled on Governors Island and open to the public for the summer 2015 season. The winning pavilions, after the break.

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Video: The Making of RSHP’s Leadenhall Building

In celebration of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ relocation to their newly constructed Leadenhall Building, the -based practiced has released a short film that captures the “making of” the 52-story, 225-meter skyscraper. , now occupying the building’s 14th floor, is said to be proud to be Leadenhall’s latest tenants: 

“After 30 years at Thames Wharf Studios, it is important for us to be moving into a building that reflects the ethos and evolution of our design practice, clearly stated in its urban relationship with the Lloyd’s building opposite,” says the partners of RSHP. “We will begin this new phase of our history in a building that already feels like home but allows us the advantages of a contemporary, flexible office space in a prime location in the increasingly vibrant and exciting City of London.”

The building, popularly referred to as the “Cheesegrater,” was completed in September of last year. 

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