Artefacts Under Attack: What Has Been Damaged And To What Extent?

Buddhas of Bamiyan (1963, 2008). Image Image via Wikipedia

In an article for the Financial Times (FT), writer and historian Simon Schama examines world zones and the efforts to protect some of the world’s most vulnerable architectural and cultural sites. If history is a measure, then Schama’s study of William “Basher” Dowsing – an Englishman who, in the winter of 1643, “made it his personal mission to obliterate as much as he possibly could of sacred art in the churches and colleges of East Anglia” in the name of religion – is pertinent now more than ever.

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James Corner Field Operations Chosen to Design Miami “Underline”

The site. Image Image via TheUnderline.org

High Line co-designer, James Corner Field Operations has been selected to design the proposed 10-mile “Underline” in . Chosen by a local jury from 19 submitted entries, JCFO has been asked to envision a bicycle route and linear park that will replace the threadbare M-Path under the Metrorail tracks from Dadeland to the River. The project has yet to achieve funding, but it is hoped that JCFO’s plan will spark more investor interest.

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WAA Wins Competition to Design “Am Hirschgarten” in Munich

© WAA

Wiel Arets Architects (WAA) has won a competition to design a cluster of four mixed-use towers adjacent to Munich’s Hirschgarten station. Each “horseshoe-shaped” building, perched upon a six to seven story plinth, will offer space for office, hotel and retail space as part of the “Am Hirschgarten” development.

Read on to learn more about WAA’s winning proposal. 

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Koolhaas Denounces Plagiarism Rumors Surrounding Zaera-Polo’s Princeton Resignation

Elements of Architecture. Image © Nico Saieh

This past October Alejandro Zaera-Polo abruptly resigned from his position as Dean of ’s School of Architecture amidst plagiarism rumors. The resignation, requested by University President Christopher Eisgruber, was the result of Zaera-Polo’s removal of citations from his contribution to the “Facade” section of the Elements of Architecture exhibition at the 2014 Venice Biennale.

Claiming the rumors to be “demonstrably false,” Zaera-Polo has issued a “clarifying statement” outlining the purpose of his Biennale text to be polemic, and nonacademic, therefore it did not breach “any moral, ethical, or other applicable standards.” An email in support of Zaera-Polo sent by Rem Koolhaas to Eisgruber three days before the resignation has also released, denouncing any wrongdoing from Koolhaas’ perspective as the Biennale’s director.

Read Koolhaas’ email, Zaera-Polo’s clarification statement and a response from Princeton in full, after the break.

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ASA International Design Competition: Dense City

Urban public spaces create common grounds for diverse, public participation. They are places of social interaction, recreation, cultural activities, political activities, and many other public events, enhancing the quality of urban life.

As the world’s population continues to grow and urban density increases, public space is dropping in proportion to private space in countless around the world. And it is almost impossible to add conventional public spaces like large public or squares, as the space left in the public domain becomes more and more limited.

The competition asks an open–ended question of how we could use architecture as a device to perform a surgical operation on the already dense city fabric in order to provide a new model of public space. To add to the quality of people’s urban life, what, where and how can we insert a place into the city? What kind of a place would it be? What is currently missing? What is not enough?  Where would we place this intervention when available city space seems scarce? How could we redefine our positive relationship with density?

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Shortlist Announced For 2015 RIBA North West Awards

Shortlisted: The Whitworth, Manchester / . Image © Alan Williams

A total of 15 projects have been shortlisted for RIBA North West 2015 , featuring buildings by John McAslan + Partners, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, MUMA and Carmody Groake. All shortlisted buildings will now be assessed by a regional jury. Regional winners will then be considered for a RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, the results of which will place some projects in the running for the 2015 RIBA Stirling Prize. The 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize was won by Haworth Tompkins for the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool, a project which was shortlisted by this branch of the RIBA. Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios‘ Manchester School of Art also made it to the national finals.

See the complete list of shortlisted projects after the break.

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Open Call: Inside 2015

Inside 2015 invites students and young professionals to submit a collection of their “inside” work comprised of up to three digital images. By submitting your work, we invite you to share your voice with the collective intelligence of a community of visual thinkers. The competition is open to all design disciplines including architects, interior designers, furniture designers, digital fabricators, graphic designers, lighting designers, product designers or any other creative field that creates for the inside. The competition is free to all entrants. Learn more, here.

Egypt Unveils Plans for “New Cairo”

© Flickr CC User garyjd

In an effort to combat the economic conditions that have plunged one-fourth of its population into poverty, Egypt’s ambitious development plan for a massive new capital city is soon to be underway. Roughly the size of New , the privately-funded city hopes to become the new administrative center, as well as a bustling metropolis of shopping, housing, and tourist destinations to generate economic activity. Plans were solidified at a foreign investment conference where the official project details were unveiled on March 13 in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Read on after the break for more on the $45 billion plan.

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“A Joy of Things”: The Architecture World Remembers Michael Graves

The Portland Building. Image © Flickr user camknows

This past Thursday Michael Graves, the famed member of the New York Five and one of the Postmodern movement’s great icons, passed away at age 80. With a legacy spanning more than 350 buildings and 2,000 product designs for companies like Alessi, Target and J.C. Penney, Graves will be remembered as a prolific designer, but for many within the profession his 50-year career will be memorable for so much more. Since news of Graves’ death broke on Thursday, tributes have been posted all around the internet, starting with his company’s official statement which said:

“Since founding the firm in 1964, Michael transformed the role of architects and designers, and even the place of design in our everyday lives. For those of us who had the opportunity to work closely with Michael, we knew him as an extraordinary designer, teacher, mentor and friend. For the countless students that he taught for more than 40 years, Michael was an inspiring professor who encouraged everyone to find their unique design voice.”

Read on after the break for more reactions and tributes to .

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Boston Living with Water Competition Names 9 Finalists

The Hydrokinetic Canal. Image Courtesy of

Nine finalists have emerged in the Boston Living with Water design competition. The ongoing initiative challenges competitors to address shifting climate conditions and sea level rise at one of three Boston sites anticipated to be affected by 2100. Although the 50 participating teams took different approaches to designing for climate change, all the submissions treated the rising sea level as a positive design force in ’s built environment.

Check out the finalists, after the break.

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Head in the Clouds with SOILED’s 5th Issue

Courtesy of SOILED

Self-described as “a periodical of architectural stories that [makes] a mess of the built environment and the politics of space,” SOILED zine‘s 5th issue has been released, abounding with tales of the aerial. Entitled Cloudscrapers, the issue is the second in a series of limited-edition, locally produced by CARTOGRAM Architecture.

Exploring “air-space as a site for activated atmospheres, a privileged perch, and otherwordly occupation,” Cloudscrapers promises readers a diverse and entertaining read, whilst provoking thoughts of spatial wonders otherwise unconsidered. Learn more about SOILED and purchase a copy of Cloudscrapers here.

First Images of David Adjaye’s £600 Million Piccadilly Redevelopment Plan

© Adjaye Associates

Images have been released of what will be one of Adjaye Associates’ largest UK commissions – London’s £600 million Piccadilly Redevelopment. The competition-winning scheme, selected over proposals by Rem Koolhaas, Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry, will replace a post-war office building on 70-73 Piccadilly with a mixed-use project designed for Crosstree Real Estate Partners.

More images after the break…

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London’s Battersea Arts Centre Goes Up in Flames

Image via BBC

UPDATE: Within 24-hours after the Battersea Arts Centre’s March 13th fire, the building re-opened and reconstruction efforts began. A fundraising campaign has been launched, aiming to help the rebuild the center’s Grand Hall and Lower Hall – both destroyed by the fire. Learn how you can donate, here

A major fire has broken out at the Battersea Arts Centre. The tower of the Grade-II listed building, known as a leading independent theater and arts venue in South London, has reportedly collapsed. Thankfully no one has been injured.

Firefighters are working tirelessly to save the building. A cause is unknown, though it seems the blaze started in the building’s roof above its main hall in an area that is currently undergoing a 10-year-long, £13 million refurbishment led by Stirling Prize laureate Haworth Tompkins.

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Digitized Stone: ZAarchitects Develop “Smart Masonry”

Courtesy of ZAarchitects

When one hears the term masonry architecture, and automated processes are probably not the first ideas to come to mind. By its very nature, the architecture produced with stone masonry is often heavy, massive, and incorporates less natural light than alternative methods. However, with their research proposal for “Smart Masonry,” Zaarchitects are proposing to change masonry buildings as we know them and open opportunities for digital fabrication techniques in stone and other previously antiquated materials. Read on after the break to get a glimpse of what these new masonry buildings could look like and learn more about the process behind their construction.

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Places Journal Launches New Tool for Sharing Articles about Architecture, Landscape, and Urbanism

Courtesy of

Do you have a stimulating read on architecture, landscapes, or urbanism you want to share with the world? Places Journal has launched an innovative interactive feature called Reading Lists designed to spread the word. Whether you have videos and to share with a peer, articles and books to compile for future perusal, or an annotated bibliography to create, Reading Lists is sure to simplify the process through its user-friendly and interdisciplinary platform. Check out the Featured Lists for inspiration and start your own list, here.

Call For Entries: World Architecture Festival 2015

2015: Suntec Singapore Convention Centre, Singapore

Now in its eighth year, the forthcoming 2015 World Architecture Festival Awards (WAF) will take place in Suntec in central Singapore following three days of intensive live presentations and judging. Following a $180 million modernisation programme, the redesigned space will host WAF’s soundproofed crit rooms, auditorium and Festival Hall Stage. Entries are now invited from architects and designers for the 2015 edition of what is described as “the biggest architectural awards programme in the world.” The awards are expected to attract more than 750 entries, around half of which will be shortlisted into thirty categories. The closing date for entries is the end of May, and shortlisting will take place in early June.

This year’s ‘superjurors’ include Royal Gold Medallist Sir Peter Cook (UK), Sou Fujimoto (Japan), Benedetta Tagliabue (Spain), Charles Jencks (UK/US), (Singapore) and Manuelle Gautrand (France).

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Michael Graves Dies at 80

© Michael Graves & Associates

Michael Graves died Thursday at the age of 80. Famous for his bold, symbolic references to classical architecture and his use of geometry, Graves is also known as one of the . His work bridged the abstraction of Modernism and the of the current era.

“No one has made a bigger impact on the world of architecture, certainly from Mercer County, than Michael Graves,” Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes said. “Some people think architects are just people who draw up buildings. They are artists in themselves, and Michael was clearly an artist. He will be greatly missed by the Mercer County community.”

A statement from his practice and an interview with Graves, after the break.

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RSHP Unveils Plans for Two Tower Development in Bogotá

© RSHP

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) has unveiled a massive commercial development planned for central Bogotá. The mixed-use project, ATRIO will be comprised of a 200-meter North Tower and 268-meter South Tower that will be connected by a large, open public space that will take up two thirds of the project’s site in the area of Centro Internacional on Avenida El Dorado and Avenida Caracas.

“The clients brief was not only to deliver class office accommodation but also to create a new public space at the heart of the city. The project is a really exciting opportunity to contribute to the resurgence of a civic society in Bogota,” says Simon Smithson, Partner and lead designer at RSHP.

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