Ehrlich Architects Win 2015 AIA Architecture Firm Award

Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication / © Bill Timmerman

Ehrlich Architects, a Los Angeles-based practice dedicated to the philosophy of Multicultural Modernism, has been selected to receive the American Institute of Architects () 2015 Architecture Firm Award. The award celebrates Ehrlich Architects’ 35 years of practice, which, as the notes, has become renowned for “fluidly melding classic California Modernist style with multicultural and vernacular design elements by including marginalized design languages and traditions.”

The firm, originally founded by Steven Ehrlich in 1979 after working with the Peace Corps in Africa, is now led by four diverse partners: Ehrlich, alongside Takashi Yanai, Patricia Rhee, and Mathew Chaney. You can preview some of their most notable projects and watch an interview with Ehrlich, after the break.

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MAD’s First European Project Wins Planning in Rome

View from Street. Image ©

Four years after winning a to rebuild 71 Via Boncompagni in the heart of Rome, MAD Architects has been awarded approval and will now enter the implementation phase of their first European project. This approval will allow the Chinese practice to transform an incongruous 1970s commercial courtyard building into a 145-unit residential complex that reutilizes the building’s “bookshelf” structure by stripping away its facade and inserting new living quarters, giving it an entirely new look and function.

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Project Meganom Wins Contest to Transform Moscow Riverfront

Fishing on Kremlin © Courtesy of Project Meganom

Russian practice Project Meganom has been announced as the winner in a to drastically transform the Moscow riverfront. Their proposal aims to create a series of linear green spaces, while also incorporating new cultural and education spaces along the waterfront and improving the surrounding public transport. Announced at the IV annual Moscow Urban Forum which opened earlier today, the goal of the competition was to return the Moscow river from a “barrier” into a “link” in the city, restoring its historical status as the city’s heart and most important transportation route.

Read on after the break for more details of Project Meganom’s masterplan

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15 Finalists Nominated for the Art of Building Photographer of the Year Award

Bird’s Nest Puzzle Close-Up. Image © Mario Bejagan Cardenas

Fifteen images ranging from a close-up of Herzog & de Meuron’s Beijing National Stadium to a portrait of a graveyard-turned home in the Philippines, have been selected as the finalists of the Chartered Institute of Building’s (CIOB) 2014 Art of Building Photographer of the Year competition. The public will now decide who will take home the title and a £3,000 cash prize.

“There is a cornucopia of styles and stories in this year’s final,” said Saul Townsend, CIOB spokesman in a press release. “In a world full of high definition colour technology, black and white photography still inspires a host of photographers.  Voters are in for a visual treat and will hopefully be inspired to look at the built environment in a new way and to take part themselves next year.”

The fifteen finalists were selected by panel of judges that included photography critic and editor Sue Steward, award-winning photographer Matt Wain and the editor of Construction Manager magazine, Elaine Knutt.

Take a look at the 15 finalists after the break and don’t forget to vote for your favorite before January 11, 2015 on CIOB’s Art of Building website. The winner will be announced February 5.

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London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Takes Stand Against Super-Basements

Section of a proposed basement extension in Knightsbridge, . Image via The Daily Mail

The London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is set to pass new legislation aimed at curbing the spate of large basement extensions in the area. The trend for these “mega-basements” is a result of the strict planning guidelines applied to the borough’s many historic buildings, forcing the area’s wealthy and space-hungry residents to extend downwards instead of upwards or outwards. However, with a ten-fold increase in the number of basement extension plans since 2001, work on these complex underground projects was becoming a nuisance, causing Kensington and Chelsea Council to freeze the planning applications of 220 basement proposals while it sought a resolution.

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New Photographs Released Of London’s Subterranean Infrastructure Network

Platform tunnels at the new Bond Street Station. Image ©

Crossrail, “the largest infrastructure project in Europe (costing more than the 2012 London Olympics) has been slowly winding it’s way beneath London‘s streets for years. Now, as the tunneling efforts begin to draw to a close, Crossrail have released a series of fascinating photographs demonstrating just how complex this latest London subterranean labyrinth is. There are currently more than 10,000 people working directly on Crossrail at around forty separate construction sites, who have now completed 90% of the total tunneling. This brings the entire project to two thirds of the way there.

See the complete set of photographs after the break.

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Open Call: 2015 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers: Authenticity

© of New York

Young architects and designers are invited to submit work to the annual Architectural League Prize . Projects of all types, either theoretical or real, and executed in any medium, are welcome. Established in 1981 to recognize visionary work by young practitioners, the Architectural League Prize is an annual competition, lecture series, and exhibition organized by The Architectural League and its Young Architects + Designers Committee. 

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AIA Honors Peter Eisenman with 2015 Topaz Medallion

AD Classics: Wexner Center for the Arts / Peter Eisenman. Image © Flickr user OZinOH

Following Moshe Safdie’s selection to be the next AIA Gold Medalist, the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) and Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture () has announced Peter Eisenman, FAIA, as winner of the 2015 Topaz Medallion. Eisenman, known for a lifetime of scholarly work and his long associations with Princeton, Harvard, Cooper Union and Yale, will be honored for his global impact on architectural education after more than 60 years of teaching.

“There are probably very few schools of architecture where Peter is yet to have lectured,” wrote Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, in a recommendation letter.

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New Images Released of OMA’s Norra Tornen Towers in Stockholm

© bloomimages

UPDATE: has released new images of the Norra Tornen project (previously named “Tors Torn”), as the close to 300 apartments planned for the residential towers have been put on the market. The ground-breaking of the Stockholm towers is currently set for May 2015. 

OMA has won the design competition for Tors Torn in Stockholm, beating out four competing practices for the opportunity to build the third tallest twin skyscrapers in .

Existing urban guidelines call for a gateway to the new Hagastaden area of Stockholm, and OMA’s proposal accommodates a mixed-use program with a set of “rough-skinned” towers. The protrusions and inversions at different heights produce an alternating pattern of indoor living spaces and protruding outdoor spaces. OMA explains that their design “challenges the expected uniformity and homogenous façade treatment that is often assigned to tower structures. Instead, it extends the skin to expose the individuality of the separate living units in the two blocks – a true vertical, urban agglomeration.”

More on OMA’s winning proposal after the break…

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Moshe Safdie Wins 2015 AIA Gold Medal

AD Classics: Habitat 67 / . Image © Jade Doskow

The American Institute of Architects () has just announced that Moshe Safdie, FAIA, will be the 2015 AIA Gold Medal recipient. Honoring him for his “comprehensive and humane approach to designing public and cultural spaces across the world has touched millions of people and influenced generations of younger architects,” the AIA believes that Safdie’s work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture.

“Moshe Safdie has continued to practice architecture in the purest and most complete sense of the word, without regard for fashion, with a hunger to follow ideals and ideas across the globe in his teaching, writing, practice and research,” stated Boston Society of Architects president Mike Davis in his nomination letter.

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Images Released of 3XN’s Olympic Headquarters in Lausanne

North View. Image ©

3XN and the (IOC) have released images of a new headquarters planned for a 24,000-square-meter site on banks of Lake Geneva in the Swiss city of Lausanne. Adjacent to the historic Château de Vidy, which has been the “iconic home” of the IOC, 3XN’s design is intended to respect both the château’s legacy and park setting, while making the transition from park to building as “soft” as possible. 

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Roundup: 5 Recent Buildings Inspired by Wood

Maggie’s Oxford / Wilkinson Eyre Architects. Image © Wilkinson Eyre Architects

It may be the world’s second oldest construction material, but is still one of the most versatile and inspiring materials available to architects today, coveted as both a structural material and as a finish on walls, floors, ceilings and facades. In recent years it’s even seen a resurgence in popularity, thanks to its sustainability credentials and its increasingly popular “natural” feel. With all this in mind, ArchDaily Materials has rounded up five recent projects that prove innovation in wood is still alive and well in the architectural world: Wilkinson Eyre Architects’ Maggie’s Oxford; Shigeru Ban’s Aspen Art Museum; Pushed Slab by MVRDV; MARGEN-LAB’s Endesa World Fab Condenser; and finally a forthcoming building that is notable for its ambitious wooden design, the Sleuk Rith Institute by Zaha Hadid Architects.

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Avanti and NORD Selected to Revitalize St Peter’s Seminary in Scotland

Restored chapel visualisation. Image Courtesy of James Johnson

London-based Avanti Architects, along with Glasgow-based ERZ Landscape Architects and NORD Architects, have released the first image of their design to revitalize one of ’s modern masterpieces: St Peter’s seminary. Designed by Gillespie, Kidd & Coia in 1966, and built on the former Kilmahew estate, the Category-A listed Brutalist structure was voted as the best modern building in Scotland by readers of Prospect Magazine in 2005. However, the building has been abandoned for the past 25 years, leaving it dilapidated and facing numerous problems.

Public art charity NVA is leading a  £7.3 million initiative to rehabilitate the building and its surrounding landscape to create an art, heritage and educational site. The designs include a performing arts venue with a 600-person capacity, informal indoor and outdoor teaching spaces across the 144 acre site and over 4 kilometres of woodland paths. In addition, the site will contain a heritage exhibition and a locally-led productive garden.

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Spotlight: Adolf Loos

© Otto Mayer, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Adolf Loos (December 10, 1870-August 23, 1933) was one of the most influential European architects of the late 19th century and is often noted for his literary discourse that foreshadowed the foundations of the entire modernist movement. As an architect, his influence is primarily limited to major works in his home country of Austria, but as a writer he had a major impact on the development of 20th century architecture, producing a series of controversial essays that elaborated on his own architectural style by decrying ornament and a range of social ills. ’s minimalist attitudes are reflected in the works of Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, and many other modernists and led to a fundamental shift in the way architects perceived ornamentation.

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Curatorial Team Announced For The 2016 Oslo Triennale

OAT 2016 Winning Proposal. Image Courtesy of After Belonging Agency

The After Belonging Agency (ABA) have been announced as the curatorial team for the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale for their proposal In-Residence, On Residence, and the Ways We Stay In-Transit.

Established in 2000, the 2016 Triennale will be the sixth of its kind. Following an open call for curators in September of this year, the Triennale invited four teams to interview: Rotterdam based Crimson Architectural Historians, London based Justin McGuirk, Canadian curator Dan Handel, and a team of five Spanish architects hailing from New York known as the After Belonging Agency. Lluis Alexandre Casanovas Blanco, Ignacio González Galán, Carlos Minguez Carrasco, Alejandra Navarrete Llopis, and Marina Otero Verzier’s proposal was chosen unanimously by a jury which included Hege Maria ErikssonNina Berre, and Gro Bonesmo (among others).

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SOMA to Cantilever Luxury Residences Over Protected House in Beirut

© SOMA

New York-based SOMA Architects has announced plans for an 11-story residential development in . Cantilevering over a protected 1920s house, “BOBO’s” steel exoskeleton and concrete core will support 13 new residences on top ground floor retail in the Lebanese capital’s Mar Mikhael district.

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ARCHIQUOTE: 13 Billboards Advertising Architecture’s Most Influential Concepts

Courtesy of

Federico Babina is at it again, this time creating a series of 13 Las Vegas-inspired billboards that advertise architectural concepts of the profession’s most prolific contributors. The idea behind ARCHIQUOTE, as Babina describes, was to put words into manifest examples of architectural concepts and aesthetics from Mies van der Rohe to Rem Koolhaas.

“The words can be considered as architecture,” says Babina. “Simple concepts with deep meanings and complex thoughts explained with simplicity…Billboards that evoke a Las vegas of architecture where the phrases guide us to understand a little more the idea hidden behind the work done with volumes and space… In these 13 are mixed, intersect and integrate aphorisms and shapes in a communicative game.”

The complete series, after the break.

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ArchDaily Architect’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014

ArchDaily Architect’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014

It’s that time of year again and architects continue to top the list as some of the most difficult individuals to buy for. That classic black tee or new coffee cup just isn’t cutting it anymore, so we’ve decided to help you out by putting together a list of items any architect would love. Take a look at ArchDaily’s top 15 gifts for architects, after the break. 

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