BIG and Heatherwick’s Futuristic Google HQ Proposal Loses to LinkedIn

© Google / /

Google‘s ambitious plans to expand its California headquarters in Mountain View took a major blow last night when council members announced their decision to award LinkedIn three-quarters of the North Bayshore area site. With just 500,000 square-feet of area to work with, Google would only be able to construct one of its four proposed buildings.

Unveiled earlier this year, the company’s futuristic “Googleplex,” designed by BIG and Heatherwick Studio, gained international attention for its outlandish plans to build four Lego-like buildings beneath a cluster of translucent canopies.

As The New York Times reports, LinkedIn won the council over by promising to “preserve business diversity.”

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Henry N. Cobb Awarded Architectural League President’s Medal

John Hancock Tower in Boston. Image © Flickr CC User Zach Heller

The Architectural League of New York has awarded its President’s Medal to Henry N. Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects. The League’s highest honor, the medal was awarded to Cobb “for the truly consequential work he has created as designer, educator, thinker, writer, and leader,” says the jury citation.

“We are inspired by his decades-long passion for the art of architecture; by his analytic rigor, manifest in subtle and articulate buildings and penetrating readings of history and place; by the broad and profoundly informed humanist culture that suffuses his writings and approach to education; and by the unbounded curiosity and delight he takes in new ideas, new work, and new talent. Henry N. Cobb embodies that combination of capability and conviction—artistic, intellectual, practical, and civic—that defines the ideal architect.”

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Help Shigeru Ban Provide Emergency Shelter to Nepal

Shigeru Ban’s permanent paper housing in India. Image © Kartikeya Shodhan

Shigeru Ban Architects, together with the Voluntary Architects’ Network (VAN), has announced plans to send emergency shelter, housing and other community facilitates to the victims of Nepal’s deadly April 25th earthquake. As part of a three-phase plan, Shigeru Ban will first delivery and assemble tents with plastic partitions acquired though donation to provide immediate shelter. A few months after, the Japanese practice will collaborate with local architects and students to build temporary housing with materials found prevalent in Nepal.

Permanent housing will also be provided in the architect-led recovery plan’s third phase, although little details have been released. However, you can help make it happen by donating to Shigeru Ban’s efforts (here).

Watch Shigeru Ban’s TED Talk on paper emergency structures, after the break. 

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uncube Pays Homage to Frei Otto

© Ingenhoven und Partner Architekten, Düsseldorf

uncube has published an entire issue dedicated to the late Frei Otto. The architect and inventor, known best for his tensile structures, was the first ever to be awarded the Pritzker Prize posthumously. Honoring Otto with more than a “simple retrospective homage,” has compiled an extensive online issue of “thoughts, anecdotes and observations” that reflect Otto’s legacy and the ideas that lead him to be a significant part of architectural history. View the entire issue on , here.

An Interactive Look at Japan’s Tall Building History

’s tallest skyscraper, Abeno Harukas. Image © Hisao Suzuki

A new research study conducted by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), entitled Tall Buildings in Numbers – Japan: A History of Tall Innovations, examines the evolution of tall buildings in Japan since the 1960s. The study highlights key innovations in Japan’s skyline through a compilation of graphic representations, including a timeline of notable highrises, a scatterplot of towers over 150 meters and annual construction rates, and a comparison of skyscraper density with regional populations.

View the interactive charts after the break.

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Cristián Undurraga Photographs His Pavilion for Chile at Milan Expo

Courtesy of Cristián Undurraga

Chilean architect Cristián Undurraga has shared a series of photos with us of Chile’s recently inaugurated pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015. Undurraga’s design for the pavilion was chosen from 21 projects submitted in a public competition held by the College of Architects and the Chilean Association of Architecture Offices (AOA) in 2013. Undurraga’s pavilion follows a rich lineage of Chilean architecture created for World Expositions set by the historic iceberg created for the Seville Expo ’92 and the gold medal winning Shanghai Expo pavilion from 2010.

The pavilion aims to position Chile as a “food power” (potencia alimentaria), emphasizing the quality of its food and the vast markets that Chilean exports reach. The journey through the pavilion is complemented by audiovisual devices, ending with the Table of Chile where the visitor can taste and buy Chilean food products.

The Milan Expo opened on May 1st and will run until October 31, receiving an estimated 24 million people.

See images and visitor reactions of the Chilean pavilion after the break.

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Norman Foster’s Advice for the Young: “Find Something You Believe In”

Unless architecture is truly your passion, Norman Foster thinks you should simply find something else to pursue. In the Louisiana Channel‘s latest, the prolific English architect advises the young to live “every living second of your life” doing what you love.

Verstas Architects Win Competition to Expand Lapland Central Hospital in Finland

Courtesy of Verstas Architects

Finnish firm Verstas Architects has been awarded first place in a competition for the expansion of ’s Lapland central hospital for their design of a functional complex of “healing architecture.” Responding to the challenge of Finland’s aging population and changes in municipal funding, the winning proposal reflects the “ of tomorrow,” creating a flexible and functional space in conversation with its urban surrounds.

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Video: How Tesla’s Powerwall Will Provide Energy to the World

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The world’s energy infrastructure may soon undergo significant change; recently unveiled the Powerwall, a compact, lithium-ion battery pack that will allow residents to autonomously consume energy by drawing from their own sun-powered reserve. For just $3,500, you can purchase an attractive, wall-mounted battery capable of storing up to 10 kilowatt-hours of energy – about a third of what the average US household uses daily. Beyond this, the company will also be offering scalable Powerpacks to businesses and utility companies that will allow limitless storage. Powerwalls will go out for delivery this summer.

Hot Tub With Charles Renfro In Honor Of Public Architecture

Charles Renfro. Image Courtesy of

Want to “smoke up” with Bjarke Ingels or fly over in Norman Foster‘s private helicopter? The Van Alen Institute has launched an online auction to help raise money for its public architecture and design programs. Bid now for a chance to win “priceless” experiences with famous architects and designers that could potentially have you hot tubbing with Charles Renfro, birdwatching with Jeanne Gang, or touring Los Angeles by bike with Michael Maltzan. See all the experience being auctioned, here on Paddle8

Michael Graves and MOS Architects Win Cooper Hewitt National Design Award

The Portland Building. Image © Flickr CC User camknows

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum has announced the winners of its 2015 National Design Award. Taking top honors, the late Michael Graves has been honored with the “Lifetime Achievement” award for “broadening the role of architects and raising public interest in good design as essential to the quality of everyday life.”

MOS Architects was also selected to receive the “Architecture Design” award. The -based studio, founded by principals Hilary Sample and Michael Meredith in 2005, was lauded by the jury for their “academic research [that] occurs in parallel to the real-world constraints and contingencies of practice.”

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London’s V&A Appoints New Director Of Design & Exhibitions

David Bickle – New Director of Design, Exhibitions & FuturePlan. Image © Hawkins\Brown

’s Victoria & Albert Museum have announced that David Bickle, formerly a partner at Hawkins\Brown, has been appointed as the new Director of Design, Exhibitions and FuturePlan. In this role Bickle will be responsible for the care and future development of the V&A’s buildings, as well as the presentation of all of the museum’s permanent collections and exhibitions. With the construction of Amanda Levete Architects’ new addition on Exhibition Road underway – coupled with the V&A’s plans for new exhibition spaces in Dundee, Scotland, and in East Stratford on the former site of the 2012 London Olympic Games – the museum is also in the process of helping to establishing a collection in Shenzhen.

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Open Call: Competition Seeks Ideas for Königsberg Cultural Center

Courtesy of Urban Planning Bureau “Heart of the City”

The Region Government, in collaboration with the City Administration and the Non-Profit Partnership ”Urban Planning Bureau ‘Heart of the City’” has launched an open international design competition for an architectural design of the Governmental historic and cultural complex on the grounds of the former order castle Königsberg in Kaliningrad (“Post-castle,” 4,5 ha). The competition aims to find a contemporary architectural image of Kaliningrad’s historic center, while accommodate for new functions, such as a concert hall, museum of archaeology, and history museum of the King’s castle.

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Eileen Gray’s Restored E1027 Opens to the Public

E1027, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin by . Image © Julian Lennon 2014

The controversial renovation of Eileen Gray‘s E1027 on the Côte d’Azur is complete. Once a “lost legend of 20th-century architecture,” the quaint holiday home has been brought back to life and is now open to the public. Announcing the news, The Guardian author Rowan Moore has recounted the cliffside project’s turbulent past, reciting its significance as Gray’s first architectural project.

Although much of the home’s original essence has been restored, some botches remain, including unauthorized murals (now protected artworks) by Le Corbusier who declared Gray copied his style. You can read Moore’s article about E1027 and the renovation, here. Visiting information can be found here.

BIG and Heatherwick’s Google HQ to be Built with Robots

© Google / BIG / Heatherwick Studio

Google’s proposed California headquarters will be built with robots, according to the most recent planning documents received by the City of Mountain View Council. As the Architects’ Journal reported first, the documents detail BIG and Heatherwick Studio‘s plan to construct the canopy-like structure’s interiors with a team of robotic-crane hybrids known as “crabots.”

These crabots would, in theory, establish a “‘hackable’ system for the building of the interior structures,” says the documents, that would allow for limitless, easy, and affordable reconfiguration of space throughout the building’s life.

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Dubai Design District Taps Foster + Partners To Design Its Second Phase

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The Dubai Design District (d3) has tapped Foster + Partners to design its ’s second phase. Spanning one million-square-feet, the new development will be a “Creative Community” that will serve as a ”thriving cultural epicenter” within d3, and an “incubator” for emerging designers an artists.

“This is an exciting initiative, which supports young creatives, and allows Dubai’s design scene to flourish from within,” says Gerard Evenden, Studio Head at Foster + Partners.

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Spotlight: Christian de Portzamparc

via Atelier

Born on the 5th of May 1944 in what was at the time the French Protectorate of Morocco, French architect Christian de Portzamparc had doubts about continuing with architecture while studying in the 1960s, questioning modernist ideals and the lack of freedom compared to art. Instead, he spent a decade attempting to understand the role of architecture, before returning triumphantly with a new model of iterative urban design that emphasized open neighborhoods based around landmark ‘poles of attraction’ and a varied series of high profile commissions that combine a  sense of purpose and place.

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Kullegaard Takes First Place in Holbæk HavneBy Design Competition

© Dimension Design, courtesy of Kullegaard

A team of architects from the Danish design firm Kullegaard have been awarded first place in a competition for the seaport municipality of Holbæk in Denmark. Seeking to form a connection with the surrounding architecture, their proposal for a mixed-use complex, entitled “Holbæk HavneBy,” derives its form from the distinction of public and private spaces.

Read more on the $22 million proposal after the break.

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