Support GA Collaborative’s Earthbag Projects in Rwanda: Building Community Through Creative Construction

Following the success of their first Masoro Village Project house, the non-profit design group GA Collaborative (GAC) has released a video and crowdfunding campaign for their latest prototype in . Like the previous GAC project, the first of its kind in , it too will be built of earthbags, providing the crew further experience with a low-cost and durable construction technique.

This building, a two-story structure for shared kitchen and toilet facilities, will be constructed this summer by the newly-formed builders’ cooperative Association Icyerekezo (“New Vision”). Donations to the project will help towards additional material tests, equipment rentals, wages for fifty workers and four student interns ($2.00/day/person), site infrastructure, and travel and temporary accommodation for one GAC member. For even more incentive to donate, the designers have paired up with StitchWorks, who are offering a series of bold textiles inspired by African fabric designs to donors.

Learn more in the video above, and support the Masoro Project here (more images after the break).

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15 Practices Shortlisted for Russian Cultural Center Competition

Project Site

Fifteen of 100 hopeful practices have been chosen to move forward in the second stage of the international “Russian Character” competition. Challenged to design a multi-functional Culture & Education Center for the newly developed Butovo Park residential district, the applicants will now begin to envision their proposals for the new venue. Once complete, the center will provide space for lectures, film screenings, indoor (and outdoor) concerts and master classes, as well as various outdoor sports activities and a museum that will showcase exhibitions on the the area’s history. The 15 shortlisted practices are…

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Dwell on Design Convention To Showcase Modern Living

Google Glasses DOD LA. Image Courtesy of Media LLC – PST

Dwell on Design, an immersive 3-day design exhibition at the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 20-22, will feature over 400 exhibitors and 90 presentations on ‘new ideas for modern living.’

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Brooks + Scarpa Design Park-And-Ride Plaza for Seattle Rail Station

© Brooks + Scarpa

Brooks + Scarpa has won a competition to design a new park-and-ride plaza for the future Angle Lake light rail station in . As part of the 1.6-mile South 200th Link Extension, which will connect Angle Lake to the airport and downtown area by 2016, the $30 million complex will provide the station’s anticipated 5,400 passengers with a pedestrianized plaza, drop-off and retail area, as well as a 1,050-stall parking garage and 35,000 square feet of reserved space for future transit-oriented development.

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What’s the Reality of Architectural Labor in the US? Take the Survey Now

Courtesy of The Architecture Lobby

The Architecture Lobby has released a seventy-question survey that seeks to gather a broad range of data about architectural work–from firm standards and policies to worker satisfaction–which will provide open-source information about the realities of architectural labor in the US. We will publish the results in the coming months; in the meantime you can aid in the project by taking The Architecture Lobby survey here (open through April).

Canada’s Raymond Moriyama Launches $100k Pritzker Rival

Moriyama RAIC International Prize

Architect , founder of Toronto-based Moriyama and Teshima Architects, has collaborated with the Royal Architectural Institute of (RAIC) to launch an international CAD $100,000 prize open to architects with “outstanding” work or non-architects who have had an “exceptional contribution to architecture.”

With an aim to raise the stature of the RAIC and “inspire all Canadians and Canadian architects to aspire higher,” as Moriyama stated, the biennial Moriyama RAIC International Prize has the potential to rival the Pritzker as one of the world’s largest, and expectantly most “prestigious” cash prizes in architecture. 

However, based on the ideals of “Moriyama’s passion for humanistic architecture that transforms society through an emphasis on values such as social justice, equality and inclusivity,” the Prize is expected to set itself apart from Pritzker’s focus on lifetime achievement.  

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Buy a Piece of the Royal Academy’s Sensing Spaces Exhibition

Eduardo Souto de Moura’s Square Arch. Image © James Taylor-Foster

London’s Royal Academy of Arts (RA) is selling off parts of their blockbuster architectural exhibition, Sensing Spaces. The Great Architecture Fair will see the seven practices behind the enormous installations select objects and materials from the exhibition to be repurposed as beautiful, unique items available to buy. In addition to these, the RA are offering members of the public the chance to experience the spaces out-of-hours “to give you your own exclusive moment in the exhibition.” 

Ranging from a top step from Chilean architects Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen’s gargantuan installation for £450, to a bag of pebbles (plus certificate) from Li Xiaodong’s Zen Garden for £10, slices of one of the world’s most accessible architecture exhibitions in recent years are up for grabs.

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Barclays Center to be Topped with Massive Green Roof

© SHoP Architects

Developers Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) and Greenland Group have decided to realize SHoP Architects’ original plan to top Brooklyn’s Barclays Center with a 130,000 square foot green roof. Though the design was first disregarded due to budget cuts, the developers have deemed it necessary to enhance the marketability the Atlantic Yards’ three residential towers – the first is currently underway – and dampen the noise from loud concerts. Little details have been released about the green roof’s design, however rumor has it that it might not be open to the public as it was originally intended. 

INTERIORS: True Detective

Courtesy of INTERIORS Journal

Interiors is an online film and architecture journal, published by Mehruss Jon Ahi and Armen KaraoghlanianInteriors runs an exclusive column for ArchDaily that analyzes and diagrams films in terms of space. Their Official Store will carry exclusive prints from these posts.

The first season of Nic Pizzolatto’s , the product of creator/writer Nic Pizzolatto and director Cary Fukunaga, focuses on Detective Rustin Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Detective Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson) as they search for clues on a grisly murder case. The series takes place in Louisiana in three distinct time periods; 1995, 2002 and 2012. Each time period has a distinct look, as characters and their surroundings change and evolve over time.

Cary Fukunaga, who comes from feature films such as Sin Nombre (2009) and Jane Eyre (2011), has always employed a distinct visual style in his work. In The Guardian, he discussed his approach to the direction of the show, noting that “one of my priorities as director was to defend craft despite the constraints on my time and budget.” In addition, he notes that he looked for specific moments in which he would treat the visual side of the medium with the same importance as the dialogue.

In the fourth episode, “Who Goes There,” he does just that, as he employs a lengthy, complex shot that brings the audience closer to the characters’ experience. This edition of INTERIORS will spatially break down that shot, revealing just how complex it was.

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AIA Names 10 Most Impressive Houses of 2014

Sol Duc Cabin; /

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected ten recipients for their 14th annual Housing Awards. Considered to be the year’s most impressive works, the awards are designed to “recognize the best in U.S. housing design” and “promote the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource.” The winners, after the break… 

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SOM Chosen to Design New Learning Facility for Barnard College

John Jay College of Criminal Justice / . Image © Eduard Hueber

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) has been chosen to design a new teaching and learning facility for Barnard College – Columbia University’s world-renowned liberal arts college for women. The selection committee chose SOM after deeming them the best candidate in three categories: “a history of creative and innovative architecture,” a proven recorded on similar academic projects, and “an internal commitment to woman’s leadership reflected by women holding key roles in the firm.”

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Foster and Gehry Reveal Designs for Battersea Power Station

“The Skyline” on “The Electric Boulevard” / Foster + Partners. Image Courtesy of Battersea Power Station

As phase three of ’s Battersea Power Station regeneration, Foster + Partners has collaborated with Gehry Partners to design the 42-acre development’s primary entrance. Together, the duo has envisioned “The Electric Boulevard” – a massive gateway connecting the Northern Line Extension station to the Power Station, which will be formed by an undulating Foster-designed tower known as “The Skyline” and Gehry’s five-building “Prospect Place.”

Housing more than 1,300 homes and over 350,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, the boulevard is expected to become one of London’s most distinguished high streets.

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Wingårdhs Bests Snøhetta, Foster + Partners in Statoil Competition

© Wingårdhs

A jury of seven, consisting of three architects and four Statoil employees, unanimously chose Wingårdhs’ design proposal—dubbed “E=mc2″—for the company’s campus at Forus West in Norway. Four other firms were shortlisted along with Wingårdhs: (UK) together with Space Group (Norway), OMA (the Netherlands), Snøhetta (Norway) and Helen & Hard (Norway) together with SAHAA (Norway). OMA, however, pulled out of the competition before the final submission.

The competition consisted of a proposal for an office building for 3500 work places and a for the entire Statoil property at Forus West. Wingårdhs’ design features an elliptical, chamfered building that tapers to 16 stories, set within a that will give the company a high degree of flexibility for future development. Statoil announced on Thursday that “The jury sees the potential for [E=mc2"] to be a distinct identity carrier for Statoil, which will both strengthen the Forus area and give Statoil employees pride and inspiration. The project has a significant innovative nature through advanced technological solutions, which fits well with Statoil as a leading technology company. Its clear inclined surface towards the sun is suitable for Statoil’s energy and environmental ambitions.”

More information about Wingårdhs’ winning proposal and images of the other teams’ proposals can be found after the break.

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Designing for Sound In Our Everyday Spaces

The syn chron space by Carsten Nicolai was designed to combine experiences of and light. Image Courtesy of artcentron.com

In this interesting article in the New York Times, Allison Arieff highlights the often unconsidered importance of sound in architecture (outside of theaters and museums at least). She profiles the work of Acoustic Engineers at ARUP who have begun to work inschools and hospitals, taking into account the effects poor sound environments can have on us in our everyday lives. You can read the full article here.

Venice Biennale 2014: French Pavilion to Debate Modernism’s Successes and Failures

Though his Unite d’Habitation remains popular, many other mass housing projects inspired by Le Corbusier were less successful. Image © Vincent Desjardins

With Le Corbusier casting a long shadow over the last century of France‘s architectural history, it is not surprising that, faced with Rem Koolhaas‘s theme of ‘absorbing modernity’ at the 2014 Venice Biennale, the country might have a unique reaction.

Jean-Louis Cohen‘s initial proposal for the French Pavilion, titled “Modernity: Promise or Menace?” reflects this history: “since 1914 has not so much ‘absorbed’ modernity as it has shaped it with significant contributions made by French architects and engineers in order to meet the requirements of different segments of society. As is the case in many countries, modernity has had to come face to face with social reform and by doing so it has made great dreams such as quality housing and community services for all partially come to fruition. But this encounter has come about in a original way, also generating considerable anxiety.”

Read on after the break for more about the themes explored by the French Pavilion

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The BIG U: BIG’s New York City Vision for “Rebuild by Design”

Render for The BIG U, “The Harbor Berm,” an elevated path through the park. Image Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.org

Yesterday BIG, along with 9 other teams including OMA and WXY, unveiled their proposals for “Rebuild by Design,” a competition which tasks teams with improving the resiliency of waterfront communities through locally-responsive, innovative design. Each proposal was required to be “flexible, easily phased, and able to integrate with existing projects in progress.” As Henk Ovink, the Principal of ”Rebuild by Design” as well as the Senior Advisor to the U.S. Department of and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan, stated: “Rebuild by Design is not about making a plan, but about changing a culture.” The winners will be announced later this spring.

BIG’s proposal, The BIG U, is rooted in the firm’s signature concepts of social infrastructure and hedonistic sustainability. It envisions a 10-mile protective system that encircles Manhattan, protecting the city from floods and storm water while simultaneously providing public realms specific to the needs of the city’s diverse communities. Bjarke Ingels states: “We asked ourselves: What if we could envision the resilience infrastructure for Lower Manhattan in a way that wouldn’t be like a wall between the city and the water, but rather a string of pearls of social and environmental amenities tailored to their specific neighborhoods, that also happens to shield their various communities from flooding. Social infrastructure understood as a big overall strategy rooted in the local communities.”

More on the BIG U, after the break…

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Emerging Architects Austin+Mergold Win Folly 2014

SuralArk Sketch. Image Courtesy of Austin + Mergold

Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League of New York have announced that Austin+Mergold have won “Folly 2014” – an annual competition among emerging architects to design and build a large-scale project for public exhibition at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City – with their project SuralArk, an installation that is “part ship, part house.”

The annual “Folly” program strives to give emerging architects and designers the opportunity to build public projects that explore the boundaries between architecture and sculpture. This year’s proposal beat out 171 submissions from 17 countries; it was selected by a jury made up of Chris Doyle, Artist; John Hatfield, Socrates Sculpture Park; Enrique Norten, TEN Arquitectos; Lisa Switkin, James Corner Field Operations; and Ada Tolla, LOT-EK.

SuralArk will open on May 11th through August 3rd. Learn more about the project after the break.

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