Call for Entries: Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence 2015

RBA 2013 Winner: Via Verde / Dattner Architects + Grimshaw Architects. Image © David Sundberg

The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA) has opened their 2015 call for applications. The biennial award celebrates urban places that are distinguished by quality design and their social and economic contributions to our nation’s cities. Winners offer creative placemaking solutions that transcend the boundaries between architecture, urban design and planning and showcase innovative thinking about American cities. One Gold Medal of $50,000 and four Silver Medals of $10,000 will be awarded. Projects must be a real place, not just a plan or a program, and be located in the 48 contiguous United States. Award winners may use prize money in any way that benefits the project. The deadline for entries is December 9, 2014. Learn how to apply here

Drozdov&Partners Selected to Design Dalseong Citizen’s Gymnasium

© Drozdov&Partners

Ukrainian practice drozdov&partners has been announced as winners of an open ideas competition for the Dalseong Citizen’s Gymnasium. As part of the district’s centennial anniversary, the competition aims to replace an existing, outdated sports hall with a new gymnasium complex for the local residents of Hyeonpung-myeon, a neighborhood within the district of Dalseong-gun.

The winning design favors a minimalist approach, integrating a “simple volume” within the hillside site that reactivates an existing public plaza and sports hall, while strengthens its connection to the surrounding neighborhoods, schools and city transit.

Construction is expected to begin in 2015. More project information and images, after the break.

(more…)

View from the Top: Instagrammer Climbs NYC’s Tallest Building

Photo taken from 432 Park Ave, looking West. Image © Demid Lebedev

“The higher you get the lonelier the world seems.”

Seventeen-year-old Demid Lebedev, better known by his Instagram username Demidism, recently climbed to the top of 432 Park Avenue, capturing unprecedented views from what will be New York City’s tallest residential building. “I went to heaven and back,” writes Lebedev in one of the photo’s captions. Surrounded in fog, Lebedev captures views from distinct levels of the building, which is currently in its final stage of construction. 432 Park Avenue will top out at 1,398 feet, surpassing One57 and earning the crown as the city’s tallest residential building when it opens in 2015.

Yet following his climb, Lebedev was arrested and charged with criminal trespass and reckless endangerment, local press reported.

We caught up with Lebedev to learn what it’s like to climb to the top of the city’s tallest buildings and how the city changes as it extends upward. Read what Lebedev had to say and enjoy his stunning photos after the break.

(more…)

Three Talks to Debate the Future of Life on London’s Rivers

© Flickr CC User mariusz kluzniak

As part of the their Architecture for All programme, London‘s Old Royal Naval College is set to host three debates about the future planned along the River Thames, investigating the issues surrounding living, building and working on the City’s waterways in the years to come. The series is curated by Ellis Woodman, critic for the Architects’ and the Architectural Review, who said: “Despite the fact that the riverfront is currently the subject of redevelopment proposals of unprecedented scale, London’s ambitions for the Thames have yet to be widely articulated or debated.” Details of the three after the break.

(more…)

Renzo Piano Comments on the Difficulties of Designing LA’s Motion Picture Academy

2013 Visualization. Image © Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Studio Pali Fekete architects, AMPAS

In discussion with Christopher Hawthorne of the LA Times, Renzo Piano has taken his comments of modesty – verging on “self-deprecation” – to a new level. In response to questions about the design of the proposed Motion Picture Academy in he has said: “I don’t think it will be that bad. [...] Actually, I’m struggling to do something good.” Although Piano’s design has previously been met with criticisms from Hawthorne, the Italian architect notes in this latest interview that ”everything we’ve made at LACMA has been extremely complicated.” The project, which has already seen a major alteration in the core design team, remains set to complete in 2015.

(more…)

Henning Larsen Foundation Launches Architecture and Film Competition

Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre / Henning Larsen Architects & Batteriid Architects. Image © Henning Larsen Architects

The is launching an international competition on architecture and film with the intent to “revitalize the use of architecture on film and foster new inspiration to architects and film professionals.” The theme of the competition is the experience of architectural space over time. The task is to create a film sequence of 1-5 minutes which animates architecture by embracing time as the primary dimension. Up to €18,000 in prizes will be awarded to entrants who inspire a new approach to architecture and the film media. Submissions are due by March 15, 2015. A winner will be announced on April 20, Henning Larsen’s birthday. More information can be found here.

Snøhetta Designs New Banknotes for Norway

© Snøhetta

Snøhetta’s pixilated concept for the Norwegian banknote has been selected by the Central Bank of Norway to serve as the “foundation” for the backside of the new kroner notes. This news, announced yesterday in , also confirmed that the notes’ front will be based off The Metric System’s more “traditional” design featuring a images of sailing vessels.

Both Snøhetta and The Metric System were among seven designers invited to submit ideas under the nautical theme “The Sea,” in which Snøhetta chose to commemorate Norway’s coastal landmarks with a “visual language” of brightly colored, cubical patterns.

More on Snøhetta’s winning concept, after the break.

(more…)

Architects Envision Buoyant “Thames Deckway” for London Cyclists

© RCC

On the heels of Mayor Boris Johnson’s announced plan to construct an 18-mile protected bike lane by March 2016, architect David Nixon and artist Anna Hill have released their vision for relieving ’s congested streets with a floating “Thames Deckway” for cyclists. The proposal, though just in its preliminary design phase, claims the river Thames is currently a missed opportunity that could serve as a major travel artery for cyclists. If constructed, the £600 million project would run east-west for seven miles along the river’s southern bank, from Battersea to Canary Wharf, and harness it’s own energy through solar, tidal and wind power. Nixon and Hill have founded the River Cycleway Consortium in support of the project, which includes Arup and Hugh Broughton Architects.

(more…)

Sean Godsell Unveils Melbourne’s Inaugural “MPavilion”

© Earl Carter

On Monday, Sean Godsell unveiled the inaugural MPavilion in Melbourne‘s Queen Victoria Gardens. Intended as an Australian counterpart to London‘s wildly successful Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, the Pavilion will be open until February 1st, hosting a series of  throughout its four-month stay including talks, workshops, film screenings and art interventions.

Funded primarily by the recently established Naomi Milgrom Foundation, with assistance and support from the Serpentine Gallery itself, the pavilion is the first step in the Naomi Milgrom Foundation’s goal to position Melbourne as “Asia-Pacific’s hub of design and architecture.” The first instalment by Godsell features a simple frame covered with automated aluminium panels, which open and close in response to the sunlight.

(more…)

Places Journal Relaunches With a Fresh Commitment to Accessible Architecture Scholarship

Courtesy of Places

After a five-year stint as part of the Design Observer Group, Places Journal has now struck out on their own with a fresh, modern website and a renewed commitment to their editorial goal of publishing “rigorous and lively public scholarship on architecture, landscape, and urbanism.” As explained by Places Journal’s editor and executive director Nancy Levinson, “what drives our editorial enterprise is the publication of excellent work that combines the narrative power of serious journalism with the precision and depth of scholarship — work that advances the cause of equitable and sustainable landscapes.” Read more about the new Places Journal after the break.

(more…)

Woods Bagot Reveals Plans for Christchurch Convention Centre

© mir.no. Image Courtesy of Woods Bagot

Global design and consulting firm Woods Bagot has revealed its plans to collaborate with Plenary Conventions New Zealand, a consortium responsible for the development of the new Christchurch Convention Centre. The consortium also includes international infrastructure firm Plenary Group, local firms Ngai Tahu Property and Carter Group, Warren and Mahoney Architects, and environmental design consultancy Boffa Miskell. Read on after the break to see additional images and learn more about the proposed plan.

(more…)

Breaking New Ground: Designing Affordable Housing for the Coachella Valley Workforce

Breaking New Ground is an international design and ideas competition addressing the urgent affordable housing needs for farmworker and service worker families in the Valley, where efforts to improve living conditions suffers from a lack of funding and coordination. Going beyond design, the competition seeks to envision new precedents, mechanisms, and policies for affordable housing implementation and development, with implications for and the nation.

At the competition’s conclusion, The California Endowment and County of Riverside will work together to build an affordable housing project based on the winning entries. The winning team may also be selected to participate in the design and construction of the new project.

(more…)

NASA Tech Brief Awards Top Honors to Contour Crafting’s Automated Construction Methodology

© Contour Crafting

Behrokh Khoshnevis of the has won Grand Prize in the NASA Tech Briefs magazine’s “Create the Future” contest for his entry, “Robotic Building Construction by Contour Crafting.” The revolutionary construction method was awarded for being a “major innovation” that could potentially 3D print entire neighborhoods in half the time and at 30 percent less cost than traditional building methods. 

Though some have visions of using Contour Crafting (CC) to sculpt the moon’s first settlements, Khoshnevis primary desire is combat the world’s housing shortage by using the automated construction method to rapidly deploy housing in impoverished and disaster areas.

More information and an interview with Khoshnevis on CNN, after the break. 

(more…)

Miralles Tagliabue EMBT Wins Competition to Design Metro Station in Paris

Grand Paris Express. Image Courtesy of Enric Miralles - Benedetta Tagliabue |

Enric Miralles Benedetta Tagliabue (EMBT) and Bordas+Peiro have been announced as winner among five proposals of a two-stage competition to design the future Clichy – Montfermeil metro station in Paris. The competition, organized by the Société du Grand París, is part of the ambitious Grand Paris Express project which seeks to modernize the existing transport network and create an automatic metro that will connect new neighborhoods to the city. 

In addition to the station’s design, EMBT’s proposal will provide a new public square for the renewed neighborhood of Clichy-sous-bois that will serve as a symbol of change following the violent riots of 2005. “We want to transform this grey and abandoned area into a vivid and colorful plaza, that will inspire joy and optimism,” stated EMBT. 

More about the winning design, after the break.

(more…)

New Images Released of Foster and Gehry’s Battersea Power Station Designs

The Battersea Power Station Development Company has revealed new images of the buildings on “Electric Boulevard,” designed by Foster + Partners and Gehry Partners. As phase three in the development of the Grade-II* power station and its surroundings, the buildings will form the primary entrance to the site, connecting the planned Battersea Underground station with the power station and forming one of London‘s most distinguished high streets.

The released images show both the exterior and interior features of Foster’s “Battersea Roof Gardens” Building (formerly called “The Skyline”) and Gehry’s “Prospect Place” and “Flower” buildings. Read on after the break to see all the images.

(more…)

Three Winning Schemes Reinvent the African Mud Hut

FIRST PRIZE: Sankofa House / M.A.M.O.T.H (). Image Courtesy of Nka Foundation

The Nka Foundation recently challenged young graduates and students of architecture to redesign the African mud hut for . The result, three designs received top honors for being both functional and beautiful, and will now be realized through a series of building workshops that you can participate in. Learn more and check out the winning designs, after the break.

(more…)

12 Projects Win Regional Holcim Awards 2014 for Latin America

GOLD: Articulated Site: Water reservoirs as public park (Medellin, Colombia) . Image Courtesy of the

Teams from Mexico and Colombia have received top honors in the 2014 regional Holcim Awards for Latin America, an award which recognizes the most innovative and advanced sustainable construction designs. Among the top three winner is a Colombian water reservoir turned public park and low-impact timber rainforest center in Costa Rica.

The 12 recognized projects share over $300,000 in prize money, with the top three projects overall going on to be considered for the global Holcim awards, to be selected in 2015.

The full list of Latin American winners, after the break…

(more…)

Hufton + Crow Named Architectural Photographer of Year 2014

Heydar Aliyev Centre / Zaha Hadid Architects. Image © Hufton + Crow

Hufton + Crow have been named “Architectural Photographer of the Year 2014” by Arcaid Images. The news was announced in Singapore at the World Architecture Festival after the duo’s interior image of Zaha Hadid’s Heydar Aliyev Centre staircase received the highest score from the judges. Hufton + Crow also received runner-up in the award’s exterior category with another image from the Heydar Aliyev Centre. You can check it out, after the break.

(more…)