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 . 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 to serve as the “foundation” for the backside of the new kroner notes. This news, announced yesterday in Oslo, 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.

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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 “ Deckway” for cyclists. The proposal, though just in its preliminary design phase, claims the river 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.

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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 events 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 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.

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Places Journal Relaunches With a Fresh Commitment to Accessible Architecture Scholarship

Courtesy of Places Journal

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.

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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.

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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 Coachella 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.

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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. 

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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.

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

Gehry Partners

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.

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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.

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12 Projects Win Regional Holcim Awards 2014 for Latin America

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

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 awards, to be selected in 2015.

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

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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.

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Spotlight: Le Corbusier

© Willy Rizzo

“Space and light and order. Those are the things that men need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep.” 

The Swiss-born architect, urban planner, designer, painter and writer Charles Edouard Jeanneret-Gris (1887-1965), better known as Le Corbusier, is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of the modernist movement in architecture.  Over the course of his five-decade career, he saw work built across Europe, India, and the United States.

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London Mayor Rejects Skyline Campaign Proposals Amid Planning Controversy

Despite rejecting many of the proposals, Johnson has highlighted London’s Docklands as an area for concern, including ’ proposal for the tallest residential building in the UK. Image ©

London‘s Mayor Boris Johnson has largely rejected the proposals by the Skyline campaign, organized by the Architects’ Journal and the Observer, which aimed to introduce measures to allow more considered development in London, following the news that the UK‘s capital is currently going through its biggest building boom in recent memory.

The Architects’ Journal reported on Friday that the mayor rejected proposals for a presumption against tall buildings submitted for planning permission, a review of over 200 tall buildings currently either proposed or being constructed, a more rigourous system of masterplanning, and an independent skyline commission to examine new proposals. However, he did support the idea of a city-wide 3D model containing both existing and proposed buildings, which would allow planning officers to make more informed decisions.

More on the issue, and a detailed look at the mayor’s response to the proposals, after the break

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Winning Proposals Transform Power Plants into Public Art

First Prize: The Solar Hourglass / Santiago Muros Cortés . Image Courtesy of LAGI

Winners have been announced for the 2014 Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI). The competition, this year sited in , calls on interdisciplinary teams to design large scale site-specific artworks that provide renewable electricity to the city at a utility-scale (equivalent to the demand of hundreds or even thousands of homes). Once constructed, these public infrastructure artworks have the potential to offset thousands of tons of CO2 and provide iconic amenities that will serve to educate and inspire the communities in which they are built.

Check out the winning -generating sculptures, after the break.

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Emerging Voices: David Benjamin of The Living

In his lecture as one of winners of the Architectural League’s annual Emerging Voices awards, David Benjamin discusses his unique approach to environmental and computational design and how it manifests itself in the work of The Living, a firm he founded in 2006.

Throughout the lecture Benjamin discusses projects that are fundamentally linked to the natural environment and ideas related to sustainability. To introduce how the firm generates new ideas, Benjamin describes a method of experimentation developed in their practice called flash research: beginning with the idea that architecture could be dynamic and responsive, these are prototypes that operate under self-created constraints such as a budget of $1000 or less and a required time span of three months or less.

Read on after the break for further synopsis of the lecture.

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Rem Koolhaas and the New Frontline of Transformation

© Flickr CC User Giulio Bernardi

When you abandon the in favour of the city, what do you leave behind? In a recent essay for Icon Magazine, OMA co-founder Rem Koolhaas deliberates on the intersection between the two, arguing that “our current obsession with only the city is highly irresponsible because you cannot understand the city without understanding the countryside.”

“The countryside is now the frontline of transformation,” Koolhaas says, describing a new type of hybridized urban-countryside where no stone is left unturned. Koolhaas refers to this land as ”the intermediate,” describing it as “a well-manicured place where surface appearances bear almost no relation to what is actually happening on the land and in the buildings.” The countryside, Koolhaas argues, is no longer a sober second thought for the urban dweller but a facsimile of the failures of city life. Read the essay in full, here.