Winners of the 2015 Building of the Year Awards

After two weeks of nominations and voting, we are pleased to present the winners of the 2015 ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards. As a peer-based, crowdsourced architecture award, the results shown here represent the collective intelligence of 31,000 architects, filtering the best architecture from over 3,000 projects featured on ArchDaily during the past year.

The winning buildings represent a diverse group of architects, from Pritzker Prize winners such as Álvaro Siza, Herzog & de Meuron and Shigeru Ban, to up-and-coming practices such as EFFEKT and Building which have so far been less widely covered by the media. In many cases their designs may be the most visually striking, but each also approaches its context and program in a unique way to solve social, environmental or economic challenges in communities around the world. By publishing them on ArchDaily, these buildings have helped us to impart inspiration and knowledge to architects around the world, furthering our mission. So to everyone who participated by either nominating or voting for a shortlisted project, thank you for being a part of this amazing process, where the voices of architects from all over the world unite to form one strong, intelligent, forward-thinking message.

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Architects of Invention and Archiplan Propose “Origami Highline” for Santiago

Courtesy of Architects of Invention

Chilean architects Archiplan and international office Architects of Invention have unveiled their concept design for a new public plaza in Santiago. Prepared as a competition entry, the proposal is a tribute to the late Chilean architect Fernando Castillo Velasco, sited in front of his iconic Tajamar Towers.

Entitled “Origami Highline,” the project draws inspiration from the ancient Japanese paper folding craft of origami and takes the form of a sculptural intervention in Balmaceda Park.

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OMA Opens New Office in Dubai

© Flickr CC User Éole Wind

The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has opened a Dubai office to design and oversee projects in the Middle East-Africa region. Together with headquarters in Rotterdam and offices in New York, Hong Kong, Beijing and Doha, OMA Dubai aims to “strengthen the practice’s presence in the Middle East, and also provide a connection point for future work in Africa and India.” The office is located in Al Warsan Tower in TECOM.

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Andrés Jaque Named 2015 MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program (YAP) Winner

© Cosmo / Andrés Jaque/Office for Political Innovation

Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation’s project COSMO has been selected by the Museum of Modern Art and as winner of Young Architects Program’s (YAP) 16th edition in New York. Scheduled to open in late June, just in time for PS1’s 2015 Warm Up summer music, COSMO will serve as a “moveable artifact” with a mission to provide clean water for the world’s population. 

“This year’s proposal takes one of the Young Architects Program’s essential requirements – providing a water feature for leisure and fun – and highlights water itself as a scarce resource,” said Pedro Gadanho, Curator in MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design. “Relying on off-the-shelf components from agro-industrial origin, an exuberant mobile architecture celebrates water-purification processes and turns their intricate visualization into an unusual backdrop for the Warm Up sessions.”

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Jane Priestman Wins Inaugural Ada Louise Huxtable Prize

Priestman worked with Foster + Partners on the Stansted during her time at the British Airports Authority. Image Courtesy of Foster + Partners

Judges Patty Hopkins, Eva Jiricna and John McAslan have awarded Jane Priestman the . The 85-year-old British designer, lauded for being a “visionary” client, is the first to receive this lifetime achievement award, which honors non-architects which have significantly contributed to the architectural profession.

“Her contribution to future generations is immeasurable,” said the judges. “Priestman had the belief that architecture could change people lives, and wanted to work with architects who could help her do it.”

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Zaha Hadid and ADPI Unveil Plans for World’s Largest Passenger Terminal in Beijing

© ZHA / Methanoia

ADP Ingeniérie (ADPI) and Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) have unveiled designs for what will be the world’s largest airport passenger terminal – the New Airport Terminal Building. The scheme, based off the bid-winning planning concept by ADPI, hopes to alleviate traffic from ’s existing Capital Airport, which is operating beyond its planned capacity.

“Initially accommodating 45 million passengers per year, the new terminal will be adaptable and sustainable, operating in many different configurations dependent on varying aircraft and passenger traffic throughout each day,” stated ZHA in a press release. “With an integrated multi-modal transport centre featuring direct links to local and national rail services including the Gaotie high speed rail, the new Daxing airport will be a key hub within Beijing’s growing transport network and a catalyst for the region’s economic development, including the city of Tianjin and Hebei Province.”

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When One Size Does Not Fit All: Rethinking the Open Office

Pathé Foundation / Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Image © Michel Denancé

Workplace design has undergone a radical transformation in the last several decades, with approximately seventy percent of today’s modern offices now converted to open plans. However, despite growing concerns over decreases in worker productivity and employee satisfaction, the open office revolution shows no sign of slowing down. The open office model has proliferated without regard for natural differences in workplace culture, leading to disastrous results when employees are forced into an office that works against their own interests. If we are to make offices more effective, we must acknowledge that ultimately, design comes out of adapting individual needs for a specific purpose and at best, can create inviting spaces that reflect a company’s own ethos.

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The Observatories: Micro Artist Residence Officially Opens in the UK

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Nearly eight months ago, a team of four design students won a competition to design an artist’s residence in the south-western countryside of the UK. Now, Charlotte Knight, Mina Gospavic, Ross Galtress, and Lauren Shevills (in collaboration with artist Edward Crumpton) have seen their design, “The Observatories,” realized. Conceived as two rotating structures that house a studio and living quarters, The Observatories will be moved to four different sites over the course of two years. During this time, they’ll take in twelve artists, each for two-month residencies.

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London Underline: Gensler Envisions Subterranean Transportation Network for London

Bicycle Tunnel. Image Courtesy of

Last night, international design firm Gensler received the London Planning Award for Best Conceptual Project for its latest vision: London Underline. The proposal explores the potential of an underground bicycle and pedestrian park beneath the streets of London. Not only does this public interest design utilize existing abandoned space, but also generates the electricity to support itself simply by being used. 

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Harvard GSD To Host Exhibition Exploring The Architecture And Symbolism Of National Libraries

National libraries, often monumental in scale and “dominated by nationalistic ambitions and overwhelming architectural details,” will be the subject of a new exhibition opening later this month at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). Icons of Knowledge: Architecture and Symbolism in National Libraries seeks to examine why national libraries are amongst the most symbolic icons of modern day countries. Amidst the global milieu of the “rapid digitisation of print,” this aims to shed light on why nations are “vehemently investing resources in the construction of buildings that will project their cultural legacy and house the most precious treasures of their written history.”

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The Destruction of a Classic: Time-Lapse Captures Demolition of Chicago’s Prentice Women’s Hospital

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Following the extensive preservation battle over Bertrand Goldberg’s iconic Prentice Women’s Hospital, the Chicago landmark was demolished a few months ago to pave the way for Perkins+Will’s new Biomedical Research Building for the Feinberg School of Medicine. The four year preservation struggle was marked by repeated appeals to the Commission on Chicago Landmarks and Mayor Rahm Emanuel with attempts to place the building on historic registers, proposals to adapt it for modern use, and design competitions to gain public opinion on the future of the building. Ultimately, the outpouring of global support by architects and preservationists to save Prentice fell short of the political agenda of progress, prioritizing future development over preserving the city’s past.

In the wake of the loss of this icon, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has released a time-lapse video documenting the demolition process of Prentice from start to finish. This incredible footage memorializes the one-of-a-kind building so although the new Biomedical Research Building will soon take its place, a piece of its predecessor will always be remembered.

Zupagrafika Honors London’s Brutalist Architecture with Paper Models

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Polish studio Zupagrafika has released a collection of five paper cut-out models representing ’s brutalist architecture from 1960s and 70s. Scattered around the districts of Camden, Southwark and Tower Hamlet, the “raw concrete (paper) tour begins with iconic tower blocks (Balfron Tower and Space House), leads through council estates doomed to premature demolition (Robin Hood Gardens and Aylesbury Estate) and concludes with a classic prefab panel block (Ledbury Estate).”

The series, ”Brutal London” is Zupagrafika’s unique way of cataloging London’s modernist architecture at risk of demolition.

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INNOCAD Founder Martin Lesjak Named Contract’s Designer of the Year 2015

New York Apartment Remodelation / INNOCAD Architektur ZT GmbH. Image © Thomas Schauer

Martin Lesjak, co-founder of Austrian firm INNOCAD and 13&9 Design, has been named ’s Designer of the Year 2015 – the magazine’s 36th annual awards’ most prestigious honor.

“Martin Lesjak elicits power, grace, and emotion from his engaging and sensuous interior spaces. Through both his visionary architecture and , as well as beautiful product design, Lesjak is clearly a design star that others in the profession look up to,” says Contract Editor in Chief John Czarnecki, who selected Lesjak as Designer of the Year. “Martin has won a total of three Interiors Awards from Contract in the previous two years, those projects turned heads in the U.S., and his body of work continues to grow and gain international attention.”

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MOMA Partners with Instagram for Largest-Ever Latin American Architecture Exhibition

Iglesia del Cristo Obrero, Atlántida, Uruguay, Eladio Dieste. Image © Leonardo Finotti

MoMA’s largest-ever Latin American architecture will feature an official partnership with Instagram. The project invites the Instagram community to share their photos of buildings as part of the Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955–1980 exhibition.

One of the year’s most awaited exhibitions,  Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955–1980 will display key architectural works for understanding modernism in Latin America, featuring remarkable buildings from all over the continent, designed by prominent architects like Oscar Niemeyer, Clorindo Testa, Luis Barragán, Vilanova Artigas and Eladio Dieste.

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Wood Design & Building Magazine Announces Winners of its 2014 Wood Awards

Aspen Art Museum (Aspen, CO) . Image © Michael Moran/OTTO

Wood Design and Building Magazine has announced the winners of its 2014 Wood Awards. Run in partnership with the Canadian Wood Council, this year the included for the first time an international category in addition to the North America . With 166 submissions, the 24 awarded projects were selected by a jury consisting of Larry McFarland (Principle, McFarland Marceau Architects), Brigitte Shim (Principle, Shim-Sutcliffe Architects) and Keith Boswell (Technical Partner, SOM).

“The Wood Design Awards showcases exceptional wood buildings that not only display the unique qualities of wood, but also serve to inspire other designers who may not initially think of wood as the material of choice,” said Theresa Rogers, Editor of Wood Design & Building magazine. “The calibre of projects submitted displayed a mature sense of design that either paid homage to older building techniques or completely reinvented the conventional way of thinking about building envelope and design,” added Etienne Lalonde, the Canadian Wood Council’s Vice-President of Market Development.

See the full awards list after the break.

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Call for Submissions – CLOG: Landmark Issue

Waldorf Astoria, demolished in 1929 to make way for the Empire State .. Image © J.S. Johnston, 1899

CLOG is seeking submissions for its 13th issue, CLOG: Landmark. The latest edition from the New York-based publication explores the “powerful and complicated” nature of landmark status, examining the factors which dictate whether a building is to be destroyed or preserved. : Landmark plants itself in the nexus between architecture and social issues, dissecting ideas of “cultural value” and the framework by which this is determined. Critique and commentary of all forms will be considered, including images, graphics, diagrams, and text of not more than 500 words. Submissions must be received by March 1. Further guidelines for submission can be found here.

UK Report Says Universities are Failing to Prepare Architecture Students for Practice

Cambridge University was ranked the UK’s #1 architecture school in 2014. Image © Flickr CC User Mark Fosh

UK universities are failing to properly equip graduates with the necessary skills required for practicing architecture, according to RIBA’s 2014 Skills Survey. Of the 149 employers and 580 architectural students or recent graduates who responded to the wide-spread survey, a large majority criticized for prioritizing “theoretical knowledge ahead of practical ability” and agreed that most graduates are ill-prepared for work after studying at the university.

“I can think of no other profession where new graduates must wait a decade or more to be given significant responsibility because they have not acquired basic skills in university,” says Yarema Ronish, client adviser and director at Richard Morton Architects.

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Rowan Moore On MUMA’s Extension To Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery

The sun drenched interior promenade. Image Courtesy of The Whitworth

In an article for The ObserverRowan Moore visits Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery (1908), a compact museum which has now undergone a comprehensive restoration and extension by MUMA (McInnes Usher McKnight). The practice, who won the job against 130 other bids for the project, worked with a budget of £15million in order to realise an ambitious brief. Their interventions and innovations, many of which are modest and unseen, have not only reconnected the with its surrounding parkland but also elevated the interior rooms into world-class exhibition spaces. For Moore, their work is striking but muted: “the virtues of the new Whitworth – sustainable, accessible, sensitive, thoughtful – could all be synonyms for ‘dull’ or at least ‘worthy’. But, thanks to its pleasures of light and material, it is not. It is a job very well done.”

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