Pezo Von Ellrichshausen’s Poli House Wins Inaugural MCHAP for Emerging Architecture

Poli House / . Image © Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma

Yesterday at the Illinois Institute of Technology’s (), Pezo Von Ellrichshausen was awarded the prestigious Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) for Emerging Architecture. Selected for their finely crafted, concrete Poli House, which serves as both a summer residence and cultural center on the Coliumo Peninsula, the Chilean firm was the first practice ever to receive the prize. 

Wiel Arets, Kenneth Frampton, and Dominique Perrault, among others on the esteemed jury, deemed the Poli House to be “the most outstanding built work in the Americas” completed by an emerging practice within the preceding two years. 

Pezo Von Ellrichshausen will be awarded with a $25,000 prize and an IIT research professorship that will focus on rethinking the metropolis. 

Come July, a winner of the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize will be select for being the “best architectural work in the Americas.” 

Venice Biennale 2014: Montenegro to Present “Treasures in Disguise”

Spomen Dom. Image © Luka Bošković Photography

This year at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Pavilion will present four neglected, late-modernist buildings that were originally constructed as a testament to a radiant new society. An effort to spark discourse about urban regeneration in and the future of the former Yugoslavia’s architecture, the seeks to illuminate the uncanny beauty of each structure as they are regarded to be Treasures in Disguise.

More from the curators and a preview of the highlighted buildings, after the break…

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April ABI Reflects Continued Decrease in Design Services

April . Image Courtesy of CalculatedRiskBlog.com

For the last two months, the U.S. has remained in negative territory. Although the ABI rose slightly from the previous month’s 48.8 mark to 49.6 in April, the score still reflects a decrease in design services. As the American Institute of Architects (AIA) reports, the new projects inquiry index also revealed a slight increase, rising from 57.9 to 59.1.

“Despite an easing in demand for architecture services over the last couple of months, there is a pervading sense of optimism that business conditions are poised to improve as the year moves on,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “With a healthy figure for design contracts this should translate into improved billings in the near future.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break…

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Brazilian Architect João Filgueiras Lima (Lelé) Has Passed Away

© Moskow/Astha Produção/Revista AU

Iconic Brazilian architect and urbanist , also known as , passed away today in the city of Salvador. 

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Barcelona Architect Jose Ahedo Wins $100,000 Wheelwright Prize

Jose Ahedo, Blanca Pyrenees, Education Center (Els Hostalets de Tost, Spain, 2013). Image Courtesy of Wheelwright Prize

Barcelona architect Jose Ahedo of has been selected over seven finalists and 200 applicants to receive the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s $100,000 Wheelwright Prize. The travel grant, now in its second year, was awarded to Ahedo for his proposal Domesticated Grounds: Design and Domesticity Within Systems, which focuses on the innumerable environmental and social challenges related to animal farming. 

The jury lauded Ahedo’s proposal for “its integrated approach to a broad range of issues, and for his clarity in identifying architecture and design’s potential to shape more sustainable models of production for a global mega-industry.”

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AA Summer DLAB :: WHITE

Summer DLAB experiments with the integration of algorithmic / generative design methodologies and large scale digital fabrication tools. Continuing its color based agenda, Summer DLAB immerses in ‘white’ for its 2014 cycle, as a starting point to investigate natural formation processes and interpret them as innovative architectonic spaces. ‘White’ becomes the means of looking into extreme natural conditions which it is associated with. Concepts of emergence, differentiation, and complexity shape the theoretical framework of this investigation. Natural structures of differing scales are observed, which are then abstracted and interpreted into elaborated design proposals. The computational process of Summer DLAB is based on generative design algorithms, as can be seen in natural growth patterns such as the Lindenmayer system and fractal theory. These concepts are carefully interwoven with interaction and participatory design in order to create full-scale working prototypes.

One of the major objectives of Summer DLAB is to demonstrate the continuity of the workflow between computational software and digital assembly procedures leading to physical fabrication. In this respect, the programme is formulated as a two-phase process. During the initial phase participants benefit from the unique atmosphere and facilities of AA’s London home. The second phase shifts to AA Hooke Park campus and revolves around the fabrication and assembly of a full-scale architectural intervention which unifies the design goals of Summer DLAB.

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Apple Taps Bohlin Cywinski Jackson to Revamp Historic NYC Building

© Museum of the City via ifoAppleStore

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and Eckersley O’Callagha, both longstanding collaborators of Apple’s flagship stores, has been commissioned to transform a 93-year-old former Mortgage and Trust Company building on Madison Avenue into the chain’s next New York City store. Though little has been released about the design, the store’s grand opening is planned for 2015. More information can be found here

The Most Saturated European Markets: Where (And How Big) Are The Opportunities for Architects in Europe?

Courtesy of Twitter Page, https://twitter.com/

A few weeks ago Monditalia, one of the three main exhibits of the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, tweeted a small infographic which showed the number of architects per country, unleashing an intense debate among architects around the world.

Today Monditalia revealed even more figures, provoking us to think not only about which markets are saturated, but also where opportunities and possibilities lie for our profession. Using data from the construction research center CRESME, the curators of Monditalia have graphed the potential in European markets for architects, in terms of thousands of euros per year.

How do you see the landscape of opportunities in your region or country? Have you moved to another country to find better opportunities to work as an architect? Where do you think opportunities are right now?

Follow @monditalia on Twitter (as they are constantly sharing useful data) and be sure to check our previous article on this subject – ‘The 9 Best Countries for Architects to Find Work‘.

The Stadiums of the World Cup as 3D Sketchfab Models

ESTADIO ARENA PANTANAL / CUIABÁ by soy502 on Sketchfab

Last year, we featured a post about Sketchfab, the online platform that allows users to display their detailed models through a browser display. Digital models can be uploaded to in over 27 file formats, from .3ds to .dwg, and are viewed online; downloading them is not required. Since our last post, has only grown in popularity, with users from multiple disciplines all over the world uploading their digital work for display. One such user is Soy502. An informal Guatemalan news website, Soy502 has uploaded models of eight of the twelve stadiums that will host FIFA World Cup matches in Brazil this year. These include Das Dunas Stadium, Arena Amazonia Stadium, and Mineirão Stadium. See them, as well as five others, in intimate three-dimensional detail after the break!

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Rare Footage of Le Corbusier Discussing his Work, Poetry & the “Ideal City”

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Check out this rare footage that captures Le Corbusier as a “young man of 71-years-old” surrounded by paintings and discussing his work, poetry and the “ideal city“ within his 1933, self-designed flat.

Shard Wins Emporis Skyscraper Award

The Shard / Renzo Piano. Image © Eric Smerling

The Shard has been awarded this year’s Emporis Skyscraper Award, bringing the award back to Europe after two consecutive wins in North America – by Absolute Towers in 2013 and New York by Gehry in 2012. Each year, the award honours the world’s best new building over 100m tall.

The award’s jury praised the Shard’s “unique glass fragment-shaped form and its sophisticated architectural implementation”, resulting in “a skyscraper that is recognized immediately and which is already considered London’s new emblem.”

Read on to find out the remaining 10 buildings to take home

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Phyllis Lambert to Receive Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at Venice Biennale

The Venice Biennale has just announced that  will be the recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 14th International Architecture  Fundamentals this June.

Paolo Baratta, chair of the Venice Biennale Board, and Rem Koolhaas, director of the Architecture Biennale, explained their decision:

“Not as an architect, but as a client and custodian, Phyllis Lambert has made a huge contribution to architecture. Without her participation, one of the few realizations in the 20th century of perfection on earth – the Seagram Building in New York – would not have happened. Her creation of the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal combines rare vision with rare generosity to preserve crucial episodes of architecture’s heritage and to study them under ideal conditions. Architects make architecture; Phyllis Lambert made architects…”

More on Lambert’s life and influence after the break:

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A Drone’s-Eye-View of Dubai: Drone Flies Over World’s Tallest Building

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Check out the awesome video above in which a souped-up drone soars over the (the world’s tallest tower), filming unbelievable aerial views of fast-developing Dubai. The drone, which has an extraordinary range of up to 3 kilometers, is flown by Team BlackSheep, who have many similar of cities such as London and New York on their YouTube Channel. Enjoy!

Story via TechCrunch

Scottish Charity Aims to Resurrect Brutalist Icon

© Flickr CC User Stuart Caie

The Scottish arts charity NVA is looking for an architect to carry out the restoration of St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross, designed by Gillespie, Kidd & Coia in 1966. The building is an icon of post war brutalism; the Grade-A listed structure was voted as the best modern building in Scotland by readers of Prospect Magazine in 2005, and is likely to feature heavily in Scotland’s show at the 2014 Venice Biennale. However despite this adoration, the building had a very short functional life and has been in a state of ruin ever since it was abandoned in the 1980s.

NVA is looking for an architect “highly skilled in the conservation of modernist buildings” to take on the £8 million restoration, which will see the sanctuary and refectory preserved in a “semi-ruinous state”, and a nearby 19th-century greenhouse converted into a visitor centre.

Read on after the break for more on the restoration

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Has Prince Charles “Shut Down Debate” on UK Architecture?

The extension to the National Gallery by Venturi Scott Brown replaced the design by ABK which was scrapped after ’ criticisms. Image © Nick Weall via e-architect

To mark the 30th anniversary of Prince Charles‘ famous “Carbuncle Speech”, last week the RIBA held a discussion focusing on the speech’s impact on British architecture. The speech in which the prince protested the design of a proposed extension to the National Gallery has been seen by some as expanding the debate around architectural quality, but the panelists on the night disagreed with this view: Owen Hatherley said “The idea he broadened the debate is curious. He shut it down.” Similarly, Charlie Luxton commented “He turned the debate from one of quality to one of style – and architecture suffered.” You can read more of the panelists’ views on BD Online.

AA Greece Visiting School / Folded Force

AA Visiting School is a mobile workshop series which travels and reaches cities outside the country’s capital. It functions as a ‘satellite’ of education that promotes the Architectural Association’s exclusive, intensive form of teaching and learning around the country. AA VS aims on visiting a different city each year and construct a single large-scale model which will act as an active nod of communication among the various locations. In 2014, the School will initiate its design agenda with an architectural approach that is focused on the aspect of connection. The city of Patras which is the starting node of AA VS was chosen by the European Commission to be the European Capital of Culture for the year 2006. The concept of the event revolved around the main theme of “Bridges” and “Dialogues”, drawing benefit from the city’s rich history and its position as a “Gate to the West”, to underline the essence of the productive interaction of culture and civilizations in Europe. The AA Visiting School will investigate how well existing buildings with various sightlines and variant spatial grammars perform according to human perception. In sync with the flexible and adaptive concept of parasitical structures, the research focuses on the making of transformable large-scale creations that accentuate prominent architectural features of existing buildings. The research looks at how cultural factors, personal preferences, experiences, and expectations can lead to the transformation of architectural parasitical structures.

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Luftwerk Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Transform Mies’ Farnsworth House into Visual Spectacular

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The creative minds behind Luftwerk have turned to Kickstarter to crowdfund a project that would transform Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House into an immersive light show. Similar to their at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater residence in 2011, artistic duo Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero plan to illuminate the “structural minimalism and transparency” of the house in a way that would offer a new perspective of the modern masterpiece. 

Check out a video of the proposed light show and Luftwerk’s work at Fallingwater, after the break…

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Milan Expo 2015: Nemesi & Partners Reveal Smog-Eating Pavilion for Italy

Main Entrance. Image © Nemesi & Partners

Roma-based Nemesi & Partners has designed a 13,000 square meter “urban forest” that will serve as the Italian Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. Enveloped within an intricate, branch-like skin, the six-story lattice structure will be made from 900 panels of “i.active BIODYNAMIC” cement that will “capture” air pollutants and convert them into inert salts.

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