Call for Ideas: Rome Community Ring

In partnership with La Sapienza University, Progetto Forti and Rome municipality, (YAC) is launching a competition to redesign one of the treasures of Rome: Forte Portuense.

How can former military architecture be transformed into a leisure time and cultural focal point? The aim is to look for ideas worth triggering urban redevelopment, social cooperation and tourism.

This architecture will become part of a network of leisure time facilities a hair’s breadth away from the very core of Rome.

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Video: Jan Wurm and Lukas Verlage Discuss Arup’s “Solarleaf”

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In this video from Zumtobel Group, Jan Wurm of Arup Deutschland GmbH and Lukas Verlage, CEO of Colt International GmbH, discuss the unique technological developments in “Solarleaf,” which recently won first prize in the Zumtobel Group Award’s Applied Innovations category. In addition to functioning as an effective shading system, this façade system uses solar panels to produce energy from algae to provide a new source of sustainable energy.

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Helsinki Announces Competition for City Centre High Rises

The Pasila district has been marked for development for some time. Above, a model of the area masterplan from 2006. Image © Flickr CC User Darren Webb

The city of Helsinki has announced plans for a design and build competition for a new commercial and residential district in Pasila, near the city centre. The competition, which calls for 8-10 buildings of 15 stories or more, will be part of the city’s drive to make Pasila the “second centre of ,” with a total of 150,000-200,000 square metres of residential and office space planned for the district. Read on after the break to find out more about the competition.

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‘People’s Palaces’: Behind The Scenes at Mecanoo’s Upcoming Exhibition in Berlin

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Mecanoo have shared with us a behind the scenes look at their upcoming at ’s Aedes Architecture Forum, entitled People’s Palaces. Presenting some of the Dutch practice’s recent public buildings, such as the 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize nominated Library of Birmingham and the Maritime and Beachcombers Museum in Texel, the Netherlands, the timing of the exhibition also celebrates the company’s 30th anniversary. Founded in 1984, Mecanoo continues to develop a strong reputation for libraries, as well as cultural spaces and performance venues. This exhibition specifically traces the impact of Mecanoo’s public buildings on local communities.

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USC’s ACADIA 2014 Conference to Focus on Design and Computation

© School of Architecture

Thursday, October 23 will mark the opening of the Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) 2014 Design Agency conference at the USC School of Architecture in Los Angeles. Hosted by faculty Alvin Huang, Jose Sanchez, and David Gerber, the conference will exhibit and share a broad spectrum of design and research that highlights innovation in architecture through a focus on design and computation. Headliners include Pritzker laureate Zaha Hadid, SimCity creator Will Wright and computational architect Mar Fornes.

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Lincoln Memorial and Flatiron to Join LEGO® Architecture Series

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LEGO® has unveiled the latest buildings to join their architecture series: the Washington D.C. Lincoln Memorial and the New York City Flatiron Building. Both will be released in 2015. 

The Lincoln Memorial, a national monument honoring the 16th President of the , was designed by Henry Bacon and features a sculpture of Lincoln by Daniel Chester French. The Flatiron Building, originally known as the Fuller Building, is a landmark Manhattan skyscraper designed by Daniel Burnham Frederick Dinkelberg.

The news was released following the grand opening of a new LEGO® Brand Store adjacent to the Flatiron. 

More images of the new LEGO® sets, after the break. 

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Winners of the 2014 LEAF Awards Announced

Refurbishment of the Year: BIG Library; Gourdon, France / CoCo Architecture with Atelier RK © Edouard Decam

Winners have been announced for the 2014 LEAF Awards. Spanning 14 categories, including best refurbishment of the year (pictured above), all winning projects “demonstrate buildings that are setting the benchmark for the international architectural and design community.” 

See which project landed Jean Nouvel top honors, after the break.

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Daniel Libeskind Reflects On Designing Buildings With ‘Emotional Weight’

Canadian National Holocaust Monument, Ottowa. Image © Government of Canada

In an interview with Shaunacy Ferro for FastCo DesignDaniel Libeskind looks back over his built works and discusses the significant ‘emotional weight’ imbued in many of his projects, from the Jewish Museum in to his masterplan for Ground Zero in . When asked why he continually returns to projects such as Holocaust memorials – with the Canadian National Holocaust Memorial currently underway in Ottawa - Libeskind stated: “It’s not something that I choose very lightly, because it’s very difficult, but I believe that it’s very important.” For him, creating these monuments is part of the act of doing “something that moves us beyond just the darkness and gives us something positive. [...] Even when it comes to the memory, you can’t just dwell on the irreversibility of the tragedy. You have to have something hopeful.”

Diagram: Canadian National Holocaust Monument. Image © Government of Canada

AD Classics: Jewish Museum, Berlin / Daniel Libeskind

Read the article in full here.

AIA New York Honors Rebuild By Design With Its Community Development Award

The BIG U, by BIG. Image Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.org

The New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has awarded its 2014 Community Development Award to the Rebuild by Design competition organized by President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force. The results of the competition were announced in June this year, with six schemes, including proposals by BIG and OMA awarded a total of $920 million to repair the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy and improve the resilience of the coastline in the region.

More on the award after the break

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How Venezuela’s Espacios de Paz Project is Transforming Community Spaces

Petare, La Y 5 de Julio / Caracas [TXP Todo por La Praxis + PGRC + Pico Estudio
The Espacios de Paz (Spaces for Peace) project in is turning “zones of danger” into “zones of peace” through participatory design in violent areas of the country. Led by Venezuelan firm PICO Estudio, Espacios de Paz was a six-week long workshop that involved five groups of architects from both Venezuela as well as internationally. Each group focused on developing a project in a community with a high presence of violence. By transforming unused spaces such as empty plots and unregulated landfill areas, the projects sought to create “social dynamics that invite new ways of living in communities, transforming categories that rule the daily life: the use of time and space.” Community involvement in project development was also key to the Espacios de Paz initiative, which sought to  create “a space built not only “for” the community but “by” the community.”

Read on after the break to see the projects that were implemented…

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ARCHIWINDOW: A Glimpse Through “The Eyes of Architecture”

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In his latest series, ARCHIWINDOW, Federico Babina draws some inspiration perhaps from the headline exhibition the Venice Biennale, investigating some of the most famous window designs architecture has to offer. Babina simply says it is ”a little reflection about architecture and the elements that compose it.”

The images reveal how expressive the element of the window can be, as many of the 25 signature designs will be instantly recognizable for die-hard architecture fans, while others may reveal a previously-unrecognized trend in the work of a particular architect.

“The windows are the eyes of architecture. Through the windows enters the light and shadow that creates spaces. The windows invite us to enter the landscape, and are the cracks through which to spy on architecture,” writes Babina. “I tried to transform a detail into the protagonist to emphasize its expressive capacity. A single window can open up a world of information. It allows you to lean out to find clues of the stylistic and linguistic aesthetics of architecture.”

Take a look at all 25 drawings in the ARCHIWINDOW series after the break. And don’t miss Federico Babina‘s other (very popular) illustration sets: ARTISTECT, ARCHISET, ARCHIMACHINE, ARCHIPORTRAIT, ARCHIST, ARCHIBET and ARCHICINE.

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AD Round Up: Canadian Architecture to Be Thankful For

The Crystal, extension to the Royal Ontario Museum by Studio Daniel Libeskind. Image © Andrew Rowat

Today marks Canadian Thanksgiving, and to celebrate the occasion we’ve rounded up some of Canada’s best architecture. Our five selections represent five Canadian cities, each with a unique architectural sensibility. We begin in Toronto with the Royal Ontario Museum addition by Studio Daniel Libeskind, a striking intervention using prisms of glass and steel fused to a 102-year-old museum structure; next we go to Montréal for Habitat 67 by Moshe Safdie, an interlocking modular housing project designed for the World Exposition of 1967; to Calgary for Santiago Calatrava‘s understated Peace Bridge, a stunning glass-encased red lightning bolt spanning the city’s widest waterway; then to Winnipeg‘s Old Market Square Stage by emerging firm 5468796 Architecture, a chameleonic performance space wrapped by a mesh curtain of steel cubes; and finally to the outskirts of Vancouver for the Richmond Olympic Oval, a masterpiece of engineering and the centre of attention during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Enjoy, eh.

Glasgow School of Art Begins Search for Restoration Architect

© Gordon Hawes Via The Mac Photographic Archive

To repair the damage caused by May’s devastating fire, the Glasgow School of Art is searching for a team to carry out the restoration of Charles Rennie Mackintosh‘s celebrated building. Following the overwhelming public support for restoration instead of a contemporary reinterpretation, the selected team will be required to return the building to its original condition over a predicted construction period of five years. More on the restoration after the break.

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Li Xiaodong Wins The Inaugural Moriyama RAIC International Prize

The Liyuan Library. Image Courtesy of / Studio

The Royal Architecture Institute of Canada (RAIC) have announced that Li Xiaodong has been awarded the inaugural Moriyama International Prize, named after esteemed Canadian architect Raymond Moriyama. The prize, which comes with a monetary value of CAD$100,000, has been established to recognise buildings that are judged to be “transformative, inspired as well as inspiring, and emblematic of the human values of respect and inclusiveness.”

The jury deliberated projects submitted from nine countries: Canada, China, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom and Tajikistan. According to the citation, the jury was “impressed by the breadth of international interest in the prize and encouraged by the high level of engagement with the aims and objectives of the program revealed in the submissions.” The prize is open to all architects irrespective of nationality and location and seeks to recognise a single work of architecture (as opposed to a life’s work), celebrating buildings in use.

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Competition Entry: OYO’s Kortrijk Campus Scheme Awarded Second Prize

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OYO – Open Y Office, together with Arch&Teco, has received second prize among nine participants in an invited competition for a new Howest campus building in .

“We envision this new campus as an interactive field where we catch the classrooms in the middle; conceived as areas of focus. This field contains lecture rooms, informal meeting spaces, restaurant, bar, shop and lounge areas and wraps around the area of focus; connecting the park all the way up to the roof garden where students, teachers, alumni, companies and neighbors are invited to shop and exchange knowledge.”

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Spotlight: César Pelli

Courtesy of Construye

“[Architecture can be defined as] giving an appropriate response and an adequate artistic interpretation of the problems that are faced in each project.”

Argentine architect César Pelli (born October 12, 1926) is known for designing some of the tallest buildings in the world, including the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the Torre Cristal in Madrid and Costanera Center in Santiago, Chile.

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The Latest 99% Invisible: Hundertwasser and His Fight Against the Godless Line

Hot Springs Village, Bad Blumau, Styria, Austria. Image © Flickr CC User Enrico Carcasci

In the latest episode of his 99% Invisible podcast, digs into the work of lesser-known architect Tausendsassa Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser. Often cited for his colorful and curvilinear forms, his name translates to “Multi-Talented Peace-Filled Rainy Day Dark-Colored Hundred Waters.” In everything from his name to his unusual ideas put forth in manifestos, it is immediately evident that Hundertwasser was no ordinary architect. Listen to the podcast and check out some of Hundertwasser’s works after the break.

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Spotlight: Richard Meier

© Richard Phibbs

“When I am asked what I believe in, I say that I believe in architecture. Architecture is the mother of the arts. I like to believe that architecture connects the present with the past and the tangible with the intangible.”

, the Pritzker Prize and AIA Gold Medal winning architect, is well known for his abstracted, often white, buildings and unrelenting personal design philosophy. Citing Bernini and Borromini as influences as well as Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn, Meier received his Bachelor in Architecture from Cornell University in 1957 and took jobs with Skidmore Owings and Merrill and Marcel Breuer soon after his graduation. He began his own private practice in New York in 1963 and rocketed to architectural fame in the early 1970s, after being named as one of the “New York Five.”

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