2014 U.S. Wood Design Award Winners

Federal Center South Building 1202 / ZGF Architects © Benjamin Benschneider

WoodWorks, an initiative of the Products Council, has announced the winners of its 2014 National Design Awards. Recognizing “outstanding projects that bring to life ’s natural beauty and versatility in building design,” 13 projects have been selected from over 140 submissions for demonstrating “ingenuity in design or engineering.”

The 2014 National Wood Design Award Winners are…

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Happy Birthday Hans Hollein!

Mobiles Büro, aufblasbares Bürogebäude, 1969 . Image © Gino Molin-Pradl

Austrian artist, architect, designer, theoretician and Pritzker Prize laureate Hans Hollein turns 80 today. Described by Richard Meier as an architect whose “groundbreaking ideas” have “had a major impact on the thinking of designers and architects,” Hollein has worked in all aspects of design, from architecture to furniture, jewelry, glasses, lamps — even door handles. Known in particular for his museum designs, from the Abteiberg Museum in Mönchengladbach to the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt to Vienna’s Haas House, Hollein’s work manifests a unique, fascinating take on 1950s Modernism.

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Fast Company Names Top 10 Most Innovative Practices in Architecture

Domino Sugar Factory Master Plan Development /

Fast Company has announced who they believe to be the most innovative practices in architecture for 2014. Topping this list is New York’s SHoP Architects who has gone from “boutique to big commissions in only a few years.” See who made the list after the break and let us know who you believe is the world’s most innovative firms in the comment section below.

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Woods Bagot Unveils Colosseum-Inspired Stadium for AS Roma

© Woods Bagot

Global firm Woods Bagot has unveiled designs for the Italian Serie A soccer club AS Roma’s new stadium: Stadio della Roma. Planned for completion by the 2016-17 season on the outskirts of Rome, the colosseum-inspired stadium will be capable of hosting more than 52,000 fans and designed to be easily configured to accommodate multiple sporting and entertainment events.

“The design draws visual cues from the world’s most historic spectator venue, the Roman Colosseum,” says Woods Bagot Sport Design Leader, Dan Meis. “The design features a state-of-the-art steel and concrete seating bowl wrapped in a ‘floating’ stone scrim, evocative of the rhythmic facade of the famous arena; with polycarbonate clad roof is reminiscent in form of the historic retractable fabric canopy that once covered the upper tiers of the Colosseum.”

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Foster to Design “First and Mission” Towers in San Francisco

© Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners, with Heller Manus Architects, has been commissioned to design a two tower, two million square foot mixed-use development in . The expansive “First and Mission” will be marked by a 605-foot “world class condominium” tower – which will be the tallest residential project on the West Coast – and a 850-foot “large floor plate office tower.” Together they will add more than a million square feet of flexible office and commercial space, as well as 650,000 square feet of residential units to the Transbay Area.

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Construction Slated to Begin on 1km Kingdom Tower

Kingdom Tower. Image ©

Work on Kingdom Tower is moving forward, as above-ground construction is slated to begin April 27. Rising over 1000 meters (3,280 feet), the $1.2 billion skyscraper is expected to be the world’s tallest, surpassing the 828 meter tall Burj Khalifa upon completion in 2017.

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North West Cambridge Extension Proposals Enter Planning Phase

Masterplan. Image Courtesy of North West Cambridge

Earlier this year the University of Cambridge announced an ambitious new urban extension in the north west of the city in order to create a framework for a new district centered on a mixed academic and urban community. The development, planned by Aecom, has aspirations of achieving urban space that is well balanced, permanent and sustainable. Containing 1,500 homes for its key workers, accommodation for 2,000 postgraduate students, 1,500 homes for sale, 100,000 square metres of research facilities and a local centre with a primary school, community centre, health centre, supermarket, hotel and shops, proposals from Mecanoo and MUMA are now entering the planning phase. Future lots are expected to be filled by the likes of Stanton WilliamsAlison Brooks Architects and by Cottrell and Vermeulen working with Sarah Wigglesworth and AOC.

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Happy Birthday Mies Van der Rohe!

A big happy birthday goes out to Ludwig (1886-1969), who would have turned 128 years old today. Mies, who studied under influential figures such as Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier, helped to develop the most enduring architectural style of the 20th Century: modernism.

Among his most famous accomplishments are his seminal Barcelona Pavilion; his work as the head of The Bauhaus school; and, after the Nazi ascension in Germany forced him to emigrate, his leadership at the Illinois Institute of Technology. During his 20 years at IIT, Mies developed what became known as ‘the second Chicago school of architecture’, a style of simplified, rectilinear high-rise buildings exemplified by projects such as 860-880 Lakeshore Drive and the Seagram Building. Mies’s minimalist style proved very popular; his famous aphorism ‘less is more’ is still widely used, even by those who are unaware of its origins. All of this makes him one of the most influential architects of the modernist movement and the 20th century.

ArchDaily logo, 860-880 Lake Shore Drive © ArchDaily

To celebrate him we have changed our logo to a Mies doodle (above) and have rounded up our great Mies coverage of the past. See the extensive list after the break!

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MVRDV Begins Work on Cheung Fai Conversion in Hong Kong

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MVRDV has begun construction on an adaptive reuse project that will transform a former warehouse in ’s newly designated business area of East Kowloon – the Kwun Tong district – into a “luxurious loft style working environment” for creative companies. The 14-story structure will be stripped down to its raw concrete bones and reconstructed with glass and stainless steel to provide up to 37 naturally lit, affordable office units.

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VIDEO: Charlie Rose Interviews Tom Pritzker and Shigeru Ban

sits down with Tom Pritzker and 2014 Pritzker laureate Shigeru Ban to discuss the importance of architecture, the purpose of the Prize and the significance of Ban’s selection. The discussion starts at 40:00, following coverage on the Malaysian Airline’s tragedy.

Zaha Hadid to Present BBC Documentary on Kazimir Malevich

Malevich’s Tektonik. Image ©

The BBC’s Tony Hall has announced that will be presenting a 60-minute Secret Knowledge film based on Kazimir Malevich. The Russian painter and theoretician, who founded the Suprematist movement, inspired Hadid’s AA graduation thesis which transformed Malevich’s 1923 Arkitekton model into a 14-story hotel that stretched across London’s Hungerford Bridge. Hadid will be one of many influential art leaders enlisted to participate in the program, which intends to place the arts on “center-stage.”

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OMA Tops BIG, Büro Ole Scheeren to Design Axel Springer Campus in Berlin

OMA’s winning proposal for the Axel Springer Campus in . Image Courtesy of Axel Springer SE

After deliberating over the stellar proposals of three renowned firmsBIG, Büro Ole Scheeren, and OMA, Berlin-based media company AXEL SPRINGER SE has just announced that ’ design is the winning proposal for their new office building.

The task of the competition was to create additional space for the media company, particularly its digital offers, and thus design a workplace fit for the future of online media. Koolhaas’ design, which features a large 30-meter high atrium or “open valley” with interconnected terraces and public workspaces for both individual, collaborative, and mobile work, won favor with the jury for its forward-thinking concept. As Dr. Mathias Döpfner, Chief Executive Officer of Axel Springer SE, commented: “[Koolhaas] presented the conceptually and esthetically most radical model. The fundamental innovation of working environments will support the cultural transformation towards a digital publishing house.”

For his part, Koolhaas had this to say: “It is a wonderful occasion to build in Berlin again, on this historical site of all places, for a client who has mobilized architecture to help perform a radical change…a workplace in all its dimensions.”

See more of OMA’s winning proposal, after the break…

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Robert A.M. Stern Tops NYC Tower with $100 Million Penthouse

© Zeckendorf Development LLC and Seventh Art; Courtesy of Curbed NY

Robert A.M. Stern’s luxury 520 Park Avenue condominium tower, which is set to take its place on Manhattan skyline by 2017, will be topped with a 12,400 square foot triplex priced at $100 million – the city’s priciest unit. The penthouse will be one of 31 expansive residences offered in the limestone-clad building which, according to the a recent press release, will be “evocative of the great apartment buildings of the 1920′s and 1930′s.”  Developers William and Arthur Zeckendorf gained approval for the 51-story skyscraper by purchasing $30.4 million in air rights from the neighboring Christ Church. 

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Lines Drawn: UK Architecture Students Network Discuss the Future of Architectural Education

Delegates discussing. Image © Vinesh Pomal / Zlatina Spasova

Lines Drawn, the latest gathering of student delegates by the Architecture Students Network (ASN), recently met at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) to discuss the future of architectural education. Seventy RIBA Part 1, 2 and 3 students (including those on their placement years) from across twenty two schools of architecture gathered together to address and unify their voice in calling for improvements to the current pedagogy of UK’s architectural education to reflect a changing society.

The weekend conference provoked questions surrounding the merits and pitfalls of the Part 1, 2 and 3 British route to qualification, raising aspirations of a more flexible education system. Sparked by the latest directive from the European Union (EU), which seeks to “establish more uniformity across Europe by aligning the time it takes to qualify” and by making mutual recognition of the architect’s title easier between countries, the discussions centred around how architecture students’ opinions can be harnessed at this critical moment of change to have voices heard.

Continue reading for ArchDaily’s exclusive pre-coverage of the ASN’s report.

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Life of an Architect Launches 3rd Annual Playhouse Competition

Courtesy of

Life of an Architect’s Bob Borson has launched the 3rd annual Architect Playhouse Design Competition – a (free) competition open to all that benefits the abused children of Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). Entirely funded by Borson, the competition challenges participants to design a creative playhouse under $4,000 USD. The top two winning entries will be constructed then displayed and raffled at the nonprofit organization. All proceeds will be donated to Dallas CASA. Registration is now open and all submissions are due by May 12th. See last year’s winners, after the break, and register here to participate

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Critics and Peers Comment on Shigeru Ban’s Pritzker Prize

Yesterday we asked some prominent critics and a few of Ban’s peers to weigh in on the Japanese architect’s Pritzker win. Curators, architects, and writers praised Ban’s approach and conviction, describing what Ban’s work signifies to the architecture community. Read on for comments from Architecture for Humanity co-founder , MoMA curators Barry Bergdoll and Pedro Gadanho, Cooper Union classmates Nanako Umemoto and Jesse Reiser, of Reiser + Umemototo, and more.

“We are very proud of Shigeru as the first Pritzker Prize Winner to have graduated from Cooper Union. Shigeru continues to embody the independent thinking that was highly emphasized through our education. We met Shigeru in 1979, and can speak to his dedication to humanity from the beginning. As we recall, each design problem for Shigeru became an occasion to explore the work of what he considered to be the master architects as a way of developing his own voice. It has become fashionable to connect architecture to social causes; however, Shigeru has never seen it as a trend, but rather something fundamental to his design practice. Unlike those in the discipline who conflate their social and political commitments with architecture, he happens to be a very fine architect. As a result of his education abroad and his inclination to define a unique practice, Shigeru has always been viewed as an independent within the Japanese scene. We are very excited that Shigeru’s work is being honored.”
Nanako Umemoto and Jesse Reiser 
Founders of Reiser + Umemototo, RUR Architecture PC

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Frank Lloyd Wright-Designed Research Tower to Be Restored

SCJ Research Tower / Frank Lloyd Wright. Image © SC Johnson

Partially credited to the spotlight cast by MoMA’s “Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal exhibition, SC Johnson (SCJ) has agreed to restore their 15-story Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Research Tower as a museum and corporate office in Racine, . Wright’s only constructed taproot-core, the 1950s tower is “an inspiring example of cantilever construction with an inner core extending 50 feet into the ground that provides support for the 16 million pound structure,” described SCJ. “The taproot core bears a strong resemblance to the lily pad-like columns seen throughout SC Johnson’s Administration Building, another Wright-designed facility.” 

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From #Baffled to #BanstheMan! Twitterverse Reacts to Shigeru Ban’s Pritzker Win

We culled the Twitterverse looking for reactions to ’s Prizker win – from readers and critics alike. While the responses were generally positive, some were less so.

See our favorite responses – from #baffled to #goodenough to #Banstheman! – after the break.

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