Herzog & de Meuron Breaks Ground on ‘Grand Stade de Bordeaux’

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Nearly two years after unveiling the design to the public, Herzog & de Meuron broke ground this morning on the new ‘Grand Stade de Bordeaux’ in . Surrounded by lush vegetation typically found in this green belt district, the stepped concourse transitions visitors through a forest of slender white columns to the stadium’s bowl, whose form ensures maximum flexibility and optimal visibility for all 43,000 spectators.

Completion is set for 2015, just in time to host the Euro 2016 football championship.

The architect’s description after the break…

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BIG Wins Europa City Development in Paris

Courtesy of BIG

Danish architecture firm, BIG - led by Bjarke Ingels – has been announced as the winner of an international invited competition for the design of Europa City,  a 800,000 square meter cultural, recreational and retail development in Triangle de Gonesse, .  Combining city development with an open landscape, creates a dynamic center of activity for visitors and residents, appealing to the variety of functions of city life.   is situated along the route from Charles de Gaule Airport to Paris and has a wide range of programs that is part of a larger initiative to attract international tourism into the northern parts of Paris.

More on the project after the break…

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Can Design Act as Gun Control?

Rendering for the New Utoya Project in Norway, which will re-design the Utøya Island where the 2011 massacre took place. Image courtesy of Fantastic Norway.

With the Senate opening up the debate on legislation for increased gun control, we felt it was time to revisit a question we’ve asked ourselves in the past: what can design do to prevent gun violence?

Read more about the recent debate about the potential of design for gun , after the break…

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Chicago, First U.S. City to Line Streets with Smog-Eating Cement

lines Blue Island Avenue with the new cement. Via Design Build Source

There are many sustainable technologies designers can utilize these days to make a project more Earth- and people-friendly, but smog-eating cement isn’t the most talked-about – until now. The City of Chicago is pioneering the use of a revolutionary type of cement that is capable of eradicating the air around it of pollution, potentially reducing the levels of certain common pollutants by 20 – 70% depending on local conditions and the amount of exposed surface area.

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Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal Awarded to Peter Wilson

Raakspoort Haarlem. © Christian Richters

Peter Wilson, co-founder and director of Bolles+Wilson, was awarded the Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal, their highest accolade, at a ceremony last month in Canberra. The Institute bestows the medal upon architects who have designed, or executed, exceptional buildings, promoted the knowledge of architecture, or have made some defining contribution to the field.

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Peter Wilson Awarded 2013 AIA (Australian Institute of Architects) Gold Medal

New City Library by / © Christian Richters

Peter Wilson, partner in the Münster based office of BOLLES+WILSON, was recently awarded the AIA‘s (Australian Institute of Architects) highest honor, its 2013 Gold Medal. The recognition acknowledges Peter Wilson’s role as remarkable statesman for Australia as well as an outstanding body of architectural works of great distinction, widely published and exhibited over more than thirty years. The Gold Medal also cites Wilson’s longstanding contribution to the development of architectural drawing as a tool of representation and research. More information on Wilson’s award after the break.

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AIA Announces the 2013 Small Projects Award Recipients

Studio for a Composer © John J. Macaulay

Selections of the AIA’s 2013 small project awards have been announced, revealing a broad range of projects, varying in scale, program and function that bring attention to the value of architectural practice no matter the size or scope of the project.  The ten projects were selected on the basis of four categories: small project construction up to $150,000; small project construction up to $1,500,000; up to 5,000 square foot project in which the architect played a significant role in construction and or fabrication; and an inbuilt workhorse up to 5,000 square feet.  Among the recipients are MIN | DAYKariouk AssociatesJohnsen Schmaling ArchitectsMell Lawrence ArchitectsCooper Joseph StudioRobert M. Gurney, FAIAWRNS Studio, and Edward Ogosta Architecture.

Join us after the break for more information on the ten recipients and the projects that earned the AIA’s recognition for the 2013 small project awards. (more…)

AA Visiting School Ivrea: ‘Factory Futures II Architecture Without Humans’

Courtesy of AA Visiting School

In July 2012, the AA, in partnership with the Adriano Olivetti Foundation and Gehry Technologies, launched Factory Futures: A three year research program aimed at exploring innovative architectural responses for the productive landscape of the future. The mission of Factory Futures is to connect the realms of contemporary urban theory with computational design techniques for the affirmative re-empowerment of the architectural practice within contemporary conditions of production. This year, the Ivrea Visiting School will develop design tools and research concepts to confront this phenomenon, which is challenging the conventions of both architectural design and urban theory during their workshop which takes place July 1-12. More information after the break.

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The G Project: Crowdsourcing a Better World

; G Adventures and The Planeterra Foundation

The G Project, hosted by G Adventures and The Planeterra Foundation, is giving four lucky innovators, inventors, visionaries and designers the opportunity to bring a humanitarian and forward-thinking project to fruition.  The G Project is inviting anyone to submit a design idea of any scale that will have a “positive impact on your planet”.  The idea must be a proposal that falls into one of four categories: freedom, beauty, knowledge or community.  It is a crowd-sourcing exercise that seeks to engage ideas of any variety and asks the global community to contribute to deciding which projects deserve to be realized.  

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Best Architect-Designed Products of Milan Design Week 2013

Tools for Life / OMA © Ilan Rubin

This week at the 52nd edition of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in , over 2,500 exhibitors showcased an endless collection of the latest international and home-furnishing designs. Among them included a variety of elegant and intelligently designed items envisioned by some of our favorite architects. Continue after the break to scroll through a list of the best architect-designed featured at the Milan Design Week 2013.

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Milan Design Week 2013: Office for Living / Jean Nouvel

© Alessandro Russotti

This week, 2008 Pritzker Prize laureate Jean Nouvel is expressing his vision for the workspaces of the future at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan. Nouvel was asked by Cosmit, the Salone’s parent company, to create a huge project tailored specifically to the Saloni that would document the tremendous changes that have altered living and working spaces over the past few years. Nouvel responded with a project that “frees up the office space” and is a “counter to urban segregation and the zoning of other specially dedicated workplaces.” He achieves these goals in his design by rejecting cloned and enclosed spaces as well as serial repetitiveness, suggesting more cohesive formulas that will better serve the domestic and international workplaces of the future.

More from Cosmit on “Project: office for living” after the break.

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City Council Approves Redevelopment of NYC’s Historic Pier 57

Courtesy of Young Woo & Associates

’s City Council have unanimously backed a proposed plan to restore and redevelop the aging giant that is Pier 57. Built in 1952, the 300,000 square foot pier was hailed by Popular Mechanics as a ‘SuperPier’ for its vast size and unconventional construction, as most of the pier’s weight is supported by ‘floating’ air-filled concrete cassions. The pier was originally used as a bus depot by the New York City Transit Authority, however it has been lying vacant since 2003. The latest decision brings a concrete end to years of speculation as to what the fate of the pier would be.

Read more about the proposal after the break…

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London’s Design Museum Announces Designs of the Year 2013

Courtesy of Design Museum

London’s Design Museum has announced the seven category winners for the annual , celebrating the best of international design from the last 12 months. Among the seven category winners include the renovation and reimagining of a faded 1960s tower block in and the ”quiet” graphics of David Chipperfield’s 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, Common Ground.

The seven category winners are:

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After 12 Years, Tod Williams & Billie Tsien’s NYC Gem To Be Demolished

© Michael Moran

“There are of course the personal feelings — your buildings are like your children, and this is a particular, for us, beloved small child. But there is also the feeling that it’s a kind of loss for architecture, because it’s a special building, a kind of small building that’s crafted, that’s particular and thoughtful at a time when so many buildings are about bigness.” – Billie Tsien, quoted in The New York Times 

After only 12 years, the Tod Williams & Billie Tsien-designed American Folk Art Museum is slated to be demolished. Despite the acclaim it has received from critics, including high praise from the likes of Paul Goldberger and Herbert Muschamp, and the importance it has been given in New York’s architectural landscape, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA, which bought the building in 2011) reports that it must tear down the building to make way for an imminent expansion.

At the time of its construction, the building was of the first new museums built in New York in over thirty years. Unfortunately, the building will more likely be remembered for its short life, taking, in the words of The New York Times reporter Robin Pogrebin, “a dubious place in history as having had one of the shortest lives of an architecturally ambitious project in Manhattan.”

Read more about the American Folk Art Museum’s imminent demolition, after the break…

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Documentary on ‘Archiculture’ to Premiere at Newport Beach Film Festival

After years of production, the documentary film Archiculture is set to premiere at this year’s Newport Beach Film Festival, which will commence on April 25th. Highlighting a group of students amidst their final design projects, the film illustrates the strengths and perils of . Shigeru Ban, Thom Mayne, Ken Frampton and Phil Bernstein are some of the leading architects, educators and historians that will be featured in the film, offering insightful criticism about studio-based, design education as it exists today. 

Check out the trailer above and continue after the break for more information. 

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Milan Design Week 2013: Energetic Energies for Panasonic / Akihisa Hirata

© Santi Caleca

Envision a future where undulating “solar plants” transform the rectangular masses of our cities into a vibrant metropolis where technology aids in the coexistence of humans and nature. Represented in the conceptual installation “Energetic Energies” at the Milan Design Week 2013, this notion of redefining our relationship with the sky through photovoltaics is based on years of technological research and development by the Corporation, who commissioned Japanese architect Akihisa Hirata to imagine the possibilities.

The exhibition features a 30 meter-long makeshift city, whose “hills” of photovoltaics overtake clusters of white, translucent buildings while shadows of clouds move in and out of the space.

A video interview with Akihisa Hirata and more images after the break…

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Local Economies Suffer as Foreign Investments Dominate London and NYC

Belgravia, one of London’s priciest and most deserted neighborhoods © Herry Lawford

An interesting phenomenon is taking place in London: the priciest tiers of its housing market are increasingly being driven by overseas investment, primarily from the Far East. The most interesting – and perhaps most concerning – aspect of these investments is that at least 37% those who buy property in the most expensive neighborhoods of central London do not intend to use that property as a primary residence. This results in upscale neighborhoods and residential properties that are largely abandoned and contribute almost nothing to the local economy of the city. Parts of Manhattan are experiencing similar behavior, leading us to ask the question “what is happening to our as they become more and more globalized and how will this trend affect city economies around the world?”

Read more after the break…

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First Press Conference of Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture

Courtesy of Organizing Committee of Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture

The Organizing Committee of the Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture recently announced that the 2013 Biennale, which will open December 6, will be delivered by two curatorial teams, consisting of Team Ole Bouman and Team Li Xiangning + Jefferey Johnson. Old Bouman wil act as curator, creative director. Li Xiangning + Jefferey Johnson will be the curators, academic directors. The main venues for the event are the former YAOPI float glass factory (venue A) and the old warehouse at Shekou ferry terminal (venue B). More information after the break.

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