“Immersive Bowl-Shaped Structure” Proposed to be High Line’s Final Gateway

© and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, courtesy of the City of

Friends of the High Line, along side James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, have unveiled what could possibly be the gateway into the third and final stretch of New York’s most prized parkway. Planned to mark the northeast terminus of the High Line at Rail Yards on 10th Avenue at West 30th Street, the “immersive bowl-shaped structure,” known as “The Spur,” hopes to bring a pocket of New York’s lush woodlands to the heart of the city.

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Zaha Hadid’s 2022 Qatar World Cup Stadium Unveiled

© ZHA

New details have emerged on and AECOM’s 2022 FIFA World Cup stadium in Qatar. Scheduled to begin construction in late 2014, the 40,000-seat venue pulls inspiration from a local fishing boat – the Arabian dhow – to influence its overall .

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Australia Plans for Greener Cities by 2020

The Goods Line proposal. Image Courtesy of ASPECT Studios

As cities continue to attract more people, naturally vegetated areas slowly wither, leaving little to no green spaces for city dwellers to escape to, no to purify the air and enhance the environment. Australia plans to change this. The 202020 Vision is a concerted effort from the government, academic and private sectors to create twenty percent green areas in Australia’s urban centers by 2020. “Urban heat islands, poor air quality, lack of enjoyable urban community areas are all poor outcomes when green spaces aren’t incorporated into new developments and large scale building projects.” Read about the 202020 initiative here, “More green spaces in urban areas, says new national initiative.”

Robert A.M. Stern: Old-Fashioned yet Unfazed

Robert A.M Stern. Image

In the mutable world of architecture it’s easy to get distracted by the trendy new thing, be it the tallest tower or the “blobbiest” form. Robert A. M. Stern (Dean of the and a practicing architect in his own right), on the other hand, remains purposefully old-fashioned (to the point of becoming obsolete). In an exquisitely written article for the New York MagazineJustin Davidson reports that, despite the mockery of his colleagues, Stern seems unfazed. If his architecture has the power to inspire, he says, then he’s done his job. Read the full must-see article here. 

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Happy Birthday Rem Koolhaas!

Courtesy of Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture, and , via Flickr

Remment (Rem) Koolhaas, the Pritzker Prize laureate and curator of the 2014 Venice Biennale, turns 69 today.

The celebrated architect and designer began his architectural education at the Architectural Association in in 1968, eventually founding OMA (Office of Metropolitan Architecture) with one of his former professors, Elia Zenghelis (along with Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp).

Despite it’s current ubiquity, the firm’s beginnings in 1975 were fairly modest. The commission of the high-profile Euralille project in 1989 was a turning point; the firm then began to move away from small scale projects (such as the Villa dall’Ava) to the large scale works that they’re known for today. 

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Kickstarter: DIY Concrete House Ring

Courtesy of Linda Bennett, via archi-ninja

Dream of one day making your own home? Well, here’s a fun mini alternative in the meantime. The “ House Ring” is a high quality silver and ring that lets users experience the process of ‘making’. The ring itself is made from a DIY compact kit, and comes in two familiar architectural silhouettes – gable roof or saltbox roof – and in either light or dark . The project was developed by Linda Bennett, author of “10 Things They Don’t Teach You in Architecture School” and “Searching for a Job in Architecture? 10 Things You Need to Know…” via her blog, archi-ninjaCheck out the project’s debut on kickstarter (which offers fantastic perks for backers) for more information. 

Winners of 2013 Architecture at Zero Competition Announced

NZ+ Beyond Net Zero . Image Courtesy of Architecture at Zero

Industry leaders recently came together to announce the winners of the 2013 Architecture at Zero competition, which included five professional and one student awardee. The competition, which is co-sponsored by AIA San Francisco and Pacific Gas & Electric, focuses specifically on the of zero-net energy structures.

While zero net energy is easily achieved in smaller buildings, it’s a challenge in larger structures – and the competition challenged entrants to think big. With the aim of being as close to zero net energy as possible, competition entries had to be a mix of affordable and market rate housing units and include a full neighborhood-serving grocery store on the ground level.

Read more for the winners…

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NYIT Students Turn Plastic Bottles Into Disaster Relief

Last week’s devastating typhoon in the Philippines has reminded designers of the ongoing challenge of creating safe, temporary shelters when natural disasters hit. Crates of food and water are some of the first types of aid delivered to these ravaged areas; so what if these resources could be designed to also provide shelter and minimize waste? The New York Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture asked just that question and came up with a solution: SodaBIB, a new type of shipping pallet that would allow commonly used plastic bottles to be used for shelter.

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PLAT 4.0 Call for Submissions

PLAT Journal invites content for its forthcoming issueMassAt once a spatial and social practice, architecture produces mass: an accumulation that, given momentum, projects a social attitude. Mass is assertive—whether through a tactful manipulation of scale, an astute engagement of its context, or a specific formal legibility, it speaks plainly but with conviction.

Taking as its site the point of exchange between a form and its constituency, this issue of PLAT Journal will investigate how notions of mass come to the fore of contemporary architectural practice.

Mass is pop with agency. Fast and loose, high and low, how does a form take on mass culture through its presence in an urban ? What is its agenda?

Mass has the capacity to define a collective. How do architectural projects articulate a plurality in a way that’s relevant to today?

Mass gains coherence through the magnetism of its parts: local attractions have global repercussions. What’s next? How does its impact extend beyond its envelope?

PLAT 4.0 welcomes projects, abstracts, essays, visual media, narratives, manifestos, and conversations that engage the notion of mass in the discourse and production of architecture today. Please submit an abstract and (if applicable) images by January 1, 2014 to curator@PLATJournal.com. Click here for more information.

Submissions should be in American English and formatted in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style, with all sources clearly documented. Images should be a JPEG, 2 MB or smaller. Authors should have high-resolution, publication-quality images available if selected. All authors must have rights or permissions for all images submitted before final publication. Any questions should be sent to editor@platjournal.com.

PLAT is an independent architectural journal published by students at the Rice School of Architecture. Its purpose is to shift architectural discourse by stimulating new relationships between design, production, and theory. It operates by interweaving student, faculty, and professional work into an open and evolving dialogue that progresses from issue to issue. Curating worldwide submissions in two annual issues, PLAT serves as a projective catalyst for architectural discourse.

Chipperfield Among 3 Competing for Stockholm’s Nobel Prize Headquarters

A P(a)lace to Enjoy / Wingårdh Arkitektkontor AB. Image © Nobelhuset AB

Out of the 11 high-profile, anonymous entries shortlisted in early October, only 3 are still in the running to design the ’s new headquarters in Blasieholmen.

With completion aimed for 2018, the Nobel Center plans to become on of Stockholm’s most attractive destinations. Not only will the Center’s large auditorium host the annual Award Ceremony, but it will offer key amenities to serve its surrounding public; In addition to a library, restaurant and retail shop, the Center will include spaces for exhibitions, school programs, events, and interdisciplinary meetings.

The proposals, listed in no particular order, are:

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10 Projects Advance to Rebuild by Design’s Final Round

The BIG “U”. Image Courtesy of HUD

After three months of in-depth analysis and public outreach, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) has shortlisted 10 design “opportunities” for the third and final round of . The design competition, focused on making ’s Sandy-effected regions more resilient, sustainable, and livable, will now have the final project teams collaborate with local and regional stakeholders in developing their projects over the next five months. The goal is to arrive at projects that are implementable and fundable, leveraging the variety of federal recovery investments being made in the region.

OMA, BIG and WXY are just a few practices involved in the final round. Read on to review a glimpse of each shortlisted proposal.

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SDA + Volvo Collaborate to Create Portable Car-Charging Pavilion

Courtesy of SDA

After months of refinement and engineering, Synthesis Design + Architecture (SDA), winners of the “Switch to Pure Volvo” architecture competition, have launched a free-standing mobile pavilion capable of harnessing solar energy to power the new Volvo V60, the world’s first diesel plug-in hybrid car. The ‘Pure Tension’ Pavilion was birthed by SDA’s extensive research on dynamic relaxation, utilizing bendable, lightweight aluminum structures with flexible fabrics that can be stored in the trunk of the car and easily mounted within one hour, similar to a tent.

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Four Teams Shortlisted For Parramatta Square Design Competition

Mario Cucinella Architects. Image © Parramatta City Council

Four designs for two large commercial towers in the heart of Sydney have been unveiled by Parramatta City Council, with proposals from  based Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp, , Bates Smart, and Italian practice Mario Cucinella Architects. Attracting over 73 submissions from around the world, the two towers will act as the centerpiece for the Parramatta Square’s three-hectare site.

The shortlist is part of stages five and six of the total master plan, previous projects of which have been awarded to the likes of Grimshaw ArchitectsReview the projects and read the jury’s comments after the break…

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Laboratory Design: It’s Time for a Breakthrough

Cern, The . Image Courtesy of smartglassinternational.com

As science continues to propel forward, it seems that the architecture to support scientists and their advancements is falling behind. The problem of laboratory design was recently brought up in an article by The Financial Times‘ Edwin Heathcote, who cited labs around the world, from Mendelsohn’s Einstein Tower to Cern’s giant timber globe, as great examples of an architecture of collaboration and experimentation. If some of our greatest discoveries today are often happening in mundane environments, what would happen if the architecture of labs and offices began to support and inspire innovation? Read the full story here.

Zaha Hadid Chosen to Design Iraqi Parliament Building in Baghdad

Central Bank of Iraq / Zaha Hadid Architects. Image © ZHA

Zaha Hadid has been selected to the new Iraqi Parliament building in Baghdad. The controversial decision comes after London-based Assemblage was crowned as winner of a RIBA-led competition for the building, which place Hadid’s proposal third. Though a dispute began once the competition’s client sparked conversations with Hadid after the winning firm was named, the client stated that competition rules allow for any shortlisted design proposal to be ultimately chosen for construction.

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Controversial Plans for Southbank Centre Face New Challenges

© Feilden Clegg Bradley

It’s been almost two months since we revealed that the Southbank Centre had agreed to support a fundraising campaign by Long Live Southbank, the campaign aiming to preserve the skatepark in Southbank’s undercroft and save it from the £120 million redevelopment of the site as a whole.

This was just one twist in a story that included criticism from the UK’s council CABE and from the neighboring National Theatre, a 50,000 strong petition from skateboarders, an unsuccessful attempt to have the skatepark listed as a village green, a successful attempt to have it classified as an ‘asset of community value’, and a delayed planning application. 

So after all this controversy, what has happened in the last two months?

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The Fountainhead: Everything That’s Wrong with Architecture

Gary Cooper as Howard Roark in a film adaptation of The Fountainhead. Via Courtesy King Vidor, The Fountainhead (Warner Brothers, 1949).. Image Courtesy of Metropolis Magazine

Howard Roark, the fictional architect envisioned by in The Fountainhead, has possibly done more for the profession in the past century than any real architect at all – inspiring hundreds to enter architecture and greatly shaping the public’s perception. And, according to Lance Hosey, Chief Officer at RTKL, that couldn’t be more damaging. In his recent article “The Fountainhead All Over Again,” for Metropolis Magazine, he details why it’s such a problem, going so far as to accuse Ayn Rand’s dictatorial protagonist of committing architectural terrorism.

It came out in 1943, exactly 70 years ago this summer. In the movie version a few years later, Gary Cooper played Howard Roark, the character famously modeled after Frank Lloyd Wright. Since then, Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, her “hymn in praise of the individual” (New York Times), has made legions of young people want to become architects. The late Lebbeus Woods wrote that the story “has had an immense impact on the public perception of architects and architecture, and also on architects themselves, for better and for worse.” I’d say worse. In fact, the Fountainhead remains the perfect representation of everything that’s wrong with the profession.

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Calatrava Reveals Design for Church on 9/11 Memorial Site

Courtesy of Tribeca Citizen

The site of has seen significant change in the last decade, from the addition of David Childs’s redesign of the One World Trade Center to Santiago Calatrava’s PATH station. It looks like the site’s transformation is set to continue – Calatrava recently revealed images of the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, to be rebuilt across Liberty Street from Handel Architects’ September 11 Memorial. The images, showing a distinctly Orthodox Christian design, have already begun to attract criticism in the debate over placing religious institutions around the World Trade Center.

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