BIG, Kengo Kuma Among Four Visions Unveiled for ARTA Cultural Center in Arnhem

© BIG with Allard Architecture

Four international teams have unveiled their shortlisted proposals in the final leg of a highly anticipated competition to design a new “cultural hotspot” on the edge of the Rhine. ArtA, the “catchy” new name of what was previously known as “The Arts Cluster,” is part of a larger redevelopment project for the City of which aims to reconnect the southern district of Rijnboog with its waterfront and establish a new home for the Focus Film Theatre and Museum

A sneak peak of the shortlisted proposals, after the break…

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Architecture Photography: Lina Bo Bardi’s ‘Sesc Pompeia’

© Fernando Pires

The designer and photographer Fernando Pires has completed a photographic series on Sesc Pompéia, one of Lina Bo Bardi‘s most significant works.

The photographer’s series explores that symmetry in Bo Bardi’s brutalist design, in which two colors, red and concrete-gray, unite harmoniously.

See more of Pires’ images, after the break…

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Spectrum Magazine Spotlights MIT’s Cross-Disciplinary Research into Cities

Fluid Crystallization, a project by Skylar Tibbits which informed his investigation of 4D printing. Image Courtesy of The Self-Assembly Lab, MIT

Spectrum Magazine, an annual publication by MIT to highlight the work of a cross-section of their professors and alumni, has recently released its 2014 edition. This year, the focus is on cities, with a great selection of architecture, planning and technology based contributions. You can download a pdf of the magazine here – or read on after the break for links to some articles of note.

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The Best Future Cities Presented on Film

A still from “Metropolis”, perhaps the archetypal futuristic city film. Image

From 1927′s Metropolis to 2002′s Minority Report, this article on the Guardian Cities explores film’s futuristic utopias, dystopias, and those somewhere in-between – and asks: which of these cities would be safest? Most suited to under-30s? The best to live in? You can find out by reading the article here.

AOR Unveils Floating Platform for the London Wildlife Trust

Courtesy of The / Architecture Foundation

The Finnish Institute in London and The Architecture Foundation have unveiled Viewpoint, a floating platform on Regent’s Canal in the centre of Camley Street Natural Park, London. Designed by Erkko Aarti, Arto Ollila and Mikki Ristola of Finnish practice AOR, the platform will be operated by the London Wildlife TrustThe permanent structure is intended to bring visitors to London’s most central nature reserve, connecting them with the wildlife of the park and the Regent’s Canal. In addition, it will also provide the park with an additional workshop space and learning facility, becoming “an architectural focal point of King’s Cross.”

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Winners of the 2013 BSA Design Awards Announced

Via Verde – The Green Way / Dattner Architects and Grimshaw Architects © David Sundberg | Esto Photographics

The Society of Architects has announced the winners of the 2013 Design Awards Program. With programs ranging from accessible design to unbuilt architecture, the following projects were awarded top honors for being Massachusetts and New England’s most prized examples of excellent design.

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Arper Relaunches Lina Bo Bardi’s Signature Bowl Chair

Courtesy of Instituto Lina Bo e P. M. Bardi (Lina Bo and P.M. Bardi Institute)

The Italian furniture brand Arper recently reissued Lina Bo Bardi‘s signature Bowl Chair. The pioneering project of the Brazilian-Italian architect presents a more relaxed approach to “sitting” – one that was fairly radical when it was originally released in 1951. The reissue of the chair – presented at the Salone del Mobile 2013 – is a testament to the forward-thinking vision of the architect.

Arper, who worked in partnership with the Instituto Lina Bo e P.M. Bardi to produce the Bowl Chair, based the design on the original prototype drawings. The genius of the chair is in its simple execution: consisting of two loose parts – an upholstered shell on a metal structure – the seat remains free to move in all directions. It is a chair for living, not just for sitting, and (as with all of Bo Bardi’s works) places the human at the center of the design. 

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Smiljan Radic Wins Competition to Design Landmark for Santiago

First Place Proposal: + Gabriela Medrano + Ricardo Serpell. Image

Smiljan Radic has been announced as the winner of the competition to design a landmark on San Cristobal Hill, in the heart of Santiago, Chile, that consolidates the hill’s numerous antennas into a single infrastructure.

According to the Contest Director, Luis Eduardo L. Bresciani, the purpose of this competition was to generate an innovative structure of iconic character, an architectural work of outstanding quality that would differ from other towers in other cities and give an identity not just to the hill, but to the city of Santiago. The jury also took into account the landscape of the site, particularly the care with which the park would be treated, as well as the tower’s relationship with the statue of the Virgin and the hilltop in general. Finally, the functionality of the infrastructure, which should act as both a telecommunications tower as well as a public space with panoramic views, was considered. See the six shortlisted proposals, after the break.

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Juice Architects Propose Offshore Visitor Centre for Swansea Bay

Courtesy of Juice Architects

London based practice Juice Architects has unveiled designs for an offshore visitor centre as part of the proposed tidal lagoon for Bay, Wales. A series of overlapping shells are sculpted to form a bowl like structure, providing shelter from the wind and waves of the Welsh coast. Sat on a manmade island platform at the end of a collection of land piers, the building will act as a cultural and educational base housing public galleries, a café, a lecture theatre and space with working turbine propellors visible through the the ground floor gallery. As an entirely self sufficient building all energy will be captured from renewable sources.

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Carlos Marín and José Muñoz-Villers Claim First Prize in Mexico City Urban Planning Competition

Plaza. Image Courtesy of José Muñoz Villers Arquitectos +

A design team led by Carlos Marín and José Muñoz-Villers has claimed first prize in Mexico City’s “La Merced” competition for their masterplan proposal to re-conceive the popular marketplace, Plaza Central La Merced. The team’s design, which beat out about 100 other entries, proposed the realization of a new public square to centralize pedestrian activity and to anchor strategies for urban revitalization, such as the reclamation of local heritage sites, the careful manipulation of natural elements, and the installation of urban furniture as a means for placemaking.

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J. Mayer H. Designs 70-Meter Tower for Duesseldorf

© J. MAYER H., via designboom

J. Mayer H. has been crowned as winner of an invited competition to design a 19-story medical services and residential high-rise in the center of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region. The “sculptural” tower, which is defined by the horizontal “cloud-shaped” aluminum strips that cloak its facade, is designed to “provide a natural atmosphere” enhanced by planted terraces and balconies overlooking the adjacent landscape of the Rheinaue and views of Duesseldorf. 

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The A-Z of Brutalism

© Andy Spain

The Guardian’s Jonathan Meades has named the “incredible hulks” of Brutalism with a thought provoking A-Z list that ranges from Hans Asplund, who coined the term “nybrutalism,” to California’s fascination with Zapotec-like adornments in the 1960s. Read the list in full and discover why Quebec City, Yugoslavia’s , and Danish architect Jørn Utzon are all considered incredible hulks here.

Frank Gehry’s Ground Zero Performing Arts Scheme Abandoned

Original Proposal. Image © Gehry Partners

The recent hire of temporary artistic director has indicated that plans for ’s “world center for the performing arts” is moving forward in New York. The famed London director will work alongside Charcoalblue managing partner Andy Hayles to revise the original Frank Gehry-designed scheme which, according to the center’s president, was prematurely designed. This leaves Gehry’s involvement unclear, as the initial 1000-seat center will be abandoned for a scaled down, three-theater house that ranges from 150 to 550 seats. Competition for funding also remains an obstacle, in light of venues such as Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s 2017 Culture Shed. You can learn more about the center’s update here

A Dozen Red Details Worth Swooning Over

Theatre Agora / UNStudio © Iwan Baan

Rather than a bouquet of roses, we wanted to express our love with a dozen seductive images of architecture dressed in red. Because nothing steals an architect’s heart like a well designed, beautifully detailed structure.

Our 12 most loved projects in , after the break…

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Critical Round-Up: ‘Sensing Spaces’ Strikes a Chord With Critics

© Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014. : James Harris

As the most ambitious architecture exhibition hosted by the Royal Academy of Arts in a generation, Sensing Spaces was inevitably going to be under a lot of scrutiny from architecture and art critics. According to the Academy’s Chief Executive Charles Saumarez-Smith, the momentous exhibition “represents a shift away from postwar modern architecture where it was about problem solving, to thinking about architecture in terms of experience, material, light and space.”

Fortunately the exhibition seems to have struck a chord with critics, who have almost universally praised the exhibition’s premise and have, to varying extents, been highly complementary about the individual exhibits.

Read on after the break for a round-up of the critics’ opinions

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20 Teams to Compete in 2015 U.S. Solar Decathlon

2013: Team Austria Wins Top Honors. Image © Jason Flakes/U.S. DOE

The U.S. Department of Energy has selected 20 collegiate teams to participate in the 2015 Solar Decathlon at , California’s Orange County Great Park. The eight returning teams will compete against 12 new teams, with partners from four international schools, to build “solar-powered, highly energy-efficient houses that combine affordability, innovation, and design excellence” within the allotted two-year period. View the full list of competitors, after the break.

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Farrells Selected to Masterplan Two Sites in Shenzhen’s Qianhai Financial District

©

Farrells has been announced as winner of an international competition to masterplan two prominent commercial zones in Shenzhen’s Qianhai financial district. Adjacent to the district’s Qianhaiwan metro station, the two districts are expected to boost cross-border trade between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. The first, 460,000-square-meter masterplan will feature a 320-meter-tall skyscraper and two 185-meter gateway towers, providing high-end office, residential and retail space, as well as serviced apartments.

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Shortlisted Concepts Unveiled for MLK Jr. Memorial Library Renovation

© STUDIOS Architecture with The Freelon Group

Preliminary designs have been released by three shortlisted teams competing to renovate ’s historic Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington D.C. – the only library and D.C. building ever designed by the legendary architect. Preview each proposal and learn how you can submit your feedback to the D.C. Public Library before they make their decision, after the break.

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