A Walking City for the 21st Century

© Poliedro

In a world where people live more mobile lifestyles than they have for centuries, cities are facing a problem they rarely planned for: their citizens move away. When jobs and resources start to decline, modern cities, such as Detroit, suffer difficult and often wasteful processes of urban contraction. In contrast to this, Manuel Dominguez’s “Very Large Structure,” the result of his thesis project at ETSA Madrid, proposes a nomadic city that can move on caterpillar tracks to locations where work and resources are abundant.

Of course this is not the first time that the idea of a nomadic city has been proposed. Ron Herron’s Walking City is one of the more recognizable Archigram designs from the 1960s, and has been influential to architectural theory ever since. However, the design for the “Very Large Structure” expands on the by including strong proposals for energy generation on board the city.

Read on to see more on this provocative project – including a full set of presentation boards in the image gallery.

(more…)

Winners of the World Habitat Awards Announced

The 2013 will be held in Medellin, Colombia. Image © Flickr / David Peña

The winners of the 2013 World Habitat Awards, a competition focused on addressing housing needs and issues across the globe, have just been announced. Picked from a pool of over 200 applicants, the two winning entries represent the most innovative and resilient proposals with potential for global use, taking on the rampant homelessness problem in the US (The 100,000 Homes Campaign) and exploring revitalisation opportunities for the Old City in Hebron (Hebron Old City Rehabilitation Programme). The winners will be honoured at a ceremony in Medellin, Colombia on October 17, 2014. To learn more about the competition and it’s winners, click here

On Gender, Genius, and Denise Scott Brown

outside Las Vegas in 1966; photograph from the Archives of Robert Venturi and . Image © Frank Hanswijk

“In the 10 years I’ve been running my architectural practice, I [...] have gotten accustomed to people assuming that my male employees — whether younger or older — are the lead architects who will be making final decisions. Yet this time a lingering frustration colored the rest of my day, a sense that while feminism has made significant progress on a conscious level, little change has trickled down into the unconscious of our culture.” Check out the rest of Esther Sperber’s column for Lilith, in which she details the past travails of female architects (particularly Denise Scott Brown’s), and their future mission, here.

2013 ONE Prize Finalists Announced

[Contained

The finalists of the 2013 ONE Prize, a competition exploring the social, economic, and ecological possibilities of urban transformation, have just been announced. The 2013 competition focused on severe climate dynamism, calling for innovative and thoughtful design proposals and urban interventions that intend to alleviate storm impact and answer the question: “How can cities adapt to the future challenges of extreme weather?”

(more…)

The World’s 10 Coolest Car Parks

1111 Lincoln Road in Miami, USA. Image © Nelson Garrido/1111Lincoln Road Shot Reprinted with permission from MBeach1, LLLP

Parking garages generally have a bad reputation – particularly now that cars are seen as such an environmentally unfriendly way to travel, not to mention the fact that they are often unattractive utilitarian structures. To counteract this common perception, the website Stress Free Airport has launched an award for the World’s Coolest Car Park. Read on after the break to find out which 10 parking structures have been shortlisted for the top award.

(more…)

Milwaukee Urban Farm Movement Grows

Courtesy of Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture

After the foreclosure crisis, hundreds of cities despaired at the downturn – but in Milwaukee, the HomeGr/own Initiative saw opportunity. The organization converts empty lots into urban farms, calling upon citizens to assist in this growing movement. But while other cities have tried similar projects (and failed), Fast.Co reports that the HomeGr/own Initiative seems suited to last. Learn why here.

AS+GG Wins Competition for Astana World EXPO 2017

© Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG) has been announced as winner of a major design competition for World EXPO-2017 in Astana, . Selected from 105 entrants, which included the likes of Coop Himmelb(l)au, and UNStudio, AS+GG’s 173.4 hectare proposal plans to build on the Expo’s theme “Future Energy” by becoming the “first Third Industrial Revolution city.”

(more…)

Morphosis Architects to Design New U.S. Embassy in Beirut

Beirut, . Image © VOA/V. Undritz

has been selected from a shortlist of three to design the new U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) chose Morphosis over Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Mack Scogin Merrill Elam with AECOM after conducting a series of presentations and interviews in the third round of the international competition.

“Morphosis presented a strong, cohesive team with over 50 years of collaborative experience. Their presentation demonstrated the management and design approach required to successfully execute this project, as well as a thorough understanding of the importance and impact of an American Embassy in Beirut.

(more…)

Zaha Hadid Designs Superyacht for Blohm+Voss

© Unique Circle Yachts / for Bloom+Voss Shipyards

Zaha Hadid has collaborated with the Hamburg-based shipbuilders to design a new concept for a family of superyachts: a 128-meter master prototype that will  eventually spawn five, fully-engineered, 90-meter “Unique Circle Yachts.” According to Hadid, the overall design is informed by “fluid dynamics and underwater ecosystems, with hydrodynamic research shaping the design of the hull.”

More from the architect, after the break. 

(more…)

Why Do Bad Guys Always Get The Best Houses?

The Sheats Goldstein Residence by . Image © Jeff Green

In this interesting article for the Financial Times, Edwin Heathcote dissects two Hollywood homes that are infamous as the homes of slick movie bad guys. The Lovell Health House designed by Richard Neutra appeared in LA Confidential as the home of pornographer and pimp Pierce Patchett; the Sheats Goldstein Residence appeared in The Big Lebowski – again as the home of a pornographer – and was designed by none other than “Hollywood’s favourite architectJohn Lautner. Heathcote probes the two architects’ design influences and ideas, and of course offers an explanation as to why “”bad guys always seem to get the best houses“. You can read the full article here.

Ten Firms Shortlisted to Renovate Mies’ MLK Jr. Memorial Library in D.C.

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library / Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Image © Flickr user Elvert Barnes

In August, we reported a Request for Qualifications for the renovation of Mies van der Rohe’s Martin Luther King (MLK) Jr. Memorial Library in Washington D.C. - Mies’ only library and the only building in D.C. A few days ago, the District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL) narrowed down the list of potential firms from 26 to 10 and revealed that it was looking for community input on the library’s future spaces and services.

The ten firms that made the cut are:

(more…)

BIG’s Beach + Howe Tower Wins Approval in Vancouver

© Luxigon

Bjarke Ingels Group ()’s 700,000 square foot Beach + Howe development has been approved by the City Council. Though concerns still remain regarding the height of the 52-story tower – which is intended to become the city’s fourth tallest building – an overwhelming majority of the council and public seems to be enthusiastic about the project. 

“It meets the test at every respect — gorgeous architecture, turning a dead space into a vibrant public space with animation and job space. The housing is diverse and much needed… People have used the word iconic – I think it’s remarkable design to combine so many elements on a tough site,” stated Mayor Gregor Robertson before the vote. “It’s an extraordinary project that deserves strong council support.”

(more…)

Top 10 Apps for Architects

Following our readers poll last year, here’s an updated list of what we think are the best ten for architects. From condensed versions of large scale programmes architects and designers use every day, to blank canvases to scratch ideas down onto, you might just find an app that could improve the way you work.

(more…)

Happy Birthday Zaha Hadid!

© Simone Cecchetti

Zaha Hadid  turns 63 today, and the Dame has a lot to celebrate.

Since winning the Pritzker Prize in 2004, the first woman and Muslim to do so, Hadid’s career has been on an exponential trajectory. Before the prize, Hadid was better known for her extraordinary sketch-paintings of unbuilt works; particularly, her competition-winning entries for “The Peak” in 1982 and the Cardiff Bay Opera House in 1994. Zaha’s “flying” forms were so revolutionary, that some questioned if they could even be made reality – hence why the Opera House was ultimately rejected, for supposed ”uncertainties.” Indeed, before 1994, the only built project she could boast was the complex, deconstructivist Vitra Fire Station.

(more…)

Redefining Context with Tatiana Bilbao

© Iwan Baan

The simple concrete-hewn designed by Tatiana Bilbao acknowledge their context in a way that most buildings don’t. In a recent interview with uncube Magazine, Bilbao explains how her outlook on design shifted after she realized that “the quality of architecture relies heavily on the people who build it and what techniques and materials they are used to.” And it seems this novel approach hasn’t gone unnoticed – she recently showed her work at ’s Architekturgalerie and is on a star-studded shortlist to design the Menil Drawing Institute. Read the full interview here.

New Tel Aviv High-Rise By Richard Meier Nears Completion

©

Pritzker Laureate Richard Meier’s iconic new residential tower in the heart of Tel Aviv is nearing completion. Located in Rothschild Boulevard, the city’s bustling high-end commercial, cultural and financial district, it is no surprise that over 70% of the 42-story luxury tower has already been sold.

More on the tower, and its potentially controversial context, after the break…

(more…)

Could an Architecture Peace Corps Be the Answer to Student Debt?

The WPA completed some of the US’ most famous . Would a similar program today make sense for recently-graduated architecture students?. Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Graduating architecture students are welcomed to the professional world with few job opportunities, lots of competition, and, for many, shockingly high student debt. Barring winning the lottery, there’s nothing for it but to work the decades it takes to pay them off. But what if there was another way? Shervan Sebastian, of AIArchitect, explores a new possibility for student debt relief designed specifically for architects in “Proposal Combines Student Debt Relief with Community Design Support,” reprinted here. Read on to see how you could one day pay off your student debt and help your community at the same time. 

Public service loan assistance programs have for decades been a driving force in attracting talent to some of America’s neediest and underserved regions and sectors of the economy. Programs as varied as AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps as well as the medical, legal, and dental professions have all employed these incentives to provide communities with talented, civically engaged professionals, while offering one of the most coveted forms of support for financially burdened graduates: student loan assistance.

What might a national design service corps look like for the architecture profession? The AIA is proposing legislation that offers architecture school graduates loan re-payment assistance opportunities similar to those offered to graduates of other professions who contribute their services to their communities. The National Design Services Act (NDSA) provides student loan assistance for architects who work at community design centers by securing grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to reduce loan balances of participating students.

(more…)

First Section of Santiago Calatrava’s PATH Station Opens in NYC

Image via Daily News © Mark Bonifacio

A portion of ’s $4 billion PATH station has opened. According to NY Daily News, the Western Concourse will now relieve New Yorkers from “cramped sidewalks and temporary bridges” crossing West St. with a 600-foot underground passage lined in “bright white marble” that connects the World Trade Center to the neighboring office complex formerly known as the World Financial Center. Once complete in 2015, the controversial transit hub will double as a massive shopping and retail complex, which aims to “transform” the cultural experience of lower Manhattan. 

(more…)