Giveaway: The Houses of Louis Kahn

The Houses of Louis Kahn / William Whitaker and George Marcus. Image Courtesy of

UPDATE: Congrats to Lukas Binder of Austria, the winner of The Houses of Louis Kahn giveaway! Thank you to all those who participated. Keep your eyes peeled for two more fantastic giveaways in the coming weeks. 

Our friends at Yale University Press have offered to give one of our readers a newly released copy of The Houses of Louis Kahn by William Whitaker and George Marcus.

Deemed by American Art and Architecture author Michael J. Lewis to be “quite simply the most important book on Kahn” published in over two decades, The Houses of Louis Kahn examines the architect’s nine major residential commissions in detail, offering an overview of Kahn’s relationship with his projects’ patrons and his active involvement with the design of interiors and furniture. The 280-page book features all new photography of the homes, alongside period photographs and original drawings, and previously unpublished materials from personal interviews, archives, and Kahn’s own writings.

To participate, all you have to do is answer the following question in the comment section below: “Which Kahn project do you find most inspiring and why?”

You have until Monday, November 18th to submit your answers. The winner will be contacted the following day. Good luck! 

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Eight Teams Shortlisted to Masterplan Moscow Financial Center

IFC Site in Rublyovo-Arkhangelskoye, Moscow

Eight teams have been selected to participate in the second stage of an international to masterplan a new financial center west of “New Moscow”. Located in Rublyovo-Arkhangelskoye, the 460 hectare mixed-use development will include the construction of offices, housing and hotels, as well as commercial and social infrastructure. 

The 8 shortlisted teams are:

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Northwestern Unveils Potential Replacements for Prentice

Goettsch Partners and Ballinger Proposal. Image Courtesy of Northwestern University

Northwestern University has unveiled three final proposals that are in the running to replace Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Woman’s Hospital, which is currently being demolished in after a long, high-profile preservation battleThe shortlisted architects – Goettsch Partners and Ballinger, , and Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture and Payette – have each proposed a two-phased plan for the 600,000 square-foot Biomedical Research Building, which is intended to become a “world-class research and development enterprise” that serves as an “anchor” for the Feinberg School of Medicine’s research facilities.

View the shortlisted proposals after the break…

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DIALOG and Snøhetta to Design Calgary’s New Central Library

Site. Image ©

The search is over: DIALOG and Snøhetta have been selected from a shortlist of four to design a new central library in the Canadian city of Calgary. Planned for a prime location adjacent to City Hall, the 280,000 square foot “landmark” will “strengthen the fabric of community life by weaving East Village, the original heart of Calgary, back into the story of Centre City.” Once complete in 2018, the new library will serve over 140,000 workers and students who travel downtown every day.

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The Dean of Parsons: Design Education Must Change

via Josh Barndt, Alexandra Castillo Kesper, Braden Crooks, Aubrey Murdock, Joel Stein, and Charles Wirene. This year Parsons formed a partnership with New York City’s Center for Social Innovation to incubate design-led social innovation projects by Parsons students and alumni. One of the projects in development is Citysteading, a community-driven process for empowering and engaging marginal-ized communities. Image Courtesy of

Although university is meant to be a place of educational exploration, paths, particularly for architects and designers, tend to be extremely prescribed. In “Notes from the Dean,” originally published in Metropolis Magazine, Executive Dean Joel Towers describes how the Parsons New School for Design is pioneering a new design program that is more reflective of modern design approaches: “The world has changed; the role of design has changed. And the way that designers are taught to engage with the world must change, too.”

Every generation is presented with challenges specific to its time and place. We live in a world changing in ways that were unimaginable at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, when design first began to take shape. Technology (aided and abetted by design), advances in scientific knowledge, and shifts in social and cultural norms shaped design in the twentieth century. Our problems today involve more complex and interconnected systems—climate, cities, resources, networks, flows—and call for a new paradigm. Design in the twenty-first century is of critical importance in both addressing these challenges and transforming them into opportunities to remake the world around us. To do so, design must change.

Design schools have traditionally adhered to a model that builds programs based on a foundation year, a well-defined and contained introduction to the basics of material, form, and color. And while that foundation is an important cornerstone of design education, it leaves little room for the more exploratory methods of cross-disciplinary and technology-based learning, and for understanding and applying design in the context of the larger world. That old model needs to evolve to reflect design’s enhanced role as a catalyst for innovation and creativity.

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How to Design for Disasters (The Experts Weigh In)

Architecture Research Office and dlandstudio have proposed Wetlands in Lower Manhattan to deal with the next . Image Courtesy of Architecture Research Office and dlandstudio.

In this article on Fast Company, seven leading architects in the field of designing for disaster – including Peter Gluck, Michael Manfredi, and principals of James Corner Field Operations and Snøhetta – give their take on what lessons Hurricane Sandy, one year on, has taught us. Their responses raise a number of issues, but above all share one common theme: urgency.

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Frank Lloyd Wright Building from 1939 Finally Built

Courtesy of tbo.com

54 years after the death of Frank Lloyd Wright, Florida Southern College, home to the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the world, opened another structure designed by the famed architect last Friday. Originally called the Usonian house, it was envisioned as a professor’s home in 1939 but wasn’t built until this year using blueprints left by Wright.  

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3xLP Winner of SKIN Digital Fabrication Competition

Courtesy of TEX-FAB

TEX-FAB Alliance’s 2013 international competition titled – SKIN is announcing the overall winner: 3xLP.

A total of 68 entries from across the globe representing 14 countries on 5 continents were narrowed down to 4 finalists and 4 honorable mentions in July by the First Round jury consisting of Phil Anzalone, Maria Mingallon, Gregg Pasquarelli, Randy Stratman, and Skylar Tibbits. The Second Round juried by James Carpenter, Neil Denari, Mic Patterson and William Zahner conferred and selected from the finalists 3xLP. All four finalists were  exhibited at the ACADIA Adaptive Conference at the University of Waterloo in October, 2013.

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From STEM To STEAM: The Value of Art

Edison High School Academic Building. Image © Paul Mullins

In a recent article for the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, Barney Mansavage champions the idea of transforming STEM into STEAM (Science, , ART, and Mathematics). He argues that overlapping science and art helps launch cross-disciplinary conversations and relationships, and in turn, promote experimentation; he thus suggests that educational spaces be designed to bring these fields together. Check out the article here, and more about the TED talk that inspired it, here.

Venice Biennale 2014: Morocco to Participate with First Pavilion

Courtesy of Foundation FADA

will host its first pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. Curated by the Foundation FADA’ (Fondation pour l’Art, le Design, et l’Architecture) and directed by architect Tarik Oualalou, the concept for the Moroccan pavilion will be based upon Morocco’s role as an urban and architectural laboratory in the twentieth century. The project, entitled “Fundamental(ism)s,” will be organized in two parts:

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CCTV Headquarters Named “Best Tall Building Worldwide”

CCTV/OMA Partners-in-charge: Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren, designers, David Gianotten, photographed by Iwan Baan

OMA’s CCTV Headquarters in , ArchDaily’s 2012 “Building of the Year,” was deemed “Best Tall Building Worldwide” by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). Selected from a shortlist of four deserving skyscrapers, CCTV was awarded “best” due to its “unusual take on skyscraper typology.”

The jury stated: “Instead of competing in the race for ultimate height and style through a traditional two-dimensional tower soaring skyward, CCTV’s loop poses a truly three-dimensional experience, culminating in a 75-meter cantilever.”

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Green Infrastructure: Not Enough For Storm Protection

WXY Studio’s East River Blueway Plan. Image Courtesy of WXY Studio

Since Hurricane Sandy struck New York, much has been made of “green infrastructure” and its potential to defend cities against waves and floods. Now though, two articles, from the New York Times and Grist, claim that would actually protects us very little. But, since engineered “gray” solutions, such as storm-walls, also have their limitations (namely just moving the surge elsewhere), it seems the solution is a combination of both “gray” and “green” (moving the surge to where it can safely release its energy). Read the original articles here and here.

WSJ Announces David Adjaye as ‘Architecture Innovator’ of 2013

Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

The Wall Street Journal has announced David Adjaye as “ Innovator” for 2013. The 47-year old Tanzanian-born and British-educated architect, whose current projects span from affordable housing apartments in Harlem to the African American History and Culture Museum in Washington D.C., “has the unique ability to speak to experiences and to people outside the norms of his profession,” delivering his message across cultural boundaries.

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LSE Asks for ‘Further Work’ To Be Done on Shortlisted Designs

Team B. Image Courtesy of LSE / RIBA

Following the announcement last month that the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) had shortlisted five designs for their new Global Centre for Social Sciences (GCSS) in London’s Aldwych, they have now revealed that “there’s not one really outstanding scheme” and “there’s some further work to do by the practices and the LSE.” Therefore contestants Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, OMAHopkins ArchitectsGrafton Architects, and Henegham Peng Architects must reconsider their proposed designs

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Why Iwan Baan’s TED Talk Was Right

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Iwan Baan’s recent TED talk on ingenious informal settlement ‘architecture’ became instantly popular, clearly striking a chord with people across the globe. The lecture has been called everything from heartwarming to condescending, but for graduate students Meagan Durlak and James Frankis it was reaffirming. Durlak and Frankis have spent time working in Sao Paolo’s favelas and understand that finding a balance between the good and the bad is key to the revitalization of these settlements. This article, originally published in Metropolis Magazine as “Response to Iwan Baan’s TED Talk,” journals some of their experiences working in South American slums, and why we need to stop treating those slums as a blight. 

Meagan Durlak and I were excited to see the TED talk by architectural photographer Iwan Baan on the ingenuity found within informal settlements. In his presentation he walks us through a range of communities across the world, capturing many such settlements, including houses above a lagoon and a repurposed office block.

Baan’s view of informal settlements resonates with our own work; it’s an under-told story that we very much applaud. He shows an overview of people’s lives and their unique methods for adapting to difficult conditions. Perhaps as interesting as his film are the reactions to it from TED viewers. Many found the innovation in informal settlements to be inspiring and heartwarming; others claimed that this talk is just a life affirming story for the rich 1% of the world, perpetuating inaction for areas which need immediate aid. The two sides of the argument reminded us of our own work and the battles we have gone through in trying to wrap our heads around the systems of informal settlements, as well as the difficulties we have had in explaining their hidden properties to others.

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2013 Curry Stone Design Prize Winners Announced

The Port Sudan clinic is one of few outposts the region capable of providing basic health care to children. © Massimo Grimaldi and Emergency

The Curry Stone Foundation has named three winners of the 2013 Curry Stone Design Prize: Hunnarshala (Bhuj, India), Proximity Designs (Yangon, Myanmar), and Studio TAMassociati / Emergency (Venice/Milan, Italy). The annual prize, now in its sixth year, talented designers who “harness their ingenuity and craft for social good.” More on each winner, after the break.

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Round Up: China’s Next Generation of Museums

Guangdong Museum / Rocco Design Architects. Image © Marcel Lam

Although it went largely unnoticed until Wang Shu was awarded the Pritzker Prize, China’s going through a major cultural boom. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal notes that, since 2012, hundreds of (often privately established) cultural institutions have popped up across the country, honouring everything from the famous Terracotta Soldiers to the local city planning department. We’ve rounded up a couple of these projects for your pleasure: Jean Nouvel‘s winning design for the National Art Museum, Steven Holl‘s mind-warping Sifang Museum, the seemingly extra-terrestrial Ordos City + Art Museum by MAD Architects, Trace Architecture Office‘s small museum of handcraft paper in the countryside, and a regional museum by Rocco Design Architects that takes inspiration from traditional Chinese lacquered boxes. Enjoy!

ArchDaily’s Google Glass Experiment

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When Google Glass launched, we wondered how this wearable augmented reality device could add a whole other dimension to the consumption of architectural publications, by bringing the experience of space, matter, and light to our screens.

In our field, the experience is very important, and it is a dimension that hasn’t been able to be reproduced in its entirety through traditional media (plans, 2D or even 3D models). Attempts to make immersive panoramas or to embrace video have expanded the potential for representation, but not in a significant way. And this is why travel is a vital asset for the architect.

Imagine finally experiencing the approach to the Parthenon like Le Corbusier did almost a century ago. Imagine a tour broadcast by the architects of a project themselves, with the possibility for instant reader feedback in order to discuss a particular moment inside the building. 

is about to release a new version of their device, and we had the chance to use it while walking around the PUC Design School by Sebastian Irarrazaval. Here’s a short video of what we recorded with the device; just imagine how this very same video would be when Google Glass overlays the physical, built world you’re experiencing with virtual information from around the web. 

And stay tuned for more videos!!