Buckminster Fuller’s 50-Foot “Fly’s Eye” Dome to be Restored

© John Warren

Noted architectural historian and preservationist has purchased the largest of Buckmister Fuller’s ”Fly’s Eye” domes and plans to reopen it to the public this summer for the first time in 30 years.

More on Fuller’s dome and its new owner after the break…

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LEGO® Announces BIG Commission

Courtesy of

It’s official! Danish architect Bjarke Ingels of BIG has been commissioned to collaborate with Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) and COWI to design the first public LEGO® museum in the company’s hometown of BillundDenmark. The “LEGO® Brand House” and “experience centre” is intended to compliment the non-public “LEGO® Idea House”, which is also located in Billund.

Bjarke Ingles, founder of BIG stated: “It’s going to be looking at LEGO® from all its different aspects—LEGO® as an art form, its cultural impact. When we were doing the research for it [the LEGO® house], we realized, if you would consider it just an art museum, you would be able to fill it with so much user content of such a high quality…it is one of our great dreams at BIG that we are now able to design a building for and with the LEGO® group. I owe a huge personal debt to the LEGO® brick, and I can see in my nephews that its role in developing the child as a creative, thinking, imaginative human being becomes ever stronger in a world in which creativity and innovation are key elements in virtually all aspects of society.”

More on LEGO®’s BIG commission after the break…

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Happy Birthday to Us: ArchDaily Turns 5!

has fed the addiction of architecture to me. The first thing I do in the morning and before I go to sleep, is check from the most interesting and inspiring designs from around the world utilizing the most advanced and socially responsible techniques. Architecture and design choose the user, the user does not choose architecture and design. In this way has allowed the creativity to flow more rapidly throughout my veins and caus[ed] more creativity to flourish. Thank you for aiding in times of frustration and times of designer block. Thank you for the effort you put forth for the architecture and design community, and you are a vital resource.” - Chris Siminski, ArchDaily reader and Facebook Fan

Five years ago, ArchDaily was a tiny 5-man operation, spearheaded by two Architecture grads with a very simple dream: to shake-up and democratize traditional architectural media. Fast-forward five years later, and we’re the most visited architecture web site in the world, with over 280,000 daily readers and 70 million pageviews every month.

We’re celebrating today with a doodle (see above) and lots of fantastic content – keep your eyes peeled for the 20 Most Visited Projects of All Time, the 5 Most Read Posts of All Time, and an ArchDaily original Infographic telling our story.

And of course, we’d like to use this occasion to thank you, ArchDaily readers. You’ve meant everything to us these past 5 years, and we’d love it if you could tell us what we’ve meant for you. So please share your thoughts in the comments below! And have a very happy ArchDaily birthday!

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OMA Masterplans Airport City in Qatar

Courtesy of

After winning an international competition, OMA has been commissioned to masterplan a new 10km2 Airport City for a population of 200,000, linking the new Hamad International Airport with the city of , Qatar. OMA’s masterplan is a series of four circular districts along a spine parallel to the HIA runways, intended to create a strong visual identity and districts with unique identities. Phase One of the 30-year masterplan, which links airside and landside developments for business, logistics, retail, hotels, and residences, will be mostly complete in time for the 2022 World Cup, hosted by Qatar.

Rem Koolhaas commented: “We are delighted and honored to participate in the exciting growth of Doha, in a project that is perhaps the first serious effort anywhere in the world to interface between an international airport and the city it serves.”

More on OMA’s airport city after the break…

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New SimCity: Not Just For Kids

Courtesy of Co.Exist

Remember spending hours of your fleeting youth in front of the computer screen, building lively and complex towns with vibrant neighborhoods, schools, shopping centers, industry, power plants.. only to have them all destroyed by an unforeseen asteroid or UFO?

That’s right - SimCity is back, full force, with its latest version debuting just last Tuesday. Although the game series has been with us since 1989, it’s certainly not getting any less exciting or challenging; in fact, it has transitioned from a mere childrens’ computer game to an educational simulation that anyone at any age can learn from. The new is subtly teaching its players the pros and cons of serious, real-life issues such as renewable energy, preservation of natural resources and cooperation between neighboring – all within an entertaining virtual interface whose fate rests at your fingertips.

Read more about the new game and what it has to teach us about city planning. (more…)

Bloomberg Breaks Ground at Post-Sandy Housing Development in Queens

Hunter’s Point South Housing Development © nycmayorsoffice

Despite ’s recent bout with nature, Mayor Bloomberg is undeterred from developing housing along ’s long stretch of waterfront, taking into account that proper measures are taken for storm and flooding mitigation.  The latest in large scale developments comes to Hunter’s Point South in the neighborhood of Long Island City in .  The first of such a scale since the 1970s development of Co-Op City in the Bronx, plans will include two phases of design and construction. The first phase, designed by SHoP Architects with Ismael Leyva Architects will bring two residential towers with 925 permanently affordable apartments, 17,000 square feet of retail space, infrastructural installations, a five-acre waterfront park, and a 1,100-seat school.

Join us after the break for more on this large scale development in Long Island City.

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Eva Jiricna Awarded 2013 Jane Drew Prize

The Eva Jiřičná-designed Knightsbridge apartment in west London. © Flickr user mobilix

Czech-born architect Eva Jiřičná has been announced, by unanimous decision of the esteemed AJ Judging Panel, as the Winner of the 2013 “for her outstanding contribution to the status of women in architecture.” Zaha Hadid, prize judge and winner of last year’s Jane Drew Prize, lauded Jiřičná’s for redefining the idea of retail space with her innovated use of industrial materials and famous steel and glass staircases.

Fellow judge Ivan Harbour of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners agreed, stating: “If you walk into any Apple store today, in the end, they all started with Eva.”

In addition to this, Jiřičná’s dedicated mentorship of numerous students and colleagues throughout her career has proved to be “incredibly influential” to the advancement of the profession and women in architecture.

Jiřičná, who judged the inaugural Jane Drew Prize in 1998, said: “I feel very humbled and honoured to win this award. Jane Drew was one of my major heroines. When you are starting out you look at the lives of women in your and other professions. As you progress you appreciate what these women achieved – how courageous they were. Jane Drew was one of those women. She was a pioneer.”

More on Eva Jiřičná after the break… (more…)

BD Survey Reveals 22% of UK Architects Unemployed

Courtesy of

A survey conducted by BD has revealed that 22% of qualified architects in the are currently unemployed. The survey included fully qualified architects as well as graduates who are still in training, and paints a bleak picture of the current state of the British architecture industry. Other trends which the survey highlights are a reduction in job security as many architects move to freelance work to stay active, and an average 30% wage reduction for those still in employment.

More results of the survey after the break

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ArchDaily App Guide: Webnote

’s Architecture App Guide will introduce you to web and mobile apps that can help you as an architect: productivity, inspiration, drafting, and more. 

With SXSW  around the corner, many startups will be launching their new apps that can help you as an architect or productivity in general, and here is a glimpse. We introduce you Webnote by Hopin a free iPad/iPad Mini app that can help you during your creative process. Webnote is basically a browser, with added gesture functions to clip content and create visual notes from web pages, store it under your profile (with privacy settings), easily share theme on Facebook or Twitter and discover interesting contents or “notes” from people you follow.

A simple double tap on any part of a web page (image, text or ) will isolate that particular element and bring up a frame with a preview of the note, where you can adjust or pinch for zoom in/out. On that frame you will have the option to configure the sharing options, and another tap will bring a text area to describe what you are capturing or to make your own annotation.

All the contents that you save or share will be display for you to revive on a simple and visual sidebar where you can check your private notes, the notes that you shared and also the notes from people that you care about to follow, being also a great source of inspiration.

Within your side bar you can simply slide a note to the right to open the web page from where it was made. Or if you want to save a note for later, slide to the left and save it into your private area.

You can download Webnote at the App Store for free . More screenshots of Webnote after the break:

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Olson Kundig Architects to Design New Museum of Art for WSU

The Pierre / Olson Kundig Architects © Benjamin Benschneider

-based architect Jim Olson of Olson Kundig Architects has been selected by Washington State University to design a new Museum of Art. Over the years, Olson has complied a spectacular portfolio of stunning homes designed for art collectors worldwide. This experience has given Olson a “wealth of experience in not only crafting beautiful environments for works of art, but in working with artists to discover new opportunities for expressing their creativity,” according to Chris Bruce, director of the museum.

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Santa Monica Shortlists Three Teams for Mixed-Use Development

Project Site via BING and Architects’ Newspaper

Gehry’s chiseled, 244 foot tower is not the only mixed-use proposal currently being considered by the city of Santa Monica, as officials have selected three international teams led by prominent architects to submit proposals for a “significant” and “signature” development on a 2.5 acre site downtown. Located on Arizona Avenue between 4th and 5th streets, the parcel is currently occupied by a parking lot and two banks. Although the city did not specify a size constraint, the proposed designs will be expected to fit within the surrounding context and include an appropriate mix of of retail, office, hotel and space.

The following teams have been asked to submit proposals in May: (more…)

Vieux Port Pavilion / Foster + Partners

© Nigel Young / Foster + Partners

Saturday in , France, pedestrians and city officials joined Foster + Partners to celebrate the completion of the Vieux Port Pavilion at the mouth of Marseille’s World Heritage-listed harbor. Minimal, yet effective, this “discreet” intervention provides a new sheltered events space on the eastern edge of the port. With six slender pillars supporting its razor-thin profile, the polished 46 by 22 meter stainless steel canopy amplifies and reflects the surrounding movement of the harbor, creating a spectacle that encourages pedestrians to linger.

More on Foster’s Vieux Port Pavilion after the break…

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British Architects Seek Infrastructure Opportunities in Brazil

AECOM Masterplan of Rio 2016 Olympic Park

Led by housing minister Mark Prisk, architects from five high-profile British practices – Haworth Tompkins, Foster & Partners, Amanda Levete Architects, Avanti Architects and de Matos Ryan – have embarked on a week-long visit to Brazil in search of major infrastructure opportunities for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. The trip is part of the UKBrasil Season, a six-month series of dynamic and engaging projects designed to showcase the best of British business, culture, science and innovation in Brazil and become the largest post-Olympic legacy project in the world.

Mark Prisk stated: “Brazilian companies in these cities are actively looking for fast-track construction systems, innovative building materials and low carbon solutions to meet current and future demand, not only in preparation for hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games but also to compete in the country’s many major infrastructure projects.

More after the break…

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BIG’s Waste-to-Energy Plant Breaks Ground, Breaks Schemas

© BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group

There are many things that set BIG’s latest project, , apart. The plant, which broke ground yesterday, will be the cleanest waste-to-energy plant in the world. It will be the tallest and biggest building in Copenhagen. It will house ’s first ski-slope (on the roof of the plant, no less). It will emit its CO2 emissions – not as a continuous stream of smoke, oh no – but in sudden, bursting smoke rings. 

However, the Amager Bakke waste-to-energy Plant is far more than the sum of its rather remarkable features. As an urban “destination in itself” and a landmark in environmental design, it’s one of the most radical representations of architecture as a means of public engagement of our time. And, what’s more, it’s a signal that BIG has finally reached maturity, truly coming into its own as a firm.

Read more about BIG’s remarkable Amager Bakke waste-to-energy plant, after the break….

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Gehry Designs Mixed-Use Tower for Downtown Santa Monica

© Gehry Partners

Developers M. David Paul Associates and the Worthe Real Estate Group have commissioned Frank Gehry to design a mixed-use hotel and residential tower in his hometown of , California. The 22-story “Ocean Avenue Project” aims to stimulate the coastal city’s economy with street-level restaurant and retail space below a 125-room hotel and 22-unit condominium tower topped with a rooftop observation deck. As for accommodating the car-centric lifestyle of the West Coast, resident and visitor parking will be available in a three-story subterranean garage beneath the tower. In addition, the developers plan to integrate a 36,000 square foot museum campus that will add a cultural perk to the development just North of its two-acre site.

Although this project looks promising, the 244-foot, Gehry-esque tower is currently pending approval from the City. A vote by the end of March will decide its fate.

More images of the “Ocean Avenue Project” after the break…

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World’s First Algae Bioreactor Facade Nears Completion

BIQ via GOOD

BIQ – the world’s first algae powered building – is set to be completed in Germany later this month. Built for the International Building Exhibition (IBA) in Hamburg, this zero-carbon apartment complex will sport a bright green -cum-algae farm, while its interior proposes a radical new theory on how we will live in the near future.

More about BIQ after the break…

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Design Excellence of U.S. Embassies: Openness and Security

U.S. in London / KieranTimberlake Architects

“The works of our artists, architects, and preservationists provide us with another language of diplomacy. A transcendent language that allows us to convey values that are at once uniquely American yet speak to all of humanity.  Increasingly in this world, art and architecture help us maintain our sense of openness and liberation.” — Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, April 12, 2010 

An embassy is much more than a building or a work of architecture; it functions as a symbolic representation of countries’ relationships to one another.  It represents the universal language of diplomacy – “communicating values and ideals, extending well beyond any moment in time”.  An embassy has the difficult task of representing two diametrically opposed concepts: security and openness.  The former typically overpowers the latter in importance, which is most probably why when we think of foreign embassies, it conjures up images of stately monolithic buildings surrounded by tall fences and menacing guards or “bunkers, bland cubes, lifeless compounds”, according to Tanya Ballard Brown of NPR’s All Things Considered.

More on the design excellence of embassies after the break… (more…)

Foster + Partners to Submit Thames Hub Airport Proposal to Airport Commission

Courtesy of Foster and Partners

have confirmed that they will submit their proposal for a new hub airport in the Thames Estuary to the Airports Commission, an organisation investigating airport capacity in the , by mid-July. The submission will be an important step towards getting government approval of the plan. 

The airport, which will have four runways (the potential to expand to six) and capacity for 150 million passengers, is part of Foster + Partners’ Thames Hub proposal. The hub would be built on a platform on the Isle of Grain in the Thames Estuary and be connected to London via a spur linking directly to the existing high-speed rail line; in this way, Foster + Partners hope that it would eliminate the environmental, noise and security problems that come with the UK’s dependence on Heathrow Airport.

The self-funded Thames Hub vision was first made public in 2011. See our previous coverage: here. 

Story via Foster + Partners