Can a Law of Linguistics Predict How Cities Grow?

– Twice the size of LA. Via Flickr CC User. Image © Katy Silberger

An interesting article on io9 unveils a curious law that can apparently predict the size of cities - a law developed by a linguist. The original version of Zipf’s law states that in any language, the most common word was used twice as much as the second most common, three times as much as the third and so on. It seems though, that this law also applies to the populations of the in a given country. And the most interesting part? Nobody really knows why. You can read the full article here.

RRC Studio Design Residential & Commercial Expansion for Al Dhakira

Aerial view. Image Courtesy of

Italian Practice RRC Studio has released designs for new residential and commercial quarters in Al Dhakira, Qatar. The design will roughly double the size of the small city, situated 60km outside the capital of Doha, providing new housing blocks, villas, hotels, and a new commercial district.

(more…)

Sustainable Container Home Selected in Competition for Sydney’s Bondi Beach

Courtesy of

Czech architect Ales Javurek has been awarded first prize in the [AC-CA] Architectural Competition for his design of a two-story, 340 square meter vacation home utilizing shipping containers in Sydney, Australia. The proposal situates the home on the edge of a 1500 square meter hillside to maximize the striking panoramic view of . By preserving current trees and the slope’s profile, consisting of “three platforms,” the proposal successfully addresses the main brief: to design a contemporary, sustainable vacation house which sensitively fits into its context and considers Sydney’s climate conditions. 

Learn more after the break…

(more…)

AIA Announces Three Award Recipents

Louisiana State Museum. Image © Timothy Hurlsey

The American Institute of Architects recently announced that three of its distinguished members have been awarded some of the Institute’s top honors. Each recipient has made significant contributions to the advancement of the architectural profession or education, helping to shape the field for future generations. The awards include the 2014 /ACSA Topaz Medallion, the 2014 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award, and the 2014 Edward C. Kemper Award. Read more about the recipients after the break…

(more…)

Bloomberg’s Next Move: Leading an ‘Urban SWAT Team’

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

After a 12 year mayoral run, many have been wondering what ’s next move will be. The answer: be mayor of every city (kind of). Bloomberg, along with most of his City Hall team (including transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan), has shifted his focus to Bloomberg Associates, a consultancy group that – like an ‘urban SWAT team’ – offers advice to cities that call for it. For free. To learn more about Bloomberg’s newest initiative, read the full article here on The New York Times. 

Formlessfinder’s “Tent Pile” a Hit at Design Miami/

© James Harris

From the architects. Formlessfinder’s Tent Pile brings an intensely architectural intervention to Design Miami/, inventing a new building typology to provide shade, seating, cool air, and a space to play for the city’s public. The design practice, co-founded by Julian Rose and Garrett Ricciardi in 2010, approaches new projects with an interest in the specifics of geography — closely examining the spatial, social, and physical conditions of the location with which their structure will interact. They prioritize the use of available materials, committing to deploy them in ways that allow for reuse, an approach that produces what they refer to as “an architecture that can go from nothing to something and back again.”

Learn more after the break…

(more…)

Alfonso Architects Selected to Design Museum of American Arts and Crafts

Courtesy of Alfonso Architects

Alfonso Architects have been awarded the building project for the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement (MAACM) in St. Petersburg, Florida. Hundreds of objects from the early 20th century movement – including furniture, pottery and paintings – have been offered by the museum’s patron, art collector Rudy Ciccarello, in collaboration with the Two Red Roses Foundation. 

Galleries and exhibit spaces, says lead architect Alberto Alfonso, are inspired by the “detailing and customization of materials and joinery” characteristic of the era. The four-story, 90,000 square-foot museum “is a tremendous gift by Mr. Ciccarello for the city of and our state,” adds Alfonso. 

(more…)

Video: design/buildLAB’s Reality Check

The design/buildLAB at the Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design has recently released a new documentary by Leon Gerskovic titled Reality Check, a film that chronicles the journey of 16 students as they undergo the design and of their Masonic Amphitheatre in Clifton Forge, Virginia. The project was a complete redevelopment of a post-industrial brownfield into a public park and performance space; the video relates how students collaborated with local community and industry experts to bring meaningful architecture to this struggling American rail town.

(more…)

SLASH with Phillips/Pilkington Architects Win the Royal Adelaide Hospital Competition

SLASH. Image Courtesy of ODASA

Slash with Phillips/Pilkington Architects have been announced as the winners of the Royal Adelaide Hospital Site International Design Competition, which was open to registered architects and landscape architects from around the world. The competition centred around redesigning the current site, which will be vacated in 2016, in order to create an iconic place within the Greater Riverbank Precinct of Adelaide. See the winning and shortlisted proposals after the break.

(more…)

Urban Living Award Winners Announced

Metropol Parasol; J. Mayer H. Architekten. Image © Javier Orive

The winners of 2013 , a joint effort between the Senate Department of Urban Development and the Deutsche Wohnen AG, have been announced.

The competition aims to inspire architects to improve the quality of urban life through design, while also stimulating urban cooperation. Though it was only founded in 2010, it has already become one of the most respected competitions in the world. Indeed, the 240 contributions in 2013 hailed from over 20 European countries – a huge expansion from previous years.

Read more for the winners…

(more…)

Six Projects Selected as Public Interest Design Global Award Winners

Butaro Doctor’s . Image © Iwan Baan

Six projects have been announced as the Public Interest Design Global Project Winners, an award organized by the Ecole Spécial d’Architecture, Design Corps and the Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) Network. The award is given to projects which exemplify design for communities with the aim of improving lives, and the winners will be presented at a two-day event in Paris on April 18th-19th 2014.

Read on for descriptions of the six winners after the break

(more…)

AIA Focuses on Neighborhood and Community Growth for Q3/2013

Americans are indicating that they prefer higher-density, more walkable neighborhoods. Image Courtesy of

The AIA just released its third quarter Design Trends Survey for 2013. Key findings have been made since the previous survey, specifically on neighborhood and community trends.

(more…)

Foster + Partners’ Thames Hub On the Chopping Block

’ Proposal for Thames Hub. Image Courtesy of

The prognosis does not look good for Foster + Partners’ plan for an airport hub in the Thames Estuary. The Guardian reports that the Independent Airports Commission has released an interim report, revealing a shortlist of potential options for the – and the Thames Hub (with an estimated price tag of £112bn)  isn’t on it.  Yet hope (however slim) does remain for the proposal, as its persistent defender, London mayor Boris Johnson, has managed to convince the commission to revisit the idea in early 2014. Get the whole story at The Guardian.

Shortlist for West Hollywood Park Project Announced

via Langdon Wilson International. Image Courtesy of City of West Hollywood

In a city known for its sprawl, things are about to get a lot greener. The City of West Hollywood recently unveiled the three finalists for the West Hollywood Park Project, including entries from LPA (with Rios Clementi Hale), Frederick Fisher and Partners (with CMG) and Langdon Wilson.

The park will cover over 5 acres of (soon to be) green space in the middle of Los Angeles, although at a slight cost. A number of existing buildings will be demolished to make way for the park, including a library, office park, and swimming pool complex. New structures will likely include a recreation and community centre, as well as various playground facilities scattered around the park.

(more…)

Impressive Shortlist to Compete for “The Arts Cluster” of Arnhem

© Flickr CC User Marco Derksen

UPDATE: OMA has reportedly withdrawn from the competition. 

The city of Arnhem, the Netherlands, has revealed an impressive shortlist of five firms who will compete to design a new cultural building for the city, The Arts Cluster, which will combine the Museum Arnhem and Focus Filmtheater Arnhem. 

The five firms selected from 44 entries are: Architecture Studio HH with SO-IL (United States); ABT with the Bjarke Ingels Group (, Denmark) with Allard ArchitectureKengo Kuma & Associates(Japan); NL Architects; and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA).

(more…)

OMA Wins Its First Bridge: Pont Jean-Jacques Bosc

Image © , Artefactory, Frans Parthesius. Image Courtesy of

OMA has won an international competition to design Pont Jean-Jacques Bosc, a bridge across the river Garonne in , France, that will link the municipalities of Bègles and Floriac. The 44m by 545m bridge, which will act as “a generous new public space” and “an urban planning intervention” for the city, giving priority to pedestrian traffic, is the first to be realized by OMA. It is scheduled for completion in 2018.

According to Clément Blanchet, director of OMA France, the bridge ”is not the ‘event’ in the city, but a platform that can accommodate events of the city [...it] may be the least technical, least lyrical, but [it is] the most concise and effective structural solution.”

The architect’s description of the project, after the break…

(more…)

Stonehenge Visitor Centre Opens its Doors

© Peter Cook

After a tortuous 21-year process Stonehenge, the stone circle that is one of the world’s most important neolithic artifacts, finally has the visitor centre it deserves. Denton Corker Marshall‘s design, situated 2.5 km (1.5 miles) to the west of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, has opened its doors and is preparing to deal with the site’s nearly 1 million annual visitors.

The new design features a museum, educational facilities, a cafe, shop and a ticket office. These spaces are brought together by a perforated oversailing roof supported on 211 narrow angled columns.

Read on for more about the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre

(more…)

GRAFT Wins “Apassionata” with Iconic, Temporary Structure for Horse Shows

Courtesy of Graft Architects

German architecture firm, GRAFT, has been selected as the winner of the “Apassionata. Tasked with designing a temporary structure for the exhibition of horses, GRAFT proposed a complete wooden building that could be assembled, dismounted and reassembled at the convenience of the company. 

Learn more after the break…

(more…)