REX Unveils Details of Five Manhattan West Development

450 West 33rd Street / Rendering of building with completed renovations

Joshua Prince-Ramus of REX, together with Brookfield Properties unveiled today the $200 Million redevelopment of 450 West 33rd Street in . The 1.8 million-square-foot building will be integrated into the Manhattan West Development.

The architectural firm designed the redevelopment of Five Manhattan West, including a new pleated glass façade which will create floor‐to‐ceiling windows on every floor, maximizing daylight penetration while reducing solar gain through geometric ‘self‐shading.’ The interior program includes a redesigned lobby, upgraded and expanded elevators, and enhanced HVAC and other mechanical systems. New retail storefronts will provide a welcoming streetscape. The renovation is expected to be completed in 2016.

More details on the project after the break.

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IIT’s College of Architecture Launches the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize

Courtesy of

The College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and its Dean has announced the creation of the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) and the MCHAP for Emerging Architecture. With an objective to “reward the daring contemplation of the intersection of the new metropolis and human ecology,” these two biennial prizes will “recognize the most distinguished built constructs of the North and South American continents” while fostering research toward rethinking the metropolis.

MCHAP is an extension of the larger curricular and research initiatives of IIT, as established by Dean Wiel Arets, who states: “This new prize will not be bestowed to an individual or organization based solely off inventive form, however clever its design, or based solely off a submitted image, no matter how captivating. The prize’s jury will instead be holistic in their approach to selecting exceptional works. Architecture, as a discipline, will continue its pursuit of technology, so that it can further advance. And architecture is for people; it is strengthened by their presence.”

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Congress Aids the Impending Doom of Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial

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Congress budget cuts have officially stalled ’s controversial Eisenhower Memorial, according to a recent report, rejecting $49 million in construction funds and cutting the Eisenhower Memorial Commission’s annual budget in half. Unless the commission is able to raise a substantial amount of private funds, as well as win support from the Eisenhower family (which is doubtful), Gehry’s “grandiose” memorial is unlikely to ever break ground. Despite this, the commission’s director is optimistic, stating that the FDR Memorial took nearly 45 years to get built. You can read more about the controversy here.

Snow Reveals Opportunities for Public Space

Image via This Old City.

Traffic imprints found in Philadelphia’s record snowfall has revealed some clever opportunities for . As reported by This Old City, formations have carved examples of unused streetscape that could be easily reclaimed as pedestrian space. This would not only improve traffic safety, but would also enhance the city’s walkability and desirability. Learn more and see examples here.

VIDEO: Klemens Torggler’s Mesmerizing, Rotating Door

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Austrian company Klemens Torggler have recently invented the “Evolution Door,” a very cool new door that slides itself open/closed – without the use of tracks. A special system of rotating squares means the door just requires a gentle nudge to close, and then momentum takes care of the rest. Words can’t really explain the cool factor, so check out the video above and another after the break!

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Insulation Grown From Fungi

Courtesy of Ecovative

Inspired by the woods of Vermont, a US startup have developed a system for using agricultural byproducts with fungal mycelium (a natural, self-assembling binder) to grow high performance insulation. Ecovative Mushroom® Insulation is seen as a viable competitor to plastic foams that can be found in both in packaging and building insulation, for which the project recently won second place in the  Product Innovation Challenge.

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Four Reasons Biking is Good For Business

Biking down ’s Market Street. Image © Flickr CC User Steven Vance

Aside from the environmental and health benefits provided by biking, cycle cities are proving to be profitable, which has begun to attract support from many US business leaders. Not only do bike-friendly streets increase the visibility and desirability of real estate, they also reduce the need to waste money (and space) on ample parking. In addition to this, as the Guardian’s Michael Andersen points out, bicyclists are the “perfect customer: the kind that comes back again and again.” Learn why else biking is good for business here.

Ziya Imren Wins Competition for Instanbul’s Beykoz School Complex

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Ziya İmren Architects has recently won an invited competition for the design of the Beykoz School complex in . The firm’s winning proposal distinguished itself by embedding its layout within the steep site’s natural surrounding and organizing school as a “cascading” hierarchy of spaces.

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Barkow Leibinger Places Third in Berlin’s Tallest Tower Competition

© Barkow Leibinger

In a competition that ultimately crowned Frank Gehry as winner, ’s Barkow Leibinger placed third with their 150-meter “faceted stacked building” proposal clad in glass. Aimed to be Berlin’s tallest building, the apartment and hotel tower is planned to be the city’s first high-rise residential development since the 1970s.

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Michael Bloomberg Named U.N. Envoy for Cities and Climate Change

NYC. Image © CC Flickr User Arturo Yee

Former mayor has been appointed to be the U.N. special envoy for cities and climate change. Upon receiving the news, Bloomberg tweeted: “Cities are taking measurable action to reduce emissions, emerging as leaders in the battle against climate change… I look forward to working with cities around the world and the UN to accelerate progress [to combat global warming].” You can read more here on USNews.

Raimund Abraham’s Last Project Realized at Former NATO Missile Base

© Tomas Riehle / Arturimages

Raimund Abraham’s last project, a “stunning” design for a building atop an unused NATO missile base in Hombroich, has been realized four years after the architect’s death. At the time of his passing, Abraham was working on this project as part of a unique outdoor art complex close to Düsseldorf, Germany. A competition has now been announced to determine the future for the space which has become an “an integral part of Hombroich’s cultural sphere.”

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Architectural League Announces 2014 Winners of Emerging Voices Award

Mud Box (Terry Mowers Residence) / | Photo:

The Architectural League of New York has announced the winners of their 32nd annual awards. The coveted recognition program spotlights eight emerging practitioners in North America whose “distinct design voices” have shown the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape design, and urbanism.

“The work of each Emerging Voice represents the best of its kind, and addresses larger issues within architecture, landscape, and the built environment,” described the League.  “This year, in particular, saw firms entrepreneurial in spirit, pursuing alternate forms of practice, often writing their own programs or serving as their own clients.”

This year’s eight Emerging Voices are…

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The Stadiums of Sochi

Fisht Olympic Stadium / Populous. Image © 2014 XXII Winter Olympic Games

The 2014 Winter has commenced in within the shell of Populous’ Fabergé egg-inspired stadium. Built solely to host the opening and closing ceremonies, the Fisht Olympic Stadium’s translucent polycarbonate roof bears a slight resemblance to the nearby, snow-capped peaks of the Caucasus Mountains. Once the Games are complete, the stadium’s 40,000-seat capacity will be expanded to accommodate the 2018 FIFA World Cup, before retiring as a scaled-down, 25,000-seat home venue for the local football team.

Populous’ stadium is just one of eleven purpose-built venues within the “Coastal Cluster” Olympic park. Check out a few others that caught our eye, after the break…

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Francine Houben Named AJ’s Woman Architect of the Year 2014

Architects’ Journal has just announced that Mecanoo’s has been chosen from an impressive shortlist of women architects as the winner of the Women in Architecture Awards.

In response to the honor, Francine Houben stated:“I feel privileged to be a woman, to be a mother and to be an architect, which was not always an easy combination. [...] I strongly believe that architecture is about teamwork, about being visionary and supportive at the same time. Women are especially good at that.”

More on Francine Houben, after the break…

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Reviewing RIBA’s City Health Report: Could Le Corbusier Have Been Right?

London’s Olympic Park came replete with plenty of green . Image © Anthony Charlton

The RIBA‘s recent report “City Health Check: How Design Can Save Lives and Money” looks at the relationship between city planning and public health, surveying the UK‘s 9 largest cities in a bid to improve public health and thereby save money for the National Health Service. The report includes useful information for city planners, such as the idea that in general, it is quality and not quantity of public space that is the biggest factor when it comes to encouraging people to walk instead of taking transport.

Read on for more of the results of the report – and analysis of these results – after the break

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David Adjaye’s Wakefield Market Hall Faces Demolition

Wakefield Market Hall /

Yorkshire councilors have indicated the demise of ’s first public project, the Wakefield Market Hall. Faced with harsh budget cuts, the local council is considering an offer by Sovereign Land, owner of the neighboring shopping complex, after the heavily subsidized 6-year-old market has consistently failed to attract enough business. If next week’s council vote sways in the developers favor, the £3 million structure will be bulldozed and replaced by a cinema. 

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Presido Trust Rejects Shortlisted Proposals, Calls Off Competition

Lucas Cultural Arts Museum © Art Zendarski

This week, just two weeks after the three shortlisted teams submitted their revised proposals for Crissy Field, ’s Presidio Trust unanimously decided to end the competition. Though the competition raised high hopes over its 14-month duration that the Trust would transform the prominent 8-acre site into a “cultural institution of distinction,” its fate has been left to the “wind,” as the SFGate’s John King reports. This means, neither ’ self-titled cultural arts museum, WRNS Studio and the Chora Group’s sustainability institute, or the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy’s  “park-based” cultural center will be realized. You can view each of the rejected proposals here and more details on the cancelation here.

Danish Maritime Museum / BIG, by Hufton + Crow

© Hufton + Crow

The talented photographers of Hufton + Crow have shared with us their visual archive of Bjarke Ingels’ recently completed Danish Maritime Museum. Built within the crevasse of a dry dock in the historic surrounds of Helsingor’s Kronborg Castle, the subterranean museum is visible only as an imprint of a ship. By looping the museum around the dock’s 60-year-old walls, Ingles was able to preserve the heritage structure while transforming it into a courtyard that provides daylight deep into the heart of the museum.

Experience the Danish Maritime Museum through a whole new lens, after the break…

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