In response an outrage that broke out amongst Democrats and Republicans, after House Speaker John Boehner failed to vote for Sandy relief before the end of the Congressional session two days ago, the House of Representatives have approved a $9.7 billion relief measure to aid flood victims of Hurricane Sandy. This is good news, as the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) recently warned that it would soon run out of funding if no measures were taken. Senate approval is likely to come later in the day and a second congressional vote is scheduled to take place on January 15 for a larger $51 billion request.
Understanding the importance of issuing this federal support, AIA President Mickey Jacob has offer Congress three key objects for helping these communities recover.
Read AIA President Jacob’s letter to congress and his three objectives after the break…
What are the first words that come to mind when you think of the the Eiffel Tower, the Chrysler Building, the Burj Khalifa? Extraordinary? Impressive? Iconic?
For Spanish architecture office and collective, PKMN [pac-man], a skyline isn’t just a symbol of a city’s identity, it’s also rich ground for reinterpretation and play. The firm has taken 4 iconic buildings from their hometown of Madrid and have – Transformers-style – turned them into 4 funky games. For PKMN, it’s all about taking ownership of these corporate-owned buildings, giving them back to the people who live amongst them.
Plus, there’s Ping-Pong and mini-golf involved. What’s not to love about that?
Check out all of the buildings-turned-games, after the break…
Singapore’s Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) is moving forward with its next phase of development and will soon construct a distinct new addition. The new S$5.5 million wing, designed by GreenhiLi Consultants, will be a stark contrast to the 19th-century, neoclassic original structure, as it features a modern structure clad in titanium that will float weightlessly above a glass encased atrium.
This atrium will continue up, filling the interstitial spaces between the old and new structure, while connecting the galleries on all three levels and revealing parts of the interior gallery to street-level pedestrians. (more…)
For decades, schools have slowly morphed into prison-like facilities with artificially lit rooms and barricaded playgrounds. However, the trend is beginning to shift. With a highlight on sustainable design, a focus on safety and an increased demand on positive learning environments, more people are paying attention to the way we design our schools.
In light of this, the University of Salford in Manchester and the architects of Nightingale Associates have released the results of a year-long pilot study revealing the significant impact well-designed learning environments have on a student’s academic achievement over a year, which is proven to be as much as 25 percent!
Professor Peter Barrett, School of the Built Environment, University of Salford said: “It has long been known that various aspects of the built environment impact on people in buildings, but this is the first time a holistic assessment has been made that successfully links the overall impact directly to learning rates in schools. The impact identified is in fact greater than we imagined and the Salford team is looking forward to building on these clear results.”
More on the study after the break… (more…)
Breaking news from Tel Aviv: The Wolf Foundation has announced that Pritzker Prize laureate Eduardo Souto de Moura will be honored with Israel’s prestigious Wolf Prize. The Portuguese architect was named “to reward his advancement of the craft and ideas of architecture.”
Since 1978, Wolf recipients have been annually award to honor those who have advanced the fields of art and science. Often, they are considered to be strong contenders for Nobel prizes, as about one out of every three laureates in chemistry, physics and medicine have gone to receive the Nobel.
Learn more after the break… (more…)
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today issued the following statement in reaction to the House and Senate votes approving the “Fiscal Cliff” deal negotiated by Congressional leaders earlier this week. The statement should be attributed to AIA President Mickey Jacob, FAIA:
“On the plus side, the agreement prevents a tax increase on millions of Americans and small businesses. It also extends several business tax incentives that help create jobs and promote design and construction, including for schools and energy efficient homes.”
More after the break…
Eleven Zaha Hadid projects are currently being constructed in China, however one of them has the international architecture mogul seeing double. Unfortunately, Hadid has found herself in a race to finish the Wangjing SOHO office and retail complex in Beijing before pirates complete their doppelgänger version in Chongqing, a megacity near the eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau.
As reported on Spiegel Online, the Dame claimed that the pirates are currently in the lead and building faster than SOHO. The original, which is set for completion in 2014, features three curved towers whose “shimmering”, metallic skin unifies the complex as each volume appears to “dance” around each other.
Hadid is not the first to be mimicked in China. Last year, a small UNESCO-protected village in Austria, Hallstatt, was recreated, brick for brick, in the subtropical district of Guangdong, China. You can find the complete story here. (more…)
With both Heathro and Gatwick pushing their limits, it is imperative that the UK begins to move forward with expanding their global aviation capacity. Over the years, multiple proposals have been presented, including Norman Foster’s “London Britannia Airport”. Now, Beckett Rankine has unveiled an inventive, offshore proposal located on the Goodwin sands in UK territorial waters nearly three kilometres off the east coast of Kent.
Continue after the break to learn more. (more…)
Three influential groups have been chosen by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to receive the 2013 Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement. The award recognizes and encourages distinguished achievements of allied professionals, clients, organizations, architect teams, knowledge communities, and others who have had a beneficial influence on or advanced the architectural profession.
This year’s award goes to: the Chicago Architecture Foundation for DiscoverDesign.org, the Palm Springs Modern Committee (PS ModCom), and the DC Preservation League. Continue reading to learn how these three programs have had a positive impact on the profession. (more…)
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced two recipients of the 2013 Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture. In category one, the institute recognized Michael Pyatok, FAIA, of Oakland’s Pyatok Architects, as an architect who has dedicated his career to the theory and practice of public housing design. And, in category three, Ginnie Cooper, Chief Librarian and Executive Director of the District of Columbia Public Libraries, has been honored for spearheading the recent renaissance in library construction and renovation in the nation’s capital.
This year’s award recipients will be honored and receive their awards at the 2013 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Denver.
On the advice of English Heritage, architecture minister Ed Vaizey has listed Norman Foster’s first major public building: the 1977 Sainsbury Centre at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, in the United Kingdom. According to BDOnline, the popular public art museum, which houses the collection of Lord and Lady Sainsbury, was granted grade II* protection for its innovative engineering, fine design, historic association, flexibility and group value. Its revolutionary design features an innovative, prefabricated modular structure that is cleverly designed to allow for subsequent extension.
Vaizey described: “Norman Foster’s design for the Sainsbury Centre is recognized around the world as a high point of the British ‘high-tech’ movement and, by any standards, a modern classic.”
Read Foster’s response after the break. (more…)
After months of an “arduous” public reviewing process, BIG’s eye-catching West 57th apartment building in Manhattan has been approved by the City Planning Commission. The atypical design quickly gained international attention with its abruptly sloped, tetrahedral shape that rises from three stories to thirty-eight stories on an awkwardly sized single block site. Cleverly titled W57, the unique project was “born of logic”, as New York Magazine’s Justin Davidson would describe. It features a massive, football-sized courtyard with stunning Hudson River views and outdoor terraces for all 753 residents, along with a vibrant street life and close proximity to the Hudson River Park.
“Our approval will facilitate development of a significant new building with a distinctive pyramid-like shaped design and thoughtful site plan that integrates the full block site into the evolving residential, institutional, and commercial neighborhood surrounding it,” stated City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden before voting in favor of the project.
Find out what it took to get W57 passed, after the break… (more…)
Construction has exploded along the High Line ever since it opened: condos hover over the rehabilitated track and look out onto the Hudson, while the new location of the Whitney Museum is making headway on the southern end of the park as Google moves into its NYC headquarters to a building just a few short blows away. Now, the historic Chelsea Market may be looking at a facelift following approval from the New York City Council for increasing density in the building by developers, Jamestown Properties. The proposed vertical extension, which has made a brief appearance on a few architecture blogs, will provide the additional in demand office and retail space in the Chelsea neighborhood. (more…)
Shining in the heart of New York City at 57th Street and Fifth Avenue, the UNICEF Snowflake is a special symbol for the world’s most vulnerable children. It hangs as a reminder of UNICEF’s commitment to reach a day when zero children die from preventable causes. Hanging at its location in the big city, throughout the winter season, the largest outdoor chandelier of its kind is designed by German lighting and industrial designer Ingo Maurer, along with leading French crystal manufacturers Baccarat. The iconic UNICEF Snowflake has 12 double-sided branches adorned with 16,000 dazzling crystal prisms handcrafted in the small village of Baccarat, France. Names can be engraved upon the New York City landmark while helping children around the world in need. For more information, and to find out how you can donate, please visit here. A video of the symbol of a beacon of hope for children can be viewed after the break. (more…)
CLOG recently announced their call for submissions for their upcoming SCI-FI issue, which has been inspired by a the recent rise of a number of designs from significant international offices exhibiting a striking resemblance to science fiction icons, such as the Death Star. In doing so, they are demonstrating the impact this genre has had on the creative imagination of a generation. As science fiction continues to both draw upon historic and contemporary architecture while simultaneously influencing future design, it is time to critically examine the improbable made possible: SCI-FI. Submissions are due no later than January 21. For more information, please visit here.
A shortlist of six international teams has been chosen to advance to the second stage of the architectural competition for the Museum and Educational Center of the Polytechnic Museum and Lomonosov Moscow State University.
The competition’s objective is to create a Museum and Educational Center that will compliment the historic Moscow Polytechnic Museum – one of the largest and oldest technical museums in the world – on the new territory of the Moscow State University (MSU). The new center is envisaged as a meeting point for the Russian and international scientific community. It will demonstrate the most recent scientific and technological discoveries using state-of-the-art multimedia technologies, for accommodating multiple displays and exhibitions as well as for conducing scientific educational programs for over 1.3 million annual visitors.
The shortlisted design teams are: (more…)
The Governor General of Canada, David Johnston, has bestowed Officer of the Order of Canada – one of Canada’s highest honors – to Toronto architect Marianne McKenna of Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects. Similar to the Order of the British Empire in Britain and the Kennedy Center Honors for artists in the United States, the award recognizes Canadians for a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.
Office of the Secretary to the Governor General stated: (more…)
Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas has been announced as winner of an international competition to design and construct the first cultural center in Chengdu, China. In their winning proposal, Fuksas combined four, elliptical shaped buildings with a spiral structure to create an inclusive artist complex that offers a center for the performing arts, a cultural center, offices Writer and Literary Association, and an apartment building for artists.
Learn more about the Chengdu Tianfu Cultural and Performance Center after the break. (more…)