Critical Round-Up: Tate Britain Renovation, Caruso St. John

Lower level rotunda, Tate Britain – Courtesy Caruso St. John and Tate. Image © Helene Binet

London’s Tate Britain, a partner gallery to the Tate Modern (who recently appointed Herzog & de Meuron to design a new extension), recently unveiled Caruso St. John‘s transformation of the oldest part of the iconic Grade II* listed Millbank building. The £45 million project to restore, renovate and reinterpret one of the UK’s most important galleries has been met with a largely positive critical response; read the conclusions of The Financial Times’ Edwin Heathcote, The Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright,  The Independent’s Jay Merrick, the Journal’s Hugh Pearman, and the Architects’ Journal’s Rory Olcayto, after the break…

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Bing Thom Architects to Design University of Chicago Center in Hong Kong

Mount Davis, . Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

The University of Chicago has chosen to design a new home for the Chicago Booth Asia Executive MBA Program in Hong Kong. The center will begin construction in October 2014 on Mount Davis, a heritage site that was originally used as a military encampment for the British Army in the 1940s and then a detention center.

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Call for Proposals: A Landmark for Santiago

To commemorate its Bicentennial, the Chilean government has launched an initiative called “Bicentennial Legacy” to regenerate, revitalize, and consolidate the public spaces, heritage sites, and urban icons of the country.

As part of this program, ’s President, Sebastian Piñera, has proposed the “Plan Parque Metropolitano 100 Años”, which outlines projects that are to be developed within the Metropolitan Park of . This urban park is the principal public space within the city and is located on San Cristobal Hill, the geographical/metaphorical heart of the city. 

One of these projects is the construction of a tower that will consolidate the numerous antennas currently located throughout the hill into a single infrastructure. 

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Winners of the First Old Doha Competition Announced

Courtesy of 2013 Year of Culture

Alicja Borkowska and Iris Papadatou from you&me architects have been announced as the UK winners of the inaugural Old Doha Prize, a competition to redesign part of the old city of Doha in Qatar

Four teams of architects have “worked intensively to develop contextual design responses to address the challenge of regenerating and maintaining the heritage of the city” as part of a British-Qatari collaborative project to “reimagine the urban landscape of old Doha.” As a city defined by its strong heritage, coupled with ambitious plans for the future, the competition aimed to discover ways of regenerating parts of the city centre in a sustainable, yet vibrant, way.

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Taipei Announced as 2016 World Design Capital

OMA’s Performing Arts Center Set for Completion in 2015.

It’s official: Taipei has been selected as the 2016 (WDC). This doesn’t come by surprise, as back in August they were the only city selected by International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) to move onto the competition’s final round.

The city campaigned under the slogan “Adaptive City: Design in Motion,” focusing on how design can improve the living standards of their citizens. To strengthen their campaign, officials proposed 20 projects under the “Public Policy by Design” program that intended to strengthen the connection between designers, the public and funders. Over 600 workshops have already been conducted, encouraging collaboration between the city’s top officials and design professionals, and many more are scheduled to take place.

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OMA’s De Rotterdam Becomes Screen for Stunning Video Projection

YouTube Preview Image

Last night, the facade of Rem Koolhaas’ critically-acclaimed skyscraper – De Rotterdam – became the screen for the largest video mapping project ever displayed in Europe. The A15 Project, an initiative of Natuur & Mielieu, re-envisions the A15, the Netherlands’ busy highway, into a “sustainable highway.” Check it out in the video above!

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Paperhouses: Architecture in Open Source

Tatiana Bilbao S.C.’s design for Paperhouses, The Module House. Image Courtesy of Paperhouses

“Architecture does not change anything. It’s always on the side of the wealthy. The important thing is to believe that it can make life better.” — Oscar Niemeyer

As much as we’d care to deny it, Niemeyer makes a valid point here. Architecture is almost always “on the side of the wealthy”; the profession, as it has existed for about a century, rarely changes anything; and yet – and yet – it can make life better. If only for a select few.

But what if architecture could make life better for the many. What if good-quality, life-bettering architecture were open-source and available to download off the internet? For free?

Well, thanks to Paperhouses, it already is.

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2014 Cambodia Live Build Workshop

Building Trust is a non-profit charity founded in 2010. Last month, we featured one of the schools they have worked on in Thailand, and they now have a number of sustainable design and build projects in during 2014, including a health center, a school, a wildlife conservation project and housing.

They are offering hands on participatory workshops where you will gain experience in sustainable building techniques and understand more about humanitarian design while building worthwhile projects that will have a huge benefit to the local community and local wildlife. Due to the fact they will have a number of projects on the ground you will gain an insight into a number of building techniques and architectural styles.

For more information please click here.

III Moscow Urban Forum – “Megacities: Success Beyond the Centre”

Urban Forum is an international conference on city planning, urban development and related subjects. The Forum has been held annually in since 2011 with the support of the Government, and with the Urban Land Institute as international partner. Moscow Urban Forum is a platform for an exchange of ideas where the heads of the largest cities in Russia and the world have an opportunity to discuss topics and projects of concern with the representatives of the international expert community. 

“Megacities: Development Beyond the Centre” is the topic of the III Moscow Urban Forum. The topic is up-to-date and relevant not only for the capital and most Russian cities with a population of over 1 million people, but also for megacities all over the world.

 Global urban planning gurus experienced in developing suburbs are ready to share their ideas – on how to resolve the problems of deprived outskirts, how to transform “dead” zones in towns into socially beneficial areas for work and leisure, and make a city environmentally sound and comfortable for living at a low cost, and how to create a transport system that is convenient for its citizens. They include Enrique Peñalosa, former Mayor of Bogota, Colombia, and President of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, ; the expert on suburban redevelopment Ellen Dunham-Jones, the founder of the charity “Architecture for Humanity” Cameron Sinclair, among others

The Forum will also server as the occasion for the City Festival, a unique opportunity to showcase ideas for the city of Moscow and connect with its citizens. More details: 

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Frank Gehry to Submit Grand Avenue Vision to L.A. City Officials

First images released of Gehry’s Grand Avenue scheme for .. Image

After reviewing proposals from a selection of other firms, Related Companies has chosen to move forward with ’s Grand Avenue vision for Los Angeles. The design, which abandons the fluid forms of Gehry’s original scheme, has been described by critic Christopher Hawthorne as “significantly more exuberant and suggestive of L.A. culture” than Gensler and Robert A.M. Stern Architects’ recently rejected proposal

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2013 Hong Kong Biennale, UABB (Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism /Architecture)

Now in its 5th edition, the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism / Architecture (UABB) is the only biennial exhibition in the world to be based exclusively on the themes of and urbanization. The Biennale is co-organized by Shenzhen and Hong Kong, two of the most intensely urban cities in the world, where political and economical contexts have shaped unique urban dynamics.

The Hong Kong Biennale is led by Chief Curator Prof. Colin Fournier along with Joshua Lau and Allen Poon of TETRA and Travis Bunt and Tat Lam of URBANUS. As reported earlier, the Shenzhen edition will be curated by Ole Bouman and Team Li Xiangning + Jeffrey Johnson.

As Asia’s leading architecture, design and planning event, it will exhibit work by leading international and local design professionals and engage in a three month cultural dialogue that will include satellite exhibitions, performances, fi lm screenings, forums, workshops, guided tours and lectures.

The Biennale “will be informed by the singularity of Hong Kong but it will not be primarily about Hong Kong, just as the Venice Biennale is not about Venice: it will be about the cities of the world, making use of the unique bi-city setting of the Biennale as a platform to address global issues in a visionary and critical way.”

ArchDaily will be present at the opening of the Shenzhen edition to bring you all the insights of the event.

Curatorial statement below:

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Round Up: Ingenious Interiors

Cinema Center in Matadero de Legazpi / ch+qs arquitectos. Image © FG+SG

The winners of the 2013 Interior Design Excellence Awards and the Great Indoors Awards have been announced, showcasing an innovative range of projects from around the world. We’ve rounded up some of the best of these award-winning interiors just for you, including: the origami-inspired, timber battens of Assemble Studio; the fantastic basketry of the Cinema Center in Matadero de Legazpi, by Churtichaga & Quadra Salcedo Architects; OHLAB’s golden Relojería Alemana; El Equipo Creativo’s PAKTA Restaurant of looms; and Breathe Architecture’s rebellious metallic and wooden Captain Melville. Enjoy!

Elevated Park Planned for World Trade Center

Early Schematic Rendering of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and Liberty Park. Image Courtesy of Tribeca Citizen

The World Trade Center’s “best-kept secret” has been revealed. As reported by the Times, the Port Authority released details on what will be “Liberty Park,” an acre-sized, elevated park lifted 25 feet above Liberty Street on the WTC site. Planned for completion in 2015, the $50 million landscaped terrace will connect the financial district with Battery Park City, while providing a panoramic view of the National September 11 Memorial and serving as a forecourt for the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. More information on Liberty Park can be found here.

Zaha Hadid Defends Qatar Stadium from Critics

Courtesy of ZHA

In an exclusive interview with TIME, has finally responded to the claims – voiced most notably by Jon Stewart - that her design for the Al Wakrah Stadium (what will be ’s stadium for the 2022 World Cup) resembles female genitalia (Stewart in fact called Hadid the “Georgia O’Keeffe of things you can walk inside“).

“It’s really embarrassing that they come up with nonsense like this. What are they saying? Everything with a hole in it is a vagina? That’s ridiculous.” Hadid also goes on to suggest that “if a guy had done this project,” these “lewd” comparisons would not have been made. Read the full story at TIME.com.

SHoP Architects Selected for Design of Iconic Site in Downtown Detroit

© Rock Ventures LLC

One of Detroit’s most prominent vacant sites is slated to become one of its most iconic buildings. SHoP Architects will partner with -based Hamilton Anderson Associates to transform the site formerly occupied by Hudson’s Department Store. Located at Grand River and Gratiot in the city’s Central Business District, the two-acre site has remained a scar in the urban landscape since the implosion of the Hudson’s building in 1998.

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Herzog & de Meuron to Design AstraZeneca Headquarters in Cambridge

Courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron

Biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has commissioned Herzog & de Meuron to design their new Global R&D Centre and Corporate Headquarters. Planned for the Biomedical Campus on the southern outskirts of the city, the new £330m project will be home to one of the company’s three global strategic research and development centres as well as its corporate headquarters.

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Giveaway: Lina Bo Bardi

Courtesy of

UPDATE: Congrats to Susana Duarte of Portugal, winner of the “Lina Bo Bardi” giveaway! Thank you to all those who participated. Keep your eyes peeled for another fantastic giveaway, courtesy of Yale University Press, in the coming weeks. 

Our friends at Yale University Press have offered to give one of our readers a newly released copy of Lina Bo Bardi by Zeuler R.M. de la Lima; with an introduction by Barry Bergdoll.

“Architecture and architectural freedom are above all a social issue that must be seen from inside a political structure, not from outside it,” – Lina Bo Bardi, 1974

This is the first comprehensive study of the Italian-Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi (1914-1992) and the first book about Bo Bardi ever published in English. Lina Bo Bardi (November 26) frames the influential designer’s activities on two continents and in five to consider how ethics, politics, and social inclusiveness influenced Bo Bardi’s intellectual engagement with modern architecture. This unprecedented volume provides an authoritative guide to her experimental, ephemeral, and iconic works.

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

You have until Monday, December 2nd to submit your answers. The winner will be contacted the following day. Good luck! 

Is the Open Plan Bad for Us?

One Workplace by Design Blitz. Image © Bruce Damonte

The concept of the revolutionized architecture  - promising light, space, and effortless collaboration (not to mention a more cost-effective way of getting lots of people into one space). Today, it’s practically become a standard of design – but at what cost?

A new report from researchers Jungsoo Kim and Richard de Dear, published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, concludes that the open plan comes with some serious collateral damage – namely a lack of “sound privacy” – which outweighs its positive qualities. What’s more, according to their results, the open plan doesn’t even make a measurable improvement in communication at all.

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