Could Libraries Offer More in the Aftermath of Storms?

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath. Image © Governor’s Office / Tim Larsen

Zadie Smith recently suggested that libraries are “the only thing left on the high street that doesn’t want either your soul or your wallet.” Michael Kimmelman has put forward the argument in the New York Times that local libraries could be far more important than we think in the aftermath of large storms, suggesting that “places that serve us well every day serve us best when disaster strikes” by fostering congregational activity and offering well-needed warmth, power and friendly faces. You can read the full article here.

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Kimmelman Drafts To-Do List for Next NYC Mayor

© Richard Perry/The New York Times, via “Building a Better City”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 12-year reign has left an undeniable impression on the built environment, which transformed “whole swaths of the city” but also made it “increasingly unaffordable to many.” According to architectural critic Michael Kimmelman, “The next mayor can keep architecture and planning front and center or risk taking the city backward.” Understanding that “the social welfare of all is inextricable from their physical fabric,” Kimmelman has laid out a comprehensive, mayoral “to-do list” to “building a better city.” Read it here on the New York Times.

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OfficeUS Principals: Call for Fellowship Applications

OfficeUS is seeking five fellows to take on the role of Principals during the 2014 Venice Biennale at the US Pavilion. From May 23, 2014 through November 23, 2014, the Principals will speculate on and project new futures of a history of American architectural exports on exhibit at the pavilion. The work of will be published as a book and exhibited at Storefront for Art and Architecture in the spring of 2015.

The five Principals are emerging architects in the early to middle stages of their careers (less than 15 years out of school) with proven ability as creative hurricanes, tinkerers, provocateurs, code makers, code breakers or party hosts whose work represents the highest standard of excellence in design. Applicants must be able to balance engaging the biennale audience with the ability to focus on design work.

Submission deadline is December 2. For more information on the award, evaluation and schedule, please click here.

Zumtobel Group Award

As a result of its long experience of networking with leading architects, engineers and lighting designers, the Zumtobel Group knows that visionary solutions in architecture and urban planning can help reduce global energy consumption and at the same time improve the general quality of life. Against the backdrop of the finite nature of natural resources and in order to live up to its own high standards, the Zumtobel Group has announced the Zumtobel Group Award – Innovations for Sustainability and Humanity in the Built Environment for the fourth time. By doing so, the company is seeking to stimulate new developments and concepts in the built environment.

In the past, the Award was presented in two categories. For the 2014 submission a third category has been added to sharpen the focus on urban developments and applied innovations in the built environment. The three categories, each sponsored by a Zumtobel Group brand, are:

- Buildings (Zumtobel)
- Urban Developments & Initiatives (Thorn)
- Applied Innovations (Tridonic)

As in previous years, the Zumtobel Group Award 2014 will be held under the curatorship of Kristin Feireiss and Hans-Jürgen Commerell of Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin. Jury members include Elizabeth Diller, Bjarke Ingels, Winy Maas, and Kazuyo Sejima. For more information regarding categories and submission, please click here.

MoMA Enlists Six Architect Teams to Develop Proposals for Expanding Megacities

Morro do Alemão, Rio de Janeiro. 2012.. Image © Pedro Rivera, RUA Arquitetos

The Museum of Modern Art () has collaborated with Vienna’s Museum of Applied Arts (MAK) to launch a 14-month initiative that will examine new architectural possibilities that address the rapid and uneven growth of six global metropolises: New York, Rio de Janeiro, Mumbai, Lagos, Hong Kong, and Istanbul.

Organized by Pedro Gadanho, Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities enlists six interdisciplinary teams of international architecture and urbanism scholars, experts, and practitioners to participate in a series of workshops, with each team focusing on a specific city. 

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Copenhagen in 2050

© Flickr CC User minniemouseaunt

As explained by this article in the Guardian, planners in Copenhagen are thinking ahead – to the years 2050 and even 2100 -  to propose plans that will cope with the storms and floods that will threaten the low-lying city due to climate change. From ”percolating pavements,” “pocket parks” and “cloudburst boulevards,” read about some of the innovative measures they are proposing, many of which are now being adopted around the world, here.

SHoP Architects’ Super Tall Tower Approved, Sets Precedent for NYC

Courtesy of SHoP Architects

UPDATE: SHoP Architects’ ultra-thin, 100-unit apartment tower has now won approval from the New York City Landmarks Commission. Once complete in 2016, the 1,350-foot structure will offer luxury apartments that peer down at the Empire State Building and rise just above the One World Trade Center’s roofline.

When Vishaan Chakrabarti, principal at ShoP Architects, spoke recently of building high-density cities, he meant it.

Renderings from the architecture firm show Manhattan‘s skyline will soon welcome its newest “” building, a strikingly skinny residential tower rising 411 meters (1,350 feet) on a puny 13 meter (43 feet) wide site just two blocks south of Central Park.

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How Much Do Architects Earn Around the World?

Construction is Booming in China – but do the salaries match the opportunities? Via Flickr CC. Image © Juan Carlos Madrigal

In today’s globalized, Recession-reeling world, architects may just be better of changing location – but where is work to be found? And where are the best salaries? Last year, we asked ArchDaily readers where the best places in the world are to find work, and we got hundreds of responses that generated an important conversation. But we need to deepen the conversation – and we need your help.

Read after the break to find out how you can help…

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Benedetta Tagliabue to Recieve 2013 RIBA Jencks Award

. Image Courtesy of RIBA

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced Italian architect Benedetta Tagliabue as the 2013 recipient of the annual for her contributions internationally to both the theory and practice of architecture.

Upon announcing the news, Charles Jencks stated: “I am delighted to announce that the judging panel of the 2013 RIBA Jencks Award was unanimous in premiating the extraordinary talent and career that Benedetta Tagliabue has had, particularly while leading the EMBT Miralles Tagliabue studio to create a tough, warm, surprising, complex and open-ended architecture that is very much like the city from where it springs, Barcelona.”

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Secret Google Project Could Transform Construction Industry

Google’s HQ, the Googleplex, in Moutain View, California. Google X is a secret facility run by Google located about a half mile from here. Image Courtesy of ArchDaily Instagram Feed (@archdaily)

Google’s secret development department, Google X (responsible for Google’s very cool, although non-core initiatives, such as Google Glass and driverless cars) is reportedly working on a new that could transform the construction industry – as well as architecture itself. It goes by the name of “Genie.”

According to Globes, a report from Genie’s development team, addressed to Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, describes the invention as a cloud-based collaboration platform with “planning applications to help architects and engineers in the design process, especially for skyscrapers and large buildings. The platform includes planning tools of expert architects and engineers and advance analytics and simulation tools.”

The report also emphasized Genie’s potential to transform the conservative construction industry, one of the most profitable and the most wasteful, by making it more efficient and environmentally friendly at the level of design, construction, and maintenance. The report suggests the invention could save 30-50% in construction costs and 30-50% of the time spent between planning and market; moreover, it could generate $120 billion a year.

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Shortlist Announced for Oslo’s July 22 Memorial Sites

The island of Utøya.

Eight candidates have been selected for the second phase of the international to design two national public art memorial sites to commemorate the 2011 terror attacks in and on the island of Utøya. Selected from over 300 artists and architects from 46 different countries,  the Art Selection Committee have shortlisted the following candidates:

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Unanimous Approval for Apple’s Cupertino Campus

Courtesy of MacRumors.com

UPDATE: Although having already cleared a preliminary vote, the HQ was given unanimous approval from the Cupertino council yesterday. One “largely perfunctory” vote remains for November 15th. Detailed images, after the break.

Richard Nieva (CNET) reports that plans for Apple’s new corporate headquarters have been approved by Cupertino’s planning commission (the final, deciding vote will be in May November 2014). The “spaceship”, designed by Foster + Partners in collaboration with Kier & Wright, will cover 2.8 million square feet, host up to 14,000 employees, include ”a 600-seat restaurant with four-story glass sliding doors”, be surrounded by over 6000 trees, and – to top it off – come with a price tag close to $5 billion.

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BIG Selected to Design Mixed-Use Complex in San Francisco

Section Model. Image ©

In an effort to reestablish Mid-Market as an arts district in , developer Joy Ou has commissioned BIG to design a mixed-use arts, housing and hotel complex on 950 Market St. As the San Francisco Business Times reports, Group I is collaborating with the Thacher family and the nonprofit 950 Center for Art & Education to develop the project, which could potentially include a 250-room hotel, 316 residential units, a 75,000-square-foot arts complex, and 15,000 square feet of retail. The project will be BIG’s first in the Bay Area.

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Central Mosque of Pristina Competition Entry / Dürig AG

Courtesy of

Another noteworthy proposal for the Central Mosque of Pristina in Kosovo; this time, from Zurich-based architecture firm, Dürig AG. They envision the new as an interplay between the individual and the community. “Mosques are places of worship for the Islamic community where the single believer joins a larger body for the ceremonial act of worship and prayer.” Singular elements combine to make a larger, more meaningful, whole. “Thus, [our proposal] stands as a materialized representation for the individual within the Islamic community of Kosovo.”

Natural daylight softly descends through the modulated plenum, creating a uniform prayer hall. Perforations throughout the facade and interior wooden panels enable a visual transparency that, Dürig AG expects, should spawn a dialogue between individuals inside the mosque and pedestrians in the city.

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AHMM to Design London’s New Metropolitan Police HQ

Winning Design (Allford Hall Monaghan Morris). Image Courtesy of Greater Authority (GLA)

Following the news last month that the RIBA and the Mayor of London’s Office revealed the five shortlisted designs for the new Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) headquarters, it has been announced that Allford Hall Monaghan Morris‘s (AHMM) design has won. The attracted submissions from the likes of Foster + PartnersAllies & MorrisonKeith Williams Architects and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. AHMM’s proposal will be located in London’s Whitehall Conservation Area and is set for completion in 2015.

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Grimshaw to Design World’s Largest Terminal in Istanbul

Istanbul. Image Courtesy of Grimshaw

Following a competitive interview process Grimshaw, in partnership with , has been appointed by the Turkish consortium of Cengiz, Mapa, Limak, Kolin and Kalyon to design the terminal complex for Istanbul New Airport

Located on the Black Sea coast, some 35km outside of Istanbul, the ambitious six-runway development, masterplanned by Arup, will be delivered in four phases. The first phase will open in 2019 and aims to serve 90 million passengers per year. This will increase to 150 million passengers per annum once fully complete. The new will include the world’s largest terminal, with a gross floor area close to one million square meters.

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What Happens When Smart Cities Malfunction?

Image via Flickr CC user. Image © Mark Allerton

An interesting essay by Anthony Townsend in Design Observer investigates a largely unconsidered aspect of smart cities: what happens if (or perhaps when) they malfunction? Townsend argues that as technology seeps into every aspect of our life within a complex system such as a smart city, glitches and bugs are likely to be magnified many times. He also explains that many of the communications systems that will rely on are insufficiently resilient, meaning entire cities could be vulnerable to failure or attack – an issue that will not sit well with the AIA. You can read the whole essay here.

The 10 Best Emerging Designers Right Now

Pernilla Ohrstedt worked on Coca-Cola’s ‘Beat Box’ Pavilion at the London 2012 Olympics. Image via Flickr CC. Image © Roger Meyer

In their quest to find the best emerging young designers in the world, Metropolis Magazine reached out to critics, curators and other industry leaders to get their picks for the most promising young professionals in the worlds of architecture, art, graphic design and product design. The results feature a trend towards interdisciplinary and collaborative work. Particular highlights are Pernilla Ohrstedt, selected by John Cary of Public Interest Design; Elliott Hedman, selected by President of IDEO Tim Brown and Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg selected by Paola Antonelli of MoMA. You can view all the selections here.