3 Student-Designed Pavilions from DS10 to be Built at Burning Man

Bismuth Bivouac / Jon Leung

Three students from Diploma Studio 10 (DS10) at the University of Westminster have received grants to see their designs realized at this year’s Burning Man festival. The projects - The Infinity Tree, Reflection, and Bismuth Bivouac - are temporary pavilions that will provide respite for festival-goers, each with a unique experiential quality to captivate the masses.

Drawing upon the 2015 theme “Carnival of Mirrors,” the three pavilions will explore the illusory and enchanting qualities of old-fashioned carnival culture while serving as functional spaces of rest and shelter from the Black Rock Desert sun. These and other installations will make up a “temporary metropolis” from August 30 to September 7.

More on the designs and their Kickstarter campaign, after the break. 

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Nepal’s Historic Architecture Destroyed By Earthquake

The Dharahara Tower, a defining feature of the Kathmandu skyline has been destroyed by the earthquake. Image © Flickr CC user Oliphant

Just one of the many tragedies involved in the devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday – which as of this morning is known to have claimed the lives of over 3,500 people - is its effect on the historic architecture of the region. Home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the affected regions of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, news outlets from the BBC to The Washington Post are reporting extensive damage to some of the country’s most significant monuments.

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schmidt hammer lassen Reveal Chirstchurch’s New Central Library

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schmidt hammer lassen architects, together with New Zealand-based Architectus, has unveiled plans for Chirstchurch‘s New Central Library (NCL). An “anchor project” for the city’s 2010 and 2011 earthquake Recovery Plan, the new 12,000-meter library will built by 2018 on the northern edge of Cathedral Square – ´s key civic space defined by ’s Cathedral.

It is hoped that the NCL will become an important gathering space within the city, offering easy access to digital technologies and local heritage collections, as well as exhibition and performance space, a learning center, indoor and outdoor areas of relaxation, and activities for young citizens.

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RIBA Future Trends Survey Reveals A “Healthy Uplift”

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The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for March 2015 has ”bounced back strongly” in comparison to February, as the workload index rose to +36 from +26 last month. Private housing and the commercial sector remains strong, while uncertainty still surrounds forecasts in the public sector. Workload forecast balance figures have remained high, the highest numbers being reported from practices in  (+42) and in the south of England (+39). In addition, large and medium sized practices have reported confidence about staffing levels, while small practices remain “more circumspect.”

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Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book of Real and Imagined Cities From Around the World

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Canadian artist Steve McDonald has released “Fantastic Cities,” an illustrated coloring book featuring 60 cities from around the world. From Paris to New York, Tokyo to Istanbul, the illustrations will take any architect or urban planner back to childhood times. 

The book, with 48 full-view pages of real and imaginary places, is on sale Amazon and Chronicle Books. Take a look inside, after the break. 

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Daniel Libeskind’s “Future Flowers” Represent Oikos at Milan Design Week

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Daniel Libeskind, together with Italian paint company Oikos, has transformed the Università Statale’s Pharmacy Courtyard into a garden of “Future Flowers” as part of the 2015 Milan Design Week. On view through May 24, the installation was inspired by one of Libeskind’s “Chamberwork” drawings. It features a series of intersecting red metal “blades” that represent a collection of Oikos paints developed by Libeskind.

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Spotlight: I.M. Pei

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Chinese-American architect Ieoh Ming Pei (born April 26, 1917), is arguably the greatest living member of the modernist generation of architects. When he received his Pritzker Prize in 1983, the jury citation stated that he “has given this century some of its most beautiful interior spaces and exterior forms.”

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Spotlight: William Pereira

Courtesy of UC Irvine Special Collections and Archives

Winner of the 1942 Acadamy Award for Best Special Effects, William Pereira (April 25, 1909 – November 13, 1985) also designed some of America’s most iconic examples of futurist architecture, with his heavy stripped down functionalism becoming the symbol of many US institutions and . Working with his more prolific film-maker brother Hal Pereira, ’s talent as an art director translated into a long and prestigious career creating striking and idiosyncratic buildings across the West Coast of America.

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TU/e Students to Build Leonardo da Vinci’s Bridge Out of Ice

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Students from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) will attempt to beat the world-record for the longest open span attained by an ice structure by constructing an ice bridge inspired by Leonardo da Vinci. Following a yearly tradition of exhibiting architecture made from ice, the  is anticipated to span an astounding 50 meters. If the team succeeds, they will shatter the school’s previous record set in 2014 when students built an ice dome spanning 30 meters.

Read on after the break for more on the massive ice bridge.

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The 17 Top Architect-Designed Products at Milan Design Week 2015

Re-launch of Meinhard von Gerkan’s Berlin Chair / gmp architekten. Image © Peter Schumacher, Stuttgart, Germany

The 54th edition of Milan Design Week (also known as Salone del Mobile) recently came to a close. In celebration of its success, we have compiled a list of the most talked about architect-designed products showcased this year. Take a look after the break to see new products from Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, David Chipperfield, and more.

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Diana Agrest Named One of NPR’s “50 Great Teachers”

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Hailed as one of “50 Great Teachers” by NPR, ivy-league architecture professor ’s out-of-the-box teaching methods have brought her to the forefront of studio academia. A testament to her instruction, her students have gone on to attain some of the most prestigious awards for creative pursuits, including the Pritzker Prize and the MacArthur “genius grant.” With her belief that architects’ work should be informed by multiple disciplines, Agrest has developed a teaching style to push the boundaries of traditional studio culture and challenge her students to explore the built environment through various lenses, particularly film. Read NPR’s full article on Agrest, here.

Christo’s Floating Piers Will Let You Walk on Water in Italy

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By adjoining 200,000 fabric-lined floatable components, Christo hopes to allow the residents of two mainland towns in Italy‘s Lombardy region to walk on water for a duration of two weeks in June 2016. If approved, the ”Floating Piers” would connect both towns with the Lake Iseo islands via an extended, brightly colored fabric dock that would stretch across two miles.

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From Prisons to Parks: How the US Can Capitalize On Its Declining Prison Populations

The Former Bangalore jail in India, now Freedom Park . Image © Flickr CC user abhisheksundaram

Prisons are often seen as problematic for their local communities. After centuries of correctional facilities discouraging economic growth and occupying valuable real estate as a necessary component of towns and cities, many of these institutions have been relocated away from city centers and their abandoned vestiges are left as unpleasant reminders of their former use. In fact, the majority of prisons built in the United States since 1980 have been placed in non-metropolitan areas and once served as a substantial economic development strategy in depressed rural communities. [1] However, a new pressure is about to emerge on the US prison systems: beginning in 2010, America’s prison population declined for the first time in decades, suggesting that in the near future repurposing these structures will become a particularly relevant endeavor for both community development and economic sustainability. These abandoned shells offer architects valuable opportunities to reimagine programmatic functions and transform an otherwise problematic location into an integral neighborhood space.

Why repurpose prisons rather than starting fresh? The answer to this question lies in the inherent architectural features of the prison typology, namely the fact that these structures are built to last. People also often forget that prison buildings are not limited to low-rise secure housing units – in fact, prisons feature an array of spaces that have great potential for reuse including buildings for light industrial activity, training or office buildings, low-security housing, and large outdoor spaces. These elements offer a wide variety of real estate for new programmatic uses, and cities around the world have begun to discover their potential. What could the US learn from these examples, at home and overseas?

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Sou Fujimoto, Peter Cook and Benedetta Tagliabue Among WAF 2015 Judges

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From November 4-6, the 2015 World Architecture Festival (WAF) will take place in Suntec in central Singapore, featuring three days of conferences, exhibitions and lectures, in addition to the awards ceremony. As the world’s largest architectural festival and awards event, the WAF awards honor exceptional architecture from around the globe across 30 categories. Over 70 judges attend the festival and critique the submitted projects. Among this year’s “superjurors” are Peter Cook, Sou Fujimoto, Benedetta Tagliabue, Manuelle Gautrand,  Charles Jencks, and Kerry Hill.

All entries must be submitted by May 22nd to be considered for the WAF awards. Shortlisted projects will compete for category prizes on the first two days of the festival. On the third (and last) day, the category winners will present their projects to the “super-juries,” which will select the World Landscape, Future Project and Completed Building of the Year.

Past winners have included  Zaha Hadid ArchitectsBIGSnøhetta and Vo Trong Nghia. Prizes for small projects, use of wood and use of color will also be awarded.

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New London Architecture Unveils Updated 1:2000 Scale Model Of The UK Capital

© Paul Raftery

New Architecture (NLA), an independent resource and forum for debate about the city’s built environment, have unveiled a new, large-scale interactive model of the capital. Designed to provide a visual history of the city, NLA also intend for it to spark questions about its future. This model replaces an earlier one, which was revealed on the day that it was announced that ’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games has been successful. Now, a decade later, the present projection of the city’s built future has been mapped across the model, highlighting the locations of the 263 tall buildings planned or under construction. Visitors are also able to track the route and impact of new transport links, such as HS2 and Crossrail.

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Society of Architectural Historians Announces 2015 Publication Award Recipients

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The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) have announced the winners of the 2015 Publication Awards in Chicago, as part of their 68th Annual International Conference Awards ceremony. David Brownlee, Keith Morgan, Pauline Saliga, and Stanley Tigerman were also inducted as Fellows of the Society of Architectural Historians for their “lifelong contributions to the field of architectural history.”

Awarded annually, the SAH awards honor excellence in “architectural history, landscape history, and historic preservation scholarship,” alongside outstanding architectural exhibition catalogs. Eligible publications must have been published in the two years immediately preceding the award, with nominations for the 2016 Publication Awards opening on June 1.

Learn more about the winning publications after the break.

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Qatar Unveils Fifth World Cup Venue: Al Rayyan Stadium by Pattern Architects

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Qatar‘s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has unveiled the fifth proposed venue planned for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, this time designed by London-based Pattern Architects. Titled ”Al Rayyan Stadium,” the 40,000-seat Qatari-inspired structure will be built on the site of the former Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, of which 90 percent of its materials generated from demolition are expected to be re-used for either public art projects or on the new stadium.

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172-Year-Old Tunnel Project to Become London’s Newest Performance Venue

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Nearly two hundred years after construction first began, and 150 years after being formally closed to the public, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Rotherhithe shaft in the Thames Tunnel is slated to become London’s newest performance space.

Thanks to a cantilevered staircase by local firm Tate Harmer, members of the public will be granted access to one of ’s best-kept pieces of engineering history.

Learn more about the project after the break.

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