Architects’ Reactions to Frei Otto’s Pritzker Prize Win

© Ingenhoven und Partner Architekten, Düsseldorf

After news of Frei Otto winning the 2015 Pritzker Prize broke, the internet was filled with comments on his influence on the profession over the past half a century of architecture. Of course, with the news of the Pritzker sadly packaged with news of his death, the impulse for many to offer some words in remembrance heightened the outpouring of opinion.

In addition, Otto was especially popular among some of architecture’s most established names; in a tweet, the New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman revealed that among the prominent advocates pushing for him to be awarded the prize were past laureates Renzo Piano and Shigeru Ban. With that in mind, we collected the thoughts and reactions of some of the leading architects today, revealing the respect held for Otto within the profession.

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Pratt Institute to Host 2 Free Symposiums in April

Courtesy of Pratt Institute

Pratt Institute is presenting two architectural symposiums that are free and open to the public: “An Inventory of What’s Possible“ on April 10 and “The Language of Architecture and Trauma” on April 11, 2015. “An Inventory of What’s Possible” will focuse on the history of America’s affordable housing emerging from the research, architectural prototypes, and financing that occurred in New York, as well as the city’s future potential in response to Mayor de Blasio’s housing plan.

The second event, “The Language of Architecture and Trauma,” will observe modern responses to trauma including disaster relief, today’s “crisis culture,” and the role of writing in addressing trauma. Through the combined lenses of architecture, fine arts, anthropology, and poetics, the program will create a dialogue examining the role of writing in architectural production, and more broadly in affecting the world. For more information on either of these , visit www.pratt.edu.

Álvaro Siza to Design 122-Meter Condo Tower in New York

© Fernando Guerra via Instagram

Álvaro Siza has been commissioned to design his first ever US project. Planned to rise 122-meters on the corner of West 56th Street and Eleventh Avenue in New York City, the Siza – designed condominium tower will be developed by Sumaida and Khurana – the same firm who just released designs for Tadao Ando’s first New York City tower: 152 Elizabeth Street. Stay tuned for more details.

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GRAFT Reveals Final Design for Munich’s APASSIONATA Park

© GRAFT – Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH. Design by GRAFT

GRAFT Architects has released the final designs for the APASSIONATA adventure park. The competition-winning proposal aims to become a hub for leisure and entertainment in Munich, Germany, featuring a year-round venue for relaxation, discovery, and interaction with horses.

Check out the design and watch a virtual tour of the park, after the break.

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Page\Park Wins Competition to Rebuild Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art

Glasgow School of Art (before the fire). Image © Alan McAteer

Page\Park Architects have been announced as winner of a competition to restore Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art (GSA). The Scottish practice, chosen ahead of four other shortlisted architects, will now develop plans to restore the building’s library and all other areas devastated by fire in May of last year

Highlighting Page\Park’s “extensive track record in both restoring and reinvigoration major historic buildings” and previous work on the Mac, GSA director Prof Tom Inns said: “The team assembled by Page\Park Architects impressed us not only with their deep knowledge of the building, but of the wider work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh… Page\Park have ongoing relationships with key crafts specialists and artists in Scotland and wider afield, and presented exciting proposals for expanding the legacy of the by working with a new generation of creative talent.”

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eVolo Announces 2015 Skyscraper Competition Winners

First Place: “Essence ” / BOMP (Ewa Odyjas, Agnieszka Morga, Konrad Basan, Jakub Pudo). Image Courtesy of

From 480 submitted projects from around the world, three winners and 15 honorable mentions have emerged at the top of eVolo’s 2015 Skyscraper Competition. Recognizing innovative highrise designs of the future, the competition emphasizes the role of technology, material, spatial organization, and their combined contribution to the natural and built environments. This year’s winners showed exceptional promise in adaptive vertical communities, and explored their ideas through imaginative and resourceful means.

Check out the winners and honorable mentions, after the break.

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Shortlist Announced For 2015 RIBA East Midlands Awards

Shortlisted: Parkside, Matlock / Evans Vettori Architects. Image © Tristan Poyser

A total of eleven projects have been shortlisted for RIBA East Midlands 2015 , featuring buildings by Evans Vettori, Make, Orms, and . All shortlisted buildings will now be assessed by a regional jury. Regional winners will then be considered for a RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, the results of which will place some projects in the running for the 2015 .

See the complete list of shortlisted projects after the break.

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Facebook Moves into New Headquarters with the “Largest Open Floor Plan in the World”

Earlier today, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted an announcement onto his own Facebook page that the company had moved into its brand new, 430,000-square foot Frank Gehry-designed headquarters. In the post, Zuckerberg offers a photo of the building from above, showing off its 9 acre green roof, with a promise of interior images – of what is essentially the building’s giant, single room – “once we’re fully unpacked.”

That interior, enough for 2,800 of Facebook employees plus room for growth, also played host to some of Instagram’s most popular photographers to preview the space – see a selection of their images after the break.

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First Look Inside BIG’s W57 Manhattan Pyramid

South Facade. Image © Field Condition

Field Condition has published a photographic tour through BIG’s first New York project, two months after W57 topped out. A “courtscraper,” as the Danish practice affectionately calls it, the 32-story, 709-unit tower is a hybrid of the European courtyard block and New York City skyscraper. It’s tetrahedral shape, “born from logic,” is designed to provide every resident in the building’s North Tower to have views of the Hudson River, while allowing sunlight deep into the building’s interior space. View the project from within, after the break. 

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Foster + Partners Chosen to Design New Transport System for Jeddah

© Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners has been appointed through an international competition to develop the “architectural vision” for Jeddah’s city-wide public transport plan. The commission, made official today by the Makkah Province governor, seeks to establish a “long-term, sustainable” city network plan that will foster flexible growth and achieve efficiency through the integration of all modes of transportation, including metro, ferry, bus and cycle.

“The comprehensive plan extends from the design of the stations to the trains and branding,” said Foster + Partners. “In addition, the development of the metro system will create a new urban amenity for the city of at key locations below the elevated track.” The will also allocate space for public squares and various nodes of development.

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Jacques Herzog, Masterplanner of the Milan 2015 Expo, Thinks it will be a “Vanity Fair”

The masterplan for the Expo produced by Herzog & de Meuron in 2009. Image © Herzog & de Meuron

It seems Jacques Herzog is not particularly excited about the opening of the 2015 Expo in Milan later this year. In an interview with uncube magazine Herzog – one half of Herzog & de Meuron, the Expo’s masterplanners – explains why they left the project in 2011, along with collaborators Stefano Boeri, William McDonough and Ricky Burdett. In their absence, he says, the Expo will now feature their plan “only as an urbanistic and formal pattern, not as an intellectual concept,” and their plan to transform the event into ”a radically new vision for a world exhibition” has been twisted so that the Expo “will be the same kind of vanity fair that we’ve seen in the past.” Read the full interview here.

See All 24 Projects Shortlisted for RIAS’ 2015 Awards

Dalmunach Distillery, Moray / Archial Norr (Inverness Studio)

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) has shortlisted 24 projects for its 2015 awards, the single most important recognition of architectural achievement in Scotland. This year’s judging panel, chaired by Iain Dickson PPRIAS, will now visits all 24 sites to determine which projects are “worthy” of an award, only choosing those in which they feel “best address the key role of architecture: to improve the quality of people’s lives.”

See all 24 shortlisted projects, after the break. 

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Spotlight: Hans Hollein

Mobiles Büro, aufblasbares Bürogebäude, 1969 . Image © Gino Molin-Pradl

Described by Richard Meier as an architect whose “groundbreaking ideas” have “had a major impact on the thinking of designers and architects,” Austrian artist, architect, designer, theoretician and Pritzker Prize laureate Hans Hollein worked in all aspects of design, from architecture to furniture, jewelry, glasses, lamps – even door handles. Known in particular for his museum designs, from the Abteiberg Museum in Mönchengladbach to the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt to Vienna’s Haas House, Hollein’s work manifests a unique, fascinating take on 1950s Modernism.

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Call for Proposals: Exhibit Your Work at Milan Expo 2015

Courtesy of (SCoopA)

Architects, Engineers, Artists, Designers and students from all around the world are invited to participate in the Expo Milano 2015 with projects that propose solutions to the theme of the Expo Milano 2015 “Feeding the planet, energy for life.” Participants are also being encouraged to submit proposals that solve some of the main challenges that our society is facing, such as the rapid population growth and all the problems that this brings (destruction of the ecosystems, social divisions, scarcity of resources, etc.). This exhibition desires to showcase different architectural, construction, urban and social solutions promoting its different authors in the Universal Exposition.

The winners will be selected by the group Social Cooperation Architects (SCoopA) to exhibit their proposals at the Expo Milano 2015. In addition, a virtual platform will be established to foment the dialog between the different participants and proposals. 

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Open Call: Istanbul Community Market Ideas Competition

Courtesy of

CTRL+SPACE has launched its Community Market Ideas Competition. Seeking designs from students and professionals (developed individually or in teams of four or less), the competition challenges participants to create a site-specific, multi-functional market with a strong public element. Submissions are welcomed now until June 27 and winners will be announced on July 17, 2015. Three winning designs will receive monetary prizes from 500€ to 3500€, and five merit award recipients will also be selected. For more details or to register, visit ctrl-space.net.

Video: Rob Whitworth, Stunning Cities in Hyperlapse

Witness the urban life of five stunning metropolises through the lens of Rob Whitworth with these “Vimeo Staff Pick” hyperlapse videos. From the unexplored urban life of the North Korean capital Pyongyang to the towering skyline of Dubai, each video explores an incredible sequence of daily living in across the planet. See more, including video from Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai, after the break.

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6 Ways to Repurpose the Chicago Spire “Hole”

Beacon / Solomon Cordwell Buenz. Image Courtesy of magazine

With Santiago Calatrava’s unfulfilled Chicago Spire amounting to just a (costly) depression along the Chicago River, what was to be the second-tallest building in the world certainly has not established the legacy it intended. However, following the site’s relinquishment to local developers Related Midwest, it may yet have a meaningful impact on its community. Six Chicago-based firms of various disciplines have developed designs to make use of the “hole” by injecting a public program into the abandoned site.

Check out the inventive proposals, with ideas from firms including UrbanLab and Solomon Cordwell Buenz, after the break.

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Infographic Charts Rise of Muzharul Islam, Father of Bengali Modernism

Courtesy of Maruf Raihan

Maruf Raihan, founder of Bangladeshi graphic design firm Studio Biporit has created an infographic tracing the career of Muzharul Islam, widely recognized as the Master Architect of South Asian Modernism. The timeline begins with Islam’s birth in Murshidabad in 1923, spanning from his first major project— the Central Library at the University of Dhaka, in 1953— to his last, the World Bank Office in Dhaka in 1987. Also documented are his numerous academic and architectural milestones, including extensive international publication and exhibition. Highly legible and amply illustrated, the infographic concludes with an entry noting Islam’s death in 2012, at the age of 88. The full-sized graphic can be viewed here.