Mark Wigley Steps Down as Dean of Columbia University’s GSAPP

Mark Wigley with Kenneth Frampton, during the filming of The Glass House: “Conversations in Context”. Image Courtesy of http://vimeo.com/44405886

Mark Wigley announced Monday that he will be stepping down as dean of ’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and (GSAPP) at the end of the academic year in 2014. 

“In every context, he has represented the School and the institution in ways that make us all proud to be part of such a vibrant place,” wrote Columbia President, Lee Bollinger, “And to all of it he has brought his unique humor and made us laugh.”

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Preston Bus Station Listed, Escapes Demolition

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Following news last week that four post-war buildings had been listed in the UK, the campaign to Save Preston Bus Station reached a victory today when it was announced that Ed Vaizey (Architecture and Minister) has listed the Brutalist icon, removing the threat of demolition. The campaign, which has garnered words of support from the likes of Richard Rogers and Rem Koolhaas, has been been underpinned by support from Angela Brady PRIBA, former President of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

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Koolhaas Revamps UN Building’s Modernist-Era Lounge

Courtesy of Frank Oudeman

Dutch designers, Rem Koolhaas and Hella Jongerius, have revamped the delegates’ lounge in the United Nations building just in time for the 68th General Assembly this week. The “workshop of peace” lounge space, originally designed in 1952 by Wallace K. Harrison in collaboration with renowned modernists Le Corbusier and Oscar Neimeyer, now sports a range of pastel-colored sofas and lounge chairs, opting for minimal intervention in attempts to maximize the social space. Read more about the UN North Delegates lobby on Gizmodo.

RIBA and Arb Team Up to Reform UK Architecture Education

via Flickr. Image © Rory MacLeod

The RIBA and Arb have teamed together to examine architectural education, with the aim of bringing the UK into line with other EU countries.

The move is part of a new EU directive, due to be ratified next month, which seeks to establish more uniformity across Europe by aligning the time it takes to qualify and by making mutual recognition of title easier between countries – a move which would make architects more free to move between countries.

Read more about the aims of the and Arb after the break…

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Must Parking Garages Be So Ugly?

1111 Lincoln Road in Miami by Herzog & de Meuron. Image © Nelson Garrido/1111Lincoln Road Shot Reprinted with permission from MBeach1, LLLP

In his column in Providence JournalDavid Brussat questions why parking garages can’t be designed to better compliment their surroundings. He believes that these utilitarian spaces should look like they “belong in a city,” rather than resembling “a giant set of concrete shelves.” He also examines cities which achieve this aim – incorporating styles from Art Deco to Neo-classical – and comes to the interesting conclusion that Richmond, Virginia is the “mecca of decks.” You can read the full article here.

AIA Investigates Home Design Trends in Second Quarter

Courtesy of

The AIA Home Design Trends Survey is out for the second quarter of 2013. Since early 2012, business conditions have steadily been trending upwards, and within the past year alone, residential architects have reported a recovery in nearly every residential construction sector. Taking into consideration the “strong levels of inquiries for new projects, the growing levels of project backlogs, and the uniformly strong readings from firms across all regions of the country,” workloads for residential architects are predicted to stay strong for the next quarters and future market conditions will only improve.

For more on the AIA’s findings, keep reading. 

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San Francisco’s Chrissy Field Proposals Released

The Bridge © Wrns, WRNS via SFGate. Image

With the news earlier this year that San Francisco‘s Presidio Trust was planning a new cultural centre on the former site of a military base, now a national park, further details have emerged on the three finalists. The competition has attracted proposals from George Lucas (for the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum), WRNS Studio and the (for ‘The Bridge’), and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy (for Exchange). Each proposals offer different visions for the eight acre site, the ex-military building of which currently hosts the retailer Sports Basement.

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RIBA Announces 2014 International Fellowships

Courtesy of

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the 2014 International Fellowships of the RIBA. RIBA International Fellowships reward the particular contributions non- architects have made to architecture.

The RIBA’s 2014 International Fellowships will be awarded to:

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Four Post-War UK Buildings Given Heritage Status

The Spectrum Building / Foster + Partners. Image © Richard Davies, Courtesy Foster + Partners

Four post-war buildings, including the Spectrum Building by Norman Foster and Capel Manor House by Michael Manser, have been elevated to the List by the ’s Architecture and Heritage Minister Ed Vaizey. Upon announcing the news, the Minister commented that in spite of England’s ”fine and wonderful built heritage it’s sometimes forgotten that we have many outstanding modern buildings too.” His listings show that “architecture in this country is very much alive and well in the modern world.”

Read more about the buildings after the break…

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Bloomberg to Announce Mega-Redevelopment of NYC’s Lower East Side

The planned “Essex Crossing” complex by SHoP and Beyer Blinder Belle. Image Courtesy of SHoP Architects

After decades of contention between residents and politicians, the Bloomberg administration will announce on Wednesday plans of constructing a six-acre complex by SHoP and Beyer Blinder Belle Architects over a ten year period. Nine vacant lots in New York City’s Lower East Side will be erected into a mega-development of retail, office, entertainment, cultural and housing units. The complex will be located in rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, once home to working-class Italians, Jews, Puerto Ricans and Ukrainians, and has struggled to preserve affordable housing against an encroaching luxury market. In response, developers have collaborated with local community groups agreeing that half of the projected 1,000 apartments will be for low-, moderate-, and middle-income families.

However, is this enough to sustain a balance of varying incomes? 

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2013 PARK(ing) Day Map


View PARK(ing) Day 2013 Ponce in a larger map

Today, September 20th, citizens, artists and activists have transformed hundreds of metered spaces worldwide into temporary public places with mission to call attention to the need for more open space. Since the establishment of PARK(ing) Day in 2005, by the art and design studio Rebar, PARK(ing) Day has quickly become an international phenomenon. In 2011, close to 1000 parks were created in 162 cities, 35 countries and 6 continents.

Whether you are a participator or an observer this year, be sure to check out the official PARK(ing) Day Map and see what may be happening in your area of town. Learn how to map your park here. (more…)

Fumihiko Maki Unveils New United Nations Tower

Courtesy of DNAinfoNY

Almost sixty years after  was invited to design the United Nations Secretariat Building in New York City, plans have been unveiled for another UN skyscraper designed by Fumihiko Maki which would “consolidate currently scattered operations into a single structure that would rise on the western portion of the Robert Moses Playground, on First Avenue between East 41st and 42nd streets.”

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Kickstarter Campaign to Activate Vacant Storefronts in New York City

‘Play’. Image Courtesy of Architecture Commons

In an attempt to activate a vacant storefront in New York’s , the miLES Storefront Transformer – a 6ft cube designed to “program any storefront” – is a versatile, movable set of furnishing and amenities designed by Architecture Commons. Seven individual pop-up interventions, curated by a collection of creative minds, would inhabit empty shops between November 4th and December 22nd 2013 if their Kickstarter campaign is successful.

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Joseph Rykwert Awarded 2014 Royal Gold Medal

Joseph Rykwert recipient of the Royal Gold Medal 2014 . Image © Pawel MazurI CC Krakow

Architectural critic, historian and writer Joseph Rykwert, 86, has been named as the recipient of the 2014 , one of the world’s most prestigious architecture awards. Given in recognition of a lifetime’s work, the Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by the Queen and is presented to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence on the advancement of architecture.

Describing Rykwert’s recognition as “long overdue,” RIBA President Stephen Hodder stated: “Joseph’s writing and teaching are rare in that he can deliver the most profound thinking on architecture in an accessible way. All our lives are the richer for it.”

In response to selection, Joseph Rykwert stated:

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ABI Reports Strong Conditions in US Market

August , 2013 via Calculated Risk

The (ABI) has revealed more acceleration in the growth of design activity nationally. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the August ABI score was 53.8, up from a mark of 52.7 in July. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 63.0, down from the reading of 66.4 the previous month.

“It is fair to say that the design professions are in a recovery mode,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA.  “…but a key component to maintaining this momentum is the ability of businesses to obtain financing for real estate projects, and for a resolution to the federal government budget and debt ceiling impasse.”

Key August ABI highlights:

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2014 SEED Award Call for Entries

Design Corps and the Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) Network announce the Call for Entries in the fourth annual SEED for Excellence in Public Interest Design competition. Recognizing excellence in social, economic and environmental design, the SEED represent the confluence of forces needed to create truly sustainable projects and change in the world.

Deadline for applications is Tuesday, November 12, 2013 by 11:59 p.m. EST. Winners will be announced January 22, 2014. For application details and guidelines, go to www.designcorps.org/awards.

More information after the break.

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Southbank Centre To Honor Skateboarders’ Fundraising Campaign

Image via Flickr . Image © Joanna Poe

In yet another twist to the ongoing story of the Southbank Centre , the Architects’ Journal reports that the has agreed to back a fundraising campaign to keep the famous skate park (if you missed the potential re-designs, click here), with the stipulation that a plan B be put in place in case the fundraising fails. And with at least £17 million needed to replace the revenue that the Centre would have gained by filling the undercroft with retail units, it could be time for the thousands who objected to the proposals to put their money where their mouth is. Find the full article here.

David Chipperfield Awarded Praemium Imperiale

Neues Museum / Architects with Julian Harrap. Image © Ute Zscharnt for Architects

David Chipperfield has been announced as the architectural laureate for the 2013 edition of the Japan Art Association’s . Since its inauguration in 1989, the annual global arts award has recognized “outstanding contributions to the development, promotion and progress of the arts” in the fields of architecture, painting, sculpture, music and theater/film. Only a small handful of architects have received this award, including James Stirling, Tadao Ando, Alvaro Siza, Richard Rogers, Jean Nouvel and Toyo Ito.

In regards to Chipperfield’s nomination, the jury stated:

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