2013 AIA Institute Honor Awards for Regional & Urban Design

© Iwan Baan

You’ve reviewed the work selected by the American Institute of Architects () to receive top honors in architecture and interior architecture at the 2013 National Convention and Design Exposition in Denver, Colorado. We now present to you the projects and initiatives that have been announced by the as exemplars for excellence in regional and urban design. Check them out after the break.

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Slum Rehabilitation Promise to Mumbai’s 20 Million

Aerial View of Mumbai; Courtesy of Flickr User Cactus Bones; Licensed via Creative Commons

Slums, shanty-towns, favelas - they are all products of an exploding migration from rural to urban areas.  Over the last half century, people living in or near metropolises has risen in proportion to the global population.  Migrations from rural areas to urban areas have grown exponentially as have developed into hubs of economic activity and job growth promising new opportunities for social mobility and education.  Yet, with all these perceptions holding fast, many people who choose to migrate find themselves in the difficult circumstances of integrating into an environment without the proper resources to accommodate the growing population.  , for example, like Mumbai, ’s largest city and 11th on the list as of 2012 with a population of an estimated 20.5 million.  According to a New York Times article from 2011, about 60% of that number live in the makeshift dwellings that now occupy lucrative land for Mumbai’s developers.

More to come after the break.

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NACO and HOK Win Expansion Contract for Riyadh Airport

NACO’s master plan for King Khaled International Airport in , Saudi Arabia. will now use the master plan to design the expansion of the airport © NACO

NACO, its Saudi Arabian branch SADECO, and global architect HOK were just awarded the contract to design the expansion of King Khaled International Airport (KKIA) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The design consists of the expansion of the existing terminals 3 and 4, which will enable the airport to handle 20-25 million passengers per year. Currently, the 30-year-old airport is handling approximately 15 million passengers annually. NACO, Netherlands Airport Consultants, a Royal HaskoningDHV company, and HOK will lead the design team for this prestigious project. More architects’ description and their press release after the break. (more…)

Architectural Photographer Balthazar Korab dies at 86

USAFA Cadet Chapel / Skidmore, Owings & Merrill ©

On January 15, 2013, illustrious architect and photographer Balthazar Korab (1926-2013) lost his prolonged battle with Parkinson’s disease. Although he managed to keep a low profile throughout most of his life, Korab was one of the most prolific and celebrated architectural photographers of midcentury modernism.  (more…)

Proposals Unveiled for Kent State’s new Architecture College

WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/ proposal; Courtesy University

Yesterday, the shortlisted teams for Kent State University’s new, $40 million College of Architecture and Environmental Design pitched their designs to the Kent community. From “simple and functional to splendidly provocative”, these proposals offer a range of innovative solutions that will satisfy Kent’s mission to create a modern campus that provides an outstanding academic experience and enriches the greater community of Kent, Ohio.

The four finalists, which were selected from 37 international teams, were challenged to design a 122,000 square foot, sustainable exemplar that unites Kent State’s architecture program under one roof, while inspiring interdisciplinary collaboration within flexible learning spaces along the University’s new esplanade.

Get a sneak peak of each proposal after the break.

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Sliced Porosity Block / Steven Holl Architects, by Hufton + Crow

© Hufton + Crow

With much awaited anticipation, Steven Holl‘s Sliced Porosity Block in , has just been completed. Forming giant public plazas with a mix of various functions, the group of five towers is intended to be seen as more of a public area despite its towering design as already witnessed in the site. Its sun sliced geometry results from required minimum daylight exposures to the surrounding urban fabric prescribed by code and calculated by the precise geometry of sun angles. The large public space framed by the block is formed into three valleys inspired by a poem of Du Fu (713-770). In some of the porous openings chunks of different buildings are inserted.

We have already brought you images of the project as it was under way, but the latest images from Hufton + Crow truly capture this inviting  public realm in the heart of this metropolis like no one else!

Check out all the latest images of Steven Holl’s Sliced Porosity Block after the break. (more…)

2013 AIA Institute Honor Awards for Interior Architecture

Lamar Advertising Corporate Headquarters; Baton Rouge
Eskew+Dumez+Ripple © Timothy Hursley

Earlier this week, we presented the American Institute of Architects’ (top selection of architecture that best exemplifies excellence in the United States for the year of 2013. Now, we bring you this year’s recipients of the . Continue after the break to see who will be honored with this prestigious award at the AIA 2013 National Convention and Design Exposition in Denver.

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CODA wins P.S.1 with Skateboard Scrap ‘Party Wall’

Courtesy of

The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 has selected ’s (Caroline O’Donnell, Ithaca, NY) large-scale, self-supporting Party Wall, made from leftover shreds of skateboard material, as winner of the 2013 Young Architects Program (YAP). Drawn from five finalists, the porous skin of CODA’s temporary urban landscape will shade visitors of the Warm Up Summer Music series with its reclaimed woven screen, while providing water in refreshing cooling stations and seating with its detachable wooden skin on the lower half of the linear structure.

“CODA’s proposal was selected because of its clever identification and use of locally available resources – the waste products of skateboard-making – to make an impactful and poetic architectural statement within MoMA PS1′s courtyard,” said Pedro Gadanho, Curator in MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design. “Party Wall arches over the various available spaces, activating them for different purposes, while making evident that even the most unexpected materials can always be reinvented to originate architectural form and its ability to communicate with the public.”

Continue after the break for the complete project description. (more…)

St. James Market Developement Proposal Granted Planning Permission / Make Architects

Courtesy of

Make Architects was just granted planning permission by the Crown Estate for the £450million St. James Market development plan located in the heart of Westminster, . Also given the go ahead by Westminster Council, their plan also includes three associated residential developments, hinging around the creation of a new public square and two new buildings. One building sits on Regent Street and retains an historic facade while the other presents a completely new facade to Haymarket. More images and architects’ description after the break. (more…)

The Indicator: On a Clear Day You can Almost See Beijing

© Jason Lee for Reuters via theatlantic.com

I remember the smog in Beijing rendering the most beautiful skies. There was an innocence to the air pollution back then, before the engines of economic development really got going.

It was just a pretty sunset, or a delicate brown haze that romantically softened the edges of things—while wrecking your lungs, of course. But, like the sand storms, pollution gave the city a different, rarified quality.

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The Menil Collection selected to receive AIA Twenty-five Year Award

© Paul Hester

The Menil Collection Houston, designed by architect Renzo Piano, has been selected for the 2013 Twenty-five Year Award. Recognizing architectural design of enduring significance, the Twenty-five Year Award is conferred on a building that has stood the test of time for 25 to 35 years as an embodiment of architectural excellence. Projects must demonstrate excellence in function, in the distinguished execution of its original program, and in the creative aspects of its statement by today’s standards. The award will be presented this June at the National Convention in Denver.

More on The Menil Collection after the break.

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Superkilen masterplan designed by BIG + Topotek1 + Superflex Honored by AIA

© Iwan Baan

At almost a mile long Superkilen wedges through one of the most ethnically diverse and socially challenged neighborhoods in Denmark creating a truly unique urban space with a strong identity on a local and global scale. The park is divided into three zones: the red square, the black market and the green park and is conceived as a giant exhibition of urban best practice – a collection of global everyday objects from the 60+ home countries of the local inhabitants. Initiated by the City of Copenhagen and Realdania Foundation, the project started construction in 2009 and opened to the public in June 2012. The American Institute of Architects () has selected Superkilen as one of the winners of the 2013 Institute Honor Awards, the profession’s highest recognition of works that exemplify excellence in architecture, interior architecture and urban design.

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Steven Holl Architects complete Sun-shaped Micro-City in Chengdu

© Iwan Baan

Four years after breaking ground, Steven Holl Architects have completed the Sliced Porosity Block in the heart of , . Rather than being designed as object-icon skyscrapers, the three million square foot complex identifies itself as a metropolitan public space with large plazas and a hybrid of different functions. The five towers stimulate a micro urbanism by offering offices, serviced apartments, retail, a hotel, cafes, and restaurants.

More on Steven Holl’s Sliced Porosity Block after the break.

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INABA Completes Skylight

© Ivan Brodey

INABA has completed Skylight, a permanent installation for KORO Public Art . The 6.6 m (22 ft) diameter, 11.5 m (38 ft) long structure hangs from the foyer of the New Concert Hall in Stavanger, . It is visible from the adjacent public plaza, and surrounding neighborhood and harbor, serving as a light beacon for the complex.

Responding to the region’s extreme atmospheric conditions, Skylight emits a range of pure color light patterns that contrast and complement the blended luminous tones of the dawn and twilight Nordic sky. Conceived of as an inverted chandelier, Skylight’s light fixtures are mounted to face inward and illuminate the structure’s interior surface. Its programmable LED system is animated to change in brightness and hue, and produce distinct patterns during arrival, theater calls, intermission, departure, and after hours.

Video, images and more information on Skylight after the break.

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In Niemeyer and Costa Masks, Architects Protest the City of Brasilia

© Danilo Verpa/Folhapress

Wearing masks with the faces of and Lúcio Costa, architects and urban planners swarmed the 50th Annual IAB (Institute of Architects of Brazil) Awards in Rio de Janeiro this week. The architects were protesting a contract the city government of Brasilia struck with a Singaporean firm to create an urban masterplan outlining the next 50 years of ’s future.

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Brooks + Scarpa designs Interfaith Chapel in Florida

© Courtesy of

The highly acclaimed Los Angeles-based practice Brooks + Scarpa Architects, along with KZF Design Studio, have released plans for a new Interfaith Chapel at the University of North Florida. Drawing inspiration from a free-flowing wedding gown, its informally shaped footprint - reminiscent of an allegorical figure such as Justice, Faith, Hope, Charity, Prudence and Fortitude – flows upward and culminates at the top with a large skylight whose light is diffused by a wooden lattice spire that is derived from the symbol of infinity.

The symbolic, 7000 square-foot structure will provide students with an intimate, spiritual space that may be used daily while also supporting a variety of diverse religious services, such as student ceremonies, weddings, lectures, meditative practices, musical performances and more.

Learn more about Brooks + Scarpa’s wooden chapel after the break.

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Studio Gang Unveils Schematic Design for Chicago’s new Writers’ Theatre

Theatre Center East View from Green Bay Road ©

Back in July 2011 we announced the selection of Studio Gang Architects’ to design a new home for ’s beloved Writers’ Theatre in downtown Glencoe and have since been eagerly waiting for the first schematic renderings to be released. Well, they are finally here! And, as usual, Ms. Gang does not disappoint. Situated on the sloped Tudor Court site of the Glencoe Woman’s Library Club, the glass encased timber theatre transforms the structure into a theatrical spectacle, as the main performance space lined with a second story catwalk peers through the transparent facade and grasps the attention of anyone passing by.

More renderings and the architects’ description after the break.

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Our Ideal City? Seen through the eyes of the Pacific West Coast.

View of Silicon Valley via Flickr user Shootyoureyeout

As most New Yorkers know, people are willing to shell out a hefty sum to live in a place where work and play are right around the corner from each other.  But as the article by Ken Layne in The Awl points out, the west coast is a somewhat different place.  UNLIKE City, which is crowded with restaurants, bars, and entertainment, as well as offices, design firms and businesses; Silicon Valley, which caters to programmers and tech companies that hire at $100k a year, offers few of the amenities that a nearby town like does.  So, Layne concludes, residents are willing to spend hours of their day  making their way into the fortressed office parks of Silicon Valley, flanked by parking lots and boulevards, just to have a cultural reprieve to call home.

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