Kickstarter: London Skyline Reimagined as Chess Set

© Courtesy of Skyline Chess

Imagine your city skyline as a chessboard battleground; which landmark would declare itself as the almighty king and who serve as its faithful pawn? Well, according to British designers Ian Flood and Chris Prosser, London’s Canary Wharf, Renzo Piano’s Shard and Norman Foster’s Gherkin would all deserve high ranks while the ubiquitous London terraced house fulfilled the role of the pawn.

After replacing their own standard chess set with 3D-printed models of their city’s landmarks, Flood and Prosser have established the campaign “Skyline Chess” with the hopes of expanding their idea beyond London’s skyline. If the campaign is successful, architectural enthusiasts worldwide will have the opportunity to select any of the world’s most iconic (Shanghai vs. Paris?) for an ultimate duel of chess.

Learn more about the campaign here on the Kickstarter.

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INDEX: Award 2013 Recipients Announced

Smart Highway via 2013

The world’s biggest design prize, INDEX: Award has announced their 2013 recipients. From the Danish capital’s pioneering plan of how to address the changing climate to a Dutch take on intelligent roads of the future, each of the five recipients will receive a €100,000 award to implement their ideas which all offer sustainable solutions to global challenges.

The INDEX: Award 2013 recipients are:

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ADEPT Selected to Construct “Green Loops City” in China

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Danish practice ADEPT has won an international, invited competition to master plan the 17KM2 site of Laiyan New Town and Binjian District in Hengyang, China. Their winning proposal, “Green Loops City” was lauded for developing an innovative and sustainable way to accommodate rapid urban growth while preserving Hengyang’s cultural heritage and lush surrounding landscape.

Aidi Su from ADEPT stated: “Much of Hengyang’s cultural and natural resources are still very much intact when compared to other Chinese facing rapid urban development. This is an incredible opportunity for us to make a difference in Chinese .”

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Architecture’s Vicious Equation: High-Cost Education and Low-Paying Jobs. Could PAVE Offer Another Way?

Gund Hall (home of the Graduate School of Design) during Harvard Graduation. Year 2007. Image Courtesy of Wikimedia User Tebici

Every year thousands of young hopefuls attend architecture school, entering with the expectation that, after their years of struggle and long hours in studio, they’ll come out the other end as legitimate architects doing legitimate architecture.

How quickly they must abandon that unreasonable idea.

From CAD monkeys to baristas, most architecture grads are not doing what they thought they would when they submitted their first tuition checks. And, to add insult to injury, those tuition checks only multiplied, leaving our grads in thousands of dollars of debt.

Surely there must be another way. PAVE, a kind of that connects individuals to investors, offers—if not a solution—then a very intriguing alternative.

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Hong Kong Tops Charts as World’s Most Expensive Construction Market

© Flickr User Chris Lee

EC Harris’ 2013 International Costs Report has named Hong Kong as the most expensive city in the world to build in. The annual study, which benchmarks building costs in 47 countries across the globe, found that relative costs have been affected by substantial fluctuations in currency throughout the year. Despite a stagnant economy, Europe has six of the top ten most expensive markets in this year’s report, reflecting the competitive challenge faced by the Eurozone. 

The top ten most expensive countries to build in are:

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reSITE 2013: Collaborative Ideas For More Livable Cities, Workshop Results

Courtesy of reSITE

One of the most important parts of the second annual reSITE festival, which is aimed to change the city to a place suitable for life, was an international multidisciplinary workshop with students from all over the world.

The workshop, co-organized by a ARCHIP – Architectural Institute in , was held from June 21st to 23rd. It was tutored by renowned expert Cecil Balmond from Balmond Studio. The workshop participants were selected by an international jury from a number of people from various fields – architects, designers, cultural managers, programmers, designers and representatives of other specializations, to create multidisciplinary teams. These teams of researches colaborated for three days on a design concept of the future mobile pavilion, which will become a distinguishing feature of the festival in the upcoming years.

Watch an interview with Cecil Balmond during the workshop, his complete lecture and the workshop results after the break.

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The Controversy Regarding The Restoration of Eileen Gray’s E-1027

Image via Flickr. Image © xiyitang

The Wall Street Journal recently detailed the complex history of E-1027, the house which Eileen Gray designed with her lover Jean Badovici in Southern France: from the murals which Le Corbusier painted on the walls (without Gray’s permission) to the murder that happened there in 1996 to the that has been going on for over a decade (a supposed “massacre” of the original). You can read the full article here.

Innovative Prototyping @ Dynamic Fields – Responsive Architecture Workshop Results

Project 86. Image © Studio F64

The Innovative Prototyping @ Dynamic Fields – Responsive Architecture Workshop, which took place in , Romania July 16-29, resulted in five innovative prototypes. The workshop was benefited by the presence of Patrik Schumacher, Director of Zaha Hadid Architects, founder of AA Design Research Lab London and one of the most important figures in the world of computational design. The workshop’s purpose was the understanding of how the advancement of digital technology is helping architects respond to the complexity of the environment surrounding them. The five prototypes (Turbillon, Interactive Field, Dynamic Muqarnas, Project 86 and Wind Mapper) are to be exposed in the near future at different fairs or events. More images and information after the break.

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Top Firms Compete to Design Kazakhstan’s World Expo in 2017

© J. Mayer H. Architects (Germany)

Zaha Hadid ArchitectsCoop Himmelb(l)au, UNStudio, and Snøhetta are some of the 45 shortlisted practices competing to design the International Specialized Exposition (Expo 2017) in , . Each practice, selected from more than a 100 proposals worldwide, has submitted their own interpretation of the expo’s theme: “Future Energy”. Come September, the jury will announce which vision best represents what will be the country’s first world fair.

“The theme of our exhibition is closely related to ‘green economy’, which takes into account the possibility of using alternative energy sources and the autonomous water and heat provision in each of the constructions,” said Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev.

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High Line Co-Founders Awarded Vincent Scully Prize

© Iwan Baan

The National Building Museum has awarded the 15th Vincent Scully Prize to Joshua David and Robert Hammond, the founders of the High Line in New York. In 1999 the pair formed the non-profit organisation Friends of the ; this award recognizing their efforts in transforming the abandoned structure is the latest accolade for the internationally celebrated project. David and Hammond were also awarded the Jane Jacobs Medal in 2010.

Read more about the award and the High Line after the break.

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The Sustainable Initiatives Deconstructing Detroit

Image via Flickr. Image © Groovnick

As architects we generally see ourselves as providers of new buildings; we also often see architecture as a way to remedy social ills. For many architects, when presented with a social problem, we try to think of a design for a building which addresses it. But what happens when the problem itself is a surplus of buildings?

This is exactly the situation that Detroit finds itself in today. Thanks to the rapid decline in population since its heyday in the mid 20th Century, the City of Detroit is home to some 78,000 vacant structures. While politicians worldwide win public support by promising new and growth, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing proudly announced his plans to demolish 10,000 empty homes before the end of his term.

The process will be inherently wasteful. Fortunately, some are making the best of the situation, with sustainable initiatives that create jobs and economic benefits for residents. Read on after the break to find out how.

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Buckminster Fuller Challenge 2013: Semi-Finalists Announced

Living Building Challenge certified: Hawaii Preparatory Academy Energy Laboratory © Flansburgh Architects

The Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) has shortlisted nineteen, innovative proposals for the 2013 . The annual international design challenge, who crowned The Living Building Challenge as winner last year, $100,000 to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems.

The 2013 Buckminster Fuller Challenge Semi-Finalists are:

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Newly Released Photos of Shigeru Ban’s Cardboard Cathedral in New Zealand

© Bridgit Anderson

Shigeru Ban’s Cathedral is officially open to the public, just over two years after the crippling 6.3 magnitude earthquake ravished the New Zealand town of . With an expected lifespan of 50 years, the temporary cathedral will serve as a replacement for the city’s iconic 1864 Anglican cathedral – one of ’s most prized landmarks – until a more permanent structure is built. 

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BIG Shortlisted In Competition to Design Denmark’s Largest Hospital

© BIG

UPDATE: All three shortlisted teams have been announced. Check out there proposals here

BIG, WHR and Arup have been shortlisted alongside two other design teams to participate in the second phase of the design competition for what will be ’s largest hospital. The 124,000 square meter facility, known as the Nyt Hospital Nordsjælland, is planned to be built north of Copenhagen.

According to the jury, “BIG’s ideas, together with the large green spaces and green surfaces, mean that we really can talk about a healing hospital in the best possible interpretation of the concept.”

We will keep you updated as details of the other shortlisted teams emerge.

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Richard J Williams Talks Modernism & Sex

© Iñigo Bujedo-Aguirre

In this interview with BD, Richard J Williams discusses his recent book “Sex and Buildings,” which analyses how some places, such as his home town of Edinburgh, ”wear their morality on their sleeve,” while other places. such as Brazil, have an idea that “modernism can be sexy.” He also talks about the US attitudes to sex and , bringing up the ‘Playboy townhouse’ of the 1960s and the TV show Mad Men, as well as architects Richard Neutra, Rudolph Schindler and John Portman. You can read the full interview here.

Deborah Berke to Redesign Landmarked Richardson Olmsted Complex in Buffalo

© 2013 Deborah Berke & Partners Architects LLP

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the Richardson Olsmted Complex, a National Historic Landmark that is widely considered to be one of Buffalo‘s most important and beautiful buildings, will be rehabilitated and reused as a hospitality venue and cultural amenity for the city. The design team, including New York-based Deborah Berke of Deborah Berke Partners and Buffalo-based Peter Flynn of , have high hopes of transforming the 19th-century, unused building into a “thoroughly modern travel and cultural experience” while maintaining a deep respect for its long history.

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World Architecture Festival Speakers: Sou Fujimoto, Dietmar Eberle, Charles Jencks, Jeanne Gang, and more!

The  World Architecture Festival is around the corner! On October 2nd-4th, hundreds of architects will gather in Singapore for an intense dose of architecture, in the form of panels, lectures, live crits, and more. You can see all the shortlisted projects here.

The speakers and judges list includes a long list of world renowned architects: Charles Jencks, Dietmar Eberle, Sou Fujimoto, Jeanne Gang (Studio Gang), Murat Tabanlioglu (Tabanlioglu Architects), Odile Decq (ODBC), Kim Herforth Nielse (3XN), Colin Seah (Ministry of Design), Michel Rojkind (Rojkind Arquitectos), Fernando Menis (Menis Arquitectos), Lars Autrup (Realdania), among many others!

More information about the festival and how to participate here.

To whet your appetite, here is a video of all the architecture and urban sights you can visit in Singapore:

The Threat Hanging Over LA’s Modernist Homes

Richard Neutra’s 1929 Lovell House. Image Courtesy of Wikiarquitectura

A shadow hangs over the hills of Los Angeles, threatening its modernist architecture. In this article on the Daily Beast, Andrew Romano investigates the trend for the ‘McMansions’ which are now popular among LA’s super-rich, and the risk that they pose to the style that “many believe was perfected in Southern California” – the hillside modernist home. But it’s not all bad news: he finds that the Schairer House, designed by Gregory Ain in 1949 is now being restored, and Beverly Hills last year past its first laws. Read the full article here.