New Images: Inside Steven Holl’s Sifang Art Museum

© Sifang Museum

Steven Holl Architects has shared with us an impressive gallery of images of their recent project, Nanjing’s Sifang Art Museum. Rising above the lush landscape of the Pearl Spring, the new museum was designed as a physical manifestation of the parallel perspective, a technique prevalent in early Chinese paintings. From a subtly distorted courtyard with no vanishing points to an upper level gallery with calculated views and pristine light, the experience through the Sifang Art Museum is unlike any other.

See for yourself, after the break…

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The Question of Preserving Melbourne’s Modernism

Total House, one of the buildings at the center of the debacle. Image © Flickr CC User Rory Hyde

Melbourne newspapers are reporting on an argument breaking out over the preservation of the city’s postwar modernist buildings, centering (as ever) on the dispute between their value as cultural heritage vs their ‘ugliness’ (you can see all the contested buildings in a neat graphic at The Age). While many are in favor of preservation, Alan Davies, in anarticle for Crikey, warns that the cultural benefit in protecting these buildings should always be weighed against the cost of preventing the developments that would have taken their place. Read the full article here.

120 HOURS Competition Winners Announced

First Prize: Architecture / Antariksh Tandon, Jennifer Tu Anh Phan. Image Courtesy of

This year’s 120 HOURS competition challenged young architects from around the world to design a communicative icon of sustainability for the festival grounds of the Norwegian Øya Music Festival. With 2989 participants from 83 countries, it claims this year’s title for the world’s biggest architecture competition, for and by students. Enough drum-rolling, let’s take a look at the winning designs after the break…

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2014 Emerging Visions Winners Announced

Helsinki South Harbor. Image © Christopher Marcinkoski and Andrew Moddrell (PORT)

The Architectural Club has named Christopher Marcinkoski and Andrew Moddrell of PORT Architecture + Urbanism and Grant Gibson of CAMES/gibson winners of this year’s . Since its inauguration in 1998, the portfolio competition has sought to recognize significant endeavors by young architects, designers and new practices in Chicago. Works designed by the recipients will be on display at the 2014 AIA National Convention in Chicago. More information, here

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Heatherwick to Transform Cape Town’s Grain Silo into Contemporary Art Museum

Interior. Image Courtesy of Heatherwick Studio

Imagine forty-two, 33 meter high concrete tubes each with a diameter of 5.5 meters, with no open space to experience the volume from within. The brief from the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) for -based Heatherwick Studio was to “reimagine the Grain Silo Complex at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront with an architectural intervention inspired by its own historic character,” calling for a “solution unique for Africa” in order to create “the highest possible quality of space for the work displayed inside.” Heatherwick’s response will be the creation of a “a new kind of museum in an African context.”

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Janet Echelman’s Largest Aerial Sculpture To Premiere in Vancouver

© Ema Peter / Studio Echelman

American Artist Janet Echelman is to premiere her latest, and largest, sculpture in Vancouver. Widely known for her artistic ability to reshape urban airspace, Echelman’s sophisticated mixture of ancient craft and modern technology has led to collaborations with aeronautical and mechanical engineers, architects, lighting designers, landscape architects, and fabricators to “transform urban environments world wide with her net sculptures.” Using a light weight fibre to elevate her monumental “breathing” forms above the streets of urban centres, Echelman’s new sculpture will be of a size and scale never before attempted.

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Berlin Wall Memorials Prove Controversial, Fall Behind Schedule

The design for the Leipzig Memorial, by Marc Weiss and Martin de Mattia. Image © M+M / ANNABAU

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall this autumn, Germany planned two memorials, one in Berlin and one in Leipzig. However, as Der Spiegel reports, not only are they almost certainly not going to be complete in time for the anniversary, they have both proven highly controversial with the local people. Will these designs turn out to be monuments to German reunification, or just monumental failures? Read the article on Der Spiegel to find out more.

Stoss + SHoP Beat Out Bofill, OMA for Downtown Dallas Re-Design

© Stoss + SHoP, Courtesy of A/N

The results are in: Dallas has selected Stoss + SHoP’s “Hyper Density Hyper Landscape” (HDHL) over finalists Ricardo Bofill and +AMO to reunite its downtown with the neighboring Trinity River. The winning team’s pragmatic approach aims to activates the region’s “full potential” by introducing an alternating “grid-green” development that will transform 176 acres into three new “dynamic, mixed-used” neighborhoods.

“The idea is very clear and compelling,” stated the jury. “There’s much left to be resolved in details but the diagram of the green coming into the city and the city going into the Trinity is a very powerful diagram that should become a strategy for managing change as the community moves forward.”

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Aires Mateus Chosen to Design University of Architecture, Tournai

Courtesy of Aires Mateus

The prestigious Portuguese office Aires Mateus – formed by brothers Manuel and Francisco Aires Mateus – has won a competition to the new headquarters of the University of Architecture in Tournai, .

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Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Taps Selldorf to Design Expansion

La Jolla branch of the Museum of Contemporary Art . Image © Flickr CC User Kansas Sebastian

New York-based Selldorf Architects has been summoned to the West Coast to design an expansion that will triple the size of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s () campus in La Jolla. Chosen after a competitive country-wide search, Selldorf is expected to add an addition 20,000 square feet of exhibition space, which will provide opportunities for temporary exhibitions and large scale installations, as well as house the museum’s 4,571-piece permanent collection.

According to the museum, Selldorf was ultimately chosen due to her reputation of designing spaces that enhance, rather than upstage, the subject it serves.

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Venice Biennale 2014: FAT, Crimson Explore the Foundation of British Modernism

Venice Biennale 2012: Museum of Copying / FAT. Image © Nico Saieh

Curators FAT Architecture and Crimson Architectural Historians have released more details on this year’s British Pavilion for the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale. Responding to Rem Koolhaas’ theme, “Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014,” A Clockwork Jerusalem will “explore the diverse cultural influences that shaped and were shaped by British Modernism in the post war era and over the last 100 years.”

“A Clockwork Jerusalem will offer the opportunity to explore and rethink fundamental aspects of British modernity, beyond architecture,” described Vicky Richardson, Director of Architecture, Design and Fashion at the British Council. “As the Venice Biennale evolves into a global research project, we are keen to make a significant contribution to the cultural debate around the past, present and future of and global architecture.”

More from the curators, after the break…

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London’s Impending Tall Building Boom

Central as it will look when all current projects are completed.. Image Courtesy of CPAT / Hayes Davidson / Jason Hawkes

In a study of all development plans in London, the think tank New London Architecture has found that at least 236 buildings over 20 stories are currently either under construction, approved or awaiting approval in the capital – with over 80% of these projects yet to break ground.

The study, created to support an by NLA called “London’s Growing… Up!,” found that 80% of the new towers will be residential, and that the areas of greatest activity were in Central and Eastern areas of London, with 77% of these tall buildings in the City of London or the Boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Lambeth, Greenwich, Newham and Southwark.

Read on for more results of, and reactions to, the study…

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Bennetts Associates Unveil Plans for Latest Development in London’s King’s Cross

Visualisation. Image Courtesy of Bennetts Associates

Bennetts Associates has revealed plans for the latest development in ’s King’s Cross. Their proposal for a sensitive heritage conversion to “breath new life into a disused Victorian building” will house a new supermarket and cookery school, as well as an events and cultural space. As part of the ongoing transformation of one of London’s central districts which has recently seen the completion of John McAslan’s station concourse, Stanton William’s Central Saint Martins, and an office proposal from David Chipperfield, Bennetts Associates’ designs aim to reinvigorate the historic Midland Goods Shed.

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Venice Biennale 2014: Israel Explores The Urburb, a Neither Urban nor Suburban Landscape

New neighbourhoods in Netanya. Image © Itamar Grinberg / The Israeli Pavilion 2014

Neither urban nor suburban, the Urburb is a fragmented mosaic of one hundred years of modernist planning in : early twentieth century garden-, mid-century social housing and generic, high-rise residential typologies of the past two decades. These residential mutations dominate the contemporary Israeli landscape, expanding and replacing existing textures, in an endless, repetitive cycle.

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MAD’s Ma Yansong Named 2014 Young Global Leader

© ArchDaily

Ma Yansong, founder of MAD, has been named the 2014 . The award, bestowed each year by the (WEF), aims to “recognize the most distinguished leaders under the age of 40, nominated from around the world.” Winning the title from a collection of 214 young leaders from 66 countries, Yansong is the first Chinese architect to be awarded this honour. According to the WEF, Yansong “commits himself to exploring the future of architecture by combining the city density, function, and the spirit of Shanshui, to reconnect the emotional link between human and nature.” Watch our interview with Ma Yansong here.

IIDA Names Recipients of 41st Interior Design Competition

Spa in Mallorca; Porto Cristo, Spain / A2 arquitectos

The International Interior Design Association () has named winners of its 41st Interior competition, celebrating “outstanding and innovative” interior “that encourages new ideas and techniques.” In addition to this, the announced the  22nd winner of its annual Will Ching competition, which recognizes “originality and excellence in commercial design from firms with five or fewer employees.” Preview all the winners, after the break.

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Venice Biennale 2014: Turkey to Explore “Places of Memory” in Istanbul

Istanbul, . Image © Karissa Rosenfield

The İstanbul Foundation for Culture and (İKSV) has announced Turkey’s first-ever participation in the Venice Architecture Biennale: “Places of Memory.” Comprised of the work of five contemporary Turkish artists, and curated by architect Murat Tabanlıoğlu, the pavilion will aim to illustrate how a variety of 20th century architectural styles eventually evolved into a singe style throughout most of the contemporary world.

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5 Ways Koolhaas’ Biennale Will Be Different From the Rest

Paolo Baratta and . © Giorgio Zucchiatti. Image Courtesy of la Biennale di Venezia

As Rem Koolhaas completes the introductory press circuit for the 2014 Venice Biennale, we’re learning more about one of the most anticipated Biennales in recent memory. Here’s what we’ve gleaned from Oliver Wainwright’s revealing story in today’s Guardian:

1. Koolhaas has been asked to direct the before, but hasn’t accepted until now. “I have been asked to direct it a number of times before, but I held out for two conditions: that I have a year and a half to plan it, and that I can sever all connections with contemporary architecture – which is not in particularly good health.”

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