Zaha Hadid Officially Signed Up For Iraq Parliament Job

The now abandoned competition-winning design by Assemblage. The Iraqi Council of Representatives has come under fire for not releasing details of Hadid’s design. Image © Assemblage

Zaha Hadid has now officially signed a deal to design the Iraq Parliament building in Baghdad, despite only coming third in the original design competition. BD Online reports that Hadid attended a signing ceremony held at the Iraqi Embassy in London last month, finally bringing a close to the controversial process.

The original competition run by the Royal Institute of British Architects at the request of the Iraqi Government was won by Assemblage, however shortly after the win it became apparent that the Iraqi Council of Representatives had other ideas, as they remained in discussion with Hadid’s Practice. Under the rules of the competition, the client is under no obligation to follow through with the winning design.

More on the controversy after the break

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A Gaudí Guide to Barcelona

Parc Guell. Image Courtesy of http://www.lowcostholidays.com/

Although already an icon in architectural circles, “birthday boy” Antoni Gaudí may soon be receiving a new accolade: sainthood. Due to his renowned, unique style and tireless efforts on La Sagrada Família, Gaudi, potentially our first Patron Saint of Architects, will be beatified by Pope Francis within the next year.

Although beatification is only the third of four steps towards full-fledged canonization (which will require proof that Gaudí performed at least one miracle), it still seems a good moment to celebrate Gaudí and explore some of his most astounding works scattered throughout the city of Barcelona (seven of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites). Discover some of our favourites after the break.

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Leading Architects Come Together for London’s Summer Exhibition

The Architecture Room. Image Courtesy of Royal Academy of Arts

The Royal Academy of Arts’ annual Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open submission exhibition providing “a unique platform for emerging and established artists to showcase their works to an international audience.” From 12,000 total works of art, spanning a complete range of disciplines, 140 architectural works have been selected and hung by Royal Academician and Architect Eric Parry, after some early dialogue with former RIBA President Sir Richard MacCormac. Work featured this year includes a model by Thomas Heatherwick and prints by Louisa Hutton of Sauerbruch Hutton, alongside Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, Nicholas Grimshaw, Richard Rogers and Eva Jiřičná.

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Happy Birthday Antoni Gaudí!

La Sagrada Familia’s passion facade. Image Courtesy of Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Família

Antoni Gaudí (1852 – 1926), the Catalán architect known for his distinctive, fantastical style, and – of course – for his magnum opus, the unfinished Sagrada Família, would have turned 162 today. Heavily influenced by religion and the forms, patterns, and colors found in nature, his work was a precursor to building technology development in the 20th century.

In the Sagrada Família, Gaudí eliminated the need for flying buttresses by developing an ingenious system of angled columns and hyperboloidal vaults. The use of hyperboloids and other complex shapes with ruled surfaces allowed not only for a structure far more delicate than its contemporaries, but also for enhanced acoustic and light quality.

In honor of Gaudí’s birthday, check out some of his other iconic contributions to architecture below.

Smiljan Radic’s Serpentine Pavilion Opens

© 2014 Iwan Baan

UPDATE: Check out video from today’s press conference at the Serpentine Pavilion! 

The 2014 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, designed by Chilean architect Smiljan Radic, opened this morning in London‘s Hyde Park. The pavilion, a glass-fibre reinforced plastic shell resting on large quarry stones, was inspired by a papier mâché model which Radic created four years ago as a response to the Oscar Wilde story ‘The Selfish Giant‘.

© Daniel Portilla

More images after the break

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2014 MASterworks Awards for Design Excellence in NYC

BRIC Arts Media House & Urban Glass/ LEESER Architecture. Image Courtesy of NYC

The Municipal Art Society (MAS) of New York announced their list of honorees for the 2014 MASterworks last week.  These annual are dedicated to buildings, completed the year previously in the city of New York, that exemplify a high standard of design, and make a significant contribution to the city’s urban environment.  This year, all of these projects are located outside of the city center and cover a wide range of programming, from an African-American heritage museum, to a pencil factory addition.

Vin Cipolla, president of MAS said that “the 2014 MASterworks winners strike a great balance between groundbreaking design and historic preservation. We are thrilled that all the winners this year are in the outer boroughs, proving that design excellence is happening throughout the city.”  See the full list of winners here, or take a look at the five major category winners after the break!

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Inside Russia’s “Fair Enough” – Special Mention Winner at the Venice Biennale 2014

The Russian Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale is selling the most important architectural ideas from . Curators Anton Kalgaev, Brendan Mcgetrick, and Daria Paramonova selected twenty ideas that offer solutions to contemporary architectural issues and designed the pavilion as a commercial fair. It’s even got generic furniture and salespeople manning the booths.

They talked to us about their project Fair Enough and why their contribution to the Biennale is a market where Russia’s originally socialist ideas are sold as updated “products.”

Check out the full curatorial statement, flip through the 160-page pavilion catalog, and see a full gallery of images after the break.

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MCHAP Shortlists the 36 Most “Outstanding Projects” in the Americas

Wiel Arets, Dean of the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology () and Dirk Denison, Director of the (MCHAP), have announced the inaugural MCHAP shortlist – 36 “Outstanding Projects” selected from the 225 MCHAP nominees.

“The rich diversity of these built works is a testament to the creative energy at work in the Americas today,” said Arets. “When viewed alongside the innovative work by the MCHAP.emerge finalists and winner, Poli House by Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen which we honored in May, we see the evolution of a distinctly American conversation about creating livable space.” See all 36 winners after the break.

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Chicago Unveils Plans for Its Own Architecture Biennial

Willis Tower (Sears Tower) / SOM. Image © Flickr CC User skydeckchicago

Today, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will announce plans for a new international architecture in his city which hopes to rival the reach and influence of the Venice Architecture Biennale. The first is planned to be held in late 2015, and will be co-curated by Director of the Graham Foundation Sarah Herda, and Joseph Grima, former editor-in-chief of Domus Magazine and co-curator of the 2012 Istanbul Design Biennial.

They will develop the program with help from David Adjaye, Elizabeth Diller, Jeanne Gang, Frank GehryStanley Tigerman, Sylvia Lavin, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Pritzker Prize Jury Chair Peter Palumbo.

More on the plans for the Chicago Architecture Biennial after the break

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Crystal Palace Rebuild Runs Into Delays

Aerial view of the outline proposal by the developer. Image Courtesy of ZhongRong Group

The plan to resurrect London’s Crystal Palace is encountering delays, as talks between the Chinese Development group ZhongRong and Bromley Council have stalled. With a shortlist announced in February of six high-profile practices competing to design a project with “the spirit, scale and magnificence of the original” – including Zaha Hadid, Richard Rogers, David Chipperfield and Nicholas Grimshaw - it was expected that a winner would be announced later this summer, with a scheme submitted for planning permission by the end of the year. However, all of these deadlines are now at risk thanks to the delays.

Read on after the break for details on what is causing the delay

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RIBA Future Trends Survey Demonstrates Continued Stability

Courtesy of

The results of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBAFuture Trends Survey for May show that the Workload Index among practices was slightly down in comparison to April (from +35 to +33) with the recovery in confidence levels remaining consistently “very strong” across the country. Although last month’s survey showed London as the region with the brightest outlook, confidence levels reported by architects in Wales and the West topped the index with a balance figure of +49. Workload forecasts in the private sector, public sector and community sector have all significantly increased.

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Moshe Safdie, Richard Rogers & Rocco Yim to Deliver Keynotes at WAF

The Marina Bay Sands. Image Courtesy of Safdie Architects

Held annually in Singapore, the WAF annually recognizes the world’s most amazing architecture projects (you can learn more here). They have announced an impressive line-up of prominent architects who will speak at the World Architecture Festival in October, including:

  • Rocco Yim of Rocco Design Associates will be speaking about his involvement in the West Kowloon Cultural District, the largest arts and cultural project in Hong Kong to date
  • Richard Rogers will speak candidly about his life as one of the most influential global figures in architecture and his future agenda
  • Moshe Safdie will be closing the Festival, looking back over his extensive career to talk exclusively about the defining moments that shaped its path

The renowned speakers complement a list of notable projects that will soon be revealed in a shortlist. Registration for the event, which takes place from October 1-3, is open now. Sign up and stay tuned to ArchDaily for the latest coverage of the and the co-located event, the INSIDE Festival.

CTBUH Names Its Winners for Best Tall Building 2014

Cayan Tower / . Image © Tim Griffith /

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has announced the regional winners of its 2014 Best Tall Building award. Chosen from a selection of 88 nominees, the four winning buildings will go on to compete for the Best Tall Building Worldwide Award, due to be announced in December.

The winners and finalists this year show significant diversity in form, function and philosophy; normally low-rise typologies such as education, green buildings, renovations and boundary-pushing shapes have all made the list. Jeanne Gang, founder of Studio Gang and Chair of the jury, said: “The submissions this year… reflect the dawning of a global recognition that tall buildings have a critical role to play in a rapidly changing climate and urban environment.”

Read on after the break for the full list of winners and finalists

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RIBA Drops Israel Motion, Sets Up Global Ethics Group in Response to Controversy

The original motion by was a response to architecture’s role in the occupation of Palestine. Image © Rianne Van Doevern via Flickr CC User The Advocacy Project

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has dropped their controversial proposal to ban the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) from the umbrella organization the International Union of Architects (UIA). Intended as a sanction against the IAUA for failing to “resist projects on illegally-occupied land,” supporters of the proposal had hoped it would be discussed at the UIA World Congress in Durban in August, however the UIA has confirmed that it will not include the motion as it is beyond their ‘political scope’.

In response to the highly controversial episode – which garnered criticism both in the UK and as far afield as the United States - the RIBA has announced a new working group that will “consider the institute’s role in engaging with communities facing civil conflict and natural disaster.”

More on the decision by the UIA and the new RIBA Ethics Group after the break

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The Dutch Royal Picture Gallery at The Hague to Reopen Following Extensive Renovation

Courtesy of , The Hague. Image © Ronald Tilleman

The Mauritshuis, a Dutch 17th century city palace in The Hague, will reopen this week following a large scale renovation and extension designed by Hans van Heeswijk with servicing and fire engineering undertaken by Arup. Similar to Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, which reopened after a ten year restoration and remodelling in 2013, the Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery exhibits one of the finest collections of Dutch Golden Age paintings including Johannes Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring. Alongside a large scale renovation, Hans van Heeswijk have also extended the with new exhibition spaces, an auditorium and educational spaces.

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Photographic Archive Crowdsources Your Memories of The Mac

The School of Art Library in 1976. Image © Gordon Hawes Via The Mac Photographic Archive

The interior of Charles Rennie Mackintosh‘s Glasgow School of Art is, thankfully, being restored after being tragically damaged by fire last month. However, despite Scottish Fire and Rescue managing to save around 70% of the building’s precious contents, many will likely struggle to get over the feeling that something is missing without the natural patina of 100 years of use.

In response to this feeling, GSA Alumnus Lizzie Malcolm and Daniel Powers have created The Mac Photographic Archive, a website that allows anyone to upload photographs of the building and tag them with the room they depict and the date they were taken – compiling the ultimate collection of memories of the building’s proud history. Click here to look through the archive, and contribute your own images to the collection.

Video: The City With the Most Constructivist Buildings in the World

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Few Constructivist projects made it through the World Wars, but if you’re looking for those that did, you’d be wise to travel to , . With over a dozen complexes, the city probably has the world’s biggest collection of Constructivist buildings—and it’s definitely the only place with a hotel in the shape of a hammer and sickle.

The fascinating video above by Ural Life and Culture tours the city and surveys the elements common to Constructivist buildings. Yekaterinburg was a laboratory for Constructivist architects who started building there soon after the movement was founded in Moscow in 1921. Architects from all over the Soviet Union, Poland, and Germany designed 4-5 story apartment blocks and office towers to replace single story wooden houses. The Soviets also introduced new typologies like public baths, kindergartens, and a 14-building secret police complex called the “Little Town of Cheka Officers,” with covered passages so residents could walk between buildings indoors.

The city is particularly remarkable when you consider Russia’s track record with its Constructivist architecture. The country’s most famous Constructivist building, Konstantin Melnikov’s house in Moscow, was only listed as a heritage site, after years of preservationist efforts, in 2013.

What Can Be Learnt From The Smithsons’ “New Brutalism” In 2014?

Alison and Peter Smithson (year unknown)

Sheffield born Alison Gill, later to be known as Alison Smithson, was one half of one of the most influential Brutalist architectural partnerships in history. On the day that she would be celebrating her 86th birthday we take a look at how the impact of her and Peter Smithson’s architecture still resonates well into the 21st century, most notably in the British Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale. With London’s Robin Hood Gardens, one of their most well known and large scale social housing projects, facing imminent demolition how might their style, hailed by Reyner Banham in 1955 as the ”new brutalism”, hold the key for future housing projects?

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