Barcelona Commemorates 300 Years of Catalan Spirit With 7 Public Installations

Identity / URBANUS. Image © Marcela Grassi

Every year, citizens of Catalonia commemorate the events of September 11th 1714, a key date in the War of the Spanish Succession that has come to symbolize what Voltaire called “the Barcelonans’ extreme love of freedom.” With this year marking the 300th anniversary of these events, Barcelona Cultura enlisted the Fundació Enric Miralles to curate 7 public installations around the city as part of its Tricentenari BCN program.

The result is BCN RE.SET, organized by Benedetta Tagliabue of the Fundació Enric Miralles and stage director Àlex Ollé, which invited guest architects from countries all over the world to colloborate with local universities and create installations symbolizing 6 political and ideological concepts: identity, freedom, Europe, diversity, democracy and memory. These installations will be in place until September 11th. Read on after the break for descriptions of all 6 installations.

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David Rockwell’s Luxurious Pre-Fab Homes

Courtesy of Rockwell Group

Two weeks ago, David Rockwell took a step away from his usual work of interior and set design to present his foray into the prefab game – an adaptable 2,400 square-foot house called “Pinwheel.” His design aims to challenge two assumptions about prefabrication: one, affordability and luxury are mutually exclusive and two, pre-fab’s limited flexibility makes a cookie-cutter result inevitable. Rockwell says the project, a collaboration between himself and Fred Carl, founder of modular housing venture C3 Design, was inspired by his childhood in Mexico, where “outdoor space was part of the lifestyle.” Check out the plan and more designs after the break.

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Students and Community Members Come Together to Construct Theater in Cape Town Township

Courtesy of Future

The Guga S’Thebe Arts and Cultural Centre in Langa, Cape Town’s oldest township, is expanding to include a theatre exclusively for children and adolescents. The main component of the theatre, set for completion this fall, will be a large, multi-functional space for hosting performances. The project, a collaborative effort between future users and international architecture students, is aimed at stimulating sustainable development while widening the possibilities for the target demographic. To check out more project images, continue after the break.

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Australian Institute of Architects 2014 Northern Territory Awards Winners Announced

Strohmayr House / Troppo Architects. Image © Fiona Morrison

The winners of the Australian Institute of Architects‘ 2014 Northern Territory Awards were announced last night – continuing a strong year for Troppo Architects, who won four awards to add to their Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal, which they received in March. Troppo took home the Territory’s top award, the Tracy Memorial Award, in addition to the COLORBOND® Award for Steel Architecture, the Enduring Architecture Award, and the award for Residential Alterations & Additions.

Other winners on the night included Mode and Dunn & Hillam Architects, who each took home one award and one commendation. Neeson Murcutt Architects also bagged a Small Projects Award just a day after a very successful outing in the New South Wales Awards.

Read on after the break for all the winners

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The Projects of OfficeUS: A Round Up of 15 Architecture Classics

© Nico Saieh

Responding to Rem Koolhas’s theme of “Absorbing Modernity,” OfficeUS, the US’s National Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale, launched as an experimental architecture firm with a mission to revisit, rethink and re-evaluate one thousand American architectural projects from the last century. The Giardini Pavilion was transformed by New-York based firm Leong Leong into a multi-functioning and interdisciplinary office, run by the six “partners” who were hand-picked for the job. Assigned with the ongoing task of producing models, drawings, and engaging in workshops and lectures throughout the duration of the Biennale, the partners and their collaborators in Venice and around the world attempt “to construct an agenda for the future production of architecture.”

Focused mainly on exported architecture, the projects vary from nuclear plants to US embassies, residential typologies and museums and are lined on the pavilion’s walls within research booklets, available for the use of the partners and the public.

Care to join in? Check out 15 of the projects investigated by OfficeUS, after the break…

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Hy-Fi, The Organic Mushroom-Brick Tower Opens At MoMA’s PS1 Courtyard

Last night, the organic brick structure known as ‘Hy-Fi‘ opened in the courtyard of MoMA’s PS1 space in New York. Designed by David Benjamin of New York architects The Living, the tower was designed as part of MoMA’s Young Architects Program, and its construction centers around the use of an innovative building material: organic, biodegradable bricks consisting of no more than farm waste and a culture of fungus that is grown to fit a brick-shaped mold.

Acting as the centerpiece for MoMA‘s Warm Up music festival on Saturdays throughout the Summer, the temporary structure will provide shade, seating and water until September 7th. Read on after the break for more on the design.

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London Science Museum Announces Shortlist for New Galleries

© Flickr CC User Science Museum

The Science Museum in London has announced two shortlists of high-profile architects in its competitions to design new Mathematics and Medicine galleries. Due to open by 2018, the new galleries will double the space inside the museum. Among the shortlisted practices are Zaha Hadid Architects, Amanda Levete Architects, Wilkinson Eyre and Caruso St John. Winners for both galleries are expected to be announced in early August.

Read on after the break for the full shortlists

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PlanGrid Launches Educational Offering

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PlanGrid, touted as “the fastest blueprint viewer” available, is one of the most mature apps for viewing, amending and discussing construction drawings on a collaborative cloud-based platform. This week they launched PlanGrid for Education, allowing students full and uninhibited access to every feature of the app free of charge. According to the company, they currently have “40,000 blueprints being uploaded to PlanGrid daily and over 9 million blueprints stored digitally”, making the platform one of the fastest growing in its market.

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What Moscow Can Learn from Barcelona, Berlin, Amsterdam, & London: A New Series from the Strelka Institute & Fundació Mies van der Rohe

Clockwise: (© Marcella/Flickr.com), London (© mariusz kluzniak/ Flickr.com), Amsterdam (@dbasulto / Instagram), Berlin (via strelka.com).

The Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and in partnership with the Fundació Mies van der Rohe have launched an exciting program of discussions and workshops titled: «Rethinking Europe – European experience in the city development»

The series, which, as part of the Strelka Institute’s summer program, will run from the June 30 to July 29, invites representatives from the architectural and urban planning communities of Europe’s four largest cities – Amsterdam, Berlin, Barcelona, and London – to discuss how their city’s approaches to urban development could be applied to urban territories in Moscow. Learn more about this fantastic series, after the break.

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Australian Institute of Architects Announces 2014 NSW Awards

One Central Park / PTW Architects + Atelier Jean Nouvel. Image © Simon Wood

The Australian Institute of Architects announced its 2014 NSW Architecture Awards in a ceremony held in Sydney last night. Among the 42 Awards and 18 Commendations given out, perhaps the biggest winner was Neeson Murcutt Architects, whose Prince Alfred Park + Pool Upgrade won the Sulman Medal for Public Architecture, the Lloyd Rees Award for Urban Architecture, and was a joint winner of the City of Sydney Lord Mayor’s Prize.

In awarding the scheme by Neeson Murcutt Architects, the jury noted that it was “a rare synthesis of art and landscape, urban design and architecture” making the experience ”a delight in every detail.”

See the full list of 69 Awards, Prizes and Commendations after the break

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OMA / Ole Scheeren’s “The Interlace” Nabs Inaugural CTBUH Urban Habitat Award

The Interlace by OMA / Ole Scheeren. Photo ©

CTBUH, the organization best known for its Tall Building Awards, has announced the winner of its inaugural Urban Habitat Award: OMA / Ole Scheeren’s The Interlace in Singapore. The jurors, including Studio Gang Architects‘ Jeanne Gang, praised the apartment complex, which includes communal gardens and spaces on the roofs and in between the apartment blocks, for responding to its tropical context and “integrating horizontal and vertical living frameworks.” 

CTBUH Jurors also recognized Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ NEO Bankside as a finalist. Read more about the The Interlace and NEO Bankside, after the break.

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Iwan Baan to Judge Avant Guardian Photography Contest

Makoko, Lagos, Nigeria (Featured: Makoko Floating School by NLE Architects). Image ©

s reintroducing its famed Avant Guardian photography contest, a competition that has helped launch the careers of many photographers. Surface editors and a star jury – featuring international photographer Iwan Baan, along with Johan Lindeberg, Klitos Teklos (Air Paris), Benoit Lagarde (Splashlight), and Keren Sachs (Offset) – will select 10 finalists. Finalists’ work will be showcased in Surface’s October 2014 issue and in a traveling photography exhibition.

To inspire you to apply, we’ve rounded up some stunning images of Iwan Baan. Enjoy – and remember – the deadline for submissions is Thursday July 24th at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time!

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Shukhov Tower’s Fate Put to a Vote

Aleksander Rodchenko, Shukhov Tower (1929)

Despite severe corrosion, with almost 70% of one its six sections “thoroughly corroded” according to the government, Vladimir Shukhov’s 1922 radio tower has never been restored. Earlier this year, a large group of international architects petitioned the government to save the tower, one of only 20 or so of Shukhov’s 200 towers still standing in . Now ’s government has put the fate of the landmark tower to a public vote.

Until July 6 Moscovites can use the  “Engaged Citizen” app to support one of four actions: hold an open competition to restore the tower, move the tower to a new location, move it to its historic location on Shabolovka street, or invent a new solution.

What do you think should be done? Let us know in the comments below.

3XN Chosen Over Windgardh, Arkitema to Design University Building in Sweden

Courtesy of

3XN has won an architectural competition – beating out WingårdhArkitema DotChristensen & CoJuul/Frost, and White – to  a new educational building for Mälardalen University in Eskilstuna (southwest of Stockholm, Sweden). The project not only includes a new 18,250 square meter building, but also the renovation of a listed Modernist Public Bath Paul Hedquist. The new campus is planned to be ready in 2018. Read the architect’s description of the winning project, after the break.

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Arckit: Freeform Model Making System Hits the Market

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UPDATE: Arckit is now available in the US and EU! To celebrate, and ArchDaily are giving away two Arckit 240 kits (each worth $499). To participate, check out our Facebook Page!

Physical model making can be time intensive and expensive. However, thanks to the makers of Arckit, that will soon change. Based on a panel by panel modular system and a standard 1.2m grid, the newly released Arckit provides an easy-to-use, flexible model building system that allows architects to quickly construct and modify a diverse range of scaled structures. Architect tested and approved, the kit is currently available for purchase with a discount of 10% and FREE shipping until end July 2014. Simply log on to arckit.com to order (offer applies to US and EU regions only and while stocks last).

Does London Really Need the Garden Bridge?

© Arup

In an interesting analysis in the Guardian, Olly Wainwright draws attention to the questionable process by which of Thomas Heatherwick‘s Garden Bridge proposal has gained such strong support from the British government. It is, according to Wainwright, the product of “one voguish designer, one national treasure and one icon-hungry mayor” – however he contends that compared to other more needed potential bridges over the Thames, the Garden Bridge may just be ”a spectacular solution to a problem that doesn’t really exist,” and a terrific waste of infrastructure funds. You can read the article in full here.

AR Names its 2014 House Awards

House for Trees / Vo Trong Nghia Architects. Image © Hiroyuki Oki

The winners of the 2014 AR House Awards have been announced, celebrating excellence and innovation in the design of a one-off house. This year, the jury consisted of AR Editor Catherine Slessor, Ben van Berkel (UNStudio), Yvonne Farrell (Grafton Architects), William Mann (Witherford Watson Mann Architects) and Abraham Thomas (Director, Sir John Soane’s Museum).

Read on after the break for the full list of winners

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Beachfront Observation Tower Confirmed for the British City of Brighton

Visualisation. Image Courtesy of Marks Barfield Architects / i360 Brighton

British practice Marks Barfield Architects, famous for designing the London Eye, are a step closer to realising their latest urban observation structure: the i360 Brighton. This week the international team who created the London landmark were reunited on Brighton beach as as loans of more than £40 million have been agreed to begin the tower’s construction. Bringing together companies from the UK, France (Poma), the USA (Jacobs Enginneering) and the Netherlands (Hollandia), the project has been described as “truly unique.”

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