Chicago Biennial: “The State of the Art of Architecture” Will Feature Photo Series by Iwan Baan

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The inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial now has an official name, with co-directors Joseph Grima and Sarah Herda announcing “The State of the Art of Architecture” as the biennial’s theme last week. Taking its name from a 1977 conference organized in Chicago by Stanley Tigerman, which focused on the state of architecture in the US, next year’s will aim to expand that conversation into the “international and intergenerational” arena.

In addition to the new name, the Biennial also announced its first major project, a photo essay of Chicago by Iwan Baan, which will contextualize the many landmarks of the Chicago skyline within the wider cityscape and within the day-to-day life of the city.

Read on for more about the biennial theme and more images from Iwan Baan. 

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Video: Daniel Libeskind on Masterplanning Ground Zero

“Its an adventure, because it’s a highly political, highly emotional, highly complicated process, to get something built on the site which is about memory,” explains Daniel Libeskind. “It’s a day that changed the world… and architecture responds in constructing something that has sense for people, that has spirit.”

In this latest installment by the Louisiana Channel,  recounts his involvement and intentions behind the Ground Zero master plan. Rejecting the idea of building mega structures and exploiting the site’s real estate, Libeskind focused his efforts on the people of New York and using architecture as a means for healing.

Watch the video about to hear Libeskind’s story.

Winners Announced for Architecture for Humanity Vancouver’s “NEXT BIG ONE” Competition

“Modular Landscapes” was designed in response to the 2011 Japanese earthquake. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter

Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter has unveiled the winners of “NEXT BIG ONE,” an open call for design solutions to high-magnitude earthquake and tsunami events that plague cities around the world. Project teams were challenged to propose a solution that ”can mitigate natural disasters while simultaneously providing community permanence.”

A jury comprised of leading architects and professionals from Architecture Research Office (Stephen Cassell), Perkins + Will (Susan Gushe), Bing Thom Architects (Eileen Keenan), Scott & Scott Architects (David Scott), and the City of Vancouver (Doug Smith) evaluated the projects. Entries were evaluated based on three key criteria: the exemplification of innovation in disaster design, promotion of community resiliency before and after disasters, and compliance with multi-hazard parameters for worst-case disaster scenarios.

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Winners Of The 2014 RIBA President’s Awards for Research Announced

Tom Bridgen: ‘The Protected Vista’ – Commendation – President’s Award for the Outstanding PhD Thesis. Image Courtesy of

The RIBA President’s Awards for Research, established to “promote and champion high-quality research and encourage its dissemination to the profession,” have announced the 2014 laureates. Spanning four categories – Master’s, PhD, University, and Practice-Located Research – the winning theses and projects highlight the need for research across the profession to nurture innovation and strategic thinking. Ruth Morrow, chair of the jury and Professor at Queen’s University Belfast, commented on the judging panel’s “disappointment” at the lack of entries submitted from outside London.

The disparity between the six London based schools and those in the rest of the UK (of which there are more than forty high-calibre institutions) continually makes itself manifest in RIBA student awards. In spite of this, half of the awards and commendations given this year are for students studying at schools outside the capital; the remaining half were awarded to students of The Bartlett (UCL). Morrow hopes that “next year, in the 10th anniversary year of the awards, that more universities and practices from across the nations and regions will submit entries.”

See this year’s winning and commended projects after the break.

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TED Talk: My Architectural Philosophy? Bring the Community Into the Process / Alejandro Aravena

“If there is any power in design, that’s the power of synthesis.”

In this TED Talk Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, the founder of ELEMENTAL, speaks about some of the design challenges he has faced in and his innovative approaches to solving them. Emphasizing the need for simplicity in design, Aravena talks about three of his projects: the Quinta Monroy social housing project, through which he developed the “half-finished home” typology for governments to provide quality homes at incredibly low-prices; his “inside-out” design for the Pontifical Catholic University’s Innovation Center UC – Anacelto Angelini, which reduced energy costs by two-thirds; and lastly his masterplan for rebuilding a resilient coastline in Constitución Chile after the city was hit by the 2010 earthquake.

Aravena also emphasized the importance of community participation in his projects, saying: “We won’t ever solve the problem unless we use people’s own capacity to build.” Watch Aravena’s full talk above and take a peek at some of his key projects below.

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Light Matters: 7 Ways Lighting Can Make Architecture More Sustainable

Sustainable lighting at HDI Gerling Headquarters. Architects: ingenhoven architects, www.ingenhovenarchitects.com. Lighting design: Tropp Lighting, www.tropp-lighting.com. Image © Hans Georg Esch, www.hgesch.de

Sustainable lighting design offers various well-being and environmental benefits in addition to economic advantages for clients and users. Although provides a free lighting source,  for most spaces the amount and time of is not sufficient and electrical lighting is necessary. A focus on sustainability becomes essential for minimizing energy consumption and improving the quality of life. Even though efficiency has significantly increased with technology, electrical lighting is still more widely used. Often the ambition for renovations or new applications goes along with a higher quantity of lighting instead of finding a better lighting quality with an adequate amount of energy.

Read on after the break for Light Matters’ 7 fundamental steps to achieve sustainable lighting.

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AR Issues: Beyond the historic panacea of the Garden City

Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this post, we take a look at AR’s October 2014 issue which, inspired by URBED’s Wolfson Prize-winning design, features a look at Garden Cities. Here, AR Editor Catherine Slessor questions whether Garden Cities could be the solution for what is fast becoming one of Britain’s most potent political problems, asking “Could Howard’s Garden City and Rudlin’s winning proposal for the Wolfson Prize give crucial hints to come out of the crisis?

Every town-planning module for architecture students begins (and possibly ends) with the Garden City. Yet though Ebenezer Howard’s famous ‘Three Magnets’ diagram is now 116 years old, the notion of combining the better attributes of town and country in a socially reformed, neatly zoned, quasi Utopian city-on-the-hill still has a pervasive appeal. In Howard’s original vision there was room for all, even an insane asylum and ‘home for inebriates’ strategically corralled in a green belt between the city centre and an outer rim of allotments.

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Video: Bjarke Ingels on the Power of Architecture

This past month at WIRED by Design, Bjarke Ingels gave a rundown of his most ambitious projects, highlighting one underlining theme: BIG’s mission to “create social infrastructure for resilient cities.” From their Manhattan “BIG U” storm proofing plan, recently awarded $400 million in federal funds, to their “ski slope” waste-to-energy plant currently underway in Copenhagen, the Danish practice is undoubtedly fulfilling their mission in a BIG and infectious way.

Watch Ingels’ 20-minute talk above and see just how he hopes to realize the world of our dreams with the power of architecture.

Lahdelma & Mahlamäki’s Polish Museum Wins Inaugural Finlandia Prize

Museum Of The History Of Polish Jews / Lahdelma & Mahlamäki + Kuryłowicz & Associates. Image © Pawel Paniczko

A professor of economics, Sixten Korkman has chosen Lahdelma & Mahlamäki ArchitectsMuseum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw as the winner of the inaugural Finlandia Prize for Architecture. The unconventional award, whose intent is to “increase public awareness of high quality Finnish architecture and highlights its benefits for our well-being,” enlisted a group of renowned architects to shortlist the finalists before “layman” Korkman selected the winner as an unbiased representative of the public who valued the building for the way it made him “feel.”

“The idea behind the prize undoubtedly resonates with me. In economics one talks about public goods and externalities, and the built environment is precisely these,” stated Korkman after announcing his decision.

“Whether the buildings are in private or public ownership is of no significance. We all see the architecture, experience the architecture, and architecture affects us all. Architecture undoubtedly affects our well-being and comfort: our built environment is our extended living room. In architecture there is also an egalitarian element. Fortunately the sun still shines for both poor and rich. Our built environment exists for us all.”

More about the winning building, after the break.

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MAD Architects Unveils Mountainous Design for Lucas Museum in Chicago

Courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts

The design for Chicago‘s Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts has been revealed, with MAD Architects unveiling their plans for a sculptural white “mountain,” rising from the site to be topped by a metallic crown. Designed as a landscape that can be approached from all sides, with the main entrance located on a ‘floating’ public plaza accessed via a network of ramps and steps, the building is organized around a central domed lobby and events space, with four stories of gallery spaces, a set of four theaters, and at the top of the building an observation deck and glass-encased restaurant. In a connected, smaller “mountain” are the building’s educational functions, with classrooms, lecture theaters and a library.

Speaking to ArchDaily from Chicago, director of Ma Yansong explained how he wanted the design “to be futuristic but at the same time to be natural,” connecting with the landscape of the waterfront site.

More about the design from Ma Yansong after the break

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TED Talk: How to Reinvent the Apartment Building / Moshe Safdie

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Nearly 50 years after realizing Habitat ’67, when the need for high quality affordable housing is at an all time high, Moshe Safdie is expanding on his ideas first explored in the stacked Montreal utopia to discover just how natural light and the feeling openness can be achieved in today’s megalopolises. Watch as Safdie makes a case to do away with the high-rise in the short TED Talk above.

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Escalalatina: Rendering Your Designs with Diversity

Courtesy of Escalalatina

Tired of seeing Nordic families in representations of Colombian markets and New York hipsters drinking coffee in Mexican cultural centers, a group of self-described “young latinos” have created Escalalatina, a collection of high-resolution images of “people on the road to development” to be used for renderings.

Inspired by Teodor Javanaud Emdén’s SKALGUBBAR - a virtual library of people for renders - Escalatina aims to provide a way for Latin American architects to fill their renders with images of local people.

All of the images are available in .png format and users can also submit their own images for the site as well.

Check out some of the Escalalatina images after the break.

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Norman Foster’s Interview with The European: “Architecture is the Expression of Values”

Apple Campus 2 / . Image © City of Cupertino

Berlin-based editor Max Tholl of The European Magazine has shared with us his interview with Norman Foster on the role of architecture in today’s society. 

The European: Lord Foster, architects design buildings that will characterize cities for decades or even centuries to come. How difficult is it to design buildings for an unknown future?

Foster: Flexibility is a key consideration. We design with an awareness that circumstances will change – that a building’s context will evolve; it may be used in different ways and will need to incorporate new technologies that we cannot yet predict.

The complete interview, after the break. 

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Towards a New Urbanism (Or Three)

Tokyo. Image © Flickr CC User Les Taylor

If you read a lot of articles about cities and urbanism, you’re probably familiar with the words “half of the world’s population now lives in .” For a number of years, these words have been frequently used in the opening sentences of articles, hoping to convince readers in just a few seconds of the importance of the subject at hand. In fact, according to the World Health Organization these words are no longer even true: in 2014 the urban portion of the world’s population has already reached 54%. In other words, every nine months the world adds enough new urbanites to fill a city the size of Tokyo, with an increase of nearly 300 million new urban dwellers since we reached the tipping-point in 2008.

The rise of cities has been so dramatic that UN Habitat has declared today, October 31st 2014, as the first annual World Cities Day.

Of course, all of this means that there has never been a better time to be an urbanist than right now. Or does it?

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World’s Tallest Twin Towers Planned for Dubai

© Emaar Properties and Holding; Courtesy of Gizmodo

Developers Emaar Properties and Dubai Holdings have unveiled a new mega development planned for Dubai, dubbed Dubai Creek Harbour. Though no official architects have been named, the 6 million-square-meter masterplan is designed to be three times larger than downtown Dubai and will include the world’s tallest twin towers.

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How Kunlé Adeyemi “Engages the Local and Specific To Have a Powerful Effect on a Global Level”

Makoko Floating School / NLÉ Architects. Image ©

Kunlé Adeyemi, the 38 year-old former disciple of Rem Koolhaas, made headlines last year with his Makoko Floating School, which enabled better access to education a slum community in . In this profile of Adeyemi and his Practice NLÉ Architects, originally published by Metropolis Magazine, Avinash Rajagopal explores what drives the young architect, explaining why he was selected as one of 10 designers in Metropolis Magazine’s 2014 New Talent list.

When the Makoko Floating School was completed in March 2013, it received wildly enthusiastic critical acclaim from the international news media. The simple A-frame structure, buoyed by recycled plastic barrels in a lagoon in Lagos, Nigeria, was designed by NLÉ, a Lagos- and Amsterdam-based studio founded by the architect Kunlé Adeyemi. The project, intended as a model for how Lagos’s floating community could build simple, sustainable structures for themselves, subsequently faced a few challenges. One of the biggest was winning over local officials, who simply did not know what to make of such a building.

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Built Reminders of a Former Time: Europe’s Dissolved Border Crossings Photographed

Border: Austria / Czech Republic. Image © Ignacio Evangelista

Citizens of central , perhaps uniquely in the world, are used to a life of no borders and free movement between nations. Following two devastating wars fought primarily on European soil, the formation of the early European Union in the 1950s paved the way for a more liberal, less isolated continent. It was not until the signing of the Schengen Treaty in 1985 (which came into effect in 1995) that the majority of borders were truly dissolved and travelling between nations, cultures, and communities became as simple as walking down the road.

Ignacio Evangelista’s series of photographs entitled After Schengen examine the remnants of the old, abandoned crossing points that still exist across the Union. No longer necessary to maintain a country’s independent sovereignty, and almost twenty years since the revolutionary pact was ratified, these palimpsests of border control remain as striking today as when they when delineated the closed boundaries between nations.

See a selection of the collection after the break…

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Article 25 Auctions 100 Artworks By Leading Architects in 10×10 Fundraiser

By Derek Draper. Image Courtesy of Article 25

Architectural aid charity Article 25 has unveiled the drawings for its most important annual fundraising event, the 10×10 Drawing the City Auction. Featuring drawings donated by leading architects including Norman Foster, Ivan HarbourSheila O’Donnell, Terry Farrell and Ken Shuttleworth among many others, in previous years the 10×10 auction has raised over £90,000 for the charity, and this year it is hoped that it will top £100,000.

The 10×10 concept divides a section of the city up into a 10 by 10 square grid, with each participating architect assigned a section of the grid where they must find inspiration for an artwork. This year, the grid centred on the Shard, where this year’s auction will be held on November 27th. In the lead-up to the auction, bidding will also be available online from November 4th-25th, at the 10×10 website.

Read on after the break for another 20 of the pieces to be auctioned

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