NBBJ Designs Towering Shenzhen Campus for Internet Giant

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NBBJ has unveiled a 250-meter-high, two-tower campus that will become Tencent’s main headquarters at the High-Tech Industrial Park upon completion in 2016. As the world’s third-largest internet corporation, and 2013’s most innovative Chinese company according to FastCo, Tencent hopes the new campus will serve as a vibrant workplace for an expanding workforce of 12,000 employees.

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The Architecture of Alfred Hitchcock

Hitchcock on the set of Rope, with actors Jimmy Steward, John Dall, and Farley Granger. Image Courtesy of nai010 publishers

Originally appearing in Metropolis Magazine as “Hitchcock and the Architecture of Suspense,” this article by Samuel Medina reviews Steven Jacobs’ book The Wrong House: The Architecture of Alfred Hitchcock, which uses expert analysis and reconstructed floor plans to examine how the master created suspense with his sets.

In the films of Alfred Hitchcock, things happen, but the events that gave rise to them are easily forgotten. You quickly forget how A leads to B or, say, by what elaborate means Roger Thornhill ends up at Mt. Rushmore in North by Northwest. But as the French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard observed, the Hitchcockian cinema compels not with story, but with images—the open-palmed hand reaching for the door, the simulated fall down the staircase, the whorling retreat of the camera from a dead woman’s face. These stark snippets imbue the films with their uncanny allure and imprint themselves in the mind of the spectator much more effectively than any of the master’s convoluted plots.

Read on for more on the role architecture plays in Hitchcock’s films

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2014 ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards: The Finalists

After an intense week of nominations, the collective intelligence of ArchDaily has evaluated over 3,500 projects and narrowed down the list to 5 finalists per category.

We were very happy to see the level of participation from our readers – over 15,000 individuals expressed what architecture means to them through the buildings they chose.

And we have to congratulate you, as the finalists are outstanding. From all over the world, by firms of all sizes and trajectories, ranging from community-built projects to large scale complex programs, these buildings all have one thing in common: excellent architecture that can improve people’s lives.

You can vote for your favorite projects starting today and until January 30th, 2014 (read the complete rules).

Remember that the two projects with the most votes will receive an HP Designjet T520 ePrinter, and that we are going to give away two iPad Minis to our readers during the final voting stage.

The winners of the two iPad Minis from the nomination stage are: Shelby Nease and Kristen Johnson (you’ll receive an email shorty).

Make your voice heard – vote for your favorite projects for the 2014 Building of the Year Awards!

The Winners of the 2014 SEED Awards for Excellence in Public Interest Design

Six public-interest design projects have been announced as this year’s winners of the International SEED Awards, held by the SEED NetworkDesign Corps, and Parsons The New School for Design. According to the jury, these six are those which most creatively and successfullyaddress the pressing social, economic, and environmental issues of our world today.

See the six SEED Award winning projects, after the break…

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Photos of Eero Saarinen’s Abandoned Bell Labs

© Rob Dobi

This article by Samuel Medina originally appeared in Metropolis Magazine, titled “Eero Saarinen’s Bell Labs, Now Devoid of Life” and features stunning photos of the abandoned leviathan by Rob Dobi.

At its peak, thousands passed through its massive, light-filled atrium. Today, Bell Labs Holmdel stands empty, all of its 1.9-million-square-feet utterly without life. An iconic example of the now-disparaged office park, the campus in central Jersey, was shuttered in 2007 and vacated soon after. Years later, it remains in an abandoned, if not unkept state. The grounds are cared for, the floors swept clean, and the interior plantings trimmed, however haphazardly. (That’s saying something; in the laboratory’s heyday, plastic shrubbery filled its glorious central hall.)

More about the building’s future, and more photos by Rob Dobi, after the break

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Architectural Photographers: Roland Halbe

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Working independently since 1988, Roland Halbe started out shooting commercial architecture, but quickly became one of the most recognized professionals in architecture photography, earning international commissions from architects, agencies and all kinds of media outlets.

In 1996 he co-founded Artur Images, an online archive of architecture and interior images, representing over 200 photographers from all over the world including, of course, himself.

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Le Corbusier’s Ronchamp, Vandalized

AD Classics: / Le Corbusier. Image © Cara Hyde-Basso

Originally posted in Metropolis Magazine, Samuel Medina reports on the irreparable damage caused by vandalism at Le Corbusier’s Chapel of Ronchamp.  

On Friday, a nun gave warning that the Chapel of Ronchamp, considered by many to be one of the key architectural works of the last century, had been vandalized. When police arrived on the scene, they found signs of forced entry: a stained-glass window, one of many executed by Le Corbusier, was broken and a concrete trunk was missing. As Le Monde reports, the intruders had also attempted to gain entry via a door. The overall damage was, according to some, “priceless” because the stained-glass had borne an original illustration by Le Corbusier. An initial assessment from the department of historical monuments found the window to be irreparable.

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‘Hacked’ Offices: The Future of Workplace Design?

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What does the workplace of the future look like? Shawn Gehle, of Gensler, explains in this Talk that with over 10 billion square feet of existing office space in North America, we may not even need to envision new buildings. Rather, by “hacking” existing buildings, architects can transform them into something completely new. For more on ’s “hacker” philosophy, read our article here.

Frank Lloyd Wright House Saved

© Tarantino Studio 2013; courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

A rare house from Frank Lloyd Wright‘s Usonian house period has been saved by the Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas. The dramatic rescue plan to disassemble and move the house to a site over 1,000 miles away is required due to frequent flooding of the home’s existing site in Millstone, New Jersey. The Crystal Bridges Museum will rebuild and restore the house at a site on their 120-acre grounds.

Read on for more about this unusual

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2014 AIA Institute Honor Awards for Regional & Urban Design

Denver Union Station Neighborhood Transformation / Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP © Sponge Production

Six US projects have been selected by the American Institute of Architects’ () for honorably expanding the role of the architect beyond the building and into the realms of urban design, regional and city planning, and community development. These projects will be honored with the ’s Institute Honor Awards for Regional and Urban Design at the 2014 National Convention and Design Exposition in Chicago.

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The Indicator: The Floor Plates Just Didn’t Line Up

exterior. Image © Flickr CC User Dan Nguyen

The Folk Art Museum is most certainly doomed; it may have been doomed from its first appearance. Designed and built to endure, it will soon dissipate in a fog of demolition and fading memory, its lifespan ultimately briefer than a McDonald’s franchise. Looks aren’t everything, I guess.

This raises a lot of questions about permanence, memory, and the spatial character of cities. If The Folk were not in New York, would its status as a landmark building still hold? A particularly New York type of building, more front and slot, it’s a building that is about the street as much as it is about an interior world beyond that street. And losing it will mean West 53rd will be wrought more mega in scale and commercial in vision.

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Gehry’s Grand Avenue Project Wins LA County Supervisors’ Approval

© Gehry Partners

After being rejected for appearing too “boxy” and not appealing enough to pedestrians, Related Companies’ revamped Grand Avenue vision has finally won unanimous approval from county supervisors. The $750-million plan, which was abruptly halted back in September when Gensler’s toned-down version was deemed greatly “disappointing” by the city, will now move forward with a more playful (and pricey) design by the project’s original architect, Frank Gehry.

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Miami Beach Scraps OMA’s Winning Convention Center Design

Proposed Convention Center Entrance. Image © OMA

Miami Beach city commissioners have unanimously agreed to abandon the $1 billion redevelopment of its 52-acre convention center district, which aimed to radically reinvent the area. This decision comes just six months after the city awarded developer South Beach ACE and OMA the bid after an international, highly-publicized competition that pitted OMA against BIG.

“For the purposes of getting this project done fast, on time, on budget, it’s unfortunate that we’ll have to make a very tough, challenging decision,” said Miami Beach Mayer Philip Levine, “To some people, it’s a little disheartening. To other people, it’s a very fresh start.”

As reported by the Miami Herald, the city plans to reinstate a bid for the renovation of the city-owned convention center as well as another for the development of a nearby hotel. Under the new bid, the city will no longer be required to attain 60 percent of voter approval to build. By doing this, Levine believes the renovation will be expedited.

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40 Architecture Docs to Watch In 2014

Gehry’s Vertigo. Image Courtesy of

This time last year we published our 30 Architecture Docs to Watch in 2013 featuring a fantastic range of films telling the tales of some of the world’s greatest unsung architectural heroes. We now bring you eleven more for 2014, looking past the panoply of stars to bring you more of the best architectural documentaries which will provoke, intrigue and beguile.

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AD Interviews: Yuri Grigoryan and Alexei Komissarov / Moscow Urban Forum

Last month we had the chance to attend to the III Moscow Urban Forum, an instance where urbanists, architects, city mayors, the real estate industry and the citizens of Moscow had an open dialogue related to the future of the city under the theme “Megacities: Success Beyond the Centre”. The forum was organized by the Government of Moscow, who invited global urban planning gurus with experience in developing suburbs, to discuss how to resolve the problems of deprived outskirts, how to transform “dead” zones in towns into socially beneficial areas for work and leisure, how make a city environmentally sound and comfortable for living at a low cost, and how to create a transport system that is convenient for its citizens. 

During the forum we had the opportunity to talk and interview with some of these city makers, which will be published in the next days.

To better understand where is Moscow going and why its new periphery is an important object of study, we talked with Yuri Grigoryan and Alexei Komissarov. 

Yuri is the cofounder of the renowned Russian firm Project Meganom and the Director of Education at Strelka, who guided the team that prepared the research project “Archeology of the Periphery”, a central part of the forum. 

Alexei Komissarov is the Moscow Government Minister and Head of the Department of Science, Industrial Policy and Entrepreneurship of Moscow, a department that oversees the conversion of old industrial zones into creative and technological cluster. 

Foster + Partners Unveil 1,121-Foot Comcast Tower for Philadelphia

© dbox,

Comcast Corporation and Liberty Property Trust has commissioned Foster + Partners to design a 59-story, $1.2 billion mixed-use tower planned to neighbor Comcast’s existing global headquarter in Philadelphia. The 1,121-foot glass and stainless steel building is expected to be the tallest in the United States, outside of New York and Chicago, and the largest private development project in the history of Pennsylvania.

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Critical Round-Up: Reaction to the Folk Art Museum’s Demolition, MoMA’s Expansion

American Folk Art Museum exterior. Image © Flickr CC User Dan Nguyen

The flurry of criticism that erupted when MoMA announced its plans to demolish the American Folk Art Museum (in its new plans for expansion, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro) has yet to settle. After the break, we offer a more complete round-up of the critics’ reactions – including Paul Goldberger’s of Vanity Fair, Michael Kimmelman’s for The New York Times, and more…

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Announcing the 2014 ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards

Dear readers,

For the 5th consecutive year, we are proud to announce the Building of the Year Awards.

During the past year our network of architectural knowledge has grown intensely. Not only did we reach over 300,000 daily visitors; almost 70 million page views per month; 160,000 followers on Twitter; 105,000 followers on Instagram; and more than a million fans on Facebook, but, moreover, our local versions – ArchDaily Brasil, ArchDaily México and Plataforma Arquitectura – have grown exponentially as well.

This means that is now reaching every corner of the globe – and in many different formats. From the many lectures and events we attended this year to the launch of our new mobile version (which puts ArchDaily in pockets everywhere), we’re doing everything possible to spread our content – and our mission – around the world.

Which is why the Awards continue to be so important for us. As our audience has grown, so has your collective voice.The Awards are our chance to hear it. This is when you – whether you’re from the smallest town in Africa or the largest city in China – get to identify and recognize the most impactful/meaningful/inspiring project that was published on ArchDaily during the past year. This is an opportunity to tap into our global readership’s collective intelligence; an opportunity for you to judge over 3,500 projects from around the world, according to criteria and priorities that are important to you.

Click here to nominate your favorite projects

Full rules, including how your vote could win you an iPad Mini, after the break:

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