Austrian Pritzker Prize Laureate Hans Hollein Passes Away

Portrait, 2011.. Image © Alexandra Pawloff

Austrian artist, architect, designer, theoretician and Pritzker Prize laureate Hans Hollein has passed away twenty five days after he celebrated his eightieth birthday. Hollein, particularly known for his museum design, including Vienna’s Haas House (1990) and Frankfurt’s Museum of Modern Art, was once described by Richard Meier as an architect whose “groundbreaking ideas” have “had a major impact on the thinking of designers and architects.”

See a selection of Hollein’s work, from  to furniture, jewelry to glasses, to a high-rise in China, after the break…

(more…)

Is There a ‘Perfect’ Density for Cities?

Places such as Manhattan are seeing an increase in ever-taller residential buildings. Image Courtesy of SHoP Architects

In a compelling opinion piece on the Guardian, Lloyd Alter argues that our current obsession with increasing the density of our cities – mostly by building ever-taller skyscrapers - might be severely misguided. Alter believes that, without tall buildings, cities can achieve a “Goldilocks ” – just dense enough to support lively streets, but not so dense that they become inhabitable. You can read the full article here.

Exhibition: 2D:3D Barkow Leibinger

© Gustav Düsing /

Only 5 more days on the exhibition 2D:3D, an installation by Barkow Leibinger at the BDA Gallery. Covering the wall surfaces of the small gallery space with “tapete” or wallpaper the façade of the storefront gallery frames what Leon Battista Alberti described as a fenestra aperta. In this configuration the space of the gallery is a projection/ extension of the streetscape in the bourgeois residential historical Mommsenstrasse neighborhood.

Playing with the concept directive 2D 3D, the wall paper on one side of the gallery is a two dimensional pattern: an organic looping structure which repeats and mirrors itself that is both ornamental and geometrically structural in its architectural implication. On axis with the street front façade at the back of the gallery is a wallpaper “portrait” of this system in black and white but now projected as a one-point perspective optically extending the perspective of the gallery itself.

(more…)

City-County Building Plaza Design Competition

The City-County Building Plaza Design Competition is seeking a final conceptual that would be implemented on an existing 1.94 acre open space on the City-County Building Property also known as the City-County Building Plaza (CCB Plaza).

The design team whose winning design is selected will receive $15,000 (2nd Place – $7,500; 3rd Place – $2,500) and will then be the preferred professional services provider for a full engineering/design contract (upon obtaining available funding) with the -Marion County Building Authority (IMCBA). Complete information can be found on the competition’s official website.

Henning Larsen Wins Competition to Design Central Bank of Libya

Plaza. Image © Henning Larsen Architects

Henning Larsen Architects has won an invited competition to design a new headquarters for the Central Bank of Libya in . Inspired by Libyan vernacular , the structure will occupy two existing site excavations. The first, and largest, excavation will be transformed into a “shaded oasis” that serves both the bank and Gurji district by providing areas for operations, an education center, restaurant and hotel. The second will allow vehicular access to the treasuries. 

(more…)

McMansions: The Ultimate Symbol of American Inequality

© Flickr CC User Doug Downen

In this fascinating post for Salon, Thomas Frank holds nothing back on the topic of so-called “McMansions“. Charting their history from the 1980s to today, he reveals the economics and government policies which made them possible, concluding that they are not just a symptom of the inequality in modern US society, but the very cause of it: “Everything we do seems designed to make this thing possible… This stupendous, staring banality is the final outcome for which we have sacrificed everything else.” You can read the full article here.

Waterfront Park Master Plan of the Busan North Port International Competition

BPA (Busan Port Authority) has just announced an international competition for the Waterfront Park Master Plan of the Busan North Port, . The deadline for registration is June 10. To download all the necessary requirements to participate in the competition, please go to the official website.

Wood Encouragement Policy Coming To Australia

Cross Stitch House; Melbourne / FMD Architects. Image © Peter Bennetts

Latrobe City Council is pushing an initiative that would put “wood first.” If implemented, the “ Encouragement Policy” would educate architects and industry professionals about the structural and environmental benefits of in an effort to promote the local timber industry and use of sustainable building materials. Following the lead of the United States and New Zealand, both of which recently established “ encouragement” policies, the council hopes that this will set a precedent that can be applied throughout the rest of Australia. 

(more…)

Architects: Leave Fashion to the Experts

has recently launched a new line of swimwear for Viviona. Image Courtesy of Viviona

Le Corbusier donned signature glasses; Frank Gehry designed footwear; early twentieth-century architect Adolf Loos even wrote “Why A Man Should Be Well-Dressed.” Now Zaha Hadid is making her way into swimwear. But are the nuances of too much for architects to dip their feet into? Read the full article at the Telegraph.

George Lucas Looks to Chicago

Lucas Cultural Arts Museum proposal for Crissy Field. Image © Art Zendarski

After being rejected, alongside two other shortlisted proposals, by San Francisco’s Presidio Trust to build a self-tiled cultural arts museum at Crissy Field, George Lucas has turned his attention to the windy city of . According to a report by the SunTimes, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has challenged civic leaders to find an “accessible” site for the proposed 95,000-square-foot Lucas Cultural Arts Museum by mid-May.

“There aren’t museums looking at digital art and the art of storytelling like this. It’s a fantastic opportunity for Chicago,” stated Polk Brothers Foundation CEO Gillian Darlow, co-chair of the project’s task force. “This is a real effort. The city is serious. He’s serious. And the task force is serious.”

Plovdiv Central Square Architectural Competition

The Municipality of Plovdiv () and One Architecture Week invite worldwide architects to participate in an open international competition for concept . The competition is to outline the future of the Central Square in Plovdiv—an emblematic location where most of the significant historical periods of the city overlap. A solution for their untroubled co-existence is yet to be found.

The competition is international and anonymous. Eligible for participation are Bulgarian and foreign architects or teams with at least one member who is an architect and in legal capacity to practice architectural design. Participation in the competition is free. No preliminary registration is required. For more information regarding submission, prizes and complete timeline, please go to the competition’s official website.

Tour Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion Tomorrow

For the first time in decades, Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion will open to the public tomorrow (April 22) in celebration of its 50th anniversary. Built for the 1964-65 World’s Fair, “the Pavilion represents a pivotal time in American history when the allure of putting a man on the moon inspired renowned architect Philip Johnson to create this emblem for Space Age enthusiasm,” described Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic .

(more…)

Lecture: Bjarne Mastenbroek in Shanghai

As part of the CA Group’s lecture series, “Architour,” one of the Executive Board of SeARCH, will give a lecture at 15:30 on April 25th at Tongji Architectual Design (Group) Co., Ltd.(TJAD) auditorium in Shanghai. For 2013 through 2015, “” has as its theme “New Force of Architecture – Leading Young Architects”: each year, the CA Group will select nine young, global leaders in architecture (four from Asia and five from the West) to lecture on topics that cross typologies and disciplines, from architectural design, urban planning to interior design. Sou FujimotoChristian KerezThomas Heatherwick and Ensamble Studio were part of the series’ speakers.

At the end of each year, an exhibition will be mounted; and at the end of the years, the contents of the lectures will be published as a book.

More info on the “Architour” at the CA Group‘s website and weibo.

Title: Lecture: Bjarne Mastenbroek in Shanghai
Organizers: CA GROUP, TJAD, China Fortune Properties(GROUP)co., Ltd, China Vanke Co., Ltd., bulthaup
From: Fri, 25 Apr 2014 15:30
Until: Fri, 25 Apr 2014 17:00
Venue: Tongji Architectual Design (Group) Co.,Ltd.(TJAD) Auditorium 1st floor
Address: No.441, Siping Road, Yangpu, Shanghai, China

Vision42 Design International Competition

This international competition aims to rethink and redesign one of the most iconic streets in the world—42nd street in Midtown Manhattan. Remaking this dense live/work transportation corridor into a more livable space 24/7 will transform City at its core and become a model for major urban thoroughfares worldwide. The aim of this competition is to increase interest in and gain support for the vision42 initiative for a river-to-river auto-free light rail boulevard on 42nd Street.

The competition is intended to encourage architects, planners, and urban designers from around the world to develop creative proposals for remaking this important but noisy, traffic-clogged street into an enhanced, world-class pedestrian environment that is served by a high-quality, low-floor, modern surface light rail tram. The winning will be one that utilizes the potential of the boulevard to inspire New Yorkers and its elected officials to transform the street into a model for a 21st century live/work space and transportation corridor.

For more information, please click here.

How Kiev’s Independence Square Helped Spur an Uprising

© Flickr CC User Michael Kötter

In a fascinating article for the GuardianOwen Hatherley visits Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) in Kiev, the public square at the heart of the Ukranian revolution that ironically was designed under Stalin as a Baron Hausmann-style weapon against uprisings. Hatherley examines how elements of the public space were utilized by protesters, and how different areas of the square are now hosting a variety of political factions. You can read the full article here.

MONU Magazine New Issue: Geographical Urbanism

MONU– magazine on urbanism is a unique bi-annual international forum for artists, writers and designers that are working on topics of urban culture, development and politics.

Contrary to the simplified linear causality of the environmentalism of the past, which posited that natural geography shapes urban patterns, it is now thought that contemporary urbanization shapes the surface of the earth. Nikos Katsikis explains this tremendous current shift in the meaning of physical geography for cities in his contribution “On the Geographical Organization of World Urbanization”, putting the discussion of the 20th issue of on the topic “Geographical Urbanism” in a historical context.

You can read more on this new issue here, and you can browse the entire issue on Youtube.

SketchUp Announces Mobile Viewer for iPad

Courtesy of

SketchUp have recently unveiled the latest app in their suite, SketchUp Mobile Viewer for . Allowing “on the go” access to models, the app also features access to “the entire universe” of files in their 3D Warehouse. Users can use the same familiar features, such as Orbit, Pan and Zoom, to “present their own private 3D models to clients and partners.” With a price tag of $9.99 from Apple’s App Store, early reviews suggest that this is a good first step with some way yet to go. Being the first ever SketchUp tablet product (with a planned Android version in the works), it has been released in conjunction with SketchUp 2014 which incorporated BIM capabilities for the very first time.

(more…)

Exhibition: New Moscow – Новая Москва, Urban Development by International Competitions 2012-2014

National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA) / © Heneghan Peng, Dublin

A new series of international architecture competitions are characterizing a clear change in the current strategy of Moscow. The initiator of these developments is the incumbent chief architect of the Russian capital, Sergey Kuznetsov. Together with his team, he has breathed new life into Moscow’s urban development since taking office in mid 2012. The exhibition New Moscow – Новая Москва presents two international competitions – from the fields of landscape planning (1st prize Diller Scofidio + Renfro, New York) and cultural building (1st prize Heneghan Peng, Dublin) – and through these demonstrates the great gains for the city’s urban planning that are being drawn from this open, global approach.

Both of the competitions presented in the exhibition demonstrate the great potential for development and innovation in Moscow to meet the growing demands of the city residents for cultural and leisure facilities. A further important topic is the extension of the traffic infrastructure of this growing city, which is initiating a radical change in the building policy of the Russian capital.

For more information, please click here.

Title: New Moscow – Новая Москва, Urban Development by International Competitions 2012-2014
From: Sat, 31 May 2014 
Until: Sat, 05 Jul 2014 
Venue: Aedes am Pfefferberg
Address: 10119 Berlin,