The American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Award Winners Announced

, “Beyond the Sky,” 1982. Courtesy of Yale

The American Academy of Arts and Letters has announced the recipients of its 2014 architecture awards. Recognized as an architect who has made a significant contribution to architecture as an art, Massimo Scolari was awarded the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture – a $20,000 award whose laureates include Peter Zumthor and this year’s Pritzker Prize winner Shigeru Ban.

See who else was awarded one of the Academy’s prestigious architecture awards, after the break…

(more…)

Deborah Sussman: Breaking the Boundaries Between Architecture & Graphic Design

© Flickr CC User David Cobb

In this delightful article on Metropolis Magazine, Christopher Hawthorne recounts his meeting with Deborah Sussman, the one-time protégé of Charles and Ray Eames whose work breaks the boundaries between graphic design and architecture. From her collaboration with Frank Gehry to her iconic designs for the 1984 LA Olympics, Sussman has come to define a curiously Californian style. You can read the full article here.

U8 International Competition: The Unknown Porto

Revista Unidade recently announced their international competition “The Unknown Porto”. The main goal is to convert an industrial ruin into a service station, serving the national road of Portugal.

Registration for the competition will end May 17 and the jury includes Eduardo Souto de Moura, Valerio Olgiati, Jonathan Sergison and Camilo Rebelo. For more information, please go to the competition’s official website.

Plasticity: International Digital Design to Fabrication Competition

TEX-FAB has announced their latest competition: Plasticity.Plasticity, the quality of being able to be made into different shapes, to be molded or altered, is a quality that is pervasive in contemporary design. This idea can manifest as a material providing haptic experience or as a concept defining relational interaction with performative consequence. From advanced applications of arrested fluid materials to assemblies of components influenced by forces internal and external to a system, the definition of plasticity engages a broad spectrum in the lexicon of contemporary design.

This two round competition will yield four finalists in the first phase that will be awarded a stipend to further develop and exhibit their work at the 2014 ACADIA Design Agency conference for the final jury, that includes Craig Dykers and Jeanne Gang. A winner will be awarded the opportunity to prototype their design into a full scale, free standing interior assembly with material support and expertise from a leading fabricator and consulting engineer. The final installation will be sited in the University of Houston College of Architecture atrium at the 2015 TEX-­‐FAB event.

Deadline for registration is June 29. You can find more information on the competition’s official website.

CHRONOMANIFESTES

The ‘Chronomanifestes’ exhibition by Bernard Tschumi, first presented at Les Abattoirs in Toulouse, will be re-exhibited again in 2014 at the Turbulences – . The radical period of architecture (Superstudio, Archizoom in Italy, Archigram in the United Kingdom to take just two examples) indeed proves itself extraordinarily rich in concepts and critical manifestos that challenge the discipline of architecture to form hybrids with artistic production and to advocate a political position.

Through his critical perspective Tschumi links the radicalism of experiments in the 1960-70 period and architecture that questions its own limits within a wider cultural and political field. For this internationally renowned French architect, ‘without an event, activity or function it is not architecture (…).’

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Frac (Regional Funds for Contemporary Art), a carte blanche was awarded to one or several designers in 2013 to conceive exhibitions from their collection or invent ways of presenting them. These 23 invitations vouched for the determination of the Frac to demonstrate the extent to which the artist is at the heart of their activities, from the collection to the production of works, including exhibitions.

At Les Abattoirs, Frac Midi Pyrénées in Toulouse, a group exhibition called ‘Les Pléiades’ took place from 28th September 2013 to 5th January 2014 to unite in a single venue all the different cartes blanches, that were presented regionally.

For this event, the Frac Centre chose to call upon a figure prominent in its collection: Bernard Tschumi. For this exhibition Bernard Tschumi used, for each of the years concerned, one or several projects by artists or architects that at some point made a proclamation or manifesto, a vision of the city and of architecture.

A book accompanies the exhibition, written by Bernard Tschumi, narrating the adventure experienced by radical avant-gardists, deconstruction and the emergence of digital, in conjunction with key each year on an international level.

For more information visit http://www.frac-centre.fr/

Zaha Hadid to Present BBC Documentary on Kazimir Malevich

Malevich’s Tektonik. Image © Zaha Hadid Architects

The BBC’s Tony Hall has announced that Zaha Hadid will be presenting a 60-minute Secret Knowledge based on Kazimir Malevich. The Russian painter and theoretician, who founded the Suprematist movement, inspired Hadid’s AA graduation thesis which transformed Malevich’s 1923 Arkitekton model into a 14-story hotel that stretched across ’s Hungerford Bridge. Hadid will be one of many influential art leaders enlisted to participate in the program, which intends to place the arts on “center-stage.”

(more…)

Lecture: Antón García-Abril & Débora Mesa in Shanghai

As part of the CA Group’s lecture series, “Architour,” principal of Ensamble Studio, Antón García-Abril & Débora Mesa, will give a lecture at 15:30 on March 29th at Tongji Architectual Design (Group) Co.,Ltd.(TJAD) auditorium in . For 2013 through 2015, “Architour” 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 Fujimoto, Hirata Akihisa, Christian Kerez and Thomas Heatherwick were the series’ first 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: Antón García-Abril & Débora Mesa in Shanghai
Organizers: CA GROUP, TJAD, Fortune Properties(GROUP)co., Ltd, Vanke Co., Ltd., Bulthaup
From: Sat, 29 Mar 2014 15:30
Until: Sat, 29 Mar 2014 17:00
Venue: Tongji Architectual Design (Group) Co.,Ltd.(TJAD) Auditorium 1st floor
Address: Siping North Road, Jinshan, Shanghai, China

Call for Projects: London Festival of Architecture

The London Festival of Architecture will be taking place from June 1 to June 30. Now in its 10th year, the Festival is initiated by The Architecture Foundation, British Council, New London Architecture and RIBA London to celebrate as a global hub of architectural practice, discussion and debate.

Leading cultural institutions including the Barbican, Design Museum, National Trust, Royal Academy of Arts, Serpentine Gallery and Sir John Soane Museum will be presenting activities across the city. Now, the Festival is presenting a call for associated projects by independent practices, designers, artists and curators to form part of the Festival in 2014.

Participants need to respond the 2014 Festival’s theme: Capital. They will need to explore the dynamism of London, including ts architecture and open space. More information can be found here.

Life of an Architect Launches 3rd Annual Playhouse Competition

Courtesy of

Life of an Architect’s Bob Borson has launched the 3rd annual Architect Playhouse Design Competition – a (free) competition open to all that benefits the abused children of Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). Entirely funded by Borson, the competition challenges participants to design a creative playhouse under $4,000 USD. The top two winning entries will be constructed then displayed and raffled at the nonprofit organization. All proceeds will be donated to Dallas CASA. Registration is now open and all submissions are due by May 12th. See last year’s winners, after the break, and register here to participate

(more…)

Frank Lloyd Wright-Designed Research Tower to Be Restored

SCJ Research Tower / Frank Lloyd Wright. Image © SC Johnson

Partially credited to the spotlight cast by MoMA’s “Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal exhibition, SC Johnson (SCJ) has agreed to restore their 15-story Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Research Tower as a museum and corporate office in , Wisconsin. Wright’s only constructed taproot-core, the 1950s tower is “an inspiring example of cantilever construction with an inner core extending 50 feet into the ground that provides support for the 16 million pound structure,” described SCJ. “The taproot core bears a strong resemblance to the lily pad-like columns seen throughout SC Johnson’s Administration Building, another Wright-designed facility.” 

(more…)

Copenhagen’s Mayor Reveals What Makes His City So Enviably Green

Courtesy of Iwan Baan

In an enlightening interview on Future Cape Town, the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen Frank Jensen discusses what it is that makes , and Denmark as a whole, such a green-focused society. The key it seems goes beyond simple politics, stemming from a combination of early adoption, a robust and widely appreciated welfare system and a culture of collaborative innovation. You can read the full interview here.

Contextualism: Dead or Alive?

Courtesy of Manchester School of Architecture

In a to be held this week at the Manchester School of Architecture, Contextualism: Dead or Alive? will explore the importance of contextualism in contemporary architecture. Five key speakers will be featured, presenting papers discussing context both in its purest theoretical form and how it might be addressed in practice. From debating the significance of building traditions (Jonathan Foyle) to how Mecanoo, who recently completed the Library of Birmingham, have approached contextualism in the (Ernst ter Horst), the symposium will endeavor to uncover the ties between architecture and the wider urban realm.

(more…)

Did Park City Blow It With BIG’s Kimball Art Center?

The original design for the Kimball Art Center. Image Courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)

In an entertaining take on the that led BIG to completely redesign their winning competition entry for the Kimball Art Center in Park City, , Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan describes the new design as “ridiculously anonymous,” “a huge — and almost hilarious — departure from the personality and warmth of the original design.” She asks the residents of Park City, whose outrage forced the redesign, “are you happy now?” Read the full article here.

Consolidated Urbanism by Labor4plus Wins Lake Zwenkau Planning Competition

Courtesy of

The winning entry of the Northern Shore Lake Zwenkau competition, which challenged select firms to introduce “holiday villages” and recreational activities to a small lake twenty minutes outside of LeipzigGermanywas proposed by Labor4plus. Dubbed “Yearning Spaces,” the proposal envisions a Western harbor village that concentrates recreational activity along the northern coast of Lake Zenkau and connects to eastwardly located “hermit huts” via hiking trails paralleling the shore.

(more…)

CEBRA’s Plug‘n Play Arena Advocates Flexibility in Denmark

Cafe. Image Courtesy of

CEBRA‘s “Melting Pot,” a multipurpose sports complex conceptualized and shortlisted in an invited competition for Randers, proposes a carefully integrated plug‘n play arena at the edge of the city where the urban, suburban, and natural environment coalesce as a dynamic community focal point.

(more…)

“Architects I Met”: Interviewing Architects Around the Globe

Cover: San Francisco City Book. Image Courtesy of Architects I Met

We’re architects. We travel the world to meet the women and men who build our world.

The team from Architects I Met (AIM) collect and document a wealth of stories, encounters and discussions (in English, French, and Portuguese) with architects from , Hawaii, Madrid, Paris, Lisbon, Lausanne, and more. At the core of their project is the belief that the transfer and exchange of knowledge epitomises contemporary architectural design. Watch their interviews here.

(more…)

Earthquakes – How Well Are We Prepared?

CCTV / OMA – © Frank P. Palmer. Image Courtesy of AIA New York Chapter / Organizing Team

In a at the AIA New York Chapter, seismologists, engineers, seismic code experts, emergency response managers, and architects conversant in seismic design will assemble for a conversation on available technologies and testing capabilities that, surprisingly, are located in New York State. They will “clarify the evolving role of design professionals, the building industry, and municipal and federal agencies in safeguarding our local communities”, as well as “educate the audience about the earthquakes, subsurface conditions, and construction approaches.”

(more…)

Antoine Predock and Bjarke Ingels Awarded 2014 RAIC Honorary Fellowships

Beach & Howe Tower in Vancouver. Image Courtesy of BIG

The wisdom of the Old West, New-Mexico based architect Antoine Predock (who designed the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg) and the vitality of the New East, BIG founder and principal Bjarke Ingels (whose office is responsible for the Beach & Howe Tower in Vancouver and Telus Sky in Calgary), are being distinguished by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada () this year with Honorary Fellowships for extraordinary achievement in the field of architecture. More on this news, here.