The A-Z of Brutalism

© Andy Spain

The Guardian’s has named the “incredible hulks” of Brutalism with a thought provoking A-Z list that ranges from Hans Asplund, who coined the term “nybrutalism,” to ’s fascination with Zapotec-like adornments in the 1960s. Read the list in full and discover why Quebec City, Yugoslavia’s Janko Konstantinov, and Danish architect Jørn Utzon are all considered incredible hulks here.

Frank Gehry’s Ground Zero Performing Arts Scheme Abandoned

Original Proposal. Image © Gehry Partners

The recent hire of temporary artistic director David Lan has indicated that plans for ’s “world center for the performing arts” is moving forward in New York. The famed London director will work alongside managing partner Andy Hayles to revise the original Frank Gehry-designed scheme which, according to the center’s president, was prematurely designed. This leaves Gehry’s involvement unclear, as the initial 1000-seat center will be abandoned for a scaled down, three-theater house that ranges from 150 to 550 seats. Competition for funding also remains an obstacle, in light of venues such as Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s 2017 Culture Shed. You can learn more about the center’s update here

Emerging Visions Portfolio Competition 2014

The Chicago Architectural Club, with the support of AIA Chicago and the Graham Foundation, today announced the launch of the 2014 Emerging Visions portfolio competition. This competition seeks to provide a forum for young designers to be recognized and to share their visions, inventions and ideas. The award promotes significant architectural endeavors by young architects, designers and new practices yet to be acknowledged.

Prominent architects Elva Rubio and Dan Wheeler founded the Emerging Visions portfolio competition in 1998 in an effort to draw attention to the significant design contributions of rising talents based in . Previous winners include: Michael Wilkinson (1998), Jeanne Gang & Mark Schendel (2000), Sarah Dunn & Martin Felsen (2003), Tristan d’Estree Sterk (2005), Karla Sierralta & Brian Strawn (2007) Iker Gil (2010).

Entry information, including a complete set of rules, can be found at http://chicagoarchitecturalclub.org/. Entries are due by 10pm CST, March 09, 2014. Winners of the 2014 Emerging Visions will present their work at an event at Chicago Architecture Foundation on March 13, 2014 and have their work exhibited at the 2014 AIA National Convention from June 26-28, 2014.

20 Teams to Compete in 2015 U.S. Solar Decathlon

2013: Team Austria Wins Top Honors. Image © Jason Flakes/U.S. DOE

The U.S. Department of Energy has selected 20 collegiate teams to participate in the 2015 Solar Decathlon at , California’s Orange County Great Park. The eight returning teams will compete against 12 new teams, with partners from four international schools, to build “solar-powered, highly energy-efficient houses that combine affordability, innovation, and design excellence” within the allotted two-year period. View the full list of competitors, after the break.

(more…)

Diller Scofidio + Renfro Designs Public Plaza, Restaurant for LA’s Broad Museum

© , via Designboom

Alongside news that The Broad’s completion date has been pushed back to 2015, rather than this fall, Diller Scofidio + Renfro has unveiled a new collaboration with landscape architect Walter Hood that will transform the mid-block parcel adjacent to the Grand Avenue museum into a pedestrian-friendly landscaped plaza and restaurant. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the new square will establish an important link to the neighboring and apartment, as well as the future 2020 Regional Connector subway stop. The 24,000 square foot parcel will be enhanced by100-year-old olive trees transplanted from Northern California. Watch a video about the design after the break, and find more information here

(more…)

A Proposal to Turn Paris’ Unused Metro Stations Into Parks, Pools, and More

’ Arsenal Station as an underground park. Image Courtesy of Manal Rachdi, OXO Architects & Nicolas Laisné, via IBT

We architects know full well the power of renderings to capture the imagination. Apparently – so too do politicians. Capitalizing on the popularity of projects around the world (a trend instigated by the success of New York’s High Line), French politician Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet has made converting Paris’ unused “ghost stations” a major part of her platform, promising that these projects will come to pass should she be elected mayor.

The renderings, by Manal Rachdi OXO Architects and Nicolas Laisné Associés, show the Arsenal station (unused since 1939) alternately as a swimming pool, a green park, restaurant, disco, or theater. As there are in fact 16 disused metro stations in Paris, the idea behind these renderings is to instigate debate among practitioners as to how these spaces could best serve the city. See all the renderings, after the break.

(more…)

Congress Aids the Impending Doom of Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial

©

Congress budget cuts have officially stalled ’s controversial Eisenhower Memorial, according to a recent report, rejecting $49 million in construction funds and cutting the Eisenhower Memorial Commission’s annual budget in half. Unless the commission is able to raise a substantial amount of private funds, as well as win support from the Eisenhower family (which is doubtful), Gehry’s “grandiose” memorial is unlikely to ever break ground. Despite this, the commission’s director is optimistic, stating that the FDR Memorial took nearly 45 years to get built. You can read more about the controversy here.

Snow Reveals Opportunities for Public Space

Image via This Old City.

Traffic imprints found in Philadelphia’s record snowfall has revealed some clever opportunities for public space. As reported by This Old City, formations have carved examples of unused streetscape that could be easily reclaimed as pedestrian space. This would not only improve traffic safety, but would also enhance the city’s and desirability. Learn more and see examples here.

Four Reasons Biking is Good For Business

Biking down San Francisco’s Market Street. Image © Flickr CC User Steven Vance

Aside from the environmental and health benefits provided by biking, cycle cities are proving to be profitable, which has begun to attract support from many US business leaders. Not only do bike-friendly streets increase the visibility and desirability of real estate, they also reduce the need to waste money (and space) on ample parking. In addition to this, as ’s Michael Andersen points out, bicyclists are the “perfect customer: the kind that comes back again and again.” Learn why else biking is good for business here.

Michael Bloomberg Named U.N. Envoy for Cities and Climate Change

NYC. Image © CC Flickr User Arturo Yee

Former New York mayor has been appointed to be the U.N. special envoy for and climate change. Upon receiving the news, Bloomberg tweeted: “ are taking measurable action to reduce emissions, emerging as leaders in the battle against climate change… I look forward to working with around the world and the UN to accelerate progress [to combat global warming].” You can read more here on USNews.

Developer Seeks to Revive Calatrava’s “Chicago Spire”

. Image © Santiago Calatrava

Cloaked in financial woes, what was intended to be the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere has remained a stagnate hole in the cityscape since the height of the crisis. However, the fate of the Santiago Calatrava-designed luxury condominium may be about to change, as developer Garrett Kelleher is actively seeking court approval to reinstate the project with a $135 million investment from Atlas Apartment Holdings LLC. More on Chicago’s 2,000-foot “twisting” spire latest update here on the Chicago Tribune.   

(more…)

David Adjaye’s Wakefield Market Hall Faces Demolition

Wakefield Market Hall /

Yorkshire councilors have indicated the demise of David Adjaye’s first public project, the Wakefield Market Hall. Faced with harsh budget cuts, the local council is considering an offer by Sovereign Land, owner of the neighboring shopping complex, after the heavily subsidized 6-year-old market has consistently failed to attract enough business. If next week’s council vote sways in the developers favor, the £3 million structure will be bulldozed and replaced by a cinema. 

(more…)

Presido Trust Rejects Shortlisted Proposals, Calls Off Competition

Lucas Cultural Arts Museum © Art Zendarski

This week, just two weeks after the three shortlisted teams submitted their revised proposals for Crissy Field, ’s Presidio Trust unanimously decided to end the competition. Though the competition raised high hopes over its 14-month duration that the Trust would transform the prominent 8-acre site into a “cultural institution of distinction,” its fate has been left to the “wind,” as the SFGate’s John King reports. This means, neither George Lucas’ self-titled cultural arts museum, WRNS Studio and the ’s sustainability institute, or the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy’s  “park-based” cultural center will be realized. You can view each of the rejected proposals here and more details on the cancelation here.

European Prize of Architecture Philippe Rotthier

Established in 1982 by the architect Philippe Rotthier, this triennial prize rewards works of collective and cultural value with regional roots and using natural and sustainable materials that draw on the genius of the European town and a dialogue with the past and with history.

After Urban renewal and the new neighbourhoods in 2008 and The renovation of existing sites and buildings in 2011, the theme chosen for the TENTH SESSION is the relationship of architecture to natural and urban landscapes.

From the sublime to the mimetic, all works that fall within the major art of landscape, whether in terms of integration or reappropriation, may be submitted to the international jury for consideration: seaside, climatic or agro-foodstuffs constructions, engineering works, wine cellars, covered markets, water towers, windmills, cultural buildings, ruins and factories, etc.

For more information regarding submission, jury and prizes, please click here.

A McDonald’s Controversy Raises Debate on Designing for the Elderly

© Flickr CC User symmetry_mind

In an article for the New York Times, Michael Kimmelman gets to the bottom of an unusual local dispute: a McDonald’s in Queens, New York is kicking out groups of elderly Koreans who are out-staying their 20-minute welcome (and who have no access to spaces nearby). The story raises an important question: how can we design our with elder populations in mind (a generation on track to out-number all others in the next few years)? You can read this poignant tale in full here.

Designing Security into Schools: A Special Report

A rendering of the New Utøya Project a redesign of Utøya Island in Norway – the location of a 2011 massacre. Image Courtesy of Fantastic Norway

When it comes to designing schools, security is always a big issue. This fact was thrown into sharp focus in December of 2012 after the Sandy Hook Tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. Last year, we featured an article discussing how design can deal with tragedy – both in order to prevent it and how to deal with the aftermath. Now, a report by Building Design and Construction investigates the measures that could prevent dangerous incidents. While they admit “it’s impossible to stop an armed madman who is hell-bent on killing”, the report has a number of simple and sensible recommendations which aid in preventing and responding to a threat. You can read the report here.

Neri Oxman Wins 2014 Vilcek Prize in Design

Rapid Craft, designed by .

As an immigrant “who has made lasting contributions to American society through extraordinary achievements in biomedical research and the arts and humanities,” Israeli-born designer and architect Neri Oxman has been selected as the 2014 Vilcek Prize in Design’s recipient.

(more…)

Tourist Centre on Klekovaca Mountain International Competition

Competition Site

The purpose of the Competition is to obtain the preliminary urban and architectural design for the future urban zone of the Klekovaca Tourist Centre on . is located in the western part of Bosnia and Herzegovina and belongs to the central part of the Dinaric Arc – Southeast Europe region. Its highest peak is Velika Klekovaca (1.962m) and it stretches in a north-westerly to southeasterly direction, covering a distance of 43 km.

The competition site is a part of the larger complex of the Klekovaca Tourist Centre. It is located at the foot of the Klekovaca Mountain, on the Kozila Plateau, at 805 to 895 metres above sea level, covering an area of 383ha with a planned accommodation capacity of about 15,000 beds. The wider complex of the Klekovaca Tourist Centre includes an additional area of 2,250ha where winter and summer tourist facilities are planned (mountain ethno-village, Alpine and Nordic ski slopes, snowboard parks, adrenalin parks etc.), which are not within the scope of this Competition.

For more information please go to the competition’s official website.