Artefacts Under Attack: What Has Been Damaged And To What Extent?

Buddhas of Bamiyan (1963, 2008). Image Image via Wikipedia

In an article for the Financial Times (FT), writer and historian Simon Schama examines world zones and the efforts to protect some of the world’s most vulnerable architectural and cultural sites. If history is a measure, then Schama’s study of William “Basher” Dowsing – an Englishman who, in the winter of 1643, “made it his personal mission to obliterate as much as he possibly could of sacred art in the churches and colleges of East Anglia” in the name of religion – is pertinent now more than ever.

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James Corner Field Operations Chosen to Design Miami “Underline”

The site. Image Image via TheUnderline.org

High Line co-designer, James Corner Field Operations has been selected to design the proposed 10-mile “Underline” in . Chosen by a local jury from 19 submitted entries, JCFO has been asked to envision a bicycle route and linear park that will replace the threadbare M-Path under the Metrorail tracks from Dadeland to the River. The project has yet to achieve funding, but it is hoped that JCFO’s plan will spark more investor interest.

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Open Call: Inside 2015

Inside 2015 invites and young professionals to submit a collection of their “inside” work comprised of up to three digital images. By submitting your work, we invite you to share your voice with the collective intelligence of a community of visual thinkers. The competition is open to all design disciplines including architects, interior designers, furniture designers, digital fabricators, graphic designers, lighting designers, product designers or any other creative field that creates for the inside. The competition is free to all entrants. Learn more, here.

Head in the Clouds with SOILED’s 5th Issue

Courtesy of SOILED

Self-described as “a periodical of architectural stories that [makes] a mess of the built environment and the of space,” SOILED zine‘s 5th issue has been released, abounding with tales of the aerial. Entitled Cloudscrapers, the issue is the second in a series of limited-edition, locally produced by CARTOGRAM Architecture.

Exploring “air-space as a site for activated atmospheres, a privileged perch, and otherwordly occupation,” Cloudscrapers promises readers a diverse and entertaining read, whilst provoking thoughts of spatial wonders otherwise unconsidered. Learn more about SOILED and purchase a copy of Cloudscrapers here.

Places Journal Launches New Tool for Sharing Articles about Architecture, Landscape, and Urbanism

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Do you have a stimulating read on architecture, landscapes, or urbanism you want to share with the world? Places Journal has launched an innovative interactive feature called Reading Lists designed to spread the word. Whether you have videos and to share with a peer, articles and books to compile for future perusal, or an annotated bibliography to create, Reading Lists is sure to simplify the process through its user-friendly and interdisciplinary platform. Check out the Featured Lists for inspiration and start your own list, here.

“Epicentre of Tallinn” Seeks Ideas for Intersections of the Future

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Tallinn Architecture Biennale has announced the vision competition “Epicentre of Tallinn” to find a design solution for intersections in the future, when only self-driving 
cars will drive on the city streets. The international one-stage architecture competition invites entries by the end of May. Read on to learn more.

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Controversy Shrouds Chicago’s Plan for the Barack Obama Presidential Library

One of the University of Chicago’s proposed parkland sites. Image Courtesy of University of Chicago

The competition to host the new Barack Obama Presidential Library has generated quite a stir, attracting proposals from cities across the United States with Chicago emerging as the current front runner. Amid the debate, that is expected to end with a decision later this month, a new controversy has surfaced on the coattails of the University of Chicago’s speculative plan. The proposed concept involves a land transfer for the library to occupy one of two historic parks designed by iconic landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in the 1870s. Read more about the heated debate over using public parkland to house the library, here.

2015 Civic Trust Award Winners Announced

2015 Civic Trust Award Winner: Moesgaard Museum / Henning Larsen Architects

The winners of the 2015 Civic Trust Awards have been announced. Recognizing design excellence in all aspects of the built environment since 1959, the span three categories and are granted to designs around the world. From the King’s Cross Station renovation in London to the Via Verde in New York, this year’s recipients represent a mix of ultra-modern structures, prized cultural sites, and innovative landscapes. See all the 2015 recipients, here.

Call For Entries: RIBA Boyd Auger Student Travel Scholarship

2013 Recipient: Laura Minca. Image © Laura Minca

The Royal Institute of British Architects () has launched a call for applications for the 2015 RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarship. The scholarship, which has been awarded since 2008, supports the personal, professional and academic development of its student recipients by contributing towards their “imaginative and original research and travel.”

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Spotlight: Luis Barragán

Courtesy of casaluisbarragan.org

“The Art of Seeing. It is essential to an architect to know how to see: I mean, to see in such a way that the vision is not overpowered by rational analysis.” – Luis Barragán

One of ’s greatest architects, Luis Ramiro Barragán Morfín (March 9, 1902 – November 22, 1988) revolutionized modern architecture in the country with his use of bright colors reminiscent of the traditional architecture of Mexico, and with works such as his Casa Barragán, the Chapel of the Capuchinas, the Torres de Satélite, “Los Clubes” (Cuadra San Cristobal and Fuente de los Amantes), and the Casa Gilardi, among many others.

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Architects’ Propose Flexible Art Pavilion for Singapore

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This active multi-use pavilion by Bence Pap and Parsa Khalili took second prize in the OUE Artling ArchiPavilion Design Competition in Singapore. Designed around the principles of continuity and flexibility, the Artling Pavilion provides an adaptable space that accommodates evolving programs and ensures constant adherence to the occupants’ needs.

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Stereotank’s HeartBeat Transformed into Times Square HeartSeat

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Stereotank’s HeartBeat filled the air in Times Square this past Valentine’s Day. Now that the love season is over, the Brooklyn-based practice has turned their clever into a welcoming “HeartSeat” by simply opening up their heart-shaped sculpture to the public and transforming it into a bench. The will remain on view through Sunday, March 8th. See a video of HeartSeat, after the break.

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Michael Kimmelman Discusses The Importance Of Advocacy In Architectural Criticism

Michael Kimmelman. Image © Matej Stransky

In an interview with Erika Allen for The , Michael Kimmelman discusses “architecture criticism and the dangers of demolition.” Kimmelman, the NYT’s architecture critic, has built a reputation as someone who advocates for buildings under threat, his most well known “fight” being against renovation plans drawn up by Foster + Partners for the in Manhattan. Referencing his latest column, in which he shows support for the threatened Orange County Government Centre, Kimmelman elaborates on his critical position and why he believes that speaking out for buildings at risk is ”necessary.”

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Open Call: The Negro Building Remembrance Competition

Negro Building via Bustler

The Negro Building Remembrance Competition invites architects, landscape architects, artists, playwrights, poets, musicians and writers from every discipline, as individuals, teams, or professionals, to propose imaginative ways to commemorate the Negro Building, the forgotten landmark of the 1895 Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Fate of Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center to be Decided Tomorrow

Orange County Government Center by © New York Times - Tony Cenicola

Tomorrow legislators are due to decided the fate of Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center. The midcentury icon, listed on the World Monuments Fund’s global watch list, has been the center of a prolonged debate challenging its right to be preserved. 

“The plan is to gut Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center, strip away much of its distinctive, corrugated concrete and glass exterior and demolish one of its three pavilions, replacing it with a big, soulless glass box,” says architecture critic . “[The legislators] can do the right thing Thursday. They can overturn the veto and reconsider demolition.” More on Kimmelman’s call to save the Rudolph landmark, here

Reinier de Graaf on Cultural Amnesia and the “Fall” of the Berlin Wall

Throughout his article, de Graaf’s argument is illustrated with images of lively scenes from 1980s East Berlin, challenging the common misconception that life on the other side of the Wall was bleak. Image © Lutz Schramm/Wikipedia

“Twenty-five years after the Berlin Wall’s demise, it is as though a large part of the twentieth century never happened,” writes OMA principle Reinier de Graaf in his article for Metropolis Magazine “The Other Truth”. “An entire period has been erased from public consciousness, almost like a blank frame in a film.” Through the course of the article, de Graaf outlines how the West has rewritten the history of the cold war, erasing the “other truth” that existed for nearly half a century in East Berlin, the USSR, and other soviet-aligned states – a truth that we forget to our peril. It may not be immediately architectural, but the essay provides an interesting look into the political thoughts of de Graaf who, as the principle of one of architecture’s most prominent research organizations in AMO, has an important influence on the profession’s understanding of the wider world. Read the article in full here.

RIBA Future Trends Survey Reveals A “Mixed Picture”

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The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for January 2015 has revealed strong levels of optimism as workload forecasts remain strongly positive across all regions of the . Following little change in indexes between November and December 2014, the workload index has once again remained consistent at +29. Workload forecast balance figures have remained high, the highest numbers being reported from practices in Northern Ireland at +67 (from +50) and Scotland at +57 (from +75). Furthermore, practices of all sizes have been responding with positive workload prospects heading into the next quarter.

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Competition Seeks Architects to Redesign Downtown Cleveland’s Main Avenue Bridge Underpass

© Downtown Alliance

Downtown Cleveland Alliance seeks a creative professional or team (architect, designer, artist, engineer, landscape architect or combination thereof) to propose unique and attractive design solutions for the area under and around the Main Avenue Bridge Underpass, centered at the intersection of West 9th Street and Main Avenue in Downtown Cleveland. This location is a critical pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular connection between the Warehouse District and the Flats East Bank, with infrastructure, history, and functional potential to inspire the highest level of creative treatments. Request for Qualifications are due Friday, March 6th by 4:30pm! More information, here.

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