MIT’s Thresholds Launches New Website

Courtesy of

In time with the release of the 42nd issue, Human, Thresholds Journal — ’s peer-reviewed journal of art, architecture and culture — has launched a new website. The new ThresholdsJournal.com has been redesigned with more content, spanning the past two decades of the journal’s publication. Other features include online purchasing of past issues, enhanced search capabilities for past contributors, and social media interactivity. The new website will feature news on upcoming issues and related events, submission calls, as well as the broad range of voices that Thresholds has featured since 1992.

Thresholds is also currently seeking submissions for its 43rd issue, to be published in spring of 2015, on the topic Scandalous. What causes you to gasp? Which sites are labeled crime scenes? Editors Nathan Friedman and Ann Lui intend to complicate the idea of high-stakes public discourse through a series of long-form scholarly texts and creative projects. The deadline for contributions is April 30, 2014Content can be sent to thresholds@mit.edu.The full call for submissions can be accessed here.

Preparations Begin to Demolish the American Folk Art Museum

© Flickr CC User Dan Nguyen

Preparations have commenced to demolish Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects’ American Folk Art Museum in . Despite international backlash from preservationists, architects and critics, the neighboring Museum of Modern Art will raze the 12-year-old structure in an effort to make way for an expansion designed by Diller Scofidio & Renfro. According to recent reports, scaffolding has arrived at the site and will soon be erected in front of the museum’s distinct, copper-bronze facade. More on the controversy, here.

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Chinese to Build “Dubai 2.0″ in Kenya

The new city is planned for land South-East of Kenya’s Capital, . Image © Flickr CC User DEMOSH

As reported by Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper, a group of Chinese investors has revealed plans for a new city in Kenya that will “match the splendour of Dubai“. Though the investors are still resolving details with the Kenyan government, the city is planned for an area in Athi River, around 30km south-east of Nairobi, and is billed as a Chinese-controlled economic zone. At this early stage, the plans feature at least 20 skyscrapers. You can find more details of the proposal here.

From Autonomy to Automation: The Work of Peter Eisenman

BANAMID Architecture Research Institute in collaboration with AN.ONYMOUS will hold the third International conference from the “Contemporary Architecture: and the World Dialogue” series in , Iran. The conference, titled “From Autonomy to Automation: The Work of Peter Eisenman” will focus on the defining legacy of Peter Eisenman spanning across 50 years of his intellectual and professional body of work. The conference will trace the evolution of Eisenman’s work over time and will examine its imprint on the contemporary discourse of architecture.

“From Autonomy to Automation” is organized in three main sessions: Autonomy (1968-1978), Archeology (1978-1988), and Automation (1988-present), corresponding to the three stages of Eisenman’s work. Each session would begin with an introductory talk by one of the conference speakers and will follow a response by Peter Eisenman. The speakers would then engage in a discussion with Peter Eisenman about his work. Other speakers include: Iman Ansari, Cynthia Davidson, Marta Nowak, and Meghdad Sharif.

The conference will take place on May 13th and 14th, 2014 at the main conference hall of Milad Tower in Tehran. The event is open to public to stimulate critical dialogues amongst participants, and instigate a broader discussion about the state of contemporary architecture in Iran. Conference organizers also anticipate that this event would promote intellectual and cross-cultural exchange between Iran and the rest of the world.

Title: From Autonomy To Automation: The Work of Peter Eisenman
Organizers: BANAMID Architecture Research Institute, AN.ONYMOUS
Speakers: Peter Eisenman, Cynthia Davidson, Iman Ansari, Marta Nowak, and Meghdad Sharif
Media Partners: Log, ArchDaily, Milad Tower Cultural Center, Banamid TV
Educational Partners: University of Tehran, Shahid Beheshti University
Date & Time: Tuesday May 13, 2014, 10:00-14:00 | Wednesday May 14, 2014 10:00
-14:00
Venue: Hafez Main Conference Hall, Milad Tower
Address: Milad Tower Private Access Road, Hakim Motorway, Tehran, Iran
Registration: Event information and registration at: http://event.banamid.ir/

And don’t miss this article, which originally appeared on Architectural Review, in which AN.ONYMOUS’s Iman Ansari interviews Peter Eisenman about his personal views on architecture throughout the course of his career.

Guy Horton on Zaha Hadid & the Architect’s Ethical Responsibility

Courtesy of ZHA

In this episode of KCRW’s Design & Architecture (DnA) podcast, ArchDaily contributor Guy Horton speaks with Frances Anderson about the architect’s ethical responsibility to protect construction workers’ rights, following up on his popular article “Will We Stay Silent? The Human Cost of Qatar’s World Cup.” The episode also features a fascinating look into Shigeru Ban‘s career and Pritzker win as well as the Folk-Moma controversy. Listen here.

Young Architects in Africa Announced

Seed, blueprint for libraries in South African Schools (Johannesburg) / Architects of Justice (Kuba GRANICKI, Mike RASSMANN, Alessio LACOVIG)

AS.Architecture-Studio has announced the 2014 Young Architects in Africa. The award aims to highlight creative African projects and help a rising generation of young architects achieve worldwide recognition. Selected from nearly 200 projects, these three practices have been named as finalists: Architects of Justice (South Africa), (), and Andre CHRISTENSEN & Mieke DROOMER (South Africa).

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Rafael de La-Hoz Unveils TEDA Monument in Tianjin

Day 1. Image Courtesy of

Spanish architect Rafael de La-Hoz has designed a mirrored, 60-meter monument to commemorate the 30 anniversary of the Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA). The design, titled “A Cut between heaven and earth”, was “driven by an effort to analyze the process of abstraction and reinterpretation of the site.”

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Tetra Shed: A Multi-Functional, Modular Building System Now Available

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Remember Innovation Imperative‘s modular alternative to the “cuboid office?” Shortly after featuring it on ArchDaily interest for the innovative building system grew exponentially; you can now purchase your very own tetra shed® for $25,000 (price subject to decrease, contingent on demand). Each unit is customizable, expandable, fully insulated, and easily tailored to suit your climatic needs. Measuring at about 10 square meters, the units can be transformed into a garden office, spare bedroom, or even combined and stacked to create studio homes and boutique hotels. Continue after the break to learn more about the capabilities of the tetra shed®.

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Lecture: ‘What Mammals Want’, by Jeanne Gang

© Sally Ryan Photography

Jeanne Gang, founder of Studio Gang, will be hosting a public lecture at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts on Monday, April 28, 2014. The lecture, named ‘What Mammals Want’, will start at 5:15pm and seating is first-come, first-served.

Title: Lecture: ‘What Mammals Want’, by Jeanne Gang
From: Mon, 28 Apr 2014 17:15
Until: Mon, 28 Apr 2014 18:30
Venue: Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
Address: 915 East 60th Street, The University of , , IL 60637,

Robert Hull, Co-Founder of the Miller Hull Partnership, Dies at 68

The Bullitt Center, the World’s Greenest Commercial Building. Image Courtesy of The Miller Hull Partnership

U.S. architect Robert Hull, FAIA, has passed away at 68 due to a stroke. Always to remembered by his peers as a “beloved colleague,” the -based practitioner, together with his business partner David Miller, was a national leader of sustainable design and architecture in the Pacific Northwest. You can review some of Hull’s work here and read The Miller Hull Partnership’s official obituary, after the break.

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Mexico City Shortlists Seven Architects for Major Airport Expansion

Zagreb Airport Competition Proposal / ZHA ©

Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster and Richard Rogers are among seven international practices listed to compete for a 5,000 hectare expansion that hopes to “alleviate severe congestion” at the City airport. With each team led by Mexican firms, the shortlisted architects, which also include SOM, Gensler, Pascall+Watson and Teodoro González de León with Taller de Arquitectura X, have been asked to envision a 70-gate, phased expansion capable of hosting 40-million passengers per year. A schematic masterplan has been provided by Arup. Completion of the first phases is tentatively planned for 2018. 

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Williamson Chong to Receive RAIC’s Emerging Practice Award

Frogs Hollow / Williamson Chong Architects. Image © Bob Gundu

First an Emerging Voices recipient, now a laureate of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s () Emerging Architectural Practice Award; ’s Williamson Chong Architects has proved themselves to be one of Northern America’s most promising firms. Founded just three short years ago, the seven-person practice has been chosen to be the RAIC’s second Emerging Practice Award recipient for “consistently producing innovating projects that contain quality detailing and craftsmanship.”

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Exhibition: Bowlarama: California Bowling Architecture, 1954-1964

Holiday Bowl / © Jack Laxer

Text by Isaac Wilhelm:

“Patrons of the A+D Architecture and Design Museum Los Angeles may want to consider wearing comfortable socks to view the new exhibit Bowlarama: California Bowling Architecture 1954-1964, on display from April 11, 2014, through May 11, 2014. Providing a deeper appreciation for the family heirloom bowling trophy on the fire mantle, the exhibit showcases the architecture of bowling in the 1950s. The retro design style and obsession with the sport of bowling at this time generated a desire for architecturally intriguing bowling centers. 

Commonly open 24 hours a day in the 1950s, bowling centers incorporated features such as fine restaurants, cocktail lounges, and live entertainment. The projects of this exhibit are not about the sport of bowling or the centers, but rather the culture that emerged. Do not contemplate how many lanes are in the exhibit’s bowling centers, but instead imagine the blonde beauty sitting at the cocktail bar sipping on a martini during the local men’s league championship tournament.”

Title: Exhibition: Bowlarama: California Bowling Architecture, 1954-1964
Website: https://aplusd.org/exhibitions-future/bowlarama
From: Fri, 11 Apr 2014 
Until: Sun, 11 May 2014 
Venue: Architecture and Design Museum
Address: 6032 Wilshire Boulevard, , CA 90036,

Exhibition: In Between Projects / PRODUCTORA

The architectural firm PRODUCTORA, based in City, is presenting 9 unbuilt projects that have a clear relation to geometry and mathematical composition. Large-scale models, made in collaboration with students at Woodbury University are presented together with black and white CAD drawing that clarify the main conceptual aspect of the building. 

The simple positioning of the framed drawings, renderings and wooden models on the exhibition floor, avoids all museographic rhetoric and presents the work as autonomous objects in space. The title ‘In Between Projects’ relates to the ongoing development of a common formal vocabulary that underlies the circumstantial aspects of each individual project. This exploration is presented through an image loop of preliminary study models of the projects presented. Ultimately, the exhibition underscores the studio’s belief that strong geometric compositions and clearly legible buildings allow architecture to maintain its value through unpredictable shifts in context and program over time.

Title: Exhibition: In Between Projects / PRODUCTORA
Website: http://architecture.woodbury.edu/in-between-projects-opening/
Organizers: Woodbury School of Architecture
From: Tue, 08 Apr 2014 
Until: Fri, 25 Apr 2014
Venue: WEDGE Gallery
Address: 7500 North Glenoaks Boulevard, Woodbury University, Burbank, CA 91504,

15 Practices Shortlisted for Russian Cultural Center Competition

Project Site

Fifteen of 100 hopeful practices have been chosen to move forward in the second stage of the international “Russian Character” competition. Challenged to design a multi-functional Culture & Education Center for the newly developed Butovo Park residential district, the applicants will now begin to envision their proposals for the new venue. Once complete, the center will provide space for lectures, film screenings, indoor (and outdoor) concerts and master classes, as well as various outdoor sports activities and a museum that will showcase exhibitions on the the area’s history. The 15 shortlisted practices are…

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Brooks + Scarpa Design Park-And-Ride Plaza for Seattle Rail Station

© Brooks + Scarpa

Brooks + Scarpa has won a competition to design a new park-and-ride plaza for the future Angle Lake light rail station in . As part of the 1.6-mile South 200th Link Extension, which will connect Angle Lake to the and downtown area by 2016, the $30 million complex will provide the station’s anticipated 5,400 passengers with a pedestrianized plaza, drop-off and retail area, as well as a 1,050-stall parking garage and 35,000 square feet of reserved space for future transit-oriented development.

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What’s the Reality of Architectural Labor in the US? Take the Survey Now

Courtesy of The Architecture Lobby

The Architecture Lobby has released a seventy-question survey that seeks to gather a broad range of data about architectural work–from firm standards and policies to worker satisfaction–which will provide open-source information about the realities of architectural labor in the US. We will publish the results in the coming months; in the meantime you can aid in the project by taking The Architecture Lobby survey here (open through April).

Barclays Center to be Topped with Massive Green Roof

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Developers Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) and Greenland Group have decided to realize SHoP Architects’ original plan to top Brooklyn’s Barclays Center with a 130,000 square foot green roof. Though the design was first disregarded due to budget cuts, the developers have deemed it necessary to enhance the marketability the Atlantic Yards’ three residential towers – the first is currently underway – and dampen the noise from loud concerts. Little details have been released about the green roof’s design, however rumor has it that it might not be open to the public as it was originally intended.