Can a School Ensure East London’s Olympic Legacy?

Via CC Flickr User. Image © diamond geezer

In this article for The Guardian, Oliver Wainwright reviews Chobham Academy, a new built as part of East London’s Olympic Legacy by architects AHMM. While he finds the school impressive and ambitious, Wainwright questions whether the campus, which acts as the ‘fulcrum’ between the poverty-stricken streets of Leyton and the high end flats of the former Athlete’s Village, will be able to bring the two parts of this community together. You can read the full article here.

Bing Thom Architects to Design University of Chicago Center in Hong Kong

Mount Davis, Hong Kong. Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

The has chosen to design a new home for the Chicago Booth Asia Executive MBA Program in Hong Kong. The center will begin construction in October 2014 on Mount Davis, a heritage site that was originally used as a military encampment for the British Army in the 1940s and then a detention center.

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Call for Proposals: A Landmark for Santiago

To commemorate its Bicentennial, the Chilean government has launched an initiative called “Bicentennial Legacy” to regenerate, revitalize, and consolidate the public spaces, heritage sites, and urban icons of the country.

As part of this program, ’s President, Sebastian Piñera, has proposed the “Plan Parque Metropolitano 100 Años”, which outlines projects that are to be developed within the Metropolitan Park of . This urban park is the principal public space within the city and is located on San Cristobal Hill, the geographical/metaphorical heart of the city. 

One of these projects is the construction of a tower that will consolidate the numerous antennas currently located throughout the hill into a single infrastructure. 

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Forever Home: Open Source Building Design Challenge

Architecture for Humanity Denver (AfH) and Open Tech Forever (OTF) are demonstrating that it is possible to build an open source, compressed earth block (CEB) house that meets the Living Building Challenge 2.1 standard.

They invite you to join the international call to action. Enter the contest and help them design a CEB home that they will build in the Spring of 2014 on their 40 acre site in Denver, Colorado.

They will document each home design and the systemic body of knowledge that informs this process, so that anyone in the world can both learn from and contribute to the project. This is an open source house for the world. The Forever Home. For more information, please click here.

2014 Cambodia Live Build Workshop

Building Trust is a non-profit charity founded in 2010. Last month, we featured one of the schools they have worked on in Thailand, and they now have a number of sustainable design and build projects in during 2014, including a health center, a , a wildlife conservation project and housing.

They are offering hands on participatory workshops where you will gain experience in sustainable building techniques and understand more about humanitarian design while building worthwhile projects that will have a huge benefit to the local community and local wildlife. Due to the fact they will have a number of projects on the ground you will gain an insight into a number of building techniques and architectural styles.

For more information please click here.

Elevated Park Planned for World Trade Center

Early Schematic Rendering of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and Liberty Park. Image Courtesy of Tribeca Citizen

The World Trade Center’s “best-kept secret” has been revealed. As reported by the New York Times, the Port Authority released details on what will be “Liberty Park,” an acre-sized, elevated park lifted 25 feet above Liberty Street on the WTC site. Planned for completion in 2015, the $50 million landscaped terrace will connect the financial district with Battery Park City, while providing a panoramic view of the National September 11 Memorial and serving as a forecourt for the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. More information on Liberty Park can be found here.

Call for Entries: 2014 Architectural League Prize

Young architects and designers are invited to submit work to the annual Architectural League Prize Competition. Projects of all types, either theoretical or real, and executed in any medium, are welcome. The jury will select work for presentation in lectures, digital media, and an exhibition opening in June 2014. Winners will receive a cash prize of $1,000. A catalogue of winning work will be published by and Princeton Architectural Press.

Established in 1981 to recognize exemplary and provocative work by young practitioners and to provide a public forum for the exchange of their ideas, the Architectural League Prize is organized by The Architectural League and its Young Architects + Designers Committee.

For submission requirements, eligibility and more details, please click here.

Zaha Hadid Defends Qatar Stadium from Critics

Courtesy of ZHA

In an exclusive interview with TIME, has finally responded to the claims – voiced most notably by Jon Stewart - that her design for the Al Wakrah Stadium (what will be Qatar’s stadium for the 2022 World Cup) resembles female genitalia (Stewart in fact called Hadid the “Georgia O’Keeffe of things you can walk inside“).

“It’s really embarrassing that they come up with nonsense like this. What are they saying? Everything with a hole in it is a vagina? That’s ridiculous.” Hadid also goes on to suggest that “if a guy had done this project,” these “lewd” comparisons would not have been made. Read the full story at TIME.com.

Exhibition: Melbourne Now

Melbourne Now celebrates the latest art, architecture, design, performance and cultural practice to reflect the complex creative landscape of .

This ambitious and far-reaching exhibition across The Ian Potter Centre: NGV and NGV International presents the various ways in which visual artists and creative practitioners profoundly contribute to the society in which we live, and to Melbourne as a city with a unique and dynamic cultural identity.

Melbourne Now is a collaborative, cross-disciplinary project that has involved staff from all areas of the NGV, as well as a team of guest curators and artistic collaborators whose expertise and networks represent the excellence and diversity of Melbourne’s cultural community.

Complete information about the artists and projects can be found here.

Title: Exhibition: Melbourne Now
Website: http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/melbournenow/about-melbourne-now
Organizers: National Gallery of Victoria
From: Fri, 22 Nov 2013 
Until: Sun, 23 Mar 2014 
Venue: National Gallery of Victoria
Address: 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Herzog & de Meuron to Design AstraZeneca Headquarters in Cambridge

Courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron

Biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has commissioned Herzog & de Meuron to design their new Global R&D Centre and Corporate Headquarters. Planned for the Biomedical Campus on the southern outskirts of the city, the new £330m project will be home to one of the company’s three global strategic research and development centres as well as its corporate headquarters.

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Toward a Fit Nation: 18 Projects that Promote Healthy Lifestyles

© Benjamin Benschneider

From Atlanta’s Beltline to Los Angeles’ Spring Street “Parklets,” architecture and design is increasingly more relevant in the fight against obesity and chronic disease, conditions which have reached epidemic levels in the United States. In the article, “Toward a Fit Nation,” the and FitNation identify 18 projects from around the country, ranging from large complexes to temporal installations, that encourage physical activity and healthy lifestyles. The AIA National Headquarters will be curating the FitNation exhibit till January 31, 3014. Read the article here.

Wainwright Weighs In on Rem’s De Rotterdam

Courtesy of

In the architectural stomping ground that is , it’s no small task to design a building that actually stands out. But, according to The Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright, the recently completed De Rotterdam building manages to. Although the Koolhaas-designed structure, which houses offices, apartments and even a boutique hotel, may at first seem simple (simplistic, even), Wainwright praises how the shifting masses cleverly play tricks on your perception. The building is undoubtedly impressive, but is the unconventional envelope enough to distract from a bland-at-best interior? Read the rest of Wainwright’s critique here. evaluate

LCD Exhibits “As Autumn Leaves” at Beijing’s 2013 Design Week

Courtesy of Laboratory of Computational Design

“As Autumn Leaves” (AAL) is a spatial designed and built by students of the (LCD) for Beijing‘s 2013 Design Week. Located in a historic hutong district in Beijing, AAL highlights the existing entrance to Dashilar Factory where emerging creatives exhibit their design.   The concept is based on ephermerality of nature. As temperatures change, autumn turns to winter, and trees shed their leaves, AAL recalls the passage of time through changing seasons. 

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How to Get a Building Through its Mid-Life Crisis

Courtesy of Flickr user eschipul

According to architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne, buildings experience a pretty distinct mid-life crisis. After seeing the demise of mid-century gems such as the Houston AstroDome and the Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago, it’s difficult to disagree. But unfortunately architectural value isn’t convincing enough an argument – if preservationists want to get serious about their cause, he suggests, they will have to pick their battles far more strategically.

Michael Ong Wins 2013 SOYA Award

Hans House. Image Courtesy of M.O.D.O & Ricky Fung

Qantas has selected Michael Ong as the winner of the 2013 Spirit of Youth Awards 365 (SOYA 365) for architecture and interior design, awarding him $5,000 in cash, $5,000 in Qantas flights, and a rare 12-month mentorship with leading architect and founding partner of Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, . Ong, a -based architect, founded MODO (Michael Ong Design Office) in 2011, and was chosen for the prize due to his work on the project Hans House. Check out more about the story here.

San Francisco Fire Department Headquarters Proposal / The Open Workshop

Courtesy of

A fire station typically is organized into two distinct zones – one that reaches outwards to the city and acts as a monumental symbol of protection, and one that contains the hidden inner workings of the station. In a large headquarters, with a diverse set of programs each with their own unique spatial requirements, such a strategy of containment is untenable. 

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Ann Beha Architects Selected to Rehabilitate U.S. Embassy in Greece

Embassy of the in , Greece. Image Courtesy of OBO

Besting a shortlist of fourAnn Beha Architects has been selected by the Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) to rehabilitate the U.S. Embassy in Athens’ chancery facility and campus. The mid-century facility, a protected architectural landmark, was originally designed by the famed Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius with the consulting architect Pericles A. Sakellarios.

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Call for Entries: 2014 European Prize for Urban Public Space

The call for entries for the eighth edition of the European Prize for Urban Public Space is now open. This honorific competition has been held on a biennial basis since 2000 with the aim of recognising, encouraging and publicising examples of good practice in the ways in which European cities are dealing with the many challenges they must confront. Undergoing processes of exponential growth and far-reaching transformation, these cities are facing the fact that the age-old democratic ideal of striving for cohabitation on an equal basis within a plural society is in jeopardy.

Segregation and inequalities, unsustainable construction and consumption or serious deficiencies in guaranteeing the right to housing and the right to the city are problems that are tangibly manifest in urban public spaces, and it is precisely on this front where they can be combated with better results. True to this cause, the Prize is open to all kinds of interventions aimed at creating, recovering or improving the democratic quality of the urban spaces we share and it jointly awards their authors and promoters. Entries for the 2014 Prize, which must have been carried out in European cities between 2012 and 2014, may be registered free of charge until next 23 January on the Prize website. The rules specifying the required documents and the conditions of participation may be downloaded from the official website.