Australia Plans for Greener Cities by 2020

The Goods Line proposal. Image Courtesy of ASPECT Studios

As cities continue to attract more people, naturally vegetated areas slowly wither, leaving little to no green spaces for city dwellers to escape to, no trees to purify the air and enhance the environment. plans to change this. The 202020 Vision is a concerted effort from the government, academic and private sectors to create twenty percent green areas in ’s urban centers by 2020. “Urban heat islands, poor air quality, lack of enjoyable urban community areas are all poor outcomes when green spaces aren’t incorporated into new developments and large scale building projects.” Read about the 202020 initiative here, “More green spaces in urban areas, says new national initiative.”

Robert A.M. Stern: Old-Fashioned yet Unfazed

Robert A.M Stern. Image

In the mutable world of architecture it’s easy to get distracted by the trendy new thing, be it the tallest tower or the “blobbiest” form. Robert A. M. Stern (Dean of the and a practicing architect in his own right), on the other hand, remains purposefully old-fashioned (to the point of becoming obsolete). In an exquisitely written article for the New York MagazineJustin Davidson reports that, despite the mockery of his colleagues, Stern seems unfazed. If his architecture has the power to inspire, he says, then he’s done his job. Read the full must-see article here. 

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Kickstarter: DIY Concrete House Ring

Courtesy of Linda Bennett, via archi-ninja

Dream of one day making your own home? Well, here’s a fun alternative in the meantime. The “DIY House Ring” is a high quality silver and ring that lets users experience the process of ‘making’. The ring itself is made from a DIY compact kit, and comes in two familiar architectural silhouettes – gable roof or saltbox roof – and in either light or dark . The project was developed by Linda Bennett, author of “10 Things They Don’t Teach You in Architecture School” and “Searching for a Job in Architecture? 10 Things You Need to Know…” via her blog, archi-ninjaCheck out the project’s debut on kickstarter (which offers fantastic perks for backers) for more information. 

PLAT 4.0 Call for Submissions

PLAT Journal invites content for its forthcoming issueMassAt once a spatial and social practice, architecture produces mass: an accumulation that, given momentum, projects a social attitude. Mass is assertive—whether through a tactful manipulation of scale, an astute engagement of its context, or a specific formal legibility, it speaks plainly but with conviction.

Taking as its site the point of exchange between a form and its constituency, this issue of PLAT Journal will investigate how notions of mass come to the fore of contemporary architectural practice.

Mass is pop with agency. Fast and loose, high and low, how does a form take on mass culture through its presence in an urban fabric? What is its agenda?

Mass has the capacity to define a collective. How do architectural projects articulate a plurality in a way that’s relevant to today?

Mass gains coherence through the magnetism of its parts: local attractions have global repercussions. What’s next? How does its impact extend beyond its envelope?

PLAT 4.0 welcomes projects, abstracts, essays, visual media, narratives, manifestos, and conversations that engage the notion of mass in the discourse and production of architecture today. Please submit an abstract and (if applicable) images by January 1, 2014 to curator@PLATJournal.com. Click here for more information.

Submissions should be in American English and formatted in accordance with the Manual of Style, with all sources clearly documented. Images should be a JPEG, 2 MB or smaller. Authors should have high-resolution, publication-quality images available if selected. All authors must have rights or permissions for all images submitted before final publication. Any questions should be sent to editor@platjournal.com.

PLAT is an independent architectural journal published by students at the Rice School of Architecture. Its purpose is to shift architectural discourse by stimulating new relationships between design, production, and theory. It operates by interweaving student, faculty, and professional work into an open and evolving dialogue that progresses from issue to issue. Curating worldwide submissions in two annual issues, PLAT serves as a projective catalyst for architectural discourse.

New Exhibition Calls for a Bold Vision in the “Great Basin”

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (), in partnership with the International Secretariat for Water (ISW) and the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF), presents Great Cities, Great Lakes, Great Basin. The new calls for a 100-year vision to guide planning and development in the binational watershed of the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River, and Gulf of St. Lawrence – the Great Basin. Great Cities, Great Lakes, Great Basin is on display in CAF’s Atrium Gallery at 224 South Michigan Avenue until February 2014.

Great Cities, Great Lakes, Great Basin engages the public with the vastness and vulnerability of the earth’s largest surface freshwater resource, which spans from Duluth, Minnesota to the Atlantic Ocean. The exhibition depicts the Great Basin as one region defined by the watershed rather than political boundaries and illustrates a vision for the region as an international park that encompasses culturally-rich urban and rural areas. The exhibition also highlights initiatives around the region that Basin cities can learn from to enhance quality of life.

More information after the break.

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Laboratory Design: It’s Time for a Breakthrough

, The Globe of Science and Innovation. Image Courtesy of smartglassinternational.com

As science continues to propel forward, it seems that the architecture to support scientists and their advancements is falling behind. The problem of laboratory design was recently brought up in an article by The Financial Times‘ Edwin Heathcote, who cited labs around the world, from Mendelsohn’s Einstein Tower to Cern’s giant timber globe, as great examples of an architecture of collaboration and experimentation. If some of our greatest discoveries today are often happening in mundane environments, what would happen if the architecture of labs and offices began to support and inspire innovation? Read the full story here.

Arup Associates Celebrates 50 Years of Innovation

Cambridge University Sports Centre. Image Courtesy of Arup Associates

Arup Associates was founded in 1963 by the legendary engineer Ove Arup as a practice in which engineers and architects worked on an equal footing; it later became a subsidiary of Arup (also founded by Arup as Arup and Partners in 1946). These early origins marked Arup Associates as a forward-thinking and revolutionary practice in an era where truly multi-disciplinary practices were almost unheard of.

To celebrate their 50th anniversary, Arup Associates is hosting a exhibition at their offices in London.

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SLO Architecture Wins Inaugural Dwell Vision Award

Winner: Harvest Dome. Image Courtesy of

The inaugural Dwell Vision Award, designed to “celebrate excellence in innovation and skill in the fields of architecture or interior design,” has been awarded to New York based Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi of for “Harvest Dome 2.0″. According to Dwell, “the gigantic Harvest Dome structure, made from recycled materials, captured the imagination of the judges by emphasizing the human connection to nature and New York’s waterways, often overlooked by the urban population.” 

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Current Work: David Adjaye’s Lecture at The Cooper Union

Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C. | Image Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

Each year The Architectural League in its Current Work program presents the work of significant international figures who powerfully influence contemporary architectural practice and shape the future of the built environment. David Adjaye will present his work in a public lecture to be followed by a conversation with moderator Gregg Pasquarelli, founding principal at SHoP Architects.

founded the practice Adjaye Associates in London in 2000, and has since expanded the office to the United States, Germany, and Ghana. Engaging issues of place and identity, Adjaye Associates, in its own words, seeks to create “buildings [that] belong to yet diverge from their contexts, absorbing and animating difference rather than homogenizing it.” Sensitivity to materials, color, shape, and light informs the work on all scales.

The office’s projects range from pavilion and exhibition , the Dirty House residence, and the Idea Store/Whitechapel Road educational and information center in London to two neighborhood libraries in Washington D.C. (Bellevue and Francis Gregory), the Sugar Hill social housing scheme in New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. Adjaye Associates is currently designing the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Title: Current Work: David Adjaye’s Lecture at The Cooper Union
Website: http://archleague.org/2013/11/david-adjaye/
Organizers: The Architectural League
From: Thu, 21 Nov 2013 19:00
Until: Thu, 21 Nov 2013 21:00
Venue: The Cooper Union
Address: 7 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003, USA

Frank Lloyd Wright Building from 1939 Finally Built

Courtesy of tbo.com

54 years after the death of Frank Lloyd Wright, Florida Southern College, home to the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the world, opened another structure designed by the famed architect last Friday. Originally called the Usonian house, it was envisioned as a professor’s home in 1939 but wasn’t built until this year using blueprints left by Wright.  

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From STEM To STEAM: The Value of Art

Edison High School Academic Building. Image © Paul Mullins

In a recent article for the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, Barney Mansavage champions the idea of transforming into STEAM (, Technology, ART, and Mathematics). He argues that overlapping and art helps launch cross-disciplinary conversations and relationships, and in turn, promote experimentation; he thus suggests that educational spaces be designed to bring these fields together. Check out the article here, and more about the TED talk that inspired it, here.

Venice Biennale 2014: Morocco to Participate with First Pavilion

Courtesy of Foundation FADA

will host its first pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. Curated by the Foundation FADA’ (Fondation pour l’Art, le , et l’Architecture) and directed by architect Tarik Oualalou, the concept for the Moroccan pavilion will be based upon Morocco’s role as an urban and architectural laboratory in the twentieth century. The project, entitled “Fundamental(ism)s,” will be organized in two parts:

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Green Infrastructure: Not Enough For Storm Protection

WXY Studio’s East River Blueway Plan. Image Courtesy of WXY Studio

Since Hurricane Sandy struck New York, much has been made of “green infrastructure” and its potential to defend cities against waves and floods. Now though, two articles, from the New York Times and Grist, claim that would actually protects us very little. But, since engineered “gray” solutions, such as storm-walls, also have their limitations (namely just moving the surge elsewhere), it seems the solution is a combination of both “gray” and “green” (moving the surge to where it can safely release its energy). Read the original articles here and here.

Projects in Contemporary Art & Architecture: Between Vision and Function

FXFOWLE Architects, Museum of the Built Environment, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, estimated completion 2016

This features projects by renowned architects of schools, museums, art galleries and cultural spaces via models, photos, prints, and drawings. Art works by National Academy School faculty and students continue the debate of line, form, space and light as inspired by architectural forms and interiors. 

Some of the architects involved include Bade Stageberg Cox, Bonetti/Kozerski Studio, Vincenzo Casali Studio, Walter Chatham Architects, FXFOWLE Architects, Gluckman/Mayner Architects, LABO Design Studio, Safdie Architects, SO – IL, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Liliane Wong, Architect, RISD.

Title: Projects in Contemporary Art & Architecture: Between Vision and Function
Website: http://www.nationalacademy.org/art-school/student-faculty-exhibitions/upcoming/
Organizers: National Academy School
From: Wed, 13 Nov 2013 
Until: Wed, 15 Jan 2014
Venue: National Academy School
Address: 5 East 89th Street, New York, NY 10128, USA

Almost Anything Goes: Architecture and Inclusivity

Ball-Nogues Studio, Rip Curl Canyon, 2006, Cardboard, plywood, screws, and hardware, 44 x 40 x 11 ft., Commissioned by Rice Gallery in collaboration with The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, Courtesy the Artists. Photo: Nash Baker

The Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) welcomes six Los Angeles-based creatives whose work embraces cross-fertilization, collaboration, and adaptation—thus creating new methodologies for research and implementation in the fields of architecture and beyond.

Participants include:
Catherine Johnson and Rebecca Rudolph, Design Bitches
Doris Sung, DO/SU Studio Architecture
Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues, Ball Nogues Studio
Miles Kemp, Variate Labs
Elena Manferdini, Atelier Manferdini
Ramiro Diaz Granados, Amorphis LA

For more information, please click here.

Title: Almost Anything Goes: Architecture and Inclusivity
Website: http://mcasantabarbara.org/node/179
Organizers: Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara
From: Sun, 05 Jan 2014 
Until: Sun, 13 Apr 2014 
Venue: Museum of Contemporary Art
Address: 1130 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101,

Exhibition: Aalto’s architecture in Rovaniemi

View of the Civic Square From Rovaniemi Town Hall, Hallituskatu 7. Photo: Jukka Suvilehto/Provincial Museum of Lapland

Aalto’s architecture in Rovaniemi, a new at the Museum, takes an in-depth look at ’s work in and around Rovaniemi. As well as the administrative and cultural centre, the works on show include lesser-known residential and commercial buildings. The , collated by the Provincial Museum of Lapland, will be open in the Gallery at the Alvar Aalto Museum from 1.11.2013 to 2.2.2014.

Aalto’s work in Rovaniemi began as early as the 1940s with master planning. Over the decades that followed, various buildings were constructed such as the Aho residential and commercial complex in the city centre and the Korkalorinne housing scheme, built according to the garden suburb ideal. Aalto’s monumental architecture is represented by the Town Hall, the Library and Lappia Hall completed between the 1960s and the 1980s.

As well as the architecture, Aalto’s buildings are examined from the viewpoint of visitors, employees and residents. “The experiences of users provide an alternative, complementary viewpoint on Aalto’s buildings, which allows room for critical comment,” says Charlotte Malaprade who has written the exhibition texts.

The Alvar Aalto Museum has supplemented the Timeless exhibition with local comment from Jyväskylä. Experiences of living in the Viitatorni multi-storey block in Jyväskylä are told by the residents themselves in words and pictures.

Title: Exhibition: Aalto’s architecture in Rovaniemi
Website: http://www.alvaraalto.fi/index_en.htm
Organizers: Alvar Aalto Museum
From: Fri, 01 Nov 2013 
Until: Sun, 02 Feb 2014
Venue: Gallery at the Alvar Aalto Museum
Address: Alvar Aallon katu 7, 40600 Jyväskylä sub-region, Finland

Mexico & Swizterland in Tug-of-War Over Luis Barragán Archive

Gilardi House. Image © Flickr user, Elena_mch

Mexico, Switzerland and their constituent art collectors are in a tug-of-war over the coveted professional archive of late, famed hero Luis Barragán – considered one of Mexico’s greatest architects. After his death, the heads of the Swiss furniture company, Vitra, bought a collection of Barragán’s personal designs and images, leaving those in Mexico puzzled as to why the archive ever left the country from which his work is rooted. “It would be as if the ‘rights’ for Frank Lloyd Wright or Louis Kahn were held and managed from another country, ruling over their work and limiting access to the American public.” Read the full article here, “Tug of War Stretches Architect’s Legacy“.

Chad Oppenheim & Bjarke Ingels in a Roundtable in Miami

Developers are using the name recognition of some of the world’s most important architects to bring in buyers for their posh towers.

The Real Deal looks at the luxury market’s newest selling point as well as other trends shaping South Florida’s new condo boom with a top-flight roundtable Nov. 7 in Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood. A cocktail party will follow the discussion.

Slated to speak are Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, whose latest South Florida project is Grove at Grand Bay, and Chad Oppenheim, the Miami-based architect whose work includes the celebrated Ten Museum Park. They will be joined by developer David Martin of Terra Group, plus brokers Mayi de la Vega of One Sotheby’s International Realty and Esther Percal of Esslinger Wooten Maxwell.

The evening will take place at Grove at Grand Bay, 2669 South Bayshore Drive. The roundtable starts at 6 p.m.; the party kicks off at 7 p.m. and wraps up at 9 p.m. Space is limited so reserve your seat today at RSVP@therealdeal.com.

Title: Starchitecture Comes to Miami: Chad Oppenheim & in a Roundtable
Website: http://therealdeal.com/miami/the-real-deal-to-host-roundtable-event-with-star-architects-nov-7/
Organizers: The Real Deal
From: Thu, 07 Nov 2013 18:00
Until: Thu, 07 Nov 2013 21:00
Venue: Grove at Grand Bay
Address: 2669 South Bayshore Drive, Miami, FL 33133,