Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize to Celebrate the Best Built Works in the Americas July 9

Courtesy of MCHAP

This July 9th, the winners of the inaugural Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) – for which 36 outstanding projects have been shortlisted - will be announced in , Chile. Our editor-in-chief, David Basulto, has been named a founding member of the International Advisory Council of MCHAP, and ArchDaily will be covering the event. Read on after the break for details of the event.

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Can Architecture Make Abortion Clinics Safer?

A sign delineates the buffer zone outside of a Planned Parenthood in Burlington, Vermont. Image © afagen via Flickr

Unable to afford architectural services, many abortion clinics in the US constantly struggle to create a buffer between themselves and the often radical anti-abortion protesters outside their walls (indeed, physical barriers – such as sprinkler systems – are often the only things that make clinic workers and their patients feel safe). To learn more about how architecture can help protect them, head over to Fast CoDesign for their fascinating article.

‘Next Big One’ International Open Ideas Competition

“NEXT BIG ONE” – an international open ideas competition organized by Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter – raises awareness on the high-magnitude earthquake and tsunami events that plague cities around the world.  The competition hopes to call upon the design community to offer fresh perspectives and innovative ideas in designing for disasters.

The challenge of this single-stage open-ideas competition is to propose an innovative design solution that can mitigate natural disasters while simultaneously providing community permanence.  The proposal must satisfy the following criteria:

1) Exemplify INNOVATION in disaster design,
2) Promote COMMUNITY RESILIENCY before and after disasters,
3) Meet the MULTI-HAZARD PARAMETERS for the worst-case scenario.

Entrants may register as teams of Design Professionals or Emerging Designers (Students).  Entry information, along with evaluation criteria and other details, can be found at http://www.nextbigone.org/. Registration closes at 11:59PM PDT on August 31, 2014.  Submissions are due at 11:59PM PDT on September 30, 2014. Winners will be announced on October 31, 2014.

Coop Himmelb(l)au Designs Anti-Surveillance Coat

© Markus Pillhofer

The Austrian firm Coop Himmelb(l)au has designed a wacky quilted coat that blocks electronic surveillance. With pockets to protect your collection of phones and tablets, the Jammer Coat was commissioned for the Workwear exhibition at the Triennale in Milan.

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Sekiz Artı Wins Competition to Redesign Gallipoli National Park

Courtesy of Sekiz Artı

The Gallipoli Peninsula, at the Western end of Turkey, holds a particular significance for the country as the site of a major World War One battle in which the declining Ottoman Empire repelled an attempted invasion by British forces. Today, it is seen as one of the defining moments that contributed to the formation of modern day , and the site of the battle is commemorated by a national park which includes a series of monuments and memorials at the southern tip of the peninsula.

Aiming to consolidate these sites in to a more coherent whole, the Çanakkale government launched a competition to redesign the area, which was won by Istanbul-based practice Sekiz Artı. Read on after the break for more on their design.

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Exhibition: The Mound of Vendôme

Courtesy of

On view at the CCA from 19 June to 14 September 2014 and curated by architectural historian David Gissen, The Mound of Vendôme revisits one key episode of French history when the Commune de Paris in 1871 voted to demolish the Vendôme Column, abolishing all allusions to the Napoleonic era. To protect the surrounding architecture during demolition, a radical landscape was erected on Place Vendôme. Informed by the methods of experimental history, Gissen’s ongoing research project and installation at the CCA traces the provocative history of the column and mound, while arguing for its historicisation and reconstruction.

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Four Freedoms Park: Louis Kahn’s “Ancient Temple Precinct” in NYC

Aerial Rendering Prior to Completion. Image Courtesy of Franklin D. Roosevelt , LLC

Built four decades after Louis Kahn’s death, New York City’s Four Freedoms Park - the architect’s posthumous memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt and his policies – is becoming one of the architect’s most popular urban spaces. In a recent article for the GuardianOliver Wainwright investigates what he describes as perhaps Kahn’s ”best project”. Wainwright’s spatial description of the monument is interweaved by fragments of Kahn’s personal history, building up a picture of a space with “the feel of an ancient temple precinct” and “a finely nuanced landscape”. Although Gina Pollara, who ultimately realised the plans in 2005, argues that Four Freedoms Park ”stands as a memorial not only to and the New Deal, but to Kahn himself”, can a posthumous project ever be considered as an architect’s best? Read the article in full here.

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Call for Pilots: Storefront TV

Storefront TV is an online channel focused on the communication of contemporary art and architecture ideas with an emphasis on experimentation with a live TV format.

After the exciting inaugural Storefront TV season in Fall 2013, Storefront for Art and Architecture announces the launch of a second season with a Call for Pilots, inviting proposals of original television programs and web series. All selected pilot programs will be taped at in front of a live studio audience and broadcasted online. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis through August 20, 2014.

Interested parties should submit a proposal using this form on or before August 20, 2014.

20 Scholarships the AA BILBAO Visiting School: COMPUTING TOPOS III 2014 / Bilbao, Spain

© AA Visiting School

AA Visiting School is an international network of design workshops and other programs organized by the Architectural Association School of Architecture. This event will be realized in Bilbao, between July 23 and August 5.

AA Visiting School will give away 20 scholarships for those interested in attending. If so, you need to send your CV/portfolio and a description explaining why would you like to attend the event.

The workshop will explore the question of ‘place’ or ‘topos’ and its radical transformation in the recent years due to the proliferation and availability of environmental parameters. The rise of digital methods in architectural design as well as simulation platforms for environmental analysis, have produced a renewed interest in the relationship between architecture and phenomena and in particular into the possibility of the integration of environmental aspects into the design process. Nevertheless, approximation means to environmental phenomena in relation to urban morphology need to be further explored to mediate between sophisticated simulation platforms and design agendas, beyond reductionist definitions of the environment.

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Typhoon Class Submarine Open Ideas Competition

Throughout the entire period of its existence, humankind was developing numerous methods of elimination of each other. And with invention of the nuclear weapons this desire has endangered the being itself. Matterbetter researches how the design community in contemporary world can contribute to making this world a little safer and more friendly.

Matterbetter invites architects and designers to participate in open-ideas competition that aims to explore the architectural potential and transform the biggest nuclear submarine ever built into a peaceful architectural object. 

Participants must register before August 24. For complete information, go to the competition’s official website.

Has London’s British Museum Become a “Mall”?

The Great Court / Fosters + Partners. Image © janis.photo

“They’ve got the mall. They’ve got the food court. Now they’ve got the multiplex.” Rowan Moore’s latest piece for the Guardian discusses the collaged plight of London’s  as Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) complete a large extension of spaces. Describing it as a “composite Foster-Rogers” building, Moore argues that “a strange distribution of space” coupled with “an inattention to the cultural complexities of the modern museum” have led to “a void, wrapped in a void, with another void to the side.” Although he states that “there are many things to like about RSHP’s building”, the total compilation of spaces, extensions and interventions have led to a museum more like a mall than a house of culture.

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Conference: Urban Routines 2013/14

Russian city dwellers live their daily lives, drive cars on busy streets, sit in front of computers in offices, buy groceries and other goods in supermarkets and shops, bring up their children and watch television at home. This decidedly typical Lebenswelt, routine, everyday, the gigantic and complex world of the ordinary, is under-researched and poorly analysed. The theme for Strelka’s 2013-2014 research school year is Urban Routines.

Student research, public lectures, and talks on Urban Routines constitute an attempt to figure out what the everyday life of Russian cities is made of.

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Boris Johnson Speech Reignites Row Over Mount Pleasant Development

Courtesy of Cityscape

The controversial Mount Pleasant development in London has sparked another row this week, as campaigners accused Mayor Boris Johnson of “compromising his neutrality” over the 681-home scheme which he has called in to review personally. Though he is supposed to remain neutral until the hearing, last week Johnson remarked in a speech that the development “will be a wonderful place to live.” However many have expressed concern over the design, including Thomas Heatherwick, who lives locally and called the scheme “empty, cynical and vacuous.” Read all the details at BD Online.

Russell A Davidson Elected as 2016 AIA President

Russell A Davidson. Image Courtesy of

This weekend, at the AIA‘s national conference in Chicago, Russell A Davidson was elected the AIA’s 2016 president. Davidson, who served as the AIA’s Vice President in 2012-13 and president of AIA’s New York State chapter in 2007, will be joined by William J Bates and Francis M Pitts as Vice presidents, and John A Padilla as AIA Secretary.

In addition to electing its next leaders, the AIA also adopted a new board structure, which will see it add a new body, the ‘Strategic Council’, which will inform the Board and other Institute bodies of important professional issues.

More on these developments from the AIA National Conference after the break

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India’s Most Successful Architect: Improving India’s Slums or Exacerbating Social Gaps?

On what used to be a shantytown, ’s the Imperial Towers now loom over low-income apartments. Image © Mahesh Shantaram for The New York Times

“The Indian poor live in perpetual darkness, while the Indian rich live in perpetual light.” This fact is obviously embedded in Mumbai, where luxury condominiums rise in the middle of slums. Many of these extravagant buildings were designed by India’s most commercially successful architect, Hafeez Contractor, who believes his arrestive work is the beginning of slum redevelopment. Learn about his crusade and how he’s been criticized in this New York Times article by Daniel Brook.

David Rockwell’s Luxurious Pre-Fab Homes

Courtesy of Rockwell Group

Two weeks ago, David Rockwell took a step away from his usual work of interior and set design to present his foray into the prefab game – an adaptable 2,400 square-foot house called “Pinwheel.” His design aims to challenge two assumptions about prefabrication: one, affordability and luxury are mutually exclusive and two, pre-fab’s limited flexibility makes a cookie-cutter result inevitable. Rockwell says the project, a collaboration between himself and Fred Carl, founder of modular housing venture C3 Design, was inspired by his childhood in Mexico, where “outdoor space was part of the lifestyle.” Check out the plan and more designs after the break.

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Students and Community Members Come Together to Construct Theater in Cape Town Township

Courtesy of Future

The Guga S’Thebe Arts and Cultural Centre in Langa, Cape Town’s oldest township, is expanding to include a theatre exclusively for children and adolescents. The main component of the theatre, set for completion this fall, will be a large, multi-functional space for hosting performances. The project, a collaborative effort between future users and international architecture students, is aimed at stimulating sustainable development while widening the possibilities for the target demographic. To check out more project images, continue after the break.

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Conversation / Cose Turche: Architecture in Istanbul

© Giuliana Sibilia

MAXXI and Insula architettura e ingegneria with Based Architecture present “Cose Turche”,  a  conversation of six voices about Istanbul, aimed to recognize and trace the pulsating identity of a metropolis, which in its present metamorphosis is able to tell us about significant pieces of third millenium urban culture.

Recently some of Istanbul public spaces as Gezi Park, Taksim square with Ataturk Cultural Center by Hayati Tabanlioglu and Third Bosphorus Bridge became symbol and central places of an intense debate still open, which assumed a global broader connotation.

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