Michael Rotondi to Receive Richard J. Neutra Medal for Professional Excellence

Michael Rotondi

Michael Rotondi, principle of -based RoTo Architecture and former student of Cal Poly Pomona, has been selected to receive the Richard J. Neutra Medal for Professional Excellence from the College of Environmental Design at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Co-founder of SCI-Arc and long-time architectural educator at Arizona State University, Rotondi was selected for his “commitment to architectural education, for the concern he shows in his work for society and the environment, and for the inventiveness of his architecture,” says Cal Poly Pomona professor Sarah Lorenzen.

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Safdie Architects to Design Medal of Honor Museum in South Carolina

Artscience Museum and Marina Bay Sands in Singapore / Safdie Architects. Image © MBS Digital Media

Following a national search, the has selected Safdie Architects to design its new museum and education center at Patriots Point in , South Carolina. Safdie was selected for their “extensive experience with cultural projects and national monuments across the U.S. and abroad.” The National Medal of Honor Museum will bring the stories of the Medal of Honor recipients to life for visitors.

The Medal of Honor was created in 1861 and is the nation’s highest military honor. It is awarded by the President of the United States on behalf of the United States Congress for valor in combat. The Museum is the first part of a multi-phase development of the site on the eastern shore of Charleston Harbor and will become an iconic destination in the region.

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AIA Report Finds Increasing Acceptance of Carbon Reduction Targets

Courtesy of the

The 2030 Progress Report for the American Institute of Architects (AIA)’s 2030 Commitment - a voluntary program for architects who want to commit their practice to advancing the AIA’s goal of carbon neutral buildings by the year 2030 – has found a significant increase in the number of projects that meet its current targets for a 60% reduction in carbon emissions, with over 400 buildings in the program meeting the goal. “There is some very encouraging data in this report that shows how architects are making measurable progress towards reducing the carbon emissions in their design projects,” said AIA Chief Executive Officer, Robert Ivy, FAIA. Read on after the break for more results of the report.

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Daniel Tobin Selected to Design AIDS Memorial in West Hollywood

© Daniel Tobin

The City Council has selected Australian designer Daniel Tobin to build an AIDS memorial for Park. As stated by the non-profit Foundation for an AIDS Monument, Tobin’s of 341 vertical strands “functions as a destination piece — recognizable as an AIDS monument, leaving no question about the work when you leave the space.” Each vertical strand represents 5,000 Americans who have died from or living with AIDS. You can learn more about Tobin’s selection and design, here

BBC Ranks Eight Greatest New Museums

Nanjing’s Sifang Art Museum / Steven Holl Architects. Image © Sifang Art Museum

According to the , Frank Gehry’s Biomuseo in Panama City, Steven Holl’s Sifang Art Museum in Nanjing, and BIG’s Danish National Maritime Museum in Helsingør are among the top eight greatest museums recently completed. Do you agree? Let us know which recently completed museums tops your list in the comment section after the break and review the BBC’s complete selection here.

Bartlett Professor CJ Lim to Launch “Food City” Book at Ravensbourne

© Ravensbourne

As part of the launch of his latest book, Food City, Professor CJ Lim of the Bartlett School of Architecture will present a lecture at Ravensbourne in Greenwich, London. Food City follows on from professor Lim’s previous book, Smartcities and Eco-Warriors, exploring the role that food production and distribution has historically played in day-to-day life, and how we might once again reinstate it as an integral part of our cities through essays on 25 cities around the globe.

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Hashim Sarkis Named MIT’s New Dean of Architecture and Planning

The Courtowers (currently under construction). Image Courtesy of Studios

Hashim Sarkis - a prominent scholar of architecture and urbanism, a practicing architect whose works have been built in the and the Middle East, and a leading expert on design in the Middle East – has been named the new dean of MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P), effective in January. Sarkis is currently the Aga Khan Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism in Muslim Societies at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD). He has been on the Harvard faculty since 1998, and has been a full professor since 2002.

“The energy and forward-looking attitude I have encountered at one of the oldest schools of architecture and planning in the country makes it feel like the youngest,” Sarkis says. Read the complete press release here.

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A Shed of One’s Own: An Exploration of Architectural Sheds and Writer’s Bothies

The Bothy Project - Pig Rock Bothy. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Scotland. 2014. Image Courtesy of

As part of the Dylan Thomas in Fitzrovia festivalThe Building Centre is examining the space Dylan Thomas and other writers depend on to create their work. A Shed of One’s Own is a photographic exploration of unique sheds with architectural significance and literary connections. From award-winning studios in Central London to weathered bothies in Scotland, this explores the importance of space for creativity and inspiration. 

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Spotlight: Paulo Mendes da Rocha

Courtesy of the archive

“All space must be attached to a value, to a public dimension. There is no private space. The only private space that you can imagine is the human mind.” – Paulo Mendes da Rocha, May 26, 2004

Paulo Mendes da Rocha is one of Brazil‘s greatest architects and urbanists. Born in Vitória, Espírito Santo in 1928, Mendes da Rocha won the 2006 Pritzker Prize, and is one of the most representative architects of the Brazilian Paulista School, also known as ”Paulista Brutalism” that utilizes more geometric lines, rougher finishes and bulkier massing than other Brazilian Modernists such as Oscar Niemeyer.

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Find a New Life for Your Old Cardboard with these Geometric DIY Halloween Masks

© Fearless Photography

Grab your cardboard, parcel tape, and model building skills: Halloween masks are no longer just for witches and warlocks, but for architects too. A furniture designer turned mask creator based in the United Kingdom has created a series of geometric masks for the creatively inclined, available as a template online. A great way to use up leftover model-making , the masks were designed “to create a set of masks that could be built by anyone using local  removing the need for mass manufacturing or shipping and with the minimum environmental impact,” says their creator Steve Wintercroft.

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Gastro-Architecture: Nicholas Blechman Illustrates Architecture as Food

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Have you ever had the urge to squeeze a lemon on the dome of St. Peters Basilica? Or perhaps, crack a beer with Kohn Pedersen Fox’s “bottle opener”? New York-based designer Nicholas Blechman has put into illustration what we’ve all been thinking, landmark architecture as the food-related items they resemble. Check out Blechman’s “Gastro-Architecture” series here on the New York Times and preview a couple of our favorites, after the break.

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Spotlight: Paul Rudolph

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Paul Marvin Rudolph (October 23, 1918 – August 8, 1997) was a leading American architect known for his contributions to modernism during the International School and Postmodernism eras.  He served as the Chair of Yale University’s School of Architecture for six years and famously designed the Yale Art and Architecture Building, one of the earliest examples of Brutalist architecture in the United States.

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RIBA Future Trends Survey Shows UK’s Confidence Remains High

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The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for September showed that, for yet another month, confidence is high among UK architects, with the workload index up fractionally to +29 from +28 in August. Again, this positive figure was spread right across the country, with the most optimistic reports coming from Northern Ireland and the North of England, reporting workload index figures of +80 and +46 respectively – promising figures considering that these two areas were “slowest to show signs of recovery” after the recession, according to the RIBA.

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Pratt Institute Students Create Sinuous Screen Wall From Concrete Blocks

© Lawrence Blough via the Architect’s Newsaper

Students from the Pratt Institute have created a wall of concrete blockwork… but not like any you’ve seen before. Challenged by their tutors Lawrence Blough and Ezra Ardolino to produce something highly customized from something highly standardized – the 8-by-8-by-24-inch AAC brick – the students used Rhino software and a CNC miller to create a 96-block screen wall composed of 20 different block profiles. “The earlier stuff I’d done was trying to use as much off-the-shelf material as I could,” said Blough. “Here we decided to really push it, and to take on more of the ideas of mass customization.” Find out more about the project at the Architect’s Newspaper Fabrikator Blog.

Spotlight: Peter Cook

Sir Peter Cook. Image © vimeo.com

As one of the founding members of Archigram, the avant-garde futurist architecture group of the 1960s, Sir Peter Cook, the British architect, professor, and writer has been a pivotal figure within the global architectural world for over half a century; one of his most significant works from his time with Archigram, The Plug-In City, still invokes debates on technology and society, challenging standards of architectural discourse today. With a love for the slithering, the swarming and the spooky, Cook continues to teach at the University College London’s Bartlett School of Architecture and lecture around the world.

As one of the founding members of Archigram, Cook gained significant international recognition; however, he has now also been recognized for his built works around the world. His recent works, including the construction of his Art Museum in Graz, Austria (Kunsthaus) has brought his radical ideas to a wider public audience. He currently practices with Gavin Robotham as part of CRAB Studio (Cook Robotham Architectural Bureau). 

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Donna van Milligen Bielke Wins Prix de Rome Architecture 2014

Cabinet of Curiosities / . Image Courtesy of Prix de Rome

The Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science Jet Bussemaker has awarded architect Donna van Milligen Bielke the €40,000 2014. A 2012 graduate from the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, Van Milligen Bielke won the prize for her “radical and poetic intervention” – Cabinet of Curiosities – for the Hoogstraat in Rotterdam.

The Prix de Rome is the oldest and largest prize in the Netherlands for architects and visual artists under 40, previously awarded to alumnus Ronald Rietveld in 2006.

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Grimshaw Selected to Expand Peru’s International Airport

Aeropuerto Internacional Jorge Chávez. Image Courtesy of LAP

Grimshaw has landed a $950 million expansion project for the Jorge Chávez International in Lima, . As reported by the Architect’s Journal, Grimshaw will work with ARCADIS, CH2MHill and Ramboll to design a seven million square meter scheme that will include a new air traffic control tower and second terminal for the international airport. Designs are set to be revealed in 2015.

What Should Obama’s Presidential Library Look Like?

Columbia University: open space, throughout the community. Image © Alfonso Medina/T38 Studio via the Guardian

Barack Obama still has two years left in his presidency, but speculative planning for his Presidential Library has already begun for each of the four possible final locations. Just as the election of President Obama broke down historical precedents for who could hold office, could the design of his dedication library represent an architectural shift from previous libraries? This article by Lilah Raptopoulos from The Guardian presents four unofficial visions for the design of the new library, each of them from award-winning architects. Their bold design sketches expand our perceptions of what a presidential library could be, and explore new ways in which these libraries could serve their communities. See all four designs and read the full article from The Guardian entitled, “Obama’s presidential library: four radical visions of the future from top architects.”