What Urbanists Can Learn From Low-Income Neighborhoods

Courtesy of Metropolis Magazine

“For the most part, the way urbanists view black neighborhoods (and other low-income neighborhoods and communities of color) are as problems that need to be fixed. At the heart of what I want to say is what can we as urbanists learn from these neighborhoods?” So asks Sara Zewde, a student at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and this year’s Landscape Architecture Foundation’s Olmsted Scholar, in a fascinating profile on Metropolis Magazine. Read more about Zewde and her work here.

WorldWide Storefront Winners’ Two-Month Program Begins September 19

Winning entry “Circus for Construction” by Ann Lui, Ashley Mendelsohn, Larisa Ovalles, Craig Reschke, and Benjamin Widger. Image Courtesy of

Starting September 19th, the ten winners of WorldWide Storefront (WWSf) – an initiative by Storefront for Art and Architecture to create alternative spaces for the expression/exchange of art/architecture – will open across the globe for the next two months. While one winning proposal invites artists to travel the world on commercial freight ships, another will host exhibits and events out of a traveling semi-truck in the United States. For the full list of winners and more information, click here.

AD Round Up: Smiljan Radic

Copper House 2 / . Image © Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma

Although previously unknown except in his native Chile, architect Smiljan Radic has recently received international attention for his design of this year’s pavilion for ’s Serpentine Galleries. His latest and largest undertaking yet, a winery outside of Santiago, has been featured in this article by the New York Times. And now, his Mestizo Restaurant has been named one of the seven most outstanding 21st century projects in the Americas. If you’re unfamiliar with Radic’s unique works, we’ve compiled a round-up of some of our favorites for you to explore, including his Serpentine PavilionCopper House 2, the Mestizo Restaurant, a bus stop for the town of Krumbach, Austria, and his renovation of the Chilean Museum for Pre-Columbian Art. Enjoy!

This Floating Platform Could Filter the Plastic from our Polluted Oceans

Courtesy of

“Plastic is an extremely durable material, taking 500 years to biodegrade, yet it’s designed to be used for an average of 5 minutes, and so it’s thrown away. Few know where this mass of junk will end up … in the oceans, killing and silently destroying everything, even us.”

Cristian Ehrmantraut has developed a prototype for a floating platform that filters the ocean and absorbs plastic. Located 4 km from the coast of , close to the center of the mega-vortex of plastic located in the South Pacific, the tetrahedral platform performs a kind of dialysis, allowing the natural environment to be recovered as well as energy and food to be produced.

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Architect to Buy/Re-Purpose Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center

The Brutalist-style Orange County Government Center in , N.Y., closed since 2011, and designed by , may get a shot at preservation. Image © Randy Harris

Some people hate Paul Rudolph‘s Orange County Government Center in Goshen, New York, while others love it. Despite the Brutalist building’s eligibility for landmark status, its current fate is up in the air. Gene Kaufman, a partner at Gwathmey Siegal Kaufman Architects, has offered to buy and repurpose the building. To learn about his proposal, head to the New York Times to by clicking here.

Project Helix: Reviving Venezuela’s Unfinished Modernist Utopia

© Project Helix (Proyecto Helicoide)

Although construction was never completed, “The Helix” in is one of the most important relics of the Modern movement in Venezuela. The 73,000 square meter project – designed in 1955 by Jorge Romero Gutiérrez, Peter Neuberger and Dirk Bornhorst – takes the form of a double spiral topped by a large geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller. It was characterized by a series of ascending and descending ramps meant to carry visitors to its variety of programmatic spaces - including 320 shops, a 5 star hotel, offices, a playground, a television studio and a space for events and conventions.

Today, Project Helix seeks to rescue the urban history and memory of the building through a series of exhibitions, publications and educational activities. More details on the initiative, after the break.

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AD Round Up: Happy Bastille Day!

Nova Green / Agence Bernard Bühler. Image © Vincent Monthiers

The fourteenth of July is Bastille Day, a day that commemorates the start of the French Revolution.  Named for the fortress prison that was stormed by revolutionaries on July 14th, 1789, Bastille Day is celebrated globally both by France and her former colonies, as well as many cities in the US.  In honor of this historic date, we’ve compiled some of our favorite French projects from the past few years.  In this round up you’ll find classics such as the Villa dall’Ava by OMA, as well as fantastic works like Nova Green by Agence Bernard Bühler, Pontivy Media Library and Louviers Music school by Opus 5 architectes, Platform Architecture’s Aquitanis Headquarters, L’Atoll Angers by Antonio Virga Architecte and AAVP Architecture, a Parking Attendant’s Pavilion by Jean-Luc Fugier, Kengo Kuma’s Aix en Provence Conservatory of Music, and Origami by Manuelle Gautrand ArchitectureJoyeux quatorze juillet!

Why We Can Thank Gehry, Graves, and Scott Brown for Julia Morgan’s AIA Gold Medal Win

Julia Morgan is the eighth posthumous winner of the Gold Medal, which has been issued since 1907. Image Courtesy of The Chronicle

Considering Julia Morgan was overlooked for over 100 years and has been dead for over 50, naysayers may consider her recent accolade as the first woman to receive the AIA Gold Medal something of an empty gesture. However, the prestigious group of supporters who compiled her nomination package – among them Michael GravesFrank Gehry, and Denise Scott Brown - would beg to differ. To find out how and why the trio championed Morgan’s case, check out this article on SFGate.

AD Round Up: Awesome Airports

AD Classics: Dulles International Airport / . Image © MWAA

If there is a universal truth, it is that nobody likes spending time in an airport. This article from the Financial Times corroborates this fact, pointing out that, no matter how well-designed a terminal is, people make every effort to leave it as soon as possible. While the novelty of air travel has worn off since its inception in the 20th century, the work devoted to designing airports has only increased. We’ve collected some of our favorite terminals we’d actually love to get stuck in, including works by Eero Sarinen, SOM, Fentress, J. Mayer H., KCAP, Paul Andreu, bblur architecture and 3DReid, Corgan Associates, De Bever, and Studio Fuksas. Enjoy!

Retirement Community Is Fastest Growing Metropolitan Area in U.S.

Residents drive golf carts through the main square of the Spanish Springs neighborhood of The Villages, . Image © Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Photo

While other in the United States are shrinking, the world’s largest retirement community – The Villages - is booming. Completely devoid of crime, traffic, pollution, as well as children, the fastest growing metropolitan area in the country raises serious questions about the concentrated demographic’s future infrastructural needs. After all, by 2050, the over-60 set is expected to almost triple to 2 billion. To learn more, check out this fascinating article on Bloomberg.

Tree-Like Skyscraper Takes Urban Farming to Next Level

Courtesy of

Urban farming is nothing new, but Aprilli Design Studio‘s proposal for a completely open-air skyscraper does put a novel spin on the sustainable ideal. Instead of tacking greenery onto roofs and balconies, they incorporate agriculture into cities by dedicating entire buildings to the cause. To learn more about the tree-like design, check out Fast Company’s article here.

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New Study Discredits Bilbao Effect

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti proudly displays his pro-Lucas Twitter hastag. Image Courtesy of City of Los Angeles

Before George Lucas found a home for his museum in Chicago, the mayors of other cities were desperately vying for the honor (see Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti above). If they are still disappointed about losing out, a new study about the aftermath of building cultural centers might offer some consolation. To learn about the planning fallacies and negative outcomes often associated with these building types, check out CityLab’s recap.

“Casa Futebol” Proposes a Different Olympic Legacy For Brazil’s Stadiums

Render of the National Stadium of Brazil, based on a photograph by Tomás Faquini

In these hypothetical designs entitled ”Casa Futebol“, Architects Axel de Stampa and Sylvain Macaux of 1Week1Project have proposed a reappropriation of Brazil’s World Cup venues by inserting housing units of approximately 105 square meters into the existing structures. The designs are tailored to each stadium, allowing them to continue to operate smoothly, with part of the money raised by ticket revenue used to finance the construction and maintenance of dwellings. By either replacing part of the stands with the prefabricated units or by occupying the external facade, Casa Futebol adds a human scale to these monumental buildings.

Read on after the break for all the proposals

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The Legacy of Hydraulic Fracturing in Blackpool

The Legacy of Frackpool. Image © Jason Lamb

Jason Lamb, a recent graduate from London’s Bartlett School of Architecture, has developed a project which centres around the legacy of hydraulic fracturing in the British coastal city of Blackpool. The theoretical thesis, which employs the possibility of Chinese investment prompting the transitory integration of hydraulic fracturing within the city for the exploitation of shale gas, features a number of interesting explanatory illustrations.

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Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings Under Consideration as UNESCO Heritage Site

© http://www.flickr.com/photos/32224170@N03/3352894744/

By 2016, Frank Lloyd Wright‘s finest creations may be considered as monumental as the Taj Mahal or the Great Pyramids. The eleven structures, including the Robie House and the Guggenheim Museum, have been collectively nominated as a single UNESCO World Heritage Site. To learn a bit more about the nomination process and why they are being considered, check out this article on the Wisconsin Rapids Tribute

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.

Video: The Spatial Diagramming of Spike Jonze’s “Her”

Every month, INTERIORS Journal analyzes and diagrams the spaces in various films, producing detailed plans for our viewing pleasure. But have you ever wondered just how they do it? If you have, check out their short video on making the plan from Spike Jonze’s feature film Her above.

Want more of cinema’s great spaces? Check out more of INTERIORS here on ArchDaily:

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

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

“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.