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Trading Parking Lots for Affordable Housing

The cost of living in New York has skyrocketed over the years, causing one of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s biggest challenges to be the integration of affordable housing. Considering this, architecture critic Michael Kimmelman has spotlighted a plan that suggests trading parking lots for micro housing units. Envisioned by three young architects at the Institute for Public Architecture, the “9x18” scheme has the potential to transform the city by capitalizing on outdated zoning regulations that would unleash more than 20.3 million square feet of usable space. Read more here on the New York Times. 

Sheila Kennedy Awarded 2014 Berkeley-Rupp Prize

Shelia Kennedy has been awarded the 2014 Berkeley-Rupp Prize, a $100,000 prize presented biannually to a “distinguished practitioner or academic who has made a significant contribution to promoting the advancement of women in the field of architecture, and whose work emphasizes a commitment to sustainability and the community.” Kennedy is a principal of Boston’s KVA Matx and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s first-ever female Professor of the Practice of Architecture who is internationally renowned for her explorations of material innovation in the fields of architecture and urbanism.

High-Speed "Skyway" Aims to Shorten Commutes from Brooklyn to Manhattan

New York real estate executive Daniel Levy of CityRealty has unveiled a proposal to connect Brooklyn’s waterfront to Manhattan with a $75 million “East River Skyway.” According to Levy, the high-speed gondola could shorten commutes to just four minutes and move more than 5,000 people per hour, while relieving congestion on ferries, subways and bridges. “[The Skyway] would be a relatively inexpensive and quickly deployable solution," said Levy. "It is essential to adapt New York City's transportation system to serve residents in these booming areas.” Levy will present the project in an effort to harness support at the Brooklyn real estate summit on Tuesday. 

BIO 50: Ljubljana Marks 50 Years of Design Biennales with "3, 2, 1... TEST"

From the organizers: On Thursday, 18 September 2014, more than 120 designers and multidisciplinary agents descend upon Ljubljana for the opening week of BIO 50, the Biennial of Design. Over the course of four days, they will unveil the results of a six-month long collaborative process, offering perspectives on possible futures for design. The awards for best collaboration will be presented by the BIO 50 jury comprising industrial designer Konstantin Grcic, design critic Alice Rawsthorn and designer and professor Saša J. Mächtig. Before the opening, the talk with Alice Rawsthorn, Justin McGuirk and Jan Boelen will be organized.

Alumni Launch Petition to Save the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture's Accreditation

A group of alumni from the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture have launched a petition on change.org to incorporate the school “as an independent subsidiary as required by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) to ensure this irreplaceable treasure is perpetuated.” The school is currently at risk of losing its accreditation due to a recently enacted HLC law that requires colleges and other institutions to be  accredited separately from the organizations that sponsor them. The Frank Lloyd Wright School is currently funded as a part of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which supports both of the school’s campuses, and preserves collections of Wright’s work. 

Spotlight: Renzo Piano

“Architecture is art, but art vastly contaminated by many other things. Contaminated in the best sense of the word – fed, fertilised by many things.” -Renzo Piano

Spotlight: Tadao Ando

Tadao Ando (13 September 1941), the 1995 recipient of the Pritzker Prize, turns 73 today. Ando, a Japanese architect based out of Osaka, Japan, is highly regarded for his unparalleled work with concrete, sensitive treatment of natural light, and strong engagement with nature.

Competition Challenges Architects and Students to Design Zero Net Energy Housing in California

Architecture at Zero, now in its fourth year, is challenging all students, architects and designers worldwide to envision two mixed-use, zero net energy (ZNE) housing proposals for adjacent parcel sites in Oakland, California. The competition is a response to the ZNE targets set out by the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) which aims for all new residential construction in the state to be ZNE by 2020. Entrants are eligible for winning up to $25,000. Early bird registration ends September 12. All projects must be submitted by October 31 at 1PM PST. Learn more on the competition website and review last year's winners

Zaha Hadid Says She "Would Love To Do a Tower in London"

Despite her position as one of the world's most prominent and successful architects, Zaha Hadid yesterday revealed that there is one thing she feels is missing from her portfolio: a skyscraper in London. Speaking to BD at the announcement of her Science Museum competition win, Hadid said "I’d love to do a tower in London but it hasn’t arrived." More of Hadid's comments after the break.

Van Alen Institute Launches Competition to Shape the Future of US National Parks

With over 275 million visitors to the United States' 401 national parks per year, what will be the experience of visitors in the 21st century? The Van Alen Institute has teamed up with the National Park Service to launch a new competitionNational Parks Now - a central component of Elsewhere: Escape and the Urban Landscape, the Institute's initiative to investigate how the form and organization of the built environment shapes a need and desire for escape. Operating on the belief, stated by Van Alen Institute Executive Director David van der Leer, that "too few people realize what a huge resource these smaller national park sites are for local communities and for larger urban networks," this initiative seeks to make parks relevant for the 21st century audience. More on the competition after the break.

Artists Seek Alternatives to Proposed Guggenheim Helsinki

As the first phase of the Guggenheim Helsinki design competition concludes, a group of independent arts organizations have launched a search for "alternative" proposals: The Next Helsinki. The counter-competition calls on architects, urbanists, landscape architects, artists, and "all others who love cities to suggest ways in which Helsinki and its South Harbor can be transformed for the maximum benefit of the city.” More information, after the break.

Architect Magazine’s Top 50 US Architecture Firms

Architect Magazine has released its list of the 50 best architecture firms in the US, with Westlake Reed Leskosky, William Rawn Associates and Gensler taking home the top three slots in the overall ranking. The ranking is based on three key factors: business, design and sustainability. Westlake Reed Leskosky also ranked number 1 in the Best in Business category, along with HDR and Spector Group in second and third place, respectively. NADAAA, Behnisch Architekten and Payette were the top three firms in the Best in Design category, while EYP Architecture & Engineering, William Rawn Associates and Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects were ranked as the top three in the Best in Sustainability category. For the full list visit Architect Magazine

Watch “Zaha Hadid on Kazimir Malevich” Today

Zaha Hadid has been featured in a 30-minute BBC Secret Knowledge film based on Kazimir MalevichThe Russian Revolutionary: Zaha Hadid on Kazimir Malevich. One of Hadid’s greatest influencers, the Russian painter and theoretician inspired the Dame’s AA graduation thesis which transformed Malevich’s 1923 Arkitekton model into a 14-story hotel that stretched across London’s Hungerford Bridge. You can watch the film online (here) through September 16.

'Geospatial Solutions' Company Trimble Acquires Gehry Technologies

Trimble and Frank Gehry have recently announced their plans to enter into a strategic alliance in which Trimble will acquire Gehry Technologies to integrate digital software development and on-site fabrication techniques. As a company working in 'geospatial solutions,' Trimble combines software development, communication tools and services to increase productivity in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry, among others. The two companies hope that their alliance will enable complex architectural designs to be realized without the construction snags that often affect such ambitious projects.

Are Playable Cities the Future of Urbanism?

Who says that playing is just for kids? Bristol, in the United Kingdom, is just one of the many cities around the world experimenting with urban play, creating opportunities to eliminate urban solitude in favour of having fun. In a recent article in The Guardian, Julian Baggini dives head first into Bristol's playful new initiatives including a 300-foot water slide on the city's high street, post boxes that converse using text messaging, and city-wide zombie chases. Bristol is leading the way with urban play worldwide, hosting a conference this month entitled Making the City Playable, an opportunity for planners to convene with the creative minds behind the new form of entertainment. Find out more about urban play and the benefits it brings to cities here

Beaux Arts Ball 2014: Craft

The Architectural League hosts the design party of the year at its annual Beaux Arts Ball on September 20. Held in the recently restored, exquisite interiors of Williamsburg’s Weylin B. Seymour’s, the Ball will feature a projection installation by Nuit Blanche New York that reflects on the theme of “Craft.” In addition to the installation, a series of digital presentations and photographic essays will reveal more information about the building and the team of artisans and consultants behind its restoration. 

Competition: Re-Imagining The Athenaeum of Philadelphia

Imagine: After three years of careful dismantling, moving,  painstakingly re-assembling and most importantly, restoring, John Notman’s historic Athenæum building has finally arrived at its new location in Fairmount Park, where it will serve as the headquarters of  the newly formed Philadelphia chapter of the Friends of Brownstone (PhilaFOB). Flush with government funding from lottery and fracking  revenue, PhilaFOB made the Athenæum Board of Directors an offer it  couldn’t refuse.  So now, for the first time since 1845, the lot at 6th & St. James Streets  is vacant, and the Athenæum, still a vital independent lending and  research library, with growing architectural and design collections,  must re-imagine itself without its historic building. Given its  location and its corporate purposes, what might a mid-21st century  Athenæum look like?

OMA Announces Addition of Four New Partners

OMA has announced the addition of four new equity partners, all promoted from Associate level, to take its total number of partners to ten. The move is a reflection of OMA's increasing workload in both architectural projects, and also the increasing involvement of AMO, the company's research offshoot. With two of the new partners based in their overseas offices, it also represents a move to strengthen their work in markets outside of their European base. Read on after the break for details of all four new partners.