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Shortlist Released for D.C. “Bridge Park”

01:00 - 11 May, 2014
Shortlist Released for D.C. “Bridge Park”, East River Blueway Plan - A recent project by shortlisted contestant WXY Studio (click to learn more).
East River Blueway Plan - A recent project by shortlisted contestant WXY Studio (click to learn more).

Six teams have been invited to form interdisciplinary teams in Washington D.C.’s 11th Street Bridge Park competition. Envisioned as a “21st century play space,” the project intends to unify two disconnected parts of the city with a single, multi-use parkscape that will span the width of the Anacostia River. If approved, the Bridge Park will host array of programs, from an education center and performance space, to a cafe and water sport activity areas. Review the complete list of shortlisted teams, after the break...

Minha Casa, Nossa Cidade: Brazil’s Social Housing Policy & The Failures of the Private-Public System

00:00 - 11 May, 2014
Courtesy of Ruby Press
Courtesy of Ruby Press

In 2009, the Brazilian government launched the social housing program “Minha Casa, Minha Vida” (“My House, My Life”), which aims to build 3.4 million housing units by the end of 2014. Minha Casa—Nossa Cidade (Ruby Press, 2014), produced by the MAS Urban Design program at the ETH Zurich, examines the project at a critical time and presents ways to improve its design and implementation. Divided into three chapters, the book reviews the history, guidelines, and construction of the “Minha Casa, Minha Vida” program (MCMV) through long-form essays, opinion pieces, interviews, diagrams, and photographic image material. The following excerpt, written by Sandra Becker, proposes an answer to the question of why the program - despite its aims to meet the huge demand for housing for low-income families - has thus far failed to provide the Brazilian people the “quality cities [they] desire.” 

From the Publisher. In June 2013, Brazil saw a wave of protests unprecedented in the country's history. Millions of people filled the streets demanding better education, public transportation, and healthcare. While the rage driving the protests was directed at politicians, it is unlikely that the problem can be reduced to the failure of the political system. Instead, shouldn't the protests point out the inequalities caused by the neoliberal policies that dominate the global economy?

In the first quarter of 2009, responding to the global financial crisis that had begun the previous year, the Brazilian government launched an ambitious social housing program to encourage the economy's construction sector. The program, “Minha Casa, Minha Vida,” was initially developed to build one million houses. In September 2011, the program launched its second phase with a goal of providing another 2.4 million housing units. The program aims to confront a historical deficiency in housing, a shortage of approximately 5.8 million dwellings.

JA 93: KAZUO SHINOHARA – Complete Works in Original Publications

00:00 - 11 May, 2014
JA 93: KAZUO SHINOHARA – Complete Works in Original Publications

From the publisher. JA93 Spring 2014 issue features 55 works by Kazuo Shinohara, one of the most influential architects in the generation after the Metabolists. The issue consists of photographs and drawings which appeared in the original issues of Shinkenchiku and original descriptive texts by the architect.

DM HOUSE / Studio Guilherme Torres

01:00 - 11 May, 2014
DM HOUSE / Studio Guilherme Torres, © Denilson Machada
© Denilson Machada

© Denilson Machada © Denilson Machada © Denilson Machada © Denilson Machada +34

  • Architects

  • Location

    São Paulo, Brazil
  • Architect in Charge

    Guilherme Torre
  • Area

    350.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2012

Garcias House / Warm Architects

01:00 - 11 May, 2014
Garcias House / Warm Architects, © Wacho Espinosa
© Wacho Espinosa

© Wacho Espinosa © Wacho Espinosa © Wacho Espinosa © Wacho Espinosa +34

  • Architects

  • Location

    Cancún, Quintana Roo, Mexico
  • Architect in Charge

    Carlos Armando del Castillo A
  • Design Team

    Carlos Armando del Castillo Huerta, Adriana Diaz Santin, Joaquin Morales Sarmiento
  • Area

    215.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

Toro Canyon House / Bestor Architecture

01:00 - 11 May, 2014
Toro Canyon House  / Bestor Architecture, © Laure Joliet
© Laure Joliet

© Laure Joliet © Laure Joliet © Laure Joliet © Laure Joliet +20

  • Architects

  • Location

    Santa Barbara County, CA, USA
  • Partner In Charge

    Barbara Bestor
  • Project Manager / Architect

    Selena Linkous
  • Project Team

    Daniel Rabin
  • Area

    4700.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2012
  • Photographs

Jalan Mat Jambol / Zarch Collaboratives

01:00 - 10 May, 2014
Jalan Mat Jambol / Zarch Collaboratives, © Albert Lim
© Albert Lim

© Albert Lim © Albert Lim © Albert Lim © Albert Lim +17

  • Architects

  • Location

    Jalan Mat Jambol, Singapore
  • Project Team

    Randy Chan
  • Area

    3700.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2012
  • Photographs

Toomath's Legacy: Defining Modern New Zealand Architecture

00:00 - 10 May, 2014
Toomath's Legacy: Defining Modern New Zealand Architecture, Toomath House, view of the Oriental Bay. Image © Simon Devitt
Toomath House, view of the Oriental Bay. Image © Simon Devitt

"What makes us New Zealanders different from, say, Australians?" William Toomath, the late modernist architect, asked himself this question at the onset of his career. In this article published by the Australian Design Review, Jack Davies takes a look at Toomath's work and how he helped define New Zealand architecture. To keep reading, click here.

O+A: In Search of Optimal Office Design

01:00 - 10 May, 2014
O+A: In Search of Optimal Office Design,  The Giant Pixel Corporation: This software development company in San Francisco occupies three tight floors of largely open-plan space. “We tried to provide different levels of acoustical privacy,” says O+A cofounder Denise Cherry. “The fully enclosed conference room is for confidential conversations, but you also have in-between spaces, like the canopied cabanas, which are connected to the work area—connected to the open plan—but still have some acoustic and even some visual separation.” Conference room ceiling made of recording-studio foam manufactured by Auralex. Image © Jasper Sanidad
The Giant Pixel Corporation: This software development company in San Francisco occupies three tight floors of largely open-plan space. “We tried to provide different levels of acoustical privacy,” says O+A cofounder Denise Cherry. “The fully enclosed conference room is for confidential conversations, but you also have in-between spaces, like the canopied cabanas, which are connected to the work area—connected to the open plan—but still have some acoustic and even some visual separation.” Conference room ceiling made of recording-studio foam manufactured by Auralex. Image © Jasper Sanidad

Although office design has dramatically and drastically changed over the course of the 20th century, we aren't finished yet. San Francisco firm O+A is actively searching for today's optimal office design, designing work spaces to encourage both concentration and collaboration by merging elements from the cubicle-style office with those popularized by Steve Jobs. In this article, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as “Noises Off,” Eva Hagberg takes a look at some of their built works.

In the beginning was the cubicle. And the cubicle was almost everywhere, and the cubicle held almost everyone, and it was good. Then there was the backlash, and the cubicle was destroyed, put aside, swept away in favor of the open plan, the endless span of space, floor, and ceiling—punctuated by the occasional column so that the roof wouldn’t collapse onto the floor plate—and everyone talked about collaboration, togetherness, synergy, randomness and happenstance. Renzo Piano designed a New York Times building with open stairways so writers and editors could (would have to) run into one another, and everyone remembered the always-ahead-of-the-curve Steve Jobs who, when he was running Pixar, asked for only two bathrooms in the whole Emeryville building, and insisted they be put on the ground floor lobby so that designers and renderers could (would have to) run into each other, and such was the office culture of the new millennium.  

And then there was the backlash to the backlash. Those writers wanted their own offices, and editors wanted privacy, and not everyone wanted to be running into people all the time, because not everyone was actually collaborating, even though their bosses and their bosses’ bosses said that they should, because collaboration, teamwork, and togetherness—these were the new workplace buzzwords. Until they weren’t. Until people realized that they were missing—as architect Ben Jacobson said in a Gensler sponsored panel on the need to create a balance between focus and collaboration—the concept of “parallel play,” i.e. people working next to each other, but not necessarily with each other. Until individuality came back, particularly in San Francisco in the tech scene, and particularly in the iconoclastic start-up tech scene, where people began to want something a little different.

Yelp:  The cafeteria at Yelp's 110,000-square-foot campus in San Francisco features warm wood walls and light-emitting ropes. Image © Jasper Sanidad  The Tectum ceiling panels (above) appear to be largely aesthetic. “They make a beautiful pattern, but it’s not a random one,” Cherry says. “By offsetting those vertical baffles, you’re creating a series of sound barriers, so they’re actually doing double duty”. Image © Jasper Sanidad A felt canopied cabana inside the Giant Pixel offices in San Francisco. “We are open-office fanatics,” says Verda Alexander at O+A. “But it’s too simple to say a space is just open plan, because at the same time we’re creating ‘other’ spaces that mix with open-plan work areas.”  Partial acoustic and visual separation made possible by felt material manufactured by Filzfelt. Image © Jasper Sanidad  Capital One Labs:  The bank has created entrepreneurial Capital One Labs in three cities: Washington, D.C., New York City, and San Francisco. The Bay Area outpost, designed by O+A, has 35 full-time employees operating in an open-plan space that looks and feels like a hotel lobby. The fully upholstered cubby is, Cherry says, “a cozy place to tuck away. Even though it’s really just a big open workplace, we also created these quiet little respites.”  The fully upholstered cubby, lined with Paul Smith Plaid cloth by Maharam, isolates sound while still maintaining a visual link to the rest of the space. Image © Jasper Sanidad +8

Video: Alvaro Siza Denounces Architecture's "Hyper-Specialization"

00:00 - 10 May, 2014

In this video, produced by Hugo Oliveira, Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza denounces the "hyper-specialization" of architecture, outlining its academic roots as well as its practical implications for practice. Siza mentions how, in Portugal, a law was considered to limit architects to their specific specialities - exterior architects could not design interiors, for example. According to Siza, this tendency towards "hyper" or over specialization is unfortunate, as it gives rise to the segmentation of the discipline into subcategories - interior architecture, exterior architecture, landscape architecture, etc. - that undermine collaboration and team work. 

Also make sure to check out the first part of this interview, where Siza discusses the obsolescence of buildings. 

The Lifting House / Guedes Cruz Arquitectos

01:00 - 10 May, 2014
The Lifting House / Guedes Cruz Arquitectos, Courtesy of Guedes Cruz Arquitectos
Courtesy of Guedes Cruz Arquitectos

Courtesy of Guedes Cruz Arquitectos Courtesy of Guedes Cruz Arquitectos Courtesy of Guedes Cruz Arquitectos Courtesy of Guedes Cruz Arquitectos +22

  • Architects

  • Location

    Cascais, Portugal
  • Architects in Charge

    José Guedes Cruz, Marco Martínez Marinho, César Marques.
  • Area

    640.0 sqm

Great Ocean RD / ITN Architects

01:00 - 10 May, 2014
© Aidan Halloran
© Aidan Halloran

© Aidan Halloran © Aidan Halloran © Aidan Halloran © Aidan Halloran +28

"Every Building is a Social Critique" - Polshek Describes His Oeuvre in Latest Book

00:00 - 10 May, 2014
"Every Building is a Social Critique" - Polshek Describes His Oeuvre in Latest Book, Polshek's memorable design for the Rose Center for Earth and Space (2000) at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Image © Timothy Hursley
Polshek's memorable design for the Rose Center for Earth and Space (2000) at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Image © Timothy Hursley

While architects don't always see the connection between politics, social constructs, and architecture, James Stewart Polshek considers the three indivisible. In an interview on Metropolis Magazine about his newly released book Build, Memory, he describes how this belief launched his career 65 years ago. To learn more about Polshek's approach to architecture and the publication, click here.

Roman Catholic Church / Tamás Nagy

00:00 - 10 May, 2014
Roman Catholic Church  / Tamás Nagy, © József Hajdú
© József Hajdú

© József Hajdú © József Hajdú © József Hajdú © József Hajdú +13

Milan Expo 2015: Austria's Winning Pavilion to Simulate Native Climate

00:00 - 10 May, 2014
Milan Expo 2015: Austria's Winning Pavilion to Simulate Native Climate , Exterior View. Image Courtesy of team.breathe.austria
Exterior View. Image Courtesy of team.breathe.austria

The winning design for the Austrian pavilion of the 2015 Milan Expo has been announced. Following the Expo’s theme of “Energy for Life,” team.breathe.austria's winning proposal focuses on social change for environmental protection. The enclosed, rectangular pavilion will be planted with an abundance of native Austrian vegetation. Titled “breathe,” the project will produce enough oxygen to sustain 18,000 people by the hour and advocates for a healthier bond between the urban and natural environment.

C.F. Møller Wins Vendsyssel Hospital Competition

01:00 - 10 May, 2014
C.F. Møller Wins Vendsyssel Hospital Competition, Hospital Entrance. Image © C.F. Møller
Hospital Entrance. Image © C.F. Møller

Danish firm C.F. Møller has won first place in a competition to design an extension and renovation of Vendsyssel Hospital in Hjørring, Denmark. This winning proposal will add 14,000 square meters to the existing structure, incorporating a new treatment center, a ward for mothers and children, and a rooftop children’s playground. The new facilities are arranged around large courtyards, and make use of large windows to display the path of travel through the hospital. This helps make navigating through the large building as easy as possible.

Ormond Road Apartments / Jost Architects

01:00 - 10 May, 2014
Ormond Road Apartments / Jost Architects, © Andrew Wuttke
© Andrew Wuttke

© Andrew Wuttke © Andrew Wuttke © Shannon McGrath © Andrew Wuttke +28

  • Architects

  • Location

    Ormond Road, Elwood VIC 3184, Australia
  • Architect in Charge

    Patrick Jost
  • Design Team

    Nina Caple
  • Interiors

    Jost Architects, Nina Caple (Mini Living)
  • Builder

    Liberty Builders
  • Photographs

Foster + Partners’ Unfinished Vegas Tower Approved for Demolition

00:00 - 9 May, 2014
 Foster + Partners’ Unfinished Vegas Tower Approved for Demolition , Harmon Hotel via <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/'>Wikimedia</a> Commons
Harmon Hotel via Wikimedia Commons

A court approved ruling has sealed the fate of Foster + Partners’ half-built Harmon Hotel in Las Vegas. Unfinished due to structural defects, the 27-story glass tower was once envisioned to be the staple of the $8.5 billion CityCenter entertainment complex. However, since problems arose in 2008, the stunted hotel and casino has instead served as a glorified billboard. 

Though it has yet to be determined who will be blamed for the faulty construction, owner MGM Resorts International has been granted permission to dismantle the blue glass building floor-by-floor at a cost of $11.5 million.