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House in Okazaki / Kazuki Moroe Architects

  • Architects: Kazuki Moroe Architects
  • Location: Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, Japan
  • Area: 122.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Kai Nakamura, Hiroshi Tanigawa

© Kai Nakamura © Hiroshi Tanigawa © Hiroshi Tanigawa © Kai Nakamura

PRC Embassy Pool Enclosure / Townsend + Associates Architects

  • Architects: Townsend + Associates Architects
  • Location: Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China, 15 Coronation Dr, Yarralumla ACT 2600, Australia
  • Area: 562.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: John Gollings

© John Gollings © John Gollings © John Gollings © John Gollings

These Two Drones Just Built a Bridge

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Two quadcopter drones just autonomously built a footbridge that is capable of withstanding the weight of a human. Outfitted with a motorized spool and plastic tubes that dispense Dyneema, a "material with a low weight-to-strength ratio," the flying machines were able to construct a lightweight tensile bridge that spans 7.4 meters between two scaffolding structures at the Flying Machine Arena in Zurich.

FiL Books / Halükar Architecture

  • Architects: Halükar Architecture
  • Location: Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa, Karaköy, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
  • Collaborators: Bilge Kalfa, Gamze İşcan, Erhan Sevinç, Işık Gülkaynak
  • Area: 80.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Depikt

© Depikt © Depikt © Depikt © Depikt

OMA, Zaha Hadid and Mecanoo Among 9 Shortlisted for New Art Space in Manchester

A competitive shortlist of 9 has been released for a new high-profile art space planned in Manchester. The £110 million project, known as "The Factory" (after the city's influential Factory Records), will feature an "ultra-flexible" arts venue that can transform from a 2,200-seat theater into an open 5,000-capacity space that will accommodate a wide range of art forms and performances. It will also serve as the new home of the Manchester International Festival (MIF). 

"The level of international interest reflects the city’s emerging status as an internationally-renowned city of culture. This is a landmark development that will place Manchester in the highest tier of arts worldwide," said Manchester City Council (MCC) executive member Rosa Battle. 

The 9 shortlisted practices are: 

Chicago Tribune Says 11 "High Caliber" Architects Asked to Submit Qualifications for Obama Library

The University of Chicago's two proposed sites. Image ©
The University of Chicago's two proposed sites. Image ©

Update: The Chicago Tribune's architecture critic Blair Kamin has now reported that 140 architects from 60 cities have expressed their interest in designing the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago by submitting qualifications. Of these, 99 are based in the United States, although names have not been released. The below article, originally published on September 1st, lists 11 architects that Kamin was able to confirm had been invited to submit qualifications by the Barack Obama Foundation.

Last week, it was reported that the Barack Obama Foundation was searching globally for an architect to design Obama's Presidential Library and Museum (officially known as the Barack Obama Presidential Center). With the list of invited candidates for Obama's Presidential Center still a closely-guarded secret, though, the Chicago Tribune's architecture critic Blair Kamin has turned investigator, uncovering a list of 11 firms among the "fifty or more" which are believed to have been invited. Kamin states that the 11 firms he has confirmed to be in the running are "A) Of high caliber; B) Represent a broad geographic and aesthetic spectrum; and C) Include the established firms one would expect to be invited."

August ABI Contracts Slightly

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) declined in August, following fairly healthy business conditions so far this year. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the August ABI score was 49.1, down from a mark of 54.7 in July. The new projects inquiry index was 61.8, down from a reading of 63.7 the previous month.

“Over the past several years, a period of sustained growth in billings has been followed by a temporary step backwards,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “The fact that project inquiries and new design contracts continue to grow at a healthy pace suggests that this should not be a cause for concern throughout the design and construction industry.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break. 

OOPEAA's Puukuokka Housing Block Wins 2015 Finlandia Prize

Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho has selected OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture's Puukuokka housing block as winner of the 2015 Finlandia Prize for Architecture. Saariaho, this year's sole judge for the prize, choose the eight-story wooden apartment building over four other shortlisted projects "because it demonstrates values that [she] appreciates in life as well as in architecture: it is a courageous and ambitious work that brings together an exploration of new possibilities for building and construction, a humane sensibility, and a quest for ecological solutions as well as a strive towards better quality of life.”

Saul-Bellow Library / Chevalier Morales Architectes

  • Architects: Chevalier Morales Architectes
  • Location: 3100 Rue Saint Antoine, Lachine, QC H8S 4E3, Canada
  • Area: 2650.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Chevalier Morales Architectes

Courtesy of Chevalier Morales Architectes Courtesy of Chevalier Morales Architectes Courtesy of Chevalier Morales Architectes Courtesy of Chevalier Morales Architectes

The Versatility of Corian, from Countertops to Railings

If there was a most radical decade of the last century, few would come close to topping the 1960s. From the Bay of Pigs to the Beatles, Marilyn Monroe to the moon landing, there was rarely a dull moment. The world of materials was also involved, seeing the invention of a polymer surface of acrylic resin and natural minerals that was easy to clean, scratch resistant, seamless, and hygienic. Better known as Corian, the surface developed by DuPont chemist Donald Slocum in 1967 was a material that met the tough challenges of modern living.

Video Series: Six Lessons from Six Leading Dutch Designers

There's something special about architecture in The Netherlands. From MVRDV's iconic Markthal in Rotterdam to WAM's whimsically stacked Inntel Hotel in Zaandam, for years Dutch design has questioned accepted architectural norms. The country has long been considered a leader in design, catalyzed in part by The Netherlands' famous architectural trailblazer Rem Koolhaas. Since 1975 Koolhaas' Rotterdam-based firm OMA has realized dozens of unorthodox designs and has been linked with the creation of more than forty major architecture practices worldwide.

In 2000 Bart Lootsma released Superdutch, a bestselling opus on the mythology of Dutch architecture and its thought leaders, which provided a glimpse into the enduring humanist approach to design that has earned global praise for the country's architects. In the book, Lootsma profiled a handful of Dutch firms including UNStudio, West 8 and MVRDV. Fifteen years later, students from Canada's Simon Fraser University formed a collective called Groep Drie to continue the conversation. From Herman Hertzberger to Ben van Berkel, Groep Drie sat down with The Netherlands' most innovative designers to talk urbanism, spiritualism, color, and more.

Read on to find out what The Netherlands' leading architects had to say.

Santiago Calatrava Discusses the WTC Transportation Hub

In this additional scene from our interview with Spanish architect/engineer Santiago Calatrava, the designer discusses the monumental timespan and demanding criteria of his transportation hub for the World Trade Center. Following Calatrava’s aesthetic calling card, the project’s ribbed vocabulary and “birdlike” form features a 355-foot-long operable Oculus - a "slice of the New York sky" - that casts a soft glow onto the pristine white surfaces of the interior. New areas of the building opened to the public this summer, with the project slated for a grand opening this December.

Niche Tactics Book Launch

Niche Tactics: Generative Relationships between Architecture and Site (Routledge 2015), the first book by architecture's Edgar A. Tafel Assistant Professor Caroline O'Donnell, explores architecture's relationship with site and its ecological analogue: the relationship between an organism and its environment.

The launch event on Monday, September 28 at 5 p.m. will replicate the order of the book itself, with experts responding to particular chapters: Catherine Ingraham will represent the self-authored "Introduction"; Greg Keeffe will respond to chapter 1, "Niche Tactics"; Val Warke will respond to chapter 6, "All Dressed Up"; Mark Morris will respond to chapter 9, "Duck Jokes"; and O'Donnell will conclude with the CODA. In addition, an array of mixed meats and eggs will represent chapter 11 "Hopeful Monsters." 

How London's Olympic Stadium Finally Transitioned to Legacy Mode

Before it was even completed, the legacy of the Populous-designed stadium for the London 2012 Olympics was a thorny issue. Originally designed to be largely dismantled after the games, a sudden interest in the future stadium from local football teams led to an about-face by the government, resulting in a renewed brief for a design that could be adapted to host football matches. What followed after the games was recently described by The Guardian's sports correspondent Owen Gibson as "a huge, expensive engineering puzzle" in which "to all intents and purposes, it has been completely rebuilt."

Lille Métropole Commercial Court / PetitDidier Prioux Architectes

© 11H45 © 11H45 © 11H45 © 11H45

Herzog & de Meuron's Tate Modern Expansion to Officially Open in 2016

Earlier this week Sir Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate Modern, announced that Herzog & de Meuron's extension will officially open on Friday 17th June 2016. The gallery, which originally opened in 2000 housed within a former power station in London's Bankside, dramatically transformed the UK's relationship with modern and contemporary art. Since then, the Tate Modern has become a bastion of trend-setting and high-profile exhibitions, and has grown to be one of London's most visited cultural venues.