Jean Nouvel Seeks Legal Action to Distance Himself from Philharmonie de Paris

© Flickr CC user Marko Erman

After boycotting the premature opening of the infamous Philharmonie de Paris, Jean Nouvel has taken his frustrations to court demanding that his name and image be removed from all references to the publicly funded €390 million concert hall. The French architect, who has claimed to be wrongly vilified as a “spoilt-star artist” and unfairly blamed for the project’s spiraling costs, does not “wish to express himself any further on the project.”

He has asked the court “to order amending work” to 26 “non-compliance” areas that do not comply with his original . This areas include parapets, fireplaces, facades, the promenade and 2,400-seat concert hall itself.

Casa en Los Andenes / Aurelio Herrera & Enrique Llatas

© Lolo Lamas

Architects: Aurelio Herrera, Enrique Llatas
Location: ,
Area: 170.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Lolo Lamas

Arup and GXN Innovation’s Biocomposite Facade Wins JEC Innovation Award


Arup and GXN Innovation have been awarded with the JEC Innovation Award 2015 in the construction category for their development of the world’s first self-supporting biocomposite facade panel. Developed as part of the €7.7 million EU-funded BioBuild program, the reduces the embodied energy of facade systems by 50% compared to traditional systems with no extra cost in construction.

The 4-by-2.3 meter panel is made from flax fabric and bio-derived resin. Intended primarily for commercial offices, the glazing unit features a parametrically-derived faceted design, and comes ready for installation. The panel is also designed to be easy to disassemble, making it simple to recycle at the end of its life.

Walter Netsch: The “Radical Mind” That Designed SOM’s Air Force Academy Chapel

© Hedrich Blessing

Having joined Skidmore, Owings & Merrill after World War Two at the age of 27, was promoted to become a partner at the age of 31. Netsch entered the firm during what was arguably its defining era, when the reputation of Gordon Bunshaft and the image of a corporate-driven, teamwork-minded made SOM one of the most recognizable practices in the US. He was also, at the age of just 34, responsible for one of SOM’s most recognizable projects of the decade, the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and its striking geometric chapel.

To honor what would have been Netsch’s 95th birthday, SOM recently republished an interview between Netsch and architecture theorist and writer Detlef Mertins, which had originally been published in 2001 in SOM Journal 1. In the following extract from this interview, Netsch discusses the story of how he developed the , and what it was like to participate in one of America’s most influential practices among a host of strong characters.

Urban House in Tua do Lindo Vale / Ana Cláudia Monteiro + Vítor Oliveira

© José Campos

Architects: Ana Cláudia Monteiro + Vítor Oliveira
Location: Rua Lindo Vale, 4200 ,
Area: 249.0 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: José Campos

“Winter Stations” Bring Warmth to Toronto’s Frozen Beaches

Snowcone. Image © Remi Carreiro

Five finalists have emerged from the 196 submissions of Toronto’s first international competition. Drawing proposals from 36 countries around the world, the competition challenged entrants to transform the lifeguard stations on Toronto’s east beaches into public art pieces for the winter. The finalists’ designs were constructed in mid-February and will be displayed until March 20, 2015.

Take a look at the completed installations, after the break. 

Throughout his article, de Graaf's argument is illustrated with images of lively scenes from 1980s East Berlin, challenging the common misconception that life on the other side of the Wall was bleak. Image © Lutz Schramm/Wikipedia
Throughout his article, de Graaf's argument is illustrated with images of lively scenes from 1980s East Berlin, challenging the common misconception that life on the other side of the Wall was bleak. Image © Lutz Schramm/Wikipedia

Reinier de Graaf on Cultural Amnesia and the “Fall” of the Berlin Wall

“Twenty-five years after the Berlin Wall’s demise, it is as though a large part of the twentieth century never happened,” writes OMA principle Reinier de Graaf in his article for Metropolis Magazine “The Other Truth”. “An entire period has been erased from public consciousness, almost like a blank frame in a film.” Through the course of the article, de Graaf outlines how the West has rewritten the history of the cold war, erasing the “other truth” that existed for nearly half a century in East Berlin, the USSR, and other soviet-aligned states – a truth that we forget to our peril. It may not be immediately architectural, but the essay provides an interesting look into the political thoughts of de Graaf who, as the principle of one of architecture’s most prominent research organizations in AMO, has an important influence on the profession’s understanding of the wider world. Read the article in full here.

Bergen University College / Cubo Arkitekter + HLM Arkitektur

Courtesy of Cubo Arkitekter +

Architects: Cubo Arkitekter, HLM Arkitektur
Location: University of , , Norway
Area: 51750.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Cubo Arkitekter + HLM Arkitektur

Courtesy of RIBA
Courtesy of RIBA

RIBA Future Trends Survey Reveals A “Mixed Picture”

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for January 2015 has revealed strong levels of optimism as workload forecasts remain strongly positive across all regions of the UK. Following little change in indexes between November and December 2014, the workload index has once again remained consistent at +29. Workload forecast balance figures have remained high, the highest numbers being reported from practices in Northern Ireland at +67 (from +50) and Scotland at +57 (from +75). Furthermore, practices of all sizes have been responding with positive workload prospects heading into the next quarter.

House with One Wall / Christian Kerez

© Walter Mair

Architects: Christian Kerez
Location: Witikon, Zurich,
Year: 2007
Photographs: Walter Mair

House Between The Trees / Šebo Lichý architects

© Tomáš Manina

Architects: Šebo Lichý architects
Location: ,
Architects In Charge: Tomáš Šebo, Igor Lichý
Area: 202.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Tomáš Manina

NEF Primary School / CINICI Architects

© Cemal Emden

Architects: CINICI Architects
Location: İstanbul,
Architect In Charge: Can Cinici
Area: 7284.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Cemal Emden

Mu-A / Inexdesign

© Jae Yoon Kim

Architects: Inexdesign
Location: Jung-gu, , South Korea
Architect In Charge: Won Myoung Hyun
Area: 105.0 sqm
Photographs: Jae Yoon Kim

Spark Beijing Office / Spark Architects

© Shu He

Architects: Spark Architects
Location: Dongsishitiao, Dongcheng, , 100027
Architect In Charge: Lin Li
Project Director: Jan Felix Clostermann, Christian Taeubert
Area: 500.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Shu He

© Downtown Cleveland Alliance
© Downtown Cleveland Alliance

Competition Seeks Architects to Redesign Downtown Cleveland’s Main Avenue Bridge Underpass

Downtown Cleveland Alliance seeks a creative professional or team (architect, designer, artist, engineer, landscape architect or combination thereof) to propose unique and attractive design solutions for the area under and around the Main Avenue Bridge Underpass, centered at the intersection of West 9th Street and Main Avenue in Downtown Cleveland. This location is a critical pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular connection between the Warehouse District and the Flats East Bank, with infrastructure, history, and functional potential to inspire the highest level of creative treatments. Request for Qualifications are due Friday, March 6th by 4:30pm! More information, here

Longbush Ecosanctuary Welcome Shelter / Sarosh Mulla Design

© Simon Devitt

Architects: Sarosh Mulla Design
Location: Gisborne,
Area: 150.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Simon Devitt, Patrick Reynolds

What Makes An Attractive City? Try These 6 Points.

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Challenging the notion that beauty is subjective, Alain de Botton has made a case for attractive cities, believing that a city’s beauty is key to its success and citizens’ quality of life. The Swiss philosopher, author and founder of London’s The School of Life believes that attractiveness is the primary reason why many choose to vacation to Paris, and not Frankfurt.

“We think beauty is subjective, and so no one should say anything about it,” says Botton. “It’s a very understandable qualm, but it’s also horribly useful to greedy property developers.”

So, what makes a city attractive? Find out Botton’s six points for beautiful , after the break.

Apartment Refurbishment in Barcelona / Alventosa Morell Arquitectes

© Adrià Goula

Architects: Alventosa Morell Arquitectes
Location: Nou Barris, , España
Architects In Charge: Josep Ma. Alventosa, Marc Alventosa, Xavier Morell
Area: 67.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Adrià Goula