Alejandro Aravena’s UC Innovation Center awarded “Design of the Year” by London’s Design Museum

’s Design Museum has announced the category winners of the prestigious “Design of the Year” award. The winner of this year’s Architecture Category is the Anacleto Angelini UC Innovation Center designed by Alejandro Aravena.

The list of nominees included great buildings designed by Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, Baorzzi Veiga, MVRDV, among others (see the full list of nominees). The jury was chaired by Anish Kapoor, and it included Hilary Alexander, Alexis Georgacopoulos, Farshid Moussavi, and Richard Woolley.

The award “celebrates design that promotes or delivers change, enables access, extends design practice or captures the spirit of the year.” In this aspect, juror Farshid Moussavi stated that ”The UC Innovation Center is an excellent example of how the design of an office can engage with its context. Its large openings carved away from its facades not only act as air corridors, light channels and pockets of collective spaces, but they also provide a different perception of such a in the city: one that is permeable, visually, socially and climatically with its environment.”

Alejandro Aravena commented ”We were already honored to be part of the finalists, we never thought we could win. Also, the news came in during the Pritzker Prize ceremony honoring Frei Otto, everyone from the architecture was there, and we were really flattered by the wide recognition.”

See all the details of the Anacleto Angelini UC Innovation Center Alejandro Aravena | ELEMENTAL.

Sefaira Incorporates Customizable Graphics Into Daylight Visualization Software

Sefaira, the market-leading daylighting visualization tool, has just announced a new feature for their software plugins for Autodesk Revit and Trimble Sketchup. In addition to the real-time visualizations announced last year, the new update adds customizable, exportable graphics which offer both a point in time analysis or an annual overview, and analysis tools which help designers easily identify overlit and underlit spaces and review heating or cooling requirements.

Courtesy of College of Charleston
Courtesy of College of Charleston

Call for Papers – “Suffragette City: Gender, Politics, and the Built Environment”

The College of Charleston is now accepting abstracts for its upcoming symposium Suffragette City: Gender, Politics, and the Built Environment. Exploring the convergence of these topics throughout history, the interdisciplinary event aims to inspire new research that examines how both past and present efforts have challenged customary gender roles and impacted the physical, social, and conceptual identities of cities. The deadline for paper proposals, which must be 300 words or fewer, is July 1, 2015. For more information or to submit a topic, visit

Sports & Arts Expansion at Gammel Hellerup Gymnasium / BIG

© Iwan Baan

Architects: BIG
Location: Duntzfelts Alle 21, 2900 , Denmark
Multi Use Hall & Gymnasium Partners In Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Finn Nørkjær
Multi Use Hall & Gymnasium Project Leaders: Ole Schrøder, Ole Elkjær-Larsen, Frederik Lyng
Multi Use Hall & Gymnasium Team: Ana Merino, Anders Hjortnæs, Christian Alvarez, Dennis Rasmussen, Gül Ertekin, Henrick Poulsen, Hjalti Gestsson, Jan Magasanik, Jakob Lange, Jacob Thomsen, Jeppe Ecklon, Ji-young Yoon, Michael Schønemann, Narisara Schröder, Riccardo Mariano, Rune Hansen, Snorre Nash, Thomas Juul-Jensen, Vincent He, Xu Li
Area: 2500.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Iwan Baan, Jens Lindhe, Rasmus Hjortshoj, Peter Moldow

Future of Architecture Competition Winners Revealed

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Houzz have announced the winners of their Future of Architecture Residential Design Contest and Showcase. Receiving entries from students and emerging architects around the world, the competition highlights prominent approaches to residential architecture in an effort to both recognize the work of young professionals and inform viewers about the worth of “good design.”

The winners emerged within five design categories and were chosen by ’s extensive community of subscribers. To jumpstart their careers, the winners will receive prizes tailored to professional advancement, including participation in an upcoming community revitalization project and expenses-paid attendance to the 2015 AIA National Convention in Atlanta. See all of the winners after the break.

How The Atlantic Philanthropies Changed Lives Through Building

Courtesy of The Atlantic Philanthropies

In 1982, the billionaire duty-free shopping magnate made a decision that would dramatically alter the course of his career and change his legacy forever: he founded a philanthropic organization, The Atlantic Philanthropies, and made a $7 million donation to Cornell University. Two years later, Feeney transferred his entire $1.6 billion stake in his company to The Atlantic Philanthropies (a move that the world did not find out about until 1997), and the organization has since gone on to make $6.5 billion worth of grants, in large part to fund construction projects that changed lives. Now, the organization is winding down, with its planned closure scheduled for 2016. To celebrate almost three and a half decades of giving, the organization has released ”Laying Foundations for Change: Capital Investments of The Atlantic Philanthropies.” The following excerpt is taken from the book’s foreword by President and CEO Christopher G. Oechsli, originally titled “What This Book Is About.”

Imagine having the resources to build something that can dramatically alter the lives of people, communities, even nations. Conversely, imagine an unassuming man coming to you and asking what you could build to change many lives, of the people in your community or even your nation. Imagine the possibilities. That’s what this book is about. It’s about fields of dreams, and about the people who were asked to imagine what could be built upon those fields to improve the lives of people, and of the people who come and till those fields and are part of that change. It’s a visual and narrative story of Charles Francis “Chuck” Feeney and The Atlantic Philanthropies and what literally laying the foundations for change means for people and nations.

Rehabilitation Ancient Royal Butcher XVI Century in Porcuna / Pablo Manuel Millán Millán

© Javier Callejas

Location: 23790 Porcuna, Jaén,
Year: 2014
Photographs: Javier Callejas

JaK Studio Designs “Speech Bubble” Recording Studio for BBC’s The Listening Project

© Nick Kane & Ian Woolcock

The BBC has unveiled a mobile recording studio designed by London architecture firm JaK Studio, in conjunction with innovation consultancy Seymourpowell. Commissioned by BBC Radio 4, the design was selected following a 2013 international design competition organized by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and will tour the country to record material for The Listening Project.

Riffing off the project’s theme of conversation, JaK Studio’s mobile studio converts the form of a speech bubble into a lightweight, aerodynamic booth inspired by the iconic Airstream caravan.

Friends House / John McAslan + Partners

Courtesy of

Architects: John McAslan + Partners
Location: , UK
Design Team: John McAslan + Partners, Max Fordham, Walsh Group, Stephen Cuddy, Anne Minors Performance Consultants, Westco Partnership
Area: 2500.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of John McAslan + Partners

Apartment in Vilnius / Normundas Vilkas

© Leonas Garbacauskas

Architects: Normundas Vilkas
Location: A. Vivulskio gatvė 41, Vilnius 03114,
Area: 63.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Leonas Garbacauskas

Hybrid Wooden House / Architecture Studio Nolla

© Yosuke Harigane

Location: Kagoshima, Kagoshima Prefecture,
Architect In Charge: Atsushi Takano + Makiko Takano
Structural Engineer: Hf Structural Design / Hiroshi Fukuyama
Area: 104.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Yosuke Harigane, Courtesy of Architecture Studio Nolla

3 Student Projects Selected as Winners of ISARCH Awards

Rethinking Biotope / Kyriaki Goti and Nikolaos Xenos. Image Courtesy of IS ARCH

IS ARCH has unveiled the winners of the fifth edition of its ISARCH for architecture students. From a vast pool of submissions, three were selected by the combined evaluations of a jury and public opinion. The international competition promotes the efforts of young designers and encourages dialogue among students and emerging architects by showcasing work undertaken through university curricula. The winners will receive prizes ranging in value from €1,000 to €3,000.

Learn more about the winning projects after the break.

Lina Bo Bardi’s Archive on Display at her Glass House in São Paulo

© Marina Correia

From the architect. The design of the Lina em Casa: Percursos (Lina at Home: Journeys) exhibition was developed with the intention of preserving the spatial experience and the unique atmosphere of Casa de Vidro ( House). Understanding the House as the principle legacy of the architect on display and a major object of interest for visitors, the organization of the exhibition stands avoids creating spatial subdivisions that could detract from the ’s architecture. 

Juice Bar Cabin / Not a Number Architects

© Cosmin Dragomir

Architects: NaNA
Location: , Romania
Architect In Charge: NaNA / Ermis Adamantidis, Dominiki Dadatsi
Area: 120.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Cosmin Dragomir

SecondMedia’s Foamspace Proposal Wins Storefront’s 2015 Street Architecture Competition

Courtesy of SecondMedia

SecondMedia has been selected as the winner of Storefront for Art and Architecture’s 2015 Street Architecture Prize Competition. Now in its third year, the biennial international competition seeks to implement temporary outdoor installations that facilitate “new forms of collective public gathering.” Participants in the 2015 competition were asked to respond to the theme of New York‘s IDEAS City Festival, “The Invisible City.” SecondMedia’s winning proposal ‘Foamspace’ — which envisions creating an “urban lounge” with Geofoam blocks — beat out over 70 submissions from teams of artists, engineers, and architects across the globe.

Learn more about the project and view selected images after the break.

Unified Architectural Theory, Chapter 12

Bath Abbey. “The eye scans a scene by following regions with high detail… the image is formed by moving along connected lines, called “scan paths”. Image © Flickr CC user Matthew Kirkland

We will be publishing Nikos Salingaros’ book, Unified Architectural Theory, in a series of installments, making it digitally, freely available for students and architects around the world. In Chapter 12, Salingaros concludes his discussion of the physiological and psychological effects of architecture, demonstrating how ornament can lead to an enriching human environment. If you missed them, make sure to read the previous installments here.

Ornament and Human Intelligence

Ornament and function go together. There is no structure in nature that can be classified as pure ornament without function. In traditional architecture, which was more tied to nature, such a separation never existed. The breakdown of the human adaptation of architecture can be traced to the forced conceptual separation of ornament from function, a relatively recent occurrence in human history. It is only in 20th-century architectural discourse that people began to think of ornament as separate from function: see “How Modernism Got Square” (Mehaffy & Salingaros, 2013).

KreativLABs / schöne räume architektur innenarchitektur

© Oliver Tamagnini

Architects: schöne räume architektur innenarchitektur
Location: Gewerbegebiet Nördlicher Ortsrand I, Boschstraße 7, 63843 ,
Architects In Charge: Ralf Böckle, Christof Adam, Christian Koch
Area: 602.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Oliver Tamagnini

Sunlay Design Group’s Folklore-Inspired Retail Center Will Soon Rise in China

Courtesy of

Sunlay Design Group‘s latest endeavor is a modern shopping center with heavy ties to China’s ancient cultural influences. Inspired by classical dragon mythology and the principles of feng shui, the Tianshan Retail Center will offer the Hebei province a mixed-use shopping experience that fuses contemporary form with traditional methodology. Construction is set to begin this summer.