When Should Architects Say No? Five Renowned Architects Say Where They Draw the Line

00:00 - 30 April, 2014
BIG's 2009 render for the National Library in Astana, Kazakhstan, which was never built. Image © BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group
BIG's 2009 render for the National Library in Astana, Kazakhstan, which was never built. Image © BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group

To design or not to design -- that is the question. Our profession is one fraught with moral ambiguities -- "from who you’re willing to take on as a client, to what kinds of structures you’re designing, to who will actually build it (and under what conditions)." In a fascinating article, Fast Company's Shaunacy Ferro talks with five big-name architects to find out: where do you draw the line? Fentress Architects, for example, takes a hard line, refusing to design jails or any structure that conflicts with their beliefs. Bjarke Ingels, on the other hand, welcomes the opportunity to design in oppressively-led countries, such as Kazakhstan, because of the architecture's potential for the people. See all five responses on Fast Company, and let us know where your moral compass lies in the comments below. 

The Fifth Pillar: A Case for Hip-Hop Architecture

01:00 - 30 April, 2014
Filip Dujardin’s ‘Fictions’ - a series of photographic plates of fictional architectural spaces. Image Courtesy of Highlight Gallery
Filip Dujardin’s ‘Fictions’ - a series of photographic plates of fictional architectural spaces. Image Courtesy of Highlight Gallery

The following article by Sekou Cooke was originally published in The Harvard Journal of African American Planning Policy.

Not DJ Kool Herc. Not The Sugarhill Gang. Not Crazy Legs. Not even Cornbread. The true father of hip-hop is Moses. The tyrannical, mercilessly efficient head of several New York City public works organizations, Robert Moses, did more in his fifty-year tenure to shape the physical and cultural conditions required for hip-hop’s birth than any other force of man or nature. His grand vision for the city indifferently bulldozed its way through private estates, middle-class neighborhoods, and slums. His legacy: 658 playgrounds, 28,000 apartment units, 2,600,000 acres of public parks, Flushing Meadows, Jones Beach, Lincoln Center, all interconnected by 416 miles of parkways and 13 bridges. Ville Radieuse made manifest, not by Le Corbusier, the visionary architect, but by “the best bill drafter in Albany.”  

This new urbanism deepened the rifts within class and culture already present in post-war New York, elevated the rich to midtown penthouses and weekend escapes to the Hamptons or the Hudson Valley, and relegated the poor to crowded subways and public housing towers—a perfect incubator for a fledgling counterculture.  One need not know all the lyrics to Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message” or Melle Mel’s “White Lines” to appreciate the incendiary structures built by Moses and his policies. As the Bronx began to burn, hip-hop began to rise.

A History of Women in Architecture

00:00 - 30 April, 2014
Julia Morgan, FAIA (1872-1957)
Julia Morgan, FAIA (1872-1957)

In this article published by the National Women's History Museum, Despina Stratigakos delivers a fresh perspective on the current phenomenon of women leaving the architecture profession. Starting with Architect Barbie and jumping back to the likes of Julia Morgan, the successes and struggles of pioneering female architects are chronicled, offering women pursuing architecture careers today a firm understanding of their roots. Read the article here.

Hopkins Architects Maggie's Centre Gets Planning Permission Over Rival Holl Scheme

00:00 - 30 April, 2014
Steven Holl's Design. The Great Hall and Archive Building is on the left. Image Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects
Steven Holl's Design. The Great Hall and Archive Building is on the left. Image Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects

A rival to Steven Holl Architects' design for the Maggie's Centre at St Barts Hospital in London has received planning permission. The alternative scheme was commissioned by a group called “Friends of the Great Hall and Archive”, who believe the proposal by Steven Holl Architects would threaten the 18th century, Grade I* listed Great Hall. The newly approved scheme, designed by Hopkins Architects, proposes a different site for the new cancer care centre.

After their initial scheme was rejected, Steven Holl Architects' revised design was submitted for planning approval last week, with a decision expected in the summer.

Read on for reaction to the two rival schemes

Ponte de Lima Municipal Market / Guedes Cruz Arquitectos

01:00 - 30 April, 2014
© Fernando Guerra – FG+SG
© Fernando Guerra – FG+SG

© Fernando Guerra – FG+SG © Fernando Guerra – FG+SG © Fernando Guerra – FG+SG © Fernando Guerra – FG+SG +54

Northcote Residence / Wolveridge Architects

01:00 - 30 April, 2014
© Derek Swalwell
© Derek Swalwell

© Derek Swalwell © Derek Swalwell © Derek Swalwell © Derek Swalwell +29

Google Mexico / SPACE

01:00 - 30 April, 2014
© Eric Velazquez Torres
© Eric Velazquez Torres
  • Architects

  • Location

    Reforma, Mexico City, Federal District, Mexico
  • Architect in Charge

    Juan Carlos Baumgartner, Jimena Fernández Navarra
  • Design Team

    Ramiro Pulido, Ricardo Hernandez
  • Area

    600.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

    Eric Velazquez Torres

© Eric Velazquez Torres © Eric Velazquez Torres © Eric Velazquez Torres © Eric Velazquez Torres +16

Four Architects Shortlisted for Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize for Emerging Architecture

00:00 - 30 April, 2014
Maximilian’s Schell; Los Angeles, California, US / Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues
Maximilian’s Schell; Los Angeles, California, US / Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues

Four projects have been shortlisted for the inaugural Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) for Emerging Architecture. Announced by the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and its Dean Wiel Arets, the prestigious prize aims to recognize an emerging practice with the most outstanding built work in the Americas. The winner, which will be announced in May, will be awarded a $25,000 prize and an IIT research professorship that will focus on rethinking the metropolis.

Spanning the Americas from Chile to Canada, the shortlisted projects are... 

Hostal Ritoque / Gabriel Rudolphy + Alejandro Soffia

01:00 - 30 April, 2014
© Juan Durán Sierralta
© Juan Durán Sierralta

Morpholio Project's New App to Measure Human Response to Built Environment

01:00 - 30 April, 2014

Smart phones are designed to collect a variety of personal data, from location and orientation to sight and sound. But what if these devices were capable of tracking our visceral response to the built environment? 

The architects and academics behind The Morpholio Project have been researching ways in which biometrics, such as EEG, EMG, face tracking and pulse measurement, could be used to quantify the physical impact of an image on the human body. By turning to the medical industry, Morpholio has studied the capabilities of photoplethysmography (PPG) and envisioned ways in which it could be integrated with the smart phone. 

With a simple 3D printed fitting, the iphone can be transformed into a miniaturized blood pressure machine that records the heart rate fluctuations of a user while they photograph their surroundings. By tracking an individual’s unique emotional response to what they are seeing and experiencing, Morpholio believes they can unlock new potentials in which technology can evolve of the design process. 

More information from the creators after the break...

To Be Destroyed: A Call For Ideas

01:00 - 29 April, 2014
Between Life and Death (2006) Carlos & Jason Sanchez / © Walter Willems
Between Life and Death (2006) Carlos & Jason Sanchez / © Walter Willems

The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) is calling for submissions that respond to the thematic of an upcoming exhibition, entitled TBD, that will be on view September 5 to October 25, 2014 in Toronto, Canada.

Anhembi Space / Terra e Tuma Arquitetos

01:00 - 29 April, 2014
© Pedro Kok
© Pedro Kok

© Pedro Kok © Pedro Kok © Pedro Kok © Pedro Kok +33

Three Parts House / Architects EAT

01:00 - 29 April, 2014
© Earl Carter
© Earl Carter

© Earl Carter © Earl Carter © Earl Carter © Earl Carter +100

MVRDV Wins Competition to Convert Russian Steel Factory Into Mixed-Use Neighborhood

00:00 - 29 April, 2014
© MVRDV
© MVRDV

Chief Architect of Moscow Sergei Kuznetsov yesterday announced MVRDV as the winners in the competition for the refurbishment of the Serp & Molot (Hammer & Sickle) factory in Eastern Moscow. The design by MVRDV is respectful of the history of the 19th-century steel factory, reinterpreting the existing fabric of the site into 1.8 million square meters of mixed-use space, including housing, offices, retail, schools and a local hospital.

Read on after the break for more project description

Zerafa Studio Designs Memorial for Orange County Crime Victims

00:00 - 29 April, 2014
© Zerafa Studio
© Zerafa Studio

Manhattan-based Zerafa Architecture Studio has been announced as winner of a competition to design a monument to Orange County’s crime victims. Placed between two natural mounds on axis with Irvine’s Mason Regional Park office, the winning scheme carves a subtle, circular void within the park’s forested landscape that offers a range of experiences to the community. 

Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects Open Days 2014

00:00 - 29 April, 2014
Villa Dind / Link Architectes / Photo by Lionel Henriod
Villa Dind / Link Architectes / Photo by Lionel Henriod

For three days, from May 9 to May 11, you'll be able to visit more than 300 works designed by SIA (Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects) affiliated professionals. In many cases, it's the same architects and designers who worked on the projects the ones who'll be guiding the free tours. 

Bodegas Protos / Richard Rogers + Alonso y Balaguer

01:00 - 29 April, 2014
Courtesy of Richard Rogers + Alonso y Balaguer
Courtesy of Richard Rogers + Alonso y Balaguer

Courtesy of Richard Rogers + Alonso y Balaguer Courtesy of Richard Rogers + Alonso y Balaguer Courtesy of Richard Rogers + Alonso y Balaguer Courtesy of Richard Rogers + Alonso y Balaguer +22

UK Museum of the Year Shortlist Announced

00:00 - 29 April, 2014
The main rotunda at the Tate Britain, by Caruso St John. Image © Helene Binet
The main rotunda at the Tate Britain, by Caruso St John. Image © Helene Binet

The Art Fund recently announced the six museums on the UK's 2014 Museum of the Year shortlist, its annual award for the outstanding museum of the year. The award celebrates every aspect of what makes a museum successful, but this year the list was highlighted by crucial work by architects, including renovations of the Tate Britain and the Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft, as well as the newly-constructed Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth. The winner from the six museums will receive a £100,000 prize, and will be announced on July 9th.

Read on after the break for the complete shortlist