BIG’s West 57th “Pyramid” Wins Final Approval

Courtesy of

After an “arduous” public review and a heated debate over affordable housing, New York’s City Council has unanimously awarded final approval to BIG’s tetrahedral-shaped West 57th apartment building in . As reported by Crain’s New York Business, a compromise has been made to include 173 affordable housing units within the 32-story, 750-unit residential building and the neighboring industrial building that will be converted into 100 additional rental apartments. As you may recall, the community board and Councilwoman Gail Brewer initially threatened to “torpedo the project” if the apartments were only made affordable for a 35 year period. However, Durst apparently won them over by contributing one million dollars into an affordable housing fund.

“The good news, which is the mantra of my office and community board No. 4, is there will be, yes, by law, 35 years of income-restricted affordable housing,” stated City Councilwoman Brewer, who represents the area.

RDM Innovation Dock / Groosman Partners I Architecten

© Theo Peekstok

Architects: Groosman Partners I Architecten
Location: , The Netherlands
Area: 1,000 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Theo Peekstok

Amarante’s Hospital / ACXT

© Fernando Guerra |

Architects: ACXT
Location: Amarante, Portugal
Architect In Charge: David Coutinho Correia
Design Team: Inês Coelho, Francisca Bastos, Marcelo Dantas, Francisco Eloy, Jorge Paquete
Structure: Silvia Castillo Martins, João Almeida, Rita Fernández
Environmental Engineering: Álvaro Santos, André Mendes, José Sereno
Client: Centro Hospitalario do Tâmega e Sousa
Area: 21,000 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

In Progress: The Biomuseo / Frank Gehry

© Victoria Murillo / Istmophoto.com / Biomuseo

The Puente de Vida Museum, more commonly referred to as The Biomuseo, will be Frank Gehry’s first design in all of Latin America. It is located in in the area called Amador, which sits only a few blocks from the country’s principal cruise port and is adjacent to City. The mission of the Biomuseo is to “offer an impressing and educational experience about the biodiversity and emergence of the isthmus in in order to motivate all Panamanians to get to know and to value this natural component of their identity, as well as to generate in all its visitors the need to protect the environment” (Biomuseo Website). The Biomuseo intends to explore the importance of ’s biological systems and its emergence as a geological link between North and South America, both of which have had global impacts many are unaware of. 

With these goals in mind, it quickly became clear that the museum design needed to be something very special to attract the international attention its founders desired. They wanted the museum to be a never-before-seen kind of design and to serve as a new architectural icon for Panama, much like the Eiffel Tower does for or the Tower of Pisa for Italy. With the participation of Gehry Partners as well as the world-renowned landscape architect Edwina von Gal & Company, the Biomuseo began to take form: an extremely unique, Gehry-esque structure surrounded by an open botanical park that complements the exhibits within.

More after the break…

House VMVK / dmvA

© Frederik Vercruysse

Architects: dmvA
Location: , Belgium
Design Team: David Driesen, Tom Verschueren, Valerie Lonnoy, Katrien Geerinckx
Area: 506 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Frederik Vercruysse

Budapest Students Design Sustainable House for Indoor and Outdoor Living

© Balázs Danyi

It may look unassuming, but this sleek black box is the culmination of a two-year long collaboration of more than 50 students from 7 different faculties of the University of Technology and Economics. Initially envisioned by two architecture students and built for the European 2012 in Madrid, the goal of Odooproject was to encourage a new sustainable life by designing a house where as much time as possible can be spent outdoors.

More information about Odooproject after the break…

Courtesy of Allies and Morrison Architects
Courtesy of Allies and Morrison Architects

Allies and Morrison Architects’ District//S Wins National Urban Design Awards Practice Project Award

Allies and Morrison Architects… were just awarded the Francis Tibbalds Prize for best Practice Project at the National Urban Design Awards 2013 for their District//S project. The prize was presented to the practice at a ceremony held last night at

BRG Neusiedl am See / Solid Architecture

© Kurt Kuball

Architects: Solid Architecture
Location: ,
Site Area: 26,270 sqm
Gross Area: 9,206 sqm
Useable Surface: 6,812 sqm
Built Up Area: 5,648 sqm
Year: 2008
Photographs: Kurt Kuball

© Frans Parthesius
© Frans Parthesius

‘Porous City – Open the Tower’ Exhibition

The Innovation Forum MIPIM recently announced that it will feature the “Porous city – Open the tower” exhibition presented at last year’s Venice Biennale for the first time. Held in Cannes, France from March 12-15, the exhibition uses Lego towers…

See ArchDaily's exclusive coverage of the 2012 Venice Biennale

Non-Design: Architecture’s (Counter-Intuitive) Future

Quinta Monroy development after occupation. © Cristobal Palma

Global architecture underwent a seismic shift in the 20th Century. Governments, keen to mitigate the impoverishing effects of rapid urbanization and two world wars embarked on ambitious social programs, pairing with modernists who promised that design could be the solution to social inequality and poverty. Today, the problems inherent in these mid-century tower blocks are well documented and well known, and these modernist solutions to poverty are often seen as ill-conceived failures.

If the 20th century was all about designing to solve social problems, then the 21st century has been about the exact opposite – not designing to solve social problems. These days, it is much more common to see architects praising the social order and even aesthetic of illegal slums, which in many cases provide their residents with a stronger community and higher quality of life than did many formal projects of the past. The task of architects (both today’s and tomorrow’s) is to develop this construction logic: to use design and, rather counter-intuitively, non-design to lift these urban residents out of their impoverished conditions.

More on the social potential of non-design after the break…

Martos House / Adamo-Faiden

© Cristobal Palma

Architects: Adamo-Faiden
Location: José María Moreno 2057, Villa Adelina, ,
Collaborators: Ruth Lastra, Rachael Yu
Year: 2011
Photographs: Cristobal Palma

Films & Architecture: “In Bruges”

In the Belgian language “brug” means bridge, and it’s because of the amount of them in the European medieval city that it took its name. A ”fairy tale f***ing town” is how Harry (Ralph Fiennes), the foul-mouthed boss in In  describes it. And indeed Bruges is a city full of fairy tale-like elements that weave through this crazy, sardonic, violent, and (in our opinion, awesomely) absurd movie.

Have you seen it? Do you know any other film fully linked to a specific city? Let us know in the comments below!

Interstice / Fabi Architekten BDA

© Herbert Stolz

Architects: Fabi Architekten BDA
Location: Regensburg,
Year: 2012
Photographs: Herbert Stolz

Courtesy of AUA
Courtesy of AUA

Zhengzhou Airport District Urban Planning EXhibition Centre Proposal / AUA

Constituting the northern portion of the planned ‘Future Square’ in the rapidly developing Airport District of Zhengzhou, China, Atelier of Urban Architecture (AUA)…‘s design is an iconic addition to the area. The proposed urban planning exhibition centre and associated

GENyO Laboratories / Planho

© Alejandro González

Architects: Planho
Location: , Spain
Area: 5,633 sqm
Year: 2008
Photographs: Alejandro González

Courtesy of DawnTown
Courtesy of DawnTown

Landmark Miami DawnTown Ideas Competition

DawnTown is launching Landmark Miami, their latest ideas competition for the 2013 season. The competition is centered around the idea of how cities are recognized and perceived through architecture. Many cities worldwide are instantly identified by their exclusive architectural elements: Seattle…

Valle de Egüés Town Hall / Otxotorena Arquitectos

© José Manuel Cutillas

Architects: Otxotorena Arquitectos
Location: , Navarra, Spain
Architect In Charge: Juan M. Otxotorena
Collaborator Architects: Gloria Herrera, Iñigo Jiménez
Structural Engineer: José Ignacio Etayo
Construction Company: ACR
Area: 7,894.15 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: José Manuel Cutillas

Jade Museum / Archi-Union Architects

© Xia Zhi

Architects: Archi-Union Architects
Location: Xuhui District, , China
Architect In Charge: Philip F. Yuan
Design Team: Alex Han, Fuzi He
Client: Jade Museum
Area: 1,000 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Xia Zhi