TEDx: Brilliant designs to fit more people in every city / Kent Larson

With industrialization came unchecked suburbia and car-centric lifestyles. But now, in the rapidly approaching age of the super city, our current standards of living will not suffice. According to MIT Research Scientist Kent Larson, 21st century cities will account for 90% of global population growth, 80% of all global CO2, and 75% of all global energy use.

Understanding that the global population faces serious issues of overcrowding, affordability and overall quality of life, Larson presents new technologies that intend to make future cities function like the small village of the past. Folding cars and quick-change apartments with robotic walls are just a some of the fascinating innovations he and his colleagues are currently developing.

Pool House / Joaquín Alvado Bañón

© David Frutos

Architects: Joaquín Alvado Bañón
Location: , Alicante,
Structural Engineer: Miguel Angel Crespo
Collaboration: Vicente Castillo and Miguel Rodenas
Year: 2012
Photographs: David Frutos

Workshop / Covachita Taller de Arquitectura

© 18·26 Agencia de Fotografía

Architects: Covachita
Location: , Nuevo León, México
Architect In Charge: Fernando Aguilar, Roberto Nuñez, Ana Cantú, Diana Treviño
Area: 50 sqm
Project Year: 2012
Photography: 18·26 Agencia de Fotografía

WSJ names Wang Shu ‘Innovator of the Year 2012′

Ningbo Museum of Art © Iwan Baan

The Wall Street Journal announced Wang Shu as architecture’s “Innovator of the Year 2012”, commending his “deceptively simple” vision that is “drafting a new architectural blueprint for his country”. The 49-year-old Chinese architect, whose work has been described as China’s “new regional style”, is one of the most influential architects in what is becoming one of the most important countries in the world.

After founding Amateur Architecture Studio with his wife, Lu Wenyu, in 1997, the Pritzker Prize laureate has created a succession of acclaimed projects throughout China, from civic buildings to private homes to exhibition pavilions. Some of his most prominent works include the monumental Ningbo Museum of Art, constructed of locally salvaged materials, and the uniquely crafted Xiangshan Campus for the China Academy of Art. Both projects exhibit Shu’s innovative balance between traditional and contemporary Chinese architecture that remains deeply rooted within it’s context.

The Latest in the Wright House Demolition Saga: The Developers Tell Their Side

Courtesy of Curbd LA

The David Wright House, a hidden gem that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for his son, still stands, but its fate remains precarious.

On October 9th, the Arizona Planning Commission met to discuss the proposed landmark designation for the house, an event which attracted over 100 people. According to The New York Times, only 3 people voted against the designation, including the house’s current owners, the developers of 8081 Meridian, John Hoffman and Steve Sells.

When the pair bought the house back in June for only $1.8 million (from the pair the Wright’s granddaughters had sold the house to for $2.8 million), they thought it was “too good to be true.” The property alone could make up to $1.4 million; the pair hoped that by splitting the lot they could make even more.

Unfortunately however, Mr. Sells had no idea of the house’s architectural significance. As he told The New York Times, he didn’t know the difference “between Frank Lloyd Wright and the Wright brothers. ”

More on the Developers’ side of this demolition tale, after the break…

DGS-Co Office Building / Ali dehghani, Ali soltani & Atefeh karbasi

© Farshid Nasrabadi

Architects: , Ali soltani & Atefeh karbasi
Location: Najafabad,
Year: 2012
Area: 1011 sqm
Client: Mohammad Ayati
Photographs: Farshid Nasrabadi

Roji / Nadamoto Yukiko Architects

© Seiya Miyamoto

Architects: Nadamoto Yukiko Architects
Location: Yoichi,
Architect In Charge: Yukiko Nadamoto
Photographs: Seiya Miyamoto

Which Grand Central Vision Is the Best for New York?

Courtesy of 2012 SOM

The New York Time’s Michael Kimmelman described it as an “ennobling experience, a gift,” a lesson on what architecture, at it’s best, can be.

Indeed, entering the Main Concourse of Grand Central Terminal is a pleasure that rivals few others. For me, it took me by surprise: walking, as New Yorkers do, in a determined beeline through an undistinguished tunnel, I was suddenly struck by light. I stopped, as New Yorkers never do, to observe a vaulted, starry ceiling, the changing light, and multitudes of people whipping by.

Grand Central is one of New York’s most beloved icons, one of the few which tourists and natives share alike. Which is not to say, of course, that it isn’t in need of a face-lift.

The Terminal’s upcoming centennial, which corresponds with proposed re-zoning laws that would completely change the face of Midtown, makes now the perfect moment to consider how Grand Central’s grandeur can be preserved and its neighborhood reinvigorated. Last week, the Metropolitan Art Society (MAS) invited three firms to share their visions – and while SOM’s gravity-defying “halo” may have stolen the show, only one truly captured the spirit of Grand Central, and explored the full potential of what it could – and should – one day be.

Landscape Laboratory / Cannatà & Fernandes

© Luis Ferreira Alves

Architects: Cannatà & Fernandes
Location: ,
Design Team: Riccardo Cannatà, Dario Cannatà, Bruno Silva, Marta Lemos, Nuno Castro, Francisco Meireles, João Pedro Martins
Year: 2010
Area: 1387.03 sqm
Photographs: Dario Cannatà, Luis Ferreira Alves, Pepe Barbiere

Sukkahville Design Competition Winning Exhibition: ‘Hegemonikon’ / Christina Zeibak and Daphne Dow

Courtesy of and Daphne Dow

As part of the Sukkahville Design Competition in , organized by the Kehilla Residential Programme, Christina Zeibak and Daphne Dow were selected as winners for their ‘Hegemonikon’ exhibition. The seat of the soul which rules and guides all the others, the project is considered to exist within the heart of all living things. The complete development of the human Hegemonikon comprises absolute rationality; it chooses action according to reason. This philosophy was the foundation and inspiration behind the design concept of this project. More images and the designers’ description after the break.

18th Street Studios / Fitzsimmons Architects

© Joseph Mills

Architects: Fitzsimmons Architects
Location: , Oklahoma, USA
Year: 2012
Area: 16,706 sq ft
General Contractor: Maccini Construction
Structural Engineer: Obelisk Engineering
Photographs: Joseph Mills

Machi-Building / UID Architects

© Hiroshi Ueda

Architects: UID Architects
Location: , Hiroshima,
Design Team: Keisuke Maeda
Year: 2011
Area: 104.16 sqm
Site Area: 130.24 sqm
Total Floor Area: 262.85 sqm
Photographs: Hiroshi Ueda

Courtesy of A-001 Taller de Arquitectura + BNKR Arquitectos
Courtesy of A-001 Taller de Arquitectura + BNKR Arquitectos

National Museum of Afghanistan Competition Entry / A-001 Taller de Arquitectura + BNKR Arquitectura

Designed by A-001 Taller de Arquitectura and BNKR Arquitectura…, their proposal for the new National Museum of Afghanistan turns to the Afghan people for their version of history. Through an eloquent architectural plan and a daring museographic concept, the

Social Housing / Burgos & Garrido arquitectos

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© Ángel Baltanás

Architects: Burgos & Garrido arquitectos
Location: Paseo de la Cuba, ,
Architects: Francisco Burgos & Ginés Garrido / BGAA
Collaborators: Agustín Martín, María José Arquero, Pierre Banchet, Carlos Carnicer, Myriam López-Rodero, Javier Malo de Molina, Elena de las Moras, Emilio Ontiveros, Pilar Recio, Marta Rogado
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 9.778,25 sqm
Photographs: Ángel Baltanás

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Daegu Gosan Library Competition Winning Proposal / Gorka Blas

Courtesy of

The winning proposal in the Gosan Library competition, by architect Gorka Blas, conceives the library as a cultural and social space for the local community. For this purpose the project focuses in obtaining a functional, attractive and confortable facility that constitutes an essential element for neighborhood´s everyday life. In order to achieve this objective, the project translates the scale of the domestic space to a public facility, without lack of its public dimension. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Hospital in Villeneuve d’Ascq / Jean-Philippe Pargade

© Luc Boegly

Architects: Jean-Philippe Pargade
Location: Villeneuve-d’Ascq, Nord-Pas-de-Calais,
Project Management: , Egis Nord, Martin et Guiheneuf
Year: 2007
Area: 22,681 sqm
Usable Floor Area: 13,297 sqm
Photographs: Luc Boegly

A.M. Qattan Foundation Bulding Winning Proposal / Donaire Arquitectos

Courtesy of

Last week, Donaire Arquitectos was selected as the winner of the international competition, organized by ArchiFolio, to build the new A.M. Qattan Building, which is a charity that has worked towards the development of culture and education, with a particular focus on children, teachers and young artists. Located in Ramallah, ,  the winning proposal for the Quattan Foundation is perceived as a lighthouse bringing enlightenment to the Palestinian people. This role as flagship of Palestinian culture is in need for a recognizable image worthy to represent its social leadership with a physical landmark. More images and architects’ description after the break.

AD Classics: Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange

Photo by naoyafujii – http://www.flickr.com/photos/naoyafujii/

At about the same time as ’s two huge Olympic arenas for the Olympic Games in the summer of 1964 in , there was built in the southern part of Japan a much more modest sports arena of Takamatsu in Kagawa Prefecture between 1962 and 1964. More after the break.