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Does Architectural "Excellence" Put Embassies at Risk?

00:00 - 14 July, 2014
Does Architectural "Excellence" Put Embassies at Risk?, The new US Embassy in London – designed by Philadelphia’s KieranTimberlake. Image via US Department of State.
The new US Embassy in London – designed by Philadelphia’s KieranTimberlake. Image via US Department of State.

“Embassies and consulates serve as the front door for US diplomacy. The safety and security they provide to our personnel are the first priority, but they must also reflect our national values of openness and ingenuity. Embassies and consulates must exemplify the best of American architecture, environmental stewardship, and innovation.” - Secretary of State John Kerry on the US Department of State’s Design Excellence program, November 2013

As the meeting point for diplomacy, embassies serve as the face of America abroad. Embassy location and architectural design have the potential to promote inclusion and openness, but when tucked behind tall fences and bunker-style architecture they can convey exclusion and hostility.

While protecting diplomatic personnel is critical, conveying core American values such as transparency, openness and equality is also key. But how do you balance security and openness? Does a focus on design put safety at risk?

These questions are currently at the center of debate, as the State Department’s embassy Design Excellence program is facing criticism for being too costly and jeopardizing security.

Official Image Released Of New York's 1775-Foot Nordstrom Tower

01:00 - 14 July, 2014
Official Image Released Of New York's 1775-Foot Nordstrom Tower, Official render released May 2015. Image © Extell via New York YIMBY
Official render released May 2015. Image © Extell via New York YIMBY

Update May 20th 2015: Once again uncovered by New York YIMBY, development company Extell has released the first official rendering of 217 West 57th Street, also known as the Nordstrom Tower, as shown above. Below, see our coverage of the first unofficial images from last year.

The designs of the Nordstrom Tower in New York, the world's tallest residential building at 1,775 feet tall, have been revealed to New York YIMBY by an anonymous tipster close to the project. The project at 225 West 57th Street by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture will be one foot short of 1 World Trade Center, and with its 1,451 high roof will finally reclaim the title of United States' tallest roof from Chicago's Willis Tower.

More on the Nordstrom Tower after the break

Lecture: Architecture as a Way of Life and Placemaking

00:00 - 14 July, 2014
Lecture: Architecture as a Way of Life and Placemaking

Rafiq Azam is the principal of SHATOTTO architecture for green living, based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He will introduce us to his work and city, which is also home to works by Louis Kahn. Azam’s “green” is not about global ratings or the current sustainability trend. It is his response to the sky, water, and vegetation that surround him and his city. There is an apparent simplicity in Azam’s work that disguises and belies a complex fabric revealing the wonders of the cosmos.

Auditorium Of Bondy & Radio France Choral Singing Conservatory / PARC Architectes

01:00 - 14 July, 2014
Auditorium Of Bondy & Radio France Choral Singing Conservatory / PARC Architectes, © 11h45
© 11h45

© 11h45 © 11h45 © 11h45 © 11h45 +26

  • Architects

  • Location

    75 Avenue Henri Barbusse, 93140 Bondy, France
  • Area

    1800.0 sqm
  • Photographs

Jiangyin Primary & Secondary School / BAU Brearley Architects + Urbanists

01:00 - 14 July, 2014
Jiangyin Primary & Secondary School / BAU Brearley Architects + Urbanists, © Shu He
© Shu He

© Shu He © Shu He © Shu He © Shu He +19

Residential complex Nová Terasa / Vallo Sadovsky Architects

01:00 - 14 July, 2014
Residential complex Nová Terasa / Vallo Sadovsky Architects, © Tomáš Manina
© Tomáš Manina

© Tomáš Manina © Tomáš Manina © Tomáš Manina © Tomáš Manina +20

  • Architects

  • Location

    Košice, Slovakia
  • Project Team

    Matúš Vallo, Oliver Sadovský, Branislav Husárik, Peter Janeček, Dušan Chupáč, Mateja Vonkomerová
  • Area

    20105.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

5.5m x 5.5m / LVPH

01:00 - 14 July, 2014
5.5m x 5.5m / LVPH, © Jérôme Humbert
© Jérôme Humbert

© Jérôme Humbert Courtesy of LVPH © Jérôme Humbert © Jérôme Humbert +25

  • Architects

  • Location

    Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

    Jérôme Humbert, Courtesy of LVPH

Cullinan's RMC Headquarters Saved by Grade II* Listing

00:00 - 14 July, 2014
Cullinan's RMC Headquarters Saved by Grade II* Listing, © Richard Learoyd
© Richard Learoyd

English Heritage has announced that the RMC headquarters building designed by Edward Cullinan Architects in 1990 has been listed at grade II*, preventing a plan to demolish the building and replace it with a terraced housing scheme. The listing comes after a campaign to protect the building which was orchestrated by Cullinan Studio and the 20th Century Society, and supported by a a number of high profile architects including Nicholas Grimshaw, Richard Rogers, Peter Clegg (Feilden Clegg Bradley) and Sunand Prasad (Penoyre & Prasad).

Read more about the building and the listing decision after the break

MAPFRE Complex / TSM Asociados

01:00 - 14 July, 2014
MAPFRE Complex / TSM Asociados, © Gonzalo Cáceres
© Gonzalo Cáceres

© Gonzalo Cáceres © Gonzalo Cáceres © Gonzalo Cáceres © Gonzalo Cáceres +28

  • Architects

  • Location

    Av. Industrial, Independencia 15311, Peru
  • Architect in Charge

    Alvaro Grimaldo Tremolada, Roberto Borda Sboto
  • Area

    2880.0 sqm
  • Photographs

Hörsaalgebäude Osnabrück / Benthem Crouwel Architects

01:00 - 14 July, 2014
Hörsaalgebäude Osnabrück / Benthem Crouwel Architects, © Jens Kirchner
© Jens Kirchner

© Jens Kirchner © Jens Kirchner © Jens Kirchner © Jens Kirchner +36

  • Architects

  • Location

    Barbarastraße, 49076 Osnabrück, Germany
  • Design Team

    Markus Sporer, Cornelius Wens, Sander Vijgen, Anna Gerlach, Joris Görling, Daniel Vlasveld, Carel Weber
  • Area

    7280.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

Løgstør Sports Hall / CEBRA

01:00 - 14 July, 2014
Løgstør Sports Hall / CEBRA, © Mikkel Frost
© Mikkel Frost

© Mikkel Frost © Mikkel Frost © Mikkel Frost © Mikkel Frost +21

  • Architects

  • Location

    9670 Logstor, Denmark
  • Area

    1400.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

Zhangmiao Exercise Park / Archi-Union Architects

01:00 - 14 July, 2014
Zhangmiao Exercise Park / Archi-Union Architects, Courtesy of Archi-Union Architects
Courtesy of Archi-Union Architects

Courtesy of Archi-Union Architects Courtesy of Archi-Union Architects Courtesy of Archi-Union Architects Courtesy of Archi-Union Architects +12

  • Architects

  • Location

    Baoshan Road, Shanghai, China
  • Architect in Charge

    Philip F. Yuan
  • Schematic Design

    Alex Han, Shaoliang Hua, Fuzi He
  • Construction Design

    Fuzi He, Weiwei Zhao
  • Area

    4000.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

Archive Depot / Bekkering Adams Architects

01:00 - 14 July, 2014
Archive Depot / Bekkering Adams Architects, © René de Wit
© René de Wit

© René de Wit © René de Wit © René de Wit © René de Wit +8

  • Architects

  • Location

    Van Harinxmakanaal, The Netherlands
  • Project Architects

    Juliette Bekkering, Monica Adams
  • Design Team

    Frank Venhorst, Gerard Heerink
  • Area

    500.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2009
  • Photographs

Retirement Community Is Fastest Growing Metropolitan Area in U.S.

00:00 - 13 July, 2014
Retirement Community Is Fastest Growing Metropolitan Area in U.S. , The sun sets over a golf course in The Villages. Image © Scott Kublin via Flickr
The sun sets over a golf course in The Villages. Image © Scott Kublin via Flickr

While other cities in the United States are shrinking, the world's largest retirement community - The Villages - is booming. Completely devoid of crime, traffic, pollution, as well as children, the fastest growing metropolitan area in the country raises serious questions about the concentrated demographic's future infrastructural needs. After all, by 2050, the over-60 set is expected to almost triple to 2 billion. To learn more, check out this fascinating article on Bloomberg.

Kerferd / Whiting Architects

01:00 - 13 July, 2014
Kerferd / Whiting Architects, © Sharyn Cairns
© Sharyn Cairns

© Sharyn Cairns © Sharyn Cairns © Sharyn Cairns © Sharyn Cairns +12

Community Centre for Evangelical Reformed Church in Würenlos / Menzi Bürgler Architekten

01:00 - 13 July, 2014
Community Centre for Evangelical Reformed Church in Würenlos / Menzi Bürgler Architekten, © Rasmus Norlander
© Rasmus Norlander

© Rasmus Norlander © Rasmus Norlander © Rasmus Norlander © Rasmus Norlander +18

AD Round Up: Awesome Airports

00:00 - 13 July, 2014
AD Classics: Dulles International Airport / Eero Saarinen. Image © MWAA
AD Classics: Dulles International Airport / Eero Saarinen. Image © MWAA

If there is a universal truth, it is that nobody likes spending time in an airport. This article from the Financial Times corroborates this fact, pointing out that, no matter how well-designed a terminal is, people make every effort to leave it as soon as possible. While the novelty of air travel has worn off since its inception in the 20th century, the work devoted to designing airports has only increased. We’ve collected some of our favorite terminals we'd actually love to get stuck in, including works by Eero Sarinen, SOM, Fentress, J. Mayer H., KCAP, Paul Andreu, bblur architecture and 3DReid, Corgan Associates, De Bever, and Studio Fuksas. Enjoy!

Zacatitos 02 / Campos Leckie Studio

01:00 - 13 July, 2014
Zacatitos 02 / Campos Leckie Studio, © John Sinal
© John Sinal

© John Sinal © John Sinal © John Sinal © John Sinal +13