The Iconic U.N. Headquarters Makeover

© United Nations Photo

Planned for completion in 2014, the iconic United Nations Headquarters (UNHQ) is in the middle of a $1.876 billion refurbishment project, known as the Capital Master Plan, which seeks to update the aging building with a more safe, modern and sustainable work environment. Located on the 18-acre site that was donated by John D. Rockefeller in the 1950s, the UNHQ was designed by an international team of eleven architects who worked together in a post-World War II world to create an landmark building through collaboration rather than competition.

Continue reading for more details on the Capital Master Plan. 

School Inverloch / Opat Architects

Courtesy of

Architect: Opat Architects 
Location: Bayview Avenue, Inverloch,
Design Team:  Rowan Opat, Nathan Marshall
Area: 1,740sqm
Cost: $4,600,000
Completed: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of Opat Architects

  

Shortlist Announced for New Embassy Project in Mexico City

The Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) has shortlisted nine design teams for the New Embassy Compound in . The design/bid/build project, scheduled for construction in fiscal year 2015, is the first solicited under OBO’s new Design Excellence program. This holistic approach to project development and delivery seeks to utilize the best methods, technologies, and staff abilities to produce facilities that are outstanding in all respects. The overall strategy focuses on the integration of purpose, function, flexibility, art, safety, security, sustainability, and maintainability.

Continue reading for more information and to review the well-known shortlisted architects.

In Defense of Introverts


A Playground for Leif by Designliga

So far, I’ve cited the merits of the playground – the loudest, craziest, most running-aroundiest environment for kids you can imagine – as a point of inspiration for school design.

I’ve espoused the potential of community-oriented schools to motivate and, somewhat grandiosely I’ll admit, change the world.

I think I’ve uncovered a bias. In me, and in architecture at large.

For years, Western culture has valued and rewarded natural born extroverts in its effort to breed out-going, sociable, go-get-’em type citizens. (For two intelligent, chuckle-inducing narratives on the plight of the introvert, check out Jonathan Rauch’s touchstone piece in The Atlantic and Susan Cain‘s fabulous TED Talk).

In my zeal to present solutions to the obstacles facing education, I too got caught in the trap. To rectify this situation, I will – once again – examine schools; but this time, I take a more balanced approach. Today I take into account that bullied, forgotten group: introverts.

103 Social Housing Units in Turo Del Sastre / Batlle & Roig Architects

© José Hevia

Architects: Batlle & Roig Architects  – Enric Batlle, Joan Roig
Location: ,
Collaborators: Francesc Puig, architect, Cristina Castellví, Eva Polio, architects, Oriol Marín, technical architect, STATIC, Gerardo Rodríguez, engineer, structure, Lurdes Romeo, Anna Bernadet, installations
Design date: 2006
Construction date: 2009
Client: Impsol
Contractor: Rubau Sa
Area: 13,954 sqm
Photographs: José Hevia

Design the new lounges for Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines invites interested private sector companies and/or entities to participate in the Pre-Qualification Exercise to demonstrate their capabilities for the Proposed Development of a New Design Concept for the Silver Kris Lounges.

A formal Request for Proposal will be subsequently issued for pre-qualified bidders to participate in a design competition tender exercise. As the Silver Kris Lounges undergo planned refurbishment works, Airlines wishes to adopt a new design concept to ensure its pre-eminent position in the airline industry. To see the complete list of conditions that prospective design firms must fulfill please click here. Completed applications must be submitted by March 29.

Family House In Zbecno / A.LT Architekti

© Tomas Rasl

Architects: A.LT Architekti  – Peter Lacko, Filip Tittelbach, Michal Siska
Location: Zbecno,
Project Year: 2011
Site Area: 1,640 sqm
Buil-up Area: 50 sqm
Floor Area: 94 sqm
Photographs: Tomas Rasl

Update: Rio 2016 Golf / Gil Hanse

Castle Stuart /

Rio de Janeiro will be bustling with activity very quickly, beginning with the World Cup in 2012 to the Summer Olympics in 2016.  Earlier, we shared AECOM’s winning master plan for the complex and it was recently announced that American golf architect Gil Hanse was chosen as the designer for the Rio 2016 Course.  Hanse’s work has included major courses scattered around the country, from Boston to LA, and now he is bringing his talent to South America.  This Olympics will mark the first time golf has been an official sport since the 1904 Games in St. Louis, and thus, Hanse has his work cut out for him in designing not only a top course, but also the first of its kind for such an event.   After ousting Jack Nicklaus and Annika Sorenstam for the job, Hanse will team with pro-golfer Amy Alcott to design the course in the Barra da Tijuca part of Rio. “We will strive to produce a course that will maximize the benefits of the site while creating an identity that is in keeping with the natural terrain, vegetation and wildlife indigenous to what we believe will be transformed into a “picturesque” landscape which will make the people of Rio proud,” explained Hanse.

More about the course after the break. 

Caterpillar House / Feldman Architecture

© Joe Fletcher

Architects: Feldman Architecture
Location: Carmel, ,
Completion Date: January 2010
Size: 2,800 sqm
Photographs: Joe Fletcher

Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina Proposal / Đordje Alfirević & Ana Čarapić

© Nenad Katić

Architects Đordje Alfirević and Ana Čarapić shared with us their proposal for the Museum of Contemporary Art of . As a response to the site conditions, their design is positioned in the center of a park with a uniformed impact on the surroundings from every direction. The circular form establishes a gentle dialog with the environment by means of creating an illusion of neutral form that continuously pulls back, yet on the other hand its compact and abstract volume makes a distinctive and strong landmark. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Into The Landscape / Rintala Eggertsson Architects

© Dag Jenssen

Architect: Rintala Eggertsson ArchitectsVibeke Jenssen, Dagur Eggertsson, Sami Rintala and Kaori Watanabe
Location: Bjørgeøyan, ,
Client: Municipality of Seljord
Project Management: Harriet Slaaen
Curator: Springer kulturstudio, Gunn-Marit Christenson
Landscape Architect: Feste Grenland, Tone Telnes, Jan Feste and Jarle Svendsen
Engineering: Sweco Norge, Nils Petter Due and Geir Sageien
Building Management: Olav Kåsa
Contractor Building: Skorve Per Ivar Magnushommen and Sjur Reutz
Contractor Electricity: Dyrud Elektro Vidar Valhovd og Kevin Rue
Photographs: Dag Jenssen

Rem Koolhaas & Hans Ulrich Obrist’s ‘Project Japan: Metabolism Talks’ Lecture

Courtesy of NYPL

Architect Rem Koolhaas – author of Delirious – and curator – known for his exhibitions and his “endless conversation” with hundreds of artists and thinkers, racking up 2,000 hours of interviews since 1990 – will discuss their new book Project Japan, part oral history and part documentation of Japan’s radical mode of nation building. The event will take place March 8th at 7:00pm at the NYPL (New York Public Library) in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. More information on the event after the break.

Crafton Hills College / Steinberg Architects

© Tim Griffith

Architects: Steinberg Architects
Location: Yucaipa, , USA
Design Team: David Hart, AIA – Principal in Charge, Gilbert Rocca – Project Manager, Michael Miller– Designer, Pietro Silva- Interior Design, Doug Hoffet – Project Architect, Sonnet Hui, Tyler Martine, Clem Roger, Clem Roger, Jennifer Davis, Juan Santana
Photographs: Tim Griffith

Krankenhaus Nord Wein Hospital / Arup

© Albert Wimmer

Arup recently won a major contract to design one of Europe’s largest hospitals in Vienna, . The Krankenhaus Nord Wein hospital win marks another milestone in the international recognition of the firm’s expertise in the field of healthcare. Construction work has just started on the 800-bed facility, which will cost over €500m to build and a similar amount again to fit out to the world-class standard specified. ’s healthcare design team in Ireland worked in close collaboration with an Austrian partner to win the design contract for the facility, which will be sited on the east side of the River Danube. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Community Centre / Aulík Fišer Architects

Courtesy of Aulík Fišer Architects

Architects: Aulík Fišer Architects
Location: ZaBrumlovkou, Prague,
Realization Company: PSJ a.s.
Total Floor Area: 1,210 sqm
Total Volume: 9,400 m3
Project: 2006-2007
Realization: 2007-2009
Photographs: Courtesy of Aulík Fišer Architects

Roslyn Street Bar-Restaurante / Durbach Block Jaggers

© Peter Bennetts

Architects: Durbach Block Jaggers
Location: Potts Point, ,
Project Team: Neil Durbach, Camilla Block, David Jaggers, Stefan Heim, Lisa Le Van, Deborah Hodge, Brigitte Thearle
Project Year: 2009
Project Area: 197 sqm
Photographs: Anthony Browell, Peter Bennetts, Neil Durbach

Exemplar of Sustainable Architecture: 1315 Peachtree / Perkins+Will

After – Courtesy of

Understanding that environmental responsibility is an integral part of design excellence, Perkins + Will’s new Atlantic office, known as 1315 Peachtree, serves as an example on how current technologies can be used to achieve LEED Platinum Certification, meet the 2030 Challenge and help reduce toxic materials from our building products.

1315 Peachtree is an adaptive reuse of a 1985 office structure transformed into a high performance civic-focused building. Located in the heart of Midtown across from the High Museum of Art, the new building continues to house the Peachtree Branch of the -Fulton County Public Library and introduces a new street-level tenant space occupied by the Museum of Design (MODA). The Perkins+Will office occupies the top four floors with office space for up to 240 employees. Continue reading for more information on the highest LEED score building in the Northern Hemisphere.

Rivera Hotel and Casino Complex / Gualano & Gualano Arquitectos

© Marcos Mendizabal

Architects: Gualano & Gualano Arquitectos – Marcelo Gualano / Martín Gualano
Location: , Uruguay
Collaborators: Aida Aguirre, Carolina Algorta, Ignacio De Souza, JoaquínMascheroni, Elena Pi, Carina Strata,Andrés Varela
Built Area: 13,000 sqm
Project Year: 2008 – 2011
Photographs: Marcos Mendizabal, José Pampín