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Chicago On-Track To Break Ground On Elevated Parkway

Chicago is set to be the next U.S. city to park-ify on one of its abandoned rail-lines. First proposed back in 1997, the 2.7 mile, 13-acre Bloomingdale Trail and Park is proposed for a stretch of abandoned railway trestle dating from 1910, which has been lying unused since the turn of the century. And, even though it is already being compared to New-York's High Line, the planners are adamant that the park will be an entirely different animal to its New York cousin.

Read more about Chicago's unique proposal after the break...

Four Architects Enlisted to Reimagine Penn Station

In an effort to “unlock people’s imaginations” about Penn Station and Madison Square Garden, the Municipal Art Society (MAS) of New York has challenged Santiago CalatravaDiller Scofidio + Renfro, SHoP Architects and SOM to propose four new visions that exemplify the potential of the highly disregarded area. 

The challenge comes amidst a heated debate on whether or not the city should restrict Madison Square’s recently expired special permit to 10 years, rather than in perpetuity as the arena’s owners - the Dolan family - has requested. This would allow time for the city to “get it right” and come up with a viable solution for the arena and station that would not only “improve the safety and quality of life for millions of people but also benefit the economy”. Think Kings Cross in London. With a thoughtful mix of public and private investments, the crime-ridden transfor station was transformed into a thriving cultural destination. 

More after the break...

WEISS / MANFREDI to Design Kent State's New, $40 Million Architecture Building

© WEISS/MANFREDI  Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism
© WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism

WEISS / MANFREDI has been announced as winner of the international competition to design a new College of Architecture and Environmental Design for Kent State University in Ohio. The New York-based practice, in collaboration with the local architect of record Richard L. Bowen & Associates, was one of four national finalists selected from a competitive list of 37 applicants. The winning proposal, dubbed the Kent State Design Loft, transforms the notion of a continuous studio loft into a three-tiered structure that opens to the city, connects to the public esplanade and surrounding landscape, and provides an abundance of creatively designed, flexible learning spaces that can be easily transformed to accommodate design crits, exhibitions and events. “We are captivated by the potential for this project to become an innovative incubator for the arts and an internationally legible destination for the University,” said Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi. The architect’s project description after the break…

Santa Monica Animation Studio / Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio

Courtesy of Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio
Courtesy of Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio

Courtesy of Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio Courtesy of Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio Courtesy of Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio Courtesy of Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio

Collider Activity Center Competition Entry / STRATO

Designed by STRATO, the project proposal for the Collider Activity Center has two primary objectives: visual identity and vitality. Conceived as a sort of natural formation, the entire building is emphasized by the folding panels of the walls, the placement of the volumes and the power that this arrangement represents. Since it is placed in a context of ongoing evolution, their version of the activity center aims to be the driving force of the transformation of the whole district of Sofia, Bulgaria by becoming a symbol for the entire city. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Minamihara 3645 / Yasui Hideo Atelier

  • Architects: Yasui Hideo Atelier
  • Location: Nagano, Japan
  • Area: 164.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2008
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Yasui Hideo Atelier

Courtesy of Yasui Hideo Atelier Courtesy of Yasui Hideo Atelier Courtesy of Yasui Hideo Atelier Courtesy of Yasui Hideo Atelier

Primary Care Center / Josep Camps & Olga Felip

© Pedro Pegenaute © Pedro Pegenaute © Pedro Pegenaute © Pedro Pegenaute

Hachiouji House / Krew Architects

  • Architects: Krew Architects
  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
  • Architect in Charge: Krew Architects
  • Design Team: Ryosuke Kanayama, Tadashi Kawarasaki
  • Area: 100.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Krew Architects

Courtesy of Krew Architects Courtesy of Krew Architects Courtesy of Krew Architects Courtesy of Krew Architects

Small House / FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

© Kei Nakajima © Kei Nakajima © Kei Nakajima © Kei Nakajima

Russia's Historic Mariinsky Theatre to Celebrate Grand Opening of Mariinsky II

On May 2, Russia’s preeminent Mariinsky Theatre will celebrate the grand opening of a new, 851,575 square foot addition on a neighboring site, just west of the company’s original 1860 theatre and 2006 concert hall, in the heart St. Petersburg. Designed by Toronto-based Diamond Schmitt Architects, Mariinsky II will be one of the largest theatre and concert venues in the world, providing a 2000-seat auditorium, state-of-the-art production facilities, and naturally lit rehearsal rooms, along with a rooftop amphitheatre and terrace. 

Beirut Terraces / Herzog & de Meuron

Beirut Terraces rethinks the concept of the skyscraper, creating a vertical village composed of thin, elegant platforms layered in a playful formation. By offering lavish outdoor spaces, breathtaking views, and meticulously composed lofts, architects Herzog & DeMeuron bring an unprecedented way of living to crowded and dense Beirut.

More on these contemporary living spaces after the break...

Courtesy of Benchmark Courtesy of Benchmark Courtesy of Benchmark Courtesy of Benchmark

Cassell Street House / b.e architecture

  • Architects: b.e. Architecture
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
  • Design Team: Andrew Piva, Broderick Ely, Jon Boucher, Kris Keen
  • Construction Team: Bayside Construct
  • Area: 500.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Peter Clarke

© Peter Clarke © Peter Clarke © Peter Clarke © Peter Clarke

Museum and Educational Center of the Polytechnic Museum and Lomonosov Moscow State University Design Competition Results

Organized by the Polytechnic Museum Development Foundation, the team of MASSIMILIANO FUKSAS Architetto (Italy) and SPEECH (Russia) was recently announced the winner of Architectural Concepts Competition for the Museum and Educational Center of the Polytechnic Museum and Lomonosov Moscow State University. The challenge was to create a museum and educational center for demonstrating most recent scientific and technological discoveries using state-of-the-art multimedia technologies for accommodating multiple displays and exhibitions as well as for conducting scientific educational programs. More images and information on the winning team and finalists after the break.

YAP IM-Debris Competition Entry / Yalin Architectural Design

Chosen as one of the five finalists in MOMA’s Young Architectural Program (YAP), Yalin Architectural Design’s proposal ‘IM-Debris’ focuses on how Istanbul and all the other cities in the world have to come up with local solutions to their own problems in global standards. The main purpose of this design is to be within the rubble which we are usually used to observe from a distance, to form a place with every possible material that is left from a construction and to have the visitors re-discover where it came from, in a place designed by it in the first place. More images and architects’ description after the break.

4 Lessons the UK Should Take from Denmark

Last week the UK's Culture Minister Ed Vaizey announced that he was commissioning a review of the country's architecture policy, to be led by Sir Terry Farrell along with a number of high profile advisors, including Thomas HeatherwickAlison Brooks and Alain de Botton. According to Vaizey, the review, expected to be complete by the end of the year, "will be a rallying point for the profession."

In his article in The Guardian, Olly Wainwright rather hopefully questioned: "might this year-long study result in an innovative new piece of legislative guidance – perhaps along the lines of Denmark's architecture policy, introduced in 2007?" While Wainwright somewhat flatly concludes, "somehow, that seems unlikely," there's no doubt that the UK could only stand to gain from learning from Denmark's innovative policy. 

So what lessons could the UK (and the world) learn from the Danes? Read on after the break...

Buenos Mares House / RDR Arquitectos

© Cristóbal Palma / Estudio Palma
© Cristóbal Palma / Estudio Palma
  • Architects: RDR Arquitectos
  • Location: José Ignacio, Uruguay
  • Team: Ignacio Dahl Rocha, Bruno Emmer, Susana Barra, Nicolas Adrien, Ovidio Lagos
  • Area: 900.0 m2
  • Year: 2009
  • Photography: Cristóbal Palma / Estudio Palma

© Cristóbal Palma / Estudio Palma © Cristóbal Palma / Estudio Palma © Cristóbal Palma / Estudio Palma © Cristóbal Palma / Estudio Palma

108 VPO Dwellings in Borinbizkara / Patxi Cortazar

  • Architects: Patxi Cortazar
  • Location: Avenida de los Huetos 1-3-5. Borinbizkarra. Vitoria-Gasteiz
  • Project Architects: Patxi Cortazar y José Manuel Simón
  • Technical Architects: Juan Manuel Galera Carrillo, Vicente Luis Mozo, Mikel Valderrama Ibáñez
  • Client and Construction: NASIPA S.L.
  • Area: 21345.0 m2
  • Year: 2010
  • Photography: César San Millán

© César San Millán © César San Millán © César San Millán © César San Millán