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UCLA’s cityLAB at the School of Architecture and Urban Design

Backyard Homes Conceptual Rendering, image courtesy Daly Genik Architects
Backyard Homes Conceptual Rendering, image courtesy Daly Genik Architects

What makes an architecture school worth consideration are its special programs and initiatives. These programs, often run by a few faculty members, vary from addressing human rights and legal issues to working with local communities to remedy social and economic issues.

UCLA's Architecture and Urban Design (AUD) school has just such a program. Called cityLAB (not to be confused with the student-run, science-based UCLA CityLab), it is in many ways unique to a university setting. Run by founder/director Professor Dana Cuff and co-directed by Professor Roger Sherman. It’s name is well-suited: a laboratory to test ideas and address issues arising from city conditions in ways that cannot be done by profit-driven firms. These issues include housing, commercial revitalization, and community and municipal collaboration. These projects have operated successfully on grants that support not just the work being done by the professors, but by staff and Graduate Student Researchers who are paid to work in all aspects of the projects.

Centro De Interpretación De La Agricultura Y La Ganadería / aldayjover

© Jordi Bernadó © Jordi Bernadó © Pedro Pegenaute © Jordi Bernadó

Park 1 Proposal / White

Designed by White arkitekter their Park 1 project is intended to house a traffic and emergency management center, a new fire station and a total of 1,200 new workplaces in which effective coordination will be created on an everyday basis. Located in Stockholm, the building complex inclines back from Lindhagensgatan in a generous gesture which marks the entrance while also boldly cantilevering slightly into space towards the Essingeleden highway and above all of the movement and communication at the site. More images and architects' description after the break.

Parallel Nippon: Contemporary Japanese Architecture 1996-2006

Taking place at the Japan Foundation Gallery in Sydney from April 2-May 1, Parallel Nippon, a world-class exhibition, will feature Japan’s most influential architects including 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Toyo Ito, Kengo Kuma, Tadao Ando, Kenzo Tange, SANAA, and many more. Containing over 100 large-scale photo panels of landmark designs, architectural models and video footage, the exhibition is divided into four thematic sections: Urban, Life, Culture and Living, a cross-sectional view of Japanese society. These areas represent the revolutionary, innovative and progressive architectural achievements realized not only in Japan but across the world as projects of Japanese architects. More information after the break. 

In Conversation With: Will Alsop

© Antonio Olmos
© Antonio Olmos

Architecture begins with ideas—and, for Will Alsop, sometimes with a painting. This interview is the first in a series of conversations with internationally prominent architects conducted by Sanam Samanian and Alex Bozikovic. The British iconoclast gives an overview of his creative process: why he's bored by the details of building; why we shouldn't think of architecture as a “profession"; and why we should think of architecture as a way to make life more joyous.

Read the captivating interview with Will Alsop, after the break...

Melbourne Set to Build Tallest Skyscraper in Southern Hemisphere

© Fender Katsalidis Architects, John Gollings
© Fender Katsalidis Architects, John Gollings

Melbourne, Australia is about to reach new heights with Australia 108, a hotel and apartment tower designed by Fender Katsalidis. Last week the government of Victoria gave Australia 108 the green light to be built in the Southbank area. Upon completion, the tower will rise up 108 levels and 388 meters tall, which would make it the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere.

More about Australia 108’s design after the break...

'Wallcano': Collider Activity Center Competition Entry / Zohar Architects

Walltopia, a global leader in the design and manufacturing of artificial climbing walls and grips, organized the Collider Activity Center competition located in Sofia, near the foothills of Mount Vitosha - one of Bulgaria’s most popular tourist destinations. The proposal by Zohar Architects is a 100% climbable structure: a donut-shaped courtyard building informed by the diversity of context. Its volume is extruded using ‘grafts’ of the world’s most famous mountains as formwork to create a patchwork of alpine geo-diversity, with a perfect cast of Abraham Lincoln’s nose from Mount Rushmore prominently positioned to satisfy curious climber fantasies. More images and architects' description after the break.

Suquan Yuan / TM Studio

Courtesy of TM Studio
Courtesy of TM Studio
  • Architects: TM Studio
  • Location: suzhou, china
  • Architect : Tong Ming
  • Area: 5600.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2008
  • Photographs: Courtesy of TM Studio

Courtesy of TM Studio Courtesy of TM Studio Courtesy of TM Studio Courtesy of TM Studio

Península of Sancti-Petri Winning Proposal / BAKPAK Architects

With everything today changing and the fishing architecture gone, the village of Sancti Petri owes its importance to the past tuna industry and seafarers. This first prize winning proposal in the competition for the urban and architectural design of the Península of Sancti-Petri aims to give back the original meaning to the peninsula by reinterpreting architectural and spatial values ​​of the past. Designed by BAKPAK Architects, this "new town" is divided into 13 themed compact-use sets, and each of them are made up of modules. More images and architects' description after the break.

2013 Sally Walsh Lecture: Moving House / Jeanne Gang

On March 26th, architect Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects will discuss how housing can evolve in multiple ways to address contemporary challenges in "Moving House," delivered as the Rice Design Alliance's 2013 Sally Walsh Lecture at the The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Dedicated to "honoring Walsh’s groundbreaking foray into modern design by bringing cutting edge designers to Houston," the lecture is sponsored in collaboration with the Rice School of Architecture, the AIA Houston Chapter, and the Architecture Center Houston Foundation.

Giveaway: Win a signed copy of 'Stadia: The Populous Design and Development Guide'

Thanks to the courtesy of our good friends at Populous we are giving you the chance to win a signed copy of 'Stadia: The Populous Design and Development Guide', the fifth edition on this essential and long-established guide to stadia design (see our review here). All you have to do to participate is become a registered user (if you’re not one already) and answer the following question in our comments:

University of Ulster’s Belfast City Campus Proposal / Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, their proposal for the University of Ulster’s Belfast City Campus has recently received planning permission upon winning the competition in January 2012. The campus is part of a £250m higher education project to provide 70,000 sqm of central teaching, faculty and social learning accommodation across three linked sites in the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast city center.  This high density urban university campus blurs the boundaries between the University environments and the city by providing publicly accessible thoroughfares and facilities across the lower three floors. More images and architects' description after the break.

Harvey B. Gantt, FAIA, Honored with the 2013 Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected Harvey B. Gantt, FAIA, as the 2013 recipient of the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award.  Established in 1972, the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award honors architects and organizations that champion a range of social issues, including affordable housing, minority inclusion and access for persons with disabilities. Gantt is being recognized for his efforts as a noted civil rights pioneer, public servant and award-winning architect.

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Wyckoff House Museum / nARCHITECTS

nARCHITECTS is designing a cultural education complex for the Wyckoff House Museum in Brooklyn on the site of New York's oldest house. The Wyckoff House has an immense history as it was the first landmark designated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1968. nARCHITECTS’s educational complex will act as a portal between its present day environment and historical site. Due to its exceptional spatial and temporal intervention, the design was recently awarded an AIA New York Design Merit Award.