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In Progress: Porter School / Axelrod-Grobman Architects + NCArchitects + Geotectura

  • Architects: Axelrod-Grobman Architects, NCArchitects, Geotectura
  • Location: Tel Aviv
  • Area: 3700.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Geotectura, Axelrod-Grobman Architects, NCArchitects, Yossef Cohen and Gilad Adin, Architect Dr. Yasha (Jacob) Grobman and Architect Irit Axelrod from Axelrod Grobman; Architect Nili Chen and Architect Nir Chen from NCArchitects; and Architect Dr. Joseph (Yossi) Cory from GEOTECTURA, Roy Kroizman, BRAUDE-MAOZ Landscape Architects, Nitzan Hafner and Gilad Adin

Porter School / Geotectura, Axelrod-Grobman Architects, NCArchitects Porter School / Geotectura, Axelrod-Grobman Architects, NCArchitects © Yossef Cohen and Gilad Adin © Yossef Cohen and Gilad Adin

What Does the New Apple Store in San Francisco Say About Commercial Architecture?

This past May, Apple filed plans to close its existing flagship retail store at 1 Stockton Street in San Francisco and move it three blocks north to one of the city's most popular spots: Union Square. This plan was met with enthusiasm from city officials until they realized that Apple and the store's architects at Foster + Partners were disregarding a beloved bronze folk art fountain by San Francisco sculptor Ruth Asawa that currently occupies the site. Many have also criticized the store's design for being a characterless box of metal and glass that contributes nothing unique to the local landscape, raising awareness of a commercial architecture defined more and more by trademark and less and less by its surroundings.

More on Apple's proposal in San Francisco and the problems of trademarked design after the break.

'FitNation' Exhibition

From Brooklyn to the Bronx, from San Antonio to Cincinnati, communities and organizations across the United States are tackling heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases with a dose of powerful medicine: active design. Organized by AIA New York, with the Center for Architecture, their groundbreaking 'FitNation' exhibition. brings together for the first time 33 projects in 15 states and the District of Columbia that showcase the ways design, policy, and grassroots strategies are promoting physical activity as part of daily life. The event began this week and concludes on August 8. More images and information on the exhibition after the break.

Nhabeo House / Trinhvieta-Architects

  • Architects: Trinhvieta-Architects
  • Location: Hochiminh City, Vietnam
  • Architect in Charge: Trinhvieta-Architects
  • Structural Engineer: Nguyen Chi Tam
  • Interior Designer: Quach The Vinh
  • Area: 80.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2009
  • Photographs: Hiroyuki Oki

© Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki

Architect’s Eye 2013 Competition Winners

Winners of the Architect’s Eye 2013 Competition have been announced! In an effort to encourage photography by architects, the biennial competition asked entrants to submit photography in two categories: Architecture and Place focusing on the aesthetics of a building and how it shapes the location and Architecture and People focusing on the interaction of people in relation to architecture.

Light Houses. Young Nordic Architecture Exhibition

The Museum of Finnish Architecture’s summer exhibition, 'Light Houses.Young Nordic Architecture' is a two-part showing of contemporary work by young Nordic architects taking place now until September 22. Thirty-two architects from Finland, Sweden and Norway – all born after 1962, the year the pavilion was designed – were invited to design a sculptural piece that both complements the modernist vocabulary of Fehn’s pavilion and encapsulates their office’s philosophy of architecture in a 3D form of pre-specified dimensions. More information on the exhibition after the break.

Ter Pitte / Import Export Architecture

©  Stijn Bollaert
© Stijn Bollaert
  • Architects: Import Export Architecture
  • Location: Antwerpen
  • Architect in Charge: Import Export Architecture
  • Area: 250.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2008
  • Photographs: Stijn Bollaert, Courtesy of Import Export Architecture

©  Stijn Bollaert ©  Stijn Bollaert ©  Stijn Bollaert ©  Stijn Bollaert

Courtyard Social Houses in Es Mercadal / Ferrer Forés

© José Hevia © José Hevia © José Hevia © José Hevia

When Urban Planning Gets Political: The History of Taksim Square

Over the last two weeks, the world has witnessed history unfold in a small park in the heart of Istanbul, Taksim Square.  What started out as a peaceful protest to save Gezi Park and its trees from destruction has turned into a country-wide (and, to some degree, worldwide) movement that rejects the ever-increasing autocratic tendencies of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 

The urban policies and projects that PM Erdogan and his government have been loutishly implementing in Istanbul offer only a few examples of the way this government has manifested its undemocratic attitudes. In that regard, it would be misleading to consider the protest over Taksim and Gezi Park as an isolated incident.  Instead, development over Istanbul’s quintessential square constitutes the last straw in a series of neo-liberal policies, themselves the result of a century of history, that have shaped Istanbul over the course of the last decade.

More after the break...

A Complete List of the RIBA National Award Winners

Church Walk, N16 by David Mikhail © Crocker
Church Walk, N16 by David Mikhail © Crocker

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has unveiled the 2013 RIBA National Award winners, a shortlist of 52 exemplars in design excellence from the UK and EU that will compete for the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize. This year’s award winners were selected from practices of all sizes and projects of all scales, ranging from a beautifully-crafted chapel in the back garden of an Edinburgh townhouse to the innovative yellow-roofed Ferrari Museum in Italy. Notably, one third of the UK winners are exceptionally designed education buildings.

The 43 UK buildings that have won an RIBA National Award are:

Housing in Baracaldo / Linazasoro Arquitectura

© Miguel de Guzmán
© Miguel de Guzmán
  • Architects: Linazasoro Arquitectura
  • Location: Paseo El Ferrocarril, 6, 48901 San Vicente de Barakaldo, Bizkaia, Spain
  • Project Architect: José Ignacio Linazasoro Rodriguez
  • Area: 10000.0 m2
  • Year: 2008
  • Photography: Miguel de Guzmán

© Miguel de Guzmán © Miguel de Guzmán © Miguel de Guzmán © Miguel de Guzmán

House in Pantano de San Juan / GEO Arquitectos

  • Architects: GEO Arquitectos
  • Location: Ávila, España
  • Architects in Charge: Álvaro Galmés, Arturo Grinda, Miguel Olazábal
  • Collaborators: José Luís Gutiérrez, Juan C. Plaza
  • Technical Architect: Cristina Arias Utrero
  • Site area: 2.240 m2
  • Area: 780.0 m2
  • Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Miguel de Guzmán, Álvaro Galmés

© Miguel de Guzmán © Miguel de Guzmán © Miguel de Guzmán © Miguel de Guzmán

Pool Pavilion / GLUCK+

© Paul Warchol
© Paul Warchol
  • Architects: GLUCK+
  • Location: Adirondack Mountains, Keene, NY 12943, USA
  • Project Team: Shannon Bambenek, Richard Bednarczyk, John D’Agnone, Peter L. Gluck, Charlie Kaplan, Eric Schaefer, Robert Wall, Douglas Weibel
  • Project Year: 2009
  • Photographs: Paul Warchol, Amy Barkow, Erik Freeland

© Amy Barkow © Paul Warchol © Erik Freeland © Paul Warchol

USET-OPD Tlaxcala / JSª

  • Architects: JSª, DMG architecture
  • Location: Tlaxcala, Tlaxcala, Mexico
  • Proyect Team: Javier Sanchez, Juan Manuel Soler, Aisha Ballesteros, Milton Duran, Gabriela Delgado
  • Proyect Executive: Miguel de la Torre Carrillo, Cesar Brito, Zulkerine Cazares
  • Ingeneering: Hector Margain y Asociados
  • Bioclimatic Study: Biomah, Raúl Huitron
  • Area: 46420.0 m2
  • Proyect Year: 2011
  • Photography: Paul Rivera - archphoto

© Paul Rivera - archphoto © Paul Rivera - archphoto © Paul Rivera - archphoto © Paul Rivera - archphoto

Happy 91st Birthday Kevin Roche

Kevin Roche, the Pritzker-winning architect known for his innovative and sometimes unusual designs, turns 91 today. His firm Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates was once described by critic C. Ray Smith as "the most aesthetically daring and innovative American firm of architects now working".

The Indicator: Back Up and Throw Open the Doors

I see a convergence of sorts. It might be a coincidence but, then again, I think not. The wheels of “Pacific Standard Time”, the Getty’s juggernaut architectural assault on and about Los Angeles, have been turning for what seems like months now with exhibit after exhibit and symposium after symposium.

Is it just me or is “Pacific Standard Time” fatigue setting in? I’m not complaining. It gives me a lot of material to write about so I don’t have to just make stuff up. It corresponds with something called history, after all. But where is the self-reflexive, self-effacing, ha-haExit Through the Gift Shop wink about it all? It’s all so damn serious, isn’t it? It seems cooked up to be so monumental and deterministic. So Grand Narrative from the get-go, right out of the institutional blocks, like a marketing campaign.

International Pavilion of Yeosu Expo / H Architecture

Courtesy of H Architecture
Courtesy of H Architecture
  • Architects: H Architecture
  • Location: Yeosu-si, Jeollanam-do, South Korea
  • Architect in Charge: H Architecture
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Courtesy of H Architecture

Courtesy of H Architecture Courtesy of H Architecture Courtesy of H Architecture Courtesy of H Architecture