A recent nomination by the United States seeks to elevate ten celebrated buildings characteristic of influential architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s style to UNESCO World Heritage Sites. If the nomination is fulfilled, the collection of buildings will join the 1,007 designated sites currently on the UNESCO World Heritage List, including some of the most recognizable buildings in the world like the Taj Mahal and Sydney Opera House. These structures are recognized for their extraordinary cultural significance and “outstanding universal values.” See the ten nominated buildings, after the break.
“We have to try to work with scale and memory. I think in the last twenty years the main problem is that we lost the 归宿感 [sense of belonging]. The people here have been moving from house to house for a long time, the result is that we don’t have a feeling of home… even if you are staying in a nice house or villa you don’t consider it as an ideal or permanent home where you could stay. This might be considered the problem. More than ten years ago we used to have that feeling, the sense to belong to a specific space. We used to live in neighbourhoods where we had a social background, a community, now you don’t have any community, you don’t see the neighbors any more. Now Chinese people are becoming lonely, they are losing that feeling and becoming ‘homeless’.” - Zhang Lei, Nanjing, 2013
Spanish firm Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos has been selected to receive the 2015 Alvar Aalto Medal. Awarded every three years, the Alvar Aalto Medal recognizes an office or architect “with outstanding merit in creative architecture.” Nieto Sobejano and its founders – Fuensanta Nieto and Enrique Sobejano—were commended by the jury for their profound understanding of the local cultures where they work.
“Nieto and Sobejano were key names in the new wave of Spanish architecture, which emerged in the late 1970s. The roots of their architecture lie in Spain, and its multi-layered history and culture,” the jury wrote. “Their works speak a silent language, proving that the precondition of meaningful architecture is an in-depth understanding of local culture and the context of the design brief.”
According to a document published last month, London’s aspiration to become “a great cycling city” has taken one step closer to reality. The office of the Mayor of London has approved plans to develop Europe’s longest segregated bicycle lane through the centre of the city following modifications to an original plan that drew sharp criticism from residents and commuters. The new plans, which have been supported by a number of private companies and public bodies, aims to maintain vehicular traffic capacity whilst allowing the segregated cycle lanes to cater for a large capacity of cyclists.
Building Trust has launched their sixth international design competition: Cool School. Seeking an innovative school design proposal that can withstand the extreme Mongolian climate, the competition is challenging architects, designers and engineers to envision a solution which has the chance to shape the future of school buildings across cold regions globally. Contestants should consider environmental conditions, materials, space, comfort, accessibility, adaptability and aesthetics. Building Trust will work alongside competition partners, World Vision, local government and the school community in Khovd, Mongolia to build the winning school design. More information about the competition, here.
Google Earth Pro has dropped its $399 yearly subscription and is now freely available to all. Beyond providing imagery, detailed maps, terrain and 3D building models of the world, Google Earth’s pro-version is particularly convenient for project planning and research; unlike its standard tools, Pro allows users to print images at 4800×3200, import and pin thousands of addresses onto the map at once, capture HD videos of what’s on screen, and easily measure distances and areas with polygons, circles and more, rather than with just lines and paths. Download it for free and fill out a quick form to unlock its Pro features.
Dublin-based Newenham Mulligan and London-based Grimshaw have been selected by the Royal Dublin Society and Leinster Rugby to redevelop the rugby team’s home arena in Ballsbridge, Ireland. The €20 million redevelopment, announced just before Ireland’s bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, plans to replace the RDS Arena’s old Anglesea stand with one that increases the venue’s capacity to 25,000.