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Nanjing Road Mixed Use Area Proposal / RTA-Office

With the aim to create a new and contemporary urban space. the Nanjing Road Mixed Use Area proposal by RTA-Office distributes the volumes on the parcel in order to get an open public space and an intimate one simultaneously. The many passages throughout the 200,000 square-meter project offers walk paths for residents and visitors as it occupies an entire block of the city of Qingdao. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Allies and Morrison Architects' District//S Wins National Urban Design Awards Practice Project Award

Allies and Morrison Architects were just awarded the Francis Tibbalds Prize for best Practice Project at the National Urban Design Awards 2013 for their District//S project. The prize was presented to the practice at a ceremony held last night at London’s Royal Overseas League.  The 452,100 sq ft of high quality residential accommodation situated on the edge of Beirut’s historic city centre impressed the judges with its “comprehensive response to the historic character of Beirut, going well beyond the superficialities of appearance to reflect the cultural and functional nature of the city”. More information after the break.

'Porous City – Open the Tower' Exhibition

The Innovation Forum MIPIM recently announced that it will feature the “Porous city – Open the tower” exhibition presented at last year’s Venice Biennale for the first time. Held in Cannes, France from March 12-15, the exhibition uses Lego towers to explore futuristic concepts of urban design imagined by the professor and architect Winy Maas, founder and director of the MVRDV architectural practice in Rotterdam and director of The Why Factory, a research institute for the city of the future. Nine three-meter high skyscrapers will rise up during the four days of the show, acting as visual support to debates on the new processes and the role of research in Europe’s urban future. For more information, including a complete program, please visit here. More images after the break.

Films & Architecture: "In Bruges"

In the Belgian language “brug” means bridge, and it’s because of the amount of them in the European medieval city that it took its name. A ”fairy tale f***ing town” is how Harry (Ralph Fiennes), the foul-mouthed boss in In Bruges describes it. And indeed Bruges is a city full of fairy tale-like elements that weave through this crazy, sardonic, violent, and (in our opinion, awesomely) absurd movie.

Have you seen it? Do you know any other film fully linked to a specific city? Let us know in the comments below!

Zhengzhou Airport District Urban Planning EXhibition Centre Proposal / AUA

Constituting the northern portion of the planned ‘Future Square’ in the rapidly developing Airport District of Zhengzhou, China, Atelier of Urban Architecture (AUA)‘s design is an iconic addition to the area. The proposed urban planning exhibition centre and associated landscape consists of various programs that are organized on the folding floor slabs, bringing visitors around the centre piece of the exhibition – the physical model, which itself is positioned within a sunken space on ground level. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Landmark Miami DawnTown Ideas Competition

DawnTown is launching Landmark Miami, their latest ideas competition for the 2013 season. The competition is centered around the idea of how cities are recognized and perceived through architecture. Many cities worldwide are instantly identified by their exclusive architectural elements: Seattle has the Space Needle, St.Louis has the Arch, Paris the Eiffel Tower, etc. So what is Miami’s landmark? They are calling all designers, professionals and students to add a new landmark representing what Miami is about today and for the future. The deadline for submissions is April 15. For more information, please visit here.

Non-Design: Architecture's (Counter-Intuitive) Future

Quinta Monroy development after occupation. © Cristobal Palma
Quinta Monroy development after occupation. © Cristobal Palma

Global architecture underwent a seismic shift in the 20th Century. Governments, keen to mitigate the impoverishing effects of rapid urbanization and two world wars embarked on ambitious social housing programs, pairing with modernists who promised that design could be the solution to social inequality and poverty. Today, the problems inherent in these mid-century tower blocks are well documented and well known, and these modernist solutions to poverty are often seen as ill-conceived failures.

If the 20th century was all about designing to solve social problems, then the 21st century has been about the exact opposite – not designing to solve social problems. These days, it is much more common to see architects praising the social order and even aesthetic of illegal slums, which in many cases provide their residents with a stronger community and higher quality of life than did many formal social housing projects of the past. The task of architects (both today's and tomorrow's) is to develop this construction logic: to use design and, rather counter-intuitively, non-design to lift these urban residents out of their impoverished conditions.

More on the social potential of non-design after the break...

Wanka House / Galera Estudio

  • Architects: Galera Estudio
  • Location: Cariló, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Architect In Charge: Ariel Galera
  • Design Team: Horacio Riga, Diego Ballario, Veronica Coleman
  • Structure: Carlos Bereilh
  • Plot: 1,000 sqm
  • Area: 470.0 sqm
  • Year: 2011
  • Photography: Diego Medina

© Diego Medina © Diego Medina © Diego Medina © Diego Medina

BIG’s West 57th Pyramid Wins Final Approval


After an “arduous” public review and a heated debate over affordable housing, New York’s City Council has unanimously awarded final approval to BIG’s tetrahedral-shaped West 57th apartment building in Manhattan. As reported by Crain’s New York Business, a compromise has been made to include 173 affordable housing units within the 32-story, 750-unit residential building and the neighboring industrial building that will be converted into 100 additional rental apartments. As you may recall, the community board and Councilwoman Gail Brewer initially threatened to “torpedo the project” if the apartments were only made affordable for a 35 year period. However, Durst apparently won them over by contributing one million dollars into an affordable housing fund. 

"The good news, which is the matra of my office and community board No. 4, is there will be, yes, by law, 35 years of income-restricted affordable housing," stated City Councilwoman Brewer, who represents the area.

Amarante’s Hospital / ACXT

  • Architects: ACXT
  • Location: Amarante, Portugal
  • Architect In Charge: David Coutinho Correia
  • Design Team: Inês Coelho, Francisca Bastos, Marcelo Dantas, Francisco Eloy, Jorge Paquete
  • Structure: Silvia Castillo Martins, João Almeida, Rita Fernández
  • Environmental Engineering: Álvaro Santos, André Mendes, José Sereno
  • Client: Centro Hospitalario do Tâmega e Sousa
  • Area: 21,000 sqm
  • Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

GENyO Laboratories / Planho

© Alejandro González
© Alejandro González

© Alejandro González © Alejandro González © Alejandro González © Alejandro González

Budapest Students Design Sustainable House for Indoor and Outdoor Living

It may look unassuming, but this sleek black box is the culmination of a two-year long collaboration of more than 50 students from 7 different faculties of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. Initially envisioned by two architecture students and built for the European Solar Decathlon 2012 in Madrid, the goal of Odooproject was to encourage a new sustainable life by designing a house where as much time as possible can be spent outdoors.

More information about Odooproject after the break...

© Balázs Danyi © Balázs Danyi © Balázs Danyi © Balázs Danyi

BRG Neusiedl am See / Solid Architecture

© Kurt Kuball
© Kurt Kuball
  • Architects: Solid Architecture
  • Location: Neusiedl am See, Australia
  • Site Area: 26270.00 sqm
  • Gross Area: 9206.00 sqm
  • Useable Surface: 6812.00 sqm
  • Built Up Area: 5648.00 sqm
  • Project Year: 2008
  • Photographs: Kurt Kuball

© Kurt Kuball © Kurt Kuball © Kurt Kuball © Kurt Kuball

Interstice / Fabi Architekten BDA

© Herbert Stolz
© Herbert Stolz

© Herbert Stolz © Herbert Stolz © Herbert Stolz © Herbert Stolz

RDM Innovation Dock / Groosman

  • Architects: Groosman
  • Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • Area: 1000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Theo Peekstok

© Theo Peekstok © Theo Peekstok © Theo Peekstok © Theo Peekstok

Raffles City Ningbo / SPARK

  • Architects: SPARK
  • Location: Beijing, China
  • Project Director: Jan Felix Clostermann, Stephen Pimbley
  • Design Team: Jacky Chen, Yuhua Chen, Yuen Yuen Chen, Jan Felix Clostermann, Shu Fan, Jiarkai Guo, Vivian Huang, Akin Jabar, Yun Wu Jian, RenJie Li, Wenhui Lim, Minghao Liu, Oren Rabinowitz, Christian Taeubert, Wao Tao Wang, Chengming Xu, Wenzhen Yee, Hua Zhang
  • Area: 0.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: FG + SG

© FG + SG © FG + SG © FG + SG © FG + SG