The Olympics are in full swing and, although the "Coastal Cluster" of stadiums has attracted a considerable amount of attention, there is one installation demanding interaction from every spectator. Built at the entrance of Sochi's Olympic Park isAsif Khan Studio's "MegaFaces," a pavilion that "contorts itself to recreate 3D images of the faces of visitors relayed via digital face scans made in photo booths installed within the building."
Comprised of 11,000 actuators sitting underneath the cube's stretchy fabric membrane, the installation allows for three, eight meter tall faces to emerge from the wall at a time (the faces that emerge from the side of the pavilion are enlarged by 3500%). According to the designers, this feature of the building "has been likened to a giant pin screen and a digital, architectural Mount Rushmore."
Toronto-based RAW Designhas been crowned winner of the annual Warming Huts competition, which is intended to “push the envelop of design, craft and art” by encouraging architects to design innovative warming shelters along the frozen Red River Mutual Trail in Winnipeg, Canada.
Moving away from the traditional notion of an enclosed shelter, the firm’s winning proposal “Nuzzles” engages skaters with a playful arrangement of “insulated appendages” (a.k.a. pool noodles) supported by a geodesic lattice structure that is illuminated and heated from within. Users are encouraged to “nestle into the structure” and manipulate its fur-like exterior into informal resting areas.
Congress budget cuts have officially stalled Frank Gehry’s controversial Eisenhower Memorial, according to a recent report, rejecting $49 million in construction funds and cutting the Eisenhower Memorial Commission’s annual budget in half. Unless the commission is able to raise a substantial amount of private funds, as well as win support from the Eisenhower family (which is doubtful), Gehry’s “grandiose” memorial is unlikely to ever break ground. Despite this, the commission’s director is optimistic, stating that the FDR Memorial took nearly 45 years to get built. You can read more about the controversy here.
The College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and its Dean Wiel Arets has announced the creation of the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) and the MCHAP for Emerging Architecture. With an objective to “reward the daring contemplation of the intersection of the new metropolis and human ecology,” these two biennial prizes will “recognize the most distinguished built constructs of the North and South American continents” while fostering research toward rethinking the metropolis.
MCHAP is an extension of the larger curricular and research initiatives of IIT, as established by Dean Wiel Arets, who states: “This new prize will not be bestowed to an individual or organization based solely off inventive form, however clever its design, or based solely off a submitted image, no matter how captivating. The prize's jury will instead be holistic in their approach to selecting exceptional works. Architecture, as a discipline, will continue its pursuit of technology, so that it can further advance. And architecture is for people; it is strengthened by their presence.”
Joshua Prince-Ramus of REX, together with Brookfield Properties unveiled today the $200 Million redevelopment of 450 West 33rd Street in New York. The 1.8 million-square-foot building will be integrated into the Manhattan West Development.
The architectural firm REX designed the redevelopment of Five Manhattan West, including a new pleated glass façade which will create floor‐to‐ceiling windows on every floor, maximizing daylight penetration while reducing solar gain through geometric 'self‐shading.' The interior program includes a redesigned lobby, upgraded and expanded elevators, and enhanced HVAC and other mechanical systems. New retail storefronts will provide a welcoming streetscape. The renovation is expected to be completed in 2016.
Frank Lloyd Wright—perhaps the most influential American architect of the 20th century—was deeply ambivalent about cities. For decades, Wright was seen as the prophet of America's post-World War II suburban sprawl, yet the cities he imagined were also carefully planned, and very different from the disorganized landscapes that were often developed instead. Paradoxically, Wright was also a lifelong prophet of the race for height (think skyscrapers) that played, and continues to play, out around the world.
Aside from the environmental and health benefits provided by biking, cycle cities are proving to be profitable, which has begun to attract support from many US business leaders. Not only do bike-friendly streets increase the visibility and desirability of real estate, they also reduce the need to waste money (and space) on ample parking. In addition to this, as the Guardian’s Michael Andersen points out, bicyclists are the “perfect customer: the kind that comes back again and again.” Learn why else biking is good for business here.