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'Smart Harbor' Young Architects Competition

Young Architects Competitions (YAC) recently launched their latest challenge, 'Smart Harbor', which calls all architects, students, and designers 35 years and younger to create an urban transformation of dismissed shipyards. Deep and controversial economical transformations have been hitting Europe. On one side they show a highly destructive potential; on the other side they are the key to undiscovered scenarios once unimaginable. Beneath the remains of ancient systems often lays the opportunity to write new cultures. YAC aims to promote a field of research focusing on such contemporary living axioms: in synthesis it shall be smart. Modern technologies can provide users quick information and discretional points of view like never before. The deadline for submissions is June 24. To register, and for more information, please visit here.

Edison High School Academic Building / Darden Architects

  • Architects: Darden Architects
  • Location: 540 East California Avenue, Fresno, CA 93706, USA
  • Architect of Record: Robert L. Petithomme
  • Structural Engineer: Buehler & Buehler Structural Engineers
  • Contractor: Turner Construction
  • Area: 43088.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Paul Mullins

© Paul Mullins © Paul Mullins © Paul Mullins © Paul Mullins

Hydro-electric Powerstation / becker architekten

  • Architects: becker architekten
  • Location: Keselstraße, 87435 Kempten, Germany
  • Project Team: Michael Becker, Bernhard Kast, Franz G. Schroeck
  • Area: 1040.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Brigida González

© Brigida González © Brigida González © Brigida González © Brigida González

Seen From Above: Jeffrey Milstein Captures the Art of Airport Design

Newark Liberty International Airport © Jeffrey Milstein
Newark Liberty International Airport © Jeffrey Milstein

Inspired by a childhood spent filming planes at LAX with an 8-millimeter videocamera, New York photographer and former Berkeley architecture student Jeffrey Milstein has turned his fascination for aviation into a career. Typically known for photographing the underbellies of aircrafts, Milstein's latest series captures the artistic composition and elaborate array of patterns formed by airports and only seen from above. He describes this series as revealing "the patterns, layering and complexity of cities, and the circulation patterns for travel, such as waterways, roads, and airports that grow organically over time much like a living organism."

INRA Research Laboratories / Tectoniques Architects

  • Architects: Tectoniques Architects
  • Location: Lorraine region, France
  • Architect in Charge: Tectoniques Architects
  • Landscape Designer: Itinéraire Bis
  • Engineers: Anglade Bois, Sechaud & Bossuyt Fluides, Inddigo Environnement
  • Area: 1440.0 sqm
  • Photographs: Inra

© Inra © Inra © Inra © Inra

The Lotus Courtyard / TM Studio

Courtesy of TM Studio
Courtesy of TM Studio
  • Architects: TM Studio
  • Location: Jiading, Shanghai, China
  • Architect: Tong Ming, Huang Xiaoying
  • Area: 450.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Courtesy of TM Studio

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

Caxinas House / AUZprojekt

  • Architects: AUZprojekt
  • Location: Caxinas, Vila do Conde, Portugal
  • Architect in Charge: Jorge Lapa, José Mário Macedo, Pedro Santos
  • Structural Engineering: Inforpóvoa Lda, Manuel Rui Santos
  • Area: 230.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Courtesy of AUZprojekt

Courtesy of AUZprojekt Courtesy of AUZprojekt Courtesy of AUZprojekt Courtesy of AUZprojekt

A Brief, Interesting History of the Otis Elevator Company

What do the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, the Kremlin, and the Burj Khalifa have in common? 

Elevators from the Otis Elevator Company. The company, which is celebrating its 160th anniversary today, has an interesting history: it was founded in 1853, the year Elisha Otis invented the elevator safety brake. Before Otis' invention, buildings rarely reached seven stories (elevators were considered just too dangerous to implement).

But it was Otis' elevator that would allow for the creation, and proliferation of, the skyscraper - an explosion that would for ever alter the 20th and 21st century skylines. 

Read more about the Otis Elevators influence on skyscraper design (and how Otis performed a death-defying feat to increase the invention's popularity), after the break...

Chicago On-Track To Break Ground On Elevated Parkway

Chicago is set to be the next U.S. city to park-ify on one of its abandoned rail-lines. First proposed back in 1997, the 2.7 mile, 13-acre Bloomingdale Trail and Park is proposed for a stretch of abandoned railway trestle dating from 1910, which has been lying unused since the turn of the century. And, even though it is already being compared to New-York's High Line, the planners are adamant that the park will be an entirely different animal to its New York cousin.

Read more about Chicago's unique proposal after the break...

Four Architects Enlisted to Reimagine Penn Station

In an effort to “unlock people’s imaginations” about Penn Station and Madison Square Garden, the Municipal Art Society (MAS) of New York has challenged Santiago CalatravaDiller Scofidio + Renfro, SHoP Architects and SOM to propose four new visions that exemplify the potential of the highly disregarded area. 

The challenge comes amidst a heated debate on whether or not the city should restrict Madison Square’s recently expired special permit to 10 years, rather than in perpetuity as the arena’s owners - the Dolan family - has requested. This would allow time for the city to “get it right” and come up with a viable solution for the arena and station that would not only “improve the safety and quality of life for millions of people but also benefit the economy”. Think Kings Cross in London. With a thoughtful mix of public and private investments, the crime-ridden transfor station was transformed into a thriving cultural destination. 

More after the break...

WEISS / MANFREDI to Design Kent State's New, $40 Million Architecture Building

© WEISS/MANFREDI  Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism
© WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism

WEISS / MANFREDI has been announced as winner of the international competition to design a new College of Architecture and Environmental Design for Kent State University in Ohio. The New York-based practice, in collaboration with the local architect of record Richard L. Bowen & Associates, was one of four national finalists selected from a competitive list of 37 applicants.

The winning proposal, dubbed the Kent State Design Loft, transforms the notion of a continuous studio loft into a three-tiered structure that opens to the city, connects to the public esplanade and surrounding landscape, and provides an abundance of creatively designed, flexible learning spaces that can be easily transformed to accommodate design crits, exhibitions and events.

“We are captivated by the potential for this project to become an innovative incubator for the arts and an internationally legible destination for the University,” said Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi.

The architect’s project description after the break…

Primary Care Center / Josep Camps & Olga Felip

© Pedro Pegenaute © Pedro Pegenaute © Pedro Pegenaute © Pedro Pegenaute

Collider Activity Center Competition Entry / STRATO

Designed by STRATO, the project proposal for the Collider Activity Center has two primary objectives: visual identity and vitality. Conceived as a sort of natural formation, the entire building is emphasized by the folding panels of the walls, the placement of the volumes and the power that this arrangement represents. Since it is placed in a context of ongoing evolution, their version of the activity center aims to be the driving force of the transformation of the whole district of Sofia, Bulgaria by becoming a symbol for the entire city. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Minamihara 3645 / Yasui Hideo Atelier

  • Architects: Yasui Hideo Atelier
  • Location: Nagano, Japan
  • Area: 164.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2008
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Yasui Hideo Atelier

Courtesy of Yasui Hideo Atelier Courtesy of Yasui Hideo Atelier Courtesy of Yasui Hideo Atelier Courtesy of Yasui Hideo Atelier

Santa Monica Animation Studio / Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio

Courtesy of Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio
Courtesy of Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio

Courtesy of Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio Courtesy of Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio Courtesy of Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio Courtesy of Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio

Small House / FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

© Kei Nakajima © Kei Nakajima © Kei Nakajima © Kei Nakajima

Hachiouji House / Krew Architects

  • Architects: Krew Architects
  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
  • Architect in Charge: Krew Architects
  • Design Team: Ryosuke Kanayama, Tadashi Kawarasaki
  • Area: 100.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Krew Architects

Courtesy of Krew Architects Courtesy of Krew Architects Courtesy of Krew Architects Courtesy of Krew Architects