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McMansions: The Ultimate Symbol of American Inequality

00:00 - 23 April, 2014
McMansions: The Ultimate Symbol of American Inequality, © Flickr CC User Doug Downen
© Flickr CC User Doug Downen

In this fascinating post for Salon, Thomas Frank holds nothing back on the topic of so-called "McMansions". Charting their history from the 1980s to today, he reveals the economics and government policies which made them possible, concluding that they are not just a symptom of the inequality in modern US society, but the very cause of it: "Everything we do seems designed to make this thing possible... This stupendous, staring banality is the final outcome for which we have sacrificed everything else." You can read the full article here.

U.S. ABI Declines Sharply in March

00:00 - 23 April, 2014
U.S. ABI Declines Sharply in March, March ABI. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com
March ABI. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com

It seems the U.S. Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has yet to recover from 2013’s end of the year decline. Though 2014 started with a “modest uptick,” the March ABI has reveals a share decrease in design services. As reported by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the March ABI score was 48.8, down from a mark of 50.7 in February. Despite this, the new projects inquiry index was 57.9, up from the reading of 56.8 the previous month.

“This protracted softening in demand for design services is a bit of a surprise given the overall strength of the market the last year and a half,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Hopefully, some of this can be attributed to severe weather conditions over this past winter. We will have a better sense if there is a reason for more serious concern over the next couple of months.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break...

Taegutec Office Building / Tago Architects

01:00 - 23 April, 2014
Taegutec Office Building / Tago Architects, © Gurkan Akay
© Gurkan Akay

© Gurkan Akay © Gurkan Akay © Gurkan Akay © Gurkan Akay +18

  • Architects

  • Location

    Kocaeli Province, Turkey
  • Design Team

    Mevlüt Duymaz, Hakan Özbek, Müge Eker Eryarar, Müge Turgay, Emre Kurbak, Mete Kıyan, Coşkun Armağan, Yıldırım Akbulut
  • Collaborators

    Trimline Office Panels
  • Area

    4000.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2011
  • Photographs

Alcoutins House / Guedes Cruz Arquitectos

01:00 - 23 April, 2014
Alcoutins House  / Guedes Cruz Arquitectos, Courtesy of Ricardo Oliveira Alves
Courtesy of Ricardo Oliveira Alves

Courtesy of Ricardo Oliveira Alves Courtesy of Ricardo Oliveira Alves Courtesy of Ricardo Oliveira Alves Courtesy of Ricardo Oliveira Alves +32

  • Architects

  • Location

    Lisbon, Portugal
  • Architects in Charge

    José Guedes Cruz, Cesar Marques, Marco Martínez Marinho
  • Area

    656.0 sqm
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Ricardo Oliveira Alves

Humble House / KRIS YAO | ARTECH

01:00 - 23 April, 2014
Humble House / KRIS YAO | ARTECH, Courtesy of KRIS YAO | ARTECH, Jeffrey Cheng
Courtesy of KRIS YAO | ARTECH, Jeffrey Cheng

Courtesy of KRIS YAO | ARTECH, Jeffrey Cheng Courtesy of KRIS YAO | ARTECH, Jeffrey Cheng Courtesy of KRIS YAO | ARTECH, Jeffrey Cheng Courtesy of KRIS YAO | ARTECH, Jeffrey Cheng +21

  • Architects

  • Location

    Songgao Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan 110
  • Design Team

    Glen Lu, Golden Kao, Ray Chen, Kai-Chih Chang, Kang Chiu, Dan Wang, Kang-Yueh Liu, Nini Cheng, Catch Tseng, Man-Ching Liao, Sam Chu
  • Area

    54956.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of KRIS YAO | ARTECH, Jeffrey Cheng

Venice Biennale 2014: Collateral Events Announced

01:00 - 23 April, 2014
Venice Biennale 2014: Collateral Events Announced

The Venice Biennale has released a list of 21 Collateral Events that will take place alongside the other official exhibitions during the 14th International Architecture Exhibition (June 7 - 23 November 2014). Selected by Rem Koolhass and supported by non-profit national and international institutions, these collateral events will take place around Venice and, in the words of the Biennale, will "enrich the diversity of voices that characterizes the Architecture Biennale."

President Paolo Baratta explained, “This announcement completes the number of organizations who despite being outside the boundaries of the Exhibition are exhibited in the city of Venice, and which contribute, along with a good number of participating countries that do not have a pavilion in the Giardini or in the Arsenale, to spread the 14th Exhibition by turning it into an urban phenomenon, that would engage every corner of the city."

See the complete list after the break. And make sure to keep up to date with ArchDaily's complete coverage of the Venice Biennale. 

Henning Larsen Wins Competition to Design Central Bank of Libya

00:00 - 23 April, 2014
Henning Larsen Wins Competition to Design Central Bank of Libya, Plaza. Image © Henning Larsen Architects
Plaza. Image © Henning Larsen Architects

Henning Larsen Architects has won an invited competition to design a new headquarters for the Central Bank of Libya in Tripoli. Inspired by Libyan vernacular architecture, the structure will occupy two existing site excavations. The first, and largest, excavation will be transformed into a “shaded oasis” that serves both the bank and Gurji district by providing areas for operations, an education center, restaurant and hotel. The second will allow vehicular access to the treasuries. 

City-County Building Plaza Design Competition

01:00 - 23 April, 2014
City-County Building Plaza Design Competition

The City-County Building Plaza Design Competition is seeking a final conceptual design that would be implemented on an existing 1.94 acre open space on the City-County Building Property also known as the City-County Building Plaza (CCB Plaza). 

Raheen Library at Australian Catholic University / Woods Bagot

01:00 - 23 April, 2014
Raheen Library at Australian Catholic University / Woods Bagot, © Shannon McGrath
© Shannon McGrath

© Shannon McGrath © Shannon McGrath © Shannon McGrath © Shannon McGrath +14

  • Interior Designers

  • Location

    115 Victoria Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

Architects: Leave Fashion to the Experts

00:00 - 22 April, 2014
Architects: Leave Fashion to the Experts, Courtesy of Viviona
Courtesy of Viviona

Le Corbusier donned signature glasses; Frank Gehry designed footwear; early twentieth-century architect Adolf Loos even wrote "Why A Man Should Be Well-Dressed." Now Zaha Hadid is making her way into swimwear. But are the nuances of fashion too much for architects to dip their feet into? Read the full article at the Telegraph.

Níall McLaughlin Chosen for Redevelopment of London’s Natural History Museum

00:00 - 22 April, 2014
Níall McLaughlin Chosen for Redevelopment of London’s Natural History Museum , Courtesy of MRC/Picture Plane
Courtesy of MRC/Picture Plane

British practice Níall McLaughlin Architects together with Kim Wilkie have been unanimously selected as the winners of the competition to reimagine the external grounds of London's Natural History Museum. The competition, which attracted proposals from shortlisted teams such as BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), Stanton Williams Architects, and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, called for entries to "reshape the Museum’s grounds and reinvigorate its public setting" with an aim to creating "an innovative exterior setting that matches Alfred Waterhouse’s Grade I listed building whilst also improving access and engaging visitors."

George Lucas Looks to Chicago

00:00 - 22 April, 2014
George Lucas Looks to Chicago , Lucas Cultural Arts Museum proposal for Crissy Field. Image © Art Zendarski
Lucas Cultural Arts Museum proposal for Crissy Field. Image © Art Zendarski

After being rejected, alongside two other shortlisted proposals, by San Francisco’s Presidio Trust to build a self-tiled cultural arts museum at Crissy Field, George Lucas has turned his attention to the windy city of Chicago. According to a report by the SunTimes, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has challenged civic leaders to find an “accessible” site for the proposed 95,000-square-foot Lucas Cultural Arts Museum by mid-May. 

Wood Encouragement Policy Coming To Australia

00:00 - 22 April, 2014
Wood Encouragement Policy Coming To Australia, Cross Stitch House; Melbourne / FMD Architects. Image © Peter Bennetts
Cross Stitch House; Melbourne / FMD Architects. Image © Peter Bennetts

Latrobe City Council is pushing an initiative that would put “wood first.” If implemented, the “Wood Encouragement Policy” would educate architects and industry professionals about the structural and environmental benefits of wood in an effort to promote the local timber industry and use of sustainable building materials. Following the lead of the United States and New Zealand, both of which recently established “wood encouragement” policies, the council hopes that this will set a precedent that can be applied throughout the rest of Australia. 

Waterfront Park Master Plan of the Busan North Port International Competition

01:00 - 22 April, 2014
Waterfront Park Master Plan of the Busan North Port International Competition

BPA (Busan Port Authority) has just announced an international competition for the Waterfront Park Master Plan of the Busan North Port, South Korea. The deadline for registration is June 10. To download all the necessary requirements to participate in the competition, please go to the official website.

The Indicator: The Intern Issue, Revisited

00:00 - 22 April, 2014
The Indicator: The Intern Issue, Revisited, One Workplace / Design Blitz. Image © Bruce Damonte
One Workplace / Design Blitz. Image © Bruce Damonte

Last year, I wrote about doing away with the title “intern,” saying the word “should be banished from the profession.” The post, titled, No More Interns, caused quite a flurry of responses, some quite angry, in fact. Some respondents defended the title, saying a title is just a title; others launched attacks against it, saying it connotes someone unskilled or untrained. 

For the record, I still think we should get rid of it — not simply because it is demeaning and diminishing to individuals who have gone through the rigorous educational stages of the profession, but because it makes the profession look antiquated. Think about where you find “intern” used today and what it generally implies: volunteer, unpaid/low-paid, student, temporary, trainee, to name a few. Imagine how clients from progressive business cultures view it. Also, from the standpoint of business, doesn’t it make sense that people would pay more for architecture not done by “interns”? I would pay more for “associates.” 

VIDEO: I LIKE Red

00:00 - 22 April, 2014

The Trust Declares Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion a “National Treasure”

00:00 - 22 April, 2014
The Trust Declares Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion a “National Treasure”, rSnapshotPhotos / Shutterstock.com
rSnapshotPhotos / Shutterstock.com

Philip Johnson’s “iconic” New York State Pavilion has been listed as a “National Treasure” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This designation, which was announced today at the 1964-65 World’s Fair’s 50th anniversary celebration in Queens, declares the pavilion a “historically, culturally and architecturally important site” and will help raise awareness and funding for its preservation. It is now one of just 44 national sites bearing this recognition.

“In the last 50 years, Flushing Meadows Corona Park has grown from the site of the World’s Fair to the home of the World’s Park,” said Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski. “As we celebrate this anniversary, it is just as important that we look to the next 50 years and plan for the Park’s future. I would like to thank the National Trust for Historic Preservation for honoring the New York State Pavilion as a ‘National Treasure’. This designation will highlight the importance of the Pavilion as a national icon, and help us to continue the conversation about how it can best serve Queens’ residents.”

Zaha Hadid Among 7 Shortlisted for “Design of the Year 2014”

00:00 - 22 April, 2014
Zaha Hadid Among 7 Shortlisted for “Design of the Year 2014”, Heydar Aliyev Center / Zaha Hadid Architects. Image © Iwan Baan
Heydar Aliyev Center / Zaha Hadid Architects. Image © Iwan Baan

Zaha Hadid’s Heydar Aliyev Center is among seven shortlisted designs being considered for this year’s Design of the Year award. As announced by London’s Design Museum, the undulating cultural center was pulled from 76 innovative nominations and placed first in the architecture category. The shortlisted proposals, ranging from a portable eye examination kit to Volkswagen’s XL1 CAR, will remain on view at the museum through August 25. A winner is expected to be announced June 30.