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Why Putin Likes Columns: 21st Century Russia Through the Lens of Architecture

00:00 - 15 January, 2015
Why Putin Likes Columns: 21st Century Russia Through the Lens of Architecture, Rendering of the proposed Lakhta Center in St Petersburg. Image Courtesy of www.proektvlahte.ru
Rendering of the proposed Lakhta Center in St Petersburg. Image Courtesy of www.proektvlahte.ru

In August 1932, Stalin, holidaying in Sochi, sent a memo containing his thoughts on the entries for the competition to design the Palace of the Soviets, the never-to-be-built monument to Lenin and center of government. In this memo he selected his preferred design, the colossal wedding cake of a tower topped with a 260-foot (79-meter) high statue of Lenin, designed by Boris Iofan. Just over 80 years later, Sochi again hosted the architectural whims of a powerful Russian leader for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. An oversimplification? Probably. But it’s got nice symmetry to it.

The Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building, one of the most famous examples of the Stalinist "Wedding cake" style. Image © Flickr CC user Sergey Norin The Mountain Cluster of the Sochi Olympic Village. Image Courtesy of Wikimedia user Ivanaivanova Drawing of the proposed Palace of the Soviets by Boris Iofan. Image Courtesy of http://russiatrek.org Moscow's International Business Centre in 2011. Image © Flickr CC user Andrew Beirne + 7

Pritzker Prize Appoints Richard Rogers As Newest Jury Member

00:00 - 15 January, 2015
Pritzker Prize Appoints Richard Rogers As Newest Jury Member, © Andrew Zuckermann/RSHP
© Andrew Zuckermann/RSHP

The Pritzker Prize has announced that Richard Rogers will join the ranks as the latest member of its prestigious jury. Rogers, a Pritzker Laureate himself in 2007, is known for his innovative High-Tech style, establishing his name in the 1970s and 80s with buildings such as the Pompidou Centre in Paris and Lloyds of London. Since then, he has also become known for his advocacy in a range of urban issues, being commissioned by the UK Government to produce a report on British cities entitled "Towards an Urban Renaissance," and for his active role in politics as a member of the House of Lords.

Villa R / C.F. Møller

01:00 - 15 January, 2015
Villa R / C.F. Møller, © Julian Weyer
© Julian Weyer

© Julian Weyer © Julian Weyer © Julian Weyer © Julian Weyer + 30

Jean Nouvel Boycotts Opening of the Philharmonie de Paris, Saying It Is "Not Finished"

00:00 - 15 January, 2015
Jean Nouvel Boycotts Opening of the Philharmonie de Paris, Saying It Is "Not Finished", The concert hall under construction. Image © Yves Chanoit
The concert hall under construction. Image © Yves Chanoit

Ateliers Jean Nouvel’s long awaited opening of the Philharmonie de Paris concert hall took place yesterday at a VIP event in which the French President, Francois Hollande, officiated the ceremony three years after it was scheduled to take place. Jean Nouvel, however, did not attend the event, instead writing an incendiary column for French Newspaper Le Monde, and releasing a statement saying he feels that the building has opened “too early” and it ”is not finished.” He argues that “there were no acoustic tests of the concert hall [as] the schedule did not allow the architectural and technical requirements to be respected, [...] despite all the warnings which I have been giving since 2013.”

Embraced House / Pedro Quintela

01:00 - 14 January, 2015
Embraced House / Pedro Quintela, © Ricardo Oliveira Alves
© Ricardo Oliveira Alves

© Ricardo Oliveira Alves © Ricardo Oliveira Alves © Ricardo Oliveira Alves © Ricardo Oliveira Alves + 38

Chile to (Finally) Build Gaudí’s Only Project Outside of Spain

00:00 - 14 January, 2015
Chile to (Finally) Build Gaudí’s Only Project Outside of Spain, Model of the “Our Lady of Angels” Chapel. Image © Corporación Gaudí de Triana
Model of the “Our Lady of Angels” Chapel. Image © Corporación Gaudí de Triana

Chile may soon be home to the only Antoni Gaudí-designed building located outside of Spain. At a recent press conference, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet confirmed government funding for the construction of the Gaudí Cultural and Spiritual Center in the city of Rancagua, which will include a chapel designed by the Catalán architect. 

The project originated in 1922 through a series of letters exchanged between Gaudí and Chilean Franciscan Friar Angélico Aranda, who asked Gaudí to design a chapel for Chile. “I wish to implement an original work, very original, and I thought of you,” wrote Aranda to Gaudí, who by then was immersed in constructing his masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia.  Since 1996, Chile’s Corporación Gaudí de Triana has been working to make the design resulting from this conversation a reality. 

Learn more about this project after the break. 

Letter from Gaudí to Aranda, page 1 (1922). Image © Corporación Gaudí de Triana Letter from Aranda to Gaudí (1922). Image © Corporación Gaudí de Triana Croquis of the Our Lady of Angels” Chapel. Image © Corporación Gaudí de Triana Croquis of the Our Lady of Angels” Chapel. Image © Corporación Gaudí de Triana + 6

Vincent Laforet's Images of New York From Above Will Take Your Breath Away

00:00 - 14 January, 2015
Vincent Laforet's Images of New York From Above Will Take Your Breath Away, © Vincent Laforet
© Vincent Laforet

Something he has “dreamed of capturing for decades,” Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Vincent Laforet has released a stunning set of images that captures his hometown of New York in a way that has never before been seen. Taken from a nauseating 7500-feet above the city, Laforet’s “Gotham 7.5K” series reveals the unrelenting, pulsating energy that radiates from the Big Apple’s city grid. 

All the images and the making-of video, after the break. 

© Vincent Laforet © Vincent Laforet © Vincent Laforet © Vincent Laforet + 12

Dig In the Sky / Alphaville Architects

01:00 - 14 January, 2015
Dig In the Sky / Alphaville Architects, © Shigeo Ogawa
© Shigeo Ogawa

© Shigeo Ogawa © Shigeo Ogawa © Shigeo Ogawa © Shigeo Ogawa + 41

  • Architects

  • Location

    Osaka, Japan
  • Architect in Charge

    Kentaro Takeguchi, Asako Yamamoto
  • Design Team

    Tomohisa Koike
  • Area

    152.0 sqm
  • Photographs

On View in LA: "ZOOM" / Steven Christensen and Mads Christensen

00:00 - 14 January, 2015
On View in LA: "ZOOM" / Steven Christensen and Mads Christensen, © NO RELATION
© NO RELATION

Now on view until January 18 at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum in Los AngelesZoom is an installation by the interdisciplinary collaborative NO RELATION, led by architect Steven Christensen and artist Mads Christensen. The project reflects upon the topic of scale, and the exuberant surface qualities one often observes in ordinary objects when magnified. The installation acts as a space multiplier, using form and light to produce an immersive and disorienting spatial experience at a scale seemingly larger than the project's diminutive footprint.

SANAA's Plans For La Samaritaine in Paris Blocked Once Again

00:00 - 14 January, 2015
SANAA's Plans For La Samaritaine in Paris Blocked Once Again, Rendering (2011). Image © SANAA
Rendering (2011). Image © SANAA

An appeals court has revoked permission for SANAA's restoration of the landmark Art Deco La Samaritaine department store in . The plans, which would see a comprehensive overhaul of the 19th-century structure that finally shut its doors in 2005 following four decades in decline, would create an all-new shopping centre and luxury hotel as part of a 70,000m² mixed use development.

The project, commissioned by the LVMH conglomerate - which owns brands like Dom Pérignon, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton and BVLGARI - was halted because "the wavy, etched-glass facade proposed [SANAA] did not meet local planning requirements and was out of character with the surrounding buildings." It is understood that La Samaritaine will now appeal to the Council of State, France's highest administrative court. The city of Paris has mentioned in a separate statement that it would also support this latest appeal.

The Dox House / Mjölk architekti

01:00 - 14 January, 2015
The Dox House / Mjölk architekti, © BoysPlayNice
© BoysPlayNice

© BoysPlayNice © BoysPlayNice © BoysPlayNice © BoysPlayNice + 16

  • Architects

  • Location

    Pyšely, Czech Republic
  • Building Company

    TFH dřevěné skeletové domy s.r.o.
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

Through the Lens: The Social Implications of Green Roofs in Film

00:00 - 14 January, 2015
Through the Lens: The Social Implications of Green Roofs in Film, "Hobbiton," the home of the virtuous Hobbits. Image © www.bonvoyadventuretravel.com
"Hobbiton," the home of the virtuous Hobbits. Image © www.bonvoyadventuretravel.com

Film often makes a mockery of architectural features. Glass facades are obliterated by gunfire, grisly murders are set against a white modernist palette, deconstructed stairs are the cause of nasty accidents or ludicrous slapstick, and you just know a tensile fabric roof will be shredded by the time 007 is finished with it.

There is one architectural feature however that has benefited from very complimentary treatment by the film industry, and surprisingly it is a sustainable one. Green roofs and other “architectural” green spaces have been popping up regularly in mainstream movies over the past decade: blockbusters including The Vow (2012) and Source Code (2011) utilized the greenscape outside Gehry's Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park; last year the Vancouver Convention Centre was featured in both Godzilla and Robocop; and Kaspar Schroder’s 2009 uber cool documentary My Playground, about the sport of parkour (the art of bouncing off buildings made famous by the opening scenes of Casino Royale), features BIG’s Mountain Dwellings in Copenhagen. And we cannot forget two of the biggest film franchises in history: both of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit franchises feature green roofs in their portrayal of Hobbiton – home of the virtuous and incorruptible Hobbits.

Video: The Making of RSHP's Leadenhall Building

00:00 - 14 January, 2015

In celebration of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ relocation to their newly constructed Leadenhall Building, the London-based practiced has released a short film that captures the “making of” the 52-story, 225-meter skyscraper. RSHP, now occupying the building’s 14th floor, is said to be proud to be Leadenhall’s latest tenants: 

“After 30 years at Thames Wharf Studios, it is important for us to be moving into a building that reflects the ethos and evolution of our design practice, clearly stated in its urban relationship with the Lloyd’s building opposite,” says the partners of RSHP. “We will begin this new phase of our history in a building that already feels like home but allows us the advantages of a contemporary, flexible office space in a prime location in the increasingly vibrant and exciting City of London.”

The building, popularly referred to as the "Cheesegrater," was completed in September of last year. 

Cross-Laminated-Timber Cottage / Kariouk Associates

01:00 - 14 January, 2015
Cross-Laminated-Timber Cottage / Kariouk Associates, © Photolux Studio/Christian Lalonde
© Photolux Studio/Christian Lalonde

© Photolux Studio/Christian Lalonde © Photolux Studio/Christian Lalonde © Photolux Studio/Christian Lalonde © Photolux Studio/Christian Lalonde + 15

  • Architects

  • Location

    Ladysmith, Canada
  • Architect in Charge

    Paul duBellet Kariouk
  • Senior Design Associate

    Chris Davis
  • Design Associates

    Sarah McMurtry, Adam Paquette, David King
  • Project Year

    2014

Escritórios Revigrés / Carlos Castanheira

01:00 - 14 January, 2015
Escritórios Revigrés / Carlos Castanheira, © Fernando Guerra I FG+SG
© Fernando Guerra I FG+SG

© Fernando Guerra I FG+SG © Fernando Guerra I FG+SG © Fernando Guerra I FG+SG © Fernando Guerra I FG+SG + 30

  • Architects

  • Location

    Barrô, Portugal
  • Design Team

    José Carlos Soares, Joana Catarino, Carolina Leite
  • Project Year

    2013

Girona Public Library / Corea & Moran Arquitectura

01:00 - 14 January, 2015
Girona Public Library / Corea & Moran Arquitectura, © Pepo Segura
© Pepo Segura

© Pepo Segura © Pepo Segura © Pepo Segura © Pepo Segura + 31

  • Architects

  • Location

    Girona, Girona, Spain
  • Architect in Charge

    Mario Corea, Lluís Moran, Sebastián Guerrico Corea Moran Arquitectura
  • Area

    8072.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

New York's "City of Dreams" Competition Selects Two Winners

00:00 - 14 January, 2015
New York's "City of Dreams" Competition Selects Two Winners, © BanG Studio
© BanG Studio

Two winners have been announced for the fifth annual cycle of New York’s “City of Dreams” competition: the “Billion Oyster Pavilion” by locally-based BanG Studio and “Organic Growth” by Izaskun Chinchilla Architects of Madrid and London. Pending approvals and fundraising, both pavilions will be assembled on Governors Island and open to the public for the summer 2015 season. The winning pavilions, after the break.

Sto Werkstatt to Showcase World’s Best “Building Images”

00:00 - 14 January, 2015
Sto Werkstatt to Showcase World’s Best “Building Images”, Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center / Hufton and Crow. Image © Hufton and Crow
Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center / Hufton and Crow. Image © Hufton and Crow

Modern times have seen the rise and proliferation of architectural media, allowing people to remotely experience spaces and buildings without ever physically entering them. As such, the importance of the architectural image has never been greater.

Opening on January 15 at London’s Sto Werkstatt and organized in conjunction with Arcaid Images, Building Images celebrates the "power and impact of photography on the way we sense and experience spaces." Described by Arcaid Images co-founder Lynne Bryant as having "long been the means of communicating architecture," photography is a medium that has grown inseparable from the notion and creation of the architectural image. Learn more and view selected images from the exhibition, after the break.

Jochen Haidachers Inspirational / Mads Mogensen. Image © Mads Mogensen Power Transformation Station / Tim Van de Velde. Image © Tim Van de Velde The Ivar Aasen Centre / David Borland. Image © David Borland Heydar Aliyev Centre, Cultural Centre / Hufton and Crow. Image © Hufton and Crow + 6