U.S. Department of Energy has announced the date and location of the 2013 Solar Decathlon. Appearing for the first time outside of Washington D.C., the highly anticipated competition will take place in 2013 from October 3rd through the 13th at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California. Launched in 2002, the biennial event will challenge twenty collegiate teams to design, build and operate a solar-powered house that is cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. Participants are judged by their ability to blend affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.
Continue reading after the break for more information and the complete list of the 2013 teams.
Norman Foster’s Swiss Re Building will soon have a new neighbor! London-based practice Fletcher Priest Architects have designed a 16-story tower that will replace the existing, outdated 1980s office building. Now under construction, the new 230,000 square-foot office building at 6 Bevis Marks will reuse 50% of the original structure and be 80% more energy efficient than the current building. Continue reading for more.
Famed British architect David Adjaye was named Designer of the Year at this year’s Design Miami – and quite rightly so. The 45-year-old has already been named an OBE by the Queen, designed the $500 million National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C., as well as being commissioned to design the homes of Jake Chapman, Juergen Teller and Ewan McGregor. Crane.tv catches up with Adjaye at Miami’s Wolfsonian museum to discuss what the award means to him, and why he’ll always draw inspiration from his heritage.
Architect: Bark Design Architects
Location: Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
Project Team: Stephen Guthrie, Lindy Atkin, Phil Tillotson, Neil Nash, Richard Waterson, Emma Kelsey
Structural Engineer: Scott Brimelow, GEO Consulting Engineers
Landscape Architect: Pat Atkin, Landform Design Consultants
Builder: Gary Emanuel, GV Emanuel
Photographers: Christopher Frederick Jones, Claire Plush
The announcement instigated a flurry of analyses and criticisms over the meaning of the design for the world – the Zen-like significance of the circle, the role of architecture in this technologically-driven age, the legacy and hubris of Jobs – but produced very little discussion over its meaning for the company itself.
Meanwhile, months before news of the “spaceship” landed, another internet giant was searching the California landscape for its own space to call home. Still very much under-wraps, the new Googleplex will be the first time Google builds a workplace completely from scratch. 
These projects will be the Magnum Opuses, the ultimate physical representations, of the two most influential Tech companies in the world, and the two share striking similarities. So let’s clash the plans of these two titans and take another look at Apple 2 – but this time in the light of Google – and see what they can tell us about these companies’ futures.
The Ministry of Information and Culture of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, in collaboration and sponsorship with the Government of the United States of America and the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, has announced an International Architectural Ideas Competition for a new National Museum of Afghanistan (IAIC_NMA) in Kabul. The one stage ideas competition seeks to generate new and creative design proposals for the museum. Applicants may be invited to provide full design serves, or may be asked to partner with other design firms to produce the documents for the planning phase. This is seen as a great opportunity between the international and local design communities to collaborate and envision a museum that represents Afghanistan in the 21st. The top three winning proposals will win a cash prize up to 50,000 US$. Continue reading for more details.
Architect: DADA Architectural Design + Planning
Location: Changping District, Beijing, China
Design Architect: DADA- Principal: Wu Hua; Design Partner: Zhao Zhao
Project Managers: Duan Gong, Li Gang, Project Architect: Jonathan Kan
Parametric Design: Zhou Difeng
Design Team: Jessica Strandell, Yao Cong
Architect of Record: ZJHJ
Budget: 300M CNY ( US$47.6M )
Built Area: 50,000 sqm
Site Area: 28,760 m
Photographs: Courtesy of DADA Architectural Design + Planning
Lebbeus Woods is well known for his conceptual drawings that bring new worlds and spaces into the eyes of their viewers. In four decades, Woods has shared his imagined worlds, expressing ideas about spaces, inhabitation and technology, and outlined alternate futures. Through April 6th, Friedman Benda Gallery will be exhibiting Lebbeus Woods: Early Drawings from the 1980s, many of which have never been displayed before. The gallery is located 515 West 26th Street in New York City. A preview of the exhibit after the break!
The CCA presents the ‘Imperfect Health: The Medicalization of Architecture’ Book and Online TV Channel
The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), Montréal, announces the launch of the book and website related to its current major exhibition, Imperfect Health: The Medicalization of Architecture, on view in the CCA’s main galleries for an extended run until 15 April, 2012.
Produced by the Canadian Centre for Architecture and Lars Müller Publishers, the book, in French and English editions, bears the same title as the exhibition and is available from March 2012. Edited by exhibition curators Giovanna Borasi (Curator of Contemporary Architecture, CCA), and Mirko Zardini (Chief Curator and Director, CCA), the book extends the research produced for the exhibition and includes essays by leading academics Margaret Campbell, Nan Ellin, David Gissen, Carla C. Keirns, Linda Pollak, Hilary Sample, Sarah Schrank, and Deane Simpson.
The book investigates the historical connections between health, design and the environment, bringing to light uncertainties and contradictions in cultures informed by Western medicine. Within this framework, the essays it contains reflect on themes related to the exhibition such as the relationship between the built environment and human health; pollution; modernism and hygiene; planning strategies for dealing with urban disease; the challenges of the urban environment on health; the relationship between physical health and the built environment; urban design in an ageing society; and the impact of sun on health.
More about the book, the microsite and the exhibition after the break.
European real estate investment firm, Orion Capital Managers, teamed with development company, Groveworld, and received permission to move forward with a 30-storey tower for 257 City Road Basin in London. Designed by UNStudio, the tower will become a new landmark residential development with waterside vistas. Aref Lahham of Orion Capital explained, “The Canal Basin is being transformed into one of London’s most stylish waterside residential quarters…With such an exciting design, 257 City Road will be a highlight of this regeneration effort and a landmark for the area.”
More after the tower after the break.
Architects: Project Niafourang
Location: Niafourang, Senegal
Project Team Professors: Hans Skotte & TYIN Tegnestue
Project Team Students: Tore Hanssen Grimstad, Andreas Brunvoll, Assad Ansar
Client: Friends of Niafourang
Budget: 100,000 NOK (Approx. 17,200 USD)
Project year: October – December 2011
Sponsors: Lund+Slaatto Architects
Photographs: Project Niafourang
Representing the future development of Venice, the LINK Solar Power Skyscraper aims to provide the geographic area of the laguna of Venice with a new landmark: a link between architecture and urbanism, between the ancient city of Venice and the…