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FC Barcelona Announces Finalists for Camp Nou and Palau Blaugrana Remodel

FC Barcelona has announced 14 teams in the running for two planned overhauls of their facilities at the Camp Nou in Barcelona, including alterations to their main stadium and the rebuilding of the Palau Blaugrana, the nearby arena owned by the club and used primarily for basketball and handball. The alterations to the two buildings are part of a larger €600 million project, known officially as "Nou Espai Barça," which seeks to improve the club's entire campus, also adding an ice skating rink, new offices, 5,000 parking spaces and improving the outdoor space surrounding the facilities. The Nou Espai Barça project was approved by the club's fanbase last April after a 72% vote in favor of the proposal.

The list names eight teams - including BIG, Populous, HKS and Arup Sport - in the running for the overhaul of the stadium itself, which will involve the addition of almost 6,000 seats to bring the stadium's total capacity to 105,000, increasing the stadium's lead as the largest football stadium in Europe. It will also include a complete redesign of the lowest seating tier to offer improved views, and the addition of a roof over the terraces. Also named are the six teams in the running to rebuild the Palau Blaugrana.

The Most Successful US Firms of 2014 are...

Architectural Record has named the "Top 300 Architecture Firms" in the United States, ranking the nation's most successful practices based on their architectural revenue from 2014. Gensler, whose annual revenue surpassed one billion USD, maintained the lead for the fourth consecutive year. The firm's recent commissions, such as Los Angeles' Metropolis, help them set new records for revenue. AECOM, who came in second, also recorded significant growth - both internationally and domestically. 

The top 25 firms are...

Frank Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial Wins Final Approval

The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) has awarded Frank Gehry's controversial Eisenhower Memorial final approval during a meeting held on July 9. This means all agencies overseeing the project has (finally) agreed on the design, which has taken 15 years and many design revisions to achieve. The project, now a joint venture between Gehry and AECOM, was initially granted preliminary approval last October. 

"The resulting Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial design satisfies the goals of the seven design principles established for this site in 2006 by the NCPC to preserve and enhance the unique character of this site and establish a new green space within the context of L’Enfant’s plan for Washington D.C.," said the NCPC in their final report. You can read the report in full, here

Competition Entry: AECOM Proposes Transport Center for Solana Beach

AECOM has designed a preliminary study for a mixed-use transportation development in Solana Beach, California, as part of a response for a RFP (Request for Proposal). Located near major roads and connected to railroads, the project proposal consists of a combination of retail stores and restaurants, providing transit users with leisure spaces on their travels, in addition to parking for the nearby AMTRAK train station. 

Courtesy of AECOM LA Design Studio Courtesy of AECOM LA Design Studio Courtesy of AECOM LA Design Studio Courtesy of AECOM LA Design Studio

AECOM's Basketball Training Facility Encases a Diverse Range of Program in LA

AECOM has designed a $42,000,000 campus and training facility for a professional basketball organization in West Los Angeles. The building contains a basketball arena, corporate headquarters, a hall of fame, and gardens, among other programs. Despite the building’s varied uses, AECOM was determined to make it “basketball centric.”

Courtesy of AECOM Courtesy of AECOM LA Design Studio Interior Court Render / AECOM LA Design Studio Courtesy of AECOM LA Design Studio

Open Call: AECOM's 2015 Urban SOS Student Competition

In collaboration with the Van Alen Institute and 100 Resilient Cities, AECOM has announced its international Urban SOS: All Systems Go competition for undergraduate and graduate students.

The competition “calls on multidisciplinary teams of students to envision more resilient food, water, and energy systems for supplying cities and regions today and in the future.” Teams should “identify an urban population facing the possibility of disruption to its food, energy, or water systems, and offer strategies that strengthen these systems’ ability to withstand future shocks or stresses, while also making them more efficient, equitable, and accessible to diverse populations.” All “proposals must be located in one of 67 cities that currently make up the 100 Resilient Cities network.”

Qatar Unveils Fifth World Cup Venue: Al Rayyan Stadium by Pattern Architects

Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has unveiled the fifth proposed venue planned for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, this time designed by London-based Pattern Architects. Titled "Al Rayyan Stadium," the 40,000-seat Qatari-inspired structure will be built on the site of the former Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, of which 90 percent of its materials generated from demolition are expected to be re-used for either public art projects or on the new stadium.

Archiculture Interviews: Joe Brown

"We know that buildings are destroying the environment as well as building the environment." In the latest Archiculture extras interview from Arbuckle Industries, architect and CIO of AECOM Joe Brown talks about the changes and challenges he has witnessed in the architecture industry. He discusses the dynamics of being part of a multinational firm and the effects it has on design, as well as the political notions embedded in the field. Additionally, Brown touches on the problems associated with the built environment and how they are inspiring change in the next generation of designers. 

James Corner Field Operations Amongst Frontrunners for Milwaukee's Lakefront Gateway Plaza

The City of Milwaukee has announced the four finalists in a competition to redevelop the city's lakefront, naming OJB, James Corner Field Operations, multidisciplinary firm AECOM, and Wisconsin-based consulting firm GRAEF. Selected from 24 entrants, the shortlisted teams are competing for a chance to revitalize the Milwaukee lakefront as part of the Lakefront Gateway Project masterplan. Each firm must now submit specific proposals for the Plaza project in time for a June deadline, after which all proposals will be made available to the public and judged by a selection committee. Learn more about the project after the break.

World Architecture Festival Announces Day 1 Winners

The 2014 World Architecture Festival (WAF) officially kicked off in Singapore today, and the first group of award winners were unveiled, with Vo Trong Nghia Architects and AECOM among the 16 announced winners.

The winners of the remaining 11 categories will be announced tomorrow, and the festival will culminate on Friday with the World Building of the Year and Future Project of the Year awards, which will be selected by the festival’s ‘super-jury’: Richard RogersRocco YimJulie EizenbergEnric Ruiz Geli and Peter Rich.

The winners of day 1 were selected from a shortlist that included practices from over 50 countries, and among the judges was ArchDaily’s very own David Basulto.

This year’s festival is taking place from October 1-3, featuring three days of talks, key-note speakers and networking opportunities.  With “Architects and the City” as the overarching theme for this year’s main conference sessions, the festival will focus on the contributions architects can make to cities and how they affect – and are affected by – politics, infrastructure, planning communities and technology. 

Click here to view the full shortlist and read on after the break for the full list of WAF's day 1 winners. 

House for Trees / Vo Trong Nghia Architects . Image Courtesy of WAF Liberty Place / Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp. Image Courtesy of WAF Yalikavak Marina Complex / EAA-Emre Arolat Architects. Image Courtesy of WAF FREEDOM OF THE PRESS MONUMENT / Gustavo Penna Arquiteto & Associados. Image Courtesy of WAF

Translating Smiljan Radić's Serpentine Pavilion from Fantasy to Fabrication

Settled neatly in the quiet hum of London's Kensington Gardens rests Smiljan Radić's 2014 Serpentine Pavilion, an ethereal mass of carefully moulded fiberglass punctuated by precisely cut openings. Radić desired a structure that appears thin and brittle, yet was strong enough to support itself, and his affection for the rudimental layered qualities of papier-mâché - his maquette medium of choice - inspired the use of fiberglass by AECOM, who engineered Radić's wild ideas. In this article, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Paper-Thin Walls," an AECOM engineer explains their solution. Read on after the break to find out more. 

North West Cambridge Extension Proposals Enter Planning Phase

Earlier this year the University of Cambridge announced an ambitious new urban extension in the north west of the city in order to create a framework for a new district centered on a mixed academic and urban community. The development, planned by Aecom, has aspirations of achieving urban space that is well balanced, permanent and sustainable. Containing 1,500 homes for its key workers, accommodation for 2,000 postgraduate students, 1,500 homes for sale, 100,000 square metres of research facilities and a local centre with a primary school, community centre, health centre, supermarket, hotel and shops, proposals from Mecanoo and MUMA are now entering the planning phase. Future lots are expected to be filled by the likes of Stanton WilliamsAlison Brooks Architects and by Cottrell and Vermeulen working with Sarah Wigglesworth and AOC.

Which Architects Are Most Admired By Other Architects?

As part of their annual research for the World Architecture Top 100, Building Design (BD) has compiled a list of which architects are most admired by their colleagues from across the globe. Last year's results were somewhat predictable, with Foster + Partners leading and Renzo Piano's Building Workshop and Herzog + de Meuron close behind. According to BD, "this year saw a trend towards more commercial names." 

This year's "most admired" list includes:

Zaha Hadid’s 2022 Qatar World Cup Stadium Unveiled

New details have emerged on Zaha Hadid Architects and AECOM’s 2022 FIFA World Cup stadium in Qatar. Scheduled to begin construction in late 2014, the 40,000-seat venue pulls inspiration from a local fishing boat - the Arabian dhow - to influence its overall design. 

Final Design Team Shortlist Announced for New U.S. Embassy in Beirut

The Department of State's Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) has shortlisted three design teams for the new U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon for Stage 3 evaluation. The project is part of OBO’s Excellence in Diplomatic Facilities initiative in which seeks to provide safe and functional facilities that represent the best in American architecture.

Four Teams Shortlisted to Design New Central Library in Calgary

Four shortlisted teams have been asked to design proposals for a new central library in the Canadian city of Calgary. Selected from 38 submissions, the competing teams of local and international architects will harness the power of platemaking to envision a 280,000 square-foot “landmark” for the East Village Calgary. 

How Engineering the Serpentine Almost Brought AECOM's Computers to a Halt

AECOM has published an article detailing the way they helped engineer this year’s Serpentive Pavilion. “A typical building might have between 1-2,000 such steel supports, and it’s estimated that the Eiffel Tower has just over 18,000 steel struts, but the Serpentine’s new pavilion has over 26,000 – each one working hard to lend form and strength…The level of detail nearly brought AECOM’s computer systems to a halt. In fact a system upgrade was required to manage the information.” On AECOM’s website you can read more about the challenges of lighting and fireproofing Fujimoto's complicated structure.

The 100 Largest Architecture Firms In the World

Building Design has released their annual ranking, The WA100, of the world’s largest architecture firms. Coming in the #1 spot (up from #2 last year) is Aecom, who, with 1,370 employees worldwide, narrowly outranked Gensler (with 1,346 employees). Completing the top three was IBI Group (1,129 employees). AecomGensler, and Japanese-based firm Nikken Sekkei (ranked #4) were the top 3 earners of 2012, each making over $400 million US Dollars in Fee Income.

Of the top 10 largest firms, 5 are based in North America, 3 in Asia, and 1 in the UK (Aedas, which ranked 5th, is dually based in both China and the UK). A similar trend is also evident in the list as a whole - as you can see from the graphic we compiled (after the break), US firms remain the biggest employers of architects and the highest-earners. Although the UK represents about half the number of employed architects as the US, UK firms earned almost as much in fee income.  

Interestingly, the only firms to grace both the Top 10 list and Building Design's survey of the Top 5 Most Admired Firms of 2012, were Gensler (#2 Largest; #4 Most Admired) and Foster & Partners (#10 Largest; #1 Most Admired). Zaha Hadid Architects (who shared the number 5 Most Admired spot with Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners, ranked as the 45th largest firm). 

See our graphic and the full list of the world’s largest firms, after the break...