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BIG Designs New Tower for Frankfurt

BIG has been selected through a competition to realize a 185-meter-tall, mixed-use tower in Frankfurt. With a shape that is "both rational and sculptural," the skyscraper is organized as a basic volume whose floor plates "shift" to provide the "best spaces for each specific program."

"Organized as a slender and rational stack of inhabited floors, the tower is interrupted by two sculptural moves where the program changes," says BIG.

Travel Through 115 Years of U.S. Residential Architecture in this Interactive Infographic by iMove

Moving specialists iMove have created 115 Years of American Homes, a Scrolling Parallax Infographic in which viewers can “drive” through a neighborhood of single-family homes that reflect the style of their respective decades. For each home, graphics detail “tell-tale architectural features, design trends, average home price, and the historical and cultural context” of each decade from the 1900s through the present. Test out the interactive timeline here, and let us know: which decade of residential architecture is your favorite?

Could Hovering Buildings be the Future of Sustainability?

Could Hovering Buildings be the Future of Sustainability?

If Arx Pax, a cutting-edge technology firm led by Greg and Jill Henderson, has its way, levitating objects could become a common sight. The team is developing what they call Magnetic Field Architecture (MFA), a technology which controls electromagnetic energy to make objects hover, and at the several months ago, they used it to produce Hendo Hover, a hoverboard capable of carrying a person. While the fact that Arx Pax was able to produce a hoverboard is fascinating, the technology could have much more serious applications: as an architect, Greg Henderson envisions that one day MFA technology could be used in buildings to produce sustainable structures which can better survive earthquakes and other natural disasters. Is this goal realistic?

Dror Unveils 3 New Residential Designs for NYC

New York-based studio Dror has unveiled design concepts for three new residential buildings in New York City. The imagined buildings, spread throughout lower Manhattan, are based on the studio’s idea to “disrupt conventional building design by rethinking structure, where beauty and efficiency result from an imaginative, clever framework.”

Learn more about each of the plans, after the break.

14 Modern Buildings Receive Conservation Grants from the Getty Foundation

The Getty Foundation has selected 14 modernist buildings from across the globe to receive grants under its Keeping It Modern initiative, which seeks to help conserve 20th century architecture by putting a focus on conservation planning and research. 

“The use of concrete, while visually striking and radical for its time, has created a unique set of challenges for conserving some of the world’s most important modernist structures. Our new grants offer an excellent opportunity to advance research and conservation practices for this material. The accumulated knowledge that will result from the projects will be of tremendous benefit to the field," states the Getty Foundation. 

View all 14 projects, after the break.

Winners of Boston Living with Water Competition Announced

The winning projects of the Boston Living with Water competition have been announced. The competition “sought design solutions envisioning a beautiful, vibrant, and resilient Boston that is prepared for end-of-the-century climate conditions and rising sea levels.” Out of 50 teams, three were selected, each for separate sites—one for a building, one for a neighborhood, and one for a significant piece of city infrastructure—in addition to one honorable mention. Each of the winners will receive a $13,000 prize funded by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management and the Barr Foundation.

The Boston Living with Water competition was organized by the City of Boston, The Boston Harbor Association, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and the Boston Society of Architects. As Mayor Martin J. Walsh honored the winners, he noted that “competition ideas and strategies are already informing Boston’s future, including revisions to building plans and zoning codes, and influencing ‘Imagine Boston 2030.’” Winning projects will be on display at BSA Space through June 2015. Learn more about the winners, after the break.

West 8 and Snoeck Win Competition to Redesign Het Zand Square in Bruges

The Bruges City Council has selected West 8 + Snoeck & Partners, in partnership with Atelier Roland-Jéol, as the winners of a competition to design the ‘t Zand, also known as Het Zand Square, in Bruges, Belgium.

The 8,500-square-meter historic square has remained unchanged for the past 30 years, and the Council felt that an update was duly needed. In January, five out of 20 designs were shortlisted, and on June 16, the winner was chosen at a presentation before a jury of City Council representatives and external experts.

MAD Architects Unveil Their First US Residential Project

MAD Architects has unveiled what will be their first US residential project, 8600 Wilshire. Planned to be built in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, the 18-unit "hillside village" will be perched atop commercial space and united by a water-efficient "living wall" that was inspired by the local flora.

As MAD says, the project "demonstrates founder Ma Yansong’s core design philosophy: to coalesce nature and community into a living environment among high-density cities." It is expected to break ground this October, and complete in 2016. 

Hawkins\Brown Selected to Design the University of Reading's New School of Architecture

Hawkins\Brown has been chosen to design the new School of Architecture for the University of Reading in Reading, Berkshire, in the United Kingdom. The new School “will be housed in a retrofitted 1970’s concrete brutalist building originally designed by Howell, Killick, Partridge & Amis,” which is currently the University’s School of Construction Management and Engineering. Brutalist buildings, like the Prentice Women’s Hospital and the Preston Bus Station are continuously at risk of being demolished, which makes this retrofit all the more valuable. While the University seeks to modernize the building and improve efficiency, they also plan to respect the original design. Construction is set to begin in January 2017 and wrap up by December 2018.  Learn more about the project here.

gmp Architekten Wins Competition to Design Guangzhou City Museum

A competition entry by the architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp) has been awarded first prize for the new Guangzhou City Museum. The commission was announced at the same time as Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos' selection for the Guangzhou Science Museum, both of which will join the city's new Art Museum by Thomas Herzog Architects to form the central cultural precinct of Guangzhou - China's third largest city. 

HPP Selected to Redesign Cologne's University of Music and Dance

HPP Architects has won a competition to extend the campus of Cologne's University of Music and Dance. Chosen over 13 entries, the winning design will enclose a site in the Kunibertsviertel, close to Cologne’s railway station, and transform it into an "attractive" urban area. The plan, deemed by the jury to be a "clear example of a successful urban remedy," also calls for the conversion of an existing building into an animated concert and dance hall. 

2015 Norden Fund Winner to Study “Ecologies of War and Recovery” in Vietnam

The Architectural League has named Ylan Vo the winner of this year’s Deborah J. Norden Fund travel grant for her project entitled Ecologies of War and Recovery: A Case Study in Vietnam’s A Luoi Valley.

Vo’s project explores the A Luoi Valley “as an example of the post-conflict landscape of Vietnam, with particular emphasis on understanding the ecological and social conditions surrounding toxic Agent Orange hotspots that mark the valley.” Agent Orange, also called Dioxin, is the most potent carcinogen in existence, and poses major threats to environmental health and sustainability.

Olson Kundig’s “Outpost Basel” Lounge Opens at Design Miami/Basel

Seattle-based architects Olson Kundig have opened their "Outpost Basel" pavilion for the Collectors Lounge at Design Miami/Basel in Basel, Switzerland. Incorporating materials and cultural elements from America, Japan, Austria, and Romania, the pavilion is a “high-design space made from everyday materials,” with a design centered on the idea of contrast, much like the concept of yin-yang. Different levels of lighting, material colors, and uses of space are contrasted with balance in order to create a functional, flexible meeting and gathering space.

© Kevin Scott © Kevin Scott © Kevin Scott © Kevin Scott

BBC Profiles Zhang Yue: The Man Who Plans to Build the World’s Tallest Building in 7 Months

BBC News has published a profile on the new projects and ambitions of Broad Sustainable Building’s Zhang Yue. A few months ago, Yue became known as the man behind Mini Sky City, a 57-story building that went up in 19 days. Now, Yue wants to further his idea of modular construction to build Sky City, which will be the world’s tallest skyscraper, stretching ten meters taller than the 828 meter-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and take only seven months to complete. In addition to being constructed from prefabricated parts, Sky City will be sustainable and built from steel to help prevent earthquake damage. Construction is expected to begin on the skyscraper in early 2016. Read more about Yue, his company, and their projects in the BBC News article.

MX3D to 3D Print a Bridge in Mid-Air over Amsterdam Canal

Amsterdam already has over 1,200 bridges throughout its canals, with some dating as far back as the 17th century, but the city is about to add one more in correspondence with its growing 3D printing industry. Dutch start-up MX3D has partnered with Joris Laarman Lab, Heijmans, Autodesk, and several other supporters, in a collaboration that will create an intricate steel pedestrian bridge made by 3D printers.

COOKFOX Begins Construction on the Neeson Cripps Academy in Cambodia

COOKFOX Architects has recently begun construction on The Neeson Cripps Academy, a high-tech and sustainable school to be built in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as a gift from Velcro Companies to the Cambodian Children’s Fund.

The school, named for Cambodian Children’s Fund founder Scott Neeson and former Velcro Companies Chairman Robert Cripps, will employ multiple sustainable building practices, including water and energy efficiency via natural lighting, integrated solar shading, low energy lighting, and low flow water fixtures. An energy recovery system will further work to improve air quality inside classrooms by filtering outdoor air into the interior of the building, and on-site photovoltaic cells will provide a portion of the school’s energy needs.

Images from the Much-Anticipated Restoration of Eileen Gray's E-1027

At long last, after over a decade of project mismanagement and controversial repairs that ignited concerns over historical integrity, restorations have been completed on E-1027, Eileen Gray’s 1929 masterpiece on France’s Côte d’Azur. The house, which heavily influenced the work of Le Corbusier and became an object of his jealous fixation, has a traumatic past that nearly resulted in its loss to history.

Open Call: GARS-NEPAL.TIBET Earthquake Emergency Reconstruction Competition

In response to the devastating earthquake in Nepal this past April, GCRS Global-Building Love Disaster-aid Material Trade Center is calling on architects around the world to design reconstruction projects as a part of their GARS-NEPAL.TIBET Earthquake Emergency competition.