Grimshaw and Gruen’s LA Union Station Masterplan Gains Approval from Planning Board

Open Space View in Forecourt. Image © / , Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)

Update: The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors has approved approved the proposed masterplan by Grimshaw and Gruen; the scheme will now go ahead, subject to the availability of funding. The below article is from 22 September 2014.

The New York office of Grimshaw and LA based Gruen Associates were officially awarded the Los Angeles Union Station master plan in July of 2012 after six initial proposals for the project. Now the Metro Board has begun to finalize plans and move towards implementation, with their Planning Committee scheduled to discuss the proposals in early November. Read on to learn more about how the plan has developed over the past two years and the next steps towards its implementation.

In Progress: Stadskantoor / OMA

© Ossip van Duivenbode

Architects: OMA
Location: Meent 119, 3011 JH , The Netherlands
Partners In Charge: Rem Koolhaas, Reinier de Graaf
Associate: Alex de Jong
Project Team: Philippe Braun, Clarisa Garcia Fresco, Maaike Hawinkels, Andrew Linn, Takeshi Murakuni, Peter Rieff, Tom Tang, Sakine Dicle Uzanyayla, Mark Veldman
Interior Team: Saskia Simon, Andrea Giannotti, Ross O’Connell, Mafalda Rangel, Lucia Zamponi, Grisha Zotov
Area: 43370.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Ossip van Duivenbode, Courtesy of OMA

Competition Entry: JHK Architecten + Broekbakema’s Proposal for Rotterdam School of Transport

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JHK Architecten and Broekbakema have shared with us their competition entry for a higher education school in the field of transport for . The building, envisioned as part of ’s transport and logistics district, was inspired by the “distinctive sturdy structures of the port.”

ODA Aims to Bring “Qualities of Private House” to Multi-Family Housing in Brooklyn

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ODA Architecture has shared with us “510 Driggs,” a multi-family residential project that aims to provide residents with the “qualities of a private house” within ’s dense urban landscape. Each of the six-story building’s 100 units will be equipped with a large, functional outdoor space and at least two exposures to maximize light and air.

Studio Gang Reveals 14-Story Residential Tower Planned for Miami Design District

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Studio Gang Architects has released designs for a 14-story residential tower in the Design District. Anchored by ground floor retail and topped with a resident lounge and swimming pool, the tower will, as the architects describe, “demonstrate Studio Gang’s principle of exo-spatial high-rise design in which the inside extends to the outside in a dynamic spatial arrangement.”

Each of the building’s 76 residential units will frame panoramic views of Biscayne Bay and surrounding Buena Vista neighborhood with Studio Gang’s contemporary reinterpretation of a “Florida Room.”

Interview: Brian MacKay-Lyons on the State of Architectural Education and the Architect’s Role

Ghost 7 / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects. Image © James Steeves

Brian MacKay-Lyons is the founding partner of MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, a professor at Dalhousie University and the founder of Ghost Lab - the now legendary 2-week summer design/build program that took place on his family farm in Nova Scotia from 1994 to 2011. While relentlessly local, Brian’s work has been recognized internationally with more than 100 awards, 300 publications and 100 exhibitions. In 2012, the American Institute of Architects recognized the collective work and influence of Ghost with an Institute Honor Award for Architecture.

On August 22nd, 2014 Brian hopped off his tractor and wiped the diesel fuel off his hands to discuss architectural education with Keith and Marie Zawistowski, co-founders of the design/buildLAB at Virginia Tech and partners of OnSite Architecture. Here is an excerpt from their conversation, which was originally published on Inform:

: Your contributions to the discipline of architecture have been both in practice and in education. In 1994, you founded Ghost, an international laboratory that influenced all generations of architects with its simplicity and this affirmation of timeless architectural values of place and craft. It was a pretty bold move and it seems for us like it was a direct reaction to your discontentment with academia and the way architects were being educated. Do you still feel that strongly about the state of and the profession?

What Should Obama’s Presidential Library Look Like?

Columbia University: open space, throughout the community. Image © Alfonso Medina/T38 Studio via the Guardian

Barack Obama still has two years left in his presidency, but speculative planning for his Presidential Library has already begun for each of the four possible final locations. Just as the election of President Obama broke down historical precedents for who could hold office, could the design of his dedication library represent an architectural shift from previous libraries? This article by Lilah Raptopoulos from The Guardian presents four unofficial visions for the design of the new library, each of them from award-winning architects. Their bold design sketches expand our perceptions of what a presidential library could be, and explore new ways in which these libraries could serve their communities. See all four designs and read the full article from The Guardian entitled, “Obama’s presidential library: four radical visions of the future from top architects.”

Emerging Voices: Joyce Hwang of Ants of the Prairie

Joyce Hwang founded Buffalo-based firm Ants of the Prairie in 2004 as an architecture and research practice “dedicated to developing creative approaches in confronting the pleasures and horrors of our contemporary ecologies,” according to the Architectural League. In her lecture as one of winners of the Architectural League’s annual Emerging Voices awards, Hwang explains her fascination with the conflicted perceptions of urban wildlife, and discusses a series of projects that aim to incorporate diverse animal habitats into the built environment.

Scandinavian Design Group and Ctrl+N Create an Undulating Interactive Installation for Lundin Norway

Waves of golden light appear to shimmer and float from the ceiling in “Breaking the Surface” a new interactive from Scandinavian Design Groupctrl+n, Abida, Pivot Product Design and Intek. The kinetic sculpture is composed of an array of acrylic plastic tubes extending through the floor of a two-story mechanized matrix, gracefully moving above and below the surface to evoke abstract images of the undersea geography. Read more about the interactive installation after the break.

Spotlight: Alejandro Zaera-Polo

© Princeton University, Office of Communications, John Jameson (2012)

Alejandro Zaera-Polo is an internationally recognized architect and scholar and founder of London, Zurich and Princeton based firm & Maider Llaguno Architecture (). First rising to prominence in the 1980s with his writings for publications such as El Croquis, Zaera-Polo has had a prolific career in both the academic and professional realms of architecture.

Video: Jan Wurm and Lukas Verlage Discuss Arup’s “Solarleaf”

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In this video from Zumtobel Group, Jan Wurm of Arup Deutschland GmbH and Lukas Verlage, CEO of Colt International GmbH, discuss the unique technological developments in “Solarleaf,” which recently won first prize in the Zumtobel Group Award’s Applied Innovations category. In addition to functioning as an effective shading system, this façade system uses solar panels to produce energy from algae to provide a new source of sustainable energy.

Rem Koolhaas: How the Age of the Decision Maker Impacts Building Design

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How does contemporary architecture differ around the world and what causes these differences? In this video of a discussion between Rem Koolhaas and Nest C.E.O Tony Fadell at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit, Koolhaas gives some interesting insights into his experience with decision-makers around the world. Watch the video above and read Vanity Fair’s full article here to learn more about this seldom-considered factor in building design. 

Marc Fornes & THEVERYMANY Fill Storefront with Immersive, Ultra-Thin Shell Structure

© Miguel de Guzmán

Marc Fornes & THEVERYMANY has constructed a light-weight, ultra-thin self-supported shell structure augmented by artist Jana Winderen’s engineered sounds at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in City. Now on view through November 21, the “Situation Room” presents itself, as Storefront describes, “a vibrating sound experiment that that aims to transform architecture into animated sensible form.”

“The overall form is an aggregate of twenty spheres of incremental diameters, combined to create an envelope of experiential tension, a sort of sublime dialogue between the comfort of the known and an uneasy interaction with the unknown,” described Fornes. “The resultant morphology resonates with a series of distributed transducers and lighting sources playing out through streams of porosity derived from structural stress flows across the elements.”

More images and information about the “Situation Room,” after the break.

DEFACED Makes a Stand Against Controversial Demolition of NYC Graffiti Mecca

© DEFACED

Upon the announcement of the imminent demolition of 5 Pointz, the internationally renown mecca in Long Island City, New York, a group of young designers - Arianna Armelli, Ishaan Kumar, David Sepulveda and Wagdy Moussa – joined together to form DEFACED, “a theoretical project designed to ask the question of whether an organization for the preservation of cultural relics of New York and cities around the world can be formed and implemented.” The group focuses on the gentrification of New York City’s cityscape and its accompanying sociopolitical issues, along with the protection of cultural landmarks and districts around the world.

EDA Breaks Ground on the University of Utah’s Newest Place to “Live, Work, and Create”

Exterior. Image Courtesy of Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute

A collaboration of EDA Architects, Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design, and Arup, the University of Utah’s newest project for the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute – “Lassonde Studios” – has broke ground. Slated as a space to live, work, and create, the building supports the mission to make the Lassonde Institute an international destination for student entrepreneurs, innovators and “makers.” The Studios will open for students in fall of 2016.

Competition Entry: SCStudio Transforms Budapest Park into “Urban Archipelago”

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As part of the Liget Competition, SCStudio has shared their entry for the House of Hungarian Music. A transformation of an existing city park, the project is conceived as a sequence of cultural programs – an “urban archipelago” – connected by a “naturalistic promenade” of pathways and landscape within a preserved forested area.

Competition Entry: Pedro Livni + Fernando De Rossa’s Proposal for Dalseong Citizen’s Gymnasium

© Pedro Livni +

Pedro Livni and Fernando De Rossa have shared with us their proposal for the Dalseong Citizen’s Gymnasium open ideas competition, which was awarded honorable mention. As part of the district’s centennial anniversary, the competition aimed to replace an existing, outdated sports hall with a new gymnasium complex for the local residents of Hyeonpung-myeon neighborhood within the district of Dalseong-gun.

drozdov&partners were ultimately crowned as winners of the competition, however you can review Pedro Livni and Fernando De Rossa after the break.

Steven Holl Granted Approval for Taiwan ChinPaoSan Necropolis

View of Oceanic Pavilion towards the Pacific Ocean. Image Courtesy of

Steven Holl Architects’ schematic design for the ChinPaoSan Necropolis has been approved. The scheme, planned for an oceanfront property just 40 minutes from Taipei, will provide a new arrival hall to serve the complex’s 10,000 existing burial sites and an oceanic pavilion for an additional 150,000 ashbox sites.

More than 30 schemes were considered, however Holl’s watercolor explorations lead to the approved idea of intersecting spheres which, as the practice described, “yielded amazing overlapping perspectives that created an astonishing spatial energy.”

More about the 54,000 square meter Necropolis of ChinPaoSan, after the break.