US, Canada and Mexico Agree to Recognize Architect Credentials

New York-based architect Richard Meier’s 180-meter “Reforma Tower” planned for Mexico City (click image for more)

A tri-national agreement between the United States, and Mexico will now allow architects to work across borders in North America. As reported by the US National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), in conjunction with the Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities (CALA) and the Federacion de Colegios de Arquitectos de la Republica Mexicana (), representatives from the architectural regulatory authorities in all three countries have agreed to mutually recognize architect credentials.

Le 205 / Atelier Moderno

© Stéphane Groleau

Architects: Atelier Moderno
Location: , QC,
Year: 2014
Photographs: Stéphane Groleau

Warming Huts v.2015 Competition Winners

Shelter Winner: The Hole Idea / Weiss Architecture & Urbanism Limited (Toronto). Image Courtesy of

A “blind” jury has announced the 2015 winners of the international Warming Huts competition. Selected from 100 entries, two winning “shelter” designs and one “installation” design were awarded. Each winning proposal will be constructed in January alongside the longest naturally frozen skating trail in the world: the Red River Mutual Rivertrail in , Canada. More about the winning designs, and four other highlighted proposals, after the break.

“Insectarium Metamorphosis” Takes First Place in Montréal’s Space for Life Competition

© Kuehn Malvezzi + Pelletier de Fontenay

Kuehn MalvezziPelletier De FontenayJodoin Lamarre PratteDupras Ledoux, and Nicholet Chartrand Knoll (NCK) have won one of three first place positions in Montréal’s Space for Life International Architectural Competition, which seeks to reinvent mankind’s relationship with the natural world for the city’s 375th birthday, with their proposal for the redesign of the Montréal Insectarium. Titled Insectarium Metamorphosis, the project provides new spaces for visitors to get up close and personal with the multitude of insects housed in the museum.

Lacaton & Vassal’s Glass Pavilion Earns Top Spot in Montréal’s Space for Life Competition

© Lacaton & Vassal, Frédéric Druot, FABG

The Space for Life International Architectural Competition of Montréal has recently announced its three winners. The competition prompted designers to rekindle an interest in the natural world through an architectural intervention at a pre-appointed venue. Located in the city’s Botanical Gardens, this winning proposal by Lacaton & VassalFrédéric DruotFABG, and SNC Lavalin does so in a simple, elegant way, with a glass pavilion for the Gardens that serves a variety of purposes. Learn more, after the break.

430 House / D’Arcy Jones Architecture

© Sama Jim Canzian

Architects: D’Arcy Jones Architecture
Location: Vancouver, BC,
Area: 2450.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Sama Jim Canzian

AZPML and KANVA Reimagine Montréal’s Biodome in Winning Competition Design

Wall Projection. Image Courtesy of AZMPL

Montréal’s Space for Life competition has recently announced its winners, with design firms AZPML and KANVA named as one of three first winners with their joint design. The competition demanded that entrants reinvigorate the relationship between humanity and the natural world through an intervention at Montréal’s Biodome. The two firms’ winning proposal, Migration du Biodome, does that with the installation of a series of undulating walls.

AD Classics: Montreal Biosphere / Buckminster Fuller

© Flickr user abdallahh

Architects have never enjoyed a position of such supreme prominence as they did in the worldview of Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller. To him, architects alone were capable of understanding and navigating the complex interrelationships of society, technology, and environment as viewed through the comprehensive paradigm of systems theory. Architecture, in this model, was intended to exist in close contact with both mankind and nature, playing civilization’s most critical role in elevating the state of humanity and promoting its responsible stewardship of the environment. Emerging from the ethical positivity of postwar modernism, this melioristic perspective marks perhaps the zenith of optimism’s ascent in mid-twentieth century thought, and gave Fuller a uniquely moral blueprint for his revolutionary designs.

Balnea Pavillon des arbres / Blouin Tardif Architecture-Environnement

© Steve Montpetit

Architects: Blouin Tardif Architecture-Environnement
Location: Bromont, QC,
Year: 2014
Photographs: Steve Montpetit

Her Majesty’s Pleasure / +tongtong

© Lisa Petrole

Architects: +tongtong
Location: Toronto, ON,
Architect In Charge: John Tong
Area: 3000.0 sqm
Photographs: Lisa Petrole

Reflections on the 2014 Venice Biennale

Fundamentals (Central Pavilion): Ceiling. Image © David Levene

Fundamentals, the title of the 2014 Venice Biennale, will close its doors in a matter of days (on the 23rd November). From the moment Rem Koolhaas revealed the title for this year’s Biennale in January 2013, asking national curators to respond directly to the theme of ‘ 1914-2014’, there was an inkling that this Biennale would be in some way special. Having rejected offers to direct the Biennale in the past, the fact that Koolhaas chose to act not only as curator but also thematic co-ordinator of the complete international effort, was significant. This announcement led Peter Eisenman (one of Koolhaas’ earliest tutors and advocates) to state in one interview that “[Rem is] stating his end: the end of [his] career, the end of [his] hegemony, the end of [his] mythology, the end of everything, the end of architecture.”

Harbour Heights Residence / Omar Gandhi Architect

© Greg Richardson Photography

Architects: Omar Gandhi Architect
Location: Inverness, NS, Canada
Design Team: Omar Gandhi, Peter Braithwaite, David Greenwell
Year: 2014
Photographs: Greg Richardson Photography

Slate House / Affleck de la Riva architects

© Alexandre Parent

Architects: Affleck de la Riva architects
Location: , QC,
Area: 256.0 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Alexandre Parent

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights: “Failed Memorial and White Elephant”?

Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Image © Aaron Cohen/CMHR-MCDP

In an article for The Walrus, Adele Weder examines Antoine Predock‘s (who was recently made a National Academy Academician) Canadian Museum for Human Rights: a “colossal, twelve-storey mountain of concrete and stone, 120,000 square feet of tempered glass, and 260,000 square feet of floor space.” Early advocates of the museum “felt that Winnipeg was ripe for such a statement piece,” just as Bilbao had been for the Guggenheim. Welder’s explorations are clear and concise, finding all sorts “of paradoxes swirling around the Museum for Human Rights.” Noting that “it’s definitely a kick-ass building, with its aggressive outer form, jagged paths inside, big black slabs of basalt, thick sheets of glass, and the huge metal girders that hold it all together,” Weder argues that it’s position as a “failed memorial and white elephant” may be it’s eventual undoing.

Winners Announced for Architecture for Humanity Vancouver’s “NEXT BIG ONE” Competition

“Modular Landscapes” was designed in response to the 2011 Japanese earthquake. Image Courtesy of Chapter

Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter has unveiled the winners of “NEXT BIG ONE,” an open call for design solutions to high-magnitude earthquake and tsunami events that plague cities around the world. Project teams were challenged to propose a solution that ”can mitigate natural disasters while simultaneously providing community permanence.”

A jury comprised of leading architects and professionals from Architecture Research Office (Stephen Cassell), Perkins + Will (Susan Gushe), Bing Thom Architects (Eileen Keenan), Scott & Scott Architects (David Scott), and the City of Vancouver (Doug Smith) evaluated the projects. Entries were evaluated based on three key criteria: the exemplification of innovation in disaster design, promotion of community resiliency before and after disasters, and compliance with multi-hazard parameters for worst-case disaster scenarios.

Dulwich Residence / NatureHumaine

© Adrien Williams

Architects: NatureHumaine
Location: 371 Avenue Dulwich, , QC J4P, Canada
Area: 2845.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Adrien Williams

Stephen Hawking Centre at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics / Teeple Architects

© Tom Arban

Architects: Teeple Architects
Location: 31 Caroline Street North, Waterloo, ON N2L 6B9,
Area: 55000.0 ft2
Year: 2011
Photographs: Tom Arban , Scott Norsworthy , Shai Gil

The NSA Muscle: Conversations Exploring Pioneering Projects in Digital Architecture

Screenshot. Image Courtesy of Canadian Centre for Architecture

The NSA Muscle, an interactive inflatable structure built in 2003 that responded to touch and presence by changing its shape, is the latest subject explored in the Canadian Centre for Architecture‘s series on pioneering projects of digital architecture. Joining a roster of influential names including Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry and Chuck Hoberman, this e-book recounts a conversation between Greg Lynn and the author of the project Kas Oosterhuis of ONL []. The ‘breathing’ structure was covered by a grid of ‘muscles’ that contracted and relaxed in response to external stimulus, combining commercial pneumatics and virtual control technology in new ways to prototype an new kind of interactive architecture.

Discover the story by downloading NSA Muscle for free after the break.