Safdie Architects Release Final Designs for National Medal of Honor Museum

© Neoscape, courtesy of Safdie Architects

Images have been released of Safdie Architects‘ design for the new National Medal of Honor Museum in , South Carolina. The commission, awarded to Safdie following a national search in October, will honor the men and women who “served and sacrificed in defense of the US” and have received the nation’s highest military award – the Medal of Honor – from the Civil War to the present.

International Spy Museum Aims to Relocate to New Richard Rogers Building

L’Enfant Plaza metro station. Image © Flickr CC User Brad Clinesmith

The Washington DC International Spy Museum is seeking permission to relocate to a new $100 million building designed by Richard Rogers at L’Enfant Plaza. Contingent on approval from the Commission of Fine Arts, as the Washington Business Journal reports, the new 100,000-square-foot, six-story proposed museum would be sited on an open area adjacent to the L’Enfant Plaza hotel.

“I think everyone in the city knows that’s somewhat of a dead area right now,” said Spy Museum Chief Operating Officer Tamara Christian to WBJ. “When we came to Penn Quarter, it was somewhat of a dead area. Now it’s completely energized, and we’re really hoping that we’ll be able to be a catalyst to energize L’Enfant.”

SANAA and Snøhetta Tie for Budapest’s New National Gallery and Ludwig Museum

via inexhibit

SANAA and Snøhetta have been jointly awarded first prize in a restricted competition to build a “New National Gallery – Ludwig Museum” in Budapest‘s 200-year-old Városliget (City Park). Lauded for their “equally outstanding” proposals, the winning teams will now meet with the jury to be judged “on professional and financial considerations.” 

Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos and the joint proposal of Balázs Mihály’s Architect Studio and the Faculty of Architecture of University of Technology and Economics were awarded second prize. 

The competition is part of a larger cultural project that aims to renew the city’s Városliget by 2018 with five new museum buildings built inside the expanded park area.

A closer look at the winning schemes, after the break. 

Museum of Cultures Completes in Milan

© Oskar Da Riz Fotografie

The Museo delle Culture (Museum of Cultures), or MUDEC, has completed in . Overshadowed by controversy, the building has made headlines this week due to a disagreement over its “poor quality” flooring that has led its architect (David Chipperfield) to disassociate himself with the project. Despite this, MUDEC is moving forward with plans to open on April 26. Take a look inside the building, after the break.

Maya Lin and Shepley Bulfinch to Redesign Smith College’s Neilson Library

Neilson Library. Image © Flickr CC user chipmunk_1

Maya Lin, best known for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, together with Shepley Bulfinch has been chosen to redesign ’s Neilson Library. Selected after an international search conducted by the school, Lin’s interdisciplinary approach coupled with Shepley Bulfinch’s extensive work with academic institutions ultimately brought them to the forefront. Construction is expected to begin in 2017 and last two years.

Henning Larsen Designs New Branch of Swedish National Museum

Courtyard. Image © Henning Larsen Architects

Henning Larsen Architects has been selected over eleven finalists to design the new NORR – National Museum in Östersund, Mid-. Acting both as an extension to the existing Jamtli Museum and a new branch of the Swedish National Museum, the new building will feature a large and flexible hall, workshops, offices and a cafe.

“The new exhibition hall is designed as wooden sculpture with an easily recognizable silhouette against the sky. The roof is quite remarkable because the deep skylights filter the soft northern daylight directly into the exhibition space. This gives a very sensitive light as well as a view to the sky,” says Søren Øllgaard, partner at Henning Larsen Architects and design responsible for the project.

AIA Names 6 US Libraries as 2015′s Best

Cedar Rapids Public Library / OPN Architects. Image © Main Street Studio

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has revealed six libraries they believe to be the year’s best. In collaboration with the American Library Association (ALA), the AIA/ALA Library Building Awards are intended to promote and honor exceptional designs in library architecture. Taking into account the evolving role of the library, the believes these six award recipients elevate the institution to one of congregation and community-specific programs.

See the winning designs after the break.

David Chipperfield Chosen to Expand New York’s Met Museum

The Met. Image Image via Wikipedia

The in New York has tapped British architect David Chipperfield to design its new Southwest Wing for modern and contemporary art. The commission, a result of an international competition, aims to increase gallery space, double the size of the museum’s popular roof garden, and establish accessible on-site storage. “The new design will also enhance gallery configuration and visitor navigation throughout the Southwest Wing, and support a more open dialogue between the Museum and Central Park,” says the architects.

Dubai’s Museum of the Future to be Partially 3-D Printed

© Government

“See the future, create the future,” this is the motto of Dubai’s newly unveiled “Museum of the Future.” The metallic oblong-structure, planned for a corner lot in Dubai’s central financial district  next to the Emirates Towers on Sheikh Zayed Road, is said to become “an incubator for ideas and real designs, a driver for innovation and a global destination for inventors and entrepreneurs.”

“The world is entering a new era of accelerated knowledge and great technological revolutions,” tweeted  prime minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. “We aim to lead in that era, not to follow and lag behind. The Museum of the Future is the first step of many to come, marking the beginning of great achievements.”

Holograms, robotics and 3-D printing will play a crucial role in the structure’s realization. Learn more and watch a video fly-through the building after the break.

Coop Himmelb(l)au’s Musée des Confluences Through the Lens of Edmund Sumner

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Edmund Sumner has shared with us images from his recent visit to Lyon, France, where he photographed Coop Himmelb(l)au’s newly completed Musée des Confluences. Perched on a century-old artificial peninsula at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, the “museum of knowledge,” as Coop Himmelb(l)au affectionately refers to it, is distinct for its “iconic gateway” – an openly traversable “Crystal” that provides multi-level access to the museum’s exhibition spaces and views of the building’s unique context. Step inside, after the break.

Architects to be Given Chance to Design New Bauhaus Museum in Dessau

© GeoBasis-DE / LVermGeo LSA, 2015, Aktenzeichen C22-7000520-2015

In celebration of the 100th Bauhaus anniversary, the Foundation Bauhaus Dessau has announced plans to construct a new Museum in Dessau. As part of a competition “preannouncement” published on the museum’s site, an open two-phased international competition will challenge architects to design a museum for the foundation’s “outstanding collection” under the “best possible conservation conditions.”

Co-promoter of the competition, the City of Dessau-Roßlau is currently searching for possible sites that will allow the Bauhaus Museum Dessau to be integrated into the city’s central City Park. It is hoped that the museum and park will “strengthen and complement each other and enrich the location as a cultural centre.”

A breakdown of key competition dates, after the break.

Video: Tour Through Trahan Architects’ Sculpted Louisiana Sports Hall and Museum

A contemporary museum set within the oldest settlement in the Purchase, Trahan Architects’ Louisiana State Sports Hall of Fame and Regional History Museum is distinguished for its sculpted interior and contrasting copper facade. Watch the short film above as Spirit of Space tours through the building, capturing the museum’s historic context and central pathway.

“Having spent several days in the space observing the museum patrons and their experiences, it is clear that the museum’s architecture is an exhibit itself. And while visitors point at and caress the exquisitely crafted cast stone, they are simultaneously guided by it without the need for any signage or wayfinding devices,” says Adam Goss of . “This is a space about movement. In cinematic form, this film attempts to capture that fluid experience, and at the same time, to illustrate how the past can complement and inspire compelling and forward-thinking architecture.”

Follow Spirit of Space on Instagram to stay up-to-date with their work. 

Bengal Foundation Breaks Ground on Contemporary Arts and Crafts Museum

Courtesy of Bengal Foundation

The Bengal Foundation has begun work on its Contemporary Arts and Crafts Museum, Bangladesh’s first private museum of its kind. The ambitious complex will house multi-media works from the organization’s founder Abul Khair’s private collection, pieces by local artists, a sculpture garden, and a boat museum to celebrate the various arts of local residents. 

Learn more about the museum’s design, after the break.

Harvard GSD To Host Exhibition Exploring The Architecture And Symbolism Of National Libraries

National libraries, often monumental in scale and “dominated by nationalistic ambitions and overwhelming architectural details,” will be the subject of a new exhibition opening later this month at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). Icons of Knowledge: Architecture and Symbolism in National Libraries seeks to examine why national libraries are amongst the most symbolic icons of modern day countries. Amidst the global milieu of the “rapid digitisation of print,” this aims to shed light on why nations are “vehemently investing resources in the construction of buildings that will project their legacy and house the most precious treasures of their written history.”

Rowan Moore On MUMA’s Extension To Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery

The sun drenched interior promenade. Image Courtesy of The Whitworth

In an article for The ObserverRowan Moore visits Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery (1908), a compact museum which has now undergone a comprehensive restoration and extension by MUMA (McInnes Usher McKnight). The practice, who won the job against 130 other bids for the project, worked with a budget of £15million in order to realise an ambitious brief. Their interventions and innovations, many of which are modest and unseen, have not only reconnected the building with its surrounding parkland but also elevated the interior rooms into world-class exhibition spaces. For Moore, their work is striking but muted: “the virtues of the new Whitworth – sustainable, accessible, sensitive, thoughtful – could all be synonyms for ‘dull’ or at least ‘worthy’. But, thanks to its pleasures of light and material, it is not. It is a job very well done.”

Spanish Firm Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos Awarded 2015 Alvar Aalto Medal

Contemporary Arts Center Córdoba / . Image © Roland Halbe

Spanish firm Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos has been selected to receive the 2015 Alvar Aalto Medal. Awarded every three years, the Alvar Aalto Medal recognizes an office or architect “with outstanding merit in creative architecture.” Nieto Sobejano and its founders – Fuensanta Nieto and Enrique Sobejano—were commended by the jury for their profound understanding of the local cultures where they work.

“Nieto and Sobejano were key names in the new wave of Spanish architecture, which emerged in the late 1970s. The roots of their architecture lie in , and its multi-layered history and culture,” the jury wrote. “Their works speak a silent language, proving that the precondition of meaningful architecture is an in-depth understanding of local culture and the context of the design brief.”

Centre Pompidou Considers Libourne Outpost

© Francis Toussaint

The south west French city of may soon get its own pop-up Pompidou. Reports indicate that the Libourne satellite outpost would be similar to the one currently underway in Malaga, Spain (soon to open in March 2015). If the deal is passed, the city would host the museum outpost in a former 40,000-square-meter military academy, though renovation costs are excepted run high - nearing €6 million. The city’s mayor Philippe Buisson is reaching out to regional and national authorities requesting financial assistance.

London’s “Olympicopolis” Aims to Host Smithsonian’s First International Venue

© Kevin Allen/London Legacy Development Corp

The is considering opening its first international exhibition space in “Olympicopolis” – London’s former Olympic park that is to be transformed into a world-class hub by 2021. Should the self-financed proposal be approved, it will be the first time in the institution’s 168-year history to build a public venue outside of the United States.

“We see this as an unprecedented opportunity to show the breadth of the Smithsonian in one of the most diverse cities in the world,” stated Smithsonian acting secretary Al Horvath.