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Henry N. Cobb Awarded Architectural League President's Medal

The Architectural League of New York has awarded its President's Medal to Henry N. Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects. The League's highest honor, the medal was awarded to Cobb “for the truly consequential work he has created as designer, educator, thinker, writer, and leader,” says the jury citation.

"We are inspired by his decades-long passion for the art of architecture; by his analytic rigor, manifest in subtle and articulate buildings and penetrating readings of history and place; by the broad and profoundly informed humanist culture that suffuses his writings and approach to education; and by the unbounded curiosity and delight he takes in new ideas, new work, and new talent. Henry N. Cobb embodies that combination of capability and conviction—artistic, intellectual, practical, and civic—that defines the ideal architect.”

The Architectural Lab: A History Of World Expos

The Universal Exposition of 1889. Image © Wikimedia Commons
The Universal Exposition of 1889. Image © Wikimedia Commons

World Expos have long been important in advancing architectural innovation and discourse. Many of our most beloved monuments were designed and constructed specifically for world’s fairs, only to remain as iconic fixtures in the cities that host them. But what is it about Expos that seem to create such lasting architectural landmarks, and is this still the case today? Throughout history, each new Expo offered architects an opportunity to present radical ideas and use these events as a creative laboratory for testing bold innovations in design and building technology. World’s fairs inevitably encourage competition, with every country striving to put their best foot forward at almost any cost. This carte blanche of sorts allows architects to eschew many of the programmatic constraints of everyday commissions and concentrate on expressing ideas in their purest form. Many masterworks such as Mies van der Rohe’s German Pavilion (better known as the Barcelona Pavilion) for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition are so wholeheartedly devoted to their conceptual approach that they could only be possible in the context of an Exposition pavilion.

To celebrate the opening of Expo Milano 2015 tomorrow, we’ve rounded up a few of history’s most noteworthy World Expositions to take a closer look at their impact on architectural development.

1964 New York World’s Fair . Image via People for the Pavillion website Buckminster Fuller's Dome. Image © Flickr user abdallahh Barcelona Pavilion. Image © Gili Merin Kiyonari Kikutake's Landmark Tower

Video: Bjarke Ingels on Urban Hybrids and "Courtscrapers"

Bjarke Ingels has built a reputation for formulating new urban hybrids. From merging power plants with ski slopes to reintroducing nature to the workspace, Ingels' well-respected practice BIG is missioned to realize the fictitious world we all dream to inhabit by redefining conventional building typologies. An example of this is the Danish practice's New York "courtscraper" - W57, a clever union of the courtyard building and skyscraper that guarantees sunlight to all its inhabitants. Watch the video above to learn more. 

Insiders Tip BIG to Redesign Foster + Partners' World Trade Center 2 Tower

A new report from the Wall Street Journal suggests that BIG may replace Foster + Partners to realize the World Trade Center 2 (WTC2) tower - the final tower planned to be built on Ground Zero. The 79-story tower, originally designed in 2006, was stalled due to the economic crash of 2008. 

According to the report, 21st Century Fox and News Corp have "tipped" BIG to redesign the tower should they strike an agreement with project backers Silverstein Properties and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to move into the tower. If the deal goes through, the two companies would occupy nearly half of the building - enough to kickstart development. 

SHoP's 626 First Avenue Coming Soon to NYC's East River

© SHoP Architects
© SHoP Architects

Construction is underway on SHoP Architects' newest addition to the New York skyline - 626 First Avenue. The conjoined residential towers, slated for completion in early 2016, aims to stimulate development on the city's East River. Once complete, they will add 800 residential units to the area connected via a sky bridge. Featured amenities will include an indoor lap pool, communal lounge areas, rooftop deck, fitness center, and film screening room. In addition to the cooper structures, SHoP will also design all the buildings' interiors and furniture, making the development a true gesamtkunstwerk.

Read on for more images of the project and a fly-through around the structure. 

New Images Released of SHoP Architects' 111 West 57th Street

© Property Markets Group via New York YIMBY
© Property Markets Group via New York YIMBY

Uncovered by New York YIMBY, five new images have been revealed showing SHoP Architects' supertall and super-slender tower at 111 West 57th Street in Manhattan, just south of Central Park on what has become known as "Billionaire's Row" (on account of the slew of new residential skyscrapers with some unit prices approaching $100 million).

David Chipperfield's First Residential Project in New York to be Built at Bryant Park

Manhattan based real-estate company HFZ Capital Group has announced "The Bryant," David Chipperfield Architects' first residential condominium project in New York City, located at 16 West 40th Street. The proposal for the 32-story building features a hotel on the lower levels, with 57 apartments ranging from one- to four-bedrooms, including two duplex penthouses, on floors 15 through 32 - offering residents "the rare opportunity to live in a new construction, residential development on the fully-restored Bryant Park," according to the developers.

8 Influential Art Deco Skyscrapers by Ralph Thomas Walker

No architect played a greater role in shaping the twentieth century Manhattan skyline than Ralph Thomas Walker, winner of the 1957 AIA Centennial Gold Medal and a man once dubbed “Architect of the Century” by the New York Times. [1] But a late-career ethics scandal involving allegations of stolen contracts by a member of his firm precipitated his retreat from the architecture establishment and his descent into relative obscurity. Only recently has his prolific career been popularly reexamined, spurred by a new monograph and a high-profile exhibit of his work at the eponymous Walker Tower in New York in 2012.

One Wall Street, formerly the Irving Trust Company building, occupies one of the most valuable plots of real estate in the world. Courtesy of Wikipedia. Image  The AT&T Long Distance Building in New York, NY, contains over 1.1 million square feet of office space. Image © Wikipedia user Jim Henderson 60 Hudson Street, formerly the Western Union building, has become one of the most important internet hubs in the eastern U.S. Image © Wikipedia user Beyond my Ken The aluminum-winged crown of the Times Square Building in Rochester, New York, is an icon of Art Deco architecture. Image © Wikipedia user Marduk

Pratt Institute to Host 2 Free Symposiums in April

Pratt Institute is presenting two architectural symposiums that are free and open to the public: "An Inventory of What's Possible" on April 10 and "The Language of Architecture and Trauma" on April 11, 2015. "An Inventory of What's Possible" will focuse on the history of America’s affordable housing emerging from the research, architectural prototypes, and financing that occurred in New York, as well as the city’s future potential in response to Mayor de Blasio's housing plan.

Álvaro Siza to Design 122-Meter Condo Tower in New York

Álvaro Siza has been commissioned to design his first ever US project. Planned to rise 122-meters on the corner of West 56th Street and Eleventh Avenue in New York City, the Siza - designed condominium tower will be developed by Sumaida and Khurana - the same firm who just released designs for Tadao Ando’s first New York City tower: 152 Elizabeth Street. Stay tuned for more details. 

Spring Studios / AA Studio

© Alexander Severin/RAZUMMEDIA © Alexander Severin/RAZUMMEDIA © Alexander Severin/RAZUMMEDIA © Alexander Severin/RAZUMMEDIA

First Look Inside BIG's W57 Manhattan Pyramid

Field Condition has published a photographic tour through BIG’s first New York project, two months after W57 topped out. A “courtscraper,” as the Danish practice affectionately calls it, the 32-story, 709-unit tower is a hybrid of the European courtyard block and New York City skyscraper. It’s tetrahedral shape, “born from logic,” is designed to provide every resident in the building's North Tower to have views of the Hudson River, while allowing sunlight deep into the building's interior space. View the project from within, after the break. 

Southeast corner of W57 (left) and the Helena (right) from West 57th Street. Image © Field Condition © Field Condition Looking South from the peak structure. Image © Field Condition Northeast corner from West 58th Street. Image © Field Condition

Video: How Clive Wilkinson Architects' Activity Based Working is Revolutionizing the Office

The latest innovation in workplace design, Clive Wilkinson Architects’ “Activity Based Working” (ABW) has revolutionized the way people go about their daily activities at the GLG Global Headquarters in New York. Broadening the idea of workable area to a number of specialized environments, ABW fosters a new dynamic in office relations, providing spaces for both individualized activity and collaboration. Experience this through the Spirit of Space-produced video above.

Images Released of Tadao Ando's First NYC Building

Tadao Ando has unveiled his first New York building. An “ultra-luxury” condominium project known as 152 Elizabeth Street, the 32,000-square-foot building will replace an existing parking lot with a concrete structure comprised of seven residences - all of which will be “treated as custom homes” and “individually configured.” 

“Part concrete, part jewel box, the building makes a strong yet quiet statement with a façade comprised of voluminous glass, galvanized steel and flanked by poured in-place concrete and a living green wall that rises the height of the building,” says the architects. The green wall, measuring 55-feet-high and 99-feet-wide and spanning the entire southern façade, is expected to be one of the largest in New York and will be designed by landscaping firm M. Paul Friedberg and Partners.

Never Built New York: Projects From Gaudí, Gehry and Wright that Didn't Make it in Manhattan

Ever since its unprecedented skyward growth in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Manhattan has been an icon of construction all over the world, with recent estimates concluding that the island contains some 47,000 buildings. However, as with all construction, completed projects are just the tip of the architectural iceberg; Manhattan is also the home of many thousands of unloved, incomplete, and downright impossible proposals that never made it big in the Big Apple.

Of course, the challenges of New York are indiscriminate, and even world-renowned architects often have difficulties building in the city. After the break, we take a look at just three of these proposals, by Antoni Gaudí, Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Gehry, courtesy of 6sqft.

Interior sketch by Gaudí. Image Courtesy of 6sqft Frank Lloyd Wright's drawings for the project. Image © MoMA/Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Frank Lloyd Wright's drawings for the project. Image © MoMA/Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation A model of Gehry's design that was put on display for the public. Image © Carter B. Horsley for The City Review

Renzo Piano's Columbia University Science Center to Open Next Year

The first phase of Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) and Renzo Piano Building Workshop's (RPBW) expansive Manhattanville Campus plan for Columbia University is making significant progress; completion is nearing on a highly-anticipated portion of the project - RPBW's LEED platinum Jerome L. Greene Science Center, which is scheduled to open in Fall of 2016 just six miles North of the practice's soon-to-open Whitney Museum

More on the mixed-use structure after the break.

South facade. Image © Field Condition Southeast corner. Image © Field Condition Exterior Rendering. Image Courtesy of RPBW Exterior Rendering. Image Courtesy of RPBW

Perkins+Will’s “Sleek” Manhattan Tower to Feature Five Open-Air Gardens

© Perkins+Will / MIR
© Perkins+Will / MIR

Conceptual plans of Perkins+Will’s East 37th Street Residential Tower in New York City have been unveiled. Debuted in Cannes, France, during MIPIM, where the high-rise received a “Future Projects Award,” the 700-foot-tall Manhattan tower boasts a “shimmering, angled curtain wall” organized by five clusters of shared amenities and open-air gardens.

More about the 65-story, 150,000-square-foot condominium tower, after the break.