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The work of Oscar Niemeyer, by Patricia Parinejad

00:00 - 6 December, 2012
© Patricia Parinejad
© Patricia Parinejad

Our friend and architectural photographer Patricia Parinejad , shared with us photos of her extensive Niemeyer archives showing the works of the Brazilian master with a particular and personal focus, capturing textures, materials, context, and the people in his architecture.

© Patricia Parinejad © Patricia Parinejad © Patricia Parinejad © Patricia Parinejad + 69

More after the break.

Landmark Vote for David Wright House To Be Delayed

00:00 - 6 December, 2012
© David Kadlubowski, The Arizona Republic
© David Kadlubowski, The Arizona Republic

Councilman Sal DiCiccio, who represents the Arcadia district in Arizona, has said he will ask for a delay of today's Council vote, which could potentially give Landmark status to the David Wright House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1950s for his son David.

According to USA Today, DiCiccio will ask for a delay until January. City staff will also ask for a delay until Dec. 19, since they claim that the public was insufficiently notified of the meeting. The delay, which DiCiccio wants in order to start fundraising efforts, would be in the house's best-interest: in Arizona, Landmark Designation only safeguards from demolition for three years, and the developers have expressed their intention to "to knock [the house] down” once that time has passed.

More information on the David Wright House, after the break...

Thom Mayne, Recipient of the 2013 AIA Gold Medal

00:00 - 6 December, 2012
Courtesy of Princeton University Lecture Series
Courtesy of Princeton University Lecture Series

The AIA has announced that Thom Mayne has been selected as the recipient of the 2013 AIA Gold Medal, one of the profession's highest honors, due to his "ambitious government and institutional projects."

Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil's Modernist Icon, Dies

00:00 - 6 December, 2012
Oscar Niemeyer in front of the Palazzo Mondadori. Photo via Mondadori.com
Oscar Niemeyer in front of the Palazzo Mondadori. Photo via Mondadori.com

After complications from a previous kidney condition Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer has passed away at Rio de Janeiro's Samaritano Hospital.

Michael Maltzan to Design Inuit Centre

15:00 - 5 December, 2012

Michael Maltzan, an award winning American architect and founder and principal of Michael Maltzan Architecture, Inc., was recently selected to design the Inuit Art and Learning Centre at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. The selection committee was unanimous in choosing Michael Maltzan as the winning architect from 65 prospective teams from 15 countries. This recommendation subsequently received overwhelming approval from the WAG Board of Governors. The Centre houses one of the largest and most celebrated collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world; it’s also home to Studio Art and Learning programs. More information after the break.

Summit Series To Get Its Own Mountain Village Eden

00:00 - 5 December, 2012

Summit Series, a popular conference that TechCrunch describes as “Part Burning-Man, Part TED,” has just acquired 10,000 acres outside of Salt Lake City, where they hope to develop a “500-home village to foster startups, artists, thinkers, and nonprofits who will build their own version of utopia.”

Oscar Niemeyer, My Dear Old Friend

00:00 - 5 December, 2012
Oscar Niemeyer, Vinicius de Moraes, his wife Lila, and Tom Jobim
Oscar Niemeyer, Vinicius de Moraes, his wife Lila, and Tom Jobim

Vinicius de Moraes, a Bossa Nova legend (and composer of “The Girl from Ipanema”), met Oscar Niemeyer at the Café Vermelhinho in Rio de Janeiro in the 1940s. They first worked together on de Moraes’ play, "Orpheus of Conceição," in 1956 (Niemeyer designed the set). In light of Oscar's death, we bring you this short text, translated from the original Portugese, that Vinicius wrote in the 60s about his dear friend, Oscar.

There are few testimonials I have read that are as exciting as Oscar Niemeyer’s account of his experience in Brasília. 1 For those who know only the architect, the article could pass as a self-serving defense - the justified revenge of a father who, despite his gentle temperment, fought for his child[, his Brasilia - a city] at the mercy of the world. But for those who know the man, the article takes on even more dramatic proportions. For Oscar is not only the opposite of an activist, he’s one of the most anti-self-promotional beings I've met in my life.

His modesty isn’t, as it so often is, a shameful form of vanity. It has nothing to do with his down-to-earth expertise, which Oscar has thanks to his professional value and possibilities. It is the modesty of a creator truly integrated with life, who knows that there is no time to lose, that we need to build beauty and happiness into the world, because the individual is fragile and precarious. This poignant sentiment, of the fragility and precariousness of things, plays in Oscar in a higher key (only further highlighting the dignity of this man and artist); it’s never been a self-serving sentiment, but one for mankind in general, for whom he hopes to make a better future.

“Pig-Ugly” Housing Gives Development A Bad Name, Says UK Planning Minister

13:00 - 4 December, 2012
The minister branded housing developments like Harrisons Wharf (pictured) as "pig-ugly," an insult to the community. Image via the Daily Mail
The minister branded housing developments like Harrisons Wharf (pictured) as "pig-ugly," an insult to the community. Image via the Daily Mail

For once, British architects, the Prince’s Foundation, and NIMBYs have something they can all agree on. In a speech to the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), UK planning minister, Nick Boles, has come out swinging against the “pig-ugliness” of British housing, which has given it a bad name:

“We are trapped in a vicious circle. People look at the new housing estates that have been bolted onto their towns and villages in recent decades and observe that few of them are beautiful. Indeed, not to put too fine a point of it, many of them are pig-ugly In a nutshell, because we don’t build beautifully, people don’t let us build much. And because we don’t build much, we can’t afford to build beautifully. My personal mission as planning minister is to help us break out of this vicious cycle once and for all.”

The criticism has been welcomed by many British architects as a necessary wake-up call for Britain and a call-to-action for its architects.

More on this story, after the break…

Sao Paulo’s New Green Urban Planning Policy

10:30 - 4 December, 2012
istockphoto.com
istockphoto.com

The new Água Espraiada Operação Urbana urban planning program in Sao Paulo has taken a major approach to sustainability. With this plan in action, the Rochaverá Corporate Towers, a high profile mixed residential, office, and shopping complex, is a great example. The recently built project is located at a former industrial area along the Pinheiros River Basin. This enormous 1.2-million-square-foot development, designed by Aflalo and Gasperini Architects, was built to be highly energy efficient, control water usage, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and ease traffic congestion. With the success of the mentioned project, we can begin to ask ourselves, ‘How can a development accomplish all of those objectives?’ Start with urban planning that mitigates sprawl, one of biggest threats to the planet today. More information after the break.

Curry Stone Prize Winners' Inspiring Videos

00:00 - 4 December, 2012

Each of this year's winners of the Curry Stone Design Prize are incredible examples of the powerful, and truly varied reach, of Public-Interest Design - which is why we're sharing these short films, by Room 5 Films, on each of the winning projects. From the Butaro Hospital in Rwanda designed by MASS Design Group to the "Liter by Light" project (that recycles plastic bottles to bring a safe source of light to the slums of the Phillippines), each of these films are inspiring snapshots into the work and worlds of each of these winners.

More videos on Curry Stone Prize Winners, after the break...

Critics: Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s “Bubble” Should Be Burst

13:00 - 3 December, 2012
Courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfo
Courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfo

Diller Scofidio + Renfro‘s ‘Bubble’ project (featured here) has recently come under fire by critics for its “ballooning” cost. Meant to be a seasonally inflated, temporary structure at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC., the Bubble’s original price-tag ($5 million) has now inflated to $15.5 million. The federally-funded price tag would be less relevant if the project were universally accepted, but many feel that the “Bubble” represents a misguided attempt to get into the spectacle game.

More information after the break. 

Chop Stick / Visiondivision

00:00 - 3 December, 2012
Courtesy of Visiondivision
Courtesy of Visiondivision

Here's a new definition for the phrase "Tree House."

Visiondivision's concession stand for 100 Acres, an Art & Nature Park in Indiana, is made entirely from one 100-ft yellow poplar tree. Not only does the trunk form the horizontal beam of the structure, but literally nothing of the tree was left to waste: bark became shingles; extracted pieces of wood became structural support, chairs and tables, swings; even the bark's syrup was extracted to be sold in the kiosk itself.

The architects who refined this tree into a building were inspired by an ethos of "gentleness" with nature. As they share in their architects' brief: "Our project is about trying to harvest something as gently as possible so that the source of what we harvest is displayed in a pure, pedagogic and respectful way—respectful to both the source itself and to everyone visiting the building."

A video, images, and the architects' brief, after the break...

Courtesy of Visiondivision Courtesy of Visiondivision Courtesy of Visiondivision Courtesy of Visiondivision + 19

Architectural Icons and Landmarks on the Rise

07:00 - 1 December, 2012
China's 'Ring of Life' Photo: Sina Weibo
China's 'Ring of Life' Photo: Sina Weibo

With China’s ‘Ring of Fire’ being one of the latest pieces of landmark architecture to hit the media, one must begin to wonder how many of these so called ‘landmarks’ will be constructed until they become an everyday sight in their major cities. With the rapid rise of the construction of these icons, it almost seems as though new cities of the rapid urbanization process think they need to build landmarks in order to be complete. As a consequence of this drive toward an urban identity, what may their impact be in a world where these icons are turning into generic structures? Let us know your thoughts!

New Global Hub for Biomedical Research / HOK

01:29 - 30 November, 2012
Courtesy of HOK
Courtesy of HOK

HOK was recently selected as lead architect for the Ri.MED Biomedical Research and Biotechnology Center (BRBC) near Palermo, Sicily in Southern Italy. The $269 million world-class research facility at 334,000-square-feet will be a global hub for biomedical research and development. The ultimate goal is to prevent or cure diseases while improving the quality of life and life expectancy of patients. More images and architects’ description after the break.

The ArchDaily "Building of the Year" App Has Launched!

00:00 - 30 November, 2012
© ArchDaily
© ArchDaily

We know you’ve been anxiously waiting to have ArchDaily with you everywhere you go - whether on the road or on your couch. Well, we’ve listened, and we’re more than proud to announce the launch of our first iPad application!

Our new App will give you in-depth access to the winners and finalists of The Building Of The Year Award, the most important architecture award in the online world (since 2009). It’s an award that recognizes architects - both established heavyweights and emerging talents - as the best and brightest of today, and they’re all chosen by you, our community of ArchDaily readers. While you'll have to wait a bit longer until you can vote for your favorite 2012 projects (TBA early 2013), the App offers the perfect distraction: full access to the 2011 winners.

Find out more about our “Building of the Year” App, after the break...

OMA To Design "Iconic" Qatar National Library

00:00 - 30 November, 2012
Courtesy of Qatar National Library (http://www.qnl.qa/)
Courtesy of Qatar National Library (http://www.qnl.qa/)

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser has announced the launch of the Qatar National Library (QNL), to be designed by Rem Koolhaas of OMA.

The QNL, a public access library, will symbolically connect the country's past and future. As her highness explained: “The library’s vision of bridging with knowledge Qatar’s heritage and future demonstrates the significant role QNL will play in unlocking human potential as Qatar builds a knowledge-based economy. A modern dynamic National Library for the country is essential in reaching this goal.”

As such, Rem Koolhass - an architect known both for his iconic structures as well as his success with the Seattle Public Library - has been hand-picked for the important design, soon to be, according to the QNL website, "one of the most [...] iconic landmarks in Qatar and the region." As a library on the cutting-edge of digital archiving, the building will require innovative facilities (including over 300 public computers, wifi and multi-media production studios); however, it will also serve the community as a relaxed, social gathering place.

More images of OMA's plans for the Qatar National Library, after the break....

Modular Residential Tower To Be Built at Atlantic Yards

15:00 - 29 November, 2012
© SHoP Architects
© SHoP Architects

Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) just announced that they will be partnering with Skanska, one of the world’s largest construction and development groups, for the B2 project. This project is making headlines because it will be the first residential tower that is part of the Atlantic Yards Development in Brooklyn using modular construction. FCRC plans to break ground on the 32-story building on December 18th and anticipates that the building will open in 2014. While high-rise modular technology has been initially developed for use at Atlantic Yards, this new industry has the potential to create modular components for construction projects across New York City and worldwide, becoming the first major manufacturing expansion in New York City since manufacturing began its decline over a generation ago. More information after the break.

Avery Fisher Hall To Be "Radically" Renovated

00:00 - 29 November, 2012
Interior of Avery Fisher Hall. Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons User Mikhail Klassen at en.wikipedia
Interior of Avery Fisher Hall. Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons User Mikhail Klassen at en.wikipedia

About a decade's passed since Foster+Partners won the competition to re-design Avery Fisher Hall (as part of Lincoln Center's campus-wide re-haul, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro), and the famous music hall is finally ready to go through with it - just not necessarily with Foster+Partners.

After Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic failed to raise the $300 million they needed to cover construction costs, and due to concerns that displacing the orchestra would jeopardize potential revenue, Foster+Partners' plans languished. However, the Philharmonic is now under new leadership, and its young directors are anxious to transform the conventional music hall, hence why they've decided to solicit new proposals for the building.

As the Orchestra's new executive eirector, Matthew VanBesien, told the New York Times: “If you’re not thinking about the way in which our art form and music and audiences are evolving, you’re not serving the art form long term. You really want to build this next great hall in a new way, to do the kinds of things you maybe are doing but want to do in a more compelling way or maybe can’t even imagine yet.”

More info about the proposal for the new Avery Fisher Hall, after the break...

SANAA Unveils Their Plans for Bocconi University Campus

00:00 - 29 November, 2012
The new Bocconi University campus by SANAA. Photo via Domus.
The new Bocconi University campus by SANAA. Photo via Domus.

SANAA has just unveiled their plans for the Bocconi University Campus in Milan, Italy. The design features various undulating structures, forming connective inner courtyards, that wind their way across a 17,500 square meter green space open to both students and neighborhood residents.

According to Paola Nicolin, a professor at Bocconi and writer for Domus, the University is a "playground" for the imagination, using "non-hierarchic compositional elements" to establish a relationship between the campus' organic forms and the human lives which inhabit it. In Nicolin's words, the project "speaks of transparency, empathy for nature, and far-sightedness."

More images and info on the project, after the break...

BIG and OMA Neck-to-Neck For Miami Beach Convention Center

13:00 - 28 November, 2012
Courtesy of Curbed Miami
Courtesy of Curbed Miami

High profile architects BIG (Bjarke Ingels) and OMA (Rem Koolhaas) are in a close battle to win the redevelopment competition for the design of the Miami Beach Convention Center. Recently put on hold by a corruption probe and procedural concerns, Miami Beach’s ambitious plans to create a 52-acre convention center district are again progressing toward a crucial vote by elected officials. The committee’s recommendations will be reviewed by interim City Manager Kathie Brooks, who will issue her own recommendation to city commissioners. Commissioners could vote on the project and development teams Dec. 12. More information after the break.

Toronto's Anti-City Mayor Ousted

00:00 - 28 November, 2012
OccupyToronto: Evict Rob Ford March (November 19, 2011). Photo via Flickr User CC Jackman Ciu. Used under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>Creative Commons</a>
OccupyToronto: Evict Rob Ford March (November 19, 2011). Photo via Flickr User CC Jackman Ciu. Used under Creative Commons

Rob Ford, the Toronto Mayor famous for making enemies of "urban thinkers, designers and practitioners," has been ousted from office for violating a conflict-of-interest act (he spoke and voted on a matter which allowed his own Football Foundation to financially benefit).

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates to Design Giant Office Building Next to Grand Central Terminal

13:00 - 27 November, 2012
© Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal
© Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates were recently selected to design a giant office building the landlord hopes to build next to Grand Central Terminal. Selected by SL Green Realty Corp., the architects’ design would be one of the largest Midtown towers on the East Side in a generation. While building in New York is a challenge, SL Green is moving ahead full steam with planning. The company is in discussions with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to obtain additional development rights by building pedestrian improvements including underground connectors to Grand Central, according to executives informed of the planning. More information after the break.

Architectural Criticism in the Age of Twitter / Paul Goldberger

00:00 - 27 November, 2012
Paul Goldberger © James Callanan
Paul Goldberger © James Callanan

There’s a saying that goes “Those who can’t do, teach.” But many could also claim: “Those who can’t do, critique.” Criticism, particularly Architecture Criticism, tends to get a bad rap for being subjective, impenetrable, and - ultimately - useless. But Paul Goldberger, a champion of the craft, would disagree.

In his acceptance speech for the Vincent Scully Prize earlier this month, Goldberger, the long-time architecture critic for The New York Times and current contributor to Vanity Fair, suggests that Architectural Criticism isn’t just vital - but more important than ever before.

With the advent of visually-oriented social media like Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr, it’s never been easier for the architectural layman to observe, share, and consume architecture. However, in the midst of this hyper-flow of image intake, Goldberger argues, meaning gets lost. 

That’s where the critic comes in.

JDS Shortlisted For Master Plan in Lexington, Kentucky

00:00 - 26 November, 2012
Town Branch Commons bird's eye view. Photo © Urban Collage, via Kentucky.com
Town Branch Commons bird's eye view. Photo © Urban Collage, via Kentucky.com

JDS Architects and 4 other national/international firms have been shortlisted to design a Master Plan for Town Branch Commons in Lexington, Kentucky.

The Competition, which attracted over 23 proposals, poses an interesting challenge: to bring the Town Branch Creek, which has been underground for over 100 years, to the surface (an idea originally proposed in 2011 by architect Gary Bates and the Norway-based firm Space Group), and redesign the Commons as a two-mile linear stretch of green space to connect the eastern and western sections of downtown Lexington.

Lexington's Downton Development Authority and the dean of University of Kentucky's College of Design, Michael Speaks, were floored by the quality of the proposals they received - a fact Speaks attributes to Jeanne Gang's influence; the well-known architect has designed two plans in Lexington and lectured there recently. As Speaks told Kentucky.com, "Firms have heard that Lexington is friendly to good design, that the mayor is knowledgeable and wants good design."

Find out which other firms have been shortlisted, after the break...