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Fumihiko Maki Unveils New United Nations Tower

Almost sixty years after Wallace K. Harrison was invited to design the United Nations Secretariat Building in New York City, plans have been unveiled for another UN skyscraper designed by Fumihiko Maki which would "consolidate currently scattered operations into a single structure that would rise on the western portion of the Robert Moses Playground, on First Avenue between East 41st and 42nd streets."

FuturArc launches Green Leadership Award 2014 and FuturArc Prize 2014

Launched in 2007, FuturArc Prize aims to generate forward-thinking, innovative Green building design ideas for Asia. The Competition offers a platform to professionals and students who are passionate about the environment. Through the force of their imagination, it aspires to capture visions of a sustainable future. This is open to architects and architecture students in Asia and the world.

Kickstarter Campaign to Activate Vacant Storefronts in New York City

'Play'. Image Courtesy of Architecture Commons
'Play'. Image Courtesy of Architecture Commons

In an attempt to activate a vacant storefront in New York's Lower East Side, the miLES Storefront Transformer - a 6ft cube designed to "program any storefront" - is a versatile, movable set of furnishing and amenities designed by Architecture Commons. Seven individual pop-up interventions, curated by a collection of creative minds, would inhabit empty shops between November 4th and December 22nd 2013 if their Kickstarter campaign is successful.

Toward Cycle Cities: How Architects Must Make Bikes Their Guiding Inspiration

If Henry Ford were reincarnated as a bike maker, Le Corbusier as an architect of buildings and cities for bikes, and Robert Moses as their bike-loving ally in government, today’s bike plans would be far more ambitious in scope. Ford would be aiming to sell billions of bikes, Corb would be wanting to save the whole world, and, even if it took him a lifetime, Moses would be aiming to leave a permanent mark. 

They would want to give bicycle transport a leg-up, like the leg-up the motorcar received from farmlands being opened for suburban development. So who are our modern-day, bicycle-loving Le Corbusiers? And what, exactly, is their task?

Southbank Centre To Honor Skateboarders' Fundraising Campaign

In yet another twist to the ongoing story of the Southbank Centre redevelopment, the Architects' Journal reports that the Southbank Centre has agreed to back a fundraising campaign to keep the famous skate park (if you missed the potential re-designs, click here), with the stipulation that a plan B be put in place in case the fundraising fails. And with at least £17 million needed to replace the revenue that the Centre would have gained by filling the undercroft with retail units, it could be time for the thousands who objected to the proposals to put their money where their mouth is. Find the full article here.

ABI Reports Strong Conditions in US Market

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has revealed more acceleration in the growth of design activity nationally. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the August ABI score was 53.8, up from a mark of 52.7 in July. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 63.0, down from the reading of 66.4 the previous month.

"It is fair to say that the design professions are in a recovery mode,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA.  “...but a key component to maintaining this momentum is the ability of businesses to obtain financing for real estate projects, and for a resolution to the federal government budget and debt ceiling impasse.”

Key August ABI highlights:

Kiruna City Hall / Henning Larsen Architects

Henning Larsen Architects has won a competition to design a new city hall for Kiruna in northern Sweden. The design, which has already been named Krystallen (The Crystal), is intended to "become the city's natural gathering point, where the traditions of democracy will be united with a vision about a dynamic meeting place for politics as well as social and cultural events". Comprising of two buildings, the outermost circular in form and the innermost "shaped like a crystal", the design has been "inspired by the enormous concentration of iron ore" that can be found beneath the site, the discovery of which led to the founding of Sweden's northernmost city.

Joseph Rykwert Awarded 2014 Royal Gold Medal

Architectural critic, historian and writer Joseph Rykwert, 86, has been named as the recipient of the 2014 RIBA Royal Gold Medal, one of the world’s most prestigious architecture awards. Given in recognition of a lifetime’s work, the Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by the Queen and is presented to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence on the advancement of architecture.

Describing Rykwert’s recognition as “long overdue,” RIBA President Stephen Hodder stated: “Joseph's writing and teaching are rare in that he can deliver the most profound thinking on architecture in an accessible way. All our lives are the richer for it.”

In response to selection, Joseph Rykwert stated:

2014 SEED Award Call for Entries

Design Corps and the Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) Network announce the Call for Entries in the fourth annual SEED Awards for Excellence in Public Interest Design competition. Recognizing excellence in social, economic and environmental design, the SEED Awards represent the confluence of forces needed to create truly sustainable projects and change in the world.

David Chipperfield Awarded Praemium Imperiale

David Chipperfield has been announced as the architectural laureate for the 2013 edition of the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale. Since its inauguration in 1989, the annual global arts award has recognized “outstanding contributions to the development, promotion and progress of the arts” in the fields of architecture, painting, sculpture, music and theater/film. Only a small handful of architects have received this award, including James Stirling, Tadao Ando, Alvaro Siza, Richard Rogers, Jean Nouvel and Toyo Ito.

In regards to Chipperfield’s nomination, the jury stated:

Want to Get Into 3D Printing? Follow These Tips...

Even if you're a 3D printing whiz (if so, consider entering our exciting 3D Printing Challenge), to many people it remains something of a mystery: how does it work, what can it do and how much does it cost? Thankfully, this recent article and infographic by Line//Shape//Space, aimed at "early adopters" of the technology, covers all this information (and even some common pitfalls to be avoided). You can read the full article here.

ArchDaily 3D Printing Challenge

3D Printing has opened up a whole new world for architecture. Technology that was once restricted to fabrication labs is now available to the end user - and at an affordable price. Of course, this new technology has also created the necessity to easily share 3D data over the web.

With this in mind, we have partnered with Gigabot - the biggest, most affordable 3D printer (it can print models up to 60x60x60cm) - and with Sketchfab, a new platform that is bridging the gap between the 3D models on your desktop and on the web.

We want to encourage users to start using this new technology, and what better way than to start printing the buildings we love? We invite you to model your favorite architectural classic and receive a real-life physical model, right on your doorstep.

The process is simple: model any building that is already on the AD Classics section, upload it to Sketchfab, and submit it using the following form. You’ll have two opportunities to win: ArchDaily readers will vote for one People's Choice Award winner, and, together with Gigabot, we at ArchDaily will pick one winner as well. Both winners will be printed and shipped anywhere in the world. We'll also make all the models available to the ArchDaily community, so anyone can add an extra layer of building information to these classics.

Submissions are open until October 1st; winners will be announced on October 7th. Read below for the full rules.


Unified Architectural Theory: Chapter 1

We will be publishing Nikos Salingaros’ book, Unified Architectural Theory, in a series of installments, making it digitally, freely available for students and architects around the world. The following chapter, "The Structure of Architectural Theories," posits that architecture, if it is truly to work with natural ecosystems, must adopt a scientifically-informed, systemic approach. If you missed the introduction, you may find it here.

Architecture is a human act that invades and displaces the natural ecosystem. Biological order is destroyed every time we clear native plant growth and erect buildings and infrastructure. The goal of architecture is to create structures to house humans and their activities. Humans are parts of the earth’s ecosystem, even though we tend to forget that.

Logically, architecture has to have a theoretical basis that begins with the natural ecosystem. The act of building orders materials in very specific ways, and humans generate an artificial ordering out of materials they have extracted from nature and transformed to various degrees. Some of today’s most widely-used materials, such as plate glass and steel, require energy-intensive processes, and thus contain high embodied energy costs. Those cannot be the basis for any sustainable solution, despite all the industry hype. 

Resource depletion and a looming ecological catastrophe are consequences of detachment from nature, and a blind faith in technology to solve the problems it creates. 

Design Competition: Living Cities

The skyline rises in tandem with the population of the city. Demographers predict that New York alone will add one million more residents by 2040. Finding housing will pose a crisis for hundreds of thousands of them, unless new residential towers are built to house this urban influx.

Melbourne's Flinders Street Station May Not Be Built

Herzog & de Meuron and HASSELL's winning design for Melbourne's Flinders Street Station might not be built due to the fact "the State Government has of yet, refused to promise funding for the design, and ruled out selling the station in order to finance the construction." The project was estimated to cost "approximately $1 billion to $1.5 billion to be realised", which is "on top of the $1.6 million already spent on the competition", leading critics to describe the competition as a "waste of money."

Audi design wall at the Pinakothek der Moderne

The Pinakothek der Moderne in Münich by Stephan Braunfels (2002) recently went through a complete renovation, and for the re opening of the museum Audi debuted the design wall, an installation that has become part of the permanent collection of the Die Neue Sammlung (The International Design Museum).

Review: ‘Richard Rogers: Inside Out’ at the Royal Academy

“Architecture is too complex to be solved by any one person.”

Richard Rogers is an architect who understands the significance of collaboration. As a man with an intense social mind and a thirst for fairness in architectural and urban design, Rogers’ substantial portfolio of completed and proposed buildings is driven by the Athenian citizen’s oath of “I shall leave this city not less but more beautiful than I found it.”

In honor of his success, London’s Royal Academy (RA) is currently playing host to a vast retrospective of Richard Rogers’ work, from his collaborations with Norman Foster and Renzo Piano, to the large-scale projects that define Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) today. The RA’s extensive exhibition has been condensed into a series of motifs that have defined his architectural work, punctuated by memorabilia which offer personal insights into how Rogers’ career has been shaped by the people he’s worked with and the projects that he has worked on.

Continue after the break for a selection of highlights from the exhibition. 

How Arup Became The Go-To Firm for Architecture's Most Ambitious Projects

The Swiss Re Tower, Norman Foster & Arup Engineering. Image © Shaun Dunmall, Flickr User llamnudds
The Swiss Re Tower, Norman Foster & Arup Engineering. Image © Shaun Dunmall, Flickr User llamnudds

With 90 offices in 60 countries, Arup Engineering, the firm behind many of the world's best known buildings, seems to be everywhere. But it isn't just their immense range that makes Arup so popular with architects - it's their audacious, adventurous attitude towards their work. Ian Volner's profile "The Sky's the Limit," originally published in Metropolis Magazine, explores the firm and what makes them tick.

One of the vexations that comes with attempting to explain the operations of Arup—the 67-year-old, 10,000-plus employee global engineering giant—is trying to find another, similar company to compare it to. “Certainly there are other firms in the same space,” says Arup Americas chairman Mahadev Raman, name-checking a few full-service design- engineering practices like AECOM and Büro Happold. But as far as true peer companies go, Arup is almost in a class of its own: When it partners with architects on open competitions, the firm frequently ends up vying against itself, and has to resort to intra-office firewalls to separate the various teams at work on different contending proposals.

What sets Arup apart isn’t so much the range of things it can do; other firms, like British builders WSP Group, offer more in the way of construction management, and can see a project through to completion in a way that Arup can’t. But if Arup has seemingly become the go-to office for the most structurally and logistically complex projects of our time, it may be simply because the firm is prepared to take risks that other companies—some of them more commercially minded and arguably more disciplined—won’t. 

The 20 Cities Most Vulnerable to Flooding

A study published in Nature Climate Change, has compiled a list of cities most vulnerable to coastal flooding. Taking in consideration elevation, population distribution and available flood protection from 136 coastal cities worldwide, in addition to forecasts of sea level rise and ground sinking due to groundwater depletion, the study determines that if no mitigating steps are taken, coastal flooding will cause damage totaling $1 trillion annually by the year 2050. 

Topping the list as the most vulnerable city is Guangzhou, China, followed by Mumbai and Kolkata in India, Guayaquil, Ecuador and Shenzen, China. Almost all cities at the highest risk of flooding damage were in North America or Asia.

The top 20 most vulnerable cities are:

2013 Restaurant & Bar Design Award Winners

Winners of the 2013 Restaurant & Bar Design Awards have been announced. From Norman Foster’s Atrium Champagne Bar in London to Norm Architects Höst resturant in Denmark, this year’s winners won’t disappoint. The award, now in its fifth cycle, has built a repuation for being on of the most prestigious in hospitality. See who was selected from 670 international submissions this year after the break.

The winners are (prepare yourself for some eye candy):

Lamp Lighting Solutions Awards 2013: Winners Announced

The winners of the 2013 Lamp Lighting Solutions Awards have been announced. With a total of 608 projects submitted from 52 countries, €48,000 in prize money has been awarded to 5 winning teams. The Lamp Awards were given to projects that successfully met the architectural lighting needs of an interior or exterior space, having created a positive synergy between the architecture, interior design, landscaping and lighting. The four categories included Architectural Outdoor Lighting, Indoor Lighting, Urban and Landscape Lighting, and Students Proposals.

The 2013 Lamp Lighting Solutions Awards Winners are:

Eight Years Later, A Post-Katrina Report Card

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, design charettes involving the Gulf coast community led to many proposals, ranging from the large-scale (establishing Gulfport as a major harbor city) to the more personal (bike paths). Eight years after the fact, many of these projects are still in progress, or have yet to begin - but the outlook remains bright. The Sun-Herald's Michael Newsom explores the background behind these efforts, and explains the hurdles they’ve faced along the way. Read the full piece here.

20 Architects Design a Dolls' House for KIDS

Inspired by the dolls' house that Edwin Lutyens designed for The British Empire Exhibition in 1922, twenty British practices are each designing a contemporary dolls' house in aid of the disabled childrens' charity KIDS. Each version will sit on a 750mm square plinth to be exhibited during this year's London Design Festival (14th - 21st September, 2013) before being auctioned. Each design must contain "a unique feature to make life easier for a child who is disabled."

Drawing of the Year International Student Competition

The Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark, The Danish Agency for Culture and the award winning architecture and design office SHL proudly announce a joint venture ‘Drawing of the Year 2013’.Entries are invited from all architectural students of drawings that inspire, communicate and engage. The internationally acclaimed jury will be looking to award drawings that focus on entries that express the architect’s aesthetic and conceptual approach as a dialogue with – and through the medium – of drawing.

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