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Jennifer Whelan

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Spotlight: Robert A.M. Stern

10:30 - 23 May, 2017
Spotlight: Robert A.M. Stern, George W. Bush Presidential Center. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:George_W._Bush_Presidential_Center_July_2016_2.jpg'>Wikimedia user Michael Barera</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 4.0</a>
George W. Bush Presidential Center. Image © Wikimedia user Michael Barera licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

As founder of Robert A.M. Stern Architects and former Dean of the Yale School of Architecture, Robert A.M. Stern is a self-proclaimed modern traditionalist – and no, in his eyes, that is not an oxymoron. When asked about the seeming contradiction in a PBS documentary, he replies by musing, "Can one speak the local languages of architecture in a fresh way?"

Moleskine Livescribe Notebooks: Analog and Digital Together at Last

00:00 - 7 September, 2014
Courtesy of Moleskine
Courtesy of Moleskine

Forget about scanning the pages of your notebook - you can now work in both analog and digital at the same time. Moleskine recently teamed up with Livescribe, a smartpen manufacturer, to create two new notebooks that work exclusively with Livescribe smartpens to instantly transfer ideas from paper to screen. The notebooks feature add-ons that make this possible, but still retain the rounded edges, elastic closures, ribbon bookmarks, and other details Moleskine notebooks are known for. To learn about the notebook add-ons and how they work with the smartpens, keep reading after the break.

COBE's Adaptive Reuse of Nordhavnen Silo Marks Beginning of Redevelopment

01:00 - 7 September, 2014
© COBE
© COBE

Danish firm COBE is transforming the largest industrial building in Nordhavnen - a silo - into an apartment building with both private and public functions. For COBE, who also created the urban development plans for Nordhavnen, this project marks the beginning of the post-industrial area's future. Nordhavnen is a harbor area located only 4km from Copenhagen's city centre.

 "The exciting thing about old industrial property is how to preserve their soul and at the same time use them for something else," said Klaus Kastbjerg, the owner of the silo, commenting on the adaptive reuse project. To preserve the soul of the silo, the architects will maintain a raw industrial feeling on the interior. Each of the 40 retrofitted apartments will contain visible historic remnants such as existing concrete columns and walls.

Keep reading after the break for more information and images...

Interview: Ma Yansong on "Silhouette Shanshui" at the Venice Biennale

00:00 - 5 September, 2014

MAD Architects' "Silhouette Shanshui" - which lies somewhere between an installation and a model - is currently on display at the 14th Venice Biennale. The inspiration for the project is the firm's Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Center, a master plan with an overall area of 560,000 sqm that challenges how modern development is typically thought of in China. According to Ma Yansong, the founder of MAD Architects, the city-scale urban project is already underway with 13 towers under construction.

Spotlight: Daniel Burnham

01:00 - 4 September, 2014
Spotlight: Daniel Burnham, © Wikimedia Commons
© Wikimedia Commons

The impact Daniel H. Burnham had on urban planning and the American city is still felt today, many years after his death, on what would have been his 168th birthday. Over the course of his lucrative career, Burnham pioneered some of the world's first skyscrapers, inspired the City Beautiful Movement with his vision for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and created urban plans for numerous cities before urban planning even existed as a profession. Burnham said of his unusual large scale thinking, "Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir men's blood."

Giveaway: Introducing the Moleskine Tool Belt

00:00 - 2 September, 2014
Courtesy of Moleskine
Courtesy of Moleskine

Moleskine notebooks go as hand-in-hand with architects and designers as the color black. Over the years, these creative individuals have hacked and personalized the simple design of the Moleskine notebook, turning it into wallets, key chains, pen holders, and more. In response to this culture, Moleskine recently came out with their own hack called the Moleskine Tool Belt.

The Tool Belt is an add-on that attaches to the cover of their notebooks. It contains several compartments for storing pens, smart phones, business cards, eye glasses, and more. We also have two Moleskine Tool Belts to give away - check out the article after the break for your chance to win!

Interview: Behind the Scenes of the University of Toronto's Mental Health Report

00:00 - 2 September, 2014
Interview: Behind the Scenes of the University of Toronto's Mental Health Report, Courtesy of GALDSU
Courtesy of GALDSU

In a TED Talk from 2009, writer Elizabeth Gilbert muses about how uncomfortable she is with the assumption that “creativity and suffering are somehow inherently linked.” The majority of Gilbert's thoughtful and humorous monologue is about finding sanity amidst both success and failure, or in other words, about finding a way to break this link. Earlier this year, the University of Toronto Graduate Architecture Landscape and Design Student Union’s (GALDSU) set out to do just that – break the link between creativity and suffering at their school – and start a productive dialogue about mental health. GALDSU began by gathering the facts through a mental health study of their peers, the results of which we discussed several months ago.

To learn more about what's happened at their school (and beyond) since it was published, we sat down with Joel Leon, the man who spearheaded the effort and the newly elected president of the student union, as well as Elise Hunchuck, the vice-president of the student union.

"Seoul: Towards a Meta-City" Exhibition Opens in Berlin

00:00 - 30 August, 2014
"Seoul: Towards a Meta-City" Exhibition Opens in Berlin, Courtesy of ANCB
Courtesy of ANCB

On Thursday, the Aedes Network Campus Berlin (ANCB) Metropolitan Laboratory hosted a symposium to mark the opening of the exhibition "Seoul: Towards a New City," in collaboration with the City of Seoul. The city has identified three key objectives to help them strike a balance between restoration and change when moving forward with future development: revival of history, restoration of nature, and renewal of people's lives. Seven projects that reflect these goals are on display at the exhibition. For more details, continue reading after the break.

3XN Designs Affordable Housing Tower in Denmark

00:00 - 29 August, 2014
© 3XN
© 3XN

The influx of students in Aarhus, Denmark is causing the city to rapidly expand. In response to the growing need for affordable housing close to the local university, 3XN teamed up with developer Jens Richard Pedersen to design a residential high-rise near the institution. The future tower has been dubbed La Tour as an ode to the building that currently occupies the site, Hotel La Tour.

Newly released renders and model photographs depict the tower as a sweeping semi-circular form that rises in steps. The gradual elevation of the building will start at the street, defining the transition from the surrounding small-scale buildings to the urban high-rise typology. For more information and images, read on after the break.

Courtesy of Adam Mørk/3XN Courtesy of Adam Mørk/3XN Courtesy of Adam Mørk/3XN © 3XN + 6

Preserving Frank Lloyd Wright's Hemicycle Spring House

00:00 - 27 August, 2014

The Spring House, also known as the Clifton and George Lewis II House, is the only private house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright that was ever built in Florida. The design embodies the final and shortest stylistic phase in Wright's career – the hemicycle style. The plan is characterized by concentric and intersecting circles, while the elevations are consistent with Wright's other designs in how they accentuate the horizontal.

After the death of her husband in 1996, Clifton Lewis formed the Spring House Institute, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving the historic property and turning it into a public legacy. In order to restore and complete the house (some elements were never built, including a semi-circular pool on one of the terraces), the organization needs to raise $256,250, which will then be matched by the Division of Historical Resources to pay the $512,500 purchase price. To meet the Division of Historical Resources' October 15th deadline, they have launched an IndieGoGo campaign with a target of $100,000. For more on the historical landmark and the organization's fundraising efforts, keep reading after the break.

Fairy Tales: When Architecture Tells a Story

00:00 - 27 August, 2014
Fairy Tales: When Architecture Tells a Story, Courtesy of Blank Space
Courtesy of Blank Space

Blank Space’s first edition of Fairy Tales: When Architecture Tells a Story is a light-hearted reminder that communication is at the core of what all architects and designers do. The book is a collection of entries from the company’s first architectural storytelling competition, which was launched to reinstate a dialogue between architects and the public.

Fairy tales might seem like an odd genre of choice for this movement, but communication also lies at their core. According to the founders of Blank Space, Matthew Hoffman and Frencesca Giuliani-Hoffman, fairy tales are “relatable, yet sophisticated and nuanced, just like great architecture.”

For more on the whimsical collection, keep reading after the break.

Invisible Solar Harvesting Technology Becomes Reality

00:00 - 25 August, 2014
Invisible Solar Harvesting Technology Becomes Reality, Solar power with a view: MSU doctoral student Yimu Zhao holds up a transparent luminescent solar concentrator module. Image © Yimu Zhao
Solar power with a view: MSU doctoral student Yimu Zhao holds up a transparent luminescent solar concentrator module. Image © Yimu Zhao

Solar harvesting systems don’t need to be glaringly obvious. In fact, now they can even be invisible, thanks to researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) who have developed a transparent luminescent solar concentrator (LSC) that can be applied to windows or anything else with a clear surface.

LSC technology is nothing new, but the transparent aspect is. Previous attempts yielded inefficient results with brightly colored materials, and as researcher Richard Lunt, an assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science at MSU, puts it, “No one wants to sit behind colored glass.” To learn how Lunt and the rest of the research team achieved transparency, keep reading after the break.

Japanese Artist Hand-Crafts Intricate Three Dimensional Paperscapes

01:00 - 23 August, 2014
© Katsumi Hayakawa
© Katsumi Hayakawa

Japanese artist Katsumi Hayakawa's "Paperworks" exhibition explores the impression of architectural density through delicate three-dimensional installations. The intricate sculptures were all hand-crafted piece by piece out of paper and glue, creating an awe-inspiring assemblage of multi-layered urban conditions at different scales. For more information and images, keep reading after the break.

© Katsumi Hayakawa © Katsumi Hayakawa © Katsumi Hayakawa © Katsumi Hayakawa + 36

Frank Gehry's "Haute Couture" Art Gallery for the Fondation Louis Vuitton

00:00 - 23 August, 2014
Frank Gehry's "Haute Couture" Art Gallery for the Fondation Louis Vuitton, The Fondation Louis Vuitton in the Bois de Boulogne is set to open this fall. Image © victortsu via Flickr
The Fondation Louis Vuitton in the Bois de Boulogne is set to open this fall. Image © victortsu via Flickr

Because of - rather than in spite of - Frank Gehry's seeming inability to design something rectilinear, CEO of Louis Vuitton Bernard Arnault specifically sought him out to design the Fondation Louis Vuitton, a private art gallery in Paris. Arnault asked Gehry to create something worthy of the foundation's first artistic act; "a haute couture building." The resulting glass palace is immediately recognizable as a Frank Gehry design, with a form that conjures images of sailboats and fish. In this article for Vanity Fair, Critic Paul Goldberger considers the building within the prestigious history of Paris museums, and within Gehry's larger body of work. Click here to read the story.

Metropolis Magazine's Last Minute Summer Reads

00:00 - 21 August, 2014
Metropolis Magazine's Last Minute Summer Reads, One of the selected books, the Petropolis of Tomorrow, is an exhaustive look into the Brazilian offshore oil industry, and a radical design for a floating city to serve it. Image Courtesy of Actar
One of the selected books, the Petropolis of Tomorrow, is an exhaustive look into the Brazilian offshore oil industry, and a radical design for a floating city to serve it. Image Courtesy of Actar

With summer quickly coming to a close, time is running out to squeeze in one last good book. If you're open to suggestions, Metropolis Magazine recently rallied its staff members and a slew of notable architects, designers, and curators to round up an impressive list of summer reads. Amongst the architectural contributors are Mason White of Lateral Office, Donald Chong of Williamson Chong Architects, and Drew Seskunas of The Principals.

Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation Competition 2014

01:00 - 20 August, 2014
Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation Competition 2014, Courtesy of KRob Memorial Delineation Competition
Courtesy of KRob Memorial Delineation Competition

The 40th Annual Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation Competition, the longest running architectural drawing competition, is now accepting submissions. Entries can be conceptual or final elevations, sections, perspectives, or renderings and may be produced digitally or by hand – or a combination of both.

Cities Need Big Changes to Become Bike Friendly

00:00 - 18 August, 2014
Cities Need Big Changes to Become Bike Friendly, A bicyclist in Vancouver, Canada. Image © Flickr CC User Paul Krueger
A bicyclist in Vancouver, Canada. Image © Flickr CC User Paul Krueger

A new study has found that cities need to make big infrastructural changes, rather than small ones, in order to become more bike friendly. As this article from Fast Company explains, small increases in bicycle usage lead to more accidents, which in turn makes others afraid to make the switch from driving to riding. However, the study found that heavy investment in cycling infrastructure brings an economic benefit to cities in the long run, largely thanks to savings from reduced healthcare costs. To learn about the long-term benefits of big biking investments, click here.

Ryo Yamada's Installation Connects Garden Goers to the Sky

01:00 - 15 August, 2014
Ryo Yamada's Installation Connects Garden Goers to the Sky, Courtesy of Ryo Yamada
Courtesy of Ryo Yamada

Ryo Yamada's "Air Garden" installation is a passage, but not in the traditional sense of the word. It's not a passage that connects one point to another, since the walkway does not lead to a tangible destination, but rather a passage that connects an enclosed garden to the vastness of the open sky. The artist believes everyone shares a common desire for the sky, which represents freedom and equality. Read on after the break for more information, images and a video.

Courtesy of Ryo Yamada Courtesy of Ryo Yamada Courtesy of Ryo Yamada Courtesy of Ryo Yamada + 13