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Amanda Levete: The Latest Architecture and News

A Look at the First 10 Editions of the MPavilion in Melbourne, Australia

The MPavilion represents one of the most important architectural events happening annually in Melbourne, Australia. Initiated and founded by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, the event was first launched in 2014 and has since brought internationally recognized architects to design a temporary structure in Melbourne's Queen Victoria Gardens in a system similar to London’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. From Sean Godsell's solar-actioned panels to Studio Mumbai‘s experimental bamboo structure, each pavilion explores craftsmanship and contemporary design while fostering a rich cultural program for several months before being disassembled and donated to one of the city’s parks. As the latest pavilion was recently inaugurated by Tadao Ando, we look back at the previous editions of Australia’s most famous annual structure.

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AL_A Reveals Design of the New Belgrade Philharmonic Concert Hall in Serbia

Following an international competition, London-based architecture studio AL_A has been selected to design the new Belgrade Philharmonic Concert Hall. The project will become a landmark for the Serbian capital, as it represents the biggest cultural investment in the region in the last decades. Located near the historic Palace of Serbia in New Belgrade, the Concert Hall features multiple performance, rehearsal, and creative spaces, including a 1,600 seats symphonic concert hall. The design team led by AL_A also includes landscape designers VDLA, engineers AFA Consult, and local architects Zabriskie. They are joined by Arup, who coordinates the acoustic and theatrical design.

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AL_A Unveils New Paisley Museum Transformation in Scotland

Architecture practice AL_A has released its proposal to transform the Paisley Museum in Scotland. The museum is undergoing the transformation to accommodate visitors from Scotland, the UK and abroad. Led by Stirling Prize winn, the team plans to restore and reinvigorate the existing museum. The new design is made to showcase the stories of a Scottish town whose influence has reached around the globe.

12 Award-Winning Women in Architecture From the Past 12 Months

In the 12 months since 2018 International Women’s Day, we have seen many female architects come to fore of the design discourse. From Shelley McNamara and Yvonne Farrell’s curation of the 2018 Venice Biennale to Frida Escobedo's celebrated design for the Serpentine Pavilion, the architectural newsfeeds from the past twelve months have played host to many signs of change in a traditionally male-dominated profession.

ArchDaily has also been busy over the past year, publishing stories such as twelve prominent women in architectural photography, seven influential women of the Bauhaus, and the women redefining success in architecture. Beyond news and editorials, the honorary lists and award ceremonies of prominent architectural institutions from around the world have also paid tribute to some of the world’s leading and emerging female architects.

The 30 Most Influential Architects in London

As a “global capital,” London is home to some of the world’s most influential people, architects included. This fact has recently been laid bare by the London Evening Standard newspaper, whose list of the 1000 most influential Londoners features 30 architects, big and small, who use the city as a base for producing some of the world’s most celebrated architectural works.

Below, we have rounded up the 30 most influential architects in London, complete with examples of the architectural works which have put them on the city and world map.

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Shortlist Announced for Competition to Redesign the Eiffel Tower Visitor Experience

Amanda Levete is among one of four teams to be shortlisted for a competition to reimagine the visitor experience for the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris. The four teams, chosen from 42 entries, will be tasked with rethinking the ways in which people discover and interact with the tower, working in collaboration with the City of Paris government.

Titled “Discover, Approach, Visit,” the competition site covers 54 hectares of land on both sides of the River Seine, with the Eiffel Tower site located at the center. In preparation for Paris’ hosting of the 2024 Olympic Games, the competition asks teams to spend 10 months exploring how to enhance the visitor experience at the base of the tower, strengthen existing connections across the site, reconfigure public transport routes.

Amanda Levete Architects Unveil Oxford University Addition

London-based AL_A, spearheaded by Amanda Levete, have revealed their design for two new buildings at the Wadham College site of the historic Oxford University in England. The Dr. Lee Shau Kee Building and William Doo Undergraduate Centre will provide much-needed space for undergraduate services to support the University's access programs as well as new gathering places for the student body. The firm has been developing the expansion since securing the project after an invited design competition in the summer of 2016.

Amanda Levete Wins 2018 Jane Drew Prize for Women in Architecture

British architect Amanda Levete has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Jane Drew Prize, recognizing “an architectural designer who, through their work and commitment to design excellence, has raised the profile of women in architecture.”

Founder of London-based practice AL_A, Levete rose to promise as one half of Stirling Prize-winning practice Future Systems, which she ran with then-husband Jan Kaplický. Together, they completed paradigm-shifting and critically acclaimed works such as the Birmingham Selfridges and the Lord’s Media Centre, winner of the 1999 RIBA Stirling Prize.

Levete left Future Systems to form AL_A in 2009, where she found continued success designing cultural venues with bold materiality. Some of the firm’s best known works include the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) in Lisbon, the Central Embassy Shopping Center in Bangkok, the 2015 MPavilion in Melbourne, and the recently-opened addition to the V&A museum in London.

Paving the Way: Celebrating a Centenary of Women at London's Architectural Association

This short essay was written by Elizabeth Darling and Lynne Walker, the curators of AA XX 100 a multi-media project celebrating the centenary of women in London's Architectural Association (1917-2017).

Zaha Hadid, Amanda Levete, Patty Hopkins, Denise Scott Brown, and Minnette de Silva are familiar names of women who were products of the Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA). Less familiar are the women who paved the way for the global careers of these architecture superstars.

Established in 2013, the AA XX 100 project was initiated to tell the story of women at the AA, with the aim of commemorating the centenary (this year) of their admission to the school with an exhibition, book, and international conference. When the project began we didn't know the names of the first students but, four years on, we do, and in telling their story—and that of the generations of women who followed them—we see that their history is at once a history of the AA and architectural education, as well as a history of British and world architecture across the 20th and 21st Centuries.

Amanda Levete: Crossing Thresholds is the Essence of Architecture

For me architecture touches on so much of what it means to be human – it touches on society, on politics, on culture. And we need to negotiate all of those thresholds in order to design.

In this video for CNN Style, architect Amanda Levete, founder of London-based practice AL_A, discusses the importance of identifying and creating thresholds in design, in both the literal and abstract definitions of the term. Working at a wide variety of scales, AL_A strives to react to larger societal issues in their designs, creating points where perceptions and emotions can transform.

See Inside AL_A's Now-Open London V&A Museum Addition

I really believe that the role of the museum is to go beyond the boundaries of the building and to engage in contemporary life, so by creating a new public outdoor space – a new courtyard, a new place – we’ve renegotiated the relationship between street and museum

In this video from CNN Style, director Matthew Donaldson takes us inside the just completed courtyard entrance and extension of London’s V&A Museum, the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design. Designed by AL_A, the newly completed space features 11,840 square feet of flexible gallery space and the world’s first public courtyard constructed entirely of porcelain, paved with 11,000 tiles in 15 different patterns handcrafted by Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum, the Netherlands' oldest registered company.

Featuring narration by Amanda Levete, founder of AL_A, the video offers an intimate look at the project’s above- and below-ground spaces, including the entry pavilion, sleek new stair and skylight-lit galleries.

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AL_A Creates Stackable Soccer Pitches for Unused Urban Lots

Architectural firm AL_A has unveiled its design for Pitch/Pitch, a series of 5-a-side soccer pitches designed for unused or temporarily vacant lots across London, as well as in other cities internationally.

Created as a response to shortage of sport space in inner cities, the project is meant to be fast and easy to construct, “meaning it could be set up for a fortnight to coincide with a World Cup tournament, or last for a year, bringing use to vacant sites that might otherwise lie dormant.”

After working with Arup, the practice developed a modular system that utilizes a lightweight carbon-fiber structure, a material generally associated with the aerospace industry, but that is emerging architecturally at larger scales.

Monocle 24 Explores Women in Architecture

Following the death of Zaha Hadid on March 31st of this year Section D, Monocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, hones in on the role of women in architecture and design. They discuss why, despite an almost 50:50 gender split in undergraduate architecture courses, women are still grossly underrepresented at senior levels within the profession by featuring conversations with two leading female architects, Angela Brady OBE and Amanda Levete. The episode also looks back over the lives of some of architecture's overlooked heroines.

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Lisbon's Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology Set to Open in October

The EDP Foundation has announced that MAAT, the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology in Lisbon, will open to the public on October 4-5. The museum, with a new kunsthall building designed by AL_A, will “become the centerpiece of one of the Portuguese capital’s most popular cultural areas, the historic riverside district of Belém."

Pedro Gadanho, who previously held a role as a curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, has been appointed the first Director of MAAT.

AL_A Wins Planning for Southampton Maggie's Center

UPDATE: AL_A has won planning permission for their Southampton Maggie's Center design. According to a report by the Architects' Journal, the 420 square-meter "disappearing" building will be the charity's 19th center. It is set to open in 2017.

Amanda Levete Architects (AL_A) has submitted plans for a new Maggie's Center in the English coastal city of Southampton. Sited at the Southampton General Hospital, the proposed center will provide free practical, emotional and social support for people with cancer and their family and friends. The new building aims to provide a warm and welcoming sanctuary within the built-up hospital environment.

"Bringing a bit of magic to the place, the building emerges from this wild naturalistic landscape with an almost ethereal clarity," described AL_A. "Subtle, understated and imbued with light, it is designed to lift the weight from the shoulders of all who visit and work there."

Amanda Levete's MPavilion Opens in Melbourne

AL_A has completed Melbourne's second annual MPavilion. The temporary installation, initiated by Naomi Milgrom Foundation, was unveiled today in Queen Victoria Gardens. For the next four months, the public is welcome to populate the artificial "forest canopy," whose translucent petals were developed using aerospace technology to demonstrate how an ultra-lightweight structure that can "sit lightly on the landscape and gently respond to the climate." "Each petal is fitted with LED lights that are activated by the sunset to give a light performance synchronized with music," says the organizers.

Amanda Levete's MPavilion Inspired by Forest Canopy

Images have been released of Melbourne's second annual MPavilion. Designed by British architect Amanda Levete of AL_A, the temporary structure will use the latest technology in nautical engineering to stimulate a forest-like canopy within the city’s Queen Victoria Gardens. A series of three- and five-meter wide petals made from ultra-thin translucent composite and carbon fiber will "sway" on top slender columns, mimicking the tree line to the site's east.

Pedro Gadanho Leaves MoMA to Direct MAAT in Lisbon

After serving as curator for the past three years at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, Portuguese architect Pedro Gadanho will be leaving his position to become the first artist director of the new Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) in Lisbon. Scheduled to open in the fall of 2016, the new MAAT museum will be responsible for the EDP Foundation's cultural program.

"Pedro Gadanho’s profile and international experience are essential to our ambitions for MAAT, making it a distinctive space of contemporary culture in Portugal", says António Mexia, CEO of EDP. Pedro Gadanho adds that "MAAT will be a cultural institution of the quality and breadth seen in major European cities, offering an exciting contemporary program at the intersection of art, architecture and technology."