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Archinect - News

Updated: 2017-01-17T14:58:19-05:00


Do architecture awards matter?



Almost singing the refrain, "What do awards have to do with it?" writer Ben Willis investigates the disconnect between the plethora of architectural awards, both those that recognize aesthetics and those that focus on data-driven technical specs, and the public's (and for that matter, other architects') incomprehension of what these prizes mean. With so many awards and so many buildings that fellow professionals have never visited or heard of before the merit is given, what exactly is the value of an architectural award? Using an Oscar analogy, Willis explains just what he's talking about:   

Whereas non-filmmakers have access to nearly all of the films considered for major film awards, most non-architects don’t have first-hand experience with any of the buildings and designers being considered for awards. Many casual movie-goers know what defines an award-winning movie, and yet the criteria used to define award-winning buildings are often so disconnected from the public’s experience...

Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara to curate 2018 Venice Biennale



The Board of the Venice Architecture Biennale appointed Grafton Architects co-founders Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara yesterday as the curators of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, which will take place May 26 to November 25 in 2018.

UTEC campus in Lima, designed by Grafton Architects.

The Venice Biennale is familiar ground to Farrell and McNamara, who participated in the Biennale in 2002 and won the Silver Lion in 2012, where they presented their project for the UTEC campus in Lima — the winner of the inaugural RIBA International Prize. Grafton Architects was represented at the 2016 Biennale under the title, “The Physics of Culture”.

Farrell and McNamara will continue to address similar humanitarian themes set forth in Alejandro Aravena's “Reporting from the Front” last year. President Paolo Baratta, chair of the Board of the Venice Biennale, released the following statement on their appointment:

“The Exhibition curated by Alejandro Aravena offered visitors a critica...

Norman Foster and RIBA announce 2017 "survival of cities" traveling scholarship



For the tenth year in a row, RIBA and Norman Foster are offering a traveling scholarship in the form of €7,000 (an increase over last year's €6,000) to the destination of the winning student's choice. Students can't enter directly: RIBA and CAA validated schools are allowed to submit only one application each for one student by April 28th, whose merits will then be judged by a panel consisting of both financial backer Norman Foster and RIBA members. In a quasi-apocalyptic vein, the student's proposed research topic should "relate to the survival of our cities and towns and fall under one of the following themes: 

  • learning from the past to inform the future
  • the future of society
  • density of settlements
  • sustainability
  • use of resources
  • quality of urban life
  • transport"

The full details of the application can be found here.

Revised design for the Eisenhower memorial released



The road to a Dwight D. Eisenhower memorial has been anything but smooth. Frank Gehry’s original plans for the project were nixed by critics—most notably, the Eisenhower family. But, finally, all parties reached an agreement last fall and the project is going forward. Now, Gehry and Partners and AECOM have released images of the (hopefully) final design, which will be presented publicly later this month.

The revision include changing the image depicted on the massive 440 ft.-long woven-metal tapestry. Previously, the image was going to depict Abilene, Kansas, where Eisenhower grew up. Now it’s going to show an aerial view of Normandy, site of the D-Day invasion. Additionally, a statue of a young Eisenhower was moved from the center of the site to its margins.


(image) (image)

As the UK and US shift rightwards, architects react



The last year has seen a dramatic political shift to the right in the Western world (and elsewhere), marked in particular by Brexit and the election of Donald J. Trump. Alongside the former, the Tories secured a firm grip on the UK, with Prime Minister Theresa May stepping in to fill the void left after David Cameron’s departure. In the United States, the Republican party has an equally secure hold over the country and its future, controlling all three branches of government.

With this turn to the right, the built environment will undoubtedly change significantly. Cuts to government-subsidized housing are expected in both countries. Meanwhile, much-need infrastructural updates may—or may not—be on the horizon in the U.S., as they were one of the primary campaign promises of the President-elect.

Therefore, it’s not really a surprise that architects on both sides of the Atlantic have voiced opinions on the direction their countries are heading. Two architectural organizations have just ...

Geoff Manaugh takes a look inside LAX's impressive airport security apparatus



In the summer of 2014, Anthony McGinty and Michelle Sosa were hired by Los Angeles World Airports to lead a unique, new classified intelligence unit on the West Coast. After only two years, their global scope and analytic capabilities promise to rival the agencies of a small nation-state. Their roles suggest an intriguing new direction for infrastructure protection in an era when threats are as internationally networked as they are hard to predict.

Being the world's fifth-busiest airport (74,937,004 travelers passed through LAX in 2015) makes this infrastructure megaproject one of the top-ranked terrorist and aviation targets in the country. With billions of dollars spent on the usual airport expansion and modernization projects in recent decades came also the need for enhanced anti-terrorism capabilities that gave birth to its own classified intelligence unit.

"Under the moniker of “critical infrastructure protection,” energy-production, transportation-logistics, waste-disposal, and other sites have been transformed from often-overlooked megaprojects on the edge of the metropolis into the heavily fortified, tactical crown jewels of the modern state," Manaugh writes. "Bridges, tunnels, ports, dams, pipelines, and airfields have an emergent geopolitical clout that now rivals democratically elected civic institutions."

AIA names 11 winning projects in 2017 Institute Honor Awards Architecture category



The AIA recently revealed the winners of the 2017 AIA Institute Honors Awards, which are regarded as the profession's highest recognition for outstanding projects in the categories of architecture, interior architecture, and urban design...Out of nearly 700 submissions, a total of 23 recipients won awards.

Take a peek at some of the 2017 Architecture category winners:

Aspen Art Museum; Aspen, CO by Shigeru Ban Architects; Associate Firm: CCY Architects.


​Carnegie Hall Studio Towers Renovation Project; New York, NY by Iu + Bibliowicz Architects LLP


​The Six Affordable Veteran Housing; Los Angeles, CA by Brooks + Scarpa. Photo: Tara Wujcik.


(cover image) Grace Farms; New Canaan, CT by SANAA; Associate Firm: Handel Architects.

Find the rest of the category winners on Bustler.

Karim Rashid launches design-development firm, Kurv Architecture



Never one to bore, Karim Rashid has announced that he’s formed a new vertically-integrated firm that will incorporate architecture, investment, and development of new projects across New York City. Rashid has teamed up with his namesake firm’s director of interior design, Alex Loyer Hughes, to form Kurv Architecture D.P.C. [...] Although there’s overlap between Rashid’s namesake firm and Kurv at the moment, Kurv will focus more on ground-up production rather than design alone.

"We are foremost, a design-development firm, specializing in the increased return of tangible added value through the implementation of unique award winning design," the mission statement on Kurv's website reads. 


"The word design is used in the broadest sense to describe the full scope of the development process. Therefore, we work at all scales and stages of the process to ensure that increased value is returned as a result of our direct involvement."


Project images via

This week's picks for London architecture and design events



This week holds a fair few exhibition openings, so if your January calendar has been looking a little empty, then now is a great time to start filling it with these engaging and thought-provoking showcases. 

Check back regularly to keep up to date with London's latest happenings and our weekly recommendations!

CARUSO ST JOHN Diorama | 18-25 January


Image: Caruso St John, Diorama, 2017, exhibition view, courtesy Betts Project

Betts Project is a gallery specialising in architecture, and aims to bring the field to the attention of the wider public. Showcasing both emerging and established architects, Betts hopes to create discussion and awareness of work and projects across all scales. 

This exhibition is of British Architects Caruso St John  includes 1:50 models from the practice, including those of Newport Street Gallery, for which the practice won the Stirling Prize in 2016. Photographs accompanying these models give an insight into the past quarter century of Caruso St John's work, and ...

Zaha Hadid leaves £67 million fortune in her will



[Hadid] bequeathed a lump sum of £500,000 to her business partner Patrik Schumacher. Hadid also left a total of £1.7m to four nieces and nephews, as well as her brother Haytham Hadid, whose share was £500,000 [...] Her will, obtained by the Architects’ Journal, shows that the net value of her estate was £67,249,458. The calculation was filed in the high court dated 14 December 2016 [...] The will shows Hadid is leaving her architecture practice, of which she was the sole owner, in trust.

Paris mayor announces €300M Eiffel Tower renovation



The Eiffel Tower is to undergo a €300m, 15-year refurbishment, Paris’s mayor Anne Hidalgo announced on Friday. [...] The planned refurbishment is intended to bolster the French capital’s bids to host another World’s Fair in 2025 and, before that, the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic games [...]. The project will be managed by the tower’s operator, the Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel, a public service company wholly owned by the City Council.

The 15-year refurbishment of this most-visited monument anywhere in the world (the 127-year-old wrought iron structure has been operating at its maximum capacity of about 7 million visitors since 2003, according to Wikipedia) will take more than a few buckets of paint and also comprises the modernization of the elevators, viewing gallery, security and access facilities, as well as the light show systems.

Architecting for the Golden Years



Building industry professionals are taking note. Since the National Association of Home Builders started to offer a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist program in 2002, nearly 7,000 contractors, architects, interior designers and occupational therapists have become credentialed by attending a three-day course, according to Elizabeth Thompson, a spokeswoman for the association.

Kaya Laterman examines designing for an aging population. Renovations focused on age-in-place fixes, along with rise of NORCs (Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities) in NYC, are creating new market opportunities. 

See also re: AARP’s livability indexmulti-generational architectures, Toward a "Silver" Architecture and age-friendly cities.

Plus, some training/CEU sources via Living in Place Institute and NAHB

Ten Top Images on Archinect's "Student Work" Pinterest Board


In case you haven't checked out Archinect's Pinterest boards in a while, we have compiled ten recently pinned images from outstanding student projects on various Archinect People profiles.(Tip: use the handy FOLLOW feature to easily keep up-to-date with all your favorite Archinect profiles!)Today's top images (in no particular order) are from the board Student Work.↑ Bondi Beach Houses by James Seung Hwan Kim↑ Reconstruction Of MET Museum by Cong Fang↑ In-Tense by Gilberto Villalobos with R. Kiesler↑ Hollywood and Vine: Architecture of the Internet Celebrity by Marc Maxey↑ Edge Island by Lu Liu with Mingyue Hu, Katie Ann↑ PLAYING WITH TIDE - Tidal Park Design by Jing Li↑ Hyderabad Housing by Grace Elizabeth Arezio↑ The Last Performance by Judy Hussein↑ Chromatopia by Corliss Ng(Cover pic: IN-Accessible by Ke Li) Click here to see more "Ten Top Images on Archinect's Pinterest Boards" posts.Wanna be included in one of the next roundups?Simply upload your work as a Project post to your...[...]

Frank Lloyd Wright’s ‘Tirranna’ home in New Canaan, CT for sale



For the first time in 20 years, Frank Lloyd Wright‘s “Tirranna” home in New Canaan, CT is on the market. The home was built just before his death on a 15-acre wooded estate, has been listed for $8M by the estate of its long-time owner, the late memorabilia mogul and philanthropist Ted Stanley. Though renovated, the horse-shaped home maintains its original architectural integrity.



OMA gets permission to move forward with major Manchester project



OMA has moved one step closer to securing its first major public project in the UK: the Factory, a proposed £110M arts center for Manchester, was just given the go-ahead by city councillors. 

On a site that once housed the Granada Studios, the Factory is intended to significantly boost Manchester’s cultural capital. It’s an integral part of a larger project, which received a pledge of £78M worth of public money back in 2014 and will provide some 2,400 new homes, three hotels, as well as a commercial space.



The 12,077 square meter Factory will comprise a massive, 7,000 capacity glass cube intended to house performances, experimental productions, and other cultural events. The rendering shows a large, irregular form adjoining the cube.

OMA beat out Zaha Hadid and Rafael Viñoly, among other big name firms, to secure the commission. 




A "hyper-democratic" housing complex in Copenhagen combines community input with contextual design



Krøyers Plads, a five-story housing project in the center of Copenhagen, has just finished construction. The site, previously a “gap” in a continuous row of warehouses, is adjacent to the Copenhagen harbor. Designed by the Danish architects Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects and COBE, the award-winning project is based on a “hyper-democratic” approach, in which “ folded roofs and architectural heaviness create a dialogue between old and new, and a modern, empathetic interpretation of the architectural uniqueness of the old Copenhagen warehouses.” According to the designers, “hyper-democratic” means that the building was designed with intensive community input and site-specific gestures.

”The neighbours were for instance invited to help define the height of the buildings and to help select the materials – both crucial for the way the new Krøyers Plads relates to its surroundings. Instead of inventing a new building typology, Krøyers Plads became a reinvention of the one already found adjace...

Antarctic architecture is getting snazzier



Antarctic stations have become the equivalent of embassies on the ice.."They are showcases for a nation's interests in Antarctica - status symbols" says Prof Anne-Marie Brady, editor-in-chief of the Polar Journal and author of China as a Polar Great Power.

Matthew Teller reviews some of the latest designs for Antarctic research bases. At first they were simple wooden huts, then later "a few wooden huts inside giant steel tubes". 


Tristram Hunt to resign as MP to take job as head of the V&A



Tristram Hunt, the former shadow education secretary, has announced that he will resign as a Labour MP to become the director of the Victoria and Albert Museum. The move, which will come with a salary of over £145,000, will also trigger a by-election in Stoke, a constituency that is vulnerable to poaching by Ukip or the Conservative Party. Hunt has been vocally critical of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

According to the Guardian, Hunt’s appointment was a “genuine surprise”. That being said, higher-ups the art world have largely greeted the news warmly. Others have cause to worry: back in 2010, Hunt griped about free admission to London museums and called for reintroducing charges for national museums. But the V&A has said that Hunt is “fully committed to free museum entrance”.

The Department of Interior announces 24 new National Historic Landmarks



Earlier today, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced 24 new National Historic Landmarks. Defined as “historic properties of exceptional value to the nation [that promote] the preservation efforts of federal, state, and local agencies and Native American tribes, as well as those of private organizations and individuals,” the designation comes with technical assistance, recognition, and funding. Notably, the Neutra Studio and Residence (VDL House) in Los Angeles, which has hosted several Archinect events in the past, was added to the list.

“These 24 new designations depict different threads of the American story that have been told through activism, architecture, music, and religious observance,” said Secretary Jewell. “Their designation ensures future generations have the ability to learn from the past as we preserve and protect the historic value of these properties and the more than 2,500 other landmarks nationwide.”

Here are the new historical landmarks, with des...

Death is in the details: photographic survey of a mall about to be torn down



Its architecture is painfully lost in its own time and its updates only confuse by neither integrating well into the original structure or standing out as truly contemporary. The pink kiosks, orange tiles, teal chairs and green paneled rooms, the purple plush seating in the JC Penny dressing room, and the bright blue tiered entryways are, along with other decor flourishes, seemingly random, with no coherent pattern.

Declaring that "the dying mall narrative" already peaked a few years ago, Tag Hartman-Simkins decides to photographically zero in on the details of an old mall in Galesburg, Illinois that is about to be torn down and replaced with an updated, outdoor mixed-use space. His careful observations of everything from the floor tile to the overhead music to the way mirrors are arranged in dressing rooms create a nuanced and affecting portrait of long gone times.

A Brutalist coloring book lets you paint it black (and gray, perhaps even blue)



Depending on the level of surreality you favor in your coloring book exercises, The Brutalist Colouring Book from Belgian graphic designer Marc Thomasset allows you to create wildly imaginative or strictly literal renderings of various famous brutalist landmarks, including works by William Pereira and SOM (and even provides pre-made clouds for you):




It's Better to Turn on Than to Fade Away; Archinect Sessions #94



This week Donna, Ken, and Paul discuss Exhibit Columbus's Miller Prize announcement, gender equality in lecture school lineups, and the recent illumination of Detroit.

This episode was sponsored by PPI - use code ARC17 for 15% off your purchase.

Listen to episode 94 of Archinect Sessions, "It's Better to Turn on Than to Fade Away":

    Shenzhen's Design Society to feature V&A gallery for its October 2017 opening



    As brand-new collaborations go, the Shenzhen Design Society's choice to feature London's V&A gallery as part of its cultural hub opening this October isn't too shocking, unless you consider that galleries of Chinese art and photography aren't necessarily a common feature of the global art world circuit. The inclusion of the gallery is partly a tribute to the V&A's numerous exhibitions that showcased Chinese culture in Europe, including one of the first exhibitions on contemporary Chinese film and photography in 2005 (!). According to Lonely Planet, the hub's goal is to "focus on the history of groundbreaking design, with the aim of opening a dialogue on how design can be a catalyst for social change."

    Herzog & de Meuron's Elbphilharmonie celebrates its grand opening



    After months of antici.............pation, Herzog & de Meuron's Elbphilharmonie has finally opened, and a slew of luminaries, including Angela Merkel and the architects themselves, were in attendance to celebrate the inaugural concert. 



    The event featured the debut of “Zum Raum wird hier die Zeit,” a composition by Wolfgang Rihm specifically commissioned for the hall's opening.



    All that data Uber has been collecting might just come in handy



    Uber has A rocky history with city governments—to put it mildly... Now, Uber is making something of a peace offering. The company is launching a new service that could help cities master their traffic. It’s called Uber Movement, and it uses information on the billions of rides Uber has completed.

    Uber Movement is free for the select planning agencies and researchers granted access to it. With it, you can gauge travel times between any two locations. Since, as Uber's chief of transportation policy notes, Uber doesn't actually do any urban planning, they figure they might as well give all this information to the people who do. And, hey, maybe it'll help the ride-sharing company cozy up to previously hostile city governments.

    Editor's Picks #461



    Nicholas Korody talked with Michael Rotondi, a man of deeply-held spiritual convictions, about his spiritual practice and how it affects his architectural and educational practices.

    To wit;

    "What you learn from the Buddhists, the Tibetan Buddhists in particular, is that you work on yourself first and foremost because the healthier you are the healthier you are going to make everybody in your sphere of influence….Most importantly for me, architecture is a pretext for the relationships that you can begin to construct and develop over time. Life is one architecture in my world...I see my role as an architect and the role that architecture has in the world is much different."

    Some readers (Tim W) cautioned "mentoring of students in muddy thinking early on" questioning the practical utility of "pseudoscience, spiritual mash-ups". Most others, saw (at least) some value in an "open mind" or at least "model agnosticism".


    Plus, Evan Chakroff shared his thoughts on a visit to Cuba. The trip inclu...

    65,000 new streetlights illuminate Detroit—here's why that's important



    Michael Kimmelman of the New York Times has published an article about the 65,000 new streetlights now illuminating the streets of Detroit. This seemingly prosaic infrastructural adjustment actually has a lot of import. For a long time, according to the article, Detroit’s decline was symbolically represented in articles about its lights going out. “Like picking up the trash, fixing potholes and responding to emergencies, these efforts signal that no matter where you live in Detroit, you are no longer forgotten — that government here can finally keep its basic promises,” writes Kimmelman.

    Rather than staying concentrated in the inner-city, like most capital and growth, the lights spread across Detroit’s entire 139 miles. Costing $185 million in public money, the lights use energy-efficient LED bulbs. And the whole project came together under budget and on time.

    Within and Without Architecture



    The imaginative possibilities of miniature things lie not in their being shrunken versions of a larger thing. The world of the miniature opens to reveal a secret life.

    Sometimes you encounter a thing that is not “properly” architectural, but which yet has something profound to say about the discipline. In her latest article for Places, columnist Naomi Stead is drawn by a cartoon from The New Yorker to consider the relationships between the miniature, the uncanny, and mise en abyme in architecture. 

    SCI-Arc can't seem to find a single female architect to include in its Spring 2017 lecture series



    SCI-Arc has announced its Spring 2017 lecture series. And not a single female architect was included in the list. Really, SCI-Arc?

    Granted, the roster includes historian and theorist Sylvia Lavin as well as the artist Amalia Ulman—but the lack of a single practicing female architect is pretty striking. In recent years, criticism has been waged at institutions for privileging men when it comes to lecture series, as well as panels, faculty, exhibitions, firms, commissions, wages, and interpersonal relations.

    It’s not exactly like there’s a paucity of exceptionally talented women in the field. The Feminist Wall of Shame also took note and posted on the omission.

    Sam Fox students design a First Class Meal



    “First Class Meal does what the best sharing opportunities do — it identifies excess capacity from one person or organization and makes it available to another one in need, creating a symbiotic relationship that improves the success and efficiency of both partners,” said Linda C. Samuels, associate professor of urban design, who served as faculty advisor. “That symbiosis results in more profitable organizations and, ideally, a more equitable distribution of resources.”

    The first phase of renovations would prioritize storage and pickup areas as well as space for classes.

    Urban SOS is sponsored by multinational engineering company AECOM and the Van Alen Institute in partnership with 100 Resilient Cities. Other finalists — working to solve challenges in Athens as well as Durban, South Africa and Quito, Ecuador — include: Monash University, Harvard, California at Berkeley, Oxford, Columbia, The New School and Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

    For more information, visit or follo...