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Archinect - News

Updated: 2017-11-19T11:45:41-05:00


Fabricwood by Produce.Workshop wins World Interior of the Year 2017



On the last day of the competition, the Day One and Two category winners of the 2017 INSIDE: World Festival of Interiors went head-to-head for the World Interior of the Year award. During the World Architecture Festival evening gala on Friday, Fabricwood by Singaporean practice Produce.Workshop won the grand prize.

Developed by Produce.Workshop as an installation for The Herman Miller shop in Singapore, Fabricwood joins other World Interior of the Year recipients like the Black Cant System fashion concept store by An Design, March Studio's Hotel HotelMOTT32 restaurant in Hong Kong by Joyce Wang Studio, and David Kohn Architects' Carrer Avinyó.

Here's a first glimpse of the 2017 World Interior of the Year.

World Building of the Year 2017 awarded to Chinese University of Hong Kong's Post-earthquake reconstruction of Guangming Village



The verdict is out! After a final round of presentations and jury critiques for the Day One and Two category winners at the World Architecture Festival, The Chinese University of Hong Kong's Post-earthquake reconstruction/demonstration project of Guangming Village in Zhaotong, China beat tough competition to win 2017 World Building of the Year. In recent years, the award has gone to the National Museum of Szczecin by Robert Konieczny/KWK Promes, The Interlace by OMA/Ole Scheeren in Singapore, and a21studio's The Chapel in Vietnam.

Other special award winners who were announced during the WAF award evening gala included: Small Project of the Year winner Eriksson Furunes, Leandro V. Locsin Partners, and Boase for the Streetlight Tagpuro project in The Philippines; Best Use of Colour winner Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects for the Fitzroy Crossing Renal Hostel in Australia; and New Wave Architecture's Pars Hospital for the Iran Special Prize for Completed Buildings, to name a few. 


Are you bored yet?



Its forms are basic, totemic: Euclidean shapes dredged from the long memory of the field. It sometimes relies on modules or grids. It’s often monochromatic. It’s post-digital, which means it rejects the compulsion to push form-making to its absolute limits that overtook architecture at the turn of the century. As a result, it sometimes looks ancient or even primordial. It never looks futuristic.

Famed LA Times architectural critic, Christopher Hawthorne, released his view of contemporary architecture that culminates in it being classified as boring, and yet, that might be exactly what the architectural discipline ordered. As a reaction to 'hyperactive form-making,' Hawthorne argues that contemporary architects are getting 'boring.' 

One could understand that as an insult or derivative comment, but Hawthorne states that their work is well considered and measured and that the 'Room Temperature' of the work is just right but is also aware of the viability of such a project to be under question and scrutiny.

The LOT: LAVA — Screens & Streets



During LA CoMotion — a downtown event featuring the so-called city of tomorrow — a Los Angeles artist group is reframing what the city of tomorrow is by bringing the art to the screens and streets. 

A local group of Los Angeles video artists is making strides — and having fun while doing it — with guerilla-style pops around the city on its endless canvases and spaces. Founded in 2003, LAVA is a community of artists working primarily in the field of immersive experiential video art. The goal of the LAVA community is to promote and nurture the movement of video art with the latest technological magic in the greater Los Angeles area.

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LAVA members are constantly contributing to the current discourse around LED pixel mapping, 360 dome visuals, 3D and 4D projection mapping, interactive and immersive experiences, audiovisual software and hardware customization, content consciousness, ethics,...




The most radical art space to launch in Paris in decades will open next spring in a five-storey, 19th-century building in the Marais district. The Fondation d’Entreprise Galeries Lafayette, run by the eponymous French retail chain, commissioned Rem Koolhaas and his OMA company to renovate the historic building at 9 rue du Platre.

OMA has placed a glass and steel exhibition tower in the building’s courtyard, which operates as a ‘curatorial machine’,” according to a project statement. This tower incorporates four mobile platforms that move in and out of sight, allowing 49 different spatial configurations. As the floors move, galleries of varying sizes with different ceiling heights are created. In the basement, artists will make works in a production workshop.

Home is where your hard drive is.



Within 40 hours of the project being announced in 2016, over 100,000 people had applied for citizenship on Asgardia's website. After three weeks, Asgardia had 500,000 applicants.

On November 12, a hard drive 'nanosat' containing the information of 18,000 newly naturalized citizens of Asgardia took off for its two-day flight to the international space station. The nanosat — it is roughly the size of a loaf of bread — contains 0.5 TB of data such as family photographs, as well as digital representations of the space nation's flag, coat of arms, and constitution. 

The project, lead by a 53-year-old rocket scientist Dr Igor Ashurbeyl, says its mission is to provide a "peaceful society," offer easier access to space technologies, and protect earth from space threats, such as asteroids and man-made debris in space.

"I really want to be able to see if human beings are able to have more opportunity to express their opinions, The society we live in now — everything seems to be either capitalism or communism — there's a lot of conflict. As a human being, I would hope (to see) if we could have other ways (of living). For a better life, and for more options." Says Dr Ig...

It's Archigram's Future: We are just living in it



Archigram can be seen as part of several trends that influence metropolitan life to this day. One was the Pop Art movement, where color, dynamism, fashion, and disposability were presented in graphics as understated as a passing billboard.

While history may be said to define us, it could also be that history paves the roads in which we will ultimately walk. Archigram, known for being an avant-garde architectural group formed in the 1960s and for its neo-futuristic, anti-heroic and pro-consumerist theoretical projects, may, in fact, have been more prophetic than theoretical. While their work has been the precedent for endless variations of conceptual and realized projects, it may also ultimately end up being the destination as well. 

The winning designs for Latvia's Amber Road Trekking Cabins competition announced



Bee Breeders' latest competition tasked architects with designing a series of unique trekking cabins for Latvia's Amber Road, which would allow long-distance hikers to traverse the country, reaching from the Latvia-Lithuania border to the Latvia-Estonia border. The trekking cabins were to take the environment into consideration and to be suitable for the various terrains along the hiking trail. They were also asked to be in keeping with the country’s traditions and culture, while at the same time having the potential to become iconic landmarks in their own right.

Successful projects responded to the programmatic requirements of the brief with consideration of economic viability, securable enclosure, utilitarian function, constructibility, and climatic sensitivity. The winning designs will be considered for construction by the Latvia Nature Conservation Agency and can be seen below.

Day Two winners of 2017 INSIDE: World Festival of Interiors announced



Distinguishing top-notch talent in the international interior design scene, the 2017 INSIDE: World Festival of Interiors also revealed its second set of category winners for Day Two. The six winning projects will now join the three Day One winners to compete for the ultimate prize: World Interior of the Year 2017. 

Have a look at the Day Two winners below.

Equity, Secrets and Relevancy of AIA; 1 Year After #NotMyAIA



This week we're devoting our episode to the anniversary of the 2016 election of Donald J. Trump, the statement by the AIA CEO Robert Ivy, and the subsequent dissent born out of the hashtag #NotMyAIA. We look to what has changed, and what hasn't; as it relates to the profession, activism and education, and what does the future portend.

Joining Ken today are Katherine Darnstadt, founder and principal at Chicago-based Latent Design, V. Mitch McEwen, founder and principal at Brooklyn-based A(n) Office, principal of McEwen Studio, and assistant professor at Princeton School of Architecture, and Rosa T. Sheng, AIA LEED AP BD C, principal at SmithGroupJJR, AIASF President Elect - 2018 Board.

Listen to "Equity, Secrets and Relevancy of AIA":

The World Architecture Festival 2017 Day Two winners



The 2017 World Architecture Festival in Berlin continues with Day Two, and the next set of category winners have been revealed. The latest winners include C.F. Møller Architects, ACME, EAA Emre Arolat Architecture, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, and more. If you missed the Day One winners yesterday, you can find them here.

Now that all the category winners have been revealed, they will go on to compete for the overall-winning World Building of the Year 2017.

Day Two also included the presentation of the Architecture Drawing Prize, which went to London-based architecture student Jerome Xin Hao Ng for “Momento Mori: a Peckham Hospice Care Home”, a hybrid illustration (created in collaboration with Make Architects) that combines the hand-drawing and digital disciplines. The project will be displayed at Sir John Soane’s Museum in London next spring.

Scroll down to see the Day Two winners.


TyBot: a robot invented for tying steel reinforcement bars in construction



Tybot is a robot recently invented that can tie together steel reinforcement bars saving time and reducing risk in construction projects. Thousands of joints must be tied before pouring the concrete, however this step has traditionally been labor intensive, hazardous, and a cause for major delays in the building process.     

This robot is the first offering from the firm Advanced Construction Robotics (ACR) launched by construction firm boss Steve Muck and robotics expert Jeremy Searock. The machine only requires transportation and setting up the frame using the existing infrastructure, which can be done in half a day's work. TyBot is then ready to go to work, often at night, needing only one worker supervising it in operation. 

Click below and watch TyBot in action.

Urban Land Institute awards 13 Developments in North America, Europe and Asia



Thirteen real estate development projects from around the globe have been selected as winners of the Urban Land Institute's 2017-2018 Global Awards for Excellence. Widely recognized as one of the land use industry’s most prestigious awards programs, the awards honor projects that demonstrate an innovative, forward-looking approach to design and development and achieve the highest standard of excellence in design, construction, economics, planning, and management.

“Cities are about people—the way we interact, get around, and go about our daily routines. Great cities are made of great places that make the urban experience easy and enjoyable,” said ULI Global Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips. “These projects reflect the highest standards of design, construction, economics, planning, and management. But most important, they are improving people’s quality of life."

Selected by an international jury made up of ULI members representing a multidisciplinary collection of real estate...

R.I.P. Architect Albert C. Ledner



Ledner's trio of buildings for the union's headquarters in Manhattan catapulted him onto the national stage, raising eyebrows and earning him accolades for his innovative approach. One of the structures resembles a giant Connect 4 game board, speckled with more than 100 porthole windows and sloping 20 feet from the base.

Susan Langenhennig reports that Albert C. Ledner, died Monday night in Manchester, N.H.

For more about the "quirky modernist architects who, influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright" read this, this or this.


The Ledner House, New Orleans, December 2006 | Credit Karrie Jacobs


The O’Toole Building of St. Vincent’s Hospital, originally headquarters of the National Maritime Union | Credit Albert Ledner



First set of 2017 INSIDE: World Festival of Interiors winners revealed



As the sister event to the anticipated 2017 World Architecture Festival in Berlin, the INSIDE: World Festival of Interiors competition scopes out the best of the best projects in the global interior design scene. This past summer, 78 projects were shortlisted. On Day One of the INSIDE Festival, competition drastically narrowed down and concluded with the announcement of the first three category-winning projects, which you can check out below. The remaining six winners will be revealed at the end of Day Two tomorrow.

Once all nine category winners are announced, only one project will be crowned as the coveted World Interior of the Year 2017.

World Architecture Festival 2017 Day One winners announced



It's finally go-time for the World Architecture Festival 2017. Taking place in Berlin for its 10th edition, the competition reeled in a whopping 924 project submissions from architects across the globe, and the shortlist was revealed this past July. The winners of the inaugural WAFX Prize for innovative design concepts were announced last month.

Every year, some 2,000 architects and enthusiasts flock to the global event to watch the live WAF competition unfold before their eyes. Day One just wrapped up with the announcement of the category winners. Have a look at them below. Once the Day Two winners are revealed tomorrow, all the category winners will go on to compete for the overall-winning World Building of the Year 2017 award.

Is City Transformer's new folding car the answer to our parking problems?



Urban drivers spend an average of 20 minutes per trip looking for parking and studies have found that anywhere from about 30 to 60 percent of the cars you see driving around a downtown core are doing just that. The energy spent looking for parking burns 47,000 gallons of gas and generates 730 tons of carbon dioxide a year and in dense cities like New York City, can account for up to 40% of energy consumed by automobiles.

Urbanists have long seen the emergence of self-driving cars as the solution to problems posed by parking as well as other urban ills; as fleets of robocars replace the need for individual car ownership, the amount of parking needed will decline accordingly freeing up large swaths of space for other uses while reducing energy consumption.  

Adding to this vision for new urban transportation, the Israeli company City Transformer has designed a self-driving car with an added bonus: it folds itself, shrinking at the push of a button to fit into a motorcycle parking spa...

Architecture Billings Index in October enters Q4 with modest uptick



After a stand-alone month of contracting demand for design services, there was a modest uptick in the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) for October. [...] October ABI score was 51.7, up from a score of 49.1 in the previous month. This score reflects an increase in design services provided by U.S. architecture firms [...]. The new projects inquiry index was 60.2, up from a reading of 59.0 the previous month, while the new design contracts index eased slightly from 52.9 to 52.8.

“As we enter the fourth quarter, there is enough design activity occurring that construction conditions should remain healthy moving through 2018,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Extended strength in inquiries and new design contracts, along with balanced growth across the major building sectors signals further gains throughout the construction industry.”

The AIA reports these key ABI stats for the month of October:

  • Regional averages: Northeast (54.0), South (50.8), West (49.8), Midwest (49.0)
  • Sector index breakdown: commercial / industrial (51.2), mixed practice (50.7), multi-family residential (50.7), institutional (50.7)
  • Project inquiries index: 60.2
  • Design contracts index: 52.8

It's unofficial - official. Denver did #VoteYes on #I300.



The leads in those races have never flipped since polls closed Tuesday night. Denver city officials, including Mayor Michael Hancock, already were treating the Green Roof Initiative as though it would pass, given its growing lead with every release of results.

Jon Murray and Kieran Nicholson report the final, unofficial, results released by the Denver Elections Division. BLUF Denver voters passed the Green Roof Initiative and Mayor Hancock and the city are committing to "how best to implement it within the laws and property rights that people have, and to make sure that the spirit of the law that the people have passed is implemented appropriately."

As, Department of Community Planning and Development spokeswoman Andrea Burns noted on CBS4 "green roofs are already possible in Denver. It's just a matter of making those agreements that are part of Initiative 300 work with our system now. We're going to make this work for the people of Denver."

For some on the ground reporting the night of the election, check out; Andrew Kenney over at Denverite and some video/Tweets via Denver Posts @ShannonHoffmanM. * Full disclosure I was at the I300 celebration and part of the campaign's street team.

Finally, if you are feeling inspired, you can check out...

DOPIUM.LA: Big Art Little Chinatown



Only a dream can kill a dream.

Developed with some of the minds behind One Night Stand LA, DOPIUM.LA aimed to preserve the original beauty of Chinatown, while showing its inspirational influence on an emerging community of creatives in Los Angeles.

For one night, a group of artist, architects and atmospheric maestros turned the Mandarin Plaza into a space to remember; into an experience sparking the thrill of pleasure and inspiration - like Dopamine through the brain, and Opium* through the vein.


Two spectators enjoying their shadowed existence.
”Opium” as a part of the name is a reference to the organic relief it originally provided as a natural form of medicine, and is in no way making light of controversial issues. We aim for this event to represent art as a creative catharsis, our own way of expressing ourselves as means to escape the climate we’re in for one day, at least.


Image: Dopium LA

Featured artists created original pieces to bring the plaza (aka the "Canvas") to life through mixed media, from sculpture...

Ness Point and 6 Wood Lane shortlisted for RIBA House of the Year 2017



The next two shortlisted projects for the RIBA House of the Year 2017 award were announced: Ness Point by Tonkin Liu and 6 Wood Lane by Birds Portchmouth Russum. The prestigious prize recognizes top-notch architectural design in a new home or home extension, and only one project will be crowned as the UK's best new home. Last week, Caring Wood and the Shawm House were unveiled as the first two shortlisted contenders.

More of the shortlist will be revealed on Channel 4's “Grand Designs: House of the Year” TV program throughout the month, until the prize winner is revealed on November 28.

Read on for more about the latest shortlisted projects.

Ness Point by by Tonkin Liu

Huangshan Mountain Village gets MAD



Instinctively growing out of the mountainous landscape, the serene design sensibility of the village is reflected in its natural setting.

Huangshan, located near the ancient villages of Hongcun and Xidi in China’s Anhui province, is home to one of the country’s most beautiful mountains. Known for its rich verdant scenery and distinct granite peaks, the beloved landscape has long inspired artists, offering them sheltered spaces for contemplation and reflection. As a UNESCO Heritage Site, the humanistic atmosphere and beautiful, tranquil environment has become an increasingly popular tourist destination. It is here that MAD Architects, led by Ma Yansong, has realized “Huangshan Mountain Village”.


image: MAD

MAD’s scheme is part of a larger tourism masterplan for Huangshan Taiping Lake. While providing the conveniences of modern living, the design affirms the significance of this culturally important mountain range. Composed in deference to the local topography, each of the buildings are diverse in height and appearance, and have been conceived to ensure that the original mountain levels are maintained. Organized in a lin...

William Kaven unveils design for tallest Portland building



William Kaven Architecture recently revealed their proposed design for the US Postal Site redevelopment project in downtown Portland, Oregon. Currently in the conceptual design stage, the firm has fleshed out major goals for Portland's central site. William Kaven have proposed a multi high rise project with two lofty towers at it's center exceeding a height of 970 feet, and making them the tallest structure in Portland. 

The master plan includes approximately 5 million square feet of sustainable new development with a mixed use of retail, office, hospitality and residential. The leading towers would be interlinked by a glass-enclosed botanical bridge spanning across the North Park Blocks. William Kaven intend this skybridge to be an iconic addition to the city's skyline providing dramatic aerial views and becoming a destination for downtown Portland. 

Co founder Daniel Kaven proclaims expansive goals for Portland stating, "The towers are large enough to serve as a headquarters for a...

"Obdurate Space: Architecture of Donald Judd” revisits the prominent artist's built and unbuilt visions



"Obdurate Space: Architecture of Donald Judd" is a new exhibition at the AIANY Center for Architecture that explores the built and unbuilt architectural projects of prominent 20th-century artist — and American master minimalist — Donald Judd. The exhibition was curated and designed by Armstrong + Cohen Architecture co-founders Claude Armstrong and Donna Cohen, who were Judd's architectural assistants in the 1980s.

The exhibition has models, photos, drawings, and interpretive digital renderings of five of Judd's most mature architectural works, which illustrate his formal consistency across various scales and complexity. The projects are: the Concrete Buildings in Marfa, Texas; the urban proposal for downtown Cleveland, Ohio; the Eichholteren Haus, Küssnacht-am-Rigi, Switzerland; the Kunsthaus Bregenz Office and Archive Building, Austria; and Bahnhof Ost Basel, Switzerland. 


“Starship Chicago” documentary tracks preservation battle of Thompson Center



Can Helmut Jahn's Thompson Center be saved? A newly released short documentary, Starship Chicago, delves into the struggle and controversy around preserving the state of Illinois building. Some see the building as a unique representation of transparent government and Chicago's architectural spirit, while others see a rundown waste of space. 

"Chicago preservationists, along with the building’s original champion, Governor James R. Thompson, are gearing up for a major battle to save the city’s most provocative architectural statement" tells the director and producer Nathan Eddy. The documentary interviews the architect himself, Helmut Jahn, the governor whose name is on the building, James. R. Thompson, along with Stanley Tigerman and other Chicago architects, critics, and historians.     

Watch Starship Chicago below. 

Anable Basin proposal envisions a massive mixed-use district along the Long Island City waterfront



The plastics company, Plaxall, announced on Tuesday a massive rezoning proposal to allow for a mixed-use district in Anable Basin, the area surrounding a 149-year-old inlet located in Long Island City. Since founding the company more than 70 years ago, the Plaxall family has purchased and rehabilitated properties in the neighborhood and currently manages over one million square feet of space. Achieved through rezoning, the proposal calls for 335,000 square feet for industrial uses, 4,955 housing units with 25 percent of them affordable, a 700+ seat public school and a new, elevated promenade. If the rezoning is approved, construction is anticipated to begin in 2020 with a completion date in 2034, but no official timeline has been set.


The Anable Basin rezoning would cover about 14.7 acres, with Plaxall owning about 12.6 already. The district would be bordered by 45th Avenue and 44th Drive to the north, Vernon Boulevard to the east, 46th Road to the south, and 5th Street and the East...

Shigeru Ban wins Mother Teresa award for ‘disaster relief’ architecture



Shigeru Ban has been selected as one of the winners of the Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice. The award, established by the Harmony Foundation in 2005, honors individuals and organizations that promote peace, equality and social justice. Past winners include the author of Another Man's War Sam Childers, Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai, and the Dalai-Lama.

LA-based photographer George Byrne captures the city’s lesser known urban spaces



"Buildings are just giant sculptures after all!" describes George Byrne, the Los Angeles-based photographer who points his camera towards architectural compositions as subject matter for his work. The Australian born artist has now been a resident of Los Angeles for eight years and it shows. 


'Corner Composition Palm Springs' 2017 by George Byrne.


'Blue Awning with Yellow' 2017 by George Byrne.

With an interest in deco inspired prefab structures and an affinity for the ubiquitous 'Dingbat' stucco box apartments of the '50s and '60s, Byrne finds an appreciation in the details of Los Angeles architecture developed over years of living within city limits. His most recent work, in particular, focuses on the lesser-known urban landscapes in and around East Hollywood, where the artist lives. 


'Echo Park' 2017 by George Byrne.


'East Hollywood Carpark' 2016 by George Byrne.

Viewing his photos as portraits of the city, Byrne draws energy from modernist painters Richard Deibenkorn, Frank Stella, ...

Get your copy of the first issue of Ed, Archinect's new print journal!



Archinect is pleased to announce the release of the inaugural issue of Ed, our new print publication. The first issue focuses on “The Architecture of Architecture”—how architecture is constitutively enmeshed within ecologies, economies, socio-politics, technological regimes, and patriarchal structures. In the issue, some of the most innovative voices in contemporary architecture take a look at how this operates, and how it can be redesigned. In short, “The Architecture of Architecture” endeavors to sketch out the limits of contemporary architectural practice and thought, and to imagine alternatives.


Conceived of as a thought-provoking journal wrapped in a visually-rich magazine, the issue features a conversation with the Barcelona-based studio MAIO about their first ground-up project, as well as an interview with the artist Martin Beck by Amelia Stein, and a special iteration of Archinect’s recurring interview series Small Studio Snapshots featuring Brandão Costa Arquitectos. Alongs...

The 3 Rules of Project Management for Architecture Firms




This post is brought to you by BQE Core.

Having wonderful employees and great clients is vital. But the most significant component of running an AEC practice is project management. Having the best clients and most dedicated professional staff won’t do your firm any good if you and your team can’t make a profit on your projects.

Here are three maxims to follow if you want your firm to be even better at project management.

1. Stay Within Scope

Your firm and the client must be crystal-clear on the work that is to be completed. Spell everything out. Your project management software should highlight each phase of the project and what will be accomplished during it.

Staying within scope doesn’t mean that change orders should be avoided at all costs. They are, in fact, a part of life for architecture firms. But if something in a project needs altered, there must be a process, and everyone should understand why the change is being made. The modification needs to be agreed upon and spelled o...