Acton Ostry Architects breaks ground on 18-story wooden residential tower

acton3

Courtesy Acton Ostry Architects

Canada’s Acton Ostry Architects, in collaboration with tall wood advisor Architekten Hermann Kaufmann, has begun construction on the appropriately named “Tall Wood Building,” an 18-story, 174-foot-tall residential tower for Canada’s University of British Columbia (UBC) upper year and graduate students. The tower will be the largest wooden residential tower, but maybe not for long: MGA’s 35-story Baobab is still awaiting approval.

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Architects in Sweden implementing solar technology to keep popular ICEHOTEL open year-round

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Courtesy PinPinStudio

Each year, guests flock to Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, for a chance to stay at ICEHOTEL, a seasonal hotel made of ice from the Torne River. But in 2016, guests will have the chance to enjoy ICEHOTEL all year long. The new 12, 900-square-foot extension will connect to ICEHOTEL’s existing structure during the winter months and feature a curved roof with greenery, providing space for tobogganing.

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After Zaha Hadid bows out, two new proposals unveiled for the Tokyo Olympic Stadium

Proposal from "B" (Courtesy Japan Sports Council)

Proposal from “A” (Courtesy Japan Sports Council)

After controversy and budget overruns surrounding Zaha Hadid‘s curvy design for Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium, the starchitect bowed out of the running. But Tokyo still needs a stadium, and two just-released proposals show a decidedly more traditional design.

Continue after the jump.

Plan uses solar, algae to transform the Tijuana River into sustainable infrastructure

The plan transforms the concrete channel into a sustainable piece of urban infrastructure. (Courtesy GENERICA Architects)

The plan transforms the concrete channel into a sustainable piece of urban infrastructure. (Courtesy GENERICA Architects)

All the chatter may be around Frank Gehry and the Los Angeles River, but that waterway is not the only channelized river on the West Coast. More than 40 years ago a 10.5-mile long stretch of the Tijuana River was concretized as a flood control channel to make more development possible. If Gehry’s scheme is all about hydrology, a new proposal for the Tijuana River is about electricity.

Continue reading after the jump.

Cool & Unusual: The story behind Mark Foster Gage’s unique tower proposal for Billionaire’s Row

41 West 57th St. by Mark Foster Gage Architects. (Courtesy MFGA)

41 West 57th St. by Mark Foster Gage Architects. (Courtesy MFGA)

With a theoretical site on Mahattan’s 57th Street—the so-called Billionaires’ Row—New York–based Mark Foster Gage Architects (MFGA) was recently asked, “What is the next generation of luxury?”

The firm’s answer? To bring “higher resolution” to those projects by working at a range of textural scales, and his proposed theoretical tower has been making waves in design conversation around the city.

For instance, from far away, the building reads as a figure in the skyline, but up close, there is another level of detail that is not legible from far away. Even closer, the ornament has another level of “resolution” that makes it more visually interesting.

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West 8 transforms a town plaza beneath an elevated highway in Belgium

RENDERING OF ENGELS PLEIN. (COURTESY WEST 8)

RENDERING OF ENGELS PLEIN. (COURTESY WEST 8)

For years, Engels Plein, an “English Square” on the perimeter of Leuven, Belgium, has been dominated by viaducts overhead, making the square poorly accessible, dark, unsafe, and, consequently, rundown. To better connect the surrounding homes and commercial spaces, West 8 transformed the industrial space into an outdoor lounge with multiple terraces that encourage people to live, shop, and work in the area. Leuven, previously an industrial city, is now a center of architectural development and renovation.

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TEN Arquitectos tapped to design a new mixed-use luxury development in the Cayman Islands

(Courtesy TEN Arquitectos)

(Courtesy TEN Arquitectos)

Mexico City– and New York–based architecture firm TEN Arquitectos has been tapped to design a new mixed-use luxury hotel in the Cayman Islands. The $250 million project’s developer, Beach Bay Land Ltd, announced the selection this week at Art Basel.

Continue after the jump.

UNStudio’s undulant new Arnhem station is now open

(Courtesy Dezeen)

(Ronald Tilleman / Courtesy UNStudio)

In the works for two decades, the new UNStudio-designed train station for Arnhem, Netherlands—the city’s largest post-war development—has finally opened to the public. The 234,000-square-foot transfer hall, which features undulating steel forms reminiscent of Eero Saarinen’s futuristic TWA Terminal design, is a vibrant nexus and a core component of the Arnhem Central Masterplan.

More after the jump.

“Non-artist” collective Assemble wins the 2015 Turner Prize

Art, Awards, International, News, Newsletter
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
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(Courtesy Assemble)

(Courtesy Assemble)

At a ceremony in Glasgow on Monday, the 18-member, London-based architecture and design collective Assemble was awarded the Turner Prize, for Granby Four Streets, its collaborative, community-engaged renovations of Victorian-era homes in Liverpool. The annual award is Britain’s most prestigious honor for contemporary artists under 50. This is the only the second time the Turner Prize has been awarded to more than one artist (Gilbert & George won in 1986).

More after the jump.

There’s a new prize in town: RIBA launches International Prize for the “world’s best new building”

Herzog & de Meuron won the 2015 RIBA Charles Jencks Award, an annual prize named for British architect and critic Charles Jencks that recognizes “major international contributions to the theory and practice of architecture.” Pictured here: the Beijing National Stadium (Courtesy Herzog & de Meuron)

Herzog & de Meuron won the 2015 RIBA Charles Jencks Award, an annual prize named for British architect and critic Charles Jencks that recognizes “major international contributions to the theory and practice of architecture.” Pictured here: the Beijing National Stadium (Courtesy Herzog & de Meuron)

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced a new prize at a ceremony in London today. The RIBA International Prize will go to the “world’s best new building.” The selection criteria are broad: the building can be “of any type or budget and in any country, which exemplifies design excellence, architectural ambition and which delivers meaningful social impact.” This is the first RIBA award open to non-RIBA members.

Continue reading after the jump.

MVRDV’s winning idea to convert an old shopping mall and parking garage into a public street and urban lagoon

(COURTESY MVRDV)

(COURTESY MVRDV)

MVRDV, with the Urbanist Collaborative and LLJ Architects, won a competition to transform “T-axis,” 590,000 square feet of China-Town Mall and Haian Road, in downtown Tainan, Taiwan. To reconnect the city and nature, the China-Town Shopping Mall will be removed, a green, public corridor will be built along Haian Road, and an urban lagoon will be created within the former underground parking garage. Construction is planned to begin fall of 2016.

More after the jump.

Eavesdrop> Borderline Personalities: SHoP Architects could be designing a project in Tijuana

(Xiquinho Silva / Flickr)

(Xiquinho Silva / Flickr)

Seemingly ubiquitous in New York City, SHoP Architects may be taking its urbane brand south of the border, and not just for tacos. The firm won’t confirm or deny rumors that it chatted with Alfonso Medina of T38 Studio about a Tijuana-based project.

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