Norman Foster: The quality of infrastructure determines the quality of our lives

Atlanta, left, and Hong Kong, right, were counterpoints in the conference's discussions.

Atlanta, left, and Hong Kong, right, were counterpoints in the conference’s discussions. (Jeremy Taylor / Chris Lee / Flickr; Montage by AN)

This month, the London School of Economics (LSE) hosted its 10th annual UrbanCities debates, a forum where world leaders in the field of urbanism come together to discuss their views on the subject and its relative disciplines (mainly architecture). This year AN caught up with Design Museum curator Deyan Sujic, Norman Foster, and Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, among others for the debate.

Continue reading after the jump.

Design worth its salt: Dattner and WXY team up for municipal infrastructure on Manhattan’s West Side

Architecture, East, Pictorial
Friday, December 18, 2015
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Spring Street Salt Shed (Courtesy Dattner)

Spring Street Salt Shed (Courtesy Dattner Architects)

The New York City Department of Sanitation’s (DSNY) Soho facilities prove that design for trash need not be rubbish. On a grey December day, five architects gave a tour of two buildings—the Spring Street Salt Shed and Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage—that comprise DSNY’s new facilities on Spring Street at the West Side Highway.

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Thomas Phifer and Partners’ elegantly functional box saturated in daylight

Architecture, Envelope, West
Friday, December 18, 2015
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© Scott Frances

(Courtesy Scott Frances)

The 10-story courthouse includes ten courtrooms for the District Court of Utah, fourteen judges’ chamber suites,  administrative Clerk of the Court offices, the United States Marshal Service, United States Probation, and other federal agencies.

Thomas Phifer and Partners recently completed a United States Courthouse in Salt Lake City for the General Services Administration (GSA). The 400,000 sq. ft. project consists of a blast resistant shell clad with a custom designed anodized aluminum sun screen. The screen is arranged in four configurations dependent on solar orientation, performing as a direct heat gain blocker on the south facades, while subtly changing to a louvered fin configuration on the east and west facades.
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Move over Bjarke, there’s another ski-slope-topped building in town

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Courtesy World Architecture Festival

While warm weather is expanding across the United States, residents of Kazakhstan are embracing the cold winter weather they are receiving. The residents of Slalom House, a 21-story apartment block in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana, may be getting an over-the-top amenity: a 1,000-foot ski slope.

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Santiago Calatrava’s Museum of Tomorrow opens in Rio de Janeiro

Architecture, International
Thursday, December 17, 2015
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The Museu do Amanhã (Courtesy Santiago Calatrava Architects)

The Museu do Amanhã (Courtesy Santiago Calatrava Architects)

It’s a bird, it’s a plane…. it’s a soaring, white Calatrava design in Rio de Janeiro. The Museu do Amanhã (The Museum of Tomorrow) opens December 18 on Maua Pier in the up-and-coming Puerto Maravilha neighborhood.

Continue after the jump.

Foster & Partners, HOK among nine shortlisted for UK Houses of Parliament upgrades

Houses of Parliament from across the Thames ( / Flickr )

Houses of Parliament from across the Thames (Berit Watkin / Flickr)

Allies and Morrison, BDP, HOK and Foster+Partners have been shortlisted among a group of nine firms for the refurbishment project at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London. The commission is touted to be worth up to $31.5 million.

Continue reading after the jump.

Ford Foundation announces renovation of its Kevin Roche–designed headquarters in New York

Architecture, East, Newsletter, Preservation
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
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The Ford Foundation (Richard Barnes)

The Ford Foundation. (Richard Barnes)

The Ford Foundation announced today that Gensler will lead a $190 million renovation of its Manhattan headquarters in East Midtown. The renovation will bring the building up to code while preserving the 1967 modernist design by Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo.

More after the jump.

Architect Barbara Bestor on crafting a firm identity

Architecture, Facades+ News, West
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
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Bestor Architecture's Blackbirds, Los Angeles. (Iwan Baan)

Bestor Architecture’s Blackbirds, Los Angeles. (Iwan Baan)

Barbara Bestor, a SCI-Arc graduate and founder of Bestor Architecture, has spent decades immersed in Los Angeles‘ design culture—and it shows.

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I Am a Monumental Gift Idea: Venturi Scott Brown Online Store Now Open

Architecture, National, Product
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
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Denise Scott Brown "Duck" Mug. (Courtesy of Learning from Bob and Denise)

Denise Scott Brown “Duck” Mug. (Courtesy of Learning from Bob and Denise)

Last minute holiday shopping? Who isn’t a fan of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown? Whether you like Rome, Las Vegas, or Levittown, you can find something useful from the duo. They are famous for quips like, “You don’t have to like something to learn from it,” and “I can like something worse than you can like.” Venturi even called himself “The Dennis the Menace of Architecture.” Now you can get all the fun ’60s and ’70s architectural debauchery delivered to your house, with the Learning from Bob and Denise store, online now with merchandise fit for a minor league sports team.

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

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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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Orange Coast College expansion threatens designs by Neutra, Alexander, and Eckbo.

Neutra's threatened Science Building at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa (Chris/flickr)

Neutra’s threatened Science Building at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa (Chris/flickr)

The future’s looking grim for a dozen buildings on the Orange Coast College designed by Richard Neutra and Robert Alexander. A November vote by college trustees approved a plan for the demolition of several structures on the 164-acre campus, including Neutra’s planetarium and a cluster of low-slung brick buildings. Read More

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