London to invest $140 million to boost cycling in the ‘burbs

A proposed "cycle hub" in Kingston. (Transport for London)

A proposed “cycle hub” in Kingston. (Transport for London)

As we’ve been reporting, there are some pretty big urbanism proposals being pushed in London right now. Next month, the city is expected to break ground on a massive cycle superhighway that will give cyclists about 20 miles of new protected bike lanes. Mayor Johnson is also supporting a plan to bury parts of major thoroughfares to boost walkability and development. But now, something even bigger is brewing in the London suburbs.

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This prefab steel cabin from Copenhagen takes glamping to a whole new level

Newsletter, Other
Friday, February 27, 2015
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(Courtesy Vipp)

(Courtesy Vipp)

Danish design studio Vipp recently debuted a fully-furnished, prefabricated shelter touted as a “plug and play getaway” and “all-inclusive nature retreat.” This ready-to-use, minimalist cabin is just 592 square feet and is designed to reunite man with nature by integrating into its surroundings with a steel facade and predominantly dark tones that defer to the surrounding scenery.

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Animated film shows how growing up with modernist architect parents comes with its own challenges

Architecture, Art, International
Friday, February 27, 2015
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modern-arch-parents-01

Still from Me and My Moulton.

A short film called Me and My Moulton by director Torill Kove takes a humorous look at growing up with parents who are “modernist architects”—and it’s been nominated for an Academy Award under “Best Animated Short Film.” Told from the perspective of of a seven-year-old middle child, the challenges of growing up with architect parents include three-legged dinner table chairs and a house that your friends think is a bit odd.

Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Breaking! Renderings and video of Bjarke Ingels’ and Heatherwick’s Google headquarters unveiled

(Courtesy BIG & Heatherwick Studio)

(Courtesy BIG & Heatherwick Studio)

Just two days ago, AN brought you word that Copenhagen- and New York–based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and London-based Heatherwick Studio were teaming up to design the new headquarters for Google in Mountain View, California. At the time, it was only being reported that the complex would comprise “a series of canopylike buildings.” Well, now we know what those canopylike buildings will look like and a whole lot more.

Continue reading after the jump.

Clive Wilkinson Architects Makes a Superdesk

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Clive Wilkinson Architects designed a continuous work surface dubbed the Superdesk for New York advertisers the Barbarian Group. (Michael Moran)

Clive Wilkinson Architects designed a continuous work surface dubbed the Superdesk for New York advertisers the Barbarian Group. (Michael Moran)

Endless table materializes intra-office connectivity in plywood, MDF, and epoxy.

When Culver City-based Clive Wilkinson Architects (CWA) sat down with representatives of the Barbarian Group to discuss renovating the advertising agency’s new 20,000-square-foot office, one word kept coming up: connection. “Before, they were all in offices designed for one person, but crammed five in each, and scattered,” recalled associate principal Chester Nielsen. “It was a pain. Bringing everyone into the open, and having them feel like they were all connected was super important.” The architects elected to “surgically gut” the leased New York Garment District loft to create a central workspace for between 125-175 employees. To materialize the theme of connection, they zeroed in on the idea of a single work surface, an endless table later christened the Superdesk. With 4,400 square feet of epoxy-coated surface atop a support structure comprising 870 unique laser-cut plywood panels, the Superdesk is a triumph of programmatic creativity. “Building a big table was not an obvious solution,” said Nielsen, “but it’s a simple one.”
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Minneapolis takes a cue from the Netherlands with city’s first woonerf shared street

A woonerf street in Jimbocho, Tokyo. (Rob Ketcherside via Flickr)

A woonerf street in Jimbocho, Tokyo. (Rob Ketcherside via Flickr)

A residential development in downtown Minneapolis is set to give the city its first woonerf, a road type developed in the Netherlands that integrates vehicle traffic and parking with pedestrians, bicyclists and public amenities. Read More

Check out these five finalists named in the Mies van der Rohe Awards

Architecture, Awards, International
Thursday, February 26, 2015
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Philarmonic Hall Szczecin. (Simon Menges)

Philarmonic Hall Szczecin. (Simon Menges)

Five projects have been short-listed in the 2015 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture—Mies van der Rohe Award. Over the next few weeks, jury members will visit each of the five buildings and a winner will be announced on May 8th at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona. You can take a look at the five finalists below.

View the finalists after the jump.

Are you ready for some football stadiums? Los Angeles gets even more proposals for its yet-unsecured NFL team

Architecture, Unveiled, West
Thursday, February 26, 2015
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Raiders/ Chargers stadium in Carson (Manica Architecture)

Raiders/ Chargers stadium in Carson (Manica Architecture)

Just when we thought Los Angeles’ football stadium craziness had cooled down, the owners of the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders have unveiled plans for a 72,000 seat, $1.7 billion stadium on a 168-acre site in Carson—which should soon be on that city’s ballot—while Inglewood City Council approved a measure to build a stadium for the (for now) St. Louis Rams, originally floated by Rams’ owner Stan Kroenke.

Continue reading after the jump.

Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick are reportedly designing Google’s new headquarters

Architecture, Media, Newsletter, West
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
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Bjarke Ingels, left, and Thomas Heatherwick, right.

Bjarke Ingels, left, and Thomas Heatherwick, right.

Presumably not wanting to be outdone by Facebook and its Frank Gehry–designed digs or Apple and its Norman Foster–designed doughnut, Google has tapped two architectural big hitters for its new Mountain View, California headquarters. According to the New York Times, the company is expected to announce that the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Heatherwick Studio are behind the yet-to-be-seen design, which given the two firms’ portfolios, should be pretty dramatic. But all we know at this point is that the headquarters will be comprised of “a series of canopylike buildings.”

Continue reading after the jump.

These surfaces are flat, but Peter Kogler’ space-time warp artwork will have you losing your balance

Newsletter, Other
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
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(Courtesy Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia)

(Courtesy Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia)

Despite being completely inanimate, artist Peter Kogler’s optical illusion paintings can induce vertigo and even claustrophobia in the viewer. Dramatic, geometric whorls from floor to ceiling envelope one in a dizzying vortex that visibly stretches the room in every possible direction, resulting in the effect of a space-time warp.

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Des Moines Dialogue by Substance Architecture

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Substance Architecture's pavilion and pump stations are part of Des Moines' Principal Riverwalk development. (Paul Crosby)

Substance Architecture’s pavilion and pump stations are part of Des Moines’ Principal Riverwalk development. (Paul Crosby)

Zinc and glass unite riverfront pavilion and pump house.

In 2009, just as construction on its Principal Riverwalk pavilion was about to begin—and following years of funding-related stops and starts—Des Moines-based Substance Architecture received some unexpected news. The firm was commissioned to design a second building, a pump house, on an abutting plaza. At that point, recalled Substance’s Paul Mankins, it had been about three years since the firm started work on the pavilion. “There was some discussion in the office about whether the pump house should be an independent piece, or whether it should be formally related to the pavilion,” he said. “Our decision was that the pavilion would be stronger if it had this piece as a foil.” Using a limited material palette of zinc and glass accented by Jun Kaneko‘s artwork, Substance succeeded in creating a dialogue between the two small riverfront buildings, despite their differing programs and dates of origin.

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How New York City plans to make affordable housing taller and more architecturally interesting

(Flickr / Anthony Quintano)

(Flickr / Anthony Quintano)

Last year, at an event inside David Adjaye’s Sugar Hill affordable housing development in Manhattan, AN asked New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio how architecture and design factored into his overall housing plan. The mayor—who doesn’t elevate public design the way Michael Bloomberg did—said he wants to see new affordable housing buildings that are both “beautiful” and “contextually appropriate.” But, he added, design is about more than aesthetics, it is a tool to be wielded to create dynamic, mixed-use properties. “I think the design question really is about, to me, the functionality—meaning, what we can achieve in a site,” said the mayor.

Continue reading after the jump.

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