Architects have no work? Let them eat cake!

Palace of Versailles. (Courtesy Wikipedia / Montage by AN)

Palace of Versailles. (Courtesy Wikipedia / Montage by AN)

The planners of the AIA New York Chapter 2014 International Architecture and Design Summit have selected a pretty unusual conference venue: the Chateau of Versailles. Given the still sorry state of the economy, the choice left us scratching our head (under our powdered wig). Perhaps Rick Bell will point out the lessons in urban agriculture to be found in the Petit Trianon? Summit participants can display their work on easels in the Galeries Batailles, which will be handy if they want to do a little painting later en plein air. Apres tout, Giverny is less than an hour away by automobile, a bit longer by carriage though. Potential attendees are warned that the Plaza Anthénée will be closed for renovations. Sacrebleu!

KPF Plans to Extend 1970s London Landmark Tower

International
Thursday, July 18, 2013
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Rendering of KPF's addition. (Courtesy KPF)

Rendering of KPF’s addition. (Courtesy KPF)

International architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) has several projects underway, such as One Hudson Yards and a new master plan for New York City’s Port Authority. Most recently, in a reinvention of spaces, KPF has submitted plans to build 11 floors on top of Richard Seifert’s 1972 30-story King’s Reach Tower, which has been renamed South Bank Tower. Located on London’s South Bank, the tower will be transformed into a mixed-use building consisting of 191 high-rise luxury apartments.

Continue reading after the jump.

Slow Boil.  Slow Boil The designers at New York-based Atopia Innovation, must have been stewing over the past year. Although the gag order imposed on all participating architects and designers by London’s Olympic Organizing Committee (a.k.a. LOCOG) was lifted in January, Atopia only stepped forward in late June to say that the Olympic Cauldron designed by Thomas Heatherwick and used in the 2012 opening ceremonies seems to have been directly inspired by studies Atopia delivered to LOCOG between 2006 and 2008. Check out the sketchbook that seems to prove the point at atopiainnovation.com. (Photo: Courtesy Thomas Heatherwick)

 

Unveiled> Gehry Partners’ Renderings for National Art Museum of China Design

International
Thursday, July 18, 2013
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(Courtesy Gehry Partners)

(Courtesy Gehry Partners)

Frank Gehry has unveiled renderings of its shortlisted entry for the competition to design the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC), the predestined showstopper of Beijing’s new cultural district. Gehry was shortlisted alongside fellow Pritzker Prize winners Jean Nouvel and Zaha Hadid for the high-profile project. Gehry’s submission incorporates transparent cladding, an interior comprised of lofty, geometric courtyards evocative of pagodas and temples, and a layout that would accommodate nearly 12 million annual visitors.

Continue reading after the jump.

Video> Bouroullec Brothers’ Quiet Motion Takes A Spin in Milan

International, Newsletter
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
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Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec‘s “Quiet Motion," Salone del Mobile, Milan, April 2013. (Courtesy Bouroullec)

Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec‘s “Quiet Motion,” Salone del Mobile, Milan, April 2013. (Courtesy Bouroullec)

At Salone del Mobile in April, French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec demonstrated what it’s like to take a spin in a BMWi. Quiet Motion, the Bouroullec brothers’ interactive interpretation of the sustainable electric car brand, was an installation open for visitors to climb onto revolving platforms to relax as the world leisurely passed around them.

Continue reading after the jump.

19 Sites Inscribed to UNESCO World Heritage List

International
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
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Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpathian Region in Poland and Ukraine (National Heritage Board of Poland)

Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpathian Region in Poland and Ukraine (National Heritage Board of Poland)

At its 37th session held from June 16 to 27, 2013 in Phnom Pehnh and Siem Reap-Angkor, Cambodia, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee added 19 sites to the World Heritage List. The new additions bring the list to 981 noteworthy destinations. To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of exceptional universal significance and satisfy at least one out of ten selection criteria, which are frequently improved by the Committee to reflect the advancement of the World Heritage notion itself.

The list of newly added sites after the jump.

Reinventing the Facade: SKIN Competition Names Four First Stage Finalists

International, Newsletter
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
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Robotic Assisted Sheet Metal Fabrication, Finalist. (Courtesy Tex-Fab)

Robotic Assisted Sheet Metal Fabrication, Finalist. (Courtesy Tex-Fab)

Tex-Fab has concluded the initial stage of its international competition called SKIN. The two-stage competition invited architects, designers, and researchers to rethink the traditional building envelope by exploring the performative qualities of a facade. Participants selected any context, real or virtual, at any scale and on any building type. Phase one jurors narrowed down 68 entries from across the world to four finalists and four honorable mentions.

Continue reading after the jump.

Portland, Oregon to Portland Place, London: Job Done! Architects Complete Cycling Tour Across America

International
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
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P2P riders and welcoming group ride up The Mall. (Richard Hanmer)

P2P riders and welcoming group ride up The Mall. (Richard Hanmer)

[ Editor's Note: Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. ]

We had a fantastic welcome in London on Saturday, a fitting and rewarding end to our great adventure.

There were over a hundred riders who set off with us from Savill Gardens in Windsor Great Park. The weather was fair and The Crown Estate kindly provided coffees and bacon butties for everyone, served from the elegant gridshell of the Savill Building designed by Glenn Howells. I had selected this as our starting point for the ride into London because, not only did it provide a good meeting point at a reasonable distance from Portland Place, but back in 2005 I organised the design competition for the building—and was pleased to see it maturing so beautifully, the green oak sourced from the Royal Park now sporting a rich grey patina with the warping slats adding to its rustic air.

Continue reading after the jump.

Unveiled> Philippe Starck and Riko Design Series of Pre-Fab Homes

International
Thursday, July 11, 2013
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starck_prefab_03astarck_prefab_03b

 

World-renowned designer Philippe Starck has earned yet another feather for his cap in a recent collaboration with Riko, a European manufacturer of sustainable wooden buildings. Stemming from a drive to develop industrially manufactured homes that fulfill housing needs across the globe, the pair created P.A.T.H. (Prefabricated Accessible Technological Homes), a line of 34 turnkey homes merging timeless design, advanced technology, functionality, and sustainability. P.A.T.H. can be customized from layout and interior finishes to distinctive facades and roofing.

continue reading after the jump.

Turkey Passes Legislation to Protect Istanbul’s Historic Skyline Silhouette from Rapid Urbanization

International
Thursday, July 11, 2013
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Urbanization is changing Istanbul's skyline. (Harvey Barrison / Flickr)

Urbanization is changing Istanbul’s skyline. (Harvey Barrison / Flickr)

For 1475 years, the colossal dome and four minarets of the Hagia Sofia have remained the focus of Istanbul’s historic silhouette. That is, until three hulking towers known as the OnaltiDokuz Residences interrupted the scene last summer, sparking another battle over development in the Turkish capital. In late May, the Hurriyet Daily News reported that the city’s 4th Administrative Court ordered the demolition of the skyscrapers, claiming that their construction was illegal because it “negatively affected the world heritage site that the Turkish government was obliged to protect.” To guard against future infractions, this Wednesday the Turkish Parliament passed legislation calling for additional safeguards nationwide to protect historic areas from rapid urbanization.

Continue reading after the jump.

Unveiled> AHMM Designs Google’s New London HQ

International
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
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(Courtesy AHMM)

(Courtesy AHMM)

London-based Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) has applied for planning permission to build a 67-acre headquarters for Google in London’s King’s Cross, a swiftly evolving district. The firm’s designs incorporate a steel-framed structure with cross-laminated timber panels complemented by bold primary colored exposed steel elements. The plan integrates a rooftop garden along with shops, cafes, and restaurants on the ground level. Construction is set to begin early next year. Read More

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Spend the Summer in Portugal Building a Giant Model for the Lisbon Triennale

International, Newsletter
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
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Workshop Futuro Perfeito (Courtesy Susana Gaude)

Workshop Futuro Perfeito (Courtesy Susana Gaude)

The Venice Biennale may be the most visible and glamorous architecture exhibition in the world, but it is not the only one on the design calendar. In fact, these exhibitions have been proliferating around the globe in the past ten years and several have not made it past their inaugural year. One of the best of the newer architecture exhibits is the Lisbon Triennale, which is about to host its third exhibition opening September 12, 2013.

Read More

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