LEGO Adds Eiffel To Its Architecture Series Roster. The Eiffel Tower is the latest piece of iconic architecture now easily replicated in miniature. Gustave Eiffel’s creation joins The Leaning Tower of Pisa and Big Ben as famous European towers incorporated into LEGO‘s Architecture series. This is not the Danish company’s first crack at the building. They also offer a 1:300 scale model of the tower requiring 3,248 pieces to reach a finished height of 3 1/2 feet. The giant size of the toy is matched by that of its price tag, which towers over over the $34.99 being charged for their newest version of the Parisian landmark.
Wiscombe Planning Zombie Art Museum? Hell Yeah! We hear from a little birdie that our friend Tom Wiscombe (pictured) may be designing a new museum in downtown Los Angeles dedicated to Los Angeles art. The details are still left to resolve, but we’ve been told he likens the place to a “zombie hive.” You had us at zombie, Tom. (Photo: Courtesy Tom Wiscombe Design)
Taipei is 2016’s World Design Capital. The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design has designated Taipei as the 2016 World Design Capital. The Taiwanese capital’s campaign, “Adaptive City—Design in Motion“, highlighted the extensive growth in public transportation, medical systems and cultural infrastructure that has reshaped the city over the past 5 decades. In the wake of its selection Taipei will work closely with the ICSID to implement the program it has planned for 2016. It follows Torino, Seoul, Helsinki, and Capetown as recipients of the biennial award. (Photo: Francisco Diez/Flickr)
MAS NYC Seeks Nominations for 2013 Brendan Gill Prize. The Municipal Art Society (MAS) is accepting nominations for the 2013 Brendan Gill Prize. Each year the MAS presents the honor, which carries a cash prize, to a creator of a work of art from the past deemed to embody the spirit and energy of New York City. Former MAS chairman Gill spent more than 60 years as a critic of architecture and theater for the New Yorker and the prize was established in his honor in 1987. Past winners within the field of architecture include Louis Kahn and Michael Van Valkenburgh (pictured). MAS will be accepting nominations until January 6, 2014. (Photo: Courtesy MAS)
RIBA Halts Lubetkin Prize Honoring International Projects. Building Design Online reports that 2013 will be the last year of the Lubetkin Prize, an honor the Royal Institute of British Architects has awarded annually since 2006 to the best new building outside of the European Union. Whereas RIBA members and fellows were the only candidates eligible for the honor, in 2015 the organization plans to launch a new International Prize open to all architects. In September, London firm Wilkinson Eyre received what now becomes the last Lubetkin Prize for their Gardens by the Bay project in Singapore (pictured). (Photo: Nimrod Bar / Flickr)
Theis and Khan to design RIBA’s New Headquarters. Sawing off competition from five other shortlisted firms, British architects Theis and Khan have been selected to design the Royal Institute of British Architects‘ new headquarters in London. Located only a few buildings away at 76 Portland Place in downtown London, RIBA’s new premises are to be located inside the current Institute of Physics building, which will be entirely renovated. The existing RIBA offices will be freed up for new exhibition and events space. Construction will begin in March 2014 and is expected to last a year. (Photo: NICK GARROD/ FLICKR)
Bjarke Ingels Reportedly Designing Major Apartment Building in Harlem. Something BIG is coming to Harlem. According to the New York Post, Long Island–based Blumenfeld Development has hired the Bjarke Ingels Group to design a proposed residential project on East 125th street. The Danish and American architects have reportedly signed on to build a 200,000 square-foot apartment building on a site between Lexington and Third avenues, known as Gotham Plaza, which currently contains a decade-old DMV building. While renderings have yet to be unleashed, judging from Bjarke’s incoming West 57 project, we can surely expect something exciting from the 200-unit apartment building, 20 percent of which will be affordable.
Could de Blasio Choose Anna Levin as NYC’s Next City Planner? After a campaign insisting differentiation from his predecessor, New York City Mayor–elect Bill de Blasio (above) is not likely to choose a Bloomberg-elected official as his Chief of the Department of City Planning. The Real Deal reported that three current members of the City’s Planning Commission—Anna Levin, Michelle de la Uz, and Kenneth Knuckles—are speculated as replacements for current commissioner Amanda Burden. Levin, elected by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, is a front-runner. Her previous experiences as a commissioner and Community Board 4 Member give her grassroots appeal backed by political savvy. (Photo: Courtesy NYC Public Advocate)
Kickstarter Campaign Could SOAK San Francisco. Last July, AN covered the story of SOAK, a portable pop-up spa designed by engineering group ARUP and art and design studio Rebar. Inspired by a healthy hedonist ideology, this urban rain-water and solar-powered ecological bathhouse seeks to reclaim everyday wellness and develop a model that works without heavy consumption of resources. The project has been under development for years now, but has now finally launched a Kickstarter campaign. It will only be funded if at least $240,000 is pledged by January 1, 2014. (Rendering: Courtesy REBAR)
John Norquist To Retire from Congress for the New Urbanism. After a decade as CEO and President of the Congress for the New Urbanism, 64-year-old John Norquist has announced he will retire next spring. In 1993, with 16 years of Milwaukee mayoral reign under his belt, Norquist created CNU as an advocate for mixed-use development in city neighborhoods. Since then, the organization has promoted highway removal, re-design of public housing, and increases in public transportation, building its membership count to over 2,500. In June 2014, after the 22nd Annual Congress in Buffalo, Norquist will leave his position, hoping for “time to write and teach.” (Photo: Courtesy CNU)
Free Admission to the Expo Floor at ABX Boston!. Will you be in Boston between November 19 – 21, 2013? Are you in the architecture and construction industry? You’re in luck! AN readers can take advantage of free access to the exposition floor at ABX, the Architecture Boston Expo. Simply use promo code ANP13 when registering. ABX is produced by the Boston Society of Architects and bills itself as “one of the largest events for the design and construction industry in the country, and the largest regional conference and tradeshow.” Don’t miss out! Check out an interactive floor plan of the exposition floor here or get more information on the ABX website.
Architect Claims Google Ripped Off His Game-Changing Technology. Israeli-American architect Eli Attia claims Google stole his life’s work—a visionary design and construction software that the company estimates could generate $120 billion annually. The technology, Google claims, has the potential to cut construction costs and the time from design to completion by 30 percent. “By stealing and bastardizing my technology,” Attie told Israli business daily Globes, “Google has deprived humanity of what it urgently needs. And, in the process, has careless and callously wasted three years of my life.” (Image: Courtesy Google)