Take a look at this year’s Florida/Caribbean Honor & Design Award winners

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/u9/u9cwjj73kkok4n6d.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" />The&nbsp;Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects recently unveiled the winners of its annual&nbsp;AIA Florida/Caribbean Design &amp; Honor Awards. The jury selected forty-one projects, representing work from 32 architecture firms in Florida and Puerto Rico,&nbsp;as well as ten individuals&nbsp;to receive Honor and Merit Awards.
Jury chair Joyce Owens said: "The number and quality of submissions this year were truly outstanding. The jury was very impressed by the creative uses of space and sensitivity to environments on display in the designs, such as a renovated community plaza and a learning complex that integrates its surrounding landscape. The designs were an inspiration."
Read on for the complete list of awarded projects and individuals.

Chinese Hui Muslims resist order to demolish new mosque

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/e6/e630e6003ffd9df09bbaaccc7d105aef?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em>Hundreds of Muslims in north-western China are engaged in a standoff with authorities to prevent their mosque from being demolished.
Officials said the newly built Weizhou Grand Mosque in the Ningxia region had not been given proper building permits. But worshippers refused to back down. One resident said they would not "let the government touch the mosque".

The new mosque was completed only last year, and city authorities initially wanted it torn down by Friday, citing a lack of proper planning and construction permits. Amid public outrage, authorities softened their demolition order to a "rectification plan" that demanded a less 'Arab' and more Chinese look.  "The first version of that plan called for the mosque’s 'Arab-style' domes to be replaced with traditional Chinese-style pagodas but was swiftly rejected by worshippers," reports the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post. "The government then asked the mosque’s management committee to remove eight Continue reading "Chinese Hui Muslims resist order to demolish new mosque"

Aecom and SOM to revamp United Nations Geneva HQ

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/a9/a98b674940ffeab1b6d09060fb0e8c2b.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em>Aecom has been appointed by the United Nations to work on the renovation of its European headquarters in Geneva. [...]
The UN is looking to upgrade the systems at its 100,000 sq m Palais des Nations complex, much of which was built in the 1930s. Aecom will work with architects SOM and Burckhardt+Partner to renovate the power, cooling, security and IT systems.



Completed in 1938 as the League of Nations HQ, the expansive Palace of Nations building complex has been the home of the United Nations Office at Geneva since 1946 (Switzerland actually did not join the UN until 2002). The Aecom/SOM team is joined by Swiss firm Burckhardt+Partner.

Construction on Golden Gate Bridge suicide barrier has begun

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/68/68a63e9ac93478657eb3e8897fccbdf7.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em><p>Construction has begun on a steel net to prevent people from jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, after years of debate over whether such an obstacle would mar the bridge&rsquo;s romantic image.
For at least the next two years, crews will toil throughout the night to build a coarse web of marine cable beneath the Art Deco span that is both an international symbol for engineering beauty and a magnet for suicides.



"Oakland companies Shimmick Construction Co. and Danny’s Construction Co. won the contract to design and build the net for $211 million — about three times what the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District Board of Directors had proposed when it put the project out for bid in 2014," the Chronicle reports.

The housing crisis isn’t sparing smaller cities in Middle America

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/e8/e8829509fb2bbac28675a1f73e291dc5.png?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em><p>Ten years after the housing collapse during the Great Recession, a new and different housing crisis has emerged.
Back then, people were losing their homes as home values crashed and homeowners went underwater. Today, home values have rebounded, but people who want to buy a new home are often priced out of the market. There are too few homes and too many potential buyers.



NPR takes a closer look at the impact of the housing affordability crisis in midsized, fast-growing cities, like Des Moines, IA, Durham, NC, and Boise, ID—far away from the usual, well documented housing hot spots of the big coastal cities.

Seattle’s Space Needle reopens after major renovation—now sporting a rotating glass floor

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/1f/1f17317d7960db9272e6252b76002c9d.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em>Those who have a fear of heights might not want to look down next time you go up to the Space Needle. One of the centerpieces of the landmark&rsquo;s massive remodel, designed by Olson Kundig, is now complete: a rotating glass floor, allowing visitors to look down at the 500 feet between them and the ground.</p></em><br /><br /><p>After receiving a massive $100 million <a href="https://archinect.com/firms/cover/49784837/olson-kundig-architects" rel="nofollow" >Olson Kundig</a>-designed <a href="https://archinect.com/news/article/150031556/seattle-s-space-needle-is-getting-a-makeover-new-renderings-revealed" rel="nofollow" >makeover</a>, the&nbsp;55-year-old Seattle icon recently reopened to the public with an improved visitor experience, enhanced views (floor-to-ceiling glass&nbsp;panels further opened up the&nbsp;360-degree views of the Puget Sound), and, what it claims to be, the world's first and only revolving glass floor.&nbsp;
"Oh look, there's our car!" Photo courtesy of John Lok and Space Needle LLC.
"Through the glass floor, guests are able to see the mechanics of the turntable, which consist of a series of 12 motors," explains the project description. "The Continue reading "Seattle’s Space Needle reopens after major renovation—now sporting a rotating glass floor"

Brady Bunch house sold to HGTV for undisclosed amount

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/2b/2b91c536fcd93f6a1306a4c4b91012ac.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em><p>Discovery Inc.'s HGTV network has won the bidding for the California house that served as the exterior for the home of the family in&nbsp;The&nbsp;Brady Bunch, Discovery CEO David Zaslav said Tuesday.
"I am excited to share that HGTV is the winning bidder and will restore the Brady Bunch home to its 1970s glory as only HGTV can," he said on the company's second-quarter earnings conference call [...].



The midcentury house in Studio City, CA served as the make-believe exterior of the Brady TV family's home from 1969 to 1974. It was listed for $1.885M last month, and for a brief moment it appeared that 'N Sync star Lance Bass had placed the winning bid—only to wake up to the news that HGTV had in fact become the new owner with the declared intent to get the house "at any cost" and "outperform any bid" (according to Bass).

California wildfires: shortage of construction workers complicates reconstruction efforts

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/ce/ce61beeebaa64273915af517f7e6a132.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em>Hundreds of families displaced by Northern California&rsquo;s fires could face another challenge to rebuilding their homes &mdash; a persistent shortage of construction workers.
California lost nearly 20 percent of its construction work force between 2005 and 2016 [...]. And more than 40 percent of construction job postings in the state remain unfilled for at least six weeks, according to the study, the third longest wait in the nation.

California's housing crisis will only get exacerbated as several devastating wildfires are ripping through entire regions of the Golden State while construction firms are struggling to hire enough workers to rebuild communities. According to Cal Fire, more than a thousand homes have already been lost in the Carr fire as well as the ongoing Mendocino Complex fire—now the largest in modern state history.  All this new bad new adds to the nearly 9,000 structures that burned down last fall when a series Continue reading "California wildfires: shortage of construction workers complicates reconstruction efforts"

California wildfires: shortage of construction workers complicates rebuilding efforts

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/ce/ce61beeebaa64273915af517f7e6a132.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em>Hundreds of families displaced by Northern California&rsquo;s fires could face another challenge to rebuilding their homes &mdash; a persistent shortage of construction workers.
California lost nearly 20 percent of its construction work force between 2005 and 2016 [...]. And more than 40 percent of construction job postings in the state remain unfilled for at least six weeks, according to the study, the third longest wait in the nation.

California's housing crisis will only get exacerbated as several devastating wildfires are ripping through entire regions of the Golden State while construction firms are struggling to hire enough workers to rebuild communities. According to Cal Fire, more than a thousand homes have already been lost in the Carr fire as well as the ongoing Mendocino Complex fire—now the largest in modern state history.  All this new bad new adds to the nearly 9,000 structures that burned down last fall when a series Continue reading "California wildfires: shortage of construction workers complicates rebuilding efforts"

California wildfires: shortage of construction workers complicates rebuilding efforts

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/ce/ce61beeebaa64273915af517f7e6a132.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em>Hundreds of families displaced by Northern California&rsquo;s fires could face another challenge to rebuilding their homes &mdash; a persistent shortage of construction workers.
California lost nearly 20 percent of its construction work force between 2005 and 2016 [...]. And more than 40 percent of construction job postings in the state remain unfilled for at least six weeks, according to the study, the third longest wait in the nation.

California's housing crisis will only get exacerbated as several devastating wildfires are ripping through entire regions of the Golden State while construction firms are struggling to hire enough workers to rebuild communities. According to Cal Fire, more than a thousand homes have already been lost in the Carr fire as well as the ongoing Mendocino Complex fire—now the largest in modern state history.  All this new bad new adds to the nearly 9,000 structures that burned down last fall when a series Continue reading "California wildfires: shortage of construction workers complicates rebuilding efforts"

Ai Weiwei’s Beijing studio has been demolished without prior warning

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/14/14d429da3231674b3d658684d9fd7e43.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em>Chinese authorities are razing one of the Beijing studios of dissident artist Ai Weiwei. He said that demolition crews showed up without advance warning, and have begun the process of tearing down the studio.
Ai has been a longtime critic of the government, and on Saturday, he began posting videos to his Instagram feed of the studio's destruction. "Farewell," Ai wrote. "They started to demolish my studio 'Zuoyuo' in Beijing with no precaution."

Ai, who has been living in self-imposed exile in Berlin since Chinese authorities returned his confiscated passport in 2015, responded to NPR about the sudden demolition of his Zuoyou studio in Beijing: We didn't receive any advance warning or announcement of the demolition. We were required to move by a certain date, which we have not yet reached. [...] The demolition came as a surprise. Works were damaged due to the unannounced attack on Continue reading "Ai Weiwei’s Beijing studio has been demolished without prior warning"

Predating all known ancient civilizations, Göbekli Tepe may be world’s first architecture

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/96/96d7c206f97a269c2f48777e37676590.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em><p>At around 12,000 years old, G&ouml;bekli Tepe in south-east Turkey has been billed as the world&rsquo;s oldest temple. It is many millennia older than Stonehenge or Egypt&rsquo;s great pyramids, built in the pre-pottery Neolithic period before writing or the wheel. But should G&ouml;bekli Tepe, which became a Unesco World Heritage Site in July, also be regarded as the world&rsquo;s oldest piece of architecture?</p></em><br /><br /><figure><p><a href="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/b6/b6ef8807c262b2be294c8823dcf113b9.jpg?auto=compress%2Cformat&amp;w=1028" rel="nofollow" ><img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/b6/b6ef8807c262b2be294c8823dcf113b9.jpg?auto=compress%2Cformat&amp;w=514"></a></p><figcaption>T-shaped limestone pillars. Image: Wikipedia.</figcaption></figure><p>Archaeological research of the ancient&nbsp;<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe" rel="nofollow" >G&ouml;bekli Tepe</a> ruin site in present-day Turkey suggests that the impressive monolithic structures,&nbsp;believed to date back to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic era (10th&ndash;8th millennium BCE), might in fact be the first known example of architecture. "Rather than architecture being the product of organised societies, as has long been thought, there is new thinking that, in fact, it may have been the organisation needed to build on such a scale that helped usher in agriculture and settled society," <em>The <!--more--> Newspaper</em> writes.</p>         

Airbnb offers chance to spend a night on the Great Wall of China

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/36/363bf3037c050fc7560900cafc7acafb.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em>The Great Wall of China receives an average of more than 27,000 visitors every single day. This fall, eight lucky people will win a night at the Great Wall with 13,000 miles of history all to themselves.
In an effort to raise awareness for heritage site protection and cultural exchange, Airbnb is partnering with the Beijing Tourism Development Committee to host the first-ever overnight stays at the modern world wonder.

Ever wanted to have a sleepover at one of the seven wonders of the world? Here's your chance. "Four lucky winners and their chosen guests will have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to stay the night in a custom-designed home situated on the ancient Great Wall," explains Airbnb's website.
Courtesy of Airbnb
In a magnificent, 2,600-year-old heritage structure, there will be house rules, of course, including "respect the neighbors, all 1.38 billion of them" and "if you see any dragons, do
Continue reading "Airbnb offers chance to spend a night on the Great Wall of China"

The final frontier: wheelchair accessibility in science fiction

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/a5/a50e3d9cd53a2c7e76716bea51c425fe.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em>Space remains a vast, untamed place, penned in only by the limits of our own imaginations.
So why the hell are there so many staircases in space? [...] Once you start realizing how many stairs there are stopping you in real life, it becomes impossible not to notice them existing in the sci-fi you adore. Turns out they’re everywhere [...] our sci-fi imitates a real-world reliance on steps and stairs in our architecture.

With Staircases in Space: Why Are Places in Science Fiction Not Wheelchair-Accessible?, Ace Ratcliff pens an excellent analysis of the pervasive presence of staircases in sci-fi that appear to foreshadow a future where universal accessibility for wheelchair-bound people like herself—and beyond that, the full inclusion in society—remain utterly unachieved.  "Unfortunately, 50 years worth of Federation starship manifestations also means half a century of inaccessibility," writes Ratcliff. "The original USS Enterprise bridge has enough Continue reading "The final frontier: wheelchair accessibility in science fiction"

Scrapped London Garden Bridge stirs up legal questions over $60m public funds spent

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/4f/4f95a01b42fe97dd725bf24e38ceb39f.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em><p>The trustees of London&rsquo;s garden bridge, including actor Joanna Lumley and the former Labour minister Lord Davies, could have breached their legal duties over the failed project, that cost taxpayers more than &pound;40m, according to a leading lawyer.
The legal opinion comes as pressure mounts for a formal investigation into how the charity behind the abandoned scheme spent so much money without construction work even beginning.



"The decision to press on with the construction contract led to public losses, initially capped at £16m, increasing to an estimated total of £46m by the time the scheme was cancelled in 2017," The Guardian reports. "The project, championed by then London mayor, Boris Johnson, was intended to be majority-funded by private donations. However, the bulk of the money spent came from the £60m in public funds handed to the project."

Scrapped London Garden Bridge stirs up legal questions over $60m public funds spent

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/4f/4f95a01b42fe97dd725bf24e38ceb39f.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em><p>The trustees of London&rsquo;s garden bridge, including actor Joanna Lumley and the former Labour minister Lord Davies, could have breached their legal duties over the failed project, that cost taxpayers more than &pound;40m, according to a leading lawyer.
The legal opinion comes as pressure mounts for a formal investigation into how the charity behind the abandoned scheme spent so much money without construction work even beginning.



"The decision to press on with the construction contract led to public losses, initially capped at £16m, increasing to an estimated total of £46m by the time the scheme was cancelled in 2017," The Guardian reports. "The project, championed by then London mayor, Boris Johnson, was intended to be majority-funded by private donations. However, the bulk of the money spent came from the £60m in public funds handed to the project."

Is that Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye floating in a Danish fjord?

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/e3/e38d92ba8001c650d0ddb0f0b1c66502.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em>A five-tonne, 6m tall model of Le Corbusier&rsquo;s Villa Savoye has been towed into a fjord in Denmark and subsequently sunk as part of a summer art exhibition.
Created by Danish artist Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen, the installation appears as a half-submerged vision of a once visionary future. It’s also a critical comment on the importance of modernity today.

"The project is a critical comment on the current status of modernity after the scandals of Cambridge Analytica, the Trump election and Brexit," Danish artist Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen tells ICON Magazine. "After these scandals, I think our sense of democracy and the public sphere has been distorted through the new use of digital technologies to manipulate elections. Our sense of Modernity has been 'flooded'. I sense the need to 're-state' our political institutions - because our old ones have 'sunk'." The Floating Art 2018 festival is still running until September 2 in the Continue reading "Is that Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye floating in a Danish fjord?"

Record heatwave is revealing hidden historic sites across Britain

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/74/748b88d13760677c612bec16169a9d44?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em>Southern England has been particularly parched, enjoying the driest June on record, but the hot weather has lead to an array of unlikely discoveries across the British Isles. Outlines of ancient and historic sites are being revealed &ndash; some of which haven&rsquo;t been seen in living memory.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"As the grass and crops dry out in the fields, the remains of wood and stone features are being spotted. The effect is caused by soil building up above the foreign material left in the ground over centuries in a way that makes the live material react to the conditions at a different rate to that found within regular soil," <em>The Telegraph</em> explains the phenomenon of 'ghost gardens' which have been appearing across Britain during the country's most extreme heatwave in decades.&nbsp;
The increased prevalence of drone and aerial photography has made it much easier to spot them than during previous heatwaves.

India proposes to fight pollution after Supreme Court considers demolition of deteriorating Taj Mahal

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/f4/f454290ef99d8ac11ba55012ba9e49f2.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em><p>India has proposed a ban on plastics, polluting factories and construction around its 17th-century monument to love, the Taj Mahal, a government document showed, in a bid to stave off pollution that is turning the structure yellow and green.
In a draft document submitted to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, authorities in Uttar Pradesh said they would ban all plastics, switch to electric and hydrogen vehicles, and boost the green cover within the precincts of the Taj, to fight pollution.



"The document was submitted after the justices, in a fit of anger during a hearing two weeks ago, demanded that authorities either restore the structure or tear it down," Reuters reports. "One of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal is flanked by a garbage-strewn river and is often enveloped by dust and smog from belching smokestacks and vehicles."

Check out the winners of the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2018 International Chapter Awards

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/2z/2ztwkf44euyalynb.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" />A pop-up 'School-in-a-Box' in Papua New Guinea, an embassy redevelopment in Thailand, a brick house in Sri Lanka, and a museum extension in Singapore are the big winners&nbsp;of the Australian Institute of Architects' 2018 International Chapter Awards. The program recognizes projects built outside of Australia by members of the institute.
The William J Mitchell International Chapter Prize, honoring significant contributions by an Australia-linked practitioner to architecture globally, went to Malaysia-born Singaporean architect Dr Liu Thai Ker—considered the 'architect of modern Singapore'—who the jury praised as "influential in the conceptualization and implementation of the urban structure and landscape of the city-state." Read on for the winners of the four Awards and two Commendations. Interior Architecture: Australian Embassy Bangkok by BVN (Thailand)