Microsoft is Looking for Architects to Partner With for the Future of Smart Cities

    <figure>
Toronto-based WZMH Architects has been recruited into Microsoft’s global Internet of Things (IoT) Insiders Labs, a program aimed at “transforming how people, devices, and data interact in every sphere of life.” The firm’s Intelligent Structural Panel (ISP) offers a “plug and play infrastructure” allowing a wide range of spaces and devices to be adapted, remotely-controlled, and optimized. WZMH is the first architecture firm to be accepted into the program, which takes applications from organizations developing IoT and/or AI solutions.
Intelligent Structural Panel. Image via WZMH via Canadian Architect Intelligent Structural Panel. Image via WZMH via Canadian Architect
The Insider Labs program seeks out start-up and established firms to work alongside Microsoft experts from three bases in Redmond USA, Shenzhen China, and Munich Germany. Products are developed, prototyped, and tested for market commercialization, steering the course of how citizens will use future urban environments. WZMH Architects, the firm behind Toronto’s CN Tower, have worked in collaboration
Continue reading "Microsoft is Looking for Architects to Partner With for the Future of Smart Cities"

Henning Larsen’s French International School is a “Vibrant Green Oasis” for Hong Kong

    <figure>
© Henning Larsen © Henning Larsen Henning Larsen has completed their new campus for the French International School in Hong Kong, offering a “vibrant green oasis in the dense city.” The 1100-capacity school sits behind a kaleidoscopic façade laid across a grid of 727 multicolored tiles, offering a “vibrant sustainable environment supporting a world-class multicultural education.” Located in the city’s Tseung Kwan O district, the 19,600-square-meter scheme comprises a series of large open plan spaces called Villas, each with 125 pupils in the same age group. The spaces are arranged around a central Agora, facilitating group activities and collaboration.
© Henning Larsen © Henning Larsen

The scheme’s multi-colored, ceramic tiled façade offers a “material representation of the environment within.” The vibrant patterns symbolize the forward-thinking, international outlook of the school, which offers five languages to a student body representing 40 nationalities. 

© Henning Larsen © Henning Larsen

The building form and façade respond to

© Henning Larsen
© Henning Larsen
© Henning Larsen
© Henning Larsen
Continue reading "Henning Larsen’s French International School is a “Vibrant Green Oasis” for Hong Kong"

The World’s Largest Performing Arts Center Opens in Taiwan, Designed by Mecanoo

    <figure>
© Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan The opening ceremony has taken place for the world’s largest performing arts center in Taiwan, designed by Mecanoo. The National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts comprises five state-of-the-art performance spaces under a single roof measuring 35 acres (140,000 square meters). Opened on October 13th 2018, the scheme is set across a subtropical park in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung, occupying a former military training base to symbolize the city’s transition from a major international harbor into a rich, diverse, cultural hub, connecting local and international artistic talent.
In total, the scheme took 15 years and $346 million to build. At the opening ceremony, Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen praised the center as a statement of the government’s intent to bring once restricted military sites back into the public realm.

The Tallest Residential Building in the World is coming to New York City

    <figure>
Central Park Tower. Image Courtesy of ASGG & Wordsearch Central Park Tower. Image Courtesy of ASGG & Wordsearch The design for the tallest residential building in the world has been unveiled, situated in New York City. “Central Park Tower” by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill architecture will stand at 1,550 feet (472 meters). The firm’s Jeddah tower in Saudi Arabia is also currently under construction, on track to be the world’s tallest tower.
Central Park Tower. Image Courtesy of ASGG & Wordsearch Central Park Tower. Image Courtesy of ASGG & Wordsearch

Having been proposed by developers Extell in 2012, the landmark tower will sit along Manhattan’s 57th Street corridor, also known as “Billionaire’s Row.” The scheme will feature “ultra-luxury condominium residences, dynamic amenity spaces as well as a 285,000-square-foot Nordstrom department store.” The 7-story flagship Nordstrom store will feature a rippling glazed façade, allowing natural light to illuminate the Rottet Studio-designed interior. Above, the tower will be set back from the street edge to maximize views

Central Park Tower. Image Courtesy of ASGG & Wordsearch
Continue reading "The Tallest Residential Building in the World is coming to New York City"

Reddymade Wins the Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition of 2019

    <figure>
Courtesy of Reddymade Courtesy of Reddymade Reddymade has been unveiled as the winner of the Valentine Heart Design Competition installation in Times Square, New York. The scheme is inspired by the “history of the iconic New York urban space and its presence in the eyes of the world as a byword for a thriving intersection of people, place, and culture.” The winning team explored the tectonic possibilities of intersecting shapes, investigating what happens with two different planes intersect. The resulting sculpture created two converging planes merging together to create an iconic ‘X’ which, when intersected by a cylindrical volume, creates a heart-shaped space. 
Courtesy of Reddymade Courtesy of Reddymade
In winning the competition, Reddymade overcame eight finalists, namely Agency Agency / Tei Carpenter, Buro Koray Duman, Isometric Studio, NHDM / Nahyun Hwang and David Eugin Moon, Only If Architecture, Splice Design, and Studio 397. The competition asked participants to contemplate “how a Valentine sent
Continue reading "Reddymade Wins the Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition of 2019"

Edoardo Tresoldi’s Basilica di Siponto awarded the Gold Medal for Italian Architecture

    <figure>
Courtesy of Roberto Conte Courtesy of Roberto Conte The Basilica di Siponto by Edoardo Tresoldi has been awarded the “Gold Medal for Italian Architecture – Special Prize to Commission,” considered the most prestigious award in Italian architecture. The wire mesh sculpture reinterprets the volumes of an Early Christian basilica which formerly sat on the site of the sculpture, adjacent to an existing Romanesque church. The scheme serves as a “bridge towards the memory of the place” allowing the public to contemplate time and history.
Courtesy of Roberto Conte Courtesy of Roberto Conte

The Basilica was inaugurated in March 2016, and has since captivated worldwide attention, provoking discussions on new scenarios for the preservation and enhancement of archaeological heritage.

Courtesy of Roberto Conte Courtesy of Roberto Conte

The award follows another accolade bestowed on the Basilica, which was awarded the Riccardo Francovich Archaeological Prize in 2016 for acknowledging “the site’s capacity to combine academic rigor with an effective communication to the non-specialized audience.”

Courtesy of Roberto Conte
Courtesy of Roberto Conte
© Gianluca Di Ioia
Continue reading "Edoardo Tresoldi’s Basilica di Siponto awarded the Gold Medal for Italian Architecture"

Tonkin Liu Create Innovative Medical Device using their Signature Shell Lace Structure

    <figure>
Courtesy of Tonkin Liu Courtesy of Tonkin Liu Anna Liu and Mike Tonkin of London-based Tonkin Liu have developed an innovative medical device for use in patients’ windpipes. The prototype stent is based on the firm’s signature Shell Lace Structure, a “single-surface structural technology designed and developed through a decade of research for architectural and engineering applications.” The 3D-printed prototype is 500 times smaller than those used by the firm for their architectural applications and was developed in collaboration with Arup and the Natural History Museum.
Courtesy of Tonkin Liu Courtesy of Tonkin Liu

The structure behind the design uses biomimicry to abstract the principles of mollusks and plants and has been used since 2008 to create ultra-lightweight pavilions, bridges, and towers. The medical application of the technology takes the form of a tracheal stent, commonly used to treat collapsed airways in cases of throat cancer, trauma, and old age.

Courtesy of Tonkin Liu Courtesy of Tonkin Liu

Courtesy of Tonkin Liu
Courtesy of Tonkin Liu
Courtesy of Tonkin Liu
Continue reading "Tonkin Liu Create Innovative Medical Device using their Signature Shell Lace Structure"

Refine your Visuals with Toffu’s Premium Content Library

          <div class="container-video">
    <iframe
      class="container-video__aspect-ratio"
      src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4xDJoDALFwQ?theme=light&showinfo=0&color=white"
      frameborder="0"
      allowfullscreen>
    </iframe>
  </div>
Online shop Toffu has produced a stylish content library aimed at architects seeking to improve their Photoshop, Illustrator, or CAD drawings. Hosting a range of vector and cad format packs, the library's vibrant content is markedly different from standard black and white line figures. The content is available in elevation, plan, and isometric format, featuring people, furniture, icons, vehicles, and vegetation. Check out the Toffu site here to explore their full content.

5 Places to Download Free, Ethnically Diverse Render People

The significance of people in architectural rendering is nothing new - the added realism, and addition of narrative elements can make or break whether a render successfully sells its project. With sites like Skalgubbar, architects and architecture students have easier access than ever before to "Render People": PNG cut-outs of people, ready to be photoshopped into buildings.

60 Free Cad Blocks and Drawings

The key to quick, efficient

Continue reading "Refine your Visuals with Toffu’s Premium Content Library"

The 30 Most Influential Architects in London

    <figure>
 by Hufton + Crow by Hufton + Crow As a “global capital,” London is home to some of the world’s most influential people, architects included. This fact has recently been laid bare by the London Evening Standard newspaper, whose list of the 1000 most influential Londoners features 30 architects, big and small, who use the city as a base for producing some of the world’s most celebrated architectural works. Below, we have rounded up the 30 most influential architects in London, complete with examples of the architectural works which have put them on the city and world map.

Eva Franch i Gilabert

 by Storefront by Storefront

Gilbert is the first female director of the Architectural Association (AA) school of architecture, having previously worked as the director of the Storefront center for architecture in New York.

Jamie Fobert

 by Nick Hufton by Nick Hufton

Founder of Jamie Fobert Architects, Fobert has led many high-profile schemes this year, such

 by Chipperfield
 via Guardian
 by Nigel Young
 by Edmund Sumner
 by Hufton + Crow
 by Xiyu Chen
 by Johan Dehlin
 by Martine Hamilton Knight
 by New London Architecture
 by Laurian Ghinitoiu
 by Luke Hayes
 by Rob Parrish
 by Simpson Haugh
 by Anthony Dubber
 by Morely von Sternberg
 by Laurian Ghinitoiu
 by Alex de Rijke
 by DBOX for Eric Parry Architects
 by Darren Bradley
 by Nick Kane
 by Alan Williams
 by Lewis Kahn
 by Iona Marinescu
 by Fu Xing
 by Iwan Baan
by Ivan Dupont
Continue reading "The 30 Most Influential Architects in London"

World’s Largest CLT Building Provides a Model for High Density Urban Housing

    <figure>
© Waugh Thistleton Architects © Waugh Thistleton Architects Waugh Thistleton Architects’ ten-story Dalston Works project stands proudly as the world’s largest Cross Laminated Timber building in Hackney, London, having been completed in 2017. The 121-unit development made entirely of CLT from external to core walls, the scheme weighs one-fifth of an equivalent concrete building. In addition to tackling London’s need for dense, high-quality housing, the scheme offers a methodology for implementing timber technology with a significantly reduced carbon footprint, such as an 80% reduction in the number of deliveries during construction.
© Waugh Thistleton Architects © Waugh Thistleton Architects

Situated on a neglected brownfield site, the 155,000-square-meter scheme’s light weight allows for a taller building than would have been feasible through other construction methods. Integrating with its surroundings, the scheme’s varying roof heights and intricate brickwork make reference to neighboring Victorian and Edwardian housing.

© Waugh Thistleton Architects © Waugh Thistleton Architects

The scheme’s efficiency and weight allowed for client

© Waugh Thistleton Architects
© Waugh Thistleton Architects
© Waugh Thistleton Architects
Continue reading "World’s Largest CLT Building Provides a Model for High Density Urban Housing"

Olson Kundig’s Hydro-Solar Generator Proposal Could Power 200 Melbourne Homes

    <figure>
© Olson Kundig © Olson Kundig Seattle-based Olson Kundig has released details of their second-place winner from the 2018 Land Art Generator competition, set in Melbourne, Australia. The “Night & Day” scheme combines solar energy with a hydro battery, generating enough power for 200 Australian homes, 24 hours per day. The St Kilda-situated infrastructure proposal doubles as an artwork and pedestrian bridge, with a flagship 5,400-square-meter solar sail suspended above the St Kilda Triangle in Port Phillip city. After sunset, further electricity is generated through two turbines capturing the kinetic movement of water released through them.
© Olson Kundig © Olson Kundig
The scheme seeks to combine “the best of public art and creative placemaking with the integration of community-scale renewable energy infrastructure into important public places.” The combined solar and hydropower provide the day and night capacity to meet St Kilda’s peak and off-peak energy needs while providing a “dynamic, safe, and intimate
Continue reading "Olson Kundig’s Hydro-Solar Generator Proposal Could Power 200 Melbourne Homes"

Biohm’s “Vegan Insulation” System offers a Future for Green Construction

    <figure>
© Biohm via Global Construction Review © Biohm via Global Construction Review UK entrepreneur Ehab Syed has developed a mushroom-based insulation with his company Biohm, embodying techniques that are “completely natural, biodegradable and vegan.” As reported by Global Construction Review, the material will come to the market in the coming months, with interest expressed by Tata Steel, Heathrow Airport, and leading UK house builders. Biohm has developed the material from a vegetative part of mushrooms called mycelium, with attractions such as efficient insulation performance, natural self-extinguishing, air purification, and waste consumption. The insulation blocks are made from allowing fungus within the material feeding off sawdust to grow into a mold. Once dried, the material growth halts resulting in a rigid material which can be sanded and painted. 
Mushrooms or fungi are truly wondrous organisms with significant untapped potential. We are experimenting with different species of mycelium to create sustainable alternatives to some of
Continue reading "Biohm’s “Vegan Insulation” System offers a Future for Green Construction"

Updated $13 Billion Plans for New York JFK Airport Overhaul Released

    <figure>
via Governor of New York via Governor of New York New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has unveiled an updated $13 billion plan to transform John F. Kennedy International Airport into a “world-class 21st-century airport.” The scheme will add two major international terminals at the North and South sides, increasing airport capacity by 4 million square feet and 15 million annual passengers. The plans are derived from a 2017 masterplan led by Grimshaw Architects and Mott MacDonald, which sought to combine the airport’s eight disparate terminal sites into one unified system.
via Governor of New York via Governor of New York

Both terminals encompass new passenger facilities, with larger waiting areas featuring high ceilings, natural light, interior free space, and artwork featuring iconic New York landmarks. New technological improvements integrated throughout the terminals will include radiation detection and next-generation identification of unattended baggage.

via Governor of New York via Governor of New York

The $7 billion, 2.9 million square foot South terminal

via Governor of New York
via Governor of New York
via Governor of New York
Continue reading "Updated $13 Billion Plans for New York JFK Airport Overhaul Released"

David Chipperfield and Euroboden’s Munich Apartments to be a Modern City Palace

    <figure>
© Euroboden © Euroboden David Chipperfield and Euroboden have collaborated on the design of a five-story building in Munich, located near the city’s Herzog Park. The 2800-square-meter scheme seeks to “fit sensitively into the historic fabric of the neighborhood.” The design process revolved around the incorporation of history and pattern from the surrounding environment, without copying or resorting to historicization. The result is a scheme which is “simultaneously self-confident yet restrained, a building that integrates itself into its context without subordinating itself.”
© Euroboden © Euroboden

The “Kolbergerstrasse 5” scheme engages with the historical typology of the Munich “Stadtpalais” (city palace) creating a freestanding five-story structure continuing a row of semi-detached neoclassical buildings. However, unlike its historic neighbors, which are split into separate halves, the proposal is filled with “spacious apartments that traverse the whole length of the building.”

© Euroboden © Euroboden

Chipperfield has formulated the façade to be unassuming and

© Euroboden
© Euroboden
© Euroboden
Continue reading "David Chipperfield and Euroboden’s Munich Apartments to be a Modern City Palace"

Designs by Grimshaw and Arup Revealed for the UK’s High Speed Rail Stations

    <figure>
© Arup via HS2 © Arup via HS2 New images have been published of Grimshaw and Arup-designed stations for the UK’s ”High Speed 2” railway system. Connecting London to the British Midlands, the mega-infrastructure project will be the UK’s second high-speed rail system, with HS1 already connecting London and the South East to the Channel Tunnel. The Grimshaw and WSP-designed Curzon Street station in Birmingham will be the first brand new intercity station to be built in Britain since the 1800s, while Interchange Station, designed by Arup, will serve as a gateway station to the West Midlands and Birmingham Airport.
© Grimshaw via HS2 © Grimshaw via HS2

Curzon Street will feature 7 high-speed platforms when opened in 2026, while also functioning as a public space for Birmingham city center. Integrating with the city’s tram network, the scheme will sit at the nexus of pedestrian, cycle, taxi, bus, and rail connections. The scheme’s West concourse features

© Grimshaw via HS2
© Arup via HS2
© Arup via HS2
Continue reading "Designs by Grimshaw and Arup Revealed for the UK’s High Speed Rail Stations"

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ Sky Garden will be an “Urban Living Room” for Shenzhen

    <figure>
via Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners via Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has been confirmed as designers for an “Urban Living Room” masterplan in the Qianhai area of Shenzhen, China. Formed of reclaimed land, the scheme will feature a 1.2-kilometer elevated sky garden. The scheme is envisioned as a “heart and a new horizon against which people can orientate themselves” in an emerging urban center. 
via Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners via Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

The scheme is directly linked to a range of public transport systems, such as the street and underground. The resulting transport portfolio creates a series of urban flows, from the fast pace of the underground, to the medium pace of the street, to the slow pace of the sky garden. Elevated above the road network, the sky garden also allows for easy access between adjacent plots. The sky garden terminates at a major public space to be

via Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Continue reading "Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ Sky Garden will be an “Urban Living Room” for Shenzhen"

WXCA’s Polish Pavilion for Dubai Expo 2020 Features Kinetic Flocks of Birds

    <figure>
© Vivid Vision © Vivid Vision WXCA and Bellprat will design the Polish Pavilion for the 2020 World Expo in Dubai, having overcome more than 30 other proposals. The winning scheme seeks to create an “open, tree-like modular structure” inspired by Poland’s rich wildlife. The pavilion will feature an integrated exhibition with “kinetic flocks of birds floating over visitors’ heads,” referring to the many migratory birds which settle in Poland each year “inspiring legends, connecting minds, and creating the future.”
© Vivid Vision © Vivid Vision

The pavilion will adopt a sculptural form allowing the exhibition to unfold into surrounding public space, inviting the public to “participate in the birds’ flight over Poland.” The connection between inside and outside signifies Poland’s connection to the modern world, through “cultural and commercial exchange, social migration and constant flow of goods and ideas.”

© Vivid Vision © Vivid Vision

Inviting visitors to accompany this journey and observe

© Vivid Vision
© WXCA
Continue reading "WXCA’s Polish Pavilion for Dubai Expo 2020 Features Kinetic Flocks of Birds"

SLICE Creates Apartments from Plugin Modules for Future City Living

    <figure>
© Nasim Sehat © Nasim Sehat Iranian architect and concept designer Nasim Sehat has developed an alternative living module driven by adaptability for the gig economy. SLICE is described as a “sustainable, people centric, connected, self-contained, and flexible plug’n-play urban solution” targeted at future city dwellers. SLICE consists of a layered module of functional plugins, combined to create basic spatial configurations. In tandem with the design of SLICE’s spatial profile, Shanghai-based Sehat has proposed a shared, on-demand digital service for module rental, maintenance, and payment.
© Nasim Sehat © Nasim Sehat

The colorful modules address key living requirements, with components for showers, toilets, kitchens, workstations, and sleeping. Fenestrations in modules, as well as empty “gap” components, allow for customization based on user needs, or spatial constraints.

© Nasim Sehat © Nasim Sehat

SLICE units are booked and accessed using the digital interface, with a deposit required for first-time users, and payment calculated based on “usage time, configuration of

© Nasim Sehat
© Nasim Sehat
Continue reading "SLICE Creates Apartments from Plugin Modules for Future City Living"