OMA and BIG propose transformations for America’s hurricane-struck east coast

News: architects and designers including OMA, BIG and WXY have unveiled proposals to revitalise parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut devastated by Hurricane Sandy, and help protect them against future emergencies.

Big U by BIG
Big U by BIG, also main image

The Rebuild by Design competition asked ten teams of architects, landscape architects, engineers and urban designers to develop proposals for different sections of America's east coast, which was struck by the hurricane in October 2012.

Big U by BIG
Big U by BIG

Danish studio BIG has developed a protective system, called Big U, which would wrap around the outside of Manhattan. Designed to shield New York City against floods and stormwater, the three separate sections would also create new public spaces.

Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge: A Comprehensive Strategy for Hoboken by OMA
Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge: A Comprehensive Strategy for Hoboken by OMA

For the Hoboken district of New Jersey, Rem Koolhaas' OMA proposes introducing an "urban water strategy", where a combination of hard infrastructure and soft landscaping can create a coastal defence integrating natural drainage.

Blue Dunes – The Future of Coastal Protection by WXY and West 8
Blue Dunes – The Future of Coastal Protection by WXY and West 8

New York studio WXY Architecture worked with landscape architects West 8 on a strategy for the New York and New Jersey harbour, entitled Blue Dunes. The designers made predictions about storms of the future and are promoting the establishment of a research initiative.

Living Breakwaters by Scape Landscape Architecture
Living Breakwaters by Scape Landscape Architecture

The design by New York landscape firm Scape features "a necklace of breakwaters" to offer a buffer against wave damage, flooding and erosion on Staten Island, while urban design studio Interboro have developed a series of approaches for the barrier islands, marshes and lowlands of Long Island.

Living with the Bay: A Comprehensive Regional Resiliency Plan for Nassau County’s South Shore by Interboro
Living with the Bay: A Comprehensive Regional Resiliency Plan for Nassau County's South Shore by Interboro

Other proposals include ideas for Jersey Shore, Bridgeport in Connecticut and Hunts Point in New York's South Bronx.

Hunts Point Lifelines by PennDesign and OLIN
Hunts Point Lifelines by PennDesign and OLIN

The competition was initiated last year by US housing and urban development secretary Shaun Donovan. The winning projects will be announced later this year and will be implemented with funding from community grants.

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Aires Mateus to design architecture school with a house-shaped entrance

News: Portuguese brothers Manuel and Francisco Aires Mateus have won a competition to design a new school of architecture in the Belgian city of Tournai, with plans for a complex featuring a house-shaped entrance void.

School of Architecture, Tournai by Aires Mateus

Lisbon-based Aires Mateus saw off competition from Belgian studio Robbrecht & Daem and French firm Lacaton & Vassal to win the commission to create a 7000-square-metre architecture faculty for 600 students at the Catholic University of Louvain.

School of Architecture, Tournai by Aires Mateus

Located within the city's historic quarter, the project will involve renovating an eighteenth-century hospital to accommodate administrative services as well as converting two industrial buildings to create space for classrooms and a library.

School of Architecture, Tournai by Aires Mateus

The architects also plan to demolish some existing buildings, making room for a tree-lined courtyard and a new structure that will serve as the spine of the complex.

School of Architecture, Tournai by Aires Mateus

Weaving between the renovated blocks, the new building will link different departments and provide a distinctive entrance. According to the architects, it will make contact with the existing brick volumes in as few places as possible.

School of Architecture, Tournai by Aires Mateus

"The design evokes the existing iconography in the architectural heritage of Tournai," said the architects.

School of Architecture, Tournai by Aires Mateus
Axonometric diagram - click for larger image

"Its geometry causes various urban plazas and produces a large interior space which will house all academic activities, as well as establishing a close collaboration with the community," they added.

School of Architecture, Tournai by Aires Mateus
Sections one and two - click for larger image

Work is set to begin on the project later this year and students are expected to start occupying the facility in 2015.

School of Architecture, Tournai by Aires Mateus
Sections three, four and five - click for larger image

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Five Things We Learned This Week: Robert Capa Comics, Black Toothbrushes, and More

• A new book by illustrator Dominique Bertail and writer Jean-David Morvan reimagines Robert Capa‘s iconic 1944 photo of Omaha Beach: as a (French) comic strip—with a hint of Doonesbury. Watch Bertail illustrate the cover in the video above, which is backed by a recently unearthed recording of Capa’s appearance on a 1947 radio program.

• Pentagram’s Abbott Miller and team are behind the fresh look of Sotheby’s, which extends from the 270-year-old auction house’s sharp new workmark (good riddance, strange Gill Sans hybrid! Hello, Mercury!), to the redesigned website, catalogues, magazine, and more.

Paul Cocksedge Studio is looking to Kickstarter to fund prototyping, tooling, and manufacture of the Double O, a bike light named for its distinctive shape. “I wanted to design a bike light and the inspiration for Double O comes directly from the shape of the bicycle,” says the London-based designer. “I wanted something that almost looked like the bike had designed it itself.”

Robert Fabricant of Frog Design is teaming with Cliff Kuang of Wired to pen User Friendly: How the Hidden Rules of Design Are Changing the Way We Live, Work, and Play. The two have inked a deal with Farrar, Straus to publish the book about “how user experience design will rule the coming decade, just as technology ruled the last” according to Publishers Marketplace.

• All the cool kids have charcoal-infused black toothbrushes from Japan. Gets yours here.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Snøhetta designs visual identity for Oslo’s 2022 Winter Olympics bid

Snohetta designs visual identity for Oslo 2022 Winter Olympics bid

News: Snøhetta has designed a visual identity for Oslo's bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Snohetta designs visual identity for Oslo 2022 Winter Olympics bid

Snøhetta, an architecture and design firm in Oslo and New York, developed a design that combines geometric shapes taken from the letter O and the number zero, as well as forms that recur in the number two and the letter S.

The rings of the Olympic logo informed the repetition of circles and the choice of colour palette used to render the simple forms.

Snohetta designs visual identity for Oslo 2022 Winter Olympics bid

"The identity of Oslo 2022's visual language honours the inherent simplicity and openness in Nordic culture," said the designers in a statement.

"By balancing playful graphics and strict geometry, the identity represents both the celebration of the Games and the solid planning of the Norwegian bid."

Snohetta designs visual identity for Oslo 2022 Winter Olympics bid

As part of the development process, Snøhetta worked with the bid team to create an initial identity without a logo for the funding application to the Norwegian government. The designers then created the logo and typography, which also included creating architectural elements and signage for a presentation during the recent Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

Snohetta designs visual identity for Oslo 2022 Winter Olympics bid

The identity was finally applied to an application document submitted to the International Olympic Committee in March.

Some of the material created by the designers for the bid, including maps of the potential venues, was required to include content and colour coding determined by the IOC.

Snohetta designs visual identity for Oslo 2022 Winter Olympics bid

Branded material produced to demonstrate the application of the identity includes brochures, business cards, a website and a CD ROM, onto which the designers silkscreened the logo's negative space in white, allowing the iridescent surface of the CDs to recreate the colours of the logo.

Oslo is competing with Kraków in Poland, Almaty in Kazakhstan, Lviv in Ukraine and the Chinese capital Beijing for the right to host the Games, with the winner due to be announced on 31 July 2015.

Snohetta designs visual identity for Oslo 2022 Winter Olympics bid

The sinuous Holmenkollen ski jump by JDS Architects would be one of the key venues for the Games should Oslo's bid be successful.

Photography is by Erik Five Gunnerud.

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Richard Branson launches plane-shaped skyscraper and moon hotel

News: Richard Branson has today revealed new architectural designs from Virgin, including a New York skyscraper shaped like a bunch of balloons, a Sydney tower with the form of a space shuttle and a moon hotel that looks like tubular bells.

The projects come under the banner Virgin Buildings, a new strand of Branson's empire aimed at "capturing iconic Virgin moments in a new generation of ultra-green skyscrapers". The series also includes a plane-shaped building for London and a Cape Town structure resembling a kite.

"We've been lucky at Virgin to have done some pretty extraordinary things, whether its the music business, trains, planes or even spaceships, but I think this project perhaps caps them all," said Branson.

According to Branson, each building will feature huge rainwater-harvesting facilities, living walls that can be used for growing food and moving walls that can adapt to suit different rooms and functions.

Richard Branson launches plane-shaped skyscraper and moon hotel

Describing the plane-shaped London tower, he explained: "This building is going to be the best looking building in the city but it also has the best unique features."

"One of the very unique features about this building is that it can turn or the floor can turn in order to face the sun, to either generate energy from the sun or to heat a particular floor or heat the whole building."

Richard Branson launches plane-shaped skyscraper and moon hotel

Not content with launching the project in every continent, Branson also wants to take the technology to the moon and open a space hotel.

"We're looking at being the first company in the world to have a building on the moon, and we thought, if we're going to do it lets try and pay for it by making it a hotel, and of course a pretty good-looking hotel," he said.

Richard Branson launches plane-shaped skyscraper and moon hotel

Professor and television personality Brian Cox has applauded the ingenuity of the project. "The physics of creating rotating buildings in dense metropolises should not be underestimated, and efforts to source more of our primary energy from the sun –and put sustainable hotels on the moon – should be applauded."

Asked about the timing of the announcement a Virgin representative told Dezeen "there are no coincidences at Virgin".

The announcement follows the news earlier today that two companies have proposed bread-shaped skyscrapers for the City of London.

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Richard Branson launches plane-shaped skyscraper and moon hotel

News: Richard Branson has today revealed new architectural designs from Virgin, including a New York skyscraper shaped like a bunch of balloons, a Sydney tower with the form of a space shuttle and a moon hotel that looks like tubular bells.

The projects come under the banner Virgin Buildings, a new strand of Branson's empire aimed at "capturing iconic Virgin moments in a new generation of ultra-green skyscrapers". The series also includes a plane-shaped building for London and a Cape Town structure resembling a kite.

"We've been lucky at Virgin to have done some pretty extraordinary things, whether its the music business, trains, planes or even spaceships, but I think this project perhaps caps them all," said Branson.

According to Branson, each building will feature huge rainwater-harvesting facilities, living walls that can be used for growing food and moving walls that can adapt to suit different rooms and functions.

Richard Branson launches plane-shaped skyscraper and moon hotel

Describing the plane-shaped London tower, he explained: "This building is going to be the best looking building in the city but it also has the best unique features."

"One of the very unique features about this building is that it can turn or the floor can turn in order to face the sun, to either generate energy from the sun or to heat a particular floor or heat the whole building."

Richard Branson launches plane-shaped skyscraper and moon hotel

Not content with launching the project in every continent, Branson also wants to take the technology to the moon and open a space hotel.

"We're looking at being the first company in the world to have a building on the moon, and we thought, if we're going to do it lets try and pay for it by making it a hotel, and of course a pretty good-looking hotel," he said.

Richard Branson launches plane-shaped skyscraper and moon hotel

Professor and television personality Brian Cox has applauded the ingenuity of the project. "The physics of creating rotating buildings in dense metropolises should not be underestimated, and efforts to source more of our primary energy from the sun –and put sustainable hotels on the moon – should be applauded."

Asked about the timing of the announcement a Virgin representative told Dezeen "there are no coincidences at Virgin".

The announcement follows the news earlier today that two companies have proposed bread-shaped skyscrapers for the City of London.

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London’s bread-shaped skyscrapers unveiled on first day of April

News: plans have been revealed this morning for a series of loaf-shaped skyscrapers to accompany the Cheesegrater, Can of Ham, Toast Rack and Gherkin buildings in central London.

Property developer British Land has released proposals for a 240-metre tower featuring a photovoltaic crust, nicknamed "The Slice of Bread", while bread company Warburtons has revealed a pair of twin towers, known as "The Loaf", to sandwich Norman Foster's Gherkin.

The plans are likely to fuel reports that London's skyline is beginning to resemble "the Ploughman's Lunch".

Warbutons bread-shaped skyscraper for London
This image: The Loaf for Warbutons. Main image: Slice of Bread for British Land

British Land's proposal previously went stale when it was halted in 2012, but chief executive Chris Grigg says things are back on track. "Obviously we are still in the proofing stage, but we think this would be an excellent site for the building, sandwiched between our own Cheesegrater and the Gherkin and in very close proximity to the proposed Toast Rack at 40 Leadenhall Street."

"London real estate is on a roll and we're pleased to be looking at an even bigger slice of the action when it comes to premium buildings in London," he said.

Architectural consultants M. Brioche & Rye added: "This is just what London has been kneading - a beautiful building rising up as a glowing tribute to the City. The design is aspirational, yet recognising its location between the Gherkin and Cheesegrater, carefully develops the interplay between the vegetable and functional."

The announcement comes exactly one year after Dowling Jones and Stone unveiled its design for a floating motorway to be constructed on the River Thames.

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London’s bread-shaped skyscrapers unveiled on first day of April

Plans have been revealed this morning for a series of loaf-shaped skyscrapers to accompany the Cheesegrater, Can of Ham, Toast Rack and Gherkin buildings in central London.

Property developer British Land has released proposals for a 240-metre tower featuring a photovoltaic crust, nicknamed "The Slice of Bread", while bread company Warburtons has revealed a pair of twin towers, known as "The Loaf", to sandwich Norman Foster's Gherkin.

The plans are likely to fuel reports that London's skyline is beginning to resemble "the Ploughman's Lunch".

Warbutons bread-shaped skyscraper for London
This image: The Loaf for Warbutons. Main image: Slice of Bread for British Land

British Land's proposal previously went stale when it was halted in 2012, but chief executive Chris Grigg says things are back on track. "Obviously we are still in the proofing stage, but we think this would be an excellent site for the building, sandwiched between our own Cheesegrater and the Gherkin and in very close proximity to the proposed Toast Rack at 40 Leadenhall Street."

"London real estate is on a roll and we're pleased to be looking at an even bigger slice of the action when it comes to premium buildings in London," he said.

Architectural consultants M. Brioche & Rye added: "This is just what London has been kneading - a beautiful building rising up as a glowing tribute to the City. The design is aspirational, yet recognising its location between the Gherkin and Cheesegrater, carefully develops the interplay between the vegetable and functional."

The announcement comes exactly one year after Dowling Jones and Stone unveiled its design for a floating motorway to be constructed on the River Thames.

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Architects “don’t affect things very much” says Terry Farrell

Terry Farrell

News: as the UK government today unveiled its first independent architecture report, project leader Terry Farrell admitted to Dezeen that public expectations for healthcare buildings "are low" and that architects don't have enough influence to change the status quo (+ interview).

Farrell said that the design quality of the majority of buildings in the UK needs to catch up with the "high standard" of its libraries and museums, but that expectations need to be raised to prevent "messing up our high streets and our hospitals".

"We really tried to start more of a dialogue, a campaign for built environment and architecture, to have expectations raised so that the culture of what is around us - our streets, our houses, our buildings - is raised," the British architect told Dezeen.

He also claimed that architects can't do the job themselves. "Architects do quite well but they're just a drop in the ocean. They don't affect things very much," he said.

Launched today, The Farrell Review makes a list of recommendations into how the quality of UK architecture can be improved. "We're not looking at starting again, like say China is," said Farrell. "We're really looking at how we add to and take care of what we've got, because we're messing up our high streets and our hospitals."

The Farrell Review logo

Farrell's proposals include introducing reviews to reassess existing buildings and streets, and creating "urban rooms", where people can discuss planning proposals. The architect believes this will encourage locals to become more involved in the quality of their neighbourhoods.

"I think there's a huge amount of interest," he said. "I just think there are many people not literate enough to articulate their feelings on the subject and therefore they're missed out on the debate."

The review also recommends establishing an international architecture event in the UK to rival the Venice Biennale and the World Architecture Festival, which Farrell says would be funded by local initiatives and sponsorship.

"It's not one of these things where the government does it for us, we have to do it for ourselves," he said.

The Farrell Review is available for download via a dedicated website. It was conducted over a 12-month period and includes a total of 60 recommendations, compiled with help from industry figures including designer Thomas Heatherwick, author Alain de Botton and architect Alison Brooks.

Here's a full transcript of the interview with Terry Farrell:


Amy Frearson: In response to the review coming out today, tell me what the next steps are and what you hope to achieve.

Terry Farrell: Well like all good reviews, it's really what happens next that's important. It's going out in an election year, so we have deliberately aimed it broadly for independent review; that is it's not leaning to one party or another and we have funded it ourselves to keep it independent. We really tried to start more of a dialogue, a campaign for built environment and architecture, to have expectations raised so that the culture of what is around us - our streets, our houses, our buildings - is raised.

Amy Frearson: Do you mean expectations of the general public or architects specifically?

Terry Farrell: The general public is not the right word. The informed as well as the general public, but I don't just mean architects. Architects do quite well but they're just a drop in the ocean. They don't affect things very much. I think the standard of architecture has gone up and up over recent decades. Architectural education and standards of design are always going up. People expect flats to be modern and well designed but not so, say, nice housing, hospitals, many schools and certainly not high streets.

The standard has gone up because the consumer, or the general public, or whatever you like to call them, their expectations are raised and I would like to think we have started a leadership campaign for that to happen.

Amy Frearson: So at the moment expectation is much higher for some kinds of architecture than others? And expectations of healthcare buildings are currently very low?

Terry Farrell: I would say for 90 per cent that expectations are low. I think we do very good libraries, or certain public buildings like theatres and landmarks. Landmark projects we do well and certainly internationally, our firms do exceptionally well, doing grand buildings and opera houses and what have you. But I think this country is purely well built up. Eighty per cent of our buildings will still be with us, the ones that are here now, will still be with us in 2050. We're not looking at starting again like say China is, so we're really looking at how we add to what we've got and how we take care of what we've got and we're messing up our high streets and our hospitals. Some of them are really quite well designed, but they've been added to and extended and messed about. They're all alike here, same with mass housing estates and our high streets and so on.

Amy Frearson: Do you think the government is doing enough at the moment to raise those expectations?

Terry Farrell: I think it's not government. I think it's city government and towns and the expectations of planning committees. We aimed a lot of our energies at say education of children, of adults, of planning committees and the idea of urban rooms, where you can go to some place in your town or city where you can see a model of your place and you can see the changes that are opposed, but you can also see the shapes of the place as it exists and you can also see its history.

Amy Frearson: Do you think actions like the urban rooms will get people who currently don't care about the quality of their day-to-day environment to take notice?

Terry Farrell: I think it's about understanding what is there now, how it got there and what else is proposed. It's not so much that there's apathy, I think there's a huge amount of interest. We see it time and again, that nimby-ism where planning committees debate about a new road or a new railway line. I just think there are many people not literate enough to articulate their feelings on the subject and therefore they're missed out of the debate.

Amy Frearson: Do you think these proposals will help to counteract nimby attitudes?

Terry Farrell: Nimbyism is a natural thing. But today, flooding is making people think there ought to be a plan, the housing shortage is making people think there ought to be a plan, climate change is, and so on. So I think people have the interest but don't quite know how to direct it.

Amy Frearson: So now that you've published the report, how do you think you're going to be able to get some of these recommendations to actually happen?

Terry Farrell: There are many different recommendations because we approached it in a holistic way. We would like, for example, schools of architecture and landscape and engineering and so on to have a common foundation course. For the whole year, like you do with art school, you're rubbing shoulders with video people and graphic designers. So that in the built environment, you have a common foundation year, because these things are interrelated.

Amy Frearson: Do you have any idea of how that will be received? Do you think that there is a desire for that to be the case?

Terry Farrell: Yes there is. I think that one of the big issues about the whole thing is articulating it and advocating it and connecting it all up and that's what we will do. We have opened a website, we have opened our logs with so many other parties and we hope that the review is a catalyst for a lot of energy that is already there.

Amy Frearson: If you could pick any one action to come forward from the review and definitely take place, what would it be?

Terry Farrell: Well certainly urban rooms, school education and foundation year. But I also think we do a lot of very successful things in this country, particularly overseas. We are extraordinary, particularly in London, an extraordinary centre of design excellence on the bigger scale and I think there should be a London festival of all architecture to celebrate and highlight and debate the best in the world.

Amy Frearson: What sort of shape would you imagine that taking?

Terry Farrell: I think it could be a little bit of a mix of the World Festival of Architecture, with a bit of the Venice Biennale and MIPIM thrown in.

Amy Frearson: Do you have any idea of how that would be funded?

Terry Farrell: Well I believe in cities and towns themselves deciding and raising funds, but I also very strongly believe in the volunteering and sponsorship because it's not one of these things where the government does it for us; we have to do it for ourselves.

Amy Frearson: How do you feel thinking about other big city ideas, such as Norman Foster's proposal for a cycling highway raised above the city?

Terry Farrell: Well there are lots of ideas for cycling and we need to learn from other places. There is a real need to get a pedestrian and cycling culture much more accepted and that's not easy because our roads are not planned for cycling. We are a very big metropolis, not a small town like Amsterdam or Copenhagen. But the culture is changing and through our political leaders like Boris Johnson and so on, we have been looking at the best of what's on elsewhere. We can learn from that. The bike hire scheme began in Paris, Copenhagen and Amsterdam had a lot more cycling. What can we learn from these places.

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Neville Brody designs typeface for England 2014 football kit

Neville Brody typeface for England Football team at 2014 World Cup

News: British graphic designer Neville Brody has created a typeface featuring a subtle pinstripe that will be worn by the England football team at the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil.

Neville Brody typeface for England Football team at 2014 World Cup

Neville Brody was asked by Nike, the designers of the two kits the England football team will wear in Brazil this summer, to create a typeface that will be used for the names and numbers of each of the players.

"The core inspiration was to focus on the intersection between flair and workmanlike reliability," said Brody in a statement.

Neville Brody typeface for England Football team at 2014 World Cup

"The industrialised suggestion of a stencil was simultaneously based on a pinstripe motif, combining style with no-frills efficiency," explained the designer.

The result is a curved typeface that will come in dark blue on the team's all white home kit and utilises a diagonal pinstripe in a darker shade of blue to add texture.

Neville Brody typeface for England Football team at 2014 World Cup

The letters come in a san-serif font with a tall, narrow silhouette and tight spacing, while England's three lions logo is incorporated into the large stencil-style numbers on the back.

"Small touches emphasise the idea of innovation, invention and surprise, built around a more geometric structure," said Brody.

Neville Brody typeface for England Football team at 2014 World Cup

The kit was inspired by England's all-white strip worn during the 1970 World Cup in Mexico and the knights of St George.

Silver is used in a metallic weave that surrounds the England badge and also depicts a single star, indicating the team's single World Cup win in 1966.

Neville Brody typeface for England Football team at 2014 World Cup

"We wanted to add some small detail that echoed the glow of the armour worn by St George," said Nike football creative director Martin Lotti in a statement at the kit's release.

Satin tape is used on the shoulder seams to add a further design detail.

Neville Brody typeface for England Football team at 2014 World Cup

The away shirt comes in red and replaces the V-neck collar of the home jersey with a round one. Brody's typeface will feature in white on the rear.

There is also an optical illusion of St George's Cross, which Nike has said cannot be seen up close, coming into focus only when viewed from a distance.

Neville Brody typeface for England Football team at 2014 World Cup

The new home kit will debut in the friendly with Peru at Wembley on 30 May.

Neville Brody typeface for England Football team at 2014 World Cup

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