At its best, architecture has the power to confront the world’s most urgent social and environmental issues. The Los Angeles River sits at the center of many of these issues, thanks to the long-overdue plans to convert it from a concrete canal back into a social space and an ecological corridor; and thanks to its position as a symbol of the drought in California. In this serene video by filmmaker Chang Kim, the full length of the river is put on display, exploring a resource that is the topic of much debate in the Los Angeles area.
The Architectural Review has recently published an article celebrating the 50th anniversary of Robert Venturi’s book, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, which is regarded as one of the most important writings about architecture since Le Corbusier’s Vers une Architecture. In the article, Martino Stierli—Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art—delves into the significance of Venturi’s work, the motivation behind it, its continuing impact, and more. Read the full article at the Architectural Review, here.
I see it a bit as my mission to document things in Hong Kong which are vanishing, which are disappearing, primarily through urban renewal
In this short film from Yitiao Video, photographer Michael Wolf explains the vision behind his momentous photo series, “Architecture of Density,” in which he captures the immense scale and incredible intricacies of the city of Hong Kong.
After living in city for 9 years and travelling abroad to work, Wolf describes the somewhat unpleasant circumstances which led him to turn his attention to his own environment.
Much like snowflakes, the most beautiful architectural plans consist of complex relationships between geometries – and no two are exactly alike. In this spirit, KOSMOS Architects has created a series of planimetric graphics of some of the most notable architectural projects to have disappeared from our world in celebration of the New Year.
In the past 10 years, the Curry Stone Design Prize has grown to become one of the world’s preeminent awards honoring socially impactful design professionals and the influence of design as a force for improving lives and strengthening communities.
This year, in honor of the prize’s 10th anniversary, the Curry Stone Foundation will acknowledge the largest group of influential practices yet, recognizing 100 firms over the next twelve months as members of the “Social Design Circle.” Each firm will be profiled on the award website, as well as participate in the foundation’s new podcast, Social Design Insights, beginning on January 5th, 2017.
German magazine Der Spiegel has conducted an interview with Zhang Xin, billionaire real estate mogul and founder of SOHO China—the company behind such well-known buildings as Zaha Hadid Architects' Galaxy SOHO and Wangjing SOHO. In the interview, Xin discusses the Chinese economy, her changing business model, digitalization, the symbolic value of buildings, and more. Learn more about Xin’s take on success and change in China by reading the full interview here.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius of Lithuania announced three winners and five runners-up of the Science Island international design contest. The competition drew 144 entries from 44 countries, and among the three winners selected by the international competition jury, Kaunas City Municipality will choose one to realize their proposal, which is scheduled to open in 2018.
Given the competition's high profile, ArchDaily has received a number of additional entries to the contest showing alternative possibilities for the site. Read on to learn about four of these entries from WAH Studio, Andrew Burns Architects, TheeAe Limited, and FARA-ON Union.
Yesterday, the UK Government announced plans for 3 new garden towns and 14 new "garden villages" across England, expanding a plan that already includes 7 previously announced garden towns. Explaining the concept of the garden villages, the Department for Communities and Local Government described settlements of 1,500 to 10,000 homes, saying that together the 14 locations have the potential to deliver 48,000 new houses. In order to expedite the creation of these new settlements, the government has set aside a fund of £6 million (US$7.4 million), which housebuilders will be permitted to use in order to accelerate development at the sites.
However, the architectural community in the UK has mocked the proposals and the government's use of language, highlighting what appears to be a poor understanding of Ebenezer Howard's Garden Cities concept. Many have also pointed out that the plans are relatively meager in a country that, by many estimates, is falling hundreds of thousands of new homes short of the number needed every year.
Martin Duplantier Architectes has won a competition organized by Chinese tour company ZTG with a design for a series of “illusionist” bridges and pavilions in western Zhangjiajie, China. Contrasting with the surrounding “baroque” landscape, which is a world heritage site, the project utilizes geometric forms and delicate placement to “create a physical relationship” with its neighboring rock faces.
The project features three footbridges: "the illusion of a mirror for one, the fear of the void for the next, and lastly the setting in abyss for the final.”
David Adjaye OBE, principal of Adjaye Associates, will be Knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his services to architecture at an investiture in 2017. The Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood at St. James's Palace, who administer the Knight Batchelor awards that will be bestowed upon the architect, described Adjaye as "one of the leading architects of his generation and a global cultural ambassador for the UK."
After the earthquake in Skopje in 1963, a slew of foreign architects worked to change the capital into an architecturally dynamic urban landscape. Now, that vision may be obsolete. In Architects of Modernist Skopje Decry Retrograde Remodel, Bojan Blazhevski investigates the overwhelming number of buildings enduring "Skopje 2014" — a remodeling of existing buildings in the capital city. More than 20 modernist buildings have already been made over. Described as "kitsch" by a hostel manager in the city, the project, which aims to draw in more tourists and regain historical elements, has culminated in a neo-classical display. The imitation buildings, however, have produced controversy, with opinions divided on the aesthetic quality of the project.
PIARENA has won the Archchel-2020 competition to create a Congress Hall for BRICS and SCO events in central Chelyabinsk, Russia along the Miass River. Separated into two parts by the river, the site will additionally host business meetings, public events, and exhibitions.
In order to emphasize the curve of the river, the new congress hall building will be a solid volume spanning across the river, rectangular in footprint, but curved in a sail shape above.
Rising up to 61 and 150 meters, the building is hoped to become a new urban landmark, as well as a pedestrian crossing over the river.
Spanning 18,000 square meters, the project will serve as “a new gastronomic experience, embracing the Mediterranean from a remarkable vantage point,” through a clustered development featuring restaurants, coffee shops, lounges, and event spaces.
Morphosis Architects’ Hanking Center Tower in Shenzhen, China has recently topped out, with the 62nd floor now in place. Defined by its detached core configuration, the building positions its primary core 9 meters outside its main body, connected by a series of sky bridges and braces, in order to increase flexibility and light penetration into the floor plate.
Two secondary cores in the body of the building provide structural reinforcement and house private elevators for VIP users, as well as freight elevators and mechanical services.
In an effort to serve global professionals and bring density to the suburb of Nanshan, the tower will feature flexible office space on its open floor plate, anchored by high-end retail and dining.
London’s Foster + Partners will likely design a flagship Apple store for the historic Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square in Washington, D.C., reports The Architect’s Newspaper. According to Events DC, Apple will lease a portion of the 63,000-square-foot building’s ground floor and basement levels in a ten-year lease, sharing the space with its existing tenant, The Historical Society of Washington.
Campaigners in the UK have launched a petition to save Durham University's Student Union Building, also known as Dunelm House, after the university announced its intention to demolish and replace the brutalist structure earlier this month. Designed in 1966 by Ove Arup and the Architects' Co-Partnership, the building is perhaps the most important 20th-century edifice in a city that is better-known for its UNESCO World Heritage-listed cathedral and castle.
TLDR; Best of 2016.
This 2016 has been a hectic, frenetic year with complex geopolitical, social, and cultural issues placing our world at a crossroads of an uncertain future. Do we look back into the nostalgia of a safe past, or do we step up and be an active part of a hopeful future?
As architects we have a tremendous responsibility in this scenario; historically, our profession has shaped the collective ideas of the future, generation after generation, by weighing-in on the crises that arise in our societies. In the absence of clear leadership to guide us towards an inspiring future, this is our opportunity to serve as agents of change for the future we deserve.
Iran-based BMDesign Studios has unveiled Concave Roof, a double-roof system with steep slopes resembling a bowl for the purpose of rainwater collection in arid climates like Iran, where a lack of water could lead to mass displacement in the future.
Because precipitation in this area is less than one-third of that of the world average, and evaporation is more than three times higher than the world average, the concave roof system is designed to “help [make] even the smallest quantities of rain [flow down] the roof and eventually coalesce into bigger drops, just right for harvesting before they evaporate” explained the architects.
Philippe Barrière Collective (PB+Co) has created the urban plan for a new semi-rural/semi-urban development in Manouba, Tunisia. Utilizing an existing olive grove estate, the environmentally driven project includes collective housing pavilions among its ecological design composed of 4,475 salvaged olive trees, newly planted taller trees, and a wild botanical garden that fosters local biodiversity.
Today China inaugurated the world's highest bridge, opening the new crossing to traffic after the structure was completed in September, reports China Central Television (CCTV). Crossing the Nizhu river canyon at 565 meters above water level the Beipanjiang bridge spans 1,341 meters to connect the provinces of Yunnan and Guizhou in the Southwest of the country. The 4-lane bridge is part of a network of new highways around Yunnan and Guizhou that allow access across rugged terrain that was previously largely inaccessible.
Chilean architect Alejandro has been selected as one of "28 creative geniuses who defined culture in 2016" by the New York Times, in a list that includes personalities such as First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, singer Lady Gaga, photographer William Eggleston and designer Junya Watanabe.
Aravena achieved spectacular success this year, being awarded the Pritzker Prize in January and acting as director of the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale which opened in May. Through his work, he directed a discussion about the role of architects and their impact on society.
Instagram and architecture go together like milk and cookies—an irresistible combination in which one brings out the best of the other. As Instagram continues to add features to its globally appealing platform, we take a look back on the year's most-liked photos posted to our ArchDaily account.
We posted 235 'grams that racked up over 2 million likes. Thank you for following. :)
Buildings, perhaps unlike any other art form or edifice, have a capacity to influence or become part of a place's cultural identity and history. Defining an architectural monument is, however, an ambiguous exercise – most of their ilk only reach this status years after completion. AD Classics are ArchDaily's continually updated collection of longer-form building studies of the world's most significant architectural projects. Here we've assembled five structures and buildings which, often aside from original intentions, embody that most ephemeral feeling: a sense of progress.
At its best, architecture can be a dream come true: the physical manifestation of the creative architect's most exquisite design fantasies. Nowhere is this kind of creative liberty more pervasive than in architecture school—with few practical concerns for cost, policy, or even structural integrity, architecture students are free to execute the purest and most complex proposals their imaginations will allow. And indeed, as their representation and spatial skills progress, students gain the ability to realize more advanced interventions over time. In the real world, though...not so much.