Writing for Guardian Cities Alejandro Aravena, director of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, discusses what he perceives as the social reality of contemporary architects, the power of design in mobilising people to act, and "how architecture can introduce a broader notion of gain" in the face of ever greedier and evermore powerful development companies the world over.
Any attempt to go beyond business as usual encounters huge resistance in the inertia of reality. Any effort to tackle relevant issues has to overcome the increasing complexity of the world. [...] It's time to rethink the entire role and language of architecture.
As many of our U.S. readers prepare for their Thanksgiving feast, we’ve decided to share with you one of the things we are most thankful for: stunning kitchens and the architects behind them. Continue reading after the break to view a compilation of kitchens we wouldn’t mind spending our day cooking (and eating) in.
Striping away the unnecessary to reveal the soul of architecture's greatest works is the latest challenge Federico Babina has taken on. With 18 paintings, Babina has revisited the notorious works of Le Corbusier, Tadao Ando, MVRDV, Rem Koolhaas and many others to summarize in just "a few lines" their true essence.
"The intent is to display the volumes, shapes, and even style of iconic architecture through simple lines and geometry," says Babina. "The project is part of a study on the simplification and the identification of the basic elements for the recognition of buildings. The idea is to archive an almost abstract representation without losing the essence of the figurative representation."
A smart city isn’t necessarily a city brimming with technology. This crucial (and, thankfully, growingly accepted) clarification was strongly emphasized by a panel of experts during the Smart City Expo in Barcelona. However, the piloted driving—which, in layman's terms means cars that drive themselves—that Audi has been testing and implementing is as high-tech, impressive and brimming with technology as one might expect. Beyond the “ooh and aah” factor of a car that needs no human driver, the spatial implications for our cities are undeniable, and the sooner architects can learn to work with and appreciate this technology, the better. In a city equipped with smart mobility solutions, we can expect technology to drive positive changes to social behavior and the affordability of the cities. But for this, we need visionary leaders.
Last week Audi showed their commitment to finding these visionary leaders in the field of architecture by announcing the implementation of three Urban Future Partnerships in Somerville/Boston and Mexico City. In the words of Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, the three pilot projects represent a key move for the car manufacturer: “The development of an investment logic for mobility infrastructure in cities will be an integral part of our company strategy.”
Rotterdam-based Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) have been announced by the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer as the winning team in the competition to design the city of Manchester's high-profile Factory art space. Following the announcement of the shortlist earlier this year, featuring practices including Rafael Viñoly, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Zaha Hadid and Mecanoo, it has since been reported by The Guardian that the British government's original pledge of £78million ($117million) to the cost of the building will be raised by a further £9million per year from around 2018.
The Flatiron Public Plaza has unveiled its centerpiece for this year’s “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” – SOFTLab’s Nova, the winner of a closed-competition hosted by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) and Van Alen Institute. The project will become the center of the neighbourhood’s festivities for the holiday season, as well as “a highly visible landmark” in the heart of New York.
After a meticulous multi-year restoration the Musée Rodin in Paris has reopened to the public. Dedicated exclusively to the work of Auguste Rodin, the state-owned museum has undergone a ground-up facelift designed to breathe new life into the ageing home of the artist's diverse body of work. Housed in an estate originally built in 1732 and open to the public since 1919, the comprehensive renovation has left no stone unturned, including a full structural and cosmetic overhaul. Project architect Richard Duplat was challenged to "recreate the atmosphere it must have had in Rodin’s day" while implementing current accessibility and safety standards, all with the goal to better represent Rodin's influential work.
For this edition of The Urbanist, Monocle 24's weekly "guide to making better cities," the team discuss women in urbanism, asking whether "a city planned or managed by a woman look different to any other?" From architects defending and stimulating Lisbon's public spaces, to new urban design in Niterói (situated in the "long shadow" of Rio de Janiero), this episode uses gender as a device to explore city-tactics.
Apple's new Foster + Partners-designed flagship store in Chicago is said to have been inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie Style Homes outside the city. Unveiled first by the Chicago Tribune, the store will feature a 14-foot entry pavilion that will usher visitors from Michigan Avenue down into the sales floor backdropped with views of the Chicago River. A "grand flight of stairs" will offer pedestrians an alternative route to the riverside walkway that flanks the bank.
Plans have been revealed for a new Modern Art Center (MAC) in the historic city of Vilnius, Lithuania. The 3100-square-meter "three-dimensional public space," as architect Daniel Libeskind describes it, is designed to be a "cultural gateway" that connects the city's 18th century grid and medieval walled city.
“We wanted to create a museum for the people of Lithuania, and also give this collection a home and an international audience. This collection is about the cultural legacy of the country,” said founder Viktoras Butkus. “Libeskind’s work is expressive, innovative, and, most importantly, has the power to tell the story of the past while connecting to the future of the city,” added Butkus.
Update: 3XN's Quay Quarter Sydney has received final approval. The article below was originally published September 25, 2014, after the practice won the commission. New interior images have been added to the gallery.
3XN has won an international competition to design the “50 Bridge Street” tower and masterplan for the Quay Quarter Sydney (QQS) precinct. Just west of Jørn Utzon’s Opera House, the new tower will feature five rotating glass volumes, each equipped with a multi-level atria and views of the Sydney harbour.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Antalya Mayor Menderes Turel have announced their support for Perkins+Will’s sustainablemaster plan for Antalya, Turkey. The master plan will revitalize and preserve the Bogacay Creek Basin area of Antalya, improving its quality as a major tourist city along the Turkish Riviera.
If Lord Foster—perhaps one of the greatest architects of our time—feels as though he has "no power as an architect, none whatsoever," people tend to take notice. His support, thoughts and opinions, he tells The Observer'sRowan Moore, are his most influential tools: "advocacy, he says, is the only power an architect ever has." Their conversation, held ahead of the Urban Age Global Debates which are currently taking place in London, also touches upon the importance of infrastructure, the social role of the architect, and the growing—if not undervalued—urgency to readdress sustainability within the profession.
DesignIntelligence has named 25 educators for being the most "exemplary professionals" in their field. With professors from some of the US' top architecture schools, each honoree was selected with "extensive input from thousands of design professionals, academic department heads, and students."
The "most admired" US design professors of 2016, include:
“Ben brings a unique energy, intelligence, and experience to the executive director position,” said Carol Loewenson, incoming president of AIA New York and partner at Mitchell/Giurgola Architects, in a statement. “AIANY is poised for great change: more outreach, greater membership value, deeper connections to the academy, and a stronger role in actively impacting the design of our city. Ben is the right person to imagine the AIANY of the future. We are thrilled to have him on board to lead our organization.”
New York Yimby has unveiled BIG's latest New York skyscraper: 76 11th Avenue. Planned for one of the largest plots along the High Line, the nearly 800,000-square-foot proposed project is comprised of two towers perched on a podium of retail, gallery and hotel space in the city's Meatpacking district. Rising 302-feet to the east and 402-feet to the west, the towers are divided by a "diagonal cut" through the site that opens up more views for residents to the High Line.
This article is part of ArchDaily Essentials, a series of articles which give you an overview of architecture's most important topics by connecting together some of our best articles from the past. To find out more about ArchDaily Essentials, click here; or discover all of our articles in the series here.
We often hear of the great tectonic shift that digital technologies have brought to almost every aspect of our lives, but in one particular yet understated way, architecture has been revolutionized by computerization. Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a background revolution that has implications on every stage in the building process from development through construction and onto the lifecycle of the building. As defined by the US National Building Information Model Standard Project Committee:
"Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. A BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition." 
While that gives some indication of BIM’s applications, many people may still be wondering how such a shift came about, what are its present applications and benefits, and how it will shape architecture’s future?
http://www.archdaily.com/777039/ad-essentials-bimAD Editorial Team
Nicolas Laisné Associés (NL*A Paris) has revealed the plans for its new Offices With Terraces, an office building in Nice, France, which aims to set new standards for bio-climatic work environments. The building’s layout revolves around the idea of flexible workspaces, integrating landscape into the building as an eco-conscious approach.
The organization of the building has been reversed, with the circulation passages—typically at the center—moved to the façades to free up central space.
Níall McLaughlin Architects, based between the United Kingdom and Ireland, have been selected to represent Ireland at the 2016 Venice Biennale. The practice, who were shortlisted this year for the RIBA Stirling Prize, will be working alongside Yeoryia Manolopoulo, an architectural academic based in London. Their proposal "reflects their interest in working as architects to understand and improve the quality of life for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease [by examining] the spatial experiences of people with Alzheimer’s whilst recognising that the experiences of the sufferer are unlikely to resemble any conventional architectural representation."
Willem Marinus Dudok (6 July 1884 - 6 July 1974) was one of The Netherlands' most influential Modernist architects. Formally trained as an engineer, Dudok spent his formative years designing military barracks for the Dutch forces, and his time with the military has been credited with the development of his early linear style, though he was known to borrow elements from Frank Lloyd Wright's prairie school of architecture. Dudok's architectural legacy is undeniable: with a career spanning several decades, his portfolio encompasses nearly all civic buildings in Hilversum, along with a series of projects in Rotterdam, Utrecht, and Paris, among others.
“As an architect you design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown. The green agenda is probably the most important agenda and issue of the day […] all the projects which have, in some way, been inspired by that agenda are about a celebratory lifestyle, in a way celebrating the places and spaces which determine the quality of life.”
Steven Holl Architects (SHA) is preparing to break ground on a project that is nearly eight years in the making. The ambitious "Copenhagen Gate" development will break ground next year, as Fast Company reports, after being initially held back in 2008. It will feature two asymmetrical towers - Gate L and Gate M - connected by a (terrifying) pedestrian skybridge suspended 213 feet above the harbor.