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Architecture City Guide: 20 Places Every Architect Should Visit in Madrid

08:00 - 20 September, 2017
Architecture City Guide: 20 Places Every Architect Should Visit in Madrid, © Nico Trinkhaus [Flickr], License CC BY-NC 2.0
© Nico Trinkhaus [Flickr], License CC BY-NC 2.0

Madrid is unfathomable. If the city itself is immense, it´s examples of interesting architecture are overwhelming. For over a half a century, Madrid has been an experimental laboratory for modern and contemporary architecture in Spain. With numerous examples of innovative and experimental architecture, as well as many failures, few of which are valued and recognized. This selection seeks to show archetypal examples of architecture that have transcended time; it does not intend to be an exhaustive list of the city´s architectural works. Many will think that the list lacks important buildings and personally, I couldn´t agree more. That is perhaps the beauty of Madrid: there is a diversity of opinion, there are thousands of sites to see, the city surprises you with every step you take. 

Poblado Dirigido de Caño Roto Zarzuela Hippodrome. Image © Ana Amado Ciudad BBVA. Image © Joel Filipe Primer Puente impreso en 3D del mundo. Image Cortesía de IAAC + 22

3 Reasons Why Excel is the Ultimate BIM Sidekick

09:30 - 19 September, 2017
3 Reasons Why Excel is the Ultimate BIM Sidekick, Courtesy of ArchSmarter
Courtesy of ArchSmarter

This article was originally published by ArchSmarter.

Have you ever played the party game “telephone”? You know the one, where you tell something to the person next to you and they pass it on to the person next to them and so on down the line. Inevitably, your original message is badly mangled and misappropriated by the time it gets back to you. Everyone gets a good laugh at how far the end message is from your original one.

The Ambitious Project that Brings Together 44 Mexican and International Architects

06:00 - 19 September, 2017
The Ambitious Project that Brings Together 44 Mexican and International Architects, © Adlai Pulido
© Adlai Pulido

In Baja California, Mexico, the 860 hectares that make up 'Cuatro Cuatros'—a tourism development that for the past ten years has been overseen and designed by Mauricio Rocha and Gabriela Carrillo of Taller de Arquitectura—present an arid and mostly monochromatic landscape interrupted only by stones and bushland.

Vast as the site may seem, only 360 of its hectares will be destined for housing development, of which only 10% can be impacted by construction. The challenge will lay in mitigating the protagonistic stance architecture usually assumes when conquering previously untouched lands, by taking on a presence that disappears into the landscape. 

A New Generation of Tools: The 3D Visualization Multiplex

Sponsored Article
A New Generation of Tools: The 3D Visualization Multiplex

A 3D visualization multiplex is a system to instantly visualize 3D models on multiple devices: desktop computers, smartphones, tablets, augmented reality gear, and virtual reality glasses.

It's an everyday tool to streamline conversations between architects, engineers, contractors, their clients, and the rest of the world.

With the formidable combination of CAD software programs - e.g. SketchUp or Revit - and a multiplex, 3D storytelling has never been simpler.

It works on both high-end immersive headsets and on smartphones with - or without - very capable $10+ glasses. Using augmented reality, a model can be directly integrated into the real world.

13 Weird, Surprising Architecture Facts You've Probably Never Heard

09:30 - 18 September, 2017
13 Weird, Surprising Architecture Facts You've Probably Never Heard

The history of humans building shelters goes back over 10,000 years. Over this time, the human need to build was distilled into the profession of architecture, and in the process it attracted all manner of eccentric, visionary, and stubborn individuals. In light of both architecture's long history and its abundance of colorful characters, it's no surprise that it's full of surprising and unlikely stories. From Lincoln Logs and the Olympics to Ouija boards and 9/11, here are 13 architecture-related facts you may not have previously known.

How Architects Dress vs How Normal People Dress

08:00 - 18 September, 2017
Courtesy of The Leewardists
Courtesy of The Leewardists

"Does this come in black?" is probably the most used phrase during any architect's shopping trip, but nobody really knows why. Search the internet for the reason that architects wear black, you will find that numerous people have written about the subject,—there’s even a book about it! The fact is that other people don't quite understand how many shades of black there actually are like you do. And it's also a common misconception that wearing black is all in the name of convenience, since looking for a specific item in your wardrobes takes 5 times longer when everything looks the same. In short, architects will continue to wear black... at least until something darker comes out.

Space Popular Reignite the Concerns of "The Glass Chain" Letters By Way of Virtual Reality

16:45 - 17 September, 2017

"The Glass Chain" (Die Gläserne Kette in its native German) was an exchange of written letters initiated by Bruno Taut in November 1919. The correspondence lasted only a year, and included the likes of Walter Gropius, Hans Scharoun, and Paul Gösch. In the letters, the penfriends—thirteen in all—speculated and fantasized about the possibilities of glass, imagining, in the words of Fredrik Hellberg and Lara Lesmes (Space Popular), "fluid and organic glass follies and colourful crystal cathedrals covering entire mountain chains and even reaching into space."

© Ben Blossom © Ben Blossom © Ben Blossom © Ben Blossom + 18

How VR Is Helping Researchers Understand the Phenomenology Behind Light in Architecture

12:30 - 17 September, 2017

“How shall we hew the sun / Split it and make blocks / To build a ruddy palace?” wondered Wallace Stevens in his 1918 poem Architecture for the Adoration of Beauty. Inspired by the verse, in his essay The Room, the Street and Human Agreement, Louis Kahn paraphrased “What slice of the sun enters your room?” The great architect also spent his entire career experimenting with those dual protagonists: light and shadow. Kahn’s obsession with light, and in particular the architectural control of it, influenced countless architects, including Peter Zumthor and Tadao Ando.

Kynthia Chamilothori shares that fascination. A 2014 Architectural Engineering graduate from the Technical University of Crete, where she received the Limmat Stiftung Excellence Award, and current PhD candidate in the Laboratory of Integrated Performance In Design (LIPID) in EPFL, Chamilothori’s research diploma project focuses on how the patterns of light and shadow shape the way we perceive architectural spaces. But, while Kahn and other architects throughout history have relied on little more than intuition, Chamilothori is using far more scientific methods, working with a tool that wasn’t available to the great masters: virtual reality.

Stunning Images of Stone Architecture: The Best Photos of the Week

12:00 - 17 September, 2017

Stone construction is a simple technique that has been used since the earliest human civilizations. These days, stone is regaining popularity in contemporary architecture thanks to the diversity of results that can be achieved by the union of stone pieces. Whether it's the size, the type of cut, or the color of the material, the truth is that the use of stone can add incredible textures to architectural designs. Read on for a selection of 13 photos that allow us to marvel at stone's beauty and expressiveness, created by renowned photographers such as Erieta AttaliKyungsub Shin and Dimitris Kleanthis.

© Kyungsub Shin © Robert Leš © Simon Devitt © Kyungsub Shin + 14

Monumental Minds: Illustrations of Scandinavia’s Design Legacy

14:00 - 16 September, 2017
Monumental Minds: Illustrations of Scandinavia’s Design Legacy, Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland
Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland

Not just meatballs and Vikings; Scandinavia has always been the epicentre of design across the world - just look at the growing impact of Bjarke Ingels and Ikea's future living lab SPACE10. To showcase their significant influence, Expedia has illustrated the works of four famous architects from Denmark, FinlandNorway and Sweden and how they shaped international architectural movements of the 20th and 21st centuries in a collection of posters called Monumental Minds.  

EF Headquarters, Massachusetts. Image Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland House of Sweden, Washington. Image Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland St Paul's Church, Estonia. Image Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture, Saudi Arabia. Image Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland + 21

This Quirky Architecture Couple’s Instagrams are #instagoals

09:30 - 16 September, 2017

A post shared by Anna Devís (@anniset) on

Whether they're pretending facade details are raindrops or peeking out of Ricardo Bofill’s La Muralla Roja, Daniel Rueda and Anna Devis introduce a unique perspective on the city. The Valencia-based duo are #couplegoals, and their Instagram accounts reveal their fun, quirky personalities and love for the built environment.

Scrolling through their feeds, viewers get a glimpse of the couple’s travels through whimsical portraits which celebrate the beauty of architecture. The adorable duo playfully interacts with their surroundings, using the city as their stage and architecture—and each—other as characters.

Herzog & de Meuron’s Museu Blau in Barcelona Through the Lens of Denis Esakov

09:30 - 15 September, 2017
Herzog & de Meuron’s Museu Blau in Barcelona Through the Lens of Denis Esakov, © Denis Esakov
© Denis Esakov

We look for materials which are as intelligent, versatile and complex as natural phenomena, in other words materials which don't just appeal to the eyes of the astounded art critic, but are also really efficient and appeal to all our senses.
– Jacques Herzog

Like several other works of architecture by Herzog & de Meuron the Forum Building, known since the 2012 relocation of Barcelona's Museu de les Ciències Naturals as the Museu Blau, is remarkable for its sensitive use of materials. A triangular mass of gray-blue concrete punctured and split in places to reveal the contrasting use of reflective planes, the building is a hard one to ignore, especially for an architectural photographer.

© Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov + 16

Archireport: The Site Report App That Has Changed Thousands of Architects' Lives

Sponsored Article
Archireport: The Site Report App That Has Changed Thousands of Architects' Lives

In 2011, Julien, a young entrepreneur, started to build his own house. During the preparation phase, then the construction phase, he realized the difficulties encountered by his general contractor to communicate effectively with the different stakeholders of the project. He told Morgan, his associate, about this problem; in the meantime, Apple unveiled its new iPad 2 with a camera. It wouldn't be long before the idea of a tablet tool grew in their minds: Archireport App.

They decided to meet with different architects and general contractors in order to understand the difficulties that they encountered in their everyday work. A recurring issue comes back in their speeches: the time spent writing site reports.

Why Working Long Hours Won't Make You A "Better" Architect

08:00 - 14 September, 2017
Why Working Long Hours Won't Make You A "Better" Architect, Architects are known for pulling all-nighters.
Architects are known for pulling all-nighters.

This article was originally published on Brandon Hubbard's blog, The Architect's Guide.

In a previous article, Should You Become An Architect?, I touched on the issue of long working hours within the profession. Since this is such a common talking point for architects, I decided to expand on the topic.

First, let's define what is a "better architect." Is it being more productive? Regularly promoted? Highly paid? Someone who produces excellent design solutions?

Usually, all of these characteristics tend to flow together. If you are a skilled designer you are likely to be compensated and promoted accordingly. So if being good at your job leads to fame and fortune, is productivity the key to excellence?

The 10 Best Revit Apps and Add-Ins

08:00 - 13 September, 2017
The 10 Best Revit Apps and Add-Ins, via Enscape
via Enscape

This article was originally published by ArchSmarter as "The 10 Revit Apps You Should Be Using in 2017."

I recently asked ArchSmarter readers what tools they’re using to be more productive in Revit. Over 75 different add-ins were recommended! I tallied up all the votes and came up with this list of top-ten recommendations. There are some repeat nominees from my previous round-ups (which you can read here and here) as well as some welcome newcomers. 

So who made the cut? Here’s this year’s list of the top 10 Revit apps you should be using.  

The Real Star of The Apple Keynote? ARKit Augmented Reality Technology

13:30 - 12 September, 2017
The Real Star of The Apple Keynote? ARKit Augmented Reality Technology, © <a href=’’> by OyundariZorigtbaatar </a> licensed under <a href=’’>CC BY-SA 4.0</a>
© by OyundariZorigtbaatar licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Apple’s fall 2017 Keynote, which at the time of publication is already underway, is the first ever event held at the new Steve Jobs Theater right at the center of the Apple Headquarters in Cupertino. Every year at its fall keynotes, the company makes it major product announcements—last year, they announced the iPhone 7, Apple Watch series 2, and Airpods. This year, most of the hype surrounded the expected announcement of the iPhone 8 (and iPhone X!).

However, we have also been eagerly awaiting the announcement of updates to iOS 11 and its release to the public. First introduced on June 5, 2017 at the Worldwide Developers Conference, the discussion of the new Apple operating system will feature user updates but also developer updates—and it's here where we find the true star of the show: ARKit, the back-end tools which developers can use to create next-generation augmented reality (AR) apps for users of iOS 11 devices.

Algae Dome by SPACE10 Could 'Combat Chronic Malnutrition'

06:00 - 12 September, 2017
Algae Dome by SPACE10 Could 'Combat Chronic Malnutrition', © Niklas Adrian Vindelev
© Niklas Adrian Vindelev

SPACE10's latest project displayed last week at Copenhagen's CHART art fair hosts the secret to combating malnutrition, greenhouse gases and ending deforestation - a pretty steep demand for a structure only four meters tall. The hero of this story is a microalgae that runs through the three hundred and twenty meters of tubing entwined around the pavilion.

IKEA's future living lab worked with bioengineer, Keenan Pinto and three architects, Aleksander Wadas, Rafal Wroblewski and Anna Stempniewicz to build a photobioreactor that facilitates the high production of microalgae that can be grown almost anywhere on the planet. During the three days of the fair, 450 liters of algae was grown as visitors got to experience the full extent of the neon green process.

© Niklas Adrian Vindelev © Niklas Adrian Vindelev © Niklas Adrian Vindelev © Niklas Adrian Vindelev + 14

How to Choose an Undergraduate Architecture Thesis Topic

09:30 - 11 September, 2017
How to Choose an Undergraduate Architecture Thesis Topic, © Suneet Zishan Langar
© Suneet Zishan Langar

As architecture students head to their final year of BArch, half-crazy from years’ worth of scraped fingers, ghastly juries, sleepless nights, and a general lack of social life, they encounter the mighty problem of choosing a thesis topic. There are many subjects to choose from, but a personal interest in a particular subject is just one of the many factors that should influence this decision. Students need to ask themselves several other questions: Is the topic significant enough? Is it expansive enough? Is the project realistically doable?

The process can be daunting, for the decision has many consequences; sometimes, the choice of topic alone can mean the difference between the success and failure of a thesis. With so many factors to consider and deadlines closing in, students easily end up making decisions that they regret later. Here are eight tips to help you make an informed choice on the matter:

Sou Fujimoto's Polyhedral Pavilion Shapes The Art Island of Japan

16:00 - 10 September, 2017
Sou Fujimoto's Polyhedral Pavilion Shapes The Art Island of Japan, © Fernanda Castro
© Fernanda Castro

Located a few meters from the terminal of Naoshima, the Japanese island better known as the "Art Island", Sou Fujimoto's Pavilion appears as a translucent and lightweight diamond perched on the coastal edge of Kagawa, visible from SANAA's ferry terminal welcoming the visitors to the island. 

The Naoshima Pavilion was part of the 2016 Setouchi Triennial. Fujimoto has created its structure with a white painted stainless steel framework, acting as a mesh that gives the polyhedron it's irregular shape and light appearance as if it was levitating from the ground. 

20 Incredible Images of Architecture and Animals: The Best Photos of the Week

12:00 - 10 September, 2017
20 Incredible Images of Architecture and Animals: The Best Photos of the Week

For the animal lovers among our audience, this week we have put together a special roundup of images of architecture alongside some marvelous critters. While not exactly a mainstay of architectural photography, proponents of the form like BoysPlayNice, Jesus Granada and Rafael Gamo have dared to include animal inhabitants in their architectural compositions. Read on to see a selection of 20 creative images where you will find horses, sheep, cows, goats, dogs, cats, and even elephants.

5 Unexpected Benefits of Working at a Large Design Firm

09:30 - 10 September, 2017
Courtesy of CannonDesign
Courtesy of CannonDesign

Like most architecture students, I heard the debate about whether it was better to work at a large or small design firm numerous times during my collegiate career. There are undoubtedly benefits offered by firms of each size, and you’ll find tons of people eager to discuss how the resources of a large firm can compare to the creative flexibility of a small firm and similar such discussions during your student journey. Truthfully, there’s no one best option or preferred path, but, with thousands of students set to head back to architecture or design school this fall, I wanted to share my perspective.

It was just a few years ago that I was in my final year of school and faced with a decision: what size firms should I pursue for my first job? There were numerous aspects of small firms that spoke to me, but ultimately, I chose the large-firm experience. Big offices, big projects, job security, the latest tech, modeling and 3D printed resources—this all sounded great to me. Two years in, I’ve found most of those benefits to ring true, but I’ve also uncovered several benefits I didn’t know I should have been looking for in the first place. These unplanned discoveries have made a significant difference in my day-to-day experience and in helping to kickstart my career. I thought it might be helpful to share them so other students can consider them when making their decision in 2018 and beyond.

10-Square-Meter Apartments: Minimizing Living Space or Maximizing Profit?

08:00 - 10 September, 2017
10-Square-Meter Apartments: Minimizing Living Space or Maximizing Profit?, Floor Plan of the 10m² apartment in downtown São Paulo. Image via Raquel Rolnik's blog.
Floor Plan of the 10m² apartment in downtown São Paulo. Image via Raquel Rolnik's blog.

The launch of a building in downtown São Paulo - Brazil was the talk of the town due to its surprising apartment sizes of only 10 square meters. This raised the debate about the market trend to produce ever smaller properties and the ability of these properties to meet the needs of its residents. 

There is no doubt that, this type of real estate is related to newest trends of family compositions. It is increasingly common for residences to be occupied by only one person, or at most two. According to data from the SEADE Foundation for 2010, in the State of São Paulo, almost 40% of households have these characteristic, 13% of which is made up of a single resident.

Cloud-Shaped Pavilion is SANAA's Latest Work in Naoshima

16:00 - 9 September, 2017
Cloud-Shaped Pavilion is SANAA's Latest Work in Naoshima, © Fernanda Castro
© Fernanda Castro

The cloud-shaped bicycle terminal on the island of Naoshima is SANAA's latest work. The pavilion is known for its impressive collection of outdoor art and contemporary architecture, with works by prominent exponents such as Yayoi Kusama and Tadao Ando.

10 Must See Gaudí Buildings in Barcelona

08:00 - 9 September, 2017
10 Must See Gaudí Buildings in Barcelona, © Tom Walk [Flickr], license (CC BY-ND 2.0)
© Tom Walk [Flickr], license (CC BY-ND 2.0)

In this Barcelona guide, we have rounded-up the architecture of probably the best known and most influential architect from the beginning of the century in Spain, Antonio Gaudí. Gaudí spent most of his life in Barcelona and the city boasts the largest concentration of his works in the world. His style is unique, often imitated but never matched.

Gaudí´s ideas shaped the way of thinking about architecture for a whole generation. His influence on Catalan modernism was immense, creating a unique style that many have tried to replicate. It is difficult to find a person who doesn´t at least know Gaudí by name. Of the 10 most visited attractions in Barcelona, 4 are buildings by Gaudí. In this guide, we wanted to compile the 10 essential Gaudí buildings, all located in Barcelona, necessary to gain an appreciation of his work. The first 7 building are considered heritage of humanity. 

© Ian Gampon [Flickr], license CC BY-ND 2.0 © Neil Howard [Flickr], license (CC BY-NC 2.0) © xiquinhosilva [Flickr], license (CC BY 2.0) © Jaap Kramer [Flickr], license CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 + 11