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Project of the Month: Tangshan Organic Farm

00:00 - 11 December, 2016
Project of the Month: Tangshan Organic Farm, Courtesy of ARCHSTUDIO
Courtesy of ARCHSTUDIO

The design of industrial architecture presents a considerable challenge, since certain factors such as the industrial workflow and the conditions for the workers and machinery provide the guidelines for the development of the project. However, in many cases, industrial projects are designed without further exploration in terms of materials or construction systems, aiming simply to comply with regulations.

This month we want to highlight the Organic Farm in Tangshan by Chinese firm ARCHSTUDIO, a project in which an interesting structural and conceptual exploration results in a new industrial architectural intention, and which also generates new public spaces to promote a relationship with the nearby community through the construction.

Read on for our interview with ARCHSTUDIO about this Organic Farm.

A Look at London's New Design Museum Through the Lens of Luc Boegly & Sergio Grazia

09:30 - 10 December, 2016
A Look at London's New Design Museum Through the Lens of Luc Boegly & Sergio Grazia, © Luc Boegly & Sergio Grazia
© Luc Boegly & Sergio Grazia

With the opening of the new Design Museum in London, the former Commonwealth Institute building designed by RMJM in 1962 has been given a new lease of life. With an exterior renovation by OMA and Allies & Morrison, and interiors by John Pawson, last month the building reopened after a fourteen-year closure—finally offering the public a chance to experience the swooping paraboloid roof from the inside. Read on to see photographs of the Design Museum's new home by Luc Boegly & Sergio Grazia.

© Luc Boegly & Sergio Grazia © Luc Boegly & Sergio Grazia © Luc Boegly & Sergio Grazia © Luc Boegly & Sergio Grazia +38

Spotlight: Clorindo Testa

08:00 - 10 December, 2016
Spotlight: Clorindo Testa, Bank of London and South America. Image © Federico Cairoli
Bank of London and South America. Image © Federico Cairoli

Relatively unknown outside his home country, Clorindo Testa (December 10, 1923 – April 11, 2013) was one of Argentina’s most important 20th century architects. Consistently defying categorization, Testa had a hand in two of Buenos Aires’ most iconic buildings, the Bank of London and South America, and the National Library, as well as many others throughout his long career. Characteristically enigmatic, Testa would only ever acknowledge Le Corbusier as an influence, saying, “I never paid attention to other architects.” As a former colleague Juan Fontana described, Testa spoke the language of brutalism with an Argentine accent.

Black and Gold: How Paul Revere Williams Became the First African-American to Win the AIA's Highest Honor

09:30 - 8 December, 2016
Black and Gold: How Paul Revere Williams Became the First African-American to Win the AIA's Highest Honor, La Concha Motel, Las Vegas, 1961. Image Courtesy of the AIA
La Concha Motel, Las Vegas, 1961. Image Courtesy of the AIA

Yesterday, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced that they had awarded the 2017 Gold Medal to Paul Revere Williams. Despite the manic production rate of his five-decade-long career, those not familiar with the architecture of Hollywood’s early years might be forgiven for not recognizing Williams’ name. But he is notable for having designed around 3,000 buildings, for being “the architect to the stars” including, among many others, Frank Sinatra... and for being the first black member of the AIA.

Paley Home. Image Courtesy of the AIA Courtesy of the AIA LAX Theme Building, completed with Pereira & Luckman, 1961. Image © Flickr user thomashawk. Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 Paley Home. Image Courtesy of the AIA +7

Why Architecture Needs Less London-Centrism and More Ideas in the Wake of Brexit

09:30 - 7 December, 2016
<a href='http://www.archdaily.com/421970/library-of-birmingham-mecanoo'>Library of Birmingham / Mecanoo</a>. Image © Christian Richters
Library of Birmingham / Mecanoo. Image © Christian Richters

Between March of 2013 and December of 2014, Simon Henley of London-based practice Henley Halebrown wrote a regular column for ArchDaily titled “London Calling,” covering architectural topics of note in the UK's capital. Now, Henley is returning to his column – but in the wake of 2016's shock political developments, his column is re-branding. Thus, here he presents the first of his column “Beyond London” – a look at architectural topics around the UK. Here, Henley presents his opinion on those political developments, and the role architects should play as the UK embarks on a new period in its history.

Post-Brexit, British architects need to think hard about the profession’s London-centric position. There has been a policy of inclusion of non-London architects on panels, their work in magazines and on awards shortlists, but this is not enough. It was quite clear on June 24th when the London design community awoke to the realization that Britain will leave the European Union, that a “Remain”-minded bubble had formed within the capital. The same may be true of the other large cities around the country which voted largely in favour of “Remain.”

These Are the 3 Bus Stop Types Needed For Sustainable Transit Solutions

08:00 - 7 December, 2016
These Are the 3 Bus Stop Types Needed For Sustainable Transit Solutions, © NACTO
© NACTO

The latest publication of the National Association of City Transportation Officials, NACTO, is the "Transit Street Design Guide" in which tips and proposals are presented on how to improve streets through urban design.

The ideas are centered on prioritizing sustainable mobility so that both the member cities of the organization and those that have access to this document can improve their practices in relation to public spaces, mobility, and transportation. 

7 Challenges That Prevent Architectural Originality, and How To Overcome Them

09:30 - 5 December, 2016
7 Challenges That Prevent Architectural Originality, and How To Overcome Them, © Ariana Zilliacus. Original work using images by <a href='http://www.archdaily.com/448774/heydar-aliyev-center-zaha-hadid-architects'>Iwan Baan</a>, <a href='http://snohetta.com/project/42-norwegian-national-opera-and-ballet'>Jens Passoth</a>, <a href='http://www.archdaily.com/384289/serpentine-pavilion-sou-fujimoto'>Daniel Portilla</a> and <a href='http://www.archdaily.com/339893/bigs-waste-to-energy-plant-breaks-ground-breaks-schemas'>BIG</a>
© Ariana Zilliacus. Original work using images by Iwan Baan, Jens Passoth, Daniel Portilla and BIG

"Originality is dead" is not an uncommon phrase to hear in our modern, information packed era of Big Data and easy access to source material. If you take a look at Google’s Ngram Viewer, the use of the word "originality" appears to have waned; it is now roughly as common as it was at in 1800, with its peak use occurring just before 1900. So what was going on around that peak time? In 1893, the first moving pictures were played; in 1989, the first escalator was installed; in 1899, aspirin was invented; and 1901 saw the first wireless transmission sent from England to Canada. [1]

At that time, the development of various forms of technology was allowing and encouraging people to explore and fulfill ideas that could only have been dreamed of in the past. But without this injection of new tools, it's difficult to compete with 200,000 years of new ideas; so to help you do so, here are seven aspects of our modern world that make it difficult to come up with original ideas, and ways you can combat them.

The Economic and Social Power of Walkable Cities

08:00 - 5 December, 2016
The Economic and Social Power of Walkable Cities, New York, USA. Image © Flickr User: Jeffrey Zeldman. Licence CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
New York, USA. Image © Flickr User: Jeffrey Zeldman. Licence CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Over the last few years, the way Americans move around has changed remarkably, especially among young people. Previously the automobile was people’s preferred, if not the only, option. Now they are choosing to walk, bike, or use public transport according to recent studies.

This difference in preferred transportation methods has generated many benefits not only for residents but also for cities, in both economic and social terms. 

Sassen, Kimmelman and More Discuss the Urban Evolution of Migration in reSITE's Small Talks

09:30 - 4 December, 2016
Sassen, Kimmelman and More Discuss the Urban Evolution of Migration in reSITE's Small Talks, Courtesy of reSITE
Courtesy of reSITE

"What is your city? And what do you need to make that entire city yours?" These are some of the questions being posed by co-founding principal of nArchitects, Mimi Hoang, in reSITE’s Small Talks series. The videos, produced and edited by Canal180, were recorded during the reSITE event that took place in Prague earlier this year, titled "Cities in Migration." Reiterated again and again by several of the interviewees is the fact that migration is, in the words of founder and chairman of reSITE Martin Barry, "a natural human phenomenon; everyone is moving to cities to improve their lives."

These Sketches Show Calatrava's Oculus Interpreted as Animals and Inanimate Objects

09:30 - 3 December, 2016
These Sketches Show Calatrava's Oculus Interpreted as Animals and Inanimate Objects, © Chanel Dehond
© Chanel Dehond

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Seeing the Animal Kingdom in Calatrava's Oculus."

Since its opening in March, Santiago Calatrava's "Oculus" transport hub at the World Trade Center has garnered a lot of criticism for its exorbitant price tag. (The building cost nearly $4 billion to realize.) But look beyond the numbers, and there is something compelling about the physical form of the thing. Like all of Calatrava's work, the structure invites visual interpretations—spiky fish or a bird, a dinosaur or a hedgehog. Architectural designer and illustrator Chanel Dehond riffs on these and more in the following sketches.

Here's What Western Accounts of the Kowloon Walled City Don't Tell You

09:30 - 2 December, 2016
Here's What Western Accounts of the Kowloon Walled City Don't Tell You, Image © Greg Girard and Ian Lambot, authors of the books "City of Darkness" and "<a href='http://www.archdaily.com/493900/the-architecture-of-kowloon-walled-city-an-excerpt-from-city-of-darkness-revisited'>City of Darkness Revisited</a>"
Image © Greg Girard and Ian Lambot, authors of the books "City of Darkness" and "City of Darkness Revisited"

A longer version of this article, written by current ArchDaily intern Sharon Lam, was originally published in Salient, the magazine of the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association, titled "In the Shadow of the Kowloon Walled City."

It is the 1970s in Hong Kong, and you are eleven years old. Early one evening, you go out to a nearby neighborhood for dinner with your family. A five-minute walk from your primary school, it is also a place you frequent with your friends. The food here is good and especially renowned for its fishball noodle soup, which is what you always get. You’ve been here so often that navigating the subterranean corridors to the noodle stand is easy, and you know where to step to avoid the ceilings that drip the most. Your bowl of noodles arrives and you slurp them down, unaware of the fact that over the next couple of years this very neighborhood will peak in its population and its infamy, and remain even decades later as one of the most remarkable social anomalies in recent history.

At its peak, the Kowloon Walled City was home to 33,000 people in just two hectares of land—the size of about two rugby fields—making it the densest place on Earth at the time. It was a hastily put together conglomerate of tiny apartments, one on top of the other, caged balconies slapped onto the sides and connected through a labyrinth of damp, dark corridors. All the while, the rest of Hong Kong went about as normal, seemingly unaffected by the crime and squalor within the Walled City.

A Virtual Look Into Richard Neutra's Unbuilt Case Study House #13, The Alpha House

09:30 - 30 November, 2016
A Virtual Look Into Richard Neutra's Unbuilt Case Study House #13, The Alpha House, Courtesy of Archilogic
Courtesy of Archilogic

Of the four homes designed by Richard Neutra for the Case Study Houses program, post-war thought experiments commissioned by Arts & Architecture, only one was ever realized. In the imaginary village of the program's many unbuilt homes, next to #6, the Omega house, stands #13, named Alpha. Archilogic’s 3D model gives us a unique chance to experience this innovative concept home.

Each of Neutra’s projects was designed for a family of five, and each reveals his psychoanalytic approach to architecture, in which the house itself is an intimate part of family relationships, as important as the personalities involved. (Neutra was personally acquainted with Freud, and a committed follower of birth trauma theorist Otto Rank.) Underlining this Freudian view, his imaginary clients are not just neighbours—they are related; Mrs Alpha being sister to Mrs Omega.

5 Easy Steps to Improve Your Portfolio

08:00 - 29 November, 2016
5 Easy Steps to Improve Your Portfolio, Image © Giacomo Magnani <a href='http://www.giacomomagnani.com'>(www.giacomomagnani.com)</a>
Image © Giacomo Magnani (www.giacomomagnani.com)

In this article, originally published as "¿Qué es un portafolio de proyectos y cómo se hace?" (What is a portfolio and how do you make one?) from blog Enlace Arquitectura, the author shares a series of suggestions and steps on making a suitable and convenient portfolio for when you’re job hunting. The basis of these recommendations is to correctly understand what a portfolio is and what it should contain. It also details how to maximize creativity in the representation and execution of architectural projects when included in a portfolio.

39 Strange Habits Most Architects Can Relate To

09:30 - 28 November, 2016
39 Strange Habits Most Architects Can Relate To, Courtesy of Sharon Lam
Courtesy of Sharon Lam

Previously we had a look at some of the strange habits of top architects. From drinking on the job to polyphasic sleeping, it turns out famous architects are a bunch of weirdos. But what about the rest of us? It’s not just the famous architects who are weirdos—it’s simply impossible to spend such long periods of time on the job without picking up a few strange habits along the way. Whether it’s the way we work, the way we interact with buildings, or things that don’t even seem odd until a non-architect points them out, those in architecture have some pretty strange habits.

50 Impressive Details Using Wood

07:00 - 27 November, 2016
50 Impressive Details Using Wood

Over the course of history the unique characteristics of wood, which are dependent upon the species of the tree and the location in which it has grown, have enabled humanity to flourish in all parts of the globe. The architectural details of wooden construction therefore show a great diversity of meetings and joints, showing not only a project's constructive and structural logic, but also embodying the value and complexity of each project.

Take a look at these 50 construction details of projects that stand out for their clever use of wood.

Spotlight: Ma Yansong

03:30 - 26 November, 2016
Spotlight: Ma Yansong, Harbin Opera House. Image © Iwan Baan
Harbin Opera House. Image © Iwan Baan

Founder of the innovative architecture firm MAD Architects, Ma Yansong (born 26 November 1975) has helped to give China a name in the international architecture scene. The first Chinese architect to receive a RIBA fellowship, Ma explores contemporary architecture in relation to traditional eastern values of nature, resulting in buildings that are complex and contextually aware, but sometimes even surreal. 

Beautifully-Designed, Downloadable Bauhaus Architecture Books

12:00 - 25 November, 2016

Last year Monoskop delighted the architecture and art community by making many of the Bauhaus publications available to freely download. As a perennial fan of all types of architecture communication, I had previously written about the exceptional qualities of Bauhaus-produced books and journals and how these visual teaching tools ultimately influenced more recent, canonical publications. Below we share an edited excerpt from “Architects’ Books: Le Corbusier and The Bauhaus,” a chapter from the larger research project, Redefining The Monograph: The Publications of OMA and Rem Koolhaas.

To access Monoskop’s treasure trove, which includes titles by visionaries such as Walter Gropius, László Moholy-Nagy, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and others, visit Monoskop's Bauhaus archive.

As the Bauhaus operated in a generally experimental and revolutionary status, the information taught was not unified in any particularly accessible form. The Bauhausbücher were produced in order to expose the elements of the Bauhaus education to the original, small student body. These books later proved invaluable when the school was closed by the National Socialist Government in 1933, their contents holding authentic records of Bauhaus education. Merging theory and practice, the books, designed by Moholy-Nagy, are a testament to his creative ideas. He saw traditional forms of information dissemination as supplying information to students without stressing the relevance and relationship to the world in which they were living. His books sought to clarify these relationships through stimulating images and insightful (though at times lengthy and ethereal) text.

Interview with WOHA: “The Only Way to Preserve Nature is to Integrate it into Our Built Environment”

09:30 - 25 November, 2016
Interview with WOHA: “The Only Way to Preserve Nature is to Integrate it into Our Built Environment”, PARKROYAL on Pickering, Singapore. Image © Patrick Bingham-Hall
PARKROYAL on Pickering, Singapore. Image © Patrick Bingham-Hall

Driven by the hyper-density of the city-state from which they operate, WOHA have emerged as Singapore's quintessential architects. Combining a locally-specific approach to climate control and spatial planning with an international approach to form and materials, their work holds lessons that can be instructive to architects in all climates. In this interview, the latest in his “City of Ideas” column, Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks to WOHA founders Wong Mun Summ and Richard Hassell about their environmental approach and the future of our global cities.

Newton Suites, Singapore. Image © Patrick Bingham-Hall SkyVille@Dawson, Singapore. Image © Patrick Bingham-Hall SkyVille@Dawson, Singapore. Image © Patrick Bingham-Hall Oasia Hotel Downtown, Singapore. Image © Patrick Bingham-Hall +24

10 Awesome Sketchup Plugins That Will Up Your Modeling Game (Explained With GIFs)

08:00 - 25 November, 2016
10 Awesome Sketchup Plugins That Will Up Your Modeling Game (Explained With GIFs), © Wikipedia user: Takuro1202, bajo licencia CC BY-SA 3.0
© Wikipedia user: Takuro1202, bajo licencia CC BY-SA 3.0

After the success of its 6th edition in 2007, Sketchup became one of the world's most widely used 3D modeling software products. This is thanks to its intuitive toolbar, interdisciplinary use within the creative industry (not just architects) and having a free version that doesn't use watermarks.

Its open source library helped the software to provide a wide range of 3D objects, while hundreds of users developed their own plugins not only to solve the problems of each version but also to exploit the potential of their tools. 

We’re going to introduce you to 10 of the plugins shared by Sketchup Tutorials Facebook page using their demonstrative GIFs. If you don’t know how to add a SketchUp plugin, don’t worry! You can learn in this video also posted by them.

5 Ways to Improve Senior Wellness through Centres for Healthy Living

09:30 - 23 November, 2016
5 Ways to Improve Senior Wellness through Centres for Healthy Living, <a href='http://www.archdaily.com/459558/centro-socio-sanitari-martijulia-pinearq'>Elderly Healthcare Building / Brullet Pineda Arquitectes</a>
Elderly Healthcare Building / Brullet Pineda Arquitectes

Today we live in a rapidly aging society. The shift in the population pyramid means that traditional healthcare systems need to be reimagined in order to efficiently support an increasing senior population. This added pressure on healthcare is significant--the number of older adults in the US alone requiring long-term healthcare support is set to increase from 15 million to 27 million by 2050. By partnering with designers, healthcare providers can create valuable responses to address these growing needs.

One building typology that expresses this designer-provider partnership are centers for healthy living (CHL). CHLs help to bridge the gap between the senior living and healthcare sectors, and go beyond simple clinic or exercise spaces. Taking a more holistic approach, they seek to become accessible destinations for programs that nurture wellness while providing a sense of place and community.

In a new downloadable reportPerkins Eastman have explored this typology in great depth by investigating existing CHLs. Through spatial and market research, case studies and user surveys, their findings identify strategies for improving upon the CHL model in the future. Read on for our summary of their discoveries.

15 Details of Metal Structures and Facades for Residential Projects

08:00 - 23 November, 2016
15 Details of Metal Structures and Facades for Residential Projects

The use of steel in both the past and present is mainly associated with the success of grand industrial and civic structures. But due to the commercialization and standardization of steel profiles, its use in residential projects (thanks to its mechanical properties and fast installation) has resulted in complex and interesting solutions on a domestic scale.

Dive into these 15 construction details from residential projects that have made use of steel structures and cladding. 

Freelancing as an Architect: The Pros, The Cons, and Tips for Success

09:30 - 22 November, 2016
Freelancing as an Architect: The Pros, The Cons, and Tips for Success

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "The Pros and Cons of Starting out as a Freelance Architect."

Freelancing can be a great option for architects looking for more autonomy and freedom in their work. Although there are drawbacks to this kind of work, there are specific strategies that you can use to overcome the challenges and uncertainties of going solo.

It is easy to look down on freelancing. Those who are employed by a traditional company or firm see freelancing as an inferior work model that automatically implies less financial security and suggests to employers a loose definition of responsibility. People often imagine freelancers as slumming it in their pajamas doing just a few hours of work per day, or as Jacks-of-all-trades, overworked and constantly chasing new commissions. While data from recent studies and surveys show that freelancers do indeed work fewer hours than those in traditional employment, the rising number of freelancers proves that this trend is not waning. In fact, according to recent reports, increasing numbers of US and European workers are choosing to go freelance.

50 AutoCAD Commands You Should Know

08:00 - 22 November, 2016

After spending countless hours in front of AutoCAD working on a project, you’re bound to have your own set of favorite commands to standardize a few steps. We also bet that you don’t have them all memorized or often forget them. To help you remember, we've made a list of 50 commands that can help you speed up your work game, discover new shortcuts, or come in use as a handy tool for when you forget what the command you need is called.

The following listing was developed and corroborated by our team for the 2013, 2014 and 2015 versions of AutoCAD in English. We also prepared a series of GIFs to visualize some of the trickier ones.

When you’ve finished reading, we would love to know what your favorite commands are (including those that we didn’t include). We will use your input to help us update the article!

6 Ways BIM Can Make Your Architecture Firm More Competitive

18:00 - 21 November, 2016
6 Ways BIM Can Make Your Architecture Firm More Competitive, Emerson College Los Angeles by Morphosis Architects, which won the AIA's 2015 Technology In Architectural Practice Innovation Awards for its use of BIM. Image © Iwan Baan
Emerson College Los Angeles by Morphosis Architects, which won the AIA's 2015 Technology In Architectural Practice Innovation Awards for its use of BIM. Image © Iwan Baan

Starting an architecture firm may sprout from one’s love for and interest in the discipline, but running a competitive business requires more than just a tendency to enjoy the work. BIM could be the edge a firm needs in order to stand out from the crowd. There are many ways a firm can make use of BIM to become more profitable on their projects and successful in winning those projects in the first place; read on to find out more about six of them.