The following photo set by Fernando Guerra focuses on Boa Nova Tea House, a project by Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira. Completed in 1963, it was one of the first works done by the 1992 Pritzker Prize winner. Built on the rocks that hang over the sea in Leça da Palmeira, the tea house is in close proximity to another iconic project by the same architect, the Leça Swimming Pools, both classified as National Monuments in Portugal.
Kisho Kurokawa (April 8th 1934 – October 12th 2007) was one of Japan's leading architects of the 20th century, perhaps most well-known as one of the founders of the Metabolist movement of the 1960s. Throughout the course of his career, Kurokawa advocated a philosophical approach to understanding architecture that was manifest in his completed projects throughout his life.
Once every two years architecture schools around the world are invited to submit their single, finest graduation project to the Archiprix International competition and exhibition. This year, the event selected Ahmedabad, in India, to exhibit the results. Here Arjen Oosterman, Editor-in-Chief of Volume, reviews the event and the work on display. You can read an interview with the Director of Archiprix, Henk van der Veen, here.
From its inception at the dawn of the millennium (2001), Archiprix International has proved to be an adventure with enormous ambition. To collect, once every two years, the very best graduation projects from architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design schools around the world is no small feat. To comprehensively exhibit this material is also a challenge, and to create a meaningful and productive event around the award session—giving center stage to the selected graduates and their projects—is a task akin to walking a tightrope. And yet, this is what they are achieving.
In our article in February, "11 Vernacular Building Techniques That Are Disappearing," we discussed vernacular techniques that, through the introduction of modern building and the waning prevalence of traditional lifestyles, were slowly becoming lost forms of knowledge. What we didn't discuss, though, was that few of the techniques were disappearing without some form of resistance. After the article was published we were contacted by Dutch architecture firm LEVS Architecten, who highlighted their efforts work in the Dogon region of Mali, where they work with local communities to continue--and improve--the vernacular Dogon tradition.
Despite the fact that LEVS Architecten has worked extensively within this tradition, they still consider themselves modern architects who are simply looking for responsible, alternative solutions, and have even found opportunities to utilize this knowledge for architecture projects back in the Netherlands. As Jurriaan van Stigt, partner at LEVS Architecten and chairman of Partners Pays-Dogon, explained in an interview with ArchDaily, vernacular architecture is “in the undercurrent of our thinking and approach to the tasks that lay behind every project.”
One of the most boldly dissenting voices of our time, architectural and urban theorist Léon Krier (born 7 April 1946) has throughout his career rejected the commonly accepted practices of Modernist Urbanism, and helped to shape the ideals of the New Urbanism movement. Through his publications and city designs, Krier has changed the discourse of what makes a city successful and returned importance to the concept of community.
Over the years, one unique tradition has been growing among architecture students: building a pizza oven. To help maintain this tradition, we decided to share this small guide for a 1.20m diameter mini-oven. Follow these easy steps and quick tips to build your own crust-worthy oven.
This article was originally published by The Architect's Newspaper as "Are micro-apartments a revolutionary trend? Or are developers exploiting an out-of-control market?"
The situation was dire: People were flocking to cities for work, but scarce land and lack of new construction were driving up rent prices. Middle-income residents couldn’t afford the high-end housing stock, nor did they want to enter cramped—sometimes illegally so—apartments. Luckily, a new housing solution appeared: In exchange for small, single-occupancy units, residents could share amenities—like a restaurant-kitchen, dining area, lounge, and cleaning services—that were possible thanks to economies of scale. Sound familiar?
It should: It’s the basic premise behind Carmel Place, a micro-apartment development in Manhattan’s Kips Bay that recently started leasing. The development—whose 55 units range from 260 to 360 square feet—was the result of Mayor Bloomberg’s 2012 adAPT NYC Competition to find housing solutions for the city’s shortage of one- and two-person apartments. Back then, Carmel Place needed special legal exceptions to be built, but last March the city removed the 400-square-foot minimum on individual units. While density controls mean another all-micro-apartment building is unlikely, only building codes will provide a de facto minimum unit size (somewhere in the upper 200 square foot range). What does this deregulation mean for New York City’s always-turbulent housing market? Will New Yorkers get new, sorely needed housing options or a raw deal?
Professors: for many of us, they're the windows through which we first glimpse the huge breadth and depth of the subject of architecture. They're our guides and our mentors--but they're often also strange, unpredictable and infuriating (although there is a silver lining to even the most frustrating of teachers). Of course, every different person brings their own quirks to the job of teaching architecture students, but the likelihood is that you've come across at least one professor that fits each of the following descriptions:
“An image is a sight which has been recreated or reproduced. It is an appearance, or a set of appearances, which has been detached from the place and time in which it first made its appearance and preserved – for a few moments or a few centuries. Every image embodies a way of seeing.” - John Berger / 1972 / Ways of seeing
Digital tools have given architecture the ability to manipulate information, allowing architects to interact with existing information and reshape it in a different way according to the author’s ideals or thoughts about architecture.
Representation becomes a project itself; it is a graphic manifesto of what the author wants to deliver, a critical vision of a design intervention in a particular context.
In this path, collage has become an active tool to facilitate the reproduction of multi-layered atmospheres made by the curated assemblage of different forms to create a complex stage for an architectural idea.
A collage engages all senses to define the experience of a space. The symbolic and tactical associations between fragments of images provide a way to understand all the stories behind a space, transgressing the limits of perception to reach an intuitive process that exhibits the atmosphere of a project.
Here we introduce 12 architecture offices that describe atmospheres by using complex collage compositions to express social, cultural and political environments for their designs.
As creators, we all go through stages of creativity. Some phases are more severe than others, but getting emotionally involved is, in most cases, unavoidable. In many cases, the emotional intensity of design can be so intense, it begins to resemble another well-known emotional process—one that generally includes the stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Design may not literally be as difficult as losing a loved one, but it's little coincidence that in the architecture profession, one's best concepts are often referred to as their "babies," and any design process will involve a fair amount of letting them go.
To paraphrase the existing psychological literature, "as long as there is creativity, there is hope. As long as there is hope, there is creativity." So join us as we explain the architect's path through the five stages of
griefcreativity experienced in any design process.
At a time when so much of what we do happens online, there is a lot we can learn from tracking the way we use the web. Alexa is an Amazon company that sells data insights from millions of Internet users aimed at business owners (we'll save the data ethics discussion for a different day). A selection of Alexa's data is available to the public, with the company presenting a list of sites with the highest average daily visitor and pageview counts—including a list of the biggest websites in the architectural world, from yours truly on down.
But which is the most popular architectural firm, school, or individual building? Continue reading to find the top architecture websites for each category based on Alexa's count of the past month's traffic—there may be some surprises!
A year after her untimely passing, we take a look back on one of the hallmarks of Zaha Hadid's career as an architect: her sketches. In October we wrote about how her paintings influenced her architecture. Now, we examine her most emblematic sketches and the part they played in the initial formal exploration of her design process.
This week marks the first anniversary of the death of Zaha Hadid, the most successful and influential female architect in the architectural discipline. Born in Baghdad (Iraq) in 1950, Hadid became the first woman to receive the Pritzker Prize in 2004, and twelve years later received the gold medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
Hadid's untimely death left a fascinating and inspiring legacy. Meanwhile her firm, Zaha Hadid Architects, continues to work on nearly a hundred projects worldwide. To remember her legacy, Spanish company Deimos Imaging has shared a series of photographs focusing on Hadid's work in five countries.
The images were captured by the Deimos-2 satellite, which was launched in 2014 and designed for very high-resolution Earth observation applications, providing multispectral images of just 75 centimeters per pixel. Hadid's incredible works take on a new dimension when you contemplate their proportions from the sky—or rather, from a satellite.
Zaha Hadid's projects are remarkable not only for her innovative way of handling tangible materials but also for her imagination regarding the medium of light. Her theories of fragmentation and fluidity are now well-known design techniques which enabled her form-finding. However, her advances in using light to render her architecture have often been neglected—even though they became an essential element in revealing and interpreting her architecture. The three-decade transition from minimal light lines at her early Vitra Fire Station to the world's tallest atrium at the Leeza SOHO skyscraper, which collects an abundance of daylight, shows the remarkable development of Zaha Hadid’s luminous legacy.
It was in 1988, at London’s Tate Gallery during the Deconstructivism conference held in anticipation of MoMA’s eponymous exhibition that I first encountered Zaha Hadid in person. She was lecturing among her six co-exhibitors: Peter Eisenman, Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry, Wolf Prix, Bernard Tschumi, and Daniel Libeskind. I had encountered her work a few years earlier as a young architecture student (at Stuttgart University) and was stunned and thrilled by the unprecedented degrees of compositional freedom, versatility and dynamism in her work. Up until then I had not been so sure if architecture was such a good career choice for me. I was rather underwhelmed and bored by architecture but, through my encounter with Zaha’s incredible work, architectural design unexpectedly transformed into an adventure. The bounds of architectural possibilities had shifted. Thirty years later, this sense of adventure continues. Zaha changed our field and changed everything for me.
There’s a decent chance that in the last few days, you’ve seen images of Analemma, the futuristic proposal from Clouds AO to hang a skyscraper (or should that be “earthscraper”?) from an asteroid in orbit of the earth. The project has been difficult to avoid, having been picked up not only by much of the architectural media but also by NBC, CNN, Forbes, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, Mashable, IFLScience—the list goes on almost as long as the building itself.
Is the design realistic? Obviously not, and it’s obviously not intended to be. It’s intended as a utopian thought experiment. Clouds AO has something of a pedigree in this field, as winners of a NASA-backed competition to design a Mars base with their idea for a building made of ice. As a result, it would be facile to join the internet’s collective bottom-of-the-page comment mob to point out that it would be prohibitively expensive, or that it might be more enjoyable to live on the ground anyway.
But is the design a useful utopian thought experiment? There are some design failures that better technology, or a lot of money, or the changed mindset of a futuristic society just won’t fix. So without further ado, here are a list of the problems that this out-of-this-world design would face, in chronological order, with the issues that make it impractical in our current world marked as “minor” and the ones that would undermine the proposal in any universe marked as “major.”
Nowadays bicycles are not only used for sports or as a recreational activity, as more and more people are choosing bicycles as their main means of transportation.
Architecture plays a fundamental role in promoting the use of bicycles, as a properly equipped city with safe bicycle lanes, plentiful bicycle parking spots, and open areas to ride freely will encourage people to use their cars much less.
In this article Marcos Parga, director of the Madrid-based office MAPAA, presents an exploratory essay on the possibilities of living in developed urban centers, taking as a case study a site between two existing party walls in Madrid. The objective of MAPAA's exercise is to seek ways to enjoy the benefits of rural life, such as close contact with nature, in the city.
In this essay by the British architect and academic Dr. Timothy Brittain-Catlin, the very notion of British postmodernism—today often referred to as intimately tied to the work of James Stirling and the the thinking of Charles Jencks—is held to the light. Its true origins, he argues, are more historically rooted.
I grew up in a beautiful late Victorian terrace with ornamental brickwork, shaped ‘Dutch’ gables and pretty arts and crafts stained glass windows – and so I didn’t think then, and I don’t think now, that I had much to learn from Las Vegas. It turns out that I wasn’t the only one. Of British architects who made their names as postmodernists in the 1980s, not a single one would say now that they owed much to Robert Venturi, the American architect widely considered to be a grandfather of movement.
This article was originally published by The Architect's Newspaper as "The American suburbs are the next fertile ground for architectural and urban experimentation."
The last twenty-odd years may have seen the remarkable comeback of cities, but the next twenty might actually be more about the suburbs, as many cities have become victims of their own success. The housing crisis—a product of a complex range of factors from underbuilding to downzoning—has made some cities, such as New York and Los Angeles, a playground for the ultra-wealthy, pushing out long-time residents and making the city unaffordable for the artists, creatives, and small businesses who make vibrant places.
Designing urban spaces to improve mobility for all inhabitants is one of the main objectives of NACTO, the National Association of City Transportation Officials. Founded in 1996, this non-profit organization brings together more than 40 US and Canadian cities to share their advice and design practices seeking to raise the design standards in public policies for public spaces, mobility, and transportation.
They’ve developed a series of guides in which they propose design guidelines to make streets, cycle paths, intersections and other urban spaces more accessible and safe for all road users. One of the most recent is the "Transit Street Design Guide" in which they offer, among other things, 6 recommendations to take into account when designing bus stops. Find out what these recommendations are below.
Outside of our familiar feeds, social or otherwise, the Internet can be a daunting place. While information and interaction have never been easier, developing ways to get a handle on the quantity and pace of this crowded, if not valuable, world can often be difficult – it’s all too easy to find your digital life unintentionally isolated. In the architectural sphere, shared knowledge and a broad understanding of history and contemporary practice are all-important; discourse and conversation even more so. Are.na, a platform for collaborative and independent research, provides a new lens when surfing, capturing and contextualizing the content of the Internet.
So much has already been written about Hamburg’s undeniably excellent Elbphilharmonie, which formally opened in January but has been publicly accessible, in part, since November. The chatter has mostly revolved around the same two talking points—the building’s on-the-tip-of-your-tongue shape and its fantastic price tag. In addressing the former, critics have called attention to the hall’s resemblance to an iceberg, an outcrop, a ship, circus tents, or the Sydney Opera House. And as for the costs, totaling $900 million, they point out how the project hemorrhaged cash, even if they have inadvertently exaggerated the figures. Having momentarily lost control of the narrative, the city felt compelled to set the record straight in time for the inaugural performance: The building cost just three—not ten!—times the initial budget.
The architectural legacy of the Rockefeller family in Manhattan is well-known, most obviously demonstrated in the slab-like Art Deco towers of the Rockefeller Center and the ever-expanding campus of the MoMA. But in a city that is filled with landmarks and historic buildings, it's easy for even the most remarkable projects to go unrecognized. Philip Johnson's Rockefeller Guest House in Manhattan was completed in 1950, just one year after the construction of his better known Glass House in New Canaan. The Glass House is an obvious cousin to the later guest house: both feature largely empty glass and steel boxlike forms, where structural work is exposed and celebrated.