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"Hallo Darkness!" Why Not All Buildings Need To Be Cheerful All Of The Time

14:00 - 7 August, 2017
"Hallo Darkness!" Why Not All Buildings Need To Be Cheerful All Of The Time, The Destruction of the Temple of Solomon, by Maarten van Heemskerck. From Freemasonry and the Enlightenment, by James Stevens Curl (Public Domain). Image
The Destruction of the Temple of Solomon, by Maarten van Heemskerck. From Freemasonry and the Enlightenment, by James Stevens Curl (Public Domain). Image

In a world in which the "happy" architectural image feels all-pervasive, the British architect and academic Dr. Timothy Brittain-Catlin reveals its darker side suggesting why, and how, we might come to celebrate it. You can read Brittain-Catlin's essays on British postmodernism here, and on colorful architecture, here.

"Contemporary buildings celebrate openness, light and free-flowing movement," says the President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in the March 2017 issue of the Institute’s journal. This is what at my school we call an "announcement", rather than a statement of fact. Indeed, all architects and architecture students hear these words all the time. But are they true? Should they be?

7 Annual Competitions Every Architecture Student Should Try at Least Once

09:30 - 7 August, 2017
7 Annual Competitions Every Architecture Student Should Try at Least Once, Fairy Tales 2017 Competition Winner: Last Day / Mykhailo Ponomarenko. Image Courtesy of Blank Space
Fairy Tales 2017 Competition Winner: Last Day / Mykhailo Ponomarenko. Image Courtesy of Blank Space

When you’re used to the grind of architecture school, breaks can hit you like rain on a warm day—cool at first, but terribly annoying soon enough. While the first few days breeze past as you catch-up on lost sleep and binge-watch Game of Thrones, you realize before long that you’re going insane with nothing to absorb all your new-found energy.

This is where architectural competitions come in handy. They provide a constructive outlet while being deeply engrossing, thus keeping you from hopelessly refreshing Youtube to see if Buzzfeed uploaded a new video. Also, the fact that you’re no longer constrained by the direction of your studio-leader or school program enables you to experiment creatively. With diverse international competitions running at any given time, you can take your pick, depending on your individual interests and the amount of time you want to devote. However, the sheer number of available competitions can be deeply confusing as well. Here we shortlist seven of the most prestigious annual architectural competitions open to students: 

Materials That Make Construction Details Protagonists: Photos of the Week

12:00 - 6 August, 2017

We love construction details! That's why this week's photos highlight the art of the synthesis of materials and the varied photographic products we can obtain by looking closer. Photographers like Joel FilipeMarie-Françoise Plissart and Adria Goula, give us precise and beautiful exposure to wooden joints, steel structures, concrete details, curtain walls and more.

© Ivan Morison © Noel Arraiz © SWANG © Joel Filipe +14

USC Architecture Students and MADWORKSHOP Collaborate to Combat LA’s Homeless Epidemic

09:30 - 6 August, 2017
USC Architecture Students and MADWORKSHOP Collaborate to Combat LA’s Homeless Epidemic, Courtesy of MADWORKSHOP
Courtesy of MADWORKSHOP

Aggravated by limited upward mobility and a dire housing crisis, LA County’s homeless population has shot up 23 percent to nearly 58,000 in the past year alone, according The Los Angeles Times. Their increased visibility recently guilted voters into passing (by a two-thirds majority) a sales tax increase (Measure H) and a $1.2 billion bond initiative (Measure HHH) to provide housing and amenities. With the city now better financially equipped to tackle the problem, a new issue arises: what to build?

Courtesy of MADWORKSHOP © Brandon Friend-Solis Courtesy of MADWORKSHOP Courtesy of MADWORKSHOP +10

Drone Footage Shows Construction Progress on Heatherwick Studio’s "Tree-Covered Mountains" in Shanghai

09:30 - 5 August, 2017

In #donotsettle’s latest video, architects and vlogging provocateurs Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost provide breathtaking footage of one of Shanghai’s most curious projects, M50. The 300,000-square-meter Heatherwick Studio building is an undulating mass of mixed use urban topography.

via #donotsettle via #donotsettle via #donotsettle via #donotsettle +8

How New Technologies Are Turning Awkward Elevator Rides into a Thing of the Past

09:30 - 4 August, 2017
How New Technologies Are Turning Awkward Elevator Rides into a Thing of the Past, Lift with dynamic light show at the A'DAM Tower, Amsterdam. Designed by InventDesign, photography by Dennis Bouman. Image © InventDesign
Lift with dynamic light show at the A'DAM Tower, Amsterdam. Designed by InventDesign, photography by Dennis Bouman. Image © InventDesign

Elevator rides may offer an uplifting experience in the literal sense, but while they are indispensable in modern buildings, users face extremely compact spaces which are designed to fit effectively into buildings. Awkward looks at the floor or past other people’s faces reveal our discomfort with the elevator’s crowded anonymity. Couldn’t a more spatial experience lead to a more exciting journey? Flat screens and projections are starting to be included in elevators, but these are just the beginning of a revolution in the atmospheres created during vertical transportation.

Lift with dynamic light show at the A'DAM Tower, Amsterdam. Designed by InventDesign, photography by Dennis Bouman. Image © InventDesign Lift with dynamic light show at the A'DAM Tower, Amsterdam. Designed by InventDesign, photography by Dennis Bouman. Image © InventDesign Illuminated elevator shaft at the Atomium in Brussels, Belgium. Designed by André Waterkeyn and architects André and Jean Polak. Image © Thomas Schielke Illuminated elevator shaft with artwork at Chelsea Day School, New York. Artwork by Kenji Hirata. Image © GION +12

Why Every Architect Should Use a 360-Degree Camera to Capture Their Projects

08:00 - 4 August, 2017
Why Every Architect Should Use a 360-Degree Camera to Capture Their Projects

As we know, architects are inveterate travelers. They like to see, understand, and capture the details of their favorite works. For this reason, at ArchDaily we believe that every architect should carry a 360-degree camera with them to capture and share their experiences across the world. Below are five reasons why.

Spotlight: Konstantin Melnikov

06:00 - 3 August, 2017
Melnikov Residence (1929) / Konstantin Melnikov. Image © Denis Esakov
Melnikov Residence (1929) / Konstantin Melnikov. Image © Denis Esakov

Best known for the Rusakov Workers’ Club and his own house, Russian architect and painter Konstantin Melnikov (August 3rd, 1890 – November 28th, 1974) has only recently received his due, now more than forty years after his death. He spent much of the twentieth century shunned by the Soviet architectural establishment, having refused to capitulate to the increasingly conformist (and classicist) prescriptions of Stalinism. As a result, he was forced to end his career only a decade after it started, returning to his other avocation as a painter and leaving in his wake only a precious few completed works.

Burevestnik Factory Club (1927 - 1929) / Konstantin Melnikov. Image © Denis Esakov Rusakov Workers' Club (1927-1929) / Konstantin Melnikov. Image © Denis Esakov Soviet Pavilion at the Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (1925) / Konstantin Melnikov. Image © <a href='http://www.flickr.com/photos/27862259@N02/5842277086'>Flickr user kitchener.lord</a> licensed under <a href='http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-NC-ND 2.0</a> Melnikov Residence (1929) / Konstantin Melnikov. Image © Denis Esakov +14

Examining the Constructed World of the Blockbuster Movie "Ghost in the Shell"

04:00 - 3 August, 2017
Examining the Constructed World of the Blockbuster Movie "Ghost in the Shell", Still from "Ghost in the Shell" (2017) directed by Rupert Sanders. Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine
Still from "Ghost in the Shell" (2017) directed by Rupert Sanders. Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine

In this article, originally published by Strelka Magazine and translated into English by Alexandra Tumarkina, Anton Khitrov sits down with Julia Ardabyevskaya to analyse the urban environment and spectacular world that the blockbuster movie Ghost in the Shell creates.

Ghost in the Shell, a new sci-fi blockbuster starring Scarlett Johansson, is based on a 1992 manga comic and a more famous 1995 anime adaptation. In the film, humans are presented as obsessed with high-tech prosthetics, spending vast amounts of money on “self-improvement”. The story proceeds to show that the next step for humanity will be complete robotization; this new generation of human machines is represented by the movie's heroine – a female cyborg with an organic brain but a synthetic body. The action takes place in a futuristic city in which almost every surface is covered in holograms the size of a skyscraper, each and every one an advertisement.

Still from "Ghost in the Shell" (2017) directed by Rupert Sanders. Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine Still from "Ghost in the Shell" (2017) directed by Rupert Sanders. Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine Still from "Ghost in the Shell" (2017) directed by Rupert Sanders. Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine Still from "Ghost in the Shell" (2017) directed by Rupert Sanders. Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine +7

A Brief History of the Impoverished Culture of Architectural Research

09:30 - 2 August, 2017
A Brief History of the Impoverished Culture of Architectural Research, Courtesy of Common Edge
Courtesy of Common Edge

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "The Confused and Impoverished State of Architectural Research."

For a discipline that thinks of itself as learned, scholarly research eludes the architectural profession. This is a long standing problem. “Failure,” John Ruskin wrote in his 1848 introduction to The Seven Lamps of Architecture, “is less frequently attributable to either insufficiency of means or impatience of labor, than to a confused understanding of the thing actually to be done.”

Roughly 150 years later, Harry Nilsson—surely singing to architects—opined in his song, Joy that if you’re unable to find the answer to a question, you may not have a question worth asking (and probably don’t have a problem worth solving). In between Ruskin and rock and roll, is William Peña, the author of the architectural programming guide, Problem Seeking, who nearly a half-century ago wrote that “you can’t solve a problem unless you know what it is.”

The Origins of Half-Timbering: 2000 Years of Non-Stop Nostalgia

04:00 - 2 August, 2017
The Origins of Half-Timbering: 2000 Years of Non-Stop Nostalgia, Sam Jacob Studio's "Half Timbered" T-Shirt. Image © Sam Jacob Studio
Sam Jacob Studio's "Half Timbered" T-Shirt. Image © Sam Jacob Studio

Sam Jacob Studio harbours a long-held fascination with Half-Timbering. In this essay, Jacob examines the historical, cultural, and aesthetic roots of the style.

It’s fair to say that “Mock Tudor”—that black and white facade treatment—has a less than glowing reputation. Take these sneering lines from John Betjeman’s Slough, for instance:

It’s not their fault they often go / To Maidenhead / And talk of sports and makes of cars / In various bogus Tudor bars.

(Perhaps those very same bars that Martin Freeman’s character in The Office notes have “a sign in the toilet saying: Don’t get your Hampton Court”.) “Mock Tudor” is often accused of “bogus”-ness, of lacking authenticity, of fakeness, and many other types of architectural sin.

"Moe's Tavern" from "The Simpsons". Image via "The Simpsons" / Fandom Little Moreton Hall, England. © <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Moreton_Hall#/media/File:LittleMoretonHall.jpg">Wikimedia Commons user Christine-Ann Martin</a> licensed under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/">CC BY 3.0</a>. Image Courtesy of Christine-Ann Martin Anne Hathaway's Cottage, England. © <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tudor_architecture#/media/File:Anne_Hathaways_Cottage_1_(5662418953).jpg">Wikimedia Commons user Tony Hisgett</a> licensed under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">CC BY 2.0</a>. Image Courtesy of Tony Hisgett Death of Harold (detail from the Bayeux Tapestry). © <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bayeux_Tapestry_scene57_Harold_death.jpg">Wikimedia Commons user Myrabella</a> available in the Public Domain. Image Courtesy of Myrabella +6

The Unexpected First Jobs of Seven Famous Architects

09:30 - 31 July, 2017
The Unexpected First Jobs of Seven Famous Architects

Seniority is infamously important in the field of architecture. Despite occasionally being on the butt end of wage jokes, the field can actually pay relatively well—assuming that you’ve been working for a couple of decades. Even Bjarke Ingels, the tech-savvy, video-producing, Netflix-documentary-starring provocateur and founder of the ultra-contemporary BIG isn’t a millennial; at 42 the Dane is a full nine years older than Mark Zuckerberg.

As a result of this, it's common to lead a rich and complex life before finding architectural fame, and many of the world’s most successful architects started their careers off in an entirely different field. If you haven't landed your dream job yet, you may find the following list of famous architects' first gigs reassuring.

A Tour Through the Many Doorways of India

16:00 - 30 July, 2017
Pahara Village in Uttar Pradesh. Image © Priyanshi Singhal
Pahara Village in Uttar Pradesh. Image © Priyanshi Singhal

The door: despite being one of the most fundamental architectural elements, the immense significance these portals hold in architecture and culture can hardly be questioned. Historically, empires erected gigantic gateways to welcome visitors and religious shrines installed doors with ornate embellishments to ward off evil just as contemporary governments have built arches to commemorate important events.

In this photo-series, however, architect Priyanshi Singhal directs her focus to doors in a humbler vein—those of homes and hole-in-the-wall shops. Armed with her camera, she travels through narrow winding streets in age-old Indian towns and villages—characterized by their mixed land-use—as she studies and documents the inherent relationship between architectural tradition, culture, and a people. A door and its chaukhat (threshold) hold deep spiritual meaning in India’s traditional vastu shastra system of architecture. Furthermore, Singhal’s work provides us a brief glimpse of the imprint that the vagaries of time, community and economy have left on India’s historical urban fabric.

Kolkata. Image © Priyanshi Singhal Old Bhopal. Image © Priyanshi Singhal Pushkar. Image © Priyanshi Singhal Gokul, Mathura. Image © Priyanshi Singhal +35

Architecture, Fashion and Performance: Photos of the Week

12:00 - 30 July, 2017

The purpose of architectural photography is to show a design in the best possible way, with the artform often characterized by perspective correction and atmospheric lighting. However, few architectural photographers have experimented with other artistic disciplines. Miguel de Guzmán, Paul Vu and Jules Couartou are among those who have challenged the limits of this form of photography, generating an interesting crossover between architecture photography, fashion and performances. In their images, the relationship between space and the user is shown through a scene designed to register an effect on the viewer. The results are images which are full of creativity.

© Imagen Subliminal Courtesy of Gartnerfuglen & Mariana de Delás © Miguel de Guzmán © Koji Fuji - Nacasa & Partners Inc +18

8 Urban Elevators That Bring Connectivity and Continuity to Cities

16:00 - 29 July, 2017
8 Urban Elevators That Bring Connectivity and Continuity to Cities

When working in an urban area with a complex topography, one of the biggest challenges is urban integration. Worldwide, many socially deprived neighborhoods are situated in complicated geographical locations surrounded by steep slopes. Such areas complicate mobility for pedestrians, cyclists, and the elderly, with a lack of accessibility often excluding them from taking part in city life effectively.

In this context, urban elevators can be a novel solution which combine elements of both functional connectivity and sculpture. With some rising up to 30 meters in height, they become urban and touristic landmarks, creating new viewpoints and walkways. Additionally, in many cases, they can help to uphold the historic legacy of the city.

Below we have collected some interesting examples of urban elevators that have been key in the spatial planning of the urban environment.

Alvaro Siza’s Galician Center of Contemporary Art Through the Lens of Fernando Guerra

12:00 - 29 July, 2017

The following photo set by Fernando Guerra focuses on the Galician Center of Contemporary Art, a project by Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira

Located in the Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela, the Galician Center for Contemporary Art was developed in 1993. Its declared horizontality and respect for the surrounding buildings and the urban structure are configured in the most remarkable gestures of this project. The solid and austere volumes form the boundaries of the area to the streets, with subtractions that make it accessible. The center has several permanent and temporary exhibition rooms, auditorium, library, cafeteria and administrative rooms.

5 Online Resources That Explore The Intersection Between Landscape, Architecture and Culture

08:00 - 29 July, 2017
5 Online Resources That Explore The Intersection Between Landscape, Architecture and Culture

At times, Landscape design lacks proper consideration or its overlooked within architecture, as a result of current but preconceived notions within architectural practice and education that privilege building over site, or the constructed over the existing. While at face value, landscape is treated as an abject and constant entity of sorts, the reality is that it possesses a layered complexity of patterns and ecosystems, much of which is increasingly impacted by our own actions, more significantly than what meets the eye.

At the same time, the definition of landscape is constantly evolving to encompass a greater number of influences and factors. We have cultural, built and ecological landscapes, which influence one another and come about as a result of the intersection between the architecture and the environment that we are presented with. As a result, it is important to view terrain in a more holistic light, acknowledging its ecological underpinnings and well as the anthropological effects it is subject to, both physically and theoretically. Here is a list of five online resources, which investigate the interdisciplinary nature of landscape design and its relation to architecture and culture.

2017 Stirling Prize Shortlist Leaves Critics Divided and Underwhelmed

07:00 - 28 July, 2017
2017 Stirling Prize Shortlist Leaves Critics Divided and Underwhelmed

The 2017 winner of the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, the Stirling Prize, will be announced on October 31. Leading up to the main event, The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has released its list of the six shortlisted buildings, a collection that has left many critics scratching their heads. What the list left out seems to be as noteworthy as what was included, and while critics’ opinions on individual buildings differ, they seem mostly united in finding the overall list uninspiring and underwhelming. Read on to find out what they had to say.

In Defense of the Emoji Building and Architecture Being Fun, Sometimes

09:30 - 27 July, 2017
In Defense of the Emoji Building and Architecture Being Fun, Sometimes, © Bart van Hoek
© Bart van Hoek

It’s always fascinating when architecture breaks the bounds of the profession and becomes a topic of debate in the wider profession. Fortunately, thanks to the internet, there is no shortage of such occasions: whether it’s the click-seeking cluster of articles that found a client for an improbable cliff-hanging design or the forums that suddenly decided that most modern architecture looks “evil,” the viral trend treadmill ensures that there are plenty of opportunities for the layperson to offer their two cents on the output of our profession.

The flavor of the summer of 2017 is Attika Architekten’s Emoticon Facade. This thoroughly sensible and polite building has caught the public’s attention thanks to its inclusion of emoji-shaped decorative additions. While most of the internet has responded with heart-eyes, there’s no shortage of people for whom these carved emojis are a clear indication that architecture, and by extension society, and by extension all of life as we know it, is doomed, never to recover. Such an opinion is legitimized by articles like this one in Wired by Sam Lubell, who in reporting on the building found two experts willing to take a big old smiley poop on Attika Architekten’s work. Given the role that these experts play in directing the conversation among the public, their arguments bear analysis.

10 Projects That Feature Striking Steel Trusses

06:00 - 27 July, 2017
10 Projects That Feature Striking Steel Trusses

Understanding the structural aspects of architecture is an inherent task of the architect; sufficient structural knowledge allows designers to propose ideas such as large structural elements which offer an interesting response to a project's needs.

Steel trusses are an example of such a response, which demonstrate an ability to define spaces and structures that are truly complex and interesting.

Below is a list of 10 inspirational projects that use metal trusses as an essential element of design.

A Success Story of Architecture and Art in One of Mexico's Most Violent Cities

09:30 - 26 July, 2017
A Success Story of Architecture and Art in One of Mexico's Most Violent Cities, Cortesía de Jardín Botánico de Culiacán
Cortesía de Jardín Botánico de Culiacán

What becomes of public space once violence is normalized in a city? Though it is naive to believe that architecture by itself can present absolute solutions to complex social and political issues, it is also important to explore and understand its possibilities as an agent of social change, however small.

The Beauty of Everyday Life: Ward Robert's Courts

06:00 - 26 July, 2017
The Beauty of Everyday Life: Ward Robert's Courts, Courts 01. Image © Ward Roberts
Courts 01. Image © Ward Roberts

Courts 02. Image © Ward Roberts Courts 01. Image © Ward Roberts Courts 01. Image © Ward Roberts Courts 02. Image © Ward Roberts +63

Showing nobility in everyday places requires a sense that goes far beyond first impressions. New York-based photographer Ward Roberts offers a fresh and engaging perspective in his photographs - documenting sports courts of all kinds around Hong Kong, Bermuda, Hawaii, and New York (to name a few). Roberts' work beautifully captures the innate tension between the familiar and the foreign that sports courts evoke: bringing a sense of place, in any place.  

Yoga Poses For Architects

08:00 - 25 July, 2017
Courtesy of The Leewardists
Courtesy of The Leewardists

Learning to adapt and be flexible; it’s something that comes in handy both in an architecture firm and yoga studio. The everyday motions you go through as an architect can sometimes feel like a strenuous physical routine. Whether it be performing tasks for work or sneaking ways to get some precious shut-eye, architects need to learn how to be nimble to get through the long days and nights (coffee doesn’t hurt either). Take some deep inhalations and exhalations as you check out, in four easy to follow steps, some common positions architects find themselves in. 

Courtesy of The Leewardists
Courtesy of The Leewardists

Spotlight: Glenn Murcutt

04:00 - 25 July, 2017
Spotlight: Glenn Murcutt, Simpson-Lee House, Mount Wilson (1994). Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/unrosarinoenvietnam/3783824891/'>Flickr user unrosarinoenvietnam</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-NC-SA 2.0</a>
Simpson-Lee House, Mount Wilson (1994). Image © Flickr user unrosarinoenvietnam licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

As an architect, critic and winner of the 2002 Pritzker PrizeGlenn Murcutt, (born 25 July 1936) has designed some of Australia's most innovative and environmentally sensitive buildings over a long career—and yet he still remains a one man office. Despite working on his own, primarily on private residences and exclusively in Australia, his buildings have had a huge influence across the world and his motto of "touch the earth lightly" is internationally recognized as a way to foster harmonious, adaptable structures that work with the surrounding landscape instead of competing with it.