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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=’https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5f/Augmented-reality.jpg’> by OyundariZorigtbaatar </a> licensed under <a href=’https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en’>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, © BoysPlayNice
© BoysPlayNice

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

The Top 7 Travel Grants for Young Architects

09:30 - 8 September, 2017
The Top 7 Travel Grants for Young Architects, Image <a href='https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-boat-near-brown-concrete-building-227417/'>via Pexels</a>
Image via Pexels

For many young architects, studying abroad is a life-changing event in their development as a designer. It opens their eyes to a different culture, style, and history in a manner that no books or classes could explain. For that reason, architecture schools have been making study abroad easier and more ingrained in their curriculum. In addition to the study abroad opportunities offered by universities, there are many opportunities for students and recent graduates to travel and explore their own topic of study. Below is a list of 7 amazing grants and scholarships open to young architects and students:

The Astonishing (Vanishing) Stepwells of India

08:00 - 8 September, 2017

Thirty years ago, on my first visit to India, I glanced over an ordinary wall. The ground fell away and was replaced by an elaborate, man-made chasm the length and depth of which I couldn’t fathom. It was disorienting and even transgressive; we are, after all, conditioned to look up at architecture, not down into it, and I had no clue as to what I was looking at. Descending into the subterranean space only augmented the disorientation, with telescoping views and ornate, towering columns that paraded five stories into the earth. At the bottom, above-ground noises became hushed, harsh light had dimmed, and the intense mid-day heat cooled considerably. It was like stepping into another world.

Ujala Baoli: Mandu, Madhya Pradesh. Image © Victoria Lautman Navghan Kuvo Vav: Junagadh, Gujarat. Image © Victoria Lautman Batris Kotha Vav: Kapadvanj, Gujarat. Image © Victoria Lautman Indaravali Baoli: Fatehpur Sikri, Rajasthan. Image © Victoria Lautman + 15

Explore Iron Man's Futuristic Malibu Mansion With This 3D Model

09:30 - 6 September, 2017

What might the futuristic home of Tony Stark (AKA Iron Man) look like in our more mundane world? In this fun exercise, Archilogic imagines a for-sale version the Malibu mansion. Explore it for yourself in the 3D model!

Ever dreamed of a real superhero lifestyle? We have a rare opportunity to buy in this secluded Malibu location, thanks to a change of heart by the former owner. Dramatic views, spectacular entertaining areas, plus a huge workshop/garage and helipad – it’s all here.

Lovingly rebuilt after an unfortunate accident, this stark white clifftop mansion once again has all its original features. Buyers who enjoy a rich social life will appreciate the glamorous history of the house, in which the celebrity former owner enjoyed a lavish party lifestyle, as much as its spectacular design.

How a Novel Saved Notre-Dame and Changed Perceptions of Gothic Architecture

09:30 - 5 September, 2017
How a Novel Saved Notre-Dame and Changed Perceptions of Gothic Architecture, © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/kosalabandara/17395160431/'>Flickr user kosalabandara</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
© Flickr user kosalabandara licensed under CC BY 2.0

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "It’s a Book. It’s a Building. It’s a Behavioral Intervention!"

A few years ago, while visiting, or rather exploring, Notre-Dame, the author of this book found, in an obscure corner of one of the towers, this word carved upon the wall:

'ANÁΓKH

These Greek characters, black with age, and cut deep into the stone with the peculiarities of form and arrangement common to Gothic calligraphy that marked them the work of some hand in the Middle Ages, and above all the sad and mournful meaning which they expressed, forcibly impressed the author.

Spot the Symptoms of Someone With an Architecture Affliction

08:00 - 5 September, 2017
Courtesy of The Leewardists
Courtesy of The Leewardists

In order for doctors to make a diagnosis, a patient needs to show symptoms. But what if the affliction in question isn’t an illness, but an extraordinary lifestyle? Almost everyone can agree that architecture brings with it a distinct way of living. The grueling hours, sharp design sensibilities and studio experience shape more than what we make – they define who we are as people. Architecture’s quirks and eccentricities become our adopted quirks and eccentricities. When it comes to spotting an architecture student on campus, it’s more than our clothes that give us away. Comic illustrators The Leewardists have drawn up some classic symptoms that serve as dead giveaways – check them out below:

9 Types of Design Juror Every Architecture Student Faces in School

09:30 - 4 September, 2017
9 Types of Design Juror Every Architecture Student Faces in School

Design juries undoubtedly form the very foundation of architecture school. Their success or failure, however, largely lies in the hands of the jurors who are assigned to review student work. While architecture is an inter-disciplinary subject with wide-ranging consequences, most jurors are specialists in a singular sub-field. This makes design juries a terrifyingly unpredictable affair; students don’t just battle against their nerves and sleep-deprivation, but are also required to be on their toes to ensure that they can handle anything that the jurors might throw at them.

However, this is easier said than done. As a student, defending your work against criticism from an easily-offended know-it-all juror will probably do you more harm than good. Similarly, it’s hard to impress a building services expert by harping on about the probable positive sociological impacts of your design proposal. Being able to correctly identify the academic or emotive leanings of a juror can go a long way in helping students present their work strategically, thus ensuring that they make the most of their jury experience. Here’s a compilation of nine types of design jurors every architecture student will probably face at some point in school:

Striking Images of Exposed Steel: The Best Photos of the Week

12:00 - 3 September, 2017
Striking Images of Exposed Steel: The Best Photos of the Week, © Imagen Subliminal
© Imagen Subliminal

High strength, ease of transport, and simplicity of assembly are among the many major advantages of steel. But while utilitarian steel structures tend to be hidden by architects, working with exposed steel can lead to attractive results. Steel not only brings lightness to a design, but can also offer different expressions of color and texture, depending on the treatment of the material. Below we present a selection of 14 photos of steel architecture from well-known photographers such as Adrien WilliamsImagen Subliminal, and Sergio Pirrone.

© Pete Eckert © Sergio Pirrone © Agustín Garza © Paul Crosby + 16

Method in Modular: 10 Floor Plans Using Shipping Container Architecture

08:00 - 3 September, 2017
Method in Modular: 10 Floor Plans Using Shipping Container Architecture, Photographs: Lorena Darquea Schettini - Rubén Rivera Peede - Chris Cooper - Bartosz Kolonko - Pablo Errázuriz - Pablo Sarabia. Image
Photographs: Lorena Darquea Schettini - Rubén Rivera Peede - Chris Cooper - Bartosz Kolonko - Pablo Errázuriz - Pablo Sarabia. Image

Shipping container architecture has developed its own niche in both design and representation. Colorful or grungy? Economical or gentrified? Either way, you look at it, designing with shipping containers is a serious exercise in modular planning. The physical constraints of the object make designing projects with containers a complex task, which demands specific studies in spatial organization.

The responses using this element in architecture are great and diverse, so we have selected a number of different project plans, both helpful and inspirational, that rise to the shipping container-challenge of design.

Check out selection of 10 architectural project plans using shipping containers below:

A Virtual Look Inside the Case Study House #23A by Killingsworth, Brady & Smith

09:30 - 1 September, 2017

Only three of the Arts & Architecture Case Study Houses were built outside Los Angeles, and those three formed a united concept. The Triad Houses in La Jolla, a seaside suburb of San Diego, share a single driveway, motor court, and design vocabulary, while being created to meet different needs.

In keeping with the Case Study mission, all three houses used open-plan design, affordable modern materials (such as aluminium and concrete with wood frames), and plenty of glass to create a fresh and open mood. The emphasis was on strong geometric forms, careful detailing, horizontal lines (with perfectly flat roofs) and – this being the Californian coastline – dramatic views and outdoor living space, creating the illusion of more interior space than was actually present.

What's Stopping Urban Designers From Creating Walkable Neighborhoods From Scratch?

09:30 - 30 August, 2017
A walkable street in Washington, DC. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/dewita-soeharjono/4558849693'>Flickr user dewita-soeharjono</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
A walkable street in Washington, DC. Image © Flickr user dewita-soeharjono licensed under CC BY 2.0

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "Why Can’t We Create Brand New Walkable Communities?"

I have lived in neighborhoods where you can walk around, to a store, a movie, a restaurant, for 40 years, counting my college days. I grew up in a ranch house with a driveway, but came to adulthood in foot-based parts of cities.

Others have also rediscovered the joys and benefits of walkable places. They have done this first in a trickle, then in a flood. While in total numbers it may still be a minority taste, it’s a fashionable taste now, one heralded in movies and TV shows. Fewer people aspire to live in the big house with the three-car garage.

9 Important Photoshop Tips for Architects

09:30 - 29 August, 2017
Image created using <a href='http://casasinhaus.com/properties/vivienda-modular-espectacular-modelo-moraira-4d-2p-2-265/'>render by InHAUS</a> licensed under CC0
Image created using render by InHAUS licensed under CC0

This article was originally published by RenderPlan as "9 Powerful Photoshop Tips for an Effective Workflow."

A powerful software like Photoshop can turn an average looking image or drawing into a stellar asset for a project. The trick is to learn to use some of its best features and optimize your workflow for maximum efficiency.

Over the years Photoshop has become the go-to tool for architects for any kind of image-based editing. The software has become indispensible thanks to its versatile features. It is a powerful tool for tweaking renderings or create them from scratch. Some of the most renowned visualization artists rely heavily on Photoshop and use very crude masses done in 3d programs as a starting point. From photorealistic renderings to editing photographs of built projects and beautifying line work, Photoshop can be an architect’s best friend.