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What Is It Like to Work at MVRDV? A Video Tour with #donotsettle

09:30 - 1 June, 2017

#donotsettle is an online video project created by Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost about architecture and the way it is perceived by its users. Having published a number of videos on ArchDaily over the past two years, Pramoto and Provoost are now launching an exclusive column, “#donotsettle extra,” which will accompany some of their #donotsettle videos with in-depth textual analysis of the buildings they visit.

“The office has an easy-going mood and relaxing atmosphere. That’s why we call it The House,” says Jacob van Rijs, one of MVRDV's founders, when he brought #donotsettle into his office.

For architecture, an industry that is famous for long workdays, the office can potentially be a stressful environment. Van Rijs explains how the office could have a significant impact upon people's psychology, as they spend a large part of their life there. The MVRDV House has broken the rigid office typology, and made it more entertaining.

© Ossip van Duivenbode © Ossip van Duivenbode © Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost © Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost +13

Spurred by Privatization, Beirut's Working Class is Colonizing the City's Periphery

09:30 - 31 May, 2017
Spurred by Privatization, Beirut's Working Class is Colonizing the City's Periphery, © Manuel Alvarez Diestro
© Manuel Alvarez Diestro

27 years after the Lebanese Civil War (1975 – 1990), Beirut finds itself a city of conflicting personalities. A summer night stroll through the recently completed Zaitunay Bay Marina flaunts the capital’s ongoing facelift. What GQ calls “the chosen destination for young rich cool kids across the globe” is now peppered with glitzy glass-clad high rises, world-class nightclubs, droves of foreign tourists, and high-profile architecture. A Steven Holl-designed yacht club is just minutes away from Herzog & de Meuron’s Beirut Terraces, a luxury condominium skyscraper overlooking a seaside promenade that the resort refers to as an “urban beach.” However, this inner-city development has also had extreme consequences on the city's periphery, as shown clearly in this photoset by Manuel Alvarez Diestro.

© Manuel Alvarez Diestro © Manuel Alvarez Diestro © Manuel Alvarez Diestro © Manuel Alvarez Diestro +13

The Residential, Monumental, Gregarious and Bucolic Scales of Lucio Costa's Brasilia

06:00 - 31 May, 2017
The Residential, Monumental, Gregarious and Bucolic Scales of Lucio Costa's Brasilia, Monumental Scale. Image © Joana França
Monumental Scale. Image © Joana França

"What characterizes and gives meaning to Brasilia is a game of three scales... the residential or everyday scale... the so-called monumental scale, in which man acquires a collective dimension; the urbanistic expression of a new concept of nobility... Finally the gregarious scale, in which dimensions and space are deliberately reduced and concentrated in order to create a climate conducive to grouping... We can also add another fourth scale, the bucolic scale of open areas intended for lakeside retreats or weekends in the countryside." - Lucio Costa in an interview with Jornal do Brasil, November 8, 1961.

Photographer Joana França shared with us an impressive series of aerial photographs of the national capital of Brazil, Brasilia. The photoset is divided into four sub-series each presenting a scale: residential, monumental, gregarious and bucolic.

The Best Architecture Portfolio Designs

09:30 - 30 May, 2017
The Best Architecture Portfolio Designs

When applying for an architecture job, you need to make sure you have the perfect portfolio. While a clever and attractive business card might help you initially get a firm's attention, and a well-considered résumé or CV might help you prove your value, in most cases it will be your portfolio that makes or breaks your application. It's your portfolio that practices will use to measure your design sensibilities against the office's own style and to judge whether you match up to the talents claimed in your résumé.

That's why in March, we launched a call for our readers to send us their own portfolios so that we could share the best design ideas with the ArchDaily community. Our selection below shows the best of the nearly 200 submissions we received, which were judged not on the quality of the architectural design they showed (though much of it was excellent) but instead the design quality of the portfolio itself. In making the selection, we were looking for attractive graphics, a clear presentation of the work itself, the formulation of a visual identity which permeated both the architectural designs and the portfolio design, and of course that elusive and much-prized attribute: "creativity."

The Confidence Meter of an Architecture Student

08:00 - 30 May, 2017
Courtesy of The Leewardists
Courtesy of The Leewardists

Confidence. It’s a journey, isn’t it? But when you’re in architecture school that journey turns into a high speed roller coaster, complete with the double loop. And that would make sense, as the sheer amount of knowledge, variety and level of information that gets absorbed at us year by year only increases with each new group entering the mysterious and complex world of “the studio”. As we’ve gone up that long and winding path that is our education, our emotions go through it with us. From sheer bewilderment in first year (WTF is a 2-point perspective???) to the pride when handing in that final dissertation (tears of joy), to the fear of jumping off that deep end after graduation (real world?!), we go through it all.

Lit Up: 16 Projects Illuminated by Skylights

06:00 - 30 May, 2017
Lit Up: 16 Projects Illuminated by Skylights, Courtesy of ARCHSTUDIO
Courtesy of ARCHSTUDIO

North light, south light, warm light and cool light – the diversity of skylights mean they can illuminate any space. Both a window and a ceiling, the hybrid nature of a skylight enables it to be a key element used in architectural spaces. The cool light of a north skylight is instrumental in creating a space to focus and work, while its south-facing counterpart lights up a space with that golden glow. Through its flexibility also come opportunities for expression, from its shape to its angle. Is a skylight a ribbon weaving through a roof panel? Or is it a series of dotted openings creating a mosaic of daylight on the floor? Check out these 16 examples of contemporary spaces lit by this key element below:

Inside the Bizarre Personal Lives of Famous Architects

09:30 - 29 May, 2017
Inside the Bizarre Personal Lives of Famous Architects, From left: © Robert C. Lautman; <a href='http://https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alvar_Aalto1.jpg'>via Wikimedia</a> (public domain); Photograph by Al Ravenna <a href='http://https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Frank_Lloyd_Wright_portrait.jpg'>via Wikimedia</a> (public domain)
From left: © Robert C. Lautman; via Wikimedia (public domain); Photograph by Al Ravenna via Wikimedia (public domain)

Famous architects are often seen as more enigma than person, but behind even the biggest names hide the scandals and tragedies of everyday life. As celebrities of a sort, many of the world's most famed architects have faced rumors and to this day there are questions about the truth of their private affairs. Clients and others in their studios would get a glimpse into an architect’s personal life, but sometimes the sheer force of personality that often comes with creative genius would prevent much insight. The fact remains, however, that these architects’ lives were more than the sum of their buildings.

UNStudio Designs Teflon Pavilion to Test Concepts for Extraterrestrial Living

09:30 - 27 May, 2017
UNStudio Designs Teflon Pavilion to Test Concepts for Extraterrestrial Living, © Olaf Becker
© Olaf Becker

Designed by UNStudio in collaboration with MDT-tex, Prototype II is a modular membrane structure that recently premiered at Techtexil’s Living in Space exhibition. Providing a space at the exhibition for visitors to experience a Virtual Reality trip to Mars created by European Space Agency (ESA) and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). UNStudio and MDT-tex have previously teamed up on temporary envelope exhibits before; their contorting LED-backlit biomimetic Eye_Beacon pavilion debuted at the Amsterdam Light Festival late last year.

© Olaf Becker © Olaf Becker © Olaf Becker © Olaf Becker +14

Herzog & de Meuron’s BBVA Headquarters in Madrid Through Rubén P. Bescós' Lens

08:00 - 27 May, 2017
Herzog & de Meuron’s BBVA Headquarters in Madrid Through Rubén P. Bescós' Lens, © Rubén P. Bescós
© Rubén P. Bescós

Completed in 2015 at the northern periphery of Madrid, the BBVA Headquarters by Herzog & de Meuron employs a complex network of passages, courtyards, and gardens to create a new corporate campus for the Spanish banking giant. Responding to local climatic needs, the building is recognized for its custom undulating brise-soleil along its facade and pebble-like central tower. 
 
In this photoset, photographer Rubén P. Bescós turns his lens toward the new institutional landmark, capturing the building within its urban context.

© Rubén P. Bescós © Rubén P. Bescós © Rubén P. Bescós © Rubén P. Bescós +157

When Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier Had a Public Argument in The New York Times

09:30 - 26 May, 2017
When Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier Had a Public Argument in The New York Times, Left: Frank Lloyd Wright photographed by Al Ravenna. Image <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Frank_Lloyd_Wright_portrait.jpg'>via Wikimedia</a> in Public Domain. Right: Le Corbusier. Image © Willy Rizzo
Left: Frank Lloyd Wright photographed by Al Ravenna. Image via Wikimedia in Public Domain. Right: Le Corbusier. Image © Willy Rizzo

Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier are both architects who were known for their grand and innovative ideas—as well as for their high esteem for their own opinions. The two did not, however, see eye to eye in their visions for the future of American cities and civilization. Both architects had utopian, all-encompassing plans for their ideal American city, combining social as well as architectural ideas. In 1932, both described these ideas in The New York Times; in these two articles Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier made their differing beliefs perfectly clear to the public.

How Starbucks Uses BIM and VR to Bring Local Spirit to its Japan Locations

09:30 - 25 May, 2017
How Starbucks Uses BIM and VR to Bring Local Spirit to its Japan Locations, The Sanjo Karasuma Starbucks in Kyoto was renovated and re-opened in September 2016. The latest coffee flavors are presented within an aesthetic incorporating the concept of “beauty in simplicity” espoused by tea master Enshu Kobori. Image Courtesy of Starbucks Japan
The Sanjo Karasuma Starbucks in Kyoto was renovated and re-opened in September 2016. The latest coffee flavors are presented within an aesthetic incorporating the concept of “beauty in simplicity” espoused by tea master Enshu Kobori. Image Courtesy of Starbucks Japan

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Starbucks Japan Pursues a Local Flair Through Design in BIM and VR."

It’s been 20 years since Starbucks opened its first shop in Japan, bringing a new paradigm to the country’s coffee shop culture—and creating a new, appealing “third place” option between home and work or school.

Notably, almost all of Japan’s 1,245 shops—across all 47 prefectures—are directly run by the parent company. As such, they are planned by Starbucks designers who, instead of settling for standardized designs for all locations, have worked diligently to incorporate features expressing regional, historical contexts and the lifestyles of locals—in short, to appeal specifically to the Japanese market.

The Tragic Human Cost of Africa's New Megacities

09:30 - 24 May, 2017
The Tragic Human Cost of Africa's New Megacities, A rendering of Eko-Atlantic City, Lagos, Nigeria. Image <a href='http://www.ekoatlantic.com/media/image-gallery/'>via ekoatlantic.com</a>
A rendering of Eko-Atlantic City, Lagos, Nigeria. Image via ekoatlantic.com

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "Tale of Two Cities: Unravelling the Brutal Backstory Behind Africa’s Emerging Megacities."

In the last two decades, the African narrative has changed phenomenally. The tired, age-old storyline—largely woven around the stereotypes of poverty, disease, and bloody civil wars—has been replaced with one celebrating the continent’s unprecedented economic growth and relative political stability. This new narrative is also about Africa’s gleaming skyscrapers, massive shopping malls, and ambitious “smart” cities being designed and built from scratch: Ebene Cyber City in Mauritius; Konza Technology City in Kenya; Safari City in TanzaniaLe Cite du Fleuve in DR Congo; Eko Atlantic in NigeriaAppolonia City in Ghana, and others.

There are currently at least twenty of these new cities under construction in Africa and about twice that number in the works. These developments have permanently altered the continent’s urban outlook, and have offered it something different from the bland pastiche of colonial architecture that it was once known for. As a designer, I was initially excited by the quality of some of the architecture. Though I must admit that these new cities are eerie mimicries of similar developments in China, Singapore and even the UAE, and that they’re largely bereft of any cultural connection to Africa.

How To Improve Your SketchUp Skills

08:00 - 24 May, 2017
How To Improve Your SketchUp Skills, 3D Model: Fabian Dejtiar via SketchUp.
3D Model: Fabian Dejtiar via SketchUp.

For decades, SketchUp has been one of the most well-known 3D modeling programs in the design world, owed to its intuitive working tools and labyrinth of user-generated accessories, from open source libraries to plugins. Quite often, SketchUp is the software of choice for engaging children with architecture, due to its availability, flexibility, and ease of use.

Later in your design career, you could be forgiven for dismissing SketchUp as a 'rookie tool', a beginner's level below the advanced stages of Revit, Rhino, and AutoCAD. However, as SketchUp has evolved throughout the years, it now contains a formidable array of functions, capable of producing complex, exportable results in an organized, efficient manner for students and senior partners alike.

From geo-location to sun-paths, here are 10 very useful tips to make you the model SketchUp user of the office.

From Pastel Pink to Pastel Blue: Why Colorful Architecture is Nothing New

04:00 - 23 May, 2017
From Pastel Pink to Pastel Blue: Why Colorful Architecture is Nothing New, Debenham House, 8 Addison Road, Kensington, by Halsey Ricardo (1905-1908). Image Courtesy of Hidden London
Debenham House, 8 Addison Road, Kensington, by Halsey Ricardo (1905-1908). Image Courtesy of Hidden London

In this essay by the British architect and academic Dr. Timothy Brittain-Catlin, the fascinating journey that color has taken throughout history to the present day—oscillating between religious virtuosity and puritan fear—is unpicked and explained. You can read Brittain-Catlin's essay on British postmodernism, here.

Like blushing virgins, the better architecture students of about ten years ago started to use coy colors in their drawings: pastel pink, pastel blue, pastel green; quite a lot of grey, some gold: a little like the least-bad wrapping paper from a high street store. Now step back and look at a real colored building – William Butterfield’s All Saints’ Church, Margaret Street, London, or Keble College, Oxford, or the interior of A.W.N. Pugin’s church of St. Giles in Cheadle, UK. They blow you away with blasts of unabashed, rich color covering every square millimetre of the space.

Bring New York's Never-Built Projects to Life With This Kickstarter

10:30 - 22 May, 2017
Bring New York's Never-Built Projects to Life With This Kickstarter, Buckminster Fuller Dome, 1961. Image Courtesy of Metropolis Books
Buckminster Fuller Dome, 1961. Image Courtesy of Metropolis Books

The “Never Built” world so far includes Never Built Los Angeles, a book and exhibit, and the book, Never Built New York. Now, the Queens Museum hopes to continue the exploration into the New York that might have been with a Never Built New York exhibition and has launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $35,000 to make it happen. The exhibition, curated by Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin and designed by Christian Wassmann, will explore 200 years of wild schemes and unbuilt projects that had the potential to vastly alter the New York we know today.

Howe and Lescaze MoMA. Image Courtesy of Metropolis Books Rufus Henry Gilbert's Elevated Railway. Image Courtesy of Metropolis Books Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Museum, 2000. Image Courtesy of Metropolis Books SHoP, Flushing Stadium, 2013. Image Courtesy of Metropolis Books +7

"Don't Blame Me!": 6 Projects That Were Disowned by High-Profile Architects

09:30 - 22 May, 2017
"Don't Blame Me!": 6 Projects That Were Disowned by High-Profile Architects, © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/tseedmund/5351328288/'>Flickr user tseedmund</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
© Flickr user tseedmund licensed under CC BY 2.0

Construction is an exercise in frugality and compromise. To see their work realized, architects have to juggle the demands of developers, contractors, clients, engineers—sometimes even governments. The resulting concessions often leave designers with a bruised ego and a dissatisfying architectural result. While these architects always do their best to rectify any problems, some disputes get so heated that the architect feels they have no choice but to walk away from their own work. Here are 6 of the most notable examples:

Courtesy of Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Studio Pali Fekete architects, AMPAS © Oskar Da Riz Fotografie © Danica O. Kus © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/18378655@N00/2894726149/'>Flickr user James Cridland</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en'>CC BY 2.0</a> +7

Advice For Procrastinator Architects

08:00 - 22 May, 2017
Advice For Procrastinator Architects, Collage: "The Storm" by Pierre-Auguste (87.15.134). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000-. [1] (January, 2007), under public domain + Emoji One [Wikipedia], under license CC BY-SA 4.0. Image © Nicolás Valencia
Collage: "The Storm" by Pierre-Auguste (87.15.134). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000-. [1] (January, 2007), under public domain + Emoji One [Wikipedia], under license CC BY-SA 4.0. Image © Nicolás Valencia

Scrolling through memes of cats in disguise. Checking if food has magically appeared in your refrigerator every ten minutes. Obsessively arranging books on your shelf by color. Renaming your computer's folders. In short, we seem to thrive on any irrelevant activity to avoid starting a reading, essay, model, or project. Procrastinate now, work later. Your future self can take care of business, after all.

As we suffer through long and strenuous projects, it is likely that we have all slipped into procrastination in order to avoid our next task. Not only do we avoid confronting work at the office or university studio, but also those personal errands which, if we dedicated ourselves, would enhance our daily lives. Below, based on our own experiences and expert opinion, and in order to avoid a host of other jobs around the ArchDaily office, we present 10 tips for architecture procrastinators, helping you to focus on the site analysis diagrams you should probably be doing right now!

This Hand-Laid Brick Feature Wall Was Inspired by Soundwaves in Water

12:30 - 21 May, 2017
This Hand-Laid Brick Feature Wall Was Inspired by Soundwaves in Water, © 22quadrat gmbh
© 22quadrat gmbh

German architecture firm 22quadrat was inspired by the visual effect created by soundwaves moving through water when designing “impulses,” a brick relief wall in the interior courtyard of the Pallotti Residential Complex in Freising, Germany. The architects derived the concept from a metaphor; a single brick is like a single particle, hardly noticeable on its own but capable of much greater impact when combined with others.

© 22quadrat gmbh © 22quadrat gmbh © 22quadrat gmbh © 22quadrat gmbh +19

Biking Through Denmark: Highlights of Copenhagen's Architecture Festival

12:00 - 20 May, 2017
Biking Through Denmark: Highlights of Copenhagen's Architecture Festival , © Kasper Nybo
© Kasper Nybo

This year's Copenhagen Architecture Festival (CAFx) offered a wide range of activities, from film screenings to exhibitions on the future of social housing. The festival's fourth edition took place over 11 days and featured more than 150 architectural events in Copenhagen, Aarhus, and Aalborg.

Festival Director Josephine Michau explained that since its first edition, the intention behind CAFx was to bring many local agents together in order to build new dialogues around architecture. As a society, how do we identify with architecture? What values do we ascribe to it? These questions were part of this edition's overarching theme: "Architecture as identity."

Barcelona's Meteorology Center by Álvaro Siza, Through the Lens of Fernando Guerra

15:58 - 19 May, 2017

In this photoset by Fernando Guerra, the photographer turns his lenses to a little-known project by Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira, Meteorology Center in Barcelona. 

How Developers Turned Graffiti Into a Trojan Horse For Gentrification

09:30 - 19 May, 2017
How Developers Turned Graffiti Into a Trojan Horse For Gentrification, 5 Pointz. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/34639903@N03/3423491692'>Flickr user iamNigelMorris</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
5 Pointz. Image © Flickr user iamNigelMorris licensed under CC BY 2.0

It happened in the middle of the night: the stealth whitewashing of 5Pointz, Long Island City's unofficial graffiti museum. In 2013 owner Jerry Wolkoff, of G&M Realty, wanted the building razed in order to erect new luxury condominiums, and the artists sued to preserve their work. A judge denied the artists' request and Wolkoff had the murals destroyed under cover of darkness, ostensibly to prevent them from attaining landmark status. Though graffiti was born as a subversive act, these artists had painted with Wolkoff's permission since 1993 and had turned the warehouse into “the world's premiere graffiti mecca” and the largest legal aerosol art space in the United States. This was a serious betrayal.

See Barcelona Through an Architect's Eyes

06:00 - 19 May, 2017

Barcelona is an amazing city.  With its vast amount of cultural offerings, the number of places to visit is almost infinite. If there is one thing that really sets Barcelona apart from other big cities is its architecture. Like in so many other cities, the best way to intimately get know a new place is to simply take a walk through its streets. This is what Barcelona Architecture Walks is all about, a specialized route hitting all the architectural must-see spots of Barcelona.

This is a series of urban walking tours organized by architects which allow you to discover the city through the buildings and lessons of their great masters. They are a must for every tourist who wants to do something different in Barcelona, while still getting the real Barcelona experience. Of course, if you're an architect, you have no excuse. Through six differently themed walks, you can experience firsthand these examples of architecture that often get lost in the tangle of tourists taking selfies. 

Cortesía de Barcelona Architecture Walks Cortesía de Barcelona Architecture Walks Cortesía de Barcelona Architecture Walks Cortesía de Barcelona Architecture Walks +5

Important Lessons Learned in 25 Years of Architecture Practice

09:30 - 18 May, 2017
Important Lessons Learned in 25 Years of Architecture Practice

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "The 10 Most Important Lessons Learned in 25 Years of Architecture Practice."

The article is an expansion on one part of Archipreneur's interview with Craig Applegath, Founding Principal of DIALOG’s Toronto Studio. The architect spoke from his experience of running a 150-person practice and listed 10 tips for archipreneurs interested in starting their own business. Archipreneur shares that list here.

When I first started my own practice I thought everyone wanted to run their own practice. It turns out not. Most people just want to work in a great practice run by someone else. But for those who are real archipreneurs – and you know who you are – there is nothing so thrilling and fun as starting your own business; and nothing so scary and anxiety producing as starting your own business! They are the flip side of the same coin. But in terms of general advice for people starting their own practice or business here are ten key lessons I have learned over the past twenty-five years of practice:

10 Years On, How the Recession Has Proven Architecture's Value (And Shown Us Architects' Folly)

09:30 - 17 May, 2017
10 Years On, How the Recession Has Proven Architecture's Value (And Shown Us Architects' Folly), © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/backkratze/3482233639/'>Flickr user backkratze</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
© Flickr user backkratze licensed under CC BY 2.0

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "Building Madness: How the Boom and Bust Mentality Distorts Architecture."

Architects are economically bipolar; for us it is either the best or the worst of times. And it’s not just architects. The entire construction industry is tuned to these extremes, but only architects are psychologically validated by booms and crushed by busts. All professions have a larger source of dependency—medicine needs insurance, law needs the justice system—but the construction industry has a starker equation: building requires capital.

Contractors tend to react to market flows in purely transactional ways. Booms mean more work, more workers, more estimates, business expansion. For architects, a boom means life validation. Every architect wants to make a difference, and many want to offer salvation, like the architect Richard Rogers, who once said, “My passion and great enjoyment for architecture, and the reason the older I get the more I enjoy it is because I believe we—architects—can affect the quality of life of the people.” But salvation can only be earned if buildings are created.