In the canon of great Dutch architects sit a number of renowned practitioners, from Berlage to Van Berkel. Based on influence alone, Rem Koolhaas—the grandson of architect Dirk Roosenburg and son of author and thinker Anton Koolhaas—stands above all others and has, over the course of a career spanning four decades, sought to redefine the role of the architect from a regional autarch to a globally-active shaper of worlds – be they real or imagined. A new film conceived and produced by Tomas Koolhaas, the LA-based son of its eponymous protagonist, attempts to biographically represent the work of OMA by “expos[ing] the human experience of [its] architecture through dynamic film.” No tall order.
Small stories and architectonic practices that existed in each character filled village and provinces in Buenos Aires are here rescued by Juan Viel when he captures their atmospheres and particularities through his camera.
The variety of images and their subjects invite us to reflect on the substance and architectural heritage in these small Argentinian towns, and to think about the places where we live.
Machines have long been integral to architectural discourse. Vitruvius concluded his ten books with a meditation on war machines, and Le Corbusier published on his industrial muses just over 100 years ago. Yet something is different today. We have always learned from machines—our societies are fundamentally shaped by their processes—but now, machines learn. We live in paradoxical times. Machinic processes, computational algorithms and artificial intelligence have never been so proximate, direct, and intimate to daily life, yet we are many steps removed from their practical operations.
This issue of Volume, the third in our Learning series, seeks to take one small step in the direction towards understanding the contemporary relevance of machines for architecture, and one giant leap for mankind. Volume #49: Hello World! also includes In Loving Support, a 32-page insert produced with Het Nieuwe Instituut on living and working with algorithms.
Tutors (or professors, depending on where you live). Everyone has horror stories about their tutors, just as everyone has stories about a teacherr they truly adored. Ultimately, your tutors are likely to be the single most important element of your architectural education; no matter how much effort you put into learning through other means, these people will probably become formative figures in not only your education, but your life in general.
It's easy to forget, though, that they are just that: people, with all the flaws and foibles that being a person entails. Some you will love to learn from, while others may be a little more difficult—but like Dickens' Christmas Carol ghosts, each type of tutor has their own lesson to impart. Here are the five different types of tutor you'll deal with in your architectural education, and what you should learn from each of them.
Our editors look at hundreds of websites per week. What do they admire and appreciate the most? Organization and simplicity. Sites that are not only clean, but fast. We actively search for projects to include on our platform, so it’s crucial that when we visit a website we not only know where to look, but how to access information. Filters and facets are our best friends. Typological differentiation is important, but perhaps not as important as distinguishing between built and un-built projects (“Is that a render?” is a question that comes up at least once a day).
North Korea is one of the few countries still under communist rule, and probably the most isolated and unknown worldwide. This is a result of the philosophy of Juche – a political system based on national self-reliance which was partly influenced by principles of Marxism and Leninism.
In recent years though, the country has loosened its restrictions on tourism, allowing access to a limited number of visitors. With his personal photo series “North Korea – Vintage Socialist Architecture,” French photographer Raphael Olivier reports on Pyongyang’s largely unseen architectural heritage. ArchDaily interviewed Olivier about the project, the architecture he captured, and what he understood of North Korea’s architecture and way of life.
One of the main challenges in adding new spaces to a pre-existing building is in the dialogue that is generated between the original construction and the new proposal. The different possibilities are infinite and it is the architect who will make the final statement through their choice of design language; they must decide to either emulate the existing architecture, reinterpret it, or to propose a whole new language.
The Fine Arts Museum by Barozzi Veiga is a project that works autonomously, integrating with it’s site in order to generate a dialogue within the public space, while using both ornamentation on the facade and the interior plan composition to establish a common language between the two distinct parts of the museum.
August’s Project of the Month uses this dialogue to produce an equilibrium between the existing and the new construction, reinterpreting the original language and adapting it with detail and delicacy to the urban area which provides it’s context.
Architecture is propaganda. Throughout my two years of visiting and living in North Korea the country slowly revealed to me the details of this evolved and refined tool for totalitarian control of the country’s population. The West views the country with incredulity—surely this cannot be a functioning country where people lead “everyday lives?” Surely the country’s populace can’t possibly buy into this regime? But I assure you that they do. People have careers, they go to work on the bus, and those women crying over the death of their leader were doing so through their own initiative, if not out of genuine emotion. How is this possible? This is a carefully constructed regime which has, at its heart, an unprecedented understanding of how architecture and urbanism can influence and control people. Coming second only to the military on the list of party priorities, the design of the built environment has had an incalculable effect on reinforcing the ideologies of the North Korean regime and conveying these to the people.
With a short career of only thirteen years, Italian architect Giuseppe Terragni (1904-1943) left an important legacy of built works that are now used as classic references of modern and rationalist architecture.
We traveled to Como and Milan to visit Terragni's emblematic works that clearly reflect his style. These projects are based on the organized configuration of architectural elements that individually appear clean, pure, and expressive, but together also form a harmonious whole.
These are: Novocomum, Casa Rustici, Asilo Sant'Elia, Casa Giuliani Frigerio and Casa Lavezzari.
Architects--if ever there was a profession that paid attention to details, this is it. Every building we walk in, we’re going to notice things. Every little thing. Floor to ceiling, wall to wall… we’ll find the good, the bad, the ugly, and the criminal. It can’t be helped. No matter how hard we might try, no matter how much we imbibe, we can’t just turn off being an architect. It's a part of who we are. Sometimes, it’s a blessing to be able to travel around and really appreciate the built environment, other times it most definitely a curse. When we go out with friends and family, it’s not uncommon to remark about things like the lack of accessibility, the bizarre choice of light fixtures, the exposed ductwork, and the location of the pull stations. You’ll correct them for using the wrong words for things we know as frieze, clerestory, and muntins.
Last year, we asked the graduating students among the ArchDaily community to show us the design-build projects which they may have completed as part of their studies. The response we received was astonishing, and we were so impressed with the results that we simply had to do it again this year. So, two months ago we once again teamed up with ArchDaily Brasil and all four ArchDaily en Español sites to put out another call for submissions, and once again the response was overwhelming. Across over 100 submissions, the quality of the projects we received was so high that this year's results are bigger and better, containing 36 projects from 20 different countries. So, read on for the best student-built work from around the world in 2016.
The skyscraper: representative of spatial economy and a symbol of power. This building typology has a storied, turbulent and even contested past. Here, we bring you a selection some of the skyscrapers and high-rise buildings featured in our AD Classics section.
When it comes to expensive artforms, architecture undoubtedly tops the list (even if the artistic merits of some of the absolute priciest buildings are sometimes dubious). But what may not be so obvious is that many of architecture’s iconic works have been completed on budgets not so dissimilar to the work of another artistic industry: filmmaking. Each with their own set of merits, works from both categories have transcended time, confirming that (in most cases) they have more than returned on their initial investment.
To illustrate this point, we’ve complied a list of buildings from eras past, paired with movies of similar budgets completed in the same calendar year. Which buildings or movies have contributed the most based on their initial costs?
Have you ever thought of designing a house that is 8-foot cubed? It's unlikely, unless you've been involved in Dallas CASA’s event “Parade of Playhouses.” For 25 years, the association has asked architects, designers and builders to conceive, construct, and donate playhouses to raise funds for abused and neglected children. Each year, the playhouses are displayed in Northpark Mall – Dallas’ main “cultural centre” – where people can buy $5 raffle tickets to win one of the playhouses exhibited.
Architect Bob Borson conceived his first two playhouses for Dallas CASA in 2009, before starting his popular blog Life of an Architect and subsequently launching “The Life of An Architect Design Competition.” The idea came in 2010 when a great number of architects suffered from the economic crisis. As Borson explains: “I could have a playhouse design competition open to other architects so that they could remain connected to the architectural profession.” This also required Borson to raise money and find builders to construct the designs. “I have always covered all the expenses so that the competition would remain free to enter – the playhouses were for charity and it seemed like the right thing to do,” reflected Borson.
The War Over Water: This Dystopian City Design Was Inspired by Current Trends in Resource Extraction
It’s the year 2036 in Generic City, a gloomy place where once mighty skyscrapers are lucky to be in decrepit condition, if they haven’t already been swallowed by the ever-increasing number of sinkholes appearing throughout the city. But the city is not lifeless: a constant hum echoes about the city, a well-choreographed churning motion in pursuit of one central activity. In this city, the world’s most precious commodity—not gold, not diamonds, not even black gold but just simple, fresh water is under the total control of a mega-corporation named Turquoise. The people are ruled by an oppressive autocracy and life is divided between the haves and have-nots. Life revolves around access to water.
Is this the opening paragraph of the latest dystopian novel? No, but it might be Joshua Dawson’s interpretation of our troubling future. With CÁUSTICO, an ode to the growing tradition of “speculative design fiction” pioneered by countercultural avant-gardists of the 1960s (think Archigram, Superstudio and Archizoom) Dawson exaggerates the implications of current social phenomena for the purposes of rhetoric. While the truthfulness of his vision is a little on the improbable side, the work is an eye-opening narrative on the increasing scarcity of fresh water. At the same time, Dawson’s dystopic vision opens a conversation about the relationship of the architect with utopianism, while his representational techniques brings up the question of what exactly the work of the architect entails.
Our friends at Sketchfab have noticed a recurring trend: among the many 3D scans shared on their platform, a significant number are of historical doorways. Often neglected in today’s designs, doors and doorways are essential physical and mental transition points between the interior and the exterior of a building. While Mies van der Rohe’s strive for visual continuity and the use of glass doors has some critical advantages, it is not applicable – or only poorly applicable – to every design case. Fortunately, history shows that visually and spatially differentiating doors and doorways from the rest of a facade can be a resourceful alternative.
With this set of 3D models selected by Sketchfab, viewers can explore historical doorways online and discover the spatial sequences that they can offer. From framed, indented, raised, lowered, protruding and ornamented doors, these models clearly showcase the various design strategies available for you to keep your doorway design options open.
This essay was written by Rem Koolhaas on the occasion of his first trip to Brasília in August of 2011, and has since remained unpublished. Revista Centro (an online Brazilian magazine about architecture, urban studies, art & social science) has now published it in two versions (English and Portuguese) translated directly from its original language, Dutch. In addition to offering his first impressions about the modern Brazilian capital, Rem also emphasizes an autobiographical narrative about the origins of his relation with architecture.
Walking next to a construction site is anything but enjoyable. Unavoidable noise (and sometimes air) pollution is partly responsible, but development hoardings also contribute to the unpleasant feeling. In most cases you walk alongside blank canvases, made from OSB or poorly built plywood boxes, and covered with a concrete grey or navy blue Dulux paint. If you’re lucky enough to pass by a development for luxury apartments, you’ll find some lavish advertising for the homes which, of course, you couldn’t afford anyway. With her blog “Development Aesthetics,” Crystal Bennes gives credit to the visual importance of hoardings, showcasing London’s latest construction sites and commentating on the inadequacy and often absurdity of the advertising on their hoardings. As apartment blocks mushroom around the British capital, the issue increasingly affects inhabitants’ use and understanding of public spaces.
Hoping to turn this trend around, the UK-based construction, architectural and engineering firm Primebuild has launched its "Canvas for London" Initiative, using construction site hoardings as platforms for artists to display their work.
California is suffering through its 5th year of severe water shortage. Aquifers and rivers continue to dry out as the water provided by melting snowpacks is reduced, and even the heavy rain brought by El Niño this year could not relieve the drought. Authorities are wary of the long-term consequences for California and neighboring areas of the Colorado River, and Santa Monica is now seeing a growing number of initiatives to control the use of potable water and find sustainable solutions.
Most recently, a competition asked architects, artists and scientists to conceive sustainable infrastructure projects to improve Santa Monica’s water supply. Bart//Bratke and studioDE developed a raft structure named “Foram” that illustrates the future of floating platforms in sustainable development.
How to Succeed as a Young Architecture Professor (Without Dying in the Process)
In this article originally published in Spanish by the Arquia Architecture Foundation's blog, the author Manuel Saga speaks about the important task of involving young professors in architecture schools, arguing that it is essential that the academic route is seen as a real option with as much value as being a “big name designer,” especially when you take into account the current crisis seen within the industry.
Earlier this year the development of a new Street Design Standard for Moscow was completed under a large-scale urban renovation program entitled My Street, and represents the city's first document featuring a complex approach to ecology, retail, green space, transportation, and wider urban planning. The creators of the manual set themselves the goal of making the city safer and cleaner and, ultimately, improving the quality of life. In this exclusive interview, Strelka Magazine speaks to the Street Design Standard's project manager and Strelka KB architect Yekaterina Maleeva about the infamous green fences of Moscow, how Leningradskoe Highway is being made suitable for people once again, and what the document itself means for the future of the Russian capital.
Making the decision to pursue architecture is not easy. Often, young students think that they have to be particularly talented at drawing, or have high marks in math just to even apply for architecture programs. Once they get there, many students are overwhelmed by the mountainous tasks ahead.
While the path to becoming an architect varies from country to country, the average time it takes to receive a Masters in Architecture is between 5 and 7 years, and following that is often the additional burden of licensure which realistically takes another couple of years to undertake. Knowing these numbers, it’s not particularly encouraging to find out that the average architect does not make as much as doctors and lawyers, or that 1 in 4 architecture students in the UK are seeking treatment for mental health issues. These are aspects which architecture needs to work on as an industry. However, beyond these problems, there are still many fulfilling reasons to fall in love with the industry and become an architect. Here are just some of them.
On this day twenty-five years ago Tim Berners-Lee launched the “World Wide Web” protocol at CERN in Switzerland, ushering in the age of the Internet. Over the last two decades this global information network has rapidly evolved, increasingly influencing how architecture is conceived, produced, discussed and ultimately implemented in real space.
As soon as photographer Harlan Erskine discovered the plans to demolish Paul Rudolph's iconic Orange County Government Center in New York, he knew he needed to bear witness to its demise. Beyond admiring the building's dynamic form, the photographer recognized its continued impact on architecture today, particularly noting its influence on Herzog and de Meuron's "Jenga tower."
Visiting on four separate occasions throughout 2015 and 2016, Erskine captured the dismantling of this iconic Brutalist work with stunning severity. See the building's final seasons below.