While Yekaterinburg’s avant-garde architecture is the city’s hallmark, and Moscow’s avant-garde is the subject of arguments, in Saint Petersburg the prominence of the style and its influence are somewhat harder to identify. Some researchers even suggest that the avant-garde is an “outcast” or a “non-existent style” here, and its presence in has remained largely unrecognized. Alexander Strugach sheds light on this phenomenon:
In Saint Petersburg, the avant-garde style is simply overshadowed by an abundance of Baroque, Modernist and Classical architecture, and is not yet considered an accomplished cultural heritage category. Meanwhile, gradual deterioration makes proving the cultural value of avant-garde buildings even more difficult.
SANAA's Zollverein School of Management and Design in Essen, Germany, is a perfect 35 meter-cube. The building's dominant presence, which is particularly striking amid its suburban context, extends to the interior spaces. The architects felt "that exceptional ceiling heights were appropriate for the educational spaces, particularly for the studio level that occupies an entire slab of the structure." Indeed, this production floor is "an unusually lofty and fully flexible space," enclosed only by the external structural walls. Photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has visited the building, which was completed in 2010, to capture a fresh view on this seminal project.
Nikola Olic, an architectural photographer based in Dallas, Texas, has a thematic focus on capturing and reimagining buildings and sculptural objects in "dimensionless and disorienting ways." His studies, which often isolate views of building façades, frame architectural surfaces in order for them to appear to collapse into two dimensions. "This transience," he argues, "can be suspended by a camera shutter for a fraction of a second." In this second series shared with ArchDaily, Olic presents a collection of photographs taken in Barcelona, Dallas, New York City and Los Angeles.
Good architects have always designed with tactile sensations in mind, from the rich wood grain on a bannister, to the thick, shaggy carpet at a daycare center. It’s an effective way to engage all the senses, connecting the eye, hand, and mind in ways that create richer environments.
But one architecture professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is working on a tactile architecture-for-autism environment that does much more than offer visitors a pleasing and diverse haptic experience: It’s a form of therapy for kids like 7-year-old daughter Ara, who has autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
One of the true tragedies of the architecture profession is that it instills in you expensive taste, but doesn’t give you the salary to acquire all those fine goods. The holiday season is the peak of this conundrum – how do you find the perfect gift for someone that lives up to your own lofty standards when buying a plane ticket home to see your family is already putting you in the red? One thing architects always seem to manage, however, is justifying that a cool new gadget or designed object isn’t just something we want, but something we need.
Observing the architectural landscape today it’s clear that the type of work which is currently ascendant, particularly among young practices, is very different to what came before the financial crisis of 2008. But what, exactly, does that architectural landscape look like? In an essay titled “Well into the 21st Century” in the latest issue of El Croquis, Alejandro Zaera-Polo outlined a 21st-century taxonomy of architecture, attempting to define and categorize the various new forms of practice that have grown in popularity in the years since—and as a political response to—the economic crisis.
The categories defined by Zaera-Polo encompass seven broad political positions: The “Activists,” who reject architecture’s dependence on market forces by operating largely outside the market, with a focus on community building projects, direct engagement with construction, and non-conventional funding strategies; then there are the “Populists,” whose work is calibrated to reconnect with the populace thanks to a media-friendly, diagrammatic approach to architectural form; next are the “New Historicists,” whose riposte to the “end of history” hailed by neoliberalism is an embrace of historically-informed design; the “Skeptics,” whose existential response to the collapse of the system is in part a return to postmodern critical discourse and in part an exploration of contingency and playfulness through an architecture of artificial materials and bright colors; the “Material Fundamentalists,” who returned to a tactile and virtuoso use of materials in response to the visual spectacle of pre-crash architecture; practitioners of “Austerity Chic,” a kind of architectural “normcore” (to borrow a term from fashion) which focuses primarily on the production process, and resulting performance, of architecture; and finally the “Techno-Critical,” a group of practices largely producing speculative architecture, whose work builds upon but also remains critical of the data-driven parametricism of their predecessors.
As a follow-up to that essay, Zaera-Polo and Guillermo Fernandez-Abascal set out to apply the newly-defined categories to the emerging practices of today with a nuanced “political compass” diagram. They invited practices to respond to their categorization in order to unveil the complex interdependencies and self-image of these political stances. For the first time, here ArchDaily publishes the results of that exercise.
Danish architect Jan Gehl is a world renowned expert in all things related to urban design and public spaces. He obtained this expertise by publishing numerous books, and later, from his consulting firm Gehl Architects that he founded in Copenhagen, his hometown, to make cities for people. The firm celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016.
Charles (June 17, 1907 - August 21, 1978) and Ray Eames (December 15, 1912 - August 21, 1988) are best known for their personal and artistic collaboration, and their innovative designs that shaped the course of modernism. Their firm worked on a diverse array of projects, with designs for exhibitions, furniture, houses, monuments, and toys. Together they developed manufacturing processes to take advantage of new materials and technology, aiming to produce high quality everyday objects at a reasonable cost. Many of their furniture designs are considered contemporary classics, particularly the Eames Lounge & Shell Chairs, while the Eames House is a seminal work of architectural modernism.
http://www.archdaily.com/642966/spotlight-charles-and-ray-eamesAD Editorial Team
The challenges associated with the provision of adequate and affordable housing around the world demand that architects respond with original solutions that challenge traditional building forms, typologies and methods of delivery.
In recognition of this demand, last month’s World Architecture Festival in Berlin chose housing as its thematic focus. The festival made headlines with Patrik Schumacher’s inflammatory keynote speech that called for cities to be turned over entirely to market forces, scrapping social housing and privatizing all public space. The controversy that followed belied the diversity of the discourse on housing at the Festival and the presentation of innovative architectural responses to housing challenges.
http://www.archdaily.com/801341/real-takes-on-real-ly-successful-housing-experimentsMichael Maginness for PLANE—SITE
Have absolutely no idea what to get your architecturally-predisposed friend or family member? Or perhaps you think you’ve managed to decipher their Moleskine-toting, coffee-drinking veneer and know just the perfect gift? Perhaps, even, you are the architecturally-predisposed family member, looking for a convenient way to show others what to get you. Either way, architects have rapidly evolving and often incredibly niche tastes that can be hard to shop for. But worry no longer, the secret guide to what and what not to give architects this holiday season is here:
The Futuro House looks more like an alien spacecraft than a building. Designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen in 1968 as a ski chalet, the radical design was subsequently marketed to the public as a small prefabricated home, easily assembled and installed on virtually any topography. Its plastic construction and futurist aesthetic combined to create a product which is identifiable with both the future and the past.
The design of industrial architecture presents a considerable challenge, since certain factors such as the industrial workflow and the conditions for the workers and machinery provide the guidelines for the development of the project. However, in many cases, industrial projects are designed without further exploration in terms of materials or construction systems, aiming simply to comply with regulations.
This month we want to highlight the Organic Farm in Tangshan by Chinese firm ARCHSTUDIO, a project in which an interesting structural and conceptual exploration results in a new industrial architectural intention, and which also generates new public spaces to promote a relationship with the nearby community through the construction.
Read on for our interview with ARCHSTUDIO about this Organic Farm.
http://www.archdaily.com/800863/project-of-the-month-tangshan-organic-farmAD Editorial Team
With the opening of the new Design Museum in London, the former Commonwealth Institute building designed by RMJM in 1962 has been given a new lease of life. With an exterior renovation by OMA and Allies & Morrison, and interiors by John Pawson, last month the building reopened after a fourteen-year closure—finally offering the public a chance to experience the swooping paraboloid roof from the inside. Read on to see photographs of the Design Museum's new home by Luc Boegly & Sergio Grazia.
Relatively unknown outside his home country, Clorindo Testa (December 10, 1923 – April 11, 2013) was one of Argentina’s most important 20th century architects. Consistently defying categorization, Testa had a hand in two of Buenos Aires’ most iconic buildings, the Bank of London and South America, and the National Library, as well as many others throughout his long career. Characteristically enigmatic, Testa would only ever acknowledge Le Corbusier as an influence, saying, “I never paid attention to other architects.” As a former colleague Juan Fontana described, Testa spoke the language of brutalism with an Argentine accent.
Yesterday, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced that they had awarded the 2017 Gold Medal to Paul Revere Williams. Despite the manic production rate of his five-decade-long career, those not familiar with the architecture of Hollywood’s early years might be forgiven for not recognizing Williams’ name. But he is notable for having designed around 3,000 buildings, for being “the architect to the stars” including, among many others, Frank Sinatra... and for being the first black member of the AIA.
Between March of 2013 and December of 2014, Simon Henley of London-based practice Henley Halebrown wrote a regular column for ArchDaily titled “London Calling,” covering architectural topics of note in the UK's capital. Now, Henley is returning to his column – but in the wake of 2016's shock political developments, his column is re-branding. Thus, here he presents the first of his column “Beyond London” – a look at architectural topics around the UK. Here, Henley presents his opinion on those political developments, and the role architects should play as the UK embarks on a new period in its history.
Post-Brexit, British architects need to think hard about the profession’s London-centric position. There has been a policy of inclusion of non-London architects on panels, their work in magazines and on awards shortlists, but this is not enough. It was quite clear on June 24th when the London design community awoke to the realization that Britain will leave the European Union, that a “Remain”-minded bubble had formed within the capital. The same may be true of the other large cities around the country which voted largely in favour of “Remain.”
The latest publication of the National Association of City Transportation Officials, NACTO, is the "Transit Street Design Guide" in which tips and proposals are presented on how to improve streets through urban design.
The ideas are centered on prioritizing sustainable mobility so that both the member cities of the organization and those that have access to this document can improve their practices in relation to public spaces, mobility, and transportation.
"Originality is dead" is not an uncommon phrase to hear in our modern, information packed era of Big Data and easy access to source material. If you take a look at Google’s Ngram Viewer, the use of the word "originality" appears to have waned; it is now roughly as common as it was at in 1800, with its peak use occurring just before 1900. So what was going on around that peak time? In 1893, the first moving pictures were played; in 1989, the first escalator was installed; in 1899, aspirin was invented; and 1901 saw the first wireless transmission sent from England to Canada. 
At that time, the development of various forms of technology was allowing and encouraging people to explore and fulfill ideas that could only have been dreamed of in the past. But without this injection of new tools, it's difficult to compete with 200,000 years of new ideas; so to help you do so, here are seven aspects of our modern world that make it difficult to come up with original ideas, and ways you can combat them.
Over the last few years, the way Americans move around has changed remarkably, especially among young people. Previously the automobile was people’s preferred, if not the only, option. Now they are choosing to walk, bike, or use public transport according to recent studies.
This difference in preferred transportation methods has generated many benefits not only for residents but also for cities, in both economic and social terms.
"What is your city? And what do you need to make that entire city yours?" These are some of the questions being posed by co-founding principal of nArchitects, Mimi Hoang, in reSITE’s Small Talks series. The videos, produced and edited by Canal180, were recorded during the reSITE event that took place in Prague earlier this year, titled "Cities in Migration." Reiterated again and again by several of the interviewees is the fact that migration is, in the words of founder and chairman of reSITE Martin Barry, "a natural human phenomenon; everyone is moving to cities to improve their lives."
Since its opening in March, Santiago Calatrava's "Oculus" transport hub at the World Trade Center has garnered a lot of criticism for its exorbitant price tag. (The building cost nearly $4 billion to realize.) But look beyond the numbers, and there is something compelling about the physical form of the thing. Like all of Calatrava's work, the structure invites visual interpretations—spiky fish or a bird, a dinosaur or a hedgehog. Architectural designer and illustrator Chanel Dehond riffs on these and more in the following sketches.
It is the 1970s in Hong Kong, and you are eleven years old. Early one evening, you go out to a nearby neighborhood for dinner with your family. A five-minute walk from your primary school, it is also a place you frequent with your friends. The food here is good and especially renowned for its fishball noodle soup, which is what you always get. You’ve been here so often that navigating the subterranean corridors to the noodle stand is easy, and you know where to step to avoid the ceilings that drip the most. Your bowl of noodles arrives and you slurp them down, unaware of the fact that over the next couple of years this very neighborhood will peak in its population and its infamy, and remain even decades later as one of the most remarkable social anomalies in recent history.
At its peak, the Kowloon Walled City was home to 33,000 people in just two hectares of land—the size of about two rugby fields—making it the densest place on Earth at the time. It was a hastily put together conglomerate of tiny apartments, one on top of the other, caged balconies slapped onto the sides and connected through a labyrinth of damp, dark corridors. All the while, the rest of Hong Kong went about as normal, seemingly unaffected by the crime and squalor within the Walled City.
Of the four homes designed by Richard Neutra for the Case Study Houses program, post-war thought experiments commissioned by Arts & Architecture, only one was ever realized. In the imaginary village of the program's many unbuilt homes, next to #6, the Omega house, stands #13, named Alpha. Archilogic’s 3D model gives us a unique chance to experience this innovative concept home.