David Basulto

Graduate Architect. Co Founder and Executive Editor of ArchDaily.com. Architecture geek.

AD Interviews: 3LHD

My first encounter with the new breed of Croatian architects was with 3LHD, a young firm ran by Sasa Begovic, Marko Dabrovic, Tanja Grozdanic and Silvije Novak. The partners got together while still students at the Zagreb Architecture School in 1994, and thanks to the croatian competition system they were able to do their first public works, starting with the Memorial Bridge in Rijeka (1997). After that, the firm has been involved in several public works such as a stone Sports Hall in Bale, the Spaladium Center in Lora, and their latest realizations: Zamet Center in Rijeka and the Dance Center in Zagreb. In these projects, has been able to develop new shapes that relate to a young nation.

But thanks to their awarded public buildings, the firm has also received commissions for office developments, hotels, and private houses: House K, House N and House V.

I really enjoyed my visit to this practice, and was very glad to see how a young practice (partners born between 1969-1971) can establish a collaborative working environment with a clear organization, that allows them to effectively manage a large team to work in different scales.

AIA 2010 Honor Awards

The Cathedral of Christ the Light / SOM © Cesar Rubio
The Cathedral of Christ the Light / SOM © Cesar Rubio

Last week the announced the 28 projects that will receive the Honor Awards this year, an award which recognizes excellence in architecture, interior architecture, and regional and urban design.

The winners will be recognized during the AIA 2010 convention in Miami.

Complete list of awarded buildings, including links to features on ArchDaily, after the break:

Diamond House / XTEN Architecture

© XTEN Architecture

Project Name: Diamondhouse
Location: Santa Monica, ,
Architect: XTEN ArchitectureMonika Haefelfinger & Austin Kelly (AIA, LEED AP)
Client: Aisha Ayers
Project Completion Date: Dec 2009
Project Size: 820sqf Interior, 500sqf Roof Deck, 1200sqf Exterior Terraces / Firepit Area
Landscaping/ Site Pieces: Mark Motonaga
Photographs: Art Gray Photography

Daniel Libeskind, interviewed at Livestream

Livestream + Live4Space are co-hosting a live interview with Daniel Libeskind today at 2:00PM ET (GMT -5). Thanks to the Livestream platfom, Libeskind will not only discuss his role on the WTC master plan, but will also answer questions by the audience. All you have to do is go to the streaming website here and send your questions during the interview.

The live event has concluded, and you can now watch a replay on the above video.

Joshua Prince Ramus on the Wyly Theatre at TEDx

Joshua Prince Ramus is one of the best architects I’ve meet, and also a very good speaker. I think most of you have already seen his presentation at TED back in 2006, where he presented the Seattle Central Library, a powerful talk on which he talked about the role of the architects in the process, as an editing/team approach rather than authorship. We interviewed Joshua back in 2008, where we first heard about his position regarding the separation of conception and execution on architecture, as architects became the “artists” leaving the execution to engineers, which can be seen on the first minutes of his talk at TEDx Dallas posted above, before explaining how the Wyly Theatre re interpreted the typical theatre programatic configuration.

I like the story about his silver hat, for decorative purposes only… same as architects (here’s a photo of us while visiting his office, reflected on the mentioned hat).

After our interview, we talked a lot about the role of the architect on the production of buildings, the importance of BIM and more… sadly we didn´t record that but I hope we can have a chance to talk to him again soon, and bring you more on that.

Memory Museum / Estudio America


Sao Paulo based practice Estudio America recently completed the new Memory Museum in the cultural district of Matucana in Santiago, Chile.

Interesting combination, as the Sao Paulo architecture scene has a strong heritage from Brazilian architects Oscar Niemeyer, Mendes da Rocha, Lina Bo Bardi, and other architects from the modern movement. The result? A pure volume, on which every effort has been put into the structure, cantilevering between two ponds on which a line of shadow on the base make the volume gravitate. Finishes are simple, with no pretension.

Under the volume, a big shadow welcomes visitors, who pass by a small lobby before entering the triple-height inside the container, with the different exhibition spaces. Circulations go on the perimeter, from where the perforated copper skin offers a perfect view of the outside.

More photos of the museum after the break, and the complete photoset on Nico Saieh‘s website:

P.S.1 2010 entry: Weathers Permitting by William O’Brien Jr

As I told you on our previous post, the summer installation competition held by the MoMA and the is a platform for young architects, and that’s why we are presenting you all the entries for this year. You can read our whole competition coverage here.

We continue with William O’Brien Jr, who has been very related to the academy and is currently a professor at the MIT School of Architecture and Planning and he also runs his own practice in Cambridge, MA.

© William O'Brien Jr

His proposal for the summer installation, Weathers Permitting, constructs an elevated boardwalk with a topology which collects water, which varies or evaporates depending on the current weather at the location. The action of the weather over the boardwalk reminds me of the weathering effect described by Mohsen Mostafavi on his book On Weathering: The Life of Buildings in Time.

More about William’s proposal after the break:

P.S.1 2010 entry: Cumulus by Freecell

© Freecell

Last friday we presented you the results of summer installation competition, held by the MoMA and the . As the idea of the competition is to identify and showcase young practices, here at ArchDaily we’d like to introduce you not only the winner as we did last Friday with SO-IL’s Pole Dance, but also the other contestants, as their proposals are good examples of what young architects are thinking these days. So in the following articles we are going to feature the entries by Freecell, William O’Brien Jr, Easton + Combs and BIG.

We start with Freecell, a design and fabrication practice based in Brooklyn, NY, directed by partners Lauren Crahan and John Hartmann. The firm specializes on small scale commissions, as you can see on the many projects featured at their website.

Their proposal “Cumulus” explores pneumatic structures, which respond to the weather changing its configuration between sunny and cloudy days:

More on Pole Dance, SO-IL’s winning entry for the P.S.1

This video clearly explains the concept for SO-IL‘s winning proposal for the P.S.1 summer installation we presented you yesterday. Now it is easier to understand the concept proposed by Pole Dance,  encouraging people to move the structure to create a dynamic space.

And as we have done for the last 2 years, expect a full coverage of this years summer installation.

SO-IL wins P.S.1 competition


Since 2000, the MoMA and the P.S.1 have been running a competition under their Young Architects Program, inviting each year a group of emerging architects to experiment with new shapes and materials, resulting in a summer installation at the P.S.1.

Interesting projects have come out of this competition, such as the Public Farm (PF1) by Work AC in 2008, and Afterparty by MOS last year. And today, the winning proposal for 2010 has been announced: Pole Dance by Brooklyn based SO-IL (Solid Objectives Idenburg Liu) a practice ran by Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu.


Conceived as a participatory environment that reframes the conceptual relationship between humankind and structure, Pole Dance is an interconnected system of poles and bungees whose equilibrium is open to human action and environmental factors. Throughout the courtyard, groups of 25-foot-tall poles on 12 x 12-foot grids connected by bungee cords whose elasticity will cause the poles to gently sway, creating a steady ripple throughout the courtyard space.

To explain this to one of my friends, I used a fabric and a few sharp pencils (so they stick to the fabric, and the eraser in the back sticks to the table) and we started to move it around… I´m pretty sure that the built installation will be very fun to visit. As you can see on the renderings, the net waves around, and touches the soil at the pool in the center, with a few holes that let you pass by.

SO-IL worked with Buro Happold for this structure, and with Sciame for cost analysis, to keep the installation on a $85,000 budget.

After the break, more images and a video from SO-IL’s winning proposal.

The Function of Form / Farshid Moussavi

After “The Function of Ornament“, comes again with another useful book published by and Harvard GSD.

The book is the result of a series of seminars Moussavi taught over 2 years at the GSD, and in over 500 pages it describes the most common material systems and its sub-systems: Grids and Frames, Vaults, Domes, Folded Plates, Shells, Tensile Membranes and Pneumatic Membranes.

Each of these systems are presented first on its most basic unit, which is then tessellated into three  directions (horizontal, vertical, curved) exploring the full potential of these combinations, either trough completed buildings, proposals or just proposed structures by the author and her team.

For example, the Diagrid (interconnected support beams that form a diagonal grid) one of the systems included in the book, starts with the basic unit (as seen on a photo below) with a description of the forces and how flexible the system is in terms of scale, angles, depth, profile, etc. Then, it is described in its horizontal tessellations exemplified through the Smithsonian Reynolds Center for American Art by Foster + Partners, the Milan Fair Center by Fuksas, or the Great Court at the British Museum by F+P. On the vertical, we have 30st Mary  Axe by F+P, the Hearst Tower by F+P, the Lotte Super Tower Hotel by SOM, Elisabeth House by FOA and even the Glass Pavilion by Bruno Taut, among others.  Every example has very good drawings and explanations (see photos below).

Also, the matrix incorporates affect, defined by Deleuze “as the pre-personal intensities transmitted by forms”, ranging from freedom to centrality, and other several terms that further extend our conception of these systems.

This exercise, starting from the basic unit and then expanded according to its possibilities, repeated in a rigorous matrix for all the systems, makes this book a valuable resource for almost everyone: from students, to architects who need to deal with a structure in early stages of design, up to someone dealing with parametric tools for complex structures, because at the end the systems are the same: from Bruno Taut to SOM, to FOA.

More info after the break.

AD Interviews: Mikkel Frost / CEBRA

I have been following CEBRA for a while, and when I noticed that Mikkel Frost (one of the partners) was going to lecture at , I finally saw an opportunity to interview him to understand more about the “ style”. His presentation was a blast. Mikkel was so passionate about their work, always looking for new formulas on each project but still maintaining a unique touch…. as a : always the same, but always different.

Two of the projects (that I will feature here later) that took my attention were the Iceberg (), a residential development done with JDS, SeARCH and Louis Paillard, on which market rules dictated a way different kind of project, but that the architects were smart enough to twist and come up with good solutions: an optimal orientation, securing views over the sea even for the buildings in the back row, different units size to bring a mix of different people to live together on the development… a win win project for both the client, the market and the end users. The other project that took my attention was the Design Kindergarten, a sustainable school on which the architects got very involved, and instead of doing a project according to some fixed requirements, they had the chance to propose several things that would have an impact on the children’s education.

But back to CEBRA: The firm was founded in 2001 by Mikkel Frost, Carsten Primdahl and Kolja Nielsen, all graduates from the Aarhus School of Architecture. For the past nine years the practice has produced a high numbers of projects for a young office, as you can see on our previous features and on their website. In 2006, CEBRA received the the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale with their project Co-evolution (link to flash file), which was later exhibited in Sao Paulo, Beijing, Manchester and Copenhagen. In 2008 CEBRA also participated in the Biennale, but curating the Danish Pavilion. Also in 2008, the firm received the most important architecture award in Scandinavia, the Nykredits Architecture Award.

Architecture is a profession of passion, and those who are able to transmit it through their projects and speeches are getting it right, as I feel CEBRA is doing. And I´m very sure that we are going to see more and more projects coming from this danish firm.

In Progress: Iglo / CEBRA

Structure ©

Our friends from CEBRA, with the The Danish Foundation For Culture And Sports Facilities, are developing a series of “igloos” for sports and culture in .

The concept is to create a multi an unheated use dome, for sports and cultural acts as you can see on the sketches below. The dome covers a 1,650sqm area on one single space subdivided by smaller pieces. The main structure that allows this single space consists on large laminated wood beams as you can see on the images. Over this structure, a series of sheets cover the space leaving space for ventilation.

Model 1 © CEBRA
Model 1 © CEBRA

This dome is being built in Hundige (Greve municipality), and it will be replicated in other danish cities.

Stay tuned for a CEBRA surprise later this afternoon.

More images after the break:

ArchDaily Building of the Year 2009 Award

2009 has been a great year for ArchDaily, and all thanks to you: We have tripled our visits, great debates have been conducted on the articles, our Facebook page has grown to almost 40k fans, our Twitter community is very active and growing fast… and what a better way to celebrate this with an award chosen by you.

For this, we have partnered with Floornature to bring you the 2009 award, an award given by our readers to the best buildings featured during the last year at ArchDaily. Your nominations will result in a short list of 5 buildings per category, after which you will vote to select the best buildings.

We have chosen Facebook and Twitter as the authentication platforms for the award, so we can assure that the nominating and voting processes are conducted by the community. You can nominate once per day, so you can propose your favorite projects from Jan 18th to Feb 7th, after which 5 buildings per category will continue to the voting round, between Feb 8th and until Feb 28th, after which the winners will be announced.

Once again I’d like to thank all our readers for your support in 2009, and rest assure that we are working on new ways to improve ArchDaily in 2010.

You can start nominating at the awards page.


ArchDaily a+t’s Hybrid Series contest: The winners

As announced last week, we have the winners of the Hybrids Series contest, thanks to our friends from a+t.

According to the rules we picked 2 entries sent through the form and 1 tweet. And the winners are:

1.- Conor Sullivan
2.- Seth Ellsworth
3.- Ove Jacobsen (@OveOveOve)

Congratulations to the winners!

will get in touch with the winners to coordinate the shipping of the books.

For more information you can read our review of a+t’s Hybrids III.

Stay tuned for more surprises at ArchDaily ;)

In Progress: Metropol Parasol / Jürgen Mayer Architects

© Pedro Pegenaute
© Pedro Pegenaute

The Metropol Parasol in Sevilla, Spain, is the result of a competition in 2004, awarded to Jürgen Mayer Architects.


The sinuous structure is proposed to be a landmark in the middle of the old city fabric, while serving as an observation deck to discover the upper level of the compact urban context, a new view of the city. The project has been criticized by the citizens because of the contrast with the existing constructions, as you can see on the renderings.

Architecture photographer Pedro Pegenaute shared with us some photos of the current status of this impressive structure, from which we can see a preview of what the observation deck will be:

OMA wins first competition for Chu Hai College Campus in Hong Kong


OMA in association with Leigh & Orange Architects have won the international competition for a 28,000m2 campus for the Chu Hai College of Higher Education in Hong Kong.

The project consists on two 8-stories tall parallel volumes with a rich public space in between, housing three faculties (arts, science and engineering, business), with 10 departments and 2 research centers.

What I like about this project is how OMA incorporated the multidisciplinary focus of this college, trough a rich public space between these two volumes, a topography with library, cafeteria, gym and lecture theaters, which given its ramps, steps and shaded platforms, generate several different spaces for socializing, meeting, studying, etc. So, students from this 3 faculties will flow into this central public space, mixing together.

This project is led by Rem Koolhaas, General Manager of OMA Asia (Hong Kong) David Gianotten and associate Chris van Duijn.

More images after the break:

In Progress: Giant Group Campus / Morphosis

© Morphosis
Morphosis Architects is currently completing a massive project in : The Headquarters and offices for Giant Group, including residence for the chairman & all Giant Group employees, hotel, training center and clubhouse, with a total of 258,300 sqf (23,996 sqm).

Thom Mayne’s architecture has pushed building techniques in order to take his organics form to reality, and I think that the best way to understand his projects is not through renders or even drawings, but by watching the structure and the construction progress.

© Iwan Baan

After the break drawings and several photos during the construction phase of this almost completed project in China: