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Katherine Allen

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Spotlight: Richard Meier

08:00 - 12 October, 2016
Spotlight: Richard Meier, The Atheneum, New Harmony, Indiana. Image © Scott Frances, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners
The Atheneum, New Harmony, Indiana. Image © Scott Frances, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners

Richard Meier, the Pritzker Prize and AIA Gold Medal winning architect, is well known for his abstracted, often white, buildings and unrelenting personal design philosophy. Citing Bernini and Borromini as influences as well as Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn, Meier received his Bachelor in Architecture from Cornell University in 1957 and took jobs with Skidmore Owings and Merrill and Marcel Breuer soon after his graduation. He began his own private practice in New York in 1963 and rocketed to architectural fame in the early 1970s, after being named as one of the "New York Five."

Spotlight: Tadao Ando

11:30 - 13 September, 2016
Spotlight: Tadao Ando, Church of the Light. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/hetgacom/22029029686'>Flickr user hetgacom</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>
Church of the Light. Image © Flickr user hetgacom licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The 1995 recipient of the Pritzker Prize Tadao Ando (born 13 September 1941) is highly regarded for his unparalleled work with concrete, sensitive treatment of natural light, and strong engagement with nature. Based in OsakaJapan, Ando's ascetic yet rich version of modernism resonates with the traditional Japanese conception of architecture, and has caused him to be regularly referred to as a "critical regionalist."

Rare Frank Lloyd Wright Gas Station Brought to Life

00:00 - 16 July, 2014
Courtesy of Pierce-Arrow Museum
Courtesy of Pierce-Arrow Museum

Many architects have portfolios full of projects that were never built, and Frank Lloyd Wright is no exception.  Now, however, the Buffalo Pierce-Arrow museum in New York has brought one of Wright’s more imaginative conceptual projects to life. In this article from Metropolis, we are introduced to a gas station designed by Wright for his (also unbuilt) Broadacre City project. 

Peter Marino and Marc Jacobs Chat about Design, Architecture, and Fashion

00:00 - 25 December, 2013

Fashion visionaries Tom Ford, Gianfranco Ferre, and Gianni Versace all began their design education in architecture. In the words of Coco Chanel, "fashion is architecture." It was likely with this in mind that the Architecture Foundation hosted it's annual John Edwards Lecture. The event, which was held at the Tate Modern's Starr Auditorium, was a discussion between designer Marc Jacobs and architect Peter Marino, who have frequently collaborated together on retail design. 

Calatrava's "Sharq Crossing" Planned for Doha Skyline

00:00 - 24 December, 2013
Calatrava's "Sharq Crossing" Planned for Doha Skyline, © Santiago Calatrava
© Santiago Calatrava

Located in Doha, Sharq Crossing is a set of three interconnected bridges spanning almost ten kilometres in the Doha Bay. Designed by the famed architect Santiago Calatrava, the bridge will connect the city's cultural district in the north to Hamad International Airport and the central business district in West Bay. The bridges, which are designed to accomodate as many as 2,000 vehicles an hour per lane, are also flanked by a series of subsea tunnels to manage and direct the flow of traffic across the bay. 

Kickstarter Campaign: The Blindspot Initiative

00:00 - 23 December, 2013
Kickstarter Campaign: The Blindspot Initiative, The Blinspot Initiative: "Beyond competition, towards collaboration". Image Courtesy of Blindspot Initiative
The Blinspot Initiative: "Beyond competition, towards collaboration". Image Courtesy of Blindspot Initiative

Like many in architecture, the Blindspot Initiative has grown tired of "the exclusive, winner takes all mentality of competitions." Instead, they value collaboration and open access to design ideas, and so are renting a studio in East LA for an exhibition that will display the work of 10 fringe (blindspot) designers, "presenting work on a neutral ground to encourage conversations and practice which lives outside the conventions of typical design outputs and practices." Visit their kickstarter project to learn more and contribute to their cause (and check out their video, after the break).

Bloomberg's Next Move: Leading an 'Urban SWAT Team'

00:00 - 21 December, 2013
Bloomberg's Next Move: Leading an 'Urban SWAT Team', © Wikimedia Commons
© Wikimedia Commons

After a 12 year mayoral run, many have been wondering what Michael Bloomberg's next move will be. The answer: be mayor of every city (kind of). Bloomberg, along with most of his New York City Hall team (including transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan), has shifted his focus to Bloomberg Associates, a consultancy group that - like an 'urban SWAT team' - offers advice to cities that call for it. For free. To learn more about Bloomberg's newest initiative, read the full article here on The New York Times. 

Urban Living Award Winners Announced

01:00 - 20 December, 2013
Urban Living Award Winners Announced, Metropol Parasol; J. Mayer H. Architekten. Image Courtesy of Urban Living Awards
Metropol Parasol; J. Mayer H. Architekten. Image Courtesy of Urban Living Awards

The winners of 2013 Urban Living Awards, a joint effort between the Senate Department of Urban Development and the Deutsche Wohnen AG, have been announced. 

The competition aims to inspire architects to improve the quality of urban life through design, while also stimulating urban cooperation. Though it was only founded in 2010, it has already become one of the most respected competitions in the world. Indeed, the 240 contributions in 2013 hailed from over 20 European countries - a huge expansion from previous years. 

Read more for the winners...

Shortlist for West Hollywood Park Project Announced

00:00 - 19 December, 2013
Shortlist for West Hollywood Park Project Announced, via Langdon Wilson International. Image Courtesy of City of West Hollywood
via Langdon Wilson International. Image Courtesy of City of West Hollywood

In a city known for its sprawl, things are about to get a lot greener. The City of West Hollywood recently unveiled the three finalists for the West Hollywood Park Project, including entries from LPA (with Rios Clementi Hale), Frederick Fisher and Partners (with CMG) and Langdon Wilson

The park will cover over 5 acres of (soon to be) green space in the middle of Los Angeles, although at a slight cost. A number of existing buildings will be demolished to make way for the park, including a library, office park, and swimming pool complex. New structures will likely include a recreation and community centre, as well as various playground facilities scattered around the park. 

Reconstructing Space, Reconstructing Community in Japan

00:00 - 8 December, 2013
Reconstructing Space, Reconstructing Community in Japan, The Japan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale showed some of the disaster reconstruction work. . Image © Nico Saieh
The Japan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale showed some of the disaster reconstruction work. . Image © Nico Saieh

Still rebuilding after the catastrophic tsunami of 2011, Toyo Ito, Kazuyo Sejima, and other notable Japanese architects, have teamed up on the "Home for All" project to provide community-focused housing to disaster-stricken communities. While the architect-driven initiative seems to be a success, Edwin Heathcote of the Financial Times asks in this exquisitely well-written article: are a set of "starchitects" the right team for the job? (Spoiler: Yes)

The Challenges of Post-Disaster Design

00:00 - 5 December, 2013
The Challenges of Post-Disaster Design, Courtesy of Flickr User mansunides
Courtesy of Flickr User mansunides

In the wake of the destruction of Typhoon Haiyan, architects were asking: "couldn't we have avoided this?" Technically, yes. But while the opportunity to build better exists, such measures are often expensive - and in poverty-stricken areas like the Philippines - cost-prohibitive. A recently published article by Carey Dunne on Co.Design breaks down why disaster-proof construction is such a complex challenge. 

Fill out the Women In Architecture Survey

00:00 - 1 December, 2013
Fill out the Women In Architecture Survey, Courtesy of Megan Jett
Courtesy of Megan Jett

The Women in Architecture Survey, which is sponsored by UK magazine Architect's Journal, is open to both men and women and aims to track the perceptions of gender equality in the workplace. It's already yielded significant results - the survey last year revealed large pay gaps between male and female architects, as well as interesting perceptions of work/life balance of the different genders. Research goes towards the Architect's Journal's Women in Architecture campaign, whose goal it is to promote the status of women in the industry. You can find the survey here

Koolhaas on Place, Scale, and (De) Rotterdam

01:00 - 29 November, 2013
© Richard John Seymour
© Richard John Seymour

All images are from photographer Richard John Seymour,who caught Rem Koolhaas' recently completed De Rotterdam building on a broodingly foggy morning. 

At the opening of the newly constructed De Rotterdam building in his home city, Rem Koolhaas spoke at length about how this "vertical city" was designed to appear scaleless, despite its urban context. More about what Koolhaas had to say about the project and the city, after the break...

© Richard John Seymour © Richard John Seymour © Richard John Seymour © Richard John Seymour +21

Wainwright Weighs In on Rem's De Rotterdam

00:00 - 24 November, 2013
Wainwright Weighs In on Rem's De Rotterdam, © OMA
© OMA

In the architectural stomping ground that is Rotterdam, it's no small task to design a building that actually stands out. But, according to The Guardian's Oliver Wainwright, the recently completed De Rotterdam building manages to. Although the Koolhaas-designed structure, which houses offices, apartments and even a boutique hotel, may at first seem simple (simplistic, even), Wainwright praises how the shifting masses cleverly play tricks on your perception. The building is undoubtedly impressive, but is the unconventional envelope enough to distract from a bland-at-best interior? Read the rest of Wainwright's critique here. evaluate

How to Get a Building Through its Mid-Life Crisis

00:00 - 23 November, 2013
How to Get a Building Through its Mid-Life Crisis, Courtesy of Flickr user eschipul
Courtesy of Flickr user eschipul

According to LA Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne, buildings experience a pretty distinct mid-life crisis. After seeing the demise of mid-century gems such as the Houston AstroDome and the Prentice Women's Hospital in Chicago, it's difficult to disagree. But unfortunately architectural value isn't convincing enough an argument - if preservationists want to get serious about their cause, he suggests, they will have to pick their battles far more strategically.  

Gensler, LOT-EK to Design Google's Showroom of Floating Shipping Containers

00:00 - 19 November, 2013
Gensler, LOT-EK to Design Google's Showroom of Floating Shipping Containers , Artist's rendering of the "Google Barge". Image Courtesy of The Verge
Artist's rendering of the "Google Barge". Image Courtesy of The Verge

UPDATE: The SF Gate reports that the architects of the Google Barge have now been revealed to be San Francisco-based firm Gensler and New York-based LOT-EK, a firm with experience adapting shipping containers for retail design. 

A mysterious construction project in the San Francisco Bay has been making waves for the past couple of weeks. Moored off Treasure Island, locals apparently refer to it as 'the secret project' - and, until now, that's about as much as was known about it. 

Despite months of rumors and complete radio silence from Google, spokespeople have finally released a statement on the project, stating: "Google Barge … A floating data center? A wild party boat? A barge housing the last remaining dinosaur? Sadly, none of the above. Although it’s still early days and things may change, we’re exploring using the barge as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology."

While it's a shame about the dinosaur, Google's expansion into technology retail is possibly even more intriguing, as it's entirely new turf for the company: retail design.

More info and an artist's rendering of what the barge could look like, after the break...

Robert A.M. Stern: Old-Fashioned yet Unfazed

00:00 - 17 November, 2013
Robert A.M. Stern: Old-Fashioned yet Unfazed, Robert A.M Stern. Image
Robert A.M Stern. Image

In the mutable world of architecture it's easy to get distracted by the trendy new thing, be it the tallest tower or the "blobbiest" form. Robert A. M. Stern (Dean of the Yale School of Architecture and a practicing architect in his own right), on the other hand, remains purposefully old-fashioned (to the point of becoming obsolete). In an exquisitely written article for the New York MagazineJustin Davidson reports that, despite the mockery of his colleagues, Stern seems unfazed. If his architecture has the power to inspire, he says, then he's done his job. Read the full must-see article here. 

Kickstarter: DIY Concrete House Ring

00:00 - 16 November, 2013
Kickstarter: DIY Concrete House Ring, Courtesy of Linda Bennett, via archi-ninja
Courtesy of Linda Bennett, via archi-ninja

Dream of one day making your own home? Well, here's a fun mini alternative in the meantime. The "DIY Concrete House Ring" is a high quality silver and concrete ring that lets users experience the process of 'making'. The ring itself is made from a DIY compact kit, and comes in two familiar architectural silhouettes - gable roof or saltbox roof - and in either light or dark concrete. The project was developed by Linda Bennett, author of "10 Things They Don’t Teach You in Architecture School" and "Searching for a Job in Architecture? 10 Things You Need to Know…" via her blog, archi-ninjaCheck out the project's debut on kickstarter (which offers fantastic perks for backers) for more information.