Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (27 March 1886 – 17 August 1969) is one of the most influential architects of the 20th century, known for his role in the development of the most enduring architectural style of the era: modernism. Born in Aachen, Germany, Mies' career began in the influential studio of Peter Behrens, where Mies worked alongside other two other titans of modernism, Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier. For almost a century, Mies' minimalist style has proved very popular; his famous aphorism "less is more" is still widely used, even by those who are unaware of its origins.
I've been ArchDaily's Managing Editor since July 2014, after starting as an ArchDaily intern and spending around 18 months climbing the ladder. I have a BA in Architecture from Newcastle University, and I am particularly interested in how overlooked elements of architectural culture - from the media, to competitions to procurement processes - can alter the designs we end up with.
Today, the Pritzker announced Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta, the three founders of Catalan firm RCR Arquitectes, as the recipients of the 2017 Pritzker Prize. As designers of an architecture that is both stylistically and physically local—RCR Arquitectes’ work is mostly found in Catalonia, although recent projects have taken them to France and Belgium—the firm has established a strong profile in north-eastern Spain and a cult following among academic circles around the world. However, other members of the architectural community might find themselves forced to reach for the nearest search engine. For those people, the following 9 facts will provide the information you need to understand architecture’s newest Pritzker Prize laureates.
On Thursday, December 22nd, an email arrived in the inboxes of ArchDaily’s editors that made us sit up, shake off our holiday-induced lethargy, and take notice. MASS Design Group’s Year in Review email might initially have blended in with the many other holiday wishes and 2016 recaps we receive at that time of year—it recapped such highlights as Michael Murphy’s TED Talk in February or the launch of the first African Design Center—but it had one thing that we hadn’t seen from other firm’s years-in-review: detailed statistics about the firm’s achievements that year.
In recent decades, certain aspects of architecture have become increasingly open to scientific analysis, most notably when it comes to a building’s environmental impact. It’s no surprise, therefore, to see MASS Design Group’s claims that their work uses 74% less embodied carbon than typical building projects, or that 78% of their materials are sourced within 100 kilometers, but alongside these were some more unusual metrics: since it was founded, the firm has invested 88% of construction costs regionally, created 15,765 jobs, and in 2016 alone, their work served a total of 64,580 users. These numbers suggest a way of thinking about architecture that few have attempted before—a way that, if widely adopted, could fundamentally change the way architecture is practiced and evaluated. We spoke to MASS co-founder Alan Ricks to find out how these statistics are calculated, and what purpose they serve.
Louis Kahn (February 20th 1901 – March 17th 1974) was one of the United States' greatest 20th century architects, known for combining Modernism with the weight and dignity of ancient monuments. Though he did not arrive at his distinctive style until his early 50s, and despite his death at the age of just 73, in a span of just two decades Kahn came to be considered by many as part of the pantheon of modernist architects which included Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe.
Zaha Hadid Architects has released new images of Leeza SOHO, their mixed-use design in Beijing's Lize Financial Business District. The project is notable for its 190-meter tall atrium, which rises the full height of the building, uniting two twisting sections which contain 172,800 square meters of office and residential space. At the base of the tower, a new transit hub straddles a subway tunnel that is currently under construction.
In the latest video from architecture vlogging favorites #donotsettle, the infectiously energetic duo of Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost team up to take us inside Herzog & de Meuron's newly-completed Elphilharmonie in Hamburg. Filmed during the music venue's "family day," part of its three-week-long opening festival, #donotsettle gives us an engaging look into the building's many spaces—cleverly accompanied by an annotated cross-section of the building which allows us to track their progress through the project's labyrinthine interior.
Santiago Calatrava has unveiled designs for a £1-billion mixed-use project in Greenwich Peninsula, East London. Named Peninsula Place, the 1.4-million-square-foot (130,000-square-meter) project will be located adjacent to the Roger Stirk Harbour + Partners-designed O2 Arena (formerly known as the Millennium Dome). It will include a new tube and bus station, a theater, cinema and performance venue, bars, shops and a wellbeing hub on the lower levels, with three towers rising above featuring offices, hotels, and apartments. The scheme will also be served by a new land bridge, also designed by Calatrava.
Update: Paulo Mendes da Rocha was today awarded the RIBA Royal Gold Medal at a ceremony at the RIBA headquarters in London. The article below was originally published when the award was announced on September 29, 2016.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has awarded its 2017 Royal Gold Medal to Paulo Mendes da Rocha. The 87-year-old is among Brazil's most celebrated architects, known for his special brand of Brazilian Brutalism which has had a dramatic effect in his home country, particularly in the city of São Paulo. The award continues a spectacularly successful year for Mendes da Rocha, who won the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale in May, and was announced the 2016 Premium Imperiale Laureate just weeks ago. Mendes da Rocha has also previously received the Pritzker Prize in 2006 and the Mies van der Rohe Prize for his Pinacoteca de São Paulo project in 2000.
Mendes da Rocha becomes the second Brazilian to win the RIBA's Gold Medal, after Oscar Niemeyer received the award in 1998. He joins other luminaries such as Zaha Hadid (2016), Frank Gehry (2000), Norman Foster (1983), and Frank Lloyd Wright (1941).
The UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation and Malcolm Reading Consultants have revealed the designs of 10 teams shortlisted to design a new Holocaust Memorial, to be located in London's Victoria Tower Gardens next to the Houses of Parliament. After a call for expressions of interest was launched in September, 10 star-studded teams were selected in November and invited to submit their designs for an "emotionally powerful and sensitively designed memorial."
With the designs now revealed to the public, competition organizer Malcolm Reading Consultants and the government-led Memorial Foundation are now consulting with the public and are inviting people to submit feedback about the designs here. The feedback received in this consultation period "will play a crucial role in informing the jury’s final decision on the memorial," they explained in a press release. Read on to see all 10 shortlisted designs.
The Harvard Graduate School of Design has announced a new, free online course entitled "The Architectural Imagination." Taught by the school's Eliot Noyes Professor of Architectural Theory K. Michael Hays alongside Professor of Architectural History Erika Naginski and G. Ware Travelstead Professor of the History of Architecture and Technology Antoine Picon, the course is advertised as "introductory" level and described as teaching "how to 'read' architecture as a cultural expression as well as a technical achievement." It will be delivered through edX, a platform for high-quality massive open online courses (MOOCs) which was founded by Harvard and MIT in 2012.
The principal architect of LA firm Morphosis, Thom Mayne (born January 19, 1944) was the recipient of the 2005 Pritzker Prize and the 2013 AIA Gold Medal, and is known for his experimental architectural forms, often applying them to significant institutional buildings such as the New York's Cooper Union building, the Emerson College in Los Angeles and the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters.
Yesterday, the UK Government announced plans for 3 new garden towns and 14 new "garden villages" across England, expanding a plan that already includes 7 previously announced garden towns. Explaining the concept of the garden villages, the Department for Communities and Local Government described settlements of 1,500 to 10,000 homes, saying that together the 14 locations have the potential to deliver 48,000 new houses. In order to expedite the creation of these new settlements, the government has set aside a fund of £6 million (US$7.4 million), which housebuilders will be permitted to use in order to accelerate development at the sites.
However, the architectural community in the UK has mocked the proposals and the government's use of language, highlighting what appears to be a poor understanding of Ebenezer Howard's Garden Cities concept. Many have also pointed out that the plans are relatively meager in a country that, by many estimates, is falling hundreds of thousands of new homes short of the number needed every year.
Campaigners in the UK have launched a petition to save Durham University's Student Union Building, also known as Dunelm House, after the university announced its intention to demolish and replace the brutalist structure earlier this month. Designed in 1966 by Ove Arup and the Architects' Co-Partnership, the building is perhaps the most important 20th-century edifice in a city that is better-known for its UNESCO World Heritage-listed cathedral and castle.
The computer does things correctly, and I think it's very important in architecture to also have the incorrect. – Peter Cook
In connection with the exhibition "Peter Cook. Retrospective" currently on view at the Museum for Architectural Drawing in Berlin, the Tchoban Foundation has released a video of the architect discussing the importance of drawing in the architectural world. Cook compares drawing to new computer-based techniques, arguing that while software can do amazing things (including being instrumental in realizing his own Kunsthaus Gratz), drawing allows the architect to learn, communicate and experiment in a way that is irreplaceable. Watch the teaser to the Tchoban Foundation's video above, or read on for the full discussion.
Today China inaugurated the world's highest bridge, opening the new crossing to traffic after the structure was completed in September, reports China Central Television (CCTV). Crossing the Nizhu river canyon at 565 meters above water level the Beipanjiang bridge spans 1,341 meters to connect the provinces of Yunnan and Guizhou in the Southwest of the country. The 4-lane bridge is part of a network of new highways around Yunnan and Guizhou that allow access across rugged terrain that was previously largely inaccessible.
Visitors to Bermuda are likely to notice one key feature about its architecture: across the islands, the pastel-painted houses all share a distinctive white, stepped roof style. A recent article on BBC News Magazine explores the original reason for, and subsequent history of, this unique roof design, showing how vernacular architectural elements often fit into a larger narrative of culture and geography.
Awarding the top ecological projects of the year, d3 has announced this year’s winners of its Natural Systems competition. Established in 2009, the annual competition has grown into one of the most notable awards in speculative, performance-based design. The brief challenges architects, designers, engineers, and students to develop ideas for sustainable living by exploring natural processes. This year’s program was co-directed by Ji Young Kim of Shigeru Ban Architects and Gregory Marinic of the Syracuse University School of Design.
Read on to find out about the jury’s picks for the top three projects and seven special mentions.
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.