Vanessa Quirk

Vanessa Quirk, the manager of editorial content at ArchDaily, is a writer who hails from New York. She studied English and Music at the George Washington University and Oxford University. When she's not thinking about the latest in Architecture and Urban Planning, she's either cooking or singing - often simultaneously. LinkedIn / @vmquirk

Spotlight: Zaha Hadid

© Simone Cecchetti

Since winning the Pritzker Prize in 2004, the first woman and Muslim to do so, Hadid’s career has been on an exponential trajectory. Before the prize, Hadid was better known for her extraordinary sketch-paintings of unbuilt works; particularly, her competition-winning entries for “The Peak” in 1982 and the Cardiff Bay Opera House in 1994. Zaha’s “flying” forms were so revolutionary, that some questioned if they could even be made reality – hence why the Opera House was ultimately rejected, for supposed ”uncertainties.” Indeed, before 1994, the only built project she could boast was the complex, deconstructivist Vitra Fire Station.

Spotlight: Kenzo Tange

Courtesy of Wikimedia Common

Kenzo Tange (4 September 1913-22 March 2005), the Pritzker-Prize Winning Japanese architect who helped define Japan’s post-WWII emergence into , would have turned 101 today. Inspired by Le CorbusierTange decided to study architecture at the University of Tokyo in 1935. He worked as an urban planner, helping to rebuild Hiroshima after World War II, and gained international attention in 1949, when his design for the Hiroshima Peace Center and Memorial Park was selected. Tange continued to work in and theorize about Urban Planning throughout the 50s; his “Plan for Tokyo 1960″ re-thought urban structures and heavily influenced the Metabolist movement.

Spotlight: Eliel & Eero Saarinen

© Exothermic

Perhaps the most famous father-son duo in the architectural world, Eliel and Eero Saarinen share more than just a last name. The two designers both left profound influences upon the cities where they did their work, both were awarded AIA Gold Medals, and, rather uncannily, both share the very same date of birth. But, when it comes to their architectural stylings, that’s where the comparisons end. Find out more about both after the break.

Spotlight: Jean Nouvel

© Artribune

“My interest has always been in an architecture which reflects the modernity of our epoch as opposed to the rethinking of historical references. My work deals with what is happening now—our techniques and materials, what we are capable of doing today.”

Today is the 69th of the great French architect and designer, Jean NouvelThe winner of the Wolf Prize in 2005 and the Pritzker of 2008, Nouvel has attempted to design each of his projects without any preconceived notions, resulting in a variety of projects that – while strikingly different – always demonstrate an interesting use of light and shadow as well as a harmonious balance with their surroundings. More on the Pritzker-winning architect, after the break.

His variety of work can be seen in such acclaimed works as the Institut du Monde Arabe and the Fondation Cartier and. Nouvel also has a series of notable projects currently in the works, such as the New Louvre in Abu Dhabi and the National Art Museum of China.

In honor of his birthday, take a moment to revisit Nouvel’s previous works on ArchDaily.

Unified Architectural Theory: Chapter 8

Heydar Aliyev Center / Architects. Image © Hélène Binet

We will be publishing ’ book, Unified Architectural Theory, in a series of installments, making it digitally, freely available for students and architects around the world. The following chapter outlines architecture’s connection to biology, and how biology influences our perception of form. If you missed them, make sure to read the previous installments here.

The idea of a biological connection to architecture has been used in turn by traditional architects, modernists, postmodernists, deconstructivists, and naturally, the “organic form” architects. One might say that architecture’s proposed link to biology is used to support any architectural style whatsoever. When it is applied so generally, then the biological connection loses its value, or at least becomes so confused as to be meaningless. Is there a way to clear up the resulting contradiction and confusion?

Introducing “Potty-Girl,” The Architect of the Future?

“I look for inspiration (or opportunities) from people and places rather than looking for people and places to host my ideas.” — Julia King

Regardless of whether or not Shigeru Ban deserved to be awarded the profession’s highest prize this year (there are vociferous opinions on both sides of the issue), there is one thing that is certain: architecture is going through some serious growing pains. And perhaps no one encapsulates architecture’s shifting direction better than Julia King, AJ’s Emerging Woman Architect of the Year.

Pursuing a PhD-by-practice via the Architecture for Rapid Change and Scarce Resources (ARCSR) in the slums of India, Ms. King realized very quickly that the last thing these communities needed was architecture – or rather, what is traditionally considered “architecture.” After all, community-members were already experts in constructing homes and buildings all on their own. Instead, she put her architectural know-how towards designing and implementing what was truly needed: sewage systems. And so – quite by accident, she assured me - the title “Potty-Girl” was born.

In the following interview, conducted via email, I chatted with Ms. King about her fascinating work, the new paradigm it represents for  architecture, the need to forego dividing the “urban and rural” (she prefers ”connected and disconnected”), the serious limitations of architecture education, and the future of architecture itself. Read more, after the break.

Ticollage City / Costa Rica Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014

Courtesy of Pavilion

Curated and commissioned by German Architect / Urbanist Oliver Schütte and Dutch Anthropologist / Economist , Costa Rica’s first pavilion at the Venice Biennale focuses on a competition-winning project for the new Costa Rican Legislative Assembly, a project which illustrates the “vicious circle of social segregation and spatial fragmentation in the Greater Metropolitan Area of Costa Rica (GAM).”

Read the curators’ description and take a virtual tour of the Costa Rica Pavilion after the break.

Pinup2014′s Competition Winners Showcase the Creativity of Emerging Talent Today

Jury Winner_Emerging talents_AE Superlab_Infinicities. Image Courtesy of The Morpholio Project

The Morpholio Project has just announced the winners of the Pinup 2014 competition. Drawing from an impressive shortlist of finalists, the Jury  – which included participants from Fast CompanyMetropolis Magazine, Columbia GSAPP, and even our very own Editor-in-Chief, David Basulto – has chosen nine outstanding examples of studio, 3D-printed or unbuilt works that exemplify the best of today’s emerging talent.

Amy Azzarito, jurymember and Managing Editor at Design*Sponge ”was impressed by the number of entrants who chose to devote their time and creative energy toward addressing social problems on a global scale, demonstrating an empathetic understanding that as the world grows increasingly smaller, the problems of our neighbors are problems for which we all bear responsibility.”

Duann Scott, jurymember and Designer Evangelist at Shapeways added: ”The breadth and quality of the entrants was truly inspiring, making it very difficult to pick the winners, or to put it better, not pick more to be winners,” said .

Beyond the jury’s picks, a public competition and The Morpholio Project chose five additional winners. See them all, after the break.

Capturing Hong Kong’s Dizzying Vertical Density

© Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze

Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze is a French photographer who captures the dizzying heights and uncommon densities of . Inspired by “the geometry of the urban environment and the vivid lives it shelters,” Jacquet-Lagrèze has not only captured the verticality of Hong Kong’s built environment, but also compiled a new book, Vertical Horizon, “a photographic journey between the buildings of a relentlessly growing city.” See more of Jacquet-Lagrèze‘s images, and read an excerpt from Vertical Horizonafter the break.

Álvaro Siza’s Archives May Soon Belong to Canada

Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

The archives of Álvaro Siza, whose drawings, sketches, and models have been exhibited in the most renowned cultural institutions around the world, may soon be transferred to the Canadian Centre for Architecture (Centre Canadien d’Architecture, ) in Montreal.

The architect confirmed on Wednesday to Portuguese paper PÚBLICO that he has been “in talks” with the CCA, as well as other un-named institutions from different countries, in order to “decide the future” of his archives.

VIDEO: Marcio Kogan’s Studio SC

Textures and Ants is one of five videos on display by Studio MK27 at the Palazzo Mora as part of the ”Time Space Existence“ exhibition, running parallel to the Venice Biennale.

Produced by Pedro Kok and Gabriel Kogan, the video shows Studio SC, a studio based in São Paulo and designed by Marcio Kogan.

Thousands of Inhabitants May Be Relocated As Chinese Bankers Eye Venezuela’s Torre David

© Vía ‘The Atlantic’

Torre de David (the Tower of David) - the world’s tallest slum and the subject of Urban-Think TankJustin McGuirk, and Iwan Baan‘s Golden Lion-winning Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2012 - is once again making headlines. Venezuelan newspaper TalCual reports that the Venezuelan government is in negotiations with Chinese banks interested in purchasing the building.

Tower of David is an unfinished financial skyscraper in downtown . Construction began on the tower in 1990, but the death of the principal investor in 1993 and the subsequent banking crisis that hit the country in 1994 froze construction; by the end of the year, the tower was in the hands of the state. Nevertheless, in 2007 two thousand homeless citizens took over and inhabited the skyscraper, making it the tallest vertical slum in the world.

Re-Thinking the Future 2014 Competition Awards BIG, UN Studio, HOK, and More

Honorable Mention, Public Building Built: Cineteca Nacional S. XXI / Rojkind Arquitectos. Image © Rojkind Arquitectos, photo by Paul Rivera

The winners of Re-Thinking the Future’s 2014 design competition – a competition that asked architects, designers, planners, and students from all over the world to submit “radical solutions for the present day problems” of climate change – have been announced. Requesting both built and conceptual works, the jury of 20 architects from firms such as SOM, AEDAS, and Perkins+Will evaluated the projects across a range of categories, from mixed-use and residential buildings to urban and landscape design.

See all the winners, including proposals from BIG, UN Studio, and HOK, after the break.

This Floating Platform Could Filter the Plastic from our Polluted Oceans

Courtesy of

“Plastic is an extremely durable material, taking 500 years to biodegrade, yet it’s designed to be used for an average of 5 minutes, and so it’s thrown away. Few know where this mass of junk will end up … in the oceans, killing and silently destroying everything, even us.”

Cristian Ehrmantraut has developed a prototype for a floating platform that filters the ocean and absorbs plastic. Located 4 km from the coast of , close to the center of the mega-vortex of plastic located in the South Pacific, the tetrahedral platform performs a kind of dialysis, allowing the natural environment to be recovered as well as energy and food to be produced.

ARCHIZOOM: Close-Ups of Architectural Favorites

©

Federico Babina is back with his latest illustration! This time, he explores 23 works of architecture through the lens of one interesting or intense detail that speaks to the character of the work as a whole. Seeing these as movie posters, which use visual imagery to suggest, insinuate, and convey “the essence” of the film, each illustration reflects the work and the architect’s aesthetic overall. See all 23 after the break! 

MOMA Announces Barry Bergdoll’s Successor for Chief Curator of Architecture & Design

Martino Stierli, The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, . Image Courtesy of

Martino Stierli, a Swiss architecture and art history professor interested in ”how architecture is represented in the media and intersects with art,” has been named Barry Bergdoll’s successor as the chief curator of architecture and design at (MoMA).

In a Press Release, Stierli comments upon his appointment: ”Since its inception, MoMA has presented groundbreaking exhibitions that promote and critically reflect upon modern and contemporary architecture. By continually expanding its comprehensive collection, the Department of Architecture and Design has been pivotal to the preservation of modernism for the future, and to making that heritage accessible to scholars and the broader public alike. I am excited to continue this tradition at MoMA and look forward to working with the Museum’s extraordinary team to contribute to shaping the current discourse on architecture and the city—locally, nationally, and globally.”

He will begin his new role in March 2015. Learn more about Stierli, and how his appointment will influence the MoMA’s exhibitions, at The New York Times’ Arts Beat Blog.

Want to Land a Job at One of the Top 50 Architecture Firms? Here Are the Skills You Need to Have…

Cannon Design Regional Offices (Cannon Design was one of Architectural Record’s Top 50 Architecture Firms in 2013). Image Courtesy of Architectural Imageworks, LLC

This article was originally published on Black Spectacles.

Ever wonder what software skills and licensure/accreditation are required to get a job at the top 50 Architecture firms in the world? Our study has compiled it all…

We surveyed 928 job postings at the top 50 architecture firms, based on Architectural Record’s July 2013 Top 300 Architecture Firms study, and compiled the software requirements and the licensure/accreditation requirements listed for each job.   We then sorted them by average, and then by the experience level required, from 0-3, 4-10 and 11-20+.

The results are in the below:

Proyecto Helicoide: Reviving Venezuela’s Unfinished Modernist Utopia

© Project Helix (Proyecto Helicoide)

Although construction was never completed, “El Helicoide” (“The Helix”) in is one of the most important relics of the Modern movement in Venezuela. The 73,000 square meter project – designed in 1955 by Jorge Romero Gutiérrez, Peter Neuberger and Dirk Bornhorst – takes the form of a double spiral topped by a large geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller. It was characterized by a series of ascending and descending ramps meant to carry visitors to its variety of programmatic spaces - including 320 shops, a 5 star hotel, offices, a playground, a television studio and a space for events and conventions.

Today, Proyecto Helicoide (Project Helix) seeks to rescue the urban history and memory of the building through a series of exhibitions, publications and educational activities. More details on the initiative, after the break.