Division1 Architects – Distinctive Design That Matters

Photo © Debi Fox Photography / www.DebiFoxPhoto.com

Profiled Firm: Division1 Architects
Location: Washington, DC and New York, NY,

When Ali Reza Honarkar faced conservative college professors in the 1990s who emphasized the importance of honoring architecture’s past in his designs, he felt conflicted. He understood that a historical foundation was important, but young Honarkar also felt unduly confined by the approach.

It was during these formative years that his desire to stretch the limits and do things differently was born, and it’s a trait that remains central to how he and his team approach projects today at in Washington, DC, which he co-founded in 1994, as a provocative response to both a failing economy and what he viewed as the stagnant design culture in the Washington metropolitan area.

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William McDonough to be Stanford University’s First Living Archive

NASA Sustainability Base / + Partners and AECOM

William McDonough of William McDonough + Partners has decided to become Stanford University‘s first “” in an effort to change the way we as humans remember and record our daily lives. Although technologies such as FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Vimeo have made verbal and visual documentation a much larger part of our lives, McDonough has decided to record nearly every moment of his day – every day – for the greater, intellectual good.

Read more on McDonough’s archiving process…

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Richard Meier Celebrates Fifty Years of Architecture

Richard Meier Portrait-475 10th Avenue Office © Richard Phibbs

Richard Meier & Partners Architects is pleased to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Richard Meier’s prolific architecture career. In recognition of his contributions to architecture and in collaboration with very distinguished institutions, Richard Meier & Partners will be organizing several projects and events to honor this very significant anniversary. Currently on display at the Arp Museum Richard Meier: Building as Art is open to the general public, and the exhibition illustrates Meier’s complex design process using prominent buildings and projects from his entire work history.

In addition to the exhibition in Germany, and later in the summer, Richard Meier will be giving a series of lectures in , New York City and in talking about some of the iconic, recent and current projects.

More on Richard Meier’s prolific career after the break.

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Agenda: 4 Ambitions / Rem Koolhaas

As the 2012 Jencks Award winner, Rem Koolhaas charts the evolution of his ideas and built projects in this provided by RIBA. He describes a double life split between practice and theory, two ventures reflected by his studios, OMA and AMO, the Office of Metropolitan Architecture and the Architecture Media Organization. Enjoy!

The lecture is chaired by Charles Jencks, designer, author and broadcaster.

via RIBA

Richard Meier x Massimo Vignelli: On the Edge of Modernism

Our friends at NOWNESS have shared with us this mesmeric film by Johnnie Shand Kydd that captures the illustrious modernist Richard Meier and multi-disciplinary creator as they reflect on their respective crafts, city life, and enduring friendship. Filmed inside the minimalist offices of & Partners on 10th Avenue and West 36th Street in New York City, the two powerhouses discuss their collaboration on the firm’s forthcoming monograph, Richard Meier, Architect Volume 6, chronicling the stark, white, rationalist buildings that define the firm’s aesthetic. Enjoy!

Continue after the break to browse through iconic works by Richard Meier & Partners. (more…)

Italian architect Gae Aulenti dies at 84

© Ernesto Ruscio / Getty Images Europe via Zimbio

Architect, designer and theoretician (1927-2012) died late Wednesday night in her Milan home at the age of 84. The Palazzolo della Stella native will always be remembered as being one of the few well recognized women that worked in Italian postwar design. Throughout her career, Aulenti’s multi-faceted talent contributed greatly to the evolution of art, architecture and design.

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Starchitect Trick-Or-Treaters

Ando as a mime © Building Satire

What’s scarier, Ando as a mime or Zaha as a witch? With their Costume Critique | Morbid Models post, Building Satire transformed Tadao Ando, Bjarke Ingels, Zaha Hadid, and Jean Nouvel into creepy trick-or-treaters. Review them all after the break!

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Brutalist architect Ulrich Franzen dies at 91

Architect , outside the Alley Theatre, November 1968. Courtesy of the Houston Chronicle.

German-born, New York-based architect Ulrich Franzen (1921-2012) was one of the most creative American architects in the second half of the twentieth century. As reported by the New York Times, Franzen died in his Sante Fe, New Mexico, home on October 6 at the age of 91.

A graduate of Williams College and the Harvard GSD (MArch’48), Franzen entered the world of architecture first as an understudy for I.M. Pei. In 1955, he established his own practice – Ulrich Franzen and Associates – in New York City and has since created distinguished contributions to to architecture, urban design and the theoretical and critical literature of design. (more…)

Kengo Kuma lectures in San Diego and NYC this week!

Green Cast / & Associates

Tonight, Kengo Kuma will be lecturing at the Woodbury School of Architecture in at 6:30pm. Shortly following his Woodbury appearance, the Japanese architect will then make his way across the country to Columbia University’s GSAAP (Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation)Wood Auditorium in New York City to present his lecture, Minimize: Small Architecture after 3/11, on Wednesday the 10th at 6:30pm. Both lectures are free and open to the public. (more…)

14 Facts You Didn’t Know About Le Corbusier

by Willy Rizzo. Photos © Willy Rizzo.

Le Corbusier (October 6, 1887 – August 27, 1965) will forever be known as an icon of Modernism, but did you know that the man who changed the face of architecture led quite the colorful personal life?

In honor of his 125th birthday, take a moment to check out some Corbu classics (perhaps Convent of La TouretteRonchampVilla SavoyeUnite d’Habitation, or Villa Roche) and read on to learn more about the man behind the myth – Charles-Édouard Jeanneret.

Fun Facts About Le Corbusier (including what Salvador Dalí had to say about him. It isn’t pretty) after the break!

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“Eero Saarinen: A Reputation for Innovation” Opens Tomorrow in LA

Dulles International Airport © Design Research & Balthazar Korab

Born in Finland, Eero Saarinen (1910 – 1961) is recognized today as one of America’s most influential architects of the 20th Century. The exhibition : A Reputation for Innovation, opening tomorrow at the  Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles, will highlight his short but brilliant career bookended with two iconic buildings: the unbuilt Smithsonian Gallery of Art which was to be Washington, DC’s first museum of modern art and Dulles International Airport which was designed as the nation’s first jet airport.

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Peter Zumthor awarded RIBA Royal Gold Medal 2013

© Gerry Ebner

Today, the Royal Institute of British Architects () honored Swiss architect Peter Zumthor for his significant influence on the advancement of architecture by naming him the recipient of the 2013 Royal Gold Medal.

It all started in Switzerland, in 1979, when Zumthor founded his “small yet powerful and uncompromising practice”. Since, he has built a prestigious, international reputation for creating “highly atmospheric spaces through the mastery of light and choice of materials”. From his small rural chapels to the Thermal Baths at Vals, the Zumthor experience ignites the senses, with “every detail reinforcing the essence of the building and its surroundings.”

RIBA President Angela Brady, stated: “Peter Zumthor’s work renews the link with a tradition of modern architecture that emphasizes place, community and material practice.  His writings dwell upon the experience of designing, building and inhabitation while his buildings are engaged in a rich dialogue with architectural history. I will be delighted to present him with the Royal Gold Medal.”

Continue to learn more. (more…)

AD Interviews: Renzo Piano – Part I

Part I – Part IIPart III

Since first achieving international fame in 1978 with the Centre George Pompidou in Paris, Renzo Piano has become known as a prolific, Italian architect capable of achieving a masterful balance between art, architecture and engineering. His intellectual curiosity and problem-solving techniques have led him to develop a wide-ranging portfolio that successfully merges high technology with humane and comfortable environments. Sophisticated, refined and elegant, the presence of ’s work is internationally celebrated. Originally born into a family of Italian builders, the Pritzker Prize-winning architect now leads a staff of 150 at his practice, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, from three locations – Genoa, Paris and New York. Architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff of The New York Times described Piano’s work the best when he stated: “The serenity of his best buildings can almost make you believe that we live in a civilized world.” The next part of the interview will air on Monday Sept, 17th. Renzo Piano completed works featured on ArchDaily:

In Progress:

You can also read our editorials Piano’s Progress and The Shard: A Skyscraper for our Post 9/11 World?.

Steven Holl Interview: Not a ‘Signature Architect’ / Andrew Caruso

© Mark Heithoff

National Building Museum and Metropolis Magazine contributor Andrew Caruso takes you “inside the design mind” of architect Steven Holl. 

This year, the American Institute of Architects conferred its highest honor – the AIA Gold Medal – upon Steven Holl. I had the opportunity to talk with Steven about his sources of inspiration, a mid-career enlightenment, and his recent recognition as one of the most celebrated “American” architects.

Andrew Caruso: Balancing your practice with teaching and art is clearly a part of the designer we know you to be. How do these explorations shape your design point of view?

Steven Holl: Every project is unique: a site and a circumstance, a culture, a climate, a program. All of these forces are unique and you need a concept to hold the manifold pieces together, an idea that makes the project significant in its place and for its purpose. That is always the way I begin projects. (more…)

Dutch Architect Wiel Arets Named Dean of IIT’s College of Architecture

Courtesy of IIT

Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) Provost Alan Cramb announced today the appointment of Wiel Arets as the new dean of the IIT College of Architecture. Born in the Netherlands, Arets, an internationally acclaimed architect, educator, industrial designer, theorist, and urbanist, is known for his academic progressive research and hybrid design solutions. He is currently the professor of building planning and design at the Berlin University of the Arts. His architecture and design practice, Wiel Arets Architects, has multiple studios throughout Europe and its work has been nominated for the European Union’s celebrated ‘Mies van der Rohe Award’ on numerous occasions.

Arets, who was dean of the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam from 1995-2002, will join IIT this fall and will lead an academic program originally shaped by the vision and work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Considered by many to be one of the founders of modern architecture and design, Mies chaired the IIT architecture program from 1938-1958 and designed the IIT Main Campus, home to many of his iconic structures including S.R. Crown Hall.

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Robert Venturi: An Icon Retires; A Firm Rebrands

© Frank Hanswijk

After practicing for over fifty years as one of the world’s most preeminent architects, Robert Venturi, FAIA, has retired. The Philadelphia-based, American architect became known as the father of postmodernism and, together with his wife and partner, Denise Scott Brown, FAIA, he changed how the world perceives architecture with his maxim, “Less is a bore.”

Now, Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, which Venturi co-founded with his wife, has relaunched as VSBA under the new leadership of president and principal Daniel K. McCoubrey, AIA. Together with principal Nancy Rogo Trainer, FAIA, McCoubrey will continue to build under the founders’ values – “bringing creative design, thoughtful analysis, and responsive service” to each client. Meanwhile, Scott Brown will continue publishing and presenting her work.

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Raimund Abraham’s Final Work / Photographer Thomas Mayer

House for Music. Photo ©

Raimund Abraham (1933-2010), who would have turned 79 today, was far from your typical architect. A striking figure – usually sporting a black fedora, thick moustache, and cigar – Abraham was a radical thinker who believed passionately in the sacred importance of architecture.

For Abraham, architecture existed just as legitimately in the mind as on the ground; as he put it: “I don’t need a building to validate my ideas.” In fact, many of his visionary drawings were exhibited as art, including in the MOMA. Although most of his designs were never actually built, those that were gained critical acclaim.

He was best known for the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York City, a 24-story, “guillotine-like” building curiously squeezed onto a plot only 25 feet wide. Architectural historian Kenneth Frampton called itthe most significant modern piece of architecture to be realized in Manhattan since the Seagram Building and the Guggenheim Musuem of 1959.”

To celebrate this great mind, we present you his final work, Musikerhaus (House for Music or Musician’s House), as photographed by Thomas Mayer. The House, a former NATO missile base turned artists’ residence/exhibition gallery (you can see the latest exhibition “The Reality of the Unbuilt” in the photos below), will be completed next year.

More photos & quotes, after the break…

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Question: What would Archigram have done for the 2012 London Olympics?

Instant City

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