The Robot Revolution: Coop Himmelb(l)au Founder Wolf D. Prix on the Future of Construction

With a recently released animation entitled “We Start the Future of Construction,” Coop Himmelb(l)au announced their intention to take digital fabrication to a radical new scale, demonstrating how technology is impacting almost every aspect of the architectural profession. The advent of building information modeling and other modeling software has transformed how architects and engineers navigate the construction process, allowing us to achieve increasingly complex forms that can be modeled with the aid of CNC machining and 3D Printing, but still there remains a wide gap between the technologies available to architects and those employed by builders. When it comes to a building’s actual construction we have been limited by the great costs associated with non-standard components and labor – but now, the automated practices that transformed manufacturing industries could revolutionize how we make buildings.

Last week, ArchDaily sat down with co-founder, Design Principal and CEO of Coop Himmelb(l)au, Wolf D. Prix for his thoughts on the future of construction and the role of the architect in an increasingly technological practice. Read on after the break to find out how robots could impact architectural design, construction, and the future of the profession.

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Architectural Innovation Inspired by Nature

© Flickr CC User kudumomo

From bricks grown from bacteria to cement derived from the reef building process of coral, biomimicry has taken the world by storm. A collection of products inspired by this phenomenon are showcased in Bloomberg’s article “14 Smart Inventions Inspired by Nature: Biomimicry,” ranging from transportation breakthroughs to ingenious feats of engineering. Read on after the break for two highlighted architectural inventions inspired by the natural world.

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Photographic Exhibition Highlights The Relationship Between Brick And The Dutch

Courtesy of Het Nieuwe Instituut

The Netherlands Builds in is one of the latest exhibitions at Rotterdam’s Nieuwe Instituut (formerly the NAi). It seeks to modify the “assumed triumph of ” in the interwar period, drawing upon two photographic collections from the Institute’s extensive archives. The exhibition has been curated to highlight that brick remained the favoured construction material throughout the advocacy of the Modernist movement, even for experimental construction.

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Architect Yener Torun Documents Contemporary Istanbul on Instagram

Neverwinter

“Istanbul is exotic and modern,” says architect , who has spent the last year documenting Istanbul‘s most contemporary and brightly colored spaces on Instagram. “It is funny, because my photos of Istanbul do not really look like Istanbul. And that is what I exactly wanted to do – to show a different site of the city, a side that was never focused on.”

Critiquing Istanbul’s recent explosion of growth and “bad” architecture, Torun set out to discover the city’s lesser known, brightly colored spaces that have had a positive influence on day-to-day life. Now with nearly 40,000 followers, his quest is proving to have an affect and is inspiring him to spread his explorations beyond Istanbul to Ankara, Bursa, Izmir and Kocaeli.

See a selection of Torun’s images, after the break.

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Vienna to Build World’s Tallest Wooden Skyscraper

© OLN/office le nomade

Rüdiger Lainer and Partner plans to construct the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper next year in Vienna’s Seestadt Aspern area. 76 percent of the 84-meter tower is expected to be made from wood rather than concrete, saving approximately 2,800 tonnes of CO2 emissions (equivalent to driving a car 25 miles a day for 1,300 years).

“I think it is important everyone now in 2014 thinks in different ways. We have , which is a perfect construction material for building,” she said. “It was used 200 years ago and it was perfect then and is perfect now,” says Kerbler project developer Caroline Palfy, commenting on the architects’ decision to use wood due to its environmental benefits.

An interior loft view and more details, after the break. 

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Embed Your 3D Sketchfab Models on Facebook

Already one of the simplest ways to share 3-D models around the web, Sketchfab has recently announced a new development that will make it even easier for architecture firms to share their latest work with their fans and students to spread their ideas among their friends: Facebook embed functionality. Simply by pasting the link to your work in a Facebook post, your model is instantly accessible to your friends and fans, and easy to share.

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Brick Award 2016: Call for Entries!

The Wienerberger Award is a biannual architectural award that is presented to outstanding examples of modern and innovative architecture. In 2016, Wienerberger will present this internationally established award for the seventh time, and the award is now open for submissions. Architecture critics, journalists and for the first time also architects themselves can submit projects online until March 31, 2015. The official Brick Award ceremony will take place in Vienna in spring 2016.

The Award acknowledges innovative brick buildings of international quality that show the varied and diverse ways brick can be used in contemporary architecture. At the same time, the award, and in particular the accompanying architectural book, gives people with an interest in architecture, as well as experts, an overview of current developments and trends in international brick architecture with its remarkable range of applications.

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Mecanoo’s New Delft Station Hall Opens To The Public

Six years after the original announcement of the project, the first phase of Mecanoo’s new and City Hall complex in Delft, The Netherlands, has been opened to the public. Within the new station hall an undulating ‘vault’, which has been designed to evoke an “unforgettable arrival experience”, features a scaled 1877 map of the Dutch city rendered in blue and white. Columns wrapped in a mosaic of -blue titles, also reminiscent of the colours of Delftware, one of the city’s most famous global exports. The station platforms below ground have been designed by Benthem Crouwel, the Dutch practice behind Rotterdam Centraal Station.

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Calling All Visionaries: Jacque Rougerie Competition Seeks Evolutionary Designs for Sea and Space

Courtesy of

The Jacques Rougerie Foundation is now accepting registrants for its annual international architecture competition. Open to architects, engineers, and designers, the competition aims to inspire socially and environmentally conscious designs that utilize developing techniques for a sustainable future, enabling society to grow with its built environment. Composed of three categories in keeping with the foundation’s focus – Innovation and Architecture for the Sea, Innovation and Architecture for Space, and Architecture and Sea Level Rise – the registration period ends June 2, 2015 and the winning proposals from each category will be announced at an award ceremony in December 2015. For full rules and registration information, visit here.

Open Call: Competition to Re-Structure Seoul’s Seunsangga Citywalk

The Site

The objective of the “Re-Structuring Seunsangga Citywalk” competition in Seoul is to renovate the deck and nearby public space of Seunsangga Complex to improve the pedestrian environment and connect with surrounding areas of various and thereby re-establish a pedestrian axis from north to south through Bukaksan Mountain, Jongmyo~Seunsangga Complex, and Namsan Mountain. Not only is Seunsangga Complex Seoul’s “urban-architectural heritage,” it is a compound of history, culture and industry that connects the surrounding area and various activities.

This project will revitalize Seunsangga Complex’s status as a center of pedestrian axis and urban industry by creating a space with new cultural value that will breathe life into the Seun District. The winning commission will be awarded “Phase 1 design contract.” More information and registration details, here.

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Now is Time to Apply to Bauhaus Lab 2015

Courtesy of

The Foundation Bauaus Dessau is accepting letters of interest now through March 31 to participate in the upcoming Bauhaus Lab 2015. The program, open internationally to post-graduates of architecture, curatorial, fine arts, and design programs, will run from May 4 through August 9, 2015. Eight applicants will be selected to participate by an international jury by April 4. Read on after the break for more information.

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8 Mind Bending Optical Illusions by Erik Johansson

"The Architect". Image Courtesy of Erik Johansson

These images by Swedish photographer, artist, and Photoshop genius Erik Johansson are anything but ordinary. What at first appears to be a room, house, or street quickly shifts into a mind-boggling , using creative manipulations of perspective to keep the viewer perplexed. From cars driving on the underside of the freeway to people living on their ceilings, Johansson’s strikingly convincing realizations of spatial impossibilities will have you second-guessing your surroundings.

More images and a “behind-the-scenes” video, after the break. 

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Spotlight: Frank Gehry

Courtesy of latimesblog

Born in 1929, internationally acclaimed architect Frank Gehry has been headlining architectural news platforms since he established his Los Angeles practice in 1962 and remodeled his home in Santa Monica. Notorious for his expressive use of form (and its sometimes inflationary effect on project budgets), Gehry is best known for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, which fellow architect Philip Johnson once dubbed “the greatest building of our time.”

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4 Building Images Shortlisted for Sony 2015 World Photography Award

Architecture, Open, Australia © Gina Alderson-Hicks via 2015 Sony World Photography . Image Courtesy of WPO

The World Photography Organization has revealed 35 images that are being considered to be the “world’s best contemporary photograph.” Of the shortlisted selection, beauty found within our built world takes center stage in four of the images. All entries were submitted freely by professionals and amateurs alike. See all four stunning images, after the break.

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See BIG & Heatherwick’s Design for Google’s California Headquarters

© Google / BIG / Heatherwick Studio

Images have been unveiled of BIG and Heatherwick Studio’s design for Google’s Mountain View headquarters. The plan, submitted to city council today, proposes to redevelop and expand the company’s home office with a series of lightweight canopy-like organized within a flexible landscape of bicycle paths and commercial opportunities for local companies. 

“It’s the first time we’ll design and build offices from scratch and we hope these plans by Bjarke Ingels at BIG and Thomas Heatherwick at Heatherwick Studio will lead to a better way of working,” says Google. “The idea is simple. Instead of constructing immoveable concrete buildings, we’ll create lightweight block-like structures which can be moved around easily as we invest in new product areas… Large translucent canopies will cover each site, controlling the climate inside yet letting in light and air. With trees, landscaping, cafes, and bike paths weaving through these structures, we aim to blur the distinction between our buildings and nature.”

A video about the design and a statement from Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick, after the break. 

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10 Facts about AJ’s Woman Architect of the Year 2015: Teresa Borsuk

The Granary. Image © Pollard Thomas Edwards

The Architects’ Journal as named Teresa Borsuk of Pollard Thomas Edward “Woman Architect of the Year 2015.” The prestigious title, awarded last year to Mecanoo’s Francine Houben, is being presented to Borsuk for her “remarkable” ability to improve equality within her practice.

Borsuk was chosen over an impressive shortlist of women architects. Find out 10 facts about Borsuk and see why the jury consider her to be an ideal role model for future generations, after the break.

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Frank Lloyd Wright and Fay Jones on the Web: The Value of Online Exhibitions

Alexander Residence (Raheen) Swimming Pool. Image © Collection, Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries

Yesterday afternoon, I was able to visit the University of Arkansas exhibition “Fay Jones and : Organic Architecture Comes to Arkansas” – without purchasing a ticket or leaving my apartment. This extensive exhibition on the life and development of these two notable architects was made possible through a collaboration between University of Arkansas Libraries’ Special Collections and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Library and Archives. Exhibitions such as this are part of a broader movement in recent years towards making archived content more easily accessible to the public through web platforms. The concept of the online exhibition, however, is still in its infancy and there remains significant room for innovation.

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Spotlight: Lúcio Costa

Lúcio Costa. Image via archi.ru. ImageLúcio Costa

Brazilian planner, preservationist and modernist thinker Lucio Costa  (27 Feburary 1902 – 13 June 1998) is best known for his 1957 plan of Brasília that shaped the Brazilian capital into a monument to utopian . A resolute and often controversial figure in the Brazilian establishment, Costa’s contributions to Brazilian architecture helped to shape the distinctive modernism that was practically Brazil’s official style until the 1980s.

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