ARCHIZOOM: Close-Ups of Architectural Favorites

© Federico Babina

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! 

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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 the Museum of Modern Art (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.

Rem Koolhaas’ “Elements”: Uncovering Architecture’s Origins, Assuring Its Future

. Image © Nico Saieh

ArchDaily has been asking architects ”What is Architecture?” for over 6 years. It’s a question that few interviewees answer without hesitation or bristling. But after asking over 200 architects, we’ve noticed a pattern: even though many people start very similarly, the answers soon diverge in a way that demonstrates the promise of the profession. And no matter how architecture is defined, the strong majority of architects hold an underlying belief in its ability to influence.

When the ArchDaily team visited the Venice Biennale and entered the Central Pavilion of the Giardini, home to the Elements exhibition, we saw it as a dynamic, immersive, exhaustive response to the question “What is Architecture?” Visitors to the Biennale are introduced to architecture through its elements–the pieces, parts and that comprise built structures around the globe.

When Koolhaas chose to focus on Elements, he produced a text (in both book and exhibition format) that gives us the tools to understand what architecture is and how is it has evolved (or stagnated). Even though he didn’t invite people to show projects in the traditional sense, the AD editors saw a hopeful undertone to Elements — it is a resource that can be revisited over and over again, one that will arm the current and future designers of our built world with the knowledge they’ll need to address the issues they have yet to even confront.

After the break, see images of the exhibition and read Koolhaas’ curatorial statement. 

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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:

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Why Should You Register A .archi Domain?

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The time has come for architects, across the globe, to register for their .archi domain names. This year has seen the launch of a entirely new range of domains which explicitly indicate the field of business a particular domain name points to; .archi, the new extension reserved exclusively for architectural bodies, is one such. Not only will it differentiate architects from other fields but, perhaps more importantly, will also help internet users find architects when browsing the web. The development of this domain extension, which has been supported by the International Union of Architects (UIA), will mean that only academically qualified architects and their affiliates will be able to use .archi.

Paul Andreu, designer of the Shanghai Pudong International Airport and the Taiyuan Archaeological Centre, alongside Corinne Vezzoni, have both pledged their support of the new domain name in an advertising campaign by the regulating body .

Click here to register a .archi domain name or find out more after the break…

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Craftsmanship: Material Consciousness – Inside Indonesia’s Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2014

© Nico Saieh

At its debut at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2014, offers a peek into the country’s past 100 years of architectural history in its pavilion: “Craftsmanship: Material Consciousness.” Moving images projected onto glass panels tell ’s story through the development of six materials, traced over time: wood, stone, brick, steel, concrete and bamboo. See images of the pavilion and enjoy a statement from the curators after the break.

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Does Architectural “Excellence” Put Embassies at Risk?

The new US in London – designed by ’s KieranTimberlake. Image via US Department of State.

“Embassies and consulates serve as the front door for US diplomacy. The safety and security they provide to our personnel are the first priority, but they must also reflect our national values of openness and ingenuity. Embassies and consulates must exemplify the best of American architecture, environmental stewardship, and innovation.” – Secretary of State John Kerry on the US Department of State’s Design Excellence program, November 2013

As the meeting point for diplomacy, embassies serve as the face of America abroad. Embassy location and architectural design have the potential to promote inclusion and openness, but when tucked behind tall fences and bunker-style architecture they can convey exclusion and hostility.

While protecting diplomatic personnel is critical, conveying core American values such as transparency, openness and equality is also key. But how do you balance security and openness? Does a focus on design put safety at risk?

These questions are currently at the center of debate, as the State Department’s embassy Design Excellence program is facing criticism for being too costly and jeopardizing security.

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Designs Revealed of the Nordstrom Tower, the World’s Tallest Residential Building

Unofficial Rendering of Nordstrom Tower via YIMBY. Image © Otie O’Daniel

The designs of the Nordstrom Tower in New York, the world’s tallest residential building at 1,775 feet tall, have been revealed to New York YIMBY by an anonymous tipster close to the project. The project at 225 West 57th Street by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture will be one foot short of 1 World Trade Center, and with its 1,451 high roof will finally reclaim the title of United States’ tallest roof from Chicago‘s Willis Tower.

More on the Nordstrom Tower after the break

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Cullinan’s RMC Headquarters Saved by Grade II* Listing

© Richard Learoyd

English Heritage has announced that the RMC headquarters building designed by Edward Cullinan Architects in 1990 has been listed at grade II*, preventing a plan to demolish the building and replace it with a terraced housing scheme. The listing comes after a campaign to protect the building which was orchestrated by Cullinan Studio and the 20th Century Society, and supported by a a number of high profile architects including Nicholas Grimshaw, Richard Rogers, Peter Clegg (Feilden Clegg Bradley) and Sunand Prasad (Penoyre & Prasad).

Read more about the building and the listing decision after the break

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Vive la France: A Round-Up of French AD Classics

© Flavio Bragaia

In honor of Bastille Day, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite AD Classics built in France. From Bernard Tschumi‘s Parc de la Villette to our most popular classic project, Le Corbusier‘s Villa Savoye, take a moment to revisit these renowned works.

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Why Don’t Architects Sign Their Buildings?

Courtesy of Peter Knaup

It is a curious fact that architects do not put their signature on buildings. While even a novice architecture enthusiast can pick out a Frank Gehry building in any given city, there is no physical statement within that building identifying as the designer. But why not? This article by Planetizen asks explores this interesting question.

Kenneth Frampton: What is Architecture?

We caught up with Kenneth Frampton earlier this week at the event to announce the finalists of the (MCHAP) in Santiago, Chile. Beyond asking him about the MCHAP jury’s selection process, we took a moment to ask our classic ArchDaily question: what is architecture? Listen to his answer in the video above, or read the transcript of his answer after the break.

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Happy Birthday Buckminster Fuller! (1895-1983)

photo by Dan Lindsay via Wikimedia commons

Happy 118th birthday !

Today, July 12th is Buckminister Fuller’s birthday (1895-1983). Known as the father of sustainability, Fuller was driven by his intention “to make the world work for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or disadvantage of anyone.”

Check out more Bucky, including a video of him singing his own original ode to a dome (really), after the break…

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Gehry Unveils Designs to Extend the Philadelphia Art Museum Downwards

The heart of the Museum will be opened up, creating a clear sight line through the ground-floor and first-floor galleries that will greatly simplify wayfinding. Image © Gehry Partners, LLP

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has revealed Frank Gehry‘s designs for a 169,000 square foot expansion that will see the museum dig down to create a new set of galleries underneath its existing footprint. Already an unusual choice for a project whose brief called to preserve the architectural integrity of the existing building, Gehry’s design is an unexpectedly muted intervention, focusing on interior rearrangement and additions that are in keeping with the 86 year-old building’s aesthetic.

Perhaps the most dramatic alteration proposed by Gehry is a plan to punch a hole through the museum’s famous ‘Rocky steps’, the iconic training location from the Rocky film series, creating a window into the new subterranean galleries; however as the $350 million project will by necessity by undertaken in stages, this intervention is likely to be a subject of discussion for some time.

More on the design after the break

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MCHAP Recognizes OMA, Holl, HdM as Finalists for Most Outstanding Projects in the Americas

The  (MCHAP) has just announced the seven finalists – drawn from a shortlist of 36 projects - at an event in Santiago, Chile.

To determine the finalists, the five jury members – Francisco Liernur, Sarah Whiting, Wiel Arets, Dominique Perrault, and Kenneth Frampton - spent the last twelve days visiting projects, speaking with the architects, users and owners of the spaces, and entering into intense debate among each other. 

As jury member Dominique Perrault noted, “There’s a lot of means by which to evaluate projects – models, drawings, images – but we took all opportunities to test the quality of the architecture. In the end, only by visiting can you sense the ‘touch of god’ – the presence of the building itself in the context.”

The resulting finalists show tremendous variety – in terms of scale, place, typology, program, materials, etc. – making the task of choosing a winner all the more challenging. See all seven finalists, as well as a video of Kenneth Frampton discussing the selection process, after the break.

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Foster + Partners Unveils New Images of 425 Park Avenue

Courtesy of

Foster + Partners has released new images of 425 Park Avenue in New York, the project which turned heads in 2012 when videos of the four competing architects presenting their proposals were released to Youtube. The new images show a slightly altered design for the glazed entrance, where a mezzanine on either side replaces what was originally a double height space in the entire lobby. The new images also give a glimpse into the building’s interiors, where curtain glass walls make the most of spectacular views across Manhattan and Central Park. Read on after the break for all the images.

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Zaha Hadid Architects Reveals Modified Tokyo National Stadium Designs

The updated design for the National Stadium. Image Courtesy of Japan Sport Council

Update: The Japan Sport Council has now unveiled images of ZHA’s redesigned Tokyo National Stadium, which say will make “make the stadium even more efficient, user-focussed, adaptable and sustainable.” The capacity of the stadium will remain at 80,000 seats.

After sustained protest from Japanese architects and citizens alike, Zaha Hadid Architects have confessed that they are modifying their designs for Tokyo’s National Stadium, the centerpiece for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. After repeated criticism, including a petition launched by Pritzker laureates Toyo Ito and Fumihiko Maki, the Japanese Government had already announced a plan to reduce the cost from its original budget of $3 billion to a more manageable $1.7 billion.

Now, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has added fuel to the fire by saying that it would support a scaled-back plan for the entire event: “We want to see more existing venues, we want to see the use of more temporary grandstands,” said Committee vice president John Coates.

More on Tokyo’s plan to dial down its Olympics after the break

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Aedas Announces Demerger Into Two Separate Companies

As of this week , which was recently ranked as the 5th largest and influential practice in the UK by the Architects’ Journal, has demerged into two separate practices. The thirteen offices in China, South-East Asia, the Middle East and the US, will continue to operate under the Aedas brand whilst the eight UK offices and the offices in Russia, Poland and Kazakhstan will operate under a new name: . According to the outgoing board, the demerger “will allow both companies to focus on their respective strengths and will enable them to grow the businesses in different directions.” The intention is that both groups will continue to work together on projects in the future.

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