Spotlight: Peter Eisenman

. Image Courtesy of an-onymous.com

Renowned architect, theorist and educator Peter Eisenman turns 82 today. Eisenman initially rose to fame in the late ‘60s, as part of the New York Five, a group that shared an interest in the purity of architectural form. Eisenman’s work, whether built, written or drawn, is characterized by Deconstructivism, with an interest in signs, symbols and the processes of meaning-making always at the foreground. As such, Eisenman has at times been a controversial figure in the architectural world, professing a disinterest in environmental sustainability.

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Rio de Janeiro selected to host UIA 2020 World Congress of Architects

Courtesy of 2020rio.org

has been selected to host World Congress of Architects UIA 2020, one of the world’s most important architecture forums. The news was announced yesterday by one of the UIA’s former presidents and current Secretary of the Session, Vassils Sgoutas, during the General Assembly of this year’s congress in Durban, South Africa. Rio’s application was spearheaded by Brazil’s most important architecture institution – Instituto de Arquitetos do Brasil (IAB). The South American city beat out two strong candidates: Melbourne and Paris.

After the presentations of the three candidate cities, two rounds of voting began. In the first round Rio got 85 votes, against Melbourne’s 73 votes and Paris’ 44 votes. In the second round Rio beat Melbourne with 107 votes against 95. 

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The Berlage Archive: Stefano Boeri (2001)

ArchDaily has teamed up with the The Berlage to provide exclusive access to their newly digitized archive of lectures. The Berlage is a postgraduate international institute where some of the world’s most renowned architects, thinkers, designers, photographers and other professionals come to share, exchange and critically reflect upon their ideas. Over the last 23 years, The Berlage has built up an extensive archive of seminal lectures. Thanks to this partnership we can now share them with you. ArchDaily is committed to providing inspiration and knowledge to architects all over the world, so please look forward to monthly publications of these lectures during the coming year.

What is Europe’s new role in a globalized, post-terrorist world? In this lecture from 2001, Italian architect Stefano Boeri meditates on the intersection of socialism, urbanism and globalization in a world still reeling from the attacks on September 11th, which had occurred just months prior. ”Multiplicity,” he explains, is about creating an opportunity to discuss the myriad of components affecting the all-encompassing world of architecture. Boeri paints his ideas in broad strokes, punctuating with specific examples of social uprising as catalysts for movements within architecture.

“Europe cannot be read as geographical or geopolitical environment” says Boeri, “it has a history of mobile borders.” In a world turned upside down by a new culture of terrorism, Boeri delves into the traveling museum exhibition as a worldwide vehicle for research, discussion and progress. Referencing his research on in “Mutations” with Rem Koolhaas, Boeri places architecture on the leading edge of societal progress, as typified in his later project Bosco Verticale in Milan.

Check out the other lectures in The Berlage Archive series

Galvanizing a Legacy: FAT’s Final Built Work is Unveiled

© Dave King / Channel 4 Television

The scaffolding has come down, revealing the first glimpse of FAT‘s extraordinary A House For . Designed in collaboration with British ceramic artist Grayson Perry and commissioned by Alain de Botton’s alternative holiday rental project Living Architecture, the house will be the final built work that FAT complete. The bejewelled two bedroom dwelling, topped with a shimmering golden copper alloy roof and clad in glinting green and white tiles, sits in the rolling landscape of Essex – Charles Holland (FAT) and Perry’s home county. Adorned with sculptures integrated into a wider narrative that spatially recounts the life of a fictional character called Julie, the barn-like shape, bold colours and decoration has not simply garnered widespread attention but has also captured people’s curiosity.

Find out more about the project in an interview with the architect after the break.

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Gehry on Art, Curvy Walls and “Jumping Off the Cliff”

Gehry’s Guggenheim Bilbao maybe incredibly sculptural – but apparently it isn’t sculpture. Image © Peter Knaup

When someone is in the public eye as much as Frank Gehry, it’s easy for them to be misrepresented in the media. Fortunately, this interview by Architectural Record’s editor-in-chief Cathleen McGuigan sets the record straight: Gehry doesn’t consider himself as an artist, and he doesn’t think of architecture as sculpture (despite what he once said). He is however hugely influenced by the way artists work, inventing ways to make things when it might otherwise be thought impossible. That’s why he’s always the one to “jump off the cliff”, as he puts it. You can read the full here.

Richard Levy Gallery Hatches Architectural Birdhouse Competition

Natural Habitat 67? Fieldworks’ 2010 “Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven” offers birds and insects a place to stay. Image © Fieldworks

Do you have design skills to crow about? Well the Richard Levy Gallery in Albuquerque wants to hear from you – to raise money for the National Audubon Society (the US partner of Birdlife International), they’ve organized NEST, a birdhouse design competition open to architects worldwide which they hope will result in some birdhouses to coo over.

Hopeful architects have until October 15th to submit their designs. The best submissions will be displayed in the gallery for a month, before being auctioned in March 2015 to raise money for charity. Visit the competition website for more details on how to enter.

Can Buildings Make Us Healthier?

Staircases at Wieden+Kennedy NY by WORKac. Image © Bruce Damonte

Since we spend most of our waking hours in buildings, shouldn’t they be designed to encourage a healthy lifestyle? It turns out there are many ways in which architects can design spaces that encourage us to exercise as part of our daily routine. Likewise there are many design features that often dissuade people from physical activity. For example, while a dark or secluded staircase may be off-putting, centrally located and open staircases tend to be used even more than elevators. Find out how buildings can serve as our personal trainers in this article from Fast Co. Design, “How To Keep Our Buildings From Making Us Fat.”

JAJA Designs “Park ‘N’ Play” Parking Garage in Copenhagen

Exterior View. Image © JAJA Architects

With the intention of creating a beautiful public space from what is usually one-function building, JAJA architects are redefining what a parking deck can be. Their recent competition entry for a parking garage in the city of Nordhavn, Copenhagen is an inviting structure that incorporates green facades and a rooftop playground, making full use of its placement in an up-and-coming urban neighborhood. Read all about the aptly named “Park ‘N’ Play”, after the break.

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“Moskva: Urban Space” Investigates the Future of Moscow’s Public Realm at the 2014 Venice Biennale

© Patricia Parinejad

In their collateral event for the debut of the pavilion at the Venice Biennale, the exhibition “Moskva: urban space“ explores the historic development of public spaces and examines the city’s progress in the context of Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s winning proposal for Zaryadye Park. Curated by Sergey Kuznetsov, Chief Architect of Moscow together with Kristin Kristin Feireiss from AEDES, and organized by MCA – Moscow Committee of Architecture and Urban Development, the exhibition comes at a pivotal moment in determining the future of urban development in Moscow. As Kuznetsov states, “While the face of Moscow in the past 100 years was largely determined by the architecture of its buildings, representing political and economic developments, today’s urban singularity is based on the “connective fabric” of its public spaces that have become equally important identity-makers and contributes significantly to improving the quality of urban life for its citizens.” To see photos of the exhibition by Patricia Parinejad and learn more about the story behind it, continue reading after the break.

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Could a Window Office Help You Sleep Better?

Generous office windows such as in The Lantern by zigzag architecture might actually help you sleep at night. Image © Julien Lanoo

Having an office with a view may be more than just a symbol of seniority. New findings show that there are public health benefits associated with working by a Fast Co Design reports. An interdisciplinary group of architects and medical researchers compared workers exposed to natural light with those who aren’t, and found that window workers sleep, on average, 46 minutes more a night. They also scored better on self-report health and sleep surveys. Learn more about the study in the full article, “Workers in Windowless Offices Lose 46 Minutes of Sleep a Night,” at Fast Co Design and start convincing your boss that it’s time you had a window office!

Will Alsop Designs Apartment Tower on Stilts for London’s South Bank

Courtesy of

Led by Will Alsop, aLL Design’s funky apartment tower will soon add a whole lot of interest to London’s south bank. The tubular building, which tapers at the bottom and top, will rise above an existing four-storey building on purple stilts and be adorned with corten steel cladding, brightly colored balconies, and irregular rounded windows. Each apartment will include two balconies overlooking the River Thames and the neighboring heliport – bringing about the name “Heliport Heights.” To learn more about the lively design, keep reading after the break.

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Junya Ishigami to Install “Cloud Arch” in Downtown Sydney

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Set to be installed over a set of light rail tracks, Junya Ishigami’s Cloud Arch will soon be one of the biggest landmarks in downtown Sydney.  Commissioned by ’s public art program, City Art, the arch will symbolize ’s qualities of being “Green, Global, and Connected.” Over 50 meters high, it will change shape as viewer’s walk past it. Cloud Arch will act as both a gateway for the pedestrian George Street, and a defining feature of the city.

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Fourteen Tower Proposals Unveiled for Controversial Brooklyn Bridge Park Development

S9 Architecture’s proposal. Image Courtesy of Park Corporation via Architects Newspaper

New York City have released images of fourteen tower proposals as part of a controversial scheme to bring  to the 85 acre Brooklyn Bridge Park, originally designed by Michael van Valkenburgh and realised in 2004. The schemes, designed to be located on “two coveted development sites” on Pier 6, have been actively met with strong opposition from local community members. The park and surrounding area has seen a number of interesting recent regeneration proposals, from an 11,000ft² beach beneath the Brooklyn Bridge to a triangular pier proposed by BIG. Read on to see the proposals in detail, including those by AsymptotePelli Clarke Pelli, Davis Brody Bond, and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG).

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Urban Intervention Winners Built in Abrantes, Portugal for Canal 180’s Creative Camp

"The 12 Thousand Pairs of Shoes From Abrantes" by Victor Lledó Garcia, Juan José Pérez Moncho and Mateo Fernández-Muro. Image Courtesy of

Twelve thousand pairs of shoes and stacked, rotating geometric forms were installed in the city centre of Abrantes, Portugal from July 13th-20th. The installations were the two winning projects of ’s 180 Creative Camp 2014, which was designed by the country’s Canal 180 to promote Urban Interventions Projects.

The competition received 72 entries from 18 countries and was created in partnership with Archdaily, Canal 180, and the Municipality of Abrantes. The contest ran until June 8th with a jury that included Archdaily Executive Editor Becky Quintal, the Executive Director of Canal 180, and the President of the Municipality of Abrantes. The two winning projects each received 2,500 Euros to realize and install their work in Abrantes.

See photos and read more about the winning projects of 180 Creative Camp after the break.

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Free CAD Files of 241 Major World Cities

Image of the layers in the file via bdon.org

Creating designs for cities all over the planet may have just gotten a whole lot easier – thanks to Brandon Liu, a Software Developer from San Francisco who used data from OpenStreetMap to create .DXF CAD files of 241 major cities worldwide. These files are entirely free to download, and from San Francisco to Sydney, Buenos Aires to Beijing and Helsinki to Harare, most of the world’s major cities are included.

The files do have some limitations, due to the way they were converted from online data (perhaps the most limiting is that roads are only marked by a single line), however the files give information on roads categorized from major to minor, buildings, railways, parks and bodies of water, with each element given its own layer on the drawing.

Check out the links to all 241 files after the break, and visit Liu’s website here for more information.

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Introducing the DEAD Prize: Recognizing the Worst in Design

Numerous awards recognize innovative, forward-thinking and environmentally-friendly design, yet there is no way to recognize projects that are harming the environment or detrimental to the planet – until now. Created by Cameron Sinclair, one of the co-founders of Architecture for Humanity and current Executive Director of the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, the recently launched “DEAD Prize” seeks to highlight projects that have a negative impact on the planet, with the aim of inspiring designers to “see these failures as a challenge to create something new, to correct the mistakes of the past or to find the antidote for the project in question.” Tweet your nominations for the prize to @deadprize by November 1 and learn more about this tongue-in-cheek award at the DEAD Prize website.

Performance Space: Marina Abramović at the Serpentine Gallery

© Marco Anelli

One of the latest installations at London’s Serpentine Gallery, where Smiljan Radic recently unveiled an ethereal pavilion, is Marina Abramović’s performance entitled 512 Hours. Creating what has been described as “the simplest of settings” in one of the gallery’s large spaces, the artwork employs Abramović’s most frequently used material: herself. Coupled with the audience and a selection of common objects, the constantly changing sequence of events on display is the very first live installation by the artist displayed in the UK. Upon arrival, visitors are asked leave their baggage (including mobile phones, cameras and any other electronic equipment) behind in order to enter the exhibition. Find out more about what you can expect from it here.

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Inside “Arctic Adaptations” – Special Mention Winner at the Venice Biennale 2014

UPDATE: Our with is now up!

For this year’s Venice Biennale, the Canadian Pavilion explored the ways modernity was absorbed in the extreme environment of Nunavut, Canada. As Nunavut is the newest, northernmost, and largest territory (with an area of over 2 million square kilometers) in Canada, Lateral Office hoped to shed on light on what Mason White called “modernity at an edge.” Wowing the jury with their research and design, Arctic Adaptaptions: Nunavut at 15 garnered Mason White, Lola Sheppard, Matthew Spremulli, and their team a Special Mention during Saturday’s awards ceremony.

The geographic and cultural “edgeness” of Nunavut is examined over different parts of the exhibition in three mediums: a recent past, a current present and a near future. Matthew Spremulli explained that Arctic Adaptions sought to “look beyond standards” to see how the fundamentals of architecture are impacted in an area like Nunavut. Given the specific and acutely unique challenges to building and designing in an environment that, understandably, resists being colonized by southern models, the curators presented a case for adaptation.

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