3D Printing Pen Turns Sketches Into Reality In Seconds

The 3Doodler isn’t just a small pen-like device that’s “the most affordable way to 3D print” – it’s also a Kickstarter smash. The pen reached its $30,000 goal in just a few hours, and, at the time of publication, has earned $555,301.

We’ve mentioned before for its exciting potential for architecture in the long-term; however, this little doodler shows how quickly the technology is progressing (and how cheap it’s becoming). Plus, it’s easy to imagine the 3Doodler becoming an integral part of any architect’s life, as the device lets you trace your drawings and then pop them to life. It’s not a 2D plan, it’s not a 3D visualization, but something – awesomely – in between. 

Learn more about this 3-D Printing Kickstarter success, after the break…

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The Countries Where Demand for Architects Outstrips Supply

While The WA100, Building Design’s annual ranking of the world’s largest architecture firms, isn’t perfect (see our controversial article here), it does reveal a lot about the state of architecture today. And for 2013, the research shows that there are finally brighter days ahead for architects – just not at home.

BD’s research reveals that China remains the world’s largest construction market (a title it’s held since 2010); that the Asia-Pacific Market is expected to be the largest by 2020 (with projected value of $4.6 trillion dollars); and that China, India, and Brazil offer the best growth potential for architectural services. Not surprisingly, the survey’s top three ranking firms – Aecom, Gensler, and IBI Group – all have a significant presence in these markets.

However, are these mega-firms really the best models to aspire to? With the economic crisis making it everyday more evident that there are more opportunities abroad than at home, where is a firm to go? China? India? Brazil?

Almost certainly not.

Find out whether/where you should go abroad, after the break… 

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Estonian Young Architect Award 2012: Veronika Valk

Heldur Meerits, Veronika Valk and President Ilves

Back in January, I had the opportunity to be part of the jury for the Young Architect Award in , which was officially announced by the President of , Mr. Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the past Thursday Feb 14th in Tallinn, at the annual meeting of the Union of Estonian Architects .

The objective of the award is to encourage innovative and creative thinking by young minds, and it gives the winner the chance to travel anywhere in the world, giving the opportunity to expand their vision and contribute back to the development of the country.

During the process I had the chance to learn more about the new generation of Estonian architecture after reviewing the works and trajectory of the 8 shortlisted young architects, a generation with very diverse backgrounds and projects, but with one thing in common: a commitment to open up architecture and make it part of the larger public.

This year the ward went to Veronika Valk, who was recognized for her built work and her efforts to raise awareness around architecture (organizing international lectures, workshops, writing articles, and more). More about Veronika and the award after the break:

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Four Renowned Practices Battle it Out to Design Sydney’s Next “Masterpiece”

Artist impression for Barangaroo Central’s current master planning competition (click image for more) © Barangaroo Delivery Authority

Four of architecture’s finest has been shortlisted to design what Australian businessman James Packer hopes to be the most iconic building in Sydney since the Opera House. Italian Pritzker Prize-laureate Renzo Piano will compete against Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, New York-based Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and London-based Wilkinson Eyre Architects to design a $1 billion, six-star Crown Sydney on a 6000 square meter site in the inner-city waterfront precinct of Barangaroo.

“Sydney deserves one of the world’s best hotels and with these amazing architects I’m confident we will see the most iconic building constructed here since the Opera House,” Packer told The Daily Telegraph. “I want this hotel resort to be instantly recognizable around the world and feature on postcards and memorabilia promoting Sydney. That’s how you attract international tourists, create jobs and put Sydney on the map.”

More after the break…

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Arup Envisions the Skyscrapers of 2050

Courtesy of Arup

It is estimated that by 2050, 75 percent of the worlds – then 9 billion strong – population will live in cities. Urban Sprawl is already problematic and planners are faced with new challenges as they aim to build towards the sky rather than the horizon. In addition, cities are increasingly faced with climate change, resource scarcity, rising energy costs, and the possibility of future natural or man-made disasters. In response to these issues, Arup has proposed their vision of an urban building and city of the future.

In their proposal, titled “It’s Alive!”, they imagine an urban ecosystem of connected ‘living’ buildings, that not only create space, but also craft the environment. According to Arup, buildings of the future will not only produce energy and food, but will also provide its occupants with clean air and water.

More info on Arup’s vision after the break…

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The 5 Best Architectural Partners of 2012

Kurilpa Bridge / Cox Rayner Architects with , who came in as the #1 Service Engineer preferred by Architects. Image © Christopher Frederick Jones

While Building Design’s WA 100 is far better known for its ranking of the 100 largest architecture firms, the publication (which you can find here) also includes a lot of other rankings/information - like this gem. Architects’ favorite professional associates in five categories – from building contractors to structural engineers. 

While some familiar names grace the list (Arup comes in at number 1 for Service Engineers), we felt the list was a great way to spotlight many companies whose work seldom goes acknowledged (and without whom, the architecture we love would never come into being).

Check out the best architectural partners of 2012, after the break…

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The Indicator: Craft in the Digital Age

DRL10 [C'] Space Pavilion by Synthesis + Architecture in collaboration with Alan Dempsey. Image, SDA
A few weeks ago there was a flurry of debate about one of Zaha Hadid’s designs being copied, or at least copied in terms of its outer form. Very soon after this I discovered an interesting article in the most recent issue of MIT’s Leonardo: Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology.The article, “Hybrid Reassemblage: An Exploration of Craft, Digital Fabrication and Artifact Uniqueness” by Amit Zoran and Leah Buechley, raises some interesting points about the nature of originality, the subjective experience of making original things, and the potential for digital technology to impute this subjectivity to new and repeatable objects. In essence, the authors are discussing the position of craft, the hand-made, the personal, subjective act of making something that is singular and based on a personal process, the negotiation of decisions and risks with tools, materials, and design intentions.

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City Design Panel Endorses BIG’s Mixed-Use Vancouver Tower

Courtesy of BIG

A BIG step forward for Vancouver’s latest mixed-use tower making international headlines, as the 497-foot tall Beach and Howe proposal has received an “enthusiastic endorsement” from the city’s design panel.

Commissioned by Canada’s real estate mogul Ian Gillespie of Westbank, the Bjarke Ingles Group-designed tower promises to add a foreign twist to Vancouver’s skyline and create a new identity for an undefined section of town at the fringe of the city’s area. The 700,000 square foot complex – which contains shopping, social housing and market rental apartments – was praised by the panel for anchoring itself on a nine-story podium that occupies the disused, interstitial spaces found between the Granville Street Bridge’s entry and exit ramps.

More after the break…

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Ezra Stoller: Beyond Architecture

McMath Solar Telescope, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Kitt Peak, AZ, 1962 Gelatin Silver Print © Ezra Stoller, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery,

Now on view at the Yossi Milo Gallery through March 2, rarely-seen images by modernist architectural photographer Ezra Stroller (American, 1915-2004) captures a Post-War American with stunning images of industry, technology, transportation and working class Americans. 

Beyond Architecture covers the full range of Stoller’s work, including photographs commissioned by Fortune, Architectural Forum, and House Beautiful magazines in the 1940s and for commercial projects for IBM, Upjohn Pharmaceuticals and CBS in the 1940s and 1950s. Included are photographs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s John Hancock Building, Chicago, and the United Nations Headquarters, designed by an international team of architects led by Wallace K. Harrison and including Oscar Niemeyer and Le Corbusier.

A selection of these images after the break…

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Developing Adaptable Housing for the Elderly and a Path to Sustainability

Maxwan Architects + Urbanists

In recent years there has been a lot of talk in the United States about our aging population, mostly in terms of social security funds and medicare.  We have asked how we should deal with the impending problem that our elderly will outnumber the population that will serve as their caretakers.  While speculations for a solution have generally settled within the realm of the economy, urban planners and architects are asking a different set of questions and looking for solutions regarding how we .  It is important to note, that while most of the discussion has been framed about the aging “baby-boomer” generation, Jack Rowe – speaking at the symposium for Designing Homes and Neighborhoods for an Aging Population in Washington, DC - pointed out that this concern is a conservative estimate of the bigger problem in our “demographic transformation”.  In fact, the trend is far more expansive; medical advancements and a longer life expectancy mean that for the next few generations each aging population is expected to outlive its parents and will exceed the population of its children.  This makes the issue at hand a more over-arching concern, or as Rowe later states, an issue that all members of society must face.

This is why we must think about architecture and urban planning in terms of adaptability for the aging, as we have already starting thinking about it in terms of handicapped accessibility.

More after the break…

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Winners of the ArchDaily 2012 Building of the Year Awards

Over the last year ArchDaily has kept growing, reaching more than 280,000 daily readers and 70 million pageviews per month. But more important than these figures is our mission: to provide inspiration, knowledge and tools for the architects that will face the challenge of improving the quality of life of the next 3 billion people that will live in cities in the next 40 years.

After 70,000 votes we are happy to present the winners of the ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards, a peer based, crowdsourced, architecture award where a collective intelligence of thousands of architects filter and recognise the best architecture featured on AD during the past year.

This group of buildings is unique in several aspects, from their spatial qualities to their structures and materials, but also in terms of what they represent for society and their impact on local communities. Thanks for being a part of this amazing process, where the voices of architects from around the world unite into one, strong, intelligent, forward-thinking, single message.

You can learn more about the process and the physical award in this video.

The practice with most votes, and therefore winner of the HP Designjet T520 ePrinter is TYIN Tegnestue Arkitekter; the second practice with most votes and winner of the HP Designjet T120 ePrinter is Vo Trong Nghia. The winners of the iPad 4th Generation are Francesca Cattaneo and Laurie Sims.

Building of the Year Awards: The making of

The winners of the ArchDaily 2012 Building of the Year Awards have been announced!

Once again we want to congratulate our readers, as the process has been outstanding. From close to 3,000 projects, the collective intelligence behind has been able to filter a list of amazing finalists, buildings from all over the world, by firms of all sizes and trajectories, with a strong common denominator: good architecture that can improve people’s lives.

As the world enters into the hyper urbanization era, our profession becomes crucial. We are proud to be the channel to spread architectural knowledge around the world and, with your help, recognise the buildings that raise the bar in the built world.

In this short video we wanted to share the spirit of the award, the judges and the wooden ArchDaily building crafted with salvaged wood from the deep south of the world, the award that will be sent to all the winning practices as in the previous years .

Thanks to all the practices that share their work with us, and thank you for being part of this amazing process.

Preservationists Surrender to Hopeless Battle for Prentice

© C. William Brubaker via Flickr user UIC Digital Collections

In response to the Commission on Landmarks’ decision to reject landmark status to Prentice Woman’s Hospital for the second time in three months, the two preservationist groups challenging the City of have withdrawn their lawsuits. This eliminates the last barrier standing in Northwestern University’s way to demolish the historic, Bertrand Goldberg structure for a new biomedical research facility.

“We felt that we had done as much as we possibly could to demonstrate the significance of the building and ways to reuse,” stated Christina Morris, a senior field officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “We just couldn’t see that we’d have any other outcome.”

For many, this news is disheartening as architects and preservationists from around the globe have fought in solidarity for much of the past year in an attempt to illustrate the importance of this one-of-a-kind structure.

More after the break…

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East River Blueway Plan / WXY Studio: New York City’s Plan for Flood Barrier Along East River

East River Blueway Plan / WXY Studio

The City of has long awaited renovations to the East River Greenway. Squeezed between the FDR Drive to the west and the river to East, there are a few scattered public parks connected by a path that has been weathered and torn apart over the years. The proposed “Blueway” is a coordinated collaboration – between Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Community Boards 3 and 6, State Assembly Member Brian Kavanaugh, and ’s WXY architecture and - that takes suggestions from the general public to develop a scheme that works within the framework of the existing Greenway and provides specific sites waterfront access, development of wetlands and greater connectivity to the city and its waterways.

The stretch along the Greenway, which is the focus of WXY’s scheme, runs from Midtown East at 38th street to the Brooklyn Bridge. Running along the FDR, this area expands towards the river and finds its way under the highway’s overpass. Unlike the Hudson River Parkway along the West Side Highway, the East River Greenway has meager waterfront access and few piers to facilitate its development.  A study, executed by several city departments in 2011, determined ways to improve amenities along the Greenway and proposed incorporating elements such as ambient lighting and street furniture.  Now the focus has shifted to the river itself to determine ways in which to increase its usability and accessibility   After Hurricane Sandy revealed the vulnerability of the hard edge of the East River, these same design considerations are now being used to create a resistant and effective buffer against future storm surges.

See what’s happening at the East River Blueway Plan after the break. (more…)

How Much Power Should The Public Have In Design Competitions?

Courtesy of ROTHELOWMAN

The ongoing competition for the redevelopment of the landmark Flinders Street Station in , Australia has begun to raise some serious questions about the role of the public in architecture. The international competition, which narrowed down a total of 117 applicants to only 6 finalists, is due for completion in mid-2013. Each proposal will be put on display and the public will be invited to vote on their favorite design; what is raising eyebrows, however, is that the result of this public vote will be kept from the jury, who has the final say. The jury will not know what the public likes or dislikes when they place their own votes, and the public preference will only be revealed at the very end along with the jury’s decision. 

Although there are pros and cons for keeping this information from the jury members, some Australians feel very strongly about their station - and you can certainly argue that they should have a greater say in its future.

Read more about public participation in architecture after the break… 

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The B-Side: The Zaha/Gaga Divide

Gem Barton, based in Brighton, England, is a writer, academic lecturer, curator and designer. As a regular contributor to journals and magazines such as Mark, Blueprint, Bureau and Inhabitat she explores and share her passion for architecture and . Gem’s column ‘The B-Side’ will look at the alternatives to architectural traditions and explore what it means to be knee-deep in the 21st century  world. Follow her @gem_shandy

Allow me to make an unlikely comparison of two powerhouses: Zaha Hadid (62) and, bear with me now, Lady Gaga (26). Both are breaking the mold with their unique aesthetics; both are at the top of their respective industries; both are commercial successes. However, there is one undeniable difference: it only took the world a few years to recognize Lady Gaga and for her to skyrocket to fame. It has taken Dame Hadid the better part of three decades to receive a comparative level of acclaim.  Is it fair to compare successful architects and super songstresses? In an architectural world where we are faced daily by terms such as ‘celebrity’ and ‘starchitect’ it may well be time to look deeper into the matter.

Read more about what architecture could learn from the Music Industry, after the break… 

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For the Love of Stairs

Apartament P1 / MAP/MX

On this day of love, we bring you a compilation of eye candy capable of meeting or exceeding the specifications of any architect. These seductive staircases demand a double take. From curvaceous to straightforward or no-strings-attached (literally), we’ve got something for everyone.

They’re yours to gaze at after the break.

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Herzog & de Meuron’s Elbphilharmonie to be Completed by 2017

© Martin Wippel

Sitting idle since November 2011, Herzog & de Meuron’s long-running Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg, Germany, has left residents wondering when will the music ever begin?

First envisioned back in 2003, the enormous crystalline glass structure stands nearly complete on top a historic warehouse on the edge of the River Elbe. Rising costs, delayed schedules and legal issues with the contractor, have plagued this magnificent concert hall with controversy. However, according a report in the German news magazine Der Spiegel, contractor Hochtief has initiated a new deal to ensure the completion of the building.

A revised contract, which is expect to adjust the architect’s fee’s to €94 million (€17 million over the original project cost), has projected Elbphilharmonie will be completed within the next four years. The news is bittersweet, as the architectural community and the residents of have been waiting years for this highly anticipated concert hall to be complete, yet they cringe at the news of an overblown €575 million price tag.

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