Happy Birthday to Us: ArchDaily Turns 7

Dear Readers,

Seven years ago today was launched, carrying on its shoulders a responsibility: with 3 billion people expected to move into cities in the next four decades, we wanted to provide inspiration, knowledge and tools to the architects who design for them. Seven years later, and these lofty goals seem to have struck a chord worldwide, and we are now the world’s most visited architecture website, reaching over 350,000 readers every day through our international website but also through four local versions: Plataforma Arquitectura, ArchDaily BrasilArchDaily México, and ArchDaily Colombia, with more still to come.

To celebrate these seven years, we’ve whipped up a special version of our logo (see above), an infographic telling our story from those very early days, and a rundown of the most popular project from each of the last seven years.

And of course, we’d like to thank you, our readers, for your support and engagement over the years. From sharing our posts on social media to providing insightful thoughts in the comments section, you have helped to make ArchDaily everything it is today, and helped to bring our mission into focus. Our readers have meant everything to us for seven years, and we’d love to hear what ArchDaily means to its readers. Please let us know in the comments!

Have a very happy ArchDaily birthday!

The ArchDaily Team

Spotlight: Luis Barragán

Courtesy of casaluisbarragan.org

“The Art of Seeing. It is essential to an architect to know how to see: I mean, to see in such a way that the vision is not overpowered by rational analysis.” – Luis Barragán

One of ’s greatest architects, Luis Ramiro Barragán Morfín (March 9, 1902 – November 22, 1988) revolutionized modern architecture in the country with his use of bright colors reminiscent of the traditional architecture of Mexico, and with works such as his Casa Barragán, the Chapel of the Capuchinas, the Torres de Satélite, “Los Clubes” (Cuadra San Cristobal and Fuente de los Amantes), and the Casa Gilardi, among many others.

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Belatchew Arkitekter’s “HagaTwist” to be Built in Stockholm

Courtesy of Belatchew Arkitekter

Named for its location at the intersection of Vasastaden and “the Haga city” of , Belatchew Arkitekter‘s “HagaTwist” has been selected by Atrium Ljungberg as the winner of an invited architectural competition for the construction of a public building in Stockholm. Envisioned as a “meeting place” for visitors, workers, and locals alike, the project will feature a flexible program and incorporate a restaurant and rooftop terrace.

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Architects’ Propose Flexible Art Pavilion for Singapore

Courtesy of

This active multi-use pavilion by Bence Pap and Parsa Khalili took second prize in the OUE Artling ArchiPavilion Design Competition in Singapore. Designed around the principles of continuity and flexibility, the Artling Pavilion provides an adaptable space that accommodates evolving programs and ensures constant adherence to the occupants’ needs.

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Winners of d3 Unbuilt Visions 2014 Competition Announced

Grand Prize: ‘Radical Conservation: A Hyper-Cathedral in Strasbourg’ / Simon Oudiette. Image Courtesy of d3

Three grand prize winners and seven special mention recipients of d3′s Unbuilt Visions 2014 (UV2014) competition have been revealed. Open to professionals and students alike, the annual competition challenges participants to use stellar unbuilt concepts as vessels for conversation. Spanning the realm of architecture, urbanism, interiors, and designed objects, recognizes projects that spark interdisciplinary debate and exploit the innovative spirit of the 21st Century.

Learn more about UV2014 and check out the winning projects, after the break.

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This Plastic Bottle House Turns Trash into Affordable Housing in Nigeria

YouTube Preview Image

In the United States alone, more than 125 million plastic bottles are discarded each day, 80 percent of which end up in a landfill. This waste could potentially be diverted and used to construct nearly 10,000, 1200-square-foot homes (taking in consideration it takes an average of 14,000 plastic bottles to build a home that size). Many believe this process could be a viable option for affordable housing and even help solve .

The idea isn’t new. In Nigeria, the plastic bottle house has proven to be a success, turning trash into an affordable (and beautiful) housing material. By packing plastic bottles with soil or sand, and then stacking and bounding them with mud and string, one can build an earthquake-proof home that is 18 times stronger than regular bricks. Watch the video about to learn more.

Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY Installations Transform INRIA

© Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY – Sous Tension

Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY has realized two permanent installations – “Under Stress” and “Sous Tension” – in the public areas of the Department of Computer Science at the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA). Both structures “utilize programming techniques inherent in computer science to optimize the form and creating a pattern on the surface.”

“The structures engage the spaces with their intricate and gestural movements that effortlessly travel over the areas,” says the practice. “They provide visitors with iconic hubs for informal and spontaneous social gatherings while expressing the tension between the dynamic interactions from the multi-directional and converging paths within the public spaces. More than a signal for the school, they become elements of enhancement for the school’s identity.”

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Preservationists Lose Battle to Save Orange County Government Center

© Matthew Carbone for Architect Magazine

Yesterday Orange County legislators decided to “take no action” against blocking the “destructive” rebuild of Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center. The plan, deemed by architecture critic Michael Kimmelman to be “vandalism,” will remove one of the building’s three sections and replace it with a “big, soulless glass box.”

The 44-year-old brutalist landmark has been the center of a preservation debate for years; lawmakers argue that the building is “not easy to love” and expensive to maintain, while preservationists declare the building is an important piece of modern history and blame its state of disrepair on neglect. The council vetoed an offer last summer to allow a New York architect to purchase the property and transform it into artist studios. More on the decision, and more of Matthew Carbone’s images for Architect Magazine, after the break.

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Dubai’s Museum of the Future to be Partially 3-D Printed

© Government

“See the future, create the future,” this is the motto of Dubai’s newly unveiled “Museum of the Future.” The metallic oblong-structure, planned for a corner lot in Dubai’s central financial district  next to the Emirates Towers on Sheikh Zayed Road, is said to become “an incubator for ideas and real designs, a driver for innovation and a global destination for inventors and entrepreneurs.”

“The world is entering a new era of accelerated knowledge and great technological revolutions,” tweeted United Arab Emirates prime minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. “We aim to lead in that era, not to follow and lag behind. The Museum of the Future is the first step of many to come, marking the beginning of great achievements.”

Holograms, robotics and 3-D printing will play a crucial role in the structure’s realization. Learn more and watch a video fly-through the building after the break.

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Shortlist Announced For 2015 RIBA London Awards

Shortlisted: Great James Street / Emrys Architects. Image © Alan Williams

A total of 68 buildings have been shortlisted for RIBA London 2015 Awards, featuring buildings by AHMM, dRMM, John McAslan + Partners and Grimshaw, to Níall McLaughlin Architects, Eric Parry Architects, and Rogers Stirk Harbour. Winning projects from last year included three Stirling Prize shortlisted projects, as well as another by Haworth Tompkins who ultimately took the prize in 2014 for the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool. All shortlisted buildings will now be assessed by a regional jury. Regional winners will then be considered for a RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, the results of which will place some projects in the running for the 2015 .

See the complete list of shortlisted projects after the break.

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Stereotank’s HeartBeat Transformed into Times Square HeartSeat

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Stereotank’s HeartBeat filled the air in Times Square this past Valentine’s Day. Now that the love season is over, the Brooklyn-based practice has turned their clever into a welcoming “HeartSeat” by simply opening up their heart-shaped sculpture to the public and transforming it into a bench. The will remain on view through Sunday, March 8th. See a video of HeartSeat, after the break.

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KANVA Wins RAIC 2015 Emerging Architectural Practice Award

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A Montreal-based practice known for their experimental material use and building methods, KANVA has been selected to receive the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s (RAIC) 2015 Emerging Architectural Practice Award. The 10-person collective was lauded by the jury for “always looking to the future” and being “continually and consistently innovative.”

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Coop Himmelb(l)au’s Musée des Confluences Through the Lens of Edmund Sumner

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Edmund Sumner has shared with us images from his recent visit to Lyon, France, where he photographed Coop Himmelb(l)au’s newly completed Musée des Confluences. Perched on a century-old artificial peninsula at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, the “museum of knowledge,” as Coop Himmelb(l)au affectionately refers to it, is distinct for its “iconic gateway” – an openly traversable “Crystal” that provides multi-level access to the museum’s exhibition spaces and views of the building’s unique context. Step inside, after the break.

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Free Online Architecture and Design Courses

Courtesy of shutterstock.com

Thanks to the increasing popularity of massive open online courses — or MOOCs as they’re commonly referred to — learning has never been easier (or more convenient). Sites like Coursera and edX offer free classes online from accredited and well-known universities across the globe, including Harvard, MIT and the University of Hong Kong. While some classes are more structured and include a set lesson plan, homework assignments, quizzes and the option to receive a certificate at the end, others can be set at your own pace and approached more independently.

Following our wildly popular article on Four Ways to Learn About Architecture for Free, we’ve compiled a list of upcoming online classes related to architecture, engineering, urbanism and design. So whether you’re looking to embark on a new topic or dive deeper into an already familiar subject, take a look at these free online courses after the break.

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“A Truman Show-Style Nightmare”? Critics React to BIG and Heatherwick’s Designs for Google

© Google / BIG / Heatherwick Studio

In their designs for Google’s new headquarters, released last week amid much excitement, Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick have taken cues from the utopian visions of the past to create a radical solution for the sprawling tech campus in Mountain View, California. Citing the lack of identifiable architecture in the technology sector, a promotional video on Google’s own blog reveals how the company plans to embrace nature, community, and flexibility with the new scheme.

Chief among the company’s concerns was creating a building capable of adapting to future uses in addition to serving as a neighborhood-enhancing environment to welcome visitors from the surrounding community. As with any news related to Google, the design has already attracted the attention of the media – read on after the break for our rundown of the most salient reviews so far.

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KM 429 Chosen to Design Isola Garibaldi Civic Center in Milan

Courtesy of KM 429 architecture

The first-place competition winner from KM 429 architecture, this proposal for the Isola Garibaldi Civic Center draws inspiration from Milan’s historic architectural tradition superimposed within the modern urban context. Through its refusal to be monumentalized, the Civic Center generates a new language within its neighborhood and looks to the city’s past to create a vital civic architecture to serve present, and future, needs.

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Michael Kimmelman Discusses The Importance Of Advocacy In Architectural Criticism

Michael Kimmelman. Image © Matej Stransky

In an interview with Erika Allen for The Times, Michael Kimmelman discusses “architecture criticism and the dangers of .” Kimmelman, the NYT’s architecture critic, has built a reputation as someone who advocates for buildings under threat, his most well known “fight” being against renovation plans drawn up by Foster + Partners for the New York Public Library in Manhattan. Referencing his latest column, in which he shows support for the threatened Orange County Government Centre, Kimmelman elaborates on his critical position and why he believes that speaking out for buildings at risk is ”necessary.”

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Open Call: The Negro Building Remembrance Competition

Negro Building via Bustler

The Negro Building Remembrance Competition invites architects, landscape architects, artists, playwrights, poets, musicians and writers from every discipline, as individuals, teams, students or professionals, to propose imaginative ways to commemorate the Negro Building, the forgotten landmark of the 1895 Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia.

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