AD Interviews: Peter Cook / CRAB Studio

Having taught architecture for almost fifty years, Sir Peter Cook has seen generations of architects go from student to high-profile practitioner. In almost half a century, though, architecture education has not particularly moved on: “I don’t see the general situation as being any more progressive than it was when I was a student,” he says.

Cook tells ArchDaily that instead of focusing on curriculum, structure and countless other preoccupations of many schools, “my experience is that doesn’t matter, it depends who’s teaching and how enthusiastic they are and whether they understand people,” adding that “a really good architecture school is like a village,” with tutors who simply don’t go home because they are enjoying it so much (or perhaps for other, less innocent reasons).

In addition, Cook also explains that there is potential for a radical shift in the understanding of , so that we think of it not only as a route into an architectural career, but rather as a route into a whole host of other . ”I know people who have science degrees but they actually organize railways,” he says. “There’s a role for a wing of architectural education at a certain point to take off and say, ‘that person is never going to design buildings, but a certain form of architectural education can enable them to look at the world in more depth.’”

(more…)

Travel Diary: Álvaro Siza and Carlos Castanheira by Fernando Guerra

About one month ago, three major figures in Portuguese architecture – Pritzker Laureate Álvaro Siza, architect Carlos Castanheira and one of today’s most prominent architectural photographers, Fernando Guerra -  began an uncommon adventure.

During 22 days the architects traveled through many Asian countries inaugurating buildings, visiting new projects and meeting other architects like Pritzker Laureate Whang Shu. At the end of their trip, the trio visited the “Shadow of light – a portrait of Álvaro Siza” exhibition opening and vernissage, in Macau, realized by .

We were able to follow this intimate journey through the images taken by Guerra and published every day in his Instagram – a careful, spontaneous and delicate photographic narrative that shows a little bit of what were these weeks with Siza and Castanheira were like. Back in Portugal, Fernando Guerra published an interesting report on those last weeks and generously shared with us both his writings and his beautiful pictures.

Read the text and enjoy Guerra’s photographs after the break.

(more…)

AR Issues: The Secret Lives of Buildings Beyond the Lure of Awards

Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this post, we take a look at AR’s August 2014 issue, which examines the tension between the often idealised world of the architecture media and the messy complexity of real-world buildings. Here, AR Editor Catherine Slessor meditates on “the uneasy relationship between reductivist beauty contests and architecture’s nuanced narratives and complexities.”

The recent announcement of the RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist has stoked up the usual feverish debate about what constitutes ‘good’ architecture and what should or shouldn’t win. But an scheme that can pit the Shard against the Everyman Theatre, thus perilously straddling an engorged spectrum of style, scale, client, context, user and urban contribution, is a fundamentally impossible proposition when you get down to it. One former editor of The Architects’ despairingly remarked that judging the Stirling was like trying to compare a cookery book with a slim volume of poetry. Apart from both being printed on paper, they have nothing else in common. So do you plump for cookery or poetry?

(more…)

New BIG-Designed Neighborhood to Activate Aarhus’ Waterfront

© BIG

BIG has unveiled plans for Bassin 7 (BSN7), a new civic-minded, mixed-use neighborhood in ’s second largest city. The phased development will “breathe life into the harbor front,” placing importance on the public realm by organizing the site’s seven residential buildings with a series of recreational and cultural activities, including a beach zone, swimming pools, theater and cafe, along a public promenade.

(more…)

Snøhetta Unveils Final Design for Calgary’s New Central Library

© MIR and Snøhetta

Following two years of community engagement, Snøhetta and DIALOG have released the final design for their competition-winning New Central Library in . Planned for a vibrant intersection between Downtown and the East Village, the new library aims to fulfill the city’s vision for a “technologically advanced public space for innovation, research and collaboration.”

(more…)

How 3D Printing is Saving a Frank Lloyd Wright Treasure

© Flickr CC User Josh Hallett

Among the vast coverage of  in the media, the technology is frequently cited as the ‘future’ of production, focusing on its ability to bring new things into existence quickly and cheaply. But does have to be all about the future? As this article originally printed by Metropolis Magazine as3D Printing Saves a Frank Lloyd Wright Treasure attests, 3D printing also has something to offer to the past; specifically, to a deteriorating building whose ‘textile block’ was simply too complex to restore through any other modern techniques. Read on after the break to find out how this high-tech rescue mission is being achieved.

(more…)

Al Jazeera’s Rebel Architecture: Episode 6, “The Pedreiro and the Master Planner”

YouTube Preview Image

The last episode of Al Jazeera’s Rebel Architecture series tells the story of Ricardo, an informal builder in Rocinha, Brazil’s largest favela. “A foreign architect would not get into this hole and dig. He would hire someone or would hire machines. But here in the favela, we are hands on,” he says in the episode. Ricardo has built over one hundred houses in Rocinha despite not having any formal training. Yet as Brazil prepares for the World Cup and the Olympic Games, life in Rocinha is changing. This 25-minute episode follows Ricardo as well as Luis Carlos Toledo, the architect behind the government’s regeneration of Rocinha, as the two seek to incorporate their solutions into the future of the country’s favelas.

Watch the full episode above and read on after the break for a full episode synopsis and a preview of upcoming episodes…

(more…)

Hacking the Biennale: “Project Source Code” Uses Augmented Reality to Stage a Rebel Exhibition

Embryological House, 1997, Greg Lynn Form. Image Courtesy of

This year at the Venice Biennale, not all of the exhibitions are visible. Ozel Office of Los Angeles have “hacked” the Venice Biennale with the help of some major architecture firms: Asymptote Architecture, Greg Lynn Form, Neil M. Denari Architects, Murmur, and Oosterhuis Lenard. Together, these firms have created a rogue digital addition to the Biennale only accessible through a virtual portal revealing a world of levitating models, movable objects, and much more, activated by physical components of the Koolhaas-curated central pavilion.

Find out how you can hack the Biennale after the break.

(more…)

Gaudí’s Sagrada Família To Reach Another Milestone

YouTube Preview Image

The Basilica of the Sagrada Família in Barcelona have laid out their planned milestones for the forthcoming year, visualising it in a short film that begins to piece together Antoni Gaudí’s incredible vision. The Sacristy and Raking Cornice will be constructed between this year and next, while new stained glass windows will be installed flooding the interior spaces with evermore coloured light.

(more…)

In Residence: Ricardo Bofill

You’ve seen it before, Ricardo Bofill’s captivating transformation of ’s oldest cement factory into his own stunning, Brutalist residence. Now, tour through the home’s most unique spaces with the Spanish architect himself as he shares his story about The Factory in the latest of NOWNESSIn Residence series.

(more…)

LOBBY: The Spectacle Of The “Un/Spectacle”

© Cameron Clarke

I was recently at a lecture at Rotterdam’s Nieuwe Instituut in which Dirk van den Heuvel mediated a discussion between Kenneth Frampton and Herman Hertzberger. Talking of those who contributed to the Dutch Structuralist movement, Hertzberger lamented the fact that so many have faded into obscurity: “if you make the mistake of not writing” he said, “you’re bound to be forgotten.” Accompanying design with the written word is at the core of good practice, not only because it lends design an elevated meaning by cementing it into a wider discourse, but also because it often uncovers the subconscious significance of the process of architecture.

LOBBY is an attempt from students of London’s Bartlett School of Architecture to anchor in-house research and external contributions in words, “creating both a space we lack and an action we desire.” Their new is also a response to the school’s current in-between state as they await their new building in temporary studio spaces. As such, will serve as a platform for exchange and discussion in lieu of a physical lobbying space. The first issue explores the theme of Un/Spectacle, offering different layers, approaches, readings and perspectives on the topic of the ‘(un)spectacle’ of the everyday.

(more…)

Diébédo Francis Kéré and Architectural Energy in Burkina Faso

“Architecture is much more than art. And it is by far more than just building buildings” says award winning Burkina Faso architect Diébédo Francis Kéré. In the latest video from Louisiana Channel, Berlin-based Francis Kéré deliberates on the purpose of architecture in a changing society and the influence exerted by his home nation, Burkina Faso. For Kéré, context and medium are key: ”I try to use local material: mostly clay and wood, to create buildings that are modern,” he says. Kéré’s clay modernism represents a new Burkina Faso, using natural and renewable as shown in School Library Gando. ”If we build with clay we will have a better future, because we will use the resources we have,” he adds.

“My people are proud, and that can deliver a lot of energy,” says Kéré, optimistic for the future of architecture in Burkina Faso. Watch the video above to find out more about Kéré’s approach to his European-based African practice, and read on after the break for ArchDaily’s own Interview with Kéré from July.

(more…)

“Cloud Citizen” Awarded Joint Top Honors in Shenzhen Bay Super City Competition

Courtesy of Urban Future Organization and CR-Design

Cloud Citizen, a proposal for a new high-rise typology by Urban Future Organization and CR-Design, in collaboration with a team of experts at Chalmers Technical University, has been jointly awarded the highest prize in the Shenzhen Bay Super City Masterplan Competition. Their futuristic design features a singular mega building complex that aims to create a hyper dense urban center that gives back to the environment. Read on after the break to learn more about the proposal.

(more…)

Jean Nouvel Releases Official Design for National Art Museum of China

To the East, a fusion of sky and gardens. Image © Ateliers Jean Nouvel

Jean Nouvel has unveiled the official design for the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC). Originally inspired by the simplicity of “a single brush stroke,” the 21st century art and calligraphy museum will become the centerpiece of a new cultural district at Olympic Park, rising next to the historic axis of Beijing and symbolically connecting to the Forbidden City.

New images of the and more from Nouvel, after the break… 

(more…)

21 Rules for a Successful Life in Architecture

The Offices of . Image Courtesy of - Group

Originally published by Entrepreneur Architect, Associate Professor at Louisiana Tech Kevin J Singh gives his 21-point rundown of how to have a successful and happy life as an architect. The list gives some pointers that will certainly help young students and graduates, but may well be useful to some of the not-so-young practitioners who need to refocus on what’s important.

The following is a compilation of my professional practice lecture on the last day of class. Instead of recapping the course or giving a final exam, I share with my students a presentation titled Advice as You Finish School and Start to Practice. I present a series of statements followed up with a brief explanation.

(more…)

The Green Building Wars

The Clinton Presidential Center by Polshek Partnership and Hargreaves Associates received a rating of Two Green Globes from the . But would have rated it the same? Image © Timothy Hursley

Originally published by Metropolis Magazine, this comprehensive analysis by sustainability expert Lance Hosey examines the current disputes within the green building industry, where market leader LEED currently finds competition from the Living Building Challenge, aiming for the “leading edge” of the market, and the Green Globes at the other end of the scale. Arguing for a more holistic understanding of what makes materials sustainable, Hosey examines the role that materials, and material industries such as the timber and chemical industries, can have in directing the aims and principles of these three sustainability rating systems – for better or for worse.

(more…)

In Defense of Rewarding Vanity Height

Center, the tallest building in the United States… arguably. Image © Joe Mabel via Wikipedia

Recently, ArchDaily editors received an interesting request from an anonymous Communications Director of an unnamed New York firm, asking us “In your reporting, please do not repeat as fact, or as “official,” the opinion that One World Trade Center in New York will be the tallest building in the United States.” He or she goes on to explain that the decision maker who ‘announced’ the building as the tallest in the US, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), is not officially endorsed by the AIA or the US Government, and that while their work is beneficial for architecture and cities as a whole, their criteria for height evaluation are flawed and have been criticized by many in the industry.

The desire to have the tallest building in a city, country or even the world goes back to at least the medieval period, when competing noble families of Italian hill towns such as San Gimignano would try to out-do each other’s best construction efforts (jokes about the Freudian nature of such contests are, I imagine, not much younger). Perhaps the greatest symbol of this desire is the decorative crown of the Chrysler Building, which was developed in secret and enabled the building to briefly take the prize as the world’s tallest, much to the surprise and ire of its competitors at the time.

With this competitive spirit apparently still very much alive, I thought it might be worthwhile to address the issue raised by our anonymous friend.

(more…)

Al Jazeera’s Rebel Architecture: Episode 5, “Working on Water”

YouTube Preview Image

The latest episode of Al Jazeera’s Rebel Architecture takes us to Nigeria, where architect Kunlé Adeyemi has designed floating buildings to help solve overcrowding and flooding in the country’s waterside slums. “I am constantly inspired by solutions we discover in everyday life in the world’s developing cities,” he says. Yet, despite his studio NLÉ’s easy-to-build, low-cost, sustainable prototype for a floating building, Adeyemi still struggles to get approval for their construction from the local authorities. This 25-minute episode follows Adeyemi as he seeks to implement his floating buildings.

Watch the full episode above and read on after the break for a full episode synopsis and a preview of upcoming episodes…

(more…)