OMA Tops BIG, Büro Ole Scheeren to Design Axel Springer Campus in Berlin

OMA’s winning proposal for the Axel Springer Campus in Berlin. Image Courtesy of Axel Springer SE

After deliberating over the stellar proposals of three renowned firmsBIG, Büro Ole Scheeren, and OMA, Berlin-based media company AXEL SPRINGER SE has just announced that Rem Koolhaas’ design is the winning proposal for their new office building.

The task of the competition was to create additional space for the media company, particularly its digital offers, and thus design a workplace fit for the future of online media. Koolhaas’ design, which features a large 30-meter high atrium or “open valley” with interconnected terraces and public workspaces for both individual, collaborative, and mobile work, won favor with the jury for its forward-thinking concept. As Dr. Mathias Döpfner, Chief Executive Officer of Axel Springer SE, commented: “[Koolhaas] presented the conceptually and esthetically most radical model. The fundamental innovation of working environments will support the cultural transformation towards a digital publishing house.”

For his part, Koolhaas had this to say: “It is a wonderful occasion to build in Berlin again, on this historical site of all places, for a client who has mobilized architecture to help perform a radical change…a workplace in all its dimensions.”

See more of OMA’s winning proposal, after the break…

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Lines Drawn: UK Architecture Students Network Discuss the Future of Architectural Education

Delegates discussing. Image © Vinesh Pomal / Zlatina Spasova

Lines Drawn, the latest gathering of student delegates by the Architecture Students Network (ASN), recently met at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) to discuss the future of architectural Seventy RIBA Part 1, 2 and 3 students (including those on their placement years) from across twenty two schools of architecture gathered together to address and unify their voice in calling for improvements to the current pedagogy of ’s architectural education to reflect a changing society.

The weekend conference provoked questions surrounding the merits and pitfalls of the Part 1, 2 and 3 British route to qualification, raising aspirations of a more flexible education system. Sparked by the latest directive from the European Union (EU), which seeks to “establish more uniformity across Europe by aligning the time it takes to qualify” and by making mutual recognition of the architect’s title easier between countries, the discussions centred around how architecture students’ opinions can be harnessed at this critical moment of change to have voices heard.

Continue reading for ArchDaily’s exclusive pre-coverage of the ASN’s report.

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Critics and Peers Comment on Shigeru Ban’s Pritzker Prize

Yesterday we asked some prominent critics and a few of Ban’s peers to weigh in on the Japanese architect’s Pritzker win. Curators, architects, and writers praised Ban’s approach and conviction, describing what Ban’s work signifies to the architecture community. Read on for comments from Architecture for Humanity co-founder Cameron Sinclair, MoMA curators Barry Bergdoll and , Cooper Union classmates Nanako Umemoto and Jesse Reiser, of Reiser + Umemototo, and more.

“We are very proud of Shigeru as the first Pritzker Prize Winner to have graduated from Cooper Union. Shigeru continues to embody the independent thinking that was highly emphasized through our education. We met Shigeru in 1979, and can speak to his dedication to humanity from the beginning. As we recall, each design problem for Shigeru became an occasion to explore the work of what he considered to be the master architects as a way of developing his own voice. It has become fashionable to connect architecture to social causes; however, Shigeru has never seen it as a trend, but rather something fundamental to his design practice. Unlike those in the discipline who conflate their social and political commitments with architecture, he happens to be a very fine architect. As a result of his education abroad and his inclination to define a unique practice, Shigeru has always been viewed as an independent within the Japanese scene. We are very excited that Shigeru’s work is being honored.”
Nanako Umemoto and Jesse Reiser 
Founders of Reiser + Umemototo, RUR Architecture PC

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From #Baffled to #BanstheMan! Twitterverse Reacts to Shigeru Ban’s Pritzker Win

We culled the Twitterverse looking for reactions to ’s Prizker win – from readers and critics alike. While the responses were generally positive, some were less so.

See our favorite responses – from #baffled to #goodenough to #Banstheman! – after the break.

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AD Interviews Pritzker Prize Winner Shigeru Ban

Last week we had the opportunity to interview this year’s Pritzker Prize winner, Shigeru Ban, within his Metal Shutters Houses in New York City. The Japanese architect, who was a member of the Pritzker jury from 2006-2009, gave us his thoughtful, humble response to receiving architecture’s most prestigious prize, saying the win is an “encouragement for me to continue working to make great architecture as well as working in disaster areas.”

When we asked him how he remains so committed to humanitarian efforts, balancing them with his other commissions, he explained: “I also like to make monuments because monuments can be wonderful treasures for the city, but also I knew many people were suffering after the natural disasters, and the government provided them very poor evacuation facilities and temporary housing. I believe I can make them better.”

Read the entire interview transcript, in which Ban discusses his innovative use of materials and gives us a few anecdotes about studying in the US, after the break.

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15 Things You Didn’t Know About Shigeru Ban

Left, Image of Shigeru Ban © Flickr User VisiOkrOniK. Right, from top to bottom, Ban’s Temporary Paper Studio (© Didier Boy de la Tour), the Japan Pavilion for the Hanover Exhibition 2000 (© Hiroyuki Hirai), and his design for “Architecture for Dogs” (© Hiroshi Yoda).

You probably know by now that Shigeru Ban has won this year’s Pritzker Prize, but did you know he almost went to university to play rugby? Or that he constructed his home without pulling down a single tree? These and many more fun facts on the 38th Pritzker laureate, after the break.

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eVolo 2014 Skyscraper Competition Winners

First Place: “Vernacular Versatility” / Yong Ju Lee (US). Image Courtesy of eVolo

The winners of the 2014 eVolo Skyscraper Competition have been announced! Established by eVolo Magazine in 2006, the competition recognizes innovative proposals for vertical living. After reviewing nearly 600 projects from 43 different countries, the jury has selected three winners and 20 honorable mentions. View them all, after the break…

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25 Instagram Feeds to Follow Now (Part II)

Last June, we published our first list of must-see Instagram feeds to follow, but we knew it was only the tip of the iceberg. Once again we’ve scoured the web (and followed your excellent suggestions) to track down the 25 Instagrammers who will be sure to inspire – including dare-devil adventurer raskalov, up-and-coming architecture photographer nicanorgarciaand our very own editor-in-chief.

See the 25 awesome architecture instagrammers, after the break…

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Buckminster Fuller’s Geodesic Dome Home to be Restored as Museum

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On April 19, Southern Illinois University will begin to restore the world’s first home, built by Buckminster Fuller. Originally assembled in just seven hours from 60 wooden triangle panels, the dome was occupied by Fuller and his wife, Lady Anne, in the 1960s during his residency at SIU. After Fuller’s death, the dome was used as student housing before falling into disrepair. In 2001, the home was donated to a non-profit that had it listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. It will now be restored and preserved as a museum in Carbondale. 

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The Indicator: Could Architecture Offices Abolish Hierarchy?

Zappos is one of the biggest companies to function as a ‘holocracy’ (without a fixed staff hierarchy). Their Las Vegas headquarters utilizes communal furniture to increase team-based collaboration (according to Business Insider, ‘desks are linked but can be easily disconnected or moved, the walls are movable as well. So if a team needs to work a different way, or a new product team is formed, the space can be changed, and changed again until it works’). Image Courtesy of Zappos, via OfficeSnapshots.com

What can architecture learn from Zappos? Yes, we’ve all heard about vegan cafés, yoga rooms, playing commando games indoors, and wearing Crocs in the office, but – more importantly – Zappos is transforming office culture in a meaningful, far-reaching way: it’s put an end to staff hierarchy.

According to The Washington Post, Zappos is the largest company to have adopted the Holocracy principle, the brainchild of software entrepreneur-turned-management-guru Brian Roberston. Guru would be the right word because, at first glance, and maybe second or third glance, Holocracy does come off as somewhat of a cult, albeit a business management cult. It creeps me out just a little bit, but having pushed through their website, I feel a little better now, not in the least like I’ve been L. Ron Hubbarded.

In a Holocracy, authority and responsibility are distributed across an organization in a way that is more goal-centered. As they say, “Everyone becomes a leader of their roles and a follower of others.” Still not making any sense? Old hierarchies that rely on “leaders” at the top, “followers” at the bottom, and “managers” in the middle are done away with completely. So, no more “bosses.” No more “staff.” No more “junior designer” or “senior designer.”

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Urban Think Tank Takes on Housing in South Africa’s Townships

Despite 20 years of government promises to improve the quality of housing following the end of apartheid, for many in South Africa‘s townships there has been little noticeable change. This is not to say that the South African government has not been working to meet these goals; however, the scale of the problem is so large, and with population growth and migration, the challenge is only getting greater.

That’s why Urban Think Tank, in collaboration with ETH Zurich and South African NGO Ikhayalami, have worked together on a design for a more immediate, incremental solution called “Empower Shack.

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AD Round Up: The Architecture Photography of Fernando Guerra

Ílhavo Maritime Museum Extension / ARX . Image Courtesy of FG+SG –

Today, we’d like to commemorate the captivating architectural photography of Fernando Guerra. The Portuguese architect-turned-photographer’s work has graced our webpages many times since he began his career in 2001. In a recent interview with Paperhouses, he recalls the evolution of his aspiration to capture decisive architectural moments. Here are five of our favorites: Cube HouseAlcácer do Sal Residences, House in Fontinha, the Pocinho Center for High Performance Rowing, and the Ílhavo Maritime Museum Extension.

Rem Koolhaas’ Current Fascinations: On Identity, Asia, the Biennale, & More

Courtesy of Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture, and Design, via Flickr

In this interview, originally published in The Architectural Review, Andrew Mackenzie sits down with OMA founder Rem Koolhaas to discuss the Venice Biennale, the extinction of national identities, his fascination with Asia, the link between De Rotterdam and Delirious New York, and the future of the profession.

Your proposition for this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale asks whether national identity has been, as you say, ‘sacrificed to modernity’. Some might view this as a project of reclamation, not unlike Frampton’s regionalism. How would you differentiate your proposition from Frampton’s?

Well, Kenneth Frampton is a smart guy, but the problem is that he looked at regionalism as an antidote to cosmopolitan development. In so doing he perverted the cause of regionalism, because suddenly regionalism was mobilised as a private cause that it couldn’t sustain. However, the question of national identity is an open one. For instance, at first sight is a very internationalist country, but looking closely you can see an enormous return of, not vernacular, but quasi-vernacular architecture and quasi-old fortresses that are newly built with a national flavour. Look at Zaandam, and that huge assemblage of so-called vernacular buildings.

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Eight Ingenious Interiors

In case you missed it, we’re re-publishing this popular post for your material pleasure. Enjoy!

Continuing with our materials-themed posts celebrating the launch of AD Materials (our US product catalog), we decided to round-up eight materials/products (from a light fixture made from woven irrigation hoses – really – to a wall made from shoeboxes) that make their truly ingenious. Enjoy!

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Kickstart the Latest Edition of ‘City of Darkness’: The Authoritative Text on Kowloon Walled City

20 years ago, Greg Girard and Ian Lambot published “City of Darkness“, a book which documented life inside the notorious Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong during its peak in the late 1980s. When the high-rise slum was cleared and demolished soon after in 1993, this collection of photographs, interviews and essays became a eulogy of sorts, becoming one of the key texts on the most densely populated place the world has ever seen.

Two decades later, Girard and Lambot have revisited the book – and to fund this new edition, they have turned to Kickstarter.

Read on after the break to find out what’s new in this edition and how you can help fund the book.

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On Designing Evil Lairs

The Elrod House by John Lautner, the murderer’s lair in Diamonds are Forever, 1971. Image Courtesy of Expoint Realty

This article, by , originally appeared on as “Evil Lairs.”

New plan.

From now on I will ONLY design evil lairs. Because all the best architecture is designed for the evil.

My work will have moats, and concrete, and glass and steel. I will design 16-story one-bedroom homes, with helipads, and lots of electronics. There will be a retractable roof, maybe lasers.

I will completely ignore the building code, because you know “evil”. Building codes are for the common people. Not for the evil.

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Unpublished / CLOG

Courtesy of

Each edition of CLOG poses a particular challenge to the reader: by showcasing such a variety of distinct view points, teasing out the central, connective themes is far from an easy task. It requires analysis, thought, and most of all time – which is, of course, entirely the point. CLOG seeks to “slow things down” so that the greater issues of architectural discourse are mulled over and explored.

The latest CLOG, however, Unpublished, has two central points that quickly, easily emerge. Pick up CLOG: Unpublished if you want to learn two things: (1) about how and why certain publications choose the architecture they publish ( included); or (2) about works that have, for their geographical location or problematic nature, been forgotten from the “idealized narratives” of architecture

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