ARCHIQUOTE: 13 Billboards Advertising Architecture’s Most Influential Concepts

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Federico Babina is at it again, this time creating a series of 13 Las Vegas-inspired billboards that advertise architectural concepts of the profession’s most prolific contributors. The idea behind ARCHIQUOTE, as Babina describes, was to put words into manifest examples of architectural concepts and aesthetics from Mies van der Rohe to Rem Koolhaas.

“The words can be considered as architecture,” says Babina. “Simple concepts with deep meanings and complex thoughts explained with simplicity…Billboards that evoke a Las vegas of architecture where the phrases guide us to understand a little more the idea hidden behind the work done with volumes and space… In these 13 are mixed, intersect and integrate aphorisms and shapes in a communicative game.”

The complete series, after the break.

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10 Points of a Bicycling Architecture

© Steven Fleming and Charlotte Morton

A revolution is occurring in street design. New York, arguably the world’s bellwether city, has let everyday citizens cycle for transport. They have done that by designating one lane on most Avenues to bicyclists only, with barriers to protect them from traffic.

Now hundreds of are rejigging to be bicycle-friendly, while in there is a sense that more change is afoot. Many New Yorkers would prefer if their city were more like Copenhagen where 40% of all trips are by bike. But then Copenhagen wants more as well. Where does this stop?

If you consider that we are talking about a mode of transport that whips our hearts into shape, funnels many more people down streets than can be funneled in cars, has no pollution, and costs governments and individuals an absolute pittance, you wont ask where it stops, but how close to 100% the bike modal share can possibly go and what we must do to achieve that.

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AD Interviews: Juulia Kauste / Museum of Finnish Architecture (MFA)

On her recent trip to Chile for the Finland-Chile Architecture Marathon lecture series we had the chance to chat with Juulie Kauste, the director of the Museum of Finnish Architecture (MFA) in Helsinki. “[MFA] has always had the dual mission of focusing on collecting the heritage of architecture in as well as focusing on contemporary architecture both in Finland and internationally,” Kauste explained.

One of the oldest architecture-focused museums in the world, MFA is unusual in that not only do they archive the work of every Finnish architect, but they also play an active role in promoting Finnish architecture and participating in the global architectural community. At both the Shenzhen Biennale and the 2014 Venice Biennale, MFA hosted “Re-Creation,” an installation that used both traditional Finnish and Chinese construction techniques to explore the concepts of “copying” and “reinterpretation.”

“The key part of the role of the museum is to provide a platform for a discussion and debate around architecture and around the ways in which architecture matters to society,” Kauste said. “It’s very much about this idea of sharing information about architecture, making information about architecture available, but also understandable.”

See what else Kauste has to say about what the role of architecture museums should be, how the digital age is affecting museums and the benefits of cross-cultural collaboration in the full interview above and check out some of our past coverage on MFA below.

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The Work of SelgasCano, the 2015 Serpentine Pavilion Designers

Office in the Woods. Image © Iwan Baan

The latest designer of the prestigious Serpentine Gallery Pavilion has been named as SelgasCano, the Spanish practice known for their use of the latest synthetic materials and new technology. The Serpentine Pavilion, which has grown to become one of the most visited annual architecture attractions in the world, aims to provide architects who have never built in the UK their first chance to do so. In the past, this has led to pavilions by globally-recognized names such as Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Oscar Niemeyer, and Peter Zumthor, but in recent years the seems to have changed course a little, instead bringing lesser-known, emergent stars to a much wider audience. This was true of Smiljan Radić and his 2014 pavilion, and will likely prove true for the duo of José Selgas and Lucía Cano.

Although designs for the 2015 pavilion will not be released until February, SelgasCano have promised ”to use only one material… the Transparency,” adding that “the most advanced technologies will be needed to be employed to accomplish that transparency.” This coy description perhaps calls to mind the design of their own office, a partially sunken tube of a building with one side made entirely of curved glass, which won them widespread recognition in 2009.

To give a better idea of the design style that SelgasCano will bring to the 2015 Serpentine Pavilion, we’ve rounded up a number of their major projects for your viewing pleasure, after the break.

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TED Talk: How Painting Can Transform Communities / Haas&Hahn

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First inspired with a grand vision to transform Rio de Janeiro’s most notorious slum into a community united by color, artists Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn of Haas&Hahn have found an ingenious and stunning way to empower some of the world’s most impoverished communities through .

Most of you by now have heard of their initiative, Favela Painting. Using the same improvised logic of growth as the slums themselves, Favela Painting has become a community-driven artistic intervention that has transformed slums and neglected neighborhoods, from Haiti to Philadelphia, into prideful works of art. And, just as Haas&Hahn describe in their TED Talk above, these transformations are impossible without the support of the community. Therefore at the start of each project, the two artists host a neighborhood barbecue, as they have learned that food is the best (and quickest) way to any community’s heart. Watch the TED Talk above to learn just how Haas&Hahn made the seemingly impossible, possible.

Cybertopia: The Digital Future of Analog Architectural Space

2. Cybertopia. Death of analogous . Image © Egor Orlov

“Cyberspace, filled with bugs and glitches – the components of its natural habitat – will form a completely new and previously unknown location when released into a real city  – Cybertopia,” says Egor Orlov, a current student at the Strelka Institute in Moscow. According to Orlov, the physical world is on the brink of a major technological breakthrough that will revolutionize the way architects conceive of space – closing the gap between analog and digital.

Cybertopia - completed while he was a student at the Kazan State University of Architecture and Engineering under tutors Akhtiamov I.I. and Akhtiamova R.H. and nominated for the Archiprix Madrid 2015 - exists as another dimension for Orlov, where fairy tales come to life and science harmonizes with engineering and architectural design. “Future of an Architecture Space. Cybertopia. Death of Analogous Cities,” delves into a fantasy world where the “possibility to fly or walk from one planet to another” becomes an illustrated reality using a combination of drafting-based techniques and a wild imagination.

Enter the hybrid technological-analog world of Cybertopia after the break

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Professionals Roar in Norway: Unique Architecture Under Threat from Government

The Y-block with “The Fishermen”. Image © Trond Isaksen / Statsbygg

Architecture institutions and architects are outraged by the Norwegian Government plans to demolish a unique part of Norwegian and international architectural history. Called the Y-block for its Y-shaped plan, the building in the Government Quarter in the centre of the Norwegian capital of Oslo was designed by the Norwegian architect and pioneer inventor Erling Viksjø in the 1950s together with the “H-block” or Highrise (1959) and was completed in 1969. The building is internationally well known for the extraordinary craftsmanship of its sandblasted concrete and the famous Pablo Picasso murals, “The Fishermen” and “The Seagull”.

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Material Masters: Le Corbusier’s Love for Concrete

To celebrate the first anniversary of our US Materials Catalog, this week ArchDaily is presenting a three-part series on “Material Masters,” showing how certain materials have helped to inspire some of the world’s greatest architects.

Le Corbusier‘s love affair with concrete, evident in a number of his nearly 75 projects, began early. Having already designed his first house, the Villa Fallet, at the age of just 17, in 1907 the young architect embarked on a series of travels throughout central Europe on a mission of artistic education. In Paris, he apprenticed at the office of Auguste Perret, a structural rationalist and pioneer of reinforced concrete, followed in 1910 by a short stint at Peter Behrens’ practice in Berlin. These formative experiences initiated a life-long exploration of concrete in Le Corbusier’s work.

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2014 RIBA President’s Medals Winners Announced

Winner of the RIBA Silver Medal: Nick Elias of the . Image Courtesy of RIBA

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have announced the President’s Medals Student Awards at a special event today in London. The awards, recognised as the world’s most prestigious set of awards in architectural education, were inaugurated in 1836 (making them the institutes oldest award, including the RIBA Gold Medal). Three medals in particular – the Bronze for a Part I student, the Silver for a Part II student, and the Dissertation Medal – are awarded to “promote excellence in the study of architecture [and] to reward talent and to encourage architectural debate worldwide.” In addition to these, the winners of the Serjeant Award for Excellence in Drawing and the SOM Foundation Fellowships are also announced.

317 schools of architecture from over 61 countries were invited to nominate design projects and dissertations by their students. This year saw the majority of winners come from London schools, including the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL), Kingston University, the University of Westminster, London Metropolitan University (the CASS), the Royal College of Art, the University of East London, and the University of Greenwich. University College Dublin (Ireland) and the University of Brighton (UK) also saw their students commended, alongside the University of Sydney (two students) and the University of Hong Kong (one student).

See drawings from all the winning and commended students after the break.

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Material Masters: Glass is More with Mies van der Rohe

To celebrate the first anniversary of our US Materials Catalog, this week ArchDaily is presenting a three-part series on “Material Masters,” showing how certain have helped to inspire some of the world’s greatest architects.

Mies van der Rohe, famous for his saying “less is more,” was one of the preeminent modernist architects, well known for pioneering the extensive use of glass in buildings. His works introduced a new level of simplicity and transparency, and his buildings were often referred to as “skin-and-bones” architecture for their emphasis on steel structure and glass enclosure. In addition to Mies van der Rohe, glass was a major influence for many architects of the modernist movement and reshaped the way we think about and define space. Today, glass has become one of the most used building materials, but its early architectural expression is perhaps best exemplified in the works of Mies.

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AD Interviews: Kunlé Adeyemi / NLÉ

“The architects of the future will begin to be seen more as agents of change,” Kunlé Adeyemi told us outside the 2014 Pritzker Prize Award ceremony in Amsterdam. One of the five international jury members for the 2014 Venice Biennale, Adeyemi is the founder of NLÉ, an architecture and urbanism practice focused on developing cities and known for projects like the Makoko Floating School in Lagos, Nigeria.

“There are many lessons learned from the floating school project, starting from engagement with the community…,” Adeyemi said. “The innovation of Makoko Floating School came not only from us, but largely from the community itself. We were simply agents to compose those ideas into a new form or an improvement of what’s already existing.”

Adeyemi was born and raised in Nigeria where he studied architecture at the University of Lagos.  In 2002 he joined OMA where he worked closely with Rem Koolhaas for nearly a decade, playing an important role in OMA’s research on the urbanization of Lagos.

See what else Adeyemi had to say about the Makoko Floating School, what it’s like to lead an architecture firm and the role of architects in society in the full above.

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Towering Folly: As Qatar’s Death Toll Rises, So Does This Monument

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On one of Qatar‘s many World Cup construction sites, another Nepalese worker dies. The worker is not named; their death does not make the news, and work resumes on the site as soon as possible in order to make the 2022 construction deadline. But, in the desert outside Doha, a crane driver solemnly prepares to add one more concrete module to what has rapidly, and tragically, become one of Qatar’s tallest towers.

This is the vision presented by Axel de Stampa and Sylvain Macaux, of the Paris and Santiago-based practice 1week1project, with their “Qatar World Cup Memorial.” Designed as one of their week-long “spontaneous architecture” projects, the monument memorializes each deceased worker in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup.

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Material Masters: Shigeru Ban’s Work With Wood

To celebrate the first anniversary of our US Materials Catalog, this week ArchDaily is presenting a three-part series on “Material Masters,” showing how certain have helped to inspire some of the world’s greatest architects.

Shigeru Ban’s portfolio is a strange dichotomy, split between shelters for natural disaster refugees and museums commissioned by wealthy patrons of the arts. Even stranger is the fact that, in both cases, Ban’s material palette frequently incorporates recycled cardboard, paper, and old beer crates. The Pritzker prize laureate is unique in this regard, and so great is his predilection for recycled paper tubes (originally formwork for concrete columns), that he has become known as the “Paper Architect.” His work receives media attention worldwide for the unorthodoxy of its construction materials. Yet is not concerned with unorthodoxy, but with economy. It is for this reason that, when paper tubes are deemed unsuitable, constructs his buildings in wood. Inspired by the architectural tradition of his native Japan, Ban is not only the “Paper Architect,” but also one of the most famous architects working in wood today.

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Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition: A Parametric Analysis

GH-6750399503. Image Courtesy of Malcolm Reading Consultants

The following analysis of the Helsinki competition entries was contributed by Federico Reyneri, partner at LPzR associates architects, and his research team.

Architects have always pushed the limit, often experimenting with forms and technologies unavailable in their time. In the last 20 years, we experienced a small revolution in thinking about spaces and embracing complexity, as computers started to show their real power. Since Gehry’s Guggenheim came to life in the mid nineties, nothing has been the same: free forms emerge everywhere from the dreamland to reality (often becoming someone else’s nightmare). Before this computer technology, except for the realm of the mind and clay modeling, real control over complexity through technical drawings was too hard a game for us ordinary mortals but eventually, in the last 10 years or so more powerful and cheaper computers and even cheaper software, capable of astonishing parametric-generated design elements, came out. Since then, new generations of designers have started to set free mind-blowing ideas, showing the world amazing computer generated pictures. Some architects even started to build them.

But how widespread is parametric design technology? How does it influence architecture worldwide? We started to analyse the Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition, the largest architectural design competition in world history.

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6 Finalists Revealed in Guggenheim Helsinki Competition

Courtesy of Malcolm Reading Consultants

The Guggenheim has announced the finalists in the competition to design Guggenheim Helsinki, whittling down the entrants from a record-breaking 1,715 submissions to just six. Representing both emerging and established practices with offices in seven countries, the shortlisted entries show a variety of responses to the challenge of creating a world-class museum.

The six finalists are:

Read on after the break to see all six designs in detail, as well as the jury’s comments on each.

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The Top Places To Watch Architectural Lectures Online

Louis I. Kahn lecturing at the ETH Zurich (Switzerland). Image © Peter Wenger

As we enter December and the holidays draw nearer (and we might be looking forward to a little extra time on our hands), we’ve gathered together some of our favourite sources for watching architectural lectures online. Ranging from Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel’s famous American Architecture Now interviews with Frank Gehry in 1980 and Robert Venturi and Denise Scott-Brown in 1984, to Sir Peter Cook speaking at Frankfurt’s Staedelschule in 2012, these open-source provide invaluable insights into architects and architects throughout recent history.

Check out our favourite sources after the break.

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The Latest 99% Invisible Podcast Will Have You on the “Edge of Your Seat”

Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona . Image © Flickr user James Davies

“A Chair is a difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier.” – Mies van der Rohe

In his latest 99% Invisible podcast, Roman Mars takes listeners to the edge of their seats (literally), as he tackles one of design’s unique challenges: the chair. From Van der Rohe to Gehry, Hadid, Libeskind and Corbusier, “if they’ve designed a big building, chances are they’ve designed a thing on which to sit,” begins Mars. Yet the complexity of chair design comes from the fact that a chair “disappears when in use…Chairs need to look fantastic when empty, and remain invisible (and comfortable) while in use,” states Mars. And with numerous recent studies showing the negative impacts of sitting too much, innovative chair design is now more important than ever.

Listen to the full podcast and check out some well-known chairs designed by architects after the break.

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Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space by Keller Easterling

Image courtesy of Verso Books.

The following is an excerpt from ’s latest publication, Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space, which explores areas of infrastructure with the greatest impact on our world. Easterling is a professor at Yale School of Architecture

The road between Nairobi and Mombasa is lined with, and virtually lit by, advertisements for the mobile phone companies that have entered the region—all promising new freedoms and economic opportunities. With their images of Masai tribesman in native dress phoning from a remote wilderness, the ads employ an essential trope of leap-frogging—the desire for a perfect collapse between technology and nature, tradition and modernity. The billboards express the enthusiasm of a world turned upside down in which not the developed but the developing world has their hands around a majority of the world’s cell phones.

Over the last 150 years, the ocean floor has been laid with thousands of miles of submarine cable of all types for telegraph, telephone, and fiber-optic infrastructure. In the nineteenth century, it took only thirty years for the British cable-laying companies to string the world with telegraph cable, and a little over a decade from the late 1980s to the late 1990s for most of the world to be connected to fiber-optic cable. Yet until recently, East Africa, one of the most populous areas of the world, had no fiber- optic submarine cable link and less than 1 percent of the world’s broadband capacity. A country like had to rely for its broadband on expensive satellite technology acquired in the 1970s that cost twenty to forty times its equivalent in the developed world. Before 2009, one Mbps (megabit per second) of bandwidth could cost as much as 7,500 US dollars per month against the world average of $200. The monthly cost of putting twenty-five agents on the phone was $17,000 a month instead of the $600–900 that it would cost in other developed countries.(1)

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