The 10 Tallest Buildings Ever Demolished

Savoy-Plaza Hotel, City. Image © Wikimedia

The following list of the ten tallest buildings ever demolished, by Michael Aynsley, was originally published on BuzzBuzzHome.

Before we get to the countdown, a caveat: this list only considers buildings that were demolished on purpose by their owners. If it included all tall structures that are no longer standing, number one, two and four would be occupied by the three World Trade Center buildings tragically destroyed on September 11th, 2001.

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Revised Design Unveiled for Toronto’s Mirvish+Gehry Towers

Courtesy of Mirvish Enterprises, Gehry Partners, LLP and Projectcore Inc.

Frank Gehry and Developer David Mirvish have revealed the latest design iteration in their embattled plan to build a set of mixed-use  in Toronto. The new design reduces the number of towers, from three to two, however the remaining towers are taller than before, with one at 82 stories and one at 92.

The buildings will house apartments, a new art gallery and space for OCAD University as previously planned, but the decision to use two towers instead of three means that three of the five existing buildings can be retained – including the Princess of Wales Theatre, and two designated heritage warehouses – sidestepping some of the criticisms of the previous scheme.

Read on after the break for Frank Gehry’s take on the design

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Campos Leckie Studio: Adapting Materials Across Contexts

, BC Based Architects Campos Lecki – The Zacatitos 03 House. Image © John Sinal

In the following interview, presented by ArchDaily Materials and originally published by Sixty7 Architecture Road, Canadian firm Campos Leckie Studio defines their process for designing site-specific, beautiful architecture that speaks for itself. Enjoy the firm’s stunning projects and read the full interview after the break. 

We asked Michael Leckie, one of the principals of Vancouver-based Campos Leckie Studio, about the importance of discovery in design and the textural differences between projects. Your website states that your firm is committed to a rigorous process of discovery. How do you explain that to clients?

Process is extremely important in our work. When we meet with clients we do not immediately provide napkin sketches or an indication of what form the work will ultimately take on. Rather, we focus on the formulation of the ‘design problem’ and the conditions that establish the basis for exploration and discovery. These contextual starting points include the site, program, materiality, budget, as well as cultural reference points. This is challenging for some clients, as our culture generally conditions people to expect to see the final product before they commit to something.

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Critical Round-Up: 2014 Serpentine Pavilion / Smiljan Radic

© Iwan Baan

Last week, the 2014 Serpentine Pavilion opened in London‘s Hyde Park. The Serpentine Pavilion program invites architects who are yet to work in the to create a temporary installation at the gallery’s grounds for one summer, and this year it was the turn of Chilean architect Smiljan Radic, who rarely builds outside his native country and is arguably the least well-known architect in the Pavilion’s 14 year history.

Always a highlight in London’s architectural calender, critics almost line up to write their reviews. This year, they are almost entirely unanimous: Radic’s pavilion is, unquestionably, weird. But they’re also unanimous on another judgement: it may be one of the best Serpentine Pavilions yet.

Read on after the break to find out what the critics said about this year’s design

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What Autodesk’s Acquisition of “The Living” Means for Architecture

The Living’s “Hy-Fi” installation at . Image © Kris Graves

Software giant Autodesk has acquired forward-thinking design studio The Living, headed by David Benjamin. The Living will become the latest addition to Autodesk’s research network, in a move which Benjamin says “will enable The Living to do more of what we are already doing and super-charge it.”

Among the practices which Autodesk could have bought, The Living may at first glance seem like a counter-intuitive choice; the practice most recently made news with the opening of their ‘Hy-fi’ installation at MoMA PS1 last Friday. Why would a company that produces software be interested in the work of a studio that grows bricks out of mushrooms? Isn’t that all a bit too… biological? Not exactly. Read on after the break to find out what Autodesk has up its sleeve.

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SALES ODDITY by Andrés Jaque, Silver Lion for Research at the Venice Biennale

By the late 1960s, two dynamics were shaping a new urban reality in Italy: on the one hand, TV was heavily influencing Italian society, becoming an intrinsic part of daily life; on the other, the social tension resulting from student protests and accelerated immigration had begun to impact cities in a chaotic way. These dynamics paved the way for Milano Due, a new town on the outskirts of Milan, which promised a new, idyllic type of urbanism.

The complex, although traditional in appearance with its red pitched roofs, put into practice modern concepts: its 2,600 apartments, which had access to amenities for education and entertainment, were arranged around a giant artificial garden/lake and were connected via an elevated circulation system. Below ground, the complex housed the studios of the first private TV channel in Italy, a fact that would shape the lives of the inhabitants of Milano Due and eventually all of Italian society.

This interesting urban phenomena is analyzed by Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation in “SALES ODDITY: Milano 2 and the Politics of Direct-to-Home TV Urbanism,” a project that was part of the section at the Venice Biennale and was awarded the Silver Lion for the Best Research Project. According to the jury “The project presents critically a fundamental aspect of modern societies: how the power of media occupies other social spaces, both physically and politically. It is based on innovative research combining surveys and with planners and residents and re-appropriation of the mass media language. While based on an Italian case, this issue is present in many international contexts dominated by contemporary technological and neo-liberal cultures.”

Dossier, trailer, and more photos of the project by Miguel de Guzmán, after the break:

SALES ODDITY. Milano 2 and the Politics of Direct-to-Home TV Urbanism
by Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation

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London Calling: British Modernism’s Watershed Moment – The Churchill College Competition

Courtesy of Churchill College

Fifty years ago Churchill College opened its doors. In contrast to the historic Colleges, with their medieval Gothic and Neo-Classical buildings corralled behind high walls, this was in an almost rural setting on the outskirts of the city, modern in design, and Brutalist in detail.

The 1959 competition that brought the College into being is considered by many to be a watershed moment in British Post War architectural history. It brought together 20 names, young and old, all practicing in Britain, all working in the Modernist and more specifically the nascent Brutalist style. It was a “who’s who” of British architecture at the time, including the Smithsons, Hungarian-born Erno Goldfinger, Lasdun (then in partnership with Maxwell Fry, Jane Drew & Lindsay Drake, and formerly with Russian émigré Lubetkin), Lyons Israel Ellis and Robert Matthew (one half of the Royal Festival Hall team, who teamed up with Johnson Marshall). None of these made the shortlist of four.

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How Can We Hold On To Heritage Skills?

© James Taylor-Foster

In an age when 1:1 3D printed buildings are becoming ever more commonplace from the Netherlands to China, it’s important to pause and assess the existing built fabric of our cities, towns and villages. If we want to maintain and preserve them whilst protecting the inherent craft imbued in their construction, the importance of nurturing and promoting these skills should be recognised.

In the , the Heritage Skills Hub (HSH) push to see ”traditional building skills, conservation, restoration and responsible retrofit” included within all mainstream built environment courses. In a recent conversation with Cathie Clarke, CEO of the HSH, we discussed the obstacles faced by an organisation dedicated to conserving and teaching skills like stonemasonry, roof thatching, glass making, traditional brick construction to a new generation.

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Hy-Fi, The Organic Mushroom-Brick Tower Opens At MoMA’s PS1 Courtyard

Last night, the organic brick structure known as ‘Hy-Fi‘ opened in the courtyard of MoMA’s PS1 space in New York. Designed by David Benjamin of New York architects The Living, the tower was designed as part of ’s Young Architects Program, and its construction centers around the use of an innovative building material: organic, biodegradable bricks consisting of no more than farm waste and a culture of fungus that is grown to fit a brick-shaped mold.

Acting as the centerpiece for MoMA‘s Warm Up music festival on Saturdays throughout the Summer, the temporary structure will provide shade, seating and water until September 7th. Read on after the break for more on the design.

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OMA / Ole Scheeren’s “The Interlace” Nabs Inaugural CTBUH Urban Habitat Award

The Interlace by OMA / Ole Scheeren. Photo © Iwan Baan

CTBUH, the organization best known for its Tall Building Awards, has announced the winner of its inaugural : OMA / Ole Scheeren’s The Interlace in Singapore. The jurors, including Studio Gang Architects‘ Jeanne Gang, praised the apartment complex, which includes communal gardens and spaces on the roofs and in between the apartment blocks, for responding to its tropical context and “integrating horizontal and vertical living frameworks.” 

CTBUH Jurors also recognized Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ NEO Bankside as a finalist. Read more about the The Interlace and NEO Bankside, after the break.

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Arup Engineers Explain: How the MoMA PS1 YAP Winners Grew Ten Thousand Mushroom Bricks

This year’s MoMA PS1′s Young Architects Program opens tomorrow (you can see the schedule of events here). Find out how the innovative winning design (a tower of fungal bricks), by The Living‘s David Benjamin, was tested and built with this article, originally posted on  as “Engineering a mushroom tower“. Soft, spongy, and delicious on pizza, mushrooms have approximately as much to do with structural engineering as alligators or lawnmowers. Or so we thought, until architect David Benjamin of New York firm The Living walked into our offices with a brick grown from fungi. This brick was the key to his concept for an entry to MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program competition. Every year, the museum commissions a designer to build a centerpiece for its popular outdoor Warm Up concert series. If architectural design competitions are where brave, innovative ideas rise to the top, ’s mushroom tower (official name: Hy-Fi) checked all the right boxes. In addition to the novelty factor, mushroom bricks offer a host of benefits. The raw materials needed to produce them — mushrooms and corn stalks (waste material from farms) that the spores feed on — are as eco-friendly as they come. Bricks can be grown in just five days, and the process produces no waste or carbon emissions. When the structure is taken down at the end of the summer, they can be composted and turned into fertilizer. (more…)

Why Tall Wooden Buildings are On the Rise: An Interview with Perkins+Will’s Wood Expert

IZM Building / Architekten Hermann Kaufmann – Germany. Image © Norman A. Müller

Material Minds, presented by ArchDaily Materials, is our new series of short interviews with architects, designers, scientists, and others who use architectural materials in innovative ways. Enjoy!

Wood. The United States is the largest producer of the natural resource in the world. But yet we rarely see it in commercial, high-rise construction. So we asked a expert – Rebecca Holt at Perkins+Will, an analyst for reThink Wood‘s recent Tall Wood Survey  – to tell us about its potential benefits.

AD: Why is wood a material architects should use in taller buildings?

There are lots of reasons to consider wood – first it has a lower environmental impact than other traditional choices like concrete and steel.  Wood is the only major building material that is made the by sun and is completely renewable.

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Smiljan Radic’s Serpentine Pavilion Opens

© 2014 Iwan Baan

UPDATE: Check out video from today’s press conference at the Serpentine Pavilion! 

The 2014 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, designed by Chilean architect Smiljan Radic, opened this morning in London‘s Hyde Park. The pavilion, a glass-fibre reinforced plastic shell resting on large quarry stones, was inspired by a papier mâché model which Radic created four years ago as a response to the Oscar Wilde story ‘The Selfish Giant‘.

© Daniel Portilla

More images after the break

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The World Cup Stadiums of Brazil, In Awesome Illustrations

© André Chiote

In celebration of the Brazil World Cup, architect and illustrator André Chiote has created a series of illustrations featuring the tournament’s most iconic stadiums. Comparing the social importance of these to cathedrals, Chiote believes that “the new architectural objects are landmarks in the cities that will perpetuate in the future as a cultural and social legacy,” and there are few better ways to envision this legacy than to treat the structures with his abstracted, colorful aesthetic – in Brazilian green and yellow, of course. Check out the full illustration set after the break.

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Inside Masdar City

Masdar’s Incubator Building banks away from its roof line to add pedestrian space while constructing the aperture between buildings above to limit the amount of sunlight hitting the street surface. Image © Tyler Caine

The Middle East has historically been known for many things — not being one of them. The clash of Western values with the harshness of the local climate can often wedge between a lot of sand and a hard place. Though there is a broad critique of the unsustainable attributes of the region’s development path, for years there has been a shining exception: Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates, seventeen kilometers east-south-east from the city of .

Masdar City exists as an urban development project run by the renewable energy company Masdar, who has committed $15 billion to making Masdar City the planet’s most sustainable new city. Unlike Abu Dhabi, a city which unthinkingly follows antiquated models and Western building principles, Masdar City has a wealth of potential to offer the world of green urban planning – something the world sorely needs.

But Masdar City is certainly not without its share of critics. On first approach, the concentrated development, located in the center of six square kilometers of empty space, does little to awe, especially in comparison to the sprawling wave that is Abu Dhabi. Thanks largely to the global financial recession, buildings currently comprise less than 10% of the area committed to the urban experiment. Even today there is a group of onlookers that suggest Masdar City may just be a mirage after all.

However, this broader view is not necessarily synonymous with the bigger picture.

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What Can Be Learnt From The Smithsons’ “New Brutalism” In 2014?

Alison and Peter Smithson (year unknown)

Sheffield born Alison Gill, later to be known as Alison Smithson, was one half of one of the most influential Brutalist architectural partnerships in history. On the day that she would be celebrating her 86th birthday we take a look at how the impact of her and Peter Smithson’s architecture still resonates well into the 21st century, most notably in the British Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale. With ’s Robin Hood Gardens, one of their most well known and large scale social housing projects, facing imminent demolition how might their style, hailed by Reyner Banham in 1955 as the ”new brutalism”, hold the key for future housing projects?

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The EU Mies van der Rohe Architecture Award and The Future of European Architecture

© Pepo Segura – Fundació Mies van der Rohe

ArchDaily is pleased to announce our partnership with the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award. The following is an essay from Constructing Europe by Pedro Gadanho, member of the 2013 Prize jury. 

When one wants to consider the future of any form of activity, one is tempted to extrapolate trends from current conditions. One translates signs from the present onto the shape of things to come. The conditions of a given moment, however, may be too circumstantial, and one should be particularly aware of their transient nature. This is the dilemma one obviously faces when considering ‘the future of European architecture’.

At the time the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award commemorates its 25th anniversary, the European project from which this Prize emanates – and to which it owes its symbolic meaning and promoting purpose – is itself at a crossroads.

In between austerity measures, the South and North divide, growing unemployment, a feeling of impoverishment and insecurity, and the apparent unsustainability of the Welfare State model, which had given the region prosperity after World War II, Europe itself seems to be facing a pivotal, if transient moment.

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From “The Landscape Imagination” – James Corner’s Essay on the High Line

© Russel Fernandez/ Princeton Architectural Press

The following is an excerpt from The Landscape Imagination: The Collected Essays of James Corner 1990–2010 by James Corner. In this passage, Corner discusses the work of John Dixon Hunt, and the qualities of Hunt’s work that he seeks to incorporate into his own (including his firm’s - James Corner Field Operations - redesign of the High Line).

Over the past two decades, has reinvented the field of landscape architecture. His highly influential writings of the 1990s, included in our bestselling Recovering Landscape, together with a post-millennial series of built projects, such as New York’s celebrated High Line, prove that the best way to address the problems facing our cities is to embrace their industrial past. Collecting Corner’s written scholarship from the early 1990s through 2010, The Landscape Imagination addresses critical issues in landscape architecture and reflects on how his writings have informed the built work of his thriving New York based practice, Field Operations.

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