Gallery: The Top 5 Milan Expo Pavilions

UK Pavilion – / Wolfgang Buttress. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu

Romanian photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has shared his photos of the Expo Milan, along with his ranking of the top 5 pavilions. Read on to see his beautiful collection of images accompanied by his short remarks on the merits of the designs. 

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Study Architecture with an International Focus at UIC Barcelona School of Architecture

© Aitor Estévez

With a clear international outlook and universal approach, the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture’s Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture offers students a holistic approach to architectural , improving competitiveness by encouraging multiple skill sets, teamwork, responsibility, and entrepreneurship. The university employs a unique teaching method, where each student is tasked with undertaking a project at every step of the process.

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In 4 Days, 100 Volunteers Used Mud and Reeds To Build This Community Center in Mexico

© Pedro Bravo, Sofia Hernández, Francisco Martínez

Developed by architects from in Barranca de Huentitán, Guadalajara, Mexico, this new building for the Mexican Institute for Community Development (IMDEC) was built in just four days with the help of 100 volunteers.

The new facility includes both housing and meeting space, and was constructed using local building techniques and materials. Built with a concrete base, the walls were made using bahareque (reed frames and mud) and woven reed lattices that cover most of the building’s exterior.

Learn more about the construction process after the break.

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Studio Esinam’s Limited Edition Prints Capture Elevations from Around the World

Courtesy of Studio Esinam

Swedish firm Studio Esinam‘s new print series depicts “Elevations” of architectural landmarks across the globe. Using minimalist line drawings, the illustrations attempt to “capture the unique feeling of various cities around the world”.

Meticulously recreating the facades of landmarks in Berlin, Brooklyn, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, London, Paris, Stockholm, and Tokyo, the growing collection of prints reframes technical drawings as works of art. By distilling iconic facades to their barest and most essential elements, Studio Esinam aims to direct “attention to details that mostly pass unseen.”

View selected prints from the “Elevations” series after the break.

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Spotlight: Jane Jacobs

, then chairperson of a civic group in Greenwich Village, at a press conference in 1961. Image via Wikipedia

Throughout her career, social activist and urban writer Jane Jacobs (May 4, 1916 – April 25, 2006) fought against corporate globalization and urged post-war urban planners and developers to remember the importance of community and the human scale. Despite not having any formal training, she radically changed urban planning policy through the power of observation and personal experience. Her theories on how design can affect community and creativity continue to hold relevance today – influencing everything from the design of mega-cities to tiny office spaces.

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Delve Into “The Possibilities of Perception” with Satellite Photo Art by ULTRADISTANCIA

Courtesy of @Google Earth and satellite data providers

Hovering high above the earth’s surface and presenting a serenely distant view of the terrain we inhabit, ULTRADISTANCIA is the latest photographic project from Argentinian artist, academic, and veteran traveller Federico Winer. The experimental series uses “the marvelous screens of Google Earth” to present stunning images of environments both built and natural.

Learn more about the project and view selected images after the break.

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AD Materials Round Up: Wire Mesh

Cocoon / Camenzind Evolution. Image © Camenzind Evolution

Though it can sometimes be overlooked in favor of materials which are more decisively either transparent or opaque, wire mesh is a tremendously versatile material that can be used for anything from delicate screens to a rough industrial interior. Here, ArchDaily Materials presents five projects that use wire mesh to great effect: Camenzind Evolution’s “Coccoon” building which shrouds the entire facade in a silvery screen; the Ibiray House by Oreggioni Prieto, which uses a loose mesh to grow plants for seasonal shading; Melaten Car Park by KSG Architekten, which uses a mesh facade to create an “out of focus” effect; Nickl & Partner Architekten’s Renovation and Extension of the Hameln County Hospital, which uses motorized mesh screens to shade patient rooms; and finally the Croatian Pavilion for the 2010 Venice Biennale, with an interior space dramatically carved from a block of 32 tons of welded wire mesh.

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How Digital Design Review Enabled One of the Fastest US Hospital Builds

Courtesy of Bluebeam

Designing and building an 831,000 square foot hospital in 30 months is no easy feat. In fact, the Denver Saint Joseph Hospital project, owned by SCL Health Systems, is actually one of the fastest hospital builds ever completed in the US. Innovative methods of design, construction and collaboration among project partners throughout all phases of the project — from planning to construction — were critical for the team to open the hospital doors on time.

“The document management was tough—a million square feet of anything is going to generate a lot of documentation,” said Dale Clingner, an associate with Davis Partnership Architects, who partnered with H+L Architecture and ZGF Architects on the project, which was built by Mortenson Construction. To avoid the type of document management confusion that could slow progress, all project partners established a tacitly agreed-upon BIM execution plan and decided to incorporate digital design review in live collaborative sessions to successfully meet the condensed timeline on or under budget.

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Go Around the World in Far Less Than 80 Days with Google Street View

Daydreaming about that round-the-world trip you’ve been planning for years? Covering over fifty countries and seven continents, Google Street View allows you to embark on the journey from the comfort of your own desk, no passport necessary.

Learn more and view our must-see destinations for a Street View “World Tour” after the break.

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Is a 24-Hour Studio Culture a Good Thing in Universities?

Update: We have now published our follow-up post featuring a collection of responses from readers. Read it here.

Architecture students have the reputation – perhaps more than any other students – of pulling all-nighters, sometimes disappearing for days at a time into what their non-architect friends come to view as a mysterious and often intimidating place: “The .” However, recently this right to work at any and all hours has come into question, with surveys such as the one by the University of Toronto’s GALDSU highlighting the negative effects of long work hours on students’ physical and mental health. Many schools have now begun closing their buildings overnight to try to combat what is often seen as a negative and damaging culture.

wants to open up this discussion to its readers, who we hope can enlighten us with the nuanced experiences of teachers, professionals, and of course students both past and present. Are long hours and hard work good or bad for aspiring architects? Is closing the studio overnight a positive step to address a damaging culture? Or is it a patronizing restriction placed upon young adults who should be allowed to make their own decisions? Perhaps just as importantly, how does this culture forged at university affect the rest of an architect’s career?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. The best answers will be featured in a future article highlighting the pros and cons of 24-hour studio culture.

SCI-Arc Offers Emerging Systems, Technologies & Media Post Professional Program

Courtesy of

A dynamic post-professional program in Emerging Systems, Technologies, & Media (ESTm) offered by the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles has been charged with examining core contemporary issues facing architecture and design today. Spanning topics from advanced manufacturing methodologies to new building systems, this one year Master of Design Research track allows professionals to rethink architecture and design through the experimental hands-on approach of the SCI-Arc community.

The ESTm program tests new levels of environmental performance as it prepares students to successfully integrate formal, technical, logistical, and material processes into advanced architectural designs. The program is open to graduates in architecture, engineering, product design, computer sciences and other professionals who wish to develop advanced research and design skills in light of continuously evolving and new production paradigms of the 21st century.

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“Spanning the Future” Documentary Traces the Life and Work of Frei Otto

Aviary at the Munich Zoo. Image Courtesy of Atelier Frei Otto Warmbronn

Frei Otto: Spanning the Future,” a documentary profiling the internationally renowned architect and engineer Frei Otto, has been in production since 2012. Otto, who was named the 2015 Pritzker Prize laureate on Tuesday evening (following his death on Monday night), first gained international recognition half a century ago as a pioneer in designing tensile structures using metal frames and lightweight membranes.

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ArchDaily: 7 Years, 7 Most Popular Projects

Today, is celebrating its seventh birthday (check out our letter to our readers and our infographic “7 Years of ArchDaily“). Our seventh birthday is a chance to reflect on our story, and to thank the readers that have helped to shape our course over the years, but of course there is one more ingredient that has helped to make us the world’s most visited architecture website: great projects from talented designers all over the world. In fact as of press time, we have published 15,942 projects in total, an astonishing number that demonstrates the sheer quantity of architects out there working for a better world.

Which of these thousands of projects have had the biggest impact on you, our readers? Join us after the break as we look back at seven buildings that rose above the fray to become the most-viewed project in each of our seven years.

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Defensive Architecture Creates Unlivable Cities

"Anti-homeless" spikes installed in Manchester. Image © Christopher Thomond via the Guardian

To many, the harsh turns the modern city has taken are not apparent. We see benches and bus stops that masquerade as shelters, but Guardian writer Alex Andreou’s sudden plunge into homelessness opened his eyes to the hostile realities of these and other structures. In “Anti-Homeless spikes: ‘Sleeping rough opened my eyes to the city’s barbed cruelty’,” he sheds some light on misconceptions about homelessness and explains the unfortunate trend of designing unlivable architecture to deter those affected.

From pavement sprinklers to concrete sidewalk spikes, the modern city is littered with defensive techniques, discouraging the homeless from habitation and encouraging instead an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality to make spaces more comfortable for others. However Andreou argues that the dehumanizing effects of these harsh gestures affect everyone, acting as physical manifestations of society’s intolerance and making public spaces that bit less welcoming for us all – homeless or not. Read the full article, here.

Co-Housing Movement Sweeps through Europe

R50 – Cohousing / ifau und Jesko Fezer + HEIDE & VON BECKERATH. Image © Andrew Alberts

In the Spanish suburb of Alfafar, conditions were looking grim as economic hardships plunged over 40% of its residents into unemployment and left significant portions of its housing vacant. In response, a group of young architects have developed a co-housing plan for the area to accommodate its shifting needs, enabling residents to exchange and share space as needed. Using the existing buildings as the framework, the line between public and private will evolve over time with changing conditions, following in the footsteps of other European countries that have successfully employed similar undertakings. Read more about Alfafar’s co-housing plan, here.

How Aluminum Composite Materials Have Evolved To Meet Strict Building Standards

Rush University Medical Center Hospital by Perkins + Will Chicago. Image © Robert R. Gigliotti

Recently, national and international building codes have challenged the construction market with design-oriented goals of sustainability and energy efficiency. The increasing demand for high performance, energy-efficient buildings has led to the evolution of building enclosure designs that incorporate durability, longevity, and thermal and weather protection, and architects and building owners are now required to meet stringent energy codes, resulting in a systems approach to designing the building envelope components. As a result, protection and life safety issues have significantly affected the development of the codes, becoming an integral part of recent International Building Code (IBC) updates. A lot is now dependent on the correct usage of materials and systems, especially when it comes to the facade of a building and aluminum composite materials (ACM).

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AD Round Up: Mardi Gras Edition

W French Quarter / . Image © Michael Kleinberg

February 17 is Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday,” traditionally a Catholic holiday that celebrates the last night of indulging in guilty pleasures before participating in the penitential season of Lent. Celebrated around the world with elaborate parties, parades, dancing, and other frivolities, its festivities are most famously celebrated within the United States today in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, the site of the first American Mardi Gras.

In honor of this holiday, we’ve rounded up five projects built in New Orleans in the last few years that capture the mysterious spirit and embrace the history of the vibrant city. These inspired works include FLOAT House by Morphosis Architects and Frank Gehry’s duplex which were designed for Make It Right’s hurricane relief effort, Voorsanger Architects’ National World War II Museum, Rosa Keller Library by the 2014 AIA Architecture Firm Award recipient Eskew+Dumez+Ripple and its joint design with Nemaworkshop for W French Quarter. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Celebrate Presidents Day with Five Presidential Libraries

Courtesy of Daniel Cooper – http://www.flickr.com/photos/doitintheroad/

President’s day marks a moment of reflection in the United States, where citizens acknowledge the contributions of US presidents to the politics and culture of the nation. While some of these men are still with us, the majority are represented only by the monuments and buildings they left to posterity. Indeed, the legacy of a President has come to be embodied in a very specific type of building—a library. The last 13 presidents have commissioned national libraries to be built in their name, marking the end of their service. Libraries have also been posthumously dedicated to presidents who did not erect such monuments during their own lifetimes. In either case, recording the lives and legacies of these great men has made for some fantastic architecture. See some of our favorites, after the break!

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