Los Leones Stables / Pablo Lamarca & Tomás Swett

© Courtesy of & Tomás Swett

Architects: Pablo Lamarca & Tomás Swett
Location: Fundo Los Leones, , Chile
Structural Engineering: Alex Popp
Project Area: 455 sqm
Project Year: 2008-2009
Photographs: Courtesy of Pablo Lamarca & Tomás Swett

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The Indicator: Atelier Atelier

Le Corbusier’s Apartment-atelier (1931-1934) on 24 rue Nungesser-et-Coli, Paris

New architecture firm names are getting out of hand. It’s as if they are trying to sound like Indie bands. Barring that, they often fall back on “Atelier such and such.” One trendy use of atelier has been the “Atelier insert-your-name-here” variation. This has been way overdone. There is also the “Atelier theoretical buzz word” version.

Since a name is how you present your firm to the world, it’s worth giving it some serious consideration. It’s more important to be apt and appropriate rather than too creative with names. Save the creativity for your designs.

More after the break. (more…)

Are you an Architect? Take the quiz…

Jody Brown, the architect behind the blog Coffee with an Architect made this interesting quiz to determine if you are indeed an architect or not.

Best Hepburn? Is it Katherine or Audrey? Better Duchovny? Is it X-Files or Californication?

The 50 questions and their correct answers after the break. (more…)

Sectionhouse / The Cloud Collective

© Pieter De Ruijter /

Sectionhouse is a public outdoor concrete sculpture, a fragment of a house that displays the ways in which daily life is enacted within architecture.  The project is located in the small Dutch rural town of and was designed by The Cloud Collective, a collaboration of young designers, architects, urban designers, artists and theorists, spread out all over Europe, working for different offices, schools and governments.

More on this project after the break. (more…)

The Indicator: Keep Off the Grass

The Mall and Vicinity, c. 1917

PREFACE

Since 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy has been running the Solar Decathlon to promote innovation in sustainable building technologies. The program places twenty collegiate teams from around the world in competition to produce prototype homes capable of producing more energy than they consume and powered exclusively by the sun. This year, the teams received the surprise news that their “sites” have been changed from the Mall to an as yet undecided alternate location. Even though one of the conditions of participation in the contest is to provide for the replacement of damaged lawn areas, the Department of the Interior and the National Parks Service are worried about the grass. Judging from the current state of the lawn, it would probably be in better shape after the Decathlon teams have removed their houses and fixed it.

Here is a link to a heart-wrenching video produced by the SCI-arc/Cal Tech Team. They ask you to contact members of Congress and The White House. Please support the Decathletes by calling, emailing, tweeting, facebooking, and writing.

More after the break. (more…)

A Room for London / David Kohn Architects + Fiona Banner

Courtesy David Khon Architects + Fiona Banner

David Kohn Architects and artist Fiona Banner have been selected to design A Room for , a temporary installation that will sit on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall at Southbank Centre, and be part of the 2012 Festival. ArchDaily has been showcasing selected entries to the competition for months now and can be seen here. For more information pertaining to and Fiona Banner‘s winning entry please follow after the break.
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The Indicator: Thinking Architecture… in c. 25 BC

1684 Depiction of Vitruvius (right) presenting De Architectura to Augustus. Via Wikipedia

Browsing Lapham’s Quarterly, I came upon an interesting little article under the heading, “Practice and Theory.” Then I noticed the date, c. 25 BC, Rome—hardly current for online content. I soon realized I was reading a passage from Vitruvius’ On Architecture, one of those texts in the canon of western architecture that I should be familiar with—or at the very least know about. The former I make not claims to. I’m afraid the latter is more the case.

This might come as a shock, but I have not actually read his entire ten-volume treatise. On another note of disappointment, the man’s life remains obscure and I have no intention of making it any less so here. Be that as it may, the passage reproduced here seems relevant in this era of increasing specialization, professional insularity, technology- and theory-driven practices, and unstable business models.

More after the break. (more…)

Fountain at Pilsen / Ondřej Císler

© Vasil Stanko and Karel Kocourek

The three fountains located in the Republic Square of were designed by Ondřej Císler and constructed in 2010 following a 2004 two-stage competition. It took five years for local authorities to accept the design that jurors of the competition very positively received. When in 2010 Pilsen was announced to be a European City of Culture in 2015, the decision to finally construct the fountains was approved.

More on the project after the break.

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The Indicator: Fearful Symmetry

The design that inspired many OMG WTF comments. Image courtesy Ehrlich Architects

What immortal hand or eye / Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

William Blake, The Tyger

Ehrlich Architects recently beat out Zaha, Foster, and Massimiliano Fuksas to win a competition for the UAE Federal National Councils Parliament Complex (UAEFNC).

Their winning design has received mixed reviews from the online audience. Many are laden with bile and downright hostile. I imagine these online critics spitting with dismissive contempt as they violently bang away at their keyboards. I usually stay clear of architectural scuffles, but in this case I’m making an exception.

Keep reading after the break. (more…)

The Playful Bench / MAPT and Sune Petersen

YouTube Preview Image

Copenhagen-based architectural office MAPT is behind the concept and development of the first interactive bench; one that invites you to play, move and experience the urban space in a dynamic way. The bench that changes color and pattern as people pass by has sprung up in Copenhagen’s “Islands Brygge.” The design became possible with the collaboration with designer Sune Petersen.

Read on for more about The Playful Bench after the break. (more…)

Miami Marine Stadium and Basin

© Arseni Varabyeu

Marine Stadium, designed by architect in 1963, hosted many events – political rallies, boat races, concerts, church services, television shows, movie set for Clambake staring Elvis Presley, and was an important part of the Miami area until 1992 when it fell to disrepair. After much dialogue and arm twisting the Miami Marine Stadium is to be preserved many thanks to the Friends of Marine Stadium. Original architect Hilario Candela, along with Jorge Hernandez, Catherine Lynn and students from the University of Miami’s Architectural Preservation Studio, have created a concept for the revitalization which has been incoprated officially in the to the Virginia Key Masterplan. A hopeful 2012 grand re-opening is planned for this important local neighborhood civic plaza.

More photographs following the break.

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Future Outdoors

Perspective rendering of "future outdoors" building

Focusing on projecting new living conditions circa 2085 in , “A Wonderful World” master class with Wiel Arets at the Berlage Institute Postgraduate Research Laboratory, challenged participants to rethink the proposition of living in a metropolis, high-rise building.  Researching and redefining the map of the world, all of the continents were being projected to be within a 288 minute radius with a maximum travel distance of 72 minutes between continents.  The basic question put forward: How will the city develop within our extremely exciting, complex, but shrinking world?

The Future Outdoors team shared with us their research and proposal to this question.  Follow the break for a description and drawings.

Project Team: Juan Carlos Aristizabal, Gabriel Cuellar, Silvia
Gioberti, Samia Henni, Ivan Nasution, Githa Ong

Photographs: Courtesy of Future Outdoors

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The Indicator: China Before Architecture

Army pants

My first trip to was in 1988. Ironically, this was the same year sweeping land reforms were instituted by the government. It was very simple, really. It was like a massive stimulus package. Though, at the time, the full ramifications of these policies were not completely understood.

Basically, the laws governing land management were altered. All land was (and still is) state-owned. There is no private property in China. 1949 erased the concept from history. Under the policy changes, which also coincided with other dramatic economic reforms, land use rights could be traded on a quasi-private real-estate market.

In the eighties, one thing I had in common with China was a complete lack of interest in Architecture. Shocking, I know. Architecture was simply the background, the environmental equivalent to muzak. I was conscious of it, but in a more detached, impersonal way, and without the need to exercise any architectural power over my surroundings. Another shocking thing about that time: I didn’t have the need to filter everything trough the narrative of Architecture.

More after the break. (more…)

ARCHI ZINES

ARCHI ZINES

The ARCHI ZINES project, conceived by , aims to ‘promote publishing as an arena for architectural commentary, criticism and research, and as a creative platform for new photography, illustration and design’. This online archive of international publications is in its first stages with ambitions of expanding the collection – providing an important cohesive resource for the design world.

Elias Redstone, architecture curator and writer, recently curated the Polish Pavilion: Venice Architecture Biennale 2010.

The Indicator: The Book by It’s Cover

The chin on the typewriter. It’s a typewriter. The college haircut. Before the personal computer, the Internet. No cell phones. Coffee had not yet been fetishized to the degree it is today. I suspect the coffee thing goes along with the technology. Black. Sugar. Cream. I think she likes black. I know I have another one of her books on my shelves. I know almost nothing about her beyond the book, Formless. For a long time I kept this on my desk when I worked at a corporate firm. I was surprised to find this book of collected essays spanning her career as an art critic and historian. I didn’t look inside, just the cover. That was enough.

To be perfectly honest with you, I’m simply too exhausted to write an in-depth piece on the economic outlook for 2011. I did have good intentions. I woke up in the middle of the night with something nearly complete in my head. It was going to be really informative. Let me summarize: if you are working in 2011 you are getting paid less, working longer hours and have less security. If you are running a firm, now is the time to re-envision your vision, identify your identity, and consolidate your consolidatables. I’m in a good mood…and you might be too…so why ruin it with more of this. I’ll write that piece when I’m in a bad mood. And, to be perfectly honest again, it’s just too early in the year to get a grasp on where it is going. So, let us turn to something else that has been on my mind.

More after the break. (more…)

Serial Architecture – Systems of Multiplicities / Rocker-Lange

Courtesy of

Rocker-Lange architects shared with us the release of their research project, Serial Architecture – Systems of Multiplicities, which was also part of the exhibit “Quotidian Architectures” in the Pavillion at the Venice Biennale 2010. The project, accompanied by a 400+ book, rethinks quotidian architecture in , a city with an average density of over 6,300 people per square kilometer. More images and architect’s description after the break. (more…)

The Indicator: Why We Look at Architecture

The Broad Art Foundation with its parametric concrete “veil”. Courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro

It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.

– Oscar Wilde

I’m drawn to John Berger’s essay “Why Look at Animals” for many reasons but primarily because it takes something obvious and turns it inside-out to reveal dimensions that were completely unexpected. The way he describes our cultural and personal engagement with animals got me thinking about how we look at architecture and why we look at it. What are we trying to see there? And is there a there there?

More after the break. (more…)

A Room for London proposal / studio octopi

Courtesy of

-based studio octopi shared with us their proposal for A Room for London Competition for the 2012 London Olympics. More images and architect’s description after the break. (more…)