ArchDaily Editors Select 20 Amazing 21st Century Museums

In honor of  we’ve collected twenty fascinating museums well worth visiting again. In this round up you’ll find classics – such as Bernard Tschumi Architects New Acropolis Museum and Zaha Hadid Architects‘ MAXXI Museum - as well as lesser-known gems – such as Medieval Museum, the Natural History Museum of Utah by Ennead, and the Muritzeum by Wingårdhs. See all of our editors’ favorites after the break!

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The Atlanta BeltLine: From Student Thesis to Community Mobilizer

A parade passes through the Eastside Trail of the BeltLine, completed in October 2012. Image © Christopher T. Martin

An abandoned twenty-two mile stretch of derelict railroad and industrial sites used to be a thorn in the Atlanta community’s side. But with one student’s thesis proposal to redevelop these areas into a sustainable network connecting 45 mixed-use neighborhoods, public concern has since turned into excitement. To learn more about the ambitious project, head over to The Atlantic Cities here.

What Makes a City a City?

The presence of a cathedral meant St David’s in Pembrokeshire had city status with a population of around 2,000. Image Courtesy of Alamy

You probably use the word ‘city’ on a daily basis, but if put on the spot – could you give it a concise definition? Under the rule of Henry VIII, the title of city was given to virtually any settlement in the United Kingdom with a diocesan cathedral. Obviously, times have changed. For Robert Bevan’s thoughts on the title’s past and present meaning, read his article on The Guardian here.

Lost Opportunity? Norman Foster’s New York Public Library Renovation

Not gonna happen. Image Courtesy of dbox/Foster + Partners

As we mentioned a few days ago, Norman Foster’s controversial New York Public Library renovation was axed before the most current proposal was even revealed. While book worms rejoice over the victory, others are disappointed about the lost opportunity. To read about what could have been, head on over to New York Magazine and read Justin Davidson’s thoughts here.

Win a Free Full Pass to the 2014 AIA National Convention from reThink Wood

Dewitt-Chestnut Apartments. Image © Hedrich Blessing via

UPDATE: Submissions are now closed. We will contact the winner in the week.

Next month, the AIA National Convention is coming to Chicago – bringing together the best and brightest building professionals to network, and learn about growing trends in the architecture industry. If you haven’t booked your ticket already, here is a chance to attend the event free of charge!

reThink Wood is offering a full pre-paid pass to the National Convention ($945 value) to one lucky ArchDaily reader. The winner will also be able to meet with architects on site that are passionate about innovative design with wood in mid-rise, and even high-rise projects.

To win, just answer the following question in the comments section before May 21 12:00PM EST: What architect(s) are doing the most interesting work with wood today?

More on reThink Wood at the AIA, after the break. 

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Toomath’s Legacy: Defining Modern New Zealand Architecture

Toomath House, view of the Oriental Bay. Image Courtesy of Simon Devitt

“What makes us New Zealanders different from, say, Australians?” , the late modernist architect, asked himself this question at the onset of his career. In this article published by the Australian Design Review, Jack Davies takes a look at Toomath’s work and how he helped define architecture. To keep reading, click here.

“Every Building is a Social Critique” – Polshek Describes His Oeuvre in Latest Book

Polshek’s memorable design for the Rose Center for Earth and Space (2000) at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Image Courtesy of Timothy Hursley

While architects don’t always see the connection between politics, social constructs, and architecture, considers the three indivisible. In an interview on Metropolis Magazine about his newly released book Build, Memory, he describes how this belief launched his career 65 years ago. To learn more about Polshek’s approach to architecture and the publication, click here.

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Europe Day 2014: A Roundup of EU Architecture

© Georges Fessy

Today is Europe day in the EU, and to celebrate we’re rounding up some of the best Europe-inspired architecture. First, two buildings designed for European institutions, the Court of Justice of the European Communities by Dominique Perrault and the Council of Europe by Art & Build Architect. Next, we’ve got a building which celebrates the achievements of Europeans, the Cultural Centre of European Space Technologies. Finally, two buildings which promote the very notion of Europe: the EU Pavilion by Senat Haliti, a message of hope for the 72% of Kosovans who wish to join the EU; and Le Monolithe by MVRDV, which has the first article of the European Constitution imprinted on the facade – expounding a belief in “a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity, and equality between women and men prevail.”

Jacobs and Moses’ Famous Feud to Be Dramatized in Opera

Courtesy of Fast Co-Design

Yes, you read right – the 1960s urban planning battle between Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses will be the central story line for a new opera. Although the premiere is a long way off, its creators promise to bring and the drama to life through song and an elaborate, animated, three-dimensional set. To find out more about the developing project, head on over to Fast Co-Design.

When Architects Build Brands: Is Architecture’s Future in Advertising?

With existing expertise in graphic communication, some architects are becoming advertisers. Image © IADE

Architects have an eye for design, but do they have an eye for advertising? In Norway, for example, Snøhetta isn’t just known for the Oslo Opera House but for branding some of the country’s largest companies. In America, Hickok Cole Architects of Washington D.C. are working on brand identity with companies as large as Pfizer. Recently, launched a new advertising arm to the company — Hickok Cole Creative. With interdisciplinary practice on the rise, one has to wonder – could the work of the architecture firm of the future not be architecture at all? Read more about Hickok Cole’s transition into advertising in this article at the Washington Business Journal.

AD Round Up: Portugal’s Micro-Hotels

The Tree Snake Houses – A New, Smaller Trend In Hospitality Architecture. Image © Ricardo Oliveira Alves

This Financial Times article describes the Post-Recession paradigm shift occurring in Portuguese architecture — from construction to landscape, large to small. Pritzker Prize winners Alvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura have been leading this “micro” trend, designing hotels with exceptional materiality and craft. We’ve decided to round up some of these extraordinary structures, including: Casa Na Areia and Cabanas no Rio by Aires MateusJorge Sousa Santos’ Rio do Prado, the Ecork Hotel by Jose Carlos Cruz and Villa Extramuros by Jordi Fornells. Last but not least, is ArchDaily’s building of the year for hospitality architecture — the Tree Snake Houses from father Luís Rebelo de Andrade and son Tiago Rebelo de Andrade.

Remembering Ron Thom’s Subtle Mark on the Canadian Landscape

Trent University in , Ontario. Image © Alexi Hobbs

“You don’t need and flashy starchitecture to make a statement; the most powerful architecture is often that which blends into the landscape and reveals itself slowly.” In this article on Monocle, written by Nelly Gocheva, the late Canadian architect Ron Thom is remembered for just this reason. To learn more about Thom’s architectural approach and works, including his masterplan for Trent University, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, read the article here.

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From “Cube Farm” to Fun: The Five Office Designs of the 20th Century

Google’s Super HQ Office in London. Image Courtesy of PENSON

From being isolated in a cubicle to having a ping pong table at your disposal, the way we approach work and office design has drastically evolved over the past decade. The Wall Street Journal has identified five office designs that have defined the 20th century, going over the pros and cons of each one – including the collaborative typology that exists in the offices of Google. To learn more, continue reading here.

Ban, Kimmelman, Others Speak at “Cities for Tomorrow”

On April 21st, ArchDaily tweeted about watching keynote speaker Shigeru Ban kick of the Cities for Tomorrow  in New York. In his first appearance since winning the Pritzker Prize, he addressed how we should approach urban planning and development today with architecture critic Michael Kimmelman. To watch more videos – of Ban as well as speakers such as  Vishaan ChakrabatiShaun Donovan, and Janette Sadik-Kahn discussing the future of our cities – click here.

The Art of Architecture: Some of Tumblr’s Best Architecture Drawings

Vertigo by Tom Radclyfe. Image Courtesy of drawingarchitecture..com/

Tumblr is full of well curated blogs featuring creative works from architecture students, professionals, and enthusiasts; Drawing ARCHITECTURE is one of these blogs we’ve found to be particularly intriguing. From charcoal masterpieces to computer renderings, the architectural drawings featured on this Tumblr are stunning. 

Check out some of our favorite selections, after the break…

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Happy Birthday Jane Jacobs

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

Today would have been social activist and urban writer Jane Jacob‘s 98th birthday. Throughout her career, she fought against corporate globalization and urged 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- to tiny office spaces. She passed away in 2006.

In The Life and Death of Great American Cities, her most well-known publication, Jacobs critiques the short-sightedness of urban planners in the 1950s and argues that their assumptions about what makes a good city are actually detrimental to the human experience. For example, she contends that the creation of automobile infrastructure results in the unnatural division of pre-existing neighbourhoods, creating unsafe environments and thereby severing community connections. In the years leading up to her death, she discussed ways in which communities could recover what they lost as a result of poor foresight in earlier city planning efforts.

After her first novel, Jacobs broadened her scope and began to look at topics such as economics, morals, and social relations. Here is a complete list of her publications:

Can Design Compel Communities to Relocate After Natural Disaster?

An aerial rendering from the Sasaki/Rutgers/Arup team shows Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. A threatened barrier island is visible on the right, and in the middle is a redeveloped area where people could, in theory, move. Image Courtesy of The Atlantic Cities

If you lived in a region repeatedly devastated by storms, would common sense be enough to make you leave your memories behind? Two of the ten proposals for the Rebuild by Design competition (which included proposals from  OMA and BIG) tackle this issue, providing designs that compel communities to move to safety. To learn more about this sensitive and increasingly relevant social and political issue, known as “,” check out James Russell’s article on The Atlantic Cities.

Dive Into ArchDaily Materials, Our Latest Tool

Dear Readers,

In December of last year, we announced the launch of our latest innovation: ArchDaily Materials, our new US product catalog.

Materials will make ArchDaily more useful for you. When you come to our site to browse our projects, and come across certain facades, lighting, or any other kind of detail you admire, Materials allows you to instantly access the makers of those architectural products, so you can incorporate them into your own projects. It’s Inspiration, Materialized.

We wanted to update you now and let you know how Materials has grown over the last five months. Since launching, we’ve added 29 categories that let you easily explore our 197 products. We’ve added a useful link from the product page to the project page – allowing you to see the material applied in all its glory. Following your feedback, we’ve even added construction details and specs to project pages. And we’ve partnered with some amazing manufacturers, including: Hunter Douglas, Equitone, Sherwin Williams, Alucobond, VMZinc, and Big Ass Fans.

Today, we’re happy to report 150,000 pageviews and counting! However, we know we’re still in the early stages yet. Take a moment to explore this inspirational resource by clicking on Materials at the top of the page (between Articles & Interviews), share it with your friends, and let us know how it can be more useful to you!

Sincerely,

The ArchDaily Team