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 -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-

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, Hickok Cole Architects 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  firm of the future not be 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 big 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  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 conference in New York. In his first appearance since winning the Pritzker Prize, he addressed how we should approach 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.tumblr.com/

Tumblr is full of well curated blogs featuring creative works from 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 conference 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 can affect community and creativity continue to hold relevance today - influencing everything from the of mega-cities 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 “Managed Retreat,” check out James Russell’s article on The Atlantic Cities.

A History of Women in Architecture

, FAIA (1872-1957)

In this article published by the National Women’s History Museum, Despina Stratigakos delivers a fresh perspective on the current phenomenon of women leaving the architecture profession. Starting with Architect Barbie and jumping back to the likes of Julia Morgan, the successes and struggles of pioneering female architects are chronicled, offering women pursuing architecture careers today a firm understanding of their roots. Read the article here.

Strelka Institute Compiles 41 Interviews on the Future of Urbanism

Courtesy of Strelka Institute

A collection of 41 conducted by students at the Strelka Institute, entitled Future Urbanism, is now available online. The interviews feature architects, urban planners, sociologists, researchers, and other professionals from fields related to urban studies, emphasizing the Strelka Institute’s mandate for interdisciplinary thinking. To take a look at the interviews, see here.

The Oxymore: Angularity That Belies Comfort

Courtesy of Figueras

JeanNouvelDesign, the studio led by French architect , presented their new collection of furniture during Paris Design Week. Among them is the Oxymore chair, designed by JeanNouvelDesign and produced by specialty group-seating manufacturer Figueras International Seating. This fetishistic chair, a result of research conducted at the Figueras Design Centre, has a singular cubic appearance that provides extreme comfort, softness. It is precisely this unapparent relationship between look and feeling that gives the seat its name—since an oxymoron means a union of contradictory elements.

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Round Up: Made in China

Ordos Art & City Museum by MAD Architects / © Shu He

“I have to believe that one day, the only people doing in China will be Chinese architects. That’s one trend I watch, because I’m not a Chinese architect!” This is the declaration Ben Woods, an American architect living and working in China, made during a recent interview with Forbes. In honour of his prediction, work, and personal commitment to never design a skyscraper, we’ve rounded up a list of fitting cultural projects in China by Chinese architects. See Pritzker Prize winner Wang Shu‘s Ningbo Historic Museum, MAD Architect‘s Ordos Art & City Museum, the Jinchang Cultural Centre, the Oct Design Museum, and the Spiral Gallery II. For more information on this post’s inspiration, check out the full interview and article here.

Norman Foster to Receive Isamu Noguchi Award

Courtesy of The Noguchi Museum

The Noguchi Museum will be honoring architect Norman Foster and contemporary artist Hiroshi Sugimoto as the first recipients of the Isamu Noguchi Award on Tuesday, May 13. The award acknowledges individuals whose work relates to landscape architect and artist Isamu Noguchi, who promoted a multi-disciplinary, collaborative approach to the arts and was committed to innovation, global consciousness, and Japanese/American exchange. For more information on the benefit, see here.

Where You Work: The Offices of ArchDaily Readers

Courtesy of Bark Architects

In 2009 we wanted to find out where our readers work and create. We asked, you responded, and the results gave us a fascinating insight into your daily lives. And so, a few weeks ago, we once again asked our readers to send us pictures of their workspaces. We received submissions from all over the world – from beachside desks to a stark warehouse space to a stunning gallery.

Take a look at these creative spaces – you may even recognize your own workplace, or one quite like it – and keep following and participating by using the #wherewework hashtag on Facebook or Twitter. Thanks for your help!

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Architects: Leave Fashion to the Experts

has recently launched a new line of swimwear for Viviona. Image Courtesy of Viviona

Le Corbusier donned signature glasses; Frank Gehry designed footwear; early twentieth-century architect Adolf Loos even wrote “Why A Man Should Be Well-Dressed.” Now Zaha Hadid is making her way into swimwear. But are the nuances of fashion too much for architects to dip their feet into? Read the full article at the Telegraph.

Guy Horton on Zaha Hadid & the Architect’s Ethical Responsibility

Courtesy of ZHA

In this episode of KCRW’s Design & Architecture (DnA) podcast, contributor Guy Horton speaks with Frances Anderson about the architect’s ethical responsibility to protect construction workers’ rights, following up on his popular article “Will We Stay Silent? The Human Cost of Qatar’s World Cup.” The episode also features a fascinating look into Shigeru Ban‘s career and Pritzker win as well as the Folk-Moma controversy. Listen here.