An Architect’s Journey to Brazil

Affonso Eduardo Reidy, Pedregulho Housing (1950-52). Image © John Hartmann

When I was student in , I would often spend hours thumbing through the titles of books at the Strand Bookstore.  One day I came across Latin American Since 1945. The black and white book, written by Henry-Russell Hitchcock in 1955, showed a world of precise modernism. The buildings, situated in a tropical climate, set atop pilotis with gardens flowing in and under them, with brise soleils filtering the strong equatorial light, were perfect. I often would stare into the pages and attempt to create similar projects on my drafting board.

Fifteen years later, on a journey to Brazil, I sought out the projects that were indelibly written into my memory.  I expected, or hoped, to find them as they were on the pages. But what I found instead are buildings that are used and worn, showing age like the yellowing pages of the book itself. Despite this, the buildings were very much alive. Children were kicking a ball around in the housing bar and patients were still healing in Neimeyer’s hospital. These projects were not the crisp sun drenched modernism of my imagination, but they exceeded my expectation with an unexpected vibrance.

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Bricktopia: contemporary crafts in EME3 Festival, Barcelona

© Manuel de Lozar + Paula López Barba

“Bricktopia”, by the architects of the international collective , is the winning project in the “Build-it” Eme3 International Architecture Festival,held on June 27-30 in Barcelona. The pavilion can be visited throughout the summer at the square of the former spinning mill Fabra i Coats in the Sant Andreu district.

This intervention sets a new square which can house different activities, both under the pavilion and around it. Public spaces for bathrooms, sun, bar and stage for enjoying the summer 2013. It is a brick domed structure that employs the traditional construction system of a partitioned vault (or “Catalan vault”) computed with new digital tools for the structural optimization of the geometry.

More information and images below.

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The Latest App from GRAPHISOFT: BIMx Docs

GRAPHISOFT’s latest iPhone and iPad App, a companion to ArchiCAD, has just been released. The heart of the technology, designed for easy BIM project viewing, is the “Hyper-model,” which enables the full integration of 2D and 3D plans. This makes navigation not only more intuitive, but a magnitude smoother and faster than most other construction-related model or documentation viewer mobile .

Get a more detailed look at the technology in action, after the break…

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Sukkah City: An Architectural Take on an Old Tradition

Courtesy of oxbowlakefilms.com

Each year, Joshua Foer, author of the bestseller Moonwalking with Einstein, would celebrate sukkot (a traditional Jewish holiday) with his family by building a , a small temporary shelter that acts as a reminder of the Jews’ plight after being expelled from Egypt. Years later, he co-founded a competition to challenge architects to consider the holiday from a designer’s point of view. Sukkah City, a on the competition, follows a couple projects through their inspiration and construction. Read more about it here.

Is there a Future for India’s Stepwells?

Tourists in India dutifully make the rounds, visiting the spectacular temples, palaces, and forts the country has to offer. But, even when they’re practically under their feet, people often forget about stepwells, the massive subterranean (up to ten stories) structures that dot the Indian landscape.

As this video explains, , first constructed around 300 CE, were born out of a need to dependably collect and store water. They boast highly complex circulation and ornamentation, and over the years have evolved to function also as community centres and temples. But, as journalist Victoria Lautman has pointed out, with the spread of industrialisation and drought (not to mention widespread demolition), stepwells are slowly becoming derelict. 

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A Delightfully Candid Interview with Chicago’s Lifetime Achievement Winner: Stanley Tigerman

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Stanley Tigerman, an outspoken force on the scene, was recently bestowed (much to his amazement) AIA ’s highest honour: the Lifetime Achievement Award. “I’ve done some damage to them and I’m aware of it. I’ve challenged them…” he explains to Meg Graham of Grid. “So that they then turn around in a way and turn the other cheek and give me this award does not go unnoticed by me. And I’m thrilled by it.” You can find the full, wonderfully entertaining interview, in which he discusses the award, keeping up in a digital world, and getting older (without becoming “ridiculous”),here

Will Mayors Save the World?

Courtesy of SHoP Architects

When national leaders get too caught up in political games to make real change, who steps in? Lately, have been setting the pace for policy change, tackling issues from climate change to immigration. This development, termed “glocalization,” seems to be a growing trend, and indicates a shift of influence from the national to the local level. The Atlantic‘s Emma Green explains and explores the term, and lays out why mayors might be the ones to change our world. Read the full article here

Giveaway: ArchiSnapper, the App that Makes Site Reports So Much Easier

Courtesy of ArchiSnapper

ArchiSnapper is a new, powerful tool for architects which takes away the time and effort required for producing construction site reports. Consisting of both an online portion and an app for iOS or Android devices, ArchiSnapper allows you to collect information while on site and quickly and easily assemble it once you’re back at the office.

In collaboration with ArchiSnapper, ArchDaily will be offering 5 licenses (worth $119 a month) to our readers. To participate, all you need to do is become a registered ArchDaily user and answer a simple question in the comments section of this article.

To find out how ArchiSnapper works, and for your chance to win one of 5 free licenses, read on after the break…

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A House Made of Windows

Courtesy of Colossal, thisiscolossal.com

A year ago, Nick Olson and Lilah Horwitz quit their jobs to build a cabin in the West Virginia mountains. Today, that gamble seems to have paid off: their cabin sits in the exact spot where they first discussed building it. However, while the interior of the cabin is like almost any other, a mix of old wooden furniture and more modern decorations, the front facade - is anything but.

The west-facing facade is made entirely of window pieces, stitched together; Olson and Horwitz wanted to be able to capture every inch of the sunset, without having to limit their view to the confines of a single window.

See more images and a video of this house made of windows, after the break…

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The 25 Instagram Feeds to Follow Now

Last year, we published a post (one of our most popular of all time) on the 4 Apps that every architect should have — 4 that make your architectural life all the easier.But when it comes to everyday inspiration, perhaps there’s no greater App than — the perfect way to instantly capture and share the architectural forms and details that surround us.

We’ve scoured the web and tracked down the 25 Instagrammers who will be sure to inspire – from international architecture photographers like Iwan Baan to famous architects like Michel Rojkind to our very own ArchDaily editors. If you’re new to Instagram — or just want to bulk up the architectural inspiration on your feed – these are the 25 feeds to follow now!

See the 25 best architecture instagrammers, after the break…

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How to Start a Practice

“Successful practices have launched in earlier recessions, and will do so in this one. It is wise, however, to be armed with as much knowledge as possible”, concludes BD‘s most recent research paper “How to Start a Practice… and Keep it Running”. The document, containing advice on every aspect of setting up a practice, from naming it to chasing late payments, aims to provide just that knowledge.

Read more about ‘How to Start a Practice’ (including how to get a 50% discount) after the break…

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Giveaway: Win Living Architectures Books and Films

Thanks to the courtesy of our friends from Beka & Partners, we are giving you the chance to win one of the five DVD-Books of the Living Architectures collection.

” is a series of films that seeks to develop a way of looking at which turns away from the current trend of idealizing the representation of our architectural heritage.

The five DVD-Books are: ‘Inside Piano‘, ‘Gehry’s Vertigo‘, ‘Pomerol, Herzog & de Meuron‘, ‘Koolhaas Houselife‘ and ‘Xmas Meier‘. We will have five winners, each of one will receive one randomly. All you have to do to participate is become a registered user (if you’re not one already) and answer the following question in our comments:

“Which architect would you like to see next in the Living Architectures series and why?”

You have until June 24 to submit your answer. Winners will be announced and contacted during the same day.

For more information about the DVD-Books you can check the trailers after the break, or go to www.living-architectures.com for more details. Good luck!

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Infographic: Life Inside The Kowloon Walled City

Courtesy of South China Morning Post

It has been twenty years since the demolition of the Kowloon Walled City. To mark this, the South China Morning Post has created an info-graphic that details the facts and figures of what life was like inside this architectural oddity. 

Read more about the madness that was KWC after the break…

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Kickstarter: BrickItUp!

BrickItUp is a kickstarter project, created by Jose Luis, that allows for simple and intuitive 3D modeling. Block by block, users can easily create 3D spaces and environments without any limitations. BrickItUp caters well to collaboration and allows users to work on a project live with each other. When working in groups, users are able to see what each person is working on in real-time, making distance a negligible factor in collaboration.

More on BrickItUp after the break.

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NYC’s Union Square in 1828

‘Painting the Town’ via Insider

Can you imagine the intersection of Broadway and the Bowery in lower Manhattan as sparsely populated “Uptown” used as a burial ground for indigent people? Well, according to the the book Painting the Town by The Museum of the City of (via Ephemeral New York), this scene painted from memory by Albertis Del Orient Browere in 1885 depicts what Union Square used to look like back in 1828 – just 20 years before this area started to transform into the bustling, concrete jungle we know today. 

Compare it to an updated photo of Union Square after the break. 

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Architectural History of the Christmas Tree

© , via deviantART

To join in on all the holiday cheer, we decided to share with you this architectural funny that depicts the architectural history of the tree. We found the clever illustration by Subtle Design on deviantART – “the world’s largest online art community”. Enjoy!

For more, check out our “Architectural Funnies” board on Pinterest! There you will find some of our favorite comics, including last year’s christmas hit: Trees of the Architects.

Starchitect Trick-Or-Treaters

Ando as a mime © Building Satire

What’s scarier, Ando as a mime or Zaha as a witch? With their Costume Critique | Morbid Models post, Building Satire transformed Tadao Ando, Bjarke Ingels, Zaha Hadid, and Jean Nouvel into creepy trick-or-treaters. Review them all after the break!

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10 Things They Don’t Teach You in Architecture School

Milstein Hall at Cornell University / OMA © Matthew Carbone
By Linda Bennett, for Archi-Ninja

Initially, School was overwhelming. In my early assignments I struggled to learn the new ‘language,’ to manage the intense studio hours (goodbye to mum and dad for a while), and deal with the tough criticism – with barely a passing mark, I was lucky to make it through my 1st year! Then there were the ‘super-students,’ those who appeared to achieve the unattainable: draw in plan, section AND perspective, as well as eloquently communicate and sell their ideas.

Six years on from this tough beginning I graduated with high distinction, achieving the highest overall aggregated marks of all students in the areas of History, Theory, Construction, Practice and Design.  I was the University of Technology (UTS) winner of the most Outstanding Design Student in 2010, awarded a scholarship to study in L.A. and was also nominated by UTS for the NSW Architects Medallion in 2011.

Today I reflect on my time at university (or college for my US readers) to recognize that the most important lessons didn’t come from the curriculum, but from what I discovered along the way. In no particular order, here is what I uncovered about surviving and achieving in architecture school:

#1. Forget about Winning or Losing

The rest of the 10 Things You Don’t Get Taught in Architecture School, after the break…

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