### The Function of Form / Farshid Moussavi

After “The Function of Ornament“, comes again with another useful book published by and Harvard GSD.

The book is the result of a series of seminars Moussavi taught over 2 years at the GSD, and in over 500 pages it describes the most common material systems and its sub-systems: Grids and Frames, Vaults, Domes, Folded Plates, Shells, Tensile Membranes and Pneumatic Membranes.

Each of these systems are presented first on its most basic unit, which is then tessellated into three  directions (horizontal, vertical, curved) exploring the full potential of these combinations, either trough completed buildings, proposals or just proposed structures by the author and her team.

For example, the Diagrid (interconnected support beams that form a diagonal grid) one of the systems included in the book, starts with the basic unit (as seen on a photo below) with a description of the forces and how flexible the system is in terms of scale, angles, depth, profile, etc. Then, it is described in its horizontal tessellations exemplified through the Smithsonian Reynolds Center for American Art by Foster + Partners, the Milan Fair Center by Fuksas, or the Great Court at the British Museum by F+P. On the vertical, we have 30st Mary  Axe by F+P, the Hearst Tower by F+P, the Lotte Super Tower Hotel by SOM, Elisabeth House by FOA and even the Glass Pavilion by Bruno Taut, among others.  Every example has very good drawings and explanations (see photos below).

Also, the matrix incorporates affect, defined by Deleuze “as the pre-personal intensities transmitted by forms”, ranging from freedom to centrality, and other several terms that further extend our conception of these systems.

This exercise, starting from the basic unit and then expanded according to its possibilities, repeated in a rigorous matrix for all the systems, makes this book a valuable resource for almost everyone: from students, to architects who need to deal with a structure in early stages of design, up to someone dealing with parametric tools for complex structures, because at the end the systems are the same: from Bruno Taut to SOM, to FOA.

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### Hybrids III / a+t

Every time my architect friends drop by my office, I have to hide the books and magazines because they always want to borrow them… And I don´t blame them, as the publications by this spanish editorial are useful tools for the architects.

The D Book, Density, HoCo and the Hybrids Series dissect some of the most iconic built/ongoing projects in the world, presented in full detail.

Hybrids III is the last one in the Hybrids series, covering residential mixed-use buildings. The book starts with a brief comparison between hybrid buildings and social condenser built during 1945-1975 to introduce the subject, like the John Hancock Center in Chicago by SOM or the Unite d’Habitation in France by Le Corbusier.

After this historic context, there is a good selection 0f 20 contemporary residential mixed-use buildings, such as the Sky Village by ADEPT + MVRDV, the St Jakob Turm by Herzog & de Meuron, the Market Hall by MVRDV (under construction), the Porta Fira Towers by Toyo Ito + b720, the Beekman tower by Frank Ghery, De Rotterdam by OMA (under construction), the Aqua Tower by Studio Gang and more.

The editorial seems to work very close to the offices, as the detail of the projects are amazing: detailed drawings, large photos, good diagrams, size comparisons, and all the facts you need to completely understand these projects as you can see on the photos after the break:
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### eVolo Magazine #1

A few months ago I attended the launch of eVolo Magazine at the Storefront Gallery, where I had the chance to talk with editor-in-chief Carlo Aiello about the magazine.

I already knew about as a foundation to promote forward thinking on architecture, through a series of thematic skyscraper competitions over the last few years, while serving as a platform for young architects.

The magazine (published twice per year) is similar, with thematic issues divided in two parts: Opinion and Depth. The first includes on going or completed buildings by renowned practices, analyzed by a group of experts and other articles. The second part includes experiments projects by young architects around the theme of the issue.

On the first edition “Housing for the 21st century” we find projects by OMA, Herzog & de Meuron, Alejandro Aravena, , Steven Hall and Asymptote, articles by Neri Oxman and several experimental projects on housing by a group of young architects.

More details after the break: (more…)

### Modern Construction Handbook / Andrew Watts

A good construction manual is a must have for any architect’s library.

The by Andrew Watts is in my opinion one of the best construction manuals these days, covering construction systems in an extensive way. The best of this book are the details: good quality of the drawings and 3D sections that help you understand the details in a better way.

Construction manuals tend to be very outdated, even if they are brand new. On the contrary, this book includes a whole section on energy and alternative materials, along with a section called “Future” which helps us resolve complex geometries, twisted facades, new glazing systems and more.

The book has 500 pages printed in good quality paper, something very important for  a book that you will be constantly flipping when needing help on a project.

More images about the book, along with the full index so you can see if it fits you after the break: (more…)

### Digital Fabrications: Architectural and Material Techniques / Lisa Iwamoto

“Architecture continually informs and is informed by its modes of representation and construction, perhaps never more so than now, when digital media and emerging technologies are rapidly expanding what we conceive to be formally, spatially, and materially possible”

During 2009 I had the chance to visit Iwamoto Scott in San Francisco, a practice lead by Lisa Iwamoto and Craig Scott. At their office I could see first hand the study models for some of the projects the firm has been involved, such as a mockup for their P.S.1 proposal, Coral Reef, or the lightweight wooden pieces that structure the massive Voussoir Cloud installation at SCI Arc. These small pieces had a lot to tell, not only about the specific project they were part of, but also their iterations.

The firm has a recognized expertise in digital fabrication, presented by Lisa Iwamoto at the AIA Convention 2009 during the Emerging Voices forum, and also on her book “Digital Fabrication” edited by Princeton Architectural Press under their Architecture Brief series.

The book presents in a clear way (with very good examples) the methods behind digital fabrication: sectioning, tessellating, folding, contouring, and forming. For most of us these words are pretty much obvious and we often use them as design principles of our projects. But to get the full scope of what they really mean, or for those that want to start understanding -and using- them, this is a recommended reading.
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### Newly Drawn: Emerging Finnish Architects

There are certain publications that capture a unique moment on a certain architectural scene, becoming a must have for your bookshelf. And trust me, Newly Drawn is one of those.

Aalto and Saarinen marked some points along the modern architecture timeline, and now this book  presents us the new breed of finnish architects, starting by individualizing each of them on the cover, stating that they are young and with character.

The books is organized by practices, showing recent built and un-built works in detail, with good photos and drawings – something that is always appreciated by architects, but not always accomplished by the publishers.

Some of the works included on this book have been already featured in ArchDaily, such as the The University of Helsinki City Campus Library by Anttinen Oiva arkkitehdit and the Lakeside House by NOW for Architecture and Urbanism.

More details of the book and where to buy it after the break.

### Expanded Practice: Höweler + Yoon Architecture / MY Studio

The title “Expanded Practice” comes from how Höweler + Yoon Architecture / My Studio have named their design methodology. And in this book it’s not just a title, as the book is really a guide on how this young firm conceives their projects rather than a mere catalog of works.

Their works can’t be grouped in types of buildings, instead their works are grouped in envelopes, natures, formats, interactions and media, as they range from a Möbius strip dress, to a responsive park.

What caught me while reading this book is the effective use of technology developed by this practice, not just mere eye candy as we are used to. It clearly shows how the architects’ experimentation with small electronic components could be derived into interactive spaces through a methodological work. And I have to repeat “metholodogy” as it is the most important part of this book, which makes it a learning tool instead of a construction catalog as we are used to on typical monographs.

### The Miller Hull Partnership, Public Works

I had to say that  I wasn’t aware of the work by the Miller Hull Partnership, a Seattle based firm established in 1977, until we received this book from Princeton Architectural Press.

The book, a sequel to the 2001 monograph by the same publishing house, shows a selection of recent projects in a good format, with clear drawings and good photos.

The projects cover both residential and public works, such as the Willamette River Water Treatment Plant a wonderful project, which doubles as a park with picnic areas. The rest of the works of the firm have a clear signature when it comes to materials and structural solutions, with transparency as something in common.

I recommend this book for both its clear presentation and the quality of the works by the firm.

### Climate Design: Design and Planning for the Age of Climate Change

Climate change and dwindling global resources bring with them a set of complex challenges, demanding new design and planning approaches that achieve more with less. Climate: Design, written for designers, architects, planners, policymakers, and academics alike, explores the current paradigm shift and illustrates how new thinking can convert investments in urban infrastructure, land use, and development into resilient and enduring support systems for human and environmental prosperity.

Author , an acknowledged expert in the field of renewable, sustainable design, joins forces with pioneering design firm EDAW, to focus on radical solutions and planning measures for combating climate change, and for attempting to adjust to life on a warming planet. The book explores both the current paradigm shift and design and planning practice — and how to apply professional expertise to mitigate the human causes of climate change, and adapt to its already inevitable impacts.

Author: Peter Droege
Cover: Hardcover
Publisher: ORO editions
Language: English
Pages: 280

Index

Foreword
Design and planning for the age of climate change: context and assumptions

The emerging direction
Revolution of practice
Principles, concepts, and visions
Flux

Productive places
Reconnecting living and consumption
The story of apples and fish: designing for urban productivity
Energy: creating an energy efficient landscape with green roofs
Food: integrating agriculture into landscapes
Water: urban landscapes and water management

Applications
Design and natural systems: design with nature
Design and urban systems: the low-carbon commune
Land: climate change and terrestrial environments
Changing climate and the world’s rivers and wetlands
Coastal design and planning: areas of transition
Urban regeneration and climate change
Creating environments that engage
Urban form and low-carbon buildings
Measuring carbon performance and climate stable practice
Water sensitive cities: a road map for cities’ adaptation to climate and population pressures on urban water
Transit-oriented development: land use and transportation planning in the context of climate change
Economic and planning responses to climate change

Climate: designing a new future
The era of the ecological metropolis

Afterword
Working on the future now

Contributors and sources
Photography and references

### Arcadian Architecture: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson-12 Houses

The architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson believes that “the sensuality of place, the emotive qualities of materials, and the ability to give pleasure and insight, to comfort and to transport can produce humane and spirited architecture.” Whether designing corporate headquarters for Pixar Animation Studios, the Software Engineering Institute for Carnegie Mellon University, the new Apple Stores in New York, Chicago, and Tokyo, or the twelve wooded retreats shown in this book, the firm’s architecture is alive to the subtleties of place, man-made or natural, and to the rich possibilities of materials and the means of construction.

The houses in Arcadian Architecture are exquisitely crafted of wood and stone and other natural materials, and are all sited within beautiful wooded, mountainous, or lakeside locales, from New York State to Washington State, and from the woods of Connecticut to the mountains of Montana. One of the highlights of this book is that it publishes, for the first time, the extraordinary, huge, extremely private and secluded, residential complex in Washington State that was built for Bill and Melinda Gates. Each house is presented on at least thirty pages, and is depicted by sumptuous new color photography, richly detailed conceptual sketches, presentation drawings, and construction documents.

Editor: Oscar Riera Ojeda
Publisher: Rizzoli
Cover: Hardcover
Pages: 426

The Contemporary Design Details series takes a highly visual look at architectural design details that are more often dealt with in a technical textbook format. The books take readers on a tour of the best details designed by great architects around the world. The series provides a powerful presentation of the most challenging and evolving architectural and design categories.

Sustainable Environments focuses on the type of architectural details in distinctive, sustainable residential spaces. It includes sections on components such as cooling or shading devices, building techniques that create minimal impact on the land, active systems, and the use of new sustainable materials as well as those that are salvaged or recyclable. The book presents recent work by architects from around the globe in color photographs and architectural drawings, and is structured according to categories of architectural detail.

Author: , Alicia Kennedy
Publisher: Rockport Publishers
Cover: Hardcover
Pages: 192

Index

Introduction

Response to Place
Site Specificity
Site Conservation

Connection to Habitat
Bioregionalism
Environmental Interface

Conservation of Resources
Alternative Energy Sources
Hydrological Systems

Use of Building Materials
Elemental and Experimental Materials
Salvaged and Recycled Materials

Directory of Architects and Designers
Photographer Credits
Acknowledgements

### You Are the City / Petra Kempf

Observation, organization, and transformation of urban settings.

“Although we will never fully comprehend the entire complexity of a city in one moment, we can understand the urban construct through the interaction of its parts”

The people from Lars Muller Publishers always keep in surprising us with their creations. In this case we are talking about a kind of book… which is not really a book but a series of transparent sheets which allow us to perceive the urban phenomena by isolating and superimposing individual components in order to have a personal interpretation of what the city is (that’s the reason of the title).

The publication offers an original approach to the study and comprehension of the complex urban systems, networks and connections. In words of the publisher it is “a mapping tool that creates a framework for understanding the continually changing configuration of the city. With transparent slides, the tool allows one to superimpose various realities like layers and build new urban connections. It invites readers in short to immerse themselves in the complexity of our cities”.

The author of this remarkable publication is , a New York based Architect and Urban Designer.

### Mark Magazine #21

Another issue of arrived a few days ago to our mailbox. Another white stylish cover, this time with a golden finish that matches a seal as the winner of the Golden Cube Art Director´s Club New York 2009. So I´d like to congratulate Fee, Nils, Arthur and David from Mark, a well deserved award.

As usual, the Notice Board introduces us to recently awarded projects and other projects in the boards, such as the Planetarium  by Saucier + Perrote Architectes, the Museo Tamayo by Michel Rojkind + BIG, the Cuajimalpa Tower by Meir Lobaton + Kristjan Donaldson, or The Tolerant City Masterplan by ADEPT + Schonherr landscape. Practices also included on this section: ECDM, Kythreotis Architects, KLNB, Allard Architecture, 51N4E, COBE, Transform, Avery Associates, DLA, X-TU, Taller Veinticuatro, MXG, MAPT, Dark Architects, , Antonini + Darmon, PAD, Stephane Bigoni, Antoine Mortemard, Joan Anguita, Agence R, AISTUDIO, Renato Perotti, TEN Arquitectos, Cardbondale, Zaha Hadid, UN Studio and Kaputt!. I particularly like the projects shown on the page above, interesting structures.

### Sustainable Design: Ecology, Architecture, and Planning

Architects identify “sustainability” as the most important change in the future of their profession. Sustainable Design: Ecology, Architecture, and Planning is a practical, comprehensive guide to design and plan a built environment compatible with the region’s economic, social, and ecological patterns.

In this book, Daniel Williams challenges professionals to rethink architecture and to see their projects not as objects but as critical, connected pieces of the whole, essential to human health as well as to regional economy and ecology. Comprehensive in scope, Sustainable Design answers key questions such as:

- How do I begin thinking and designing ecologically
- What is the difference between “green design” and “sustainable design”?
- What are some examples of effective change I can make that will have the most impact for the least cost?

Written for architects, planners, landscape architects, engineers, public officials, and change agent professionals, this important resource defines the issues of sustainable design, illustrates conceptual and case studies, and provides support for continued learning in this increasingly central focus of architects’ and urban planners’ work.

Williams’s book features winning projects from the first decade of the AIA’s Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten award program.

Author:
Publisher: Wiley
Cover: Hardcover
Pages: 320

Index

Foreword by David W. Orr
Foreword by Donald Watson, FAIA
Preface
Acknowledgements
Introduction

CHAPTER ONE: The Ecological Model
Ecology
Ecology as a Model
Waste Debts
The Value of Land
Thinking as a System: Connectivity, Not Fragmentation

CHAPTER TWO: Sustainable Design
Where Do We Want to Go?
Design Matters
Why Architects?
Green Design versus Sustainable Design
Why Now?
Approaching Sustainability
Place-Based Energy and Resources
Principles for Designing Sustainably
Where to Start?

CHAPTER THREE: Regional Design
Evolving from Nonrenewables
Another Weak Link: The Power Grid
The Regional Design
Water: A Common Denominator
Make No Small Plans
The Regional Design Process
Regional Case Studies

CHAPTER FOUR: Sustainable Urban and Community Design
A Matter of Place
Principles for Sustainable Communities
Regional Ecology and Biourbanism
Sustainable Urban and Community Case Studies

CHAPTER FIVE: Architectural Design
The Site: Challenges and Opportunities
Site Design and Environmental Analysis
Sustainable Infrastructure
The Skin
Evolving a Sustainable Design Practice
Sustainable Design and Existing Buildings
Sustainable Interior Architecture

CHAPTER SIX: The AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects Program
1997 AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects
1998 AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects
1999 AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects
2000 AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects
2001 AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects
2002 AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects
2003 AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects
2004 AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects
2005 AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects
2006 AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects

Afterword
Sustainability Terms
Bibliography
Index
Photo Credits

### Volume #19

In times of crisis, hope is what we need. And hope is what the latest issue of Volume magazine explores under the title “Architecture of Hope”.

Once again, Arjen Oosterman writes a short yet provocative editorial, starting by why they choose to only use black&white images on this issue.  He brings back the subject of the welfare society during post-War, and compares the european and american models of sprawl/density which are key aspects of current crisis.

And since hope is the word of the day, “Yes we can” is also mentioned on the editorial and other articles related to Obama.

### Mark Magazine #20

A few days ago I received the latest issue of Mark Magazine (nº20, jun-jul). Once again  it´s a white cover issue, featuring this time a house in Argentina by LA-based Johnston & Mark Lee, and the quote “All these French philosophers just send me to sleep” by Yung Ho Chang.

This issue includes a very good set of interviews with Keiichiro Sako and Pezo von Ellrichshausen, but lets start by the begining:

As usual, starts with Notice Board, a fresh selection of 30 unbuilt projects.  The list includes  the ORDOS 100 Vila by Rocker-Lange Architects, the Yorkshire Diamond by our friends Various Architects,  the Korkeasaari Zoo by Beckmann-N’Thépé,  the Aquatic Complex for the Panamerican Games by Paisajes Emergentes and the Taipei Performing Arts Center by NL Architects, among other projects by Frohlocke, KLNB, Langdon Reis Zahn, 4B, Gullik Gulliksen, NORD, Poly.m.ur, MAPT, Alliance, MAD, MILA, 3Deluxe, Cobe and Sleth, Modernisn, PopularArchitecture, BNB, BO6, Studio 505, Piercy Conner, Q-Lab, Sascha Glasland, Tjeerd J. Haccou, Wiel Arets, Schmidt Hammer, Lassen, Marek Wozniczka, Odile Decq Benoit, Corenette, Amanda Levete and Steven Holl.

### Mark Magazine #19

Just got in the mail the latest issue (nº19, april-may) of Mark Magazine in the mail.  I have always praised the exquisite covers and graphic design of this magazine, but i´ve forgotten to tell you how nice is the packaging (see below).

The white cover comes with an amazing photo of the Ningbo Historic Museum, photographed by Iwan Baan with a phrase in bold gold letters  “The only true rival of architecture is the natural world” (Taira Nishizawa).

As usual, the section Notice Board showcases interesting fresh unbuilt projects from around the world: Zira Island by BIG, the Taipei Performing Arts Center by OMA, Villa Long (ORDOS 100) by RSVP and the Crematorium by Plan 01. Also projects by Zaha Hadid, Manuelle Gautrand, Piercy Conner, Architekten Cie, Baksvanwengerden, Ryuchi Ashizawa, Alberto Dueño X-TU, Fantastic, a cool beach house by Andreas Angelidakis, MAPT, Tasou, KLNB, Daniel Simmons, Steven Holl, Plaren, Ugis Senbergs, UN Studio, Dick van Gameren, Megan Panzano, Modo Studio, CCDP, Sofia Cattinario and Brenac Gonzalez.

### Mark Magazine #17

The December-January edition of features a new design, more clear and simple, but with the same quality content. A a very classy black and white composition with the skylights of Torafu´s House in Kohoku is featured on the over.

Now, lets head to the contents of this issue.

### Volume #17: Content Management

When we interviewed Jeffrey Inaba at the C-LAB, we had a great conversation as they were working on this issue, “Content Management”, something we are very into at ArchDaily – so we had the chance to discuss the implications of new media, globalization and architecture.

But back to this edition. It follows the tradition of Volume with a great editorial, this time by Inaba himself:

“At the close of this era of expansion and surplus speculates on one of the period´s emblematic inventions: Content Management, or the collecting, organizing and sharing of digital information. Our retrospective appraisal of recent developments in the managing of information offers insight into the ability of Content Management to serve the current realities of digital abundance and material shortage, and to protect both vast and extremely limited quantities.

Like Content Management systems, Architecture arranges information and objects into a navigable environment using technology to configure the environment´s spaces and circulation routes. It embodies the values of the presentedd content, setting the tone for the visitor´s experience through the design of the public interface. Architecture is a structure of experiences involving interaction with numerous forms of content, introducing choice, connections, updates, human encounter and surprise, and in this respect is the precursor and operating blueprint of Content Management [...] As you will see, some of the essays and interviews describe how architecture continues to inform the thinking behind Content Management, for better and worse“.

It presents an interesting reflection on the current state of globalization, on which we have infinite amounts of information available at the tip of our fingers, while facing massive shortfalls (energy, natural resources).

At some point it compares the created necessity of Content Management as a result of the amounts of information we publish, with the early architects of Koolhaas´Manhattan who legitimized the necessity of their profession by causing the irreversible  state of congestion which they then took as their mission to solve.

On this issue:

### Mark Magazine #16

I was very eager waiting for the mail man on this one, because as i stated before, Mark Magazine is one of my favourite publications when it comes to new projects.

The October/November issue has a very nice texture on the cover, featuring Sou Fujimoto´s Log House. This issue´s central theme is “House Rules”, with 7 amazing houses on the inside.

But lets start by the beginning, with the section Notice Board.

### Mark Magazine #15

Mark Magazine is by far one of my favourite architecture magazines. Their motto “Another architecture” tells us what we´ll find inside: fresh architecture – the main reason we love this magazine so much.

This bimonthly magazine is structured in 5 sections: Noticeboard (a collage of new projects), Cross Section (short articles on new buildings and architectural subjects), Viewpoint (interviews with architects on the rise), Long Section (in depth articles on buildings) and Service Area (new building materials).

On the August/September issue (October one on the mail, more about that soon) we find an amazing house by spanish studio Ensamble, shown on a collage with embossed textures, something that has become a signature on covers.