A Photographer’s Journey Through Zumthor Valley

© Felipe Camus

Our friend and architectural photographer Felipe Camus recently embarked on an architectural pilgrimage to the valley of the Rhein. Located in the Graubünden region in Switzerland, the valley boasts many of the seminal works of Pritzker Prize Laureate , all within a 60-kilometer radius. Born in Graubünden himself, Zumthor designed the works in relation to their location and time by paying special attention to details and materials. As a result, the works all present Zumthor’s unparalleled skills of craftsmanship and his uncompromising integrity. 

Join us for a special AD Architectural Mountain Guide, including a detailed map, photos and descriptions of Zumthor’s works, after the break….


Venice: City in Peril

Photo by Tambako the Jaguar - http://www.flickr.com/photos/tambako/

is commonly regarded as one of the wonders of the world, attracting over 17 million tourists each year. However, the city of faces ongoing problems that threaten its ability to stay above water. The city’s issues are notorious around the world. Every year water surges through its legendary labyrinth of streets wreaking havoc on architectural gems such as the Palazzo San Marco. With its architecture under threat, and dwindling population as many young people flock to the mainland, it is appropriate to think of as a dying relic. (more…)

Croatia: CIP Talks and new architecture

Zamet Center / 3LHD
Zamet Center /

During these days I´m in Zagreb, Croatia, participating at CIP Talks 2009, an architecture conference organized by CIP Magazine. The list of lecturers at the conference include renowned architects, such as  Mauricio Pezo & Sofía von Ellrichshausen (PvE), Jan Neutelings (Neutelings & Riedjik), Mark Lee (Johnston & MarkLee, interview here), Shohei Shigematsu (OMA, interview here), Carme Pinós, Arnaud Billard (Transsolar), Mikkel Frost (CEBRA), STUDIO UP (winners of the Emerging Architect MvE Award with their Gymnasium), Joseph Grima (Director of the Storefront Gallery, interview here), among other european and US architects.

Also, during these days we find the Croatian Architectural Triennale, the launch of Pogledaj.to a new local website for architecture, a new book on Croatian architecture, the opening of a new pavilion on the center of the city… an intense dose of architecture that we will be reporting during the following days.

Pope John Paul II Chapel / Randic Turato
Pope John Paul II Chapel /

I will be visiting and interviewing local practices such as 3LHDRandic TuratoStudio UPNjiric + Njiric, and more, to bring you more and more projects.

Yesterday I went to the coastal city of Rijeka, and visited three interesting projects by 3LHD and Randic Turato. See the photographs after the break, and expect the usual complete posting with all the info on these projects sometime during this week.


King Abdullah University of Science and Technology / HOK

KAUST Campus © 2009 J.B. Picoulet – S. Lourié
Campus © 2009 J.B. Picoulet – S. Lourié

As we told you on a previous post, last week we were in Saudi Arabia visiting the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). We showed you some renderings and the construction process, and now we bring you more details on this 6.5 million sqf LEED Platinum project, including a video with Bill Odell, design partner at .

The project consists of two parts, the campus and the university town with facilities and accommodations for students, faculty and staff.

The main area of the campus consists of 10 volumes facing the Red Sea, housing the administrative offices, student services, library, a mosque, labs, research centers and an auditorium. A Costal Studies Center is still under construction and will be opened next January.

Access to the campus
Access to the campus

The first building we visited was the Library, the main volume overlooking the Red Sea.

KAUST University, Saudi Arabia

KAUST Campus

Yesterday, after a very long flight, we arrived to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, one of the most important cities in the region. Why? We are attending the opening of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, an international, graduate-level research institution. The mission if this academic institution is to dedicated to advancing science and technology of regional and global impact, with a fellowship program that provides full tuition to graduate students pursuing the M.S., M.S. to Ph.D., or Ph.D. degrees (more info here).

The University is located on a new campus designed by HOK, 80km north of Jeddah (aerial view of the site). The campus is part of a larger master plan, also designed by : A new town of 10,000 to 12,000 people, surrounding and supporting the University, living in over 6.5 million sqf on a 3,200 acre site along the Red Sea.

KAUST Campus © 2009 J.B. Picoulet – S. Lourié
KAUST Campus © 2009 J.B. Picoulet – S. Lourié

The project started in fall 2006, and it was finished in just 3 years. To achieve this, the HOK Planning Group accelerated the process with a “Racing the Sun” design charrette in which planners from 10 offices across multiple time zones contributed to the plan over one 24-hour period. Each HOK office had a two-hour window to create its ideas and post them on a server. In the end, each contributed an idea that ultimately found its way into the final plan.