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World Monuments Fund Releases List of 50 Endangered Cultural Sites

The World Monuments Fund has released its 2016 World Monuments Watch list of 50 cultural heritage sites at risk in 36 countries around the world. The list, in its twentieth year, seeks to identify sites “at risk from the forces of nature and the impacts of social, political, and economic change,” and direct financial and technical support towards them. 

The 2016 list includes the entirety of post-earthquake Nepal, an underwater city, the only surviving quadrifrons arch in Rome, and a structurally significant hyperboloid tower, among others. The Fund even featured an “Unnamed Monument” on the list, in honor of all sites at risk of damage from social and political instability around the globe.

Learn more about some of the featured monuments, after the break.

Barberio Colella ARC Designs Pop-Up Home to Rebuild Nepalese Lives in "Just a Minute"

Disaster can strike a community at any minute. Following the most costly earthquake in their history in April, hundreds of thousands of Nepalese residents were rendered instantly homeless. To help these people reorganize and get back to a familiar way of life, Barberio Colella ARC has designed a temporary structure using local materials “to make a house that can be built quickly, lightweight and compactly, durably and economically.”

Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC Deployment System. Image Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC Components. Image Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC

Shigeru Ban's Nepalese Emergency Shelters to be Built from Rubble

© VAN, courtesy of Shigeru Ban Architects
© VAN, courtesy of Shigeru Ban Architects

Shigeru Ban Architects has released images of their first emergency shelter prototype designed for Nepal. Planned to be built by the end of August, the simple shelter is designed to be easily assembled by almost anyone. Using connecting modular wooden frames (3ft x 7ft or 90cm x 210cm), salvaged rubble bricks are used to infill the wall's cavities while paper tube trussing supports the roof. This, as Shigeru Ban says, will allow for "quick erection and nearly immediate inhabitation."

The Architects Foundation Launches Reconstruction Program for Nepal

Responding to the devastation caused by the April 25 earthquake in Nepal, the American Institute of Architects' Architects Foundation has launched a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action alongside the All Hands Volunteers to execute a replicable $3 million reconstruction plan for the Himalayan nation. Society of Nepalese Architects (SONA), Architects Regional Council Asia (ARCASIA), Department of Small Works (an organization founded by Cameron Sinclair) and local architects will all partake in the program.

Open Call: GARS-NEPAL.TIBET Earthquake Emergency Reconstruction Competition

In response to the devastating earthquake in Nepal this past April, GCRS Global-Building Love Disaster-aid Material Trade Center is calling on architects around the world to design reconstruction projects as a part of their GARS-NEPAL.TIBET Earthquake Emergency competition.

Margot Krasojevic Turns Snow Cave Shelters into Practical, Impossible Art

The question "what is the point of all this?" has dogged architecture for as long as anyone cares to look, but since the millenniumthe purely theoretical yet theoretically possible designs of Margot Krasojevic have taken this question as a challenge. Her latest proposal, a mesh shelter that takes the concept of snow caves and applies it to an artificial structure, is built for an eminently practical purpose: a built emergency shelter for climbers and others caught in extreme conditions. Yet the elaborate, high tech and naturally contoured structure is as much a thought experiment as it is a serious architectural proposal.

© Margot Krasojevic © Margot Krasojevic © Margot Krasojevic © Margot Krasojevic

Help Shigeru Ban Provide Emergency Shelter to Nepal

Shigeru Ban Architects, together with the Voluntary Architects' Network (VAN), has announced plans to send emergency shelter, housing and other community facilitates to the victims of Nepal's deadly April 25th earthquake. As part of a three-phase plan, Shigeru Ban will first delivery and assemble tents with plastic partitions acquired though donation to provide immediate shelter. A few months after, the Japanese practice will collaborate with local architects and students to build temporary housing with materials found prevalent in Nepal.

Permanent housing will also be provided in the architect-led recovery plan's third phase, although little details have been released. However, you can help make it happen by donating to Shigeru Ban's efforts (here). 

Watch Shigeru Ban's TED Talk on paper emergency structures, after the break. 

RIBA Seeks Architects In The Wake Of The Himalayan Earthquake

Following the devastating earthquake in Nepal this week, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have teamed up with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to "help to identify Nepalese nationals or others with local or regional experience to provide technical expertise." According to the RIBA, the IFRC "has already deployed approximately 100 people to support the Nepal Red Cross in search and rescue efforts, emergency health, water and sanitation, relief, shelter and inter-agency coordination as well as support services such as telecoms and logistics." They state that "given the operational constraints in the country, most agencies are wary of overloading country teams at this stage. However, the IFRC anticipates there will be a need for additional technical expertise in due course."

Nepal's Historic Architecture Destroyed By Earthquake

Just one of the many tragedies involved in the devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday - which as of this morning is known to have claimed the lives of over 3,500 people - is its effect on the historic architecture of the region. Home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the affected regions of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, news outlets from the BBC to The Washington Post are reporting extensive damage to some of the country's most significant monuments.

Himalesque / ARCHIUM

  • Architects: ARCHIUM
  • Location: Jomsom 33100, Nepal
  • Architect in Charge: Kim In-cheurl
  • Data Management : MASIL
  • Area: 747.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Jun Myung-jin

© Jun Myung-jin © Jun Myung-jin © Jun Myung-jin © Jun Myung-jin

MOS Architects Take on Humanitarian Design in Nepal

In this article, which originally appeared on Australian Design Review as "Reframing Concrete in Nepal," Aleksandr Bierig describes how New York-based MOS Architects, a firm better known for its experimental work, is designing an orphanage for a small community in Nepal.

Strangely enough it has become almost unremarkable that an office such as New York-based MOS Architects would find itself designing an orphanage for a small community in Nepal. Now under construction in Jorpati, eight kilometres north-east of the capital, Kathmandu, is the Lali Gurans Orphanage and Learning Centre, which finds itself at the intersection of any number of tangential trends: the rise of international aid and non-governmental organisations, the seeming annihilation of space by global communications networks and the latent desire of architects to use their designs to effect appreciable social change. Emphasizing simple construction techniques and sustainable design features, the building hopes to serve as a model for the surrounding communities, as an educational and environmental hub, the provider of social services for Nepalese women and as a home for some 50 children.

MOS Architects, founded in 2003 by US architects Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample, is not a practice known for its involvement in humanitarian projects. Its work is often experimental and, at times, willfully strange. Alongside its architecture, MOS makes films, teaches studios, designs furniture and gives lectures on its work. It was after one lecture in Denver, Colorado in 2009 that Christopher Gish approached Meredith and Sample to ask if they would be interested in designing an orphanage. 

Ambassadors Residence / Kristin Jarmund Architects

  • Architects: Kristin Jarmund Architects
  • Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Project Team: Kristin Jarmund, Graeme Ferguson
  • Area: 880.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Ashesh, Swati Pujari

© Ashesh © Ashesh © Ashesh © Swati Pujari

Memorial to the Ancestors / Spirit of Place-Spirit of Design

  • Architects: Spirit of Place-Spirit of Design
  • Location: Namje-Thumki, Nepal
  • Architects / Team Leaders: Travis L. Price III, FAIA, Principal, Travis Price Architects; Founder, Spirit of Place-Spirit of Design, Inc., Adjunct Professor, The Catholic University of America- School of Architecture and Planning / Kathleen L. Lane, Assoc. AIA, Director, Spirit of Place Institute; and Lecturer, The Catholic University of America- School of Architecture and Planning
  • Students from The Catholic University of America: Kayode Akinsinde, Andrew Baldwin, Miguel Castro, Liz-Marie Fibleuil Gonzalez, Scott Gillespie, Carrie Kramer, Gina Longo, Patrick Manning, Ashley Marshall, Kristyn McKenzie, Andrew Metzler, Ashley Prince, Chloe Rice, Abigail Rolando, Arvi Sardadi, Mandira Sareen, Lucia Serra, Allie Steimel, Kevin Thomson, Spencer Udelson, Lauren Warner, Evan Wivell
  • Students from The Corcoran College of Art & Design: Suzanne Humphries
  • Students from Aalto University: Wilhelmiina Kosonen, Inka Saini
  • Students From Aalto University: Wilhelmiina Kosonen, Inka Saini
  • Project Year: 2011

Memorial to the Ancestors / Spirit of Place-Spirit of Design Memorial to the Ancestors / Spirit of Place-Spirit of Design Memorial to the Ancestors / Spirit of Place-Spirit of Design Memorial to the Ancestors / Spirit of Place-Spirit of Design

Nepal Pavillion for Shanghai World Expo 2010

The foundation of the Nepal Pavilion was completed this week. With the theme “Tales of Kathmandu City,” the pavilion will capture important historic moments of the city. The pavilion will put on display the luster of Katmandu, the capital city of Nepal and an architectural, artistic and cultural center that has developed over 2,000 years.

The theme touches upon the soul of a city by exploring its past and future. Another highlight of the pavilion will be Nepal’s efforts in environmental protection and developing renewable energies. The pavilion is in the form of an ancient Buddhist temple in Kathmandu, surrounded by traditional Nepalese houses.

A car or motorcycle rally will run from Lumbini to the Expo site. The rally will bring the “eternal flame of peace” to Shanghai from Nepal. More images after the break.