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© Ewout Huibers © Ewout Huibers © Ewout Huibers © Ewout Huibers

Meet Archibald, a Cartoon Architect Who Never Gets His Way

"Hey dad, when can I become an architect?" says Archie, son of eternally-frustrated architect Archibald, an animated architect  who rarely wins an argument. "Architecture is not a final destination in time, it's a journey through life," Archibald says. His son's response: "Great! I love traveling! When can I buy the tickets?"

"arch." is a weekly online cartoon series by Mike Hermans, an Antwerp-based architect-cartoonist, that follows Archibald through the struggles architects know all-too-well: uncooperative models, angry clients, and periodic encounters with Tarzan, the jungle king. Archibald is a self-professed "visionary and romantic dreamer," while his business partner Gerald is the anti-creative in a constant struggle to ground Archibald's ideas in reality (hint: it doesn't go well). In "arch." study models have lives of their own, resisting modifications by the architect in favour of their own changes while meddlesome interns and junior architects attempt their own project modifications. Frank Gehry even makes a cameo appearance. 

Watch the mini-series in full after the break

Powerhouse Company and De Zwarte Hond Selected to Redesign Assen Station

Powerhouse Company and De Zwarte Hond (Team A) have won an international competition to redesign the Assen railway station in the Netherlands. The winning scheme, marked by a triangular latticed canopy, is designed to reconnect the east and west side of the city with an “inviting and recognizable” transit hub. 

Station Hall. Image © Powerhouse Company and De Zwarte Hond Tunnel B. Image © Powerhouse Company and De Zwarte Hond Section. Image © Powerhouse Company and De Zwarte Hond Model. Image © Powerhouse Company and De Zwarte Hond

de Trefkoele+ Community Center / MoederscheimMoonen Architects + Spring Architecten

© Luuk Kramer © Luuk Kramer © Luuk Kramer © Luuk Kramer

Offices Schiedam Jumbo & Wärtsilä / MVSA Architects

  • Architects: MVSA Architects
  • Location: Havenstraat 23, 3131 BD Vlaardingen, The Netherlands
  • Interior Design: MVSA Architects, in cooperation with Caren Pardovitch
  • Area: 9900.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Courtesy of MVSA Architects

Courtesy of MVSA Architects Courtesy of MVSA Architects Courtesy of MVSA Architects Courtesy of MVSA Architects

Reflections on the 2014 Venice Biennale

Fundamentals, the title of the 2014 Venice Biennale, will close its doors in a matter of days (on the 23rd November). From the moment Rem Koolhaas revealed the title for this year’s Biennale in January 2013, asking national curators to respond directly to the theme of ‘Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014’, there was an inkling that this Biennale would be in some way special. Having rejected offers to direct the Biennale in the past, the fact that Koolhaas chose to act not only as curator but also thematic co-ordinator of the complete international effort, was significant. This announcement led Peter Eisenman (one of Koolhaas' earliest tutors and advocates) to state in one interview that “[Rem is] stating his end: the end of [his] career, the end of [his] hegemony, the end of [his] mythology, the end of everything, the end of architecture.”

Grenswerk Poppodium / van Dongen-Koschuch

  • Architects: van Dongen-Koschuch
  • Location: Peperstraat 10, 5911 HA Venlo, The Netherlands
  • Architect in Charge: Frits van Dongen, Patrick Koschuch
  • Design Team: H.Fekry, Henk de Haas, Jeroen Kreijne, Raul Forsoni, Gianna Bottema
  • Constructor: ABT, Delft
  • Area: 2500.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Allard van der Hoek

© Allard van der Hoek © Allard van der Hoek © Allard van der Hoek © Allard van der Hoek

Rotterdam Named Europe's Best City By The Academy Of Urbanism

The Dutch city of Rotterdam, often referred to as a hotbed of architectural activity, has been named as the best city in Europe by The Academy of Urbanism at the 2015 Urbanism Awards. Pitted against two other finalists - Aarhus in Denmark and Turin in Italy - the city has been praised for its "predominantly young, open, tolerant community that is embracing innovative architecture and urban design and new business models."

Despite being a very closely fought battle, the Academy said that Rotterdam was a vote winner for its "unique approach to governance. Appointed for six years by central government, the role of mayor sits outside of political structures and with no portfolio, allowing greater engagement with citizens and businesses." Steven Bee, Chairman of the Academy, said that "a long-term perspective, a high level of autonomy, strong leadership by the mayor and municipality, and strong partnerships between public and private sector, are all helping Rotterdam grow positively."

Trek-In Hicker's Cabins / MoodBuilders + Kristel Hermans Architectuur

  • Architects: MoodBuilders, Kristel Hermans Architectuur
  • Location: The Netherlands
  • Prototype team 2012 representing the Eindhoven University of Technology: Tim van der Grinten, Xaviera Burón Klose, Kristel Hermans and Faas Moonen
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Campsite , Tim van der Grinten

Courtesy of Campsite © Tim van der Grinten Courtesy of Campsite © Tim van der Grinten

Drijf in Lelystad / Attika Architekten

© Bart van Hoek © Bart van Hoek Courtesy of Attika Architekten © Bart van Hoek

The Architect / LEVS architecten

Courtesy of LEVS architecten © Marcel van der Burg © Marcel van der Burg © Marcel van der Burg

Montessori School Waalsdorp / De Zwarte Hond

  • Architects: De Zwarte Hond
  • Location: Utenbroekestraat 6, 2597 PH The Hague, The Netherlands
  • Developer: Bouwonderneming Stout B.V., Hardinxveld-Giessendam, The Netherlands
  • Area: 2480.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: ScagliolaBrakkee

© ScagliolaBrakkee © ScagliolaBrakkee © ScagliolaBrakkee © ScagliolaBrakkee

Construction Begins on Shift Architecture Urbanism’s C-City Museum District

Shift Architecture Urbanism has broken ground on the C-City (Creative City) museum district in Kerkrade. Host to the Netherlands’ first design museum and Europe’s first planetarium, the new district will be formed as an “urban ensemble defined by clearly recognizable volumes, all connected by a vast, underground public space.” 

By the end of 2015, two new public facilities - Cube and Columbus - will compliment the existing and highly successful Discovery Centre Continium at the gateway of the city. Read on the learn more.

East/West route from station to city center. Image © Shift Architecture Urbanism Section through CUBE and Columbus. Image © Shift Architecture Urbanism Sunken Square at heart of C-City. Image © Shift Architecture Urbanism Descending underground. Image © Shift Architecture Urbanism

Cruz y Ortiz Completes Renovation of the Rijksmuseum's Philips Wing

Cruz y Ortis, who famously spent ten years redesigning and renovating Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, have recently completed a comprehensive restoration of the adjacent Philips Wing. As an addition to the extensive exhibition spaces of the Dutch national museum, which was brought to completion in 2013, the Philips Wing will be dedicated to showcasing high-profile exhibitions from its own collection and on loan from international and national collections. Cruz y Ortiz's work has consisted of reorienting the entrance, accommodating diverse new functions and preparing the exhibition rooms for the temporary expositions starting next month. Several twentieth century interventions have been set back and corrected, whilst other areas have been appropriated for a new destination.

See drawings and photographs of the new wing, including a description from the architects, after the break.

The Philips Wing. Image © Rijksmuseum / Tilleman The Philips Wing. Image © Rijksmuseum / Tilleman The Philips Wing. Image © Rijksmuseum / Tilleman The Philips Wing. Image © Rijksmuseum / Tilleman

Dune Villa / HILBERINKBOSCH architects

  • Architects: HILBERINKBOSCH architects
  • Location: Utrechtse Heuvelrug, The Netherlands
  • Architect in Charge: Geert Bosch, Annemariken Hilberink
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: René de Wit

© René de Wit © René de Wit © René de Wit © René de Wit

In Progress: Stadskantoor / OMA

  • Architects: OMA
  • Location: Meent 119, 3011 JH Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • Partners In Charge: Rem Koolhaas, Reinier de Graaf
  • Associate: Alex de Jong
  • Project Team: Philippe Braun, Clarisa Garcia Fresco, Maaike Hawinkels, Andrew Linn, Takeshi Murakuni, Peter Rieff, Tom Tang, Sakine Dicle Uzanyayla, Mark Veldman
  • Interior Team: Saskia Simon, Andrea Giannotti, Ross O'Connell, Mafalda Rangel, Lucia Zamponi, Grisha Zotov
  • Area: 43370.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Ossip van Duivenbode, Courtesy of OMA

© Ossip van Duivenbode © Ossip van Duivenbode © Ossip van Duivenbode Facade Collage from North. Image Courtesy of OMA