Critical Round-Up: Snøhetta's SFMOMA Extension

09:30 - 5 May, 2016
Critical Round-Up: Snøhetta's SFMOMA Extension, © Jon McNeal
© Jon McNeal

Shoehorned into the narrow space behind Mario Botta’s 1995 building, the Snøhetta-designed new wing of the SFMOMA was forced to go where few museums have gone before: up. Rising 10 stories into the San Francisco skyline, the new building nearly triples the amount of existing gallery space and adds a new entrance into what is now one of the world’s largest buildings dedicated to modern art. As the museum is set to reopen to the public May 14th, the critics' takes are rolling in. Did the restrictive site inspire a unique design solution or limit the creative possibilities of the project? Read on to find out.

© Henrik Kam © Jason Chinn (Flickr: jasonchinn) © Henrik Kam © Iwan Baan +7

The Architecture of Star Wars: 7 Iconic Structures

09:30 - 4 May, 2016
The Architecture of Star Wars: 7 Iconic Structures

Perhaps the most enduring appeal of Star Wars for its fans is not simply its compelling storyline or its dramatic space battles - it is instead that this universe is, in fact, a universe, with all the complexity and depth that entails. One of the best ways to reveal that depth is through architecture, which offers the most visually striking combination of history, culture and technology available. As a result, the Star Wars universe is littered with a huge variety of fascinating architecture, from ancient temples to futuristic floating cities.

Today is the most holy day in the Star Wars fanatic’s calendar, and thanks to pages like Star Wars Architecture on Facebook and Wookieepedia, we’re celebrating the event with seven of the most interesting, astonishing and iconic architectural structures from the franchise. Enjoy, and May the 4th be with you.

The Architecture of Star Wars: 7 Iconic Structures The Architecture of Star Wars: 7 Iconic Structures The Architecture of Star Wars: 7 Iconic Structures The Architecture of Star Wars: 7 Iconic Structures +12

Fragments of Metropolis: Documenting the Expressionist Heritage of the Rhine-Ruhr Region

04:00 - 4 May, 2016

European Expressionism in architecture has, until now, suffered from neglect. Following a successful campaign for the first volume in a planned seven-part series which focused on Berlin, a new version of the Fragments of Metropolis series—which covers with the Rhein-Ruhr region of Europe—will document 155 buildings from Bochum, Bottrop, Dortmund, Duisburg to Düsseldorf, Cologne, Münster and Oberhausen. This latest volume is currently being crowdfunded.

8 Architecture Books to Read This Spring

09:45 - 3 May, 2016
8 Architecture Books to Read This Spring

For the architecture-obsessed reader, it can sometimes be tough to keep up with the publishing world. With architecture-related interests spanning from photography to philosophy, new books are released at an alarming rate and it can be difficult to spot the good from the bad. Fortunately, the good folks at Metropolis Magazine are here to help. In this article, excerpted from their list of 50 Architecture and Design Books to Read This Spring, Metropolis editors select the top architecture titles to come out this year to give you a helping hand in rounding out your reading list.

Dror Proposes New Vegetated Biosphere for Montreal

08:00 - 3 May, 2016
Dror Proposes New Vegetated Biosphere for Montreal, Courtesy of Dror
Courtesy of Dror

In anticipation of the upcoming 50th anniversary of Expo 67, Studio Dror has proposed a 150-meter-wide vegetated dome for Park Jean Drapeau, the original site of the World Fair. The new dome would complement Buckminster Fuller’s Biosphere, which was built as the US pavilion for Expo 67. 

AD Interviews: Alan Ricks / MASS Design Group

15:01 - 2 May, 2016

In this video, ArchDaily interviews MASS Design Group co-founder Alan Ricks, who describes the firm’s working process and how the practice, with offices in Boston and Kigali, Rwanda, is intent on improving people's lives through architecture. The firm has established a fundamental process for creating structures, that according to Ricks "Have an obligation to catalyze and amplify the outcomes that are the core services delivered in our buildings.” Whether serving the fields of health, education, or housing, the firm’s modus operandi is public benefit. "[It’s] how we leverage the building process to expand the impact," says Ricks. "We’ve taken to the calling that lo-fab, or locally fabricated, it doesn’t mean lo-tech and it doesn’t mean not pre-fab. It just means we’ve uncovered the available resources where we work and are leveraging them to deliver value.” With clinics in Haiti, primary schools in Rwanda, and proposals for library and hospital projects in the United States, MASS Design has proven its ability to act in the realm of public good. The firm has previously been lauded by New York Times critic Michael Kimmelman, was named one of the Architectural League of New York’s Emerging Voices in 2013, and was the winner of both the Zumtobel Group Award and Curry Stone Design Prize in 2012. Watch the video for more about this entrepreneurial design practice that is redefining what it means to be local, sustainable, and most importantly, for the community.

Casa Brutale is Getting Built, and Here’s Why (Hint: The Internet)

09:30 - 2 May, 2016
Casa Brutale is Getting Built, and Here’s Why (Hint: The Internet), Courtesy of OPA
Courtesy of OPA

When ArchDaily published “Live on the Edge with OPA’s Casa Brutale” in July of last year, we expected it to be popular on our site, but few anticipated exactly how much attention the project would receive—enough to secure a position in the top 10 most read articles on the site in 2015. But what happened next was perhaps more astounding. By the end of the week, the project had been picked up by the gamut of non-architecture news outlets ranging from Slate to Yahoo to CNET to CNBC. For a few short days, it became difficult to traverse the wild expanses of the internet without a sighting of the project’s lead image, typically accompanied by a hyperbolic headline along the lines of “This Beautiful, Terrifying House is Literally Inside a Cliff.”

But despite the enormous traction, with seemingly impossible features like a clifftop, glass-bottomed swimming pool, the project still seemed to be destined for "paper architecture" status. Yet fast forward to today and the house has (incredibly) found a willing client, and is about to break ground on construction. How did this happen, and what takes architecture from viral sensation to real-life construction project?

Courtesy of OPA Courtesy of OPA Courtesy of OPA Courtesy of OPA +23

Gallery: Santiago Calatrava's WTC Transportation Hub Photographed by Laurian Ghinitoiu

11:00 - 1 May, 2016
Gallery: Santiago Calatrava's WTC Transportation Hub Photographed by Laurian Ghinitoiu, © Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

Since it opened to the public two months ago, Santiago Calatrava's World Trade Center Transportation Hub has been the subject of intense debate. Critics and the public alike have tried to answer whether the building, while undeniably unique and striking, was worth the $4 billion price tag that made it the world's most expensive train station. Key to this question's answer will be the way that the building settles into its role as a piece of the city's fabric.

With construction work still surrounding the building - both on the site itself and at the nearby skyscrapers - photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu turned his camera lens onto the station to see how it has been absorbed into the life of the city, capturing the way the structure is revealed from unexpected vantage points and showing how its users react to the sublime internal space of the "oculus."

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu +30

AD Classics: Bonnefantenmuseum / Aldo Rossi

08:00 - 30 April, 2016
AD Classics: Bonnefantenmuseum / Aldo Rossi, © James Taylor-Foster
© James Taylor-Foster

Situated in a former industrial district in the southern Dutch city of Maastricht, it’s perhaps fitting that the Bonnefantenmuseum has often been called  a “viewing factory.” The museum, with its ‘E’-shaped plan and distinctive domed tower, is one of the most prominent landmarks along the River Meuse that flows around the city center. Europe’s rich cultural history was a key impetus for architect Aldo Rossi’s design, which employed a number of historical architectural gestures to place the Bonnefantenmuseum within a collapsed European canon.

© James Taylor-Foster © James Taylor-Foster © James Taylor-Foster © James Taylor-Foster +16

Why Aravena's Open Source Project is a Huge Step Toward Better, Cheaper Housing for Everyone

09:50 - 29 April, 2016
Why Aravena's Open Source Project is a Huge Step Toward Better, Cheaper Housing for Everyone

This article by Paperhouses founder Joana Pacheco was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Aravena's Small Step, Open Source's Big Leap."

When Alejandro Aravena was awarded the Pritzker Prize earlier this month, he made a remarkable and significant announcement: he had published the plans of four of his social housing projects on his website, for anyone and everyone to study and use.

Through the work of his firm Elemental, Aravena is known for his interest in incremental, participatory housing design: a common-sense way of working within financial restraints and a cornerstone of Elemental’s studio work. The motto—focus first on what is most difficult to achieve, what cannot be done individually, and what will guarantee the common good in the future—resulted in a “half a house.” First introduced over a decade ago, the model consists of an expandable 40 square-meter (431 square-feet) container with basic infrastructure (partitions, structural and firewalls, bathroom, kitchen, stairs, a roof) built-in and added to over time. It is not only an achievement from a conceptual and project management standpoint, but also an aesthetically open and diverse project. From this one idea stemmed 100 variations.

Shuhei Endo on Why Architecture Should Be "Paramodern"

09:50 - 28 April, 2016
Shuhei Endo on Why Architecture Should Be "Paramodern", Bubbletecture H. Image © Courtesy of Shuhei Endo / Paramodern
Bubbletecture H. Image © Courtesy of Shuhei Endo / Paramodern

Japan has long been one of the centers of production when it comes to avant-garde architecture, stretching back to the middle of the 20th century with Modernist masters such as Kenzo Tange. As one of Japan's new, emerging architectural leaders Shuhei Endo – the founder of architecture firm Paramodern – believes the country is still well positioned at the forefront of architecture, creating new responses to the concept of modernity itself. In the second interview from our series covering “Japan's New Masters,” Ebrahim Abdoh speaks to Endo about what it means to be “Modern” in the modern world, and how these ideas have influenced his architecture.

Ebrahim Abdoh: What is your earliest memory of wanting to be an architect?

Shuhei Endo: When I was a child at elementary school, one day, the teacher took our class to an architecture exhibit in Osaka. The year was 1962. I remember seeing all the drawings, and models of these strange buildings. It was that day that I heard the words "architect" and "architecture" for the first time. Many years later, I applied to university to study architecture and got in. I always wanted to see the world. In my first few years of university, I went on a trip all over Europe. If that little exhibit I went to in Osaka was my baptism, then Rome was my confirmation. When I walked into the Pantheon… that is when I knew that I had made the right choice.

Slowtecture M. Image © Courtesy of Shuhei Endo / Paramodern Rooftecture OT2. Image © Stirling Elmendorf Rooftecture S. Image © Courtesy of Shuhei Endo / Paramodern Bubbletecture H. Image © Courtesy of Shuhei Endo / Paramodern +13

Gottfried Böhm: the Son, Grandson, Husband and Father of Architects

04:00 - 28 April, 2016

Concrete Love is a film about the Böhm family. Shot at their residence in Cologne, Germany, and on location at their projects—both completed and under construction—around the world, the film's Swiss director, Maurizius Staerkle-Drux, spent two years in close quarters recording scenes and conversations that offer a profound insight into the world of Pritzker Prize-winning architect Gottfried Böhm, the late Elisabeth Böhm, and their three sons.

Read on to be in with a chance of winning a copy of the film.

Neviges Church (exterior). Image © Lichtblickfilm Köln / 2:1 Film Zürich Bensberg Childs Village. Image © Lichtblickfilm Köln / 2:1 Film Zürich Köln Melaten. Image © Lichtblickfilm Köln / 2:1 Film Zürich Köln Mosque (Paul Böhm). Image © Lichtblickfilm Köln / 2:1 Film Zürich +22

Kengo Kuma Unveils Mixed-Use Skyscraper in Vancouver

16:00 - 27 April, 2016
Kengo Kuma Unveils Mixed-Use Skyscraper in Vancouver, Courtesy of v2com
Courtesy of v2com

Kengo Kuma and Associates has revealed plans for the office’s first North American skyscraper, a mixed-use luxury tower on a site adjacent to Stanley Park in Vancouver. Known as ‘Alberni by Kuma,’ the 43-story tower combines 181 residences with retail space and a restaurant in a rectilinear volume accented by "scoops" on two sides. These curvatures are the building’s most important formal attribute, while a moss garden at the tower's base is its most important spatial feature. The project is being organized by Westbank and Peterson, and is part of a group of architecturally significant projects being developed by the pair in the west coast city.

Courtesy of v2com Courtesy of v2com Courtesy of v2com Courtesy of v2com +10

Saving Palmyra: A Discussion with Yale's Cultural Heritage Expert Stefan Simon

10:00 - 27 April, 2016
Saving Palmyra: A Discussion with Yale's Cultural Heritage Expert Stefan Simon, Temple of Bel, Destroyed by ISIS, August 2015. Image © Flickr User: Jiří Suchomel licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Temple of Bel, Destroyed by ISIS, August 2015. Image © Flickr User: Jiří Suchomel licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Last May, Islamic State forces took control of Palmyra, one of the world's most treasured UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In the proceeding months, the world looked on in shock as ISIS released a series of videos showing the destruction of the priceless ruins. Last month however, the ancient city was recaptured, marking the beginning of a difficult discussion about what the international preservation community should do next.

ArchDaily had the opportunity to interview Stefan Simon, the Inaugural Director of the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (IPCH) at Yale University, an organization “dedicated to advancing the field of heritage science by improving the science and practice of conservation in a sustainable manner.” Simon earned his PhD in Chemistry from the Ludwig Maximilian UniversityMunich, and has broad experience in material deterioration diagnostics, microanalytics, climatology, and non-destructive mechanical testing. He previously served as Director of the Rathgen Research Laboratory at the National Museums in Berlin, as a member and Vice President of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), and as leader of the Building Materials section at the Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, in 2005, among numerous other accomplishments.

The conversation that focused on cultural preservation in the wake of conflict, and specifically, how to proceed in Palmyra now that the Syrian site has been wrenched back from the control of the Islamic State. The tragic case of Palmyra guided a conversation that sought out specificity on the options and considerations that must be taken in the wake of trauma.

© Flickr User: Jiří Suchomel licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Tetrapylon in the Great Collonnade. Image © Flickr User: Jiří Suchomel licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Roman Theater. Image © Flickr User: Alessandra Kocman licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Arch of Triumph, Destroyed by ISIS, October 2015. Image © Flickr User: Jiří Suchomel licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 +27

6 Structures Designed to Save Humanity From Itself

10:50 - 26 April, 2016
6 Structures Designed to Save Humanity From Itself

On April 26th 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the city of Pripyat in northern Ukraine suffered a catastrophic failure, resulting in a nuclear meltdown and a series of explosions which scattered radioactive material across large areas of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. More than 50,000 people were evacuated the following day, and over the next 14 years another 300,000 people were moved, leading to an exclusion zone today measuring 2,600 square kilometers that will likely remain in place for hundreds of years. To this day, the human cost of the disaster is still unknown, with estimates that in their lifetimes, anywhere between 4,000 and 200,000 people will be affected by cancers attributable to the incident. Along with the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster of 2011, the Chernobyl Disaster is one of only two level 7 nuclear events in history.

Today, exactly 30 years later, the incident at Chernobyl remains one of the most poignant demonstrations of humanity’s mastery over its environment, and also one of the most powerful demonstrations of how easily, and how catastrophically, that mastery can go awry. But humans are if nothing else resilient, and throughout history have used every means at their disposal to put right the problems they have caused for themselves - including a number of structures constructed to mitigate the effects of man-made disasters, both from humanity’s past and its possible future.

Alejandro Aravena's Pritzker Prize Acceptance Speech

14:45 - 25 April, 2016
Courtesy of ©The Hyatt Foundation / The Pritzker Architecture Prize
Courtesy of ©The Hyatt Foundation / The Pritzker Architecture Prize

ArchDaily is pleased to share, with the permission of The Hyatt Foundation and The Pritzker Architecture Prize, a transcript of Alejandro Aravena's acceptance speech at the April 4, 2016 award ceremony for the 2016 Pritzker Prize presented at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Interview with Toshiko Mori: “Rather Than Working With Forms, We Work With Forces”

10:00 - 25 April, 2016
Interview with Toshiko Mori: “Rather Than Working With Forms, We Work With Forces”, Newspaper Café in China. Image © Iwan Baan
Newspaper Café in China. Image © Iwan Baan

As a Japanese immigrant who has spent much of her life in the United States, the architecture of Toshiko Mori occupies an interesting space: on one hand, the material and tectonic culture of Japan is, as she puts it, her “DNA.” On the other hand, her work clearly draws inspiration from the Modernists of 20th century America, and most notably from Mies van der Rohe. In this interview from his “City of Ideas” series, Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with Mori (his former architecture professor) about materials, details, and the inspiration behind her work.

Vladimir Belogolovsky: You came to the US as a teenager with your parents from Japan in the 1960s. Were you interested in art early on back in Japan or was it something that you discovered already here?

Toshiko Mori: I was already interested in art as a child, always drawing, painting, making sculptures and models. I continued doing that here.

Syracuse Center for Excellence, Syracuse, NY. Image © Iwan Baan House in Columbia County, NY with Antony Gormley sculpture. Image © Iwan Baan Extension to Marcel Breuer's House in Connecticut II. Image © Paul Warchol Cultural Center in Senegal (Thread: Artists’ Residency + Cultural Center). Image © Iwan Baan +57

6 Community Architecture Projects in the Peruvian Jungle

09:30 - 24 April, 2016
Sondoveni Community Center. Image Courtesy of ConstruyeIdentidad
Sondoveni Community Center. Image Courtesy of ConstruyeIdentidad

Plan Selva (Jungle Plan) -- a project to build modular schools in Amazonian villages -- was selected as the focal point of the Peruvian pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. In light of this, we take a look at the work of two other organizations that have been carrying out major projects in the country's largest natural region: ConstruyeIdentidad, which creates innovative projects using traditional materials and techniques and an exchange of ideas between students, professionals and the community; and Semillas, an organization that designs educational spaces used as areas of communication between indigenous communities, promoting the development of these relationships and exchanges through participatory processes. 

School- Atsipatari Sondoveni. Image Courtesy of ConstruyeIdentidad School in Chuquibambilla. Image © Paulo Afonso / Marta Maccaglia © Paulo Afonso / Marta Maccaglia Courtesy of ConstruyeIdentidad +63