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10 Apps That Can Help You Be More Productive and Make Better Architecture

07:00 - 19 January, 2017

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "Top 10 Apps to Help You Achieve Your Goals and Build New Habits."

With the daily distractions of Facebook, emails and calls, it can become difficult to keep your eye on the ball. This is why having an app that tracks habits and helps you stay organized can make a huge impact on your professional and personal success.

There are numerous digital tools dedicated to optimizing workflow, communication and time management, helping business owners and freelancers realize their full potential. This can also apply to goal setting. Goals are closely connected to our daily habits. Whether you’re looking to start a new project, learn to use a new tool or launch a product, your habits will play a crucial role in moving things forward. This is why we have compiled a list of great apps and tools that will help you keep track of your work dynamic and make good habits while breaking bad ones.

The Ultimate Guide to Revit Shortcuts

09:30 - 18 January, 2017
The Ultimate Guide to Revit Shortcuts

This article was originally published on ArchSmarter.

For all the work you do in Revit, there’s a keyboard shortcut that can help you do it faster.

Here’s a roundup featuring some of my favorite Revit keyboard shortcuts to create and organize your model. Keep reading to learn how to create your own shortcuts.

This shortcut cheat sheet is also available in a convenient pdf form; simply sign up here to download it.

Understanding Grafton Architects, Directors of the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale

04:00 - 18 January, 2017
Understanding Grafton Architects, Directors of the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, UTEC / Grafton Architects. Image © Iwan Baan
UTEC / Grafton Architects. Image © Iwan Baan

“When you read Love in the Time of Cholera you come to realize the magic realism of South America.” Yvonne Farrell, Shelley McNamara and I were in a corner of the Barbican Centre’s sprawling, shallow atrium talking about the subject of their most recent accolade, the Royal Institute of British Architects inaugural International Prize, awarded that previous evening. That same night the two Irish architects, who founded their practice in Dublin in the 1970s, also delivered a lecture on the Universidad de Ingeniería and Tecnologia (UTEC)—their “modern-day Machu Picchu” in Lima—to a packed audience in London’s Portland Place.

Farrell and McNamara, who together lead a team of twenty-five as Grafton Architects, are both powerful thinkers, considered conversationalists and unobtrusively groundbreaking designers. For a practice so compact, their international portfolio is exceptionally broad. The first phase of the UTEC in the Peruvian capital, which began following an international competition in 2011, represents the farthest territory the practice have geographically occupied. The project is, in their words, a “man-made cliff” between the Pacific and the mountains – on one side a cascading garden, and on the other a “shoulder” to the city cast from bare concrete.

How To Earn A Six-Figure Salary as an Architect

09:30 - 17 January, 2017
How To Earn A Six-Figure Salary as an Architect, © Skitterphoto via Pixabay (Public domain image)
© Skitterphoto via Pixabay (Public domain image)

This article was originally published by The Architect's Guide as "How To Earn A Six Figure Architecture Salary."

Architecture salary. Perhaps one of the most talked about and passionately debated topics in the design community. I receive more emails on this subject than almost anything else. 

Previously, in 5 Factors Affecting Your Architecture Salary, I covered several variables that contribute to your income. However, for this article I want to highlight the areas that will produce the best return on your investment of time and money. 

While earning six figures doesn't mean what it used to, it is still a very admirable (and achievable) goal. So how do you go about reaching this significant architecture salary milestone? Let's discuss.

Below The Extraordinarily Textured Surface of This Unique Polish Concert Hall

06:00 - 17 January, 2017
Below The Extraordinarily Textured Surface of This Unique Polish Concert Hall , © Patryk Lewinski
© Patryk Lewinski

This article is part of our new "Material Focus" series, which asks architects to elaborate on the thought process behind their material choices and sheds light on the steps required to get buildings actually built.

The CKK Jordanki (Jordanki Cultural and Convention Center) by Fernando Menis is located in the historical center of Torun. It respects the shorter height of the surrounding buildings to preserve the views of the river and better fit the natural environment that surrounds it. The building was designed to have a more natural look, like a 'rock' that marks the transition from the urban plot to the park that surrounds it. In this interview we spoke with Fernando Menis who explained in depth how the selection of project materials contributed to the design process, helped in the inclusion of universal accessibility, and the project’s construction.

© Jakub Certowicz © Jakub Certowicz © Patryk Lewinski © Patryk Lewinski +13

OMA's £110 million Arts Center in Manchester Receives Planning Approval

14:00 - 16 January, 2017
OMA's £110 million Arts Center in Manchester Receives Planning Approval, Courtesy of Factory Manchester
Courtesy of Factory Manchester

OMA’s first major public building in the UK has been granted planning approval. Known as “Factory,” the groundbreaking new cultural center will serve as a the new home of the Manchester International Festival (MIF) and as a year-round concert and arts venue.

Courtesy of Factory Manchester Courtesy of Factory Manchester Courtesy of Factory Manchester Courtesy of Factory Manchester +9

Being an Architect: Then Versus Now

09:30 - 16 January, 2017
© Sharon Lam
© Sharon Lam

Architecture, as a profession and discipline, has come a long way since Vitruvius. It continues to evolve alongside culture and technology, reflecting new developments and shifting values in society. Some changes are conscious and originate within the field of architecture itself, made as acts of disciplinary or professional progress; others changes are uncontrollable, arising from architecture's role in the wider world that is also changing. Below are just some of the changes that have taken place in recent decades:

The 10 Best Global* Architecture Projects of 2016 (*Asia, Africa and South America Not Excluded)

08:00 - 15 January, 2017
The 10 Best Global* Architecture Projects of 2016 (*Asia, Africa and South America Not Excluded)

As the common phrase attests, “history is written by the victors.” We therefore know that the story of the West is that of Europe and the United States, while the other actors in world history are minimized or invisible: it happened to the Chinese and Japanese during World War II, to the Ottoman Empire in sixteenth-century Europe, and to racial majorities in the common reading of Latin American independence. The same thing happens in architecture.

The current boom of the Global South is based not only on new work, but rather on the recognition of an invisible architecture which was apparently not worthy of publication in the journals of the 1990s. The world stage has changed, with the emergence of a humanity that is decentralized yet local; globalized, yet heterogeneous; accelerated, yet unbalanced. There are no longer red and blue countries, but a wide variety of colors, exploding like a Pollock painting.

This serves as a preamble to consider the outstanding projects of 2016 according to the British critic Oliver Wainwright, whose map of the world appears to extend from New York in the West to Oslo in the East, with the exception of Birzeit in Palestine. The Global South represents more than 40% of the global economy and already includes most of the world’s megacities, yet has no architecture worthy of recognition? We wanted to highlight the following projects in order to expand the western-centric world view, enabling us to truly comprehend the extent of architectural innovation on a global scale.

16 Materials Every Architect Needs to Know (And Where to Learn About Them)

16:00 - 14 January, 2017
16 Materials Every Architect Needs to Know (And Where to Learn About Them)

A building’s materiality is what our bodies make direct contact with; the cold metal handle, the warm wooden wall, and the hard glass window would all create an entirely different atmosphere if they were, say, a hard glass handle, a cold metal wall and a warm wooden window (which with KTH’s new translucent wood, is not as absurd as it might sound). Materiality is of just as much importance as form, function and location—or rather, inseparable from all three.

Here we’ve compiled a selection of 16 materials that should be part of the design vocabulary of all architects, ranging from the very familiar (such as concrete and steel) to materials which may be unknown for some of our readers, as well as links to comprehensive resources to learn more about many of them.

How Combining Social Housing with Tourism Could Help Solve Havana’s Housing Crisis

09:30 - 14 January, 2017
How Combining Social Housing with Tourism Could Help Solve Havana’s Housing Crisis, Courtesy of Iwo Borkowicz
Courtesy of Iwo Borkowicz

The largest of the Caribbean islands, Cuba is a cultural melting pot of over 11 million people, combining native Taíno and Ciboney people with descendants of Spanish colonists and African slaves. Since the 1959 revolution led by Fidel Castro, the country has been the only stable communist regime in the Western hemisphere, with close ties to the Soviet Union during the Cold War and frosty relationship with its nearby neighbor, the United States, that has only recently begun to thaw. While the architecture in the capital city of Havana reflects the dynamic and rich history of the area, after the revolution Havana lost its priority status and government focus shifted to rural areas, and the buildings of Havana have been left to ruin ever since. Iwo Borkowicz, one of three winners of the 2016 Young Talent Architecture Award, has developed a plan that could bring some vibrancy, and most importantly some sustainability, back to Havana, the historic core of the city.

Section of Prototype 2. Image Courtesy of Iwo Borkowicz Section of Prototype 3. Image Courtesy of Iwo Borkowicz Section of Prototype 4. Image Courtesy of Iwo Borkowicz Section of Prototype 6. Image Courtesy of Iwo Borkowicz +63

10 Traditional Festivals Around the World: A Good Excuse to See New Architecture

09:30 - 13 January, 2017

We experience our cities daily through ordinary acts, whether it’s commuting, looking for a quiet place, having lunch downtown, or even exercising. However, one of the most exceptional ways to experience the different roles of a city's urban space is through traditional festivals, rooted in local cultures presented through different clothing, culinary arts, dances and other arts.

Through these festivals, one can see the uses and the demands of the urban public space, in which cultural actions offer new ways to take over the city - at a time when the streets are no longer just a transit space and become a space of leisure and residence, overtaken by a different atmosphere.

New cultures are built on new practices. Through travel, architects can expand their repertoire and gain new influences for their projects. Here, we take a look at some traditional festivals around the world that serve as a good excuse to unveil new ways of thinking about a city and, as a result, to see great architectural works.

7 Novels Every Architect Should Read

09:30 - 12 January, 2017
7 Novels Every Architect Should Read

Great architects are like great writers. Our abilities to observe the world around us down to the tiniest details, and then make the most remarkable connections, have in time given humanity great stories and experiences - whether through imagined or real spaces. As Charles Eames put it, "Eventually everything connects - people, ideas, objects. The key to quality of the connections is the key to quality per se."

As architects, we have a nearly endless succession of connections to make, from materials, to geography, to time, to people, to experiences and statements of our own beliefs, all coming together in the design of a space. Novels are therefore a great way to remind yourself of the creative possibilities that architecture holds, encouraging you to dream about what architecture could be; and what experiences could be. These 7 non-architectural novels each have their own qualities that could open up the architectural world (and provide you with an enjoyable reading list in your time off). Enjoy!

Interview with Álvaro Siza: “Beauty Is the Peak of Functionality!”

09:30 - 11 January, 2017
Interview  with Álvaro Siza: “Beauty Is the Peak of Functionality!”, Fundação Iberê Camargo. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG + SG
Fundação Iberê Camargo. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG + SG

Throughout the 60-year career of Álvaro Siza, his work has continuously defied categorization--having variously been described as “critical regionalism” and “poetic modernism,” with neither quite capturing the true essence of Siza's intuitive architecture. In this interview, the latest in Vladimir Belogolovsky's “City of Ideas” series, Siza discusses those attempts to categorize his work, his design approach and the role of beauty in his designs.

Vladimir Belogolovsky: Your student, Eduardo Souto de Moura said, “Siza’s houses are just like cats sleeping in the sun.”

Álvaro Siza: [Laughs.] Yes, he meant that my buildings assume the most natural postures on the site. There is also a reference in that to the human body.

Auditorium Theatre of Llinars del Valles . Image © Fernando Guerra | FG + SG Fire Station in Santo Tirso. Image © Joao Morgado - Architecture Photography The Building on the Water / Álvaro Siza + Carlos Castanheira. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG + SG Boa Nova Tea House. Image © Samuel Ludwig +33

“Permanently Unfinished”: The Evolution of Architecture in the Galapagos Islands

06:00 - 11 January, 2017
“Permanently Unfinished”: The Evolution of Architecture in the Galapagos Islands, © Joseph Kennedy
© Joseph Kennedy

Most visitors to the Galapagos Islands point their cameras towards the exotic animals and away from the local people. They direct their full attention to the natural landscape, as if to intentionally deny the existence of the urban space of the city, since the presence of any form of architecture would seem in logical conflict with the islands’ identity as a protected wildlife reserve.

The architecture of the Galapagos is both a conceptual and physical contradiction. Like a Piranesian joke, the San Cristobal typology of the proto-ruin falls somewhere on a spectrum between construction and dismantlement. With their “permanently unfinished” construction state seemingly in flux, it is unclear whether many of these buildings display a common optimism for vertical expansion or are instead symptoms of a process of urban decay.

"Unfinished" construction in Puerto Baquerzio Moreno. Image © Joseph Kennedy "Unfinished" construction in Puerto Baquerzio Moreno. Image © Joseph Kennedy "Unfinished" construction in Puerto Baquerzio Moreno. Image © Joseph Kennedy "Unfinished" construction in Puerto Baquerzio Moreno. Image © Joseph Kennedy +61

10 Young Chinese Architecture Firms To Watch Out For

09:30 - 10 January, 2017
10 Young Chinese Architecture Firms To Watch Out For

2016 has been a momentous year for Chinese architecture. From the completion of the Harbin Opera house by MAD to the Aga Khan Awards recognizing Zhang Ke of Standard Architecture for his micro-scale design of the Hutong Children’s Library and Art Centre in Beijing. It seems the general perception of Chinese architecture has finally moved beyond the big, weird and ugly.

Since we’ve started to branch out into China, the ArchDaily China team has been able to discover the rich layers beyond just these rising Chinese stars. As part of the country's large-scale urbanization process, last year, we posted some of the large-scale projects designed by China’s (largely unknown) Design & Research institutions such as train stations and cultural centers

In addition, we’ve also come across a series of smaller, lesser known, younger practices that focuses more on small-scale experimental work. Here are our top ten favorites: 

Tiantai No.2 Primary School . Image © Yu Xu Youth Hotel of iD Town. Image © Chaos.Z Tea House in Hutong. Image © Wang Ning Chi She. Image © Su Shengliang +25

Hexagons for a Reason: The Innovative Engineering Behind BIG's Honeycomb

06:00 - 10 January, 2017
Hexagons for a Reason: The Innovative Engineering Behind BIG's Honeycomb, © BIG
© BIG

BIG are known for unconventional buildings that often raise the question “how were they able to do that?” Such is the case for BIG’s Honeycomb, a luxury eight-story condominium currently under construction in the Bahamas. The project’s hallmark is its hexagonal façade made up of private balconies, each with its own glass-fronted outdoor pool. The façade was also the project’s greatest engineering challenge, with each balcony (including pool water) weighing between 108,000 and 269,000 pounds (48,000-122,000 kilograms) while cantilevering up to 17.5 feet (5.3 meters) from the structure. Tasked with this challenging brief were DeSimone Consulting Engineers, who previously worked with BIG on The Grove. Read on for more detail on the Honeycomb’s innovative engineering.

Courtesy of DeSimone Consulting Engineers © BIG © BIG Courtesy of DeSimone Consulting Engineers +15

The Best Architecture Drawings of 2016

09:30 - 9 January, 2017
The Best Architecture Drawings of 2016, Courtesy of RIGI Design
Courtesy of RIGI Design

Courtesy of Pezo von Ellrichshausen Courtesy of Studio Fuksas © OMA Courtesy of Wülser Bechtel Architekten +90

Designing and building a project is a challenge in itself. However, once the project is complete there are also challenges in expressing the project so that it can be understood by a new audience. This is especially true in digital media, where online readers don't necessarily spend the same time reading an article as in print media. Drawings and all new forms of visual representation – such as animated Gifs – play an important role in the project's understanding. 

At ArchDaily we push ourselves as editors to look for the best drawings from the architects that work with us. We are constantly looking to get the best out of the projects we receive to share with the world and deliver knowledge and inspiration to millions of people. The drawings we have chosen are not only visually entertaining but they serve as a way of educating and learning fundamental architectural representations.

Regardless if they are digital or hand-drawn, all the architectural drawings we have selected this year have a sensitive expression, whether it be artistic, technical or conceptual, and they all aim to express and explain the project using simplicity, detail, textures, 3D and color as main tools. 

This year we want to highlight a selection of 90 drawings arranged under eight categories: Architectural Drawings, Axonometrics, Context, Diagrams, Sketches, Animated Gifs, Details and Other Techniques. 

Why "Darling" Architects Who Came Up Under Recession Are Doubling Down on Budget

09:30 - 8 January, 2017
Why "Darling" Architects Who Came Up Under Recession Are Doubling Down on Budget, The new Manetti Shrem Museum at the University of California, Davis. Image © Iwan Baan / SO-IL and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
The new Manetti Shrem Museum at the University of California, Davis. Image © Iwan Baan / SO-IL and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "The Build Up."

This November, the Manetti Shrem Museum on the University of California, Davis, campus opened to the public. Designed by New York City–based SO-IL with the San Francisco office of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, the museum pays homage to the agricultural landscape of California’s Central Valley with an oversize roof canopy. The steel members of the 50,000-square-foot (4,650-square-meter) shade structure, nearly twice the size of the museum itself, reference the patterning of plowed fields and create a welcoming outdoor space for visitors. It is both expressive and practical, but getting that balance wasn’t easy.

SO-IL, founded by Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu in 2008, has a portfolio filled with smaller projects, installations, and exhibition-related work. The Manetti Shrem Museum is easily the firm’s largest work to date, demanding a rigorous design-build process while maintaining a strong conceptual vision. In short, it required architecture.