Architects are often noted for having bad work-life balance, a lot of stress and little free time. How can you take time off while still improving your skills as an architect? Can that time off even give you an extra edge? Compared to other fields, architecture stands out as a field in which you need to “know a little bit about everything." Thus, in order to live up to our name we must also do a little bit of everything, and as they say, a little goes a long way. So with that in mind, here are 11 activities which, while not obviously architectural, just might make you a better architect.
We are all familiar with the "utopian" towns of the 20th Century. Basildon, Essex, was one of the largest of those New Towns. It was founded in 1949, when Lewis Silkin, the Minister of town and country planning at the time, ambitiously predicted that "Basildon will become a city which people from all over the world will want to visit. It will be a place where all classes of community can meet freely together on equal terms and enjoy common cultural recreational facilities." Nearly seventy years later, Basildon is left with a struggling local economy, splintered communities, and a fraction of the art and culture than what was originally hoped for. "New Town Utopia" is a documentary film that confronts this concrete reality with a question: “What happened when we built Utopia?”
In this TED Talk, co-founder of MASS Design Group, Michael Murphy, presents the question “what more can architecture do?” as the springboard philosophy behind the practice. Following a trajectory of MASS’s projects, Murphy reflects upon their practice’s progress in seeing architecture as an opportunity to invest in the future of communities.
Throughout the past century, architecture's relationship with water has developed along a variety of different paths. With his “Fallingwater” house, for example, the American master Frank Lloyd Wright confronted the dramatic flow of water with strong horizontal lines to heighten the experience of nature. Since then, architecture's use of water has become more varied and complex. A space made almost purely of water emerged with Isamu Noguchi's design at the Osaka World Expo: glistening water appeared to fall from nowhere and glowed in the dark. Later with digitalization and fluid forms as design parameters, the focus shifted towards liquid architecture made of water and light. The interpretations have ranged from architectural forms modeled after literal drops of water, like Bernhard Franken´s visionary “Bubble” for BMW, to spectacular walk-in installations made of lines of water, transformed into pixels by light.
In the canon of great Dutch architects sit a number of renowned practitioners, from Berlage to Van Berkel. Based on influence alone, Rem Koolhaas—the grandson of architect Dirk Roosenburg and son of author and thinker Anton Koolhaas—stands above all others and has, over the course of a career spanning four decades, sought to redefine the role of the architect from a regional autarch to a globally-active shaper of worlds – be they real or imagined. A new film conceived and produced by Tomas Koolhaas, the LA-based son of its eponymous protagonist, attempts to biographically represent the work of OMA by “expos[ing] the human experience of [its] architecture through dynamic film.” No tall order.
Within the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Palermo in a park designed by the French landscape architect Charles Thays, the Parque 3 de Febrero (February 3rd Park) , sits the Galileo Galilei Planetarium. Inaugurated on December 20, 1966, it was born of the idea of human evolution and the need to show it in architecture. The building exists as an instrument or bridge between the scientific world and the citizens of the city of Buenos Aires.
Designed by Argentine architect Enrique Jan, the building establishes a relationship between astronomy and architecture through its shared components: mathematics and geometry. Thanks to its location and unique shape, it is currently one of the iconic images of the city and the scene of many scientific, cultural, and festive events.
The Japan Art Association (JAA) has named Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha as the winner of the 2016 Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award. Often credited as a founder of the Brutalist movement in São Paulo, 2006 Pritzker Prize Winner Mendes da Rocha was praised by the jury for his commitment to honoring “locality, history and landscape” in his projects and his ability to utilize “simple materials like concrete and steel to structure space to maximum effect.”
To the uninitiated, Ricardo Bofill might come across as something of a chameleon. Comparing the post-modernism of his projects in Paris of the 1980s, his recent glass-and-steel towers, and the stark stoicism of his own home and studio which he renovated in the 1980s, one would be forgiven for thinking that there is no consistent thread present throughout his work. However, as Bofill reveals in this interview from Vladimir Belogolovsky's “City of Ideas” series, his designs are actually rooted in concepts of regionalism and process which, while recently popular with the architectural community at large, have underpinned his architectural mind since his twenties.
Vladimir Belogolovsky: Your office, a former cement factory, La Fabrica, built back in late 19th century here in Barcelona is fascinating. Would you say it is a manifesto project and is it a work in progress for you or is it finished?
Ricardo Bofill: No, this is not a manifesto. This place is my home. I have lived and worked here for over 40 years. It is not finished and it will never be finished. I think architecture can never be finished. It always needs more work. We started this project by doing demolition, destruction, and deconstruction work first. I loved this place when I first discovered it because it was never planned or designed. Instead, it developed over many years, expanding and rebuilding every time new technology was introduced. It was an homage to industry. The factory reminded me of vernacular architecture. It was industrial vernacular that attracted me. Also there were so many surreal moments such as stairs and bridges going nowhere and arches and porticos in the most unexpected places… I started with a very romantic idea to bring nature into this industrial place. There are plants everywhere. There is a whole ecological layer planted on top of the original industrial complex.
Tutors (or professors, depending on where you live). Everyone has horror stories about their tutors, just as everyone has stories about a teacherr they truly adored. Ultimately, your tutors are likely to be the single most important element of your architectural education; no matter how much effort you put into learning through other means, these people will probably become formative figures in not only your education, but your life in general.
It's easy to forget, though, that they are just that: people, with all the flaws and foibles that being a person entails. Some you will love to learn from, while others may be a little more difficult—but like Dickens' Christmas Carol ghosts, each type of tutor has their own lesson to impart. Here are the five different types of tutor you'll deal with in your architectural education, and what you should learn from each of them.
Our editors look at hundreds of websites per week. What do they admire and appreciate the most? Organization and simplicity. Sites that are not only clean, but fast. We actively search for projects to include on our platform, so it’s crucial that when we visit a website we not only know where to look, but how to access information. Filters and facets are our best friends. Typological differentiation is important, but perhaps not as important as distinguishing between built and un-built projects (“Is that a render?” is a question that comes up at least once a day).
Andy Klemmer has had a front-seat view of the making of some of the most important pieces of architecture of our time. The president and founder of the consulting firm Paratus Group, Klemmer was an essential part of the team that helped develop the iconic Guggenheim Bilbao. Since then, he’s gone on to consult on the California Academy of Science, the Perez Art Museum Miami, the Kimbell Art Museum expansion, working with architects like Renzo Piano, Herzog & de Meuron, and SANAA (to name a few). By liaising between institutions and their chosen architects, he has unique insight into architecture, its practice, and that essential part of the architecture puzzle: the client.
This article was originally published in Metropolis Magazine as "When It Comes to Sustainability, We're Ranking Our Cities Wrong."
A recent article published in Nature makes a bold claim: we're analyzing our cities completely wrong. Professors David Wachsmuth, Aldana Cohen, and Hillary Angelo argue that, for too long, we have defined sustainability too narrowly, only looking at environmental impact on a neighborhood or city scale rather than a regional or global scale. As a result, we have measured our cities in ways that are inherently biased towards wealthy cities, and completely ignored the negative impacts our so-called "sustainable," post-industrial cities have on the rest of the world.Metropolis editor Vanessa Quirk spoke with Professor Wachsmuth to learn more about the unintended knock-on effects of going "green," the importance of consumption-based carbon counting, and why policy-makers should be more attentive to the effects of "environmental gentrification."
REX has released images of the future Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center (The Perelman Center), located on the World Trade Center site in New York City. Located between the gleaming glass tower of One World Trade and the future Two World Trade Center, the Perelman Center takes on a solid, pure form as it is set to become a new home for theater, dance, music, film, opera, and multidisciplinary works for visitors and residents of Lower Manhattan.
North Korea is one of the few countries still under communist rule, and probably the most isolated and unknown worldwide. This is a result of the philosophy of Juche – a political system based on national self-reliance which was partly influenced by principles of Marxism and Leninism.
In recent years though, the country has loosened its restrictions on tourism, allowing access to a limited number of visitors. With his personal photo series “North Korea – Vintage Socialist Architecture,” French photographer Raphael Olivier reports on Pyongyang’s largely unseen architectural heritage. ArchDaily interviewed Olivier about the project, the architecture he captured, and what he understood of North Korea’s architecture and way of life.
Tezuka Architects on Their Formative Experiences, Architecture as a Cure and Finding Your Unique Wisdom
As one practice among Japan's emerging crop of talented architects, Takaharu and Yui Tezuka of Tezuka Architects can boast some highly successful projects; perhaps most notably among their collection of houses, medical buildings, and community buildings is the Fuji Kindergarten. Completed in 2007, the unusual open-air design was so successful that it earned Takaharu Tezuka a spot on stage at TEDxKyoto. In this interview from his series “Japan's New Masters,” Ebrahim Abdoh speaks to Yui and Takaharu about their formative experiences in the United States and United Kingdom, their design approach, and the unique challenges that come with working in Japan.
One of the main challenges in adding new spaces to a pre-existing building is in the dialogue that is generated between the original construction and the new proposal. The different possibilities are infinite and it is the architect who will make the final statement through their choice of design language; they must decide to either emulate the existing architecture, reinterpret it, or to propose a whole new language.
The Fine Arts Museum by Barozzi Veiga is a project that works autonomously, integrating with it’s site in order to generate a dialogue within the public space, while using both ornamentation on the facade and the interior plan composition to establish a common language between the two distinct parts of the museum.
August’s Project of the Month uses this dialogue to produce an equilibrium between the existing and the new construction, reinterpreting the original language and adapting it with detail and delicacy to the urban area which provides it’s context.
Architecture is propaganda. Throughout my two years of visiting and living in North Korea the country slowly revealed to me the details of this evolved and refined tool for totalitarian control of the country’s population. The West views the country with incredulity—surely this cannot be a functioning country where people lead “everyday lives?” Surely the country’s populace can’t possibly buy into this regime? But I assure you that they do. People have careers, they go to work on the bus, and those women crying over the death of their leader were doing so through their own initiative, if not out of genuine emotion. How is this possible? This is a carefully constructed regime which has, at its heart, an unprecedented understanding of how architecture and urbanism can influence and control people. Coming second only to the military on the list of party priorities, the design of the built environment has had an incalculable effect on reinforcing the ideologies of the North Korean regime and conveying these to the people.
Last year, we asked the graduating students among the ArchDaily community to show us the design-build projects which they may have completed as part of their studies. The response we received was astonishing, and we were so impressed with the results that we simply had to do it again this year. So, two months ago we once again teamed up with ArchDaily Brasil and all four ArchDaily en Español sites to put out another call for submissions, and once again the response was overwhelming. Across over 100 submissions, the quality of the projects we received was so high that this year's results are bigger and better, containing 36 projects from 20 different countries. So, read on for the best student-built work from around the world in 2016.