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Why a City's Mayor Has To Be Its Chief Architect

09:30 - 4 November, 2016
Why a City's Mayor Has To Be Its Chief Architect, © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Miami_from_above.jpg'>Ron Reiring via Wikimedia</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en'>CC BY 2.0</a>
© Ron Reiring via Wikimedia licensed under CC BY 2.0

Elected in 2001, over eight years in office Miami's former mayor Manny Diaz oversaw one of the most dramatic urban transformations in the United States' history. Diaz was therefore invited to offer the opening remarks to the second day of the 2016 Design Matters Conference, presented by the Association of Architecture Organizations, which is currently taking place in the city. In his speech delivered at the Miami Center for Art and Design, Diaz explains how he developed the "Miami 21" zoning code to leverage the power of architecture and urban planning, ultimately turning Miami from a subject of jokes into one of the United States' most successful and admired cities. Below is an edited version of this speech.

Ron asked me to explain how a lawyer with no experience in elective office and with no training whatsoever in architecture, urban planning or city design ends up with land use and Miami 21 as the signature project of his administration.

Jeanne Gang: “Without an Intellectual Construct Life is Boring”

09:30 - 3 November, 2016
Jeanne Gang: “Without an Intellectual Construct Life is Boring”, Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 2014. Image © Hedrich Blessing. Photographer Steve Hall
Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 2014. Image © Hedrich Blessing. Photographer Steve Hall

Jeanne Gang, the founder of Studio Gang Architects, has made a name for herself as a designer who can design both show-stopping skyscrapers and sensitive small-scale buildings. From her breakout 2009 Aqua Tower project, to the hypothetical “Polis Station” proposal presented at last year's Chicago Architecture Biennial, Gang has established herself as perhaps Chicago's leading architect.

Gang is also included as part of Vladimir Belogolovsky's ongoing City of Ideas exhibition tour, representing Chicago among 9 other significant architects, each from a different global city. With the exhibition currently in Gang's home city at the Chicago Design Museum until February 25th, here as part of his City of Ideas column on ArchDaily Belogolovsky presents a shortened version of the interview featured in the exhibition.

Aqua Tower, Chicago, 2009. Image © Hedrich Blessing. Photographer Steve Hall Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 2014. Image © Iwan Baan Writers Theater, Glencoe, Illinois, 2016. Image © Hedrich Blessing. Photographer Steve Hall WMS Boathouse at Clark Park, Chicago, 2013. Image © Hedrich Blessing. Photographer Steve Hall +55

Why BIG's Fearless Architecture Should Be Awarded and Celebrated

15:53 - 2 November, 2016
Why BIG's Fearless Architecture Should Be Awarded and Celebrated, © Kirsten Bucher
© Kirsten Bucher

Today, at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Bjarke Ingels and BIG were presented with the International Highrise Award for Via 57 West, their "courtscraper" building in Manhattan. The following speech, which has been translated from the original German by Clara Jaschke, was delivered by architecture critic and curator Bart Lootsma at the event.

I was truly delighted when Peter Cachola Schmal called me to ask whether I would deliver the citation for Bjarke Ingels and BIG at this year’s edition of the International Highrise Award.

Just the weekend before I had been thinking that I should write something about BIG. For weeks, one spectacular and interesting project after another had been popping up on Bjarke’s, Kai-Uwe Bergmann’s and a couple of others’ Facebook pages.

The Long(ish) Read: "Ornament and Crime" by Adolf Loos

04:00 - 2 November, 2016
The Long(ish) Read: "Ornament and Crime" by Adolf Loos, Villa Müller (1930), Czech Republic / Adolf Loos
Villa Müller (1930), Czech Republic / Adolf Loos

Welcome to the fourth installment of The Long(ish) Read: an AD feature which presents texts written by notable essayists that resonate with contemporary architecture, interior architecture, urbanism or landscape design. Ornament and Crime began as a lecture delivered by Adolf Loos in 1910 in response to a time (the late 19th and early 20th Centuries) and a place (Vienna), in which Art Nouveau was the status quo.

Loos used the essay as a vehicle to explain his distain of "ornament" in favour of "smooth and previous surfaces," partly because the former, to him, caused objects and buildings to become unfashionable sooner, and therefore obsolete. This—the effort wasted in designing and creating superfluous ornament, that is—he saw as nothing short of a "crime." The ideas embodied in this essay were forerunners to the Modern movement, including practices that would eventually be at core of the Bauhaus in Weimar.

How New Video-Game-Inspired Tools Are Redefining Post Occupancy Evaluation

09:30 - 1 November, 2016
How New Video-Game-Inspired Tools Are Redefining Post Occupancy Evaluation, A real-time synthetic environments screen grab of the reception area at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in St Helens, UK. Image Courtesy of Arup
A real-time synthetic environments screen grab of the reception area at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in St Helens, UK. Image Courtesy of Arup

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "A Video Game Is Overtaking Post-Occupancy Evaluation in Architecture."

Evaluating the user performance of a particular building design is obviously a good way for clients and architects to gauge whether their design was successful—or could have been better.

There’s even an entire academic discipline called post-occupancy evaluation (POE) devoted to this concept, and Arup is tapping into it with a network of 22 industry partners using the Building Use Studies (BUS) methodology. Too few designers tap into POE, but with gamified simulations done before projects are built, that could change.

Why the Austrian Government's Plan to Demolish Hitler's Birth House is Contentious

04:00 - 1 November, 2016
Why the Austrian Government's Plan to Demolish Hitler's Birth House is Contentious, US soldiers photographed defacing Hitler's birth house in Braunau am Inn (1945)
US soldiers photographed defacing Hitler's birth house in Braunau am Inn (1945)

Mankind has a strange relationship with the darker elements of its history. While some argue that we must consign our greatest mistakes to the past in order to move forward, others believe that ignoring, or refusing to acknowledge, our transgressions dishonors those who suffered – and leaves us vulnerable to repeating them. This ongoing debate has found its latest incarnation in western Austria, where the national government has announced its intention to demolish a seemingly unremarkable yellow house in the riverside town of Braunau am Inn – a house which, despite its unassuming façade, has gained infamy as the birthplace of Adolf Hitler.

7 Scary Architectural Elements That Wouldn't Meet Building Code Requirements Today

09:30 - 31 October, 2016
The Skull Chapel in Czermna, Poland. Image© <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Poland_-_Czermna_-_Chapel_of_Skulls_-_interior_06.jpg'>Wikimedia user Merlin</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY 3.0</a>
The Skull Chapel in Czermna, Poland. Image© Wikimedia user Merlin licensed under CC BY 3.0

Architecture is often the backdrop, rather than the subject, of the scary. For example, The Shining owes much to the Overlook Hotel, “haunted” is often followed by “house,” and Victorian architecture has come to be associated with the creepy. In a less supernatural manner however, architectural elements themselves have proven over history to be scary in their own right. With the clarity that only retrospect can offer, it’s easy to look back on the following macabre materials, bleak utilities, and terrifying technologies in horror... but perhaps what is most scary is to consider which aspects of architecture we might blindly accept today that will also become glaringly frightening with time.

The Creative Process of Zaha Hadid, As Revealed Through Her Paintings

06:00 - 31 October, 2016
Vision for Madrid - 1992. Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid
Vision for Madrid - 1992. Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid

Today, on October 31st, we celebrate what would have been the 66th birthday of Zaha Hadid (1950-2016) who tragically died in March. Internationally renowned for her avant-garde search for architectural proposals that reflect modern living, Hadid made abstract topographical studies for many of her projects, intervening with fluid, flexible and expressive works that evoke the dynamism of contemporary urban life.

In honor of Hadid's birthday and in order to further knowledge of her creative process and the development of her professional projects, here we have made a historic selection of her paintings which expand the field of architectural exploration through abstract exercises in three dimensions. These artistic works propose a new and different world view, questioning the physical constraints of design, and showing the creative underpinnings of her career.

The Peak - 1983. Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid The World (89 Degrees) - 1983. Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Great Utopias - 1992. Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Hafenstrasse Development. Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid +34

Peter Zumthor's Therme Vals Through the Lens of Fernando Guerra

09:30 - 30 October, 2016

In this stunning photo shoot Fernando Guerra, of Últimas Reportagens, captures the Therme Vals, one of the most iconic works of the 2009 Pritzker Prize-winner Peter Zumthor.

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG +49

Peter Zumthor's Bruder Klaus Field Chapel Through the Lens of Aldo Amoretti

09:30 - 29 October, 2016
© Aldo Amoretti, Courtesy of Atelier Peter Zumthor and Partner
© Aldo Amoretti, Courtesy of Atelier Peter Zumthor and Partner

The Bruder Klaus Field Chapel by Peter Zumthor, completed in 2007, is known for its beautiful respect for the materials which were used to construct the sensuous space. The interior of the chapel is a black cavity left behind by 112 tree trunks burnt out of the cast concrete walls. Twenty-four layers of concrete were poured into a frame surrounding the trunks, stacked in a curved conical form, forming a stark contrast to the comparatively smooth angular façade. After removing the frame, many small holes were left behind in the walls, creating an effect reminiscent of the night sky. The chapel’s "beautiful silence" and undeniable connection to its surrounding landscape make it an evocative and popular destination for many.

In this photo series, architecture photographer Aldo Amoretti captures the dramatic relationship between the Bruder Klaus Field Chapel and its natural environment. Despite its concrete surface and straight edges, the chapel doesn’t stand out as brutal. Instead, the images depict a visual manifestation of Zumthor’s words: architecture with "composure, self-evidence, durability, presence, and integrity, and with warmth and sensuousness as well."

© Aldo Amoretti, Courtesy of Atelier Peter Zumthor and Partner © Aldo Amoretti, Courtesy of Atelier Peter Zumthor and Partner © Aldo Amoretti, Courtesy of Atelier Peter Zumthor and Partner © Aldo Amoretti, Courtesy of Atelier Peter Zumthor and Partner +13

20 of the World's Best Building Images Shortlisted for Arcaid Awards 2016

12:10 - 28 October, 2016
20 of the World's Best Building Images Shortlisted for Arcaid Awards 2016, via Arcaid Images
via Arcaid Images

Arcaid has shortlisted 20 of the year’s best architectural photographs in the running for the 2016 Arcaid Images Architectural Photography Awards. The annual award presents prizes in four categories - Exteriors, Interiors, Sense of Place, and Building in Use - and judged by an esteemed panel on their atmospheric quality, composition, use of scale and more.

This year, judges for the award include Emily Booth, executive editor of The Architectural Review; artist and Sto Werkstatt curator Amy Croft; Katy Harris, director of communications at Foster + Partners; architect Kai-Uwe Bergmann of BIG and photographers Fernando Guerra and Ulrich Müller.

The photographs will be showcased at World Architecture Festival from November 16-18 in Berlin, Germany, where the overall winner will be announced. The shortlist of 20 images is as follows:

The Unreliable Utopia of Auroville’s Architecture

09:30 - 28 October, 2016
The Unreliable Utopia of Auroville’s Architecture

Near Pondicherry in Southern Indian is Auroville, an experimental township devoted to the teachings of mystic philosopher Sri Aurobindo. The 20 square kilometer site was founded in 1968 by Aurobindo’s spiritual collaborator, Mirra Alfassa. Otherwise known as “The Mother,” she saw Auroville as a place “where men of all countries would be at home”.

© Auroville Foundation. <a href='http://www.auroville.org/contents/3112'>Used with permission</a>. ImageTemple Tree Retreat © Auroville Foundation. <a href='http://www.auroville.org/contents/3112'>Used with permission</a>. ImageThe original "Galaxy" masterplan for Auroville © Auroville Foundation. <a href='http://www.auroville.org/contents/3112'>Used with permission</a>. ImageFuture School © Auroville Foundation. <a href='http://www.auroville.org/contents/3112'>Used with permission</a>. ImageThe Vikas Settlement +20

MAD Unveils Dual Lucas Museum Proposals for Los Angeles and San Francisco

12:30 - 27 October, 2016
MAD Unveils Dual Lucas Museum Proposals for Los Angeles and San Francisco, Courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
Courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

In the latest episode of what has become a dramatic narrative worthy of its own space opera, The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has revealed plans for their two newest hopes: prospective museum designs, one in Los Angeles and one in San Francisco, that could serve as the new home of filmmaker George Lucas’ eclectic personal collection of artworks, costumes and artifacts.

After their failed proposal for a mountain-shaped museum along the Chicago Waterfront, the museum has again tapped architect Ma Yansong and his firm, MAD Architects, to design both proposals for the California sites, the first along the water on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay, and the second for a site in Exposition Park in Los Angeles, adjacent to the city’s Natural History Museum and the Coliseum.

These Are the World's Most Innovative Architecture Firms

09:30 - 27 October, 2016
These Are the World's Most Innovative Architecture Firms

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "5 of the Most Innovative Architecture Firms."

The AEC industry is notoriously slow to adopt new technologies. Cumbersome organizational structures and high financial stakes make it difficult for AEC professionals to experiment. Due to the limited role of architects in the project development process, innovative design solutions and experimentation with new manufacturing techniques are still confined to academic circles and research institutions.

However, some architecture firms are utilizing their high profiles, international success and the influx of talented, young designers to establish in-house research divisions and incubators that support the development of new ideas in the AEC industry. The following five companies are consistent in pushing the envelope and helping architecture adopt some of the latest technologies:

Bijoy Jain: “Architecture Is Not About an Image, It Is About Sensibility”

10:10 - 26 October, 2016
Bijoy Jain: “Architecture Is Not About an Image, It Is About Sensibility”, MPavilion, Melbourne, Australia (2016). Image © John Gollings
MPavilion, Melbourne, Australia (2016). Image © John Gollings

Bijoy Jain, the founder of Indian practice Studio Mumbai, has long been well-known for his earth-bound material sensibilities, and an approach to architecture that bridges the gap between Modernism and vernacular construction. The recent opening of the third annual MPavilion in Melbourne, this year designed by Jain, offered an opportunity to present this architectural approach on a global stage. In this interview as part of his “City of Ideas” series, Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with Bijoy Jain about his design for the MPavilion and his architecture of “gravity, equilibrium, light, air and water.”

Ahmedabad Residence, Ahmedabad, India (2014). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai Copper House II, Chondi, Maharashtra, India (2012). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai Carrimjee House, Kankeshwar, Alibuag, Maharashtra, India (2014). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai Tara House, Kashid, Maharashtra, India (2005). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai +51

How a Group of "Partners in Crime" Restored Yekaterinburg's Constructivist-Era White Tower

05:30 - 26 October, 2016
How a Group of "Partners in Crime" Restored Yekaterinburg's Constructivist-Era White Tower, © Fedor Telkov. Courtesy of Strelka Magazine
© Fedor Telkov. Courtesy of Strelka Magazine

In August of this year the White Tower, one of Yekaterinburg’s signature Constructivist-era buildings, opened its doors to the public for the first time. Polina Ivanova, Director of the Podelniki Architecture Group gave Strelka Magazine insight into how the practice got its hands on the tower, and launched it as the city's latest cultural venue.

CyArk Captures Culture and Preserves History in the Face of ISIS in Syria

09:30 - 25 October, 2016

This article was originally published in Redshift and is republished here with permission.

In 2001, the Taliban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan in central Afghanistan using dynamite, anti-aircraft guns, and artillery. After weeks of incremental destruction, nothing of the statues remained.

That sad turn of events was the impetus for the founding of CyArk, a nonprofit that uses technology to ensure sites of rich cultural heritage remain available to future generations. Since 2003, they have used laser scanning, photography, photogrammetry, and 3D capture to record nearly 200 sites around the globe.

Architects As Developers: The Pros & Cons

09:30 - 24 October, 2016
Architects As Developers: The Pros & Cons, Jonathan Segal’s newest mixed-use project called “Mr Robinson” located in San Diego. Image © Jonathan Segal Architect
Jonathan Segal’s newest mixed-use project called “Mr Robinson” located in San Diego. Image © Jonathan Segal Architect

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "Reasons Why Architects Can Make Great Developers (or not?)."

Today, a majority of architects work solely on the design end of the development process. It is common knowledge that the net value of architectural services in a projects’ total value amounts to a very small percentage (it’s usually in single digits), which puts architects near the bottom of the financial structure in the AEC industry.

Stuck between developers, clients, contractors, and subcontractors, architects are usually in a role that implies great responsibility but proportionally low compensation for it. When we add to that the grievance of not having full control of a project, it becomes clear as to why an increasing number of architects either transition to real estate development or transform their design offices into design-builds.

Though still in its infancy, this transition seems indicative of an emancipatory trend that’s taking place, where architects take matters into their own hands and thus claim their rightful position within the industry.