Singapore’s first Housing and Development Board (HDB) housing blocks were erected in November of 1960, in response to a severe lack of adequate housing for the country's 1.6 million citizens. Fast forward to 2017, and over 80% of the Singaporean population live in HDBs, with over 90% of them owning the home they live in. Often painted in vibrant colors, HDBs have a focus on community social spaces, more often than not maintaining the ground floor of the apartment blocks as open public space, exclusively for public meeting areas. These can include hawker centers, benches, tables, grills and pavilions where residents can socialize under cover from the hot Singaporean sun.
“The circle . . . is the synthesis of the greatest oppositions. [It] combines the concentric and the excentric in a single form, and in equilibrium. Of the three primary forms [triangle, square, circle], it points most clearly to the fourth dimension.”
This quote, spoken by artist and Bauhaus professor Wassily Kandinsky, helps to explain the obsession architects, from Palladians to Modernists, have long held with pure geometrical forms – chief among them the circle.
Inspired by this obsession, one Instagram account titled “Circular Spaces” has collected many of the best examples of circles found in architecture. The account tracks the geometries at all scales, from the planet-sized plan of the Death Star to the familiar intimacy of a round dining table. Check out a selection from “Circular Spaces” below.
As the dust settled following the Second World War much of Europe was left with a crippling shortage of housing. In Milan, a series of plans were drafted in response to the crisis, laying out satellite communities for the northern Italian city which would each house between 50,000 to 130,000 people. Construction the first of these communities began in 1946, one year after the end of the conflict; ten years later in 1956, the adoption of Il Piano Regolatore Generale—a new master plan—set the stage for the development of the second, known as 'Gallaratese'. The site of the new community was split into parts 1 and 2, the latter of which was owned by the Monte Amiata Società Mineraria per Azioni. When the plan allowed for private development of Gallaratese 2 in late 1967, the commission for the project was given to Studio Ayde and, in particular, its partner Carlo Aymonino. Two months later Aymonino would invite Aldo Rossi to design a building for the complex and the two Italians set about realizing their respective visions for the ideal microcosmic community.
Experimentation in architecture is what propels the discipline forward. In an ideal scenario, once a project gets as far as the planning stage, large amounts of careful research and collaboration between the architect, contractor, and client contribute to a smooth execution of an exploratory idea, and ultimately a successful end product. But it’s not uncommon for even the most skilled architects to design work that has a misstep somewhere along the line, whether it has to do with shrinking budget, unforeseen contextual changes, lack of oversight, or anything in between. In some way, the projects here all fall into the second category of failed experiments, but some have also become potential models for revitalization of existing buildings, rather than (less sustainable) demolition and reconstruction. Read on to discover what went wrong in these notable disasters.
Joshua Smith, a miniaturist and former stencil artist based in South Australia, constructs tiny, intricate worlds for a living. His work, which exhibits astonishing observational and representational skills, focuses on the "overlooked aspects of the urban environment – such as grime, rust and decay to discarded cigarettes and graffiti," all recreated at a scale of 1:20. Smith, who has been making model kits for around a decade, only recently chose to move away from a 16-year-long career creating stencil art. With his creative talents now focused on model-making, and all those skills which accompany the craft, ArchDaily asks: how do you do it?
The Star Wars universe contains some impressive buildings. However, in the original trilogy, it's actually the Millennium Falcon, Han Solo's non-descript yet highly tuned ship, that provides the most important architectural setting for the story's events, acting as the de facto base for our heroes' scheming. While it's certainly not the largest or most complex floor plan in the universe, the interior of the Millennium Falcon is intriguing for the way it resolves the ship's circular shape.
With this model from Archilogic of the Millennium Falcon's main floor, Star Wars fans can get a sense of what it's like to tag along with Luke, Han, and the rest of the group—whether that's by hanging out in the living area, traversing the ship's curved corridors, or even sitting in the cockpit as an Imperial Star Destroyer approaches, the model has it all.
Architect and illustrator Diego Inzunza has created a new series titled "Architectural Classics," which presents and analyzes 20 iconic architectural works from the 20th-century. Using a graphic technique based upon axonometric views, the style allows each building to be seen from multiple sides, creating a comprehensive overall interpretation of the architecture.
In this second installment of his revamped “Beyond London” column for ArchDaily, Simon Henley of London-based practice Henley Halebrown discusses a potential influence that might help UK architects combat the economic hegemony currently afflicting the country – turning for moral guidance to the Brutalists of the 1960s.
Before Christmas, I finished writing my book entitled Redefining Brutalism. As the title suggests I am seeking to redefine the subject, to detoxify the term and to find relevance in the work, not just a cause for nostalgia. Concrete Brutalism is, to most people, a style that you either love or hate. But Brutalism is far more than just a style; it is way of thinking and making. The historian and critic Reyner Banham argued in his 1955 essay and 1966 book both entitled The New Brutalism: Ethic or Aesthetic that the New Brutalism began as an ethical movement only to be hijacked by style. Today, it is a mirror to be held up to the architecture of Neoliberalism, to an architecture that serves capitalism. More than ever, architecture relies on the brand association of the big name architects whose work has little to do with the challenges faced by society, which are today not unlike the ones faced by the post-war generation: to build homes, places in which to learn and work, places for those who are old and infirm, and places to gather. We can learn a lot from this bygone generation.
Asked for his occupation in a court of law, Frank Lloyd Wright (1867–1959) replied ‘The world’s greatest architect’. His wife remonstrated with him. ‘I had no choice, Olgivanna’, he told her, ‘I was under oath.’
9 years ago today, ArchDaily launched with a challenging mission: to provide inspiration, knowledge and tools to the architects tasked with designing for the 3 billion people that will move into cities in the next 40 years. Over these 9 years, as we have developed innovative approaches to help architects tackle the urban challenges facing our world, our work has brought us into contact with some of the most creative and respected architects in the world. To help us celebrate our 9th birthday, we asked 9 architects who are renowned for their creative and imaginative abilities to create drawings inspired by our logo, to show the world what ArchDaily means to them.
With cracked paint, overgrown vines, rust, and decay, abandoned buildings have carved out a photographic genre that plays to our complex fascination with the perverse remnants of our past. While intellectual interest in ruins has been recorded for centuries, the popularity and controversy of contemporary "ruin porn" can be traced back to somewhere around 2009, when photographer James Griffioen’s feral houses series sparked a conversation about the potential harm in the aesthetic appropriation of urban collapse.
A favorite subject within this field is the American insane asylum, whose tragic remains carry echoes of the unsavory history of mental illness treatment in the United States. These state-funded asylums were intensely overcrowded and often housed patients in nightmarish conditions in the 20th century. Beginning in 1955, with the introduction of the antipsychotic drug Thorazine, these institutions were closed in large numbers, never to be reopened . Now, these closed but un-demolished asylums that dot the country are the subject of "ruin porn" that neglects an equally important piece of the buildings’ narrative: the beginning. In his recent photobook Abandoned Asylums, Photographer Matt Van der Velde depicts this earlier period of asylum architecture, when the institutions were built in the belief that the built environment has the power to cure.
Seoul-based architect Moon Hoon describes his style and attitude towards design as “putting architecture to the edge of art” and having as much fun as possible in the process.
Hoon’s drawing history began 40 years ago, and is a habit he still maintains in the form of diaries or, as he likes to call them, "magic books." All of his interests come together in these books from which ideas emerge and transform into architecture—futuristic fantasies in diary format, with drawings which eventually get constructed in real life.
Keep reading to see some of these drawings and their real-life, built counterparts!
Paul Andreu: "I Would Only Take On a Project if the Ideas Were Mine. Otherwise, I Am Not Interested."
For 40 years, Paul Andreu was among the world's foremost airport design experts. Reflecting on this before the turn of the millennium, he stated that architectural historians of the future might consider the 1990s as “the age of the air terminal.” But shortly after this, he left the arena of airport design to focus on other large projects, many of them in China. In this interview, the latest of Vladimir Belogolovsky's “City of Ideas” series, Andreu explains why he made the switch and shares his thoughts on how good architecture is made—saying it often depends more on what you don't tell your client than what you do.
Paul Andreu: Before we start, I must explain something. I am an architect and engineer. For a long time I was not an independent architect but worked at and then was the head of airport works at Aéroports de Paris Ingénierie or ADPi, a subsidiary of Aéroports de Paris (ADP). This public establishment is not only in charge of the planning, design, and operation of three Paris-region airports, but is also involved in airport works all around the world, as well as other large-scale architectural projects. First, we did airports in France, then in the Middle East and Africa, then in China and all over Asia, and then we developed projects in other parts of the world. Most of the time we developed our projects from concept all the way through construction; although once we did just the concept for Kansai airport on a specially built island in the Bay of Osaka. As you know, it was designed by Renzo Piano and I consulted for him on function and circulation aspects.
Photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has visited Herzog & de Meuron's Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Germany – a 2017 winner of the ArchDaily Building of the Year award. The striking silhouette of this cultural centre and concert hall, which is identical in ground plan to the brick block of the older building upon which it sits, is often photographed as an isolated object. In this photo-essay, the context of the port around the project is often foregrounded – and unusual views offer new perspectives onto its iconic design.
Architects design and organize spaces; without space, there is no architecture. So it goes without saying, therefore, that spatial intelligence is of high importance to architects. Luckily for us, spatial intelligence is not something you’re inherently gifted at or just “born with,” it’s something that can be trained and improved through practice. More practice means more advancement, so why not make it enjoyable and easy—easy enough even to do in your everyday life? From drawing to speaking to engaging in play, here are 9 everyday activities to improve your spatial intelligence.
With the help of a vast array of software, Spanish architect David Romero has digitally recreated a series of iconic works by Frank Lloyd Wright, two of which have been demolished and a third that was never built. The three projects were based in the United States: the Larkin Administration Building (1903-1950), the Rose Pauson House (1939-1943) and the Trinity Chapel (1958).
"The 3D visualization tools that we have are rarely used to investigate the past architecture and the truth is that there is a huge field to explore,” said Romero in an interview with ArchDaily about his project Hooked on the Past. Romero worked with AutoCAD, 3ds Max, Vray, and Photoshop while restoring black and white photographs, sketches and drawings of these works.
After reading through ArchDaily’s article on the hours architecture students work outside of class, I was curious. I made it through a Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree and I’m currently enrolled in the Master of Architecture program at the University of Pennsylvania, so how does the time I spend on coursework stack up to the average of 22.2 hours per week? Granted, the data they presented only represented first-year students, but it could still be an interesting comparison. With that in mind I set out to log one week of my time, just like you would at a job. Here’s what I found.
The 2017 Pritzker Prize was a surprise to many, awarded to the three founders of RCR Arquitectes, a modest Spanish firm located in the small town of Olot in Catalonia. Many people and critics shared their astonishment at the prize being awarded to three individuals for the first time since the Pritzker Prize began in 1979, including the third female winner, and at the relatively low profile of RCR Arquitectes before March 1st.
Whether this surprise was pleasant or shocking differs from critic to critic, but there nevertheless seems to be a consensus on the jury’s decision to venture further into politics and away from their traditional interest in celebrity architects. As clearly stated in the jury’s citation: “In this day and age, there is an important question that people all over the world are asking, and it is not just about architecture; it is about law, politics, and government as well.” Are they steering the prize in the right, or wrong, direction?