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Winners of "The Rust Belt" Contest Offer Ideas for a 107-Acre Former Factory Site

Across industrial North America, many small working class cities are faced with a plethora of abandoned property due to the downfall of the automotive industry. The prolific ruins of the largest abandoned factory in North America, Detroit's Packard Motor Plant, have served as an emblem for dozens of similar plants dotting the landscapes of cities across the continent. In 2010, shortly after the beginning of the global economic crisis, Chrysler closed a sprawling engine factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The factory has since been demolished and is now at the beginning of a five-year cleanup. Located adjacent to a densely populated suburban development, the 107-acre property begs the question: what can be done with such a massive piece of land?

In response to Kenosha's Chrysler problem, a team of urbanists, architects and researchers known as Urban Design for Everyone (UD4U) launched a global competition to reinvigorate the former industrial property. Proposals had to take the adjacent neighborhoods into consideration, with the ultimate goal of bridging gaps between disparate communities at opposite ends of the property. The winning proposals range widely from a stylized village of housing, to the creation of enormous urban farms, to the construction of an innovation park featuring a series of vast artificial lakes. After receiving 43 entries from 17 countries, a jury of local architects selected three exceptional proposals and five honorable mentions. Find out what the teams proposed after the break.

Archi-Graphic: An Infographic Look at Architecture

What type of architecture do dictators prefer? What would a subway map of the affairs of famous architects look like? What is the current state of gender and ethnic diversity within the profession? Which architects would win a color war, Dutch or American? Archi-Graphic places architecture on the operating table, using infographics to cut a visual cross-section that answers these questions and many more.

5 Takeaways From The RIBA's Report on the Architect-Client Relationship

Building projects are inherently complex: as projects progress, architects are joined by contractors, engineers, and myriad consultants. Architects, according to a recent report by RIBA, are considered the "spiritual leaders" of a building project. Cemented in this perception by a monopoly on design, architects continue to sit precariously atop project hierarchies despite a shifting landscape in building production. This begs the question: how can architects leverage this spiritual responsibility to translate into the best results for clients?

In their latest report Client & Architect: Developing the Essential Relationship, RIBA delves into the nuanced problem of connecting architecture to its owners, emphasizing the importance of a strong, functional and mutually educational relationship. Currently, architects have a tremendous opportunity to learn, improve and capitalize on understanding of clients, regardless of firm size, portfolio and established skills.

Read on to discover RIBA's findings from two years of client analysis

Japan's New Masters: Yuko Nagayama

Japanese design has long had a defining impact on other cultures from all over the world; as early as the mid-nineteenth century, fashionable collectors in Europe exchanged artifacts from Japan, and Frank Lloyd Wright was famously influenced by their distinctive architecture after a trip to the country in 1905. In recent decades, Japan has been one of architecture's superpowers, producing seven Pritzker Prize laureates in under 30 years. And, while Japan's Pritzker winners are widely revered, they are far from the only players on the scene, with a new wave of young Japanese architects now emerging behind internationally acclaimed names such as Sou Fujimoto.

In this new series of interviews titled "Japan's New Masters," Ebrahim Abdoh speaks to both the established and emerging architects of Japan's dynamic architectural scene. The first interview of the series is with Yuko Nagayama, founder of Yuko Nagayama and Associates.

Teshima Yokoo House. Image © Daici Ano Gokokuya. Image Courtesy of Yuko Nagayama & Associates Katsutadai House - click image for full project. Image © Daici Ano Urbanprem Minami Aoyama - click image for full project. Image © Daici Ano

3 Experimental Homes Address Hyper-Urbanization in Africa

By the year 2025, the urban population in Sub-Saharan Africa is predicated to increase by almost 70% -- a rapid urbanization that will inevitably affect the construction sector. 

To address this expected growth and to help lay the foundations for a sustainable urban and social development, students from the Institute of Experimental Architecture at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar and EiABC (Ethiopian Institute of Architecture Building Construction and City Development) worked together to build three residential prototypes at a 1:1 scale for Addis Ababa: the capital of Ethiopia and the heart of hyper-urbanization. See all of the project details, below. 

Courtesy of Bauhaus Experimental Building Courtesy of Bauhaus Experimental Building Courtesy of Bauhaus Experimental Building Courtesy of Bauhaus Experimental Building

Official Trailer of the Chicago Architecture Biennial Released

On October 3 the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, The State of the Art of Architecture will commence. The “largest international survey of contemporary architecture in North America," the exhibition is designed to be a multiplatform event that will host an array of radical ideas, projects and spatial experiments from more than 100 international architects that "demonstrate how creativity and innovation can radically transform our lived experience."

Aravena's Venice Biennale Theme Offers Hope for the Future of the Profession

On Monday, the Venice Biennale announced the theme of their 2016 event, to be directed by Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena. The provocative title chosen by Aravena is "Reporting From the Front," a title loaded with implications of a battle against what he refers to as the "inertia of reality."

"More and more people in the planet are in search for a decent place to live and the conditions to achieve it are becoming tougher and tougher by the hour," explains his curatorial statement. "But unlike military wars where nobody wins and there is a prevailing sense of defeat, on the frontlines of the built environment, there is a sense of vitality because architecture is about looking at reality in a proposal key."

Aravena will have big shoes to fill. The previous Biennale, Rem Koolhaas' 2014 event, was extremely successful and highly praised by many critics. It was also widely regarded as the most anticipated event in the Biennale's history, after the Biennale had courted Koolhaas for years. But if Koolhaas' Biennale was the event that people looked forward to, I believe - or rather I hope - that Aravena's Biennale will be the one that people look back on in decades to come.

Harvard and Oxford Take On ISIS with Digital Preservation Campaign

From the 2,000-year-old Temple of Baalshamin to the city of Nimrud, ISIS has destroyed countless monuments and relics. Now archaeologists from Harvard and Oxford have teamed up with UNESCO World Heritage and the epigraphical database project at New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World to launch the Million Image Database Project. Spearheaded by Oxford's Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA), the campaign plans to "flood" war-torn regions with thousands of 3D cameras so people can scan and (digitally) preserve their region's historical architecture and artifacts. 

5 Things Architecture Can Learn from the Tiny House Movement

As the global economy grows uncertain, homeowners are getting more creative in order to afford essential residential spaces. The tiny house movement has gained a foothold worldwide, encouraging the construction of homes as small as 150 square feet (14 square meters), with many smaller housing models cropping up on a daily basis. Home to residents of all ages, tiny houses have evolved far beyond the cramped quarters of Airstream trailers of decades past and, though they were once considered an architectural farce, tiny houses are becoming an increasingly popular solution to weather the economic storm and increasingly relevant to the field of architecture.

With their increasing respectability - and their popularity increasingly exposing the drawbacks of other housing types - we take a look at some lessons that while key to the tiny house movement, are still applicable in the larger architectural arena. Read on to find out what tiny houses can contribute to the race for better space.

Want to Work Internationally? Here's What You Need to Know About Copyright

Ideas are precious, precious things. A good one can upend a movement or make a career and they are, of course, worth a great deal. Architects live in a competitive globalized world, and in the race to succeed, defining who owns ideas is becoming increasingly important in an architect's professional life. ArchDaily has previously explained the essential points of architectural copyright and explored the complexities of legal judgments, but what if you want to work internationally? It's a much more complex issue than "China will let people copy what they want" or "Belgians will sue you" and if you want to work outside your home country then it's essential you understand the variables.

Fortunately, we've got you covered: we've pulled together a rundown of the essentials of copyright law and practice in some of the most popular countries to find work - read on for more.

Venice Biennale Announces Theme for 2016 Event: "Reporting From the Front"

The Venice Biennale has announced the theme selected by 2016 Biennale director Alejandro Aravena. Titled "Reporting From the Front," next year's Biennale will be an investigation into the role of architects in the battle to improve the living conditions for people all over the world. The theme aims to focus on architecture which works within the constraints presented by a lack of resources, and those designs which subvert the status quo to produce architecture for the common good - no matter how small the success.

What is Architecture? And 100 Other Questions

In our ArchDaily Interviews, we've been asking architects to give their answer to the question "what is architecture?" for years, and the answers we get are often provocative, in many cases provoking more questions in greater detail. Unfortunately, we haven't yet had the chance to pose this question to Rasmus Wærn & Gert Wingårdh of Wingårdh Arkitektkontor; fortunately, their new book released on September 1st, "What is Architecture? And 100 Other Questions" gives us a great insight into the minds of these two practitioners through a series of question and answers which are as provocative and entertaining as they are poignant.

All this week, we've been sharing short, single question excerpts from the book, exploring just a fraction of the questions raised by the volume. Read on for links to all seven excerpts, and for your chance to win one of five giveaway copies of the book.

7 Documentaries to Deepen Your Understanding of Le Corbusier

This week marked 50 years since the death of Le Corbusier, and to commemorate his 78-year career we’ve rounded up a selection of videos and documentaries on the architect. In a myriad of languages, the films cover everything from the historical context of his era to how the Villa Savoye is preserved, and his work in Argentina.

Why Sketchbooks Still Rule in a Digital World

In his articles for ArchSmarter, Michael Kilkelly comes across as something of a technophile: some of his favorite topics include Revit macros, coding, Excel, automation and... Moleskine? In this article, originally published on ArchSmarter as "Why I Still Use a Sketchbook," Kilkelly explains why despite all the technology, sketchbooks remain one of the most important tools at his disposal.

I was in a full panic.

I got to the hotel when realized I left my sketchbook in the cab. I was freaking out. I called the cab company and explained, with a mounting sense of urgency, what happened.

“You forgot your sketchbook? What’s that? Some kind of laptop?”
“No,” I explained. “It’s a notebook with good paper. I sketch in it. You know, with a pen.”
“Why don’t you just use an iPad?”
“But I like to draw. I like the feel of the paper and it never runs out of batteries” I replied.
“Whatever. I’ve got a great sketching app on my iPad. Plus like a thousand games. And I can read the newspaper. And check my email...”

Some Thoughts on Zaha Hadid Architects' Campaign to Win Back the Tokyo Stadium Commission

Zaha Hadid Architects are no longer the architects of the New National Stadium, Tokyo's headline venue for the 2020 Olympic Games. You probably already knew - ZHA have been making quite a fuss about it, with a 1,400-word statement released last month and a 23-minute video released yesterday, both arguing that scrapping their design is a bad idea.

Clearly, brevity is not one of ZHA's strong suits, so for those who don't have 30-plus minutes to chew their way through both video and statement, the basics are as follows: the official reason given by the Japanese government for scrapping the stadium has been the rising costs of the design. ZHA have countered this complaint by saying that the rising costs are not a result of their design but of an uncompetitive tender process for the construction, and of skyrocketing construction prices across the whole of Tokyo. They add that by starting the project from scratch, Japan risks overshooting their 2020 deadline for the Olympic venue.

An extra complication is added by the widespread public dislike of the stadium's design, scale and location - most notably coming in the form of a petition led by Fumihiko Maki and Toyo Ito - which has caused some to speculate that Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is secretly bowing to political pressure. In response, ZHA's video emphasized the features of the design which were either required by the brief or an attempt to respond to the context, in an attempt to absolve themselves from blame.

However, with the decision to start anew now over a month old, the question remains: will ZHA's attempts to win back the project be enough? More importantly, should this campaign be taken seriously?

© Zaha Hadid Architects. Image by Methanoia © Zaha Hadid Architects. Image by Methanoia © Zaha Hadid Architects. Image by Methanoia © Zaha Hadid Architects. Image by Methanoia

50 Things You Didn't Know About Le Corbusier

You know him for his round glasses, affinity for concrete and undying love for modernism, but do you really know Le Corbusier? Le Corbusier led his life not just as the 20th century's most influential architect, but also as an artist, socialite and theoretician. Taught by architects August Perret and Peter Behrens, criticized by the likes of Jane Jacobs and celebrated worldwide, Le Corbusier's legacy is undeniable. Dabbling often with controversy, Le Corbusier preferred the mantra “Architecture or Revolution,” designing structures that have been dubbed "anti-humanist." While some propose that his buildings collectively become a UNESCO World Heritage site, many call for their demolition. 

Images Revealed of Frank Gehry's “Gateway to Sunset Strip”

Gehry Partners, alongside Townscape Partners, has unveiled plans to redefine the "gateway" to California's Sunset Strip. A cluster of five distinct, Gehry-esque structures, the mixed-use proposal is one of several design alternatives that have been proposed by Townscape for the site. If built, it would include two residential buildings, featuring a mix of rental and for-sale apartments, along with retail, entertainment programs, and public gathering spaces.

Why Good Lighting Design Has Little to Do With Lux or LEDs

Is there a designer who does not dream of the perfect lighting concept, which conveys a feeling of well-being and shows the architecture at its best? Unfortunately, however, it is often the case that the brief received from the client causes difficulties. All too often discussions are peppered with such terms as LEDs and lux levels,causing an unconscious shift in thinking in the direction of norms and technology instead of placing questions about requirements and lighting quality at the centre of discussion. But what exactly is quality lighting design?