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8 Tips on Becoming Successful as a Sole Practitioner

09:30 - 11 October, 2016
8 Tips on Becoming Successful as a Sole Practitioner, Perhaps the most famous contemporary sole practitioner is Glenn Murcutt, who still works alone in spite of winning the Pritzker Prize in 2002. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/unrosarinoenvietnam/3783205881'>Flickr user unrosarinoenvietnam</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-NC-SA 2.0</a>
Perhaps the most famous contemporary sole practitioner is Glenn Murcutt, who still works alone in spite of winning the Pritzker Prize in 2002. Image © Flickr user unrosarinoenvietnam licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

This article was originally published on Redshift as "Go Your Own Way: 8 Tips for a Sole-Practitioner Architect to Build Credibility."

If you’re a sole-practitioner architect, you’ve probably already thought long and hard about the pros and cons of working solo, and don’t feel the burning desire to work in a bustling office environment with large-scale projects and constant collaboration. There are plenty of upsides to running your own practice. “I have it pretty good as a sole practitioner,” says Portland, Oregon architect Celeste Lewis. “I love the flexibility it provides with having a child, parents who are ill, and my passion for being involved in the community.”

But along with the benefits come challenges. One of the biggest is proving you’re worth your salt in a competitive marketplace alongside larger, bigger-reputation firms. Here are eight tips to help sole practitioners—who make up nearly 25 percent of AIA-member firms—build credibility.

The Strange Habits of Top Architects

07:00 - 10 October, 2016

Well-known architects are easy to admire or dismiss from afar, but up close, oddly humanizing habits often come to light. However, while we all have our quirks, most people's humanizing habits don't give an insight into how they became one of the most notable figures in their field of work. The following habits of several top architects reveal parts of their creative process, how they relax, or simply parts of their identity. Some are inspiring and some are surprising, but all give a small insight into the mental qualities that are required to be reach the peak of the architectural profession—from an exceptional work drive to an embrace of eccentricity (and a few more interesting qualities besides).

How Combining Traditional Asian and African Design Could Minimize Diseases in Rural Tanzania

09:30 - 9 October, 2016
How Combining Traditional Asian and African Design Could Minimize Diseases in Rural Tanzania, © Konstantin Ikonomidis
© Konstantin Ikonomidis

Architecture firm Ingvartsen Architects has turned their gaze towards “cultural exchange architecture”—not with the aim of exploring identity or experimenting with aesthetics, but with a practical purpose in mind: to minimize the spread of diseases. The Magoda Project combines Asian elements with traditional rural African building methods in the village of Magoda, in the Tanga region of Tanzania, taking shape in the form of eight prototype homes. The design goes to show that cultural exchanges in design and architecture can make great contributions towards problem solving for a humanitarian purposes, not only to improve health and hygiene, but also comfort and happiness.

© Konstantin Ikonomidis © Konstantin Ikonomidis © Konstantin Ikonomidis © Konstantin Ikonomidis +26

These Stunning Photos Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Alvaro Siza's Pool On The Beach

08:00 - 8 October, 2016
These Stunning Photos Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Alvaro Siza's Pool On The Beach, © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Alvaro Siza Vieira’s Piscinas de Marés (Pools on the Beach) in Leça de Palmeira, Portugal, photographer Fernando Guerra shared an interesting photo shoot project with us. 

The young Álvaro Siza Vieira, then 26, was called to make salt water pools along the shore at Leça da Palmeira in Matosinhos, Portugal. The facility, which was completed in 1966, is made up of changing rooms, a café and two pools- one for adults and one for children - and became one of Siza Vieira’s most recognized projects, classified as a National Monument of Portugal in 2011.

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG +31

These Mesmerizing GIFs Illustrate the Art of Traditional Japanese Wood Joinery

12:00 - 7 October, 2016

For centuries before the invention of screws and fasteners, Japanese craftsmen used complex, interlocking joints to connect pieces of wood for structures and beams, helping to create a uniquely Japanese wood aesthetic that can still be seen in the works of modern masters like Shigeru Ban.

Up until recent times, however, these techniques were often the carefully guarded secrets of family carpentry guilds and unavailable for public knowledge. Even as the joints began to be documented in books and magazines, their 2-dimensional depictions remained difficult to visualize and not found in any one comprehensive source.

That is, until a few years ago, when a young Japanese man working in automobile marketing began compiling all the wood joinery books he could get his hands on and using them to creating his own 3-dimensional, animated illustrations of their contents.

Denise Scott Brown On the Past, Present and Future of VSBA's Groundbreaking Theories

09:30 - 7 October, 2016
Denise Scott Brown On the Past, Present and Future of VSBA's Groundbreaking Theories, Franklin Court, Philadelphia (1976). Image © Mark Cohn
Franklin Court, Philadelphia (1976). Image © Mark Cohn

Through their books, theories and design projects, there's no doubt that Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi dramatically altered the course of architecture at the end of the Modernist period. In this interview conducted at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2013, Shalmali Wagle and Alen Žunić talk with Scott Brown about the origins of the groundbreaking theories that underpinned the work of Venturi Scott Brown and Associates, what she is working on now, and her hopes for the future of the profession.

When you decided to practice architecture, was there a second option? What could have been your alternate career?

Because my mother had studied architecture, I wanted as a child, to be an architect, and as she drew a great deal for us, I spent much of my preschool life drawing and painting. In grade school I loved my teachers and wanted to do what they did. And in middle school I wanted to write, study languages, travel, and perhaps be a librarian—a career I saw as appropriate to my interests and open to women. But on entering architecture school, I saw only men there (5:60 was the ratio everywhere, until almost 1980). But the architects I knew were women, so I had thought it was a female's profession. "What are all these men doing in the studio?" I asked myself. When I was 40 I looked back and realized I had had all the roles I hoped to have but within the framework of architecture.

Caruso St John Architects' Newport Street Gallery Wins the 2016 Stirling Prize

15:30 - 6 October, 2016
Caruso St John Architects' Newport Street Gallery Wins the 2016 Stirling Prize, © Hélène Binet
© Hélène Binet

Caruso St John Architects has won the top prize in British architecture, the RIBA Stirling Prize for their Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall, London, beating out competition from Herzog & de Meuron, Michael Laird Architects + Reiach and Hall Architects, Loyn & Co Architects, dRMM Architects and WilkinsonEyre

Designed as a free public gallery to house artist Damien Hirst’s private art collection, Caruso St John’s scheme sandwiches three restored Victorian-era industrial buildings between two new structures, one of which features a distinct saw-tooth roof.

"This highly accomplished and expertly detailed art gallery is a bold and confident contribution to the best of UK architecture. Caruso St John’s approach to conservation is irreverent yet sensitive and achieves a clever solution that expresses a poetic juxtaposition of old and new," said the jury in their citation.

The Tallest Timber Tower Yet: Perkins + Will's Concept Proposal for River Beech Tower

09:30 - 6 October, 2016
Courtesy of River Beech Tower
Courtesy of River Beech Tower

As part of a masterplan along the Chicago River, the River Beech Tower is a residential high-rise which, if built, would be taller than any existing timber building. The collaborative team behind River Beech consists of architects Perkins+Will, engineers Thornton Tomasetti and the University of Cambridge. Currently a conceptual academic and professional undertaking, the team state that it could potentially be realized by the time of the masterplan’s final phases.

Watch How Paolo Soleri's Experimental City of Arcosanti is Designed for a Smarter Future

12:20 - 5 October, 2016

How much space do we really need to take up in order to have rich and rewarding lives?

In this short documentary for The Atlantic, filmmaker Sam Price-Waldman visits Arcosanti, the revolutionary experimental community and urban laboratory envisioned by architect Paolo Soleri. Since its founding by Soleri in the northern Arizona desert in 1970, the city has grown and evolved as it has demonstrated how to create a walkable, social city that could meet the needs of future societies.

The video is narrated by architect and Arcosanti co-president Jeff Stein, who explains how the city is able to maximize the potential of architecture for providing for communities, and features interviews with several Arcosanti community members.

Penn Station Palimpsest: PAU Proposes a Different Future for New York's Busiest Railway Station

10:00 - 5 October, 2016
Penn Station Palimpsest: PAU Proposes a Different Future for New York's Busiest Railway Station, Courtesy of PAU
Courtesy of PAU

Last week, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a long-awaited and much-needed proposal for a makeover of Penn Station. Designed by SOM, the proposal for the new Penn Station–Farley Complex, to be completed in 2020, offers a pragmatic solution to the years of scrapped schemes and political stalling. However, The New York Times believes that Governor Cuomo’s proposal could be pushed further. The newspaper thus commissioned Vishaan Chakrabarti of PAU to come up with an alternative proposal to challenge Governor Cuomo’s plans.

Courtesy of PAU Courtesy of PAU Courtesy of PAU Courtesy of PAU +17

Paulo Mendes da Rocha: “Architecture Does Not Desire to Be Functional; It Wants to Be Opportune”

10:00 - 4 October, 2016
Paulo Mendes da Rocha: “Architecture Does Not Desire to Be Functional; It Wants to Be Opportune”, Museu Brasileiro de Escultura (MuBE), 1995. Image © Nelson Kon
Museu Brasileiro de Escultura (MuBE), 1995. Image © Nelson Kon

Paulo Mendes da Rocha is one of Brazil's most celebrated architects. And, in spite of the fact that very little of his work can be found outside São Paulo, his “Paulista Brutalism” is revered worldwide, earning him the Pritzker Prize in 2006 and, just last week, the Royal Institute of British Architects' Gold Medal. In light of the RIBA Gold Medal news, as part of his “City of Ideas” column, Vladimir Belogolovsky here shares an interview conducted with Mendes da Rocha in 2014. The interview was conducted in Mendes da Rocha's office in São Paulo with the help of Brazilian architect Wilson Barbosa Neto acting as translator, and was originally published in Belogolovsky's book, “Conversations with Architects in the Age of Celebrity.”

Vladimir Belogolovsky: In your short text "The Americas, Architecture and Nature," you say that “for Brazilians and Americans in general, the historical experience begins with the modern world. There is a difference between rebuilding old cities in Europe and building new cities in the Americas.” Could you elaborate this thought?

Paulo Mendes da Rocha: Of course, there is a difference in attitude when one builds in such a new place as Brazil or the American continent in general as opposed to Europe. The landscapes are different, cities are different, cultures are different. How can you compare St. Petersburg in Russia and Vitória, my hometown, in Brazil?

Paulistano Athletic Club, 1957. Image Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha Paulistano Athletic Club, 1957. Image Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha Capela de São Pedro, 1999. Image © Cristiano Mascaro Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 1998. Image © Nelson Kon +27

42 Sketches, Drawings and Diagrams of Desks and Architecture Workspaces

08:30 - 3 October, 2016
42 Sketches, Drawings and Diagrams of Desks and Architecture Workspaces

Last month we put out a call to our readers to show us where they work. It was a pleasure to receive so many submissions, each showing the particular talent and creativity--and, the incredible geographical scope--of the ArchDaily community. These are our favorites (in no particular order). Enjoy and submit your own drawing in the comments. 

13 Changes to Your Work Space That Could Improve Your Productivity (And Your Life)

07:00 - 3 October, 2016
13 Changes to Your Work Space That Could Improve Your Productivity (And Your Life) , This image was submitted to our "Sketch Your Workspace" reader challenge. To see all 42 submitted drawings, visit the full article <a href='http://www.archdaily.com/796178/42-sketches-drawings-and-diagrams-of-desks-and-architecture-workspaces'>here</a>. Image © Anne Ma
This image was submitted to our "Sketch Your Workspace" reader challenge. To see all 42 submitted drawings, visit the full article here. Image © Anne Ma

There’s no doubt that architects spend a lot of time in front of a desktop, be it virtual or three-dimensional. In fact, although this statistic is not exclusive to architects, the average time a person now spends sitting down per day is 7.7 hours; in the United States the average is an unbelievable 13 hours. Of course this includes time spent on the train, watching a movie on the sofa, or a whole range of other seated activities, but the vast proportion of this time is likely to be spent working by a desk or laptop.

How can you improve the quality of that time, so it’s both well spent and, ideally, minimized? To have a more efficient, productive—and most importantly, more pleasant—time at work, here are 13 ways to improve your physical and digital workspace.

2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture Winners Announced

16:00 - 2 October, 2016
2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture Winners Announced, 2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture Recipients
2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture Recipients

Six exemplary projects have been announced as winners of the 2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Presented once every three years, the award was established by the Aga Khan in 1977 to “identify and encourage building concepts that successfully addressed the needs and aspirations of communities in which Muslims have a significant presence.” To be considered for the award, projects must exhibit not only architectural excellence, but also the ability to improve users overall quality of life.

Selected from a shortlist of 19 candidates, the five winning projects will receive a $1 million dollar prize as they join an acclaimed list of previous winners, which includes buildings from Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster, Charles Correa, Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel and Hassan Fathy.

How Barcelona's "Superblocks" Pedestrian Plan Hopes to Return the Streets to the People

09:30 - 1 October, 2016

Cars have reshaped cities across the world, largely at the cost of everyone outside of a private vehicle. In recent years the "grid city" of Barcelona has been suffering from clogged roads and choked air quality, with urban traffic contributing to the 3500 premature deaths caused by air pollution each year. Beginning in the district of Eixample, proposals laid out in the 2014 Urban Mobility Plan aims to diffuse traffic congestion and reduce air pollution in the city. In a recent film Vox have picked up on one of a number of potential schemes: the Superblock concept (known as superilles in Catalan). According to Salvador Rueda, the Director of the Urban Ecology Agency of Barcelona who developed the plan, these are "grid[s] of nine blocks [in which] the main mobility happens on the roads around the outside, [...] and the roads within are for local transit only."

Toyo Ito's Taichung Metropolitan Opera House Photographed by Lucas K Doolan

09:07 - 30 September, 2016
Toyo Ito's Taichung Metropolitan Opera House Photographed by Lucas K Doolan, © Lucas K Doolan
© Lucas K Doolan

Designed in 2006, and under construction since 2009, Toyo Ito & Associates much anticipated Taichung Metropolitan Opera House has finally officially opened. The design is notable for its cavernous, curved and folded interior forms, which produce a dramatic and complex section that is neatly resolved into a rectilinear exterior form. Taiwan-based photographer Lucas K Doolan visited the new Opera House to study its impressive internal spaces and its presence in the surrounding urban environment.

© Lucas K Doolan © Lucas K Doolan © Lucas K Doolan © Lucas K Doolan +51

RIBA Awards 2017 Gold Medal to Paulo Mendes da Rocha

08:22 - 29 September, 2016
Paulo Mendes da Rocha. Image © PMDR Archive
Paulo Mendes da Rocha. Image © PMDR Archive

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has awarded its 2017 Royal Gold Medal to Paulo Mendes da Rocha. The 87-year-old is among Brazil's most celebrated architects, known for his special brand of Brazilian Brutalism which has had a dramatic effect in his home country, particularly in the city of São Paulo. The award continues a spectacularly successful year for Mendes da Rocha, who won the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale in May, and was announced the 2016 Premium Imperiale Laureate just weeks ago. Mendes da Rocha has also previously received the Pritzker Prize in 2006 and the Mies van der Rohe Prize for his Pinacoteca de São Paulo project in 2000.

Mendes da Rocha becomes the second Brazilian to win the RIBA's Gold Medal, after Oscar Niemeyer received the award in 1998. He joins other luminaries such as Zaha Hadid (2016), Frank Gehry (2000), Norman Foster (1983), and Frank Lloyd Wright (1941).

Here's What Architect Andrew Tesoro Really Thinks of Donald Trump

07:00 - 29 September, 2016
Here's What Architect Andrew Tesoro Really Thinks of Donald Trump, Image of Donald Trump © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/80038275@N00/20548281849/sizes/h/'> Flickr user Michael Vadon</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>. Inset via screenshot from Hillary for America campaign video
Image of Donald Trump © Flickr user Michael Vadon licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Inset via screenshot from Hillary for America campaign video

The United States is currently embroiled in what is unquestionably one the most bizarre and unpredictable presidential races in its history. In this strange context, the world of architecture has unexpectedly found itself a hot political topic, with one architect at the center of the controversy: Andrew Tesoro.

Tesoro's involvement in the presidential race began with a video created by Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign. In the video, Tesoro tells a story of how Republican nominee Donald Trump "bullied" him and his architectural firm Tesoro Architects out of "many thousands of dollars" which were owed for their design services. Subsequently, Tesoro received something of a shout-out from Hillary Clinton in Monday's presidential debate as evidence that Trump's business experience does not qualify him to be president.

Given the nature of the campaign video, which was undoubtedly edited to paint Trump in a negative light, many have understandably questioned whether Tesoro's opinions and story were accurately portrayed. This skepticism was then reinforced by a "condensed and edited interview" published by Forbes, which suggested that Tesoro's opinion of Trump was much more forgiving than the one perpetuated by the Clinton campaign. Given the confusion around Tesoro's true opinions, ArchDaily decided to give the architect a chance to present his message unambiguously. What follows are Andrew Tesoro's responses to three simple questions about Donald Trump. These responses have not been edited by ArchDaily staff.