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Hexagons for a Reason: The Innovative Engineering Behind BIG's Honeycomb

06:00 - 10 January, 2017
Hexagons for a Reason: The Innovative Engineering Behind BIG's Honeycomb, © BIG
© BIG

BIG are known for unconventional buildings that often raise the question “how were they able to do that?” Such is the case for BIG’s Honeycomb, a luxury eight-story condominium currently under construction in the Bahamas. The project’s hallmark is its hexagonal façade made up of private balconies, each with its own glass-fronted outdoor pool. The façade was also the project’s greatest engineering challenge, with each balcony (including pool water) weighing between 108,000 and 269,000 pounds (48,000-122,000 kilograms) while cantilevering up to 17.5 feet (5.3 meters) from the structure. Tasked with this challenging brief were DeSimone Consulting Engineers, who previously worked with BIG on The Grove. Read on for more detail on the Honeycomb’s innovative engineering.

Courtesy of DeSimone Consulting Engineers © BIG © BIG Courtesy of DeSimone Consulting Engineers +15

The Best Architecture Drawings of 2016

09:30 - 9 January, 2017
The Best Architecture Drawings of 2016, Courtesy of RIGI Design
Courtesy of RIGI Design

Courtesy of Pezo von Ellrichshausen Courtesy of Studio Fuksas © OMA Courtesy of Wülser Bechtel Architekten +90

Designing and building a project is a challenge in itself. However, once the project is complete there are also challenges in expressing the project so that it can be understood by a new audience. This is especially true in digital media, where online readers don't necessarily spend the same time reading an article as in print media. Drawings and all new forms of visual representation – such as animated Gifs – play an important role in the project's understanding. 

At ArchDaily we push ourselves as editors to look for the best drawings from the architects that work with us. We are constantly looking to get the best out of the projects we receive to share with the world and deliver knowledge and inspiration to millions of people. The drawings we have chosen are not only visually entertaining but they serve as a way of educating and learning fundamental architectural representations.

Regardless if they are digital or hand-drawn, all the architectural drawings we have selected this year have a sensitive expression, whether it be artistic, technical or conceptual, and they all aim to express and explain the project using simplicity, detail, textures, 3D and color as main tools. 

This year we want to highlight a selection of 90 drawings arranged under eight categories: Architectural Drawings, Axonometrics, Context, Diagrams, Sketches, Animated Gifs, Details and Other Techniques. 

Why "Darling" Architects Who Came Up Under Recession Are Doubling Down on Budget

09:30 - 8 January, 2017
Why "Darling" Architects Who Came Up Under Recession Are Doubling Down on Budget, The new Manetti Shrem Museum at the University of California, Davis. Image © Iwan Baan / SO-IL and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
The new Manetti Shrem Museum at the University of California, Davis. Image © Iwan Baan / SO-IL and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "The Build Up."

This November, the Manetti Shrem Museum on the University of California, Davis, campus opened to the public. Designed by New York City–based SO-IL with the San Francisco office of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, the museum pays homage to the agricultural landscape of California’s Central Valley with an oversize roof canopy. The steel members of the 50,000-square-foot (4,650-square-meter) shade structure, nearly twice the size of the museum itself, reference the patterning of plowed fields and create a welcoming outdoor space for visitors. It is both expressive and practical, but getting that balance wasn’t easy.

SO-IL, founded by Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu in 2008, has a portfolio filled with smaller projects, installations, and exhibition-related work. The Manetti Shrem Museum is easily the firm’s largest work to date, demanding a rigorous design-build process while maintaining a strong conceptual vision. In short, it required architecture.

Ubiquity and Uniformity: Why Toronto's Condominiums All Look the Same

07:00 - 7 January, 2017
Ubiquity and Uniformity: Why Toronto's Condominiums All Look the Same, Courtesy of PARTISANS Projects
Courtesy of PARTISANS Projects

In June last year, PARTISANS published Rise and Sprawl: The Condominiumization of Toronto with architecture historian and critic Hans Ibelings. An effort to contextualize the role of the condo in Toronto’s unprecedented and intense growth over the past ten years, this thoughtful, if provocative, work offers a scathing criticism of the architecture (or lack thereof) deployed in much of the recent residential constructions in the city. It is a formal demand that the city be built more thoughtfully.  

Alex Josephson is a founding partner of PARTISANS, one of Toronto’s youngest and more innovative architecture practices. Only in its fifth year, PARTISANS has already earned accolades and awards from the American Institute of Architecture, the Ontario Association of Architects, Architect Magazine, Interior Design Magazine, and the World Architecture Festival (WAF).

Rise and Sprawl. Image Courtesy of PARTISANS Projects Rise and Sprawl. Image Courtesy of PARTISANS Projects Rise and Sprawl. Image Courtesy of PARTISANS Projects Rise and Sprawl. Image Courtesy of PARTISANS Projects +19

19 Of Our Favorite User-Created Architecture LEGO Sets (Which You Can Vote Into Production!)

09:30 - 6 January, 2017
19 Of Our Favorite User-Created Architecture LEGO Sets (Which You Can Vote Into Production!), via LEGO Ideas
via LEGO Ideas

A lot of architects love LEGO—but few may be aware of the LEGO Ideas platform, which allows LEGO fans to submit their own ideas for future sets, and if they gather enough support, be considered for production as a real LEGO product. Here we’ve created a selection of our favorite architectural proposals from the platform; though some have already expired due to a lack of votes, many others included here are still open for voting to become a real set if you so desire. If on the other hand, you feel that our list is lacking a particularly LEGO-worthy building, this could be your time to shine; design your own set and gather support! One day soon, thousands of LEGO enthusiasts could be puzzling over your little architectural gem.

via LEGO Ideas via LEGO Ideas via LEGO Ideas via LEGO Ideas +20

Is India Building the "Wrong" Sort of Architecture?

04:00 - 6 January, 2017
Is India Building the "Wrong" Sort of Architecture?, Charles Correa's Jawahar Kala Kendra in Jaipur. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
Charles Correa's Jawahar Kala Kendra in Jaipur. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu

This episode of Monocle 24's On Design podcast, which briefly surveys the state of Indian architecture and suggests a blueprint for a 21st Century vernacular, was written and recorded by ArchDaily's European Editor at Large, James Taylor-Foster.

"Hardcore Heritage": How RAAAF is Redefining Historical Preservation

09:30 - 5 January, 2017
"Hardcore Heritage": How RAAAF is Redefining Historical Preservation, Rendering of Deltawerk 1:1. Image Courtesy of RAAAF | Atelier de Lyon
Rendering of Deltawerk 1:1. Image Courtesy of RAAAF | Atelier de Lyon

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "'Hardcore Heritage': RAAAF Reveals Its Latest Experiment in Historical Preservation."

In the practice of historic preservation, there is often a temptation to turn a building into an object on display—meticulously restored, unchanging, physically isolated—in order to remove it from the flow of history. The multidisciplinary Amsterdam-based studio Rietveld-Architecture-Art-Affordances (RAAAF) situates itself in opposition to this method of dealing with architectural remnants. Instead, it proposes to make history tangible by altering these decaying structures in a way that makes their stories plainly visible. The practice has a name for this approach—"hardcore heritage."

Evil vs. Impressive: How do Scale and Lighting Affect Perception of Architecture?

12:30 - 4 January, 2017
Evil vs. Impressive: How do Scale and Lighting Affect Perception of Architecture?

When it comes to viral architecture, readers love a sense of the theatrical. This trend has led to a new internet obsession: ‘evil’ buildings that look like they could be the home of a supervillain or nefarious corporation.

Compiled on sites such as Reddit and BoredPanda, lists of ‘Evil Buildings’ tend to feature structures that feel sterile to non-architects, photographed in dramatic lighting or surrounded in fog. Projects by Zaha Hadid Architects, Frank Gehry and Ole Scheeren are among those represented. But what exactly makes these buildings feel evil?

How the NMAAHC Carves Out a "Space of Resistance" on the National Mall

09:30 - 4 January, 2017
How the NMAAHC Carves Out a "Space of Resistance" on the National Mall, © Alan Karchmer/NMAAHC
© Alan Karchmer/NMAAHC

This article, originally titled "The Space of Resistance," was originally published on Lance Hosey's Huffington Post blog. It is part of a four-part series about the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The city can be a powerful form of political myth, and Washington, DC, is the premier example.

Political myths dramatize historical events for ideological purposes, in order to strengthen the authority of the status quo. For example, America’s Founding Fathers often are portrayed as motivated only by a virtuous desire for universal freedom and equality, a simplistic depiction that ignores the complex socioeconomic forces behind the Revolution. The National Mall, its buildings, and its monuments, are America’s foundation myth writ large in stone and space. Manfredo Tafuri called the image of the District of Columbia “a timeless, indisputable, completely ‘positive’ Olympus” whose creation “presupposed great optimism and was thoroughly opposed to any polemical doubt.”

In this sense, the city as political myth is ripe for protest, and the National Mall has been the site of many of the most important protests in American history. Most often, these events consist only of people gathering for demonstration. Sometimes, however, they involve building.

Architectural Research: Three Myths and One Model

09:30 - 3 January, 2017
Architectural Research: Three Myths and One Model, <a href='http://www.archdaily.com/522408/icd-itke-research-pavilion-2015-icd-itke-university-of-stuttgart'>ICD-ITKE Research Pavilion 2013-14</a>. The annual ICD-ITKE Research Pavilion, completed by students at ICD-ITKE University of Stuttgart, is an example of Christopher Frayling's definition of research "Through." In Till's model, this could be categorized as research into architectural products. Image Courtesy of ICD-ITKE
ICD-ITKE Research Pavilion 2013-14. The annual ICD-ITKE Research Pavilion, completed by students at ICD-ITKE University of Stuttgart, is an example of Christopher Frayling's definition of research "Through." In Till's model, this could be categorized as research into architectural products. Image Courtesy of ICD-ITKE

Jeremy Till's paper "Architectural Research: Three Myths and One Model" was originally commissioned by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Research Committee, and published in 2007. In the past decade, however, it has grown in popularity not just in the UK, but around the world to become a canonical paper on architectural research. In order to help the paper reach new audiences, here Till presents an edited version of the original. The original was previously published on RIBA's research portal and on Jeremy Till's own website.

There is still, amazingly, debate as to what constitutes research in architecture. In the UK at least there should not be much confusion about the issue. The RIBA sets the ground very clearly in its founding charter, which states that the role of the Institute is:

The advancement of architecture and the promotion of the acquirement of the knowledge of the various arts and sciences connected therewith.

The charter thus links the advancement of architecture to the acquirement of knowledge. When one places this against the definition of research given for the UK Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), “research is to be understood as original investigation undertaken in order to gain knowledge and understanding”, one could argue that research should be at the core of RIBA’s activities. This essay is based on the premise that architecture is a form of knowledge that can and should be developed through research, and that good research can be identified by applying the triple test of originality, significance and rigor. However, to develop this argument, it is first necessary to abandon three myths that have evolved around architectural research, and which have held back the development of research in our field.

Venice Isn't Sinking, It's Flooding – And It Needs to Learn How to Swim

06:00 - 3 January, 2017
Venice Isn't Sinking, It's Flooding – And It Needs to Learn How to Swim, Acqua Alta in Piazza San Marco (2016). Image © James Taylor-Foster
Acqua Alta in Piazza San Marco (2016). Image © James Taylor-Foster

“Will you look at that? St. Mark’s Square is flooded!” An Australian day tripper is astonished. “This place is actually sinking,” her friend casually exclaims. They, like so many I’ve overheard on the vaporetti, are convinced that the Venetian islands exist on a precipice between the fragility of their current condition and nothing short of imminent submersion. With catastrophe always around the corner a short break in Venice is more of an extreme adventure trip than a European city-break. If it were true, that is.

What the Way You Sketch Scale Figures Says About You

09:30 - 2 January, 2017
What the Way You Sketch Scale Figures Says About You, © Sharon Lam
© Sharon Lam

Sketches of scale figures can be seen as an architectural signature. These miniature stand-ins for human life not only bring scale and understanding to a sketch, they also offer a glimpse into the architect’s personality. Some designers automatically go for realistic, anatomically correct people, while others have more abstract interpretations of the human body. But what exactly do these predilections say about their illustrator? Read on to find out:

“Re-Constructivist Architecture” Exhibition Explores the Lost Art of Architectural Language

09:30 - 1 January, 2017
“Re-Constructivist Architecture” Exhibition Explores the Lost Art of Architectural Language, © jbmn
© jbmn

Re-Constructivist Architecture,” an exhibition now on show at the Ierimonti Gallery in New York, features the work of thirteen emerging architecture firms alongside the work of Coop Himmelb(l)au, Peter Eisenman and Bernard Tschumi. The title of the exhibition is a play on words, referring to the De-Constructivist exhibition of 1988 at the Museum of Modern Art that destabilized a certain kind of relationship with design theory.

This reconstruction is primarily of language. The architects draw from archives—mental, digital or printed on paper—distant from the typical parametric and highly schematic rationales that characterized the last thirty years of design in architecture. Within the theoretical system that drives architectural composition, these archives inevitably become homages, references, and quotes.

© AM3 © Adam Nathaniel Furman © Point Supreme © Warehouse of Architecture and Research +46

AMBi Studio’s Award-Winning Yu-Hsiu Museum of Arts Photographed by Lucas K Doolan

11:15 - 31 December, 2016
© Lucas K Doolan
© Lucas K Doolan

Located in the Tsaotun Township of Nantou County in Taiwan, the Yu-Hsiu Museum of Arts was completed in October of 2015, after 4 years of design development. The request received by AMBi Studio’s design team, led by architect and founder Wei-Li Liao, was for a building that was "subtle," "delicate" and "clean." The building’s focus is therefore on creating a harmonious relationship between the manmade and naturally formed architectural elements, paying respect to the surrounding Jiu-Jiu Peaks. This relationship is demonstrated in the combination of the building’s artificially constructed corridors and the existing vegetation in the area, and the museum’s doubled-façade construction which creates an "intermediary" space between outside and inside.

This successful design led the building to win first prize at the 2016 Taiwan Architecture Awards, causing the selection committee to praise Liao for his "continual effort... to explore the experience of perception... and poetic spatiality." Taiwan-based photographer Lucas K Doolan visited the site to capture the building’s interaction with nature in detail, exploring the museum’s carefully considered materiality. 

© Lucas K Doolan © Lucas K Doolan © Lucas K Doolan © Lucas K Doolan +54

From 2016 to 2017: Architecture and Our Future

10:45 - 30 December, 2016

TLDR; Best of 2016.

Dear readers,

This 2016 has been a hectic, frenetic year with complex geopolitical, social, and cultural issues placing our world at a crossroads of an uncertain future. Do we look back into the nostalgia of a safe past, or do we step up and be an active part of a hopeful future?

As architects we have a tremendous responsibility in this scenario; historically, our profession has shaped the collective ideas of the future, generation after generation, by weighing-in on the crises that arise in our societies. In the absence of clear leadership to guide us towards an inspiring future, this is our opportunity to serve as agents of change for the future we deserve.

Sergei Tchoban: “We Cannot Avoid Looking At Architecture; Architecture Should Be Beautiful”

09:30 - 29 December, 2016
Sergei Tchoban: “We Cannot Avoid Looking At Architecture; Architecture Should Be Beautiful”, Music- &amp; Lifestyle Hotel nhow, 2010, Berlin. Image © Thomas Spier
Music- & Lifestyle Hotel nhow, 2010, Berlin. Image © Thomas Spier

After receiving his education at the Repin Institute for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in St. Petersburg, Sergei Tchoban moved to Germany at the age of 30. He now runs parallel practices in both Berlin and Moscow, after becoming managing partner of nps tchoban voss in 2003 and co-founding SPEECH with Sergey Kuznetsov in 2006. In 2009, the Tchoban Foundation was formed in Berlin to celebrate the lost art of drawing through exhibitions and publications. The Foundation’s Museum for Architectural Drawing was built in Berlin in 2013 to Tchoban’s design. In this latest interview for his “City of Ideas” series, Vladimir Belogolovsky spoke to Tchoban during their recent meeting in Paris about architectural identities, inspirations, the architect’s fanatical passion for drawing, and such intangibles as beauty.

Villa in Wasiljewo, 2009, near Saint Petersburg. Image © Aleksey Naroditsky Museum for Architectural Drawing, 2013, Berlin. Image © Roland Halbe Actor Galaxy, 2015, Sotchi. Image © Aleksey Naroditsky Expo Pavilion Milan, 2015, Milan. Image © Aleksey Naroditsky +45

Architecture Documentaries To Watch In 2017

07:00 - 29 December, 2016

Following our favorite Architecture Documentaries to Watch in 2015, our top 40 Architecture Docs to Watch in 2014, and our choice 30 Architecture Docs to Watch in 2013, we're looking ahead to 2017! Our latest round up presents a collection of the most critically acclaimed, popular and often under-represented films and documentaries that provoke, intrigue, inform and beguile. From biopics of Eero Saarinen, Frei Otto and Laurie Baker, to presentations of Chinese "palaces" and the architecture of Africa, Cambodia and India, these are our top picks.

Architecture on Instagram: The Best Shots of 2016

06:00 - 28 December, 2016

Instagram and architecture go together like milk and cookies—an irresistible combination in which one brings out the best of the other. As Instagram continues to add features to its globally appealing platform, we take a look back on the year's most-liked photos posted to our ArchDaily account.

We posted 235 'grams that racked up over 2 million likes. Thank you for following. :)