The Pavilion of Morocco at the 14th Venice Biennale, Fundamentals, focused on territorial speculations in the Sahara: Inhabiting the Uninhabitable. For the exhibition, which was the country's first representation at the Biennale, Paris-based practice OUALALOU+CHOI proposed an urban structure for this desert territory – "a means of putting down roots, implanting urbanity and civilization. The Sahara, with its extreme geography and climatic conditions, remains unexplored territory for architectural speculation."
Architecture's ability to bring people together is perhaps one of its greatest, awe-inspiring traits. And while the "bringing people together" part is usually meant figuratively, there is no building type quite as marvelous as the stadium, a place that literally gathers tens of thousands of individuals in one place, at the same time. Though the legacy of the stadium as a building type is already rich and storied, a new chapter in the history of American sports architecture will surely begin with the imminent opening of the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Jyväskylä, a city whose status as the center of Finnish culture and academia during the nineteenth century earned it the nickname “the Athens of Finland,” awarded Alvar Aalto the contract to design a university campus worthy of the city’s cultural heritage in 1951. Built around the pre-existing facilities of Finland’s Athenaeum, the new university would be designed with great care to respect both its natural and institutional surroundings.
The city of Jyväskylä was by no means unfamiliar to Aalto; he had moved there as a young boy with his family in 1903 and returned to form his practice in the city after qualifying as an architect in Helsinki in 1923. He was well acquainted with Jyväskylä’s Teacher Seminary, which had been a bastion of the study of the Finnish language since 1863. Such an institution was eminently important in a country that had spent most of its history as part of either Sweden or Russia. As such, the teaching of Finnish was considered an integral part of the awakening of the fledgling country’s national identity.
Today marks 130 years since the birth of German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. In honor of this tremendously influential figure, we're shining some light into the lesser known facts about Mies' life in order to better understand and contextualize his architecture.
For this, our colleagues at ArchDaily en Español have referred to "Vidas construidas, Biografías de arquitectos" (Constructed Lives, Biographies of Architects), a book by Anatxu Zabalbeascoa and Javier Rodríguez Marcos. This text, released by publisher Gustavo Gili, features the biographies of 20 of the world's most celebrated architects, from the Renaissance to the Modern movement. Each story is a fascinating journey into the lives of each architect, and the details allow us to understand the genesis of many works that are today considered classics.
We've chosen 20 facts that reveal the thoughts, influences and decisions that brought Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's architecture to the forefront of modernism.
The Technium is the sphere of visible technology and intangible organizations that form what we think of as modern culture.
—Kevin Kelly, What Technology Wants
The Technium is ubiquitous; like air it could be invisible. Fortunately, raging torrents that affect every person on earth are hard to ignore. Let’s look into one of the hearts of the Technium, that organ we call architecture.
You Are in the Technium Now
An ecosystem is a system of inter-dependent organisms and conditions. Ecosystems evolve. The current system can only exist because of past systems, each a stepping stone for new levels of action, each creating new sets of conditions, niches for life in its many forms.
But of course that’s what architecture does: it creates new conditions for life and culture, as does science, education, art and technology. Our culture and technology is evolving, enabled and built upon current and past developments. Kevin Kelly uses the word Technium to describe this complex stratum of evolving interdependencies and capacities. The Technium is evolving and growing fast. Our buildings must also evolve if they are to nurture our current and future cultures.
We provided our readers with a blank canvas, a single white egg. From this common starting point, we asked architects to let their innovation and creativity shine by putting an architectural twist on the average pastel Easter egg. From gifs to famous architects as eggs, we received over 450 submissions to our sites in English, Spanish, Chinese and Portuguese. It was particularly difficult to narrow down our favorites, and our selection really only scratches the surface of the many creative Easter eggs that we received from our incredibly talented readers.
Volume is an "agenda-setting" quarterly magazine, published by the Archis Foundation (The Netherlands). Founded in 2005 as a research mechanism by Ole Bouman (Archis), Rem Koolhaas (OMA*AMO), and Mark Wigley (Columbia University Laboratory for Architecture/C-Lab), the project "reaches out for global views on designing environments, advocates broader attitudes to social structures, and reclaims the cultural and political significance of architecture."
Over the next six weeks Volume will share a curated selection of essays from The System* on ArchDaily. This represents the start of a new partnership between two platforms with global agendas: in the case of ArchDaily to provide inspiration, knowledge and tools to architects across the world and, in the case of Volume, "to voice architecture any way, anywhere, anytime [by] represent[ing] the expansion of architectural territories and the new mandate for design."
The Curry Stone Foundation has announced The Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centers (SPARC) as the winner of the 2016 Curry Stone Design Prize Vision Award. For over 30 years, SPARC has supported, represented and implemented improvements for Indian citizens living in slum communities throughout the country. Through its alliance with the National Slum Dwellers Federation (NSDF) and Mahila Milan (Women Together), SPARC is now active in over 70 cities throughout India, lobbying for physical, social and legal advancement, as well as facilitating the construction of housing for more than 8,500 families and community toilets for over 500,000 seats in slums with no existing facilities.
“SPARC with the National Slum Dwellers Federation and Mahila Milan are driving change by using the knowledge and capacity of the urban poor,” said Emiliano Gandolfi, the Director of the Curry Stone Design Prize. “With their work they designed the social framework that enables underrepresented populations to have a voice in the decision processes that determine their quality of life.”
This article by Gavin Johns was originally published on Medium as "Architects, stop everything and pursue a career in UX."
As an architect turned user experience (UX) designer I have many strong opinions about both my former and my current profession. But in short, I am now enjoying greener pastures, getting the fulfillment I expected while studying architecture but the profession didn’t provide.
Many like-minded architects ask me when and why I decided to transition into software. This puts me in the unusual position of praising the initial skill-set achieved by studying architecture, while promoting departure from it. That said, I have a very abstract definition of architecture, and believe if you have the interest to pursue any other design discipline, you’ll be successful. This guide is intended for those driven and curious architects who are looking for a change.
The public of Plovdiv, and of Bulgaria, woke up on Monday the 7th March—after their national holiday celebration—with a national cultural monument and a key piece of the city's identity on the ground in pieces. The building was one of the standout structures of “Tobacco Town”—a complex of former tobacco industry warehouses. The demolition by its owners began despite a promise made by Mayor Ivan Totev in September that the entire complex would be renovated as an urban art zone as part of the preparations for Plovdiv European Capital of Culture 2019.
Plovdiv, a city in the south of Bulgaria with its 7 hills, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Europe. The Thracians, Romans, and Ottomans all employed its strategic location, and today it is Bulgaria’s second largest city. The title of cultural capital is well deserved, and perhaps even well overdue. With its arrival, there was hope that major parts of the city's history lying in disrepair may finally have a standing chance, and then this… another building, gone.
Everybody's heart is heavy. They are in disbelief. The questions are the same as the ones that have been asked many times before: “How did this happen?” “Who did this?”
A year of controversies over water-related projects like Thomas Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge in London, or Frank Gehry’s LA River master plan in Los Angeles, can paint a fraught portrait of the relationship between design and one of our most precious resources. But in honor of World Water Day, we have rounded up some of the projects that represent the most strategic, innovative, and unexpected intersections of design and H2O that have been featured on ArchDaily.
Architecture and water have a long history of intersection, from the aqueducts engineered by the Romans to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, and the relationship holds new value in an age of climate change coupled with evolving modes of thinking about the relationship between humans and ecology. An ever-broadening understanding of the human need for water—from health and hygiene to recreation and wonder—has ensured that new ways to incorporate this classic element into vanguard designs has flourished. The following projects feature water in a variety of ways, from proximity to bodies of water, to designs literally shaped or formed by their relationship to moisture, to projects that are physically immersed in the liquid, and finally other projects which are only visions of a yet-unbuilt future.
In this post originally published on ArchSmarter as "5 Ways to Work Smarter This Year," Michael Kilkelly follows up on his hugely successful article 21 Ways Architects Can Work Smarter, Not Harder with a refresher of things you can do to improve productivity and meet your goals.
We’re almost three full months into 2016. I don’t know about you but that optimistic rush from from the New Year is starting to peter out. I always begin the year with fire in my belly to get big things done. I’ve got a to-do list as long as my arm. I want to launch a bunch of new courses. I want to write a book. I want to design great projects for great clients.
The problem is that the real world has a way of interfering with those goals. There are deadlines to finish and bills to pay. All that time I thought I’d have is taken up with things I didn’t anticipate like snow days, sick kids, and unexpected out-of-town trips. How about you? Feeling the same way?
It’s that time of the year when you need to look at how you’re working and make adjustments so you can crush those goals. With that in mind, here are 5 ways you can pull yourself out of the winter doldrums and work smarter this year.
The city has been explored as a theme in movies since the early days of cinema, appearing as both a setting and a protagonist in films by renowned directors like Fritz Lang, Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Roberto Rossellini and Quentin Tarantino. In one of the first films ever made, Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (1925), the Lumière brothers already show the modern urban environment as an important element and part of the contextualization.
Yet the cinema and the city have an extensive relationship, each influencing one another. The influence of architecture (especially modern) in the settings and cities of films can be seen in movies like Jacques Tati’s My Uncle (1958) and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982), while the influence of cinema in architecture and buildings can be seen in the work of architects like Rem Koolhaas, Jean Nouvel and Bernard Tschumi.
We have compiled a list of 10 films in which the city plays a much more important role than just the mere setting, acting as a true protagonist of the plot.
The impacts of architecture on the quality of human life are often debated, and in the 21st century, projects are under greater scrutiny than ever for the experiences they provide for people. Buildings all over the world must address a specific context, responding to the cultural framework of their users.
In light of this, we’ve gathered 8 projects that have a different sort of user -- projects designed not just for people, but also for animals. Ranging from zoo buildings to aquariums, stables and shelters, these projects have the unique challenge of balancing a human and animal experience. See them all after the break.
A two-day event will be held on Saturday, March 19, and Sunday, March 20, 2016, in Moscow, Russia, to celebrate the 94th anniversary of the Shukhov Tower and the official launch of a petition to save the Constructivist landmark, which faces a "looming threat of demolition." The tower is on the 2016 World Monuments Watch, as well as the World Monument Fund’s biennial list of at-risk cultural heritage sites worldwide.
Built between 1919 and 1922 by Vladimir Shukhov, the tower is a landmark in the history of structural engineering, and “is an emblem of the creative genius of an entire generation of modernist architects in the years that followed the Russian Revolution.”
When we began these bi-weekly round-ups of readers' comments back in October, we did so with one key aim: to encourage open, democratic debate with a very low barrier for entry - the type of internet-enabled debate that many architecture critics and publications have given up on. This week, we got a taste of just that kind of rational, professional debate as our readers picked apart the popular opinion in the wider media that the renovation of Cádiz Castle was "a perfect example of how not to restore an old castle." Alongside debates on whether architecture is a form of art and what the AIA should be doing about sustainability, read on to see what our readers had to say after the break.
Following an invitation by the city of Bordeaux in December 2015, Sou Fujimoto Architects and laisné roussel have revealed their proposal “Canopia”: a mixed-use development, featuring a 50-meter-tall residential building made of wood and offering 199 homes, 3,770m² of office space and 500m² of retail outlets in Bordeaux, France. The tower would be one of the tallest wooden buildings in the world. Read more about this project after the break.
The latest edition of Section D, Monocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, examines the architectural competition: "a critically important but less visible facet of the architectural world." Monocle's Henry Rees-Sheridan talks to Jacob van Rijs, co-founder of MVRDV, about how the practice incorporates unbuilt plans and competition entries into its business model; Malcolm Reading, head of "the leading independent organiser of architectural competitions in the UK," about what goes into creating a successful architecture competition; and ArchDaily Editor James Taylor-Foster about how the unbuilt world affects the built.