Originally built to house over 7,000 people in the 1970s, the Aylesbury Estate in South East London was once one of largest housing projects in Europe. In recent years it has "fallen into rapid decline" and, according to British filmmaker Joe Gilbert, "perfectly encapsulates the growing housing crisis and problems caused by gentrification." With narration by Tom Dyckhoff, this short film aims to capture the reality of a housing utopia which has de-evolved into an uncomfortable reality.
Black and Gold: How Paul Revere Williams Became the First African-American to Win the AIA's Highest Honor
Yesterday, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced that they had awarded the 2017 Gold Medal to Paul Revere Williams. Despite the manic production rate of his five-decade-long career, those not familiar with the architecture of Hollywood’s early years might be forgiven for not recognizing Williams’ name. But he is notable for having designed around 3,000 buildings, for being “the architect to the stars” including, among many others, Frank Sinatra... and for being the first black member of the AIA.
Between March of 2013 and December of 2014, Simon Henley of London-based practice Henley Halebrown wrote a regular column for ArchDaily titled “London Calling,” covering architectural topics of note in the UK's capital. Now, Henley is returning to his column – but in the wake of 2016's shock political developments, his column is re-branding. Thus, here he presents the first of his column “Beyond London” – a look at architectural topics around the UK. Here, Henley presents his opinion on those political developments, and the role architects should play as the UK embarks on a new period in its history.
Post-Brexit, British architects need to think hard about the profession’s London-centric position. There has been a policy of inclusion of non-London architects on panels, their work in magazines and on awards shortlists, but this is not enough. It was quite clear on June 24th when the London design community awoke to the realization that Britain will leave the European Union, that a “Remain”-minded bubble had formed within the capital. The same may be true of the other large cities around the country which voted largely in favour of “Remain.”
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced the President’s Medals Student Awards at a special event today in London. The awards, recognised as the world’s most prestigious in architectural education, were inaugurated in 1836 (making them, including the RIBA Gold Medal, the institute's oldest award). Three medals in particular—the Bronze for a Part I student (Bachelor level), the Silver for a Part II student (Masters level), and the Dissertation Medal—are awarded to “promote excellence in the study of architecture [and] to reward talent and to encourage architectural debate worldwide.” In addition to these, the winners of the Serjeant Award for Excellence in Drawing and the SOM Foundation Fellowships alongside a rostra of commendations have also been announced.
Tree and Design Action Group is a group that “shares the collective vision that the location of trees, and all the benefits they bring, can be secured for future generations through better collaboration in the planning, design, construction and management of our urban infrastructure and spaces.”
“Trees make places look and feel better, as well as playing a role in climate proofing our neighborhoods and supporting human health and environmental well-being, trees can also help to create conditions for economic success.” The Trees in the Townscape guide presents a modern approach to urban forestry, providing officials and professionals with the principles and references needed to realize the potential of vegetation in urban areas.
This is an approach that keeps pace with and responds to the challenges of our times. “Trees in the Townscape offers a comprehensive set of 12 action-oriented principles which can be adapted to the unique context of [any] own town or city.”
"Originality is dead" is not an uncommon phrase to hear in our modern, information packed era of Big Data and easy access to source material. If you take a look at Google’s Ngram Viewer, the use of the word "originality" appears to have waned; it is now roughly as common as it was at in 1800, with its peak use occurring just before 1900. So what was going on around that peak time? In 1893, the first moving pictures were played; in 1989, the first escalator was installed; in 1899, aspirin was invented; and 1901 saw the first wireless transmission sent from England to Canada. 
At that time, the development of various forms of technology was allowing and encouraging people to explore and fulfill ideas that could only have been dreamed of in the past. But without this injection of new tools, it's difficult to compete with 200,000 years of new ideas; so to help you do so, here are seven aspects of our modern world that make it difficult to come up with original ideas, and ways you can combat them.
Even in Manhattan—a sea of skyscrapers—the Empire State Building towers over its neighbours. Since its completion in 1931 it has been one of the most iconic architectural landmarks in the United States, standing as the tallest structure in the world until the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were constructed in Downtown Manhattan four decades later. Its construction in the early years of the Great Depression, employing thousands of workers and requiring vast material resources, was driven by more than commercial interest: the Empire State Building was to be a monument to the audacity of the United States of America, “a land which reached for the sky with its feet on the ground.”
"What is your city? And what do you need to make that entire city yours?" These are some of the questions being posed by co-founding principal of nArchitects, Mimi Hoang, in reSITE’s Small Talks series. The videos, produced and edited by Canal180, were recorded during the reSITE event that took place in Prague earlier this year, titled "Cities in Migration." Reiterated again and again by several of the interviewees is the fact that migration is, in the words of founder and chairman of reSITE Martin Barry, "a natural human phenomenon; everyone is moving to cities to improve their lives."
This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Seeing the Animal Kingdom in Calatrava's Oculus."
Since its opening in March, Santiago Calatrava's "Oculus" transport hub at the World Trade Center has garnered a lot of criticism for its exorbitant price tag. (The building cost nearly $4 billion to realize.) But look beyond the numbers, and there is something compelling about the physical form of the thing. Like all of Calatrava's work, the structure invites visual interpretations—spiky fish or a bird, a dinosaur or a hedgehog. Architectural designer and illustrator Chanel Dehond riffs on these and more in the following sketches.
Update: following the screening period The Infinite Happiness is no longer available to watch on ArchDaily. The full collection of Bêka and Lemoine's films can be viewed on demand, here.
For two days only—between Friday, December 2 and Sunday, December 4—you can watch The Infinite Happiness, part of Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine's Living Architectures series, exclusively on ArchDaily. The film, shot entirely in Copenhagen's "8 House" designed by BIG, follows a group of residents (and passers-by) as they experience life in a contemporary housing block widely considered to embody new models of living.
A longer version of this article, written by current ArchDaily intern Sharon Lam, was originally published in Salient, the magazine of the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association, titled "In the Shadow of the Kowloon Walled City."
It is the 1970s in Hong Kong, and you are eleven years old. Early one evening, you go out to a nearby neighborhood for dinner with your family. A five-minute walk from your primary school, it is also a place you frequent with your friends. The food here is good and especially renowned for its fishball noodle soup, which is what you always get. You’ve been here so often that navigating the subterranean corridors to the noodle stand is easy, and you know where to step to avoid the ceilings that drip the most. Your bowl of noodles arrives and you slurp them down, unaware of the fact that over the next couple of years this very neighborhood will peak in its population and its infamy, and remain even decades later as one of the most remarkable social anomalies in recent history.
At its peak, the Kowloon Walled City was home to 33,000 people in just two hectares of land—the size of about two rugby fields—making it the densest place on Earth at the time. It was a hastily put together conglomerate of tiny apartments, one on top of the other, caged balconies slapped onto the sides and connected through a labyrinth of damp, dark corridors. All the while, the rest of Hong Kong went about as normal, seemingly unaffected by the crime and squalor within the Walled City.
“We are disappointed that the Helsinki City Council has decided not to allocate funds for the proposed Guggenheim Helsinki museum, in effect bringing this project to a close,” Richard Armstrong, the director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, told the Helsinki Times.
Fairy chimneys, also known as hoodoos or tent rocks, are spooky looking spires of rock that range from the height of an average person to over 40 meters. While recently on assignment creating one of his time-lapse videos for Turkish Airlines, photographer and filmmaker Rob Whitworth captured the fairy chimneys found in the Cappadocia region of Turkey in all their eerie charm.
Of the four homes designed by Richard Neutra for the Case Study Houses program, post-war thought experiments commissioned by Arts & Architecture, only one was ever realized. In the imaginary village of the program's many unbuilt homes, next to #6, the Omega house, stands #13, named Alpha. Archilogic’s 3D model gives us a unique chance to experience this innovative concept home.
In the latest edition of Section D, Monocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, the team speak to Moshe Safdie – the Israeli-Canadian architect whose "signature geometric style of lavish curves and green space has made the self-styled Modernist an influential voice" in the profession. The conversation, broadcast from Safdie's Marina Bay Sands complex in Singapore, reflects on his life and work – including Montréal's Habitat 67.
This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "An Incredible Journey into the New York City that Never Was."
Imagine the waters surrounding the Statue of Liberty were filled up with land. That you could walk right up to Lady Liberty herself, following a path from Manhattan’s Battery Park. Believe it or not, in 1911, this could have been.
In Never Built New York, authors Greg Goldin and Sam Lubell (foreword by Daniel Libeskind) describe with irony, and sometimes nostalgia, the most significant architectural and planning projects of the last century, projects that would have drastically changed the city—but never did.
Earlier this year, the Rem Koolhaas-led firm OMA launched a redesign of its website. If you haven't already popped over to see more than three decades worth of cutting-edge, provocative architecture projects, you'll have a good reason to now: downloadable excerpts from six of the office's highly acclaimed books and magazines.
Previously we had a look at some of the strange habits of top architects. From drinking on the job to polyphasic sleeping, it turns out famous architects are a bunch of weirdos. But what about the rest of us? It’s not just the famous architects who are weirdos—it’s simply impossible to spend such long periods of time on the job without picking up a few strange habits along the way. Whether it’s the way we work, the way we interact with buildings, or things that don’t even seem odd until a non-architect points them out, those in architecture have some pretty strange habits.