BIG Designs Bronx Station for New York Police Department

12:12 - 2 February, 2016
BIG Designs Bronx Station for New York Police Department, © BIG
© BIG

The New York City Department of Design and Construction has commissioned BIG to design its new 40th Precinct Police Station in the Bronx's Melrose neighborhood. The first station to house a public multi-purpose room, the building aims to strengthen the department's relationship with the community, while reducing officer stress. 

"The 40th Precinct will also house a brand new piece of city program: the first ever community meeting room in a precinct. With its own street-level entrance, the multipurpose space will contain information kiosks and areas to hold classes or events, encouraging civic engagement with the precinct," says the architects. 

VR Architecture: Why the Next Design Frontier Will Be in Virtual Spaces

09:30 - 2 February, 2016
VR Architecture: Why the Next Design Frontier Will Be in Virtual Spaces, Virtual Museum. Image Courtesy of Mi5VR
Virtual Museum. Image Courtesy of Mi5VR

The new digital state of mind has affected almost every industry as we know it, from music to health. Meanwhile, architecture remains unaltered, trapped in its physical container. In our opinion Virtual Reality has come to stay, and it will transform the way we relate to spaces forever.

With "Ordos – A Failed Utopia," Raphael Olivier Captures the Contradictions of Chinese Construction

09:30 - 1 February, 2016
With "Ordos – A Failed Utopia," Raphael Olivier Captures the Contradictions of Chinese Construction, © Raphael Olivier
© Raphael Olivier

For the past quarter century, China’s rapidly expanding economy provided architects with an almost endless supply of building opportunities. Easy lending allowed for an exponential rise in infrastructure projects – China used more concrete in three years than the United States used in the entire twentieth century. But in a country where the number of cities with over a million inhabitants jumped from 16 in 1970 to 106 in 2015, the speed of development enabled high profile, but flawed, experiments alongside the many necessary building projects. There is perhaps no better example of this phenomenon than the city of Ordos. The Inner Mongolian metropolis – home to 100,000 – which sprang from the northern desert in the mid-2000s was designed for over a million inhabitants. The reality of the city came to public attention in 2009 when Al Jazeera wrote about an early uncertainty in the Chinese real estate market.

After living in China for a number of years, photographer Raphael Olivier finally gave in to the nagging urge to see Ordos for himself. Visiting last year, he found a well-maintained city that is still largely uninhabited. I interviewed Olivier about the project, his views on Ordos, Chinese prosperity, and what it means to photograph architecture.

12 Tips For Making an Outstanding Architecture Portfolio

06:00 - 1 February, 2016
12 Tips For Making an Outstanding Architecture Portfolio

Getting a job or internship at an architecture firm doesn't only depend on your skills as an architect (or student). The way you present your skills plays an essential role. At a time of great professional competitiveness and with resumes becoming more globalized, assembling a portfolio may seem like a chore and often very involving: Which projects do I list? What personal information do I add? Should I include my academic papers in professional portfolios?

Brazilian architect Gabriel Kogan has shared with us a list of twelve tips on how to build a good architectural portfolio, ranging from graphic design to the type of personal information and content that should be included in your resume. Read his guidelines after the break, and if you have any other tips share them with us in the comments section.

How To Tune Your 3D Models For Online VR Viewing With Sketchfab

11:30 - 31 January, 2016
How To Tune Your 3D Models For Online VR Viewing With Sketchfab, Image adapted from screenshot of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane model by Matthew Brennan
Image adapted from screenshot of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane model by Matthew Brennan

Earlier this month, Sketchfab announced a new feature which would allow any 3D model on their platform to be viewed in virtual reality on a device such as Google Cardboard. At ArchDaily, we think this is a huge step in defining how we will view and share architectural design in the future, and one of the best things about the new feature is how seamlessly it blends into Sketchfab's existing model sharing platform. At the same time, it's worth bearing in mind that creating a model for VR may take some extra consideration. In this post originally published on the Sketchfab Blog as "How to set up a Cardboard VR scene for Sketchfab," Bart Veldhuizen explains what designers can do to make their models as VR-friendly as possible.

How Schønherr is Transforming Aarhus with Experimental Urban Interventions

08:00 - 30 January, 2016
How Schønherr is Transforming Aarhus with Experimental Urban Interventions, The City Park / Schønherr. Image © Martin Dam Kristensen for Aarhus Festival
The City Park / Schønherr. Image © Martin Dam Kristensen for Aarhus Festival

Since 2010, the Danish architects from Schønherr have been developing a series of large-scale urban interventions for the Aarhus Festival, the largest cultural festival in Denmark. These temporary projects have transformed the streets and parks into extraordinary public spaces, changing the natural topography of the city to attract citizens and bring them together.

We present their last four projects: "The Forest" (2010), "The City Park" (2012), "The Plaza" (2014) and "Bishops Square" (to be completed this 2016).

The City Park / Schønherr. Image © Martin Dam Kristensen for Aarhus Festival The Plaza / Schønherr. Image © Martin Schubert The City Park / Schønherr. Image © Martin Dam Kristensen for Aarhus Festival The Plaza / Schønherr. Image © Martin Schubert +49

5468796 Architecture's Response to The Guardian Over their "Failed" Social Housing Project

09:30 - 29 January, 2016
5468796 Architecture's Response to The Guardian Over their "Failed" Social Housing Project, © James Brittain Photography
© James Brittain Photography

Early this month, The Guardian published a widely shared and debated article titled "Crime in the community: when 'designer' social housing goes wrong." The article told the story of Centre Village, a social housing project in Winnipeg designed by 5468796 Architecture and Cohlmeyer Architecture Limited, examining how noble intentions resulted in what they describe as "apartments poorly suited to family life, and a building structure that seems to act as a magnet for drinking and drug-taking at all hours."

Unsurprisingly 5468796 Architecture, who disagreed with much of the article's conclusions, wrote a response to the editor of Guardian Cities in the hope that their "letter to the editor" would provide some balance to the story. After The Guardian declined to publish the letter, the firm reached out to ArchDaily to ensure that their side of the debate was heard. Here is that letter in full.

We are writing to you in response to the Guardian article concerning Centre Village and many of the comments and re-posts over the last week. We believe the story that was published was inaccurate and provide the following for your information:

© James Brittain Photography © 5468796 Architecture © James Brittain Photography © James Brittain Photography +7

Kohn Pedersen Fox + Leslie E. Robertson's Next Tokyo 2045 Masterplan Features a Mile-High Skyscraper

06:00 - 29 January, 2016
Kohn Pedersen Fox + Leslie E. Robertson's Next Tokyo 2045 Masterplan Features a Mile-High Skyscraper , Courtesy of Kohn Pederson Fox Associates
Courtesy of Kohn Pederson Fox Associates

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and Leslie E. Robertson Associates have joined forces to propose a vision for a new city in Tokyo Bay. “Next Tokyo” imagines a mega-city that is adapted to climate change in the year 2045. Rising sea levels, seismic activity, and the threat of typhoons have drawn attention to the vulnerability of low-elevation coastal zones in the bay. This design proposes a development strategy that improves the bay’s preparedness for these natural disasters, while also creating a mile-high residential tower and a new transit-oriented district.

Winning Design Selected for the World War I Memorial in DC

10:00 - 28 January, 2016
Winning Design Selected for the World War I Memorial in DC, Courtesy of The World War I Centennial Commission
Courtesy of The World War I Centennial Commission

After announcing five finalists in August of 2015, the World War I Centennial Commission has announced the winner of its National World War I Memorial competition: The Weight of Sacrifice by 25-year-old architect Joe Weishaar and sculptor Sabin Howard. The design focuses on the sacrificial cost of war through relief sculpture, quotations of soldiers, and a freestanding sculpture. Visitors are guided through the memorial’s changing elevations by quotation walls that describe the war from the point of view of generals, politicians, and soldiers.

How University Construction Projects Offer Opportunities to Reform Architecture Education

09:30 - 28 January, 2016
How University Construction Projects Offer Opportunities to Reform Architecture Education, University of Kansas, The Forum at Marvin Hall, 2014. Image © James Ewing Photography
University of Kansas, The Forum at Marvin Hall, 2014. Image © James Ewing Photography

There is a dichotomy to the business of educating architects. While the real world profession is a collaborative field, one in which projects of even the largest and most publicly-acclaimed offices are team-led initiatives, the study of architecture is often insular, myopic, and devoid of such partnerships. Certainly there is a benefit to this style of teaching - it builds confidence for one thing - but it is troubling to think that in a socially-oriented and practically-minded field like architecture, there can be such major disconnects between the process of designing and the act of building. As many critics of current architectural education have pointed out, incorporating design-build projects into school curriculums is a pragmatic solution oriented towards correcting such imbalances.

The fact that more schools don't have programs for students to both design and build their projects is especially perplexing when most universities, particularly those located in the United States, are in such a prolonged period of institutional and budgetary expansion. With many schools now governed like corporate entities, it’s surprising that architecture programs and students are not treated like in-house resources. Why aren’t architecture students treated like assets, the same way that student doctors and nurses are brought into university led medical facilities or scientists into campus research labs?

Munroe Meyer Institute, Exterior Rendering, Design: Brett Virgl, Ruth Barankevich. Image Courtesy of College of Architecture University of Nebraska–Lincoln Munroe Meyer Institute, Exterior Rendering, Design: Lily Cai & Phuong Nguyen. Image Courtesy of College of Architecture University of Nebraska–Lincoln University of Kansas, Ecohawks Research Facility, 2013. Image Courtesy of Studio 804 University of Kansas, Center for Design Research, 2011. Image Courtesy of Studio 804 +32

Interview with Yona Friedman: “Imagine, Having Improvised Volumes ‘Floating’ In Space, Like Balloons”

09:30 - 27 January, 2016
Interview with Yona Friedman: “Imagine, Having Improvised Volumes ‘Floating’ In Space, Like Balloons”, © Yona Friedman
© Yona Friedman

At 92 years of age, for his entire career Yona Friedman has occupied an unusual spot within the architecture world; his signature concept, the Ville Spatiale which he first proposed in 1956, combines the top-down megastructural thinking visible in later projects such as Archigram's Plug-In City with a total freedom for occupants to design and build their own homes within the structure. In this installment of his “City of Ideas” column, Vladimir Belogolovsky interviews Friedman at his home in Paris to talk about the Ville Spatiale and his theories of mobile and improvised architecture.

Syrian Artists Build Replicas of Country’s Destroyed Monuments

08:00 - 27 January, 2016
Syrian Artists Build Replicas of Country’s Destroyed Monuments, Mahmoud Hariri building a model of Palmyra using clay and wooden kebab skewers. Image Courtesy of UNHCR Tracks
Mahmoud Hariri building a model of Palmyra using clay and wooden kebab skewers. Image Courtesy of UNHCR Tracks

Throughout Syria’s four-year war, many of the country’s ancient monuments and artifacts have been demolished by ISIS and Syrian bombs targeted at Islamic militants. In August, ISIS destroyed Palmyra, one of the most important cultural centers in the world.

Yet a group of Syrian refugee artists in Jordan, with the support of the United Nations and Internal Relief and Development, have been salvaging some memories of their country’s destroyed artifacts. Since November 2014, these artists have been constructing miniature models of Syria’s ancient architecture through a project called Syria History and Civilization, according to a reporty by Buzzfeed News.

Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light: On Turncoats, The Cass and Architectural Debate

09:30 - 26 January, 2016
Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light: On Turncoats, The Cass and Architectural Debate, With a ban on cameras, recorders and phones, the only physical records of the Turncoats debates are hasty sketches by the audience. Image © Andra Antone courtesy of Turncoats
With a ban on cameras, recorders and phones, the only physical records of the Turncoats debates are hasty sketches by the audience. Image © Andra Antone courtesy of Turncoats

“I’d like you to join me in hell” declared Catherine Slessor, the first female editor of The Architectural Review in her opening speech for the design debate series Turncoats in late November. What followed was a blistering, hilarious and poetic assault on the world of vanity publishing confided to an audience of 200 critics, architects and designers in SelgasCano’s Second Home. Normally a review such as this one might be accompanied with a film of the event itself, but in this case that is impossible due to Turncoats’ blanket ban on digital recording equipment (including phones) - one of numerous theatrical twists which have made this unassuming project one of the hottest tickets in town.

Turncoats is the creation of former AR Deputy Editor and current Deputy Director of the Architecture Foundation Phineas Harper, Studio Weave and Interrobang founder Maria Smith, and esteemed educator Professor Robert Mull, backed by the Cass architecture and art school. The series is like a hedonistic mash-up of an old school debating society and a ritualistic drinking game. Vodka shots, comedy warm up acts, sexy venues and mischievous polemical propositions make every Turncoats event a surreal and thought-provoking evening. The masterstroke is that not every invited panellist is speaking their mind – some are purely playing devil’s advocate. This reality-bending twist naturally invites a theatricality which blurs the line between argument and arguer, enabling a frankness of architectural debate rarely seen in our nervously polite industry.

Shan-Zhen: How a Small Irish Town Influenced the Mega-City Shenzhen

04:00 - 26 January, 2016
Shan-Zhen: How a Small Irish Town Influenced the Mega-City Shenzhen, Aerial photograph of Shannon Airport (1959) set within its rural context. Image Courtesy of Shannon Group plc
Aerial photograph of Shannon Airport (1959) set within its rural context. Image Courtesy of Shannon Group plc

At the dawn of the age of transatlantic commercial aviation, Shannon, a small town on the west coast of Ireland, was thrust into the spotlight. By 1959 it had been developed as the world’s first Free Trade Zone and New Town, providing a new—and persistent—business model for US multinationals seeking cheaper ways to operate in Europe. On the other side of the world, China was beginning to develop its urbanisation policy and was interested in how Shannon had successfully decentralised its administration from Dublin. After many visits in the early 1980s by Chinese leaders to study this model, under the direction of Deng Xiaoping, the Shannon planning system was used as a template in the formation of Shenzhen and has since been rolled across China.

New Horizon_architecture from Ireland is the flagship exhibition programme for Irish architecture and the built environment as part of Irish Design 2015. Shan-Zhen was first presented at the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture in 2015.

It’s Elementary (Not): On the Architecture of Alejandro Aravena

09:30 - 25 January, 2016
Siamese Towers. Image © Cristobal Palma
Siamese Towers. Image © Cristobal Palma

When reading about the work of Alejandro Aravena, it can sometimes seem like two distinct discussions: one about his widely praised social housing innovations, and another about his impressive (albeit more conventional in scope) buildings for universities and municipalities. In this post originally shared on his Facebook page Hashim Sarkis, the Dean of the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, connects the two apparently separate threads of Aravena's architecture, discovering the underlying beliefs that guide this year's Pritzker Prize winner.

Much of the work of Alejandro Aravena, whether designed alone or with the group ELEMENTAL, embodies a eureka moment, a moment where after a careful interrogation of the program with the client, the architect comes up with a counterintuitive but simple response to the charge. (For the computer center at the Catholic University, the labs have to be both dark and well-lit. For the social housing in Iquique, instead of a full good house that you cannot afford, you get a half good house that you can). In turn, these simple equations are embodied in buildings that usually acquire similarly simple forms. The clients and occupants repeat the “aha” with Aravena’s same tone and realization. “If I cannot convincingly convey the design idea over the phone, then I know it is a bad idea,” he says.

Las Cruces Lookout Point. Image © Iwan Baan Design for Casa OchoQuebradas. Image Courtesy of ELEMENTAL Innovation Center UC - Anacleto Angelini. Image © Nico Saieh Quinta Monroy housing. Image Courtesy of ELEMENTAL +11

Immerse Yourself in 3D Models Online With Sketchfab's New Virtual Reality Feature

08:00 - 25 January, 2016
Immerse Yourself in 3D Models Online With Sketchfab's New Virtual Reality Feature, Screenshot from model of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane by Matthew Brennan
Screenshot from model of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane by Matthew Brennan

Sketchfab, the browser-based platform for sharing and viewing 3D models, has announced a new feature on their software that turns any of their models into a virtual reality experience when viewed on a smartphone and combined with a simple headset like Google Cardboard. Sketchfab allows users to upload a wide variety of 3D model file types that could then be shared and viewed in any web browser, or embedded on websites or social media, without the need for any additional software or plug-ins. As a result, over the past few years they've built up a huge database of over half a million 3D models, and this new VR feature allows viewers to experience those models in a whole new way.

AD Readers Debate: Alejandro Aravena's Pritzker Prize and More

11:00 - 24 January, 2016
AD Readers Debate: Alejandro Aravena's Pritzker Prize and More, UC Innovation Center, by Alejandro Aravena's firm ELEMENTAL. Image © Nina Vidic
UC Innovation Center, by Alejandro Aravena's firm ELEMENTAL. Image © Nina Vidic

The announcement of the Pritzker Prize is often the biggest news story of the year in architecture. This year it seems will be no different: the accolade went to Alejandro Aravena, with the jury paying particular attention to his social housing work, and with the Aravena-directed Venice Biennale right around the corner, it seems that this year we'll be talking a lot about the 48-year-old Chilean.

That discussion has already begun in our comments section, where readers debated the pros and cons of the decision by the Pritzker Jury. Read on to find out what our readers had to say about Aravena and the other big stories of recent weeks.

Antidote to Modernism: Feifei Feng's Bespoke Intervention on Slab Housing in Jinan

09:30 - 23 January, 2016

Modernism was a stylistic evolution meant to jettison the baggage that had moored culture to habits and historicism. But it was more than an architectural style: it was a new and universal way of life meant to eradicate variability, to relish in the ease of sameness and reproducibility. It’s easy to be seduced by Modernism when you’re talking about motel rooms, or Starbucks, or your shirt size at a favorite store, all instances where replication is reassuring. But the movement’s biggest advocates, governments and developers, pushed the style to its extreme in large housing blocks - a typology long out of fashion in the United States, but which continues to be de rigueur in countries intent on achieving rapid economic expansion and concentrating its populations in urban regions.

Look at an aerial photograph of the periphery of any Chinese city and you will see the monotony of towers that rise out of the ground like modules on a silicon circuit board. Viewing drabness with cautionary eyes, designer Feifei Feng’s project "Urban Playhouse: A Communal Drama in Seven Acts," proposes a series of interventions, or "acts," on a field of four and six-story slab housing buildings in Jinan, China, adding social spaces ("follies") that are intended to regenerate the spontaneity and theatricality of living in close quarters.

Courtesy of Feifei Feng Act 6: "A-Maze". Image Courtesy of Feifei Feng Act 7: "Ribbon Runway". Image Courtesy of Feifei Feng Act 5: "Cloud Commune". Image Courtesy of Feifei Feng +12