ArchDaily | Broadcasting Architecture Worldwidethe world's most visited architecture website

Video: Reiulf Ramstad Explains "The Nordic Way of Building"

10:00 - 21 June, 2016

“We believe that architecture makes sense when it’s anchored in the locales where it’s built, and the people who are going to use it. That’s why I’m not so occupied with the zeitgeist of architecture.”

In this interview from Louisiana Channel, Oslo-based architect Reiulf Ramstad discusses how the Scandinavian landscape is at the core of his design concepts. In a context of globalization, increased mobility, and communication medias, Ramstad believes “the depth of the locale becomes shallow.” His architecture contrasts this mainstream approach by offering designs specifically tailored to Norwegian cultural heritage and the landscape of its remote areas.

Ulterior Motives: OMA/AMO's Reinier de Graaf on "Research," Europe and the 2014 Venice Biennale

04:00 - 21 June, 2016
Ulterior Motives: OMA/AMO's Reinier de Graaf on "Research," Europe and the 2014 Venice Biennale, Installation in the Central Pavilion of the Giardini at the 2014 Venice Biennale, directed by OMA/AMO. Image Courtesy of OMA
Installation in the Central Pavilion of the Giardini at the 2014 Venice Biennale, directed by OMA/AMO. Image Courtesy of OMA

The following interview with Reinier De Graaf was first published by Volume Magazine in their 48th issue, The Research Turn. You can read the Editorial of this issue, Research Horizonshere.

Architectural practice requires a degree of intimacy and insight into complex sets of forces. While building is architecture’s bread and butter, it’s not always the best format to make a statement. It’s sometimes not even the most appropriate language to respond to a brief. Volume spoke with Reinier de Graaf of OMA/AMO about how research and media can become a vessel for political agendas.

A Filmic Adaption of Ballard's High-Rise Is a Visceral Complement to a Dystopian Vision

09:30 - 20 June, 2016
A Filmic Adaption of Ballard's High-Rise Is a Visceral Complement to a Dystopian Vision, The Brutalist high-rises in Ben Wheatley’s new film were inspired in part by Ernö Goldfinger’s Trellick and Balfron towers in London. Image Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures
The Brutalist high-rises in Ben Wheatley’s new film were inspired in part by Ernö Goldfinger’s Trellick and Balfron towers in London. Image Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

This article was originally published on Metropolis Magazine as “Dystopia in the Sky."

For architects, if I may generalize an entire professional community, there are few novelists as cultishly beloved as J.G. Ballard. Borges or Calvino have their fair share of admirers, but to borrow an adjective more frequently applied to buildings, Ballard is the most iconic of literary figures—especially for readers of a concrete-expansion-joint persuasion. Witnessing war as a child, training in medicine, and thereafter writing from a rather bloodless middle-class patch of suburbia, Ballard spun tales of urban life that continue to be uncomfortably visceral.

The Floating Piers Opens on Lake Iseo Allowing Visitors to "Walk on Water"

08:15 - 19 June, 2016
The Floating Piers Opens on Lake Iseo Allowing Visitors to "Walk on Water", © Christo
© Christo

Beginning this week, and lasting for only sixteen days, visitors to the Italian Lake Iseo can "walk on water." The Floating Piers is the work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, based on an idea first conceived in 1970. Built using 100,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric, carried by a modular floating dock system of 220,000 high-density polyethylene cubes, the installation—which sits just above water level—undulates with the movement of the lake.

According to Italian news source, Leggo, two people were "seriously injured" and the installation was "evacuated" on its opening day due to the quantity of visitors and inclement weather conditions.

Those who experience The Floating Piers will feel like they are walking on water – or perhaps the back of a whale.

The docks extend into the streets of nearby towns. Image © Christo © Christo The docks extend into the streets of nearby towns. Image © Christo © Christo +12

Why Boredom is the Key to Good Design

09:30 - 17 June, 2016
Why Boredom is the Key to Good Design, © Flickr user nseika licensed under CC BY 2.0 (cropped)
© Flickr user nseika licensed under CC BY 2.0 (cropped)

This article by Rosanne Somerson, president of the Rhode Island School of Design, was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "We Need More Boredom in Our Lives."

When I used to teach graduate students in furniture design, I would assign them an abstract problem that required them to sit in the studio and draw through free association over a long period of time without getting up from their seats. After about 45 minutes, most students would start to squirm and get uncomfortable. If they hadn’t been in my class they would likely have stood up, checked their e-mail, gone online, or found other distractions. But I encouraged them to push through the discomfort because, after many years of running the same exercise, I had learned that right after the “squiggly” stage, something incredible happens. Often, a whole new direction for their work would emerge—something completely unfamiliar and unexpected.

What was it about those uncomfortable moments that unleashed their creativity? Was it something magical or mysterious? Hardly. I believe it was boredom, pure and simple—something all of us (and artists and designers in particular) need more of in our lives.

Video: Take a Dip in the Australian Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

16:00 - 16 June, 2016
Video: Take a Dip in the Australian Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, © Jesús Granada
© Jesús Granada

In his latest video, Jesús Granada visits ‘The Pool,’ inside Australia’s Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Curated by Amelia Holliday, Isabelle Toland & Michelle Tabet of Aileen Sage Architects, the exhibition explores the architectural typology of the swimming pool and its place in Australian culture.

The Worst Thing About the 2016 Venice Biennale Was the Response of its Sanctimonious Critics

09:30 - 16 June, 2016
The Worst Thing About the 2016 Venice Biennale Was the Response of its Sanctimonious Critics, "Reporting from the Front" Arsenale Exhibition. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
"Reporting from the Front" Arsenale Exhibition. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu

To many, it might seem that the goals of Alejandro Aravena's 2016 Venice Biennale—as he describes it, "to understand what design tools are needed to subvert the forces that privilege the individual gain over the collective benefit"—are beyond reproach. In spite of these aims, a number of commentators nevertheless have emerged, perhaps led most vocally by Patrik Schumacher, criticizing the biennale. In this article, originally published on The Architecture Foundation's website as "Holier than thou," Phineas Harper responds to those criticisms.

The most surprising turn of the 2016 Venice Biennale was not the exhibition itself, but the reaction of its critics. Within hours of kick-off, the internet was filling up with derogatory mutterings of the show being '"worthy," "moralizing," "holier than thou’," "earnest," "’virtue-signaling" and "right on" (which apparently is an insult). The architectural Twitterati, it seemed, were unimpressed.

But what exactly were they hating on? The biennale principally exhibited practices which saw some form of suffering in the world and, through their work, in way or another, were trying to lessen it. How did such a compassionate brief generate such a miserly push-back?

NLÉ's Makoko Floating School at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu Gabinete de Arquitectura’s “Breaking the Siege” – Winner of the Golden Lion. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu UNFINISHED, curated by Iñaqui Carnicero & Carlos Quintáns, the winner of the Golden Lion for a national contribution (Spanish Pavilion). Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu In Therapy, curated by David Basulto and James Taylor Foster (Nordic Pavilion). Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu +16

Architecture as an Agent of Change: Remembering Charles Correa, "India's Greatest Architect"

04:00 - 16 June, 2016
Architecture as an Agent of Change: Remembering Charles Correa, "India's Greatest Architect", Charles Correa, "India's Greatest Architect," passed away on June 26th 2015. Image © Chistbal Manuel
Charles Correa, "India's Greatest Architect," passed away on June 26th 2015. Image © Chistbal Manuel

A year ago today, on June 16th 2015, the architectural community lost Charles Correa (b.1930) – a man often referred to as “India’s Greatest Architect” and a person whose impact on the built environment extended far beyond his own native country. Rooted in India, Correa’s work blended Modernity and traditional vernacular styles to form architecture with a universal appeal. Over the course of his career, this work earned him—among many others—awards including the 1984 RIBA Royal Gold Medal (UK), the 1994 Praemium Imperiale (Japan), and the 2006 Padma Vibhushan (India’s second highest civilian honor).

Through his buildings we, as both architects and people who experience space, have learnt about the lyrical qualities of light and shade, the beauty that can be found in humble materials, the power of color, and the joy of woven narratives in space. Perhaps more than anything else, however, it was his belief in the notion that architecture can shape society which ensures the continued relevance of his work. “At it’s most vital, architecture is an agent of change,” Correa once wrote. “To invent tomorrow – that is its finest function.”

MIT / Charles Correa Associates. Image © Anton Grassl / ESTO Belapur / Charles Correa Associates. Image © Charles Correa Associates Navi Mumbai Masterplan. Image © Charles Correa Associates Navi Mumbai Masterplan. Image © Charles Correa Associates +21

Gallery: Herzog & de Meuron's Tate Modern Extension Photographed by Laurian Ghinitoiu

10:15 - 15 June, 2016
Gallery: Herzog & de Meuron's Tate Modern Extension Photographed by Laurian Ghinitoiu, © Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

Herzog & de Meuron's ten-storey extension to London's Tate Modern, which officially opens to the public this week, is the latest in a series of ambitious building projects pursued by the internally renowned gallery of contemporary art. Sitting above The Tanks, the world's first dedicated galleries for live art and film installations, the building's pyramidical form provides 60% more exhibition space for the institution. Two days before its doors welcome art-lovers from around the world, photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has captured a collection of unique views on this highly anticipated addition to London's skyline.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu +46

AR Issues: On "Notopia," the Scourge Destroying Our Cities Worldwide

09:30 - 15 June, 2016
AR Issues: On "Notopia," the Scourge Destroying Our Cities Worldwide, Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the June 2016 issue on what the AR has provocatively named "Notopia," Editor Christine Murray outlines the defining characteristics of this "selfish city," the "pandemic of generic buildings have no connection to each other" - stating that their issue-long tirade against Notopia "is less a warning than a prophecy of doom."

If what is called the development of our cities is allowed to multiply at the present rate, then by the end of the century our world will consist of isolated oases of glassy monuments surrounded by a limbo of shacks and beige constructions, and we will be unable to distinguish any one global city from another.

This pandemic of generic buildings have no connection to each other, let alone to the climate and culture of their location.

With apologies to our forebear Ian Nairn, upon this scourge The Architectural Review bestows a name in the hope that it will stick – NOTOPIA. Its symptom (which one can observe without even leaving London) is that the edge of Mumbai will look like the beginning of Shenzhen, and the center of Singapore will look like downtown Dallas.

Video: Inside the Austrian Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

16:00 - 14 June, 2016
Video: Inside the Austrian Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, © Jesús Granada
© Jesús Granada

In this video, Jesús Granada takes us inside the Austrian Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. The exhibition, titled Orte Für Menschen (Places for People), focuses on the creation of innovative housing solutions required to handle Austria’s current refugee crisis. The pavilion displays three projects currently underway in Vienna, where three architect teams have been paired with NGOs to convert abandoned buildings into temporary accommodation for asylum seekers, and later, into long-term residences.

Aravena's "Reporting From The Front" Is Nothing Like Koolhaas' 2014 Biennale—But It's Equally as Good

09:30 - 14 June, 2016
Aravena's "Reporting From The Front" Is Nothing Like Koolhaas' 2014 Biennale—But It's Equally as Good, The "Reporting From the Front" exhibition. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
The "Reporting From the Front" exhibition. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu

As director of the 2016 Venice Biennale, Alejandro Aravena has sought to shift the very grounds of architecture. Rather than an inward-looking interrogation of the profession's shortcomings, as Rem Koolhaas undertook in 2014, the Chilean Pritzker Prize-winner asks us to gaze in the opposite direction—to the vast swathes of the built horizon that traditionally lay beyond the profession's purview: urban slums, denatured megacities, conflict zones, environmentally compromised ports, rural villages far off the grid.

"We believe that the advancement of architecture is not a goal in itself but a way to improve people’s quality of life," states Aravena in his introduction to event. In other words, his biennale does not ask what architecture ought, yet often fails, to be, but rather what it could, yet often forgets, to do.

The "Reporting From the Front" exhibition. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu Gabinete de Arquitectura's contribution to the "Reporting From the Front" exhibition. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu Vo Trong Nghia's contribution to the "Reporting From the Front" exhibition. Image © Francesco Galli The Spanish Pavilion. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu +13

Project of the Month: San Bernardo Chapel

17:00 - 13 June, 2016

Stereotomic architecture is characterized by two strong themes: the continuity of the forces of gravity to the ground, into the soil; and the search for natural light, which drills through the massive, solid walls to illuminate and allow habitation by the human being. It’s from these themes that this project takes its power.

Today we present to you May’s Project of the Month, the San Bernardo Chapel, which in its search to transform ecclesiastic symbolism uses nature as a way of ritual expression. The client required a place in a remote location that accommodated religious acts and rituals, in a context in which time is reflected by the use of recycled materials—materials that have been a part of the place for more than 100 years. This established construction criteria based on ancient masonry techniques. However, the project also involved the use of new materials in the interior of the work, creating an interesting play of textures.

Melnikov and Moscow Workers’ Clubs: Translating Soviet Political Ideals into Architecture

09:40 - 13 June, 2016
Melnikov and Moscow Workers’ Clubs: Translating Soviet Political Ideals into Architecture, Dorhimzavod Club by the name of Frunze, 1929. Image © Denis Esakov
Dorhimzavod Club by the name of Frunze, 1929. Image © Denis Esakov

Konstantin Melnikov (August 3, 1890 – November 28, 1974) played a key role in shaping Soviet Architecture from the mid-twenties to mid-thirties, despite being independent from the Constructivists who dominated architecture at the time. Besides his well-known pavilion for the USSR at the 1925 Exposition des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, Melnikov was famous in Moscow for his workers’ club building, for his own house, and for his bus garages.

With this recent photoset, photographer Denis Esakov (who is now looking for a publisher to produce a photobook featuring the full set of almost 600 images) has created a unique opportunity to explore – both inside and out – all 12 Melnikov projects that shaped Moscow’s Architecture during the Soviet Era.

Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage, 1926. Image © Denis Esakov Gosplan Garage, 1936. Image © Denis Esakov Novo-Ryazanskii Bus Garage, 1929. Image © Denis Esakov Melnikov House, 1929. Image © Denis Esakov +56

AD Readers Debate: Venice’s History, Makoko’s Future

10:50 - 12 June, 2016
AD Readers Debate: Venice’s History, Makoko’s Future, Courtesy of OMA, Photograph by Delfino Sisto Legnani and Marco Cappelletti
Courtesy of OMA, Photograph by Delfino Sisto Legnani and Marco Cappelletti

In the past two weeks, ArchDaily readers have held debates on the preservation of the past in OMA's Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice, and discussed the future for the people of Makoko in Lagos after their much-praised floating school designed by NLÉ collapsed due to heavy rain. Read on to find out what they had to say about these stories and more.

Let Your Building "Breathe" With This Pneumatic Façade Technology

09:30 - 11 June, 2016

Have you ever seen a building that breathes through thousands of pores? That may now be a possibility thanks to Tobias Becker’s Breathing Skins Project. Based on the concept of biomimicry, the technology is inspired by organic skins that adjust their permeability to control the necessary flow of light, matter and temperature between the inside and the outside. In addition to these performative benefits, the constantly changing appearance of these façades provides a rich interplay between the exterior natural environment and interior living spaces.

Courtesy of The Breathing Skins Project Courtesy of The Breathing Skins Project Courtesy of The Breathing Skins Project Courtesy of The Breathing Skins Project +8

Yale Students Propose a Series of Pop-Up Religious Buildings to Sustain Culture in Refugee Camps

09:30 - 10 June, 2016
Yale Students Propose a Series of Pop-Up Religious Buildings to Sustain Culture in Refugee Camps, Courtesy of Lucas Boyd and Chad Greenlee
Courtesy of Lucas Boyd and Chad Greenlee

The theme for this year’s Venice Biennale is largely an invitation for architects and designers to expand and think beyond architecture’s traditional frontiers and to respond to a wider range of challenges relating to human settlement. With news of political crises continuing to fill the headlines of late, Aravena’s theme challenges architects to respond. One such response comes from Lucas Boyd and Chad Greenlee from the Yale School of Architecture. They believe that:

While [places of worship] do not provide a basic need for an individual’s biological survival, they do represent a fundamental aspect of not only an individual’s life beyond utility, but an identity within the collective, a familiar place of being—and this is something that we consider synonymous with being human—a requirement for the persistence of culture.

The two students came up with proposal designs on churches, synagogues and mosques that can be quickly built as “Pop-Up Places of Worship” in refugee camps. By presenting immediately-recognizable sacred spaces that are transportable and affordable, Boyd and Greenlee highlight spaces for worship as an absolute necessity in any type of human settlement. Through this process, the students also determine what, for them, is “necessary” in a religious structure.

Courtesy of Lucas Boyd and Chad Greenlee Courtesy of Lucas Boyd and Chad Greenlee Courtesy of Lucas Boyd and Chad Greenlee Courtesy of Lucas Boyd and Chad Greenlee +16

From Chile to the World: Reporting From the Venice Biennale 2016

06:00 - 10 June, 2016
Grupo Talca. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
Grupo Talca. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu

In early March, at the Presidential Palace in Chile, a never before seen event took place for Chilean architecture. Architects, government officials as well as the media gathered for the first Venice Biennale press conference to be held in Spanish.

As the first South American selected to curate the Biennale, Alejandro Aravena was excited as he delivered the latest news on “Reporting from the Front,” the XV International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale, which opened its doors to the public on May 28:

“The Biennale, the invited architects, as well as the curators, did not intend to do anything other than open a debate in which architecture can be used to improve quality of life through the sharing of knowledge. This debate holds more significance since we are speaking at the Presidential Palace because it conveys the message that these issues are important. Thank you so much for the opportunity and the chance to be here.”

The President’s presence at an event like this is a symbol that consolidates a chapter of progress and achievements in Chilean architecture. In the last two decades, Chilean architecture has positioned itself in the world as a force to be recognized, and Chilean architects are now obtaining international recognition, which would have been unimaginable a few years ago.