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I.M. Pei’s Inspiration: A Comparison of Masterful Architecture with Minimalist Art

09:30 - 26 April, 2017
I.M. Pei’s Inspiration: A Comparison of Masterful Architecture with Minimalist Art, I.M. Pei's JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Massachusetts. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/masstravel/8568079947'>Flickr user masstravel</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a>
I.M. Pei's JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Massachusetts. Image © Flickr user masstravel licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Today, April 26th 2017, marks I.M. Pei’s 100th birthday. The occasion offers a wonderful opportunity to take a retrospective look at one of the most significant and productive architects of the past 100 years, with many organizations hosting events, celebrations, and symposiums to talk about Master Pei and his notable projects. However at these events, just as throughout I.M. Pei’s career, there is unlikely to be much intellectual conversation about Pei’s architectural legacy. The main discussion around I.M. Pei is still focused on his design talent and intriguing narratives about the charisma he used to convince clients to continue through tough projects.

Though I.M. Pei himself has never talked at length about his design theory or the intellectual basis of his projects, these simple narratives leave certain questions unanswered: Where does I.M. Pei’s inspiration for architectural form come from? How did his architectural design affect his peer group of architects and artists, and contribute intellectually to the contemporary art world?

A Young Architect's Chance Encounter With Living Legend I.M. Pei

08:30 - 26 April, 2017
A Young Architect's Chance Encounter With Living Legend I.M. Pei, Villa Punto de Vista, the resort designed by David Konwiser at which I.M. Pei was the first guest. Image © Sergio Pucci
Villa Punto de Vista, the resort designed by David Konwiser at which I.M. Pei was the first guest. Image © Sergio Pucci

Imagine having a world famous architect be the first inhabitant of your debut solo architecture project - and not just any architect, but I.M. Pei, who turns an incredible 100 years today. This unlikely turn of events actually happened to Costa Rican architect David Konwiser 7 years ago when Pei rented out Konwiser’s Villa Punto de Vista for New Years, although the unbelievable chance encounter almost didn’t become a reality. Just two and a half months prior to Pei’s arrival, the villa was more construction site than materialized building. Understandably, those two and a half months were, in Konwiser's own words, "the most difficult... of my career - and likely my life," as the architect writes in an article for the Architectural Digest. Despite that immense pressure, or perhaps because of it, the villa was ready for its first, and arguably its most important, visitor.

From Superheroes To SuperMaterials: Five Super Materials With The Power To Change Our World

08:00 - 26 April, 2017
From Superheroes To SuperMaterials: Five Super Materials With The Power To Change Our World, Courtesy of The Built Environment Trust. Image © Chris Tubbs
Courtesy of The Built Environment Trust. Image © Chris Tubbs

What's behind our current obsession with all things Superheroes, from the Marvel and DC comics spinoffs for TV and Film, to the more eccentric offerings on Netflix from the Wachowski’s Sens8 to the cosmic supernature of The OA? Critics see the classic superhero expressing the desire to re-establish order in the face of chaos (Batman/Joker) but some of our more recent superheroes are about the power of change, of remaking the world through a kind of ‘superempathy’. The power of the superhero depicted as an eccentric group of people reskilling with new forces and energies – think the aerobics-physics of The OA which invents and designs a new collective body and superpower and the transcultural/transtemporal superempathy of Sens8.

Something of this otherworldly capability of the new wave of superheroes is tangible at SuperMaterial exhibition at The Building Centre in London. It's about materials and the built environment, how these SuperMaterials will radically transform our relationship to the world around us through the superpower of material empathy, either adapting and changing to the environment, or being so efficient to produce and upcycle that they diminish the need to lay waste to the environment in the extraction of resources.

Spotlight: I.M. Pei

06:00 - 26 April, 2017
Spotlight: I.M. Pei, Le Grande Louvre. Image © Greg Kristo
Le Grande Louvre. Image © Greg Kristo

Chinese-American architect Ieoh Ming Pei (born April 26, 1917), is arguably the greatest living member of the modernist generation of architects. When he received his Pritzker Prize in 1983, the jury citation stated that he "has given this century some of its most beautiful interior spaces and exterior forms."

Spotlight: Peter Zumthor

04:00 - 26 April, 2017
The Therme Vals. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
The Therme Vals. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Known for his sensuous materiality and attention to place, 2009 Pritzker Laureate Peter Zumthor (born April 26, 1943) is one the most revered architects of the 21st century. Shooting to fame on the back of The Therme Vals and Kunsthaus Bregenz, completed just a year apart in 1996 and 1997, his work privileges the experiential qualities of individual buildings over the technological, cultural and theoretical focus often favored by his contemporaries.

Bruder Klaus Field Chapel. Image © Samuel Ludwig Steilneset Memorial. Image © Andrew Meredith Saint Benedict Chapel. Image © Felipe Camus Kunsthaus Bregenz. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/heyitschili/4163419615'>Flickr user heyitschili</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a> +16

WAF Reveals Theme for 2017 World Architecture Festival

14:20 - 25 April, 2017
WAF Reveals Theme for 2017 World Architecture Festival, Courtesy of World Architecture Festival
Courtesy of World Architecture Festival

The World Architecture Festival (WAF) has announced the theme for the tenth edition of the conference: ‘Performance.’

Held November 15-17 at the Arena Berlin in Germany, the festival will focus on the topic of performance in architecture. This will include several new additions to the tour program, including a visit to Hans Scharoun’s revolutionary Berlin Philharmonie; Gerhard Spangenberg’s Radialsystem V, a former pump station transformed into a venue for contemporary dance and music; and Frank Gehry’s recently-completed Pierre Boulez Concert Hall.

Guangzhou Opera House / Zaha Hadid Architects; Shortlisted - Culture, 2011. Image Courtesy of World Architecture Festival Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center / Grimshaw; Shortlisted - Culture, 2009. Image Courtesy of World Architecture Festival Grande Halle / Agence Moatti et Rivière; Entrant - Culture, 2009. Image Courtesy of World Architecture Festival La Llotja Theatre and Congress Center / Mecanoo; Shortlisted - Culture, 2010. Image Courtesy of World Architecture Festival +17

Alejandro Aravena Wins 2017 Gothenburg Prize for Sustainable Development

12:10 - 25 April, 2017
Alejandro Aravena Wins 2017 Gothenburg Prize for Sustainable Development, © Manuel Albornoz
© Manuel Albornoz

2016 Pritzker Prize winner Alejandro Aravena has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the Gothenburg Prize for Sustainable Development, an international award that recognizes an individual or group for “outstanding performance and achievements towards a sustainable future. Given annually since 2005, the prize has previously been awarded to environmentalists, scientists, engineers and political advocates – Aravena is the first architect to receive the honor.

Spotlight: William Pereira

10:30 - 25 April, 2017
Spotlight: William Pereira, Geisel Library. Image © Darren Bradley
Geisel Library. Image © Darren Bradley

Winner of the 1942 Acadamy Award for Best Special Effects, William Pereira (April 25, 1909 – November 13, 1985) also designed some of America's most iconic examples of futurist architecture, with his heavy stripped down functionalism becoming the symbol of many US institutions and cities. Working with his more prolific film-maker brother Hal Pereira, William Pereira's talent as an art director translated into a long and prestigious career creating striking and idiosyncratic buildings across the West Coast of America.

Transamerica Pyramid. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/jkz/6371624443'>Flickr user jkz</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> Thene Building, LAX. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/132084522@N05/16747302728'>Flickr user Sam valadi</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> Jack Langson Library at University of California (Irvine). ImageCourtesy of <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:UCILibrary.jpg'>Wikimedia user TFNorman</a> (public domain) Geisel Library. Image © Darren Bradley +12

Korean Curiosity: Is Seoul Experiencing a "Neo-Brutalist Revival"?

09:30 - 25 April, 2017
© Raphael Olivier
© Raphael Olivier

During his frequent travels to Seoul, Hong Kong- and Singapore-based photographer Raphael Olivier noticed a new trend taking the South Korean capital: a crop of geometric, concrete buildings of all genres. He calls the new style Neo-Brutalism, after the modernist movement that proliferated in the late 1950s to 1970s, in which raw concrete was meant to express a truth and honesty. Olivier's observation led him to capture the phenomenon in a personal photo series—a photographic treasure trove of these projects which, when taken as a whole, uncovers a cross-section of this trend in the city's architecture.

© Raphael Olivier © Raphael Olivier © Raphael Olivier © Raphael Olivier +19

The Super Powers of an Architect

08:00 - 25 April, 2017
Courtesy of The Leewardists
Courtesy of The Leewardists

“Look up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane?” Nope, just another sketch model flying out of the studio window, armed with powers of frustration and rage of its creator: the architect.

Asides from all technical know-how and caffeine tolerance levels, successful architects have a specific set of gifts that set them apart from regular citizens. These superpowers, gained through the slice of the radioactive cutter, are essential as they fulfill their destinies meeting budget constraints (BAM!), producing spectacular ideas (POW!) and managing clients’ expectations (KABOOM!). But most important of all is the iconic underwear. You didn’t think just anyone could pull that off now, did you?

Courtesy of The Leewardists
Courtesy of The Leewardists

22 Skinny Houses With a Narrow Footprint and a Broad Impact

06:00 - 25 April, 2017

Skinny houses have a wider appeal than their footprint would suggest. With cities becoming denser, and land becoming rare and expensive, architects are increasingly challenged to design in urban infill spaces previously overlooked. Although designing within these unusual parameters can be difficult, they often require an individual, sensitive response, which can often lead to innovative, playful, even inspiring results. With that in mind, here are 22 houses with a narrow footprint, and a broad impact.

The First-Ever International Bamboo Architecture Biennale, Captured by Julien Lanoo

16:00 - 24 April, 2017
The First-Ever International Bamboo Architecture Biennale, Captured by Julien Lanoo, © Julien Lanoo
© Julien Lanoo

Last september, the first-ever International Bamboo Architecture Biennale was held in the peaceful village of Baoxi in China's Zhejiang province. Curated by local artist Ge Qiantao and architect George Kunihiro, the event saw the construction of 18 bamboo-centered structures designed by 12 architects, including notable names such as Kengo Kuma, Vo Trong Nghia, Anna Herringer, Li Xiaodong and Simon Velez. Aimed at exploring the potential of the sustainable material within contemporary architecture, the structures were built as permanent fixtures that will continue to serve the town after the Biennale’s close.

In this photoset, photographer Julien Lanoo has captured the vibrant results of the inaugural event, exhibiting the structures against the rural mountain landscape.

© Julien Lanoo © Julien Lanoo © Julien Lanoo © Julien Lanoo +50

UK's First "Naked House" Proposal Aims to Bring Affordability to London's Housing Market

12:45 - 24 April, 2017
Elevation. Image Courtesy of OMMX
Elevation. Image Courtesy of OMMX

The average cost of a home in London has now reached over £500,000 ($640,000), a figure far beyond the reach of the large majority of individuals or families on or below the average UK income (£34,473, or just under $45,000, per year). It’s a story which has been told time and again in recent years; the “housing crisis” of affordability continues to exacerbate the lives of a generation.

For Naked House, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to “stripping affordable housing back to the bare essentials,” crisis necessitates a creative response. With support and funding from the GLA (Greater London Authority) and the incumbent Mayor of London, who has awarded a £500,000 grant to the development, they—in collaboration with OMMX—have now made an important step closer to realizing their vision.

Site model. Image Courtesy of OMMX Interior space. Image Courtesy of OMMX Sectional model. Image Courtesy of OMMX Perspective based on the urban typology of a "Mews". Image Courtesy of OMMX +5

Watch Construction Begin on Heatherwick's Vessel at Hudson Yards

12:00 - 24 April, 2017

Construction has officially begun on Vessel, the 15-story tall staircase sculpture designed by Heatherwick Studio that will serve as the centerpiece of New York’s massive new Hudson Yards development. To build the structure, 75 individual units are being prefabricated by Cimolai S.p.A. in their Monfalcone, Italy facility, then shipped to New York where they will be assembled on site. These first 10 of these pieces have now completed their 15-day overseas journey, with the remaining pieces scheduled to arrive on-site and put into place over the coming year.

Outdoor assembly at Cimolai's Monfalcone facility. Image © Related-Oxford The first piece in transit. Image © Related-Oxford Stephen Ross and Thomas Heatherwick on the 3rd Level of the Vessel in Monfalcone, Italy. Image © Related-Oxford Assembly at the Monfalcone Workshop. Image © Related-Oxford +16

How to Name Your Architecture Practice to Improve Your Chances of Success

09:30 - 24 April, 2017

The single most important thing that an architecture firm can do to become successful is to create good architecture. Unfortunately, there are many other considerations to business success, especially in our current world that is driven by PR and marketing. For every architecture firm’s founder, one of the first—and biggest—decisions they must make about their public profile is what to call the company.

Gone are the days when architects would simply name their firm after themselves and sell their designs to their cocktail party associates. Today, architects need to court new clients in a competitive marketplace, and to do that they need a name that stands out. To help new firm owners (and long-term dreamers) to pick out an effective name and return to the important business of architecture, here is ArchDaily’s list of things to consider when naming your firm.

These Axonometric Illustrations Explore the Power of Digital Tools in Architectural Representation

08:00 - 24 April, 2017

Through his illustrations, architect Fernando Neyra tackles issues common to the discipline, for example, the need for a means of graphic style that can create a clear, visually-enticing representation of an architectural idea.

The following series of explorative illustrations shows how digital sketching becomes a powerful communication tool when paired with traditional systems of representation, such as the axonometric perspective.

The result provides us with an understanding of core architectural concepts, while allowing us to reflect on the role of the sketch in contemporary architecture.

This Building Saves Energy with a Pioneering Triple-Layer Glass Facade

06:00 - 24 April, 2017
This Building Saves Energy with a Pioneering Triple-Layer Glass Facade, © Adrien Buchet
© Adrien Buchet

Italian firm Giovanni Vaccarini Architetti has designed the new Headquarters of the Swiss Société Privée de Gérance (SPG), built on Route de Chêne, at the gates of the historical center of Geneva. The work involved the conversion and extension of the existing building, starting with a glass façade that meets the need for solar shading in the interiors while achieving maximum visual permeability. 

This façade also improves the acoustic and thermal insulation performance of the building: the double skin allows the envelope to be naturally ventilated and the perimeter ventilation system, combined with the internal forced ventilation system, reduces overall energy consumption. The steel structural elements on the façade, produced by Stahlbau Pichler (a specialist in the sector) produce a modular rhythm and the reflections on the glass shading panels give the project a particular "material weight." 

Sketches of Spain: Hidden Spanish Architecture Through Ola Kolehmainen's Lenses

16:00 - 23 April, 2017
Sketches of Spain: Hidden Spanish Architecture Through Ola Kolehmainen's Lenses, House of Spiritual Retreat. Image © Ola Kolehmainen. Cortesía de Galería SENDA
House of Spiritual Retreat. Image © Ola Kolehmainen. Cortesía de Galería SENDA

The exhibition 'Sketches of Spain' by photographer Ola Kolehmainen has been recently shown in Barcelona at the SENDA Gallery. The exhibition summarized the last ten years of Kolehmainen’s work. In 2015, the artist was awarded the RIBA Honorary Fellowship for his contribution in promoting the architecture of his generation. 

With his particular vision, Ola Kolehmainen seeks to show the constant abstractions that are partially hidden in modern architecture. His photography is dramatic and inspiring, we can find pieces of European avant-garde mixed with the crudeness of the materials and their uses. With minimal format, he shows us details we normally miss completely from well-known works such as the Barcelona Pavilion by Mies Van der Rohe (key architect in Kolehmainen's work), or the Niemeyer Center in Avilés, by Oscar Niemeyer

Less Less is is more more. Image © Ola Kolehmainen. Cortesía de Galería SENDA Red Staircase 2. Image © Ola Kolehmainen. Cortesía de Galería SENDA Ein Hauch II. Image © Ola Kolehmainen. Cortesía de Galería SENDA Ein Hauch III. Image © Ola Kolehmainen. Cortesía de Galería SENDA +12

99% Invisible Recalls the Unknown Arts Awards of the Olympic Games

14:00 - 23 April, 2017
London Olympic Stadium by Populous. Image © Morley von Sternberg
London Olympic Stadium by Populous. Image © Morley von Sternberg

We’ve all heard of the record-breaking times, longest distances and of course, winners of those coveted medals, but according to 99% Invisible there is a lesser-known Olympic Games honor participants have received: awards in architecture. In an article tracing the history of this bizarre tradition, Kurt Kohlstedt explores how medals were awarded to five categories of the arts during the Olympic Games, presented to participants alongside their sporting competitors.

Treepedia - MIT Maps and Analyses Tree Coverage in Major Cities

12:00 - 23 April, 2017
Treepedia - MIT Maps and Analyses Tree Coverage in Major Cities, Users can compare their green canopy to cities across the world. Image Courtesy of MIT Senseable City Lab
Users can compare their green canopy to cities across the world. Image Courtesy of MIT Senseable City Lab

Researchers at the MIT Senseable City Lab have launched a new platform using Google Street View data to measure and compare the green canopies of major cities across the world. Treepedia, created in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, is an interactive website which allows users to view the location and size of their city’s trees, submit information to help tag them, and advocate for more trees in their area. In the development of Treepedia, the Senseable City Lab recognizes the role of green canopies in urban life, and asks how citizens can be more integral to the process of greening their neighborhoods.

Treepedia Boston. Image Courtesy of MIT Senseable City Lab Treepedia New York City. Image Courtesy of MIT Senseable City Lab Treepedia Tel Aviv. Image Courtesy of MIT Senseable City Lab Treepedia Toronto. Image Courtesy of MIT Senseable City Lab +7

Finding Love in the Sand: The Instinctive Architecture of the Pufferfish

09:30 - 23 April, 2017

How much effort are you willing to put in to attract that special someone? The humble Japanese pufferfish, just twelve centimeters long when un-puffed, almost certainly has you beat. To attract the best fish in the sea, male pufferfish spend at least seven 24-hour days completing an intricate mating ritual that involves swimming their bodies into and through the seafloor to form ridges and trenches in the sand. If they pause too early, the entire ordeal gets washed away by currents.

Netherlands Competition Winner Turns Parking Garage Into a "Lego Set"

08:00 - 23 April, 2017
Netherlands Competition Winner Turns Parking Garage Into a "Lego Set", Courtesy of Studio Komma / The Men of Foam
Courtesy of Studio Komma / The Men of Foam

Dutch architectural firm, Studio Komma, in collaboration with concept-developer The Men of Foam, have won the Lot 2 Urban Lab Challenge, with their proposal, ZIP2516. Located in The Hague, The Netherlands, in an upcoming living and working district, the project “seeks to create an iconic building that is an accelerator for the transformation of an industrial area into a new energetic urban district.”

ZIP2516 will house a variety of programs, including social and commercial entrepreneurship and public space. The ground floor of the building will accommodate the flagship store of social entrepreneur, Happy Tosti. The first floor of the building will feature a public square and “urban playground,” with office and start-up space on the floors above, and a “gin bar with roof terrace” on top.

Courtesy of Studio Komma / The Men of Foam Courtesy of Studio Komma / The Men of Foam Courtesy of Studio Komma / The Men of Foam Courtesy of Studio Komma / The Men of Foam +19

What can Latin America Learn From WOHA's Green Skyscrapers?

16:00 - 22 April, 2017

WOHA's first exhibition in Latin America, Garden City Mega City: WOHA's Urban Ecosystems presents over two decades of WOHA's international designs. With its inauguration at the Museum of the City of Mexico during the MEXTRÓPOLI International Festival of Architecture and City, the exhibition proposes the introduction of biodiversity and lively public spaces into vertical, climate-sensitive highrises within megalopolises.

The exhibition features sixteen intricate architectural models, an immersive video installation and large-scale drawings and images that show WOHA's proposals for vertical communities in the tropical megacities. PLANE-SITE documented the exhibition's opening along with the points of view of various MEXTRÓPOLI contributors and city officials.

Steven Holl Architects To Complete Four Buildings This Year

14:00 - 22 April, 2017
Steven Holl Architects To Complete Four Buildings This Year, © Steven Holl Architects
© Steven Holl Architects

Steven Holl Architects has released updates on four of its latest projects slated for completion this year. The projects, located in the United States and the United Kingdom, include two university arts buildings, a community library, and a cancer support center.

We are very excited about the intensity of the architecture for an unprecedented four Steven Holl Architects’ projects opening in 2017, said Steven Holl. Each ones serves as an inspiring ‘social condenser’ for their community.

Hunters Point Community Library. Image © Steven Holl Architects Lewis Center for the Arts – Princeton University. Image © Steven Holl Architects Hunters Point Community Library. Image © Steven Holl Architects Institute for Contemporary Art – Virginia Commonwealth University. Image © Steven Holl Architects +15