WikiHouse: Build Your Own House in 24 Hours

© .cc

Imagine taking your Google Sketchup creation for a house and having it milled out and assembled all within 24 hours.  WikiHouse, an Open Community project that puts you in the driver’s seat of design and construction has recently unleashed the opportunity for anyone to realize their own vision of architecture.

PatchWork, Living City Design Competition / OLIN


The OLIN team’s award-winning submission to the Living City Design Competition responded to ambitious standards of sustainable development within the historically rich yet socially and ecologically underserved neighborhoods of Brewerytown and North Central in . Working closely with architects and urban planners Digsau and Interface Studio, explored how sustainable design can be implemented within an existing urban framework by utilizing local resources, community engagement, and respect for the vernacular culture and architecture.

Aesthetic Fillup: Gas Stations

© / Brandon Baunach

The design of gas stations is mostly stripped down to that required for bare function. The inextricable relationship of the aesthetics of modernism to that of the automobile begs a different approach, one that fulfills the traditional function of a gas station but also reflects shifting movements within design. Just like the cars that have driven up to utilize them, these gas stations represent design principles contemporary to the time in which they were constructed.

Vacation Villas / Posto 9

© FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

Architects: Posto 9
Location: Manta Rota,
Project Manager: Arq.ªJoana Castanheira, Arq.º André Ferreira
Project Team: Arq.ª Joana Ribeiro
Project Year: 2007
Photographs: FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

André Chénier Opera on the Lake / David Fielding

© Bregenzer Festspiele / Karl Forster

André Chénier, the most famous work by the Italian composer Umberto Giordano, is brought to life for the ‘Opera on the Lake’ floating stage  of the 2011 Bregenz Opera Festival in , by stage designer David Fielding under the artistic direction of David Pountney. The brilliantly vivid historical drama and human tragedy of shattering intensity is presented on the waterproofed set built directly into lake constance. It is then mounted upon a concrete core anchored into the base of the lake, while wooden poles support accessory structures of the stage. More images and project description after the break.

The Recreation Center of “le Bois des Gelles” / G Architecture

© Jerome Epaillard / Alticlic

The Recreation Center of “le Bois des Gelles” has a foothold on the hill, near the sports facilities of the town of VILLEBON SUR YVETTE and directly related to the Bois des Gelles. This facility accommodates 200 children ages 3 to 11 years old during the holidays and every Wednesday of the school period.

Location: Rue las Rosas de Madrid, 91140 Villebon Sur Yvette,
Lead Architect: Yann Gautier
Economist: EICP
Structural Engineer: TEC CO
Electrical Engineer: EICP Ingenierie
HQE Engineer: RFR Elements
AMO HQE: Atout Eco
Lighting Design: Lightec
Audio Designer: Sacha Gattino
Project Area: 1,850 sqm
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Jerome Epaillard / Alticlic

Obscura Digital HQ + BookCaseScreenWall / IwamotoScott Architecture

Obscura Digital HQ © IwamotoScott Architecture

-based IwamotoScott Architecture has just shared their latest project with us – a renavoted 1940s warehouse that holds media company Obscura Digital as well as the architects’ new office space.  Upgrading from an unorganized and dimly lit timber warehouse, Obscura looked to Lisa Iwamoto and Craig Scott to outfit the 36,000 sqf building in Dogpatch to suite their needs, while extending the invitation for the firm to set up its practice in the building, as well.   “It wasn’t a formalized agreement but a pretty casual thing,” Iwamoto told Lydia Lee for Metropolis. “Obscura by nature is collaborative. The hope is that by sharing space, we’ll have the advantage of seeing their process and what can be done with digital media, and they’ll get an idea of the architectural possibilities.”

In addition to this great refurbishment, we are fascinated by the architects’ dividing wall entitled BookCaseScreenWall, an amazing hybrid of surface projection technologies with a “traditional” bookcase which sits between their office space and Obscura Digital’s.

Be sure to view our comprehensive photo set of construction photos, finished work, and of course, the BookCaseScreenWall after the break.

Paschke Danskin Double Loft / 3six0 Architecture

© John Homer Photography

Architect: 3six0 Architecture
Location: , Rhode Island
Principals: Kyna Leski and Christopher Bardt,
Associate & Project Architect: Olga Mesa, LEED AP
Team: Aaron Brode, Avi Forman, and Kelly Ennis
General Contractor: Case Construction Company
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: John Horner Photography

Eleva / BABELstudio


BABELstudio‘s recent project, Eleva, has been selected for the second phase of the international competition for station entrances of the future San Sebastian underground. Also in the second phase, well-known offices as Snohetta, Morphosis and Richard Rogers are active participants. Follow after the break for further images and a brief narrative from the architects.

Apple Reveals Plans for Fifth Avenue Cube

Rendering of the new cube © Apple

When the iconic Apple glass cube on Fifth Avenue was shroud in barriers in preparation for renovation in June, the future of the flagship Apple store was unclear.  It was only revealed that Apple would be removing the glass cube and working on drainage, pavers, and bollards on the plaza, but just what changes were to be made to the cube itself remained elusive.

Courtesy of MacRumors

Apple has now revealed that the glass panels as we have known them will be replaced with larger panels to create a seamless appearance.  A sign now states, “We’re simplifying the Fifth Avenue cube. By using larger, seamless pieces of glass, we’re using just 15 panes instead of 90.”  There will be three panels per side of the cube, running the full length.  During the day the store is faintly recognizable as a glass encasing for an underground world; at night the store glows from the inside out.  With this new structural detailing, the building will likely appear even more subtle during the day and more brilliant at night.

This original design is an innovation by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and structural engineers Eckersley O’Callahan.  The glass cube and subterranean glass staircase were trademarked in 2010, associating the vision of the architecture with Apple’s own innovations.

We recently reported that according to documents released by the city of Cupertino, will be the architects of the new Apple Campus in Cupertino, California. Steve Jobs shared the following, “We’ve used our experience making retail buildings all over the world now, and we know how to make the biggest pieces of glass in the world for architectural use.”

SCI-Arc Fall 2011 Lectures & Exhibitions

(L to R): Thom Mayne/Morphosis, Jesse Reiser/RUR Architecture, Odile Decq/Odile Decq Benoît Cornette

The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) is pleased to announce its Fall 2011 schedule of public lectures, discussions and exhibitions. The school welcomes award-winning architects, urban historians, writers, designers, and artists for programs that span from innovative theory to contemporary art to technical practice. Events and exhibitions at SCI-Arc are always free to the public.

Urban Reserve 22 / Vincent Snyder Architects

© Chuck Smith Photography

Architects: Vincent Snyder Architects
Location: , Texas,
Project Team: Vincent Snyder, Jon Geib
Structural Engineer: Lobsinger & Potts Structural Engineer Inc.
Contractor: Urban Edge Developers
Project Year: 2007
Project Area: 3900 sqf
Photographs: Chuck Smith Photography

Ulcinj Montenegro Hotel / Ital design & Arco projekt

Courtesy Ital design & Arco projekt

Architects Ital design & Arco projekt recently won second prize with their competition entry for the Hotel. Additional images and lengthy description of their project follows after the jump.

Heisdorf Residence for the Elderly / Hermann & Valentiny and Partners

Courtesy of HVP

Architects: Hermann & Valentiny and Partners (HVP)
Location: , Germany
Client: Maredoc a.s.b.l.
Project Year: 2007
Project Area: 6,040 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of HVP

AD Classics: Torre Velasca / BBPR

Photo by David Orban -

Mixed in with the Gothic Cathedrals, buildings, sculptures and domes of , the Torre Velasca stands out as one of the few modern buildings in the city’s ancient center. The Torre Velasca, planned to loom over its surrounding structures at a height of nearly 1,000 meters, was to be an important addition to ’s skyline. For this reason, it was crucial that the architects, , find ways to blend the design of the Torre Velasca, completed in 1958, with that of the classic architectural beauties of historic Milan. More on the design of the Torre Velasca after the break.

AIA Consensus Construction Forecast Predicts Continued Decline, Followed by Modest Recovery

The Consensus Construction Forecast predicts that spending for nonresidential and commercial construction will continue to decline before a modest recovery in 2012. The reason for the continued decline, of course, is due to the overall uneven economic recovery. The hesistency on the part of lenders to finance construction projects, the weak financial position of governments at all levels, and rising costs of key building material commodities all restrain the nonresidential and commercial construction sectors.

Overall, many sectors of the building industry are seeing a decline this year followed by a slight rebound. The nonresidential sector is projected to decline 5.6 percent this year and recover at 6.4 percent in 2012. The commercial sector will see a 6.5 percent decline this year and rebound approximately 12 percent next year. Manufacturing facilities will see a steep decline at almost 16 percent, with a rebound of 8 percent. While the stable institutional sector will see the least amount of decline at 3 percent and rebound at 4 percent.

With such a week recovery, most businesses and institutions are refraining from building new facilities. However, spending on renovations of existing facilities has remained strong. Unstable home prices, unusually severe weather conditions, rising energy costs, concern over growing debt, and the rising national unemployment rate (up from 8.8 percent in March to 9.2 percent in June) have made consumers extremely nervous. This also threatens international markets that have seen rapid growth in recent years.

For a more thorough breakdown of the AIA Consensus Construction Forecast refer to this chart by following this link:

[via AIA]

SYPartners / A+I Design Corp

© Magda Biernat

Architects: A+I Design Corp
Location: New York City, New York,
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Magda Biernat

London Tube Map Sparks Debate: “Design” and the Multi-screen World

© Mark Noad

Soon after Mark Noad’s vision of the London Tube Map was viewed, debate ensued about whether the integrity of the original diagram was misused to create a hybrid between the original information as a concept of the underground train system and its pathways and the concept of a geographically accurate map.   With a slightly more condensed font style, the map is intended to be more legible, especially on mobile devices.  Eminent typographer and designer Erik Spiekermann headed the debate stating that Harry Beck original depiction of the Tube was not a map at all, “it’s a diagram. Not meant to show geographic relationships, but connections.”

Therein lies the schism between the concept of depiction and illustration.  Fastco Design writer John Pavlus discusses the value of the designer’s intent – to produce something of use – rather than the initial concept of the first drawing.  Most users of the train system diagram are likely to call it a map.  The visual information implies that it will be used to guide travelers to particular destinations, thereby making it useful as a map.  The initial intent of the information becomes irrelevant when its use and usefulness comes into play.  Did Mark Noad achieve the clarification that the Beck’s original diagram was lacking by adding elements of a geographical map into it?

The question that Pavlus concludes with is how does the designer extend his or her role beyond solving problems; how does a designed artifact continue to evolve with each iteration, engage the public and continue to develop new and better uses?

(via Fastco Design)