Happy Birthday, Oscar Niemeyer!


Architecture is all about passion. Sometimes it can be very complex, slow, even painful… but our passion will make us push until the end, to see our creations come to reality no matter what.  This passion turns into an entrepreneurial spirit, collaboration and the desire to use our knowledge to influence our society and to improve our built environment. For me, one of the best living examples of the passionate architect is the Brazilian master Oscar Niemeyer.

Today the master turns 104 years old, and he is still working at his office in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, from where we interviewed him, delivering projects in Brazil and around the world. So passionate about his work, that he can’t stop.

Devoted to architecture and women, he was able to express his passion for both.

mountains/waves/women = curves

It is not the right angle that attracts me. Nor the straight line, tough, inflexible, created by man. What attracts me is the free, sensual curve. The curve I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuous course of its rivers, in the waves of the sea, in the clouds of the sky, in the body of the favorite woman. Of curves is made all the universe.


Flowerdale Community House / Antarctica


Architects: Antarctica
Location: Flowerdale, Victoria,
Project Team: Graham Crist (Project Director), Nicola Garrod (Project Architect)
Contractor: Kendall Constructions
Consultants: Keith Long and Associates
Project Area: 460sqm
Completed: September 2011
Photographs: Antarctica


V&A Christmas Tree / Studio Roso

Courtesy of

To celebrate the festive period, the V&A has commissioned design duo Studio Roso to create a Christmas Tree for the Grand Entrance of the Museum until January 5th.  The handmade ‘tree’ is made up of 3.3 miles of elastic cord and will reach over 4 meters high. A total of 1500 individual strands have been combined to create the outline of a traditional Christmas Tree. Within these cords Studio Roso has created a number of geometric shapes, referencing both traditional Christmas ornaments and the crystalline structure of snowflakes and icicles, providing a decorative garland throughout the installation. The design for the tree was inspired by the intricate craft of bobbin lacing, a technique often used in traditional Christmas decorations. More images after the break.

Paichai University Howard Center / iArc Architects

© Youngchae Park

Architects: iArc Architects
Location: Daejon,
Year: Completed 2010
Area: 4998 sqm (Building), 214,138 sqm (Site)
Photographs: Youngchae Park

Hotel Liesma Winning Proposal / Ventura Trindade Architects

Courtesy of

The winning project proposal of Hotel Liesma by Ventura Trindade Architects recovers the concept of old ‘estrãdês’, simple outdoor structures formed by a stage with an acoustic shell and a flat audience, in front.The building acts like a system of visual and functional relation with the theme of the music box (resonance box), with visual resonance in the collective memory of the guests and general population. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Asan Institute for Policy Studies / iArc Architects

© Youngchae Park

Architects: iArc Architects
Location: ,
Year: Complete January 2010
Area: 6,172.65 sqm (Building), 1862.25 sqm (Site)
Photo Credits: Youngchae Park

National Music Museum & Center for Study of the History of Musical Instruments Addition / Schwartz-Silver Architects + Koch Hazard Architects

Courtesy of Schwartz/Silver Architects +

Founded in 1973 on the campus of The University of South Dakota in , the National Music Museum & Center for Study of the History of Musical Instruments is one of the great institutions of its kind in the world. Its collections, which include more than 15,000 American, European, and non-Western instruments from virtually all cultures and historical periods, are the most inclusive anywhere. The addition, designed by Schwartz/Silver Architects in association with Koch Hazard Architects, will span between the original Museum building to the east and the South Dakota Union to the west.

As the addition connects both existing buildings, it re-positions the main entrance to be at the center of the new composition. While the architecture of the addition is striking in form, it incorporates the color and texture of the limestone original building in the materials of the new façade and plaza surface. The project is scheduled to begin construction in 2013, with the auditorium to follow as a second phase. More images after the break.

Dogma House Leeuwarden / Onix

Courtesy of

Architects: Onix
Location: Leeuwarden,
Client: private
Project architects: Haiko Meijer, Alex van de Beld
Design team: René Harmanni
Size: 205 m2
Completion: 2005
Photographer: Courtesy of Onix


Ibermutuamur Building / DENORTE

© David Frutos

Architects: Roberto Gómez – DENORTE
Location: ,
Customer: Servicio de preventión de Ibermutuamur, S.A. Year of
Construction: 2010
Constructor: Jemeca, S.A.
Useful surface: 1.753,08 M2.
T otal surface: 2.200,19 M2.
Photographer: David Frutos


Learning from Coral to make Cement

Biomineralization expert and Stanford scientist Brent Constantz has found a way to mimic the way coral builds reefs, by creating from carbon dioxide and water. Constantz was inspired to pursue this idea when he learned that for every ton of Portland produced a ton of carbon dioxide is emitted. The process in which Constantz is proposing actually removes carbon dioxide from the air. Constantz’s company, Calera, has a demonstration plant on California’s Monterrey Bay that uses waste CO2 gas from a local power plant and dissolves it into seawater to form carbonate, which mixes with calcium in the seawater and creates a solid.

Reference: fastcompany.com

Wildbach- & Lawinenverbauung / KREINERarchitektur

© Mirja Geh

Architects: KREINERarchitektur ZT GmbH 
Location: A-8940 , Schönauerstraße 50, Austria
Completed: 2007
Photographs: Mirja Geh


Cemetary Service Building at Ulriksdal / Petra Gipp Arkitektur ​and In Praise of Shadows

© Åke E:son Lindman

Architect: Petra Gipp Arkitektur AB and In Praise of Shadows AB
Location: ,
Collaborators: Petra Gipp, Katarina Lundeberg, Maria Videgård and Fredric Benesch
Client: Solna Kyrkogårdsförvaltning and Svenska Kyrkan
Contractor: Sundvalls Byggnads AB
Project year: 2011
Project area: 670 sqm
Photographs: Åke E:son Lindman

Green Hotel in Williamsburg / Oppenheim Architecture + Design

© Luxigon

Oppenheim Architecture + Design recently won the international competition to design a new hotel in , NY. A third pillar of the Williamsburg Bridge to emerge after 108 years. Their design of the Williamsburg hotel attempts to capture the essence of this vibrant neighborhood. Adjacent to both the Williamsburg Bridge and the historic Williamsburg Savings Bank, the building expresses itself as three dramatically proportioned, rectilinear volumes of varied height and materiality. Soaring high above the neighborhood, the hotel becomes the third pillar of the bridge, while serving as an archetypical tower to the domed basilica of the historical bank.

Sustainability was once again an important issue for . The hotel will have geothermal, wind, and solar power generation, along with other resource saving strategies, for which they achieved Platinum LEED rating. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Are architects depressed, unhealthy and divorced?

It's A Wonderful Life / Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

How often do you hear phrases with the following general undertones: “architecture isn’t a profession it is a calling,” “architecture isn’t a career it is a way of life,” or “architecture doesn’t make life possible it makes it worth living”? Perhaps not that often, but enough that many architects see themselves as uniquely sacrificing aspects of their life for a higher cause. Some claim that architects have high rates, suffer from , and endure a special degree of stress that causes early mortality from cancer and heart disease. Yikes! But what evidence is there for these serious claims? Admittedly, the evidence for or against such claims is not very robust. The first and best answer, except in the case of divorce, is to say, “I don’t know.” Sorting out the muddled statistics takes a fair degree of interpretation and guesswork. However, after reviewing the data that are available, it is more reasonable to believe that architects are, on average, happily married and healthy people.

Gehry at the GRAMMYs

Via www.grammy.com/

The Recording Academy® has announced that architect Frank Gehry will create the official artwork for the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Traditional GRAMMY iconography will merge with Gehry’s distinct architectural style, creating the official artwork for the world’s premier music event, gracing the cover of the GRAMMY Awards program book, telecast tickets and promotional poster.

Pixel / studio505

© John Gollings

Architect: studio505
Location: ,
Photographs: Ben Hosking, John Gollings, studio505


Design Teams Announced to create New Public Spaces for London’s Olympic Park

South Plaza Proposal via Olympic Park Legacy Company

Olympic Park Legacy Company has announced the winners of two competitions that will transform the north park and south plaza at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. New York-based James Corner Field Operations’ proposal for a 50 acre urban landscape consisting of a tree-lined promenade connecting flexible event and cultural spaces was selected as the winning entry for the south plaza.

The north park winning proposal by London-based firm erect architecture consists of an imaginative community hub building that is integrated within the parkland and river valley. Along with community hub, the design proposes an interactive playground that inspires children to “climb trees, build dens and have everyday adventures in nature.”

Continue reading for the complete team list and their design proposal boards.

The Darling / Cox Architecture

Courtesy of Cox Architecture

Architect: Cox Architecture 
Location: , New South Wales,
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of Cox Architecture