V&A and RIBA Present “Architects as Artists”

Designs for Truro Cathedral, 1878 Artist: William Burges. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Drawings have long been used as a method for architects to represent their projects. However, architects sometimes make drawings to communicate a sense of space in a deeper and more meaningful way – in a manner that begins to venture into the realm of art. A new exhibition opening at London‘s V&A Museum this Saturday entitled Architects as Artists examines the overlapping relationship between architecture and art, and documents the many ways in which it is used and created.

20th Century Society Presents 100 Buildings 100 Years at the Royal Academy of Art

1952: Stockwell Bus Garage, London. Image © John East

The 20th Century Society was founded in the 1970s, to protect British architectural heritage which was built from 1914 onwards - following from the protection of the Victorian Society, which protects architecture from the 19th century up until 1914. This year, to celebrate the one hundred years of architectural heritage which they are sworn to protect, they have selected one building from each year, presenting one hundred of the best, most interesting or most loved buildings from the last century with their 100 Buildings 100 Years project.

The 100 selected buildings are featured in an ongoing at the Royal Academy in London, and also feature in a new book published by Batsford Books. Read on after the break to learn more about 100 Buildings 100 Years, and see a selection of the chosen buildings from the past hundred years.

Mühlestrasse Residential and Studio Building / AmreinHerzig

© Lucas Peters

Architects: AmreinHerzig
Location: Edlibach, 6313 , Switzerland
Architect In Charge: Pirmin Amrein, Claudio Herzig
Area: 320.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Lucas Peters, Courtesy of

Champs Elysees - Paris, France. Image © Flickr User justininsd
Champs Elysees - Paris, France. Image © Flickr User justininsd

Typological to Evolutionary: A New Theory of Cities

Why do cities exist and how will they grow and change? As more than half of the world’s population now lives in cities it is becoming increasingly important for urban designers and planners to seek answers to these questions. This article by Laura Bliss from City Lab presents the “science of cities,” and the ways in which the urban-planning world is moving away from traditional methods of simply putting cities into categories, in favor of a more evolutionary theory. Benefiting from the vast amounts of data available today on statistics such as crime and voting patterns across cities, researchers have worked to establish the quantifiable characteristics of urban areas as a whole, and recent studies in this area reveal how the shapes of cities themselves could be connected to internal economic and social processes. Learn more about these radical developments in the full article from City Lab.

Leventis Art Gallery / Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

© Hufton & Crow

Architects: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Location:
Year: 2014
Photographs: Hufton & Crow

Refurbishment of an Old Barn / Arcoquattro Architettura

Courtesy of

Architects: Arcoquattro Architettura
Location: 22070 Como, Italy
Area: 200.0 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of Arcoquattro Architettura

Twin Peaks House / apparat-c

© Namsun Lee

Architects: apparat-c
Location: , Jeollabuk-do, South Korea
Architect In Charge: Seewoong Lee, Yeonyung Choi, Pedro Ferreira
Area: 177.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Namsun Lee

Vanke Daxing Sales Gallery / Spark Architects

© Shu He

Architects: Spark Architects
Location: Daxing, Beijing,
Project Director: Jan Felix Clostermann
Project Architect: Christian Taeubert
Team: Hua Ye, Karl Nyqvist, Ben de Lange, Ali Yildrim, Duarte Nuno Silva, Katarzyna Irzyk, Huan Wang, Nuno Cardoso Dias, Elaine Kwong, Bing Han (landscape concept design)
Area: 391000.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Shu He

View from Golden Hill Towers in Yangon, Myanmar (2010). Image © Flickr CC User Soe Lin
View from Golden Hill Towers in Yangon, Myanmar (2010). Image © Flickr CC User Soe Lin

The Race to Save Architecture in Myanmar’s Biggest City

Preservationists are in a race to document and preserve some of Yangon’s most admired cultural icons. Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon is experiencing an all to familiar story: rapid development taking precedence over preservation. As the National Geographic reports, “Hulking monoliths of concrete and blue-plated glass are replacing fine old residential and government buildings…Although much has already been lost, many architecturally or esthetically significant structures have hung on. The question now is  how long they will last.” Read the complete story, here

High Street / Alta Architecture

© Our Media Design Studio

Architects: Alta Architecture
Location: VIC,
Construction Contractor: R.Z.Owens Constructions
Area: 705.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Our Media Design Studio

BIG Reveals 20-Year Restoration Plan for Washington DC’s Smithsonian Campus

© BIG

Nearly a year-and-a-half since the announcement of their selection, BIG has unveiled plans for a massive, 20-year-long overhaul for the Smithsonian’s southern campus in the center of . With an overarching goal to unite the site by dissolving the notable impediments and discontinuous pathways that plague the area, BIG plans to also expand visitor, education and gallery spaces, while updating aging and inefficient building systems. 

“Where today each museum is almost like a separate entity, in the future, it’s going to be a much more open, intuitive and inviting campus to meander around,” Bjarke Ingels explained.

Courtesy of Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture, and Design, via Flickr
Courtesy of Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture, and Design, via Flickr

Help Us Honor Rem Koolhaas On His 70th Birthday

Rem Koolhaas, one of today’s most celebrated architects, has lived a significant year. With the closing of his much-talked about Venice Biennale just days away, the Dutchman also turns 70 years old this coming Monday. 

Koolhaas’ approach to architecture and architectural thinking holds tremendous importance and weight – so much so that Bjarke Ingels, one of his many protegés, has called him “the Le Corbusier of our time.”

In recognition of his contribution to the world of architecture (and on the occasion of his birthday) we’re asking you, our readers, to post video and/or visual tributes to Rem to your social media accounts using the hasthtag #Rem70. Has Koolhaas influenced the work of your studio or office? Show your support or appreciation in a short video clip! Would you like to share a portrait or illustration of Rem or his projects? Do you have an anecdote or story? Be creative! We’ll be publishing our favorites on his birthday, so start tagging (#Rem70) and stay tuned.

Städtische Bühnen Theatre Workshops / gmp architekten

Courtesy of

Architects: gmp architekten
Location: , Germany
Design Team: Volkwin Marg and Hubert Nienhoff with Holger Betz and Kristian Spenker
Area: 13834.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of gmp architekten

2015 YAP P.S.1 Shortlist

MoMA P.S.1 has announced five finalists to compete in the 2015 Young Architects Program (). Now in it’s 16th edition, the competition will challenge a group of emerging architects to design a temporary installation within the walls of the P.S.1 courtyard for MoMA’s annual summer “Warm-Up” series.

The 2015 shortlist includes Office for Political Innovation (Andres Jaque; NY), brillhart architecture (Jacob Brillhart; Miami, FL), Erin Besler (LA, CA), The Bittertang Farm (Michael Loverich; NY), Studio Benjamin Dillenburger (Benjamin Dillenburger and Michael Hansmeyer; ONT, Canada). The winners will be announced in early 2015. 

Previous winners include The Living (Hy-Fi), CODA (Party Wall), Interboro Partners (Holding Pattern), Work AC (Public Farm 1), MOS (Afterparty) and SO-IL (Pole Dance).

Oak Pass Guest / Walker Workshop

© Nicholas Alan Cope

Architects: Walker Workshop
Location: , CA, USA
Area: 2650.0 ft2
Year: 2013
Photographs: Nicholas Alan Cope

Six Teams Studying Uneven Growth to Exhibit Proposals for Expanding Megacities at MoMA

Lagos Tomorrow. 2014. Water. Image © NLÉ and Zoohaus/Inteligencias Colectivas

As the culmination of a 14-month initiative to examine new architectural possibilities for rapid growth in six megalopolises – Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lagos, Mumbai, , and Rio de Janeiro – the Museum of Modern Art is preparing to open Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities on November 22. The exhibition will present mappings of emergent modes of tactical urbanism from around the globe alongside proposals for a bottom-up approach to urban growth in the highlighted cities by six interdisciplinary teams made up of local practitioners and international architecture and urbanism experts.

Curator Pedro Gadanho, in collaboration with the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts (MAK), states: 

“The exhibition features design scenarios for future developments that simultaneously raise awareness of the prevailing inequalities in specific urban areas and confront the changing roles of architects vis-à-vis ever-increasing urbanization. Each team in the exhibition was asked to consider how emergent forms of tactical urbanism can respond to alterations in the nature of public space, housing, mobility, spatial justice, environmental conditions, and other major issues in near-future urban contexts.” 

A synopsis of each team’s work, after the break.

House b2 / Jaime Ortiz de Zevallos

© Juan Solano

Architects: Jaime Ortiz de Zevallos
Location: ,
Site Area: 7500 sqm
Area: 460.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Juan Solano

Juhani Pallasmaa and Diébédo Francis Kéré Honored in 2014 Schelling Architecture Awards

Centre for Earth Architecture / Kere Architecture. Image © Iwan Baan

The Schelling Architecture Foundation has announced Juhani Pallasmaa and Diébédo Francis Kéré as the recipients of its Architecture Theory and Architecture Prizes, respectively, for 2014. Awarded once every two years since 1994, the Schelling Prizes are prestigious awards that historically have been reasonable predictors of the Pritzker Prize, with Zaha Hadid, Peter Zumthor, Kazuyo Sejima and Wang Shu all receiving a some years before their Pritzker Prize.

This year, the Schelling Prize’s “indigenous ingenuity” theme was inspired by the 2012 Theory winner Kenneth Frampton‘s theory of Critical Regionalism, with the prize asking ”how can inventive and directly comprehensible architecture satisfy human needs in an appealing way?”

More on the winners after the break