Complex House / Tomohiro Hata

© Toshiyuki Yano

Architects: Tomohiro Hata
Location: , Aichi,
Design Team: Tomohiro Hata Architect and Associates
Area: 106 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Toshiyuki Yano

KPN Dutch Telecom Company / de Jong Gortemaker Algra Architects

© Christian Richters

Architects: de Jong Gortemaker Algra Architects
Location: Teleportboulevard, Amsterdam, The
Area: 25,000 sqm
Year: 2009
Photographs: Christian Richters

4×4 Studio / Teresa Mascaro

© Cristiano Mascaro

Location: Carapicuíba, São Paulo, Brasil
Project Area: 18.5 sqm
Project Year: 2013
Photographs: Cristiano Mascaro

Inside the Cool Offices of Manhattan’s Tech Companies

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With an emphasis on collaborative environments, relaxing atmospheres, and quirky branding, it’s always interesting to take a peek into the offices of tech companies, often found in the sprawling, multi-colored campuses of Silicon Valley. But how does this particular brand of interior design transfer to the more cramped spaces of a Manhattan office block? This video by Internet Week NY takes us behind the scenes at Tumblr, and Fueled Collective to find out.

The syn chron space by Carsten Nicolai was designed to combine experiences of sound and light. Image Courtesy of
The syn chron space by Carsten Nicolai was designed to combine experiences of sound and light. Image Courtesy of

Designing for Sound In Our Everyday Spaces

In this interesting article in the New York Times, Allison Arieff highlights the often unconsidered importance of sound in architecture (outside of theaters and museums at least). She profiles the work of Acoustic Engineers at ARUP who have begun to work in schools and hospitals, taking into account the effects poor sound environments can have on us in our everyday lives. You can read the full article here.

Federico Varela High School/ Crisosto Arquitectos Consultores

© Pablo Blanco Barros

Architect: Crisosto Arquitectos Consultores
Location: Chañaral, Atacama Region,
Consultants: Crisosto Arquitectos Consultores – Andrés Crisosto Smith y Andrés Crisosto Aguilera
Area: 6616.0 m2
Year: 2013
Photography: Pablo Blanco Barros

A Theory of Architecture Part 3: Why Primitive Form Languages Spread

“the architectural establishment continues to ignore indigenous building cultures and the human value of what they represent. For example, traditional building and urban geometry in sub-Saharan Africa is now revealed to be essentially fractal, thus revising our customary (and totally erroneous) conception of those cultures as mathematically under-developed.” Image of El Molo Hut, Lake Turkana, Kenya.. Image Courtesy of

As you may have seen, ArchDaily has been publishing UNIFIED ARCHITECTURAL THEORY, by the urbanist and controversial theorist Nikos A. Salingaros, in serial form. However, in order to explain certain concepts in greater detail, we have decided to pause this serialization and publish three excerpts from another of Salingaros’  books: A THEORY OF ARCHITECTURE. The first excerpt explained the difference between “Pattern Language” and “Form Language,” while the second established how these languages can combine to form the “Adaptive Design Method.” The following, final, excerpt distinguishes between viable, complex form languages that have evolved over time and primitive, “non-languages” that have come to dominate the 20th century due to their iconic simplicity (and despite their non-adaptive characteristics).  

Independently of their technological achievements, all groups of human beings have developed a richly complex spoken language. Differences arise in specificities, in the breadth of vocabulary for concepts important to that culture, and in their transition to a written language, but those do not affect the general richness of the language. Every language’s internal structure has to obey general principles that are common to all languages. A primitive language or non-language, by contrast, is characterized by the reduction or absence of such internal complexity and structure. The complexity of human thought sets a rather high threshold for the complexity that any language has to be able to express through combinatoric groupings.

Turning now to architecture, a viable form language is also characterized by its high degree of internal complexity. Furthermore, the complexity of different form languages has to be comparable, because each form language shares a commonality with other form languages on a general meta-linguistic level. A primitive form language severely limits architectonic expression to crude or inarticulate statements.

Jade Residence / E/L Studio

© Pepper Watkins

Architects: E/L Studio
Location: , NJ, USA
Area: 3,300 sqft
Year: 2013
Photographs: Pepper Watkins

Summerhouse in Denmark / JVA

© Torben Petersen

Architects: JVA
Location: , Denmark
Primary Architects: Einar Jarmund, Håkon Vigsnæs, Alessandra Kosberg, Lars Hamran, Jens Herman Næss
Consultants: Ole Willerup, Rikke Øberg
Area: 123 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Torben Petersen

Ritto House / ALTS Design Office

Courtesy of

Architects: ALTS Design Office
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Architects In Charge: Sumiou Mizumoto, Yoshitaka Kuga
Area: 71 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of ALTS Design Office

Social Housing / Vous Êtes Ici Architectes

© 11H45

Architects: Vous Êtes Ici Architectes
Location: Passage des Patriarches, 75005 ,
Architect In Charge: A. Becker, J. Paulré, P. Pflughaupt
Area: 1500.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: 11H45

Simplicity, Structural Clarity & Sustainability: How SOM Remains a Global Leader

For a relatively large practice, SOM rarely feels like one. Pictured here are the several dozen architects and engineers that make up the firm, including representatives from two in-house groups: the Structures Group and so-called “Research Gang,” under the direction of “maker” Bill Baker. Image © Tim Klein

Originally posted under the title “Well-Oiled Machine” on Metropolis Magazine, this fascinating article by Ian Volner profiles the international behemoth that is SOM, exploring how the practice has remained so prominent – and relevant – after 78 years, and what it is that stylistically unites a practice spread across five continents with more than 10,000 buildings to their name.

Frank Lloyd Wright called them the “Three Blind Mies.” Louis Skidmore, Nathaniel Owings, and John O. Merrill were the architectural troika whose namesake firm—founded in Chicago in the mid-1930s—became something like the Julia Child of postwar design, delivering European sophistication to middle America at midcentury. Through hundreds of buildings in cities all across the country (and, later, around the world) the office turned the stringent aesthetic of German master builder Ludwig Mies van der Rohe into an architectural metonym for big business. Whether you look at rows of sleek glass skyscrapers and see grace and economy, or only the “thousand blind windows” of Allen Ginsberg’s monstrous “Moloch,” it’s no stretch to say that you have Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) to thank for them.

More on SOM’s huge influence after the break

Kavel K / Carve

© Marleen Beek

Location: The Hague, The
Carve Team: Elger Blitz, Mark van der Eng, Thomas Tiel Groenestege, Emma Kaul, Thijs van der Zouwen, Hannah Schubert
Area: 1650.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Marleen Beek

In Drawings, The Historical Trajectory of Soviet Architecture

Yakov Chernikhov, Factory building, Ca. 1931, Drafting pen, ink and pencil, 298 x 248 mm. Image Courtesy of the Tchoban Foundation

This article by Ross Wolfe, originally posted on Metropolis Magazine as “Cultural Divide: The ‘Paper Architecture’ of the USSR” explores the complexity of various Soviet architecture movements through the lens of paper architecture.

In the history of 20th-century Russian architecture, there exists a central struggle. In one corner, the Constructivists, champions of light, airy, and functional buildings that drew their power from the social and aesthetic revolutions of the 1920s; in the other, the Stalinist architects, whose thuggish hybrids and clumsy pastiche became the predominant vernacular throughout the Soviet republics. The latter, as we know, eventually came out on top. 

Things are rather more complicated, of course, as an recent at Berlin’s Tchoban Foundation argued. Architecture in Cultural Strife: Russian and Soviet Architecture in Drawings, 1900-1953 brings together a total of 79 unique architectural delineations that chart a historical trajectory running from the twilight years of the Romanov dynasty up to Stalin’s death by the midcentury.

Read on for more about the multiple movements that made up the whole of Soviet architecture.

Venice Biennale 2014: French Pavilion to Debate Modernism’s Successes and Failures

Though his Unite d’Habitation remains popular, many other mass housing projects inspired by Le Corbusier were less successful. Image © Vincent Desjardins

With Le Corbusier casting a long shadow over the last century of France‘s architectural history, it is not surprising that, faced with Rem Koolhaas‘s theme of ‘absorbing modernity’ at the 2014 Venice Biennale, the country might have a unique reaction.

Jean-Louis Cohen‘s initial proposal for the French Pavilion, titled “Modernity: Promise or Menace?” reflects this history: “since 1914 has not so much ‘absorbed’ modernity as it has shaped it with significant contributions made by French architects and engineers in order to meet the requirements of different segments of society. As is the case in many countries, modernity has had to come face to face with social reform and by doing so it has made great dreams such as quality housing and community services for all partially come to fruition. But this encounter has come about in a original way, also generating considerable anxiety.”

Read on after the break for more about the themes explored by the French Pavilion


© BERNASKONI / Yuri Palmin

Architects: BERNASKONI
Location: , Kaluga Oblast, Russia
Project Team: Boris Bernaskoni, Alexander Schamenkov, Stas Subbotin, Ksenia Trofimova
Contractor : Alexey Kleymenichev, Srub fm
Area: 72.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: BERNASKONI / Yuri Palmin

Renovation and Extension At St Monica’s College / Branch Studio Architects

© Nils Koenning

Architects: Branch Studio Architects
Location: 400 Dalton Road, VIC 3076,
Year: 2013
Photographs: Nils Koenning

International Symposium for Social and Humanitarian Architecture

International Symposium for Social and Humanitarian Architecture

Next Month, the Mackintosh School of Architecture (The Glasgow School of Art) will host its first International Symposium for Social and Humanitarian Architecture, ‘Clean Conscience Dirty Hands’, in the new Reid Building by Steven Holl Architects.