The Architect’s Guide to Writing

Illustration by Bob Gill. Image Courtesy of Images Publishing

The following is an excerpt from Bill Schmalz’s book The Architect’s Guide to Writing

The architecture, design, and construction professions are seen, by ourselves and by those outside the professions, as visual and tectonic fields. Architects and designers are trained as visual artists, using two- and three-dimensional means to depict buildings, spaces, and urban environments. We learn how to sketch; to build physical and digital models; and to draw plans, elevations, sections, and details. Similarly, contractors and construction managers are trained in scheduling, cost estimating, and the physical requirements of constructing buildings. These are valuable skills for us design and construction professionals at all stages in our careers. But for most of us, there comes a time when we need to write stuff, when written documents dominate our professional lives. Letters, proposals, reports, specifications, contracts, RFIs and RFI responses, meeting minutes, emails, and white papers are just some of the types of documents that we spend much of our time writing.

Unfortunately, we receive little training in our writing skills. True, our elementary school education may have given us the basics of English grammar and composition. In college, most of us had to fulfill liberal arts requirements that involved writing. But when we entered the profession, we were unprepared to deal with how much we would have to write, and how important it would be to our professional lives.

Room Factory / Maincourse Architect

© Ketsiree Wongwan

Architects: Maincourse Architect
Location: 10330,
Interior Designer: Pavin Supasri, Sirima Pliencharoen, Amanda Tonavanik , Surapak Intarakul, Kiattikhun Nimcharoenwan
Year: 2014
Photographs: Ketsiree Wongwan

Light Matters: Whiteness in Nordic Countries

Dybkær Church, Silkeborg, Denmark. Architecture: Regnbuen Arkitekter. Image © 2010

The Scandinavian countries have developed great buildings that resonate with both the scarce light in winter and the long summer days. Henry Plummer, Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has very carefully studied the various phenomena in the Nordic countries, with extensive photo journeys and brilliant writing that combines an analytical perspective with a poetic touch. His view of looks beyond the practical advantages of using reflective white spaces to facilitate bright rooms; the passionate photographer is much more interested in the light effects that play with the local beauty of nature and touch the human soul.

Read on for more about how Nordic light enters white spaces

Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park Nature Center / DesignGroup

© Brad Feinknopf

Architects: DesignGroup
Location: 1415 Darby Creek Drive, , OH 43119, USA
Designer: Michael Bongiorno
Project Architect, Sustainability Manager: William Keoni Fleming
Project Associate: Joseph Mayer
Area: 14000.0 ft2
Year: 2012
Photographs: Brad Feinknopf

Design Revealed for Norway’s New National Arts Museum

©

The planning phase for the new National Arts Museum in Norway is coming to a close and the images of the winning design by architects Kleihues + Schuwerk Gesellschaft von Architekten have been released. With its modernization and expansion, the museum aims to enhance the fields of art and design in and serve as a cultural hub for locals and tourists alike. Learn more about the project and see the proposed design after the break.

Number of Women Architects on the Rise in the UK

© Robert Venturi

The number of women becoming architects in the is increasing, according to the latest figures by the ’s Architects Registration Board (ARB). Now, 7,538 female architects are registered with the ARB, up nearly 74% from just 10 years ago, the Architects’ Journal (AJ) reports. Yet despite the overall increase, women still only make up 22% of the profession, and represented just 38% of the new registrants in 2013.

Read on after the break for comments from female architects…

Lions Park Scouts / Auburn University Rural Studio

© Timothy Hursley

Architects: Auburn University Rural Studio
Location: Lions Park, , AL 36744, USA
Student Design/Build Team: Tyler Allgood, Sarah Al-Rukkhayes, Benjamin Pendergraft, Elizabeth Whitlock
Architect Of Record: David Hinson, FAIA
Year: 2014
Photographs: Timothy Hursley

The 6th Annual Architecture & Design Film Festival Returns to New York City

“Who Dares Wins: Zaha Hadid”. Image Courtesy of Architecture & Design Film Festival

The 6th Annual Architecture and Design Film Festival is set to return to on October 15th for five days of premieres and showings. With a special themed focus on Women in Architecture, the US’s largest architecture-related film festival will present over twenty five feature-length and short films in a programme curated by Kyle Bergman and . Designed to provide “rare glimpses and intimate portrayals of seminal figures and growing movements in the fields of architecture, design, urbanism and fashion,” this year’s festival will also feature a 3D film series exploring six iconic structures from filmmakers such as Wim Wenders and Robert Redford.

Explore the highlights and find out more about the festival after the break.

The Building on the Water / Álvaro Siza + Carlos Castanheira

© Fernando Guerra | FG + SG

Architects: Álvaro Siza, Carlos Castanheira
Location: Huai’an, Jiangsu,
Architects In Charge: Álvaro Siza e
Local Partner: United Architects & Engineers Co., Ltda
Project Management: Stephen Want & Richard Wang
Client: Por-Shih, Diretor da Shihlien Chemical Industrial Jiangsu Co., Ltd.
Project Area: 11000 sqm
Project Year: 2014
Photographs: Fernando Guerra | FG + SG

Kínder Monte Sinaí / LBR + A

© Alfonso Merchand

Architects: LBR + A
Location: Loma de la Palma 133, Lomas de Vista Hermosa, 05100 , Federal District,
Architect In Charge: Julieta Boy, Aby Helfon, José Luis Martin, Mariana Mercado
Area: 3755.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Alfonso Merchand

Chinese Boxes / thescape

© SungKyung Choi

Architects: thescape
Location: Gangnam-gu, , South Korea
Architect In Charge: KyungHwan Chun (jaeminahyo.com)
Area: 237.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: SungKyung Choi

Rain Shelter House / y+M

© Yohei Sasakura / Sasa no kurasya

Architects: y+M
Location: , 〒683-0805 Tottori Prefecture, Yonago, Nishifukubara, 6 Chome−2−45 SANロイヤル
Year: 2014
Photographs: Yohei Sasakura / Sasa no kurasya

Roman Villa / Marte.Marte Architekten

© Marc Lins

Architects: Marte.Marte Architekten
Location: 6830 , Austria
Architects In Charge: Bernhard Marte, Stefan Marte
Area: 42.0 sqm
Year: 2008
Photographs: Marc Lins

Video: Paulo Mendes da Rocha’s Cais das Artes / Pedro Kok

This video by architecture photographer, Pedro Kok, takes us behind the scenes of the construction of the Cais das Artes (Quay of Arts) building in Brazil. Located in the southeastern coastal city of Vitória, the building was designed by Paulo Mendes da Rocha in collaboration with METRO Arquitetos.

The video was produced for ’s exhibition, “ – Technique and Imagination,” and captures – through impeccable shots – the work that went into constructing the enormous cultural complex.

Emperor Qianmen Hotel / asap

© Jonathan Leijonhufvud

Architects: asap
Location: Dongcheng, Beijing,
Lead Architect: Adam Sokol
Area: 7500.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Jonathan Leijonhufvud

© Flickr CC User Mathieu Thouvenin
© Flickr CC User Mathieu Thouvenin

Apple Awarded Patent for Flagship Store Design

The US Patent and Trademark Office have awarded a patent to Apple for the design of their flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York, reports MacRumors. The patent, applied for by Apple in 2012, applies to the above-ground glass cube, which was originally designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and – after a renovation in 2011 – is made of just 15 glass panels with minimal steel fixings. More on the patent after the break.

VARA / Studio O+A

© Jasper Sanidad

Architects: Studio O+A
Location: 1880 Mission Street, , CA 94103, USA
Design Team: Primo Orpilla, Denise Cherry, Perry Stephney, Clem Soga, Jeorge Jordan, Will Chu, Alma Lopez, Caren Currie, Olivia Ward, Justin Ackerman, Al McKee
Year: 2013
Photographs: Jasper Sanidad

Move Over, Green Walls: Living Canopy Comes to West Vancouver

Courtesy of Matthew Soules Architecture

Imagine walking beneath an illuminated canopy of lush greenery, in the form of inverted pyramids sculpted to perfection. In early August 2014 visitors were welcomed by this succulent living roof to the Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver, British Columbia. Guests were guided through the fairgrounds beneath the 90-foot long canopy, creating an immersive sensory experience befitting the interdisciplinary creative arts festival. Designed by Matthew Soules Architecture and curated by the Museum of West VancouverVermilion Sands was created as a temporary for the ten day festival.

Submerge yourself in Vermilion Sands with photos and more info after the break.