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How Chile's Bahá'í Temple Uses High Technology to Create a Spiritual Space

Now nearing completion just outside SantiagoHariri Pontarini Architects' Bahá'í Temple of South America is currently one of the most significant religious construction projects in the world. In this article, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Sacred Structure," Guy Horton relates how - despite being in progress for almost a decade already - the design has changed remarkably little from the initial design sketch, using the latest technology to create a spiritual and emotional space.

For the last few years, in the Andean foothills just outside Santiago, Chile, a mysterious orb-like structure has been slowly rising under construction cranes. The new Bahá’i Temple of South America will be the first of its kind on the continent when it opens in 2016. It has been a historic journey for the Bahá’i faith in this part of the world—Bahá’i first arrived in Chile in 1919—and a patient journey for the architects, engineers, and builders who have brought the temple to life through a decade-long process of innovation.

The engineering firms were key to keeping the integrity of the architectural form. Even in the final stages, Gartner Steel and Glass came up with a new approach that eliminated the sub-frame, saving over $850,000. Image Courtesy of Guy Wenborne It's been over a decade since the architects of South America's first Baha'i Temple sketched out its design. “The shape never changed from what it was on the computer in 2003,” says Doron Meinhard, project manager and associate-in-charge of Hariri Pontarini Architects. Image Courtesy of Guy Wenborne © Bahá’í Temple of South America The interior surface of the nine “sails” (above) is marble, the exterior is cast glass developed by artist Jeff Goodman. He took great care, using lab-grade borosilicate to avoid any thermal stress. SGH then put the material through rigorous testing: subjecting it to freeze and thaw cycles, and submerging it fully in water. Then, because the 2,000 panels on each of the sails are all unique, the seismic load on every single one had to be tested. Image Courtesy of Justin Ford

Watch How This Blade Uses One Cut to Make a Perfect Corner

Developed by Andrew Klein, this simple carpentry technique can bring your small-scaled, DIY constructions to new levels.

Klein’s specially designed saw blade has a specific shape that cuts wood without completely breaking it, allowing the board to be folded to form three-dimensional parts with varying uses. 

Check out a series of GIFs showing how it works after the break. 

Call for Proposals: High-speed Railway Transportation Hub and CBD in Central Gui’an New District, China

The Gui’an comprehensive high-speed railway transportation hub and CBD covers an area of 464 hectares (Fig. 1)
The Gui’an comprehensive high-speed railway transportation hub and CBD covers an area of 464 hectares (Fig. 1)

The Gui’an New District, the eighth National New Districts in China, is located between Guiyang City and Anshun City, Guizhou Province with a planned area of 1,795 km2. The District, committed to the goal of “creating a city with pastoral landscapes”, will be built into a new leading area in inland economic development, a pilot area for innovation and development, an agglomeration of high-end service industries, an international area for leisure, vacation and tourism and a leading area for the construction of ecological civilization. The planning of a comprehensive high-speed railway transportation hub and CBD in central Gui’an New District strives to build it into an important transportation hub and central business district. The Management Committee of Guizhou Guian New District and the Planning and Construction Bureau of The Management Committee of Guizhou Guian New District hereby publicly call for the proposals for the planning of such a transportation hub and CBD as required, sincerely inviting the participation of experienced and qualified design agencies worldwide.

Registration deadline for international teams is on July 10th, 2015. More details below:

Exhibition: Realtà e Fantasia. Cartoline dall’Italia

Realtà e Fantasia. Cartoline dall’Italia exhibition conveys a selection of Sergei Tchoban’s architectural drawings. The walls of of the gallery will be covered with 60 sketches – depicting landscapes and fantasies. As a part of the exhibition installation pictures shot in Tchoban’s Berlin atelier – nps tchoban voss –, document some of his completed architectural projects, will give a good idea about the artists visions not only as an architect, but also as someone whose passion is architectural drawing.

AD Classics: V&A Spiral / Daniel Libeskind + Cecil Balmond

The violent insertion of Daniel Libeskind’s Spiral into the Victorian neighborhood of South Kensington renders a cataclysmic disruption into a landscape of order and propriety. It envisions a rupture in the fabric of space and time, aggressively anachronistic from the building it adjoins, unapologetically appealing not to cultured humanism but to the mathematical logic of complexity and chaos. What is now textbook "Libeskind" was in 1996 a shocking non-starter for the London establishment, an unacceptable risk for a city perpetually torn between its agitated cosmopolitan energies and its quintessential impulse toward nostalgia and restraint. Nearly twenty years after the Spiral was selected as the winner of a distinguished international competition, this controversial extension proposal for the Victoria and Albert Museum remains unbuilt.

Courtesy of Balmond Studio & Studio Libeskind Courtesy of Balmond Studio & Studio Libeskind Courtesy of Balmond Studio & Studio Libeskind Courtesy of Balmond Studio & Studio Libeskind

Populous Creates Eames-Inspired Installation for World Architecture Festival London

Taking inspiration from Charles and Ray Eames’ House of Cards, London-based practice Populous have developed an installation for the inaugural World Architecture Festival (WAF) exhibition. Built from "hundreds of super-sized multiples of a single ‘W' form, the dramatic seven metre high installation forms the centrepiece" of an exhibition which seeks to showcase "the very best in world architecture." This year, 350 projects have been shortlisted from some the world’s best architects and designers.

© Hufton + Crow © Hufton + Crow © Hufton + Crow © Hufton + Crow

Vineyard Högl in Wachau / Elmar Ludescher + Philip Lutz

  • Architects: Elmar Ludescher, Philip Lutz
  • Location: Wachau, 2822 Walpersbach, Austria
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Elmar Ludescher + Philip Lutz

Courtesy of Elmar Ludescher + Philip Lutz Courtesy of Elmar Ludescher + Philip Lutz Courtesy of Elmar Ludescher + Philip Lutz Courtesy of Elmar Ludescher + Philip Lutz

RISING Architecture Week in Copenhagen

From September 15th-18th 2015, Copenhagen hosts the international RISING Architecture Week.

For four days Copenhagen turns into a sizzling melting pot of 50+ events; site visits, bicycle tours and debates throughout the city.

Festival: "Days of Architecture"

The 15th edition of the "Days of Architecture" is almost here! This festival will take place from 25 September 2015 to 24 October 2015, in the Upper Rhine Valley. Punctuated by nearly 200 events, the festival aims to bring the architecture to the largest population.

Nursery School and Municipal Workshops / Jean-François Schmit

  • Architects: Jean-François Schmit
  • Location: 19th arrondissement, Paris, France
  • Partners: Ingénierie Studio, SNC Lavalin (BET TCE)
  • Area: 6800.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Jean-François Schmit

Courtesy of Jean-François Schmit Courtesy of Jean-François Schmit Courtesy of Jean-François Schmit Courtesy of Jean-François Schmit

Villa G / SCAPE

  • Architects: SCAPE
  • Location: Sorengo, Switzerland
  • Area: 340.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Francesco Mattuzzi

© Francesco Mattuzzi © Francesco Mattuzzi © Francesco Mattuzzi © Francesco Mattuzzi

Travel Through 115 Years of U.S. Residential Architecture in this Interactive Infographic by iMove

Moving specialists iMove have created 115 Years of American Homes, a Scrolling Parallax Infographic in which viewers can “drive” through a neighborhood of single-family homes that reflect the style of their respective decades. For each home, graphics detail “tell-tale architectural features, design trends, average home price, and the historical and cultural context” of each decade from the 1900s through the present. Test out the interactive timeline here, and let us know: which decade of residential architecture is your favorite?

“The Architectural Imagination” Selected as Theme of U.S. Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

After an open competition and recommendations from the Federal Advisory Committee on International Exhibitions, the U.S. Department of State has selected Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan to organize the U.S. Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Their exhibition, “The Architectural Imagination,” will be curated by Cynthia Davidson, executive director of Anyone Corporation and editor of international architecture journal, Log; and Monica Ponce de Leon, dean of the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and Principal of MPdL studio.

Pavilion for the City Jubilee / J. Mayer H. Architects

© Frank Dinger © Frank Dinger © Michael Kneffel © Uli Deck

Foster + Partners Break Ground on 425 Park Avenue

Norman Foster attended the recent groundbreaking ceremony for 425 Park Avenue, which will be the first full-block high-rise office building to be built on New York City's Park Avenue in the past 50 years. Foster+Partners, in collaboration with Adamson Associates, designed 425 Park to be a new icon in the Manhattan skyline, featuring a tri-blade, sheer wall top. In addition to its LEED Gold certification, the 560,000m² tower will be the first in New York to be WELL certified

Premium Office Space. Image © DBOX for Foster + Partners 425 Park Avenue. Image © Visualhouse for Foster + Partners © Visualhouse for Foster + Partners 425 Park Avenue in Local Context. Image © Visualhouse for Foster + Partners

Could Hovering Buildings be the Future of Sustainability?

Could Hovering Buildings be the Future of Sustainability?

If Arx Pax, a cutting-edge technology firm led by Greg and Jill Henderson, has its way, levitating objects could become a common sight. The team is developing what they call Magnetic Field Architecture (MFA), a technology which controls electromagnetic energy to make objects hover, and at the several months ago, they used it to produce Hendo Hover, a hoverboard capable of carrying a person. While the fact that Arx Pax was able to produce a hoverboard is fascinating, the technology could have much more serious applications: as an architect, Greg Henderson envisions that one day MFA technology could be used in buildings to produce sustainable structures which can better survive earthquakes and other natural disasters. Is this goal realistic?