Architecture for the Apocalypse (Now)

The 2nd Prize winner of the New York Cityvision context envision a New York City as Heritage Site, protected from the elements with a barrier-wall. Image via Cityvision.

In 1945, the United States dropped 2 nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While the act devastated and destroyed these two Japanese towns, it also created an entirely new political climate, one based on apocalyptic fears. As tensions with Soviet Russia heightened, and the United States entered an age of potential nuclear destruction, the landscape itself adapted in response – becoming littered with bunkers and fallout shelters, the “concrete responses to the political social and existential anxieties of the atomic age.”

Fast-forward nearly seventy years, and we’re currently faced with a new apocalyptic scenario of our own. Assuming you’re reading this, we have all survived the Mayan Apocalypse. Congratulations. However, that’s not to say that out apocalyptic fears, and its resultant architecture, have come and gone. Our apocalypse is more based on the fear of – hurricane, tornado, viral disease, even infected-zombie-people – than nuclear attack, and our apocalyptic architecture is less of the bunker variety, and more of the vertical farm/fortress kind. Let’s call it ESD: Extremely Sustainable Design.

More on apocalyptic architecture of the 21st century, after the break…

Maldonado House / Matías Silva Aldunate Architect

Courtesy of Matías Silva Arquitectos

Architects: Matías Silva Aldunate Arquitecto
Location: Lago Riñihue, X Región,
Collaborators: Eduardo Guimpert
Technical Advisors: Octavio Morales
Area: 2011.0 m2
Year: 2010
Photographs : Cortesia de Matías Silva Arquitectos

Rendering / CLOG

Courtesy of

Every three months, the publication CLOG takes on “a single subject particularly relevant to architecture now.” It’s not a quick look at something trendy, but rather an in-depth look at the issues that are affecting – and will continue to affect – architecture as we know it today.

CLOG: is, in my opinion, the best issue yet. Through dozens of fascinating, concise articles and a handful of illustrative, quirky images, it takes on an enormous question often over-looked in the architectural world: what is a rendering? An alluring device to win over a jury or public? A realistic depiction? Or perhaps it’s an entity unto itself…

Rendering examines how the rendering has become a means of deception – not just for the public, but for ourselves – becoming an aesthetic end-product rather than the representation of an idea in-progress. But at the same time, the rendering is our best tool for entering into the “real” world, for communicating what we do to the public at large.

Is there a way to marry these opposing characteristics? What should the future of rendering be? CLOG takes these questions head-on. More after the break…

Chasen Residence / In Situ Studio

© Richard Leo Johnson

Architects: In Situ Studio
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina,
Contractor: Axiom Green Build
Cabinet Maker: Dopko Cabinetry
Energy Modeling: Prime Energy Group
Area: 1,451 sq ft
Year: 2012
Photographs: Richard Leo Johnson

Cadogan Café Winning Proposal / NEX

Courtesy of

NEX recently won the Cadogan Café design competition, organized by Malcolm Reading Consultants. The £2 million project for a new café, which will sit near the entrance to the Saatchi Gallery in Duke of York Square in Chelsea, is an organic coiled form. Their design features a roof terrace and incorporates an ingenious glass wall that rises and falls depending on the weather. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Mervau / Tetrarc Architects

© Stéphane Chalmeau

Architects: Tetrarc Architects
Location: ,
Project Director: Josselin Bourneuf
Project Manager: Claude Jolly
Client: VENDEE HABITAT
Area: 2,757.5 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Stéphane Chalmeau

Courtesy of Tomas Ghisellini Architetto
Courtesy of Tomas Ghisellini Architetto

‘TIP-TOP’ Competition Entry / Tomas Ghisellini Architetto

Designed by Tomas Ghisellini Architetto…, the proposal for the new “Malga Fosse” refuge, which won an honorable mention, chooses the language of the rough and simple local construction scattered among the mountains. In doing so, their design builds up

What Categorize the City and Me / ON design partners

Courtesy of

Architects: ON design partners
Location: Chofu, Tokio,
Design Team: Osamu Nishida, Erika Nakagawa
Construction: ao-archi
Site Area: 98.47 sqm
Total Floor Area: 95.36 sqm
Area: 37.07 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of ON design partners

Chapel In The Woods / Studio Zermani e Associati

© Mauro Davoli

Architects: Studio Zermani e Associati
Location: , Province of , Italy
Architect In Charge: Paolo Zermani
Design Team: Eugenio Tessoni
Collaborator: Emanuele Ghisi
Year: 2012
Photographs: Mauro Davoli

Courtesy of Josep Ferrando, David Reci, Rafael Aliende
Courtesy of Josep Ferrando, David Reci, Rafael Aliende

New Crematorium in the Hörnli Cemetary Competition Entry / Josep Ferrando, David Recio, Rafael Aliende

The proposal by Josep Ferrando, David Recio, and Rafael Aliende… for the new crematorium in the Hörnli cemetery respects the identity of the protected existing building while establishing a void between it and the upper street level, an

AV House / BAK Architects

© Gustavo Sosa Pinilla

Architects: BAK Architects
Location: Villa Gesell, Buenos Aires,
Architect In Charge: María Victoria Besonías, Luciano Kruk
Collaborators: Arq. Nuria Jover, Enzo Vitali
Area: 110 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Gustavo Sosa Pinilla

Rabanua / DX Arquitectos

Courtesy of Sur-press Agency

Architects Office: DX Arquitectos
Location: Huentaleuquen, , Coquimbo Region, Chile
Architects: Juan Luzoro, Federico Novoa, Diego Pitters
Contractor: Germán Alzerreca
Calculist: Jorge Díaz
Area: 280 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Sur-press Agency

Indoor Rock Climbing / W. Meraner & Lanz + Mutschlechner

© G.R. Wett

Architects: W. Meraner & Lanz + Mutschlechner
Location: , South Tyrol,
Year: 2012
Photographs: G.R. Wett

Bic Banco Headquarters / Kiko Salomão

© Fran Parente

Architects: Kiko Salomão
Location: São Paulo,
Project Team: , Ana Lino, Rafael Palombo, Renata Leite, André Almeida, Sophia Helena, Livia Reginato, Marília Franco, Renata Gola.
Project Area: 2,330 sqm
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Fran Parente

Anonymous Benefactor Saves the David and Gladys Wright House

Courtesy of Time, Inc. via the Frank Lloyd Wright News Blog

Christmas has come early for the international community of architects and preservationists, as an anonymous benefactor has saved the endangered David and Gladys Wright House in , Arizona. Culminating a six month saga, the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy is proud to announce that it has facilitated the purchase of the historic property through an LLC owned by an anonymous benefactor. The transaction closed today, December 20, and is no longer a demolition threat.

The Wright home will now be transferred to the hands of an Arizona not-for-profit organization responsible for the restoration, maintenance and operation of the structure. The change in ownership guarantees the house will survive and be preserved. Landmark status is expected to follow shortly.

More information on the after the break…

AD Round Up: Wood Architecture Part II

© Iwan Baan

For today’s AD Round Up we have the 2nd selection of previously featured projects where is the principal character. The main image belongs to Sou Fujimoto’s amazing Final Wood House in Kumamoto, . Check out, Casa Kike designed by Gianni Botsford Architects, or the Floating House  in Ontario by MOS Architects. Take a look at the stunning Holiday House on the Rigi by AFGH. Finally, you can’t miss Bip Computers, a retail project with a great wood structure by Alberto Mozo.

The Indicator: Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility

© Thomson Correctional Center, Thomoson, Ill. Rex Arbogast/AP via NPR.org

While doing a search for architects doing politically-engaged work, or work that encompasses a political or ethical agenda, I stumbled upon Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility. The group, as it turns out, has been around for thirty years. Despite their long history I got the sense that many people in architecture, as well as in mainstream culture, don’t know anything about them.

ADPSR was founded in Berkeley California in the early eighties as a community-based social action group. At that time their mission centered on opposition to the proliferation of nuclear arms and government policies they believed favored the military over the public good.

In essence, if the military budget were smaller then more government resources could be invested in projects and policies that benefit the general public. So, in a sense, they were continuing the fight against what Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his 1961 farewell address called the military-industrial complex.

Viewingtower at Vecht Riverbank / Ateliereen Architecten

Courtesy of

Architects: Ateliereen Architecten
Location: Dalfsen,
Structural Engineering: Adviesburo Elemans B.V.
Building Contractor: Wonders Metaal B.V
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of Ateliereen Architecten