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The Steel Age Is Over. Has The Next Age Begun?

00:00 - 23 April, 2014
The Steel Age Is Over. Has The Next Age Begun?, As of now, carbon fiber has only been applied to small scale applications, such as the Textile Room by P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S. Image © Monica Nouwens
As of now, carbon fiber has only been applied to small scale applications, such as the Textile Room by P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S. Image © Monica Nouwens

Andrew Carnegie once said, “Aim for the highest.” He followed his own advice. The powerful 19th century steel magnate had the foresight to build a bridge spanning the Mississippi river, a total of 6442 feet. In 1874, the primary structural material was iron — steel was the new kid on the block. People were wary of steel, scared of it even. It was an unproven alloy.

Nevertheless, after the completion of Eads Bridge in St. Louis, Andrew Carnegie generated a publicity stunt to prove steel was in fact a viable building material. A popular superstition of the day stated that an elephant would not cross an unstable bridge. On opening day, a confident Carnegie, the people of St. Louis and a four-ton elephant proceeded to cross the bridge. The elephant was met on the other side with pompous fanfare. What ensued was the greatest vertical building boom in American history, with Chicago and New York pioneering the cause. That’s right people; you can thank an adrenaline-junkie elephant for changing American opinion on the safety of steel construction.

So if steel replaced iron - as iron replaced bronze and bronze, copper -  what will replace steel? Carbon Fiber.

Mölle by the Sea / Elding Oscarson

01:00 - 23 April, 2014
Mölle by the Sea  / Elding Oscarson, © Åke E:son Lindman
© Åke E:son Lindman

© Åke E:son Lindman © Åke E:son Lindman © Åke E:son Lindman © Åke E:son Lindman +24

Historical Archive of the Basque Country / ACXT

01:00 - 23 April, 2014
Historical Archive of the Basque Country / ACXT, © Aitor Ortiz
© Aitor Ortiz
  • Architects

  • Location

    Calle de María Díaz de Haro, 3, 48013 Bilbao, Biscay, Spain
  • Project Architect

    Gonzalo Carro
  • Project Director

    Gonzalo Carro
  • Area

    8550.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

© Aitor Ortiz © Aitor Ortiz © Aitor Ortiz © Aitor Ortiz +49

A Seductive Abstraction: Architecture & Photography's Tacit Pact

00:00 - 23 April, 2014
Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily has partnered with The Architectural Review to bring you short thematic introductions to the magazine's monthly editions.  Up now: AR's April 2014 issue, which examines the complexities of architecture photography. Editor Catherine Slessor asks "what happens when controlled views of buildings are redefined by and adapted to new technologies?"

Roland Barthes once observed that there is no such thing as a photograph. ‘Whatever it grants to vision and whatever its manner, a photograph is always invisible, it is not it that we see’, he wrote in Camera Lucida. What we do see is the scrutinising gaze of the photographer, which can beguile or unsettle, but should always evoke some kind of response.

As a scientific and ‘truthful’ medium, photography has served architecture well, especially in the Modernist era when the evolving medium synthesised perfectly with a new approach to design. Yet the relationship between architecture and photography is an inherently compromised one. Unlike art practice, architectural photography lends itself less to searching critical enquiry, being essentially an unspoken pact between architect, photographer and publisher to render buildings in a way that discreetly flatters architectural ambition and sells copies of books or magazines.

DEN-EN office / AUAU

01:00 - 23 April, 2014
© Masaya Yoshimura
© Masaya Yoshimura
  • Architects

  • Location

    Toyota, Aichi, Japan
  • Architect in Charge

    Akitoshi Ukai
  • Area

    228.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2012
  • Photographs

© Masaya Yoshimura © Masaya Yoshimura © Masaya Yoshimura © Masaya Yoshimura +17

McMansions: The Ultimate Symbol of American Inequality

00:00 - 23 April, 2014
McMansions: The Ultimate Symbol of American Inequality, © Flickr CC User Doug Downen
© Flickr CC User Doug Downen

In this fascinating post for Salon, Thomas Frank holds nothing back on the topic of so-called "McMansions". Charting their history from the 1980s to today, he reveals the economics and government policies which made them possible, concluding that they are not just a symptom of the inequality in modern US society, but the very cause of it: "Everything we do seems designed to make this thing possible... This stupendous, staring banality is the final outcome for which we have sacrificed everything else." You can read the full article here.

U.S. ABI Declines Sharply in March

00:00 - 23 April, 2014
U.S. ABI Declines Sharply in March, March ABI. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com
March ABI. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com

It seems the U.S. Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has yet to recover from 2013’s end of the year decline. Though 2014 started with a “modest uptick,” the March ABI has reveals a share decrease in design services. As reported by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the March ABI score was 48.8, down from a mark of 50.7 in February. Despite this, the new projects inquiry index was 57.9, up from the reading of 56.8 the previous month.

“This protracted softening in demand for design services is a bit of a surprise given the overall strength of the market the last year and a half,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Hopefully, some of this can be attributed to severe weather conditions over this past winter. We will have a better sense if there is a reason for more serious concern over the next couple of months.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break...

Alcoutins House / Guedes Cruz Arquitectos

01:00 - 23 April, 2014
Alcoutins House  / Guedes Cruz Arquitectos, Courtesy of Ricardo Oliveira Alves
Courtesy of Ricardo Oliveira Alves
  • Architects

  • Location

    Lisbon, Portugal
  • Architects in Charge

    José Guedes Cruz, Cesar Marques, Marco Martínez Marinho
  • Area

    656.0 sqm
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Ricardo Oliveira Alves

Courtesy of Ricardo Oliveira Alves Courtesy of Ricardo Oliveira Alves Courtesy of Ricardo Oliveira Alves Courtesy of Ricardo Oliveira Alves +32

Taegutec Office Building / Tago Architects

01:00 - 23 April, 2014
Taegutec Office Building / Tago Architects, © Gurkan Akay
© Gurkan Akay
  • Architects

  • Location

    Kocaeli Province, Turkey
  • Design Team

    Mevlüt Duymaz, Hakan Özbek, Müge Eker Eryarar, Müge Turgay, Emre Kurbak, Mete Kıyan, Coşkun Armağan, Yıldırım Akbulut
  • Collaborators

    Trimline Office Panels
  • Area

    4000.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2011
  • Photographs

© Gurkan Akay © Gurkan Akay © Gurkan Akay © Gurkan Akay +18

Humble House / KRIS YAO | ARTECH

01:00 - 23 April, 2014
Humble House / KRIS YAO | ARTECH, Courtesy of KRIS YAO | ARTECH, Jeffrey Cheng
Courtesy of KRIS YAO | ARTECH, Jeffrey Cheng
  • Architects

  • Location

    Songgao Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan 110
  • Design Team

    Glen Lu, Golden Kao, Ray Chen, Kai-Chih Chang, Kang Chiu, Dan Wang, Kang-Yueh Liu, Nini Cheng, Catch Tseng, Man-Ching Liao, Sam Chu
  • Area

    54956.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of KRIS YAO | ARTECH, Jeffrey Cheng

Courtesy of KRIS YAO | ARTECH, Jeffrey Cheng Courtesy of KRIS YAO | ARTECH, Jeffrey Cheng Courtesy of KRIS YAO | ARTECH, Jeffrey Cheng Courtesy of KRIS YAO | ARTECH, Jeffrey Cheng +21

Raheen Library at Australian Catholic University / Woods Bagot

01:00 - 23 April, 2014
Raheen Library at Australian Catholic University / Woods Bagot, © Shannon McGrath
© Shannon McGrath
  • Interior Designers

  • Location

    115 Victoria Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

© Shannon McGrath © Shannon McGrath © Shannon McGrath © Shannon McGrath +14

Venice Biennale 2014: Collateral Events Announced

01:00 - 23 April, 2014
Venice Biennale 2014: Collateral Events Announced

The Venice Biennale has released a list of 21 Collateral Events that will take place alongside the other official exhibitions during the 14th International Architecture Exhibition (June 7 - 23 November 2014). Selected by Rem Koolhass and supported by non-profit national and international institutions, these collateral events will take place around Venice and, in the words of the Biennale, will "enrich the diversity of voices that characterizes the Architecture Biennale."

President Paolo Baratta explained, “This announcement completes the number of organizations who despite being outside the boundaries of the Exhibition are exhibited in the city of Venice, and which contribute, along with a good number of participating countries that do not have a pavilion in the Giardini or in the Arsenale, to spread the 14th Exhibition by turning it into an urban phenomenon, that would engage every corner of the city."

See the complete list after the break. And make sure to keep up to date with ArchDaily's complete coverage of the Venice Biennale. 

Henning Larsen Wins Competition to Design Central Bank of Libya

00:00 - 23 April, 2014
Henning Larsen Wins Competition to Design Central Bank of Libya, Plaza. Image © Henning Larsen Architects
Plaza. Image © Henning Larsen Architects

Henning Larsen Architects has won an invited competition to design a new headquarters for the Central Bank of Libya in Tripoli. Inspired by Libyan vernacular architecture, the structure will occupy two existing site excavations. The first, and largest, excavation will be transformed into a “shaded oasis” that serves both the bank and Gurji district by providing areas for operations, an education center, restaurant and hotel. The second will allow vehicular access to the treasuries. 

City-County Building Plaza Design Competition

01:00 - 23 April, 2014
City-County Building Plaza Design Competition

The City-County Building Plaza Design Competition is seeking a final conceptual design that would be implemented on an existing 1.94 acre open space on the City-County Building Property also known as the City-County Building Plaza (CCB Plaza). 

Architects: Leave Fashion to the Experts

00:00 - 22 April, 2014
Architects: Leave Fashion to the Experts, Courtesy of Viviona
Courtesy of Viviona

Le Corbusier donned signature glasses; Frank Gehry designed footwear; early twentieth-century architect Adolf Loos even wrote "Why A Man Should Be Well-Dressed." Now Zaha Hadid is making her way into swimwear. But are the nuances of fashion too much for architects to dip their feet into? Read the full article at the Telegraph.

Níall McLaughlin Chosen for Redevelopment of London’s Natural History Museum

00:00 - 22 April, 2014
Níall McLaughlin Chosen for Redevelopment of London’s Natural History Museum , Courtesy of MRC/Picture Plane
Courtesy of MRC/Picture Plane

British practice Níall McLaughlin Architects together with Kim Wilkie have been unanimously selected as the winners of the competition to reimagine the external grounds of London's Natural History Museum. The competition, which attracted proposals from shortlisted teams such as BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), Stanton Williams Architects, and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, called for entries to "reshape the Museum’s grounds and reinvigorate its public setting" with an aim to creating "an innovative exterior setting that matches Alfred Waterhouse’s Grade I listed building whilst also improving access and engaging visitors."

George Lucas Looks to Chicago

00:00 - 22 April, 2014
George Lucas Looks to Chicago , Lucas Cultural Arts Museum proposal for Crissy Field. Image © Art Zendarski
Lucas Cultural Arts Museum proposal for Crissy Field. Image © Art Zendarski

After being rejected, alongside two other shortlisted proposals, by San Francisco’s Presidio Trust to build a self-tiled cultural arts museum at Crissy Field, George Lucas has turned his attention to the windy city of Chicago. According to a report by the SunTimes, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has challenged civic leaders to find an “accessible” site for the proposed 95,000-square-foot Lucas Cultural Arts Museum by mid-May. 

Wood Encouragement Policy Coming To Australia

00:00 - 22 April, 2014
Wood Encouragement Policy Coming To Australia, Cross Stitch House; Melbourne / FMD Architects. Image © Peter Bennetts
Cross Stitch House; Melbourne / FMD Architects. Image © Peter Bennetts

Latrobe City Council is pushing an initiative that would put “wood first.” If implemented, the “Wood Encouragement Policy” would educate architects and industry professionals about the structural and environmental benefits of wood in an effort to promote the local timber industry and use of sustainable building materials. Following the lead of the United States and New Zealand, both of which recently established “wood encouragement” policies, the council hopes that this will set a precedent that can be applied throughout the rest of Australia.