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The Pier / Kavakava Architects

Pier was part of the "lift 11" urban installations festival (www.lift11.ee). The aim of the installation was to encourage temporary uses and bring out beauty of decaying place.

House No47 / H&P Architects

  • Architects: H&P Architects
  • Location: Ha Tinh city, Vietnam
  • Architect in Charge: Doan Thanh Ha & Tran Ngoc Phuong
  • Team: Nguyen Lam Tung, Le Huu Sang, Tran Huyen Trang, Nguyen Hai Hue, Nguyen Van Thinh
  • Contractor: HPA Viet nam jsc
  • Area: 370.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Nguyen Van Tho

© Nguyen Van Tho © Nguyen Van Tho © Nguyen Van Tho © Nguyen Van Tho

'Shigeru Ban – Architecture and Humanitarian Activities' Exhibition

Currently taking place at the Art Tower Mito's Contemporary Art Gallery and Plaza until May 12, the 'Shigeru Ban – Architecture and Humanitarian Activities'  exhibition is the architect's largest exhibition and encourages visitors to think about the architect's role in society. From his early works and a pioneering new architectural material to an ongoing disaster project, the exhibition explores the diverse activities and achievements of the architect as well as his vision and spirit to challenge social issues and disasters. Featuring architectural models, mock-ups, photographs, videos of his major and important works, and furniture, Ban is known for his innovative work constructed by developing or applying building materials from objects already existing in our everyday lives. For more information, please visit here.

Madinat Al Zahara Museum / Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos

© Roland Halbe © Fernando Alda  © Fernando Alda  © Fernando Alda 

2013 Burnham Prize Competition: NEXT STOP: Designing Chicago BRT Stations

The Chicago Architectural Club and Chicago Architecture Foundation, in partnership with the Chicago Department of Transportation, the Chicago Transit Authority, and the Chicago Bus Rapid Transit Steering Committee, recently launched the 2013 Burnham Prize Competition: NEXT STOP: Designing Chicago BRT Stations. Intended to catalyze iconic, sustainable, and functional design for representative corridors in Chicago’s planned Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, they are seeking entries that integrate innovative and compelling transportation design into Chicago’s urban fabric. Each design team must submit designs for three different prototype sites and demonstrate how BRT station design can be adapted to each context. Submissions are due by May 13. For more information, please visit here.

Video: Alberto Biagetti Milan, 2013

The Indicator: The Pritzker’s Better Half

There’s been a lot of buzz going around about the Pritzker jury dissing Denise Scott Brown, wife and co-partner to Robert Venturi. Back in 1991 they awarded the prize to Mr. Venturi, singular…not plural to include his better half. Seems they, a different jury, also dissed Wang Shu’s wife and co-partner, Lu Wenyu way back in 2012 by granting the prestigious prize to Mr. Wang without acknowledging who holds up “the other half of the sky”, as they say in Mandarin.

The New 'Context' in Architecture: Learning From Lebanon


Context in architecture has become a subject bloated with discussion and debate over the years. And, as a matter of fact, it has come to matter very little in its formal and typological sense. Take, for instance, the fluid forms that compose Zaha Hadid’s hundreds of projects around the world, or Frank Gehry’s exploding compositions seen from South America to the unmistakable Guggenheim in Bilbao. The form architecture takes in these cases, and countless others, is in itself a deliberate disregard towards context in its literal sense.

But is this disregard for context a mistake? Observers would often say so, though I would like to disagree. It has become frequent that projects like these, largely formal and not politely accommodating their historic surrounding, actually take greater interest in social urban issues that have a direct impact on the city dwellers. Quite simply, successful architecture today is one that serves society culturally and practically, addressing tangible problems of 21st century cities and dealing with context in a solution-oriented manner, going beyond aesthetics (whose value is only temporary) and into future-invested urbanism. Case-in-point? My hometown: Beirut, Lebanon.

The Lebanese American University Campus in Byblos. Image © Nadim Asfar The Saint Joseph University Campus of Sports and Innovation. Image © 109 Architectes The Saint Joseph University Campus of Sports and Innovation. Image © 109 Architectes The Issam Faris Institute at the American University of Beirut's Historic Campus. Image © Zaha Hadid Architects.

The Happiness Machine: The Detailed Drawings of Mark Lascelles Thornton

With just a Rotring Isograph pen on arches paper, artist Mark Lascelles Thornton completed this scrupulously detailed architectural drawing project titled "The Happiness Machine". Each sheet represents a city - such as Chicago, Shanghai, London and New York - and is stylized in red and gray ink. 

In addition to the meticulous detail of the buildings, the work is even more amazing considering the scale: the final piece will spread across eight panels measuring 8 by 5 feet.

Continue for more images...

Das Band meiner Stadt (The Band of My City) Winning Proposal / da architecture

Designed by da architecture, their first prize winning proposal in the IBA Basel 2020 competition, Das Band meiner Stadt (The band of my city), is a new dynamic that is brought to the Eastern railway station district of Quartier du Lys, which becomes the new landmark of the city of Saint-Louis. The development of this new district on the western side of the station area is characterized by a well-mixed, multi-use business district with offices, commercial and residential programs. This will benefit Saint-Louis train station and help the stream of travellers to further increase. More images and architects‘ description after the break.

3C Comprehensive Coastal Communities Competition

Organized by ORLI (Operation Resilient Long Island), a student-led grassroots committee of architecture, interior design, and construction management students from New York Institute of Technology, the 3C Comprehensive Coastal Communities Competition aims to catalyze the discussion of rezoning towns that are vulnerable to coastal storms. The post-Sandy rebuilding process has already begun, yet there are no strategies on how rebuilding communities can accommodate transforming coastal housing typologies. In effort to help local communities preserve the value of their neighborhoods, the challenge is to create a vision for a specific northeastern coastal community. Participants should design a resilient housing typology and integrate it into the community master plan. Submissions are due no later than July 25. To register, and for more information, please visit here.

Annecy Congress Center / Snohetta

  • Architects: Snohetta
  • Location: Annecy, France
  • Collaborators: Atelier Wolff & Associés and Quadriplus Groupe
  • Client: Communaute de l’Agglomeration D’Annecy
  • Area: 7000.0 sqm
  • Photographs: Snohetta - MIR

Los Mangales Residences / Sommet & Asociados

  • Architects: Sommet & Asociados
  • Location: Santa Cruz, Bolivia
  • Architect in Charge: Sommet & Asociados
  • Design Team: Sebastián Fernández de Córdova Frerking, Erika Peinado Vaca Diez
  • Site Manager: Mariano Donoso Rea
  • Structural Calculation: Zelmar Ibañez Pedraza
  • Area: 818.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Sebastián Fernández de Córdova Frerking

© Sebastián Fernández de Córdova Frerking © Sebastián Fernández de Córdova Frerking © Sebastián Fernández de Córdova Frerking © Sebastián Fernández de Córdova Frerking

AD Classics: Boa Nova Tea House / Alvaro Siza

The Boa Nova Tea House, one of Siza's earliest commissions, was awarded to him in 1956. His collaborator, Fernando Tavora, had won the competition for the project and passed it onto Alvaro Siza. Its location close to Siza's home town had its significance, especially due to the architect's intimate familiarity with the landscape. This is noticed in his incorporation of the rock formation, the ocean, and the greenery within the project, revealing a vivid understanding of the qualities of the local landscape. Alongside the Leça Swimming Pools, this project represents the foundation of Siza's architecture with a compelling regard for nature.

© Samuel Ludwig © Samuel Ludwig © Samuel Ludwig © Samuel Ludwig

Foster’s Apple Headquarters Exceeds Budget by $2 Billion

The estimated cost of Apple’s Cupertino City headquarters has escalated from an already hefty price of $3 billion to $5 billion (more than $1,500 per square foot), reportedly pushing back the original completion date to 2016. According to Bloomberg, Apple is working with lead architect Foster & Partners to shave $1 billion from the “ballooning budget”. Most of the cost is seemly due to Steve Job’s “sky-high requirements for fit and finish”, as the tech legend called for the 2.8 million square foot, circular monolith to be clad 40-foot panes of German concave glass, along with its four-story office spaces be lined with museum-quality terrazzo floors and capped with polished concrete ceilings.

Although lambasted for his ambitious plans and “doughnut-shaped” design, Steve Jobs wanted to create a masterpiece that looked as good as it functioned, just like his products. During a 2011 presentation to the Cupertino City Council, Jobs stated, “This is not the cheapest way to build something... there is not a straight piece of glass in this building.” He continued, “We have a shot... at building the best office building in the world. I really do think that architecture students will come here to see it.”

More after the break...

Palace of Labour / Alberto Apostoli

  • Architects: Alberto Apostoli
  • Location: L’Aquila, Italy
  • Area: 1200.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Tommaso Cassinis

© Tommaso Cassinis © Tommaso Cassinis © Tommaso Cassinis © Tommaso Cassinis

Lafayette College Arts Plaza / Spillman Farmer Architects

  • Architects: Spillman Farmer Architects
  • Location: N 3rd St, Easton, PA 18042, USA
  • Project Team: William Deegan, Randy Galiotto, Sierra Krause, Clint Newton, Elliot Nolter, Mark Piell, Barry Pell, Patrick Ruggiero, Joanne Titcomb, IIDA, Salvatore Verrastro, AIA, CCS, CCCA, FCSI, NCARB, Dave Wrigley, CSI, CCS, Patrick Ytsma, RA, Erin F. McGuinness, LEED AP
  • Managing Principal: James Whildin, AIA
  • Design Principal: Joseph N. Biondo, AIA
  • Project Architect: Wayne F. Stitt, AIA
  • Structural Engineer: Barry Isett & Associates
  • Electrical Engineer: Lehigh Valley Engineering
  • Civil Engineer: McTish, Kunkle, & Associates
  • Construction Manager: Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
  • Area: 7145.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Barry Halkin, Vicki Liantonio

© Barry Halkin © Barry Halkin © Barry Halkin © Barry Halkin