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Hydrothermal Center 'Aquavox' / Otxotorena

  • Architects: Juan M. Otxotorena, Mariano González Presencio, Luis Tena Núñez
  • Location: Pamplona, Navarre, Spain
  • Colaboradores: Gloria Herrera, Catalina Delgado
  • Area: 4454.0 sqm
  • Year: 2009
  • Photography: Cortesia de Otxotorena

Courtesy of Otxotorena Courtesy of Otxotorena Courtesy of Otxotorena Courtesy of Otxotorena

Bionand Building / Planho

© Alejandro González
© Alejandro González
  • Architects: Planho - Emiliano Rodríguez, Enrique Vallecillos, Manuel Pérez
  • Location: Málaga, Andalusia, Spain
  • Area: 6,762 sqm
  • Year: 2008
  • Photographs: Alejandro González

© Alejandro González © Alejandro González © Alejandro González © Alejandro González

Alchemist Concept Store / Rene Gonzalez Architect

© Michael Stavaridis
© Michael Stavaridis
  • Architects: Rene Gonzalez Architect
  • Location: Miami Beach, Florida
  • Architect In Charge: Rene Gonzalez
  • Associate: Monica Vazquez
  • Project Director: Kevin Regalado
  • Mep Engineer: Vidal and Associates
  • Contractor: Aaron Builders and Development
  • Lightning: G2J
  • Area: 2500.0 ft2
  • Photographs: Michael Stavaridis

© Michael Stavaridis © Michael Stavaridis © Michael Stavaridis © Michael Stavaridis

Ghost Cities Around the World

Hashima Island © Flickr User CC filmmaker in Japan
Hashima Island © Flickr User CC filmmaker in Japan

This post is by Cian O' Driscoll, the writer of a lifestyle blog called Raconteur Living that explores architecture and popular culture. Cian is currently undergoing a Master of Science in Architecture at Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland. 

Abandoned cities are an unfortunate consequence of life and growth on our planet. The reasons for abandoning a city are as varied as the people who once inhabited their buildings and walked their streets. Many of these cities are forgotten and simply line the pages of history. Some are examples of poor urban planning; some the result of the depletion of natural resources, while others are poignant reminders of the fragility of life in a nuclear world. 

Below are some striking images of abandoned cities from around the world. Many of these cities have been abandoned for decades, however, due to rapid growth and expansion, particularly in China, we are now in an era of “modern” abandoned cities. 

Read the stories behind these modern-day ghost towns, after the break... 

12 Houses in Icod / daolab

  • Architects: daolab
  • Location: Icod de los Vinos, Tenerife, Spain
  • Architect In Charge: David Arias Aldonza, Cristina del Buey García
  • Area: 1900.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Esaú Acosta

© Esaú Acosta © Esaú Acosta © Esaú Acosta © Esaú Acosta

Contour Crafting Picks Up Speed

In 2006, Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis, professor at the University of Southern California, introduced the world to Contour Crafting: the idea of applying Computer Aided Design and 3D Printing to homes and eventually larger buildings. As Dr. Khoshnevis explains in this TED Talk, Contour Crafting uses a giant 3D printer that hangs over a designated space and robotically builds up the walls of that building with layers of concrete. The robot can paint the walls and tile surfaces and even knows to construct plumbing and electrical wiring as it goes (Dvice). The idea is that by automating the construction process - one of the only processes humans still do largely by hand - homes will be cheaper and more quickly erected, with significantly lower labor costs. More importantly, Khoshnevis believes that Contour Crafting is essential to creating a more "dignified" architecture by eliminating slums in developing countries and aiding areas in the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster. 

Casa TdM / Bbats+Tirado

  • Architects: Silvia Barbera Correia, Cristóbal Tirado Luchsinger
  • Location: Barcelona, Spain
  • Collaborators: Agustin Pinedo, Luisa Santos, Ignacia Balart
  • Area: 235.0 sqm
  • Year: 2006
  • Photography: Francisco Nogueira

© Francisco Nogueira © Francisco Nogueira © Francisco Nogueira © Francisco Nogueira

Obama Appoints Michael Graves to Key Administration Post

© Michael Graves & Associates
© Michael Graves & Associates

Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint five individuals to key Administration posts, including architecture’s very own Michael Graves, stating: “These fine public servants both bring a depth of experience and tremendous dedication to their new roles.  Our nation will be well-served by these individuals, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.”

The five individuals include: 

  • Vinton G. Cerf - Member, National Science Board, National Science Foundation
  • Marta Araoz de la Torre - Member, Cultural Property Advisory Committee
  • Michael Graves - Member, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board
  • Laurie Leshin - Member, Advisory Board of the National Air and Space Museum
  • Lynne Sebastian - Member, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

Art Residence Third Prize Winning Proposal / Megabudka

The third prize winning proposal for the design of art residences in the village of Nikola-Lenivets, Russia is based on the principle of ecological compatibility and convergence with nature. Designed by Megabudka, this is achieved by architectural solutions, volumetric-spatial structures, interaction with environment, and internal physical and mental filling. This new community for artists, and all creative people, will consist of dormitories, a nursery, community center, family houses, and private units. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Call for Entries: Organize the U.S. Representation at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale

The U.S. Department of State recently announced a request for proposals from any U.S. nonprofit organization at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, which is set to take place June 7-November 23, 2014. This includes museums, galleries, design centers, schools of architecture and design, and independent curators affiliated with a non-profit organization. The deadline for submissions is April 1, 2013. For more information, please visit here.

Urban Park of Palouriotissa Third Prize Winning Proposal / Groundlab + Clara Oloriz

View of Environmental Centre / Open Cinema © Groundlab
View of Environmental Centre / Open Cinema © Groundlab

The concept of the park is based on the existing and traditional terraces of Cyprus and, more specifically, Latsia. These terraces not only allow for the management of the slope and water but link the project’s programme, as an environmental centre, to its spatial design. By consolidating the existing terraces, which define the park’s configuration, the terraces generate an intrinsic spatial relation between the park activities, the landscape and the views. Moreover, the terraces have been designed so a minimum amount of earth will be moved and so people with reduced mobility will have easy accessibility.

AECOM Announces Urban SOS Winners

AECOM has announced 'Unslumming Kibera' as winner of the fourth annual Urban SOS competition

Golf House / Seinfeld Arquitectos

  • Architects: Seinfeld Arquitectos
  • Location: La Molina , Lima, Peru
  • Design Team: Cynthia Seinfeld, Peter Seinfeld
  • Collaborator: Daniel Barúa
  • Area: 712.0 sqm
  • Year: 2012
  • Photography: Juan Solano

© Juan Solano © Juan Solano © Juan Solano © Juan Solano

Ruins of an Alternate Future (Jinhua Architecture Park)

Courtesy of Chakroff
Courtesy of Chakroff

Originally published on the author’s website and blog on Archinect, 'Ruins of an Alternate Future (Jinhua Architecture Park)' was written by Shanghai-based architectural designer and theorist Evan Chakroff

One of the great, if seldom realized, promises of architecture is its capacity to affect change. The best architects seem to have this potential in mind constantly as they structure career-length narratives around the social impact that good design can achieve. While this is often hyperbole, and most projects are driven by functional or economic considerations, there is the occasional opportunity for artists and architects to create purely speculative work, where radical departures from established typologies suggest alternatives to the status quo. In these rare cases, novelty is embraced not for its own sake, but for its potential to generate new archetypes, to provide a glimpse into a parallel world where architecture truly has agency: where design can change society for the better. 

Continue reading after the break...