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Should Architects Follow a Code of Ethics?

In the latest episode of his 99% Invisible podcast, Roman Mars bravely takes on a very sensitive topic: the design of prisons which contain execution chambers or house prisoners in solitary confinement. More specifically, the podcast discusses whether architects have a moral duty to decline these commissions and whether, as a profession, architecture should have a code of ethics which prevents registered architects from participating in such designs.

He compares architecture to the medical profession, where the American Medical Association imposes an ethical code on its members which all but forbids them from taking part in execution by lethal injection, based on medicine's general aim of preservation, rather than destruction of life. The American Institute of Architect's ethical code is both generic and meager in comparison: “Members should uphold human rights in all their professional endeavors.”

House in Agrinio / John Karahalios

  • Architects: John Karahalios
  • Location: Agrinio, Greece
  • Area: 300.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Courtesy of John Karahalios

Courtesy of John Karahalios Courtesy of John Karahalios Courtesy of John Karahalios Courtesy of John Karahalios

Merate Piazza / Archea

  • Architects: Archea
  • Location: Piazza Italia, 23807 Merate LC, Italy
  • Structures: Studio Myallonnier
  • Area: 5280.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Pietro Savorelli

© Pietro Savorelli © Pietro Savorelli © Pietro Savorelli © Pietro Savorelli

Kunstcluster / van Dongen-Koschuch

  • Architects: van Dongen-Koschuch
  • Location: Nieuwegein, Netherlands
  • Architects: Frits van Dongen and Patrick Koschuch
  • Project Team: H. de Haas, J. Baks, J.W. Baijense, F. Jaubert, R. Versteeg, R. Bos, K.R. Sluijs, S. Lin, R. Duarte
  • Area: 27550.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Courtesy of van Dongen-Koschuch

Courtesy of van Dongen-Koschuch Courtesy of van Dongen-Koschuch Courtesy of van Dongen-Koschuch Courtesy of van Dongen-Koschuch

'Pretty Vacant' Installation / RAAAF

Currently on display until January 31, 2014, the ‘Pretty Vacant’ installation by design and research studio Rietveld Landscape encourages visitors to take a fresh look at the empty spaces of the Centraal Museum in The Netherlands. The blue window literally and figuratively sheds a new light on the space and complements the architecture of this medieval chapel. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Interior for Students / Ruetemple

© Ruetemple
© Ruetemple
  • Architects: Ruetemple
  • Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
  • Design Team: Alexander Kudimov, Daria Butahina
  • Area: 33.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Ruetemple

© Ruetemple © Ruetemple © Ruetemple © Ruetemple

Kensington International Kindergarten / Plan Architect

© Ketsiree Wongwan
© Ketsiree Wongwan
  • Architects: Plan Architect
  • Location: Bangkok, Thailand
  • Area: 2270.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Ketsiree Wongwan

© Ketsiree Wongwan © Ketsiree Wongwan © Ketsiree Wongwan © Ketsiree Wongwan

Medical Facility in Burges / Cristian Panaite + Katrien Devreese

  • Architects: Cristian Panaite, Katrien Devreese
  • Location: Dudzele, Bruges, Belgium
  • Area: 215.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Filip Dujardin

© Filip Dujardin © Filip Dujardin © Filip Dujardin © Filip Dujardin

Qatar 2022 World Cup: Qatar to Accommodate Soccer Fans with Floating Hotels

In response to the mounting criticism of Qatar's ability to host the 2022 World Cup, the "tiny Gulf Arab state" is considering developing floating hotels, luxury villas and a water park off the coast of Doha called Oryx Island to house the influx of visitors that will need accommodation during the games.  The island would be developed by Barwa Real Estate Co, a firm partly owned by the government, at a cost of $5.5 million.  Finish architecture firm, Sigge Architects is partnering with Global Accommodation Management (GAM) to design the various facilities which includes projects for a hotel and luxury villas that could house up to 25,000 people.

Join us after the break for more on this project.

The Indicator: No More Interns

The title “intern” should be banished from the profession of architecture. It’s about time. It has run its course. It’s outmoded and contributes to a culture of exploitation in the guise of opportunity. Frankly, it makes us look so nineteenth century.

More importantly, I’m tired of seeing articles decrying the state of interns every summer when “intern season” kicks in. Can we just be done with this? It’s depressing. Don’t exploit the interns! Pay the interns! No free labor! Class action lawsuit! Solidarity! FU pay me! All very well and good. However, if labor laws and ethics have not fixed the problem, maybe getting rid of the title will. It’s just a title, but it sets a bad precedent.

SANAA Unveils Plans for New Downtown Arts & Design Campus in Jerusalem

Today, SANAA (Sejima & Nishizawa and Associates) unveiled plans for a 400,000 square-foot building in Jerusalem that will form a new, interdisciplinary downtown campus for the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. The competition-winning proposal, designed by the 2010 Pritzker laureates in collaboration with Israel’s Nir -Kutz Architects, features an array of stacked horizontal slabs that react to the area’s topography and surrounding context in order to create a series of outdoor terraced viewing platforms and multi-level interior spaces where students and teachers can meet, study and display their work. 

More on the new SANAA-design downtown campus after the break...

Køge University Hospital Winning Proposal / Rådgivergruppen USK

Rådgivergruppen USK, headed by C.F. Møller, Alectia and Rambøll, has been named as the winner of the competition to build the new Køge University Hospital, an expansion of the existing Køge Hospital, which will be increased threefold to a total area of 177,000 m². A visionary project in terms of both architecture and functionality, the hospital's various functions can be structured on a highly flexible basis, with good opportunities to support Region Zealand's vision of holistic patient care. More images and architects' description after the break.

Lutkemeerweg / MAS architectuur

©  John Lewis Marshall ©  John Lewis Marshall ©  John Lewis Marshall ©  John Lewis Marshall

IE Master in Architectural Design Lecture Series: Josep Lluís Mateo

The IE Master in Architectural Design as part of the Lecture Series 2013 in conjunction with the Círculo de Bellas Artes presents "Lugar, tiempo y materia. Obra reciente, 2010 - 2013", by Josep Lluís Mateo.

The Traditional versus the Modern in Church Design

"Space, lines, light and sound" are the essential components of the experience of architecture and the most profound buildings have captured these moments through thoughtfully orchestrated design.  Recently, architects that have designed churches with these primary elements in mind have come under criticism by the Vatican for diverting from the traditional form and iconography of churches.  According to a recent article in The TelegraphMassimiliano and Doriana Fuksas' design for a church in Foligno, Italy has been labeled as problematic by the parish and Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Vatican's Pontificial Council for Culture for its resemblance to a museum instead of a place of worship - based on traditional Catholic values placed on the altar and imagery. Regardless of the Vatican's criticism of the aesthetic approach of architects that break with tradition, this seems more of an issue of miscommunication between the architects and the congregations that have commissioned the projects that are being criticized.

More on this after the break.

Rafi Segal to Appear in Court Over National Library of Israel

UPDATE: Israeli architect Rafi Segal appears to have abandoned his case to be reinstated as designer of the National Library of . This decision comes after the client announced that it had signed a contract with Pritzker Prize-winning practice Herzog & de Meuron, who was initially chosen in April and triggered Segal’s demand to be reinstated. Now that the Swiss duo has officially signed onto the project, Segal has requested a withdrawal without prejudice. Before the hearing scheduled for September 12, 2013, Segal asked the court to withdraw the case. The court overruled his objections and granted HyperBina a compensation of fees and costs.

Official statement from the National Library Construction Company:

PA_House / atelier dnD

© Sebastian Zachariah
© Sebastian Zachariah
  • Architects: atelier dnD
  • Location: Khandala, India
  • Area: 20000.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Sebastian Zachariah

© Sebastian Zachariah © Sebastian Zachariah © Sebastian Zachariah © Sebastian Zachariah

A Tribute to Ada Louise Huxtable

“Even though I wished for her attention, I was scared of it.”