MD House / Alric Galindez Arquitectos

Courtesy of

Architects: Alric Galindez Arquitectos
Location: , Río Negro Province, Argentina
Project Architects: Arq. Santiago Alric, Arq. Carlos Galindez, Arq. Federico Lloveras
Project Area: 476.0 m2
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of Alric Galindez Arquitectos, Albano García

How Simple Earth Blocks Could Revolutionize Construction for the African Island of Pemba

Local block maker Ali Cedric making blocks for sale in Pujini, Pemba Island. Image © Craig Norris

Pemba, a small Tanzanian island off of Africa‘s Eastern coast, is undergoing something of a construction boom. With half of the population aged under 30 and a culture in which a man must build a house before he can get married, a wave of new informal housing is sweeping the island. Historically, construction methods used by the islanders have been problematic: traditional wattle & daub construction typically survives for just 5-7 years; its replacement, bricks made of coral, not only require large amounts of energy to extract but have a devastating effect on the environment; and modern cement bricks most be imported at high costs.

Sensing an opportunity to help the islanders at a critical time in their development, Canadian NGO Community Forests International is promoting a solution that combines the economy and of wattle & daub with the durability of masonry: Interlocking Stabilized Compressed Earth Blocks (ISCEBs). Find out how this simple technology can help the island community after the break.

Bingler and Pederson’s Critique of Architecture for the New York Times Sparks Controversy

Somewhat ironically, ’ own building is designed by none other than “celebrity architect” Renzo Piano. Image © Ritu Manoj Jethani via Shutterstock

Earlier this month the New York Times published an editorial written by Steven Bingler and Martin Pederson in which the two discuss how and why architects need to reevaluate the profession. The article centers on how today’s architecture can adequately meet the needs of its intended users without acknowledging their input and asks “at what point does architecture’s potential to improve human life become lost because of its inability to connect with actual humans?”

As with any commentary on the very nature of contemporary architecture, criticism abounds and has prompted a scathing response by writer Aaron Betsky, who claims that the New York Times ought to be above such “know-nothing, cliché-ridden reviews of architecture” and ridicules certain excerpts of Bingler and Pederson’s text,  saying “I am not making this up.” Betsky takes the opportunity to argue instead that “Architecture… is either the dull affirmation of what we have, or it is an attempt to make our world better.”

Read on after the break for more on the New York Times article and the opposing views

Pieres House / Graciana Oliveira

© João Morgado

Architects:
Location: , Portugal
Area: 430.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: João Morgado

Drink Like an Architect: Pair your Cocktail with the Perfect Building

Seagram Building by Mies van der Rohe / Manhattan Cocktail. Image Courtesy of Kosmos Architects

To paraphrase an old adage, “behind every great building is a great architect.” According to Swiss-based Kosmos Architects, a less familiar version of this might say “beside every great building is a perfectly mixed cocktail.” The firm has revealed a scientifically (un)proven link between alcohol and architecture: ramps, for instance, are often built at an inclination of five to seven degrees, a statistic that correlates to the alcoholic percentage of an average beer. Furthermore, a steep forty-degree roof incline designed to throw off snowfall matches the forty percent alcohol content of vodka used in Arctic climates to keep out the winter chill.

Kosmos Architects has published a series of twelve illustrated postcards, linking iconic buildings with their appropriate drink. A Manhattan for Mies, a Blue Blazer for Zumthor, and a Smoky Martini for Herzog & de Meuron all belong to the series ‘Good Drinks & Good Buildings,’ a booze-soaked comparison of architecture and alcohol, just in time to ring in 2015.

What’s inside SOM‘s martini? Find out after the break 

PURO Hotel / ASW Architekci Ankiersztajn Stankiewicz Wroński

© Fotoarchitektura Anna Gregorczyk

Architects: ASW Architekci Ankiersztajn Stankiewicz Wroński
Location: Stawna, Poznań,
Architects In Charge: Michał Ankiersztajn, Dariusz Stankiewicz, Jarosław Wroński, Martyna Antczak-Galant, Michał Karykowski, Anna Waligórska Dzik, Anna Matylla-Włodarczyk, Maja Olszanowska, Łukasz Brzozowski
Area: 5970.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Fotoarchitektura Anna Gregorczyk

School of Education, University of Zaragoza / Javier Maya + Estela Arteche Arquitectos

© Jorge Allende

Architects: Maar Arquitectura
Location: , ,
Architect In Charge: Javier Maya, Estela Arteche
Project Year: 2013
Photographs: Jorge Allende

Fellows Pavilion – American Academy Berlin / Barkow Leibinger

© Stefan Müller

Architects: Barkow Leibinger
Location: , Germany
Project Architect: Tobias Wenz
Area: 85.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Stefan Müller, Simon Menges

Wanda Movie Park / Stufish Entertainment Architects

Courtesy of

Architects: Stufish Entertainment Architects
Location: Wuhan, Hubei,
Area: 100000.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Stufish Entertainment Architects

Hair Salon Slundre / BHIS

© Toshiyuki Azuma

Architects: BHIS
Location: Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture,
Architect In Charge: Cohta Asano
The Main Manufacturers: KEYTEC
Area: 137.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Toshiyuki Azuma

Livingston Ambulatory Center. Image © NBBJ
Livingston Ambulatory Center. Image © NBBJ

NBBJ to Design $85 Million Livingston Ambulatory Center in Columbus

Nationwide Children’s Hospital has selected NBBJ to design their $85 million Livingston Ambulatory Center in ColumbusOhio. The six-story, 200,000-square-foot center will serve more than 100,000 patients annually. It will feature modular and flexible units centered around shared employee workspaces. Construction will begin in February. 

 

Magaldi and Unamuno Squares / Galpón Estudio

© Javier Agustín Rojas

Architects: Galpón Estudio
Location: Pedro N. Arata, Buenos Aires, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires,
Architects In Charge: Ramiro Gallardo, Gustavo Nielsen, Max Zolkwer
Photographs: Javier Agustín Rojas , Courtesy of Galpón Estudio

Nature Guides Kengo Kuma’s House of Hungarian Music Proposal for Liget Budepest

Museum Shop and Cafe Entrance. Image © Kengo Kuma and Associates

The Liget Budapest Competition has recently announced its winners, and Kengo Kuma and Associates has taken home honorable mention for their House of Hungarian Music design. Conceived as a house in the woods, the proposal seeks to embed itself in the landscape, having a low impact on the natural environment while becoming a focal point of Budapest’s urban environment.

Archiculture Interviews: Shigeru Ban

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“An earthquake doesn’t kill people, the collapse of a building kills people.” In Arbuckle Industrieslatest interview released following their world premiere of Archiculture, architect humanitarian Shigeru Ban clearly delineates “natural” disasters as a product of mankind, rather than nature. Hear the Pritzker laureate’s thoughts on designing for minorities, disasters, and the importance of travel in the video above.

Adamant / Mayer Hasbani

© Hector Velasco

Architects: Mayer Hasbani
Location: Via Atlixcayotl, Reserva Territorial Atlixcáyotl, , PUE, Mexico
Project Area: 20550 sqm
Project Year: 2014
Photographs: Hector Velasco, Paul Czitron, El Hartista

School of Ballet by Vittorio Garatti . Image © Adrián Guerra Rey via places.designobserver.com
School of Ballet by Vittorio Garatti . Image © Adrián Guerra Rey via places.designobserver.com

Ricardo Porro, Architect of Cuba’s National Art Schools, Dies at 89

Ricardo Porro, the leading architect behind Cuba’s National Art Schools - one of the largest architectural achievements of the Cuban Revolution – has died of heart failure in Paris at the age of 89. After spending nearly a half a century in exile, Porro lived long enough to see his two arts schools reemerged on the world stage as “crown jewels of modern Cuban architecture.” 

“When I received this commission, I thought there had not been a good expression of revolution in architecture,” Porro said in a 2011 interview with The Atlantic. “I wanted to create in that school the expression of revolution. What I felt at that moment was an emotional explosion.” Read the full New York Times obituary, here

Corredor House / Chauriye Stäger Arquitectos

© Pablo Blanco

Architects: Chauriye Stäger Arquitectos
Location: Huelquén, Paine, Región Metropolitana,
Architect In Charge: Rodrigo Chauriye, Beatriz Stäger
Area: 1000.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Pablo Blanco

Top 20 Most Read Articles of 2014

From Frank Gehry giving the finger and claiming that today’s architecture is 98% “pure shit,” to the Guggenheim Helsinki competition receiving 1,715 entries and becoming the most popular architecture competition in history, 2014 has been an eventful year. The following 20 stories were the most read of the year, generating discussion among readers and provoking interesting comments. Ranging from lighthearted lists (25 Free Architecture Books You Can Read Online) to articles analyzing how future cities might look (Hamburg’s Plan to Eliminate Cars in 20 Years), here are the top 20 stories of 2014.