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House of a Backstage / y+M

01:00 - 22 August, 2014
House of a Backstage / y+M, © Nacasa & Partners
© Nacasa & Partners

© Nacasa & Partners © Nacasa & Partners © Nacasa & Partners © Nacasa & Partners +23

Visiting Gunārs Birkerts's Latvian "Castle of Light"

00:00 - 22 August, 2014
Visiting Gunārs Birkerts's Latvian "Castle of Light", National Library of Latvia, Riga
National Library of Latvia, Riga

For an article featured in Blueprint Herbert Wright examines Riga's new National Library of Latvia, completed by 89-year-old Gunārs Birkerts this month. Located in one of Latvia's most historic urban settings, the library - locally known as the "Castle of Light" - challenges the city's recent history of Soviet public architecture with a contemporary, if not as equally monumental, cultural edifice. Initially conceived in 1988 now, over twenty five years later, the structure stands as a €163million testament to Latvia's rich academic and public cultural heritage. Earlier this year, "14,000 Latvians formed a 2km human chain to pass books from the old to new libraries." Wright's exploration of this seminal building on Birkert's œuvre is complemented by Janis Dripe's excellent photographic studies of what is certain to be one of the most important Eastern European buildings of this decade.

João Ferreira House / taO Arquitetura

01:00 - 22 August, 2014
João Ferreira House / taO Arquitetura, © Joana França
© Joana França

© Joana França © Joana França © Joana França © Joana França +16

  • Architects

  • Location

    Brasília, Distrito Federal - Brasil
  • Project Architect

    Paulo Henrique Paranhos
  • Collaborators

    Eder Alencar, Ana Carolina Vaz
  • Project Area

    880.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2006
  • Photography

Tigertail / Patrick Tighe Architecture

01:00 - 22 August, 2014
Tigertail / Patrick Tighe Architecture, © Art Gray Photography
© Art Gray Photography

© Art Gray Photography © Art Gray Photography © Art Gray Photography © Art Gray Photography +23

Qiqihaer Hezhitang Hot Spring / A-ASTERISK

01:00 - 22 August, 2014
Qiqihaer Hezhitang Hot Spring  / A-ASTERISK, © Misae Hiromatsu
© Misae Hiromatsu

© Misae Hiromatsu © Misae Hiromatsu © Misae Hiromatsu © Misae Hiromatsu +26

  • Architects

  • Location

    Qiqihar, Heilongjiang, China
  • Architects in Charge

    Nakamura Nobuhiro, Qin Yi, Shigeno Yuji, Lai Jie, Wang Wenping, He Zengcai.
  • Area

    11357.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

House Plot 75 / Office Winhov

01:00 - 22 August, 2014
House Plot 75 / Office Winhov, © Stefan Müller
© Stefan Müller

© Stefan Müller © Stefan Müller © Stefan Müller © Stefan Müller +17

  • Architects

  • Location

    Lisdoddelaan 114, 1087 KA Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Area

    252.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

Excavating the Sky: Syria’s Contemporary Landscape at Monditalia

00:00 - 22 August, 2014
Excavating the Sky: Syria’s Contemporary Landscape at Monditalia, Courtesy of Khaled Malas
Courtesy of Khaled Malas

From August 12-15, architects, filmmakers and activists from Syria and the Arab World gathered in the Arsenale at the 2014 Venice Biennale for “excavating the sky,” a four-day event focusing on Syria and the production of its contemporary landscape from before WWI until today. The event took place in the context of the Monditalia exhibition and one of its key components was a “displaced pavilion” in Syria – a recently dug well providing water for a community of 15,000 people.

“As you know, Syria is currently undergoing a profound, and often violent, transformation, much of which is difficult to fully comprehend. It is my belief that architecture does play a role in this conflict, and that architects, with their disciplinary tools, must act more meaningfully and creatively in these struggles in/of space,” Khaled Malas, a Syrian architect and organizer of “excavating the sky,” told ArchDaily. “The 'displaced pavilion', in the form of a water-well, is an active embodiment of these struggles and our responsible participation as a discipline amongst those who have suffered years of neglect followed by war.”

To represent the "displaced pavilion" at Monditalia, a banner with a drawing of the well was hung in the Aresenale. 

Read on after the break to learn more about the other key components of the event and the significance behind its name…

BOX 298 Building / Andrade Morettin Arquitetos Associados

01:00 - 21 August, 2014
BOX 298 Building / Andrade Morettin Arquitetos Associados, © Nelson Kon
© Nelson Kon

© Nelson Kon © Nelson Kon © Nelson Kon © Nelson Kon +39

  • Architects

  • Location

    Vila Madalena, São Paulo, Brasil
  • Project Architects

    Vinicius Andrade, Marcelo Morettin
  • Coordinators

    Marcelo Maia Rosa, Renata Andrulis
  • Collaborators

    Marcio Tanaka, Ricardo Gusmão, Guido Otero, Beatriz Vanzolini
  • Project Area

    5600.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2009
  • Photography

Bridge House / Aranguiz-Bunster Arquitectos

01:00 - 21 August, 2014
Bridge House / Aranguiz-Bunster Arquitectos, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

© Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh +37

  • Architects

  • Location

    Puerto Varas, Puerto Varas, Los Lagos Region, Chile
  • Project Architect

    Nicolas Aranguiz S.
  • Construction

    Tierra Austral Ltda.
  • Project Area

    220.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2010
  • Photography

D. Dinis Secondary School / Ricardo Bak Gordon

01:00 - 21 August, 2014
D. Dinis Secondary School / Ricardo Bak Gordon, © Leonardo Finotti
© Leonardo Finotti

© Leonardo Finotti © Leonardo Finotti © Leonardo Finotti © Leonardo Finotti +14

  • Architects

  • Location

    Chelas, 1950 Lisboa, Portugal
  • Architecture

    Ricardo Bak Gordon
  • Collaborators

    Luís Pedro Pinto, Pedro Serrazina, Sónia Silva, Vera Higino, Walter Perdigão
  • Project Area

    2200.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2008
  • Photography

The Subiaco Oval Courtyard / Luigi Rosselli

01:00 - 21 August, 2014
The Subiaco Oval Courtyard / Luigi Rosselli, © Edward Birch
© Edward Birch

© Edward Birch © Edward Birch © Edward Birch © Edward Birch +26

  • Architects

  • Location

    Subiaco WA 6008, Australia
  • Design Architects

    Luigi Rosselli, Kristina Sahlestrom
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

Port Control Tower / Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo

01:00 - 21 August, 2014
Port Control Tower /  Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo, © Hélène Binet
© Hélène Binet

© Hélène Binet © Hélène Binet © Hélène Binet © Hélène Binet +24

Metropolis Magazine's Last Minute Summer Reads

00:00 - 21 August, 2014
Metropolis Magazine's Last Minute Summer Reads, One of the selected books, the Petropolis of Tomorrow, is an exhaustive look into the Brazilian offshore oil industry, and a radical design for a floating city to serve it. Image Courtesy of Actar
One of the selected books, the Petropolis of Tomorrow, is an exhaustive look into the Brazilian offshore oil industry, and a radical design for a floating city to serve it. Image Courtesy of Actar

With summer quickly coming to a close, time is running out to squeeze in one last good book. If you're open to suggestions, Metropolis Magazine recently rallied its staff members and a slew of notable architects, designers, and curators to round up an impressive list of summer reads. Amongst the architectural contributors are Mason White of Lateral Office, Donald Chong of Williamson Chong Architects, and Drew Seskunas of The Principals.

Interview with Qi Xin of Qi Xin Architects and Engineers

01:00 - 21 August, 2014
Interview with Qi Xin of Qi Xin Architects and Engineers, Olympic Park Siheyuan / Qi Xin Architects and Engineers. Image © Pier Alessio Rizzardi
Olympic Park Siheyuan / Qi Xin Architects and Engineers. Image © Pier Alessio Rizzardi

Architecture is not important. You can make a microclimate or situation, but you cannot have more influence about life or the urban situation, it’s just a very small operation you are working on, and you cannot control the situation of the city.. But even if you are just working on a single object here, you can always try to have more or less a positive influence on the city, you can always contribute in your way to the city, to the citizens. But in a larger view it’s not that important; it’s you or somebody else. The people are happy or not, their happiness is not relying on your architecture.” - Qi Xin, Beijing, 2013

Shedding light on topics from China's rapid urbanization to the issue of copycat architecture, this interview of Chinese architect Qi Xin conducted by Pier Alessio Rizzardi questions the role of architecture in Chinese society, and reveals the mindset of the modern Chinese architect. Qi Xin's answers challenge many of the myths surrounding Chinese architecture, often through one-line gems such as “what is permanent for Chinese people is the spirit, not material,” and “the most important thing is that we don’t know where we are going... we are making the future cities.”

Video: First Look Inside Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partner's "Cheesegrater"

00:00 - 21 August, 2014

In a short film for The Guardian Lead Architect and Partner of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Graham Stirk, tours Robert Booth around the almost-complete Leadenhall Building. The building is referred to as a relative of it's neighbour, Lloyds of London, which was completed by Richard Rogers's practice in 1986. Leadenhall, dubbed the "Cheesegrater" due to its angled façade, is twice the height of Lloyds and is considered to be the physical manifestation of the evolution of Rogers' architectural and tectonic language. Although less "structurally showy" than its counterpart, the building is still unconventionally bold when it comes to structural expression.

Dutch Floating Bridge / RO&AD Architecten

00:00 - 21 August, 2014
Dutch Floating Bridge / RO&AD Architecten, © Erik Stekelenburg
© Erik Stekelenburg

Courtesy of RO&AD Architecten Courtesy of RO&AD Architecten Courtesy of RO&AD Architecten Courtesy of RO&AD Architecten +22

Baku Flame Towers / HOK

01:00 - 21 August, 2014
Baku Flame Towers / HOK, © Farid Khayrulin
© Farid Khayrulin

© Farid Khayrulin © Farid Khayrulin © Farid Khayrulin © Farid Khayrulin +11

  • Architects

  • Location

    Baku, Azerbaijan
  • Area

    234500.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

Guaeca House / AMZ Arquitetos

01:00 - 21 August, 2014
Guaeca House / AMZ Arquitetos, © Maíra Acayaba
© Maíra Acayaba

© Maíra Acayaba © Maíra Acayaba © Maíra Acayaba © Maíra Acayaba +17

  • Architects

  • Location

    São Sebastião - São Paulo, Brazil
  • Architect in Charge

    Pablo Alvarenga, Manoel Maia, Adriana Zampieri
  • Area

    250.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2012
  • Photographs