Video: Architecture and Business

Jenn Kennedy, author of Success by Design and AD collaborator, shared with us this interesting video in which she asked an influential group of architects about their direction. These testimonials by Dan Meis, Art Gensler, Lauren Rottet and Steven Ehrlich give us valuable insights on running a successful firm.

Kiti / mihadesign

© Shinkenchiku-sha

Architect: mihadesign
Location: , , Japan
Structural Engineer: Ejiri Structure Design Office
Project Area: site area:150.44 sqm building area: 60.17 sqm, floor area ratio: 133.12 sqm
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Shinkenchiku-sha

Balnarring House / Simon Couchman Architects

© Christine Francis

Architects: Simon Couchman Architects / Simon Couchman
Location: Balnarring Beach, VIC,
Project Engineer: KH Engineering
Building Contractor: Nepean Houseworks
Landscape: Fiona Brockhoff
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: ~300 sqm
Photographs: Christine Francis

Sick Childcare Home Proposal / AVP_arhitekti

Courtesy of

Within the location from which the project for the sick childcare home is designed, considering the delicate topic, the basic concept of AVP_arhitekti‘s design is site. All other concepts (space, building, construction, physical production, form design) are subject to that basic concept and are obliged to support it. Attention is directed to the welfare of children. Spaces, materials, and organizational schemes are designed to support the general atmosphere of tranquility, security, comfort, safe internal communication, linked external and internal spaces and intimate courtyards.

The project thus possesses a modest significance of the preferred construction system, unusual geometry and coerced approach to plot which at the end are those (heavy, external) factors on which the concept is tested and detailed to a mathematical precision. More images and project description after the break.

Cabezo de la Almagra / Cerrejon Arquitectos

© Roland Halbe

Architect: Cerrejon Arquitectos
Location: University Campus of “El Carmen”, Huelva, Spain
Lead Architect: Sebastián Cerrejón Hidalgo
Metal Structure: S. L. P., Joaquín Gracia Barberán
Foundation: José Sainz Sopeña
Agricultural Engineer: Carlos Enviz
Archaeologist: Juan Manuel Campos Carrasco
Facilities: Grupo JG
Sponsors: Municipal Management of Urbanism Town Hall of Huelva
Construction: Terracivíl, S.A., Vicente Cantalapiedra (Chief of Work)
Project Area: 21,489.68 sqm
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Roland Halbe

Update: ABI September

ABI September via Calculated Risk

The  just reported September’s Architecture Billings Index measuring 46.9, a sharp drop since August’s 51.4.  Such a low index reflects a decrease in demand for design services, and the new projects inquiry index was 54.3, down from a reading of 56.9 the previous month.  “It appears that the positive conditions seen last month were more of an aberration,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “The economy is weak enough at present that design activity is bouncing around more than usual; one strong month can be followed by a weak one. The economy needs to be stronger to generate sustained growth in design activity.”  Regional averages place the Midwest first with as score of 51.0, with the Northeast following at 50.8, South at 47.3 and West at 46.7.  As we’ve been seeing, the commercial/industrial sector is leading with 52.4.


Community Center / SO – IL

courtyard 01

Solid Objectives – Idenburg Liu (SO – IL), the architectural practice of Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu in New York, was awarded the first prize in an open call by the Flemish Government Architect to design an 500 m2 community center for a small village in Flemish-speaking Belgium. Out of 5 designs, ’s solution was considered the most appropriate. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Corea Harbor House / Norelius Studio

© Kelly Bellis

Architects: Norelius Studio
Location: , Maine,
Structural Engineer: Albert Putnam, PE
Lighting Designer: Peter Knuppel Lighting Design
Builder: Kenneth Thibault
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 130 sqm
Photographs: Kelly Bellis


Courtesy of Lyons

Melbourne Architecture Annual: ‘Talking Homes’ Panel Discussion

Melbourne-based architectural practice Lyons… has brought together a panel of leading architects and designers to discuss the central theme of this year’s Melbourne Architecture Annual, What makes a home?
The panel discussion, “Talking Homes”, will take place at Lyons’ Bourke

Multi-Level Apartment / Peter Kostelov

© Alexey Knyazev

Architects: Peter Kostelov
Location: Moscow,
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 348 sqm
Photographs: Alexey Knyazev

AD Review: From the Archives

Our projects from the archives this week include a 15 meter cantilevered vernacular house, a bamboo sustainable campus, and two projects – a house and a cultural center – that both utilize perforated metal as an exterior facade. We couldn’t help but include the hundred foot house, a gallery with a rain skin of natural cedar, a guest house that was assembled in just one day, and a museum and house that both incorporate polycarbonate as a main material in the design.  Featured after the break are these projects and their highlights along with a link to their original project feature on ArchDaily.

© DECCgovuk

Pylon Design Competition Winner

Bystrup…’s innovative T-Pylon design has been unanimously agreed by the judging panel as the winner of the Pylon Design competition run by the Department of Energy & Climate Change, National Grid, and the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Locarno House / designyougo

© designyougo

Architects: designyougo
Location: ,
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 178 sqm
Photographs: designyougo

Ordinary House / FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects


Architects: FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects
Location: , Japan
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 102.67 sqm
Photographs: MOVE

Gehry Technologies to Transform the Building Industry through Technology

Soumaya Museum by LAR © Gehry Technologies

Update: The AIA has expressed their support for Gehry Technologies’ strategic alliance (reported last night on ArchDaily).  “We applaud this enterprise by Gehry Technologies and the Board who are comprised of many AIA members because it is estimated that as much as 30% to as much as 50% of all time, money, materials and resources that go into a construction project do not add value to the final product,” said AIA President, Clark Manus, FAIA. “The AIA has long been advocating for tools such as Business Information Modeling and methodologies like Integrated Project Delivery that can help reduce the inefficiencies in construction projects. We are anxious to see the progress though this effort that will be beneficial for both the industry and clients.”

Today Frank Gehry, co-founder and chairman of Gehry Technologies (GT), announced plans to further his vision to ‘transform the building industry and the practice of design’.  In an effort to redirect the profession back to solving both clients’ and communities’ problems Gehry has gathered together some of the world’s most prominent designers: David Childs, Massimo Colomban, Zaha Hadid, Greg Lynn, , Wolf D. Prix, , Moshe Safdie, Matthias Schuler, Patrik Schumacher, Ben van Berkel, and Richard Saul Wurman to serve on Gehry Technologies’ board of advisors.

“I am dedicated to giving architects better control of the process so they can deliver the fruits of their imagination, which is what our clients expect. I have gathered a group of my friends together who believe in this mission as much as I do and who can help me find the solutions that will ultimately lead to better buildings throughout the world,” stated Gehry.

GRAPHISOFT BIMx™ for iPad/iPhone

YouTube Preview Image

GRAPHISOFT recently released an innovative, interactive BIM communication tool for architects. The add-on for ArchiCAD 15, BIMx, is an easy-to-use mobile design demonstration tool for exploring, communicating and sharing building concepts.

Through BIMx, ArchiCAD 15 users gain unprecedented ability to share entire BIM models with anyone through an interactive community on Facebook or through iOS devices. BIMx demonstrations can be executed on a desktop computer or laptop as well. More information and some images after the break.

The End of Suburbia at the BMW Guggenheim Design Lab

© 2004 The Electric Wallpaper Co.

The BMW Guggenheim Lab recently dismantled its mobile laboratory in New York City, and after two exciting months it is vital to reflect on the conversations and ideas that were sparked by its discussions, lectures, workshops and screenings.  This impromptu laboratory / forum / classroom, free and open to the public, was situated on the corner of Houston Street and 2nd Avenue in a sliver of a lot in First Park in the Lower East Side of Downtown Manhattan.  Since August 3rd it has hosted charged discussions focused on architecture, urban studies, environmental concerns and community participation. 

On October 5th, the lab hosted the screening of The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of The American Dream (2004), directed by Gregory Greene and produced by Barry Silverthorn.  With brutal honesty it presents the threats of our current lifestyle, particularly the suburban lifestyle, and the displacement of the long established tradition of “American Dream” by way of its ecological ramifications.

Read on for more on the documentary!

Designing for Autism: Lighting

New Struan Centre for © Wardell Armstrong

What do we know about designing for individuals with autism? Those concerned with sensory issues are split on some issues.[1] Some say we should limit daylight and exterior views, keep ceiling heights low and spatial volumes small, use restrained details, subdued colors, and reduce acoustical levels. Others advocate for high ceiling heights, large spatial volumes, and high levels of daylight with plenty of views to the outside.  Still others disagree with catering to sensory needs altogether. They point out that individuals with autism struggle generalizing skills, and designing sensory heavens can do more harm than good. Thus they argue for autism classrooms, schools, and homes that mimic all the colors, sounds, lighting, and spatial volumes of “neuro-typical” environments.[2] So who is right?