Botanical Research Institute of Texas / H3 Hardy C​ollaboration Architecture

© Chris Cooper

Architect: H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture
Location: Texas,
Completion: 2011
Size: 70,000 square feet
Cost: $25,000,000
Client: Botanical Research Institute of Texas
Photographer: Chris Cooper


Journey to the Center of New York: Can Design “Cure” Our Cities?

Plans for the , an underground park made possible by fiberoptic technology. Photo courtesy of James Ramsey and Dan Barasch

Walk into the cafeteria at the Googleplex and you are nudged into the “right” choice. Sweets? Color-coded red and placed on the bottom shelf to make them just a bit harder to reach. “Instead of that chocolate bar, sir, wouldn’t you much rather consume this oh-so-conveniently-located apple? It’s good for you! Look, we labelled it green!” [1]

Like the Google cafeteria guides you to take responsibility of your health, Google wants to transform the construction industry to take responsibility of the “health” of its buildings. They have been leveraging for transparency in the content of building materials, so that, like consumers who read what’s in a Snickers bar before eating it, they’ll know the “ingredients” of materials to choose the greenest, what they call “healthiest,” options.[2]

These examples illustrate the trend of “medicalization” in our increasingly health-obsessed society: when ordinary problems (such as construction, productivity, etc.) are defined and understood in medical terms. In their book Imperfect Health, Borasi and Zardini argue that through this process, architecture and design has been mistakenly burdened with the normalizing, moralistic function of “curing” the human body. [3]

While I find the idea that design should “force” healthiness somewhat paternalistic and ultimately limited, I don’t think this “medicalized” language is all bad – especially if we can use it in new and revitalizing ways. Allow me to prescribe two examples: the most popular and the (potentially) most ambitious urban renewal projects in today, the High Line and the Delancey Underground (or the Low Line).

More on “curative” spaces after the break. (Trust me, it’s good for you.)

Courtesy of Studio Metar

City Library Extension Proposal / Studio Metar

The concept design for the extension of the city library by Studio Metar… results from the thesis that a contemporary library is a source of information with unlimited access. The message of the design lies in the mentioned thesis, but

Fire Station and Mountain Rescue Building / Dietrich | Untertrifaller Architekten

© Bruno Klomfar

Architects: Dietrich | Untertrifaller Architekten
Location: ,
Area: 6,353 sqm
Photographs: Bruno Klomfar


Update: ABI / February

Last month, our reporting of the Architecture Billings Index was a little pessimistic, as the slight upward movement was no sure sign of a stable recovery.  Yet, February marks the fourth month the Billings Index has remained in positive territory (a score of 50 or more indicates as such), and while we are cautious to mark the volatile index’s movement as a trend, we sure hope it is!  February reported a score of 51.0 and a significant jump was reached in the new project inquiry index (up from 61.2 to 63.4).  In fact, the 63.4 score is the highest inquires for new projects since July of 2007.   “This is more good news for the design and construction industry that continues to see improving business conditions,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA.  “The factors that are preventing a more accelerated recovery are persistent caution from clients to move ahead with new projects, and a continued difficulty in accessing financing for projects that developers have decided to pursue.”  Breaking the index down regionally, the Midwest leads with 56.0, followed by the South, Northeast and finally the West with scores of 51.3, 51.0, 45.6, respectively.

Exhibition and Retail Pavillion in the Concert Hall in the Postojna Cave / Studio Stratum

© Miran Kambič

Architects: Studio Stratum – Polona Filipič, Peter Šenk, Marko Pretnar, Grega Tramte
Location: Postojna,
Collaborators: Marko Šenk, Peter Emil Grošelj
Client: Postojnska jama, d.d.
Structure: Spit d.o.o.
Services: Winky d.o.o., Arctur d.o.o.
Biological Treatment Plant: Cid d.o.o.
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Miran Kambič

1923. Ola Kolehmainen 2011, C-print, diasec.

Latest Works by Artist Ola Kolehmainen Exhibition

Being held at the Alvar Aalto Museum in Jyväskylä, Finland, the exhibition for the latest works by artist Ola Kolehmainen is currently on display until July 29th. A contemporary artist of international importance, Kolehmainen is known for his large abstract…

House 12k / Dierendonck Blancke Architecten

© Filip Dujardin

Architects: Dierendonck Blancke Architecten
Location: ,
Design Team: Alexander Dierendonck, Isabelle Blancke, Marie Decoene
Engineering: Arthur De Roover, Structure
Surface: 108 sqm
Budget: 145,000 euro
Realisation: 2010
Photographer: Filip Dujardin

© Patrick Bingham-Hall

Update: WOHA’s ‘Breathing Architecture’ Exhibition

WOHA…‘s ‘Breathing Architecture’ exhibition, which will be up until April 29th has been very successful at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) in Frankfurt, Germany. Some of their structures remind us of bold visions of the future, in which plants reclaim

Dutch Embassy in Amman / Rudy Uytenhaak

© Pieter Kers

Architects: Rudy Uytenhaak
Location: ,
Client: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Design team: Fumi Hoshino Frank Langhorst, Felix Reiter, Jaap Hikke, Sebastian Sterniak
Area: 1,000 sqm
Contractor: Consolidated Consultants, Amman
Installations: Royal Haskoning
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Pieter Kers

Courtesy of SITBON Architectes

‘Grenade’ Inflatable Pavilion Proposal / SITBON Architectes

Grenade, the proposal for the CityVision Inflatable Pavilion competition, by SITBON Architectes… aims to create a relation with its environment. The theme of the pavilion is to think of the city as an immense architecture in constant mobility, by the

21 Jervois Hill / AR43 Architects

© Albert KS Lim

Architect: AR43 Architects
Design Team: Lim Cheng Kooi
Landscape Design: DrEasaw Thomas
Builder: Pekson Construction & Engineering Pte Ltd
Site Area: 1,516.9 sqm
Photographer: Albert KS Lim


Corallo House / PAZ Arquitectura

© Andres Asturias

Architect: PAZ Arquitectura – Alejandro Paz
Location: Santa Rosalía, ,
Collaborators: Axel Mendoza, Gabriel Rodriguez, Alex Titus, Mario Roberto Paz, Claudia Pezarozzi, Wolfgang Schoenbeck
Landscape Design: Pokorny y Valencia, Arquitectura de Paisaje
Construction: Conarq / Paz Arquitectura
Structure Design: Consultores Estructurales
Built Area: 747.50 sqm
Completion: 2011
Photographs: Andres Asturias

Documentary featuring Michael Graves Premieres Tomorrow

Image provided by & ASSOCIATES

Premiering tomorrow on WTTW – one of Chicago’s PBS television stations – will be the new 30-minute documentary Architect Michael Graves: A Grand Tour. Popular Chicago TV tour host Geoffrey Baer profiles the life and work of the internationally acclaimed architect and winner of the 2012 Driehaus Prize for Classical and Traditional Architecture. The documentary will air Thursday, March 22 at 8PM.

Continue reading for more information on the documentary and view updated images of the Wounded Warrior Project.

AD Round Up: Public Facilities Part IX

© Joaquín Ponce de León

We have some great public facilities projects published back in 2009. Here’s five you can’t miss: A community center in the island of Tenerife, Spain or Produkcija 004′s emergency terminal of a hospital in Zagreb. Don’t miss the Macarthur Gardens Education & Display Centre in Australia, nor this pavilion at Aventura Park in Portugal. Last, a great lanscape project in Barcelona.

Casal de la Ciutat Lapallavacara a Balaguer / Mamen Domingo & Ernest Ferre

Courtesy of Mamen Domingo y Ernest Ferré

Architects: Mamen Domingo & Ernest Ferré
Location: , Lleida,
Completion: March 2011
Area: 2,078.80 sqm
Budget: 2,216,525€
Architectural Collaborator: Malena Padawer, Isabel Cotchà,ReljaFerusic, Nagore Linares, UxíaCarballeira, Ola Otwinowska
Photographs: Courtesy of Mamen Domingo y Ernest Ferré


Arteixo Sport Center / Jose Ramon Garitaonaindia de Vera

© Hector Santos-Díez

Architect: José Ramón Garitaonaindía de Vera
Location: Avenida de Arsenio Iglesias, Arteixo, ,
Project Team: Montserrat Neira, Omar Curros.
Clients: Concello de Arteixo (Arteixo City Council)
Project Square Footage: 1,527 sqm
Site Area: 3,150 sqm
Completed: 2011
Structural Engineers: Jorge Aragón Fitera.
Contractor: Construcciones Riotorto S.L.
Budget: 2,293,128 million Euro.
Photographs: Hector Santos-Díez

Plantahof Auditorium / Valerio Olgiati

© Javier Miguel Verme

Architects: Valerio Olgiati
Location: , Switzerland
Collaborators: Nathan Ghiringhelli, Daisuke Kokufuda
Date: 2008-2010
Area: 270 sqm
Photographs: Javier Miguel Verme