A great part of our day is spent browsing architects websites looking for new works to share with our readers, and we have noticed that some are very good, while others were such a pain to navigate… So we decided to go and ask our community about this.
Last week, we asked our Facebook Fans for the best architecture office website they knew. We checked them out and decided the top 10, with no particular order. We looked for the best ones in terms of looks, navigation (is is easy to navigate? Is it fast? Can you go back without reloading the menu? Can you link directly to a specific project?), presentation quality, does it look up to date?, projects (can you sort them by location? by year?).
Also, you will notice that no flash website made the list. That’s because we think flash websites have some dificulties. For example, you can’t link a specific project and Google can´t index most of the contents. So we decided to create a ‘honorable mention’ list with all the flash websites we thought deserve it.
Remember to keep participating through our Facebook Fan Page! The complete list, after the break.
A few weeks ago we presented you photos from architectural offices that our readers shared through Facebook. And now, we bring to you the Facebook offices in Palo Alto, designed by Studio O+A.
Studio O+A is a San Francisco based practice, founded by Primo Orpilla and Verda Alexander during the dot-com boom of the early 1990s, bringing quality design to start-ups and venture firms at Silicon Valley.
I wish ArchDaily was big enough to require such facilities… the interior space is amazing, specially the open working areas and several small meeting/working/relaxing spaces here and there, that reflect the spirit of collaboration inside Facebook.
Architect’s description and more photos after the break:
Architect: Steven Holl Architects
Location: Beijing, China
Program: 750 apartments, public green space, commercial zones, hotel, cinemateque, kindergarten, Montessori school, underground parking
Client: Modern Green Development Co., Ltd. Beijing
Project Area: 220,000
Project year: 2003-2009
Photographs: Iwan Baan, SHA, Shu He
Architects: A2G Arquitectura – ângela frias e gonçalo dias arquitectos lda
Location: Matosinhos, Portugal
Project Architect: ângela frias, gonçalo dias
Site area: 890 sqm
Constructed area: 6740 sqm
Client: Simus Investimentos Imobiliarios
Start of planning: 2003
Start of construction: 2005
Photographs: A2G arquitectura
The skylines of the world´s most important cities (except for Dubai I guess) are shaped by the typical office tower. The reason is simple: it provides a flexible floor plan, with an economical structural system. “Bang for the buck” if you want to call it. To address lighting and cooling issues that these tower traditionally have, electric lighting and air conditioning were the solution.
But in times when energy is a big issue, we can no longer design buildings that depend on high consumption to provide a comfortable working environment, specially in tropical weathers. And this is what BIG had as a design principle for the Shenzhen International Energy Mansion competition they just won, proposing a tower based on an efficient and well-proven floor plan, enclosed in a skin specifically modified and optimized for the local climate.
We propose to enhance the sustainable performance of the building drastically by only focusing on its envelope, the façade.
We propose to make the Shenzhen Energy Mansion the first specimen of a new species of office buildings that exploit the buildings interface with the external elements – sun, daylight, air humidity, wind – as a source to create a maximum comfort and quality inside.
The Shenzhen Energy Mansion will appear as a subtle mutation of the classic skyscraper – a natural evolution rather than a desperate revolution.
More details on how this facade works, along with more information after the break:
The International Competition for the Exploratory Science Museum of Unicamp winners were recently announced. Daniel Corsi, Dani Hirano and Reinaldo Nishimuro from CHN Arquitetos won the competition.
The Exploratory Science Museum was instituted in 2006 as an organ of the State University of Campinas (Universidade Estadual de Campinas – Unicamp), one of the most important universities in Brazil. The Mission of the Exploratory Science Museum is to promote the dissemination of scientific culture in a space that values learning, companionship and social inclusion. It intends to accomplish its mission by unveiling the processes by means of which science and technology are constituted and contributing towards the comprehension of its impacts on everyday life, as well as on the biological and social environment at large.
In general terms, UNICAMP’s Exploratory Science Museum aspires to be a museum that accompanies the most recent trends in museology, becoming both a national and international reference, and attaining the same level of excellence as the best museums in the world. It’s main priority are those individuals that attend schools (elementary, junior high school, high school and college students), without, however, excluding other visitors from its potential public, those that are out of school, that is, that are not currently attending formal education.
First and second place projects after the break.
Near the ending, Obama says “I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to do your part too”. Cameron Sinclair, founder of Architecture for Humanity, responds on Twitter “Sir, your welcome”.
This year the Open Architecture Challenge called architects, designers and engineers to rethink the classroom of the future. Sounds like a typical competition, but it is not: they were required to collaborate with real students in real schools in their community to develop real solutions.
The winner of this year’s Challenge is the Teton Valley Community School, with a project designed with the emerging practice Section Eight [design]. The Teton Valley Community School in a non-profit independent school located in Victor, Idaho, which is one of the most underfunded school systems in the nation. Currently the school is based out of a remodeled house, but thanks to this award they are closer to get a full classroom.
There are also other awards that I will describe later, but this is more than just prizes. The Challenge received over 1,000 entries, entries that can become real projects that can help improve the quality of education around the world. Architecture for Humanity established the Classroom Upgrade Fund, that hopes to provide seed funding and support to local schools in implementing the design solutions they have developed.
Architects: Forte, Gimenes & Marcondes Ferraz Arquitetos
Location: Várzea Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil
Architects in Charge: Fernando Forte, Lourenço Gimenes and Rodrigo Marcondes Ferraz
Coordinator: Renata Davi
Collaborators: Adriana Junqueira, Ana Paula Barbosa, Fernanda Alpiste
Trainees: Paloma Delgado, Luciana Muller
Structure: Catuta Engenharia
Contractor: Construtora Linic
Site Area: 6,344 sqm
Constructed Area: 2,703 sqm
Project year: 2007-2008
Photographs: Pedro Kok & Nelson Kon
Architects: VJAA in association with James Carpenter Design Associates and Transsolar
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Client: Tulane University
Principals in Charge: Vincent James, FAIA; Jennifer Yoos, AIA; Nathan Knutson, AIA
Senior Project Architect: Paul Yaggie, AIA
Consulting Architect: Wayne Troyer Architect, Louisiana
Landscape Architect: Coen + Partners
General Contractor: Broadmoor; Boh Bros. Construction
Constructed area: 13,750 sqm
Budget: US $28,000,000
Project year: 2007
Photographs: © Paul Crosby
We’ve featured several master plans where countries implement eco-friendly community measures in their newest developments. The desire for a well planned, green city now belongs to South Korea, who announced not one, but two master plans (Foster + Partners’ plan soon to be featured on AD). For the Songdo International Business District, Kohn Pedersen Fox has created a functioning network of over 120 green buildings placed amidst acres of landscaped open spaces. Located on 1,500 acres on the waterfront of Incheon, the $300 billion plan will provide housing for 75,000 residents and handle 300,000 commuters.
More about the sustainable community after the break.
Sander Architects have designed a residence for the historic Movie Colony of Palm Springs that can combat the site’s harsh environment. Facing the San Jacinto mountains, the house features a simple roof that opens to the home toward the surroundings. With temperatures in Palm Springs reaching over a stifling 120 degrees, the western exposure of the home ”has created an enormously difficult problem with solar exposure”. Sander’s design of a fifteen-foot horizontal cantilever reduces (to practically zero) the time when the setting summer sun’s rays will penetrate the interiors; however, the cantilever is angled in such a way to allow winter sun to ”more readily enter the house to warm it when the weather turns colder.”
More about the residence after the break.
Building Information Modeling is quickly becoming the back bone of the Architectural, Engineering, Construction and Facility Management industries. As the transition progresses and projects are designed and constructed using BIM tools various methodologies and techniques have been developed.
The intent of this competition is not to review the appearance or special aspects of a particular design but instead the process and methodologies used to design, coordinate and construct the project both digital and physically.
More information on categories, submission, schedule and fees in the competition’s official website.
Architect: Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter Aps
Location: Albertslund, Denmark
Client: Freja Ejendomme A/S
Constractor: N. H. Hansen og Søn A/S
Construction Engineer: Jørgen Nielsen A/S
Engineering, Electricity & Plumbing: Jens-Peter Madsen ApS
Landscape: Svend Kierkegaard A/S
Site Area: 875 sqm
Construction Area: 408 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Adam Mørk
Speed Limits is currently on exhibition in the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), till November 9 in the main galleries. Speed Limits addresses the pivotal role played by speed in modern life: from art to architecture and urbanism to graphics and design to economics to the material culture of the eras of industry and information. It marks the centenary of the foundation of the Italian Futurist movement, whose inaugural manifesto famously proclaimed “that the world’s magnificence has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed.”
The exhibition explores five key domains of the powers and limits of the modern era’s cult of speed, beginning in 1900: circulation and transit, construction and the built environment, efficiency, the measurement and representation of rapid motion, and the mind/body relationship. Critical rather than commemorative in spirit, it explores a single Futurist theme from the standpoint of its contemporary legacies. Speed Limits is an exhibition about complex choices and complex consequences, about polarities but also about intertwinings between the fast and the slow.
More information on the exhibition, on the official website.
Architects: FTL Design Engineering Studio – Nic Goldsmith. Matthew Hilyard, Amedeo Perlas, AmyPalmer, Ashish Soni
Location: Sun Valley, Idaho, USA
Project Architects: Ruscitto/Latham/Blanton Architectura P.A; Nicholas Latham, Thadd Blanton, Michael Bulls ,Scott Heiner
Engineering of Cable net and Fabric: FTL Design Engineering Studio; Joe Schedlbauer, Mary Korotkova
Structural Engineering: ES2Engineering; Dough Weber, Terrol Bateman
Acoutical Engineering: Jaffee Holden Acoustics; Dr. J. Christopher Jaffe, Mary Cook, Mark Reber
Theatrical Design& Lighting: Auerbach Pollock & Friedlander; Steven Friedlander, Don Guyton
Landscape: Eggers Associates; Kurt Eggers, Nathan Schutte
General Contractor: Intermountain Construction, Inc,Jeff Ogden, Derek Wright
Interior Design: Frank Nicholson, Inc.
Mechanical Engineering: Van Boerum & Frank Assoc., Inc.
Electrical Engineering: Paul Stoops Associates
Budget: $30 Million USD
Project year: 2008
The much anticipated Termite Pavilion arrived at the International Arts Pestival in London earlier this week. The Pestival is “a festival celebrating insects in art, and the art of being an insect…it is a rare creature: an international, inter-disciplinary, community-led festival.” Inspired by the Namibian termite mounds, the six square meter walk-in solid timber structure ”allows Pestival goers a unique insight into these extraordinary organic forms.”
More about the Pavilion after the break.