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Unified Architectural Theory: Chapter 6

00:00 - 26 July, 2014
Unified Architectural Theory: Chapter 6, Bagsværd Church, by Jørn Utzon, is commonly cited as an example of "Critical Regionalism." However, according to Salilngaros' Unified Architectural Theory, "Critical Regionalism" does not go far enough in removing architecture from the influence of Modernist principles. Image © Flickr User seier + seier - http://www.flickr.com/photos/seier/
Bagsværd Church, by Jørn Utzon, is commonly cited as an example of "Critical Regionalism." However, according to Salilngaros' Unified Architectural Theory, "Critical Regionalism" does not go far enough in removing architecture from the influence of Modernist principles. Image © Flickr User seier + seier - http://www.flickr.com/photos/seier/

We will be publishing Nikos Salingaros’ book, Unified Architectural Theory, in a series of installments, making it digitally, freely available for students and architects around the world. The following chapter discusses the extent to which architecture can be considered successful, i.e. adaptive to its specific locality. Although recognizing the merits of “Critical Regionalism,” Salingaros here explains why that framework is not enough to analyze architecture in terms of its environmental, cultural and emotional impact. If you missed them, make sure to read the previous installments here.

Suppose that we have successfully documented and catalogued all form languages, including those from vernacular traditions, past times, and contemporary practice. A scientific approach requires the next step, which comprises both analysis and classification. A catalogue is a useful store of information, but it is only the beginning of a systematic study.

What do some form languages have in common, and on what qualities do some of them differ? One measure is their degree of complexity, as documented by the length of description of the form language. Another is adaptation to locality. How far does a form language justify itself as being regional? Here, regional is the opposite of universal. 

It is therefore useful to classify form languages by how much they adapt to a certain locality. If it does adapt, each language will, of course, adapt to its own specific locality: what we measure is how good that adaptation is. Success of adaptation is measured if buildings are energy efficient in the low-tech sense, so that the majority population can profit from them. By contrast, high-tech energy efficiency may be very useful, but it usually relies upon imported technology and materials, and is thus global, not regional. 

Inside "Re-Creation" - Finland's Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2014

00:00 - 26 July, 2014
Inside "Re-Creation" - Finland's Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2014, Re-Creation. The Finnish Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale.. Image © Nico Saieh
Re-Creation. The Finnish Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale.. Image © Nico Saieh

Re-Creation is a two-part installation based on a concept by Anssi Lassila. One part of the installation was constructed by a Finnish master carpenter and his team, and the other by a Chinese team. Together the two parts of the installation strike up a subtle and complex dialogue between the architects and local builders.

Presented by the pavilion designed by Alvar Aalto in 1956, the installation "takes a stand on our relationship with the modern legacy and its tradition of international dialogue, and represents a quintessential product of topical international dialogue while at the same time offering its own unique interpretation of the dynamic between tradition and modernity." See images of the pavilion and enjoy a statement from the curators after the break.

WAF Reveals Shortlist for Wood Excellence Award

00:00 - 26 July, 2014
WAF Reveals Shortlist for Wood Excellence Award, The Tent/ a21studio. Image Courtesy of a21 studio
The Tent/ a21studio. Image Courtesy of a21 studio

The World Architecture Festival (WAF) has announced the shortlist for its first Wood Excellence award, which will honor a project where wood is an integral part of the design. Out of over 40 projects considered, WAF has selected eight for the shortlist, including a21studio’s “The Tent” and “Salvaged Ring,” as well as DSDHA’s “Alex Monroe Studio” and the University of Hong Kong’s “The Pinch.” 

Competition Entry Proposes Colorful Duo of Museums for Budapest

01:00 - 26 July, 2014
Competition Entry Proposes Colorful Duo of Museums for Budapest, Exterior of the Architecture Museum. Image © IaN+
Exterior of the Architecture Museum. Image © IaN+

Italian design firm IaN+ has put forth their vision for a pair of museums along the Dòzsa Gyorgy Boulevard in Budapest, Hungary for the Liget Budapest International Competition. Connected by a central foyer, the two exhibition spaces will be based on a common grid of structural concrete walls whose cells will form galleries. One of these museums will be devoted to photography, the other to architecture, and each building, while similar in appearance, is designed to best accommodate the work they will display.

Architecture Museum Exterior. Image © IaN+ Architecture Museum Exterior. Image © IaN+ Architecture Museum Gallery. Image © IaN+ Architecture Museum Circulation Space. Image © IaN+ +9

Sorocaba House / Estudio BRA arquitetura

01:00 - 26 July, 2014
Sorocaba House / Estudio BRA arquitetura, © Pedro Kok
© Pedro Kok

© Pedro Kok © Pedro Kok © Pedro Kok © Pedro Kok +41

  • Architects

  • Location

    Sorocaba - São Paulo, Brasil
  • Authors

    André Di Gregorio e Rodrigo Maçonilio
  • Project Area

    127.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photography

Sufficiency – Inside the Malaysia Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale

00:00 - 26 July, 2014
Sufficiency – Inside the Malaysia Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale, Sufficiency. The Malaysia Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale. Image © Nico Saieh
Sufficiency. The Malaysia Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale. Image © Nico Saieh

The Malaysia Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale focuses on the idea of sufficiency, and its role in creating sustainable and modest architecture.

In a statement, one of the Pavilion curators, Lim Teng Ngiom, writes that “while sufficiency suggests a modest but adequate scale of living, it can be reduced to only the necessity required for survival extended on a personal or collective autonomy. On the precept of sustainability it can be measured by one’s carbon footprint, or in construction it can suggest minimum building footprint or optimum structure.”

To represent the idea of sufficiency, the curators chose to display works on collapsible pet cages, which have "just enough space for existence." Several of the pet cages are clamped together to form a suspended beam, creating a "fundamental component of architecture." Additional works are displayed on pet cages that are sitting on the floor. 

Enjoy photos from the Pavilion and a statement from the curators after the break…

ME House / Otta Albernaz Arquitetura

01:00 - 26 July, 2014
ME House / Otta Albernaz Arquitetura, © Eduardo Simabuguro Albernaz
© Eduardo Simabuguro Albernaz

© Eduardo Simabuguro Albernaz © Eduardo Simabuguro Albernaz © Eduardo Simabuguro Albernaz © Eduardo Simabuguro Albernaz +29

Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Awarded National Medal of Arts

01:00 - 25 July, 2014
Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Awarded National Medal of Arts, Williams & Tsien made headlines in last year thanks to the demolition of their American Folk Art Museum. Image © Flickr CC User Wallyg
Williams & Tsien made headlines in last year thanks to the demolition of their American Folk Art Museum. Image © Flickr CC User Wallyg

Tod Williams and Billie Tsien have been awarded the National Medal for Arts by the National Endowment for the Arts. The duo, known for projects such as the Barnes Foundation and for the controversy surrounding the demolition of their 2001 American Folk Art Museum last year, will be rewarded for their "deliberate and inspired designs" as well as their services in teaching. The medals will be awarded to them by President Obama in a ceremony on July 28th. Also receiving a medal will be Johnpaul Jones of Seattle firm Jones & Jones, who will be the first Architect to receive the National Humanities Medal in the Award's 17-year history. Find out more about the awards at World-Architects.

A Prize for Promise: GAGA’s Hunt for the New Hadid

01:00 - 25 July, 2014
A Prize for Promise: GAGA’s Hunt for the New Hadid , Post-Graduate Runner-up, GAGA 2013. Rob Taylor - Golden Temple of Trash
Post-Graduate Runner-up, GAGA 2013. Rob Taylor - Golden Temple of Trash

A few years ago London’s Architectural Association held an exhibition called First Works: Emerging Architectural Experimentation in the 1960s & 1970s, which wonderfully gathered together early projects from a host of the most famous names in architecture. In both Zaha Hadid’s gorgeously animated plan/perspectives of the Taoiseach’s Residence and Daniel Libeskind’s intensely unstable drawings of Micromegas, you can already sense a lifetime of formal exploration ahead for the pair; and yet who would ever guess the unique tectonic language to come from the anonymously mundane drawings of the Sequoyah Educational Research Centre by Morphosis?

When I set up the Global Architecture Graduate Awards (GAGAs) at The Architectural Review in 2012, it was with the insight that, at its best, the work produced at the start of a career can be its most daring and projective. At that fertile threshold between the academy and practice, uncertain graduates can be years ahead of more assured and mature colleagues in the creative risks they are willing to take.

Post-Graduate Runner-up, GAGA 2013. Bogani Muchemwa - Builder's Yard Shortlisted, GAGA 2012. Almudena Cano Pineiro - Regeneration Indian Public Space Post-Graduate Runner-up, GAGA 2013. Adrienne Lau - (Dis)assembly of Suburbia Winner, GAGA 2012. Haiwei Xie - The BRIC House +10

Wuxi Sales Center / UDG China

01:00 - 25 July, 2014
Wuxi Sales Center / UDG China, © Yao Li
© Yao Li

© Yao Li © Yao Li © Yao Li © Yao Li +24

  • Architects

  • Location

    Yangshan Avenue, Wuxi, Jiangsu, China
  • Architect in Charge

    Qian Qiang
  • Design Team

    Simone De Gradi, Zhang Dan, Li Chencheng, Wang Shuliang, Gu Kewei
  • Area

    1337.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

"Bungalow Germania" - Germany's Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014

01:00 - 25 July, 2014
"Bungalow Germania" - Germany's Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014, Bungalow Germania. The German Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale.. Image © Nico Saieh
Bungalow Germania. The German Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale.. Image © Nico Saieh

Germany's contribution to the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale scrutinizes the architecture of representation, its crisis, and potential cessation. Aside from the universal ambition of modernism to break with the past, Germany has undergone a number of decisive political and societal breaks during the last hundred years. Through the question of how the nation "(re)builds and represents itself through architecture, we are able to discuss the friction between national identity and architecture expression—however, architecture is not only a mirror to ideology, but a constituting reality and societal context."

SURE Wins Competition with "Endless City" Skyscraper

01:00 - 25 July, 2014
SURE Wins Competition with "Endless City" Skyscraper, © SURE
© SURE

Recently winning first place in a Skyscapers and SuperSkyscapers Competition, SURE Architecture has put forth a daring new proposition for a London skyscraper design. Their proposal, titled "The Endless City in Height," does away with the traditional notion of stacking floors on top of each other. Rather, this innovative design incorporates two street-sized ramps that wind their way up the exterior of the tower, creating extensions of the city streetscape that rise and coil vertically into the London skyline.

Qichun Catholic Church / Leekostudio

01:00 - 25 July, 2014
Qichun Catholic Church / Leekostudio, Courtesy of Leekostudio
Courtesy of Leekostudio

Courtesy of Leekostudio Courtesy of Leekostudio Courtesy of Leekostudio Courtesy of Leekostudio +43

  • Architects

  • Location

    Hubei, China
  • Design Team

    Li Yikao, Jin Xing
  • Project Year

    2011
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Leekostudio

Rocas House / Studio MK27 + 57STUDIO

01:00 - 25 July, 2014
Rocas House / Studio MK27 + 57STUDIO, © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG +56

  • Architects

  • Location

    El Pangue, Zapallar, Valparaíso, Chile
  • Arquitetura

    Marcio Kogan + Renata Furlanetto + Maurizio Angelini + Benjamín Oportot + Natalia Rubio
  • Project Team

    Carlos Costa, Diana Radomysler, Laura Guedes, Maria Cristina Motta, Mariana Simas
  • Project Area

    460.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2012
  • Photography

Video: Los Angeles from Above

00:00 - 25 July, 2014

This time-lapse video, entitled "Above LA," is Chris Pritchard's love letter to Los Angeles. Filmed over the course of two years, Pritchard sought out locations to showcase the city in a way people rarely get to see  from above. Some of the views were easy to seek out, while others involved some exploratory hiking and trespassing. He encourages "everyone - lifelong Angelenos, transplants, visitors - to hit the trails, drive the mountain roads, find a reason to get on top of a high-rise. From the basin to the valley, this city offers so many opportunities to rise above and look down. Never stop exploring."

Extension of the Helicopter Group of Civil Security / NBJ architectes

01:00 - 25 July, 2014
Extension of the Helicopter Group of Civil Security  / NBJ architectes, © Paul Kozlowski - photoarchitecture
© Paul Kozlowski - photoarchitecture

© Paul Kozlowski - photoarchitecture © Paul Kozlowski - photoarchitecture © Paul Kozlowski - photoarchitecture © Paul Kozlowski - photoarchitecture +18

  • Architects

  • Location

    Aéronautique Navale de Nîmes-Garons, Nîmes-Alès-Camargue-Cévennes Airport, 30800 Saint-Gilles, France
  • Architects in Charge

    Elodie Nourrigat, Jacques Brion, Romain Jamot
  • Area

    5700.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

The Garden Room / Welsh+Major

01:00 - 25 July, 2014
The Garden Room / Welsh+Major, © Brett Boardman
© Brett Boardman

© Brett Boardman © Brett Boardman © Brett Boardman © Brett Boardman +14

Gomba / Hetedik Müterem

01:00 - 25 July, 2014
Gomba / Hetedik Müterem , © Tamás Szentirmai
© Tamás Szentirmai

© Tamás Szentirmai © Tamás Szentirmai © Tamás Szentirmai © Balázs Biri +39

  • Architects

  • Location

    1114 Budapest, Móricz Zsigmond körtér, Hungary
  • Architect in Charge

    Levente Szabó DLA, Zsolt Gyüre
  • Co-architects

    Orsolya Simon, Dávid Kohout, Balázs Biri
  • Area

    450.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

    Tamás Szentirmai, Balázs Biri, Courtesy of Hetedik Müterem