Editor’s note: We are happy to introduce you to Jody Brown, the architect behind the popular blog Coffee with an Architect. Starting this week, we will have periodic “cups of coffee” with him to talk about the usual things that are common to us, the architects.

New Autocad Command Shortcuts after the break:


© Rafael Gamo

Architects: ARCHETONIC / Jacobo Micha Mizrahi; PROARQUITECTURA / Yack Amkie
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 18,000 sqm
Photographs: Rafael Gamo, Aldo Moreno

Libyan History Museum / Jafar Tukan Architects

Courtesy of Consolidated Consultants/

Located in a very rich part of where street cafes are full, public gardens are lavish, and pedestrian pathways are bursting with everyday life, it is the perfect setting to tell a piece of Libya’s history. Therefore, the design strategy of Consolidated Consultants/Jafar Tukan Architects consists of embracing this rich surrounding for this history museum. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Bilbao City Hall / IMB Arquitectos

© Iñigo Bujedo Aguirre

Architect: IMB Arquitectos
Location: ,
Project Team: Gloria Iriate, Eduardo Mugica, Agustin de la Brena
Collaborates: Berndt Nischt, Iker Gandarias, Almudena Fernandez, Leyre de Lecea, Anartz Ormaza, Maite Eizagirre
Work Inspection: Iban Gonzalez, Ana Ruiz, Jose Luis Castellanos
Structure Consultant: NB 35 SA
Structure: Tauxme SA
Installations: Ingenieria NIPSA SA
Contractor: UTE Exbasa Amenabar
Photographs: Iñigo Bujedo Aguirre

747 Wing House / David Hertz Architects


Architect: David Hertz Architects
Location: Malibu, , United States
Project Area: 2,500 sqf
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: David Hertz Architects


Courtesy of Haecceitas Studio

Canyon Lakes / Haecceitas Studio

The concept of territorial architecture is a topic that questions various strategic understandings of complex site systems defined by conceptual ideologies, environmental implications, and identification of emerging phenomenal underlying patterns.
Borrowing influences from Zaha Hadid’s dramatic early paintings, the constructed…

CHB Campinas F1 State School / MMBB Arquitetos

© Nelson Kon

Architects: MMBB Arquitetos
Location: ,
Collaborators: Eduardo Ferroni, M·rcia Terazaki, Jaques Rordorf, Marina Sabino, Paula Cardoso, Renata Vieira e Thiago Rolemberg
Project Area: 3,000 sqm
Photographs: Nelson Kon

Courtesy of Rice University School of Architecture

Rice School of Architecture 2011 Fall Lecture Series

Rice University’s School of Architecture shared with us their current lecture series that started on September 1st and runs until November 17th. Each year, the Rice School of Architecture pulls big names in the architecture world to its lecture series.…

Kirkkojärvi Comprehensive School / Verstas Architects

© Tuomas Uusheimo

Architects: Verstas Architects
Location: ,
Client: City of Espoo
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 10,280 sqm
Photographs: Rauno Träskelin, Tuomas Uusheimo

Henry Madden Library / AC Martin & Hillier Architecture


AC Martin, in association with , designed the new library at Fresno State University, home to the largest collection of volumes in California’s Central Valley. The new design provided innovative solutions to the existing library’s limited capacity for its rapidly expanding collections.

Architects: AC Martin + Hillier Architecture
Location: Fresno, California, United States
Project Area: 363,000 sqf
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: AC Martin


Urban Farm Design Competition

Courtesy of Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Wal-Mart representatives and officials from the Office of Sustainability and Sustainable announced today a competition to design an urban farm on a vacant lot across from City Hall. The Trinity Avenue Urban Farm Design Competition was launched to support the city’s effort in establishing an effective and inspirational model for urban agriculture and furthering the city’s pursuit of becoming a Top 10 sustainable city. In addition, as part of Wal-Mart’s initial funding, there is a $25,000 award to the winning submission.

The contest is open to students, educators and professionals across Georgia in fields related to urban agriculture and landscape architecture. Interested competitors must register online here by October 15 and submit proposals by November 1. Once the winning design is chosen, the preparation of the land and design installation will begin immediately, with the farm scheduled to open to the public by the spring of 2012. More information the competition after the break.

AD Classics: Riola Parish Church / Alvar Aalto

© Franco Di Capua

Designed by Finnish architect, Alvar Aalto, Riola Parrish Church is a stunning concrete form which mimics and modulates with the contours of its Italian landscape. The magnificent baptistery, completed in 1978, is located eight kilometers south of Bologna in the small town of Riola. Aalto’s evocative modernist architecture captures the spirit of this mountain setting; it is a spiritual structure which, inside and out, unassumingly expresses sanctity of faith and place.

More on Riola Parish Church after the break.

Video: Physicist Geoffrey West on Cities

YouTube Preview Image

In this July 2011 TEDGlobal talk, physicist argues that mathematical laws of networks and scalability govern the properties of cities. West demonstrates how wealth, crime rate, walking speed, and other aspects of a city can be predicted  based on a city’s population–universally, and with startling accuracy.

West’s presentation is constructed through a comparison of cities’ statistical similarities with the mathematical laws of biology. Both are dominated by economies of scale, but while the pace of life decreases as biological organisms scale upwards, the pace of life in cities increases. For example, doubling the size of a city systematically increases income, wealth, number of patents, number of colleges, number of creative people, the number of police, crime rate, number of aids and flu cases, and waste by 15% per capita.

Although some might find West’s fervent empiricism tiresome, his model of urban scientific inquiry holds massive potential both as data and methodological model for theoretical inquiry autonomous from practice. As a scientist, West is free from our field’s predilection towards theory as model for practice–he can speak of his observations, but lets them remain as such. Any practical suggestion would limit the versatility of the information he and his team have produced, forever linking that new body of knowledge with a delimited body of interpretations. By way of example: West’s argument is reminiscent of Christopher Alexander’s classic essay, “A City is Not a Tree,” in which Alexander argues that cities are fundamentally social networks, and that those lattice like-networks are in opposition to the synthetic tree-like networks designed by Modernists from Tange to Hilbershimer. Alexander’s essay, organized categorically and grounded in anecdotal models, is too oppositional to have easy currency outside of its use with respect to the projects it references and criticizes. Given that, it is not surprising that Alexander’s later work in A Pattern Language is more often identified as a political statement against modern planning ideals than as the dictionary of design strategies it purported assumed itself to be. West’s argument, organized systematically rather than categorically and grounded in data rather than anecdote, operates in an epistemological universe resistant to the political and able to be understood and applied in a wide variety of contexts for numerous related and unrelated causes.

The 9 April Garden / aspa

© FG + SG

Architect: aspa
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Project Team: José Maria Cumbre + Nuno Sousa Caetano
Collaboration: Carolina Castro Freire
Foundations and Structures: PRPC Engenheiros – João Paulo Cardoso
Electrical and Telecommunications: Energia Técnica – João Mira
Security Installations: Energia Técnica – João Mira
HVAC systems: Energia Técnica – Luís Loureiro
Facilities Water and Sewerage: Energia Técnica – João Paulo Branco / Pereira Monteiro
Facilities Gas: Energia Técnica – João Paulo Branco / Pereira Monteiro
Measurements and Budget: Deolinda Cancela
Project Area: 308.80 sqm
Project Year: 2008-2010
Photographs: FG + SG

Regional Library and Knowledge Center / Török és Balázs Építészeti Kft.

© Tamás Bujnovszky

Location: Pécs,
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 13,180 sqm
Photographs: Tamás Bujnovszky

Practice 2.0: BIM Myths and Building Truths

Construction Coordination Model / Louisiana State Museum and Sports Hall of Fame / Trahan Architects / Image courtesy of CASE

By Steve Sanderson

My inbox was hit recently by a couple of posts painting a bleak picture of the impact of BIM on the AECO industry. Thoughtful and objective criticism of BIM is helpful and necessary to counter vendor marketing overreach and fanboy zealotry. Unfortunately the criticisms I read are neither thoughtful nor objective. Instead they rely on sensationalist titles, sources outside of the building industry, and nonexistent relationships between cause-and-effect.

The first, A Cautionary Digital Tale of Virtual Design and Construction published in Engineering News-Record (ENR), describes the construction of an undisclosed building at an undisclosed university that resulted in an undisclosed contractor suing the undisclosed owner, who then sued an undisclosed architect, who brought an undisclosed MEP engineer into the mix. The lawsuit was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount by an insurance company. Tellingly, a VP at the insurance company is the only source for the article. The point seems to be that if you use BIM you could be sued.

Essence of the Desert House / AU Design Studio

© Amit Upadhye

Architect: AU Design Studio, LLC – Amit Upadhye
Project Team: Amit Upadhye, Trevor Pentecost, Jeremy Smith, Ryu Ikegai
Location: ,
Project Year: 2008
Project Area: 6,000SqFt
Structural Engineer: A.E. & Associates
Mechanical & Plumbing Engineer: Otterbein Engineering
Electrical Engineer: Tuly Engineering
Contractor: First Choice
Photography: Amit Upadhye


Hotchkiss Residence / Scott | Edwards Architects

© Peter Eckert

Location: Vancouver, Washington,
Project Team: Rick Berry, Kelly Edwards, Jason Wesolowski
Landscape Architect: Shapiro Didway
Contractor: Hammer &Hand
Project Area: 1,988 sqf
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Peter Eckert