Yesterday Apple released the latest version of their operative system: Mac OS X Lion. I started using it yesterday and it works like a charm on my Macbook. At a first glance, there’s a lot of focus on handling all your applications thanks to features like Mission Control (an improved view of everything running on your computer) and Launchpad (a new way to organize your apps). Other interesting feature is Airdrop, which will allow you to easily share files with your co-workers. There is also a lot of focus on security, back up, system recovery and versions of files, that I know will be very useful for architects.
But what about the software we architects use on a daily basis? A word of advice before you upgrade:
- Graphisoft Archicad r14/r15: Both versions work (and according to @ArqErvey it works faster) with Mac OS X Lion, but there is a small bug related to zooming that has been already documented and should be patched soon. Read the official announcement.
- Google SketchUp 8: Not yet supported for use with OS X 10.7. There are several known issues. Google SU team has stated that they are already working on it, fix should be out soon.
- AutoCAD 2011: Currently not supported on the Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) operating system. If AutoCAD 2011 for Mac is installed on Lion, undesirable side effects can occur, including issues with printing/plotting, Customer Error Reporting (CER), and more. Autodesk is working on a Service Pack to address these problems.
- Update: readers inform on our Facebook page that Vectorworks runs well, but there are some minor issues that will be addressed by Nemetschek.
Disclaimer: Graphisoft is the sponsor of our Software section.
Sustainability and Form have dominated architectural discourse, trapping the discipline between utopian play-acting—promising what it cannot deliver—and computerized “gaming” of design extremism.”
– Mark Jarzombek, “ECO-Pop” in Cornell Journal of Architecture 8:RE, January 2011.
In what he calls ECO-POP, Mark Jarzombek, associate dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT (i.e. someone with credentials), draws attention to how sustainability is deployed as an ideology and visual trope more than as a repertoire of achievable, well-thought-out strategies. This is my unabashedly biased interpretation of his manifesto-like article—in fact, let’s just call it a manifesto.
Neighbor to the Hollywood landmark Cinerama Dome, Sunset Vine Tower is a conversion of a 22-story office building into a 63-unit apartment building. This adaptive reuse project stands atop street-level retail. As the tallest building in Hollywood, Sunset Vine Tower’s Modernist design creates a dynamic exclamation point in the mostly traditional fabric of the Hollywood residential renaissance.
We recently got to preview the newest addition to In DETAIL’s typological series, Work Environments: Spatial concepts, Usage strategies, Communications. It will be available next month (August 2011), and it is great for anyone who is interested in improving a user’s working conditions beyond the basic ergonomic and safety requirements. The first third of this volume deals with spatial organization, acoustics, lighting, and user satisfaction. The rest of the volume features projects from which the various concepts developed in the first third can be used to analyze them. I, personally, enjoyed the section on user satisfaction and how to measure it. After reading this section I speculated how researchers would control for the various confounding factors that exist in the uniqueness of each building presented in the rest of the book. This would not be an easy task by any means, but the necessity of such research is made clear throughout this volume.
Read more after the break.
VINCI-FAYAT consortium has been selected as preferred bidder for the ‘Grand Stade de Bordeaux’ which includes designs by Herzog & de Meuron and landscape design by Michel Desvigne. Slated for completion in 2015 the ‘Grand Stade de Bordeaux’ will be located within the city’s existing green belt district. The design provides a natural sense of fluidity, with easy approachability beginning with the multiple staircases at all points of the stadium. Never loosing site of the stadiums location a large focus of the concept incorporates the surrounding environment blending with the building, as reflected in the concave roof which is supported by a series of spindly white columns, appearing like a forest of birch trees. Home field to the FC Girondins de Bordeaux, the ‘Grand Stade de Bordeaux’ will also host a variety of cultural events.
Additional renderings and a video can be found following the break. Be sure to take a look.
This open ideas competition invites practicing architects, architecture students and designers to design an Academic Interchange for the University of Bremen, Germany. The Academic Interchange is envisioned as an incubator for interdisciplinary collaborations and international relations for academics at the university.
Entrants are encouraged to pay particular attention to the immersive experience of a visitor or visiting resident of the Academic Interchange with respect to their experience/understanding of the building and movement/flow through it. The design concept should originate from the perspective of the building user and be designed from the bottom up.
For more information, including awards, submissions and timeline please go to the competition’s official website.
Block 24E combines residential building forms of different heights with street-related retail bases to activate the southern portion of Spadina Avenue, one of Toronto’s most important north-south arterials. It anchors the CityPlace development as it transitions from east to west and forms a gateway on Spadina to create a more inviting pedestrian experience. Beyond activating the precinct, its formal silhouette will make a significant statement in support of the Mayor’s and the City of Toronto’s agenda to create a City Beautiful.
Two young architecture firms have joined forces to create the non-profit association Adobe for Women. The goal of the association it to both recover and teach vernacular construction skills while simultaneously providing aide to women in need.
Inspired by the work of Mexican architect Juan José Santibañez, who twenty years ago helped twenty women in difficult living conditions to build their homes, two decades later blaanc borderless architecture and CaeiroCapurso have planned to construct twenty sustainable houses in the indigenous village of San Juan Mixtepec, in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca.
The construction of the first house began in March of this year, enthusiastically lifting the women’s hopes for this project. With their commitment and determination they have produced more than 40.000 adobe bricks using earth from the surrounding areas. The houses are energy efficient and built with local materials such as adobe and bamboo. Each house costs only 3 830,84€ (the price of half a square meter in Paris or Amsterdam or a square meter in the Baltic capitals). For these twenty women with limited financial resources, having a home represents the dream of a lifetime.
SHH’s redesigns of the Barbican’s restaurants have won three major design awards in the space of just two weeks. Barbican Foodhall the new ground floor restaurant and deli and Barbican Lounge the first floor bar and restaurant were both named as winners in at the 2011 Restaurant & Bar Design Awards, held last week at the East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf, whilst the Barbican Lounge won a further award at the end of June in Monte Carlo at the 2011 International Hotel & Property Awards.