When Buildings Build Themselves

In the second part of our popular series “How 3D Printing Will Change Our World,” we took a look at the work of Neri Oxman, an MIT professor 3D Printing fantastic, nature-inspired designs that actually respond to their environment.

But an MIT colleague and fellow architect, , and his partner Arthur Olson of the Scripps Research Institute, are taking Oxman’s thesis one step further. Similarly inspired by natural properties that allow for interaction with the environment, these two are trying to figure out: ”Could buildings one day build themselves?”

The two recently exhibited the Autodesk-sponsored BioMolecular Self-Assembly at TED Global 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The project? Take the basic ingredients for molecular assembly,  put them in individual flasks, and shake well. The result? The independent parts actually find each other and self-assemble various structures themselves.

It looks pretty small-scale right now, but Olson and Tibbits have already applied self-assembly technologies for larger installations – which means that buildings might not be so far off…

Find out how this technology could create buildings, and check out more photos/video, after the break… 

How (Not) To Host The Olympics

Torre Calatrava, designed by Santiago Calatrava, is a symbol of the Barcelona – one of the few modern that was economically beneficial to its host city. Photo via CC Flickr User Vaidas M.

So – you want to be an Olympic City do you? Well let’s hope you’re going for gold.

First of all, the Olympic bid is no child’s play. You can spend millions just to prove (often unsuccessfully) your worthiness. And, if you do get the bid, who’s to say that your Olympic Dreams won’t be dashed by elephantine debts, colossal inefficiencies, and your own citizenry’s open animosity?

Everyone may think the Olympics is all guts and glory, but frankly, the truth is far more complex. Which is why we’ve come up with a User’s Guide – the Do’s and Dont’s to Hosting Your Very Own Olympics.

We’ll begin with the GOLDEN RULE: “The best thing to do if you’re bidding for the Olympics, Is to Not Get the Olympics.”

Want to know the Cardinal Sins of Olympic Hostdom? Keep reading after the break…

Kelti Center / Artech Architects

© Jeffrey Cheng

Architects: Kris Yao | Artech Architects
Location: , Taiwan
Design Team: Glen Lu, Kuo-Chien Shen, Grace Lin, Yi-Ting Cheng, Huei-Chen Hsu, Yen-Kai Huang, Hsiu-Chuan Wu, Jun-Ren Chou, David Chang, Calvin Chen, Su-Ping Lo, Wen-Feng Chen
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Jeffrey Cheng

Sugar Hill Breaks Ground / Adjaye Associates

© David Adjaye

Two years ago, we featured David Adjaye’s affordable housing project for Harlem which was designed as a way to integrate urban and cultural offerings alongside 120+ units of affordable housing.  Construction began on the building yesterday, and was celebrated by a ceremony attended by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.  “Sugar Hill represents a new social engagement, which is at the heart of my practice. It is a symbol of  regeneration for the community of Harlem that will integrate housing with a cultural and educational  element – this is a real reinvention of the traditional model and I am thrilled to see the project break ground,” explained Adjaye.

More about the project after the break.

iProspect / VLK Architects

© Chad M. Davis, AIA

Architects: VLK Architects
Location: , TX, USA
Project Year: 2012
Project Area: 25,000 sq ft
Photographs: Chad M. Davis, AIA

‘Foster + Partners: the Art of Architecture’ Exhibition

Courtesy of

Taking place at the Oil Painting and Sculpture Institute (SPSI), from July 25 to August 25, the ‘Foster + Partners: the Art of Architecture’ exhibition is the first major survey of the studio’s work to be held in China. It reveals details of a number of new projects underway in the region, including headquarters for Citic Bank in Hangzhou, a new tower in Nanjing and the Vantone development in Shanghai. It is also an opportunity to see the original models and sketches for high-profile completed buildings, such as Beijing International Airport, the Millau Viaduct in France, Hearst Tower in New York and the Swiss Re headquarters in London. More architects’ description after the break.

Eneco Headquarter Rotterdam / Hofman Dujardin Architects and Fokkema & Partners

© Matthijs van Roon

Architects: Hofman Dujardin Architects and Fokkema & Partners
Location: Marten Meesweg, 3068 Prins Alexander,
Design Team: Michiel Hofman, Barbara Dujardin, Jeroen Semeijn, Paul Coenen, Iwona Wozniakowska, Wouter de Zeeuw, Tinka Niemann, Nuno Urbano, Vie So
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Matthijs van Roon

Courtesy of Shelter Corporation of Japan
Courtesy of Shelter Corporation of Japan

Shelter International Architectural Design Competition

With this year’s theme being “Big Tree Paradigm” Akihisa Hirata, Shelter Corporation of Japan is inviting under-graduate or post-graduate students at universities or at tertiary institutions (including: junior colleges, colleges of technology, and other relevant vocational schools) as of November…

Almelo IISPA / Koppert+Koenis Architecten

© Erik Karsten

Architects: Koppert+Koenis Architecten
Location: ,
Design Team: Bas Vogelpoel, Theo van Beek, Matthias Povel, Sjef Vosters
Chief Designer: Erik Slangen
Project Year: 2009
Project Area: 10,200 sqm
Photographs: Mark Prins, Erik Karsten, Bas Vogelpoel

The Pierre / Olson Kundig Architects

© Benjamin Benschneider

Architects: Olson Kundig Architects
Location: , Washington, USA
Project Team: Tom Kundig, FAIA
Project Architect: Jon Gentry, LEED AP
Project Manager: Chris Gerrick, LEED AP
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 2,500 sqf
Photographs: Benjamin Benschneider

Courtesy of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects
Courtesy of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

Yale-NUS College Campus / Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

Ground was broken early this month in Singapore for the new Yale-NUS College campus, designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects… in collaboration with Forum Architects of Singapore. Jointly created by Yale University and the National University of Singapore, Yale-NUS College

Fuencarral-El Pardo Police Station / Voluar Arquitectura

© Ángel Baltanás

Architects: Voluar Arquitectura S.L.P
Location: Calle del Mirador de la Reina, ,
Architect In Charge: Pablo Rodríguez Mesa, Borja Lomas Rodríguez
Work Team: Teresa Gómez Benito, Alfredo Diez Torre, Noemí Martínez Pozo, Lorenza Grandi, Juan Carlos Argüello
Project Year: 2008
Project Area: 6,770 sqm
Photographs: Ángel Baltanás, Courtesy of Voluar Arquitectura

UOL Edge Gallery / Ministry of Design

© CI&A Photography – Edward Hendricks

Architects: Ministry of Design
Location: 15 Tanjong Katong Rd,
Design Team: Colin Seah, Tulsi Grover, Joyce Low, Angie Ng, Anita Shewchuk, Ron Sim, David Tan, Marcin Skolimowski, Noel Banta, Aliza Suarez, Lolleth Alejandro, Allan Veloso
Project Year: 2012
Project Area: 910.0 sqm
Photographs: CI&A Photography – Edward Hendricks

Ty Pren / Feilden Fowles

© David Grandorge

Architects: Feilden Fowles
Location: Brecon Beacons National Park, King’s Rd, , Dyfed SA20 0AW, UK
Project Year: 2009
Project Area: sqm
Photographs: David Grandorge, Fergus Feilden, Edmund Fowles

Forget High-Speed, the Next Transportation Will Be Hyper-Speed

A concept rendering for Aeromovel, a system Elon Musk cites as similar to his . Photo via Dvice.

Only hours have passed since Governor Jerry Brown signed the controversial bill providing initial funding for California’s $68 billion High-Speed Rail project, which will connect Sacramento to San Francisco to Los Angeles, but already another plan has emerged that could blow all of California’s efforts out of the water.

Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and the co-founder of both PayPal and Tesla Motors, isn’t content with his plans to get astronauts to the International Space Station or put humans on Mars. He recently shared with PandoDaily his desire to patent a 5th mode of transportation, which he coins the “Hyperloop,” that would cheaply get passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles – in just 30 minutes. What’s more, Musk claims the “Hyperloop” will never crash, be immune to weather, go twice as fast as an aeroplane, four times as fast as a bullet train, and – to top it off – run completely on solar power.

So, what would it look like? Although Musk likened the idea to Aeromovel (shown above) as well as a “Jetsons-tunnel” that “whisks you away,” no one really has any idea. Musk’s open sourcing the implementation  to “anyone who can make a credible case that they can do it.” So whether the next frontier of transportation is pod-like, tube-like, or just a glorified train, we’ll have to wait at least a few weeks more before Musk’s willing to give up any more details…

Story via The Atlantic, Inhabitat, Business Insiderand Dvice.

Stamboldžioski Dental Studio / Enota

© Miran Kambič

Architects: Enota
Location: Nova Gorica,
Design Team: Dean Lah, Milan Tomac, Zana Starovič, Nuša Završnik Šilec, Sabina Sakelšek, Anna Kravcova, Nebojša Vertovšek, Marko Volf, Esta Matković
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 175.0 sqm
Photographs: Miran Kambič

A Gentlemen’s Call: In Pursuit of an Idea that Matters

A Gentlemen’s Call: In Pursuit of an Idea that Matters

Turning shipping containers into low rent apartments? As architects we have the ability to visualize bold ideas that can improve our cities and environments. Ideas with impact. One that is worth backing. And Ketel One has $100,000 to stake the one who’s got it.

OostCampus / Carlos Arroyo

© Miguel de Guzmán

Architects: Carlos Arroyo
Location: , Belgium
Project Leaders: Carlos Arroyo and Vanessa Cerezo
Design Team: David Berkvens, Carmina Casajuana, Irene Castrillo, Miguel Paredes, Benjamin Verhees, Pieter Van Den Berge, Luis Salinas, Sara Miguelez, Sarah Schouppe
Project Development: Wolkenbouwer (Carlos Arroyo Arquitectos, + ELD Partnership, Belgium)
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Miguel de Guzmán