ArchDaily | Broadcasting Architecture Worldwide

the world's most visited architecture website

Iwan Baan


Patrik Schumacher Actually Makes a Good Point

Last week Patrik Schumacher, director at Zaha Hadid Architects and the practice's frontman in the field of architectural theory, took once again to Facebook to disseminate his ideas - this time arguing that "the denunciation of architectural icons and stars is superficial and ignorant." In the post, Schumacher lamented the default position of the architectural media which he believes sees success and reputation as "a red cloth and occasion to knock down icons," going on to outline his beliefs on why stars and icons are useful and even inevitable mechanisms of architectural culture.

Schumacher has made headlines via Facebook before, with a post last year in which he argued for an end to the "moralizing political correctness" that has led to the popularity of socially-conscious design - a post which attracted almost universal outrage from architects, critics and social media users of all stripes. However this latest post had a very different feel; many people, myself included, seemed to find themselves at least partially agreeing with Schumacher. After all, at the most basic level he was asking for designs to each be judged on their individual merits - what's not to like?

10 Stunning Images of Sacred Spaces

In the spirit of Easter Sunday, we've rounded up a compilation of ten glorious sacred spaces from our Religious Architecture Pinterest board. Ranging from traditional, reverent congregation halls to unexpected ultra-modern chapels, these spectacular places of worship are bound to inspire. Get a dose of these divine works after the break...

Ribbon Chapel / NAP Architects. Image © Koji Fujii / Nacasa & Partners Inc Nanjing Wanjing Garden Chapel / AZL Architects. Image © Yao Li Kirche am Hohenzollernplatz / Fritz Hoger. Image © Fabrice Fouillet Roof over the Walls of the Old Baños Church / BROWNMENESES. Image © Sebastián Crespo

Shichigahama Tohyama Nursery / Takahashi Ippei Office

  • Architects: Takahashi Ippei Office
  • Location: Shichigahama, Miyagi District, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan
  • Area: 1069.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Iwan Baan

© Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan

Smiljan Radić’s Serpentine Pavilion Relocates to Bruton

Chilean architect Smiljan Radić’s shell-shaped Serpentine Pavilion has been relocated from Hyde Park to the gardens of Hauser & Wirth Somerset in Bruton. Just under three hours from London, the new site positions the translucent fiberglass structure in short proximity to a main gallery complex designed by Paris-based Argentine architect Luis Laplace and within an lush garden designed by Dutch landscape architect Piet Oudolf.

ThinkParametric Offers Free Online Classes

Launched in May of 2014, ThinkParametric is an online platform for learning the tools of the digital architecture trade. Gaining access to their video tutorials and the benefit of their online community would usually set you back $29 per month, or $269 for an entire year. However, to celebrate a successful first year, on March 12th they announced an "Open Class Season," a full month for people to enjoy their courses for free.

New Artist Residency In Senegal / Toshiko Mori

  • Architects: Toshiko Mori
  • Location: Sinthian, Senegal
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Iwan Baan, Courtesy of Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

© Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan Courtesy of  Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

ArchDaily: 7 Years, 7 Most Popular Projects

Today, ArchDaily is celebrating its seventh birthday (check out our letter to our readers and our infographic "7 Years of ArchDaily"). Our seventh birthday is a chance to reflect on our story, and to thank the readers that have helped to shape our course over the years, but of course there is one more ingredient that has helped to make us the world's most visited architecture website: great projects from talented designers all over the world. In fact as of press time, we have published 15,942 projects in total, an astonishing number that demonstrates the sheer quantity of architects out there working for a better world.

Which of these thousands of projects have had the biggest impact on you, our readers? Join us after the break as we look back at seven buildings that rose above the fray to become the most-viewed project in each of our seven years.

7 Architects Designing a Diverse Future in Africa

As the legacy of the Cold War fades and Western preeminence gradually becomes a thing of the past, population booms in Asia followed by the growth of a vast non-western middle class have seriously challenged the Western perception of the world. The East has become the focal point of the world’s development.

If East Asia is the present focal point of this development, the future indisputably lies in Africa. Long featuring in the Western consciousness only as a land of unending suffering, it is now a place of rapidly falling poverty, increasing investment, and young populations. It seems only fair that Africa’s rich cultures and growing population (predicted to reach 1.4 billion by 2025) finally take the stage, but it’s crucially important that Africa’s future development is done right. Subject to colonialism for centuries, development in the past was characterized by systems that were designed for the benefit of the colonists. Even recently, resource and energy heavy concrete buildings, clothes donations that damage native textile industries, and reforestation programs that plant water hungry and overly flammable trees have all been seen, leaving NGOs open to accusations of well-meaning ignorance.

Fortunately, a growth in native practices and a more sensible, sensitive approach from foreign organizations has led to the rise of architectural groups creating buildings which learn from and improve Africa. Combining local solutions with the most appropriate Western ideas, for the first time these new developments break down the perception of monolithic Africa and have begun engaging with individual cultures; using elements of non-local architecture when they improve a development rather than creating a pastiche of an imagined pan-African culture. The visions these groups articulate are by no means the same - sustainable rural development, high end luxury residences and dignified civic constructions all feature - but they have in common their argument for a bright future across Africa. We’ve collected seven pioneers of Africa’s architectural awakening - read on after the break for the full article and infographic.

Pretoria's Freedom Park, designed by MMA Design Studio with GAPP Architects and MRA Architects. Image Courtesy of MMA Design Studio, GAPP Architects and MRA Architects The Makoko Floating School in Lagos, Nigeria. Image © NLÉ Architects Butaro Hospital in Rwanda. Image © Iwan Baan Red Pepper House in Lamu, Kenya. Image © Alberto Heras

AD Round Up: Mardi Gras Edition

February 17 is Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday,” traditionally a Catholic holiday that celebrates the last night of indulging in guilty pleasures before participating in the penitential season of Lent. Celebrated around the world with elaborate parties, parades, dancing, and other frivolities, its festivities are most famously celebrated within the United States today in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, the site of the first American Mardi Gras.

Architecture of Independence - African Modernism

From February 20 the Vitra Design Museum will host "Architecture of Independence - African Modernism," an exhibition curated by architect and author Manuel Herz. Featuring numerous photographic contributions by Iwan Baan, "Architecture of Independence" explores the experimental and futuristic architecture produced in 1960s Central and Sub-Saharan Africa during the region's period of newfound independence.

The 14 Stories Behind the 2015 Building of the Year Award Winners

With our annual Building of the Year Awards, over 30,000 readers narrowed down over 3,000 projects, selecting just 14 as the best examples of architecture that ArchDaily has published in the past year. The results have been celebrated and widely shared, of course, usually in the form of images of each project. But what is often forgotten in this flurry of image sharing is that every one of these 14 projects has a backstory of significance which adds to our understanding of their architectural quality.

Some of these projects are intelligent responses to pressing social issues, others are twists on a well-established typology. Others still are simply supreme examples of architectural dexterity. In order that we don't forget the tremendous amount of effort that goes into creating each of these architectural masterpieces, continue reading after the break for the 14 stories that defined this year's Building of the Year Awards.

HOT TO COLD: BIG’s “Odyssey of Architectural Adaptation” Opens at the National Building Museum

Circle the globe in 800-feet at the National Building Museum’s latest exhibition HOT TO COLD. BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group’s first North American exhibition, HOT TO COLD takes viewers on an “odyssey of architectural adaptation” from the “hottest to the coldest parts of our planet to explore how BIG’s designs are shaped by their cultural and climatic contexts.” 

More than 60 architectural models of BIG’s most recent projects, including 20 premiering for the first time, are being suspended from the second floor of the museum’s historic Great Hall. Each project is interpreted through Iwan Baan's "masterful" photography, films by Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine, and the Grammy Award-winning graphic artist Stefan Sagmeister’s design for the accompanying catalog by Taschen.

A word from Ingels, after the break.

© Matt Carbone © Matt Carbone © Matt Carbone © BIG

BLUEPRINT: Curated by Sebastiaan Bremer and Florian Idenburg & Jing Liu of SO – IL

BLUEPRINT is the latest exhibition on display at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York. Curated by Sebastiaan Bremer, Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu, the exhibition features 50 blueprints from participating artists and architects, ranging from as far back as 1961 to 2013. 

Defining a More Purposeful Architecture: A Guide to Current Architectural Trends

The current state of architectural design incorporates many contemporary ideas of what defines unique geometry. With the advent of strong computer software at the early 21st century, an expected level of experimentation has overtaken our profession and our academic realms to explore purposeful architecture through various techniques, delivering meaningful buildings that each exhibit a message of cultural relevancy.

These new movements are not distinct stylistic trends, but modes of approaching concept design. They often combine with each other, or with stylistic movements, to create complete designs. Outlined within this essay are five movements, each with varying degrees of success creating purposeful buildings: Diagramism, Neo-Brutalism, Revitism, Scriptism, and Subdivisionism.

Iwan Baan: No Filter

Fondation Louis Vuitton, Frank Gehry. Image © Iwan Baan
Fondation Louis Vuitton, Frank Gehry. Image © Iwan Baan

Cultured, one of the leading art, architecture and design magazines, has shared with us part of the 16-page photo essay “No Filter” by Iwan Baan that is being featured in its Winter Issue, on stands now. Enjoy! 

If you pore endlessly over images of architecture the way we do, chances are you’ve been drooling over work captured by Iwan Baan. Though he’s adamant that he not be referred to as an “architectural photographer,” Baan has probably captured more buildings, pavilions, residences and just about every other structure in between than any other single lensman. Yet it is Baan’s background in documentary photography that most influences his work. “I choose my projects not so much for the architecture, but for its relationship with the city around it and how people respond to it,” says Baan. “I’m trying to tell the story of the built environment—the places where we live.” Here, Baan tells the story behind 11 projects completed this year, and two others that he has a personal connection to.

“I love great architecture that is very specific for its site and client, it’s for an architect always a dance between him, a site and a client. Here, Gehry was given complete freedom to design every detail, every nook and cranny of a building for Bernard Arnault to house his art collection.”

Read on for more quotes and images by the renowned Iwan Baan. 

BIG Returns to the National Building Museum with “HOT TO COLD: an odyssey of architectural adaptation”

On the heels of its summer blockbuster indoor maze, which attracted more than 50,000 visitors, the international design firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) returns to the National Building Museum this January with a behind-the-scenes look at its creative process. The exhibition, HOT TO COLD: an odyssey of architectural adaptation, takes visitors from the hottest to the coldest parts of our planet and explores how BIG´s design solutions are shaped by their cultural and climatic contexts. More than 60 three-dimensional models will be suspended at the second-floor balconies of the Museum’s historic Great Hall in an unprecedented use of this public space. 

2014 AR Emerging Architecture Awards Winners Announced

The Architectural Review has selected the winners of the 2014 AR Emerging Architecture Awards. Now in their 16th year, they are one of the most prestigious awards for young architects and emerging practices. Past winners have included Sou Fujimoto, Thomas Heatherwick, Sean Godsell, Jurgen Mayer H. and Li Xiaodong.

Given to completed projects, entries can include buildings, interiors, landscaping, refurbishment, urban projects, temporary installations, furniture and product designs. This year the jury was comprised of Catherine Slessor, Hilde Daem, Li Xiaodong, Steven Holl and Will Alsop

Read on after the break for this year’s Emerging Architecture Award winners.

Masuda + Otsubo’s “Boundary Window”. Image Courtesy of Shingo Masuda + Katsuhisa Otsubo Architects CC Arquitectos’ Equestrian Centre in Valle de Bravo, Mexico. Image © Iwan Baan Lune de Sang-Shed 1 / CHROFI. Image © Brett Boardman Long Museum in Shanghai, China / Atelier Deshaus. Image © Su Shengliang