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Alexandria Area High School / Cuningham Group Architecture

© Brandon Stengel © Corey Gaffer © Corey Gaffer © Corey Gaffer

AD Classics: Bibliotheca Alexandrina / Snøhetta

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina on Egypt’s Mediterranean Coast is a spectacular, state-of-the-art facility with an unresolved architectural identity. Commissioned in 1989 as a contemporary resurrection of the fabled Library at Alexandria once venerated throughout the ancient world, the present building was intended to serve as a city’s connection to history and heritage. But its stark modernity and technological innovations make it decidedly more forward-looking than historically referential, a cosmopolitan exploration of form and engineering perhaps longing for a stronger sense of regional belonging.

To some critics, the library has political overtones that obfuscate its architectural message, at worst acting as a monument to political posturing whose utility and conceptual integrity is only of secondary concern. And while critical scrutiny of the project necessitates its political and socio-historical contextualization, the building's architecture—the competition-winning design submitted by Norwegian firm Snøhetta—is worth appreciating and evaluating as an autonomous object and as a precedent for contemporary library design.

Courtesy of Snøhetta Programmatic fragmentation results in the creation of intimately scaled spaces for individual use. Image Courtesy of Snøhetta Elegant north-facing skylights block direct sunlight from entering the reading room. Image Courtesy of Snøhetta Courtesy of Snøhetta

Alexandria House 2 / Pivot

  • Architects: Pivot
  • Location: Alexandria NSW 2015, Australia
  • Area: 144.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Justin Alexander

© Justin Alexander © Justin Alexander © Justin Alexander © Justin Alexander

KTA Details Australia’s Largest Urban Renewal Project

Koichi Takada Architects (KTA) has released details on Australia’s biggest urban renewal project: Green Square. Shaped by the pedestrian and traffic flows that surround the building, the mixed-use, multi-residential complex is expected to serve as the gateway of Sydney’s Green Square Town Centre by its completion in 2016.

Komai Residence / Robert M. Gurney Architect

© Maxwell MacKenzie © Maxwell MacKenzie © Maxwell MacKenzie © Maxwell MacKenzie