Architects: Leave Fashion to the Experts

has recently launched a new line of for Viviona. Image Courtesy of Viviona

Le Corbusier donned signature glasses; Frank Gehry designed footwear; early twentieth-century architect Adolf Loos even wrote “Why A Man Should Be Well-Dressed.” Now Zaha Hadid is making her way into swimwear. But are the nuances of fashion too much for architects to dip their feet into? Read the full article at the Telegraph.

Gensler, LOT-EK to Design Google’s Showroom of Floating Shipping Containers

© James Martin/CNET

UPDATE: The SF Gate reports that the architects of the Google Barge have now been revealed to be San Francisco-based firm Gensler and New York-based LOT-EK, a firm with experience adapting shipping containers for retail design. 

A mysterious construction project in the San Francisco Bay has been making waves for the past couple of weeks. Moored off Treasure Island, locals apparently refer to it as ‘the secret project’ – and, until now, that’s about as much as was known about it.

Despite months of rumors and complete radio silence from Google, spokespeople have finally released a statement on the project, stating: “Google Barge … A floating data center? A wild party boat? A barge housing the last remaining dinosaur? Sadly, none of the above. Although it’s still early days and things may change, we’re exploring using the barge as an interactive space where people can learn about new .”

While it’s a shame about the dinosaur, Google’s expansion into technology retail is possibly even more intriguing, as it’s entirely new turf for the company: retail design.

More info and an artist’s rendering of what the barge could look like, after the break…

Round Up: China’s Next Generation of Museums

Guangdong Museum / Rocco Design Architects. Image © Marcel Lam

Although it went largely unnoticed until Wang Shu was awarded the Pritzker Prize, China’s going through a major cultural boom. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal notes that, since 2012, hundreds of (often privately established) cultural institutions have popped up across the country, honouring everything from the famous Terracotta Soldiers to the local city planning department. We’ve rounded up a couple of these projects for your pleasure: Jean Nouvel‘s winning design for the National Art Museum, Steven Holl‘s mind-warping Sifang Museum, the seemingly extra-terrestrial Ordos City + Art Museum by MAD Architects, Trace Architecture Office‘s small museum of handcraft paper in the countryside, and a regional museum by Rocco Design Architects that takes inspiration from traditional Chinese lacquered boxes. Enjoy!

Is there a Future for India’s Stepwells?

Tourists in India dutifully make the rounds, visiting the spectacular temples, palaces, and forts the country has to offer. But, even when they’re practically under their feet, people often forget about stepwells, the massive subterranean (up to ten stories) structures that dot the Indian landscape.

As this video explains, , first constructed around 300 CE, were born out of a need to dependably collect and store water. They boast highly complex circulation and ornamentation, and over the years have evolved to function also as community centres and temples. But, as journalist Victoria Lautman has pointed out, with the spread of industrialisation and drought (not to mention widespread demolition), stepwells are slowly becoming derelict. 

What is Architecture? Steven Holl Describes It In Four words

© ArchDaily

While artists work from the real to the abstract, architects must work from the abstract to the real.“ 

Taking on no easy task, Steven Holl has set out to define , with a capital “A” – in just four words. His article, featured in the Critics Page of The Brooklyn Rail, is part of a series of short writings by artists and architects. Read What is Architecture? by Steven Holl.

5 Robots Revolutionizing Architecture’s Future

Rob/Arch Rotterdam Workshop

Robots fascinate us. Their ability to move and act autonomously is visually and intellectually seductive. We write about them, put them in movies, and watch them elevate menial tasks like turning a doorknob into an act of technological genius. For years, they have been employed by industrial manufacturers, but until recently, never quite considered seriously by architects. Sure, some architects might have let their imaginations wander, like Archigram did for their “Walking City”, but not many thought to actually make with robots. Now, in our age of digitalization, virtualization, and automation, the relationship between architects and robots seems to be blooming…check it out.

Keep reading to see five new robots making architecture.

Telecom Central / Architecture +

© Paul McCredie

Architects: Architecture +
Location: , New Zealand
Team: Stuart Gardyne, Stephen Poulopoulos, Michael Bennett, Andrew Camberis, Iain Hibbard, Arnie Makan, Nick Whiting, Claudio Holzer, Mervyn Rothwell, Ben Crichton, Lucy McAuliffe, Bridget White, Kim Manford, Rachel Logie, Kirsty Chamberlain, Craig Thomson
Area: 35,000 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Paul McCredie

Batman & Architecture: The Dark Knight Rises and Gotham’s Buildings Fall

There is no other comic saga more influenced by than . Gotham, and the fictional architects that built the city, have been main characters since the first plots. Writer and architect Jimmy Stamp describes in these essay the fascinating architectural references and metaphors that have filled Batman stories for the last 60 years.

Batman, Gotham City, and an Overzealous Architecture Historian With a Working Knowledge of Explosives

By Jimmy Stamp

New York, Dubai, Tokyo, Moscow, Gotham. Every city in every atlas—real and fictional— has a unique character shaped by history and geography. More than a mere sense of place derived from architecture and planning, cities have a feeling that pervades the consciousness of those who live there until themselves become a a piece of the urban fabric, a fractional embodiment of the city itself. Perhaps more than any other person—real or fictional—Batman is integrally linked to his city, the city he has sworn to protect. In every sense of the word, he is a true avatar of Gotham. And Gotham City itself is an avatar, not only of the dreams of its fictional architects, but of our collective urban paranoia.

Read the full post after the break

Te Wharewaka / architecture +

Courtesy of architecture +

Architects: architecture +
Location: , New Zealand
Team: Stuart Gardyne, Michael Bennett, Chris Hay, Damon Peachey, Erini Kaldelis, Nick Whiting, Kirsty Chamberlain, Todd Allen, Belinda Tuohy, Iain Hibbard, Janie Morris, Craig Thompson, Andrew Camberis
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: sqm
Photographs: Paul McCredie, Grant Sheehan

City Gallery / architecture +

© Patrick Reynolds

Architects: architecture +
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Team: Stuart Gardyne, Michael Bennett, Arnie Makan, Damon Peachey, Belinda Tuohy, Nick Whiting, Chloe Phelps, Rachel Logie
Proyect Year: 2009
Photographs: Patrick Reynolds

Explore Chicago’s Best Architecture

© http://www.openhousechicago.org/

Ever wanted to get a behind the scenes look at some of the most interesting buildings in ? If you are an enthusiast, student, or just curious about what all the hype is about, this weekend is your opportunity to experience the best that has to offer. From October 15-16, 2011, the Chicago Architecture Foundation will be hosting openhousechicago 2011 – which is free and open to the public. The primary themes for OHC are sustainability and community, with an emphasis on how buildings can achieve energy efficiency, and how design brings people and places together in a holistic manner.

Click here for a complete mapping of all the buildings available to explore.

References: www.openhousechicago.org

Video: Monty Python Architecture Comedy Sketch

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This sketch comedy by Monty Python is sure to produce some laughs. For all the architects and students out there,  you will undoubtedly be able to relate to this situation. Whether it is when you are presenting to crits for studio review or as architects pitching your idea to developers.