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Architecture Gear Giveaway: Win the new 32” Samsung UD970 Monitor

The success of a design, from inception to construction, can depend on the extent to which designers can represent their intentions, but the days when architects used the drafting pencil and parallel edge to exercise physical control over their work are rapidly fading away. While computerization makes possible innovative forms and new methods of working, if not calibrated and engineered perfectly, digital technology can bring unintended consequences into the design process. Samsung’s UD970 monitor, however, resynchronizes the design process with the build environment through ultra-high definition (UHD) technology. Samsung partnered with leading designers, including Mark English Architects, to explore the importance of high-resolution detail in their work and ArchDaily has teamed up to bring these UHD monitors to our readers. To learn more, read on after the break.

Could the Empire State Building Have Been Built with Wood?

Michael Green has teamed up with Finnish forestry company Metsä Wood and Equilibrium Consulting to redesign the Empire State Building with wood as the main material. The project is part of Metsä Wood’s “Plan B” program, which explores what it would be like for iconic buildings to be made of timber. Their work shows that not only can wood be used to produce enormous structures in a dense urban context, but also that timber towers can fit into an urban setting and even mimic recognizable buildings despite differences in material.

Toronto’s Design Exchange Unveils Its Latest Exhibition: “3DXL”

Despite being at the forefront of digital fabrication technology, 3D printing is still shrouded in mystery, something which the Design Exchange (DX) hopes to change with its most recent exhibition, “3DXL” in Toronto. Curated by the director of DX, Sara Nickleson, 3DXL brings together 3D printing projects from across fields, including work from medicine, design and architecture. As the name suggests, the exhibit presents 3D printing on a scale not normally observed by the public. In particular, the exhibit addresses the role 3D printing will play in the future of architecture, and how it may begin to replace more traditional architectural construction.

Gottlieb Paludan Architects Awarded Scandinavia’s Largest Architecture Prize

The 2015 Nykredit Architecture Prize has been awarded to Gottlieb Paludan Architects (GPA) for their contribution to the design of public utility and industrial buildings. Founded by the Nykredit Foundation, the 500,000-DKK prize has become Scandinavia’s foremost architectural award, with past winners including Jørn Utzon, Bjarke Ingels and CEBRA.

BIO4. Image Courtesy of Gottlieb Paludan Architects Kastrup Substation. Image Courtesy of Gottlieb Paludan Architects Odense Foot and Cycling Brdge. Image Courtesy of Gottlieb Paludan Architects District Cooling Plant. Image Courtesy of Gottlieb Paludan Architects

Mayer/Reed, Snøhetta and DIALOG Selected to Design Oregon's Willamette Falls Riverwalk

For the first time in 100 years, Oregon’s Willamette Falls will open to the public, with a Riverwalk proposed by Mayer/Reed, Snøhetta and DIALOG. The second largest waterfall in the US, Willamette Falls has a diverse history, and the proposed design seeks to celebrate and amplify the power of the falls, weaving the pedestrian through its rich cultural and geological history.

The final destination of many west-bound pioneers on the Oregon Trail during the 1800s, the falls also served as a gathering spot and source of fish for Native Americans. During the 19th and 20th century, it was an industrial powerhouse, accommodating woolen, lumber, flour and paper mills, and a brick making operation. Yet after the bankruptcy of the Blue Heron Paper Mill, the site has been inhospitable to the public, haunted by empty industrial buildings.

25 Free Architecture Books You Can Read Online

If you don't have access to an architecture library (and even if you do), sifting through shelves can take hours. Buying books can be even more painful — for your wallet, at least. Instead, why not browse this list of 25 books that are all free and easily accessible online? Some are well-known classics of architecture literature, but we hope you find a few surprises as well.

This Temporary Treetop Hotel Lets You Sleep "With the Birds"

Chinese architecture firm Penda, known for their ecologically sensitive designs, has redesigned the tent in a bold new way for the AIM "Legend Of The Tent" Competition. Their proposal, ”One With The Birds," is a flexible and sustainable structure that integrates sleeping pods into the forest canopy. Inspired by Native American Tipis, which are moveable and reusable, the structure, made from bamboo sticks latched together with rope, leaves no impact on the site nor causes any harm to the bamboo itself. 

A mock-up of the project will soon be installed as a temporary hotel. According to the architects, “after the temporary hotel is deconstructed, the materials can be reused as scaffolding on a construction site or reused as another temporary hotel on a different location.”

Learn more about this remarkable structure, after the break.

Courtesy of Penda Courtesy of Penda Courtesy of Penda Courtesy of Penda

GIFs Turn Architecture Into Animated Art

Axel de Stampa has shared with us his awesome series of architecture gifs, Architecture Animée (Animated Architecture), which turn architecture from SANAA, Herzog and de Meuron, MAD Architects and more into amazing, zany gifs. See all nine after the break!

VIDEO: Kengo Kuma on Architecture, Materials And Music

In Kengo Kuma’s work you may see influences of light, transparency and materiality. But when visiting the Woodbury School of Architecture in San Diego, Kengo Kuma shared a few of his not so apparent influences, from Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Kahn to jazz music. Make sure to view “Knowing Kuma” to see the architect’s definition of architecture, materials and more.

VIDEO: Inside A Data Center, The Architecture Of The Cloud

Have you ever wondered where your information goes when you save it to "The Cloud"? The answer is within giant data centers. According to reports, Facebook and Google's data centers resemble something from Science Fiction, while some could come straight from a Bond flick. In a new short film named Internet Machine, Filmmaker and Visual artist Timo Arnall takes us where few have been granted access, showing the world what "The Cloud" really is - a massive architectural space with extreme energy demands. To experience the power surging and hear the deafening hum of a data center, check out the trailer above.

Architects: Leave Fashion to the Experts

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

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 technology."

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
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, stepwells, 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 architecture 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

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

Explore Chicago's Best Architecture

© http://www.openhousechicago.org/
© http://www.openhousechicago.org/

Ever wanted to get a behind the scenes look at some of the most interesting buildings in Chicago? If you are an architecture enthusiast, student, or just curious about what all the hype is about, this weekend is your opportunity to experience the best that Chicago 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

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.