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The Demolition of Delhi's Hall of Nations Reveals India's Broken Attitude to Architectural Heritage

09:30 - 23 June, 2017
The Demolition of Delhi's Hall of Nations Reveals India's Broken Attitude to Architectural Heritage, © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/33834913@N00/409859817'>Flickr CC user Panoramas</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a>
© Flickr CC user Panoramas licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

On the morning of April 24th, Delhi’s architecture community reacted in shock and disgust to the news that the city's Hall of Nations and the four Halls of Industries had been demolished. Bulldozers had worked through the previous night at the Pragati Maidan exhibition grounds in central Delhi, where the Indian Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) razed the iconic structures to the ground, ignoring pleas from several Indian and international institutions.

The Hall of Nations, the world’s first and largest-span space-frame structure built in reinforced concrete, holds special significance in India’s post-colonial history—it was inaugurated in 1972 to commemorate twenty-five years of the young country’s independence. The demolition was met with widespread condemnation by architects and historians alike, not just because of the loss of an important piece of Delhi's heritage, but also for the clandestine manner in which the demolition was conducted.

VAA / Summer School

16:19 - 19 June, 2017
VAA / Summer School, VAA / Palazzo Contrari Boncompagni
VAA / Palazzo Contrari Boncompagni

From 15th to 23rd July 2017, a ten-day interfaculty summer school will take place in Vignola (province of Modena) Italy, in a Renaissance palace by Giacomo Barozzi. The workshop aims to connect architectural heritage with 21st-century manufacturing processes through experimental practices and invites international students of architecture, design, and engineering to take part.

6 Endangered World Heritage Sites as Seen from Space

14:00 - 11 June, 2017
6 Endangered World Heritage Sites as Seen from Space, Samarra Archaeological City, Iraq. Image © Deimos Imaging
Samarra Archaeological City, Iraq. Image © Deimos Imaging

Born between the Tigris and the Euphrates, ancient Mesopotamia, "the land between two rivers," is considered the cradle of human civilization or, at least, one of its main birthplaces. Archaeological discoveries place in this fertile crescent the earliest origins of agriculture, the birth of writing and the first religions, governments and social orders.

This historical land corresponds to most of the current Iraq and Kuwait, as well as to smaller parts of Syria, Turkey and Iran. Not only these countries, but the whole Middle East in general, is home to invaluable ancient treasures. However, a great number of the cultural sites there are faced with major threats, as they have been caught up in the middle of ongoing conflicts that are ravaging the region. As a consequence, UNESCO included several sites in the List of World Heritage in Danger, in the hope that the international community could join in an effort to save these endangered properties.

To reinforce this message, the Earth Observation company Deimos Imaging has released satellite images of six World Heritage sites in danger in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. The images were captured by the satellite Deimos-2, launched in 2014 and designed for cost-effective, dependable very-high-resolution Earth Observation applications, providing 75cm/pixel pan-sharpened images.

VAA Summer School

19:30 - 26 May, 2017
VAA Summer School, Vignola Archives of Architecture - Palazzo Contrari Boncompagni
Vignola Archives of Architecture - Palazzo Contrari Boncompagni

From 15th to 23rd July 2017, a ten-day interfaculty summer school will take place in Vignola (province of Modena) Italy, in a Renaissance palace by Giacomo Barozzi. The workshop aims to connect architectural heritage with 21st-century manufacturing processes through experimental practices and invites international students of architecture, design, and engineering to take part.

Iranian Case Study: Can We Build For The Future Without Forgetting About The Past?

09:30 - 2 May, 2017
Iranian Case Study: Can We Build For The Future Without Forgetting About The Past?, © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/novecentino/512652036/'>Flickr user novecentino</a> licensed under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">CC BY-SA 2.0</a>
© Flickr user novecentino licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Taking a taxi from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport into the city, one cannot help but look at the seemingly random distribution of buildings along the road; an array of mismatched concrete blocks, worlds away from the images of Sheik Lotfollah Mosque that typically adorn the covers of Iran travel guides. “My observations about architecture in Iran are like that of many other countries that have changed in terms of architectural characteristics; Iran has changed too,” says Tehran-based architect, M. Reza Karfar. “Now we are in a time where everything is mass produced and we are just using and using, but not making memories with anything. That sense of belonging will, of course, go away. You see a 50 or 60, or 200-year-old house that just gets demolished and replaced by a 4 or 5-story building, and in 5 years they will demolish that 4 to 5-story building too.”

Not to say that Iran should be an exhibit for tourists, only consisting of beautiful tiled buildings, but this fear of memories fading in disappearing public spaces is one that, despite the numerous historical sites preserved around the country, is noticeable in Iran’s big cities. And while the subject is particularly pertinent in Iran, as Karfar points out this phenomenon is not unique to just one country. As a result, Iran might offer something of a case study for other countries around the world. 

4 Chinese Vernacular Dwellings You Should Know About (Before They Disappear)

09:30 - 31 January, 2017
4 Chinese Vernacular Dwellings You Should Know About (Before They Disappear), © <a href=‘https://www.flickr.com/photos/justaslice/3051644043'>Flickr user Slices of Light</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en'>CC BY-NC-ND 2.0</a>
© Flickr user Slices of Light licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Vernacular architecture refers to designs which find their primary influence in local conditions: in climate, in materials, and in tradition. In a country as diverse as China, with 55 state-recognized ethnic minority groups and widely varying climates and topographies, many different vernacular dwelling styles have evolved as pragmatic solutions that accommodate the unique needs and limitations of their sites.

Rapid urbanization in China has favored high-rise apartment towers over traditional housing because of their ease of construction and the population density they enable, making vernacular dwellings increasingly rare throughout the country. Some firms, like MVRDV and Ben Wood’s Studio Shanghai, have taken note of the many benefits that vernacular dwellings provide, and have created projects that attempt to reconcile tradition with urbanization. Even if you aren't planning on building in China any time soon, the following housing styles have much to teach about what it means to live in a particular time and place. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it does encompass the main types of vernacular dwellings seen throughout China.

Vincent Callebaut Architectures' Plans for Eco-Neighbourhood in Brussels

12:00 - 21 January, 2017
Vincent Callebaut Architectures' Plans for Eco-Neighbourhood in Brussels, Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures
Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures

Vincent Callebaut Architectures has released plans for the development of a radical eco-neighborhood at Tour & Taxis, Brussels, Belgium. Covering an area of 135,000 square meters, the proposal will see the redevelopment of the early twentieth-century Gare Maritime, and the construction of three residential “vertical forests” reaching 100 meters in height. The architect’s ultimate vision is a neighborhood which embraces technological progress, sustainable building principles, and renewal of the built heritage.

Situated northwest of Brussels city center, and constructed in 1907, the industrial park at Tour & Taxis originally operated as a shipping and customs complex. Whilst the lifting of European customs borders has rendered its original function obsolete, the Gare Maritime (Marine Terminal) still embodies the architecture of the industrial era.

Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures +28

"Hardcore Heritage": How RAAAF is Redefining Historical Preservation

09:30 - 5 January, 2017
"Hardcore Heritage": How RAAAF is Redefining Historical Preservation, Rendering of Deltawerk 1:1. Image Courtesy of RAAAF | Atelier de Lyon
Rendering of Deltawerk 1:1. Image Courtesy of RAAAF | Atelier de Lyon

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "'Hardcore Heritage': RAAAF Reveals Its Latest Experiment in Historical Preservation."

In the practice of historic preservation, there is often a temptation to turn a building into an object on display—meticulously restored, unchanging, physically isolated—in order to remove it from the flow of history. The multidisciplinary Amsterdam-based studio Rietveld-Architecture-Art-Affordances (RAAAF) situates itself in opposition to this method of dealing with architectural remnants. Instead, it proposes to make history tangible by altering these decaying structures in a way that makes their stories plainly visible. The practice has a name for this approach—"hardcore heritage."

Want to Understand the Destruction of Cultural Heritage in the Middle East? Start Here.

06:00 - 5 January, 2017
Want to Understand the Destruction of Cultural Heritage in the Middle East? Start Here., © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/128659407@N02/17080649713/'>Flickr user Jiří Suchomel</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/'>CC BY-NC 2.0</a>
© Flickr user Jiří Suchomel licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative has organized a collection of essays, entitled The Destruction of Cultural Heritage: From Napoléon to ISIS, which examines several centuries of the demolition of monuments in the Middle East. With world events like ISIS and the protection of architectural heritage growing to be more and more topical, this collection is a useful tool in considering the role of violence, how ancient architecture is perceived as a cultural entity, what role the media has to play, and beyond.

Tetrapylon in the Great Collonnade. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/128659407@N02/17513452500/'>Flickr user Jiří Suchomel</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/'>CC BY-NC 2.0</a> Palmyra site overview. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/128659407@N02/17700957745/'>Flickr user Jiří Suchomel</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/'>CC BY-NC 2.0</a> Arch of Triumph (detail), destroyed by ISIS, October 2015. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/akocman/4602306192'>Flickr user Alessandra Kocman</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-NC-ND 2.0</a> Temple of Bel, Destroyed by ISIS, August 2015. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/128659407@N02/17078565884/'>Flickr user Jiří Suchomel</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/'>CC BY-NC 2.0</a> +5

5 Emblematic Buildings by Giuseppe Terragni

08:00 - 6 September, 2016
5 Emblematic Buildings by Giuseppe Terragni, © José Tomás Franco
© José Tomás Franco

With a short career of only thirteen years, Italian architect Giuseppe Terragni (1904-1943) left an important legacy of built works that are now used as classic references of modern and rationalist architecture.

We traveled to Como and Milan to visit Terragni's emblematic works that clearly reflect his style. These projects are based on the organized configuration of architectural elements that individually appear clean, pure, and expressive, but together also form a harmonious whole. 

These are: Novocomum, Casa Rustici, Asilo Sant'Elia, Casa Giuliani Frigerio and Casa Lavezzari. 

© José Tomás Franco © José Tomás Franco © José Tomás Franco © José Tomás Franco +58

This Brooklyn Theater Renovation Shows You Don't Have to Choose Between Heritage and Sustainability

09:30 - 23 July, 2016
This Brooklyn Theater Renovation Shows You Don't Have to Choose Between Heritage and Sustainability, The exterior view of St. Ann’s Warehouse theater. Image Courtesy of Charcoalblue
The exterior view of St. Ann’s Warehouse theater. Image Courtesy of Charcoalblue

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings: Why a Theater Company Chose Resurrection (Not Demolition)."

For a ruined Civil War-era warehouse in Brooklyn, there may have been no better organization than an avant-garde theater group to think creatively about its future.

Situated in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge in the popular Dumbo neighborhood, the 1860 tobacco warehouse was crumbling and forgotten when St. Ann’s, a 36-year-old theater company that began life in another Brooklyn church, sought to renovate it for its first permanent home. Attaining energy efficiency in historic buildings is not just possible—it can be the most sustainable and aesthetic choice.

St. Ann’s, led by artistic director Susan Feldman, hired a building team that included Marvel ArchitectsBuroHappold Engineering; and Charcoalblue, a theater, lighting, and acoustics consultancy. The resulting 25,000-square-foot complex, St. Ann’s Warehouse, includes two versatile and changeable performance spaces, lobby and event areas, and a triangular garden (designed by landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates).

Pompeii’s Most Famous House, the Villa of Mysteries, is at Risk of Collapse

09:30 - 19 July, 2016
Pompeii’s Most Famous House, the Villa of Mysteries, is at Risk of Collapse, © ElfQrin [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
© ElfQrin [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

One of Pompeii’s most precious gems, the Villa of Mysteries, is now at risk of collapse due to seismic activity in the Bay of Naples, as well as vibrations from a nearby train line transporting tourists. That's the conclusion of a recent study conducted by Italy’s National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA). The news comes only a few months after the reopening of the house, whose stunning frescoes had just been restored.

As The Telegraph reports, the high-tech study showed that “in addition to the vibrations from the Vesuvius light railway commuter trains, which ferry tourists to Pompeii from Naples, the protective structure around the villa, built in armored cement, wood and steel 50 years ago is threatened by its own weight and water ingress.”

© Lure [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons © User:MatthiasKabel [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons © User:MatthiasKabel [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons © User:MatthiasKabel [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons +15

Edge City: Croydon - A National Trust exploration of post-war politics, place-making and pride

16:45 - 1 July, 2016
Edge City: Croydon - A National Trust exploration of post-war politics, place-making and pride , National Trust's Edge City: Croydon, photo courtesy of Sophia Schorr-Kon
National Trust's Edge City: Croydon, photo courtesy of Sophia Schorr-Kon

This July, a series of tours by the National Trust will delve into the contemporary heritage of Croydon and shine a spotlight on the Borough as one of the most important examples of the post-war ambition to build a new society. Following on from the success of previous projects by the Trust to change the perception of heritage from simply country houses and coastlines – including 2015’s Brutal Utopias – Edge City: Croydon will celebrate the real places in which people live, work and play.

Resilience by Design Nepal 2016

17:00 - 22 June, 2016
Resilience by Design Nepal 2016, Resilience by Design Nepal 2016 - Reactivating traditional urban settlements through integrated design, planning and building strategies
Resilience by Design Nepal 2016 - Reactivating traditional urban settlements through integrated design, planning and building strategies

Resilience by Design Nepal 2016
Reactivating traditional urban settlements through integrated design, planning and building strategies.

Architecture Cruises

16:45 - 21 June, 2016
Architecture Cruises, Image courtesy of the Charles Riverboat Company.
Image courtesy of the Charles Riverboat Company.

This 90-minute tour, co-sponsored by the BSA Foundation, hosted by Charles Riverboat Company, and led by Boston By Foot guides offers spectacular views of historic and contemporary Boston architecture while providing fascinating information about many renowned architectural landmarks, including the Hancock Tower, Marriott’s Custom House, and Rowes Wharf, as well as cutting-edge contemporary buildings by today’s top architects.

Saving Palmyra: A Discussion with Yale's Cultural Heritage Expert Stefan Simon

10:00 - 27 April, 2016
Saving Palmyra: A Discussion with Yale's Cultural Heritage Expert Stefan Simon, Temple of Bel, Destroyed by ISIS, August 2015. Image © Flickr User: Jiří Suchomel licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Temple of Bel, Destroyed by ISIS, August 2015. Image © Flickr User: Jiří Suchomel licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Last May, Islamic State forces took control of Palmyra, one of the world's most treasured UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In the proceeding months, the world looked on in shock as ISIS released a series of videos showing the destruction of the priceless ruins. Last month however, the ancient city was recaptured, marking the beginning of a difficult discussion about what the international preservation community should do next.

ArchDaily had the opportunity to interview Stefan Simon, the Inaugural Director of the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (IPCH) at Yale University, an organization “dedicated to advancing the field of heritage science by improving the science and practice of conservation in a sustainable manner.” Simon earned his PhD in Chemistry from the Ludwig Maximilian UniversityMunich, and has broad experience in material deterioration diagnostics, microanalytics, climatology, and non-destructive mechanical testing. He previously served as Director of the Rathgen Research Laboratory at the National Museums in Berlin, as a member and Vice President of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), and as leader of the Building Materials section at the Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, in 2005, among numerous other accomplishments.

The conversation that focused on cultural preservation in the wake of conflict, and specifically, how to proceed in Palmyra now that the Syrian site has been wrenched back from the control of the Islamic State. The tragic case of Palmyra guided a conversation that sought out specificity on the options and considerations that must be taken in the wake of trauma.

© Flickr User: Jiří Suchomel licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Tetrapylon in the Great Collonnade. Image © Flickr User: Jiří Suchomel licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Roman Theater. Image © Flickr User: Alessandra Kocman licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Arch of Triumph, Destroyed by ISIS, October 2015. Image © Flickr User: Jiří Suchomel licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 +27

The Destruction of Memory: A Documentary on the War Against Cultural History

10:15 - 17 April, 2016

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "The Destruction of Memory, A Documentary."

"Part of war and conflict has always been the collateral damage. Buildings have fallen in the path of military objectives, but, [...] in this war, buildings aren't destroyed because they're in the way of a target. The buildings are the target." As the narrator of The Destruction of Memory so eloquently explains, the destruction of culture—of buildings, books, and art—is often not an accidental consequence of conflict. As we can see by the actions of ISIS in Iraq and Syria today, the destruction of cultural artifacts is part and parcel of a conscientious strategy to target and destroy the collective memory, history, and identity of a people.

Álvaro Siza Restores the Carmo Convent Area in Lisbon

12:00 - 20 March, 2016
Álvaro Siza Restores the Carmo Convent Area in Lisbon, via Câmara Municipal de Lisboa
via Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

Due to a fire in 1988, the Chiado district of Lisbon had many of its buildings damaged or partially destroyed by the flames, and an intense restoration and recovery project led by Álvaro Siza has been going on for over a decade.

Among the strategies employed by the Portuguese architect (and winner of the 1989 Pritzker Prize) is the reorganization of routes and walkways, creating elevated walkways to facilitate access to the area and the flow of locals and visitors. According to the Municipal Council of Lisbon, Siza has recently completed the connection between one of the courtyards of the Carmo Convent (Patio B) to the Largo do Carmo square and the Carmo Terraces with a pedestrian path.

via Câmara Municipal de Lisboa via Câmara Municipal de Lisboa via Câmara Municipal de Lisboa via Câmara Municipal de Lisboa +8