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This Video Presents an Abstract Reflection on Our Modern Cities of Glass

09:30 - 8 July, 2017

In this visual essay, Greek filmmaker Yiannis Biliris documents the all-pervasive pall of glass that covers the modern city. The three-and-a-half-minute-long film, produced by Visual Suspect and shot entirely in Hong Kong, captures the vivid reflections seen in the facades of the city’s buildings, as Biliris selectively pans and zooms his camera to instill a strong sense of urgency in the viewer’s mind.

The essay, beautifully haunting in its imagery, might be seen as a reflective commentary on the state of our built environment today. Inspired by Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which states that mass causes a distortion in space and time, it seems to subtly ask if our understanding of reality is warped itself. Describing the video as "a visual essay about perception and knowledge as [a] reflection of our reality," Biliris comments that "mass curves space and time, while the observer has his own perspective."

A Curated Guide to the Modern Architecture of São Paulo

12:00 - 4 July, 2017
A Curated Guide to the Modern Architecture of São Paulo, Samuel Cabral, via Flickr. License CC BY 2.0
Samuel Cabral, via Flickr. License CC BY 2.0

There are many ways to get to know a city. There are those who, when commenting on a particular city they have visited, remember the gastronomy and restaurants they frequented. Other travelers will remember the music and the parties; others will remember specific markets or events. You, a keen ArchDaily reader, probably took careful note of the architecture above anything else.

Each of these means of knowing a city keeps specificities and riches, but none of them alone can recreate a faithful mental landscape of the real city. There is no problem in this, after all, the same city can be very different for two people who live in it or who are visiting it. Among these ways of getting to know a city, we focus on architecture, more specifically, the modern architecture of São Paulo, in an attempt to offer our readers a look at one of the largest city in South America from an architectural approach

AD Classics: Haus am Horn / Georg Muche

07:00 - 12 June, 2017
AD Classics: Haus am Horn / Georg Muche, Courtesy of Freundeskreis der Bauhaus-Universität Weimar e. V.. Image © Cameron Blaylock
Courtesy of Freundeskreis der Bauhaus-Universität Weimar e. V.. Image © Cameron Blaylock

In 1919, at a time in which Germany was still in upheaval over its defeat in the First World War (and compounded by the loss of its monarchy), the Academy of Fine Arts and School of Applied Arts in Weimar, Germany, were combined to form the first Bauhaus. Its stated goal was to erase the separation that had developed between artists and craftsmen, combining the talents of both occupations in order to achieve a unified architectonic feeling which they believed had been lost in the divide. Students of the Bauhaus were to abandon the framework of design standards that had been developed by traditional European schools and experiment with natural materials, abstract forms, and their own intuitions. Although the school’s output was initially Expressionist in nature, by 1922 it had evolved into something more in line with the rising International Style.[1]

Courtesy of Freundeskreis der Bauhaus-Universität Weimar e. V.. Image © Cameron Blaylock Courtesy of Freundeskreis der Bauhaus-Universität Weimar e. V.. Image © Cameron Blaylock Courtesy of Freundeskreis der Bauhaus-Universität Weimar e. V.. Image © Cameron Blaylock A direct line of sight from the children’s room (in the foreground) to the kitchen allowed for a mother to keep watch over her children without the aid of a servant. ImageCourtesy of Freundeskreis der Bauhaus-Universität Weimar e. V. +14

Spotlight: Walter Gropius

04:00 - 18 May, 2017
Bauhaus, 1925. Image © Thomas Lewandovski
Bauhaus, 1925. Image © Thomas Lewandovski

One of the most highly regarded architects of the 20th century, Walter Gropius (18 May 1883 – 5 July 1969) was one of the founding fathers of Modernism, and the founder of the Bauhaus, the German "School of Building" that embraced elements of art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography in its design, development and production.

AD Classics: Pruitt-Igoe Housing Project / Minoru Yamasaki

04:00 - 15 May, 2017
AD Classics: Pruitt-Igoe Housing Project / Minoru Yamasaki, An aerial photo by the US Geological Survey compares the narrow, monolithic blocks of Pruitt-Igoe with the neighboring pre-Modernist buildings of St. Louis. ImageCourtesy of Wikimedia user Junkyardsparkle (Public Domain)
An aerial photo by the US Geological Survey compares the narrow, monolithic blocks of Pruitt-Igoe with the neighboring pre-Modernist buildings of St. Louis. ImageCourtesy of Wikimedia user Junkyardsparkle (Public Domain)

Few buildings in history can claim as infamous a legacy as that of the Pruitt-Igoe Housing Project of St. Louis, Missouri. Built during the height of Modernism this nominally innovative collection of residential towers was meant to stand as a triumph of rational architectural design over the ills of poverty and urban blight; instead, two decades of turmoil preceded the final, unceremonious destruction of the entire complex in 1973. The fall of Pruitt-Igoe ultimately came to signify not only the failure of one public housing project, but arguably the death knell of the entire Modernist era of design.

After two decades of crime and increasing maintenance issues, Pruitt-Igoe was ultimately demolished between 1972 and 1977. ImageVia pruitt-igoe.com The gleaming towers of Pruitt-Igoe were to have been a “Manhattan on the Mississippi.” . ImageCourtesy of Wikimedia user Cadastral (Public Domain) Courtesy of "The Pruitt Igoe Myth" Much of the landscaping and community amenities Minoru Yamasaki originally proposed were never built, contributing to Pruitt-Igoe’s eventual downward spiral. ImageVia pruitt-igoe.com +8

First House Designed by Gaudí to Open as Museum

08:00 - 16 April, 2017
First House Designed by Gaudí to Open as Museum, Casa Vicens. Image © Eric Huang [Flickr], licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
Casa Vicens. Image © Eric Huang [Flickr], licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

It has been confirmed that the museum opening date for the Casa Vicens in Barcelona has been rescheduled for the second half of 2017. Originally scheduled for the second half of 2016, the reopening of Gaudi's first house was not able to be completed due to the complicated and labor intensive renovations. This will be the first time the house, declared World Heritage site, will be open to the public without it being a residential or private space.

The Casa Vicens, located on 24 Carolines Street, was the first house ever designed by Antoni Gaudí. In 1883 Manel Vicens, promoter of the project, commissioned the architect to build what would be his summer home. At that time Gràcia, now a cosmopolitan neighborhood, was a separate town. Therefore, the project did not contemplate the possibility of other buildings being built around it, and so to this day, it remains a completely freestanding building in a neighborhood characterized by its compact character, narrow streets, and high density of population.

Detail of the Casa Vicens. Image © Ian Gampon [Flickr], licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0 Detail of the Casa Vicens. Image © Ian Gampon [Flickr], licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0 Detail of the Casa Vicens. Image © Ian Gampon [Flickr], licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0 Detail of the Casa Vicens. Image © Ian Gampon [Flickr], licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0 +5

Should Airbnb Help Save This High-Tech Gem?

09:30 - 14 April, 2017
Should Airbnb Help Save This High-Tech Gem?, The Columbus Occupational Health Association could be an ideal candidate for a partnership between Airbnb and Columbus, Indiana. Image Courtesy of H3
The Columbus Occupational Health Association could be an ideal candidate for a partnership between Airbnb and Columbus, Indiana. Image Courtesy of H3

This article was originally published by The Architect's Newspaper as "Why Airbnb should help save an architectural icon."

If I had to guess, I would say that it has been forty years since Columbus, Indiana, was the hot topic of cocktail conversations at design-related get-togethers in New York City. In those days, it was the supercharged patronage of industrialist J. Irwin Miller and his relationships with designers like Eero Saarinen and Alexander Girard that spurred a wave of innovative and provocative architecture in the small Midwestern town. Columbus, with a population of 45,000, has a Robert Venturi fire station, a John Johansen school, a park by Michael Van Valkenburgh, and several buildings by Eliel and Eero Saarinen, including the younger’s iconic Miller House.

Spotlight: Peter Behrens

06:00 - 14 April, 2017
Spotlight: Peter Behrens, The AEG Turbine Factory. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Berlin_AEG_Turbinenfabrik.jpg'>Wikimedia user Doris Antony</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>
The AEG Turbine Factory. Image © Wikimedia user Doris Antony licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

If asked to name buildings by German architect and designer Peter Behrens (14 April 1868 – 27 February 1940), few people would be able to answer with anything other than his AEG Turbine Factory in Berlin. His style was not one that lends itself easily to canonization; indeed, even the Turbine Factory itself is difficult to appreciate without an understanding of its historical context. Despite this, Behrens' achievements are not to be underestimated, and his importance to the development of architecture might best be understood by looking at three young architects who worked in his studio around 1910: Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius.

Spotlight: Richard Neutra

14:00 - 8 April, 2017
Spotlight: Richard Neutra, Lovell House, 1929. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lovell_House,_Los_Angeles,_California.JPG'>Wikimedia user Los Angeles</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>
Lovell House, 1929. Image © Wikimedia user Los Angeles licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Though Modernism is sometimes criticized for imposing universal rules on different people and areas, it was Richard J. Neutra's (April 8, 1892 – April 16, 1970) intense client focus that won him acclaim. His personalized and flexible version of modernism created a series of private homes that were—and still are—highly sought after, making him one of the United States' most significant mid-century modernists. His architecture of simple geometry and airy steel and glass became the subject of the iconic photographs of Julius Schulman, and came to stand for an entire era of American design.

Miller House, 1938. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/28238346@N00/338006894/'>Flickr user IK's World Trip</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> Cyclorama, Gettsyburg. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gettysburg_Cyclorama_Neutra_PA3.jpg'>Wikimedia user Acroterion</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> Lovell House, 1929. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/aseles/6149131597'>Flickr user aseles</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a> Kaufmann House, 1947. Image © Barbara Alfors 2000 <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kaufman_House_Palm_Springs.jpg'>via Wikimedia</a? licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> +7

11 Architecture, Design and Urbanism Podcasts to Start Listening to Now

07:15 - 5 April, 2017
11 Architecture, Design and Urbanism Podcasts to Start Listening to Now

It can sometimes feel as if the world is divided into two camps: those who do not listen to podcasts (probably because they don’t know what a podcast is) and those who listen to podcasts, love podcasts, and keep badgering their friends for recommendations so they can start listening to even more.

Unlike other media, it’s notoriously difficult to discover and share podcasts – even more so if you’re looking for a podcast on a niche subject like architecture, design or urbanism. To help you in your hour of need, Metropolis’ Vanessa Quirk (author of Guide to Podcasting) and ArchDaily’s James Taylor-Foster (whose silvery tones you may have heard on various architecture and design audio stories) have come together to compile this list of eleven podcasts you should subscribe to.

Spotlight: Hans Hollein

11:30 - 30 March, 2017
Spotlight: Hans Hollein, Büro + Fabriksgebäude, Tainan, Taiwan, 2005-2008. Image © Atelier Adam Chen
Büro + Fabriksgebäude, Tainan, Taiwan, 2005-2008. Image © Atelier Adam Chen

Described by Richard Meier as an architect whose "groundbreaking ideas" have "had a major impact on the thinking of designers and architects," Austrian artist, architect, designer, theoretician and Pritzker Prize laureate Hans Hollein worked in all aspects of design, from architecture to furniture, jewelry, glasses, lamps—even door handles. Known in particular for his museum designs, from the Abteiberg Museum in Mönchengladbach to the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt to Vienna's Modernism.

Büro + Fabriksgebäude, Tainan, Taiwan, 2005-2008. Image © Atelier Adam Chen VULCANIA Centre Européen du Volcanisme, Auvergne, Frankreich, 1994-2002. Image © Atelier Hans Hollein / Sina Baniahmad Kerzengeschäft Marius Retti, Wien, Österreich, 1964–1965. Image © Franz Hubmann Haas Haus, Geschäftshaus, Wien, Österreich, 1985-1990. Image © Atelier Hans Hollein / Sina Baniahmad +47

Inside Philip Johnson's Underappreciated Glass House in Manhattan

09:30 - 25 March, 2017

The architectural legacy of the Rockefeller family in Manhattan is well-known, most obviously demonstrated in the slab-like Art Deco towers of the Rockefeller Center and the ever-expanding campus of the MoMA. But in a city that is filled with landmarks and historic buildings, it's easy for even the most remarkable projects to go unrecognized. Philip Johnson's Rockefeller Guest House in Manhattan was completed in 1950, just one year after the construction of his better known Glass House in New Canaan. The Glass House is an obvious cousin to the later guest house: both feature largely empty glass and steel boxlike forms, where structural work is exposed and celebrated.

AD Classics: Gallaratese Quarter / Aldo Rossi & Carlo Aymonino

11:15 - 14 March, 2017
AD Classics: Gallaratese Quarter / Aldo Rossi & Carlo Aymonino, © Gili Merin
© Gili Merin

As the dust settled following the Second World War much of Europe was left with a crippling shortage of housing. In Milan, a series of plans were drafted in response to the crisis, laying out satellite communities for the northern Italian city which would each house between 50,000 to 130,000 people. Construction the first of these communities began in 1946, one year after the end of the conflict; ten years later in 1956, the adoption of Il Piano Regolatore Generale—a new master plan—set the stage for the development of the second, known as 'Gallaratese'. The site of the new community was split into parts 1 and 2, the latter of which was owned by the Monte Amiata Società Mineraria per Azioni. When the plan allowed for private development of Gallaratese 2 in late 1967, the commission for the project was given to Studio Ayde and, in particular, its partner Carlo Aymonino. Two months later Aymonino would invite Aldo Rossi to design a building for the complex and the two Italians set about realizing their respective visions for the ideal microcosmic community.[1]

© Gili Merin © Gili Merin © Gili Merin © Gili Merin +17

AD Classics: Master Plan for Chandigarh / Le Corbusier

06:30 - 2 March, 2017
AD Classics: Master Plan for Chandigarh / Le Corbusier, © Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

On August 15, 1947, on the eve of India’s independence from the United Kingdom, came a directive which would transform the subcontinent for the next six decades. In order to safeguard the country’s Muslim population from the Hindu majority, the departing colonial leaders set aside the northwestern and eastern portions of the territory for their use. Many of the approximately 100 million Muslims living scattered throughout India were given little more than 73 days to relocate to these territories, the modern-day nations of Pakistan and Bangladesh. As the borders for the new countries were drawn by Sir Cyril Radcliffe (an Englishman whose ignorance of Indian history and culture was perceived, by the colonial government, as an assurance of his impartiality), the state of Punjab was bisected between India and Pakistan, the latter of which retained ownership of the state capital of Lahore.[1] It was in the wake of this loss that Punjab would found a new state capital: one which would not only serve the logistical requirements of the state, but make an unequivocal statement to the entire world that a new India—modernized, prosperous, and independent—had arrived.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu +59

Spotlight: Lúcio Costa

11:30 - 27 February, 2017
Spotlight: Lúcio Costa, The monumental axis central to Costa's plan. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Monumental_axis.jpg'>Wikimedia user Limongi</a> Licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY 3.0</a>
The monumental axis central to Costa's plan. Image © Wikimedia user Limongi Licensed under CC BY 3.0

Brazilian planner, preservationist and modernist thinker Lúcio Costa  (27 Feburary 1902 – 13 June 1998) is best known for his 1957 plan of Brasília that shaped the Brazilian capital into a monument to utopian modernism. A resolute and often controversial figure in the Brazilian establishment, Costa’s contributions to Brazilian architecture helped to shape the distinctive modernism that was practically Brazil’s official style until the 1980s.

The original pilot plan. Image Courtesy of O Espaço Lúcio Costa © Imagens AMB The monumental axis central to Costa's plan. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Monumental_axis.jpg'>Wikimedia user Limongi</a> Licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY 3.0</a> The Asa Sul district of Brasília. Image Courtesy of Portal da Copa +8

The Man Who Designed the Future: Norman Bel Geddes

12:25 - 16 February, 2017
The Man Who Designed the Future: Norman Bel Geddes, Photo of B. Alexandra Szerlip by Adam Keker
Photo of B. Alexandra Szerlip by Adam Keker

B. Alexandra Szerlip gives a free, public talk about her new book, The Man Who Designed the Future: Norman Bel Geddes and the Invention of Twentieth-Century America (Melville House).

A ninth-grade dropout who found himself at the center of the worlds of industry, advertising, theater, and even gaming, Norman Bel Geddes designed everything from the first all-weather stadium to Manhattan’s most exclusive nightclub, to Futurama, the prescient 1939 exhibit that envisioned how America would look in the not-too-distant sixties.

Mies van der Rohe's Tower in London That Never Was

07:00 - 6 February, 2017
Mies van der Rohe's Tower in London That Never Was, Vizualisation. Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, REAL foundation. Image © John Donat
Vizualisation. Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, REAL foundation. Image © John Donat

In the 1960s James Stirling asked Ludwig Mies van der Rohe why he didn’t design utopian visions for new societies, like those of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City or Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse. Mies replied that he wasn’t interested in fantasies, but only in “making the existing city beautiful.” When Stirling recounted the conversation several decades later it was to the audience of a public enquiry convened in London – he was desperately trying to save Mies’ only UK design from being rejected in planning.

It couldn’t be done: the scheme went unbuilt; the drawings were buried in a private archive. Now, for the first time in more than thirty years, Mies’ Mansion House Square will be presented to the public in both a forthcoming exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)—Mies van der Rohe and James Stirling: Circling the Square—and, if it is successful, a book currently being funded through Kickstarter by the REAL foundation.

Vizualisation. Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, REAL foundation. Image © John Donat Interior vizualisation. Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, REAL foundation. Image © John Donat Urban plan. Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, REAL foundation. Image © John Donat Vizualisation. Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, REAL foundation. Image © John Donat +5

The Record Company Headquarters that Revived 1950s Hollywood with Iconic Architecture

09:30 - 28 January, 2017
Courtesy of TASCHEN
Courtesy of TASCHEN

This essay by Alan Hess about the iconic Capitol Records building in Los Angeles was originally published as "The Architecture of the Capitol Records Tower." It is part of the book 75 Years of Capitol Records, published by TASCHEN, which is scheduled for release in February.

The president of Capitol Records was certain that a serious company could not operate out of a building that looked like the stack of records in a jukebox. So when Welton Becket, the new headquarters’ architect, showed him a model of the multistoried circular tower, Wallichs was annoyed. It would look like an advertising gimmick, Wallichs said, in a city where hot dogs were sold out of buildings shaped like hot dogs. Becket countered that the circular floor plan was more cost-efficient for the amount of usable space than a standard rectangular office building. Unimpressed, Wallichs told Becket to go back and design a conventional building.

The myth that a stack of records inspired the Tower has never died, though. As soon as the building opened, Hollywood columnist Bob Thomas wrote about it as “a monstrous stack of records.” Wallichs went on a public offensive from the start: “There was no intentional relationship between the shape of phonograph records and the circular design of the Tower” he insisted to the Chicago Tribune.