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Bamboo Bridge in Indonesia Demonstrates Sustainable Alternatives for Infrastructure

16:00 - 18 June, 2017
Bamboo Bridge in Indonesia Demonstrates Sustainable Alternatives for Infrastructure, © Andrea Fitrianto
© Andrea Fitrianto

As part of the second Bamboo Biennale held in October 2016, the city of Solo in Central Java received a public Bamboo Bridge courtesy of Indonesian Architects Without Borders (ASF-ID). Connecting the Pasar Gede market and colonial Dutch Vastenburg Fort, the 18-meter bamboo structure offers a revitalization of river life in the historic Indonesian city. Spanning across the Kali Pepe river, residents of Java can traverse the pedestrian bridge on its track that varies in width from 1.8 to 2.3 meters.

© Andrea Fitrianto © Andrea Fitrianto © Andrea Fitrianto © Andrea Fitrianto +32

Continuity of Structure Defines this Timber Canopy in Chile

16:00 - 21 May, 2017
Continuity of Structure Defines this Timber Canopy in Chile , © Tomás Weisser
© Tomás Weisser

Set in a valley located 45 minutes west of Santiago de Chile, an elementary timber shed by Josep Ferrando and Diego Baloian seeks to unhinge the division between vertical and horizontal architectural elements. The scheme is the result of a private commission to build a wooden shed on a family-owned plot in the town of Curacaví, halfway between the Chilean capital and the coastal town of Valparaíso. 

Drawing heavy inspiration from vernacular canopies which historically dotted the landscape of rural Chile, the scheme seeks to create a central family meeting point amongst a vast 2 hectare plot. 

© Christian Nawrath © Diego Baloian © Tomás Weisser © Tomás Weisser +34

The Purity of Expressive Timber Structure Celebrated in Finland's Pudasjärvi Campus

14:00 - 20 May, 2017
The Purity of Expressive Timber Structure Celebrated in Finland's Pudasjärvi Campus, © RA-Studio Raimo Ahonen
© RA-Studio Raimo Ahonen

An environmentally-concious material response by Lukkaroinen Architects, the structural design for the Pudasjärvi Wood Campus in northern Finland highlights the potential of large-scale structural timber. 

The project features a primary structure of assembled logs and three types of non-traditional pillars, specially constructed in laminated wood for different areas. 

© RA-Studio Raimo Ahonen © RA-Studio Raimo Ahonen © RA-Studio Raimo Ahonen © RA-Studio Raimo Ahonen +35

15 Metal Fittings for Connecting Laminated Wooden Structures

09:00 - 23 February, 2017
15 Metal Fittings for Connecting Laminated Wooden Structures , Cortesía de Arauco
Cortesía de Arauco

When designing wooden structures, it’s very important to consider joints and reinforcements that will allow them to stay together and upright. These connectors not only allow for adhering wood to wood but also let you anchor wood elements to brick and concrete walls. 

With such a variety of pieces needing to be connected together (beam-beam / beam-pillar / beam-strut / beam-wall / base-frames), working with hardware requires the advice of a calculating engineer or a professional with knowledge and experience. To guide you in this process, we have selected 15 metal fittings specially designed by Arauco to connect wood pieces. 

M90 for 90 mm pillars Beam Strut V Joint Beam to Slope Joint Support Plate +16

Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY Uses Intensive Curvature to Create Suspended Self-Supporting Structure

08:00 - 3 February, 2017
Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY Uses Intensive Curvature to Create Suspended Self-Supporting Structure, © Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY
© Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY

A giant, smooth coral? A cloud-like barnacle? A woman's floral swimming cap?”

Such phrases are how art and architecture studio Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY attempts to describe it’s latest curvilinear project, Under Magnitude.

Suspended within Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center, the installation is a two-storey structure, formed from a network of branches that are synthesized by a single, smooth white surface. The form expresses the studio’s aim to “unite surface, structure, and space in order to create a new kind of experience.”

© Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY © Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY © Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY © Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY +22

Hexagons for a Reason: The Innovative Engineering Behind BIG's Honeycomb

06:00 - 10 January, 2017
Hexagons for a Reason: The Innovative Engineering Behind BIG's Honeycomb, © BIG
© BIG

BIG are known for unconventional buildings that often raise the question “how were they able to do that?” Such is the case for BIG’s Honeycomb, a luxury eight-story condominium currently under construction in the Bahamas. The project’s hallmark is its hexagonal façade made up of private balconies, each with its own glass-fronted outdoor pool. The façade was also the project’s greatest engineering challenge, with each balcony (including pool water) weighing between 108,000 and 269,000 pounds (48,000-122,000 kilograms) while cantilevering up to 17.5 feet (5.3 meters) from the structure. Tasked with this challenging brief were DeSimone Consulting Engineers, who previously worked with BIG on The Grove. Read on for more detail on the Honeycomb’s innovative engineering.

Courtesy of DeSimone Consulting Engineers © BIG © BIG Courtesy of DeSimone Consulting Engineers +15

See The Engineering Behind This Floating, Award-Winning Stone Helical Stair

14:00 - 22 November, 2016
See The Engineering Behind This Floating, Award-Winning Stone Helical Stair, © Agnese Sanvito
© Agnese Sanvito

Helical staircases are often designed to be show-stoppers, focal points of architectural spaces that are intended to impress. But even compared to its eye-catching peers, this staircase developed by Webb Yates Engineers and The Stonemasonry Company is unusually audacious. Developed for a residential design by RAL Architects in Formby, UK, each step of the two-story, 4.6-meter diameter helical staircase is composed of an individual block of stone, giving an impression of weightlessness as the structure circles its way up through the building's atrium towards the glazed roof above. For their efforts, Webb Yates recently won the Award for Small Projects at the Institution of Structural Engineers' 2016 Structural Awards, whose judges said that they were "amazed by the grace and audacity" of the design. Read on to find out how Webb Yates achieved this feat of engineering.

© Agnese Sanvito © Agnese Sanvito © Agnese Sanvito Courtesy of Webb Yates Engineers +17

Open Call: For Architects/Artists "Second Nature"

14:01 - 18 July, 2016
Open Call: For Architects/Artists "Second Nature"

The European Capital of Culture – PAFOS2017 announces the architectural/artistic Open Call entitled “SECOND NATURE”, for the creation of light, small scale structures that will be placed in the Municipal Garden, in the centre of Pafos-CYPRUS. The Open Call is open to professional architects, artists, designers and students of architecture schools of member states of the International Union of Architects (UIA).

Here's How a Utah Company Turns Water into Enchanting Castles of Ice

09:30 - 17 February, 2016
Here's How a Utah Company Turns Water into Enchanting Castles of Ice, © AJ Mellor Courtesy of Ice Castles
© AJ Mellor Courtesy of Ice Castles

Coming off of a weekend of brutally cold temperatures in the Northeastern United States, the praising of ice might strike some as disagreeable. But seeing the aqueous creations of the Utah based Ice Castles makes a persuasive case for enduring winter’s wrath. Using a patented system, the company designs ice constructions formed through an additive process in which a substructure of icicle lattices are sprayed with liquid water, resulting in grand formations with the appearance of stalactites or sublimating gases frozen in time.

Seasonally, in four cold-climate locations in North America, the company creates castles of varying sizes that are built over the course of three to four weeks and maintained for approximately six to eight weeks thereafter. What may seem like a simple activity – after all, it’s just ice and water – is actually a complex orchestration, not unlike more traditional architecture, which involves the careful consideration of a number of strategic and site-specific factors.

© Vallor McNeely Courtesy of Ice Castles © AJ Mellor Courtesy of Ice Castles © Doug Simms Courtesy of Ice Castles © AJ Mellor Courtesy of Ice Castles +16

Watch SANAA's Grace Farms Come to Life in this Time Lapse

12:00 - 7 February, 2016

Grace Farms by SANAA perfectly illustrates the firm’s sinuous, elegant style, combining their understanding of glass and structure to create spaces so fluid that they’re hard to believe from just a photo. A new time lapse by Work Zone Cam shows the construction of this project in HD, capturing a period between September 2013 and October 2015. Work Zone Cam worked with Project Manager, Paratus Group, to document Grace Farms’ construction, including its central piece “The River”: a ribbon-like roof that blends seamlessly with the landscape. Watch the entire construction of the project in just 180 seconds after the break.

Grace of Intention: Photography, Architecture and the Monument

19:00 - 17 October, 2015
Grace of Intention: Photography, Architecture and the Monument, Florian Joye, Wires, 2009
Florian Joye, Wires, 2009

Monuments are deliberate gestures—objects or structures created to commemorate an event, person or era. Their meaning is usually imposed, and they often serve as focal points for aspirational civic and political attributes like valor and sacrifice, or to underscore a foundational political narrative. But their meaning can transform, changing over time as the relevance of their symbolism ebbs and flows due to social and political shifts. Like monuments, architecture and photography are also inflected with a grace of intention, and both have the ability to commemorate or represent a nation, event, time or place. The act of photographing monuments and buildings transforms them, sometimes revealing some of the original qualities and more closely evoking the response that they were originally intended to have. And photographs have an inherent memorial quality. This group exhibition examines the work of international artists, some of whose work addresses actual monuments, some whom look at architecture and its relationship to memory and how its importance and symbolism can shift over time, and others approach the idea of the future monument.

The Apple and the Leaf: On How in Architecture There Are No Indisputable Truths

10:00 - 2 October, 2015
The Apple and the Leaf: On How in Architecture There Are No Indisputable Truths, Villa Além / Valerio Olgiati. Image © Archive Olgiati
Villa Além / Valerio Olgiati. Image © Archive Olgiati

For many centuries, the demands of gravity appeared to give architecture one requirement that was largely unquestionable: that structures must rise vertically. However, with the advent of steel it was revealed that this limit had not been provided by gravity but by our own limited technologies. In this text, originally published by Domus Magazine in Italian and shared with ArchDaily by the author, Alberto Campo Baeza reflects on the architectural freedom offered by steel structures and the arbitrariness they bring to architectural space.

Isaac Newton was resting under an apple-tree in his garden when an apple fell on his head. Being endowed with such a privileged head and thoughts faster than lightning, he rose forthwith from his afternoon nap and set about calculating the acceleration of gravity.

Had Sir Isaac Newton had a little more patience and had he taken his time in getting to his feet, he might have noticed how, following the apple, a few leaves also fell from that same apple-tree, and while they fell, they did so in quite a different manner to the apple.

"I am writing this text in honor of the architect Valerio Olgiati, after seeing his very beautiful house in Portugal". Image © Archive Olgiati Leutschenbach School / Christian Kerez. Image Courtesy of Christian Kerez Rufo House / Alberto Campo Baeza. "But I, who have always defended orthogonal structures, also argue that structures do not always necessarily have to be orthogonal". Image © Javier Callejas Apartment Building on Forsterstrasse / Christian Kerez. From the architect's description: "The concrete wall slices are placed one above the other, suspended under each other or cantilevered. They form the loadbearing structure... their structurally essential organization remains hidden behind the appearance of a free, open-ended design". Image © Walter Mair +6

Nikolay Polissky Unveils His Latest Wood Installation in Russia

12:00 - 13 September, 2015
Nikolay Polissky Unveils His Latest Wood Installation in Russia, © Alexey Naroditskiy
© Alexey Naroditskiy

Russian artist Nikolay Polissky has completed yet another of his impressive, handcrafted installations. Located in Zvizzhi Village, in the Ugra National Park in Russia, Polissky’s newest creation—called SELPO, which stands for The Rural Consumer Association, in Russian—wraps around an abandoned soviet building, which used to house the village shop.

The project utilizes off-cut materials from Polissky’s previous work, which has ranged “from temporary pieces of landscape proportions, collectively created […] to public art works in city parks or sculpture parks […] in Europe and in Russia, as well as museum installations.”

© Alexey Naroditskiy © Kozhohin © Alexey Naroditskiy © Alexey Naroditskiy +12

Nikolay Polissky Creates Towering, Handcrafted Structures Across Russia

08:00 - 12 July, 2015
Nikolay Polissky Creates Towering, Handcrafted Structures Across Russia, Beaubourg (2013). Image © Ilya Ivanov
Beaubourg (2013). Image © Ilya Ivanov

Born in 1957 in Moscow, artist Nikolay Polissky creates impressive, handcrafted structures in the middle of Russia's vast landscapes. Mostly carried out in the town of Nikola Lenivets -- located 200 km from the Russian capital --  his works are built entirely by the area's residents, using local materials, such as branches, trunks and wooden tables. Traditional construction techniques are used as a starting point for the projects. 

His work is inspiring not only because of its imposing form, but also because he managed to re-activate a semi-abandoned village through art and architecture, involving residents in the creative process and transforming the region into a sort of open cultural center. Since 2003, his work has been part of Archstoyanie, the largest Land-Art festival in Russia.

Gates of Perm (2011). Image © Tima Radya Hyperboloid / Volcano (2009). Image Courtesy of Nikolay Polissky Lighthouse (2004). Image Courtesy of Nikolay Polissky Media tower (2002). Image Courtesy of Nikolay Polissky +39

Video: Frei Otto Experimenting with Soap Bubbles

08:00 - 15 March, 2015

“The computer can only calculate what is already conceptually inside of it; you can only find what you look for in computers. Nevertheless, you can find what you haven’t searched for with free experimentation.” - From A Conversation with Frei Otto, by Juan Maria Songel

For Frei Otto, experimentation with models and maquettes was a fundamental part of his work as an architect. In 1961, he began to conduct a series of experiments with soap bubbles (featured in the video above). His experiments centered on suspending soap film and dropping a looped string into it to form a perfect circle. By then trying to pull the string out a minimal surface was created. It was these created surfaces that Otto experimented with.

Through these types of experimentation he was able to build forms and structures that were previously believed to be impossible. “Now it can be calculated, but for more than 40 years it was impossible to calculate it. I have not waited for it to be calculated in order to build it.”

2015 Pritzker Prize Winner Frei Otto’s Work in 10 Images

12:00 - 11 March, 2015
2015 Pritzker Prize Winner Frei Otto’s Work in 10 Images, Roofing for main sports facilities in the Munich Olympic Park for the 1972 Summer Olympics. Image © Atelier Frei Otto Warmbronn
Roofing for main sports facilities in the Munich Olympic Park for the 1972 Summer Olympics. Image © Atelier Frei Otto Warmbronn

On Tuesday evening the Pritzker Prize jury named Frei Otto as the 40th recipient of the award, making him the second German to receive the award and the first winner to receive it posthumously. Otto was both an architect and a structural engineer, perhaps best known for the 1972 Munich Olympic Stadium

With regards to their decision the jury highlighted Otto’s “visionary ideas, inquiring mind, belief in freely sharing knowledge and inventions, his collaborative spirit and concern for the careful use of resources.”  

Enjoy 10 photos of Otto’s projects after the break. 

Aviary at the Munich Zoo. Image © Atelier Frei Otto Warmbronn The 1967 International and Universal Exposition. Image © Atelier Frei Otto Warmbronn Diplomatic Club Heart Tent. Image © Atelier Frei Otto Warmbronn Institute for Lightweight Structures. Image © Atelier Frei Otto Warmbronn +10

Video: Frei Otto's German Pavilion at Expo 67

06:00 - 11 March, 2015

Last night German architect Frei Otto was selected as the 2015 Pritzker Prize Laureate, the second German to win the award and the first to receive the award posthumously. The video above shows the impressive construction process of Otto’s German Pavilion at the 1967 International and Universal Exposition in Montreal (although unfortunately without sound).

Covering an area of 8,000 square meters, the pavilion featured a large, steel mesh web suspended over eight steel masts, which were located at irregular intervals and supported by anchored cables located outside of the structure.  A transparent polyester fabric was then placed over the mesh roof, creating a tent.  The whole construction took only six weeks. 

Architectural Innovation Inspired by Nature

06:00 - 3 March, 2015
Architectural Innovation Inspired by Nature, © Flickr CC User kudumomo
© Flickr CC User kudumomo

From bricks grown from bacteria to cement derived from the reef building process of coral, biomimicry has taken the world by storm. A collection of products inspired by this phenomenon are showcased in Bloomberg’s article “14 Smart Inventions Inspired by Nature: Biomimicry,” ranging from transportation breakthroughs to ingenious feats of engineering. Read on after the break for two highlighted architectural inventions inspired by the natural world.