10 Fires That Changed Architecture Forever

01:00 - 30 May, 2014
After being destroyed by fire and laying in ruins for 60 years, the Reichstag became a symbol of the new democracy in the 1990s with Norman Foster's renovation. Image © Flickr CC User Werner Kunz
After being destroyed by fire and laying in ruins for 60 years, the Reichstag became a symbol of the new democracy in the 1990s with Norman Foster's renovation. Image © Flickr CC User Werner Kunz

With no casualties, last week's fire at the Glasgow School of Art, which caused significant damage to parts of the building and gutted Charles Rennie Mackintosh's canonical library room, will be remembered as a tragic event that robbed us of one of the best examples of Art Nouveau of its time. The intention of the Glasgow School of Art is to restore the building in the hope that in generations to come, the fire will be all but forgotten, a strategy which has been largely well received by the profession. 

However, in the case of other fires things have not gone so smoothly: for millennia, fire has played a big role in determining the course of architectural history - by destroying precious artifacts, but often also by allowing something new to rise from the ashes. Read on after the break as we count down the top 10 fires that changed the course of architectural history.

10 Fires That Changed Architecture Forever The Hagia Sophia. Image © Flickr CC User Collin Key The Reichstag. Image © Flickr CC User Sebastian Niedlich Chicago. Image © Flickr CC User Brad Wilke +12

Toyo Ito Awarded 2014 Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture

00:00 - 17 March, 2014
Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture (Click image for a preview of Ito's work). Image © Iwan Baan
Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture (Click image for a preview of Ito's work). Image © Iwan Baan

Toyo Ito has been selected to join a distinguished roster of laureates, including Mies van der Rohe, I.M. Pei, Jane Jacobs and Maya Lin, as the 2014 Thomas Jefferson Medalist in Architecture. Presented by the University of Virginia, in collaboration with the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, the award recognizes significant “achievements of those who embrace endeavors in which Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and third U.S. president, excelled and held in high regard.”

Soundscape Architecture: A New Way to Experience Famous Buildings

09:30 - 23 February, 2014
The inside of the New York Guggenheim Museum. Image © Flickr CC User Fernando Carrasco
The inside of the New York Guggenheim Museum. Image © Flickr CC User Fernando Carrasco

There are many forms of architectural representation - from sketches to construction drawings to photographs - but they all privilege vision over any of the other senses. This problem has perhaps only been exacerbated by the internet, which has made it easier to 'experience' buildings from afar, to the detriment of four of the five senses.

Now though, Karen Van Lengen, the Kenan Professor of Architecture at the University of Virginia, has created Soundscape Architecture, a website that aims to redress this imbalance. In collaboration with artist James Welty and musician Troy Rogers, Van Lengen has used sound recordings of iconic architectural spaces to create synaesthetic animations and musical compositions of the ambient noise there.

Read on after the break for more about Soundscape Architecture