AD Classics: Vanna Venturi House / Robert Venturi

© Maria Buszek

Most critics usually regard consistency in architecture an important aspect of the design. However in the Vanna Venturi House took the road less travelled and tested complexity and contradiction in architecture, going against the norm. Located in Chestnut Hill, on a flat site isolated by surrounding trees, Venturi designed and built the house for his mother between 1962 and 1964. In testing his beliefts on complexity and contradition (for which he also wrote the book Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture), Venturi went through six fully worked-out versions of the house which slowly became known as the first example of Postmodern architecture.

More on the Vanna Venturi House after the break.

AIA Convention: Follow us on Twitter and win amazing books!

The AIA National Convention 2010 will be held in from June 10 till June 12, and ArchDaily will be there to cover it! To start the engines, we decided to launch a small giveaway in Twitter starting today and finishing next Thursday. Everyday we will be giving an amazing book related to the AIA Convention. All you need to do is follow us on Twitter and RT our message. To do so, you can just click here (must be logged on to your account).

And that’s about it. Just a click, and you can win! Today’s book is “Climate Design: Design and Planning for the Age of Climate Change”. So RT our message till 6pm today, and tomorrow morning we’ll announce the winner! And remember, tomorrow we’ll have another book for you!

AD Classics: Willis Tower (Sears Tower) / Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill

© Flickr - User: skydeckchicago

Towering over the windy city of , the Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower) was once the tallest building in the world upon its completion in 1973. Sears, Roebuck, & Company commissioned Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill  to design an office building that would house their headquarters and the many offices they had scattered around in one building. The design also had to incorporate extra office space for the anticipated future growth of the company.

More on the Willis Tower after the break.

Metea Valley High School / DLR Group

© James Steinkamp

Architects: DLR Group
Location: Aurora, IL,
Owner: Indian Prairie School District 204
Engineer: ; KJWW Engineering; Roake and Associates, Inc.
Contractor: Turner Construction
Opened: August 2009 – Phase I; February 2010 – Phase II
Project Area: 464,200 SF; 84.1 Acres
Photographs: James Steinkamp

AD Classics: MIT Baker House Dormitory / Alvar Aalto

© Wikimedia - dDxc

designed the Baker House in 1946 while he was a professor at the Massachussets Institute of Technology, where the dormitory is located. It received its name in 1950, after the MIT’s Dean of Students Everett Moore Baker was killed in an airplane crash that year. The dormitory is a curving snake slithering on its site and reflects many of Aalto’s ideas of formal strategy, making it a dormitory that is both inhabited and studied by students from all over the world.  

Fallingwater On-Site Cottages Competition proposal / Wendell Burnette Architects

A couple of days ago we featured Saucier + Perrotte’s proposal for the Fallingwater On-Site Cottages Competition in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, . Today, Wendell Burnette Architects | Michael Boucher Landscape Architecture shared with us their proposal, which received second place. More images and architect’s description after the break.

Saipua Store / Tacklebox

© Courtesy of Tacklebox

Architects: Tacklebox
Location: ,
Client: Sarah Ryhanen & Eric Famisan
Project Area: 700 sq ft
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Courtesy of Tacklebox

AD Classics: Douglas House / Richard Meier & Partners Architects


Hovering over the shores of Lake , the Douglas House was built by in 1971-1973 for Jim and Jean Douglas. The house is gently placed on a steep slope over the water, almost as if it is floating amongst the trees. As Meier stated about the house, “So steep is the slope to the water that the house appears to have been dropped into the site, a machine-crafted object that has landed in a natural world. The dramatic dialogue between the whiteness of the house and the primary blues and greens of the water, trees, and sky allows the house not only to assert its own presence but to enhance, by contrast, the beauty of its natural environment as well.”

More on the Douglas House after the break.

Fallingwater On-Site Cottages Competition proposal / Saucier + Perrotte architectes

Saucier + Perrotte architectes have shared with us their finalist proposal for the Fallingwater On-Site Cottages Competition in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, . You can see more images and architect’s description after the break.

AD Classics: Lever House / Skidmore, Owings & Merrill


The Lever House by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was one of the first International style office buildings in the United States. Located in midtown Manhattan, it was originally the American corporate headquarters of the soap company Lever Brothers. Built between 1951-1952, the Lever House extends 24 stories in height right across from Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building, and stands as its own perfect glass box.

More on the Lever House after the break.

Archiprix International 2011

Archiprix International is an international design competition, displaying the work of the world’s best graduates in architecture, urban design, and landscape architecture!

Organized by the Foundation, the 2011 host of MIT in conjunction with the Platform for Permanent Modernity, and sponsored by Hunter Douglas, Archiprix International invites schools to nominate their best graduation project of the past year and submit that project for consideration in the competition, as well as participate in a series of workshops and debates revolving around the topics critical to architectural discourse today.

All participating schools must register their best graduation project by August 1st, 2010 at the online registration site. For more information visit the competition’s official website.

Community Rowing Boathouse / Anmahian Winton Architects


Architects: Anmahian Winton Architects
Location: , MA, USA
Principal in Charge: Alex Anmahian
Project Managers: Nick Winton, Todd Thiel
Project Architect: Sydney Schremser
Project Team: Joel Lamere, Makoto Abe, Aaron Stavert, AIA, Mazen Sakr, Garth Goldstein, Andrew Plumb, AIA, Julia Davis, AIA, LEED AP
Civil Engineering: Stantec
Marine Structural Engineering: Childs Engineering Corp.
Structural Engineering: Richmond So Engineering
MEP/FP Engineering: RW Sullivan Inc.
Landscape Architects: Stantec
Lighting: LAM Partners
Project Area: 30,000 sq ft
Budget: $11.45 M
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Mike Champion, Peter Vanderwarker, Jane Messinger/Anmahian Winton Architects, Sydney Schremser/Anmahian Winton Architects

Rebuilding a Sustainable Haiti: Symposium

The Institute for Urban Design will host Rebuilding a Sustainable Haiti, a public symposium on planning strategies that can lead to a more socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable future in Haiti.

The scope of the destruction that followed the January 12th earthquake in Haiti was so great that the rebuilding process must seek to transform the country’s built environment, not just replace it. The country’s long-term welfare depends on a new and comprehensive approach to planning for the future. The event will identify specific ways in which City’s planning and design community can work within the framework established by the Haitian government to encourage a truly integrated planning process for the reconstruction.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held on June 4th, 2010, in the Rose Auditorium at the Cooper Union, from 1:00pm to 6:00pm. For more information, visit the event’s official website.

modeLab Strip Morphologies Workshop

modeLab will be conducting a Strip Morphologies Workshop in between June 19 and June 21. This workshop will introduce participants to the cultural, technological, and tectonic domain of parametric design and digital fabrication in a fast-paced and hands-on learning environment. Over two-plus days, the workshop will investigate the morphology of the ’strip’ by cross-linking developable surfaces and joining strategies. We will identify and exploit the constraints inherent in sheet material and High-Force CNC cutting technology to explore and construct highly articulated material assemblies.

As part of a larger online infrastructure, , this workshop provides participants with continued support and knowledge to draw upon for future learning. Attendance will be limited to provide each participant maximum dedicated time with instructors. For more information on this event, click here.

Greenwich Street Project / Archi-tectonics


Completed in 2004, the Greenwich Street Project by Archi-tectonics is a 64,000 square foot multi-unit residential building in just a few blocks from where the Hudson River meets the city. With the West Village to its north, SoHo, the heart of style to its West, and TriBeCa, where entrenpreneurship has transformed industry into lofts to its south, the Greenwich Street Project is the meeting point of three of downtown’s major cultural districts. Ironically enough, its design also involved the merging of an old renovated warehouse with a completely new structure, combining both to create appropriate live-work spaces that served its context.

More on Archi-tectonics Greenwich Street Project after the break.

Vashon Cabin / Vandeventer + Carlander Architects

© Ben Benschneider

Architects: Vandeventer + Carlander Architects
Location: Vashon Island, , USA
Structural Engineer: Swenson Say Faget
Landscape Architects: David Berleth Landscape Architect
Contractor: McIntyre Construction Services Inc.
Floor Area: 1,848 sq ft
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Ben Benschneider

Miami Civic Center 2010 Competition winners announced

First Prize

Results for the Civic Center 2010 Competition to design the new urban and civic center were announced recently. For complete honorable mentions and participants go to the competition’s official website. Winners after the break.

The Long Island Residence / Tod Williams + Billie Tsien

© Michael Moran

Stretched upon three acres of land in the Hamptons in Long Island, , the Long Island Residence by architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien is a quiet, serene home that blends in with the tranquility of nature that surrounds it. Also known as the Rifkind residence, Williams and Tsien designed the house for clients Robert, a lawyer, and Arleen Rifkind, a pharmacolegy professor, and their children. Due to their busy city lives in Manhatten, the Rifkinds wanted a weekend retreat where they could go with family and friends to relax and embrace the outdoors. Therefore the solution, in the words of Williams and Tsien, was “a house that is marked by quiet serenity, openess to the landscape, and a sense of spaciousness without monumentality.”

More on the Long Island Residence after the break.