In 2014, Syrian architect Marwa al-Sabouni won the Syria category of the UN Habitat Mass Housing Competition for a housing scheme she developed for the city of Homs, her hometown. Now over two years later, Thames and Hudson has published her bookBattle for Home: The Vision of a Young Architect in Syria. Throughout all of these events, al-Sabouni has remained in Syria. As the Guardian puts it: “As bombs fell around her, Syrian architect Marwa al-Sabouni stayed in Homs throughout the civil war, making plans to build hope from carnage.”
In this TEDSummit video, Al-Sabouni argues “that while architecture is not the axis around which all of human life rotates... it has the power to... direct human activity” She believes that the Old Islamic cities of Syria were once harmonious urban entities which advocated for co-habitation and tolerance through their intertwining. However, she posits that over the last century, beginning with French colonization, the Ancient towns were seen as un-modern and were gradually “improved” with elements of modernity: “brutal unfinished concrete blocks, aesthetic devastation and divisive communities that zoned communities by class, creed, or affluence.” This urban condition, she argues, is what created the conditions for the uprising-turned-civil war.
The Spaces has recently released a short film in which architect David Adjaye and his musician brother Peter Adjaye discuss their upcoming vinyl collaboration, which fuses music and architecture together to represent a multi-sensory experience.
In a recent interview presented in collaboration with PLANE—SITE, architect Christian Kerez and curator Sandra Oehy speak about Incidental Space, their exhibition for the Swiss Pavilion in the Giardini at the 2016 Venice Biennale.
Kerez explains, “what we tried to do for this year’s Swiss Pavilion at the Venice Biennale is to really make a building, actually—to build a space, to offer an experience of architecture. Basically, a space at the Biennale doesn’t have to be very functional. You don’t have to live there; you don’t have to work there. It’s really about experience. This is also about the question, how much can you imagine? How can you create a space with the utmost architectonical complexity?”
Architect Nguyen Hoa Hiep of a21 studio, in collaboration with Saigon architecture students, have created a cocoon-inspired pavilion. This exhibition is organized annually by Handhome.net in Vietnam in order to connect older generations of architects with students.
Located in the arid desert of the San Rafael Valley, Arizona, Casa Caldera by DUST is a unique object in the vast landscape. In this video, architects Jesus Robles and Cade Hayes explain their project as viewers are taken on a vivid tour of the building and site. The camera moves through the desert, unveiling the house gradually, as one would truly experience it.
“One of the unique things about Casa Caldera is the experience of the approach,” Hayes says. “Two hours of travel are actually part of the experience of arriving. It isn’t until you are 20, 30 feet from the house that you get a good look.”
Buildings and cityscapes – or the lack thereof – change the way we hear significantly. Acousticians and acoustic engineers are often hired to solve problems with sound leakage, but few people consider the difference between a shout across a city block and the same shout down a closed hallway. In this video, the differences in sound quality in various environments are compared, as the “Wikisinger” performs the same song in 15 places.
Cycling between places like a cathedral, a field in front of oil naves, a concrete tunnel, an abandoned attic and a silence chamber, the acoustic differences between each space are made clear as the song reverberates or lands flatly against the walls surrounding it. Splicing and augmenting the different sounds of each place, the singer creates a kind of orchestra of architecture, inviting listeners to take a second to hear the buildings around them.
Over the past 20 years, many of the most renowned European cultural institutions - including ARTE France, Les Films d’Ici, the Louvre, the Ministry of Culture and Communication Department of Architecture and Heritage, Centre Pompidou, City of Architecture and Heritage, Musée d'Orsay and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe - have come together to produce more than 50 architecture documentaries devoted to the most significant achievements of architecture, its beginnings, and the latest creations of the great architects of today. Now, these videos are accessible to the public via the YouTube Channel ACB (Art and Culture Bureau).
Each documentary is approximately 26 minutes long, and focuses on the genesis and impact of a single building that has played a role in the evolution of architecture. Narration is in English, and many of the videos of newer buildings feature interviews with the architects themselves. Check out some of the videos below, or find the entire list here.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R)'s The Broad Museum has been slowly revitalizing its plot of downtown Los Angeles. In this new video by Chang Kyun Kim, The Broad is shown at an intimate human scale. Kim takes viewers on a journey through the space, following a class of elementary school children as they tour the museum.
The video opens with a shot of the museum from across the street. As the film slowly approaches the building, it focuses on small details, like other pedestrians, the line in front of the ticket booth and a worker adjusting a window detail from inside the museum. The video then moves through the building, viewing the art and the children interacting with it, at various distances and angles, mimicking the way one might experience the art in real life. As the children leave, the video closes with shots of The Broad, again from a distance, as if saying goodbye.
“Objects, colors, every artwork, every light, everything is linked to our history—everything is a perception of the meaning of our personal life, and also, of course, an aesthetical way of living.”
In the latest installation of NOWNESS’In Residence series, designer, entrepreneur and university lecturer Carlotta de Bevilacqua uses the context of her home to delve into ideas of what makes a home, the role design plays in her life, and how design requires risks, among other topics. Learn more about de Bevilacqua’s perspective by watching the video above.
A new video by PONGOFILMS titled, “Archaeology of the Sea” captures footage of Italy's Riviera Romagnola during the winter. Using drones, the footage is captured from above, displaying closed aquatic recreation centres in "a place where it's difficult to understand what is waiting for the summer and what will remain lost." Boat rentals, cabanas and nightclubs laze into the frame, bereft of the buzz and activity that usually occupies them. See the full video, with accompanying soundtrack by Tame Impala, below.
Covering everything from the definition of a volute to a look at Eero Saarinen’sDulles international airport, Doug Patt’s “How to Architect” videos offer 15 second glimpses into the world of architecture. Posted on his Instagram account daily, each video explores one fact related to architecture. At the end of each week, the facts are compiled into a longer video on YouTube.
In this video by the AIA, Marlon Blackwell, one of Arkansas’ foremost architects, speaks on the importance of small projects in an architect's career. “I only really worked on small projects at the beginning…that was doing everything…The scale of the site, the scale of the model, the scale of the hand…the beauty of the small project is that you can work at all of those many scales," says Blackwell. “The smaller projects are the beginning of the development of a language in architecture. I see it not as a benign or banal thing but as the beginning of taking yourself from where you are to where you want to be.”
Brooklyn-based artist and designer Ekene Ijeoma has created Wage Islands, an interactive art piece that “expands New York City’s ‘tale of two cities’ by revealing the geographies of access to housing based on wages.”
In the project, a 3D map of the city is submerged in a box filled with black water, showing only the parts of the city that have affordable housing based on a wage of $8.75 and median monthly housing costs from $271 to $4001. Viewers press a button, which increases the wage on the display up to $77, concurrently raising the map out of the water to highlight the severity of the wage gap in relation to housing.
Despite often designing homes larger than 15,000 square feet for their clients, Houston-based design team Mark Schatz and Anne Eamon have designed and built a 980 square-foot house for their family of four. The couple designed and built the home largely on their own, out of leftover materials collected from projects their firm has worked on over the past few years.
Drone Brasília has shared with us a brief video filmed by a drone that gives a bird’s eye view of a signature feature of Brasília -- the “tesourinhas,” the so-called cloverleaf interchange that the city’s highways form.
In just thirty seconds the video shows the scale of the space, marked by cars traveling through the wide avenues, which themselves are projected onto an expansive green plane.
The ruestungsschmie.de architectural collective has shared with us their latest video mapping project on the façade of the Karlsruhe Palace in Karlsruhe, Germany. Designed to celebrate the city’s 300-year anniversary, the projection illuminates all 300 meters of the building’s façade.
The Karlsruhe Palace is the architectural and urban center of the city, from which 32 streets stem out, structuring the urban design of Karlsruhe. This unique city design served as part of the inspiration behind the audiovisual work. The project was created in partnership with Sound Selektor, who composed the soundtrack using only noises recorded from inside the castle, including doors, switches, stairs and the sounds of specific exhibits.
Since we looked at this aerial footage of London in 2012, some major changes in the architecture of the city have occurred. Shot by the same photographer, Jason Hawkes, this new footage of London travels over greenbelts, Piccadilly Circus, the Thames River, The Shard, and Canary Wharf, among other impressive views. Take a look at London’s changed landscape by watching the video above.