This Week in Architecture: Labors of Love, from the Hedonistic to the Homegrown

This Week in Architecture: Labors of Love, from the Hedonistic to the Homegrown

Working life as an architect is notoriously difficult. Unreasonable demands from clients, be they about budget, deadlines, or design (not to mention uncompromising personal standards) make the job tough, particularly as architecture continues to be seen as a product. And while it's no reason to accept low (or unequal) pay, troubling mental health, or any of the myriad issues architecture seems beset with, architects anywhere will tell you: you do it because you love it.

With all the challenges, perhaps it's no wonder to see architecture sometimes get personal - be it about joy, self-expression, responsibility, or even a fight about intellectual property. Read on for this week's review. 

© said.touama. Via Instagram

Passion Projects

BIG's Orb officially lifted off in the Black Rock Desert as Burning Man 2018 kicked off this past weekend. The project, dreamed up by Bjarke Ingels and BIG Partner Jakob Lange, was made possible by a crowdfunding campaign (not the first time the firm has turned to the public). The orb is 1/500,000th scale model of the Earth's surface and is intended to act as a guide for festival-goers. While the proposed vision didn't quite match with the reality (the fundraiser fell just short of its goal), it's an impressive sight nonetheless.

In more somber news, Renzo Piano has offered to donate the design of a bridge to replace the one which tragically collapsed in Genoa on 14th August. Piano, who hails from Genoa, said he has been deeply and personally struck by the tragedy which claimed the lives of 43 people.

© Cristobal Palma


Clients may be tricky customers, but there's no one more difficult to design for than an architect. It's perhaps even more difficult when you are both client and designer. Personal blends with professional, and it takes great discipline reconcile vision and reality. This roundup of projects showed how nine architects tackled the most personal of personal projects: the home.

An unexpected takeaway? Architects want to live in towers. 

Courtesy of Sergey Skuratov Architects

Towering Heights

Venezuela's notorious Torre de David tower made the news again as the building's top floors tilted nearly 25 degrees following the largest earthquake to hit Venezuela in a century. The tower gained notoriety as an unprecedented vertical "slum" when its construction was abandoned and squatters began to inhabit the unfinished structure.

Moscow officials approved plans this week for a new supertall skyscraper in the Russian capital. The tower, designed by Sergey Skuratov Architects, will rise 404 meters (1,325 feet) in height as part of the Moscow City commercial district, and is intended to be a multifunctional residential complex. Russian skyscrapers have made headlines recently, as Europe's tallest skyscraper (located in St.Petersburg) continues to be in the news as the architects argue about design rights.

Lascaux IV / Snøhetta + Duncan Lewis Scape Architecture. Image © Boegly + Grazia photographers

Bookmark it for the Weekend

Time Magazine's list of The World's Greatest Places of 2018 featured a number of architectural projects that have made waves in the last year, including Thomas Heatherwick's Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town and MVRDV's Tianjin Binhai Library. It's the perfect way to catch-up on the year's biggest projects.


About this author
Cite: Katherine Allen. "This Week in Architecture: Labors of Love, from the Hedonistic to the Homegrown" 31 Aug 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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