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Mecanoo Explores MLK Memorial Library Design in New Documentary

Dutch design practice Mecanoo has released a new documentary exploring the modernization of Washington DC’s Martin Luther King, Jr central library. Called "A Legacy of Mies and King", the documentary explores both architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's vision in the sixties, as well as the recent effort to create a modern library that reflects a focus on people while celebrating the exchange of knowledge, ideas and culture.

3D Printing for Residential is Market-Ready: Germany's First Building is Under Construction

The first 3D printed residential building in Germany, built by PERI GmbH, and designed by MENSE-KORTE ingenieure+architekten is undergoing construction in Beckum, North Rhine-Westphalia. The two-story printed detached house with approx. 80 sqm of living space per floor is using a system put into practice in Germany for the first time. In fact, the construction technique has come through all of the regulatory approval processes over the last few weeks and months.

Pavilions in Cities: 10 Structures that Foster Human Interactions

© Nick Zukauskas© Åke Eson LindmanCourtesy of AirMesh PavilionCourtesy of Gentiana Pallaska+ 27

As dwellers of big cities, we tend to be dragged into a very fast-paced lifestyle. Surrounded by monumental buildings and infrastructure, we can easily lose sight of key spaces that connect us with our neighborhood and provide us with rare moments of peace and enjoyment. Appropriation of the environment we inhabit becomes an uncommon circumstance. 

In cities where public spaces are sometimes overlooked or misused, the need for human-scale structures is fundamental. To foster civic participation, recreation, socialization, and overall, making the city more livable and enjoyable for its citizens, relatively small landmarks in the public realm generates opportunities for users to interact with the surrounding space in various ways. In order to create these discoveries, one common and easy resource used has been the creation of simple pavilions or installations, seizing the attention of passersby, on their own scale. 

EcoResponsive Environments Wins RIBA Competition to Envision Runcorn's Future in the U.K.

Multi-disciplinary design practice EcoResponsive Environments has won the RIBA competition for the ‘Vision of Future Living’ in Runcorn, England. Designed for SOG’s Heath Business and Technical Park, the proposal aims to help attract interest from global investors and reimagine what the site's future might hold. The competition for the redevelopment of The Heath asked architects to consider how we will live, work and play in the future.

Exploring The New Vernacular That Will Emerge as a Response to Climate Change

Since its installation in the late 1990s, a large clock in New York City’s Union Square has been counting up to 24 hours in each day with the number of hours, minutes, seconds, and milliseconds on display. However, the digital screen was recently repurposed as a Climate Clock and now projects the amount of time the world has left to take large-scale action on climate change- and the alarming truth, based on an IPCC Special Report on Global Warming counts down to only a little over seven years left until we reach the point of no return.

Wind Farm by Jordan Lutren. Image Courtesy of Arch Out LoudPlastic-Scape by Steven Zhang & Nikos Tsokas. Image Courtesy of Arch Out LoudSurface Ex-Tension by Jonathan Craig, Luis Arjona, Marco Nieto & Philip Elmore. Image Courtesy of Arch Out LoudWind Farm by Jordan Lutren. Image Courtesy of Arch Out Loud+ 10

The Nine-Step Architectural Beauty Detox Plan

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

In 1755, Francesco Algarotti, disgusted with what opera had become, wrote An Essay On The Opera in which he called for its simplification. For Algarotti, opera had degenerated into a vehicle for soloists to grandstand with endless improvisations overshadowing the music and ignoring the drama. Even the drama had lost the plot with mythological characters in extraordinary and complex situations. Algarotti saw drama as being the essence of opera and wanted the emphasis restored to it, with everything else secondary. Christoph Willibald Gluck and his librettist, Ranieri de’ Calzabigi, were the first to make it work with their 1762 opera Orfeo ed Euridice. It had characters and drama people could relate to, music that could be remembered and lyrics and a plot that could be understood. It’s regarded as the first truly modern opera.

RIBA's Latest Student Survey Highlights High Levels of Mental Health Struggles post COVID-19 

A recent study conducted by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) examined how architecture students have been affected by the pandemic. Examining 398 architecture students, the COVID-19 survey found that these young adults are under significant stress and are concerned about their future career. In fact, the results highlight that 58% of students are struggling with mental health and almost half are concerned about job prospects.

Chicago Architecture Biennial Announces 2021 Edition, Entitled “The Available City”, and Under Artistic Direction of David Brown

Reflecting on the current global situation, Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB) has reinvented its 2021 edition, in order to generate conversations about the “intersection of architecture and design and such critical issues as health, sustainability, equity, and racial justice”. The Biennial has also announced the appointment of David Brown, designer, researcher, and educator, based at the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago, as the Artistic Director of the fourth edition, entitled The Available City.

The Urban Art of Social Distancing

Being in confinement has produced unconventional means of exploring architectural spaces and installations. Instead of putting everything on hold until life goes back to normal, designers and curators found inspiration from practices like performance arts and theatre, breaking down the walls between the subject and viewers but from a distance.

Ashley Bigham and Erik Herrmann of Outpost Office reimagined the theme of "mobility" by creating 1:1 scale drawings on the Ragdale campus using GPS-controlled field marking robots. Their unique urban installation, which addressed modern-day concerns such as public spaces, how we are engaging with them, and physicality, won first place in the 2020 Ragdale Ring competition.

© Erik Herrmann© Erik Herrmann© Erik HerrmannPhotogrammetry. Image © Erik Herrmann+ 6

Incorporating Fire in External Projects: Tips and Examples for Fireplaces

Whidbey Island Farm Retreat / mwworks. Image © Kevin ScottFireplace for Children / Haugen/Zohar Arkitekter. Image © Jason Havneraas & Grethe FredriksenCarraig Ridge Fireplace / Young Projects. Image © Bent René SynnevågVC House / Dumay Arquitectos. Image © Ignacio Infante Cobo+ 17

Yuval Noah Harari points out that, around 300 thousand years ago, Homo erectus, Neanderthals, and ancestors of Homo sapiens already used fire daily. According to the author of the international bestseller “Sapiens,” fire created the first significant gap between man and other animals. "By domesticating fire, humans gained control of an obedient and potentially limitless force." Some scholars even believe that there is a direct relationship between the advent of the habit of cooking food (possibly due to the domestication of fire) and the shortening of the intestinal tract and growth of the human brain, which allowed human beings to develop and create everything we now have.

Design Miami Unveils Architectural Drawings by 90 International Architects Including Steven Holl, David Chipperfield and David Adjaye

Design Miami’s latest initiative in partnership with Architects for Beirut, has gathered a collection of 100+ original architectural drawings and artworks donated by 90+ renowned architects from around the world. With proceeds going to aid on-the-ground restoration efforts in Beirut, works offered include exclusive pieces from Zaha Hadid, David Chipperfield, Toyo Ito, Steven Holl, Tatiana Bilbao, Adjaye Associates, and Renzo Piano, to name a few.

David Chipperfield_The Weston Bridge Royal Academy of Arts - DCA London. Image Courtesy of Design Miami/Architects for BeirutToyo Ito_Sketch - Yuma Ota. Image Courtesy of Design Miami/Architects for BeirutTatiana Bilbao - Social Topography 1. Image Courtesy of Design Miami/Architects for BeirutWael Al Awar_Hayy Creative Hub- Section 1. Image Courtesy of Design Miami/Architects for Beirut+ 18

AIANY Calls on American Architects to Stop Designing Unjust Spaces of Incarceration

The Board of Directors of AIA New York has recently released a statement discouraging the design of criminal justice facilities that uphold the current system. Taking a stand against designing unjust, cruel, and harmful spaces of incarceration, AIA NY solicited architects to reflect on the broader social implications of their work.

ZGF Gives a First Look at Portland International Airport's New Main Terminal

ZGF Architects has shared a new look at the main terminal of the Portland International Airport (PDX) in Oregon. Scheduled for completion in 2025, the $1.5 billion terminal will be the largest of five capital improvement projects by the Port of Portland. The structure features a series of skylights and an expansive timber roof made from sustainably sourced regional wood. The design draws inspiration from nature and the "signature greenery" of Oregon.

Cobogós and Tiles: Designer Affectively Maps the Architecture of Olinda, Brazil

In the Historic Center of Olinda, a Brazilian municipality in the state of Pernambuco, architecture borrows shapes and colors from nature; cobogós perforations on the balconies look like round leaves and fruits, while the railings spiral with a hint of twisted flowers. The colors of the earth and sky also reappear in the floors, backyards, kitchens, and rooms of colonial houses, coating them in shades of brown and blue.

Brutalism and Collective Living in Europe, Through the Lense of Stefano Perego

Residential Building in Paderno Dugnano (1990, Milan, Italy). Image © Stefano Perego
Residential Building in Paderno Dugnano (1990, Milan, Italy). Image © Stefano Perego

Genex Tower, Mihajlo Mitrović (1977-1980, Belgrade, Serbia). Image © Stefano PeregoRozzol Melara Complex, Carlo Celli, Luciano Celli y Dario Tognon (1969-1982, Trieste, Italy). Image © Stefano PeregoOrpheus & Eurydice Buildings, Jürgen Freiherr von Gagern, Peter Ludwig y Udo von der Mühlen (1971-1973, Munich, Germany). Image © Stefano PeregoHousing Complex, Otar Kalandarishvili y G. Potskhishvili (1974-1976, Tiflis, Georgia). Image © Stefano Perego+ 21

Although there is much conflict surrounding the term Brutalist, there are certain constants and patterns within the movement that offer a concrete idea of the movement and its place in contemporary architecture.

The buildings that adhere to Brutalism—an off-shoot of the Modern Movement that erupted between 1950 and 1970— stand out in part to their constructional sincerity- that is, keeping no secrets about the materials that went into their creation, their bold geometry, and the asperity of their textures and surfaces. Reinforced concrete is the predominant material in Brutalist works thanks to its prominent and dramatic texture, which is put on full display.

Landscape Architects of Color on How to Combat Erasure

Over two days, approximately 500 online participants together set the agenda, formed and dissolved discussion groups, and shared knowledge and resources. With the assistance of an “open space” facilitator, this is how Cut|Fill, a virtual "unconference” on landscape architecture, unfolded.

Organized by the Urban Studio and Ink Landscape Architects, Cut|Fill was meant to “raise questions we all want to discuss,” explained Andrew Sargeant, ASLA, a founder of Urban Studio. One of those important questions: “how can landscape architects design with empathy and end dismissive behavior towards people of color?”

Erieta Attali and Philipp Valente Explore the Shadows of Germany's Industrial Past

A city's industrial past can leave unsettling imprints on the present. Large abandoned structures and forgotten facilities are very appealing not only to the voracious real estate market but also to the imagination of those who daydream about an unpromising past. Take the Ruhr valley, Germany's most populated urban area, and Europe's largest industrial region.

Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen. Photography & Concept © Erieta AttaliZollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen. Photography & Concept © Erieta AttaliDuisburg-Nord public park. Photography & Concept © Erieta AttaliDuisburg-Nord public park. Photography & Concept © Erieta Attali+ 39

Stefano Boeri Reveals Circular Wooden Installation, Bringing Nature and Humans Together

Stefano Boeri Interiors has unveiled images of his latest circular wooden installation, in an open-air setting of contemporary art. Entitled TREE-ROOM, the project in which “humans and living nature come together, between meditation and contemplation”, is designed for Arte Sella and is located in the garden of Villa Strobele in Val di Sella, in Northern Italy.

© Giacomo Bianchi© Giacomo Bianchi© Giacomo Bianchi© Giacomo Bianchi+ 13

David Chipperfield and Enzo Enea Design a Luxury Lake Retreat in Germany

David Chipperfield Architects and landscape architect Enzo Enea have designed a luxury residential retreat on the shores of Lake Scharmützelsee in Germany. Dubbed the Marina Apartments, the project was created for Artprojekt Group as an exclusive development in Bad Saarow. Opening up to nearby forests and the waterfront, the project was designed to be in harmony with nature.

Courtesy of BloomimagesCourtesy of BloomimagesCourtesy of BloomimagesCourtesy of Bloomimages+ 13

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