In the rapidly evolving landscape of the 21st century, cities have emerged as models of innovation in terms of sustainable development goals. Cities creatively address pressing urban challenges, including density, transportation, housing, and resilience. They hold the potential to pioneer a comprehensive climate agenda, serving as laboratories for sustainable initiatives, cross-sectoral innovations and community-oriented strategies. Cities act as catalysts for revolutions, implementing impactful solutions that can be applied worldwide.
In April 2019, a devastating fire engulfed the 860-year-old Notre Dame Cathedral in Pars, severely damaging its wooden roof and leading to the collapse of the 19th-century spire, originally designed by Viollet-le-Duc. Immediately after, French President Emmanuel Macron promised that the iconic monument would be restored in just 5 years, an ambitious deadline. As the restoration of the roof structures nears completion, in February 2023, the scaffolding for the reconstruction of the spire has been assembled. The Spire is expected to be finished by the end of the month.
The Uzbekistan Art and Culture Development Foundation and Wael Al Awar have jointly unveiled “Tashkent: Appropriating Modernism” at the Sharjah Architecture Triennial. The showcase spotlights three essential instances of modern architecture in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Crafted by Wael Al Awar, founder and principal architect of waiwai, the initiative presents the three case studies and their significant evolution.
We are on the brink of concluding the hottest year in the past 125,000 years. Recently, elevated temperatures have adversely impacted the daily routines of a significant portion of the population, particularly those who spend most of their day outdoors without access to air-conditioned environments. Excessive heat stems from various sources, both natural and human-induced. Given the grim outlook on this matter, it becomes imperative to explore structural measures to address and mitigate the potential deterioration of public health caused by escalating temperatures.
As 2023 comes to an end, the future of our landscape is filled with visionary imaginations as a result of a year of forward-thinking design competitions. From revitalizing historical gems to designing new buildings, these global contests have pushed innovation further in the architecture industry. In fact, with each new competition, the boundaries of our living were challenged, reimagining what the future may accommodate or encourage.
This past year has been a showcase of architectural innovation, with award competitions surpassing the boundaries of traditional industry. Winning designs feature a deep embodiment of cultural heritage, communal aspirations, and environmental stewardship. In fact, the three categories of competitions that established firms participated in were cultural landmarks, mixed-use towers, and master plans. In each category, the winning design reimagines what these concepts stand for in 2023 and beyond, designing not just new buildings but new ways of living.
The Climat de France is a French colonial social housing project in Algeria designed by Fernand Pouillon and currently renamed Oued Koriche. Located approximately 8km west of the country’s capital, Algiers, it was built from 1954 to 1957, right in the middle of the Algerian War of Independence. The project has several buildings with different scales. Its most prominent structure is a large rectangular building that houses 3000 dwellings, along with a spacious interior square similar to a Roman forum and exterior windows inspired by the mosaics found in Islamic architecture.
This social housing scheme has a complex history, involving the integration of Algerians into the French lifestyle, the use of modern architecture to challenge traditional Muslim ways of living, and the transformation of its collective square into a site of protest and rebellion.
The biannual International VELUX Award for Students of Architecture returns for its 2024 edition, inviting students from all over the world to innovate on the theme of daylight in architecture, specifically, to envision the "Light of Tomorrow." This broad theme has encapsulated the award since its launch in 2004. Since then, over 6,000 projects from 130 countries have been submitted that adopt an open-minded, experimental approach to daylight in the built environment.
Designed by Powerhouse Company, the BaanTower has started construction in the remodeled Baan Quarter neighborhood of Rotterdam. The residential tower strives to promote a sustainable architecture based on the well-being of its residents. Upon completion, the high-rise will house 427 apartments available for rent. Seven years after the original draft, the project has recently received its building permit, and is expected to be completed by 2026.
Pantone has just just announced “Peach Fuzz” or PANTONE 13-1023,” the 2024 Color of the Year. Known for its color standards and digital solutions in the design community, Pantone announced the color aiming to move towards empathy and understanding. A hue between pink and orange, the color is soft and inviting and offers “tenderness and communicating a message of caring, community, and collaboration.”
In several cities in Brazil, the amount of rainfall has already surpassed the total accumulated for the rest of the year. Flooding, inundations, and landslides are commonplace news in regional newspapers. In this chaotic scenario, a study presented by the National Confederation of Municipalities states that, amidst the rains in the south and drought in the north, 5.8 million Brazilians have been directly affected by disasters in 2023, whether by loss of lives, displacements, or significant economic damages.
Unfortunately, the outlook is not promising either. The national version of the renowned IPCC climate change report, compiled by the Brazilian Panel on Climate Change (PBMC), has already warned that Brazil, along with other countries in Latin America, will not only experience rising temperatures due to climate change but will also witness a drastic shift in its rainfall patterns. In other words, here in the south, we better get used to the sound of rain on our windows, while the north should brace for historic droughts.
This article was originally published on Common Edge.
Lake Tonle Sap is a part of Cambodia’s inland water system that’s connected to the flooded forests that purify water and buffer communities from storms—an important benefit as climate change makes extreme weather more frequent. Every year from June to November, the Mekong Delta backs up into Lake Tonle Sap, creating water-depth fluctuations of up to 10 meters. The result is that land-based buildings are inundated during the rainy season, then refurbished and reoccupied again after the water recedes.
A Reimagined Brutalist Icon in the United States and a Maldivian Floating Villa: 12 Unbuilt Projects By Established Firms
Exploring architectural projects, competition entries and unbuilt works by renowned architects is an important step in fostering innovation and encouraging cross-cultural exchange and the development of diverse design approaches. Analyzing these unrealized concepts can offer insights into the evolution of architectural thinking, exploring a wider spectrum of approaches and design perspectives. This week’s curated selection of Best Unbuilt Architecture highlights designs submitted by established architecture practices.
Featuring internationally recognized offices like Brooks + Scarpa, Penoyre & Prasad, Aedas, Pininfarina, and Opposite Office, this selection exemplifies the wide range of projects and interventions designed by architects at various scales and programs. From creative reimaginings of well-known architectural icons to art museums, urban insertions, and conceptual activist proposals, these projects demonstrate the variety of approaches architects take when designing within a specific context and in response to local constraints, challenges and opportunities.
The Future of Architectural Visualization: Real-time Rendering, Virtual Reality and Interactive Explorations
In the ever-evolving realm of architectural design, the trajectory of visualization technologies is propelling us into a future where creativity knows no bounds. A number of new tools are at the forefront of this revolution, offering architects and designers new software that redefine the boundaries of architectural visualization. In this article, we delve into one of these tools, Eyecad VR, and its strengths, exploring how its real-time rendering, immersive experiences, virtual reality capabilities, and extensive 3D asset library are helping reshape the landscape of architectural design.
The MPavilion represents one of the most important architectural events happening annually in Melbourne, Australia. Initiated and founded by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, the event was first launched in 2014 and has since brought internationally recognized architects to design a temporary structure in Melbourne's Queen Victoria Gardens in a system similar to London’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. From Sean Godsell's solar-actioned panels to Studio Mumbai‘s experimental bamboo structure, each pavilion explores craftsmanship and contemporary design while fostering a rich cultural program for several months before being disassembled and donated to one of the city’s parks. As the latest pavilion was recently inaugurated by Tadao Ando, we look back at the previous editions of Australia’s most famous annual structure.
CHYBIK+KRISTOF has won an international competition to design a multifunctional tower as a significant part of Tirana’s evolving landscape. The structure is situated in the heart of the capital city’s culture hub within the New Boulevard, reflecting a shift in Tirana’s urban development. With its distinctive red concrete silhouette, it aims to create a new landmark, signaling the commencement of various other projects outlined in the masterplan.
Amid the ongoing environmental crisis, bioeconomy has gained significance across different domains, particularly in the construction sector, where efforts there is a push to enhance sustainability. This shift in mindset has also influenced the realm of interior architecture. With a growing awareness of climate change and the imperative to protect our planet, architects and designers are increasingly embracing biomaterials. The result is the creation of spaces that not only captivate visually but also demonstrate a proactive commitment to the environment.
The world of architecture is a captivating fusion of artistic expression and scientific precision. My journey in the realm of architecture started with a profound exploration of its rich history. It was the awe-inspiring works of Renaissance masters that propelled me onto a transformative trajectory, guiding me toward harnessing the immense potential of artificial intelligence and algorithms in architectural design.
“Two brains are better than one,” goes the old saying. And with good reason. As the social beings that we are, humans thrive through interpersonal interactions and the dynamic exchange of ideas. It is these collective thoughts that tend to flourish, evolve and reach their full potential, fueled by a diversity of perspectives and experiences. That is precisely why teamwork stands as one of the most valued pillars of any working environment, and also explains why office workers spend an average of 37% of their time every week sitting in meetings. It’s no surprise then that modern office settings embrace meeting rooms as designated spaces for collaborative ideation and decision-making. But not in the way many might imagine. Gone are the days of bland conference rooms with nothing but a large table, uncomfortable chairs and white walls, giving way to new, more innovative models that respond to a shifting paradigm.
Traditionally relegated to roofs, photovoltaic (PV) panels tend to have a uniform appearance: large black or dark blue rectangular pieces of shiny glass with metal frames. Partly because dark colors better harvest sunlight to be turned into electricity, but also because silicon –the primary material used in most high-efficiency photovoltaic panels– tends to be dark in its crystalline form. Fortunately, there are now technologies to control luster, color and finish that provide aesthetic variety while maintaining high efficiency. SolarLab and other manufacturers are redefining conventional solar panels, introducing design flexibility and material qualities that allow architects to take advantage of large facade surfaces to generate renewable energy without compromising architecturally.