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8 Things You Should Know About Fazlur Khan, Skyscraper Genius

When it comes to skyscraper architects, the first name that comes to mind is often Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. No firm has completed more supertall buildings than SOM, and to this day, they remain a leader in the field, designing both the western hemisphere’s and the world’s tallest buildings in One World Trade Center and the Burj Khalifa. Yet, arguably, the height of their powers came in the 1970s, directly following a lull in skyscraper construction that allowed the Empire State Building to retain the status of world’s tallest building for nearly 40 years.

It was then that Falzur Khan, a SOM architect and structural engineer, came up with the structural innovation that revolutionized the skyscraper industry, leaving lasting impacts on the construction methods of supertall buildings today.

Drawing from a recent story published by Mental Floss on the designer, we’ve come up with a list of facts about his life and role in the world of architecture.

Continue reading for the 8 things you should know about Falzur Khan.

Winners of Timber in the City: Urban Habitats Student Competition Announced

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) has announced the winners of the Timber in the City: Urban Habitats Competition, a student competition exploring wood as an innovative building material. Out of more than 850 architectural student entries, three winners have been selected, along with two honorable mentions, with prizes totaling $40,000.

The competition focused on a site in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and asked for designs for inhabitation, repose, recreation, and local small-scale commercial exchange, all while embracing the possibilities of wood and a variety of wood technologies.

Today, timber is being used in new, innovative ways to help address the economic and environmental challenges of the build environment,” said Cees de Jager, executive director of BSLC. “This competition brought to life the way the design community is recognizing the benefits of wood–from reduced economic and environmental impact to enhanced aesthetic value and structural performance–to design buildings and communities of the future.

The winners of the Timber in the City: Urban Habitats Competition are:

Werner Sobek's 2016 Venice Biennale Installation Presents a Sobering Environmental Message

The appointment of Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena as the curator of the 2016 Venice Biennale (La Biennale di Venezia) has seen the exhibition take a more vested interest in social responsibility. In harmony with this theme, German architect Werner Sobek has presented a large cube with a sobering social and environmental message. Entitled "Beyond Form," Sobek's intention mirrors Aravena's; it forces the viewer to look beyond the formal elements of architecture to the unavoidable issues facing it in the near future.

Forensic Architecture Digitally Reconstruct Secret Syrian Torture Prison from the Memories of Survivors

Forensic Architecture, a research agency based at the University of London, in collaboration with Amnesty International, has created a 3D model of Saydnaya, a Syrian torture prison, using architectural and acoustic modeling. The project, which was commissioned in 2016, reconstructs the architecture of the secret detention center from the memory of several survivors, who are now refugees in Turkey.

Since the beginnings of the Syrian crisis in 2011, tens of thousands of Syrians have been taken into a secret network of prisons and detention centers run by the Assad government for a variety of alleged crimes opposing the regime. After passing through a series of interrogations and centers, many prisoners are taken to Saydnaya, a notoriously brutal “final destination,” where torture is used not to obtain information, but rather only to terrorize and often kill detainees.

Located about 25 kilometers north of Damascus, Saydnaya stands in a German-designed building dating from the 1970s. In recent years, no meaningful visits from independent journalists or monitoring groups have been permitted, so no recent photographs or other accounts exist of its interior space, except for the memories of Saydnaya survivors.

Schmidt Hammer Lassen’s Dokk1 Wins Public Library of the Year Award 2016

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) has named Schmidt Hammer Lassen's Dokk1 Library in Aarhus, Denmark as the winner of the Public Library of the Year Award 2016.

By beating out the SOM-designed Chinatown branch of the Chicago Public Libary; the Geelong Library & Heritage Centre in Geelong, Australia, designed by ARM architecture; and the Success Public Library by Bollig Design Group; Dokk1 became the first Danish library to win the award.

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Harvard Museums Releases Online Catalogue of 32,000 Bauhaus Works

In anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus school in 2019, Harvard Art Museums has released an online catalogue of their 32,000-piece Bauhaus Collection, containing rarely seen drawings and photographs from attendees and instructors of the revolutionary German design school.

The collection features work from the likes of Mies van der Rohe, Bertrand Goldberg, Marcel Breuer, and Bauhaus-founder Walter Gropius himself, and can be navigated through a search bar and an easy-to-use set of filters, allowing you to categorize work by topic, medium, date or artist.

The Top Architecture Résumé/CV Designs

A few months ago we put out a call for the best architecture résumé/CV designs. Between ArchDaily and ArchDaily Brasil we received over 450 CVs from nearly every continent. We witnessed the overwhelming variety and cultural customs of the résumé: some include portraits, others do not; some include personal information about gender and marital status; others do not. In the end, however, we based our selection on the CVs that stood out from the hundreds of submissions. We looked for CVs that transmitted the personality of the designer, their ability to communicate visually and verbally, and perhaps, the most intangible criteria for evaluation—the "creativity" of the CV. The documents below represent the diversity of styles and formats that just might land you a job at your dream firm.

How Do You Know if BIM is Worth The Investment For Your Firm?

While BIM is increasingly becoming a necessity in architecture, it is still difficult to quantify the benefits it is bringing to the industry. Currently, there is no industry-standard method for calculating BIM’s Return on Investment (ROI) and, due to the complexities of the calculation, many firms have not adopted any consistent measurement practices to determine the monetary benefit that the technology has brought to their practice. The difficulty centers upon the fact that traditional analysis of ROI is unable to represent intangible factors that are important to a construction project such as avoided costs or improved safety.

Therefore, as the leading providers of BIM technology, Autodesk was interested in researching the subject. Their study, “Achieving Strategic ROI: Measuring the Value of BIM,” reveals that the role of ROI in technology decision making is shifting in that leading firms are seeking a more nuanced view of ROI to inform their strategy of investment and innovation.

Transcending the traditional “profit versus cost” calculation, companies are looking into different dimensions of the company to develop well-informed quantifications of their ROI for BIM.

Janet Echelman's Railroad-Inspired Net Sculpture Premiers in North Carolina

Janet Echelman has completed her most recent aerial net sculpture in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina. Made up of over 35 miles of technical twine woven into 242,800 knots, the sculptures adds a new ephemeral presence to the sky above the city’s new LeBauer Park. Entitled “Where We Met,” the sculpture’s form and composition were inspired by Greensboro’s history as a railroad and textile hub.

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Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects' Sawtooth Design Wins Finsbury Leisure Centre Competition

The Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) Competitions division and Islington Council have announced that Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects has been selected as the winners of a design competition for the new Finsbury Leisure Centre at St Luke's Area in South Islington, London. The winning proposal, chosen from a shortlist featuring 5 top architects including Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and Grimshaw Architects, will reinvigorate the site with new council homes, improved public space and a new civic building that will house recreation, childcare, healthcare and energy facilities all under one roof.

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Video: How to Build Your Own Spiral Staircase Using a CNC Router

In this video, Ben Uyeda of HomeMade Modern demonstrates how to build a sleek, contemporary spiral staircase using just a standard schedule steel post, plywood and a CNC router (along with a healthy amount of wood and construction glue). To build the staircase, Uyeda uses the CNC to cut out 12 shapes of incremental size from a plywood sheet, which he then stacks and fits around the post to secure into place.

HomeMade Modern has also made the CAD files available for free, so handy woodworking types can attempt the construction themselves.

Why Wolf Prix Is Pushing For New Methods of Robotic Construction

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Wolf Prix on Robotic Construction and the Safe Side of Adventurous Architecture."

In response to a conservative and sometimes fragmented building industry, some architects believe that improving and automating the construction process calls for a two-front war: first, using experimental materials and components, and second, assembling them in experimental ways. Extra-innovative examples include self-directed insect-like robots that huddle together to form the shape of a building and materials that snap into place in response to temperature or kinetic energy.

The automation battle has already been fought (and won) in other industries. With whirring gears and hissing pneumatics, rows and rows of Ford-ist mechanical robot arms make cars, aircraft, and submarines in a cascade of soldering sparks. So why shouldn’t robotic construction become commonplace for buildings, too?

nArchitects Wins Shanghai Competition with Home-Inspired Library

nArchitects’ Library as Home has won first place in the 2016 International Young Architects Design Competition for the 110,000 square meter Shanghai Library East Hall in China. Hosted by the Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Government, the competition sought out designs that enhance Shanghai’s distinct cultural influence and promote community life.

Library as Home reflects these goals in its design as “a large house for all, with a rich variety of environments that Shanghai’s citizens could appropriate as their own.”

MLA+ and CAUPD Win Urban Design Competition to Regenerate Along the G107 Highway in Shenzhen

Foreign leading firm MLA+ and local leading firm the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design, in collaboration with Felixx Landscape Architects & Planners and the Shenzhen Municipal Design & Research Institute, have won first prize in the urban design competition for the regeneration of an area along the G107 highway in the Bao’an district of Shenzhen, China.

Located on both aspects of the G107, the one- to two-kilometer piece of land forms a 53-square-kilometer area for the new plan, which will redevelop a fragmented industrial landscape created by the highway and Shenzhen’s identity as a former “Factory of the World” city.

8th New York Architecture and Design Film Festival Line-Up Announced

Following the burgeoning success of the 7th New York Architecture and Design Film Festival (ADFF), this year's incarnation—which will run September 28 through October 2 2016 at Cinépolis Chelsea—appears set to maintain its position as the nation's and most popular largest subject-focused film event. Over 30 feature-length and short films, curated by Festival Director Kyle Bergman, will be presented, including Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future, a film that examines the life of the eponymous modernist architect.

Watch How Bamboo Scaffolding Was Used to Build Hong Kong's Skyscrapers

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© flickr user ahmcdowall. Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

In the late 20th century, restricted by an a small landmass and extreme terrain, the Hong Kong urban area grew to become one of the densest and most vertical places on the planet, with more buildings taller than 500 feet than any other city in the world. But instead of the steel or aluminum structures used as scaffolding in Europe and the Western Hemisphere, the majority of skyscrapers built in Hong Kong and much of Asia used scaffolding systems constructed out of bamboo.

To create the structures, the high strength, lightweight material is strapped together with plastic ties by construction crews, who also use the structure as a ladder for scaling the building. Despite using few safety restraints, crews are able to construct up to 1,000 square feet of bamboo scaffolding in just one day. To protect the structure, nylon gauze is sometimes draped along the outside.

Check out a series of GIFs and images showing how it works after the break. And if you're interested in learning more about bamboo construction materials, check out our Materials catalog.

What Were Your #FirstSevenJobs?

Last week, the latest craze to hit the Twittersphere was #FirstSevenJobs. An interesting mix of nostalgia and self-congratulatory posturing, the hashtag had seemingly everybody on the social media site sharing how they took their first seven steps to where they are now. For architects though, whose path to their ideal job is often long and torturous, the hashtag may have offered a little solace: with notable and successful architects, educators and critics sharing how they took their first tentative steps into the profession, those still working towards their goals can be reassured that, no matter where they are now, success could be on the horizon.

With that in mind, we wanted to extend the hashtag to our users: what were your first seven jobs, and what did you learn while doing them? What was your experience like in getting to where you are now? And do the jobs that many architects have in their early years reveal anything about the architecture profession?

The Latest LEGO® Architecture Set: The U.S. Capitol Building

LEGO® has unveiled the newest kit in their Architecture series: The U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Originally designed by architect William Thornton in 1793, the building has gone through several iterations, including the addition of its iconic white, cast-iron, neoclassical dome in 1866. The 1,032 piece LEGO® set portrays the building in its current form, with its “striking white, columned façade with its famous steps and lawns.” The kit also features a removable dome, which, when lifted off, reveals “a detailed interior depicting the famous National Statuary Hall, complete with columns, statues and tiled floor.”

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How to Ensure that Your Online Architecture Portfolio is On Point

Why should I even have an online portfolio?

A portion of working in architecture includes having to market yourself and your skills. "One minute networking" is a skill that many architects learn in order to be successful in the creative field, but having the gift of gab requires you to put your money where your mouth is. If you have an online portfolio which is accessible with just an internet internet connection and a digital device capable of viewing it, your work is always conveniently available during your networking conversations. It's also helpful for sharing your work in online conversations: while a pdf of your print portfolio can really only be sent by email, practically every messaging app or direct messaging service built into social networks will allow you to send a link, allowing you to take advantage of an opportunity even when you weren't expecting one to arise. Finally, if you make it right your website can even do some of the advertising and networking for you.

The most important thing to remember is that like your resume or print portfolio, an online portfolio is a tool to help you advance your career, so it must be useful towards your goals. Therefore instead of asking yourself why you should have an online portfolio, you should ask yourself what those goals are, and how your online portfolio can be optimized to help you achieve them.

Now that we've gotten that question out of the way, here are 8 other questions to ask yourself:

Win a FREE Full Pass to Greenbuild 2016 From reThink Wood

This October, reThink Wood is heading to Los Angeles for Greenbuild – the world's largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. If you haven’t registered already, this is your chance to win a free pass to the conference and hear from dozens of inspiring speakers about the latest advancements in the green building movement.

To celebrate, reThink Wood is offering a full pre-paid conference pass ($1,050+ value) to one lucky ArchDaily reader. The winner will be invited to learn more about why building with wood is sustainable and to meet with experts onsite who are passionate about sustainable design with wood in a variety of structure types.

Enter to win by answering the following question in the comments section before August 26 at 12:00PM ET.:

AA School of Architecture Designs Adaptable Structural Plastic 3D Printing Method

The AA School of Architecture’s DRL Masters Program has developed a thesis project, entitled Growing Systems, which explores adaptable building systems using methods of robotic fabrication and generative special printing within the context of housing.

Centered on a new method of structural 3D vertical extrusion, the project combines the precision of prefabricated elements with the adaptability of on-site fabrication, in response to the flux and dynamism of cities. The method becomes a system of elasticity that can accommodate site parameters, as well as future adjustments.

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Second-Place Design Proposes Revitalization of Busan with Film in Korea

The collaboration of Seiyong Kim, Yongwon Kwon, Sungyeon Hwang and Wonyang Architecture has won second place in the International Ideas Competition for Establishing Busan Station as The Cub of Creative Economy in Busan, Korea. The competition sought out proposals to revitalize the original downtown area, Busan Station is the starting point for a larger Busan North Port redevelopment project.

Photos Released of Snøhetta's Recently Completed MAX IV Laboratory Landscape

Snøhetta has released new images of their MAX IV Laboratory Landscape Design as it opens in Lund, Sweden. Winning the commission for the project in 2011, Snøhetta’s design transformed 47-acres (19 hectares) of formerly agricultural lands northeast of the city into an undulating earthwork aimed at “creating a functional landscape solution for the high-performance synchrotron radiation laboratory MAX IV.”

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20 Gadgets That Any Architect Would Want

Thinking about investing in some new technology? Creativeboom has compiled a list of 20 dream gadgets for designers that will either make your workflow more efficient or just be a whole lot of fun to play around with.

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