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How to Calculate Staircase Dimensions and Designs

08:00 - 23 April, 2018
© José Tomás Franco
© José Tomás Franco

This question can be basic and you may know the answer, but it's always good to remember some elementary calculations that help us to streamline the design process.

As we know, a staircase consists basically of a series of steps, which in turn consist of a tread (the horizontal part, where the foot will rest) and a riser (the vertical part). Although it can vary in its design, each step must also have one or more landings, handrails, and a small nosing. The latter protrudes from the tread over the lower step, allowing to increase its size without adding centimeters to the overall dimensions of the staircase.

Check the effective formula developed by French architect François Blondel, which allows you to determine the correct dimensions of a comfortable and efficient staircase according to its use.

Explore These Architecturally Innovative Bookcases

06:00 - 23 April, 2018
Explore These Architecturally Innovative Bookcases, © Ossip van Duivenbode
© Ossip van Duivenbode

At first, books were kept in chests but as they became published in bulk they moved into the cupboard. The doors came off and the bookcase began to evolve. Today, bookcases can be integral architectural elements that shape space and, in some cases, even light. In celebration of International Day of the Book on April 23rd, ArchDaily compiled this round-up of architecturally, innovative bookcases.

Scroll down to see inventive architectural book storage from Alberto KalachARCHSTUDIOToyo Ito, and more. 

Courtesy of Alberto Kalach © Tsukui Teruaki © Dirk Weiblen © Jaime Navarro + 17

St. Ovídio Chapel By Álvaro Siza Through The Lens Of Fernando Guerra

14:00 - 22 April, 2018
St. Ovídio Chapel By Álvaro Siza Through The Lens Of Fernando Guerra, © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

A pure volume, slightly lit, sits in the middle of a garden. It is a private chapel in Quinta de St. Ovídio in Lousada, built between 1989 and 2001 and designed by Álvaro Siza Vieira. The project starts from a path, where you can see the prismatic white volume from afar. As you pass through the building and some steps, you arrive at the entrance square. Here you will notice that Siza differentiated the main facade, in stone, from the other three, in white painted concrete, giving it importance.

15 Innovative Pedestrian Bridges (And Their Construction Details)

12:00 - 22 April, 2018
Cortesía de RO&AD Architecten
Cortesía de RO&AD Architecten

Cortesía de DVVD Engineers Architects Designers Cortesía de Mark Thomas Architects Cortesía de VAUMM Cortesía de cepezed + 32

There has been increasing awareness in recent years of the importance of infrastructure for pedestrians. These additions to the urban environment improve the quality of cities by connecting spaces and shortening travel distances, and their introduction can be beneficial not only to pedestrians but also to cyclists seeking a more environmentally friendly method of transport. In order to encourage the use of pedestrian infrastructure, here we present 15 footbridges, alongside their construction details, to showcase innovative solutions in terms of materials, forms, and structures.

Photographer Zsolt Hlinka Captures Geometric Compositions in the Evolution of Vienna's Architecture

09:30 - 22 April, 2018
© Zsolt Hlinka
© Zsolt Hlinka

In his latest photo series, "Viennametry," Hungarian photographer and printmaker Zsolt Hlinka captures the unexplored voids in Vienna’s patchwork of historical and contemporary architecture. After previously studying the symmetrical corner buildings of grandiose Budapest, Hlinka has moved north to Austria on his quest to find geometry and symmetry within the urban landscape.

A Guide to Modern Architecture in Lima, Peru: 16 Projects to Visit

14:00 - 21 April, 2018
A Guide to Modern Architecture in Lima, Peru: 16 Projects to Visit, Lima Civic Centre (1966-1970). Image © Nicolás Valencia
Lima Civic Centre (1966-1970). Image © Nicolás Valencia

As tends to occur in various Latin American capitals, the historical center of Lima —also known as Cercado de Lima— faces simultaneous processes of deterioration, conservation and transformation. Wandering through its streets, its neo-colonial and republican architecture mixes with some major architectural projects which came about during Peru's modernist movement: "golden age" of public architecture during the mid 20th century.

In 1947, the invasion of Agrupación Espacio, the remodeling Lima's Plaza de Armas and the widening of streets such as Tacna Avenue and Wilson Avenue kickstarted Peru's entrance into the modern movement. In Lima's historic center the works of Enrique Seoane Ros and Walter Weberhofer introduced a new formal and structural language to the streets, with projects that reveal the city's structural elements, functional designs, windows, terraces and commercial buildings, exemplified by an optimistic vision of the future. Despite initial reluctance, all of these projects were backed by a state that enthusiastically focused on planning for over two decades in the design of its cities and the construction of large neighborhood units, such as PREVI and the San Felipe Residential.

Architects Alejandra Acevedo and Michelle Llona explain that despite its undisputed legacy, the modernist movement in Peru is not legally protected. As authors of the important text CAMMP, the two aforementioned architects authored a book that informed the approach of this article. In this new addition to our Spanish-language guides of modern Latin American architecture, we present 16 historical projects from the historic center of Lima, complete with a map and suggestion for a 3-hour walking tour.

La Nacional Building / Enrique Seoane Ros (1947-1948). Image © Nicolás Valencia Ministry of Education / Enrique Seoane Ros (1951-1956). Image © Nicolás Valencia El Sol Insurance Building /  Enrique Seoane Ros (1956-1958). Image © Nicolás Valencia Lima Civic Centre (1966-1970). Image © Nicolás Valencia + 33

Zaha Hadid's Dongdaemun Design Plaza Through the Lens of Andres Gallardo

09:30 - 21 April, 2018
Zaha Hadid's Dongdaemun Design Plaza Through the Lens of Andres Gallardo, © Andres Gallardo
© Andres Gallardo

In the bustling streets of Seoul, the Dongdaemun Design Plaza by Zaha Hadid Architects has become a landmark for its atypical architecture. A complex yet effortless building, the Design Plaza encapsulates the energy of the cultural hub in Dongdaemun, an area that has itself earned the nickname of the "town that never sleeps" thanks to its late-night fashion market.

Investigating the building's twists and turns, Andres Gallardo has photographed the structure's fluid compositions. Although his photographs display little human presence, the building itself expresses the activity that occurs throughout day and night. Beneath the walkable park on the roof, Dongdaemun Design Plaza includes large global exhibition spaces, a design museum, 24-hour retail stores and a media center, among many other facilities that intertwine across the levels.

© Andres Gallardo © Andres Gallardo © Andres Gallardo © Andres Gallardo + 26

Tishk Barzanji's Illustrations Envision Complex Universes Inspired By Surrealism And Modern Architecture

08:00 - 21 April, 2018
Tishk Barzanji's Illustrations Envision Complex Universes Inspired By Surrealism And Modern Architecture, © Tishk Barzanji
© Tishk Barzanji

It is rare to find artists who can instigate critical reflection on architecture by combining references such as 'The Red Wall' (La Muralla Roja) by Ricardo Boffil, with the complex illustrations of Giovanni Battista Piranesi and pop culture icons. But Tishk Barzanji, a London artist, is one who does.

Through his digital illustrations, he explores elements of modern architecture from a filtered view by using references that create a dreamlike and surreal universe, producing compositions that express an austere and somewhat disturbing atmosphere.

Can Architecture Save China’s Rural Villages? DnA’s Xu Tiantian Thinks So

09:30 - 20 April, 2018
Bamboo Pavilion. Image © Zhou Ruogo
Bamboo Pavilion. Image © Zhou Ruogo

Travel seven hours by car in a Southwest direction from Shanghai and you will arrive in Songyang County. The name is unfamiliar to many Chinese people, and even more foreign to those living abroad. The county consists of about 400 villages, from Shicang to Damushan.

Here, undulating lush green terraces hug the sides of Songyin river valley, itself the one serpentine movement uniting the lands. Follow the river and you will see: here, a Brown Sugar Factory; there, a Bamboo Theatre; and on the other side, a stone Hakka Museum built recently but laid by methods so old, even the town masons had to learn these ways for the first time, as if they were modern methods, as if they were revolutionary.

Can Architecture Save China’s Rural Villages? DnA’s Xu Tiantian Thinks So, Bamboo Theatre. Image © Wang Ziling
Bamboo Theatre. Image © Wang Ziling

And maybe they are. Songyang County, otherwise known as the “Last Hidden Land in Jiangnan,” may look like a traditional Chinese painting with craggy rock faces, rice fields and tea plantations, but it has also become a model example of rural renaissance. Beijing architect Xu Tiantian, of the firm DnA_Design and Architecture, has spent years surveying the villages of Songyang, talking to local County officials and residents, and coming up with what she calls “architectural acupunctures.”

Brown Sugar Factory. Image © Wang Ziling Teahouse, Damushan Tea Valley. Image © Chen Hao Teahouse, Damushan Tea Valley. Image © Jiang Xiaodong Bamboo Pavilion. Image © Zhou Ruogo Bamboo Pavilion. Image © Zhou Ruogo Bridge at Shimen Village. Image © Han Dan Bridge at Shimen Village. Image © Wang Ziling Bridge at Shimen Village. Image © Wang Ziling Wang Jing Memorial Hall. Image © Wang Ziling + 70

Why We Shouldn't Build a Memorial for the Grenfell Fire—Not Yet At Least

04:00 - 18 April, 2018
Why We Shouldn't Build a Memorial for the Grenfell Fire—Not Yet At Least , The burned remains of Grenfell Tower in London. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/londonmatt/35651730645'>Flickr user londonmatt</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
The burned remains of Grenfell Tower in London. Image © Flickr user londonmatt licensed under CC BY 2.0

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "Why the Best Response to the Grenfell Tower Fire Isn’t a Memorial."

Memorials play an integral role in marking significant people, moments, or events. In recent years, they have become glorifications of tragedy by attempting to express unimaginable horrors in poetic and beautiful ways. The issue with the many forms that memorials take is that they seek to placate the immediate reaction and hurt of an event, an understandable societal reaction, but one that often feels rote and hallow.

But what if memorials sought to preserve the memory of those affected by offering a solution that addressed how the tragedy occurred? The international response to tragedy has, by default, become to install a statue, build a wall, create a healing water feature, erect an aspirational sculptural object, or simply rename a park. None of these responses are inherently bad—they’re usually well-meaning and on occasion quite moving—but there is another approach available to us: changing the public perception of memorials by looking at them through the lens of solutions, encouraging people to think of them as a testament or proper response to tragedy, not just a plaque that over time goes unnoticed. While this approach might be difficult in some instances, the case of Grenfell Tower fire in London presents a rather obvious solution.

How Satellite Images of the Earth at Night Help Us Understand Our World and Make Better Cities

09:30 - 17 April, 2018
How Satellite Images of the Earth at Night Help Us Understand Our World and Make Better Cities, Nighttime view of Western Europe: England (top right), Paris (bright city near the middle of the image) and Belgium and the Netherlands (middle-right of frame). Image courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center
Nighttime view of Western Europe: England (top right), Paris (bright city near the middle of the image) and Belgium and the Netherlands (middle-right of frame). Image courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

Satellite images of Earth at night make for fascinating, beautiful pictures. But they also confront us with a growing form of pollution. Why do we waste so much energy to light outer space when we only need light on the ground? High-resolution satellite data can now deliver detailed insights into how humans have shaped the night, and these earth observation systems are about to reform our urban planning. They can become an integral part of project development and control, as many strange ecological, political and social phenomena become apparent with a closer look at the night-time imagery of our planet.

In Celebration of Our 10th Anniversary: 10 Buildings That Bring to Mind the AD Logo

08:00 - 17 April, 2018
In Celebration of Our 10th Anniversary: 10 Buildings That Bring to Mind the AD Logo

This year, ArchDaily marks our 10th anniversary as a global platform for architecture. In the past 10 years, we have democratized access to architecture and brought a daily dose of information, knowledge and inspiration to students and professionals.

To celebrate this important milestone, we have compiled a series of projects that recall our iconic logo: the blue three-story, prismatic house. We've curated over 33,543 built projects so far, including classics and flashbacks. We went through this enormous archive of projects and made a note of the ones that amused us and delighted us with their rectangular prism shapes and oddly occurring windows. They remind us of the beloved ArchDaily logo, and we're pleased to see that this shape can take on so many forms, all over the world. 

Is Architecture Synonymous with Stress?

06:00 - 17 April, 2018
Is Architecture Synonymous with Stress?, © Filipe Vasconcelos
© Filipe Vasconcelos

The idea of becoming an architect and working in the field can seem to go against notions of a good work-life balance. With long journeys, pressing deadlines and the need to make informed decisions quickly, combined with potentially low wages and a quagmire of tricky working relationships and red-tape, architecture is conceived to be one of the most stressful professions.

A survey by Architect's Journal in 2016 found that 25% of UK architecture students are seeking mental health related treatments. In an article by Jennifer Whelan, published in May 2014 about mental health of architectural students, the author discusses the results of research conducted by the University of Toronto Graduate Student of Architecture, Landscape and Design (GALDSU) where the majority of students admitted to regularly pulling all-nighters, skipping meals, forgoing extracurricular social activities, and rarely exercising in order to finish projects on time.

The Next Sustainability Crisis: Humans Are Using So Much Sand That We May Actually Run Out

09:30 - 16 April, 2018
Objects made of Finite, a material developed by students from Imperial College London using desert sand. Image Courtesy of Finite
Objects made of Finite, a material developed by students from Imperial College London using desert sand. Image Courtesy of Finite

Sand is the most-consumed natural resource in the world after water and air. Modern cities are built out of it. In the construction industry alone, it is estimated that 25 billion tons of sand and gravel are used every year. That may sound a lot, but it’s not a surprising figure when you consider how everything you’re surrounded with is probably made of the stuff.

But it’s running out.

This is a scary fact to think about once you realize that sand is required to make both concrete and asphalt, not to mention every single window on this planet. The United Nations Environment Programme found out that from 2011 to 2013, China alone used more cement than the United States had used in the entire 20th century and in 2012, the world used enough concrete to build a wall around the equator that would be 89 feet high and 89 feet thick (27 by 27 meters).

How Real-Time Rendering Can Revolutionize Design - Again

01:00 - 16 April, 2018
How Real-Time Rendering Can Revolutionize Design - Again

In the 1990s, the field of architectural design was transformed by the widespread adoption of computers and CAD programs. This revolution affected the entire design process from start to finish, including presentation techniques. Traditional watercolor paintings were replaced by computer-generated images that could show the design from multiple angles. A virtual camera could even fly through the design and produce a video tour of the yet-to-be-built concept.

Daniel Libeskind On the Poetics of Memory and Time in Architecture

16:00 - 15 April, 2018

In PLANE-SITE's latest video from their Time-Space-Existence series, Daniel Libeskind describes his work in relation to Shakespeare's quote that "time is out of joint." Weaving in his philosophy regarding time, memory and architecture, Libeskind discusses his seminal works such as the Jewish Museum Berlin and the Ground Zero master plan. These ideas will be transferred to his new project named Facing Gaia, an architectural sculpture to be located in Giardini Marinaressa, which explores the connections between climate, time, space and existence.

National Holocaust Monument. Image© Doublespace Facing Gaia Sketch. Image© Studio Libeskind Mons International Cogress Xperience. Image© Georges de Kinder Modern Art Museum Vilnius. Image© Studio Libeskind + 12

13 Beautiful Barns from Around the World

12:00 - 15 April, 2018
Cortesía de Ema Peter
Cortesía de Ema Peter

© David Aebi © Audrey Hall Photography © Joe Fletcher © Christian Baur + 13

This week we present a selection of the best photographs of barns, both still in use and converted for residential use, that we have previously published on our site. These 13 projects reveal the relationship of these agricultural areas with rural work, the storage of food and livestock, and the imposing natural landscape in which they are located. Read on to see images from prominent photographers including Erich Spahn, David Aebi, and Matthieu Gafsou.

Steel Frame and Wood Frame: The Benefits of Dry Construction Systems

08:00 - 15 April, 2018

You have to consider many factors when designing an architectural project in order to ensure quality and value. The construction technique is in most cases the first item to be evaluated, because it is the one factor that properly materializes the proposed design and determines the efficiency of the project in terms of time, costs, labor, finishes and final quality.

Take a 360 Video Tour of Zaha Hadid Architects' New Building on the High Line

12:00 - 14 April, 2018
Take a 360 Video Tour of Zaha Hadid Architects' New Building on the High Line, © Hufton+Crow
© Hufton+Crow

In a recent video published by Metropolis Magazine, Ed Gaskin, a senior associate at Zaha Hadid Architects, takes us on a comprehensive tour of ZHA's 520 West 28th Street, the late architect's only project in New York City. The video describes the project's interesting relation to the adjacent High Line, as well as taking us through the lobby, courtyard and inside the residential units of the building.

© Hufton+Crow © Hufton+Crow © Hufton+Crow © Hufton+Crow + 7

Somali Architecture Students Digitally Preserve Their Country's Heritage—Before It's Too Late

09:30 - 14 April, 2018
via Somali Architecture
via Somali Architecture

Since the start of civil war in 1991, the political and architectural landscapes of the East African country of Somalia have been unstable. While the country’s urban centers, such as the capital city Mogadishu, boast a diverse fabric of historic mosques, citadels, and monuments alongside modernist civic structures, the decades of conflict have resulted in the destruction of many important structures. And, while the fighting has substantially subsided in recent years, the future of the country's architectural heritage is still far from secure.

In response, Somali architecture students from across the UK, Italy, and the United States have banded together to form Somali Architecture, an ongoing research project archiving and digitally "rebuilding" iconic structures through 3D models. Their goal is “to preserve the identity and authenticity” of Somalia through its architecture—both existing and destroyed. “We want each iconic building of the past to be reinterpreted for a more coherent future,” they say.

See below for a selection of the structures Somali Architecture has uncovered and re-constructed so far.

Why Snøhetta's "A House to Die In" Is One of Norway's Most Controversial Construction Projects

09:30 - 13 April, 2018
Why Snøhetta's "A House to Die In" Is One of Norway's Most Controversial Construction Projects, Rendering of proposed design for A House to Die In, as seen ascending the hill. Image © MIR and Snøhetta
Rendering of proposed design for A House to Die In, as seen ascending the hill. Image © MIR and Snøhetta

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Inside the Design of Norway’s Most Controversial Building."

The sun is setting fast over a half-frozen hill about five miles west of Oslo. Named Kikkut after a now-demolished villa, the site neighbors Ekely, the old estate of Edvard Munch (itself now half razed), and save for some graffiti-covered detritus and an early crop of spring wildflowers, its peak is totally barren. Squinting northward to Munch’s Winter Atelier some 500 feet in the distance, it’s hard to believe this is the proposed site for A House to Die In: one of the most controversial building proposals in recent Norwegian history.

The brainchild of Norway’s enfant terrible artist Bjarne Melgaard, the proposal for “A House to Die In” is a luminescent, UFO-like living sculpture that doubles as a studio and home for Melgaard and his parents. With financial backing from two of the most powerful property developers in the country, the Selvaags and Sealbay A/S—longterm friends of the artist who also supplied the plot of land on the outskirts of the city—the Oslo-based Melgaard approached local Norwegian firm Snøhetta in 2011 with his idea for a combined artwork, studio—and final resting place.

Is Religious Architecture Still Relevant?

09:30 - 12 April, 2018
Is Religious Architecture Still Relevant?, Salisbury Cathedral. Image© <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/cathedraljack/37235357646'>Flickr user JackPeasePhotography</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
Salisbury Cathedral. Image© Flickr user JackPeasePhotography licensed under CC BY 2.0

Some of the greatest architectural works throughout history have been the result of religion, driven by the need to construct spaces where humanity could be one step closer to a higher power. With more people choosing a secular lifestyle than ever before, are the effects that these buildings convey—timelessness, awe, silence and devotion, what Louis Kahn called the “immeasurable” and Le Corbusier called the “ineffable”—no longer relevant?

With the Vatican’s proposal for the 2018 Venice Biennale, described as “a sort of pilgrimage that is not only religious but also secular,” it is clear that the role of "religious" spaces is changing from the iconography of organized religion to ambiguous spaces that reflect the idea of "spirituality" as a whole.

So what does this mean? Is there still a key role for spirituality in architecture? Is it possible to create spaces for those of different faiths and those without faith at all? And what makes a space "spiritual" in the first place?

Photographer Iwan Baan Celebrates Pritzker Prize Winner B.V. Doshi With Curated Instagram Posts

06:00 - 12 April, 2018

The great #BVDoshi at #sangath. @pritzkerarchitectureprize 2018 laureate.

A post shared by Iwan Baan (@iwanbaan) on

Architectural photographer Iwan Baan recently honored 2018 Pritzker Prize Laureate Balkrishna (B.V.) Doshi. It has been a little over a month since the Pritzker jury selected the Indian architect as the latest winner, and his work still remains popular within the online world. The genuine materiality and intricate spatial experience associated with Doshi's work are captured by Baan in multiple projects across India. Baan's Instagram (@iwanbaan), which has nearly 120K followers, acts as "a diary of travels with the iPhone." 

Read on to see some of Baan's images (some posts have multiple images, so be sure and use the left and right arrows to see the full set of pictures). 

4 Takes on Why Sound Design Is Crucial to Good Architecture

09:30 - 10 April, 2018
reSITE's RESONATE conference was held at the MAAT Museum in Lisbon, Portugal. Image © Joel Felipe
reSITE's RESONATE conference was held at the MAAT Museum in Lisbon, Portugal. Image © Joel Felipe

What is the role of sound and acoustics in the work of leading architecture practices? In February this year, reSITE and MAAT in collaboration with Meyer Sound hosted RESONATE: Thinking Sound and Space, a conference focused exclusively on the intersection of architecture and sound.

Elizabeth Diller of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Snøhetta's Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, Michael Jones from Foster + Partners, the founders of Meyer Sound, and the pioneer of sound art Bernhard Leitner spoke with reSITE and Canal 180 at MAAT Museum in Lisbon, Portugal. Below are the 4 episodes in the series, where they discuss the role of sound in designing cultural venues and concert halls and the changing role of the architect in an age of specialization: