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15 Incredible Architectural Works in the Mountains

12:00 - 18 November, 2018
15 Incredible Architectural Works in the Mountains, © Adolf Bereuter
© Adolf Bereuter

© Felipe Camus © Anze Cokl © inexhibit.com © Thomas Jantscher + 16

The mountains—one of the contexts that almost every architect would like to build in at least once. And yet even though it's an attractive setting, the associated challenges, including, but not limited to the sheer remoteness of mountain regions and their distance from basic services, make building in the mountains particularly demanding.

We've compiled a selection of 15 incredible works of architecture that maximize the breathtaking surroundings found in mountainous areas, featuring photographs from Felipe Camus, Janez Martincic, and Anze Cokl.

Opinion: A Plea for Architectural History

09:30 - 16 November, 2018
Courtesy of Wikimedia user Quibik PD. ImageAn elevation of the entire Acropolis as seen from the west; while the Parthenon dominates the scene, it is nonetheless only part of a greater composition. ImageCourtesy of Wikimedia user Quibik (Public Domain)
Courtesy of Wikimedia user Quibik PD. ImageAn elevation of the entire Acropolis as seen from the west; while the Parthenon dominates the scene, it is nonetheless only part of a greater composition. ImageCourtesy of Wikimedia user Quibik (Public Domain)

This article was originally published on Metropolis Magazine as "Opinion: We Can't Go on Teaching the Same History of Architecture as Before."

Architectural students of my generation—the last of the baby boomers, starting college in Europe or in the Americas in the late 1970s—had many good reasons to cherish architectural history. Everyone seemed to agree at the time that the Modernist project was conspicuously failing. Late Modernist monsters were then wreaking havoc on cities and lands around the world, and the most immediate, knee-jerk reaction against what many then saw as an ongoing catastrophe was to try and bring back all that 20th-century high Modernism had kicked out of design culture: history, for a start. I drew my first Doric capital, circa 1979, in a design studio, not in a history class (and my tutor immediately ordered me to scrape it, which I did).

8 Mexican Projects That Use Bamboo

05:00 - 16 November, 2018
8 Mexican Projects That Use Bamboo, Pórtico Palmeto Building / TACO taller de arquitectura contextual. Image © Leo Espinosa
Pórtico Palmeto Building / TACO taller de arquitectura contextual. Image © Leo Espinosa

In 4 Days, 100 Volunteers Used Mud and Reeds To Build This Community Center in Mexico. Image © Pedro Bravo, Sofía Hernández, Francisco Martínez Cafetería Rural Comunitaria Tosepan Kajfen / Proyecto cafeína + Komoni. Image © Patrick López Rural House in Puebla / Comunal Taller de Arquitectura. Image © Onnis Luque Sport City Oaxaca / Rootstudio + Arquitectos Artesanos. Image © Angel Ivan Valdivia Salazar + 9

Mexico is a country known globally for its traditional and contemporary architectural elements. The construction techniques characteristic of each region and the use of materials according to thermic, economic, or aesthetic needs result in unique spaces.

Bamboo as a constructive or decorative element, coating, facade, or roof has proven its superiority over materials such as plastic and steel.

While it is true that research on this material has advanced significantly in recent years, we know that there is still much to learn. Many architects are seeking knowledge from the past to apply to their current techniques. Below, we've selected a list of 8 Mexican projects that explore the use of bamboo in the hands of architects and artisans.

What Burning Man can Teach Architecture about Participatory Design

09:30 - 15 November, 2018
© Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

Architecture as a profession today struggles with questions of relevance, with core questions surrounding the issue of whether it can create cultural vibrancy and meaning for the diverse world it serves. Within our own design community, we tend to give a lot of sway to an “exclusive tier” of architects who provide leadership and vision. While this leadership is critically important to the profession, it only corresponds to 2% of what gets built. Take it from Frank Gehry, whose 2014 comment still rings in our ears: “98% of everything that is built and designed today is pure sh*t. There is no sense of design, no respect for humanity."

If we embrace the importance and unique value of all things built on a wider range, we need to ask ourselves: how have we served and rewarded our peers responsible for creating this other 98%?  Where should we set the bar for the emotional-artistic qualities of mainstream architecture?

How Inverted King Post Trusses Allow for Large, Elegant Open Spaces

04:00 - 15 November, 2018
SEBRAE Headquarters / gruposp + Luciano Margotto. Image © Nelson Kon
SEBRAE Headquarters / gruposp + Luciano Margotto. Image © Nelson Kon

Inverted king post trusses are made of steel bars and cables used to reduce bending, deformation, and a trusses’ height. In other words, they are a collection of continuous beams (steel or wood) and steel cables that are positioned under the beam, supported by an upright king post. Although slender, they are suited for large spans and have small sections.

Grid House / FGMF Arquitetos. Image © Alexandre Schneider Grid House / FGMF Arquitetos. Image © Alexandre Schneider SEBRAE Headquarters / gruposp + Luciano Margotto. Image © Nelson Kon Grid House / FGMF Arquitetos. Image © Alexandre Schneider + 17

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10 Years Post-Recession, a Resilient Generation Makes Practice Work for Them

09:30 - 14 November, 2018
10 Years Post-Recession, a Resilient Generation Makes Practice Work for Them, Courtesy of Atelier Cho, via CommonEdge. ImageAtelier Cho Thompson designed the offices for Food Corps, a Portland, Oregon non-profit.
Courtesy of Atelier Cho, via CommonEdge. ImageAtelier Cho Thompson designed the offices for Food Corps, a Portland, Oregon non-profit.

This article was originally published on CommonEdge as "The Kids are Alright."

Economics and technology affect every profession. But since World War II perhaps no profession has experienced more technological change than architecture. These shifts occurred, paradoxically, within a well-established professional model of personal development: The guild structure of learning in the academy, then becoming professional via internship leading to licensure, has been the structure of practice for almost two centuries.

Once upon a time manual drafting with graphite or ink was applied by white males, and a single sheet master was reproduced with typed specifications added, and buildings were constructed.

That world no longer exists.  

Take Control of the Stages of Construction: 4 Ways To Ease the Process

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Take Control of the Stages of Construction: 4 Ways To Ease the Process, Take Control of Technology in Construction with Trimble Small Contractor Solutions
Take Control of Technology in Construction with Trimble Small Contractor Solutions

In the planning and construction of buildings and landscapes, it’s important to recognize the strong correlation between design and construction during the different stages of a project. In fact, these stages can best be viewed as an integrated process where one won’t work without the other.

To fully understand how these stages work together, let’s break it down. Simply put, architecture design is the process of creating the layout of a construction project. It’s usually presented through detailed plans, drawings, and specifications. On the other hand, construction planning is a process of identifying steps and resources required to turn those designs into physical reality.

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The Cynical Optimism of Living Architecture

09:30 - 13 November, 2018
Dune House / JVA. Image © Nils Petter Dale
Dune House / JVA. Image © Nils Petter Dale

Alain de Botton’s Living Architecture project - a joyful, democratically-minded concept to share quality architecture in the UK - was borne out of personal crisis. The Swiss-born philosopher and author gained fame in both popular and architectural circles following the release of his book, "The Architecture of Happiness."

The book was immediately successful (movie buffs may recall its brief cameo in the 2009 film 500 Days of Summer), but the response unsettled Botton. “...However pleasing it is two write a book about an issue one feels passionately about," he explained to Assemble Papers, "the truth is that - a few exceptions aside - books don’t change anything. I realized that if I cared so much about architecture, writing was a coward’s way out; the real challenge was to build.”

© Edmund Sumner. ImageBalancing Barn / MVRDV Life House / John Pawson . Image © Gilbert McCarragher A House for Essex / FAT & Grayson Perry. Image © Gilbert McCarragher Secular Retreat / Peter Zumthor. Image Courtesy of Peter Zumthor, Living Architecture + 31

Making Real-Time Rendering Less Daunting: Unreal Engine Online Learning

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When you see new software that can speed up your workflow, it’s fun to imagine what you can do with it. But in reality, many of us don’t want to be among the first to try it out, especially if documentation is lacking. No one wants to spend countless hours fighting with mysterious features only to go back to the old workflow because you just need to get things done.

Maybe you’ve been thinking about trying out photoreal real-time rendering for your workflow, but you’re concerned that that on-ramp is too steep. Real-time rendering requires you to import your CAD scene into a game engine, and anytime you import to a new piece of software, there are going to be issues to solve. If you have to figure it out on your own, it’s going to be a long, hard road.

Natural Light and Ventilation: 17 Remarkable Courtyards

12:00 - 11 November, 2018
Natural Light and Ventilation: 17 Remarkable Courtyards, © Quang Dam
© Quang Dam

© Yoon Joonhwan © Erieta Attali © Nguyen Tien Thanh © Pablo Blanco + 17

This week we present a selection of 17 excellent images of interior courtyards. These spaces bring many advantages to a design such as increased natural light and improved ventilation conditions, while providing occupants with direct access to the outside and to nature. Below is a selection of images from prominent photographers such as Quang Dam, Fran Parente, and Pablo Blanco.

This Week in Architecture: Master's Plans and Masterplans

07:00 - 10 November, 2018
This Week in Architecture: Master's Plans and Masterplans, Rendering of BIG’s Waste-to-Energy Plant. Image Courtesy of BIG.
Rendering of BIG’s Waste-to-Energy Plant. Image Courtesy of BIG.

 

JP Morgan Chase announced this week that they had hired Foster + Partners to design their new global headquarters in New York. The project, located in midtown Manhattan, will replace the existing 1960s SOM design for the US investment bank.

This is not the first time Foster + Partners have been called in to handle a corporate headquarters project: the office is also responsible for the designs of the nearby Hearst Tower, Apple’s Campus in Silicon Valley, and the Stirling Prize-winning Bloomberg HQ in London.

ZHA's Design © Flying Architecture Philip Johnson on the cover of Time Magazine Bloomberg HQ. Image © Nigel Young Courtesy of Habitat Unit. Gruen designated highly specified uses of space in his plan for Tehran. + 7

Brazilian Houses: 20 Concrete Projects in Plan and Section

06:00 - 10 November, 2018
Brazilian Houses: 20 Concrete Projects in Plan and Section, © Nelson Kon
© Nelson Kon

Concrete may be the material most associated with modern Brazilian architecture; high resistance to compression and, when armed, capable of assuming various forms. Its plasticity has made it a favorite material for some of Brazil's most expressive architects of the last century.

Today, it is still widely explored in the architectural production of Brazil, either for its structural robustness, ease of maintenance, or aesthetic value.

Cities Designed by Famous Architects

07:00 - 9 November, 2018
Cities Designed by Famous Architects, An aerial view of the planned Masdar City.
An aerial view of the planned Masdar City.

While most architects are remembered for a monumental structure or commission, many of the most prolific names in the field at one point or another set their sights on designing the entirety of a city. Often venturing abroad to see their aesthetic vision come to life across unfamiliar territory (and often, an unsuspecting populace), city planning posed the perfect opportunity to realize one’s architectural doctrine across unimaginable scales. Below, brush up on some of the biggest ventures into urban planning. Whether these plans failed or came to fruition, they ultimately function as crucial insights into the consequences of an outsider defining sense of place and space for a foreign audience for generations.

Philip Johnson: A Complicated, Reprehensible History

07:00 - 8 November, 2018
Philip Johnson: A Complicated, Reprehensible History, © Richard Barnes
© Richard Barnes

This interview was originally published on Common Edge as "Mark Lamster on His New Biography of Philip Johnson."

Philip Johnson lived a long and extraordinarily eventful life. He was an architect, a museum curator, a tastemaker, a kingmaker, a schemer, an exceptionally vivid cultural presence. Mark Lamster, architecture critic of the Dallas Morning News and Harvard Loeb Fellowship recipient, has now written a thoroughly engaging biography of him entitled, Philip Johnson, Architect of the Modern Century: The Man in the Glass House. I talked to Lamster two weeks ago about the book and the bundle of contradictions that was Philip Johnson.

© Flickr user Amir Nejad © David Shankbone Courtesy of American Seating .jpg Cross Section of the Crystal Cathedral + 11

10 Renowned Brazilian Projects by International Architects

04:00 - 8 November, 2018
10 Renowned Brazilian Projects by International Architects, © © Gustavo Xavier
© © Gustavo Xavier

During the second half of the twentieth century, architects all over the world, specifically from Europe, produced a legacy of renowned, modern works in Brazil. Following the principles of masters such as Le Corbusier, names like Lina Bo Bardi, Hans Broos, and Franz Heep held an undeniable influence on Brazilian architecture.

In recent years, the country has been welcoming a variety of buildings designed by foreign architects. Below, we have compiled 10 iconic works by international architects. 

Architecture is a Corporate Product - and We're All Buying

09:30 - 7 November, 2018
Architecture is a Corporate Product - and We're All Buying, Google Dublin. Image © Peter Wurmli
Google Dublin. Image © Peter Wurmli

Architecture, unlike other aspects of culture (such as fashion or music), can only really be experienced and understood in person. For highly branded companies, designing a new building can be a prime opportunity to signal taste and values - but also creates an interesting architectural conundrum. While the buildings will be inhabited (nearly 24/7) by company employees, they’re also very much populated by the imaginations of people across the globe. What is it like to be in these places?

© Nigel Young. ImageThe Bloomberg Headquarters in London © Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier + Wright, Apple . ImageRendering of the Apple Campus in Palo Alto Google's new King's Cross campus, designed by BIG and Heatherwick Studios. Image Courtesy of Google Google Tel Aviv. Image © Itay Sikolski + 10

Polycarbonate in Architecture: 10 Translucent Solutions

04:00 - 7 November, 2018
Polycarbonate in Architecture: 10 Translucent Solutions, © Brett Boardman
© Brett Boardman

Composed of microcell panels, polycarbonate offers various solutions for the use of natural lighting in architectural enclosures. Whether applied to facades, interior spaces or roofs, the benefits of polycarbonate, such as lightness, clean lines, colored panels, and light effects, offer a wide range of design freedom. Microcell panel technology reduces the need for artificial light and favors uniformity in the diffusion of natural light, achieving energy efficient facades and the illusion of spaciousness in interior spaces. Below, we've selected 10 projects that have used polycarbonate as a wrapping material.

© Ben Hosking © Imagen Subliminal Cortesía de Danpal Cortesía de Danpal + 33

The Politics of Vacancy: The History, and Future, of Toronto's Condo Euphoria

07:00 - 6 November, 2018
The Politics of Vacancy: The History, and Future, of Toronto's Condo Euphoria, © Manuel Alvarez Diestro
© Manuel Alvarez Diestro

This article was originally published on ArchDaily on 13 February 2018. 

The City of Toronto has a long, fraught relationship with development and vacancy. The map of the initial Toronto Purchase of 1787 between the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation and the British Crown, which would later establish the colonial territory that became Toronto, conceives of the landscape as a single, clearly defined vacant lot anxious for development. Or, as artist Luis Jacob better described it, “signifying nothing but an empty page waiting to be inscribed at will.” Over two-hundred years later, as housing availability, prices, and rental shortages drive vertical condominium developments in the city, the politics of the vacant lot have never felt so palpable.

© Manuel Alvarez Diestro © Manuel Alvarez Diestro © Manuel Alvarez Diestro © Manuel Alvarez Diestro + 24

Hartford Architecture Students Win Urban Sustainability Competition Through “Live, Work, Play” Park Design

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Department of Architecture, University of Hartford
Department of Architecture, University of Hartford

A team of five University of Hartford Master of Architecture (MArch) students recently won the Dream Green, Hartford EcoDesign competition sponsored by the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation and hosted by the City of Hartford Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. The competition requested proposals to improve the city through “pop-up” projects that transform underused city spaces while highlighting green infrastructure and sustainable design.

Department of Architecture, University of Hartford Department of Architecture, University of Hartford Department of Architecture, University of Hartford Department of Architecture, University of Hartford + 11

Understanding and Using Architectural Scales

07:45 - 5 November, 2018
Understanding and Using Architectural Scales, © ArchDaily
© ArchDaily

The work of an architect and urban planner can take on many forms thanks to the diverse curricular composition of most graduate courses, with subjects that deal with designing in different scales and contexts. From great urban plans to home renovations, and the metropolis to furniture design, these branches deal with different objects, however, all in common are the use of drawing and models as a tool for representation.

Whatever the project may be, drawing is the way to represent reality, ideas, speculations, and conceptions. Scale, a factor that establishes the level of reading one must make of these representations, determines the link between the real world and the dimensions of the drawing or model. For instance, the scale 1:1 is also known as “full size.”

Partners In Health Dormitory / Sharon Davis Design. Courtesy of Sharon Davis Design Skjern / Johansen Skovsted Arkitekter River Pumping Stations. Courtesy of Johansen Skovsted Arkitekter Map of Material Flows - Physical traces of commodities trading. Courtesy of the Brazilian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2018 Communal Kitchen of the Lands of the Coast / ateliermob + Collective Warehouse. Courtesy of ateliermob + Collective Warehouse + 16

In Tehran, Design Principles of American Suburbia Unexpectedly Persist

07:00 - 5 November, 2018
In Tehran, Design Principles of American Suburbia Unexpectedly Persist, Image courtesy of Flickr user Dennis Keller
Image courtesy of Flickr user Dennis Keller

Austrian-born architect Victor Gruen is perhaps best known for pioneering the design of the American mall typology. His visions for these spaces sought to incorporate various aspects of the city into a single enclosed or indoor space, with a particular focus on consumption and commercial activity. His sprawling designs functioned as the perfect complement to America’s burgeoning leisure-driven consumer culture as a booming economy and an increase in car travel reinforced the possibilities of this new postwar way of life. Perhaps lesser-known, however, is Gruen’s commission from the Iranian government to design an urban plan for the city of Tehran in the late 1960s.

Courtesy of Business Traveler. Milad Tower overlooks Tehran. Courtesy of Hi Tehran Hostel. A myriad of architectural styles converge–and come into conflict–in Iran's capital. Courtesy of The Conversation. A view of Tehran's skyline. outhdale Center. Courtesy of Life Magazine photo archiv. + 13

Allied Works and OLIN Create a Museum for Both People and the City

05:00 - 5 November, 2018
Allied Works and OLIN Create a Museum for Both People and the City, © Aerial Impact Solutions, via Metropolis Magazine
© Aerial Impact Solutions, via Metropolis Magazine

Allied Works has, since their founding in 1994, become known for their portfolio of delicately balanced and civic-minded works. Their Clyfford Still Museum in Denver has in particular been recognized in numerous awards and publications - but may perhaps be overshadowed by their most recent built work.

The National Veterans Memorial and Museum, located in Columbus, Ohio elevates what might have been a staid and somber program into a public space with an urban outlook. The museum, composed of intersecting white concrete bands, opens onto a lustrous landscape (designed by OLIN) and connects the formerly neglected riverfront to the small city’s downtown.

Lumion 9: Rendering Living Environments for Real Beauty

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Guiding a Successful Creative Process

09:30 - 3 November, 2018
Guiding a Successful Creative Process, Emanuelle Moureaux, Image by Nacasa & Partners
Emanuelle Moureaux, Image by Nacasa & Partners

The following is an excerpt from Andrew Levitt's recent book "Listening to Design: A Guide to the Creative Process.

Listening fully without any desire to judge or cause change can open the most stubbornly shut door. With deeper listening, the desire to change or judge the other person disappears and is replaced by a willingness to just be present. At first I worried that listening was not enough, but eventually I learned that the process of creativity hinges on the ability to listen. We need to get into the habit of recognizing the authenticity of our inner voices. By hearing that voice without judgement, we can access all kinds of riches. All the ideas in the world won’t help you if they fall on deaf ears. When we get an idea, there are so many ways of ignoring or sabotaging it. Staying true to the inner command is the holy moment of design. But listening is the key to successful collaboration and feedback.

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