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David Basulto

Founder & Editor in Chief of this wonderful thing called ArchDaily :) Graduate Architect. Jury, speaker, curator, programmer, m.c., and anything that is required to spread our mission across the world. You can follow me on Instagram/Twitter as @dbasulto, or curating our Instagram at @ArchDaily.

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Building Burning Man: The Unique Architectural Challenges of Setting Up a City in the Desert

The Black Rock Lighthouse Service by Jonny & Max Poynton. Image © Dan Adams
The Black Rock Lighthouse Service by Jonny & Max Poynton. Image © Dan Adams

Every year in August, a temporary metropolis is erected in Black Rock City, Nevada. This is Burning Man, an annual event of art and architecture that attracts some 70,000 participants. The people who come to Burning Man come from all walks of life. What is incredible is that they come together to construct an ephemeral city that lasts for 7 days. These people assume the role of architects and construction workers and use the desert to build all sorts of shelters in a fast, sustainable way. The desert is so remote, and everything built in Black Rock City is packed and taken home at the end of the event, and some of the art is burned on site. This poses a unique architectural challenge. The people who have come to build these structures have to plan them way in advance to accommodate all the challenges of working in the desert, but the result is worth it - a striking, unique city, democratically built, set against a desert landscape, and for only one week.

We had the chance to interview Kim Cook at the World Architecture Festival in Berlin. Kim Cook is Director of Art and Civic Engagement at Burning Man. Kim Cook and her team are tasked with increasing the impact of Burning Man’s arts and civic initiatives. As part of her role, Kim engages with artists and community leaders to increase opportunities for funding, collaboration and learning.

The Black Rock Lighthouse Service by Jonny & Max Poynton. Image © Joe Sale Tangential Dreams by artist Arthur Mamou-Mani. Image © Debra Wolff Tangential Dreams by artist Arthur Mamou-Mani. Image © Ales, Dust to Ashes The Space Whale by The Pier Group with Matthew Schultz, Android Jones and Andy Tibbetts. Image © Zipporah Lomax + 6

ArchDaily X MINI Clubman Refurbishment Initiative

"The Greenest Building is the one that is already built." (Carl Elefante, FAIA)

The world’s urban population will double by 2050, and cities need to come up with sustainable ways to accommodate this mass movement. We often see projects being built as quickly as possible to support growth, but these buildings end up lacking character, and they make the city look altogether generic. A smarter and more sustainable solution is to increase the density of existing centers, as well as to recover existing structures through refurbishment and repurposing.

To turn what is old into something new is a challenging process. It requires a bold vision and a rigorous commitment to design.

Ramon Vilalta of RCR Arquitectes Speaks of Pritzker Win and Post-Prize Ambitions

Two days ago ArchDaily had the distinct honor to interview Ramon Vilalta, one of the three architects named as 2017 Pritzker Laureates. Vilalta gave us an exclusive insight into history behind his collaboration with Rafael Aranda and Carme Pigem and how their connection to their small hometown of Olot, Spain has influenced a career that has produced exceptional projects by their firm, RCR Arquitectes.

ArchDaily: How did your studio/practice begin? Why did you start quickly after graduating?

Ramon Vilalta: In that sense we were very disciplined people. We finished our degrees quickly and once we were finished we decided to share a studio; we chose to confront architecture by sharing it, and by really sharing it. We each have different personalities – each one has his or her own style but what comes from the chemistry between the three of us makes us special, I think. This was, I feel, a big decision that wasn’t easy at the time.

From 2016 to 2017: Architecture and Our Future

TLDR; Best of 2016.

Dear readers,

This 2016 has been a hectic, frenetic year with complex geopolitical, social, and cultural issues placing our world at a crossroads of an uncertain future. Do we look back into the nostalgia of a safe past, or do we step up and be an active part of a hopeful future?

As architects we have a tremendous responsibility in this scenario; historically, our profession has shaped the collective ideas of the future, generation after generation, by weighing-in on the crises that arise in our societies. In the absence of clear leadership to guide us towards an inspiring future, this is our opportunity to serve as agents of change for the future we deserve.

ArchDaily: What Happened in 2015, and Where We Are Heading in 2016

Dear readers,

This has been an intense year at ArchDaily, and I’d like to look back and share what we’ve done during 2015, and give you a glimpse of what will come during 2016.

Our focus on the emerging countries is something intimately tied to our mission. I’m very happy to see that as a society we understand the importance of cities for the future of mankind, and that we are actively improving them through the traditional way of making architecture, but also more and more in an expanded field and in a multidisciplinary collaborative way.

We started this project in 2008 in a very instinctive way, but always understanding that we should provide value to architects. Today, we are publishing in 4 languages (including the new ArchDaily China!), reaching more than 400,000 daily readers who are viewing 120 million pages every month - and bookmarking thousand of projects on My ArchDaily. This scale has made us understand what is adding value - and what is not - to architects in a very insightful, data-driven way. Our analysis for our end of the year posts has shown us how important it is for you to have access to technology and resources than can help you on your work.

Iñaqui Carnicero and Carlos Quintáns to Curate Spain Pavilion at 2016 Venice Biennale

Iñaqui Carnicero and Carlos Quintáns have been selected as co-curators of the Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016, directed by Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, under the theme "Reporting from the Front."

Iñaqui Carnicero is an architect and a Visiting Professor at Cornell University, and has been recognized by numerous international awards such as the Design Vanguard Award, AIANY Housing Award, Emerging Architects Award, FAD and COAM Award.

Carlos Quintáns is Professor of the Architectural Construction Department of the A Coruña Architecture School and director of the Tectónica magazine, recognized with awards such as the COAG, FAD or at the Spanish Architecture Biennale.

AD Interviews: Vicente Guallart / Moscow Urban Forum

During the 2015 Moscow Urban Forum, city experts from different regions and countries united to exchange practices, projects, and trends. The event fueled discussion on the city of Moscow, which is currently working on its expansion plans, new transport infrastructure, and a series of urban initiatives that are having a positive impact on the quality of life in the city.

AD Interviews: Santiago Calatrava

Earlier this year we had the chance to interview Spanish-born architect Santiago Calatrava in his New York apartment. Trained first as a structural engineer, he has designed and completed over 50 projects, which include bridges, transportation hubs, theaters and even a skyscraper. Calatrava has built a career through public architecture, and thanks to open competitions he has received commissions for mostly large-scale, cultural and transport projects. Many cities around the world—from Europe to the US and Asia and beyond—can proudly lay claim to the structurally dramatic projects that Calatrava has dreamed up.

His architectural explorations fuse engineering and art, and result in impressive structures that are honest in revealing the forces at play. In this respect, he is a pioneer; when working on his earliest projects, he didn’t have access to software and tools that are ubiquitous today. 

We asked him about his definition of architecture, his high-profile commission for the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, and the challenges he has faced while running his practice. The WTC hub is one of Calatrava's most-anticipated projects in New York; though its inherent complexity has resulted in a long construction period, he has created a project rich in not only form, but also in spatial quality.

Some of Calatrava's projects use an almost modern-day gothic vocabulary—where big spans, vaults and thin lines define large spaces. Other works, such the St. Nicholas Cathedral in New York, mobilize larger masses and big, stacked walls.

Watch the interview above to learn how Calatrava sees the intersection of art and architecture. 

Florida Polytechnic Science, Innovation and Technology Campus / Santiago Calatrava © Alan Karchmer for Santiago Calatrava Inside Santiago Calatrava's WTC Transportation Hub in New York © Michael Muraz Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge / Santiago Calatrava © Alan Karchmer AD Classics: Bac de Roda Bridge / Santiago Calatrava © Flickr littleeve / www.flickr.com/littleeve. Used under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>Creative Commons</a> + 5

Welcome to Your Upgraded ArchDaily!

Dear Readers,

Over the last 7 years we have built and maintained a huge database of thousands of buildings to provide you with the inspiration and knowledge that you need for your next project - an important part of our mission.

However this tremendous database lacked the structure that would allow you to use it with that purpose. Sure, you could navigate by building type or by country, you could use the My ArchDaily section to bookmark your favorite projects for reference, or you could browse an endless photo gallery. But this lack of a proper structure prevented us from delivering what you needed, and what you were constantly asking us for via emails or our contact form: a way to easily find the projects that inspire you.

But because ArchDaily started out by using an open-source CMS, we were confined to its features, and all of our ideas to deliver a better ArchDaily to you had to deal with that. So a few years ago we started working on our own platform, designed with the architect in mind. Buildings became objects, typologies became facets, and our database started to take shape. These features have been available at ArchDaily México and ArchDaily Brasil for a while now, but we had to overcome several other issues before migrating ArchDaily.com to our platform. As you can understand, dealing with hundreds of thousands of visitors who view millions of pages every day is no easy task, especially when you move them to a new platform with many new features.

But that day has finally come, and it will enable us to deliver new features and tools as we continue to develop them, without having to worry about legacy platforms. We are now in full control of our database, and we will continue to work to make it useful and accessible to you. At first, you won't see many differences, but under the hood is a completely new system.

What you will see over the coming days is a new faceted search that will allow you to quickly browse our buildings database, and a new version of My ArchDaily.

So in the next few hours some things won't work as expected, or might not work at all. But our development and editorial teams will be working around the clock to make sure that everything gets fixed quickly, and for that we need your help. Any errors that you find, missing images or drawings, messy text, missing videos, etc, please use the form below.

Thank you for trusting ArchDaily as your source of inspiration and knowledge, and rest assured that we will work as hard as we can to continue bringing you new features and tools to help you in the important duty of designing our built environment.

- David Basulto, Founder & Editor in Chief of ArchDaily

Alejandro Aravena's UC Innovation Center awarded "Design of the Year" by London's Design Museum

London’s Design Museum has announced the category winners of the prestigious “Design of the Year” award. The winner of this year's Architecture Category is the Anacleto Angelini UC Innovation Center designed by Alejandro Aravena.

Winners of the 2015 Building of the Year Awards

After two weeks of nominations and voting, we are pleased to present the winners of the 2015 ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards. As a peer-based, crowdsourced architecture award, the results shown here represent the collective intelligence of 31,000 architects, filtering the best architecture from over 3,000 projects featured on ArchDaily during the past year.

The winning buildings represent a diverse group of architects, from Pritzker Prize winners such as Álvaro Siza, Herzog & de Meuron and Shigeru Ban, to up-and-coming practices such as EFFEKT and Building which have so far been less widely covered by the media. In many cases their designs may be the most visually striking, but each also approaches its context and program in a unique way to solve social, environmental or economic challenges in communities around the world. By publishing them on ArchDaily, these buildings have helped us to impart inspiration and knowledge to architects around the world, furthering our mission. So to everyone who participated by either nominating or voting for a shortlisted project, thank you for being a part of this amazing process, where the voices of architects from all over the world unite to form one strong, intelligent, forward-thinking message.

2015 ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards: The Finalists

After an exciting week of nominations, ArchDaily’s readers have evaluated over 3,000 projects and selected 5 finalists in each category of the Building of the Year Award.

Similar to last year, over 18,000 architects and enthusiasts participated in the nomination process, expressing what architecture means to them by highlighting the buildings that have inspired them the most.

This year’s finalists represent a diverse group of projects, coming from all corners of the globe and from firms of different sizes and trajectories. Yet they all capture architecture's capacity to improve people’s lives.

Remember that the firm behind the overall most voted project will receive an HP T520 Designjet T520 ePrinter, and the second and third most voted practices will receive an HP T120 Designjet ePrinter.

The winners of the two iPads from the nomination stage are: Linda Hinderdael (iPad Mini) and Sylvia Robert (iPad Air). We’re also going to give away two more iPads to our readers during the final voting stage so be sure to vote!

Nominate Now: 2015 ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards

2014 was a great year at ArchDaily. As we grow to over 350,000 daily readers, our global network is leveling access to architectural knowledge, fostering an ongoing exchange between professionals from diverse locations and backgrounds. We are now able to see a new regionalism appearing, giving identity to emerging countries, and becoming a source of fresh ideas and innovations in the world of architecture.

AD Interviews: Uma Adusumilli

With more than half of the world’s population living in cities today, a process that will only accelerate in the near future, the dynamics of large metropolitan areas --especially in the emerging world have-- have become an object of study and urban experimentation. India is one of the regions where this process is happening at a fast pace. With a current urbanization rate of 32%, it is expected to grow up to 40% in the next 15 years.

ArchDaily: What Happened In 2014, And Where We Are Heading In 2015

Dear Readers,

Dive Into ArchDaily Materials, Our Latest Tool

Dear Readers,

Infographic: What Do European Architects Actually Do?

Though the professional practice of architecture can be broadly defined, we often just focus on the design work in relation to the completed building, leaving behind other areas in which architects find more opportunities. In this infographic created by OMA in preparation for the Monditalia exhibition at the Venice Biennale, we see how the professional activities are distributed among these sub-areas such as planning, landscape design, interior design and feasibility studies--a relationship which can also allow us to extrapolate the outcomes and products that emerge from these countries.

Click the infographic to get a closer look and browse the projects we've published from the represented countries:

Modernism in the Arab World: Bahrain's Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

In Bahrain's pavilion for the 2014 Venice Biennale, the country uses its position on the eastern edge of the pan-Arabic region to investigate modernity's impact on the Arab world: first as a colonial imposition, then as a local attempt to reconcile global and Arabic culture, then finally as an acceptance of neoliberal ideals.

The exhibition collects 100 projects from across the Arabic states, with the intention of consolidating and preserving knowledge of this critical period. The installation itself, a giant bookcase, is the manifestation of this research, and will later be made available at the Arab Center for Architecture.

© Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh + 9