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Dima Stouhi

Senior Contributor at Archdaily - Interior Architect & Designer - Beirut City born and raised.

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The Top 10 Design Cities of 2019

04:00 - 18 August, 2019
The Top 10 Design Cities of 2019, Skanderberg Square / 51N4E, Anri Sala, & Plan en Houtgoed. Image Courtesy of Filip Dujardin
Skanderberg Square / 51N4E, Anri Sala, & Plan en Houtgoed. Image Courtesy of Filip Dujardin

Design trends are often the result of foreign cultural influences, avant-garde creations, and innovative solutions for people's ever-evolving needs. Although the design world seems like one big mood board, some cities have managed to outshine the rest with their recent projects.

As part of their annual Design Cities Listing, Metropolis Magazine has highlighted 10 cities across 5 continents with intriguing projects that have harmonized contemporary urbanism with traditional and faraway influences.

GROUPWORK + Amin Taha Architects Win Motion Against Demolishing 15 Clerkenwell Close

13:39 - 15 August, 2019
GROUPWORK + Amin Taha Architects Win Motion Against Demolishing 15 Clerkenwell Close, 15 Clerkenwell Close / GROUPWORK + Amin Taha Architects. Image © Timothy Soar
15 Clerkenwell Close / GROUPWORK + Amin Taha Architects. Image © Timothy Soar

After a 2-year trial, GROUPWORK and Amin Taha Architects won the motion against demolishing the 15 Clerkenwell Close building.

The architects behind the RIBA award-winning project have been in an ongoing battle with local planning authorities over attempts of demolishing the 7-storey building in the city of Clerkenwell, UK. Taha has also received an enforcement notice last year, claiming that "the structure does not reflect the building that was granted planning permission and conservation area consent in 2013".

However, a planning inspector overturned the council’s demolition request, granting the architects planning permission regardless of the differences between what was proposed and what is developed.  

Burning Man's ORB Through the Animated Lens of Another :

07:00 - 15 August, 2019

One of the main attractions of 2018’s Burning Man Festival was the ORB, designed by Bjarke Ingels, Iacob Lange & Laurent de Carniere. The inflated spherical mirror was created as a conceptual representation of Earth and human expression, leaving no trace after its deflation. The project consumed 30 tons of steel, 1,000 welding and sewing hours, and $300,000 of personal funds to make the ORB come to life.

As part of their mini-film series, creative duo another : have collaborated with music composer Yu Miyashita and released a short video that explores the process of creating the ORB in an otherworldly way.

Persian Palaces Meet Contemporary Landmarks in Forouzanfar's Retrofuturism Series

06:00 - 11 August, 2019
Persian Palaces Meet Contemporary Landmarks in Forouzanfar's Retrofuturism Series , © Mohammad Hassan Forouzanfar
© Mohammad Hassan Forouzanfar

There is often a debate on whether architects and engineers should restore old buildings and preserve what is still standing as a token of the past, or completely demolish them and introduce contemporary designs and features. In Iran, the remains of historic monuments, some of which are World Heritage Sites, have yet to know their fate, as restoration strategies remain uncertain.

As part of his Retrofuturism series, Iranian architect Mohammad Hassan Forouzanfar selected a few pre-Islamic castles across Persian towns, and merged them with contemporary landmarks, bringing about a new definition of architectural restoration.

© Mohammad Hassan Forouzanfar © Mohammad Hassan Forouzanfar © Mohammad Hassan Forouzanfar © Mohammad Hassan Forouzanfar + 10

SO-IL and BCJ’s Davis Museum of Art through the Animated Lens of Another :

04:00 - 5 August, 2019

The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art by SO-IL and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson is the first contemporary arts museum for the University of California and the city of Davis. The museum’s signature element is the grand canopy that stretches over the surrounding site and building.

Creative duo another : have collaborated with music composer Yu Miyashita and released a short film that explores the geometric composition of the museum's structure in an exceptional way.

Award-Winning Design of Tokyo Music Hall Transforms Roof into a Public Plaza

06:00 - 4 August, 2019
Award-Winning Design of Tokyo Music Hall Transforms Roof into a Public Plaza, © Hajizadeh & Associates
© Hajizadeh & Associates

Although music halls generally appeal to groups of people with a specific interest, Persian architecture firm Hajizadeh & Associates developed a music hall that caters to all citizens of the city, and not just music lovers.

The "Tokyo Music Hall" is an award-winning design that transforms the music hall's roof into a space of contemplation and leisure, inspired by traditional Japanese architecture.

© Hajizadeh & Associates © Hajizadeh & Associates © Hajizadeh & Associates © Hajizadeh & Associates + 40

The National Museum of World Writing Tells its Stories Through Architecture

10:00 - 3 August, 2019
The National Museum of World Writing Tells its Stories Through Architecture , © SAMOO Architects and Engineers
© SAMOO Architects and Engineers

Writing is an unending dialogue that has been connecting one generation to another, maintaining history, culture, and information. For the National Museum of World Writing, stories were built rather than written.

Just as writing transcends the author to another realms, SAMOO Architects and Engineers have proposed ‘PAGES’, a structure of architecturally-devised scripts that disconnects visitors from the outer world, and introduces them to an exceptional architectural narration.

© SAMOO Architects and Engineers © SAMOO Architects and Engineers © SAMOO Architects and Engineers © SAMOO Architects and Engineers + 47

ArchDaily's Sustainability Glossary : J-K-L

04:00 - 29 July, 2019
ArchDaily's Sustainability Glossary : J-K-L

It is expected that within the next few of decades, Earth will have absolutely nothing left to offer whoever/whatever is capable of surviving on it. Although the human race is solely responsible for the damages done to the planet, a thin silver lining can still be seen if radical changes were to be done to the way we live on Earth and how we sustain it.

Since architects and designers carry a responsibility of building a substantial future, we have put together an A-Z list of every sustainability term that you might come across. Every week, a new set of letters will be published, helping you stay well-rounded on everything related to sustainable architecture and design. Here are the terms that start with letters J, K, and L.

ANU Design Group Creates a Three-Dimensional Landscape for the Chungnam Sports Center

04:00 - 28 July, 2019
© ANU Design Group
© ANU Design Group

The importance of nature and sustaining it has become a crucial feature in most contemporary projects. While some architects sustain nature by constructing with environmental-friendly material, others make way for the greenery to intervene with the structure, blurring the boundaries between man-made and Earth.

For the Chungnam Sports Center design competition, ANU Design Group created "Edgeless Sports Park", a series of oval-shaped structures that complement the hilly landscape and merge its greenery with the architecture.

© ANU Design Group © ANU Design Group © ANU Design Group © ANU Design Group + 13

Retrofuturism Gives Traditional Iranian Architecture a Modern Twist

08:00 - 27 July, 2019
Retrofuturism Gives Traditional Iranian Architecture a Modern Twist , © Mohammad Hassan Forouzanfar
© Mohammad Hassan Forouzanfar

Villages and cities in Iran have always had a fixed low-rise horizontal skyline due to the lack of beam and column technology. Although some cities have already adopted contemporary styles and have constructed soaring skyscrapers, but the majority of towns remain committed to traditional building techniques.

Iranian architect Mohammad Hassan Forouzanfar decided to give traditional Iranian architecture a structural upgrade but kept its main features intact. In his conceptual creations titled "Retrofuturism", the architect used traditionally-designed houses as a starting point, but introduced them to the modern world of skyscrapers and surreal forms, mixing both styles together.

© Mohammad Hassan Forouzanfar © Mohammad Hassan Forouzanfar © Mohammad Hassan Forouzanfar © Mohammad Hassan Forouzanfar + 10

The Great Umayyad Mosque of Aleppo: from Historic Islamic Monument to War Battlefield

07:00 - 24 July, 2019
via AFP / Getty Images
via AFP / Getty Images

Islam, other than describing a religious belief, is a word that identifies a unique type of architecture that dates back thousands of years. It has been formed by a civilization that transformed the qualities of this belief into visible and tangible material, building structures with a striking focus on details and experiences within enclosed spaces. 

Islamic architecture is an architecture that does not change its form easily. In fact, its principles have been more or less the same since thousands of years ago, with minor changes based on functional adaptations. To this day, hundreds of buildings still stand as a representation of the history of Islamic architecture and are still used just as they have been in the past.

War, however, has no religion or cultural nostalgia, and even the holiest, most historically-significant sites are threatened with complete destruction. The Great Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo, originally built by the first imperial Islamic dynasty and currently situated within a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stood yet again as a battlefield during the recent Syrian War, but this time, lost its most significant and resilient element, an 11th-century Seljuk Minaret.

© George Ourfalian / AFP Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Courtesy of SSNP Media Wars Courtesy of SSNP Media Wars + 34

Photographer Captures the Social and Physical Transformations of Shanghai

06:00 - 21 July, 2019
Photographer Captures the Social and Physical Transformations of Shanghai, © Greg Girard
© Greg Girard

Shanghai is a city full of contradictions. Beneath the towering skyscrapers and contemporary complexes, old houses and shops are tucked away, gradually falling apart. The city's disappearing streets caught the attention of many international photographers. Some displayed the relationship between old vs new, while others focused on the historic districts and their cultural significance.

Canadian photographer Greg Girard, who spent most of his time in Asia, examined the social and physical transformations of the Chinese city and published a photo-book titled “Phantom Shanghai”.

© Greg Girard © Greg Girard © Greg Girard © Greg Girard + 29

Modernist and Post-Modernist Architecture Through the Lens of Skyler Dahan

04:00 - 20 July, 2019
Modernist and Post-Modernist Architecture Through the Lens of Skyler Dahan , Gallaratese Housing II . Image © Skyler Dahan
Gallaratese Housing II . Image © Skyler Dahan

Modern architecture emerged during the late 19th - early 20th century to break away from historical styles and create structures based on functionality and novelty. Regardless of the style's prominence, post-modernist architecture emerged a few decades later as a reaction to modernism's uniformity and formality, adding complexity, asymmetry, and color into architecture.

During a recent trip to Europe, Los Angeles-based photographer Skyler Dahan put together a photo-series of the two architecture styles, shooting Aldo Rossi and Carlo Aymonino’s Gallaratese Housing II, along with other modernist and post-modernist buildings across Milan, Brittany, and Oslo.

Gallaratese Housing II . Image © Skyler Dahan Gallaratese Housing II . Image © Skyler Dahan © Skyler Dahan © Skyler Dahan + 16

Cantilevered Visitor Center by Fabric.a Overlooks Botan Valley

10:00 - 14 July, 2019
Cantilevered Visitor Center by Fabric.a Overlooks Botan Valley, © Fabric.a Architects
© Fabric.a Architects

The Botan Valley in eastern Turkey has been attracting thousands of tourists annually due to its unique rock formations and canyon-like topography.

To further promote the area's scenic landscape, Turkish architecture firm Fabric.a Architects have proposed the ‘Botan Visitor Center’, an observation pavilion and restaurant overlooking the rocky landscapes of the Botan Valley.

© Fabric.a Architects © Fabric.a Architects © Fabric.a Architects © Fabric.a Architects + 6

TOTEMY: Visualizing the Relationship Between Human and the Forces of Nature

04:00 - 14 July, 2019
© Alicja Biala and Iwo Borkowicz / Totemy
© Alicja Biala and Iwo Borkowicz / Totemy

Architects and designers, just like all citizens, have a responsibility to participate in global conversations regarding the environment. Their power, however, lies in the fact that they are able to make an impact through the conscious decisions they make with their projects, such as sustainable building materials or expressive artworks.

To shed light on the current climate crisis, artist Alicja Biala and architect Iwo Borkowicz have created Totemy, a series of 9-meter-tall sculptures that translate the state of the environment into an immersive architectural experience.

© Alicja Biala and Iwo Borkowicz / Totemy © Alicja Biala and Iwo Borkowicz / Totemy © Alicja Biala and Iwo Borkowicz / Totemy © Alicja Biala and Iwo Borkowicz / Totemy + 23

Lake House Harmonizes the Architecture with Scenic Surrounding

04:00 - 13 July, 2019
Lake House Harmonizes the Architecture with Scenic Surrounding, © Wafai Architecture
© Wafai Architecture

Although small residential projects tend to be limited in spatial capacity, the design possibilities remain endless, especially if the project’s site is the biggest source of inspiration.

For a small family’s vacation home, Turin-based architecture firm Wafai Architects proposed a uniquely-designed luxury villa overlooking the picturesque Türlersee lake in Switzerland.

© Wafai Architecture © Wafai Architecture © Wafai Architecture © Wafai Architecture + 6

Atxu Amann on Architecture as Space, Time, and Body

07:00 - 12 July, 2019
Atxu Amann on Architecture as Space, Time, and Body , © Atxu Amann
© Atxu Amann

Past, Present, Future is an interview project by Itinerant Office, asking acclaimed architects to share their perspectives on the constantly evolving world of architecture. Each interview is split into three video segments: Past, Present, and Future, in which interviewees discuss their thoughts and experiences of architecture through each of those lenses. The first episode of the project featured 11 architects from Italy and the Netherlands and Episode II is comprised of interviews with 13 architects from Spain, Portugal, France, and Belgium.

The goal of the series is to research these successful firms and attempt to understand their methods and approaches. By hopefully gaining a clearer picture of what it means to be an architect in the 21st century, the videos can also serve as inspiration for the next generation of up-and-coming architects and students as they enter the field.

© Atxu Amann © Atxu Amann © Amann-Cánovas-Maruri © Atxu Amann + 16