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Finn MacLeod

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Jump Off A Cliff and Land in Bed in this Edgy Australian Home

Picture yourself waking up daily to a 180-degree view of the ocean without leaving the comfort of your living room. The owners of the as-yet-unbuilt Cliff House have teamed up with Modscape of Australia to design their compact dream home, delicately perched above open water, hanging off the cliff's edge. Cliff House redefines "living dangerously" with its vast floor to ceiling windows and slender steel supports acting as the only separation between watching Jaws and actually being in Jaws.

Dive into Cliff House with images, plans and more info after the break.

OfficeUS Propose Floating Museum for Guggenheim Helsinki Competition

When you visit the galleries of Guggenheim Helsinki, you may have to bring a life vest. This submission to the Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition floats the idea of a museum over water, traveling between the ports of St. Petersburg, Tallinn, and Helsinki. Proposed as a hypothetical submission to the worldwide contest, the team at OfficeUS delve into the notion of transience in the new world of architourism. The brief reads: "As a global freeport, the museum develops a completely new infrastructure, offering the strategic tax benefits of freeport art storage while enabling exhibitions of some of the most important pieces of modern art and design." Upcoming exhibits include (hypothetically) Olafur Elliasson, Yves Klein and Thomas Demand.

Are Playable Cities the Future of Urbanism?

Who says that playing is just for kids? Bristol, in the United Kingdom, is just one of the many cities around the world experimenting with urban play, creating opportunities to eliminate urban solitude in favour of having fun. In a recent article in The Guardian, Julian Baggini dives head first into Bristol's playful new initiatives including a 300-foot water slide on the city's high street, post boxes that converse using text messaging, and city-wide zombie chases. Bristol is leading the way with urban play worldwide, hosting a conference this month entitled Making the City Playable, an opportunity for planners to convene with the creative minds behind the new form of entertainment. Find out more about urban play and the benefits it brings to cities here.

Beyond Starchitects: An Architectural Revolution at the 2014 Venice Biennale

"The Biennale reveals that modernism was never a style. It was a cultural, political, and social practice," says Sarah Williams Goldhagen in her recent article for New Republic, The Great Architect Rebellion of 2014. This year, the Venice Biennale dissects the notion of modernism by providing a hefty cross-section of architectural history in the central pavilion. However contrary to Koolhaas' prescriptive brief, the 65 national pavilions show modernism was not just a movement, but a socially-driven, culturally attuned reaction to the "exigencies of life in a rapidly changing and developing world." Unexpected moments define the 2014 Venice Biennale: from Niemeyer's desire to launch Brazil into the first world through architectural creation, to South Korea's unveiling of a deep modernist tradition with influence across the nation. This Biennale proved to be truly rebellious - read Goldhagen's article from New Republic here to find out why.

Are Abandoned Constructions the Ruins of Modernity?

Europe's ancient ruins are numerous: Pompeii, the Parthenon, the Colosseum - but what about new ruins? Skeletons of incomplete buildings now litter the skylines of European cities. A form of memento mori, these abandoned constructions prove that no structure is permanent or impervious to the changing desires of a society in flux. English photographer Sam Laughlin documents the creation of these 'ruins' in his series Frameworks, a contemporary dissection of the aging built environment.

Enter the abandoned world in Frameworks with more photos and info after the break. 

© Sam Laughlin© Sam Laughlin© Sam Laughlin© Sam Laughlin+ 16

Michael Graves 50 Year Retrospective to Open in October

An exhibition celebrating one of North America's foremost postmodern architects will open this October, marking 50 years of Michael Graves' practice. Past as Prologue maps the evolution of Graves' work in architecture and product design through an array of media including sculpture, painting, furniture, drawings and models. The comprehensive exhibition will begin with Graves' work from 1964 and conclude with works currently in progress. The exhibition will be hosted by Grounds for Sculpture with a mission to provide insight into the five-decade progression of Graves' unique design process. More on the exhibition after the break.

Grimshaw Unveils Sustainable Glass Office Building in the Heart of Sydney

View from Above. Image Courtesy of Grimshaw Architects and Crone Partners
View from Above. Image Courtesy of Grimshaw Architects and Crone Partners

Sydney's historic George Street is about to receive a major facelift with the soon-to-be built 333 George Street, an 18 storey mixed use office and retail tower. Designed by Grimshaw Architects and executive architects Crone Partners for Australian property developer Charter Hall, the minimal glass and steel tower will contrast the historic structures on Sydney's well-preserved original high street, with a 15 storey 12,500 square metre contemporary office tower tower atop a three storey 2,100 square metre retail podium.

Read on after the break for more on Sydney's newest tower.

Roof Terrace View. Image Courtesy of Grimshaw Architects and Crone PartnersRoof Terrace View. Image Courtesy of Grimshaw Architects and Crone PartnersStreet View with Tram Cars. Image Courtesy of Grimshaw Architects and Crone PartnersStreet Level View. Image Courtesy of Grimshaw Architects and Crone Partners+ 6

This Whimsical Cage Redefines Public Space

Courtesy of Warren Techentin Architecture
Courtesy of Warren Techentin Architecture

Folly is a word not often used in architecture. By definition, 'folly' is a lack of good sense, or foolishness. And in the realm of architecture, folly is used to describe an extravagantly ornamented structure with no practical purpose. Yet gathering their inspiration from this word, Warren Techentin Architecture (WTARCH) have created and mounted a functional folly, appropriately named La Cage aux Folles (The Cage of Follies). Constructed of painted, steel tubes and installed at Materials & Applications, an exhibition centre in Los Angeles, La Cage aux Folles played host to an array of musical performances and lectures.

Explore La Cage aux Folles with more photos and info after the break. 

Move Over, Green Walls: Living Canopy Comes to West Vancouver

Courtesy of Matthew Soules Architecture
Courtesy of Matthew Soules Architecture

Imagine walking beneath an illuminated canopy of lush greenery, in the form of inverted pyramids sculpted to perfection. In early August 2014 visitors were welcomed by this succulent living roof to the Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver, British Columbia. Guests were guided through the fairgrounds beneath the 90-foot long canopy, creating an immersive sensory experience befitting the interdisciplinary creative arts festival. Designed by Matthew Soules Architecture and curated by the Museum of West Vancouver, Vermilion Sands was created as a temporary installation for the ten day festival.

Submerge yourself in Vermilion Sands with photos and more info after the break.

BIG Designs Rejected Again for Kimball Art Center

Revised design for the Kimball Art Center. Image © BIG
Revised design for the Kimball Art Center. Image © BIG

After producing major revisions on a previously rejected design, BIG have had their second design rejected for the Kimball Art Center in Park City, Utah. City Hall rejected the design on the basis of appearance, arguing that it did not relate to the historic city centre "aesthetically, visually or historically." The second design by BIG marked a complete departure from the original that was selected as the winner of an architectural contest hosted by the Kimball Art Center.

Rome Invites Ideas For Reuse of Europe's Biggest Landfill Site

A major competition for reuse has just been announced for the Malagrotta Landfill, one of the European Union's biggest landfill sites. After Malagrotta was closed in August 2013 due to its controversial size and negative impact on the surrounding community, the Municipality of Rome began a process of redevelopment through community engagement. Multi-displinary teams are tasked with a creating a proposal to reinvent the sprawling 240-hectare property while considering its original purpose. The competition is designed to begin a conversation on the long-term vision for the property.

The Chinese Dream: Original Architecture Not Included

Looking for your dream home? Picket fence, driveway (sedan included), basketball net, and terracotta pots complete with flowers in bloom, available now in the quiet neighbourhood of Rancho Santa Fe in Shanghai, China. According to this article in The Guardian, "The Chinese Dream" is currently sweeping the People's Republic, with Western planning models replicated with identical ineffective results. The article offers an intimate insight into the role of American architectural fetishism in modern China, and how the government is now fighting to curb the trend. Read the complete article here.

RMJM Designs Fish-Inspired Tower Clad with Aluminum Scales

RMJM's Shenzhen studio has just been awarded the contract to build a 93 metre public observation tower inspired by the importance of water in the historic Doumen District, Guangdong Province, China. Perched at the confluence of two rivers, the Doumen Observation Tower will rise from the waterfront of the Zhuhai, and is inspired by the form of a fish soaring above the water, clad in aluminum scales to protect from the hot Chinese sun. The tower will occupy a minimal footprint and will be surrounded by a large public plaza.

Check out the complete specs of Doumen Observation Tower after the break.

Island with a View: Dutch Kitchen Incorporates Elegant Aquarium

Amsterdam-based design firm Kolenik Eco Chic Design have released designs of their unique Ocean Kitchen, a transformative new take on residential space. The contemporary minimalist kitchen offers a moment of serenity to the viewer through the inclusion of a vast aquarium beneath the island's countertop. Positioned as the architectural centerpiece of the space, the island in Ocean Kitchen gracefully animates the surrounding kitchen.

Immerse yourself in photos of Ocean Kitchen after the break.

Homes You Cannot Live in: The New Cost of Architectural Antiques

What is the true value of architecture in today's society? According to this article by Anna Katz, rare pieces of architectural history have recently soared in value. Katz discusses the booming world of architecture at auction, featuring pieces by Mies Van Der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright among others. The article gracefully compares some of the most important architecture of our time against current real estate prices, exploring the catalyst of rising values in architecture of the recent past, while deliberating on the pitfalls of owning a delicate piece of architecture history. Read the story in full on Blouin Art Info.

Step Inside This Brain-Like Pavilion for an Eerie Architectural Light Show

Have you ever wondered what a thought might look like traveling through your brain? In a recent installation in Moscow's Nikola-Lenivets park, media design firm Radugadesign animated the inner workings of the human brain with an innovative video projection. Universal Mind, a sculptural installation by artist Nikolay Polissky, serves as the immobile backdrop for the elaborate video mapping project. Over the course of nearly eight minutes, Polissky's brain-like sculpture explodes into a maelstrom of light and sound, with carefully curated streams of energetic colour interspersed with dark scenes of manufactured glimmering starlight.

34 Football Fields of Museums: Rem Koolhaas Talks at the Galeries Lafayette

"I feel a misfit in my own time," says Rem Koolhaas, setting the tone. Seated in soon-to-be renovated Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Koolhaas bares all intellectually through the course of his lecture. As founder of Rotterdam-based OMA with a worldwide practice, candid conversations with Koolhaas are rare. The discussion provides a glimpse into the creative process of one of the world's leading architects and current Curator of the Venice Biennale of Architecture. Koolhaas confides in the audience from the outset, admitting his discomfort with current architecture. "From the inside of my current condition, I feel profoundly out of step with the contemporary situation," says Koolhaas, adding "I'm very annoyed by the contemporary belief in comfort as the ultimate virtue."

Drawings from Famous Architects' Formative Stages to be Exhibited in St. Louis

Zaha Hadid, The World (89 Degrees), 1984. Image Courtesy of Kemper Art Museum
Zaha Hadid, The World (89 Degrees), 1984. Image Courtesy of Kemper Art Museum

As a student of architecture, the formative years of study are a period of wild experimentation, bizarre use of materials, and most importantly, a time to make mistakes. Work from this period in the life of an architect rarely floats to the surface - unless you're Zaha Hadid or Frank Gehry, that is. A treasure trove of early architectural drawings from the world's leading architects has recently been unearthed from the private collection of former Architectural Association Chairman Alvin Boyarsky. The collection is slated to be shown at the Kemper Art Museum, Washington University, St. Louis, as a part of the exhibition Drawing Ambience: Alvin Boyarsky and the Architectural Association from September 12th to January 4th, 2015.

Take a look at the complete set of architects and drawings for the exhibition after the break.

Bernard Tschumi, #4 K Series, 1985. Study for La Case Vide: La Villette, Folio VIII, 1985. Image Courtesy of Kemper Art MuseumLebbeus Woods, Center for New Technology, Montage 1, 1985. Image Courtesy of Kemper Art MuseumAlex Wall, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), The Pleasure of Architecture, 1983. Image Courtesy of Kemper Art MuseumCoop Himmelblau, Super Spaces, c. 1969. Image Courtesy of Kemper Art Museum+ 10