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Isabella Baranyk

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These Images of Abandoned Insane Asylums Show Architecture That Was Designed to Heal

09:30 - 8 March, 2017
These Images of Abandoned Insane Asylums Show Architecture That Was Designed to Heal, Courtesy of Matt Van der Velde
Courtesy of Matt Van der Velde

With cracked paint, overgrown vines, rust, and decay, abandoned buildings have carved out a photographic genre that plays to our complex fascination with the perverse remnants of our past. While intellectual interest in ruins has been recorded for centuries, the popularity and controversy of contemporary "ruin porn" can be traced back to somewhere around 2009, when photographer James Griffioen’s feral houses series sparked a conversation about the potential harm in the aesthetic appropriation of urban collapse.

A favorite subject within this field is the American insane asylum, whose tragic remains carry echoes of the unsavory history of mental illness treatment in the United States. These state-funded asylums were intensely overcrowded and often housed patients in nightmarish conditions in the 20th century. Beginning in 1955, with the introduction of the antipsychotic drug Thorazine, these institutions were closed in large numbers, never to be reopened [1]. Now, these closed but un-demolished asylums that dot the country are the subject of "ruin porn" that neglects an equally important piece of the buildings’ narrative: the beginning. In his recent photobook Abandoned Asylums, Photographer Matt Van der Velde depicts this earlier period of asylum architecture, when the institutions were built in the belief that the built environment has the power to cure.

Courtesy of Matt Van der Velde Courtesy of Matt Van der Velde Courtesy of Matt Van der Velde Courtesy of Matt Van der Velde + 61

This Complex Concrete Column Was Made Using 3D-Printed Formwork

08:00 - 28 February, 2017
This Complex Concrete Column Was Made Using 3D-Printed Formwork, © Lisa Ricciotti
© Lisa Ricciotti

While large-scale 3D printing for architecture continues to be a busy area of research, France-based company XtreeE has been using 3D printed concrete in projects since 2015. Their latest creation is an organic truss-style support structure for a preschool playground in Aix-en-Provence.

Courtesy of XtreeE Courtesy of XtreeE Courtesy of XtreeE Courtesy of XtreeE + 11

6 Unique Long Weekend Travel Ideas for Architects

09:30 - 27 February, 2017
6 Unique Long Weekend Travel Ideas for Architects

The "architectural pilgrimage" is much more than just everyday tourism. Studying and admiring a building through text and images often creates a hunger in architects, thanks to the space between the limitations of 2D representation and the true experience of the building. Seeing a building in person that one has long loved from a distance can become something of a spiritual experience, and architects often plan vacations around favorite or important spaces. But too often, architects become transfixed by a need to visit the same dozen European cities that have come to make up the traveling architect's bucket list.

The list here shares some sites that may not have made your list just yet. Although somewhat less well known than the canonical cities, the architecture of these six cities is sure to hold its ground against the world's best. The locations here make ideal long weekend trips (depending of course on where you are traveling from), although it never hurts to have more than a few days to really become immersed in a city. We have selected a few must-see buildings from each location, but each has even more to offer than what you see here—so don't be afraid to explore!

The Fossilized Soviet Architecture of Belarus, in Photos

09:30 - 21 February, 2017
The Fossilized Soviet Architecture of Belarus, in Photos, The Mound of Glory. A monument to the soldiers who fought for the liberation of Belarus during World War II. By architect O. Stakhovich and sculptor A. Bembel, 1967-1969. Image © Stefano Perego
The Mound of Glory. A monument to the soldiers who fought for the liberation of Belarus during World War II. By architect O. Stakhovich and sculptor A. Bembel, 1967-1969. Image © Stefano Perego

The history of what is now the Republic of Belarus is a turbulent one. It has been part of the Russian Empire, occupied by the Germans during both World Wars, divided between Poland and the Soviet Union, and finally declared its independence in 1991. Although Belarus is now an independent nation, it is also an isolated dictatorship that has in some ways remained unchanged since the 1990s, and is largely seen both culturally and architecturally as a sort of time warp, Europe's most vivid window into life in the Soviet Union.

Photographer Stefano Perego recently documented the postwar Soviet legacy of Belarus' architecture from the 1960s-80s, and has shared the photos from his 2016 cross-country drive with ArchDaily.

Cinema Oktyabr, by architect Valentin Malyshev, 1975. Minsk, Belarus. Image © Stefano Perego Housing complex "Kukuruza" (Corn), by architect Vladimir Pushkin, 1982. Minsk, Belarus. Image © Stefano Perego Pavilion of International Exhibitions "Belexpo", by architect Leonard Moskalevich, 1988. Minsk, Belarus. Image © Stefano Perego Palace of Arts, by architect Boris Semyonovich Popov, 1989. Bobruisk, Belarus. Image © Stefano Perego + 21

The 16 Stories Behind the 2017 Building of the Year Award Winners

09:30 - 16 February, 2017
The 16 Stories Behind the 2017 Building of the Year Award Winners

After two weeks of nominations and voting, last week we announced the 16 winners of the 2017 Building of the Year Awards. In addition to providing inspiration, information, and tools for architecture lovers from around the world, ArchDaily seeks to offer a platform for the many diverse and global voices in the architecture community. In this year's Building of the Year Awards that range of voices was once again on display, with 75,000 voters from around the world offering their selections to ultimately select 16 winners from over 3,000 published projects.

Behind each of those projects are years of research, design, and labor. In the spirit of the world's most democratic architecture award, we share the stories behind the 16 buildings that won over our global readership with their urban interventions, humanitarianism, playfulness, and grandeur.

If Your Annoying Coworkers Were Indiscreet Buildings

09:30 - 13 February, 2017
If Your Annoying Coworkers Were Indiscreet Buildings

The connection here is plain and simple: bad coworkers, bad architecture, perfect pair. It's not uncommon for architects to take inspiration from the human body, but consider these eight pairings to be what would happen if your least favorite coworkers were reincarnated in building form.

Autodesk's Generative Design Pavilion Plays with Properties and Fabrication Processes in Stone and Fabric

12:00 - 5 February, 2017
Autodesk's Generative Design Pavilion Plays with Properties and Fabrication Processes in Stone and Fabric, Courtesy of Quarra Stone
Courtesy of Quarra Stone

At Autodesk's 2016 conference in Las Vegas, a team from Autodesk's BUILD Space led by principal research engineer Andrew Payne collaborated with manufacturer Quarra Stone, engineers Simpson Gumpertz and Heger, and University of Michigan assistant professor Sean Ahlquist to unveil its new Generative Design Pavilion. The project is an exploration of materiality, with stalagmite stone forms that rise up from geometric floor panels to meet fabric that stretches down from a canopy above. The junction of textile and stone aims to emphasize the distinct behaviors of the two materials.

Courtesy of Quarra Stone Courtesy of Quarra Stone Courtesy of Quarra Stone Courtesy of Quarra Stone + 20

Parks and Rec, Suits, and Silicon Valley: See 7 Offices From Hit TV Shows in Detailed 3D Models

09:30 - 5 February, 2017
Parks and Rec, Suits, and Silicon Valley: See 7 Offices From Hit TV Shows in Detailed 3D Models

You've seen the floor plans of famous TV homes, but this fun new endeavor from Drawbotics is something a little different. With detailed 3D models of offices from Parks and Recreation, Suits, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Mad Men, The IT Crowd, Silicon Valley, and, yes, The Office, the marketing agency provides a new level of familiarity with the sets of these cult workplace TV shows. Take a break from your own office and check out each model after the break.

PRODUCE Workshop Debuts Plywood-based "Fabricwood" Pavilion for Herman Miller's Shop-in-Shop

09:30 - 4 February, 2017
Courtesy of PRODUCE Workshop
Courtesy of PRODUCE Workshop

Furniture and design retailer XTRA's new flagship store in Singapore's Marina Square includes a Herman Miller "Shop-in-Shop" that draws inspiration from the furniture it showcases. Encircling the space is a 20-meter arched structure that, from a distance, gives the appearance of tufted fabric pulled taught over a frame. But in fact, this structure is built from a plywood "skin" that designer Pan Yicheng of PRODUCE Workshop has dubbed "fabricwood."

© Edward Hendricks © Edward Hendricks Prototype of the Fabricwood system. Image Courtesy of PRODUCE Workshop Courtesy of PRODUCE Workshop + 29

4 Chinese Vernacular Dwellings You Should Know About (Before They Disappear)

09:30 - 31 January, 2017
4 Chinese Vernacular Dwellings You Should Know About (Before They Disappear), © <a href=‘https://www.flickr.com/photos/justaslice/3051644043'>Flickr user Slices of Light</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en'>CC BY-NC-ND 2.0</a>
© Flickr user Slices of Light licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Vernacular architecture refers to designs which find their primary influence in local conditions: in climate, in materials, and in tradition. In a country as diverse as China, with 55 state-recognized ethnic minority groups and widely varying climates and topographies, many different vernacular dwelling styles have evolved as pragmatic solutions that accommodate the unique needs and limitations of their sites.

Rapid urbanization in China has favored high-rise apartment towers over traditional housing because of their ease of construction and the population density they enable, making vernacular dwellings increasingly rare throughout the country. Some firms, like MVRDV and Ben Wood’s Studio Shanghai, have taken note of the many benefits that vernacular dwellings provide, and have created projects that attempt to reconcile tradition with urbanization. Even if you aren't planning on building in China any time soon, the following housing styles have much to teach about what it means to live in a particular time and place. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it does encompass the main types of vernacular dwellings seen throughout China.

The Architectural Stories Behind 7 Famous Album Covers

09:30 - 30 January, 2017
Image <a href='https://www.amazon.com/Physical-Graffiti-Led-Zeppelin/dp/B000002JSN/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=8831718525&linkCode=as2&tag=arch05-20&linkId=QFBKEXFXIXX7CVQT'>via amazon.com</a>
Image via amazon.com

The production of creative work often requires a very particular type of space—a temple, if you will, to the work being done. Architects and artists are open about how their living and working areas affect their practice, and musicians, of course, are no different. Perhaps this is why places and spaces are often featured on album covers. The art on an album cover is partially advertising, but it is also often a visual symbol of an entire period in the life of a musician. An album's cover artwork may depict the view a band saw coming into the studio every day, the building the album was recorded in, the city the musician grew up in, or myriad other more abstract connections. We will leave it to you to make sense of the connection between the 7 architectural landmarks featured on the following albums and the music their images envelop, but the stories behind the constructions themselves may help you make a more educated guess.

4 Virtual Spaces in "Second Life" that Explore Alternatives in Religious Architecture

11:00 - 29 January, 2017
4 Virtual Spaces in "Second Life" that Explore Alternatives in Religious Architecture, Screenshots via Second Life
Screenshots via Second Life

If you’ve heard of Second Life, the 2000s-era web-based online world with millions of loyal “residents” who populated it with personal avatars, you’re likely to think it has become irrelevant or obsolete. But at the peak of its popularity, the site received a lot of attention for providing users with a potentially dangerous escape from reality—one so powerful that it was not unheard of to leave real jobs, friends, and families for those found within the site.

Second Life is the ultimate democratizer in space making. The vast web of locations in the site's virtual world, called sims, are almost completely user-generated. For as little as $75 a month, anyone with an internet connection and basic CAD skills can create, upload, and maintain whatever place they dream up. Sure, sometimes this “great equalizer” spits out such venues as SeDucTions and Sinners Burlesque, but more often than not, builders have responded to the complex opportunities and challenges presented by their unique situation with innovative design solutions.

One place to observe this is in the site’s many spiritual sims, in which religious architecture often responds to the displacement of religious authority in the digital world, since a lack of official (sanctioned) ties to tradition offers a designer more agency than in the real world. Read on to discover four cases that carve out a space for spirituality in Second Life and reveal some of what works—and doesn’t—in today's virtual sacred architecture.

The Noble Simplicity of Peter Zumthor's Allmannajuvet Zinc Mine Museum

09:30 - 22 January, 2017
© Aldo Amoretti
© Aldo Amoretti

After previously documenting the Bruder Klaus Field Chapel, photographer Aldo Amoretti once again captures the grounded simplicity of Peter Zumthor, this time with images of his Allmannajuvet Zinc Mine Museum in Sauda, Norway. The three-building campus calls upon the aesthetics of the country's abandoned zinc mines from the 1800s, evoking the toilsome labor of the workers in its rough stone and exposed joint work. The museum is situated on one of Norway's National Tourist Routes and was commissioned by the state as part of an effort to increase tourism in the region. As such, the buildings are poised in and above the landscape, providing views of the natural gorge that unfold as visitors move through Zumthor's dark, shaftlike interiors.

Amoretti's photos express the modesty of the project, from the blackness of the interior galleries to the thin stilts that support the buildings within their rocky surroundings. The museum structures are suspended in balance with the harsh, gray climate—a noble representation of the working conditions of the miners the project aims to memorialize.

© Aldo Amoretti © Aldo Amoretti © Aldo Amoretti © Aldo Amoretti + 22