Katie Watkins


Spotlight: Félix Candela

Every work of art is an interpretation of the world, of what you are thinking; a realization of your perception which creates and attempts a different world. In the end, a work of art is merely an offering to art.

Mexican-Spanish architect Félix Candela (Jan 27, 1910 – Dec 7, 1997) was known for redefining the role of the architect in relation to structural problems, and played a crucial role in the development of new structural forms of concrete. His famous experimentation with concrete gave rise to projects like the Los Manantiales restaurant in the Xochimilco area of Mexico City and the Cosmic Rays Pavilion for the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Moleskine Recreates Game of Thrones Intro With Paper Architectural Models

To promote the launch of their new Game of Thrones notebooks, Moleskine has released a video that recreates a portion of the series’ title sequence using only paper architecture models. Made by Milan-based animation studio Dadomani, the stop motion video uses over 7,600 paper cutouts.

The video shows the fortress in King’s Landing, starting with a view of the surrounding houses before panning to the castle where its cogs and gears begin to spin. Slowly the castle folds into itself, becoming a page in the Moleskine notebook.

These Animated GIFs Bring Landmark Buildings to Life (They're Also Pretty Cute)

What would some of our favorite buildings do if they could stand up and walk around? From the Leadenhall building to the Petronas Towers and One Central Park, designer and illustrator Michael William Lester has taken 20 architectural landmarks from around the world and brought them to life in a series of animated GIFs.

“Good architecture interacts with its surroundings,” writes Lester on his website. “It gives off energy, sparks interaction and pulls so much life in that the building itself lives and breaths.”

15 Awe-Inspiring Libraries That Will Make You Want to Read All Day

From community meeting hubs to secluded refuges, places to learn and places to study, libraries can be so much more than just a place to a check out a book. With this in mind, we’ve rounded-up 15 awe-inspiring libraries, including a Canadian church that was converted into a library, the first library in Muyinga, Burundi – built using participatory design and local materials – and the largest academic library in Finland. See what makes each of the libraries unique after the break.

These 15 Second Videos Teach You “How to Architect”

Covering everything from the definition of a volute to a look at Eero Saarinen’s Dulles international airport, Doug Patt’s “How to Architect” videos offer 15 second glimpses into the world of architecture. Posted on his Instagram account daily, each video explores one fact related to architecture. At the end of each week, the facts are compiled into a longer video on YouTube.

Check out a selection of videos after the break.  

Architectural Photographers: Ricardo Oliveira Alves

Architectural Photographers: Ricardo Oliveira Alves - Featured Image
Tree Snake Houses / Luís Rebelo de Andrade + Tiago Rebelo de Andrade. Image © Ricardo Oliveira Alves

From architecture to music, directing and production, Portuguese photographer Ricardo Oliveira Alves worked in several different creative industries before combining his two biggest passions and starting his own architectural photography studio, Ricardo Oliveira Alves Architectural Photography, in 2010.

Alves captures emblematic national architecture projects in addition to work by prominent architects worldwide, “fusing the vision of the architect” with that of the photographer. He is also known for his “Archilapse” videos, which feature timelapse montages of architectural works.

Read an interview with Alves and view a selection of his images after the break. 

Architectural Photographers: Ricardo Oliveira Alves - Image 1 of 4Architectural Photographers: Ricardo Oliveira Alves - Image 2 of 4Architectural Photographers: Ricardo Oliveira Alves - Image 3 of 4Architectural Photographers: Ricardo Oliveira Alves - Image 4 of 4Architectural Photographers: Ricardo Oliveira Alves - More Images+ 14

Whimsical Winter Stations Warm Toronto’s Beaches

Seven winter stations have been erected along Toronto’s beaches adding color and refuge to the shoreline during the winter months. Part of the annual Winter Stations design competition, this year’s theme was “Freeze/Thaw,” which asked participants to respond to “the changing climactic conditions and transitions of the Toronto winter.”

Four professional designs and three student designs were built this year, transforming existing lifeguard stations into vibrant installations. A community fire place was also designed and implemented by Canadian architect Douglas Cardinal. The installations will stay open until March 19, 2016. View images of each winter station after the break.

6 Architects Share What It’s Like to Build in New York

In the latest video from the Louisiana Channel, six architects – Bjarke Ingels, Liz Diller, Daniel Libeskind, Robert A.M. Stern, Thom Mayne, and Craig Dykers – share what it’s like to build in New York. From the High Line to the 9/11 Memorial Museum Pavilion at Ground Zero, the architects each describe their approach to designing in the iconic city.

MVRDV Designs Shopping Center with Pearlescent Façade in Beijing

Exterior construction has almost wrapped up on MVRDV’s Chongwenmen M-Cube shopping center in Beijing, featuring a shimmering façade that changes color from grey to pearlescent. The approximately 40,000 square meter center sits in the central Chongwenmen district, just moments from the Forbidden City, and will serve as a centralized hub for retail, cuisine and leisure. The project is set to be completed in summer of this year.

OMA to Renovate Berlin’s Historic KaDeWe Department Store

OMA has been selected to renovate Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe), a historic department store in Berlin – and the biggest in continental Europe. Its giant size “makes it akin to a city: a three dimensional network of paths, squares, neighbourhoods, activitiies and views unfolding through its large extensions and providing opportunities for commercial, social and cultural encounters,” writes OMA.

To address the size, their design divides the department store into four quadrants, breaking “the original mass into smaller, easily accessible and navigable components.” Each quadrant will target different audiences and act as an independent department store. Learn more about the design after the break.

OMA to Renovate Berlin’s Historic KaDeWe Department Store - Image 1 of 4OMA to Renovate Berlin’s Historic KaDeWe Department Store - Image 2 of 4OMA to Renovate Berlin’s Historic KaDeWe Department Store - Image 3 of 4OMA to Renovate Berlin’s Historic KaDeWe Department Store - Image 4 of 4OMA to Renovate Berlin’s Historic KaDeWe Department Store - More Images+ 11

Giancarlo Mazzanti’s “Speaking Architecture” Exhibit at The Chicago Biennial Gives a Voice to the Visitors

In response to the question posed by the curators of the Chicago Architecture Biennial – what is The State of the Art of Architecture today? -- Colombian firm El Equipo de Mazzanti (Giancarlo Mazzanti) developed their exhibition “Speaking Architecture,” which looks at architecture as “a living process rather than a finished and static object.”

The installation puts the visitor in control, breaking with the typical conception of an exhibition as something controlled, static, limited and unidirectional, and creating “a place to play.”

Learn more about the exhibition after the break. 

JA100: Looking Back the 60 Years, JA 60th Anniversary

From the publisher: This issue of JA (Japan Architect) celebrates the 60th anniversary of the magazine which started as a monthly English publication on architecture in Japan. It is also the 100th edition since it became a quarterly bilingual magazine. JA 100 gives a comprehensive view of all the issues published in its 60 years of history.

Architects from around the world and from Japan contributed comments on their experiences with JA which has provided high-quality selection of Japanese architecture starting when there was not many other forms of information to overseas up until today when there are many different ways of communication. We invite our readers to look back at the magazine's history and imagine the future of Japanese architecture.

A+U 544: Sigurd Lewerentz Drawing Collection I

From the publisher: January 2016 issue of a+u is a special issue focused on the drawing collection of Swedish architect Sigurd Lewerentz (1885–1975).

Working with the guest editor Wilfried Wang, Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, who conducted an extensive research at the Lewerentz archive of the Swedish Center for Architecture and Design, this 200-page special issue gives a comprehensive view on two of the architect's earlier works: Malmö Eastern Cemetery (1916–1969) and Social Security Institute (1928–1932).

February 2016 issue will feature Lewerentz's later works: Villa Edstrand and St. Petri Church. We hope our readers will enjoy the rich collection of rare drawings by one of the most important architects of 20th century.

Brut Deluxe Lights up the Streets of Geneva with LUX.LGE Installation

Brut Deluxe has created a colorful light installation, made up of 48 chandelier-like pieces that dangle above Geneva’s Rue du Mont Blanc for the 2015 Geneva LUX light festival. The project continues on Brut Deluxe’s extensive work with ephemeral installations and their study of spatial qualities through light.

Miguel de Guzmán and Rocío Romero, from the photography studio Imagen Subliminal, have shared with us their images and video of the installation.

Learn more and view more images after the break.

Brut Deluxe Lights up the Streets of Geneva with LUX.LGE Installation - Image 1 of 4Brut Deluxe Lights up the Streets of Geneva with LUX.LGE Installation - Image 2 of 4Brut Deluxe Lights up the Streets of Geneva with LUX.LGE Installation - Image 3 of 4Brut Deluxe Lights up the Streets of Geneva with LUX.LGE Installation - Image 4 of 4Brut Deluxe Lights up the Streets of Geneva with LUX.LGE Installation - More Images+ 11

SANAA Selected to Design Hungary’s New National Gallery – Ludwig Museum

After having tied with Snøhetta in a restricted competition to design the New National Gallery -- Ludwig Museum in Budapest, SANAA’s proposal has ultimately been selected as the winner, following negotiations held over the past few months. The gallery and museum will be located in the 200-year-old Városliget (City Park) and are part of the larger Liget Budapest project, which seeks to revive the park by 2018 with the addition of five new museum buildings, including Sou Fujimoto’s House of Hungarian Music.

AD Interviews: Francis Kéré / Chicago Architecture Biennial

Kéré Architecture’s “Place for Gathering” exhibition at the Chicago Architecture Biennial creates a meeting place at the entrance to the Chicago Cultural Center. Made from a locally sourced material (wood), the exhibition emits a fresh, natural smell, and creates a place for people to meet, connect and share “differing cultural narratives, traditions and aspirations," writes Kéré in the official Chicago Biennale Guidebook.

Selected by ArchDaily Editors as one of their favorite exhibitions at the Biennial, “Place for Gathering” is based on two themes that are central to the work of Francis Kéré: “maximizing local resources and facilitating the exchange of ideas and knowledge." Listen to Kéré explain the inspiration and philosophy behind the exhibition in the video above.

Canstruction Timelapse: Architects Build Transportation-Inspired Sculptures at the National Building Museum

Twenty-four teams from Washington, DC-based architecture and design firms participated in CanstructionDC 2015 at the National Building Museum, building transportation-themed sculptures out of canned food. At the end of the display, the sculptures will be dismantled and the food will be donated to local hunger relief organizations. Watch the sculptures come together, including a Mayflower bean soup ship and a full-scale smart car, in the timelapse video above. Learn more on the National Building Museum website.

Arup’s Singapore Sports Hub Deemed Best in Structural Engineering for 2015

The Singapore Sports Hub, designed by DP Architects and Arup Associates, in collaboration with Arup as the structural engineer, has been awarded the Supreme Award for Structural Engineering Excellence, the highest award given out by the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) at their annual Structural Awards. The award honors the best example of structural engineering design entered during the year.

The sports stadium features the largest free-spanning dome in the world, stretching 310 meters to cover the 55,000-seat stadium, and uses a “third of weight of steel normally used to span this size,” writes Arup in a press release. To provide shade during sporting events, the dome roof structure is retractable and features “an energy-efficient cooling system that delivers cooled air to every seat.”