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Tom Dobbins

Inspired by travel, history and sport, I've been writing for ArchDaily since May 2018 whilst working as an Architectural Assistant in London. Completing my undergraduate studies at the University of Nottingham, I developed a passionate interest for tactile, sustainable design, as well as a strong appreciation for the role of literature within architecture.

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Shaping the Future: What to Consider When Designing for Children

09:30 - 6 September, 2018
© Kyungsub Shin
© Kyungsub Shin

Le Corbusier stated in his seminal text, Towards a New Architecture, that “...man looks at the creation of architecture with his eyes, which are 5 feet 6 inches from the ground.” Logical and rational codes such as this form the standard for much of architectural production - but of course, these "norms" are as constructed as architecture itself. This particular standard is especially irrelevant when designing for children, for whom the adult-centric assumptions of architecture do not and should not apply.

© Katsuhisa Kida © Antoine Espinasseau © John Donat RIBA Library Photographs Collection © Dorte Mandrup + 24

A Looping, Green Sky Bridge Connects Four Unique Towers in Aedas' Recent Proposal

14:00 - 26 August, 2018
A Looping, Green Sky Bridge Connects Four Unique Towers in Aedas' Recent Proposal, Courtesy of Aedas
Courtesy of Aedas

Punctuated by four towers of varying size, Aedas’ new design for a mixed-use scheme in Zhuhai, China, uses a looping, layered path to connect the individual structures with a ‘three-dimensional, vertical landscape’. Hoping to become the centerpiece of the city, the Hengqin CRCC Plaza uses strategic positioning and form to both maximize economic output and create a strong community core, where generous open space serves the surrounding workspaces.

Courtesy of Aedas Courtesy of Aedas Courtesy of Aedas Courtesy of Aedas + 8

The Technology Before the Wheel: A Brief History of Dry Stone Construction

09:30 - 25 August, 2018
The Technology Before the Wheel: A Brief History of Dry Stone Construction, © Fabricio Guzmán
© Fabricio Guzmán

A collection of stones piled one on top of the other, dry stone is an iconic building method found just nearly everywhere in the world. Relying solely on an age-old craft to create sturdy, reliable structures and characterised by its rustic, interlocking shapes, the technique has deep roots that stretch back even before the invention of the wheel. Its principles are simple: stack the stones to create a unified, load-bearing wall. But the efficient, long-lasting results, coupled with the technique’s cultural significance, have lead to continued use and updated interpretations all the way to contemporary architecture today.

© <a href='https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Broch_of_Mousa_-_geograph.org.uk_-_2800.jpg'>Anne Burgess</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 11

Sandy Hook School Architect Testifies in Front of Congress About School Safety

08:00 - 25 August, 2018
Sandy Hook School Architect Testifies in Front of Congress About School Safety, Courtesy of BROOKS + SCARPA
Courtesy of BROOKS + SCARPA

Following up on the AIA's recent update of guidelines regarding school safety, architect Jay Brotman, designer of the new Sandy Hook Elementary School, testified in front of the US Department of Education this week to urge the government to adopt safer standards for design. While not unheard of, it is not typical for architects to stand in front of Congress.

Eliel and Eero Saarinen: The Sweeping Influence of Architecture's Greatest Father-Son Duo

09:30 - 20 August, 2018
St Louis Gateway Arch. Image © Flickr user jeffnps licensed under CC BY 2.0
St Louis Gateway Arch. Image © Flickr user jeffnps licensed under CC BY 2.0

It is rare for a father and son to share the same birthday. Even rarer is it for such a duo to work in the same profession; rarer still for them both to achieve international success in their respective careers. This, however, is the story of Eliel and Eero Saarinen, the Finnish-American architects whose combined portfolio tells of the development of modernist architectural thought in the United States. From Eliel’s Art Nouveau-inspired Finnish buildings and modernist urban planning to Eero’s International Style offices and neo-futurist structures, the father-son duo produced a matchless body of work culminating in two individual AIA Gold Medals.

© MWAA <a href='https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ficheiro:FirstChristianChurch.jpg'>Photo by Greg Hume</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/deed.pt'>CC BY-SA 2.5</a> © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/gabyu/305710396'>Ezra Stoller via Flikr user gabyu</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a> © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Helsinki_Railway_Station_20050604.jpg'>Revontuli</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> + 22

Cities are Avoiding Hosting the Olympics. They Shouldn’t.

09:30 - 16 August, 2018
Cities are Avoiding Hosting the Olympics. They Shouldn’t., © Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

The apple of every athlete's eye, the Olympic Games direct the gaze of the world onto one host city every two years, showcasing the best that sport has to offer across both summer and winter events. In a haze of feel-good anticipation, the general buzz around the city before during the four week stretch is palpable, with tourists, media and athletes alike generating contributing to the fervour. With almost an almost exclusively positive public response (the majority of Olympic bids are met with 70% approval or higher), the Games become an opportunity for a nation to showcases their culture and all it has to offer. At first glance, it's an opportunity you'd be a fool to miss.

Yet as the dust settles, these ‘lucky’ host cities are often left with structures that lack the relevance and function of their initial, fleeting lives. Empty aquatics centers, derelict running tracks and rarely-used stadiums have become as much a trademark of the Games as the Rings, with the structural maintenance and social implications burdening former hosts for years to come. In recent years, fewer cities have been taking part in the bidding process, suggesting that the impact of the Games is beginning to catch up with the excitement. As many as 12 cities contended for the honor of hosting the 2004 games; only two were put forward for 2024/28.

Courtesy of Redskins and CBS News Courtesy of SIC Mostovik © Laurian Ghinitoiu Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects + 11

The Stadiums That Could Host the 2026 World Cup in the US, Canada, and Mexico

08:00 - 14 August, 2018
© <a href='https://pixabay.com/en/landover-maryland-fedex-field-89813/'>Flikr user ID12019</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en'>CC0 1.0</a>
© Flikr user ID12019 licensed under CC0 1.0

I hope you’ve caught your breath after this year’s FIFA World Cup. France’s win in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium marked the end of an era; the last World Cup with a classic format. After the 2022 Winter tournament in Qatar, the competition will be expanded to 48 teams (rather than the current 32).

© <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Metlife_stadium.jpg'>Anthony Quintano</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> © <a href='https://es.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archivo:BC_Place_2015_Women%27s_FIFA_World_Cup.jpg'>GoToVan</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Le_Stade_Olympique_3.jpg'>Tolivero</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY 3.0</a> The Stadiums That Could Host the 2026 World Cup in the US, Canada, and Mexico  + 27

Ingenhoven Architects and Architectus Win Competition to Design Sydney's Tallest Residential Skyscraper

06:00 - 1 August, 2018
Ingenhoven Architects and Architectus Win Competition to Design Sydney's Tallest Residential Skyscraper , Courtesy of Doug and Wolf
Courtesy of Doug and Wolf

A beautifully delicate design by ingenhoven architects, in cooperation with architectus, has bested series of internationally acclaimed architects to design Sydney’s tallest residential tower at 505-523 George Street. The 79-storey skyscraper will reach 270m, and include several uses, ranging from high-quality living and retail to hotel and leisure. The designers hope the tower will be “a profoundly visible landmark standing for an economical, environmental and socially sustainable, future-oriented development”.

Courtesy of Doug and Wolf Courtesy of Doug and Wolf Courtesy of Doug and Wolf Courtesy of Doug and Wolf + 12

AJ Student Survey Results Pose a Worrying Question: Is Architecture Becoming an Elitist Subject?

08:00 - 30 July, 2018
AJ Student Survey Results Pose a Worrying Question: Is Architecture Becoming an Elitist Subject?, © <a href='https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-coffee-meeting-team-7096/'>Startup Stock Photos</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en'>CC0 1.0</a>
© Startup Stock Photos licensed under CC0 1.0

The Architects' Journal’s 2018 student survey has revealed troublesome, though perhaps not surprising, trends within the profession. The results of the survey, drawn from nearly 500 students in the UK, suggest that the economically fortunate are more likely to succeed within a culture that promotes unsociable and unhealthy working hours.

The numbers paint a bleak picture of the architecture student lifestyle in the UK, where, including tuition fees, students are now forking out an average of £24,000 per year. 44% of respondents identified this as the largest problem for them and their peers.

So as the traditional route into the profession becomes “increasingly out of reach for many,” is it time for schools and offices to reevaluate their methods in order to maintain a diverse, accessible architecture?

Courtesy of AJ Courtesy of AJ Courtesy of AJ Courtesy of AJ + 5

Henning Larsen Release New Renders of Their Luxurious Spa Hotel in the Georgian Mountains

08:00 - 21 July, 2018
Henning Larsen Release New Renders of Their Luxurious Spa Hotel in the Georgian Mountains, Courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects
Courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects

New renders have been released of Henning Larsen’s “luxurious hideaway in the Georgian mountains” after construction started on the 25000m², 135 room hotel earlier this year. The new Agobili Hotel is located at the Abastumani spa resort in Georgia, which itself has been a health retreat for both the Tsar family and general public alike. The new building hopes “to create a story about the magnificent place it inhabits.”

Courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects Courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects Courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects Courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects + 7

MIT's Mass Timber Longhouse Shows a Technology-Driven Approach to Sustainable Design

08:00 - 19 July, 2018
MIT's Mass Timber Longhouse Shows a Technology-Driven Approach to Sustainable Design, Courtesy of MIT Mass Timber Design
Courtesy of MIT Mass Timber Design

MIT Mass Timber Design, a cross-disciplinary design workshop at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have developed a building prototype that aims to tackle the world’s growing energy crisis, “one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century.” Extensively using the wood-based building design and construction technology mass timber - a method growing in popularity within North America - the project utilizes the “efficiency, speed, precision and versatility” of prefabricated timber construction elements to realize a multi-functional, sustainable building. The longhouse typology, often one of the first permanent structures of a civilization, is a common across the world, but in adapting its construction to face modern-day issues, the team hopes to create a space that “builds upon this rich cultural icon.”

Courtesy of MIT Mass Timber Design Courtesy of MIT Mass Timber Design Courtesy of MIT Mass Timber Design Courtesy of MIT Mass Timber Design + 14

C.F. Møller's Green-Centric Proposal Wins Competition for New Train Station in Hamburg

14:00 - 15 July, 2018
C.F. Møller's Green-Centric Proposal Wins Competition for New Train Station in Hamburg, Courtesy of C.F. Møller Architects
Courtesy of C.F. Møller Architects

Acting both as a “visionary landmark and an urban catalyst,” C.F. Møller Architects’ proposal for a new train station development in Altona, Hamburg, emphasizes the significance of green space within the city’s urban fabric. The project will have several uses, ranging from cafes, restaurants, and shops to offices and fitness centers. Its unique undulating roof landscape “embodies a collective and progressive vision of reinforcing Hamburg’s green credentials.”

Courtesy of C.F. Møller Architects Courtesy of C.F. Møller Architects Courtesy of C.F. Møller Architects Courtesy of C.F. Møller Architects + 6

Hawkins\Brown's London Pride Float Celebrates the "Dual Identities" of LGBT+ Architects

16:00 - 14 July, 2018
Hawkins\Brown's London Pride Float Celebrates the "Dual Identities" of LGBT+ Architects, Courtesy of Hawkins\Brown
Courtesy of Hawkins\Brown

‘A Space For All’ by Hawkins\Brown has been announced as the winner of London Festival of Architecture (LFA) and Architects LGBT+’s Pride Float Competition, the design representing architecture in Pride London 2018. Forming a crucial part of the LFA’s 2018 program, the competition was open to students, graduates, emerging practices and established offices alike, with 'exploring identity' being the brief's core theme. The winning float advocates for increased LGBT+ acceptance and presence within the construction industry, combining “the dual identities of LGBT+ and being an architect.”

RIBA Announces 2018 National Award Winners

18:00 - 11 July, 2018
RIBA Announces 2018 National Award Winners

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the 49 winners of the 2018 RIBA National Awards. From skyline-altering buildings to sensitive small-scale sculptures, this year’s top projects showcase a wide-ranging selection of scales, featuring designs from Foster + Partners, Hawkins\Brown, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, and Niall McLaughlin Architects.

© Sarah Blee © Peter Landers © Jack Hobhouse © Keith Barnes + 76

Sombra Verde's 3D Printed Bamboo Structure Bridges the Gap Between Tradition and Technology

08:00 - 9 July, 2018
© Carlos Bañón
© Carlos Bañón

Bridging the gap between the old and the new is never easy. Traditional building methods, where you often adjust to the unpredictability of a natural material, seem to contrast with the mechanical precision of modern construction. Sombra Verde - a bamboo gazebo developed by AIRLAB and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) as part of Singapore’s Urban Design Festival 2018 - bridges this gap. The traditional raw bamboo poles, used extensively throughout Southeast Asia, are combined with 3D printed connectors, utilizing a series of new technologies. The result is an iconic, lightweight structure in Singapore’s Duxton Plain Park that promotes the use of public space, sheltering the population from both the intense sun and heavy rain.

© Carlos Bañón © Aurelia Chan © Carlos Bañón © Aurelia Chan + 24

How Could Modern Self-Build Communities Challenge the Role of the Architect?

09:30 - 7 July, 2018
How Could Modern Self-Build Communities Challenge the Role of the Architect?, via Graven Hill Village Development Company
via Graven Hill Village Development Company

Self-build”: no mention of an architect, or anyone else for that matter. Maybe it’s a prehistoric urge that makes this idea so enticing; our earliest ancestors constructed their primitive huts to suit their unique needs and reflect their status or style. “Self-build” promises to physically re-connect people to the homes they live in.

However, the romantic notion of "self-build" housing is rarely compatible with the modern reality we live in. Building has become increasingly clouded by the difficulty of procuring land, excessive governmental red-tape, and an increase in building complexity. While self-build remains the purest form of this dream, there are now a series of nuanced processes that can help us achieve similar results. As a new generation of communities that encourage this dream emerges, we must look at the role the architect plays within them.

via Graven Hill Village Development Company via Graven Hill Village Development Company via Graven Hill Village Development Company via Graven Hill Village Development Company + 9

Young Talent Architecture Award 2018 Announces 4 Winners

11:30 - 6 July, 2018
Courtesy of YTAAwards
Courtesy of YTAAwards

The four winners of the Young Talent Architecture Award (YTAA) 2018—a competition run by the European Commission, the Fundació Mies van der Rohe, the Architects’ Council of Europe, and the European Association for Architectural Education—have been announced. With “implicit social and cultural relevance,” each of the winning projects deals with the theme of heritage in a personal yet visionary manner, leading to a set of projects that “show good architectural citizenry.” In the second edition of the competition, 451 students from 118 schools participated, representing 32 countries from across Europe (with China and South Korea participating as Guest Countries).

Read on to see the four winners with descriptions of their projects provided by the Young Talent Architecture Award.

Courtesy of Hendrik Brinkmann Courtesy of Loed Stolte Courtesy of Loed Stolte Courtesy of Matthew Gregorowski + 34

Bêka & Lemoine's Award-Winning Film "Moriyama-San" Explores Japan's Most Influential Contemporary Home

09:30 - 30 June, 2018

"Moriyama-San" - a film by Bêka & Lemoine - has been awarded the 2018 Best Prize at the Arquiteturas Film Festival in Lisbon. Centered around the famous Moriyama House by Pritzker Prize Laureate Ryue Nishizawa, it becomes part of a developing series called “Living Architectures,” in which the filmmakers aim to “put into question the fascination with the picture, which covers up the buildings with preconceived ideas of perfection, virtuosity, and infallibility.” In its unique approach, the film “masterfully combines image, sound, and narrative in a compelling story about a unique character and its relation to his house and music.”

© Bêka and Lemoine © Bêka and Lemoine © Bêka and Lemoine © Bêka and Lemoine + 21