A misconception often surfaces in design circles that architectural beauty and evidence-based environmental performance are mutually exclusive. To address this, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) is releasing a new tool that can assist architecture firms in designing high-performance energy-efficient buildings.
Despite the federal stance on paramount environmental issues, the AIA upholds and advocates for the responsibility of architects to mitigate against the effects of climate change. Aware that the construction industry consumes nearly 40% of the energy supply nationwide, the AIA COTE® Top Ten Toolkit presents a series of strategies to promote sustainability without compromising the design.
In a recent article in the New York Times, writer Allison Arieff poses the echoed question that the architectural community keeps asking itself, "Where are all the female architects?" No longer an issue of uneven gender ratios in architectural schooling, the persistence of dwindling numbers of women principals at the top of firms simply does not resonate. She postulates, that perhaps more significant than the statistics, the real problem lies in the definition of success.
Blossoming alongside the iconic Gherkin building, Foster + Partners' Tulip Tower has been planning to join London's skyline since they released their proposal earlier in November. However, construction of the1,000-foot tower has been halted until officials can determine its impact on aircraft radar systems at London City airport, six miles away. Featuring mobile gondolas in the form of three-meter wide glass spheres intended for visitor rides on an elliptical journey around the tower, the proposed viewing platform is potentially highly problematic.
Either as singular outcroppings or as part of a bustling center, skyscrapers are neck-craning icons across major city centers in the world. A modern trope of extreme success and wealth, the skyscraper has become an architectural symbol for vibrant urban hubs and commercial powerhouses dominating cities like New York, Dubai, and Singapore.
While skyscrapers are omnipresent, 2018 introduced new approaches, technologies, and locations to the high-rise typology. From variations in materiality to form, designs for towers have started to address aspects beyond simply efficiency and height, proposing new ways for the repetitive form to bring unique qualities to city skylines. Below, a few examples of proposals and trends from 2018 that showcase the innovative ideas at work:
A series of concave concrete panels hoisted on slender plank-like columns sit amongst the vast rural plains of Sweden, silently redefining the typology of an otherwise utilitarian structure. White Arkitekter's recent proposal for a water tower in Varberg is a slim horizontal structure, deviating from the typical, vertical and round design. Titled VÅGA, it features two tanks for storing water within its unique shape that may actually be better suited to its purpose.
A rejection of the bland and cold functionality of Midtown's crystal skyscrapers, the AT&T building was intended to encourage a more playful approach architecture in the corporate world; the crazy socks beneath a three-piece suit. It was not without controversy. Upon its completion, the building was derided for its decorative and outsized pediment and occasionally dark interior spaces. Indeed, the building's arched entry spaces were among the only architectural elements to be met with praise from both critics and the public.
With its intricate ornamentation and complex ribbed vaulting, Gothic architecture introduced a slenderness and exuberance that was not seen before in medieval Europe. Epitomized by pointed arches, flying buttresses, and tall spires, Gothic structures were easily identifiable as they reached new heights not previously achievable, creating enigmatic interior atmospheres.
Several centuries later, a new appreciation for Victorian-era architecture was reborn in the United States with the Gothic Revival movement most famously depicted by Chicago's Tribune Tower. A series of computer-graphics (CG) renderings done by Angie's List reinterpret some of America's iconic architecture from the 20th century to mirror buildings from the Middle Ages. View the republished content from Angie's List complete with each building's informative descriptions below.
In Louisiana Channel's latest video, an interview featuring Norwegian architect Reiulf Ramstad takes place in the city of Molde as part of the Utzon Center exhibition 'In the World of an Architect – Reiulf Ramstad Architects.' An interdisciplinary collaboration of architecture, landscape, and design, the firm has done several large-scale civic works to smaller projects along tourist routes amongst other commercial and recreational buildings.
A recent exhibition at the MAK Vienna - Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, is showcasing the works of Sagmeister & Walsh, a NYC-based design firm investigating what makes beauty so appealing.
Titled "Beauty," the exhibition explores the notion that beauty operates as an independent function, and that in itself, it can be the primary motive for architecture: form is a function. In collaboration with the YouTube channel and design studio Kurzgesagt (In A Nutshell), this video released along with the exhibition explains why beautiful things make us happy.
“A model by Corbusier is the only image that brings to my mind the idea of immediate suicide.” - Ivan Chtcheglov
Despite their pranks and dirty politics, the Situationists may have been right after all. The death of architecture students will not be a result of excessive studio work, but will rather occur from the sermonizing repetition of modernist ideals that continue to be taught. In Le Corbusier's manifesto, Vers une Architecture (Toward An Architecture), he advocates for the adoption of modern architecture as the solution to 20th-century global crises, in a way that now seems rather limiting.
If the discipline doesn't move past the black-and-white photographs of the Barcelona Pavilion or the reductionist designs of the Bauhaus, students will continue to produce what may now be incorrectly associated with the “right architecture.” In order to break away from these stereotypes of what architecture should be, here are six explorations of building, curating and writing that resist these notions:
In support of World Toilet Day on November 19, SPARK Architects launched their prototype for a 3D printed toilet module titled, "Big Arse Toilet" alongside a slogan stating that "Sparks gives a sh*t." Though the pun-filled humor is definitely attention-grabbing, the project tackles serious issues of hygiene and sanitation as part of the UN initiative to eliminate open defecation by 2025. With the perpetuating cycle of malnutrition, disease, and poverty, poor sanitation is the leading cause in nearly a third of the deaths in low- and middle-income regions in several countries such as India.
Easily transportable, the toilet module converts human waste into biogas into electricity using a micro combined heat and power (CHP) unit. Essentially producing "free" energy, SPARK's proposal combats the issue of open defecation and uses the abundant natural waste in remote communities in Indian villages where there is low accessibility to electricity.
In the wistful irony of creating liquid fire through sheets of paper, David Oliva of Barcelona-based firm SP25 Arquitectura and Anna Juncà of Atelier 4 collaborated to fabricate an installation piece for the LLUÈRNIA festival of fire and light in Catalonia. Titled, "Origami Lava", the field of flame cloaks the 100 m2 surface of an abandoned building using over 10,000 pieces of origami.
With its historic but dilapidated waterfront, San Francisco has decided to restore the shoreline that could greatly influence the future of the city both environmentally and economically. The Port, contemplating between a piecemeal rebuilding pier-by-pier and a singular comprehensive construction of the waterfront, invited architecture and landscape firms to submit the reimagined proposals.
Global design firm HASSELL, known for their innovative recreational projects, envisioned an approach to preserve the significant history and culture of the pier while creating a sustainable green corridor in a playful manner. In order to activate the Embarcadero as an "interconnected greenway," HASSELL plans on developing the ecological areas along the waterfront as well as improving the accessibility between the recreational land with the surrounding transit hubs.
The New York City-based architecture firm REX will be designing the new performing arts center for Brown University's campus in Providence, Rhode Island. Known for their portfolio of office and cultural projects - notably and recently including The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center - the firm aims to accommodate performances and events while serving as a hub for daily social interactions on campus within the 81,000 square-foot site. The building will become a central convening space of multimedia and performing arts for students, faculty, and visitors.
Inducing a surreal physical experience through minimal maneuvers, buildings with smooth concrete panels and simple geometric volumes instinctively hint at the work of Japanese architect Tadao Ando. At an ongoing exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, photographs of the headquarters of Fabrica, Ando's first European commission in 1992, are showcased. Located near the city of Treviso, the building was an old villa restored to become a thriving creative research center.
Villa Pastega Manera, built on an area of 51,000 square meters, went through a rigorous study of traditional construction techniques and material sampling to commence the redesign. The photographs feature the harmonious integration between the historical structure and seamless renovations.
As part of a collaboration between the Centre Pompidou and the Mao Jihong Arts Foundation, the Cosmopolis #1.5: 'Enlarged Intelligence' exhibition features the developments of NLÉMakoko Floating School. The Minjiang Floating System (MFS IIIx3), the fourth prototype and the third iteration of the prefabricated self-built system for water, investigates methods to counter the challenges posed by urbanization and climate change.
Earlier prototypes of the Makoko Floating School include the Waterfront Atlas (MFS II) launched in Venice, Italy and the Minne Floating School (MFS III) in Bruges, Belgium. The project, initially developed for the water in Lagos, is now usable in all these sites including the Jincheng Lake in Chengdu.
From city master plans to pocket-sized products, Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) have explored architectural formalism through innovative digital design methods. In 2006, the collaboration with furniture-makers and fashion houses led to the creation of Zaha Hadid Design that served both as an iterative process for and a resultant of ongoing architectural design.
A pop-up exhibition, located suitably on the ground floor of ZHA's renowned condominium along the High Line in New York City, features a scale model of the building itself on display. To honor and present the work produced by the firm in the last four decades, the Zaha Hadid Gallery showcases a series of projects in a wide range of mediums including the six 'Silver Models' that represent eight of the firm's key works.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) unveiled the seven laureates of the 2019 International Fellowships, a "lifetime honor allows recipients to use the initials Int FRIBA after their name," recognizes the contributions that architects across the world outside of the UK have made in the field of architecture. Previously awarded to architects such as Jeanne Gang and Phillip Cox, the annual Fellowship emphasizes not only the impact of architects' work in their respective homelands but also their global influence.
A juror's committee, consisting of Ben Derbyshire, RIBA President; Lady Patty Hopkins, a 1994 RIBA Gold Medalist; Bob Shiel, a professor at the Bartlett School of Architecture; Wasfi Kani, a 2018 Honorary Fellow; and Pat Woodward RIBA, of Matthew Lloyd Architects, awarded the 2019 Fellows. The fellowships will be presented in London in February 2019.