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Vasundhra Aggarwal

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The AIA Toolkit for Architects in the Era of Climate Change

07:45 - 23 December, 2018
The AIA Toolkit for Architects in the Era of Climate Change, Mundo Verde at Cook Campus / Studio Twenty Seven Architecture
Mundo Verde at Cook Campus / Studio Twenty Seven Architecture

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.

Albion District Library / Perkins + Will Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture / LMS Architects Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery / DLR Group Family House / LMS Architects + 6

Intruders in the Boys' Club: Women Redefining Success in Architecture

07:30 - 22 December, 2018
Intruders in the Boys' Club: Women Redefining Success in Architecture, via Alexandra Lange
via Alexandra Lange

Whether it be the overly-dainty posture of scale model figures or the assumptions of being the in-house decorator, the portrayal of women in architecture is often one of subservience. Despite Despina Stratigakos' hands-on efforts behind Architect Barbie or the global impacts of the legacy of starchitect Zaha Hadid, there continues to be a lack of visibility of women in the profession.

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.

Liz Ogbu Zaha Hadid Amale Andraos Jeanne Gang + 5

Foster + Partners' Tulip Towers Could Pose Risks to Air Traffic Control

14:00 - 15 December, 2018
Foster + Partners' Tulip Towers Could Pose Risks to Air Traffic Control , Courtesy of DBOX for Foster + Partners
Courtesy of DBOX for Foster + Partners

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.

Courtesy of DBOX for Foster + Partners Courtesy of DBOX for Foster + Partners Courtesy of DBOX for Foster + Partners Courtesy of DBOX for Foster + Partners + 6

Skyscrapers of 2018: Soaring Beyond the Archetypal Crystal Tower

07:00 - 14 December, 2018
© Viktor Sukharukov
© Viktor Sukharukov

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: 

Courtesy of Plompmozes © Rafael de la-Hoz Arquitectos © Virgile Simon Bertrand Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects + 13

White Arkitekter Reinvents the Water Tower Typology with Horizontal Concave Facade

05:00 - 14 December, 2018
Courtesy of White Arkitekter
Courtesy of White Arkitekter

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.

Courtesy of White Arkitekter Courtesy of White Arkitekter Courtesy of White Arkitekter Courtesy of White Arkitekter + 6

Will Snøhetta's Redesign Calm the Outcry From Its Original Controversial Proposal?

09:30 - 12 December, 2018
Will Snøhetta's Redesign Calm the Outcry From Its Original Controversial Proposal?, Courtesy of LMNB & Snøhetta
Courtesy of LMNB & Snøhetta

Labeled as "vandalism" and "murder" of an icon of postmodernism, Oslo-based firm Snøhetta's redesign proposal for Phillip Johnson and John Burgee's AT&T Headquarters was received with instantaneous backlash across the architectural community last year. Architect Robert A. M. Stern, marched alongside a protest outside 550 Madison Avenue, and even critic Norman Foster, who never claimed to have any sympathy for the postmodern movement, still vocalized his sentiments that "[the building] is an important part of our heritage and should be respected as such."

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. 

Courtesy of LMNB & Snøhetta Courtesy of LMNB & Snøhetta Courtesy of LMNB & Snøhetta Courtesy of LMNB & Snøhetta + 6

Iconic American Buildings Re-Envisioned in the Gothic Revival Style

04:00 - 12 December, 2018
Iconic American Buildings Re-Envisioned in the Gothic Revival Style , Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum / Frank Lloyd Wright. Image Courtesy of Angie's List
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum / Frank Lloyd Wright. Image Courtesy of Angie's List

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.

Courtesy of Angie's List Courtesy of Angie's List Courtesy of Angie's List Courtesy of Angie's List + 10

Norwegian Architect Reiulf Ramstad Shares What 'Designing for a Landscape' Really Means

12:00 - 1 December, 2018

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.

Trollstigen Visitor Center / RRA Courtesy of Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter Courtesy of Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter Courtesy of Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter + 12

Why do Beautiful Things Make us Happy - And Why Does Modernism Make us Sad?

05:00 - 30 November, 2018

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.

© Aslan Kudrnofsky © Aslan Kudrnofsky © John Madere © Aslan Kudrnofsky + 6

Rethinking Le Corbusier's Manifesto: 6 Explorations That Break Away From Modernist Ideals

04:00 - 30 November, 2018
The Society of the Spectacle / Guy Debord
The Society of the Spectacle / Guy Debord

“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:

via MVRDV Courtesy of Joanna E. Grant © Plamen Petkov Courtesy of Sarah Wigglesworth Architects + 19

SPARK Architects' 3D Printed "Big Arse Toilet" Transforms Waste into Energy in India

04:00 - 23 November, 2018
SPARK Architects' 3D Printed "Big Arse Toilet" Transforms Waste into Energy in India , Courtesy of SPARK Architects
Courtesy of SPARK Architects

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.

Courtesy of SPARK Architects Courtesy of SPARK Architects Courtesy of SPARK Architects Courtesy of SPARK Architects + 10

Ephemeral 'Origami Lava' Installation at Catalonia's Lluèrnia Festival of Light and Fire

11:00 - 18 November, 2018
Ephemeral 'Origami Lava' Installation at Catalonia's Lluèrnia Festival of Light and Fire, Courtesy of SP25 Arquitectura
Courtesy of SP25 Arquitectura

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.

Courtesy of SP25 Arquitectura Courtesy of SP25 Arquitectura Courtesy of SP25 Arquitectura Courtesy of SP25 Arquitectura Courtesy of SP25 Arquitectura Courtesy of SP25 Arquitectura + 10

HASSELL Envisions a Restorative Redesign For San Francisco's Crumbling Waterfront

06:00 - 18 November, 2018
HASSELL Envisions a Restorative Redesign For San Francisco's Crumbling Waterfront , Courtesy of HASSELL
Courtesy of HASSELL

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.

Courtesy of HASSELL Courtesy of HASSELL Courtesy of HASSELL Courtesy of HASSELL + 12

REX, Firm Behind World Trade Performing Arts Building, to Design Brown University's New Performing Arts Center

12:00 - 17 November, 2018
REX, Firm Behind World Trade Performing Arts Building, to Design Brown University's New Performing Arts Center , The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center / REX. Image Courtesy of REX
The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center / REX. Image Courtesy of REX

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.

Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, Brown University / Diller Scofidio + Renfro Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, Brown University / Diller Scofidio + Renfro Courtesy of REX Courtesy of REX + 8

Treasuring History: Photographs of Tadao Ando's First European Villa Restoration

04:00 - 16 November, 2018
Courtesy of Karina Castro / Courtesy of FABRICA
Courtesy of Karina Castro / Courtesy of FABRICA

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. 

Courtesy of Karina Castro / Courtesy of FABRICA Courtesy of Karina Castro / Courtesy of FABRICA Courtesy of Karina Castro / Courtesy of FABRICA Courtesy of Karina Castro / Courtesy of FABRICA + 33

NLÉ Architects' MFS IIIx3 Prototype Launched in China Explores Ecological Intelligence

05:00 - 13 November, 2018
NLÉ Architects' MFS IIIx3 Prototype Launched in China Explores Ecological Intelligence , Courtesy of NLÉ Architects
Courtesy of NLÉ Architects

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 NLÉ Architects' Makoko 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.

Courtesy of NLÉ Architects Courtesy of NLÉ Architects Courtesy of NLÉ Architects Courtesy of NLÉ Architects + 6

New York City Pop-up Celebrates 40 Years of Zaha Hadid's Design Innovations

05:00 - 12 November, 2018
New York City Pop-up Celebrates 40 Years of Zaha Hadid's Design Innovations, Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects
Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

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.

© Luke Hayes Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects Courtesy of Slamp © Kris Tamburello + 22

Frida Escobedo, Designer of the Serpentine Pavilion, Among 2019 RIBA International Fellows

05:00 - 7 November, 2018
Frida Escobedo, Designer of the Serpentine Pavilion, Among 2019 RIBA International Fellows

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.

Courtesy of RIBA Comms Courtesy of RIBA Comms Courtesy of RIBA Comms Courtesy of RIBA Comms Courtesy of RIBA Comms Courtesy of RIBA Comms Courtesy of RIBA Comms + 8