Yiling Shen


Bee Breeders Announce Winners of Nemrut Volcano Eyes Competition

Bee Breeders have announced the winners of the Nemrut Volcano Eyes Competition, where participants were tasked with designing a visitor observation platform on top of Nemrut, a dormant volcano in eastern Turkey. With the unique natural environment, including a caldera and a pair of lakes, the observation platform is intended to provide unobstructed views of the extraordinary landscape. The jury encouraged submissions that were cost-effective, environmentally-responsible, and energy-efficient.

Below are the winners of the competition: 

First Prize. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders Third Prize. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders Second Prize. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders Green Award. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders + 37

From Romantic Ruins to the Ultra-Real: A History of the Architectural Render

Throughout history, architects have used sketches and paintings to display to their clients the potential outcomes of the projects rattling around their minds. Since Brunelleschi’s adoption of drawn perspective in 1415, architectural visualizations have painted hyper-realistic imaginings of an ideal, where the walls are always clean, the light always shines in the most perfect way, and the inhabitants are always happy.

With technological advances in 3D modeling and digital rendering, this ability to sell an idea through a snapshot of the perfect architectural experience has become almost unrestricted. Many have criticized the dangers of unrealistic renderings that exceed reality and how they can create the illusion of a perfect project when, in fact, it is far from being resolved. However, this is only the natural next step in a history of fantastical representations, where the render becomes a piece of art itself.

Below is a brief history of the interesting ways architects have chosen to depict their projectsfrom imagined time travel to the diagrammatic.

Ledoux, Theatre of Besançon Archigram's Walking City proposal. Image courtesy of Deutsches Architekturmuseum Gandy's Drawing of John Soane's Bank of England The Peak - 1983. Image © Zaha Hadid + 10

10 Inspiring Examples of Post-Disaster Architecture

Following natural disaster or conflict, architecture plays a critical role in not only reconstructing lost infrastructure but also responding to the need for comfort and safety for those affected. Successful post-disaster architecture must meet both the short-term need for immediate shelter, as well as long-term needs for reconstruction and stability. Eight years after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, those displaced continue to reside in temporary shelters without adequate access to plumbing and electricity, revealing the critical importance of addressing long-term needs after disaster and conflict.

Below, we've rounded up 10 impressive examples of post-disaster architecture that range from low-cost, short-term proposals to those that attempt to rebuild entire communities from the ground up:

Pop-Up Places of Worship. Image Courtesy of Lucas Boyd and Chad Greenlee Villa Verde Housing. Image © Suyin Chia Soma City Home-For-All. Image © Koichi Torimura Cardboard Cathedral. Image © Bridgit Anderson + 10

Oslo's Holocaust Center Reappropriates Former Norwegian Nazi Building

Transborder has announced their estimated completion date of 2020 for the extension to Oslo's Center for Studies of the Holocaust and Religious Minorities. The building, Villa Grande, was once the residence of the leader of the Norwegian Nazi Party during the invasion years. "This faceted legacy where important contributions to the appearance of the villa arose from a dark and hateful ideology, demanded a critical adaptation of the extension where one had to have a conscious attitude to historical layers of the building."

Reflective Pool. Image Courtesy of Transborder Studio Rooftop Garden. Image Courtesy of Transborder Studio Courtesy of Transborder Studio Section. Image Courtesy of Transborder Studio + 12

Neri Oxman and MIT Develop Programmable Biocomposites for Digital Fabrication

Courtesy of MIT Media Lab
Courtesy of MIT Media Lab

Neri Oxman and MIT have developed programmable water-based biocomposites for digital design and fabrication. Named Aguahoja, the project has exhibited both a pavilion and a series of artifacts constructed from molecular components found in tree branches, insect exoskeletons, and our own bones. It uses natural ecosystems as inspiration for a material production process that produces no waste. “Derived from organic matter, printed by a robot, and shaped by water, this work points toward a future where the grown and the made unite.”

Courtesy of MIT Media Lab Courtesy of MIT Media Lab Courtesy of MIT Media Lab Courtesy of MIT Media Lab + 15

Eva Franch i Gilabert on the Meaning of Architecture

Architecture isn’t just about big names and big buildings but about all kinds of social practices.

In the latest video from NOWNESS' Design Futures series, Eva Franch i Gilabert walks the streets of New York as she discusses the role of architecture and its potential for the future. Franch i Gilabert is a Catalan architect, educator, and curator. She is also London's Architectural Association's youngest, and first woman director.

Courtesy of Nowness Courtesy of Nowness Courtesy of Nowness Courtesy of Nowness + 6

This Instagram is Dedicated to Stunning Walls From Across the World

As architects, we all have a 'thing' for walls, windows, and everything in-between. The aptly named Instagram account @ihaveathingforwalls celebrates the beauty of walls—the peeling, the painted, the colorful, the dilapidated. As a curated selection of submissions from their followers, the page displays photographs of walls from Warsaw to Hong Kong; snapshots of beauty from everyday life.

Take a tour of walls across the globe below, and feel inspired to pay a little more attention to the surfaces around you:

Polished Concrete: How It Is Made and What to Consider When Using It in Your Projects

LIEVITO - Gourmet Pizza and Bar / MDDM STUDIO. Image © Jonathan Leijonhufvud
LIEVITO - Gourmet Pizza and Bar / MDDM STUDIO. Image © Jonathan Leijonhufvud

Polished concrete is a versatile material that is easily customizable in its appearance, using stunning aggregates, quartz, and colors to create a sense of industrial sophistication in both homes and commercial buildings. Its reflective surface creates an evocative quality under light, which can be suitable for a variety of programs.

While still mainly used as a material for interior flooring, architects have been pushing the limits of polished concrete for years, using it for feature walls, patio floors and even large exterior panels such as in David Chipperfield’s extension to the Saint Louis Art Museum.

Brick House / Clare Cousins Architects. Image © Shannon McGrath Urban Man Cave / Inhouse Brand Architects. Image © Riaan West The Apple Store / pH+. Image © Tim Soar Kristalia New Headquarters / Sandro Burigana. Image © Paolo Contratti - Contratticompany Srl + 16

How Art Can Use Architecture to Spill Beyond the Gallery Space

In their latest video from the Time-Space-Existence series, PLANE—SITE features acclaimed conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner and his ideas regarding the relationship between people and material objects, language as a gesture, and making art accessible to the public. Lawrence Weiner is known for his typographical art applied onto elements of the built environment, and he describes how architecture itself can become an alternative space to present art.

Rose F. Kennedy Greenway Mural, Boston 2015. Image© Geoff Hargadon Rocca Albornoziana, Spoleto, Italy 1996. Image© Aurelio Amendola Galeria Alfonso Artiaco, Naples, 2016. Image© Luciano Romano Milwaukee Art Museum, 2017. Image© John Magnoski + 8

Nepal's "Vertical University" Will Include 6 Campuses In 5 Climatic Zones to Teach About Climate Change

Courtesy of KTK-BELT Studio
Courtesy of KTK-BELT Studio

KTK-BELT Studio, a not-for-profit organization based in rural Nepal, is currently working with local communities to create a fascinating "Vertical University," which will teach students about biodiversity and environmental conservation in 6 "living classrooms" positioned along a vertical forest corridor that stretches from 67 meters above sea level to the top of an 8,856-meter peak. These 6 stops encapsulate the 5 climatic zones of Eastern Nepal: tropical, subtropical, temperate, subarctic and arctic.

The project explores the specific impacts of climate change in each climatic zone, creating “classrooms” where students can walk from Koshi Tappu to Mt. Kanchenjunga, the third tallest peak in the world, and learn onsite from indigenous farmers about the biological diversity of each area. By teaching place-based skills in these micro-conservation hubs, the project aims to conserve and activate local knowledge. Each of these “classrooms” responds to the visual and cultural cues of its unique landscape, with one campus focusing on a flood-proof design in a heavy monsoon area, and another mimicking the semi-nomadic lifestyle of local yak-herders.

Courtesy of KTK-BELT Studio Courtesy of KTK-BELT Studio Courtesy of KTK-BELT Studio Courtesy of KTK-BELT Studio + 16

Will Open-Source, Technological Solutions Ever Lead to the Dream of Universal Affordable Housing?

Visualization. Courtesy of SPACE10
Visualization. Courtesy of SPACE10

The dream of universal affordable housing has been an idea tried and tested by architects throughout history. From the wacky Dymaxion House by Buckminster Fuller, an imagining of how we would live in the future, to mail-order houses able to be assembled like IKEA furniture, many proposals have tackled the challenge of creating affordable housing or dwellings which could be replicated no matter the time and place. However, although their use of techniques such as pre-fabrication and cheap materials seemed, in theory, to be able to solve pressing issues of homelessness and the global housing crisis, time and time again these proposals have simply failed to take off. But why?

IKEA’s research lab SPACE10 is attempting to find an answer to this question through open-source collaboration. By releasing their design of a micro-house that used only one material and one machine to make it and an accompanying website that catalogs the process and invites feedback, they are inviting architects, designers, and aspiring home-owners to work together in creating a solution which could improve the lives of millions. “The vision,” they say, “is that by leveraging the world’s collective creativity and expertise, we can make low-cost, sustainable and modular houses available to anyone and, as a result, democratize the homes of tomorrow.”

Daniel Libeskind On the Poetics of Memory and Time in Architecture

In PLANE-SITE's latest video from their Time-Space-Existence series, Daniel Libeskind describes his work in relation to Shakespeare's quote that "time is out of joint." Weaving in his philosophy regarding time, memory and architecture, Libeskind discusses his seminal works such as the Jewish Museum Berlin and the Ground Zero master plan. These ideas will be transferred to his new project named Facing Gaia, an architectural sculpture to be located in Giardini Marinaressa, which explores the connections between climate, time, space and existence.

National Holocaust Monument. Image© Doublespace Facing Gaia Sketch. Image© Studio Libeskind Mons International Cogress Xperience. Image© Georges de Kinder Modern Art Museum Vilnius. Image© Studio Libeskind + 12

Take a 360 Video Tour of Zaha Hadid Architects' New Building on the High Line

In a recent video published by Metropolis Magazine, Ed Gaskin, a senior associate at Zaha Hadid Architects, takes us on a comprehensive tour of ZHA's 520 West 28th Street, the late architect's only project in New York City. The video describes the project's interesting relation to the adjacent High Line, as well as taking us through the lobby, courtyard and inside the residential units of the building.

© Hufton+Crow © Hufton+Crow © Hufton+Crow © Hufton+Crow + 7

Is Religious Architecture Still Relevant?

Some of the greatest architectural works throughout history have been the result of religion, driven by the need to construct spaces where humanity could be one step closer to a higher power. With more people choosing a secular lifestyle than ever before, are the effects that these buildings convey—timelessness, awe, silence and devotion, what Louis Kahn called the “immeasurable” and Le Corbusier called the “ineffable”—no longer relevant?

With the Vatican’s proposal for the 2018 Venice Biennale, described as “a sort of pilgrimage that is not only religious but also secular,” it is clear that the role of "religious" spaces is changing from the iconography of organized religion to ambiguous spaces that reflect the idea of "spirituality" as a whole.

So what does this mean? Is there still a key role for spirituality in architecture? Is it possible to create spaces for those of different faiths and those without faith at all? And what makes a space "spiritual" in the first place?

4 Takes on Why Sound Design Is Crucial to Good Architecture

reSITE's RESONATE conference was held at the MAAT Museum in Lisbon, Portugal. Image © Joel Felipe
reSITE's RESONATE conference was held at the MAAT Museum in Lisbon, Portugal. Image © Joel Felipe

What is the role of sound and acoustics in the work of leading architecture practices? In February this year, reSITE and MAAT in collaboration with Meyer Sound hosted RESONATE: Thinking Sound and Space, a conference focused exclusively on the intersection of architecture and sound.

Elizabeth Diller of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Snøhetta's Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, Michael Jones from Foster + Partners, the founders of Meyer Sound, and the pioneer of sound art Bernhard Leitner spoke with reSITE and Canal 180 at MAAT Museum in Lisbon, Portugal. Below are the 4 episodes in the series, where they discuss the role of sound in designing cultural venues and concert halls and the changing role of the architect in an age of specialization:

Agoraphobic Traveller Takes Incredible Photos Through Google Street View

The Instagram account @streetview.portraits presents stunning images of people and architecture from Arizona to Kyrgyzstan. At first glance, it seems to be the work of a professional photographer gallivanting across the globe, but the owner of the account is actually Jacqui Kenny, a woman who suffers from agoraphobia and anxiety, capturing these beautiful images through Google Street View.

Through her alternative method of travel, Kenny discovered incredible scenes that displayed the magic of the ordinary: "I found a surprising and unique refuge in the creative possibilities of Google Street View. I began clicking through Google Maps to navigate to faraway countries like Mongolia, Senegal, and Chile. I found remote towns and dusty landscapes, vibrant architectural gems, and anonymous people, all frozen in time. I was intrigued by the strange and expansive parallel universe of Street View, and took screenshots to capture and preserve its hidden, magical realms."

6 Tips for Designing and Building a Tiny House

Tiny houses have become popular in recent years as housing prices continue to soar. Whether as an off-the-grid retreat or a way to live more simply and economically, tiny homes offer a more flexible way to live. They are even being used by charity organizations such as the Tiny Homes Foundation in Australia as a way to tackle the issue of homelessness in cities and the need for social housing. As the popularity and need for tiny homes become ever more prevalent, knowing the necessary skills to design a tiny house for yourself or a client is a useful skill to have.

Below are 6 tips to keep in mind when designing and building a tiny house:

<a href=''>KODA / Kodasema</a>. Image © Paul Kuimet <a href=''>Minimod / MAPA</a>. Image © Leonardo Finotti <a href=''>Micro-house / Studio Liu Lubin</a>. Image Courtesy of Studio Liu Lubin <a href=''>Portable House ÁPH80 / Ábaton Arquitectura</a>. Image © Juan Baraja + 10

Tiny (Yet Incredibly Detailed) Sketches of the Eiffel Tower and Historic Cathedrals

Duomo Di Colonia. Courtesy Lorenzo Concas
Duomo Di Colonia. Courtesy Lorenzo Concas

Lorenzo Concas, an architect, photographer and light designer based in Florence, creates tiny sketches which are layered with an incredible amount of detail. The width of these drawings only spans the length of a fineliner, yet Concas manages to fit in detailed recreations of elaborate ornament. His drawings accentuate the play of light and dark on these Gothic cathedrals and other famous monuments.

Using fineliners and Copic sketch markers, Concas captures these works of architecture from unique angles, allowing us to see the beauty and potential of these buildings in new ways. From intimate details of the Basilica di Santa Maria Novella to low angles which bring attention to the awe-inspiring height of the Eiffel Tower, these drawings exhibit the power of the sketch and how architecture can come alive through pen and paper.

Tour Eiffel. Courtesy of Lorenzo Concas Campanile di Giotto. Courtesy of Lorenzo Concas Cupola di Santa Maria del Fiore. Courtesy of Lorenzo Concas Cattedrale di Valencia. Courtesy Lorenzo Concas + 10