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45 Construction Terms & Concepts All Architects Should Know

09:30 - 16 July, 2018
45 Construction Terms & Concepts All Architects Should Know, Dune Art Museum. Image Courtesy of Open Architecture
Dune Art Museum. Image Courtesy of Open Architecture

For most recent graduates, it quickly becomes evident that what you learn in architecture school is not necessarily enough to become a confident architect. Some things can’t be taught in classrooms at all; instead, they're acquired through years of work on site and solving construction problems first-hand. Among the many things you learn on site are the terminologies used by construction workers that can sound like absolute nonsense to architects at first.

An architecture dictionary might seem like a superb idea, but in practice wouldn't be convenient on a construction site—unless you can memorize the useful entries out of the 25,000 terms in Cyril M Harris' Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Alternatively, here’s a more manageable list of 45 construction terms and concepts every architect should know.

Cross Bracing. Image <a href='https://pxhere.com/en/photo/970928'>via pxhere</a> (public domain)  Precast Concrete blocks used in Frank Lloyd Wright's Tonkens House. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Example_of_precast_concrete_blocks_in_the_Tonkens_House._Photo_courtesy_of_Toby_Oliver..jpg'>Wikimedia user Factfile8</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 4.0</a> Virtual Design & Construction. Image <a href='https://pxhere.com/en/photo/547880'>via pxhere</a> (public domain) Diagrid. Image <a href='https://unsplash.com/photos/VIrwcwdr2Bc'>via Unsplash</a> (public domain) + 11

How the Masters See It: Six Ways to Design with Light

09:30 - 15 July, 2018
How the Masters See It: Six Ways to Design with Light, Sculpted Light: Upper level gallery of the Jumex Museum by David Chipperfield (David Chipperfield Architects). Large skylight monitors with diffusing filters provide even illumination in the top-floor gallery and control the abundant sunlight and solar-heat gains. Image © Simon Menges
Sculpted Light: Upper level gallery of the Jumex Museum by David Chipperfield (David Chipperfield Architects). Large skylight monitors with diffusing filters provide even illumination in the top-floor gallery and control the abundant sunlight and solar-heat gains. Image © Simon Menges

Light is an important, if complex, tool in architecture. Not only does it lend atmosphere, texture, and vibrancy, but it is increasingly essential in an age where technology alienates us from nature. In this excerpt from Mary Guzowski's new book, The Art of Architectural Daylighting, she introduces the science and art of daylighting - and details six ways the masters approach the challenge.  

What if it's All a Front? Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy Reimagines Buildings as Isolated Facades

09:30 - 8 July, 2018
© Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy
© Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy

In his ongoing photo-series "Façades," French photographer Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy a series of images in which he removes the mass and depth of buildings, and leaves behind the mere fragments of exterior skin. The photos, which resemble deserted Hollywood sets, illustrate roadways, towns, apartment complexes, and other environments without giving away the ideas of anything beyond the superficial image of the facade—leaving much to the imagination.

© Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy © Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy © Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy © Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy + 11

Hidden Architectural Gems to Visit this Summer

06:00 - 25 June, 2018
Hidden Architectural Gems to Visit this Summer , Rachid Karameh Exhibition. Image © Anthony Saroufim
Rachid Karameh Exhibition. Image © Anthony Saroufim

Summer. Vacation. Two magic words that will certainly ease all the pain and exhaustion of working/studying full-time. Now that it is that time of year, most people are busy planning their travel itineraries. Whether it’s a city trip to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, or a journey to walk on China’s Great Wall, the majority of travelers will choose to cross iconic landmarks off their bucket lists. However, there is a lot more to London than the London Bridge and Buckingham Palace, and there is a lot more to Barcelona than Gaudí. There are, in fact, hundreds of underrated, exquisite structures that go unnoticed.

If you are planning a getaway soon, here is a list of hidden architectural gems that are worth the visit.

WORKac Designs an 'Invisible' Penthouse in a Centuries-Old Cast-Iron Building

06:00 - 12 June, 2018
WORKac Designs an 'Invisible' Penthouse in a Centuries-Old Cast-Iron Building, © Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

At first glance, The Stealth Building looks like a pristinely-restored cast iron apartment building. That’s because technically, it is. But upon closer inspection, the Lower Manhattan building is rife with innovative restoration and renovation practices by WORKac.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 23

A Simple 6-Step Guide to Getting a Job in Architecture

07:30 - 8 June, 2018
A Simple 6-Step Guide to Getting a Job in Architecture

Black Spectacles, in collaboration with the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), has released a new guide called How To Get A Job In Architecture, in order to help recent architecture graduates navigate through the process of finding their first job. The free 17-page guide is filled with helpful hints on how to apply, tricks to landing your first offer, and even advice from architects and HR professionals at some of the top firms in the world including Cannon Design, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill, and Gensler

This Instagram is Dedicated to Stunning Walls From Across the World

08:00 - 27 May, 2018

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:

Why the World Needs More Architecture Memes

07:00 - 27 May, 2018

We live in a society

A post shared by sssscavvvv (@sssscavvvv) on

In the modern age of sensationalism, consumerism, and widespread fake news, it's easy to understand why we feel the need to express ourselves through memes—the abstract photographs, video clips, and gifs that are manipulated in various ways to express thoughts on certain matters or situations that are relatable to people across the globe. Memes often expound complex yet concise sentiments which, in a way, closely resemble the way that we communicate in real life.

In the world of architecture, communication is often represented through critical essays, stunning renders and photographs, and hand-drawn analytical diagrams. In fact, architecture communication as we know it has mostly been a literal representation of the thing itself: Ideas are translated into plans, sections, elevations, details, form diagrams. But with the rise of memes and abstract expressions, why aren’t we popularizing our own personal thoughts with this form of widespread social media?

10 Exuberant Will Alsop Works

08:00 - 26 May, 2018
Courtesy of aLL Design
Courtesy of aLL Design

The late British architect Will Alsop was noted for his exuberant and irreverent attitude that took material form in his expressive, painterly portfolio of educational, civic, and residential works. At the ripe age of 23, he was awarded second place in the 1971 Centre Georges Pompidou. From there, he went on to work for the ever humorous Cedric Price before establishing his practice with John Lyall, and eventually many others, in the early 1980s. With a career spanning almost fifty years, here are ten iconic works from an architect who never missed an opportunity to play.

© <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ontario_College_of_Art_and_Design.png'>Wikimedia user April Hickox</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> Courtesy of aLL Design Courtesy of aLL Design Courtesy of aLL Design + 13

Cats in the Right Place at the Wrong Time in Architectural Photography

06:01 - 14 May, 2018
© Pedro Vannucchi
© Pedro Vannucchi

Cats just don’t care. They don’t care if you bought them gourmet food. They don’t care if you got them customized furniture or luxury cardboard boxes, and they definitely don’t care if they are barging into an architectural photo shoot (although, we do think it’s their way of being the center of attention).

Don't believe us? Here's a collection of photographs collected from our projects database where cats are clearly not trying to steal the spotlight.

London's Landmark Brutalist "Space House" Is Captured in a Different Light in this Photo Essay

09:30 - 13 May, 2018
© Ste Murray
© Ste Murray

Appreciated within the industry but often maligned by the general public, brutalism came to define post-war architecture in the UK, as well as many countries around the world. In his 1955 article The New Brutalism, Reyner Banham states it must have “1, Formal legibility of plan; 2, clear exhibition of structure, and 3, valuation of materials for their inherent qualities as found.”

One Kemble Street, a 16-story cylindrical office block originally named "Space House" and designed by George Marsh and Richard Seifert, clearly exhibits all of these characteristics, creating a landmark in the heart of London that remains as striking today as it was upon its completion in 1968. Photographing the Grade-II listed building throughout the day, photographer Ste Murray manages to beautifully capture the building’s essence, celebrating its 50 year anniversary while also highlighting the intrigue of its form in a way that suggests parallels to contrasting ideologies.

© Ste Murray © Ste Murray © Ste Murray © Ste Murray + 23

Bataan Chapel by Swiss Artist Not Vital Questions the Boundaries Between Art and Architecture

07:45 - 8 April, 2018
Bataan Chapel by Swiss Artist Not Vital Questions the Boundaries Between Art and Architecture, Interior of the Chapel, lit by the opening above "The Last Supper." Image © Eric Gregory Powell
Interior of the Chapel, lit by the opening above "The Last Supper." Image © Eric Gregory Powell

Art, in general, is produced to be seen or experienced by another, an interlocutor, who, in turn, establishes various relationships with the work. However, this does not appear to be the case with the Bataan Chapel, built by the Swiss artist Not Vital in the Philippines.

Punished by constant winds, the work rises on a hill in rural Bagac, a town of just under 30,000 inhabitants located about 50 kilometers west of Manilla. The remote location of the installation makes it difficult to access and makes the journey a task that takes on the air of pilgrimage—part of its grace lies precisely in its inaccessibility.

Architecture's "Dark Products": What Do Architects Claim Ownership of in the Design Process?

09:30 - 4 April, 2018
Architecture's "Dark Products": What Do Architects Claim Ownership of in the Design Process?, Courtesy of Curtis Roth
Courtesy of Curtis Roth

Why do we build? How do we build? Who do we ultimately build for? These have been questions that have dominated the worlds of both practice and pedagogy since the early ages of architecture. On a basic level, those questions can be answered almost reflexively, with a formulaic response. But is it time to look beyond just the simple why, how, and who?

In a world where the physical processes of architecture are becoming increasingly less important and digital processes proliferate through all phases of architectural ideas and documentation, we should perhaps be looking to understand the ways in which architects work, and examine how we can claim the processes—not just the products—of our labors.

The Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos Project That Will Be The New Urban Icon of Monterrey

08:00 - 31 March, 2018
The Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos Project That Will Be The New Urban Icon of Monterrey, Cortesía de Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos
Cortesía de Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos

Cortesía de Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos Cortesía de Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos Cortesía de Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos Cortesía de Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos Cortesía de Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos Cortesía de Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos + 20

Proyectos 9, a Monterrey real estate developer, announced Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos as the winners of the international architectural design competition for the construction of Constitución 999, a new mixed-use complex to be erected in the downtown area of Monterrey.

Sharing Your Home with Strangers: What Does the Future Hold for the Co-Living Craze?

09:30 - 27 March, 2018
Sharing Your Home with Strangers: What Does the Future Hold for the Co-Living Craze?  , © Danist Sey Peng
© Danist Sey Peng

What if your apartment was more than just a place to live? What if it was a catalyst for social interactions? Or what if it removed the everyday tedious tasks of cleaning, paying bills, and buying furnishings? Co-living, a modern form of housing where residents share living spaces, is aiming to do just that.

Co-living is growing in popularity in major cities such as London and New York, where increasing housing prices are forcing residents to look at new and adaptive ways to rent in the city. When we discussed the ambitions and inspirations behind the co-living movement in 2016, it was still a concept that was in its relatively experimental stages. Today, co-living is more focused in its mission, and has found success by pushing people together through a collection of common themes: a yearning for social connection, participation in an increasingly shared economy, and the affordability of a convenient housing solution.

City of Los Angeles Appoints Inaugural Chief Design Officer

16:00 - 24 March, 2018
© <a href=‘https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Att_building_LA.jpg'>Wikimedia user KennethHan</a>  licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-NC-ND 2.0</a>
© Wikimedia user KennethHan licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Recently, long-standing architecture critic for the LA Times Christopher Hawthorne announced that he was stepping down to take up the position of chief design officer for the City of Los Angeles in Mayor Eric Garcetti’s administration. According to Hawthorne, the role will involve raising “the quality of public architecture and urban design across the city — and the level of civic conversation about those subjects.” This dramatic shift from the question: what is the role of the critic and architecture criticism in shaping civic architecture?

Modular Installation Provides Temporary Housing For Refugees Beneath Paris Bridge

12:00 - 24 March, 2018
Courtesy of 1week1project
Courtesy of 1week1project

As hundreds of refugees continue to arrive in Paris, France, the city faces an ongoing struggle to find safe and suitable housing for the influx of migrants. As a result, many end up sleeping in underused urban spaces or on the side of the road with almost no access to water, sanitation, and food.

In response, Paris- and Santiago-based firm 1week1project in collaboration with Sophie Picoty unveil their design for a speculative public park titled “Illuminate Paris!” beneath an elevated railway bridge to provide additional support for organizations handling the influx of refugees. This modular “field of experiences” features a series of lantern-like environments forming a canopy along the underside of the bridge that allows for much-need space for migrants who are currently forced to sleep in encampments under similar infrastructure and in parks.

Courtesy of 1week1project Courtesy of 1week1project Courtesy of 1week1project Courtesy of 1week1project + 11

Contemporary Architecture Captured by Mexican Photographers

08:00 - 17 March, 2018
via Portada
via Portada

The history of Mexican photography has contributed to highlighting Mexico's presence in the world. Photographers like Elsa Medina, Lola Álvarez Bravo, Graciela Iturbide, Maya Goded, and Juan Rulfo have masterfully portrayed the life of the buildings, houses and the streets of a rapidly built, nineteenth-century Mexico. 

As a consequence, the contemporary scene of Mexican photography has become a fundamental tool for architecture and has contributed to a better visual understanding of the works that are erected every day.

Photography and architecture are two disciplines that go hand in hand and whose relationship has been reinforced thanks to the digital tools that we currently have. For that reason, we have compiled the work of contemporary Mexican photographers who record our walk through the world we live in and contribute to constructing the image of contemporary Mexico.