With the aim of supporting architects to become active agents of sustainable design, this week we present a selection of facades that incorporate different recycled materials. Beyond the typical uses of plastic and glass, in this article, you will find innovative materials such as mattress springs, ice cream containers, plastic chairs, and recycled waste from agricultural and industrial products. A look at 16 remarkable projects using recycled materials to create an attractive facade.
As founder of the “Do Tank” firm ELEMENTAL, Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena (born on June 22, 1967) is perhaps the most socially-engaged architect to receive the Pritzker Prize. Far from the usual aesthetically driven approach, Aravena explains that “We don’t think of ourselves as artists. Architects like to build things that are unique. But if something is unique it can’t be repeated, so in terms of it serving many people in many places, the value is close to zero.”  For Aravena, the architect’s primary goal is to improve people's way of life by assessing both social needs and human desires, as well as political, economic and environmental issues.
Mainly known outside of his home country for his design of the 2014 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, architect Smiljan Radić (born June 21, 1965) is one of the most prominent figures in current Chilean architecture. With a distinctive approach to form, materials, and natural settings, Radić mostly builds small- to medium-sized projects that flirt with the notion of fragility.
The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa—or Zeitz MOCAA for short—recently received first place in ArchDaily's Refurbishment in Architecture awards, with its striking design transforming a formerly derelict industrial building into an iconic landmark in South Africa’s oldest working harbor. Developed by the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town and designed by Heatherwick Studio, the mixed-use project is now “the world’s largest museum dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora.” To celebrate the award, we sat down with group leader Matthew Cash to discuss the challenges faced during the project, its cultural importance to Africa, and the practice’s interest in refurbishment as a whole.
Lasting for close to two decades now, the annual Serpentine Gallery Pavilion Exhibition has become one of the most anticipated architectural events in London and for the global architecture community. Each of the previous eighteen pavilions have been thought-provoking, leaving an indelible mark and strong message to the architectural community. And even though each of the past pavilions are removed from the site after their short summer stints to occupy far-flung private estates, they continue to be shared through photographs, and in architectural lectures. With the launch of the 18th Pavilion, we take a look back at all the previous pavilions and their significance to the architecturally-minded public.
The 2018 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, designed by Frida Escobedo, was unveiled today in London's Hyde Park. Escobedo's design, which fuses elements typical to Mexican architecture with local London references, features a courtyard enclosed by two rectangular volumes constructed from cement roof tiles. These tiles are stacked to form a celosia, a type of wall common to Mexican architecture which is permeable, allowing ventilation and views to the other side.
The Council on Tall Building and Urban Habitat have announced the winners of the 16th edition of the CTBUH Tall Building Awards. From over 48 finalists in 28 countries, the best buildings from four regions – the Americas, Asia & Australasia, Europe, and Middle East & Africa – were selected, along with recipients of the Urban Habitat Award, the Innovation Award, the Construction Award and the 10 Year Award. From these finalists, the CTBUH has also awarded the Best Tall Building Worldwide to the Oasia Hotel Downtown by WOHA.
The towers were chosen by a panel of architects from world-renowned firms and were judged on every aspect of performance, looking in particular for those which “have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of tall buildings and the urban environment, and that achieve sustainability at the highest and broadest level.”
When we think of public housing architecture in the United States, we often think of boxes: big, brick buildings without much aesthetic character. But the implications of standardized, florescent-lit high-rises can be far more than aesthetic for the people who live there. Geographer Rashad Shabazz, for one, recalls in his book Spatializing Blackness how the housing project in Chicago where he grew up—replete with chain link fencing, video surveillance, and metal detectors—felt more like a prison than a home. Accounts of isolation, confinement, and poor maintenance are echoed by public housing residents nationwide.
But American public housing doesn’t have to be desolate. A new set of design standards from the New York City Public Design Commission (PDC)—in collaboration with The Fine Arts Federation of New York and the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter—hopes to turn over a new leaf in affordable housing architecture.
As one of the leading architects of Japan's increasingly highly-regarded architecture culture, 2013 Pritzker Laureate Toyo Ito (born June 1, 1941) has defined his career by combining elements of minimalism with an embrace of technology, in a way that merges both traditional and contemporary elements of Japanese culture.
Bjarke Ingels Group’s LEGO House and DISSING + WEITLING’s Bicycle Snake have been recognized by the 2018 Danish Design Awards, an initiative which “highlights the impact and value of design, celebrates companies and designers across the country and showcases the difference their solutions make to industry, everyday life, and society at large.”
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced the winners of their 18th annual Housing Awards, which recognize the best in housing design for new constructions, restorations, and renovations. This year the five-person jury selected eleven projects to receive awards in four categories: one- and two-family custom residences; one- and two-family production homes; multifamily housing; and specialized housing.
The academy's annual architecture awards program began in 1955 with the opening of the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize. The prize is given to an architect of any nationality who has made a significant contribution to architecture as an art. The program has since been expanded to include four Arts and Literature Awards for American architects that explore ideas in architecture through any medium of expression.
In our rapidly changing world where ideologies and forms of life are under threat, history is being disregarded. The 2018 Bruges Triennale proposes one question: “How flexible, liquid, and resilient can a historic city like Bruges be in an age when nothing seems to be certain any longer?” In parallel, the inspiration behind the concept lies in the geography of the city itself. Bruges is a city wrapped and braided with water and has been a metaphor for Liquid City since early times. Till-Holger Borchert and Michel Dewilde, curators of the 2018 Bruges Viennale, have asked artists and architects to translate the city’s fluidity and artistic legacy into picturesque installations, allowing visitors to become part of the creative process.
This week, we're highlighting a selection of the best images of projects built using rammed earth. These 15 works show the attractive aesthetic finish created by the superposition of multiple layers of compressed soil. Despite having been neglected as a construction technique for years, this type of construction is now experiencing a renaissance in architecture. Read on for a selection of images from prominent photographers such as Filip Dujardin, João Morgado, and Nic Lehoux.
Continuing their Time-Space-Existence series of monthly videos leading up to this year’s Venice Biennale, PLANE—SITE have released a new conversation with architect and former Harvard GSD chair of architecture Toshiko Mori. Each video highlights the ideas that drive the work of well-known designers, with this episode focusing on Mori’s philosophy of visual communication, dialogue with history and considering the future in her work.
Led by Jacques Herzog (born 19 April 1950) and Pierre de Meuron (born 8 May 1950), most descriptions of Herzog & de Meuron projects are almost paradoxical: in one paragraph they will be praised for their dedication to tradition and vernacular forms, in the next for their thoroughly modern innovation. However, in the hands of Herzog & de Meuron this is no paradox, as the internationally renowned architectural duo combine tradition and innovation in such a way that the two elements actually enhance each other.
In architecture we are so caught up in creating something new, we often forget about what happens at the end of a building’s life cycle—the unfortunate, inevitable demolition. We may want our buildings to be timeless and live on forever, but the harsh reality is that they do not, so where is all the waste expected to go?
As with most non-recyclable waste, it ends up in the landfill and, as the land required for landfill becomes an increasingly scarce resource, we must find an alternative solution. Each year in the UK alone, 70–105 million tonnes of waste is created from demolishing buildings, and only 20% of that is biodegradable according to a study by Cardiff University. With clever design and a better awareness of the biodegradable materials available in construction, it’s up to us as architects to make the right decisions for the entirety of a building’s lifetime.
This article was originially published by Metropolis Magazine as "Architects, Armed with Data, Are Seeing the Workplace Like Never Before."
A workplace that improves employee productivity and efficiency has been a white whale of corporate managers for decades. But even before the office as we know it today was born, designers and innovators were already studying sites of labor, such as the factory, to devise strategies to boost worker performance. By the 1960s, Robert Propst, the inventor behind Herman Miller’s Action Office line of workplace furniture, and others were conducting workspace research that would ultimately lead to the creation of the modern cubicle.
These developments relied largely on observation and intuition to organize office workers in purportedly effective ways. Now, advances in technology allow designers to take a more sophisticated approach, using sensors, internet-connected furniture and fixtures, and data analytics to study offices in real time. “You can take into account every single employee, and people are very different,” says London architect Uli Blum. “It’s about solving the fundamental problems of getting people the environment they need. And the easiest way is to ask them,” he adds. But finding out the needs of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of workers can quickly become an exercise in futility.