The history of concrete dates back to ancient Rome, approximately 2,000 years ago. The so-called “Roman Concrete” is composed of limestone, volcanic ash, and seawater and it permitted the construction of aqueducts, highways, and temples; many of them still stand to this day. Some time ago, this original mix was discovered to form a mineral called aluminum tobermorite, which gets stronger as time goes by.
The Royal Institute of British Architects has announced the launch of the RIBA International Awards 2020 to recognize architecture outside of the United Kingdom. Now open for entries, the awards are open to any qualified architect in the world for a building outside of the UK, of any size and budget. The biennial awards celebrate buildings that exemplify design innovation, embrace sustainable technologies and deliver meaningful social impact.
Los Angeles has long been a testing ground for new ideas on architecture and design. Tapping into the city’s creative energy, the cofounders of Second Home, Rohan Silva and Sam Aldenton, are working with Spanish architects Selgascano to finish a new 90,000-square-foot Hollywood outpost. Second Home launched its first office space in east London in 2014 and made its name with smart co-working design featuring bright colors, glass walls and abundant greenery.
In an exclusive interview with ArchDaily, Rohan talks about his background and the early stages of Second Home. Silva touches on the team’s new project, bringing the Serpentine Pavilion to Los Angeles, and what it means to build a creative community through architecture.
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.
As a firm which has already won major awards, worked on culturally significant projects on a large scale, and generally achieved substantial success and recognition in just over 10 years, SO-IL seem to straddle a line between being an “emerging” and an “established” practice. Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu founded SO-IL (Solid Objectives-Idenburg Liu) in 2008 and have since gained a reputation for modern, clean-lined designs, but often with a unique material twist.
The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) has recently announced the shortlist for the RAIC International Award 2019, highlighting socially-transformative architecture around the world.
In this edition of the award, the jury was composed of Anne Carrier, Stephen Hodder, Barry Johns, Eva Matsuzaki, Diarmuid Nash, Gilles Saucier and David Covo. Analyzing projects from 12 countries and six continents, the jury selected an educational building in Perú, an artist residency and cultural center in Senegal and a spiritual temple in Chile for the shortlist.
The use of steel in architecture is considered as one of the most innovative construction developments in history, allowing architects to create structures in scales they never thought they could. Fast-forward a few centuries, and steel remains as one of the most crucial materials in architecture. But there is a lot more to the material than just tensile strength and durability, some architects were well-aware of steel's potential and transformed it into lighting fixtures, facades, decorative elements, and finishes.
Here are 15 projects where architects looked beyond steel as structural support and explored its diverse possibilities in architecture.
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.