What do Kanye West and Frank Gehry have in common?
As a first impression, not much. However, they have both engaged on stages with striking design details: the use of exaggerated scale and dimensions to manipulate visual perception, bulky concrete walls and slabs to emphasize heavyweight and grandiosity, visible scaffolding to create an industrial, unfinished feel... Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Architects are often bound by the will of their client, reluctantly sacrificing and compromising design choices in order to suit their needs. But what happens when architects become their own clients? When architects design for themselves, they have the potential to test their ideas freely, explore without creative restriction, and create spaces which wholly define who they are, how they design, and what they stand for. From iconic architect houses like the Gehry Residence in Santa Monica to private houses that double as a public-entry museum, here are 9 fascinating examples of how architects design when they only have themselves to answer to.
This week we present a selection of 17 excellent images of interior courtyards. These spaces bring many advantages to a design such as increased natural light and improved ventilation conditions, while providing occupants with direct access to the outside and to nature. Below is a selection of images from prominent photographers such as Quang Dam, Fran Parente, and Pablo Blanco.
In her lifetime, Pritzker prize-winning architect, fashion designer and artist Zaha Hadid (31 October 1950 – 31 March 2016) became one of the most recognizable faces of our field. Revered and denounced in equal measure for the sensuous curved forms for which she was known, Hadid rose to prominence not solely through parametricism but by designing spaces to occupy geometries in new ways. Despite her tragically early death in March of 2016, the projects now being completed by her office without their original lead designer continue to push boundaries both creative and technological, while the fearless media presence she cultivated in recent decades has cemented her place in society as a woman who needs just one name: Zaha.
Surely every architect has wondered how the fluid but complex forms of the architecture of Zaha Hadid Architects are brought to reality. And it's beautiful to see how an initial conceptual idea –probably drawn as a quick sketch– materializes in precise and detailed planimetric drawings.
We have compiled a series of construction details from 9 projects developed by Zaha Hadid Architects that give insight into her distinct style and approach, showing us that, with a little ingenuity and a lot of expertise, even the most impossible-seeming dreams can be built.
Patinated copper, also called oxidized, is a metal coat that "ages well" with excellent weathering resistance. Due to its capacity for transformation over time, when coming into contact with atmospheric conditions, the material does not require major maintenance, giving a unique aspect to the facades.
In addition to orange-colored plates, this material also gives off a blue / green appearance through a controlled chemical oxidation process. Its coloration is defined by the amount of crystals contained in the surface of the material. With the appearance of natural light, the panels display various shades and nuances of color.
Opening its doors last fall, Princeton University's Lewis Arts Complex by Steven Holl Architects and BNIM created a new campus gateway and state-of-the-art facilities for the arts. Expanding performance, rehearsal and teaching spaces, the complex has now been featured in a video directed by Spirit of Space. The footage shows how the building was designed to shape campus space while maximizing porosity and movement. Welcoming its second year of students, the complex is made to take the arts at Princeton to even greater heights.
ArchDaily and Airbnb were both founded in 2008, but for two very different reasons. Since then, ArchDaily has amassed a vast database of tens of thousands of buildings, located in cities and countries all around the world. Meanwhile, Airbnb has revolutionized the way in which we explore these countries, and use these buildings, even if just for one night.
This week we have prepared a selection of photographs in which reflections in water is used as the main compositional element. In these images, the surface qualities of the water play a fundamental role in giving the composition its final effect—either acting as a perfect mirror or giving a diffuse touch. Below is a selection of 10 images from prominent photographers such as Lu Hengzhong, Yao Li, and Nico Saieh.
Architecture schools and the students they house have a particularly unique and interesting building-user relationship. Architecture students value the buildings of their school not only for providing the valuable work space necessary for constructing studio projects but also as an example and model of a building in use. As the buildings are the places where students first learn how to read and understand architecture, design schools become full-scale teaching tools that help new designers grasp structure, details, how materials perform and interact, and so many of the other core concepts of architecture. While the scrutiny of students and faculty can be exhaustive, architects have embraced the challenge of creating engaging works of architecture that both suit the specific needs of a school and take on the pedagogical challenge of educating students by example.
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.
Chinese-American architect Ieoh Ming Pei (born April 26, 1917), is arguably the greatest living member of the modernist generation of architects. When he received his Pritzker Prize in 1983, the jury citation stated that he "has given this century some of its most beautiful interior spaces and exterior forms."
Shipping containers, once a darling of architectural upcycling, have received a lot of criticism recently, as architects are beginning to recognize that their perceived advantages—ready-made habitable space and structure, and an opportunity to recycle a widely available material—are based in little more than hopeful PR spin. But for one of the most prominent practices which regularly uses shipping containers in their work, LOT-EK, the attraction of these architectural ready-mades always went beyond the ecological and practical rationalizations provided by others. In this interview at the firm's New York studio, part of Vladimir Belogolovsky’s “City of Ideas” series, LOT-EK founders Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lignano discuss the conceptual foundations of their fascination with shipping container architecture.
As the founder of Steven Holl Architects, Steven Holl (born December 9, 1947) is recognized as one of the world's leading architects, having received prestigious awards for his contributions to design over the course of nearly forty years in practice, including the prestigious Alvar Aalto Medal in 1998, the AIA Gold Medal in in 2012, and the 2014 Praemium Imperiale. In 1991, Time Magazine named Holl America's Best Architect. He is revered for his ability to harness light to create structures with remarkable sensitivity to their locations, while his written works have been published in many preeminent volumes, sometimes collaborating with world-renowned architectural thinkers such as Juhani Pallasmaa and Alberto Pérez-Gómez.