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Samuel Ludwig

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Spotlight: Peter Zumthor

06:30 - 26 April, 2019
The Therme Vals. Image © Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG
The Therme Vals. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Known for his sensuous materiality and attention to place, 2009 Pritzker Laureate Peter Zumthor (born April 26, 1943) is one the most revered architects of the 21st century. Shooting to fame on the back of The Therme Vals and Kunsthaus Bregenz, completed just a year apart in 1996 and 1997, his work privileges the experiential qualities of individual buildings over the technological, cultural and theoretical focus often favored by his contemporaries.

Bruder Klaus Field Chapel. Image © Samuel Ludwig Steilneset Memorial. Image © Andrew Meredith Saint Benedict Chapel. Image © Felipe Camus Kunsthaus Bregenz. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/heyitschili/4163419615'>Flickr user heyitschili</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a> + 16

Spotlight: Mies van der Rohe

03:30 - 27 March, 2019
Spotlight: Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona Pavilion. Image © Gili Merin
Barcelona Pavilion. Image © Gili Merin

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (27 March 1886 – 17 August 1969) is one of the most influential architects of the 20th century, known for his role in the development of the most enduring architectural style of the era: modernism. Born in Aachen, Germany, Mies' career began in the influential studio of Peter Behrens, where Mies worked alongside other two other titans of modernism, Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier. For almost a century, Mies' minimalist style has proved very popular; his famous aphorism "less is more" is still widely used, even by those who are unaware of its origins.

Neue National Gallery in Berlin. Image © Guillermo Hevia García The Farnsworth House. Image © Greg Robbins IBM Building. Image © Bluffton University Seagram Building. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NewYorkSeagram_04.30.2008.JPG'>Wikimedia user Noroton</a> licensed under public domain + 14

The Top Creative Cities and Countries of 2018 According to Airbnb

11:00 - 30 November, 2018
The Top Creative Cities and Countries of 2018 According to Airbnb, Tianjin Binhai Library / MVRDV + Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute. Image © Ossip Van Duivenbode
Tianjin Binhai Library / MVRDV + Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute. Image © Ossip Van Duivenbode

As 2018 draws to a close, accommodation website Airbnb has dived into their data to reveal the most creative cities and countries from the year. Based on the percentage of hosts who are in the creative industries, the list builds on a previous survey by Airbnb which found that one in 10 Airbnb hosts and one in three Experience hosts identify as members of the creative community.

Read on below for the list of top creative countries and cities according to the new Airbnb study. For architects already planning a New Year’s getaway, check out an article we published of ten projects previously featured by ArchDaily, now available for booking through Airbnb.

Best Small Chapel Architecture & Design

12:00 - 21 October, 2018
© Samuel Ludwig
© Samuel Ludwig

Cortesía de Nicolás Campodónico © Yao Li Cortesía de STUDIO associates © Davide Perbellini + 32

This week we’ve selected the best chapels previously published on our site. They reveal different ways of designing a small and sacred space. For inspiration on how to create these atmospheres, integrate different materials, and make proper use of light, we present 32 remarkable examples.

Spotlight: Le Corbusier

05:30 - 6 October, 2018
Spotlight: Le Corbusier, Notre Dame du Haut at Ronchamp. Image © <a href='www.flickr.com/photos/9160678@N06/2089042156'>Flickr user scarletgreen</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
Notre Dame du Haut at Ronchamp. Image © Flickr user scarletgreen licensed under CC BY 2.0

Born in the small Swiss city of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris—better known by his pseudonym Le Corbusier (October 6, 1887 – August 27, 1965)—is widely regarded as the most important architect of the 20th century. As a gifted architect, provocative writer, divisive urban planner, talented painter, and unparalleled polemicist, Le Corbusier was able to influence some of the world’s most powerful figures, leaving an indelible mark on architecture that can be seen in almost any city worldwide.

Palace of the Assembly at Chandigarh. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/70608042@N00/1321525329'>Flickr user chiara_facchetti</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> Villa Savoye. Image © Flavio Bragaia Church at Firminy. Image © Richard Weil Swiss Pavilion. Image © Samuel Ludwig + 25

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer: "To Understand a Building, Go There, Open your Eyes, and Look!"

09:30 - 8 August, 2018
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer: "To Understand a Building, Go There, Open your Eyes, and Look!" , © Nina Vidic, via ELEMENTAL. ImageUC Innovation Center / ELEMENTAL
© Nina Vidic, via ELEMENTAL. ImageUC Innovation Center / ELEMENTAL

Six years ago Susan Szenasy and I had the honor of interviewing Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer for Metropolis magazine. While he was a federal appeals judge in Boston, Breyer played a key role in shepherding the design and construction of the John Joseph Moakley United State Courthouse, designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. In 2011 Justice Breyer joined the jury of the Pritzker Prize. Given his long involvement with architecture, I thought it would be fun to catch up with him. So, on the final day of court before breaking for the summer recess, I talked to Justice Breyer about his experience as a design client, how to create good government buildings, and why public architecture matters.

Spotlight: Álvaro Siza

04:30 - 25 June, 2018
Spotlight: Álvaro Siza, The Building on the Water. Image © Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG
The Building on the Water. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

One of the most highly regarded architects of his generation, Portugese architect Álvaro Siza (born 25 June 1933) is known for his sculptural works that have been described as "poetic modernism." When he was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 1992, Siza was credited as being a successor of early modernists: the jury citation describes how "his shapes, molded by light, have a deceptive simplicity about them; they are honest."

The Building on the Water. Image © Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG Expo'98 Portuguese National Pavilion. Image © Flickr user Pedro Moura Pinheiro Fundação Iberê Camargo. Image © Grazielle Bruscato Leça Swimming Pools. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Swimming_Pool_Piscinas_de_Mar%C3%A9s_Le%C3%A7a_da_Palmeira_by_%C3%81lvaro_Siza_foto_Christian_G%C3%A4nshirt.jpg'>Wikimedia user Christian Gänshirt</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 4.0</a> + 15

Spotlight: Antoni Gaudí

00:00 - 25 June, 2018
Spotlight: Antoni Gaudí, La Sagrada Familia's passion facade. Image © Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada  Família
La Sagrada Familia's passion facade. Image © Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Família

When Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (25 June 1852 – 10 June 1926) graduated from the Barcelona Architecture School in 1878, the director of the school Elies Rogent reportedly declared: "Gentlemen, we are here today either in the presence of a genius or a madman!" [1] Well over a century later, this tension is still evident in Gaudí's work; though he is widely regarded as a genius architect, his distinctive style stands as a singularity in architectural history—simultaneously awe-inspiring and bizarre, never fitting into any stylistic movement, and never adapted or emulated, except by those still working to complete his magnum opus, Barcelona's famous Sagrada Família.

Casa Milà. Image © Samuel Ludwig Parc Güell. Image © Samuel Ludwig Colònia Güell. Image © Samuel Ludwig Casa Batlló. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/srboisvert/306517767'>Flickr user srboisvert</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> + 10

AD Classics: Yale University Art Gallery / Louis Kahn

09:30 - 25 May, 2018
AD Classics: Yale University Art Gallery / Louis Kahn, © Samuel Ludwig
© Samuel Ludwig

Yale University’s School of Architecture was in the midst of pedagogical upheaval when Louis Kahn joined the faculty in 1947. With skyscraper architect George Howe as dean and modernists like Kahn, Philip Johnson, and Josef Albers as lecturers, the post-war years at Yale trended away from the school’s Beaux-Arts lineage towards the avant-garde. And so, when the consolidation of the university’s art, architecture, and art history departments in 1950 demanded a new building, a modernist structure was the natural choice to concretize an instructional and stylistic departure from historicism.[1] Completed in 1953, Louis Kahn’s Yale University Art Gallery building would provide flexible gallery, classroom, and office space for the changing school; at the same time, Kahn’s first significant commission signaled a breakthrough in his own architectural career—a career now among the most celebrated of the second half of the twentieth century.

© Samuel Ludwig © Samuel Ludwig © Samuel Ludwig © Samuel Ludwig + 16

Spotlight: Frank Gehry

06:00 - 28 February, 2018
Spotlight: Frank Gehry, Walt Disney Concert Hall. Image Courtesy of Gehry Partners, LLP
Walt Disney Concert Hall. Image Courtesy of Gehry Partners, LLP

Internationally acclaimed architect Frank Gehry (born 28 February 1929) has been headlining architectural news platforms since he established his Los Angeles practice in 1962 and remodeled his home in Santa Monica. Notorious for his expressive use of form (and its-sometimes inflationary effect on project budgets), Gehry is best known for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, which fellow architect Philip Johnson once dubbed “the greatest building of our time.”

Walt Disney Concert Hall. Image Courtesy of Gehry Partners, LLP Guggenheim Bilbao. Image © Peter Knaup Vitra Museum. Image © Liao Yusheng Fondation Louis Vuitton. Image © Todd Eberle + 19

Spotlight: Alvar Aalto

06:00 - 3 February, 2018
Spotlight: Alvar Aalto, Säynätsalo Town Hall. Image © Fernanda Castro
Säynätsalo Town Hall. Image © Fernanda Castro

As one of the key figures of midcentury Modernism and perhaps Finland's most celebrated architect, Alvar Aalto (3 February 1898 – 11 May 1976) was known for his humanistic approach to Modernism. For his characteristically Finnish take on architecture, Aalto has become a key reference point for architecture in the Nordic countries, and his commitment to creating a total work of art left many examples of his design genius not only in buildings but also in their interior features, including furniture, lamps, and glassware design.

MIT Baker House Dormitory. Image © <a href='https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Baker_House,_MIT,_Cambridge,_Massachusetts.JPG'>Wikimedia user Daderot</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> Muuratsalo Experimental House. Image © Nico Saieh Riola Parish Church. Image © Franco Di Capua Säynätsalo Town Hall. Image © <a href='https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SaynatsaloTownHall.jpg'>Wikimedia user Zache</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> + 20

10 Hard-To-Reach Masterpieces And How To Get There

08:00 - 23 July, 2017
10 Hard-To-Reach Masterpieces And How To Get There

Visiting architectural masterpieces by the greats can often feel like a pilgrimage of sorts, especially when they are far away and hard to find. Not everyone takes the time to visit these buildings when traveling, which makes getting there all the more special. With weird opening hours, hard-to-reach locations and elusive tours we thought we’d show a selection from our archives of masterpieces (modernist to contemporary) and what it takes to make it through their doors. Don’t forget your camera! 

Why Are Alexander Calder Sculptures So Overused in Architecture Renders?

09:30 - 28 June, 2017
OMA, Park Grove Condos, Miami, featuring Calder’s Flamingo, 1973. The work is actually installed in Federal Plaza in Chicago. Image Courtesy of OMA
OMA, Park Grove Condos, Miami, featuring Calder’s Flamingo, 1973. The work is actually installed in Federal Plaza in Chicago. Image Courtesy of OMA

This article was originally published by The Architect's Newspaper as "Rendering LOL: How architects are absurdly using Calder sculptures."

Why do so many architects use Alexander Calder sculptures in their renderings, even when the works have nothing to do with the institution or project depicted? The Calder Foundation has been tracking this phenomenon, and the results are featured in the images for this article.

A new exhibition at the Whitney Museum in New York explores mobiles—kinetic sculptures in which carefully balanced components reveal their own unique systems of movement—created by American sculptor Alexander Calder from 1930 until 1968, eight years before his death.

Ateliers Jean Nouvel, 53 W. 53rd Street, New York, featuring Calder’s Sumac, 1961. It is part of a Private Collection. Image Courtesy of Ateliers Jean Nouvel Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Middle East Media Headquarters, featuring Calder’s La Grande vitesse, 1969. The monumental sculpture this model is based on is actually installed in Calder Plaza in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Image Courtesy of BIG Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), Godrej BKC, Mumbai, featuring Calder’s La Grande vitesse, 1969 (The monumental sculpture this model is based on is actually installed in Calder Plaza in Grand Rapids, Michigan). Image Courtesy of SOM Flamingo, 1973, installed at the Federal Center Plaza, Chicago. Image © Samuel Ludwig + 15

Art or Architecture? 13 Projects That Blur The Boundary

09:30 - 30 April, 2017
Art or Architecture? 13 Projects That Blur The Boundary

Whether architecture is a form of art or not has often been a controversial topic of conversation within the architecture world. If one goes by the general definition of the word "art," architecture could potentially fit within the umbrella term: "the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power." As anyone involved in the architectural discipline probably knows, there is an abundance of varying definitions of the word "architecture," so whether its primary purpose is to achieve beauty or to organize space is evidently up for discussion.

Ask Jay A. Pritzker, founder of the Pritzker Prize, and he may say that "architecture is intended to transcend the simple need for shelter and security by becoming an expression of artistry." Ask The Guardian's Jonathan Jones and he may tell you that "architecture is the art we all encounter most often, most intimately, yet precisely because it is functional and necessary to life, it's hard to be clear about where the 'art' in a building begins." But this ambiguity is part of what makes the field of architecture challenging and exciting. To celebrate this complicated aspect of architecture, below we have collected a list of just some of the works that could be seen as art, architecture or both, depending on who’s looking, to provide some context to those blurry boundaries.

© James Dow © Florian Holzherr Courtesy of Studio Olafur Eliasson © Anders Sune Berg + 14

Alvar Aalto Foundation Breaks All-Time Record for Number of Visitors in 2016

12:00 - 26 January, 2017
Alvar Aalto Foundation Breaks All-Time Record for Number of Visitors in 2016, © Samuel Ludwig
© Samuel Ludwig

Last year saw the Alvar Aalto Foundation experience a record-breaking number of visitors at each of its four sites – a total of 42,755 as opposed to the 36,744 people that toured the sites in 2015.

Of those numbers, The Alvar Aalto Museum and the Muuratsalo Experimental House in Jyväskylä received a total of 20,005 visitors combined, half of which had arrived from outside of Finland to explore the Museum, while also continuing the recent trend of an increasing number of visits over the past five years.

Interview with Álvaro Siza: “Beauty Is the Peak of Functionality!”

10:30 - 11 January, 2017
Interview  with Álvaro Siza: “Beauty Is the Peak of Functionality!”, Fundação Iberê Camargo. Image
Fundação Iberê Camargo. Image

Throughout the 60-year career of Álvaro Siza, his work has continuously defied categorization--having variously been described as “critical regionalism” and “poetic modernism,” with neither quite capturing the true essence of Siza's intuitive architecture. In this interview, the latest in Vladimir Belogolovsky's “City of Ideas” series, Siza discusses those attempts to categorize his work, his design approach and the role of beauty in his designs.

Vladimir Belogolovsky: Your student, Eduardo Souto de Moura said, “Siza’s houses are just like cats sleeping in the sun.”

Álvaro Siza: [Laughs.] Yes, he meant that my buildings assume the most natural postures on the site. There is also a reference in that to the human body.

Auditorium Theatre of Llinars del Valles . Image Fire Station in Santo Tirso. Image © João Morgado - Architecture Photography The Building on the Water / Álvaro Siza + Carlos Castanheira. Image Boa Nova Tea House. Image © Samuel Ludwig + 33

AD Readers Debate: Preserving Breuer's Brutalist Library in Atlanta, Problems with Coliving and More

10:30 - 22 April, 2016
AD Readers Debate: Preserving Breuer's Brutalist Library in Atlanta, Problems with Coliving and More, Marcel Breuer's Central Library in Atlanta. Image via Docomomo
Marcel Breuer's Central Library in Atlanta. Image via Docomomo

The past two weeks have seen an interesting mixture of comments on ArchDaily. Topics of conversation have ranged from Brutalist preservation to the future of living, and from neoliberal planning systems to restrictive copyright laws, raising insightful questions, interesting ideas and impressive arguments. Read on to find out what has been occupying our readers’ minds these past two weeks.

Freedom of Panorama: The Internet Copyright Law that Should Have Architects Up in Arms

10:30 - 7 April, 2016
Freedom of Panorama: The Internet Copyright Law that Should Have Architects Up in Arms, Dubai Skyline, including at its center the Burj Khalifa by SOM. Image © Naufal MQ via Shutterstock.com
Dubai Skyline, including at its center the Burj Khalifa by SOM. Image © Naufal MQ via Shutterstock.com

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of Sweden ruled against Wikimedia Sverige in a landmark case over “Freedom of Panorama,” a ruling which The Wikimedia Foundation has “respectfully disagreed with” in a blog post. The Swedish Supreme Court’s ruling, in short, states that Wikimedia Sverige is not entitled to host photographs of copyrighted works of art on its website Offentligkonst.se, which provides maps, descriptions and images of artworks placed in public spaces in Sweden.

The concept of freedom of panorama describes a provision in copyright law which extends the right to take and to disseminate photographs of copyrighted works provided those photographs were taken in public spaces. Most people who own a camera (in other words, most people) have probably given very little thought to their freedom of panorama, or any restrictions that may have been placed upon it. But the reality of this little-known copyright-related oddity is something that many people, and architects especially, should find very concerning indeed.