The editorial notes on Arts & Architecture’s 11th Case Study House set out the “basic principles of modern architecture”: an emphasis on “order, fitness and simplicity.” Livability and practicality are key, and “sham” is frowned on. As with other houses in the series, this design by JR Davidson adheres to these goals with clean, horizontal lines, an open floor plan, and integration of the outdoor space.
It’s a modest, compact home, less high-concept than some of the other houses in the programme—no indoor plantings or reflecting pools; no complicated backstory for the imagined clients (think of the next two, #12 and especially #13)—but arguably more successful in providing a model for the average American home. Its value doesn’t depend on dramatic landscaping or views, but on thoughtful design and attention to solving everyday problems. Walking through Archilogic’s 3D model reveals the elegance of Davidson’s approach.
Since the start of civil war in 1991, the political and architectural landscapes of the East African country of Somalia have been unstable. While the country’s urban centers, such as the capital city Mogadishu, boast a diverse fabric of historic mosques, citadels, and monuments alongside modernist civic structures, the decades of conflict have resulted in the destruction of many important structures. And, while the fighting has substantially subsided in recent years, the future of the country's architectural heritage is still far from secure.
In response, Somali architecture students from across the UK, Italy, and the United States have banded together to form Somali Architecture, an ongoing research project archiving and digitally "rebuilding" iconic structures through 3D models. Their goal is “to preserve the identity and authenticity” of Somalia through its architecture—both existing and destroyed. “We want each iconic building of the past to be reinterpreted for a more coherent future,” they say.
See below for a selection of the structures Somali Architecture has uncovered and re-constructed so far.
A portfolio is the standard way for architects to show their work and their style, process and brand. Over the last decade, portfolios have evolved from paper to digital, primarily because it is more time and cost efficient to maintain a digital portfolio and keep it up-to-date.
Within the realm of digital portfolios, choices can range between an app, a PDF, to a web-hosted portfolio. Architects usually choose to use JPEGs as the main element of the portfolio and may add text or other digital media like video or audio.
However, with the increasing use of new technologies like Virtual Reality to present architectural work - there is a strong case for creating and maintaining an immersive VR portfolio of your work to differentiate your brand in front of your audience and embrace newer technologies.
The tenth Case Study House wasn’t actually intended for the Arts & Architecture programme. It was added on its completion in 1947, to fill out the roster, as many houses remained unbuilt. Clearly, the Nomland design earned its place on the list, having many features in common with other Case Study homes and, most importantly, meeting the stated aims of economy, simplicity, new materials and techniques, and indoor/outdoor integration. The different departure point, however, can be seen in the layout. Whereas Case Study homes were designed primarily for families, this plan is for “a family of adults”—which is to say, a childless couple.
The recent availability of automated design and production techniques is changing the development of building details. With parametric and algorithmic design methods and the use of digital fabrication, new abilities are required from architects for the design of details, at the same time as new players are beginning to take part in their development.
Although not always given the necessary attention, architectural details are of extreme importance for many aspects of a building. They can define its theoretical expression and technical character, and impact its production process, its assembly method and even its ecological footprint. Contemporary architecture shows a new interest in detailing, which should not be confused with a return to the appreciation of artisanal work. This new interest is related to the recent re-involvement of the architect with the physical making of buildings, as a result of the use of digital technologies. The new “digital master builder”  counts on file-to-factory processes, in which the morphology of construction details is directly related to the knowledge of the available production processes.
Even with tech like virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D printing, computational design and robotics already reshaping architecture practice, the design community is just scratching the surface of the potential of new technologies. Designers who recognize this and invest in building skills and expertise to maximize the use of these tools in the future will inherently become better architects, and position themselves for entirely new career paths as our profession evolves. It is a uniquely exciting moment for architecture to advance through innovative use of technology. Even just a decade ago, designers with interests in both architecture and technology were essentially required to pursue one or the other. Now, with architecture beginning to harness the power of cutting-edge technologies, these fields are no longer mutually exclusive. Rather than choose a preferred path, today’s architects are encouraged to embrace technology to become sought-out talent.
The architecture and manufacturing industries are about to undergo a radical shift in how they make things. In the near future, designers and engineers will be able to create products, buildings, and cities in real time, in virtual reality (VR).
In predicting VR’s dramatic evolution, an analogy to early cinematic history is apt: As one legend has it, when the motion-picture camera first came out, actors were filmed on a set, in front of fake trees. Then someone said, “Why don’t you just put the camera in the forest?” Simple, but game-changing. VR technology is already available, and it’s only a matter of time before it is used to its full potential.
Architect and Project Professor at The University of Tokyo, Fumio Matsumoto put together more than 30 iconic buildings into a single 3D printed object called, “Memories of Architecture.” Façades, exterior forms, interior spaces, and structures of significant architectural works were reproduced at 1:300 scale and merged together in order from old to new.
The name Niemeyer stands for one thing above all: curves. Whether undulating lines, soaring domes, or swooping pillars that repeat in perfect rhythm, his designs reject “the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man” in favor of “the curved Universe of Einstein,” as he wrote in his 2000 memoir The Curves of Time. Indeed, a late interview with him was headlined “the architect who eradicated the straight line.”
But what happens to an artist who becomes wedded to a certain philosophy of form and pursues it exclusively for decades; does it become restrictive? I wonder whether Niemeyer ever questioned his monogamous dedication to the curve. Perhaps a certain restlessness drove the uncharacteristically sharp-edged plan of the Tel Aviv house he designed for hotel magnate Yekutiel Federmann—or perhaps it reflects the political and personal upheaval of the moment.
Successful communication is fundamental to the success of any project, especially in architecture and construction. The industry has moved from 2D drawings to 3D BIM with programs like SketchUp and Revit. At times, there is still a struggle to communicate in and through these 3D models. From InsiteVR comes a solution.
The newest innovation by InsiteVR is like screen sharing but for 3D. As virtual reality gets more affordable and portable, collaborative VR has the potential to be as common as a screen share meeting. Together or in separate parts of the world, InsiteVR meetings allow architecture and construction professionals to review their models in virtual reality. Features include a designated lead presenter, built in voice, collaborative markups, synchronized cloud models, scale and mute controls.
The hit Netflix series Stranger Things returned for Season 2 last week (just in time for Halloween!), and, of course, immediately took the internet by storm.
Just as important as the mysterious circumstances and creepy characters to the plot are the show’s artfully crafted settings, intended by the producer to resemble familiar places from the real world (of the 80s), but with an unsettling twist.
This model from Archilogic recreates one of the central locations from the show, the house where Will Byers lives with his mom and brother. Check it out below to explore the manically-lit living room and other spaces seen in the action of the story.
What might the futuristic home of Tony Stark (AKA Iron Man) look like in our more mundane world? In this fun exercise, Archilogic imagines a for-sale version the Malibu mansion. Explore it for yourself in the 3D model!
Ever dreamed of a real superhero lifestyle? We have a rare opportunity to buy in this secluded Malibu location, thanks to a change of heart by the former owner. Dramatic views, spectacular entertaining areas, plus a huge workshop/garage and helipad – it’s all here.
Lovingly rebuilt after an unfortunate accident, this stark white clifftop mansion once again has all its original features. Buyers who enjoy a rich social life will appreciate the glamorous history of the house, in which the celebrity former owner enjoyed a lavish party lifestyle, as much as its spectacular design.
Modeling on the computer and physically building scale models are essential modes of iteration for the modern architecture studio. But what if this creative process of digital and physical ideation could be made accessible to everyone: children, hobbyists, and architects alike?
That is the question I set out to answer by designing an entirely new snapping block system, from the ground up, for the aesthetic and experiential expectations of the 21st century. It’s called Kible, and after putting architecture aside and developing it since November 2015, I’ve recently launched the product on Kickstarter.
Italian-American architect Paolo Soleri (21 June 1919 – 9 April 2013) made his name as a countercultural icon and urban visionary, best known for his theory of "arcology"—a combination of architecture and ecology—and for Arcosanti, the prototype town in the Arizona desert which embodied his ideals and became his life's work, which he founded in 1970 and continued to work on right up until his death in 2013.
Known as both an architect and an engineer, Pier Luigi Nervi (June 21, 1891 – January 9, 1979) explored the limitations of reinforced concrete by creating a variety of inventive structural projects; in the process, he helped to show the material had a place in architecture movements of the coming years. Nervi began his career in a time of technological revolution, and through his ambition and ability to recognize opportunity in the midst of challenge, he was able to have an impact on several disciplines and cultures.
Some unbuilt designs—the hopes they reveal and the reasons they stayed unbuilt—tell a powerful story. So it is with the home Frank Lloyd Wright designed for Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller. Or perhaps it’s what we think we know about Marilyn that makes it so poignant?
The union between a quiet-living intellectual and the world’s greatest sex symbol was baffling to the public, and the conflict between their aspirations and personalities seems to have played out in their plans for this Connecticut home. After moving into Miller’s country retreat, Monroe asked Wright to design a new house for them on this vast piece of land.
The last house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright was never built, with its plans being delivered to the client just days after Wright’s funeral. But the realization of his vision is tantalizingly possible, as those plans, and the parcel of land it was designed for, are still held by the same family—and are for sale, along with the adjoining plot and an existing Wright house.