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Ar Issues: The Latest Architecture and News

AR Issues: Looking Back on 120 Years of The Architectural Review

09:30 - 25 February, 2017
Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the December – January 2017 issue—the magazine's celebration of its 120th anniversary—Editor Christine Murray discusses the legacy that comes from more than a century being one of architecture's most respected magazines, and looks forward to the future of the publication. "Looking forward, we are committed to doing things differently – which, paradoxically, is what we’ve always done," she explains.

The archive of The Architectural Review is a great cabinet of curiosities – a cacophony of voices, styles, illustrations and photographs, Outrages and Delights, personalities and proclivities, polemics, failures and fetishes. In creating this anniversary edition celebrating 120 years of criticism, we wanted to capture the diversity and eccentricity of this ongoing architectural conversation. As such, the archive content is organized not chronologically, but in perennial themes that have echoed and evolved across the decades, from technology to education – forces that have shaped the profession.

AR Issues: The Digital Age Has Not Killed Craft, Only Restructured It

09:30 - 18 February, 2017
Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the February 2017 issue, Editor Christine Murray discusses craft. Seeking to find parallels between the processes of creating their own magazine and of designing a building, she argues that "there are easier ways to make a magazine, but along paths we choose not to take."

The magazine you hold in your hand is the product of many: 16 writers, 48 photographers, plus illustrators, jellymakers, 3D printers, 10 editors and an art director; and at the press, 15 people for its printing and binding.

You may imagine that the contemporary magazine-making process has lost its need for expertise through automation – push a button and the printer spits it out. But as AR Head of Production, Paul Moran says, "Machines may have taken on some of the front-end work, but every element of the printing process is a skill."

AR Issues: How the Internet Has Promoted the Banality of "Notopia"

09:30 - 22 July, 2016
AR Issues: How the Internet Has Promoted the Banality of "Notopia" , Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the July 2016 issue, Editor Christine Murray continues the crusade, begun in the previous issue, against "Notopia." Here, Murray describes Notopia's connection to our 21st century digital society, arguing that "the failed promise of the internet is how it has hurt the real world."

It may be found even in an attractive metropolis, densely packed with fine buildings old and new, replete with coffee shops and bicycle lanes. Here, Notopia is a simulacrum of inhabitation, like a stage set for its players. Nothing is what it seems. The historic apartments that overlook the twisted pedestrianized lanes of Barcelona are in fact hotel rooms for weekend visitors. The towering sea-view condominiums of Vancouver are foreign investment properties bought in exchange for citizenship. Detroit’s streets of elegant gabled houses have no services, the municipal water systems long turned off.

AR Issues: On "Notopia," the Scourge Destroying Our Cities Worldwide

09:30 - 15 June, 2016
AR Issues: On "Notopia," the Scourge Destroying Our Cities Worldwide, Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the June 2016 issue on what the AR has provocatively named "Notopia," Editor Christine Murray outlines the defining characteristics of this "selfish city," the "pandemic of generic buildings have no connection to each other" - stating that their issue-long tirade against Notopia "is less a warning than a prophecy of doom."

If what is called the development of our cities is allowed to multiply at the present rate, then by the end of the century our world will consist of isolated oases of glassy monuments surrounded by a limbo of shacks and beige constructions, and we will be unable to distinguish any one global city from another.

This pandemic of generic buildings have no connection to each other, let alone to the climate and culture of their location.

With apologies to our forebear Ian Nairn, upon this scourge The Architectural Review bestows a name in the hope that it will stick – NOTOPIA. Its symptom (which one can observe without even leaving London) is that the edge of Mumbai will look like the beginning of Shenzhen, and the center of Singapore will look like downtown Dallas.

AR Issues: Why Indian Architects Need More Opportunities to Build at Home

09:30 - 3 June, 2016
AR Issues: Why Indian Architects Need More Opportunities to Build at Home, Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the May 2016 issue on Indian architecture, Editor Christine Murray highlights just some of the challenges facing the world's second most populous country, arguing for a more respected architecture profession that will be well-equipped to solve those problems.

When I think of Indian architecture, visions of Chandigarh dance in my head. India has long been a country in which to build out dreams. But with a legacy of outsourcing design to the West, for too long it has been subject to the long-arm imposition of utopian ideas.

From Lutyens to Le Corbusier, rarely have these idealistic foreign interventions made adequate provision for the nation’s rapid urbanization and vast numbers of urban poor.

AR Issues: How Cultural Buildings Can Help Prevent Gentrification, Not Cause It

09:30 - 9 January, 2016
AR Issues: How Cultural Buildings Can Help Prevent Gentrification, Not Cause It, Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the January 2016 issue, Editor Christine Murray recounts what we know about gentrification, and how cultural buildings can be planned to encourage - rather than destroy - a neighborhood's cultural vibrancy.

Cultural buildings are the new town halls: more socially inclusive than the pub or the church.

The best cultural projects act as public spaces, schools for continuing education, crucibles for talent, fostering innovation and social happenings, from yoga classes to children’s libraries. When free of entry charge, they are a place you can go to learn, rather than just buy – a triumph of experience over consumerism.

But what we’ve learned from the failure of the icon-building boom is that, for a cultural building to really contribute to a city, it must be part of a social ecosystem, not simply a place for tourists to visit. A cultural hub must be connected into a pre-existing cultural vibrancy, supported by decent infrastructure and a community that actually lives there.

AR Issues: How Residential Development is Destroying London's Schools

09:30 - 24 October, 2015
AR Issues: How Residential Development is Destroying London's Schools, Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the October 2015 issue, Editor Christine Murray uses their recent school awards as incentive to discuss the plight facing London schools and (in timely fashion) asks "are we going to battery farm our children now?"

My son’s postwar school won’t win any awards for its design. I’d like to think that’s why they plan to demolish it. But the school faces a more sinister fate.

Hackney has its eyes on rising land values in this fast gentrifying London borough. It plans to demolish three primary schools, carving up the plots to build private homes for sale on designated education land. New schools will be rebuilt on a fraction of the original sites, some with twice as many pupils squeezed in.

AR Issues: Why Ornament vs Icons is the Wrong Debate Entirely

09:30 - 26 September, 2015
AR Issues: Why Ornament vs Icons is the Wrong Debate Entirely, Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the September 2015 issue, Editor Christine Murray discusses the postmodern reappraisal of ornament that has recently returned to architectural consciousness, arguing "what is disappointing is that we are still stuck discussing how a building looks."

The return to ornament is an evolution of the "icon" building. The emphasis may be on craft rather than form, but these buildings still clamour for attention, shouting "I am here." They share with the icon its selfie-friendly facade. This is architecture destined to be photographed, perhaps even nicknamed, heralding its presence as a landmark through the use of decoration, from brick mosaics to gilded towers.

Where it differs from the icon is in the emphasis on ‘making’; the craftsmanship or process by which the decorative element was created. The ornamentation may also feature on only part of the building, whereas an icon always refers to the whole.

AR Issues: Why American Cities Should Give Big Jobs to the Little Guys

09:30 - 10 September, 2015
AR Issues: Why American Cities Should Give Big Jobs to the Little Guys, Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the August 2015 issue, AR editor Christine Murray takes on the disheartening architectural scene in North American cities from New York to Toronto, arguing that "NYC is not where we found a new American architecture" and asking: "Why not give the young guns a tower or a Whitney, let them stretch their legs?"

The latest New York towers are more billboard than building. Like celebrity-endorsed perfume - fancy box, smelly water - the architecture matters less than the artist and his (yes, they are all men) pen’s effluent black-ink concept scrawl.

This is the nation that gave birth to the skyscraper, yet tycoons are commissioning foreign architects for its next generation of towers. New York’s recent acquisitions include a Siza and an Ando, to display alongside a collection of Nouvel, Viñoly and Gehry. Michael Sorkin takes on the towers in this edition, accusing starchitects of putting lipstick on pigs.

AR Issues: Architects Used to Design Homes for People, Not Investment

09:30 - 25 July, 2015
AR Issues: Architects Used to Design Homes for People, Not Investment, Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the July 2015 issue, AR editor Christine Murray takes on "the most pressing issue of our time," the global housing crisis, asking "why don’t we shelter the homeless in empty housing? This crisis seems nonsensical when the postwar housing crisis was solved so efficiently."

The architect-designed home is a desirable commodity, that Modernist minimalist bungalow, all steel and glass with a large sofa, the Case Study House complete with swimming pool, MacBook Air and stunning view. 

But there was once a different kind of architect-designed home, for people in need of shelter, not investments – and it’s sorely required now. Housing is the most pressing issue of our time, with one in every 122 people in the world either a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum – a record high, according to a UN report. Yet cash-strapped states do nothing, build nothing. They stand eyes averted, hands in their pockets.

AR Issues: Has Architecture Lost its Social Conscience?

09:30 - 20 July, 2015
AR Issues: Has Architecture Lost its Social Conscience?, Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the June 2015 issue, The AR's editor Christine Murray addresses the question:"has architecture lost its social conscience?" According to Murray, "the question has become an arthritis; a dull ache that improves or worsens depending on the weather."

For some, the social purpose of architecture is associated with the idealism of youth, to be shed like a snakeskin as the responsibilities of age take over. But there is still plenty of teeth gnashing and hand wringing. Even if architects are powerless to shape the economic and political context of their work, a building is still a place where people gather. A social purpose, whether for a school or an office tower, is still the driver of its design. And yet, when the paperwork and construction are done, the bureaucracy surmounted, the fees paid (or not), and a building is finally complete, it’s the people we strip away. When architecture is published and the critic’s verdict given, it’s the messiness of life we edit out. 

AR Issues: On Destruction And New Beginnings

10:30 - 20 May, 2015
AR Issues: On Destruction And New Beginnings, Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the May 2015 issue, The AR's new editor Christine Murray discusses our various reactions to different forms of destruction and endings - a topic that is perhaps particularly poignant considering the new era that The AR is entering - and outlines her ambitions as editor of the magazine.

The experience of a space can be cathartic, like one night when I visited Peter Zumthor’s Therme Vals for a midnight opening, floating in the dark baths. It was just weeks after the birth of my first child, and also my birthday. In the water, I felt the person that I had always been and the mother I had now become reconciled. In that moment, I forgave my tired self (or the building forgave me) for being so unworthy, so wholly undeserving of the perfect baby entrusted to me. I left feeling alive and new, and I know Zumthor had something to do with it.

AR Issues: Past Imperfect, Future Tense

10:30 - 12 May, 2015
AR Issues: Past Imperfect, Future Tense, Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the April 2015 issue, her final editorial at the magazine, Catherine Slessor reflects on the changes in her two-decade tenure as a member of the AR's editorial staff - from the technological change that has irrevocably changed the nature of architectural publishing, to the worrying decline in the relevance of the architectural profession.

Cyberpunk king William Gibson once remarked: "The future is already here; it’s just not evenly distributed." But we’re getting there. The AR’s digital adventure has just climaxed with the recent launch of the AR app. Our lavish and incomparable banquet of criticism, culture and campaigning can now be savoured at your leisure, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. It’s a leap that completes the journey from paper magazine to digital multiverse, offering more and different kinds of content on your platform of choice.

AR Issues: Architecture That Goes Beyond Style Wars

09:30 - 16 April, 2015
AR Issues: Architecture That Goes Beyond Style Wars, Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this editorial from AR’s March 2015 issue, AR Editor Catherine Slessor discusses the phenomenon of "architects and magazines pursuing content rather than style," arguing both that architects should be raising the bar and also that the media, by nurturing their critical stance, should be a part of the solution, not the problem.

In what style shall we – or indeed, should we – build? Historically, architecture’s relationship with "style" is complicated and vexed. We can easily identify the formal attributes and origins of specific styles that attest to why Gothic cathedrals or Victorian train sheds look the way they do. But beyond the constraints of such historical determinism, Postmodernist and Parametricist multiplicities have allowed a hundred flowers to bloom, and their aroma began to stink the place out long ago.

AR Issues: Architects Don't Invent, They Transform

09:30 - 2 March, 2015
AR Issues: Architects Don't Invent, They Transform, Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this editorial from AR’s February 2015 issue, AR Editor Catherine Slessor reflects on Álvaro Siza's ouevre, from his early work in Évora to his latest effort in China. Though the latter is admittedly elegant, Slessor concludes that in comparison to his older transformative designs the recent incarnation of "brand Siza" is a "predictable triumph of style over content."

The great Portuguese Modernist Fernando Távora once remarked "Style is not of importance; what counts is the relation between the work and life, style is only the consequence of it." His friend and protégé Álvaro Siza echoed this sentiment when he said: "Architecture does not have a pre-established language nor does it establish a language. It is a response to a concrete problem, a situation in transformation, in which I participate. In architecture, we have already passed the phase during which we thought that the unity of language would resolve everything. A pre-established language, pure, beautiful, does not interest me."

AR Issues: A Primer From the Prince

00:00 - 26 January, 2015
AR Issues: A Primer From the Prince, Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this editorial from AR’s January 2015 issue, AR Editor Catherine Slessor reflects on The Prince of Wales’ ten principles for sustainable urban growth, which sparked widespread debate when they were published online near the end of December, arguing that the Prince's views are not just "some rose-tinted view of the past as the answer to the problems of modern life."

Some 25 years ago, the AR produced a special issue entitled "A Primer for the Prince". It recognised that in Britain, The Prince of Wales had come to exert a considerable influence on architecture, greatly increasing public awareness of the built environment and encouraging debate about the character of buildings and cities.

AR Issues: The Problem With Memorials and Memory

00:00 - 12 January, 2015
AR Issues: The Problem With Memorials and Memory, Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this editorial from AR’s December 2014 issue, AR Editor Catherine Slessor ruminates on the contemporary approach to memorials, arguing that “as architecture can rarely truly grasp the notion of absence, memorial culture lapses into comforting banality.

Always uneasy bedfellows, this year the relationship between building and memory has had a particularly charged resonance. The centenary of the outbreak of the First World War has been framed by the familiar narratives of slaughter and sacrifice, while the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall marked the moment when Communism in Europe finally faltered and collapsed. No doubt that these are profound, epoch-defining events, but how they are memorialised in built form is frequently problematic.

AR Issues: Architecture Has Nothing in Common with Luxury Goods

00:00 - 11 November, 2014
AR Issues: Architecture Has Nothing in Common with Luxury Goods, Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this editorial from AR’s November 2014 issue, AR Editor Catherine Slessor uses the opening of Frank Gehry's Fondation Louis Vuitton as occasion to examine the split that has developed within the architectural profession, musing "On how architecture can be either manifestation of vanity or source of social transformation."

One of the most depressing illustrations of how far architecture has lost its grip on reality is Frank Gehry’s new handbag. Along with other selected ‘iconoclasts’ from the world of fashion, art and design, Gehry was tasked by French luxury goods purveyor Louis Vuitton to design a bespoke limited edition ‘piece’. Gehry’s new Fondation Louis Vuitton has just opened in Paris and he is the man of the hour, so it seems obvious that after designing a monumental repository for contemporary art, he should turn his hand to the trifling matter of a fashion accessory. The handbag is yours for £2490. The art museum is yours for around £100 million, though some speculate that it cost much, much more.