Over 40 years of practice, Herzog + de Meuron have established themselves as one of the most celebrated practices in architecture. Their works span scale and site but are united by a sensitivity to material and detail that, today, often seems to fall by the wayside. The inner workings of the practice are notoriously private, but those interested in the process behind the project may soon have reason to celebrate.
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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.
Álvaro Siza's extensive personal archive of built and unbuilt projects is going online with free access, thanks to the collaboration between three institutions – the Serralves Foundation in Oporto, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon and the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Montreal.
Siza donated his archive to the three institutions in 2014, and after three years of archival work, the first batch of entries are set for public viewing.
With the green premise growing in popularity across the globe, more and more people are turning to recycling shipping containers as a way to reduce the extremely high surplus of empty shipping containers that are just waiting to become a home, office, apartment, school, dormitory, studio, emergency shelter, or anything else. The conversion of shipping containers to living spaces is not a new concept.
Shipping containers have become a more common architectural tool over the past few years. Through clippings, insertion of external elements, coatings, and equipment, the container is adapted according to its future use and desired aesthetics. See below 10 examples of works that adopt the use of containers.
The stair is one of the most fundamental elements of architecture. Whether thin and delicate or bold and colored, in some projects a staircase becomes the buildings’ main protagonist and serves as a focal point for the entire project. It is through staircases that architects create spatial forms and visuals that reveal new ways to perceive a constructed space. For this reason, we’ve searched our archives (again!) in search of some more inspiring stairs.
"It's quite evident that you're prepared to abandon traditional ways of sitting," Bernard Keeffe exclaims as he collapses into a bright yellow beanbag in Norman Foster's home. "For years," he continues, "people have thought that if they sat down they would have to sit on a chair, but now you have demonstrated that this is not necessary!" In this lengthy 1971 interview with Lord Foster, drawn from the archives of Thames TV, Keeffe questions the practice's early hi-tech approach to architecture in the context of a landscape in which buildings were becoming "ever more complicated."
Earlier this month, the Norman Foster Foundation opened its doors in central Madrid. Inhabiting in an old residential palace, and having undergone extensive renovation works since, the Foundation have also constructed their own contemporary courtyard pavilion. Housing a treasure trove of artefacts from Lord Foster's personal collection, the structure—which is shaped like the wing of an aircraft—also exhibits a newly restored 1927 Avions Voisin C7 originally owned by Le Corbusier.
Planning approval has been granted for the design of the first new building at Lambeth Palace in London for approximately 200 years – a new library and archive designed by Wright & Wright Architects. The building is intended to protect the priceless Lambeth Palace Library collection, second only to that of the Vatican and established in 1610 by Archbishop Bancroft, from any potential flooding and consolidate the wealth of rare artifacts and knowledge into a cohesive “portal of knowledge.”
“Wright & Wright and the whole team have responded to the exacting and challenging brief to achieve an outcome which will protect and preserve the collection; allow us to make them more accessible than ever before; be as environmentally friendly as possible; while creating a beautiful building which will be wonderful to work in and visit," said Declan Kelley, Director of Libraries and Archives of the Church of England.
Bricks are as old as the hills. An enduring element of architectural construction, brick has been a material of choice as far back as 7000BC. Through the centuries, bricks have built ancient empires in Turkey, Egypt, Rome and Greece. Exposed stock brick came to define the Georgian era, with thousands of red brick terraces still lining the streets of cities such as London, Edinburgh and Dublin.
Today, brick is experiencing a Renaissance. Architectural landmarks across the world such as Frank Gehry’s Dr Chau Chak Wing Building in Sydney and the Tate Modern Switch House by Herzog & de Meuron are pushing the proverbial brick envelope, redefining how the material can be used and perceived.
South Korea presents an interesting case for the changing face of brick, with a preference for dark, grey masonry striking a heavy, brutalist, yet playful tone. Like many countries, South Korean brick architecture has questioned conformity, experimenting with stepped, perforated, permeable facades, and dynamic, curved, flowing walls. Below, we have rounded up 12 of their most interesting results.
The Getty Research Institute has announced their acquisition of the Frank Gehry Papers, a major archive covering work from the architect’s career, including drawings, partial and complete models, project documentation, correspondence, photographs, slides and related materials pertaining to 283 projects from Gehry’s early to mid career.
“Frank Gehry is undoubtedly the world’s most famous living architect. This extensive archive, covering the first three decades of his illustrious career, offers an in-depth look at the genesis of Gehry’s distinctive style and includes many of the projects for which he is internationally known,” said Thomas W. Gaehtgens, director of the Getty Research Institute.
The Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) has released an online archive of over 3,500 of the museum’s past exhibitions from its founding in 1929 to today. Free and available to the public, the database contains photographs, press releases, checklists, catalogues and lists of featured artists.
The archive contains 660 entries tagged under “architecture” and includes some of architectural history’s greatest exhibitions: the Modern Architecture International Exhibition by Philip Johnson and Henry-Russell Hitchcock in 1932; Herbert Bayer’s exhibition Bauhaus 1919-1928 in 1938; Thresholds/O.M.A. at MoMA: Rem Koolhaas and the Place of Public Architecture in 1994; and, most recently, A Japanese Constellation: Toyo Ito, SANAA, and Beyond, which wrapped up its run this past July.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have made 90,000 unique images from their visual archive available online. Architecture.com/images (also known as RIBApix) hosts the world's largest collection of 16th century drawings by Palladio, as well as drawings by Sir Christopher Wren, Erno Goldfinger, Augustus Pugin, Denys Lasdun, and Edwin Lutyens. In addition, many original London Underground station designs sit alongside collections of some of the world’s leading photographers, including John Maltby, Edwin Smith, Henk Snoek, John Donat, Dell & Wainwright, Martin Charles and Tony Ray-Jones.
Peter Williams is the founder and executive director of an organization whose goal is to improve global health, using design to create healthier environments as preventative measures for tuberculosis, AIDS and malaria. Architecture for Health in Vulnerable Environments, or ARCHIVE for short, has projects in countries all over the world, including Haiti, Cameroon, and Ethiopia. ARCHIVE identifies and addresses the causes of poor health in disadvantages communities and uses strategies related to housing design improvements to create environments that promote better health.