In cities across the United States, an address is more than just a street name or a building number- but a brand that translates directly into a symbol of wealth and prestige. Take the tallest residential tower in the country, 432 Park Avenue in New York City, which doesn't actually sit quite on park avenue. Instead, it’s neighboring lot to the east sits on Park Avenue, and this mega structure actually faces 56th avenue- a significantly less iconic street. However, this inflated valuation doesn’t happen everywhere. Cities in other countries don't place the same weight on an address and refer to buildings or locations as landmarks or by their appearances, which doesn't force a high monetary value based on an address or a marketing scheme alone. How do places in the world differ in how they brand buildings and streets in cities, and what does that tell us about their urban culture?
Editor's Talk: The Latest Architecture and News
China seems to be at the peak of a refurbishment fever. Not only hutongs in historic downtowns, but abandoned industrial factories are becoming new tech or cultural hubs, and even buildings in the risk of collapse are refurbished to extend their lifespan. Why is this happening? Who is investing? How could this happen in a country where you cannot buy properties?
In this edition of Editor's Talk, our editors from ArchDaily China share their thoughts on how in a fast-paced development process, such as the one China is going through, there is a refurbishment fever in its biggest cities.
Home. Our shelter. Our private space. In an urbanized world with dense megalopolises like Tokyo, Shanghai, and São Paulo, homes are getting smaller and more expensive than ever. If you are claustrophobic, Marie Kondo is your best ally in the quest to earn some extra space. And even though private backyards have become a luxury for most, our data shows that single-family houses are still the most popular project type on ArchDaily. Why is this? (Especially when it seems incongruous given the reality of today’s crowded cities.) Why do some universities still insist on designing and building houses as academic exercises? Wouldn’t it be more creative—and more useful—to develop architecture in small-scale spaces? Would it be more rewarding to develop solutions on bigger scales?
Starting this month, ArchDaily has introduced monthly themes that we’ll explore in our stories, posts and projects. We began this month with Architectural Representation: from Archigram to Instagram; from napkins sketching to real-time-sync VR models; from academic lectures to storytellers.
It isn’t particularly novel or groundbreaking to say that the internet, social media, and design apps have challeged the relation between representation and building. A year ago we predicted that "this is just the beginning of a new stage of negotiation between the cold precision of technology and the expressive quality inherent in architecture". But, is it? Would you say digital tools are betraying creativity? This is an older dilemma than you think.
In this new edition of our Editor's Talk, four editors and curators at ArchDaily discuss drawings as pieces of art, posit why nobody cares about telephone poles on renders and explore how the building itself is becoming a type of representation.
Mercer released their annual list of the Most Livable Cities in the World last month. The list ranks 231 cities based on factors such as crime rates, sanitation, education and health standards, with Vienna at #1 and Baghdad at #231. There’s always some furor over the results, as there ought to be when a city we love does not make the top 20, or when we see a city rank highly but remember that one time we visited and couldn’t wait to leave.
To be clear, Mercer is a global HR consultancy, and their rankings are meant to serve the multinational corporations that are their clients. The list helps with relocation packages and remuneration for their employees. But a company’s first choice on where to send their workers is not always the same place you’d choose to send yourself to.
And these rankings, calculated as they are, also vary depending on who’s calculating. Monocle publishes their own list, as does The Economist, so the editors at ArchDaily decided to throw our hat in as well. Here we discuss what we think makes cities livable, and what we’d hope to see more of in the future.
There's an old, weary tune that people sing to caution against being an architect: the long years of academic training, the studio work that takes away from sleep, and the small job market in which too many people are vying for the same positions. When you finally get going, the work is trying as well. Many spend months or even years working on the computer and doing models before seeing any of the designs become concrete. If you're talking about the grind, architects know this well enough from their training, and this time of ceaseless endeavor in the workplace only adds to that despair.
Which is why more and more architects are branching out. Better hours, more interesting opportunities, and a chance to do more than just build models. Furthermore, the skills you learn as an architect, such as being sensitive to space, and being able to grasp the cultural and societal demands of a place, can be put to use in rather interesting ways. Here, 3 editors at ArchDaily talk about being an architect, why they stopped designing buildings, and what they do in their work now.
Last week, ArchDaily covered a story about the gender pay gap at Foster + Partners. We thought such a story was "unsurprising" given that the gender pay gap is something that is widely reported on, and present in almost every industry, and we wanted to share a case of it happening in an architectural firm many of us are familiar with. What we did not expect was that readers would think it is a non-issue, or that such reporting was sensational. Is it possible for us to talk about gender in the workplace without being up in arms? Why does the gender pay gap issue make people uncomfortable?
Some of our editors discussed how gender plays into their workplace experiences as well as some hopeful recent signs that we are on a path to change.
In January, we covered an interview with Bjarke Ingels where he spoke of the role that clients play in architecture. In the article, Bjarlke Ingels mentioned that "In the world of architecture there are many more things beyond an architect's control than are under his command." The post started a debate among our readers as well as our editors at ArchDaily. Many readers bemoaned the demise of architecture at the hands of clients with big pockets. Some of us talked about how IT giants not only control our digital world, they are now also encroaching upon our urban environments. Several readers blamed big clients for creating starchitects who build grand buildings and, as they allege, cause an "infantalisation" of architecture in the process.
Here at ArchDaily, our editors got to thinking: Can architecture exist without a client? Or is it just a service, a capitalistic exchange? And really, are clients such a bad thing for the field?
We talk to some of our editors to get their perspective.