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Heritage

Architecture City Guide: 10 Towns in Colombia That Every Architect Must Visit

08:00 - 3 May, 2018
Architecture City Guide: 10 Towns in Colombia That Every Architect Must Visit, Street in Guatape, Antioquia. Image © Iván Erre Jota [Flickr], Under License CC BY-SA 2.0
Street in Guatape, Antioquia. Image © Iván Erre Jota [Flickr], Under License CC BY-SA 2.0

Calm and silence prevail in many of the municipalities of Colombia, where the ochre colors intermingle with the green of the landscape to preserve the colonial styles that characterize some of the architectural typologies of the place. Small urban centers that hide an incomparable beauty are the main attraction for many tourists who today travel to know these obscure places, where one can go to learn a little of their traditions and their culture, creating an almost perfect adventure, where heritage value becomes a characteristic in common.

That is why we have chosen 10 Colombian towns that highlight both the physical-spatial value and the socio-cultural value.

Somali Architecture Students Digitally Preserve Their Country's Heritage—Before It's Too Late

09:30 - 14 April, 2018
via Somali Architecture
via Somali Architecture

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.

What It’s Like to be an Architect who Doesn’t Design Buildings

06:00 - 6 April, 2018
What It’s Like to be an Architect who Doesn’t Design Buildings, Han Zhang along with her team at <a href="http://www.archdaily.cn">ArchDaily China</a>. Image Courtesy of Han Zhang
Han Zhang along with her team at ArchDaily China. Image Courtesy of Han Zhang

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. 

Courtyard Renovation at the White Pagoda Temple / Tsinghua University School of Architecture + maison h

17:00 - 5 March, 2018
© Martijn de Geus
© Martijn de Geus

© Martijn de Geus © Martijn de Geus © Martijn de Geus © Martijn de Geus + 42

Wuyuan Skywells Hotel / anySCALE

22:00 - 21 February, 2018
Wuyuan Skywells Hotel / anySCALE, Exterior. Image © Marc Goodwin
Exterior. Image © Marc Goodwin

Exterior. Image © Marc Goodwin Public space. Image © Marc Goodwin Surroundings. Image © Marc Goodwin Exterior. Image © Marc Goodwin + 40

  • Architects

  • Location

    Wuyuan, Shangrao, Jiangxi, China
  • Architect in Charge

    Andreas Thomczyk
  • Design Team

    Andreas Thomczyk, Mika Woll, Amy Mathieson, Danxin Sun, Kevin Wang
  • Area

    1385.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2017
  • Photographs

Dorte Mandrup Wins Competition to Construct Heritage Center Atop a WWII Bunker 

06:00 - 14 February, 2018
© Mir
© Mir

Danish firm Dorte Mandrup A/S has been announced as the winners of a competition to design the new Trilateral Wadden Sea World Heritage Partnership Center on a historic UNESCO naval site in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Selected from 14 entries, the firm’s winning proposal will seemingly float atop an existing World War II bunker and house the offices of a joint Danish, German and Netherlandish corporation working to protect the Wadden Sea area.

Lijiang Back and Forward Boutique Hotel / NTYPE

19:00 - 8 February, 2018
Lijiang Back and Forward Boutique Hotel / NTYPE, Central Yard Night View. Image © Joao Lemos
Central Yard Night View. Image © Joao Lemos

Central Yard Day View. Image © Joao Lemos Facade Screen Casting Light and Shadow into the Room. Image © Joao Lemos Local Naxi Lady Walking Through the Corridor Connecting the Front and Back. Image © Joao Lemos Lobby. Image © Joao Lemos + 20

  • Architects

  • Location

    Lijiang, Yunnan, China
  • Lead Architects

    Joao Lemos, Yang Yang
  • Design Team

    Fabio Paulo, Henrique Narciso, Huihui Zhou
  • Area

    703.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2017
  • Photographs

Renovation of Xi’an South Gate Plaza / China Northwest Architecture Design and Research Institute

22:00 - 9 January, 2018
huacheng park. Image © Chen Su
huacheng park. Image © Chen Su

miao garden east details. Image © Chen Su miao garden sunken plaza. Image © Chen Su song garden. Image © Chen Su song garden sunrise view. Image © Chen Su + 23

Why the Restoration of the Southbank Undercroft Is a Landmark for Both Architecture and Skateboarding

09:30 - 10 November, 2017
Why the Restoration of the Southbank Undercroft Is a Landmark for Both Architecture and Skateboarding, Artist's interpretation of the restored Undercroft. Image © Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Artist's interpretation of the restored Undercroft. Image © Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

The Southbank Undercroft, which lies beneath the Queen Elizabeth Hall along the River Thames in London, has been the subject of much debate in recent years following a proposed closure and redevelopment in 2013. Long Live Southbank, an organization born out of this threat of expulsion, gave the diverse community who call the space home a voice. After 17 months of campaigning, they were successful in ensuring the Undercroft was legally protected and fully recognized as an asset of community value. Since then, the group of activists has begun another groundbreaking journey.

In partnership with Southbank Centre, Long Live Southbank recently launched a new crowdfunding campaign to restore the legendary Undercroft. The restoration project will cost £790,000 and is set to open in 2018, improving Londoners’ access to free creative spaces in the heart of the City. These types of space are becoming increasingly rare and the restoration effort reflects a desire to celebrate the authentic cultural sites that make London the vibrant landscape it is.

© Nicholas Constant © Nicholas Constant © Nicholas Constant © Nicholas Constant + 11

Anupama Kundoo: 'Current Methods of Construction are Producing More Problems Than They Solve'

12:00 - 7 October, 2017
Anupama Kundoo: 'Current Methods of Construction are Producing More Problems Than They Solve', Wall House. Image © Javier Callejas
Wall House. Image © Javier Callejas

India’s renowned architect Anupama Kundoo has experimented with locally sourced materials to develop Wall House and others for non-profit organizations to minimise impact in the construction process whilst maintaining the connection to the community. She tells us how she integrates hybrid technologies into the building, a response to the growing segregation in India and developing countries.

13 UNESCO World Heritage Sites Located in Brazil

06:00 - 1 September, 2017
13 UNESCO World Heritage Sites Located in Brazil, Ouro Preto - MG. Image © Marina Aguiar, via Flickr. Licence CC BY 2.0
Ouro Preto - MG. Image © Marina Aguiar, via Flickr. Licence CC BY 2.0

With more than five centuries of recorded history and many more years of pre-colonial traditions and customs, Brazil is listed in UNESCO's World Heritage List with 13 historical sites.

The website Viagem Turismo compiled a list with images and detailed information about each of the 13 sites. The list ranges from the Serra da Capivara National Park, "full of rocky caves covered with rock paintings" made more than 25 thousand years ago, to the modern capital of Brazil, Brasília, founded in 1960.

10 Interventions on Historic Buildings

12:00 - 16 July, 2017

The concept of heritage is often associated with something that has had value in its past and, for that reason, deserves to be preserved. In the case of architecture, we want our built environment to tell our history and to remain untouched in time, often without considering the real use and meaning of the building in the present. We ask ourselves: Does a building still have value if its use is obsolete?

Despite the fascination that we have with ruins, sometimes conversion or rehabilitation is a better, more contemporary alternative to conservation. By doing so, it is possible to introduce new innovative materials, which, rather than take away from the original structure, can actually add even more value to architectural works. It is also possible to convert spaces that were originally designed to accommodate certain functions into spaces that admit new uses relevant to the present.

To conserve a building without updating it or rethinking its functions can lead to wear and tear, freezing it in time and preventing it from adapting to an ever-changing society.

To illustrate this theme, we searched our archives and selected someof the best architectural interventions in historic buildings. Check them out below.

The History of One of the Best Theaters in the World: Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires

06:00 - 11 July, 2017
The History of One of the Best Theaters in the World: Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, via CC0 Public Domain
via CC0 Public Domain

Considered as one of best buildings for opera in the world, the Colón Theatre in Buenos Aires is internationally renowned for its acoustics and its heritage value, showcasing the Italian and French influence on cultural architecture in Argentina. It is situated in a privileged location of the city´s downtown, between the streets Cerrito, Viamonte, Tucumán, and Libertad.

Inaugurated on the 25th of May in 1908, it had a significant impact and is considered one of the most emblematic historical monuments of the country.

The Demolition of Delhi's Hall of Nations Reveals India's Broken Attitude to Architectural Heritage

09:30 - 23 June, 2017
The Demolition of Delhi's Hall of Nations Reveals India's Broken Attitude to Architectural Heritage, © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/33834913@N00/409859817'>Flickr CC user Panoramas</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a>
© Flickr CC user Panoramas licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

On the morning of April 24th, Delhi’s architecture community reacted in shock and disgust to the news that the city's Hall of Nations and the four Halls of Industries had been demolished. Bulldozers had worked through the previous night at the Pragati Maidan exhibition grounds in central Delhi, where the Indian Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) razed the iconic structures to the ground, ignoring pleas from several Indian and international institutions.

The Hall of Nations, the world’s first and largest-span space-frame structure built in reinforced concrete, holds special significance in India’s post-colonial history—it was inaugurated in 1972 to commemorate twenty-five years of the young country’s independence. The demolition was met with widespread condemnation by architects and historians alike, not just because of the loss of an important piece of Delhi's heritage, but also for the clandestine manner in which the demolition was conducted.

VAA / Summer School

16:19 - 19 June, 2017
VAA / Summer School, VAA / Palazzo Contrari Boncompagni
VAA / Palazzo Contrari Boncompagni

From 15th to 23rd July 2017, a ten-day interfaculty summer school will take place in Vignola (province of Modena) Italy, in a Renaissance palace by Giacomo Barozzi. The workshop aims to connect architectural heritage with 21st-century manufacturing processes through experimental practices and invites international students of architecture, design, and engineering to take part.

6 Endangered World Heritage Sites as Seen from Space

14:00 - 11 June, 2017
6 Endangered World Heritage Sites as Seen from Space, Samarra Archaeological City, Iraq. Image © Deimos Imaging
Samarra Archaeological City, Iraq. Image © Deimos Imaging

Born between the Tigris and the Euphrates, ancient Mesopotamia, "the land between two rivers," is considered the cradle of human civilization or, at least, one of its main birthplaces. Archaeological discoveries place in this fertile crescent the earliest origins of agriculture, the birth of writing and the first religions, governments and social orders.

This historical land corresponds to most of the current Iraq and Kuwait, as well as to smaller parts of Syria, Turkey and Iran. Not only these countries, but the whole Middle East in general, is home to invaluable ancient treasures. However, a great number of the cultural sites there are faced with major threats, as they have been caught up in the middle of ongoing conflicts that are ravaging the region. As a consequence, UNESCO included several sites in the List of World Heritage in Danger, in the hope that the international community could join in an effort to save these endangered properties.

To reinforce this message, the Earth Observation company Deimos Imaging has released satellite images of six World Heritage sites in danger in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. The images were captured by the satellite Deimos-2, launched in 2014 and designed for cost-effective, dependable very-high-resolution Earth Observation applications, providing 75cm/pixel pan-sharpened images.

VAA Summer School

19:30 - 26 May, 2017
VAA Summer School, Vignola Archives of Architecture - Palazzo Contrari Boncompagni
Vignola Archives of Architecture - Palazzo Contrari Boncompagni

From 15th to 23rd July 2017, a ten-day interfaculty summer school will take place in Vignola (province of Modena) Italy, in a Renaissance palace by Giacomo Barozzi. The workshop aims to connect architectural heritage with 21st-century manufacturing processes through experimental practices and invites international students of architecture, design, and engineering to take part.

Iranian Case Study: Can We Build For The Future Without Forgetting About The Past?

09:30 - 2 May, 2017
Iranian Case Study: Can We Build For The Future Without Forgetting About The Past?, © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/novecentino/512652036/'>Flickr user novecentino</a> licensed under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">CC BY-SA 2.0</a>
© Flickr user novecentino licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Taking a taxi from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport into the city, one cannot help but look at the seemingly random distribution of buildings along the road; an array of mismatched concrete blocks, worlds away from the images of Sheik Lotfollah Mosque that typically adorn the covers of Iran travel guides. “My observations about architecture in Iran are like that of many other countries that have changed in terms of architectural characteristics; Iran has changed too,” says Tehran-based architect, M. Reza Karfar. “Now we are in a time where everything is mass produced and we are just using and using, but not making memories with anything. That sense of belonging will, of course, go away. You see a 50 or 60, or 200-year-old house that just gets demolished and replaced by a 4 or 5-story building, and in 5 years they will demolish that 4 to 5-story building too.”

Not to say that Iran should be an exhibit for tourists, only consisting of beautiful tiled buildings, but this fear of memories fading in disappearing public spaces is one that, despite the numerous historical sites preserved around the country, is noticeable in Iran’s big cities. And while the subject is particularly pertinent in Iran, as Karfar points out this phenomenon is not unique to just one country. As a result, Iran might offer something of a case study for other countries around the world.