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History: The Latest Architecture and News

Social Radicalism Reexamined: The Legacies of Christopher Alexander and Joseph Rykwert

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

Christopher Alexander (1936–2022) and Joseph Rykwert (b. 1926) were two giants of 20th century architectural theory who began their work in England and eventually created lasting legacies at two great American architectural schools: the University of California at Berkeley (Alexander) and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (Rykwert). Their careers not only coincided with a critical period of social and cultural research among designers and urbanists, but in many ways continue to inspire the current generation of committed critics of late capitalist development on our imperiled planet. Yet to many they are too little known.

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Barcelona's Iconic Sagrada Família On Track to be Completed in 2026

Officials have just confirmed that Antonio Gaudi’s iconic Sagrada Família's final stage of construction has commenced, on track to be completed in 2026, 144 years after its establishment. The announcement was made last Wednesday, aligning with the centenary of the architect’s passing. According to the annual report, construction efforts have resumed, finalizing the Evangelists towers in November 2023. Additionally, active construction is ongoing for the Chapel of the Assumption and the tower dedicated to Jesus Christ, which are on track to be completed in 2025 and 2026, respectively. The towering 172.5-meter central spire is included in the project, planned to stand as the tallest edifice in Barcelona, Spain.

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RSHP Reveals Design for New Museum Woven into the Existing Urban ‘Tapestry’ of Bayeux, France

RSHP has unveiled the urban and architectural design for the new Bayeux Tapestry Museum. The intervention is created to house and display the Bayeux Tapestry, an embroidered cloth measuring 70 meters in length and depicting the events leading up to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 and culminating in the Battle of Hastings. The almost 1000 years-old artifact is also included in UNESCO’s “Memory of the World” list. The project proposes a contemporary extension of the 17th-century seminary where the Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux is located.

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Harmonizing Architecture: From Renaissance Masters to Al-Driven Design

The world of architecture is a captivating fusion of artistic expression and scientific precision. My journey in the realm of architecture started with a profound exploration of its rich history. It was the awe-inspiring works of Renaissance masters that propelled me onto a transformative trajectory, guiding me toward harnessing the immense potential of artificial intelligence and algorithms in architectural design.

MAD Architects’ Museum of Migration in Rotterdam is Scheduled to Open in 2025

Designed by MAD Architects, the FENIX Museum of Migration is set to be inaugurated in 2025 in Rotterdam’s City Harbor. The purpose of the institution is to showcase and highlight the stories of global migration through encounters with art, architecture, photography, and history. The museum broke ground in 2020 when the first images of the proposal were also released. MAD Architects is working with Bureau Polderman for the restoration of the historic warehouse dating back to 1932, which now represents the base and starting point for the museum experience.

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Why Time Is a Problem for Architects

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

Since the advent of Modernism, architects have become schizophrenic in dealing with the reality of time. This is a problem, because time and gravity are two universal forces. Architects are exquisitely good at dealing with gravity—it is present in everything we design. We study it and engineer its unrelenting requirements. Gravity does a symbiotic dance with structure. No matter how a design feigns weightlessness, its mass cannot be denied. Architects must deal with gravity, whether it’s Frank Lloyd Wright’s sagging balconies at Fallingwater or today’s steroidally enhanced parametric buildings.

Confronting the Racist Legacy of Urban Highways

Highways, in their inanimate state, cannot be racist. However, the forces that located them and the consequences of their placement are inextricably connected to race. Deborah Archer, a law professor and civil rights lawyer, captures the central concept: “Highways were built through and around Black communities to entrench racial inequality and protect white spaces and privilege.”

In the new book, Justice and the Interstates: The Racist Truth About Urban Highways, editors Ryan Reft, Amanda Phillips du Lucas, and Rebecca Retzlaff explore racial injustice and the interstate highway system. They collect essays that address the dislocation caused by interstates. The book came out of a series of articles in Metropole, a publication of the Urban History Association.

Rewilding in Architecture: Concepts, Applications, and Examples

In an age where humanity's detrimental impact on the environment has become increasingly evident, the concept of rewilding is emerging as a powerful approach to conservation and ecological restoration. In line with growing attention on landscape architecture in recent years, the idea of removing human intervention from our natural surroundings in order to restore a stable equilibrium seems to offer a low-effort, ethereal way to right fundamental climate wrongs. But is a lack of meddling in nature really all there is to rewilding, and how does this relate to architecture and design? We look at key concepts, applications, and examples to find out.

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Infographic: The Evolution of 3D Printing in Architecture, Since 1939

For many years, often spoken in tones of anticipation and excitement, we have heard that 3D printing will revolutionize the architecture industry as we know it. But if we stop for a moment, reflect on the present and look back at the past, it becomes evident that the technology has long been reshaping the field, continuously undergoing profound transformations and ushering in new eras of design, construction and spatial creativity. Operating as a layer-by-layer additive manufacturing process, 3D printing uses digital models to create customized three-dimensional objects with a remarkable level of precision and efficiency, saving time, generating zero waste, reducing labor costs and opening avenues for rapid prototyping and iterative design. It enables architects to explore creative opportunities and regain autonomy by designing complex, non-standardized elements within an industrial and mass-customized process.

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Is Ornament Still a Crime?

Ornament and Its Discontents

Disguise, makeup. Expression of the subjectivity of a group, language, or sign. Historical document, emblem of fleeting fashions. A crime. Ornaments have been interpreted in different ways and are considered one of the most degenerate sins of architecture. Resisting the temptation of decoration has become a virtue, a legitimate sign of authenticity and a possible future.

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The History of the Copacabana Sidewalk: From Its Origin in Portugal to Burle Marx's Intervention

The Copacabana calçada (Copacabana sidewalk) is one of the greatest symbols in the stunning landscape of Rio de Janeiro. What not everyone knows is that its history (and design) precedes the intervention of Roberto Burle Marx in the 1970s. The origin of the design, as well as its stones, is Portuguese.

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From the Streets to the Internet: The History of Commerce and Its Relationship With the Territory

Commerce is a human activity practiced by societies since the beginning of evolution. Exchanges were made between products negotiated by entire communities at first. They began to be based on a common currency and practiced individually over time, from family to family. In one way or another, this activity is a characteristic of civilization and even influences our territorial organization. Historically practiced in outdoor spaces, commercial activity defined many spatial configurations.

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