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History: The Latest Architecture and News

From Romantic Ruins to the Ultra-Real: A History of the Architectural Render

09:30 - 31 May, 2018

Throughout history, architects have used sketches and paintings to display to their clients the potential outcomes of the projects rattling around their minds. Since Brunelleschi’s adoption of drawn perspective in 1415, architectural visualizations have painted hyper-realistic imaginings of an ideal, where the walls are always clean, the light always shines in the most perfect way, and the inhabitants are always happy.

With technological advances in 3D modeling and digital rendering, this ability to sell an idea through a snapshot of the perfect architectural experience has become almost unrestricted. Many have criticized the dangers of unrealistic renderings that exceed reality and how they can create the illusion of a perfect project when, in fact, it is far from being resolved. However, this is only the natural next step in a history of fantastical representations, where the render becomes a piece of art itself.

Below is a brief history of the interesting ways architects have chosen to depict their projectsfrom imagined time travel to the diagrammatic.

Ledoux, Theatre of Besançon Archigram's Walking City proposal. Image courtesy of Deutsches Architekturmuseum Gandy's Drawing of John Soane's Bank of England The Peak - 1983. Image © Zaha Hadid + 10

Toshiko Mori Pursues Dialogue That Transcends Time and Space

08:00 - 12 May, 2018

Continuing their Time-Space-Existence series of monthly videos leading up to this year’s Venice Biennale, PLANE—SITE have released a new conversation with architect and former Harvard GSD chair of architecture Toshiko Mori. Each video highlights the ideas that drive the work of well-known designers, with this episode focusing on Mori’s philosophy of visual communication, dialogue with history and considering the future in her work.

Courtesy of Tashiko Mori Architect © Paul Warchol © Hiroshi Abe © Iwan Baan + 15

Society of Architectural Historians Announces 2018 Publication Award Recipients

06:00 - 2 May, 2018
Society of Architectural Historians Announces 2018 Publication Award Recipients, Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians
Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians

Get ready to add to your reading and watch lists because the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) just announced the 2018 award recipients for the SAH Publication, Film and Video Awards. Winners received their awards at SAH’s 71st Annual International Conference awards ceremony on April 20th in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The list of SAH Award recipients represents some of the best media in architectural, urban, and landscape history, as well as historic preservation scholarship and architectural exhibition catalogs. Nominations for the 2019 awards will be accepted by SAH on June 1st of this year.

See the list of this year's SAH Award recipients below.

Call for applications: "Urban Summer School: Open form"

16:00 - 17 April, 2018
Call for applications: "Urban Summer School: Open form", Urban Summer School: Open form poster. Design: Magda Ostapiuk
Urban Summer School: Open form poster. Design: Magda Ostapiuk

Urban Summer School: Open Form – Lublin 2018
26 August 2018 - 08 September 2018
Application deadline: May 7, 2018
www.uss.niaiu.pl

Completed works by one of the most discussed architectural tandems in post-war Poland, Oskar (1922-2005) and Zofia (1924-2013) Hansen, will become a testing ground for the duration of the Urban Summer School, that is, for two weeks. This international and interdisciplinary project is yet another instalment of the “Visions and Experiences” summer school, initiated by the Centre for Urban History of East Central Europe in Lviv, and devoted to urban issues. We welcome undergraduate and postgraduate students, researchers and young professionals operating

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.

Foster + Partners' Roman Antiquities Museum in Narbonne Nears Completion

08:00 - 8 April, 2018
Foster + Partners' Roman Antiquities Museum in Narbonne Nears Completion, Museum Narbonne. Image Courtesy of Nigel Young / Foster + Partners
Museum Narbonne. Image Courtesy of Nigel Young / Foster + Partners

Foster + Partner’s Musée de la Romanité Narbonne (Roman Museum of Narbonne) has moved closer to completion, with the scheme's building envelope now fully constructed. The museum seeks to become one of the most significant cultural attractions in the Southern French region, hosting more than 1000 Roman artifacts. The scheme’s progress was celebrated at a topping out ceremony on 30th January 2018, with the installation of VELUX Modular Skylights marking the completion of the building envelope.

Once a major Roman port, the city of Narbonne has amassed an abundance of ancient buildings, relics, and archaeological sites. The Foster + Partners scheme, designed in collaboration with museum specialist Studio Adrien Gardere, centers on the prime exhibit for the museum: a collection of over 1000 Roman funerary stones recovered from the city’s medieval walls in the 19th century. The stones are to be placed at the heart of a simple rectilinear structure, separating the public galleries from private research spaces.

Museum Narbonne. Image Courtesy of Nigel Young / Foster + Partners Museum Narbonne. Image Courtesy of Nigel Young / Foster + Partners Museum Narbonne. Image Courtesy of Nigel Young / Foster + Partners Museum Narbonne. Image Courtesy of Nigel Young / Foster + Partners + 17

Why Are Architects So Obsessed With Piet Mondrian?

09:30 - 1 April, 2018

In the 1920s, Dutch-born artist Piet Mondrian began painting his iconic black grids populated with shifting planes of primary colors. By moving beyond references to the world around him, his simplified language of lines and rectangles known as Neo Plasticism explored the dynamics of movement through color and form alone. Though his red, yellow and blue color-blocked canvases were important elements of the De Stijl movement in the early 1900s, almost a century later Mondrian’s abstractions still inspire architects across the globe.

But, what is it about these spatial explorations that have captivated artists and designers for so long?

AURA Summer Academy / Istanbul: Past, Present, Future

13:04 - 7 March, 2018
AURA Summer Academy / Istanbul: Past, Present, Future, AURA Summer Academy 2018
AURA Summer Academy 2018

Architecture and Urbanism Research Academy (AURA) Istanbul would like to invite you to join its inspiring Summer Academy, "Istanbul: Past, Present, and Future".

Critical Round-Up: The Louvre Abu Dhabi by Jean Nouvel

09:30 - 21 November, 2017
Critical Round-Up: The Louvre Abu Dhabi by Jean Nouvel, © Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

Earlier this month, Abu Dhabi’s much-awaited “universal museum,” the Louvre Abu Dhabi designed by Pritzker Prize-winner Jean Nouvel, was opened to the public. After several years of delays and problems including accusations of worker rights violations, revisions in economic strategies, and regional turmoil, the completion of the museum is a feat in itself. Critics, supporters, naysayers, artists, economists, and human rights agencies, have all closely followed its shaky progress, but now that it’s finally open, reviews of the building are steadily pouring in.

Read on to find out how critics have responded to Nouvel’s work so far.

© Marc Domage © Roland Halbe © Roland Halbe © Roland Halbe + 9

Playful Animation Tells the Story of Humankind’s Quest for a Perfect City

08:00 - 18 November, 2017

Cities are universes in themselves; furiously spawning, spewing, hissing through time and space. They are cudgeled, raked, plastered, worshipped, fought over, set on fire; they are slippery wombs that cradle wars, victories, blood and brilliant storms. The built environment has always been indicative of its inhabitants’ fears, desires, and ideals. As such, it is one of the earliest, most powerful forms of human expression. For World Cities Day 2017, the new BBC Designed section of the BBC Culture website commissioned motion graphics designer Al Boardman to create The Perfect City, an animated video covering a brief history of humankind’s quest for the "ideal" and the "perfect" in urban design. With a voiceover and script by renowned architecture critic and writer Jonathan Glancey, the video is a remarkable 2-minute overview of some prominent examples in city planning, both old and new, successful and unsuccessful.

10 Archaeological Sites That Every Architect Should Visit in Peru

14:00 - 5 November, 2017
10 Archaeological Sites That Every Architect Should Visit in Peru, Cortesía de D
Cortesía de D

In Peru, you can not live without not knowing about or learning the lessons of the thousand-year-old architectural legacy of some of its many archaeological sites (19,903 to be exact). These places are full of inspiration, art, history, legends, and magic. Their stories are closely tied to their architecture and the ruins that hold mysteries that perhaps leave us with more questions than answers. But the sites' power to amaze us is something that every architect will appreciate.

This small list—rather than an invitation— is a provocation for the senses that lie within the architect-traveler’s soul.

Chicago Architecture or Architectural History Scholarship from Chicago Detours

11:58 - 1 November, 2017
Chicago Architecture or Architectural History Scholarship from Chicago Detours

Tour company Chicago Detours is awarding one to two students $6,000-10,000 in scholarships for undergraduate or graduate college tuition. These scholarships will be awarded to support students of Chicago history, architecture, tourism, sociology, urban geography or archives.

13 Weird, Surprising Architecture Facts You've Probably Never Heard

09:30 - 18 September, 2017
13 Weird, Surprising Architecture Facts You've Probably Never Heard

The history of humans building shelters goes back over 10,000 years. Over this time, the human need to build was distilled into the profession of architecture, and in the process it attracted all manner of eccentric, visionary, and stubborn individuals. In light of both architecture's long history and its abundance of colorful characters, it's no surprise that it's full of surprising and unlikely stories. From Lincoln Logs and the Olympics to Ouija boards and 9/11, here are 13 architecture-related facts you may not have previously known.

Call for Papers: Issue N. 22: The Role of History in an Architect's Training

19:30 - 2 June, 2017
Call for Papers: Issue N. 22: The Role of History in an Architect's Training, Call for papers
Call for papers

The processes of learning how to become an architect has always involved historical research, albeit from a biographical perspective (H. Allen Brooks when he studied Le Corbusier), from a generational perspective (Silvia Arango on researching the common processes be- longing to six generations of architects who defined twentieth century Latin America), or from a pedagogical perspective (Jean-Nicolas- Louis Durand's Précis des leçons d’architecture).

Inside the Bizarre Personal Lives of Famous Architects

09:30 - 29 May, 2017
Inside the Bizarre Personal Lives of Famous Architects, From left: © Robert C. Lautman; <a href='http://https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alvar_Aalto1.jpg'>via Wikimedia</a> (public domain); Photograph by Al Ravenna <a href='http://https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Frank_Lloyd_Wright_portrait.jpg'>via Wikimedia</a> (public domain)
From left: © Robert C. Lautman; via Wikimedia (public domain); Photograph by Al Ravenna via Wikimedia (public domain)

Famous architects are often seen as more enigma than person, but behind even the biggest names hide the scandals and tragedies of everyday life. As celebrities of a sort, many of the world's most famed architects have faced rumors and to this day there are questions about the truth of their private affairs. Clients and others in their studios would get a glimpse into an architect’s personal life, but sometimes the sheer force of personality that often comes with creative genius would prevent much insight. The fact remains, however, that these architects’ lives were more than the sum of their buildings.

Read Dozens of Historical Architecture Books for Free Online Thanks to New Library Exhibition

09:30 - 28 May, 2017
Read Dozens of Historical Architecture Books for Free Online Thanks to New Library Exhibition, © Buffalo and Erie County Public Library
© Buffalo and Erie County Public Library

Buffalo and Erie County Public Library of Buffalo, New York, has recently opened a new exhibit at their Central Library titled Building Buffalo: Buildings From Books, Books From Buildings. The exhibit will feature a large selection of rare, illustrated architectural books from the Library’s collection dating from the fifteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. The bonus for those who are geographically distant from Buffalo is that, as part of the exhibit, the Library has also made dozens of historical architecture books available online, completely digitized and free to the public.

Contemporary Housing to Reinforce Finland's UNESCO World Heritage Fortress

08:00 - 13 May, 2017
Contemporary Housing to Reinforce Finland's UNESCO World Heritage Fortress, Perspective view. Image Courtesy of Heikkinen & Kangasaho
Perspective view. Image Courtesy of Heikkinen & Kangasaho

When placed in a historic landscape, contemporary architecture requires a layered approach. It must often strike a respectful, vernacular tone, whilst embracing the innovative, functional hallmarks of a modern building. This balance has particular relevance at Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, located off the coast of Helsinki, Finland. Throughout its 300-year history, it was once occupied by the armies of Sweden, Russia and Finland – a rich history attracting UNESCO World Heritage status, and almost one million annual visitors. The site is more than a museum, however, but a living district of Helsinki with 800 inhabitants and 500 jobs.

Against the prerequisites of past and present, Heikkinen & Kangasaho Architects have combined sharp, functional modernity with respectful, restrained simplicity in a new housing scheme to sit amongst Suomenlinna’s historic fortifications.

Perspective view. Image Courtesy of Heikkinen & Kangasaho View from the sea. Image Courtesy of Heikkinen & Kangasaho Section. Image Courtesy of Heikkinen & Kangasaho Site plan. Image Courtesy of Heikkinen & Kangasaho + 7

The Architecture of Some of the World's Oldest Continuously Inhabited Cities

09:30 - 1 May, 2017
The Architecture of Some of the World's Oldest Continuously Inhabited Cities

What’s so great about the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world? Probably the fact that their societies have been evolving in one unbroken series of eras, with ever-changing values and styles that have, among other things, given rise to architectural memories of their long histories. These cities aren’t like the archeological sites we visit to see how people lived thousands of years ago; they are the exact places people lived thousands of years ago, places where people are still living today, with their rich histories buried under layers of paint and concrete instead of earth.

With ancient cities found in regions around the world, the variety of architectural treasures that can be found in these cities is vast. To give you a taste of their diversity, here is a selection of 18 of the oldest continually inhabited cities from various regions of the world, ranging from youngest to oldest, with a small snippet of their various architectural puzzles. 

© <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Berat.jpg'>Wikimedia user Joonas Lytinen</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en'>CC BY 2.0</a> © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/dziecienocy/5039948774'>Flickr user dziecienocy</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/worak/907175079'>Flickr user worak</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gopuram-madurai.jpg'>Wikimedia user Nataraja</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 1.0</a> + 20