The word activist, long part of the vocabulary of social causes and political engagements, is an identifier gaining currency in architecture. As an era of “star architects” fades to be replaced by a generation eager to tackle local issues for everyday citizens, the shift has become the calling card of Santiago-based Grupo TOMA. Produced by ArchDaily as part of our partnership with The Architectural Review, the above film profiles the group of five friends – Mathias Klenner, Ignacio Rivas, Ignacio Saavedra, Eduardo Pérez and Leandro Cappetto – who have become an architectural collective interested in “the architect as a mediator, as an entity capable of linking organizations, of connecting political and economic powers."
For the past two and a half years, the group has sought out projects that convert industrial spaces of past eras into new facilities. Working without intermediaries has been a boon to the group’s experimental attitude and productivity, which might otherwise be curtailed by bureaucratic setbacks. With projects spanning from a few days to a few months, and some potentially longer, the group privileges social impact and memory over duration and material certainty.
The Architectural Review has revealed the winners of its 2015 AR School Awards, which honor excellent educational design, ranging from kindergartens to universities. The awards seek to recognize “transformative, leading edge projects from around the world,” “challenging and inspiring architects to reflect more deeply on the purpose of architecture and its relationship to the wider world.”
ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the August 2015 issue, AR editor Christine Murray takes on the disheartening architectural scene in North American cities from New York to Toronto, arguing that "NYC is not where we found a new American architecture" and asking: "Why not give the young guns a tower or a Whitney, let them stretch their legs?"
The latest New York towers are more billboard than building. Like celebrity-endorsed perfume - fancy box, smelly water - the architecture matters less than the artist and his (yes, they are all men) pen’s effluent black-ink concept scrawl.
ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the July 2015 issue, AR editor Christine Murray takes on "the most pressing issue of our time," the global housing crisis, asking "why don’t we shelter the homeless in empty housing? This crisis seems nonsensical when the postwar housing crisis was solved so efficiently."
The architect-designed home is a desirable commodity, that Modernist minimalist bungalow, all steel and glass with a large sofa, the Case Study House complete with swimming pool, MacBook Air and stunning view.
But there was once a different kind of architect-designed home, for people in need of shelter, not investments – and it’s sorely required now. Housing is the most pressing issue of our time, with one in every 122 people in the world either a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum – a record high, according to a UN report. Yet cash-strapped states do nothing, build nothing. They stand eyes averted, hands in their pockets.
ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the June 2015 issue, The AR's editor Christine Murray addresses the question:"has architecture lost its social conscience?" According to Murray, "the question has become an arthritis; a dull ache that improves or worsens depending on the weather."
For some, the social purpose of architecture is associated with the idealism of youth, to be shed like a snakeskin as the responsibilities of age take over. But there is still plenty of teeth gnashing and hand wringing. Even if architects are powerless to shape the economic and political context of their work, a building is still a place where people gather. A social purpose, whether for a school or an office tower, is still the driver of its design. And yet, when the paperwork and construction are done, the bureaucracy surmounted, the fees paid (or not), and a building is finally complete, it’s the people we strip away. When architecture is published and the critic’s verdict given, it’s the messiness of life we edit out.
The AR Emerging Architecture Awards, with a £10,000 prize fund, celebrate excellence in completed work. Entries can be made across a very broad spectrum of project types. Buildings, interiors, landscaping, refurbishment, urban projects, temporary installations, furniture and product designs are all eligible. Jury members, including David Adjaye, OBE, Odile Decq, Peter Cookwill review each submitted project. The deadline for entries is September 11. Submit you work, here.
"To make a luxury home that isn’t pompous or a projection of the vanity of its inhabitants is a really difficult thing," said judge Adam Caruso of Caruso St John. "Fayland House places a very large house in a special landscape without disappearing. The domestic outdoor spaces, which have always been an issue in English country houses, are in courtyards, which is an innovation."
São Paulo is the financial center and largest city of Brazil, and victim to a seemingly unending water crisis. The situation stems from over-populated neighborhoods lacking in a regulated infrastructure, with buildings that are uncoordinated in their development and maintenance leading to pollution in nearby water reservoirs. In 2009, the government of São Paulo sought to address this issue by expropriating the homes of 200 families, who were then moved back in 2012 to a new construction designed by Hector Vigliecca; the Novo Santo Amaro V Park Housing.
In this video from The Architectural Review - which supports their full building study - Vigliecca and current residents of the complex reflect on what the valley of unregulated infrastructure used to be like, and how it has developed to the present day.
As one of the first organizations to implement a regular award for young architects, The Architectural Review has had its eye on youth for over a decade and a half. But with awards, exhibitions and media coverage of those conspicuously labeled as "Young Architects" proliferating in the years since, has the concept now been co-opted by those who merely seek to monetize and exploit architecture's most precarious practitioners? In this polemical article, originally published by The Architectural Review as "The problem with 'Young Architecture'," AR Assistant Editor Phineas Harper and Phil Pawlett Jackson unpick how the cult of "Young Architecture" has been absorbed into the profession, with potentially harmful ramifications.
When the romantic notion of the architect as auteur, a high priest in the cult of culture, is married to the virginal myth of untainted youth, a potent marketable commodity is brewed: the "Young Architect". All but invisible when the AR launched its Emerging Architecture prize at the end of the 20th century, this breed is now celebrated in numerous awards, exhibitions and published collections. But beware the cult of youth − there is a broad landscape of risks as well as opportunities facing designers who choose this identity willingly or have it thrust upon them.
https://www.archdaily.com/606167/why-young-architecture-is-a-detriment-to-the-professionPhineas Harper & Phil Pawlett Jackson
In an essay and accompanying mini-documentary film by Ellis Woodman for The Architectural Review, Siza's iconic Quinta da Malagueira housing estate (1973-1977) in Évora, Portugal, is comprehensively explored and examined with a refreshingly engaging critical weight. Rather than develop multi-story housing in the sensitive landscape around the city, Siza proposed "a plan that distributed the programme between two fields composed of low-rise terraced courtyard houses." As a result, the arrangement of these structures adjust to the "undulating topography ensuring that the narrow, cobbled streets along which the houses are distributed always follow the slope."
As is made clear in the film (above), one of the remarkable aspects about the Quinta da Malagueira estate is that it is "governed by a third layer of infrastructure" which takes the form of "an elevated network of conduits that distributes water and electricity [...] much in the manner of a miniature aqueduct." For Siza, this was a logical move as it provided the cheapest means of distributing utilities around the complex. Woodman ultimately concludes that "Siza’s work at Malagueira invites a reading less as a fixed artefact and rather as one episode in the site’s ongoing transformation."
Last weekend, the Architectural Review published an article by the Prince of Wales in which he outlined his stance on architecture, reiterating his belief that a return to traditional design principles is necessary to enable sustainable urban growth that meets human needs. In the 2,000 word essay, Prince Charles argues that "we face the terrifying prospect by 2050 of another three billion people on this planet needing to be housed," adding that rather than "wanting to turn the clock back to some Golden Age" as he is often accused, he is focused on the needs of the future. At the conclusion of his article, he outlines ten principles for architecture which meet the requirements of his vision.
As is often the case with Prince Charles' pronouncements on architecture, the article has prompted a strong reaction from members of the profession, with responses ranging from Robert Sakula saying "if more people cared as much as he does we would have a better architectural culture," to the response of Birmingham City University's Alister Scott, who said "there is clear evidence of elitism and his lack of empathy with the problems facing his peasantry."
Read on after the break for more on the Prince's article and the reaction from architects
Given to completed projects, entries can include buildings, interiors, landscaping, refurbishment, urban projects, temporary installations, furniture and product designs. This year the jury was comprised of Catherine Slessor, Hilde Daem, Li Xiaodong, Steven Holl and Will Alsop.
Read on after the break for this year’s Emerging Architecture Award winners.
In the third and final installment of their micro documentary series on architecture and water, Ellis Woodman and a team at the Architectural Review (AR) have collaborated with architects, developers, urbanists and thinkers to examine the latent connections between water infrastructure and our built environment. Taking a journey by narrowboat through London, the film explores the radical ideas which may offer the keys to unlocking the potential of the urban waterway. Through recreation, interaction and radical ideas such as floating parks, amphibious houses and new public wetlands can the river become a living part of the city?
In the second installment of their new three-part micro documentary series on architecture and water (see the first part here), Ellis Woodman and a team at the Architectural Review (AR) have collaborated with architects, developers, urbanists and thinkers to examine the latent connections between water infrastructure and our built environment. Taking a journey by narrowboat through London, the film explores the radical ideas which may offer the keys to unlocking the potential of the urban waterway. When London has an ever-increasing overwhelming need for growth, how does the densification and gentrification of the city relate to the rivers and canals?
In the first part of their new micro documentary series on architecture and water, Ellis Woodman and a team at the Architectural Review (AR) have collaborated with architects, developers, urbanists and thinkers to examine the latent connections between water infrastructure and our built environment. Taking a journey by narrowboat through London, discussing a raft of radical ideas which may offer the keys to unlocking the potential of the river along the way, the films discuss how we might begin to shape the contemporary city's relationship with its urban waterways. Can "floating parks, amphibious houses, floodable public squares, new wetlands or brand new canals foster a more meaningful relationship between the citizen and the city’s waters?"
As part of the their Architecture for All programme, London's Old Royal Naval College is set to host three debates about the future planned along the River Thames, investigating the issues surrounding living, building and working on the City's waterways in the years to come. The series is curated by Ellis Woodman, critic for the Architects' Journal and the Architectural Review, who said: "Despite the fact that the riverfront is currently the subject of redevelopment proposals of unprecedented scale, London’s ambitions for the Thames have yet to be widely articulated or debated." Details of the three events after the break.
ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this post, we take a look at AR’s September 2014 issue, which includes an examination of the sometimes difficult relationship between architecture and disability. Here, AR Editor Catherine Slessor argues that we should adapt our understanding of Le Corbusier's Modulor Man to be more inclusive, asking "What happens when disability is not seen as a problem for architecture to solve, but as a potential generative impetus?"
From Vitruvius to Le Corbusier, the mathematical proportions of the human form have historically been used to shape and define architecture. Man is, essentially, the ultimate measure of all things. The famous Modulor Man was originally based on the height of the average Frenchman (1.75 metres, or 5 feet 9 inches) but was later increased to a more strapping 1.83 metres (6 feet) because of Corb’s penchant for English detective novels in which (literally) upstanding characters such as policemen, were always 6 feet tall.
ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this post, we take a look at AR’s August 2014 issue, which examines the tension between the often idealised world of the architecture media and the messy complexity of real-world buildings. Here, AR Editor Catherine Slessor meditates on "the uneasy relationship between reductivist beauty contests and architecture’s nuanced narrativesand complexities."
The recent announcement of the RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist has stoked up the usual feverish debate about what constitutes ‘good’ architecture and what should or shouldn’t win. But an awards scheme that can pit the Shard against the Everyman Theatre, thus perilously straddling an engorged spectrum of style, scale, client, context, user and urban contribution, is a fundamentally impossible proposition when you get down to it. One former editor of The Architects’ Journal despairingly remarked that judging the Stirling was like trying to compare a cookery book with a slim volume of poetry. Apart from both being printed on paper, they have nothing else in common. So do you plump for cookery or poetry?