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Visible Weather

How (and Why) to Let Weather Into Your Buildings

09:30 - 24 August, 2017
How (and Why) to Let Weather Into Your Buildings

Bringing the weather inside is usually the opposite of what you want from a building envelope. However, new research from the University of Oregon, described in an article by The Washington Post, aims to show the physical and psychological benefits of letting nature inside. Signs of nature and change are both beneficial to our well-being, yet we don’t always have access to them when inside buildings—and humans are now spending 90% of our lives inside. But even in an urban setting, where nature may be hard to come by, there’s no escaping the weather. When researchers found ways to bring things like wind and dappled reflections of the sun inside, they found that exposure to these natural movements lowered heart rates, while being less distracting than similar artificially generated movements.

By now, green buildings are a familiar concept, but the article in The Washington Post proposes moving beyond green buildings as we know them today. While green building can be great in new construction, that excludes a lot of existing buildings that could and should also benefit from an intervention of nature. Ideally, buildings should actively demonstrate their relationship with nature, moving beyond simply “doing no harm.”

© Hiroyuki Oki © Carlos Chen © Alex de Rijke © Alejandro Arango + 7

Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream at the MoMA

13:00 - 15 February, 2012
Photographs by Don Pollard. © 2011 The Museum of Modern Art.
Photographs by Don Pollard. © 2011 The Museum of Modern Art.

Starting today, through July 30, New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) will be running an exhibit featuring the proposals of five interdisciplinary studios that were asked to re-think and re-invent the future of housing in the midst of the foreclosure crisis that remains a threat to many Americans and their homes. Over the Summer of 2011, WORKac, MOS Architects, Visible Weather, Zago Architecture and Studio Gang Architects selected five “megaregions” across the country on which to speculate the form that housing could take: physically, socially and economically. Late this summer, ArchDaily has provided coverage while the work was in progress. Opening today, the results of those speculative efforts will be presented at the MoMA as part of an exhibit called Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream. The Open Studios exercise was organized by Barry Bergdoll, MoMA’s Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, with Reinhold Martin, Director of Columbia University’s Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture.

Read on for more on the proposals and details about the exhibit.

Update: Foreclose: Rehousing the American Dream / MoMA

09:00 - 19 September, 2011
PS 1
PS 1

This weekend, we had the opportunity to attend the Open Studio event at MoMA’s PS1. As we mentioned earlier, this project posed the daunting question of how to re-think, re-organize and re-energize the concept of an American suburb in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. As MoMA’s Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, Barry Bergdoll explains, “Projects will aim to challenge cultural assumptions concerning home ownership and associated settlement patterns, such as suburban sprawl, and assist the public in contemplating a potentially different future for housing and cities. The workshop and exhibition are premised on reframing the current crisis as an opportunity, an approach that is in keeping with the fundamental American ethos where challenging circumstances engender innovation and out-of-the-box thinking. It is our hope that new paradigms of architecture and regional and transportation planning become the silver lining in the crisis of home ownership.” The five multidisciplinary teams chose five different American suburbs to explore, and this Saturday, we jumped from Oregon to Florida, to Illinois, to California and New Jersey, to observe their five quite different solutions.

Check out our preview of the teams’ work-in-progress projects which will be exhibited at the MoMA this February.