Anne Lacaton Interview: Always Add, Never Withdraw

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In this video from the Louisiana Museum, Anne Lacaton from the award-winning practice Lacaton & Vassal describes the importance of building upon existing conditions to create new architecture. She shares the firm's approach to architecture, which is to "never withdraw, always add" and their focus on generosity of space, care of the users, and utilization of existing natural resources to create a more affordable architecture.

Lacaton & Vassal have gained worldwide acclaim for their transformative social housing work. They were awarded the Grand Prix national de l'architecture in 2008, the Heinrich Tessenow Medal in 2016, and the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2018, to name a few. Their projects such as the 23 Semi-collective Housing Units in Trignac, France, and Ourcq Jaures Student & Social Housing display a dedication to social responsibility in architecture. In Anne Lacaton's interview, she describes how they mine the richness of existing

23 Semi-collective Housing Units / Lacaton & Vassal . Image © Philippe Ruault
23 Semi-collective Housing Units / Lacaton & Vassal . Image © Philippe Ruault
Nantes School of Architecture / Lacaton & Vassal . Image © Philippe Ruault
Continue reading "Anne Lacaton Interview: Always Add, Never Withdraw"

Andres Gallardo Captures Copenhagen’s Surreal and Colorful Geometric Forms

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© Andres Gallardo © Andres Gallardo Andres Gallardo's ongoing Urban Geometry series captures unique forms, colors, and shadows of modern architecture of various cities. The project is a personal one for Gallardo, as it has been a long-term photo series that has accompanied him throughout his journey in becoming a professional photographer, displaying his development and evolution as he captures the architectural beauty of cities such as Beijing, Helsinki, Seoul, and Copenhagen.

Below is the Copenhagen chapter of the series, a visual poem that allows us to see the city in new ways. Through flowing line and bright bursts of color, Gallardo displays an almost surreal version of the city, where the jagged forms and smooth curves of its modern architecture have replaced human presence.

© Andres Gallardo © Andres Gallardo
© Andres Gallardo © Andres Gallardo
© Andres Gallardo © Andres Gallardo
© Andres Gallardo © Andres Gallardo
© Andres Gallardo © Andres Gallardo
© Andres Gallardo © Andres Gallardo
© Andres Gallardo © Andres Gallardo
© Andres Gallardo © Andres Gallardo
© Andres Gallardo
© Andres Gallardo
© Andres Gallardo
© Andres Gallardo
© Andres Gallardo
Continue reading "Andres Gallardo Captures Copenhagen’s Surreal and Colorful Geometric Forms"

Barilla Visitor Centre Merges with Surrounding Wheat Fields in Pedrignano, Italy

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Render by Aron Lorincz. Image Courtesy of Studio VAARO Render by Aron Lorincz. Image Courtesy of Studio VAARO

Studio VAARO, in collaboration with Gabriel Fain Architects, have designed a visitor center pavilion for Barilla in Pedrignano, Italy which responds to its industrial and agricultural context with an iconic gesture. With space for events, a café, restaurant and shop, the diverse programs are united under one sweeping roof. The roof merges with the surrounding wheat fields, creating the impression of a natural mound emerging from the earth when approaching from the South. From the road, the earth excavated from the foundations have been compacted to create a rammed-earth façade, its mineral stratification evoking the archaic and the natural. 

Diagram Diagram

The architects describe the roof as "subtly [morphing] between two elemental and symbolic geometries – that of the House to the East and that of the rectangular Factory to the West. In so doing, our Barilla pavilion combines the domestic

Level 1 Plan
Render by Nephew. Image Courtesy of Studio VAARO
Render by Aron Lorincz. Image Courtesy of Studio VAARO
Continue reading "Barilla Visitor Centre Merges with Surrounding Wheat Fields in Pedrignano, Italy"

Bringing Work Home: 9 Times Architects Designed for Themselves

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Cien House / Pezo von Ellrichshausen. Image © Cristobal Palma Cien House / Pezo von Ellrichshausen. Image © Cristobal Palma

Architects are often bound by the will of their client, reluctantly sacrificing and compromising design choices in order to suit their needs. But what happens when architects become their own clients? When architects design for themselves, they have the potential to test their ideas freely, explore without creative restriction, and create spaces which wholly define who they are, how they design, and what they stand for. From iconic architect houses like the Gehry Residence in Santa Monica to private houses that double as a public-entry museum, here are 9 fascinating examples of how architects design when they only have themselves to answer to.

Casa Barragan / Luis Barragan

Casa Barragan. Image © Rene Burri Casa Barragan. Image © Rene Burri

The flat, unassuming façade of Casa Barragan gives no hint to what is held within. Described as an oasis - a sanctuary that keeps out the

Casa Barragan. Image © Casa Luis Barragan
Gehry Residence. Image via netropolitan.org
Gehry Residence. Image
Lyon Housemuseum / Lyons. Image © Dianna Snape
Lyon Housemuseum Plan
Summer House in Dalarna / Leo Qvarsebo. Image Courtesy of Leo Qvarsebo
Leo Qvarsebo Section
Melnikov House. Image © Denis Esakov
Melnikov House Plan
Cien House / Pezo von Ellrichshausen. Image © Cristobal Palma
Cien House Modules
Eames House. Image © architectenwerk.nl
Eames House
The Tower House / Gluck+. Image © Paul Warchol
Tower House Diagram
Nakanosawa Project / Ryo Yamada. Image © Yoshiaki Maezawa
Ryo Yamada Section
Continue reading "Bringing Work Home: 9 Times Architects Designed for Themselves"

Superspace Re-Imagines Prague’s Victory Square as a Social Center

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Courtesy of Superspace Courtesy of Superspace Istanbul-based studio Superspace has proposed a design for Prague’s Victory Square that transforms the dead zone in the middle of Prague into a space flourishing with nature and social activities. The simple but effective solution inverts traffic and pedestrian access to create a green urban center, where markets, art festivals and even wintertime ice-skating can take place. Tall, local evergreen trees would be planted in the horseshoe shape surrounding the inner ring, creating an iconic visual impact while shielding the community space from the noise of the busy traffic area beyond.
Courtesy of Superspace Courtesy of Superspace
Courtesy of Superspace Courtesy of Superspace

The current design of Victory Square encourages heavy traffic congestion and its central green space is inaccessible and redundant. Superspace’s proposal increases the permeability of the space, as well as creates a holistic central urban space surrounded by easily accessible traffic lanes.  

Courtesy of Superspace Courtesy of Superspace

The form of

Courtesy of Superspace
Continue reading "Superspace Re-Imagines Prague’s Victory Square as a Social Center"

Shortlist Announced for RIBA’s 2018 Stephen Lawrence Prize

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Old Shed New House, Yorkshire / Tonkin Liu. Image © Greg Storrar Old Shed New House, Yorkshire / Tonkin Liu. Image © Greg Storrar The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the 2018 shortlist for the Stephen Lawrence Prize, an architecture award set up in memory of a young aspiring architect who was tragically murdered in 1993. Supported and founded by the Marco Goldschmied Foundation, the bursary has been increased this year from £5,000 to £25,000 to mark the 25th year since Stephen’s death. The prize is intended to encourage fresh architectural talent and reward the best examples of projects that have a construction budget of less than £1 million. Stephen Lawrence Prize founder Marco Goldschmied said: “We have once again been astounded by the skill, ingenuity and determination shown in each project. The shortlist ranges from new and converted housing to a moving memorial, from education to hospitality. Each project has produced outstanding architecture fit for such a
Belvue School Woodland Classrooms, London / Studio Weave Ltd. Image © Jim Stephenson
Old Shed New House, Yorkshire / Tonkin Liu. Image © Greg Storrar
Five Acre Barn, Suffolk / Blee Halligan. Image © Sarah Blee
Red House, London / 31/44 Architects. Image © Rory Gardiner
Dartmouth Park House, London / AY Architects. Image © Anthony Boulanger
Bethnal Green Memorial, London / Arboreal Architecture. Image © Marcela Spadaro
White Heather House, Southend-on-Sea / SK Architects Ltd. Image © Alan Gloyne
Continue reading "Shortlist Announced for RIBA’s 2018 Stephen Lawrence Prize"

Space 4 Architecture’s Proposed Bookstore in Chengdu, China Embodies Floating Water Lilies

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Aerial View. Image Courtesy of Space4Architecture Aerial View. Image Courtesy of Space4Architecture Space 4 Architecture's (S4A) proposal for a bookstore in ChengduChina reflects the poetic beauty of floating lilies on water. The architects describe the project as a “permeable cultural container” that allows and encourages visitor interaction with the surrounding landscape. The design consists of a series of indoor and outdoor spaces that weave together a gentle intervention that mirrors and enhances the natural scenery it sits within.
Site Plan. Image Courtesy of Space4Architecture Site Plan. Image Courtesy of Space4Architecture

The architects were heavily inspired by the context of the site: "the ephemeral footprint created by raindrops on water" and the circular forms of lily pads. The circular forms of the design create a continuous relationship between land and water, allowing the visitor to engage and fully experience its position in the middle of the lake. These interconnected circles have reflected roofs, which act to eliminate boundaries between water,

Entry View. Image Courtesy of Space4Architecture
Deck View. Image Courtesy of Space4Architecture
Plans. Image Courtesy of Space4Architecture
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Paradigma Ariadne’s Design for House With a Hundred Rooms Stretches into Visual Infinity

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Renders by Whitebox Visual. Image Courtesy of Paradigma Ariadné Renders by Whitebox Visual. Image Courtesy of Paradigma Ariadné

Hungarian architects Paradigma Ariadné push the concepts of progression and growth to a literal spatial extreme in their proposal for a new sport complex for the MTK Football Academy. Drawing inspiration from the diagram of traditional European peasant houses, the design stretches into a kind of visual infinity, stacking all the rooms in the building along a single horizontal axis.

Courtesy of Paradigma Ariadné Courtesy of Paradigma Ariadné
Courtesy of Paradigma Ariadné Courtesy of Paradigma Ariadné

The historical reference is meant to emphasise the communal spirit inherent in sport, particularly in that of soccer. The nearly 100 rooms include spaces for accommodation and dressing rooms in addition to training rooms, and stretches 434 meters - the exact distance of the adjacent sports fields. The rooms are stitched together by a single corridor that flows the length of the building, expanding and contracting from a standard 1.5 meter width

Courtesy of Paradigma Ariadné
Courtesy of Paradigma Ariadné
Renders by Whitebox Visual. Image Courtesy of Paradigma Ariadné
Renders by Whitebox Visual. Image Courtesy of Paradigma Ariadné
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This Photographer Captures the Rainbow Architecture of Istanbul

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When we think of Istanbul, opulent mosques and bustling bazaars often come to mind. Architect and photographer Yener Torur focuses on a different side of the city, targeting lesser-known neighborhoods to capture stunning images of a hidden, rainbow-colored Turkey. Often using friends, family, and even himself as models, his photographs create whimsical narratives where color-coordinated figures act as supporting characters in a playful world of tones. Torur describes the search for these buildings as a "treasure hunt," describing his intention to "document a different, less-known part of Istanbul to escape from the one dimensional and orientalist perception."

A post shared by Yener Torun (@cimkedi) on

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Water and Wellbeing: Projects that Explore the Potential of Public Baths and Pools

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© Jaime Navarro © Jaime Navarro There is something about water that continually captures our imagination. Tranquil, dramatic, or ever-changing, the architecture of public baths and swimming pools can enhance the inherent qualities of water. Bathhouses were traditionally meeting-spaces where social differences bled away into skin and steam. Even in contemporary architectural projects, spaces for swimming and bathing often feel like a separate world, therapeutic and intimate.  Below are 12 projects that display stunning spaces for communal bathing and swimming. Summer Pool In Godella / Álvarez Cubells Arquitectos
Courtesy of Álvarez cubells arquitectos Courtesy of Álvarez cubells arquitectos

Located in the "Jardin D'Obradors Sur" in Spain, the project consists of 12 independent buildings across the site. These separate buildings house toilets, showers and storage facilities, which surround the three circular pools. The minimal, cylindrical form of the buildings creates an intriguing landscape as the visitor weaves their way through the site. "Tournesol" Swimming Pool Refurbishment / Urbane

© Jean Baptiste Dorner
© Jaime Navarro
© Héléne Binet
© Klemens Ortmeyer
© Ahmet ERTUG
Courtesy of raumlaborberlin
© Hiroyasu Sakaguchi
© Víctor Benitez
© Signe Find Larsen
Courtesy of NaNA (NotaNumber Architects)
Courtesy of Studio M.R.D.O.
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Atelier Deshaus’ Shanghai Modern Art Museum Through the Lens of Kris Provoost

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© Kris Provoost © Kris Provoost Architect Kris Provoost, who lives and works in Shanghai, has captured Atelier Deshaus' new Shanghai Modern Art Museum through a series of photographs, displaying both the details of the building as well as its context on the Shanghai riverfront. The Shanghai Modern Art Museum is an adaptive re-use project on the old Laobaidu coal bunker, its industrial exterior kept and re-interpreted into a contemporary architectural project. Provoost captured the beautiful detailing of the project, as well as how it transforms during the cherry blossom season. 

© Kris Provoost © Kris Provoost
© Kris Provoost © Kris Provoost
© Kris Provoost © Kris Provoost
© Kris Provoost © Kris Provoost
© Kris Provoost © Kris Provoost
© Kris Provoost © Kris Provoost
© Kris Provoost © Kris Provoost
© Kris Provoost © Kris Provoost
© Kris Provoost © Kris Provoost
© Kris Provoost © Kris Provoost
© Kris Provoost © Kris Provoost
News via: Kris Provoost
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This Cave-Like Luxury Apartment is Planned for Australia’s Gold Coast

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Courtesy of Contreras Earl Architecture Courtesy of Contreras Earl Architecture Contreras Earl Architecture, in collaboration with the Sunland Group, designed a 44-story residential tower in Queensland, Australia. The "Hedges Pedestal," a two-story base and communal areas for residents, was conceived by Contreras Earl Architecture and draws inspiration from the coastal location of the site, its curving exterior façade which includes a sculptural anodized aluminium, resembles the curves of wind erosion on the sand. 
Courtesy of Contreras Earl Architecture Courtesy of Contreras Earl Architecture

The residential tower's location will play an important role in the urban landscape of the Gold Coast, marking a transition from the low-rise residential area of Mermaid Beach to the high-rises of Broadbeach. The "Pedestal" at ground level brings a human scale to the project, its low-slung, cave-like entrance appealing to the scale of the pedestrian. 

Courtesy of Contreras Earl Architecture Courtesy of Contreras Earl Architecture

The interior of the Pedestal resembles the inside of a rock-cave, its arches seemingly brushed into place by

Courtesy of Contreras Earl Architecture
Continue reading "This Cave-Like Luxury Apartment is Planned for Australia’s Gold Coast"

Sharjah Architecture Triennial to Open as First Major Platform on Middle Eastern Architecture

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Central Market, King Faisal Street, Al Itihad Park, Sharjah. Image © Paul Gorra Central Market, King Faisal Street, Al Itihad Park, Sharjah. Image © Paul Gorra The Sharjah Architecture Triennial will open in November 2019 as "the first major platform for dialogue on architecture and urbanism in the Middle East, North Africa, East Africa and South Asia." Curator Adrian Lahoud has announced the theme of the Triennial as the Rights of Future Generations, aiming to fundamentally challenge traditional ideas about architecture and introduce new ways of thinking that veer from current Western-centric discourse.
King Faisal Mosque, King Abdul Aziz Street, Sharjah, Office of Technical & Architectural Engineering & Consultancy, 1987. Image © Ieva Saudargaitė King Faisal Mosque, King Abdul Aziz Street, Sharjah, Office of Technical & Architectural Engineering & Consultancy, 1987. Image © Ieva Saudargaitė

“Rights of Future Generations questions how inheritance, legacy, and the state of the environment are passed from one generation to the next, how present decisions have long-term intergenerational consequences, and how other expressions of co-existence, including indigenous ones, might challenge dominant western perspectives. Turning to

Street view of Bank Street buildings and Al Hisn Fort Museum, Sharjah. Image © Paul Gorra
King Faisal Mosque, King Abdul Aziz Street, Sharjah, Office of Technical & Architectural Engineering & Consultancy, 1987.Aerial view of a Bank Street urban fragment. Image © Ieva Saudargaitė
Northwest view of Bank Street buildings, Bank Street, Sharjah, Architects Tecnica y Proyectos (TYPSA), 1977. Image © Ieva Saudargaitė
Adrian Lahoud, Curator of the Sharjah Architecture Triennial. Image © Rabee Younes
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The World’s First Pavilion-Scale Structure Built Using Augmented Reality

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Fologram has recently built the world’s first pavilion-scale steel structure using the HoloLens, displaying the possibilities of integrating standard CAD workflow with augmented reality. By displaying the generative design model through holographic instructions rather than traditional 2D drawings, it explores the potential of revolutionizing the bridge between design and construction.
Using the Fologram Tracker to Digitize Model. Image Courtesy of Fologram Using the Fologram Tracker to Digitize Model. Image Courtesy of Fologram

The released video displays non-expert students using the HoloLens to construct the Woven Steel pavilion, integrating the views from their screen with physical construction. Completed entirely by eye through augmented reality technology, it shows how the HoloLens can fulfill one of its originally predicted potentials of drastically simplifying construction and maintenance work. In this case, the creation of the Woven Steel pavilion took under three days, displaying the possibilities of constructing complex geometries through simplified and accessible methods. It radically expands the possibilities of what can be physically built,

Courtesy of Fologram
Courtesy of Fologram
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Stefano Boeri Combats Rural Decline With Free Initiative

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School Exterior Visualization. Image Courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti School Exterior Visualization. Image Courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti For the 2018 Venice BiennaleStefano Boeri Architetti presents Slow Food Freespace, the first Slow Village to be constructed in Sichuan, China. Made in collaboration with Slow Food Movement, speakers Stefano Boeri and Carlo Petrini discussed the project at the event “Across Chinese Cities - The Community.”  For the Slow Food China project, Stefano Boeri Architetti has designed a school, a library and a small museum for the villages involved, free of charge. The program attempts to encourage millions of Chinese farmers to stay in their rural districts, combatting the unprecedented emigration to cities which has grown in the last few years. By offering educational facilities and cultural landmarks to these rural communities, it inspires the preservation of local culture and acknowledges the importance of the agricultural economy.
Territory. Image Courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti Territory. Image Courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti
Masterplan. Image Courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti Masterplan. Image Courtesy
School Visualization. Image Courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti
Library Visualization. Image Courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti
Elevations and Plans. Image Courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti
Continue reading "Stefano Boeri Combats Rural Decline With Free Initiative"

Bee Breeders Announce Winners of Nemrut Volcano Eyes Competition

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First Prize. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders First Prize. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders Bee Breeders have announced the winners of the Nemrut Volcano Eyes Competition, where participants were tasked with designing a visitor observation platform on top of Nemrut, a dormant volcano in eastern Turkey. With the unique natural environment, including a caldera and a pair of lakes, the observation platform is intended to provide unobstructed views of the extraordinary landscape. The jury encouraged submissions that were cost-effective, environmentally-responsible, and energy-efficient. Below are the winners of the competition: 
First Prize. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders First Prize. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders

First Prize + Student Award

 Upservatory: Fernando Irizarry, Marcos Ortiz, Gabriel Rivera (University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus) The winning proposal takes inspiration from the ballooning sites over the vast Cappadocia in central Turkey. The 20 square meter platform hovers over the environment and is attached to a rail that controls its trajectory. Thus, creating a circular journey

Second Prize. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders
Third Prize. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders
Green Award. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders
Continue reading "Bee Breeders Announce Winners of Nemrut Volcano Eyes Competition"

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

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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

Gandy's Drawing of John Soane's Bank of England
Boullée's Cenotaph for Newton, Exterior
Boullée's Cenotaph for Newton, Interior
Ledoux, Theatre of Besançon
Isometric Drawing of Gropius' Study, Drawn by Herbert Bayer (1923). Image <a href='https://thecharnelhouse.org/2014/04/01/object-lessons-from-the-bauhaus/'>via The Charnel-House</a>
Archigram's Walking City proposal. Image courtesy of Deutsches Architekturmuseum
New-New York, 1969. This drawing was displayed as part of the exhibition "Drawing Ambience: Alvin Boyarsky and the Architectural Association" © Superstudio. Image Courtesy of Collection of the Alvin Boyarsky Archive
The Peak - 1983. Image © Zaha Hadid
Amaravati Government Complex. Image Courtesy of Foster + Partners
Continue reading "From Romantic Ruins to the Ultra-Real: A History of the Architectural Render"