Ferrari World Abu Dhabi / Benoy

2 weeks 5 days ago
© Jim Stephenson © Jim Stephenson
  • Interiors Designers: Benoy
  • Location: Island de Yas, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Area: 176000.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Jim Stephenson
  • Client: Aldar Properties PJSC
© Jim Stephenson © Jim Stephenson

Text description provided by the architects. Abu-Dhabi’s Yas Island is a cultural landmark and manmade phenomenon. At the heart of this landscape, our client wanted to build the first ever Ferrari Theme Park. The location, scale and purpose of this major development required a bold and creative vision, while paying homage to the iconic Ferrari brand.

© Jim Stephenson © Jim Stephenson

Benoy’s design was a revolution, reflecting the famous sinuous form of the Ferrari GT chassis with the brand’s signature colour and double curves. Ensuring sustainability, we applied an insulated metal skin roof and efficient glass to reduce thermal loads and glare.

© Jim Stephenson © Jim Stephenson

A thrilling brand experience like no other and a multi-sensory celebration of a design icon – Ferrari World is a landmark leisure destination that reflects both the integrity of the Ferrari brand and the ambitions of Abu Dhabi. As the world’s largest indoor theme park, it is an immense achievement in the field of architecture.

© Jim Stephenson © Jim Stephenson

Cloud-like Circular Staircase Stands at the Center of This Chinese Villa

2 weeks 6 days ago
[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

Floating staircases always make a big impact, but rarely do they actually look like they’re just wisps of clouds spiraling through a living space. Prior to renovation, the three floors of this home weren’t connected by a single staircase, leading the basement walkout level to feel distanced from the first and second floors. KOS Architects and Atelier Zerebecky wanted to give the villa a sense of liberating weightlessness, a space that feels fresh and light amid the noisy clamor of urban China.

The staircase itself is strikingly sculptural within a central vaulted space, with all of the home’s main rooms connected to it: the living room, entertaining spaces, kitchen, gym, theater and bedrooms. A gradient of opaque white on the glass railings gives it its signature atmospheric look. The balustrade hides the structural steel so the stairs can appear to float on air.

The client wanted something grand and ostentatious without being gaudy, the architects explain.

“Our first gesture was to create a unified space as the backbone of the home – a large double-height vaulted ceiling creates a sense of grandeur without resorting to the extravagance of Loius XIV décor and gold leaf ornament, something so prevalent in the high end residential market of suburban China. Our doubly curved vault maximizes the ceiling height beneath a suburban pitched roof architecture while creating a smooth venetian plastered volume that exhibits the play of natural light. This space houses the ceremonial entrance, the formal living area, fireplace and a new glass staircase.”

The rest of the home feels equally light and airy, including a pink child’s bedroom with its own slide. More photos are available at the Atelier Zerebecky website.

Photos by Highlite Images Taipei

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Zaha Hadid Architects Proposal Shortlisted For Sverdlovsk Philharmonic, But Uncertainty Over Buildability Remains

2 weeks 6 days ago
Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

To activate the historical and cultural significance of music in the city of Yekaterinburg, a design competition to create a new concert hall was announced earlier in April. From the 47 proposals that were submitted, the top three architectural concepts were recently selected by the jury committee, awarding first place to Zaha Hadid Architects, and the two runner-up positions to Alvisi Kirimoto + Partners and Robert Gutowski Architects respectively.

Despite selecting ZHA's proposal as the project laureate, all three projects are still in contention as the feasibility studies are ongoing. For the snowy climate of this Russian city, the buildability of the design continues to be under debate. 

Having the buzz of a world-renowned firm definitely sparks more interest in the creation of the center, however, it draws the question as to whether such a proposal is suitable for the climate and program of Sverdlovsk, and the intentions behind this selection. The other two projects, equally as provocative, appear to be more feasible while maintaining the ambiance and heritage of the city.

With the outcome still uncertain, it would be a significant turning point for the other two firms to acquire the project over such a prestigious firm, or for the organization to garner enough donors to actualize the originally-selected design. The architectural concepts as proposed by the respective firms are depicted as follows:

Zaha Hadid Architects (United Kingdom)

Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

Often referred to as "frozen music," Hadid's architecture actualizes itself to physically embody the form of sound waves. The curved roof and flowing interiors are intended to mimic the movements of ballet dancers and create a sense of timelessness during a performance. The proposal asserts how the unity of the elements of light and sound symbolizes the cohesive relationship between architecture and music. 

From the view of its expansive underbelly, the auditorium floats above the lobby space, appearing as if it were perched atop of thin air. The gesture accentuates the grandeur of the entryway, with the glass facade enhancing the visual connections between the interior and exterior spaces. 

Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects



Inspired by Marc Augé's Non-Places, the firm proposes the transformation of the concert hall as an instance of a non-place to become an "urban place" by creating landscape patterns, cultural epicenters, and an urban network within the complex. With the focus of integrating secondary programs such as children's play areas, a greenhouse, multipurpose space, an outdoor cafe, and a park, the project acts as a vibrant cultural center.

The exterior facade consisting of a translucent satin-tinted glass and horizontal lamellae panels leave behind an exposed skeletal structure and create a glowing glass box nestled within the historical district. As for the auditorium itself, the formal gesture of carving is used to concoct faces and edges that dynamically reflect the sound, amplifying the auditory experience. 


Robert Gutowski Architects (Hungary)

Courtesy of Robert Gutowski Architects Courtesy of Robert Gutowski Architects

Emphasizing the dual focus on creating an attractive acoustic environment while simultaneously providing efficient background infrastructure for musicians, the architects advocated for the long-term sustainability of the cultural center. 

Dominated by bronze slats, the design highlights the interplay between the public and the private through their envelope system. The placement of lamellae panels is multi-layered in varying areas to mimic a thin translucent membrane. The silk color of the panels, coupled with warm white backlit spaces accentuate the effect of golden rain. Amidst the evening sky, the multi-story lobby peeks through, creating a mysterious ambiance and transforming the concert hall into a cultural landmark.

Courtesy of Robert Gutowski Architects Courtesy of Robert Gutowski Architects


National Trade Center / Aedas

3 weeks ago
Courtesy of Aedas Courtesy of Aedas
  • Architects: Aedas
  • Location: Taichung, Taiwan
  • Lead Architects: Andy Wen
  • Area: 52924.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2018
Courtesy of Aedas Courtesy of Aedas

Text description provided by the architects. Aedas-designed National Trade Center is a 165-metre tall office building prime located in Taichung city, within the emerging central business district and adjacent to the Opera House and City Hall.

Diagrams Diagrams
Diagrams Diagrams

The iconic building replicates the unique silhouette of a bamboo shoot – a plant commonly found in Taichung which symbolises prosperity in Chinese culture. This design is deemed to enrich the city skyline while celebrating a cultural symbol. 

Courtesy of Aedas Courtesy of Aedas

The faceted façade undulates with horizontal awnings with distinctive rain covers and window-walls to emphasise the unique shape and curves of the building. The elliptical shape allows maximum light penetration to the office area. Vertical greening with local plant resources on the east and west façades as well as the rooftop enhances energy efficiency. There are also balconies on each floor on the north and east sides to offer an outdoor experience with a pleasant view. 

Courtesy of Aedas Courtesy of Aedas

The interior space is designed with reference to traditional ink paintings – by using different shades and tones of grey, together with lights and reflections, to express different feels and create a sense of neutrality and calmness. Two podium floors with banks and food and beverage outlets activate the urban life on lower levels.

Courtesy of Aedas Courtesy of Aedas

Chinese City to Replace Street Lights with Orbiting Artificial Moon by 2020

3 weeks ago
[ By WebUrbanist in Conceptual & Futuristic & Technology. ]

Within two years, the city of Chengdu aims to swap out its ground-based street lighting with the soft glow of an artificial moon, casting light across 50 square miles of the urban landscape.

Wu Chunfeng, chairman of Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute, announced the news at a national mass innovation and entrepreneurship event earlier this month.

Reflective panels on board the machine will pick up and redirect the sun’s rays. The satellite will actually glow multiple times brighter than the moon itself, creating a dusk-like atmosphere on demand. The precise illumination can be varied in different sections of the city as well.

The project may sound like a moonshot but it’s not without precedent: Soviets tested similar light-reflecting satellites decades ago, aimed to illuminate darker northern regions, and on the ground: cities in valleys have also been known to use giant reflectors perched on adjacent mountainsides.

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Boston Publishes Radical SCAPE Plans to Combat Climate Change

3 weeks 1 day ago
Downtown Boston Vision. Image © SCAPE / City of Boston Downtown Boston Vision. Image © SCAPE / City of Boston

global warming. The scheme lays out strategies which will “increase access and open space along the waterfront while better protecting the city during a major flooding event.”

The vision forms part of the Imagine Boston 2030 initiative while using the city’s Climate Ready Boston 2070 flood maps, targeting infrastructure along Boston’s most vulnerable flood pathways.

The SCAPE vision calls for the creation of elevated landscapes, enhanced waterfront parks, flood resilient buildings, and revitalized connections to the waterfront. The scheme focuses on four areas: East Boston and Charlestown, North End and Downtown, South Boston and Fort Point, and Dorchester Waterfront.

East Boston Vision. Image © SCAPE / City of Boston East Boston Vision. Image © SCAPE / City of Boston

In East Boston, a deployable floodwall system has been designed across the East Boston Greenway, while Constitution Beach will be redesigned to combine flood protection with recreation and access. Key transport corridors such as Bennington Street and Main Street will be elevated, with $4.8 million in funding already committed.

Boston Harbor Vision. Image © SCAPE / City of Boston Boston Harbor Vision. Image © SCAPE / City of Boston

The North End will protect Boston’s financial center, historic waterfront, and tourist destinations. A series of parks including Christopher Columbus Park will be elevated to protect against flooding, as will the Harborwalk. The Long Wharf will be redesigned as a gateway for water transportation.

South Boston vision. Image © SCAPE / City of Boston South Boston vision. Image © SCAPE / City of Boston

The South Boston plan identifies flood pathways to the city’s key residential districts, with responses including a re-envisioned Fort Point Channel, and the completion of the Emerald Necklace from Franklin Park to Moakley Park to increase waterfront access. Meanwhile, the Dorchester Waterfront will be redesigned to be resilient, accessible, and connected to the city.

Dorchester Vision. Image © SCAPE / City of Boston Dorchester Vision. Image © SCAPE / City of Boston

We're not just planning for the next storm we'll face, we're planning for the storms the next generation will face. A resilient, climate-ready Boston Harbor presents an opportunity to protect Boston, connect Boston, and enhance Boston, now and for the future. As we enter a new era in our Harbor's history, Boston can show the world that resilience is not only the ability to survive adversity but to emerge even stronger than before. That's the promise of a Resilient Boston.
-Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston

News via: City of Boston


What is PVC used for

3 weeks 3 days ago

The diversity of PVC applications challenges the imagination. In existence, they’re all around North America. PVC is utilized for everything from construction profiles to medical devices, from roofing membranes to credit cards, and from children’s toys to pipes for water and gas. Few different materials are as versatile or able to fulfill such hard to please specifications. PVC offers creativeness in product engineering and innovation, creating new potentialities on the market daily.

Why is PVC that good?

PVC is fantastic simply because PVC products build safer lives for everybody. In addition to that, they bring comfort and joy and facilitate conserve natural resources and combat global climate change. And because of a wonderful cost-performance magnitude relation, PVC permits individuals of all financial backgrounds to access to board the green life that supports healthy lifestyles!

Why does PVC mean to promoting safer lifestyle?

PVC plays a crucial part in making sure people are living in a safe environment.  It can be applied in many occasions, it’s even used for medical devices. Not only that, it can be easily sterilized and it doesn’t break easy. What more can you want?

Interested in pvc railing? Click here!

Another superpower PVC has is its fireproofing abilities. Because of this, a lot of cables and wires are sheathed with PVC. All in all, PVC is a giant among materials.

Does PVC fight climate change?

Because PVC is as such a low-carbon material that consumes less primary energy than several different materials and is straightforward to recycle, it makes it such a powerful asset in fighting against the climate change and preserving our environment.

Also, most PVC products are insanely long lasting and need a minimum of maintenance and repair. Let’s put it like this, the service lifetime of PVC water and waste product piping is over one hundred years. And most of cars today last a few years longer just because PVC protects the undersurface from water and corrosion.

We know it’s strong. But, does PVC look good as it performs?

Of course! PVC is used by a lot of artists out there. We can easily say that it plays a big role in the beauty department as well. Not only that, PVC is used for a lot of design projects for designing home accessories.

PVC is being implemented by more and more professionals in a lot of sectors. With the pollution we are facing right now, we have to find eco-friendly alternatives. PVC is the perfect candidate for enabling people to have better and safer lives.


World’s Tallest Residential Building Planned for New York’s ‘Billionaire’s Row’

3 weeks 3 days ago
[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

A new skyscraper looms over Central Park in Manhattan, towering above all the others, though at its current height of 1,100 feet, it’s not even finished. Not only is ‘Central Park Tower’ by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture an unmissable landmark for New York City, it’ll officially nab the title of world’s tallest residential building once it reaches its full 1,550 feet (472 meters.) Located on West 57th Street, also known as ‘Billionaire’s Row,’ it’s basically an unapologetic bonanza of luxury amenities for uber-wealthy occupants.

The tower has been under construction for five years, but few details have been provided about exactly what it would offer. Now that its 179 units are officially up for sale – including condominiums that are expected to go for upwards of $60 million each, as well as a $95 million unit on the 53rd floor – new information and renderings have been released.

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Central Park Monks

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"Emerging" •••••••••••••••••••• New drawing of the midtown skyline between 53rd and 59th street. How many current and new buildings do you recognize so far? 20 hours in so far. •••••••••••••••••••• @53w53 @ateliersjeannouvel @rva_ny @shoparchitects @douglaselliman @extellmarketinggroup @ramsarchitects @ryanserhant @fosterandpartners @officialnormanfoster @skidmoreowingsmerrill @mercedeshouseny •••••••••••••••••••• #drawing #slyline #midtown #manhattan #blackandwhite #rendering #freehand #nyc #newyork #hyperrealism #newyorkcity #centralparksouth #billionairesrow #centralparktower #220centralparksouth #one57 #111w57 #432parkavenue #viñoly #ateliersjeannouvel #momatower #53w53 #jeannouvel #douglaselliman #ryanserhant #extell #ramsa #robertamstern #skyscraper #supertall

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The first seven floors of the Central Park Tower will host a massive flagship Nordstrom’s. Three hundred feet above street level, the tower cantilevers slightly to the east to give its residents better views of the park. The building’s 179 residences range from two to eight bedrooms, measuring between 1,435 and 17,500 square feet. Each one enjoys a wide open floor plan with interiors designed by Rottet Studio; the tower’s structural elements are concealed in between the units.

And then there are all the luxuries you’d expect from such an expensive tower. Residents will enjoy over 50,000 square feet of communal spaces spread out across three floors, starting with the lounge and an outdoor terrace featuring a 60-foot swimming pool, bar, screening wall, children’s playground, cabanas and more on the 14th floor. There’s also a health and wellness center incorporating an indoor swimming pool, sauna, basketball court, steam rooms, treatment rooms, a squash court and a fitness center.

“One of the greatest responsibilities of architecture is to continue to elevate experiences yet create structures that are elegant and respectful,” says architect Gordon Gill of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. “’Central Park Tower’ was designed to take advantage of the spirit of the great city of New York and create an address worthy of its location on Billionaire’s Row and Central Park.”

The same firm is responsible for Saudi Arabia’s ‘Jeddah Tower,’ currently under construction, which will be the world’s second tallest building once complete.

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[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

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The Best Materials for Architectural Models

3 weeks 3 days ago

For centuries, physical modeling has been a staple of architectural education and practice. Allowing the designer and client to explore a scheme in plan, elevation, and perspective all at once, the physical model aims to simulate the spatial relationship between volumes and to understand constructive systems. 

Even in an age of ultra-high quality rendering, and virtual reality, physical material models represent a beloved, tried and tested method of conveying ideas both during the design process and at presentation stage. Whether through a rapid, five-minute volumetric test of paper models, or a carefully sculpted timber construction detail, careful choice of material can greatly assist the modeling process, allowing designers to remain abstract, or test physical properties of structural systems.

midiateca PUC / SPBR midiateca PUC / SPBR

As a crucial step in the creative process, volumetric explorations can be crucial to the design of a project. Think of the works of Antoni Gaudí. Two-dimensional drawings (plans and sections) work together with physical models to provide a comprehensive representation of the design. 

Reprodução fac-símile do modelo polifunular de Colonia Güell. Image via Wikipedia user: SecondNews licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 Reprodução fac-símile do modelo polifunular de Colonia Güell. Image via Wikipedia user: SecondNews licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

But, architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha, in the Brazilian book "Maquetes de Papel" purports that models serve as support for the process, not for representation.
"It is the model as sketches ... The model you do as an essay of what you are imagining ... Like the poet when he scribbles, when he takes notice ... The model here is an instrument that is part of the work process. "(p.22)

OcupaçãoPMR - maquete reservatório de Urânia foto: André Seiti OcupaçãoPMR - maquete reservatório de Urânia foto: André Seiti

Considering the challenges that arise during the creation of architectural models, we have compiled a set of fundamental tips and materials suggestions to assist you in your next modeling venture. 


Sulphite Paper

Papel sulfite. Image © ArchDaily Brasil Papel sulfite. Image © ArchDaily Brasil

Thanks to its low cost and accessibility this material is most suitable for rapid volumetric testing or drawing of design plains. With scissors and some tape, you can generate a number of solutions quickly, easily, and cost-effectively, while still creating dynamic architectural objects.

Another feature to be considered is the thinness and, consequently, flexibility of paper models, which allows stress-free bends, curves, and inclinations. This also makes the material good for folding studies.

Card Stock

Plano Urbanístico Parque Dom Pedro II / Una Arquitetos Plano Urbanístico Parque Dom Pedro II / Una Arquitetos

This material, when compared to paper, offers a thicker edge and rigidity, and is therefore frequently used for the volumetric experimentation of architectural objects with shapes without large three-dimensional curves. However, it is worth noting that in some cases, curved surfaces can be achieved by fastening cuts at the edges.

Papel cartão. Image © ArchDaily Brasil Papel cartão. Image © ArchDaily Brasil

With a variety of colors, it also has excellent properties for site programming models. From a neutral base color to represent terrain, it is possible to design or represent the urban fabric using a pre-established color palette to indicate different uses and programs, allowing for a better understanding of spatial division and the uses of the buildings.

Card stock also allows for the design of isolated physical models. Using neutral colors (particularly white) it becomes possible to understand the effect of shadows with the aid of a light source such as a flashlight.

Frank Gehry uses this material; his signature designs include fluid forms, twisted planes and curves. He creates spontaneous models, as seen in Sketches of Frank Gehry (2005), directed by Sydney Pollack.

Screenshot do documentário "Sketches of Frank Gehry" Screenshot do documentário "Sketches of Frank Gehry"

Paper Board / Chip Board

Campus da Universidade de Bocconi / SANAA Campus da Universidade de Bocconi / SANAA

This paper has an even higher weight and strength. The difference between duplex and triplex board refers to the amount of layers in each. The material is ideally used in the development of volumetric mock-ups.

The architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha is adept at using this material for its simplicity and experimental speed. 

Papéis Duplex e Triplex. Image © ArchDaily Brasil Papéis Duplex e Triplex. Image © ArchDaily Brasil

It is worth mentioning that, together with the papers mentioned, some additional materials can be used, such as acetate sheets, to represent glass and glazing.

River / SANAA River / SANAA


Madeira balsa

Madeira balsa. Image © ArchDaily Brasil Madeira balsa. Image © ArchDaily Brasil

Unlike paper models, wood models provide higher resistance and a greater level of detail. With this, one is also able to represent constructive techniques and spatial properties in an aesthetically-pleasing, although typically more expensive manner.

Residência Itahye / Apiacás Arquitetos Residência Itahye / Apiacás Arquitetos

Within the family of wood used frequently in model making, Balsa is the one of the easiest to work with. The low thickness allows for precise cutting and joining of surfaces with wood or white glue. That being said, careful attention must be given when slicing perpendicular to the grain, to avoid chipping, or rough edges.

Micasa Volume C / Studio MK27 Micasa Volume C / Studio MK27

Many studios employ this model type for observing the constructive solutions in their interiors. The soft timber aesthetic also makes a great choice for presenting design proposals to the client in a considered, confident, professional methodology. 

Galeries Lafayette / OMA Galeries Lafayette / OMA

Balsa is also excellent for portraying contour lines when stacked. Unless you want to really put your cutting skills to the test, it's probably best to employ a laser cutter. 

Sesc 24 de Maio / Paulo Mendes da Rocha + MMBB Sesc 24 de Maio / Paulo Mendes da Rocha + MMBB

Balsa also lends itself excellently to manipulation through sanding of edges, painting, or varnishing to create different finishes. Balsa is typically available as panels, or thin strips, allowing for experimentation in cladding, framing, sheets, and tiling. 


Foam. Image © ArchDaily Brasil Foam. Image © ArchDaily Brasil

Foam is an excellent choice for rapid volumetric testing, with a foam cutter now a staple of university studios. Dozens of volumes can be generated in minutes, making the technique ideal for large-scale context modeling, where details such as pattern and facades are not as important. 

Using carving tools, foam also allows for the creation of more defined, detailed sculptures, and landscaping features such as trees. 

E.V.A. Image © ArchDaily Brasil E.V.A. Image © ArchDaily Brasil

The possibility of dyeing the material also helps show schematization of the project. As with foam cutting, care is needed to avoid the spread of fumes from burning or dyeing the material. Choice of glue is also important, as some chemicals may melt the foam and weaken the model's rigidity.

Foam modeling is a favorite for university students in particular, due to its low cost, ready availability, and pleasing aesthetic when due care and attention is paid. 

In the professional world, foam models are used by the architectural powerhouses Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and OMA.


The Blue Planet / 3XN The Blue Planet / 3XN

This low-cost material is often used for the development of topographical mockups. You can simply fasten a printed drawing on top of the plastic and cut. 

Due to its low thickness, it might be necessary to join more than one layer with the same cutout to reach the desired final height.

Museu de Arte Contemporânea Lusitânia / Frederico Valsassina Arquitectos Museu de Arte Contemporânea Lusitânia / Frederico Valsassina Arquitectos

Plastic models can be complemented with 3D-printed models, providing a base or context for more elaborate, detailed designs. 

At different scales, materials and levels of detail, physical models are fundamental to research in the design process. Below we've collected 50 examples from projects and proposals already posted on ArchDaily.


The Ruins of Tijuana's Housing Crisis

3 weeks 3 days ago
© Mónica Arreola © Mónica Arreola

Tijuana is one of the most populated cities in Mexico. In 2000, the construction of collective housing boomed. This phenomenon completely transformed the limits of the city; the periphery exhibited a new appearance: a modernized future, new urban schemes, and a new lifestyle.

© Mónica Arreola © Mónica Arreola

Only a decade later, 2,000 new homes were registered that resulted in a territorial phenomenon: the crash of the housing market. With this in mind in 2013, Mexican photographer Mónica Arreola created a series entitled 'Social Disinterest.' In the series, Arreola juxtaposes the passage of time and the architectural object in a future, detained with obsolete urban models, incomplete serial housing, and a silent imaginary.

© Mónica Arreola © Mónica Arreola

This photographic essay proposes a critical reflection based on the concepts imposed by real estate speculation in Mexico. Arreola captures the aftermath of Tijuana's housing crisis. 

Given its regional border condition, Tijuana is home to a considerable number of migrants or deportees, people who are passing through and lack a formal home. These spaces are being occupied by people who do not have the economic resources to rent a place to stay. In the best of cases, the new inhabitants rehabilitate and bring a new life to these previously abandoned spaces.
- Mónica Arreola

© Mónica Arreola © Mónica Arreola

Arreola's academic training in architecture has led to her work and research in housing in Mexico. This questioning has influenced her artistic process with topics related to how people occupy space. For some years now, her work has focused on housing in Tijuana, where she has actively criticized the lack of affordable housing in the city.

© Mónica Arreola © Mónica Arreola

Arreola's search has led her to the photographic genre of the landscape, an aesthetic strategy in which she documents abandoned housing complexes, ghostly images, ruins of urbanism in the first decades of the 21st century, which populate not only Latin American cities (just remember the urban catastrophes in Florida due to the housing bubble in recent years, or the havoc in cities like New Orleans or Detroit). The new ruins reveal the rawness of savage capitalism, the machinery of transformation in a territory of non-places where the absence of inhabitants reveals the collusion between politics and the real estate market.
- Abril Castro (Text from the Fault Metaphors exhibition )

Learn more about Mónica Arreola's work here.


Bogotá, Through the Lens of Leo Matiz

3 weeks 4 days ago
Bogotá. Image © Archivo de Bogotá Bogotá. Image © Archivo de Bogotá

Bogota's modernization between 1940 and 1970 is featured in a wide array of books, magazines, and photo albums, as well as in the city's own public and private archives. Every one of these sources reveals a deliberate, as well as critical, approximation of how modern architecture reconfigured the city's center and brought together the new buildings and urban space with the already existing cityscape.

When analyzing the impact of photography from the street, it's impossible not to talk about Leo MatizArmando Matiz, and Hernán Díaz. These three photographers have captured the personalities, events, and urban life of Bogotá. Here, we've compiled some of their most noted works featuring the streets, plazas, crosswalks, and landmarks of Bogotá. Through their photography, modern heritage finds a place on the stage of collective memory, where architecture and urban spaces are the stars. 

In this edition of Bogotá in 10 photographs, we will come to know the legacy of Leo Matiz:

Bogotá. Image © Archivo de Bogotá Bogotá. Image © Archivo de Bogotá

Born in Aracataca in 1917, Leo Matiz began his editorial career at 16 by publishing caricatures in Civilización Magazine, the same magazine where his first photos were featured in 1933. Afterward, he worked as a photographic reporter for El Espectador (The Spectator), El Tiempo (The Time), and Estampa (Stamp) Magazine. At 18, he founded Lauros Magazine and enrolled in the National School of Fine Arts in Bogotá. He was a multi-faceted artist: journalist, painter, editor, actor, caricaturist, and photographer. In the 40s, he traveled to Mexico and the United States where he worked for prestigious magazines such as Life, Reader’s Digest, and Norte, among others. In the early 50s, he moved to Bogotá and opened his own art gallery, the same one in which renowned painter Fernando Botero showed his work for the first time in 1951. In this same decade, Matiz was recognized as one of the top ten photographers in the world.

Bogotá. Image © Archivo de Bogotá Bogotá. Image © Archivo de Bogotá

Traveling through Latin America, as well as Palestine, Beirut, and Tel Aviv, Matiz's popularity as an international photographer grew, further cementing his place as one of the art sphere's great personalities. He received national and international recognition, such as the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres prize, awarded by the French government in 1995, and the Filo d’Argento Prize in Florence, Italy in 1997.

Starting in the mid 20th century, Matiz captured numerous images of Bogotá that showcased the city's extreme urban and social changes. His photographs were characterized by their emphasis on single elements and the contrast between natural scenery and cityscape; pedestrians and public spaces with downtown skyscrapers; modern buildings with historical monuments. 

Matiz died in Bogotá in 1998.

Thanks to the Archivo de Bogotá.

Bogotá. Image © Archivo de Bogotá Bogotá. Image © Archivo de Bogotá
Bogotá. Image © Archivo de Bogotá Bogotá. Image © Archivo de Bogotá
Leo Matiz. Image © Archivo de Bogotá Leo Matiz. Image © Archivo de Bogotá

Making the Repairs: Who’s Responsible for Condo Damage?

3 weeks 5 days ago

If you live in a condominium, the last thing you want to wake up to is a leak in your ceiling from a cracked pipe in the walls, or worse, parts of a tree in your living room after a thunderstorm. And for property owners, keeping property in good shape on a regular basis is a source of financial and safety-related stress.

When it comes to repairing damage done to a condo, both associations and individual condo owners each have their own responsibilities, depending on the circumstances. Here’s what each should do in case of an accident.

Collective responsibilities

The condominium corporation or association (made up of all individual condo owners in the building) can help avoid damage to their building by placing certain preventative measures in place. That puts responsibility on their shoulders when it comes to maintaining anything which affects the entire building, under Section 90 of the Condominium Act of 1998. Repairs are expected from the association if property damage takes place that was not caused by an individual owner or tenant. Such examples include a tree falling onto the roof or floods occuring during a rainstorm.

Having insurance is another requirement for companies in case of damage. Section 99 of the Condominium Act focuses on this, declaring that organizations need insurance to cover damage to individual units and other parts of the area. In addition to damage resulting from hail, rainstorms, snowstorms and other natural disasters, this pertains to damage done by vehicle and airplane accidents, as well as riots, vandalism and other acts of violence.

Individual responsibilities

Handling repairs is in the hands of residents when it comes to damage specifically done by them. The Condominium Act puts responsibility on the shoulders of individual condo owners in these situations, with an example being a resident accidentally knocking something over and creating a dent in their wall.

Owners are also obligated to have insurance for any damage that can occur to their personal property. Whatever coverage they have, such as apartment building insurance in New Jersey, for example, it should include furnishings, fixtures, equipment, decorations, and any improvements and additions that they make to their unit. Whether or not the owner has insurance, they are obligated to pay for damage done to their personal property. As a result, insurance will only make the payment process easier.

Having good credit can also come in handy for making the repair process a piece of cake. Some landlords run a tenant credit check so that they know the person who wants to rent their property is not only able to pay rent, but also has enough money to cover damages. These checks also show whether a tenant has a good history of taking care of their home, which allows for landlords to trust them enough to keep their units in good condition.

Significance of communication

Some landlords have different rules regarding who’s responsible for certain damage. This stresses the significance for current and potential tenants to read the documents that pertain to their specific unit, as the association could be stricter than their previous one as far as costs and penalties for damage done by the unit owner.

But both the owner and association are required to have insurance, though it is the association’s job to ensure individuals are covered in order to prevent problems in the future. The better the understanding of rules is between tenants and landlords, the easier it will be for them to get through repairs. Landlords and tenants can keep this in mind, so they can take care of repairs easily and maintain a good relationship.



How to Create the Perfect Home Office

3 weeks 5 days ago

There has been an increasing shift toward professionals working remotely lately, with more than 70% of the workforce working outside of the office at least once a week. On top of this, around 3.9 million Americans now work from home for at least half of their working week. Many people choose to work from home in an attempt to achieve the perfect home life/work balance. If you are one of those statistics or wish to pursue a career that allows you to work full-time from the comfort of your own home, it would be wise to set up a home office. A home office allows you to create a dedicated workspace that can also be shut away outside of office hours. Here are a few things to keep in mind to utilize the space to its full potential.

Invest in Quality Equipment

Obviously, a PC or laptop will be first on your list. However, don’t be tempted to go for the cheapest option in a bid to save money. Consider the different ways in which you’ll need to use your computer, as some tasks will require more memory, better graphics, or extra storage. If your job entails working on-the-go at times, a laptop would be your best bet. However, bear in mind that a cheaper laptop will need replacing far sooner than if you were to spend a little extra on an upgrade.

Once you’ve purchased a computer, remember that you’ll need to install the relevant software, such as Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop, so factor those costs into your budget as well.  Other equipment you may need include a telephone, a printer and/or scanner, a backup drive, a shredder, and lockable storage.


If you’re fortunate enough to have a whole room dedicated to your home office space, you’ll need to think carefully about the design. If you leave the walls as they are, you run the risk of having a look that is too casual, which can impact on your productivity levels. There needs to be a clear distinction between the look of your home and the look and feel of the office.  It might be necessary to completely redecorate before you set up shop. Certain colors that work well in bedrooms and living rooms will not work well in a working environment. For example, blue is perfect for a master bedroom, as it can help to lull a person to sleep; this is obviously not a wise choice for your office. Go for subtle versions of yellows, reds, purples, or greens. Green is great for concentration, and purple is good for the imagination.

To fill any empty space on the wall, hang items that have a use or meaning. For example, dig out any certificates, licenses, or diplomas related to your occupation and hang them proudly in a personalized frame from a handcrafted framing company such as Church Hill Classics. These documents represent hours of hard work and sacrifice, so surrounding yourself with reminders of how far you’ve come is great for productivity. Alongside these framed certificates, you’ll need a calendar and possibly a bulletin board.

Think Comfort and Ergonomics

You will be spending a great deal of time in your office if you intend on working full-time, so make sure you focus on comfort and ergonomic furniture. An employer would need to consider your health, safety, and welfare, and you should too. Make sure you choose a desk chair that that supports your back and has enough cushioning for you to sit comfortably for as long as you need to. Consider investing in a standing desk or, even better, an adjustable desk that lets you alternate between standing and sitting.

When setting up your computer, you’ll need to adjust the height so that the top of the screen is at eye level. Your desk chair will need to be at the correct height so that your feet can rest firmly on the floor.  You will also need to consider extras such as footrests, wrist supports, and a specially designed keyboard and mouse that will reduce any strain when typing.

Don’t Forget Light and Greenery

Obviously, you will need to consider lighting when setting up your home office—the more natural light you have, the better. Try to position your desk near a window; ideally, have the window to the side of you. If you have your back to the window, it will reflect on your screen and strain your eyes. If there is not much natural light in your chosen room, use task lighting. To avoid screen glare, make sure the light source is not directly above your workstation.

For a finishing touch, try to include some houseplants. It’s been said that having plants in a work environment increases productivity by as much as 15%.

If you have the space to create your own home office, grab the opportunity and keep these tips in mind!


This Week in Architecture: More than Visual

3 weeks 6 days ago
© Beat Widmer. ImageCourtesy of Diller, Scofidio + Renfro © Beat Widmer. ImageCourtesy of Diller, Scofidio + Renfro

Architecture is a profession deeply dependent on the visual. It’s imagined, sold, critiqued and consumed almost entirely on the strength (or lack thereof) of drawings. We pick and prod at images presented at angles we’ll never be able see, admiring the architectonic qualities of elements we’ll never actually experience.

And yet, when it comes to the experience of architecture (which, lest we forget, is what it’s all about) the visual plays only a small part. What stays with us is how a building facilitates its purpose and affects our quality of life. Is it easy to navigate? Is the floor always slippery after it rains? Does light reach into the deepest layer of offices? Are the materials responsible for the headache that simply won’t go away?

Architecture is about more than just the visual. But perhaps the visual can also be elevated to meet architecture. This week’s stories touched on issues of branding, drawing, and the sense.

Eyes off Design

© 2008 Estate of Madeline Gins, Reproduced with permission of the estate of Madeline Gins. ImageCourtesy of Metropolis Magazine © 2008 Estate of Madeline Gins, Reproduced with permission of the estate of Madeline Gins. ImageCourtesy of Metropolis Magazine

The term “sensory design” is, more often than not, wielded to contextualise things a bit wacky: a conspicuously unusable fork, a light that adapts to “mood”, a chair that makes you sit up a bit straighter. But it can, of course, be so much more - Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Blur Building or Philippe Rahm’s Taichung Central Park, for example. In her article originally published on Metropolis, Alice Bucknell walks us through the history design, from the funky early days to the tech-drive approach of today. We may not be able to overthrow the “tyranny of vision”, but we can certainly think about it differently.

Taichung Central Park / Philippe Rahm. Image Courtesy of Philippe Rahm Taichung Central Park / Philippe Rahm. Image Courtesy of Philippe Rahm

To the Drawing Board

© Li Han, via World Architecture Festival © Li Han, via World Architecture Festival

But that’s not to say that visuals can’t be elevated to something more than the two dimensions on which it’s presented . This year’s winner of the World Architecture Drawing Prize, organised in collaboration with Make Architects and Sir John Soane’s Museum, illustrated a city changing over time, compressing dramatically different phases of development in a single image. Said jury member Narinder Sagoo of the work by Li Han, " tells hundreds of stories over nine years in which architecture, cities and people's lives change. It's important for all architects to consider the life of buildings over the course of time... It's a modern day Archigram drawing but also a step into the future..."

Kaohsiung Performing Arts Center / Mecanoo. Image © Iwan Baan Kaohsiung Performing Arts Center / Mecanoo. Image © Iwan Baan

The future seemed to step a bit closer this week with the completion of Mecanoo’s Kaohsiung Performing Arts Center. The building, reported to be the world’s largest performing arts center under one roof, welcomed thousands of visitors in its opening day alone - an auspicious sign for the future.

One for the Weekend

Frida Escobedo's 2018 Serpentine Pavilion. Image © Laurian Ghintoiu Frida Escobedo's 2018 Serpentine Pavilion. Image © Laurian Ghintoiu

Summer is over and the Serpentine pavilion is gone - but not gone forever. Frida Escobedo’s 2018 pavilion was recently bought by spa operator Therme Group, prompting Therme Vals 2.0 visions for architects around the world. Nearly all of the pavilions have gone on to new lives after their time in the park, including new uses as party venues, concert halls, and coworking spaces. It's proof that it's never too late for a career change.

52 minutes 15 seconds ago
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