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Bamboo Theatre / DnA

16 hours 56 min ago
© Ziling Wang © Ziling Wang
  • Architects: DnA
  • Location: Hengkengcun, Songyang, Lishui, Zhejiang, China
  • Lead Architects: Tiantian Xu
  • Client: Songyang Tourism Development Co., Ltd.
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Ziling Wang, Dan Han
© Ziling Wang © Ziling Wang

Text description provided by the architects. Bamboo is a quickly growing grass that is found in every garden in China and as spare woodland in many hilly regions.

© Ziling Wang © Ziling Wang

The importance of bamboo in Chinese culture arises from a range of qualities such as its flexible structure, the sparkling green lighting effect that a bamboo grove engenders, its many varieties, and its technical properties as a material. For the village of Hengkeng, Xu Tiantian designed a theatre stage that is inspired by a historical account.

© Dan Han © Dan Han Diagram Diagram Courtesy of DnA_Design and Architecture Studio Courtesy of DnA_Design and Architecture Studio

For the construction of the bamboo dome, the architect used a low-tech approach that takes the rapid growth and bendable quality of the material into account. Once installed, the growing dome requires little regular maintenance: younger bamboo sprouts are woven into the existing dome and old poles are removed.

This bioorganic architecture in natural surroundings facilitates activities ranging from village opera performances to individual meditation in nature.

© Ziling Wang © Ziling Wang

Love in Las Vegas: 99% Invisible Illuminates Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown’s Postmodern Romance

24 May, 2018 - 10:00
//'>Public Domain user Jean Beaufort</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC0 Public Domain</a> © <a href=''>Public Domain user Jean Beaufort</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC0 Public Domain</a>

Which building is better, the duck or the ornamented shed? More importantly, what kind of architecture does the average American prefer? In their landmark 1972 publication Learning From Las Vegas, Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi probed these questions by turning their back on paternalistic modernism in favor of the glowing, overtly kitsch, and symbolic Mecca of the Las Vegas strip. From a chance encounter during a meeting in the Library of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania and shared trips to the strip to critically shaping a new generation of architects, discover the hidden details of the romance and city that defined postmodernism in this latest episode from 99% Invisible

Following a clandestine interaction following a meeting to discuss the destruction of the 1890 Library of Fine Arts at the University of Pensilvania—where Scott Brown and Venturi taught—the pair discovered their shared interest in the historic and ornamental. Both were fond of decorative architecture and soon began sharing research and even teaching alongside one another. After relocating from the University of Pennsylvania to Berkley, Scott Brown stumbled upon the neon sea of the Las Vegas strip. “‘Is this love or is this hate?” Scott Brown remembers asking herself. “Las Vegas was a place people voted for with their feet…hey went there in droves.” In 1966, she invited Venturi for a visit.

© Robert Venturi © Robert Venturi

The pair spent four days taking pictures, driving the strip and, ultimately, falling in love. Scott Brown would eventually propose to Venturi and move back to the east coast where they would both take up positions at Yale. Still enamored with the city, Scott Brown and Venturi planned a  twelve-week-long studio in Las Vegas where they made notes, conducted interviews, drew maps, took photos, walked the strip, and attended casino openings.

© Denise Scott Brown © Denise Scott Brown

Scott Brown and Venturi compiled the work of their student’s with the help of teaching assistant Steven Izenour in 1972 to form the seminal Learning from Las Vegas. Their book asked architects to step down from their corporate towers and consider the everyday places people enjoy, to embrace Main Street instead of the Champs-Élysées. 

//'>Wikimedia user Beth Savage</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0</a> © <a href=''>Wikimedia user Beth Savage</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0</a>

Perhaps the most famous inclusion in the publications was the discussion of the duck and the ornamented shed—a building symbolic of its program constructed by a modernist block that required signage to express its meaning. Venturi and Scott Brown wanted to make buildings legible. Thus, not every structure needed a sign or symbolic form but desperately needed to communicate beyond the impotent glazed modernist tower filling American cities. 

While the book was a call to arms for the following postmodern movement, Scott Brown has noted that Learning from Las Vegas is less about the strip itself and more about critically engaging the everyday. But, perhaps we could say the book is as much about architecture as it is about love.

Learn more about this postmodern love story and the city that helped shape it in 99% Invisible recent investigation here.

News via: 99% invisible.

99% Invisible Investigates the Utopian and Dystopian Histories of the Bijlmermeer

How can we plan a better city? The answer has confounded architects and urban planners since the birth of the industrial city. One attempt at answering came in the form of a spectacular modernist proposal outside of Amsterdam called the Bijlmermeer. And, as a new two-part episode by 99% Invisible reveals, it failed miserably.

"Architette": Bringing Value to Women Architects in Their Professional Field

24 May, 2018 - 08:30
Courtesy of RebelArchitette Courtesy of RebelArchitette

There is no female pronoun for architect in Italian, so a new project, Architette, was born aiming to professionally promote the female title in Italian. The project's objective consists of monitoring all-male juries and conferences, mentoring young generations on the ground to advocate for a more heterogeneous and fair professional landscape, where women can be an inspirational reference in architecture. 

Courtesy of RebelArchitette Courtesy of RebelArchitette

The project had been widely covered in the media and it opened a broad, intense, public debate on the use of the feminine term for the profession. Francesca Perani decided to keep the discussion alive and, with 16 other collaborators, she founded the collective editorial team RebelArchitette backing professional women in architecture, advocating both the use of the feminine term and the promotion of female role models in architecture. The promotion of the feminine term, targetting mainly architecture students and young professionals is also one of its focal points. 

The collective, RebelArchitette, developed the online digital book ARCHITETTE = WOMEN ARCHITECTS / 1⁄2 Here We are! which delivers a powerful, international, and engaging cultural project. The first section explores 183 architectural studios, from the 1800s to the present day, looking at award-winning architects to lesser-known, yet inspirational profiles. This non-profit project will be completed with the online publication of 365 biographies of women architects from all over the world to coincide with the opening of Biennale Architettura, in Venice, Italy 2018 (26th May - 25th November).

Courtesy of RebelArchitette Courtesy of RebelArchitette

The choice of profiles is based on constant, active search for investigation of dynamic women architects, each notable for inspiring, distinctive features: producing outstanding architecture, achieving academics results, exploring new architectural paths, working in problem areas, engaging with equality, social and environmental issues, or even spearheading the attainment of architect licences for women. All biographies are edited following a pattern: academic studies, experiences, studio’s most prominent projects and awards, to better represent the progression and choices that guide a successful professional. Women-driven studios showcased in the selection feature single female architects, couples (woman+man), all female teams. The reason behind this selection is to break the stereotype of studio where women are relegated to a supporting role in a male-dominated show.

The project is intended to be both a source of inspiration for young professional women in design and a directory available to anyone who is interested in a fairer representation of the work of women in architecture (such as journalists, professional bodies, event or jury organizers, academics).

Courtesy of RebelArchitette Courtesy of RebelArchitette

RebelArchitette - Editorial Team:
Founder and curator:
Francesca Perani
Editing Managers:
Anna Serafini, Claudia Manenti, Caterina Pilar Palumbo, and Ilenia Perlotti
Editing team:
Giulia Baroni, Laura Belotti, Silvia Carrara, Martina Colombari, Martina Ottaviano, Elena Fabrizio, Mary Kaldani, Giusy Paterno, and Tatiana Vinciguerra
Press releases:
Marta Brambilla
Giovanna Bosis and Domenica Bona
Divisare head curator:
Domenica Bona

X-Architects' to Design an Urban Mosque That Forms the "Heart of the Neighborhood" in Abu Dhabi

24 May, 2018 - 08:00
Courtesy of X-Architects Courtesy of X-Architects

The Dubai-based firm, X-Architects, have found inspiration in the cultural and architectural heritage of Islam for their new design. The Revelation Mosque, a +2500 square meter project, aims to create a new "heart of the neighborhood" in Abu Dhabi, UAE. In creating a generous urban void among a towering context, the proposal offers an immersive escape from everyday life, where the public (regardless of religion) can gather, communicate, and interact with one another.

Courtesy of X-Architects Courtesy of X-Architects

The design of the large, asymmetric dome has three core functions. Its form both references traditional Mosque typologies and symbolizes the Jabal Al Noor, a spiritual mountain where the Quran was said to have been revealed. Its simple plan maximizes the public space at the street level, aiming to draw visitors in and point towards the Qibla direction for prayer. While the stepped, spiral facade floods the interiors with a soft glow of diffused light. A water feature wraps around the dome's front as the Minaret organically rises at its back, emphasizing the concept of an urban oasis where the architect hopes the building can “connect the earth with the sky.”

Courtesy of X-Architects Courtesy of X-Architects

The main prayer space has distinct cave-like qualities in its irregular, textured concrete walls, where domes are concealed within domes. This imagery continues into the public entrances that are carved into the facade at strategic points, “to generate an active social public space in the middle of the dense urban fabric.” A footbridge gives access to the central dome over the recessed topography, which itself creates a shaded amphitheater; all decisions made to maximize the potential for social interaction on the outside while maintaining a peaceful setting for prayer on the inside.

Courtesy of X-Architects Courtesy of X-Architects

Specializing in the merge of Arab culture and modern design, X-Architects undertake research that supports the contextual sensitivity showcased in their work. The practice has several projects currently under construction, with the Revelation Mosque scheduled to be built soon.

Courtesy of X-Architects Courtesy of X-Architects Courtesy of X-Architects Courtesy of X-Architects
  • Architects: X-Architects
  • Design Team: Ahmed Al-Ali, Farid Esmaeil, Cristian Vivas, Marija Krsmanovic, Piyush Bajpai, Yazeed Obeid, Samar Halloum, Abdullah Bashir, Nazish Khushrudin, Mina Eldaba, Staffan Svensson, Micro Urban, Hala Al Juboori, Emerson Angeles
  • Area: 2517.8 m2
  • Project Year: 2017

News via: X-Architects

Final Winning Design Concepts Released for Resilience by Design's Bay Area Challenge

23 May, 2018 - 10:00

One year after the launch of Resilient by Design's Bay Area Challenge, the final nine design concepts have been selected. The Bay Area Challenge launched with a call to action to "bring together local residents, community organizations, public officials and local, national, and international experts to develop innovative solutions that will strengthen our region's resilience to sea level rise, severe storms, flooding, and earthquakes." The idea formulated as a “blueprint for resilience” that can be replicated and utilized locally and globally. Other urban challenges will also be addressed, including housing, transport, health and economic disparity as a means of not just protecting the current regions, but strengthening them.

The elite, collaborative teams include world-renowned designers like BIGMithun and HASSEL+.

Read on for more about each of the final design concepts.

 People, Place, and Path Forward - All Bay Collective. Image Courtesy of Resilient by Design The Estuary Commons: People, Place, and Path Forward - All Bay Collective. Image Courtesy of Resilient by Design

The Estuary Commons: People, Place, and Path Forward

All Bay Collective

San Leandro Bay

From the architects - 

To protect local neighborhoods and restore native habitats, All Bay Collective reimagines the shoreline of San Leandro Bay with the creation of Estuary Commons. Through the construction of ponds, landforms, and expanded streams, the communities of Deep East Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro will not only be able to adapt to sea-level rise and groundwater flooding, but will also have a network of flourishing greenways to enjoy for generations to come. The All Bay Collective worked closely with eight community organizations to move community groups from the margins to the center of the design and planning process.

Islais-Creek - Hyper Creek - BIG + ONE + Sherwood. Image Courtesy of Resilient by Design Islais-Creek - Hyper Creek - BIG + ONE + Sherwood. Image Courtesy of Resilient by Design

Islais-Creek - Hyper Creek

BIG + ONE + Sherwood

City of San Francisco: Bayview-Hunters Point, Dogpatch, and Potrero Hill

From the architects - 

Islais Creek - Hyper-Creek is a vision for the area where ecology and industry co-exist in harmony.

The BIG + ONE + Sherwood unveiled six proposed pilot projects, developed together with stakeholders and local communities, to kickstart a long-term process toward realizing the overall vision. At the center of their proposal is a large park with a restored tidal creek system and soft shoreline shares the area with maritime functions, light manufacturing, and logistics that have formed the area’s economic backbone for decades. The park plays an important role in building physical and social resilience: it retains, conveys and cleans water, protecting the surrounding neighborhoods while providing amenities and benefits to the community.

Elevate San Rafael - BionicTeam. Image Courtesy of Resilient by Design Elevate San Rafael - BionicTeam. Image Courtesy of Resilient by Design

Elevate San Rafael


San Rafael, Marin County

From the architects - 

Elevate San Rafael is a new paradigm for responding to complex environmental change and simply what needs to be done: occupy higher elevations and raise the quality of life and social connection for everyone. It proposes evolving the city by combining time-tested approaches to coastal adaptation with a moral, financial, and infrastructural agenda for large-scale preparation.

The Grand Bayway - Common Ground. Image Courtesy of Resilient by Design The Grand Bayway - Common Ground. Image Courtesy of Resilient by Design

The Grand Bayway

Common Ground

San Pablo Bay, Sonoma & Napa County

From the architects - 

State Highway 37, a low-lying commute route that skirts the northern edge of San Pablo Bay, is both traffic-choked and increasingly flooded due to sea level rise. Sitting atop a precarious levee that confines an immense but compromised marsh complex, Fraser Shilling has observed, “the highway has the dubious distinction of constricting both traffic and tidal flows”. The project considers a new future for this highway as an elevated scenic byway, creating an iconic “front door” to a vast ecological open space previously known to few. Accessible to bikes, runners, kayaks, campers, and fishermen, the Grand Bayway will become a Central Park for more 21st century sensibilities in rapidly expanding North Bay communities.

Collect & Connect - Resilient South City - HASSELL+. Image Courtesy of Resilient by Design Collect & Connect - Resilient South City - HASSELL+. Image Courtesy of Resilient by Design

Collect & Connect - Resilient South City


South San Francisco, San Mateo County

From the architects - 

Collect & Connect - Resilient South City is a proposal to create more public green space and continuous public access along South San Francisco’s Colma Creek, aiming to reduce the impacts of flooding, mitigate against sea-level rise vulnerability, restore native flora and fauna, and create more amenity and healthy lifestyle opportunities by connecting a continuous public corridor from the Orange Memorial Park to a new public park at the shoreline.

Designing Our Own Solutions - P+SET. Image Courtesy of Resilient by Design Designing Our Own Solutions - P+SET. Image Courtesy of Resilient by Design

Designing Our Own Solutions

P+SET (Permaculture and Social Equity Team)

Marin City, Marin County

From the architects - 

The Permaculture and Social Equity Team proposed a social design process to build community capacity in leading the challenges of coastal adaptation and resiliency planning. The team was invited to implement their process in Marin City by Shore Up Marin, an environmental justice, and resiliency planning organization. Out of the process grew a capacity building program, resulting in an inspiring People’s Plan to authentically reflect the aspirations and intentions of the resident community. An intergenerational cohort expanded existing knowledge for assessing and addressing risks, developing near and long-term strategies with a prioritized set of projects to be partially implemented as early as this summer.

Unlock Alameda Creek - Public Sediment. Image Courtesy of Resilient by Design Unlock Alameda Creek - Public Sediment. Image Courtesy of Resilient by Design

Unlock Alameda Creek

Public Sediment

Alameda Creek, Alameda County

From the architects - 

Unlock Alameda Creek is an implementable project that links Alameda Creek with its historic baylands.  By reconnecting sediment flows from Alameda Creek to the marshes and mudflats at the Bay’s edge, the proposal creates protective ecological infrastructure that adapts to sea level rise. It provides a sustainable supply of sediment to bay marshes and mudflats for sea level rise adaptation, reconnects migratory fish with their historic spawning grounds, and introduces a network of community spaces that reclaim the creek as a place for people, building an ethos and awareness around our public sediment resources.

ouR-HOME - The Home Team - Mithun. Image Courtesy of Resilient by Design ouR-HOME - The Home Team - Mithun. Image Courtesy of Resilient by Design


The Home Team - Mithun

Richmond, California

From the architects - 

The ouR-HOME sea level rise response projects are linked to the health and financial well-being of residents that have been traditionally shut out of opportunities to improve health and family wealth. Small lot housing, a community land trust, social impact bonds and community infrastructure combine to lower the cost of entry to home ownership. Green infrastructure proposals to bring the ‘marsh to Main Street’ with a horizontal levee, and plant 20,000 trees to filter air and water, are strategies that can be implemented through existing local job and career programs – benefiting the people in North Richmond.

South Bay Sponge - The Field Operations Team. Image Courtesy of Resilient by Design South Bay Sponge - The Field Operations Team. Image Courtesy of Resilient by Design

South Bay Sponge

The Field Operations Team

San Mateo and Santa Clara County

From the architects - 

The “Sponge” is a concept for using nature and natural systems as a primary tool for climate adaptation and resiliency in the South Bay, inspired by both the historic function of the region’s inter-tidal marshlands as flood protection, as well as by the remarkable efforts to restore the South Bay Salt Ponds. The potential of a large-scale assemblage of remnant marshlands, newly restored salt ponds and newly constructed wetlands as the core component of a regional flood protection strategy is at once radically innovative, but also resonant with the South Bay landscape today. In addition to addressing climate adaptation, the South Bay Sponge can give the landscapes of the South Bay a powerful and legible identity.

Project descriptions and News via: Resiliency by Design

7 Sites in Havana That Tell the Story of Cuba’s Rich Architectural History

23 May, 2018 - 09:00
© Evan Chakroff © Evan Chakroff

Havana is often referred to as a time machine that transports visitors to a particular moment in history, seemingly frozen in time. While it is a city that boasts an exhaustive timeline of imported styles, Havana in the present day is not defined by a singular historical era—either in its political climate or in its architectural zeitgeist.

Over the decades, the Cuban Revolution has had powerful domestic and international repercussions. In particular, it transformed Cuba’s relationship with the United States. But efforts to improve diplomatic relations have gained momentum in recent years, with the teetering lift of the embargo that exacerbated a David and Goliath situation and left a lasting economic impact on the Cuban people. Havana’s skyline has hardly altered since the fall of the Soviet Union, and the city became shut off from the rest of the world, having to rely heavily on its own resources. Today, the government in Havana occupies the gap between the last stance of post-Cold War communism, and the looming influence of Capitalism, a situation which reveals itself in the variety of distinct architectural styles. These seven sites in the island nation’s capital best explain the story about where Havana has been, and offer a prediction as to where it may head next.

National Arts School

© Evan Chakroff © Evan Chakroff

The Cuban National Schools of Arts, imagined by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, and designed by Rocco Porro, are perhaps the most outstanding architectural achievements of the Cuban Revolution. The visual arts building, arguably the most provocative, was also a metaphor for Cuba’s past, present, and future. As you walk down the curved corridors, it’s impossible to see what lies beyond. The loss of time and direction became a metaphor for this new chapter in Cuban history. This building embodied both the excitement and apprehension within this new revolution with its idiosyncratic structures. This school was a true product of the revolution for another reason—the all-brick structures were influenced by the US embargo which caused Cuba to experience a shortage of steel. Unfortunately, Castro’s dream was quickly abandoned and the schools lost funding. They were deserted while under construction and still stand in ruins to this day.

Russian Embassy

© Evan Chakroff © Evan Chakroff

Known by locals as "La Espada de Rusia," meaning "the Russian sword," the Soviet-era embassy is a looming reminder of Cuba’s relationship with the former USSR. Although the constructivist tower and surrounding compound now belong to Russian diplomats and represent a progressive political change, “The Russian Sword” still heavily dominates the city skyline.

Christopher Columbus Cemetery

© Evan Chakroff © Evan Chakroff

Established in 1876, the Cementerio de Cristobal Colón was designed around a central cathedral, inspired by the Florence Cathedral. The cemetery is organized by a grid of central avenues and smaller side streets which arranges the space according to rank and social status. The wealthy and notable graves occupy prominent streets, and the lower class is regulated to the outskirts of the site. Walking through Colón Cemetery is like walking right through chapters of Cuban history, with more than 500 major mausoleums and family vaults built in styles ranging from renaissance, to neoclassical, and even art deco. More than 800,000 people are buried there, and because the real estate is hard to come by, after three years, bodies are exhumed and put into storage to make room for more interments.

Old Havana

© Evan Chakroff © Evan Chakroff

Old Havana, the place where Camila Cabello famously left half her heart, is located in the city center where specific moments of architectural history and a hesitation towards modern progress are perhaps the most evident. Layers of the diverse imported styles make it a museum of sorts, and reveal brightly colored art nouveau, art deco, neoclassical, Spanish baroque, and Moorish buildings that line the narrow streets and open up into heavily used public plazas. This area is perhaps the most picturesque and well-known representation of Cuban architecture and culture.


© Evan Chakroff © Evan Chakroff

Coppelia is another mark Castro left on Cuba, representing his interest in the modernist style and his love for ice cream. Built on the site of a former hospital, the building itself is one of the world’s largest ice cream parlors and features five massive white granite discs annexed to one great helicoidal staircase. The space is contained under one large roof with colored glass and wooden panels to divide up seating areas. This state-run parlor looks like a spaceship that crashed into a forest of palm trees, and serves 35,000 customers each day.

Hotel Habana Libre

© Evan Chakroff © Evan Chakroff

The Hilton Hotel, which opened in 1958, was once a symbol of capitalism. It was a place where Americans could escape to a foreign land, while still being afforded the luxury of a cheeseburger, or an air-conditioned suite. It represented a shift in Cuba’s alliances and a place where international investors were invited with open arms. However, after being open for only six months, Castro closed down this symbol of American influence, converted it into his provisional headquarters, and invited other Latin American leaders to hold posts there as well. His office was set up in room 2324 and was where he filmed press conferences and announcements. Now, the hotel has been returned to its original use, and is currently called the Habana Libre.

Revolution Square

© Evan Chakroff © Evan Chakroff

Revolution Square, the city’s civic center which now sits as a large parking lot, is another reminder of the Cuban Revolution. The site features landmarks including the famous Jose Marti Memorial, a place where Castro once stood and addressed his people. The edge of the site is held by other Soviet-era buildings which have been transformed into monuments through welded artwork depicting Che Guevara and Castro’s confidant, Camilo Cienfuegos.

North Orleans Housing / SeARCH

23 May, 2018 - 05:00
Courtesy of SeARCH Courtesy of SeARCH
  • Architects: SeARCH
  • Location: Spijkerkade 33, 1021 JS Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Lead Architect: Bjarne Mastenbroek
  • Area: 4850.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2016
  • Other Participants: Theo Tulp
  • Client: Hamer & Spijker
Courtesy of SeARCH Courtesy of SeARCH

Text description provided by the architects. SeARCH has designed a new residential building of 120 studio apartments for students or young professionals, located right beside our own offices on the Spijkerkade in Amsterdam North.

Courtesy of SeARCH Courtesy of SeARCH

The district, originally an industrial area, is undergoing very rapid transformations. In the urban redevelopment process, creative industries are finding their place in the former factories and warehouses, creating a new dynamism in the North. With the development of new transport links from the City Centre district to North district, such as a new metro line and a pedestrian bridge, the area is in need of new housing. Therefore this was the ideal location for this residential complex.

Typical floor plan Typical floor plan

The individual studios are fully furnished, prefabricated concrete modules, which are stacked on the building site in six layers of 20 units.

Courtesy of SeARCH Courtesy of SeARCH

On the ground floor the modules have extra height to be used as the entrance of the housing building, the concierge office, postal boxes, bicycle storage, Laundromat and a communal lounge. The complex is built in a U shape around a central garden and terrace with barbecue, open to all residents.

Section 02 Section 02

The façade is made of COR-TEN steel elements added to the prefab modules to create circulations and private balconies with a view towards the IJ River. It reveals its unique color after rainy days and enhances the industrial character of the building.

Courtesy of SeARCH Courtesy of SeARCH

Hakka Indenture Museum / DnA

23 May, 2018 - 02:00
© Ziling Wang © Ziling Wang
  • Architects: DnA
  • Location: Six Village, Dadongba, Songyang County, Lishui, Zhejiang, China
  • Architect In Charge: Tiantian Xu
  • Lighting Design: Zhang Xin Studio, Architecture Department of Tsinghua University
  • Client: Songyang Dadongba County Government
  • Area: 2574.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Photographs: Ziling Wang, Dan Han
© Ziling Wang © Ziling Wang

Text description provided by the architects. The village of Shicang, whose residents belong to a Hakka ethnic group, is located in a narrow valley in the south of Songyang Country. The Hakka are also referred to as ‘guests’, since they migrated here as refugees from northern regions in the past centuries. They have retained their special status until today, which is characterized by the strong internal cohesion of the group.

© Ziling Wang © Ziling Wang Circulatioon Circulatioon © Ziling Wang © Ziling Wang

The name of the village of Shicang can be translated as stone storage, which in turn refers to a legend, according to which there were able to supply themselves. Greedy inhabitants allegedly broke open the cave, which consequently lost its ability to produce grain. In place of the grain, it was afterwards only possible to find stones.

© Ziling Wang © Ziling Wang

To commemorate this story, which gave the village its name, Xu Tiantian developed a building that takes up the local construction of bridges and residential buildings. Coarsely hewn stones are layered in a wild lattice to create massive walls that continue the slope on the edge of the village out into the landscape. The architecture is connected with the landscape by means of various sequences of spaces both inside and out.

© Ziling Wang © Ziling Wang Elevation & Section Elevation & Section © Ziling Wang © Ziling Wang

An existing irrigation channel was guided over the roof and provides water, which, on particular days, is sprayed by nozzles to create a water curtain on the inside. By means of a linear opening in the roof, sunlight falls on the water curtain, where a rainbow forms. This temporary phenomenon attracts visitors, who then enliven neighboring villages as well.

© Ziling Wang © Ziling Wang

The museum itself has no controlled access and only exhibits copies of, in part, several-hundred-year-old Hakka indentures. The inspiration from the local legend situates the museum, with which both craftsmanship and material culture have been revitalized. 

© Ziling Wang © Ziling Wang

Venue Hotel / Aline Architect

22 May, 2018 - 21:00
© Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki
  • Architects: Aline Architect
  • Location: 24 Tôn Đản, Lộc Thọ, Thành phố Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa 650000, Vietnam
  • Architect In Charge: Le Minh Duc
  • Design Team: Vu Dinh Phuc, Dang Quynh Le
  • Area: 3150.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Photographs: Hiroyuki Oki
  • Structural Engineer: Tran Viet Oanh
  • Building Contractor: Nhan Hoa JSC
  • Investor: Dong Gia Thinh Joint Stock Company
  • Land Area: 165 m2
  • Floor Height: 19 floors
© Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki

Text description provided by the architects. Located in the central square of Nha Trang City, the building stands out among regular square blocks. The façade area is quite narrow, so the architect has transformed the monotonous glasses into colorful "walles". A part of elevation space is used as a place to plant trees, as a result, it creates "green" balconies, brings the comfort feelings to the users. The façade area is quite narrow but the land plot is such a corner plot so the whole room is designed to receive direct natural wind and sunlight. All rooms come with sea views.

© Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki

From the perspective of architects, we always want a building that impresses visitors from viewing angles, feelings to the use which need to be most comfortable and convenient. Reducing the construction cost and operation of the building are also paid attention, so all the materials in the building are purely local materials, solar cells that provide adequate hot water for all the rooms, lighting system, there are 100% of rooms receiving direct lighting, so it minimizes the use of electricity.

Ground Floor Typical 2 Ground Floor Typical 2

After the research process on climate in Nha Trang, we shall offer solutions as follows:
The South elevation will suffer the least impact from the sun, so the architectural solution will extend the entire doors toward this direction. Similarly, the hotel rooms are also facing the south for enjoying the wind and natural light. Due to narrow elevation (7m) with the large height (60m), so the building toward the east and south (main view) is processed in the form of connection, transition, and interference, to relieve the sense of proportion and townhouse form for the building.

© Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki 18th Floor Plan 18th Floor Plan

In all hotel rooms, the building elevation is inspired by a traditional roof (sloped roof tiles) and stylized in combination with green tree pots that are arranged sequentially in a chain to create a crystal form for covering the entire building with more than 120 pots cleverly arranged throughout the entire elevation. Therefore, when in the room, visitors will feel the light and green trees in combination with the views through the windows like a house, eliminating the feelings of dryness and facilitating the intimate relationship.

© Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki Facade Facade

New Banksy Gift Shop: Souvenirs from the Walled-Off Art Hotel in Palestine

22 May, 2018 - 19:00
[ By WebUrbanist in Boutique & Art Hotels & Travel. ]

Located just a few hundred meters from the checkpoint to Jerusalem and a mile from the centre of Bethlehem, the Walled-Off Hotel (a play on Waldorf) project features works of art and artistically designed rooms — it serves as a habitable way to raise funds and awareness, too.

Now, the hotel has released a set of works depicting the West Bank barrier and other regional art pieces by Banksy, rendered in miniature and only available to those who visit (most are not available online).

Many of these are framed as works of “anticipatory art,” designed to foreshadow a better future of trust and interconnection in the region.

“The gift shop is situated towards the back of the hotel and sells items created exclusively for the Walled Off by Banksy. It should not be confused with the ‘Banksy Shop’ next door – which has nothing to do with Banksy at all,” note the proprietors. “All profits from sales go towards sustaining the hotel and social projects.”

With the fresh move by the Trump White House of the U.S. embassy, travelers are assured they will be safe, but also warned to use caution and pay attention to current events before traveling. And, of course: exit through the gift shop.

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[ By WebUrbanist in Boutique & Art Hotels & Travel. ]

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6 Beginner Tips for Decorating Your Home

22 May, 2018 - 04:02

For some people, decorating your home comes naturally. You just have an eye for detail, and eye for what complements one another, and an eye for simply what works. For others, though, decorating can be a challenge, and one small mistake can turn an attractive look into something you’re embarrassed to show off. If you’re just beginning to decorate your home, or if decorating just isn’t in your blood, here are six beginner tips for decorating your home that will make the entire process easier on you.

  1. Pick a style or theme.

Your home should have one overall style or theme that is consistent from room to room. For instance, you cannot go French style in the living room and then futuristic Jetsons in the kitchen—it simply won’t work! Instead, think of the style that you absolutely love and then use that to start decorating your home. This way, you will have an idea of what colors, furniture, and other décor items would make sense for your space, and you’ll be able to narrow down your options so you’re not so overwhelmed.

  1. Choose complimentary colors.

Your walls are going to say a lot for the look of your room, so you want to make sure you’re picking complimentary colors and not just sticking to one solid look. For instance, lighter colors will make a space feel bigger, but you can always compliment that color with one wall that’s painted darker. This creates and abstract in the home but helps give the room some character. Most paint companies will offer you swatches of what colors work well together. This way you don’t have to try and figure it all out on your own.

  1. Test the paint first.

Before you buy gallons of paint in a color you love from a swatch you saw at a paint store, you should first buy a sample of the paint and use it on a wall in your home. You’ll be surprised at how much a color can change from a paint swatch to a full wall, and you may just find that you don’t like the way it looks when it’s there. Doing it this way will save you from overspending and will help you make the right overall decision.

  1. Think functionality.

When it comes to putting your furniture in your space, you should first think about what’s functional. For instance, if your living space is tiny, then opting for an oversized sectional may not be the best idea. Instead, try to focus on what would work in the space from a functional level. Obviously, you don’t want to overcrowd your space with too much furniture, and you don’t want to pick something that simply doesn’t work with the flow of your home. Using a virtual room app can help you find the best layout of your space without the physical activity of moving your furniture around.

  1. Don’t overdo it.

When you have a theme or style for your home, it’s also important not to overdo it. For instance, if you have a love for pigs, putting pigs all over your home is not the best move to make. After all, chances are you make get sick of it after a while, and then you’ll just be starting from scratch. If you have a theme for your home, be sure the décor pieces are subtle so that it adds to the space but doesn’t overwhelm those who step inside. Visiting this home décor blog will help you fine-tune your decorating skills and make the most of your space.

  1. Keep patterns simple.

Once you land on a color, you’ll have other items you’ll need to choose, such as couches, chairs, rugs, curtains, etc. All of these items will have colors or patterns of their own, and this is where design can become overwhelming and troublesome. When it comes to patterns, you want to keep things simple. For instance, if your couch has a pattern on it, you want to use solid colors for your rug and your curtains. If you have too many different patterns happening in one room, it will create an uneven balance that simply doesn’t work in your favor.

Decorating your home doesn’t have to be stressful or complicated. Instead, if you start slowly and learn the basics, you’ll have an easier time finding what works best for your space and what compliments your style.

In Japan, A Vibrant Community Springs to Life Beneath a Disused Overpass

22 May, 2018 - 03:00
[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

A notorious red light district and black market before it was swept and shut down by authorities in 2005, the cavernous space beneath an overpass in Yokohama sat empty for years until a social redevelopment project gave it a new lease on life. The Koganecho Centre is a complex of cultural spaces tucked between the concrete columns, which act to unify the disparate architectural styles of the individual buildings. Not only has the project made the space functional again for residents of Japan’s second most populous city, it’s given a new identity to a district that was flailing.

Understanding the value of this adaptive reuse project requires knowing a little of Koganecho’s history. The area was razed to the ground by American B-29s during World War II, and the black market sprung up among the ruins. It quickly gained an international reputation after William S. Burroughs extolled the virtues of its drugs. At its peak, it contained 257 shops, many controlled by gangs. It may not have been legal or safe, but nobody could say it wasn’t vibrant. After police wiped it out, Koganecho became a ghost town.

It was art that would bring it back to life, albeit in virtually unrecognizable form. The Koganecho Area Management Center worked with the City of Yokohama and the Keikyu railway company to create an urban renewal project that makes use of the existing structures. Koizumi Atelier, Nishikura Architectural Design Office, Workstation, Contemporaries and Studio 2A were the firms invited to design five structures: a meeting space, an open-air piazza, an artist’s atelier, an art gallery and a cafe. Together, the new buildings occupy a 328-foot stretch beneath the overpass.

Some of them are set squarely within the space between the columns while others are inserted at angles, built around the concrete structures. Some look lightweight and impermanent with corrugated metallic walls, and some as solid as the bridge itself. Jagged rooflines, warm wood steps, large windows and textured surfaces imbue the new complex with warmth and character.

To venture deeper into each one of these structures and learn more about the project, check out this profile on Domus.

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C.F. Møller Architects Release Images of Proposed Urban Realm for Oslo Central Station

21 May, 2018 - 14:00
Courtesy of C.F. Møller Architects Courtesy of C.F. Møller Architects

C.F. Møller Architects have collaborated with Kristin Jarmund Architects and Rodeo Architects in the design of a new urban realm at Oslo Central Station in Norway, comprising a square, hotel, and high-rise building. The scheme seeks to create an attractive recreational area around the transport hub, connecting different areas and terrain differences in an organized, efficient flow. 

The latest scheme represents a further development of a proposal by C.F. Møller Architects and Kristin Jarmund Architects for the area in a prequalified architectural competition in 2009.

Courtesy of C.F. Møller Architects Courtesy of C.F. Møller Architects

Located at the intersection of three urban districts, the scheme seeks to underline the meeting of special characteristics and qualities of the distinctive areas. Described as an “urban life generator," the scheme is designed to handle a large influx of transport users while remaining an attractive place to dwell.

While buildings account for 100% of the existing site’s area, the proposal seeks to give 50% of the site to publically accessible urban space. At ground level, the scheme establishes a “continuous landscape” linking the area with the river Akerselva while eliminating level differences.

Courtesy of C.F. Møller Architects Courtesy of C.F. Møller Architects

Meanwhile, two new buildings will stand on a common base with the new square, comprising a hotel to the west, and office building to the east. Various terrace rings function as roof gardens and vantage points for views across the city while showcasing life inside the buildings through large window apertures.

Courtesy of C.F. Møller Architects Courtesy of C.F. Møller Architects

For the scheme’s development, the architectural team worked in collaboration with Bollinger & Grohmann Engineers and Transsolar.

News of the proposal comes weeks after a similar announcement by C.F. Møller Architects of a proposal to transform the railway station site at Aarhus, Denmark into a car-free urban realm.

News via: C.F. Møller Architects

C.F Møller and MT Højgaard Propose Covering Aarhus Railway Site with Car-Free Urban District

C.F Møller and MT Højgaard have unveiled their vision of a new Railway Quarter in Aarhus, Denmark, transforming the area into a car-free urban district. Covering 1,180,000 square feet (110,000 square meters) of new construction, the area will predominantly contain residential buildings up to six stories high, as well as retail and recreational areas.

Altered Realities: Abstract 3D Murals by Peeta Pop Off the Wall

18 May, 2018 - 19:02
[ By SA Rogers in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

A wall could look as flat as flat gets until street artist Peeta gets his hands on it with a can of spray paint, distorting its surface, confusing its perspective with three-dimensional illusions. Sometimes, the effect is so convincing, you can’t tell which windows are real and which ones are painted, or whether some elements of the composition really are popping out beyond the wall. Hint: if you think they are, like in the case of the windows on the green-roofed building below, you’re probably wrong.

Peeta – real name Manuel Di Rita, a resident of Venice, Italy who’s been painting graffiti since 1993 – has really upped his game over the last few years. A member of Padova-based EAD crew and New York City-based FX and RWK crews, Peeta also works on canvas and with actual 3D sculpture in PVC, bronze, acrylic resin and fiberglass. His experience with sculptural media really shows in his newest murals, which take the familiar forms of letter-based street art and manipulate them into abstract creations.

“Today, through my anamorphic works I redesign the volumes of any kind of surface involved, thus causing with my paintings a temporary interruption of normality by altering the perception of familiar contexts and so raising a different understanding of spaces, and consequently, of reality as a whole,” says Peeta.

“Metaphorically, I want to neutralize preconceptions and urging the emergence of new perspectives. Anamorphism totally embodies the intent, always pivotal in my production, to reveal the deceptiveness of human perception, the fallacy of narrow and fixed points of view through visual tricks which, proceeding from the attempt to confer a three-dimensional semblance on a pictorial representation, ultimately reveal their will to deceive.”

Peeta’s works have popped up – literally – all over the world, from China to Oregon to Barcelona. Give him a follow on Instagram @peeta_ead to keep up with his anamorphic works and occasionally get some interesting backstory on particular pieces.

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Will Alsop: “That’s the Art of Architecture—Putting Everything Together in Your Own Way”

17 May, 2018 - 09:00
Sharp Centre for Design at the Ontario College of Art and Design, 2004. Image Courtesy of aLL Design Sharp Centre for Design at the Ontario College of Art and Design, 2004. Image Courtesy of aLL Design

During my meetings with Will Alsop—two at his London studio in 2008 and 2010, and during our four-day trip to Moscow where I organized his lecture for SPEECH Magazine in winter 2011—he impressed me as having the most genuine, artistic, and free-spirited soul of all the architects I met. Calatrava, Hadid, and Gehry may strike one as great artists, but no matter how inventive they are, they are all involved in shaping buildings. Alsop, on the other hand, would find himself engaged in working in a completely boundless and unrestricted manner as a true artist. It seems that his whimsical works—"blobs and daubs," as he called them—are imagined as pure fantasies to be transformed into architecture much later by his staff. Eventually, he would have to “sell” them to his clients as buildings that function.

Alsop’s creations bring magic to the real world; they connect realities and dreams in the most fantastic ways. I never thought I would like his buildings though. I saw their renderings and photographs as cartoonish, until I visited them in person in London and Shanghai, among other places. Then my preconceptions dissipated. These structures make people feel happy and curious; they disarm the harshest critics and enrich our experiences. The following conversation with Alsop, who passed away on May 12 at age 70, is a condensed interview version based on two of our multi-hour meetings.

Peckham Library, 2000. Image Courtesy of aLL Design Peckham Library, 2000. Image Courtesy of aLL Design

Will Alsop: ...I like to think that I don’t have a particular style. I do very different things and in different ways. Some people say there is an Alsop style. It is an insult to me because I like to avoid it. I have gone away from the idea of what architecture should be. My job is to discover what architecture could be. And that voyage of discovery involves other people and I like working with people who live or work in the area of my projects to hand them the pencil or the paintbrush. Then you can have real fun trying to make sense of these engagements.

Vladimir Belogolovsky: Your work is always different because the people with whom you interact are different.

WA: That’s right. Also, what I noticed is that the politicians, especially, often say that the people don’t want change and that they always prefer the status quo. In my experience from working with people—this is not true. People embrace change and are becoming more and more comfortable with the idea that some of the new architecture is as good as some of the greatest monuments from the past. And sometimes it is even more interesting from the experiential point of view. Because of the plasticity of these new extraordinary spaces, new ways of achieving wonderful light, and a greater range of materials. You can make a very good, honest building with materials alone.

Carnegie Pavilion, Headingley, 2010. Image Courtesy of aLL Design Carnegie Pavilion, Headingley, 2010. Image Courtesy of aLL Design

VB: What is a good, honest building?

WA: When it has a good quality of construction, good lighting, and particularly—paying attention to what is happening at the bottom, because that is what most people experience. If I were a politician, I would make a law in every city that everything from the ground to ten meters and higher should float and not touch the ground.

You could still eat and drink at the ground level but there would be no buildings. The ground should be given to people and gardens, not buildings. It would make our cities much happier. Think of Le Corbusier’s Unite d'Habitation in Marseilles, which is where I built my first elevated building, the Hotel du Departement.

Hotel du Departement, 1994. Image Courtesy of aLL Design Hotel du Departement, 1994. Image Courtesy of aLL Design

VB: What kind of architecture do you envision in the future and what is your main ambition in life?

WA: I don’t think I can talk about the future because if I knew what it would be I would be doing it. We are locked into the age we live in. For example, many architects are preoccupied now with climate change and issues of sustainability and ecology, but that is just general awareness. It doesn’t make architecture. It is important, but some architects market themselves as green architects.

Well, we are too, but I want my clients to pick us for other reasons. You never pick an architect because he is good at plumbing. But when plumbing was first invented maybe there were architects who would say “we understand plumbing.” In the future, I would like to see more sharing of ideas and on occasions, I would like the idea of working with other architects. And as far as ambition, I would like to do a hospital. I think hospitals should be beautiful so when you come out you would fall in love again.

Peckham Library, 2000. Image Courtesy of aLL Design Peckham Library, 2000. Image Courtesy of aLL Design

VB: Do you think colors play a specific role in your work?

WA: On one level, it cheers people up. There is nothing in architecture books that says it cannot be fun. I think color has a very direct effect on the way we behave and the way we feel. Colored glass casts colorful shadows. If there was no color in my buildings, it would be a completely different experience. Architectural critics think that fun and architecture don’t go together. But I always ask why not? Where in the rule books does it say these things don’t go together? The fun aspect of architecture is a very serious part of it. There is no right way to make architecture, and I think that is good.

Our cities should have diversity. Uniformity makes life less interesting. It makes people bored. Architecture is not about just having a roof over your head, but about a feeling of belonging and feeling comfortable. Sometimes, it is very difficult to explain how to do that, but I have had people tell me that my buildings are very comfortable. They would come to me and ask, “How do you do that?” I don’t know, and I don’t want to know, because if I did, all the fun and exploration about making architecture would be destroyed. You have to have fate.

Chips Building, 2009. Image Courtesy of aLL Design Chips Building, 2009. Image Courtesy of aLL Design

VB: You once said: “Painting has helped me rediscover what architecture is and what it is not.” How does painting help you to discover what architecture is?

WA: I work on a very big scale, and when I paint, I try many things, and it may look like I am in control, but I am not. I discover things as I go. A painter has a mind of his own. I paint, I sit, I look, and my paintings often suggest what the next step is going to be. I never know for sure. I move from initial paintings that are very abstract and suggestive to paintings that are more specific. I don’t know if my work can be called art. Some people like it. Some people don’t like it. It doesn’t matter. In more recent years, I began doing art for its own sake.

The process of painting takes me away from myself. There are different ways to achieve that. Some people fiddle with pieces of paper; others play with small study models. In my case, it happens to be painting. What I don’t like to do is to think my way into a solution. The idea of waiting for inspiration doesn’t work. I need to try many things before I know what I want. And, again, I try to work on a big scale. To me, it is illogical to fit on a small piece of paper ideas of what the huge thing is going to be like.

A painting from Alsop's "Toronto Series". Image © Will Alsop A painting from Alsop's "Toronto Series". Image © Will Alsop

VB: Do you allow other people to participate in your painting and design process, or is this very personal for you?

WA: Sometimes, my work becomes eclectic, and a painting might become a collective work with different people reflecting on our discussions and ideas. In the very beginning, it is usually just me, and then, other people in the studio might contribute.

VB: Contribute with words and comments or by adding bold colors to your canvas?

WA: Sure, they paint over my work. That’s fine.

Fawood Children's Centre, 2004. Image © Rod Coyne Fawood Children's Centre, 2004. Image © Rod Coyne

VB: Do you ever depict context in your paintings?

WA: There is nothing more frightening than an empty canvas, so I like to put something there that has no meaning at all—just something to work with. I also have a studio in the country where I work on large pieces of paper. As I am working on one piece of paper, I have another piece on the floor. The things that drop—paint, charcoal, dust—start the next painting. This takes away my fear of the white empty page. Sometimes, I stand on a piece of paper. One of the reasons for painting is that you are not really in control of what you are doing, and that interests me a lot.

Colorium, 2001. Image Courtesy of aLL Design Colorium, 2001. Image Courtesy of aLL Design

VB: Could you talk about how you won your Ontario College of Art and Design project in Toronto?

WA: Their brief was very detailed. I read it on the plane on the way to my interview. It was really boring. Every room was prescribed, and all functions were listed in minute detail. So, I came for my interview and told those people that I read the brief, and I can’t figure out how you know this is right and that this is what you really want. There were sixteen or seventeen people, and I said to them, “Put your hand up if you really believe in this brief.” And only one person raised his hand. He was the guy who wrote it. So, I said, “Hmm... so you don’t really believe in this brief?” At that point, I tore it up right in front of them and said, “Well, if you give me the job, here is what I would like to do—I want to work with the students, the neighborhood, and the staff, and we’ll figure out what you want.”

Sharp Centre for Design at the Ontario College of Art and Design, 2004. Image Courtesy of aLL Design Sharp Centre for Design at the Ontario College of Art and Design, 2004. Image Courtesy of aLL Design

VB: You said: “The problem of architecture is that architects think they have a responsibility to society and not to themselves. The architects must be selfish. Once this lesson is learned the architecture can begin.” Could you elaborate?

WA: I think this is true. Clearly, we architects have responsibilities. Most architects from around the world practice architecture with the best intentions to serve their society. Usually, the names of these architects are forgotten. But seriously, at least half of any architect’s responsibility is to figure out who you are, because you didn’t become an architect just to assemble different things. You didn’t, or at least, I hope you didn’t. Because you have an attitude, a view, and you have a sense of judgment. That’s what you are trained to do, and that’s what you have become.

Therefore, the process of architecture-making is an act of selfishness. I like getting involved in various discussions, but, in the end, architecture must give me pleasure. It might give other people pleasure, as well. I don’t know how it happens, but I know that many people like my buildings and enjoy being in them. I know, because many people have shared this with me. Architecture is the art of compromise, and therefore, the basis of the compromise must be strong. It can only be strong if you have the freedom to dream and not to conform to society’s dreams.

Peckham Library, 2000. Image Courtesy of aLL Design Peckham Library, 2000. Image Courtesy of aLL Design

VB: So, that’s your answer—architects must be selfish.

WA: I don’t want to generalize, but I would say yes. Of course, purely selfish people are horrible, but you need to be selfish in terms of forming the work and making critical decisions. You can open up things to a debate, and you can enjoy it and learn from it, but there comes a point when it is you, the architect, who must make a decision. That’s the art of architecture—putting everything together in your own way.

Colorium, 2001. Image Courtesy of aLL Design Colorium, 2001. Image Courtesy of aLL Design

VLADIMIR BELOGOLOVSKY is the founder of the New York-based non-profit Curatorial Project. Trained as an architect at Cooper Union in New York, he has written five books, including Conversations with Architects in the Age of Celebrity (DOM, 2015), Harry Seidler: LIFEWORK (Rizzoli, 2014), and Soviet Modernism: 1955-1985 (TATLIN, 2010). Among his numerous exhibitions: Anthony Ames: Object-Type Landscapes at Casa Curutchet, La Plata, Argentina (2015); Colombia: Transformed (American Tour, 2013-15); Harry Seidler: Painting Toward Architecture (world tour since 2012); and Chess Game for Russian Pavilion at the 11th Venice Architecture Biennale (2008). Belogolovsky is the American correspondent for Berlin-based architectural journal SPEECH and he has lectured at universities and museums in more than 20 countries.

Belogolovsky’s column, City of Ideas, introduces ArchDaily’s readers to his latest and ongoing conversations with the most innovative architects from around the world. These intimate discussions are a part of the curator’s upcoming exhibition with the same title which premiered at the University of Sydney in June 2016. The City of Ideas exhibition will travel to venues around the world to explore ever-evolving content and design.

Bye Bye Boring Workspace: 12 Office Arrangements That Feel Fresh & Fun

16 May, 2018 - 19:00
[ By SA Rogers in Design & Furniture & Decor. ]

Fun workspace features like slides and outlandishly creative office design schemes get a lot of attention, but ultimately, the individual workspaces where employees carry out most of their daily tasks are more germane to both happiness and productivity. Should they be private, or prioritize openness and collaboration? Should they be serious, or a little quirky and fun? These 12 modern workspaces show how various companies and designers have answered those questions, and most of the time, the solutions are somewhere in between – with a heavy emphasis on adaptability and choice.

Treehouse 2 by Dymitr Malcew

Contained within your own little acoustically insulated pod, you could stretch out and get comfortable, have a phone conversation, huddle together with another employee, wheel yourself into a private corner of the office or come together with multiple other units to form a little ‘village.’ The ‘Treehouse’ and ‘Treehouse 2’ structures by architect Dymitr Malcew are somewhere in between architecture and furniture, finding middle ground between fully enclosed offices and the kind of open-plan spaces that workers tend to find distracting and uncomfortable.

Snaking Interactive Desk by Teamlab for Pixiv

A single desk snakes around a vividly colored office space for a full 820 feet, providing all sorts of nooks and crannies for workers to choose from. Designed by Teamlab for Pixiv, a Japanese online community for artists, the wooden table is a single continuous loop with a ‘bridge’ you walk under to get inside. Cutouts in the surface make way for cables and chargers as well as a few semi-enclosed working areas.

Zones by Pearsonlloyd

From intensive individual work sessions to collaborations to meetings to phone calls, an office should have a variety of ‘zones’ offering comfortable spaces for various functions. The ‘Zones’ collection by London-based designers PearsonLloyd, created for Teknion, takes all of these needs into account.

“Zones includes a variety of furniture components that can be combined with other to create an all-inclusive office furniture solution,” say the designers. “The collection is shaped around the idea of Informal Productivity – an alternative to the traditional office, designed to give users choice and to create work environments that encourage collaborative and private settings… the emotional, humanistic aspect is fundamental to Zones as the collection supports modern office tasks in a manner that recognizes the human craving for familiarity, warmth, comfort and empowerment.”

Suspended Workspace by Studio Frank Havermans

It may look like a carnival ride, but this hovering contraption by Studio Frank Havermans is actually a desk designed for the head office at Akzonobel, a paint and coating company in Amsterdam. The designers took the color scheme from the new McLaren F1 car MCL33. It’s unclear whether the desk, which was created as part of an exhibition called ‘Common Ground,’ will be in regular use by people in the office, but it’s probably a lot more fun than the average workspace in the building.

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Benoy Shares Their Design for a New Global Business School in Saudi Arabia

15 May, 2018 - 08:00
Courtesy of Benoy Courtesy of Benoy

Slated to open in 2020, Benoy has released their design for a central academic building in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It will house the Global Business School, an educational hub that will attract Saudi and international business students through partnerships with Imperial College Business school, Cornell University, and Harvard Law School.

Courtesy of Benoy Courtesy of Benoy

The six-level building will be composed of two distinct wings connected by an enclosed atrium. Sporting smooth contours and rounded corners, the north wing will contain faculty offices, teaching spaces, and the innovation center. While the larger, south wing surrounds it with student dining halls, an auditorium, sports area, and a knowledge center.

According to the firm, the layout was designed to foster social interaction and minimize hierarchy and social boundaries within the school community.

Courtesy of Benoy Courtesy of Benoy

A significant presence in the Middle East with studios in Dubai and Bahrain, Benoy are known for their large-scale projects in the area including Yas Island, the Ferrari World theme park in Abu Dhabi, and City Walk and The Beach in Dubai. They are also responsible for a number of projects currently in progress, including the Tahlia Street retail development in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and a new terminal at Bahrain Airport.

News via: Benoy

Future Organic: Guggenheim Gallery in Tulum Combines Vines & Cement

15 May, 2018 - 03:00
[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

What if the architecture of the future was fluid, organic and infused with an enhanced connection to the Earth? IK LAB, a new open-air art gallery in Tulum, Mexico, gives us a glimpse of what that could look like. Founded by Santiago Rumney Guggenheim and designed by Jorge Eduardo Neira Serkel, IK LAB is envisioned as a new way to approach gallery spaces, allowing the character of the setting to interplay with art rather than isolating it in a blank white cube. That way, the art almost takes on a new life anywhere it’s displayed, shifting slightly in dialogue with its surroundings instead of remaining static.

Located on the Azulik eco resort amidst natural villas made of the same native bejuco vines, IK LAB almost looks like something an animal would have created, full of natural shapes seemingly inspired by leaves and flower petals. The vines are woven into slatted walls arching up to form a dome-like structure, and large circular openings reveal views of the jungle outside. The cement is intentionally acoustic, producing echoes of the activity inside to make sound a part of the experience. Visitors are encouraged to take off their shoes to experience the textures of the space with their skin.

Now through September, the gallery hosts a show called ALIGNMENTS featuring work by Artur Lescher, Margo Trushina and Tatiana Trouve. The sculptural pieces included in the show are suspended throughout the space, intended to “explore the human journey through both physical and metaphysical realms.”

“Through its environmentally conscious design, a bespoke circle of artists and avant-garde residency program, IK LAB aspires to provide a framework for the world’s finest creative minds to interact with the gallery’s visionary architecture,” states the gallery’s website. “It captures the quintessence of the Yucatan peninsula’s abundant nature and rich spiritual heritage to project it into a new future as an inspiration and model for communities beyond.”

“The savvy combination of ancestral knowledge, technological innovation, applied sustainability, lived spirituality and collective experiences will culminate in new ways of creating and experiencing art as token of the potential of human evolution and vision.”

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How to incorporate designed home security cameras without them being noticed

14 May, 2018 - 23:42

To make the best use of home security system, you can incorporate well-designed security cameras without them being noticed. This will prevent burglars from disabling or avoiding the cameras. For this purpose, you can purchase certain home security cameras that are designed perfectly and nicely to not get easily visible while efficiently doing their task. Below are two best security cameras with the perfect design that will serve your purpose well.

Netgear Arlo Pro 2

This is a professional-quality, well-designed security camera that is capable of recording HD videos. It has the size of a small router that can be either connected to the broadband router using Ethernet port or use powerline technology. This completely waterproof, solid-build camera can be easily mounted indoors by using the magnetic mounts or can be kept on a bookshelf as a freestanding camera. The camera can be controlled using your smartphone. It can be armed to detect any motion. Another useful feature is an integrated alarm that makes it a very effective security system. The only problem with this camera is that it is very difficult to set up the base station and the initial cost is very high.

The quality of the recording, video live-streaming, two-way audio and the night-vision features make it a very impressive camera that can be easily hidden from view inside your house. The build quality of the camera is amazing along with the sturdy magnetic base while giving you proper control over the viewing angle.

Logitech Circle 2

This is a well-constructed security camera, recording high-definition footage. The camera can be securely mounted inside your house on the swivel base. It is possible to view the video footage in live mode or use the motion filtering option to watch some specific recordings. The night-vision mode is a useful feature while zone editor helps in drawing the image of a particular area for which you would want to get alerts. However, this camera is not meant for outdoor use. Picture quality is very good mainly in the 1080p mode. It looks amazing and is very easy to set up and can be easily kept indoors without getting noticed. These types of cameras are designed in a way so that they can be easily hidden or disguised while doing their task of taking the videos and detecting any suspicious movements. However, it requires very good internet connectivity otherwise it will not work well while showing the video footages.  

You can get creative and incorporate such well-designed security cameras disguised as smoke alarms, books, toys, electronic gadgets, inexpensive decorative items, desk plants, shelves, shiny desk accessories, paperweights, etc. You can find any inconspicuous spots inside your place for hiding or disguising your security camera. You can choose to put it behind the glass window, or any other places that are not too obvious for burglars to see. The options are endless when it comes to hiding security cameras in your home.

Architecture in Limbo: How Technology is Changing the Way We Use "Useless" Space

11 May, 2018 - 09:00
© Photo by gdtography from Pexels © Photo by gdtography from Pexels

Published in partnership with The Greenhouse Talks, the following essay by Aaron Betsky examines limbo spaces and the opportunities presented by these ambiguous areas. 

In the spaces where we wait, tarry, or just while away the time, the strictures and structures of good architecture dissolve. In the waiting rooms at airports, government bureaucracies, or doctors' offices, in the places to where we escape to do little to nothing, and in the cocoons we create by using either the latest technology or ancient meditation techniques to come to ourselves, boundaries dissolve. We spend more and more of our time in such spaces. They are the purgatory between the hell of everyday reality and the seamless heaven of virtual social space—or the other way around. What is the architecture of such not-quite-free spaces, and how should we design what is meant to fade away? What do such spaces tell us about the future of architecture? 

At first glance, not much. They are spaces with little hierarchy or focus. They often have no boundaries, as they are somewhere between a hallway and a room. Filled with plastic and other human-made materials, they respond not to the body at work or in repose, but to the body at the edge of the chair. They are places of anxiety instead of affirmation.

Yet, do they not have a strange beauty? Is there not something that has the quality of the not quite, the almost, the both/and, that makes them full of possibility? Until now, the history of architecture has been bound up with the design of spaces that have a purpose. Buildings are fortresses and palaces, theaters or museums. Architects design rooms so that we can sleep, eat, or work there. The structure of such spaces, as well as their materials and proportions, not to mention how you enter into them, where the light comes from, or what accoutrements they have, is defined by such uses. They are also limited by definition.

Certainly, there have always been places in-between. Some of the spaces we love most are porches and verandas, as well as the antechambers where often the real work already happens and where architecture, to introduce itself and its purpose to you, is at its most exquisite. Between inside and outside, one thing and another, they are filled with shadows both real and phenomenal. Here you are not quite in the world and not quite at home, but perhaps open to possibilities. You wait for a connection, for the future, while inhabiting a partial shelter.

Over the last few decades, however, the in-between spaces have grown into something different. The roots of limbo spaces lie in the waiting rooms that appeared when public transportation developed, and in the holding places where you had to wait for bureaucrats to see you or take your forms. They also formed out of the cafés and semi-public spaces around stores where you lingered over a coffee, waiting for something or someone to happen. These spaces were also different than, say, the foyers of theaters or the tepid and mist-filled spaces of Roman baths, where you waited, but with a clear social and bodily purpose. In the new limbo space, you just wait.

As such, limbo spaces are the fixed equivalent of the translucent bubbles we carry around with ourselves. We do not so much inhabit either public or private space, but instead remain somewhere between, connected to shared experiences such as music, or chatting in a distanced manner to our networks of friends on social media. In fact, more and more of our time is spent in such a state of semi-distraction and connected disconnection. This architecture enabled by ethereal technology has until now escaped the attention and the classifying abilities of architects.

Limbo spaces thus present a two-fold opportunity: on the one hand, we need to look seriously at physical spaces in which we spend more and more time, but which are, on the whole, dreadful; on the other hand, we should see such spaces as prototypes for the next frontier for architectural investigation, beyond the boundaries of site, function, traditional sociality, or physical structure. We can see limbo spaces as the purposeful purposelessness that our new forms of sociality demand. We can be available and withdrawn there at the same time, plugged in and yet in a, if not the, moment.

Limbo spaces are both all too real, and thoroughly unreal. They can afford many possibilities even as they sap time and space of its definitions. Can architecture be limber enough to limbo?

The Greenhouse Talks LIMBO SPACE will take place on Friday May 25, 2018 from 9 to 11am at the InParadiso Café, just in front of the Giardini della Biennale. Entrance is free, but due to the limited space it is strongly recommended to register via email at

More information here.