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Historic Preservation, Third Edition

22 January, 2019 - 15:00
Historic Preservation, Third Edition: An Introduction to Its History, Principles, and Practice
Norman Tyler, Ilene R. Tyler, Ted J. Ligibel
W. W. Norton, October 2018

Paperback | 7-1/4 x 9-1/4 inches | 384 pages | 192 illustrations | English | ISBN: 978-0393712971 | $39.95

Publisher Description:
Historic preservation, which started as a grassroots movement, now represents the cutting edge in a cultural revolution focused on “green” architecture and sustainability. This book provides comprehensive coverage of the many facets of historic preservation: the philosophy and history of the movement, the role of government, the documentation and designation of historic properties, sensitive architectural designs and planning, preservation technology, and heritage tourism, plus a survey of architectural styles.

An ideal introduction to the field for students, historians, preservationists, property owners, local officials, and community leaders, this thoroughly revised edition addresses new subjects, including heritage tourism and partnering with the environmental community. It also includes updated case studies to reflect the most important historic preservation issues of today; and brings the conversation into the twenty-first century.
dDAB Commentary:
Twenty-five years ago, in 1994, the first edition of Historic Preservation: An Introduction to Its History, Principles, and Practices was published, more than 25 years after the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Just as a lot changed between the passage of the Act and the book's first edition, a lot has changed in the realm of historic preservation between 1994 and the book's third edition last year. Most notably, buildings from the Modern and Postmodern movements are now facing needs for preservation; with their sometimes innovative (in the realm of Modernism) or sub-par (re: PoMo) construction, the preservation of notable buildings in these styles faces tricky technical challenges. Additionally, preservation has become cool, addressed by Rem Koolhaas in an exhibition and publication; and older buildings have increasingly becoming the settings for important cultural institutions and other projects.

I'm not familiar with the 1994 and 2009 editions of Historic Preservation, but the third edition is an thorough overview of the field, from philosophies of preservation down to even some technical details. The introduction to preservation in the United States spans a dozen chapters that, among other things, present a timeline of important events in its history (such as the Act of 1966), provide an overview of architectural styles, and run through the legal and economic aspects of the field. Although too basic for preservation architects who may be looking for detailed information on the "practice" aspect of the title, the introduction is ideal for students and young professionals interested in the conservation of old buildings and landscapes; with preservation seen as an important aspect of sustainability and a means of addressing climate change, most architects should be interested.Spreads:

Author Bio:
Norman Tyler is emeritus faculty of the Urban and Regional Planning Program at Eastern Michigan University. Ilene R. Tyle built her career as a preservationist through years of advocacy, writing, teaching, and leadership. She currently lives in Ann Arbor with her husband, co-author Norman Tyler. Ted J. Ligibel has been employed in the historic preservation field for over forty years as an activist, educator, and author. [He is] director of the Historic Preservation Program at Eastern Michigan University.Purchase Links:
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How Robotic Parking Systems Enable Urban Architecture

21 January, 2019 - 07:00
Located at the old harborfront of Arhus, Denmark, DOKK1 designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen architects houses not only Scandinavia’s largest library but also Europe’s largest public robotic parking system. Photograph by Adam Mork. Located at the old harborfront of Arhus, Denmark, DOKK1 designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen architects houses not only Scandinavia’s largest library but also Europe’s largest public robotic parking system. Photograph by Adam Mork.

Saving space, reducing costs and a pleasant user experience – parking doesn’t get much better than this.

Cityscapes around the world are changing, architects face the constant challenge of integrating parking space into new or existing real estate in densely built-up urban environments. While there is a growing ambition to replace cars as a prime mobility tool, we’re far from realizing this goal. Most downtown revitalizations today require structured parking. Where space is tight, access ramp or radius of a conventional parking garage may be hard to fit. Because robotic parking systems require neither these nor access for pedestrians, they can place up to 60% more cars in the same space – increasing the RoI on parking spaces Alternatively, the same number of cars can be parked in 60% of the space of a conventional parking garage, creating significant cost savings in the construction phase. In either case, the user experience in robotic parking systems – brightly lit entrance areas, safe vehicle retrieval processes and reduced car fumes as the search for parking is effectively eliminated – is second to none.

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Signs Friction: 10 Unfortunately Named Businesses

20 January, 2019 - 20:00
[ By Steve in Design & Graphics & Branding. ]

Brand power can go a long way in business but as these 10 unfortunately-named shops and stores so sorrowfully illustrate, it can also go the wrong way.

To paraphrase RUSH, if a store chooses not to decide on a name, it still has made a choice… not a good choice, mind you, but a choice all the same. We can only assume the owners of the No Name II Variety Store in Philly’s Kensington district figured they’d let Pepsi do their sales-talking for them. We’d also like to know if the original “No Name Variety Store” owners are miffed their nifty name was nicked. Flickr members benjamin scott and non-euclidean photography (Molly Des Jardin) captured the semi-anonymous sign in 2013 and 2015, respectively.

Resident Dump

Does reverse psychology really work? You’d have to ask the owner of DUMP, an army-navy surplus clothing store in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Flickr member Barry Lancaster (Derpy McDerpface) snapped the military-themed (an “ammo dump” reference, perhaps?)  store signage in late 2006. One would imagine the RAF would shine the ol’ frosted monocle on this “interesting” use of their tricolor roundel.

Don’t Happy, Be Worry

This candy shop in Barcelona indelicately toes the line between Cute and Offensive. The latter would resonate more with those who have lost someone to the ongoing Opioid Crisis and/or unsuccessful dieters who “self-medicate” emotional stress with colorful sweets. Flickr member Lauren Jankowski couldn’t resist capturing this “wonderfully bizarre” store sign while tripping, er, on a trip overseas back in the summer of 2011.

Kinky Boots

Kudos to Flickr member Eric Allix Rogers (reallyboring) for being in the right place at the right time: shortly before this exotic (if not erotic) footwear shop shouted out its safe word and slammed the doors for good back in 2008. Located in Chicago’s West Side, the store may have confused customers who were looking for shoes, not kicks.

Say Yes to Distress

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride… but sometimes a Bridezilla? Give the owners of this west-end Toronto bridal studio their due for coming up with an attention-grabbing store name. That said, we can see how this sign could trigger bridesmaids who actually ARE jealous on their rival’s Big Day. Good thing that sort of stuff never happens in real life, right? RIGHT?? Flickr member Can Pac Swire snapped the snippy shop in August of 2013.

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A House Is Not Just a House

18 January, 2019 - 15:00
A House Is Not Just a House: Projects on Housing
Tatiana Bilbao
Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, October 2018

Paperback | 5 x 7-1/2 inches | 160 pages | # illustrations | Languages | ISBN: 978-1941332436 | $23.00

Publisher Description:
A House Is Not Just a House argues precisely this. The book traces Tatiana Bilbao’s diverse work on housing ranging from large-scale social projects to single-family luxury homes. Regardless of type, her work advances an argument on housing that is simultaneously expansive and minimal, inseparable from the broader environment outside of it and predicated on the fundamental requirements of living. The projects presented here offer a way of thinking about the limits of housing: where it begins and where it ends. Working within the complex and unstable history of social housing in Mexico, Bilbao argues for participating even when circumstances are less than ideal—and from this participation she is able to propose specific strategies for producing housing elsewhere.

The book includes a recent lecture by Bilbao at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, as well as reflections from fellow practitioners and scholars, including Amale Andraos, Gabriela Etchegaray, Hilary Sample, and Ivonne Santoyo-Orozco.
dDAB Commentary:
One of the highlights of the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial was Tatiana Bilbao's "Sustainable Housing," one of four full-scale prototype dwellings I encountered in the exhibition. At only $9,000, the house made of CMUs, plywood, and wood pallets was framed relative to the 9 million houses needed in Mexico, where Bilbao lives and works. She was able to build 23 of the houses in Coahuila after the same number of houses was destroyed by a tornado. The wood was eschewed in favor of more concrete so they would stand up to any future tornadoes. Yet almost as important as the houses, Bilbao realized a shaded square and sports court adjacent to the houses; these illustrate how she also addresses urban planning and the public spaces outside of the houses themselves.

This small book documents a lecture Bilbao gave at Columbia GSAPP in October 2016, in which she discussed her housing prototypes, the houses in Coahuila, and other housing projects. Her talk illuminates the unique conditions of housing in Mexico and Mexico City in particular. Bilbao has been proactive in regards to the country's housing crisis, having approached INFONAVIT, the federally owned bank that funds most of the country's housing projects, with the goal of creating successful neighborhoods, not just good housing. This emphasis on context and the social conditions of housing is one explanation for the book's title. Other takes come courtesy of the essays by Ivnne Santoyo-Orozco, Gabriela Etchegaray, and Hilary Sample.Spreads:

Author Bio:
Tatiana Bilbao, born and raised in Mexico City, graduated from Universidad Iberoamericana in 1996. In 2004, she founded her titular office, initiating projects in China, Europe and Mexico.Purchase Links:
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Networking Platform Aims to Connect and Kickstart the Careers of Young Architects

17 January, 2019 - 11:00
Utilizing technology, Ticco aims to respond to the demand for a 21st-century style of professional development.. Image © Ticco Utilizing technology, Ticco aims to respond to the demand for a 21st-century style of professional development.. Image © Ticco

A professional networking platform has been launched aimed at connecting early-career architects in the USA. Ticco admits architects with between 2 and 15 years of experience, with the goal of sharing smart design ideas for the future of the built environment. Developed by Katie Rispoli Keaotamai over a one-and-a-half-year timespan, the platform will now accept applications for its first 100 members until April, at a cost 31% lower than the fees paid for professional memberships.

Centered around dialogue, the platform offers access to ideas and opportunities that will positively shape the built environment, be it exchanging information, consulting on a project, or finding a new role in the profession.

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Art of the Chinese Courtyard: Respectful Renovations Keep Hutongs Alive

16 January, 2019 - 22:00
[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

Building booms around the world can render entire neighborhoods unrecognizable in a matter of days, demolishing historic structures to make way for new developments. In cities like Beijing, where older architecture such as “siheyuan” courtyard houses stand out for their uniqueness and beauty, the transition from traditional to contemporary can feel all the more jarring. Urban development is all but inevitable to manage growing populations, but for many onlookers, it’s sad to see the past bulldozed in favor of new buildings that don’t even acknowledge the area’s cultural and architectural legacy.

Many of Beijing’s older buildings fell in a frenzy of demolition throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. Traditional “hutongs,” or ancient city alleys lined with siheyuan residences, had fallen into disrepair and often lacked basic services and sanitation. City planners reportedly saw the historic, hutong-filled core of the city surrounding Tianenmen Square and the Forbidden City as prime real estate. In the ‘90s, about 600 hutong were destroyed every year, displacing roughly 500,000 residents. In place of those neighborhoods built during the Ming Dynasty came glittering skyscrapers and eight-lane highways.


Only a few hundred complete courtyard houses remain, down from the 3,000 that stood during the 1980s. But among those that still exist, an interesting trend is taking root: modernization projects that preserve and honor the historic structures while making them suitable for 21st century lifestyles. The best examples of respectful Chinese courtyard house renovations repair and maintain the existing elements of the siheyuan, keep the courtyards open to the outdoors and add new complementary elements that augment the usefulness of the original buildings without diminishing their character.

Transforming Formerly Hidden Courtyards into Inclusive Spaces Dwelling in Hutong by MINOR Lab

Designing homes around courtyards is an ancient tradition in China, with evidence of walled-in yards going as far back as the Shang Dynasty (approx. 1700 – 1100 BCE). The houses themselves opened out onto the alleyways outside, creating tranquil and private outdoor spaces protected from the eyes of strangers. This layout is similar to that of Beijing itself, which began as a walled city arranged like a checkerboard according to Confucian code. Each courtyard contained at least two trees along with water features and caged birds. Originally, each siheyuan was occupied by a single (often wealthy) family, but over time, they came to be inhabited by groups of families forming their own tiny villages. Many have since been converted into businesses.

Dwelling in Hutong by MINOR Lab Dwelling in Hutong by MINOR Lab

The walls of a hutong “can be seen as a boundary between public and private venues,” acknowledges the firm MINOR Lab, which completed this renovation in the Dongcheng District in 2017 updating an old hutong with lots of transparent glass, translucent textured acrylic panels for privacy and warm wood. But their project, like many others, transforms these former residences into spaces that are meant for community use.

“Within the walls remains an inward and enclosed space, however, the yard resembles a vast container, letting in sky, wind, sunlight, air and sound. The crows of the two grand gingko trees are the flowing roof in the open air, overlapping layers of grey tiles. The exterior space under the trees connects to the interior one underneath the four roofs, floating and exchanging in a continuous way.”

Hutong Renovation by CAA Hutong Renovation by CAA Hutong Renovation by CAA

An interesting project by the firm CAA explores the continuation of multi-family and multi-generational hutong traditions in a way that can help support the owner’s aging parents, who have Alzheimer’s Disease. CAA kept the hutong’s original wooden structure and added an additional steel roof, creating larger windows and skylights in the existing structures to make them brighter. The layout of the courtyard and the surrounding houses gives each generation their own private living space, but they’re connected to each other, and the flat, accessible courtyard allows the client’s mother to get around in her wheelchair.

Tea House in Hutong by ARCHSTUDIO Tea House in Hutong by ARCHSTUDIO Tea House in Hutong by ARCHSTUDIO

“Tea House in Hutong” by ARCHSTUDIO is a striking example of the bolder approach. Forced to demolish parts that were too unsafe to keep, the architects added new wood and metal structures and created more enclosed spaces protected from the elements by adding a white-painted concrete roof. Openings to the outdoors are glassed in like atriums, and you can still get a sense of the original space as you gaze across the courtyard despite all of these alterations.

Twisting Courtyard by ARCHSTUDIO Twisting Courtyard by ARCHSTUDIO Twisting Courtyard by ARCHSTUDIO

The same firm took an old siheyuan in Beijing’s Dashilar Area and transformed it into a public space with a dramatic, river-like undulating surface of grey brick that flows in and out of the interior and exterior spaces. Curved walls hide auxiliary spaces like the kitchen, bathrooms, private guest rooms and storage areas while visually connecting communal spaces like the dining room and reception to the courtyard. It’s not subtle by any means and it doesn’t shy away from ultramodern touches, but somehow the combination of old and new still feels cohesive.

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"We Dream of Instant Cities that Could Sprout like Spring Flowers": The Radical Architecture Collectives of the 60s and 70s

16 January, 2019 - 09:30

The first moon landing, widespread anti-war protests, Woodstock and the hippies, rural communes and environmentalism, the Berlin Wall, the women’s liberation movement and so much more—the tumultuous decades of the Sixties and Seventies occupy an unforgettable place in history. With injustices openly questioned and radical ideas that set out to unseat existing conventions and practices in various spheres of life, things weren’t any different in the architectural world. 

The grand visions dreamt up by the modernists were soon challenged by utopian experiments from the “anti-architecture” or “radical design” groups of the 1960–70s. Reestablishing architecture as an instrument of political, social, and cultural critique, they drafted bold manifestoes and designs, experimented with collage, music, performance art, furniture, graphic design, zines, installations, events, and exhibitions. While certain individuals from this era like Cedric Price, Hans Hollein, and Yona Friedman remain important to the realm of the radical and the unbuilt, the revolutionary spirit of these decades also saw the birth of various young collectives. For eccentricity at its very best, read on for a (by no means exhaustive) list of some groups who dared to question, poke, expand, rebel against, disrupt and redefine architecture in the 60s and 70s.

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Drawing Architecture

15 January, 2019 - 15:00
Drawing Architecture
Helen Thomas
Phaidon, October 2018

Hardcover | 11-3/8 x 9-7/8 inches | 320 pages | 285 illustrations | English | ISBN: 978-0714877150 | $79.95

Publisher Description:
Throughout history, architects have relied on drawings both to develop their ideas and communicate their vision to the world.

This gorgeous collection brings together more than 250 of the finest architectural drawings of all time, revealing each architect's process and personality as never before. Creatively paired to stimulate the imagination, the illustrations span the centuries and range from sketches to renderings, simple to intricate, built projects to a utopian ideal, famous to rarely seen - a true celebration of the art of architecture.

Visually paired images draw connections and contrasts between architecture from different times, styles, and places. From Michelangelo to Frank Gehry, Louise Bourgeois to Tadao Ando, B.V. Doshi to Zaha Hadid, and Grafton to Luis Barragán, the book shows the incredible variety and beauty of architectural drawings.
dDAB Commentary:
One of Phaidon's tried and true formats is what I'd call the compilation book: one image with descriptive text per page, all geared to a particular theme. There's The Design Book, The Garden Book, Design for Children, and others related to architecture and design as well as books about art, cooking, and so forth. The success of these titles is certainly related to their subject. So for architects, Drawing Architecture is sure to please. Its nearly 300 pages of drawings range in time from 2130 BC to 2018. But instead of presenting the drawings in chronological order (a timeline at the back of the book, visible as the bottom spread, orders them as such) or in alphabetical order by their creators (as was done in The Garden Book, one of Phaidon's compilation books I'm most familiar with), author Helen Thomas opted for what she calls "an associational approach" meant to "provide imaginative space for the reader to make their own connections between the images." Yet with similarities in terms of color, form, perspective, and other visual means between the facing drawings on each spread, Thomas is already making those connections for the reader.

For me, the obvious appeal of the book isn't the connections; it's the individual drawings, some of them instantly recognizable (Boullée's Cenotaph for Isaac Newton, Le Corbusier's Maison Domino, Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, Bernard Tschumi's Manhattan Transcripts, etc.) but many of them lesser known and therefore surprises to me. Thomas's descriptions are descriptive and analytical, finding significance in the drawings and how they were produced. In terms of the latter, I was disheartened to learn that Diller + Scofidio's iconic graphite-on-wood drawing of the unbuilt Slow House was a computer-generated print rather than a hand drawing (I should have realized that fact when I saw it in person years ago). I was also disappointed that Douglas Darden, Lauretta Vinciarelli, Michael Sorkin, and other talented architects were nowhere to be found, but any compilation is bound to have omissions. The drawings that did make the cut are on matte pages with uncut edges, making for a book lighter than expected given its size and very handsome; the latter is aided by the embossed cover with its drawing by R. Bucky Fuller. Unfortunately my cover warped quickly after unwrapping, something I wasn't expecting from a book with a cover price of more than $75.Spreads:

Author Bio:
Trained and registered as an architect, Helen Thomas spent 10 years as a senior lecturer in London schools of architecture, before moving to the new V&A/RIBA Architecture Collections at the V&A ... She is currently the Senior Research Fellow in Architecture and Construction, ETH Zurich.Purchase Links:
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Luxe for Less: How to Make Your Discount Furniture Finds Look More Expensive

14 January, 2019 - 22:51

Let’s face it: Furniture can be expensive. To outfit your home with rooms full of quality pieces, you could easily spend tens of thousands of dollars. That’s why most people have a mix of high-end pieces and discount (or free) furniture that they collect over the years.

That doesn’t mean that your less-expensive furniture has to look cheap, though. With a little ingenuity, your hand-me-downs, yard sale finds, and discount store furniture can look like their more expensive cousins. So, whether you’re putting together some Swedish furniture with an Allen wrench or hiring a Houston furniture assembly service to tackle the task for you, try some of these tricks to get a luxe look for less.

1. Paint

The fastest, and one of the least expensive, ways to change the look of your furniture is with paint. A few coats of paint can completely change the look of any piece of furniture, and if you don’t like it, you can just paint over it. Some designer tricks for using paint include:

  • Spray painting metal furniture in metallic shades. Some gold spray paint can take a dingy, old looking metal coffee table from drab to fab in just a few minutes.
  • Chalk paint. Hand-painted furniture pieces made with chalk paint (a matte finish paint) often go for hundreds or thousands of dollars in furniture galleries and boutiques, but you can get the same look yourself. Try painting tables, chairs, desks or bookshelves with this technique to breathe new life into old pieces.
  • Accents. Painting the back shelves of a bookcase or built-in shelving unit adds a pop of color and distracts from a less-than-expensive piece.

Sometimes, just adding a fresh coat of paint can make an old or outdated piece look fresh, so don’t be afraid to experiment to get the look you want.

2. Hardware and Trim

Sometimes, what makes the difference between a cheap piece and a more expensive one is the details. A high-end bookshelf, for example, might have hand-carved trim on the shelves, or a dresser has more ornate hardware. You can fake the look of luxe, then, by adding or changing these elements on your cheaper pieces. Simply changing out the drawer pulls on a dresser or side table can change the entire look of the piece, for example. You can also make bigger changes, like putting new legs on a table, chairs or sofa (you can typically find an array of options at home improvement stores or online) or adding trim to plain pieces. Basic trim pieces that you can cut to size only cost a few dollars but can make it look like you spent hundreds of dollars more on your furniture.

3. Upgrade Upholstery

Outdated prints or cheap fabric can be a dead giveaway of low-end furniture, but re-upholstering pieces with better fabrics can make them look more expensive. You can probably handle basic jobs — such as recovering the seat cushions on dining room furniture — on your own with some fabric and a staple gun, but bigger jobs should be left to professionals. Depending on the fabric you choose and the size of the piece being re-upholstered, you can have a chair done for a few hundred dollars; couches and larger pieces cost more. Keep in mind that in some cases, it’s more cost-effective to just buy new furniture, especially if there are structural issues with the piece, but if you have a good quality hand-me-down or yard sale find that just needs sprucing up, an upholstery upgrade will do the trick.

4. Accessorize Thoughtfully

Even the most expensive piece of furniture can look cheap if it’s covered with clutter or poorly accessorized — but a less expensive piece can be disguised by well-styled accessories. A less expensive sofa, for instance, can be jazzed up with luxurious throws and a mix of throw pillows, while tables and shelves are ideal for vignettes, deliberately arranged groups of accessories. Vignettes work best when they are a mix of heights and textures and built around things that you really love. But even if you don’t have a collection of accessories, a simple stack of books topped with a candle or jar of shells or stones, paired with a plant or flower arrangement and a lamp, can help make the room feel pulled together and stylish, and distract from the less-expensive table underneath.

Regardless of the cost of your furniture, your home should always reflect your own personal style and be filled with things you love, which is always en-vogue.

A Multi-Layered House Becomes a Landscape of its Own in Dense Osaka

14 January, 2019 - 21:01
[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

When cities are so dense and plots of land so small it seems like you don’t have room for a yard, maybe it’s time to reconsider what a yard can look like. Presented with the challenge of designing a sunny and spacious residence in a cramped Osaka neighborhood, Japanese firm Tomohiro Hata Architect and Associates went back in time for a solution, imagining what the area looked like before it was developed and aiming to reinvent it for this new purpose.

The architects looked to the nearby mountains and imagined the lush vegetation that once would have flowed down from them into the valleys, using this image as the genesis of their “micro-topography” concept. A series of stacked concrete slabs echoes the stratification of the Earth while providing airy open platforms that support a range of ordinary domestic functions and interplay with nature.

“The stacked ground layer overlaps as ‘sky topography’ when looking up, and changes the quality of the lower space,” says the firm. After consulting with structural specialists, they decided that a structure of three-dimensional branches mimicking those of trees could support the layers and add to the organic feel of the house. This stratified layout produces a series of covered and open spaces and allows for small gardens to be incorporated into all three levels of the home, as well as the roof.

Each layer is porous and permeable to the circulation of both air and the movement of its inhabitants, full of ramps, terraces and staircases that create meandering paths from the bottom to the top and back again. Indoor spaces are enclosed with glass, with private areas lined in warm wood paneling.

All of the layers interact with the external environment, including the cherry trees that line the block, and invite local wildlife like birds and bees into the structure. Ultimately, the design aims to allow people and the city “to become rich in the cycle of the earth repeated in fragments of everyday life.”

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Architecture Can!

14 January, 2019 - 15:00
Architecture Can! HWKN Hollwich Kushner 2008-2018
Matthias Hollwich, Marc Kushner, HWKN
Images Publishing, October 2018

Flexicover | 5-1/4 x 9-1/2 inches | 216 pages | 290 color illustrations | English | ISBN: 978-1864707915 | $30.00

Publisher Description:
Architecture Can! is an intriguing journey through the works and projects of the groundbreaking architecture firm Hollwich Kushner, based in New York. Partners Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner design projects at every scale: intimate, awe-inspiring, and everything in between; from residences to universities, museums, and urban plans.

As two founders of leading architecture social media network Architizer, Hollwich and Kushner frankly admit the power of social media in contemporary architecture practice. Images of new and advanced buildings and concepts travel the globe at high speed, influencing a new generation of projects before the previous generation has broken ground. To stand out, they believe, architecture must "empower people to engage with others, to produce memorable experiences, and to live with a sense of wonder."
dDAB Commentary:
What form should the architectural monograph take in the digital age? Architecture Can! is one answer. Documenting the first ten years of HWKN, aka Hollwich Kushner, the firm of Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner, Architecture Can! resembles a guidebook in size and shape. Its tall pages are more comfortable in the hands than on the coffee table. Following a short manifesto, with large text (akin to mobile-friendly websites) on yellow pages, the projects are presented like an endless scroll: images are cropped and extend to the next page and the next project. Some projects, such as their popular Wendy installation at MoMA PS1, are also given two-page spreads of full-bleed projects culled from Instagram and other social media sources. Following the colorful presentation of selected projects are all 125 projects HWKN projects to date, each presented simply with one b/w image.

Architecture Can! is best when the social media spreads add life, literally, to the projects Hollwich, Kushner, and team designed. Not all of the photos depict the buildings in a flattering or even substantial light (quite a few are selfies or photos about people in their setting rather than about the settings themselves), but they reiterate HWKN's assertion, spelled out below, that buildings are shared experiences. While I'm not convinced by Kushner's assertion that Instagram posts and the like are taking over the role of architectural criticism, but here they become a means of gauging how successfully a design imbues a place with vitality. HWKN's buildings, as Architecture Can! presents them, are lively places indeed.Spreads:

Author Bios:
Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner founded Hollwich Kushner, a leading architecture firm based in Lower Manhattan ... They are a new kind of architecture firm that believes in entrepreneurship - they founded and were named one the world's Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company.Purchase Links:
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11 Online Courses for Architects and Students

14 January, 2019 - 06:00
//">Vecteezy!</a> <a href="">Vecteezy!</a>

Online courses have gained more and more recognition in the past couple of years. In addition to the flexibility and convenience of learning wherever and whenever you want, they provide access to content from well-respected professors and colleges. In the field of architecture and construction, online courses have grown exponentially. Last year, we compiled a list that focused mainly on constructive and material techniques. This time we selected 15 online courses covering a range of subjects. We hope this selection of courses can help you with your next project.

The Art of Structural Engineering: Vaults

Created by: Princeton University
Language: English 
Subject: "In this engineering course, you will learn how to analyze vaults (long-span roofs). The course also illustrates how engineering is a creative discipline and can become art and the influence of the economic and social context in vault design."

Parametric Design and Optimization

Created by: Stanford School of Engineering
Language: English
Subject: "This course explores the techniques and tools used in parametric modeling and computational design as a foundation for design optimization."

Architectural Construction Systems

Created by: Michael Neatu
Language: English
Subject: "Learn how to draw and design wooden, metal and concrete construction systems."

Introduction to Kinetic Facades

Created by: EDS Global
Language: English
Subject: "A beginner's guide to climate responsive facades and design processes."

Home Automation For Beginners: Create Your Own Smart Home

Created by: Gerard ODriscoll
Language: English
Subject: "Learn How to Build Your Own Smart Home Automation System from scratch without getting confused or wasting money."

Fundamentals of Structural Analysis

Created by: Dr. Seán Carroll
Language: English
Subject: "Get to grips with civil engineering structural analysis once and for all."

Introduction to Structural Steel Design

Created by: Adam Brittan
Language: English
Subject: "Learn the fundamental properties and design of Structural Steel."

Design of bridges: Concept, Modeling, Analysis, and Design

Created by: Ayman Kandeel
Language: English
Subject: "Learn the design concept of different types of bridges from one source."

Learn To Read Structural Drawings: From Zero To Hero

Created by: Gokul Saud
Language: English
Subject: "A full course On reading and comprehending Civil Engineering Structural Drawings."

The Art of Structures 1: Cables and Arches

Created by: Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
Language: French & English
Subject: "The course presents the principles of design and structures in cables and arches."

How a Building is Designed and Built (6 Part Series)

Created by: Matthew Morris
Language: English
Subject: "The lessons in the course have been developed to boil down years of on-the-job training into high-impact, bite-sized classes."

Jay Osgerby: "Design is the Answer to a Very Difficult Question"

17 December, 2018 - 04:30

Oxford-born designer, Jay Osgerby has achieved virtually everything there is to achieve in the world of design. Together with his partner Edward Barber, Osgerby runs the internationally renowned Barber & Osgerby design studio. From diverse designs for well-known manufacturers such as Vitra and B&B Italia to the official torch for the 2012 Olympic Games in London and a two-pound coin commemorating the 150th anniversary of the London Underground, Osgerby and his partner have been almost restless in their creation of numerous icons. “I find it quite difficult to not think about work. I’m always thinking about what’s next. I’m terrible at stopping and just thinking.”

While renovating his 1870s house – a project that was only recently completed – Osgerby decided to create a kitchen-cum-living room on the ground floor. However, since the ground floor was damp and in poor condition, he came up with the idea of gutting it and lowering the floor by 1.5 meters to create more space. The result is a remarkably cozy, high room with a huge amount of space. The side of the building facing the garden has been opened up by integrating Sky-Frame windows.
“We’ve created an opening in the building, to let light in. And in doing so, we’ve created a view out. The larger the view, the bigger the aperture, the more you can be absorbed in the view and the more you become part of the landscape outside.”
Jay Osgerby discovered the window manufacturer on a visit to the VitraHaus building of Herzog & de Meuron in Weil am Rhein, South-West Germany.

“Volume and light are the two most important ingredients to make a great space. We dropped the floor to create volume. The light was the second most important thing for me. The system was the best system I could possibly find. I wanted a system which was pretty much invisible when it was closed – to avoid running the risk of feeling like you’re in some kind of prison.” The old fabric of the building and corresponding architecture, combined with lots of light, creates a sense of vastness.

“I decided that I wanted to, more or less, restore the house from the ground floor up,” says Osgerby. He felt that the house had to work for the whole family, adapting to the needs of growing children. His three children, two of whom are teenagers, fill the house with life. “I see life in layers: the base layer – the ground – represents family and friends. The next layer, represents things to be shared, enjoyed and experienced - like great food and nice wine, travel and learning. The final layer – the sky – is work, experimentation, opportunities.”

The walls are pure white, the self-designed kitchen made by the local carpenter is plain and homely. Countless historical collector’s items and some more recent collectibles adorn the shelves and the self-designed glass cabinet, telling stories of an eventful life and many travels. Art lines the walls, including works by distinguished artists. Standing in the center of the room is the Home Table and Ballot Chairs from their own collection – Scandinavian flair meets maximum comfort. Pure and yet so inviting: “Sky-Frame is as purist as can be – because it is derived from pure engineering. A lot of energy went into making something which is barely noticeable. And that is the triumph.” Osgerby and Sky-Frame are a good match: “I love solving problems – finding a way to make things better.”

There is a reason why Osgerby primarily thinks in volume and incorporates the effects of light into his designs: his undergraduate degree was in Design, his master’s in Architecture. “If you’re a furniture designer, you think about the object, you think about the body and how it sits on the object and ultimately about how the object is made, but probably less about how the object actually sits in a space. I think there’s something about that architectural sensibility that makes us think about space,” he says.

If you were to ask those in the know what sets the designs of Osgerby apart, you would be met with varying opinions. The concept of diversity – and, above all, constantly evolving, looking to the future: “It is important to be recognized to help sell your work. But commercial success was never important to us. We always try to break out of these constraints and face new challenges.” When asked what he believes makes for a good design, he plain and simply replies: “Design is the answer to a very difficult question.”

Jay Osgerby has discovered not only his passion for design but more recently, also his passion for photography. His photographs refer to the many journeys he has embarked on. His latest travels took him from Russia to Mongolia on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Osgerby searches for space and expanse in his photography. His pictures exude tranquillity – nature constantly intertwines with precise geometric lines and shapes. “Maybe photography helps me create a sense of balance – it allows me to be in the moment, to stop thinking about the future for once.” Osgerby’s restlessness is momentarily stilled as he looks touched at the freshly printed photographs before him. Taken with his faithful companion, a Leica M10, the pictures would be worthy of any exhibition. Osgerby remains far too modest in this respect as well: “There isn’t anything yet. It’s just the beginning of a hobby.”

This article was previously published here.

Skyscrapers of 2018: Soaring Beyond the Archetypal Crystal Tower

14 December, 2018 - 09:00
© Viktor Sukharukov © Viktor Sukharukov

Either as singular outcroppings or as part of a bustling center, skyscrapers are neck-craning icons across major city centers in the world. A modern trope of extreme success and wealth, the skyscraper has become an architectural symbol for vibrant urban hubs and commercial powerhouses dominating cities like New York, Dubai, and Singapore.

While skyscrapers are omnipresent, 2018 introduced new approaches, technologies, and locations to the high-rise typology. From variations in materiality to form, designs for towers have started to address aspects beyond simply efficiency and height, proposing new ways for the repetitive form to bring unique qualities to city skylines. Below, a few examples of proposals and trends from 2018 that showcase the innovative ideas at work: 

Huamo Lot 10 / Kohn Pederson Fox Associates (KPF)

Courtesy of Plompmozes Courtesy of Plompmozes

Self-proclaimed as a "new form of participatory urbanism", KPF's three-tower scheme in Shanghai is designed for commercial office spaces surrounding a central grand plaza that will eventually become a future museum and cultural hub. Vivid renders of the project highlight the dramatic shifting cantilever that interrupts the otherwise rigid system to reflect the presence of a new skyscraper in the city's skyline.

W350 Project / Sumitomo Forestry Co. + Nikken Sekkei

Courtesy of Sumitomo Forestry Co. Courtesy of Sumitomo Forestry Co.

With an aim to become the world's first supertall wood structured skyscraper, the timber tower in Tokyo is a mixed-use building that emphasizes environmental and social sustainability. Due to Tokyo's frequent seismic activity, the tower is a hybrid system of wood and steel that plans to be built by the year 2041. It may be years in the making, but the proposal is laying the path for a new golden age of timber construction.

Federal Street Auckland / Woods Bagot + Peddle Thorp

Courtesy of Woods Bagot Courtesy of Woods Bagot

Winners from an exhaustive international competition, Woods Bagot and Peddle Thorp have been selected to design a new high-rise tower in Auckland, New Zealand. Drawing inspiration from the natural landscape, the building's design capitalizes on the prevalence of unique geology and fauna within the country.

Moscow Skyscraper / Sergey Skuratov Architects

Courtesy of Sergey Skuratov Architects Courtesy of Sergey Skuratov Architects

Sergey Skuratov Architects' proposal for Moscow's tallest skyscraper is planning to reach a height of 404 meters (1,325-ft) featuring 109 floors. As a multifunctional residential complex, the sleek design of the building seems unexpected, however, hints towards a new spatial organization within its interior. 

Morpheus Hotel / Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)

© Virgile Simon Bertrand © Virgile Simon Bertrand

Inspired by the Chinese traditions of intricate jade carving, ZHA's proposal for Morpheus takes on a fluid form carved by a series of voids. As a hotel, this creates dramatic public spaces and grand living quarters in the interior, while being an iconic sculptural form on the outside. With innovative engineering, this project redefines the typology of the skyscraper. 

Zhengzhou Twin Towers / gmp Architects

© ZMG China © ZMG China

Juxtaposing the horizontality of the new railway station, the Zhengzhou Twin Towers act as a threshold between the city center. The design focuses on integrating itself within the context by the nesting within the interconnected plaza, accentuating the urban design axes, and blending into the city skyline. The slightly taller height and unique facade make the skyscrapers distinctly visible from afar.

Bank of Africa Tower / Rafael de la-Hoz Arquitectos

© Rafael de la-Hoz Arquitectos © Rafael de la-Hoz Arquitectos

Standing at a height of 820-ft, Africa's tallest skyscraper is being built in Morocco and is expected to be completed by 2022. Designed by Spanish architects Rafael de la-Hoz Arquitectos and Moroccan firm CHB Cabinet Hakim Benjelloun, the building is aiming for LEED Gold and HQE ratings.

Green Spine / UN Studio + Cox Architecture

Courtesy of UN Studio Courtesy of UN Studio

After a well-publicized competition that featured some of the world's most famous offices, UN Studio + Cox Architecture's Green Spine was named winner of the Melbourne tower competition. The project, which splits the typical monolithic form into a pair of twisted towers, stood out due to its multileveled public space at the ground levels. The design was selected amongst contemporary firms such as BIG, OMA, and MAD for Melbourne’s landmark Southbank Precinct overhaul.

Lakhta Center / RMJM

© Viktor Sukharukov © Viktor Sukharukov

Soon to become Europe's tallest skyscraper, the RMJM's Lakhta Center is finally nearing completion in its construction. The 462-meter-tall tower is part of a large complex in St Petersburg, alongside a stadium, seaport, and open park spaces. Though this icon is St Petersburg's first supertall building, it is also the world's northernmost skyscraper.

Japan is Selling Dilapidated Homes for Extremely Low Prices to Alleviate its Housing Crisis

13 December, 2018 - 06:00
via Flickr. Image © Bo Nielsen via Flickr. Image © Bo Nielsen

Today, many individuals, both young and old, desire to buy property, redesign, and refurbish an existing house into their dream home. Umbrellaed under terms like “fixer-upper” and “adaptive reuse,” these projects begin with the skeletons of old structures and the building’s history. Many architects around the globe have utilized abandoned structures and transformed them into architectural marvels for both civic and domestic purposes.

Japan, in particular, has implemented a system to help alleviate the country’s current housing crisis. Despite rising urban real estate prices and limited space, over 8 million properties across Japan are unoccupied - according to a government report in 2013. It is believed that around 2 million of these structures are abandoned and deserted. Following the current trends, these numbers continue to grow each year. It is estimated that 21 million homes will be unoccupied by 2033.

via Flickr. Image © Stuart Rankin via Flickr. Image © Stuart Rankin

The Japanese government has allowed these properties to be sold for extremely low prices to alleviate local municipalities and cities from the problems that accompany abandoned structures. Not only are the homes visually unattractive as they decay over time, but they also become prone to fires and vandalism, and diminish the value of surrounding properties.

Despite these issues, in 2015, a government study showed that almost one-third of these properties are the victim of inheritance. Japan’s large elderly population passes these homes to their families prior to or after their death. Many of the new owners strongly resist selling, keeping the home as a family memento.

via Flickr. Image © Stuart Rankin via Flickr. Image © Stuart Rankin

Many can be found on online databases called “akiya banks,” which provide interested parties with the most basic information regarding the listed properties. Although the listed properties might look like a “steal,” buyers must take into consideration a variety of other factors - some stem from Japanese cultural traditions that might be lost on a foreign investor.

via Flickr. Image © Syuzo Tsushima via Flickr. Image © Syuzo Tsushima

An example of this is the vacant structures and apartment units that were once the site of a violent death, murder, suicide, or death that went unnoticed for periods of time. These events, in Japanese culture, can permanently label a residence as uninhabitable. There is even a site called “Oshimaland” with an interactive map littered with fire symbols that highlight many of the tainted properties, some accompanied by the reason as well.

via Flickr. Image © Stuart Rankin via Flickr. Image © Stuart Rankin

Similar government programs have been utilized in countries around the world. Specifically, in Italy, abandoned historic structures were sold or rented for minimal amounts of money to help rejuvenate aging and decaying properties and promote further development.

News via Vice

Come Hell or High Water: Cities Must Evolve in the Face of Climate Change

12 December, 2018 - 20:00
[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

The time to talk about climate change as if it’s merely a hazy possibility that won’t occur in our lifetime anyway has long passed. Multiple recent reports have made it clear that it’s already happening, and its effects will be much worse than previously expected.

In 2016, the Paris climate accords set a goal of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius (at which it’s already failing); the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now says two degrees is both inevitable by the year 2040 and genocidal, set to cause the death of all coral reefs, extreme wildfires, heat waves and other weather events that will subsequently threaten the world’s food supply and transform the global economy.

Clearly, addressing the problem at its source is the most crucial course of action. For the sake of the planet and virtually all life upon it, including our own species, we must rework practically every aspect of civilization, from our energy infrastructure and agricultural practices to corporate and governmental operations (because, while the efforts require widespread support and small actions are still important, the onus to lessen the impacts of inevitable climate change cannot be placed on individuals.) Technology and architecture won’t save the world alone, but it can help, and if we’re going to head off some of the most immediate climate change effects, we have to start now.

Architects, engineers and urban planners have already begun to work on approaches that range from visions of futuristic cities that would take many decades to build from the ground up to more practical and immediate solutions that adapt to the new normal. Extreme weather, rapid influxes of climate refugees and the need to continuously evolve in response to the changing world are among the top issues to address.

Managing Fires and Floods

Flooding is inevitable. Stronger, more frequent storms are already wreaking havoc on the United States and throughout the world, leaving catastrophic flooding in their wake that can extend much farther inland than anticipated, particularly along rivers. The pace of ice melting in Greenland and Antarctica is on track to raise sea levels 26 inches by the year 2100, and many scientists consider that to be a conservative estimate. Cities like Miami, Houston, Jakarta, Bangkok, Manila, Lagos, London and Shanghai are at immediate risk due to groundwater extraction, soft sediments and, in Miami’s case, permeable limestone that will allow water to rise from underground.

Sea levels are rising faster on the east coast of the United States than anywhere else, and locales from North Carolina to Florida already lost 5 inches of coastline between 2011 and 2015. Researchers believe it has something to do with the slowing Gulf Stream, the effects of El Niño cycles and shifts in major Atlantic Ocean weather patterns. Experts predict that many cities could be swallowed altogether within the lifetime of children born in the current decade. 3D animated Google Earth gifs by Climate Central based on an extreme sea level rise scenario from the NOAA show us what this could look like in a few major cities, and it’s not good.

So what are cities doing to plan for this? Not much, in most cases, but that could change soon. Many of the most vulnerable cities are consulting with experts on plans of attack that involve building in safer areas, transforming the most flood-prone zones into buffer areas, integrating green spaces capable of absorbing large quantities of stormwater, elevating new structures, improving the climate resiliency of low-income housing and creating systems that work with, rather than against, a changed waterfront.

Resilient by Design – San Francisco Reimagined by Hassell Studio

For a recent competition called Resilient by Design, which challenged design teams to reimagine the Bay Area in the face of potentially devastating climate change, global design firm HASSELL envisions a new network of green spaces and “water-loving places” connected by canals and creeks. Forging these wide, green waterways creates controlled paths for flooding and plans to use them for transport and recreation. Native plants treat runoff, a “living levee” forms a wetland for restoring habitat and holding stormwater and schools built on higher ground become hubs for water treatment and community activities.

Imagine Boston 2030: Planning for Floods by SCAPE Imagine Boston 2030: Planning for Floods by SCAPE

In Boston, SCAPE Landscape Architecture collaborated with the Mayor on a vision to protect the city’s 47 miles of shoreline as part of the Imagine Boston 2030 initiative. Using the city’s Climate Ready Boston 2070 flood maps, the team demonstrates how flood-resilient buildings, elevated landscapes, waterfront parks, connections to the waterfront and a deployable flood wall system could address rising water and enhance community access to the waterfront at the same time. Key transport corridors like Main Street and Bennington Street will have to be elevated.

“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,” says Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “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.”

Cheonggyecheon Stream in Seoul

In fact, reintroducing natural systems could be key, all over the world. For Seoul, architect Chris Reed of ASLA proposes giving water more space in the city with the knowledge that we can’t hold it back and might as well do what we can to enjoy it. We could “bring new life and richness into the public realm” with fish parks, canal streets, water plazas and other spaces, and transform vacant land into new wetlands that bring value into adjacent neighborhoods. The city’s Cheonggyecheon River is already a great example of this approach, uncovered from beneath roadways and highways and renovated into a central riverfront offering both floodwater containment and recreational space in the heart of downtown.

Water, of course, isn’t the only force of nature we have to protect ourselves from. With wildfires raging across much of the West, many people are wondering what they can do to make their homes more fire-resistant. While land management practices will have to change in many parts of the country to anticipate and mitigate wildfires to the greatest extent possible, fireproofing could at least help salvage some structures when they can’t be stopped. The good news is, a few small changes can make a huge difference, and they can be surprisingly affordable, too.

Gigacrete House

Las Vegas-based GigaCrete makes prefab houses with recyclable, non-flammable materials including steel frames, interlocking wall panels and special wall coatings that make them hurricane resistant, bulletproof and waterproof to boot. A 576-square-foot, one-bedroom model costs just $24,000, and they can be scaled up and customized. Other approaches involve the use of tempered glass, minimizing exposed wood, non-flammable decks, rooftop sprinkler systems, mesh screens that prevent smoldering materials from getting into vents and strategies to clear brush. It’s likely that features like these will increasingly be built into new construction in fire-prone areas.

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[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

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Google Reveals Revised Mountain View Campus Plan by BIG and Heatherwick Studio

12 December, 2018 - 15:00
Google Mountain View Campus. Image Courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group & Heatherwick Studio Google Mountain View Campus. Image Courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group & Heatherwick Studio

New details of Google's Mountain View campus by BIG and Heatherwick Studio have been revealed. Initially announced in 2015, the project has seen several revisions after first running into difficulty with the city planning board. The latest scheme includes a combination of office, retail, public and residential space. Located in North Bayshore, California, the revised plan focuses on the site's natural environment and affordable housing.

Google Mountain View Campus. Image Courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group & Heatherwick Studio Google Mountain View Campus. Image Courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group & Heatherwick Studio Google Mountain View Campus. Image Courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group & Heatherwick Studio Google Mountain View Campus. Image Courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group & Heatherwick Studio

Google will partner with a developer to construct up to 6,600 residential units on its land, with 20 percent qualifying as affordable housing. "We want to see the area transformed into what the City calls 'Complete Neighborhoods,' with a focus on increasing housing options and creating great public places that prioritize people over cars," Michael Tymoff, Google's Mountain View development director, said in a statement. Google says that it worked closely with the city to comply with or exceed stipulations of the "Precise Plan" for development that Mountain View adopted last year.

Google Mountain View Campus. Image Courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group & Heatherwick Studio Google Mountain View Campus. Image Courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group & Heatherwick Studio Google Mountain View Campus. Image Courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group & Heatherwick Studio Google Mountain View Campus. Image Courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group & Heatherwick Studio

The plan calls for 35 acres of open space and starts with 16 acres of habitats and trails, as well as 13 acres of neighborhood parks and plazas. Google stated that, "the scheme intends to create a site made for people, not cars, by providing numerous footpaths and cyclepaths to allow the campus to be easily accessed by pedestrians. This project is part of the city’s vision to prioritize mobility for pedestrians, buses and bicycles in order to reduce traffic in the area. The project also continues the city and Google’s effort towards restoring and preserving the vitality of local ecology and native habitats in the North Bayshore area and incorporating energy-efficient sustainable design to deliver greater health and accessibility for our employees."

Mountain View city officials will be discussing the plans in early 2019. Construction is expected to last 30 months following approval by the Mountain View City Council. You can read Google's full plans for North Bayshore here.

BV House / Traama Arquitetura

12 December, 2018 - 08:00
© Edgard César © Edgard César
  • Architects: Traama Arquitetura
  • Location: North Asa, Brazil
  • Architects In Charge: Ana Luiza Veloso, Amanda Saback
  • Area: 110.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2016
  • Photographs: Edgard César
© Edgard César © Edgard César

Text description provided by the architects. Inserted in a beautiful landscape with a view to a reserve, this compact house was built in the Lago Norte neighborhood, Brasília, Brazil. Environmental constraints such as a big ground level difference and a lot of solar incidence in the terrain had a great influence on how the house was located in the property, as well as in the interior layout and window openings on the facade.

© Edgard César © Edgard César

This single story house reveals simplicity and minimalism with only two materials: concrete and white paint, lined up with the owner's personality. The charm is due to the asymmetries, the volume in the corner of the facade in artistic brick and the box framing two of the main facades. The generous openings in the living room maximize the visual space for the woods and landscaping of the place, as well as providing excellent natural ventilation and light inside the residence.

© Edgard César © Edgard César Floor Plan Floor Plan © Edgard César © Edgard César

The simplicity is also maintained in the interior, with a compact program: living room, balcony, toilet, kitchen, laundry area, bedroom and bathroom, and a garden, are distributed uncomplicatedly in 110m² through an intuitive flow. It is a stripped and fluid project that demonstrates functionality and adds value to the rich surroundings through a subtle architecture that merges with the landscape.

© Edgard César © Edgard César

Architecture That Uses Meshes and Nets for Escape, Play and Rest

12 December, 2018 - 07:00
Courtesy of Numen / For Use Courtesy of Numen / For Use

Architects use meshes and nets as a way to brighten up homes, hostels, and even office spaces. Functioning as a hammock, mesh establish a connection between floor levels. This playful feature often creates unexpected places for leisure, escape, and rest. Below, we've selected 17 projects that feature nets and meshes.

OB Kindergarten and Nursery / HIBINOSEKKEI + Youji no Shiro

© Studio Bauhaus, Ryuji Inoue © Studio Bauhaus, Ryuji Inoue

Jerry House / onion + Arisara Chaktranon & Siriyot Chaiamnuay

© Wison Tungthunya © Wison Tungthunya

The Green Studio / Fraher Architects

© Jack Hobhouse © Jack Hobhouse

Sleep and Play / Ruetemple

Courtesy of Ruetemple Courtesy of Ruetemple

KLOEM Hostel / IF (Integrated Field)

© PanoramicStudio © PanoramicStudio

Devani Home / RNDSQR

© Jamie Anholt © Jamie Anholt

Saigon House / a21studio

© Quang Tran © Quang Tran

Townhouse B14 / XTH-berlin

© Anja Büchner © Anja Büchner

Public Art Installations from Numen / For Use Design Collective

Courtesy of Numen / For Use Courtesy of Numen / For Use

Tower House / Austin Maynard Architects

©  Peter Bennetts © Peter Bennetts

House in Sukumo / Container Design

©  Eiji Tomita © Eiji Tomita

Brazil Pavilion – Milan Expo 2015 / Studio Arthur Casas + Atelier Marko Brajovic

© Filippo Poli © Filippo Poli

Uniplaces Headquarters / Paralelo Zero

© Francisco Nogueira © Francisco Nogueira

Yamashina House / ALTS Design Office

© Fuji-Shokai / Masahiko Nishida © Fuji-Shokai / Masahiko Nishida

Woods of Net / Tezuka Architects

© Abel Erazo © Abel Erazo

Apartment in Poznan / Cuns Studio

© Hanna Długosz © Hanna Długosz

Baan Moom / Integrated Field

© Wison Tungthunya & IF © Wison Tungthunya & IF

Iconic American Buildings Re-Envisioned in the Gothic Revival Style

12 December, 2018 - 06:00
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum / Frank Lloyd Wright. Image Courtesy of Angie's List Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum / Frank Lloyd Wright. Image Courtesy of Angie's List

With its intricate ornamentation and complex ribbed vaulting, Gothic architecture introduced a slenderness and exuberance that was not seen before in medieval Europe. Epitomized by pointed arches, flying buttresses, and tall spires, Gothic structures were easily identifiable as they reached new heights not previously achievable, creating enigmatic interior atmospheres.

Several centuries later, a new appreciation for Victorian-era architecture was reborn in the United States with the Gothic Revival movement most famously depicted by Chicago's Tribune Tower. A series of computer-graphics (CG) renderings done by Angie's List reinterpret some of America's iconic architecture from the 20th century to mirror buildings from the Middle Ages. View the republished content from Angie's List complete with each building's informative descriptions below.

Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco, California)

Courtesy of Angie's List Courtesy of Angie's List

Engineered by Joseph Strauss and Charles Ellis alongside architect Irving Morrow, the Golden Gate Bridge’s art deco flourishes establish it as a landmark that was dreamt up in the 1920s – even if it didn’t open until 1937. The chevron design elements and organic form lighting were Morrow’s response to the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes of Paris, 1925, when the art deco movement was established. But when those curves and panels are replaced with the rigor and, let’s face it, pointedness, of the Gothic revival, the Golden Gate ends up looking somewhat… British?

Terminal Tower (Cleveland, Ohio)

Courtesy of Angie's List Courtesy of Angie's List

Drawn-up in the Beaux-Arts style by architects Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, Cleveland’s towering 1930 landmark is already rich with neo-Gothic and neoclassical elements such as the steeply-pitched roof and arches. But the addition of brightly-lit stained-glass and extra pinnacles is just what the rather stern old building needs for a new lease of life.

The Space Needle (Seattle, Washington)

Courtesy of Angie's List Courtesy of Angie's List

Edward E. Carlson’s iconic needle has a bold enough outline to withstand whatever cosmetic changes our designers add to it. The 604-foot futurist structure was originally painted with shades in keeping with its 1962 World Fair debut’s space-age feel: ‘Astronaut White,’ ‘Orbital Olive,’ ‘Re-entry Red,’ and ‘Galaxy Gold.’ But the Needle still cuts quite a figure in ‘Gothic grey.’ Its base provides support through structural pointed arches, but it’s the intricate mesh of the quatrefoil and clover-shaped windows as you reach the top that would make our version worth the visit.

Lincoln Memorial (Washington DC, District of Columbia)

Courtesy of Angie's List Courtesy of Angie's List

Inspired by his studies in Europe, Henry Bacon drew up his design for this 1922 monument to Abraham Lincoln in the Greek Revival or neoclassical style. But his choice of various types of stone to construct his Parthenon tribute building was symbolic. Materials such as Massachusetts granite and Alabama marble created a ‘union’ theme that would have pleased Old Abe. Our redesigners have kept the stone feel but added clover windows and imposing-looking gargoyles atop those Doric columns for a bit of Gothic shock-and-awe.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York City, New York)

Courtesy of Angie's List Courtesy of Angie's List

Opened to the public on October 21, 1959. It took 16 years for architect Frank Lloyd Wright to finalize the design for the Guggenheim. In this time he produced six separate sets of plans and 749 drawings in total. There’s not a hint of Gothic inspiration in Wright’s eventual modern design, so to re-imagine this beloved building necessitated a total overhaul. Rows of columns spiral around the circular floors, the first floor is decorated with a host of gargoyles and the entrance is granted pointed arches. Our design is a truly terrifying clash of contemporary and medieval.

The United States Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

Courtesy of Angie's List Courtesy of Angie's List

The Air Force Academy’s centerpiece as we know it is a modernist statement structured around 17 glass and aluminum spires that are each composed of 100 tetrahedrons. The chapel’s architect, Walter Netsch of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, invoked some of modernism’s most striking ideas for his 1963 masterpiece. And Netsch’s dramatic spires themselves reference Gothic architecture. All the same, our switch back to stone and inclusion of a major frontal oculus takes away the Cadet Chapel’s key feature of contemporaneity in favor of the medieval.

Transamerica Pyramid (San Francisco, California)

Courtesy of Angie's List Courtesy of Angie's List

San Francisco’s second-highest building was designed by William Pereira and debuted in 1972. The Pyramid borrowed some of the fashionable materials of the time – concrete (16,000 cubic yards in the foundation alone), glass and steel – towards a futurist tower that stands quite apart from its neighbors. When the 1989, 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake struck, the Pyramid shook for more than a minute, its tip swaying almost a foot from side-to-side. Whether the Gothic pinnacles and gargoyles of our rendering would hold on tightly in such conditions, we can’t guarantee!

The Chrysler Building (New York, New York)

Courtesy of Angie's List Courtesy of Angie's List

The Chrysler may be an ostentatious landmark, but it had a stealthy start in life: built between 1928-30, architect William van Alen managed to keep its 125-foot spire secret until 90 minutes before the grand unveiling. The spire pushed the art deco building’s height to 1,046 feet, nudging it past The Bank of Manhattan (now The Trump Building) to briefly become the tallest building in the world. The Chrysler’s Gothic makeover pays tribute to that ambition, its pointed windows seeming to direct the skyscraper, rocket-like, to the stars.

News via: Angie's List