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The latest news on ArchDaily from Business Insider

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    Yesterday, a consortium led by Foster + Partners and Fernando Romero of FR-EE were announced as the winners of the competition for the design of Mexico City‘s new international . Designed in conjunction with a masterplan developed by Arup, the airport will initially include three runways, but is designed to expand to up to six runways by 2062, all served by the single terminal building.

    One of the world’s largest airport terminals at 555,000 square meters, the building is enclosed by a single, continuous lightweight gridshell, the largest of this type of structure ever built with spans reaching up to 170 meters. By utilizing a single airport terminal, passengers will not need to travel on internal train services or underground tunnels, and the design of the building ensures shorter walking distances and few changes of level, all making for a more relaxing experience for users.

    The building is designed to be the world’s most sustainable airport, with the single lightweight shell using far less material than a cluster of buildings, and cooling and ventilation strategies that require little to no mechanical assistance for most of the year.

    mexico city airport

    The building will be serviced entirely from beneath, allowing the monumental space of the airport and the building’s impressive structure to be fully experienced by users. With the structure’s spans in excess of 100 meters, the building is also more flexible than a conventional airport, accommodating all possible future changes in internal layout.

    The use of the lightweight gridshell was also inspired by the “challenging soil conditions” at the site. The structure will be prefabricated and constructed rapidly, without scaffolding. As the most ambitious structure of its kind, it will be a showcase for the Mexican contractors and engineers that work on it.


    The building enclosure will also perform a range of further functions, with the skin of the building providing rainwater collection, solar harvesting and shading, while directing daylight and enabling views.


    In addition, the building will meet LEED Platinum standards, with the building envelope meeting high thermal and acoustic standards. The building will use displacement ventilation to maintain comfortable temperatures for most of the year with little to no additional heating or cooling required.


    Lord Foster said: 

    “Stansted Airport’s reinvention of the conventional terminal in the 1990s was emulated worldwide – this breaks with that model for the first time. It pioneers a new concept for a large-span, single airport enclosure, which will achieve new levels of efficiency and flexibility – and it will be beautiful. The experience for passengers will be unique. Its design provides the most flexible enclosure possible to accommodate internal change and an increase in capacity.

     has really seized the initiative in investing in its national airport, understanding its social and economic importance and planning for the future. There will be nothing else like it in the world.” 

    SEE ALSO: Architecture Lovers Pick The Very Best Buildings In America

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    Accented by colorful and outdoor inspired materials, the new Silicon Valley outpost for GoDaddy complements the company’s lively culture and mobile workforce.

    The free-flowing space is connected by racetrack-themed corridors complete with push-pedal go-karts that circulate energy throughout the interior. The strategy behind the vibrant workplace was to create activity-based spaces tailored to its employees.

    Task-driven furnishings — height-adjustable desks, movable seating pods, and a portable bar — provide unlimited opportunities to suit the needs of GoDaddy employees.

    Opportunities for recreation and down-time were carefully integrated for a seamless experience between work and play. With this animated and fluid environment, GoDaddy’s new workplace holistically supports their talented engineers in driving new technologies forward.

    Check it out:

    godaddygodaddygodaddygodaddygodaddygodaddy5407ccadc07a80022f000076_godaddy des architects engineers_portadagodaddy

    SEE ALSO: Check Out Skype's Stylish Office In Stockholm

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    The Science Secondary School in Kinkplatz, Vienna is the work of late Modernist architect Helmut Richter.

    Considered to be his most iconic and enduring work, Richter’s school is now faced with partial demolition to make way for a conversion of the building’s use and architects from around the world are making an effort to prevent that demolition from happening.

    Influential individuals, from Zaha Hadid to Bernard Tschumi, have signed a petition voicing their dissent and demanding that Richter’s legacy be protected. 

    Richter was particularly well-known for his work in glass, and the Kinkplatz school is a prime example of that interest. bCompleted in 1994, the two main wings of the school have walls and ceilings constructed in glass, as does the central gymnasium. The design is hailed as a masterpiece, and has proven to be a major influence in the work of Austrian architecture students (many of whom Richter taught). The public outcry over its possible destruction has been correspondingly severe.


    The Helmut Richter Committee, formed by 23 architects including names like Frank Gehry and Steven Holl, issued a pledge last week declaring their “opposition to the legacy of Helmut Richter being in any way impaired or disfigured, or even demolished and replaced by new buildings.” This immediately preceded a public petition calling for the historic building’s preservation. To date that petition has over 400 signatures from across the globe.

    Are you interested in adding your support to the Kinkplatz School’s preservation? Sign your name here.

    SEE ALSO: The Unspoken Rules Of Building A House In A Slum

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    546c0301e58ece9f0100007c_check out these images of new york s skyline in 2018_future_midtown_skyline_3 1000x580

    If New Yorkers thought that construction during Michael Bloomberg’s tenure as Mayor was frantic, then what’s coming next might be quite a shock: courtesy of CityRealty, these images show the  skyline in 2018, when many of the city’s current projects will be complete.

    Produced from building models by TJ Quan and Ondel Hylton as a marketing ploy for Jean Nouvel‘s  which recently (finally) began construction, the images include all of Nouvel’s illustrious future neighbors: the “Billionaire’s Row” including 111 West 57th Street, 220 Central Park South, 225 West 57th Street (Nordstrom Tower) and One57; new Midtown developments such as 432 Park Avenue520 Park Avenue425 Park AvenueOne Vanderbilt610 Lexington15 Penn Plaza, and the Hudson Yards towers; and even the latest financial district towers,1WTC, 30 Park Place, 125 Greenwich, and 225 Cherry Street.546c02c6e58ece9f0100007b_check out these images of new york s skyline in 2018_future_midtown_skyline_2 1000x685

    However, beyond just showing the individual buildings, these images display the new urban form taking shape in New York: where hundreds of tall buildings previously combined to give a sense of undulating uniformity to (most of) New York’s skyline, by 2018 this will have given way to a more attention-seeking skyline, with a handful of super-tall, ultra-slender towers piercing the clouds.546c167ae58ece9f0100007e_check out these images of new york s skyline in 2018_future_new_york_city 01 1000x579

    546c0304e58ece5b1c000071_check out these images of new york s skyline in 2018_future_midtown_skyline_4 1000x570

    What’s more, peeling back the glazed surface of this new urban order reveals a stark reality about the lives of the people way down on the ground: with the majority of these new supertalls providing luxury residential properties in a city in desperate need of more affordable housing, these are images of gentrification taken very literally to a higher level.

    Indeed, “Billionaire’s Row” is even nicknamed for those residents who are ousting the lowly millionaires from their prime spot near Central Park.

    546c02f2e58ece78db00005f_check out these images of new york s skyline in 2018_future_midtown_skyline_1 1000x681

    SEE ALSO: The 25 Best Skylines In The World

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    Bosco Verticale by Boeri Studio has won the 2014 , deeming it to be the “most beautiful and innovative highrise in the world.” Selected from a competitive shortlist of towers by Rem Koolhass, Steven Holl and Jean Nouvel, the forested highrise was praised by the jury for bringing 800 trees and 14 thousand plants to the Milan skyline.

    “The Vertical Forest is an expression of the human need for contact with nature,” stated jury president Christoph Ingenhoven. “It is a radical and daring idea for the cities of tomorrow, and without a doubt represents a model for the development of densely populated urban areas in other European countries.”Bosco Verticale, Milan / Boeri StudioStefano Boeri responded, “The Vertical Forest represents a new approach to the highrise building, where trees and humans share their living space. It is the first example worldwide of a tower that enhances the hosting city with plant and fauna biodiversity. I am happy for both Milan and Expo, and for the Italian culture.”

    The biennial €50,000 prize is promoted by the Frankfurt Museum of Architecture (DAM), the City of Frankfurt and DekaBank. You can view all five of the shortlisted finalists for this year’s award, here.Bosco Verticale, Milan / Boeri Studio

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    7 Photon Space (outside at sunset) lg

    UK start-up company The Photon Project has announced its plan to launch the Photon Space, the world’s first intelligent all- living unit.

    Motivated by the major positive benefits that natural light can have on our energy levels, sleep pattern and overall health, the goal of the Photon Space is to create a dwelling that allows its occupants a maximum connection to the outside world.CTF004 roof top Photon Space FULL RES 003

    Posited as an ideal addition to hotels, spas, health retreats, medical centres, and other resorts, the skin of the Photon Space is made of smart glass supported by curving glass beams, switching from transparent to opaque in seconds with the help of an iPhone app.

    1 Photon Space (outside in the day)

    The glass uses a coating that partially blocks out infrared rays and totally blocks UV, reducing the suite’s solar gain and preventing the increased exposure to the sun causing any harm to the inhabitants of the Photon Space.

    2 Photon Space (sitting room looking in)

    In addition, the ability to darken the glass during the day means that users of the suite can match their daylight hours to their body clock, helping international visitors to reduce the time to overcome jet lag from up to a week to as little as a single day.

    3 Photon Space (bedroom in the day)

    “After five years of research and technological advances in the glass systems we work with, we are very excited to be able to manufacture this revolutionary suite,” explains Charlie Sharman, Managing Director of The Photon Project. “As a group of experts in the glass and architecture industry, we are very passionate about bringing its benefits to the market.”

    6 Photon Space (inside at sunset)

    Thanks to the Photon Space’s modular design, it can be constructed in around four weeks. A funding campaign for the Photon Space is currently underway on Crowdcube.

    CTF002 Photon House 007

    Scroll down to see more renderings of the Photon Space.

    5 Photon Space (sitting room looking out)4 Photon Space (bedroom looking in)7 Photon Space (outside at sunset)9b Photon Space (bedroom in the morning)9 Photon Space (bedroom at night)8 Photon Space (outside at night)

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    House In Texas

    Balanced shade, dappled sunlight, and tree canopy views are the basis of the 518 Sacramento Drive house design. 

    The entry is on center with the lot’s primary Live Oak tree, and each interior space has a unique relationship to this central element.

    House In Texas

    Composed of crisply-detailed, considered materials, surfaces and finishes, the home is a balance of sophistication and restraint. The two-story massing is designed to allow for a bold yet humble street presence, while each single-story wing extends through the site, forming intimate outdoor and indoor spaces.

    House In Texas

    The upper story is clad in stucco, articulated as a floating white box to pronounce a street presence and act as a veritable “tree house” for the children’s bedroom zone.

    House In TexasIn plan, the home is organized into clear zones of public and private function, allowing the center courtyard with the primary tree to negotiate the connection between either realm. The layout is arranged to optimize function and experience, where each daily behavior is considered in connection with the next, resulting in a holistic and flowing composition, rather than just a collection of rooms.

    House In Texas

    Massing is composed as two single-story wings which wrap the primary existing Live Oak tree on the site. The 2-story “window wall” maximizes the use of inexpensive windows which frame various views to the tree while creating a rich elevation and allowing for the harvesting of daylight to the entry zone. The upper portion of the wall tapers and folds back to allow the tree canopy to extend and grow.

    House In TexasThe courtyard around the tree terraces down to the yard, acting as a natural amphitheater for gatherings and performances within the wings of the house.

    House In Texas

    Composed as a functional container for life and experience, the circulation space is intended for passage and informal activities, rather than corridors.

    House In TexasThe master suite is as much about its opening to the small yard as it is about the enclosed space it captures. The tongue-and-groove wood ceiling is an accent which continues to the exterior soffit, blurring the lines between inside and outside.

    House In Texas

    The courtyard design capitalizes on the dappled light from the preserved Live Oak tree, which animates exterior and interior spaces at different times through the day. Each space in the house has a special intended relationship with the tree and its perceived space.

    House In TexasThe windows act as playful apertures which activate the courtyard space at night, showcasing the preserved Live Oak.

    House In Texas

    An integrated board formed concrete planter denotes a spatial separation between the living room and the kitchen/dining space, while still allowing connection between the overlapping realms. The skylight allows natural light to penetrate deep into the space.

    House In Texas

    This design is carefully calibrated to allow internal views on the small lot and various amounts of direct and indirect natural light. Each space has more than one type of opening to allow for various connections to the outside and thus nature.

    House In Texas

    Architects: Matt Fajkus Architecture 
    Location: , TX, USA
    Area: 257.0 sqm
    Year: 2014
    Photographs: Brian MihealsickBryant HillTwist Tours

    Project Manager: Travis Cook
    Design Team: Travis Cook; Matt Fajkus, AIA; David Birt
    Design Support: Thomas Johnston
    General Contractor: Brodie Builders


    SEE ALSO: The Best New Buildings On The Planet

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    54a14b29e58ece515700008d_prince charles 10 geometric principles for architecture cause a stir in the uk_6987329180_fc93c4a6d1_b

    Last weekend,  published an article by the Prince of Wales in which he outlined his stance on architecture, reiterating his belief that a return to traditional design principles is necessary to enable sustainable urban growth that meets human needs.

    In the 2,000 word essay, Prince Charles argues that “we face the terrifying prospect by 2050 of another three billion people on this planet needing to be housed,” adding that rather than ”wanting to turn the clock back to some Golden Age” as he is often accused, he is focused on the needs of the future. At the conclusion of his article, he outlines ten principles for architecture which meet the requirements of his vision.

    As is often the case with Prince Charles’ pronouncements on architecture, the article has prompted a strong reaction from members of the profession, with responses ranging from Robert Sakula saying “if more people cared as much as he does we would have a better architectural culture,” to the response of Birmingham City University’s Alister Scott, who said ”there is clear evidence of elitism and his lack of empathy with the problems facing his peasantry.”

    The article by Prince Charles follows on from decades of engagement with the topic of architecture, which infamously began 30 years ago when he described the proposed extension to the National Gallery in London as a “monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend. Following on five years later was his book “A Vision of Britain,” and in the early 1990s construction began on Poundbury, the Leon Krier-designed extension to Dorchester, built on land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall and in accordance with Prince Charles’ personal architectural principles.

    In his essay, Prince Charles sets out those principles in a ten-point manifesto:

    1. Developments must respect the land: they should not be intrusive and should fit the landscape they occupy.
    2. Architecture is a language: new designs should abide by grammatical rules to avoid dissonance with existing structures.
    3. Scale is also key: new buildings should respect both the human scale and the scale of the surrounding buildings.
    4. Harmony − the playing together of all parts: richness comes from diversity, but buildings should be in tune with their neighbours.
    5. The creation of well-designed enclosures: enclosed spaces are both more visually satisfying and encourage walking.
    6. Materials also matter: materials should be natural and local, drawing on traditional local styles
    7. Signs, lights and utilities. They can be easily overused: it is possible instead to control traffic using ‘events’ in the road layout which cause drivers to slow down.
    8. The pedestrian must be at the centre of the design process: streets must be reclaimed from the car.
    9. Density: though density is critical, it can be achieved through traditional typologies such as the terrace or the mansion block.
    10. Flexibility: rigid conventional planning should be avoided in favour of flexible schemes.

    Reaction to these principles has been mixed. BD Online reports a collection of architects who “grudgingly accept” Prince Charles’ ideas, with many pointing out that most of his ten principles can be applied to contemporary architecture, without recourse to traditionalism. Others point out that the nature of his position and the power he wields is undemocratic, with Robin Nicholson of Cullinan Studio saying that “the only problem is that he speaks from a position of untouchable power.” Prince Charles has previously been heavily criticized by Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid and many more for his tendency to influence projects which he disagrees with.

    Writing for the Architects’ Journal, Patrick Lynch of Lynch Architects says “despite certain reservations, I have to say that I think that it is on balance a good thing for a public figure to engage directly with the principles of architecture,” adding that “architecture remains a subject with a history and a tradition, most of which we are almost totally ignorant of today. The question we face is how relevant this is to our society today.”

    Opposing Lynch though, Alister Scott argues that “as Prince Charles suggests the language of planning and architecture does need to be more inclusive but it does need to be understood; basically we need to build better places but for more people but the examples all point towards design credentials for a well-heeled Poundbury settlement than a major town or city with its attendant problems of deprivation, town centre decay and stagnation and lack of investment.”

    The most complete response comes from architecture critic Douglas Murphy, whosearticle for the Guardian states that on reading Prince Charles’ essay it was “hard to know whether to go apoplectic or simply roll one’s eyes: ‘It’s that man again…’”

    “It wasn’t just his power that made Charles’ polemics hit home: they coincided with Britain’s great lurch to the right,” argues Murphy, adding that “Charles and his friends like to portray themselves as the underdogs, as victims of a leftie conspiracy of inhumane modernism, but they couldn’t be more well connected, and their polemics in favour of twee cottage architecture resonate strongly with a public taste for the picturesque and sentimental, and the spurious notion of What People Really Want.”

    Finally, describing Prince Charles’ ten-point manifesto as “essentially a mix of the sensible, the tautological and the downright sinister,” Murphy goes on to give his own principles, including “the city belongs to everyone,” “architecture is not a language,” “honesty is still a virtue,” “the street isn’t everything,” and perhaps most critically his final point: “change is coming: the next century will be pivotal for humanity, and architecture will play a huge role. Cute cottages with nice local stonework won’t help.”

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    2050 parisian vision of a smart city

    Addressing Paris’ housing and density issues, French firm Vincent Callebaut Architectures has developed a proposal for multiple high-rise buildings with positive energy output (BEPOS).

    Comprised of eight multi-use structures inhabiting various locations within Paris, the plan strives to address major  problems affecting each district, while providing key functions for the city. 

    2050 parisian vision of a smart cityCommissioned in wake of the Climate Energy Plan of Paris, the aptly named Smart City aims to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In order to achieve long-term energy goals, the high-rises integrate several energy-production techniques to ensure their constant adherence to sustainable efforts, as well as encourage inhabitants to adopt eco-friendly standards of living in their daily lives.

    Although the techniques employed are unique to each building, the overall goals of the Smart City are cohesive: respect the rich history of Paris while embracing its potential to cultivate a healthier future by decreasing its environmental impacts. 

    2050 parisian vision of a smart cityEach of the tower systems fits within the existing framework of the city, and often directly on top of it, such as the “Mountain Tower” transferring its structural loads through unused ducts and chimneys. The forms of these high-rises are informed by nature, while within their walls, natural processes (passive heating and cooling, oxygenation, rainwater retention) are utilized wherever possible to create self-sustaining units.

    Additionally, the insertion of green spaces, namely community and suspended gardens, bring the purifying effects of rural life into the city and encourage residents to involve themselves in cultivating a sustainable lifestyle.

    In addition to passive and natural energy-conserving strategies, the Smart City also employs innovative techniques. The skins of the towers, for example, respond to sunlight in ways that positively impact the thermal load. The skin of the “Mangrove Towers” is composed of individual cells which form a photo-sensitive electrochemical shell, utilizing the sunlight that hits it to generate electricity for the building.

    2050 parisian vision of a smart citySimilarly, the “Photosynthesis Towers” employ an insulating bio-façade, which generates its own usable biofuel. Other technology that supports Smart City’s self-sufficiency is the “phylolight,” a hybridized turbine-lamp system which supplies both lighting and the energy needed to produce it. 

    Consistently throughout the Smart City plan, the towers’ programs are mixed-used, combining residential, business, and commercial functions, which are divided internally. This combats the need for extensive transportation and cuts the city’s emissions from fuel. The Smart City reinforces the idea that cities can continue to grow while maintaining their character and contributing to a healthier future. 

    2050 parisian vision of a smart city 

    SEE ALSO: Chinese President Xi Jinping: ‘No More Weird Architecture’

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    54a99ed8e58ecee47e000065_ad classics united states embassy in havana harrison abramovitz_unnamedThe United States’ diplomatic presence in Cuba is housed in a severe, early-1950s office building perched on the shoreline over  Bay.

    Walled off from the city and pulled back from the street, the building has the uneasy presence of a haunted castle – shunned and maligned by its neighbors, but subjected to the unending scrutiny of suspicious eyes and intrigued gossip of the locals.

    With its regimented orthogonalities and the unmistakably foreign imprint of modernist efficiencies, both the embassy’s architecture and the optimistic political spirit it embodies seem to belong to another era, a cooperative past no longer conceivable in the wake of a half century of underhanded diplomacy, calumnious propaganda, and failed attempts to restore relations between the embattled countries.

    Designed in 1950 by the renowned team of Wallace Harrison and Max Abramovitz, architects of the CIA Headquarters at Langley and a host of other civic projects, the embassy was completed to great critical acclaim in 1953. It earned a prominent place that same year in an exhibition on “Architecture for the State Department” at the Museum of Modern Art, alongside another consulate by the duo in Rio de Jainero and seven other embassies from around the world.

    The scheme in Havana was simple and elegant: a sprawling ground floor level with two courtyard patios that contained information, visa, and consular desks, and a setback office tower that housed diplomatic offices and bases of operations for more sensitive government missions. [1] Clad in imported travertine panels, the embassy’s clean lines and simple rectangular geometries epitomized both the industrial aesthetic of International Style modernism and the seemingly inescapable influence of encroaching American culture.

    Not only did the appearance of the building exude an imperialist presence, but so too did its conception and construction. In order to work off their leftover debts from the Second World War, several European countries contributed to the financing of the embassy through the provision of raw materials and direct monetary support. The travertine façade, for example, was provided by the Italian government, while other materials were exported from France, Belgium, and England in order to reduce those countries’ debt burdens. [2]

    havana embassyTrue to its name, the appeal of International Style modernism had little to do with a concern for regional sensitivity or local conditions. Its theoretical origins as a universal architecture of standardized mass production generally precluded the necessity (and sometimes the capacity) of contextual adaptation at the project level. Accordingly, while Harrison and Abramovitz displayed a token amount of interest in the building’s immediate environs, it was only as an afterthought to the larger design concept, and early attempts at environmental tuning were met with mixed results.

    For example, the architects aligned the thin office block on a north-south axis, hoping to intercept the strong east-west winds of the shoreline through large operable windows. [3] Well intended though they were, the actual ability of these windows to ventilate the building and offset the searing greenhouse effect of the glass facades was minimal and unreliable, ultimately leading to an extensive mechanical and material renovation in 1997. [4]classics united states embassy in havana harrison abramovitz_escla 1000x664

    It is no coincidence that the building bears a remarkable resemblance to another, more famous house of diplomacy. While the architecture of the United Nations Secretariat Building in New York (1952) has often been attributed to Niemeyer and Le Corbusier, two of the giants behind its design, it was actually Harrison that was placed in charge of the international collaboration. Like the embassy in Havana, the Secretariat has an oblong, rectangular footprint aligned along a north-south axis. Windows cover the east and west facades; while solid, light-colored panels cover the north, south, and uppermost profiles.

    The result is the form of a capital pi (Π), heavily outlined and infilled with glass, a scheme that has since been redeployed in projects around the world. [5] Although the UN prototype was primarily the brainchild of Niemeyer—who used the scheme to great success five years later in Brasilia—its success as a model was undoubtedly appreciated and borrowed by Harrison in Havana.

    The calculated decision to build the embassy in this particular style had important cultural meaning in the context of the broader, global political climate. Modernism deliberately represented the political values that the United States hoped would inspire the world to follow in its lead: a promise of prosperity and opportunity through the mechanisms of technology and industrialization.

    54a99b9ee58eceffe500004d_ad classics united states embassy in havana harrison abramovitz_u s _department_of_state_2In the context of the Cold War, it was equally important that the classicism of prewar Soviet embassy architecture reflected a dialectic opposition to this philosophy: one of imperialist monumentality, intimidation, and grandeur. [6] Although Soviet architecture abroad eventually made an about-face to align more congruently with its proletarian values, for the time being, these contrasting approaches defined one of the Cold War’s more intriguing and prolific cultural battlefields.

    Due to external political and military circumstances, this appeal to ideology through architectural mechanisms was ultimately unsuccessful for the United States, and the building’s role as an official embassy was short-lived. The Cuban Revolution of 1959 and Fidel Castro’s installation of a Soviet-aligned communist government led to the severing of diplomatic ties between the United States and  in 1961.

    Removing its official presence from the island, the U.S. Government effectively handed the keys to the Swiss Embassy for safeguarding, allowing the building to maintain its sovereign status and the diplomatic immunity of its occupants. Since the partial detente negotiated by President Carter in 1977, the building has housed the abstrusely titled “U.S. Special Interests Section,” a unofficial diplomatic outpost still operating formally under the auspices of the Swiss government.

    54a99df9e58ecee47e000063_ad classics united states embassy in havana harrison abramovitz_flickr_user_terry_feuerborn 1000x671The building’s function as an ideological instrument has never subsided. In addition to its enduring symbolic role as a beacon of U.S. imperialism, rampant speculation that the building has served as a base for CIA operations on the island has legitimized the enmity of the Cuban public. During the second Bush administration, the U.S. government increased tensions further by deliberately flashing human rights messages across the façade of the building.

    In response, the Cuban government erected 138 flags on the “Anti-Imperialist Plaza” in front of the building to block the messages out. [7] This architectural “pissing contest” continued until 2009, when President Obama took office amid promises to overhaul embittered U.S. relations with Cuba. [8]

    54a99bcae58ecec53000005d_ad classics united states embassy in havana harrison abramovitz_havana us building 1With a thaw in tensions now imminent, the building is poised to renew its original purpose as a symbol of collaboration, testing the resiliency of architecture’s function as an evocative, semiologically charged object of society’s collective memory.

    As the likely home of the future American embassy, can the building again come to represent the optimistic vision of a better future, as was once promised by L’Esprit Nouveau? Or will the physical object be forever sullied by its associations with a darker political past? Perhaps this is the enduring capacity of architecture to take on new meaning, against which architects may be but powerless Geppettos, makers of objects destined to take on lives of their own.

    [1] Friedman, Andrew. Covert Capital: Landscapes of Denial and the Making of U.S. Empire in the Suburbs of Northern Virginia. University of California Press, 2013.

    [2] “Former United States Embassy, Havana, Cuba.” DoCoMoMo (International Committee for the Documentation and Conservation of Buildings, Sites, and Neighborhoods of the Modern Movement). Accessed 29 Dec. 2014 at

    [3] Wise, Michael Z. “The Architectural Importance of the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba.” Architect Magazine. 23 Dec. 2014. Acccseed 29 Dec. 2014 from

    [4] “About the U.S. Interests Section.” United States Interest Section.” Accessed 29 Dec. 2014 at

    [5] See, for example, the South Lanarkshire Council headquarters in Scotland; the Greece-Bosnia-Herzegovinia Friendship Building in Sarajevo; the Sokos Hotel Viru in Estonia; and the National Congress Building in Brasilia.

    [6] Robin, Ron Theodore. Enclaves of America: The Rhetoric of American Political Architecture Abroad, 1900-1965. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1992.

    [7] Gualy, Natalie. “Reconnecting Cuba’s Waterfront; An Urban Strategy for Post-Revolution Havana.” Master’s Thesis, University of Washington. 2012. Accessed 2 Jan. 2015 from

    [8] See generally, Rowe, Michael. “Havana from the Ground.” Huffington Post. 23 May 2009. Retrieved 3 January 2015 from

    ArchitectsHarrison & Abramovitz
    LocationCalzada Street


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    Ice Hotel

    Every year for the past 25 years, the Swedish town of Jukkasjärvi has erected its famous ICEHOTEL. Built almost entirely from the ice of the nearby Torne river, the building begins to take shape in October and is ready for business by December.

    Fifty thousand people visit annually, many choosing to stay overnight in the rooms which maintain a balmy air temperature of 17ºF. The sculptural and often ornate design of the building’s “art suites” is the work of handpicked artists from around the world, and is one of the most popular aspects of staying at the hotel. 

    Ice Hotel

     The actual construction of the hotel requires eight weeks of work from a 100 man team, but the preparation for this process begins months in advance. In March, 1,000 tons of ice from the river Torne are harvested and put into cold storage for the summer. Come October, this ice is used to construct everything from walls to furniture within the hotel (the beds themselves are little more than ice slabs covered in reindeer hide).

    The main structure of ICEHOTEL is “snice,” a sturdy combination of snow and river ice—the 55,00 square meter building requires about 30,000 cubic meters of snice for its completion. This mixture is sprayed onto metal molds to create the vaults of the hotel.

    Ice Hotel

    This year, ICEHOTEL has 61 rooms within its icy halls, with 72 heated rooms separate from the main structure. Forty two artists from 11 different countries participated in the interior design of the suites. The building is expected to last until April, when the spring thaw will cause it to melt back into the Torne.

    See the rest of the pictures of the hotel below. 

    Ice Hotel Ice Hotel Ice Hotel Ice Hotel Ice Hotel Ice Hotel Ice Hotel Ice Hotel

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    ZHA_Beijing New Airport (1)ADP Ingeniérie (ADPI) and Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) have unveiled designs for what will be the world’s largest  passenger terminal – the Beijing New  Terminal Building. 

    The Daxing scheme, based off the bid-winning planning concept by ADPI, hopes to alleviate traffic from Beijing’s existing Capital , which is operating beyond its planned capacity.

    “Initially accommodating 45 million passengers per year, the new terminal will be adaptable and sustainable, operating in many different configurations dependent on varying aircraft and passenger traffic throughout each day,” stated ZHA in a press release.

    “With an integrated multi-modal transport centre featuring direct links to local and national rail services including the Gaotie high speed rail, the new Daxing airport will be a key hub within Beijing’s growing transport network and a catalyst for the region’s economic development, including the city of Tianjin and Hebei Province.”

    ZHA_Beijing New Airport (2)

    Under the leadership of the Beijing New Airport Headquarters (BNAH) and the Local Design Institute, the joint design team consists of ADPI and ZHA, along with competition consortium group members Buro Happold, Mott MacDonald and EC Harris.

    ZHA_Beijing New Airport (3)

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    54d0cc26e58ece457a0004f0_when one size does not fit all rethinking the open office_5420de1fc07a8086fc000088_path foundation renzo piano_fondation_jerom 530x602

    Workplace design has undergone a radical transformation in the last several decades, with approximately 70% of today's modern  now converted to open plans.

    However, despite growing concerns over decreases in worker productivity and employee satisfaction, the open office revolution shows no sign of slowing down.

    The open office model has proliferated without regard for natural differences in workplace culture, leading to disastrous results when employees are forced into an office that works against their own interests. If we are to make  more effective, we must acknowledge that ultimately, design comes out of adapting individual needs for a specific purpose and at best, can create inviting spaces that reflect a company's own ethos.

    The concept of the  had noble beginnings in architecture and promised natural light, flexible space, and freedom from oppressive walls and rooms. Many companies have adopted open office plans in order to promote the values this layout supposedly represents such as transparency, collaboration, innovation, and even egalitarian visions where the CEO shares a desk alongside his employees.

    But despite all of their supposed benefits, a number of studies have revealed the downsides to  offices. In one such study, organizational psychologist Matthew Davis found that "though open offices often fostered a symbolic sense of organizational mission, making employees feel like part of a more laid-back, innovative enterprise, they were damaging to the workers' attention spans, productivity, creative thinking, and satisfaction." 

    54d0c6bae58ece5c5e0004f0_when one size does not fit all rethinking the open office_543c62fdc07a80762d00015f_1305 studio office 1305 studio__j7a8310

    Another study found even more extreme repercussions of the typology, revealing that as the number of employees working in a single room increased, employee attendance correspondingly decreased with those working in fully open offices out 62% more than those in single offices. [1]

    So why do open plan offices perpetuate in the wake of so much criticism and research-backed evidence against them? The answer first and foremost lies in their economic advantages. The purported benefits of the open plan office often mask their underlying function — to cut down on real estate costs by cramming the maximum number of employees into the minimum amount of space.

    As workers spend less and less time in the office due to the proliferation of mobile devices and the ability to work remotely, corporations are less willing to spend money on partially filled offices. Therefore, the shift to open plan offices could be a very smart decision on the part of employers in terms of saving on operating costs, but it raises questions about how work actually gets done in the office environment.

    54d0c9b8e58ece5c5e0004f1_when one size does not fit all rethinking the open office_53391df2c07a80cb6b0002dc_airbnb s european operations hub in dublin In some settings, open workplaces may have a particularly positive impact if individuals can gain from increased social interactions. In creative environments that thrive on interaction and learning from colleagues, the positive aspects of open plans may even outweigh the negative consequences of decreased productivity. Many corporations seek to physically demonstrate their company mission and continue to believe that open layouts encourage employee interaction.

    Technology companies in particular often design their offices in the spirit of many startups, which have open flexible plans to accommodate rapid growth. Facebook's mission, as stated by Mark Zuckerberg is "to make the world a more open place" and this ethos is reflected in their office designs, with their new headquarters designed by Frank Gehry expected to house the world's largest open office. Google also has an office design that embodies their corporate personality and appropriately caters to the demographic of their young employees.

    54d0c0efe58ece990100055d_when one size does not fit all rethinking the open office_51c8ddf3b3fc4b29c100017b_google campus dublin camenzind evolution heMany of the complaints arising from open offices may be due to the fact that the design has widely proliferated in the last decade with very little consideration to individual workplace needs. In response to an inflammatory article criticizing the open office trend supposedly inspired by Google, Kay Sargent writes "Any headline that says "Google got it wrong" is bound to catch attention. But we don't think that Google gets it wrong. We think Google gets it right — for Google. The folks who get it wrong are the ones who try to slap Google-like space and policies onto their own organization without understanding what it is that they really need."

    A company that thrives on collaboration and creativity would logically have a very different work environment than a more traditional business practice in which work can be completed independently. However, the enormous success and glamour associated with startups in recent years has driven even the largest corporations to mimic office designs of their smaller counterparts, regardless of whether or not it suits their workplace culture.

    54d0c130e58ece990100055e_when one size does not fit all rethinking the open office_51841f19b3fc4b3b17000041_bohlin cywinski jackson honored with lifetiThere are numerous ways to achieve the purported benefits behind open offices in ways that simultaneously create positive workplace interactions, inviting offices, and even act as metaphors for a company's vision. Steve Jobs, for example, was one of the earliest proponents of designing the offices of Pixar to enhance spontaneous collaboration. Designed in the late nineties when cubicles were still very much the norm, Pixar's headquarters includes an expansive atrium which acts as a central hub for a building that includes offices for computer scientists, animators, and others.

    Making the decision to move employees from all different departments into a single building was important to Jobs as he believed that the chance encounters prompted by the atrium space could prompt innovation, a sentiment often heard about the open plan office. The Pixar headquarters differs from many of today's offices, in that most of the offices are private and arranged in a U-shaped plan around a central meeting area. Pixar had experienced the distracting environment of cubicles in their previous headquarters, and thus had chosen to create private offices for their new building while effectively creating a collaborative environment.

    CEO John Lasseter declared the inherent success of the building when he stated "…I've never seen a building that promoted collaboration and creativity as well as this one." This building may serve as an example which successfully embodies a corporate ethos and enhances collaboration, all while managing to avoid the difficulties with open offices. [2]

    54d0cab4e58ece9901000561_when one size does not fit all rethinking the open office_539f2313c07a80569e000970_wieden kennedy ny workac_23_wieden_kennedynCreating common circulation spaces that encourage or even force workers to interact on their way to their desks is another means by which companies attempt to enhance workplace culture. Similar to the strategy of the atrium in Pixar's office, the Bloomberg headquarters in Manhattan establishes an area called "the link" through which every worker and visitor must pass to proceed to the other floors. Additionally, elevators do not stop on every floor, which forces employees to take stairs through parts of the workplace they may not otherwise see and encourage interactions with those in other departments.

    Unlike Pixar, however, Bloomberg's offices employ a completely open floor plan with glass conference rooms to create visual continuity across the entire space. Their office design thus acts as a physical metaphor for their corporate goal of creating more transparency in the marketplace. According to an article by Seth Stevenson, the employees at Bloomberg are surprised at how often they bump into their colleagues throughout the day and this increased interaction prompts individuals to gain a better sense of everything taking place at the company.

    Additionally, as Bloomberg invests in and works with the founders of many startups, they have found success in adapting the open plan to a larger scale thanks to the ways in which it allows people to collaborate across disciplines and easily check in with colleagues about upcoming deadlines. 

    54d0c143e58ece990100055f_when one size does not fit all rethinking the open office_54178432c07a80984c000042_square headquarters bohlin cywinski jacksonOther workplace design strategies include bringing places and activities present in many people's daily lives into the office itself, possibly to encourage people to work in the office rather than at home in an age of online meetings and mobile connectivity.

    Google offers areas for yoga classes and other recreational activities within their offices, whereas Square's new San Francisco offices are designed to work like a city, complete with "avenues" and a "town square." Their wide hallways feature large tables and restaurant style booths for collaborative work or informal meetings, and a coffee bar in the middle functions to draw people from the entire office together for casual meetings.

    Taking the metaphor of a city a step further, Square has even been experimenting with bringing pop-up stores and artisan merchants into their offices, a feature which references the kinds of businesses that employ the company's mobile payment system.

    Additionally, their office design varies across cities, with an office in Japan incorporating tatami rooms for meeting places and giving each office a unique sense of "place"— and thus further adapted to fit a specific workplace culture. [3]

    54d0c318e58ece9901000560_when one size does not fit all rethinking the open office_53d1ba5ac07a80405d000020_pandora media inc new york office aba studiInstead of working to perpetuate mundane offices that copy each other with row after row of desks, designers should promote greater flexibility within open plan environments and adapt workplace design to a company's individual culture. Gensler's 2013 Workplace Survey reveals "Across industries, we found that balanced workplaces — those prioritizing both focus and collaboration — score higher on measures of satisfaction, innovation, effectiveness, and performance."

    This could explain the emerging trend of "hybrid" workspaces which often utilize movable furniture systems and couches that offer comfortable environments for workers to meet in small groups or individuals to retreat for focused work. This is one step towards designing offices that offer a greater variety of spaces, but in too many cases these hybrid designs are simply a formulaic application of three or four different types of work area, which still don't take into account the specific needs of each office.

    True hybrid offices should be informed holistically by a company's workplace goals and go beyond the implementation of simple furniture systems. In the case of Pixar and Bloomberg for example, their desire to increase spontaneous employee interaction was addressed through architectural decisions such as defining unique circulation patterns and designating gathering spaces to bring everyone in the office together at various times throughout the day.

    These offices in particular do not attempt to implement the open plan as the only way of encouraging communication and transparency, and rather, these ideals are visible throughout the space and speak to corporate identity and unique ways of working.

    For too long office designs have adopted a singular model, and if modern work environments are to truly be successful they must adapt to a multitude of working styles present in an increasingly digital age.

    Office designs such as Google's become synonymous with a specific corporate culture unique to Google, while Square's offices seek to create a dynamic workplace inspired by the urban culture in which their products thrive. These designs distinguish themselves through purpose-driven strategies that create engaging environments with varying spaces, thus ameliorating many of the issues stemming from uniform and faceless open plans.

    Most importantly, the new workplace ideal should not rely on a collection of buzzwords to foster innovation, because ultimately, design with intent is the only way to save the modern workplace from becoming a place of dread.


    1.       The Open-Office Trap
    2.       Pixar Headquarters and the Legacy of Steve Jobs
    3.       Why Square Designed Its New Offices to Work Like a City

    SEE ALSO: Why The Open Office Makes You Distracted, Exhausted, And Insecure

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    What if the manufacturers of the phones and social networks we cling to became the rulers of tomorrow’s cities?

    Imagine a world in which every building in your neighborhood is owned by Samsung, entire regions are occupied by the ghosts of our digital selves, and cities spring up in international waters to house outsourced laborers.

    These are the worlds imagined by self-described speculative architect,  in his latest series of animations entitled ”New City.”

    Read on to see all three animations and learn more about what’s next in the series.

    Liam Young’s London-based think tank Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today explores the “consequences of fantastic, speculative and imaginary urbanisms” through techniques of fiction and film, with extremely high definition animations accompanied by short stories written by Jeff NoonPat Cadigan and Tim Maughan. The imagery produced seeks to “help us explore the implications and consequences of emerging trends, technologies, and ecological conditions,” exploring emerging trends across media, technology, and popular culture in order to exaggerate them and better understand our own world alongside our future.

    The think-tank is being developed as a model for an architectural practice informed by research and speculation as products in and of themselves rather than buildings as final products.  is often employed by the think tank, as Liam Young tells ArchDaily:

    “The skyline animations have been developed to be shown as super large scale projections, larger than the body so the audience has to move across the panorama, inhabiting it as they would do a city or building. Each animation is loaded with detail so as each time it is watched you might discover something different. The scale of the projections mean you are able to fully immerse yourself in the imaginary city and consumed by the soundscape you can sit and read the short story set in the city.”

    This latest series epitomizes many of the goals of the think-tank by looking at cites on a macro-scale and exaggerating trends across various stages of industry. The animations produced in the series thus far focus mainly on the technology sector and take existing cities as precedents for an exploration of themes and subsequent social commentary.

    For example, in the animation entitled “Keeping Up Appearances” a future city is imagined in which almost every visible sign in the urban skyline is an advertisement for Samsung and the glowing logo represents the ownership of that particular piece of real estate.

    Based on a phenomenon occurring in many South Korean cities in which Samsung has begun to move into property development, in this exaggerated scenario the idea of corporate entities as driving forces behind real-estate development and growth becomes disturbingly plausible, while highlighting the real-world fact that many corporations have revenues which surpass the GDP of some countries. Young comments:

    “The branded skyline is just the most visible consequence of our gadget allegiances. What I am suggesting is that our relationships to technology are in fact generating entirely new forms of city, and new notions of place or site itself. Where we are in the world matters far less now than how we are connected and who we are connected to. We now see new forms of city generated around operating system choices, who we like on facebook, our twitter network and so on. I am much closer to my virtual community than I am to my physical neighbors. The network has allowed ‘non state’ actors to permeate every aspect of our lives.” 

    The next video in the series, entitled “The City in the Sea,” looks at the very real issue of outsourced labor and industrialized cities in the developing world.  

    Taken to its extreme in this animation, the imagined city is completely detached from any kind of nationalistic identity and only exists to provide a corporate haven for manufacturers that is devoid of regulations and taxes. According to Young:

    “The City in the Sea is a multicultural city collaged from photos taken on expeditions through the outsourcing territories of India and China. The floating corporate city is built on the Pacific Ocean garbage patch and drifts in international waters, outside of national labor laws to become a free trade zone supporting the mega companies based on land. It is a city that connects to a long tradition of free states, from the traditions of pirate utopias, islands that existed with their own laws and governance to the speculations of offshore data havens on the abandoned naval fort Sealand or Google’s mysterious barges. We also see the same desires to escape jurisdiction playing out on land with the formation of special economic zones and free trade regions. These forms of territory are forcing us to reimagine what a border might mean in the age of the network.”

    The third video in the series takes on a much more ephemeral quality and symbolically represents an element that is vital to our everyday lives, yet invisible to most. 

    The idea of our online identity has become increasingly tangible to anyone that uses Facebook or surfs the web. Each of us possesses vast amounts of important information that is stored in “the cloud” but this notion has very little physical connection to our lives. Most are probably not aware of where their data is stored, but it is usually held in large data banks in places such as the city of Prineville, Oregon. These unassuming cities hold some of the world’s most sought after goods: personal identity stored digitally.

    Young also foresees data centers such as this as a new architectural frontier and describes its significance:

    “This part of New City is built for machines, it is the physical landscape of the cloud, our generation’s cultural landscape. I am really interested in what these physical sites of the internet actually mean, they are a completely new cultural typology and architects need to take the data center on as a project. Is the internet a place to visit, are they sites of pilgrimage, spaces of congregation to be inhabited like a church on Sundays? Would we ever want to go and meet our digital selves, to gaze across server racks, and watch us winking back, in a million LEDs of Facebook blue? Every age has its iconic architectural typology. The dream commission was once the church, Modernism had the factory, then the house, in the recent decade we had the ‘starchitect’ museum and gallery. Now we have the data centre, the next forum for architectural culture.”

    It is clear that the technology sector has already played a transformative role in our global economy, and Liam Young’s work gives us a glimpse at how technology may finally influence our built world. By illustrating these potential future scenarios and exaggerating them, Young opens a platform for discussion on how to take control of our own built world. But what is next in the series? What other pressing cultural issues require attention if we are to understand our built environment? Young tells ArchDaily:

    “I am interested in continuing to look at the new types of ‘city’ that are emerging out of the network. Cities are increasingly being designed not for the people that occupy them but for the technologies and algorithms that are being built to understand them and manage them. Cities developed based around the logic of machine vision, satellite sight lines, Wi-Fi weather systems and so on are all of interest. These technologies are fundamentally changing what cities mean and these types of speculative projects are critical to play out possible scenarios for discussion.”

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    5521ebbbe58ecea9f800000c_civilization 0 000 a skyscraper for a new advanced society _03 736x1000Imagine a future in which all the Earth’s divisions are removed: countries abolished, borders dissolved, and governments overthrown.

    Such is the version of planet Earth for which “Civilization 0.000″, the 2013 master’s thesis project by Dimo Ivanov of RWTH Aachen University, is designed.

    Envisioning a future free of “unnatural division” and where the earth’s resources are measured and meted out according to human need, the project proposes a series of interlinked skyscrapers or “0.000 Units” that harness local earth resources.

    Each of the units assumes one of 6 key functions: living space, education, resource management, production, energy storage, and electricity generation. Functions are determined by the environment in which the units are sited.

    Inspired by Jacque Fresco’s notion of the resource-based economy, Civilization 0.000 responds to what Ivanov describes as “our present dominant form of social structure—the so-called consumer culture… A system that pursues profit and not sustainability.”Arch DailyAt 520m tall, the Civilization 0.000  would stand on par with some of the highest  in the built world. Ivanov proposes that the first of the units would be placed at Cape Horn in Southern Chile, and specialize in electricity generation. Making use of the ample wind, wave, and tidal energy of this region, the structure would utilize a combination of 19 wind turbines, 4 wave power plants, and 6 tidal power turbines to create electricity.5521eb9ce58ecea9f800000b_civilization 0 000 a skyscraper for a new advanced society _02 1000x655The entire structure is engineered to provide maximum energy levels, and would convert an estimated 40% of all kinetic energy received into usable electricity. It is projected that the skyscraper would create 100 million kWh of renewable energy each year. Hugging its coastal site at ground level and sinking 260m below the surface of the sea, Cape Horn’s Civilization 0.000 appears to emerge from the ground plane, clad in a material that the architect likens to the “surface of shark skin”.5521ec55e58ecea9f800000e_civilization 0 000 a skyscraper for a new advanced society _04 700x1000Ivanov foresees a mixed-use program, with functions including research and education, a heliport, power stations, a port, and living areas. On-site accommodation in the structure’s upper levels would house 500 residents; 100 of these would be students, the other 400 scientists and researchers. Restaurants and social areas would support the residential program, alongside facilities for sport and leisure activities.

    SEE ALSO: 18 brilliant ideas for the skyscraper of the future

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    The American Institute of Architects (AIA) have announced the recipients of the 2015 Housing Awards. Currently in its 15th year, the awards are designed to “recognize the best in US housing design” and “promote the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource."

    This year, the jury awarded ten designs in three categories. 

    One/Two Family Custom Housing:

    Bridge House (Kent, CT) / Joeb Moore & Partners

    10 most impressive houses of 2015This weekend home sits along a 300 foot ridge that runs parallel to the Housatonic River and Kent Falls State Park. The house design references and interacts with the various geological movements on the site. The historic covered bridges that abound in the area also inform site strategy and material choices.

    The house appears to spring out of the sloping topography and then turns ninety degrees, spanning across the landscape which rolls directly under it. Two opposing concrete foundation structures containing dual hearths anchor a floating wooden form that houses living and dining programs.

    Marlboro Music: Five Cottages (Marlboro, VT) / HGA Architects and Engineers

    10 most impressive houses With a shortage of residential space for musicians, Marlboro Music developed plans for five new cottages on a 15-acre site adjacent to its campus at Marlboro College. The design was inspired by a Cape Cod cottage, a 400-year old typology derived from 17th century English settler’s dwellings in New England and the primary inspiration for Marlboro College’s centuries-old farm buildings.

    The cottage’s small footprints, sloped roofs, compact volumes and indigenous materials reinforce Marlboro Music’s place amidst the lush Vermont landscape of rolling hills and streams. Arranged around meandering 150-year old stone site walls, the new cottages preserve the bucolic nature of the surrounding area.

    Old Briar (Lauderdale County, TN) / University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Architecture and Design

    10 most impressive houses of 2015Located in rural Lauderdale County, Old Briar, is the childhood home of the clients who, after twenty-five years of working and living in Chicago, are returning to share their agricultural heritage and values of stewardship with their children and grandchildren.

    The home they sought needed to communicate their ethics of sustainable agrarian practices, respect for the landscape as a regional resource, which is deeply rooted in their upbringing. In this sense subdued, it also needed to provide invitation and welcome, engaging both the daily tasks of farming and domestic life and the special times of family and community celebration.

    Studhorse (Winthrop, WA) / Olson Kundig Architects

    55319fc5e58ecee0080001a4_aia names 10 most impressive houses of 2015_10055_00_studhorse_outlook_n32 1000x749Set in the remote Methow Valley, Studhorse responds to the clients’ desire to experience and interact with the surrounding environment throughout all four seasons. The house is composed of four separate detached structures surrounding a central courtyard. Each structure is rotated toward different dramatic elements in the surrounding landscape such as the nearby Studhorse Ridge and Pearrygin Lake.

    Public areas, including the family room, kitchen, and bar are grouped together in the main building. Private areas – the master bedroom, kids’ bedroom, and den – are separated in an adjacent structure, with guest rooms in yet another, isolated to allow for independent use. A fourth structure houses a sauna, removed from the cluster of activity frames a view looking out over the valley below.

    Multifamily Living:

    Bayview Hill Gardens (San Francisco, CA) / David Baker Architects

    10 most impressive houses of 2015Previously the site of a disused motel, Bayview Hill Gardens provides 73 green, supportive homes for formerly homeless families and youth aging out of foster care. The first of its kind in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco, the new supportive building brings refreshing vibrancy and “eyes on the street” to a derelict corner on a developing corridor.

    The transit-oriented building features extensive community space, custom artisan details, a unique art partnership with a local gallery representing developmentally disabled artists, and African-inspired design elements to reflect and honor the history of the neighborhood.

    Broadway Affordable Housing (Santa Monica, CA) / Kevin Daly Architects

    10 most impressive houses of 2015All of the units at Broadway are for low-income families earning between 30% and 60% of Area Median Income. The design of this housing complex clusters economical, repeatable housing blocks and two fully wired community rooms around the canopy of an existing shade tree. Site density is encouraged by replacing a vacant nursing home with a three story, four building, 33 unit complex with a green roof.

    Sustainable techniques were incorporated into the design from the planted roof and wall that insulates and slows run off to the underground cistern for rain water retention to the custom designed window hoods whose forms were derived from solar orientation studies. Two bedroom units are placed on the upper levels and are connected by latticed bridges that envelope a central, shared courtyard. All of the units face this central courtyard and every room in each unit has access to natural light and ventilation.

    The North Parker (San Diego, CA) / Jonathan Segal, FAIA

    10 most impressive houses of 2015The affordable housing project houses 27 units on the floor above the ground plane and four commercial spaces, which consist of two restaurants, a beer-tasting bar, and an architectural office all engaging and interacting with each other. The street level façade recedes into the property, forming outdoor community gathering and interaction spaces serving the retail, thus opening the property completely to the community.

    Multiple entrances through different nodes of the project allow you to transfer between the commercial ground plane along the street, to the interior garden and courtyard space and then up the stairs to the second level residential circulation path. Tenants enter their units through semi-private exterior patios raised two feet above the adjacent public walkway.

    Specialized Housing:

    160 Massachusetts Avenue Tower (Boston, MA) / William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc.

    10 most impressive houses of 2015This 16-story mixed-use building creates a center of gravity and a strong identity for the Berklee College of Music campus within Boston. Most prominent is a 40 foot high performance/dining space that fronts onto a major Boston thoroughfare, showcasing student performances nightly.

    Twelve floors, housing 380 students plus a fitness center and music practice rooms, sit above the performance space. Six double height lounges on the residential floors help build community by linking two floors of students.  In support of Berklee’s growing programs in music technology, two floors below grade house the largest recording studio complex in New England.

    John C. Anderson Apartments (JCAA) (Philadelphia, PA) / , LLC 

    10 most impressive houses of 2015JCAA is a 56-unit affordable senior housing development located in Philadelphia’s historic Washington Square West neighborhood. A public/private partnership was forged between the DMH Fund (a not‐for‐profit organization focused on addressing needs of youth and seniors within the LGBT community) and a highly experienced affordable housing developer to turn their vision into reality.

    The involvement of DMH Fund provided the structure by which members of the community could remain active participants throughout the detailed design and construction phases and insured that the community would have a say in all major decisions made along the way. John C Anderson Apartments is the first “LGBT‐friendly” affordable senior housing project to be developed in the eastern United States with such direct community involvement. Its realization has been the source of great community pride.

    La Casa Permanent Supportive Housing (Washington, D.C.) / Studio Twenty Seven Architecture + Leo A Daly

    10 most impressive houses of 2015La Casa is a permanent supportive housing facility designed for the District of Columbia. It is the first permanent supportive housing project for the Department of Human Services. Rather than function as a shelter, La Casa will provide permanent, supportive housing for forty men.

    The architects were fortunate in having a municipal client that required design quality that “meets or exceeds” that of adjacent market-rate buildings. As the first permanent supportive housing facility in the City, La Casa is an important milestone for the District in its effort to redefine the concept of housing for the homeless community.

    The 2015 AIA Housing Awards jury:

    • Stephen Schreiber, FAIA (Chair, University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
    • Jon Dick, AIA (Archaeo Architects)
    • Kathy Dixon, AIA (K. Dixon Architecture)
    • Clair Enlow (Freelance Writer)
    • Jody Mcguire, AIA (SALA Architects)

    For more information on the Housing Awards or this year’s recipients, visit

    Project descriptions via AIA

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    Qatar world cup venue

    Qatar‘s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has unveiled the fifth proposed venue planned for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, this time designed by London-based Pattern Architects.

    Titled "Al Rayyan Stadium,” the 40,000-seat Qatari-inspired structure will be built on the site of the former Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, of which 90 percent of its materials generated from demolition are expected to be re-used for either public art projects or on the new stadium. 

    “The façade of Al Rayyan Stadium is formed from seven patterns, representing different aspects of Qatari culture. The patterns blend together seamlessly to tell the story of the nation. They are based on highly abstracted shapes, which echo decorative motifs found in Islamic architecture,” says the SC.

    Qatar unveils fifth world cup venueDune-like structures will surround the stadium, housing hospitality areas, concessions and other services. Nearby, will be a mosque, aquatics center, athletic track, cricket pitch, tennis courts and a hockey pitch. Shaded walkways, a skate park, outdoor fitness center, cycling and running track will also be included on the site’s premises.

    As with the ’s other planned World Cup stadiums, Al Rayyan will be cooled for year-round use.

    Qatar unveils fifth world cup venue

    After the World Cup, the stadium will be reduced to 21,000 seats and will be used as the new home of the Al Rayyan Sports Club – one of Qatar’s most popular football teams. It’s dismantled upper tier will be donated to “nations in need of sporting infrastructure.”

     will collaborate with Ramboll and AECOM.

    Al Rayyan Stadium استاد الريان from DeliverAmazing on Vimeo.

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    floating hotel

    A winner of the Millennium Yacht Design Awards, Salt & Water‘s concept for a Floating Hotel aims to introduce tourism onto inland waters without disrupting the natural harmony of its surroundings.

    Their design consists of two parts: a central floating body and separate catamaran apartment units.

    The main body of the Floating Hotel contains a reception space, restaurant, event hall, café and offices, with pathways connected to the catamaran apartments.

    Each catamaran can accommodate up to four guests, and contains a salon, galley, bathroom, a hall with storage space, and a sleeping area.

    By separating their catamaran from the dock, guests can find and pick their own perfect vacation spot.

    floating hotel 2Hotel patrons can relax outdoors on the flying bridge or beach platform, from which they can enjoy the water for swimming, diving, fishing, and sun bathing.

    55761782e58ecef46900004a_salt water design floating hotel with catamaran apartments_interior_2 1000x600By slowing navigation of the catamarans to a leisurely pace, guests are encouraged to connect with the water and sky around them with uninterrupted views afforded by the geometry and large windows of the catamarans.

    55761778e58eceaa2a000059_salt water design floating hotel with catamaran apartments_interior_1 1000x600

    SEE ALSO: 50 incredible hotels you should sleep in during your lifetime

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    Paris tower

    Paris has approved its first tower in over 40 years; the city council has agreed to move forward with Herzog & de Meuron's 180-meter-tall "Triangle Tower" - or "Tour Triangle" - after initially rejecting the proposal last year.

    The controversial plans have been the center of an intense debate since its unveiling in 2008 on whether or not Paris should preserve its 19-century skyline. 

    As Gizmodo reports, the Swiss architects sold the tower to the city by claiming its glass facade will "disappear" into the skyline.

    “Almost everything the architects say has one message: This building is invisible,” as Foreign Policy pointed out last year. “As if to reinforce this strange duality, the renderings omit Paris’s one true existing skyscraper: the wildly unpopular Tour Montparnasse, built in 1973.”

    Paris tower 5Once built, the tower will be Paris' third tallest structure, after the 324-meter Eiffel Tower and 209-meter Montparnasse Tower. It will house a 130-room hotel, restaurant, Sky Bark and 70,000-square-meters of office space.  

    Paris tower 4 copyParis tower 4The building will be the city's first tower realized after its height limitations were removed in 2010, which prohibited the construction of buildings over 36 meters. 

    Paris tower Paris tower 3Paris tower 6

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    3_Cam009_2_FFF_smIn our article for this cliff-hanging project by Modscape published last year, we said that all it really needed was James Bond and an invisible Aston Martin in the garage.

    Well, the images presented by OPA (Open Platform for Architecture) for their new project offer us James Bond and a (sadly visible) Ferrari.

    Perhaps it's not quite what we expected, but either way it's a big step forward for the super-villains lair market: Casa Brutale gives us wall-to-wall water and concrete set into cliffs above the Aegean Sea in what OPA promises will be a literally ground-breaking development.


    Unclad and simple, the house is all about modesty, making no impact on the landscape beyond a surface swimming pool and a set of steps. Descending these steps, though, brings you to the entire point of this home; an enormous glass façade set flush into the cliff face, bringing an incredible view of the Aegean sea to the entire residence.

    Upping the stakes, the living quarters are topped with a skylight that turns out to be, in fact, the swimming pool - made of reinforced glass, it functions as the only other window in the house, diffusing the sunlight to soften the hard surfaces of the building itself and giving you views that could plausibly claim to be 100% water.


    With jaw-dropping features like these, OPA chose to keep the rest restrained. Simple, raw concrete surfaces and slabs set off by aged wood and steel form the rest of the project, placing an open living area around the main stairs and a master bedroom on the mezzanine floor, making the incredible water views perfectly visible from the bed, which is also made of cast concrete. The whole thing is cooled by the landscape and the swimming pool, thanks to the design's clever twist - aside from the big chunk of rock removed from the cliff, there's very little impact on the landscape.


    An inverted Casa Malaparte — brutalist, plain concrete mixed with water, light and rock — OPA says that their concept "seeks for an investor or an ambitious owner to finance its construction." Fill the pool with sharks for extra super villain points, although that might make the view from the bed a little off-putting.


    SEE ALSO: Paris is getting its first skyscraper in over 40 years — and it will be a futuristic 'Triangle Tower'

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