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Architecture

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How Diseases Shaped Architecture in the Past

An in-depth article in The New Yorker last month described the history of modern architecture and came to the conclusion that much of what we view as “modern sensibilities” can be traced back to the tuberculosis epidemic of the early 20th century. Specifically, a groundbreaker was the 1933 Paimio Sanitorium, a hospice for tuberculosis patients in Finland, designed by Hugo Alvar Henrik Aalto, was a big shift away from the 1920s and 1910s. What had been the norm: dark buildings lit with lamps and fires, covered with fabrics and draperies, was all gone. The new sanitorium was “rigidly geometric, with long walls of expansive windows wrapping its façade, light-colored rooms, and a wide roof terrace with railings like the ones on cruise ships—all the hallmarks of what we now know as modernist architecture.” In fact, this rigid geometric shape and long expansive windows can describe just about every skyscraper being built for the last seventy years, in true Bauhaus tradition.

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World’s Tallest Mass Timber Building to be Built in Australia

Australian software company Atlassian is putting its new headquarters in a mass timber and steel 40-story building, which will be the world’s tallest “hybrid tower.”

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3 Architecture Firms Proposing New COVID Testing Units

Despite all the re-openings of the economy and the lifted restrictions, COVID is still with us, and testing continues to speed up, not slow down. But testing is in so much demand, especially in hard hit states like Arizona and Texas, where lines for drive-thru testing can be hours long, that many are looking for alternative testing sites.

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12 Architecture Reforms to Recreate Innovative, Smart Construction

In a new book about architecture education, Draw in Order to See: A cognitive history of architectural design, author Mark Hewitt takes the stance that architecture education is in need of reform, resulting in structures that are inefficient, unimaginative, and don’t properly suit form or function. In the book he lays out twelve reforms that he says architecture schools should implement—some of which are being taught here and there, but none of which are mandated by national National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) standards. These twelve reforms are:

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Good Construction vs. Good Social Media: Building in the Era of Instagram

ArchDaily recently tackled a topic that may seem odd at first, but which they make a solid case for, providing a surprising amount of evidence to deal with: architecture and construction are being driven not just by form or function but by photographability, to accommodate the culture of Instagram and Pinterest.

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What You Need To Know About Becoming an Architect

Architecture is an exciting field—behind every building there is a whole team of architects working on each and every detail. If you’ve ever looked at blueprints and thought “I could do that” or looked at a building and said “Why not me?” then this article is for you.

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China Bans “Copycat Architecture” and Supertall Skyscrapers

A new policy, put forward by the Chinese government’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, has decreed that so-called “copycat architecture” or architecture plagiarism is strictly prohibited. It also severely limits the height of skyscrapers.

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Evolo Magazine Names Healthcare Emergency Skyscraper First Place

In the annual Evolo design competition, this year focused on skyscrapers, the magazine made a timely decision to name the Epidemic Babel the 2020 winner. The skyscraper, which is designed by Chinese architects in response to the COVID-19 crisis, is designed to be built at a moment’s notice at the site of an outbreak—a kind of pop-up hospital that can take mass casualties.

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Homes Opened for Virtual Tours

Frank Lloyd Wright is undeniably the grandfather of architecture in America, considered by many to be America’s best and most influential ever. Architects, builders, and even just art lovers travel to see his buildings like a pilgrimage, and many of even his lesser-known works have been turned into small museums dedicated to him and his Prairie Style.

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One of the Greenest Buildings in the World on Showcase

Opened in 2014, One Central Park in Sydney Australia looks at first like a building overrun, the ruin of a high rise that has been overgrown in some future apocalypse. A park at the foot of the building literally continues all the way up the structure, as vegetation from more than 250 different plants and flowers cover the building. They look pretty, provide shade, and send a statement: this building is sustainable.

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Pandemic Architecture: International Ideas Competition

ArchDaily is sponsoring a design competition for designing a city in post-pandemic times—specifically, urban designs. We’ve seen all too well, from Italy to China to New York City, how a tightly-packed population can spread disease rapidly to devastating effect. It is with this in mind that the Pandemic Architecture Competition is being held to look for innovative new designs that manage to house many people while keeping them safe.

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Everything Old is New Again: Architectural Lessons About COVID

COVID-19 has changed the country irrevocably and the fallout will last for decades if not centuries. There is no way to foretell all the many ways that the world will be different because of the pandemic, but some architects are looking to past styles when thinking about future construction. Everything old is new again.

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How COVID-19 Will Change Architecture

It’s hard not to pay attention to the environment around you during this massive health crisis, whether you’re weathering out the storm at work or working from home (or, worse, laid off). Many people are using their quarantined time to disinfect, clean, and organize, and it has caused many people to reevaluate the spaces they live in and the spaces they hope to return to soon, including public spaces such as hospitals, airports, gyms, offices, and hotels.

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World’s Tallest Wooden Skyscraper Built in Rural Norway

In a town of 10,000 people, surrounded by farmland, is not where you’d expect to see the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper. But in the Norwegian town of Brumunddal, about 100 kilometers north of Oslo, you’ll find just that.

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Two Men Sentenced in Architecture Forgery Scheme

Two California men were sentenced to one year in jail and five years probation after they were convicted of more than 200 counts of forgery in an architecture and engineering scheme.

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The Future of Architecture is Post-Industrial

In the 1960’s there was the so-called “white flight” movement, which drove middle-class Americans to the suburbs and left cities for the poor. New York City, famously, was denied federal bailouts in 1975 and spiraled into chaos and crime.

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How the Brain Responds to Architecture

We all know that we respond emotionally to architecture. The style and quality of a building can brighten moods, put people at ease, or depress and cause anxiety. But recently research psychiatrists have been studying the effects of architecture on the mind, and the results are intriguing.

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How the Dutch Use Architecture

If you were to guess which country on earth had the highest agriculture exports, you’d probably pick the United States, and you’d be right. But if you were to pick second place? Would it be Canada, with its vast land area? China, with their bustling export business? It would have to be a big country, wouldn’t it? Known for cutting edge technology?

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What is Classical Architecture and Why Is There an Uproar?

In recent weeks, the architecture community has been in a tizzy over a document that was released from the Whitehouse entitled “Making Federal Buildings Great Again.” As can be guessed from the title alone, the proposal was presented by the Trump administration, and it was controversial. But what does it all mean and why is there a controversy at all?

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Architecture School Closing After 88 Years

The school of Architecture at Taliesin will shut its doors in June after 88 years producing some of the greatest architects in America. The school was founded nearly 90 years ago by arguably the greatest architect in American history, the man behind Falling Water, the Guggenheim, and hundreds of other Prairie-Style homes and buildings around the world.

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Architecture Produces Reality, Says Danish Architect

"The Danish meaning of architecture is the art of building," Bjarke Ingels said. "I think, unlike the art that is displayed in a museum or in a gallery, is that architecture is more representational. What defines architecture is that it actually produces reality."

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The Case for “Dumb” Cities

High-tech “smart cities” are becoming all the rage over the last twenty years, but there is currently pushback on many fronts saying that what we need are “dumber” cities—ditching the data and embracing the lessons learned over the past millennia.

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Tragic Fire Reveals Secrets into Medieval Architecture

In April of 2019, an electrical fire in the roof of the Notre Dame de Paris, a cathedral that has stood as a national and international landmark for 850 years, sparked a blaze that tore through the ceiling beams and partially collapsed the roof. However much a tragedy, architects are turning lemons into lemonade by using the reconstruction process to determine just how, exactly, the magnificent cathedral was built and stood so solidly for so many centuries.

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Ringing In The New Year With New Designs

There are many shake ups in the world of architecture in the last year. Africa’s tallest building was completed. Europe’s first underwater restaurant launched. Architects and regular citizens alike watched in horror as the Notre Dame de Paris burned.

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Lord of the Rings Hobbit House Being Built for AirBnB

"In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a Hobbit-hole, and that means comfort." –J.R.R. Tolkien

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: More than Just a Slogan

A slogan that we heard as kids in school has entered a more professional lexicon: the world of architecture. Yes, architecture has long been about trying to be more sustainable and there have been some extreme cases of recycling products to build modern structure, but now it’s taking on a whole new meaning as modern architects increasingly look for ways to make their buildings environmentally friendly, cheaper, and even more beautiful.

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A New Generation of Stadium

Competitive video games are growing like crazy around the world, particularly in East Asia, but now the first ever free-standing esports arena is being built in the Western Hemisphere, set to house the Overwatch League of the Philadelphia Fusion, with a target start date of 2021.

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One World Trade Center Leading Sustainability Charge

The observatory of One World Trade Center, the main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex, has a distinct smell to it. Aside from offering 360 degree views of New York City, the observatory has piped in the smell of trees and plants native to New York: beeches, mountain ashes, and red maples.

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Hostile Architecture: Keeping the Public Out of Public Spaces

We’ve all seen it, though we may not have realized what we’re looking at: there are fixtures all over a city that are designed to keep people from being comfortable. And there’s a movement underway to return these public spaces to the public.

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Some of the World’s Scariest Buildings

From museums to houses to office buildings, these structures are designed to not only serve their function but to surprise, intimidate, and even scare.

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Architects are Becoming the New Psychiatrists

It’s an old axiom in business that you must understand the minds of your employees, but that is being taken to the next level in architecture, where architects are being forced to envision a world of the future.

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Living Walls are Becoming More Prominent in Urban Areas

Gone are the days when a “green” building was merely covered in creeping vines. In a new trend that is part of both urban beautification and environmentalism, “living walls” are appearing all across downtown areas in the United States and abroad.

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House Built by Robots and Digital Fabrication Could Change Everything

A new house built in Switzerland, designed by the ETH Zurich University, could be one of the first steps in a construction revolution. The DFAB house (digital fabrication) was developed by the university and two dozen partners as part of the Next Evolution in Sustainable Technologies (NEST)project.

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Are Pre-Fab “Lego” Houses the Solution to the Housing Crisis?

Not much has changed in the home construction industry in the last fifty years. Workers show up to a site, dig, pour, frame, sheath, and finish a house, with a nationwide average cost of $428,000 a piece. And that’s when there’s proper space to find that jobsite and enough skilled laborers to do the work.

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Could “Tall Wood” Buildings Be the Future of High Rises?

In what may seem counter-intuitive to progress, there is a global resurgence of so-called “tall wood” buildings, which are defined as structures that are made primarily from timber framing and are more than fourteen stories or fifty meters tall.

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Uprooting Green Space Can Have Decades of Impact

We’ve all seen a construction project tear up existing grass, trees, shrubs and earth—temporarily, to be replanted and “restored” later. But what impact does the temporary disruption really have on the landscape, fauna, and human usage?

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Growing Up Instead of Out

As cities grow, it’s inevitable that they must begin to increase in density. Urban sprawl will always exist, but city centers grow, and there’s only one direction for a downtown to grow: up. As they grow up instead of out, they’re faced with many positives and negatives. This is healthy and positive. Growth in a city is good. But the question of whether you’re growing in the right ways is important for a building planner to consider. Here are a few pluses and minuses to increasing density:

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Universal Access to Parks and Plazas

Parks and plazas are designed as gathering places for communities, meant to enrich lives and cultural experience, but recent studies show that that is not the case. While the elderly make up 20% of the population, only 4% of park users are elderly. The problem, according to one study, is accessibility.

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Modular Construction Business Booming

According to the Commercial Construction Index, demand for modular construction is increasing, and industry insiders see it as a major growth area.

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Modern Architecture on the Cutting Edge

With all the talk of modernizing the industry, it’s also important to take a look at the amazing new innovations that are coming out of modern architecture. Here are some of the greatest new buildings that have flown under the radar. And many of these aren’t in grand operahouses or libraries, but are in quiet, utilitarian uses.

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Antarctic Construction Project Estimated to Cost $250 Million

In what is expected to be harsh conditions, a New Zealand construction company is undertaking a $250 million development on the Scott Base of Antarctica. The 10,000 square foot base, comprising three buildings, is expected to house 100 personnel against the freezing temperatures.

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How to Choose the Right Glass for Your Project

With such rapid advances in technology, the options for something as basic as glass are no longer simple. There are extensive selections to choose from when building your project, and your purpose, geography, and usage play an essential role.

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In Addition to Loss of Trade Workers, the Construction Industry Also Needs Architects

Ten years ago when the economy dropped, not only did many workers leave the industry, but many students fled the architecture and surveying programs in college. Now, when those students would normally be maturing in the job field, there is a stunning lack of experienced and new people to fill those roles.

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Architecture Firm Creates a Lush Oasis in Center of City

With a population of more than twelve million, the city of Sao Paolo, Brazil, is a thriving metropolis with a bustling economy and miles after miles of concrete, asphalt, and steel. But one architecture firm is doing its part to make an oasis deep in the heart of the city.

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Frank Gehry: Love Him or Hate Him

Despite being named “The Most Important Architect of Our Age,” by Vanity Fair, Frank Gehry got off to a shaky start. According to Gehry, “I was a truck driver in L.A.. . .I tried radio announcing, which I wasn’t..

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Australian High-Rise Made Entirely of Wood

The Green Movement is creating a bit of a time warp in Australia, as builders just revealed they’ll be constructing a nine-story building made entirely of wood. While it isn’t the tallest wooden building in the...

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A Basilica Built to be Completed in 144 Years

La Sagrada Familia, or the Church of the Holy Family, is one of the most long-running architectural projects in the world. The Sagrada Familia, a Catholic basilica in Barcelona, was begun in 1882 by the...

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Korean Highway Transformed into Park

It may seem as though there’s not a lot you can do to remodel a highway. Streets are for driving, and without cars, they’re just narrow strips of concrete in the center of town. Well, Netherlands-based...

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New House Designs Expand Definition of Buildable Space

My grandparents live on a hill overlooking the Salt Lake City valley. They have an amazing view: their second-floor balcony has always been the place to watch the fireworks on the Fourth of July. I remember in 2002...

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The Glass House: by architect Philip Johnson

An icon of modern architecture, the Glass House stands out as both an example of minimalism and an art piece in and of itself. Made of steel, brick and glass—a lot of glass—the house is...

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Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House Iconic, Crumbling

Although best known for his iconic Prairie Style (flat or low-sloped roofs, long cantilevers and a strong sense of integration with the landscape), groundbreaking architect Frank Lloyd Wright was also the designer of...

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New Building Proposal Surpasses Technological Capabilities

Architects are always looking for new and wild ideas that, though completely impractical, will stretch the art of construction. The Great American Architect himself, Frank Lloyd Wright, famously proposed...

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I.M. Pei: Iconic Architect Despite Flaws and Challenges

Still working at age 99, Ieoh Ming Pei, better known as I. M. Pei, is the architect behind many iconic construction projects, ranging from the massive and corporate—the 72-story Bank of China masterpiece that...

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Paris Showcases Architectural Security

A new construction project is being unveiled in Paris: an eight-foot tall wall surrounding the base of the Eiffel Tower. It’s being done in response to recent terrorist attacks in the country, including the...

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The Greenest Building on Earth

Opening on Earth Day last year, Seattle’s Bullitt Center has been the greenest building on the planet. You wouldn’t know it to look at it. It appears to be nothing more than a six-story office building...

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Future Exists in “Circular Cities”

By now we’ve heard of the circular economy, a process for making the world more sustainable, creating a cycle that reuses and captures resources. Now, circular economies are turning to urban planning to make our cities into circular cities. Right now, more than half of the population lives in a city, and by 2050 that will rise to two thirds. If we’re going to continue to build up and out, we need to figure out how to better use resources.

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