June 30, 2009

Beyond Media 2009 ::: Urban Visions

The final contents of the URBAN VISIONS exhibition can be seen online. The exhibition aims at testifying the ability some cities had in seeing their transformations in perspective, in looking "beyond". The observed cities are Helsinki, Milan, Medellín, Zaragoza, Belgrade, Turin, New Orleans, Paris, Bologna and Mumbai, as part of a wider survey which considered, for example, the problematic case of Beijing. The exhibition will be open to the public for the whole duration of the BEYOND MEDIA festival at July 9-17 at 5 pm with an introduction by the curator, Michele Bonino.

June 29, 2009

Grand Expansion

Proposals for King Abdallah's grand expansion of the Haram Mosque in the Holy city of Makkah

green convention

Follow the architects LMN, as they tour the 1,200,000 sq.ft Vancouver Convention Centre, in British Columbia, Canada

Koolhaas Video

June 25, 2009

on the boards: Wolfsburg plaza

anOtherArchitect, in collaboration with landscape architects TopoTek1 and structural engineers Bollinger+Grohmann have recently released designs for a proposed roofed pedestrian walkway in Wolfsburg next to Zaha Hadid´s Phaeno building

on the boards: Tallinn City Hall

The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has been awarded first place in the design competition for a new City Hall in Tallinn, Estonia. Like most projects by BIG the architecture is derived by rationalised organisational principle, this time to maximize natural lighting by breaking up the building function into small blocks - this allows for courtyards to be created at various levels as well open up the ground floor as an extension of the city

on the boards: House of Art & Culture

The competition entry for a House of Arts and Culture to be built in Beirut, Lebanon by Latvian studio NRJA (No Rules, Just Architecture). The design aims at being a tapestry of the city, giving a modern view of the different national, cultural and religious traditions.


June 24, 2009

House of the Week 028: Desert Nomad House

Built along the base of a mountain range in Tucson, Arizona the Desert Nomad House by architect Rick Joy is composed of a cluster of three vividly rusted metal boxes arranged around particular views. The interior of the boxes in contrast to the harshness of the desert climate, are finished with soft maple floors and wall panelling exuding a human comfort.

June 23, 2009

housing solutions??

The closing of Kaufmann Design, for many has signalled the end of pre-fabs primordial return. Prefab had returned to the pages of flashy architectural journals as the fix to both the global demand for housing - affordable or otherwise, as well a means to green the way we construct our houses by reducing waste, and a host of extras that could be added - solar panels, grey water systems, etc. But perhaps others took it a bit too far - a recent entry of a pre-fab house by Daniel Libeskind puts into disrepute the eco-credibility of many prefabricated houses whilst mocking his endeared portfolio.
Many argue that a business model geared towards those financially equipped to afford a free standing single family residence on a self-owned property, like the David Adjaye designed Ed's Shed, was at the core of the demise. Added that single family houses generally run counter to the eco-practice in favour of density. The pre-fabricated house ran the course of most toys of the affluent, now being put down to rest.

In Jamaica prefabricated or prefab is often interchangeable with the term pre-cast since much of the work is typically made from pre-cast concrete. Added it is also synonymous with large housing estates built for low-income families. The use of pre-fab, has unfortunately been associated with poor quality, a stigma due mostly to its cost-effectiveness than it's performance.
Manley Meadows, Jamaica
However in these two opposing markets, of differing construction the solution may conceivably lie. The parting prize for Kaufmann and her cohorts may be the lessens shared with her neighbours from the Caribbean - providing a prefabricated housing solution that is economically built and simultaneously attractive to an upwardly mobile market. A task unachieved by precast. Furthermore the variety of options that make them uniquely customizable, caters nicely to the desire of the individual.


June 22, 2009

Architect David Ling at home in his New York City loft in Manhattan.


A cinematic portrait of the Dutch architecture firm MVRDV including interviews with directors Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, and the owners of the Didden Village house, and mentions of the works Westerdokeiland, Rotterdam Market Hall, Parkrand and others.

June 19, 2009


The École Nationale Supérieure d'architecture de Paris-La Villette is proposing a post graduate degree centred around sustainable architectural design at an urban scale, considered a new paradigm of nature in the city. For more follow the link

blog wunderlust: 19 June 2009

High Line review, in pictures | the architecture of Star Wars | diversity in design | Tata to build world's cheapest car apartment | a new architecture criticism | sounds green to me | Shigeru Ban interview and the father of American Landscape Architecture

also check out "He is Fresh and Everyone Else is Tired" an article by Ian Volner and Matico Josephson for Triple Canopy that recovers Mayor John Lindsay's far-reaching plans to transform New York City in the 1960s and its lessons for urban development for the Obama administration.

The blog wunderlust is a weekly round up summarizing the architectural highlights, news and web links, that don't otherwise fit the format of this blog. If you have any to share feel free to drop me an email.

June 18, 2009

on the boards: Kunsthaus

Proposal for the extension to Kunsthaus art museum in Zurich, Switzerland by REX-NY. The expansion includes permanent galleries, temporary exhibitions, education and event spaces, offices and workshops.

climbing the ladder...

In last week's blog wunderlust we reported that we were snubbed once again from the YAMoPo (Yet Another Most Popular) a listing of architecture blogs created by ArchDaily. Most interesting in fact that when the formulaic criteria used compared architechnophilia with other sites, listed us in the top ten. Oh well... I guess the the folks at ArchDaily don't know us and have never picked up a copy of Dwell, Architectural Record or Mark and seen us mentioned...

Notwithstanding architechnophilia was listed at no.6 in the MoPo 2009 (Most Popular blogs) architecture blog listing conducted by Eikongraphia. We have been steadily climbing the ranks previously being listed at no.18 and no.12 in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

see the criteria for MoPo below
A weblog is included in the MoPo 2009 when it’s an English blog on architecture written by a single writer. The popularity of the blog is measured by the number of subscribers (Google Reader + Bloglines) and the number of hits in Google (Google + Google Images).

June 17, 2009

House of the Week 027: Cascade House

Described as "a sculpture of stacked boxes composed from shards of glass and muted black slate," the Cascade house in Forest Hills, Toronto was designed for a family relocating from the harsh Arizona climate by architect Paul Raff. The 350 m2 house is configured and detailed with large expanses of south-facing glazing to make the most of the limited sunshine that illuminate the owner's extensive collection of modern art.

see plans here

June 16, 2009

The Nefertiti Lounge by multidisciplinary design studio anOtherArchitect was designed as part of Furnex, the furniture exhibition in Cairo, Egypt. Made from wood, metal and upholstery, both seating and table, the sleek and feminine lines of the piece were inspired by the iconic images of the Queen of Egypt.

June 15, 2009

Yazdani Studio Interview

ArchDaily interviews Mehrdad Yazdani

more here

mobile living

a video of projects exploring mobility and housing

and check out the Embassy of Piracy vid

June 14, 2009

June 12, 2009

blog wunderlust: 12 June 2009

Tropical Islands going cheap | fabricated space | Kaufmann interview | the architecture of Gotham | free architecture | free landscape architecture | free fruit | bare bear interiors | no Brooklyn Gehry | snubbed (again)

archidose is selling off sections of his library

June 11, 2009

The Self-Sufficient City

The IAAC (Institute for Advanced Architecture - Catalonia) has announced the staging of the 3rd Advanced Architecture Contest under the topic THE SELF-SUFFICIENT CITY, envisioning the habitat of the future.

The aim of this international competition is to promote online discussion and research through which to generate insights and visions, ideas and proposals to envisage the city and the habitat of the 21st century

on the boards: Co-op Canyon

La based architects standard have recently been awarded an honourable mention in the Re:Vision Dallas design competition for the design of modern urban village inspired by the cliff dwellings of the Anasazi Indians.

on the boards: Cairo Expo City

Zaha Hadid has been awarded first place for the design of the Cairo Expo City, beating a host of international practice including Norwegian architects Snøhetta.

The undulating fluid forms of the Cairo Expo City design were inspired by the natural topography of the Nile valley explained Zaha Hadid.

June 10, 2009

House of the Week 026: Pheonix

A 30 ft geodesic dome for and by a Jamaican architect (Pat Stanigar) was completed in 2004, on the site of a previous dome (c.1984) that was burnt to the ground in 2002. The project is aptly titled the Phoenix.
The dome made from a prefabricated kit of parts that provides the basic structure is based on a hexagonal unit that is cyclically layered to a closed loop. The building is faced with insitu concrete with fiberglass additives to prevent hairline cracks.
The purity of the dome is broken by climatic considerations to deal with the tropical environment most notably the angled protrusions below the equator of the dome. These triangular elements allow cooler air into the structure that can be shut during storms.
The interior of the Phoenix is spartan, walls made of finished timber between the main structure and painted concrete floors. The kitchen is defined by two pods used for storage, and two counters - one longer than the other used for washing and cooking.
Two additional structures were later added (never included within the circa 1980s scheme) and provide the services and were meant to be crustacean inversions to the rigid structure of the dome.

June 9, 2009

concept + practice

Back in 2005 AOC made mention in the international media that they were going to concentrate on more strategic and conceptual work. The practice’s commitment to an architecture that engages with complex social realities came across strongly with the proposal for the bouncy building to be hosted in urban squares around Stockholm and the No.1 Lower Carbon Drive an exhibition house with a detachable supergraphic elevation proclaiming such.

Interiors : a twisty twisty world

It is not often that scrolls of this architecture blog are taken over by modern interiors (we leave that to the talents of more officious blogs...) However the recent sculptural works of Belgian designer Sebastien Wierinck commanded such attention. The tentacled installations housed in otherwise blah interiors, exemplify a talent in both object creation and space making. Constructed of plastic tubing the installations are formed using CAM technology, see the link for more information.

via Contemporist

June 8, 2009

The Department of Architecture, Assiut University - Egypt presents the 8th International Architectural Conference under the theme Contemporary Issues in Architecture & the Built Environment

Conference runs from 13th to 15th April 2010 at the Assiut University Conference Centre

Prince Charles

Previously mentioned speech by HRH Prince Charles for the 175 RIBA celebrations

Coast Modern: a documentary

The trailer for a new film capturing three generations of West Coast Modern architecture in America, from the early 20th century, through the post-war and unto the modernist renaissance today. This film speaks with the architects and their patrons, and asks if Modernism’s time has finally come or... did it ever really go away

That is architecture

Architecture from MAYAnMAYA on Vimeo.

narrated by Cameron Sinclair (AFH)

June 7, 2009

London Bridge Quarter

A short of one of the 80 videos that have been selected for presentation within BEYOND MEDIA 2009, VISIONS .

London Bridge Quarter by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, video by Uniform


June 5, 2009

blog wunderlust: 05 June 2009

The blog wunderlust is a weekly round up summarizing the architectural highlights, news and web links, that don't otherwise fit the format of this blog. If you have any to share feel free to drop me an email.

Ten Commandments for a Greener Office | Shanghai Pavilions | prefab is for the birds | the Lina Bo Bardi Institute | Fix the Pritzker | architecture of excess | inflatable architecture | contained thoughts

atp xtra: Can't get to your rss feed? Why not try this, my-architecture - for the architect on the run (consider it the wunderlust on steriods)

June 4, 2009

on the boards: Vlaamse Baaien 2100

The Vlaamse Baaien 2100 is a proposal for a series of new islands along the North sea, extending across the French and Dutch boundaries of the Belgian coast. The island belt when complete will provide protection to the susceptible Belgian coast during storms. These new dune villages or 'duindorpen' will be accessible by boat only and are proposed to house 2-3000 inhabitants and are to be powered by large renewable energy components integrated into the development.

The Vlaamse Baaien 2100 designed by ORG is meant to be a counter-point to the paradigm of the Palm in Dubai: instead of arbitrary geometries, it is based on morphological logic; instead of elite, it is democratic; instead of unsustainable, ecological....

on the boards: Embassy of Finland, Tokyo

Lahdelma + Mahlamaki Architects, has taken first prize in the invited architectural competition for the design of the Finnish Tokyo Embassy in Japan arranged by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The winning proposal

June 3, 2009

House of the Week 025: Grangegorman

Built among a row of traditional terraced housing in Ireland, the 150 sm Grangegorman residence is the home of a motor-cycle enthusiast designed by ODOS architects. The house is finished in a sleek metallic exterior that stills pays homage with it's matching scale and proportions - albeit not quietly, to the urban context of the community.

June 2, 2009

the back 9

This golf reference is used to describe the schemes that did not place at the recent Luana Gardens Competition, but are worth mention because of their strategic and/or unique approach to the design problem presented as well had garnered public appreciation.

the People's architechnophilia's Choice

Re:CU+A (Re: Caribbean Urbanism + Architecture)

In the words of the architect;
I believe the most interesting aspect lies in the process. We studied different housing projects in Jamaica, and studied them in what it refers to percentages of land use, green, roads, public space, building coverage. Then [..] compared them to Black River City and assigned those percentages to the proposal. The "rationals" show how these percentages were assigned on site.

- Marcos Uribe, Re:CU+A

June 1, 2009

Sliding House

The brief was simple: design a house to retire to in order to grow food, entertain and enjoy the East Anglia landscape. The outcome by dRMM Architects was as unconventional as they come. A structure that has the ability to vary or connect the overall building's composition and character according to season, weather or simply a desire to delight. Wallpaper* visited the site to capture the physical phenomenon in the only medium that serves it justice - film.
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