Architecture Archive

  1. Serpentine-list

    The Serpentine Gallery’s annual Pavilion has become something of a landmark in London’s art and design calendar. In its 13 years it’s seen some of the most prominent figures in global architecture showcasing the breadth of their skills in a fast-paced, experimental environment that allows them to produce a structure that best demonstrates their architectural philosophy – a kind of temporary calling card for the world to enjoy. Frank Gehry, Peter Zumthor, Zaha Hadid and the late Oscar Niemeyer have all produced pavilions in the past decade or so, and it’s safe to say they’re all household names now, though some were not before their pavilions took shape.

  2. List

    From our island perch here in the corner, the European Union can all be a bit baffling. On the one hand it gives the impression of a solid, homogenous whole (from which we in the UK are excluded/bombastically exclude ourselves) but on the other it’s a seething set of proud and individualistic nations in a constant jostle for position and influence.

  3. List-lka

    Have you ever popped out to pick up a pint of milk and inadvertently found yourself captivated by the neo-classical detail on the lamp-post outside the corner shop? Have you actually?

  4. List

    Following up the success of The Small Coal Man’s Tiny Travelling Theatre which parked up at Clerkenwell Design Week last year, Aberrant Architecture’s latest offering takes the form of a roaming market mobile structure. Inspired by London’s rich street market-orientated culture, the moveable stall essentially plays the part of a spectacularly elaborate signpost, acting principally as an information point for passers-by. This is not its only function however; its built in chessboard, covered seating area and pop-up stage all ensure the multi-functionality characteristic of Aberrant Architecture’s design approach.

  5. List

    The first time I heard of the Four Freedoms Park in New York was when it was shortlisted in the architecture category at this year’s Design Museum’s Designs of The Year – in fact in a fit of overexcitement I tipped it to win. But last week I was lucky enough to visit the park which sits just off the Manhattan shoreline on Roosevelt Island, and you know what I don’t take it back, because this is a really stunning project.

  6. Kinoko-list

    Londoners who spend their time pedalling about the city will long have been familiar with the excellent work of Tokyo Fixed, a Soho store which does much more with bikes than the name would suggest. The guys there specialise in finding the very best products available for riders, from handmade steel frames from Japan to bombproof rucksacks and panniers as well as clothing that means you don’t have to wear lycra on your bike 100% of the time (though some of us still choose to). But having established themselves as a firm favourite in the city, Tokyo Fixed has undergone something of a transformation.

  7. Free-list

    We all know that Nike are pretty capable when it comes to creating show-stopping retail spaces. Their past work with Brinkworth in the UK has always been exceptional and they’re clearly determined to maintain that standard right across the globe. Witness their latest collaboration with Studio-at-Large for their Nike Free retail space in Beijing. The Track, as it’s been dubbed, features numerous iterations and colour ways of the Free trainer suspended as if in motion around an LED-lit running track construction, designed to highlight the shoe’s game-changing sleek silhouette. Anyway, that’s more than enough from me. Best to let these stunning images do the talking…

  8. List

    London’s South Bank is a favourite among filmmakers looking to add some Brit-glam to their movies, but the day-to-day reality is more prosaic. A big stretch of this area is dominated by concrete, brutalist structures which even their most ardent admirers must admit can lend it an aura of gloom. But The Shed, a new temporary auditorium for the National Theatre is changing that for a few months, adding a much-needed splash of colour to this corner of the capital. Architects Haworth Tompkins covered the structure in rough-sawn timber cladding with they then had painted a brilliant, vivid red creating a wonderful juxtaposition with the muted modernist surroundings.

  9. List

    “Everyone’s a winner baby” sang Hot Chocolate and in a way they were right, but in another, more accurate way they were wrong. Of course all the work which gets nominated for the Design Museum’s prestigious Designs of the Year is brilliant, but we’ve just this minute received word which projects scooped the top prize in each of the seven categories.

  10. Main

    Some people say beauty is all about colours. WRONG. Everyone knows black and white makes everything look better, from your Uncle Pete to a Frank LLoyd Wright house, something about monochrome just works. It’s the photographic equivalent of MSG. Nicholas Alan Cope is wise to this, and spends his time photographing things in the highest contrast black and white you can get without the subject becoming too abstract. The results of his monochromatic efforts are staggering, and blow almost all other architectural photography out the water.

  11. Toiletcafe

    There’s always something magically kitsch in eating somewhere that’s been transformed for your dining delight, be it old trains turned into diners, aeroplanes turned into bars or, now, old public lavatories turned into cafes. London’s The Attendant, in the heart of swanky Fitzrovia is a little underground toilet that has, for the last 50 years, remained unused and probably quite filthy. After two years of renovation it’s now a fine eatery, with the little toilet attendant’s office serving as a compact yet ample kitchen. Form an orderly queue, people!

  12. List

    According to their website, for Melbourne studio Elenberg Fraser, “architecture is what happens when we are faced with an impossible problem.” And it certainly seems they’re not content with taking the easy way out, as their jaw-dropping 33 Mackenzie Street apartment block testifies. They describe it as “a vertical village that follows a story of ascendance and transcendence…inspired by the ancient myths of the angel Metatron” while the lobby space takes its visual cues from the story of Pandora’s Box, where “inifnite mirrors create rage sensation of a body suspended in space.” I’t’s not necessarily somewhere I’d choose to live – facing up to metaphysics and myths every time I got him could prove tiring after a few weeks – but there’s no denying this is an extraordinary, immersive project which combines technical skill with some mind-boggling, if unusual ideas.

  13. Ny-city-water-farm-list

    These beautiful designs for a water farm in New York City come courtesy of brothers Massimiliano Ercolani and Emanuele Ercolani, who together make up DoCK Lab, a multi-disciplinary design studio based in Rome. Their inspiring project is based on the possibility of developing New York’s East River in a sustainable way – installing hydroelectric generators under water and promoting organic farming. Sadly, it’s unlikely to happen. But these spacious drawings of an urban utopia, with watery, rusty skies, grey metallic rivers and grids of floating, eco-saving lawns are wonderful in and of themselves.

  14. List

    Great design? Check. Sustainable use of recycled materials? Check. Project for a brilliant cause? Check – full house hombres! Dutch designers Pim van Baarsen and Luc van Hoeckel have just completed a playground for the Beit Cure hospital in Malawi which centres around an old ambulance. There’s also car tyres, springs and axles incorporated into the equipment which is all very worthy but first and foremost it looks fun and colourful and inviting for kids and big kids alike. Produced in association with the Sakaramenta organisation, the playground has taken over the site of an old car park and is sure to warm your heart as well as impress your head. Good work fellas!

  15. List

    More often than not, when it comes to theorising design through discussions and seminars, aesthetic considerations go out of the window. It’s common to see art and design experts explore big ideas against dull, uninspiring or oddly clinical backdrops. But not so in Sweden, where artist Kustaa Saksi and architect Gert Wingårdh have created the most extraordinary setting for the Hello events programme at Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair. Using an incredible 700,000 illustrated sheets of A3 paper and 44,000 suspension points, the duo have produced a jaw-dropping physical space in which discussions will take on a whole new dimension. Mirrored table tops help add to the riot of colours and shapes suspended from the ceiling.

  16. Binet-list

    If you’re one of the greatest living architects looking for a photographer to document your masterworks, you’re going to need someone who’s very good with their camera indeed. Having invested countless millions into a luxury building project nothing less than perfection will suffice; which is where Hélène Binet comes in. She’s photographed the buildings of innumerable great architects, from Le Corbusier and David Chipperfield to Alvar Aalto and Zaha Hadid.

  17. Pereira-luckman-lax-list

    Despite overflowing with architects and designers, Los Angeles has been always been a surprisingly staid city when it comes to urban innovation. A potential upcoming exhibition at the A+D Museum will reveal some of the visionary projects and discarded dreams that have floated around the City of Angels but for some reason or other never progressed beyond the drawing board.

  18. List

    Often it takes a trademark parental mix of cajoling and threats to get their offspring to nursery but youngsters at this centre in Paris can’t take too much persuading. That’s because architects Hondelatte-Laporte have included a huge yellow giraffe as part of the building’s structure whose legs you have to walk through to enter, and whose head peers over the surrounding neighbourhood. The Giraffe Childcare Centre also boasts a huge white bear and a set of concrete ladybirds crawling up one of its walls.

  19. List

    Here in Britain, our stiff reserve means that when it comes to the season to be jolly, we tend to need a little liquid encouragement. So booze-saturated are these Yuletide celebrations that stocking up for the festive season tends to be planned with military precision – based on complex calculations around each guest’s projected consumption, then double everything. This branch of the Weinhandlung Kreis wine shop in Stuttgart designed by Furch Gestaltung + Produktion seems to have been designed with this kind of binge-shopping in mind, showcasing as it does 12,000 bottles in just 70 square metres. The juxtaposition of horizontally-racked bottles with vertically-clipped counterparts creates a warm, fuzzy of feeling of being overwhelmed with choice and the brightly-coloured finish adds to the stylish vibe. The architects said: “This shop should consist just of wine and no furniture – similar to a spreadsheet, which is full of data without wasting any space on structure.” Amen to that!

  20. Chicagoinstallation-list

    Not that long ago, August in fact, we featured the work of designer Mathis Pfäffli and mentioned that he and his collective Detektiv Bureau were in the middle of a residency in Chicago. Well they’re still busy over in The Windy City but have just sent through some absolutely stunning images of what they’ve been getting up to since we last spoke.

  21. List

    When I first came across the pictures of Zaha Hadid’s new Beijng development Galaxy Soho this morning I have to confess I assumed they were architectural renderings. So fluid are the lines, so graceful and futuristic is her newest work that the obvious assumption was that these were the kind of surreally perfect artists’ impressions that have deceived me before. But it is testament to Zaha’s insane talents and to photographer Iwan Baan that this is in fact the real thing, a four building, 18-floor office and entertainment quarter connected via bridges which opened yesterday.

  22. List

    Maybe I’m naive but I have a pretty set idea about what sweet shops should look like – a cavalcade of colour and chaos that taps into the excitement of the little fat boy I once was. But for the new Papabubble shop in Amsterdam, Yusuke Seki has gone in exactly the other direction with impressive results. Exposed brick work, muted colours and intriguing conical flasks rather than overstuffed jars are very much the order of the day and yet the whole things works really well. This is what a grown-up sweet shop should feel like, emphasising the craft and science of sweet-making rather than just playing to the gallery of greediness. I’m definitely going to check it out next time in Amsterdam, I owe my inner chubster that much at least.

  23. Ecologyofcolour-list

    We like it when people collaborate. There’s something pleasing about imagining a bunch of folks with unique interests and skills embracing their differences to do something they wouldn’t have been able to on their own. What’s even better is when those different people with different skills happen to be two of your favourite practitioners in architecture and illustration respectively, coming together to produce a huge, colourful shed in the middle of the woods.

  24. List-nike

    I’m not going to try and pretend that I know a thing about skating. I don’t. In fact the one time I foolishly attempted clambering upon a skateboard I ended up in A&E all a little worse for wear. But while me and skating are obviously not quite the match made in heaven that I might have once optimistically hoped, when it comes to brand collaboration, creative agency Brinkworth fortunately do skating and skate parks very, very well.

  25. Ghost-list

    Imagine the scenario – you have a successful arts centre boastfully set in beautiful grounds but pottering about in the back yard there stands a somewhat redundant building. An old school-cum-prison house-cum funeral home – it has some serious history – but what on earth would you possibly do with it? Cover it in polystyrene, resin and bright white paint? No, probably not.

  26. Home

    For most people furniture comes via a trip to Ikea or a flea market down the road but for Michael Beitz, furniture is a whole new ball game. Transforming everyday objects into sculptural masterpieces it seems that Michael Beitz doesn’t mess around when it comes to furnishings and with a portfolio as cool as his, who can blame him?

  27. Main

    Designing your dream house when you were younger was always pretty fun. Give the horses a swimming pool, get a helicopter/dragon pad on the fifth turret of the eighth wing, make the moat run with lemonade…you remember, right? Well, a lot of us (barring those, including myself, who continued playing Sims until they were well past puberty) gave it all up years ago, but Tom Ngo has never quite got over it – and boy are we glad! A philosopher, architect and illustrator, Tom’s work amalgamates the three contrasting subjects with exquisite draughtsmanship and creates beautiful, floating dream houses that’ll have you reaching for your pen and designing your own again in no time.

  28. List

    Architect Akihisa Hirata was part of the Japanese pavilion that just won the top prize at the Venice Architecture Biennale, but rather than shoot off on a champagne-fuelled celebratory speedboat tour harassing gondolas, he’s headed to London for his first international solo show.

  29. List

    Amid all the talk of The Venice Architecture Bienniale, the British pavilion has slipped under the radar a bit. But in industry terms, the UK’s offering is arguably of the most value, as curators Vanessa Norwood and Vicky Richardson challenged ten architecture practices (including Smout Allen and Aberrant) to go out to ten different countries and bring back ideas that could help shape the future of building in Britain. Their findings are now on display at the Venice jamboree and our pals at went out to get a flavour of what they learned. This is an absolutely key video for anyone interested in the future of architecture, or the future of how we live our lives come to think of it…

  30. List-movement-cafe

    I know it’s a bit of a cliche but oh my, haven’t this summer’s Olympic games brought a lot of good to London? Ridiculous amounts of regeneration, some beautiful creative collaborations and not least a huge heap of good old-fashioned patriotism. So what harm could there possibly be in letting you in on one more?

  31. List

    One of the strangest objects in my mum’s house is a marrow my sister made in pottery class decades ago which she still keeps as a totem of our family’s artistic promise (that was as good as it got). It’s what I picture whenever I hear the word “ceramics” and chances are that for you the first thing that springs to mind is something fairly small scale. But Ceramica Cumella, the subject of a show at the Architectural Association later this month, have recast ceramics on a mind-blowing architectural scale.

  32. List

    As the more savvy brands cotton onto the self-evident truth that there’s no substitute for interesting, engaging content, no gimmick that skips the need to actually make things people want to read or watch, car manufacturer smart has gone one better.

  33. Rolling-masterplan-list

    Things on wheels are great fun; roller coasters, those food-carrying miniature trains at Christmas oh and cities. Yep cities. The latter sounds like something out of a ridiculous, futuristic and somewhat over-optimistic film but architect Jägnefält Milton has made the seemingly impossible possible and designed an entire rolling city on wheels.

  34. Bbhlist

    If you’re a fan of the incredible timber net houses in Hastings or you’ve been to Dungeness then the architecture of this temporary experimental spa and bar will be right up your street. And even if you haven’t seen any of the above, but you DO like relaxing and drinking then the Barking Bathhouse is for you.

  35. Rapha-list

    Cycle enthusiasts be warned, there’s a new place in town for you to splurge away your hard-earned salary in a matter of minutes, sedated by the enticing smell of fresh croissants, piping hot coffee and the comforting sound of road-race commentary. Rapha, the most premium of all cycle apparel manufacturers, has just opened a brand new permanent cycle club in London’s Soho and it’s a wonderful place to be.

  36. List

    One of the best things about Twitter (apart from celebrities having their punctuation corrected by hundreds of grammar sticklers simultaneously) is the way in which it gives certain content a second life. Weeks or months after something first does the rounds, back it comes to re-tickle our collective fancy and that’s exactly what’s happened with Cabin Porn.

  37. Hildreylist

    Dirty grey chewing gum? Complex concrete structure? Stretched Polyfiller? No, none of these things are the subject of the pictures you see before you. In fact these striking images are digital renders of imaginary landscapes created by the hugely talented Chris Hildrey. The Bartlett-trained CAD whizz can usually be found planning complex architectural structures for Jestico + Whiles and has previously worked for the legendary Foster and Partners and ZHA Architects. But here we see him in his free time, away from the world of corporate architecture, flexing his creative muscles and exploring the artistic potential of software usually used to model the preliminary stages of giant tower blocks. A lesson to us all that spare time can be used for so much more than slobbing in front of the telly.

  38. 3d-printing-list-maybe

    Once upon a time for six months, I lived opposite a construction site, and enjoyed seeing a whole house go up bit by bit – the different levels, the roof-beams, the plastic-y material flapping around on the wind as roof-tiles were added on top. Anyway, the gradual process was interesting for an observer but must have been unpleasant and occasionally frustrating for the workers, scaling various heights and battling the elements. But that usual building scenario may be about to take a turn, if Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis of the University of Southern California has his way.

  39. Real-or-virtual-columbia-list

    This is properly amazing. I was introduced to it when I started studying history of art and architecture, and was a tad daunted about all the incredible places I had yet to visit. But thanks to this wonderful resource, developed by Columbia University in 2000 and expanding ever since, I got to hop around the world and the ages taking in a feast pf extraordinary sights.

  40. Olympic-opening-ceremony-list

    As with every Olympics in history one of the primary concerns facing organisers is where on earth to host everything. With 302 individual events in the Olympics and a massive 500 in the Paralympics it takes a vast amount of space to contain all of the athletes, spectators, coaches, families and friends – not to mention all the pitches, tracks and equipment – which is where the architecture comes in.