Architecture Archive

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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?

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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 Crane.tv 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…

  18. 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?

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. List

    For 99 per cent of the time the vast majority of the population don’t give a hoot about swimming but when the Olympics rolls around we all start tutting over a hip-heavy butterfly stroke or holding forth about Michael Phelps’ genetic predispositions. With such intense public scrutiny, the commission to design the Aquatics Centre is a massive deal and could only rally go to a genuine architectural big-hitter such as Zaha Hadid.

  30. Patrick-dougherty-list

    North Carolina-based sculptor Patrick Dougherty weaves dreamlike sculptures out of woods, twigs, vines, and any such natural tree-derived materials available to him. The textural density and wavering structural curves tilt towards the surreal, with the sparseness of materials and shadowy window-cavities evoking the ruins of lost phantom civilisations, their dwellings mysterious and occasionally frozen in a fictional wind. On another level, their warping appearance makes them like animated houses – I’m reminded of the fortresses in The Supermario Bros, and there are playful architectural references in the construction of onion-domes, arches, and spires that remind us of the mimicery involved in building playhouses.

  31. Crosson-clarke-carnachan-hut-on-sleds-list

    Let’s all go to the seaside. Seriously. And we’ll stay in amazing huts like these and when the holiday’s over… we’ll just take them back with us! Hut on Sleds, by New Zealand architecture firm Crosson Clarke Carnachan, is currently quite far away from where we live but with a tractor attached it’s pretty portable, and when there’s a will there’s a way, right? Built for a stretch of New Zealand beach that’s subject to coastal erosion, one of the primary challenges of the project involved responding to the changing conditions of the location. So… they put it on a pair of giant sleds. Brilliant.

  32. List

    We’re big fans of Studio Weave – their narrative-led design approach to architecture has resulted in some wonderful gems including furniture, follies, buildings and landscape interventions all richly embellished with stories. Their latest offering is this wonderful Paleys upon Pilers (palace on pillars) on the site of London’s historic Aldgate (literally a gate with rooms above in which Chaucer resided in the 14th Century – now that’s a good fact).

  33. L%c3%a9o-caillard-list

    Paris-based photographer Léo Caillard has captured the beach huts of Miami with such vibrancy that we wish we could enter the images and hang out there for hours, paddling in the waters and lounging around on the sand. C’mon, Mary Poppins effect – London’s getting a bit hot these days!

  34. Coca-cola-beatbox---getty-5list

    Pernilla & Asif are used to creating some pretty mindbending experiences (room full of clouds anyone?) and the duo’s latest work, the Coca Cola Beatbox is predictably eye-catching. Situated in the Olympic Park, it’s described as “an experimental fusion of architecture, sport, music and technology that creates a stunning multi-sensory experience” and comprises 200 interlocked translucent air cushions. Visitors can “play” the different cushions through their gestures and movement and this remixes the Mark Ronson track which uses samples of five Olympic sports (whose creation was memorably captured in Kim Gehrig’s excellent documentary Beat).

  35. List

    As everybody should know by now, bees have been in a spot of bother lately. They’re really not having the best time of things, either because of global warming (probably) or because we’ve stopped loving them like we used to (less likely). Sadly if they die out, so will an enormous amount of the native flora that decorates the landscapes we inhabit – not to mention we’d have no honey, effectively rendering crumpets obsolete.

  36. Corbusier-1

    Born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret 125 years ago, Le Corbusier’s legacy as a designer, architect and writer is one of the most influential in the history of modernist architecture. So what then, would you give as a worthy birthday present to such a man?!

  37. List

    I can never decide whether I find people’s photographs of food on social media sites incredibly interesting or completely infuriating. On the one hand I like a nice meal, and it’s always a pleasure to see a well-photographed plate of grub, but then there seems to be something inherently smug about people showing off their culinary skills (or their financial means if they’re in a restaurant) to the poor, unassuming people of the internet.

  38. List

    It’s no secret that we folks at It’s Nice That are pretty partial to a bit of cycling. If we’re not hammering out the miles of a daily commute we’re zipping between studios and meetings on our beloved velocipedes (but not in a smug way, we’ve no time for smug cyclists). As a result we were full-on bowled over upon witnessing NL Architects’ magnificent creation Bicycle Club, a stunning pavilion that serves as both an attractive public space and rooftop velodrome.

  39. Wendy-list

    This month, MoMA PS1 opens Wendy, the winning entry to its 2012 Young Architects Program. The entrants were expected to contribute a design for an outdoor recreational space in the MoMA PS1’s triangular entrance courtyard – a popular concert venue during the summer. The objective also involved making the most of available space and materials – and the winning entry, along with the finalists, approaches the brief in very distinctive ways.

  40. Strelka-press-list

    Strelka Press is a new, digital-first publishing initiative from the Strelka Institute in Russia publishing concrete (literal, figurative) notions to do with architecture and design and the city (all tenets of the institutes educational programme). In an interview with Design Observer, the editor of the press and design critic for The Guardian, Justin McGuirk emphasised the radical nature of their output as being “something more experimental, something potentially disruptive.” Being digital allows them an immediacy with their messages, free from the costly burden of a printed vehicle, “we’re much lighter on our feet,” he says.