Architecture Archive

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

  5. 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!

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. 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?!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Aflist

    We diffident Brits have always been suspicious of brash foreign types who like to blow their own trumpets (We’ll decide for ourselves if your wall’s great or not thanks China!). So with a name like Bureau Spectacular, the Chicago-based architecture practice could have been setting themselves up for a fall ahead of their first show outside their homeland at London’s Architecture Foundation.

  14. List

    Naples-based architect Cherubino Gambardella’s illustrations for his projects are beautifully rendered. In an age where the development of architectural ideas is largely carried out using digital technology, it’s lovely to see something so textured, layered, and varied. Mixing a variety of media, Gambardella’s images conjure up visualisations that evoke, not only the built shapes, but the atmospheres, materials, air-quality, traffic, and weather patterns of these urban environments. You get a strong sense of space and the interactions between structures, and there is also a slightly dark, sinister quality that intrigues as much as it engages.

  15. Ball-nogues-yucca-crater

    Last October, this structure was filled with saltwater; you could climb up the curved outer walls, survey the reflective ripples, and jump right in – escaping the desert heat for a refreshing swim. The interior surfaces even had brightly coloured rock-climbing holds, so you could perch yourself at various points in the structure – either to practice diving from different angles or perhaps just take a break. It was a welcoming, man-made oasis in an arid landscape, fifteen miles from human civilisation.

  16. Nfeld_ucl_list

    Swiss architect-cum-artist Nicolas Feldmeyer re-landscapes existing buildings with diametrically aesthetic materials, working into the details of structure to create unexpected spaces and surprising elisions in form.

  17. Stokke05list

    Arguably our architectural highlight of 2012 came from Norwegian studio Saunders Architecture and their jaw-dropping artists’ studios on the island of Fogo, and blow me if they haven’t tickled us again. Forest Stair in the Sti For Øye sculpture park in Stokke is a series of walkways raised above the forest canopy. Combining sympathetic materials, amazing views and overarching philosophical musings (stairways to nowhere? To heaven?) they are fine looking additions to the breathtaking Norwegian landscape. And this is clearly no fluke, as anyone familiar with Saunders’ 2006 Aurland Lookout knows these guys are seriously talented at maximising the natural wow-factor of their homeland.

  18. List

    This year’s Pavilion for the Serpentine Gallery has gained much attention and rightly so because this sub-erranean structure designed by Ai Weiwei and Herzog & de Meuron is a cool and sophisticated addition to the Serpentine.

  19. List

    The power of a good show is to make visitors of all levels of expertise feel as though they’ve gained a secret drip of knowledgeable nectar or nugget of understanding. That’s exactly what happens at the Heatherwick Studio: Designing the Extraordinary exhibition on at the V&A now, which gives us wonderfully detailed access to Thomas Heatherwick’s workshop and all the wisdom that dances inside.

  20. Atlist

    It was the project we picked out from Clerkenwell Design Week right back at the initial press briefing and now we can show you Aberrant Architecture’s Small Coal-Man’s Tiny Travelling Theatre in all its glory.

  21. Cgmain

    It seems too much of a coincidence, what with Baz Lurhman’s Great Gatsby on its way, that a disused petrol station in a run-down King’s Cross street has been transformed into an impossibly chic dining space by architecture studio Carmody Groarke. Exciting rumours of old petrol-pumps being transformed into prosecco fountains are flying around, along with tales of the Donald Urquhart murals that decorate the interior of the King’s Cross Filling Station.

  22. Crsw

    We’ve long been fans of architecture practice Studio Weave (they were in Issue Six of our magazine) and the way in which they use stories as the starting points to their ambitious projects. Lucky for us, and you, that our pals over at have been into see Je An and Maria Smith and find out about their narrative approach and their new project restoring the St Pancras Church Garden, an undeveloped pocket right in the heart of the City of London with a fascinating history. Lovely stuff.

  23. Listlpg_render_overview_web

    I can’t help feel that the 18th Century got a lot of things right, you know apart from rampant xenophobia, social injustice and polio. You get the sense they knew how to have fun, and nowhere is this more obvious that the tradition of pleasure gardens, social spaces designed to dazzle, titillate and amuse everyone from aristocrats to grubby chimney sweep types. So kudos to the team bringing pleasure back (to paraphrase Mr Timberlake) with the London Pleasure Gardens in the east end due to open next month.

  24. Listgui1336603966-guinness-interior-01-1000x666

    We’ve all met travel bores, the kind of people for whom gap year one-upmanship is an all-consuming obsession. You’ve done a charity project helping South American orphans? They’re worshipped as a deity by an entire African tribe. You’ve eaten crickets? They’ve eaten stegosaurus. You’ve climbed Kilimanjaro? They ran up Everest. Naked.

  25. Main

    The Serpentine Pavilion is consistently a prevalent topic of conversation in the art world, and this year will be no different. In some stunning renders, just released, we see the plans for 2012’s semi-subterranean masterpiece, the brain-fruit of genii Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei. The trio, who haven’t worked together since the epic Beijing National Stadium, are gearing up for their next Olympic venture; the creation of the 12th annual pavilion of its kind.

  26. Post

    Bergen-based architecture practice Saunders were invited to design a collection of six artists’ studios on Fogo Island, Newfoundland. These dramatic geometric structures act like beacons set against the landscape, while referencing materials from the existing vernacular architecture. A celebration of the island’s art and culture, they look like pretty inspiring spaces to work/procrastinate/relocate to. Where can we sign up?

  27. List-cardboard-cathedral

    Since it was controversially declared that St John’s church – damaged during the largest of the earthquakes in New Zealand last year –would not be repaired, a replacement has now been announced. The “transitional church” – not expected to stand for more than 30 years – has been designed by architects Shigeru Ban who proposed a cathedral made of cardboard. It’s a technology the Japanese firm are confident using, with paper projects reaching back to 1989 including a library, theatre, emergency shelter environments and even a bridge. In Christchurch, the vast cardboard tubes, 20 feet at their apex, with wooden beams, concrete floor and geometric stain glass reflecting the triangular form of the building, will create an economic and acoustic space for worship, concerts and events.

  28. Crane2pawsmall

    You know why everyone loves coke floats? Because Coke is delicious and ice-cream is delicious but when you bring them together they create something day-changingly wonderful. As with refreshing beverages, so with online cultural content. We are thrilled today announce a link-up with, the finest purveyors of video this side, heck all sides of the Mississippi.

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  31. Playtime
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