Category Archives: Architecture

Can the Documentary “Starship Chicago” Save the Thompson Center from Demolition?

Opening in 1985, Helmut Jahn’s Thompson Center became home for various agencies of the State of Illinois, with its design playing off of the designs of more traditional American statehouse. For example, the glass walls symbolize government transparency and the large atrium space compared to that of most US statehouses. Additionally, the structure’s short, sloped glass curtain wall with a protruding truncated cylinder structure on top stands out from the rectilinear skyscrapers that make up downtown Chicago’s skyline. The design attracted controversy as its unusual form and immense atrium made the building a constant focus for negative press for the last 30+ years, however the city gradually became accustomed to the Thompson’s Center’s unique presence and see it as a symbol of pride and a celebration of Chicago being the architecture capital of the world (and, personal opinion, it is). Continue reading Can the Documentary “Starship Chicago” Save the Thompson Center from Demolition?

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The Paris Courthouse, with Green Roof Landscapes, by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop

© Sergio Grazia

The new, slim, transparent Tribunal de Paris, located in the north-central part of the Paris located in the country of France (rather than the Paris in the state of Texas in the United States)  will round-up the varied facilities currently dispersed around the capital like Voltron to become Europe’s largest law courts complex. The 525-foot-high by 115-foot-wide tower building is composed of four stacked superimposed volumes of decreasing size — similar to that of a staircase — that are carefully planned and designed for the best and efficient ease of use. The tiered level system (with each tier containing about ten stories) also allows large roof terraces that will be landscaped and planted with some 500 trees. This would soften the building’s sharp glass motif to create more comfortable spaces for solitary and group activities.

Continue reading The Paris Courthouse, with Green Roof Landscapes, by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop

Portugal’s Casa da Arquitectura (Center for Architecture) Reopens for 3 Days of Events…

Image © Casa da Arquitectura, via Flickr.

Portugal’s Casa da Arquitectura, created in 2007, is a non-profit cultural organization with exhibition spaces and archives dedicated to the public interest in architecture. The Center’s archives currently holds a collection of over 500 drawings, books, models, serigraphs, DVDs, panels, and numerous other materials from the collections and estates of many architects (i.e., Souto de Moura, Álvaro Siza, Fernando Távora, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, João Álvaro Rocha, and more). This week, the center is celebrating the opening of its new location in Matosinhos, Porto, which consists of a group of buildings, measuring at approximately 4,700 square meters, restored by architect Guilherme Machado Vaz. Continue reading Portugal’s Casa da Arquitectura (Center for Architecture) Reopens for 3 Days of Events…

When Architecture and Halloween Come Together, Cool Things Happen…

OCAD University’s Sharp Centre for Design – Will Alsop by Rob Shostak

First off, HAPPY HALLOWEEN from The PractitioNERD! I hope that you have fun, stay safe, and enjoy the costume parties and trick-or-treating! Now, the common route people take when deciding a Halloween costume is selecting one that aligns with their interests.  Some people point toward their professions, so in the case of architects and those in the design-build profession, this often results in elaborate contructions of elaborate costume pieces resembling buildings and other structures. Thanks to a recent poll by the folks over at ArchDaily, their readers from around the world submitted their architecture-themed costumes. Continue reading When Architecture and Halloween Come Together, Cool Things Happen…

Need To Save Crumbling Buildings? Just Use LEGO!

Courtesy of Jan Vormann

Artist Jan Vormann has spent 10 years exploring the world, visiting roughly 40 cities across Europe, Central America, Asia, and the United States, while making and installing LEGO masonry interventions to city walls and buildings in moderate disrepair.  His ongoing project, Dispatchwork, started making these colorful toy-block repairs and additions — some using only a handful of LEGO bricks while some installations use up to 20 pounds of LEGO bricks — in Bocchignano, Italy, and later expanded to Tel Aviv and Berlin. Continue reading Need To Save Crumbling Buildings? Just Use LEGO!

Some of The Diverse Contemporary Architecture of Africa…

© Dook

The diverse continent of Africa is also host to diverse architectural projects, but many people outside of the continent are unaware (save for probably Kere’s lovely structures based on the local vernacular). Thanks to a wonderful slideshow post by Victor Delaqua of ArchDaily, we can catch a glimpse of some of the varied contemporary design projects installed in Africa. Of the 18 selected buildings from Mr. Delaqua’s original post (from 14 countries), here are my 7 favorite architectural projects from that post. Continue reading Some of The Diverse Contemporary Architecture of Africa…

The Oficinas Nexans Chile; A Greatly Lit & Circulated Office Space…

© Aryeh Kornfeld

This commission by Schmidt Arquitectos Asociados and  Ignacio Correa involved the remodeling the offices of Nexans Chile SA, located on the 2nd floor of a 1950s building, located within the southern area of Santiago, Chile.  The offices older configuration, part of the longitudinal direction of the plant, consisted of a central corridor divided two areas of open workstations, including private offices, meeting rooms and bathrooms. The problem: other than the wear-and-tear of age, these spaces were organized against building facades, resulting in the limited illumination of natural light in the work spaces located towards the center area of the plant. Continue reading The Oficinas Nexans Chile; A Greatly Lit & Circulated Office Space…

Candida Tabet Arquitetura’s House ACP

© Fran Parente

The House ACP, designed by Candida Tabet Arquitectura and completed last year (2016), is located on a semi-circle-shaped plot of land in Indaiatuba, Brazil that is a single story tall and features a mezzanine — acting as a featured social area — and an annex playroom house for the two children of the couple who this house was designed and built for. The building’s orientation helps maximize the views of the beautiful surrounding environment, as well as showcase the ciruclation of the interior spaces, while the double-height of the mezzanine’s great cieling promotes cross-ventilation (allowing the hot air to do what it does best; RISE).

Continue reading Candida Tabet Arquitetura’s House ACP

How Does A Design Firm Build a 1,000-Square-Meter Building in Only a Few Months?

SUMMARY studio answered that question by unveiling its mostly-prefabricated concrete modular building system, after showing its Gomos#1 prototype and and displaying their method at the exhibition at the Venice Biennale. The project, located along a nation road in Vale de Cambra, Portugal, consists of several housing units and multi-functional service spaces, and the client’s demands were: fast, economical, and modifiable-over-time (depending on need) construction. This is based on the Gomos System, which is comprised of  a series of singular reinforced prefabricated concrete modules (gomos) that simply join together, providing a fully livable living space in moments. Continue reading How Does A Design Firm Build a 1,000-Square-Meter Building in Only a Few Months?

A Barn Replacement + Farmhouse Restoration by Singer Baenziger Architekten

© Christian Senti

When Singer Baenziger Architekten took on this project of a farmhouse from the 1600s and a later-built barn (both sharing a cantilevered saddle roof) in the village center of Schlieren, Switzerland, they looked to restore the house while converting the barn building into a new living space. According to the design team, led by Roman Singer and Rémy Baenziger, the project will also include breaking up the singular roof through the use of roof windows and two roof sheds. Along with this, the outside landscape will retain the original exterior space, the unfinished nearby alley’s forecourt,  and the existing tree garden, but will add a new small private seating area for the farmhouse’s residential units. Continue reading A Barn Replacement + Farmhouse Restoration by Singer Baenziger Architekten