Saturday, July 30, 2011

ARCH-ARQ: A 75th Anniversary for an American Icon


Each year 160,000 visitors travel to Pennsylvania’s scenic Laurel Highlands to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and to pay homage to America’s most celebrated architect.
Thanks to an impeccable restoration completed in 2002 by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy(which obtained Fallingwater from the owner Edgar Kaufmann Jr. in 1963), the house appears in near-perfect condition, and tours regale visitors with such entertaining details as which rooms Albert Einstein and artist Frida Khalo slept in during their visits to estate. As a testament to Fallingwater’s prominence in American history, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar recently nominated the site for inclusion in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. 


Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Brothers Chris and Dominic Leong of Leong Leong Architecture grew up in a sleepy Napa Valley town but fell in love with cities as skateboarding teenagers visiting San Francisco. In searching out the best spots for skateboarding, Dominic said, “You find pleasure in the city in the most unexpected places, constantly creating your own space, or using the city in your own way.”
These days, as young architects in New York City they still view their urban environment as a treasure trove of unexpected opportunities, as when they happened to pass by the experimental gallery W/——Project Space in Chinatown and decided to create an installation despite its being challengingly tiny. Rather than focusing on competitions or theoretical projects, they often prefer to do such small real-world projects as a way to experiment with ideas.

Monday, July 25, 2011

ARCH-ARQ: The Solar Decathlon Virginia Tech Lumenhaus, United States

exterior lighting Lumenhaus building at night

Has won 2010 Solar Decathlon Europe, Lumenhaus was designed by Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design that located in Blacksburg, Virginia, United States is a beautiful net zero solar powered house with a focus on architectural design (attractive), energy efficiency (comfort), marketability (affordable) and sustainability (green building design which Eco friendly) that designed to restore the ideals of solar energy with integrates the latest technologies and architectural techniques such as “Eclipsys” shades and insulation panels that are autonomously deployed to respond accordingly to weather conditions.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

ARCHITECTURE-ARQUITECTURA TODAY: norton towers-on-the-court, west hollywood, calif

West Hollywood, Calif., has a legacy of courtyard housing, so the city encourages developers to build within the tradition. This project, however, is the first one to implement the standard on such a narrow lot--and to do it successfully. "Nicely executed," said our judges.
Architect Michael B. Lehrer says the project's master stroke is the west-facing aluminum and glass tower. It enlivens the modern facade of the six-unit building while also controlling natural light and ventilation. "On the ground floor of a typical unit, it would be dark," he says. "But here all the light is captured and you experience it on all floors." The tower acts as a thermal chimney, pulling hot air from the four floors and forcing it out through operable doors.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

ARCHITECTURE-ARQUITECTURA TODAY: Designing Tomorrow: America's World's Fairs of the 1930s at the National Building Museum.

Celebrating talent, bowing to marketing ingenuity, corralling hope in a brighter future. Phrases that may describe a season of American Idol just as comfortably apply to the world’s fairs held in Chicago, San Diego, Dallas, Cleveland, San Francisco, and New York in the 1930s. Considering economic and political distress then and now, Designing Tomorrow: America’s World’s Fairs of the 1930s, at the National Building Museum, couldn’t feel more relevant. The exhibition reminds us that Americans both repeat their mistakes and skillfully invent mood stabilizers and long-view salves for them.


Saturday, July 16, 2011


BIG celebrates the grand opening of the Danish Expo Pavilion 2010. The Danish pavilion at EXPO 2010 will give visitors the opportunity to try some of the best aspects of Danish city life themselves. Through interaction, the visitors are able to actually experience some of Copenhagen’s best attractions – the city bike, the harbor bath, playground settings, a picnic on the roof garden and the opportunity to see the authentic H.C Andersen’s Little Mermaid.
“When we visited the World Exhibition in Zaragoza, we were stunned by the artificial content. State propaganda in paper maché. The Danish Expo pavilion 2010 is the real deal, and not just endless talking. You can ride the city bike, take a swim in the harbor bath, and see the real Little Mermaid”, Founder of BIG, Bjarke Ingels.

ARCHITECTURE-ARQUITECTURA TODAY: Charles Gwathmey’s Modernist Masterpieces

In 1965, Charles Gwathmey, just three years out of the master’s program in architecture at Yale University and fresh off a European trip where he’d immersed himself in the works of Le Corbusier, designed a house for his parents in Amagansett, New York. It wasn’t his first project, but the modest structure—1,200 square feet in size, costing $35,000 to build—instantly altered the landscape of American architecture. It also turned him into a modernist superstar. But for Gwathmey, who died in 2009, what made his practice fulfilling was designing homes for private clients, among them actress Faye Dunaway, actor Jerry Seinfeld, and director Steven Spielberg. He also produced astounding public projects, such as Astor Place condominiums and an addition to the Guggenheim Museum (both in New York City) and the Yale Arts Complex (New Haven, Connecticut)

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

ARCHITECTURE-ARQUITECTURA TODAY: Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture

Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture by The Freelon Group Architects

Design Concept and Solution: Freelon took inspiration from the former Myers School, a touchstone of Charlotte's African-American community in the mid-20th century; its prominent fire escape (and provisional balcony overlooking the city) once symbolized community pride and lifted spirits. Working around an underground parking entrance at street level, the architects put the lobby atrium on the second floor and enclosed it in glass to give visitors that same sense of being lifted above the fray. They used a structural steel frame and clad the front of the building with a perforated metal rain screen backed by galvanized steel sheeting. (The rear facade, which faces a plot slated for development, is stucco accented with strip lighting.) Inspired by the pattern of a quilt, the metal panels of the main facade are stitched together with diagonal aluminum extrusions. In the lobby the architects translated the quilt motif into a sculptural drywall ceiling made from a series of angled planes. The galleries themselves are more subdued, with dark carpets and ceilings to keep the spotlight on the art.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

ARCHITECTURE-ARQUITECTURA TODAY:Hotel Development Munich, Germany, Europe

schmidt hammer lassen architects wins prestigious hotel complex in Munich, Germany

Just one week after winning the design of the new permanent premises for the International Criminal Court in The Hague, schmidt hammer lassen architects wins the architectural competition to design an approx. 40,000 m2 5-star hotel complex in Munich, in the southern part of Germany. This competition is the third large international competition won by schmidt hammer lassen architects in the first quarter of 2010.


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