Category: Inspiration

Things the Young Architect Needs to Know but Didn’t Learn in School

    The transition from architectural school to the workforce can be jarring for many architects who aren’t trained to balance design aspirations with practical considerations. By Mahmoud Abughazal, LEED AP. Head of Architecture and Interior Design   A typical architectural student spends five years or more learning how to create design concepts with the…

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Water Management: Why the Alhambra Palace Was Ahead of its Time

  On a hill overlooking Granada, Spain is one of the most celebrated works of medieval Islamic architecture, and perhaps the only surviving site that displays the splendor of the last Islamic rule of Spain. Its history is complex and its functions diverse, but one thing is for certain: it is an architectural and engineering…

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“The Future of Making Buildings”: An Insider’s View

  Architect, educator and former Autodesk VP Phil Bernstein talks about how the rise of BIM technology is changing the nature of architecture.   By now most architects know what Building Information Modeling (BIM) is all about, but few understand its implications and potential better than Phil Bernstein, an architect, technologist and educator who helped…

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Book Review: Nature and Cities

  “Landscapes do not lie; they are the embodiment of all that we do on Earth,” the editors ofNature and Citieswrite in their introduction. Faced with seemingly limitless urbanization, they challenge planners and designers to think creatively about sustaining nature and building communities.   This volume — named a Best Book of 2016 by the American…

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The Story of a Super-Material: Concrete Then and Now

    The cornerstone of the global construction industry is, for better and worse, concrete. Builders ancient and modern have been drawn to the material’s durability, versatility, and efficiency, but its benefits come at an environmental cost. Researchers today are finding new ways to improve concrete’s performance and mitigate its expense.   Mukhtar Ibrahim, Head…

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A 100-Year-Old Glass Curtain Wall Ahead of Its Time

  Featuring the first glass curtain wall in the United States, the Hallidie Building in San Francisco still feels surprisingly modern 100 years after its completion.   When the Hallidie Building was completed in 1918, it presented a striking contrast to the heavy masonry structures that lined the streets of San Francisco and most other…

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‘Subtle and Bold’: A Tribute to Jørn Utzon at 100

Never one to imitate or repeat himself, Utzon’s designs are all rooted in the traditions of the places he worked. He drew inspiration from everything he saw and experienced, from the Mayan pyramids in Mexico to the design of a tea house in Japan.   Today, when we see the Sydney Opera House, it is…

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The Original Green City Planner: Alphand In Paris

  The engineer Adolphe Alphand led the multi-disciplinary planning office responsible for transforming and greening Paris in the 19th century.   While G.E. Haussmann is remembered mostly for piercing the historic urban fabric of Paris with wide boulevards, perhaps his best move was hiring the engineer J.C. Adolphe Alphand (1817–1891) in 1854 to direct the…

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The Elevator That Could Revolutionize Architecture, Again

  In 1854, the invention of the elevator heralded the invention of the skyscraper. Today, a new, dramatically redesigned “two-dimensional” elevator system may once again transform our skylines.   Structural steel framing made it possible for our buildings to reach great heights, but before the elevator no one wanted to reach any higher than five…

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The Smartest Building In The World?

  Referred to as “the first building in the world that interacts with people,” The Agnelli Foundation can create personalized atmospheric “bubbles” that follow inhabitants through the building.   The term “smart city” is a vaguely defined concept used to describe the integration of digital technologies into urban infrastructure to make the built environment safer,…

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Sustainable Materials — Building With Earth And Stone

  Solar panels and green roofs may be the most overt signs of a “green” building, but sustainable architecture begins with selecting sustainable materials. By Hugh Kidman, Chief Design Architect – October 2017   As Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region increasingly embrace sustainable architecture and design,…

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Stitching Past and Present: The Neues Museum, Berlin

  The reconstruction of the Neues Museum by David Chipperfield Architects artfully weaves contemporary forms into a tattered historic fabric, creating a sense of architectural continuity that reflects the passing of time and the events that shaped history.   Originally opened in 1855, the Neues Museum in Berlin was built to display archaeological artifacts gathered…

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