Category: Inspiration

BOOK REVIEW — THE FUNCTION OF ORNAMENT

  The Function of Ornament became an instant classic by showing how modern architectural ornament reflects cultural values not by transmitting specific symbolic content, but by transmitting timeless perceptual experiences.   First published in 2006, The Function of Ornament collects work produced in a studio at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design led by…

Read More

HOW GEOMETRY IS USED IN ISLAMIC DESIGN

 . The geometric techniques enabling complex patterns in Islamic design are revealed in a 5-minute TED-Ed animated lesson. . “In Islamic culture, geometry is everywhere.” These are the opening words of an animated lesson entitled “The Complex Geometry of Islamic Design” created by the Britain-based author and artist Eric Broug. In just five minutes, Broug…

Read More

A SCHOOL MADE BY HAND, USING LOCAL KNOWLEDGE AND MATERIALS

  The METI Handmade School exemplifies how architecture can improve lives and preserve cultural identity. Located in the rural village of Rudrapur, Bangladesh, the school was designed by architects Anna Heringer and Eike Roswag to be built with local knowledge, local skills, and local materials.   Rudrapur’s vernacular earth and straw buildings are often poorly…

Read More

NEW MOSQUE ARCHITECTURE: BALANCING TRADITION AND MODERNITY

  The design of new mosques poses considerable challenges to contemporary architects, who must honor the past while leaving room for continuing evolution of a living building type.   By: Nihad Alamiri, Marketing Manager – August 2017   Today, most architects stand in awe before the grand edifices that were built in the past. The…

Read More

Remembering Sinan, master builder and architect

  The great architect-engineer Sinan combined technical mastery and aesthetic vision to create an astounding series of buildings, monuments, and public works at the height of the Ottoman Empire.   Few architects or engineers in history cast a larger shadow that Sinan (1489–1588), whose majestic structures and engineering projects redefined the built environment of Istanbul…

Read More

Book Review : The Arab City – Architecture and Representation

  There is perhaps no better place to examine the forging of identity through architecture — and the layering of old and new — than the cities of the Middle East and North Africa.   The Arab City: Architecture and Representation analyzes contemporary architectural and urban production in the Middle East, including both the rising cities of…

Read More

Pier Luigi Nervi and the Marriage of Architecture and Engineering

  Operating at the intersection of architecture and engineering, Pier Luigi Nervi explored the formal and structural limitations of his concrete throughout his distinguished career.   Italian structural innovator Pier Luigi Nervi (June 21, 1891–January 9, 1979) was described by architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner as “the most brilliant artist in reinforced concrete of our time.”…

Read More

The Great Mosque of Cordoba, a timeless masterpiece

. Unlike works of architecture conceived as a complete whole, the Great Mosque of Cordoba shows how modular design enables multiple expansions and adaptation over time.   An extraordinary achievement of medieval architecture, the Great Mosque of Cordoba, Spain was expanded three times after the original structure was completed in 787 CE. Each of the…

Read More

How Medieval Islamic Craftsmen Influenced Mechanical Engineering

. The classical age of Islamic civilization yielded advances in mechanical engineering along with mathematics and sciences.   Although much of the technology developed in the Arab world between approximately 800 CE and 1250 CE was passed from masters to apprentices without being formally documented, a number of inventors compiled illustrated manuscripts to share their…

Read More

Frei Otto’s Lightweight Architecture

. The visionary German architect Frei Otto (31 May 1925 – 9 March 2015) spent his entire career looking to nature for inspiration, hoping to understand the “physical, biological, and technical processes which give rise to objects.”   His studies of natural structures and systems — including everything from animal skeletons to soap bubbles to…

Read More

Book Review : Making It Modern

. The story of modern architecture and design has been told and re-told, but the story continues to unfold, changing our perspective on the past. Fresh questions arise as we contemplate how architects and engineers responded to the burst of ideas, technology, and social and economic forces that followed in the wake of the industrial…

Read More

From brownfield to urban garden: the Buttes-Chaumont Park at 150 years

  The idea of turning former industrial sites into public parks has become more common in recent years, but it is not new. In the spring of 1867, the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont opened on a difficult site previously used for extracting gypsum and dumping urban waste.   The 25-hectare park — the third largest in…

Read More