Category: Inspiration

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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,…

Read More

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,…

Read More

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…

Read More

How the Parc de la Villette Launched a New Era of Urban Park Design

  The Parc de la Villette in Paris, France, dramatically expanded ideas of what an urban park could be. The 1982 competition to design the park, won by the Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi, attracted more than 450 proposals from around the world seeking to envision “a park for the twenty-first century.”   Built on the…

Read More

How the Milan Galleria influenced the architecture of shopping

  Opened in 1867, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II dramatically integrated modern shopping culture with urban public space. Consisting of an interior shopping street covered by a glass-and-iron roof, Milan’s magnificent shopping arcade connected two important public spaces, the Piazza del Duomo and the Piazza della Scala. It was the epitome of a new building…

Read More

How the Hajj Terminal welcomes pilgrims to Saudi Arabia

  The cable-stayed, fabric-roofed structure of the Hajj Terminal at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia covers 40.5 hectares, making it one of the largest airport terminals in the world and a case study in climate-specific design.   The open-air structure, completed in 1981 to designs by architect Gordon Bunshaft and engineer Fazlur…

Read More

EERO SAARINEN AND THE EXPRESSION OF STRUCTURE

  Transcending simple notions of style, Eero Saarinen was one of the most eclectic architects of his day.   Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen (1910 – 1961) brought form and function together in striking original ways. The son of architect Eliel Saarinen, the younger Saarinen made a name for himself in 1945 when he co-designed the…

Read More

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