Category: Inspiration

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…

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Preservation of Historic Mosques: Building and Context

  Historic mosques pose unique challenges for restoration and preservation. While it is important to preserve the building fabric itself, it is equally important to respect the historic evolution of mosque forms over time, and to consider the role of social and urban context. By: Nihad Alamiri – Marketing Manager. May 2017   For much…

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Alvar Aalto’s Regionally-Specific Modern Architecture

  Alvar Aalto (1898–1976) embraced international modernism — but modified it to fit the culture and climate of his home country, Finland. His work in architecture and interior design reflects a decades-long effort to balance modern technology with nature and craft traditions.   Aalto’s strong sense of place was apparent in one of his first…

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Book Review – Riyadh: Oasis of Heritage and Vision

. Riyadh, Omrania’s home city, has grown at a breakneck speed over the past few decades. Yet much of the world remains unaware of both its deeper heritage and its bold future, as projected in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. A new book offers a wealth of information and imagery.   Riyadh: Oasis of Heritage and…

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How the Hancock Center and Tube Structures Changed Skyscraper History

. In the 1960s, engineer Fazlur R. Khan, working for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), proposed a new way for tall buildings to support themselves.   Instead of relying upon a conventional steel frame system, he pushed most of the structural elements to the perimeter, so that the entire building would behave structurally as a…

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Documentary: Arab Women in Architecture

  “Arab Women in Architecture” is a documentary film featuring interviews with 19 architects from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Saudi Arabia.   Produced in connection with the Omrania | CSBE Student Award for Architectural Design in 2013, the 56-minute film explores the subject of the practice of architecture by Arab women architects and…

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Expo 67 and the Promise of New Technology

  “A great World’s Fair,” according to Museum of Modern Art curator Paola Antonelli, “is a plausible fantasy based on the impact of science and technology on society.” The 1967 International and Universal Exposition, known as Expo 67, which opened to the public on 27 April 1967 and attracted more than 50 million visitors to…

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The Evolution of Mosque Architecture

  Mosques are more than places of worship — they are community gathering spaces that take a variety of forms depending on their cultural and environmental context. Since the foundation of Islam in the seventh century CE, the architecture of mosques has reflected the various roles they have played in Muslim society, including educational, civic, ceremonial,…

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Engineering a City of Bridges

  The hilltop city of Constantine, Algeria, perched on a plateau 640 meters above sea level, has long been shaped by its extreme topography. Bisected by the gorge of the Rhumel River, it is known as the “City of Bridges,” with the ancient citadel or “kasbah” on one side and the modern city on the…

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Richard Neutra’s vision for a more livable modernism

  Today we honor the legacy of Richard J. Neutra (April 8, 1892—April 16, 1970), the architect whose approach to modern architecture and landscape reflects the ideals of health and livability.   Much more so than many of his early-modernist peers, Neutra, sought to bring the natural world into architecture. His many built works, together…

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