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…

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The Kingdom Centre: An Icon for Riyadh

. A symbol of modern Riyadh since it was completed in 2002, the Kingdom Centre contains a mixed-use program that has made it one of the most active and thriving places in the city.   Fifteen years after the opening of the 300-meter-tall Kingdom Centre in Riyadh, it is virtually impossible to imagine the Saudi…

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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…

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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…

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THE KING ABDULAZIZ LIBRARY AND AUDITORIUM AT 18 YEARS OLD

  The King Abdulaziz Library and Auditorium buildings have served as the cultural heart of Riyadh since their completion in 1999.   Located in the King Abdul Aziz Historical Centre, a 374,000-square-meter urban redevelopment project, the library and auditorium buildings wrap around a large public plaza. Their gently curving facades are clad in the same…

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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…

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Life @ Omrania : The Amman Office

  The modern, light-filled work environment embodies the company’s core values and design philosophy.   Completed in 2014, Omrania’s branch office in Amman, Jordan is designed with the needs of today’s professionals in mind. Its combination of edgy sophistication and quiet elegance reflects the company’s contemporary identity. The 1,111 square-meter office overlooks the homes, embassies,…

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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…

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VIDEO PREVIEW OF ARRIYADH METRO WESTERN STATION

. The integrated light rail and bus station will offer vibrant gardens, markets, and other public amenities. Currently under construction, the Western Station is one of four multimodal hubs anchoring the new metropolitan transit system comprising six light-rail lines, three bus rapid transit (BRT) lines, 24 local bus routes, and multiple park-and-ride facilities. The station…

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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…

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BEACON OF THE NIGHT SKY: THE KINGDOM CENTRE

  After sunset, the skyline of Riyadh comes to life with the colorful glow of the instantly recognizable Kingdom Centre. The iconic 300-meter tower, designed by Omrania in association with Ellerbe Becket, is crowned by an inverted catenary arch spanned by a glass skybridge observatory — a familiar and beloved sight on the Riyadh skyline. When…

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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…

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