Architecture


Michigan Lake House

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October 1, 2017
A weather-ready home with Japanese influences, by Desai Chia Architecture

Shortly after accepting a commission to design a weekend lake house for a family in northern Michigan, Arjun Desai, AIA, and Katherine Chia, AIA, founding principals of New York–based Desai Chia Architecture, took a trip to Japan that would have an unexpected and dramatic impact on their approach.

Mountain Song

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June 1, 2017
A San Diego architect creates a bold, energy-efficient complement to the Western landscape.

From the floor of Pauma Valley, in northern San Diego County, the 6,142-foot peak of Palomar Mountain is a dominating presence. It virtually pours into one of the valley’s newest homes, where a floor-to-ceiling wall of sliding glass doors and a roofline pitched skyward heighten the visual impact. Designed by San Diego–based StudioAnderson, this 1,800-square-foot two-bedroom residence is really a mountain theater.

Renovation of Wencun Village

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March 3, 2017
Taking inspiration from local materials and vernacular architecture, Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu remade a rural Chinese village in their image.

Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu have been studying villages in China for years, documenting the slow decline of rural towns as the nation has run headlong into a new urbanized era. These villages are the last bastions of a way of life, and a fading traditional architecture. Wang and Lu hope to preserve both, without rebuilding the past: Instead, their Hangzhou-based firm Amateur Architecture Studio is designing new buildings based on traditional forms that aim to rejuvenate these areas—and maybe even lure young people back from cities.

JOSAI I-House Togane Global Village

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November 14, 2016
A new dorm building for a Japanese university.

Japanese universities aren’t typically in the housing business. Students at most schools live at home or rent private apartments nearby—dormitories are all but nonexistent. So there was room to experiment when New York–based Studio SUMO was commissioned by its longtime client, Josai University Educational Corp., to build a dorm for international students at its Josai International University campus in Togane, Japan, outside of Tokyo. ...

Spray-On House - Architect Magazine 2016 R&D Awards

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July 27, 2016
After years of mock-ups and tests, Patrick Tighe Architecture is close to realizing a residential building made mostly of spray foam.

Polyurethane spray foam is known for its use as insulation, quickly and effectively filling in wall cavities and lining attic roofs. The Spray-On House by Patrick Tighe Architecture shows how it can do much more.

Infundibuliforms - Kinetic Tensile Surface Environments - Architect Magazine 2016 R&D Awards

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July 20, 2016
In the nascent world of dynamic architecture, RVTR and Matter Design utilize algorithms and 3D printing to design an experimental and adaptable surface.

A metal ring woven with mesh, like a giant embroidery hoop, suspends from the ceiling. Suddenly, the netting moves and breaks the plane of the ring in opposing directions, creating three convex or concave funnels. Within seconds, the infundibuliform (meaning funnel- or cone-like) shapes shift again, collapsing into themselves, transitioning from mountain peaks to vortices and back again.

Grove - Architect Magazine 2016 R&D Awards

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July 20, 2016
GLD Architecture's whimsical installation for curious passersby represents a significant step in architectural form-making.

At the 2015 Design Biennial Boston, a cluster of curious, oblong vessels propped on a metal armature invited onlookers to pop their heads into an enclosure created by the intersecting volumes of their papier-mâché-like skins. The cluster of 8- to 10-foot-tall, 4-foot-diameter forms is titled Grove. Brookline, Mass.–based GLD Architecture designed the installation to give people the experience of simultaneously inhabiting an intimate enclosure and a public space.

Blooming Bamboo House - Architect Magazine 2016 R&D Awards

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July 20, 2016
H&P Architects doubles down on bamboo to develop a housing prototype that can endure a range of natural disasters.

Vietnam suffers from a relentless cycle of floods, landslides, earthquakes, and more. Because much of the country’s housing stock is poorly constructed—and unsanctioned—the natural disasters destroy thousands of families’ homes every year.

To minimize the risk of destruction, Hanoi-based H&P Architects developed the Blooming Bamboo House, a residential housing model that utilizes local materials and can be built by laypeople at a low cost.

Vegas Altas Congress Center and Auditorium - Architect Magazine 2016 R&D Awards

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July 20, 2016
Pancorbo + de Villar + Chacón + Martín Robles craft a striking veil from recycled cables to soften the silhouette of their concrete cube building.

The architects behind the new Vegas Altas Congress Center in Villanueva de la Serena, Spain, wanted the 74,000-square-foot project to blend seamlessly into the landscape, becoming a scenic fringe between the medieval town’s urban streetscape and its agricultural hinterlands. But they also wanted the building to be a landmark, distinct from its bucolic setting. So they crafted a structure that does both.

LELU Exit Sign - Architect Magazine 2016 R&D Awards

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July 20, 2016
Interloop—Architecture saw an opportunity to rework the much-begrudged object required in every building.

The exit sign—humble, omnipresent, code-mandated—is begrudged by designers. Perched above doors and in the nooks of long corridors, its fluorescent letters glow, gleefully indifferent to any adjacent color palettes, finishes, and details. Though essential in emergency situations, the exit sign is often the bane of architecture practitioners.