Architecture


Zaha Hadid: A Brilliant Legacy in Buildings

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March 31, 2016
The death of Zaha Hadid has robbed architecture of one of its most famous and controversial figures. Her buildings and influence means Hadid leaves a vibrant legacy.

The death of Zaha Hadid, one of the world's most famous and influential architects, at 65, came as a shock. She leaves a notable legacy.

Hadid, the Iraqi-born British architect whose work has been celebrated by the top prizes in architecture, including the Pritzker Prize in 2004 and the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Royal Gold Medal in 2016, died suddenly in Miami early Thursday, according to a statement released by her office, Zaha Hadid Architects.

Unfinished Architecture: This Was Almost New York’s Tallest Building

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March 26, 2016
Even though it ended up being significantly shorter than originally planned, the Metropolitan Life North Building has become a New York City architectural landmark.

On Madison Avenue, at the edge of Madison Square Park, in the dense crush of skyscrapers that fill the middle of Manhattan, the Metropolitan Life North Building, one of New York City’s earliest tall buildings, stands out from its surroundings.

In an elegant counterbalance to today’s gleaming glass and steel super-tall towers that are rapidly redrawing the skyline, it is clad in beige limestone and decorated in the art deco style, with vertical flutes running up its sides and intricate details at its roofline.

Unfinished Architecture: Inside Rome's Ghost Stadium

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March 20, 2016
Rome’s unfinished grand swimming stadium was neither a victim of hubris or bad construction—but rather simple economics. It may even have a chance of Olympics life.

By the side of a highway on the outskirts of Rome, a mountain of white steel pops out of the landscape. Curved and climbing to a peak like a rigid circus tent, its gridded, geodesic framing appears from a distance to be some sort of humpback dinosaur's skeleton.

And it is a skeleton, in a way.

This white steel structure is the half-built shell of one building of the Città dello Sport, or Sports City, a complex of sporting facilities for the University of Rome Tor Vergata, master-planned in 2005 by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

Getting the Most Out of the Research and Development Tax Credit

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March 17, 2016
The 35-year-old credit is now a permanent part of the tax code, with looser limits on what kinds of businesses and work can qualify.

The phrase “research and development” (R&D) may bring to mind white lab coats and Silicon Valley brainstorms, but new provisions in the federal tax code could turn workaday architecture firms into R&D hubs. The Research and Experimentation Tax Credit, also known as the R&D Tax Credit, offers up to $10 billion in credits to businesses each tax year. In December, Congress extended and made the 35-year-old credit permanent while changing its scope to allow more small and midsize businesses to participate.

Architect Ric Abramson

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March 15, 2016
The Man Who Deftly Negotiates West Hollywood’s Complex and Contentious Development Process

Ric Abramson may be the developmental conscience of West Hollywood. A longtime resident, Abramson has been almost hyperactively involved in shaping the city’s urban form and function, holding volunteer positions on the General Plan Advisory Committee, the Green Building Committee, the Environmental Task Force, the Sustainable City Committee, the Public Facilities Commission and the West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation Board, all on top of running Workplays, his West Hollywood-based architecture firm.

Unfinished Architecture: Las Vegas' Incredible Shrinking Tower

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February 27, 2016
The plan for Las Vegas’ 49-story Harmon tower sounded, and looked, grand. But it was literally cut down in its prime.

The unfinished architecture of the world comes in many varieties, with many reasons for their halted development.

Some buildings, like cathedrals, remain unfinished, to some eyes, because they can take centuries to build. Some buildings are never completed because, whether due to poor judgment or the hubris of their builders, they’re simply bad ideas. And some buildings are never finished because they can’t be.

Long Beach Mobile ArtSpace

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February 26, 2016
A new arts venue for Long Beach. Winner of a 2016 Progressive Architecture Award.

The Arts Council for Long Beach, Calif., had one major requirement in its competition brief to design a new arts space for the city: The venue had to be mobile. With diverse neighborhoods and a glut of city-owned vacant lots, a movable venue could bring more arts to more of the population.

Hanking Center Tower

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February 25, 2016
An innovative skyscraper by Morphosis rethinks the structural core. Winner of a 2016 Progressive Architecture Award.

From the east and west, the 73-story Hanking Center Tower now rising in the tech hub of Chinese megacity Shenzhen almost seems to be two separate buildings: a boxy, vertical, aluminum-clad monolith and an angular torso of steel and patterned glass that juts out and up, whose sharp creases (pictured at right) give it a body-like profile as it rises. Designed by Los Angeles–based Morphosis Architects, the project is an innovative take on the skyscraper typology, relying not merely on simple formal tweaks but rather a more radical repositioning of its core.

Inside the Big Lebowski’s Porn Mansion: John Lautner’s Most Famous House Becomes a Museum Piece

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February 20, 2016
The house John Lautner designed for The Big Lebowski is going to be donated to LACMA, meaning students will be able to see the architect’s stunning, mid-century modernist architecture up close.

The striking mid-century modernist architecture of John Lautner was seemingly designed for the movies.

His residential projects—many of which are peppered throughout the wealthier parts of Southern California—have become prominent settings for films, from Diamonds are Forever to Lethal Weapon 2 to Less Than Zero to Body Double. One even had an animated turn in an episode of The Simpsons.

Óbidos Technological Park Main Building

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January 19, 2016
A new complex of co-working offices for startups in Portugal.

On the agricultural outskirts of Óbidos, Portugal, a small town about 50 miles north of Lisbon, a voided white square sits atop an undulating landscape near the intersection of Rua da Inovação and Rua da Criatividade. The square structure is the main building of the Óbidos Technological Park, a new complex of co-working offices for startups that aims to be, true to its purpose-built streets, the town’s center of innovation and creativity.