ArchiWEB Explorer: Europe

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Designmuseum Danmark . Copenhagen COBE Designmuseum Danmark is uniquely located in the historical centre of Copenhagen, in the Frederiksstaden district, which is considered one of the most important rococo complexes in Europe. The project aims to open up the arrival area of the museum and create a more inviting and transparent setting for the museum … Continue reading COBE

Spomeniks: The Antifascist History Behind Abstract Yugoslav Monuments

[ By SA Rogers in Culture & History & Travel. ]

Removed from their context, the strange concrete monuments dotting the landscape of the former Yugoslavia can seem abstract, inscrutable, even “alien.” Called “Spomeniks” after the Serbo-Croatian word for “monument,” the massive sculptures were virtually unknown to the rest of the world before photographer Jan Kempenaers documented them with these striking photographs between 2006 – 2009.

With renewed interest came the spread of misinformation, as some claimed the monuments were Communist propaganda. But in truth, they weren’t displays of patriotic nationalism; they each commemorated specific local events, often antifascist uprisings by local citizens. Though many of them were built by and for the victims of fascist regimes, they’re often seen online alongside Nazi monuments with no references to their true meaning.

Spots in Shots

Spots in Shots: Narrating the Built Environment in Short Film
Mélanie van der Hoorn
nai010 Publishers, March 2019

Hardcover | 8-1/2 x 10-1/4 inches | 240 pages | 120 illustrations | Dutch/English | ISBN: 978-9462084568 | $50.00

Publisher Description:
Spots in Shots explores a selection of little-known but fascinating short films made in Europe and the US between 1990 and 2017 that tell stories about architecture and urban development. Based on interviews with the filmmakers, the book asks how cinema can stir public interest in the oeuvres of architects.

Among the numerous cinematic gems discussed here are John Smith’s
Blight (1996); Kibwe Tavares and Factory Fifteen’s Jonah (2012); Assembly Studios’ Fort Dunlop Green (2004); The Neighbourhood’s Saxton Leeds (2008); Imagen Subliminal’s El Espinar House (2013); Squint/Opera’s Post Barnsley (2003); Jem Cohen & Luc Sante’s Le bled (Buildings in a Field) (2009); Gabriel Kogan & Pedro Kok’s Casa Redux (2014); and Jordi Bernadó & 15-L Films’ Hic Sunt Leones (2013).
dDAB Commentary:

Softer solutions to Nairobi's traffic pollution problem

16 Outstanding Spanish Refurbishment Projects

© José Hevia © José Hevia

In the last few years, Europe has become a leader in refurbishment architecture by renovating and remodeling buildings and historic city centers. These initiatives have halted horizontal expansion and promote equitable city development. 

This trend has not only become a contribution towards the densification and revitalization of underserved sectors but has also allowed families who had been displaced to the periphery to inhabit city centers and improve their quality of life.

Out of all the European countries, this trend is most apparent in Spain. To inspire and encourage the development of this type of architecture, please find below some examples of interior renovations in Spanish houses. Convent Carmen by Francesc Rifé Studio in Valencia, Spain has been selected as one of our finalist for the 2019 Refurbishment in Architecture Awards.

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Ricardo Bofill

Ricardo Bofill: Visions of Architecture
Edited by Gestalten wtih Ricardo Bofill
Gestalten, May 2019

Hardcover | 9-3/4 x 13 inches | 300 pages | English | ISBN: 978-3899559408 | $69.00

Publisher Description:
Ricardo Bofill is one of the 20th century’s most unique architects and radical visionaries. His visions for urban and communal life challenged preconceived notions of shared space and proposed alternative styles of living. This monograph explores his revolutionary approach by profiling his greatest projects like La Fábrica, Walden 7, La Muralla Roja or Abraxas. Spectacular new photography by Salva López, texts by experts like Nacho Alegre and Douglas Murphy as well as by Bofill himself are complemented with sketches and floor plans. Bofill’s fantastic creations satisfy a longing for originality, personality and progressive ideals.
dDAB Commentary:

Rethinking Sacred Spaces for New Purposes

© Stijn Poelstra © Stijn Poelstra

In the wake of the recent fires at Paris’ Notre Dame and the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, we have seen many architects propose new ways of rebuilding these sacred spaces, opening them up to new possibilities.

Historically, after the decline of the Catholic Church and the increasing loss of faith in several locations in Europe and in North America, the maintenance costs and the disuse of sacred spaces has led to the eventual abandonment of churches, shrines and monasteries with great architectural and historical value.

This opens a new opportunity for investors and architects to rescue and re-contextualize the historical heritage of these buildings. Below we present 15 examples of adaptive reuse in ancient churches--transformed into hotels, homes, museums, libraries and other cultural spaces.

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Make Sense

Make Sense: Architecture by White
White Arkitkter
Laurence King, May 2019

Hardcover | 7-3/4 x 9-3/4 inches | 272 pages | 3670 illustrations | English | ISBN: 978-1786274144 | $29.99

Publisher Description:
White Arkitekter, Scandinavia’s leading interdisciplinary architecture practice, create environments that inspire sustainable ways of living. An employee-owned company founded by Sidney White in 1951, White is a collective of people interested in people. They are architects, anthropologists, planners, engineers, artists, sustainability experts, researchers and more.

In their new book, White showcase over 80 international projects. By integrating research and practice, their work pushes levels of sustainability even higher – it ‘makes sense’ in every way. Their projects range from residential apartments to trekking cabins, from schools to offices, from pop-up parks to nature reserves, and from hospitals to an entire city relocation. To build takes many hands and many minds – it is a marriage of sensibility and sensitivity. The projects in Make Sense aim for a better future – for people and for the planet.
dDAB Commentary:

Footloose: Canada’s Abandoned Bata Shoe Factory

[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

The former Bata shoe factory in “Batawa” – a company town located in southern Ontario – forged fine footwear for footloose Canucks from 1939 to the year 2000.


The Bata Shoe Company was founded in 1894 in Zlin, Austria-Hungary, by Tomas Bata and his two siblings. By 1932 the company had grown to become “shoemaker to the world”, boasting 16,560 employees, 1,645 stores, and 25 other non-footwear enterprises. That same year, an aircraft crash took the life of Tomas Bata, leaving the company’s fate and fortunes to his brother Jan Antonin and his son, Thomas John Bata.

Czech Your Privilege

“Intuition Must Be Grounded to The Site and Context”: In Conversation with Oscar Ko of Interval Architects 

Tower of Bricks. Image Courtesy of Oscar Ko Tower of Bricks. Image Courtesy of Oscar Ko

Oscar Ko was born in Harbin, China and moved with his parents to Hong Kong at the age of five. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Architecture at the University of Michigan and Master’s from Columbia University in 2006. After spending seven years in America, he relocated to Europe where his original plan was to stay for four-five years or longer but after talking to older friends practicing in China he quickly realized that there are more opportunities in his native China.