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A House Is Not Just a House

A House Is Not Just a House: Projects on Housing
Tatiana Bilbao
Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, October 2018



Paperback | 5 x 7-1/2 inches | 160 pages | # illustrations | Languages | ISBN: 978-1941332436 | $23.00

Publisher Description:
A House Is Not Just a House argues precisely this. The book traces Tatiana Bilbao’s diverse work on housing ranging from large-scale social projects to single-family luxury homes. Regardless of type, her work advances an argument on housing that is simultaneously expansive and minimal, inseparable from the broader environment outside of it and predicated on the fundamental requirements of living. The projects presented here offer a way of thinking about the limits of housing: where it begins and where it ends. Working within the complex and unstable history of social housing in Mexico, Bilbao argues for participating even when circumstances are less than ideal—and from this participation she is able to propose specific strategies for producing housing elsewhere.

The book includes a recent lecture by Bilbao at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, as well as reflections from fellow practitioners and scholars, including Amale Andraos, Gabriela Etchegaray, Hilary Sample, and Ivonne Santoyo-Orozco.
dDAB Commentary:

Shortlisted Projects Announced for the EU Mies Award 2019

The European Commission and the Mies van der Rohe Foundation have announced the 40 shortlisted works that will compete for the 2019 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award. The Prize, for which ArchDaily is a media partner, has seen a jury distill 383 nominated works into a 40-project-strong, celebrating the trends and opportunities in adaptive reuse, housing, and culture across Europe.

Read more »

Catskill Keep: An Abandoned Cursed Castle In Upstate NY

[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

Abandoned Dundas Castle in upstate New York is said to be cursed: its builder died and his family were committed to asylums before they could even move in.

Ralph Wurts-Dundas (1871-1921) was a wealthy recluse who, since he could not BE a Scottish laird, did the next best thing by living like one… at least, that was the plan. In 1907, Dundas bought a log cabin on the banks of the Beaverkill River, deep in New York’s lush and forested Catskill Mountains. The cabin, known locally as “Beaverkill Lodge”, featured many comfort and convenience features but for Dundas only a stone-walled and luxuriously furnished castle would do.

Highlands Fling

The Environmental Cost of Cement, and What to Do About It

Sesc Pompeia / Lina Bo Bardi. Image © Fernando Pires Sesc Pompeia / Lina Bo Bardi. Image © Fernando Pires

For thousands of years, concrete has been a foundation of the built environment: the most widely used man-made material on the planet. However, as architects, and the public alike, sharpen their focus on the causes and effects of climate change, the environmental damage caused by cement has become a subject of unease.

As exhibited in a recent in-depth article by Lucy Rodgers for BBC News, cement is the source of about 8% of global CO2 emissions. The piece was written off the back of the UN’s COP24 climate change conference in Poland and found that in order to meet the requirements of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, annual cement emissions must fall by 16% by 2030.

If the cement industry were a country, it would be the third largest emitter in the world – behind China and the US. It contributes more CO2 than aviation fuel (2.5%) and is not far behind the global agriculture business. (12%).
-Lucy Rodgers, BBC News

Oscar Niemeyer to be Featured on the Streets of Rio

Contemporary Art Museum (MAC). Image © Iñigo Bujedo-Aguirre Contemporary Art Museum (MAC). Image © Iñigo Bujedo-Aguirre

The work of Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer is currently being featured by the city of Rio de Janeiro. Throughout the month of January, mock-ups and engravings signed by the architect can be seen in Barra da Tijuca, in the city’s West Side. There, visitors can discover the history of Brazilian architecture and see some of Niemeyer's most famous work. The RioCVB created the exhibition to celebrate Niemeyer's legacy and showcase Brazil's landmark buildings.

Ornament, Crime & Prejudice: Where Loos' Manifesto Fails to Understand People

© Aga Khan Award for Architecture © Aga Khan Award for Architecture

This article was originally published on CommonEdge as "African Architecture: Ornament, Crime & Prejudice."

I have always been fascinated by architectural theory. Over the years I’ve read a wide range of works, but none of them intrigued, perplexed and unsettled me as much as “Ornament and Crime,”Adolf Loos’ controversial polemic written a handful of years before the outbreak of World War I.

I first came across Loos’ essay as a young African design student living in Europe. The essay unnerved me for two reasons: I was studying to become a “modern” designer, reading the appropriate canon of literature, but I’d come from a culture deeply rooted in ornamentation, so the piece felt like a direct affront on a key aspect of my cultural identity.

Amanzoe Luxury Hotel & Villas / Edward Tuttle | Designrealization

© Pygmalion Karatzas © Pygmalion Karatzas
  • Mechanical Engineer: LDK
  • Structural Engineer: KION
  • Lighting Engineer: FOSS
  • Construction: Domotechniki
  • Collaborators: Denniston International Architects & Planners Ltd
  • Associates: Tsoulos & Associates / architect Konstantinos Gregoriadis
  • Design Date: 2008 - 2010
  • Completion Year, Phase One (Main Hotel Facilities & Pavilions): 2012

The Most Anticipated Projects of 2019

National Museum of Qatar / Ateliers Jean Nouvel . Image © Iwan Baan National Museum of Qatar / Ateliers Jean Nouvel . Image © Iwan Baan

As 2018 winds to a close, we've started to look ahead to the projects we're most looking forward to in 2019. Many of the projects listed here have been in the works for years, having experienced the frustrating false starts and lulls that come in a profession dependent on long-term and significant capital investment, not to mention changing politics. 

With those shifting tides in mind, there are similarities and harmonies between some of the following works that seem to go beyond mere coincidence. Some are obvious. Qatar is to be the site of a number of major works in the coming years, an architectural boom tied to its status as host of major world events such as Expo2020 and the 2022 World Cup. In New York, the Hudson Yards megaproject will be the site of not one, but two architectural follies for the 21st century. 

As is always the case in these architecture roundups, a vast number of these projects are cultural, but there is a specific and shared focus on national heritage that shouldn't go unnoticed. It's a particularly intriguing development as heritage has and continues to become imbued with fraught political meaning. Money speaks.  

Below, the projects we most look forward to seeing in 2019: 

Breeze House / Fran Silvestre Arquitectos

© Diego Opazo © Diego Opazo
  • Interior Design: Alfaro Hofmann
  • Collaborators: María Masià, Estefanía Soriano, Pablo Camarasa, Sandra Insa, Santi Dueña, Ricardo Candela, David Sastre, Sevak Asatrián, Álvaro Olivares, Eduardo Sancho, Esther Sanchis, Vicente Picó, Ruben March, Jose Manuel Arnao, Rosa Juanes, Gemma Aparicio, Giuseppe Felici, Luiz Eduardo Lupatini, Silvia Bonet, Carmela Martí
  • Structure: Josep Ramon Solé | Windmill
  • Quantity Surveyor: Carlos Garcia
  • Builder: Construcciones Hugo Pérez

An Architectural Guide to Belfast: 20 Unmissable Sites in Northern Ireland's Capital

© Shutterstock © Shutterstock

The city of Belfast is enjoying a resurgence of life. Having been gripped by decades of conflict over politics and religion, the Northern Irish capital has been transformed by peace over the past ten years, and now hosts an array of sublime architecture old and new, by renowned architects past and present.

The urban landscape of Belfast, transitioning between industry, culture, arts, commerce, and education, makes the city a worthy destination for architects and designers. Influenced by Irish and British vernacular styles, shaped by the demands of shipbuilding, linen, security, and now post-conflict confidence, the city remains somewhat of a blank canvas for creatives to experiment, reflect, and dream.