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X-Architects' to Design an Urban Mosque That Forms the "Heart of the Neighborhood" in Abu Dhabi

Courtesy of X-Architects Courtesy of X-Architects

The Dubai-based firm, X-Architects, have found inspiration in the cultural and architectural heritage of Islam for their new design. The Revelation Mosque, a +2500 square meter project, aims to create a new "heart of the neighborhood" in Abu Dhabi, UAE. In creating a generous urban void among a towering context, the proposal offers an immersive escape from everyday life, where the public (regardless of religion) can gather, communicate, and interact with one another.

Love in Las Vegas: 99% Invisible Illuminates Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown’s Postmodern Romance

© <a href=''>Public Domain user Jean Beaufort</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC0 Public Domain</a> © <a href=''>Public Domain user Jean Beaufort</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC0 Public Domain</a>

Which building is better, the duck or the ornamented shed? More importantly, what kind of architecture does the average American prefer? In their landmark 1972 publication Learning From Las Vegas, Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi probed these questions by turning their back on paternalistic modernism in favor of the glowing, overtly kitsch, and symbolic Mecca of the Las Vegas strip.

In Japan, A Vibrant Community Springs to Life Beneath a Disused Overpass

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

A notorious red light district and black market before it was swept and shut down by authorities in 2005, the cavernous space beneath an overpass in Yokohama sat empty for years until a social redevelopment project gave it a new lease on life. The Koganecho Centre is a complex of cultural spaces tucked between the concrete columns, which act to unify the disparate architectural styles of the individual buildings. Not only has the project made the space functional again for residents of Japan’s second most populous city, it’s given a new identity to a district that was flailing.

Bye Bye Boring Workspace: 12 Office Arrangements That Feel Fresh & Fun

[ By SA Rogers in Design & Furniture & Decor. ]

Fun workspace features like slides and outlandishly creative office design schemes get a lot of attention, but ultimately, the individual workspaces where employees carry out most of their daily tasks are more germane to both happiness and productivity. Should they be private, or prioritize openness and collaboration? Should they be serious, or a little quirky and fun? These 12 modern workspaces show how various companies and designers have answered those questions, and most of the time, the solutions are somewhere in between – with a heavy emphasis on adaptability and choice.

Treehouse 2 by Dymitr Malcew

Future Organic: Guggenheim Gallery in Tulum Combines Vines & Cement

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

What if the architecture of the future was fluid, organic and infused with an enhanced connection to the Earth? IK LAB, a new open-air art gallery in Tulum, Mexico, gives us a glimpse of what that could look like. Founded by Santiago Rumney Guggenheim and designed by Jorge Eduardo Neira Serkel, IK LAB is envisioned as a new way to approach gallery spaces, allowing the character of the setting to interplay with art rather than isolating it in a blank white cube. That way, the art almost takes on a new life anywhere it’s displayed, shifting slightly in dialogue with its surroundings instead of remaining static.

Spotlight: Rafael Moneo

National Museum of Roman Art. Image © <a href=''>Flickr user pictfactory</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0</a> National Museum of Roman Art. Image © <a href=''>Flickr user pictfactory</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0</a>

As the first ever Spanish architect to receive the Pritzker PrizeRafael Moneo (born 9 May 1937) is known for his highly contextual buildings which nonetheless remain committed to modernist stylings. His designs are regularly credited as achieving the elusive quality of "timelessness"; as critic Robert Campbell wrote in his essay about Moneo for the Pritzker Prize, "a Moneo building creates an awareness of time by remembering its antecedents. It then layers this memory against its mission in the contemporary world."

Atelier Deshaus: "The Idea Is Not to Create an Object But to Construct a Path"

Long Museum West Bund, Shanghai, 2014. Image © Su Shengliang Long Museum West Bund, Shanghai, 2014. Image © Su Shengliang

In China's newly emerging constellation of famed architects, few firms elicit the sense of surprise caused by the work of Atelier Deshaus. With projects ranging from awe-inspiring to humble, their work does not adhere to any stylistic rules, but all of their projects exude an enigmatic aura. In this interview, the latest in Vladimir Belogolovsky’s “City of Ideas” series, principals Liu Yichun and Chen Yifeng discuss the role of identity in their work and how they try to connect their buildings to the landscape.

Vladimir Belogolovsky: Is it true that you each design different projects in the studio? Why is that?

Liu Yichun: This has been true since 2010. Before that we always designed everything together. We used to have endless discussions and too many disagreements and arguments. That’s why we decided to pursue two parallel paths. This approach led to greater efficiency and it helped us to formulate clearer ideas of our independent views of architecture. It also helps us to diversify our work and to avoid forming one recognizable style.

Society of Architectural Historians Announces 2018 Publication Award Recipients

Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians

Get ready to add to your reading and watch lists because the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) just announced the 2018 award recipients for the SAH Publication, Film and Video Awards. Winners received their awards at SAH’s 71st Annual International Conference awards ceremony on April 20th in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The list of SAH Award recipients represents some of the best media in architectural, urban, and landscape history, as well as historic preservation scholarship and architectural exhibition catalogs. Nominations for the 2019 awards will be accepted by SAH on June 1st of this year. 

See the list of this year's SAH Award recipients below.

Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award

For nearly 70 years, the Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award has acclaimed one of the most scholarly works of architectural history published by a North American scholar. 

A Sculpture Garden Next to the High Line

On Saturday I gave an architectural walking tour of the High Line, the first time I'd given the tour since the fall. Since development along the elevated park continues at a speedy pace, I walked the park early to apprise myself of anything new. What stood out the most was a small gallery building by studioMDA under construction right next to the park on West 27th Street, embraced by Zaha Hadid Architects' 520 West 28th Street. It is one of a number of galleries being created by Related Companies, developer of the ZHA condo building, and will house, according to 6sqft, the Paul Kasmin Gallery. Construction is expected to wrap up later this year.

[Facade on West 27th Street | Image: Studio MDA/ Related Companies; all renderings via 6sqft]

Atop the gallery is a grid of 28 skylights and a green roof doubling as a sculpture garden. Brooklyn's Future Green describes it as "a verdant extension to the elevated park [that] showcases outdoor art works in a rich seasonal tapestry."

How To Make Calculations for Staircase Designs

© José Tomás Franco © José Tomás Franco

This question can be basic and you may know the answer, but it's always good to remember some elementary calculations that help us to streamline the design process.

As we know, a staircase consists basically of a series of steps, which in turn consist of a tread (the horizontal part, where the foot will rest) and a riser (the vertical part). Although it can vary in its design, each step must also have one or more landings, handrails, and a small nosing. The latter protrudes from the tread over the lower step, allowing to increase its size without adding centimeters to the overall dimensions of the staircase.

Check the effective formula developed by French architect François Blondel, which allows you to determine the correct dimensions of a comfortable and efficient staircase according to its use.

© José Tomás Franco © José Tomás Franco

2 Risers + 1 Tread = 63-65 cm