Friday, September 23, 2022

The 9 Most Anticipated Architecture Projects in 2022

This year will bring a group of innovative buildings 

Despite starting out with another pandemic wave, 2022 is shaping up to be a banner year in the architecture world, with a slew of major projects coming to fruition. The only building designed by late architect Zaha Hadid in her home country of Iraq will finally make its long-awaited debut, sprouting from the banks of the Tigris River like a desert palm. There are also new designs by other Pritzker-Prize winners—among them SANAA, Rem Koolhaas, and Thom Mayne—not to mention innovative structures by red-hot talents like Bjarke Ingels, Jeanne Gang, and David Adjaye. See below for the complete list, which will take you from New York to Taipei and back again.

Photo: Binyan Studios

The Brooklyn Tower by SHoP Architects New York

Soaring over 1,000 feet above downtown Brooklyn, this new residential tower by SHoP Architects is set to become the tallest in the borough when completed later this year. Clad in a striking mix of glass and bronze, the 93-story building will soon be home to 550 apartments (150 of which are condos) as well as 100,000 square feet of retail space. Developed by JDS, the complex will also incorporate the neighboring Dime Savings Bank, a 1908 Beaux-Arts landmark sheathed in marble with ionic colonnades and a central dome. Sales will reportedly launch early this year.

Photo: Adjaye Associates

Abrahamic Family House by Adjaye Associates Abu Dhabi

Ghanaian-British architect Sir David Adjaye, best known for designing the National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington D.C., masterminded this monumental interfaith complex on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island, also home to the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Comprised of a mosque, a church, and a synagogue, the campus is the manifestation of the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, an agreement signed in 2019 by Pope Francis, His Eminence Dr. Ahmed el-Tayeb, and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar. (The compound will also include a secular gathering space and shared garden.) Though unified through their cube-shaped silhouettes, each house of worship is distinguished with its own distinct curtain wall that evokes the tenets of the particular faith.

Taipei Performing Arts Center by OMA

The Taiwanese capital will soon be home to the Taipei Performing Arts Center, a futuristic edifice crafted by OMA, the firm of Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rem Koolhaas, in collaboration with architecture studio KRIS YAO | ARTECH and engineering company Arup. Due to open this summer, the 635,000-square-foot complex is comprised of three theaters, each of which protrudes from a glazed, central cube in a different way. (The aptly-named Globe Playhouse, for instance, has a moonlike quality.) Two of the performance spaces— the Blue Box and the Grand Theater— also combine to form one 2,300-seat facility

Photo: Studio Gang

Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts by Studio Gang 

Little Rock, Arkansas

Expected to debut this fall, the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts adds architectural panache to the state capital of Little Rock. Conceived by Chicago-based Studio Gang with landscape architecture by SCAPE, the project aims to unify the 13-acre campus of what was previously known as the Arkansas Arts Center. Crowned by a folded concrete roof, the new 133,000-square-foot building features a series of curving pavilions that link the existing structures, some of which date to the 1930s and are being renovated. In addition to expanded art galleries, the edifice will house the Windgate Art School and flexible performance spaces.

Photo: Bjarke Ingels Group

San Pellegrino Flagship Factory by BIG | Italy

Dubbed the “Factory of the Future,” San Pellegrino’s new headquarters and bottling plant in Northern Italy melds heritage with innovation thanks to a striking design by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, who won the 2017 competition, besting other leading firms MVRDV, Snøhetta, and aMDL. The 180,000-square-foot complex features classic Italian architectural details, like arcades, porticos, and a piazza, and is organized around a 30-foot core sample of the earth that represents mineral water’s route from mountainside to bottle.

Photo: Morphosis

Orange County Museum of Art by Morphosis | Costa Mesa, California

This avant-garde museum by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne’s firm, Morphosis, is slated to open its doors in early October. Located on the campus of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, the new Orange County Museum of Art brings the idea of a grand public staircase (a la the Metropolitan Museum of Art) to Southern California. Encompassing 53,000 square feet, the white terra-cotta building features flexible gallery spaces, designed to be reconfigured to showcase a variety of media and a rooftop terrace that covers nearly three-quarters of the structure’s footprint, meant for a range of uses, including a sculpture garden and film screenings.

Photo: Zazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa/ Sanna Art Gallery of New South Wales 2021

Sydney Modern Project, Art Gallery of New South Wales by SANAA Sydney

Innovative Japanese architecture firm SANAA, whose founders won the Pritzker Prize in 2010, crafted this glass-walled expansion to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, set to open at the end of the year. The $540 million project, which overlooks Sydney Harbor, provides a modern contrast to the institution’s existing 19th-century Neoclassical home, as the new standalone structure—dubbed Sydney Modern—features a series of cascading pavilions crowned with green roofs, while a public art garden will link the past and future edifices.

National Bank of Iraq by Zaha Hadid Baghdad

The only building designed by late British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid in her home country, this 560-foot-tall tower is due to open this year on the banks of the Tigris River. Conceived to symbolize the “solidity, stability, and sustainability” of the financial institution and usher in a new era for the war-torn Middle Eastern country, the high-rise is composed of blast-resistant glass and reinforced concrete but nevertheless maintains all of the grace and style associated with its famous creator.

  PHOTO: IMAGE BY Santiago Calatrava 

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church by Santiago Calatrava New York St. 

Destroyed on September 11, the original St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was a three-story row house dating to the 1830s, its humble stature dwarfed by the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. In the aftermath of the terrorist attack, famed Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava was tapped to design not just the soaring mixed-use transit center—known as the Oculus—at the complex but also a replacement shrine for the congregation. Under construction since 2015, the new house of worship is sheathed in white Pentelic stone and features translucent cutouts that emit a hypnotic glow at night. The overall design was inspired by Byzantine churches, in particular Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia, and Calatrava even matched the number of ribs in the Turkish landmark’s dome with the ribs in St. Nicholas.


Montes, G. (2022, January 14). The 9 Most Anticipated Architecture Projects Opening in 2022. Retrieved September 23, 2022, from

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Is this the future of Architecture?

We’re entering a new age in architecture 

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

How architecture can change autistic children’s lives.

By Joan Scott, from Fast Company

Imagine wearing a hearing aid on its highest setting and being unable to make any adjustment. You can hear the speech of the person next to you—but, at the same volume, you hear birdsong through an open window, the air-conditioning whirring above, and the traffic droning outside. The difference in the layers of sound cannot be filtered, and cacophony results. Combine this with some of your senses being crossed or scrambled, rather like a poor telephone connection, and you start to appreciate how some people on the autistic spectrum encounter the world. It is a small wonder that productive teaching of an autistic child presents a challenge.

Sensory difficulties

Within our living spaces, all of us are bombarded with an array of stimulating sensory inputs—sound, smell, touch, taste, movement—and a never-ending deluge of visual information. Many people manage to filter and cope, but people with autism encounter the world differently. Sensory difficulties can cause hypersensitivity (sense too much), hyposensitivity (sense too little), or combinations of both. The environment becomes a confusing place when one attempts to process “too much information.” Unexpected changes cause anxieties, which are challenging to manage, and the level of stimuli can tip the balance to cause sensory overload, sometimes misinterpreted as a tantrum.

The importance of the environment

An optimized learning environment is vital for every child. For autistic children, the importance of the environment is magnified, as are the benefits that can be achieved through appropriate architecture and design.

Over the past five years, I’ve been conducting research into how to teach the design of autism environments to future designers with eight case-study schools and colleges. The research has identified a number of ways schools can adjust spaces to help children and young people with autism cope with their surroundings and, therefore, learn more effectively.


In particular, the recommendations take into account the value to autistic people of preparation before an activity, as this allows information to be processed at an individual’s required rate. This gives children time to understand what is expected of them. It also reduces anxieties, provides reassurance, and enhances learning receptivity.

1. Provide Pause Places

Make the most of any open alcoves or recesses. Clear any small spaces “under the stairs” or in an outside area, providing an opportunity to stand back, process information, and recalibrate. It could mean removing a door from a shallow cupboard or locating a “pop-up” tent. This is particularly important when moving from one building to another—when the difference between environments is significant.

An existing alcove, provides an opportunity to pause and control the amount of incoming information. (Photo: courtesy of the author) 

2. Multiple entrances help

The main entrance may be too busy, so provide a quieter, alternative side entrance. Schools can also help by establishing a slow longer route from the playground to classrooms, as well as a quick short route—again, giving both choice and time to process information.

Equally, softening the boundary from an internal to an external space can also help. An external canopy, for example, can create an ideal outdoor learning space to help with anxieties surrounding sudden sensory change.

3. Windows can offer reassurance

Some children have anxiety and ritualistic behaviors and may want to spend time returning to a space they have just occupied, for reassurance. If strategically placed openings are provided, they do not need to go back physically to this space for reassurance—they can look back from a short distance. This allows more time for learning in the classroom.

4. Join the dots

Schools should also look at offering activities that emulate real-life tasks, as this will help autistic children to see patterns and connections with things. A simple mock-up shop, for example, both inside the classroom and outside in the playground, could help children learn how to generalize the skill of exchanging payment for goods, across differing environments.

A richer learning experience

What is known as “taster spaces” are also a great idea, as these can offer children an area to spend time participating in a pre-activity which helps them to explore part of a bigger activity in a smaller way.

Introducing the touch of water via shallow channels chiseled into the floor. [Photo: courtesy of the author]
This can help children to build up to the final activity—such as playing a percussion wall before playing an instrument or relating to a water channel before immersion in a pool.

As these ideas show, the need to encourage a richer learning experience in a regulated responsive environment is paramount for autistic children and young people. An essential consideration is that no two autistic people experience their environments in the same way, so there is no one approach or solution to sensory issues. But small, individually led adjustments (like those outlined above) can make a material difference and really help to improve learning and the quality of life for autistic children and their families.

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Saturday, June 4, 2022

The Harvard GSD offers a free introduction to Architecture

Authored by Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Ever fancied yourself as an architect? 

Harvard University is offering you the chance to live out that fantasy. Well, sort of. 'The Architectural Imagination is an online course now on offer from the university's Graduate School of Design (GSD), and whilst it won't give you the necessary accreditations to design buildings, it does promise to offer a fascinating introduction to the world of architecture.

The first module of the course

The first module of the course will teach skills such as architectural drawing and architectural typology through a series of videos and exercises. Focusing on materials and technology, the second module aims to illustrate how architecture has the power to transform raw materials into beautiful factors of a landscape's overall aesthetic. The third and final module takes a more anthropological approach, examining the role of architecture in society as well as its ability to bring about social change. The course is free (if you want a certificate at the end it's $100) and you can start any time you like.

More information in the Architectural Imagination course

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Thursday, May 19, 2022


What Is An Architect? 

Many people know that Frank Lloyd Wright was a famous architect and that the job of an architect entails designing buildings. However, architects do much more than design aesthetically pleasing buildings: Architects plan, design, and oversee the construction of various structures. They are professions that require extensive coursework, receiving on-the-job training, and taking a rigorous exam in order to practice.

Education and Training for Architects

Architects are professionals trained in the art and science of building design. They develop the concepts for structures and turn those concepts into images and plans, which eventually may become homes, office buildings, and other facilities. Their work involves more than just the appearance of a structure. Everything architects design must be functional, safe, and meet the needs of the people who utilize them.

Architects’ Job Requirements

An architect must earn a professional degree from an accredited university or college. They typically focus on curriculum in architectural history and theory, building design, computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), construction methods, math, physical sciences, and other liberal arts courses.

People entering a career in architecture who want to receive an architecture degree and obtain licensure have two study options:

  • B.Arch—This is a five-year program intended for students entering college from high school or with no previous architectural training.
  • M.Arch—This can be either a two or three-year post-college program of students or professionals with pre-professional degrees (like an associate’s) in other disciplines or related areas.

Upon completion of undergraduate or postgraduate programs, architects must complete a three-year internship before taking the Architect Registration Examination administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, or NCARB. This exam is designed to test the knowledge and skills regarding architecture to become a licensed architect. Most states require licensure and continued education to remain in compliance. Architects’ duties fall into three main roles:

Consult and Design

The architect consults with clients to determine their requirements and to prepare drawings and specifications of the concept. The designs must comply with building, safety, and local planning regulations and restrictions. Regular client meetings are involved in discussing design proposals.


During this phase, the architect captures the design on paper. They create detailed drawings with CADD technology to ensure the feasibility of the design. There may be several revisions and drawings of the designs to meet the client's needs. Once the design is approved, it is translated into construction instructions and technical specifications for construction experts to carry on site.


During this phase, the architect visits the construction site and meets with the construction crew to review the construction, signing off on various pieces of work, negotiates with contractors if needed, and helps to any problems that arise.

How much does it cost to hire an architect?

Architects charge between $125 to $225 per hour on average. The cost can vary due to the project’s duration and extent, but customers spend between $8,000 to $15,000 total on basic conceptual architectural design services on average.

What is the difference between an architect and an architectural designer?

Architects are licensed professionals that have obtained accreditation and passed the Architect Registration Examination administered by the NCARB. Architectural designers have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in architecture and can design buildings, but they are not licensed. Moreover, there are design architects who are licensed architects but choose to only work with the design aspect and not the construction.

What is the difference between a civil engineer and an architect?

Civil engineers and architects plan and design structures. However, civil engineers focus solely on the safety of the structure. Architects deal with the aesthetics and functionality of the structural work. Civil engineers and architects often work with each other. Civil engineers analyze and evaluate the structural integrity of the design that the architect creates.

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