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Architecture

Italian architect Renzo Piano has created the Diogene micro unit (Photo: Vitra)

Italian architect Renzo Piano has gone from building Europe’s tallest building (the Shard in London) to one of its smallest. Finally completing his career-long dream of building a micro house that only measures 7.5 sq m (81 sq ft), Piano’s single-occupancy unit has been added to the gardens of the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein, Germany. Dubbed “Diogene,” the small structure is named in honor of the Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope, who was said to have abandoned all worldly luxuries and conventions for the simplicity of living in a large ceramic jar.  Read More

Slip House, by Carl Turner Architects

Slip House, by UK-based Carl Turner Architects, fits neatly into a four-plot lot between a row of terraced houses in Brixton, London. However, it's not quite your typical two-up-two down, as the prototype family home combines sustainable technologies with an unusual design based on three "slipped" orthogonal boxes.  Read More

Allies Farm by Timber Design

The appropriately-named Allies Farm in Essex UK was formerly the airbase and shelter at RAF Ridgewell, from where the US Air Force's 381st Bombardment Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses on 296 bombing runs during World War II. Following a conversion masterminded by Cameron Scott of Timber Design, the shelter is now a timber-clad farmhouse, home to the Grays and their three children.  Read More

Thomas Heatherwick's vision of a garden bridge across the Thames (Image: Heatherwick Studi...

London could be the venue for a "garden bridge" in the mode of New York's High Line, if designer Thomas Heatherwick (he of 2012 Olympic cauldron fame) has his way. If £60 million (US$94 million) in private funding can be secured, it's thought the bridge could open as early as 2016.  Read More

Berthing area for the terminal (Image: Foster + Partners)

Flying into Hong Kong was once an aerial adventure as gigantic passenger planes made alarmingly steep descents over the harbor and then low over crowded high rises to runway 13. Those adrenalin-filled landings ended when the new Hong Kong International Airport to the west opened in 1998, however, the site of those dramatic flights has now been repurposed as the new Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. It was formally opened on June 12 as the Commissioner for Tourism, Mr Philip Yung, welcomed the inaugural berthing of the cruise ship Mariner of the Seas.  Read More

The newly renovated Prahran Hotel features the clever use of recycled concrete pipes

The newly renovated Prahran Hotel, located in Melbourne, Australia must not be confused with the Tube Hotel in Mexico. While they both share the use of gigantic concrete pipes in their architecture, the Prahran Hotel is not actually a “hotel” but a pub. Local architectural studio Techne was asked to re-think the facade and concept design of the pub’s adjoining premises. The project involved the demolition of the old additions, in favor of a dramatic double-story building with a central courtyard.  Read More

The Olympic Park Masterplan by Allies and Morrison (Photo: Jason Hawkes)

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced this year's winners of its annual National Awards and EU Awards. The competitions offer an excellent opportunity to look at some of Europe's most interesting new architecture. This year's UK winners include a variety of building types, and most of the country is well-represented (except Wales, which didn't snag a single win). A chapel in a back garden in Edinburgh, a visitor museum in Northern Ireland's Giant's Causeway, and a commercial building on London's Regent Street all attest to the range of buildings which took the judge's fancy. However, educational facilities were the big winners this year, with a full third of the winners dedicated to learning.  Read More

Exbury Egg is located on the shore of Beaulieu River (Photo: Nigel Rigden)

Exbury Egg is a floating off-grid workspace and home, installed on the shore of the Beaulieu River, UK. It was conceived by artist Stephen Turner, and created with the help of both Perring Architecture and Design, and SPUD design studio. The egg-shaped structure will support Turner for a year as he carries out observations on the local environment and produces his works of art.  Read More

A new lightweight hoisting line known as UltraRope could double the current maximum height...

As architects continue to design taller and taller buildings, a certain limitation of elevators is going to become more of a problem – using traditional steel lifting cables, they can’t go farther than 500 meters (1,640 ft) in one vertical run. Any higher, and the weight of all the cable required is simply too much. Currently in the world's few buildings that are over 500 meters tall, passengers must transfer from one elevator line to another, part way up. Thanks to a new lightweight material known as UltraRope, however, elevators should now be able to travel up to one kilometer (3,281 ft) continuously.  Read More

Latvian architectural firm NRJA has revealed its plans to produce an off-the-grid geodesic...

Latvian architectural firm NRJA has revealed its plans to produce an off-the-grid geodesic dome with an interior that looks like it should be inside a luxury two-story home. The team of young architects, with an average age of 25, has come up with a compelling design which is set to hit production in the coming months. Dubbed DOM(E), the prefabricated structure can endure the coldest or warmest of climates and due to its circular shape, it features a clever use of a relatively small space (120 sq m / 1,291 sq ft).  Read More

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