Glass Pavilion Library In The Woods


Hockessin Public Libraryikon.5 architects, New Castle, United States

A physical restriction on a building site can lead to interesting design. Delaware-basedikon.5.architects were faced with a challenge when designing an addition for the children’s book section of the Hockessin Public Library. Due to unavoidable constraints on the north, east, and west sides of the library, the only option for extension was south, into a 100-year flood plain.

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Hockessin Public Libraryikon.5 architects, New Castle, United States


The Architectural Mash-Up


Villa RotterdamOoze, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Digital technology has made the mash-up a quintessential art form of the new millennium. Hearing Britney Spears sing over the Clash can be disconcerting at first—to some maybe even offensive. However, combinations of disparate tracks can reveal hidden aspects of either song, and create a truly transcendent—or at the very least entertaining—experience. (If you are not sure what a musical mash-up is google Hollertronix or Girl Talk to find out.)


Didden VillageMVRDV, Rotterdam, Netherlands

The analog world of architecture normally eschews the everything-and-the-kitchen-sink ethos of digital pop culture. Simplicity and purity are a big part of the aesthetic values celebrated by contemporary architects.


Hunsett MillACME, Norfolk, GB

The notable exception is architects grouped under the postmodernist umbrella, who sought to combine diverse elements into their buildings. Rejecting Mies van der Rohe’s idea that “less is more,” Robert Venturi, famed postmodernist architect, offered the rejoinder “less is a bore.” However postmodernism’s influence over architectural philosophy has proved tenuous

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The Floating Farmhousegivonehome, Eldred, US

Navigating Dreams On A Skateboard


Javier Mendizabal, frontside ollie. Photo: Sem Rubio.

Dreams have an uncanny feel; they incorporate the materials of daily life to sometimes bizarre, beautiful or unsettling effect.  “Cuatro Sueños Pequeños” (translated into English the title means “The Four Small Dreams”) is a skateboard film directed by Thomas Campbell.  The film uses the conceit of skateboarders navigating a dream world, one that feels distinctly different from the digital deluge of images and video of skateboarding uploaded everyday.


The distinctive feeling was achieved through using 16mm film instead of video, which while technically much more cumbersome lends the film a uniquely beautiful atmosphere. Exposures are not always perfect and colors wash in and out, but Campbell embraces the chance happenings and limitations of film, utilizing it to create the warm dreamlike aesthetic.


Metropol Parasol by Jürgen Mayer H. Architeckten. Seville, Spain via Architectural Review

Photo: Paul Raftery


Not only is the film gorgeous the skateboarding is not bad either.  Unique spots throughout Spain and Europe are used, and it was delightful to see Jurgen Mayer’s “Seville Parasol” utilized for illicit athletic endeavors.  Mayer is an architect that seems to at times be designing a skatepark without knowing it.



Images via Umyeaharts

Hewing to the overall handmade aesthetic of the film “Cuatro Sueños Pequeños” is available as a gorgeous physical object.  The DVD comes in a 90-page book complete with 14 pages illustrated by artist Nathaniel Russell.  The book also contains images taken during the filming of the movie.  There is also a digital download available at itunes if amazing, well thought out book design, art, and photography aren’t your thing.

Using Recycled Materials For Architecture


Origma Hut by Gary Warner.  Sydney, Australia

According to the National Association of Homebuilders, “If all the dimensional lumber used to build the 1.2 million new homes constructed in the United States each year were laid end to end, it would extend 2 million miles, the equivalent of going to the moon and back six and a half times”—a sobering statistic that doesn’t include other building materials.

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Cook Park Amenities by Fox Johnston.  Sydney, Australia

Dutifully sorting waste, separating the metal and plastic from the paper for different recycling streams is part of modern life. Some areas even have food waste collection for community compost.

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Maunu Residence by Fung + Blatt Architects, Inc., Altadena, US

Architects and designers are taking notice of the opportunities offered by recycling and reuse. Using salvaged materials not only has a positive environmental impact by reducing waste, it also offers architects materials typically unavailable, such as old growth lumber.

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Shed No. 8841 by Ben Lepley Ed Henry. Tucson, US

The Lovely Louvers Of The House In Muko


House in Muko by Fujiwaramuro Architects. Kyoto, Japan.

Unique building sites call for unique design solutions. This was certainly the case for House in Muko, in Kyoto, whose location included a rather unusual obstacle: a strong curve in the road abutting the property. But instead of fighting this constraint,Fujiwaramuro Architects embraced it, coming up with an elegant design that incorporates both the historical and physical context of the home.

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House in Muko by Fujiwaramuro Architects. Kyoto, Japan.

The architects based their design on the traditional machiya, the “town” or “merchant” homes that partly define the region’s architectural style. Machiya often include wooden louvers and screens for the façade, but instead of using the louver as a singular aspect of the building program, Fujiwaramuro Architects made it the main event. The result is a home with an interior volume sliced by a dramatic repetition of oversized wooden slats.

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House in Muko by Fujiwaramuro Architects. Kyoto, Japan.

Homes With Moving Walls Let The Outdoors In


Casa O Chile by 01ARQ, Colina, Chile

Traditionally walls secure a home and provide privacy to its inhabitants. But architecture and technology have grown together to allow for different interpretations of what constitutes a wall.




Northland House by Parsonson architects ltd., Wellington, New Zealand

Sure, walls can keep prying eyes out, but materials and design techniques can be utilized to bring the surrounding environment into the home. Using walls that open completely is the most radical way to embrace the natural world and erase the distinction between interior and exterior space.

Read the complete article on Architizer here.


Godoy House by Hernandez Silva Arquitectos, Jalisco, Mexico


The Many Layers Of Plywood

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Stealth Barn by Carl Turner Architects, Norfolk, England

Plywood, in all its utilitarian glory, is certainly not a traditional design element. The material begins with a rotary lathe and a log; the lathe essentially peels the log, turning it into long, thin sheets of wood. Layering the sheets (or “plys”) in rotating directions and adhering them with heat and glue gives plywood its structural integrity. (Plywood’s cousin, oriented strand board, is made of smaller strips of wood combined in a similar way.) It is strong and inexpensive, but until recently was considered strictly a building material and would be disguised with a more attractive drywall or siding.

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El Espinar House by Miguel de Guzmán, Segovia, Spain

However, contemporary architects and designers have begun to embrace it as a cheaper alternative to lumber, and the appearance of exposed plywood has increased exponentially in recent years.

Read the complete article on Architizer here.

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INFILL Homes by John Dwyer, Minneapolis, Minnesota