Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wall House 2






Wall House 2 was originally conceived in the late 1960s by John Hejduk, the visionary Dean of Cooper Union’s school of architecture, but was only finally built in Groningen, the Netherlands, following his death in 2001. The house, with its dramatically cantilevered rooms, is the home of the Wall House 2 Foundation, with artists in residence and a research centre. The Foundation’s website includes information about both the house and the architect, together with details of the artists in residence and their work.
Link: http://www.wallhouse.nl
Access: Free

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Buildoffsite





There’s renewed interest in what used to be called prefabricated construction, although its slightly negative connotations seem to have led to its rebranding as ‘off-site construction’. A good starting point for information is the website of Buildoffsite, an industry-wide campaigning body that promotes the greater uptake of offsite techniques. It includes some useful case studies from a variety of sectors; briefings; and downloadable presentations. I’ve also just added to library stock one of the few books on the subject: ‘Prefab prototypes: site-specific design for offsite construction’ by Mark and Peter Anderson.
Link: www.buildoffsite.org
Access: Free

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

'Airworld' exhibition













Glasgow’s Tramway arts centre is currently hosting the only UK showing of ‘Airworld’ from the Vitra Design Museum. This superb major exhibition charts the evolution of not only the passenger aeroplane, but everything from cabin interiors, uniforms, logos and onboard tableware. There’s a surprisingly high architectural coverage, with models of iconic terminals such as Eero Saarinen’s New York TWA terminal, Berlin’s Tempelhof, and Charles de Gaulle in Paris. The library holds the catalogue of the exhibition, which runs until May 27 and is part of the Six Cities Design Festival.
Link: www.tramway.org/content/index.htm
Access: Free

Monday, April 23, 2007

Commonwealth Games 2014






There’s currently considerable interest in sports architecture, triggered in part by Olympic preparations and the finally-completed Wembley Stadium. Here, there’s increasing optimism about Glasgow’s bid to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and it’s interesting to look at the bid’s website to get a feel for the potential impact on the city and its infrastructure. There are digital flythroughs of some of the proposed developments, some of which are completely new and others which involve the refurbishment of existing facilities. It’s also possible to sign up for an online newsletter and download the various bid documents.
Link: www.glasgow2014.com
Access: Free

Friday, April 20, 2007

Arup Associates



Arup Associates are a well-known London-based multidiscplinary architecture and engineering studio. The ‘Library’ section of their website has a selection of interesting position papers on environmental sustainability topics which are available for download as PDFs. These include a holistic approach to the integration of photovoltaics in architecture; a look at the design of sustainable offices; a consideration of the relationship between landscape and buildings; how to create great civic spaces; and the promotion of a holistic approach to workplace performance.
Link: www.arup.com/associates/AAH_Library.asp
Access: Free

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Arizona State University’s Latin American Initiative





The Latin American Initiative at ASU’s School of Architecture claims to be the first comprehensive compilation of the continent’s architecture to appear on the internet, as it has been explored at the School during recent years, and given the relative paucity of information and images of Latin American architecture, it’s worth a mention. The website’s centrepiece is an online exhibition of student work focusing on key buildings which emphasise the distinctive nature of the architecture from this part of the world.
Link: http://lai.caed.asu.edu/index.htm
Access: Free

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

International Urban Development Association





The International Urban Development Association (INTA) is a long-established network that encourages the exchange of information, experience and best practice in urban development and renewal worldwide. INTA’s extensive website includes a forum where documents about the redevelopment of public urban spaces can be viewed; a ‘services’ section which comments on various major proposed urban redevelopment plans; and an ‘institute’ area bringing together documents from INTA seminars and conferences. An online newsletter is available.
Link: http://www.inta-aivn.org/
Access: Free

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

PADDI






I’ve been receiving a steady trickle of enquiries recently about architecture in Ireland, so it’s a good time to provide a reminder of THE major web resource for Irish architectural and planning information. PADDI (Planning Architecture Design Database Ireland), produced by librarians at Queen’s University Belfast and University College Dublin, is a well-established bibliographic database which gives free access to built environment information for both the north and south of Ireland. As with the RIBA’s architecture.com database, searches on particular buildings, architects or places are possible. There is an accompanying image bank, a directory of Irish architectural collections, and links to other relevant sources.
Access: Free

Monday, April 16, 2007

Manual for Streets



The Department for Transport has produced long-awaited new design guidance for residential streets. Its ‘Manual for streets’ reverses 30-year old guidance to ensure that that pedestrians are recognised as the most important users of such streets. Highway engineers will be asked to focus on the whole environment of the street, and not just what goes on in the five metres between the kerbs. The manual also calls for more locally distinctive streets that are made with local materials and involve local people in the design process.
Link: http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/sustainable/manforstreets/pdfmanforstreets
Access: Free

Friday, April 13, 2007

Inventory of designed gardens and landscapes






Historic Scotland has now made its fascinating ‘Inventory of designed gardens and landscapes’ available online. The Inventory is a detailed record of 3000 nationally-important such places across Scotland. For each, it provides illustrations, plus information such as why the site is worth protecting, location, setting, history and landscape components. Works of art and architectural features are commented on, and the Inventory can be searched by map, name, keyword and region.
Link: www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/textonly/index/gardens/gardens_inventory_intro.htm
Access: Free

Thursday, April 12, 2007

archiTEXTS









The archiTEXTS project places writers in residencies at venues of architectural interest in the south of England to produce work that responds to the building or location of their residency. The project’s website displays the artists’ work alongside photographs, plans, archive materials, and audio and video clips.
Access: Free

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Glasgow East End local development strategy



Glasgow City Council recently launched the consultative draft of its East End Local Strategy (LDS), which supports the city’s bid to host the Commonwealth Games in 2014. The LDS describes general development principles, outlines the spatial strategy for the area, proposes land use policy changes, and sets out detailed design guidance to support sustainable development. It includes maps, and can be downloaded in full.
Link: http://tinyurl.com/2dd7f2
Access: Free

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Internet resources for environmental engineering


Intute has recently produced a very handy A5 booklet which provides pointers to some of the most useful websites for environmental engineering information, including renewable and alternative energy sources. It covers online magazines and journals, tutorials, organisations and associations, resource guides, government agencies, discussion groups, research centres and databases. The guide can be downloaded as a PDF.
Link: www.intute.ac.uk/supportdocs/environmental_engineering.pdf
Access: Free

Friday, April 06, 2007

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