Earthen Construction: Building with Compressed Earth Blocks

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With a long list of benefits, compressed earth blocks make an ideal natural building material.

Approximately one-quarter of the world’s population live in homes made of earth, mostly in the developing world. It makes sense, after all. The dirt’s either cheap or free and the homes have plenty of benefits, including:

Kursaal Convention Center and Auditorium, San Sebastian

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Where an architect created harmony and balance, locals see discord and ostentation.

San Sebastian, in Spain’s Basque country, is one of those incredibly majestic places you can visit once and never forget. Unlike many of Spain’s Mediterranean towns that have been massively overdeveloped over the years, San Sebastian still offers breathtaking beaches and wide boulevards, perfect for that famed Spanish strolling. The city of San Sebastian has class, style, and, of course, spectacular views of the Bay of Biscay. It’s easy to see, then, why local residents are quite protective of any development proposals in their idyllic hometown.

Norway's TrollVeggen Restaurant

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The Trollveggen made Architectural Digest's list of 10 most beautifully designed restaurants – read more about the visitor center and cafeteria elevated by its modernist architechture.

Reiulf Ramstad Architects designed a new tourist center and restaurant at the base of the Troll Wall, Europe’s tallest rock face. The form and material palette of the center mimics its stark landscape, and the resulting design is so dynamic it just might steal the show.

Tourist centers with restaurants are necessary and inevitable fixtures along scenic roadways. Usually they are utilitarian structures that peddle gaudy souvenirs and greasy food. However, in Norway, road-trippers have a more modern and elegant option when it comes time to make a pit-stop. The new tourist center situated at the base of Norway’s Troll Wall, or Trollveggen—Europe’s tallest vertical rock face, located in the Romsdal Valley along the western side of the country—is a welcome exception to this tired typology.

Case Study: Clinical and Translational Science Building, Part 3

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This final article in a three-part series on the University of Rochester’s Clinical and Translational Science Building provides an overview of the collaborative design process that led to the facility’s efficient mechanical and electrical infrastructure.

The University of Rochester’s Clinical and Translational Science Building was designed with one overarching vision: to create an environment that inherently fosters collaboration among the diverse departments of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute. From the initial project briefing all the way through the construction phase, the extensive and diverse project team embraced the inherent concept of collaboration in its design approach, working cohesively to successfully unite the Clinical and Translational Science Building's residents – administrative staff, researchers, and clinicians – in a LEED Gold certified facility.

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts: Deco in Vegas

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DMSAS designs a new performing arts center that will outlast the $20 in your pocket.

Las Vegas is known for its over-the-top re-creations of period architecture and, in some cases, of entire cities. Where else can you view interpretations of Caesar’s Palace, an ancient Egyptian pyramid, and modern-day New York City? The newest addition to Vegas’s collection of notable architecture is an Art Deco behemoth inspired by the nearby Hoover Dam.

A Conversation with Beverly Willis of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation

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The Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation has been addressing the needs of women in the AEC industry for the past decade.

The Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation (BWAF), a national research and educational non-profit 501(c) (3) organization, was founded in 2002 by Beverly Willis, after she had been in practice for 50 years. The initial goal of the BWAF was to document the historic work of female architects, and it has expanded to take on the role of educating the public and engaging with the professional community.

Case Study: Clinical and Translational Science Building, Part 2

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This second article in a three-part series on the University of Rochester’s Clinical and Translational Science Building addresses the strategies Francis Cauffman used to achieve LEED Gold certification.

When designing the Clinical and Translational Science Building (CTSB) in Rochester, NY, Francis Cauffman was challenged with a two-fold mission: achieve high standards of sustainable design while addressing the functional requirements of 11 user groups with distinctly different objectives, day-to-day tasks, and schedules.

Philip Johnson’s Crystal Cathedral

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The Crystal Cathedral, designed by architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee in 1980 (with adjacent buildings by Richard Neutra and Richard Meier), will continue to serve as a house of worship, having been purchased by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange in 2011.

“Oh, I’m mad for religious buildings. The only thing that really gives you a kick in the world is a religious building.” The inimitable Philip Johnson was quoted saying these words in the iconic book on the architect by Hilary Lewis and John O’Connor, Philip Johnson: The Architect in His Own Words.

King's Cross Station Redevelopment

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John McAslan + Partners created a canopied addition to the historic King's Cross Station, leaving the original western facade intact.

Heralded for its historical importance but rather drab, London’s King's Cross Station recently underwent a multimillion dollar redevelopment, reopening to the public on March 19, 2012. The newly overhauled King’s Cross Station was lit up in celebratory bright colors, creating a concert-like atmosphere – appropriate to its new youthful vibe. It was a timely redevelopment, as the XXX Olympic Summer Games will be held in London in 2012. The station’s western concourse, at 7,500 m2, is Europe’s largest single-span station structure. Each year 45 million people pass through King’s Cross Station, and that number is predicted to rise by 10 million by 2020.

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