Architecture by the Numbers: Your Midweek Must-Reads

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All Hands on Decq: Odile Decq’s 1990 masterpiece Banque Populaire de l’Ouest de Montgermont is facing the threat of demolition. Among the most technologically advanced buildings of its time, the BPO, as it is known, in Rennes has won numerous awards including a Golden Lion for the French firm at the 1996 Venice Biennale — sign the petition to save it here.


L: Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape, Turkey R: The Forth Bridge, Scotland. Photos via UNESCO.

Committed: The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has just announced the inscription (read: addition) of 27 sites to its list, bringing the total tally to 1,014. From champagne cellars to second-century catacombs to early industrial sites of Japan — cherry blossoms and all — the sites will see the benefits of international recognition as places of “outstanding universal value.”

Architectural Records: Yesterday saw the publication of the National Council of Architectural Registration Board’s fourth annual report on the state of the profession; noteworthy findings include a record-high figure of aspiring architects who are getting licensed, on average, at a younger age. Check out NCARB by the Numbers for more. (Hat-tip to Architect).


L: “Seveners” by Bjarke Ingels, photo via Designboom; R: ALON by Raytheon, via Total Security Solutions.

Seven Up: Originally conceived by Arne Jacobsen in 1955, Fritz Hansen is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the “Series 7” chair with an exhibition of architect-designed reinterpretations of the steam-bent classic. Designboom has images of homages to Bjarke Ingels, Carlos Ott and Carlos Ponce De León, Jean Nouvel, Jun Igarashi, Neri and Hu, Snøhetta, and Zaha Hadid.

It Was AL ALL ALON: Raytheon has reportedly developed a transparent aluminum intended for bulletproof glass applications. Known as ALON, it’s technically an “aluminum-based ceramic” — not that we can see any difference.


L: Solar farm in Miyazaki, photo by Kyocera via Quartz; R: “Trans-Action 4” by Dionisio González, image via Designboom.

Greening the Green: 1) Japan apparently has a lot of abandoned golf courses. Corollary: these are typically in sunny places. 2) Japan is investing in renewable energy following the Fukushima meltdown. Corollary: solar power fits the bill. → Putt a solar plant on it.

Trans-Actional Architecture: Surreal visualization is a veritable genre of architectural design these days for which Dionisio González’s recent series of renderings is the latest and greatest example. These fictional “Trans-Actions” incorporate tropes from modernism and deconstructivism alike, but, unlike, say, Lissitzky’s Wolkenbügels, they lack any kind of meaningful context.

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Province of Bolzano - South Tyrol, Trentino-Alto Adige/South Tyrol, Italy

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roof extension // TRIENDL UND FESSLER ARCHITEKTEN

Vienna, Austria

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