“Architecture as intellectual inquiry needs to take more risks”

The second Chicago Architecture Biennial tackles the broad and tempestuous topic of history, but plays it too safe, says Mimi Zeiger in this Opinion column. I’m not going to define history. No matter how heavily that word weighs on the Chicago Architecture Biennial, which opened last weekend. Neither will artistic directors Sharon Johnston and Mark

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Splayed shipping containers form Joshua Tree Residence conceived by James Whitaker

An office comprising a cluster of angled shipping containers, proposed for a site in Germany by James Whitaker but never realised, is now being built as a home in the California desert. Photo-realistic renderings of the proposed home by the London-based designer show a cluster of white cargo containers emerging like a starburst from a

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Cornell Tech campus opens on New York’s Roosevelt Island

Morphosis and SOM were among the architecture firms involved in the design of a new permanent home for Cornell Tech university, described as “the first campus ever built for the digital age”. The Cornell Tech campus, which opened last week, was constructed on a slender island in New York’s East River, between the boroughs of Manhattan

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Andersson-Wise’s Tower House provides cabin with extra lakefront accommodation

US firm Andersson-Wise has created a tall silvery building containing bedrooms near a waterside holiday home in Austin, so that the owners can invite more guests to stay. Tower House perches atop a hill overlooking Lake Travis, one of Austin’s man-made lakes created by the Marshall Ford Dam across Texas’ Colorado River. The building is

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Living spaces open out to Lake Austin at residence by A Parallel

Rooms with white and glass walls slots on top of the stone-clad ground floor of this house overlooking Lake Austin, by Texas firm A Parallel Architecture. The two-storey Lake Austin Residence has a wide footprint with floor-to-ceiling windows at nearly every vantage point. Structurally, the residence is comprised of an assortment of rectangular cubes that

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Tom Hurt attaches tiered white pods with plywood core to Austin house

Austin-based architect Tom Hurt has extended the back of a ranch house using a series of stacked units and wooden interiors to form a multi-storey living space. The 1,110-square-foot (103-square-metre) structure grows out from the existing low-slung home in Austin. The addition joins the main home through a series of low-lying platforms in the original

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Temple for Burning Man 2017 highlighted the problem of America’s dying forests

The temple at this year’s Burning Man festival was designed by artist Marisha Farnsworth, and built from 100 dead trees to emphasise “dramatic changes occurring in our forests”. Farnsworth worked with project manager Steven Brummond and structural engineer Mark Sinclair to create the festival’s 18th temple, which is used as a memorial by participants. The

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Chicago Biennial promotes performance art as “a medium of growing importance” for architects

The opening week of this year’s Chicago Architecture Biennial featured three architecture-related performances, which artistic directors Johnston Marklee included in the programme to highlight a trend for this mode of expression. A dance piece at the iconic Farnsworth House, a colourful collaboration between artist Nick Cave and architect Jeanne Gang, and a musical performance with

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BIG, MVRDV, James Corner and more to tackle Bay Area climate change

Ten teams of architects and engineers have been chosen to design solutions that will help San Francisco and the surrounding region combat the effects of climate change. Resilient by Design’s Bay Area Challenge asked entrants to come up with ideas to protect coastal areas from rising sea levels, flooding and earthquakes. As the global climate

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“The more we build in areas that endanger us, the more we erect defensive systems”

Disasters like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are inevitable when we construct cities in harm’s way, says Aaron Betsky, who believes we have designed ourselves into a Catch-22 of create and protect. It could have been worse. That is the best you can say about the twin natural catastrophes that hit Texas and Florida recently. The

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Off-grid boathouse by Andersson-Wise sits on Lake Austin

American studio Andersson-Wise has completed a two-storey boathouse in Austin, with openings on the upper level that enable occupants to dive directly into the water. The Lake House pushes out from a steeply sloped bank and extends over Lake Austin in Texas. The lower portion of the rectangular building contains a sculling dock and boat storage,

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Archimania creates tall family home overlooking train tracks in Memphis

This four-storey dwelling in Tennessee by US studio Archimania consists of rectilinear forms clad in an array of materials, including weathering steel and charred wood. The Woodard Residence is located on an urban site in Memphis, near the South Main Historic Arts District and a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. The compact, triangular site sits

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Obama calls on architecture and tech firms to support Chicago presidential library with apprenticeship schemes

Barack Obama has urged top architecture studios and tech firms like Amazon, Google and Microsoft to take on paid apprentices from Chicago’s South Side at a public consultation event for the Obama Presidential Library. The former US president spoke to the audience and answered questions through a video live-stream at the event, which took place last

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SOM exhibits architecture models with stripped-away skins to reveal engineering beneath

A row of intricately detailed architectural models take centre stage at this pop-up exhibition celebrating the beauty of engineering by Skidmore Owings & Merrill, which coincides with the Chicago Architecture Biennial. The 30 structural models presented at 1:500 scale are arranged in ascending height order across the breadth of the exhibition space at the Mana Contemporary Chicago art

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Architects reimagine Chicago’s Tribune Tower with abstract skyscraper models

Fifteen alternative visions for the famous 1920s Tribune Tower competition are presented as giant models at the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Architects, studios and teams from around the world have contributed their abstract skyscraper designs for the Vertical City exhibition at the biennial, which opened to press today. They were asked to interpret the brief for

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Thomas Heatherwick saddened after plans for New York “treasure island” are scrapped

Only a month after the Garden Bridge was scrapped, Thomas Heatherwick’s plans for a park on New York’s Hudson River have been abandoned – and the designer has described the decision as “really, really sad”. Billionaire Barry Diller announced yesterday he is giving up his battle to replace an old pier with an undulating park and events space designed

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Robert Hutchison’s Cantilever House projects towards Seattle harbour

Panoramic views of Seattle’s harbour are afforded from the overhanging rear of this house, completed by American firm Robert Hutchison Architecture. The two-storey Cantilever House is located on a lot that the clients have lived on for 15 years, originally in a small bungalow. Apart from its convenient location to the University of Seattle and downtown,

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Office of Architecture adds rooftop master suite during Brooklyn row house overhaul

Brooklyn-based Office of Architecture has completely gutted and expanded a local row house for an architect, jewellery designer and their two children. Having lived in the home for eight years, the family chose to stay in the up-and-coming neighbourhood and renovate the 1,000-square-foot (93-square-metre) home. “The owners of this 11-foot-wide row house in Brooklyn were faced with a

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DFA proposes tallest timber observation tower to clean Central Park reservoir

New York studio DFA has envisioned a prefabricated timber tower for New York’s Central Park that would both filter a contaminated reservoir and provide views over the city. The temporary 712-foot-tall (220-metre) Central Park Tower would sit in the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, a 106-acre man-made lake that encompasses one-eighth of the park’s area and

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Apple Park’s Steve Jobs Theater opens to host 2017 keynote

Apple CEO Tim Cook has officially opened the auditorium and events venue at the company’s Foster + Partners-designed campus, where today’s Apple Event took place. Named after Apple’s late founder, the Steve Jobs Theater held its first event today, during which the tech giant unveiled a variety of products including the rumoured iPhone X. A

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SkB Architects imbues Washington residence with art gallery aesthetic

White walls and naturally lit rooms define this family house in the Seattle area, which was revamped by American studio SkB Architects. The project, called Modern Oasis, involved the overhaul of a contemporary house located in Medina, a waterfront town that sits across Lake Washington from Seattle. The clients, who were searching for a great place to

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Flansburgh Architects takes cues from wooden barns for dance studio in the Berkshires

American firm Flansburgh Architects has created a studio building for a performing arts campus in rural Massachusetts that is wrapped in warm-coloured wood and bands of glass. The Perles Family Studio is part of the Jacob’s Pillow dance campus in the small, bucolic town of Becket – situated in the Berkshires region of Massachusetts. Each summer,

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Plywood core runs through centre of Philadelphia townhouse by ISA

American firm Interface Studio Architects has built an all-white townhouse in a gentrifying part of Philadelphia, with a plywood core running up its middle. Located in Kensington, just north of the city’s Fishtown art district, the Outside-In House is one of a growing number of revitalisation projects in the area. “After 50 years of declining population,

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Chicago Architecture Foundation plans move to Mies van der Rohe-designed tower

The Chicago Architecture Center will take over a space inside a riverfront building by modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, which will be designed by US firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill and is set to open summer 2018. Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) announced its move ahead of the second Chicago Architecture Biennale, which

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Second Chicago Architecture Biennial will “look back to look forward” say artistic directors

This year’s Chicago Architecture Biennial will ask architects to consider history in order to shape a direction for future architectural practice, say artistic directors Johnston Marklee. Set to open next week, the second Chicago Architecture Biennial will show “a cross-section of the best and most innovative work from around the world” according to Mark Lee,

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Jean Nouvel’s 53W53 “MoMA tower” progress shown in photographs

Construction photos, released along with new renderings, show that French architect Jean Nouvel’s supertall skyscraper in Manhattan has reached the 58th floor. Rising above New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) at 53 West 53rd Street, the 53W53 residential tower is due to reach 1,050 feet tall once complete. Pritzker Prize-winning architect Nouvel’s design has

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Construction sites and cranes pose threat to Miami residents in Hurricane Irma’s path

Miami residents in the shadow of heavyweight construction cranes have been told to evacuate, as the structures could be toppled by the high winds anticipated to arrive with Hurricane Irma. The City of Miami issued a statement on Twitter warning citizens of the potential toppling danger of the 20 to 25 cranes in the city,

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Desai Chia’s Michigan Lake House features a roof that cantilevers over a patio

New York firm Desai Chia Architects has built a home on Lake Michigan with blackened timber walls and a roof that extends out to shelter an outdoor seating area. Michigan Lake House is located in the state’s Leelanau County, an area known for its crystal clear waters and sand dunes. Desai Chia Architects collaborated with local firm Environment Architects

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Five skyscrapers set to transform Chicago’s skyline

Chicago – the birthplace of the skyscraper – is poised to host its second architecture biennial, so we’ve rounded up five of the tallest towers either approved or underway in the city. Vista Tower by Studio Gang Set to reach 1,186 feet at its highest point when it completes in 2020, local architect Jeanne Gang’s

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Bands of glass wrap FBI technology building in West Virginia by SOM

Architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill has created a biometric technology facility for the US Federal Bureau of Investigation that features open, light-filled workspaces and views of the hilly terrain. The FBI Biometric Technology Center was constructed within an existing FBI campus in Clarksburg, West Virginia, that houses the division of Criminal Justice Information Services

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Richard Neutra’s Chuey House up for sale as a developable lot

A midcentury Hollywood Hills home designed by modernist architect Richard Neutra is potentially in jeopardy, as the property has hit the market as “a unique development opportunity”. The two adjacent lots that make up the Chuey House property have been posted on a real-estate site as one listing, described as “collectively ideal for a compound,

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Inequality caused by urban renewal is “the central crisis of capitalism” says Richard Florida

The revival of great urban centres including New York, Los Angeles and London has caused unprecedented inequality and has led to the populism of Donald Trump, according to Richard Florida. “I think this is the central crisis of capitalism,” Florida said in a video interview last week. “A very small group of cities and metropolitan areas

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New Mexico home by Mollhaus takes cues from adobe architecture and desert terrain

In an arid region known for its traditional adobe architecture, American studio Mollhaus has created a home for an artist with exterior walls that are coated in earthen-hued stucco. The Rodin Residence is situated in Taos, a picturesque town in northern New Mexico that has long attracted artists. The region is dotted with pueblo-style buildings

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Vertical strips surround white Barcode House in Austin by Webber + Studio

US firm Webber + Studio has covered this family home in Austin with metal cladding that features raised strips of varying widths. Barcode House is one of the many new buildings in the Texan city’s Bouldin neighbourhood. It was constructed amongst existing trees on a Columbus Street lot, which restricted the home’s layout. “This new home was designed for

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A-I-R creates oasis around central living spaces at Arizona desert house

Patterned brick walls define this Arizona home by A-I-R Architects, providing residents with a variety of indoor and outdoor living spaces amongst the desert landscape. Located in Paradise Valley, an affluent town near Phoenix, Ghost Wash House encompasses 8,500 square feet (790 square metres) and contains three bedrooms. A detached pool house also has its

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11 important modernist buildings in Columbus, Indiana

The architecture of Columbus, Indiana, has made the city an unlikely modernist mecca and is used as the setting for a new feature film. We’ve rounded up 11 of the best examples, which include a house by Eero Saarinen, a fire station by Robert Venturi and a library by IM Pei. First Christian Church by

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Columbus movie spotlights Indiana city’s “modernism with a soul”

A new movie set in the unlikely modernist mecca of Columbus, Indiana, sheds light on the city’s architectural gems and uses an interpersonal tale to question their importance today. Released last month, the film follows the story of an architecture fanatic’s evolving relationship with an architectural historian’s son, as they both remain tied to Columbus

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“Urban design caused the Hurricane Harvey disaster”

Houston’s poor urban planning, not climate change, is to blame for the catastrophic flooding following Hurricane Harvey, says disaster expert Ilan Kelman in this Opinion column. Hurricane Harvey was a major storm with extensive rainfall. It was not a natural disaster. The disaster was caused by human decisions to live in a hurricane zone without

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US architects see salaries rise as economy strengthens

Business is booming for American architecture firms, who say staff salaries are going up as workloads increase and the country’s economy makes progress, following a report released by the AIA. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2017 Compensation Report found that the average salary for architectural staff is now $84,000 ($65,000) per year, up about

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“The architectural world seems to be responding to Charlottesville with deafening silence”

When Neo-Nazis are marching in the streets, architects need to to step up and confront the issues surrounding colonial monuments, argues Phineas Harper. Baying Neo-Nazis grasping flaming torches on the steps of the University of Virginia’s Rotunda, designed by president-turned-architect, Thomas Jefferson in the 1820s, was the chilling prelude to the events of Saturday 12

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Samsel Architects builds house around ancient oak tree in North Carolina

American firm Samsel Architects has built an L-shaped home for couple and their in-laws on a farm in North Carolina, using the area’s rural vernacular architecture to inform the design. Located in the rural town of Columbus, near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Hammock House is surrounded by dense woods and sits on 40 acres (16 hectares)

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Blue and yellow fins wrap sculptural academic building in Chicago by JGMA

Canted walls covered in colourful louvres define this urban building for Northeastern Illinois University by architecture firm JGMA, which sits next to a major highway. The El Centro facility is part of an urban satellite campus established by Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) to help serve the Latino community. Occupying a former industrial site in Chicago’s Avondale

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OMA’s Park Grove towers in Miami shown in new renderings

This new set of images provides a closer look at the trio of towers designed by architecture firm OMA for Miami’s Coconut Grove. Currently under construction, the Park Grove development occupies the last open lot in the waterfront area south of Downtown Miami. It sits along Bay Shore Drive’s “wall of towers”, made up of

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Eric Randall Morris mutates architectural photos to show “a distorted vision of the American dream”

Vernacular American architecture is removed from its context, distorted and turned into fantastical patterns in this manipulated photography set by architect and designer Eric Randall Morris. The ongoing series, titled An American Hyperreality, “explores a distorted vision of the American dream” according to Morris. The set is roughly split into two types of image. The

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Jensen Architects adds contemporary rear facade and pared-down interiors to historic San Francisco house

US firm Jensen Architects has revamped a Victorian home in San Francisco with perforated aluminium panels across the back and minimalist interiors to match. The local firm was awarded 2017 AIA San Francisco Historic Preservation Commendation Award for Alamo Square Residence, which features a blend of original and contemporary elements. Victorian houses are a hallmark of San Francisco’s architecture, characterised by

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Artist’s retreat in West Virginia sits above a limestone quarry

This steel-and-glass box perched above an abandoned limestone quarry in West Virginia is designed by Wiedemann Architects to provide a living space and workshop for a Parisian sculptor. Completed in 2015, the Hawk’s Nest home and studio encompasses 2,100 square feet (195 square metres). “Our goal was to create a simple form that was simultaneously

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Escape One XL is a two-storey micro home on wheels

This recreational vehicle masquerading as a tiny cottage is clad in charred wood and sleeps up to eight people. The Escape One XL was launched this month by Escape Homes. “Measuring just under 400 square feet, the tiny home on wheels can sleep up to eight and expands on the organic design of its slightly

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Wernerfield organises slender Dallas residence around pool terrace and garden

For a narrow plot in Dallas, local studio Wernerfield has created a home for a young couple that consists of off-white bars situated around a single yard. The BV1 Residence is located in the upscale Bluffview neighbourhood of the Texas city, and sits on a 50-by-150-foot (15-by-46-metre) property that is part of a larger estate. The owners

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Schmidt Hammer Lassen reveals plans for Monroe Blocks development in downtown Detroit

Danish firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen has released visuals of its first US project: a mixed-use development in Detroit, Michigan, bound by two glazed towers overlooking the city’s historic theatre district. Schmidt Hammer Lassen was commissioned for the Monroe Blocks scheme by developer Bedrock Detroit, and is working on the design with local architects Neumann Smith and engineering firm Buro Happold.

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Herzog & de Meuron unveils mountain-ridge campus for Berggruen Institute in LA

Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron has taken cues from “monastic architecture” to design a research campus high above Los Angeles. After a lengthy process, the studio was selected for the project by the Berggruen Institute – founded in 2010 with the aim to “study and apply new ideas to the workings of social, economic,

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Murray Legge’s Texas pool house avoids and incorporates tree trunks

Murray Legge Architecture has shaped the roof of this pool-side pavilion to navigate around the twisting trunks of oak trees on a site in East Texas. La Grange Pavilion was created as part of a landscape intervention for a hillside house with vistas over the southern US state’s forest and farmland. The structure shades an

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Specht Architects constructs lofty Beach Haven Residence in New Jersey

American firm Specht Architects has built a cedar-clad house on New Jersey’s Long Beach Island that is raised above the sand on stilts. The 2,500-square-foot (232-square-metre) Beach Haven Residence is nestled the tiny borough of the same name on the barrier island that separates the Atlantic Ocean and the mainland. “The lot is on the beachfront,

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Concrete dermatology office by Matt Fajkus overlooks Texas Hill Country

American firm Matt Fajkus Architecture has created a low-lying medical office in central Texas made of concrete and glass, which is intended to provide a soothing atmosphere for patients. The Westlake Dermatology Marble Falls is situated along a major highway in Marble Falls, about an hour’s drive from Austin, and looks toward gentle hills. The pavilion-like, rectangular

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Kem Studio wraps lakeside Missouri residence in cypress and white stucco

Richly toned wood is paired with stucco-covered concrete to form the walls of this contemporary country house in Missouri, designed by American firm Kem Studio.  The Modern Lodge is situated on a sloped site overlooking Weatherby Lake, near Kansas City. The owners – a married couple with children – work in the city but wanted a country-style home where they

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BIG’s VIA 57 West offers affordable homes for less than $1,500 a month

A lottery for affordably priced apartments in BIG’s Manhattan housing development VIA 57 West has begun, with some homes available to rent from $1,448 per month. There are 36 affordable apartments up for grabs inside the so-called “courtscraper” – one of the most desirable addresses in Manhattan, which features a huge courtyard at its centre. These home are being

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Cuboid extension by EL Studio sits atop a Maryland bungalow

New York firm EL Studio has placed a contemporary box-shaped extension on top of this suburban home in Maryland to more than double its size. The Lincoln Street Residence was recently completed by EL Studio founders Elizabeth Emerson and Mark Lawrence for a young family with two small children. The clients wanted to expand their

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Jade Doskow’s Lost Utopias photo series documents past World’s Fairs sites

Photographer Jade Doskow has spent the last decade documenting crumbling and thriving World’s Fair sites across North America and Europe for her Lost Utopias series. Once a display of the time’s most pioneering ideas, these exposition sites now exist predominantly in a state of decline or dereliction. The dystopian-style series has seen Doskow travel to and photograph the remaining

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Traditional Washington boathouse by Hoedemaker Pfeiffer offers sweeping coastal views

Giant sliding doors allow occupants to take in the sunrise and sunset from this modest boathouse that was overhauled by American studio Hoedemaker Pfeiffer. The Hood Canal Boat House is located along the Hood Canal, a scenic waterway in northern Washington that connects to the Puget Sound. The structure sits on a forested site owned by

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Office III builds simple open-air welcome centre on Governors Island

US studio Office III has constructed a visitors’ centre for Governors Island in New York City using marine-grade plywood and cedar decking. The pavilion is the first-ever welcome centre for Governors Island, and was added to help tourists better navigate the small island in the city’s harbour. It lies just 800 yards (732 metres) from Manhattan’s southern-most tip, and

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Jeff Jordan Architects updates mid-century home with floor-to-ceiling windows

New Jersey architecture firm Jeff Jordan Architects has renovated a mid-century home in the Hudson Valley with a fully glazed wall, white flooring and cedar walls. During the revamp of the 1954 cedar-and-vinyl-clad house, Jeff Jordan Architects opened up the floor plan and added floor-to-ceiling windows. The studio also continued to use modernist elements throughout,

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Central Park Tower to become world’s tallest residential skyscraper

New details about the future tallest residential building on Earth have been released, along with an updated rendering showing the supertall skyscraper towering over New York City. Sales of the ultra-high-end residences at Central Park Tower are slated to commence imminently, as the structure continues to rise at 225 West 57th Street. Designed by Adrian

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Lights glow through slatted teak facades of Hamptons home by Leroy Street Studio

A spacious home in the Hamptons, New York, by Leroy Street Studio features wooden screens that soften the building’s appearance and provide a “gauzy translucence” at night. Situated in Wainscott, a seaside village on Long Island’s South Shore, the Louver House was designed in response to its position on the the edge of an agricultural reserve. Its timber

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Frank Lloyd Wright-designed private island asks $14.9 million

A private island located 47 miles north of New York City and complete with a home by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright is currently on the market. Yours for $14.92 million (£11.6 million), the heart-shaped Petra Island sits in the middle of Lake Mahopac – just 15 minutes from Manhattan by helicopter. On its western

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“We have much to learn from the ‘timber constructivists'”

Architects designing for America’s future suburbs should look back to the country’s unsung modernists, who created site-appropriate and liveable timber homes across the USA, says Aaron Betsky in this Opinion column. Drive around the suburbs that arose around most American cities immediately before and after the second world war and you can spot them immediately:

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Carney Logan Burke creates barn-shaped guest house in rural Wyoming

US firm Carney Logan Burke Architects has used reclaimed wood to build this gambrel-roofed dwelling, which sits on a remote site and looks toward a mountain range in the American West. The Barn is located in Wilson, a tiny town in western Wyoming. It is situated on a 15-acre (six-hectare) property with expansive views of the

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Sea Del House by Robert Gurney faces the beach in Delaware

Strict building codes and environmental controls dictated the layout of this oceanfront house in Delaware by American architect Robert Gurney. Sea Del House sits in a gated community in Bethany Beach, among a cluster of second homes built in the 1970s and 1980s. It replaces a small, wood-framed structure that didn’t meet the owners needs,

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Higgins Lake House by Jeff Jordan Architects sleeps up to 20 guests

Sited by Michigan’s Higgins Lake, this long wooden residence by Jeff Jordan Architects can accommodate up to 20 people despite its restricted footprint. A couple with grown children commissioned the firm to design a lake house for their extended family and friends. “Many families in Michigan share a tradition of spending weekends and vacations in

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Helmut Jahn’s 1000M skyscraper poised to rise in Chicago

New renderings have been released of American-German architect Helmut Jahn’s tower for Chicago’s South Loop, as preparations for construction begin and sales of its luxury condominiums get ready to open. Due to imminently rise from a vacant lot at 1000 South Michigan Avenue, the residential skyscraper dubbed 1000M will reach 832 feet (254 metres) once

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Apple Park employees revolt over having to work in open-plan offices

Some Apple workers hate the open-plan layout of their new Foster + Partners-designed campus so much they might quit, according to reports circulating around Silicon Valley. A $5 billion (£3.8 billion) development eight years in the making, the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California began welcoming the tech giant’s employees in April. The remaining employees

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Cube House by Leroy Street Studio is a family beach retreat in the Hamptons

Flood danger and a footprint restriction led to the elevated cube-like design of this Hamptons house by New York firm Leroy Street Studio. The Cube House is located beside Westhampton Beach in Long Island, and area popular with wealthy New Yorkers who like to holiday a short ride from the city. It was designed for

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