A collection of architecture from around the world, curated by Eva Sopeoglou.


The well-tempered building

While in Sri Lanka I visited the live-work space by Palinda Kannangara in Rajagiriya, in the outskirts of Colombo, one of the winning projects in the 2018 RIBA Award for International Excellence. This is a quiet retreat. “This studio and dwelling built on an unusually quiet waterside site in Colombo provides a base for the practice…


Outdoor comfort on the rise

This year RIBA International Award’s shortlist includes the Lanka Learning Center by feat.collective. The layout and sectional profile help with natural air movement. the walls and roof as well as internal partitions do not meet to seal the exterior envelope. The internal courtyard is another outdoor room.


Enter lightly … the light | E.1027 by Eileen Grey

The house on the French Riviera is known, among other things, for a controversy over its authorship and the compromise of its original design by another architect. However, it is far more interesting to discuss it as an excellent example of modern architecture that sits well within its environment, and engages in dialogue with it.…


Folie Divine | Architecture Today

‘Building Playfulness has a serious purpose at a Montpellier housing development by Farshid Moussavi Architecture…’ Curtains as cladding ‘walls’ for architecture is an old and meaningful analogy, especially when they make for soft, permeable, adaptable enclosures to buildings. This version for a residential tower leaves room for intermediate and semi-open balconies, exterior rooms and provides…


The Gran Boathouse: An Interior Exterior on Norway’s Lakeshore

What happens when an architect encounters the work of an artist? When the work is of architectural quality, certainly of architectural scale, with similar preoccupations to those of architects – meaning, construction, materiality, joining, context – it is an inspirational encounter. Rachel Whiteread constructs an impenetrable interior, a shell placed in the landscape, to converse…


Outdoor pavilions and dining rooms: a delight of the senses

Wine-tasting is a delicate experience of all the senses, and what better than to host it in a semi-outdoor pavilion, set among trees and under the Californian sun. The dinning space is simple, with movable partitions and spare furnishings, where nature, views, local breezes and, the taste of wine, are the protagonists.      …


Outdoor comfort: multi-layered, intermediate, designed around different times of the day

If you ask moi, outdoor and intermediate spaces should be designed into every type of architecture, but more often are found away from the cities, in leisure and vacation complexes, in trendy holiday destinations. As architects, I believe we owe city dwellers a chance to take delight in similar spaces in the urban milieu  …

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Teaching, huts, and design-built education

In their words, an “important feature in Rintala Eggertsson’s practice are their 1:1 building workshops with students and clients”. Hundreds of projects of small scale – nevertheless, of presumably larger social impact – have been initiated by the practice in collaboration with architecture schools across the world. This relatively new model of architecture education, which…


House for Enjoying the Harsh Cold – Inverted House, Japan

This house echoes architect Bernard Rudofsky’s search for a life of comfort, as he put it, between Sparta and Sybaris; for an architecture in close proximity to nature. Here is a thoughtful, perhaps provocative, relationship between inside and outside spaces. Dwellings which defy the architectural enclosure – excite me and – they are a recurring theme in…


A graphic designer’s summer house by the sea

  A small unassuming summer house by the sea is a delight as a place to escape from the busy city. The house is refurbished using standard plywood as the main material throughout. Its virtue is simplicity, of material, and of spatial organisation. “It’s a simple space but it’s the most amazing privilege to have…


Diener & Diener Architekten · The Museum of Natural History

Rather than its function or aesthetic, this building contributes to a fertile current discussion about facades, facadism, and architecture’s original architectural detailing. Here, the existing and the new are only told apart by colour: “The variety of measures taken to renovate the museum is not only based on the richness of architectural form this monument…


An architecture made from simple materials, nevertheless, rich with a variety of semi-outdoor spatial configurations, and tuned with the local vernacular language, as well as the climate: “Located in a suburb of ChauDoc town in AnGiang province, Southern Vietnam, this house is a sharing residence of 3 nuclear families who are kin. Although this project…


Perfectly inspiring examples of metal perforations

It is always refreshing to see the work by US-based metal fabricator Zahner, who often collaborates with architects. Here with office of Leong & Leong, who propose a heavily textured shinny three-dimensional metal cladding, that works perfectly under Miami’s strong sun. “Perforated metal has joined a new era of mass customization. Here are some of our…


Lord Richard Rogers’ Wimbledon House pre-fabricated urban cabin

“Lord Rogers designed the single storey modernist house in the 1960s for his parents to live in. The design for Wimbledon House was very experimental for its time, following a modular format that would allow for renewal and developing needs as time passed, while providing a basic adaptable structure.” Ideas first tested in this small…


The physics of culture by Grafton Architects

“Grafton Architects’ buildings, seen with one eye, are an abstract composition of pieces and volumes; seen with the other eye, they are a very familiar and direct constructive arrangement of walls and windows.” In a recent lecture they referred to the physics of culture to describe immaterial qualities of space like light, heat, shade, comfort……


tagpuro community work by erikssonfurunes

Here is a community centre and orphanage built in the Philippines. The work is inspiring for a socially-enganging architecture involving the community in the designing and building process. The architectural quality of the projects is also very inspiring, evoking theories of Semper about architecture’s association to textiles, which is often particularly visible in vernacular architecture.…


Mrs. Fan’s Plugin House / People’s Architecture Office

This funny project in Beijing is more exciting not perhaps so much for its unusual form, but where it finds itself in context. The pristine white colour sticks out from the neighbouring grey shades. The strangely angled shape is contrasting the rectangular buildings nearby, but also nods to the other less formal configurations also abundant…


Building with heat, humidity and light: Jade Eco Park in Taichung by Philippe Rahm

“The hypotheses of Rahm’s earlier laboratory experiments are finally being applied on an extensive urban scale in the form of the park in Taiwan.” Philippe Rahm choses to address architecture by building site-specific installations or conceptual work, always with a subtly critical eye to architectural standards. The work involves invisible materials, like heat, humidity and airflow.…


The best coworking spaces in far-flung places

Office comfort standards are changing! With sea and jungle views, but nonetheless with wifi signal, a new trend in outdoor architecture is emerging across the world. Working professionals chose to leave the comforts of their city desks to enjoy time spent in mostly outdoor or semi-outdoor conditions, working for a few months at a time.…


Glamping and Boutique Pop-up Hotels

A short word for Glam-ourous Cam-ping, architects are fast catching up to designing tiny cabins by the sea and in the woods. Its designs can be rustic or experimental, using digital technology, pre-fabrication or local material. The tiny rooms are located as far from the city and other people as possible … watch this space!…


Casa Tiny has room to bloom

  A small cabin in a remote location in Mexico used as weekend home, is a nod to a simple lifestyle adjacent to pristine nature. The design features only two materials, concrete and wood. The tall roof keeps the interior space cool during the summer.


A two-part house with a courtyard

“Even in ancient Roman times, many people longed to be close to nature. Isolation promises a happiness that has never been found in the city.” – This Mexican residence is in two parts, which connect via a fabric-covered pergola and the open-air courtyard. Bedrooms are located in a separate building than publics, like the kitchen and living.


Cabins around the world

A summer weekend cabin is a holiday staple for Scandinavians, unlike Greeks, and examples of tiny vacation cabins feature from across the world.  Of course, the best designs are those that negotiate their spaces between inside and outside, and those which masterfully embrace the natural elements.


Progressive Prefabs of Jean Prouvé

Jean Prouvé’s architectural vision reached the masses through pre-fabrication. Together with his brother, Prouve set up a workshop which patented, among others, vacation cabins and permanent residences made of metal. The architect also carefully considered the climate – the Maison Tropicale, designed for the African continent allows for cross-ventilation and thermal stack-effect ventilation through the walls, small openings and roof.    


Filtered daylight and the sense of outdoor living

This building is contained within a tight and solid envelope, however, because of the modular nature of the brick material used, and a few openings to the sky, it allows the sunlight to be filtered and washed on its interior walls. The result is a feeling of interior space while still perceiving the outside environment.


Outdoor meeting place

The New York version of an open-air room is James Turrell’s installation Meeting at MoMA PS1. The chosen materials invoke a historic interior, while a generous opening to the exterior sky transforms it into a semi-outdoor courtyard space, a conversation room, where everybody registers the temprerature change.


Anna Heringer, Julien Lanoo · China Bamboo Hostels

Beautifully crafted buildings are carefully placed in the natural environment. They are inspired by local traditional ceramic vessels. Anna Heringer adds architectural value in remote locations of the planet, her work makes sensitive use of local building techniques and traditional craft materials.

Cabin in the Woods

“This architect built his home in a beautiful Norwegian Forest”: The Norwegian version of The Olive Tree House is surrounded by nature. Note that the small scale of the house is designed with body-conscious detailing, for example, it is full of small seating areas and nooks that enhance ones sense of inhabitation.    


Halle Commune – Pleyel Bridge by OMA

“A bridge is a bridge is a bridge… Or, is it?” Could this proposal by OMA, for a bridge-building-city which extends over a train tracks in Paris’ St Denis suburb, inspire a Univ. of Herts campus extension that would unite the two campuses (De Havillant and College Lane) currently divided by the A1 motorway?    …


Semi-outdoor configurations and the small details

This house design offers an interesting collection of ways to extend indoor spaces to outdoor balconies, creating views and framing the landscape. Note the detail of the ‘disappearing’ window frame once the window is open, in the bedroom. Without the hint of a window frame, it gives a sense of complete outdoors.              


AHO – The Scarcity and Creativity Studio

In the aftermath of receiving the Architizer award, I am contemplating how to involve more design and building into teaching. The AHO SCS is an excellent example of such an endeavour. It is not easy to combine practice and academic work, but this and similar work is inspirational!     


2017 Architizer Awards are “a stunning celebration of innovative architecture”

Another building from this year’s Architizer winners, a public building in Japan which stands out for its iconic design that promotes sustainability and a community’s spirit of place. As it is characteristic of Japanese architecture, it is understated yet well thought-out and exquisitely detailed.      


Rural House in Puebla / Comunal Taller de Arquitectura | ArchDaily

A community centre in Mexico, built by the local people in one week. The materials are bricks, bamboo as well as a laminated aluminium corrugated roof, which is made from recycled food containers. The project has an optimum environmental performance, note the sloped thin metallic roof and openings at the top.    


Pho Da Cafe / hausspace

A semi-outdoor cafe in Vietnam is organised in East-West orientation while incorporating the existing tall trees. The typology of semi-outdoor living is found across most of the planet in vernacular architecture, yet very few contemporary structures take advantage of this ancient knowledge.       

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