Hello everyone, i've found a very cool website which displays time with some amazing features called Uniqlock. go to http://www.uniqlo.jp/uniqlock/


Stop using that old AutoCAD and Make the Move to Revit Architecture

Revit Architecture is transforming how architectural models are designed and documented and if you are still using AutoCAD, it is time to upgrade to the world's leading architectural software.

Revit is the newest and most technologically advanced BIM application, and it’s under constant development. What began as a single tool for architects has expanded to include structural and mechanical engineers. The evolution of the Revit software platform will continue. As with any new technology, you’ll run into problems, get flustered, and no doubt pull out some hair. That said, no other application on the market delivers the advantages of BIM as well as Revit does.

Consider this for a moment: Most other architectural products in today’s market are based on technology that is 20+ years old, whereas Revit is a new technology that was designed from the ground up as a BIM tool to specifically address the AEC industry. From its inception, Revit has had the goal of improving design communication, coordination, and change management. It has a patented parametric change engine that is unmatched in sophistication. It’s also the leading software package in the international market. Revit is not the only BIM package out there, but we feel it offers the most holistic approach.

As you complete more projects with Revit, you’ll begin to understand some of its advanced functionality. In this book, we’ll delve into advanced concepts and guide you through some really cool features. We’ll touch on the fact that Revit is now a technological platform that supports architectural, structural, and mechanical disciplines. The fact that you can share a model with your structural and mechanical, engineering, and plumbing (MEP) engineers is an exciting new prospect, and one that will continue to drive changes in process. (Mastering Revit)

Making the Move from AutoCAD to Revit Architecture

Introcuction to Revit Architecture

I’m relatively new in using Revit Architecture myself and I found it much easier, simpler and faster than AutoCAD but i can share what i know with you so if you are interested we can start an introductory course here. Just email me or comment on this post. Here’s one of the videos that I can share with you if required

Or you can just buy it from amazon, as i did


Sustainable Design and Construction

Sustainability has been defined by the Brundtland commission, 1987, as ‘meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. Sustainability represents a balance that accommodates human needs without diminishing the health and productivity of natural systems.

Environmental impacts of buildings and construction:

The construction and operation of buildings contributes significantly, directly and indirectly, to most of our environmental challenges. Buildings are tremendous consumers of resources and generators of waste (44% of world’s pollution is from buildings). The industrial processes used to manufacture building materials and equipment contribute to waste and pollution as well. Buildings and the infrastructure that supports them consume, open space and displace habitat. Poor indoor environments can inhibit productivity, and in some cases, can even threaten the health of building occupants.

Sustainable design recognizes the interdependence of the built and natural environment, for example in the UK, consumption associated with the built environment and construction industry in the UK can be summarized as bellow:

• 6 tonnes of material per person per year
– 1.5 tonnes for new infrastructure (roads/railways etc.)
– 1.5 tonnes for new buildings
– 3.0 tonnes for repair and maintenance
• 300 million tonnes quarried aggregates per annum, only 10-15% of this total is recycled
• 70 million tonnes of construction waste per annum (which is 17% of the total UK waste)
• 70% of energy use can be directly or indirectly attributed to the use of buildings and infrastructure
(Source DETR 1998)

It is estimated that 5.1 million new homes are needed in England, this will jeopardise the land and the environment and if it was not carried out carefully this will have a great negative impact on the economy too. Its worth noting that the housing sector is 25% of UK Construction Activity which worth around £10 billion/annum.

The government stated that “We need to build the right housing, in the right place and to the highest standards of quality and good design” I don’t see them paying any attention to the environment of the sustainability of their design!

For further readings on the subject:


The World's Largest Book

The largest book ever

The world's largest book at fourteen feet high is to be published to celebrate the various facets of developing Burj Dubai (Dubai Tower), the world’s tallest building, and will feature exclusive content and never before seen photography. 

The Burj Dubai Opus will feature a one-off book fourteen feet high (shown here is an artist’s impression) and limited collection of different formats including specialised versions and collector’s editions. It will be published when the building is completed late this year.


Top Design & Architecture Blogs

I’ve tried and tried to collect more and more design and architectural blogs, not just for my readers but also for my personal references, so I asked my best friend Google and his brothers, Yahoo and MSN to get me the best design blogs around. I really enjoyed this search as i spent some time on search blog to the level that I forgot that I meant to collect blogs not read them all. So go ahead and enjoy the ride with me on this designer collection, built with creative ideas from architects, designers and webmasters.

1. Apartment Therapy

2. Bldg Blog

3. Cubeme

4. Design Addict

5. Design Buzz

6. Design East

7. Design Observer

8. Design Obsession

9. Design Sponge Online

10. Design Spotter

11. Design to Inspire

12. Design TV

13. DesignBlog

14. Designer Milk

15. Designllama

16. DesignPumpa

17. Dezeen

18. LeBlogDeco

19. Materialicious

20. Mocoloco

21. Notcot

22. The Designer Magazine

23. The konstrukshon Weblog

24. Truc Design

25. Unplggd

26. WebUrbanist

To be Continued also see:


Talks Norman Foster: Building on the green agenda

I wanted to share this amazing lecture by Sir Norman Forster with you:

Foster was born in the Reddish area of Stockport, England,[2] to a working-class family. He was naturally gifted and performed well at school and took an interest in architecture, particularly in the works of Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier.

Leaving school at 16, he worked in the Manchester City Treasurer's office before joining National Service in the Royal Air Force. After he was discharged, in 1956 Foster attended the University of Manchester's School of Architecture and City Planning (graduating in 1961). Later, he won the Henry Fellowship to the Yale School of Architecture, where he met former business partner Richard Rogers and earned his Master's degree. He then travelled in America for a year, returning to the UK in 1962 where he set up an architectural practice as Team 4 with Rogers and their respective girlfriends, the sisters Georgie and Wendy Cheesman. Georgie (later Wolton) was the only one of the team that had passed her RIBA exams allowing them to set up in practice on their own. Team 4 quickly earned a reputation for high-tech industrial design.

Foster has established an extremely prolific career in the span of four decades. The following are some of his major constructions:

Proposed or under construction

Torre Caja Madrid under construction (September 2008).
APIIC Tower,Hyderabad, India (2007-2010)
Torre Caja Madrid, Madrid, Spain (2004-2008)
Black Sea Gardens, Byala, Bulgaria (2008)
Tower, Cork, Republic of Ireland, (2008-2011)
Culture and Leisure Centre, Ciudad del Motor de Aragón[1], Alcañiz, Spain (2007) (competition won)
Tivoli Hotel, Copenhagen, Denmark (2010) (competition won)
Museum of Aviation, Getafe, Spain (currently in design phase)
200 Greenwich Street, Tower 2 of the planned reconstruction of the World Trade Center in New York City, United States (currently in design phase)
Reconstruction of New Holland Island, Saint Petersburg, Russia (ongoing)
Russia Tower, Moscow, Russia (2007 – 2011)
U2 Tower, Dublin, Ireland (2008-2011) (competition won)
Spinningfield Square, Manchester, England (2005 – 2010)
Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, Dallas, United States (2009)
The Bow, Calgary, Canada (2009)
The Troika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2004 – 2009)
Queen's Dock, Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, Glasgow, Scotland (2004 – 2007)
Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, Middlesex Guildhall, London, United Kingdom (2009)
Khan Shatyry in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Masdar City, Abu Dhabi (announced 2007)
New Yale School of Management campus, New Haven, CT (announced September 4, 2007)
Camp Nou stadium, Barcelona, Spain (announced September 18, 2007)
Crystal Island, Moscow, Russia

  • Reichstag dome at night
  • Dresden Hauptbahnhof roof and cupola
  • Metropolitan Building in Warsaw
  • New Elephant House, Copenhagen Zoo, Copenhagen, Denmark (2007–2008)
  • International Terminal, Beijing Capital International Airport, Beijing, China (2007)
  • John Spoor Broome Library, Cal State Channel Islands. (2006–2008)
  • Kogod Courtyard, Center for American Art and Portraiture at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC (2004–2007)[15]
  • Lumiere residences, Sydney, Australia (2007–2008)
  • Thomas Deacon Academy (2005–2007)


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Tadao Ando (安藤 忠雄 )

Tadao Ando was born in 1941 in Osaka, Japan. Growing up in that city as Japan recovered prom the war, Tadao Ando spent the most of time out of doors, and was raised by his grandmother, whose name was "ando". From the age of 10 to 17 Tadao Ando worked at local carpenter, where Tadao Ando learned how to work with wood and built a number of models of airplanes and ships. His studying was very unusual. "I was never a good student. I always prefered learning things on my own outside of class. When I was about 18, I started to wisit temples, shrines and tea houses in Kyoto and nara; There's a lot of great traditional architecture in the area. I was studying architecture by going to see actual building, and reading books about them." His first interest in architecture was nourished in tadao's 15 by buying a book of Le Corbusier sketches. "I traced the drawings of his early period so many times, that all pages turned black," says Tadao Ando: "in my mind I quite often wonder how Le Corbusier would have thought about this project or that."

Tadao Ando took a number of visits to the United States, Europe and Africa in the period between 1962 and 1969. It was certainly at that time that Tadao Ando began to form his own ideas about architectural design, before founding Tadao Ando Architectural & Associates in Osaka in 1969. Tadao Ando 's winner of many prestigous architectural awards, for example Carlsberg Prize (1992), Pritzker Prize (1995), Praemium Imperiale (1996), Gold Medal of Royal Institute of British Architects (1997) and now is one of the most highly respected architect in the world, influencing an entire generation of students.

The first impression of his architecture is its materiality. His large and powerfull walls set a limit. A second impression of his work is the tactility. His hard walls seem soft to touch, admit light, wind and stillness. Third impression is the emptiness, because only light space surround the visitor in Tadao Ando 's building.
Other things that had influenced his work and vocabulary of architecture is the pantheon in Rome and "enso", which is mysterious circle drawn by zen-budhists and symbolizing emptiness, loneliness, oneness and the moment of englightment. The circle and other rigorous geometrical forms are the basic forms of Tadao Ando 's art presentation.

First Tadao Ando 's realisation was Row House in Sumiyoshi, Osaka in 1975. This mentioned building was a simple block building, inserted into a narrow street of row houses. This residence is immediately noticeable because of its blank concrete fasade punctuated only by doorway. The whole object space is divided into a three equal rectangular spaces, while the central part is atrium. The space nearest the doorway contains the living room at ground level, and the bedroom above. The last final space contains the kitchen and bathtroom below, and the master bedroom above. Build in the wooden residential area above the port city of Kobe.

The Koshino House, second realisation of Tadao Ando, was completed in two phrases (1980-81 and 1983-84). This house is a masterpiece, and collects all fragments of Tadao Ando 's architectonical vocabulary, mainly the light. "Such things as light and wind only have meaning when they are introduced inside a house in a form cut off from the outside world. The forms I have created have altered and acquiered meaning through elementary nature (light and air) that give indications of the passage of time and changing of the seasons

All Tadao Ando 's work is characteristically simple, and we can find similar forms in the first half of 20th century: "I am interested in a dialogue with the architecture of the past", Tadao Ando says, "but it must be filtered through my own vision and my own experience. I am indebted to Le Corbusier and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, but the same way, I take what they did and interpret it in my own fashion."

One of the first projects to bring international attention to Tadao Ando was his Rokko Housing I. (Kobe, Hyogo, 1981-83), which is situated much further down the slope of the Rokko Moutains than the Koshino house, this complex is wedged into a restricted site on a south-facing 60 degrees slope. Each of the 20 units is 5,4 x 4,8 m in size, and each has a terrace looking out towards the bush harbour of Kobe. Why was this monumental resident building so successful ? " I think architecture becomes interesting when it has a double character, that is, when it is as simple as possible but, at the same time as complex as possible"

Some years later, Tadao Ando build a second housing complex, adjacent to Rokko Housing I. (Rokko Housing II.). Four times larger than the original building, this structure includes 50 dwellings, designed on a 5,2m square grid. A third and even larger structure is now under way above Rokko Housing II. (Rokko Housing III.), under construction.

Tadao Ando 's most remarkable works are certainly the religious buildings. "I feel that the goal of most religious is similar, to make men happier and more at ease with themselves. I see no contradiction in my designing christian churches. " Tadao Ando has build a number of christian chapels and other places of religion and contemplation. One of the most amazing church is also one of his simplest. The church of the light (Baraki, Osaka, 1988-89) is located in a residential suburb 40 km to the north-east of the center of Osaka. It consists from a rectangular concrete box crossed at 15 degrees angle by freestanding wall. The bisecting wall obliges the visitor to turn to enter the chapel. As ever with Tadao Ando, entering a building requires an act of will and an awareness of the architecture. In an unusual configuration, the floor descends in stages toward the altar, which is next to the rear wall, whose horizontal and vertical openings form a cross, flooding the space with light.

Awaji is the largest island of the inland sea, set 600km to the south-west of Tokyo opposite Kobe in the bay of Osaka. Here, on hill above a small port, Tadao Ando build his Water Temple. Following a small footpath, the visitor first sees a long concrete wall, 3m high, with a single opening. Through this door one does not find an entrance, but rather another wall, blank, but carved this time, bordered by a white gravel path. Having walked past this new screen of concrete, the visitor discovers an oval lotus pond, 40m long and 30m wide. In the centre of the pond, a stair way descends to the real entrance of the temple. Below the Lotus Fond, within a circle 18M in diameter, the architect has inscribed a 17.4 m square. Here, within a grid of red wood, a statue of buddha turns its back to the west, where the only openings admits the glow of the setting sun. In this place at sunset the words of Tadao Ando can be more clearly understood: "architecture," Tadao Ando says, "has forgotten that space can be a source of inspiration." The other religious buildings are: Water Temple in Hyiogo, Meditation space UNESCO in Paris, etc.

The Children's museum (1988-1989) is located on a large wooded hillside site overlooking a lake near the city of Himeji. In this mature work of Tadao Ando, the visitor is invited to discover the architecture in relation to its natural setting. The main unit of the museum contains a library, indoor and outdoor theatres, an exhibition gallery, a multipurpose hall and a restaurant. The outdoor theater is located on the rooftop, with a spectacular view of the lake. A stepped waterfall and pool near the building also serve to make a connection between the museum and the scenery of the lake. A path, marked by a long concrete wall leads the visitor away from the main structure toward a workshop complex consisting of a two-story square building.

Along this path Tadao Ando has placed a surprising group of 16 concrete columns in a square grid. In their wooded setting, these 9m high pillars recall that the first columns in architectural history were inspired by trees. Just down the road from the children's museum Tadao Ando designed the Children's Seminar House (1991-92). A residence for schoolchildren on vacation, which is capped by a small observatory. The other museums are: The Museum of Literature, Naoshima Contemporary Art museum, Chikatsu-Asuka Historical museum, etc.

Completed projects gallery, selected

There are many islands in the many islands in the inland sea of japan that are architectonicaly designed into a small cities. There are projects like naoshima museum and hotel (1990 - 92 and 1994 - 95), located at the southern end of island naoshima, and the great project for Awaji island, Hyogo. It was designed in 1992 and from year 1997 is under construction. This north - eastern shore of Awajishima. Tadao Ando describes it: "The program is for multi-use facility including a botanic garden, a place for the study of horticulture, an open-air theater, a convention hall, a hotel and a guest house. Our first idea was to restore the greenery, more specifically to hold a flower exposition there and to develop the idea into a permanent garden. We called this the millenium garden, and the project was developed on the basis of that concept. It was decided that the facilities would be linked by living things, that is, plants such as trees and flowers, and the flow of water and people. The alhamera in granada provides a historical model.

Tadao Ando is the world 's greatest living architect. If Tadao Ando has one weakness it may by a difficulty in translating the grandeur of his smaller buildings to a larger scale

other books about Tadao Ando

GA Houses 60 - Tadao Ando Tips on House Design

The Chichu Art Museum: Tadao Ando Builds For Claude Monet, Walter De Maria And James Turrell

Seven Interviews With Tadao Ando

El Croquis 44/58: Tadao Ando

The Colours of Light: Tadao Ando Architecture

Tadao Ando: Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum

Tadao Ando: Buildings, projects, writings

Global Architecture Document Extra: Tadao Ando

Tadao Ando: Architecture and Spirit (Monographs on Architecture, Architect's Typologies Series)

Tadao Ando, Le Opere, Gli Scritti, LA Critica (Documenti di architettura)