World Photography Day: 10 Emerging Architectural Photographers to Follow in 2020

To celebrate World Photography Day, we’ve gathered a list of 10 BIPOC architectural photographers from around the world who are worth knowing – and following on Instagram.

The following names have also been recognized in two open lists that are constantly being updated in order to promote diversity in the photography industry: Diversify Photo and BIPOC STUDIOS. The idea behind these platforms is to allow Architects, Designers, Creative Directors, and art consumers in general, to discover photographers that identify themselves as Black, Indigenous, People of Color, available for assignments and commissions.

Taiyo Watanabe

Francesco Russo

Frank Frances

Sahar Coston-Hardy

Kelly Marshall

Dark Crustacean

Rayon Richards

LeShon Lee

Mike Morgan

Izaiah Johnson

World’s First Large-Scale COVID Memorial Designed for Victims of the Pandemic

Architecture firm Gómez Platero has designed a new memorial to honor those affected by COVID-19. Sited in Uruguay, the monument is made to be an expression of hope in an uncertain time. As the first large-scale monument to the worldwide victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, the project is called the “World Memorial to the Pandemic.” It aims to be a space for mourning and reflection that’s environmentally conscious and emotionally impactful.

The memorial will be located on the edge of an urban waterfront, accessible only by a long pedestrian walkway. At the center of the platform, an open void to the ocean beneath allows people to observe nature. It is designed to allow a high percentage of the structure to be pre-assembled for on-site assembly, minimizing the impact on the natural environment. The large, circular structure will serve as a “sensory experience that bridges the gap between the urban and natural worlds, creating an ideal environment for introspection.”

Director and Lead Architect Martín Gómez Platero noted that, “Architecture is a powerful tool to transform the world. It is, above all, a collective and historical reality, made of small fragments which survive over time and become culture. It is a way to show who we are on this planet. Monuments, too, mark our shared cultural and emotional milestones. By creating a memorial capable of activating senses and memories in this way, we can remind our visitors — as the pandemic has — that we as human beings are subordinate to nature and not the other way around.”

The memorial is made to welcome up to 300 visitors at a time (while obeying current social distancing guidelines), allowing for moments of shared grief and solidarity in addition to solitude. “With each project we carry out,” Gómez Platero continues, “we must create a piece of a better city. Public space is the common space par excellence: it represents us as a collective, and it reflects what we are capable of sharing as a society.”

As the firm noted, discussions with the Uruguayan government are currently in motion to choose a specific site. They estimate that, once started, the memorial will take six months to complete.

Skateboarders Murilo Peres and Pedro Barros — with a lot of help from Red Bull and the estate of Oscar Niemeyer — were granted permission to skateboard in, under, and atop thirteen of Niemeyer’s buildings in Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, and other parts of Brazil.

There’s an obvious synergy between the forms of Niemeyer’s buildings, such as the Niterói Contemporary Art Museum pictured above, and the excitement skateboarders get when encountering settings that are fluid but also challenging. Or as it’s worded on the website of Red Bull, “a lot of his buildings [are] absolutely next-level banging to skate.”

The 16-minute film Concrete Dreams follows the pair of skateboarders from building to building, showing how they engage with the fluidity of Niemeyer’s concrete surfaces. What would seem to be more appealing for skateboarders than architects to watch is very much a reciprocal lesson: skateboarders will learn about architecture while architects will learn a bit about skateboarding. Niemeyer, it seems, knew a lot about both.

Hello Cindy Returns for a Peek at Kohler’s New Collection Designed with Robert A.M. Stern Architects

Interior Design Editor in Chief Cindy Allen revisited her Hello Cindy Instagram live series, capping off Kohler’s DesignTV by SANDOW Takeover Day with a preview of the brand’s upcoming collection. Alexander Lamis (pictured right) and Daniel Lobitz (pictured left), partners at Robert A.M. Stern Architects, joined Allen to share insights into the making of the soon-to-be-released Central Park West collection—a collaboration between the firm and Kohler’s luxury faucet and fixture arm Kallista.
The collection, which offers a complete suite of bathroom hardware from sink faucets to towel bars, draws inspiration from the glamour of old New York. While RAMSA’s work spans the globe, the collaboration with Kallista reflects its roots as a distinctly New York-based firm. Taking what the duo deemed a “modern tradition” approach to design, the team referenced historic design details while ensuring form married function working closely with Kallista. “There’s a bit of an art to finding a product designer to partner with on a design collaboration,” noted Lamis. “We have a great working relationship with Kallista; we know what they stand for and they know what we stand for.”

And the magic of the Central Park West collection lies in that collaborative relationship. “The goal was to create details distilled from a historical precedence, such as product fixtures from the early 20th century, and adapt them to give the collection signature notes,” added Lobitz. To capture that vision, the team started with the tried and true process of drawing product sketches, much the same way they approach building design. “We hope people will see an architectural quality in each piece,” said Lamis.

Allen then asked the pair to elaborate on their approach to product and building design. “Product design is really design you can iterate over and over again and refine, refine, refine in a controlled amount of space,” said Lamis, pointing out the similarities between the two realms. And Kallista and RAMSA left no detail unrefined, from monogramed fixtures that display engraved “H” and “C” letters marking hot and cold taps in a classic font to three different styles of faucets in white metal, bronze, and an unfinished brass finish designed to patina over time.

As Lamis and Lobitz held up two faucets from the Central Park West collection to their screen, Allen gushed at the sight. “They’re just gorgeous,” she said, taking in each detail. Keep an eye out for the collection’s official release this fall.

Architectural design concepts by the three finalists — Henning Larsen, Snøhetta, and Studio Gang — have been unveiled in the competition to design the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Medora, North Dakota.

Medora is a tiny town (population 112 as of the 2010 census) located in western North Dakota, just south of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The town is one of the main entrances into the 70,000-acre park devoted to the 26th President of the United States.

Per the National Park Service, “When Theodore Roosevelt came to Dakota Territory to hunt bison in 1883, he was a skinny, young, spectacled dude from New York. He could not have imagined how his adventure in this remote and unfamiliar place would forever alter the course of the nation. The rugged landscape and strenuous life that TR experienced here would help shape a conservation policy that we still benefit from today.”

TR’s links to the North Dakota Badlands — so named because of the difficulty in traversing the beautifully eroded, rocky landscape in the days before highways — led to the creation of the eponymous national park, as well as the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation’s decision to locate the planned library in Medora.

Dating back to 1939 and the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (TR and FDR were distant cousins), presidential libraries are privately funded institutions that hold the papers of US presidents, predicated on the notion that the documents of a president are personal property. Some of the most famous presidential libraries, at least from an architectural point of view, include the Kennedy Library designed by I.M. Pei and the Clinton Library designed by James Stewart Polshek. (Technically the ongoing Obama Presidential Center designed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien will not include the presidential library of Barack Obama, as his library is fully digital.) When built, the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library would become the 14th physical US Presidential Library.

Following the release of an architectural brief in December 2019, the foundation leading the competition for the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library selected fourteen teams in April 2020 and then one month later chose Henning LarsenSnøhetta, and Studio Gang as the three finalists. Their designs were released to the public yesterday, and next month a winner will be announced. Below are renderings of the three entries, with excerpts from the architects’ descriptions.

The 13th edition of the World Architecture Festival, originally scheduled to take place in Lisbon in early December, is moving to June 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, launching WAFVirtual in its place.

As stated in a today’s press release from WAF, the World Architecture Festival and INSIDE World Festival of Interiors will be taking place June 23 to 25, 2021, at the FIL exhibition center in Lisbon, the original venue for the 2020 event. WAFVirtual will take place November 30 to December 4, overlapping with the original dates of WAF 2020. WAFVirtual, free for architects and design professionals, will consist of live content, talks, panel discussions, and the announcement of three special prizes: the Isolation Transformed competition, the Architecture Drawing Prize, and the GROHE Water Research Prize.

Missing from WAFVirtual is the judging of the shortlisted projects that has been at the heart of WAF since it was launched in Barcelona in 2008. The judging will move to June and remain in-person. In turn, the deadline for submitting projects for consideration has been extended, from August 14, 2020, to January 8, 2021. Details can be found in our Agenda listing for submissions. Also in June will be “keynote talks, fringe events, exhibitions, and award presentations.”

WAF director Paul Finch said this of the rescheduled WAF and the new WAFVirtual:

“We have been closely monitoring the ongoing pandemic situation, and, with safety being our number one priority, have concluded that postponement of the physical festival from the original December date is the best course of action for all concerned. We are turning the challenge of postponement into opportunities to provide additional online content and to expand the WAF brand in China. We look forward to being able to meet in happier and safer circumstances next June, and thank our partners, supporters, award entrants, speakers and judges for their ongoing support.”

The opportunity to “expand the WAF brand in China” refers to the first edition of WAF China, which “will take place at the end of November 2020. It will include “online awards judging, talks, and a live ceremony in Chengdu.” No other details on that event are known at this time.

Baranowitz + Kronenberg Transforms ’80s Balearic Structure into W Ibiza Beachfront Hotel

When a 1980s beachfront Balearic structure in Ibiza, Spain, caught the eye of the Marriott’s W Hotels team, architects Alon Baranowitz and Irene Kronenberg rose to the challenge of creating a modern resort. “The location was amazing, but the building didn’t fit,” said Kronenberg, cofounder of the duo’s namesake firm based in Tel Aviv. “We had the possibility of changing the reality from the inside out, and from the outside in.” To do so, Baranowitz and Kronenberg knew they had to open up the existing structure to better connect its interiors to the surrounding palm-studded scape. “We thought about the [design] scheme that would completely reorganize the building in such a way that there’s a positive karma that allows good energies to breathe in… from the street into the sea,” added Baranowitz.

The W Ibiza, which opened in July in Santa Eulalia, reflects this airy vision. The expansive indoor lounge features ascending amphitheater platforms, enabling guests to mingle or relax on their own while taking in views from the esplanade to the outdoor pool and sea. A concrete floor anchors the array of bohemian-inspired textures and furnishings in the communal area that sit beneath a steel-wired, hand-woven laced ceiling, blurring indoor and outdoor aesthetics. One especially unique feature is the hotel’s many colorful sunshades, which “resonate with the sails of ships and the colors of the island,” noted Baranowitz. The shades offer guests privacy in their rooms while providing a streamlined design element for the building exterior—those enjoying the pool look up to see the multi-colored shades rather than exposed guest room windows.

Every color and texture throughout serves as a nod to the island’s vibrant culture. Baranowitz and Kronenberg opted for an uplifting palette of multicolored hues, straying from the white and blue schemes typical of resorts in the area. Conversations with locals, many of whom worked on the project, also helped inform design decisions. “We need to hear buildings. Buildings, they have a soul and sometimes they are in jail—this building was in jail and we set it free,” said Kronenberg. The W Ibiza embodies that shift, paying homage to the creative spirit of the W Hotels brand.

Maffeis Engineering Adds Wavy And Translucent Canopy To Veronafiere Trade Show Ground In Italy

Multi-disciplined engineering firm Maffeis Engineering has added a wavy and translucent canopy to the south side of the Veronafiere Trade Show ground, an international leader in the agriculture and agro-food sector, hosting 45% of Italian trade shows in their two fields.

Named New Entrance Re Teodorico, the project creates a dynamic atmosphere for the visitors of the trade show, its undulating form can be perceived from far away and marks the project site.

The project is made of a steel roof structure and in L-shape plan and it extends over an area of 6,750 square meters. The design is based on merging the two concepts of an undulating veil and an organic surface.

The wavy effect was created with high and low points in the structure, that are required for drainage. The firm formed this organic shape by using a Voronoi pattern highlighting diversity as a visual effect.

The macro modules with each one low point were repeated several times to facilitate fabrication and mitigate cost but from the visual side this is not noticeable. The repetition is a key effect in the structure, but to an observer’s eye, one cannot grasp this repetition due to the different array of the columns.

The roof is carried on 17-metre high steel columns that are designed to represent trees in the woods with their tapered upper columns. At the top of the columns diagonal members project to support the roof, mimicking tree branches.

The columns are located under the low point of the canopy and the drainage of the Voronoi occurs through the columns core into the ground.

The steel columns are painted in different brown Pantone tonalities to resemble the effect of being in the woods, with brighter colors at the entrance and slightly darker colors as you move further down the Plaza.

For the canopy’s 3 different shades of fritted ETFE in a 2-layer composition was used to emphasize the differentiation between the macrostructures.

“The ETFE pillows are representing an undulating veil from the top and from underneath representing tree leaves,” said Maffeis Engineering.

“The different shading options were analyzed with an environmental analysis tool to create a comfortable area in winter and summer for the visitors. Outdoor comfort is complex to assess.”

“Unlike what happens in indoor environment, people are exposed to a multitude of variables when spending time outdoors.”

“These variables are difficult to foresee and to control without transforming the outdoor space into an indoor area,” the firm added.

Under the roof, light is controlled by defining the amount of dark and light fritted pillows. The necessary light transmission as well as heat gain on the ground during the fair season was also influenced by the fritted ETFE. A translucent canopy has Mean Radiant Temperature a little higher than Dry Bulb Temperature.

As the firm highlighted, the whole canopy structure weighs 495 tons of carbon steel welded on site due to structural and cost reasons. The macro modules were lifted onto the column trees via mobile cranes and then were welded to each other. There is no bolted connection on the project.

“The main objective was to demonstrate a high-level steel structure controlled by computational design in all stages from design to analysis and construction details,” the studio continued.

The Voronoi pattern is generated with Grasshopper software in Rhino3D by a set of given points. The process started with first identifying the optimum insertion points for the tree shaped columns thorough structural analysis. Following that, a set of points were generated around the column to create the tree shape block of Voronoi module panels.

Gómez Platero Designs World’s First Large-Scale Memorial To The Victims Of The Pandemic In Uruguay

Uruguayan architecture studio Gómez Platero has designed a massive circular structure that will act as a memorial for the victims of the Covid-19 in Uruguay.

Planned to be situated on the edge of an untamed section of urban waterfront in Uruguay, the design will be the “world’s first large-scale memorial” and it will create “a hopeful sensory experience, celebrating the humbling power of nature and our shared humanity”.

MVRDV Transforms Disused Urban Factory Building Into “Creative Factory” In Shenzhen

MVRDV has revealed design to transform a disused urban factory building into “creative factory” in one of Shenzhen’s most historic districts.

Called If Factory,  the new building, covering a total of 11,000-square-metre area, will house a mixture of offices for the Bureau of Public works of Shenzhen Municipality Nanshan district and real estate company Vanke in Nantou, Shenzhen.

Rather than demolish and rebuild, the design sustainably renovates a disused factory building to form a “creative factory”, containing a mixture of offices for the Urban Research Institute of China Vanke and offices for rent.


At the heart of the design, there is a public stairway, providing visitors with a view into the activities within and leading to a landscaped public roof terrace known as “The Green House”.

“Nantou is an ancient historic town but is now an urban village of Shenzhen, dwarfed by the skyscrapers that surround it,” said MVRDV in its project description.

“Recently attempts have been made to develop Nantou as a cultural and creative hub – the town hosted the 2017 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture, for example – and MVRDV’s renovation project is the largest in a number of renovations proposed by Vanke, all with designs by nationally and internationally renowned architects.”

The main intervention is a simple cleaning and renovation of the old. With new transparent painting techniques, the old structure will be treated to resist aging.