Could a grid of giant filters help clean up Delhi’s polluted air?

Dubai-based architecture studio Znera has developed a concept for a network of towers that would absorb smog. Photograph: Znera/World Architecture Festival

 

Thinking big in the fight against smog, architects have designed 100m-high pollution-absorbing towers for India’s capital city

The Indian capital regularly tops lists of the most polluted cities on earth and its residents even refer to the months when a confluence of events – crop burning, no rain, fireworks – leads to low visibility and breathability as “smog season”.

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Zaha Hadid’s only house in Russian forest

New photographs and a movie reveal Zaha Hadid’s only completed private residence – a house in the Barvikha Forest near Moscow, for a man she called the “Russian James Bond”.

The late Iraqi-British architect designed Capital Hill Residence for businessman and philanthropist Vladislav Doronin, who runs property companies Capital Group and OKO Group, and is also the owner of luxury hotel and resort brand Aman.

The house’s defining feature is a master suite set atop a slender concrete stalk that raises it high above the tree canopy.

Set 22 metres above the ground, this element of the design offers Doronin complete seclusion. Glazed walls, tucked back from the edge of the floor to create two balconies, afford views out over the tree tops.

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Olympic Stadium, Helsinki, Finland

Arcaid’s architecture photograph of the year shortlist – in pictures

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Venice architecture biennale 2016 – ideas for real world problems

A sense of social purpose drives this year’s Venice biennale, and while good intentions don’t always translate into good ideas, the best combine usefulness, economy and beauty

by Rowan Moore

 One of Block Research Group’s ‘beautiful

One of Block Research Group’s ‘beautiful, delicate’ vaults. Photograph: Italo Rondinella/La Biennale di Venezia

Architects are insecure about their usefulness. They work with buildings, which are generally large, expensive, long-lived and important to life, but it’s not always obvious what is significant about the specifically architectural aspect of their work – the refinements and rearrangements to the functional object that might otherwise come into being without architects’ help. If they have some influence over large budgets, it is developers or politicians who usually make the real decisions. At best, an architect can be like a jockey on a horse. Often, he or she is more like the groom, who puts nice plaits in its mane and tail.

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London Craft Week: design highlights

Girih Treasure Chest by David Linley is on show during London Craft Week

Girih Treasure Chest by David Linley is on show during London Craft Week

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Given how much it has grown already, it’s hard to believeLondon Craft Week is just a year old. But as the initiative celebrates its first birthday (kicking things off once again with an almighty party at the V&A) it’s hard not to sound like an overexcited aunt, pinch its chubby metaphorical cheeks and say “Gosh! How you’ve grown…” Because this second edition is not only almost twice the size of the first (there are more than 130 events taking place across the city compared to last year’s 70) but the quality promises to be even better still – with a surge of interest from potential partners and participants the organisers have had to be ruthless as to what events and exactly who is allowed under the umbrella. But the biggest difference of all? If London Craft Week already feels like an established event on the calendar, then it means craft as a discipline might have finally found its voice.

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These HyperCells Can Move, ‘Think,’ and Build Cities on Their Own

A team of students created an architectural system that can move, shape-shift, and make decisions on what structures to build based on its analysis of local data. The students hope the system will replace current urban planning practices.

A team of students from the Design Research Laboratory at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London has developed a cellular self-assembly system that can be molded based on necessity and restructured as needed.

These “HyperCells” can form into structures on their own and have the ability to climb, roll, and alter in shape to suit the needs of whatever architectural system they’re used to assemble

 

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Ad-free art on the underground: Düsseldorf’s ‘pure’ new metro line

Geometric shapes, projections of planets, LED walls … Germany’s first art on the underground project is an ambitious collaboration between artists, engineers and architects

Giovanna Dunmall

The U-Bahn station Heinrich-Heine-Allee

It was an unusual project,” says Berlin-based artist Heike Klussmann, a lead designer of the new U-Bahn line, which opens on Saturday in the German city of Düsseldorf. Fifteen years in the making, the Wehrhahn metro line consists of six new stations running east to west beneath the city centre, collaboratively designed by architects, artists and engineers. “Normally the construction part happens first and then the artists are commissioned. Here the architects, artists and engineers worked together from the beginning,” she says.

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Bjarke Ingels to design 2016 Serpentine pavilion – but he’s not the only one

Julia Peyton-Jones’s swansong as gallery director includes four more summer houses in Kensington Gardens, designed by architects aged between 36 and 93

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Why great architecture should tell a story

Architect
For architect Ole Scheeren, the people who live and work inside a building are as much a part of that building as concrete, steel and glass. He asks: Can architecture be about collaboration and storytelling instead of the isolation and hierarchy of a typical skyscraper? Visit five of Scheeren’s buildings — from a twisted tower in China to a floating cinema in the ocean in Thailand — and learn the stories behind them.

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