of the
Only a concept at this stage, but a new design proposed by Australian based prefab architecture specialists, Modscape Concept, has had the Internet in a frenzy today as computer generated images were released of their new 5 storey 'Cliff House'. 

The positioning of the 3 bedroom house allows for 180 degree, uninterrupted ocean views, although we hope a thorough structural analysis has been completed on the rock face, as the house is supposedly cantilevered on steel pins.

One benefit we can see is that at least purchasing the land to build this house on will be extremely cheap!

Copyright: Modscape Concept (link)
Copyright: Modscape Concept (link)
'Compact living' has been the focus of many online articles for quite some time now. 

A, now ex-dragon, from the BBC Two show 'Dragons Den' has been involved in the design and development of a small studio flat. 

The one catch though? 

The studio can be transformed into 4 different rooms, all in the same space!

Bedroom and Living Area occupy the same 'floorplan space'
Dining Area is sunken into the floor, and can be used as floor space when 'stored away'

Development and regeneration space in cities are becoming even more elusive. Instead of spreading out your living area, it would surely make sense to compact them all into one space. 

Although this is a great idea in theory, the actual execution in this example is lacking a little 'magic'. 

Currently, the prototype design means that all of the components of the different room have to either slide from the walls, ceiling or floor. This ultimately means that even though the intention was to save space, the same amount of space is being used, due to all of the components being hidden in the walls.

There is also the practicality issue as well.

For example, say you invite some friends around for dinner, and you want to watch the TV afterwards? That involves having to tidy up the entire dining area. Once all of this is done you still can't relax since you have to unpack the living area! 

Hassle or what!

So whilst compact living may be an intuitive 'idea', it is still not a realistic 'template' for the future. 

The main issue with these types of designs is it is made hideously complicated, even before the general mechanics have been tested out.

The ArchitectWeekly Team

The America population is one of the populations in history with a vast social culture. The country has an astonishing number of states each with an array of unique man made features. 

Many of the structures built in America have a world-wide reputation of being an architectural work of art that have no equal. Statistics has it on good authority that the structures are well distributed among the states. 

There are over 150 structures that have made it into history books due to their unique nature and unparallelled beauty.

Golden Gate Bridge
Copyright: Light Galleries (link)
One of the greatest structures on record is the Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco, California. It is a suspension bridge designed by Joseph Strauss, Irving Morrow and Charles Ellis. The bridge spans a length of 3 miles between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The Golden Gate Bridge has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World by American Society of Civil Engineers. 

The project began in 1933 and had a total budget of $35 million. Unusually, for a bridge of this scale, the project was completed underbudget ($1.3 million), and ahead of schedule.

Lincoln Memorial
Copyright: Kid Port (link)
One of the most striking structures with great historical significance is the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. It was built in the period between 1914 and 1922. The Memorial was constructed to honor the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln who was an outstanding man and leader. 

It was built by architects Henry Bacon and Daniel Chester and was registered on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15th 1966. The exterior of the building is covered in marble and is surrounded by 36 fluted Doric columns, each to represent the 36 states in America by the time of Lincoln’s death. 

The Chrysler Building
Copyright: D Guides (link)
The Chrysler Building is a picturesque skyscraper in east Manhattan, New York City. The structure held a record of being the world’s tallest building for 11 months before being surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931. Despite this, it still maintains the record of being the world’s tallest brick building. 

It is a perfect example of art deco architecture, with its jewel-like glass crown. In 2007, it ranked 9th on the List of American Favourite Architecture. It is also considered to be one of the finest New York buildings by many contemporary architects.

Washington Monument
Copyright: Washington Post (link)
Another fine work of art is the Washington Monument. It is located due east of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. The tall obelisk was built to commemorate George Washington, the first American President. The monument was completed in 1884, using granite, marble and blue stone gneiss as it's core materials. 

It is the world’s tallest stone structure, standing at 169.294 meters. The monument was damaged a few times in the Virginia earthquake and Hurricane Irene where it remained closed to the public during repairs. It is an iconic structure in Washington and has featured in several Hollywood movies.

The Brooklyn Bridge
Copyright: Poesy Plus Polemics (link)
The Brooklyn Bridge in New York City is a sight to behold. It is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. It was completed in 1883 by designer John Augustus Roebling. It connects Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River and has a total length of 486.3 meters and was the flagship steel-wire suspension bridge constructed in America. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1964.

Anna Taylor
Guest Contributor

About the Author
Anna is an avid reader and blogger. Since her early years she’s had a passion for writing.  Her areas of interest are food, reviews (Book/Movie), Travel, Fashion, Lifestyle and fitness. She works as a guest blogger on her chosen areas of interest. Her articles are published on many different blogs, namely golfgurls and pricestylist. She is a permanent Guest Contributor at ArchitectWeekly. Currently she works for esta.

Copyright: Orlando Sentinel (link)
University is a daunting experience, for everyone, even though some may not seem to show it. New friends, new life, no parents to wake you up and certainly nobody shaking their head disapprovingly when you drink too much. 

But University isn't just about the social life, it's also about your course and your grades. Below are 5 quick tips to give you the head start this September.

1. Download the lecture resources, which is usually good old PowerPoint (if available) to your iPad/Laptop and do research on the specific topics covered a couple of days in advance. Evernote is a great way to keep track of notes on all your devices.

2. Set your own deadlines. If your project is due on a Friday at midday, create your own deadline to get the entire project (that means the evaluation as well!) completed for the Tuesday/Wednesday. This avoids copious amounts of stress, and you can always tweak things at the last moment if needed.

3. Remember to ask for help. This is a funny one, I know you're rolling your eyes, thinking back to the thousands of times that your parents have repeated the same line, but how often do you really ask for help when you know you need it. You wouldn't be doing a degree if you already know everything, so don't feel embarrassing.

4. Start looking for potential industrial placements early. The all important industrial placement year will soon come around. Make sure you get the best pickings on offer, before they get snatched up last minute by your fellow classmates who are all scrambling around frantically.

5. Remember to enjoy yourself. You chose architecture because you love the subject, right? So always remember to enjoy yourself, and put all the motivation that's being building up over the Summer holidays into the first term of classes, and things will hopefully go smoothly after that, just try not to think about your student debt!

Turkish architecture has long paid its respects to tradition. The current period is referred to in architecture as “The Republican Period,” and has been the main tradition in architecture since the 1930's. The goals of this era was to conceptually modernise Turkey's architectural movement. 

Starting in the mid-20th century, Turkey began to emerge architecturally and modernised its image through western influence and design. Until the 1980's, Turkey had lagged behind its counterparts and the remainder of the world in technological advance. This drastically hindered Turkey's ability to establish its own architectural identity.

Establishing an Identity
As Turkey began to establish its identity through its architecture, the first movement consisted of many prominent designs that are still in use today. Notably, between 1905 and into the 1930's, Turkey has seen the first mainstays of their own national identity. This included the construction of the first main postal office in Istanbul located in Sirkeci. Designed by Vedat Tek, a Turkish pioneer of architecture, the post office is a four-story building still in use today. 

With the 16th century in mind, Tek designed the facade of marble and stone. Many facets of the building’s design and materials reflect some of the predominant styles of Ottoman influence of this time period. This building also reflected some of the earliest utilization’s of the First Turkish National architecture style and ornamentation.

Modern Influence
Turkish architecture has always had a modern influence, as reflected in its main city Istanbul. Neighbourhoods and districts feature work from some of the most well-known Turkish architects. 16th century Ottoman Empire influence is evident and prevalent throughout Turkey and especially in Istanbul in the commercial and residential centre. Between the 1930's and well into the 1950's, Turkey began to see new and notable influence in their designs and architectures. 

During this period, a more modern influence on the classical era was initiated. Turkey began to modernise its buildings. A new wave of styles began to feature enormous facets such as high ceilings and large windows as well as highly decorative ornamentation. During this time, less complexity as far as shaping of buildings and facades took place such as the usage of basic shapes (i.e.; squares, circles, and triangles). 

Notable Structures 
Turkey features all of the trappings of modern society and is home to a wide variety of historical and modern architecture. There are many museums and monuments of mixed architecture and multiple eras. Sites like “The Blue Mosque” feature some of this mixed architecture from both the Ottoman and Byzantine eras. Today’s Istanbul is a bustling metropolis and commercial focal point for the entire country. The recent years have seen, especially since 2001, an influx of new designs and buildings. Of course well modernised, Turkey's skyline has taken on nearly 50 modern buildings or skyscrapers. 

Turkey also pays homage to its deeply rooted and rich history. Lying in the heart of the capital city is Topkapi Palace. This large palace on the shore has become an enormous tourist attraction and a must see. At one time, it housed thousands of people simultaneously. It features shining examples of Ottoman influence as well. It's architecture from the first national movement up until today all reflect influence from each other. Turkey honours its past while modernising itself as it has grown.

Turkey Today
Turkey’s beautiful architecture and deep history make visiting Turkey an absolute splendour. The tourism industry sees a steady influx of millions of visitors every year. The opportunity to visit Turkey gives you the chance to see firsthand all of its magical historical buildings and museums, as well as it's more modern skyscrapers. Interested visitors and tourists should first seek a Turkey Visa before making travel plans.

Annabel Taylor
Guest Contributor

Anna lives in the UK and is an avid blogger. Since her early years she’s had a passion for writing. Her areas of interest are food, reviews (Book/Movie), Travel, Fashion, Lifestyle and fitness. She works as a guest blogger on her chosen areas of interest. She works as a guest blogger on her chosen areas of interest and currently writes on behalf of Turkey Visa.
Architecture has given us some of the most exciting and remarkable buildings on the planet. What constitutes exceptional architecture has changed massively in recent years. Now, architecture is still centred on the appearance of a building, but things like the environmental impact and carbon footprint of buildings are also now considered important.

At the same time, architecture also gives us some great mistakes that provide us all with a good laugh. Here are our top 10 in that particular category.

1. 20 Fenchurch Street

This distinctive new building in Central London, in the shape of a walkie-talkie, actually looks quite good, but the fact that it reflected sunlight and partially melted a brand new Jaguar a few months ago gets it the top spot here. Surely, someone should have thought that this would happen at some stage?

2. First World Hotel, Malaysia

First World Hotel, Malaysia
To be honest, we quite like this, but it looks more like something you’d expect to find at a Legoland Resort rather than to represent one of the world’s most notable hotel brands. It looks like it has been decorated during a painting festival. By blindfolded people.

3. Fang Yuang Building

Fang Yuang Building, China
This building, which you’ll find in Shenyang, China, was supposed to look like an ancient piece of Chinese currency. It looks more like a magnifying glass or an eye filled with CCTV cameras, and isn’t something we’d be rushing to have on our street!

4. Federation Square

Federation Square, Australia
Architecture in Australia is famous for being both different and for helping with environmental initiatives. Federation Square takes things to far, however, with its outer fa├žade appearing to pay tribute to what happens when machinery gets out of control in a metal and glass factory.

5. Mirador Housing

Mirador Housing, Madrid
This building is simply awful. Trying to make a housing complex in Madrid stand out above all others, it certainly achieves this, but it is because it is an eyesore rather than anything that wows the mind. It wouldn’t look out of place on an estate populated with burnt out houses at every turn.

6. National Library of Belarus

National Library of Belarus
If there is one thing the old Soviet states have given to us, it is a lot of awful architecture. In fairness, this is their way of showing how modern they have become, but with buildings like this you’d think they’d simply hijacked a random office block in a British town like Slough.

8. American Dream Meadowlands

American Dream Meadowlands
This is the one project on this list that could yet be saved, given that construction was recently taken over by the Triple Five Group. That said, the exterior seems to be as good as complete, so it might be a few years before the random colour schemes and candy shop appearance are eradicated forever.

10. ArcelorMittal Orbit

ArcelorMittal Orbit, London Olympic Park
For those who do not recognise the name, this is the horrific, helter skelter gone wrong looking sculpture that is standing in London’s Olympic Park. The sooner someone buys this and does something productive with it, the better!

Modern architecture is brilliant, but it is awful at times, too, and these are definitely the worst examples from recent times!

Alex Reynolds

Published: 23.10.13 at 20:54
Editor: Ryan Holland, CEO

About the Author
Alex loves architecture but is also interested in interior design, too. He has recently purchased sliding wardrobe doors from Superglide Wardrobes, and is planning to buy more furniture to complement his home in the near future.

Hong Kong covers an area of 1,092 square kilometres, and is officially recognised as being the most densely populated city on earth. There are twice as many skyscrapers (buildings of at least 14 stories) in Hong Kong, when compared to its nearest rival city, New York.

Architectural influences are typically gathered from traditional Chinese designs. Feng Shui, the consideration of wind and water, is also taken into account by many Hong Kong based architects who aim to 'harmonize everyone with their surroundings'.

Due to Hong Kong's lack of available space, there are very few historical buildings left, as many have been cleared to create modern high technologically innovative skyscrapers. Hong Kong has, unbelievably, the most amount of skyscrapers, over 150 meters in height, compared to any other city in the world. This gives Hong Kong the right to be classed as having the best skyline in the world.

Prior to being a British Colony, Hong Kong was mainly dominated by traditional Chinese buildings, mainly temples, serving the population. 

After Hong Kong became a British Colony, the British introduced Victorian and Edwardian architectural styles in the mid 19th century. Notable buildings that have survived the test of time include the Legislative Council Building, the Central Police Station and Murray House.

File:Chi Lin Nunnery 8, Mar 06.JPG
Traditional Chinese Architecture meets modern western Architecture
The first building in Hong Kong classified as a High Rise building was constructed between 1904 and 1905. It consisted of five buildings, each stacked 6 stories high. 

Most high rise buildings that were built after this time were mainly for business purposes, such as the HongKongBank, built in 1935, now replaced by the HSBC Main Building. 

In the 1990's the demand for high rise buildings was around the location of 'Central' (the main business district of Hong Kong).

Hong Kong International Airport

Hong Kong is also home to the the Hong Kong International Airport, completed in 1998, and located on Chek Lap Kok island. Widely considered to be one of the most impressive feats of civil and structural engineering, and designed by English architect, Sir Norman Foster the island is mostly reclaimed land, designed specifically for the airport.

Bridges, roads, tunnels, services and rail routes where are included in the project, which had a very ambitious and optimistic 10-20 year programme.

Hong Kong International Airport is built upon an artificial island
Once you have decided that you want to build your new home or start a renovation, you then must start the process of hiring a reputable builder to construct your new home to your style specifications and most importantly, your budget. 

Unfortunately not everyone can take charge of the construction of their home so you will have to rely on a builder to get the job done right. You’ll be investing a lot of money in a company, trusting them with the safe and proper construction of your home or renovation so it’s normal to feel a little nervous about picking the right one. 

However, there are a few tips to get you on the right track, like questions you should ask and things to think about when you're in the process of hiring a construction company.

When choosing the building company for your home, don’t choose a builder that only builds to the minimum standard. You can still stick to a budget while hiring a quality builder, chances are that builder will also help you stick to your budget too, informing you of any developments along the way. 

It’s important to look into your builder’s reputation, you'll want to dig deep to get an idea of their business history. This means requesting and verifying proof that they are currently licensed for your area. Other items to check up on include paying employees legally and having business insurance that covers workers compensation, property damage and liability insurance. 

If they are a member of a builder’s association, even better. This fact should be proudly displayed on their website, so it’s easy for you to access their awards and accreditation. 

Ask them for a few projects that they have recently completed, they should have a recent and comprehensive list of clients that they can refer to. 

If possible, ask to have a look at a house they have recently completed or is nearly complete. This way you can have a real idea of the quality of their work, styles of architecture, and perhaps get a few ideas for your new home or renovation.

Something that is often overlooked when choosing a construction company is how well they are able to communicate with you. A builder may have all the best qualifications in the world, but if they can’t communicate with you, they are pretty much useless. 

It’s your home that you are placing in their hands so you want to know that they have a perfect understanding of what you want to achieve, your budget, and if they will pick up the phone when you have any questions.

Finally, before you hire a contractor, you should ask if they can give you with a fixed start and end date so you have an idea of the timeline, this way you can monitor their progress and check that they are working to schedule. 

With these things in mind, you will surely have a beautiful new home in no time.

Ivy Delfin
Guest Writer

Editor: Ryan Holland

About the Writer

Ivy Delfin is a copywriter working with Sherbrooke Design & Construction where you are in safe, reliable and professional hands. Proud on being leaders in design and offering clients superb quality at all levels of construction. Sherbrooke Design & Construction is renowned in the industry for a fastidious attention to detail and as a result have been recognised with numerous industry awards. When Ivy's not writing content she enjoys swimming, shopping and taking her dogs for a walk

More than a hundred years later, Art Nouveau or ‘New Art’ continues to define many-a-structure with its characteristic whiplashes, coils and foliage. With just a difference in the material, it passes off as ‘New Style’ in some parts of the world, even today. As a movement, Art Nouveau replaced the Neoclassicist and Romanticist tendencies of the Beaux-Arts, with more natural and organic ornamentation. The movement spanned across Painting, Literature, Architecture and other spheres of art.

Movements like Art Nouveau cannot be analyzed singly as they are often, the consequence of a number of social and political under-currents that make themselves visible sooner or later. As a concept, change is quite difficult to accept as we tend to vouch for the familiar everywhere. The slightest degree of dissimilarity strikes us as ‘foreign’ and we take time to adjust to it, consciously registering every effort towards it. The first sound of a human being is the ‘cry’ after his birth. It is the first in many episodes of change that naturally, triggers an uncomfortable response- a cry.

Similarly, when social upheavals make their way into our lives, we respond by what we do best- resist. While many might say that Art Nouveau eventually did categorize itself as a decorative style and in that respect, was not much separated from the earlier romanticist styles but the flexibility of iron and the idea of decorating structures- irrespective of public or private domain- along with signboards that looked like an extension of the aesthetic language that Art Nouveau was propagating. For instance, the Metro entrance pavilion in Paris by Hector Guimard, or the interior of the Van Eetvelde House or Hotel Tassel in Brussels by Victor Horta, exemplify the extensive use of cast-iron panels and arches that swept across with animated precision, creating a surreal environment punctuated with whiplashes and scrolls.

Newer structures, as they are built, either shock passers-by or engage them in their stylistic qualities. These reactions are part of the larger picture, the revolution brought about by small changes, dissent with the status quo and a need for change. These ‘revolutions’ often raised uproar accompanied by supporting theories and a vibrant visual scenario with people expressing individuality by either supporting the trending style or opposing it. Gradually, people accept newer styles when they become the norm and are not ‘new’ anymore but as that happens, a section of the population is already voicing concerns about its relevance and the cycle continues. Trails of leftover styles, theories and formal language mark their once-celebrated presence.

Interestingly, Art Nouveau has its origins embedded in typography and poster design. Graphic design was riding the wave of ‘modernism’ which made itself apparent in the works of Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo and Walter Crane. The nascent effects of globalization were evident in the ubiquity of floral graphics as seen in far-Eastern imagery and motifs used by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai in woodcuts. Hokusai’s fine, wriggly lines with emphasis on the organic, curvilinear nature of his subject- usually nature itself, replicated themselves in the works of crafts persons working with iron and other materials that could imitate nature as closely as possible. As balustrades, sign boards, door handles and window frames began curling into leaves, creepers and exotic grasses, an architectural language began being developed- one that took the curvilinear and organic vocabulary a step further, banishing edges and rectilinear forms for smoother, line-free facades.  

The beginnings of Art Nouveau lie in Brussels, where an economic boom led to the development of the middle classes and an interest in patronizing architecture. Brussels was defined by a conglomeration of tiny, rural plots and Haussmann’s Paris model could not be applied to it. Land was divided in small plots and as a result, houses were small, narrow and many in number. The challenging urban scenario with restricting municipal building regulations led Belgian architect Victor Horta to design what later became known as a characteristic Art Nouveau feature- the whiplash, which was essentially an elongated or elliptical curve that was quite commonly seen then in the decorative arts. In Barcelona, Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi who was also skilled in carpentry, ironwork etc, designed buildings and undertook a number of landscaping projects like Can Artigas Gardens, Guell Park, Casa Vicens etc. Gaudi’s style was categorized as ‘Catalan Modernism’ and he morphed spaces into an undulating continuity of solid and void, heavily referencing natural habitat, ecology and other organisms. From its initial stages, the movement took a turn towards merely pleasing the eye and works produced later, exhibit flamboyance in the use of material resources more than a reaction to the social or political environment.

Gradually, due to its ornate nature, and the widespread borrowing of motifs from starkly different contexts, Art Nouveau as a group of ideals that strived to create something ‘new’, eventually stagnated and got reduced to a repetition of patterns and symbols without any relationship of to the whole. The idea of using a resource that was not as freely or economically available, to build something that had little or no function, apart from appearing stylistic became redundant. The next leap clearly seemed to be towards getting rid of excessive decoration and as many at that time said, “being honest” to the methods of architecture or ‘honest architecture’.

What people meant by ‘honest architecture’ was highly subjective as the years that followed, saw a variety of honest buildings- for some, honesty was about leaving facades unembellished and for some others, honesty was about accepting the rectilinear form. Many versions stayed and till today, they have evolved and adapted to newer cities and changing times.

Yasra Daud Khoker

About the Author
Yasra Daud Khoker has a degree in Interior Design from the American University of Sharjah. She is an art critic and artist who divides her time between Dubai and Jaipur. Yasra can be contacted at
Modernism, as we know it, has been around for about 50 years. We've seen many different stages of development though out this period, from Brutalism in the 60's and 70's, de-cluttering in the 90's and careful colour selection from the Millennium onwards.

Practically every single building that we look at today, which was designed within the last 30 years, all have one thing in common. Geometry. 

The following images are examples of completed projects that all follow the fundamental rule of the Modernist Movement. Carefully incorporating geometry as the fundamental principle of the design. Whether that be horizontal lines, acute angles, defined shapes, etc.

Unknown, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Burj KhlaifaDubai, United Arab Emirates
The Shard, London, UK

The Shard is a good example of the Modernism that we can currently expect to see, as it's easily recognisable, due to the angular outline that is created by the different 'shards'. 

But then again can't the same be said for the newly proposed 'Kingdom Tower'. It follows that same outline, uses virtually the same materials and the only distinguishable difference appears to be it's height (and the heli-pad obviously!).

So what can architects do to ensure that their project is completely different to other buildings? Well, they either have to be even more inventive with their use of geometric shapes, or turn towards more ornamental features, which will enhance the basic outline.

These ornamental additions are not part of the Modernist philosophy, however, so we appear to be turning back towards the more fluid shapes that were involved in the Art Nouveau Style. 

Currently, interior design seems to be taking a lead in this direction. Incorporating fluid shapes within a building can create dramatic shadows and spaces that would not be achieved if the space was as de-cluttered and minimalist as possible.

Hopefully, architecture in general will eventually catch-up with this ethos, and we could be in line for some highly impressive buildings, that deal more with the effects on the interior (lighting, space management, crowd control), rather than the external aesthetics.

The ArchitectWeekly Team

Published: 28.04.14
Writer: Ryan Holland, CEO

With the next academic year not long away and the all important UCAS deadline approaching, you may want to start considering what equipment you're going to require for your course. 

Studying an architecture degree is a creative process, right? That's the whole reason why you've chosen it. You most probably, in the back of your mind at least, want to become the world renowned architect which we often feature here on ArchitectWeekly, designing insane 'mega' skyscrapers in Dubai. So, what's stopping you from reaching this goal? Well it comes down to not having the essential equipment that your course requires.

Top 10 Essentials at a Glance
  1. A (Good!) Laptop
  2. Mechanical Pencils
  3. Artists Pencils
  4. Scale Ruler
  5. Adjustable Set Square
  6. Course Books
  7. Metal Ruler
  8. Scalpel
  9. A3 Cutting Matt
  10. A3 Tracing Paper

A Good Laptop
Buying a laptop is a big investment, you're not going to be replacing it a year later, so getting the right one is crucial. Had you of studied an architecture degree 20 years ago, this section wouldn't have existed. But, like with everything else, technology has improved at an incredible rate. We are now in a position to be able to do things such as visualising our designs in a 3D environment, on screen, without ever really needing to print anything out. Files can be emailed through instantly to clients, with feedback even received the same day, rather than a week later by post.

This added accessibility comes with one major drawback however, needing the processing power to be able to manage the complex equations required to work out things such as the shadow orientations in Google Sketchup or Dynamic Energy Efficiency in BIM. 

What do we recommend?

1.  A decent amount of RAM, at least 4GB is essential, but most modern laptops (2013+) have upwards of 6GB, which makes work flow smoother, and high end rendering quicker.

2. A separate graphics card, ideally NVIDIA GeForce Graphics Cards, which improve performance when rendering in 3D and improves feedback response in general.

2. A large(ish) hard-drive, preferably SSD. A Solid State Drive, allows you to access your documents quicker than a standard hard drive. This improves your work flow, especially when dealing with large documents, such as CAD files. The downside to SSD's though is the reduction in memory space, with around 200GB - 250GB being common.

3. A good keyboard and track pad. Make sure to go and physically test out your chosen laptop BEFORE you buy it, as some models has larger separation gaps between keys, which could take some time to get used to.

A Good Mechanical Pencil
Some of you here will be thinking that all of your architecture coursework can all be done on the computer, and to some extent you'd be correct. However, depending on the University, there will be more emphasis placed on technical drawing and rough sketches of your project. This is to show how important it is to detail each stage of the design process. This better prepares you for the 'real world' where documenting each stage of any process is vital for other people to understand your reasoning for altering specific elements.

A good mechanical pencil is ideal, however artists pencils are also required if you need to draw an artist's impression of the design, with shadowing effects (etc).

What do we recommend?

A Reliable and Fast Internet Connection
Most computers in the Library (LRC), and in the architecture studio will have the necessary software and processing power that you need to complete your coursework. They will also have the fastest Internet connection available, which is important if you regularly upload/download large files from the Cloud (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc).

What you also need to consider is the Internet speed in your accommodation block, assuming that you like to leave work till the night before its due, and a slow Internet connection as just something else to worry about. Most accommodation blocks outsource their Internet usage through a private company, and it can be possible to bump up your measly 15Mb/s connection to over 50Mb/s (also useful for downloading films and TV shows!)

The Correct Books
This is an important one, and also very obvious! Revising from the wrong books will ultimately mean that you're going to end up learning things  that aren't on your course, and won't be in the exam. Our new Book Store gives you general books for architecture degrees, but you'll need to ask your professor which specific books to buy.

See Also: 5 Tips to Stay Ahead During Your Architecture Degree
3 min read
Image Credit: Ryan Holland, 2013
The View from the Shard is the new public viewing platform, occupying the highest habitable levels of The Shard. 

Shard Fact File:

  • 309.6 metres (1,016ft) high.
  • 11,000 glass panels.
  • 54,000 m3 of concrete.
  • The total piles supporting the building would measure 13.7km if laid end to end.
  • 44 lifts, including double-decker lifts.
  • 306 flights of stairs.
  • 95% of the construction materials are recycled.
  • There are 72 habitable floors.
  • The top 9 floors in the 'Spire' are open to the elements.
  • The Shard is the tallest building in Europe.

Spread over 3 floors, 69 through to 72, the viewing gallery allows awe-inspiring panoramic views over London. Floor to ceiling windows allow a 35-40 mile viewing range on a clear day.

The journey to level 69,  is comprised of two lift journeys. The first is to level 33 and from the their you travel the remaining distance. Both lifts travel at about 6 metres per second, meaning the entire time to get to the top is around 2-3 minutes, pretty impressive! 

When the lift doors open you are faced with a Western view of London.

The view from the lifts
Image Credit: Ryan Holland, 2013
Level 69
Image Credit: Ryan Holland 2013
When you are satisfied that you've worked out were the most famous of London's landmarks are, it is time to take the 3 flights of stairs up to the 72nd floor. When you reach this floor you may be surprised to find that it is open to the elements, not a room as you may have imagined. This is lovely on a summers day, but otherwise...

Not for the faint hearted!
Image Credit: Ryan Holland 2013
Image Credit: Ryan Holland 2013
Image Credit: Ryan Holland 2013
In the foreground, the Walkie Talkie building
Image Credit: Ryan Holland 2013
Image Credit: Ryan Holland 2013
Level 72
Image Credit: Ryan Holland 2013
Don't forget to look UP!
Image Credit: Ryan Holland 2013
Image Credit: Ryan Holland 2013
Image Credit: Ryan Holland 2013
The ArchitectWeekly Team

Published: 25.10.13 at 08:00
Writer: Ryan Holland, CEO
Editor: Tom Marland. Editor

Re-Published: 29.04.14 at 15:22GMT