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Five Architects to Watch

These days, it’s impossible to forge an identity or fashion a brand for oneself by concentrating on qualities that are intangible – or worse still, invisible. Thermal comfort doesn’t come across well in photos. Ground source heat pumps just don’t sound sexy. It’s far quicker to be visibly unique and let bored workers, Friday afternoons and the internet do the rest. See what it did for BIG? So here’s five architects who don’t muck around. Instead, they go straight to the core of what it’s all about. Look and learn, my friends, look and learn.

1. James Law The mission of James Law and his practice Cybertecture is to “innovate the fabric of mankind”. Nice. See for yourself. It’s difficult to choose an image … oh, let’s just go with this one.

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It looks like it might share some DNA with The Pad which was a fixture at Cityscape Dubai not too long ago – gosh how time flies! We’re still waiting.

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There’s a bit of internet controversy over whether James Law actually designed this next building. This site says oh no he didn’t but I don’t think I care even if he did. But yes – those are balcony swimming pools. You can see there’s some sort of water thing going on. And since we’re in India, that’ll be a lotus flower in the middle then.

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2. ARM Go Australia! A-R-M need no introduction – stay up to date with what they’re doing, maybe even sign up for their quarterly newsletter. This building is by no means representative of their oeuvre but you can read more about it in this article “Fighting Urban Monotony”.  Indeed. One balcony at a time. 

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3. Jurgen Mayer H. The intruigingly-named Jurgen Mayer H has come a long way. This is the first building of his I remember. It’s 5° off-vertical on two axes, it has an entrance canopy that “rains” into the pools below, and it has fibre-optic trees that blow in the wind.

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From such modest beginnings, he’s gone from strength to strength, somewhat samey in some undefinable way, but never dull. Respect.

4. David Fisher

We all remember the Rotating Tower that gave us such joy in 2008. You can find some more information in this wonderful pdf that’s been kicking around the internet since. Note 1) cleverly concealed wind turbines, 2) extendable balconies, 3) 2-metre+ seagulls.

dynamic tower interior-1That cheeky Wikipedia repeats some scurrilous stories about Mr. Fisher, but the Dynamic Architecture Group lives on! “Live the Future!”

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5. Fernando Romero

Has the Big Remster on his CV circa 1997-2000 and a snazzy website at http://www.fr-ee.org/ This next image of the Orozco House dates from back when I used to read and scan paper. Relax. You can now find it on the internet – still unbuilt, alas.

orozco houseLike David Fisher, improbable cantilevers never did an architect’s reputation any harm.

fernando romero1FR’s Souraya Museum is universally reviled, and he’s still only 43! Expect big things!

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Meanwhile, please feel free to suggest others for inclusion in this list.