Buildings have histories, too – and some of them are unsettling.
Here's how we can repurpose places that have witnessed unspeakable crimes.
Tim Ross conducting an Open House…Opening buildings to the curious public is helping to boost awareness of architecture.
© Kylie Speer
Since it began in London in 1992, the Open House movement has spread to 30 cities. Its events, which showcase everything from tiny apartments to grand homes, are cultivating a popular appreciation of architecture.
Performers march along the Great Wall of China in 2008.
Donald Trump, if he takes the US presidency, will immediately start building a wall between Mexico and the US. What lessons can he take from that celebrated wall-builder, Chairman Mao?
As soon as we defined physical boundaries in buildings, we created the burglar who breaches them.
A new book, A Burglar's Guide to the City, strays into risky moral territory by lionizing the burglar as an urban and architectural trickster.
A ‘humble outback structure’: a former Afghan cameleer’s mosque in Bourke NSW.
Copyright Iain Davidson/flickr
Those opposed to the building of new mosques don't recognise their long history here, or potential to support Australian ideals. Mosques are part of our suburban landscape and can help overcome fears about Islam.
From solar canopies to wind towers, Masdar City provides a living laboratory for the latest sustainable design and technology.
Unlike Dr Strangelove, few people learned to love the bomb – but it changed society nonetheless.
Think the Cold War is over? It may be, but its effects still cast a long shadow over society.
The Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona, is one of the few remnants of America’s mid-20th century motel boom.
Library of Congress
What does the shuttering of traditional roadside motels say about America's relationship with travel and freedom?
Embodiment of defiance… or foolhardy design?
Are terrorist attacks also an implicit design critique of our urban landscape? An architect and urban designer suggests we can fight terrorism by not building obvious targets.
At a time of intolerable destruction, a Syrian architect looks ahead to the serious task of reconstruction.
German developer Jörg Duske has built student accommodation out of recycled shipping containers.
Holzer Kobler Architekturen
The humble shipping container is sparking a revolution in architecture, plug and play infrastructure, portable labs and many other innovations.
Better office design is not just about shaping space around tasks we do.
Business Briefing: a better to design an office.
The Conversation 13.9 MB (download)
Research shows that many building codes don't designate the maximum number of people that should fit in an office, but that's not the only problem with standard office design.
Design for upgrades to the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall.
Courtesy Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is getting an A $200 million upgrade. It's a chance to rectify some glaring faults, but in our risk-averse times, the outcome will be decided by committees.
The African Union laboratory in Nansana, a suburb of Kampala, Uganda.
Ikko Kobayashi and Fumi Kashimura/Terrain-Architects
There is a growing trend of designing modernised replicas of traditional buildings for entertainment and tourism. That’s no way to salvage positive lessons from building traditions.
Renaissance master Andrea Palladio designed Villa La Rotonda with rooms of various characters, which at night served as viewing boxes for fireworks displays in the surrounding landscape.
Might we enjoy our homes more if their rooms were characterised by their sense of loftiness or intimacy or cheerfulness or melancholy rather than lifeless labels such as 'media room' or 'home office'?
The Sirius building in 2014: only 12 or so residents are now left and they will soon be moved on.
Jenny Noyes/New Zulu
Sydney's Sirius building - a brutalist classic, providing public housing with waterfront views - will soon be gone. Its loss speaks volumes about our contemporary values and architecture's shift away from utopianism.
Partially demolished houses in the Vila Autodromo favela, with the Olympic Park in the background.
An architect rides through the streets of Rio amidst a cacophony of drills and jackhammers. He wonders: Is it worth it? What will the legacy of all this construction be?
The award-winning Naranga Avenue House, by James Russell Architect, features astonishing breeze block design.
Photographer Toby Scott
Breeze blocks are having a moment in the sun. Having been painfully hip in the architecture of the 1950s and 60s, they were used so extensively, in both houses and commercial buildings, that they became…
Lithograph, ‘Burning of the Garden Palace, Sydney’, Gibbs Shallard and Company, Sydney, 1882.
Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney.
Sydney's Garden Palace, which burned to the ground in 1882, was a monument to empire's glory. Indigenous artist Jonathan Jones is now working on an epic exhibition that will explore this historical epoch from an Aboriginal perspective.
From its earliest days, the influx of outsiders created the distinctive urban character that has driven the development of Shanghai into a modern metropolis.
From its earliest days as a haven for refugees, Shanghai developed a distinctive character and urban identity that have driven its emergence as one of the world's great metropolises.