Cool, fresh drinking water. Westerners turn the faucet on and take it for granted that good water will flow out, but in many countries fresh water is a treasure, gained by hard work. In rural villages all over the globe, people – usually women and children – fill buckets and jerry cans from a communal […]
Green is sort of a buzzword nowadays. People will say they are going green (like Zaha Hadid), but are they as good as their word? Usually not. In the world of Middle Eastern architecture and engineering, rest assured that there are several who are fighting for green choices. Clients often see lots of green – […]
There’s a movie called 27 Dresses about a woman who finds love and finally gets to wear a wedding dress after serving as a bridesmaid, 27 times. You might think that “24 shirts” refers to a similar movie about a 24-time groomsman – but not so. It actually describes a recent fashion innovation by Israeli […]
An unnamed client hired London-based Baharash Architecture to design a luxury home that could fully function off the energy grid. That’s a tall order for any residence in Abu Dhabi, now consider the challenges for one sited in the punishing clime of the hyper-arid Liwa Desert where summer temperatures top 100°F.
While many Muslims don’t drink alcohol, the people of Batroun, Lebanon love their beer. At least according to Jamil al-Haddad, the visionary behind Colonel beer and a new microbrewery built out of recycled materials.
When we first presented the solar-powered woven refugee shelters that have now been seen all across the world, many people suggested they’d also make great festival tents. Well, now we’re wondering the opposite. Could these B-and-Bee shelters designed for Belgium festivals provide temporary housing for refugees in the Middle East?
Have you ever read an online story where the comments best the content, turning your idle news-scanning into a mini-meta experience? A recent piece on some new bike-safety gear caught our eye – (what’s not to love about designs to encourage pedal power!) – but it was the readers’ response that snapped the story into perspective.
Thousands of folding glass panels cover the southern facade of the Al Bahr Towers in Abu Dhabi (above). Reacting to sunlight, they form a protective skin to decrease interior solar gain. It’s a modern riff on the best known element of Arabic architecture, in play since the Middle Ages. Meet the modern mashrabiya.
Studio Cheha’s Nir Chehanowski has designed an extraordinary flat LED lamp that looks three dimensional. Called Bulbing, the lamp is made of high quality materials and manufactured locally in Tel Aviv. It looks like a bulging three dimensional bulb, but actually it’s only 5mm thick and 100 percent flat. Studio Cheha uses a laser cutting process to cut out […]
We don’t mean to pick on any one firm here, but a string of repetitive competition proposals has culminated most recently in the Central Bank of Libya design for Tripoli by Henning Larsen Architects. Although they and other foreign foreign firms are making an effort to be culturally relevant, how many desert-like “flowing facades” do we need?
Remember the old days in Beirut when you could actually see the Mediterranean Sea? The crew over at Najjar & Najjar Architects remember, and they want it back! Their Kinematic IRIS sea pods are designed to not only provide refuge for residents living in the shadow of urban regurgitation, but to generate energy as well.
Majlis are the boardrooms of the Arab world. A traditional ‘place of sitting’ often adorned with cushions on the floor, they are used to receive guests and exchange ideas. In the past, nomadic desert dwellers used special tents. Intercon takes a modern approach to this special meeting room with floating Majlis that are moved daily.
Plastic. No word assaults our sensibilities more. Plastic in the bellies of baby birds; plastic strangling marine animals; plastic leaching chemicals into our water supply. Plastic everywhere. But with Ooho, an edible water ‘bottle’ that just about anyone can make, we could get a handle on the plastic mess – at least a little one.
An invention that 3D prints buildings using sand as a raw material? We knew that someone would put Markus Keyser’s amazing solar sinter tool to good use! This conceptual tower featured above and conceived by a team of Chinese designers imagines a cluster of towers made of sand that are constructed with a solar-powered 3D-printer.
Saudi Arabia is building the world’s largest botanical gardens on nearly 2.5 million square meters of desert land near Riyadh. A stellar environmental initiative to educate the public on climate change, or a tourism-boosting novelty? However you dice it, it’s amazing.
The Alhambra palace and fortress in Granada, with its mesmerizing series of courtyards, gardens and vistas that turn light and shadow into toys, may be the Moors’ crowning achievement. But the world heritage site has become so popular, visitors must wait hours just to get inside. Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza hopes to change that.
Living large isn’t sustainable, at least that is what most green hearts tend to believe, but Sanzpont Arquitectura disagrees. Invited to participate in an international competition to design a private residence in Qatar, the studio came up with ‘A Palace for Nature’ – a magnificent solar-powered palace modeled after the sidra tree.
Enlisting the masses to save the bees, Open Tech Forever has developed a high tech CNC-cut hive that allows global citizens to keep an eye on our precious pollinators.
What’s it like to live on a boat? In such cramped spaces and always subject to nature’s whim, otherwise reasonable people can go mad if they don’t get cooperate. Acrojou explores the idea through a fascinating theatrical circus genre that is trending – even in Lebanon.
Middle East architects Raya Ani and Zayad Motlib first told us about their plans for Mesopotamian Marshlands ecosystem and community earlier this year, and now they’re presenting their ideas to the first AIA Middle East conference in Dubai.
A consortium of Japanese architects got together to protest Zaha Hadid’s winning design for the main stadium of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and despite all her fame and glory, the Japanese government listened.
A group of friends from Tel Aviv got so tired of lugging enormous locks to foil would-be bicycle thieves that they got together to design what may be the world’s only fashionable solution: the Foldylock.
Who isn’t in love with Moroccan decor – the amazing colors and designs that enliven any room? Well, Justina Blakeney certainly is. So much so, she decked out an entire AirBnB popup home in Los Angeles with decor from our favorite North African destination.
We love everything about Sukkot, especially the philosophy and process behind the inspiring sukkah (booth) that Jews build during this week-long Autumnal holiday. But we’ve never seen one on the back of a tricycle.
David Chipperfield Architects have designed a resplendent new building in fascinating, frustrating Morocco, which will house the The Marrakech Museum for Photography and Visual Arts – the largest of its kind in the world.