This Nonprofit Architecture Firm Transformed a Rwandan School

Text by Fred A. Bernstein, Photography by Iwan Baan

Rwanda is trying to put its history of war and genocide behind it. Landlocked and without substantial natural resources, the country is investing in its people, turning to education as a force for change. Recent reforms have included raising the standards for advancing from primary to secondary school. That’s a good thing. But it has increased the number of older primary-school students, creating social tensions as well as a predictable shortage of classrooms.

Enter MASS Design Group, a nonprofit architecture firm based in Boston. Founded in 2008 by Michael Murphy and Alan Ricks, MASS is known for devising a striking hospital in northern Rwanda and a serene cholera clinic in Haiti, among other philanthropically and aesthetically ambitious projects.

Read the complete article in Architectural Digest…

Grace Farms by SANAA Wins Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize

The biennial award recognizes distinguished architectural projects in North and South America.

Last night at a benefit dinner held Illinois Institute of Technology’s S. R. Crown Hall, Grace Farms—a project of the Pritzker Prize-winning firm SANAA—was honored with the 2014/2015 Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP).

Read the complete article in Architectural Record 


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10 of the best TED Talks about architecture

Architecture photographer Iwan Baan delivered a presentation in 2013 about communities around the globe that have adapted to challenging conditions in amazing ways. He features the occupants of Torre David, the unfinished tower in Venezuela, and residents of a floating slum in Nigeria called Makoko. He also speaks about the Zabbaleen, or “garage people”, in Cairo, and the underground houses that are carved out of the earth in northern China.

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RIBA announces 2017 Honorary Fellowships

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today (Thursday 29 September) announced the 2017 RIBA Honorary Fellowships, which will be awarded to seventeen individuals from a diverse spectrum of backgrounds, including journalism, local government, art, architectural history and design.

RIBA Honorary Fellowships are awarded annually to people who have made a particular contribution to architecture in its broadest sense. This includes its promotion, administration and outreach; and its role in building more sustainable communities and in the education of future generations.


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Kibera Hamlets School, SelgasCano – Wall Street Journal

KIBERA, a district of Nairobi, Kenya, is one of the largest slums in Africa, thought to house up to a million people. But now a beacon of innovative architecture has appeared among its rusty metal roofs. Earlier this year, the dark, dilapidated home of the Kibera Hamlets School was replaced with a building by Spanish architecture firm SelgasCano—a multicolored frame sheathed in translucent plastic panels, which bring in light by day and glow gently at night.

Read the complete article in the Wall Street Journal…