10 dwellings that dialogue with the scorching desert sun

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Richard Joseph Neutra

Richard Joseph Neutra, (b. Vienna, Austria, April 8, 1892 - April 16, 1970, Wuppertal, Germany). Neutra was born in Leopoldstadt, the 2nd district of Vienna, Austria Hungary, on April 8, 1892 into a wealthy Jewish family. His Jewish-Hungarian father Samuel Neutra (1844–1920) was a proprietor of a metal foundry, and his mother, Elizabeth "Betty" Glaser Neutra (1851–1905) was a member of the IKG Wien.

Richard had two brothers who also emigrated to the United States, and a sister who married in Vienna. Neutra attended the Sophiengymnasium in Vienna until 1910, and he studied under Adolf Loos at the Vienna University of Technology (1910–1918). He was a student of Max Fabiani and Karl Mayreder. In 1912 he undertook a study trip to Italy and Balkans with Ernst Ludwig Freud (son of Sigmund Freud). In the June of 1914, Neutra's studies were interrupted when he was ordered to Trebinje; he served as a lieutenant in the artillery in the balkans until the end of the war. He took a leave in 1917 to return to the Technische Hochschule to take his final examinations.

After World War I Neutra went to Switzerland where he worked with the landscape architect Gustav Ammann. In 1921 he served briefly as city architect in the German town of Luckenwalde, and later in the same year he joined the office of Erich Mendelsohn in Berlin. Neutra contributed to the firm’s competition entry for a new commercial centre for Haifa, Palestine (1922), and to the Zehlendorf housing project in Berlin (1923). He married Dione Niedermann, the daughter of an architect, in 1922. They had three sons, Frank L (1924-2008), Dion (1926-) an architect and his father's partner and Raymond Richard (1939-) a physician and environmental epidemiologist.

Neutra moved to the United States by 1923 and became a naturalized citizen in 1929. Neutra worked briefly for Frank Lloyd Wright before accepting an invitation from his close friend and university companion Rudolf Schindler to work and live communally in Schindler's Kings Road House in California. Neutra’s first work in Los Angeles was in landscape architecture, where he provided the design for the garden of Schindler’s beach house (1922–5), designed for Philip Lovell, Newport Beach, and for a pergola and wading pool for Wright and Schindler’s complex for Aline Barnsdall on Olive Hill (1925), Hollywood. Schindler and Neutra collaborated on an entry for the League of Nations Competition of 1926–7; in the same year they formed a firm with the planner Carol Aronovici (1881–1957) called the Architectural Group for Industry and Commerce (AGIC).

He subsequently developed his own practice and went on to design numerous buildings embodying the International Style, twelve of which are designated as Historic Cultural Monuments (HCM), including the Lovell Health House (HCM #123; 1929) and the Richard and Dion Neutra VDL Research House (HCM #640; 1966). In California, he became celebrated for rigorously geometric but airy structures that symbolized a West Coast variation on the mid-century modern residence. Clients included Edgar J. Kaufmann, Galka Scheyer, and Walter Conrad Arensberg. In the early 1930s, Neutra's Los Angeles practice trained several young architects who went on to independent success, including Gregory Ain, Harwell Hamilton Harris, and Raphael Soriano. In 1932, he tried to move to the Soviet Union, to help design workers' housing that could be easily constructed, as a means of helping with the housing shortage.

In 1932, Neutra was included in the seminal MoMA exhibition on modern architecture, curated by Philip Johnson and Henry-Russell Hitchcock. In 1949 Neutra formed a partnership with Robert E. Alexander that lasted until 1958, which finally gave him the opportunity to design larger commercial and institutional buildings. In 1955, the United States Department of State commissioned Neutra to design a new embassy in Karachi. Neutra's appointment was part of an ambitious program of architectural commissions to renowned architects, which included embassies by Walter Gropius in Athens, Edward Durrell Stone in New Delhi, Marcel Breuer in The Hague, Josep Lluis Sert in Baghdad, and Eero Saarinen in London. In 1965 Neutra formed a partnership with his son Dion Neutra.[5] Between 1960 and 1970, Neutra created eight villas in Europe, four in Switzerland, three in Germany, and one in France. Prominent clients in this period included Gerd Bucerius, publisher of Die Zeit, as well as figures from commerce and science.

Neutra died in Wuppertal, Germany, on April 16, 1970, at the age of 78.

Michael Meredith + Hilary Sample. MOS architects

MOS architects is an internationally recognized architecture practice based in New York. MOS has been honored with numerous awards including: The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s National Design Award in Architecture in 2015, a 2014 Holcim Award, an Academy Award for Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Architectural League’s 2008 Emerging Voices Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant and the P/A Award from Architect magazine.

Michael MeredithCo-founder of MOS Architects in New York City. Meredith received a Master of Architecture with distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design (2000) and a Bachelor in Architecture from Syracuse University (1994). With partner Hilary Sample, they founded MOS Architects in 2003. Meredith teaches at Princeton University , and their academic research occurs in parallel to his job as an architect.

Hilary Sample. Co-founder of MOS Architects in New York City. She received a B.Arch. from Syracuse University (1994) and an M.Arch. from Princeton University. She is currently an Associate Professor, at Yale University. Prior to joining Yale, Hilary Sample taught at SUNY Buffalo, where she was awarded the Reyner Banham Teaching Fellowship, and the University of Toronto. In 2010 Hilary Sample received the Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She was a visiting scholar at the CCA in Montreal. Her research focuses on the intersection of architecture, health, environments, technology, and design.

Rafael Aranda - Carme Pigem - Ramon Vilalta RCR Arquitectes

Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta, work together since 1988 under the name RCR ARQUITECTES in Olot. They are Premio Nacional de Cultura en Arquitectura 2005 by Generalitat de Catalunya, Chevaliers de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by Republique Française in 2008, honorary members by the AIA American Institute of Architecture 2010 and International Award 2011 "Belgian Building Awards". Since 1989 are architects advisors at Parque Natural de la Zona Volcánica de la Garrotxa and have been teachers of Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture and Project. They have won different international competitions (the latter, the Waalsekrook media library in Belgium, the Soulages museum in France, Hofheide's crematorium in Belgium and The Edge Bussiness Bay in Dubai). They have received awards in his work among which two finalists positions in the awards of the European Union Mies Van der Rohe. Some of their awarded works have been exhibited in different events and published in several monographs.

RCR has shown the ability to think and transform that bring teamwork and the promotion of cultural initiatives from Bunka Foundation and workshops within the LAB-A in the Espacio Barberí, and have proven that it is possible to do international architecture from a rural environment, which is what has stimulated his imagination.

Following the work of RCR there is a philosophy which works for harmony between humans and nature. The most advanced technologies and materials such as steel or glass, with established rhythms and light that acts in opposition to each, are those that allow RCR this return to the essence of space that is the subject of architecture.

Hend Almatrouk, Gijo Paul George Studio Toggle

Studio Toggle was established in 2011 by Architects Hend Almatrouk and Gijo Paul George, during their graduate studies at the Universität für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna. In 2012, they moved to Kuwait to be closer to the projects and in 2015 they joined forces with Rui Gonçalves and Pedro Varela and established Studio Toggle Porto.

The practice focuses on logical design and problem-solving techniques with a specific emphasis on Architecture and Urban Design. We believe in a balance between the opposites, that form follows function, the simplicity is complex, and that even chaos can be organized. Our expertise ranges from public-sector, commercial, residential and hospitality architecture to interior design. In the short span of 6 years, Studio Toggle has grown to a team of 15 highly dedicated professionals based in Kuwait and Portugal.

The work done by the Studio Toggle has been acclaimed in the region as evidenced by the various awards won by the practice including being named the Boutique Architecture Firm of the Year in 2018 by the Middle East Architect magazine, the Middle East Architect Residential Project of the Year 2016 for its project F.LOT, the prestigious Cityscape Award 2017 for its residential building ‘The Edges’ in Salmiya, Kuwait, to name a few. Studio Toggle's projects are regularly featured in prestigious architectural magazines.

The practice continues to push the boundaries of design sensibilities in the region and beyond.

Joaquín Pérez-Goicoechea, Nasser B. Abulhasan AGi ARCHITECTS

The international design firm AGi architects was founded in 2006 by two young architects educated at Harvard University, Joaquín Pérez-Goicoechea and Nasser B. Abulhasan.

With a noticeable international character and a multidisciplinary focus, AGi architects offers a professional service emphasizing quality,creativity and exclusive design. AGi has a vision to create environments that create a lasting value for clients through distinctive and imaginative solutions. At present, the studio has offices in Kuwait and Madrid, with a team comprised of more than 50 professionals.

The studio's architecture is based on four founding pillars: innovation, an inherent life component, ecological and social interventions andresearch. AGi architects provide comprehensive services in architecture, urban planning and design, interior design, research, consultancy and complementary services.

Among the latest acknowledgements for AGi architects are a nomination for the EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture-Mies van der Rohe Award 2015, "Highly Commended" at WAF 2015, four WAF Awards (2014, 2013, 2011 and 2010 editions), ten Middle East Architect Awards(2015, 2014, 2013 & 2012), two mentions at MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Awards 2012, and various awards granted in the last editions of Cityscape Awards and International Property Awards, amongst other prizes.


Joaquín Pérez- Goicoechea and Nasser B. Abulhasan.

Studio Madouh

Studio Madouh  is an Architecture and Design intensive studio. The studio approaches each individual project as a new question, redefining convention to seek the best possible solution. Through the working process, SM translates the core of a design problem, along with crucial client involvement and critical consultant input, into the realization of architectural, interior, decor, and product design projects, as well as, speculative research proposals.

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