My shortlist (0 item)

    American Magazine places HOUZZ ahead of Bjarke Ingels on Most Innovative Companies in Architecture

    Nathan Johnson

    An American business magazine has released a list documenting architectural companies that have taken steps to challenging conventional practice in the architecture and design industry.

    Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in Architecture of 2015 list is dominated by American and Danish practices and includes the likes of Denmark’s Bjarke Ingels Group and C.F. Møller Architects and the USA’s Perkins+Will.

    Being innovation driven, the list also includes practices that are incorporating fields of study that take architecture beyond its traditional means. These include the incorporation of biology, community collaboration, digital platforms, modular homes and health in design.

    Here is the full list and citation segments courtesy of Fast Company:


    1. HOUZZ - for changing the way we remodel. 

    In 2010, after a frustrating ordeal trying to remodel their house, Palo Alto-based husband and wife Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen launched Houzz, an online community that connects homeowners with design professionals. And in five years, it has developed a passionate audience of more than 25 million active monthly users and seemingly endless opportunities to shape the $300 billion global design and decor market to its taste.


    2. BJARKE INGELS GROUP, Denmark - for bringing starchitecture to the drab world of storm resilience. 

    Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), a firm that once proposed and built a ski slope on top of a waste-treatment plant, continues to devise playful ways to solve serious problems. BIG's winning proposal for Rebuild by Design, a design competition launched by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, marries extravagant design to pragmatic storm protection. Pictured above is the 10-mile ribbon designe by BIG to protect lower Manhattan, New York from future storm surges and natural disasters.


    3. THE LIVING, USA - for creating truly temporary architecture. 

    Last summer, The Living, led by principal David Benjamin, was chosen as the winner of the Young Architects Program at the Museum of Modern Art. Benjamin's architectural installation at MoMA PS1, Hy-Fi, harnessed biodesign to create a temporary tower that was built with almost no waste. (Image: MoMA)


    4. PERKINS+WILL, USA - for recognizing that designing for better health isn’t just about hospitals.

    Perkins+Will is one of the nation’s leading firms in health care design, but its work has moved beyond the standard definition of health care. It's working in several cities to plan "health districts," combining urban planning with health care architecture to foster healthier outcomes for patients while they’re in the hospital and after they leave. Above is the Florida Clinical Translational Research Building modelled on the concept of biophilic design.


    5. C.F. MØLLER ARCHITECTS, Demark - for rethinking high-rise living. 

    C.F. Møller is rethinking not only how we build residential towers, but how we use them. The firm is currently in the planning process for the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper. The 34-story Stockholm residence promises to be both cheaper and more sustainable than steel and concrete alternatives—one reason the U.S. government invested $1 million in a wooden skyscraper competition last year.


    6. NBBJ, USA - for turning design into a science. 

    NBBJ’s new fellowship program, launched in 2014, brings in expert researchers to work alongside the firm’s design practice. The first recipient, developmental molecular biologist John Medina, studied the links between neuroscience and the built environment. The firm is also working with Amazon.com to revitalise Seattle's Denny Triangle with the creation of three new high-rise office towers and a bubble shaped meeting centre. (Image: NBBJ)


    7. SVIGALS + PARTNERS, USA - for designing a safer school that doesn’t look like a prison. 

    Rebuilding Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., which was torn down after the horrific shooting in 2012 that left 20 students and 6 employees dead, was not your average school commission. Part of the process involved meeting and holding workshops with local townspeople and victims’ families about their concerns and desires for the site. While security was a top priority, "the most important security aspect is for it to feel like any other school," as partner Jay Brotman says.


    8. MMA ARCHITECTS, USA - for thinking outside the big box. 

    Walmart’s first store to open in downtown Washington, D.C. is no strip-mall wasteland. For one thing, the store, located in the neighborhood of Brightwood, has windows. Designed by New Jersey-based MMA Architects, this Walmart manages to fit into its urban surroundings—parking is located underground, and doors open straight onto the sidewalk.


    9. ROCKWELL GROUP, USA - for taking modular homes luxury. 

    In 2014, architect David Rockwell teamed up with appliance titan Fred Carl to design the first luxury prefabricated homes. The 2,400 square-foot house contains four rectangular rooms arranged around a 500-square-foot interior courtyard. The kitchen comes complete with professional-grade appliances, and in order to make the design more customizable, Rockwell is hoping to offer interior additions, like prefab wine cellars.


    10. HEATHERWICK STUDIO, Abu Dhabi - for reimagining green space

    In Abu Dhabi, Heatherwick has redesigned the grassy 30-acre Al Fayah Park to contend with the country’s desert climate. The new facility features 65-foot-high canopies that from above mimic the look of cracked desert terrain. The garden underneath becomes a sunken oasis shaded from the hot sun by these canopies, which reduce the evaporation of the resource-intensive desalinated water used to keep the plants alive.

    Here is the full list and citation segments courtesy of Fast Company:

    Read Comments
    Back to Top