Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester

Chetham’s School of Music is the largest and premier Music School in the UK and is unique to the region as the only Music School based in the North of England. Stephenson ISA Studio’s brief was to create a unique contemporary new building for the musical and academic teaching facilities, providing a state-of-the-art environment which will be a fitting platform for the students.


The new building will comprise a 350 seat Concert Hall, a 100 seat Recital Hall, a full academic school and a plethora of music teaching and practice spaces.  The building itself will, alongside ongoing regeneration in Central Manchester, provide an iconic opportunity for the educational and cultural standing of Manchester to consolidate its position on the international scene.


Maggie’s at the Robert Parfett Building in Manchester

Located across Britain and abroad, Maggie’s Centres are conceived to provide a welcoming ‘home away from home’ – a place of refuge where people affected by cancer can find emotional and practical support. Inspired by the blueprint for a new type of care set out by Maggie Keswick Jencks, they place great value upon the power of architecture to lift the spirits and help in the process of therapy.  The design of the Manchester centre designed by Foster +Partners aims to establish a domestic atmosphere in a garden setting and, appropriately, is first glimpsed at the end of a tree-lined street, a short walk from The Christie Hospital and its leading oncology unit.


The building occupies a sunny site and is arranged over a single story, keeping its profile low and reflecting the residential scale of the surrounding streets.  The roof rises in the centre to create a mezzanine level, naturally illuminated by triangular roof lights and it is supported by lightweight timber lattice beams. Throughout the centre, there is a focus on natural light, greenery and garden views.  The rectilinear plan is punctuated by landscaped courtyards and the entire western elevation extends into a wide veranda, which is sheltered from the rain by the deep overhang of the roof.



brightness of the night sky in a built-up area as a result of light pollution

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After a grueling three-year journey of over 150,000 miles traveled and 3,000,000 pictures taken, renowned timelapse filmmakers Harun Mehmedinovic and Gavin Heffernan are proud to introduce SKYGLOW; a hardcover photo book and timelapse video series exploring North America’s remaining magnificent night skies and the grave threat of light pollution to our fragile environment. SKYGLOW explores the history and mythology of celestial observation, the proliferation of electrical outdoor lighting that spurred the rise of the phenomena known as “skyglow,” and the Dark Sky Movement that’s fighting to reclaim the night skies.


Find out more about SKYGLOW here.

Barn House in Fahndorf

The modest farm in the small wine-growing village of Fahndorf is built around a courtyard according to a traditional pattern with the residential building on one side, barn and stable, in between the covered passageway. The barn itself, the back wall of which opens the access to several earth-cells, is buried up to the eaves, following the topography of the terrain.



The expansion designed by Propeller Z complements the available floor area of ​​just under 60 m2 by providing a living space and kitchen, that meets the needs of modern times. The new volume, following the edge of the site, is pushed into a section of the roof geometry of the yard without touching it. The shell of the new building constructed from ready-made panels in just one day opens with a generous glazing to the south and east, while the west and north sides remain almost completely closed.


The scale and the geometry of the new component, which is appropriate for its environment, allows for a natural integration into the context, while the sparingly detailed outer skin of 5mm thick, unprocessed aluminum plates creates a self-conscious contrast; The firewood log stacked on the north side in the aluminum shell, however, create a formal connection with the village environment due to its texture similar to the old roof tiles.

International Bamboo Architecture Biennale

The first International Bamboo Architecture Biennale took place in the small village of Baoxi, China in 2016. These images, shot by photographer Julien Lanoo, give a sense at how the bamboo buildings blend into the community as permanent structures. “For centuries, bamboo was used in these rural communities in many different ways,” Lanoo tells My Modern Met via email. “A construction material with many qualities, it has or is disappearing quickly on the Chinese mainland in favor of concrete. The fast and vast expansion of new Chinese cities overruled many traditional ways of building.”



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Zima: The Powerful Beauty of Russian Winter

In the words of the artist Elena Chernyshova:

There is no aesthetic like the Russian winter. Yes, it can be grey and dull at times, but at its height, it completely reconfigures the environment. The universal white cover fills the land with a pure, magical beauty, full of dignity and mystery.

© Elena Chernyshova

According to an old saying, truth, in reality, is white, sparkling, frosty cold, silent and endless: something like the boundless Siberian tundra landscape.

© Elena Chernyshova



Santalaia in Bogotá

Santalaia by Paisajismo Urbano and Groncol designed the largest vertical garden in the world. Located in Bogotá, Colombia, the Santalaia building is completely covered with a lush layer of 85,000 plants that span 3,100 square meters (33,368 square feet). A vertical garden of this size can produce enough oxygen for more than 3,100 people every year, process 1,708 pounds of heavy metals, filter more than 2,000 tons of harmful gases and catch more than 881 pounds of dust.



A blog curated by Roberto Cruz Niemiec with the best of Architecture, Design and Art.