10 great architecture websites you never knew existed

Architectureis everywhere. It hangs from the clouds in New York, Tokyo and Dubai. It peeksinto our lives from the past in the form of ancient ruins and crumblingwonders. It’s the walls, floors, windows and courtyards of your home thatprovide shelter and a place to lay your head.

Architectureis an important part of all our lives, so it makes sense there are so manywebsites out there dedicated to the awareness, celebration, and proliferationof interesting buildings and the people who make them.

Thefollowing list is an eclectic collection of websites that, in one way oranother, centre around the architecture and design industry in ways you mightnot have known about. And why should you know about these sites? Well, otherthan the fact that they’ll temporarily rip your eyes from the relentlessclutches of Facebook and Buzzfeed, they will instil in you a greaterappreciation for architecture and what it take to build something truly great.And the more we appreciate good design as a society, the prettier, morefunctional, and more sustainable our cities become. Awareness leads to actionwhich leads to a shift in design and development standards that keep everydaybuilding at the status quo.

Many ofthese are sources for various happenings and news in the world of design andarchitecture. Others belong to prominent architects doing interesting things inthe field. Some websites are resources architects and designers use to maketheir work better, giving you a peek behind the curtain of the process ofdesign and construction. Here are 10 great architecture websites you never knewexisted.

1 | Contemporist

Thereare thousands of architecture blogs out there. Most people know aboutArchDaily, DesignBoom or DeZeen, but for my money, it doesn’t get much betterthan Contemporist. The design of the website itself is simple and effective,with a blogroll that is constantly updated with the latest in design,architecture, DIY and travel. If the name weren’t enough of an indication,articles and projects promote contemporary and modern design with pinpointfocus rivalled by very few competing blogs. It is a great resource forinspiration to be used by designers, but also useful for people looking to adda bit of design flair to their house or apartment.

WhileContemporist is great for interior inspiration, the articles seldom coverlarger projects that might be handled by the more popular blogs. This isn’tnecessarily a bad thing, rather a specialized look at what can make your livingspaces more attractive. It’s more akin to Apartment Therapy than Architizer,with projects carefully selected for showcasing something new or interesting inthe interior art and design world. If you like to daydream about turning yourstudio apartment into a modern design marvel, Contemporist should be your firststop.

2 | Archinect

Archinectis a funnel for a collection of architecture school blogs that doubles as aresource for connecting architects across the globe. It’s a great place forstudents to go and share their projects, but also promote themselves forprospective employment once they shed the shackles of design school and arereleased into the real world. The website is clean and effective, giving usersa plethora of information related to the design and architecture industry.

Not onlyis Architect good for current students, is also a great place for peoplesearching for information about architecture programs they might choose toattend in the future. The site provides easy access to university websites andpoints to admission criteria and protocol. University design blogs also giveimportant insight into the type of curriculum and programs each school willoffer. There is no better website out there that works to connect architects toother architects in hopes of collective collaboration, promotion, and progression.

3 | Easy Render

Architecturalrendering and visualization has always been an important part of theprofession. Never has this been more true than the current state ofarchitecture, where the quality of your digital design drawings are oftenassociated with the quality of your firm as a whole. Easy Render is aninvaluable service that connects rendering artists and software technicianswith architecture and design firms that need help with competition, marketing,or design presentation content. Within hours of logging on for the first time,you’ll have experts hard at work turning out stunning, life-like renderings andvisualizations that will elevate the work your firm is being represented by.

It’s atwo way pipeline, too. If you’re a talented artist looking for freelance work,this is a good resource for finding jobs. Yes, believe it or not, mostarchitects are not experts at VRay and Rhino. In fact, very few even know theyexist. Easy Render is a great service that has a collection of 3D artists who areready to do the heavy lifting and blow your mind with beautiful images.

4 | Andrew Maynard Architects

AndrewMaynard is the prodigal son of Australian architecture. His designs manage tobe intricate and unique while exploring architectural typologies andvernaculars that have been around for generations. It’s hard to know exactlywhat it is about his buildings that are so great, but it’s something that hitsyou in the chest as soon as you look at it. His website, however, chucks justabout everything we know about web design out the door in favour of theweirdest, most convoluted, yet undeniably stunning design url on the planet.

Thebizarre website provides a devilish juxtaposition to the clean, subdued designsthat populate it. The splash page is an instant shot of personality that sparksan intimate conversation with the architect himself, giving the viewer a windowinto the storm happening behind the resulting beauty of the finished products.It sets Andrew apart from other architects because it shows he isn’t afraid toput on display just how chaotic the design process is, even when the buildingitself exhibits such restraint. I go back at least once a week to remind methat a little bit of madness is what makes a design great.

5 | Death By Architecture

While Iwould plant ‘architecture’ firmly in the top 10 of ways I would least like todie by, that does not diminish the usefulness of design competition resource,Death By Architecture. It is a website that connects architects and designersto upcoming competitions in a wide variety of fields and specializations. Formany firms and individuals, competitions represent a large avenue for work andincome, which makes Death By Architecture an invaluable one-stop-shop for allglobal and regional competitions. The site offers a brief explanation of thecompetition prompt as well as information pertaining to eligibility and reward.

Death ByArchitecture is also useful for students, as many of the competitions are onlyoffered to those still at university. There’s a helpful map on the splash pagethat lets you know when a competition is coming up, and how long you havebetween the application deadline and the delivery deadline. So if you’re ayoung architect or a promising student looking to make a name for yourself inthe design world, look no further than Death By Architecture. Also, getyourself a black suit and a few pairs of thick rimmed hipster glasses.

6 | Olson Kundig Architects

OlsonKundig is an architecture firm based out of Seattle, Washington who have madewaves in recent years for their inventive detailing and stern regionalist andenvironmentalist approach to design. Their website is clean and unique,offering viewers a series of embedded full-motion vignettes that offer a windowinto the design process and ethos of the firm. Even more beautiful than thewebsite is the projects that hide beneath the slick exterior. Tom Kundig is aworld recognized and admired architect who crafts stunning works ofcontemporary architecture with steel and glass. Those two antonymous materialsare his artistic medium, and he wields them with mastery.

Go toOlson Kundig Architects body of work and lose yourself for a couple of hours.You wll come out of it with an appreciation for the art in the design, and aneven greater appreciation for the places his buildings inhabit.

7 | Fast Company

Okay, itis entirely possible you already know a great deal about Fast Company, but itis worth mentioning here because it often does not get the recognition itdeserves as a truly great design blog. What makes Fast Company so special isits focus on the business and social aspects of art and architecture. It’s agreat place for entrepreneurs and business owners in the design sector to getinformation, news, and opinions on everything happening in the design world. Ithas a little bit of everything: technology, productivity, management, projectimplementation, design organization, scheduling, financing and budgeting. Thisis the side of architecture no one will tell you about as a student, but it’sarguable the most important aspect of successful ambition.

If youever hope to start a design business, or are currently flailing with onealready, Fast Company will be the Swiss Army knife to your McGyver. And if that80’s action TV show reference went way over your head, let’s just say you won’tbe able to live without it.

8 | Life of an Architect

Life ofan Architect is a quiet, unassuming little blog run by a lone architect lookingto share his journey through the design industry with the world. It is probablythe most architect-y thing on the internet, and those with an intimaterelationship with the profession will instantly connect with the “real-talk”way Bob Borson lays things out (yes, dude’s name is Bob Borson). Reading hisarticles is sort of like being slowly rocked to sleep as you clutch a t-square anda roll of drafting dots close to your chin. Yes, Bob Borson is the old man ofthe architecture blog world. It is what makes his website such a gem.

Bob’sposts run through what it’s like being an actual, true to life architect. Thereare thousands and thousands of design professionals in the world, and most ofthem live mundane lives making an honest living doing something they love. Thisis what Bob portrays, and it offers an introspective look into the everymanarchitect. Although he often tries too hard to be funny, his blog is ultimatelyone I hope I never stop reading.

9 | Rafael Vinoly Architects

I couldsit and watch the beautiful video of Rafael Vinoly sketching that occupies theentire screen of his website’s landing page for hours. It is quite a thing towatch a world renowned designer make pen strokes as he works his way through aconceptual design. If that video was all this website ever did, it would beenough for it to win awards. Lucky for us, the rest of the site gifts the worldwith the unparalleled work of one of the greatest architects of the pastcentury.

Visitingsites dedicated to this calibre of design is important for every designprofessional to frequent. It’s a reminder of what is possible and should act asfuel for elevating your own work. Be inspired. Learn from the best. Don’t beafraid to be humble and accept the fact that there are people out there doingwork much better than yours. Embrace it and be better. Channel your innerVinoly and design the shit out of something.

10 | BusyBoo

BusyBoois a clean, elegant, easy to navigate up and coming blog that presents a rangeof design types from architecture to products. Each article is uniformlycrafted and presents some of the best images of architecture and design you’llfind on the internet. Most of the buildings that fill the pages of BusyBoo areof the unusual residential variety. Every one of them will have you turning tothe person closest to you at the time and blurt out “oh yeah I’d live there.”Don’t be alarmed if that happens to you, because as BusyBoo gains popularity,you’re going to have an awful lot of train goers looking for someone to sharetheir aspirations for living in style.

There’snothing particularly special about BusyBoo, other than the fact that it doesjust about everything right. It’s everything a design blog should be, anddoesn’t do anything that doesn’t reinforce the beauty in the projects.Subscribe now and thank me later.