Last year we scoured the web to uncover the Top 20 International Architecture Websites 2012. After a thorough search, and with the help of Alexa International Rankings, we found the most popular sites used by both professionals and enthusiasts within the architecture community. Now one year later, it is time to click the refresh button and update our list. Unlike the list for the Top 20 International Urban Planning Websites 2013, we found less variation in the change of rankings from 2012 to this year. The one big surprise was newcomer Freshome, which did not even make the top 20 last year but made a grand entrance at number five in 2013. With that being said, we have once again formed an inspiring list of architecture-related websites. Whether pleasing the eye with unique projects, creating opportunities for networking within the larger architectural community, or giving you the tools to develop your business practice – this is where you (and your peers) spend most of that precious Internet browsing time. Check out the list here and on Twitter and and let us know if we’ve missed someone important, in the comment section below.
Last year’s number one architecture website maintained its top ranked position in 2013. SkyscaperCity is an online forum for architects interested in sharing ideas, photos and information connected to their field. Founded on September 11, 2012, the independent platform took various local forums that discuss skyscrapers, architecture and urban development and brought them together on this site. The amount of content on the site seems endless, but to reap all of its benefits, you must register by creating an account, which gives you the ability to share you own work. Otherwise, you are limited to the materials that have already been posted on the site. SkyscraperCity’s forums cover a variety of topics, including worldly news, infrastructure and mobility, photos, fun and location-based information. There are also engaging sections such as “guess the city,” “rate today’s banner” and “one on one.”
ArchDaily was number five on last year’s list, but has since moved up the rankings by being one of the best sources of information for architects around the world. The website was founded in 2008 by David Basulto and David Assael with the goal of improving the urban community for the three billion residents who will be moving into cities over the next 40 years. The site provides articles, information on selected projects, interviews and even updates on software. Much of its content comes from the users, who are encouraged to submit projects, information, or even tips on how the site can be improved.
TreeHugger, a sustainability-minded media outlet, has maintained the same ranking since 2012. It was founded in 2003 by Graham Hill, and later incorporated into Discovery’s Planet Green Initiative. The website publishes blogs, newsletters, interviews and consistently updates their Facebook and Twitter pages. Their range of focus is impressive, including the following: design, technology, transportation, science, business, living, energy, slideshows and social content. Readers can submit ideas for stories for any of the listed categories by simply sending an email. You also have the ability to submit a question about the site and search content on the site according to the author or topic.
Last year, Design Boom was the leading independent publication for contemporary issues and critiques regarding architecture, design and art. This year the website has dropped down to number four. Founded in 1999, Design Boom claims to be the world’s first digital architecture and design magazine. Fourteen years later, the website has almost 30,000 articles and over 366,000 subscribers. Users can read interviews, submit their own work, find information on competitions, take online design courses, view projects, watch videos and even shop. This is an excellent option to find just about anything and everything that has to do with architecture.
After not even making the top 20 of 2012’s list, we now welcome Freshome to the top five of this year’s rankings. The website was founded in 2007, making it a bit more recent than some of the other sites on this list, by Micle-Mihai Cristain in Romania. Last year’s list emphasized architecture over design, which may explain the sudden appearance of Freshome in 2013. This site focuses on interior design as well as architecture and attracts over 3.8 million unique monthly visitors. The engaging online community has accrued over 7,000 posts and 90,000 images, making it a top choice for those interested in design, architecture, luxury, travel, lifestyle and creativity in the home. Sharing your thoughts with Freshome is as easy as sending an email.
Inhabitat has dropped down to number six in 2013 after holding the number four spot in 2012’s list. Initially started by New York City designer Jill Fehrenbacher as a forum to investigate emerging trends in architecture and interior design, this online blog now focuses on how we can make these practices more sustainable. A wide range of topics are covered, such as architecture, landscape, interiors, furniture, transportation and energy, amongst others. If you are interested in submitting your own content or becoming a member, all you have to do is register with the website or follow their instructions on how to send in a story.
Dezeen began as a simple blog in 2006, by Marcus Fairs, and since then has become a leader in the best architecture, design, and interiors projects from around the world. However, the website has dropped down one spot on our list since last year, which could be attributed to the sudden appearance of other new sites. It is unique in the fact that it weighs heavily on the side of architecture, but also explores realms of design and interiors. Today, Dezeen is co-directed by Marcus Fairs and Rupinder Bhogal. Since they joined forces in 2007, the duo have launched Deezenjobs and Dezeen Watch Store. The Dezeen site is divided into three main categories, architecture, design, interiors; but also explores a plethora of quirky ideas such as architecture movies. Interested in seeing your work on Deezen? They welcome submissions from architects and designers.
Last year’s number seven ranked architecture-related website has dropped one spot to number eight in 2013. The interesting thing about this is last year we were unable to find a Twitter or LinkedIn page for Contemporist and the last names of the founders, Erin and Dave, were unknown and incognito on the web. Now having embraced the functionality of social media, Contemporist holds a lower ranking. Although we can’t tell you anymore information about the founders, or even their last names, we can tell you the site was founded in 2007 with the purpose of celebrating the community of contemporary culture, specifically architecture, art, design and travel. The website offers a daily source for architects and interior designers to find new products and projects that exemplify contemporary design. If you have something contemporary you would like to share, send them an email.
Architizer is a social network built exclusively for architecture. Since it was launched in 2009, by Marc Kushner, Architizer has been fast-growing because it drives connections. Still, it too dropped one spot in the ranking since last year, like some of the other sites on our list. Through its user-generated database, the architectural-interested community has access to sharing projects with peers, fans, and potential clients. Despite dropping a spot on our list, the site currently lists over 54,000 projects and over 14,000 firms, which are considerably higher numbers than those from last year, 39,700 projects and 10,600 firms. By linking all of the contributors of a project to one another, Architizer helps form stronger relationships within the architectural community. The site is easily divided into projects, people, firms, and products, where you can then narrow your search. In addition to being a relationship-builder, Architizer runs competitions, lists jobs, and its blog publishes the most relevant design content on the web. You too can build an online portfolio, and get your projects on the Architizer’s map.
Congratulations to Architectural Record for entering this year’s top 10 Architecture Websites after just missing last year’s list, when they were ranked at number 11. It began as a paper magazine over 110 years ago when it was founded by McGrawHill Construction in New York City. Since then, the magazine has made quite a presence on the web. This thorough site offers videos, blogs, book reviews, project critiques, articles, information on products and an education center. The topics of focus range from building types to interior design and lighting, and covers architecture from around the globe. User can submit projects and subscribe to receive the Architectural Record magazine and have access to all of the articles on the website, including archives photography and drawings.
The following websites were just shy of making our top 10. You will find some familiar names that were in this group last year, including Archinect, Dwell, Wallpaper and Architectural Digest. For those those new to the list, make sure to check out their pages.
11. Design Milk / @designmilk
12. Architonic / @architonic
13. Archinect / @archinect
14. Homedit / @homeditcom
15. WebUrbanist / @webist
16. Dwell / @dwell
17. Wallpaper / @wallpapermag
18. Architectural Digest / @ArchDigest
19. Archello / @Archello
20. American Institute of Architects / @AIANational
It is great to see so many informative sites connecting architects to one another. If you want to stay updated with their news feeds, make sure to follow our Twitter list.
We know the architecture community is not limited to this group. After looking over our list, are there any architecture-related websites that we missed?
Credits: Images and data linked to sources.