Our shortlist of alternatives to Divisare now that their archive is offline. Based on suggestions from other designers and our own discoveries over the years.
The Rome-based architecture publisher Divisare.com closed in December 2018. The full archive is offline. They left a short goodbye and “a strong need for alternative ways of communicating quality architecture on the web.”
It was among the best. Less commercial than sites like ArchDaily. Less news-focused. Divisare identified with a "slow web," and built the platform "horizontally," like a "bookcase." Quiet typography, high-res images, no advertising. The platform was often better for exploring architecture than the websites of most architects. It was native to the web. More than a blog, they tried new models for publishing: deep project tagging, office profile pages, even small books under ten euros.
Now, it’s on the Wayback Machine as a ruin and we’re searching for alternatives. We asked friends for suggestions. The list is short. Think of the architecture library from college—the web needs architecture publishers to do what the best did in print. That's clear with Divisare gone. Maybe we should do something about it.
Here’s the list:
• Divisare on Wayback Machine is incomplete but should help you remember what's missing. See Atlas of Architecture for Divisare's rich project taxonomy. "A long, patient job of cataloging" work by element, city, materiality, typology, and more.
• transfer-arch.com promises a new era in publishing architecture on the web. There's a proper team behind this concept and it's still mostly undiscovered. We found it searching for the Bagno Pubblico project by Aurelio Galfetti and Flora Ruchat-Roncati. Read visual essays on selected construction details in their Materiality series, or on landscape conditions, like Jorn Utzon's Platforms and Plateaus.
• afasiaarchzine.com by popular suggestion. Over 12k projects in the archive and often first to release new work.
• allthearchitects.com sends you to the source—the offices' websites. One simple page that lists almost 1k selected architects by their website only. Sorted by region. Made by us.
• atlasofplaces.com sets projects in the landscape and in drawings before presenting the photographs. Edited by a Swiss architect and cartographer.
• ignant.com groups architecture with related topics, like art, design, and travel. Zoom in on project images to use their slideshow view. Many sites are in a similar category: minimalissimo.com lets you change black and white backgrounds; thisispaper.com is more generous with their image sizing; and yatzer.com lets you view all images in a grid with their slideshow view.
• elcroquis.es is legendary in print for their monograph-like magazines. The issues are heavy and detailed, and more expensive than most books. Getting featured by El Croquis is on the way, and not far from, winning the Pritzker Prize. What they've done in print is a standard that architecture publishers on the web should aspire to exceed.
• japlusu.com prints the beautiful a+u magazine—a classic from Japan since 1971 that explores various topics in architecture. Anyone who loves this magazine knows the distinctive feeling of its paper. Another one of the greats in print still unmatched by the web.
Something we missed? Let us know.