Biological Concrete for a Living, Breathing Facade

© cowbite

The future of design requires thinking innovatively about the way current construction techniques function so we may expand upon their capabilities. Sustainability has evolved far beyond being a trend and has become an indelible part of this design process. Sustainable solutions have always pushed against the status quo of design and now the Structural Technology Group of Universitat Politècnica de CatalunyaBarcelonaTech (UPC) has developed a that sustains and encourages the growth of a multitude of biological organisms on its surface.

We have seen renditions of the vertical garden and vegetated facades, but what sets the biological concrete apart from these other systems is that it is an integral part of the structure. According to an article in Science Daily, the system is composed of three layers on top of the structural elements that together provide ecological, thermal and aesthetic advantages for the building.

More after the break.

AD Recommends: Best of the Week

Courtesy of 314 Architecture Studio

Five great projects from last week that you may have missed! Check out the H3 house by greek practice 314 Architecture Studio or the Levels House in , . Don’t miss Marcio Kogan’s latest project, Studio R. Take a look at the great Lordelo Pharmacy designed by José Carlos Cruz. Finally, revisit Yingjia Club at Vanke Beijing by Neri & Hu.

The Evolution of Elevators: Accommodating the Supertall

Ping An Finance Center © KPF

Elevators have been around for quite a long time; maybe not those that soar to hundreds of feet in a matter of seconds, but the primitive ancestors of this technology, often man-powered, were developed as early as the 3rd century BC.  These early wheel and belt operated platforms provided the lift that would eventually evolve into the “ascending rooms” that allow supertall skyscrapers (above 300 meters) to dominate skylines in cities across the world. Elevators can be given credit for a lot of progress in architecture and urban planning.  Their invention and development allowed for the building and inhabiting of the structures we see today.

skyscrapers are becoming more common as cities and architects race to the top of the skyline, inching their way further up into the atmosphere.  These buildings are structural challenges as engineers must develop building technologies that can withstand the forces of high altitudes and tall structures.  But what of the practical matter of moving through these buildings?  What does it mean for vertical conveyance?  How must elevators evolve to accommodate the practical use of these supertall structures?

Gümligenpark New Credit Suisse Backoffice / Burckhardt+Partner

© Croci & Du Fresne

Architects: Burckhardt+Partner
Location: ,
Client: HRS Real Estate AG
Area: 22,400 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Croci & Du Fresne, Carmela Ordoni

© mopA
© mopA

The Lodge School Ricaut XIII / Metek Architecture

Located in a residential street, near the lively neighborhood of Place d’Italie, the new lodge of the School Ricaut displays its large yellow cube, which replaces the old entrance, refining the main access point and offering a work space that…

Campos Pharmacy / e|348 Arquitectura

© ITS – Ivo Tavares Studio

Architects: e|348 Arquitectura
Location: ,
Project Architects: Nuno Pinheiro, António Teixeira
Constructor: Clipharma
Area: 160 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: ITS – Ivo Tavares Studio

H-House / BANG by MIN – Sae Min Oh

© Joonhwan Yoon

Architects: BANG by MIN – Sae Min Oh
Location: Seongbuk-dong, Seongbuk-gu, ,
Architect In Charge: Sae Min Oh
Design Team: Changwook Kwak, Hyunduck Yoo
Area: 403.56 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Joonhwan Yoon

Central Michigan University Events Center / SmithGroupJJR

Courtesy of

Architects: SmithGroupJJR
Location: , USA
Area: 6,741 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of SmithGroupJJR

Courtesy of AND-RÉ
Courtesy of AND-RÉ

Helsinki Central Library Competition Entry / AND-RÉ

The ‘Sophia Library’ concept proposal for the Helsinki Central Library Competition represents the consolidation of cultural identity, democratic notion and humanistic concepts into a building. It is a clear and true space, giving place for important visions to come together.…

Fiore House / Cekada-Romanos Arquitectos

© Walter Salcedo

Architects: Cekada-Romanos Arquitectos
Location: , Santa Fe Province,
Design Team: Sebastián Cekada, Juan Andrés Romanos
Structural Engineering: Gustavo Caggiano
Contractor: Camilo Barreto
Construction Manager: Sebastián Cekada, Juan Andrés Romanos
Project Area: 172 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Walter Salcedo

Warming Huts v.2013 Competition Winners

Big City / Big City Atelier

Warming Huts, an open art and architecture competition on ice – has selected five huts that best “push the envelope of design, craft and art” for it’s 2013 edition. Selected from over 100 entries, these winning proposals will be constructed in January alongside the longest naturally frozen skating trail in the world: the Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail in , .

Three of the huts were chosen from the open submission process, one from a separate University of Manitobacompetition, and one is being designed by award-winning Montreal firm Atelier Big City. Review them all after the break.

Soviet Modernism 1955-1991: Unknown Stories

Residential building on Minskaya Street, 1980s, Bobruisk, Belarus © Belorussian State Archive of Scientific-Technical Documentation

Soviet Modernism 1955 – 1991. Unknown Stories’ explores, for the first time comprehensively, the architecture of the non-Russian Soviet republics completed between the late 1950s and the end of the USSR in 1991. The research and exhibition project shifts the Russian-dominated perspective and focuses attention on the architecture of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, The Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

More information after the break…

Children’s Day Care Center in La Trintite / CAB Architects

© Aldo Amoretti

Architects: CAB Architects
Location: , France
Architect In Charge: Giancarlo Ranalli
Design Team: Jean-Patrice Calori, Bita Azimi, Marc Botineau
Architect Assistant: Sophie Delage
Area: 1,287 sqm
Year: 2007
Photographs: Aldo Amoretti, Serge Demailly

La Vorada Center for Seniors / taller 9s arquitectes

© Adrià Goula Sardà

Architects: taller 9s arquitectes
Location: , Spain
Architect In Charge: Oriol Cusidó & Irene Marzo
Area: 1,288 sqm
Year: 2009
Photographs: Adrià Goula Sardà

Courtesy of Margaux Leycuras, Marion Ottmann, Anne-Hina Mallette
Courtesy of Margaux Leycuras, Marion Ottmann, Anne-Hina Mallette

‘Hydropolis’ Competition Entry / Margaux Leycuras, Marion Ottmann, Anne-Hina Mallette

Designed by architecture students, Margaux Leycuras, Marion Ottmann, and Anne-Hina Mallette…, from the architecture school of Nantes, they recently won a prize in a competition organized by the Foundation Jacques Rougerie. Their ‘Hydropolis’ proposal answers to this

House in Higashiyama / General Design

© Daici Ano

Architects: General Design - Shin Ohori
Location: , Tokyo, Japan
Site Area: 139.64 sqm
Built Area: 83.69 sqm
Total Floor Area: 254.10 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Daici Ano

BB House / BAK Architects

© Gustavo Sosa Pinilla

Architects: BAK Architects
Location: , Buenos Aires Province, Argentina
Architect In Charge: María Victoria Besonías, Luciano Kruk
Collaborators: Nuria Jover, Diorella Fortunati
Site Area: 595.5 sqm
Area: 114.81 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Gustavo Sosa Pinilla

W House / IDIN Architects

© Spaceshift Studio

Architects: IDIN Architects
Location: Nakhon Ratchasima,
Design Team: Jeravej Hongsakul, Akeanan Janeium, Pongpop Narapanich
Area: 202 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Spaceshift Studio