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NTU Singapore Researchers Develop Flexible Concrete that Resists Cracking

12:05 - 24 August, 2016
NTU Singapore Researchers Develop Flexible Concrete that Resists Cracking, via Nanyang Technological University
via Nanyang Technological University

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) have developed a bendable variety of concrete called ConFlexPave, which in addition to its increased flexibility, is both stronger and more durable than traditional concrete. Working at the NTU-JTC Industrial Infrastructure Innovation Centre (I³C), the team created the material by introducing polymer microfibers into the concrete mixture.

The innovation also allows for the production of slim precast pavement slabs, increasing installation speed. It is anticipated to be used in infrastructural projects, halving the amount of time needed for road works and new pavements while also requiring less maintenance.

Bridges & Highways Engineering & Maintenance Summit

14:10 - 23 August, 2016
Bridges & Highways Engineering & Maintenance Summit

Bridges and Highways infrastructure development have rapidly escalated in recent years in Asia Pacific, constituting 60% of the global market. Demand is largely driven by the availability of government road building funds, urbanization growth, and the need to replace or repair aging infrastructure. The Engineering and Maintenance components play a vital role in bridges & highways development as they are key to overall safety, project management and delivery of bridge and highway project and on a larger scale, a reflection of the country’s infrastructure plans and reputation.

This is How Urban Agency Made a 150kg Concrete Model

10:00 - 9 August, 2016

As part of the Danish contribution to the 2016 Venice Biennale Urban Agency embarked on a challenging feat: the construction a 1:50 concrete model. The firm—based in Dublin, Copenhagen and Lyon—contributed three projects to the "Human Architectures" exhibition at this year's Danish Pavilion.

The video shows the careful, painstaking process of molding, setting and assembling the 150kg model. Urban Agency told ArchDaily,

QUIKRETE One Bag Wonder

11:00 - 3 August, 2016
QUIKRETE One Bag Wonder

For $2500, what can you do with one single bag of any QUIKRETE® Concrete Mix? From traditional home improvement projects to fixtures of modern décor, project ideas using QUIKRETE are limitless. We wonder - What will you create with ONE bag of QUIKRETE...

AD Classics: Parish of the Holy Sacrifice / Leandro V. Locsin

04:00 - 30 June, 2016
AD Classics: Parish of the Holy Sacrifice / Leandro V. Locsin, Courtesy of Wikimedia user Allan Jay Quesada
Courtesy of Wikimedia user Allan Jay Quesada

Once dubbed a “flying saucer,” the Parish (Church) of the Holy Sacrifice is a Modernist expression which embodies the complex colonial history of the Philippines. Located on a university campus in Quezon City (formerly the capital of the nation, now a part of the Metro Manila National Capital Region), the domed concrete church was the product of Filipino architect Leandro Locsin, and of three other national artists who contributed to the building’s interior.[1] Locsin’s design, which combines elements of traditional Filipino architecture with postwar International aesthetics, is a potent symbol of a newly-independent nation following centuries of imperial control.

Courtesy of Wikimedia user Ramon FVelasquez Courtesy of Wikimedia user Ramon FVelasquez Courtesy of Wikimedia user Ramon FVelasquez Courtesy of Wikimedia user Ramon FVelasquez +7

AD Classics: TWA Flight Center / Eero Saarinen

04:00 - 13 June, 2016
AD Classics: TWA Flight Center / Eero Saarinen, © Cameron Blaylock
© Cameron Blaylock

Built in the early days of airline travel, the TWA Terminal is a concrete symbol of the rapid technological transformations which were fueled by the outset of the Second World War. Eero Saarinen sought to capture the sensation of flight in all aspects of the building, from a fluid and open interior, to the wing-like concrete shell of the roof. At TWA’s behest, Saarinen designed more than a functional terminal; he designed a monument to the airline and to aviation itself.

This AD Classic features a series of exclusive images by Cameron Blaylock, photographed in May 2016. Blaylock used a Contax camera and Zeiss lenses with Rollei black and white film to reflect camera technology of the 1960s.

© Cameron Blaylock © Cameron Blaylock © Cameron Blaylock © Cameron Blaylock +26

See Le Corbusier’s Convent de la Tourette Come to Life in this New Video

14:00 - 22 May, 2016

One of the most significant buildings of the late modernist style, Le Corbusier’s Convent de la Tourette exemplifies the architect’s style and sensibilities in the latter end of his career. Built between 1956 and 1960 on a hillside near Lyon, France, the priory dominates the landscape, with its strict, geometric form.

Open Call: EFFIX Pavilion

05:45 - 20 May, 2016
Open Call: EFFIX Pavilion, EFFIX Pavilion Contest for the Sea Garden in Varna
EFFIX Pavilion Contest for the Sea Garden in Varna

Devnya Cement AD, a member of Italcementi Group, and Varna Design Forum invite all students of architecture and design, and all young professionals up to 35 years old from all over the world to participate in the international contest for conceptual design of a small trading pavilion, to be situated in the Seaside Park in the city of Varna. The goal is to enrich the urban design of Varna through the realization of a contemporary and inspiring concept for a trading pavilion constructed with the innovative materials of Italcementi Group. The contest will finish with the announcement of a winner selected by a five-member Jury Panel. The winner will be awarded with monetary prize, visit to the "i.lab" research center in Italy and realization of their project as a real-size prototype.

AD Classics: Bergisel Ski Jump / Zaha Hadid Architects

04:00 - 9 May, 2016
AD Classics: Bergisel Ski Jump / Zaha Hadid Architects, © Helene Binet
© Helene Binet

Situated on the peak of Bergisel Mountain above the picturesque alpine city of Innsbruck, Austria, the Bergisel Ski Jump represents the contemporary incarnation of a historic landmark. Designed by Zaha Hadid between 1999 and 2002, the Ski Jump is a study in formal expression: its sweeping lines and minimalist aesthetic create a sense of graceful, high-speed motion, reflecting the dynamic sensation of a ski jump in a monumental structure that stands above the historic center of Innsbruck and the mountain slopes around.

© Helene Binet © Zaha Hadid Architects © Zaha Hadid Architects © Helene Binet +27

Hear the Sounds of Buildings in This Song By the “Wikisinger”

14:00 - 24 April, 2016

Buildings and cityscapes – or the lack thereof – change the way we hear significantly. Acousticians and acoustic engineers are often hired to solve problems with sound leakage, but few people consider the difference between a shout across a city block and the same shout down a closed hallway. In this video, the differences in sound quality in various environments are compared, as the “Wikisinger” performs the same song in 15 places.

Cycling between places like a cathedral, a field in front of oil naves, a concrete tunnel, an abandoned attic and a silence chamber, the acoustic differences between each space are made clear as the song reverberates or lands flatly against the walls surrounding it. Splicing and augmenting the different sounds of each place, the singer creates a kind of orchestra of architecture, inviting listeners to take a second to hear the buildings around them.

AD Classics: Vitra Fire Station / Zaha Hadid

04:00 - 21 April, 2016
AD Classics: Vitra Fire Station / Zaha Hadid, © Christian Richters
© Christian Richters

Although Zaha Hadid began her remarkable architectural career in the late 1970s, it would not be until the 1990s that her work would lift out her drawings and paintings  to be realized in physical form. The Vitra Fire Station, designed for the factory complex of the same name in Weil-am-Rhein, Germany, was the among the first of Hadid’s design projects to be built. The building’s obliquely intersecting concrete planes, which serve to shape and define the street running through the complex, represent the earliest attempt to translate Hadid’s fantastical, powerful conceptual drawings into a functional architectural space.

© Helene Binet © Helene Binet © Helene Binet © Helene Binet +24

Monocle 24 Investigate the Changing Use and Role of Concrete

04:00 - 11 April, 2016
Monocle 24 Investigate the Changing Use and Role of Concrete, Park Hill, Sheffield. Image Courtesy of Monocle
Park Hill, Sheffield. Image Courtesy of Monocle

This episode of Section DMonocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, examines the changing use and role of "one of the most simultaneously decried and admired materials in twentieth century architecture:" concrete. Exploring the "unlikely revival of a polarising product" in the cultural perception of many, this cheap, abundant and energy-hungry resource is studied as one of the most prolific and diverse building materials in history.

3 Materials With the Potential to Improve Traditional Concrete

14:00 - 18 March, 2016
3 Materials With the Potential to Improve Traditional Concrete, TAKTL's ultra-high-performance concrete panels on the Waikiki Business Plaza by MGA Architecture. Image Courtesy of TAKTL
TAKTL's ultra-high-performance concrete panels on the Waikiki Business Plaza by MGA Architecture. Image Courtesy of TAKTL

It's no secret that among the architecture profession's biggest sources of guilt is our reliance on concrete in a huge number of the buildings that we have a hand in creating. Architects are more likely than most to be aware of the environmental implications of the material, and yet we continue to use it at an alarming rate. But what alternatives are there in order to do our job? In an article for Forbes, Laurie Winkless runs down a list of three alternatives that stand a good chance of changing the face of concrete construction.

How Thomas Edison Tried and Failed to Make Single-Pour Concrete Homes

15:00 - 21 February, 2016
How Thomas Edison Tried and Failed to Make Single-Pour Concrete Homes, Initial Blueprints for Edison's 1908 Patent.. Image via Slate
Initial Blueprints for Edison's 1908 Patent.. Image via Slate

Concrete is one of the most widely innovated and improved upon building technologies in the world. With applications in both pre-fabrication and continuous pouring, the material has become a hot-bed for applications in fabrication techniques, from incredible, monolithic forms, to 3D-printing.

But behind all of the successes, there have been countless failures, including a well-intended innovation by famous American inventor Thomas Edison. Filed on August 13, 1908, Edison’s ill-fated patent was a home that could be built with a single pour of concrete, reports Slate. Although Thomas Edison had previous ventures in concrete, including a cement plant in Stewartsville, New Jersey, as well as several patented improvements in the cement-making process, his venture into concrete construction may have just been too ambitious.

The Guardian's Rowan Moore Names 10 Best Concrete Buildings

06:00 - 11 February, 2016
The Guardian's Rowan Moore Names 10 Best Concrete Buildings

“Concrete has the ability to be primitive and technological, massive and levitating, to combine the properties of steel with those of mud,” says Rowan Moore in his list of The 10 best concrete buildings created for The Guardian. Through examples spanning three continents, Moore unites old standbys with unexpected wonders, all of which show the varied possibilities inherent in mixing water, aggregate, and cement. In a list that incorporates examples from Classical times to the present, Moore establishes concrete’s unique ability to adapt to different times, styles, applications, and treatments.

Examples by Le Corbusier, Álvaro Siza, Lina Bo Bardi, and Marcel Breuer demonstrate that concrete is anything but workaday or utilitarian. Moore’s list affirms that a material simultaneously strong and light, durable, sustainable, and fire-resistant, can scarcely be considered anything short of miraculous. Of course, ten buildings can only provide an abridged version of concrete’s possibilities, and Moore cheekily apologizes for some of the obvious omissions. Check out the full list here.

Bartlett Students Develop New Method for 3D Printing Concrete

12:00 - 21 January, 2016
Bartlett Students Develop New Method for 3D Printing Concrete, 3D printed concrete table. Image © Amalgamma
3D printed concrete table. Image © Amalgamma

Four Masters students from Bartlett School of Architecture - Francesca Camilleri, Nadia Doukhi, Alvaro Lopez Rodriguez and Roman Strukov - have developed a new method for 3D printing large-scale, self-supporting concrete structures. With their project Fossilised, the team, known as Amalgamma, combined two existing concrete 3D printing methods - the extrusion printing method and the powder printing method - to create a form of supported extrusion that allows for "more volumetric" concrete structures. 

"The supported extrusion method has therefore presented the opportunity to design forms that are more varied and more volumetric, as opposed to the very straight vertical forms so far achieved in 3D concrete practice," says Amalgamma. 

Will This Be the Concrete Used to Build on Mars?

16:00 - 6 January, 2016
Will This Be the Concrete Used to Build on Mars?, Clouds AO and SEArch won NASA's Mars Habitat Competition with a 3D-printed house made of ice; would Martian concrete have been a simpler option?. Image © Clouds AO and SEArch
Clouds AO and SEArch won NASA's Mars Habitat Competition with a 3D-printed house made of ice; would Martian concrete have been a simpler option?. Image © Clouds AO and SEArch

"All we need now are a new generation of Martian architects to design buildings made of Martian concrete that will be suitable structures for humans to live and work in," concludes the MIT Technology Review in their report on a new type of concrete designed for use on Mars.

Developed by scientists led by Lin Wan at Northwestern University, this "Martian concrete" is just one of many scientific developments that will be required for the increasingly popular goal of sending humans to, and eventually colonizing, the Red Planet (apparently the un-colonized Moon is already old hat - just ask Matt Damon).

This Innovative Concrete Slab System Uses up to 55% Less Concrete

16:00 - 23 December, 2015
This Innovative Concrete Slab System Uses up to 55% Less Concrete, Courtesy of Holedeck
Courtesy of Holedeck

One of the defining images of the 2014 Venice Biennale came from Rem Koolhaas' "Elements of Architecture" exhibition, where a section of a suspended false ceiling, replete with ducts and wiring, was dramatically juxtaposed with the soaring domed ceiling of the Giardini's central pavilion. The gesture was intended as a criticism of architecture's reduction to mere surface treatment - but to the makers of Holedeck, a structural system which recently won CTBUH's 2015 Tall Building Innovation Award, the sins of the typical concrete slab and suspended ceiling are much more far-reaching.

Holedeck's concrete slab system claims to use 55% less concrete than a standard concrete slab, making it significantly more environmentally friendly than standard concrete structures, while reducing the thickness of floor plates to allow a greater number of floors in tall buildings.

Holedeck with mechanical and electrical systems installed. Image Courtesy of Holedeck One available configuration of Holedeck. Image Courtesy of Holedeck Courtesy of Holedeck Courtesy of Holedeck +16