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Concrete

Public Pools or Private Houses - How Should Stockholm Use its Cliffs?

06:00 - 24 May, 2017
Courtesy of UMA / Manofactory. Image Infinity Pool vs Nestinbox
Courtesy of UMA / Manofactory. Image Infinity Pool vs Nestinbox

One of architecture’s most delightful anomalies is the diversity of solutions generated by any given site. From hypothetical university projects by architecture students to professional international design competition entries, the differing perspectives, stances, and experiences brought to rest on one site by several design teams can wield a bounty of contrasting ideas. 

Recently, we reported on Nestinbox, a proposal by Swedish architecture firm Manofactory to attach a series of simple, functional houses to a cliff face in Stockholm, addressing the demands of increased populations and land prices in cities across the world. Now, the cliffs of Stockholm have been the subject of an entirely different, though just as evocative concept by Swedish firm UMA. Rather than private housing, UMA proposes the Stockholm Infinity Pool, a public pool 1km along the Sodermalm cliffs of Sweden’s capital.

Courtesy of UMA Courtesy of UMA Courtesy of UMA Courtesy of UMA + 13

II International Ideas Competition Chair CIMC

08:30 - 23 May, 2017
II International Ideas Competition Chair CIMC

The Chair of Innovative Construction Materials (CIMC) with the Higher School of Architecture of Málaga and Financiera y Minera S.A. announce the II International Ideas Competition for architects and students of architecture in their graduation project.

Korean Curiosity: Is Seoul Experiencing a "Neo-Brutalist Revival"?

09:30 - 25 April, 2017
© Raphael Olivier
© Raphael Olivier

During his frequent travels to Seoul, Hong Kong- and Singapore-based photographer Raphael Olivier noticed a new trend taking the South Korean capital: a crop of geometric, concrete buildings of all genres. He calls the new style Neo-Brutalism, after the modernist movement that proliferated in the late 1950s to 1970s, in which raw concrete was meant to express a truth and honesty. Olivier's observation led him to capture the phenomenon in a personal photo series—a photographic treasure trove of these projects which, when taken as a whole, uncovers a cross-section of this trend in the city's architecture.

© Raphael Olivier © Raphael Olivier © Raphael Olivier © Raphael Olivier + 19

Gothic Construction Techniques Inspire ETH Zurich's Lightweight Concrete Floor Slabs

08:00 - 19 April, 2017
Gothic Construction Techniques Inspire ETH Zurich's Lightweight Concrete Floor Slabs , © ETH Zurich / Peter Rüegg.
© ETH Zurich / Peter Rüegg.

With the intention of maximizing available space and avoiding steep construction costs, researchers from ETH Zurich’s Department of Architecture have devised a concrete floor slab that with a thickness of a mere 2cm, remains load bearing and simultaneously sustainable. Inspired by the construction of Catalan vaults, this new floor system swaps reinforced steel bars for narrow vertical ribs, thus significantly reducing the weight of construction and ensuring stability to counter uneven distributions on its surface. 

As opposed to traditional concrete floors that are evidently flat, these slabs are designed to arch to support major loads, reminiscent of the vaulted ceilings found in Gothic cathedrals. Without the need for steel reinforcing and with less concrete, the production of CO2 is minimized and the resulting 2cm floors are 70% lighter than their typical concrete counterparts.

via Block Research Group via Block Research Group via Block Research Group via Block Research Group + 5

Call for Submissioins: The Coal Bridge (Kulbroen) – Aarhus

07:00 - 19 April, 2017
Call for Submissioins: The Coal Bridge (Kulbroen) – Aarhus, The Coal Bridge (Photo: Thomas Lillevang)
The Coal Bridge (Photo: Thomas Lillevang)

The architectural competition for Kulbroen (the Coal Bridge) is on and teams can now apply for the pre qualification. Please note that the material is in Danish, so if foreign teams want to sign up it would be a good idea to find someone here that master the language.

This Concrete Furniture Hardware is Inspired by Carlo Scarpa's Architecture

06:00 - 22 March, 2017
This Concrete Furniture Hardware is Inspired by Carlo Scarpa's Architecture , © Sameer Tawde
© Sameer Tawde

Material Immaterial Studio has unveiled MIRAGE, a series of concrete furniture hardware inspired by the works of architect Carlo Scarpa.

The MIRAGE series is made up of concrete handles, knobs, and robe hooks, all of which aim to create character through light and shadow. Some of the pieces, with a zigzag pattern, are meant to reduce the heaviness of the concrete material, making it seem light and delicate, while other pieces are meant to express a sense of solidity.

© Sameer Tawde © Sameer Tawde © Sameer Tawde © Sameer Tawde + 13

Mecanoo & Ayesa’s Palace of Justice Nears Completion in Córdoba

06:00 - 14 March, 2017
Mecanoo & Ayesa’s Palace of Justice Nears Completion in Córdoba, © Fernando Alda
© Fernando Alda

CBack in 2006, the team of Mecanoo and Ayesa placed first in an international competition with its winning proposal for a perforated courthouse in Córdoba, combining the area’s historical character with a modern twist. Now, after almost a decade, the Palace of Justice is set for completion later this year, having broken ground in 2015.

Inspired by Córdoba’s Moorish origins, the design balances a contemporary concrete mass with traditional exterior courtyard spaces; a reflection of the plan of the old city. These are faced by colored ceramic tiles, which break the façade’s uniformity.

© Fernando Alda © Fernando Alda © Fernando Alda © Fernando Alda + 12

New Map Celebrates Paris’ Brutalist Architecture

08:00 - 3 March, 2017
New Map Celebrates Paris’ Brutalist Architecture , Les Choux de Créteil. Image © Nigel Green
Les Choux de Créteil. Image © Nigel Green

Adding to its regular releases of city guide maps, London-based publisher Blue Crow Media has now produced the Brutalist Paris Map, in collaboration with Nigel Green and Robin Wilson of Photolanguage. Having previously covered Washington D.C.’s most prominent Brutalist buildings, the latest map highlights over 40 Parisian examples of Brutalist architecture.

Bourse by Travail. Image © Nigel Green Courtesy of Blue Crow Media Courtesy of Blue Crow Media Les Damiers. Image © Nigel Green + 10

This Complex Concrete Column Was Made Using 3D-Printed Formwork

08:00 - 28 February, 2017
This Complex Concrete Column Was Made Using 3D-Printed Formwork, © Lisa Ricciotti
© Lisa Ricciotti

While large-scale 3D printing for architecture continues to be a busy area of research, France-based company XtreeE has been using 3D printed concrete in projects since 2015. Their latest creation is an organic truss-style support structure for a preschool playground in Aix-en-Provence.

Courtesy of XtreeE Courtesy of XtreeE Courtesy of XtreeE Courtesy of XtreeE + 11

Call for Entries: Colored Concrete Works Award 2017

03:30 - 13 February, 2017
Call for Entries: Colored Concrete Works Award 2017, The third Colored Concrete Works Award will be presented to modern architects who focus in their work on the beauty and aesthetic quality of this special building material. Previous winners being David Chipperfield and Akihisa Hirata.
The third Colored Concrete Works Award will be presented to modern architects who focus in their work on the beauty and aesthetic quality of this special building material. Previous winners being David Chipperfield and Akihisa Hirata.

Colored concrete is being used increasingly as a premium building material. Numerous buildings are constructed every year around the world that are colored with inorganic pigments. Specialty chemicals company LANXESS will be presenting in the third Colored Concrete Works Award in 2017 to architects who create modern architecture with colored concrete and focus on their work, the beauty and aesthetic quality of this special, natural building material.

Competition Winning Stadium Design Promotes Inclusivity in Dunkirk, France

12:00 - 4 February, 2017
Competition Winning Stadium Design Promotes Inclusivity in Dunkirk, France, The stadium is located in the heart of Dunkirk. Image Courtesy of Viktor Fretyán
The stadium is located in the heart of Dunkirk. Image Courtesy of Viktor Fretyán

The SOCKEEL + OLGGA consortium have won a competition to design the new Tribut Stadium in Dunkirk, France. The historic stadium, in a prominent location on a canal bank in central Dunkirk, will be transformed into a 5,000 seat stadium seeking to maximize inclusiveness and accessibility.

Public plaza and entrance concourse. Image Courtesy of Viktor Fretyán Interior perspective with concourse in background. Image Courtesy of Viktor Fretyán Exploded axonometric . Image Courtesy of Viktor Fretyán Movement through the transparent lattice animates the streetfront. Image Courtesy of Viktor Fretyán + 11

The 10 Best Global* Architecture Projects of 2016 (*Asia, Africa and South America Not Excluded)

08:00 - 15 January, 2017
The 10 Best Global* Architecture Projects of 2016 (*Asia, Africa and South America Not Excluded)

As the common phrase attests, “history is written by the victors.” We therefore know that the story of the West is that of Europe and the United States, while the other actors in world history are minimized or invisible: it happened to the Chinese and Japanese during World War II, to the Ottoman Empire in sixteenth-century Europe, and to racial majorities in the common reading of Latin American independence. The same thing happens in architecture.

The current boom of the Global South is based not only on new work, but rather on the recognition of an invisible architecture which was apparently not worthy of publication in the journals of the 1990s. The world stage has changed, with the emergence of a humanity that is decentralized yet local; globalized, yet heterogeneous; accelerated, yet unbalanced. There are no longer red and blue countries, but a wide variety of colors, exploding like a Pollock painting.

This serves as a preamble to consider the outstanding projects of 2016 according to the British critic Oliver Wainwright, whose map of the world appears to extend from New York in the West to Oslo in the East, with the exception of Birzeit in Palestine. The Global South represents more than 40% of the global economy and already includes most of the world’s megacities, yet has no architecture worthy of recognition? We wanted to highlight the following projects in order to expand the western-centric world view, enabling us to truly comprehend the extent of architectural innovation on a global scale.

16 Materials Every Architect Needs to Know (And Where to Learn About Them)

16:00 - 14 January, 2017
16 Materials Every Architect Needs to Know (And Where to Learn About Them)

A building’s materiality is what our bodies make direct contact with; the cold metal handle, the warm wooden wall, and the hard glass window would all create an entirely different atmosphere if they were, say, a hard glass handle, a cold metal wall and a warm wooden window (which with KTH’s new translucent wood, is not as absurd as it might sound). Materiality is of just as much importance as form, function and location—or rather, inseparable from all three.

Here we’ve compiled a selection of 16 materials that should be part of the design vocabulary of all architects, ranging from the very familiar (such as concrete and steel) to materials which may be unknown for some of our readers, as well as links to comprehensive resources to learn more about many of them.

Hexagons for a Reason: The Innovative Engineering Behind BIG's Honeycomb

06:00 - 10 January, 2017
Hexagons for a Reason: The Innovative Engineering Behind BIG's Honeycomb, © BIG
© BIG

BIG are known for unconventional buildings that often raise the question “how were they able to do that?” Such is the case for BIG’s Honeycomb, a luxury eight-story condominium currently under construction in the Bahamas. The project’s hallmark is its hexagonal façade made up of private balconies, each with its own glass-fronted outdoor pool. The façade was also the project’s greatest engineering challenge, with each balcony (including pool water) weighing between 108,000 and 269,000 pounds (48,000-122,000 kilograms) while cantilevering up to 17.5 feet (5.3 meters) from the structure. Tasked with this challenging brief were DeSimone Consulting Engineers, who previously worked with BIG on The Grove. Read on for more detail on the Honeycomb’s innovative engineering.

Courtesy of DeSimone Consulting Engineers © BIG © BIG Courtesy of DeSimone Consulting Engineers + 15

How Ecologically Detrimental is Concrete?

16:00 - 24 December, 2016
How Ecologically Detrimental is Concrete?, Tricorn Shopping Centre, Portsmouth, 1965. Credit: RIBA Library Photographs Collection
Tricorn Shopping Centre, Portsmouth, 1965. Credit: RIBA Library Photographs Collection

Concrete has long been considered particularly harmful to the environment. However, Architect Magazine recently published an article on Nature Geoscience, which may offer some concrete (pun intended) findings regarding the issue.

11 Stunning Axonometric Drawings of Iconic Chilean Architecture

08:00 - 24 November, 2016

As the birthplace of our most recent Pritzker Prize winner, Alejandro Aravena, Santiago, Chile is full of iconic architecture. Because many of these buildings are situated in busy urban areas, their superior design is easy to miss. In an effort to encourage viewers to slow down and appreciate the volume, facades, context, and function of these urban landmarks, Benjamin Oportot and Alexandra Gray of San Sebastian University guided their 4th-year students in producing axonometric drawings of 11 buildings. The project centered on medium-sized office buildings built between 1989 and 2015, particularly focusing on their use of reinforced concrete.

URBANLOGIC Arts Factory Awarded Silver at 2016 American Architecture Prize

12:00 - 20 November, 2016
© URBANLOGIC
© URBANLOGIC

The annual AAP American Architecture Prize, which recognizes outstanding architectural design, interior design, and landscape architecture worldwide, has given URBANLOGIC's Sichuan Arts Factory and Innovation Center a Silver Award in the mixed-use category. The panel of judges included Troy C. Therrien of the Guggenheim Foundation and Museum, Peggy Deamer of Yale University, Ben Van Berkel of UNStudio and Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and Alan Ricks and Michael Murphy, founders of Mass Design Group. 

© URBANLOGIC © URBANLOGIC © URBANLOGIC © URBANLOGIC + 15

AD Classics: Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, University of São Paulo (FAU-USP) / João Vilanova Artigas and Carlos Cascaldi

15:00 - 12 November, 2016
© flickr Fernando Stankuns. Used under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>Creative Commons</a>
© flickr Fernando Stankuns. Used under Creative Commons

This piece of Brazilian architecture was conceived in 1961 by São Paulo architects João Batista Vilanova Artigas and Carlos Cascaldi. Together with the architectural movement of the Paulista School, they form part of the most important history of São Paulo, because of the large amount of works they constructed there and the recognition of many of them at an international level.