Erik Schlangen Demonstrates the Potential of “Self-Healing Asphalt”

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Imagine a pervious asphalt that not only significantly reduces noise pollution, but saves millions in maintenance and repairs by its ability to self-heal. Well, this type of super-asphalt is not far from being distributed world-wide as experimental micromechanic pioneer Erik Schlangen of has been studying the material’s potential on a test track in The Netherland’s for the past few years.

Basically, with the introduction of small steel wool fibers, Self Healing Asphalt is capable of repairing micro-cracks and significantly extending the service life of roadways by self-healing through induction heating. Similarly, Schlangen is leading the research on Self Healing Concrete, where by infusing concrete with a harmless limestone-producing bacteria that feeds off of calcium lactate – a component of milk – the material has the potential to self-heal micro-cracks in the presence of rainwater.

AD Classics: Soreq Nuclear Research Center / Philip Johnson

and Gideon Ziv, Sorek Nuclear Research Center, , 1956-9 (from: Zvi Efrat, The Israeli Project: Building and Architecture 1948-1973)

American architect and Prizker Prize winner Philip Johnson – who would have turned 107 today – is well known for his contributions to 20th century architecture, from the modernist Glass House in 1949 to his later infamous post modernist AT&T building in 1984. But did you know that Johnson designed a brutalistic nuclear plant in Israel? More on this monolithic concrete structure after the break…

Video: Teshima Art Museum / Office of Ryue Nishizawa

Designed for the artwork of artist Rei Naito, the Teshima Art Museum is a seamless, earthen form of white in which responds to the rolling landscape of an island located in the Inland Sea of . Architect Ryue Nishizawa created the museum to be an open gallery, exposed to the elements, that is shaped by a 25cm thick concrete shell in which spans up to 60 meters.

Video courtesy of JA+U. More images after the break…

Construction of China’s Tallest Building On Hold Due to Concrete Scandal

© KPF

Scheduled to be the tallest tower in China and the second tallest building in the world by 2015, Kohn Pedersen Fox’s 660-meter-high Ping’an International Finance Center has received a major unexpected set back. Following an industrywide inspection conducted last week, government officials have discovered a low-quality sea sand has been used by developers to create substandard concrete for KPF’s supertall skyscraper and at least 15 other buildings under construction.

Although sea sand lures contractors by costing significantly less than standard river sand, it contains a deadly mixture of salt and chloride that corrodes in concrete and threatens the structural integrity of a building over time.

According to Bloomberg, Shenzhen’s Housing and Construction Bureau found 31 companies violated industry rules and ordered eight of them to suspend business for one year in the city for using substandard sea sand to make concrete.

White O / Toyo Ito

White O_Toyo Ito (75)

Architect: Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects
Location: Marbella,
Local Architect: Christian de Groote
Project Area: 370 sqm
Project year: 2009
Photographs: Nicolas Saieh

White O_Toyo Ito (11) White O_Toyo Ito (22) White O_Toyo Ito (62) White O_Toyo Ito (77)

Van Beuningenplein / Concrete

© Ewout Huibers

Architects: Concrete
Location: , The Netherlands
Design Team: Rob Wagemans, Erikjan Vermeulen, Bram De Maat
Year: 2011
Photographs: Ewout Huibers

REM Island / Concrete

© Ewout Huibers

Architects: Concrete
Location: Houthaven, ,
Design Team: Erikjan Vermeulen, Rob Wagemans, Wouter Slot, Jolijn Valk, Bram de Maat
Area: 661 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Ewout Huibers, Jim Ellam, Courtesy of Concrete Architectural Associates

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.

Interview: Krogmann Headquarters / Despang Architekten

© Olaf Baumann

The Headquarters Krogmann in Lohne-Kroge, Germany, by Despang Architekten investigates the numerous characteristics and fundamental opportunities inherent within and exhibits a modern approach to the craftsmanship of traditional German vernacular. Designed as a new corporate center of operations for the woodworking company Krogmann,  this new office would need to succeed not only in handcrafting a new image for them, but also serve as a catalyst for future growth while showcasing their ability as ‘makers’ in the field of construction.  Having worked as the builders for several projects for , their choice to retain them as the design architects for their own project was a natural extension of an already solid relationship built upon the dedication to quality and progressiveness. As an extension of this article, we also had the opportunity to speak with Principal and University of Hawaii Associate Professor Martin Despang about the process involved in the making of this project.

More details and our Q&A with Martin after the break.

AD Classics: Holy Cross Church in Chur, Switzerland / Walter Förderer

Photo by Sebastian F - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AKKH -2.JPG

Standing at the foot of the Alps is the highly contemporary Holy Cross Church in Chur, . Designed by Basel born Swiss architect Walter Förderer, the church evokes strong features of Brutalism. Built between 1966 to 1969, the church appears like a mass fortress that conveys a symbolic defensive attitude.

Townhouse in Horgen / Moos Giuliani Herrmann Architekten

© Beat Bühler

Architect: Moos Giuliani Hermann Architekten
Location: Horgen,
Completion: 2011 
Built Area: 260 sqm 
Photographs: Beat Bühler

Palapa / GH+A | Guillermo Hevia

© H.

Architects: GH+A | Guillermo Hevia
Location: , Mexico
Project Team: Tomás Villalón, Francisco Carrión, Guillermo Hevia García, Marcela Suazo
Client: Grupo KALOS
Contractor: Grupo KALOS
Project Area: 450 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Guillermo Hevia H.

Fire Update and Interior Tour of Le Corbusier’s Unité d’ Habitation in Marseille

© García

In an article originally published on Plataforma Arquitectura, Guillermo Hevia Garcia describes his experience when visiting the Unité d’ Habitation in Marseille, France, also known as Cité Radieuse. On February 9th, the building was overcome by a large fire that was said to have been started due to a heating problem. The blaze took  hundreds of firefighters nearly a day and a half to put it out. Eight residential units and four hotel rooms were destroyed, and approximately 35 other units were severely damaged by smoke or action relief. Most residents have returned home to the Unité d’ Habitation, Le Corbusier‘s thesis on domestic life, as they continue to live the communal life that the renowned architect dreamt up.

Read on for more after the break.

AD Classics: Wall House 2 / John Hejduk

© Liao Yusheng

With a history unlike any other, Wall House 2 redefines the limits of architectural design as a function of context in both time and culture. 28 years after the completion of the initial designs and one year after the death of architect , construction began in a completely different environment than where it was initially imagined.

The house is a study of the relationship between inside and outside and is reminiscent of Corbusian architecture, although a bit more eccentric.

More on the history of Wall House 2 after the break.

In Progress: Cervantes Theater / Ensamble Studio

© Roland Halbe

Architects: Ensamble Studio
Location: D.F,
Architect in Charge: Antón García- Abril
Associate Architect: Elena Pérez
Construction manager architect: Alba Cortés
Project Team: Débora Mesa, Joaquín Gallegos, Alba Beroiz, Jaime Alcayde, Cristina Moya, Juan Ruiz Antón, Tomaso Boano, Federico Letizia
Developer: SGAE – GRUPO CARSO
Project Management: INPROS
Construction Company: GRUPO PC
Structural Engineering: COLINAS DE BUEN
Project Area: 11,500 sqm
Photographs: Roland Halbe,

AD Classics: Esherick House / Louis Kahn

© Ludvík Koutný

An architect celebrated for his breathtaking studies of light and in the creation of memorable architecture, Louis Kahn did not fail to maintain his rigor in the Esherick House of , Pennsylvania.

Admired for it’s spatial and luminous qualities, this is the first residence of its kind to convey the grand ideas of Kahn-style architecture. The two story dwelling, which is one of only nine private houses designed by Kahn to come into realization, rests on a lively six acre garden.

More information on the Esherick House after the break.

Costanera Lyon / Eugenio Simonetti + Renato Stewart

© Nico Saieh

Architects: + Renato Stewart
Location: , Chile
Design Team: Juan Santa Maria, Danilo Magni, Alvaro Romero
LEED certification (Silver): Energy ARQ
Lightning: Oriana Ponzini
Structure: Eduardo Spoerer
Client: Inmobiliaria Almahue S.A.
Year: Costanera Lyon 1, 2009-2011 (Completed), Costanera Lyon 2, 2011-2013 (Under construction)
Area: 42,000 sqm
Photographs: Nico Saieh, Guy Wenborne, Ana Maria Pincheira

Video: Taltal Public Library

Take a tour through the newly built Taltal Public Library, designed by based firm Murua-Valenzuela. The small town project is located opposite of the main square and close to the Alhambra Theater, which was also recently refurbished by the architects. Responding to a narrow site of 7 by 40 meters while being situated between mediators, the architects conducted a series of indoor spaces in order to “avoid the domestic condition.” The spaces of varying heights house the library activities and end with a reading room that is connected to an interior courtyard. Construction has been completed and the Taltal Public Library is already in use.

The author of the project stated, “We are delighted to see the library being used by the community. We hope that in future the building will become a meeting place.”

The video was completed by Nicolas Rupcich.

Architects: Benjamín Murúa, Rodrigo Valenzuela
Location: Taltal, Chile – Region of Antofagasta
Development: Ximena Vallejos, Miguel Mallea
Project Year: 2008
Construction: 2009-2010