North light, south light, warm light and cool light – the diversity of skylights mean they can illuminate any space. Both a window and a ceiling, the hybrid nature of a skylight enables it to be a key element used in architectural spaces. The cool light of a north skylight is instrumental in creating a space to focus and work, while its south-facing counterpart lights up a space with that golden glow. Through its flexibility also come opportunities for expression, from its shape to its angle. Is a skylight a ribbon weaving through a roof panel? Or is it a series of dotted openings creating a mosaic of daylight on the floor? Check out these 16 examples of contemporary spaces lit by this key element below:
In Le Corbusier's 5 points of architecture, he advocates the inclusion of flat roofs hosting roof gardens, providing valuable outdoor space for the inhabitants of the building in order to replace the ground lost to the construction of the building. But while this acknowledgement of outdoor space was important for people, Le Corbusier's sculptural concrete roof gardens were little consolation to the non-human flora and fauna that were displaced by his works.
Recent improvements in our understanding of ecosystems and the environment, as well as a better scientific understanding of the needs of plants, have changed this dramatically. In the past few decades, green roofs and living roofs have exploded in popularity, and now adorn every kind of building--from small private houses to the gigantic surface of Barclay's Center in Brooklyn.
We've collected together some excellent examples of these living roofs, including the structural detailing that makes them possible. Read on for 13 spectacular green roofs that achieve environmental benefits including reduced stormwater runoff, and reductions in energy use and the heat island effect.
Besides the kitchen, the bathroom often takes top priority when building or renovating a home. However, choosing a look is not always easy, so here we have gathered 13 stunning bathrooms from previously published projects to provide inspiration in your own designs. Each is filled with inspiring ideas for your own project; from relaxing tubs to sleek showers, one of these bathrooms is sure to suit your style.
We would like to take a second to focus on the wonderful, yet often overlooked, inner courtyard. The inner courtyard is essentially a "contained outside space" made up of transparent walls, and a well thought-out drainage system is a must. Other elements such as furnishings, decks, vegetation, stairs, water are then added, complicating the space created. The inner courtyard also plays a role in the building's layout; in most cases it functions as the central point from which the other rooms and functions of the project are organized, giving them air and light when the façade openings are not enough.
Here is our selection of 13 stunning inner courtyards of houses and buildings that we have previously published on our site.
In the spirit of supporting our readers’ design work, the company Velux has shared a series of .DWG files with us of their different roofing windows models. The files can be downloaded directly from this article and include great amounts of detail and information.
Check the files below, separated into 'Pitched Roofs', 'Flat Roofs' and 'Light Tube'.
Throughout history, simple structures have constituted one of the most common forms of human expression. Small-scale housing, shelters, and viewpoints have been shaped by myriad materials that effectively created - depending on the techniques used - different forms of response to the same need.
Here is a compilation of 20 small-scale projects that stand out due to their small size and their simple, practical structures.
Architectural highlights from DETAIL
From the publisher. Illwerke Zentrum Montafon - Next-generation Wooden Construction
The evolution of the largest wood-hybrid construction to date
The federal state of Vorarlberg holds a distinguished position in wooden construction. The sole renewable building material has given rise to an active and innovative scene here, where tradespeople, planners and industrial enterprises build upon their possibilities and develop their field together.In this dynamic environment, Hermann Kaufmann is one of the key protagonists and has been working with his team to push the material to its limits for decades.
From the publisher. A compendium for architects
The passive house standard is developing more and more into the international key currency of energy-efficient construction. Passive houses are being erected in almost all parts of the world and for all types of users. “Plus energy” buildings and entire zero-energy districts show that the passive house standard is also a sound basis for advanced efficiency strategies. At the same time, many architects are unsure about the specifics: What do passive houses really deliver, and what errors need to be avoided during planning?
From the publisher: Unique hotel architecture
A travel guide to unique places and accommodation throughout the Alps
Fascinated by the Alps, the authors spend most of their free time in the mountains. Always searching for new and special places, ranging from stop-offs, to final destinations for a peaceful stay, they have now compiled a wide variety of different kinds of accommodation.
From the publisher. From structural design to interior fit-out: Assessing and improving the environmental impact of buildings
What makes building materials sustainable? How to reduce the amount of embodied energy in building constructions? And how does a Life Cycle Analysis work? These are questions which are becoming increasingly more common in the context of sustainable construction.
From the publisher. Visual spatial effects and communication
Colour in the past, present and future
Colours affect people, induce emotions and often evoke memories, which is why not only artists but also scientists, psychologists, planners, and writers are all preoccupied with colour. Choosing colour is a very demanding task for architects, one that can have an enormous impact if it is carried out professionally.
The average age of the population in Western societies is rising steadily, sometimes faster than the age the individuals actually feel. Senior citizens, who are often full of vitality, have diverse conceptions of life. These are met by increasingly differentiated alternatives offering residential environments suitable for the later years of life. The designation of corresponding building projects as 50+ solutions can however give rise to a clash between the strategy of the housing industry and the target group’s perception of itself. Although the elderly generally wish to live in their own four walls for as long as possible, they tend to avoid considering the various available options.
Best of Housing by DETAIL Magazine: Housing is something individual: we each have our own ideas and aspirations for it, and we express a lifestyle by the way in which we house ourselves — the way in which we dwell. To dwell means to be “at home”, where one ideally has a sense of well-being.
When it comes to housing, there have been numerous studies of standards, developments and trends, which have analysed and compared people’s needs. But as needs change over time, so do trends. And also the global and demographic changes affecting society alter the way we dwell and flexibility becomes a decisive criterion.
The subject of housing also includes the integration of individual buildings in an urban context. Especially in cities, people often live in compact spaces in which there are fewer personal spaces and more communal areas. Yet each of us longs for a space of our own. Therefore it becomes important that designers develop ideas that meet our shared need for a balance between personal and communal space.
As innovation and new developments in technology now follow each other faster and faster, making yesterday’s architectural fantasies today’s construction realities, there’s already a movement to return to the essential things in life: be it a quest for sustainability, which implies basic principles such as incorporating a region’s typologies and materials, or for reasons of expense, which often prompt a search for efficient designs or manufacturing technology, or even aesthetic requirements that allow people to step out of our increasingly noisy and heterogeneous environment.