Material Minds: Digital Ceramic Printing in MVRDV’s Glass Farm

© Persbureau van Eijndhoven

If you search the web for information on MVRDV’s Glass Farm, you’ll find plenty of people writing about the project’s 33-year history, and about its context in the small town of Schijndel. You’ll even find plenty of people theorizing on the nature of those walls, and the relationships between image and authenticity and between modern technology and modest tradition. But strangely, you’ll find almost no information on how the project made use of Digital Ceramic Printing, a relatively new process which was able to handle the many colors, variable transparency and fine tolerances required to display an entire farmhouse facade across a thousand panels.

In this new installment of our Material Minds series, presented by ArchDaily Materials, we spoke to MVRDV‘s project leader on the Glass Farm Gijs Rikken, and to Niv Raz, an Architect at Dip-Tech – the company who produces the printers, ink, software and support required for the process.

“Weight, Pride and Creativity” in Daniel Elis Karlsson and Pauline Algeröd’s “Bärande Möte”

© Daniel Elis Karlsson

In the the former shipbuilding city of Gothenburg on Sweden’s west coast stands Daniel Ellis Karlsson and Pauine Algeröd’s “Bärande Möte,” a glass and concrete wind shelter and pavilion.

beams are suspended in midair by load-bearing glass walls, inverting the traditional structural hierarchy between the two and allowing uninterrupted river views. Read more about the project and view selected images after the break.

“Why Are There Not Skyscrapers with a 100-Foot Curtain Wall of Art Glass?”

© Flickr CC user Aidan McRae Thomson

Most contemporary architects probably don’t spend too long thinking about stained in their everyday practice – and for the “art ” industry, that’s becoming a big problem. In a fascinating article for the Wall Street Journal, Timothy W Martin carefully examines an industry that has been in decline for decades, ever since glass designer Kenneth von Roenn warned them in a 1970s conference speech that it was “time to jump ship” and diversify from their work in religious buildings.

UK Start-Up Hopes to Manufacture World’s First Intelligent All-Glass Living Suite

A proposal for the Photon House, a large scale variation of the Photon Space for permanent living. Image Courtesy of The Photon Project

UK start-up company The Photon Project has announced its plan to launch the Photon Space, the world’s first intelligent all- living unit. Motivated by the major positive benefits that natural light can have on our energy levels, sleep pattern and overall health, the goal of the Photon Space is to create a dwelling that allows its occupants a maximum connection to the outside world.

Posited as an ideal addition to hotels, spas, health retreats, medical centres, and other resorts, the skin of the Photon Space is made of smart glass supported by curving glass beams, switching from transparent to opaque in seconds with the help of an iPhone app.

Material Masters: Glass is More with Mies van der Rohe

To celebrate the first anniversary of our US Materials Catalog, this week ArchDaily is presenting a three-part series on “Material Masters,” showing how certain materials have helped to inspire some of the world’s greatest architects.

Mies van der Rohe, famous for his saying “less is more,” was one of the preeminent modernist architects, well known for pioneering the extensive use of in buildings. His works introduced a new level of simplicity and transparency, and his buildings were often referred to as “skin-and-bones” architecture for their emphasis on steel structure and enclosure. In addition to , was a major influence for many architects of the modernist movement and reshaped the way we think about and define space. Today, glass has become one of the most used building materials, but its early architectural expression is perhaps best exemplified in the works of Mies.

Cristina Parreño Investigates the Tectonics of Transparency With Glass Wall Prototype

© Jane Messinger

Architect and MIT Lecturer Cristina Parreño has created this new prototype for a self-supporting glass facade, entitled “The Wall.” The design is the first in Parreño’s “Tectonics of Transparency,” a series of planned prototypes that will “explore the relationship between formal design, spatial perception, structural efficiency and systems of fabrication.”

More details about Parreño’s prototype after the break

Norman Foster’s Interview with The European: “Architecture is the Expression of Values”

Campus 2 / Foster + Partners. Image © City of Cupertino

Berlin-based editor of The European Magazine has shared with us his interview with Norman Foster on the role of architecture in today’s society. 

The European: Lord Foster, architects design buildings that will characterize cities for decades or even centuries to come. How difficult is it to design buildings for an unknown future?

Foster: Flexibility is a key consideration. We design with an awareness that circumstances will change – that a building’s context will evolve; it may be used in different ways and will need to incorporate new technologies that we cannot yet predict.

The complete interview, after the break. 

Amsterdam’s Glass Music Hall Faces Demolition, Seeks Home

Courtesy of Octatube

A mere twenty-five years after its inauguration, the Music Hall at the former Exchange of Berlage in Amsterdam is looking for a new home, where it will be relocated and reassembled for free. The innovative space, originally designed for the Dutch Chamber Music Orchestra, has garnered international attention and multiple awards, but sadly no longer meets the needs of the facility. 

Designed by architect Pieter Zaanen and structural designer Mick Eekhout, the Glass Music Hall sits in the center of an existing space, defying stereotypes about what glass can do. Being a hard material, the reverberation time in a blunt glass hall would be approximately 5 seconds. However, this number was brought down to 1 or 2 seconds in this instance, proving glass can be used to create a fantastical acoustical environment. 

How Safe Are Glass Skyscrapers Really?

The Willis Tower’s Glass Balcony. Image Courtesy of Jared Newman, DesignCrave.com

Imagine standing on a glass platform with Chicago 1300 feet directly below. Suddenly, the glass holding you begins to crack. This actually happened to Alejandro Garibay at the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) just last week. Luckily, Garibay wasn’t hurt, but the occurrence begs the question: how safe is glass - the most common material used in skyscrapers nowadays - really? Karrie Jacobs At Fast Company – Design, asked materials experts to find out “The Truth Behind Building With Glass.”

Foster + Partners’ Unfinished Vegas Tower Approved for Demolition

Harmon Hotel via Wikimedia Commons

A court approved ruling has sealed the fate of Foster + Partners’ half-built Harmon Hotel in . Unfinished due to structural defects, the 27-story glass tower was once envisioned to be the staple of the $8.5 billion CityCenter entertainment complex. However, since problems arose in 2008, the stunted hotel and casino has instead served as a glorified billboard.

Though it has yet to be determined who will be blamed for the faulty construction, owner MGM Resorts International has been granted permission to dismantle the blue glass building floor-by-floor at a cost of $11.5 million.

Seaweed, Salt, Potatoes, & More: Seven Unusual Materials with Architectural Applications

The “Saltygloo” project is an igloo made of printed translucent modular salt panels. Image Courtesy of Matthew Millman

The following article is presented by ArchDaily Materials. In this article, originally published by Metropolis Magazine, Lara Kristin Herndon and Derrick Mead explore seven innovative architectural and the designers behind them. Some are byproducts, some will help buildings breathe and one is making the leap from to 4D printing.

When Arthur C. Clarke said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, he was speaking from the spectator’s point of view, not the magician’s. As our list of smart materials shows, technology solves difficult problems, but getting there requires more than just a wave of the magic wand. Each of the following projects looks past easy answers. Whether it’s a new way of looking at old problems, a new material that maximizes the efficiency of an old technique, or a new method to tap the potential of an abundant or underutilized resource, here are seven innovators who take technology out of the realm of science fiction.

Light Matters: Richard Kelly, The Unsung Master Behind Modern Architecture’s Greatest Buildings

Seagram Building, New York.

Richard Kelly illuminated some of the twentieth century’s most iconic buildings: the Glass House, Seagram Building and Kimbell Art Museum, to name a few. His design strategy was surprisingly simple, but extremely successful.

Lighting for architecture has been and still often is dominated by an engineering viewpoint, resigned to determining sufficient illuminance levels for a safe and efficient working environment. With a background in stage lighting, Kelly introduced a scenographic perspective for architectural lighting. His point of view might look self-evident to today’s architectural community, but it was revolutionary for his time and has strongly influenced modern architecture.

Read more about Richard Kelly’s remarkable, and unsung, contribution to architecutre, after the break.

Material Inspiration: 10 Projects Inspired by Glass

To celebrate the launch of ArchDaily Materials, our new product catalog, we’ve rounded up 10 awesome projects from around the world that were inspired by one material: . Check out the projects after the break…

Light Matters: Glass Beyond Transparency with James Carpenter

7 World Trade Center. , NY 2003-2007. Image © David Sundberg

In Modernism’s attempt to dissolve spatial boundaries with transparency, the material used – glass – is all too often dematerialised. In contrast, the New York-based designer James Carpenter is interested in multiple readings of glass – beyond transparency.

As Carpenter explains: “People approach light in relationship to architecture. It is that the light is the means by which the architecture is revealed and the architecture is basically defined by the way the light enters the space. I tend to think actually from the opposite direction where the light itself is what informs the architecture. The architecture is in service of light rather than the other way around.”

More Light Matters, after the break…

Apple Patents Glass Cylinder Design

Courtesy of

Apple has successfully secured a patent for the cylindrical, glass entrance to its Shanghai store. After trademarking the design and layout of its retail stores last January, this is one more battle Apple has won for copyrighting its signature look.

More on the patented design after the break.

“A Short History of the Highrise”

Oscar Niemeyer – Brasília, 1958. Image © Marcel Gautherot/IMS

The New York Times has published “A Short History of the ” – an interactive documentary that explores the 2,500-year global history of vertical living and issues of social equality in an increasingly urbanized world. Organized in four short films – “Mud,” “,” “Glass,” and “Home” – viewers are given the option to “dig deeper” into each subject and explore additional archival material while viewing the film. Check out the film here.

100 years under the Dome : 1912-2012

Festival de la mode, David Lachapelle, 1999 © Archives Galeries Lafayette

Beginning on October 16th, 2012, Galeries Lafayette in Paris, , will be celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the Dome designed by architect Ferdinand Chanut and artist Jacques Gruber in 1912.  100 years under the Dome will be held at the flagship store of the boulevard Haussmann, a true Parisian symbol.  In addition, the gallery will launch an exhibition called 1912-2012. Chronicles of a Creative Itinerary by architect Rem Koolhaas and his studio OMA, along with a collaboration called Chrysalide between visual artist Yann Kersalé and Djuric Tardio – Architectes.

Join us after the break for more stunning images for the anticipated celebration.

Mediatheek Delft / Dok Architecten

Courtesy of Dok Architecten; © Arjen Schmitz

Architecture Firm: Dok Architekten
Architect: Liesbeth van der Pol
Location:  centrum-Delft-Vesteplein 100-2611 WG Delft,
Design Team: P. Cannon, M. Hardonk, R. Bos, A. Koch, A. Derksen
Client: Gemeente Delft 
Photographer: Arjen Schmitz