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Cristina Parreño Investigates the Tectonics of Transparency With Glass Wall Prototype

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

© John Horner © John Horner © Jane Messinger © John Horner

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

Berlin-based editor Max Tholl 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
Courtesy of Octatube

A mere twenty-five years after its inauguration, the Glass 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?

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

A court approved ruling has sealed the fate of Foster + Partners’ half-built Harmon Hotel in Las Vegas. 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 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 materials and the designers behind them. Some materials are byproducts, some will help buildings breathe and one is making the leap from 3D printing 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

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.

Entrance, Seagram Building, New York. Image © Ezra Stoller/Esto Seagram Building, New York. Image © Thomas Schielke Entrance, Seagram Building, New York. Image © Ezra Stoller/Esto Bar, Four Seasons Restaurant, Seagram Building, New York. Image © Hagen Stier

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: glass. Check out the projects after the break...

Light Matters: Glass Beyond Transparency with James Carpenter

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…

7 World Trade Center. New York, NY 2003-2007. Image © Andreas Keller Dichroic Light Field. Millennium Tower at 160 Columbus Avenue. New York, NY. 1994-1995. Image © JCDA Dichroic Light Field. Millennium Tower at 160 Columbus Avenue. New York, NY. 1994-1995. Image © JCDA Sky Reflector-Net (2013), an integrated artwork, is an artist, architect, engineer collaboration with James Carpenter Design Associates, Grimshaw Architects, and Arup, commissioned by MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design and MTA Capital Construction Company (MTACC). Image © Richard Kress, JCDA

Apple Patents Glass Cylinder Design

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”

The New York Times has published “A Short History of the Highrise” - 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,” “Concrete,” “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

Update: Aspen Art Museum / Shigeru Ban Architects

© Shigeru Ban Architects
© Shigeru Ban Architects

With ever-expanding traveling exhibitions attracting over 35,000 yearly visitors from around the globe, the Aspen Art Museum (AAM) has outgrown their cozy 9,000 square foot facility in which they have called home since their established in 1979. Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has been commissioned to design the new museum, being the first museum he has constructed in the U.S. The project is set for completion in August 2014. Continue reading for more information.

RC House / Esc Arquitectos

© Patrick López Jaimes
© Patrick López Jaimes

Architects: Esc Arquitectos Location: MTZ, Veracruz, México Design And Construction: Rafael Ojeda Núñez Project Year: 2011 Photographs: Patrick López Jaimes

© Patrick López Jaimes © Patrick López Jaimes © Patrick López Jaimes © Patrick López Jaimes

Kindergarden / Cristina García Dorce

© Pablo Vázquez Ortiz
© Pablo Vázquez Ortiz

Architects: Cristina García Dorce Location: Tuéjar, Valencia, Spain Architects : Cristina García Dorce, José Durán Fernández Project Year: 2011 Photographs: Pablo Vázquez Ortiz

© Pablo Vázquez Ortiz © Pablo Vázquez Ortiz © Pablo Vázquez Ortiz © Pablo Vázquez Ortiz

Cultural Center Pontault Combault / Archi5

© Thomas Jorion
© Thomas Jorion

Architects: Archi5 Location: Pontault Combault, France Project Year: 2008 Photographs: Thomas Jorion

© Thomas Jorion © Thomas Jorion © Thomas Jorion © Thomas Jorion

"Universidad del Pacifico" Branch Office / Metropolis

© Juan Solano
© Juan Solano

Architects: Metropolis Location: Lima, Peru Project Year: 2012 Project Area: 17,000 sqm Photographs: Juan Solano

© Juan Solano © Juan Solano © Juan Solano © Juan Solano

Chamartín Real State Offices / Burgos & Garrido arquitectos

© Ángel Baltanás
© Ángel Baltanás

Architects: Burgos & Garrido arquitectos Location: Madrid, Spain Architects In Charge: Alberto Pieltain, Justo Fernández-Trapa Collaborators: Saúl García, Ángeles García, Agustín Martín, Almudena Carro, Beatriz Amán, Pilar Recio, Alberto López, Héctor Pérez Project Year: 2008 Photographs: Ángel Baltanás

© Ángel Baltanás © Ángel Baltanás © Ángel Baltanás © Ángel Baltanás

La Baronia House / Nicolás del Rio + Max Núñez

© Sergio Pirrone
© Sergio Pirrone

Architects: Nicolás del Rio + Max Núñez Location: Quintero, Valparaíso Region, Chile Architect In Charge: Nicolás del Rio, Max Núñez Project Year: 2009 Project Area: 150 sqm Photographs: Erieta Attali, Felipe Camus, Sergio Pirrone

© Felipe Camus © Sergio Pirrone © Erieta Attali © Erieta Attali