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Digitized Stone: ZAarchitects Develop “Smart Masonry”

When one hears the term masonry architecture, digital fabrication and automated construction processes are probably not the first ideas to come to mind. By its very nature, the architecture produced with stone masonry is often heavy, massive, and incorporates less natural light than alternative methods. However, with their research proposal for "Smart Masonry," ZAarchitects are proposing to change masonry buildings as we know them and open opportunities for digital fabrication techniques in stone and other previously antiquated materials. Read on after the break to get a glimpse of what these new masonry buildings could look like and learn more about the process behind their construction.

Courtesy of ZAarchitects Courtesy of ZAarchitects Courtesy of ZAarchitects Courtesy of ZAarchitects

How Can We Hold On To Heritage Skills?

In an age when 1:1 3D printed buildings are becoming ever more commonplace from the Netherlands to China, it's important to pause and assess the existing built fabric of our cities, towns and villages. If we want to maintain and preserve them whilst protecting the inherent craft imbued in their construction, the importance of nurturing and promoting these skills should be recognised.

In the UK, the Heritage Skills Hub (HSH) push to see "traditional building skills, conservation, restoration and responsible retrofit" included within all mainstream built environment courses. In a recent conversation with Cathie Clarke, CEO of the HSH, we discussed the obstacles faced by an organisation dedicated to conserving and teaching skills like stonemasonry, roof thatching, glass making, traditional brick construction to a new generation.

Bricks Grown From Bacteria

A unique biotechnology start-up company have developed a method of growing bricks from nothing more than bacteria and naturally abundant materials. Having recently won first place in the Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation ChallengebioMason has developed a method of growing materials by employing microorganisms. Arguing that the four traditional building materials - concrete, glass, steel and wood - both contain a significant level of embodied energy and heavily rely on limited natural resources, their answer is in high strength natural biological cements (such as coral) that can be used "without negative impacts to the surrounding environment."

Hidden Gems of Yemen

© Flickr / Ai@ce
© Flickr / Ai@ce

Yemen is a country rich with history. Its cities are full of architectural monuments that are constructed with a craft that often goes overlooked. These cities merge seamlessly with the surrounding landscape, contextually complementing each other. Al Hajjara is one such village that warrants a closer look. Built on the precipice of a mountain, the architecture clings to the sides of the cliffs. Multi-story buildings rise up out of the ground and step their way to the top. It is quite amazing given the fact that these buildings were constructed hundreds of years ago, and are still standing.

Roth House / Debartolo Architects

© Debartolo Architects
© Debartolo Architects

The studio of Debartolo Architects is a unique architectural design firm in that they are passionately committed to architectural excellence parallel with their commitment to serving clients and creating relevant and functionally-tuned environments for people. Founded in 1996 as a collaboration of the father-son team, the firm is built on the rich history of Jack Debartolo Jr. FAIA’s 22-year partnership with Anderson DeBartolo Pan, Inc. Through creativity, innovation and careful listening, their team has become one of the leading studios in creating highly-custom, well-tuned built-environments that respond to their client, context, culture and community.

STAAB Residence / Chen + Suchart Studio

© www.chensuchartstudio.com
© www.chensuchartstudio.com

For the STAAB Residence designed by Chen + Suchart Studio the context for this site consists of larger homes on one-acre lots. Aesthetically, the neighboring houses’ architectural language is more often than not, associated with speculative developer trends and styles, rather than an integrated understanding of the site, the views, and the potential. As a result, the project required a strategy which would edit out the immediate context of this neighborhood while focusing on distant views of the McDowell Mountains to the north and the valley to the south and southwest. The project also sought to create a protected courtyard space for the backyard and pool area as an immediate focus for the lower level of the house in contrast to the second level taking advantage of the more distant views.

© www.chensuchartstudio.com © www.chensuchartstudio.com © www.chensuchartstudio.com © www.chensuchartstudio.com

AD Round Up: Brick Houses Part II

Great brick houses from Europe and Australia make  today’s Round Up. Don’t forget to check the first part of our brick houses selection!

AD Round Up: Brick Houses Part I

I’ve always like brick houses. There are just so many ways to use brick and make it look amazing on your place. So to show you some really good examples, we bring you our first selection of previously featured brick houses on AD.

ORDOS 100 #30: LTL Architects

This villa is located in plot ORDOS project.

Architects: LTL Architects Location: Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China Project Team: Marc Tsurumaki, Paul Lewis, David J. Lewis, Kate Snider, Deric Mizokami, Laura Cheung Design year: 2008 Construction year: 2009-2010 Curator: Ai Weiwei, Beijing, China Client: Jiang Yuan Water Engineering Ltd, Inner Mongolia, China Constructed Area: 1,000 sqm aprox

ORDOS 100 #28: F451 Arquitectura

This villa is located in plot ORDOS project.

Architects: F451 Arquitectura Location: Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China F451 Team: Santi Ibarra, Toni Montes, Lluis Ortega, Xavier Osarte & Esther Segura Engineering Consultant: AKT Landscape: Jerónimo Hagerman Design year: 2008 Construction year: 2009-2010 Curator: Ai Weiwei, Beijing, China Client: Jiang Yuan Water Engineering Ltd, Inner Mongolia, China Constructed Area: 1,000 sqm aprox

ORDOS 100 #27: Multiplicities

This villa is located in plot ORDOS project.

Architects: Multiplicities Location: Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China Project Team: Daniel Holguin, Issei Suma, Perla Pequeño, Joanna Park Sohn, Christopher Chan, Nicole Rodríguez, Masayuki Sono Consultants: Methus Srisuchart + Tatchapon Lertwirojkul / Jee Won Kim Architect / ID engineers Design year: 2008 Construction year: 2009-2010 Curator: Ai Weiwei, Beijing, China Client: Jiang Yuan Water Engineering Ltd, Inner Mongolia, China Constructed Area: 1,000 sqm aprox

Ternat House / V + bureau vers plus de bien-être

Architects: V+/Bureau vers plus de bien-être Location: Ternat, Belgium Client: Cortier – De Lat Design Team: Jörn Aram Bihain, Thierry Decuypere, Shin Hagiwara Engineers: Kathleen Mertens Contractor: CPR Construction (main construction), De Meersman (carpentry), FMP (metalwork) Design year: 2001-2003 Construction year: 2003-2005 Surface: 360 sqm Budget: 325.000 euro Photographs: V+, Olivier Chenoix, Patrick Van Roy

ORDOS 100 #16: Dellekamp arquitectos

This villa is located in plot ORDOS project.

Architects: Dellekamp arquitectos / Derek Dellekamp Location: Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China Project leader: Ignacio Mendez Project team: Jachen Schleich, Pedro Sanchez, Paulina Goycolea Design year: 2008 Construction year: 2009 Curator: Ai Weiwei, Beijing, China Client: Jiang Yuan Water Engineering Ltd, Inner Mongolia, China Constructed Area: 1,000 sqm aprox

ORDOS 100 #14: Encore Heureux + G Studio

Architects: Encore Hereux + G Studio Location: Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China Design year: 2008 Construction year: 2009 Curator: Ai Weiwei, Beijing, China Client: Jiang Yuan Water Engineering Ltd, Inner Mongolia, China Constructed Area: 1,000 sqm aprox

French architects Encore Heureux & G Studio didn’t send a text for their Ordos villa, but the renderings are quite expressive. Judge for yourself.

ORDOS 100 #10: Johnston Marklee & Associates

This villa is located in plot ORDOS project.

Architects: Johnston Marklee & Associates Location: Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China Pincipals in charge: Sharon Johnston AIA, Mark Lee Project Architect: Anton Schneider Project team: Owen Merrick, Midori Mizuhara, Jonathan Raz Design year: 2008 Construction year: 2009 Curator: Ai Weiwei, Beijing, China Client: Jiang Yuan Water Engineering Ltd, Inner Mongolia, China

ORDOS 100 #7: MOS Architects

This villa is located in plot ORDOS project.

Architects: MOSMichael Meredith, Hilary Sample Location: Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China Design team: Lasha Brown, James Tate, Lorenzo Marasso, Heather Bizon, Shu- Chang, Vivian Chin (translation) Structural Engineering: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger- Paul Kassabian Design year: 2008 Construction year: 2009 Curator: Ai Weiwei, Beijing, China Client: Jiang Yuan Water Engineering Ltd, Inner Mongolia, China Constructed Area: 1,000 sqm aprox Images: MOS

ORDOS 100 #7: MOS Architects ORDOS 100 #7: MOS Architects ORDOS 100 #7: MOS Architects ORDOS 100 #7: MOS Architects

ORDOS 100 #5: HHF

This villa is located in plot ORDOS project.

Architects: HHF Architects Location: Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China Project Team: HERLACH HARTMANN FROMMENWILER with Nicole Baron, Daichi Takano, Kohsuke Uesugi and Christian Weyell Design year: 2008 Construction year: 2009 Curator: Ai Weiwei, Beijing, China Client: Jiang Yuan Water Engineering Ltd, Inner Mongolia, China Site Area: 1,521 sqm Constructed Area: 925 sqm

ORDOS 100 #3: nArchitects

This villa is located in plot ORDOS project.

Architects: nArchitects Location: Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China Project team: Eric Bunge, Mimi Hoang; Dominique Gonfard, Hubert Pelletier, Alice Wong (Project Manager), Adam Vana Engineers: Ove Arup NY; MEP (Mahadev Raman), Structures (Markus Schulte, Thomas Claassen) Design year: 2008 Construction year: 2009 Curator: Ai Weiwei, Beijing, China Client: Jiang Yuan Water Engineering Ltd, Inner Mongolia, China Constructed Area: 1,000 sqm