ArchDaily | Broadcasting Architecture Worldwidethe world's most visited architecture website
i

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

i

Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

i

Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions

Materials

Materials That Make Construction Details Protagonists: Photos of the Week

12:00 - 6 August, 2017

We love construction details! That's why this week's photos highlight the art of the synthesis of materials and the varied photographic products we can obtain by looking closer. Photographers like Joel FilipeMarie-Françoise Plissart and Adria Goula, give us precise and beautiful exposure to wooden joints, steel structures, concrete details, curtain walls and more.

© Ivan Morison © Noel Arraiz © SWANG © Joel Filipe +14

IKEA Launches Home Solar Battery to Take on Tesla

14:30 - 4 August, 2017
IKEA Launches Home Solar Battery to Take on Tesla, Courtesy of Solarcentury
Courtesy of Solarcentury

A new challenger has stepped into the ring of home solar batteries, and it’s a name you may recognize: global furniture retailer IKEA.

A competitor to Tesla’s now-available Powerwall home battery and solar roof system, IKEA’s home battery will be first sold in the UK, where owners of solar-powered homes can typically only sell excess energy produced back to the national grid at a loss. The battery pack will instead allow that power to be stored for later use, helping homeowners reduce their electricity bills by as much as 70 percent.

This Cantilevered Wooden Staircase is Constructed Without the Use of Fixings

06:00 - 2 August, 2017
This Cantilevered Wooden Staircase is Constructed Without the Use of Fixings, © Gustavo Frittegotto
© Gustavo Frittegotto

Designed by architect Rafael Iglesia for the home of the Del Grande family in Rosario, Argentina, this staircase is the result of a system of counteracting forces. The structure's wooden elements are held in place only by the friction and pressure that is produced between the pieces of wood that make up the system.

This Smart Glass Can Change From Opaque to Transparent in Just Seconds

08:00 - 30 July, 2017

A relative newcomer to the material world, smart glass (also known as switch glass or electrochromic glass) has the ability to change its properties and appearance, allowing the environmental conditions of a space to be optimized according to the use and needs of its users. 

Electrochromic glass technology works by changing the electrical polarization between some of its components. Its most widely used variant, known as PDCL, consists of a thin film of liquid crystal that sits between two conductive transparent plastic layers (usually laminated glass). By changing the current running through the liquid crystal, the glass can take on different appearences.

8 Urban Elevators That Bring Connectivity and Continuity to Cities

16:00 - 29 July, 2017
8 Urban Elevators That Bring Connectivity and Continuity to Cities

When working in an urban area with a complex topography, one of the biggest challenges is urban integration. Worldwide, many socially deprived neighborhoods are situated in complicated geographical locations surrounded by steep slopes. Such areas complicate mobility for pedestrians, cyclists, and the elderly, with a lack of accessibility often excluding them from taking part in city life effectively.

In this context, urban elevators can be a novel solution which combine elements of both functional connectivity and sculpture. With some rising up to 30 meters in height, they become urban and touristic landmarks, creating new viewpoints and walkways. Additionally, in many cases, they can help to uphold the historic legacy of the city.

Below we have collected some interesting examples of urban elevators that have been key in the spatial planning of the urban environment.

This Wood Pavilion is Supported Entirely Through Origami Folds

14:00 - 29 July, 2017

As part of Concéntrico 03, architects Manuel Bouzas Cavada, Manuel Bouzas Barcala and Clara Álvarez Garcí designed a temporary exhibition pavilion in the Escuelas Trevijano Plaza, with the objective of “making the unclear, transparent, and the heavy, light."

A paper sheet alone does not sustain itself, but when formed in a series of precisely folded sheets, they are capable of sustaining not only themselves but also much greater forces. With the same logic, a wooden panel does not sustain itself but when formed as a series of precisely folded wooded panels, it has the capacity to sustain not only itself but to support much more. An example of this is the information pavilion at Concéntrico 03.

10 Projects That Feature Striking Steel Trusses

06:00 - 27 July, 2017
10 Projects That Feature Striking Steel Trusses

Understanding the structural aspects of architecture is an inherent task of the architect; sufficient structural knowledge allows designers to propose ideas such as large structural elements which offer an interesting response to a project's needs.

Steel trusses are an example of such a response, which demonstrate an ability to define spaces and structures that are truly complex and interesting.

Below is a list of 10 inspirational projects that use metal trusses as an essential element of design.

Japanese Craftsmanship Gets an Update in These OLED Patterned Tiles

06:00 - 24 July, 2017
Japanese Craftsmanship Gets an Update in These OLED Patterned Tiles, © Fresh Jones
© Fresh Jones

Japanese designer Michiru Tanaka has released a new product partnering with lighting manufacturer Kaneka to create a stainless steel tile that doubles as both an OLED and a mirror. A graduate of Tokyo’s Musashino Art University, Tanaka pursued a career in architectural lighting and her projects range from commercial installations, lighting at museums as well as product design. Coined “Kumiko,” the tiles come from a fusion of inspirations, ranging from traditional Japanese architecture and woodworking techniques to Manhattan’s gridded cityscape. 

© Fresh Jones © Fresh Jones © Fresh Jones © Fresh Jones +14

How Earthbags and Glass Bottles Can 'Build' a Community

06:00 - 20 July, 2017

A design by C-re-a.i.d. for a Maasai village in northern Tanzania, is a morphological response to the imposed need to settle, using sustainable, local and accessible materials to redefine its construction culture.

The project is built by a series of earthbags and glass bottles that in addition to generating private and comfortable spaces, allow a quick and easy construction.

How to Build A Tiki Bar in 18 Easy-to-Follow Steps

06:00 - 18 July, 2017

Although we’re conditioned to buy most of our furniture in one piece, or at least have it ready-to-build IKEA-style, there’s something special about creating something from scratch. Building something from its raw materials lets you see its journey from start to finish, with you learning about the craft it along the way, whether by yourself or with friends. The team at ArchDaily is sharing our very own built Tiki Bar – complete with instructions. Read on for some summer nostalgia you can build in your own backyard through a step by step Tiki DIY guide:

© Manuel Albornoz © Manuel Albornoz © Manuel Albornoz © Manuel Albornoz +28

Workshop in Italy Constructs Rammed Earth Structures to Rescue Constructive Traditions

14:00 - 16 July, 2017
Workshop in Italy Constructs Rammed Earth Structures to Rescue Constructive Traditions, © Elettra Melani, Building Trust international
© Elettra Melani, Building Trust international

In a 12-day workshop, Building Trust International and Terraepaglia joined the Ciuffelli Agricultural Technical Institute in Todi, Italy, with the aim of exploring a series of construction techniques with raw soil. In addition to producing earth bricks and rammed earth structures -in collaboration with experts such as Eliana Baglioni and Pouya Khazaeli-, a curved wall was erected with a wooden structure and a cane framework, on which a massive layer of earth and straw was spread.

The activity generated a series of internal spaces as a kind of laboratory, to show the construction methods and the materials in situ.

© Elettra Melani, Building Trust international © Elettra Melani, Building Trust international © Elettra Melani, Building Trust international © Elettra Melani, Building Trust international +11

This Low-Cost System Creates Sleek Shelving from Simple Plasterboard Profiles

14:00 - 15 July, 2017
This Low-Cost System Creates Sleek Shelving from Simple Plasterboard Profiles, © Xavi Torrent
© Xavi Torrent

The premise for this design was to create an iconic space, with a concept adaptable to any property and versatile when exposing the product. It should also be a design that could be quickly built and at a moderate cost.

To reach this goal, DearDesign has designed an open store with a structure that, despite its rigid and orthogonal look, solves flexibility in terms of product display. The design of the store is based on a three-dimensional grid inspired by the Fibonacci sequence, which creates a variable rhythm in a permeable volume, ordering the space by generating niches to exhibit the product along its perimeter.

© Xavi Torrent © Xavi Torrent © Xavi Torrent © Xavi Torrent +29

How the World's Largest Building Materials Manufacturer Used Its Own Products to Create a World-Class Headquarters for Its Employees

Sponsored Article
How the World's Largest Building Materials Manufacturer Used Its Own Products to Create a World-Class Headquarters for Its Employees, © Jeffrey Totaro
© Jeffrey Totaro

Saint-Gobain’s new corporate headquarters campus in Malvern, PA—the North American home to the world’s largest building materials company—is not a typical corporate campus. As the company approached its 350th anniversary, they set out to build a headquarters that would offer a dynamic showcase for its products.

The company assembled a team of designers from two firms—Bernardon and Jacobs—to transform a long-dormant site consisting of two office buildings into an integrated, world-class headquarters located in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

© Jeffrey Totaro © Jeffrey Totaro © Jeffrey Totaro © Jeffrey Totaro +12

Oskar Zieta Inflates Steel Arches With Air to Create This Lightweight Pavillion

06:00 - 14 July, 2017
Oskar Zieta Inflates Steel Arches With Air to Create This Lightweight Pavillion, Courtesy of Oskar Zieta
Courtesy of Oskar Zieta

Polish architect, designer, and sculptor Oskar Zieta has unveiled his latest project: the arched NAWA pavilion on an island in Wroclaw, Poland. The pavilion forms part of the European Capital of Culture celebrations following the theme of “Metamorphoses of Culture” and was unveiled in June. The lightweight steel elements that make up the parametrically designed sculpture are made in a unique method called FiDU, a metal-inflating process created by Zieta during his PhD studies in ETH Zurich. Though Zieta has used FiDU successfully for various products (many exhibited in the Salone del Mobile in Milan), the NAWA Pavillion is the first project of this size to use the technology entirely, and is thus coined as “a manifesto of FiDU."

Courtesy of Oskar Zieta Courtesy of Oskar Zieta Courtesy of Oskar Zieta Courtesy of Oskar Zieta +50

See How This Lightweight, Collapsible Aluminum Structure is Built

06:00 - 6 July, 2017
See How This Lightweight, Collapsible Aluminum Structure is Built, © Mrigank Sharma
© Mrigank Sharma

The geometric design of the 'Protostar Pavilion' for the launch of the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a morphological response associated with the iconic brand logo: a three-pointed star.

The project is a removable metal pavilion, made up of a series of folded aluminum plates that besides generating a light structure, allow for a quick and easy construction. 

© Mrigank Sharma © Mrigank Sharma © Mrigank Sharma © Mrigank Sharma +18

Scientists Uncover the Chemical Secret Behind Roman Self-Healing Underwater Concrete

14:00 - 5 July, 2017
Scientists Uncover the Chemical Secret Behind Roman Self-Healing Underwater Concrete, Drilling at a ancient Roman marine structure in Portus Cosanus, Tuscany, 2003. Drilling is by permission of the Soprintendenza Archeologia per la Toscana.. Image © J. P. Oleson
Drilling at a ancient Roman marine structure in Portus Cosanus, Tuscany, 2003. Drilling is by permission of the Soprintendenza Archeologia per la Toscana.. Image © J. P. Oleson

More than 2000 years ago, the Roman Empire invented a unique marine concrete that allowed for the construction of enormous, durable structures – even underwater. Incredibly, the exact chemical properties of this concrete mixture have eluded scientists to this day – but now, researchers from the University of Utah believe they may have finally cracked the code.

According to the findings in the journal American Mineralogist, the secret lies in the chemical properties of two of the mixture’s components: lime and volcanic ash, which contained a rare mineral known as aluminium tobermorite. When exposed to sea water, the substance would crystallize in the lime while curing. Rather than be eroded by the water, its presence actually gave the material additional strength.

Let Light in: 17 Projects Using Polycarbonate

08:00 - 3 July, 2017

© Spaceshift Studio © José Hévia © Yuta Oseto © Akira Nakamura +19

Thanks to its strength, lightness, and easy installation, polycarbonate is fast becoming our generation's everyman material. Used to let light in with its translucent properties, buildings built with polycarbonate can appear permeable by day and glow from within by night. Its inherently prefab -nature makes it a strong contender in both small and large projects. Through its use in schools, offices, libraries and even museums, the man-made polymer has earned its place by being as efficient as it is expressive.

Check out 17 of our favorite polycarbonate projects below:

This Robotic Arm Can Cut Marble Into Unique Freeform Shapes

12:00 - 2 July, 2017

This video is part of a conference held every two years by the Rob|Arch Conference series, developed by the Association for Robots in Architecture and related to robotic fabrication in architecture, art, and design.

'Carrara Robotics' was presented in 2014 by Jelle Feringa (Odico) and Lucas Terhall (Hyperbody), and shows a robot that is able to cut through marble with such flexibility and freedom of movement that it generates uniquely beautiful forms. The robot occupies the technology of abrasive cutting and -through a software- it cuts marble, as well as different types of foam, delivering pieces of high geometric complexity as a result.