Update: We've added a video of the process to the article!
This year's Architectural Association (AA) Summer DLAB program culminated in Weave.X, the final working prototype of three-dimensionally interwoven concrete structures. Designed and fabricated by 21 participants from 11 countries in July and August, the prototype explores computational design, geometry rationalization, material behavior, and robotic fabrication as applied to concrete and robotic rod-bending techniques. The result is a network of self-supporting concrete branches that envelop an amorphous enclosure.
The physical properties of glass are invaluable and unequaled when it comes to the architect’s material palette. From the time of the cathedrals and the the brilliantly colored stained glass that served a functional and didactic purpose, to the modernist liberation of the floor plan and the exquisitely-framed horizontal views provided by ample windows, architects have turned to glass to achieve not only aesthetic but performative conditions in their projects.
Today, Architects face an increasing array of choices in specifying and designing with glass for building facades, as glass manufacturers propose a greater variety of colors, textures and patterns than ever before. A wider range of coatings and treatments has also been developed, allowing for a finer selection of glass panes with a combination of light transmittance, reflectance and absorption to meet the needs of outstanding architectural projects. These options affect the aesthetics and energy performance of the glass, and therefore of the overall building.
Thanks to advanced calculation tools, energy performance can now be anticipated accurately, but the graphic representation of glass is still a challenge, and yet a crucial need for architects.
This article is part of our new "Material Focus" series, which asks architects to elaborate on the thought process behind their material choices and sheds light on the steps required to get a building constructed.
The Casa no Cerrado (Cerrado House) was designed by Vazio S/A office. It was built in Moeda, Minas Gerais and, according to the architects while it seeks to explore the plasticity of basic architectural elements, the project showcases this unappreciated and threatened natural area: the Cerrado. We spoke with architect Carlos M. Teixeira to learn more about his choices of materials and the challenges of the project.
The wide range in which pieces of masonry can be arranged allows for multiple spatial configurations. Born in a furnace, the brick adorns and reinforces, protects and—to various degrees—brings natural light into spaces that need slight, natural illumination.
Throughout history, traditional brick-laying consisted of predetermined arrangement of parts, and lines of rope to guide the consistency and placement of each individual brick. But there are many other ways to exploit this multi-faceted, timeless material, so we've selected 16 projects that demonstrate the potential of the humble brick.
Below find 16 construction details from projects that use bricks in ingenious ways.
This article is part of our "Material Focus" series, which asks architects to elaborate on the thought process behind their material choices and sheds light on the steps required to get projects actually built.
In this exceptionally imaginative and thought-provoking exercise in perceptual shifts, Ithaca- & Brooklyn-based CODA transformed hundreds of humble plastic lawn chairs into a project in the Arts Quad at Cornell University. Viewed from afar as a spiky singular entity, close inspection reveals the simple, unpretentious repeated module. CODA explains, "the object’s features are no longer understood in terms of their use (legs, arms, seat) but in terms of their form (spikes, curves, voids) as, due to their rotation away from the ground, they lose their relationship with the human body." We asked Caroline O'Donnell, principle at CODA, to explain the challenges faced in the development and construction of the fully-recyclable URCHIN.
http://www.archdaily.com/797182/how-coda-used-hundreds-of-white-plastic-chairs-to-build-a-recyclable-pavilionAD Editorial Team
In this edition of Section D, Monocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, the show explores how wood is being used creatively at every scale by designers and architects today. From the "timber terrazzo" of London-based designer Conor Taylor, to the four protected (yet threatened) wooden escalators at Sydney's Wynyard Railway Station, the episode questions how innovative designers are, or need to be, with this age-old tried and tested material. Finally, the show visits Folkhem in Sweden – a construction company who believe wood "to be superior to conventional alternatives in almost every respect, from construction time to acoustic properties."
http://www.archdaily.com/797040/monocle-24-explores-creative-uses-of-wood-in-contemporary-architecture-and-designAD Editorial Team
Peddle Thorp Architects have submitted their proposal for the Moray Street Residential Tower in Melbourne for approval. At 1173.5 square meters, Sol Invictus is wrapped entirely in solar panels, attaining 10 times more solar surface area than a traditional roof covering. The facade can achieve up to 5000 square meters of solar panel array and is connected to a battery storage system.
181 Fremont—which will become the third tallest structure in San Francisco and the most resilient tall building on the West Coast of the U.S.—has been awarded the REDi™ Gold Rating, a new earthquake resilience rating. The building was designed by San Francisco-based Heller Manus Architects.
The 56-story mixed-use tower, built above five basement levels, is being constructed in compliance with a new set of holistic design and planning guidelines—the Resilience-based Earthquake Design Initiative (REDi Rating System)—that allow it to withstand the impact of a 475-year seismic event (roughly a M7.5-M8.0 earthquake on the San Andreas Fault) with minimal disruption.
Developed by Arup with contributions from external collaborators, the REDi™ system outlines design and planning criteria within a resilience-based framework, creating a system that not only considers occupant safety but also takes into account the future of the building after an earthquake.
For centuries before the invention of screws and fasteners, Japanese craftsmen used complex, interlocking joints to connect pieces of wood for structures and beams, helping to create a uniquely Japanese wood aesthetic that can still be seen in the works of modern masters like Shigeru Ban.
Up until recent times, however, these techniques were often the carefully guarded secrets of family carpentry guilds and unavailable for public knowledge. Even as the joints began to be documented in books and magazines, their 2-dimensional depictions remained difficult to visualize and not found in any one comprehensive source.
That is, until a few years ago, when a young Japanese man working in automobile marketing began compiling all the wood joinery books he could get his hands on and using them to creating his own 3-dimensional, animated illustrations of their contents.
As part of a masterplan along the Chicago River, the River Beech Tower is a residential high-rise which, if built, would be taller than any existing timber building. The collaborative team behind River Beech consists of architects Perkins+Will, engineers Thornton Tomasetti and the University of Cambridge. Currently a conceptual academic and professional undertaking, the team state that it could potentially be realized by the time of the masterplan’s final phases.
Designer and architect Neri Oxman and the Mediated Matter group have announced their latest design project: the Synthetic Apiary. Aimed at combating the massive bee colony losses that have occurred in recent years, the Synthetic Apiary explores the possibility of constructing controlled, indoor environments that would allow honeybee populations to thrive year-round.
On Friday, September 30, 2016, the US Fish and Wildlife Service added seven species of bees to the Federal Endangered Species list, after a UN-sponsored report released in February found that nearly 40 percent of invertebrate pollinator species (which includes bees and butterflies) are now facing extinction. Bees play a vital role in the reproductive cycle of many plants, including those used for human food production, and according Mediated Matter, losses continuing at these rates could have dire impacts for both human and environmental well-being.
Join the Dallas Architecture Forum for an afternoon focused on how outstanding design utilizes materials, from common to rare, as integral elements of the design process. Attendees will also learn how leading architects and artists incorporate functionality into their designs, ranging in scale from small sculptures to residences.
Attendees will have the privilege of hearing from two of the most highly regarded practitioners in their fields share insights and lead inspiring discussion on these intriguing topics.
Simply put, metamaterials are materials that behave according to their structure, rather than their base material composition. By manipulating their internal microstructures, metamaterials can exhibit properties that would not otherwise be found in a naturally occurring material.
To date, the term has mostly been used to refer to materials which can manipulate electromagnetic waves with an unnatural refractive index. But recently, a different way of looking at metamaterials has been studied by a team at the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI), who suggest that “so far, metamaterials were understood as materials – we want to think of them as machines.” A series of objects created by HPI that perform mechanical functions through their metamaterial configuration demonstrate this concept of “metamaterial mechanisms.”
An emerging sector of construction is developing new systems that manage to not only reduce construction times and costs, but also solve the housing problem in Mexico’s most disadvantaged areas. Originating from previously known construction techniques, national companies are venturing into international markets by proposing new models of construction that use fewer materials and have a greater structural strength and greater comfort. They’re also introducing smart materials adaptable to any construction need.
As part of this new industry breakthrough, Juan Manuel Reyes from Armados Omega and architect Jorge Capistrán have developed a new, low-cost construction system which also reduces construction time by 50%. It uses single module blocks and doesn’t require binders, mixtures, or skilled labor.
When you think of original designs, you know that you're talking about something unique and special. An innovative design that can change our perception and visual culture: that is exactly what the German designer Elisa Strozyk does with Wooden Textiles, a product line that mixes wood with fabric.
The designer shows us that innovation remains a fundamental part of design. She imbues wood with living properties and turns it to a flexible fabric with unpredictable movements, changing its color and texture. It’s an astonishing use of this traditional material to create new forms and experiences.
Topping out two weeks ago, the structure of Brock Commons, currently the tallest timber structure in the world, is now complete. Measuring in at 18 stories and 174 feet (53 meters) tall, the building was completed nearly four months ahead of schedule, displaying one of the advantages of building tall buildings with wood.
Excavation is usually a bane for real estate developers. To make way for new buildings, truckloads of excavated waste are removed from site in a noisy, time-consuming and gas-guzzling process. Exploring a more sustainable solution, the California-based company Watershed Materials have developed an onsite pop-up plant which repurposes excavated material right at the job site to create concrete masonry units (CMUs) used in the development. By eliminating truck traffic, reusing waste and reducing imported materials, the result is a win for the environment.