Stone construction is a simple technique that has been used since the earliest human civilizations. These days, stone is regaining popularity in contemporary architecture thanks to the diversity of results that can be achieved by the union of stone pieces. Whether it's the size, the type of cut, or the color of the material, the truth is that the use of stone can add incredible textures to architectural designs. Read on for a selection of 13 photos that allow us to marvel at stone's beauty and expressiveness, created by renowned photographers such as Erieta Attali, Kyungsub Shin and Dimitris Kleanthis.
With the common goal across their portfolio of enhancing the landscape, Camposaz has designed a tourist information pavilion in Roccamonfina, Italy. The wood pavilion is sited just off of a pedestrian path, overlooking the adjacent public park with stunning views of the nearby mountains, a driver in the design.
Earlier this month, Studio Bas van der Veer, the Dutch product design studio, unveiled its design for a rain barrel at the three-day fair, spoga+gafa 2017, in Cologne. Van der Veer, a graduate of the Design Academy Eindhoven, initially designed the product – then titled ‘A Drop of Water’ – as part of his thesis in 2009, for which he not only won the prestigious René Smeets Award for best project at the school’s Graduate Galleries exhibition but was also shortlisted for the Melkweg Award. Over the years, the design won numerous accolades, including the Journées des Collections Jardin - Innovation Award, and the Tuinidee Award.
This modular design developed by the students of the Department of Architecture Sciences at Ryerson University proposes a public space to sit and relax that works as an extension of the walkway, appropriating and giving a new meaning to the parking spaces in the streets of Toronto.
The project, with a natural wave form, is built by a series of Accoya wood modules, which allow easy storage, reuse, and reconfiguration.
This installation is a bespoke attempt to simplify and reinterpret the concept of air-conditioning, understanding that standardized solutions may not be universally applicable given the constraints of cost and surrounding environment. Using computational technologies, the team at Ant Studio has reinterpreted traditional evaporative cooling techniques to build a prototype of cylindrical clay cones, each with a custom design and size.
High strength, ease of transport, and simplicity of assembly are among the many major advantages of steel. But while utilitarian steel structures tend to be hidden by architects, working with exposed steel can lead to attractive results. Steel not only brings lightness to a design, but can also offer different expressions of color and texture, depending on the treatment of the material. Below we present a selection of 14 photos of steel architecture from well-known photographers such as Adrien Williams, Imagen Subliminal, and Sergio Pirrone.
In December 2010, Manuel Peralta Lorca completed the work "Welcome Less Is More," a wooden reconstruction of Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House that was installed inside the Patricia Ready Gallery in Santiago, Chile. This September, a new version of this work will be mounted in the hall of Santiago's Museum of Contemporary Art, under the name "Home Less is More."
In the following story, the artist tells us about the process of reinterpreting this icon of modern architecture in wood and how a team of carpenters—who agreed to immerse themselves in the philosophy of Mies—was fundamental to completing the challenge.
This investigation by Kuan-Ting Lai, developed as part of his thesis on Reconfigurable Systems of Tensegrity at the University of Stuttgart, is an exploration of the capabilities of structural principles in creating transformable architectural structures.
The project, a prototype made of pneumatic cylinders and polycarbonate panels, explores different methods of reconfiguration based on the basic rules of tensegrity, demonstrating the potential to rapidly adjust the lighting or ventilation conditions offered by the structure.
Seeking to connect the traditions of carpentry and the prefabrication industry, Chilean practice abarca+palma have developed a modular house proposal made up of 10 different types of module, capable of forming 5 different house layouts.
The house is constructed in pine wood—using composite beams and pillars—with prefabricated SIP panels.
Are the concrete buildings we build actually a sign of architectural progress? Defunct housing projects abandoned shopping malls, and short-sighted urban projects are more often than not doomed to a lifetime of emptiness after they have served their purpose. Their concrete remains and transforms into a lingering reminder of what was once a symbol of modern ambition. Stadiums and their legacies, in particular, come under high scrutiny of how their giant structures get used after the games are over, with few Olympic stadiums making successful transitions into everyday life. With a new approach to sustainability, the Shell Mycelium pavilion is part of a manifesto towards a more critical take on building. Say the designers on their position: “We criticize these unconscious political choices, with living buildings, that arise from nature and return to nature, as though they never existed.”
The Shell Mycelium Pavillion is a collaboration between BEETLES 3.3 and Yassin Areddia Designs and offers an alternative to conscious design through temporary structures. Located at the MAP Project space at the Dutch Warehouse, the pavillion formed part of the Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016 Collateral in India. Read on for more information from the architects:
Developed by researchers and students from the Faculty of Architecture at HKU and supported by Sino Group, the 'Ceramic Constellation Pavilion' is built on a wooden structure that supports a series of "walls" formed by about 2,000 clay bricks. Each of these individual components is unique and has been manufactured using robotic technology and 3D printing, allowing to generate different types of transparency and opacity in their different faces.
Italy-based New Fundamentals Research Group recently designed and built a full-scale prototype of an experimental barrel-vaulted stone structure for SNBR, a French company that specializes in cutting-edge stone construction. The structure is named Hypar Vault in a reference to the geometry of its constituent blocks; it uses two types of prefabricated stone modules—one type is the mirror image of the other—whose designs are based on the hypar (hyperbolic paraboloid), one of the only "doubly-ruled" surfaces in geometry. The use of these configurations allowed the vault to be constructed with almost zero wasted stone.
The structure of the facade is the result of recognizing the great versatility of laminated wood when designing large structures and complex shapes, allowing, in this case, to propose the construction of a straight piece that is curved to join the next piece.
When it comes to increasing the energy efficiency of a project, solar panels provide many benefits, but architects often avoid using them for aesthetic reasons.
Today there are alternative solutions for adding solar receptors to the individual elements that make up the roof—the zone of greatest exposure to sunlight—that are less conspicuous and very effective in terms of energy production. One such example is solar thermal panels, which use the power of the sun to heat the building, produce hot water or generate heat for pools.
These new panels are made from natural slate stone, in formats ranging from 32x22 cm to 50x25 cm. The material elements not only ensure thermal inertia and impermeability, but are also able to heat up to 50 liters of water per day per square meter of surface -- all while avoiding the average emission of 90 kg of CO2.
The IAAC (Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia) has developed a series of advanced materials and systems for air conditioning and passive ventilation, allowing homes to reduce interior temperatures up to 5 degrees lower while saving the electricity consumption caused by the traditional air-conditioning. The systems are made from long-lifespan materials, which lower the costs of maintenance in the long-term and can be used as low-cost alternative building technologies.
The projects highlighted are the Breathing Skin, Hydroceramics, Hydromembrane, Morphluid and Soft Robotics - all developed by students of the IAAC's Digital Matter Intelligent Constructions (conducted by Areti Markopoulou). The passive air-conditioning of spaces is investigated using a combination of new materials that mimic organic processes, adaptive structures and Robotics that help regulate temperature and create sustainable micro climates.
Do Architects Learn Enough About Construction and Materials? We asked this question to spark a discussion among our readers, and the number of responses on our sites in English and Spanish was overwhelming.
Having read and collected all these comments, it is clear that most of our readers agree that what is currently taught about materials and building processes is not enough. The vast majority of them admit that they have acquired this knowledge through fieldwork, years after having graduated. So once again we ask: if material knowledge is so important for the development of our profession, why is it not a fundamental part of the programs in universities around the world?
However, some of our readers contest this view, stating that architects don't have to know everything, and that we can't sacrifice good design to the constraints that impact the construction process. They base their arguments on the presence of specialists, to whom we should go whenever necessary, in a cohesive and collaborative process between the different disciplines.
Review the best comments received and join the discussion below.
A design by Ashari Architects for an architectural installation in Iran is a direct response to the need to reconnect with the senses.
The project, a pavilion built from a cube that holds a suspended brick volume, shows the potential of the use of this material by creating distinct atmospheres.
This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Realizing Architectural Dreams Through Design-Assist and Precast Concrete."
Ancient Romans mixed lime and volcanic rock to form a mortar, a precursor to modern reinforced concrete. This made engineering marvels like Rome’s Colosseum possible—still standing more than 2,000 years after its construction.
Today, this versatile material is evolving further: Precast concrete, which is formed and cured in factories before being installed onsite, is bringing about a new wave of architecture that streamlines the building process while reaching toward big, complex ideas.