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.
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.
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."
One of architecture’s most delightful anomalies is the diversity of solutions generated by any given site. From hypothetical university projects by architecture students to professional international design competition entries, the differing perspectives, stances, and experiences brought to rest on one site by several design teams can wield a bounty of contrasting ideas.
Recently, we reported on Nestinbox, a proposal by Swedish architecture firm Manofactory to attach a series of simple, functional houses to a cliff face in Stockholm, addressing the demands of increased populations and land prices in cities across the world. Now, the cliffs of Stockholm have been the subject of an entirely different, though just as evocative concept by Swedish firm UMA. Rather than private housing, UMA proposes the Stockholm Infinity Pool, a public pool 1km along the Sodermalm cliffs of Sweden’s capital.
Professor Alan Short of the University of Cambridge has published a book advocating for the revival of 19th-century architectural ideas to address the crippling energy use of modern skyscrapers. The Recovery of Natural Environments in Architecture proposes an end to the architectural fetish for glass, steel, and air conditioning, instead drawing inspiration from forgotten techniques in naturally ventilated buildings of the 1800s. The book is a culmination of 30 years’ research and design by Prof. Short and his colleagues at the University of Cambridge.
London-based architecture collective Assemble is set to transform an outdoor courtyard at A/D/O in Brooklyn into a ‘model factory’ to explore utopian ideals of work. The Turner Prize-winning architects will use their first site-specific installation in the U.S. entitled ‘A Factory As It Might Be’ to depict a vision of how society should build and function using abundant, malleable materials.
The SOCKEEL + OLGGA consortium have won a competition to design the new Tribut Stadium in Dunkirk, France. The historic stadium, in a prominent location on a canal bank in central Dunkirk, will be transformed into a 5,000 seat stadium seeking to maximize inclusiveness and accessibility.
A building’s materiality is what our bodies make direct contact with; the cold metal handle, the warm wooden wall, and the hard glass window would all create an entirely different atmosphere if they were, say, a hard glass handle, a cold metal wall and a warm wooden window (which with KTH’s new translucent wood, is not as absurd as it might sound). Materiality is of just as much importance as form, function and location—or rather, inseparable from all three.
Here we’ve compiled a selection of 16 materials that should be part of the design vocabulary of all architects, ranging from the very familiar (such as concrete and steel) to materials which may be unknown for some of our readers, as well as links to comprehensive resources to learn more about many of them.
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.
LocationShanghai, Shanghai, China
Design TeamWANG Yan, WANG Yibo
DeveloperChimney (Shanghai) Culture Development Co., Ltd
ConstructionShanghai Puhong Construction Engineering Co., Ltd
Situated on the peak of Bergisel Mountain above the picturesque alpine city of Innsbruck, Austria, the Bergisel Ski Jump represents the contemporary incarnation of a historic landmark. Designed by Zaha Hadid between 1999 and 2002, the Ski Jump is a study in formal expression: its sweeping lines and minimalist aesthetic create a sense of graceful, high-speed motion, reflecting the dynamic sensation of a ski jump in a monumental structure that stands above the historic center of Innsbruck and the mountain slopes around.
Santiago Calatrava has been commissioned to design a trio of bridges in the Chinese city of Huashan, east of Wuhan. The three steel bridges - Xihu, Xianbi and Lincong - will span 1.5 kilometers of the city's new Yangtze River canal, providing access to pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.
“Architecture is one of the art forms best able to improve and revitalize cities both artistically and functionally,” said Calatrava. “The Huashan project is a clear example of how an urban element, key to the successful growth of the city, can at the same time improve the quality of life for its citizens, thanks to an integration of all three bridges and the creation of boulevards on the banks of the canal.”
For many centuries, the demands of gravity appeared to give architecture one requirement that was largely unquestionable: that structures must rise vertically. However, with the advent of steel it was revealed that this limit had not been provided by gravity but by our own limited technologies. In this text, originally published by Domus Magazine in Italian and shared with ArchDaily by the author, Alberto Campo Baeza reflects on the architectural freedom offered by steel structures and the arbitrariness they bring to architectural space.
Isaac Newton was resting under an apple-tree in his garden when an apple fell on his head. Being endowed with such a privileged head and thoughts faster than lightning, he rose forthwith from his afternoon nap and set about calculating the acceleration of gravity.
Had Sir Isaac Newton had a little more patience and had he taken his time in getting to his feet, he might have noticed how, following the apple, a few leaves also fell from that same apple-tree, and while they fell, they did so in quite a different manner to the apple.
Danish practice aarhus arkitekterne has won a competition to design the new Proton Therapy Centre for advanced cancer treatment in Aarhus, Denmark. As “the most advanced radiation center to date and the only one of its kind in Denmark,” as well as one of only a few in the world, the Centre will undoubtedly become a pioneer in cancer treatment.
Designed from the inside out, the building’s façades are meant to convey the function of the interior, “and tell the story of precision, which is they key component of proton therapy as a form of treatment,” according to the architects. Thus, the atrium of the building becomes central to its orientation, providing not only an axis, but also a source of natural lighting.
Architecture Research Office (ARO) and Heery International have designed the West Pavilion, a 115,000 square-foot extension to the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium. Set at one of America’s most historic college football venues, the new expansion will stretch 450 feet in length —about half of the stadium—and “will introduce the program’s first true premium seating, club spaces, and high-end press facilities.”
In addition to being a part of university-wide expansions, the project is the centerpiece of the $86 million renovation of Nippert Stadium itself, which includes adding more restrooms and concessions, and better pedestrian circulation.
The Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U) has commissioned Toronto firm Bortolotto to transform the university’s main office building into the Rosalie Sharp Pavilion. The office will be wrapped in a technologically-responsive layer, transforming it into a multi-use, student work and exhibition space and transforming the corner of Dundas and McCaul streets into an interactive gateway for the campus.
AECOM has designed a preliminary study for a mixed-use transportation development in Solana Beach, California, as part of a response for a RFP (Request for Proposal). Located near major roads and connected to railroads, the project proposal consists of a combination of retail stores and restaurants, providing transit users with leisure spaces on their travels, in addition to parking for the nearby AMTRAK train station.
Amsterdam already has over 1,200 bridges throughout its canals, with some dating as far back as the 17th century, but the city is about to add one more in correspondence with its growing 3D printing industry. Dutch start-up MX3D has partnered with Joris Laarman Lab, Heijmans, Autodesk, and several other supporters, in a collaboration that will create an intricate steel pedestrian bridge made by 3D printers.