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.
Stone is elemental to our built world. It is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) materials used in man-made habitats. The sense of timelessness in stone is attributed to its long and varied history alongside architecture. From ancient monoliths to cities to houses, the diversity of stone means that it can be used to convey a variety of expressions. Carved, polished, sedimented, stacked, preserved - the list can go on and on. The feeling stone conveys in contemporary projects usually brings with it a sense of place – a raw materiality when paired with timber or other natural materials. With that in mind, check out these 6 details of projects that stand out for their use of stone:
Bee Breeders have selected winners of the Stone Barn Meditation Camp competition, seeking to create a place of refuge for individuals amidst the pristine natural beauty of one of Latvia’s most remote regions. In announcing the competition results, the jury applauded the respect and regard shown to the environment by submitted schemes, commenting that the most successful projects stood out for their simplicity, elegance, and balance with nature.
The competition winners, including noted ‘Green’ and ‘Student’ schemes, are set out below.
Through a revisiting of Zaha Hadid's MAXXI Museum of Art in Rome and Heyder Aliyev Center in Baku, as well as the practice’s exploration of materiality and composition, Boffi_Code Kitchen is a custom kitchen island created by Zaha Hadid Design and Boffi, an Italian furniture company founded in 1934.
“Boffi_code offers customization to the highest standards, tailoring individual solutions with selected materials, finishes and cabinetry,” explains Zaha Hadid Design. “The Boffi_Code Kitchen by Zaha Hadid Design marries exceptional detailing and design with functionality, carefully chosen materials, and traditional craftsmanship.”
Rediscover a natural, unique and original material, with multiple applications for current architecture and design immovable over time, granite is a jewel of nature capable of providing exclusivity to any contemporary construction or finish. Its wide range of varieties and the incorporation of new cutting technologies and those giving a surface finish, provide us with infinite design possibilities.
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.
Helical staircases are often designed to be show-stoppers, focal points of architectural spaces that are intended to impress. But even compared to its eye-catching peers, this staircase developed by Webb Yates Engineers and The Stonemasonry Company is unusually audacious. Developed for a residential design by RAL Architects in Formby, UK, each step of the two-story, 4.6-meter diameter helical staircase is composed of an individual block of stone, giving an impression of weightlessness as the structure circles its way up through the building's atrium towards the glazed roof above. For their efforts, Webb Yates recently won the Award for Small Projects at the Institution of Structural Engineers' 2016 Structural Awards, whose judges said that they were "amazed by the grace and audacity" of the design. Read on to find out how Webb Yates achieved this feat of engineering.
Join us for Harnessing the Full Potential of Modern Dimensional Stone: An evening of tapas and education about Stone from Spain!
Since man first figured out how to dig a hole, we have been harvesting the natural treasures of the earth and using stone for our buildings and arts. With such a long history, it’s easy to forget how much research, innovation and technology infuses the stone industry - breathing new life into the possibilities provided by this material that is millions of years old.
Matthew Simmonds, an art historian and architectural stone carver based in Copenhagen, is known as the creator of exceptionally beautiful miniature spaces hewn from stone – a number of which have been previously featured on ArchDaily. Drawing on the formal language and philosophy of architecture, his work "explores themes of positive and negative form, the significance of light and darkness and the relationship between nature and human endeavour." Here he shares four recent projects: Ringrone (Faxe Limestone, 2016, 61cm tall), Corona (Faxe Limestone, 2016, 30cm tall), Ararat: Study II (Faxe Limestone, 2016, 20cm tall), and Tetraconch (Limestone, 2015, 31cm tall).
Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects has won the international competition to design a new mixed-use development in the heart of Stockholm, Sweden: Hästen 21. The new development will comprise retail, office and residential spaces, creating a “central artery” for the area with a strong visual presence adapted to the history and skyline of the existing city.
Kéré Architecture has placed first in a competition to design a protective shelter on the UNESCO-protected Meroe Royal Baths in Sudan, North Africa. Believed to have served nearby palaces from the great African Kingdom of Kush (now modern-day Sudan), the Meroe Royal Baths were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011 and is the focus of joint research by the German Archaeological Institute and the National Corporation for Antiques and Museums. Still marked by temples, palaces and over two hundred pyramids, the ruins of Meroe are a testimony to the exchanges of culture between the Mediterranean and Africa. Find out more about the proposal after the break.
The AHK Kundu Villas, a collection of homes by GAD Architecture, has recently been shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival (WAF) for Future Residential projects. The project, comprising 17 large, 56 medium and 50 small housing units, is sited next to a tourism zone in Antalaya on the Mediterranean coast of southwestern Turkey. Designed with sustainability in mind, the project makes use of resources available on the site.
Matthew Simmonds, an art historian and architectural stone carver based in Italy, has created a collection of exceptionally beautiful miniature spaces carved from stone. Having worked on a number of restoration projects in the UK - from Westminster Abbey to Ely Cathedral - his skills have been transferred into work of a much smaller, if not more intricate, scale. Hewn from large stone blocks (some of marble), the level of intricacy Simmonds has achieved in the architectural detailing is almost incredible. Capitals, vaults and surfaces all distort and reflect light in a very beguiling way.
Material Minds, presented by ArchDaily Materials, is our new series of short interviews with architects, designers, scientists, and others who use architectural materials in innovative ways. Enjoy!
Arthur Andersson of Andersson-Wise Architects wants to build ruins. He wants things to be timeless - to look good now and 2000 years from now. He wants buildings to fit within a place and time. To do that he has a various set of philosophies, processes and some great influences. Read our full in-depth interview with Mr. Andersson, another revolutionary "Material Mind," after the break.