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16 Materials Every Architect Needs to Know (And Where to Learn About Them)

16:00 - 14 January, 2017
16 Materials Every Architect Needs to Know (And Where to Learn About Them)

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.

Newly Discovered Molecular ‘Glue’ May hold the Key to Strong Wooden Skyscrapers

06:00 - 12 January, 2017
Newly Discovered Molecular ‘Glue’ May hold the Key to Strong Wooden Skyscrapers, HAUT, a proposed 240-foot timber-framed tower to be built in Amsterdam. Image Courtesy of Team V Architectuur
HAUT, a proposed 240-foot timber-framed tower to be built in Amsterdam. Image Courtesy of Team V Architectuur

The key to engineering wood strong enough to support skyscrapers may lie in the interaction between molecules 10,000 times narrower than the width of a human hair.

A new study by researchers at the Universities of Warwick and Cambridge has solved a long-held mystery of how key polymers in plant cells bind to form strong, indigestible materials such as wood and straw. By recreating this ‘glue’ in a lab, engineers may be able to produce new wood-based materials that surpass current strength capabilities.

Competition-Winning Design Proposes Wood Housing Addition to Fourth-Century Aqueduct in Istanbul

12:00 - 7 January, 2017
Competition-Winning Design Proposes Wood Housing Addition to Fourth-Century Aqueduct  in Istanbul, Courtesy of Superspace
Courtesy of Superspace

Sinan Günay and Nurhayat Oz of Superspace have won second prize in the MetsäWood competition, The City Above the City, which called for architects to design wooden extensions to city centers. With their project, Colliding Lines and Lives, the team designed a series wooden housing modules to be appended to a fourth-century Roman aqueduct archway in Istanbul.

Built by the Roman emperor Valens, the archway was an important water supply for the Romans and Ottomans but later lost its significance and functionality with technological and infrastructural advancements, leaving it an unutilized landmark in the city.

Courtesy of Superspace Courtesy of Superspace Courtesy of Superspace Courtesy of Superspace +8

Translucent Wood and Light Installation Brightens Children’s Hospital in Australia

08:00 - 26 December, 2016

For children especially, hospitals can be anxiety-inducing and overwhelming space. New media studio ENESS aims to change that experience with their installation LUMES, a light-emitting wood piece, the first of which is now on display at Cabrini Hospital in Malvern, Australia.

Courtesy of ENESS Courtesy of ENESS Courtesy of ENESS Courtesy of ENESS +15

50 Impressive Details Using Wood

07:00 - 27 November, 2016
50 Impressive Details Using Wood

Over the course of history the unique characteristics of wood, which are dependent upon the species of the tree and the location in which it has grown, have enabled humanity to flourish in all parts of the globe. The architectural details of wooden construction therefore show a great diversity of meetings and joints, showing not only a project's constructive and structural logic, but also embodying the value and complexity of each project.

Take a look at these 50 construction details of projects that stand out for their clever use of wood.

Life is a Loft

07:00 - 24 November, 2016
Life is a Loft , Light, open spaces: Lofts break with the traditional way of living and create room for new ideas.. Image Courtesy of EGGER
Light, open spaces: Lofts break with the traditional way of living and create room for new ideas.. Image Courtesy of EGGER

As industry withdrew, the creative types came and populated the empty factory floors of the big cities. Art, furniture design and work life benefitted from this international trend. EGGER, a supplier of wood-based materials, interprets this trend with its forthcoming decorative range.

20 Details of Stunning Small-Scale Structures

08:00 - 17 November, 2016
20 Details of Stunning Small-Scale Structures

Throughout history, simple structures have constituted one of the most common forms of human expression. Small-scale housing, shelters, and viewpoints have been shaped by myriad materials that effectively created - depending on the techniques used - different forms of response to the same need.

Here is a compilation of 20 small-scale projects that stand out due to their small size and their simple, practical structures.

Call for Submissions: DBR | PAUSE TED2017

11:39 - 15 November, 2016
Call for Submissions: DBR | PAUSE TED2017, Courtesy of Unknown
Courtesy of Unknown

DBR presents PAUSE a competition in partnership with TED2017 ‘The future you’. This year TED is making the conference more explicitly personal. We are questioning what individual space looks like; the personal and private; the open and closed. How do we design an environment and experience that is nurturing, human, satisfying, and exciting?

Building With Timber - Ways Into the Future / Bauen mit Holz - Wege in die Zukunft /

16:19 - 26 October, 2016
Building With Timber - Ways Into the Future / Bauen mit Holz - Wege in die Zukunft /, Poster
Poster

A fascinating exhibition about the current state of building culture with focus on timber – the natural renewable resource

Based on selected distinguished national and international projects, the exhibition represents the state of the art in sustainable and modern timber architecture. The presentation spans from spectacular projects by Toyo Ito, Shigeru Ban and Frei Otto to direction setting urban timber houses such as those by Kaden & Klingbeil in Berlin/Prenzlauer Berg, and upwards to the newest trends in high­rise buildings realized in timber.

Monocle 24 Explores Creative Uses of Wood in Contemporary Architecture and Design

04:00 - 10 October, 2016

In this edition of Section DMonocle 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."

These Mesmerizing GIFs Illustrate the Art of Traditional Japanese Wood Joinery

12:00 - 7 October, 2016

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.

The Tallest Timber Tower Yet: Perkins + Will's Concept Proposal for River Beech Tower

09:30 - 6 October, 2016
Courtesy of River Beech Tower
Courtesy of River Beech Tower

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.

Open Call: 2017 Tallinn Architecture Biennale Installation Programme

05:00 - 27 September, 2016
Open Call: 2017 Tallinn Architecture Biennale Installation Programme, TAB 2015 installation Body Building by Sille Pihlak and Siim Tuksam. Image by Tõnu Tunnel
TAB 2015 installation Body Building by Sille Pihlak and Siim Tuksam. Image by Tõnu Tunnel

Tallinn Architecture Biennale 2017 is announcing TAB 2017 Urban Installation Programme Open Call, offering emerging architectural talent the opportunity to design and build an experimental wooden folly in the heart of Tallinn. The international open two-stage competition is challenging participants to develop creative designs for a temporary outdoor installation, making innovative use of the fabrication capacities with the Estonian wooden house manufacturers.

promote synergy between emerging designers and industry.

Curators of the TAB 2017

Timelapse: The Construction of the World's Tallest Timber Tower

16:00 - 18 September, 2016

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.

This New Database Allows You to Search Through the Architectural Applications of Lesser Known Timber Species

12:15 - 29 August, 2016
This New Database Allows You to Search Through the Architectural Applications of Lesser Known Timber Species, Courtesy of FSC Denmark
Courtesy of FSC Denmark

Wood has always been one of the essential materials used in construction, and with the ongoing trend of timber-framed tall buildings, it has become more important than ever to be conscious of the impacts on the environment from the types of wood we source.

Currently, there exist more than 50,000 tropical timber species in the world, yet only a small percentage of those are utilized in construction projects. This has led to the exploitation of the more well-known timber species, altering the diversity of the world’s tropical forests and putting those species in danger of disappearing completely. But what if we began building with the full range of species available to us?

In efforts to increase awareness for the multitude of timber varieties available on the market, The Forest Stewardship Council of Denmark (FSC Denmark) have developed an online database of lesser known timber species (LKTS).

Architects Construct Village of 14 Wooden Structures at Hello Wood 2016

16:30 - 19 August, 2016

Students and architects from over 30 countries have constructed a “village” of 14 wooden structures at Hello Wood’s Project Village 2016. Founded in 2010 as an art camp for students in architecture, art and design disciplines, Hello Wood has since grown into an award-winning interior summer school program focused on creating design through collaborative methods and bringing together the principles of architecture, art, innovation and social impact. The Project Village, conceived just last year, pushes these ideals to their limit by challenging students, teachers and designers to work together to create a new architecture of community at Hello Wood’s rural campus in Csoromfolde, Hungary.

Continue reading to see all 14 projects with descriptions from the designers.

SOM's Timber Tower System Successfully Passes Strength Testing

16:30 - 18 August, 2016

The recent trend in timber-framed architecture may just be beginning.

SOM’s Timber Tower Research Project has passed a major milestone as the structural system has successfully completed strength testing that validate initial calculations. Launched in 2013, The Timber Tower Research project was established with the goal of developing a new structural system for skyscrapers that uses timber as its primary material. Using these techniques, the research team estimates that the embodied carbon footprint of buildings can be reduced by 60 to 75 percent when compared to a benchmark concrete building.

Winners of Timber in the City: Urban Habitats Student Competition Announced

08:00 - 18 August, 2016
Winners of Timber in the City: Urban Habitats Student Competition Announced , Courtesy of University of Washington: Buddy Burkhalter, Mingjun Yin, Connor Irick, Richard Mohler and Elizabeth Golden
Courtesy of University of Washington: Buddy Burkhalter, Mingjun Yin, Connor Irick, Richard Mohler and Elizabeth Golden

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) has announced the winners of the Timber in the City: Urban Habitats Competition, a student competition exploring wood as an innovative building material. Out of more than 850 architectural student entries, three winners have been selected, along with two honorable mentions, with prizes totaling $40,000.

The competition focused on a site in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and asked for designs for inhabitation, repose, recreation, and local small-scale commercial exchange, all while embracing the possibilities of wood and a variety of wood technologies.

Today, timber is being used in new, innovative ways to help address the economic and environmental challenges of the build environment,” said Cees de Jager, executive director of BSLC. “This competition brought to life the way the design community is recognizing the benefits of wood–from reduced economic and environmental impact to enhanced aesthetic value and structural performance–to design buildings and communities of the future.

The winners of the Timber in the City: Urban Habitats Competition are: