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Representation of the Human Scale in 20 Architectural Sections

Rendered floor plans and sections are a kind of translation of technical construction drawings into a language more accessible to people who are not familiar with architectural design. In other words, they are responsible for introducing the human scale to the project, not only through the human figure but also by displaying furniture, textures, and other aspects of architecture that are more realistic and humanizing, making the representation more understandable.

Sperone Westwater Gallery / Foster + Partners. Courtesy of Foster + PartnersPlanter Box House / FORMZERO. Courtesy of FormzeroAS Building / Ambrosi I Etchegaray. Courtesy of Ambrosi I EtchegarayVersailles Saint Quentin University Students Headquarters / Fabienne Bulle architecte & associés. Courtesy of Fabienne Bulle architecte & associés+ 21

Brick Ceilings Create New Architectural Possibilities

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Cuisine, culture, sightseeing, and engaging with the locals are all reasons people like to travel. The common factor that draws us to explore new places, however, is simply the chance to experience cities and landscapes unlike our own familiar surroundings. For example, when Chinese tourists can again visit Copenhagen, they may admire the waterside capital’s winding bike paths, lush green parks, and the Scandinavian brick traditions on display in Nyhavn. Likewise, a Danish tourist would surely be blown away by the breathtaking scale of Beijing, with it’s 9 million+ bicycles and the display of ancient Chinese culture juxtaposed with modern society.

History of Architecture: Ancient India & Southeast Asia

As far as written records report, “prehistory” dates back between 35,000 BCE and 3000 BCE in the Middle East (2000 BCE in Western Europe). Ancient builders had a profound understanding of human responses to environmental conditions and physical needs. Initially, families and tribes lived together in skin-covered huts and bone structures. Thousands of years later, human settlements evolved into fortified mud-brick walls surrounding rectangular volumes with pierced openings for ventilation and sunlight. 

During the upcoming months, we will be publishing short articles on the history of architecture and how it evolved to set the fundamentals of architecture we know today. This week, we are exploring the architectural characteristics of ancient India and Southeast Asia.

The Pandemic Offers an Opportunity to Re-Wild Our Communities

As the pandemic has worn on, the American public has adopted parks and neighborhood streets as safe spaces. This will not be a short-lived phenomenon –bikes have been repaired, running shoes purchased, and puppies adopted. People are growing accustomed to spending time in the outdoors to exercise, spend time with family, enjoy nature –and take that growing puppy for walks.

Building History: Croatia's Secluded Homes Rethinking Tradition

© Bosnić+Dorotić
© Bosnić+Dorotić

Croatia has long been a crossroads of culture. Located along the Adriatic Sea, it borders five countries and has some of the richest biodiversity in Europe. The built environment reflects influences from Central Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as both the Roman and Byzantine Empires. Today, a series of new housing projects are reinterpreting the country's past as architects and designers look to reimagine what the future holds.

© Jure Živković© Ivan Dorotić© Jan Stojkovic© Jure Živković+ 12

Expressing Interior Design Trends Through Furniture

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Architecture sets the scene and provides the framework, but interior design and furniture can have a strong influence on the vibe and mood of a space. As trends in interior design evolve over time, it’s often expressed in the furniture chosen to fill the room. Interior furniture speaks volumes about our priorities and personalities, as well as the atmosphere we want to convey.

Architectural Film by Laurian Ghinitoiu and Arata Mori Explores OMA's Recently Inaugurated MEETT

In their newly released architectural film, photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu and filmmaker Arata Mori take viewers on a visually compelling tour of OMA’s MEETT Exhibition and Convention Centre, Toulouse’s new mega-scale parc des expositions. Exploring the design’s multiple facets, from the monumental to the mundane, the film constructs a detailed vision of the project sitting at the intersection of architecture, infrastructure, masterplan and public space.

 MEETT Exhibition and Convention Centre by OMA. Image © Marco Cappelletti MEETT Exhibition and Convention Centre by OMA. Image © Philippe Ruault MEETT Exhibition and Convention Centre by OMA. Image © Marco Cappelletti MEETT Exhibition and Convention Centre by OMA. Image © Marco Cappelletti+ 5

You've Got (Snail) Mail: Transforming the Untapped Potential of the United States Postal Service

The United States Postal Service (USPS), which plays a critical role in the logistics of mail and parcel delivery across the United States, has become a recent topic of debate over the last several months. As the pandemic rages on and continues into one of the most critical presidential elections in American history, there has been much speculation and controversy about the continued need and intended uses of the USPS, and how it can change and thrive under ever-evolving societal conditions. This has left many to wonder if maybe its time to understand what the USPS is intended for, and how it can continue to adapt and evolve to stay relevant into the future.

Archigram and the Dystopia of Small-Scale Living Spaces

"High Density". Image © Jorge TaboadaUn Cuarto Más / ANTNA. Image © Jaime NavarroUna pequeña casa australiana / CABN. Image Cortesía de CABN© Deutsches Architekturmuseum+ 8

Until recently, the origins of the tiny-house movement were of little interest to the scientific community; however, if we take a look at the history of architecture and its connection to the evolution of human lifestyles, we can detect pieces and patterns that paint a clearer picture of the foundations of this movement that has exploded in the last decade as people leave behind the excesses of old and opt for a much more minimalist and flexible way of life.  

Urban Design in a Time of Anti-Space

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

In the mid-1990s, when I was an editor at Progressive Architecture, jurors for the magazine’s awards program gave an Urban Design Award to Peterson Littenberg Architects for a plan the small New York firm had devised for then-stagnant Lower Manhattan.

At the time, the southern tip of Manhattan ranked as the third-largest downtown business district in the United States. The tightly packed 1 square mile contained a bevy of venerable buildings, among them the New York Stock Exchange, the former headquarters of J.P. Morgan, and the fortress-like, neo-Renaissance Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Though the vast majority of Americans regarded the district as a powerful financial hub, people close to the scene saw it as a place with grim prospects. More than a quarter of its commercial space stood vacant. Companies were leaving Lower Manhattan for Midtown and more distant locales. Many of the office buildings were regarded as obsolete.

EGGER Launches First Collection Designed for North America

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The first EGGER Decorative Collection designed specifically for the North American market launched the first of October, offering a full range of matching decorative surface options. Architects, designers, fabricators and distributors exploring this inaugural collection will discover the power of more: more possibilities, more inspiration, more services and more accessibility, thanks to the new collection app.

Pikler Pedagogy in Architecture: Wooden Furniture and Spatial Freedom

Emmi Pikler was a Hungarian pediatrician who introduced, in the years after World War II, a new philosophy on early childhood care and learning for children up to the age of 3. It was after the birth of her first child that she began to question: what happens when a child is allowed to develop freely? The observed results culminated in the introduction of a new methodology.

The Pikler approach facilitates the free development of children by caring for their physical health and providing affection but largely respecting their individuality and autonomy. Following this logic, intervention by adults becomes mostly unnecessary. Rather, for the child to experience space while moving freely, certain care must be taken in the preparation of the environments themselves.

Alfredo Jaar: Sadness as an Uninhabitable Space

This article is based on a lecture given by Chilean artist and architect Alfredo Jaar at the 20th Architecture and Urbanism Biennale in Valparaiso, Chile, on October 26, 2017.

It's June of 1980. Alfredo Jaar, a recent dropout of the University of Chile's architecture program, walks through the center of Santiago carrying two large signs. He grabs a spot in the shade next to a kiosk and intercepts passers-by to ask them his questions. In the midst of a military dictatorship, Jaar wants the people to vote, but not for the constitutional plebiscite or in the democratic elections. He doesn't even have paper or pencil for them to vote with. There's no line to mark on. His campaign centers on a mint--white and round--like a casino raffle ball.

Jaar's questions are loaded ones. "Are you happy?" (¿Es usted feliz?) he asks. "How many people in Chile do you think are happy?" "How many people in the world?"

The Beauty of Exposed Wooden Trusses

© Koichi Torimura© Shigeo Ogawa© Matthijs van Roon© Shigeo Ogawa+ 28

Timber trusses are wooden structural frameworks used to support roofs or other heavy structures. Fabricated from a series of triangles linked by a ridge beam and purlins, wooden trusses are structurally advantageous due to their high strength-to-weight ratios and corresponding ability to support long spans. However, these structural components can also be used for aesthetic ends, and when left exposed, can complexify, beautify, and open an interior space.

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