When we think of concrete, the color gray generally comes to mind. The traditional mixture of concrete, which comprises cement, gravel, sand, and water may vary in color depending on elements and admixtures but naturally varies from light to dark gray. However, compounds that add pigment to the mixture are becoming increasingly prevalent and popular, as they infuse the concrete with hues more stable than paint. These shades result from the addition of oxides: yellow, red and their derivations (eg. brown) are obtained with the addition of iron oxide; chromium and cobalt oxide create the greens and blues, respectively. For black concrete, it is common to use black iron oxide and carbon oxide combined with pozzolanic cement.
Architect and Urbanist graduated from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC). Master in Urban Planning, History and Architecture Program, also at UFSC, with research related to the theme of mobility and urban sprawl. Interested in projects of urban requalification, non-motorized transport and public spaces, among many other subjects. Has been collaborating in ArchDaily Brasil since 2012 and is currently Editor of Architecture Classics and Articles.
A sturdy featherweight table? Sounds... contrary to reason. But this contradiction was the very impetus for the design. Created for a research center that’s pushing the boundaries of design and manufacturing using technology and science, the designers--AIRLab, in collaboration with DManD-- sought to dematerialise the typical structure of a table, creating a sense of instability with the visual counterpoint of a solid surface.
When the work finally comes to an end, the cleaning is done and preparations for the opening are underway, everything looks perfect. Coatings are all in their proper place, shining and with the intended color; wood surfaces are as yet unmarked and there is even a feeling of freshness and new life. Photographs mean that, for many, this vision of perfection is all that will ever be seen.
But this perfection can be superficial. Failing to consider the damaging power of time during design and specification stages means can hasten the appearance of inevitable imperfections. Small fissures, stains, and scuffs among many other problems (that we have all dealt with at some point) begin to appear. The beautiful wood frame, so lovingly chosen, starts to look greyish. The paint fades where the sun hits the strongest. Boards begin to warp and fall from the facade.
The slightly trembling linework, the distinctive crossed corners, the parallel hatching, and the uppercase letters: it is undeniable that architects have developed a style of drawing over time. And though free-hand perspectives are no longer the only (or even primary) form of representation for architectural projects, they still have enormous importance during the design process. They are a design tool rather than a form of representation.
A line that is too thick, an ill-chosen color, a disproportionate scale figure – these are all elements that can draw attention away from the things we actually want to show. Even for an unpretentious and quick sketch, some rules are very important. Some tips help turn an ordinary sketch into something you take pride in and want to show to others. Taking advantage of the huge collection of youtube videos, we have selected some content creators who dedicate themselves to sharing their expertise with the masses.
The idea of turning cold, raw materials into elegant shapes has always fascinated artists, architects, and designers. In the Carrara marble sculptures of Lorenzo Berdini and Michelangelo, human forms were carved from heavy blocks of stones with great detail and precision. There is no difference in architecture: from taking a light volume off the floor, to leaving a small indentation between a structure and a fence, to altering the lining of a block, there are several devices to make buildings visually lighter.
Zinc is a natural element extracted from ores. Its symbol, which appears in the dreaded Periodic Table, is Zn. Through a metallurgical process of burning its impurities (reducing zinc oxide and refining), it assumes a much more friendly appearance, and later becomes the sheets, coils, and rollers used in construction. The main characteristic of this material is its malleability, which allows it to be worked easily, allowing to cover complex forms in facades and roofs of buildings.
Online courses have gained more and more recognition in the past couple of years. In addition to the flexibility and convenience of learning wherever and whenever you want, they provide access to content from well-respected professors and colleges. In the field of architecture and construction, online courses have grown exponentially. Last year, we compiled a list that focused mainly on constructive and material techniques. This time we selected 15 online courses covering a range of subjects. We hope this selection of courses can help you with your next project.
Alvaro Siza orchestrates, like no other, the experience of the visitor in his works. By means of compressions and decompression, openings and closings, volumes, voids and light, the Portuguese architect marks the paths, points of view, and perspective of the passage of time. In this photo essay, Ronaldo Azambuja photographed the Iberê Camargo Foundation ten years after its inauguration.
We all have that childhood memory of drawing a little house with a door and a window, a gabled roof, and a tree. But what sets architects apart from the rest of the population is that we continue to draw this after childhood, usually with a bit more technique. And just as our residential designs were becoming more complex and complete, the design of our trees needed to improve a bit as well (that broccoli-like shape would not please customers and teachers alike.) Although generally, trees are not the main focus of drawings, they play an important role in the composition of sketches, mainly to represent the scale, intended shading, or some intention of landscaping.
Sometimes a door can be a huge headache in a project. Think of a continuous, clean facade... having a door in the middle of it can ruin the clarity of the design. But a door need not be the traditional wood-paneled, brass-knobbed portal most of us are used to, much less an eyesore.
But what if they could disappear from sight entirely? We’ve all dreamed of hidden passages and secret rooms tucked away in our homes. But for these to work, the entry must be disguised or hidden itself.
An installation at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden is made entirely of translucent concrete panels. Composed of concrete and bubble wrap, the site blends both high and low technology processes. This high-tech lecture hall is an amorphous space with unique acoustic qualities.
The panels were created by compressing High-Performance Concrete between two layers of Bubble-Wrap. With 262,500 cavities and 1,000,000 membrane-perforations, the material creates a diffused echo-free ambiance.
Widely used in infrastructure, gabion walls are structures made of mesh metal cages filled with stones. These permeable walls use galvanized steel wire to withstand outdoor conditions.
This phrase caught my eye during Diébédo Francis Kéré's speech at the AAICO (Architecture and Art International Congress), which took place in Porto, Portugal from September 3 to 8. After being introduced by none other than Eduardo Souto de Moura, Kéré began his speech with the simplicity and humility that guides his work. His best-known works were built in remote places, where materials are scarce and the workforce is of the residents themselves, using local resources and techniques.
AAICO (Architecture and Art International Congress at Oporto) is an initiative by AMAG, in partnership with Casa de Arquitectura, FAUP - Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto, SERRALVES Foundation, and the institutional support of Ordem dos Arquitectos.
As I left the streets of Zurich after attending a conference about the quality of life in urban environments, I came across a living example of the lecture I had just attended. I turned the corner and felt that I was inside an architectural rendering: the trees were pruned and green, there were no hanging electrical wires, cyclists drove elegantly along bike lanes, the tram moved quietly and punctually while bathers enjoyed their summer in rivers and lakes. To my surprise, I walked under an overpass and realized that even urban cities could be skilled and safe. After my stroll, I stopped for a cup of coffee and knew that the person that attended me received a fair salary and did not have to work three jobs to pay the bills (of course the coffee did not come cheap). However, these small, almost mundane observations for some, do provide a well-being and quality of life that may be difficult to measure.
Spiral staircases save valuable square meters because they occupy a much smaller area than a conventional staircase. With daring shapes and diverse configurations, they can also be iconic objects in projects. However, the design of these staircases requires careful attention so that you can prevent an uncomfortable or dangerous outcome. Although BIM software simplifies this process, it's always important to understand the restrictions and the underlying concepts.
Kengo Kuma and Associates, in collaboration with OODA, have won a competition for the redevelopment of an old industrial slaughterhouse in Porto. The competition was launched in 2017 to transform the building, now abandoned for 20 years, into an anchor for social interaction, while maintaining the memory of the early 20th-century building.
The scheme seeks to reconnect the previously important structure with the city center, through interventions such as a bridge linking the site with a nearby metro station. Meanwhile, a vernacular roof stretching across the entire site unites old and new, under which sits a museum, library, performance space, art archive, and creative laboratory.
A few weeks ago we published an article on a recent sustainability crisis that often goes unnoticed. The construction industry has been consuming an exorbitant amount of sand, and it's gradually depleting. When used for manufacturing concrete, glass, and other materials, it is a matter that should concern us. Construction is one of the largest producers of solid waste in the world. For instance, Brazil represents about 50% to 70% of the total solid waste produced. But how can we change this situation if most of the materials we use are not renewable, and therefore, finite?
Popularized in Europe and gradually gaining attention in the rest of the world, Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) stands out for its strength, appearance, versatility, and sustainability.