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Ella Thorns

As a writer for ArchDaily, I am particularly intrigued by the sensitivity of architecture towards nature and people, as well as discovering the new and evolving technologies and materials that enrich our spatial experience. After only studying architecture for two years so far at the University of Bath, I find myself in the fortunate situation of being surrounded by many inspiring architectural minds and look to further expand both my knowledge and experience of architecture and the built environment.

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EFFEKT's Spiraling Observation Tower Will Take Visitors 45 Meters Above the Treetops

08:00 - 13 October, 2017
Image by EFFEKT
Image by EFFEKT

EFFEKT's 45 meters above the trees spiraling observation tower, which is being built one hour south of Copenhagen, will offer 360-degree panoramic views across the surrounding forest of Gisselfeld Kloster, Haslev. The preserved forest distinguishes itself by its hilly landscape with lakes, wetlands, and creeks.

EFFEKT's spiraling observation tower, which is being built one hour south of Copenhagen

Image by EFFEKT Image by EFFEKT Image by EFFEKT Image by EFFEKT + 16

MAD Architects' Emotional Architecture is Shaping the Future of China's Growing Skyline

16:00 - 8 October, 2017

Architecture has to be organic… we need to create a space for people to connect, to coexist - MAD Architects. 

As the demographic of China’s buildings changes, one architect is fighting the “artificial” straight lines and tower blocks that are plaguing the skyline. In the government’s mass urbanization, skyscrapers are having to be built constantly for all the people that are flocking to the cities.

Ma Yansong, the founder of MAD Architects explains “They often deal with efficiency, the function, the structure. There's no nature. People love to go closer to nature and other people, so we need to create environments that let people have these emotional connections."

8 Emerging Architects Create an Unexpected Playful Contrast for Greenwich's Design District

16:00 - 7 October, 2017
8 Emerging Architects Create an Unexpected Playful Contrast for Greenwich's Design District, Courtesy of Knight Dragon
Courtesy of Knight Dragon

The Greenwich Design District is the next phase in London's largest single regeneration project - a new creative hub providing affordable workspaces and studios. Eight up and coming architecture practices have 'blindly' designed two buildings each, independently from one and other. The result is an amalgamation of 'architectural anarchy' and a 'neighborhood of playful contrasts.'

Urban developers Knight Dragon are coordinating the entire development of Greenwich Peninsula, celebrating the diversity of art, design, technology, music, and food industries that this innovative district will be the home of. The mix of architecture stays true to the ideals of the district, presenting a provocative front of 'unexpected contrasts' brought together by the same natural paving throughout the pedestrianized quarter designed by Schulze+Grassov to encourage communication and interaction between the public.

Moscow’s New Pathless Park by Diller Scofidio + Renfro Artificially Creates Microclimates

16:00 - 30 September, 2017
Moscow’s New Pathless Park by Diller Scofidio + Renfro Artificially Creates Microclimates, © Philippe Ruault
© Philippe Ruault

As part of the series of new urban developments sprawling up in Moscow, Zaryadye Park is the latest to open this month in a bid to improve the city’s green space. Commissioned by Moscow Chief Architect, Sergey Kuznetsov, an international consortium led by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Hargreaves Associates and Citymakers has designed this new public space that encourages integration and celebrates the amplitude of regions across Russia by artificially emulating each of their climates: the steppe, the forest, the wetlands and the tundra.

Arup Develops Affordable 3D-Printing Sand Casts for Complex Steel Structural Elements

08:00 - 29 September, 2017
Arup Develops Affordable 3D-Printing Sand Casts for Complex Steel Structural Elements, © Davidfotografie
© Davidfotografie

Arup's’ research into alternative production techniques and materials has focused on the potential of 3D printing metal in the construction sector. Complex and individually designed steel structural elements can be efficiently produced “resulting in endless possibilities in mass customisation, weight reduction, product integration and more.”

Working with the Anglo-Dutch company 3Dealise, their 3D-printed sand molds are used in the traditional casting process to create sophisticated, unique structural steel nodes as a certified material. Sand printing offers a quick technique that can reuse the materials and allows costs to be kept low.

Open Source Plan for a Modular Urban Gardening Structure Offers a Flexible Design for Locally Grown Food

08:00 - 26 September, 2017
Open Source Plan for a Modular Urban Gardening Structure Offers a Flexible Design for Locally Grown Food, © Daniel Ruiz
© Daniel Ruiz

As a response to the fast-paced city life, GrowMore is an urban gardening modular design with endless configurations to suit even the most unexpected of spaces. Designed by Sine Lindholm and Mads-Ulrik Husum, the modular building kit provides an opportunity for social interaction and locally grown vegetation, reminding people to pause and connect with nature.

© Daniel Ruiz © Daniel Ruiz © Daniel Ruiz © Daniel Ruiz + 13

Constructing the Curriculum: William McDonough's Cradle to Cradle Building to Inspire the Next Generation

14:00 - 24 September, 2017
Constructing the Curriculum: William McDonough's Cradle to Cradle Building to Inspire the Next Generation, Courtesy of William McDonough + Partners
Courtesy of William McDonough + Partners

Tackling the widespread issue of climate change, Universidad EAN (UEAN) in Bogotá, Colombia illustrates the same construction philosophy taught to the students in their new building under the title of ‘Project Legacy.' As the next generation fill the seats of the new auditorium they will be party to the very thinking that went behind the building, solidifying their knowledge as they get to experience it first-hand.

The architects, William McDonough + Partners, are no stranger to the cradle-to-cradle ethos that inspires their sustainable approach. The philosophy models the human industry on the processes within nature to maximise usage of materials for as long as possible – recovering and regenerating products. These perpetual cycles are a long-term solution to the dominant system that uses the cheapest materials in manufacturing.

Courtesy of William McDonough + Partners Courtesy of William McDonough + Partners Courtesy of William McDonough + Partners Courtesy of William McDonough + Partners + 15

WAA's Renovation of Antwerp Tower Will be the Third Tallest in the City

08:00 - 22 September, 2017
WAA's Renovation of Antwerp Tower Will be the Third Tallest in the City, Courtesy of Wiel Arets Architects
Courtesy of Wiel Arets Architects

Extending the tower to 100 meters, Wiel Arets Architects’ (WAA) design for Antwerp Tower will make it the third tallest building in Antwerp and hopes to provide a hub of activity to an already vibrant part of the city. The renovation of the 1970’s block will see the footprint of the upper levels being expanded out to increase living space whilst maintaining the unique diamond floorplan.

The residential tower will contain 6 to 14 apartment units on each floor, each with their own loggia, ranging in area from 40 to 120 square meters and penthouses that will be up to 240 square meters. The system of load bearing walls and columns partially replacing the existing structure will minimise the need for columns within the residential spaces.

C. F. Møller’s Competition Winning design for VIA University College in Denmark

08:00 - 21 September, 2017
C. F. Møller’s Competition Winning design for VIA University College in Denmark, Courtesy of C. F. Møller
Courtesy of C. F. Møller

C. F. Møller’s design to interconnect and root the campus within the city wins VIA University College in Horsens, Denmark. The proposed 30,000 square meters proposal and 5,000 square meters Innovation House was selected amongst three strong projects, according to the adjudicators’ report in a forward-thinking scheme that develops a strong dialogue between the academic and urban spaces.

Courtesy of C. F. Møller Courtesy of C. F. Møller Courtesy of C. F. Møller Courtesy of C. F. Møller + 23

New Renderings Have Been Released for Jean Nouvel's Latest New York Skyscraper

06:00 - 21 September, 2017
New Renderings Have Been Released for Jean Nouvel's Latest New York Skyscraper, Courtesy of VUW Studio
Courtesy of VUW Studio

The latest rendering for Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Jean Nouvel's 53W53 has been released in anticipation for its completion next year as construction reaches the 58th floor out of the proposed 82. Capturing the entire design of the new landmark, the render provides a look to the tapering structure distinguished by its sculptural quality and the three floors of gallery space in the tower’s base adjoining the Museum of Modern Art as part of their expansion.

As 53W53 grows in front of New York’s eyes, the concrete skeleton currently standing forms the basis for the exposed structural system referred to by Nouvel as ‘diagrid’ as the tower’s silhouette is an ode to the iconic buildings that already grace the horizon in New York.

© Giles Ashford © Giles Ashford © Giles Ashford © Giles Ashford + 14

Monumental Minds: Illustrations of Scandinavia’s Design Legacy

14:00 - 16 September, 2017
Monumental Minds: Illustrations of Scandinavia’s Design Legacy, Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland
Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland

Not just meatballs and Vikings; Scandinavia has always been the epicentre of design across the world - just look at the growing impact of Bjarke Ingels and Ikea's future living lab SPACE10. To showcase their significant influence, Expedia has illustrated the works of four famous architects from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden and how they shaped international architectural movements of the 20th and 21st centuries in a collection of posters called Monumental Minds.

EF Headquarters, Massachusetts. Image Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland House of Sweden, Washington. Image Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland St Paul's Church, Estonia. Image Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture, Saudi Arabia. Image Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland + 21

Algae Dome by SPACE10 Could 'Combat Chronic Malnutrition'

06:00 - 12 September, 2017
Algae Dome by SPACE10 Could 'Combat Chronic Malnutrition', © Niklas Adrian Vindelev
© Niklas Adrian Vindelev

SPACE10's latest project displayed last week at Copenhagen's CHART art fair hosts the secret to combating malnutrition, greenhouse gases and ending deforestation - a pretty steep demand for a structure only four meters tall. The hero of this story is a microalgae that runs through the three hundred and twenty meters of tubing entwined around the pavilion.

IKEA's future living lab worked with bioengineer, Keenan Pinto and three architects, Aleksander Wadas, Rafal Wroblewski and Anna Stempniewicz to build a photobioreactor that facilitates the high production of microalgae that can be grown almost anywhere on the planet. During the three days of the fair, 450 liters of algae was grown as visitors got to experience the full extent of the neon green process.

© Niklas Adrian Vindelev © Niklas Adrian Vindelev © Niklas Adrian Vindelev © Niklas Adrian Vindelev + 14