Concrete is not purely a structural element. As we demonstrated in an article about kitchen projects using concrete countertops, the material is gaining significant traction in the world of residential furnishings and fixtures. To further exemplify this, we have curated a list of several projects that use concrete benches to create beautiful moments inside and outside the home.
Walking down the streets of cities like Hanoi and Saigon in Vietnam, you might encounter houses with surprisingly narrow facades in contrast to the stacking of three to five floors, with windows for ventilation and natural light only on the front facade. These are the famous traditional Tube Houses. According to ancient popular culture, this type of housing emerged due to property taxes being based on the width of the facade, but the true reason is to optimize land use, allowing a larger number of plots in the same square.
However, this legacy is now being recreated in contemporary designs by Vietnamese architects. Old facades give way to innovative solutions featuring atriums for natural lighting and ventilation, courtyards and interior gardens, greenery incorporated into different environments, split-levels, etc., allowing for high-quality spaces. With that in mind, we have put together a selection of Tube Houses, together with their respective section drawings. Check out below:
Every architect has certainly already had the experience of designing a house throughout his or her career (or at least in university). Yet, developing a residential project with limited space, either due to physical restrictions of the land or a small budget, can be an interesting challenge while attempting to optimize the space, satisfy the architectural brief and provide maximum comfort to the future residents. With this in mind, we have gathered 21 Brazilian houses under 100 square meters along with their floor plans. Check out below:
When it comes to attics, we often imagine underused spaces in homes and buildings, such as warehouses or rooms that are exclusively used to shelter infrastructure systems. However, reflecting on the reuse of traditional attics in 19th-century Parisian buildings as housing, which is happening nowadays, one realizes that these spaces can be reinvented and, with a little creativity, they can provide impressive living spaces.
Architecture is often associated with the idea of sheltering, ever since primitive constructions. However, memorials are among the few types of architecture that are not primarily intended to shelter, but to remember. A space that respectfully aims to keep alive the memory of those who have fallen in heroic acts or have been unfortunate victims of cruel historical events, which can, therefore, be perceived as a monument or a building with the purpose of materializing intangible emotions, creating collective memories that can be remembered through time.
Commonly used as storage support for products in supermarket stocks and fairs, pallets are versatile. After their primary function has been discarded, the reuse of pallets for other purposes is increasingly common, collaborating to the reduction of the amount of waste discarded, especially as raw material for the creation of furniture and decks. However, going beyond the commonly highlighted DIY furniture tutorials on youtube, these structures are gaining ground as the main element in the construction of ephemeral architecture, such as small pavilions and urban installations. In fact, these small pieces can be stacked and united together in different ways and patterns.
In an era of great marketing efforts, in which architectural ideas increasingly seem to focus on hyper-realistic representation in an attempt to convince clients (or the jury in the case of architectural competitions) that the upcoming construction will achieve just as much quality as the visual fantasy, renderings become highly important in a project's presentation.
Because of this, every year there are new updates, as well as the launching of new software specialized in renderings, tools capable of achieving such impressive results that may lead to images being mistaken for photographs, thus blending the unreal with the notion of ultra-reality.
Architects have long explored the concept of integrating interior and exterior, smoothing out the physical and visual boundaries in an attempt to bring the landscape into the architecture. However, when visiting the site to develop the project, two distinct scenarios may appear: an urban terrain, lacking a view, or natural elements; or a green area with trees and bushes, for example. In the latter case, many projects rely on the on-site location of each tree to accommodate the architectural design, respecting them, and creating new views, through patios and connecting them with the new landscape design. However, based on studies of the species and their size, it is increasingly common for these trees to be incorporated into the interior space, either partially or completely enclosed.
OSB (Oriented Strand Board) can be easily recognized for its distinctive appearance. This material consists of cross-oriented layers of wood strands compressed and bonded together with resin, applied under high pressure and temperature. As a result, the standardized panels have great stiffness, strength, and stability, and are often used as wall cladding attached to the steel frame of a building or as partitions. Also, they have good soundproofing capabilities, since the panels are uniform and have no internal gaps or voids. It is also worth mentioning that OSB can be fully recycled, thereby being considered eco-friendly.
As the number of smaller and more compact apartments grows, architects and interior designers are challenged to create multifunctional solutions and systems capable of optimizing spaces, in a way that every inch seems to make a difference. As a result, it is increasingly common for professionals to focus on designing creative furniture solutions that allow the space to transform completely in a few seconds.
ArchDaily has already published numerous articles on how to design for compact spaces, from closets and shelves to plan solutions for small apartments. We have now put together a collection of interesting projects in which the beds seem to camouflage themselves among the furniture and architectural elements, thanks to smart systems which, by using hinges and sliding tracks, allow them to be concealed in a matter of seconds, saving space and allowing versatility.
Nothing is more rational than using the wind, a natural, free, renewable and healthy resource, to improve the thermal comfort of our projects. The awareness of the finiteness of the resources and the demand for the reduction in the energy consumption has removed air-conditioning systems as the protagonist of any project. Architects and engineers are turning to this more passive system to improve thermal comfort. It is evident that there are extreme climates in which there is no escape, or else the use of artificial systems, but in a large part of the terrestrial surface it is possible to provide a pleasant flow of air through the environments by means of passive systems, especially if the actions are considered during the project stage.
This is a highly complex theme, but we have approached some of the concepts exemplifying them with built projects. A series of ventilation systems can help in the projects: natural cross ventilation, natural induced ventilation, chimney effect and evaporative cooling, which combined with the correct use of constructive elements allows improvement in thermal comfort and decrease in energy consumption.
When designing residential spaces, be it a new construction or a renovation, the kitchen is a space that tends to be one of the most complex. Not only does it need to serve a very specific function, but it also needs several pieces of furniture, household appliances, and the ability to adapt to electrical and plumbing considerations. Kitchens often also serve as an hub for social interactions and family gatherings, so it is critical that the space can provide a degree of flexibility.