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The Best Materials for Architectural Models

05:00 - 22 October, 2018
The Best Materials for Architectural Models, Casa no Pomar / ŠÉPKA ARCHITEKTI
Casa no Pomar / ŠÉPKA ARCHITEKTI

For centuries, physical modeling has been a staple of architectural education and practice. Allowing the designer and client to explore a scheme in plan, elevation, and perspective all at once, the physical model aims to simulate the spatial relationship between volumes and to understand constructive systems. 

Even in an age of ultra-high quality rendering, and virtual reality, physical material models represent a beloved, tried and tested method of conveying ideas both during the design process and at presentation stage. Whether through a rapid, five-minute volumetric test of paper models, or a carefully sculpted timber construction detail, careful choice of material can greatly assist the modeling process, allowing designers to remain abstract, or test physical properties of structural systems.

AD Classics: TWA Flight Center / Eero Saarinen

22:00 - 21 October, 2018
AD Classics: TWA Flight Center / Eero Saarinen, © Cameron Blaylock
© Cameron Blaylock

This article was originally published on June 16, 2016. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.

Built in the early days of airline travel, the TWA Terminal is a concrete symbol of the rapid technological transformations which were fueled by the outset of the Second World War. Eero Saarinen sought to capture the sensation of flight in all aspects of the building, from a fluid and open interior, to the wing-like concrete shell of the roof. At TWA’s behest, Saarinen designed more than a functional terminal; he designed a monument to the airline and to aviation itself.

This AD Classic features a series of exclusive images by Cameron Blaylock, photographed in May 2016. Blaylock used a Contax camera and Zeiss lenses with Rollei black and white film to reflect camera technology of the 1960s.

© Cameron Blaylock © Cameron Blaylock © Cameron Blaylock © Cameron Blaylock + 26

AD Classics: Bergisel Ski Jump / Zaha Hadid Architects

22:00 - 20 October, 2018
AD Classics: Bergisel Ski Jump / Zaha Hadid Architects, ©  Helene Binet
©  Helene Binet

This article was originally published on May 9, 2016. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.

Situated on the peak of Bergisel Mountain above the picturesque alpine city of Innsbruck, Austria, the Bergisel Ski Jump represents the contemporary incarnation of a historic landmark. Designed by Zaha Hadid between 1999 and 2002, the Ski Jump is a study in formal expression: its sweeping lines and minimalist aesthetic create a sense of graceful, high-speed motion, reflecting the dynamic sensation of a ski jump in a monumental structure that stands above the historic center of Innsbruck and the mountain slopes around.

©  Helene Binet Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects ©  Helene Binet + 27

AD Classics: Vitra Fire Station / Zaha Hadid

22:00 - 12 October, 2018
AD Classics: Vitra Fire Station / Zaha Hadid, © Christian Richters
© Christian Richters

This article was originally published on April 21, 2016. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.

Although Zaha Hadid began her remarkable architectural career in the late 1970s, it would not be until the 1990s that her work would lift out her drawings and paintings to be realized in physical form. The Vitra Fire Station, designed for the factory complex of the same name in Weil-am-Rhein, Germany, was the among the first of Hadid’s design projects to be built. The building’s obliquely intersecting concrete planes, which serve to shape and define the street running through the complex, represent the earliest attempt to translate Hadid’s fantastical, powerful conceptual drawings into a functional architectural space.

©  Helene Binet ©  Helene Binet ©  Helene Binet ©  Helene Binet + 24

This Sound-Proof Installation was Built by Compressing Concrete and Bubble Wrap

05:00 - 11 October, 2018
This Sound-Proof Installation was Built by Compressing Concrete and Bubble Wrap, © Per Lundström
© Per Lundström
© Per Lundström
© Per Lundström

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.

Matter Design's "Helix" Stair Takes Concrete to the Next Level

18:00 - 10 June, 2015
 Matter Design's "Helix" Stair Takes Concrete to the Next Level, Courtesy of Matter Design
Courtesy of Matter Design

Exhibited at the BSA Space as part of the Boston Design Biennial in 2013, Matter Design's Helix is a concrete spiral staircase that is full of surprises. Chief among these is its size - the stair was built at half-size to address the practical issues of weight, liability and access - but more important are the details of its assembly. While the steps of most spiral staircases are supported from either the stair's perimeter or a central column, Helix transfers loads directly through the steps below to its base which, rather than resting on the floor as it appears, is in fact suspended from a beam in the ceiling.

Exploded diagram of the casting process. Image Courtesy of Matter Design Diagram of the assembly. Image Courtesy of Matter Design Courtesy of Matter Design Courtesy of Matter Design + 17

Buddy’s House / Sergey Makhno

03:00 - 4 April, 2015
Buddy’s House / Sergey Makhno, © Andrey Avdeenko
© Andrey Avdeenko

© Andrey Avdeenko © Andrey Avdeenko © Andrey Avdeenko © Andrey Avdeenko + 22