Over the last few years, we have explored different ways of taking advantage of small spaces in residential architecture. From efficient furniture to kitchens with transformable systems to adapting essential household appliances, architects have begun looking for effective ways of optimizing scarce floor space or making spaces more flexible in multifunctional and mixed-use typologies.
The bed, as an indispensable element, is an essential consideration in these experiments. Its functions can be fulfilled without completely losing the valuable space it occupies, and the bedroom experience can be enriched with careful thought. How can we reinvent and take advantage of the opportunities of the traditional bed?
Whether blending in or standing out, embodying transparency or solidity, expressing coarseness or softness, a façade is the medium through which we engage with architecture. It tells a story and can often set the tone for the rest of the interior. But apart from defining a purely visual experience, a building’s envelope must also be practical, durable and have the ability to properly manage natural lighting and ventilation needs. After all, by being the point of contact with the outside, it is responsible for mitigating sounds and providing protection from climatic conditions, such as wind, rain, heat and humidity. Therefore, when designing a facade, it is important to consider a balance between performance and a beautiful aesthetic. Of course, many materials successfully meet these criteria. But when it comes to creating a comforting, light-filled ambiance while ensuring resistance, ease of installation and versatility, the properties of translucent polycarbonate panels seem to be unparalleled.
Architecture may have its roots in sheltering humans from the elements, but that is not to say that architecture is for humans alone. Around the world, there are numerous examples of buildings and shelters designed by architects for other species. Some of these can be whimsical, such as the Dogchitecture exhibit by 10 Mexican architecture firms back in 2013, or the series of BowWow Haus kennels designed by over 80 architects back in 2017, including Zaha Hadid Architects. But others are designed for a more direct impact.
When talking about energy efficiency in buildings, it is inevitable to mention thermal insulation. We rarely see it in a finished building and, even in the technical drawings, the insulating layer appears as a thin hatch. But this is an element that is of vital importance, as it acts as a barrier to the flow of heat, hindering the exchange of energy between the interior and the exterior, reducing the amount of heat that escapes in winter and the thermal energy that enters in the summer. In a building with good thermal insulation, there is less need for heating to keep the house at a pleasant temperature, also reducing its carbon footprint. Currently, there are many countries that require a minimum level of thermal insulation for buildings, with increasingly strict parameters. But how should this issue be dealt with in the near future, with the worrying climate crisis forecast?