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Curtains as Room Dividers: Towards a Fluid and Adaptable Architecture

Over the past few decades, interior spaces have become increasingly open and versatile. From the thick walls and multiple subdivisions of Palladian villas, for example, to today's free-standing and multi-functional plans, architecture attempts to combat obsolescence by providing consistently efficient environments for everyday life, considering both present and future use. And while Palladio's old villas can still accommodate a wide variety of functions and lifestyles, re-adapting their use without changing an inch of their original design, today, flexibility seems to be the recipe for extending the useful life of buildings as far as possible.

How, then, can we design spaces neutral and flexible enough to adapt to the evolving human being, while still accomplishing the needs that each person requires today? An ancient element could help redefine the way we conceive and inhabit space: curtains.

Emperor Qianmen Hotel / asap. Image © Jonathan Leijonhufvud Ready-made Apartment / azab. Image © Luis Diaz Diaz PURE / Sílvia Rocio + Mariana Póvoa + esse studio. Image © Francisco Nogueira JL Madeira Office / Metro Arquitetos Associados. Image © Ilana Bessler + 48

What to Expect from Interiors of the Future

In 2018, the UN released an article stating that 55% of the world’s population already lived in urban areas, predicting that by 2050 this percentage would reach 68%. This trend toward greater urbanization carries with it several implications regarding environmental degradation and social inequality. According to National Geographic, urban growth increases air pollution, endangers animal populations, promotes the loss of urban tree cover, and heightens the likelihood of environmental catastrophes such as flash flooding. These health hazards and catastrophic phenomena may be more likely to impact poorer populations, as larger cities tend to demonstrate higher rates of economic inequality and uncontrolled growth tends to produce unequal distributions of space, services, and opportunities.

To mitigate these negative effects of urbanization, designers are increasingly prioritizing sustainability and the maximization of available space – allowing more people to occupy less space with a smaller footprint.

Courtesy of Seura Batipin Flat / studioWOK. Image © Federico Villa Casa da Escrita / João Mendes Ribeiro. Image © do mal o menos Studio 45 / Marston Architects. Image © Katherine Lu + 13

Apartment in Largo do Carmo / Aurora Arquitectos

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  • Architects: Aurora Arquitectos
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  3229 ft²
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2019

40 Impressive Details Using Concrete

Due to its ability to mold and create different shapes, concrete is one of architecture's most popular materials. While one of its most common uses is as a humble foundation, its plasticity means that it is also used in almost all types of construction, from housing to museums, presenting a variety of details of work that deserves special attention.

Check out this collection of 40 projects that highlight the use of concrete. Impressive! 

Tuzzare Apartment / Machado Igreja Arquitectos

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Apartment in Restelo / Atelier 106

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  • Architects: Atelier 106
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  1076 ft²
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2018

Patio Apartment / RAS·A

© do mal o menos © do mal o menos © do mal o menos © do mal o menos + 42

Vila do Conde, Portugal
  • Architects: RAS·A
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2018

Apartment in Rua do Arco to São Mamede / Atelier 106

© do mal o menos © do mal o menos © do mal o menos © do mal o menos + 23

IF House / M2.senos

© do mal o menos © do mal o menos © do mal o menos © do mal o menos + 83

Ílhavo, Portugal
  • Architects: M2.senos
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  325
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017

Apartment in Lapa / Filipe Fonseca Costa

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  • Architects: Filipe Fonseca Costa
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  240
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2018

Building of the Old Ceramic Society of Coimbra / Luisa Bebiano Arquitectura + Atelier do Corvo

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Coimbra, Portugal

Two Houses in Calçada Dos Mestres / Organica, Arquitectura

© Do Mal o Menos © Do Mal o Menos © Do Mal o Menos © Do Mal o Menos + 42

Lisboa, Portugal
  • Architects: Organica, Arquitectura
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  600
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2018

OLX Offices / Pedra Silva Arquitectos

© do mal o menos © do mal o menos © do mal o menos © do mal o menos + 69

3 Apartamentos Pombalinos / Aurora Arquitectos

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Lisbon, Portugal
  • Architects: Aurora Arquitectos
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  315
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2018

Apartment In Benfica / Atelier 106

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Lisbon, Portugal
  • Architects: Atelier 106
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  80
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017

Headquarters and Logistic Centre of the Plural Pharmacy Cooperative / ORANGE arquitectura

© do mal o menos © do mal o menos © do mal o menos © do mal o menos + 61

  • Architects: ORANGE arquitectura
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  11288
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017

Hostel in Parede / Aurora Arquitectos + FURO

© do mal o menos © do mal o menos © do mal o menos © do mal o menos + 75

Parede, Portugal
  • Architects: Aurora Arquitectos, FURO
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  560
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017