As architecture has evolved to include advanced building envelopes, innovative structural systems, and hybrid programs, new boundaries have been drawn. Sustainable practices and passive strategies have led architects to re-imagine building skins and the relationship between interior and exterior. While different typologies are designed with varied levels of permeability, libraries demand rigorous attention to performative facades and protected programs. This holds especially true when libraries are placed within radically changing landscapes.
Shortly before the First World War, Harry Brearley (1871-1948), who had been working as a metalworker since he was 12 years old, developed the first stainless steel. Seeking to solve the problem of wear on the inner walls of British army weapons, he ended up obtaining a corrosion resistant metal alloy, and added chrome to the cast iron. The invention found applications in almost all industrial sectors including for the production of cutlery, health equipment, kitchens, automotive parts, and more, replacing traditional materials such as carbon steel, copper, and even aluminum. In civil construction, this was no different, and stainless steel was soon incorporated into buildings.
For architects, schools are often complex structures to design. They must provide a variety of spaces for education, and also consider sports and recreational activities. But beyond its size or surface, the greatest challenge is to design an area that fosters a positive pedagogical environment for children. Below, a selection of +70 school projects with their drawings to inspire your proposals for learning campuses.
The Catalan Vault in Spanish Architecture: 15 Projects that Are Breathing New Life into An Old Technique
In some cases, a roof can become the shining centerpiece in a work of architecture. Catalan vault, also known as Valencian timbrel vault, became a fixture in Spanish architecture in the 19th century, popularized thanks to its low cost and ease of sourcing and assembly. With the ability to span over 30m per module, this technique is currently making a comeback, establishing itself as a go-to construction method in industrial architecture and can be seen in everything including workshops, factories, and warehouses.
Humans have used mirrors since as early as 600 BCE, employing highly polished obsidian as a basic reflective surface. Over time, people began to use small pieces of gold, silver, and aluminum in a similar manner, both for their reflective properties and for decoration. By the 1st century CE, people had started using glass to make mirrors, but it was only during the European Renaissance that Venetian manufacturers began making mirrors by applying metallic backings to glass sheets, remaining the most common general method of mirror manufacturing today. Since then, mirrors have continued to play both a decorative and functional role in architecture, serving a clean, modern aesthetic despite its ancient origins. Below, we investigate how mirrors are made, provide a brief history of mirrors in architecture, and offer several tips for architects looking to use mirrors in their designs.