The distribution of natural light, improved ventilation, and the propensity to connect living spaces with the outdoors while maintaining the privacy of the inhabitants have made courtyards a go-to in architectural design around the world over the centuries.
Courtyards are characterized as outdoor or semi-outdoor spaces that are enclosed within the walls of a house or building.
When designing a space, architects across the board tout the importance, and even necessity, of incorporating natural light into interiors. This means taking measures to control the quantity of light being let in and its distribution throughout the space.
In the case of residential spaces, where privacy plays a larger role than in public spaces like offices, restaurants, and stores, opaque materials like screens, tinted glass, and other barriers are the go-tos for providing protection and privacy from the outside; however, the privacy that these methods provide often comes at the cost of the space's natural lighting, forcing designers to seek alternative materials that allow for both light and privacy.
In architecture, split-level houses are typically in response to a plot's uneven or sloping topography. In the case of the houses featured here, their split level interiors are a matter of function, allowing spaces to be virtually separated by dividing them between raised and semi-subterranean floor layouts. For example, adjoining two spaces with a 50cm step up or drop off allows for separation without the use of walls or other physical barriers.
Thanks to its aesthetic qualities and malleability, concrete is the darling of the world's builders and architects. In Argentina in particular, concrete's durability and adaptability to a range of climatic conditions makes it one of the most sought after construction materials, demonstrated by, not only the country's countless museums, hotels, hospitals, but by its residential and smaller-scale buildings as well.
In the Genesis flood narrative, Noah built an ark after a call from God, who decided to flood and destroy all life on Earth due to the misbehavior of humanity. Only Noah's family and a couple representatives of each species of animals could enter the huge vessel and save themselves. In the bible, the ark is described in the exact measurements of 300 cubits in length by 50 cubits in width by 30 cubits in height. This was a unit used at the time based on the length of the forearm, measured from the tip of the middle finger to the elbow. A Dutchman who has devoted himself to building a replica of Noah's Ark, without success in finding a correspondingly accurate value in the metric system, used his own body measurements as a module. Modulation in architecture means adapting the project to a defined measurement based usually on a specific dimension or material. Whether it is a meter, a brick, a tile, or a container, it serves to guide the design process and make it more efficient and sustainable.
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?
The incorporation of the human figure is one of the most effective tools used in architectural photography: it helps the viewer decipher the scale of work and assess its amplitude. While it successfully communicates a rough idea of the measurements of the elements in the picture, it also helps architecture become more relatable and accessible. People engage better with the built environment when it is populated, mainly because the human sense of society and community is the cornerstone of our civilization. With this in mind, we are showcasing a selection of our favorite photographs where the human figure takes center stage, enhancing our reading of architecture.
While Buenos Aires' architecture is known for its heterogenous and constantly-changing nature, within the city's low density residential sectors, it's possible to detect forms and patterns that have remained constant under the city's many transformations. One of these is the HP, or Horizontal Property, a legal concept that allows for multiple constructions on one lot, resulting in a handful of low-rise structures congregated together in a high-density layout.
At the 2014 Venice Biennale, celebrated architect and curator Rem Koolhaas chose an unusual curatorial theme. Rather than exploring the major issues that plague modern society or their manifestations in the profession of architecture, the event's theme, "Fundamentals," and its main exhibition, "Elements of Architecture," examined in detail the bare fundamentals of buildings, simple elements used by everyday architects for everyday designs. According to Koolhaas, “Architecture is a profession trained to put things together, not to dismantle them. Only by looking at the elements of architecture under a microscope can we recognize cultural preferences, technological advances, changes triggered by the intensification of global exchange, climatic adaptations, local norms and, somewhere in the mix, the architect's ideas that constitute the practice of architecture today.”