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James Dow

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10 Unconventional Plywood Projects That Show The Bright Future of 20th Century Materials

Courtesy of PRODUCE Workshop
Courtesy of PRODUCE Workshop

Sold in standard 4 foot wide sheets since 1928, plywood has been a staple of conventional construction for nearly a century. Dimensionally strong, easily cut, lightweight and capable of creating an effective barrier, plywood and other engineered panels like OSB, particle board, and MDF is ubiquitous, particularly for their use as sheathing material in balloon and timber frame construction systems. Boats, airplanes and even automobile frames have historically been built out of plywood, predating (or replacing) steel, aluminum, and fiberglass. As a simple material capable of being manipulated and shaped in a wide variety of ways, sheet ply was also favored in furniture and architectural designs by modernists including Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Alvar Aalto, and Marcel Breuer.

Courtesy of Pablo Esteban Zamorano Courtesy of AREA and Electrotexture Lab © Rien van Rijthoven © Rien van Rijthoven + 27

Draw Inspiration From These 21st Century Bathroom Designs

The bathroom is one of the most static and traditional spaces in any residence. However, in recent times, this space has gained an identity that relates directly to the interior and exterior design of the house. As architects, we strive to create a warm, dynamic and attractive space for users.

Today, bathrooms that include new technologies, clean projects, integrating new materials with an emphatic use of color are highlighted. Next, we compiled a selection of 34 toilets that reflect this trend. 

Wong Dai Sin Temple / Shim-Sutcliffe Architects

© James Dow © James Dow © James Dow © James Dow + 15

Markham, Canada

Art or Architecture? 13 Projects That Blur The Boundary

Whether architecture is a form of art or not has often been a controversial topic of conversation within the architecture world. If one goes by the general definition of the word "art," architecture could potentially fit within the umbrella term: "the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power." As anyone involved in the architectural discipline probably knows, there is an abundance of varying definitions of the word "architecture," so whether its primary purpose is to achieve beauty or to organize space is evidently up for discussion.

Ask Jay A. Pritzker, founder of the Pritzker Prize, and he may say that "architecture is intended to transcend the simple need for shelter and security by becoming an expression of artistry." Ask The Guardian's Jonathan Jones and he may tell you that "architecture is the art we all encounter most often, most intimately, yet precisely because it is functional and necessary to life, it's hard to be clear about where the 'art' in a building begins." But this ambiguity is part of what makes the field of architecture challenging and exciting. To celebrate this complicated aspect of architecture, below we have collected a list of just some of the works that could be seen as art, architecture or both, depending on who’s looking, to provide some context to those blurry boundaries.

© James Dow © Florian Holzherr Courtesy of Studio Olafur Eliasson © Anders Sune Berg + 14

ARTlab / Patkau Architects + LM Architectural Group

© Patkau Architects © Patkau Architects © Patkau Architects © Patkau Architects + 22

Winnipeg, Canada

Tula House / Patkau Architects

© James Dow © James Dow © James Dow © James Dow + 61

Strathcona, Canada
  • Architects: Patkau Architects
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 4350.0 ft²
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2012

Material Inspiration: 10 Projects Inspired by Wood

To celebrate the launch of ArchDaily Materials, our new product catalog, we've rounded up 10 awesome projects from around the world that were inspired by one material: wood. Check out the projects after the break...

Beaty Biodiversity Center and Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory / Patkau Architects

© James Dow © James Dow © James Dow © James Dow + 26

Beaty Biodiversity Centre - Aquatic Ecosystems Research Labor​atory / Patkau Architects

© James Dow © James Dow © James Dow © James Dow + 23

Linear House / Patkau Architects

© James Dow © James Dow © James Dow © James Dow + 17

Salt Spring Island, Canada
  • Architects: Patkau Architects
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2009

Winnipeg Skating Shelters / Patkau Architects

© James Dow © James Dow © James Dow © James Dow + 6

Winnipeg, Canada
  • Architects: Patkau Architects
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2011

Grand Library of Québec / Patkau Architects + Menkès Shooner Dagenais Le Tourneux Architectes + Croft Pelletier

© Bernard Fougeres © James Dow © James Dow © James Dow + 34

Montreal, Canada
  • Architects: Patkau Architects in collaboration with Croft Pelletier and Menkès Shooner Dagenais architectes associés ; Landscape architects: Scheme Consultants
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 350.0 ft²
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2005

Winnipeg Library Addition / Patkau Architects + LM Architectural Group

© James Dow © James Dow © James Dow © James Dow + 24

Winnipeg, Canada
  • Architects: Patkau Architects and LM Architectural Group
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 115000.0
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2005

Gleneagles Community Center / Patkau Architects

Gleneagles Community Center / Patkau Architects Gleneagles Community Center / Patkau Architects Gleneagles Community Center / Patkau Architects Gleneagles Community Center / Patkau Architects + 19

West Vancouver, Canada
  • Architects: Patkau Architects