Architects are known for returning from travel with more photos of buildings than people and for having an esoteric vocabulary of their own. Of course, these are clichés that are not always true. But something that unites most designers is the tendency to pay attention to each detail that makes up a project, be it the material that covers the facade, the junction between different floors, how the doors open, the type of window frame, how the forms were put together for concreting, and more. But a detail that often goes unnoticed – and that makes a huge difference in interior design – is baseboards.
After a year delay due to the worldwide pandemic, October 1st saw the inauguration of one of the most anticipated events of the year; the Expo 2020 in Dubai. The event, which is being held for the first time in the Middle East, focuses on architecture, culture, and innovation, with over 191 national participants. The pavilions on display are divided into three districts: Mobility, Sustainability, and Opportunity, each showcasing how their country has contributed and will contribute to its respective theme. In addition to the national pavilions, each district has its own thematic pavilion: the Sustainability Pavilion “Terra” by Grimshaw, the Mobility Pavilion “Alif” by Foster + Partners, and the Opportunity Pavilion “Mission Possible” by AGi Architects.
Read on to discover 6 must-see national pavilions of each district that explored their designated theme in a unique and captivating way.
The Netherlands Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai proposes a circular climate system that harvests water, energy, manufactures rain and produces food, creating a temporary biotope that embodies the fusion between art, architecture and technology. Designed by V8 Architects, with a visitor experience curated by Kossmanndejong, the pavilion creates a multi-sensory narrative around natural phenomena. Industrial materials like metal sheets, steel tubes, ducts and pipes blend unexpectedly with vegetation and textile fabrics to create a spatial journey culminating in a centrepiece that provides a tranquil stop amidst the bustle of the Expo.
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.
Some restaurants don’t need a review to get attention. You might know them for their longevity, their presence, or even just their advertisements. But most importantly, whether it’s their grand luminous logo, or the building’s prominent architecture and color palette, these franchises are more or less the same (the menu, the music, the interior design…), wherever you are, be it London, Lima, or Lahore.
Recently, however, a few of these places have begun to shift away from the “architectural stamp” that they use in all their branches, hiring design firms to rebrand their restaurants - and by extension, their image. This bespoke approach can result in outposts that are atypically site-specific, understated, and individual. For users, it may be a point of curiosity; a reason to revisit what you think you already know. For the brand, it's an attempt to cater to evolving tastes (culinary and otherwise) without having to alter the core product.