With the rise of small houses and dense cities, we were forced to sacrifice a good amount of storage space. Ironically, we did not compromise our purchasing habits, so with a few square meters to work with, architects and designers had to come up with efficient storage solutions, and make the best of the limited space they have. However, if you were lucky enough to be occupying a large, unobscured space with a generous budget, your storage design possibilities are endless. In this article, we look at how architects and designers found creative ways to store their belongings in spaces with different functions, scales, and spatial constraints, ranging between completely invisible units to sculptural centerpieces.
Many architectural projects have been giving special attention to cabinetry and built-in furniture. These custom-made wood pieces are designed for specific purposes and can be used to organize the space, which can be living rooms, bedrooms, studies, kitchens, and bathrooms. Besides functionality, these elements also introduce different materials, textures, and colors into the environments. This article will explore some examples of how colorful cabinets and furniture can make architectural projects more vibrant.
Anyone who lives in a big city may have dreamed of moving elsewhere and living isolated, in a house among the trees or on a deserted beach. During the pandemic and the endless months of quarantine, many more may have had this same idea. As romantic and seductive as this may seem, however, living deep in nature comes with some important practical challenges. Rarely would anyone give up the little comforts they are used to, like turning on a faucet or charging their cell phone. If the location is, in fact, remote, it may not have electricity, drinking water, gas, sewage, or solid waste collection. But there remain several possibilities for a life with comfort and without neighbors. What are the main solutions to enable this and how can an architectural project provide an off-the-grid life?
Light is a key feature in architecture. Centuries ago, the sun and fire were the only sources of illumination, but in today's technology-driven world, artificial lighting and cutting-edge optical technologies have found ways to mimic the qualities of natural light, making it possible to have a naturally-lit-looking space within four walls. LED technologies have even made it possible to embed lighting in furniture, interior surfaces, and facades, altering with their intensities and hues to make light a main feature in the architecture's storytelling.
If used effectively, lighting can become a lot more than just an illuminator; it becomes a mood setter, a symbol to a specific emotion the architect is trying to convey. For instance, indirect lighting becomes a floater, levitating the walls from the ground and making the space seem lighter in weight, whereas orange light manipulates the space's temperature, creating the illusion that the users are walking into an intense, overheated room.
One of Paulo Mendes da Rocha's main design gestures in the Pinacoteca renovation project was to create a new longitudinal axis for circulation, moving its entrance to the south face of the building. Metallic walkways, which cross internal courtyards covered by skylights, enable new dynamics of circulation between the rooms, transforming a neoclassical building into a museum with a contemporary program.
The ability to completely renovate a space by demolishing parts, making additions, altering functionality, and improving ambience is one of the most admired functions of the architect. In housing, this significance is even more apparent, since adapting housing to contemporary demands, through a well-thought-out plan, can drastically improve the quality of life of the occupants.
In early 2020, along with the implementation of worldwide social isolation measures, we published several articles in order to help our readers increase productivity and comfort in their home offices. After months of continued isolation, surveys show that more than 80% of professionals want to continue working from home even after quarantine ends. In addition, a good number of companies are similarly satisfied with current work practices, showing a high tendency to adopt this practice indefinitely, since the majority of companies observed that remote work was as or more productive than face-to-face work.
However, with respect to children and home studying during the pandemic, the result was not as positive. One of the main reasons for this difference is that it can be difficult to get students to concentrate and motivate themselves for a long time in front of screens. Lack of physical interaction with other children is also a contributing factor. Yet until the global situation improves, it is likely that the return to schools will continue to be postponed. With this situation in mind, we decided to share in this article a series of efficient strategies to transform study spaces at home into better spaces for learning.