In a time where space grows more and more limited and people increasingly spend time at home, flexibility presents itself as an underutilized strategy of interior design. With flexible furniture, residents can optimize square footage and easily reshape configurations according to specific requirements and shifting needs. Below, we discuss the benefits and variations of furniture on wheels, closing with 7 example projects illustrating their creative and practical application.
Yuval Noah Harari points out that, around 300 thousand years ago, Homo erectus, Neanderthals, and ancestors of Homo sapiens already used fire daily. According to the author of the international bestseller “Sapiens,” fire created the first significant gap between man and other animals. "By domesticating fire, humans gained control of an obedient and potentially limitless force." Some scholars even believe that there is a direct relationship between the advent of the habit of cooking food (possibly due to the domestication of fire) and the shortening of the intestinal tract and growth of the human brain, which allowed human beings to develop and create everything we now have.
In residential architecture, there have always been central, indispensable spaces and peripheral spaces more easy to ignore. When designing a home, the task of the architect is essentially to configure, connect, and integrate different functions in the most efficient way possible, necessarily prioritizing some spaces over others. And although today many are designing in ways that are increasingly fluid and indeterminate, we could say that the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen are the fundamental nucleus of every house, facilitating rest, food preparation, and personal hygiene. Then meeting spaces and other service areas appear, and with them lobbies, corridors, and stairs to connect them. Each space guides new functions, allowing its inhabitants to perform them in an easier and more comfortable way.
However, fewer square meters in the bathroom could mean more space for the living room. Or, eliminating some seemingly expendable spaces could give more room for more important needs. In an overpopulated world with increasingly dense cities, what functions have we been discarding to give more space to the essentials? Here, we analyze the case of the laundry room, which is often reduced and integrated into other areas of the house to give space for other functions.
One of the most important design considerations that residential architects have the responsibility to address is accessibility, ensuring that people with disabilities can comfortably live at home without impediments blocking basic home functionality. Accessibility for wheelchair users is a particularly important architectural concern due to unalterable spatial, material, and other requirements necessitated by wheelchair design and use. Because guaranteeing the comfort of all users, including disabled users, is one of the most essential obligations of all architects, designing for wheelchair users must be done with utmost the attention and care, especially in residential environments. Below, we delineate several strategies for designing floors for wheelchair circulation, helping architects achieve this goal of maximum comfort and accessibility.
Recycled and reused materials continue to grow as a more attractive alternative in the construction field. They are at most times a coveted sustainable substitute to conventional building materials, offering a financially resourceful solution when appropriately sourced and implemented. Aside from saving up on raw material costs, establishing recycling facilities or factories might present a good opportunity to generate jobs within a local setting (collecting, handling). The recycling process might also be used as a gateway to lower energy consumption, with some plants eventually generating their own power through specific material transformation techniques (Heat generated power).
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.
The construction industry is responsible for 75% of the consumption of earth's natural resources. Stone, sand, iron, and many other finite resources are extracted in huge quantities to supply the markets. Additionally, construction sites themselves generate enormous quantities of waste, whether through construction, demolition, or remodeling. In Brazil, for example, construction waste can represent between 50% and 70% of the total mass of municipal solid waste . This waste often ends up in landfills and dumps rather than being properly disposed of, overwhelming municipal sanitation systems and creating informal disposal sites.
The use of steel in both the past and present is mainly associated with the success of grand industrial and civic structures. But due to the commercialization and standardization of steel profiles, its use in residential projects (thanks to its mechanical properties and fast installation) has resulted in complex and interesting solutions on a domestic scale.
Dive into these 15 construction details from residential projects that have made use of steel structures and cladding.
Because it doesn't include a bathtub, or require doors, screens, or curtains, the walk-in shower often makes bathrooms appear larger, cleaner, and more minimalist.
However, some precautions must be taken when designing them. Most importantly, the shower cannot be left completely open, even if it appears to be at first glance. Most designs incorporate a tempered glass that prevents water from "bouncing" out of the shower space, subtly closing the area. When this transparent division doesn't have a frame, the appearance of fungi due to accumulation of water and moisture becomes less likely.