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Montse Zamorano


Cyclopean Concrete and Its Many Diverse Uses and Applications in Architecture

Historically, "cyclopean" referred to a building technique that superimposed large stone blocks together without any mortar. This allowed for a diverse array of structures across various civilizations, including defensive walls, talayots, navetas, nuraghes, temples, tombs, and forts. Nowadays, the term applies to any ancient structure consisting of large stones superimposed to form a polygonal shape.

Renovation of the Operations Court in CENTROCENTRO / Héctor Fernández Elorza

© Montse  Zamorano© Montse  Zamorano© Montse  Zamorano© Montse  Zamorano+ 30

  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  2200
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2019
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: AutoDesk, Andreu World, Daisalux, Legrand, Simón, +12

Construction and Design Trends of 2021: The Recurring, The Popular, The Relevant and The Substantial

As we look back at the architecture projects we have published in 2020, as part of our yearly review, we were able to distinguish many recurring elements and solutions in terms of materials, programs, and functions.

Since the architecture industry moves slightly slower than others, we found that many things in the construction and design that have been building up these past years have come out making strong statements this 2020. We believe, therefore, that trends in the architecture world could be defined not only by what has been recurrent and popular but also, what has proven to be relevant and substantial.

Frenches Interior / Sibling Architecture. Image © Christine FrancisVilla in Ibiza / Reutov Design. Image Courtesy of Reutov Dmitry, Gerner EkaterinaSky House / MIA Design Studio. Image © Trieu ChienMountain View House / CAN. Image © Jim Stephenson+ 49

Incorporating Fire in External Projects: Tips and Examples for Fireplaces

Whidbey Island Farm Retreat / mwworks. Image © Kevin ScottFireplace for Children / Haugen/Zohar Arkitekter. Image © Jason Havneraas & Grethe FredriksenCarraig Ridge Fireplace / Young Projects. Image © Bent René SynnevågVC House / Dumay Arquitectos. Image © Ignacio Infante Cobo+ 17

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.

Mirrors in Architecture: Possibilities of Reflected Space

Mirror Garden / ARCHSTUDIO. Image © Ning Wang
Mirror Garden / ARCHSTUDIO. Image © Ning Wang

KAP-House / ONG&ONG Pte Ltd. Image © Derek SwalwellSi estas paredes hablasen / Serrano + Baquero Arquitectos. Image © Fernando AldaPH José Mármol / Estudio Yama. Image © Javier Agustin RojasThe Mirror Window / Kosaku Matsumoto. Image © Nobutada Omote+ 39

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.

House Studio Camp O / Maria Milans Studio

© Montse Zamorano© Montse Zamorano© Montse Zamorano© Montse Zamorano+ 23

Claryville, United States
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  205
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: AutoDesk, Viroc, Advanced Radiant Design, Bieber Windows

Icoma Headquarters / Estudio.Entresitio

© Montse Zamorano© Montse Zamorano© Montse Zamorano© Montse Zamorano+ 23

Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

What is ETFE and Why Has it Become Architecture's Favorite Polymer?

Until recently, the architecture world largely viewed plastic polymers as inferior building materials, handy for wipe-clean kitchen surfaces, but not practical in full-scale building applications. But with technological innovations driving material capabilities forward, polymers are now being taken seriously as a legitimate part of the architect’s pallet. One of the most widely-used of these materials is a fluorine-based plastic known as ETFE (Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene). Brought into the public consciousness thanks to its use on the facade of PTW Architects' Water Cube for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, architects are now realizing the film’s capabilities to express a new aesthetic and replace costlier transparent and translucent materials. Its most recent and spectacular public appearance was on the 120-foot telescopic shell of The Shed, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rockwell Group in New York City.

© flickr user manusascorner, Licensed under CC BY 2.0SSE Hydro Arena / Foster + Partners. Image Courtesy of FiguerasAnaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center / HOK. Image © John LindenWatercube National Swimming Centre / PTW Architects. Image © flickr user garrettziegler, Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0+ 9

As virtudes e limites da fotografia na representação da arquitetura - cinco fotógrafos discutem

Enquanto meio de representação da arquitetura, a fotografia apresenta qualidades indiscutíveis. Com ela, é possível apresentar a um público distante obras erguidas em qualquer lugar do mundo, de vistas gerais a espaços internos e pormenores construtivos - ampliando o alcance e, de certo modo, o acesso à arquitetura.

Entretanto, como qualquer outra forma de representação, não é infalível. Na medida que avanços tecnológicos permitem fazer imagens cada vez mais bem definidas e softwares de edição oferecem ferramentas para retocar e, por vezes, alterar aspectos substanciais do espaço construído, a fotografia, por sua própria natureza, carece de meios para transmitir aspectos sensoriais e táteis da arquitetura. Não é possível - ao menos não satisfatoriamente - experienciar as texturas, sons, temperatura e cheiros dos espaços através de imagens estáticas. 

Faculdade de Biologia Celular e Genética / Héctor Fernández Elorza. Madri, Espanha. Image © Montse ZamoranoSesc Pompeia / Lina Bo Bardi. São Paulo, Brasil.. Image © Manuel SáThe Sales Center in Wenzhou TOD New Town / NAN Architects. Wenzhou, China. Image © FangFang TianTate Modern Switch House / Herzog & de Meuron. Londres, Reino Unido. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu+ 15

A House between a Museum and a Kitchen / Jesús Aparicio Guisado

© Montse Zamorano© Montse Zamorano© Montse Zamorano© Montse Zamorano+ 18

Hunan Slurp / New Practice Studio

© Montse Zamorano© Montse Zamorano© Montse Zamorano© Montse Zamorano+ 10

  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  280
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2018
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Boca Flasher, Tala

IBENERGI Center / taller abierto

© Jorge López Sacristán© Montse Zamorano© Montse Zamorano© Jorge López Sacristán+ 21

  • Architects: taller abierto
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  603
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Alu-Stock, Celenit, Forbo Flooring Systems, Alugom, Celenit-Maydisa, +6

12 Women in Architecture Photography (Part 2)

Is there an aspect, a recurring mark, that reveals a difference in the way that male and female architecture photographers see the world? This is, perhaps, one of those rhetorical questions often used as an argument to shed light on works produced by women and for which there is no precise answer.

Without claiming to offer an answer to this question—and in order to follow up on our first article that showcased a selection of women in architecture photography—we present here a new compilation of professionals who deserve attention for the quality of their photographic work. See our list below:

IMPLUVIUM / RAW/deAbajoGarcia

© Montse ZamoranoCourtesy of RAW/deAbajoGarcia© Montse Zamorano© Montse Zamorano+ 27

  • Architects: RAW/deAbajoGarcia
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  1500
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: SieroLam, TVITEC, Teznocub, VMZINC, Yofra

6 Timeless Details Using Stone

Stone is elemental to our built world. It is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) materials used in man-made habitats. The sense of timelessness in stone is attributed to its long and varied history alongside architecture. From ancient monoliths to cities to houses, the diversity of stone means that it can be used to convey a variety of expressions. Carved, polished, sedimented, stacked, preserved - the list can go on and on. The feeling stone conveys in contemporary projects usually brings with it a sense of place – a raw materiality when paired with timber or other natural materials. With that in mind, check out these 6 details of projects that stand out for their use of stone:

Guide to Getting Your Work Published

As editors on the Projects Team at ArchDaily, we wanted to reflect on the projects published in 2016—and, based on those submissions, to consider what we hope to see from the submissions we will publish in 2017.

During 2016, the projects we published had a high level of visual impact. Axonometric views were part of the vast majority of our publications, democratizing understanding by creating easily accessible views which closely resemble reality. Secondly, the development of immersive video technology has allowed us to publish full 360-degree tours through the interiors of works of different sizes, generating images which are increasingly representative of the physical reality of the work in question.

Ermita del Santo Sepulcro Rehabilitation / Héctor Fernández Elorza + Manuel Fernández Ramírez

© Héctor Fernández Elorza© Montse Zamorano© Montse Zamorano© Montse Zamorano+ 37

Jarandilla de la Vera, Spain

Conversion of a Sake Warehouse / Jorge Almazán + Keio University Almazán Lab

© Montse Zamorano© Montse Zamorano© Montse Zamorano© Montse Zamorano+ 25