There is nothing more rational than taking advantage of natural lighting as a guarantee to improve the spatial quality of buildings, as well as saving energy. The awareness of the finitude of natural resources and the demands for reducing energy consumption has increasingly diminished the prominence of artificial lighting systems, forcing architects to seek more efficient design solutions. With this goal in mind, different operations have been adopted to capture natural light.
These systems can also guarantee excellent spatial properties if projected correctly. Below we have gathered five essential systems for zenithal lighting.
Spiral staircases save valuable square meters because they occupy a much smaller area than a conventional staircase. With daring shapes and diverse configurations, they can also be iconic objects in projects. However, the design of these staircases requires careful attention so that you can prevent an uncomfortable or dangerous outcome. Although BIM software simplifies this process, it's always important to understand the restrictions and the underlying concepts.
This week we present a selection of 17 excellent images of interior courtyards. These spaces bring many advantages to a design such as increased natural light and improved ventilation conditions, while providing occupants with direct access to the outside and to nature. Below is a selection of images from prominent photographers such as Quang Dam, Fran Parente, and Pablo Blanco.
Arguably the leading name of a generation of internationally high-profile British architects, Norman Foster (born 1 June 1935)—or to give him his full title Norman Robert Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank of Reddish, OM, HonFREng—gained recognition as early as the 1970s as a key architect in the high-tech movement, which continues to have a profound impact on architecture as we know it today.
Italian-born architect Lina Bo Bardi is one of the most important figures of Brazilian design. Her ability to blend architecture, politics and popular culture made her an icon throughout the country and world, while her relentlessness to break from traditionalisms made Brazil the ideal location for her work.
Bo Bardi's architecture incorporates both materiality and culture. In addition to the concrete and solidified elements, she designed pieces based on cultural factors and intense political discussions. She wished to break the barriers between intellectuals and everyday people.
Via Binário do Porto, 299 - Santo Cristo, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, Brazil
Norman Foster, David Nelson, Spencer de Grey, David Summerfield, Juan Frigerio, Pedro Haberbosch, Filomena Russo, Rui Alves, Anthony Cestra, Chris Farmer, Daniel Gaertner, Domingos Garcia, Jai Krishnan, Courtney Hunt, Consuelo Manna, Sebastian Mendez, Alonso De Garay Montero, Elke Pedal, Jorge Pereira, Maro Riga, David Santamaria, Nathan St. John, Anthony Stahl, Jose Vargas-Hidalgo, Francisco Waltersdorfer
Born on the 5th of May 1944 in what was at the time the French Protectorate of Morocco, French architect Christian de Portzamparc had doubts about continuing with architecture while studying in the 1960s, questioning modernist ideals and the discipline's lack of freedom compared to art. Instead, he spent a decade attempting to understand the role of architecture, before returning triumphantly with a new model of iterative urban design that emphasized open neighborhoods based around landmark "poles of attraction" and a varied series of high-profile commissions that combine a sense of purpose and place.
R. 24 de Maio, 109 - República, São Paulo - SP, 01041-001, Brazil
Paulo Mendes da Rocha, Fernando Mello Franco, Marta Moreira, Milton Braga
Adriano Bergemann, Ana Carina Costa, Ana Carolina Mamede, Cecília Góes, Eduardo Ferroni, Giovanni Meirelles, Gleuson Pinheiro, Guilherme Pianca, Jacques Rordorf, Lucas Vieira, Márcia Terazaki, Maria João Figueiredo, Marina Acayaba, Marina Sabino, Martin Benavidez, Vito Macchione, João Yamamoto, Rafael Monteiro, Rodrigo Brancher, Thiago Rolemberg
The challenge of designing a house with a tight budget and space constraints, together with the essential duty of responding correctly to the requirements of the user, is sometimes one of the most challenging and motivating tasks an architect can face. How can you take advantage of space most effectively? How can you avoid wasted material? How do you anticipate the possible future expansion of the house? And how do you develop a simple design that also delivers value to its inhabitants?
To help you in this process, we scoured our projects archives to select 30 houses that provide interesting architectural solutions despite measuring less than 100 square meters.
It's fundamental that architects know about structures, not only to bring their designs to reality but also to be able to discuss their projects with engineers in order to find the best solutions for construction. Structural pre-dimensioning is crucial to the initial design of the structural components, revealing the restrictions and the possibilities of the spaces.
One of the main loads that a structure must support is its own weight, so it's essential to know this information so that the different parts of the building can be dimensioned. When starting a structural project, the engineer doesn't yet know the dimensions of the different pieces that make up the structure, and therefore, can't know their own weight. A paradox appears without a solution: to know the weight it's necessary to know the dimensions, but, to know the dimensions, it's necessary to know the weight.
During the development of the project the architect finds himself in the curious situation of having to design without necessarily knowing the size of each of the parts of the building (such as the size of the pillars, for example). These important elements directly affect functionality and aesthetics of the project.
https://www.archdaily.com/891880/learn-to-pre-dimension-a-reinforced-concrete-structureJoão Carlos Souza
For some practitioners of architecture, the insatiable desire to draw everything, from the largest to the smallest to take full control of the project, echoes the famous phrase uttered by Mies Van Der Rohe: "God is in the details." Similarly, designing furniture provides another creative outlet for in-depth exploration of human-scale works of architecture.
Throughout the history of the Brazilian Architecture, and especially since the modernist movement, architects not only became known for their building designs, but also for their detailed chairs and tables. Several of these pieces of furniture were initially designed for a specific project and then went into mass production due to their popularity.
Concrete blocks are a prefabricated material mainly used to build walls. Like bricks, the blocks are stacked together and joined with a mortar, usually consisting of cement, sand, and water. The blocks are hollow inside to allow for steel bars and mortar filling.
These blocks come in a variety of dimensions and textures, from traditional smooth surfaces to fluted or rough finishes, as well as special units for corners or for beams with longitudinal reinforcements. The dimensions of these blocks range from the classic 8x8x16 inches (approx 19x19x39 cm) which is meant for structural use, to a size of 8x3.5x39 inches (approx 19x9x39 cm) for partitioning walls. How can we incorporate them creatively into our designs?
Nothing is more rational than using the wind, a natural, free, renewable and healthy resource, to improve the thermal comfort of our projects. The awareness of the finiteness of the resources and the demand for the reduction in the energy consumption has removed air-conditioning systems as the protagonist of any project. Architects and engineers are turning to this more passive system to improve thermal comfort. It is evident that there are extreme climates in which there is no escape, or else the use of artificial systems, but in a large part of the terrestrial surface it is possible to provide a pleasant flow of air through the environments by means of passive systems, especially if the actions are considered during the project stage.
This is a highly complex theme, but we have approached some of the concepts exemplifying them with built projects. A series of ventilation systems can help in the projects: natural cross ventilation, natural induced ventilation, chimney effect and evaporative cooling, which combined with the correct use of constructive elements allows improvement in thermal comfort and decrease in energy consumption.