In the Genesis flood narrative, Noah built an ark after a call from God, who decided to flood and destroy all life on Earth due to the misbehavior of humanity. Only Noah's family and a couple representatives of each species of animals could enter the huge vessel and save themselves. In the bible, the ark is described in the exact measurements of 300 cubits in length by 50 cubits in width by 30 cubits in height. This was a unit used at the time based on the length of the forearm, measured from the tip of the middle finger to the elbow. A Dutchman who has devoted himself to building a replica of Noah's Ark, without success in finding a correspondingly accurate value in the metric system, used his own body measurements as a module. Modulation in architecture means adapting the project to a defined measurement based usually on a specific dimension or material. Whether it is a meter, a brick, a tile, or a container, it serves to guide the design process and make it more efficient and sustainable.
Ossip van Duivenbode
Cooking shows have never been more popular around the world than they are now. Whether from recipes, reality shows, or documentaries, writer Michael Pollan points out that it is not uncommon to spend more time watching than preparing our own food. This is a very curious phenomenon, as we can only imagine the tastes and smells on the other side of the screen, which the presenters often like to remind us. At the same time, when we watch something about the Middle Ages, polluted rivers, or nuclear disasters, we are relieved that there is no technology to transmit smells across the screen. In fact, when dealing with odors (more specifically the bad ones), we know how unpleasant it is to be in a space that doesn't smell good. When dealing with buildings, what are the main sources of bad smells and how can this affect our health and well-being?
In all cities around the world, there are some forms of residual space, forgotten pieces of the urban fabric, remnants of overlapping layers of past development. This land whose conditions make it unsuitable for most types of conventional construction might be a fertile ground for architectural invention. Assigning a new value to vacant corner lots, dead-end alleys and strangely shaped plots opens up a new field of opportunities for inward urban development, expanding available living space and increasing amenities in densely populated cities. The following explores the potential for experiment and urban activation held by urban leftover space.
When reflecting on recycling, sustainability, measures to take, and innovative technological solutions, one cannot help but think that there are also familiar approaches that should be taken into consideration. In fact, when examining the impact of the built environment on the climate, one notes that in many countries, 80% of the buildings that will exist in 2050 have already been built. The most effective form of sustainability may, therefore, be saving energy by eliminating or minimizing new constructions, and by avoiding the demolition of existing structures.
That is what adaptive reuse stands for: instilling a new purpose on an existing “leftover building.” Nowadays, the refashioning process is becoming essential because of numerous issues related to the climate emergency, plot and construction costs, a saturation of land, and a change in living trends.
India is rethinking the future of housing through new typologies. Defined by historical and cultural influences, the country's contemporary architecture centers on discussions of how best to modernize. Built over millennia, India's housing projects are made to address diverse scales, programs and functions. Exploring a revitalized urban landscape, these modern housing projects have begun to set a new tone for the future.
With the extensive list of acclaimed alumni of his firm, OMA, it is not a stretch to call Rem Koolhaas (born 17 November 1944) the godfather of contemporary architecture. Equal parts theorist and designer, over his 40-year career Koolhaas has revolutionized the way architects look at program and interaction of space, and today continues to design buildings that push the capabilities of architecture to new places.