Iran’s architecture has long been rooted in Persian culture. From tea houses and pavilions to domestic huts and elaborate mosques, the country’s built environment is tied to these influences, as well as the landscape and its broader context. At the heart of Iran’s more recent projects is a desire to reinterpret history through new spaces and forms.
Bricks: The Latest Architecture and News
Sometimes known as the “Island of the Gods,” Jeju Island in South Korea is characterized by its volcanic rock, stunning waterfalls, and warm, tropical climate. Here, life is integrated with nature and the architecture is in harmony with the landscape. Dissolving Arch, a weather-specific installation by stpmj, responds to the island’s tropical environment. The structure began life as a solid brick vault, which then slowly dissolved in the hot and rainy periods of Jeju to produce a light, porous skeleton made of the remaining mortar which connects people with nature.
Some years ago, researchers in the United States previously tested the concept of using synthetic urine-based substances to fabricate building materials. However, new research conducted by Masters student Suzanne Lambert at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, puts forth a zero-waste process of producing urine-based bricks by using collected human urine for the first time.
MVRDV has released details of their proposed renovation of a 19th-century listed building on Slodowa Island in Wroclaw, Poland. The “Concordia Hub” will see the retention of the existing façade, with the addition of a contemporary rear extension to “create a focal point” for the general public and visitors.
The site’s former use as a German artillery base in 1945 means almost all of the island’s structures were destroyed in the closing months of World War II. The Concordia Hub scheme seeks to preserve one of the only surviving heritage structures on the island, while transitioning the building into the modern age.
Developed by researchers and students from the Faculty of Architecture at HKU and supported by Sino Group, the 'Ceramic Constellation Pavilion' is built on a wooden structure that supports a series of "walls" formed by about 2,000 clay bricks. Each of these individual components is unique and has been manufactured using robotic technology and 3D printing, allowing to generate different types of transparency and opacity in their different faces.
The strength of Dutch Design Week (DDW), held annually at the end of October, lies primarily in product design. Although the event has expanded over the past five years to incorporate more fashion, graphics and architecture, small-scale industrial design has retained its preeminence. Many of the designers on show in this year's edition, however, have embraced the challenges of other design disciplines and allowed them to feed into their work. But where does product design meet architecture? Building materials and, most notably at the 2016 event, some really nice bricks. Rotterdam-based architect Alison Killing guides us through her top installations.
From the Bird’s Nest to the CCTV headquarters, for the past 100 days Chinese performance artist "Nut Brother" has been wandering the streets of Beijing collecting smog with an industrial vacuum so that he can eventually turn it into bricks. He has now began to form his bricks by mixing a combination of the collected "dust and smog" with clay. As he told Quartz, the project is meant to be a symbol. Read the whole story here.
India has one of the fastest growing populations in the world and to accommodate it, a better building material is needed. Currently over 200 billion of the country’s traditional clay fired bricks are manufactured every year, resulting in numerous pollution and environmental problems. To address these issues, a team from MIT –- composed of students Michael Laracy and Thomas Poinot, along with professors Elsa Olivetti, Hamlin Jennings and John Ochsendorf -- has developed Eco-BLAC bricks: an alternative to traditional bricks that reuses industrial waste and is low-cost and low energy.