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Building Materials: The Latest Architecture and News

Applying Material Innovation: Does Architecture Have What It Takes?

There is a slide I like to show at the beginning of the architecture courses I teach that provides an overview of the last hundred years or so in design and technology. In the left column, a car from the beginning of the 20th Century (a Ford Model T) is poised over a contemporary car (a Tesla). The middle column contains a similar juxtaposition, showing a WWI-era biplane and a modern-day stealth fighter (an F-117A). In the right column, Walter Gropius’s 1926 Bauhaus Dessau building is seen next to an up-to-date urban mixed-use building. The punch line, of course, is that the two buildings—separated by roughly 100 years—look basically the same, whereas the cars and planes separated by the same timespan seem worlds apart. What is the reason for this?

Two Billion New Homes to be Created in the Next 80 Years

It is an inevitable truth that the world population is growing exponentially. Higher numbers can only lead to a higher demand for resources, food, and housing. By the year 2100, the 7.6 billion people currently living on earth will reach, according to the UN, a whopping 11.2 billion.

This increase can only mean that the need to accommodate these people will become an urgent priority, innovating and shifting from the household system that is present nowadays. Soon enough this will be a global pressing issue.

Material Artistry Meets Modern Forms with SO-IL

As a firm which has already won major awards, worked on culturally significant projects on a large scale, and generally achieved substantial success and recognition in just over 10 years, SO-IL seem to straddle a line between being an “emerging” and an “established” practice. Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu founded SO-IL (Solid Objectives-Idenburg Liu) in 2008 and have since gained a reputation for modern, clean-lined designs, but often with a unique material twist.

MINI LIVING - Breathe, SO-IL. Image Courtesy of SO-ILKukje Gallery. Image © Iwan BaanJan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, SO-IL. Image © Iwan BaanThe 30-foot-tall glass tubes in the CTF facade. Image Courtesy of SO-IL+ 5