Drawing plays a pivotal role in architectural design as it is the primary means for transforming ideas into tangible spaces. Within wooden architecture, numerous techniques exist for creating joints, and connections, and seamlessly incorporating the material into other structural components. Beyond merely conveying precise details, drawing can also produce instructional guides for construction, simplifying comprehension for the workforce and facilitating project execution. This is why we've curated a collection of diverse projects that exemplify various approaches to depicting the use of wood and its myriad possibilities.
Constructive Details: The Latest Architecture and News
As human beings we cannot live without stories, we need them to fill those gaps in our reality, to live in our imagination those thousands of lives that are different from ours and, in some cases, impossible.
Could we qualify as "good architecture" that which has a story, or several stories, to tell us? That which is a story in itself? Such a subjective question undoubtedly generates different answers, but one possible answer is "yes". And one example is the Brion Tomb project, one of Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa's major masterpieces.
Nearly to be completed and opened in 2023, MAD Architects reveals the construction details that made it possible for the Aranya "Cloud Center" to appear floating above the rolling landscape surrounding it. Located in Qinhuangdao, 160 miles away from the east of Beijing, China, the 2,500-square meters Center will be a public art space for the vibrant artistic seaside community that, from the outside, will mark the center of a sculptural landscape that MAD had conceptualized as a "white stone garden."
"The Art of Pattern is the Legacy of our Grandparents": Koen Mulder on the Brick Bond as a Composition Tool
"Welcome to this strange book. With all the drawings, it might appear like a manual, but it isn't. The book is as much about joints as it is about pieces. Above all, it seeks the order that is inherent in things". These words are part of the introduction to Koen Mulder's book, "The lively surface: Masonry associations as a pattern art and tool of composition". Available in German, the 160-page manual, rigorously illustrated, presents a universe of possible pattern variations that can be created when you start designing.
We interviewed Koen to find out what inspired him to talk about this topic and to understand how he managed to gather all this information, while also figuring out the impact that this type of study can have on architecture students and architects.
Kengo Kuma's architecture can be defined by its respect to Japanese constructive traditions and alignment with its context. Internationally recognized, the architect is known mainly for his wooden (or mixed) structures, which arise from a simple pattern of assembly and, which through different intersections and angles, generate a complex whole. The representations created by his team bring very specific details, ranging from didactic isometrics to complex parametric drawings. We have gathered details of five inspiring projects by Kengo Kuma that use wood.
The use of steel in both the past and present is mainly associated with the success of grand industrial and civic structures. But due to the commercialization and standardization of steel profiles, its use in residential projects (thanks to its mechanical properties and fast installation) has resulted in complex and interesting solutions on a domestic scale.
Dive into these 15 construction details from residential projects that have made use of steel structures and cladding.
A facade must meet steep requirements as both the first skin that protects a building, its interiors, and its materials, and as the first thing a person sees. In addition to weather resistance and durability, its appearance is extremely vital for any architectural project. Prefabricated facade panels provide a clean, precise, and sophisticated finish to buildings and sport high versatility through different patterns and shapes.
In a study recently published by AIA, less than 13% of architectural firms have incorporated building performance as part of their practice. With buildings contributing 40% of total carbon emissions leading to climate change, just 25 projects are roughly equivalent to planting 1 million trees each year. In addition to that, teams that are able to showcase data-driven and performance-driven decision-making and feature an energy analysis in every pursuit are able to increase fees and generate more revenue. Although integrating building performance sounds like a no-brainer, it proves to be difficult at many firms, because in addition to the practical changes, it requires a culture shift. That culture shift can only happen if the tools are easy to use, accurate, and mesh well with current workflows. Right now is the perfect time to tackle these culture changes due to a few reasons:
Picture this. You're in a restaurant and you can hear the conversation of the person in the table next to you better than the person you're sitting with. Then, everyone begins to speak louder, making the environment chaotic. Absorption, reflection, reverberation, frequency, decibels, etc. Although acoustics is a complex science that can render buildings almost uninhabitable when not properly thought out, architects do not always possess the theoretical resources nor have the necessary concern to develop acoustically comfortable spaces.
“Are you looking at the latest revision?”
This is just one of the many questions we architects frequently ask, and get asked. But how much easier it would be if there was a foolproof way to manage revisions and know that everyone else is on top of it too.
Traditionally, bricks have been used in architecture to fulfill a double function: structural and aesthetic. While they act as an effective and resistant modular solution in building structures, their faces can be exposed to constitute their architectural appearance, generating facades rich in texture and color, thanks to the iron present in the clay they are composed of.
At present, there are products that allow the attractive appearance of bricks to be merged with other structural systems, separating their functions and providing the necessary freedom of design so that the facades can adapt creatively in favor of the conditions of each project and the requirements of its users.
Today in the United States, buildings account for nearly 40% of carbon emissions (EESI) and 78% of electricity usage. The most sustainability-focused firms run energy simulations for less than 50% of their projects (10% for a typical firm) and only doing so late in the process when design changes are limited and insufficient to combat red flags found in the performance report (AIA 2030 report). We can make building performance widespread once we help the entire community discuss the subject in terms of investment and return. Especially during a project pursuit, since having the buy in from the whole team helps ensure the key project metrics are met. Owners are seeking out teams who are using actual metrics and data driven processes that affect their bottom line. This new approach to practice is what makes the younger teams’ standout and will benefit both the climate and the bottom-line. Here are 5 ways to talk about building performance in your project pursuits: