Although all windows have common functions such as allowing the passage of light, providing ventilation, and focusing the different views, these objectives can be enhanced through a series of useful options. Depending on the orientation of the building, climatic conditions, direction of the wind, and architectural point of view, each specific window model can make a difference within a project, improving usability and the spatial and environmental quality of each room.
Below, we present types of windows that can be found in today's homes, specifically in 11 projects previously published on our site.
The dramatic improvement in recent decades in our understanding of sustainable design has shown that designing sustainably doesn't have to be a compromise—it can instead be a benefit. When done correctly, sustainable design results in higher-performing, healthier buildings which contribute to their inhabitants' physical and mental well-being.
The benefits of incorporating vegetation in façades and in roofs, as well as materials and construction systems that take energy use and pollution into account, demonstrate that sustainable design has the potential to create buildings that improve living conditions and respect the natural environment.
Below we have compiled 30 plans, sections and construction details of projects that stand out for their approach to sustainability.
With the right configuration of materials and shapes, small enclosure, such as bathrooms, have unending design potential. Progressively, architects and designers are striving to make washrooms more welcoming and attractive places for its users. Often times we will hear clients ask for their bathroom to be somewhat of a personal spa. This week we have compiled 10 compelling images of bathrooms from all over the world. Bathrooms whose materials, patterns, colors, shapes, and textures begin to tell a story. Below, photographs by Peter Clarke, José Hevia, and Erieta Attali.
Surely every architect has wondered how the fluid but complex forms of the architecture of Zaha Hadid Architects are brought to reality. And it's beautiful to see how an initial conceptual idea –probably drawn as a quick sketch– materializes in precise and detailed planimetric drawings.
We have compiled a series of construction details from 9 projects developed by Zaha Hadid Architects that give insight into her distinct style and approach, showing us that, with a little ingenuity and a lot of expertise, even the most impossible-seeming dreams can be built.
In Le Corbusier's 5 points of architecture, he advocates the inclusion of flat roofs hosting roof gardens, providing valuable outdoor space for the inhabitants of the building in order to replace the ground lost to the construction of the building. But while this acknowledgement of outdoor space was important for people, Le Corbusier's sculptural concrete roof gardens were little consolation to the non-human flora and fauna that were displaced by his works.
Recent improvements in our understanding of ecosystems and the environment, as well as a better scientific understanding of the needs of plants, have changed this dramatically. In the past few decades, green roofs and living roofs have exploded in popularity, and now adorn every kind of building--from small private houses to the gigantic surface of Barclay's Center in Brooklyn.
We've collected together some excellent examples of these living roofs, including the structural detailing that makes them possible. Read on for 17 spectacular green roofs that achieve environmental benefits including reduced stormwater runoff, and reductions in energy use and the heat island effect.
There has been increasing awareness in recent years of the importance of infrastructure for pedestrians. These additions to the urban environment improve the quality of cities by connecting spaces and shortening travel distances, and their introduction can be beneficial not only to pedestrians but also to cyclists seeking a more environmentally friendly method of transport. In order to encourage the use of pedestrian infrastructure, here we present 15 footbridges, alongside their construction details, to showcase innovative solutions in terms of materials, forms, and structures.
The recent availability of automated design and production techniques is changing the development of building details. With parametric and algorithmic design methods and the use of digital fabrication, new abilities are required from architects for the design of details, at the same time as new players are beginning to take part in their development.
Although not always given the necessary attention, architectural details are of extreme importance for many aspects of a building. They can define its theoretical expression and technical character, and impact its production process, its assembly method and even its ecological footprint. Contemporary architecture shows a new interest in detailing, which should not be confused with a return to the appreciation of artisanal work. This new interest is related to the recent re-involvement of the architect with the physical making of buildings, as a result of the use of digital technologies. The new “digital master builder”  counts on file-to-factory processes, in which the morphology of construction details is directly related to the knowledge of the available production processes.
We love construction details! That's why this week's photos highlight the art of the synthesis of materials and the varied photographic products we can obtain by looking closer. Photographers like Joel Filipe, Marie-Françoise Plissart and Adria Goula, give us precise and beautiful exposure to wooden joints, steel structures, concrete details, curtain walls and more.
Understanding the structural aspects of architecture is an inherent task of the architect; sufficient structural knowledge allows designers to propose ideas such as large structural elements which offer an interesting response to a project's needs.
Steel trusses are an example of such a response, which demonstrate an ability to define spaces and structures that are truly complex and interesting.
Below is a list of 10 inspirational projects that use metal trusses as an essential element of design.
A design by C-re-a.i.d. for a Maasai village in northern Tanzania, is a morphological response to the imposed need to settle, using sustainable, local and accessible materials to redefine its construction culture.
The project is built by a series of earthbags and glass bottles that in addition to generating private and comfortable spaces, allow a quick and easy construction.
Developed by the POLOMADERA Program at the University of Concepción, the 3D Building Construction Solutions Catalog is a free tool that helps users design construction details for lightweight wooden structural systems.
Though created with the intention of meeting new standards soon to be implemented nationally in Chile (and therefore in Spanish), the catalog was developed jointly with international experts from the Wood Construction Institute at the Holzbau Institut in Germany, and thus incorporates best practices that are applicable around the world.
Stone is elemental to our built world. It is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) materials used in man-made habitats. The sense of timelessness in stone is attributed to its long and varied history alongside architecture. From ancient monoliths to cities to houses, the diversity of stone means that it can be used to convey a variety of expressions. Carved, polished, sedimented, stacked, preserved - the list can go on and on. The feeling stone conveys in contemporary projects usually brings with it a sense of place – a raw materiality when paired with timber or other natural materials. With that in mind, check out these 6 details of projects that stand out for their use of stone:
Good location, harmonious growth over time, concern for urban design, and the delivery of a structure that has "middle-class DNA" are the key points of the ABC of incremental housing, developed in detail by the Chilean architects ELEMENTAL. It's a question of ensuring a balance between "low-rise high-density, without overcrowding, with the possibility of expansion (from social housing to middle-class dwelling)."
Following this line of action, the office has released the drawings of four of the projects carried out under these principles, to serve as good examples of design which have already been implemented and proven in reality. However, despite making them available for free consultation and download, the architects emphasize that these designs must be adjusted to comply with the regulations and structural codes of each locality, using relevant building materials.
The Parthenon, unquestionably the most iconic of the Ancient Greeks' Doric temples, was built between 447 and 432 BC. Located on the Acropolis in Athens, for many architects, it is one of the first buildings we analyzed when beginning our studies. Designed by Ictino and Calícrates, it displays a unique repertoire of architectural elements that can be fully appreciated individually, or for the role they play in forming a complete and magnificent whole.
Simply described, the 69.5 x 30.9-meter building is erected on a stylobate of three steps, with a gabled roof raised upon a post and lintel structure formed by Doric columns—17 on its sides and 8 on each end—which support an entablature composed of an architrave, a frieze, and a cornice. On each gable were triangular pediments with sculptures that represent the "Birth of Athena" on the East and the "Contest Between Athena and Poseidon" on the West.
Take a look at some of these elements in detail, through this set of high-resolution images.
An environmentally-concious material response by Lukkaroinen Architects, the structural design for the Pudasjärvi Wood Campus in northern Finland highlights the potential of large-scale structural timber.
The project features a primary structure of assembled logs and three types of non-traditional pillars, specially constructed in laminated wood for different areas.
The geometric design from Lab for Planning and Architecture for the Municipality of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain is a morphological response that conditions Julio Navarro's and Roque Díaz's swimming pools allowing adequate movement of people with reduced mobility.
The project is a path of stairs and ramps with a triangular design that integrates with the surrounding landscape; the materiality and the constructive details are adapted to the different needs and natural conditions of the land.
A multidisciplinary design study by J.Roc Design, based in Boston, has developed a proposal using wood to restore value to an underused rooftop at the southern end of the city.
In order to accommodate a series of different activities, which required a wide variety of furniture, and therefore a considerable reduction of space, a subtle treatment was made to the flat surface of the roof creating distinct spaces that could be used for sitting, resting and entertaining.