Researchers point out that "proto-greenhouses" arose to fulfill the desire of the Roman Emperor Tiberius (42 BC to 37 AD) to eat cucumbers every day of the year. Since it was impossible to grow the vegetable on the island of Capri in winter, his gardeners developed beds mounted on wheels that they would move into the sun when possible, while on winter days they would place them under translucent covers made of Selenite (a type of gypsum with a glassy appearance). But the production of large-scale greenhouses only became possible after the Industrial Revolution with the availability of mass-produced glass sheets. Since then, they have been used to grow food and flowers, forming a microclimate suitable for plant species even in places with severe climates. But in some cases, these artificial growing conditions can also form interesting living spaces. The recent Lacaton & Vassal awards rekindled this interest. How is it possible to create greenhouses that can be good for both humans and plants?
Facade Design: The Latest Architecture and News
Walking down the streets of cities like Hanoi and Saigon in Vietnam, you might encounter houses with surprisingly narrow facades in contrast to the stacking of three to five floors, with windows for ventilation and natural light only on the front facade. These are the famous traditional Tube Houses. According to ancient popular culture, this type of housing emerged due to property taxes being based on the width of the facade, but the true reason is to optimize land use, allowing a larger number of plots in the same square.
However, this legacy is now being recreated in contemporary designs by Vietnamese architects. Old facades give way to innovative solutions featuring atriums for natural lighting and ventilation, courtyards and interior gardens, greenery incorporated into different environments, split-levels, etc., allowing for high-quality spaces. With that in mind, we have put together a selection of Tube Houses, together with their respective section drawings. Check out below:
With the aim of supporting architects to become active agents of sustainable design, this week we present a selection of facades that incorporate different recycled materials. Beyond the typical uses of plastic and glass, in this article, you will find innovative materials such as mattress springs, ice cream containers, plastic chairs, and recycled waste from agricultural and industrial products. A look at 21 remarkable projects using recycled materials to create an attractive facade.
With the high population density of cities and voracious appetite of the market for every square meter, it is not uncommon for urban vegetation to be forgotten. For this reason, forests, vegetable gardens, and vertical gardens have aroused much interest and figured into a variety of different innovative proposals. Using the vertical plane to maintain plants in an urban setting is a coherent and common-sense solution, especially when there is little possibility of bringing green to the level of the people on the streets.
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.
The use of steel in architecture is considered as one of the most innovative construction developments in history, allowing architects to create structures in scales they never thought they could. Fast-forward a few centuries, and steel remains as one of the most crucial materials in architecture. But there is a lot more to the material than just tensile strength and durability, some architects were well-aware of steel's potential and transformed it into lighting fixtures, facades, decorative elements, and finishes.
Here are 15 projects where architects looked beyond steel as structural support and explored its diverse possibilities in architecture.