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Fachada: The Latest Architecture and News

Exploring the Use of Stabilized Aluminum Foam in the Steirereck Restaurant

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The use of contrast is an essential practice in both cuisine and architecture, whether it's harmonizing different aromas and flavors or integrating buildings from different eras. This principle comes to life in a striking way at the top of the imposing Austrian Alps, where the Steirereck am Pogusch restaurant strives for culinary excellence, architectural mastery and the fusion of tradition and innovation. Under the guidance of PPAG architects, the establishment has undergone a revitalization and expansion marked by a deep respect for nature, while making a bold statement of contemporary design.

Heatherwick Studio's Educational Hub Celebrates Indigenous Crafts in Bogotá, Colombia

Heatherwick Studio has just been selected to design a new educational facility for a university in Bogotá, Colombia. Marking Heatherwick’s Studio’s debut in South America, the construction is set to begin in 2025. Located on the existing campus in central Bogotá, the new design school and makers’ space for Universidad EAN will become a home for the university’s school of sustainable design. The seven-story structure features a striking façade adorned with colorful artistic columns and open terraces.

Reimagining The Mashrabiya: Functionality and Symbolism in Contemporary Architecture

For centuries, arid environments have solved the problem of light, privacy, and heat through a statement architectural feature of Islamic and Arab architecture, the mashrabiya. Crafted from geometric patterns traditionally made from short lengths of turned wood, the mashrabiya features lattice-like patterns that form large areas. Traditionally, it was used to catch wind and offer passive cooling in the dry Middle Eastern desert heat. Frequently used on the side street of a built structure, water jars, and basins were placed inside it to activate evaporative cooling. The cool air from the street would pass through the wooden screen, providing air movement for the occupants.

Similar to the Indian jali, the vernacular language also offers a playful experience with daylight while still maintaining a certain degree of privacy. Traced back to Ottoman origins, the perforated screens protected occupants’ from the sun while simultaneously letting daylight through in calculated doses. Although the mashrabiya was a statement in arab and Islamic architecture languages, it wasn’t until 1987 that the archetypal element began appearing with a revised contemporary application.

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Design Freedom: Integrating Aesthetics and Energy Efficiency in Solar Facades

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Autonomy and freedom during the design process are invaluable resources for architects, especially when defining a volume and choosing materials, systems, and solutions for a building. The flexibility of these elements must not only promote their harmonious integration within a structure but, above all, allow architects to incorporate them without the need to change their initial concepts. This design freedom becomes even more crucial in the context of facades, specifically in building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) facades. This is due to the unique challenge of incorporating the energy capture function into the design of the building envelope, simultaneously demanding adaptation to the designer's aesthetic preferences and effective performance, as well as the entire infrastructure for capturing and transporting energy.

Sustainable Building Models: An Eco-Friendly Structure in Natural Slate Within a Multi-Ecological Neighborhood

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Moving towards modernity implies questioning established concepts. Today, we are witnessing several projects and approaches in architecture that explore alternatives to energy-intensive building systems, materials, and technologies commonly used in today's construction. These projects, far from adopting approaches that reject technology, seek to promote conscious architectural practices. They aim to go back to basics through passive strategies, using natural materials and a contextual understanding to develop sustainable architecture.

To boost sustainable architecture, it is crucial to have building models and materials that become recognizable icons in their immediate context, thus setting a precedent for the development of future proposals. One such example can be found in Spain, with the "Impulso Verde" project carried out in the city of Lugo which stands out for its construction model based on passive strategies and regional materials. In this project, using natural slate as cladding for the ventilated facade system and employing local resources in the structure was essential for the building's ecological footprint. Additionally, these elements strengthen the building's identity by connecting it to the surrounding landscape.

Renovating For the Future: Sustainable and Resilient Solar Facades

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Renovations involve design processes that transform, refurbish and enhance architectural elements. From gentle aesthetic changes to structural additions, building renovation can improve functionality, safety, and energy efficiency. By integrating new technologies, contemporary strategies are giving new life to existing buildings, propelling already-built projects into the future.

Through their energy-efficient, durable, and bespoke solutions, SolarLab leverages architectural heritage by introducing custom energy-producing facades to existing buildings. By seamlessly combining technologies with design freedom, these solar facades adapt to each project’s style while acting as rain screens with a long, maintenance-free service life. Moreover, by producing sustainable electricity, integrating this system into refurbishment projects contributes to the building’s day-to-day operations, effectively reducing its environmental impact.

Digital Art and Architecture: Beyond Billboards and Spheres

In July, Las Vegas unveiled an extravagant spectacle - a colossal LED-wrapped spherical structure, standing 366 feet tall and 516 feet wide. This entertainment event venue instantly captured the public's gaze, becoming a local landmark and attracting global attention through extensive news coverage. Similar spherical concepts have been proposed in London and at a smaller scale in Los Angeles. These massive display structures open up questions about facades as digital canvases. What role can architecture take as an urban canvas other than as a billboard? And what are different ways for architecture to engage the public through digital art besides gigantic LED spheres?

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Creating Vertical Gardens and Green Facades with Steel Cables

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.

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Affordable Housing in Portland: 3 Innovative Approaches to Design and Construction

Despite the bad reputation of public housing in the United States, organizations, planners, and architects in Portland, Oregon are determined to create affordable housing that does not sacrifice quality or aesthetic appeal. While Portland has developed a bad reputation regarding its homelessness problem, in the past four years resources have flowed in the right direction, and designers have taken this in stride to design livable and striking buildings, within very restrictive budgets. Through innovative and creative approaches to construction and design, these organizations and designers have utilized federal, state, and city resources to make these types of projects a reality.

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