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Fire: The Latest Architecture and News

ArchXpo 2016

22:00 - 17 October, 2015
ArchXpo 2016, ArchXpo 2016
ArchXpo 2016

Co-Organised with Singapore Institute of Architect (SIA), ArchXpo 2016 will be it's 3rd Installation in the coming year.

Fire Consumes Pier Luigi Nervi's Palazzo del Lavoro

15:09 - 21 August, 2015

Pier Luigi Nervi's Palazzo del Lavoro (Palace of Labour) in Turin has been devastated by fire. The unoccupied exhibition hall, originally built for Italia'61, had been undergoing renovations. As La Stampa Turin reports, the fire started on the second floor and is most likely the result of arson. A similar incident happened a few months ago, but was quickly extinguished.

The glass encased Palace of Labour is internally divided by 16 structurally independent steel roofed compartments, each supported by radial branches stemming from 65-foot-tall concrete columns.

From Mackintosh to Saint-Donatien, Can We Really Afford to Set History on Fire?

09:30 - 6 July, 2015
From Mackintosh to Saint-Donatien, Can We Really Afford to Set History on Fire?, Firefighters at the Glasgow School of Art in May 2014. Image © Stewart Attwood
Firefighters at the Glasgow School of Art in May 2014. Image © Stewart Attwood

On 23 May 2014, a fire swept through the Glasgow School of Art, destroying its iconic library. The cause of the fire was reported to be a projector exploding in the basement of the building and catching a piece of foam, leading to a bigger fire that rapidly ascended the building. The fire was extinguished after four and a half hours thanks to the efforts of over sixty firefighters and thankfully no lives were endangered - however, considerable damage was made to an irreplaceable historic building.

The building was built between 1897 and 1909 and designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Scotland’s influential architect who brought the art nouveau touch to 20th century Britain which influenced design across Europe. As such, the fire that ruined the Mackintosh Building of the Glasgow School of Art in was a reminder of our historical heritage and how crucial it is to preserve it and keep it safe from fire.

Huge Fire Damages Basilica of Saint-Donatien in Nantes

10:55 - 15 June, 2015

The Basilica of Saint-Donatien in Nantes has been significantly damaged by a huge fire. As reported by the BBC, the fire started at around 10:30 am local time, and is believed to have broken out on the roof of the building in connection with waterproofing work.

AR Issues: On Destruction And New Beginnings

10:30 - 20 May, 2015
AR Issues: On Destruction And New Beginnings, Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the May 2015 issue, The AR's new editor Christine Murray discusses our various reactions to different forms of destruction and endings - a topic that is perhaps particularly poignant considering the new era that The AR is entering - and outlines her ambitions as editor of the magazine.

The experience of a space can be cathartic, like one night when I visited Peter Zumthor’s Therme Vals for a midnight opening, floating in the dark baths. It was just weeks after the birth of my first child, and also my birthday. In the water, I felt the person that I had always been and the mother I had now become reconciled. In that moment, I forgave my tired self (or the building forgave me) for being so unworthy, so wholly undeserving of the perfect baby entrusted to me. I left feeling alive and new, and I know Zumthor had something to do with it.

How Aluminum Composite Materials Have Evolved To Meet Strict Building Standards

10:00 - 18 February, 2015
How Aluminum Composite Materials Have Evolved To Meet Strict Building Standards, Rush University Medical Center Hospital by Perkins + Will Chicago. Image © Robert R. Gigliotti
Rush University Medical Center Hospital by Perkins + Will Chicago. Image © Robert R. Gigliotti

Recently, national and international building codes have challenged the construction market with design-oriented goals of sustainability and energy efficiency. The increasing demand for high performance, energy-efficient buildings has led to the evolution of building enclosure designs that incorporate durability, longevity, and thermal and weather protection, and architects and building owners are now required to meet stringent energy codes, resulting in a systems approach to designing the building envelope components. As a result, fire protection and life safety issues have significantly affected the development of the fire codes, becoming an integral part of recent International Building Code (IBC) updates. A lot is now dependent on the correct usage of materials and systems, especially when it comes to the facade of a building and aluminum composite materials (ACM).

Cause Of Glasgow's Mackintosh School Of Art Fire Revealed

00:00 - 27 November, 2014
Cause Of Glasgow's Mackintosh School Of Art Fire Revealed, Scottish Fire and Rescue in the aftermath of the fire. Image © Stewart Attwood
Scottish Fire and Rescue in the aftermath of the fire. Image © Stewart Attwood

The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) have revealed the unfortunate series of events that led to the school's iconic Mackintosh library, alongside a large collection of student work and archives, devastated in a fire in May of this year. According to BDOnline, who have spoken with Tom Inns (Director of the GSA), "final-year students were setting up their degree show projects in the basement and holes in some pre-built foam panels were being filled with the spray foam."

The flammable gas used as a propellant in the canister was sucked into [a nearby] projector’s cooling fan, setting it alight. A foam panel directly behind the projector then quickly also caught light. "The flames quickly spread to timber panelling and through voids around the basement studio and then into the library two floors above and up through the rest of Mackintosh’s 1909 masterpiece." To add insult to injury, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) reported that "a fire suppression system was in the latter stages of installation at the time of the fire but was not operational."

10 Fires That Changed Architecture Forever

01:00 - 30 May, 2014
10 Fires That Changed Architecture Forever, After being destroyed by fire and laying in ruins for 60 years, the Reichstag became a symbol of the new democracy in the 1990s with Norman Foster's renovation. Image © Flickr CC User Werner Kunz
After being destroyed by fire and laying in ruins for 60 years, the Reichstag became a symbol of the new democracy in the 1990s with Norman Foster's renovation. Image © Flickr CC User Werner Kunz

With no casualties, last week's fire at the Glasgow School of Art, which caused significant damage to parts of the building and gutted Charles Rennie Mackintosh's canonical library room, will be remembered as a tragic event that robbed us of one of the best examples of Art Nouveau of its time. The intention of the Glasgow School of Art is to restore the building in the hope that in generations to come, the fire will be all but forgotten, a strategy which has been largely well received by the profession.

However, in the case of other fires things have not gone so smoothly: for millennia, fire has played a big role in determining the course of architectural history - by destroying precious artifacts, but often also by allowing something new to rise from the ashes. Read on after the break as we count down the top 10 fires that changed the course of architectural history.

10 Fires That Changed Architecture Forever The Hagia Sophia. Image © Flickr CC User Collin Key The Reichstag. Image © Flickr CC User Sebastian Niedlich Chicago. Image © Flickr CC User Brad Wilke + 12

House re-Growth Pod, a solution for fire destroyed homes in Australia

21:00 - 4 March, 2009

Tragedy has struck Australia in the past weeks. Big, unstoppable, uncontrollable fires destroyed 750 houses (with over 210 people killed) in the state of Victoria, taking the lives of many people in the way. But along with tragic situations, new opportunities come to help those who are in need. Australian firm, 1:1 Architects have designed the House re-Growth Pod.

It is a permanent and cost effective housing unit which can assist in the rebuilding of the fire devastated town-ships of Victoria.

The robust pre-fabricated concrete structure has been designed to be built upon, but in the short term acts as a habitable starting point for the building of a new home. The units can be prefabricated, delivered and connected to services rapidly allowing families to begin the process of re-building without displacement from their communities.

The House Pod is not just relief housing it is a starting block for the re-growth of regional Victoria. Ecotec Build Solutions have already offered to construct a prototype.

For more information, go to the House re-Growth Pod official website. re-Growth Pod assembly video, after the break.