Sand is the most-consumed natural resource in the world after water and air. Modern cities are built out of it. In the construction industry alone, it is estimated that 25 billion tons of sand and gravel are used every year. That may sound a lot, but it’s not a surprising figure when you consider how everything you’re surrounded with is probably made of the stuff.
But it’s running out.
This is a scary fact to think about once you realize that sand is required to make both concrete and asphalt, not to mention every single window on this planet. The United Nations Environment Programme found out that from 2011 to 2013, China alone used more cement than the United States had used in the entire 20th century and in 2012, the world used enough concrete to build a wall around the equator that would be 89 feet high and 89 feet thick (27 by 27 meters).
Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas have released images of their competition-winning “Capo Grande Tower,” a tower and bridge situated on the Slovenian coastline linking Giusterna Beach to Monte San Marco. Designed in collaboration with Slovenian architect Sandi Pirš, the scheme consists of a 365-foot-high (111-meter-high) double-ellipse structure inclined slightly towards the sea, seeking to “immediately become a new symbolic element of the city.”
At 166,000 square meters, Lyon Part-Dieu is the largest downtown shopping center in Europe, built in 1975. In order to improve the existing outdated complex, MVRDV worked with co-architects SUD to produce a design that offers a contemporary update to the existing façade and a re-organization of the interior program.
https://www.archdaily.com/890665/construction-begins-on-mvrdvs-redesign-for-europes-biggest-urban-shopping-centerNiall Patrick Walsh
Now in its sixth year, CONNECT highlights innovative design programs at universities throughout the country. Students, under the supervision of university faculty, have the opportunity to design environments that incorporate seating and lighting installations, with the intention of offering an intimate area on the show floor where attendees can sit, relax and "connect." Exhibits will be located throughout the show floor, providing SOFA CHICAGO's international audience an opportunity to experience the innovation and creativity of future designers.
Apple’s unwavering love for glass and seamless edges is one of the reasons designers flock in masses to purchase their products. But that aesthetic has caused a bit of a snafu at the company’s new Foster+Partners-designed headquarters in Cupertino, where employees are running into the highly transparent glass walls at an alarming rate.
The Union of Architects of Russia calls for submissions to the Sixth "Glass in architecture" awards for 2018. It will be held on April, 18-19, 2018 within the framework of the Forum of the architectural glass industry, "ArchGlass 2018," in Moscow at the Central House of Architects.
The Glass House has no purpose other than to be beautiful. It is intended purely as a structure for exhibition and should be a beautiful source of ideas for “lasting” architecture but is not intended as such. According to the poet Paul Scheerbart, to whom it is dedicated, the Glass House should inspire the disillusion of current architecture’s far-too-restricted understanding of space and should introduce the effects and possibilities of glass into the world of architecture.
Bruno Taut [above] described his Glashaus for the 1914 Werkbund Exhibition in Cologne, Germany, as a "little temple of beauty"; as "reflections of light whose colors began at the base with a dark blue and rose up through moss green and golden yellow to culminate at the top in a luminous pale yellow.” The Glass Pavilion, designed based on its potential effects on those who perceived it, was supposed to create vivid experiences. The site was the human mind.
A relative newcomer to the material world, smart glass (also known as switch glass or electrochromic glass) has the ability to change its properties and appearance, allowing the environmental conditions of a space to be optimized according to the use and needs of its users.
Electrochromic glass technology works by changing the electrical polarization between some of its components. Its most widely used variant, known as PDCL, consists of a thin film of liquid crystal that sits between two conductive transparent plastic layers (usually laminated glass). By changing the current running through the liquid crystal, the glass can take on different appearences.
https://www.archdaily.com/876080/this-intelligent-glass-can-change-from-opaque-to-transparent-in-just-secondsAD Editorial Team
In this visual essay, Greek filmmaker Yiannis Biliris documents the all-pervasive pall of glass that covers the modern city. The three-and-a-half-minute-long film, produced by Visual Suspect and shot entirely in Hong Kong, captures the vivid reflections seen in the facades of the city’s buildings, as Biliris selectively pans and zooms his camera to instill a strong sense of urgency in the viewer’s mind.
The essay, beautifully haunting in its imagery, might be seen as a reflective commentary on the state of our built environment today. Inspired by Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which states that mass causes a distortion in space and time, it seems to subtly ask if our understanding of reality is warped itself. Describing the video as "a visual essay about perception and knowledge as [a] reflection of our reality," Biliris comments that "mass curves space and time, while the observer has his own perspective."
There's a creepy transformation taking over our cities, says architecture critic Justin Davidson. From Houston, Texas to Guangzhou, China, shiny towers of concrete and steel covered with glass are cropping up like an invasive species.
“That person sitting right next to you might have the most idiosyncratic inner life, but you don’t have a clue because we’re all wearing the same expression. That is the kind of creepy transformation that is taking over cities.”
Shiny, bland and homogenous. These characteristics are increasingly encapsulating the nature and identity of our cities through the use of glass as a dominant building material, says Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Justin Davidson. In this TED Talk, Davidson stresses the importance of the use of a varied palette of materials that evoke texture, color, roughness, and shadow, in order to create architecture of individuality and character to define and populate the world’s cities. The rapid growth of glassy skylines, which express a disdain for communal urban interaction, can be curbed through a combination of new and old building and material techniques, creating architecture that absorbs history and memory as a reflection of the diverse society it lives in.
On a tree-lined avenue in Singapore, fittingly named Orchard Road, Apple has opened its first Flagship store in the city-state, highlighting its role as a global center for creativity and innovation. Designed by Fosters + Partners, in collaboration with the design team at Apple, the Orchard Road Flagship seeks to create a new social focus by working in tandem with nature, blurring the boundaries between inside and out.
North light, south light, warm light and cool light – the diversity of skylights mean they can illuminate any space. Both a window and a ceiling, the hybrid nature of a skylight enables it to be a key element used in architectural spaces. The cool light of a north skylight is instrumental in creating a space to focus and work, while its south-facing counterpart lights up a space with that golden glow. Through its flexibility also come opportunities for expression, from its shape to its angle. Is a skylight a ribbon weaving through a roof panel? Or is it a series of dotted openings creating a mosaic of daylight on the floor? Check out these 16 examples of contemporary spaces lit by this key element below:
Italian firm Giovanni Vaccarini Architetti has designed the new Headquarters of the Swiss Société Privée de Gérance (SPG), built on Route de Chêne, at the gates of the historical center of Geneva. The work involved the conversion and extension of the existing building, starting with a glass façade that meets the need for solar shading in the interiors while achieving maximum visual permeability.
This façade also improves the acoustic and thermal insulation performance of the building: the double skin allows the envelope to be naturally ventilated and the perimeter ventilation system, combined with the internal forced ventilation system, reduces overall energy consumption. The steel structural elements on the façade, produced by Stahlbau Pichler (a specialist in the sector) produce a modular rhythm and the reflections on the glass shading panels give the project a particular "material weight."
https://www.archdaily.com/869374/this-building-saves-energy-with-a-pioneering-triple-layer-glass-facadeAD Editorial Team
Now, a new pool at Houston’s Market Square Tower is upping the ante even further with a transparent plexiglass wading pool that projects out 10 feet past the end of the building – and 500 feet above the busy street below.
https://www.archdaily.com/868968/this-glass-bottomed-sky-pool-is-suspended-500-feet-from-the-groundAD Editorial Team