The advantages of a courtyard house are well known. In addition to bringing closer contact with the outside from the inside, it substantially improves comfort by providing more natural lighting and ventilation. This typology goes through time being reinvented from different ways of thinking not only its architecture, but also the landscaping of its external area. Therefore, we have gathered different ways of conceiving the garden and other elements that can make up that space.
Homes: The Latest Architecture and News
One hundred years ago, design and architecture professionals of the Bauhaus and the modern movement broke with the traditional concept of housing, proposing new ways of building, distributing its spaces and furnishing it. Although many of their aesthetic and constructive approaches have had a great impact and development in the field of design since then, society, however, has gone at a different speed when it comes to adopting certain models of domestic space to which these movements opened the door. Since then, housing has been in constant revision, reformulation and even experimentation, having had a profound interest in design for most of the most important design and architecture professionals of the twentieth century, and so far in the twenty-first.
Humans have always been fascinated by reflections. Although they are no more than light bouncing back after striking a surface, there will always be something mystical and fascinating about them –whether it be a lake mirroring a beautiful landscape or a small hand mirror reflecting our face. This explains why some ancient cultures considered mirrors to be sacred objects with magical powers, while others associated them with portals leading to an unknown world. Since then, mirrors have evolved to adopt many valuable functions that are indispensable in everyday life, being found in cars, medical equipment and, of course, in countless architectural applications, especially in interiors. Experimenting with the reflection and perception of space has become an easy way for architects, designers and homeowners to transform any room. And when looking to maximize this impact, the power of exceptionally large mirrors is unparalleled. After all, the bigger the mirror, the bigger the impact.
One of the first decisions to be made when designing a house is where to place it on the site. Whether it's a large or small plot, house placing impacts the architecture of the building itself and its relation with the neighborhood. Therefore, it must be carefully thought out and designed.
Unconstrained by the dogmas of established offices, new architectural practices can often challenge building norms and redefine living standards. The Young European Architecture Festival (YEAH!) is an event dedicated to highlighting these new and emerging practices and bringing their contributions to the built environment into focus. Many of these practices are challenging and redefining typologies of residential architecture. They are building upon ideas such as cooperative housing schemes, community-initiated developments, and circular economy. Others are exploring local identities and resources as a way to reinvigorate the profession while creating respectful and regionally relevant works of architecture.
In June 2020, the statue of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston was toppled in the southwestern city of Bristol in England. Before this, the statue sat on a plinth in a prominent public park, before being hauled into Bristol Harbour by Black Lives Matter protestors. This act has led to a long-overdue reckoning in the UK and other Western nations, a reckoning that has necessitated a deeper analysis of monuments that line cities, and how deeply imperialism can be interlinked with parts of the built environment. The ever-green question is, what do we do with these buildings?
Being square sucks! At least, that's what the trends of 2022 tell us. The report carried out by Pinterest points out the curved design as the future of decoration, whether in objects or even from architecture. For that reason, we looked for Brazilian residential projects that trace curved walls in their designs. The reasons are the most varied and the results offer a unique composition: as an architectural party, to contrast with the orthogonality of other walls or to create unique spaces.
Visual permeability, ventilation and a strong identity appeal, the hollow elements have increasingly found their place in contemporary architecture. Whether in large buildings or small residences, they appear in different shapes, materials and compositions, helping to determine the degree of interaction between interior and exterior space. This artifice in a residential construction is an important tool to ensure privacy and intimacy, without losing the possibility of connections to the outside and natural ventilation.
In most countries around the world, value is placed on older buildings. There’s something about the history, originality, and charm of an older home that causes their value to sometimes be higher than newly constructed projects. But in Japan, the opposite is almost always the preference. Newly-built homes are the crux of a housing market where homes are almost never sold and the obsession with razing and rebuilding is as much a cultural thing as it is a safety concern, bringing 30-year-old homes to a valueless market.
PVC, as the synthetic material Polyvinyl Chloride is called, or Polyvinyl Chloride, is one of the most produced plastics in the world, reaching 40 million tons per year. Its application is quite varied and in construction it has found different branches, serving both as an input for infrastructure and for finishing.
The strategy of raising houses off the ground gained popularity in the 1920s when Le Corbusier announced structures on pilotis as one of the 5 points of modern architecture. A great contribution, especially in the urban issue, as it enables the creation of a free space with greater connection between the public sphere of the street and the private sphere of the building. His iconic Villa Savoye is a paradigmatic example of the use of pilotis that preserves the natural terrain and, as Le Corbusier himself said, places the house on the grass like an object, without disturbing anything. In addition, the pilotis also served as a strategy for the flow of vehicles, which can be seen in Lina Bo Bardi’s equally emblematic Casa de Vidro and its slender steel tubes. Arranged in a modulation of four modules in width by five in depth, they maintain the house as a transparent floating box in the midst of nature, respecting the terrain and assisting in the building's thermal comfort by allowing air circulation.
Designing houses in tropical climates, as is the case in Brazil, means paying special attention to openings, both in relation to the functioning and conviviality of the house, as well as in relation to issues of environmental comfort. In this article we bring you 16 Brazilian homes that take advantage of their strategic openings to create cozy, stunning, well-lit and ventilated environments.
Valuing formal simplicity and delicate attention to details and finishing, Studio MK27 was founded in the late 1970s by Marcio Kogan and currently has more than 30 members based in São Paulo and other collaborators around the world. Its work, as described on its website, seeks to fulfill the task of rethinking and continuing Brazilian modernism.
Reclaimed wood is wood that has been taken from its original application and repurposed. Old buildings such as houses, barns, and warehouses, often have to be torn down, resulting in demolition waste, which can be recycled and reused. Reclaimed wood can be used for many purposes, from cladding to building structures, and is very popular in contemporary architecture all over the world.
To get you inspired, here is a selection of 12 Brazilian houses that use this recycled material in flooring, walls, decks, bathrooms, outdoor areas, and stairs.
It is safe to say that living in large urban areas, most of the sounds surrounding us are accidental, and most of them are not very pleasant. According to Julian Treasure, chairman of The Sound Agency, sounds can affect us in many ways: physiologically, psychologically, cognitively, and behaviorally, reducing productivity in workspaces and even affecting sales in retail stores. Therefore, paying attention to acoustic comfort in the built environment is imperative, not only for engineers and consultants but also for architects.
With a population of a little over ten million people, of which almost two-thirds are living in urban areas, Portugal is still one of the most rural countries in Europe to this day. A significant part of the population is distributed along the Atlantic Ocean coast, concentrated mainly in Lisbon and Porto, which account for almost half of the country's residents, resulting in a large and sparsely populated inland area with predominantly rural characteristics.
Despite the low density and the countryside atmosphere, these regions are not lacking in quality architecture. Many buildings - mostly residential - stand out for their ability to blend into the landscape, repurpose old structures, or pay homage to local vernacular techniques. The following 15 country houses are examples of this:
Wood is, without a doubt, one of the most versatile building materials there is. Treated lumber, boards, composites, or rustic hardwood, have structural and visual qualities that attract architects and clients searching for a wide range of possible applications and designs. Logs are one of the oldest ways of using this material since they require very little treatment and processing after the tree is cut and are the most natural form of lumber.
Rustic lumber is often used in vacation homes, but not only for this purpose. Below, we have gathered Brazilian houses that use rustic wood elements either in their structure or walls and finishings.