The use of pigmented concrete in Latin American architecture is growing - and influencing contemporary architectural expression. This can be seen in recent built works ranging from the INES Innovation Center designed by Pezo von Ellrichshausen in Chile to the Teotitlán del Valle Community Cultural Center by PRODUCTORA in Mexico.
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As human beings we cannot live without stories, we need them to fill those gaps in our reality, to live in our imagination those thousands of lives that are different from ours and, in some cases, impossible.
Could we qualify as "good architecture" that which has a story, or several stories, to tell us? That which is a story in itself? Such a subjective question undoubtedly generates different answers, but one possible answer is "yes". And one example is the Brion Tomb project, one of Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa's major masterpieces.
The Benedictine monastery chapel of Santa María de las Condes, visible from different points in the eastern part of Santiago, Chile, is a white volume, located halfway up the slopes of Los Piques hill.
In addition to their aesthetic appeal, the use of raw materials can save resources by bypassing the use of additional coatings and processes. This type of solution was most commonly used in utility buildings, such as infrastructure, factories, and warehouses. Exposed concrete floors, for example, were primarily found in industrial spaces, parking lots, and gas stations. However, they are increasingly being used in structures of different programs due to their appearance, durability, resistance, and vast possibilities for finishes. But what are the main factors to be aware of when using a concrete floor for a project?
Upon becoming a sovereign country, free from British Rule, the people of India found themselves faced with questions they had never needed to answer before. Coming from different cultures and origins, the citizens began to wonder what post-independence India would stand for. The nation-builders now had the choice to carve out their own future, along with the responsibility to reclaim its identity - but what was India's identity? Was it the temples and huts of the indigenous folk, the lofty palaces of the Mughal era, or the debris of British rule? There began a search for a contemporary Indian sensibility that would carry the collective histories of citizens towards a future of hope.
When approaching the process of recycling building materials, there are a number of obstacles to achieving a comprehensive and effective result. First, careless demolition can make the process very complex, as products with different recycling products are often mixed. In addition, not all materials can be efficiently recycled or processed, as many still need expensive or overly complex processes. But the construction industry, being a huge contributor to waste production and greenhouse gas emissions, has also developed multiple new technologies to improve its practices. This is the case of the WOOL2LOOP project, which seeks to solve one of the biggest challenges in applying a circular approach to construction and demolition waste.
The Petroperú building, jointly designed by architects Walter Weberhofer and Daniel Arana Ríos, was the result of a state competition held by the military government of Velasco Alvarado in the early 1970s. The building, strategically located in the capital of Peru, within the prosperous district of San Isidro, was designed to house the recently created state company in charge of the whole petroleum process of the country (Petroperú S.A.). The monumental building, built and inaugurated in 1973, became the symbol of the newly installed regime.
When browsing the 3D printing tag on ArchDaily, it is clear that this technology has developed at an incredibly fast pace. If in the early years we observed the concept as a distant possibility for the future or with small-scale examples, in recent years we have observed entire printed buildings and increasingly complex volumes being produced. Developed by reading a computer file, the fabrication is carried out through additive manufacturing with concrete - or other construction materials - and presents numerous difficulties in providing an efficient process that enables the constructive technique to become widespread. The pavilion printed by the Huizenprinters consortium, for example, illustrates this process well.
Contemporary challenges and developments in technology inevitably trigger changes in the way we design and build our cities. SUMMARY, one of ArchDaily's Best New Practices of 2021, is a Portuguese architecture studio focused on the development of prefabricated and modular building systems. Striking a balance between pragmatism and experimentalism, the firm develops prefabricated solutions in order to respond to a driving challenge of contemporary architecture—to speed up and simplify the construction process. Founded in 2015 by the architect Samuel Gonçalves, a graduate of the School of Architecture of the University of Porto, the studio has presented at prominent events such as the 2016 Venice Biennale. We talked with Samuel about the firm's practical experience in prefabrication and modulation, as well as their experiments and forays into research.
Seen as one of the great promises for the future of construction, carbon concrete mixes strength, lightness and flexibility. In addition, at a time marked by a serious environmental crisis that puts the construction methods of the industry in check, carbon concrete emerges as an alternative that approaches the guidelines of sustainability.
After water, concrete is the second most-consumed material on the planet and its production is substantially growing, expected to increase from 4.4 billion tons, reaching production up to 5.5 billion tons by 2050. Unfortunately, this comes at a huge environmental cost, accounting for almost eight percent of the global carbon emissions. With this estimated expected growth, stakeholders in the construction industry must work on integrating sustainable building materials and innovative processes.
For centuries and centuries we’ve built – and the diversity in our global built environment is a testament to that. The many different cultures around the globe have had different ways of building throughout history, adapting locally found materials to construct their structures. Today, in our globalized present, building materials are transported across the globe far from their origins, a situation that means two buildings on completely opposites sides of the world can be more or less identical.
Take a second to imagine a building or a room. Chances are you are envisioning flat rectangular surfaces and straight lines. Whether it be walls, beams or windows, most architectural elements come in standard and extremely practical orthogonal shapes. However, the pandemic has shed light on designs that are not only functional, but also that improve our mood and well-being. In that sense, the power of curved, free-flowing surfaces is unmatched, which explains why they have been making a comeback as a modern design trend. Adopting beautiful nature-inspired shapes, organic curls and bends energize rooms and make users feel good. In fact, neuroscientists have shown that this affection is hard-wired into the brain; in a 2013 study, they found that participants were most likely to consider a space beautiful if it was curvilinear instead of rectilinear. In short, humans love curves.
The history of architecture shows that the use of raw materials has always been somewhat common, whether in ancient vernacular techniques or within the Brutalist movement, to name a few. It is evident that the language of a project is often linked to its material, as various sensations and the perception of space are directed by the aesthetic and physical quality of the given element. For this reason, we have gathered ten buildings that highlight the quality of their materials, whether to make a statement, reinterpret a technique from the past, or to re-signify the potency of some of these elements.