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The Second Studio Podcast: Value of Architecture

The Second Studio (formerly The Midnight Charette) is an explicit podcast about design, architecture, and the everyday. Hosted by Architects David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features different creative professionals in unscripted conversations that allow for thoughtful takes and personal discussions.

A variety of subjects are covered with honesty and humor: some episodes are interviews, while others are tips for fellow designers, reviews of buildings and other projects, or casual explorations of everyday life and design. The Second Studio is also available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.

This week David and Marina of FAME Architecture & Design discuss their stay at the Lighthus, a vacation rental home designed by Peripherie Design Studio's William Liow, AIA. The two cover the design of the home, the value of architecture, communicating to clients, what architects do, and more.

Five Glass-Wrapped Homes Living Life on the Edge

As one of the four essential elements that sustain life on this planet, water is key to the survival of all species. And just as wild animals like to stay close to the watering hole, we humans enjoy life by the water.

While our ports, lakes, and waterways are no longer the international transport hubs and feeding grounds they once were, the improved air quality, more temperate climate, and improved relaxation and mindfulness that’s brought by the presence of fresh or flowing water, means specialist spaces such as riverside pubs, beachfront hotels and lakeside homes are some of the most popular of their type.

The following homes show how prized nearby waterbodies can be better utilized with great architecture and design.

The Beachside House: A Case Study of Vernacular-Inspired Architecture Using Modern Materials

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Each architectural style intrinsically relates to a specific context, period, or place. An illustrative example is the region of the United States, which was strongly influenced by the period of British colonization in the Americas (17th-18th centuries). In this context, dwellings emerged that adopted a distinctive architectural language. Moreover, the large distances between major cities in many areas of the country had a significant impact on the configuration of domestic architecture, resulting in the inclusion of barns and other structures that served various functions in addition to housing. This architectural style is characterized by its rectangular floor plan, two-story structures, gable roofs, and wooden cladding on the facade. These elements constitute an integral part of the vernacular expression of the houses from that time.

Speaking specifically of gable roofs, they are the feature most associated with the traditional aesthetic of dwellings developed between the 17th and 19th centuries, as well as later ones. One example is the Beachside House, which is a contemporary project documented in Swisspearl Architecture Magazine. This settlement is located on the shore of Long Island Sound, which divides Connecticut from Long Island, New York. With its four gable-roofed structures, covered with light-toned fiber cement panels, it seeks to be an abstraction of New England vernacular architecture.

Reinventing History: 20 Remarkable Renovations of Stone Houses in Spain

What does architectural restoration, transformation, or renovation entail? What factors are involved in their processes? When delving into the interiors of Spanish homes, we set out to discover the various methodologies, tools, and technical and construction strategies that are often employed, with stone as the main protagonist.

Energy Solutions and Appliances in the Modern Electric Home

Whether it’s a guilt-driven effort to reduce one’s own carbon footprint, an economy-inspired reduction in energy bills or simply taking advantage of a government incentive scheme, sustainable construction, and design choices are not only being made by the most eco-aware amongst us, but now by anyone with an eye on both the current cost of energy and the future cost of its obsolescence.

Whatever the motivation, as we desperately attempt to reduce our self-destructive reliance on fossil fuels, our homes and buildings are gradually turning their backs on gas – one of the final hurdles standing between us and a carbon-neutral home. These alternative systems and appliances run on renewable electricity instead, breaking our reliance on emission-causing gas-dependant products and using innovative electrical technology to improve them too.

The Color in Structures and Enclosures: Applications in Contemporary Latin American Housing

Although the use of color can be employed to hide or disguise a specific characteristic, it can also be used to highlight them. Within the Latin American territory, we can observe that shades of red, green, and blue have predominated in residential architecture, aiming to integrate a language appropriate to the context in which it is implemented.

The Impact of Pigmented Concrete in Latin American Residential Architecture

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.

"Building With Living Trees": The Story Behind Casa Jardín, in Quito, Ecuador

Today is the premiere of the first episode of a new documentary series that explores the projects of Al Borde. Titled "Building with Living Trees", this first instalment highlights the stories behind Casa Jardín (Garden House), a single-family home located in the suburban area of Quito, Ecuador.

Designed for an ecologist named José, the residence is developed into three small independent pavilions with hybrid structures that combine living trees with various construction systems. These structures utilize a vernacular technique of living fences that has been employed in the Andes since ancient times, showcasing a genuine pursuit of coexistence between architecture and nature.