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Innovation: The Latest Architecture and News

Building the Future: The Rise of Modular Construction in the Middle East

Modular construction is a process in which a building is constructed away from its actual site, within controlled factory settings, using identical materials, and adhering to a set of codes and regulations. The methodology was first introduced as a solution in the search for efficient, quality-controlled, and cost-effective building systems. The industrialized building method evolved to meet historical demands and has recently been met with renewed interest. These “modules” are then transported to the construction site and assembled into the final structure, adhering to the same building standards as conventionally built facilities. With potential benefits in terms of waste reduction, energy efficiency, emergency responses, and fast-tracked development, the methodology is gaining traction worldwide.

In recent years, modular construction has emerged as a game-changer in the construction industry, particularly in the Middle East and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. With a growing embrace of innovative solutions to address the region’s evolving needs, modular construction has emerged as a compelling alternative. As awareness increases and technological advancements increase, modular construction may offer a viable alternative to traditional building practices in the GCC region.

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How Can Modular Design Be Used to Revolutionize Housing Architecture?

Housing is a diverse architectural typology whose configuration is determined not only by those who design it but also by the use of those who live in it. Therefore, homes are fundamentally adaptable structures that evolve in line with their time and users, undergoing constant changes manifested in the ways of living. The house conceived today will not be the same as the one built tomorrow, so it becomes necessary to maintain a critical and profound approach to the role it plays in the built environment.

In this sense, modular architecture has consistently presented itself as a dynamic design strategy that has revolutionized housing, developing versatile solutions for sustainable spaces and construction practices. Thus, modular housing has been fertile ground for exploring and deepening ways of inhabiting space and addressing human needs. From the prefabricated catalog houses of the 19th century to the post-World War II housing boom, its evolution reflects both past proposals and the exploration of new concepts for the future.

ICON Unveils Groundbreaking Construction Innovations at SXSW: Revolutionizing Building with Robotics, AI, and Sustainable Materials

Pioneering advanced construction and large-scale 3D Printing, ICON was selected as ArchDaily’s Best New Practices of 2021 due to its boundary-breaking technology that is advancing capability in the built environment. The Texas-based startup has just unveiled various toolkits and products to modernize construction processes further. Dubbed “Domus Ex Machina,” the event showcased a range of innovations, such as an AI Architect created for home design and construction, a digital library containing over 60 pre-designed home plans, a new eco-friendly building material, and a robotic printed facilitating multi-story construction. Together, these developments aim to offer a quicker, more environmentally friendly way to build high-quality, affordable housing globally.

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ArchDaily Curator's Picks 2023: Global Projects our Curators Highlighted Through the Year

The ArchDaily projects library is managed by our curators who constantly seek to populate our stream with the most interesting global works, showcasing evolving focuses and criteria. While we usually share our reader’s top 100 favorites, this year, we also decided to initiate our editor’s picks on the ArchDaily Instagram account, where our curators highlight some projects that include interesting themes and unique traits. 

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Redesigning Kitchens: Embracing Simplicity, Flexibility, and Innovation With the Induction Cooktop

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Following evolving lifestyle trends and technological innovations, contemporary architecture often enhances the design of kitchens to fulfill multifaceted and dynamic roles. By incorporating smart and automated systems and creating flexible, adaptable spaces with minimalist and clean lines, kitchens embody the essence of contemporary life.

Based on technological advances, a clear design language and functionality, Gaggenau’s innovative home appliances evolve in harmony with changing lifestyles. Among their solutions, the Essential Induction cooktop seamlessly integrates into the kitchen’s worktop, providing flexibility and cutting-edge design for culinary enthusiasts.

Exploring Cutting-Edge Technologies in Bespoke Furniture Design

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Within the shifts in architectural movements and styles, furniture design has also evolved throughout the years, transitioning from elaborate curvy lines and opulent materials to simple and functional layouts, and back again, in constant movement. As it continues to evolve, contemporary furniture design is often influenced by technological advances, exploring digital fabrication and user-centered design, while also responding to sustainable strategies. These innovations have elevated custom furniture design, crafting unique pieces tailored to individual needs, preferences, and space specifications.

With the ability to adapt to each user, bespoke furniture design creates unique pieces crafted to meet individual needs, preferences, and space specifications. Delving into augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), Tylko creates customized, long-lasting, and sustainable solutions for sideboards, wall storage, bookcases, wardrobes and TV stands. Analyzing their tech-forward approach to creating endless possibilities of made-to-measure furniture, we showcase their design process experience, along with their intuitive online configurator and augmented reality app.

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Probably the Largest Brick Beam to Date: An Impressive Feat at the Danish Crown Headquarters

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Brick beams have been widely used in construction due to their strength, durability, and aesthetic appeal. By embedding steel reinforcing bars into a series of bricks arranged in a specific pattern, these elements form horizontal load-bearing structures that distribute the weight and forces that act on a building. However, it is difficult to find brick beams with excessively large spans, in order to avoid long-term structural problems. Instead, they mostly come in the form of simple lintels, which can be easier to handle.

With a length of 16.2 meters and an impressive clear span of 15.8 meters, CEBRA architects have collaborated with the Randers Tegl group, the largest brick supplier in Scandinavia, to complete the construction of probably the longest brick beam to date. This exterior beam is accompanied by a 13-meter-span interior "sister" beam and is located above the main entrance to the Danish Crown's new headquarters in Randers, Denmark, extending freely between two of the building's wings. The longest beam is made up of almost 4,200 bricks – its height is made up of 25 rows of bricks, equivalent to 1.6 meters, and its edge consists of 4 bricks.

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