At the start, train cars stand ready with cement and bales of fibers. A machine processes the mixture layer by layer into panels of the desired size and thickness. However, some specific production knowledge must be considered in the manufacture of the building material. Marco Ziethen, Swisspearl’s head of production technology, explains us the fabrication process of fiber cement.
Materials: The Latest Architecture and News
If there is any consistent factor in his work, says Pritzker-winning architect Tadao Ando, then it is the pursuit of light. Ando’s complex choreography of light fascinates most when the viewer experiences the sensitive transitions within his architecture. Sometimes walls wait calmly for the moment to reveal striking shadow patterns, and other times water reflections animate unobtrusively solid surfaces. His combination of traditional Japanese architecture with a vocabulary of modernism has contributed greatly to critical regionalism. While he is concerned with individual solutions that have a respect for local sites and contexts Ando’s famous buildings – such as the Church of the Light, Koshino House or the Water Temple – link the notion of regional identity with a modern imagining of space, material and light. Shoji walls with diffuse light are reinterpreted in the context of another culture, for instance, filtered through the lens of Rome’s ancient Pantheon, where daylight floods through an oculus. Ando’s masterly imagination culminates in planning spatial sequences of light and dark like he envisioned for the Fondation d’Art Contemporain François Pinault in Paris.
Matter Design Studio has partnered with CEMEX Global R&D to challenge the relationship between the mass of materials and the physical effort of contemporary construction practices, exploring the movement and assembly of heavy objects on a real scale, manufactured using advanced computing. The objective of Walking Assembly is to eliminate the crane from the constructive equation, transferring the effort from people to objects, freeing them to play with the mass.
New technology in digital building, particularly Computer Numerical Control (CNC) systems, are changing the way that we design and build wooden structures. Their high level of precision allows us to design perfect assembles--without screws or visible metalwork--resulting in structures that are durable, easy-to-build, and extremely well-organized. We spoke with the experts at Timber to better understand the process of building a wooden structure and to compile a list of key tips in designing one.
A lightweight material par excellence, Zinc is a non-ferrous metal that provides an effective solution for coating buildings exposed to adverse weather condition while simultaneously delivering a creative response to the requirements of the program and the users of the project.
When in contact with humidity, Zinc panels generate a self-protecting layer that isolates heat from indoor spaces during the summer. Rain and snow, slide easily over its surfaces, and its modular panels can wrap curved shapes or be perforated according to the architectural design, and combined in facades and/or ceilings through different shades, brightness, and colors.
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Why use concrete in bathrooms?
Béton brut or "raw concrete" is a naturally porous material that provides many advantages for the design and build of a bathroom. As a waterproof and pressure-resistant material, it is easy to clean, doesn't deteriorate, prevents bathroom fungus and is low maintenance. Attractive as it is functional, concrete is versatile for both on-site furniture and wall coatings, floors and even shower trays. In addition, due to its thermal mass, concrete is an excellent material for floor heating.
Pro Tip: There are a variety of concrete finishes, but for the safety of daily bathroom users, you must add a surface sealer and a certain percentage of traction to avoid slippage.
Below, we've compiled 26 concrete bathrooms that find intimacy in béton brut.
A technological innovation is revolutionizing one of the oldest professions in the world. Augmented reality has just broken onto the scene and has already been transforming civil construction. The changes are seen not only in designing and modeling, but also in building. Augmented reality benefits the entire construction team: engineers, designers, architects, project managers and service providers.
Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally new and independent environment of the real world, augmented reality includes virtual elements that interact with what already exists. It is thus possible to combine virtual architectural designs with the reality of the construction site, increasing efficiency and accuracy, reducing the occurrence of errors and saving time, money and resources.
"Acoustics" in architecture means improving sound in environments. Although it is a complex science, understanding the basics - and making efficient and effective decisions - is much easier than you might think. The first step is to understand that there are two technical categories used in acoustics: soundproofing and acoustical treatment. Soundproofing means "less noise" and treatment, "better sound".
Rammed earth constructions are not a novelty, on the contrary, some sections of the Great Wall of China were made using this technique. Relegated and replaced by modern methods of construction, the mud walls are currently re-emerging as an economic, sustainable solution, with low environmental impact. Even Joelle Eyeson, a young African entrepreneur, is betting that it may be the answer to the housing deficit in her region.
This is a rudimentary construction system in which earth is compressed into wooden boxes. The clay is horizontally placed in layers of 15 cm in height, and compacted with manual or pneumatic tools, to achieve its ideal density creating a resistant and durable structure.
Let's suppose you need a bookcase. Years ago, you would probably search the furniture stores or antique shops in your town. Today you are more likely to open dozens of tabs on your web browser to compare prices and models. But there is another option that is becoming increasingly popular: open source furniture.
It's simple; you download the design of a piece of furniture and send it to a CNC machine (a mill that cuts wood from a digital file). It’s more or less like sending a PDF to print. With the pieces cut, you just assemble it. We used a bookcase for example, but it could be a chair, a table, a cupboard, a bench. Opendesk, one of the current open source furniture platforms, brings together about 30 pieces of furniture available for download. There the user can download a project and cut the furniture in a FabLab or personal workshop, or use the site to connect with a joiner who makes the cuts.
Although all windows have common functions such as allowing the passage of light, providing ventilation, and focusing the different views, these objectives can be enhanced through a series of useful options. Depending on the orientation of the building, climatic conditions, direction of the wind, and architectural point of view, each specific window model can make a difference within a project, improving usability and the spatial and environmental quality of each room.
Below, we present types of windows that can be found in today's homes, specifically in 11 projects previously published on our site.
Studies show that public investment in integrated and safe cycling networks promotes urban transformation, providing more humanity, health and quality of life in urban spaces. While cities in the Netherlands and the Nordic countries have already incorporated bicycles into daily life, with a significant portion of the population using the means of transport for daily commutes, much of the world is still seeking a model to reduce congestion and increase its use. According to the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), investing in non-motorized transport allows congestion reduction, improves air quality, physical and mental health of residents, and local trade and brand visibility, once that cyclists tend to pay more attention to local commerce and take up less space than cars.
But along the cycle lanes and cycle paths it is essential to provide suitable places so that bicycles can be parked at the end of the trails. While bike stands are enclosed spaces, usually with some kind of surveillance and additional infrastructure, paracycles are the structures that allow to securely support and lock the bike. They can integrate in the urban furniture of a city, next to benches, plates, lamps and informative totems.
Until recently, the architecture world largely viewed plastic polymers as inferior building materials, handy for wipe-clean kitchen surfaces, but not practical in full-scale building applications. But with technological innovations driving material capabilities forward, polymers are now being taken seriously as a legitimate part of the architect’s pallet. One of the most widely-used of these materials is a fluorine-based plastic known as ETFE (Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene). Brought into the public consciousness thanks to its use on the facade of PTW Architects' Water Cube for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, architects are now realizing the film’s capabilities to express a new aesthetic and replace costlier transparent and translucent materials. Its most recent and spectacular public appearance was on the 120-foot telescopic shell of The Shed, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rockwell Group in New York City.
Cardboard tubes are so commonplace that we may no longer even notice them. Yet they are everywhere: in a roll of toilet paper, in the packaging of the college diploma, in fireworks, and in the tissue and paper industries. And now, more and more, they can be found in unusual places, such as on the walls of houses and buildings. The material is part of modern life and is being produced for a multitude of industrial applications and consumer products. The vast majority are used as structural cores in winding operations. Immediately after manufacturing, paper, film or textiles are rolled directly onto cardboard tubes resulting in a stable roll that is easily stored and transported.
La Casa por el Tejado, a company specializing in the construction of old buildings, duplicated both the living spaces and the number of floors of an apartment building on Avenida Meridiana in the El Clot neighborhood of Barcelona. The new residences were built off-site in 12-weeks time and in accordance with the building's original dimensions and characteristics.
Home Automation In Renovations: Is It Possible to Transform an Old Building into an Intelligent One?
Although the ability to install home automation in a practical way is associated with new projects, it is possible to adapt previously built buildings in a relatively simple way. In both small and large renovations projects these systems can deliver automated features that responds to the requirements and needs of its users. They can also improve the habitability and comfort of its spaces, increase their security and promote long-term energy and money savings. So, what considerations must be taken into account in order to transform an regular architecture project into an "intelligent" one?
Architects are increasingly aware of our influence on the well-being and good health of the users of our projects. Natural lighting –and how it should be complemented with artificial lighting– is an essential factor to consider for the visual comfort of interior spaces. But, do we know how to handle it correctly?
The dramatic improvement in recent decades in our understanding of sustainable design has shown that designing sustainably doesn't have to be a compromise—it can instead be a benefit. When done correctly, sustainable design results in higher-performing, healthier buildings which contribute to their inhabitants' physical and mental well-being.
The benefits of incorporating vegetation in façades and in roofs, as well as materials and construction systems that take energy use and pollution into account, demonstrate that sustainable design has the potential to create buildings that improve living conditions and respect the natural environment.
Below we have compiled 30 plans, sections and construction details of projects that stand out for their approach to sustainability.