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Diffused Light: How to Design 'Lantern Buildings' With Self-Supporting Glass Walls

05:30 - 10 August, 2018
Diffused Light: How to Design 'Lantern Buildings' With Self-Supporting Glass Walls, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art / Steven Holl Architects. Image © Andy Ryan
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art / Steven Holl Architects. Image © Andy Ryan

Recurrently we see how architects opt for translucent facades to create the envelopes of their buildings, promoting the entry of a large amount of natural light, while simultaneously controlling it during the day. Illuminated during the night, many of these projects can be seen in the dark, appearing as lanterns or lighthouses for their neighbors and community. Being exposed to changing conditions – day or night – to choose the right material, it's necessary to study in detail the orientation and location of the building, the pre-existing context, and the configuration of the interior spaces.

We present a system of glass panels that allow buildings with this type of façade –spanning from floor to ceiling without interruptions – with minimal frames and different colors, textures, thermal and acoustic performances. 

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art / Steven Holl Architects. Image © Andy Ryan C-Glass House / Deegan Day Design. Image © Taiyo Watanabe Magnolia Mound Visitors Center / Trahan Architects. Image © Timothy Hursley Nelson Atkins Museum of Art / Steven Holl. Image Cortesía de Bendheim + 28

These CNC Prototypes Were 3-D Mapped From Natural Forms

08:00 - 2 August, 2018
Ishi Kiri / Fasetto. Image Courtesy of Anoma
Ishi Kiri / Fasetto. Image Courtesy of Anoma

Anoma, headed by EDIDA-winning Indian artist Ruchika Grover, is a product design studio that explores the potential of natural stone. Its surfaces, sculptures, and installations, are created through a unique process, which combines digital manufacturing and traditional hand craftsmanship. 

Ishi Kiri / Haibu. Image Courtesy of Anoma The breathing surfaces / Raza. Image Courtesy of Anoma Foliage / Monstera. Image Courtesy of Anoma Kinetic #07. Image Courtesy of Anoma + 23

Updating Antiquity: Using Modular Concrete to Create New Compositions

08:00 - 1 August, 2018
Updating Antiquity: Using Modular Concrete to Create New Compositions, © Madhava Kalmar
© Madhava Kalmar

Inspired by two of the oldest techniques in architecture, fluting, and reeding, Brooklyn-based GRT Architects have developed a series of modular concrete pieces that update the Greek tradition, varying its classic composition.

© Madhava Kalmar © Madhava Kalmar © Madhava Kalmar © Madhava Kalmar + 13

How to Calculate the Thermal Transmittance (U-Value) in the Envelope of a Building

08:00 - 29 July, 2018
© ArchDaily
© ArchDaily

When designing the envelope of projects, we must pay special attention to each of the elements that comprise it, since each of these layers has specific qualities that will be decisive in the thermal behavior of our building as a whole. 

If we divide 1 m2 of our envelope by the temperature difference between its faces, we will obtain a value that corresponds to the thermal transmittance, also called U-Value. This value tells us a building's level of thermal insulation in relation to the percentage of energy that passes through it; if the resulting number is low we will have a well-isolated surface and, on the contrary, a high number alerts us of a thermally deficient surface.

10 Unconventional Plywood Projects That Show The Bright Future of 20th Century Materials

08:00 - 27 July, 2018
Courtesy of PRODUCE Workshop
Courtesy of PRODUCE Workshop

Sold in standard 4 foot wide sheets since 1928, plywood has been a staple of conventional construction for nearly a century. Dimensionally strong, easily cut, lightweight and capable of creating an effective barrier, plywood and other engineered panels like OSB, particle board, and MDF is ubiquitous, particularly for their use as sheathing material in balloon and timber frame construction systems. Boats, airplanes and even automobile frames have historically been built out of plywood, predating (or replacing) steel, aluminum, and fiberglass. As a simple material capable of being manipulated and shaped in a wide variety of ways, sheet ply was also favored in furniture and architectural designs by modernists including Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Alvar Aalto, and Marcel Breuer.

Courtesy of Pablo Esteban Zamorano Courtesy of AREA and Electrotexture Lab © Rien van Rijthoven © Rien van Rijthoven + 27

Brutalism & Skateboarding: J. Byron-H's Unique Furniture Inspired by An Odd Pairing

06:00 - 23 July, 2018
Brutalism & Skateboarding: J. Byron-H's Unique Furniture Inspired by An Odd Pairing, © Samuel McGuire
© Samuel McGuire

Architects and designers are turning into their very own version of Midas, everything they touch turns into concrete. With products like concrete coffee machines, concrete garden gnomes, and even concrete jewelry, designers are finding remarkable ways of experimenting with the material, proving that concrete is a lot more than just a bulky, building component.

Los Angeles based architect-designer J.Byron-H, known for his playfulness with material and unexpected forms, have experimented with concrete and glass-fiber and created contemporary, light-weight pieces of furniture, inspired by skateboards and architectural brutalism.

© Samuel McGuire © Samuel McGuire © Samuel McGuire Courtesy of J. Byron-H + 40

How to Install Wood Laminate Flooring Without Any Tools

10:59 - 13 July, 2018

The installation of wood laminate flooring may seem basic or even alien to what we do as architectural designers, but that should not be the case. When we understand the characteristics of the materials we specify and their assembly processes, we can design in a more efficient manner, adjusting our proposals to the requirements of the project.

With this in mind, below we present a step-by-step assembly process for EGGER's  UNI fit wood laminate flooring—a type of flooring that sits above the slab and does not require the use of screws or glue. The elements of this system join together with "click" system, allowing the installed floor to sit freely over what is below it.

Cortesía de Egger Cortesía de Egger Cortesía de Egger Cortesía de Egger + 11

This Retractable Bamboo Yurt Can Be Easily Transported and Installed

06:00 - 10 July, 2018
This Retractable Bamboo Yurt Can Be Easily Transported and Installed , © Tommaso Riva
© Tommaso Riva

Tradition and innovation. Those are the two pillars within which Bamboo U's workshop’s creative pendulum strives to swing. Following the practice of ancient Mongolian yurts, participants of Bamboo U, a build and design course in Bali, have created a bamboo yurt which can fold like an umbrella and can be deployed in an instant. Under the guidance of the German master-builder Jörg Stamm, students built the first retractable yurt prototype in Bali during Bamboo U’s last edition in April.

Sombra Verde's 3D Printed Bamboo Structure Bridges the Gap Between Tradition and Technology

08:00 - 9 July, 2018
© Carlos Bañón
© Carlos Bañón

Bridging the gap between the old and the new is never easy. Traditional building methods, where you often adjust to the unpredictability of a natural material, seem to contrast with the mechanical precision of modern construction. Sombra Verde - a bamboo gazebo developed by AIRLAB and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) as part of Singapore’s Urban Design Festival 2018 - bridges this gap. The traditional raw bamboo poles, used extensively throughout Southeast Asia, are combined with 3D printed connectors, utilizing a series of new technologies. The result is an iconic, lightweight structure in Singapore’s Duxton Plain Park that promotes the use of public space, sheltering the population from both the intense sun and heavy rain.

© Carlos Bañón © Aurelia Chan © Carlos Bañón © Aurelia Chan + 24

How To Determine How Many LED Lumens You’ll Need To Properly Light Your Space

03:30 - 2 July, 2018
How To Determine How Many LED Lumens You’ll Need To Properly Light Your Space, Photo by Studio Millspace
Photo by Studio Millspace

What is enough light? The question is difficult enough but when faced with having to calculate how much LED lighting you need to create a well-lit space, it can become a bit more complicated.

Whether it’s architectural LED lighting for commercial applications or residential applications, here’s how to determine how many LED Lumens you’ll need to properly light your space.

Design an Efficient Kitchen by Downloading These BIM Objects

08:00 - 1 July, 2018

The requirements for the use of BIM files in architectural projects are getting increasingly stricter. Currently, there are mandates that will require the use of these tools for the development of public projects. It is also likely that these norms will also be replicated in private projects.

Earlier this year, we published the guide 'How to Correctly Design and Build a Kitchen;' today, we present the second installment on how to use the BIM format to design the kitchen of your project quickly and efficiently. The modules are part of a library of elements which can be varied in a large number of formats and styles through the different models of Melamine boards. 

The advantage of applying these modules is dependent on your design. You must consider the best possible optimization of a board, avoiding waste of material and money, and reducing the problems when building each piece of furniture.

What is CI and How to Design a Continuous Insulation System

08:00 - 26 June, 2018
Courtesy of STO
Courtesy of STO

CI (Continuous Insulation System) is an insulated facade system for walls and ventilated slabs that works through the superposition of 5 skins: fixation, insulation, waterproofing (open to the diffusion of the vapor and resistant to impact), and an outer cladding layer.

How are these components installed, and how do they work? Is it a system for new projects or can it be incorporated into existing buildings (retrofit)? How to design an CI correctly for my architecture project? Find these and other answers, below.

This Concept Uses a Pre-Fabricated Timber System to Enable Modern, Self-Built Homes

11:30 - 21 June, 2018
This Concept Uses a Pre-Fabricated Timber System to Enable Modern, Self-Built Homes, Courtesy of Space Popular
Courtesy of Space Popular

Solutions from the past can often provide practical answers for the problems of the future; as the London-based design and research firm, Space Popular demonstrate with their "Timber Hearth" concept. It is a building system that uses prefabrication to help DIY home-builders construct their own dwellings without needing to rely on professional or specialized labor. Presented as part of the ongoing 2018 Venice Biennale exhibition “Plots Prints Projections,” the concept takes inspiration from the ancient "hearth" tradition to explain how a system designed around a factory-built core can create new opportunities for the future of home construction.

© CVFH Courtesy of Space Popular Courtesy of Space Popular Courtesy of Space Popular + 33

Hidden Lighting: 5 Ways to Delicately Light a Building

08:00 - 19 June, 2018

Carefully designed or relegated to its mere functionality, lighting can be a determining factor in the quality of a space, influencing the way it is perceived and inhabited by the user.

Although it has been considered an object independent of most architectural elements, lighting often interpenetrates walls, ceilings, and floors, disappearing almost entirely to make its radiance appear only when the user needs it. How do you subtly illuminate a structure, while simultaneously creating an impressive atmosphere?

Systems to Incorporate Natural Lighting in Your Projects

06:00 - 18 June, 2018

There is nothing more rational than taking advantage of natural lighting as a guarantee to improve the spatial quality of buildings, as well as saving energy. The awareness of the finitude of natural resources and the demands for reducing energy consumption has increasingly diminished the prominence of artificial lighting systems, forcing architects to seek more efficient design solutions. With this goal in mind, different operations have been adopted to capture natural light.

These systems can also guarantee excellent spatial properties if projected correctly. Below we have gathered five essential systems for zenithal lighting.

How to Calculate Spiral Staircase Dimensions and Designs

08:00 - 17 June, 2018
How to Calculate Spiral Staircase Dimensions and Designs, © Matheus Pereira
© Matheus Pereira

Spiral staircases save valuable square meters because they occupy a much smaller area than a conventional staircase. With daring shapes and diverse configurations, they can also be iconic objects in projects. However, the design of these staircases requires careful attention so that you can prevent an uncomfortable or dangerous outcome. Although BIM software simplifies this process, it's always important to understand the restrictions and the underlying concepts.

Concrete Shells: Design Principles and Examples

06:00 - 14 June, 2018
Concrete Shells: Design Principles and Examples, Capela Bosjes / Steyn Studio. Image © Adam Letch
Capela Bosjes / Steyn Studio. Image © Adam Letch

Let's think of a paper sheet. If we tried to stiffen it from its primary state, it couldn't support its own weight. However, if we bend it, the sheet achieves a new structural quality. The shells act in the same way. "You can't imagine a form that doesn't need a structure or a structure that doesn't have a form. Every form has a structure, and every structure has a form. Thus, you can't conceive a form without automatically conceiving a structure and vice versa". [1] The importance of the structural thought that culminates in the constructed object is then, taken by the relationship between form and structure. The shells arise from the association between concrete and steel and are structures whose continuous curved surfaces have a minimal thickness; thus they are widely used in roofs of large spans without intermediate supports.

In structural terms, they are efficient because they resist compression efforts and absorb at specific points on their surface, especially near the supports — small moments of flexion.

How to Design and Calculate a Ramp?

08:00 - 11 June, 2018
How to Design and Calculate a Ramp?, © Fabián Dejtiar
© Fabián Dejtiar

We already know that the ramp, aside from its different design possibilities, allows—without forgetting the notion of promenade architecturale—its users to overcome physical barriers in the urban and architectural context.

Although it basically consists of a continuous surface with a particular angle of slope, it is necessary to point out the many constructive specifications, which of course may vary due based on the standards of different governing bodies. The following clarifications are intended to assist and determine the appropriate dimensions for comfortable and efficient ramps for all, based on the concept of universal accessibility.

To what extent can the slope of a ramp be modified? How can we determine its width and the space needed for maneuvering? What considerations exist regarding the handrails? Here we review some calculations and design examples for different ramps, below.