Since the 1970s, humanity’s resource consumption began to exceed what the planet could renew in a year. That is, we are withdrawing and polluting nature more than it can naturally recover. According to the World Bank, if the world's population reaches even the projected number of 9.6 billion people by 2050, it will take almost three Earth planets to provide the natural resources needed to maintain humanity's current lifestyle.
Every day an enormous amount of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere through industry, transportation, burning fossil fuels and even respiration of plants and living things. As the consequences of climate change become clearer, both governments and private sector companies are setting targets for carbon emission reductions, since these are regarded as the main greenhouse gases, and their high concentration in the atmosphere lead to air pollution and acid rain, among other consequences.
Initially created for aerospace purposes, materials based on advanced fiber-reinforced thermoset technology are increasingly being considered not only to manufacture specific building elements but also to change the way buildings are conceived, designed and built. Despite being incredibly resistant –almost six times stronger than steel– fiber-reinforced materials are light and easy to handle, allowing the creation of complexly shaped but efficient architectural projects.
We spoke with experts from ShapeShift, the creators of the ShapeShell product, in order to deepen our understanding of this technology and learn more about how we can take advantage of its possibilities in our future projects.
Universal accessibility in architecture refers to the capacity that all people have to access and inhabit a space regardless of their cognitive and physical capacities, and it is a subject that cannot be dismissed. Although little modifications can make a difference, it is ideal for the spaces to be thought out according to universal design guidelines from the beginning.
In the case of the kitchens, a series of new technologies that increase the comfort and efficiency of our daily spaces have made an appearance. Thus, multiplying its functions and allowing better use of the available surface. Let's take a look at the latest innovations presented by Häfele.
Picture this. You're in a restaurant and you can hear the conversation of the person in the table next to you better than the person you're sitting with. Then, everyone begins to speak louder, making the environment chaotic. Absorption, reflection, reverberation, frequency, decibels, etc. Although acoustics is a complex science that can render buildings almost uninhabitable when not properly thought out, architects do not always possess the theoretical resources nor have the necessary concern to develop acoustically comfortable spaces.
European children spend approximately 200 days a year at primary school. Even though the academic year in most parts of the world is not as long as in Europe, the place where children and adolescents spend the most time, following their own homes, is usually in educational institutions. These can be places for learning, playing and socializing, and as sad as it may be, they can also be safer places for children living in environments of abandonment, hunger, and violence, providing them with opportunities and even meals. A United Kingdom-wide survey found that the differences in physical characteristics of classrooms accounted for 16% of the variations in learning progress over the course of a year. In other words, the better a classroom is designed, the better children perform academically. According to the study, the factors that most affect children are sunlight, indoor air quality, acoustic environment, temperature, the design of the classroom itself and the stimulation within it.
Ever since Manchester University first isolated Graphene in 2004, it has been widely referred to by its properties as a promising material through diverse research that focuses on reaching a range of uses in the most varied industries. Graphene is known to be one of the strongest materials known to science due to its composition of a single carbon atomic layer in a hexagonal mesh. It is also one of the finest materials known to mankind, 200 times stronger than steel yet 6 times lighter. Plus, it is an excellent heat and electricity conductor, aside from its interesting light absorption qualities. When combined with other elements, including gases and metals, it can produce different new materials with highly superior properties.
This is all quite recent: less than a year ago, a French family became the first in the world to live in a 3D printed house. Short of 20 years, this seemed like a distant dream, this new technology has developed quickly, and it arises as a possible contribution to the housing crisis around the world.
Traditionally, bricks have been used in architecture to fulfill a double function: structural and aesthetic. While they act as an effective and resistant modular solution in building structures, their faces can be exposed to constitute their architectural appearance, generating facades rich in texture and color, thanks to the iron present in the clay they are composed of.
At present, there are products that allow the attractive appearance of bricks to be merged with other structural systems, separating their functions and providing the necessary freedom of design so that the facades can adapt creatively in favor of the conditions of each project and the requirements of its users.
Thermal comfort becomes very evident when it is not attended to. When thermal conditions are adequate in one location, our body is in balance with the environment allowing us to perform activities normally. On the other hand, when a space is too hot or too cold, we soon see changes in our mood and body. Dissatisfaction with the thermal environment occurs when the heat balance is unstable, that is when there are differences between the heat produced by the body and the heat that the body loses to the environment.
Today, improvements in glass processing technology have made it possible to render specific and effective solutions for a wide range of architectural projects. In fact, there are so many options available that it's almost necessary to research different products and their properties, and how this will impact, for example, the windows and doors that you are designing.
What variables should be considered – and prioritized – when choosing the glass used in a project? How can aesthetics coincide with function and efficiency? We sat down with the experts at Cristales Dialum to delve into the complex world of glass and to better understand the hows and whys of choosing the best type of glass for your projects and ensuring the best results for your clients.
The algorithm, Finch, generates different spatial configurations according to predetermined parameters as you change the total area of the space. This helps to define zones in the initial stages of the project, which can then be refined according to the specific requirements of the assignment. The algorithm has been developed by BOX Bygg and Wallgren Arkitekter and written in Grasshopper, for now.
Terrazzo is made by combining a cement base (sand, water, and cement) with a mixture of ground minerals - like marble, granite, and quartz - and can be applied to almost any surface, vertical or horizontal. The technique, produced using a completely hand-crafted method, was used worldwide in the construction of modern buildings and is noted for its durability, resistance (to water and abrasion), and easy maintenance. This made it a go-to material in the creation of flooring for houses and the common areas of residential and office buildings.
Today, terrazzo is experiencing a revival as one of the key trends in contemporary architecture. Here, we will discuss the whats and hows of terrazzo and illustrate some of its uses in current projects.
Over the course of history the unique characteristics of wood, which are dependent upon the species of the tree and the location in which it has grown, have enabled humanity to flourish in all parts of the globe. The architectural details of wooden construction therefore show a great diversity of meetings and joints, showing not only a project's constructive and structural logic, but also embodying the value and complexity of each project.
Take a look at these 50 construction details of projects that stand out for their clever use of wood.
Kengo Kuma uses materials to connect with the local context and the users of his projects. The textures and elementary forms of constructive systems, materials, and products, are exhibited and used in favor of the architectural concept, giving value to the functions that will be carried out in each building.
From showcases made with ceramic tiles to the sifted light created by expanded metal panels, passing through an ethereal polyester coating, Kuma understands the material as an essential component that can make a difference in architecture from the design stages. Next, we present 21 projects where Kengo Kuma masterfully uses construction materials.
BIM is bringing 3D information technology to the work of floor-planning. Many 3D models rendered on traditional floor-plan platforms don't show the same level of detail and complexity as ones that incorporate BIM technology. For this, it is necessary to develop configurations that allow for the creation of an expressive and detailed floor plan that gives the best possible view of a project.
In this article, you will find an architectural file from Revit that features a series of configured View Templates. Made especially for architects who are newcomers to Revit and BIM methodologies, this file will allow you to incorporate View Templates into your Revit projects, allowing you to better showcase the ideas and concepts behind your designs.
During the modern period, the buildings that used the traditional sloping roofs with tiles, draining the waters as quickly as possible, have begun to give way to the well-known 'waterproof flat roofs.' In spite of delivering a clean aesthetic to the project, allowing the use of the last slab as a space for living and contemplation, this solution can become a headache for its occupants if its execution and design are not careful. It is no accident that there have been infiltrations in famous modern buildings, such as the Vile Savoye or the Farnsworth House, designed by great masters of architecture. Currently, the civil construction industry has developed more sophisticated products and techniques that drastically reduce the chances of subsequent infiltration. However, we could say that waterproof flat slabs continue to be fragile points in buildings. The architects from Brasil Arquitetura have improved an inventive and very simple solution to avoid infiltrations in flat slabs, much used in the 70's by architects like Paulo Mendes da Rocha and Ruy Ohtake, filling them with vegetation.
The use of steel in architecture is considered as one of the most innovative construction developments in history, allowing architects to create structures in scales they never thought they could. Fast-forward a few centuries, and steel remains as one of the most crucial materials in architecture. But there is a lot more to the material than just tensile strength and durability, some architects were well-aware of steel's potential and transformed it into lighting fixtures, facades, decorative elements, and finishes.
Here are 15 projects where architects looked beyond steel as structural support and explored its diverse possibilities in architecture.
As urban dwellers become more aware of the environmental impacts of food production and transportation, as well as the origin and security of what they consume, urban agriculture is bound to grow and attract public and political eyes. Bringing food production closer, in addition to being sustainable, is pedagogical. However, generally with small size and other restrictions, the concerns of growing food in cities differ somewhat from traditional farming.
Urban gardens can occupy a multitude of places and have varied scales - window sills and balconies, slabs and vacant lots, courtyards of schools, public parks and even unlikely places, such as subway tunnels. They can also be communitarian or private. Whatever the case, it is important to consider some variables: