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Mdf: The Latest Architecture and News

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

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

8 Biodegradable Materials the Construction Industry Needs to Know About

In architecture we are so caught up in creating something new, we often forget about what happens at the end of a building’s life cycle—the unfortunate, inevitable demolition. We may want our buildings to be timeless and live on forever, but the harsh reality is that they do not, so where is all the waste expected to go?

As with most non-recyclable waste, it ends up in the landfill and, as the land required for landfill becomes an increasingly scarce resource, we must find an alternative solution. Each year in the UK alone, 70–105 million tonnes of waste is created from demolishing buildings, and only 20% of that is biodegradable according to a study by Cardiff University. With clever design and a better awareness of the biodegradable materials available in construction, it’s up to us as architects to make the right decisions for the entirety of a building’s lifetime.

Update: SLEEPBOX / Arch Group

© Arch Group
© Arch Group

Back in late 2009 Arch Group shared with us their proposal for an urban relaxation pod – SLEEPBOX. Their concept has been realized, with production of the modular 2.5×1.6m x 2.5-3m high unit high moving ahead.