Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has completed the restoration works for Lever House, one of New York’s Modernist landmarks. The building was completed in 1952, following SOM’s design. At that time, architecture critic Reyner Banham said of the building “it gave architectural expression to an age just as the age was being born.” Since then, SOM has retained a level of stewardship, revisiting the building and ensuring that the restoration works preserve the original image without compromising contemporary standards of performance.
Outdoor Spaces: The Latest Architecture and News
The role of a school is to prepare children for life. But with life-changing faster than ever, schools need to change just as quickly. Recent additions to school curriculums reflect the complexities of modern life, with environmental crises, societal injustices, and the dangers of social media now major parts of the syllabus.
Although it’s often said that long-term change begins at ground-level, change is never easy, wherever it starts. For example, a curriculum that responds to environmental issues is said to cause growing instances of eco-anxiety in children, one of a number of causes of another crisis, in children’s mental health.
Timber, harvested and prepared for construction, is a durable material known for its strength and versatility. It serves as an architectural element in structural systems, framing, cladding, decking, and flooring. Although it possesses a warm and natural character that creates an aesthetic appeal, the inherent humidity of timber can cause wood deformation, leading to bending, mold, and rot once the moisture content reaches 23%. However, with the development of new products and production techniques, Thermowood –also known as Thermally Modified Timber– has emerged as a method for creating natural, chemical-free solutions made from certified raw materials.
By reducing moisture content, it does not rot or mold, it experiences no longitudinal shrinking, and ensures high dimensional stability, resulting in a minimum biological life span of 25 years. After analyzing how to apply these solutions in architecture and design, we will showcase indoor and outdoor spaces featuring Tantimber’s Thermowood products.
Sun protection is a universal need for human beings. While sunlight benefits our health and mood, it is also essential to protect ourselves from its harmful effects on our well-being and comfort. Throughout history, architecture has provided solutions to this need by offering shelter and comfort in shaded areas. Since ancient Egypt, sunshades made of palm leaves attached to a pole have been used to protect against the sun in open spaces.
Thanks to contemporary materials, we can now develop more durable outdoor structures and furniture than the palm leaves used by the Egyptians 4000 years ago. This has resulted in lightweight and aesthetically pleasing structures that resulted from the designs and materials that emerged in the 20th century. Although these designs are not made from natural elements, they incorporate pieces that replicate their characteristics, providing shade with unique shapes and a distinctive design. In this context, cbdesign has created the Daisy umbrella. This flower-shaped parasol reproduces the colors found in natural surroundings, such as the sea, yellow frangipani, the blue sky, and purple bougainvillea.
Shade refers to a region or state where sunlight is partially obstructed by objects or structures. This concept plays a crucial role in architectural design, as it significantly impacts comfort and functionality. It offers relief from direct sunlight, helps regulate temperature, and reduces glare. For these reasons, architects strategically incorporate shading elements to enhance the quality and utility of spaces, especially in outdoor residential areas. In this context, ShadeFX are manufacturers of innovative sun, rain and privacy solutions that are customized for every project regardless of size or complexity.
What are the Interior Courtyards of Spanish Houses like? 10 Examples in Contemporary Architecture and Design
The origin of interior courtyards dates back several years, serving as a means of shelter, security, and protection, while also aiming to achieve comfort and well-being through exterior elements. In contemporary housing, a wide range of possibilities is deployed, capable of accommodating various uses and activities that foster the relationship between the interior and exterior environment. Furthermore, notions of energy efficiency, thermal regulation, ventilation, and natural lighting are incorporated, among others.
Modern interior living environments’ fine-tuned lightscapes feature a delicate mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting to perfectly balance performance and pleasure. But one area of a home’s visibility that’s still so easily overlooked is the exterior.
"The explosion of outdoor dining is both a survival tool for restaurants and a welcome cultural shift that may be here to stay", states Jessica Ritz, in her article originally published on Metropolis. In fact, the author explores hospitality trends that have emerged during the pandemic in California, mainly outdoor dining, and that are likely to last or be present for a long time.
After several event cancellations due to the pandemic, Manhattan’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts complex have transformed their outdoor plaza into a green park and outdoor performance venue called The Green. As of May 10, the Restart Stages initiative will add fake grass across the 14,000-square-foot (1,300 sqm) Josie Robertson Plaza. The plaza, which was originally designed by Philip Johnson, Wallace K. Harrison, and Max Abramovitz, and renovated by award-winning architecture firm DS+R in 2010, will transform into a public urban space of gathering, leisure, and entertainment.
Ever since the tramline’s closure, the 800-meter-long strip in the center of Corso Gabetti and Ponte Regina Margherita in Turin, has been abandoned. To make use of the dead area and give residents an extra space outdoors following Italy's severe pandemic repercussions, non-profit cultural association Torino Stratosferica has transformed the tree-lined strip into Precollinear Park, a temporary public space fit for socially-distanced leisure.
Part of New York’s Recovery Agenda, to keep the city safe and healthy, the Open Restaurants program established in June of this year was extended year-round, to be made permanent. In fact, Mayor de Blasio has allowed restaurants to use heating and enclosures, and expand seating to adjacent properties with neighbors’ consent. This extension will also apply to Open Streets: Restaurants, “which currently offers restaurants expanded space on 85 car-free streets citywide on certain days”.
A new pop-up intervention installs 50 private, clear, frameless, geodesic domes in the open spaces of Toronto, Canada. Created by Lmnts Outdoor Studio, the project aims to bring Yoga and fitness workouts safely, to an outdoor setting, while respecting social distancing measures.
ODA released images of its 1,185’ mixed-use tower in downtown Seattle. Showcasing a novelty in high-rise design, the project underlines the value and importance of outdoor space. Carving out a void in the middle of the tower, the design creates a shared outdoor amenity space with impressive views to Mt. Rainier.
David Rockwell and his team at Rockwell Group proposed an open streets initiative, a template for outdoor dining, in order to help bars and restaurants reopen post-pandemic. The design strategies illustrate practical solutions to make everyone feel safe.
While public parks and gardens have closed down their doors around the world, in fear of the COVID-19 spread, Studio Precht has proposed a green space designed around the rules of physical distancing. Entitled “Parc de la Distance”, the project introduces an outdoor space that encourages social distancing and short-term solitude.