The design of industrial architecture presents a considerable challenge, since certain factors such as the industrial workflow and the conditions for the workers and machinery provide the guidelines for the development of the project. However, in many cases, industrial projects are designed without further exploration in terms of materials or construction systems, aiming simply to comply with regulations.
Geography and climate are two important conditions that determine how people can live in a certain environment. When we add to this the cultural characteristics of a region, what appears, as Carl Sauer would say, is a "cultural landscape," a result of humankind’s settlement and adaptation to the territory. When architecture adopts a sensitivity to these conditions, and concerns itself with what the environment offers, living conditions take on a quality of lasting comfort.
One of the ways that architecture must be integrated into its natural context is by maintaining the sensory experience of the place itself. This can be achieved by assigning value to a site's spatial qualities, textures, and even by generating contrasts, to enhance and differentiate existing elements from man-made ones.
One of the main challenges in adding new spaces to a pre-existing building is in the dialogue that is generated between the original construction and the new proposal. The different possibilities are infinite and it is the architect who will make the final statement through their choice of design language; they must decide to either emulate the existing architecture, reinterpret it, or to propose a whole new language.
For religious societies, heritage and traditions play an important role in maintaining identity, culture and allowing for the community's self-improvement, both spiritually but also in a spatial sense. Therefore, the way people occupy the place in which they live leads to the material fulfillment of religious aims.
For the last three centuries, museums -as an architectural typology- have transitioned from being an important node in the city to becoming an icon of identity for a whole culture. Museums have transformed into a civic landmark in a local and international scale.
Stereotomic architecture is characterized by two strong themes: the continuity of the forces of gravity to the ground, into the soil; and the search for natural light, which drills through the massive, solid walls to illuminate and allow habitation by the human being. It’s from these themes that this project takes its power.
The process of carrying out a project from start to finish includes many different variables, from determining the users' needs to figuring out how best to set up the work site. The latter are an important part of determining the project logistics as well as its design criteria. Colorado Outward Bound Micro Cabins emphasize this process, using a planning logic that takes into account the design of a minimally-sized living unit under extreme conditions as well as the execution of the assembly in a short time and in a place of difficult access.
The search to connect with nature has been of great value to architecture, not only in terms of respecting and enhancing the natural conditions of a place, but also in creating a holistic relationship between the user and the space.
From the use of animal skins to create the envelope of a tent, to building structures from bones, and using dried mud for masonry, humans have long turned to the earth for inspiration and to provide us with the materials to build.
Starting in 2016, ArchDaily's projects team - the editors responsible for selecting the projects we publish on ArchDaily - will be selecting one exceptional project every month. We hope that this will shine a light into our selection process by allowing us to highlight projects that motivate and inspire us. Whether it’s a project that demonstrates an outstanding relationship to its context, or a building whose materials emphasize the power of architecture, these “Projects of the Month” should be seen not only as valuable architectural references, but also sources of inspiration and knowledge.