The use of concrete in construction is probably one of the main trademarks of 20th century architecture. Concrete is composed of a combination of materials which when mixed with water solidify into the shape of the container where it is poured in. In this sense, it is the container or the ‘moulds’ who rule the outcome. The reuse of molds for casting concrete is a technique used to replicate and control the production of concrete elements or buildings. Architects and designers have used/created diverse types of molds and casting techniques to explore the limits of the material.
Complex designs often require bulky structural systems to support imaginative forms. But 3D printing technology has begun to provide unlimited architectural potential without compromising design or structural durability. Researchers at ETH Zurich, under the leadership of Benjamin Dillenburger, have now developed an innovative 3D sand printing technique that allows for quick molding and material reuse.
They have used this technique to create a formwork to fabricate an 80 square meter lightweight concrete slab at the DFAB House, the first and largest construction of its kind. The “Smart Slab,” which carries a two-story timber unit above it, merges the structural durability and strength of concrete with the design liberation of 3D printing.
It's fundamental that architects know about structures, not only to bring their designs to reality but also to be able to discuss their projects with engineers in order to find the best solutions for construction. Structural pre-dimensioning is crucial to the initial design of the structural components, revealing the restrictions and the possibilities of the spaces.
One of the main loads that a structure must support is its own weight, so it's essential to know this information so that the different parts of the building can be dimensioned. When starting a structural project, the engineer doesn't yet know the dimensions of the different pieces that make up the structure, and therefore, can't know their own weight. A paradox appears without a solution: to know the weight it's necessary to know the dimensions, but, to know the dimensions, it's necessary to know the weight.
During the development of the project the architect finds himself in the curious situation of having to design without necessarily knowing the size of each of the parts of the building (such as the size of the pillars, for example). These important elements directly affect functionality and aesthetics of the project.
Cracks, which could be classified according to their thickness as fissures or fractures, are serious problems in the construction industry that can negatively affect aesthetics, durability and, most importantly, the structural characteristics of a project. They can happen anywhere, but occur especially in walls, beams, columns, and slabs, and usually, are caused by strains not considered in the design.
SADAR + VUGA, in collaboration with LENS°ASS Architecten, has been selected as winner of an invited competition to design three new buildings on the Campus Schoonmeersen of the University College Ghent in Belgium. The campus development master plan will include a new building for the Study of Social Work (SOAG), a Sports Hall Extension and the Renovation of Building B that includes the adjoining Student Plaza. This highly anticipated project is expected to commence in late May. Continue after the break to learn more about each new facility.
Unsangdong Architects have nearly finished the steel structure of the “Culture Forest”, revealing the distinctive figure of the Culture & Art Center in SeongDong-gu, Republic of Korea. Read the architect’s description and view schematic renderings on our previous post.
More photos after the break.
Architects: Unsangdong Architects – YoonGyoo Jang, ChangHoon Shin, SungMin Kim Location: 656-323, SeongSu-dong, SeongDong-gu, Seoul, South Korea Client: Municipality of SeongDong-gu Structure: Steel framed reinforcement concrete Use: welfare, education and research, culture, nursery school Site Area: 1694m2 Bldg Area: 1001.77m2 Gross Floor Area: 9597.37m
The Greenland Zhengzhou Towers are unbuilt towers designed by Brininstool, Kerwin and Lynch in 2010. According to the architect description, the unique forms are “rooted in cultural influence, in which the massing is identifiable with the mountain formations found outside of Zhengzhou. The expression is balanced between historical symbolism and contemporary innovation.”
With an area that exceeds 6.5million square feet, this massive mixed-development was proposed to house a variety of programs, including office space and a five-star boutique hotel that occupies the top floors of the shorter tower on the south site. BKL was involved with the design of the complex on all scales, from the site considerations the lighting design of the hotel units. In addition to the typical hotel amenities afforded by luxury hotels (ballrooms, lap pools, spa, fitness center, etc.), the complex is decidedly Eastern, with meditation gardens and outdoor terraces. More after the break.
Set against a backdrop typically reserved for postcards, the decaying bunkers of the Aleutian Islands Campaign serve to memorialize a little-known chapter of WWII lore. Read more about these distinctive relics after the break.
Solo House Casa Pezo is part of the Solo Houses concept, series of eight to ten vacation homes designed by some of the talented young international designers. Pezo Von Ellrichshausen Architects, Mos Office, Didier Faustino and his studio Mésarchitectures, Sou Fujimoto, Studio Mumbai, and TNA – Takei-Nabeshima-Architects are among the architects designing the 200 sqm size homes, with the first collection to be set in the countryside of Matarraña.
Solo Houses is a similar concept to Living Architecture. Set up as a new social enterprise to revolutionise both architecture and UK holiday rentals, Living Architecture commissioned Peter Zumthor, Michael & Patty Hopkins, NORD, Jarmund/Vigsnæs Architects & MVRDV to each design homes. Many of these have been featured on ArchDaily including MVRDV’s unforgettable Balancing Barn.
Follow the break for drawings and renderings of Solo House Casa Pezo by Pezo Von Ellrichshausen Architects.
Architects: Pezo Von Ellrichshausen Architects Location: Polygon 13, Parcel 245, Cretas, Teruel Province, Spain Architects: Mauricio Pezo, Sofia von Ellrichshausen Associated Architects: Alberto Haering, Gonzalo Urbizu Collaborators: Diogo Porto, Bernhard Maurer Valeria Farfan, Eleonora Bassi, Ana Franzisca Freese Client: Christian Bourdais Project Area: 313 sqm Project Year: 2009-2011