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Steel Structure: The Latest Architecture and News

The Engineering Behind San Francisco's Safest Building

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "The Skyscraper's Innovative Structure is Changing the Game for Earthquake Design".

The most remarkable thing about 181 Fremont—San Francisco’s third-tallest tower, designed by Heller Manus Architects—is not the penthouse’s asking price ($42 million). Rather, it’s an innovative yet unglamorous structural detail: a viscous damper system that far exceeds California Code earthquake-performance objectives for buildings of 181 Fremont’s class, allowing immediate reoccupation after a seismic event.

Public Pools or Private Houses - How Should Stockholm Use its Cliffs?

Courtesy of UMA / Manofactory. Image Infinity Pool vs Nestinbox
Courtesy of UMA / Manofactory. Image Infinity Pool vs Nestinbox

One of architecture’s most delightful anomalies is the diversity of solutions generated by any given site. From hypothetical university projects by architecture students to professional international design competition entries, the differing perspectives, stances, and experiences brought to rest on one site by several design teams can wield a bounty of contrasting ideas.

Recently, we reported on Nestinbox, a proposal by Swedish architecture firm Manofactory to attach a series of simple, functional houses to a cliff face in Stockholm, addressing the demands of increased populations and land prices in cities across the world. Now, the cliffs of Stockholm have been the subject of an entirely different, though just as evocative concept by Swedish firm UMA. Rather than private housing, UMA proposes the Stockholm Infinity Pool, a public pool 1km along the Sodermalm cliffs of Sweden’s capital.

Courtesy of UMA Courtesy of UMA Courtesy of UMA Courtesy of UMA + 13

Forget Treehouses - Cliffhouses are the Future

In major cities around the world, buildable land is at a premium. At the same time, a continued trend of urban migration has led to a shortage of houses, inspiring a wealth of innovative solutions from architects and designers. Swedish firm Manofactory have literally taken housing solutions to a new level, questioning why we need to build at ground level at all.

Many animals, including birds, build their nests in trees, under roof tiles or in rock crevices above the ground. Humans already build simple nesting boxes for birds to live in, causing Manofactory to question why we can’t build nesting boxes for ourselves – a simple house with several rooms, windows, and climate protection. Pointing to the numerous cliff walls in cities across northern Scandinavia and elsewhere, Manofactory have designed the Nestinbox – a small wooden house with a steel structure to be mounted on sheer cliff faces.

Nestinbox takes inspiration from birdhouses to provide an innovative solution to tackle housing crises. Image Courtesy of Manofactory An interior arranged around three floors provides compact yet functional living. Image Courtesy of Manofactory The facade is clad in horizontal timber to reduce perceived building height. Image Courtesy of Manofactory One elevation of the Nestinbox can be free of windows, allowing for combinations of several units. Image Courtesy of Manofactory + 6

SADAR + VUGA wins first prize in University College Ghent Competition

SOAG Building - Courtesy of SADAR + VUGA
SOAG Building - Courtesy of SADAR + VUGA

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.

SOAG Building - Courtesy of SADAR + VUGA Sports Hall Extension - Courtesy of SADAR + VUGA Sports Hall Extension - Courtesy of SADAR + VUGA Student Plaza and Renovation of Building B - Courtesy of SADAR + VUGA + 45

Bike Hanger / MANIFESTO

Courtesy of MANIFESTO Architecture P.C.
Courtesy of MANIFESTO Architecture P.C.

The Bike Hanger is an essential facility for the city of Seoul which aims to increase its bicycle-friendliness. The facility is not only low-maintenance and environmentally friendly, but by being installed in between buildings it takes advantage of many of the underutilized spaces that exist around the city. Each Hanger is able to store between 20-36 bicycles and it is easily attached to the sides of buildings, allowing minimal interference with the pedestrian traffic below.

Courtesy of MANIFESTO Architecture P.C. Courtesy of MANIFESTO Architecture P.C. Courtesy of MANIFESTO Architecture P.C. Courtesy of MANIFESTO Architecture P.C. + 14

Architects: MANIFESTO Architecture P.C. Location: Between Buildings Project Area: 60 sqf Construction Budget: $100,000 Project Status: Shortlist for ‘Seoul International Design Competition: Design for All’ and Shortlist for ‘Seoul Cycle Design Competition 2010′ Renderings: MANIFESTO Architecture P.C. Design Team: Jeeyong An, Sang Hwa lee, JiYoon Oh, Sang Hee Jun.