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Universal Design: The Latest Architecture and News

How to Design an Accessible Kitchen: Adjustable and Multifunctional Furniture

04:00 - 10 July, 2019
How to Design an Accessible Kitchen: Adjustable and Multifunctional Furniture, Courtesy of Häfele
Courtesy of Häfele

Universal accessibility in architecture refers to the capacity that all people have to access and inhabit a space regardless of their cognitive and physical capacities, and it is a subject that cannot be dismissed. Although little modifications can make a difference, it is ideal for the spaces to be thought out according to universal design guidelines from the beginning.

In the case of the kitchens, a series of new technologies that increase the comfort and efficiency of our daily spaces have made an appearance. Thus, multiplying its functions and allowing better use of the available surface. Let's take a look at the latest innovations presented by Häfele.

Courtesy of Häfele Courtesy of Häfele Courtesy of Häfele Courtesy of Häfele + 24

The Trends that Will Influence Architecture in 2019

08:30 - 4 February, 2019
The Trends that Will Influence Architecture in 2019, © Alberto Cosi. ImageBamboo Sports Hall for Panyaden International School / Chiangmai Life Construction
© Alberto Cosi. ImageBamboo Sports Hall for Panyaden International School / Chiangmai Life Construction

It is, once again, the time of year where we look towards the future to define the goals and approaches that we will take for our careers throughout the upcoming year. To help the millions of architects who visit ArchDaily every day from all over the world, we compiled a list of the most popular ideas of 2018, which will continue to be developed and consolidated throughout 2019.

Over 130 million users discovered new references, materials, and tools in 2018 alone, infusing their practice of architecture with the means to improve the quality of life for our cities and built spaces. As users demonstrated certain affinities and/or demonstrated greater interest in particular topics, these emerged as trends. 

Why Do Architects Still Struggle with Disability Requirements?

07:00 - 8 January, 2019
Why Do Architects Still Struggle with Disability Requirements? , © Hufton + Crow. ImageStaircases such as this one, in ZHA's Dominion Office Building, are beautiful design elements but can pose challenges to those with limited mobility.
© Hufton + Crow. ImageStaircases such as this one, in ZHA's Dominion Office Building, are beautiful design elements but can pose challenges to those with limited mobility.

This article was originally published on Common Edge as " Why Architects Still Struggle With Disability Requirements 28 Years After Passage of the ADA".

The recent death of President George H.W. Bush occasioned assessments of his administration’s legislative achievements, one of which was the far-ranging Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a civil rights act signed into law in 1990. The law included accommodations for people with disabilities in buildings. In the ensuing decades the ADA has had a significant impact on the design and construction of the built environment in the U.S. To gauge the impact of ADA, how it has evolved, common misconceptions about ADA, and its role in promoting social equity in architecture, I spoke with Peter Stratton, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Accessibility Services at Steven Winter Associates, who works with architects and others in the construction industry on the application of the ADA design standards. (I worked at the Connecticut-based Winter firm between 1996 and 2006; Stratton was a colleague.)

Design that Educates Awards 2019

02:30 - 31 October, 2018
Design that Educates Awards 2019, Design that Educates Awards 2018
Design that Educates Awards 2018

The Design that Educates Awards (DtEA) investigate the educational potential of architecture and design. The ability to communicate the implemented solutions and features is the main theme of the awards. Such an informational layer of design and architecture provides an important (yet not fully explored) opportunity for a dialog between the user and the designer. The result—a new type of learning environment—provides a space for the exploration of both the design itself and its relation to the vaster context. Each year, the esteemed panel of judges will select the most outstanding examples.

Design Accessible Bathrooms for All With This ADA Restroom Guide

14:15 - 19 July, 2018
Design Accessible Bathrooms for All With This ADA Restroom Guide, ADA Design Guide / Washrooms & Showers. Image Courtesy of Bradley Corporation USA
ADA Design Guide / Washrooms & Showers. Image Courtesy of Bradley Corporation USA

In this article, we provide you with the tools to design more inclusive architecture. Although each region and country has its own accessibility guidelines which you should review in depth before starting a project, the material presented below, based on the ADA and ANSI standards, will help you design comfortable and efficient spaces for all its users.

Read on for detailed diagrams with the recommended measures to design an accessible bathroom.

Design a Bathroom for People with Disabilities by Downloading this Basic Revit Sample Model

08:00 - 1 April, 2018
Design a Bathroom for People with Disabilities by Downloading this Basic Revit Sample Model, Cortesía de Bradley Corporation USA
Cortesía de Bradley Corporation USA

As the profession becomes more aware of the variety of users who will use their architectural creations it is necessary to consider certain basic rules. In the end, the idea is that a building or space can be used comfortably, effectively and (if necessary) quickly by all users. Today the use of BIM technology encourages the incorporation of pre-modeled products in projects, which facilitates the processes. However, if pre-modeled products are not inclusively designed, there is an increased possibility of overlooking these accessible considerations–especially when their architects have no experience or are unaware of accessible design guidelines.

Bradley Corporation USA, a manufacturer of plumbing fixtures and bathroom accessories, has developed standard models of bathrooms for people with disabilities, delivering the basic requirements that must be incorporated according to the guidelines specified by organizations such as the ADA and the ANSI. Below we present an example of an accessible bathroom for a single person, incorporating, among other things, a touchless handwashing sink (all-in-one: soap, water, and hand dryer) and a series of safety bars. Before including it in your project, don't forget to check the local regulations of your country/region.

Universal Design and Accessibility Manuals from Latin America and Spain

08:00 - 29 January, 2018
Universal Design and Accessibility Manuals from Latin America and Spain, Guidelines and Requirements for Inclusive Architecture Projects. Image via Municipalidad de Rosario
Guidelines and Requirements for Inclusive Architecture Projects. Image via Municipalidad de Rosario

Last year we shared a guide to the United States' ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Given the article's success and the diversity of our audience, we're making available a collection of guideline documents from Latin America and Spain. Whether you're working on projects in these countries or you're looking to broaden your knowledge of universal design, these guides should come in handy.

These documents—published as PDFs—have been made available by institutions and organizations and refer to the requirements and laws of the indicated countries. 

A Simple Guide to Using the ADA Standards for Accessible Design Guidelines

08:30 - 6 June, 2017
A Simple Guide to Using the ADA Standards for Accessible Design Guidelines, Clear floor space. Image Courtesy of United States Department of Justice
Clear floor space. Image Courtesy of United States Department of Justice

Only a special few architects can truly say they enjoy reading building codes. There’s no doubt that it’s daunting and it can certainly pose challenges to your design. Over time you’ll likely become familiar with the types of things you need to look out for on a project, but even the most experienced architects may still need to double-check a code question or two during the design process (or have an intern check it for them.) Unfortunately, many code documents are unwieldy to say the least, and there are few cases in which this is more true than the 279-page ADA Standards for Accessible Design. However, once you understand the layout and how to use a code book or the ADA guidelines, they become more manageable.

This guide aims to describe each chapter in the ADA 2010 guidelines to give a foundation for navigating them. Luckily for designers in United States, the documentation for the ADA Standards for Accessible Design is available online. Keep reading for a quick summary (all information and diagrams are directly from the guidelines). Check out the whole document here if you need it—or for convenience, each subheading in this article links directly to the relevant section in the PDF!

Golf facility standards. Image Courtesy of United States Department of Justice Accessible route clear width. Image Courtesy of United States Department of Justice Required door clearances. Image Courtesy of United States Department of Justice Signage standards. Image Courtesy of United States Department of Justice + 16

A Triangulated Ramp Made For People With Reduced Mobility In Mind

08:00 - 12 May, 2017
A Triangulated Ramp Made For People With Reduced Mobility In Mind, © Micael Löfgren
© Micael Löfgren

© Micael Löfgren © Micael Löfgren © Micael Löfgren © Micael Löfgren + 27

The geometric design from Lab for Planning and Architecture for the Municipality of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain is a morphological response that conditions Julio Navarro's and Roque Díaz's swimming pools allowing adequate movement of people with reduced mobility.

The project is a path of stairs and ramps with a triangular design that integrates with the surrounding landscape; the materiality and the constructive details are adapted to the different needs and natural conditions of the land.