Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh used the impasto technique extensively in their paintings. Both applied thick layers of oil paint over the canvas, usually one shade at a time, and it was up to the viewer’s brain to mix the colors and create the desired effects. When dry, the paint forms reliefs and textures on the canvas, evoking a sense of movement. Even without being able to touch the screen, the texture of the brushstrokes gives a three-dimensionality to the painting, something that can only be fully observed by seeing the artwork live, looking at it from more than one angle and actually experiencing it.
The first Shikinen Sengu was held in the year 690, in the city of Ise, Mie Prefecture, Japan. It consists of a set of ceremonies lasting up to 8 years, beginning with the ritual of cutting down trees for the construction of the new Ise Shrine and concluding with the moving of the sacred mirror (a symbol of Amaterasu-Omikami) to the new shrine by Jingu priests. Every 20 years, a new divine palace with exactly the same dimensions as the current one is built on a lot adjacent to the main sanctuary. Shikinen Sengu is linked to the Shinto belief in the periodic death and renewal of the universe, while being a way of passing on the ancient wood construction techniques from generation to generation.
It is believed that copper was the first metal to be found by men and used in the manufacture of tools and weapons. This occurred in the last period of prehistory, more than 10,000 years ago, in the so-called Metal Age, when groups, until then nomadic, started to become sedentary, developing agriculture and starting the first urban settlements. Copper has since been used in diverse ways. Used for decorative objects, jewelry, automotive parts, electrical systems, and even for dental amalgams, the material has had huge demand. In architecture, copper coatings are greatly appreciated for their aesthetics and durability. But a factor worth mentioning is that copper can be recycled infinitely, practically without losing its properties.
When water runs down the drain or we flush it down the toilet, we usually don’t care where it ends up. This is because with adequate basic sanitation, wastewater shouldn’t be a concern. Yet, although humanity has already taken man to space and plans to colonize Mars, it continues to fail to provide basic living conditions for a large part of its population. A comprehensive study estimates that 48% of global wastewater production is released into the environment untreated. The UN, in turn, presents a much less encouraging figure, citing that 80% of the world’s sewage is released without treatment. But returning to the question of the title, there are basically two destinations for sewage if it is not being released directly into the natural environment: it can be treated locally through septic tanks, or connected to a sewage treatment plant through the sewage network, eventually returning to nature after a series of treatment processes.
The study of rocks allows us to understand the formation of our earth. Its types, the formed designs, the layers, all reveal the story. Along with the atmosphere and the hydrosphere, the lithosphere is one of the great pieces of the earth system, supporting the biosphere. This outermost solid layer of the planet is made up of rocks and soils; as for rocks, there are several ways to classify them. The most common is to separate them according to their formation processes, such as igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic. While sedimentary rocks constitute about 5% of the earth’s crust, the remaining 95% are igneous or metamorphic rocks.
Curved shapes have always sparked architect’s fascination for evoking nature’s beauty, fluidity, dynamism, and complexity. To replicate these shapes, however, is no easy task. From their two- or three-dimensional representation to their execution in their final materials, this represents an enormous difficulty, which requires technical expertise and a great amount of knowledge to achieve strong results. Thinking of new ways to produce organic shapes from natural materials is even more complicated.
A masterpiece is often defined as the most remarkable work in an artist’s career, one which highlights the height of their techniques and ideals. The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci; Michelangelo’s Pietá; the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. There are many examples, which are not always unanimously agreed upon. But what if what many consider to be the masterpiece was started by someone else, the credited creator didn’t live to see its completion, and almost all of its documentation was destroyed? Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and his world-famous Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família are examples of these complications. From a highly crafted stone construction to the most modern 3D printing techniques and high strength concrete, numerous technologies were and continue to be incorporated in the project’s construction.
Caius Sergius Orata is credited, by Vitruvius, with inventing the hypocaust. The word, from the Latin hypocaustum, in a literal translation, means access from below. The hypocaust is a raised floor system on ceramic piles where, at one end, a furnace—where firewood is burned uninterruptedly—provides heat to the underground space, which rises through walls constructed of perforated bricks. Hypocausts heated, through the floor, some of the most opulent buildings of the Roman Empire (including some residences) and, above all, the famous Public Baths.
Anyone who lives in a big city may have dreamed of moving elsewhere and living isolated, in a house among the trees or on a deserted beach. During the pandemic and the endless months of quarantine, many more may have had this same idea. As romantic and seductive as this may seem, however, living deep in nature comes with some important practical challenges. Rarely would anyone give up the little comforts they are used to, like turning on a faucet or charging their cell phone. If the location is, in fact, remote, it may not have electricity, drinking water, gas, sewage, or solid waste collection. But there remain several possibilities for a life with comfort and without neighbors. What are the main solutions to enable this and how can an architectural project provide an off-the-grid life?
The way in which a fire evolves largely depends on the materials that constitute the building, as well as how it is designed. For this reason, there exist a number of fire safety requirements in building codes that must be followed during the initial design stages, as well as the physical construction of a building. In addition to these building codes, there are other considerations that must be taken into account such as thermal comfort, acoustics, and accessibility. When specifying a material or product for part of a building, the architect or design professional must pay close attention to meeting these demands. An example of a suitable material choice is the Insulated Metal Panel (IMP), which can have superior thermal properties, various appearance possibilities and good fire resistance.