Due to its specific characteristics, the architecture of the sauna is interesting because it gives us lessons related to efficiency and the beauty of simplicity. These are generally very basic structures with a clear function, created to contain different levels of heat and humidity. Thanks to this steam bath, people can release toxins and improve their blood circulation. In addition, they are widely used in cold climates, in close proximity to nature and utilizing the presence of water.
Architecture is a privileged tool of those brands characterized by an elevated positioning and that, beyond the quality of their own products, need to feed an imaginary of prestige, style, and refinement. From the showrooms to the stores, fashion needs architects as much as stylists, photographers, and modelers.
Just before the global lockdowns began in response to the spread of the widely discussed COVID-19, we met with Saint Gobain experts at their new headquarters in Paris to discuss an extensive investigation conducted in 2019, with the aim of understanding the transformations that architecture and construction have experienced in recent years. After an interesting exchange of ideas, we chose the most relevant topics to be analyzed in depth by our team of editors, resulting in a series of articles that combined the trends identified with the unexpected events that occurred during 2020, connecting them directly to architectural design.
Climatic conditions are changing around the world, and with more extreme temperatures and limited resources, architectural and urban solutions must also change. How could our homes look and function effectively in a post-climate change scenario? Analyzing in detail the forecasts of these climatic variations, the architects of W-LAB have developed a Low-Tech habitat proposal for humid, hot, and arid climates, incorporating bio-materials, transportable solutions, and configurations that promote life in small and resilient communities.
Husos Architects’ work advances in an ongoing dialogue between design and research. Founded in 2003 between Spain and Colombia, the architecture and urban planning office stands out for addressing different scales, from the micro to the global, responding to the requirements of specific users but weaving deep contextual networks with the environment and beyond. How do they effectively approach this complexity, in turn promoting social transformation? We spoke with Diego Barajas and Camilo García Barona about their processes of approaching users and other agents involved –not only humans–, about how they address the colonization of the biosphere that has caused climate change, and about their inquiry into activism from a series of battlefields habitually neglected in traditional discourses of architecture.
A recent collaboration between the team of Mario Cucinella Architects (MC A) and WASP, specialists in 3D Printing in Italy, has resulted in the first 3D-printed construction of a fully natural, recyclable, and carbon-neutral material: raw earth. The circular housing prototype is called TECLA and it was built in Massa Lombarda (Ravenna, Italy) using multiple 3D printers synchronized to work at the same time.
There’s no question that 3D printing is here to stay. However, it is still a developing technology that raises certain questions: is it really effective for massive and large-scale construction? How sustainable is it? Will it go from being an option to becoming the norm in the construction industry? To help clarify the broader picture of 3D printing’s place in architecture and construction, we spoke with Alain Guillen, Managing Director and Co-founder of XtreeE, a platform that allows architects to bring their designs to reality through advanced large-scale 3D printing, generating quick and precise shapes without material waste. See below how he and his team see the future of robotics in architecture and why architects should prepare to embrace this new technology, heading for a more efficient but equally creative future.
The reBENT project, developed by the Research Group 9 of the March 2019-20 Program of the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL), explores the interactive relationship between augmented reality (AR) and manual construction processes using PVC pipes –highly resistant and cheap– as a base research material. In addition to taking advantage of its active bending properties to interact with AR, this material provides a fast and affordable system for the creation of complex concrete structures made by weaving together a series of bent PVC pipes and reinforcing bars, which are then used as formwork for glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC).
Responding to the challenge of designing a space for the launch of the Prada FW Menswear 2021 Collection by Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, Rem Koolhaas and AMO have designed four connected geometric rooms that allow for the continuous circulation of the models showcasing their different garments. The general theme of the design centers sensory stimulation. Like the designs presented, the materials used and their distribution throughout the space speak of a more intimate connection with our surroundings, reminding us that fashion and architecture are more than just a functional container; they are an opportunity to actively excite and provoke our senses.
During the first half of the 2nd century AD, one of the most important buildings in the history of Western architecture was erected in Rome: the Pantheon. Its main and most impressive feature is its coffered concrete dome, which ends in a perfectly round central opening. This oculus kicked off a series of later projects that noted the value of circular openings, which were replicated as glazed skylights and as compositional elements on facades. This eventually evolved, for example, towards the detailed and colorful rose windows of the Gothic basilicas. In all its configurations, the oculus (eye in Latin) holds a symbolism that goes beyond the traditional window: its luminous projection gracefully marks the passage of time, solemnly highlighting an architectural space.