How can we transport ourselves to natural environments when we are in completely urban situations? The materiality of our surroundings is an important factor that determines the atmosphere we inhabit. In many cases, the use of natural materials in interior architecture can help evoke nature in our daily spaces. In this article, we will specifically analyze the effect that cork has as a special resource in the design of interior spaces. Cork is the bark of a tree species called cork oak. When extracted from the tree, it is transformed into a useful raw product and can be applied to a variety of different uses.
Wood is, without a doubt, one of the most versatile building materials there is. Treated lumber, boards, composites, or rustic hardwood, have structural and visual qualities that attract architects and clients searching for a wide range of possible applications and designs. Logs are one of the oldest ways of using this material since they require very little treatment and processing after the tree is cut and are the most natural form of lumber.
The roof of Euston Station in London is the large-scale architectural setting for the virtual application of the comprehensive Metaplas system, created by students from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. As part of an investigation carried out in Research Cluster 8 (RC8) of the Master's program in Architectural Design, students developed a 3D printed multimaterial system from biodegradable and recyclable thermoplastics. Transforming a series of flat panels into complex three-dimensional forms, students created a structural system with geometric folds that allows for passive control of the lighting of interior spaces.
In a 2016 survey of 400 employees in the U.S., Saint-Gobain found that office building occupants commonly complained about poor lighting, temperature, noise, and air quality, leading the company to deduce a need for improved lighting and thermal comfort in buildings while also maintaining low energy consumption and freedom of design for architects and clients. Their solution was SageGlass, an innovative glass created first in 1989 and developed over the course of the past three decades. The glass, which features dynamic glazing protecting from solar heat and glare, simultaneously optimizes natural light intake. A sustainable and aesthetic solution, SageGlass’ adaptability to external conditions dispels the need for shutters or blinds.
Ventilation serves two main purposes in a room: first, to remove pollutants and provide clean air; second, to meet the metabolic needs of the occupants, providing pleasant temperatures (weather permitting). It is well known that environments with inadequate ventilation can bring serious harm to the health of the occupants and, especially in hot climates, thermal discomfort. A Harvard University study demonstrated that in buildings with good ventilation and better air quality (with lower rates of carbon dioxide), occupants showed better performance of cognitive functions, faster responses to extreme situations, and better reasoning in strategic activities.
Hemp is one of the oldest crops domesticated by humans. With its wide variety of uses and applications, it’s easy to understand why it’s been a desirable product throughout history. Hemp seeds and flowers are used in health foods, medicines, and organic beauty products; the fibers and stalks of the hemp plant are used in clothing, paper, and biofuel. Today even a waste product of hemp fiber processing, so-called hemp shives, is being utilized to create sustainable building materials like hempcrete.
Hempcrete is a bio-aggregate concrete, where the hemp shives - small pieces of wood from the stalk of the plant - are mixed with either a lime or mud cement to create a durable, eco-friendly building material. Hempcrete is lightweight and non-structural, but can instead be integrated with traditional building construction systems. Similar to traditional concrete, it can be either cast-in-place or prefabricated into building components like blocks or sheets.
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.
When creating a?contemporary atmosphere for living, many factors come into play. The surrounding environment, its climate, use of materials, spatial organization, and the attention to detail in both the interior and exterior design, all impact the quality of the design as a whole.
The Unh?o complex, constructed in Salvador, Brazil in the 17th century, consisted of a sugar mill with a big house, chapel, and slave quarters. At the time, Salvador was one of the largest and most important Brazilian cities, and its port was the site of a large portion of the Portuguese colony's sugar exports, an economy fueled primarily by slave labor. The ensemble drew the attention of Italian-Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi at her first visit in 1958, during which she spent some years working and teaching in the city. Following Bo Bardi's decisive contributions, the buildings were restored and became the new home of the Museum of Popular Art and the Popular University. But within the whole complex, the element that draws the most attention for its plasticity, functionality, and symbolism is the helical wooden staircase.
Le Corbusier's fascination with the automobile is evident in the architect's various photographic records of him posing proudly next to a car in front of his architectural work. According to the Franco-Swiss architect, in addition to enabling more efficient and economical construction, the industrialization of architecture could form the basis of improved aesthetic results in the same way the modern car chassis supports the creative and modern design of the automobile body. Yet, while vehicles have experienced impressive changes since the 1930s, it can be said that architecture has been slower to adopt the advances of other industries.