Antwerp’s New Law Courts, Stirk Harbour + Partners, institutional architecture, natural lighting, paraboloid roof

The Antwerp’s New Law Courts, designed by Stirk Harbour + Partners, was conceived both as a gateway to the city and as a link across the motorway between the city centre and the Schelde River. It aims to reconnect the urban tissue, broken by a massive motorway interchange that cuts off the boulevard that leads into the city. It houses eight distinct civil and criminal courts and includes 36 courtrooms plus offices, chambers for judges and lawyers, library and cafeteria, with a great public hall linking six radiating wings of accommodation. This space is capped by a striking roof structure, crystalline in form, linking the paraboloid roofs that cover the courtrooms. Read the rest of this entry »

UIC building UN Studio, mixed-use highrise, hexagonal facade, facade pattern, singapore architecture

The part-residential, part-office tower in Singapore was designed by UN Studio. In line with their consistent preocupation with responsive cladding systems, the ’V on Shenton’ tower has a facade that comprises several varying textures that depend on program and Singapore’s climatic conditions. Soft-edged and with a highly detailed envelope, the building communicates with the existing architecture of Singapore’s Central Business District, where the proposed building site is located. Read the rest of this entry »

The Vortex Chandelier is in line with the series of furniture pieces, which is also a collaboration of designers Zaha HadidPatrik Schumacher and Sawaya & Moroni. The Chandelier’s Opaque surface etches two transparent acrylic light spirals and a recessed LED light strip provides animated and programmable light sensations. Its complex curvilinearity follows a double helix connecting its beginning to its end and therefore forming an endless ribbon of light. In plan the object resembles a star with its protrusions pointing outwards from the center, emphasizing an imaginary centrifugal force. Read the rest of this entry »

Constructive Geometry Pavilion FAUP, honeycomb structure, cardboard pavilion, student work, digital fabrication

The Constructive Geometry Pavilion is an investigation of dome structures through use of computational design processes. Designed and constructed by the students of the Faculty of Architecture, University of Porto, the structure is made of corrugated cardboard. It is a demonstration of using computational design tools to conceive and materialize geometrically adaptive design solutions, by exploring mass-customization logics and intensive collective collaboration.

Constructive Geometry Pavilion FAUP, honeycomb structure, cardboard pavilion, student work, digital fabrication

The honeycomb structure with the inside covered by perforated panels has a total of 185 hexagon cells and 185 panels, organized in 21 parts for prefabrication. Each part was assigned to a group of 2 students, who became responsible for the digital flattening fabrication of the individual pieces, and their assembly. Given that it was not possible to use digital fabrication equipment, an alternative method was deployed – the contours were plotted and then cut by hand in the corrugated cardboard panels. This process took two days and a half to be completed.

The pavilion was a preview for a definitive installation which will be constructed in September, during the official opening of the 2012/13 academic year. Aligned with similar initiatives taking place in some other international schools, the Constructive Geometry Pavilion reinforces the position FAUP at the forefront of the teaching and research on digital technologies in architecture in Portugal.

Constructive Geometry Pavilion FAUP, honeycomb structure, cardboard pavilion, student work, digital fabrication

Constructive Geometry Pavilion FAUP, honeycomb structure, cardboard pavilion, student work, digital fabrication


Undulus Lighting System, Scott Jarvie, lighting design, energy efficient lighting

Undulus is a modular lighting system designed by London-based artist Scott Jarvie. It’s inspired by the beauty of cloud formations. It can be installed individually, in groups or in rows depending on the lighting requirements of the space. It provides a vertical directional light with a diffuse horizontal glow, utilising fluorescent tube bulbs, which have a number of benefits, including energy efficiency, low cost, long life in service and wide availability. Unlike compact fluorescent bulbs you are not required to dispose of the electronic starter every time you change a bulb. Read the rest of this entry »

Nunawading Station, Grimshaw Architects, rail station,public transportation, canopy

Designed by Grimshaw Architects, the Nunawading Station is part of the Springvale Road Grade Separation Project. The project incorporates pedestian connections, bus interchange facilities and an elevated concourse.  The concourse canopies with asociated ETFE pillows provide weather protection and allow ona open and spacious environment with a single line of column supports. The amenity pods are clad in a robust vitreous enamel panel. Together with a central spine of perforated metal panels and associated lighting to the soffit of the underpass, the project aims to increase the light and visual amenity in the area. Read the rest of this entry »

Iconic Pedestrian Bridge Competition, Dimitrie Stefanescu, pedestrian bridge, Amsterdam architecture

Designed for the [AMSTERDAM] Iconic Pedestrian Bridge Competition, the project offers more than just a possibility of crossing the Amstel river. Branching into several pedestrian trajectories, the bridge prioritizes on being an extension of the public space in front of the Hermitage Museum.  In order to prolong the experience of being on water, the bridge comprises several routes that create a public promenade with small docking areas for the local houseboats. The iconic nature of the project is seen by the design team (Mariana Popescu, Mihaela Radescu, Ovidiu Stanciu, Dimitrie Stefanescu) as an emergent feature resulting from both the geometry of the bridge as well as the socially enabled functional potential. Read the rest of this entry »

Mary Burton Durell Paper Sculptures, paper art, biomimetic design, cellular structures

Designed by San Francisco-based artist Mary Button Durell, this body of work uses only tracing paper and wheat paste as material.  At first glance these pieces appear to be built onto a rigid wire frame, however, the process is much more organic and the structure is created from hand building.  Individual cells or cones that comprise most of the pieces are first formed over molds of various shapes and sizes and then joined together using wheat paste cell by cell.  Additional layers of paper and paste are then added for strength and reinforcement which creates the net-like structure around the individual cells.

The translucent quality of the tracing paper allows light to play a significant and dynamic role in the work.  In combination with the physical structure of the work, this translucent quality creates an interior, as well as exterior, perspective. In certain light, however, the translucency of the paper appears to have the visual characteristics of more solid materials, such as oyster shell or marble. Read the rest of this entry »

Piazza d'Armi Urban Park, Modostudio, public park, multi-use building, urban design

Designed by Modostudio, Piazza d’Armi Urban Park approaches the issue of context through two major aspects: the artificial and the natural. The edges of the site, influenced by the surrounding urban structure and by the condition of these spaces, create a series of artificial and anthropological areas, that serve as a filter between the surrounding urban design and the area of the urban park. Read the rest of this entry »

La Voûte de LeFevre Installation, Matter Studio, digital fabrication, plywood sculpture, patterns

By drawing from our historically predominant obsession with the heavy and the permanent, La Voûte de LeFevre Installation re-examines our current addiction to the thin. The rapid, efficient and surface-oriented digital fabrication is used as a modern equivalent of ancient stone carving, marrying the two major architectural parameters – surface and volume. Designed by the New York based Matter Design, the project was preceded by an extensive research dealing with the eco­nom­i­cally friendly sheet mate­r­ial, while main­tain­ing a com­mon thread of a ded­i­ca­tion to vol­ume. Read the rest of this entry »