Marking the 400th anniversary of the Plaza Mayor in Madrid, a grassy circle measuring over 35,000 square feet was rolled out to create seating space for over 100,000 visitors across a four-day celebration.
The famous European square is framed by historic rectilinear architecture, beautiful in itself, but by adding a fresh layer of greenery, artist SpY provided space for locals and tourists to relax and mingle.
From above, the green dot stands out against its reddish surroundings, while, on the ground, it becomes not just a frame for interaction but also a point of conversation about local history.
Like much of SpY’s work, the project is made to be both interactive but also evocative, spreading naturally on social media and sparking conversations both on-site and abroad, leaving a lasting impression both online and in person.
And that function for which it was designed proved not just theoretical — as images of the actual four-day installation show, people gravitated naturally toward the grass, walking across and sitting down in groups on it.
Meanwhile, given the positive reaction to this piece, there is a rumor that the green circle might be rolled out again in Paris or some other European location.
This question can be basic and you may know the answer, but it's always good to remember some elementary calculations that help us to streamline the design process.
As we know, a staircase consists basically of a series of steps, which in turn consist of a tread (the horizontal part, where the foot will rest) and a riser (the vertical part). Although it can vary in its design, each step must also have one or more landings, handrails, and a small nosing. The latter protrudes from the tread over the lower step, allowing to increase its size without adding centimeters to the overall dimensions of the staircase.
Check the effective formula developed by French architect François Blondel, which allows you to determine the correct dimensions of a comfortable and efficient staircase according to its use.
2 Risers + 1 Tread = 63-65 cm
The necessary space to reach these optimal dimensions is not always available, but it's recommended to approach them as much as possible.
A schematic example of a steep and low-transit staircase
(2 x 21) + (1 x 21) = 63 cm
A schematic example of an optimal staircase
(2 x 18) + (1 x 28) = 64 cm
A schematic example of a loose staircase, preferably for outdoor use
(2 x 13) + (1 x 39) = 65 cm
Sample calculation of a staircase that should be 2.60 meters high
1. Calculate the number of steps that will be needed
Considering an ideal riser of 18 cm, the height of the space is divided by the height of each step. The result should always be rounded up:
260/18 = 14.44 = 15 steps
2. Calculate the height of each riser
The height of the space is divided by the number of steps that we have just obtained:
260/15 = 17.33 cm height for each riser
3. Calculate the width of the tread
Apply the Blondel formula:
(2 x 17.33 cm) + (1 x tread) = 64
Each tread will measure 29.34 cm
* The resulting staircase will have 15 steps of 29.34 cm of tread and 17.33 cm of riser
How to determine the width of the stairs?
Depending on the use and local regulations, a minimum width of 80 cm is recommended for stairs in single-family homes, and greater than 1.00 meters in public buildings, taking into consideration the tentative number of people who will use it. As a reference, according to the traditional book 'Architects' Data' by Ernst Neufert, in a staircase of 1.25 meters two people can go up and down at once, and in one of 1.85 meters 3 people can do it at the same time, with one appropriate distance of 55 cm between the person and the handrail.
After how many steps should a landing be included?
Ideally, a stairway shouldn't have more than 15 steps in a row. After 15 steps, a landing should be provided. It's recommended that a landing measure at least the same as 3 treads.
What is the ideal height between the staircase and the ceiling?
The height between the steps and the ceiling must be 2.15 meters at minimum. According to Ernst Neufert, you can reach a minimum of 2.00 meters. The height of the handrail can vary between 80 and 90 cm from each step.
How do I vary the proportions between the tread and the riser?
Stairs can take a variety of shapes and configurations, but the relationship between the tread and the riser must remain the same throughout its route to avoid causing imbalance to the user, who is already used to climbing or descending stairs in a certain way.
At first, books were kept in chests but as they became published in bulk they moved into the cupboard. The doors came off and the bookcase began to evolve. Today, bookcases can be integral architectural elements that shape space and, in some cases, even light. In celebration of International Day of the Book on April 23rd, ArchDaily compiled this round-up of architecturally, innovative bookcases.
Does anybody remember “mixtapes”? For those of you born after 1995, mixtapes were traditionally self-assembled arrangements of songs onto cassette tapes. I had hundreds of them and armed with my Sony Walkman, I would sit and work at my drafting table for hours on end. In this regard, I was not unique – everybody in studio had music playing in one form or another.
When I was in college, mixtapes played a role in my daily life up at studio – I listened to them constantly and for hours on end. I suppose I technically still have my mix tapes except now they are simply called “playlists” and with the availability of digital music, the feeling of listening to your favorite songs just isn’t as thrilling as it used to be. Yes, I am aware that I am currently suffering from good ol’ days syndrome, but I did just turn 50 and along with my AARP membership, I am entitled to certain privileges.
As the end of the collegiate school year approaches, semester-long studio projects and end-of-the-year studio jury’s have been taking place. Luckily, I still get to participate in these as a guest juror and I have found myself back in the architecture studio feeling a little melancholy for my youth … and my mixtapes.
Last week I took part in a panel discussion at the University of Texas at Arlington where I presented my American Institute of Architects Fellowship application … but of course, since I am me, I didn’t do what anybody else did (maybe there were instructions …). Four of the Five panelists ran through their applications before an audience mostly made up of current architecture students. Considering that the application process is extremely formulaic, I chose to ignore 75% of my submittal and just focus on a handful of pages within my application, while talking about how this process will most likely be unrecognizable by the time the 20-somethings sitting in the audience have their turn to apply for Fellowship.
I have also been taking part in a handful of architecture school jury panels lately. These are typically a lot of fun, despite the bumps along the way (for the students, not me) and I think spending some time in a college studio is good for me. I am reminded of how important first impressions are and how no amount of talking can make up for a lack of work. Not too unlike my time in college, you can pretty much tell a lot about a student just by looking at what they pin up on the wall, coupled with how they choose to explain their work (or lack thereof). It reminds me that architecture students at this stage can pretty much be categorized into one of the following categories:
Good Idea and Good Drawings
Bad Idea and Good Drawings
Good Idea and Bad Drawings
Bad Idea and Bad Drawings
Everyone can tell which student falls into which category … and that includes the student. Regardless of age or experience, people have a pretty solid understanding of when they have done the work and whether or not they have a good idea. As a juror sitting in on these presentations, the interesting part comes when someone tries to talk their way around the evidence that is currently pinned up on the wall. It is pretty typical that every class will have about 10% in the first category, 10% in the last category, and the rest falling somewhere in between.
I will confess that I fell into the bottom 10% the first year I was in architecture school – a painful introduction for me into an environment where I learned that no amount of smooth talking was going to keep me from having “my work” ridiculed. It was actually so bad that I ended up taking a year off from studio (not college) to figure out if this was something I was supposed to be doing. (For the full story, check out: The College Years). When I finally figured things out, I moved through the ranks and I’d like to think I made my way to the top. I am a little vain as a designer but not oblivious to the fact that I recognize that there were one or two other classmates of mine that have turned out to be the proverbial rockstar designer.
Thinking about how things were is typically not a productive use of one’s time – and I rarely advocate someone spending the time to look backward instead of focusing all their attention on what lies ahead. About the only time I think reminiscing is a productive use of your time, is when it is used as fuel to focus your efforts and hone your attention in on your goals. From time to time you need to reevaluate what your goals actually are so that you can make any necessary course corrections. I know that I currently have one fairly large course correction in front of me and for the time being, I am currently choosing to ignore it.
Seize the day and have a great week – there are obstacles and challenges before us all but we will be the better for taking the more interesting path.
Weighing close to 10,000 pounds, the complex shape and curvy form of this stainless steel bridge reflects the multi-axis printers that made it, line by molten line, and help highlight the potential of metal-printing technologies.
The MX3D Bridge was designed by Joris Laarman Lab (with engineering help from Arup and other partners) and spans just over 40 feet. It is constructed from a new type of steel, laid down by a team of robots. There is a certain roughness that is a byproduct of the printing process, which could be buffed away, but also may be left to highlight the novel method of construction.
Tucked in a linear warehouse with ordinary-shaped tools and materials, the design really stands out — it is full of winding curves, demonstrating possibilities for complex forms for architectural, industrial, maritime and space applications. Shot out beyond Earth’s orbit, machines like these may build the first non-terrestrial colonies on the moon or Mars using local materials.
This first bridge, however, which has been going through design and construction phases for a long time now, we be installed over a canal in Amsterdam next year, after being subjected to rigorous load tests and analyzed so engineers can learn from and iterate on its design. Given its unusual shape, it doesn’t fit typical building codes — new ones may need to be written for its future counterparts.
In the bustling streets of Seoul, the Dongdaemun Design Plaza by Zaha Hadid Architects has become a landmark for its atypical architecture. A complex yet effortless building, the Design Plaza encapsulates the energy of the cultural hub in Dongdaemun, an area that has itself earned the nickname of the "town that never sleeps" thanks to its late-night fashion market.
Investigating the building's twists and turns, Andres Gallardo has photographed the structure's fluid compositions. Although his photographs display little human presence, the building itself expresses the activity that occurs throughout day and night. Beneath the walkable park on the roof, Dongdaemun Design Plaza includes large global exhibition spaces, a design museum, 24-hour retail stores and a media center, among many other facilities that intertwine across the levels.
Location: Hosiery Complex Block B Rd, Hosiery Complex, Block B, Noida Phase-2, Phase-2, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201305, India
Lead Architect: Amit Khanna
Project Architect: Daud Malik
Area: 2350.0 m2
Project Year: 2018
Tessellate (verb) “tocover (a plane surface) by repeated use of a single shape, without gaps or overlapping.”
The persistence of zoned industrial areas surrounding growing cities is a vestige of Ebenezer Howard’s conceptualization of an ideal city. Howard understood that the production of goods was vital to the economy but couldn't bring himself to harmonize the idea that manufacturing could exist within the city. Generations of successive urban planners have laid out industrial areas far removed from the dense city centres where they once prevailed, choosing to mistakenly empathize with the needs of the urban elite, rather than with the blue collar working class, whose commute remained an unessential component of the decision making process.
The New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (or Noida), is one of the few municipal organizations in the world where the city agency has actually lent it’s acronym to the very city it services. Noida, as the region to the south-east of Delhi’s Yamuna, is colloquially known, is home to one of the largest “planned” areas in the region. A vast swathe of seemingly boundless grids has been overlaid over the landscape, with sector numbers running into triple digits. Connected via an immense highway to the south is Greater Noida, an equally ambitious planning exercise that is home to institutions, multi-storey residential buildings and even, an erstwhile formula one racing track. Nestled in the midst of this conurbation is the Hosiery Complex, an industrial hub allocated to the garment manufacturing business. Twenty years in the making, the surroundings still very much feel like a work in progress, as smaller industrial units give way to denser, vertical factories contained in multi-storey configurations.
To articulate a meaningful architectural response to such an insipid context, it was necessary to delve deeper into the intrinsic, to create a pattern, as it were. Fabrics are about patterns, often repetitive and the facade of this building uses layers (another garment reference), to create a multiplicity of surface textures. Cool grey glass is combined with a gradation of blue, grey, and white aluminum panels that seem to emerge with solidity from the ground, and eventually dissipate into the horizon. The exposed ends of the framework peek out from behind the top of the finished cladding, not unlike the tassels of a carpet, proud of their necessity in the process.
The building is laid out to maximize the efficiency of manufacturing processes that are housed within. Pallets of fabric make their way down ramps to the storage areas in the basement, where they are cut and bunched into bundles, complete with accessories. These make their way to the upper floors, where lines of stitching machines produce the semi-finished product. The final touches of packaging, labelling, quality control and dispatch are handled on the ground floor. The office space dominates the first floor, with the largest areas allocated for the sampling section and a work space for the designers. This work space was designed as a white space, a blank canvas to encourage creative freedom, while reducing strain. A showroom and a few private offices line the perimeter, while a corridor provides the requisite access to the rear fire escape stair.
The name of the building is derived from the visual complexity of the facade. To tessellate is to repeat a pattern so as to create a plane. The unit chosen here is the triangle, the proportions so chosen for the ability to extract exactly four equal four-foot side pieces from a single 8x4 sheet. Apart from the longevity, the idea that material must not be wasted is a key component of our approach to sustainability. While the glass panels may appear randomly sprinkled, their positions are the result of interior daylighting requirements. The colours of the panels themselves have been chosen for better light absorption at lower levels, with higher levels of reflectivity closer to the top of the building. A tubular aluminum frame supported on robust metal brackets underpins the facade. Diagonal cross bracing support the glass and aluminum panels on the peripheries, creating the precise six sided joints.
As the city inexorably grows to encompass these peripheral industrial areas, it’s architecture would also need to be responsive to this growth and migrating population. Creating workplaces that appear more welcome, would not only ensure better working environments and further better productivity, but also a much needed change to the decade-old context.
“The installation plays ironically on the dualism between the pure and the filtered experiences that intertwine with one another, to eventually leave the man at the center of it all,” says Tresoldi. “With the passage from a macro-reality to a restricted one, the human body becomes a key to read, discover, measure and experience reality, just like architecture itself. An analogy between man, architecture and their surroundings is ultimately established.”
The three structures that make up ‘Etherea’ at the Coachella Music Festival stand at 36, 54 and 72 feet in height, taking Tresoldi’s sculpture to a whole new scale. They make a striking contrast with the palm trees, mountains and spectacular sunsets in Indio, California, where Coachella is set. Shots that include the crowds really reinforce just how big these creations are.
As always, the layers of mesh create a haunting sense of unreality, keeping the scenery and sky visible beyond each of the ‘buildings’ so they feel more like memories or projections than physical structures.
From Barcelona to Bejing, Marc Goodwin is capturing architectural workspaces around the world. Goodwin’s latest endeavor: Dubai. Scroll down to get a glimpse of where architects like the ones at RMJM and EDGE work in the “City of Gold.”
The Yard Al Serkal Avenue
In this Space Since: 2017
Number of Employees: 10
Former Use of Space: Warehouse
Size: 140 sqm
In this Space Since: March 2017
Number of Employees: 5
Former Use of Space: Warehouse
Size: 140 sqm
In this Space Since: 2012
Number of Employees: 50
Former Use of Space: Office
Size: 500 sqm
Dubai Design District (d3)
In this Space Since: September 2017
Number of Employees: 5
Former Use of Space: Newly Built
Size: 216 sqm
In this Space Since: 2016
Number of Employees: 70
Former Use of Space: None
Size: 975 sqm
In this Space Since: April 2017
Number of Employees: 8
Former Use of Space: Newly Built
Size: 75 sqm
In this Space Since: 2016
Number of Employees: 6
Former Use of Space: Art Gallery
Size: 100 sqm
Jumeriah Lake Towers (JLT)
Design Worldwide Partnership (DWP)
In this Space Since: 2009
Number of Employees: 40
Former Use of Space: Office
Size: 394 sqm
In this Space Since: 2009
Number of Employees: 18
Former Use of Space: Office
Size: 215 sqm
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road
In this Space Since: 2011
Number of Employees: 9
Former Use of Space: Office
Size: 111 sqm
In this Space Since: November 2010
Number of Employees: 6
Former Use of Space: Newlly Built / Designed By Dabbagh Architects
Through his series of architectural photographs, photographer, Marc Goodwin, is giving us an inside look into the architecture firms of the world's greatest cities. His work has brought us through a collection of Nordic architectural offices, firms both large and small in London, numerous studios within Beijing, a selection of practices in Seoul, and a compendium of offices through the French capital.
Architecture photographer Marc Goodwin is continually adding to his world atlas of architecture offices. While photographing studios in Barcelona, Goodwin spent a little extra time at the post-World War I cement factory Ricardo Bofill transformed into his studio, gardens, and residence. After the cement-filled silos were uncovered, Bofill defined a new structure and program for his architectural fortress.
If you are searching for a simple yet efficient way to transform and liven up any space, respected designers suggest trying feature walls. The feature or statement wall has the function to differentiate a specific wall or area of the room from the walls that are surrounding it. It can be either a high-impact differentiation or a subtle one. It is up to you to be creative, play with colors and patterns, and choose what exactly you want to highlight in your room. The options are endless.
Meanwhile, we have some ideas that could inspire you to transform your house & make an impressive style statement:
Vertical garden wall
If you want to feel closer to nature while enjoying the comfort of your house, this design will make it possible. Grow your own vertical garden, and you will have fresh air and green plants all year round (for those of you who enjoy 4 seasons), plus you will have the impression of being outdoors even during the lazy days when all you want to do is stay inside. This wall looks amazing and it will definitely cheer you up and add a touch of originality to any room!
World map feature wall
World maps are a stylish element to add to your design and can be wonderful reminders of the fact that you can go anywhere you chose to. While making travel plans or just enjoying your daily life, your map on the wall will give a classy air to your room and may inspire you to do great things!
DIY Sharpie feature wall
The best about this type of wall is that it gives you the opportunity to get playful and creative! Prepare your permanent markers and draw your walls however you would like them! The results will be stunning and full of personality.
Wall mural feature wall
Chose a mural that inspires you and notice how your wall becomes like a door to another place. It can be a very transformational element that works for any space, thereby bringing a new sense of atmosphere into your home.
Chalkboard feature wall
What about transforming one of your walls into something that is both stylish, fun and useful? Try painting it with blackboard paint. This way, you will be able to leave messages for your dear ones, write out ideas, plans, write your or your children’s schedule to make sure they will not forget it. The children too can get creative and draw on the walls, and you can always clean them when you want to draw or write something new.
Art Gallery wall
Great for any art lover who would like to make a room that is full of life and color! Hang up paintings, prints, photos and any artsy stuff in a personal feature gallery. You can increase the stylishness by using different frames and mixing items and colors. Just make sure that all the items complement each other and follow a central theme. Another idea would be to create a bigger image using all of them. Get playful and give freedom to your inner artist!
Bookshelves as feature wall
As mentioned here, using storage items can be a great design idea for a wall. If you are one of those book lovers who has many built-in bookshelves, consider transforming this into a stylish aspect of your room. You can either paint all the shelves and the wall to which they are attached to the same color, or paint the back wall into a different color than the shelves. Whatever you chose you can be sure it will make a strong impact on your room!
An interesting way to turn a plain wall into a trendy one is by using fabric to decorate it. Wall fabric was in vogue from the early parts of the century. You need only a few hours to complete the design of such a wall, and unlike other elements – it can be simply peeled off if you feel like changing something. Fabric can bring about a sense of more coziness and comfort to a room, and it can also have sound-proof attributes, if you go with upholstery.
In conclusion, there are plenty of things you can do to create a chic statement wall in your house. By all means, choose the colors and ideas that resonate with you and trigger positive feelings all around, but remember that, while such trends can inspire you, ultimately, you’ll have to decide for yourself what really represent you specifically.
The Vespampère is slim, light and stylish, recalling a vintage classic from 1948 with an electric motor and other contemporary technological tweaks to bring it in tune with the modern era. Among other neat twists, a mobile phone becomes an integrated component, effectively serving as the vehicle’s dashboard.
Italian designer Giulio Iacchetti’s fresh model draws inspiration from the film-famous silhouette of historical scooters, returning to the lighter look of original models (a plus for urban maneuverability).
The minimalist design is an intentional rejection of heavier new vehicles on the road today, and taps into mobile tech by tying controls and displays (including speedometer, fuel gauge and lights) to a connected smartphone. This gadget, in turn, is housed in a clear compartment, front and center.
The phone can charge off the vehicle’s on-board electrical system, slim rear-view mirrors feature turn signals, and the cantilevered seat links back to the very first Vespa launched by the company over a half-century ago.
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