Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Thailand Hilton Hotel

I was made aware of this interesting use of material by my model making colleague Kathy. She pointed out to me that the ceiling was made from natural fabrics to give a feeling of flowing water in the main lobby area.

I was strongly be considering using this material in my next design close to a waterfront.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Maison a Bordeaux

The Maison a Bordeaux is now is a private residence that is home to a couple. The husband had a car accident before the house was built and defined in the brief that he wanted a complex home that can also function to his needs. The house was designed around a central lift that moved freely between the levels of the three story home. It was designed by OMA who are a gold star RIBA accredited design practicve. This lift is quite impressive and would have been a good feature in my lifetime home design for Langar.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Episode 5 Biology Channel 4

This series is a brave new world by Steven Hawking and last nights episode included many basics that are used in synthetic biology that will soon be used in living architecture. The broad topic of bioscience was covered and it provided many medical examples as well as the production of natural enzymes to produce fully functioning oil to be used in cars.

This series is worth following to understand the broader science fields that will soon have a large impact on how we design spaces.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Concrete Interiors

Ever since I have started to work at Low Info concrete I have gained a new appreciation for concrete used internally as furniture and bespoke design items. The photos below show a house in Buenos Aires designed by Mathias Klotz and associate architect Edgar Minond. The simplicity of the building and interior makes it a timeless design that I think will mature well. The use of concrete and its blending with other materials creates a coherent composition of resources from the local area.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Cool Garden Shed

I'm definately going to have to build myself one of these in the back garden!!!!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Liverpool and Manchester Trip

This week we went to Liverpool with the first year interior architects from NTU. We visited some amazing Architectural sites with the two cathedrals being my highlight. The first cathedral we went to was the catholic one which had a huge amount of history behind it. In the late 1800's the building was supposed to be the worlds largest cathedral to accommodate Liverpool's large catholic population. Around this time 1 in 4 people in Liverpool were catholic as a result of immigration from Ireland during and after the famine. The cathedral was postponed and only the large vaults were constructed until after the war when the design was changed. The current design was awarded to Fedrick Gibberd after a world wide design competition  and construction was finally finished in 1967.

The second cathedral was the church of England cathedral which is the longest in the world and is quite impressive as you approach Liverpool on the motorway. It sits proudly high on a hill with a steeple stretching into the sky. The most interesting fact about the building is it was only fully completed in October 1978 despite its 1910 Gothic Design. The photo below is the view of the church of England cathedral from the Catholic Cathedral.

The hotel we stayed in was the Adelphi Hotel which was first opened in 1826 and the current building in 1914. I quickly remarked on its resemblance to the interior of ocean liners and with further research it was the hotels intention. The hotel has a Sefton Suite which is a smoking lounge that is the exact replica of the one on the Titanic.

On the second day of the trip we visited the imperial war museum in Manchester and it was designed by architect Daniel Libeskind. The building consists of a large viewing platform that tower above the city and river below. This is supposed to leave you open to the elements and take you back to the views pilots had during wartime bombing.

Our final stop was at Crosby beach to see sculptures by Anthony Gormley. These statues faced the sea and the effect of 40 bodies, some up to their waste in water, gives a effective and eery artistic feeling.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Photoshop tutorials

Recently I have started using photoshop for laying out my projects and visuals. I'm a complete novice so my Dad decided to lend a hand by researching some good photoshop tutorials to help with my visuals. They have helped me and hopefully will help some others.

Here is a tutorial on composition for use in Photography, Art and Architecture.  It will even include the making of a full scale model or actual tool for practical use in your Architectural studies.

 I could'nt have put it together without YouTube so I hope I have kept to the point and that what follows is in some sort of logical order.  There are 7 short videos to watch on the internet and that is it.  Watch them sometime when you want to relax and enjoy.

Here goes!

1   Google - Rules of photo composition.  Simply read the first 3 rules of composition and don't mind anything else on this site.  Next go to YouTube.

2   On YouTube look up - Everything is connected to the Golden Ratio. Chris MintZBarf.  View that and move on to the next one.

3   How to draw Fibonacci Spiral.  Go on to the next one and continue to the end of number 8.

4   Composition - The golden Mean (Golden Section) with Ronald Swanwich.  When you've done that you are about half way through this tutorial, yeah?

5   Fibonacci Guage: Phi (pronounced Fi) & The Golden Ratio.  
     (I went onto the website and downloaded the PDF scale drawing with measurements for your full scale model or actual tool.  See attachment.)

6   Golden Mean Calipers.  
     (This shows a precision tool as against a home made one.  You could check out an engineering department that might make them as part of their project!)

7   SketchUp - Simple Staircase.

That ends this tutorial.  The only thing left to do is actually make the calipers and use it, if only to show people how their hands measure up.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Winchester Site Analysis

This project is a very steep challenging site covered with trees, some reaching up to 20m high. To get a proper feel for the site and the appropriate design it is necessary to build a contour model to combine with our other site analysis.


Deployable Structures

Dr Marisela Mendoza gave a lecture today on deployable structures and the use of reactive systems in controling daylight in buildings. Her experience in this topic was extensive with the subject headlining her PhD and many other papers she was involved in. The references for some papers she has been involved in are as follows:

MENDOZA, M., 2009. Comparative daylight glare analysis between measured and computer simulation predictions . In: International Conference PLEA 2009: Architecture, Energy and the Occupant's Perspective, Montreal, 21-24 June 2009 .   Demers, C. and Potvin, A., eds., pp. 108-111 .

MUNDO-HERNÁNDEZ, J., RODRIGUEZ, S., MENDOZA, M. and BAKER, R., 2009. Living with the sun: using canopy structures in Mexico and the UK . In: Evolution and Trends in Design, Analysis and Construction of Shell and Spatial Structures, Valencia, 28 September - 2 October 2009 .   Doming, A. and Lazaro, C., eds.,  International Association of Shell and Spatial Structures pp. 239-250 .

MENDOZA, M. and CHILTON, JC., 2008. Learning from the shell builder: Felix Candela . In: International Symposium IASS-SLTE 2008: New Materials and Technologies, New Designs and Innovations - a Sustainable Approach to Architectural and Structural Design, Acapulco, Mexico, 28-31 October 2008 .   Salinas, JGO., ed.  International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) pp. 175-176 .

She opened with descriptions of mechanical structures. She explained their use is much more apparent in product design but should be used more in architecture. The best example of a mechanical folding structure I could find was the umbrella shaped shade used to cover Masjid Nabawi's courtyard which is one of the holiest mosques situated in the city of Medina. 

She then went on to talk about her research into angulated scissor polygonal structures and presented them with her models used for the PhD. These structures were all made from triangles connected at pivot points that allowed them to be opened and closed whilst changing shape in the process. The leading architecture firm in these structures are Hoberman in the States. 

These then led onto the square angulated sicssor structure which can possibly be used as a light control devise such as the ones used in the Institute of the Arab World in Paris. 

Overall it was a interesting lecture and I have begun thinking of where I can use these ideas on my own structures. 

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Nostalgia for the Future

This lecture was hosted by Simon Herron who is a lecturer at Greenwich University. He is a expert at assisting students with finding their creativity and by the end of the talk I was left just wanting to sketch. Simon had also worked in the Bartlett School of Architecture and through the lecture he presented work from previous students which were like nothing I have ever seen before. Many of the pieces of work contained miniature sculptures with immense detail and insane inspiration. The image shown below represents all the patents that have been bought by large corporations to protect their own products. The squares leaving the surface are the patents being released back to the world. 

Simons father Ron had been one of the leading architects in Archigram which revolutionised architecture in the 60's and early 70's. Their futuristic concepts are starting to be really utilised now within responsive architecture. They challenged the architecture of the time as a attempt to break monotonous designs of the 60's and their work still inspires some current projects. 

Alex Hogrefe

Just found this site with some excellent tutorials and tips on uses of photoshop for architectural purposes. This is something I'm pretty new to and I will need all the help I can get so any other tutorial sites please comment and I will post them

Friday, 4 November 2011

Revised Lifetime Home

New additions include,

Different Render,
Addition of soffit to front elevation,
Cladding is no longer undulating and they not differ in length,

The cladding will cover the entire building but for this visualisation it is only shown as a example in places.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Innovative Timber Structures

Part of the external lecture series included tonights lecture by John Chilton on Innovative timber structures. Timber structures have had many improvements in the last 30 years and they are becoming more and more impressive with each development. One of the most significant developments has been Glulam beams which have allowed the construction of some appealing structures such as the Sheffield Winter Garden.

Marlowe Academy, Ramsgate, UK gives a good example of a lamella roof structure with a 28m span enclosing the central space below. Lamella structures are built from laminated veneer lumbar and the main benefit is that it can be transported in small sections and can provide very large spans.

Lamella has been seen as a uninteresting material in the past but it has many features to be desired. Hounslow East tube station decided to adopt the Lamella roof structure because it provided a high quality, economic and uncluttered structure. The small transportable members mean that they can be repeated easily in a offsite factory and it provided a aesthetically pleasing grill that preforms well acoustically in the station.

Finally the most impressive structure shown by John tonight was the Savill Building Great Windsor Park. This building consists of a gridshell roof composing of Larch and clad with green oak from the crown estate.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

External lecture series 01.11.2011

This lecture was hosted by Marcus Cruz from the Bartlett School of Architecture UCL London. Mr Cruz describes himself as a flesh architect with interest in combining different disciplines into architecture such as bio science. Instantly I had interest in this topic because it was similar to the work of Rachael Armstrong. Armstrong's research is in Protocell technology, which is described earlier in this blog, and this also has close links to architecture and bio-science. I was disappointed to find that they had not worked together yet but this may come sometime in the future. I'm especially interested in the development of buildings that repair themselves and I think the knowledge of these two academics could push it further.

I found the lecture quite stimulating with the concepts of Neoplasmatic design being introduced. He covered areas including student work, projects of interest to him, drawing of people, model building and how the skin of the building and the flesh of the building can be two different things.

The photos below are from one of Mr Cruz's Lisbon Book Fair, Portugal. These temporary pavilions created are a prefect example of the use of different lightweight materials to create a flesh. In the second photo its strange how the audience is emphasized rather than the stage by the light but this can also be seen as creative play as you can see in the photo the audience contemplating the two people having coffee on the stage.

One of the designs I really admired was the sales centre in Cairo which uses a double undulating facade quite like the one I used in my lifetime home.