The Jorge Guedes House’s Full Embrace Of The Portuguese Landscape

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Jorge Guedes House by 100 Planos Arquitectos

The Japanese design concept of Wabi-Sabi prizes an aesthetic of simple forms, appreciation of the natural world’s ephemeral beauty, and the veracity of unadornedmaterials. Much modern architecture was inspired by these precepts, and their influence can still been seen in contemporary projects, such as the Jorge Guedes House by 100 Planos Arquitectos in Vila Pouca de Aguiar, Portugal.

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Jorge Guedes House by 100 Planos Arquitectos

The brief for the home was simple; the owners desired a single floor construction at minimum cost. Ornament would be done away with, and materials in their natural form emphasized. Primary importance was placed on the experience of the landscape, with the volume of the home projecting out into the natural world.

Read the complete article on Architizer here.

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Jorge Guedes House by 100 Planos Arquitectos

Ready And Gable

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Balancing Barn by MVRDV, Thorington, GB

The simplest drawing can conjure a home. For instance, a child asked to draw a house will place a triangle on top of a square or rectangle. Unknowingly, he or she has depicted one of the most traditional home designs, the gabled house.

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Mirror House by MLRP, Copenhagen.  Photo: STAMERS KONTOR

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Polygon Studio by Jeffery S. Poss Architect, Albany, US

In fact, the gable—that is, the triangular shape at each end of a pitched roof—is considered by architects to be an Ur-building, one of the earliest original forms homes took. Once anathema to modern architecture, in recent years the gable has made a comeback, with designers embracing the once ersatz detail.

Read the full article on Architizer here.

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Summer Hous by Judith Benzer Architektur, Burgenland, Austria 

Materials That Make Architecture Real

Understanding and thoughtfully incorporating materials gives physical presence to the imaginations of architects and designers. Structures can exist conceptually, but without the elements that constitute it, a building would never exist.

Manufacturing and industry have been at the forefront of the exploration of materials and their applications. The growth of products for the physical realization of architectural projects seems to grow exponentially, in lockstep with advances in technology for the culture at large.

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Light Transmitting Concrete by Litracon

Needless to say this isn’t your dad’s concrete. Optical glass fibers are blended into the concrete mix for these blocks, allowing light to be transmitted through. Both structurally sound and aesthetically beautiful these concrete blocks are far cry typical manufactured modular block.

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Watercube – National Swimming Centre by PTW Architects, Beijing, China

Texlon® by Vector Foiltec

This climatic envelope was a memorable aspect of WaterCube design for the National Swimming Centre of the 2008 Bejing Olympics. The nature of the material allowed the for a facade that looked like water bubbles.

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Gazzano House by Amin Taha Architects, London, GB

Cor-Ten Steel by Corten Steel

It is always a good thing for a brand when its name becomes synonymous with a material. In this case it is Cor-Ten, which many people use to designate weathering steel, a type of steel that paradoxically protects itself from deterioration by creating a skin of rust.

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Staircases & Railings by Guardian InGlass

The lamination of Guardian InGlass provides safety for its use as a structural material, providing a dramatic detail for designs of staircases and railings.

Read the complete article on Architizer here.

UNStudio’s Ship-Shaped Education and Tax Offices

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Education Executive Agency & Tax Offices byUNStudio

A government office rarely rises above the minimum design requirements, especially if it houses such unpopular public institutions as offices for taxes and student loans. These buildings are typically human warehouses of bureaucratic industry—cubes within cubes bisected by long anonymous hallways with dead ends. In Groningen, the Netherlands, UNStudio has shaken up the usual government building typology, creating the undulating Education Executive Agency & Tax Offices, which is affectionately termed “the cruise ship” by locals.

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Education Executive Agency & Tax Offices byUNStudio

Extraordinary Gardens In the Sky

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Cuny House by Guz Architects, Singapore

With our current obsession with green roofs, urban farms, and skyscraper beekeeping, it’s easy to forget that plopping some vegetation—or animal life—on top of our buildings is actually an age-old practice.

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Villa Ronde by Ciel Rouge Creation, Japan

Indeed, roof top gardens have been adding vitality, warmth, and sustenance for urban dwellers since 400 B.C., when ancient Mesopotamians would grow plants on the roofs and terraces of their ziggurats. These massive stone buildings featured no interior rooms, and the foliage provided much-needed shelter from the sun.

Read the complete article on Architizer here.

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The Cottage by Gray Organschi Architecture, US

The Architecture Of Death

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Churchyard Offices and Staff Housing in Gufunes Cemetary by arkibúllan arkitektar

Cemeteries during the Victorian era served a purpose similar to parks in contemporary society. They were places for recreation and the enjoyment of nature, serving as manicured arboretums, as well as places of interment. Appreciation of architecture and sculpture through mausoleums and memorial artwork was also a key aspect, not everyone could make it to a museum, but there was undoubtedly an area for burial nearby.

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Sunset Chapel by Bunker Arquitectura

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Crematorium Heimolen by Claus en Kaan Architecten

The acknowledged first “garden” or recreational cemetery—and the most famous due to those interred there, from Jim Morrison to Oscar Wilde—is Pere Lachaise in Paris. In America, Mount Auburn cemetery in Massachusetts was the first example of a landscaped cemetery complete with arboretum, pond, and impressive memorial sculpture.

Read the full article on Architizer here.

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Crematorium in Kedainiai by Architectural bureau G.Natkevicius and partners

Austere Modern Design With A Dash Of Colorful Fun

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ALH Residence by Mim Design

When Mim Design began the renovation on this Melbourne, Australia home, the design brief focused on incorporating fun, modern touches, while staying true to the original Spanish Mission style. The Malvern East neighborhood, where the house is located, is home to a verdant suburb as well as the largest mall in the Southern Hemisphere—the Australian equivalent to the Los Angeles sprawl.

Read the complete article on Architizer here.

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ALH Residence by Mim Design

Out Of The Bottle And Into The Building

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Hazelwood School by Alan Dunlop Architect Limited

Cork is a ubiquitous material used in products such as bulletin boards and wine bottle stoppers, but its history of use in architecture is limited to mainly sub-flooring and insulation. However, contemporary architects looking for environmentally friendly building alternatives have begun to implement cork in innovative, nontraditional applications.

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Treehouse by SHED by SHED

Typically, trees are cut down and milled in order to produce construction material such as lumber or plywood. The cork oak tree is different; the bark, which grows back, is harvested stead of the trunk, making cork one of the most sustainable material choices.

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Cork House by Arquitectos Anónimos

An Australian Special Rural Property

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Wall and Wall House by Dane Design Australia

Ecological stamps of approval in architecture can be a quick and easy way to gain some environmental cache. The Wall and Wall House in Australia isn’t LEED approved and doesn’t have bees on its roof, but the architect Dane Richardson has taken into careful account the integration of the building into its surrounding landscape.

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Wall and Wall House by Dane Design Australia

Located in Western Australia (a place that with the recent winter weather looks pretty good from the Architizer offices), the home is based on a building type known in the region as a Special Rural Property. These properties serve a purpose similar to a Gentleman’s Farm, providing a respite for the owners from the rigors of the urban environment. Since these estates are all about getting back to nature, it makes sense that the architectural design would take into account environmental concerns.

Read the complete article on Architizer here.

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Wall and Wall House by Dane Design Australia

Making Music With The Architecture Of The Brooklyn Bridge

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The sound and performance artist Di Mainstone had an epiphany when walking across the Brooklyn Bridge one day; she realized that it looked a lot like a harp, with the suspension cables resembling the instrument’s strings and the deck and towers mimicking its neck and body.

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And the bridge not only looked like a musical instrument. The chatter and footsteps of pedestrians, the low rumble of traffic, and the slight thrum of the suspension wires also evoked the sound of a symphony or piece of music—albeit a slightly cacophonous, often noisy one.

This moment of whimsy has inspired the Human Harp, Di Mainstone’s latest project, which allows one to play the bridge as a musical instrument. The artist envisions the Human Harp as both a physical connection and interactive performance piece.

Read the full piece on Architizer here.