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Building and Construction

This incredible 4 x 4 meter (13 x 13 foot) family home pushes architectural boundaries outside of the box. Situated in the highly dense and populated city of Tokyo, "Small House" is Unemeri Architects' solution to living functionally on a block of land that is smaller than the average-sized bedroom. Spread over four levels, this residential building features two bedrooms, open living and dining room, bathroom and rooftop terrace. Read More
"Which Catalan postmodernist architect, known for his monumental buildings, said: 'Through my buildings, I want to receive the kind of adulation usually reserved for pop stars?'" If a night in round the kitchen table with five architecture enthusiasts answering questions like this doesn't appeal, you may wish to read no further. This is just one question from the Modern Architecture Boardgame from NEXT Architects, which pits fans of all things built and beautiful against one another, as they take it in turns to don the iconic round spectacles of Le Corbusier in the ultimate architectural trivia nerd-off. But which buildings do its six iconic playing pieces represent? Inquiring minds want to know. Read More
Current monitoring of large structures such as bridges, wind turbines and mines generally relies on time consuming visual inspections that use specialized instrumentation and equipment. Translation: it's expensive. But if damage can be detected before any structural damage occurs, maintenance bills can also be significantly reduced and safety increased. Researchers at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow are tackling the issue with a smart paint they claim not only detects microscopic faults before structural damage occurs, but does so at a cost of just one percent of current widely used inspection methods. Read More
While the McGee house may look like any other new designer home in the neighborhood, its walls tell a different story. Designed by husband and wife team Karl Wanaselja and Cate Leger of Leger Wanaselja Architecture, the upper outside walls of the house are made from over 100 salvaged car roofs. In a pursuit to build a house that utilized green technologies and reused materials, the couple sourced car roofs from a selection of gray-colored cars that had been left for parts in local junk yards in Berkeley, California. Their biggest challenge was sourcing car scraps that were in relatively good condition, without dents and with a good paint finish. The scraps were then cut into long tile-like shapes and used to complete the upper outside walls of the house, rendering a similar appearance to slate. Read More
Danish architectural firm MLRP has come up with a novel way to prevent graffiti and vandalism of a local town hall. By turning the outside walls into mirrors, the team successfully transformed a "drab" building into a local attraction that is hopefully resistant to future graffiti attempts. Read More
The Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl located in Switzerland has recently been awarded the highly-coveted Swiss Solar Award 2011, Milestone 2011 Tourism Award and the PlusEnergieBau (PEB) Solar Award 2011, the only prize in the world for buildings that generate more energy than they consume. The 104-year old Berghotel underwent extensive renovations during 2010 to transform it into an environmental-friendly location, giving rise to the first plus-energy hotel in the Alps. The hotel's recent success demonstrates that luxury accommodation can be implemented within the framework of a plus-energy building concept even at 2,456 meters (8,058 ft) above sea level. Read More
Now here's an exciting piece of design. At first glance the Tetra-Shed, designed by architect David Ajasa-Adekunle, looks like the ideal hypermodern outdoor studio for the hipster home-worker. That it may be, but the Tetra-Shed's modular design means that (space, money and imagination allowing) there's no limit to the number of units that can be connected together, literally opening up the Tetra-Shed to a vast array of possible uses. Read More
International architectural firm 10 Design has recently won the opportunity to master plan a 93-hectare (230-acre) waterfront central business district as part of a new development for Pingtan in China. Pingtan, being the closest Chinese island to Taiwan, is to be transformed into a new commercial hub in an effort to attract trade between the two sides of the Straits. Read More
Madrid-based A-Cero architects are a big deal in Spain with public and residential projects across the country plus South America and the Middle East. Lead architect and principal Joaquin Torres is bit of a celebrity and recently appeared on Spanish TV's equivalent of "The Secret Millionaire" (giving away money of course, not receiving it). Unashamedly modernist, the A-Cero house style generally involves sweeping curved gestures in gleaming white. With the latest residential project however, Joaquin seems to have embraced the dark side and produced a dwelling of such stunning brutality and "otherness" that it could easily be an alien fortress on a distant planet. We love it. It's also one of the few buildings that actually looks good illuminated by multi-colored LEDs. Read More
Chicago-based STL Architects is hoping to impact the identity of Taichung City with its impressive Taiwan Tower concept. The designs have been submitted as part of the Taiwan Tower competition, where architects have been challenged to design a monument that would enhance the urban culture for Taichung citizens. STL's dramatic design would create a monument in the center of the city in the form of a circular tower. Read More
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