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Building and Construction

Bertha awaiting dismantling at Osaka, Japan before making its way to Seattle (Image: WSDOT...

On Saturday, a tunnel boring machine (TBM) so large that it looks like something out of Thunderbirds was dedicated in the city of Seattle. “Bertha,” as it’s known, is the world’s largest TBM and will spend the next 14 months boring a 1.7 mile (2.7 km) tunnel under the city as part of a US$3.1 billion project to replace a viaduct damaged in a 2001 earthquake. As part of a press tour, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) allowed Gizmag inside the giant machine.  Read More

Artist's concept of ERO the demolition robot in action

When it comes to demolishing buildings, there are almost as many ways to take them apart as put them up. We knock them down, blow them to bits, and build machines to take them apart. But what about a robot that eats buildings? Omer Haciomeroglu of Sweden’s Umeå Institute of Design has come up with the concept ERO concrete de-construction robot, which uses high-pressure water jets to strip concrete from rebar and recycle it on the spot.  Read More

The Pingtan Art Museum will be situated on an artificial island connected to Pingtan Islan...

Art Museums regularly push the boundaries in terms of architecture, but Beijing architecture studio MAD has gone one step further by designing an artificial island to form the Pingtan Art Museum. Dominated by three concrete mounds, the museum will feature exhibit halls and public spaces and be linked to Pingtan Island by an undulating pier.  Read More

The Paper Bale Theater is a 135-seat circular theater concept that can be employed for tem...

Paris-based architectural and scenography firm Studio Andrew Todd has produced a proposal for a novel theater made primarily of recycled paper. Paper Bale Theater can be constructed and dismantled relatively easily and cheaply, and will feature everything necessary to stage a play or show.  Read More

Berthing area for the terminal (Image: Foster + Partners)

Flying into Hong Kong was once an aerial adventure as gigantic passenger planes made alarmingly steep descents over the harbor and then low over crowded high rises to runway 13. Those adrenalin-filled landings ended when the new Hong Kong International Airport to the west opened in 1998, however, the site of those dramatic flights has now been repurposed as the new Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. It was formally opened on June 12 as the Commissioner for Tourism, Mr Philip Yung, welcomed the inaugural berthing of the cruise ship Mariner of the Seas.  Read More

An electrically-activated adhesive tape incorporating metal strips has been developed for ...

Prefabricated houses are made up of separate pre-assembled modules that are joined to one another on-site – those modules, in turn, are made up of various wooden components that are typically nailed (or sometimes stapled) together in a factory. The wood used in the frames of the modules must be reasonably thick, in order not to split when the nails are driven in. This places some limitations on design possibilities. Now, however, German scientists have developed an alternative to those nails: electrically-activated adhesive tape.  Read More

Glass elevators transport cars to the desired floor and park them in the apartment's 'Sky ...

If you consider your car to be a work of art, then you can have it on display it in your living room ... if you live in one of the exclusive oceanfront apartments within Miami's Porsche Design Tower, that is. The Porsche Design brand has branched into architecture, and aims to give a new meaning to the term "drive in" by using three robotic elevators that deliver both the driver and their car right into the home.  Read More

The self-healing-concrete would fill cracks and prevent decay and the corrosion of rebar (...

You’d think that concrete would last forever. After all, it’s pourable stone, so it should hang around as long as the Rock of Gibraltar. But, under the right (or wrong) conditions, concrete decays with alarming speed. To combat this, researchers at the University of Bath in the UK are working on a self-healing concrete that uses bacteria to seal the cracks that lead to decay. In this way, they hope to cut down on maintenance costs and increase the life of concrete structures.  Read More

The 800 sq ft (74.3 sq mt) structure takes advantage of the 24ºC (76ºF) year round tempera...

Dutch studio Haiko Cornelissen Architecten has revealed a rethink of the typical Panamanian holiday home that breaks away from the current format by using sliding wooden doors that traverse the entire width of the building. To be located twenty minutes outside of the city in Cerro Azul, the sideways approach of the Air Villa design aims to provide an energy efficient dwelling with maximum exposure to the surrounding environment.  Read More

SAM ascends a building

If you were responsible for the upkeep of a 20-story-tall building, you wouldn’t just stand on the ground and look up at it to see if it needed any structural repairs. Instead you’d hire a building inspection service, which would lower inspectors down the side of the building on a swing stage or bosun chair, like window cleaners use. The folks at FTD Highrise Inspection, however, are now using something that they claim is a superior alternative – a highrise-inspecting robot they created, called SAM.  Read More

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