Photokina 2014 highlights

Structure

Unavailability is an achingly simple piece of design, functioning as a folding fishing hut...

Simply called Unavailability, this achingly simple piece of design is a one-man wooden-framed fold-up fishing hut with chicken wire-mesh walls that can be packed with ice by the user to keep out the wind while letting in light.  Read More

The 2,080-foot Tokyo Sky Tree, the world's second tallest structure, combines cutting edge...

Leap day 2012 saw the completion of the world's second tallest structure, the Tokyo Sky Tree television transmitter and observation tower. At 2,080 feet (634 m) the tower stands nearly twice as Japan's previous tallest frame, the 1,091-ft (333-m) Tokyo Tower transmitter. It's an audacious technological feat when one considers this is at the heart of an earthquake zone.  Read More

The winning Sou Fujimoto concept features a tower that in essence is a '21st Century Oasis...

Japanese architecture firm Sou Fujimoto has won the Taiwan Tower International Competition with its green architecture design that features a floating forest. The competition is part of a larger urban plan in Taichung, Taiwan as a part of a new development for the "Gateway City." Architects were given the task of designing a tower that would be located at the southern tip of Taichung Gateway Park, with a minimum height of 300 meters (984 ft).  Read More

L & A Design Group has designed an iconic pedestrian bridge projected for Wuxi Xidong Cent...

China's L & A Design Group has created plans for an iconic pedestrian bridge projected for Wuxi Xidong Central Park, in Jiangsu, China. The bridge will connect the north and south foreshores of the park, and includes a man-made island in its design. The island will offer pedestrians commanding waterfront views and the opportunity to relax and enjoy the surrounding gardens or tea room facilities.  Read More

The New Orleans Arcology Habitat (NOAH) concept for the banks of the Mississippi

Arcologies, which are essentially entire cities crammed into a single high population density megastructure, are still the realm of science fiction – or games such as Simcity. But with the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina ongoing, a group of designers have come up with the proposal for just such a structure designed to sit on the bank of the Mississippi. Called the New Orleans Arcology Habitat (NOAH), the structure would house 40,000 residents along with all services and amenities that would allow them to live their entire lives within its walls if they so desired.  Read More

The 1880 defense tower, located in the Suffolk wetlands

British home designer Duncan Jackson recently joined forces with architectural firm Piercy Conner to transform an 1880 defense tower in Suffolk, England into a stylish and accommodating home. The defense tower, being a historically-registered building, was transformed whilst maintaining its structural appearance and integrity. The project came with a list of obstacles, including the tower's round structure, minimal windows, 12 foot-thick walls and wetlands environment. Despite these hurdles, the joint venture successfully created a contemporary home with an abundance of light, warmth and a streamlined interior design.  Read More

On show at Viv'expo in Bordeaux - a cutaway model of a Domespace home

Taking up a large section of the Eco Habitat zone at the recent Viv'expo exhibition in Bordeaux was a walk-in cutaway model of a rotating wooden house known as Domespace. Built on a central concrete pedestal, the Domespace home benefits from little or no damp penetration, and its aerodynamic shape has been found to be resistant to cyclonic winds of up to 174mph (280kph). It also makes the most of passive solar energy, has a central chimney with a designer open fire and is surprisingly spacious.  Read More

Michelle Pelletier with her self-healing concrete

Self-healing “smart building materials” have the potential to reduce structure repair costs, lower cement-production carbon emissions and even save lives. One barrier that has kept these materials from being commercialized, however, is their potentially labor-intensive and thus expensive production process. Recently, an engineering student from the University of Rhode Island (URI) announced that she has developed a self-healing concrete that would be inexpensive to produce.  Read More

Super-shell has a unique three-layer structure dissipating energy that would cause weaker ...

They say life imitates art, but any scientist knows that the best designs imitate life. Researchers from the MIT Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (ISN) are drawing new biomimicry inspiration for body armor design from a hardy ocean snail that boasts a shell structure unlike anything else seen in nature... or in material research labs.  Read More

The Cloud would be a multi-tower structure, 400ft tall, comprising huge clear bubbles that...

A towering collection of giant bubbles dubbed “The Cloud” is an ambitious design proposed by a team of leading architects and engineers as a spectacular landmark to commemorate London's role as host of the 2012 Olympics. Sitting atop a number of 400ft lightweight transparent towers, a "cloud" of inflatable, light-emitting spheres is intended to create a three-dimensional “floating” display in the skies over London, fed by real time information from all over the world and viewable from most parts of the three-time Olympics city. The Cloud was shortlisted in a competition set up by London Mayor Boris Johnson who has committed to build a tourist attraction in the Olympic Park.  Read More

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