The Reigning Trends of Modern Architecture

There haven’t been times in architectural history where certain trends have not been making waves in the world. Every year, architects get to experiment new things, and creative residents incorporate unique details. Eventually, some of these things become so apt and impressive that they end up setting off a trend.

This year 2016 is been no exception. We have witnessed some of the most astounding and mind blowing features that were installed in buildings and made them absolutely breathtaking. Let’s delve into the great architectural trends the year has brought us:

Large windows:

Large windows are all the rage this year and they look stunning. Windows as large as the entire wall are being installed in houses. These windows connect the outside world with the inside, so people living in the house can enjoy nature, eat, sleep and read right under the open sky and people outside would catch a glimpse of the life of people living in the house. This trend is also very energy efficient. With natural lights all day long, the bills will be lesser by a large margin and the electric energy would be reduced to the minimum. With both looks and cost efficiency, this trend is a win-win.

Open layout:

Just like the trends of large windows, people are becoming more acceptable to the natural ambiance of things. Long gone are the days when living inside four contained walls was considered cool. Houses these days are larger with more space and fewer rooms. Walls are being removed to create a more open space. Living rooms are gigantic, kitchens are spacious and bathrooms are roomy. No more breathing down each other’s neck.

House drifting towards outdoors:

The living spaces are now being carried outside of the house. Outdoor kitchens and living rooms are creating great hype with the residents and rightfully so. With outdoor being an option now, people have even more living spaces, even in a small house. Besides, who wouldn’t like to have a calm and soothing time relaxing under the sun, or cooking in the warm summer breeze?

Tech-smart homes:

Why not make our house tech-friendly when smart phones and gadgets seem to be a large part of our lives? With modern gadgets like smart home systems, wifi lights, and automatic voice recognition software, why not make our house accommodate it all? That’s exactly what people are doing this year, and they are loving it!

House Architecture – The Authenticity Is In the Details

Details Are the Differences between Good Stuff and Great Stuff–Stephen Brewster

It is the teeniest and tiniest of details that could make or break things. A little flaw in an artist’s stroke, a crooked hanging picture, a clink in the armor or a missing horse’s shoe–they all might seem insignificant details but in truth, they have the power to stop the magic from happening or turn a simple thing into something truly miraculous.

So of course when it comes to shaping a house, the authenticity is in the details. Let’s look at a list of things that should be given special attention when building a home:

Lights:

Installing high-end modern light fixtures in the house is not enough to create a beautiful interior. It is important to make sure that the light is spread equally and thoughtfully throughout the house. Bad lighting is bad architecture; besides, it will destroy the whole interior of the house. Also remember to:

  • Put automatic lights on the porch.
  • Plan pre-wiring for speakers and internet outlets for future use.
  • Install lights in the attic with switches in a more accessible location.

Bedroom:

Remember the following details in your master bedroom:

  • Consider installing a sunroof in the bedroom for a beautiful interior.
  • Install lights switch next to the bed.
  • Use a theme in your bedroom and extend it to your attached bath.

Bath:

  • Make sure to build enough storage space in the bathroom to keep all your stuff without appearing cramped.
  • Install outlets in the bath too for using grooming equipment.
  • Make sure to get the plumbing lines checked for leakage and any sort of problems that might appear later.

Kitchen:

The kitchen is one of the most used rooms of the house. A kitchen must be built with functionality in mind. An architect must make sure of the following details:

  • The color scheme of the kitchen must compliment the home and should not be outdated. New trends in kitchens are frequent and revolving, so make sure you don’t end up with an outdated one.
  • Put a motion-sensor pantry light for convenience.
  • Make sure there are places in the kitchen to hang aprons and towels.

House’s exterior:

The first impression is always a lasting one, so no matter how awesome the interior of the house is, the exterior will be the most impressionable part. Make sure to take care of the following:

  • The exterior of the house should look simple and clean. For instance, the material choice should be thoughtful.
  • The phrase “Too many cooks spoil the broth” fits perfectly with home designing. The less is always more. If going with a scheme, then carry it all over the house.

Make sure to pay attention to the details and your house will be the best one on the block, regardless of its size.

The Defining Features of Beautiful Japanese Zen Gardens

Japanese Zen Garden
A beautiful thing is created when spirituality is brought into architecture and if we wish to give it a name, we can call it the Japanese Zen Garden. This garden is actually a confined space that is given a few prominent features to turn it into a beautiful scenic paradise. The interesting part about these gardens is that they are not unachievable. In fact, architects are incorporating Zen Gardens more and more into modern architecture trends.

The spiritual concept behind these gardens is not unheard of. Yin and Yang represents the complete opposites of light and dark, nature and manmade, bright and dull arranged in such a way that they look like they belong with each other. This harmony can result into something very peaceful, serene, pretty and hence the name Zen.

Comprehending the meaning behind the Zen Gardens, one would think they are all glitz and glamour but in reality, it is nothing of the sort. The rule is simple, pay attention to the details, keep things simple and purposeful. Zen Garden is not big and best, in fact, it is small and simple.

Let’s see some of the most common elements used in the making of a Zen Garden:

  • Nature is the go-to source in the making of Zen gardens. Materials like bamboo, stones and rocks are used heavily in these gardens. It helps in creating a perimeter for the garden.
  • Though it is called a garden, Zen gardens are not filled with a plethora of flowers and plants to the brim. As established earlier, Zen garden is simple and runs on a similar theme. One or only two kinds of plants are enough.
  • Pathways are other important features of Japanese Zen gardens. Especially when there is something meaningful, a statue or inspiration waiting at the end of the path. These stone pathways indicate how it is important to walk through our pasts into something good. In the garden, it takes the visitors all through the garden, allowing them to appreciate its different beauties.
  • Another common lighting element used in Japanese Zen Garden is the stone lanterns. They look beautiful and classy in such a setting.
  • Other common and unique features used in Japanese Zen Gardens are pagodas, gazebos, river stones, birdbaths, garden ponds, flower beds etc
  • The Zen garden is made using such features that provide a place of reflection and peace, for instance, a Japanese tea house, a cherry blossom tree or a fish pond.

In this modern world of tech and machine, deaths and depression, we all need a place like Japanese Zen Garden in our house to gather our thoughts and to point them in the righ

Innovative Uses of Glass in Modern Architecture

Selgas Cano Building Offices, Madrid, Spain
Selgas Cano Architecture Madrid, Spain

A building is not complete without utilizing glass in one form or another. Whether it is for decorative purposes or for serving functional objectives, the utilization of glass can be aesthetic as well as functional. Windows might be the only thing that comes to mind when we think of glass as a construction material, but that is far from the reality.

You’ll be surprised to know how creatively and innovative glass can be used to bring a new ambiance to a building or structure. Let’s discover some of the most inventive ways architects use glass to enhance their buildings.

Windows

Just because windows are the most obvious ones doesn’t mean they don’t count. With large windows, sunroofs and sunrooms, our house appears more spacious, bright and reflective; all the features of a prime architectural model. Moreover, if the house overlooks a splendid skyline or an expanse of natural beauty, then your house will only look more picturesque.

Glass Buildings

The all glass, landmarked Seagram Building, built by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1958 was an inspiration of things to come. In the 1960s, there was a huge building boom in New York City, whereby office skyscrapers were rising both in Downtown and Midtown Manhattan. These buildings followed the glass facade aesthetic, which was a transformation from the concrete designs to complete glass. Many of these types of buildings were built not just in New York, but all over the world.

Today, many skyscrapers still pursue this style, but with additional adornments, such as setbacks, open atriums, curves and spires.

Glass Office

If you have seen The Selgas Cano Architecture Office located in the middle of a forest in Spain, then you’d can begin to appreciate what innovations in glass design can develop, when architectural ingenuity is at hand. Regardless of how big or small a company or workplace is, with glass they can make their office look unique, matchless that turns it into a place where everyone would dream of working.

Glass Furniture

The addition of glass furniture in the house is equally decorative as it is functional. They make space appear pristine, clean and shiny. They also have the ability to make a room look more spacious and less congregated. When used in offices, glass furniture adds a level of sophistication and ambiance that it is difficult to match.

Glass Exterior

Glasses are now used to encase the whole exterior of the house, not only providing more space for living but making the exterior of a house mind numbingly good. Wide and expansive glass walls, glass roof, and glass furniture provide an overall exquisite appearance to the house.

Public Places

Houses and offices are not the only places that could use the crafty ability of glass to look scenic. In fact, museums, chapels, and even restaurants can make the best use of this glass to provide a great and impressive experience to its visitors. Chapels like La Estancia Glass Chapel in the middle of a heavenly retreat is so serene and sheltered that people with or without faith would love to make regular visits there.

 

John Lautner

Education

 Desert Hot Springs Motel - John Lautner
Architect John Lautner built the four suite Desert Hot Springs Motel_in 1947 as a prototype for desert living in the 1940s

John Lautner was born in Michigan to John E. Lautner, a teacher, and Vida C. Gallagher, an interior designer and painter. The Lautner’s were very interested in art and architecture and were a great influence to Lautner. He enrolled in the Liberal Arts program at his father’s college where he studied drafting, art, and architecture history.  After reading Frank Lloyd Wright‘s autobiography, Lautner’s mother approached Wright and had Lautner admitted to Wright’s new apprenticeship program where Lautner worked and studied from 1933-1939. Wright became Lautner’s mentor for most of his life.

The Work of John Lautner

Lautner left the program and started his own architecture practice in Los Angeles while still working together with Wright. His first solo project was the Lautner House which gained him much recognition. His article on the Lautner House was published in the June-July edition of California Arts & Architecture. The House was also featured in Home Beautiful where architectural historian Henry-Russell Hitchcock named it “the best house in the United States by an architect under thirty.”

Following the Lautner House, his Bell House project earned him praise and recognition and was featured over the next couple years in the Los Angeles Times, Arts and Architecture, Architectural Forum, and House and Garden which called it “the model house for California living.” During the war, Lautner worked on wartime military construction and engineering projects in California. Lautner continued to design and collaborate with other architects for the next few decades. He designed domestic residences and also worked on grander projects such as 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles where he was chosen as the Olympic Architect.

Lautner’s earlier style was an influence of Wright, but later he developed his own personal style that showed a strong preoccupation with essential geometric forms, such as the circle and triangle. Lautner’s homes were often rooted in the idea of combining a house’s location with its surrounding natural aspects. He was best known for combining progressive engineering with organic design and dramatic futuristic style.

The Elrod House

The Elrod House
The Elrod House recently appeared on the market for staggering $10.5 million and has subsequently been sold to a mystery buyer. This remarkable five bedroom 8,900 square-foot home continues to attract a loyal following of spectators to its privileged Palm Springs location in California. Perched at the edge of a prominent ridge, the home can be seen from across the desert city. The cinematic and futuristic residence leapt into fame when it first appeared in the classic James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever in 1971.

The home is a composition of concrete, rock, and theatrical geometry. It was commissioned for interior designer Arthur Elrod in 1968. Unlike most collaborations between architect and interior designer, Elrod gave complete creative control to American architect John Lautner and his vision.

The house features a jaw dropping 60-foot wide-living room that functions as the home’s most photogenic feature. Curved sliding glass partitions open up the round living room toward a decadent pool, outdoor terrace, and unobstructed views of the valley and the mountains beyond.

The Elrod House is similar to Lautner’s other houses and is one of his most famous structures and an example of his so-called free architecture, where architecture and nature are combined. When the home was built, the soil was excavated but the rocks were kept in place. The same rocks are now part of the interior of the house and run straight through the walls and windows.

Basics of Architecture Design Concepts

So you want to build an apartment or office building, but you have no idea what’s involved. It would be in your interest to learn the basics of architectural design – what goes into it and why.  When yo visit an architect and explain what you need, after careful research and testing, the architect will present you with a few architectural design concepts. These designs explain to the client how the designer intends to use the space at hand. All the elements of a building  project are configured around design concepts. In simple terms, design concepts are the thread that binds all the beads (elements) of the project together. Any project that does not feature this design perspective is likely to suffer from total disarray.

Knowing the best ways of putting all the elements of the project together is the key to designing winning concepts. On paper, drafting a winning conceptualization may seem like a straightforward task, but the reality is quite different. Drafting an ‘appropriate’ architectural design is often a taxing and difficult task. However, you can make this task simple by keeping a few design concepts about drafting rules in mind.

Features of Design Concepts

There are some basic qualities that all design concepts must possess. A design must have some basic features. First and foremost, it should reference the form follow function procedure. Once complete (and that can take many months), it should be expressive. In addition, it should have aesthetic value, have its own identity and be memorable.

Knowing Exactly Who You Are Communicating With

Design concept statements are meant for notifying the audience how the designer intends to solve the architectural design problems. However, clearly communicating the most important project ‘feature’ is the main purpose of a design concept. Therefore, knowing exactly who you are talking to is important and crucial. You need to remember that not everyone will be interested in all the design problems. Finding out your audience and then drafting a design concept that answers their interests are important.

The Design Concept Must Go Beyond the Obvious

It is important for designs to go beyond the obvious. An example of an obvious design would be showing what a restaurant needs to be productive. This is something that goes without saying. Therefore, the design needs to go beyond the obvious and show ways of making the space more productive.

It does not need to include a lengthy description of each and every project feature. Rather, the main aspects that are driving the design are what you need to focus on.

The best architecture are ones that speak more about the design solutions and less about the problems. Additionally, they are selective as well as economical. You can draft a winning architectural design by either using the above mentioned ways or contacting a design drafting service.

 

Famous Architects of Today

Kansai International Airport, Osaka, Japan
Kansai International Airport, Osaka, Japan. Renzo Piano, architect

We see countless human creations every day. Among all others, architecture is one of the most long lasting and visible forms of human creations; the true talent of humanity. From the historic civilizations to the modern ones, architects have given us so much to admire and appreciate since the birth of time. Let’s explore some of the famous architects who have added beauty to the world with their splendid and exquisite creations.

Renzo Piano

This Italian architect, born in Genoa in 1937 was destined for this course. Though his family and uncles had been contractors, he set his own goals and aims and wanted to be an architect. After he graduated from Politecnico di Milano School of Architecture, he worked to fulfill his passion.

Some of his famous architectural works are the New York Times Building in New York City, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Shard London Bridge Tower. As a result of creating magnificent architectural designs, he was awarded a Gold Medal by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 2008 and won the Pritzker Prize in 1998.

Richard Meier

Richard Meier graduated from Cornell University and since then, he has worked with a number of notable architects. Since he was quite passionate from an early age, he established his own practice after getting the necessary education. Some of his well known projects that everyone admires are The Hague City Hall in Netherlands, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Central Library in Netherlands and the Barcelona Museum. Like Piano, he also won a Pritzker Prize, a Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects and a Gold Medal by the AIA.

Zaha Hadid

When it comes to talking about the great architects, how can we forget Zaha Hadid? Being one of the of students of Rem Koolhaas, she has been a solid and ideal person for the world of architecture. Having struggled with her clients, collaborations, career and of course, the male oriented architecture industry, Zaha managed to become one of the most well known architects in the world.

She was the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize award. She amazed everyone by designing the Cincinnati’s Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art. Since then, she has designed countless archives, public transportation, libraries and opera houses and most recently, the luxury apartment building at the Hudson Yards in New York City. Zaha Hadid recently passed away on March 31, 2016.

From the White House to the antique creation like Taj Mahal in India,  just everything was created via the ingenuity of creative architects. 

Beginners Guide to Architectural Designs

Travel the world or just go to your local gotham center. Wherever we go, there beautiful buildings that can range from Gothic to Modern and they are all considered as architectural designs. Those who are in the field of architecture know the importance of a aesthetic beauty. No matter how strong the concept is, when it comes to reality, it can be an entirely different story. This is the reason for setting the design at the first place. Check out this small and quick guide for architectural designs below.

Form Follows Function

Building with Trees
First Rule: Form Must Follow Function

A notable expression, but one that is so imperative to know and understand.  American architect Louis Sullivan coined this phrase and quite appropriately, it refers to how the occupants will be living/working in the building that will ultimately result in how the structure will be designed. With that said, let’s look at some basic factors in designing a building.

Choose Tools and Hardware Wisely    

Always remember that every step you take towards forming a great architectural design will be towards the completion of building. For this reason, you must opt for the right tools and hardware for the job. Just picking hardware because of cheap rates is not a smart way to do the job. You should always opt for hardware and tools that are reliable. Choose and make smart investments.

Use Color Palette Smartly    

Another aspect in architectural designs is the usage of colors. While this may vary in every building, you must have an open frame of mind in this regard. Do not use colors just because you like them or your client does. Instead, you should keep in mind that brighter colors are good to go for bigger rooms while lighter ones are better for smaller rooms.

Create High Quality Entrances and Doors

According to Suzanne Lovell, architects must pay more attention to creating better and high quality openings and doors to achieve quality standards. Clients mostly check the quality of work by seeing the doors and windows. So, always ensure to make high quality entrances, doors and windows.

Consider Your Clients

After all, the needs of clients are the most important aspect in architectural design. Coming up with a design which is not liked by the client or not preferred by the client is of no use to anyone and it is likely you would lose business as a result. By keeping your clients’ needs in mind, you can create a better architectural design; one which your client was looking for. This can ultimately help you in finding more work down the road.

Knowledge About the Sources of Energy  

No matter what type of building you are constructing, you must always be well versed and knowledgeable about the sources of energy as to where it is coming from. Keeping this knowledge may not be included in the tools but it will definitely improve your abilities and prove that you are a better architect.

Now that you have read this quick guide, we hope you will be able to follow it and create awesome architectural structures. Good luck!

Counties Compete for the Tallest Building on the World Stage

No doubt the building boom of the 1930s was quite extraordinary and has changed the skylines of the major cities in the United States. Most notably, Chicago and New York; however, on the world stage, this was considered a local event.

Now, in the international scene, many countries are competing towards the ultra-tall, with some striving for their buildings to be the world’s highest. Currently there are 75 skyscrapers over 1,000 feet with that list to expand to over 100 in the near future.

Within the last 10 years, new, more technological advanced skyscrapers have taken root. Not so much within the confines of the United States, but more specifically, across the oceans, such as Asia. The Petronius Towers in Singapore is one example. More recently, the regions of United Arab Emirates have created modern cities from what was previously just desert and sand. International attention was drawn to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai for its claim to be their tallest building in the world, rising 2,716 feet at 160 stories.

Not to be undone, Saudi Arabia developed the Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel and the 3,304 foot, 186 story Kingdom Tower to be the tallest to date. While the architectural ‘air war’ is progressing in Asia, construction in North America has taken a similar role. One World Trade Center was topped out in 2013. It rises exactly 1176 feet high, representing the year that the Declaration of Independence was created; hence, its alternate name – The Freedom Tower. On the world stage, it is the 4th tallest building in the world and the tallest in the western hemisphere, which will remain so unless Chicago has its way with the 200 story Chicago Spire. There is the Shanghai World Financial Center, rising 1,614 feet, as China strives to grab world dominance in modern skyscraper height and design.


The Freedom Tower shines bright in Lower Manhattan
In New York City, a significant new era of construction has materialized, as there has been a startling demand for luxury housing. So much so that new luxury high rise apartment buildings, condos and hotels have been built and more planned to be built in Midtown and Downtown Manhattan. 57th Street, from east to west has taken a startling turn towards becoming the ‘main street’ of super luxury apartment buildings. The 90 story tower at 157 West 57th Street, known as One 57 took the lead as the first to surpass 1000 feet, with 92 condominium apartments, starting at $4 million dollars and going as high as $90 million for the penthouse.The race to the top continues with additional apartment buildings being constructed along 57th St.  Namely, 432 Park Ave (1,376 feet), 111 West 57th Street (1,397 feet) and 225 West 57th Street (1,423 feet), which will be the tallest residential tower in the United States.

Additional non-commercial skyscrapers are under construction at Manhattan’s Hudson Yards. Although not nearly as tall as the new buildings in the Middle East and China, New York remains the city with the most skyscrapers and now will reclaim its title for having the most amount of skyscrapers above 1000 feet than any other city in the world.