Santiago Calatrava - the creator of abstract architecture

by KamilaSu 11. November 2014 12:11

500 years ago our world was divided into two camps, the world of science and the world of art. Scientists and engineers are now living in their own world, concentrating on the functionality and the cause of things, while others use these things, even though they do not understand how they work.

From the moment of this sad separation of art and science, these two find only sporadically a joint penetration. And even today, we admire the works of Renaissance artists and considering their works to be ideal, combining both types of knowledge, beauty and art and technical know-how.

Santiago Calatrava, one of the world's elite architects, decided to go back to school after the graduation of his architectural studies and get a degree in civil engineering. The motivation for such a decision for him was the effort to return to the Renaissance values and erase the boundaries between architecture and technology.

Calatrava´s bridge

Beginnings of Calatrava´s work is bound mainly to bridges and train stations, which added a new dimension to civil engeneering.

Communications Tower Montjuic in Barcelona

Turning point in his career came with the construction of an elegant and brave Montjuic Communications Tower in Barcelona.

Calatrava represents a new direction based on technical know-how, which has nothing to do with the latest technology. His works are complex and have anthropomorphic character. He uses mostly white concrete to deny the diversity of materials and to show the importance of the shape. In his designs, he gets the inspiration from the human body and nature.

Milwaukee Art Museum

Milwaukee Art Museum, his first building in the United States, is known for its "wings" that open and close depending on the position of the sun.

Calatrava is also a creative sculptor and painter, when designing buildings he often uses his artistic knowledge from other disciplines and combines them. In 2005 he organized an exhibition of his works of art in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met), entitled "Santiago Calatrava: Sculpture in Architecture". Exhibitions of his works of art appeared also in Germany, England, Spain and Italy. He is often referred to as the creator of the abstract architecture.

Turning Torso Building

The project of an innovative 54-storey high rise spiral building that carries the name of the Turning Torso was his first design of an high-rise building. It is located in Malmö in Sweden and it was built in the years 1999-2003.

Valencia

The complex of buildings in his native Valencia is also a common place of pilgrimage for lovers of architecture.

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Architecture

Happy cooking in a well assembled kitchen

by KamilaSu 10. November 2014 11:49

Do you suffer when cooking, because your back hurts so much? Or are you still running around from one end of the kitchen to the other and still cannot find what you are looking for? You should think about the possibility of remodeling the kitchen according to the ergonomic principles so that the everyday need becomes fun and you would be looking forward to another delicacy prepared in your  practically organized kitchen.

Well assembled kitchen

Well assembled kitchen has to meet many of the principles and recommendations. Firstly, it is appropriate to think who spends the most time in the kitchen and it would be considerate to design kitchen layout precisely according to his needs. Kitchen layout will be different for right-handers than for left-handers as well as the height of kitchen cabinet will be tailored to the person who cooks in the kitchen. Of course, it is not always possible to adapt the layout for one person only, and various compromises are necessary, but it is still possible to achieve the highest comfort for all household members.

Currently there is an apparent departure from the traditional U or L-shaped kitchen cabinet layout, which is now replaced by a more appropriate parallel or straight kitchen cabinet with island. It is possible to suitably incorporate the widening range of appliances commonly used in a modern kitchen and free yourself of the dilemma of how to use impractical kitchen corner. Moreover, if the cooker or stove is placed towards the dining room table or living room, cooking can become a social activity.

Modern kitchen

If you have already decided on the shape of kitchen cabinets, it is time to think about the arrangement of the individual components. The basic rule is to follow the course of cooking, the right-handers should go clockwise while the left-handers should follow the opposite direction. The starting point will therefore be a place for storage of food; after removal of the food from the pantry or the refrigerator it is necessary to lay the ingredients somewhere. It is therefore advisable to leave some space between the fridge and the place where the food is being washed and cleaned. It is thus necessary to create sufficient space between cooker and kitchen sink to cut, mix and prepare the food. Also, think about where you will put pots from the cooker thus create sufficient space on both sides of the cooking area.

As we can see, the most appropriate method to arrange the kitchen is to tune in to the real situation and imagine various activities carried out therein. If you like to bake, place the oven rather above and not on the lowest level. If you cannot live without a cup of fresh coffee in the morning, think of the additional area for the coffee machine. Each member of the household may have a different point of view on the arrangement of the kitchen, therefore each of you could try to design your kitchen and compromise on the most suitable solution.

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Architecture | Interior design

Feet in heat

by KamilaSu 28. October 2014 12:00

Are you planning a bathroom renovation? Have you already thought about the type of heating most suitable for your bathroom? We´ll give you some hints.

Bathroom

Nowadays, you no longer have to decide whether you acquire the same unsightly radiator as your neighbors have, or ruin the family budget. There are several solutions that also take your budget into account!

What radiator or system therefore choose? It depends mainly on the size of the bathroom, the number and size of windows, the thickness of external walls and many other factors.

Start by choosing between radiator and floor heating system. Floor heating is becoming more modern and there are many reasons for that. Since it is practically invisible, it is an excellent aesthetic solution for your new apartment or bathroom. In addition, this option is very practical and pleasant, thanks to the even distribution of heat throughout the heated room. Your floor will no longer be a source of cold, which allows you to reduce the room temperature by 1-2 degrees while the sensational temperature remains the same. Floor heating can save not only energy but also a lot of space that would otherwise be occupied by radiators. Your apartment will be fresher, more modern, simplier and more conveniently furnished.
 
Floor heating system

Do not forget to take into account the disadvantages which cannot be avoided within this type of heating. Floor heating system is not as flexible when it comes to the regulation of temperature, as in the case of radiators. Since it stays warm longer after shutting down, it does not allow rapid temperature regulation. If you opt for this type of heating you have to take into account the cost of the installation, which is definitely higher than in case of the radiators. Not to mention the potential repairs needed, which would be slightly more difficult to manage due to the complicated access to the system. In such cases it is necessary to count with higher costs. Before you install floor heating system be sure to think about the placement of furniture in the room - to prevent unnecessary waste of energy later. To draw the accurate floor plan of your furnished house, you can use our online designer.


However, which floor heating should you choose? Electric or of heat line?

Pipes of floor heating system

Electric floor heating works on the principle of resistance cables or mats that are connected to the electric current. Heat is generated by converting electrical energy into heat in the core of the cable, which in turn heats the layer above it and spreads the warmth to the entire room. The advantage of such heating is its simple installation, possibility to apply cables on the original floors, easy and precise temperature regulation, lower investment costs and rapid heating. The system does not need to be connected to the heat line, making it suitable for residential houses with central heating, or where there is not a connection to gas. The disadvantages of this system include higher operating costs mainly because of the higher cost of electricity. Therefore, we recommend to install electric floor heating only within smaller areas. The thickness of the heating layer in this case is so thin that heat will not remain in the system as long as in the case of heat line floor heating. To heat thin refurbished floors you will do with more suitable thin heating mat.

In the case of heat line floor heating it needs to be connected to a gas boiler. Alternatively, it is also possible to connect the system to renewable energy – heat line fireplaces, wood boilers, heat pumps and solar collectors. Compared to radiators you can save up to 30% of current costs with this kind of heating!

Radiators in the last decade have undergone revolutionary developments and have lost the label of unsightly objects which are being avoided by modern architecture. In today's world, they are design or artwork pieces that complete the interior, or merge with it so that you will not even notice them. Their biggest disadvantage is that they do not distribute the heat in the room evenly, but accumulate the highest temperature in its surroundings.

Invisible radiator

Radiators may be heat line, hot-air, electric, gas and solid fuel (fireplaces). In our country we mostly use heat line and electric. These heaters are made of different materials, therefore we differenciate the following types:

- Cast iron radiators – already used for ages, have a large volume and thanks to that they remain warm longer. Their lifespan can exceed 50 years. Its disadvantage is that the disorders of the joints are a very common issue, cleaning is very difficult and they are well known for the leakages.
- Aluminium radiators - are made from one integrated piece without joints or seams, making it not as defected as cast iron radiators. They are known for their high calorific value and they warm up very fast, whereas compared to cast iron they have a much smaller volume.
- Plate steel radiators - are currently the best sellers. They have small volume, warm up very fast, but cool down just as quickly. Their advantage is a large heating output within a small area. They are very compact and they are produced in different sizes and colors, so they can also serve as decoration.
- Convection unit – are made of plates attached to the tube. According to your preferences you can choose floor, wall, window or standing convection units. They are unobtrusive heating units that are easy to maintain. They are placed mainly to large glazed areas to compensate the difference in temperature between interior and exterior of the room.
- Pipe steel radiators – they don´t have such a big calorific value, so they usually serve as towel dryers. You can get them in a variety of unusual shapes or colors.

Pipe steel radiator

- Plate electric radiant heaters - operate on the principle of infra-red heaters and are designed for real aesthetes. They are composed of panels powered by electricity that do not heat the air, but the same way as sunshine they heat solid objects. According to experts, it is the most environmentally friendly type of radiator, as they save energy, nature, and least but not last they save your money as well.

Plate electric radiant heater

In today's rich offer of various types of heating devices, it is not easy to choose the right one. Although floor heating system can stand on its own, the most appropriate solution for your bathroom could be a combination of several heating systems. Floor heating with a modern aesthetic type of radiator could be then the right solution for you!

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Architecture

Novelties in our designer - Changing perspectives in 3D

by KamilaSu 28. October 2014 09:06

Again, we have improved our designer and here comes the novelty. We decided to change not only our but also your view of the drawings so we have added three different perspectives to the designer in 3D view mode. So now there is a side view, a top view and a view from the first person. Adding these views will greatly facilitate and improve the transparency of the work in the designer. Thanks to the perspective of the first person you will be able to take a stroll in your newly-designed flat and the views from the top and side will provide you with a complete overview of all partitions or furniture.

Where to find a view change and how to handle it? 

You can get very easily to the newly added views. Start a designer the way you do it usually and start to draw. Or you can choose from one of the pre-drawn plans and adjust it to your liking. In the designer you can always enter the 3D view by clicking on the 3D icon. In this mode you can see three icons of individual views above your plan. These are: side view, top view and a view from the first person. Side view will allow you to look at all the exterior walls. It is appropriate to use it to check the placement of windows and doors. Top view shows you all the internal partitions and disposition of the furniture, so as to assure you that you haven´t forgot  anything. You can then check everything "firsthand", thanks to the first person view, which allows you to go for a walk along the designed plan using the arrows.

Side view

Top view

View from the first person

Of course, it is up to you how you will use the different views. We hope that you will enjoy this novelty and that this intuitive solution will make your work in the designer even more pleasant. Hope you will get quickly used to it. 

 

Enjoy!

Opponent of straight lines - FriedensreichHundertwasser

by KamilaSu 20. October 2014 16:02

Sharp edges, right angles, parallel walls, levelled windows, uniform sizes, all this and many other conventional rules of architecture and interior design were opposed by FriedensreichHundertwasser who demonstrated that on his own designs of flats, houses and other buildings.

Hundertwasser House

Hundertwasser House in Vienna. He didn’t demand remuneration for the building project, because he was rather willing to invest in it than to allow another ugly building to be built in the city centre.

Friedrich Stowasser, better known as Hundertwasser was an Austrian artist, architect and one of the most influential figures of the beginnings of modern art and modern architecture. The name FriedensreichRegentagDunkelbuntHundertwasser, which he later adopted, perfectly epitomizes his philosophy of life and art. It means "One hundred coloured waters on a rainy day" and corresponds with his personal motto: "When one thinks he has to repair nature, he is always irreparably mistaken."

Hundertwasser was a versatile artist. He painted, illustrated books, designed facades, postage stamps, national flags or clothing, yet he is most famous for his architectural design, typical for its irregularity and effort to blend in with the surrounding landscape. He promoted and also set in practice the idea that every building should have afforested rooftops accessible to its tenants. Flat floors which are incompatible with the rules of nature should be replaced with uneven and irregular floors. And just as important for him as everything was the so-called window law: "The tenant shall have the right to lean out of the window, and paint the plaster as far as he can reach according to his creative soul."

Although he is often compared to Antonio Gaudi, Hundertwasser´s style is so distinctive and unique that his works are unmistakable. Look at a few buildings designed by him:

BadBlumau in Austria

BadBlumau in Austria. Buildings in a spa town imitate surrounding hills and what more compost toilets secure fertilizers for local agriculture. 

Maishima incineration plant in Osaka, Japan

Maishima incineration plant in Osaka, Japan. Hundertwasser was willing to design industrial buildings, in this case, however, provide that he could equip the incineration plant with the best filters available. Part of the plant accessible to visitors demonstrates the problems associated with excessive production of waste. 

Public toilets Kawakawa

Public toilets Kawakawa at Hundertwasser´s beloved New Zealand. The interior is designed to contain as few straight lines and right angles as possible. 

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Architecture

Novelties in our designer - Corporate colors

by KamilaSu 9. October 2014 14:57

We have prepared another novelty for you in our FloorPAD designer. This time we have focused on the colors of drawn plans and we give you the opportunity to create a planin your corporate colours containing the logo of your company. 

How does it work? 

After logging into your account on our website you have to click on Settings and fill in your data. That means you have to fill in the company name, address, URL, preferred language, and of course the already mentioned logo with the size up to 100 kB.If it is exceeding this size itwill be proportionally adjusted. 

Account data

When you are satisfied with the completed data click Save. After saving your settings, click on Publish plan customization to go to the designer.

Designer gives you the possibility to change the color of its background to your preferred corporate colors using the color range window. 

Plan in corporate colors

 

After changing the backgroundto your corporate colors all the plans you publish will match your company's website colors so your users will feel like they have never left your website.  

Range of colors

Such plans containing your logo can redirect customers to a specified URL. Therefore when published on the Internet they can increase traffic to your website. 

For an example of an edited plan, see this link: http://www.floorpad.com/Fapp/Published.aspx?pubid=994ea295-d17d-41cc-beca-fe2b18e2948f

Enjoy the customization!

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3D visualization | News in progress

Sauna in an apartment?

by KamilaSu 2. October 2014 18:03

Saunas are now no longer a symbol of luxury, but the other way around, they have become more common and are part of a healthy lifestyle. Regular sauna bathing boosts immunity, improves blood circulation, helps to treat respiratory diseases, relaxes tense muscles and has beneficial effects against fatigue and stress. Saunas are quite common in family houses. But did you know that you can enjoy the heat of the sauna in your apartment, as well? 

Sauna in an apartment might not remain just an inaccessible dream. When appropriately selected, it  can fit into any apartment and space. Although you might have to give up a spacious rest room and a cooling pool, but these places can be easily replaced. Instead of the pool you can use cold shower and your living room can be easily converted into an oasis of peace.

What is the best type of sauna for an apartment? Since the apartment is a limited space, the best solution would be sauna cabin, which is produced in small dimensions. Usually it happens to be an infrasauna. The smallest infrared saunas have one square meter and are meant only for sitting. Infrared saunas work thanks to the infrared light that warms the body from the inside and the temperature in the sauna is considerably lower than in traditional Finnish saunas. All you need to do is plug in the infrared cabin sauna into the 220V socket. It is easy to install and maintain. 

Sauna in an apartment

Fans of Finnish and steam sauna are also to be satisfied, because these types of saunas have their smaller versions, too. There are small cabins approximately 1.2 metres long and 1.2 meters wide and are also meant only for sitting. The quality of Finnish and steam sauna depends mainly on the heating medium, which is a stove, mostly an accumulator.

How to prepare a space for sauna? Prior to the acquisition of sauna cabin, you should think thoroughly about where to place it. It is necessary to find a suitable place in order for the sauna to work properly.

Suitable place should be dry, such as any dry area in the bathroom, space in a hall, in a bedroom or in a niche. Sauna must be placed on a flat surface and needs an electrical connection, either 220 V or 380 V, depending on the type of heating medium, and another connection for the light. If you prefer a steam sauna you will need water and sewer hook-up as well.

As you can see, prior to the installation, it is necessary to think about many details. Drawing a floor plan before that can facilitate and clarify this process. You will avoid unpleasant findings and uncomfortable situations. The dream of a sauna can thus become a reality!

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Architecture | Interior design

Living in a container? A new trend in the world of housing!

by KamilaSu 22. September 2014 11:06

Modular architecture happens to be one of the new trends of modern living. Formerly used mainly for pragmatic reasons, today it loses the label of boring and tasteless architecture and competes with traditional construction methods mainly due to the speed of its construction, environmental friendliness, reasonable price and high mobility. 

The basic building component of this type of construction is called a module which is a construction unit of uniform size. First, it is produced in a plant and then it is transported to the designated plot. Actually, it's kind of semi-finished product delivered by a construction company to chosen place where it is adjusted according to our requirements and needs. Its uniform size allows the modules to be easily combined and opens the door for creativity. 

Building inspired by beehive is a modern version of a block of flats: 

Building inspired by beehive

 

Well-built modular house can fit into nature without having to stick out like a sore thumb: 

Modular house

 

Container architecture is a specific industry that uses steel shipping containers which are used in ship and rail transport over long distances. The main advantagein using such container as a construction component is its low cost and optimum size. Currently, containers are used mostly for the construction of public spaces. You can have a coffee with a friend in a container cafe, have a dinner in a container restaurant or shop for clothes in a movable container shop (http://www.remodelista.com/posts/10-stores-housed-in-shipping-containers). 

Holiday House in New Zealand Port-a-Bach designed by Atelierworkshop:

Holiday house

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Architecture

Innovations - we have added new elements to the editor, new types of staircases

by KamilaSu 1. September 2014 23:40

The latest version of our site offers several innovations. In particular, we would like to draw your attention to new types of staircases that we have added to FloorPAD designer. Now you can add bent or spiral staircase to your plans and choose its right or left orientation. 

Types of staircase in 2D

New kinds of staircases allow your customer’s better visualization of the property. 

 

Types of staircase in 3D

 

The most recent update had its 3D visualization improved and a few bugs from the previous version fixed.

Improved designer - new templates of floor plans

by KamilaSu 7. August 2014 11:15

In order to improve our designer and make it easier for you, we bring you another innovation. From now on you can choose one of the following ways when drawing the floor plans: you can create a completely new floor plan or choose one of the fifty existing plans.

 

Designer

 

Templates of the plans are based on the most commonly used types of plans. You can choose from a variety of apartments of different sizes that can be changed, organized and edited arbitrarily. Thanks to a brief and concise description of each template it is really simple to pick a template according to your needs.

 

Template

 

We believe that this way of drawing the plans will increase the efficiency and quicken your work in FloorPAD designer.

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3D visualization | Drawing | Floor plan | News in progress

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