Santiago Calatrava - 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. Others, meanwhile, use those things, even though they do not understand how they work.

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

 

Santiago Calatrava, one of the world's elite architects, decided to go back to school after the graduation in his architectural studies and get a degree in civil engineering. His motivation for such a decision 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 engineering.

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 mostly uses white concrete to deny the diversity of materials and show the importance of the shapes. 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 organised 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 was built in the years 1999-2003.

Valencia

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

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Architecture

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 houses 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 advantage in 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 Atelier workshop:

Holiday house

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Architecture

Building a house or looking for a flat? Find true north!

by Barbora S. 28. April 2014 12:53

There are many things to consider when building or furnishing a house.  One of the crucial criteria that need to be taken into consideration is the cardinal directions. No matter whether you have a parcel on which you are going to build or an apartment that needs to be refurbished, the decisions concerning compass directions are very important. It does not need to be said that this is the factor that will have the biggest impact on the amount of sunshine penetrating the rooms during the day.

FloorPAD_Cardinal directions influence the amount of sunshine in rooms

Similarly to other areas connected to property building and decorating, the perfect orientation greatly depends on one’s taste. The preferences and opinions vary from one person to another but there are some general rules that can be relied on.

The first rule is that the sunshine is important mainly when it comes to those rooms where we spend a lot of time. Sunshine has great effect on one’s mood and comfort which is the reason why it is appropriate to direct living room south or south-west. In this case, the sun rays will be entering the living during almost the whole day. There are also some pros to having the living room turned south-east - the sun warms the room up in the morning and this way you will avoid the afternoon heat in the summer. The same direction is appropriate for children’s bedrooms where kids spend most of the day.

When it comes to the bedroom, you have to consider whether you would like to have it in the east and be woken up by the sun. Another option is to have it facing the north so that the sun will never disturb you. On the other hand, you can direct your bedroom westwards which will help to warm it and may therefore result in significant savings on heating.

The terrace is another chapter. If you dream of having your breakfast and coffee on a sunny terrace, you should go for an eastern or southeastern direction. However, if you leave your home early in the morning and can’t wait to spend delightful evenings with a bottle of beer or a glass of wine on the terrace after coming home from work, it will be more convenient to have the terrace facing the west. If you are a true sunshine lover try to direct the terrace south. In this case, though, you need to accept the fact that you probably won’t be able to enjoy your terrace during the hot sunny days.

FloorPAD_Amount of sunshine at home

And which rooms are eligible to face the north? All those that you do not spend too much time in such as garage, storeroom, study, or bathroom.

When making these important decisions, you cannot forget to take into consideration the region in which the property is located. In colder, northern regions, where there are only a few hot sunny days a year and the temperatures do not rise too high each ray of sun is most welcome. On the other hand, in the southern regions, the excess of sunshine may in extreme (though not exceptional) cases result in high investments in shading systems or air-conditioning.

There are also other influential factors such as the surrounding buildings that can shade your building parcel or the location of an entry to your parcel that you are not able to influence. Even though it is easier and cheaper to buy a ready-made building project, in case of a parcel which is not entirely perfect or is quite atypical it is advisable to go for a tailored project that will take into account not only your preferences but also the external conditions.

Regarding apartments, most of the predispositions are usually given and since the choice of apartments is limited, you will probably have to determine your priorities and consequently chose a flat that is closest to your ideals. The compass direction of the apartment, which will greatly influence your comfort, should definitely be among these priorities.

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