Friday, February 1, 2013

This Week in Architecture: Episode II

Welcome to another episode of This Week in Architecture!

Dual House

Our first story comes to us all the way from Ahmedabad, India, where VPA Architects designed two individual homes intended to be for two brothers and their respective families. Despite being on two separate lots, the families made it clear that they did not want to divide the plot, and use the area as common space for both families.

The final design resulted in a unique home that looks different from almost every angle. Contrasting materials of brickwork and RCC treatment provide a wonderful visual aesthetic, and the designer was able to stick to the cost restraints of the families.

One important component to the design was cross ventilation. While it was desired by VPA Architcts to keep the direct sun rays from entering the home from the south and west, they didn't want to breeze to stop almost. Aluminum fins were used to dissipate the sunlight.

There was a lot of care taken in the site planning and interior spaces as well, from having high ceilings to a beautiful garden.

Check out the full story, with countless more pictures here.

3D Printing on the Moon

So 3D printing is one of those new technologies that is totally mind-blowing and awesome, right? It's about to get even more awesome. Foster + Partners has joined forces with the European Space Agency (ESA) to explore the possibilities of using 3D printing to build lunar habitats on the moon's southern pole. This would mean that residents of the space station would have a place to live for extended periods of time on the moon, cutting down on travel time and costs to get back to the moon.

The proposed cellular structure was inspired by biological systems, and will be resistant to all things under the sun (pun intended) including meteorites, gamma radiation and high temperature changes.

Foster + Partners is used to designing for extreme climates on earth using sustainable materials, so this kind of venture is right up their alley. The kicker? The future residencies will be able to be transported via space rocket.

Check out the full story here.

House Hafner

Our next story comes to us from the countryside of South Germany, where Hornung and Jacobi Architecture combines a high level of natural protection with a high level of privacy. The most striking part of this home is that the topography is barely touched -- the building almost seems to situate itself as a result of the existing topography. The drive enters to a seeming cantilever from out of a hill, with a stark white color with large windows that yield incredible views.

The building is simplistic, with an open floor plan that conforms to a basic L shape, but from the renderings it looks quite inviting. Given the floor to ceiling windows, the nature has every opportunity from every corner of the house to walk right on in to the living space.

Check out the full story with numerous photos here.

Living Like Kings

We move from Germany to Seattle, Washington, where the Emerald City prepares to grace the Sacramento (soon to become Seattle) Kings with a new home base. While Seattle currently doesn't have a basketball team, they plan on acquiring the Sacramento Kings, a move expected to be imminent. Naturally, its close proximity to Canada, the stadium will double as a hockey arena. At 725,000 square feet, the arena will be able to seat anywhere from 18,000 to 20,000 people.

At the moment the public feedback is mixed. Some are in high praise of the idea, realizing the value of such a huge investment in the city, in hopes that it will bring visitors and fans alike while also providing a great source of entertainment. However, there are some who are concerned about the resulting traffic congestion and dual-use arena would have, and would like to see a better connection to the Sodo area in which the arena is currently sited.

The project, however, is expected to take quite some time, as an environmentally friendly building is part of the terms of the agreement.

Check out the full story here.

Plenty of Fish

When it comes to hotels, none comes close to paralleling the experience given at the Water Discus hotel in Dubai, UAE. While the concept is not new, the size certainly is. The hotel will have discs above the water in addition to a massive ring below. The hotel will allow guests to have a first hand experience of the reef amidst the ocean.

Designed by Deep Ocean Technology, the hotel will have 21 suites in two main discs; one above the water and one below. The hotel is to be equipped with earthquake detection technology and other weather warning systems to ensure that it stays safe.

Other examples of similar ideas are the Utter Inn on Lake Mälaren in Sweden, as well as the Jules' Undersea Lodge off of Key Largo in Florida, USA.

Check out the full story here.

Thanks for tuning in this week. If you enjoyed these stories, remember to share, tweet, email and pass them on. See you next Friday afternoon for the best way to kick off your way to an architectural weekend!


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