Friday, January 25, 2013

3D printing a 'whole building in one go'...

3D printed house interview

In 2009 we [Universe Architecture] entered a competition for a beautiful location in Belwell, on the western coast of Ireland. The location was so beautiful that we thought, if you brought traditional architecture here, then you’re going to make a cut in the landscape. So our question was: “can you make a building like landscape?”
Our answer to that question was to create a continuous structure that doesn’t have a beginning and doesn’t have an end. We got a strip of paper and tried to fold it and bend it and see if we could make a structure that is endless in itself. By turning and twisting we got on to the Möbius band principal.
We didn’t win the competition, but I thought the idea was so strong that I proceeded [to develop the design] and approached people that could help me.

Ben Hobson: And one of those people was Enrico Dini, who invented the D-Shape printer [the world’s largest 3D printer]?

Janjaap Ruijssenaars: Yes, that’s an important connection. We had been trying different materials to make a small model of the house – we tried to use lead as well as paper – but the only way to make it was with a 3D printer. Having this model in our hands we thought, “why not take it to the next level and see if this principal works on a larger scale?”


Ben Hobson: Couldn’t you have used traditional construction methods to build this house? Why use 3D printing?

Janjaap Ruijssenaars: One important thing is the endlessness of it: you work from bottom to top and there’s no beginning and no end. But maybe even more important is the fact that the shape is already in the computer and you can print the complex forms, the twists and the turns of the stairs, for example, directly as you designed it.
In the traditional way of building [with concrete] you have to make timber moulds which you will later take away again. But it’s very complex with these curves to make moulds that you fill with concrete and then remove – that’s an enormous effort.

To read the full content of this article, please go to the link below:

3D printed house interview

Friday, January 18, 2013

Glass Farm

Glass Farm: MVRDV's Modern Glass Building is Printed with a Traditional Farmhouse Facade

The Glass Farm is a redevelopment of Schijndel’’s market square, which was heavily damaged during WWII. MVRDV‘s Winy Maas grew up in Schijndel and in 1980 he proposed redeveloping the market square to fill in a gap that was left between the church, town hall and main street. Over the next 20 years, the architect proposed a total of six designs, one of which included a theatre for the spot – however, they were shot down by the town. Finally his 7th proposal – a mixed-use retail and office project with a wellness centre – was accepted, although not without some opposition and discussion from the town. The reason why the 7th design was accepted is largely because it references the local architecture, including traditional farmhouses from the area.
The design evolved based on the maximum size the town council allowed, which is the area of a traditional Schijndel farm. Using the concept of a traditional farmhouse, the architects at MVRDV worked with artist Frank van der Salm to photograph the remaining farms and average them together to create a stereotypical farmhouse. The morphed image was then printed onto glass using fritting technology to create the building. At 1.6 times the size of the average farmhouse, Glass Farm is a scaled up version that reflects how the town has grown up over the years. It’s designed to evoke a sense of nostalgia, and it may remind adults of their childhood and how things were bigger when they were smaller. During the day, the fritted glass allows daylighting into the interior, which minimizes heat gain. At night the interior lights shine out through the form and show off the building’s printed farmhouse facade.
Images ©MVRDV


Friday, January 11, 2013

The Quarry Garden in Shanghai Botanical Garden

Never thought we’d say we love an abandoned quarry. But through a massive six-year restoration, replanting and re-imagining process, the Quarry Garden in Shanghai Botanical Garden, in the Songjiang District, in Shanghai, China, has become not just a thing of beauty and wonder but a successful travel attraction. An abandoned quarry has indeed been turned into something beautiful.

The Quarry Garden has also earned the American Society of Landscape Architecture 2012 Honor Award.

We love the tranquility and eerie otherworldliness that comes from the ongoing process of a destroyed natural environment returning back to nature but in a completely new, transformed guise. We are left to contemplate both the scars and the forgiveness of nature. - Tuija Seipell

Friday, January 4, 2013

Snow Fort Architecture: A Critical Analysis

For any of us future architects and designers, a snow day as a kid meant one thing: a limitless supply of free building material. Snow Forts showcases the imaginative creations with a rapidly renewable, locally procured resource. Below is an analysis of what the cool kids are up to these days.

[Image source: Brothers Forever]

01. While the integration of 1980’s office park curtain-wall technology, the French Gothic style, a bridge inspired by the Great Wall of China, and a built-in slide is a feat in and of itself, the composition comes off as McMansion Americana. The balance of indoor/outdoor space is worthy of praise, however, and we appreciate the visual “framing” at the rooftop deck. Grade: C

[Image source: Christine Purcell]

02. The project falls victim to the classic conundrum of minimalism gone too far. While there’s a clear nod to the work of John Pawson, the regimented design too harshly penalizes the comfort of the inhabitants. Grade: D+

[Image source: McCullough Web]

03. A clean geometry and clear program are, unfortunately, sullied by a heavy medieval influence in this project. While it may stand that the turret’s crenelations provide refuge from combative attack, the more looming threat is most likely an attack on taste — by those modernism purists down the block. Grade: B-

[Image source: jehingr]

04. We applaud the inclusion of the lightweight, thin-shell snow disc sled saucers. However, the applications fails to develop their true structural potential. While the weathering capabilities of the single-ply cardboard roofing membrane are highly problematic, the project achieves high style points for use of Renzo Piano’s signature shade of orange. Grade: B

[Image source: Looky]

05. Extending the timeless dialogue between building and landscape, this project cultivates a thesis of tree as spirit and building as protector. Special commendation is given to the lighting design, a rare feature among snow fort architectures. Grade B+

[Image source: Volunteer Princess]

06. Reaching back to the ancient methods of Stonehenge slab construction, this work rejects the role of column and accentuates the attributes of horizontal slab. Vertical elements are pushed outside the structural envelope in a tongue-n-cheek parody of uselessness. While a clear reaction to techtonic architecture is realized in the form, it’s interior functions are unclear. Grade: B

[Image source: The Nuzzes]

07. A refreshing example of utilitarian geometry, the form is everything it needs to be and nothing more. The roof loads are resolved clearly and rationally to the fort’s massive walls and foundation. Using Passive House technology, the thickened walls provide generous insulation value while openings at the envelope allow greater amounts of heat to be retained. Grade: A

[Image source: Brett Crawford Photo]

08. Simply burrowing into landscape is less an achievement of architecture and more an act of squatting. The most fundamental elements of architecture are all but absent in this project, and while the squatter in question may seem content, the absence of wall makes not a door. Grade: F

[Image source: jmsalsich]

09. The geometrical influences of UN Studio are unmistakably employed in this design-forward igloo of the 21st century. Although the structure is both rational and elegant, the forms incongruent relationship to the adjacent landscaping is mildly disappointing. The project substitutes its contextual discord with a clear indication of national allegiance. Grade: A+

[Image source: The Casual Perfectionist]

10. Paralyzed by an enormous scope, the design of this project changed course mid-way through construction, leaving a lone builder baffled and weary in the wake of darkening skies. Nonetheless, we admire the foolish ambition required of nearly any important work. Grade: C+