Architecture is born from materials. Between structure, light, movement, and comfort, materials profoundly shape our experiences. But materials also change over time, new ones are created, and a wide range of assemblies and construction techniques are introduced. Increasingly, architects and designers are looking into the possibilities of composite materials made with natural elements.
Hangar architecture is a relatively new building type. Ever since the Wright brothers stored and repaired their aircraft in a wooden hangar constructed in 1902, designers and builders have continued to rethink what these structures can be. Beyond actual airports and terminals, hangars are unique in that they’re purpose-built to hold an aircraft or spacecraft. Today, how can this building type be challenged and reimagined?
Architecture is created for people, but how do we design beyond the human scale? With a renewed interest in biodiversity and animal habitats accelerated by the climate crisis, there is also the question of shelter and what it means to design spaces for interaction and rehabilitation. As architects look beyond structures for people, they are turning their attention to different kinds of enclosures and open spaces that rethink engagement with animals and their wellbeing.
No city is like New York. As an amalgam of different cultures, it is one of the most diverse in the world. New York is also facing social and environmental challenges that range from the need for new housing and transportation demands, to rising sea levels and storm surges. As the global pandemic further underlined the importance of design in shaping public life, city officials and planners are looking at a range of approaches and models for urban development and renewed growth.
New York City is defined by its architecture, and in turn, diverse ways of living. As the nation’s “metropolis,” it has also faced some of the most challenging housing problems of any American city. From single-family homes to high-rise residential towers, housing has evolved at different paces and scales throughout the boroughs. In turn, each district and county is home to a wide range of residential styles and housing solutions.
Architecture shapes our lives every day, but how can it be decentralized? At the core of efforts to design extended reality (XR) environments is a desire to make these projects more human and more relatable. As technologists, architects, and users themselves develop new tools for the metaverse, as well as augmented and virtual spaces, new projects are increasingly democratized and open source. At the same time, the design process is being reimagined.
The pandemic has transformed how we work around the world. Companies have quickly rethought traditional workflows to stay connected and focus on the employee experience. Reimagining their workplaces in a holistic way, designers at Louisville-based Humana are working on new workplace models that ensure employee safety and well-being while creating greater flexibility and diverse ways to collaborate.
Reframing culture and identity begins with context and perspective. For London-based architecture practice Studio NYALI, this act of reframing is at the heart of contemporary design. Founded by Nana Biamah-Ofosu and Bushra Mohamed, their work aims to center peripheral identities, cultures and people by examining, challenging and shifting architectural critiques and narratives. This critical perspective moves education and practice towards a more inclusive, holistic understanding of the built environment.
Few spaces are as intimate and contemplative as prayer rooms. Designed as both stand-alone structures and part of larger projects, prayer rooms are made as an architecture of introspection. Located within a house of worship or funerary space, or for their own dedicated purpose, these quiet rooms offer tranquil areas to consider life and the passage of time. Reflecting larger ideas on specific faiths and spirituality, they are designed as spaces of symbolism and sanctuary.
Berlin is a city defined by an eclectic mix of style and a rich history. It’s built environment has been dramatically shaped by a series of municipal construction programs, and in turn, a past of extensive demolition, planned residential areas, and diverse new cultural projects. Combined with influences across Europe, Berlin’s contemporary architecture showcases new ideas on building concepts, forms and facades.