Now that the effects of climate change are visible and indisputable, consumers are more environmentally conscious than ever. In fact, as a United Nations 2021 study suggests, 85% of them reveal that sustainability plays a key role when making their purchase decisions, motivating businesses and manufacturers to respond accordingly. This explains the rising demand for electric vehicles and products made of renewable or recyclable materials. However, architecture – and especially traditional housing – seems to be several steps behind compared to other industries. Although there are numerous efforts to move towards a greener built environment, the way most buildings are made today continues to be outdated, creating tremendous amounts of waste and significantly contributing to the global carbon footprint.
Interior doors serve multiple purposes in homes, such as providing security and privacy, separating spaces and buffering noise. But besides these obvious functions, they can also set the tone and enhance a room’s aesthetics with their beauty, becoming powerful design features by themselves. They certainly should not be taken lightly when designing any interior space. Considering this impact, architects must take every factor into account when choosing a door, including color, material, style and swinging motion. Dimensions are also important, but tend to be standard as they are limited by the size of the door frame. Usually, they don’t exceed 80 inches (or 203 cm) in height and range from 24 to 36 inches (70 to 90 cm) in width. Recently, however, this has taken a turn in modern design.
Greatly driven by the Covid-19 pandemic, interior design trends that prioritize comfort and well-being have become more prominent than ever in recent years. With former confinement restrictions and the rise of hybrid work, the amount of time spent indoors to carry out daily functions has risen drastically, forcing many to adapt their living spaces accordingly. As a result, demand has focused on residential interiors that foster calmness, peace and warmth, as well as on products and design elements that successfully meet these new needs. But how to achieve this? While there are many ways to promote comfort inside the home, one method has been indisputably proven to be the most successful: bringing nature in.
Although some may question it, architecture is essentially a service industry. And like in all services, the process itself (meetings, invoices, payments) can be just as important as the end result (the finished project). At the end of the day, if you offer a coherent, efficient and well-structured service that complements a good design, clients will be satisfied and are likely to return. They will also spread the word and recommend the office, which is ultimately the best way for design professionals to build a good reputation and attract new customers.
Without a doubt, pivot doors are more in style than ever. Rotating on a vertical axis with nearly invisible components, these swinging doors are characterized by their clean lines, contemporary aesthetic and endless design possibilities – features that make them ideal for a wide array of applications, especially as grand design statements. They particularly stand out, however, for their beautiful and elegant movement that allows smooth transitions between spaces, setting them apart from regular hinged doors. To ensure that this characteristic motion is achieved, two steps are indispensable: selecting high-quality hardware and installing it properly.
Since the early 2000s, it has been widely reported that the construction industry accounts for nearly 40% of the planet’s CO2 emissions. The role of interiors in that percentage has been historically underestimated, with common statistics suggesting that a project’s furniture, fixtures and equipment are only responsible for about 7 to 10% of its overall carbon footprint. However, new research notably indicates the contrary: in a building’s average life span, the carbon footprint of its interiors will equal – if not exceed – that of the structure and envelope. Interior design, to the surprise of many, has actually been doing great harm.
In architecture, choosing the right construction materials is crucial to improve efficiency, ensure structural integrity and maximize performance, ultimately setting the standard for the finished product. But because any building – from its outer skin to its framing system – consists of many layers and parts, understanding how these fit and work can be just as important during design and manufacture. Technical specification of materials and constructive systems plays a key role in conveying this information, providing all of the necessary knowledge, properties and characteristics for any successful project. After all, the more you know about what lies between walls and behind finishes, the better your architecture will be.
From its outer skin to its structural framing system, a building is made out of many layers. Just like a human body, many of those layers – which tend to be the most crucial, functional components – remain unseen by the public, covered with aesthetic features. Among all the hidden elements, all buildings include sheathing, the outer casing that construction crews place to serve several key purposes: protect the floor, walls, roofs and ceilings, fortify the structure against internal and external forces, and cover the entire framework, giving the building a solid shape.
Whether blending in or standing out, embodying transparency or solidity, expressing coarseness or softness, a façade is the medium through which we engage with architecture. It tells a story and can often set the tone for the rest of the interior. But apart from defining a purely visual experience, a building’s envelope must also be practical, durable and have the ability to properly manage natural lighting and ventilation needs. After all, by being the point of contact with the outside, it is responsible for mitigating sounds and providing protection from climatic conditions, such as wind, rain, heat and humidity. Therefore, when designing a facade, it is important to consider a balance between performance and a beautiful aesthetic. Of course, many materials successfully meet these criteria. But when it comes to creating a comforting, light-filled ambiance while ensuring resistance, ease of installation and versatility, the properties of translucent polycarbonate panels seem to be unparalleled.
Overtaking the Tour First skyscraper, the 48-story, 220-meter HEKLA Tower will be the tallest building in Paris’s La Défense business district, as well as the second tallest building in all of France. Currently under construction and designed by Pritzker prize-winning Jean Nouvel, it is set to become a powerful architectural statement. Due to complete this 2022 in the midst of the sector’s redevelopment program, the futuristic skyscraper spreads over 76,000 sqm of floor area distributed in offices, services, lobbies, an amphitheater, projection rooms, performance halls, restaurants, bars, gyms and loggias. All of this with the aim of providing a unique user experience with vast, flexible workspaces that promote interaction and well-being.