10Dec

New trends in architecture

Architecture is on fast track of change in present time due to the great increase in land values.  Demand of style accelerated the change.  Space creation with aesthetic value is going to be limited with the passage of time. Architecture is the most useful form of art. Great changes in the field of architecture revolutionized due to various technological advances. Creativity in architecture is in danger due to commercialism. In past, the purpose of architecture was to create space of comfort, protection and rest. This has now changed due to globalization. Architects are taking designs and visions of past and then recreating these in new from which are more comfortable.

Owing to the fact that people are getting richer due to more income now-a-days, various urban products are booming up in the market. In homes kitchen and bathroom architecture created revolution in the market. Healthy designs provide the occupants with more daylight, making the environment healthier and more comfortable. New architectural trends are focusing on the enhancement of air ventilation. New trends now also focus on the minimum habitat disruption, more efficient use of energy and land, take advantage of native landscaping to ensure a look style, usage of building material which has less impact on environment. Depending upon the demands, indoor pools, fitness areas, garages all are provided in new architectural styles.

Along with buildings and houses, new trends in school architecture have become popular now-a-days. Along with classrooms architects place, other places such as gym, central courtyards, art departments, parking facility below the courtyard creates an open feelings. Use of natural light in effective way is also a good trend in architecture. In new architectural styles, use of glass with appropriate glazes in buildings is also increasing in order to use energy more efficiently. Use of solar energy in buildings will reduce load on other energy sources.

Computer aided designs drafts in the form of CAD or CADD are used now a days. This new technology is very helpful to create three dimensional designs.  With the new softwares the world of architecture has completely changed compared to the past. HSB turning Torso, Weismen Art Museum, Shanghai world financial centre, Transamerica Pyramid, Valencia opera house, Torre Marenostrum and many more are examples of modern architecture

Now a day, many clients and builders are focusing on the maximum utilization of natural resources due to increase in energy costs. The main objectives of new trends are how to effectively use solar energy in modern houses and buildings and the aesthetic beauty. Real essence of architecture is not only designing a building but it should include its surrounding environment. Architecture has a power to change the lifestyle of people. Huge massive structures with aesthetic sense have impacts on individual’s life.

Today green living and green for future generations are popular terms. Green designs started from 1920s by an architect named Rudolf Schindler. Regional climate and environmental sensitivity are the key objectives of this new trend. Schindler’s designs were based on elements like concrete and wood. Fluidity of outer environment in to interior of building was the main target of this trend. Many modern architects are using this trend. Currently green architecture is a new revolution which is focusing on utilization of space, site, and energy more efficiently. Reduction of wastes and protection of environment are new visions. Protection of occupants’ health is the main focus of new designs. Due to the trend of green architecture, there is now reduced use of chemicals which have adverse effects on human health, minimizing environmental hazards. Also waste materials are less toxic to the environment. Architecture is such type of art that is changing with the passage of time.

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05Dec

Architecture Is Only Bounded by the Human Mind

Certain things cannot be traced back to their origins. People find it easy to label their origins of such fields to exist as “since man came into existence”. Architecture is one such field which falls under such a label. There is no definition to it, nor can its discovery or invention can be dated. This is such a creative field that one can only grow it and make as vaster as they want. You cannot say that architecture only came into existence after certain level of civilization. People living in caves and in the wilderness also designed their habitat in such a way that they were comfortable in it. You can relate an igloo to architecture as well.

While such structures are just for mere survival, there are some which are made out of competition or luxury. One of the most famous competitions among buildings is not about their beauty but their height. The reason behind it can be the fact that beauty cannot be calibrated and height can be. Man continues to show the marvels of architecture and builds sky scrapers taller and taller. There was once a time when Empire States building used to be a definition of sky scrapers. However, these days, its height (1,250 ft), is not that much of a competition when you compare it with other tall buildings. With a height of over 2,000 ft, Burj Dubai, also known as Burj Khalifa, is the tallest building standing today.

Thanks to the design and creativity of architects, building such tall structures became possible. It seems that the creative mind of an architect can manipulate a building according to the dreams of a person. However, just like everything else in this world, the art of architecture is not always perfect. To construct such tall buildings their lifespan had to suffer. This is exactly what is happening to structures these days. In older times, the structures used to be made out of masonry. To reach the skies, architects had to let go of the stone and find a lighter alternative. This does not mean that these tall buildings are not safe. These building would just not be able to share the glorious and long life of old structures like The Great Wall of China, Taj Mahal, Pyramids of Egypt, Coliseum (also known as colosseum) and etc. The secret of such extra ordinary lifespan of these amazing structures lie in their architectural design.

It is up to an architect to design a suitable structure and select the best possible material to build that structure. This also includes the method of preparation of the structure as well. Masonry is the art which gives these old buildings such extra ordinary life. It is the oldest method of making any structure, even an igloo is made by using this method. Masonry involves usage of large blocks made of brick or concrete as the building blocks of a structure. In case of an igloo the same principles are applied but the blocks are made of ice. The skill of masonry is quite expensive these days because of its scarcity. The skill is also rare as there is much less demand for it. People prefer taller buildings to the stronger ones these days. However, in places where earthquakes are frequent, masonry is much needed.

If you think that masonry does not go under the heading of architecture then you are wrong. People usually think that such a building would not be beautiful hence it would not require any aid from the architect. Taj Mahal is the most beautiful example of masonry, so think before labeling masonry as non-architectural.

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20Oct

The World’s New Tallest Skyscraper

Skyscrapers have been being built for about 50 years now. Since the United States started building them, other countries also wanted to create them in their lands. The truth is that skyscrapers are on of engineering’s best innovations. Before skyscrapers were built, buildings’ sizes were limited to the size of the terrain in which they were built. However, today it is possible to create hundreds of stories over a single area of land. This is exactly the same as multiplying the efficiency of a building. Of course, building a skyscraper is a lot more expensive than building a normal structure. However, it is still a lot cheaper than buying a whole bunch of terrains and filling them all with 2 stories buildings.
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Skyscrapers are higher every decade. Until now, the highest skyscraper is the well-know Burj Al-Khalifa in Dubai. This building was designed by Adrian Smith and it is more than 2,500 feet tall. That is about 820 meters. Imagine a building that is almost one kilometer high! It is taller than we can imagine. People that have visited skyscrapers mention their uniqueness as it is something totally new for everyone.  This year, it has been announced that the world will see a new skyscraper. Not just any skyscraper, but the tallest one that has ever been built. It will be located in Saudi Arabia under the name of Kingdom Tower. This name was chosen because the building will host many different concepts inside its walls. This won’t be a tall hotel, or a tall condo complex. This will actually be some kind of vertical kingdom. It will tower hotels, five stars apartments, condos, an observatory, offices, stores and much more. The idea of this huge complex is to offer its visitors and residents all that they need inside its 4 walls. This way they would be changing the current concept of skyscraper that the world.

This  huge tower will be significantly taller than the current tallest building in Dubai. Its designer, who is also Adrian Smith, states that it will be 568 feet (173 meters) taller than the Burj Al-Khalifa. This means that the Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia will be actually 1 km high! For those that know about the past, and have had some kind of experience knowing about technology in the decade of the 50’s it is easy to know that in that time, buildings like this one were not even dreamed. No one thought that it was possible to tower one kilometer of material over such a limited terrain. Maybe they didn’t think it was impossible to do, but it was definitely way too expensive to even think about it.

Today, technology allows us to create awesome concepts that were thought impossible some time ago. Of course, they are not cheap at all. The current skyscraper will cost 1.2 billion dollars to be built. This is only the price for the building itself. The total price for the Kingdom Tower, including its final details is 20 billion dollars.

Behind this mind blowing project we have its designers; Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill. They both are from Chicago and have professionalized their careers in the creation of structures. Now, this project is no longer just a plan. The building process is scheduled to start soon, and there seem to be no problems in the way. In fact, the best thing about this skyscraper is its location. The Middle East has remained very strong and wealthy during this critical economic period. This is a great advantage as it practically ensures the project’s success as a commercial element in the area. We should be seeing a great engineering miracle again very soon!

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15Oct

Team Architecture

We are living in an era in which individualism is no longer the best choice for completing successful projects. If we go back in history, it is easy to see that people decided to innovate and create things on their own due to the sociological repression they were living in. Now, our society has changed almost all over the world. This gives us the chance to work as a team to reach higher goals and be somehow more efficient. Let me clarify something very important here. It has been proven that people that work alone are not better than those that decide to work as teams. This has a psychological reason actually. Due to everyone’s unique way of thinking, we all have the ability to see the world with different eyes. This is exactly what allows people to have different opinions. Well, that is exactly what an architect needs, opinions!

An architect or an engineer is never working for his or her own likes. Almost no one is working to fulfill their own likes now days. What architects look for as well as an engineer is to satisfy their clients’ expectation and needs. This is what makes a project successful. One mind is not enough today to see all the mistakes, possible additions and aspects of a project. It is impossible that one single person can fulfill the ideas of five more for example.

Well, architects have taken this aspect very seriously and they have been creating groups to work with called firms. In Spain, there is a firm called ACXT, which is made of more than 400 architects and engineers. Curiously, this is one of the most successful firms in the entire country. They have enough opinions, analysts, and ideas to count with when completing a project. Of course, working with a team can produce misunderstandings, disagreements and a long list of inconveniences. These are actually unavoidable, yet somehow controllable. The idea of working in a team is to know that no one in the team is better than anyone else. All the members in the team are equally talented and skillful. The moment in which someone starts feeling superior is exactly the moment in which things start to be problematic.

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10Oct

Saving Energy with Intelligent Windows

Now days, energy is more expensive than ever. Not only producing it has become harder, but also our systems require more energy now than they have ever needed. Not all are aware of the world’s current technological situation. Most of all don’t know how much energy is spent today compared to the amount spent fifty years ago. So let me explain you a very important fact when it comes to our earth.

We have all heard about global warming right? Well, global warming is a reality, and it is stronger than we think. When people talk about global warming, they are normally referring to atmospheric pollution and polluting gases. However, this phenomenon goes a lot deeper than that. Statistics show that by the early 1900’s, the world’s population was around 3.2 billion people. History teaches us that the human being has been existing for more than 7 million years. So, we had managed to populate the world with 3.2 billion people in 7 million years. Now, recent statistics say that today’s population is around 6.5 billion habitants. This means that we have duplicated the world’s population in 100 years. What does this have to do with global warming? Well, read a little further.

Physically, human beings are machines who use energy and waste it as well. When a machine uses energy, it turns it into heat, which is the reason why engines overheat when being used. If our population keeps increasing rapidly, we will keep heating the world with our daily wastes of energy. Having more people means more energy is used, and when more energy is used, more heat is released. This causes what we know as global warming.

Architects are aware of this fact and its importance. That is why they have developed several energy-saving systems, which can help people use less energy and produce less heat. One of the highest energy wasters in a house, besides electronic devices inside the house, is the air conditioner. The ventilation system in a building can waste more than five times the energy wasted by a T.V. during the same amount of time. This is exactly why, in the U.S., Sarbajut Banerjee has developed what he calls “intelligent windows”. These windows are made out of a vanadium base. This material gives windows the capacity to change their properties according to the temperature that surrounds them. This way, they can keep a house cold during the summer and warm during the winter.

Did you know that the temperature you feel inside a house is caused in a 60% by the windows? During the summer, the sun hits the windows and warms up plenty of objects inside the house. During the winter, the windows turn cold and work as gigantic ice cubes surrounding your house. This makes it harder for a ventilation system to level the inside of a house. Finally, the system starts spending more energy.

The best solution is to create windows that reflect the sun back to the outside of the house when it is hot, and to keep the cold out when it is winter. This could reduce the need for electronic ventilators, or even destroy it. This material is easy to produce and it is also very cheap to buy compared to other cooling and heating solutions. The mentioned system is not yet in stores. However, professionals are working on it, and if everything goes well, it should be out next year. People will be able to start building their houses with intelligent windows and save tons of money in energy bills. Also, they will be saving the world by keeping it away from more unnecessary heat.

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05Oct

Landscape Architecture – More Demanded than Ever

People used to see landscape architects as some kind of glorified gardener who was able to transform any piece of land. Landscape architects were only hired when there was some job needed in a garden. Hundreds of companies hired landscape architects to design their exteriors and this way attract more clients. Due to this, not many people was interested in studying to become a landscape architect.

However, today things have changed significantly. Now architects have started to work with green buildings and different methods to be less destructive with the environment when building. Curiously, a landscape architect is exactly what every firm is looking for now days. Most of all green buildings are designed to maximize the utility of wind and sunlight. These too elements are used in different ways to produce energy or replace it. The usage of plants is very important in this task as well, as it keeps the building’s atmosphere totally friendly to nature. One of the best examples of this is the High Line in New York. It is a 1.45 mile long urban park which is elevated about three stories from the ground. It is definitely modern and still has a green, natural touch. Architecture’s tendency is now heading to that concept.

Various states and local governments in the United States have started receiving funds for stimulus projects. These projects are directed objectively to benefit people in a significant way for example, parks, green areas, artistic areas, etc. Many states have declared that they will be needing a substantial amount of landscape architects for these projects. Traditional architects all have a basic knowledge about landscaping. However they are not specialized on it and that brings landscape architects to a field with no competition. People willing to build today are focusing on hiring teams of architects and engineers. Almost no one wants to hire a single engineer to build their structure. Clients now know that the structural design from an engineer would look great being covered by the design from an architect. Of course, the entire project would look a lot better being surrounded by an incredible landscape.

Landscape architects are not only dealing with plants and rocks anymore. Today, cities need landscape architects for several tasks that have nothing to do with gardens. For example, every year more corridors for motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians are built all around the world. Well, landscape architects seem to always have a better perspective of the outside world than any other professional. This gives them the ability to design these corridors and make them look nicer than anyone can imagine. Due to this, people are constantly looking to hire landscape architects. Sadly, there are not many architects that have studied landscaping because before it was not such a good career. However, there is so many job opportunities today that it is easy to see how many architects are actually studying landscaping. It will take some years for us to see that there thousands of more landscaping architects in the world.

There are a lot of colleges in the world that offer landscaping careers. For those that want to study it, it is a good idea to try some universities and see each one of their orientations. The average salary of a landscape architect is pretty fair as it goes around $71,000 per year. However, those that work self employed are a lot more successful according to sever studies.

Those that are studying landscape architecture should be excited about their career. It is one of the greatest architecture careers today and it offers a wide gamma of jobs.

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30Sep

Graduated as an Architect? What Comes Next

Today, architects are very well known for designing mind-blowing structures and making them look exactly as they want. However, some people don’t know that architects also have to look after the building’s functionality, safety and efficiency. These are aspects that can’t be wrong in a structure, even if the layout is perfect. This means that architects require two main kinds of skills. They need to be very creative but also analytic. In most of all countries, architects have to obtain a license to work after they have graduated. In order to obtain this license they need to prove that they count with these two skills. If an architect doesn’t have this license, it will be too hard to get a job.

Architects study a lot more than just design in college. The career consists of 5 years of study and that carries a wide variety of subjects inside. Subjects like: history, law, technology, management, IT and of course, design. This means that the student will gain numerical knowledge, as well as management and computer skills. This is the reason why a over a twenty percent of all architects are self employed. They have enough managing knowledge to carry on with their own business.

After being graduated you should know that most of all architecture jobs are directed to pure architecture projects. Not many architects are hired in government projects or residential firms anymore, and the rest are self-employed. Being self-employed seems to work very well for architects. However it takes a different initiative than being employed does.

There are many types of architecture careers. Licensed architects can opt to work in almost any project as they are the most required and hired. It is imperative to be licensed then. A very low percentage of all jobs accept unlicensed architects, and they are not very well paid. So it can be said that the first thing to do after graduating is obtaining a license and getting verified. Then you can start opting for several jobs that may include:

  • Discussion of budget: Having a project analyzed and taking care of its prices. This is the only way to calculate the final price for a project.
  • Pre-designing: some clients look for simple designs that they might use to gain an idea of what they want. For this they need an architect.
  • Final Designing: After a pre-design has been approved by a client, and all the ideas and objectives are clear in a project, it is time to create the final design. In the final design, the client and the architect reach an agreement about prices, styles, and time in which the structure will
  • Final Designing: After a pre-design has been approved by a client, and all the ideas and objectives are clear in a project, it is time to create the final design. In the final design, the client and the architect reach an agreement about prices, styles, and time in which the structure will be finished. If there is an agreement, the architect goes on and starts with the final design which is normally paid in advance.
  • These are the most common architectural jobs found today. However there are some unique cases in which an architect can find jobs for campus reconstruction, plan corrections, building inspectors, codes consultant, landscaping, graphic designing, etc.

The only reason why an architect can opt for so many jobs is because the career includes studies for all of them. Architecture has a very constant work flow. In most of all countries, an architect is considered a good designer, manager and structure maker.

So as a just graduated architect, you should not be worried about not finding a job. However, it is important to get a license and start completing jobs that will generate experience and fame. Some of the first jobs that you will be completing might not be the highest paying, but they are a great place to start as an architect.

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25Sep

Architecture vs. Engineering

As human beings, our instinctive need forces us to find safe ways to live and shelter. Psychological studies unveil that this is caused by a survival method. Our number one priority as living things is to remain safe and far away from any significant danger. In very early times, we had to deal with rain, snow, extreme heat and other climate conditions. We had no access to any solid shelter or a way to completely be protected from all these things. However, our response to this situation was to create stronger houses. Houses were made out of wood, leaves, and mostly plants. Thousands of years later, we started a period known as the stone era. In this period of time we were able to build structures with stone. It was easy to see how stone was a lot stronger than wood when it came to rain and wind. Also, rocks remained fresh during very hot climates. Wood, in the other hand, tended to start fires when it was too hot. Little by little we started discovering different new technologies that were helpful for our ways of living. A long time later, we started using various mixtures that worked as a pasting material between rocks more efficiently. This was the principle of cement. As our chemical technology became more advanced, so did our architecture.

About 100 years ago, buildings were already all over cities. Also, it was easy to see that they were many stories in each building. No one was creating single story projects anymore. People was able to see that our technology and knowledge allowed us then to finally make bigger things and take more advantage of the space we used.

The truth is that we have never been independent from our contexts and what surrounds us. Of course, we lived as nomads for some time, and that was the reason why a strong existential instability came to us in that time. However, the more we accept our need for shelter, the better we can start using our knowledge to improve our way of living.

Today, structures are mostly built by two groups of professionals; engineers and architects. There are a lot of persons that are not clear about the difference between these two. Some say that architects only take care of the design; others say that engineers only revise designs and approve them. However, they are both very necessary, especially when it comes to today’s modern structures.

Architects are directly specialized in creating a functional, efficient area that not only looks well, but also accomplishes al its objectives. So they are not just about designing layouts, but also taking care of every little aspect that makes a structure actually work. What do engineers do then?

Well, in most of all countries, engineers take care of the pure scientific aspect of a project. By this I mean all the calculations, measurements and safety measurements that building a structure can require. Most of all engineers are also able to design very competitive layouts and complete several architecture jobs. However, architects are normally not 100% capable of creating designs as exact as n engineer would. Obviously, engineers receive several courses that an architect never gets to learn such as physics, more math and others.

What advantages does architecture has over engineering? Well architecture is a lot more artistic, and the career itself is oriented to an artistic direction. Architects also take management courses that make them capable of completing several managing jobs as well. Architects can be hired as graphic designers or other artistic jobs differently from engineers whose labor is purely scientific.

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