Friday, April 24, 2009

History Of Architectural Lighting Part 1

I am in the mood of writing history in architecture and interior design lately, and now I am going to reveal a brief history of architectural lighting. :)
There were 2 sources of light for centuries ago, daylight as natural light and flame as artificial light.

Daylight of course had impact in architecture lighting design in the past centuries, The building must adapt to requirement for natural lighting, for example the size of the rooms were designed by the availability of natural light as well as ventilation. This condition were developed in architecture design around the world in different climatic zone. We can see it from old and historical buildings around us.

In the cooler climate, the architecture building were built with tall and large windows to allow the light into the building, as much as possible.
Different thing in sunny and dry climate, where the sun shine everyday. Dominantly buildings with small window with reflective exterior walls.

To play with aesthetic quality in architectural lighting with natural daylight, we can see from the architectural details in the building, Certain elements were designed according to the natural light available to get the spacial effect through the light and shadow. The elements were columns, reliefs, ledges, diffusers on windows, and facades. The perfect example are old churches from baroque period or ancient Egyptian pyramid. Those building were built with special lighting effects to adapt the natural light.
Because architectural construction, especially in old period have similar function with astronomical clock, with detailed design and high accuracy to create special lighting effects only occurring on significant days or during particular periods in the year, when the sun rises or sets, or at the summer or the winter solstice.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Small Bathroom Design

Small Bathroom Design

Small space for bathroom can be comfortable if we arrange everything carefully. Good planning for Small bathroom design is needed to provide basic function of bathroom as well as comfortableness. There are few things to be considered:

Bathroom Equipment
Choose carefully bathroom sanitary from shower box to wash stand for small bathroom design. Consider to use compact, sleek model and design to accommodate small space. Today all modular and compact bathroom sanitary design are widely available. Wall hung fitting will safe some spaces.Avoid using curtain for bathroom window, ornate accessories or fixtures. They will make small bathroom look cluttered.

Bathroom Color
Colors have big impact in designing small bathroom, they can give impression of larger room. Especially dominant colors as wall and flooring. Better using lighter colors to get appearance of space.

Placing and arranging artificial lights properly to get the feeling of bright and spacious. Down lights can lighten the whole room while spotlights add personal touch for the small bathroom. Try to put mirror, large one to get reflection of lights and feel more spacious.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Home Decor Trends in 2009

1. Green Design
Eco Friendly material will be in high demand for home decor trends, most of consumers are now aware in environmental issues. In prediction, consuer will search and use sustainable building material which may cost them a bit high, but will sava money in long run.

2. Color Trends
According to Pantone Color Institute, Fuchsia Red, Salmon Rose, Palace Blue, Lavender, Rose Dust and Vibrant Green predicted to be popular for home decor trend in 2009. Although neutral colors are still popular. Warm and cool gray, bisque, toast and green/gold tones to create a warm ambiance. And Yellow emerging as a very versatile in color trend.

3. Lighting
From Kichler Lighting, lighting manufacturers will introduce chandeliers with more arms or multiple lights per arm, as well as pendants and wall-mounted fixtures that accept higher-wattage bulbs.

4. Pattern Trends
Pattern in home decor trends are being constantly updated and reinvented. combining classic and contemporary styles in one piece; utilizing tiny, country patterns that include calico or patchwork; and trying distinctive materials, like foil, or embellishments that cluster and layer upon each other.

5. Outdoorsy Feeling
The most successful outdoor spaces will be an extension of the home's interior style and color scheme trend in home decor. Using nature as a backdrop, she suggests pulling colors from adjacent rooms to maintain a visual connection. She also recommends accessorizing gourmet cook centers and plasma televisions with weather-resistant chandeliers, rugs and artwork to create a cozy, appealing and relaxed ambiance.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Best Building of 2008, Business Week Version

BusinessWeek/Architectural Record annual design award winners

Here are few of best building designs according to Business Week. Some of them are good in design and function.
The winners of this year's BusinessWeek/Architectural Record awards demonstrate a pragmatism that seems appropriate in these credit-crunched times. That's not to say the designs are boring. The new headquarters for workspace design firm Haworth (above, kitted out with all its own products for potential clients to see in action) are striking, while the huge steel lattices running from top to bottom of the south sides of the towers of Poly Real Estate's Poly International Plaza in Guangzhou, China act both as decoration and as energy-saving shade. All six winning projects are emblematic of the awards' semi-official slogan, "Good Design is Good Business."

One Haworth Center: From Dull to Dramatic
Location: Holland, Mich.
Client: Haworth
Architect: Perkins + Will
Office designer Haworth replaced its dull, traditional building with a structure that has a dramatic, swooping glass-walled atrium running along one side the building. Focus on Collaboration
Location: Santa Monica, Calif.
Architect: STUDIOS Architecture
The 90,000-sq.-ft. head office for automotive research outfit was designed to encourage collaboration.
More Article on BusinessWeek

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Monday, April 06, 2009

Tokyo Swatch by Shigeru Ban

Tokyo Swatch by Shigeru Ban
by Terri Peters

The new Swatch flagship store in Tokyo's Ginza district immediately stands out from the surrounding high-end fashion boutiques on this densely packed street. There is no doorway, no visible sign, and no glass storefront. Instead, a towering four-story void in the streetscape seems to signify a civic-scale entry.

The building's enormous retractable glass "shutters" create this dramatic effect when open. Then when the shutters are down — on rainy days and when the shop is closed — the building is disguised as a normal, curtain-wall office building.

This unusual store, named the Nicolas G. Hayek Center, is the work of U.S.-trained Japanese architect Shigeru Ban. Even at first glance, the building reveals itself as more than just a fancy facade: it is real architecture, a project about volume, spatial complexity, and experimentation.

Garden of Luxury

As visitors step off the busy sidewalk into the lobby of the 14-story Swatch building, no merchandise presents, and no salespeople patrol the door. A subtle change in floor material marks the low-key threshold between the sidewalk and the interior showroom. The massive lobby is dotted with glazed hydraulic elevators, planted trees, and a 13-story-tall hanging garden wall.

It's hard to believe that among the high-rent offices, posh boutiques, and exclusive restaurants of Ginza, in a forest of buildings mostly ten stories high and taller, Ban was able to design a little bit of semi-public space. The airy interior spaces, unconventional interior-exterior treatment, simple materials, and fragrant green lobby create an oasis of unusual calm.

source: Architecture Week

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History Of Apartment Building Design Part II

History Of Apartment Building Design Part II
In previous article, I wrote about luxurious apartment design and now about low income apartment design to accomodate lower class residents which was dominant in early 20th century.

For low- and middle-income tenants, apartment building design was a combination between aesthetic and economic viability, even sometime abandoned the sanitary concern and aesthetic to get more profit. Apartment building was great issue in social and housing reform.

This was a challenge for architects, they used this apartment buiding design to explore new materials, prefabricated structural system to provide affordable worker housing. The government also took part by sponsoring the housing projects. Examples can be seen from:
1. The housing policy of the Weimar Republic generated pioneering modern apartment buildings for German cities
2. J.J.P.Oud’s Kiefhoek housing (1925), an International Style garden apartment complex built in
Rotterdam. Both the garden apartment and the high-rise form of the apartment building
were explored by architects throughout the mid-20th century.
3. A key high-rise example in London is Highpoint I (1933–35), designed by Berthold Lubetkin and Tecton.

These two primary apartment building design forms—the mainly urban high-rise and the suburban garden apartment—became internationally prevalent by the 1930s. They distributed the rising cost of elevators, ventilation, and other systems-related apparatus by using modern building materials to create taller structures with more living units. Garden apartments were suitable for lower-density development on the urban periphery, where land was less expensive.

In post WW II period, the housing crisis became the great issue and the European government again sponsored the construction of housing projects, to move the economy as well. And then followed by Us government. During this period, the dominant style was the international style modernism particularly slab-form high-rise developed by Le Corbusier.
as we can see from Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation (1947–53) at Marseilles, France. Unite d’Habitation is a 12-story horizontal slab raised on heavy tapered.

Noteworthy examples of apartment buildings done in a postwar modernist vocabulary include ATBAT housing (1951–56,Shadrach Woods and J.Bodiansky) in Morocco and Peabody Terraces (1964, José Luis
Sert) in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

During the postwar period, large-scale developments, including multiple high-rise apartment buildings, site planning, and amenities such as shopping and recreational facilities, became more prevalent.

By qsepti
source: 20th century architecture

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

History Of Apartment Building Design Part I

History Of Apartment Building Design I
Apartment building is an integral part of human density in big cities. It changed the culture, habit in society. Due to the high growth of population especially in big cities in early 20th century, created the housing problem. The high density, shortage of land development and degradation of quality of life. The vertical building for housing was the answer to this matter. The verical building was considered as logical and effective solution.

An apartment building contains multiple dwelling units of one or more rooms. Including bathroom and kitchen for each unit, which are the basic aspects of the 20th century apartment building. And also heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and other system are provided as supporting service.

The efficient use of space is very important in apartment building design, just like any other commercial building design. And the efficiency must be balanced with comfort, this requirement is challenging especially when it comes to design apartment for low income tenants. Apartment building design in early 20th century usually provide public areas in minimal requirement such as small lobby, laundry room, roof deck, or swimming pool for more luxurious types.

In the early 20th century, most of architecturally good design apartment buildings were dedicated for upper-class residents. Living in a full-service apartment building could provide a luxurious home at much smaller cost than maintaining a single-family house.

Rising land values in many cities made sole ownership prohibitively expensive even for the relatively well off. The buildings architecture moslty used the elements of Classical Revival and Italian Renaissance Revival as evidenced by the lavish examples built in cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Paris, and Vienna. The dominance of historical styles in apartment building design in that period indicated the fashionable design mode for most commercial and domestic structures during the early 20 th century.

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