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Architecture

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With each passing year, our views on and understanding of architectural design continue to evolve. Architecture involves so much more than the physical components of buildings; it involves the livelihood of those who occupy these buildings and, by extension, human happiness and health must be considered when designing any building intended to be occupied by human beings.

With the recent outbreak of the coronavirus, there has been an increased focus within the architectural community on how the spaces being created might affect public health moving forward. Furthermore, according to the EPA, the average person spends 87 percent of their time indoors (along with 6 percent in a car and only 7 percent outdoors). Whether we like it or not, the dynamics of our indoor spaces can have a tremendous impact on our well-being.

Keeping these things in mind, it is important to take a look at how smart architectural choices can have an impact on our everyday lives. Beyond aesthetics and property values, we need to think about how the choices being made as architects can create more enriching lives. These intangible details, the details that can even increase human life expectancy, are yet another way that architects can use their buildings to make a lasting difference.

In this article, we will discuss just a few of the ways smart architectural design can improve public health. By realizing the impact each design choice can have, it will be easier to understand the importance of architecture and gain a much more comprehensive perspective.

1. Improved Air Quality

As one of the most vital necessities for life, having access to quality air at all times is obviously very important. Though it may not seem obvious at first, architects can actually have a tremendous influence on how air is circulated throughout any given building. Open floor plans with high ceilings, for example, will make circulating clean air significantly easier. These decisions can help remove the likelihood of contracting diseases, whether from people or other sources. Additionally, access to clean air may also help increase productivity.

2. Increased Exposure to Sunlight

A study published by the National Institute of Health concludes that workers who have access to windows in their office are much more likely to develop healthy sleep patterns which, in turn, can then produce a variety of additional health benefits (happiness, alertness, focus, etc.). Other studies suggest that increased exposure to sunlight can also help decrease the likelihood of becoming depressed. Additionally, natural light adds universal aesthetic benefits as well.

3. Better Access to Outdoor Spaces

The International school of architecture was largely focused on tall, glass buildings that emphasized right angles and repetitive floors. While, in theory, this design style may allow for the most “efficient” use of space, it by no means results in the most human-centric use of space. Having easy access to outdoors, even if for just a few minutes at a time, can help people feel , which can create positive outcomes in both office buildings and commercial storefronts.more relaxed and able to work for longer. It also helps decrease feelings of being “trapped”

4. Access to Necessities

Beyond having access to the outdoors, there are many other necessities that human beings need as well. Bathrooms, drinking fountains, refrigerators, and other essentials are all needed for us to remain healthy throughout the day. Over time, people that do not have easy access to these things—perhaps needing to go to another floor or walk an excessive amount—will likely not listen to their body’s natural needs. As you might expect, this can slowly amount to various health issues. In response, an architect will need to be strategic when deciding where these things should be.

5. Incorporating Plants

Having plants around, whether indoors or outdoors, can produce a variety of benefits, including cleaner air. Additionally, as Susan McQuillan M.S., RDN explains, the very presence of plants can reduce stress, reduce depression and can also increase productivity, focus, and even memory. Keeping this in mind, many architects will now attempt to incorporate small gardens throughout the buildings they design (particularly in the lobby) and, to save space, may also include a large—and beautiful—vertical garden as well.

6. Protection from Natural Disasters

When an architect designs a building, they will need to find ways to ensure that building maintains its value for many years to come. In many cases, this means incorporating basic safety features that can help protect from natural disasters. Depending on where the specific building is located, having features to protect it (and the people inside) from hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, excessive snow, and other possible disasters will all be very important.

7. Increased Mobility

A well-designed building will carefully balance accessibility (making it easy to get things and get places) with opportunities for mobility throughout the day. In response to rising obesity rates, many major buildings now make it easy for a person to walk around when needed. Without making the building inaccessible for people with disabilities, Apple Park, located in Cupertino, California, is an excellent example of a building that has a high level of “walkability.” Additionally, the building has a high window-to-workspace ratio, along with ample greenery on the park’s interior.

8. Mental Well-Being

The broader human architecture movement has caused us to reevaluate the way a building can impact a person’s mental well-being. Common mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, can be tremendously influenced by the setting a person is experiencing at any given time. When designing a building, architects now actively consider how their choices will influence the feelings and being of the people who inhabit them. Combining livability, environmental compatibility, and aesthetic beauty can all result in a building that is truly ideal.

Conclusion

In 2020, architects are asking themselves more questions than ever before. Will this building make people happy? Will this building keep people healthy? How can we balance all of these goals while still working cooperatively with our clients? By taking the time to design a building with human needs in mind, modern architecture can create much more desirable outcomes.

Macau Pavilion

The Macau Pavilion at Shanghai World Expo designed by Chinese firm Carlos Marreiros  will take the shape of a jade rabbit lantern and it will change colors to present a mythological world. The ‘Lantern of the little rabbit’ won the 1st prize, July 2008.The design was inspired by rabbit lanterns popular during the Mid-autumn Festival in south China in ancient times, officials said. In Chinese mythology, the jade rabbit is a guide at the front of Nantianmen, the door leading to a fairy land.

The pavilion will be wrapped with a double-layer glass membrane and feature fluorescent screens on its outer walls. Balloons will serve as the head and tail of the ‘rabbit’ and these can be moved up and down to attract visitors.The pavilion will be eco-friendly with recyclable construction materials as well as solar power panels and rain collection systems.Provinces and cities in China will get 600 square meters each to showcase their varied cultures and traditions.

The 10,336 cubic meters Macau Pavilion has been especially built for the World Expo in China. It is covered by a double-layer glass membrane and fluorescent screens. Its 20-meter high symbolizes Macau’s return to the Chinese mainland in 1999. The exterior of the pavilion is made of thousands of LED lights which change colors to create a splendid show. The design of the building was inspired by rabbit lanterns, which were popular in southern China in ancient times. Avant Video Systems, an Israel-based integrator company, was in charge of the entire Medialon set-up and AV devices integration. AVS is now in charge of supervising the system during the Expo.Two Medialon Manager Pro allow to control over 130x Sanyo projectors, 130x PCs running Dataton Watchout system, 20x plasma screens, 2x BINLOOP video servers, 2x fog screens, 5x BSS London Audio processor, 1x PLC system used to control the indoor motorized Rabbit lantern, as well as the entire lighting and sound systems installed in the pavilion.

Amazing-Pavilion-In-The-Shape-Of-A-Rabbit10Interesting Facts:

• The Macau Pavilion, a symbol of modernism and cultural values, has been technically crafted to be a mammoth screen for the projection of a plethora of images on the outer and inner boundaries.

• The designers and architects of the Rabbit Lantern made use of robust, state of the art multimedia solutions instead of other exhibit types to prevent people having to stay too long inside the pavilion.

• This was the prize-winning entry at the Macau Pavilion Concept Design Competition with the Dancing Lotus by designer Chio Wai tong and Glitter by Ana Ramos da Fonseca coming in second and third places respectively.

• The core designer of this structure, Carlos Marreiros worked in collaboration with the popular Tongji University, in Shanghai that is renowned for its prolific engineering and architecture disciplines for the design and development. Together Carlos and two project teams from the university worked on the conceptual framework including the crafting of multimedia content.

• The ace architect, Marreiros previously worked with the Portuguese government for large-scale endeavors like World Expositions of Tsukuba in 1985, Seville in 1992 and Lisbon in 1998.

• The Macau Pavilion has been built ‘green’, which makes it environment-friendly as manifested by its steel structures, signage posting, lack of physical signs, acrylic paint with no traces of gasoline, and double-glazed windows.

• The Rabbit Lantern’s head and tail are specially concocted using airship-construction material molded into flammable expandable gas balloons that can be removed during extreme weather scenarios like hurricane or storms.

• The Pavilion is removable; it can be pulled down and shifted to a different site. This was done so that the structure could be easily transferred to another location after the closing of the World Expo.

• The specific Rabbit Lantern design is an inspirational aesthetic manifestation of the conventional lanterns used by Chinese during the annual Moon Festival celebrated on the 15th day of every month in the lunar year.

• The traditional lantern is created using colored paper that is shaped into an animal with a candle lit in the center that glows and lightens up the streets. Since rabbit is most famous by virtue of its high significance in Chinese Mythology, the structure made use of the particular design element featuring the revered ‘rabbit’.

• The rabbit lantern is a cultural asset and a valuable figure related to the Moon festival, especially in southern regions from Guangdong to Jinjiang, as it has strong heritage roots in these areas. In Macau, the tradition of lighting up lanterns is highly popular amongst children. Whether Portugal, Chinese or any other nationality, the tradition has been passed down through generations.

• The architect Carlos Marreiros used the popular cultural figure as an inspiration for the Macau Pavilion for this particular reason. Additionally, it is complicated and costly to design owing to the fact that it has rollers or wheels at the base and a head that bobs up and down a spring.

• According to the designer, the rabbit meets the organizational requirements that indicate the petite size and savvy and argute aura symbolic of Macau. The figure is a heavenly entity with colossal cultural significance that, like the inhabitants of Macau, is a placid and prehensile problem solver.

With the Christmas period rapidly approaching, many of you will be delving into your attics to fetch your Christmas trees and decorations.  Whilst you are up there, it may be worth having a look around for any antiques or sports memorabilia, as the market is currently doing very well. If you find anything old and dusty and you’d like more info about it, there is a plethora of useful websites about antiques. This seems to be one of the better ones:

The exquisite that you see now was on the brink dying alone after being abandoned for about 15 years. The house was originally very beautiful. However, when is current owners first saw it, it was a disaster. Nevertheless, they instantly fell in love with it and bought it the same day. It was a very bold move from their part and nobody else shared their enthusiasm at the time.

This stunning contemporary architecture and interior let in bright, spacious house, situated on a beautiful green area, the diversity of the surrounding housing and the nature of the nearby urban environment. Light, airy building – the result of a collaboration of experts from the architectural studio Xoio – professional supplier of creative visualization and animation. A small selection of images of interiors, designed studio offers many creative ideas and effective solutions to the organization of living space – both urban and suburban.

The interior of a private villa Micheli Residence, designed by Italian architect Simone Micheli, an unusual color palette is different and unique plan of internal space. The converted historic building located in Florence. Massive white surface is interspersed with vivid fragments of architectural elements and furniture. Pink, sunny yellow, blue and green, accented neon illumination, creates an effect of air living space, completely devoid of utilitarian value.

Parisians inhabit an apartment built by Swedish furniture company IKEA inside a Paris subway station for 6 days, from Jan. 9 to 14. The 581 square feet apartment is located in Auber station and equipped with IKEA items. Now all Auber metro station passers-by can see the five housemates and their daily activities from morning to night through the glass walls.

Timmelsjoch Experience – sculptural and functional composition, which is located on the border of the Ötztal Alps and Passeier lying in the beautiful Alps of Austria and Italy – the result of the architectural studio of Werner Tscholl Architects.The structure consists of two parts – a private museum and an open observation deck. The architecture of the museum, which resembles a huge boulder, seeks to harmoniously integrate into the rocky landscape, while the design as a viewing platform explicitly talks about his man-made origin.

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