Its use has long been ubiquitous in modern construction, but glass is coming in for renewed scrutiny as architects and engineers look to increase energy efficiency in the era of climate change. Smart facade technology carries enormous promise, but is still in its infancy, as Ross Davies reports.
With the built-up environment a serious contributor of carbon emissions, architects have a part to play in tackling climate change. While not yet a standard practice, net-zero design is surely the way forward, writes Ross Davies.
London-based practice JTP Architects recently led an international consortium to victory in a competition to design a new eco district in Kazan, Russia. Using existing forestland, the project is guided by “ecopolis” – a concept that marries sustainability and urban wellbeing. Ross Davies speaks to associate and senior architect Ivana Stanisic to find out more.
Luxury and the roadside hotel might not appear to be obvious bedfellows, but a new motel, situated off a major UK road, is promising to reinvent a tired concept. Going by the name of Mollie’s Motel and Diner – with a tip of the hat to 1950s America – Ross Davies meets its creator Nick Jones.
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At the end of last year, the RIBA unveiled a draft of its Plan of Work for Fire Safety, in direct response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy and subsequent Hackitt Review. Proposing the streamlining of fire safety practices earlier on in the design process, could it give the industry some much-needed clarity over its obligations? Ross Davies reports.
In recent years, the creation of authentic local experience has become a common feature of the hotel design brief. Ross Davies takes a look at the properties that have best incorporated regional heritage into modern structures.
When Japan’s Henn-na “Strange Hotel” opened in 2015 it drew headlines by replacing human workers with robots. But with tales of malfunctions and general ineptitude, many of the droids have been given the boot. Ross Davies takes a look at what went wrong for the hotel.
Despite government targets, the UK’s housing shortage shows no signs of letting up. Some argue the planning process is due a complete overhaul, but the problem runs much deeper, as Ross Davies reports.
3D printing has been proposed as a future construction tool for several years, but now it’s becoming a reality, with MX3D using robots to 3D print a functional bridge in Amsterdam. Ross Davies caught up with Gijs van der Velden, co-founder of MX3D, to find out how he envisions the technology progressing, and on which areas of architecture it could have the biggest impact.