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For many years, architecture has been dominated by distinctly high-tech materials, with advances in surface technologies and composites offering new possibilities previous generations could have only dreamed of. But lately, the materials of note have had had a far more traditional element to them, with wood and brick once again returning to popularity.

However, this return has come with its own slice of innovation, with fresh techniques providing materials – wood in particular – that can be used in dramatic new ways.  And in this issue we explore this combination of innovative practices and tradition.

The quest for greater sustainability in construction has produced radical and compelling new approaches to using wood, and Penda’s plan for a modular wooden skyscraper in Toronto, Canada, is no different. We look at the project, and ask if it could be a trailblazer for future urban deisgn.

Brick, too, has seen a resurgence in popularity, thanks in part to its ability to provide a contrast to the smooth facades produced many modern construction materials. We look at some of the projects to make particularly innovative use of brick this year.

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The materials theme continues with an interview with the team behind the new terminal of Marco Polo Airport in Venice. The remarkable project combines the modern and traditional to produce a striking and quite unusual space, so we find out what motivated the design.

Plus, we delve into the world of PassivHaus design with a look at a rare PassivHaus retrofit project in Chelsea, the UK.

We also take a look at the UK’s construction skills shortage in light of the chancellor’s recent budget, and hear about a recent and extremely important legal case regarding contractual obligations in an office scheme.

And if that wasn’t enough, we also look at some of the latest major projects to break ground, and round up some of our favourite materials, fixtures and fittings to be made available.

Design & Build Review is free for iPad and the web. Download the app to read the latest issue and browse our back issues for free.

In this Issue

Breaking Ground

Ground breaking is a hugely significant part of a project’s lifecycle, marking the moment it goes from long worked-on concept to emerging reality. Here we look at some of the most notable projects from around the world to break ground over the last few months

Read the article.

The Brexit Budget Skills Shortage

The UK chancellor, Philip Hammond, has been praised for attempting to tackle the country’s housing crisis in his autumn budget, but many commentators are still questioning whether he is doing enough to deal the real source of the problem: the construction industry’s skills shortage

Read the article.

Toronto’s Tree Tower

Penda is planning a modular wooden skyscraper for Toronto that could provide a more sustainable model for high-rise city living. Frances Marcellin talks to Christ Precht, partner at Penda, to find out more

Read the article.

Brick Innovation

The humble brick is synonymous with traditional construction, but its use can be anything but traditional. In this gallery feature we look at some of the more innovative uses of bricks in recent projects

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Rethinking the Airport

The new terminal of Marco Polo Airport in Venice, Italy, is striking in its use of traditional materials and natural light. Lucy Ingham speaks to Giulio De Carli, founder and managing partner at One Works, to hear more about this striking scheme

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A Passiv Retrofit

A 19th century mews house in Chelsea, UK, has recently become one of only a handful of PassivHaus properties in the country, thanks to a retrofit by Cadogan. Frances Marcellin speaks to the company to discover the challenges of such a retrofit and how the project was achieved

Read the article.

Legal Case Study: Contractual Obligations

A contractor was ordered to pay £14.7m in damages following a failure of toughened glass used to clad a central London office block. The breakages were caused by the contractor’s breach of its contractual obligations to heat soak all of the glass.  Jessica van der Meer of leading civil and commercial barristers chambers 2 Temple Gardens explains the details and significance of the case

Read the article.

New In 

New materials, fixtures and fittings are always in development, bringing the latest trends and technologies to architecture. Here’s our pick of some of the most recent releases

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Also out this month

This month we also published Design & Build Review’s 2017 Yearbook, where we look back at the architectural successes and trends of 2017.

We look at the pioneering career of Neave Brown, recipient of the RIBA’s 2018 Royal Gold Medal, consider how virtual reality came to architecture in 2017 and look at some of the projects to receive architecture’s highest awards this year.

Plus, we feature some of the best articles from the last year of Design & Build Review, covering 2017’s key topics.

Next Issue Preview

In the next issue of Design & Build Review, out in February, we’ll be looking at the changing nature of architecture, and what it means to be an architect in 2018.

We’ll speak to Sir David Adjaye about his approach to housing design, and hear from architect and designer Arthus Mamou-Mani about how technology is transforming what’s possible in construction.

Plus, we’ll be looking at whether we are entering a post-starchitect era where context once again becomes a dominant part of design.

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