Newsletter 03.2011

Dear Readers,

Triangulating a surface allows it to be worked into three-dimensional form: in our feature 'Neo Geo', we show how this phenomenon is making its way in an increasingly diverse manner from the virtual world into completed architectural projects.

The Milan Salone del Mobile opens on 12 April. Our Architonic Guide is available as a PDF download and an iPhone app, and can be picked up in print form at the fair itself. For the first time, our team will be there with our Architonic Concept Space: we very much look forward to you visiting us in Hall 15, Stand C29!

This newsletter's contents in brief:
- Neo Geo: geodesic construction in contemporary architecture
- Architonic in Milan! Concept Space in Hall 15 and Milan Guide 2011
- Live Tour of ISH Frankfurt's bathroom worlds on Architonic@Facebook
- Death by Architecture: examples of recent death-related projects

Be inspired!

Your Architonic Team
Zurich | Milan | Berlin | Barcelona | Copenhagen | London | Miami
Neo Geo
Geodesic construction in contemporary architecture
    Neo Geo  
The MyZeil centre in Frankfurt by Massimilano Fuksas demonstrates the complexity of form that can be achieved with modern materials and techniques

The principles of geodesic construction were developed by the pioneering American architect and engineer R Buckminster Fuller in the middle of the last century as part of his efforts to use science and technology to address universal issues. His vision has inspired successive generations of architects and geodesic designs have played a fundamental role in defining the architectural landscape of the past few decades. Architonic takes a look at some recent projects that combine the brilliance of Bucky's ideas with twenty-first century technology, resulting in complex yet efficient structures with a futuristic aesthetic.

Foster + Partners' UAE Pavilion from Expo 2010 drew inspiration from a sandbank; photo Nigel Young

Geodesic construction is founded on the principle that the triangle is an inherently stable form, independent of size, and that a triangular framework held together in tension enables the creation of structures that are lightweight but profoundly strong. Applying these building methods to spherical forms encloses the maximum interior volume with the least amount of surface area, meaning significant material and cost savings can be achieved. These inherent benefits have ensured that geodesic methods remain a relevant and popular choice for architects and developers seeking to 'do more with less'.
Architonic in Mailand: Concept Space in Halle 15 und Architonic Guide Milano 2011
The Milan Salone del Mobile, the undisputed Mecca of the international furniture industry, opens its doors on 12 April. The ever-growing number of visitors and countless exhibitors in fully booked-out halls, as well as events and showrooms in the fair's 'overflow' that is the Fuori Salone, make visiting the northern Italian city, however, very demanding.

In order that you're prepared and can spend your evenings enjoying an aperitif in one of the old bars, instead of having to plan for the following day, we've, once again, compiled for you our handy guide to the best manufacturers at the fair and the Fuori Salone. You can already download the guide as a PDF and it will be available in the next few days as an iPhone app, too.

Architonic will, for the first time, be taking its Concept Space to the fair. We would be delighted if you visited us: we'll be in Hall 15, Stand C29. Our team is happy to talk you through our latest services for manufacturers, specialist retailers, agents, architects, designers and design aficionados!

  Architonic in Mailand: Concept Space in Hall 15 and Architonic Guide Milano 2011
Live Tour of ISH 2011 on Architonic@Facebook
    Live Tour of ISH 2011 on Architonic@Facebook

From private spas to cast-iron stoves: ISH in Frankfurt brought together once again the latest developments from the bathroom and sanitary industries. Architonic was there for the whole week with its Concept Space and team, and was busy researching, taking pictures, filming and conversing - all for you. Form your own picture of the latest trends, driven by new combinations of materials, the privatisation of spas and a greater variety of forms, from angular fittings to free-form bath tubs.
Death by Architecture
Architonic presents a selection of projects that put some life back into designing for the dead.
    Death by Architecture  
View into the chapel at Spanish architectural practice COR's funeral home and garden in Alicante for the Town Council of Pinoso

Shuffling off this mortal coil is something we all, sadly, have to do. There's no opting out. But while mortality might be a great leveller, a number of architects have shown recently how designing environments that process death - be it in practical or psychological terms - can be elevated above the uninspired builds that we've been used to, which have all to easily embraced historicism or, perhaps worse, anonymity.

If there's one thing that's inevitable in our lives, it's that they are going to come to an end. This we know. Death becomes us, so to speak. Yet we've reached a point, in Western society at least, where a great deal of work is done to disavow our mortality, to repress that knowledge that our time on this earth is limited. Such an undertaking is, as we all know, but choose not to accept, anything but healthy in mental, emotional and spiritual terms. (I wonder if undertakers - often cited as working in a recession-proof industry - are themselves any more philosophical about the finite nature of human existence...)

Architektura Krušec's chapel design deliberately directs the gaze of visitors, once inside the chapel, across the striking surrounding landscape, while masking off views of the immediate cemetery's tombstones; photos Miran Kambi

Given the inescapable nature of death, it's only logical that there's a need to build structures that serve, both practically and symbolically, to deal with the business of dying. But, in spite of their necessity, such projects - cemeteries, crematoria and tombs among them - have often received a kind of design treatment that either relies too heavily on historicism or apologises for its presence. While sensitivity will always be an issue, it's heartening to see a number of recent architectural projects relating to the processing of death or the ritualising of loss take a more contemporary, often modernist-derived, approach to giving form and creating space, which, through their thoughtfulness and expressiveness, have a life-affirming effects - even if, ultimately, the end client won't have to say too much about it themselves.
New Projects from 'Architecture & Design'
Alfonso Architects
  New Projects from 'Architecture & Design'  
Tampa Covenant Church, photo by Al Hurley
UID Architects
'MORI x hako', photo by Hiroshi Ueda
dekleva gregoric arhitekti
metal recycling plant, ODPAD PIVKA, photo by Matevz Paternoster
RVDM arquitectos
Houses over the Ria de Aveiro, photo by Fernando Guerra
Wenk und Wiese Architekten
Pumpwerk Neukölln (Berlin), photo by Udo Meinel
More Articles from 'News &Trends'
Ausstellung "Wir sind alle Astronauten" - Universum Richard Buckminster Fuller
  More Articles from 'News &Trends'

In Kürze eröffnet eine Ausstellung über Buckminster Fuller im Marta Herford Museum. Gestaltet wurde sie von Sir Norman Foster, der mit Richard Buckminster Fuller zwischen 1968 bis 1983 an verschiedenen Projekten zusammenarbeitete.

Trade Fair Review: Euroshop Duesseldorf, The Global Retail Trade Fair, 26.2. - 2.3.2011

More and more prestigious manufacturers of up-market design products participated in this year's EuroShop, a clear indication of the significant international role of this Düsseldorf trade fair. From all parts of the world architects, designers, major customers and professional operators in retailing attended EuroShop 2011 with its exhibition area of over one hundred thousand square metres.

Quiet Musings: Brad Cloepfil

A series of new architecture commissions and exhibitions suggests that museums are no longer in the business of pageantry. In this second part of a series examining post-spectacle museums, architect Brad Cloepfil talks about the phenomenon of 'collecting' cultural architecture, and how his own museum designs aim both for spectacle and counterpoint with it.