Leadenhall building during construction

Heart of glass

Think contemporary architecture and you're more likely than not to think glass. The planned reconstruction of London's iconic Crystal Palace – the 19th-century architectural tour de force that was arguably a precursor to the high-tech movement and who the likes of Foster, Hadid, Grimshaw and Chipperfield are in the running to resurrect – offers a unique opportunity to explore the exciting new possibilities of this ubiquitous material, while examining the latest in building technology.

In this newsletter, you'll find:

  • Architonic photo gallery ICFF Speakeasy
  • So Transparent: London's iconic Crystal Palace reloaded
  • 
More articles from Architonic's 'News & Trends'
  • Inspiring Search Results N° 29:Glass mosaics
  • Inspiring Spaces N° 21: Atriums
  • Architecture and Design Projects on Architonic

Be inspired!

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Formal and Functional Innovations: the A-Chair made by Brunner

The A-Chair, designed by jehs+laub, a chair for large venues and events, is convincing at first sight. Its smooth junction from seat shell to frame makes it appear all of a piece, and as a modular all-purpose chair, it sets new benchmarks in terms of design, material and handling. In professional event operation, the A-Chair fulfils all requirements, with a winning combination of high seating comfort and discreet elegance. To accommodate individual design purposes, it is available in a variety of versions, with a great number of possible material, colour and fabric combinations, suitable for any room. From puristic and monochrome plastic all the way to the noble looks of a polished die-cast aluminium frame equipped with stained oak plywood shell featuring a leather through liner as upholstery: possible combinations abound.

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ARCHITONIC SPEAKEASY New York 2014

We may be innovators, but here at Architonic we also like a good tradition.

This year's ICFF in New York saw us host the latest in our series of international parties – ARCHITONIC SPEAKEASY. A cool crowd of the great and the good from the design and architecture industries descended on the hideaway that is Apothéke in Chinatown for a evening of smooth sounds, cocktail concoctions and engaging conversation.

We like to keep the good times going, so here are some pictures of the evening. Names have been withheld to protect the innocent!

So Transparent: London's iconic Crystal Palace reloaded

One of most iconic architectural structures of the 19th century – London’s legendary Crystal Palace – is being reborn, with a host of international starchitects in the running to rethink it. Leading materials consultancy MATERIALS COUNCIL investigates the exciting possibilities this landmark project offers in terms both of material innovation and of cutting-edge building technologies.

Illustrative visualisation of the new Crystal Palace masterplan, on its original South London site (top) and view of the terrace (above)

Last October Chinese developer ZhongRong Group announced their intention to rebuild the iconic Crystal Palace, originally built for Britain’s 1851 Great Exhibition – an international expo of industry and culture from the country’s vast empire and beyond. Initially billed as a faithful reconstruction of the original structure, the group, in the face of criticism from both the public and the architectural community, later tendered a competition to create a 'spiritual successor'.

Materials Council decided to explore, in advance of the winner being announced, how the requirements specified by the original design committee, the original building’s design innovations, and contemporary glazing and material technologies could inform a modern-day interpretation of the Crystal Palace. 

The Leadenhall building's steel mega-frame during construction

The original Crystal Palace, erected in Hyde Park, London, was a radical architectural advancement. It was designed by Joseph Paxton after an unsuccessful competition to find a suitable design satisfying the building committee's key specifications. They stipulated that the building be:

• temporary
• simple
• as cheap as possible
• economical to build in less than a year before the already scheduled exhibition

It has been regarded as marking the start of architectural modernity, trumpeted by Le Corbusier as the ‘herald of a new age’, and is arguably the progenitor of the ‘High Tech’ architecture of Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, et al.
The Crystal Palace was a paradigm shift. Not only in what an architectural space could be but also the design concepts, engineering and construction processes required to successfully realise a building of an entirely new materiality and subject to unprecedented constraints.

Dosu's glass panel, thermobimetal shuttering system. The 'smart metal' curls when heated, modulating solar admission

Further articles from Architonic's 'News & Trends'

The Perfectionists: Falper

With its recently launched rebrand, family-owned Italian bathroom brand Falper, known for its elegant, unique products, is looking sharper than ever...

Born Again: VS reissue Richard Neutra’s pioneering design classics

Legendary Austrian-American modernist architect Richard Neutra’s unique furniture designs are back, thanks to respected European manufacturer VS. The perfect marriage of American design and German engineering...

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Inspiring Search Results N° 29

Glass mosaics

Inspiring Spaces N° 21

Atriums

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Architecture and Design Projects on Architonic

JÖRG MENNICKHEIM

RASTER | Germany | 2013
photographer: Malwine Rafalski

IDA14 

Swissôtel DesignLab | Arvenstübli, Zurich | Switzerland
photographer: Bruno Helbling

PeliDesign

Curiousity Kitchen | Netherlands | Prototype 2010
photographer: Kees Martens