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The 3D-printed Cabin of Curiosities is a research endeavor and “proof of concept” investigation into the architectural possibilities of upcycling and custom 3D-printed claddings as a response to 21st-century housing needs.

This exploratory project is an output of Bay Area-based additive manufacturing startup Emerging Objects, founded by Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello, who are professors at the University of California Berkeley and San Jose State University, respectively. They also co-founded the architecture studio Rael San Fratello, whose work primarily focuses on architecture as a cultural endeavor.

The Cabin of Curiosities is exemplary of Emerging Objects’ work, which dives deep into the material science of additive manufacturing while utilizing open-source tools and standard off-the-shelf printers.

Due to a housing emergency in the Bay Area, the Oakland City Council eased restrictions on the construction of secondary housing units, or backyard cottages. The new rules promote more rental housing by easing parking requirements, allowing homeowners to transform existing backyard buildings like sheds and garages into living spaces, and relaxing height and setback requirements.

Thusly located in a residential backyard, the one-room gabled structure brings together a collection of performative tile products, from interior translucent glowing wall assemblies to exterior rain screens composed of integrated succulent planters and textural “shingles” that push the boundaries of how quickly one can mass produce 3D-printed architectural components.

Over 4,500 3D-printed ceramic tiles clad the exterior of the building. The firm is committed to focusing on upcycling agricultural and industrial waste products, and at times its custom materials sound more like tasting notes from a nearby Napa or Sonoma wine. Grape skins, salt, cement, and sawdust, among others, have been integrated into Emerging Objects’ products to create variety among the tiles.

The project integrates two types of tiles on the exterior: a “planter” tile on the gable ends, and a shingled “seed stitch” tile wrapping the side walls and roof. The planter tiles offer 3D-printed ceramic shapes that include pockets for vegetation to grow. The seed stitch tiles, borrowing from knitting terminology, are produced through a deliberately rapid printing process that utilizes G-code processing to control each line of clay for a more “handmade” aesthetic. No two tiles are the same, offering unique shadow lines across the facade.

The cabin interior features translucent white Chroma Curl wall tiles, made of a bio-based plastic derived from corn. These tiles offer a customized relief texture inspired by the tradition of pressed metal ceilings, which historically relied on mass production through mold-making.

It might be too soon to tell, but the 3D-Printed Cabin might be our generation’s version of Muuratsalo, Alvar Aalto’s classic house circa 1953 experimenting with textured material and architectural form through its construction. “We’re building this from our kitchen table, printing parts and testing solutions in real time,” said San Fratello.

The cabin is a departure from other investigations in 3D-printed dwellings, many of which are unlivable and not aesthetically considered. “These are not just investigations into testing materials for longevity or for structure, but also a study of aesthetics. We see the future as being elegant, optimistic, and beautiful,” said Rael.



Barclay & Crousse co-founder Sandra Barclay has become the seventh recipient of the Woman Architect of the Year prize, while Gabinete de Arquitectura partner Gloria Cabral has been named emerging female architect.

The two architects were recognised during this year’s Women in Architecture Awards, which are organised by annually by the Architects’ Journal (AJ) and The Architectural Review.

Peruvian architect Sandra Barclay was given the top prize, Woman Architect of the Year, which recognises architects for a recently completed project.

Barclay, who leads Lima studio Barclay & Crousse with Jean Pierre Crousse, was chosen for her work on the Museo de Sitio de Paracas, a red-pigmented archaeological museum designed to replace another almost completely destroyed by earthquake.

She was selected ahead of three other finalists: Iba Dow of London-based Dow Jones Architects, for the renovation of the Garden Museum in London; Ángela García de Paredes of Madrid practice Paredes Pedrosa Architects, for Twin Houses in Oropesa; and Stephanie Macdonald of 6a Architects, for Cowan Court in Cambridge..

“The Museo de Sitio de Paracas is a bold, ambitious project with an admirable clarity of purpose that encapsulates the determination and focus of this exceptional architect,” said AJ editor and juror Emily Booth.

“The architects responded to the lack of context with a design that was both robust and simple, yet powerful [with] even its man-made imperfection adding value to the building,” added the jury.

Gloria Cabral, a partner at Paraguayan practice Gabinete de Arquitectura, picked up the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture. The prize is awarded for excellence in design to a woman under the age of 45.

Cabral’s £10,000 professional development prize comes from a fund dedicated to the late V&A museum director Moira Gemmill.

“Beyond her deep understanding of materials and construction, Cabral showed a sensitive appreciation of the life and use of the buildings she designs. Her commitment is extraordinary and her passion is infectious,” said the judges.

Other contenders for the award were Ilze Wolff from South African practice Wolff Architects, Anna Puigjnaner and Maria Charneco of Spanish practice MAIO, and Sook Hee Chun from Korean studio Wise Architecture.

The annual Women in Architecture Awards were awarded at a luncheon held at Claridge’s hotel in London last week.

The event also saw AL_A founder Amanda Levete win the 2018 Jane Drew Prize, while Dutch artist and OMA co-founder Madelon Vriesendorp was named recipient of this year’s Ada Louise Huxtable Prize.

Both awards recognise the lifetime work of raising the profile of women in architecture and the broader industry.

The announcement of the awards coincides with International Women’s Day today, 8 March 2018. To also coincide, Dezeen has launched an initiative to improve gender equality in architecture and design, called Move the Needle.




There are projects that overlap different scales, despite at first sight seem inconjugable; scales that impact the city but that fasten its architecture in constructive matter.

City is urban form, urban mesh, public and private, even the population who inhabits the city. The aging of the population is an undeniable reality indeed. In our society, 9 million people are over 65 years old. In 2050, its growth could make reach 15 million, that is, 1 out of 3 citizens could be over 65 years old. Impacts and effects on health, economy or sociology.. are more than evident, but, how will be the impact on our cities?

Alaberga quartier in Errenteria, Gipuzkoa, was built in the 60s, in full industrial development, to accommodate a large number of people the fastest way possible. The pitched topography divided the settlement into two different areas: one in the lower level organized around the church, with linear blocks that generate blocks and streets; and another area with disseminated buildings that climb the hillsides, leaving the steepest areas empty. Nowadays Errenteria has extended to the highest point, surrounding that empty space as an urban green area that divides the township, with a difference of level of more than 40 meters between them.

A split town, which can be reconnected for the pedestrians through two urban lifts, which are linking all important levels, intermediate roads, accesses to the Church or close residences. As well as that of a new path that lets get in a block of 6 portals and 42 flats at the same level of the doorway, without having to climb a narrow and 10-meter stairs to the doorway. This intervention can only be explained from the urban point of view, as a direct solution to the obsolescent city scheme that was designed in the past for another profile of inhabitant. Nowadays it becomes unacceptable for a large majority of citizens.

On the other hand the proposal must be specified and respond to the place where it is located. The project puts the focus and intensity on controlling the perception of these two infrastructures that cross the hillside. That residual space, given to nature due to its extreme conditions for building, is an urban physical barrier but also a green lung of great value that must be preserved. An extensive deciduous forest whose appearance radically changes from summer to winter, creating different perceptions of a new place.

The faceted planes of both structures and their mirror polished aluminum cladding, claims a direct relationship with that changing environment. To play with fun with the mechanisms that govern the perception of the spectator supposes for the architects the possibility of organizing a new world of surprises or imbalances that challenges the security of the previous knowledge of the world. In the end, perception is nothing but the way in which our brain interprets the different stimuli it receives through the senses, to form an aware impression of the reality of the context through which we move. The reflections and overlays of roofs, clouds, branches and leaves become the material itself of towers and footbridges. Somehow the landscape seems to flow, taking possession of the built volume, blurring its boundaries, varying its mass. We don´t know for sure la if the landscape has reabsorbed the architecture, or on the contrary, it´s the constructed architecture which has appropriated the nature.



A hug is a form of physical intimacy, universal in human communities, in which two or more people put their arms around the neck, back, or waist of one another and hold each other closely’.

The work is situated at the Aghios Ioannis Detis location on the island of Paros. It has an eastwards orientation, with a view towards the sea and the Naoussa bay. The area is under a special protection order, and adjacent to it the Environmental Park of Aghios Ioannis Detis has been created.

The complex consists of two buildings with a shared open-air space and a swimming-pool. The large mass of a single building is broken down into two and is harmoniously adapted to the terrain. The masses are laid out facing the view, and the central courtyard has been created between them, adapted to the slope of the terrain and protected from the north winds.

The entrance is on the western side of the site, at its highest point, and has been inserted between the masonry buttressing walls. The buildings, of a small mass, are adapted as much as possible to the incline and topography of the terrain. A basic aim has been the least burdening with a building mass of the protected area. The courtyard at the rear, protected from the strong winds, organises the functions by creating a nucleus with direct reference to the building masses. Such forms are encountered in monasteries, which have the cells on the perimeter and the church in the centre. Similar arrangements are also to be found in traditional complexes of ‘katoikiés’.

The stone walls encircle and ‘hug’ the building, protecting it from prying eyes. Ιn some places, the walls become a building, and in others, courtyards are created, adapted to the ground and to the environment. The plastered white walls of the buildings are visible only from the inner courtyard, and fragments of the elevations can be seen by the passer-by. The elevations consist of walls around the central courtyard; in this way plasticity of form is achieved, integrated into a unitary approach to architecture. The design of the apertures is combined with the architectural character of the building. The feature of the repetition and standardisation predominates. The apertures in the perimeter wall are as few as possible. Great emphasis is placed on the ‘fifth elevation’, the roofs, as there are views from the hills round about.

By employing the features of Cycladic architecture, we have de- signed an ensemble of buildings and a landscaping of the terrain adapted to the waterless Cycladic conditions, with a view to leaving the smallest possible footprint on the environment. . The transformation of the morphological features of Cycladic architecture with a view to creating a contemporary architectural language is, together with its integration into the natural landscape, the guiding principle of the design.

The totality of the intervention realised is in dialogue with the land- scape and creates a space for habitation. Βy breaking down the boundaries between the roofed and open-air space, it embraces human activity in creating a familiarity with the space and the locality.



Snøhetta has revealed plans for a sustainable ring-shaped hotel, that will be nestled at the base of Norway’s Almlifjellet mountain, within the Artic Circle.

The architecture firm claims that Svart Hotel, which takes its name from the nearby Svartisen glacier, will be energy-positive – meaning it will produce more energy than it consumes.

While consumption rates will be 85 per cent lower than contemporary hotels, the building’s solar panels will produce energy, something the architects believe is an “absolute must in the precious arctic environment.”

Working with a handful of other Norwegian companies, Snøhetta began the design process by extensively researching how the hotel could use renewable energy, with the aim of making as little impact on the mountain environment as possible.

“Building in such a precious environment comes with clear obligations in terms of preserving the natural beauty and the fauna and flora of the site,” said Snøhetta’s founding parter, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, in a statement.

“It was important for us to design a sustainable building that will leave a minimal environmental footprint on this beautiful northern nature.”Mapping the movement of the sun’s rays, the architects decided that a circular structure topped with solar panels would provide optimum levels of light throughout the day and across different seasons.

Recessed terraces have been integrated along the hotel’s facade that shade rooms during the summer, replacing the presence of artificial cooling systems. Fronted by a large window, rooms can also exploit the sun’s thermal energy during the colder weather.

The main body of the hotel is held up by a series of V-shaped wooden poles that extend down into the surrounding Holandsfjorden fjord. Referencing the local vernacular, the poles echo those used to elevate traditional fisherman houses called rorbues.

A boardwalk runs directly underneath the hotel where visitors can stroll in warmer months – in the winter this doubles up as a space to hold boats or kayaks, eliminating the need to erect additional storage facilities that could impact the landscape.

The Svart Hotel has been designed alongside tourism company Arctic Adventure of Norway, engineering and architecture consultants Asplan Vaak, and construction group Skanska. Together with Snøhetta they form a collaborative group called Powerhouse, which build energy-producing buildings they call “plus-houses”.




From the creators of Museum Of The History Of Polish Jews in Warsaw, comes a competition finalist proposal for the new Museum for the Defense and Siege of Leningrad in St. Petersburg. Lahdelma & Mahalmäki Architects, in collaboration with Ralph Appelbaum Associates, designed three main parts: the Thread of Life (museum and exhibitions), the Memorial of Heroes of Leningrad and the Square of Testimony. Thought to have the popular vote, this entry sought to redevelop and reconnect the city of to the park and museum with its Neo-Classical grid.

The designers envision visitors arriving on the north end of the site to a lush riverside hilltop. Raised earth hides not only the parking but also bus stops and road noise as well, giving the memorial a more peaceful atmosphere. Three sunken floors create the cavernous space for the Thread of Life museum and exhibitions. From there, visitors climb up a white staircase to see the rest of the golden museum reaching for the sky above them and panoramic views of St. Petersburg. The floating gold box holds archives, temporary exhibitions, reading rooms, research spaces, lecture halls and more.

A low wall, Memorial of Heroes of Leningrad acts as connector axis for the city and memorial. Set apart from the park is the Square of Testimony. An inverted pyramid, the square is a multi-sensory space for meditation and reflection with gentle sounds and views of the parks natural meadow beyond.



Artist Emmanuelle Moureaux used over 100,000 paper number cut-outs to create this multihued installation designed to visualise the passing of time.

On show at the Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art and Design in Toyama, Japan, the Colour of Time installation is part of a series of exhibitions that aim to explore the different functions of materials.

Having chosen paper as her main material, Moureaux began observing the relationship between the sensory element of colour-change, and the mathematical element of time.

To combine the two, the Tokyo-based artist opted to create an installation that would visualise the process of time passing.

“The installation superimposes these two elements to visualise and make one feel the flow of time,” explained the museum.

To achieve this, she made 120,000 paper numerical figures from zero to nine, as well as a colon symbol, which she then aligned to form a three-dimensional grid composed of 100 layers.

Each row of numbers denotes a time of day, from sunrise at 6.30am to sun fall at 7.49pm.

Different colours were also used to represent the time of day – resulting in a grid of colour that gets gradually darker to illustrate the transition from day to night.

“Through the tunnel, the sky is tinted with a beautiful gradation changing from pale to deep colours, flowing from time to time,” they said.

“The installation makes one feel the subtle changes in [the] atmosphere through the whole body by travelling the colourful flow of time.”

A rectangular tunnel running through the middle of the installation has benches for visitors to sit down and be immersed in the work.

At the end of the tunnel is a chair titled Miss Blanche, designed by twentieth-century Japanese designer Shiro Kuramata.

“Miss Blanche is placed by the deputy director of Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art & Design, who is also curator of the exhibition, to create the axis to express a deep respect and admiration from Emmanuelle to Shiro Kuramata,” explained the museum.

Colour of Time was on show between 16 November 2017 to 8 January 2018.




New Orleans firm Trahan Architects has completed a visitor centre for an 18th-century plantation in Louisiana, using translucent glazing to blur views of occupants from the outside “like an impressionist painting”.

Trahan Architects’ building provides a gift shop, and exhibition and events space for the Magnolia Mound Plantation House – located in Baton Rouge, near the Mississippi River.

The house was completed in 1791 in the Creole architecture style that dominated the area at the time as a result of French colonisation. It was listed National Register of Historic Places in 1972 due to its significance.

The Creole cottage once sat among 950 acres (384 hectares) of grounds that functioned as plantation for coffee, sugar and tobacco between the late 18th and 19th centuries. Reports claim that up to 79 slaves worked on the site by 1860.

The city of Baton Rouge Since purchased Magnolia Mound Plantation House and its surroundings – at the time down to 16 acres (6.5 hectares) – in 1966, and preserved the site to offer insights into life during this period.

Trahan Architects’ one-storey visitor centre forms the latest addition and was completed in 2013. Embedded into a hill at the base of the site, it is designed to make as little impact on the surroundings as possible.

Translucent glass walls protrude from the slope, while its roof meets the crest and is covered in grass to continue the pathway up the
green hill.

“The minimal intervention seeks to elevate the existing historic buildings and site by establishing a clear threshold for visitors as they circulate around the base of the mound,” said the studio.

“As one transitions through the new visitor center and ascends to the top of the mound, the building merges with the landscape to become unobtrusive and imperceptible.”

Along the front of the pavilion, the roof extends out to reach five staggered glass panels. These create a buffer between a terrace with stone benches and the entrance.

“Translucent channel glass was selected to subtly obscure occupants within and around the new building like an impressionist painting – blurring the distinction between new and old, building and landscape,” Trahan Architects said.

Behind the clouded screens, a transparent glass partition offers clearer views into the gift shop.

Inside, a central white volume contains administration facilities and toilets. A narrow pathway runs alongside to lead to the multipurpose room for various activities and the exhibition space, which both occupy the rear of the building.

The architects also looked to the work of famous American minimalist artists Donald Judd and Sol Lewitt to design a series of solid white aluminium units, which provide display cabinets and storage units for the shop. The pared-back aesthetic is completed with pale stone flooring.