More space, more impact, more safety: Staircase redevelopment for residential building in Ottobrunn Stretching from top to bottom of the staircase over nine floors, X-TEND from Carl Stahl Architecture ensures safety on the stairs in the Sternhaus in the upper Bavarian town of Ottobrunn. The stainless steel mesh links the steps and landings of the redeveloped staircase in the building dating back to 1960 in a filigree way, providing protection as well as being a design element. Successful transformation The staircase seems transformed after the redevelopment. Gassner & Zarecky Architekten gave the interior a modern and fresh look. A vital yellow contrasts with white and grey tones; changes of colour provide orientation from one floor to the next. A harmonious addition to the picture is the vertical fall protection suspended from top to bottom of the staircase and made of X-TEND from Carl Stahl Architecture. The filigree stainless steel mesh elegantly caresses the trapeze-shap… continue
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Japanese designer Shigeru Uchida's final work is the Khora furniture collection, created in collaboration with Chinese designer Adrian Cheng and featuring patterns made using traditional joinery. Read more
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Much like coin-based cart systems found in supermarkets and airports, these stackable stools (which double as table surfaces) can be borrowed, moved around and returned with ease. Unlike fixed-position urban benches and tables, this design by Thomas Bernstrand lets users control their own experience, setting up a solo seat or group of seats and surfaces in the sun or shade as desired.
While not foolproof, of course (anyone intent on stealing them or leaving them out could do so), the furnishings do demand a small deposit to encourage people to to put them back when they are done. Also, the dangling chain and branded mark could help deter their disappearance into people’s homes.
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Blavatnik School of Government Just like the elite university of Oxford itself, the new building on the revered campus exudes exceptional class too. Herzog & de Meuron chose Wilkhahn’s benchmark Modus office chair as the seating for the big lecture theatre in the School of Government at Oxford. Modus provides comfort that people can see and feel in a place that requires enormous concentration. The aesthetic awareness of the Swiss Pritzker prize winners is evident in the designs of the facades, the structure of the spaces and the details in the furniture. It’s no coincidence that the Blavatnik School of Government on the campus of the top British university in Oxford is rooted in two traditional types of western democracy, the Greek agora and the amphitheatre. The school, which is an international centre of excellence for studies in government and public policy, was designed by the Swiss architects and Pritzker prize winners Herzog & de Meuron (Basel). In a setting which feature… continue
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There’s nothing radical about trying to fix what doesn’t work by making it work better, which is why the economic transformation discussion document released by South Africa’s governing party, the African National Congress (ANC), is not really radical.
The document is also unlikely to renew the economy, ensure that more people are included and create conditions for sustained growth.
It was released recently as part of the ANC’s preparation for its conference at the end of this year. They’re always preceded by a mid-year policy conference, which is meant to agree on resolutions to be put to the conference.
It’s ANC practice to release policy discussion documents in preparation for these meetings – hence the economic document. The party’s leaders point out that it doesn’t express ANC policy since delegates at the conferences could reject it. But it does give an important sense of the thinking of the party’s economic policy strategists.
In keeping with the current ANC rhetoric, the document stresses the need for “radical economic transformation”. It says proposals for change should be judged by whether they
radically and systematically improve the lives of those who are excluded and marginalised.
The document is filled with good intentions and worthy ideas. But it fails the test.
Pretoria - There is a need to guide the growth and management of urban areas in ways that unleash the potential of cities and towns, and reverse the terrible legacy of apartheid spatial injustice.
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Deputy Minister Andries Nel said this at the 4th Pan-African Local Climate Solutions for Africa Congress (2017), in Ekurhuleni, on Wednesday.
The Deputy Minister said despite the progress, unfortunately, most cities are still highly spatially fragmented due to segregated and class-based colonial planning systems, and in South Africa, apartheid planning policies.
“Thus we all need well-developed policies that promote integrated and sustainable urban development, failing which we will continue to face the downsides of urbanisation.”
He cited South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP), which talks about the need to transform human settlements and the national space economy and sets the vision that: “By 2030 South Africa should observe meaningful and measurable progress in reviving rural areas and in creating more functionally integrated, balanced and vibrant urban settlement”.
Integrated Urban Development Framework
In pursuit of this vision South Africa has adopted an Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) in April 2016.
The IUDF marks a New Deal for South African cities and towns. It provides a roadmap to implement the NDP’s vision for spatial transformation – creating liveable, inclusive and resilient towns and cities while reversing the apartheid spatial legacy.
The IUDF provides key principles and policy levers for creating better urban spaces.
“We will strengthen rural-urban linkages, promote urban resilience, create safe urban spaces and ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable groups are addressed.”
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It may not be as jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring as Detroit’s decaying Michigan Theater parking garage, nor quite as multifunctional as the stunning Herzog de Meuron structure at 1111 Lincoln Road in Miami – but this new structure in Belgium is definitely one for the books. The undulating wooden slate facade of this staff parking garage for the Cliniques Universities Saint-Luc hospital in Brussels is beautifully fluid, with a clever design that disguises most of its bulk underground while remaining architecturally interesting.
Modulo Architects and De Jong Gortemaker Algra Architects were charged with creating a functional industrial structure capable of holding 985 cars that would also serve as a welcoming introduction to the hospital itself, incorporating daylight, natural materials and a striking look. Taking inspiration from natural canyons, they created a stepped design that brings sunlight down into the first two subterranean levels.
The two above-ground parking decks “bridge the terrain gradient” between street level and the green roof, which is designed to be both a functional outdoor space and something pleasant to look at from the higher floors of the adjacent hospital. The parking garage effectively raises this green space above street level for a sense of privacy, avoids obscuring views of the surrounding architecture and manages to be pretty cool to look at, itself.
“We challenged ourselves to also make the underground decks clear and pleasant,” the architects say. “By introducing a sinuous ‘canyon’ encompassing the garage that allows light and air to reach even the lowest deck. Natural light and this (eventually green) canyon-wall contribute to orientation and ensure a positive experience for the user. The facades, made of meandering hardwood slats (FSC), naturally relate to the character of the canyon. An appealing building, nicely embedded with added value for the user is the result.”[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]
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Which made me wonder: Where is Jean Nouvel's 53W53 in the rendering? Now under construction, the 1,050-foot-tall skyscraper will tower over Cesar Pelli's Museum Tower, which is visible to the right of ZHA's tower. So in the interest in seeing how these two supertalls designed by celebrity architects would interact, I Photoshopped a side elevation of Nouvel's tower into ZHA's rendering:
Now, anybody know the mystery of the magic park that appears in front of ZHA's tower?
Once you have your amazing new wooden flooring in place, it’s really important to look after it properly so it stays looking great for many years to come. It’d be a shame to get that bargain from a discount flooring depot only to have to replace it five years down the line. Engineered wood floors are similar to hardwood floors, but they may need a bit of extra care, depending on how thick the top layer is. Some floors have a “wear layer” that’s 0.75” thick and can, if badly scratched, be sanded down and resealed. Others have a much thinner wear layer and can’t be sanded more than once, so you’ll need to take extra precautions here.
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Caring for engineered floors
With most engineered or hardwood floors, a very slightly damp mop or cloth is all that’s needed to clean the surface. If you need something extra, use a product that’s been formulated for hardwood. The top, or wear layer, is made of hardwood, so care is broadly the same. Work with the grain rather than across it, as this will remove more dirt.
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