Yes. Believe it! This translucent concrete, made by Porjoel Sosa and Sergio Omar Galvan (students at UAM in Mexico), is 30% lighter and has the same strenght, consistency and resistance as regular concrete, while allowing 80% light transmittance.
The inventors are not willing to reveal the materials used yet, since is being patented, but it is possibly a mixture of glass fibers, crushed stone, cement and water.
If a classical building was built in these modern materials…can it still be classified as a classical building?
This is Ghost House designed by Japanese architecture firm Datar. Instead of creating a traditional Japanese house, they chose to exaggerate the building’s ghostly silhouette, presenting a mute character. Scale less from the outside, the house has three levels with a complex set of ramps and steps. The house was Commended at the 2007 AR Awards For Emerging Architecture.
Open House: Intelligent Living by Design
Vitra Design Museum and Art Center College 2005-06
Jellyfish House is modeled on the idea that, like the sea creature, it coexists with its environment as a set of distributed, networked senses and responses. Jellyfish have no brain, no central nervous system, no eyes, and consist largely of the water around them. Yet, they sense light and odor, are self-propulsive, bioluminescent and highly adaptive to changing aquaculture. Like jellyfish, the house attempts to incorporate emerging material and digital technologies in a reflexive, environmentally contingent manner. The house is designed as a mutable layered skin, or ‘deep surface’, that mediates internal and external environments. The skin is designed as a parametric mesh that uses efficient geometric logics of Delauney triangulation and the Voronoi diagram. It deforms in thickness locally for geometric, structural, visual, and mechanical performance.
The house is a transformative prototype for reclaimed land. Specifically, it is sited on Treasure Island, a flat, artificial island built off the naturally occurring island of Yerba Buena in the middle of the San Francisco Bay. Treasure Island is at once local and distant, isolated and connected. It has recently been decommissioned by the military, and is being redeveloped largely for new residences. Like many former military bases, Treasure Island suffers from a range of environmental hazards. The most geographically desirable parts of the island have toxic soil that requires remediation. In these areas, the particular hazardous materials necessitate that up to five feet of topsoil be removed for cleansing. In other areas, the contaminated soil can be treated on site using plant based phyto-remediation techniques. The proposed site strategy is to infiltrate the island with sinuous fields of wetlands that allow the removed soil to not have to be replaced, and remediate the remaining toxins. In addition, the wetlands act as a filtration system for the island, becoming a form of productive infrastructure that naturally filters stormwater run-off.
Jellyfish House taps into this water filtration strategy at the scale of the house. It captures, stores and filters rain and gray water for use in the home. For the water filtration system, the exterior surface geometry directs rainwater from the roof, and stores it below grade for future use. The water is filtered through cavities in the skin coated with titanium dioxide and exposed to ultraviolet light. The titanium dioxide absorbs the otherwise harmful UV rays, allowing only the blue, visible light to emerge, resulting in a softly glowing structure during the filtration process.
Jellyfish House combines this system with latent heating and cooling using phase change materials layered into the skin. Conceived as a largely transparent fluid filled ‘water jacket’, areas of the skin pattern and thickness transform to become quilted baffles that contain hydrated salt, a form of salt water. This material fluctuates between solid and liquid states heating or cooling the surrounding air.
The skin of Jellyfish House combines structure and envelope with these physical infrastructures. What unites them conceptually is that they create an ambient experience in the home that reveals the work of the skin in largely a peripheral manner. In this regard, the project expands upon aspects of ‘calm’, or ambient, technology that suggests the digital realm will ultimately recede to the background of our spaces and lived experience. The project revisits the digital and the material by cultivating this latent technological relationship while still offering a productive, non-naturalized awareness of the forces at work around us.
proces2: Digital modeling and rendering consultant
Martin Bechthold: Structural consultant for finite element analysis
PHOTO CAPTION: “Although totally blind, M.F. Jones of Tampa, Fla., remodeled his large five room home into a modern building consisting of eight apartments. He did all carpentry work unaided.”
TEXT: “Overcoming the handicap of being blind, M.F. Jones, of Tampa, Florida, remodeled an entire house unaided. One of the features of the job was the removal of an enclosed stairway and the rebuilding of it on an outside porch. Before losing his sight, Mr. Jones had been a construction foreman.”
So, let me explain the thoughts that led me to find this article…
So, I’ve been thinking about an imaginary client that I might undertake for my re-do of the residential project I did last semester. I hope my Universal Design professor’s gonna let me do this…though I know nothing about the structure of the class yet. I think it might be a really interesting challenge! So I jsut googled “houses for the blind” and I came across this article.
I don’t know how M.F. did it, but I applaud him. I don’t even know if I actually believe the article…but I imagine, if he designed the house himself, it would be easier for him to go around his house.
What challenges could there be in designing a house for someone who is blind?
What creative solutions can be brought to the table in a design problem like this?
As I watched Will Smith’s “Seven Pounds”, I was enamored by the character’s pet jellyfish. It made me want to know more about it, and then I came across this:
Turritopsis nutricula is a hydrozoan with a life cycle in which it reverts to the polypsexually mature. It is the only known case of a metazoan(Piraino et al. 1996, p. 302). It does this through the cell development process of transdifferentiation. Theoretically, this cycle can repeat indefinitely, rendering it effectively immortal. stage after becoming capable of reverting completely to a sexually immature, colonial stage after having reached sexual maturity as a solitary stage