In Leiden, underneath the Lammermarkt, 525 parking spaces have been constructed
September 2018

Leiden is a town in the Netherlands, well known for its oldest university in the country, the birthplace of the famous Dutch painter Rembrandt and its beautiful old city centre. Popular are the National Museum of Antiquities, National Museum of Ethnology, Museum Boerhaave, Museum Lakenhal and Museum Naturalis. The inner city of Leiden is partly a car-free zone with on-street parking in parking lots and in car parks. Visitors can park in parking lots Kaasmarkt, Lammermarkt, Langegracht, Molen de Valk and Morssingel.

The Venezuelan architect Jorge Romero Gutiérrez: El Helicoide de la Roca Tarpeya
August 2018

“El Helicoide de la Roca Tarpeya” in Caracas, Venezuela, would have been a spiral drive-in mall. Built between 1956 and 1960, El Helicoide's construction flattened the hill “La Roca Tarpeya” into seven gradually decreasing terraces, surrounded by a two-mile-long vehicular double-helix that allowed drivers to park right in front of their business of choice. With a state-of-the-art mall with futuristic design, Austrian custom-made elevators and a radio station, El Helicoide would have featured over a hundred high-end boutiques, a hotel, cinemas, exhibition halls and a heliport.

Evolving floor plans by Joel Simon - a research project exploring optimised floor plan layouts
August 2018

The rooms and expected flow of people are given to a genetic algorithm which attempts to optimise the layout to minimise the walking time and the use of hallways. The creative goal is to approach floor plan design solely from the perspective of optimisation and without regard for convention, constructability. The research goal is to see how a combination of explicit, implicit and emergent methods allow floor plans of high complexity to evolve. The floorplan is 'grown' from its genetic encoding using indirect processes such as graph contraction and new ones such as growing hallways using an ant-colony inspired algorithm. The results were biological in appearance, intriguing in character and wildly irrational in practice.

Peljesac Bridge could only be the start of more Chinese investment in Croatia
August 2018

Croatia has signed the contract with a Chinese consortium to build the iconic, territory-uniting Peljesac Bridge. Croatia is a member of the EU, and European cohesion funds are being used to pay for the bridge. The bridge has great significance for Croatia as it would unite the Peljesac peninsula to the mainland, allowing motorists to avoid a lengthy detour through a coastal corridor of Bosnian territory, thereby boosting tourism. A Chinese consortium led by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) has won the bid for the construction of the first phase of Peljesac bridge and its access roads, a significant infrastructure project in Croatian history. "Of the three bids submitted for the award of a public procurement contract, the bidding community was selected China Road and Bridge Corporation, CCCC Highway Consultants, CCCC Second Highway Engineering and CCCC Second Harbor Engineering with a bid price of 2.08 billion kunas (around 340 million U.S. dollars) without VAT and the…

The W350 project: Tokyo to build 350m skyscraper made of wood
July 2018

Japanese timber company Sumitomo Forestry has revealed plans for the world's tallest wooden building in Tokyo, a 350-metre skyscraper that would also be the country's highest. Sumitomo Forestry is proposing the 70-storey hybrid timber skyscraper to mark the company's 350th anniversary in 2041. Named W350, the ambitious tower would be almost four times higher than the world's current tallest timber building – the 18-storey Brock Commons Student Residence in Vancouver, Canada. At 350 metres, the skyscraper designed by Sumitomo's Tsukuba Research Laboratory in collaboration with Tokyo practice Nikken Sekkei would also become Japan's tallest building.

Project Milestone - the Netherlands to build world's first habitable 3D printed houses
June 2018

On Monday 24 October 2016, the Municipality of Eindhoven and Eindhoven University of Technology signed the letter of intent to realise the first 3D-concrete printed house in the world. Alderman Yasin Torunoglu and director of operations Suzanne Udo (TU/e) announced this ambition during Dutch Design Week 2016. The letter of intent states that both parties endeavour to realise a 3D-concrete printed house in Eindhoven. Professor Theo Salet (TU/e) is one of the leading experts in the world of 3D-concrete printing. The goal of the TU/e 3D Concrete Printing (3DCP) research program is to establish concrete printing as a viable new method to manufacture concrete elements and buildings and to fundamentally understand its processes. The research group operates and develops its 3D Concrete Printer at the Department of the Built Environment. The printer consists of a four-axis gantry robot with a print bed of approximately 9.0x4.5x3 m3, coupled with a concrete mixing pump, both controlled by…

The Morlaix staircase displayed at the V&A Museum was once a part of a 16th-century timber-framed house
June 2018

This staircase is recorded as having come from no 17 Grand' rue, Morlaix (Brittany, France), where it occupied a central, enclosed hall, and linked the rooms at the street front to those at the back, facing a yard. Only about ten of these timber-framed houses are still to be found in Morlaix. The distinctive, local form of this type of staircase with landings (pondalez from pont d'aller or 'bridge for going') gave such houses their name, Maison à pondalez. It has been suggested that local nobles built these townhouses and that the house-plan recalled that of their rural manors. This oak staircase, dating from 1522–30, came from No. 17 Grand'Rue, the main street of the wealthy town of Morlaix, Brittany, in France. The timber-framed house was a type known as a Maison à pondalez. Built from about 1450 to 1630, these houses took their name from the distinctive staircases with long landings or ponts d'aller (literally 'bridges for going').

The Häring Ensphere dome concept and Saldome salt storage facility
May 2018

Ensphere is a radical departure from traditional structural systems. It is based on the simple concept that any rigid, double curvature dome can be supported directly on the ground, to rise freely over all internal structures and across the expanse of space to be enclosed. Glulam dome structures are built, for example, to store bulk goods. Their design and architecture draw inspiration from nature and are perfected by subtle engineering. The Häring Ensphere dome concept makes it possible to cover even large areas with diameters of more than 120 metres efficiently and inexpensively using the sustainable raw material wood. The dome system provides a unique solution to the bulk storage industry. Besides the beautiful design of the structure, the dome system storage meets the demands of the industry offering a potential free span from 80m up to about 200m. Customers profit from highest volume per-square-meer ratio, optimised logistics and minimum maintenance requirements.

The history of thin-shell concrete dome structures and Zeiss-Dywidag system
May 2018

No history of modern building construction can avoid referring to the Zeiss-Dywidag (Z-D) system. In the history of thin-shell structures, four of the major influences are: Anton Tedesko (1903-1994), who is attributed with much of the success of thin-shell structures in the U.S.; Pier Luigi Nervi (1891-1979), who in Italy gave structural integrity to the complex curves and geometry of reinforced-concrete structures such as the Orbetello aircraft hangar (begun 1938) and Turin’s exposition hall (1948-50); and the Spaniard Eduardo Torroja (1891-1961) and his pupil Felix Candela (1910-1997) who followed his lead.

Pix4D Crane Camera is the first crane solution for 3D construction site mapping
April 2018

Revolutionize the way you collect as-built updates of your site with the Pix4D Crane Camera. Images are automatically collected during normal crane operation, then turned into 2D maps and 3D models in the Pix4D Cloud to be easily analyzed or shared online. The construction industry is fully embracing the concept of BIM, as it provides an efficient way to manage complex projects. A prerequisite for BIM to be used successfully, however, is that the very detailed schedule and build sequences defined by BIM must be strictly adhered to. Regular and accurate site surveys are crucial to achieving this. Although drones are suitable for collecting such site data, they have various limitations. A crane-based camera mapping system offers an alternative and enables the automated capturing of on-site data, both at minimal cost and without interfering with the site. This article explains how a crane camera solution allows project managers to resolve some of the most complex and lingering challenges…

Dougong, 2500-Year-Old Chinese Wood Joints Make Buildings Earthquake-Proof
March 2018

Dougong is a unique structural element of interlocking wooden brackets, one of the essential elements in traditional Chinese architecture. The use of dougong first appeared in buildings of the late centuries BC and evolved into a structural network that joined pillars and columns to the frame of the roof. Dougong was widely used in the ancient Chinese during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC) and developed into a complex set of interlocking parts by its peak in the Tang and Song periods. The pieces are fitted together by joinery alone without glue or fasteners, due to the precision and quality of the carpentry.