…And So we Design

'We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.' -Winston Churchill

smartest way to keep things


Filed under: Uncategorized

A very lovely video

carefully arranged, very creative.
the photo taking part is my personal favourite.

Filed under: Lelia

multi-functional furniture

Space-saving tips

As architects, we tend to make sure that spaces are big enough for what they are intended to do. But sometimes spaces might need to be used not in the way as they are designed, or might need to perform multiple functions. For that, furniture design plays a large part to solve the problems. It is like mini architecture but more flexible in terms of allocation and arrangement. The video above is showing more like ‘How-to-enlarge-a-space’ tips, hope you enjoy.

Filed under: Lelia

Eco Architecture: A greenhouse to keep you and your plants warm

Eco Factor: Greenhouse home made from sustainable materials.

A greenhouse is intended to provide a warm and cozy atmosphere for the plant kingdom. Designer Hiroshi Iguchi is taking the greenhouse concept farther with a greenhouse house. No, we didn’t make a typo by writing house twice, but the Camouflage House is just that. It’s a house inside a greenhouse. The house has been designed as a part of the Fifth World project, which aims to promote ecofriendly and sustainable architecture.

Made from natural materials that include wood for floors and traditional Japanese panels for compartments, this house protects not just plants and trees, but humans too from harsh weather conditions. Apart from plants, some trees too are integrated into the house, by leaving open spaces in between the ceiling to let trees thrive in the open.

The Dark Side:

To let sunlight pass through the ceiling and walls, something that is important for plants, the walls and ceilings are made from glass. This transparent exterior could soon become a problem.

Filed under: Nahal

World tallest wooden House

Filed under: Nahal

Incredible Bamboo Architecture

Bamboo is the stuff of green dreams these days. Not only is it a winning combination of strong, lightweight and flexible; it also scores highly in the sustainable stakes, being super fast growing and easy to harvest locally in many parts of the world. What’s more, it is increasingly being lauded for its aesthetic qualities. None of this is news to any architect worth their salt – but one in particular, Vietnamese virtuoso Vo Trong Nghia, stands out for his exceptional bamboo designs.

In a piece by Vietnamese American writer and broadcaster Nguyen Qui Duc, Duc laments the rushed redevelopment of the Vietnamese capital Hanoi, and calls for preserving the city’s beauty and character without tastelessly replicating the old French-style villas that have been razed to the ground. Instead of the rapidly rising glass-and steel structures being built, modernization should mean both preservation and innovation – and that’s exactly what Vo Trong Nghia is all about.

As a young man, Nghia was selected to study architecture in Japan. However, his early life in a small village in central Vietnam proved the ideal and natural foundation for what he would learn in the land of the Rising Sun and the architectural projects that have followed in his homeland. “We used bamboo and cane and such materials for everything,” recalls the architect. From farming tools to cooking utensils, it was all woven together – just as many of his buildings are today.

Mingling international inspiration with the influence of his roots, Nghia is big on bamboo. The rounded bar he designed for his Water and Wind Cafe features a 30-foot bamboo frame covered in a local bush plant. Like a giant version of the haystacks that dot the Vietnamese countryside, it is also African-esque, with a pointed open dome that allows light to infuse the interior. Elsewhere, Nghia’s curving bamboo structures are bound together with not a nail in sight.

As proof of his green credentials, Nghia has built a factory in Vietnam where bamboo is treated and given its warm brown colour. It is said his structures will last twenty years. “At the end of the day, if you have to remove or take apart buildings,” says Nghia, “You won’t end up with piles of concrete that’s destructive to the environment.” He is also trying to get more bamboo growing ventures off the ground, an architect weaving homegrown tradition with aesthetic innovation.

Filed under: Nahal

The distinction between the greenhouse effect and real greenhouses

The “greenhouse effect” is named by analogy to greenhouses but this is a misnomer. The greenhouse effect and a real greenhouse are similar in that they both limit the rate of thermal energy flowing out of the system, but the mechanisms by which heat is retained are different. A greenhouse works primarily by preventing absorbed heat from leaving the structure through convection, i.e. sensible heat transport. The greenhouse effect heats the earth because greenhouse gases absorb outgoing radiative energy and re-emit some of it back towards earth.

A greenhouse is built of any material that passes sunlight, usually glass, or plastic. It mainly heats up because the sun warms the ground inside, which then warms the air in the greenhouse. The air continues to heat because it is confined within the greenhouse, unlike the environment outside the greenhouse where warm air near the surface rises and mixes with cooler air aloft. This can be demonstrated by opening a small window near the roof of a greenhouse: the temperature will drop considerably. It has also been demonstrated experimentally  that a “greenhouse” with a cover of rock salt (which is transparent to infra red) heats up an enclosure similarly to one with a glass cover. Thus greenhouses work primarily by preventing convective cooling.

In the greenhouse effect, rather than retaining (sensible) heat by physically preventing movement of the air, greenhouse gases act to warm the Earth by re-radiating some of the energy back towards the surface. This process may exist in real greenhouses, but is comparatively unimportant there.

Filed under: Nahal

Stair case seating

When working on my newest project,  a program which includes a bike rental and café (similar to Lock 7 in North East London) I was given the name of an architect, Gareth Hoskins, who had deisgned a similar “staircase” where people could sit on and enjoy the views of  the city of Vienna. I wanted to incorporate this idea into my building design where people could sit and have a coffee or a snack enjoying the views along the canal while waiting for their bike to be repaired. And also merely for leisure.

The Scottish Pavilion

My café stair seating: (initial idea)


I’m still working on how these ideas could be developed further to incorporate a multifunctional building that consequently represents a place of pleasure.

Filed under: Patricia

Glass structure

The glass and steel structure above the walkway is reminiscent of the natural forms of hills and mountains. 

Filed under: Nahal

One room house

How to fully utilize the space of a room with interesting furniture to create all the rooms you need in a house.


Filed under: Lelia