Design & Build Review: Issue 25

In this issue: Sensitive building conservation, rabbit-hutch homes, tornado-proof design, sustainable city planning, Zaha Hadid Architects’ Heydar Aliyev Center, the work of Aldo van Eyck and much more


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In this issue we consider warnings by the Royal Institute of British Architects that much of the new housing being constructed is too small to meet the needs of families. But with a growing population and an ever-present shortage of suitable land, we ask if smaller properties are simply a fact of modern life.

Across the Atlantic, US construction projects are now subject to updated building codes, developed using findings following the 2011 tornado that devastated Joplin, Missouri. We consider what's changed, and how projects can be designed to be tornado-proof.

Plus we look at one of 2015's most celebrated conservation projects, the restoration of St Giles House in Dorset, UK, and find out how Westminster University's new course is aiming to bridge the gap between planners and architects in a bid to ensure the success of the sustainable cities of the future.

There's also a look at how Zaha Hadid Architects designed Azerbaijan's Heydar Aliyev Center with space and sound in mind, as well as a profile of architectural humanist Aldo van Eyck's thought-provoking career.

Plus we look at the work of a highly promising architectural student, and consider some of the latest materials, fixtures and fittings.

As always, the issue is available to read for free on iPad through our app, or on a desktop computer using our web viewer.

In this issue

Rabbit-Hutch Homes
The RIBA has accused some of the country's top house builders of constructing homes that are too small to meet families' needs. Daniel Davies investigates whether smaller properties are a fact of modern life or if we are all being short-changed.
Read the article.

Winds of Change
An investigation into the devastating tornado that flattened Joplin, Missouri in 2011 has prompted new changes to the US building code. Chris Lo learns more from Dr Marc Levitan of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Read the article.

Maintaining Heritage
St Giles House, the ancestral home of Lord Shaftesbury in Dorset, UK, was transformed from a state of ruin to one of the most celebrated building conservation projects of 2015. Frances Marcellin asks the restoration team how they took on such a sensitive project.
Read the article.

Bright Lights, Big Cities
Westminster University has launched a new course that will give urban planners the tools they need to design the sustainable cities of the future. Rod James spoke to course designer Suzy Nelson to find out what's on the curriculum, and how healing the rift between planners and architects is central to future success.
Read the article.

Space and Sound
Zaha Hadid Architects' Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan, is a remarkable achievement in acoustics and spatial flow. The American Hardwood Export Council explains the challenges behind the project.
Read the article.

A Career in Buildings: Aldo van Eyck
Aldo van Eyck will forever be remembered as a contrarian, writing prolifically and passionately against the architectural trends of his day, but his structuralist, humanist-minded approach to design has had a lasting impact on architecture. Here we look at his career through the buildings he designed.
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Future Greats
Each month we consider the work of a promising architecture student or recent graduate. This month we look through the portfolio of New York-based Audrey Bertrand, who completed her M.Arch at Canada's Université Laval last year.
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New In
There's always something new in the world of materials, fixtures and fittings. Here we select some of our favourites to have emerged in the last few months.
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Next issue preview

In the next issue, out in April, we will be looking at architecture in space, the next frontier for the field. With commercial activity beyond Earth ever growing, demand for extraterrestrial designs are set to grow, and architecture is gearing up to meet the demands.
Plus we'll look at a student design competition set to transform India's public spaces, consider the transformation of a Berlin power plant into a music studio and find out how ceramics are being used in construction.

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