Poetics of Space and Mental Health: How Architecture Can Help Prevent Suicides

According to the latest survey carried out by the World Health Organization - WHO, in 2019 there were more than 700,000 suicides worldwide. In Brazil, records approach 14,000 cases per year, that is, on average 38 people commit suicide per day. In this context, “Yellow September” was created in Brazil, the largest anti-stigma campaign in the world that encourages everyone to actively act in the awareness and prevention of suicide, a topic that is still seen as taboo.

Reading Architecture as a Book

The standards for classifying good or terrible architecture are usefulness and beauty, or what we commonly refer to as practicality and aesthetics. However, practicality might quickly direct us toward functionalism, which is the only viable option, or toward the design of sculptural structures. The architect Le Corbusier once stated, "If you create a house with stone, wood, and concrete, that's just a building; if you touch my heart, that's architecture." However, perhaps the readability of architecture might serve as a criterion for good architecture: Reading architecture as a book with complete words and sentences that stand up to careful consideration.

Classics and Good Architecture: Modern Housing on the American Continent 1930-1960

Much of the production of modern architecture on the American continent was based on the model of European architects who, with their works, projected the fundamental premises and ideas for modern living. These pillars of architecture were transferred and consequently adapted to the American territory, introducing, at the same time, their own characteristics according to the territorial, socio-cultural and economic context. 

The Use of Indigenous and Locally Sourced Materials in Philippines Architecture

The Philippines' history and cultural background are continually reflected in the architectural landscape throughout the country, with its structures and dwellings harboring a handful of influences from the nations that once purveyed the island.

What Materials Can Promote Health in Interior Architecture?

Recent statistics suggest that if someone lives until they are 80, around 72 of those years will be spent inside buildings. This makes sense if we bear in mind that, when not at home, humans are working, learning or engaging in fun activities mostly in enclosed, built settings. Contemplating current events, however, this number is expected to grow. In an increasingly chaotic and uncertain world, marked by the ongoing effects of climate change and the global pandemic, the desire to stay indoors in a protected, controlled and peaceful environment is stronger than ever. Architects face an important challenge: to create comfortable, productive and healthy interiors with well-regulated parameters, considering factors like indoor air quality, daylighting and biophilic features from the initial stages of design. Of course, this involves choosing materials sensitively and accordingly, whether it be by avoiding certain health-harming components or by integrating non-toxic products that soothe and promote wellness.

The Fight Against Urban Sprawl and the Principles of New Urbanism

How we plan our cities, suburbs, and rural communities is a constantly evolving set of goals essential for creating sustainable cities. Not only do we need to consider what lies within these areas, but we also need to effectively design the boundaries between each, where urban meets suburban, and where suburban meets the small town. In recent years, urbanists have paid close attention to urban sprawl, or what sometimes happens when towns rapidly grow outwardly from city centers. What happens when cities seem to “sprawl” out of control, and are the design principals behind New Urbanism able to turn urban sprawl into equitable communities?

Demolished and Rebuilt: The Identity of Architectural Replicas

The rights to reconstruct Kisho Kurokawa's iconic Nakagin Capsule Tower are currently sold on one of the largest NFT sites. While the tower’s demolition has begun earlier this year, the auction sells the right to rebuild the structure, in both the metaverse and in real space. The idea of recreating the Metabolic building in a virtual space seems natural. It could allow a larger community to explore an iconic piece of architecture and encourage them to experiment with it, an initiative in line with Metabolist ideals. On the other hand, the idea of reconstructing a demolished historical building in the physical world raises a different set of conflicting emotions. Architectural replicas are not the norm, but their existence raises questions regarding the identity and authenticity of works of architecture.

What is a Good Interior Design?

The world's recent shift towards prioritizing wellness has influenced people to seek healthier lifestyles by understanding the body and the mind collectively. External factors such as the geographic location, the environment, the community, financial status, and the relationships with friends and family have all shown to have considerable impacts on an individual's health. However, it became evident that ensuring physical and mental health was not limited to having access to medical facilities and professional treatments, but was also determined by several factors related to the quality of the built environment. 

Repurposing Existing Buildings into Residential Projects by Innovating with Materials

Considering the time, energy, and environmental impact of a construction process, architecture must explore different methodologies that work with the existing built environment. For example: how to give life to a forgotten building? Adaptive reuse gives new opportunities to abandoned buildings, following the idea that good architecture must be durable, innovative and recyclable.

Learnings from Collective Housing in India

In almost every Indian language, a colloquial term for “family” - ghar wale in Hindi, for example - literally translates to “the ones in (my) house”. Traditionally, Indian homes would shelter generations of a family together under one roof, forming close-knit neighborhoods of relatives and friends. The residential architecture was therefore influenced by the needs of the joint family system. Spaces for social interaction are pivotal in collective housing, apart from structures that adapt to the changing needs of each family. The nuanced relationship between culture, traditions, and architecture beautifully manifests in the spatial syntax of Indian housing. 

Best Practices for Materials and Constructive Techniques

When developing a project, an architect needs to deal with numerous decisions: Does the building correspond with the client's requirements? Can the contractors build it without problems? Are the costs what were initially expected? Does the project have a good relationship with its surroundings? How will it age? To figure all of this out, the professional must take into account several issues that will both influence each other and directly affect the final product. Among these, the chosen materials and constructive techniques play an essential role, as these elements are what give shape to the designer's vision and can influence factors such as the accessibility or the environmental impact of a building.

Good Architecture is Considerate

This text was originally published in The ArchDaily Guide to Good Architecture, our first-ever book currently available for purchase.

The ArchDaily Guide to Good Architecture

Dear community,

As your trusted companion along the journey of constant learning and inspiration, we are very excited to share a new format by announcing our first book ever: The ArchDaily Guide to Good Architecture.

Reading Between the Skylines

Cities have been, and will always be multi-faceted, elastic sites. They are settlements in continuous evolution, molded by proximity to natural resources, by migrating populations, and by capital. Despite the diversity in the urban character of disparate cities, it has been said that cities look alike now more than ever before, a uniformity that means a glass-and-steel tower in Singapore would not look out of place in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex.

What is Good Architecture?

As we launch our first book ever, The ArchDaily Guide to Good Architecture, currently available for purchase, we looked back during the month of September at the different definitions of Good Architecture. Exploring materiality, contextuality, and approach, our editors developed thought-provoking articles seeking to question and describe some of the aspects that make any Architecture, a good one.

Is Good Architecture Synonymous with Beauty?

Architecture is not simply building. Over 2,000 years ago, Roman architect Marcus Vitruvius Pollio defined two base realities in building: “Firmness” (Safety) and “Commodity” (Use) and then offered what turns building into architecture: “Delight” (Beauty).