Aside from exquisite architecture and groomed landscapes, one shared element among all of the world’s iconic estates—from Château de Chambord in France’s Loire Valley to the Ca’ d’Zan in Sarasota, Florida—is a name worthy of the property. Bologna- and Milan-based Mario Cucinella Architects’ latest project, which was just unveiled in the Italian city of Ravenna, may not be quite as enormous as the châteaux in France or Venetian Gothic revivals in Florida, but it does bear a memorable name that represents the completely innovative venture: Tecla, a 645-square-foot structure whose shell is made entirely of local clay, is one of the world’s first 3D-printed homes. The name—inspired by Italian writer Italo Calvino’s fictional city of Thekla—evokes ancient architecture’s timelessness with an undeniable 21st-century edge.
President Biden laid out the framework for the American Jobs Plan, a $2.25 trillion infrastructure proposal, at the end of March. Whatever else can be said about it, the plan is breathtakingly expansive and expensive—yet represents, as the president put it, “a once-in-a-generation investment in America.” The proposal put forth an almost incomprehensible scale of spending— it has already been decried as too large by conservatives and too small by Green New Deal proponents— but is envisioned as igniting the American economy, not only by financing conventional infrastructures such as bridges and tunnels, but also in renewing and expanding affordable-housing stock and public education facilities, and funding green technology. Biden, acknowledging it is big and bold, said, “We can get it done.”
The Jackfruit Garden Residence as the name suggests is a house for Mr. Riaz, whose very design arose from trying to retain the huge jackfruit tree growing in one corner of the site. Another consideration to keep in mind was that designing for a large family also meant that privacy was of utmost importance if we wanted the common spaces to be inclusive. This gave form to the idea of a compound wall that revolves around the tree and twists upwards to join the Ferro-cement shell roof of the house, seamlessly. This in turn created a small intimate space landscaped like a Japanese Zen garden providing ample shade, privacy and is also easily accessible from the kitchen.
The house is largely constructed with CSEB (Compressed Stabilised Earth Blocks) and Rammed earth walls with strategically placed openings for cross-ventilation. CSEB are mud blocks prepared by compressing gravel, sand, and cement together and whose embodied energy( 1,112.36 MJ/m3 ) is four times lesser than that of a country-fired brick (4,501.25 MJ/m3).
The MIT Press has announced that a collection of 34 classic architecture and urban studies titles, published between 1964 and 1998, are now accessible as e-books through the MIT Press Open Architecture and Urban Studies book collection, as part of the Mellon-and NEH-funded Humanities Open Book Program. A collection of 34 classic books features the works of names such Jean Gottman, Moshe Safdie, Peter G. Rowe, and more, in beautifully digitized, open-access formats.
Architecture, both new and old, defines city skylines and has a lasting impact on our perceived memory of a place. And while historic architecture has its own charm, it’s no secret that at its best, modern architecture has the ability to be inspiring. Examples abound, including almost any building designed by figures such as Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Santiago Calatrava, and Frank Gehry, among others. Their buildings, much like a force of nature, have the ability to transform a neighborhood (almost always for the better).