World Architecture Festival – 2014 – Singapore Highlights

The World Architecture Festival (WAF) 2014 held in Singapore concluded in style yesterday. Over 2,000 architects, designers, clients and press had come together for the world’s largest festival and live awards competition dedicated to celebrating, and sharing architectural excellence from across the globe. The 3-day design festival, held from October 1-3, 2014 at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, highlighted “Architects and the City” as the primary theme for this year’s main conference sessions; the festival discussed in depth the contributions an architect can make to cities and how they affect – and are affected by – politics, infrastructure, planning communities and technology.

Day 1 Winners in the following Categories:
House (sponsored by Grohe)

House for Trees / Vietnam / Vo Trong Nghia Architects
Housing (sponsored by Grohe)

The Carve / Norway / A-Lab


Liberty Place / Australia / Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

Higher Education & Research

Dalarna Media Library / Sweden / ADEPT


Te Kaitaka ‘The Cloak’ / New Zealand / Fearon Hay Architects


Chobham Academy / UK/ Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

Yalikavak Marina Complex / Turkey / EAA-Emre Arolat Architects

Read the complete post on Archh, click here

Are You Planning Your HVAC System Correctly?

Architects often do not place enough emphasis on HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems at designing stage; more often than not, it is just an afterthought! It is crucial to understand the importance of creating sustainable, self-sufficient structures which is incidentally possible only through an integrated approach. Good HVAC systems are not only a crucial element in a building, they also offers high returns on investments when selected wisely. Since the HVAC equipment are expensive and have a long life, it is difficult to replace an under-performing system without adding a significant amount to the operations cost.

The performance of the HVAC systems will often depend on the solar orientation of the site, design of the building, choice of roofing, facade etc. Solar gain through windows, air filtration, heat load from artificial lighting will all have considerable effect on the HVAC. There are energy modelling software and consultants with the know-how on the building performance testing industry who can ensure the optimum performance of these systems. It is very important to plan your HVAC system at design stage and even more important to invest in a good software to manage it. These investments will sooner or later be justified by the savings available from load reduction and HVAC savings.

On that note, Archh caught up with Bengaluru-based HVAC consultant and expert Ananth Kumar who shared his knowledge on general industry trends and consumer buying habits.
What is the impact of HVAC on one’s utility bills? How can one lower it?
As we know that the majority of the energy consumption in any facility is on HVAC, surprisingly it is close to 50% to 55% on the commercial developments. With lots of development on energy conservation, renewable energy is on the cards nowadays and many companies follow it as a mandate and spend huge on this regard. Keeping this as a major impact in all respects, the sustainability design, energy-efficient design is being practiced now. Even then the utility bills are high due to lots of factors pertaining to operation and maintenance of the system. This can be definitely lowered down by using the intelligent building management system installed for the equipments, proper routine maintenance of all the equipments, seasonal programming of the system operations, maintaining the logs and consistently studying the trends and operating the plant accordingly, using the sensors and automating the equipments etc.
What factors must architects consider while picking the right HVAC system?

The Beautiful Landscape Architecture of California

Archh’s most active user ‘photographer-and-cinematographer duo’ Chibi Moku has shared with us works of five extremely talented landscape architects from California. We feature them here…

Vee Horticulture (Berkeley, California)

The landscape designs by Vee Horticulture are all about connecting people to nature and to their own sense of well-being and aliveness. In their first landscape project, a sensual garden was created with a variety of plants including edibles such a lemon, a kumquat, fig, persimmon and blueberries. The key ingredient in this beautiful garden was the placement of fragrant plants in strategic areas that blooms in its full glory giving away whiffs of fresh flora at different times of the year. There is abundant forage for hummingbirds, songbirds, bees and butterflies. There is ample shade provided in all areas and the family can enjoy their morning cup of tea on a large dining table for ten that can also double as a table tennis court for family entertainment.

You can view the beautiful photos and the video of this project here

Julie Orr Design (Palo Alto, California)

Julie Orr, principal landscape designer and her client Arnie share their insight into this award-winning backyard remodel. At the heart of this design lies a strong desire to bring family together in a space that is welcoming for parents, young adults and their collective friends. Specializing in outdoor kitchen, fire and water feature design, Julie provides a collaborate atmosphere for her clients to share their goals while incorporating her expert knowledge, creativity and vision. This unique approach of planning through a series of on-site design sessions produced Arnie’s dream space: a backyard his family can use year-round, plants that have low water needs, a space that is beautiful to relax in and easy to maintain.

You can watch the behind-the scenes story of Arnie, the empty nester and the award-dinning project that culminated from it, click here

Divine Nature Landscape Design (Los Altos, California)

Johnna Brooks from Divine Nature Landscape Nature creates a space that can repair in a way that calms the ambience and at the same time restores the very ground that her clients inhabit. This new way of creating landscapes involves sound. “It helps me to create a whole surrounding scenery in your head as well as seeing it physically in the landscape,” she says. “This makes people feel calm, peaceful and stress free.”

Watch Johnna Brooks speak about the inspiration behind these lush green gardens,click here

LandStudio360 (Los Angeles, California)

When The Westerly on Lincoln, a 583-unit apartment community in Marina del Rey, California were looking to enhance their outdoors, they called in LandStudio360 for design and re-imaging. The studio developed a landscape palette that complemented the new architectural façade by KEPHART, and made detailed renovations to the pool area and interior courtyards. The highlight features include a large water wall fountain outside the leasing center as well as iconic acrylic panels lit by color changing LEDs at the project’s entry. As a result of these vast improvements, The Westerly on Lincoln was recognized by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) as the Best Conversion/Repositioning of a Multi-Family Asset in 2013.

LandStudio 360 was also called in to work on the 27 Seventy-Five Mesa Verde, an existing apartment community in Costa Mesa, California by joining distinct properties separated by extensive network of artificial streams and lakes. The studio has also created inviting outdoor spaces for shoppers at The Shops at Dos Lagos, a regional outdoor retail center off Interstate 15 in Corona, California.

Watch the hearty architects take you through their projects, click here

Elemental Design Group (Santa Cruz, California)

Seasoned landscape architect Rhadiante Van de Voorde, principal of Elemental Design Group, specializes in custom garden design. From contemporary to traditional, Rhadiante is keyed to the needs and desires of her clients and empathetically creates exterior environments that gracefully balance the elements. She sheds light on her design approach and philosophy for two unique projects set in the beautiful SF bay area. The video shows captivating footage which displays how a sculpted outdoor environment not only brings value to the home but also can provide pleasure and even inspiration.

Choose the Right Art for Your Space

Choosing an art for your home or your work space need not be a daunting task. For far too long, interior designers have had to explain to their clients the importance of incorporating art in the décor. An art ties together the entire decor, depending on its purpose it can supplement the grace and beauty of the space or be used to create a stark contrast or a bold statement. But even if you are not an art connoisseur, fret not. These simple guidelines will ease your struggle of picking the right art and tell you how to correctly display it on your walls.

Size Matters. Depending on the size of the wall, the size of the art matters. To introduce a piece of art in your habitat, it is firstly very important that you make an informed decision depending on the size of the room. You must be aware of the shape and size of art you are about to introduce in the room. If there are too many furniture, it would be nearly impossible to fit a large wall art in that décor. Factors such as the location, height at which the art must be hung, the size of the wall will help you decide on the frame size. It is advisable to tape paper cut-outs on the wall to visualize where your art will be placed. Estimating the size of your art wall is a great first step to purchasing the art for your room.

Experiment with mediums and colours. Go beyond the usual oil paints on canvas, experiment with digital print, art deco, graphite pencil sketches and murals and see what best sets the tone and matches the colour palette of your living room, bedroom, workspace. The art must complement the room palette and tone. Bold art can also be used as a statement piece in a muted décor. Or it can work the other way, try making the art an inspiration for deciding the room’s colour palette. Rather than opting for large-scale pieces, create a gallery wall of smaller prints grouped together instead. Reframe the existing artwork in your home to complement the new art to give a cohesive feel to your personal art gallery.

Follow your instincts. An art is a reflection of your personality. If you are a lively and cheerful person, then a serious artwork can dull your sheen. Choose an artwork that you’ve fallen in love with, not something that someone recommends to you. Buy that particular art only if you must. You will be looking at this artwork every single day and as stated earlier, only an art that resonates with you and your personality will make you content. Never make a purchase immediately. If you walk away from a painting thinking about it, then it is a good indication that you are ready to make this commitment.