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Australian Architecture Competition

The Urban Tree, by MAD Architects and Elenberg Fraser, is one of the six skyscrapers proposed...
The Urban Tree, by MAD Architects and Elenberg Fraser, is one of the six skyscrapers proposed for Melbourne(Credit: MAD Architects/Elenberg Fraser)

Some of architecture’s biggest names are vying to lead a new mixed-use skyscraper development on a prominent site in Melbourne, Australia. From twisting greenery-covered towers to an “illuminated cloud,” the six designs for Southbank by Beulah show the firms letting their imaginations run wild. Furthermore, most of the designs show towers that would become Australia’s new tallest skyscraper if built. read more

Drones, Not Just Weapons of Destruction

How drones are being used to help build the  skyscrapers

 

While the use of drones by the US military  continues to provoke controversy over claims they’ve been used to killed  countless innocent victims, other more positive uses for the technology are also  being developed.

In Switzerland a firm of architects is using  drones to help develop an entirely new type of architectural structure that  could develop into the skyscrapers of the future.

The ‘Flight Assembled Architecture’ project has been developed by  architects Gramazio &  Kohlerin collaboration with Raffaello D’Andrea,  Professor of Dynamic Systems and Control at the Swiss Federal Institute  of  Technology in Zurich.

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The future skyscrapers, built by drones, could stand more than 600 meters tall and house 30,000 inhabitants
The future skyscrapers, built by drones, could stand  more than 600 meters tall and house 30,000 inhabitants
drone
Architects and robotic experts are collaborating on  intelligent drones which could help build the skyscrapers of tomorrow

Their concept includes developing small robotic ‘quadrocopters’ to build complex cylindrical towers which they  believe could stand more than 600  meters  tall and house 30,000 inhabitants.

The drones would operate  semi-autonomously and be capable of communicating with one another and  independently sensing the  height of the tower to place their block accordingly,  reports Smithsonian.com.

A prototype of the structure and the drones  has been created at the FRAC Centre in Orléans, France using model drones  programmed to lift 1,500 foam blocks into a complex cylindrical tower standing  more than six meters high.

As these images by François  Lauginie show the model drones and  towers offer a potentially innovative solution for  creating high-rise buildings in urban areas where construction can be incredibly  difficult and costly.

A prototype has been created using miniature drones to lift 1,500 foam blocks into a complex cylindrical tower
A prototype has been created using miniature drones to  lift 1,500 foam blocks into a complex cylindrical tower
In order for the project to became a reality lighter building products need to be developed which drones would be capable of carrying
In order for the project to became a reality lighter  building products need to be developed which drones would be capable of  carrying

At the cutting edge of speculative building  technology, construction  drones offer a more advanced solution  than erecting scaffolding and using  cranes.

However for Gramazio & Kohler’s model to  become reality will require the  development of high-performance  lightweight materials, as current materials are  too heavy for drones to lift.

These designs help show that there is a world  of possibilities for drones beyond warfare.

In the future drones could  be programed with  different ‘skills’ or built specifically to  perform particular task such as  working in areas that aren’t fit for humans or helping in disaster relief and  other emergencies.

Attribution: David Mccormack, Mail Online

Ostentatious Europe

They were once filled with courtiers, kings, and other members of the aristocracy. But stunning images capture the silent galleries, corridors, and libraries of Europe in a whole new light.

Captured by Italian photographer Massimo Listri, the images span from Portugal to Sweden, France, and Italy, and show the intricate masterworks from ages past.

His images evoke a certain solemnity, both beautiful and isolating at once.

Included in his portfolio are pictures from the library of Wiblingen Abbey, which was once a Benedictine abbey and has since been transformed into housing medical facilities for the University of Ulm in Germany.

Another image shows the the Malatestiana Library, located in Cesena, Italy, which was the first European civil library that allowed everyone -including the common people – access to its books.

Sounds of silence: These images of grand halls have been captured by Italian photographer Massimo Listri; here, the Royal Palace of Stockholm in SwedenSounds of silence: These images of grand halls have been captured by Italian photographer Massimo Listri; here, the Royal Palace of Stockholm in Sweden
Royalty: Another vast room from the Royal Palace in Stockholm; the Swedish monarchy still resides here todayRoyalty: Another vast room from the Royal Palace in Stockholm; the Swedish monarchy still resides here today
 
Rococo: The Queluz National Palace in Lisbon, Portugal was built in the 18th century; the grand checkered marble floors are juxtaposed against a chandelier and and painted murals on the ceilingRococo: The Queluz National Palace in Lisbon, Portugal was built in the 18th century; the grand checkered marble floors are juxtaposed against a chandelier and and painted murals on the ceiling

WiblingenRoom with a view: Wiblingen Abbey, once a Benedictine abbey, has since been transformed into housing medical facilities for the University of Ulm in Germany; this is a stunning shot of the abbey’s beautiful library

Monochrome: One of two Medici Chapels, located in the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence, Italy; the structure dates to around the 16th century Monochrome: One of two Medici Chapels, located in the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence, Italy; the structure dates to around the 16th century

All made of marble: The Marble Gallery in the Ducal Palace in Northern Italy is a hauntingly beautiful reminder of times gone byAll made of marble: The Marble Gallery in the Ducal Palace in Northern Italy is a hauntingly beautiful reminder of times gone by

From antiquity: The Malatestiana Library, located in Cesena, Italy, was the first European civil library, allowing everyone access to its books, and is more than 500 years oldFrom antiquity: The Malatestiana Library, located in Cesena, Italy, was the first European civil library, allowing everyone access to its books, and is more than 500 years old
Less austere: This room in the Palazzo Martelli in Florence shows a painted mural on the wall, but a room void of furniture, save for one lone wooden tableLess austere: This room in the Palazzo Martelli in Florence shows a painted mural on the wall, but a room void of furniture, save for one lone wooden table
Roman holiday: This is a corridor from the Capitoline Museums, located in Capitoline Hill in Rome; part of the piazza was thought of by none other than famed Renaissance artist Michelangelo Roman holiday: This is a corridor from the Capitoline Museums, located in Capitoline Hill in Rome; part of the piazza was thought of by none other than famed Renaissance artist Michelangelo
Hollywood aspirations: A room from the Chateau de Pierrefonds in Oise, France, north of Paris; it later became a filming location for the 1998 film Man In The Iron MaskHollywood aspirations: A room from the Chateau de Pierrefonds in Oise, France, north of Paris; it later became a filming location for the 1998 film Man In The Iron Mask
Wealth of knowledge: The stunning library from Kresmunster Abbey in Austria was built in the late 1600s, though the abbey's history predates the 9th centuryWealth of knowledge: The stunning library from Kresmunster Abbey in Austria was built in the late 1600s, though the abbey’s history predates the 9th century
Intricate: Sammezzano Castle, built in 1605, is in the scenic Tuscany region of Italy and features Moorish designs throughoutIntricate: Sammezzano Castle, built in 1605, is in the scenic Tuscany region of Italy and features Moorish designs throughout
Wide halls: The Palace of Caserta, located in southern Italy, was built for the kings of Naples, and has the honour of being one of the largest built in Europe during the 18th century Wide halls: The Palace of Caserta, located in southern Italy, was built for the kings of Naples, and has the honour of being one of the largest built in Europe during the 18th century
Other-worldly: The Gallery Grande is part of the Palace of Venaria, located in Turin, Italy, built in the later part of the 17th century; the stark contrast and diffused light gives it a ghostly glowOther-worldly: The Gallery Grande is part of the Palace of Venaria, located in Turin, Italy, built in the later part of the 17th century; the stark contrast and diffused light gives it a ghostly glow
 
Trade paths: The General Archive of the Indies, in Seville, Spain, was built in the 1570s; a lone cannon lays on the floor of the arched libraryTrade paths: The General Archive of the Indies, in Seville, Spain, was built in the 1570s; a lone cannon lays on the floor of the arched library

Architectural Delights

Photos from the World Architecture Awards

Cloud House, Australia

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

iGuzzini Illuminazione Iberica Headquarters, Spain

Keppel Bay, Singapore

Busan Cinema Center, South Korea

Wuxi Grand Theatre, China

Soundforms, UK

Yurihonjo City Cultural Center, Japan