Astral Tower is the highest building in Varna, Bulgaria, reaching up to 140m. The location of the building lot is chosen based on a thorough urban planning survey and solar analysis. Locked between two main boulevards of the city, Astral Tower is within walking distance of public and institutional buildings, as well as the historical centre.

With social distancing still vitally important in the fight against COVID-19, open-plan offices have never been a scarier place to work but return we must – for our mental health as much as our livelihoods, but could this be actually adding to our stress? Soundtect investigates.

Following the recent publication of its white paper on unitised facade builds, Sapphire Balconies examines this growing trend and the technical considerations to bear in mind when designing this type of external building envelope with balconies.

Here, Jackie Biswell, Managing Director of Apex Roofing, explores the role these vocational qualifications will play in construction recovery post-COVID and plugging the skills gap that has plagued the industry for years.

Architects and interior designers are always looking for novel approaches to create inviting spaces. Amongst these approaches, we are seeing an increase in the use of metal meshes both from the point of view that they are generally made from recycled material in the case of aluminium and steel – but also the style and look of them has that upcycled feel that we are all trying to be more conscious of, writes Anthony Millington, Business Development Manager at Amron Architectural.

Richard Besant talks us through the important revisions to the European standard for powder coating and outlines further measures to ensure the highest possible performance of your powder-coated finish.

Under the £2bn Green Homes Grant scheme, homeowners and landlords in England are able to apply for vouchers worth up to two thirds the cost of upgrading the energy efficiency of their home – maximised at £5000. While this worthwhile and essential scheme is to be welcomed, it also generates a large number of concerns.

Designers at the London studio of Perkins&Will have created an innovative, co-living community concept that responds to the housing crisis affecting major cities worldwide, placing the London team’s submission as the winner of an international, firm-wide competition held each year.

Located in the heart of Hong Kong’s central business district, the 36-storey Murray Road project for Henderson Land replaces a multi-storey car park to create an urban oasis adjacent to Chater Garden, within a short walking distance to both Central and Admiralty MTR metro stations.

This month’s exclusive Q&A profiles Hong Kong-based Elena Galli Giallini – the Architect responsible for the elegant design of Shanghai’s Grand Gateway 66 north building, which featured in our July issue. Here, we find out more about Elena’s portfolio and architectural ethos.

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