Features

This is springtime. Historically, it is also the time to experience the annual Surface Design Show held annually in London. Sadly, that was not to be because of its COVID cancellation until February next year. Happily, the Surface Design Awards themselves were unaffected and this year attracted 113 entries from 18 different counties. The three main winners are illustrated here and detailed at the end.

Awareness of mental and physical wellbeing has never been greater, yet many of us are spending more time than ever online – and it’s taking its toll. Here, Sophie Weston, Channel Marketing Manager at Geberit, examines the role that the bathroom has to play in helping us escape from our ‘always-on’ world and examines the importance of considering each of our senses in creating the perfect sanctuary.

‘Pinghe Bibliotheater’ is the core of OPEN Architecture’s latest project. A library, theatre and a black box interlock together like a Chinese puzzle to form this characteristic building that some call ‘the blue whale’, while others see it as an ocean liner. The unique form of the building and the free-flowing spaces not only cultivate students’ interests in reading and performing, but also encourage their imagination to roam freely in the ocean of knowledge.

This month, we sit down with Henry Pescod, Project Director at Stow Projects, to find out more about Stow-Away, a completely recyclable eco apart-hotel in London’s South Bank that’s made out of repurposed shipping containers.

Cynthia Leung, Design Manager at Canary Wharf Contractors, is a qualified Architect. After working in a practice for a number of years and keen to gain exposure in the front end of the industry in relation to construction and property development, she moved to Canary Wharf Contractors to build upon her experience. Here, Cynthia talks to FC&A about her professional experience.

With water usage on the rise across the nation and architects and specifiers striving to design and produce more water-efficient projects, Methven’s CEO, Martin Walker, talks through some new bathroom technologies that are helping today’s building and architectural professionals to achieve water efficiency targets.

Modern methods of construction (MMC) represents the future of the industry and has never been more vital – COVID-19 has impacted the industry and its prospects, while productivity, lagging before the pandemic, must be ramped up. The UK is also targeting ambitious sustainability targets, with construction playing a key role in driving emissions down. MMC is key to both our post-pandemic recovery and success in meeting sustainability goals, explains Mark Lowry, CEO at The McAvoy Group.

Failing to undertake proper subfloor preparation before the application of new floorcoverings can result in an unsightly finish or even complete floor failure, leading to costly remedial work. Fortunately, this can be avoided by adhering to just a few basic principles of subfloor preparation, including the need to guard against excess subfloor moisture – the leading cause of subfloor failure. Stephen Boulton, Technical Service Manager at leading manufacturer of subfloor preparation products, F. Ball and Co., goes through these processes.

Brian G Newell, Founder and CEO of cladding specialist, Shackerley, discusses the need for cladding specification decisions to be made based on a full understanding of all safety criteria, rather than ticking a box for compliance.

Staircases are one of the most vital transition elements in architecture; they are designed to connect two spaces, whether it is interior to exterior or different internal levels. The positioning of a staircase in a multi-level building will always be vital, but now it is just as essential to create a design visual and consider the staircase as a main feature. Using metal mesh for the balustrades or panel railings on the staircase is not only a great option for safety but also pushes the design boundaries, writes Anthony Millington, Business Development Manager at Amron Architectural.

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Future Constructor & Architect is a specification platform for architects and building contractors, which focuses on top-end domestic and commercial developments.

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