Punt Mobles: Great Furniture made in Valencia

Today we would like to introduce you to Punt Mobles, a renown company from Valencia that offers high quality contemporary furniture.

A year and a half ago, thanks to some friend from Oliva, I had the good fortune of meeting  Vicent Martínez . Vicent Martínez is the founder of Punt Mobles and the author of the furniture design icon "La Literatura", a double shelf unit on wheels.

Shelf "La Literatura" by Punt Mobles

Shelf details "La Literatura" by Punt Mobles

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2014 - London

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion by Smiljan Radić

I have been visiting the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion every summer since 2007. This year is the 14th year that a renown architect that hasn't built yet a building in the UK is commissioned to design a temporary pavilion in Hyde Park, next to the Serpentine Gallery. 

This year's pavilion will be open until the 19th October. If you haven't visited it yet and would like to see it, I would recommend you to go before the 25th August so you can enjoy the Marina Abramovic performance for the same price. 

Picture by @alambiLAB

Tips and ideas for bathrooms: storage space

The bathroom is becoming on of the areas of the house where people exhibits more design. I think this may be influenced by the importance that toilets are getting in bars and restaurants. I don't know about you, but if I eat in a good restaurant, I will  go and check out the toilets as most of the time good food means good toilets, even if that may sound crazy,...

Storage is an increasingly important part of our homes and most of the time we are lacking space to store all of our belongings. 

Which are the things that we want to store in our bathrooms? Which are the things that we want to display and use as decorative elements in our bathroom and which are the things that we want to hide? These are questions that we may ask to ourselves in order to make sure that the design of our bathroom will take into account our requirements. 

In order to display some things and hide others, we need furniture with doors and shelves to display decorative elements such as plants or bath salts that will give a bit of color to the space.

In order to plan for storage space in our bathroom we have several options that we will show you below:
  • Mirrors as a storage space
Delos from Duravit

Decorative tiles: cement tiles and other options

With this post we want to open a new section of the blog where we will be giving you some tips and ideas for your projects.

Today we will talk about decorative tiles: an old fashion that is coming back. We can find this type of tiles at different prices and used in different ways giving a touch of colour to our homes.

  • Cement Tiles

In this project Foreign Bear Studio uses hydraulic cement tiles to mark out spaces. On the left image the tiles are defining a semi-exterior space connected to the courtyard and on the right image the tiles mark out the dinning area like a rug would do.

Cement tiles used by Foreign Bear Studio 

In both cases the cement tiles are combined with concrete flooring.

Mosaic del Sur not only offers a great variety of patterns but they also offer the possibility to design your own mosaics and they will manufacture them in 3 to 5 weeks. These tiles are made in Spain, a country with long tradition in manufacturing this type of tiles. 

U House

We can now see the skeleton of Casa U

Picture by @alambiLAB

U House

The construction of  Casa U continues at a good pace.

Picture by @alambiLAB

In this picture you can see the garage which is almost finished and how the foundations are laid for the rest of the house.

Extension of the Cultural Centre in Pedreguer

A while ago we announced that alambiLAB would be the architectural practice to design the new extension of the Cultural Centre in Pedreguer.

Today we would like to show you and image that suggests how this extension is going to be.

Extension of the Cultural Centre in Pedreguer. Image from @alambiLAB

This is a humble project that will not only provide the Cultural Centre with an extra classroom and some storage space but it will create a small public space to carry out some of the activities of the Cultural Centre. We are providing the town with a different classroom that will allow the contact with the outdoors.

The storage area will have a U-glass cladding that will work as a lantern and will light up the square at night.

With the new extension and public space we hope to reinvigorate this forgotten space in town.

We hope you like it! 

U House

We are on-site!
We have now started the construction of the U House in Beniarbeig (La Marina Alta)

Picture by @alambiLAB

Grand Designs Live, London

Yesterday, taking advantage of the bank holiday, we went to Grand Designs Live in London. The Exhibition will be on until the 11th of May so if you'd like to visit it, there is still time to go.

I am sure that most of you will be familiar with the Grand Designs Show from Channel 4 presented by Kevin McCloud. For those who don't know what I am talking about, Grand Designs is a TV series, first aired in 1999, that features unusual and often elaborate contemporary architectural homebuilding projects.

The Exhibition is held at ExCel London  and is organized in 7 themes (each one of them represented by a different colour carpet): Interiors, Build, Bathrooms and Kitchens, Gardens, Technology and Village.
Map of Grand Designs Live London 2014
This show is mainly addressed to people that is looking to build or to renovate a house but it is always useful for an architect to have a look at what is shown at these places.

Our favourite parts of the exhibition where the areas were some small projects were showcased. 
In the Village area you could visit different small houses: one made of straw, one made of hexagonal rooms that could be added up, a compact house in 12 sqm, a dynamic house, etc,... Some of them were for sale at the end of the exhibition but I have to say that I was very disappointed by the finishes of most of these prototypes. 

Kitchen at the Hivehaus

Shigeru Ban (or the Architect that builds with paper) wins Pritzker Prize 20014

Shigeru Ban
picture extracted from Dezeen
This morning I've had a very nice surprise when I saw that the the Japanese Architect Shigeru Ban has been awarded the Pritzker Prize, the most important Architecture Award.

Shigeru Ban is an architect that I've admired since I discovered his work back in 2002 when I was studying my second year at the architecture school.

What it surprised me the most was the use of paper and cardboard as a construction material and his interest in volunteering by designing shelters to help people that had been hit by natural catastrophes and therefore, lost their homes.

His first designs for paper-tube structures were used to provide temporary homes for the refugees after the Kobe earthquake in 1995.

Paper Log Houses. Kobe, Japó. 1995

Sketch 1: Jorge Oteiza Museum. Alzuza, Navarra.

Sketch 1: Jorge Oteiza Museum. Alzuza, Navarra.

With this post we would like to start a new section in our blog where we will be posting different sketches that we've been doing for years.

Edifici de la Fundació Oteiza per @alambiLAB

This is a drawing that I made when I visited the Oteiza Museum with some friends from University.
It was a very hectic 24 hours return trip by bus from Barcelona where we spent the night in the bus and woke up in the cold Pamplona. The building designed by the architect Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza was completely surrounded by snow. As you can imagine, this was a very very quick sketch because it was freezing outside and our hands could not cope with so much cold,...

Architecture, Design and Feng Shui

Today, in alambiLAB Architects, we have started a Feng Shui course.

Some of you may already know what the Feng Shui is and in fact there are many definitions out there. Some define it as the ancient art that uses the available elements in our surroundings to make the energies of the planet more favourable to us. Some others define it as the philosophy that analyses our dialogue with the surrounding environment, considering this a reflection of our soul.

I will use the occidental definition of Feng Shui which I think it is easier to understand for us:
"The Feng Shui is the Chinese art of designing interior and exterior spaces harmonizing the human existence with the surrounding environment"

We could say that the Feng Shui's objective is to identify and interact with the surrounding environment in order to live harmoniously with it.

Image from salikatdesign

The architects work with spaces and spaces are surrounded by different sort of environments, sometimes more natural, sometimes more urban. Is that why we think that learning about this Asian art that relates spaces with landscape in order to create habitable spaces that are in harmony with our surroundings it is something that interests us.

Trips & Architecture: The Architecture of Berlin and the surroundings.

In this post I would like to show you some images from the buildings I visited when I went to Berlin. Most of the pictures were taken in September 2004 and February 2006.

My intention is to provide you with a mini-guide to the modern architecture of Berlin.

Berlin Philharmonic @alambiLAB 2006

Berlin National Library @alambiLAB 2004

AlambiLAB architects website is now launched!

With this post we would like to invite you all to visit our new website www.en.alambilab.com.
AlambiLAB architects has been working hard these last weeks in order to launch the website on the 25th February to celebrate Enric Miralles birthday.

We have created the website in three languages (English, Spanish and Catalan) so we can communicate with all of you.

We hope to be adding new projects soon!
And we wish you will enjoy browsing through it!

You can click Our Website in the bar above and you will be directed to it.

How @alambiLAB #website looks

We always welcome suggestions and comments to help us improve.
Thank you!

I Bioconstruction Week in Xaló

Today is starting in Xaló (La Marina Alta) the First Bioconstruction Week that has been organised by "el Mercat de la Terra".

Thursday 30: Lectures (19-21h), at the City Hall.
Friday 31: Lecture and debate (19-21h), Toni Marín (Ecohabitat's director) he will be talking about the bioconstruction history and principles. at the City Hall.
Dissabte 1: Exhibition about techniques, systems and bioconstruction materials in 5 different places: straw, canes, insulation systems, recycling,...

If you are interested in biocontruction and sustainable architecture, you can't miss it?

I Bioconstruction Week in Xaló (Programme)

U-Glass in architecture

What is U-glass?

U-glass can also be called profiled glass and it is a channel-shaped glass element with textured surfaces that are produced by casting

U-glass was established in the 1980s. It can be used internally and externally and can be installed horizontally or vertically.

Architects like Steven Hall or Mansilla y Tuñon have been using it for many years with great results. 

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
by Steven Hall

Do I need planning permission? -in the UK-

If you are planning on carrying on some construction work in your house and you are not sure whether you will need to ask for Planning Permition or Building Regulations Approval you should go to the Planning Portal  for the right guidance.

There you will find an interactive drawing of a house and one of a terraced house and you will get the information that you need by clicking on the different elements of the house.

Image extracted from the Planning Portal

Building regulations approval

You usually need building regulations approval if you:
  • put up a new building
  • extend or alter an existing building
  • convert the loft space
  • replace your windows
  • install services or fittings in a building including the following:
    • washing and sanitary facilities
    • hot water cylinders and foul water and rainwater drainage
    • replacement windows
    • any fuel burning appliances
    • some electrical work.
For all of the above work you will need to apply for building regulations. See below to select either the:

West Oxfordshire Design Guide

This is the current Design Guide for West Oxfordshire, a material consideration in planning decisions.

West Oxfordshire is now looking to update the Design Guide and they are happy to receive comments and suggestions before the 28th February. If you would like to have a say you will find all the details here.

And if you are planning a new build or an extension and you would like to contact us, please write to us at alambilab@gmail.com

The alambiLAB architectural studio will design the new extension for the Cultural Centre of Pedreguer

Extension of the Cultural Centre in Pedreguer

alambiLAB is really proud to announce that we will be designing the extension for the Cultural Centre of Pedreguer.

The project will have one storey and it will be located at the rear of the existing building. The extension will include an area dedicated to classrooms as well as some storage space much needed in the building.

Disa lamp by J.A. Coderch

This is a great lamp that would suit any living space of a contemporary house. Warm light and curved lines that would enhance the interior space of modern architecture.

Josep Antoni Coderch i de Sentmenat

(Barcelona, 26 November 1913 in - Barcelona, 6 November 1984) was one of the most important post-World War II Catalan architects.
In 1932 Coderch started studying architecture at the Barcelona School of Architecture, which he graduated in 1940. He started his office with Manual Valls in 1942. After joining the CIAM, he became a member of Team 10 in 1960.He showed great interest in the way light defines spaces and gives special qualities to architecture. 

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