Take a look at some of the world's latest innovations in architecture and design.


tallest-timber-tower-tokyo-japan-dezeen-hero-852x480.jpg Image: Sumitomo Forestry

Japanese timber company Sumitomo Forestry, collaborating with Nikken Sekkei, has unveiled plans for the world’s tallest timber building to be built in Tokyo.

"The planned structure is a hybrid wood and steel structure made from 90 percent wooden materials. It will use a braced tube structure in which steel frame vibration control braces are positioned inside a column and beam structure, made from a combination of wood and steel. The interior structure will be made completely of wood, producing a calm space that exudes the warmth and gentleness of wood.” – Sumitomo Forestry 


Zaatari_school_19.jpgImage: EAHR

Emergency Architecture & Human Rights (EAHR) has been building schools for Syrian and Jordanian children in Za’atari village, located near the Syrian border.

“The construction is inspired by the Great Mosque of Djenne, traditional earth architecture from Mali and vernacular beehive house structures of Syria originating from Aleppo and Homs, where many of the refugees come from.

"Due to the limited choice of building methods and materials, and the harsh environment characterised by hot summers and cold winters, the beehive style is a viable option for a school construction. This kind of building technique does not require high-tensile-strength reinforcements, and can be built quickly with unskilled labour, performing better than tents, cement blocks and corrugated metal sheets in terms of thermal insulation.” – EAHR 

The project won the top prize at the XX Architecture Urbanism Biennial in Chile, as well as Small Structure Building of the Year from ArchDaily. 


Energy-positiveImage: Snøhetta

Norwegian design firm Snøhetta has revealed plans for ‘Svart’, the world’s first energy positive hotel, which will be situated just above the Arctic Circle. The building will not only reduce its yearly consumption by 85 percent compared to a standard hotel, but it will also be producing its own energy through Norwegian solar panels produced with clean hydro energy.

“The architects have conducted extensive mapping of how solar radiation behaves in relation to mountainous context throughout the year to optimise the harvest of energy. The result of the study has been an important premise for the circular design of the hotel, and hotel rooms, restaurants and terraces are strategically placed to exploit the Sun’s energy throughout the day and seasons.

“Secluded terraces provide a shadow play in the façade of the hotel while also ensuring privacy. The façades protect against insolation from the sun in the summer when the sun is high in the sky, removing the need for artificial cooling. During the winter months, when the sun is low in the sky, the large windows of the façade allow for a maximum of insolation to exploit the Sun’s natural thermal energy. Materials with low embodied energy have been used [throughout the design].” – Snøhetta