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aterials for Architecture – the industry’s event dedicated to celebrating the innovative application of materials in the design of buildings – presents its second edition later this month in London. The conference and exhibition brings together companies who are putting the development of materials for construction at the forefront, with the designers of projects, in order to discover new, effective thinking.

Architects are above all, interested in the holistic effect of their buildings, not only on the spaces around them, but on their users, from the tactile look and feel of a wall to the way that natural materials can improve the health of an interior. This is why an event which focuses on the distinctive properties of materials themselves, in conjunction with design approaches, has been well-received.

As well as reiterating the case for established materials such as aluminium, concrete and timber in new buildings, delegates will also hear from practices and manufacturers at the cutting edge of thinking which is harnessing innovation in order to meet challenges.

A key example is how the Carbon Free Group is working with Grimshaw and SAM Architects to deliver a monolithic, modular and sustainable alternative to housing made from glass composite panels. Neven Sidor from Grimshaw and Anthony Morgan of the Carbon Free Group will be providing insights into how their collaboration is producing results on the ground.

Another highlight will be Nick Ling, Technical Design Lead at Heatherwick Studio, a firm which exemplifies innovation with materials in design. This was embodied in recent projects such as Zeitz MOCAA gallery/Royal Portfolio Hotel project in Cape Town (reported on in ADF in October 2017), which carved out extraordinary interior spaces from the concrete material of existing grain silos. The practice’s many other projects often couple a strongly artistic approach with an embracing of innovation, which makes Ling a great choice to open the event.

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Other sessions focusing on innovative materials approaches include a look at phase change and auxetic materials – materials whose structure fundamentally changes in use – low carbon concrete, and using timber to construct supertall buildings.

Being held at the ILEC Conference Centre on 25 and 26 April, Materials for Architecture will provide a rich mix for architects wanting to learn something new as well as reconnect with peers and manufacturers. There’s a full preview on page 43 – I look forward to seeing you at the event!

James Parker Editor


ON THE COVER... Bloomberg’s new European headquarters in London is a groundbreaking building with a modest yet handsome skin, and some very exciting interiors.


How the world’s most sustainable office building was designed by Foster + Partners to be both a good neighbour and a box of surprises

BANG BANG ORIENTAL, COLINDALE A new London food hall offered a range of tantalising design challenges

For the full report on this project, go to page 26. Cover Image © James Newton



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