Thursday, 31 December 2009

Three Favorite Buildings

3. Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is one of the great iconic buildings of the 20th century, an image of great beauty that has become known throughout the world – a symbol for not only a city, but a whole country and continent..
In 1957, the project of designing the Sydney Opera House was awarded by an international jury to Danish architect Jorn Utzon, it marked a radically new approach to construction.
The construction started on 1959 and was inaugurated in 1973

    The Sydney Opera House constitutes a masterpiece of 20th century architecture. Its significance is based on its unparalleled design and construction; its exceptional engineering achievements and technological innovation and its position as a world-famous icon of architecture. It is a daring and visionary experiment that has had an enduring influence on the emerging architecture of the late 20th century. Utzon's original design concept and his unique approach to building gave impetus to a collective creativity of architects, engineers and builders. The design represents an extraordinary interpretation and response to the setting in Sydney Harbour. The Sydney Opera House is also of outstanding universal value for its achievements in structural engineering and building technology. The building is a great artistic monument and an icon, accessible to society at large.

In 2003 Jorn Utzon was awarded the Pritzker Prize, architecture's highest honour

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Three Favorite Buildings

2. The German Pavilion

The Barcelona Pavilion was designed by world-famous architect Mies van der Rohe as the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition.
It was an important building in the history of modern architecture known for its simple form and extravagant materials, such as marble, travertine as well as tinted glass of grey, green, white, as well as translucent glass, perform exclusively as spatial dividers.
The pavilion was going to be bare—no trade exhibits—just the structure, a single sculpture and purpose-designed furniture (the Barcelona Chair). This lack of accommodation enabled Mies to treat the Pavilion as a continuous space; blurring inside and outside.
Since the pavilion lacked a real exhibition space, the building itself was to become the exhibit. The pavilion was designed to "block" any passage through the site, rather, one would have to go through the building. Visitors would enter by going up a few stairs, and due to the slightly sloped site, would leave at ground level in the direction of the "Spanish Village". The visitors were not meant to be led in a straight line through the building, but to take continuous turnabouts. The walls not only created space, but also directed visitor's movements. This was achieved by wall surfaces being displaced against each other, running past each other, and creating a space that became narrower or wider.

Despite its apparently simple rectangular plan, there are almost no corners in the building, or anything that might suggest you are in a box. The generous canopy roof, walls that stop well short of abutting one another, and the floor-to-ceiling glazing break down the distinction between inside and outside. Even the doors are in the form of two halves of an all-glass wall, which rotate not about hinges at their edges, but about a pivot in the floor and ceiling a few inches from the edge: the result is that when opened through ninety degrees each door becomes just another freestanding, parallel glass plane in keeping with the other planes defining the spaces in the building.

The original 1929 pavilion building, despite its enormous influence on the emerging International Style of architecture, was demolished the year after the International Exhibition. However, thanks to black and white photos and original plans, a group of Spanish architects reconstructed the pavilion permanently between 1983 and 1986

The Pavilion was not only a pioneer for construction forms with a fresh, disciplined understanding of space, but also
for modeling new opportunities for an exciting association of free art and architecture.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Three Favorite Buildings

1. The Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is a 102-story skyscaper in New York City. Built in the midst of the Depression, it was, and still remains a testament to American fortitude and ingenuity.

The construction on the building itself started on March 17, 1931. It took 410 days to complete, a month and a half ahead of schedule (i.e. May 1st. 1931) and about $5 million under budget. At the time it was the largest commercial venture and investment ever undertaken The Empire Building cost $40,948,900.

The Empire State Building was the first building to have more than 100 floors. It has more than 70 elevators and there are 1,860 steps from street level to the 103rd floor. The building houses 1,000 businesses, , making the Empire State Building the second-largest single office complex in America, after The Pentagon. Its original 64 elevators are located in a central core; today, the Empire State Building has 73 elevators in all, including service elevators. It takes less than one minute by elevator to get to the 86th floor, where an observation deck is located. The exterior of the building is composed of more than 200,000 cubic feet of Indiana limestone panels and granite

The project involved 3,400 workers, mostly immigrants from Europe, along with hundreds of Mohawk iron workers, many from the Kahnawake reserve near Montreal. The labourers (sky boys as they were called), walked up and down the structure as it was put together. Their job was to fix the separate sections together, often using large nuts and bolts. The work was dangerous, although not one sky boy was killed during the construction.

    The longest world record held by the Empire State Building was for the tallest skyscraper (to structural height), which it held for 42 years until it was surpassed by the North Tower of the World Trade Centre in 1973. With the destruction of the World Trade Center in the September 11, 2001 attacks the Empire State Building again became the tallest building in New York City

    An international icon, it has been visited by more than 117 million people, who come to marvel at the 80-mile view into surronding states

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Supporting of Chimney and Removal of Chimney Breasts

These days central heating has replaced the need for fireplaces and the chimney breast, this is seen as wasted floor space in the room. Although a fireplace does provide a focal point in the room, the removal of the fireplace and the chimney can increase the size of the room
The service of a Structual Engineer is advised to determine and design suitable supports, safeguarding your property, and any neighbouring buildings from damage. Those designs should be submitted to your local council building control office for checking prior to any work commencing. We then worked to the Engineers designs, and the local building officer was invited to inspect the work before starting the project. The Building Control Office, upon satisfactory completion of the work, then issued a completion certificate which solicitors will need to have before any re-mortgage or sale is completed.

The chimney stack needs to be supported prior to removal of chimney breasts. In this instance we have used a flitch beam (Flitch beams are commnly used in loft conversions and or larger spans where solid timber is not long enough. They comprise a steel plate bolted between two solid tmber members)



The chimney is part of the structure of the house and its removal should be carefully considered before any work is carried out. Removal of these chimneys without providing suitable beams to support the structure could result in structual distress or damage or even collapse of the building

Now that the chimney was supported it was safe to properly dismantle the breast below (see before and after)

This and more projects can be viewed on our website:

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Designing Home Improvements For Your Bathroom

The bathroom has many purposes and should be one of the most important rooms on the list when considering a home improvement project.

The process of bathroom design and bathroom installation can involve complex planning and co-ordination. Amadi Construction can project manage all of your bathroom fitting, plumbing and tiling so as to minimise the distress and inconvenience that sometimes goes hand in hand with bathroom construction within the home.

Assessment and measurement of the space. Discuss design options with respect to layout, lighting, flooring, appliances, fittings and finishes. Secure plastic sheeting across doorways to screen out dust and noise spreading through other areas of the house. Dismantle any existing bathroom cabinets, plumbing, appliances, work tops, splashbacks, light fittings, finishes and floor coverings. Configure electrical and plumbing services as well as installation of eco-friendly fittings and systems such , solar hot water services, water-saving tapware, energy efficient lighting, and eco friendly finishes and flooring

                   Amadi Home Improvements is the company that's here to help

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Saving Energy, Saving Money

Home Improvements that can save you energy & money, check this out:

Cavity wall and loft insulation, although unseen, can save up to 1/3 of your heating costs. Although you may have loft insulation, if it was installed a number of years ago, it may well be of inadequate thickness (less than 100mm), and topping up to a minimum of 250mm is essential for real economy. Loft insulation should be installed which allows proper ventilation from outside with walkways to tanks and areas of the loft that need regular access.

Cavity wall insulation is an effective energy saving measure which is promoted by DEFRA as one of the most cost effective ways of improving energy efficiency in the home.