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Valletta City Gate in Malta, by Renzo Piano Building Workshop

Exploring texture in architectural design

04. 07. 16   :   The Epistle

“We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us.”
–– Winston Churchill ––

As advancements in engineering lead to ever taller, more innovative state-of-the-art buildings, our cities’ skylines are changing forever. Thoughts of ‘traditional’ skyscrapers conjure up images of smooth, streamlined expanses of steel and glass – but many contemporary landmark buildings shun such stereotypes, instead taking on more distinctive forms, often rooted in symbolism. Optical textures and patterns abound, with the interplay of different materials providing visual variety and contrast that changes with the light and invites the viewer to imagine how their surfaces feel to the touch.

London Aquatics Centre exterior
London Aquatics Centre. Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects. Photo: © Hufton + Crow
Valletta City Gate in Malta, by Renzo Piano Building Workshop
La Valletta City Gate, Malta. Architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop Architects. Photo: © Michel Denancé
Close-up detail of La Valletta City Gate
La Valletta City Gate (as above). Photo: © Michel Denancé
The Index Tower in Dubai. Architect: Foster + Partners. Photo: © Nigel Young/Foster + Partners
The Index Tower in Dubai. Architect: Foster + Partners. Photo: © Nigel Young/Foster + Partners
The Index Tower, Dubai
The Index Tower (as above). Photo: © Nigel Young/Foster + Partners
Guangzhou opera house, lit up at night
Guangzhou Opera House. Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects. Photo: © Hufton + Crow
Dancing Dragons towers - a conceptual project with glass panels that look like scales
Dancing Dragons – a conceptual project (not under construction). Architect: Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. Photo: © Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
A close-up of the glass 'scales' that cover the Dancing Dragons concept
Dancing Dragons (as above). Photo: © Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
Exterior of Museo Soumaya in Mexico City
Museo Soumaya, Mexico City. Architect: Fernando Romero. Photo: Olga Zamudio / CC BY
Close-up detail of exterior of Museo Soumaya
Museo Soumaya (as above). Photo: Olga Zamudio / CC BY
Elbphilharmonie building in Hamburg
Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg (due to open in Jan 2017). Architect: Herzog & de Meuron. Photo: © Maxim Schulz
Render of new US embassy currently being built in Nine Elms
New US Embassy (due to be completed in 2017). Architect: KieranTimberlake Architects. Photo: © KieranTimberlake
Wanjing SOHO, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects
Wanjing SOHO, winner of the Emporis Skyscraper Award 2014. Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects. Photo: © Jerry Yin
The 'sails' of the Fondation Louis Vuitton, designed by Frank Gehry
La Fondation Louis Vuitton. Architect: Frank Gehry. Photo: © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Iwan Baan