Category: Inspiration

What is BIM? And why do we use it?

  Omrania has integrated Building Information Modeling (BIM) into our practice to offer clients better designed, optimized buildings and a more efficient construction process.   What is BIM? At Omrania, we understand the benefits and challenges of BIM not only from our own perspective, but that of the client, developer, and contractor. Building Information Modeling,…

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Vernacular Architecture of Makkah

  This post is one in a series on the vernacular architecture of Saudi Arabia’s Western Region, known as the Hejaz, which includes the important pilgrimage towns of Makkah and Madinah as well as the economically important city of Jeddah.   The plan and character of the Holy City of Makkah (Mecca) was shaped by…

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How Mass Timber Is Making Wood Construction Viable Again

. Thanks to new innovations in wood construction, one of the oldest building materials may become the building material of the future. “Mass timber” products such as glued laminated timber and cross-laminated timber are being used for increasingly large structures. They offer environmental and cost benefits — and they don’t burn like ordinary wood.   Although…

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Water Management: How the Ancient Nabataeans Built a Desert Paradise

. The 2,000-year-old city of Petra, Jordan, known for the magnificent temples carved into its red sandstone cliffs, is also home to an incredible feat of hydraulic engineering. An extensive water supply system turned this ancient city into a man-made oasis supporting a substantial population.   At its peak, Petra was the thriving capital of…

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A Salute to Fumihiko Maki at 90 Years Old

. The esteemed Japanese architect continues to produce warmly modern buildings that blur influences from the East and West. His thoroughly modern design sensibility is tempered by a regard for the human scale, as seen in the traditional architecture of his home country.   Fumihiko Maki was born in Tokyo in 1938. He experienced the…

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Book Review: Construction Matters

. Construction Mattersproposes that architects consciously think about spatial design as an expression of technological innovation.   The thesis of Construction Mattersis clearly established by its openings sentence. “The materials of construction establish the essential shape and character of architectural space.” Author Georg Windeck suggests that innovations related to four elemental materials — brick, concrete,…

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Muqarnas: Geometric Ornament in the Service of Dome Design

  The muqarnas, rooted in function, became a powerful sculptural element in Islamic architecture, yielding beautifully intricate compositions of solid and void. Ancient and medieval craftsmen learned to achieve breathtaking results by applying three-dimensional geometric patterns to the underside of domes, half-domes, and vaults.   At first glance, it seems that the muqarnas could almost…

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How Singapore Designs and Builds a “Smart City and Nation”

. In this TEDx talk, Singapore’s Housing and Development Board CEO, Dr. Cheong Koon Hean, outlines how new technologies help architects and planners to increase quality of life while simultaneously adapting to a growing population.     The island nation of Singapore is just one example of a modern city that can benefit from smarter…

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Organic Architecture

. The integration of architecture, nature, and technology defines the work of Frank Lloyd Wright.   In his 1910 essay “Organic Architecture,” Frank Lloyd Wright wrote, “It is quite impossible to consider the building as one thing, its furnishings another and its setting and environment still another.” This insistence on integrating architecture with its environment…

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Things the Young Architect Needs to Know but Didn’t Learn in School

    The transition from architectural school to the workforce can be jarring for many architects who aren’t trained to balance design aspirations with practical considerations. By Mahmoud Abughazal, LEED AP. Head of Architecture and Interior Design   A typical architectural student spends five years or more learning how to create design concepts with the…

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Water Management: Why the Alhambra Palace Was Ahead of its Time

  On a hill overlooking Granada, Spain is one of the most celebrated works of medieval Islamic architecture, and perhaps the only surviving site that displays the splendor of the last Islamic rule of Spain. Its history is complex and its functions diverse, but one thing is for certain: it is an architectural and engineering…

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“The Future of Making Buildings”: An Insider’s View

  Architect, educator and former Autodesk VP Phil Bernstein talks about how the rise of BIM technology is changing the nature of architecture.   By now most architects know what Building Information Modeling (BIM) is all about, but few understand its implications and potential better than Phil Bernstein, an architect, technologist and educator who helped…

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