Utilizing the latest tech in 3D printing and Virtual Reality, a Romanian-born architect is changing New York’s landscape with the latest in innovative and sustainable building practices.
Romanian-born architect and designer, Ramona Albert, offers a unique blend of luxury and environmentally-conscious designs with her Brooklyn-based studio — Ramona Albert Architecture (RAARCH).
The studio, which launched in February, is grounded in over a decade of experience in designing and building in New York and abroad. Throughout her career, Albert has facilitated some of the most advanced building methods, including fabrication innovation and complex construction techniques.
Ramona Albert Architecture incorporates Albert’s extensive knowledge of sustainable building practices, materials and advanced manufacturing techniques, for example by using 3D printing technologies and Virtual Reality.
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Her approach combines the automation of construction, invention and implementation of new materials, with the advancement of building techniques.
These methodologies would help prevent disasters such as last week’s tragic Grenfell Tower fire that claimed the lives of some 79 residents, as the building was clad in a cheap, flammable material.
The Telegraph reported that “the material used in the cladding covering Grenfell was Reynobond PE – a cheaper, more flammable version of two available options.”
The legality of the cladding is still in dispute, with some experts claiming it had been banned while others arguing it was completely legal.
Whatever the case, the cladding material used in the Grenfell Tower was not environmentally-friendly, nor was it of the highest quality — something that Ramona Albert and her studio takes very seriously as Albert draws on her design expertise and careful attention to detail to create high-end buildings for the future.
Sustainable Building Practices
Albert believes that “architecture is truly defined through the quality of building,” and that in an urban context, “a building and a product each require the same quality of research and development and each is a strict product of collaboration. In each case, the attention and smart development of details allow for the possibility of great design.”
Like London, New York City is developing at a great rate; with an abundance of construction and new luxury towers throughout the city. In 2015, construction in New York City rose significantly, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
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According to the WSJ article, the US Census Bureau reported residential building permits for some 42,088 apartments and houses, exceeding annual levels experienced in the last 50 years. Amid a frenzy in construction residents have seen a rise in high-end suites; in the second half of the year, in Manhattan alone, 1,045 apartments over $3 million were sold, totaling some $6.5 billion.
“New York City is one of the capitals of luxury design, with a multitude of opportunities for innovation,” says Albert. “Using technology, we redefine luxury as something that embodies the social and environmental impact of a building.” “From sustainable luxury, to luxurious sustainability, these concepts are responses to external global pressures, but they are also a driver of creativity and innovation.”
Sustainability and environmental awareness has successfully made its way into many luxury industries, and Albert has set her sights on New York’s extensive luxury property market to ensure sustainability with a strong focus on solar power, green technologies and new materials, while combining traditional and high-tech building techniques such as robotic fabrication.
For example, Albert’s award-winning Madaras Chapel focuses on sustainability with innovation of the traditional building techniques, such as robotic fabrication. Her solar skin and sungames projects look to utilize solar energy to power entire buildings. A new project, for a townhouse in Brooklyn, will be the first of its kind for an off-the-grid luxury residence.
The Ramona Albert Architecture studio was created out of a desire to create a better built environment through an understanding of materiality, details and the quality of physical experiences. Rooted in a deep understanding of construction methodologies, fabrication and design, the studio focuses on architecture that is driven by the beauty of building and quality.