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April 08 - Blog Articles - Page 2 Print E-mail
Monday, 31 March 2008 19:00

April 28th, 2008

Torture Space: Architecture in Black
Bryan Finoki in Subtopia
Well, no better way to measure secret space then through first hand account, right? These renderings were based on drawings by a Yemeni man, Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah, a former ghost detainee in the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program for a nightmarish19 months. His story is grim, to say the least – difficult to even read. But who knows, maybe even more common than we know. In fact, I think the whole rendition universe has got to be one of the most unfathomable realities ever to stalk the planet – it is impossible for me to even reason. Anyone who has been following details of the whole thing probably knows his story by now.

Rem Koolhaas’s Ras al Khaimah Convention and Exhibition Centre
admin in mirage.studio.7
Known as the Disneyland of architecture, Dubai has lost it all, to quote Tropolism: "Koolhaas and OMA have officially lost their marbles", a rather extraordinary big marble. Taken from George Lucas’s Rem Koolhaas’s drawing board, the Death Star like 44-story sphere shaped building appears to be floating on the water is the proposed Ras al Khaimah Convention and Exhibition Centre in the UAE, news had it that the project was shelfed due to some unknown reasons. Just like every large scale building in dubai, it holds a convention centre, hotel rooms, apartments, offices, retail space, and a man made oasis.

The Most Sustainable Future Community in the US
Janel Sterbentz in Green Options
Treasure Island is a 400 acre island built from fill dredged from the bay for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition. It is connected to land by the Bay Bridge on both sides leading from San Francisco to Oakland. Loosing money due to the depression and WWII, it was converted into a naval base in 1940. In 1996 it was decommissioned and opened to public control. Today San Francisco’s Department of the Environment is transforming it into the most sustainable community in the US by 2020. The streets are going to be reoriented at an angle to maximize solar and minimize wind. It will include 6,000 units of high-density housing, without any single detached residences. ...

Los Angeles Passes Ambitious Green Building Law
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
The past month has seen shock waves resonating throughout the world of sustainable architecture with two monumental reports on green building backed by some serious changes in public policy. First, the CEC released “Green Building in North America: Opportunities and Challenges”, which lauded sustainable buildings as the quickest, cheapest, and most substantive way to cut down on North American greenhouse gas emissions. ...

 Little Bit Ombre...
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Martha Stewart might be a little bit behind the curve since the ombre (shaded fabric) trend has been with us for more than a few nanoseconds already this year, but if you're not sick of skirts, dresses, and shoes that look like they've been dipped into an ink bottle, here are some crafty projects for your home with that same theme. While this shot here it is just a little too blue and depressing for our taste, we did like the simplicity of dyed linen panels hanging on a wall in another picture on this page. Go take a look, you know you want to. (Thank you, Craftzine.com, for the heads-up.)

AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Building Projects of 2008
Ali Kriscenski in Inhabitat
Every year we look forward to the American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment’s (AIA/COTE) top picks for the best green building projects of the year. This year’s selections are a showcase of sustainable design approaches that balance functional aesthetics with environmental consciousness. Each winning design has been evaluated under a comprehensive list of measures from community connectivity, to energy efficiency, to longevity of purpose. Those that have risen to the top of the AIA/COTE list for 2008 are examples of successful programs that, through extensive collaboration, have achieved low-impact structures that fuse architectural excellence with environmental stewardship.

Energy efficiency and Renewable Energy
Young in Architecture
U.S. Department of Energy had a website of 'Energy efficiency and renewable Energy' as topic, providing tools, programs, systems, components and studies in related of building an energy saving environment. A very useful website to understands more of Eco-friendly buildings and environments. There are tools for analysis for energy simulation, inclusive of free sketchup energy design plugin. "The Energy Design Plugin is a free plugin for the Google SketchUp 3D drawing program. The plugin makes it easy to create and edit the building geometry in your EnergyPlus input files. The plugin also allows you to launch EnergyPlus simulations and view the results without leaving SketchUp"[1] to find out more...

April 26th and 27th, 2008

Green Isn't the Only Color Driving This Innovative Tower Design in Sydney [S2]
Preston D K in [jetson.green]
Soon there could be a new, sustainable tower rising in the Sydney skyline at 8 Chifley Square.  Subject to council approval, the colorful building would seek both a six-star Green Star and five-star ABGR rating, the highest level of certification available under both systems.  With design like that, it won't surprise many that 8 Chifley is expected to use 50% less energy than a comparable Sydney CBD building. In addition, other green design features include a tri-generation system for onsite electricity generation, architectural sun shading, blackwater treatment and water recycling systems, and sub-floor chilled air conditioning.

LEAF Awards
Design Build Network
ViB Events is delighted to announce the return of the 5th annual LEAF Awards to central London in October 2008. Year on year the LEAF Awards recognises, encourages and rewards excellence in architecture and design. With new award categories and more than 250 key industry figures lined up to attend, the LEAF Awards 2008 is set to be one of the most influential architectural and design events on this year's calendar. Whether your project is a new building or has yet to be completed, you will be eligible to enter. LEAF awards are open to all companies, individuals and technologies that have made an outstanding contribution to international architecture. Winning a LEAF award or appearing in the shortlist can set your firm apart from the rest, giving the featured project both credibility and publicity.

City as "Family Portrait"
Chris in Brand Avenue
TED ("Technology, Environment, Design") is a yearly exchange of ideas from influential thinkers and doers in many fields, and many participants' talks are available online, on TED's excellent website. One of the more germane to this site is a presentation by Jaime Lerner, architect, planner, and well-known former mayor of Curitiba, Brazil, touted as "the most innovative city in the world." One of the more interesting points that Lerner makes in his presentation are that of the "metronization" of the Curitiba bus system; that is, the establishment of stations that are more akin to subway stations in their design and form, but serve the city's vaunted bus rapid transit (BRT) system instead. For their part, the buses also act more like trains, serving a greater capacity with increased length and larger door openings.

Absolut Mexico!
Bryan Finoki in Subtopia
[Image: Meant to post this earlier in the month when I came across it; a pretty ballsy add by Absolut Vodka that ran in Mexico. I guess it caused quite a stir from the American consumer market though (as if Absolut were trying to inspire some vodka-infused borracho 'reconquista' of the Southwest -- what a joke). So, it was pulled. Too bad. With all the border security madness going on I like the timing. Just shows how paranoid Americans can be. Unfortunate that Absolut caved in. The ad used a map of the border as it existed before the Mexican-American War of 1848. The whole thing actually speaks to me about the U.S.'s fondness for forgetting history, and through some good old fashioned alcoholic labeling, nonetheless. I don't know, there's some drunken historic amnesiac message in a bottle there to decode.]

Four from Artropolis 2008
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Artropolis is on the scale of the kind of things Chicago used to do just to prove it could. The art show, which closes on Monday, takes up more than half a million square feet in the gigantic Merchandise Mart, and includes thousands of works from thousands of artists from all over globe, in no fewer than five different shows, from insider artists, to outsiders, to the undiscovered, and the antique. You could camp out at the Mart for every one of the 28 hours the show is open and still not do it justice. (But you wouldn't starve - there's a wide selection of often high-end food and drink.)

Sally Kitt Chappell reads from Chicago's Urban Nature (twice) on Wednesday
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
In what will undoubtedly be the last late listing to the April calendar of architectural events, author Sally Kitt Chappell will read from her book, Chicago’s Urban Nature: A Guide to the City’s Architecture and Landscape, twice, this coming Wednesday, April 30th. The first event will be at 12:00 P.M. in the Millennium Room of the Chicago Cultural Center, the second at Access Living's award-winning new headquarters at 115 West Chicago, designed by LCM Architects. Chappell's book provides an "illustrated guide to Chicago's stunning blend of nature and architecture. At the heart of the city's urban concept is the idea of connection, bringing buildings and landscapes, culture and nature, commerce and leisure into an energetic harmony. Packed with maps and recommended tours, and bursting with splendid photos, this is an essential guidebook for day-trippers, lifelong Chicago residents, and professionals in landscape architecture, urbanism, and design."

AE4: Vertical Garden
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
The seemingly impossible vertical gardens -- vegetation growing on soil-less vertical surfaces -- that are finding popularity in the ever-more-green-minded media and public are the almost single-handed product of one person: Patrick Blanc. Contributing to the architecture of many high-profile architects and their commissions, and the author of a forthcoming book on the subject, it's hard to deny the appeal of vegetation appearing to take over an architect's creation, something that might have only seemed possible with Photoshop until very recently. The Musée du quai Branly in Paris, France by Jean Nouvel is one of Blanc's most well-known installations, overshadowing the architect's formal bravado on the museum's other faces. It makes the relationship between old and new striking, even though Nouvel picks up on the regular openings of the neighbor. It seems to indicate that now real vegetation is architectural ornament, where the old building only represented nature in the engaged Corinthian capitals.

Our city needs a booster shot of imagination
The Globe and Mail - Lisa Rochon Columns
OLD CITY HALL: BECOMING THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE CREATIVE CITY Most of us know Old City Hall by its triple-arched entrance and the clock tower that guides us north from the bottom of Bay Street. But walk inside, past the intricate ornaments carved into the rugged arches of stone and up the grand stairs - you will be shocked to discover the lightness of democracy gracing its golden entrance hall. Here, a monumental stained-glass window floods the entire two-storey room with light. One of Toronto's most stylish halls is also the city's best-kept secret.

April 25th, 2008

Visiting PNCA's 511 Broadway Building
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Today I took a tour of the circa-1916 federal building at 511 NW Broadway that is being taken over by the Pacific Northwest College of Art with the school's president, Tom Manley, and Becca Biggs from the school. The tour was a few minutes late getting started, which actually was good news, because after passing through the security x-ray machines, I was free to peruse the ground floor lobby a little bit on my own. 511 is going to be a magnificent space for PNCA, which was evident as soon as I entered the thin but cavernously high-ceilinged lobby. There is marble everywhere, lots of ornate detailing, and even ceiling panels that have tons of artful workmanship put into them. Upstairs doors and door panels are clad in unpainted stained wood; the doors even have these frosted-glass windows that look they should have the name "Philip Marlowe" stenciled on them. And there is lots and lots of space here. PNCA ought to have plenty of room to grow.

langston hughes library, maya lin
Justin in materialicious
I have always loved looking at the Langston Hughes Library by Maya Lin, located on the former Alex Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee. It belongs to the Children’s Defense Fund and houses a 5,000 volume reference collection that specializes in the Civil Rights Movement and books written by Black authors. Lin remodeled an 1860’s cantilevered barn, which is typical of that area and period, and remade it into a masterpiece. It’s not residential, of course, but after posting House K by YES Architecture yesterday, I wanted to post this project as another source of inspiration. I mean, just look at it! I’d live in that!

Urban Green Building
Kelly Hart in Green Home Building and Sustainable Architecture
I recently received two emailed questions about the seeming lack of attention to green building in urban settings: "I happened to notice that very little, if not at all, mention of urban dwellings and how small urban homes are practically the greenest you can get when you factor in transportation. Green homes spread out in the country, unless you're living off the earth and have no use for a car, may counteract your carbon footprint savings if you have to drive on a continuous basis. A vast majority of Americans live in a metropolitan area, it would be nice if your information can include an aspect to the benefits of small homes in urban dwellings." "I am curious about building an earth covered or underground home in the future. Can these houses be built on a small lot within a city? I think being close to your neighbors etc., is one way to help achieve sustainable living, however, the green homes I have seen always appear to be on a large parcel of land."

Ecocity World Summit 2008
Keith Rockmael in Green Options
The 7th International Ecocity World Conference continues this week in San Francisco, California and if a positive aspect exists about globalization, it can be seen at this conference. A buzz exists in what feels like a combination of the World Cup (the passion), the U.N. (the international flavor) and something like Greenpeace (the Green aspect). [...]


PREFAB FRIDAY: PLUS HOUSE in Sweden
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
Tending away from the industrious (and eponymous) prefabricated square, the Plus House embraces its Nordic roots and rural setting as a thoroughly modern take on the Swedish barn house. The two-story prefab is situated in Tyresö and was designed by the award winning Claesson, Koivisto, and Rune architects for Arkitekthus. We love how their distinctive design melds a classic wood-paneled profile with ethereal day-lit interiors, synthesizing traditional structure with the best in ultra-efficient modern construction.

Method Homes Debuts Modern, Green Prefab Design
Preston D K in [jetson.green]
We have a new company here, Method Homes, that just announced the construction of their first prefab model, The Method Cabin.  Method Homes is targeting LEED-H Gold certification for the five-module abode, which will be about 1811 sf with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  I've been navigating through the blog a little bit, studying the details of this first design, and I definitely like what I see so far.  Designed by Seattle architectural firm, Balance Associates, The Method Cabin will have that trendy cantilevered roof and efficient, functional floor plans.  It will also have some nice green touches with Kliptech Ecotop countertops, Bamboo Hardwoods cabinets and flooring, and the Warmboard radiant sub floor.

Staggered Truss: Not as Painful as it Sounds
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
A new hotel brings an innovative engineering technique, pioneered by the American Institute of Steel Construction, to Chicago for the first time. Iconic architecture, via Valerio Dewalt Train, to follow. Read all about it, and see how the thing will look when it's finished, and a lot more images. here.

April 24th, 2008

Herriot Melhuish Architects | Davenport Townhouses
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
The Davenport Townhouses project by New Zealand Architects Herriot Melhuish Architects has won the NZIA Local Award on 2003. “Careful design on a tight site with a modest budget has produced two very small and clever houses… Light and open with generous proportions in the living areas, these houses are an excellent example of how infill housing can work”, NZIA Awards jury’s

Parti Wall, Hanging Green
ArchitectureMNP
In January of 2008 ten architecture firms in the Bean formed the Young Architects Boston Group - Ground, Höweler + Yoon Architecture, LinOldhamOffice, Merge Architects, MOS, over,under, SsD, Studio Luz, UNI, and Utile. A non-hierarchical group, YAB gives these firms the opportunity to come together to develop projects that they might not otherwise undertake - like their Parti Wall, Hanging Green installation. The project - a prototype green wall installation for the 2008 AIA convention that will be in Boston in May - aims to transform a blank brick wall into ‘a lush green environment’, both bringing attention to underutilized sites in Boston and providing a green solution to improve public space in the city.

The City is the Solution: The EcoCity World Summit
Holly Pearson in WorldChanging
"Cities are part of what it means to be human. We need to build cities as much as birds need to build nests. And if we want to have a future, then EcoCities must be part of who we are." —Paul Downton, Architect, Adelaide, Australia
Delegates from around the world are gathering this week in San Francisco to share ideas and innovations, network, and advance the international movement for sustainable cities. This is the 7th international EcoCity Summit, hosted by Oakland-based EcoCity Builders and partner organizations. The conference is back in the Bay Area for the first time since the first EcoCity Summit took place in 1990, having been hosted since then in Australia, Senegal, Brazil, and China.

Heritage Toronto walking tours this weekend: downtown terra cotta and westside Indian Road and Grove
Shawn Micallef in Spacing Toronto • understanding the urban landscape
This weekend’s Heritage Toronto walks (free + no reservation required): Terra Cotta Design in Toronto’s Historic Architecture Saturday, April 26 – 1:30 PM
Terra cotta, a once-popular clay building product used in design and construction, has long been out of fashion. Fortunately, many fine examples still exist in Toronto. Toronto’s first skyscrapers, erected in the 19th century and early 20th century, provide the backdrop for this tour.

Proje(c)t(ions)s urbain(e)s
Christopher DeWolf in Spacing Montreal
WHAT? Ideas for the Van Horne/Rosemont viaduct and its surroundings WHERE? Dare-Dare’s art space at St. Laurent and Van Horne WHEN? Tuesday, April 29 at 8:30pm
Earlier this month, on the year’s first truly warm evening, I needed to get from my apartment to Rosemont metro, the closest orange line station. I decided to walk, which involves a pleasant saunter down Bernard Street and a stroll over the Van Horne Viaduct, also known as the Rosemont Viaduct, which bridges the CPR tracks and brings you straight from Bernard to the metro. It had been awhile since I had made the journey and, when I climbed up the stairs to the top of the viaduct, a familiar feeling struck, and I was reminded that it is one of the most romantic places in Montreal.

Game/Space: An Interview with Daniel Dociu
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
Seattle-based concept artist Daniel Dociu is Chief Art Director for ArenaNet, the North American wing of NCSoft, an online game developer with headquarters in Seoul. Most notably, Dociu heads up the production of game environments for Guild Wars – to which GameSpot gave 9.2 out of 10, specifically citing the game's "gorgeous graphics" and its "richly detailed and shockingly gigantic" world. Dociu has previously worked with Electronic Arts; he has an M.A. in industrial design; and he recently won both Gold and Silver medals for Concept Art at this year's Spectrum awards.

The Commons Strives to be Nation's First Living Building Challenge Residence
Preston D K in [jetson.green]
In Portland two brothers, Dustin and Garrett Moon, have been getting some serious attention for their project, The Commons -- it could just be the first residence in the nation to meet the standards of the Living Building Challenge.  The Living Building Challenge is about getting to something that's truly sustainable, which is what I think the Moons are going after here.  If you look at their plans, The Commons will use green tech that you might not see in other so-called green homes.

A New Book of Architect Interviews from PSU
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Portland State University's Department of Architecture has published a new book of interviews with several architects called Verge: Between Education and Practice. There are Portlanders represented here such as Jeff Kovel of Skylab, Logan Cravens of SERA Architects, Robert Frasca of Zimmer Gunsul Frasca, and Brian White of Architecture W. There are also several prominent designers from Seattle, Vancouver, and a few other places in the region. I've been perusing the book over the last few days and thought I would pass on a few random questions and answers.


Last Updated on Monday, 11 August 2008 08:24
 
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