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April 08 - Blog Articles - Page 7 Print E-mail
Monday, 31 March 2008 19:00

April 11th, 2008

Intriguing Earth Architecture 47
Bradley in east coast Architecture review
San Jose City Hall, San Jose, California, USA - Richard Meier & Partners

Artist Hub on 82nd: Visiting Milepost 5
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
If developer Ted Gilbert, the architects at Works Partnership and creative director Gavin Shettler have anything to say about it, 82nd Avenue in Portland may no longer be seen as the armpit of Portland with its an unpleasant melange of traffic, big-box chain stores and prostitutes. Recently I made the trek out to 82nd near Burnside to see Milepost 5, an ambitious but welcome live-work development intended for artists and other creative types. The  development consists of two renovated buildings: a new just completed structure designed by Works that consists of for-sale loft condos and work space, and a to-be-renovated old brick retirement home next door, Baptist Manor, that will offer rental units to live and work in. Both the old and new structures will also endeavor to create a strong sense of community and collaboration.

CO2 SAVER: Sustainable Lakeside House in Poland
Jason Sahler in Inhabitat
Optimizing passive solar gain and using untreated local wood, this sustainable home on Lake Laka in Poland was designed by architect Piotr Kuczia. The south side soaks up the sun reducing the amount of active heating, while the north side opens up to vistas of the lake. Many of the materials were locally sourced, reducing the amount of unnecessary transport required for construction, hence the moniker CO2 saver. But there are many other ways that this home saves on CO2.

Desert Getaway
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
The Guardian reports this morning that Donna Vassar, "part of the Vassar education dynasty, has launched plans to build a $300m (£150m) private getaway for stressed-out presidents and prime ministers who want to 'reconnect with their unique purpose in life'." And it might look like this. Referred to as the Universitas Leadership Sanctuary – or Destination Universitas – Vassar's desert complex, if built, will be "part monastery and part conference centre," and it will take the shape "of a four-storey globe on the shores of Lake Las Vegas, a privately-owned lake in the south Nevada desert."
The site will then be nothing less than the place "where the most powerful men and women on the planet can get away from it all with a combination of reading, contemplation and even a spot of gardening."

David Serero, the Man Behind the Great Eiffel Tower Hoax of '08 UnBeige
Remember a couple of weeks back when the internet was all abuzz with the news that a firm had been selected to redesign the Eiffel Tower and everything was already set in motion and in no time would we all be making mass pilgrimages to Paris to see this amazing new creation? And then, of course, you'll also recall when everyone found out it wasn't for real? Well, by way of Archinect, we found this great interview with David Serero, the person responsible for the whole debacle. In it, he explains how a simple idea snowballed into a gigantic hoax, a brilliant PR stunt, or just a weird accident. He also has some interesting things to say about how blogs did a much better job at figuring out the truth than conventional media outlets who were eager to believe the story.

PREFAB FRIDAY: Custom Designed Wieler Home by Dustin Ehrlich
Ali Kriscenski in Inhabitat
Architect Dustin Ehrlich has created a custom prefab home near Chapel Hill, NC. Commissioned by his parents and constructed by WIELER, the structure mixes stone, wood, stainless steel and rusted corrugated metal to create an extraordinary first, and lasting, impression. While undeniably modern, the structure’s aesthetic also draws on the local architectural styles of nearby tobacco barns from previous centuries.

Residential Building by ILG Architekten
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
The house is bordered by agricultural land on the outskirts of Sion Bach and guarantees unobstructed view of meadows, forests and the village church. The building closed to the neighbouring buildings open to the landscape. Through two-glazed air space, opening up the stairs to the area below the roof slope unites the interior space and offers numerous views relations.

Swift Small Wind Quietly Coming to Market in July
Preston D K in []
Swift Wind Turbine is a quiet, rooftop mounted wind turbine.  Unlike some designs you've seen previously, this one has an outer ring and five blades.  The outer ring acts as a diffuser -- the wind travels down the blades and is dispersed along the ring, therefore eliminating noise and keeping the turbine quiet.  The company estimates a noise of less than 35 decibels for all wind speeds.  The 7 foot diameter ring needs a roof line clearance of a couple feet and in good winds, can generate up to 2000 kWh of power (1.5 kW @ 14 m/s).

Jagged Icebergs and Open Pit - the Brutalist Design the Chicago Children's Museum seeks to force into Grant Park.
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
You can scarcely tell it's there, can you? Renderings the Chicago Children's Museum have been desperately hiding from the public reveal the scarring intrusiveness of the structures it wants to build in Grant Park. See them, and read a critique of Krueck and Sexton's design

Tautra Mariakloster
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
This is a really lovely wood construction church in Norway, but architecture firm Jensen & Skodvin Arkitektkontor. The light and shadows are really amazing... Personally, I've always been a big fan of churches that celebrate the natural world around them.

April 10th, 2008

0738 Palo Alto - Done! Construction Prints available now
lavardera in LamiDesign Modern House Plan Blog
Construction Prints for the 0738 Spirit of Palo Alto House are done, ready for order, catalog page updated and ready to roll. Thank you everybody for your interest, and my apologies for the wait on this one.

The Desert Pearl of Privatopia
Bryan Finoki in Subtopia
Floating amidst some yet unseen mirage aglaze over the pink Nevada floorscape is a proposed new retreat for the world’s top brass to quietly converge and unwind within the pleasant confines of this preeminent orb of privatopic escape. Reminiscent perhaps of a fallen Death Star, or a desert pearl settled in the valleys of some of America's most remote real estate, The Universitas Leadership Sanctuary is hailed by the Guardian as a globular sphere of monkish architecture, a miniaturized vacation planet that is “part monastery and part conference centre” intended to strip presidents, prime ministers and the most powerful people on Earth of their monumental stresses, and restore them to proper world governing condition.

garbage architecture
admin in materialicious
Jan Korbes’ Garbage Architecture in The Netherlands focuses on: “objects interiors research and workshops based on recovered waste materials”. Among the many interesting projects they’ve done, I’m loving these stairs they’ve created: above is a set of stairs made from woods reclaimed from an old castle, and below is a stair carved from a 50 year old pole recovered from Scheveningen Harbor, originally taken from the Amazon rainforest.

BEIJING BIRDSNEST: New Pics of Herzog + deMeuron’s stadium
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
The 2008 Olympics have found China caught in the center of a heated nexus of political and social controversy, with human rights and of course the Tibet issue popping up to disturb Olympic revelers’ idealist visions for the celebration. While originally commissioned as a monument to Beijing’s might, Herzog and deMeuron’s stunning Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium, (looking as spectacular as we imagined it), perhaps now better symbolizes the complex web of problems and paradox assailing modern China. Photographer Andy Ryan has recently released a eye-catchign set of photos depicting the structure silently weathering its storm-ridden cultural context. Divorced from scenes of social turmoil, these frames capture the architectural marvel’s complex and implacable beauty.

Bahrain World Trade Center Activates Wind Turbines
Jorge Chapa in Inhabitat
You may remember that about a year ago we brought you news of the Bahrain World Trade Center, which was designed to have three giant turbines provide power to the building. Well, this past Tuesday, the project was finally completed, with the final testing and installation of the enormous wind turbines which power the building. This week, Bahrain WTC has, for the first time, activated all three 29m-diameter turbines at the same time!

Zolton in Lost At E Minor: Music, illustration, art, photography and more
I like the sense of escapism in the offbeat work of illustrator, Wacso. By his own admission, his illustrations are ‘all about getting out there and finding cool stuff — a hot dog stand, a cool old building, an old bar, a county fair, a rusted out truck, old people, dogs. Whatever it is you groove on’.

World’s Largest Solar Power Plant Coming To CA Mojave Desert
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
With California utilities expanding rapidly into renewables, the Mojave Desert is one of the hottest spots for solar energy. Last year, plans for the world’s largest solar array got underway in this ideal energy harvesting setting and the latest news is just as groundbreaking. Pacific Gas and Electric recently signed the world’s largest solar deal to date, teaming up with BrightSource Energy to produce three new solar-thermal electric plants for a whopping 500 megawatts of clean green power. The $2 to $3 billion dollar deal provides options for additional plants (up to 900 megawatts total), which would be enough to power 375,000 Californian homes!

The Real World Hollywood's Green Digs
Preston D K in []
In a break from the blue suit and red tie mentality here at JG, I thought I would share this news about The Real World Hollywood's green digs.  Think MTV teamed up with Bunim-Murray Productions to green the next, certain-to- be-dramatic installment of the show.  It'll be the first time they've gone with green finish outs for the show.  The greenly decorated house includes environmentally friendly products ranging from solar panels and hybrid cars, to bamboo flooring, energy efficient appliances, and a number of recycled and reused products around the house.  No word on product specifics, but here you go -- feel free to play name that green product in the comments if you notice something in the pictures.

Dutch Preparing for Climate Change With Floating Houses
Sarah Lozanova in Green Options
With rising sea levels and more extreme weather events on the horizon, the Dutch are building houses modeled after arks. These houses become buoyant during floods. There is a string of 37 houses located along the Maas River in Holland that were designed and built by Dura Vermeer. Such houses can rise 16 feet without [...]

Skyline Brides
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
So here's a little relief from the hot and heavy coverage on the Chicago Children's Museum increasingly corrupt campaign to grab land in Grant Park. How many couples have found Chicago's lake and architecture to be the perfect backdrop for celebrating the most important day of their life? Click on the link to see just a few we've stumbled across over the last few years.

April 9th, 2008

Protest Urbanism and the Art of Misdirection
jimmy in Life Without Buildings
Thousands of people descended on San Francisco's SoMa and Mission Bay neighborhoods today to protest against/for China/Tibet, see the Olympic torch, skip work, or just plain people watch. 3 of those 4 groups weren't disappointed. The torch route was announced earlier this week, with the caveat that it may "slightly" change. Well, as you can see in the above map, the route more than "slightly" changed due to the fear of another London or Paris-like protest. In the above map, blue is the...

It Takes a Vilnius: Zaha Hadid to Design Guggenheim Hermitage Museum UnBeige
Congratulations citizens of Vilnius, not only are you getting your own Guggenheim/Hermitage Museum, but it's going to be designed by none other than Zaha Hadid! Hadid's office has just informed us that it was chosen today to design a new center for international art in the Lithuanian capital that will house pieces from the collections of both the New York-based Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the St. Petersburg-based State Hermitage Museum. The design of Zaha Hadid Architects (pictured above) triumphed over those of Studio Daniel Libeskind and Studio Fuksas in an international competition judged by a six-member jury that included Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas, Hermitage Director Mikhail Piotrovsky, and former Guggenheim Director Thomas Krens. As for the design, it's a Hadidian mix of fluidity, velocity, and lightness that Hadid's office likens to "a mystical floating object that seemingly defies gravity."

Newseum Makes Headlines with "Up-to-the-Second" Infotainment, Terrible Name UnBeige
Do you know of a cultural institution with a worse name than that of the Newseum, the 250,000-square-foot "museum of news" set to open Friday in Our Nation's Capital? (If so, drop us a line at unbeige AT, we've launched a formal study.) The Newseum, which utterly mocks your inability to correctly pronounce its name on the first try, is housed on the first seven floors of a building designed by Polshek Partnership Architects that is also home to a sprawling Wolfgang Puck restaurant (newsily named "The Source"), a conference center, and 140,000 square feet of residential apartments that are probably out of most journalists' price range.

admin in materialicious
This just in from Scott Hedges, who writes the “Letters from Sweden” posts over at Greg La Vardera’s blog: Arkitekthus is a firm building and selling houses designed by some well-known Swedish architects - Thomas Sandell, Claesson Koivisto Rune, Gert Wingårdh, and Tham & Videgård Hansson. Scott lives in Sigtuna, Sweden, and says there are a few already built near him, with more to come. These houses are goooorgeous! See the site for lots more images, including interiors……. (sorry, it’s in Swedish, and there ain’t no way I’m translating that!).

How deep should a retail space be?
David Sucher in City Comforts
The right depth which means deep enough to accomodate the expected or hoped-for users. In a discussion on Slog about some proposed neighborhood development in Seattle, one of its most sophisticated commenters criticized a project because its retail spaces were not deep enough. He wrote: Maybe it goes way back, but if it does it would be highly unusual. And note that the description says 3500 sq ft of retail, and that strip looks 100 feet long, which means an...

SETON MAINS HOUSE, by Paterson Architects
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
A Contemporary Interpretation of traditional rural buildings, the proposal for seton mains aim to provide a modest home for a family of four. The buliding is sited to take advantage of spectacular views to the north whilst also maximising natural daylight and minimising overlooking of neighbouring properties. Designed by Paterson Architects
An autonomous volume, the...

First LEED Certified Parking Structure Generates Most Its Own Power
Preston D K in []
I realize that by blogging about this, I'm risking some criticism as to whether a parking structure can be green.  I think it can, but I've heard mention from others that the term "green parking lot" is an oxymoron of sorts.  After giving it some thought, I just can't imagine a world, or a city for that matter, with absolutely no parking lot.  They're going to exist, so they might as well be super green and zero energy, to the extent possible.  This building, which is the Santa Monica Civic Center parking structure, has a solar array that provides all the building's energy needs. But it's not just energy efficient, it's green, too.

Future Super-Cities
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
Yesterday, Paleo-Future pointed out a map from 1961, produced by the Chicago Tribune, in which the future urban landscape of the U.S. has been speculatively mapped – as it was projected to exist in the bright and futuristic year of 1975.
Ahead of its time in predicting the urban condition within which most of us now live, the map and its accompanying short article suggest that the "'regional cities' of tomorrow will be nearly continuous complexes of homes, business centers, factories, shops and service places. Some will be strip or rim cities; some will be star-shaped or finger-shaped; others will be in concentric arcs or parallels; still others will be 'satellite towns' around a nucleus core."

New Liverpool Observatory Aims for Carbon Neutral
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
Invoking the shape of myriad objects, this futuristic architectural design is shortlisted in an international contest to create a new observatory in Liverpool, England, reminding us that space-age proposals have a great way of stirring the imagination. Charged with reinventing the Mersey riverbank, Duggan Morris Architects‘ structure will supplant an obsolete radar tower with a luminous cathedral-like shell that offers unparalleled views of the heavens while keeping its environs in close consideration.

American Plaster, a Natural Solution to Wall Treatment
Sarah Roe in []
American Clay Plaster creates a natural plaster product for your walls, ceilings, and even fireplaces.  It's a wonderful, environmentally friendly alternative to cement, gypsum, acrylic, and lime plasters. American Plaster is made in the USA from American materials including natural clays, recycled and reclaimed aggregates, and vibrant natural pigments.  The look is a beautiful, textured, earthy, simple, and elegant.

Curtain Wall Extraordinaires
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
You'll have to excuse me if you already know all about Permasteelisa, but I just heard about them when reading a Slate article today... I don't have much experience working on large structures, so my curtain wall knowledge is fairly limited... and its especially limited when it comes to particular manufacturers. For those of you, like me, who aren't exposed to different curtain manufacturers... Permasteelisa is basically one of the premier building envelope and cladding manufacturers, based out of Italy.

Innovative Water Heater: The Magic of Heat Pumps
WorldChanging Team in WorldChanging
By Clark Williams-Derry
This is promising:  Ecogeek reports on a new GE water heater that could cut energy consumption in half.  The trick:  it uses a heat pump to preheat the water coming into the tank.
I've waxed rhapsodic about the magic of heat pumps before. Start with a glass of lukewarm water, and a heat pump can turn it into a half glass of warm water, and a half glass of cold water, in a process that takes less energy than warming up a half cup of water on a stove top.  If done right, heating your home with a heat pump -- particularly one that draws heat from water that's circulated underground -- can be more climate-friendly than even the most efficient gas furnace.  So this new heater is really just an application of a tried-and-true technology, but in a slightly new way.

Last Updated on Monday, 11 August 2008 08:24
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