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Alexander Trevi in Pruned
Lord Smith of Finsbury, the new head of the UK's Environment Agency, talked to The Independent about a wide range of issues, but this is what he said about coastal erosion, the government's defense plans, and why those plans may involve abandoning parts of the British coastline to the sea. “We know the sea is eating away at the coast in quite a number of places, primarily – but not totally exclusively – on the east and south coasts. It's a particularly huge issue in East Anglia, but in quite a number of other areas as well.”
STAR Community Index, Like LEED But For Cities and Local Governments
Preston D K in Jetson Green
Keep your eyes out for the newest tool designed to rate cities in their efforts to push environmental stewardship. The STAR Community Index is like LEED, but it's designed to rate local governments. With myriad green city rankings and websites trying to calculate the sustainability of local governments,* it's high time for a highly respected, standardized formula for measuring a community's sustainability. According to ICLEI, the STAR Program will create a process, not unlike LEED, to bring in leaders in the field toward the goal of establishing shared measures and processes for greening communities.
Forbes Park: An Exemplary Sustainable Community
Evelyn Lee in Inhabitat
The new Forbes Park residence in Chelsea, MA is giving new life to the old Forbes Lithograph Manufacturing Company, re-envisioning it as a prime model for sustainable development in urban city cores. Their self-titled “Hybrid” moniker derives from the project’s extensive use of renewable energy sources, and the grandest green addition to the site is a 240-foot tall wind turbine that will provide the majority of the complex’s electricity. Other unique features include the addition of a water taxi stand for easy access to downtown Boston, a shared fleet of electric cars for all residences, and the installation of a number of “Forbes Orbes” that will let all residents know when they should conserve energy more actively.
It’s Pinup Time for The Sundance Channel’s Architecture School
Jimmy Stamp in Life Without Buildings
In today’s reality-TV obsessed culture, any architecture student who has spent an all-nighter (i.e. every architecture student) working in studio has had the 4 am amphetamine-induced epiphany, “hey, someone should make this into a reality show.” Well now someone has, and according to early reviews, The Sundance Channel’s Architecture School is every bit as good as someone with X-acto scars could hope for. Architecture School follows students enrolled in the Tulane University School of Architecture’s URBANbuild program as they take a project —previously featured here on Life Without Buildings— from design competition through to the realities of client interactions and construction.
A “Gold” for China: Olympic Village Receives LEED Award
Olivia Chen in Inhabitat
Amidst the exciting of athletic accomplishments at this year’s summer Olympics, a significant achievement for sustainable design was recognized as well. Last week, on Wednesday, August 13, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson presented Chinese officials with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold award for the 2008 Olympic village. The world-class development boasts a variety of sustainable features including solar panels, green roofs, and an extensive rainwater recycling system.
AIA Makes Videos
In celebration of the American Institute of Architect's 150th Anniversary, they have launched Shape Of America, a video diary of American (presumably United States) buildings. As of this writing, there are only seven buildings profiled. We like the assortment of off-the-beaten-path buildings (the upcoming video on 1963 Air Force Academy's Cadet Chapel by Walter A. Netsch) and the big name superstar buildings (at least for the FAIA set, like 1937's Taliesin West by Big Frank 1). Also, we love snapshots of old buildings in their current state, seeing what worked and didn't work in groundbreaking architecture. The video of Exeter Library shows just such snapshots, complete with cracked concrete and repointed bricks.
Buildings for Blairism
owen hatherley in sit down man, you're a bloody tragedy
2. Home Office, Marsham St, London, Sir Terry Farrell and Partners 2005
The Home Office Building, which I've written about briefly before, is perhaps London's finest example of what deserves to be called Pseudomodernist architecture, perhaps the predominant building type of the New Labour years. The architect, Terry Farrell, has always been a perfect barometer of the political aesthetics of British architecture. First he was an architect for the GLC/LCC (those weird, Corbusian vents at either end of the Blackwall tunnel were his), then a 'high-tech' functionalist working in partnership with Nicholas Grimshaw; then Britain's most prominent postmodernist after Jim Stirling, designing icons of jollity like the TVAM building in Camden.
State Library of Queensland, Australia
mad architect in architechnophilia
City of Sound has produced a stellar post on the State Library of Queensland, Australia - the collaboration of architects Donovan Hill & Peddle Thorpe. Despite the bias, the criticism is thorough and contextual against other library marquees notably the Bibliothèque National as well as the Seattle Public Library and is an enriching history lesson into the geospatial history of Queensland. The shortfalls of this literary contribution is not in the writing, nor the photographs which so beautifully illustrate the building and its surroundings. Rather, a hunger that emerges for more - perhaps supressed by the inclusion of drawings (plans, section, etc).
Beleza To Be Smart, Green Community
Preston D K in Jetson Green
River North Properties LLC is planning to develop a LEED Certified, condo/retail project for Denver's River North ("RiNo") neighborhood. Named Beleza, a Brazilian Portuguese word for "beauty", this luxurious green community is modeled after the Brazilian city of Curitiba. Like Curitiba, Beleza will focus on sustainable lifestyle, eco-friendly development, and planning that cuts pollution and waste while improving the quality of life for residents. It will also have smart amenities, such as biometric fingerprint access, climate-controlled window blinds, power outlets in parking spaces, and digital screen controlled integrated lighting, communications, and A/V systems.
IKEA 1, Breuer 1/2
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
Back in 2005 I posted about IKEA's bad behavior in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Their destruction of Civil War-era buildings to make way for a parking lot seemed like a new low for the Swedish perpetrator of inexpensive furniture. At that time the destruction of the one-story section of Marcel Breuer's 1969 Armstrong Building (aka Pirelli Building) in New Haven, Connecticut to make way for another surface parking lot next to the massive blue and yellow building seemed excusable. At least history would be partially saved, right?
State Library of Queensland, Brisbane, Donovan Hill / Peddle Thorpe, plus some notes on libraries in general
Dan Hill in cityofsound
Some notes on the State Library of Queensland (SLQ) in Brisbane, designed by Donovan Hill / Peddle Thorp (2007), on top of the original scheme by Robin Gibson (1988). The best public library I’ve seen anywhere. Certainly superior to the Bibliothèque National de France, far superior to the British Library, and superior even to the otherwise peerless Seattle Public Library, to name but three I’ve studied in person. And despite having a fraction of their budget, I’d guess. More on other contemporary libraries later, but here are some observations from the numerous times I’ve visited the SLQ, alongside other notes and references.
Rubi Offices / Bailo Rull ADD+ Arquitectura
Nico Saieh in Arch Daily
The project has been planned understanding the closer environment and the relation between the city and the landscape. The project is situated on a place where the urban conditions are loosing the density and the compactness in front of one river of the city. The location of the project invites to focus the views to the landscape, and propose to choose those green views from every part of the offices.