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Beijing's Olympic Village Takes Home LEED Award
Rare is the day you hear "green" and "China" anywhere in the same neighborhood, but such was the unusual case yesterday as US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson awarded the nation a Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design award for their work designing and building the Olympic Village up to green standards.
PREFAB FRIDAY: Marmol Radziner’s Rincon 5
Adrianne in Inhabitat
Earlier this summer the brains at Marmol Radziner and Associantes revealed a sleek series of “accessory buildings” including their new Rincon 5 prefab. The clean-lined guest unit features an excellent set of sustainable features including LED lighting, recycled insulation, and bamboo flooring, plus it can function completely off-grid with an optional solar panel package.
Modern Alley House Goes Super Green
Preston D K in Jetson Green
Just one mile from downtown Seattle in Madison Valley, Cascade Built has finished their latest green home, the Alley House. This high-performance home is seeking LEED Platinum certification and, for those that are interested, is on sale for ~$770,000. The home is on an advantageous urban infill lot and features some high-end finishes such as Caesarstone countertops, Kirei doors, and a Liebherr refrigerator. In addition to a private bamboo garden, this home has some of the following green feature
Precise Planning / Accidental Landscape
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
nother fine example of creating a great space for people who too often are exposed to the worst of institutional architecture... This project is a treatment center for mentally disturbed children by Sou Fujimoto Architects (located in Hokkaido Japan). The unpredictable plan gives an air of childlike innocence - A perfect place for children in need of special attention. Yet, with all the hidden alcoves and unusual plans, the palette of materials keeps it quiet and calm.
“The suburbs have three destinies, none of them exclusive: as materials salvage, as slums, and as ruins.”
Jimmy Stamp in Life Without Buildings
That bit of wisdom from James Kunstler. Yes, the James Kunslter who seems to take so much joy from coming up with innovative ways to describe just how much he hates something. His vitriolic response, which continued to describe the suburbs as “the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world,” was evoked by a question from the New York Times Freakonomics Blog: What is the Future of the Suburbs? At least he also concedes that cities will be shrinking as well, overburdened by their high-rise socio-economic structure. Although I in no way agree with Kunstlers dire predictions, they are incredibly entertaining and well-written. Someone get this man to do fiction. Tales of Post-Apocalyptic Suburban Living.
Adrian Smith on Making Things Taller in the UAE
An interesting profile of Chicago icon Adrian Smith from Fred Bernstein over at the NY Times. Although it offers up some details on Smith that most of us already know, like his decision to leave Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to start his own firm that took off running two years ago like an architect possessed, the most captivating part of the profile comes in two parts a) that the vast majority of the famous architect's current projects are now all in the United Arab Emirates and b) most of those projects are trying to outdo each other, height-wise, entering us into a new era of "whose building is the tallest?" once again. His Burj Dubai took the cake last year, but he doesn't think that record will stick around for long. It's a brief, but very worthwhile read, particularly if you were already a Smith fan to being with.
Prairie Crossing Nature-Centric Community
Sarah Roe in Jetson Green
Prairie Crossing is located in Grayslake, Illinois about 40 miles north of Chicago. This beautiful, nature-focused community has preserved more than 60% of its 677 acres. An impressive measure which clearly points to the good intentions of the "developers", a group of neighbors who bought the land in the 1980's with the goal of truly responsible development. The community has 359 homes and 36 condos versus the 2400 homes that another developer had plans for. The condos have received the highest energy star rating possible.