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February Blog Articles - Page 10 Print E-mail
Thursday, 31 January 2008 19:00
 

February 4th, 2008

Floating Homes
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
"Suddenly, climate change is no longer a dire threat, but an opportunity for innovation." My dad sent me the link to this article on NPR... leave it to the Dutch to figure out a way to provide homes with modern plumbing, utilities, and foundations to float as required by the rising water levels. The foundations of these are actually basements with the utilities connected with flexible pipes, creating a kind of boat whose bottom sits on the floor of the river (or other waterway). As the water level rises, the buildings rise too, with poles embedded into the sea floor keeping the buildings in place. These will be especially useful in the Netherlands, which is already almost entirely below sea level (before global warming!), but I could certainly imagine the same sort of application in places like New Orleans.

Weekly Architecture Clips, Part 3, Jacques Tati.
Christoph, anArchitecture in anArchitecture
Monsieur Hulot, filmmaker Jacques Tati's alter-ego, struggles with technological progress. Modern comforts seem cold and inhuman in a way which was unusual for the time at which Tati's movies were produced (e.g. Mon Oncle - 1958, Playtime - 1967) The films are caricaturing modernity and especially its architecture. Maybe Jacques Tati was too much a traditionalist?

URBANbuild Breaks Ground on New House
jimmy in Life Without Buildings
Last Month students at Tulane University School of Architecture broke ground on their fourth URBANbuild house. Each house explores a different structural systems, with this newest design utilizing structural insulated panels. Says program director Byron Mouton, “It is about giving students the opportunity to learn while giving neighborhoods other examples for living.” URBANbuild has partnered with local nonprofit, Neighborhood Housing Services, to find a homeowner for the new house, which is...

A Great Move By Powells
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
When I started writing the Portland Architecture blog three years ago this month, the very first post (after the one that said, "Welcome to the blog") was about Powells Books.
I've long felt that the store, considering its cultural landmark status here and how it anchors the Brewery Blocks area as a gate between downtown and the Pearl District, has a responsibility to make their buildings better. Granted, no one wants Portland to lose the rough edges that balance out its more glossy new condo buildings. But having a single-story building along Burnside with a shabby facade isn't good enough for Powells. Now, the nation's largest new-used bookseller is stepping up with a plan to renovate the store's entrance and principal rooms at the Southeast corner entrance by 2010.

Maison & Objet Paris 2008: Lighting Part 2
sabine7 in MoCo Loco
More lighting at Maison & Objet was in the form of the Quin from MGX by Materialise and Verpan’s silver Spiral. Italamp had a fantastic display of larger-than-life lamps and Zaha Hadid’s Vortexx Chandelier was in top form. There was an impressive presentation of Miss Jane and Lady Jane lighting by Marc Sadler for Serralunga and some delicate fairies from Lladró.

Reviewing the New Museum of American Finance
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Last month, the Museum of American Finance opened in New York, just down the block from the center of it all on Wall Street. The NY Times' Edward Rothstein has just reviewed the new museum, helped put together with...

Psychology at Depth
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
Originally published by Science and Mechanics, in November 1931, the depthscraper was proposed as a residential engineering solution for surviving earthquakes in Japan.
The structure, "whose frame resembles that of a 35-story skyscraper of the type familiar in American large cities," would actually be constructed "in a mammoth excavation beneath the ground." Only a single story protrudes above the surface; furnishing access to the numerous elevators; housing the ventilating shafts, etc.; and carrying the lighting arrangements... The Depthscraper is cylindrical; its massive wall of armored concrete being strongest in this shape, as well as most economical of material. The whole structure, therefore, in case of an earthquake, will vibrate together, resisting any crushing strain. As in standard skyscraper practice, the frame is of steel, supporting the floors and inner walls. My first observation here is actually how weird the punctuational style of that paragraph is. Why all the commas and semicolons?

Living
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
Clicking around this morning, I found the work of Lúcio Santos – lots of modularity exploring slightly offset asymmetric repetitiveness. The house pictured here, for instance, "a detached single-family home, pre-manufactured and assembled on site," can also be stacked further upon itself in a kind of vertical stutter to form towers.
On its own, it also vaguely resembles a prosthetic knuckle, or some other sort of avant-garde medical device manufactured from high grade plastic.
House for David Cronenberg.

New Solar Panels That Work At Night
Emily Pilloton in Inhabitat
Despite the enormous untapped potential of solar energy, one thing is for sure- photovoltaics are only as good as the sun’s rays shining upon them. However, researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory are close to the production of a super-thin solar film that would be cost-effective, imprinted on flexible materials, and would be able to harvest solar energy even after sunset!

Wilhelm and Alexander
sabine7 in MoCo Loco
Justin Couch’s Wilhelm Coffee Table and Alexander Dining Table are classic pieces of furniture with contemporary lines that borrow from times gone by. Couch updates traditional styling with modern insets that provide a strong contrast to the white of the background. Both tables are of Baltic birch, but the Alexander table also makes use of a walnut veneer.

More news on Griffintown redevlopment
Chris Erb in Spacing Montreal
Griffintown continues to make waves in the local media. On the footsteps of our last news roundup, here, in chronological order are many of the news stories and blog posts written about the proposed redevelopment over the last couple weeks. Also included are dates of presentations concerning the redevelopment that are planned for the near future: Jan. 23: Le Devoir runs three stories concerning the redevelopment: One about the various cultural institutions that are planned, another concerning developer Devimico’s commitment (or lack thereof) to historic preservation, and finally an excellent opinion piece from residents Judith Bauer and Christopher Gobeil....

February 2nd and 3rd, 2008

Systems, Cities & Sustainable Mobility and Envisioning Green L.A.
Alex Steffen in WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future
I'll be delivering the opening keynote for the Systems, Cities & Sustainable Mobility summit in L.A. this Wednesday. If you're in town, I think it's going to be a terrific event. Here's the challenge they're trying to address: Sustainability: Designing for the Masses. Within the next 20 years, five billion people—representing 60 percent of the world’s population—will reside in cities. To meet the needs and aspirations of an increasingly urban society, design will play a crucial role in helping to anticipate and create the solutions which will enable these complex systems to function sustainably.

Proving Green Design can still be Beautiful
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
These geothermal water pump stations, which are scattered throughout Iceland are designed by pk arkitektar and prove that green design doesn't need to be ugly, rustic, or even crunchy granola. Green design can also be slick and modern. If we think of green design as not only the process of design, but the program contained by it, our options are limitless.

Half Dose #44: Saint- Nazaire Alvéole 14
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
This is my kinda project. A renovation of a submarine bunker in Saint- Nazaire, France by German office LIN Finn Geipel + Giulia Andi transforms the hulking concrete shell into a cultural center for the city, in the process restitching the city to the waterfront that the bunker disconnected it from. Instead of destroying the massive building (300m x 130m; 985' x 425') and building anew, the city held a competition for reusing the structure. The winning entry envisioned a design in four parts: International Center for New Art Forms (LIFE), a contemporary music venue (VIP), an internal street, and a rooftop cupola with no apparent function.

Bagli to Bates to Betsky to Maddox to Wilkinson and Woodhouse - the February Calendar of Architectural Events
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Bagli, Bates, Betsky, Dunn and Felsen, Eifler, Ingels, Jacob, Kipnis, Maddox, Mau, Ryan, Wilkinson, Woodhouse: have we said enough? They're all on the February calendar of Chicago architectural events which, with over 45 items, is densing up to the point of traffic jams such as Cincinnati Museum of Art Director Aaron Betsky and Sam Jacob of London's FAT {Fashion, Architecture and Taste] squaring off against each other, at different locales, 6:00 P.M. February 18th. Jacob's appearance is part of a crackjack list of lectures booked by the School of Architecture at UIC, which this month also includes Bjarke Ingels of Copenhagen's BIG, and Donald Bates of Melbourne's LAB Architecture Studio.

If I had the space...
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
A friend of mine forwarded on this Pallucco bookcase, that she's in love with... The shelves are defintely fabulous, but I think I actually prefer the coat rack. Think of how useful it would be... after you put on your coat, you could use the mirror to check yourself out before leaving the house! The only problem, is that this system is deserving of a great deal of space... much more appropriate for a large (or at least tall) loft, than my tiny house.

Apartment In Shanghai By Sciskew
Frame Magazine
The Fumin Road project is an alteration of an existing 1920s apartment located in the heart of Shanghai.

Cormier design wins Jarvis Slip competition
The Globe and Mail - Lisa Rochon Columns
Sugar Beach, an artificially sweetened park for a gritty part of Toronto's waterfront, has won the Jarvis Slip public-space design competition. The scheme by a team led by Claude Cormier Architectes Paysagistes Inc. of Montreal beat out a frightening design by the Dutch landscape firm, West 8, as well as an invigorating plan by Janet Rosenberg + Associates undermined by an excess of riches.



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