February Blog Articles Print
Thursday, 31 January 2008 19:00

Archived links from February

 

 

February 29th, 2008

Amazing Sinquefield House, Osage County, Missouri by Barton Phelps & Associates
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
Amazing Vacation House in Osage County, Missouri by Barton Phelps & Associates - Architects and Planners
About the site: a wooded limestone bluff overlooking the Osage River on a thousand acres of working farmland in the rolling Ozarks - the name derived from the explorers’ term, “aux arcs”, referring to the bows of the region’s rivers. The house initiates a rural retreat /

Fun and Energy Efficient
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
 I'm really digging this energy effiecient chandelier by AWARE.

Korean green housing
Snell in Lost At E Minor: Music, illustration, art, photography and more
Korean architects, Mass Studies, have attacked the idea of housing typology in this project for a Seoul Commune in the year 2026. The buildings are comprised of public and private cells; technology is harnessed to make the private cells more private and the public cells more public. From your private cell, you can monitor the goings on in the public cells.

Upon Closer Examination of 'The Gates'
Bryan Finoki in Subtopia
Not only did Pruned save Subtopia’s proverbial ass last night, Alex also “tagged” us with the intent of continuing an ongoing relay that compiles random book passages from blog to blog to blog, grafting little swaths of worded real estate from our favorite authors and posting them here. Who knows what scattered narrative that will yield but I like the idea of sampling our respective reading lists this way, towards some loosely trackable sequence of storied body parts. This is only all too crazy when you think about what happened to us last night, which was essentially the opposite of this meme; that is, Subtopia was literally censored with ALL (not just a few sentences) of our text being stripped from this blog entirely. Who knows, maybe we were the victim of some other meme in the works that doesn’t just stealthily borrow but literally steals the text from its source, who knows what happens to it from there.

The Subterranean Water Cannons of Leadville, Colorado
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
There was a fascinating article in the New York Times yesterday about a mine disaster just waiting to happen.
In Leadville, Colorado, we read, people now wake up every morning wondering if they "will be washed away by toxic water that local officials fear could burst from a decaying mine tunnel" on the edge of town.
For years, the federal Bureau of Reclamation and the Environmental Protection Agency have bickered over what to do about the aging tunnel, which stretches 2.1 miles and has become dammed by debris. The debris is holding back more than a billion gallons of water, much of it tainted with toxic levels of cadmium, zinc and manganese.
The article continues, describing the background for this "potentially catastrophic release of water":

stream house, kovac architects
Justin in materialicious
Stream House, Nichol’s Canyon, L.A., CA. Interesting addition to an existing house on a very steep hillside. I love the glass floor insert overlooking the stream! More photos, text and link after the jump.

Rocio Romero Prefab Home Tour Kicks Off Tomorrow in NY!
Ali Kriscenski in Inhabitat
Rocio Romero is one of our favorite prefab designers mastering the art of fusing modernist design with affordability. Her LV series articulates her commitment to minimalism with clean, comfortable lines that attend equally to indoor and outdoor spaces. To date, more than 110 LV prefabs have become home to owners throughout 23 states in the US, with 40 more under construction. While prefab fans have been able to tour the Rocio Romero show home in Missouri for several years, this weekend marks the first time that a finished LV is available for viewing in New York. The first National LV Open House Tour kicks off on March 1st (tomorrow!) in the Hudson Valley!

PREFAB FRIDAY: The Magic Box gets creative with prefab
Ali Kriscenski in Inhabitat
A new prefab from Jun Ueno brings a fun, modern aesthetic to accessory spaces for garden, courtyard or rooftop. The Magic Box is an extension room that can be used as an office, studio or serve any purpose that the user imagines. We haven’t gotten the whole scoop on how sustainable it is, but we can say that this creative foray into the design of a small prefab space makes prefab look a lot more spacious, interesting and appealing than the typical ‘Modern Shed’ style box.

ONV Architects Prefab Homes
architecture.MNP
Unfortunately, I don’t read [or speak, for that matter] Danish - so I don’t have that much information on the project. Designed by Danish firm ONV Architects, the home is a modular [really?] prefab that is both customizable and [supposedly] affordable.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of the overall form - that the house is contained within such a clean rectangular shape, and that the porch is formed by carving out a void, rather than attaching something extra to the building.

erin adams luna tile collection
Justin in materialicious
Erin Adams collaborated with Pedro Hernandez of Alumillenium Tile to create an environmentally-conscious glass and aluminum fused tile collection, called Luna. Adams’ complete tile line is available through Ann Sacks Tile & Stone showrooms nationwide.

Holst Transforms Decrepit Downtown Motel Into Hotel Modera
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
The old Days Inn Portland City Center is currently undergoing a transformation into an upscale boutique hotel called Hotel Modera that will also bring the work of one of the city’s best firms, Holst Architecture, to downtown. The intent is to embrace the original mid-century modern original architecture. The five-story hotel has 174 rooms and suites and takes up nearly an entire city block between SW Fifth and Sixth and Columbia and Clay.  It will feature an outdoor courtyard that includes a “living wall” of vegetation, fire pits and plenty of seating.  The plaza courtyard will integrate the indoors with the outdoors and is intended to provide guests and Portlanders with a place to gather and unwind in downtown. It’s also a big improvement on the ugly surface parking lot that’s been there.

artist’s studio, atema architecture
Justin in materialicious
Funkhouser/Hufnagel Artist’s Studio, Frelinghuysen Township, NJ. I picked this 25×40 passive-solar shed design to showcase the weathering properties of the Cor-Ten steel siding. See a few more pics and read the text at Atema Architecture. Above: After weathering. Below: before weathering.

February 28th, 2008


Vancouver Convention Center Expands on Green
Piper in Inhabitat
There are numerous approaches to making greener buildings- from the inside out, from the ground up, density through urban infill, integrating into the landscape, to name a few… but when an existing 133,000 sq. ft. building aims to expand to 500,000 sq. ft., covering a frightening 6 acres- you have to think BIG. That is the vision of the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Center (VCEC), as it triples in size in time to accommodate the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In the Round
sabine7 in MoCo Loco
Luflic had some amazing chairs at Toronto’s Interior Design Show this past weekend, really catching the collective eye with two pieces called In The Round. Both these production-ready chairs, designed by Brent Cordner, are named after the in-the-round knitting technique and over 50 feet of wool sleeve is used to cover the tubular steel frame for the felt version and 30 feet for the stitch version. The Snowshoe chair (after the jump) won an award at IDS for Best prototype and it is an incredibly light chair made from a composite of wood and Kevlar and based on the traditional snowshoe. The Meander chair is a continuous length of nickel-reinforced copper tubing that results in surprisingly comfortable sculptural seating.

Cabinets: When Wood is Good
Joel Bittle in Green Options
So you’re building or remodeling green, and you’re trying to decide what to do about the cabinets. Scanning the requirements for various green building programs, you seem to have two choices. First, you can try to find cabinets made with Forest Stewardship Council certified wood from companies like Neil Kelly Cabinets. But if the company [...]

Andrei Codrescu's Innovative Infrastructure
jimmy in Life Without Buildings
In a recent Architect Magazine article, a diverse group of professionals were asked how they would change infrastructure if they had $1.6 Trillion to play with. Most of the response were what you'd expect -- get rid of cars, more greenspace, light rail systems -- but a couple stood out from the rest. By far, the best (well, at least most original) response was from writer, NPR correspondent, and New Orleans resident Andrei Codrescu:A dense network of hydrogen-fueled magnetic fast trains with...

London’s Palestra Going Green With New Wind Turbines
Cate Trotter in Inhabitat
Palestra, the stunning home of the London Development Agency and the London Climate Change Agency, is due to have new wind turbines installed after a component failure in 2006. Two new types of turbine will be trialled, with the more successful of the two to be installed in full in the first quarter of 2008. We’re also using this news as an excuse to cover the RIBA-award winning building as a whole, which is as gorgeous as it is green.

Hawaii Gateway Energy Center, a Fascinating Display of Solar Potential
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
The Hawaii Gateway Energy Center (HGEC) is a 3,600 sf, $3.4 million facility situated on the south coast of Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii.  The new building serves both the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii and the Hawaii Ocean Sciences and Technology Park.  And as you may be able to gather from the images and models below, HGEC is a fascinating display of the future potential for synergies of solar power and building efficiencies.  The entire building is designed as a thermal chimney that captures heat and creates air movement using the structural form and thermodynamic principles.  Also, with the help of glazing, the building orientation and design pretty much eliminates the need for electric lighting during the day.  Notably, HGEC consumes about 20% of the energy that's required by a comparable building.

Events Guide: urban artworks and Keep Toronto Reading
Todd Harrison in Spacing Toronto • understanding the urban landscape
WHAT: my City: urban artworks exhibition
WHEN: Friday, February 29 at 7pm
WHERE: Urbanscape Gallery, 2959 Dundas Street West
The opening reception for my City: urban artworks, a group exhibition presented by Urbanscape Gallery, is tomorrow (Friday) from 7pm to 10pm. This exhibition, on until March 12, is focused on exploring city themes: the experience of urban living, the people, the buildings, the spaces, the relationships, and whatever else.
For more information, visit www.urbanopathy.com.

2 Questions for Jade Rude
Greg in MoCo Loco
Staying at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto gave us an opportunity to get a closer look than most at the Come Up To My Room exhibit on display there. One of our favorite exhibits was Jade Rude's "frames" shown on the walls of the stairs on the way up to the show. We met with Jade to discuss her work and we had two questions... more after the jump. JGB

Cabin by Lode Architects
architecture.MNP
uilt on the site of a former 12 x 4.5 meter barn near Honfleur, France, this cabin by Lode Architects gives a feeling of elegant, earthy minimalism. Very much your typical - if not well built - cabin from the exterior, the architect’s intent is truly expressed inside - where the cabin walls are a clean, unfinished plywood and the floors are a contrasting black rubber. All of the cabin’s functions are grouped in the center of the building, with a galley kitchen opening out onto the deck [seen below] - opposite which sits a large tub [also below] within an open space, looking out through a large window onto the landscape.

Mile-High London Eco Tower by PopularArchiture
Cate Trotter in Inhabitat
The term “mile high” isn’t just for airplane action anymore- British firm Popularchitecture has proposed a mile-high eco tower for London that’s sure to be just as exciting. At a full mile tall and housing over 100,000 people, this concept tower really is just that: a cool, uber-green concept. With 500 floors would contain schools and hospitals to shops and pubs, and everything else under the sun. While it will likely never be realized, the design does push our thinking forward.

No Babies Falling Down That Well
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
 Even though Christian Randall specializes in conservation architecture, the design of the glass cover on this well is quite modern. I'm not exactly sure of the particular location within the house, but I'd love to think that this well is just located in the middle (well, maybe not quite the middle) of some room or hall, and that the inhabitants' daily routine causes them to walk over it, just like any other floor finish. To me, imagining that this well cover is used just like any other floor makes the surprise of what is below all the more special.

February 27th, 2008

GRAVIA: Gravity Based Kinetic Energy Lamp
Ali Kriscenski in Inhabitat
Gravia, a gravity based kinetic energy lamp concept, wowed our panel judges and the crowd at the Greener Gadgets Conference, earning a second place accolade in the design competition. Created by Clay Moulton, Gravia evokes the lines of a classic timepiece in a modern aesthetic and uses human powered kinetic energy to light an ambient LED floorlamp. It’s a fantastic concept - but one that has stirred up some debate across the blogosphere recently in regards to whether or not it is possible to build such a lamp right now with the technology that exists today.

upcher house, bates masi architects
Justin in materialicious
Upcher House, East Hampton, NY. $190 psf; a two-story cube clad in tinted fiberboard and rough plywood. Love that catwalk….

Dwell Emerging Designer: Jake Barton
architecture.MNP
Dwell has come out with a new video series, adding to their growing video selection, entitled ‘Emerging Designers‘: The emerging designers chosen by our Dwell.com edit team are innovative designers, original thinkers and will likely be influential players in the world of design for years to come. Jake Barton is designing a new breed of museum, one that favors local voices over curatorial authority. They are places for dialogue, not lectures.

The Staten Island of Tomorrow
Brendan in Where
The following comment was made in response to a post at the NY Times blog Dot Earth about the future of suburbia: "The answer to can we uninvent Suburbia is Queens, which in my youth was essentially a suburb and is now a city. Before that in my father’s time it was Brooklyn, a borough of little villages, and more recently Staten Island. The best way of accomplishing this is through good urban transit. In the DC area where I now live, the biggest mall (Tyson’s corner) is in despair trying to attract a new Metro line. The most successful new malls (White Flint and Pentagon City) are on the Metro."

New York, New York
Zac in Lost At E Minor: Music, illustration, art, photography and more
Ah, New York. What a wonderful city! I was there for a few days visiting the main man behind Lost At E Minor, my brother Zolton. In amongst all the walking and talking, I managed to whip out my camera every now and then. These shots capture the vertical scale of the city, the wonderful deco architecture, and the vast blocks of blue that engulf the city on a clear day.

Toronto meets Marrakesh
Thomas Wicks in Spacing Toronto • understanding the urban landscape
Given the winter we’ve been having it would seem impossible to think of Toronto as being in any way exotic, much less to draw comparisons between our city and one in Morocco or the Middle East. That is, until you encounter a work of exotic revival architecture. Like many cities within the sphere of Anglo-American influence, Victorian Toronto had a small love affair what they saw as the “exotic” architectural forms of Islam. Bearing few children, this affair left only small vestiges behind. These buildings, often described simply as “Moorish,” draw their inspiration from north Africa, Turkey, and the Middle East. The few examples that survive today are easy to miss, which is why encountering one on a snowy winter day is all the more surprising — looking at home yet somewhat foreign under a thick blanket of snow.

OFT by Sand & Birch
Young in Architecture
 Nothing is new under the sun. Images shows concept of modular spaces to be assembled to form spaces for families and possibilities of rearrangement.
 "The name OFT comes from the word Loft, in which it has been taken out the "L", that has to be meant like the dimension "Large". The OFT is in fact of limited dimensions in its basic composition, but, as well as the loft, it is characterized by spaces adaptable to changeable necessities."

Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation Synagogue, a Modern LEED Platinum Building
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
The Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation synagogue is a beautiful building on 303 Dodge Avenue in Evanston, Illinois.  The Chicago Tribune reports that it's "believed to be the first synagogue designed to achieve the highest level -- platinum -- in the [USGBC's LEED] rating system."  That's probably true.  The  JRC board of directors mandated LEED Platinum certification, but my search of LEED Certified projects does not list the JRC synagogue yet.  Nevertheless, it's a fine example of green architecture in the religious building context, which is something we don't see too often. Designed by Ross Barney Architects, the $8 million, 32,000 sf building opened its doors this month. Originally, the plan called for a 42,000 sf building, but Evanston's zoning ordinance required a scale back, so the 32,000 sf building is full of flexible, convertible-type spaces.


Australia Builds the Largest Solar Plant (for now)
Maria Surma Manka in Green Options
Every time I turn around, it seems like a new state or new nation is building the world’s largest solar power plant! So here’s the latest one: Australia will break ground next year on a 154-megawatt solar plant in Victoria. That’s nearly twice the size of the largest solar plant in the U.S. Once it’s up [...]

Firm Faces #7
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
Today, 8:00 AM
STL Architects is "a collaborative group of design professionals with a common vision and a passion for architecture, planning, and design...led by Luis Collado, Jose Luis de la Fuente and Tracy Susanne Salvia" with 15 professionals. They "believe that good architecture evolves through humble, team-based efforts."

This Week from Tokyo
Jean in MoCo Loco
+ Plusminuszero's 2.5R series, initially including an analog alarm clock and a thermo-hygrometer, has finally gone on sale.

RUSSIA TOWER - World’s largest naturally ventilated building
Jill Fehrenbacher in Inhabitat
What is going on with all these gigantic spiky eco towers popping up all over Russia and the former Soviet Union? First it was the piercing Siberian eco-tower in Mansyisk, then the sharp and very aggressive looking ‘Peace’ Center in Astana, Kazakstan, then the enormous volcanic Crystal Island spire in Moscow, and just yesterday, this new, blade-like green tower going up in St. Petersburg. Seriously, what gives? Iconic British architect Norman Foster is responsible for 4 out of 5 of these pointy eco towers, so clearly the man has a thing for building sharp, angular ‘environmental’ towers in the former Soviet Union. But is there a connection in terms of the geography and clients as well? Is it something in air?

Random House Purchases The Monacelli Press
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Big news in the world of art and design publishing, as it's been announced that Random House has purchased The Monacelli Press, who, if you're not immediately familiar with, you likely recognize the titles they've published, from Bruce Mau...

zeroHouse wins Texas Society of Architects award
Young in Architecture
 like prefab house alot. Normally, prefab house requires several aspects: -
1. It’s aesthetic requirement.
2. It needs to look nice, cute and preferably small and clients are normally young couples or younger generation that prefers high-tech stuff.
3. Its’ well-thought and neat consideration of the living conveniences that pre-fabricated into the house.
4. Its’ easy to construct and installation cuts down the construction time...

Bird's Nest meets Bubble Wrap
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Our roving correspondent architect Iker Gil, fresh from a trip to pre-Olympics Beijing, provides us with these two images. The first is of PTW/Arup's National Aquatic Centre, wrapped in 100,000 square meters of EFTE, a plastic which both absorbs solar radiation and reduces thermal heat loss.

February 26th, 2008

Mixed-Use Infrastructure
Brendan in Where
Cities are extremely complex organisms made up of hundreds of independent and interdependent systems. The most basic and oft-overlooked of these systems are some of the most vital. Sewers, which remove waste and excess water, keep our streets clean and dry. They do this out of sight. Canals, rivers, bridges, and roadways allow for the transportation of goods and people within densely populated urban centers. We take them for granted. We have many large facilities for cleaning our water, recycling our trash, and producing our energy, and we hate it when we have to look at them.

laurie baker: guru of low-cost housing
Justin in materialicious
Laurie Baker, a British architect living in India, died last year at age 90. A fascinating man. Anyone know about him? From the obit at BDOnline: Gandhian principles infused his work, as they did his life. “I now think Gandhi was right,” he wrote in 1975, “when he said that all the building materials should be found within five miles of the site”, and “Low-cost techniques should not be considered only for the poor — our aim should be to design only the simplest of buildings for all.”

Radiant Dark: Part 1
sabine7 in MoCo Loco
Although in its inaugural year, Radiant Dark was an important exhibition that took place last week in Toronto, alongside Come Up to My Room and IDS. Curated by MADE’s Shaun Moore and Julie Nicholson, Radiant Dark was a show that focused on themes of darkness and luxury, very interesting in light of the massive fire that destroyed several historic buildings in the very same block the day the show was meant to open. ...

Book: Campbell House
Dylan Reid in Spacing Toronto • understanding the urban landscape
He walked west along Queen Street, away from the centre of town. On the northwest corner of University and Queen sat a little building called Campbell House. It occupied a postage stamp of grass and looked out on nothing that had been there when its lawns had been laid. At some point in the past, some cherishing landowner, now dead, had fought off the parcelling of his little estate to an interest of some kind. Maybe a tiny hermit’s cabin on his grounds had been put forth as hallowed, a place the loss of which would spell an end of something important....

The Louvre Most Visited Museum of '07 By a Huge Margin
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Don't be surprised if, the next time you're in Paris, you see those gigantic foam "We're #1" hands for sale at the Louvre's gift shop. Sure, it's a little tacky, but you have to give it to them, as...

Jetson Green: Carbon Neutral Lighthouse
architecture.MNP
Philip over at Jetson Green, writes: In England, a handful of efficient demonstration homes have been built on the grounds of the Building Research Establishment Ltd, including “The Lighthouse,” which is the first net zero carbon house in the UK. The house is also the first to attain level six in the Code for Sustainable Homes, which indicates that it is carbon neutral. The two-bedroom house is only 93.3 square meters (barely over 1000 sq. ft.) in a 2-1/2 story building. The building has solar panels and evacuated solar tubes on its roof, as well as making use of passive measures with ventilation chimneys. It also incorporates rainwater catchment as part of the building design.

furniture from reclaimed oak wine casks, cliff spencer
Justin in materialicious
From Leigh Spencer: American and French Oak are used during the fermentation process to impart subtle flavors to wine. At the same time, the wine leaves its mark on the wood. The 1/2” thick staves we reclaimed from the vineyards are stained through by the grapes. The Pinot Noir makes for the darkest stain while the Pinot Grigio leaves the lightest. Except for the non-toxic adhesives and the water base finishes, the furniture is made from 100% recycled materials. And yes, the shop smells like a winery while the wood is being processed…..

February 25th, 2008


Niland Residence, Austin Texas by Andersson Wise
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
Yesterday, 11:47 PM
This project was an extensive renovation of an existing residence built in the late 1980's on a wooded site in West Austin. The project consisted primarily of redesigning the living and dining rooms and the master suite within the interior and a complete redesign of the swimming pool and entry deck for the exterior.
Interior materials and surfaces

Höweler + Yoon on Boston City Hall 2.0
architecture.MNP
Some of you ninjas may remember the posts we had up a few months back featuring Boston’s City Hall - and the exhibition at Pink Comma of the ‘alternative’ schemes that had recently been presented in Architecture Boston. One such proposal [or, two+, really] was designed by our current architecte de la semaine, Höweler + Yoon Architecture.

Soft, sand and birch design
Justin in materialicious
An interesting concept from Sand & Birch Design: The name OFT comes from the word Loft, in which it has been taken out the “L”, that has to be meant like the dimension “Large”. The OFT is in fact of limited dimensions in its basic composition, but, as well as the loft, it is characterized by spaces adaptable to changeable necessities. We have imagined a home that would easily allow one to assemble different pieces and to change them during the time. Adding or subtracting elements, also temporarily.

New Gazprom Tower To Be Europe’s Tallest & Greenest?
Karim Yergaliyev in Inhabitat
The historic city of St. Petersburg in Russia will soon be home to the tallest tower in Europe. The UK-based architectural firm RMJM was given a go by the Russian gas giant to build the new Gazprom Neft headquarters in the former Russian capital. Officially called the Okhta Tower, the eco skyscraper is promising to be “one of the most environmentally sustainable high rise buildings in the world,” according to the RMJM...

The Surreal Thing

Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Even as it celebrates the 40th anniversary of the city's landmarks ordinance, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks not only continues to leave many of Chicago's most essential buildings unprotected, it's upending the very definition of what a landmark building is...


 

February 23rd And 24th, 2008

wittus outdoor grills / fireplaces
Justin in materialicious
The Phoenix and Firebird grills were created by Danish architectural designer Bent Falk, and are intended to be used as outdoor fireplaces and barbeque grills. Made of COR-TEN steel.

Arboreal Architecture Prototype
Mitchell Joachim, Ph.D. in Mitchell Joachim: Archinode Studio
Fab Tree Hab: accurately controlled living plant geometry to form dwellings. Just as the modern biotechnology revolution owes its existence to the intelligence in ecosystems at the molecular level, sustainable technologies for homes can also benefit from biological, natural systems; however, starting at the molecular scale is not necessary. Rather, as the intention of this design explores, lumber maintained in its macro, living form becomes a superstructure. Templates, cut from 3D computer files control the plant growth in the early stages. After a time the templates are removed and reused in a new home.
- New 3D model fabrication with Edward Ward.

The Architect "Marlon Blackwell" House, Fayetteville, Arkansas, 2006

Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
The Architect "Marlon Blackwell" House, Fayetteville, Arkansas, 2006
The Blackwell House responds to a site anomaly set within a dense inner-city neighborhood near a city park. The 10,000sq.ft. trapezoid shaped lot is traversed diagonally by a dry-bed creek. The urban grid and the modest scale of existing houses in the neighborhood is enhanced

A Fad or Here to Stay?
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
C & I are in the middle of planning our bathroom remodel, and I am having some serious tile issues... I want to have an all white bathroom and tile EVERYTHING... but I can't decide on the tile. I've been going back and forth between this small glass mosaic (which is actually rather affordable) and 2x2 white ceramic tile (with a neutral medley on the floor)... I have to admit that I'm a little bit nervous that these glass mosaic tiles are going the way of the vessel sink.... which I think we can all admit is a fad that has passed its prime.

American suburbs the new slums?
Matthew Blackett in Spacing Montreal
In a bizarre reversal of urban decay, many homes and streets in American suburbs are being abandoned due to a number of reasons, including the fallout of the sub-prime mortgage crisis. The Atlantic magazine’s Christopher B. Leinberger wonders if the ‘burbs will become 21st century slums. Strange days are upon the residents of many a suburban cul-de-sac. Once-tidy yards have become overgrown, as the houses they front have gone vacant. Signs of physical and social disorder are spreading. At Windy Ridge, a recently built starter-home development seven miles northwest of Charlotte, North Carolina, 81 of the community’s 132 small, vinyl-sided houses were in foreclosure as of late last year. Vandals have kicked in doors and stripped the copper wire from vacant houses; drug users and homeless people have furtively moved in. In December, after a stray bullet blasted through her son’s bedroom and into her own, Laurie Talbot, who’d moved to Windy Ridge from New York in 2005, told The Charlotte Observer, “I thought I’d bought a home in Pleasantville. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that stuff like this would happen.”

Simulated Environments for Animals
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
These are some plans for a new zoological park in Vincennes, France, designed by Paris architects Beckmann N'Thepe. The project is noteworthy for, among other things, its use of what could be called simulated geology. These artificial earthforms will contain simulated environments within which animals will live. The whole complex will encompass 15 hectares and six "biozones," and it will run partly on solar power.

100 Architects to Design City
Jorge Chapa in Inhabitat
If you had to pick 100 architects to build a city, who would you choose? That’s the challenge posed by Jian Yuan Water Engineering, which has commissioned a plan to create one hundred villas in the city of Ordos, Inner Monglolia, China, comprised of 100 different design solutions by 100 up-and-coming architects. None other than Jacques Herzog of Herzog and De Meuron headed up the selection of emerging architectural talents from all over the world!

In Queens...
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
...A Garden Blooms. Last summer I visited the Queens Botanical Garden for a sneak peak of its Visitors Center designed by BKSK Architects, featuring it as a half dose. Now this month's Metropolis Magazine gives the building some well-deserved treatment, with Fred A. Bernstein giving some in-depth reporting on the process of creating a LEED-platinum building in the multi-cultural borough I call home....

Architecture Prix de Rome for Emerging Practitioners
Duncan Patterson in Spacing Toronto • understanding the urban landscape
The venerable Canadian Council for the Arts recently announced the winner of this years Prix de Rome for Emerging Practitioners. This years winner is young Toronto architect Drew Sinclair, a recent graduate from University of Toronto. Drew’s thesis project, entitled Impossible Properties deals directly, and in a delightfully whimsical fashion, with Toronto’s urban fabric. I thought that it might be of some interest here.

CobHouse
Ugo Okafor in African Architecture and Design
Cobhouse is an environmentally sustainable project by Simric Yarrow to build alternative buildings out of Cob, sustainable timber,straw and clay in South Africa. The aim is really to build a house out of recycled building materials like cardboard, as well as sustainable ones.

February 22nd, 2008


British Columbia "the clear leader in North American climate policy"
Alex Steffen in WorldChanging
B.C.'s provincial government has instituted a carbon tax. It's pretty significant: Taylor said the new carbon tax will begin July 1, starting at a rate that will have drivers paying about an extra 2.4 cents per litre of gasoline at the pumps. The tax -- which will apply to virtually all fossil fuels, including gasoline, diesel, natural gas, coal, propane and home heating fuel -- will then increase each year after that until 2012, reaching a final price of about 7.2 cents per litre at the pumps. After that, Taylor said, it will rest with the government of the day to decide if the tax rate should change any further.
Which is excellent news, but not half as good as the fact that this isn't a tax increase, it's a tax shift: other taxes will go down as this tax goes up, so that average people don't take a financial hit. Low-income British Columbians will even get "climate action dividends" under the plan of $100 per adult and $30 per child.

Dive into Leeds's pool of art
Martin Wainwright in Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog - art
A giant funnel has plunged into the city's defunct swimming pool. If only the space could be saved from demolition for more wonderful art installations .Kim Wakeford is a caterer, not a critic, but I can't really improve on her one-word review of the massive installation that has landed in Leeds for the next four-and-a-half weeks. "Wow!" she says, turning the concrete corner, which used to be taken by thousands of swimmers at the now derelict International Pool. Wow is right...

The Architecture Profession: A Brief Introduction
Young in Architecture
For people who is studying in Malaysia or having intension to be an architect in Malaysia, this is useful reading material posted as a thread in lowyat forum.
"I'm writing this guide as universal as possible so that anybody who's interested in pursuing this field can get a definitive idea of what to do, where to go and how. I will update this as frequent as possible. There have been several inquiries on studying architecture, so I wish I could redirect them to this topic. Although I'm attached to UTM, my intention is purely altruistic and to provide information as neutral as possible." to find out more...

PREFAB FRIDAY: The Rapson Greenbelt
Ali Kriscenski in Inhabitat
Modernist architect Ralph Rapson has managed this to reinterpret a 60-year old design with the green panache of a 21st century prefab. The Rapson Greenbelt, an articulate series of prefab dwellings, is derived from a 1945 design called Case Study #4, which debuted back then as part of Arts & Architecture’s Case Study House Program. Today, the Rapson Greenbelt is part of the modern home portfolio from WIELER, the award-winning providers of custom prefab homes.

Villa D | a Single Family House, Stockholm, Sweden by Rachel Belachev Arkitektur
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
This is a great architectural project on villa or house design that was brought to you by Rachel Belachev Arkitektur . The Villa D is located in south-east of Stockholm, Sweden and situated on a rocky and steep site that overlooks a beautiful surrounding with high above street-level site location. There is two main thing thats the designer/ architect try to solve from the Villa D on design phase based on the client's wish, first how is the way to access the highest point of the site, and an aim to limit the amount of blasted rock. So the problem slove that is come up from this Villa D from the designer /Architect ( Rachel Belachev ) are by choosing to design a clearly defined volume that shoots out from the rock, creating a dramatic effect worthy the site. The result is a long rectangular shaped plan, integrated into the rock on one end, cantilevered with an inclined gable on the other.


February 21st, 2008

Someone Invent a Better City Ranking!
Alex Steffen in WorldChanging
A couple weeks ago, Popular Science released a list of the greenest 50 U.S. cities, to a predictable amount of bloggage and debate about whether Portland is really all that. But something important's been missed in the discussion of the list, which is that it's not actually based on good measurements of what makes a city green. The exercise was based on the following criteria: * Electricity (E; 10 points): Cities score points for drawing their energy from renewable sources such as wind, solar, biomass and hydroelectric power, as well as for offering incentives for residents to invest in their own power sources, like roof-mounted solar panels. * Transportation (T; 10 points): High scores go to cities whose commuters take public transportation or carpool. Air quality also plays a role. * Green living (G; 5 points): Cities earn points for the number of buildings certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, as well as for devoting area to green space, such as public parks and nature preserves. * Recycling and green perspective (R; 5 points): This measures how comprehensive a city’s recycling program is (if the city collects old electronics, for example) and how important its citizens consider environmental issues.

Modern Furnishings No. 01
Bradley in east coast Architecture review
This is the first in a new installment that we are calling, "Modern Furnishings". Similar to our long running series, "Intriguing Earth Architecture", these posts will feature new and unique designs. Additionally, the idea behind the series would be to highlight new design talent from around the world for our readers. The first to be presented here is Jeff Miller, a New York based designer that has both won many awards and been showcased in several exhibitions. Feel free to leave a comment or two.

New To Me: BLOCK
jimmy in Life Without Buildings
Why do I like French architecture firm BLOCK? 2 reasons: clever adaptive reuse projects and because they live up to their name, dammit. "BLOCK." The name provokes images of solid mass -- even the letters somehow read heavy -- and I like a certain weight in architecture. It seems difficult to find a successful contemporary work of architecture that just allows itself to be heavy. Without resorting to outdated "styles," BLOCK's projects manage to merge the gravitas associated with scale & mass...

PopSci: A List of the Top Fifty "Greenest" American Cities
ASLA.org - The Dirt
The Dirt does admit a fondness for lists of all types, and so can't help himself but to list Popular Science magazine's recent list of "America's 50 Greenest Cities." The magazine used survey data and government statistics in over 30 categories to come up with their criteria that boiled down to four metrics: electricity, transportation, "green living," and "recycling and green perspective."

CASA OS Spanish Green House by Nolaster Architects
Cate Trotter in Inhabitat
Perched atop a Spanish cliff sits this gorgeous green home, a privately-owned holiday house that’s as lovely as it is sustainable. Located in Cantabria, Spain, and designed by Madrid-based Nolaster Architects, Casa OS integrates green building techniques to create high-end, low-impact accommodation. The irony is that the original design scheme wasn’t intended to be a green building, but the architects employed many green features for visual impact and practical benefits. We’d just love to live an eco life on that cliff.

Events Guide: Architects & Archives lectures and Women, Weight & Where You Live discussion
Todd Harrison in Spacing Toronto • understanding the urban landscape
WHAT: Building Toronto: Architects & Archives lecture series
WHEN: begins tonight (February 21), continuing ’til April 5
WHERE: City of Toronto Archives, 255 Spadina Road
The City of Toronto Archives and The Friends of the Archives of Ontario present a series of four lectures on architectural topics, hosted by the Toronto Star’s urban issues columnist and architecture critic, Christopher Hume. The speakers will share their views on modern and historical building design, public spaces, and the importance of preserving architectural records in archives

Project Runway
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
A recent landscape design competition sought to rethink the Vatnsmýri airport grounds in Reykjavík, Iceland, putting those old runways to use, for instance, as new urban park space. The entries to the competition are quite interesting, in fact, so I've posted some of them, below, focusing on one particular project at the end of this post (so please scroll down if you've already read about this competition).
First, then, here's the old Vatnsmýri airport and its earthen geometry of intersecting runways. This is the site – star-like and stretching out to its surrounding landscapes – within which the designers had to work.

Kris Kross
sabine7 in MoCo Loco
Kenneth Coponbue is launching a new line of lighting and accessories. Hive offers a wide variety of options, most of which are quite airy. The Kris Kross collection shown above features lighting and screens that are made up of bamboo twigs hand tied to a randomly welded metal frame. The C-U C-Me collection is made of handwoven wire screens dipped in salago fibre and again includes lighting and screens. The Molly lamps are inspired by sea anemones and jellyfish, but are made of ribbon woven through a steel frame. The Crokkis flower stands are simple wire frames and the Luau lamps are formed from palm leaf spines.

Floating over the garden in kitchen made of glass
The Irish Times
'We spend a lot of time watching changes in the garden and sky,' say the owners of a period house with a smart contemporary extension. Emma Cullinan reports. THE giant city garden, behind this 1823 south Dublin house, used to be accessed through a tall window in the kitchen. That was how houses were often designed back then: grand rooms were to the front while small, dingy wet spaces - bathrooms, sculleries, kitchens - were all sent to the back to accommodate activities that were to be hidden from public view (such as cooking and unmentionables in the bathroom).

Höweler + Yoon: Davol Loft
architecture.MNP
Located in Boston, the Davol Loft by Höweler + Yoon was created by combining two 1,100 sf loft spaces on the top floor of a building in Chinatown. The two lofts were mirror images of one another, organized around a central core and separated by a partition wall. The new space is was created through the insertion of an 8′x8′ courtyard into the space, along with two skylights / lightwells [check out that section above]. These combine to add a ton of additional natural light to the loft - while the courtyard space also provides an opportunity to experience the ‘outside’ while living downtown.

FINCA BELLAVISTA: Sustainable Rainforest Community
Abigail Doan in Inhabitat
If you been dreaming of picking up roots, living on the edge, or literally going out on a limb in terms of eco-lifestyle possibilities, then Finca Bellavista: A Sustainable Rainforest Community might be just the thing for you. Located on the base of an almost 6,000 foot primary rainforest mountain on the South Pacific Coast of Costa Rica - not far from the Pan American Highway, Finca Bellavista was created with the sole purpose of preserving 300 acres of local rainforest by offering a unique opportunity for ecologically minded property owners to live sustainably in and steward a managed rainforest environment.

Like Sculpture
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
There was a class at IIT (that I didn't actually take) called visual training... It was very Miesien in methodology, moving single lines on a sheet of paper, locating simple shapes in relation to each other, working with a three dimensional grid, and such. This project by SCT Architecture Studio reminds me of a similar exercise. And I actually love it. L.O.V.E. Love it. The materials are simple and refined and the palette is neutral and serene. All the images are spectacular, but my favorite view is with the church in the background... Because we all know that I'm a sucker for modern and ancient architecture side by side.

If I were Diane von Furstenberg, I'd want to work here too...
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
In some ways, this new studio/office/flagship/apartment for Diane von Furstenberg really reminds me of the paraSITE that was up in Rotterdam while I was studying abroad. From the exterior, its got the same qualities of something leeching off of a subservient structure, and yet from the interior its gracefully integrated. The way that WORK Architects has managed to bring light in to all the main levels through their use of a 'stairdelier' is quite spectacular. It would certainly be a great place to work!

February 20th, 2008

Did You Know That Portugal is a Green Energy Leader?
Mark Seall in Green Options
I didn’t. Few people know this, but Portugal is a European leader in renewable energy as a result of an aggressive plan named E4 (Energy Efficiency and Endogenous Energies) launched in 2001, aimed at improving energy efficiency and production. The BBC brings us some impressive images of Portuguese green energy development and production - worth a [...]

jag’s house, matador atelier d’architecture
Justin in materialicious
JaG’s House, Belgium. Not much info to go on, other than this house won the Prix d’Architecture du Hainaut in 2007 for a single family residence. But I like it.

Las Vegas Ripping Up Lawns to Save Water, But is it Enough?
Janel Sterbentz in Green Options
 In an effort to reduce water usage, in 1999 Las Vegas began to offer $1.50 per square foot of lawn removed from residential and commercial properties. The Water Smart Landscapes program estimates that every square foot of grass replaced with water-smart trees, shrubs and flowers saves an average of 55 gallons of water per year, also saving money on monthly water bills. In the first eight years of the measure, about six square miles of grass have been eliminated, saving 18 billion gallons of water. Despite these efforts, if Las Vegas does not further cut water usage, there is a 10 percent chance that Lake Mead will run dry in six years, and a 50 percent probability it will be completely gone by 2021, absent other changes. These figures are based on a recent study by two researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego.

Going Up
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
The structural engineers over at Hyder Consulting have announced that they are planning what will be, by an overwhelming margin, the world's tallest skyscraper, coming in at double the height of the Burj Dubai – or very nearly one vertical mile. The firm has "confirmed that the tower would be located in the Middle East region," we're told, "but would not give any further details." So is it just a media stunt? I decided, nonetheless, to alter an old BBC diagram about the world's tallest buildings to give myself a sense of what this might mean, size-wise; the results appear above. I have to assume that the building's actual profile will not resemble what I've created... but you never know.

A True Homegrown Investment: Fab Tree Hab
Mitchell Joachim, Ph.D. in Mitchell Joachim: Archinode Studio
"A True Homegrown Investment"
by: Marie Langhout, NuWire Investor, Feb. 19, 2008.
Can’t afford to build a house? Grow one.

AE1: Residential Rooftop Sun Filter
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
Being back in the world of architectural practice after the brief graduate school respite, I find myself spending more and more time looking for and at materials and products and their applications. For me the last is the most important, as context is an overriding consideration for how certain pieces come together into a design. So when it came time to find a way to bridge this time spent into material for this blog, I decided to present certain findings as "architectural elements;" by which I don't mean the usual (columns, porticoes, canopies, balconies, etc.) but the atypical, the apparent threads I see across designs responding to new urban, social, environmental and other conditions.

What's Wrong/Right With This Picture? Steven Holl's Linked Hybrid in Beijing
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
An accident of timing and light suggests a strange, unsettling mutation of modernism. We recently received this construction progress photo, shot by Virgile Simon Bertrand, from Steven Holl's massive Linked Hybrid residential development in Beijing. What caught our eye, what disconcerted our apprehension, was the weirdly unexpected coloration of the towers....


 

February 19th, 2008

Norman Bethune Square’s makeover confirmed
Christopher DeWolf in Spacing Montreal
Pretty much anyone who spends time in the west end of downtown will agree that Norman Bethune Square, at the corner of Guy and de Maisonneuve, desperately needs a makeover. Although plans for renovating the square have been floating around for almost three years, there hasn’t been any funding or concrete timeline announced for the project — until now. Earlier today, the city unveiled new plans for the square and it announced that $22.4 million has been committed to its redevelopment....

City of Athens Gets Green Bags
Stefanos Kofopoulos in Green Options
The city of Athens made a big leap ahead by signing an agreement with all major food stores for replacing plastics bags used for carrying goods. Starting on April 14th 2008 every major super market within Athens will promote and sell the new green bags made from eco friendly materials. Retailers like AB Vasilopoulos, Atlantic, Veropoulos, [...]

Weekly Architecture Film, Part 5, Fritz Lang.
Christoph, anArchitecture in anArchitecture
Born 1890 in Vienna, Austria, Fritz Lang studied civil engineer at the Vienna University of Technology and art at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. In 1914 Fritz Lang moved to Munich and later to Berlin. He soon started to work as a director at the German film studio Ufa. The abolition of public censorship in the Weimar Republic had created a highly inventive period for the German film: He created films like Dr. Mabuse, Der Spieler (Dr. Mabuse the Gambler), Die Nibelungen, the masterpiece Metropolis and M, Fritz Lang's first "talking" picture. In 1933, after the Nazis came into power, Fritz Lang emigrated to the US and joined the MGM studios. He died, almost blind, in 1976, in Beverly Hills. His last appearance was in the 1964 film Le Mépris, by Jean-Luc Godard, where Fitz Lang played himself – a film director.

Soil
Jaime in MoCo Loco
Arja Rantala and Sami Haikonen are the two young designers behind the Finnish design collective Osuma. The pair find inspiration in the forms of their surrounding countryside, as can be seen in Soil, a ceramic tile based on the topography of Helsinki's Töölö Bay. Left uncut, the tiles create a continuous landscape, but when used in smaller pieces new patterns begin to emerge.

the anemix, 3d lighting system
Justin in materialicious
theANEMIX is a lighting system utilizing acrylic panels and LED lighting technology, which can be modified to create a wide range of 3D visual effects. theANEMIX is a modular system - using the catalog forms you can mix several shapes and graphic designs to make your own combination. It was developed by LUXIA, a Chilean company formed by two young architects and lighting designers, Ximena Muñoz and Paulina Villalobos, with the industrial designer Monica Labra

Flying-in the Bat House under military escort
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
The above project, by Andrew Brown, Gareth Jones, and James Falconer, proposes "a home for bats in London." It was produced for the Bat House Project, the stated aim of which was to highlight "the potential for architects, builders, home-owners and conservationists to work together to produce wildlife-friendly building design. It connects the worlds of art and ecology to encourage public engagement with ecology issues."

Modern Marine Homes "Villa Nakros" By Swedish architect, Staffan Strindberg
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
A Home for All The Senses | Modern Marine Homes "The sun glints on the water, the wave gently lap, the beautiful scent of the sea seduces the sense, after a morning swim, the coffe taste lovely". That is the great feeling and sensation that you can feels if you were there spending your time on this cool waterfront home that was called "Villa Nackros", yup, this great seaside villa was designed by Swedish architect, Staffan Strindberg.

Taketo Shimohigoshi’s ‘Green Beams’
architecture.MNP
A recent winner of an AR Award for Emerging Architecture, Taketo Shimohigoshi’s [of A.A.E., or Associates of Architecture and Environment] ‘FLEG Daikanyama’ is an attempt to introduce a green, natural element into the super dense streets of Tokyo.
Shimohigoshi has addressed the mostly overlooked space over the streetscape - creating an interesting and dynamic condition above the heads of the pedestrians below. Two white concrete walls have been inserted into the space, the full width of the site, as if cutting out the volume from the surrounding urban fabric on either side - while opening it on the front to the city, creating a stepped plaza. These walls frame large terrace spaces which are set back from the street - contrary to the ‘typical’ urban balconies that protrude from the face of buildings. These terraces then look back out towards the surrounding neighborhood, through a horizontal arrangement of moss-covered ‘beams’.

Jetson Green: Zorlu Ecocity
architecture.MNP
Preston, green ninja master over at Jetson Green, writes: Zorlu Ecocity is a Llewelyn Davies Yeang project located in Istanbul, Turkey. It’s a mixed-use development located at the southern extremity of Buyukdere Street in Istanbul. The plan is conceptualized as a “city within a city” and conforms to the city’s planning strategy to multiply the number of urban centers throughout the Marma region to relieve pressure on Istanbul’s historic core. Click here to read read the rest of this article [this is just an excerpt] over at Jetson Green.

Urban Bike Sharing System Coming to London!
Jorge Chapa in Inhabitat
We’ve already seen the massive success of urban bike sharing in Paris, but now the super-smart Velib Bike program is taking to the streets of London! 15,000 bikes, 1,000 stations and more than 7.5 million miles of combined biking later have already been implemented in London, and the new scheme will contribute £75 million and 6,000 shared bikes to the mass biking scheme. Spearheaded by London Mayor Ken Livingstone, the new ‘granny bike’ sharing scheme will reduce traffic congestion and help clear up the air of England’s sprawling capital city.

February 18th, 2008

The Endless City Q&A
Brendan in Where
After a tiny bit of prodding, the folks at Phaidon sent over a review copy of the recently released book The Endless City, edited by Ricky Burdett and Deyan Sudjic, and containing essays by the likes of Saskia Sassen, Enrique Peñalosa, and the indefatigable Rem Koolhaas. Where will feature a review of the book soon, but first, another treat from Phaidon; the editors were asked a series of questions. The following is a selection of the highlights from the record of this Q&A. What are the main issues that you think people should be concerned about when it comes to city growth?

250,000 LEGO's Can't be Wrong: Really BIG Shew at the Graham
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
New Graham Foundation Director Sarah Herda's first exhibition, The BIG CPH Experiment, Seven New Architectural Species from the Danish Welfare State, is a winner. You only have until March 1st to see it, but you still shouldn't miss it. Read - and see - all about what makes it so special...

green roof workshop (and garage), harrison architects
Justin in materialicious
Green Roof Workshop, Kirkland, WA. Harrison Architects’ green-roofed workshop and garage for owners Jim Sproull and Susan Radke-Sproull is part of the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild’s Green Roof Project. Reader holz box left a comment recently pointing out the resemblance to the Do-It-Yourself Shed by Marco Valdes. I love it.

ADLS 18.02.2008: Höweler + Yoon
architecture.MNP
Founded in 2005 by J. Meejin Yoon and Eric Höweler, Höweler + Yoon Architecture is a young Boston based firm ‘operating in the space between architecture, art, and landscape’. It is a multidisciplinary practice, experimenting with electronic media as a material in many of their projects - such as White Noise/White Light, an interactive LED installation created for the Athens Olympics and constructed on the side of the Acropolis for 30 days. The two designers first met while at Cornell University for their BArchs - then going their separate ways, Yoon went on to Harvard’s GSD while Höweler stayed at Cornell for his masters. While Höweler stayed in New York, working in NYC for KPF and then Diller Scofidio + Renfro - and writing Skyscrapers: Vertical Now. Yoon found herself in Cambridge teaching at MIT - and founding MY Studio, where her work investigated the intersection of electronics and architecture. And oh yeah - somewhere in the middle of all that, the two got married.

casa en sta. margarita, sct estudio de arquitectura
Justin in materialicious
Casa en Santa Margarita, Mallorca, Spain. See all the photos and drawings over at Arkinetia. Very nice.

Pitt-Friendly Lawrence Scarpa Builds 'Solar Umbrella Residence'
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
...about Lawrence Scarpa's update and expansion of Paul Rudolph's ideas for the original Umbrella House, building his own larger creation on top of a small bungalow, with the name, "The Solar Umbrella Residence." Beyond just the interesting story in and of itself, you might also recall that Scarpa owns one of the firms responsible for working on Brad Pitt's Make It Right program in New Orleans.

Zaha Hadid's Architecture Foundation Plans Scrapped
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
In case you missed it, going into the weekend, it was surely a sad close to the week for Zaha Hadid who learned that The Architecture Foundation building she was planning to construct in London, her first on her...

Church Furniture For Metz
Frame Magazine
Today, 6:36 AM
Created for the church of [link=http://orguesainteucaire.free.fr/]Saint Eucaire Metz[/link], Frank and Stanimira Rafaschieri designed a series of holy furniture.


 

February 16th and 17th, 2008

VS 17.02.2008: CHILE:’97-’07 Public Works
architecture.MNP
The Documentary film we’re featuring was done after an invitation we got from Museo Del Barrio. It was showed last October, as part of its program for 2007’s Open House New York Weekend. A few months later, it was included in an exhibition of contemporary Chilean architecture at Belgrade’s Museum of Applied Arts. Its last stop -before being uploaded here, at 0300- was at Architecture School of Universidad Catolica de Chile...

Hey, Big Schlepper
Chris in Brand Avenue
Several recent articles point to the growth of the boutique outdoor clothing chain Nau as evidence of something more than a unique marketing strategy. In particular, a great piece by Alex Steffen of Worldchanging describes how the company's way of selling could alter consumer habits: I'm really intrigued by NAU's new retail model, where you go in, try clothes on, check out their look and feel, and then order them for delivery to your home (you can buy them and carry them home yourself...

Vertical Transport Through Architectural Space
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
Further proof that elevators have been ignored for too long in contemporary building design – after all, they are moving rooms and could be put to use as something other than mere vertical transport through architectural space – even Harrods, the London department store, is (temporarily) updating its lifts. According to the Guardian, Harrods is about to open Lifted, "the world's first exhibition to be displayed in elevators" (a wild over-statement that is, in fact, wrong). The elevator-based exhibition will include work by "Oscar-winning composer Michael Nyman and visual artist Chris Levine."

Couples in Architecture.
Christoph, anArchitecture in anArchitecture
According to the Austrian study "Berufsfeld 1.0" – a national survey of Austrian Architects - for 31% of architects their partner is also an architect. Maybe because architects rarely socialize outside their scene? Surely, people meet at work and school / university – that's not unusual. A partner in the same professional field is maybe more appreciative of job-related troubles, like unsocial working hours combined with an often low salary. When people go into business for oneself, they increasingly start husband-and-wife collaborations – like partners in other architectural practices. Hopefully these couples have areas of life that aren't related to architecture. So the couple at least spends time together at work!

IRender nXt
Young in Architecture
 "IRender is a new, fully integrated, rendering solution for SketchUp.
Create Photorealistic renderings from SketchUp models.
Lights, reflections, materials, transparency.
Wizards to create lamps and light fixtures.
Wizard to create mirrors. "

Tour Chicago's 1893 World's Columbian Exposition - Sunday and Monday only
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
The Museum of Science Industry is again showing Lisa Snyder's massively ambitious virtual tour of Chicago's 1893 White City. Snyder began the project as a way to showcase UCLA's urban simulation team's software technology. She previously showed the project in 2005, when I saw it. I was blown away with how, even at that early stage, it was beginning to provide a very detailed and visceral view of what the square-mile exhibition was like. According to great story by William Muller in Thursday's Chicago Tribune, Snyder has added 10 state pavilions and the fair's giant Ferris Wheel as part of filling out a complete portrait of the project. I think Snyder should get in touch for the Sim City people about supporting the project by licensing some of her virtual images of the fair's structures for their next edition..

Money - Get Your Free Money Here - plus a Show You Shouldn't Miss
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
But then, nothing's every really free, is it? That's probably what you'll be thinking as you're filling out your grant applications. The Graham Foundation dropped us a sedate note to remind you that February 25, 2008 is the application deadline for Production and Presentation Grants to organizations. The form is available online the Graham Foundation web site and must be submitted electronically. It's the first stage of a two-stage review process. And March 15th is the application deadline for this year's Carter Manny Award, also available on-line, and must be submitted - well, you know the drill by now. If you're a student , don't even think about applying unless you've been "nominated by [your] department." This is, after all, Chicago: we don't want nobody that nobody sent. The Carter Manny award supports academic research "concerned with architecture and with other arts that are immediately contributive to architecture. "

Intriguing Earth Architecture 42
Bradley in east coast Architecture review
Maggie Centre, Kirkcaldy, Scotland - Zaha Hadid Architects

Popular Science Highlights America’s 50 Greenest Cities
Carol McClelland in Green Options
America's 50 Greenest Cities report by Popular Science becomes a powerful resource for those looking for a green career or green business.

Mayne’s Federal Building Too Sophisticated for LEED
Evelyn Lee in Inhabitat
It looks as though LEED, the leading measure of green building standards in the US, is already having problems keeping up with the new building technologies related to sustainable design. Original press releases regarding Thom Mayne’s Federal Building had the building slated at a minimum of LEED Silver, with more than 70 percent of the structure cooled through natural ventilation. Even with consultants on hand from the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory laying out detailed computer simulations of the interior environment, the Federal Building does not base qualifications for LEED Certification.

The New Architectural Pragmatism
Christoph, anArchitecture in anArchitecture
What's the architects' role in broader cultural society? Should they be more utopian or rather pragmatic? The profession’s underlying idealism came under attack by factors like the broadening of turbo-capitalism, consumerism and shortsighted politics. Since the mid-90ies, young architects seemed to be bored by architectural theory - they simply want to build. "They wanted to (and could, with an improved economy) get to work on real projects, real conditions, real places; they wanted to be ambitious without being dreamy, to improve bits of the world without self-aggrandizing delusions." (The New Architectural Pragmatism, William S. Saunders, p. viii) Don’t think: build!

galpón barn, cazú zegers aira arquitectos
Justin in materialicious
Galpón Barn, Kawelluco, Pucón, Chile. A great interpretation of a barn house.

February 15th, 2008

Amsterdam Subcity
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
Will the city of Amsterdam soon build "a labyrinth city" beneath its canals? Maybe so. According to World Architecture News, "Newspapers around Europe have been reporting on the scheme, which requires the city's canals to be drained to allow the construction of a vast underground mixed-use complex beneath."

Take your Business Off-Grid, or Become a Net Producer of Energy: Learn How at the MREA’s Renewable Energy Fair
John Ivanko in Green Options
All businesses have “variable expenses” related to energy, right? Not always. There’s nothing in the IRS tax code preventing businesses from investing in renewable energy systems (and energy conservation/efficiency) that allow these businesses to operate more efficiently, sustainably, and green. In fact, often there are tax credits and other incentives to encourage these kinds [...]

Top 5 Ways to Hack the Surface of the Earth
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
Yesterday, 1:10 PM
I've got a new post up on io9 this morning: the Top 5 Ways to Hack the Surface of the Earth. Extremely long-term readers of BLDGBLOG will recognize many of the proposed geo-hacks, but hopefully this look at hacking the earth's surface will still stimulate... Let me know what you think! 

Smart ideas on our condo future
TREVOR BODDY - Globe and Mail
In the worlds of real estate and architecture, it is nearly always mistaken to extrapolate the future from the trembling present, especially in nervous times like these. Looking at Vancouver's forest of construction cranes and current frenzy for luxe, deluxe and ultra-luxe, it is easy to make a very wrong guess on where our condo scene will be in a few years. Straight-lining from what is talked up as hot right now, one would think "starchitects" like London's Norman Foster or Miami's Andres Duany would lead the list of future condo designers here. But that is unlikely.


February 14th, 2008

Conscious Urbanism: Sister Neighborhoods
Brendan in Where
...There are no shortage of complaints about neighborhood associations and other community groups, the most common being that they tend to be insular, cliquey, out of touch, and outright anti-change. Another major complaint, which results directly from the aforementioned, is that these groups tend to be made up of only the higher end of the neighborhood's age range. Young people, we are reminded time and again, aren't active in their communities. They don't care enough to get involved, or they're too lazy, or they're something else that isn't the fault of the people doing the complaining....

l.a. times: bill krisel, modern’s everyman
Justin in materialicious
From the L.A. Times Home and Garden section: The design that so instantly enchanted them isn’t actually new at all. It’s a reproduction of a 1955 home by Krisel, updated by him to current codes and filled with 21st century technology. The open floor plan, the high beamed ceilings, the walls of glass and the clerestory windows that offer glimpses of sky and swaying palms are exactly as the architect envisioned 53 years ago.

Poor neighbourhoods more dangerous for pedestrians
Christopher DeWolf in Spacing Montreal
“Pauvres piétons” exclaimed the front page of La Presse today. Inside the paper, a series of articles look at pedestrian safety in the city, noting that the number of pedestrians injured each year continues to increase.One article makes the startling—though not surprising—revelation that low-income pedestrians are far more vulnerable to being injured by cars, the reason being that wealthier neighbourhoods are much likelier to restrict automobile traffic than poor ones.

Society of Publication Designers Announces Award Finalists
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Yesterday, 5:25 PM
Approximately 7,000 entries, 125 categories, and 64 judges later, The Society of Publication Designers has just released the giant list of Medal Finalists from its 43rd Annual Design Competition, which includes awards for design, photography, and illustration excellence. The judging...

my all-time favorite houses by rural studio
Justin in materialicious
James Polk recently wrote a wonderful post on his blog the New American Village, entitled Sambo Mockbee’s ‘Shelter for the Soul’, and I was reminded to put up photos of my two favorite Rural Studio houses: the Harris Butterfly House (top) and the Bryant Haybale House. I’m always very moved when I see them. These two photos accompanied a great article Andrea Oppenheimer Dean wrote for LAND Views (Online Journal of landscape, Art & Design).

three houses by agraz arquitectos
Justin in materialicious
Casa Cubo (above) and Casas La Cima & N (below, after the jump), located in Jalisco, Mexico.

Critics Survey 'American Architecture Today'
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
We now leave the hostile shoes of the British Empire now and return to our own, though no less hostile, countryside. This week found the release of Architectural Record's "American Architecture Today" feature, which asked six critics, each in...

Sustainable transportation plans galore
Dylan Reid in Spacing Toronto • understanding the urban landscape
London, England has just unveiled a jaw-dropping new plan to greatly increase the amount of walking and cycling in the city. London plans to spend the equivalent of almost a billion dollars over the next decade on a series of massive cycling and walking initiatives throughout the greater London area. The schemes include a huge bikes-for-hire system in the city centre, designated cycle commuter routes, bike zones with cycle priority streets in shopping and school areas, and a massive new wayfinding system for pedestrians. I particularly like the way cycling is seen as becoming a “fully-funded part of the public transport network” — that is, something that is worth significant ongoing funding as part of a coherent transportation strategy. The stated goal is to have one in ten Londoners make a round trip by bike every day.

Hof | a new Country Residence by Studio Granda Architects
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
Description : Located in the Skakafjördur fjord, Iceland. This New Country Residence that was designed by Studio Granda Architects was designed and built on 2000-2004. The house located less than 100km from the Arctic Circle. The spectacle of the location, its remoteness and special program fuelled a unique rapport between the client, contractor and architect resulting in a building that is in every respect a direct consequence of that collaboration. ...

Wigglesworth’s Rusty Boxes
architecture.MNP
“We tell people we used to operate out of a couple of rusty boxes, but that now we have a new building, we operate out of a couple of rusty boxes.”
Designed by Sarah Wigglesworth Architects, the new Cremorne Riverside Center has been built to replace an existing boating facility that was formerly housed in two shipping containers [and which used an old ‘rubbish hopper’ as a rowing tank]. Located on what is described as the ‘decaying northern embankment of the Thames’, the Riverside Center now consists of two corten steel boxes - one to house the offices and the boats [which were previously stored outside], and one for the changing rooms. The two volumes are connected by a platform constructed of a metal mesh, built on the same level as the top of the river’s retaining wall - allowing direct access [via ramp, as seen below] to the floating pontoon from which the boats are launched.


 

February 13th, 2008

Museum for hoarding
Dominic Roberts in CONTINUITY IN ARCHITECTURE
Elegant temporary wrapping at the Harris Museum, Preston. Tags: cia, preston, hoarding, harris

Living in SimCity
Brendan in Where
SimCity, one of the most popular electronic games of all time, played an undeniable role in the return to the popular consciousness over the past few decades of urban planning. While the original game succeeded by breaking cities down into their most basic elements (residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, infrastructural, recreational), subsequent versions have become more complex, and more nuanced. And with the most recent version of the game, SimCity Societies (the first version not developed by creator Will Wright and his team at Maxis), came and went with barely a whimper, the franchise is ideally poised for a thorough revamp. I recently read two posts at Very Spatial that got me thinking about SimCity and its potential for revival....

Panel Discussion: Manufacturing Neighbourhoods
Dylan Reid in Spacing Toronto • understanding the urban landscape
The second event in the Building Sustainability Lecture Series organized by Architecture for Humanity is coming up. The first lecture was completely full, so if you plan to go, get there early! A panel discussion on the ways to create and maintain vibrant, healthy, sustainable neighbourhoods in which to live, work, and play. Panelists are David Hulchanski (UofT, Urban Institute), Ken Greenberg (Planner/Architect), Bruce Hinds (Architect/OCAD prof), Shokofeh Dilmaghani (Community Development Worker), and Gillian Booth (Medical Professional, St. Michael’s). Guest Apperance by Adam Vaughan (City Councillor).

Art Center Mobility Summit: A Field Report
WorldChanging Team in WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future
by Justus Stewart
I. The Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena, was the site of a conference last week titled “Systems, Cities & Sustainable Mobility.” The building is an adaptive reuse (most of the conference took place in a converted wind tunnel), and is LEED certified. It is also, most important for the topic at hand, walking distance from the Gold Line, which connects downtown Los Angeles to Pasadena. The conference opened on Wednesday morning with a keynote from WC’s own Alex Steffen, who set the tone for what would be the conference’s central theme: is green technology (in this case cars) enough to bring about a sustainable future? Alex issued the challenge that we had to completely re-design our systems, not just our technologies; that we need a new definition of what it means to be a prosperous American in the 21st century. (Alex’s post on the subject can be read here.)

Infrastructure for the Future We Want
Alex Steffen in WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future
Infrastructure bores us. Most people in the developed world spend a significant portion of their incomes primarily to avoid ever having to think of the infrastructure we use, or the implications of the way we use it. Therefore, we ignore it. But like most of the ignored products of our minds, infrastructure is about to demand that pay it attention once more. Throughout the developed world, so called infrastructure deficits -- large accumulated backlogs of needed work on existing infrastructural systems, and newer demands for infrastructure that go unmet -- are growing rapidly. Nowhere is this more true than in the U.S., where a study done last year by the Urban Land Institute, Infrastructure 2007: A Global Perspective, found that we'd have to spend $1.6 trillion dollars to bring our infrastructure up to date.

Memorial Coliseum Again Faces Threat, Possibility
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Yesterday, 12:27 PM
As reported in today's Oregonian by Ryan Frank and Brent Hunsberger, the Trail Blazers have decided to revisit the idea of redeveloping the Rose Quarter area. That, the report says, could include retrofitting or demolishing the Coliseum. It's true that the Rose Quarter is a dismal place unless there's a Blazer game happening, and even then it's only because of the game. At the same time, one of the city's biggest transit centers is here, so it would be good for the city for this area to be used more efficiently and smartly.

News From Stockholm #1
Frame Magazine
Four presentations stood out at Stockholm's latest furniture fair.  Read more…

Capturing the model architect
Jonathan Glancey in Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog - art
Timothy Soar's photographs show architects at work in their ultra-neat, beautifully designed studios. And very revealing they are too

Felsen and Dunn, Kulapat Yantrasast - really late additions to February calendar
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Two new additions to our February calendar of Architecture Events will be duking it out next Wednesday evening February 20th. Felsen and Dunn: Water and Infrastructure - Martin Felsen and Sarah Dunn, co-principals of UrbanLab and newly named co-directors of alternative design firm Archeworks will be appearing at a Chicago Architectural Club event, 6:30 P.M., February 20th, at the I-Space Gallery on the second floor of 230 West Superior. Their entry, Growing Water, was the the first place winner of the History Channel's 2007 national City of the Future competition. Future events will include Krueck and Sexton's Mark Sexton and Tom Jacobs talking about their new Spertus Museum, on March 25th, Blair Kamin on April 29th, and Stanley Tigerman talking on "Chicago Activism" on May 20th.


February 12th, 2008

CO2 Architecture.
Christoph, anArchitecture in anArchitecture
Yes, it has become a dogma that about 30 - 40% of carbon-dioxide emissions is caused by buildings: it is the sum of erection, maintenance and demolition. In fact, the precise CO2 calculation of an individual building isn't easy - too many factors influence the total CO2 emission: building life cycle, wall heat conductance, geographic location, ventilation, energy sources, building materials and more. Usually architect's don’t have that expert knowledge. ...

skyline residence, belzberg architects
Justin in materialicious
Belzberg Architects. A work of art, is what this is. I’m loving the giant basketweave effect. An outdoor theater never hurts, either… This was in Dwell Magazine recently.

Green Building's Resident Curmudgeon
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
I got to know Metropolis magazine columnist Philip Nobel last November while we were on a press trip for a museum opening, the Ullens Center in Beijing. I found him to be a nice guy, if quite the chain smoker. We and a couple other journalists had fun scurrying away by taxi from a gala dinner with champagne and caviar held in a building with no heat (that's China in a nutshell). But in his column Philip has somewhat of a curmudgeonly reputation. That's definitely true when it comes to green building. "And not only because it's boring," Philip writes in this month's column.

hof country residence, studio granda architects
Justin in materialicious
Hof Country Residence, Skakafjördur Fjord, Iceland. Designed/built: 2000-2004. What a cool house. Text and links at end of post.

Ideas for Energy-Efficient Home Building
Kristin Dispenza in Green Options
For the past several years, the U.S. Department of Energy has been promoting the development of Zero Energy Homes (ZEHs). The DOE has put forth efforts that range from funding studies and partnering with private contractors to providing free building energy analysis software. By some estimates, over 2000 Zero Energy Homes have been built. Beginning [...]

The government cannot create culture
Jonathan Jones in Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog - art
Art moves in mysterious ways and no government initiative, no matter how well-intentioned, can kick-start a new Renaissance

Jetson Green: brio54
architecture.MNP
Preston, green ninja master over at Jetson Green writes:
brio54 plans a long list of green features for their homes, such as whole house allergen filtration, low VOC materials, on-demand water heating, dual-flush toilets, Energy Star HVAC and appliances, natural wood and stone flooring, 3Form countertops, and passive energy design. They’re also investigating the use of geothermal, photovoltaic, solar heating, graywater recovery, and rainwater harvesting systems, all of which can be implemented as an upgrade to the standard designs.

Studio/Gang in 65:41
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
On January 30th, Studio/Gang Architects' Jeanne Gang gave a lecture at the USC School of Architecture in Los Angeles, where MADA s.p.a.m.'s Qingyun Ma has just started his second year as Dean. Gang's lecture, which you can view here, provides a densely-packed yet concise overview of her firm's work and philosophies, from the Starlight Theater in Rockford, right through to the recently completed SOS Children's Village Community Center at 7600 South Parnell, and the new Solstice residential development in Hyde Park, from which the illustration you see here is taken. The news is bad, however, if you're on a Mac. I wasn't been able to get sound in either Safari or Firefox, although I've been able to run other presentations that use ....

February 11th, 2008

Montreal housing under the microscope
Misha Warbanski in Spacing Montreal
The McGill Daily’s special issue on Housing is on newsstands and they’ve invented a new word for the invasion of student in the city — studentification. There’s more talk about Griffintown with a nice overview of the proposed Devimco project with comments from residents, urban planners and fellow blogger A.J. Kandy And a reminder about why the Milton-Parc neighbourhood is often called the McGill Ghetto and why longtime residents are fed up. Graffiti anyone? “We’re not just talking about noise. We’re talking about pissing on sidewalks, on lanes, and vomiting and falling on the sidewalk drunk so that your boyfriend has to pick you up from the ground,” The Student Society of McGill University is trying to be the good neighbour and smooth over relationships with the community. Pointe-Saint-Charles residents want a community centre to be built on the old CN yards. McGill professor Avi Friedman takes a creative approach on housing and community building

Weekly Architecture Film, Part 4, Hans Richter, Hans Richter
Christoph, anArchitecture in anArchitecture
Hans Richter was a painter, graphic artist, avant-gardist, film-experimenter and producer (source: Wikipedia).He was influenced by Cubism and Expressionism and joined in 1916 Dadaism. Between 1923 and 1926, together with Werner Gräff and Mies van der Rohe, he published the magazine "G" (Gestaltung). Hans Richter is often referred as the first film-experimenter. In 1940, he emigrated to the United States.
Rhythmus 21, 1921, by Hans Richter.

The Case of the Irvington Squire
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
In this ongoing era of Portland’s sometimes stressful densification in historic neighborhoods, the latest proposed building project to draw the ire of neighbors and the attention of city regulators is at the corner of 15th Avenue and Hancock Street in historic Irvington. Called the Irvington Squire, the project would add 18 condominiums in a quarter-block building of potentially six stories and 71 feet. That’s a size within ‘RH’ zoning code strictures. The neighborhood is asking for 55 feet. However, Irvington is designated as a ‘Historic Conservation District’ and there is an effort underway to give the neighborhood additional protection as a full fledged Historic District. What’s the difference? ...

Africa House
Crompton in CONTINUITY IN ARCHITECTURE
Africa House, Holborn, London. High up on Africa House, Holborn, are armed Superheroes with elephants crocodiles and a camel, Jumanji on the roof one might say. If an African vignette was carved today what would it look

Yale's Robert A.M. Stern Keeps Building for Harvard

mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Maybe it's just because we're dense around here, or because we get up super early in the morning so you can have your design-y news piping hot and fresh, but we didn't make the connection, in our numerous stories...

From Pool To Art Platform
Frame Magazine
Today, 7:43 AM
Floating in the centre of the former Leeds International Pool (LIP), is a huge textile funnel called the Accumulator.

Tree House in Merricks Beach
Frame Magazine
Today, 7:43 AM
Chameleon Architecture, an Australian-based architecture firm, turned a private house in Merricks Beach into a typical, mismatched beach house.

February 13th Deadline for Proposals to Save Gunner's Mate
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
docomomo-chicagomidwest reports the skids are being greased for fast-track demolition of Bruce Graham's 1954 Gunner's Make School at Great Lakes Naval Station:
The Navy is moving forward with plans to demolish this building. However, the Navy is open to an outside entity/contractor using the building or to disassembling and moving the building off the base.

Chicago: No Olafur Eliasson for You
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Today, 12:20 AM
Take Your Time is not only the name of Olafur Eliasson's striking new exhibition, it also seems to be the attitude of Chicago's cultural institutions about ever being able to see it here. While Art Institute curator Joe Rosa continues to pursue his obsession with architecture as an applique, Eliasson's show is wrapping up a nearly six month run at SFMOMA, Rosa's alma mater, before moving on to the Museum of Modern in New York in April. No signs of it ever coming here...

Network Hydrology
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
Hydro-Net, by San Francisco architects IwamotoScott, who spoke last year at BLDGBLOG's San Francisco event, has been making the rounds lately, popping up on all sorts of architecture and design blogs – but rightly so: it won first prize in the History Channel's recent "City of the Future" competition, and it offers up some fascinating urban re-design ideas.

Streetcars and light rail transit - Toronto’s next steps
Sean Marshall in Spacing Toronto • understanding the urban landscape
The Spadina Streetcar: not quite LRT. Yesterday, I posted an article on Spacing Toronto briefly explaining the history and context for North America’s light rail renaissance and what the different approaches were. While a select few cities retained their streetcar systems mainly due to tunnels prohibiting dieselization, only to later incorporate them into rapid-transit-type services, other cities started from scratch years after abandoning their street railways. Today I will talk about Toronto’s experience and how recent developments, such as Transit City relate to the experience south of the border.

February 9th and 10th, 2008


Interconnection Standards
Alex Steffen in WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future
Yesterday, 3:18 PM
The Systems, Cities & Sustainable Mobility summit in L.A. last week was really excellent, with a series of fascinating presenters and some rollicking good disucssions. I spoke, and Justus Stewart covered it -- look for a write-up soon. One small thing I learned: the value of interconnection standards. These are the standards that govern who can connect to the electrical grid and how. Here's an explanation of the U.S. context. We've spoken before of the importance of the freedom to connect in Internet terms. This is the equivalent for distributed energy. As other kinds of infrastructure develop their own models of distribution -- distributed water being perhaps a strong contender -- such interconnection standards may become important to them as well.

Welcome to Paradise
Chris in Brand Avenue
The English city of Liverpool is similar to other cities worldwide trying to revamp themselves through large-scale urban transformations, yet it stands out for the organizational intricacy of its effort. As construction crews close in on the completion of a regeneration scheme for central Liverpool dubbed the "Paradise Project," it's worth highlighting just how complex of an undertaking it really is: comprised of six distinct districts, covering 42 acres and running at a cost of £1B, with a multi-use mix of retail shops, department stores, office complexes, a new bus station, a new park, and several hundred residential units: The Paradise Project is crucial to the successful regeneration of Liverpool’s city centre, which has lost retail traffic to other regional cities and out-of-town malls. “One way to fight back was to create as much variety, choice and surprise as possible,” says Holmes. Rather than keeping things simple and employing one architect to design a straightforward mall, he opted to introduce variety and surprise by constructing 40 buildings, including shops, apartments and offices, and appointing a squad of 22 architectural practices (!) to design them.

40 Bond Rumination #3
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
My lapse in the as-promised series of posts on Herzog & de Meuron's 40 Bond has not gone unnoticed by yours truly. So to wrap this thing up (hopefully with something of substance), this is the first of two more posts to end the series. Here, I'll look at the "function of graffiti," and the last will try to sum up my thoughts on the Ian Schrager condo. When I say "function of graffiti," what I mean is the purpose of the curvy, cast-aluminum screens/gates that demarcate public from private, sidewalk from townhouse, us from them, the screens whose patterns were "derived from contemporary graffiti tags, hybridized by computer."

What are the Sustainability Implications of Peak Population?
Alex Steffen in WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future
Sometime in the latter half of this century, human population will peak. Having swelled to a bit over nine billion people, our numbers will begin to drop as people age and women worldwide pass through the urban transition, gain control over their own life-choices and have fewer children. After that, population will proceed to decline by the middle of the 22nd century to a number somewhere between 8.5 billion and 5.6 billion (depending it seems largely on whose assumptions about longevity growth you find most credible). That's pretty much the consensus position among demographers (though there is a range of belief about when the peak will happen and whether we can expect to more or less plateau at 8.5 billion or experience a long bumpy slope to a stable-state population of about 6 billion). Note that we don't need to assume any sort of apocalypse here: this is the orderly progression of human beings passing through a post-industrial demographic threshold you can already see in cultures from Japan to Italy to Finland.

From a towering temple to a busy bird market, Barcelona lures families
www.mcall.com
We don't know where to look first. The massive pillars, looking like tree trunks, stone chameleons, tortoises and turtles, help support the columns. The sheer size of the place is amazing. Some of the towers soar more than 500 feet. Even jaded teens, like my 13-year-old niece, Erica Fieldman, can't help but be impressed. Welcome to Antonin Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece, the Temple de Sagrada Familia, http://www.sagradafamilia.org , Barcelona's most famous site and Spain's most visited. More than 40 years after the eccentric and revered architect's death (he was struck by a tram) work still continues on the huge church first begun in 1882. Some 2.5 million people visited last year.

Euclid Avenue: a transformation in the making

Steven Litt/Plain Dealer Architecture Critic in Architecture.
John Kuntz/The Plain DealerTransit stops for the Euclid Corridor project, designed by Cleveland architect Robert P. Madison, make a strong statement along the city's once-and-future Main Street Euclid Avenue, where the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority will soon finish its...

New York News
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
A few architectural news items for New York City. :: Work Architecture wins this year's PS1 Young Architects Program, with a public farm concept. (via Archinect) :: New York City's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) announced ten winners and honorable mentions for its "What if New York City..." competition that I posted about back in October. These and other submissions can be viewed in the competition gallery.

February 8th, 2008 

Toronto Prairie: Our (almost) missing style
Thomas Wicks
Toronto is pretty flat, but it’s no prairie. Perhaps that’s why the Prairie style didn’t catch on. While it’s not surprising that a style so closely associated with the US Midwest wouldn’t make a large impact here, it is surprising that within a place like Toronto, where eclecticism was and is often the order of the day, the Prairie style wasn’t at least experimented with. Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) is one of those architects that almost everyone has heard of, and it was under his leadership that the Prairie style matured during the first three decades of the 20th century.

Hill House, Pasific Palisade CA | by Johnston Marklee

Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
The Hill House is designed by Johnston Marklee under condotions generated by modern problems of building on the hillside. The site, an irregular shaped lot situated on an uneven downhill slope, offfers panoramic views of Santa Monica Canyon. The design of the house utilizes the restriction of hillside and zoning ordinance to create a spatial and structural opportinity - adopting the zoning envelope as a building form. The dynamic form minimizes disinction between roof and wall planes while maximizing the distinction between interior and exterior.

fiat lux
sabine7 in MoCo Loco
We were impressed with Cate&Nelson Design at IMM Cologne. Now the Swedish-based studio is showing three products at the Stockholm Furniture Fair. The Oz is a low chair that offers a variety of coloured felt to sit upon, almost like the pages of a book. When the mood changes, turn the page. The Fiat Lux lamp is also book-related, with a slot to hold the book you were reading when you turned off the light. And Tacto is a felt-covered sideboard that functions as a seat and hides a spacious drawer.

Kimball Office Showroom Opens Green in San Francisco
Keith Rockmael in Green Options
With little fanfare, Kimball Office opened their new San Francisco FiDi showroom with a quiet, green splash. Although they haven’t achieved LEED-CI status yet, they hope to gain gold certification soon. The architectural and design team over at Huntsman Architectural Group created a green space that we noticed as we stepped in. The design team [...]

PIECES OF YOU Pillows Made from Vintage Tags
Adele in Inhabitat
Think a luxury pillow has to be made of silk? Think again- African-born, London-based designer Bridget West crafts gorgeous housewares, pillows, and throws, from vintage labels and tags that critique the throw-away nature of our consumer existence in a really beautiful way. Her Handle With Care pillow is made from clothing tags, while the Delicate Cube and Made in Cube pillows are quirky and comfy, featuring inked graphics and organic cotton or hemp.

PS1: And Now for Something Completely Different...
jimmy in Life Without Buildings
[image via the NYT] Under the pavement...the farm? By Turning a situationist slogan on its head, the dynamic duo of Work Architecture Company have won this year's PS1 Young Architects Program with a design for an urban farm. (Is it just me or are "urban farms" making a big comeback this year?) Work - made up of Dan Wood, previously of AMO, and his wife Amale Andraos - won over the competition jury with their presentation, proving that a little showmanship can go a long way. "The two of them...

Oliver Twist: Debbie Millman Chats with Vaughan Oliver Today on Design Matters
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
We once spent an entire day in Miami sitting by a pool with our iPod and listening to back-to-back episodes of Design Matters. The show is great wherever you listen to it, but we recommend engineering a poolside Miami/Design Matters...

Intriguing Earth Architecture 41
Bradley in east coast Architecture review
Studio Thonik, Amsterdam, Netherlands - MVRDV

National Aquatics Center Beijing
Frame Magazine
After more than four years of construction work, the Olympic venue in Beijing is ready to join the games.

PREFAB FRIDAY: Container House by Leger Wanaselja
Evelyn Lee in Inhabitat
We’ve featured a variety of different shipping container homes, from a quick emergency shelter, to LOT-EK’s container home kit, student housing , and even an entire container city in London. One thing’s for sure, there isn’t a shortage of uses for containers as shelter, especially for those who like that super industrial architecture aesthetic. Leger Wanaselja Architecture finished their Container House at the close of last year, bringing a more traditional look to the container composed residence, located on top of a hill in an East Bay suburb overlooking San Francisco, Calif.

Scan Here
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
If the building were yellow and blue instead of red, it would be the perfect design for an IKEA. I don't generally like buildings that are so representative of an object, but this red bar code building by Vitruvio and Sons is an interesting addition to the surrounding greyscape of this St. Petersburg neighborhood.

February 7th, 2008

UN Studio's VilLA NM Destroyed in Fire
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
The Time Herald Record Online reports, "A hilltop home that was featured in The New York Times was destroyed last night [February 5] by a roaring, smoky fire with blue and orange flames." The house, located in Bethel in upstate New York is the VilLA NM by Dutch architects UN Studio. The house was completed just last year. A more recent report indicates that the cause of the fire, which firefighters battled for three hours, is still unknown. Nobody was hurt in the blaze, as the owner in New York City at the time.

Renzo Piano, Favored Museum Designer, Wears Out His Welcome
Commentary by James S. Russell
Forget the Bilbao Effect. It's not Frank Gehry who has ridden the U.S. museum-building boom, it's Renzo Piano. When a new addition to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art opens next week, you won't see Gehry's fluttering sheets of titanium, though his office is less than 10 miles away. You'll see Piano's signature buff travertine walls and floating glass and metal roofs. He manages his museum-design empire from offices in Genoa, Italy, and Paris.

The Destruction of Frank Gehry's Santa Monica Place
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Years ago, when this writer was living closer to the West Coast than to being in the middle of the country, surrounded by nothing but flatness and snow, he found himself wandering around the Frank Gehry-designed Santa Monica Place....

We will migrate into the sky
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
For a recent design competition called What if New York City..., architects and city planners were asked:
What if New York City were hit by a Category 3 hurricane? What if the most densely residential city in the country loses hundreds of thousands of homes in a few hours? What if millions are left with nowhere to live, to work, or to go to school? What if subways flood, streets close, and whole neighborhoods are submerged by up to 23 feet of ocean water and battered by 130 mile-per-hour winds? What if New Yorkers need a place to live during years of reconstruction?
Local architects Studio Lindfors offered a weirdly hilarious answer to those questions in the form of inhabitable blimps.

"Dream Homes" at Center For Architecture
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
This month in its newly opened Center For Architecture in the Pearl District (NW 11th & Hoyt), AIA/Portland is hosting an exhibit of local houses featured in the new coffee table book published by Panache Partners: Dream Homes Pacific Northwest: An Exclusive Showcase of the Finest Architects, Designers & Builders in Oregon & Washington. (Try and say that three times fast!) Among the local architects and firms whose work is featured in the book are: Giulietti/Schouten Architects; Robertson, Merryman, Barnes Architects; Richard Brown Architects (their house is pictured below); Dowd Architecture; Vallaster & Corl Architects; Jeff Miller; Colab Architecture & Design; Chesshir Architecture; and Hans Kretchmer/Green Gables Design.

3 Questions for Claire Moyle
sabine7 in MoCo Loco
We recently featured Claire Moyle’s work, pointing out that it blurs the boundaries between art and design. A few comments came our way, prompting us to want to ask her a few questions about her ideas. It is exciting when work promotes dialogue; even though some comments may be viewed as critical, it is precisely a differing point of view that forces one to re-examine initial thoughts and perspectives.

Make it Right 9
Young in Architecture
Today is the First Day of Chinese NewYear. As for your information, Chinese celebrates 15 days for every New Year. As we are celebrating with our family, consider the homeless in elsewhere.
Another great project is running with 14 World known Architects with 13 Designs shown in Make it right 9 to help out thousands of homeless victims of Hurricane Katrina in August, 2005, in New Orleans. Make your donation for the homeless if you are afford to do so. Brad Pitt is taking part in this too.

The Calendar of Green Building Events
Philip Proefrock in Green Options
Increasing numbers of home builders’ and home remodeling programs across the country are embracing green building and sustainable design. Some programs are specifically focused on green building, while others are including it as a part of the wider event program. In either case, these events can be an excellent (though sometimes [...]

Generate Energy with Fluxxlab’s ‘Revolution’ Revolving Door
Karim Yergaliyev in Inhabitat
The designers at New York City based Fluxxlab studio have come up with an ingenious sustainable energy harvesting idea that makes you wonder why no one else has thought of it before. Their Revolution Door manages to capture otherwise wasted human energy from the revolving doors we all see at various large buildings. If you think about it, this concept is quite similar to a turbine spinning somewhere deep inside a hydroelectric dam or within wind turbine to generate renewable electricity.


 

February 6th, 2008

The Dome of the Rock
Aventinus in CONTINUITY IN ARCHITECTURE
Continuity in Architecture are pleased to announce the recent publication of the paper “The Dome of the Rock: Origin of its Octagonal Plan” by our former colleague Dr. Anwarul Islam (and Zaid F. Al- Hamad). Published in Palestine Exploration Quarterly the paper has been described by the...

Gaggenau BL253
architecture.MNP
So, the cats over at Gaggenau created this gem of a kitchen appliance that combats wasted counter space, introduces a simpler and easier cooking interface to users, and adds precautionary safety measures [in the phalanges-to-heat department] all in one refined design . An excerpt from K+BB magazine explains further: With a glass ceramic base that lowers for convenient access, the 18-cu. ft. oven can be integrated into a run of upper cabinets or mounted on a wall…In addition, the [BL253] comes with 11 heating modes for pro-style cooking, and pizzas and breads can be baked directly on the surface of the base.

GUERILLA GARDENING: Strategies for Greening the Hood
Abigail Doan in Inhabitat
Regardless of whether you are an urban, suburban, or rural dweller, there is inevitably a patch of neglected turf in your neighborhood that might need a bit of TLC and greening. If you see hidden gardening potential between sidewalk cracks when others see decay and abandon, well then, you might be a budding guerrilla gardener and not even know it! The guerrila gardening phenomenon is currently sweeping the globe as folks are finding innovative ways to come together for the optimization of neglected land and paved surface area. It’s a turf war for some, or a poetic gesture for others, but either way, citizens are rolling up there sleeves to create gardens in the most unlikely spaces and places.

Plans for Foster’s Masdar Carbon Neutral City Debut
Mahesh Basantani in Inhabitat
Norman Foster’s Masdar City is poised to become world’s most sustainable, zero-waste, car-free, carbon neutral city. The model for the city was formally unveiled on 21st January at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi. We’ve talked about the grand scheme before, but the official debut deserves some new attention, given its viewing and support from everyone from General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi to the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company and even President George W. Bush. The construction would start the next month, and the city is likely to open in late 2009.

Grumbling about Griffintown
Misha Warbanski in Spacing Montreal
A couple big things happened at the Sud-Ouest borough council meeting tonight. The most important: borough Mayor Jacqueline Monpetit annouced a series of public consultations on redeveloping Griffintown (Mark your calendars: Feb 21, 7pm at the ETS, 1100 Notre-Dame Ouest.) Also important: council adopted it’s urban development framework for the area. Lots of people seem worried about the development as proposed by Devimco. But so far I haven’t met anyone who is completely against some kind of development plan. In fact, some property owners in the area would like to do their own thing.. but they can’t because Griffintown is mostly zoned industrial. They know they’re sitting on valuable property and they don’t want it going to a single company. They certainly don’t want their land expropriated.

Insane set of stairs
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
I'm not sure if these qualify as stairs, roof, deck, or skin.... but whatever the case, Plasma Studio created one insane piece of construction....

Why Gunner's Mates Deserves to Live, plus 600 North Fairbanks Bonus
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Slogging through Blair Kamin's 1,200 words on a nullity with a glandular problem like the Columbian at Michigan and Roosevelt, you begin to think being architecture critic for a big paper like the Chicago Tribune has to be the dullest job in the world, but why should he pass the contagion on to the rest of us? (The real meat of the story, about whether city interference or architect's timidity was most to blame for the building's mediocrity, took a back seat to an oh-so-serious analysis of a design best suited for irreverent guffaws.)

February 5th, 2008

The Big Issue
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
The March 2008 issue of Dwell is now out and, as some of you may or may not know, I recently became one of Dwell's Senior Editors – joining the woman who puts the cool in school, my new colleague Amber Bravo.
March is the first issue in which I've had a real impact on content, so I thought I'd urge everyone to go check it out! It's good for you

Don’t Forget to Water the Couch
architecture.MNP
Tired of all that flat-packed, assemble-at-you-own-risk IKEA furniture? Design Within Reach slightly outside your budget? Well, my ninjas, here’s a green solution for you: grow your own furniture! I’m thinking all you need is a pile of soil and some grass seeds - but for those of you with some loose change to invest in seating that will provide perpetual grass stains, check out Peddy by Japanese design firm Mindscapes. Think of it like a ch-ch-ch-chia pet that you can lounge on.

1968
Dominic Roberts in CONTINUITY IN ARCHITECTURE
Yesterday, 3:40 PM
Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR. Something for transport/concrete enthusiasts: a set of discarded slides of Preston Bus Station during construction and soon after. The building is of course “about to be demolished” - perhaps the architects (BDP Preston) expected a forty year...

A Birthday Garden
Beth Bader in Green Options
We celebrated our child’s birthday with her friends last weekend. At every holiday, inevitably someone asks a child what gift she is wishing for. It’s times like that’s where it becomes abundantly clear that we don’t watch kids TV. My child has no idea what toy she would like; even the concept of directing a [...]

Bierut Captures Glass Houses for The National Trust for Historic Preservation
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
A cool project that stumbled onto our collective laps late yesterday: a booklet called, coincidentally enough, "Projects," put together by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is a catalog of information about donating to the organization, which owns such...

Installation in Shanghai by MoHen
Frame Magazine
Called Danbo Fun, this installation reflects the mix of western and oriental food.  Read more…
Opening of the New Beatles Hotel in Liverpool
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Unfortunately we just found this story about two weeks too late. Not that it isn't a new news story, because it is, it's just too late to reschedule this writer's honeymoon plans, which have already been hunted down and...

Jetson Green: Chartwell School Gets A+
architecture.MNP
Jeff, green ninja over at Jetson Green writes: Although memories of elementary school for most of us may evoke images of stuffy classrooms, florescent lights, and playground bullies, students at Chartwell School located in Seaside, CA (near Monterey) are quite proud of their new school campus. That’s because the USGBC recently gave them an A+ in green building. In December, Chartwell students announced that they were first complete educational campus to be awarded LEED Platinum, which makes them just about the greenest school campus in the country. Congrats also to Sidwell Friends School in Washington DC for their LEED Platinum middle-school building.

Literary Dose #23
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
"At the time [mid-1970s], I thought of residential design as the creation of a place where people can dwell as they themselves intend. If they feel cold, they can put on an additional layer of clothing. If they feel warm, they can discard extraneous clothing. What is important is the space be, not a device for environmental control, but something definite and responsive to human life. From the point of view of the inhabitant, it may have been an anachronism -- in some respects an act of arrogance on the part of the architect. However, I stuck to my beliefs despite some friction with the client. That is perhaps the shortcoming as well as the strength of a self-educated architect. After the existing rowhouse was demolished, the site was divided into three parts. The Rowhouse in Sumiyoshi [aka Azuma House] was then built, with the middle third of the site made into an open courtyard.


 

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.



February 1st, 2008


Gatica House, Felipe Assadi + Francisca Pulido
architect studio in architect studio
Gatica House by Felipe Assadi and Francisca Pulido. A contemporary modern house in chilean countryside.

Today's archidose #175
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
apparition, originally uploaded by andrewpaulcarr.
Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, England by Allies and Morrison (2005).

Audience With Higgins
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Last week I caught up with Randy Higgins, a designer who always fills my brain with ideas and theories about architecture. Randy first gained notice in the ‘90s working at Holst Architecture. Although not registered as an architect, he worked on projects like the Pacific Northwest College of Art and the Edge Lofts. But just as Holst was really taking off, Randy left to do his own thing. In the last few years, he has designed the Elizabeth Leach Gallery’s new space, a Mario’s boutique clothier at Bridgeport Village, and came up with the incredible exterior paint job at PNCA (I wrote about it for Metropolis magazine in June 2005) in which a Rimbaud poem is literally translated into a language of yellow, gray and white rectangles. No matter what he’s doing, though, Randy is like an academic in that he devotes a lot of time to research and theory...

compacta all-in-one kitchen island from artificio
Justin in materialicious
I’ve always loved the this idea: a refrigerator, stove, sink and pantry all contained in a single modular unit. The all-acrylic Compacta from the Spanish company Artificio recently debuted at Casadecor Barcelona 2007. I can see myself having one of these.

MoCo Submissions
sabine7 in MoCo Loco
+ We Want To Believe is the name of this flying saucer lounge table by Quack. The table has landed, and at its control centre is a hole to fit a bowl for fruit or snacks. + The Calamuchita house in Argentina is a glass pavilion anchored by four stone pillars. Its tower mimics the nearby mountain, and the lower level living space is a reflection of the surrounding valley.

solar tracking skylights
Justin in materialicious
Solar Tracking Skylights, Inc. offers patented skylight products and technologies that track the sun throughout the day to capture more of the sun’s usable light. By reflecting light that would otherwise be lost when the sun is low in the horizon early and late in the day and throughout the day during winter months, Solar Tracking Skylight products produce greater light levels for a longer duration than any conventional skylight.

Humanur Bagli and panel on Legacy of Gordon Matta-Clark this weekend
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Yeah, I'm behind in getting the monthly calendar up again. (It's a lot of work, ok, and the dog ate my keyboard.) So here's the listings for the first weekend in February. Humanur Bagli at UIC - 11:30 A.M., Friday, February 1st, at the City Design Conference Room, 820 West Jackson Boulevard, Suite 330, UIC. A presentation and discussion from the City Design Center by the visiting scholar from Istanbul, Turkey. Dr. Bagli will discuss her experiences as a designer and design consultant in Turkey. Her work has included many interdisciplinary projects with international and NGOs which illustrate the role of the designer as a socially responsible agent. Information here.

All about the Roof
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
Australian firm Stutchbury and Pape has created some great projects all with a consistent theme... the roof is the most important plane, delicately balanced on the structure below. Simple, clear, and lovely. Its interesting to see this firm developing and redeveloping the same concepts and schemes and to see how these themes change with time and scope... 

January 31st, 2008


Book Series of the Moment
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
Many book series that try to boil down complex ideas, facts, and knowledge into slim volumes end up calling the reader a beginner, a dummy, or worse, an idiot. Well, the fine folks at Routledge call their audience for these books just what they are: architects; as well as what they're apparently not: thinkers. To remedy this the Thinkers for Architects Series "offers quick, clear and accurate introductions to key thinkers who have written about architecture and whose work can yield insights for designers."

Preview of Eyebeam Eco-Vis Challenge finalists
Regine Debatty in WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future
Michael Mandiberg and Brooke Singer are two wizards of eco-data visualization. Eyebeam alum. Brooke Singer is behind Area´s Immediate Reading and the Superfund 365, A Site-A-Day. Superfund 365 is probably my favourite project from 2007. Each day for a year, this online data visualization application visits one toxic site active in the Superfund program run by the U.S. The contaminant, the responsible party and the people involved with or impacted by Superfund are represented in the project.

Can Carbon Markets Keep the Planet from Heating Up?
WorldChanging Team in WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future
Growing interest among national and regional governments in curbing carbon emissions has led to rapid expansion of the global carbon market. Policymakers worldwide are recognizing the true costs of carbon emissions for our economy and our environment. These markets could not have taken off without strong policy leadership. But while many U.S. states are taking action, the national government is falling notably behind by not setting a national cap on carbon emissions.

The Big Picture
Alex Steffen in WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future
Yesterday, 10:18 PM
Jamais has a great piece up on the wider forces crafting our future: Climate Chaos: Twenty years is the outside limit of how long we have to make the global changes (in our energy grids, urban designs, transportation networks, agricultural processes, industrial processes, taxation policies, trade policies, etc.) required to avoid real disaster. It's also probably about right for figuring out which geoengineering strategies are the least likely to make things worse. We know what we need to do -- we simply need to do it.
holiday house in the alps, afgh
Justin in materialicious
Holiday House in Scheidegg, Switzerland. Size: 242 m². Built: 2002-2003.
I blogged another project a while back by Andreas Fuhrimann and Gabrielle Hächler (click the button for English), a renovation of an old Alpine Hut. These folks are gooooood. The views from this house are incredible, and the architects’ site has larger versions of the photos posted here, plus some great panoramic shots as well.

AIA's Latest Economic Survey Now Online
ASLA.org - The Dirt
Our friends at AIArchitect, the news publication of the AIA, have released their findings of their latest economic survey. The news? In the face of a troubled US economy and with factors like $100 barrels of oil and lowering consumer confidence clouding the horizon, it is difficult to imagine that the growth in construction that firms have enjoyed in the past six years will continue unabated. However, the survey notes that the industry is entering 2008 with "a lot of momentum."

Maison & Objet Paris 2008: Furniture
sabine7 in MoCo Loco
Out of the furniture offerings at Maison & Objet, we were most attracted by all manner of chair, especially the upholstery on the pieces by the Ateliers Philippe Coudray and the cosy knitted merino poufs and throws by Casalis, like little ottoman sweaters. Nicky D Essentials had some great group seating and Swala Line ‘s pieces varied between smooth and textured. Kenneth Cobonpue made a showing and Massant had a wide range of patterns to present, while the Crassevig chair came in different colours and finishes.

The Slat House | Private Residence | By Turner Castle
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
The Flat House is a building Extension and refurbishment project that was designed by Turner in Blackheath, London. Expansion of a small semi-detached house on a large piece of land in Blackheath. The modular expansion wood wraps around the side of the semi-detached house, it peeps through the adjacent trees in the back garden and offers access to the terrace.

Entangling the Green Building Standards
Sarah Nagy in Green Options
LEED-H. FGBC. Energy Star. HERS. Fortified Home. EarthCraft. These are all names of green building standards used around the country for homes. And now NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) is due to unveil its own Green Building Standard at the upcoming International Building Show in Orlando, Feb 13-16.

Diagnosing Slum
Bryan Finoki in Subtopia
I recently posted this to Archinect but in case you missed it I am posting it here, too. Lebbeus Woods is continuing the conversation we had here in this thread over at his own blog with an excellent post surmising the geo-economic conditions that produce “slums.” Particularly striking to me was this statement: There is much that is admirable in the way that slum dwellers struggle against overwhelming adversity, but admiration must be tempered by the realization that they do not struggle because they choose to, out of principle, or in the service of high social or political ideals, but because of their desperation at the brutal limits of survival. It is a mistake—and a grave disservice to them—to imagine that their ingenuity, resourcefulness, and capacities for self-organization can in any way serve as models for our present global society. To believe so would be to endorse the dog-eat-dog ethics that rule their lives and, all too often, those occupying society’s more economically advantaged classes.

 


 

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 June 2008 01:48