July 08 - Blog Articles Print
Monday, 31 March 2008 19:00

These are the articles and blogs that we selected in July.

 


KIELDER OBSERVATORY: A Self-Sustainable Astronomy Center
Mahesh Basantani in Inhabitat
Everything from buildings to resorts to cars to temples are donning the green mantle. The latest to join this list of sustainable structures is the Keilder Observatory in the UK. Located in Northumberland and designed by Charles Barclay Architects, this stunning structure stands an an example of self-sustainable architecture that is equally inspiring in both form and function.'

Kelley Blue Book Launches KBBGreen and Names Top 10 Green Cars for 2008
Max Lindberg in Green Options
Most of us agree that the Kelley Blue Book is the quintessential guide to new and used vehicle information.  Now, they’ve moved into the “Green” world with the launch of Kelley Blue Book Green, a guide for shoppers who want the latest information on alternative fuel technologies. Everything you want to know about hydrogen, diesel, hybrid, [...]

Visualizing Benefits of Roof Overhangs
Preston D K in Jetson Green
If you're in a sunny location and your home has windows, then you probably like to pull a curtain or close the shutters to keep direct heat from entering the home.  Just today I was driving by a modern home with slight overhangs and nodded my head in approval thinking: "buya ... such a simple design element and it's providing shading for those super large windows during the heat of the day."  I realize we're talking about something basic, but if you have the chance, roof overhangs can make a difference as to how much you're manipulating the interior temperature with mechanical systems.  Check this ranch house by Cottam Hargrave.  With that much glass in Georgetown, Texas, a little roof overhang is a prerequisite, don't you think?!

India’s First Green Housing Project Completed
Mahesh Basantani in Inhabitat
According to the Planning Commission, India will need to generate at least 700,000 MW of additional power by 2030 to meet growing electricity demands. India will certainly be looking towards alternative energy sources to generate a substantial portion of this energy. Although solar energy production in India accounted for a mere 1.7% of the world total in 2007 (80 megawatt peak (MWp) power compared to a world total of 4,700 MWp), several great green strides have been taken by the country to harness the immense potential of solar energy. The latest example of this future forward thinking is Rabi Rashmi Abasan, India’s first completely green housing project.

Herzog & de Meuron Unveil Tate 2: Electric Boogaloo
Jimmy Stamp in Life Without Buildings
Revised plans and renderings were recently unveiled of Herzog & de Meuron’s addition to London’s Tate Modern Museum, aka Tate 2. The original design (above left) was a little perplexing: a loosely stacked pile of metal and glass boxes, referred to by architecture critic Hugh Pearman as a “joyous asymmetrical gothic (composition).” The design was all the more striking in that it bore little relationship with the much-lauded original power station renovation. Even Pearman, in his joyous exuberance, questioned the additon’s cladding. “You have to wonder,” he wrote in 2006, “about the wisdom of a glass-clad building facing south - especially given that most of the gallery spaces inside will have to have solid walls. You wonder equally about the energy efficiency of all that broken-up surface area.” It seems that someone involved with the project agreed, as the new renderings reveal a structure that has seen a complete reskinning and has been smoothed out into less of a…heap.

Dwell + AIA How Green Are You? Contest Winners Announced
Bridgette Steffen in Inhabitat
Dwell and AIA teamed up to host the How Green Are You? Contest, meant to showcase green homes and renovations. As AIA says, the contest was meant to highlight the design innovations and sustainable strategies used to reduce carbon emissions, energy consumption and improve building functionality. Contest winners were recently announced and there are some beautiful home renovations. The winner of this competition was Ryan Walsh, of DRW Design Build, with his beautiful 1925 bungalow remodel called Recycled Aesthetic.

Modern Green Seattle Home Opens Doors
Preston D K in Jetson Green
I received an email from Modern Dwelling in relation to this contemporary, green pad and pretty much had to share some details.  First things first, if you're in the Seattle area, there's going to be an art showing at the home this Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 7 pm, so make sure to check that out.*  Otherwise, the Mount Baker Residence, as it's known, is perched on a slope with views of Rainier Valley to downtown Seattle.  With tons of natural lighting, four bedrooms, two and a half baths, and 2470 sf of living space, it's tough to go wrong in a home that looks like this.  Here are some of its green features...



Escaping Furniture
Frame Magazine
Escaping Furniture On the corner of 6th and Howard, in San Francisco, Brian Goggin furniture.

Zimbabwe: A Cry for the Environment
Masimba Biriwasha in Green Options
Zimbabwe, which currently faces seemingly intractable social, political and economic problems, has some of the worst environmental indicators in the world with ecosystems either in decline or under severe threat. Suffice to state, the country did institute some good environmental protection programmes in the decade following the attainment of independence from British rule in 1980

Home Renovation by HHF Architects
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design | Luxury Homes | Home Listings
A renovation project for a new living space by HHF Architects. This independent structure creates a new living space under the roof and changes the unwanted conventional look of the house built in 1957. The house is standing in between two icons of Modern Swiss Architecture, on one side a Villa by Artaria & Schmitt and on the other side a Villa by the architect Hermann Preiswerk.

Zero Energy Idea House Breaks Ground
Preston D K in Jetson Green
At the tail end of last week, Shirey Contracting broke ground on the Zero Energy Idea House located at Bass Cove near Bellevue, Washington.  The house is intended to be kind of an inspirational structure that can help homeowners move toward energy independence.  As a zero energy house*, the goal is to generate all the necessary energy from on-site power and efficiency measures.  Specifically, the Idea House will have rooftop solar, solar hot water, and a vertical-axis small wind turbine, judging by the rendering.  In addition, the 1700 sf home will have a large, 1200 sf green roof and a host of other green features

We love Wetland Machines
Alexander Trevi in Pruned
Of course, we have to return for a third time back to P-REX, this time to single out one of their projects, the Pontine Systemic Design. The result of Alan Berger's year as the Prince Charitable Trust Rome Prize recipient in Landscape Architecture, at the American Academy in Rome, in collaboration with Case Brown, this project proposes to “re-introduce a gigantic new wetland machine” to cleanse and adaptively reuse one of the highly polluted zones of Italy's Lazio region, the drained Pontine Marshes. It is both a productive filtration system and a regional recreation area.

Home Delivery: System3 - All Systems Go
Jen in MoCo Loco
The stackable SYSTEM3, by Austrian architects Oscar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf [olkruf.com], boasts the elongated shape of a shipping container. Inside, its austere bearing gives way to a more luxurious simplicity, thanks to amenities like an elegantly spare dining set, luxe Gaggenau appliances, and circular windows that create intriguing light effects. The design takes advantage of existing prefab technologies like CNC milling, which allows an incredible level of accuracy and customization, too; clients can choose the position, shape, and size of every window. Firm architect Jochen Specht took a break from blogging on MoMA’s exhibition journal to answer a few of our most pressing questions.

key modular storage by housefish
lavardera in materialicious
Key is a new highly modular storage system that ships flat and assembles easily- the only tool you need is a hammer. The parts are cleverly joined into an exceptionally strong structure by machined aluminum tenon keys. The wood used is sustainably harvested, FSC certified maple plywood, finished with a zero VOC finish. Available with optional sliding powdercoated metal doors in a variety of colors.

Masterplan & Offices for Meath County Council & Navan Town Council Competition
Archiseek IRELAND Architecture News
The RIAI (Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland) is administering a competition on behalf of the competition promoters, Meath County Council www.meathcoco.ie This is an open, two-stage architectural competition for the development of an indicative master plan and for the design of a new Headquarters Building for Meath County Council and Navan Town Council.

Aesthetics vs Comfort
owen hatherley in sit down man, you're a bloody tragedy
Germaine Greer as architecture critic. Surprisingly, despite a hint of the old those-proles-know-nothing-of-beauty chestnut, this is not half bad - encompassing a defence of truth to materials, a reference to doomed spec Modernist development Frinton Park...better than Hugh Pearman or Tom Dyckhoff, anyway.

Finally, Some Images
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
Its been almost exactly one year since C & I watched the Snohetta piece on wide angle... I don't remember seeing any designs during the show, mainly I remember watching the architects meeting with the different sheiks and their representatives. Now that Snohetta has won the competition for the King Abdulaziz Center of Knowledge and Culture and images are available (I'm guessing that most people have already seen them...)

BEIJING OLYMPIC GREENS: China’s Green Facade of Shrubbery
Alexandra Kain in Inhabitat
In preparation for the 2008 Summer Olympics Beijing has festooned the Olympic grounds with lush sculptures portraying a greener version of China than we’re used to seeing. Over the last few decades China has become a country of rampant unbridled consumption (not unlike the U.S.), leading to devastating environmental consequences with little to no government regulations. Pollution is at its acme in Beijing and the wider world is pretty well aware of this problem. So what is China doing about these serious environment issues? From these eyecatching photos it appears Beijing is trying to attack (or obfuscate?) the problem with a little bit of shrubbery!

NotM: Ludens + Urban Prosthetics
AMNP
One thing that AMNP loves about Ivan Hernandez Quintela of Ludens [our first featured ‘ninja of the month’] is that he’s working to solve problems that the rest of us may not even realize we face daily. Our relationship with public space and each other, as well as our day-to-day interaction with the physical environment are investigated by Ivan in a way that forces you to think about seemingly typical situations in new ways. Through what he calls ‘Aikido Architecture’ [in true ninja fashion], Ivan’s ‘Urban Prosthetics‘ attempt to appropriate public space for the user through adaptation and reinvention - using small architectural gestures to change our perception of public space - and activate that space for the public. Here we feature three examples that Ivan has provided of his ‘Urban Prosthetics’.

Prada and Koolhaas Get Together to Rebuild Hard Labor Fashion Camp
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
What happens when you get Prada together in the same room as Rem Koolhaas? ArtInfo has the info on their recent collaboration, a big update/redesign of the Prada Foundation's headquarters, which already sort of looks something like a cross between a Soviet housing complex, a prison, and a midwestern factory of the future (Koolhaas' plans bring out that look even more).

Conservation Accolades for Medina Palms, East Africa’s Latest Eco-housing Development
Sam Aola Ooko in Green Options
The developers of Medina Palms, an eco-friendly residential development, have determined to set eco-standards in Africa and are donating a percentage of its income to the international wildlife charity, Born Free Foundation, to help preserve marine life. Medina Palms also supports a billfish tagging initiative to monitor fish populations in the Indian Ocean by The Billfish [...]

Concourse E Tells a Modern Green Story
Preston D K in Jetson Green
Several months ago we blogged about Concourse E and two projects going up in Atlanta.  Today Concourse E's owner Jeff Demetriou shot me an email with a link to the new Concourse E Blog.  I was reading back into their blog archives and noticed that 81 Weatherby, a serious modern looker, will have what seems to be the first residential green roof in Georgia.  Impressive!  Concourse E is getting pretty close to finishing both homes that we talked about in the rendering phase, so we'll keep you posted.  In the meantime, go check out articles and photos at the new blog.



Rest in Green Peace: Green Burials for Sustainability After Death
Justin Van Kleeck in Green Options
Today, 8:00 AM
Sustainability, it seems, can be practiced in all aspects of one’s life–including DEATH! As I discovered recently, traditional methods of handling dead humans are surprisingly serious sources of pollution and resource consumption. For example, burials require a dangerous toxin, formaldehyde, to embalm the body, and those pollutants remain in the corpse as it decays and then goes back into the Earth. Caskets, too, can be problematic in terms of using wood (usually not sustainably harvested), and then the graveyards where they all end up take up lots of land. What about cremation? Well, stoking those fires requires tremendous amounts of power–i.e., electricity, which of course usually comes from coal-fired power plants.

The secret life of Robin Hood Gardens.
kosmograd in Kosmograd
Robin Hood Gardens, like Euston Arch before it, will take its secret to its grave. Last week, 'architecture minister' Margaret Hodge sounded the death knell for Robin Hood Gardens when she decided not to list the building, following the advice of English Heritage (described as a "beleagured quango" by the Twentieth Century Society) but ignoring the protestations of many within the architectural profession, including Richard Rogers, Norman Foster and Zaha Hadid, and an ongoing campaign by Building Design magazine.

Is the End of Suburbia Approaching?
Ariel Schwartz in Green Options
For the past several years, a motley crew of Americans ranging from novelists to energy investors to senators have warned that rising gas prices will end the suburban way of life and force hordes of people back into cities. As driving even small amounts becomes painfully expensive, it is becoming easy to accept this prediction. But will it hold up? According to The Los Angeles Times, maybe not. Statistics show that despite gas prices approaching $5/gallon, many suburbs are doing better than cities in terms of population growth and job creation. According to the 2000-2006 census, 90% of all metropolitan growth is occurring in suburban communities.

g & Interior Designer Rides the Green Wave
Delia Montgomery in Green Options
In the green market, the interior design world is about healthy settings with visual appeal. The goal is to create rooms for physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual benefits. That means avoiding things like VOCs, chemicals, and clutter. You can see that earth and human-friendly designers and decorators are increasingly riding the green wave. And we now know that natural wool, hemp, silk, seagrass, bamboo, cork, and other organic fibers are here for us. Ancient craft techniques are reviving and some know how to blend it all so well into the present. Recycling is one method that seems to create new artistic magic.

What's the Point?
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
The first photo is of the lakefront south of Diversey. The second is from a series of handsome photos of Promontory Point by Lee Bey that he's recently posted on his great Urban Observer blog. The Diversey style has become of standard for renovation of Chicago's lakefront revetment, and it was what the city and Army Corp of Engineers had proposed for Promontory Point a decade ago. When, for some unfathomable reasons, South side residents rose up in rebellion at that plan, the city presented a "compromise" that entailed reproducing the limestone rocks in concrete. Same, same, no? There have been further redesigns that would now retain some of the rocks, coupled to universal access to the Point, but the changes remain so radical that community opposition remains unabated. The Point was on Landmarks Illinois 2004 "Most Endangered" list and Preservation Chicago's 2006 "Chicago Seven"

Kate Orff Studio Review at GSAPP
Mitchell Joachim, Ph.D. in Mitchell Joachim: Archinode Studio
On jury for Kate Orff, Principal of Scape, Adv. Arch. mid-review, July 09 at Columbia, entitled CarboNYC. Students are looking at 3 sites and programs as a way to critique, participate in and visualize the Mayor's PLANYC 2030 initiative to reduce carbon emissions by 30%. --Looks Great!

Between Earth and Heaven Floats Work of John Lautner
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
A few years ago, some jottings of the architect John Lautner (1911-94) were discovered, tucked away in a cupboard in his California vacation home since the late 1960s. One thought in the bunch nicely sums up Lautner's ambition and sheds light on much of his output (including the Jetsonian "Chemosphere," created in 1960 and pictured above): "The space age is progressing because it is right from scratch with no precedents," wrote Lautner. "The idea 'Go to the moon'...We should do this with Architecture." And so, starting this Sunday and through October 12, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles offers up "Between Earth and Heaven: The Architecture of John Lautner," the first major exhibition survey of his work.

Chicago Win Shows Focus on Green Architecture
Joshua S Hill in Green Options
As the environment continues to gain more and more attention, so does the need to stay green and environmentally friendly. We’re seeing these qualities become more and more relevant and important in a variety of fields; from automotive to architecture. The latter has long been a focus of the green development. One need only look at the mass of stories coming out of the Middle East and Asia to see that a green focus on design and architecture is now more important than ever.

Seattle Shopping Mall Evolves into a Mixed-Use Village
Kristin Dispenza in Green Options
The Pacific Northwest has always been progressive. For Seattle in the spring of 1950, that meant the opening of the country’s first mall. According to HistoryLink, Northgate Mall, located on 62 acres outside the city limits, was built to accommodate a total of 80 stores clustered around a “wide shopping walkway,” although it was not fully enclosed and climate-controlled until 1974. (Confused shoppers reportedly parked in the mall space itself when the center first opened.) By 1968, 50,000 cars a day were using Northgate. In the face of global warming and climate change, however, planners and designers are redefining ‘progressive’. The Northgate neighborhood is currently at the center of a major revitalization effort which was set in motion in 2003 by Mayor Nickels and the Seattle City Council.

Silvio Berlusconi Picks Fight with Daniel Libeskind
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Proof that when you're a powerful starchitect you don't bother having feuds with the common man. No, you go all the way to the top. Such is the case with Daniel Libeskind, who has found himself in a battle of words with Italy's Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi. It all went down after Libeskind submitted his plans for a new set of buildings in Milan and Berlusconi said (paraphrased here), "it's not manly and it emanates a sense of impotence." But beyond that, he also threatened to cancel the permissions for the project unless the starchitect butched it up a bit. But, of course, Libeskind isn't having that and has fired back with his own volley of angry words: "In Fascist Italy, everything that was not 'straight' was considered 'perverse art'," said Libeskind. "My tower is inspired by the work of Leonardo da Vinci, and great Italian culture. [Mr Berlusconi] does not have the time or intellect to study these.

Jetson Green: Toyota PreFab
AMNP
Preston, green ninja master over at Jetson Green, writes: Forget the fact that I lived in Japan and absolutely love its culture, I didn’t know that Toyota had a homes unit. And they’ve been in the business of making homes for over twenty years! The company adapts automobile manufacturing technology to build stylish, earthquake-resistant homes for sale within Japan. The Toyota Homes unit accounts for only .5% of the company’s $262 billion in annual sales, and Toyota would like to beef that up a little bit. Plus, with the roll-out of the plug-in hybrid beginning in 2010 (remember all that discussion here about solar homes and plug-in hybrids replacing gas stations?), Toyota would like to do more with their environmentally-friendly, prefabricated homes.

GH Architekten on Holiday House in the Alps
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
Holiday house on the Rigi, Scheidegg. The building was arranged on the periphery of the property so that the distance to the neighbouring houses was as large as posssible and so that the option of constructing another building could be left open. The concrete cellar anchors the building in the sloping terrain and houses the entrance area and the technical servicing, on top of which...

Interior Design Inspired by Local Salvage Centers
Deb Hiett in Green Options
Looking for Style in All the Green Places
Lately I’m a bit obsessed by home decorating with reclaimed goods like old doorknobs, ornate metal heating grates, and odd hanging crystals from a long-gone chandelier. Sure, it would make more sense if I actually had a house — at the moment, my new husband and I are squeezing into our 600 square feet, one-bedroom apartment — but one day soon we will own a home, and when that day comes, I’ll be able to spread out and complete all the projects I have going in my head. Meanwhile, I’ve found that trolling architectural salvage yards and house-part recycling centers is a fascinating diversion. You can find some amazing ways to decorate your home in completely unique (and green) ways, but you can also find perfectly good double-hung windows, newel posts, kitchen cabinets, big pieces of wood flooring, and bathroom vanities (from this century, even!).

This Week: Archeworks Open House and International Planning History Society Conclave
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
As you may have noticed, we've largely disappeared recently as we've been concentrating on working to finish a large project. Therefore the usual monthly calendar for July has yet to be posted, but I wanted to bring your attention to a couple of key events this week: Archeworks Open House - Chicago's alternate design school will be holding its summer open house this Wednesday, July 9th, from 5:30 to 7:00 P.M., 625 N. Kingsbury at Ontario. Prospective stduents will be able to meet new co-directors Martin Felsen and Sarah Dunn, tour the studios and learn about current courses, plus get info on applying. Call 312/867.7254 for more details.

Portland Ranked #5 In "Best Cities For Design" List
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
RMJM Hillier, one of the world's largest architecture firms, has a released a new list of America's "Best Cities For Design". And in a crop of cities much larger than ours (the poll was restricted to cities with populations of over 500,000), Portland finds itself in the top five at...well, at number five. The rankings were based on ten criteria: public transit systems, LEED certified or registered buildings, art and design universities, museums, sustainability rankings, architecture awards, employees in creative industries, housing and community design awards, and buildings on the National Historic Register. RMJMH then commissioned a public opinion and research firm to interview over 1000 residents of those cities on architecture and design issues and incorporated those results into the research to determine the final rankings.


London Festival of Architecture
Frame Magazine
In collaboration with Hemingway Design, the exhibition designers of [link=http://www.wildcardcreative.com]Wildcard Creative[/link] have taken over the underground car-park of the Danish Embassy for an exhibition on systainable Danish Architecture.  Read more…

Solving Energy Crisis Demands a Sustained Effort
Rod Adams in Green Options
 A number of participants in the energy debate have recently suggested that what America needs is a new federal project on the scale of the Manhattan Project or the Apollo Project that brought large scale teams together to achieve great things. My suggestion is that the better model to follow would be Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway project - or a much more ancient model. As successful as Manhattan and Apollo were at achieving their stated goals, both share a common flaw as a model for attacking our energy supply challenges - they were sprints that left their respective teams panting and wiped out when the initial goal was achieved. In contrast, the Interstate Highway system was a more distributed, long-term effort whose accomplishment required a sustained, methodical approach lasting more than 50 years (so far). It was more of an endurance relay event than a sprint.

Modern Prefab Cabin Available For East Coast Stay
Preston D K in Jetson Green
If you've been listening to the chatter on prefab and thought: "What's the big deal with prefab homes?" or "Why would anyone ever want to own a prefab?", now's your chance to find out.  In his most recent update from A Prefab Project, Chris dropped a link to his shiny new website for Lost River Modern, a prefab cabin in Lost River, West Virginia.  And as you can tell from the images on the new website, Lost River Modern is quite incredible to look at.  Designed by Resolution: 4 Architecture, creators of the original Dwell Home, Lost River Modern is the first and only res4 home available for guests.  You can (and probably should) rent the place and completely chill out.  I see some slots are already filled up, so if you're interested in testing the prefab waters on the East Coast, you better get on it quick.

Top Architecture Schools Tuition Fees.
Christoph in anArchitecture
tuition fees 2008-2009, not including health insurance, special fees, material and accommodation. No responsibility is taken for the correctness of this information. source: internet For young people (and often their parents) the selection of an architecture school or program is largely dependent on the institution's tuition fees. Academic studies are usually a big investment - it's regrettable if they don't pay off. Only a few students can count on generous grants or scholarships.

Half Dose #49: Orquideorama
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
The appeal of gratuitous overhead structures is not lost on me. For example my occasional updates on J. Mayer H.'s Metropol Parasol in Seville, Spain are due in part to a fascination with the large amorphous structure that includes cafes within the parasol and shades parts of the public plaza below, but which for the most part is pure iconography, functionless excess. The Jardín Botánico de Medellín in Colombia by Plan B, with JPRCR, is in a similar vein. It is apparently justified as a structure that is similarly organic to the flowers and other vegetation within the botanical garden. Even though I can see how the various trunks and flowering extensions connect with each other so an artificial canopy is created, at first glance I don't see how it is necessary. Nevertheless I'm enamored; it's thrilling in design and execution.



 

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Last Updated on Thursday, 04 September 2008 00:19