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June 08 - Blog Articles - Page 11 Print E-mail
Monday, 31 March 2008 19:00

June 5th, 2008

Ergonomic Eco Echo Lounge by Plug Design
Jorge Chapa in Inhabitat
We spotted a lot of great designs at ICFF this year, but one of the gems that really stopped us in our tracks was this gorgeous eco Echo Lounge Chair which boasts a customizable ergonomic cushion system and a sustainable attitude. The Echo Lounge Chair, designed by Carlos Fierro of Plug Design, is a simple, beautifully crafted metal framed chair that is built entirely without fasteners or adhesives. Timber slats fill the frame, and adjustable wool pieces inserted between each slat provide built-in cushioning. The best part is that the user can customize the profile of the woolen pieces to provide a plush, personalized fit to meet any ergonomic needs.

Spidernethewood / R&Sie(n)
Nico Saieh in Arch Daily
1) Over density of existing forest plantation (trees will be at the right level in 5 years)
3) Netting and Wrapping the trees with a plastic mesh to dig a labyrinth in the branches
4) Including an Stealth indoor 450 m² building, on two floor, plugged and over connected to this labyrinth by huge sliding glass door (7×3,5 meters)
5) The boundaries inside/outside became blur for a porosity sensation and windy refreshing
6) Life behind the indoor extension of the labyrinth, ‘’as you want”, under construction

casa camino los palquis, francisco carrió arquitecto
Justin in materialicious
This 140m2 house is located (20km from downtown) halfway between Santiago and it’s nearest ski center - Farellones in the Andean foothills - in the valley where the city’s main river originates.
The climate is not too extreme - a long dry summer with warm days and cold nights, and a mild snowy winter. Large double-paned windows protect the interior in the cold season and retract to completely open the space in summer, where it’s all about the exterior, with it’s terrace, swimming pool and the panoramic views. Main materials used were concrete, fiber-cement board, oak and double-paned windows.

Letter Puts an End to the Jean Nouvel Love Parade UnBeige
To end this writer's day on a fun note, we pull a one-eighty on this week's Jean Nouvel love fest with this "Letter of the Day" from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune: "Nouvel's 'Joke Architecture' Wows Parisians." Turns out that Nouvel doesn't have a fan in one home in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, the one owned by Bob Pratt. In his letter, he tears into the starchitect and his winning plans for the Signal Tower in Paris. But it's not just funny because he's angry (angry people are always funny, unless they're writing mean letters to poor lil' ol' us UnBeige editors), it's because he has some pretty solid critiques of Nouvel's work (at least from the A.M. Stern perspective). And he's funny about it, too. Here's a couple of our favorite quotes from the vitriolic onslaught: Nouvel, whose whimsical Darth Vader vacation-fortress exterior sketch dazzled the Guthrie brain trust into shrugging off the dimly lit, often dysfunctional interior, has produced a stacked cube design seemingly inspired by astutely observing the creative frenzy of 2-year-old children at LEGO Land.

Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city
Young in Architecture
"Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city has applied the planning concept of eco-economy, eco-residence, eco-culture, harmonious community and scientific management. By integrating advanced ecological, environmental protection, and energy-saving techniques, it will create a natural, harmonious and livable human residence, and thus commit itself to constructing an eco-city that is economically vibrant, environmentally friendly, resource-efficient and socially harmonious. The project will promote the use of clean energy and renewable energy/resources, with strengthened innovation capabilities and optimized industrial structure to achieve a highly-efficient recycling economy. An eco-culture with regional features will be formed to promote a green and healthy style of life and consumption. Focusing on coordination with the neighboring regions in terms of environment, socio-culture, economy and policy will help to realize regional integration.

Mount Baker Residense / Pb Elemental Architecture
Nico Saieh in Arch Daily
Located in the Mount Baker neighborhood of Seattle, this dramatic home is perched on a hill, high above the street. The design captures the territorial views of the surrounding rooftops with floor to ceiling glass and roof top deck. The 3,600 sqft home includes four bedrooms, two and a half baths, and a large open living floor with ten foot-tall ceilings and a two car garage with a 400 sqft roof deck above. Additionally, the home includes a separate, one bedroom apartment unit on the lower level, complete with a wrap-around patio. The structure was conceived as the juxtaposition of three pure volumes, each containing a unique programmatic element. In turn, each element is clad with clear cedar, cement board or concrete to emphasize the massing.

Collecting Modern Architecture a Worthwhile Investment? UnBeige
In a piece seeming written for the least popular woman in New Cannan, Connecticut, Cristina Ross, Slate has up an interesting piece by Daniel Gross about whether or not buying famous pieces of architecture is a good investment or not. Surprise surprise, when you buy a multi-million dollar home that's likely fairly eccentric (see: the architect didn't always care so much how functional things like plumbing or privacy were in the planning process), you might have some trouble down the line unloading the thing. Working off the great expenses needed to keep the Glass House, now the pricey showpiece of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, alive and well as a model, Gross compares architecture to other expensive collectibles, like paintings, and ultimately finds: In the end, it's a real-estate transaction, and, as such, it's subject to all the whims of that market. The Kaufmann house was placed on the market, as many homes are, because the owners were getting divorced. And after all the hoopla surrounding the $16.8 million bid for it, the deal, like so many other housing deals these days, fell through.

EURO 2008 - The Final Stadium.
Ute Bauer in anArchitecture
The Ernst-Happel Stadium in Vienna is the biggest of the eight venues of the EURO 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, and with seven matches, including the final on 29th of June, the main site. Formally called "Praterstadium" it got built in 1931 together with an open air bath, designed by the architect Otto Ernst Schweizer. At that time it was considered as the most modern stadium, with a capacity of 60.000 visitors and an evacuation time of less than eight minutes. The last national match before Second World War was carried out on 3rd of April 1938, called "annexation match"; Austria won 2:0 against Germany. In September 1939 it served a completely different purpose: more than 1,000 Jewish men were held captive in the corridors of sector B, 1,038 of them were deported to the concentration camp Buchenwald, only 70 survived. A commemoration plaque reminds this atrocity since 2003.

Jean Nouvel’s “Green Blade” Slices LA Skyline
Evelyn Lee in Inhabitat
Aptly nicknamed the “green blade,” Jean Nouvel’s newest addition to the asphalt laden City of Angels slices through the concrete jungle at 10,000 Santa Monica, adding much needed greenery to the surrounding office towers. Standing 45 stories tall and little more than 50 feet deep, this statuesque green structure is bound to make an sustainable impact that we hope others will follow.

Wentworth Commons Sets Standard for Green, Low Income Housing
Preston D K in Jetson Green
Wentworth Commons is a 51-unit, 65,800 sf affordable housing complex in Chicago's Roseland neighborhood.  As a home for at-risk and formerly homeless families and individuals, Wentworth Commons has been recognized for its trendy aesthetics and functional green design.  The $13 million project has a slew of green features, including a 33 kWh PV system that provides 25% of the building's power, a hyper efficient mechanical system, extensive use of locally sourced materials and rapidly renewable materials, and native plantings and bio-swale to reduce storm water runoff.

UK Eco-house Sold for world record £7.2m!
Cate Trotter in Inhabitat
It’s not all doom and gloom for the UK property market: in the face of the country’s slowing or depreciating prices, Sarah Featherstone’s cutting-edge green home has sold for a record-breaking £7.2million, or $14.2million USD! The building, known as Orchid House, is one of the key homes on Lower Mill Estate, a project to turn a disused gravel pit into a beautiful 450-acre nature reserve.

June 4th, 2008

the revitalization of Dudley Square
mad architect in architechnophilia
The Plaza and Public Library are the winning vision in a competition for the revitalization of Dudley Square, Boston. The proposal by Architect Gregory Minott, won for its depiction of the renovated library and was credited with keeping an appropriate scale for the neighbourhood

VERDE: Sunset’s Green Dream Home in San Francisco
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
This weekend, I attended the NEN’s Clean and Green Summit which included a wonderful green walking tour of San Francisco’s Mission district. We strolled by beautiful gardens and saw some great community initiatives, but the highlight by far was a showing of Sunset Magazine’s sustainable gem, Casa Verde. We’ve covered the zero energy super-home in the past, but here’s a first-hand look at its stunning fusion of fine modern design with an exceptional set of sustainable features.

More Architects Who Didn't Quite Make the 'Signal Tower' Cut UnBeige
Now that Jean Nouvel has beaten the venerable challenges of Lord Foster and Daniel Libeskind in the battle royale to win the contract to design and build the new Signal Tower in Paris, which we've all now see some cool photos of (including Nouvel looking as strange and "evil genius" as usual), designboom has gotten into the story by offering up a batch of new photos of the project, as well as, and maybe more interestingly, images of the projects submitted by those who didn't land the gig, including the aforementioned Foster and Libeskind, as well as two others who were also vying for the role: Jacques Ferrier and Jean-Michel Wilmotte. Personally, had we been chosen as judges, we probably would have gone with Ferrier's building. Not just because it looks cool, which it does, but because it looks like a big "H" and that's one of our favorite letters.

American Furniture Designers Respond to Alice Rawsthorn UnBeige
In response to a New York Times article written by Alice Rawsthorn in March about the downfall of the American furniture design industry, our friends over at I.D. were kind enough to send along word of Aric Chen's piece for the magazine, getting together not just Rawsthorn, but a whole slew of prominent designers working in the US to get to the bottom of her statements. (...) Here's a bit from Rawsthorn's opening statement, sort of summarizing what she'd meant to say in her NY Times piece: My New York Times column sprang from many conversations with friends in the U.S. design scene over the years. What interested me as a non-American was that so much U.S. design is flourishing. Look at graphics, new media, games, typography - America sports world-class designers in all of those disciplines, as well as Apple as an exemplar of corporate design management, and One Laptop Per Child as a stellar example of humanitarian design. Why wasn’t the U.S. achieving the same high standards in furniture?

Ole Sheeren Talks CCTV
The BBC has an interview with Ole Sheeren, who headed OMA’s CCTV tower project. As the Chinese are about to unveil one of the world’s most strangely shaped buildings - the gravity defying Central Chinese Television (CCTV) Tower in Beijing - Philip talks to one of the partners of the Rotterdan based architects OMA, Ole Sheeren, who took on the project having only just turned 31.

ARPO LIBRARY: Good Green Design in the Himalayas
Jorge Chapa in Inhabitat
Green design is good design - or so we like to say here at Inhabitat - and it is always great to see a beautifully executed example that encompasses this philosophy. The Perma Karpo Library, designed by Arup for a small village in Ladahk (in the Indian Himalayas), is the perfect example of how good design, science and local knowledge have worked together to create a building that is as sustainable as it is beautiful.

Wrestling With Columbia Crossing
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
The proposed new I-5 bridge over the Columbia River has been in the news a lot lately, with much debate not only about what form the bridge might take, but whether there should be one at all. Considering how Portland is and wants to be a pedestrian and transit-oriented city, to keep reducing our emissions, and to honor our history of fighting freeway projects such as the Mount Hood Freeway and others recommended for Portland by Robert Moses, it's natural for many to bristle at building a new bridge. If anything, the argument often goes, there should be a bridge just for pedestrians and MAX trains. But having adequate highway infrastructure, another pro-sustainability argument has been argued, is a way to encourage additional high-density development, which in itself makes a great contribution to greener living.

De Rokade / Arons en Gelauff Architecten
Nico Saieh in Arch Daily
In 2003, Groningen municipal council launched a project “The Intense City” to keep the city compact by increasing the building density of districts around the Centre. The Rokade Residential Tower Block is situated on one of the first increased density locations, and marks the corner of the Corpus den Hoorn Laan and the Sportlaan, the avenue providing access to the Hoornse Meer district.

Oceanside Glass Tile offers Beautiful, Recycled Tiles
Sarah Roe in Jetson Green
Oceanside Glass Tile offers an absolutely beautiful line of glass tiles.  Not all tiles contain recycled content, but a good amount of them do.  The recycled content is according to the tile color.  For instance, cobalt, has almost 75% post-consumer content.  The great thing is that you can see which colors contain recycled content, and how much, right on their site; there is a simple table that makes it easy to evaluate your color choice. Oceanside offers 7 collections of tiles and within those collections are a wide variety of shape, size, texture, and color.  Many of the tiles have a unique and beautiful iridescent quality.  And every tile is unique since they are handcrafted by artisans.  Their tiles would look gorgeous in any bathroom and would also be a great choice for kitchen backsplashes.   Check out their website to see all their tiles and the recycled content table.

Duke Devlin Pops Up Again in Opening Coverage of Woodstock Museum UnBeige
Okay, we promised to layoff the Woodstock Museum coverage late last week, but sometimes we lie. We do it because we love you and don't want to offend your delicate nature. But we promise to keep things quick, because we know you're probably as ready to move on as we are. First up comes some interesting coverage by the Globe and Mail of this weekend's opening of the Museum at Bethel Woods, the many-millions-of-dollars new exhibit space built to honor the 1969 music festival. The review: pretty corporate and they decided to completely skip over some of the very minor things involved in that Woodstock weekend: drugs and sex. Our favorite quote: "So what are we to glean from the fact that this official history of the Sixties seems to have been edited by Disney?" Second up comes a look at the opening from the Chicago Tribune, who stuck pretty close to the press release and doesn't offer up much opinion, but does have some interesting bits about building the place. But the best part: true to form, they both prominently feature one Mr. Duke Devlin, which we found pretty funny, as will you too, should you want to go back and review our coverage of the coverage from last week.

Winner announced for the Tour La Signal at La Defense, Paris: Ateliers Jean Nouvel
David Basulto in Arch Daily
The La Defense is a 160 ha business district in the west of Paris, currently under a renewal plan to strengthen its place among the great international business districts. The plan is managed by the EPAD (The Public Establishment for Installation of La Défense), an organization formed by local authorities, government and neighbors focused on developing the La Defense for the best interests of its 20.000 residents and 150.000 inhabitants in floating population. The renewal includes several high rise sustainable towers. One of this towers, the Tour Signal, entered an international closed competition for teams of architects/investors/developers, on which EPAD didn’t impose a site. The candidates were thus able to choose their sites either from among the entrances to the business district (South Gate and West Gate), either from sites subject to demolition operations. The Tour Signal will thus endow the business district with a new landmark in 2013.

Brad Pitt Hired as Design Consultant on Dubai Hotel UnBeige
Maybe it's just because tabloid journalism and gossip has been forcefully thrust down our collective throats for the past million decades that, when we run across one of these Brad Pitt-as-architect stories, we feel like we have to talk like idiots. So here goes: as if it weren't already hot enough in Dubai, Brad Pitt is about to turn up the thermometer a notch when he arrives in the city to help consult on the designs for an American-themed hotel with Graft, the firm he worked with on his Pink Houses project with when things were getting steamy down in New Orleans. Ahem. Alright, that's about enough. We feel dirty and need a shower. While we go do that, here's a bit: "Acting is my career, architecture is my passion," Pitt said in the statement. As "my first major construction project," the Dubai hotel will feature "environmentally friendly architecture, but also embrace my career in entertainment."

Prefab Plus
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
I really like Swedish design firm Claesson Koivisto Rune's body of work... Every product and piece of architecture they work on has a clear, yet delicate direction... nothing is too heavy handed. The pre-fab house they designed for Arkitekthus is particularly nice. The simple 'Plus House' manages something that most pre-fab projects don't... it has roots. The proportion of the house is based on a traditional Swedish barn house, and the materials are consistent with both new and old building in the region. Its actually quite hard to imagine this house in any setting other than the one photographed... To me, this is particularly impressive for a pre-fab designs. In my opinion, many pre-fab modern projects are lovely aesthetically, but they seem like they could be plunked down in the middle of a field anywhere. And while I guess that's the point... I miss the locale specific design. This project on the other hand, really seems indigenous to the region, and I really love that about it.

Taliesin Green Prefab Prototype Now Taking Shape
Preston D K in Jetson Green
Since mid-January, Taliesin students have been blogging on PrairieMod about their project to build a small modern home on the grounds of Taliesin West.  The students, with Dean Victor Sidy and Jennifer Siegal of OMD, designed a simple but elegant home with sustainability in mind.  At first, they were going to prefabricate the structure, but later decided to go instead with on-site, panelized construction using SIPs for the walls, roof, and floor.  Now, the exterior is certainly taking shape and the interior will be finished throughout the summer.  When done, the structure will demonstrate passive and active environmental control systems, water catchment, top-tier insulation, a gray water system, native landscaping, and a solar power system.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 August 2008 02:03
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