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March '08 Blog Articles - Page 6 Print E-mail
Thursday, 31 January 2008 19:00

March 15th and 16th, 2008


Today's archidose #188
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
1532 House in San Fransisco, California by Fougeron Architecture, 2006.

Joie de Vivre Urbaine
Brendan in Where
"...And joie de vivre [joy of living] may be seen as a joy of everything, a comprehensive joy, a philosophy of life..." Long ago, writers disparaged cities like London, New York, and Paris, labeling them as hives of disease and destitution. But over time, industrialization and economic growth powered by these urban centers lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, creating a prosperous and secure middle class like the world had never seen. Over the past few decades, we have seen this happen again in China and India. With the rise of ideas like common wealth and the urban planet, it seems less naive each day to believe that this trend could continue moving upward, creating a globalized standard of living (not to be confused with a singular global culture, which would be intensely boring).

Visiting Pietro Belluschi's Burkes House
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Last week I had the distinct treat of visiting not only a Pietro Belluschi-designed house in the West Hills, but one that the late great architect lived in through his final days. The Burkes House is actually still occupied by Belluschi’s widow, Marjorie, who graciously allowed their grandson Jeff to take me on a tour. It was conceived in 1944 for a Dr. and Mrs. DC Burkes, but built in 1947 after wartime restrictions on building materials were lifted. Like a lot of homes associated with the mid-20th century ‘Northwest Style’ (those by Belluschi, John Yeon, Van Evra Bailey and developer Robert Rummer), the orientation is not toward the home’s entrance, where we pulled into an old-school carport. Once you step inside, though, there is great attention paid to the spectacular view of downtown Portland as well as to the courtyard-like enclosed back yard.

Concrete Roof by Serero
Young in Architecture
Imagination, Observation & Creativity supported with free concrete form created the proposal beside that wins the architecture competition for the new auditorium of Saint Cyprien - France. What do you see when you are looking above?

Solar Power Heats Water and Homes
Gavin Hudson in Green Options
As solar technologies improve and costs fall, South Korea’s plans for solar energy are heating up. In the coastal city of Gangneung, South Korea, look up and you’re likely to see solar panels or a solar water heater on the roof of at least one house. The rice patties to the North of Gangneung offer up a [...]

The Masdar Competition
Mitchell Joachim, Ph.D. in Mitchell Joachim: Archinode Studio
The MASDAR Biome is both a revolutionary and an evolutionary structure intended to embody the best available practices for both sustainability and sociability. Like the new city in which it sits, the MASDAR Biome will be a visual and functional landmark on the pathway to a rational planetary future. We strongly believe that this future must penetrate every aspect of city building, that the ecological perspective has long taught us that natural systems are complex, distributed, and dynamic. We hope that this project, in this remarkable city, will play its role not simply within the perimeter of its own property but as a key actor for the city as a whole and for the new cities its construction so dramatically portends.

Floors Made From Peach Pips in South Africa
Susan Gillam in Inhabitat
Peach pip floors (aka peach ‘pit’ floors to us yanks) have a long history in South Africa and the warm, natural materials made an early impression on South African gallery owner Allah le Roux. He caught his first glimpse of this unique organic finishing technique as a child on a visit to Klein Zoar in Cape Town. Decades later, in 2004, he bought an 19th century house in Paarl, in the Western Cape, and made his first objective to restore the home with this traditional peach-pip flooring.. In total, he covered an area of approximately 90 square meters with peach pips which, now three years later, appear as if laid yesterday.

ABŌD: Affordable Prefab for South Africa from BSB Design
Ali Kriscenski in Inhabitat
The Abōd™ is a prototype prefab created by BSB Design for use as affordable housing in South Africa. The simple design uses a strong, natural shape as the core. It’s durable, lightweight and can be easily shipped in a compact box for quick on-site assembly. Perhaps it’s the shape or the vibrant colors of the corrugated paneling, but this design brings a cheerful presence to a very serious issue: addressing the need for high-quality, low-cost solutions to South Africa’s housing shortage.

Scanline rendering vs Vray rendering
Young in Architecture
I had been studying Vray rendering these few weeks. However back to the basic, it is how to light up a scene that is important. The basic knowledge of pencil sketching, the relationship of lights and the material's reflection behaviour matters alot to render a scene. So much I had learn this year to render a scene and so lucky I am to have learned basic pencil sketching in the university that allows me to understand better of rendering a scene.
For basic rendering knowledge to be shared here:- 1. Global illumination as a skylight to lighten the entire scene. 2. Sun light as a key light casting shadow towards a building form to emphasize the shape while determining the sun direction.

Solar Tower of Power to Spain and Abu Dhabi; Anyone Want to Bring One to U.S.?
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
I just noticed fresh news of this newly formed company called Torresol that's developing a Solar Tower of Power for both  Spain and Abu Dhabi.  It's cool news and interesting technology, but it strikes me: Does anyone want to use their celebrity or political influence to bring one of the suckers to the U.S.?  Hillary?  Obama?  Gore?  Buffett?  Pickens?  There's a ton a raw land in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Texas, etc., and any given state could take a stab at a plan with transmission lines, right?  I know we talked about an EnviroMission tower before, but I haven't seen any movement on that front.  It might take a green blogger coalition to get one of these built, I don't know, but if we can't figure it out, we're going to see a new generation of dollars going to the same group of people.  If you know what I mean ...

Iannelli - and Wright - out of the Storeroom
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
An associate of mine where I work was cleaning out our storage rooms when he came across the striking artwork you see here. Looking it over, we were struck by the name on the stylized signature, "Iannelli", with three dots over the "i", and I immediately thought of the Alfonso Iannelli, the sculptor who collaborated with Frank Lloyd Wright at Midway Gardens. Read all about the beautiful posters Iannelli created for the Los Angeles Orpheum between 1911 and 1915, and about his contentious collaboration with Frank Lloyd Wright on Midway Gardens here. And a bit of Sally Rand and a lot about sprites

March 13th, 2008

Dicussing Midcentury Modern Architecture and Its Preservation
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Tomorrow (Friday, March 14) at AIA/Portland from 3-4pm, I will be part of a panel discussion at AIA/Portland's Center For Architecture about mid-century modern architecture. The panel will be moderated by local architect Peter Meijer, an expert in historic preservation. My fellow panelists will iclude Paul Falsetto, who has been active in helping preserve local landmarks like John Yeon's Portland Oregon Visitors Center along Waterfront Park and the Ladd Carriage House on Broadway; realtor Bob Zaikosk of Portland Modern, whose specialty is historic midcentury homes; and Becca Cavell of Thomas Hacker Architects. Becca will also give a separate preceding presentation from 2-3pm on residential midcentury modern architecture. The panel discussion I'm on will focus on the historical value, characteristics and historic criteria of Mid-Century architecture. Peter Meijer has sent a few questions for us to consider, which also may be something others want to comment on: 1. What are the unique character defining features of mid-century architecture?...

Fracture
Jaime in MoCo Loco
In Ineke Hans's Fracture collection for Cappellini, the designer moved away from the traditional materials of wood, metal and plastic to opt for a more unusual selection, polyester plaster - the same material used to make casts. Wrapped around polystyrene foam, the plaster furniture is not only lightweight, but also extremely durable. The collection includes a chair, stool, side table and coat rack.

9onF LEED Homes Save Roughly 75% on Bills!
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
That's right, these LEED certified homes in Sacramento are saving some serious cashish on energy bills.  Roughly up to 75% on energy bills, that is, when the full power of the geothermal heating and cooling system is paired with the solar setup.  Not bad.  The project is called 9onF -- it's a nine-home community with three-level units ranging in size from 1,300 - 1,550 sf.  Prices start at roughly $495,000, and depending on which unit you buy, the home will vary slightly with the others.  For example, three units have solar panels, three have the option for solar, and the last three have too much shade (which is not necessarily a bad thing).  Also, the homes are maxed out with non-toxic finishes to provide a healthy indoor air quality, and being LEED certified and all, a home in 9onF is certain to have all sorts of green goodies.  I'd like to post some real pics if anyone out there has any ...

Herzog & de Meuron: CaixaForum Madrid
architecture.MNP
The CaixaForum Madrid is a new cultural center in the historical center of Madrid, near the renowned Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums, designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, the 2001 Pritzker Architecture Prize winners. The CaixaForum is a restoration and expansion of one of the few examples of industrial architecture in Madrid’s historical center, the old power plant Central Eléctrica del Mediodía. Herzog & de Meuron used four basic principles to redesign of the building: to restore the brick outer layer using traditional techniques, to get rid of the stone base around the power plant, to open up a new public square with an entrance on Paseo del Prado and to add volume.

Especially striking after one has seen Dubai
David Sucher in City Comforts
Politics | No new state money requested for cracked, clogged Seattle stretch. ...the 2008 Legislature ends today, without an I-5 plan. And that's not because the Legislature is controlled by a bunch of tree-huggers but simply that no one really knows what to do. Or if they think they know what to do, they can't get 51% of their colleagues to go along. I am not in the least arguing for a "benevolent autocracy" but there sure does seem to.

no more mcmansions?
architecture.MNP
In a ruling that could help bolster the enforcement of zoning ordinances that cap house size, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently upheld the authority of local communities to restrict overbuilding. Although the case is one of a handful around the nation to take up the issue so far, interest in smart growth and sustainability is increasingly focusing regulators’ attention on house size—and this could ultimately accrue to the benefit of architects.

Half Dose #45: Holbæk Kasba
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
Holbæk is a city in Denmark's Sjælland region, sitting on the banks of a fjord. Not surprisingly, the city has an active seaport with a harbor for a ferry crossing to Norway, among other uses. When the Danish Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) was confronted with a project on this waterfront they asked, "how do you combine the harbor areas on the big scale with intimacy and sensory experiences on the human scale?" This query into finding a balance between the large and small scales, the urban and the architectural, the abstract and the phenomenological, is one that could easily be applied to other urban areas; in effect it could be the question for architects facing ever-larger projects in cities. Here the program is for 13,500 sm (145,000 sf) of primarily residential space, composed of 100 units divided equally among 2br and 3br types.

The Public, one of Britain’s largest cultural building projects, will open on June 28.
Boasting more than 9,000sqm of internal space, The Public is the first major initiative for West Bromwich that will bring economic, cultural and community benefits to the area. Designed by Alsop Architects, the building was, due to a reduced budget, completed by architectural group Flannery & de la Pole. The Public houses a gallery, as well as a live performance theatre, recording studios, creative office space, event and conference spaces and a café. The Public is planning to become a creative hub and social centre for West Bromwich.

Furnishing the urban interior
Aventinus in CONTINUITY IN ARCHITECTURE
This short film documents a study of the mediation between urban and interior space, historic fabric and the contemporary city. This research through design was produced by Year 5 students in Continuity in Architecture, and was intended to remember, to reveal and to construct. Adjacent to Piazza...

Holl to Design Toronto Waterfront District
architecture.MNP
Waterfront Toronto today announced the selection of Steven Holl Architects (SHA) to design the 3500 square meter District Energy Centre in the West Don Lands, which will provide centralized heating and cooling to the first new waterfront neighborhoods of Toronto. The District Energy Centre is expected to go into construction by the end of 2008 and is expected to deliver heating and cooling by the beginning of 2010. Steven Holl Architects was selected for the District Energy Centre because of its design ability and its philosophy that sustainable building and site development is fundamental to innovative and imaginative design. According to Steven Holl: ‘The 21st century presents us with one-third of the earth already developed, much of it in sprawling waste. A fundamental change of attitude, a revisioning of values must take place. We hope to make the District Energy Centre a cultural and global symbol of sustainable development through an architecture that enacts the authentic connection of nature, society and humanity. The building will be inspiring in its design and excellent in its technical functioning.’ Among the many sustainable features of the design for the District Energy Centre Steven Holl Architects will include a green roof.

Allison Arieff on "Modern Prefab" [LA Times]
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
Allison Arieff tells it like it is in this interview with LA Times.  This weekend, Arieff, Michelle Kaufmann, Jennifer Siegal, and Rocio Romero will be doing a panel called "The 4 Women of Prefab" at CA Boom Show in Santa Monica, California, March 14-16, 2008.  I'd do anything to be there for that!  Any one handy with a video that will be there, email: jetsongreen at yahoo dot com.


Last Updated on Monday, 11 August 2008 08:24
 
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