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March '08 Blog Articles - Page 10 Print E-mail
Thursday, 31 January 2008 19:00

March 5th, 2008


The Green Audacity of Lifestyle Minimalism
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
I've been thinking a lot about minimalism lately for some reason.  We all have an idea of what "minimalism" is, but I wanted to dig a little deeper.  According to Wikipedia, minimalism describes a movement where "work is stripped down to its most fundamental features ... it is rooted in the reductive aspects of Modernism, and is often interpreted as a reaction against abstract impressionism and a bridge to Postmodern art practices."  Strip it down to the fundamentals.

LEED, Say It Don't Spray It [Open Thread]
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
++LEED, follow or get out of the way!! [CP] On a related note, I realize there are some strong opinions about LEED and its so called issues or problems.  Let's treat this as an open thread for comments relating to anything and everything you've heard that is a potential problem with LEED.  True or not, list the obstacle.  I'm going to be working on something based on the comments below.  Say it don't spray it.

Toshiko Mori pays tribute to Frank Lloyd Wright with design for visitors center at Martin House
Steven Litt/Plain Dealer Architecture Critic in Architecture and the Urban Landscape with The Plain Dealer's Steven Litt
Architect Toshiko Mori wasn't in Buffalo, N.Y., today to attend the groundbreaking for the visitors center she designed for Frank Lloyd Wright's 1907 Martin House, a pivotal, Prairie Style masterpiece. Toshiko Mori Architect Toshiko Mori's visitors center at the Darwin..

Fate of Cleveland Clinic's Art Deco building to be discussed
Steven Litt/Plain Dealer Architecture Critic in Architecture and the Urban Landscape with The Plain Dealer's Steven Litt
Thurday could be the day of decision for the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine Building near University Circle at East 105th Street and Carnegie Avenue. Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine The fate of the OCPM building, will be considered again...

Getting America’s Lawns Off Drugs
Jason Phillip in Green Options
Yesterday, 3:35 PM
Last week I wrote about how the Chicago nonprofit Safer Pest Control Project has been working to protect people from the harmful effects of toxic pesticides. In talking with the organization’s Executive Director, Rachel Rosenberg, I learned about how common it is for people to be exposed to chemical pesticides in public places without being aware, and how dangerous this can be [...]

Appalling Architectural Sin at Central Lutheran Church
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
In today's Oregonian, Tom Hallman reports on a horrible situation regarding one of the great Pietro Belluschi's most important works that I and the rest of the architectural community should have been on top of a while ago. Belluschi, as most readers know, is by far the most significant architect Portland has ever produced. His Equitable Building downtown was the world's first modern glass-and-aluminum clad office building. His Portland Art Museum design counted Frank Lloyd Wright among its biggest fans. He also co-designed New York's Julliard School at Lincoln Center and, with the legendary Walter Gropius, the landmark Pan-Am building.

Death Star Lunar Hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan

Cate Trotter in Inhabitat
Why wonder if we’ll ever live on the moon when it’s being built right here on Earth? Heerim Architects are planning to bring Star Wars chic to the Azerbaijani capital of Baku, defining the look with two uber-futuristic buildings to act as markers of the gateway of one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

SMIT's GROW, Impressive Solar + Wind Applications
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
Green start-up companies are doing some crazy things, and this company here, SMIT, is certainly one to watch.  SMIT, an acronym for Sustainably Minded Interactive Technology, spent the last two years in R&D with this interesting approach to solar and wind power.  SMIT's GROW product has two iterations, GROW.1 and GROW.2, pictured above and below.  GROW.1 (pictured above) is the original SMIT product that employs thin film photovoltaics with piezoelectric generators and screen printed conductive ink encapsulated in ETFE fluoropolymer lamination.  Inspired by ivy growing on a building, GROW.1 generates energy from both the sun and wind.

Cinco Jardines
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
I love these landscape designs by Spanish firm Alvaro de la Rosa. They manage to be quite modern and architectural, while still maintaining the organic nature of the plantings themselves. I particularly love the first image, which is inspiring me to make some plans for our backyard... Although I'd be very interested in knowing how long it took for these projects to grow to maturity. A big difference between architecture and landscape architecture is the end result... At the end of a project, the architecture is generally at its peak architecturally. The building has yet to be turned over to the public, the materials have yet to start showing their wear. Landscape architecture however, is just about the opposite... When the project is turned over to the owner, it is still yet to show its true colors. Often, it takes a few years for the landscaping to properly grow in and to be able to experience the design in its entirety. While these particular designs probably didn't take years to grow... more lush designs will certainly require more time.

March 4th, 2008

Today's archidose #184
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
lilyfield house, originally uploaded by saar40.
The Lilyfield House in Sydney, Australia by Nobbs Radford Architects, 2007.

The Atlantic Tries for the Bierut Effect
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
If you're like us, you have a love/hate relationship with The Atlantic Monthly: you love the content (come on, we can't be the only one who clips and laminates those Christopher Hitchens book reviews) but are none too fond of...

Psychogeographic Event Guide: Know your city; take a walk
Shawn Micallef in Spacing Toronto • understanding the urban landscape
As part of the John Hartman Cities exhibition at the University of Toronto Art Centre at University College, we have organized a collaborative psychogeographic walk and map making party. After a short talk on psychogeography, people will head out in groups, each with a unique algorithm (a simple formula such as: walk two blocks, turn left; walk one block, turn right; walk one block, turn right; repeat) that will randomly guide them through the campus and into the city. After an hour, everyone will return to the gallery and trace their route on a giant Google Earth projection of the area on the paper-covered wall, adding in discovered details and personal landmarks along the way. The result will be one map that depicts a real and imagined Toronto experienced by all participants. This is an open and free event, and there will be a cash bar to help motivate the map making*.

airform house, wallace neff
Justin in materialicious
The last one left is a single-dome in Pasadena, California…

DS 2008: Matthew Kroeker
sabine7 in MoCo Loco
Matthew Kroeker was another of the 10 Innovative Canadian Designers at IDS08. A range of Kroeker’s designs was presented in the Azure aisle, including the new Bristle tables that sat upon some prototype floorcovering made up of grey dots that are repurposed felt floor protector pads. Above hung the Camila frame (the finished product was only a few aisles away at HutJ), extremely striking in this pose. Kroeker’s classic Old Stock candle sticks were there to remind us of the cabin and we caught up with Matthew on his Splinter bench.

Save Robin Hood Gardens? You must be joking!
Aventinus in CONTINUITY IN ARCHITECTURE
Is the architectural profession really so flush with time and ennui that it has nothing more significant to work itself up into a lather about than indulging in nostalgic support for a failed urban idea and some of its more misery-inducing spawn? What credibility can there be in a publication such...

Portland's First SIPs House to Save 70% on Bills!
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
Yesterday Seed Architecture Studio and Kaya General Contractors announced plans to build the first house in Portland using structural insulated panels ("SIP").  This sustainable home design is targeted to save 70% on bills (compared to a home built to current energy code) utilizing tech such as LED and fluorescent lighting, efficient appliances, passive cooling, and the ultra efficient SIPs.  Speaking of the home, Seed Architect Studio owner Darin Dougherty said: "we've positioned the project as an exercise equally rooted in design, efficiency, and resource use.  The goal of the project is to illustrate that all three of these variables are attainable to everyone.  We're also introducing a hybrid form of pre-fabrication.  Because the entire house is produced in a factory and documented using shop drawings, all other components, such as windows and cabinetry can be produced using the shop drawings.  We're expecting this to drastically reduce construction time."

March 3rd, 2008


Emeco, a Classic in Eco Furniture Design
Sarah Roe in JETSONGREEN.COM
Emeco* designs are simple, elegant, timeless, and award-winning, but did you know that their furniture is also super green?  Emeco furniture is hand-made from 80% recycled aluminum -- half of which is post-consumer (soft drink cans) and the other half is post-industrial (manufacturing scrap).  Because of this, their furniture can contribute to LEED points in your green project (MR 4.2/5.1).

Completed in 1996
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
This project has Niemeyer written all over it... but if you're thinking it might have been built in 1966, try fast-forwarding 30 years to 1996. The Contemporary Art Museum Niteroi in Brazil by Oscar Niemeyer has become an icon of the city, helping to draw visitors from across the bay in the main city of Rio. Not bad for an architect that was nearly 90 years old when this was completed.

Le Corbusier backwards
Crompton in CONTINUITY IN ARCHITECTURE
Reversing Corb’s maxim that buildings should imitate cars this 4.3 litre V2 GN Racer from 1910 uses a nice domestic brass light switch for its ignition. Capable of 80 m.p.h this terrifying car has no seat belts and no roll bar but does come with wipe clean aluminium seats and a handy...

Carfree Cities Conference
WorldChanging Team in WorldChanging
by Brian Smith
Portland, arguably America’s greenest city, will host the 2008 conference Towards Carfree Cities VIII: Rethinking Mobility, Rediscovering Proximity, from June 16-20, 2008. The conference will bring together activists and professionals from around the world to share strategies for building sustainable transportation systems and the transforming cities into human-scaled environments rich in public space and community life. This year is the first time carfree activists, planners, and thinkers will gather in North America. The conference will showcase recent strides made in Portland’s urban landscape and teach participants about the city’s approach to sustainable living. Previous conference sites have included: Lyon, France; Timisoara, Romania; Prague, Czech Republic; Berlin, Germany; Budapest, Hungary; Bogotá, Colombia; and Istanbul, Turkey. Now America gets a chance to show our stuff.

Street of Eames Returns
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Saturday, April 5th will bring what is now an annual rite of spring for local fans of residential architecture: the Street of Eames modern home tour. Tickets went on sale several days ago and, although I haven't heard any sales figures yet, it's a safe bet that the tour is sold out. Each of the past previous years there has been more demand than can be accommodated. It's probably not easy to convince some of these homeowners to allow hundreds of people to tramp through their homes, even if they do have those little shoe-cover booties on. Regardless, even though people interested in contemporary and/or midcentury architecture probably still only occupy a fraction of the overall market, it has always been encouraging to see just how popular the Street of Eames tour has been from the beginning.

The Urban Radiologist
Bryan Finoki in Subtopia
Unfortunately I didn’t get this message out in time for the grand opening, but I wanted to quickly draw your attention to a show that you absolutely must go check out if you are in New York City. My friend and brilliant photographer, Stanley Greenberg, whom I met for the first time at Postopolis! just last year, has filled the Gitterman Gallery with photographs from 4 of his projects spanning the last 15 years.

SAN FRANCISCO IN 2108? - The Hydro-Net Vision of the Future
Mahesh Basantani in Inhabitat
San Francisco is already one of the greenest cities in the US, but check out this wild new concept from IwamotoScott Architects to completely remake the city into an ecotopia by 2108. The design, which is as visually stunning as it is thought-provoking, recently won the History Channel’s City of the Future competition. It’s a full-scale urban system that combines the most innovative green technologies with San Francisco’s unique microclimate and geologic conditions, to produce a compelling vision for the future. Hydro-Net, as the project is known, will bring the lovely city-by-the-bay (which many Inhabitants call home) squarely into the 22nd Century with algae-harvesting towers, geothermal energy ‘mushrooms’, and fog catchers which distill fresh water from San Francisco’s infamous fog.

Spending the Night with Frank Lloyd Wright
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Remember last summer, when Nicolai Ouroussof wrote a feature story on Pierre Chareau's Maison de Verre and then three quarters of the way through give it a travel writing twist, detailing his three-day stay in the house? Well, the architectural...

Redesigned Bookshop Greece
Frame Magazine
Architects Nikos Kalogirou and Evangelos Kotsioris grasped the design of the Sophia bookshop in Thessaloniki as an opportunity to ‘experiment with triangulated surfaces and distorted and multiple reflections’. 

On illustrating architecture
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
As interesting for its form as for its content, the project pictured here is something called "Willa's Wonderland," a one-off urban design comic strip set on the urban fringes of Atlanta by LOOMstudio and Amy Landesberg Architects, in collaboration with artist John Grider and writer Julia Klatt-Singer.
I've always thought that comic books – in fact, entire graphic novels – are an underused graphic resource for communicating architectural and urban design ideas, so it's exciting to see that this project more or less puts that statement to the test.

Steven Holl: Sliced Porosity Block
architecture.MNP
Steven Holl is at it again - chasing after an idea of ‘porous’ architecture/design. His recent project for NYU’s Department of Philosophy seems to have been a success - where Holl investigated porosity as it applied to a project of much smaller scale [one building]. Now the firm is stepping it up, designing a ‘Sliced Porosity Block‘ in Chengdu, China. Scheduled to open in 2010 [pretty soon, right? I can’t believe its the future already…], this ‘giant chunk of a metropolis’ will house a hybrid complex of public spaces, bordered by 5 jagged towers containing offices, apartments, retail, a hotel, cafes, restaurants + more. All contained on a 105,000 square foot site, the development is meant to maximize public open space while creating a type of ‘micro-urbanism’.

SOLAR BALLOONS: CoolEarth gets $21 Million in Funding
Jorge Chapa in Inhabitat
It’s easy to mistake these buoyant solar panels from CoolEarth for a child’s balloons caught in a power line, but these shiny floating photovoltaic panels are scientist’s latest attempt at getting the highest possible efficiency out of a solar cell with the fewest materials. The Solar Balloon’s light material and bowl-like shape allows for sunlight to be directed to its center without having to track the sun’s movement throughout the day.

Hoepf, Gang, Tigerman, Burnham, Rock, stone (carving), Name That Landmark and more on March Calendar of Chicago Architectural Events
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Ok, now this is getting out of hand. I never get everything in the first pass, but there's already over 50 events on the March calendar of Chicago Architectural events. There's lectures by Thomas Hoepf, Stanley Tigerman, and Jeanne Gang, a trailer for Judith Paine McBrien's new documentary on Daniel Burnham, the 4th Pecha Kucha night, with Tim Samuelson and Lynn Becker, Detlef Martins at IIT, Michael Rock and Albert Pope at UIC, stonecarver Walter S. Arnold at a CAF lunchtime lecture, making the Merchandise Mart green, Minne Sullivan discussing Howard van Doren Shaw's Ragdale for Landmarks Illinois, a Preservation Quiz Show pitting Deputy Commissioner for Landmarks Brian Goeken, David Bahlman, Jonathan Fine, Phyllis Ellin and Vince Michael against each other in a battle of wits in their knowledge of Chicago landmarks

March 1st and 2nd, 2008


Discovery Tower Peaks with a Mini Wind Farm [S2]
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
Construction just began on what could be one of the most innovative office towers in the U.S.  Located at 1501 McKinney Street in Houston, Discovery Tower is a 30 story office building that will cost upwards near $300 million to build.  And as you can tell from the above renderings, the pinnacle was designed to have 10 wind turbines.  But that's not just some fancy, green add-on to an otherwise generic building.  Discovery Tower will be built to achieve LEED Gold certification from the USGBC.  With construction set to finish in the second quarter of 2010, the Gensler-designed green skyscraper will have air filtration, water-efficient plumbing, and an energy efficient heating and cooling system, among other things.

Aqua Update
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
It seems like ages since I've posted about Studio Gang's exciting Aqua project, a hotel/residential high-rise in the Lakeshore East development in Chicago. So it was great surprise to see some updated images in an architectureyp post, taken from Studio Gang's web site. This view is the first I've seen that illustrates the entry from Columbus Avenue, with a new road (interactive site plan of Lakeshore East) providing access to the development: I'm hoping that Studio Gang continues to post updated images on their web site, for those of us unable to track Aqua's progress in person. It's one of the most unique American high-rises to come along in a while, and the only one to get me excited about a building type (the skyscraper) that I usually don't care too much about.

Year Three
Chris in Brand Avenue
As February gives way to March, Brand Avenue begins its third year online! A few highlights and/or personal favorites from the last year: - Elizabeth Diller and Richard Scofidio's use of storyboards to plan and explain the Phantom House, the energy-efficient home of the near future. The narrative integrates the vagaries of a normal day with the home's technologies and design cues, revealing the "how" and the "why" of the project in doing so. This reinforces the primacy of design for everyday living. Follow along as "J" and "M" go about their day: As M's car comes within five miles of the house, the Home on the Go unit triggers the DomestiSleep and RapidCool systems to awaken the house and begin to cool it down. M walks inside, throws off his jacket, and prepares a martini. Realizing he has forgotten to pick up the chilies and the turmeric, M leaves J a message and rushes out, overriding the DomestiSleep system.

Unsolicited Architecture.
Christoph, anArchitecture in anArchitecture
Maybe no other professional sector is questioning its own legitimacy as frequently as architecture. Definitely, architects lose ground in today’s issues such as globalization, digitalization, ecology, consumerism and more. "The architect as a social engineer, as an organizer of social relationships, as the one who inspires political decisions as a professional power player in the game of spatial distribution appears to be a remarkable intermediate phase in architecture’s century long development." (Volume #14, p.3, Arjen Oosterman)

wolfson trailer house, marcel breuer
Justin in materialicious
Located in Dutchess County, New York, the 10-acre property is an architectural assemblage composed of Marcel Breuer’s Wolfson Trailer House and a separate artist’s studio.
Commissioned and constructed from 1949-1951, Breuer’s house surrounds a 1948 Royal Mansion Spartan Trailer. This unique element complements the iconic Breuer details, including the cantilevered core and open fireplace that illustrate his visual and spatial vocabulary. The interior weaves throughout the trailer and into the house, giving a sense of layered complexity.
Accenting the Wolfson house is a 1960 artist’s studio by Tip Dorsel, commissioned by the original owner and designed in dialogue with the Breuer structure. The studio features a large workspace as well as storage, two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a kitchen.

Moshe Safdie Speaks At TED
Bradley in east coast Architecture review
Here is a description of the lecture given by Safdie from the TED website:
Looking back over a long career, architect Moshe Safdie digs deep into four extraordinary projects to talk about the unique choices he made on each building -- choosing where to build, pulling information from the client, and balancing the needs and the vision behind each project. Sketches, plans and models show how these grand public buildings, museums and memorials, slowly take form.

Huangbaiyu, Tough Combo of Sustainability + Urbanism
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
In January of this year, Frontline/World reporter Timothy Lesle published a three-part, video documentary on Huangbaiyu called "China: Green Dreams - A NOT SO model village."  Here's a teaser intro to the report: "The village of Huangbaiyu in rural northeast China was supposed to be a model for energy-conscious design.  The initial project was to build 400 sustainable homes, a collaboration between U.S. architect William McDonough and the Chinese.  But something went awry.  [Timothy Lesle] traveled to the region to investigate."  I'm not going to tell the whole story -- the series is quite compelling, and Mr. Lesle presents an honest perspective of Chinese urbanization.

Green Modus Housing Development Grabs AZ’s 1st LEED-H
Evelyn Lee in Inhabitat
With the growing need for more dense sustainable housing, we can only hope that more developers will take a cue from Phoenix-based Modus Development and their latest residences, The Galleries at Turney. Thanks to some thoughtful insight from Modus president, Ed Gorman, what once contained two old homes on overgrown lots now contain eight free-standing residences with enough luxury and privacy to make you feel as though you’re coming home to the spa every evening. The Galleries at Turney prove again that green building is every bit as aesthetically pleasing as other award-winning designs, having captured two AIA Awards for Design and Sustainability while being given the honor of receiving Arizona’s 1st LEED-H certification.

Abōd
Justin in materialicious
Abōd™ was created by BSB Design to provide affordable housing for families in Africa. Easily mass-produced and deliverable by truck, ship or plane, the “home in a box” includes the entire 120sf structure (unassembled) that fits into a box 4’ x 12’ x 2’, and can be delivered on site for quick and easy assembly. The Abōd is also exceedingly lightweight, and therefore a large number of “home packages” can be more readily shipped to a single location. The assembly of the entire Abōd single unit structure can be completed in one day by 4 people, using only two hand tools (a screwdriver and an awl are included in the kit).

Moulmein Rise Residential Tower, WOHA Architects
architect studio in architect studio
Within the constraints of a developer-driven brief, the Moulmein Rise Residential Tower uses innovative techniques and detailing that combine new principles for tropical design and improvements for high-rise living, was designed by Wong Mun Summ and Richard Hassell, partners at the Singapore firm WOHA architects.

SMIT’s GROW: Solar and Wind Leaf Photovoltaic Shingles
Emily Pilloton in Inhabitat
Our friends at Ecolect have launched a monthly spotlight on sustainable design called Limelight - and the first feature is tough act to follow. Teresita Cochraine’s sustainable design group, SMIT (Sustainably Minded Interactive Technology) has a compelling new project called GROW that’s an innovative and aesthetically arresting solar and wind power solution. Combining the best of green tech and ecology, GROW draws inspiration from ivy growing on the side of a building - resulting in a hybrid energy delivery device of leafy, fluttering solar shingles that provide power via both sun and wind.

Hard architecture and urban grit will be missed
The Globe and Mail - Lisa Rochon Columns
The first laneway house in Toronto. The first sculptural gateway to a Toronto ravine. The work of Jeff Stinson and Adrian DiCastri, two architects who defined architecture in very different ways, stands as a testament to their imagination, their urban grit and their tenacity. Both men recently died of cancer, surrounded by their respective families, on the very same day. Yet their architecture - their belief in the making of a triumphant city - lives on.


Last Updated on Monday, 11 August 2008 08:24
 
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