March '08 Blog Articles Print
Thursday, 31 January 2008 19:00

Blogs and articles from March of 2008

 


March 31st, 2008

Jean Nouvel Named 2008 Pritzker Prize Laureate
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
We're still recovering from last week's art fair overload, but the Pritzker Architecture Prize waits for no one. Your 2008 winner? Jean Nouvel! The 62-year-old Frenchman will be presented with a $100,000 grant (a paltry 63,347 Euros) and a...

Starchitecture is easy
David Sucher in City Comforts
It's a nice idea, The Serpentine Pavilions:. The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion commission was conceived...in 2000. It is an ongoing programme of temporary structures by internationally acclaimed architects and individuals. It is unique worldwide and presents the work of an international architect or design team who, at the time of the Serpentine Gallery's invitation, has not completed a building in England....Each Pavilion is sited on the Gallery’s lawn for three months and the immediacy of the process - a maximum of...

Engineering Architects.
Christoph in anArchitecture
In the 2007 survey among Austrian self employed architects (Berufsfeld Architektur 1.0) nearly half of the participants identify building construction classes as the only practical teaching at University. Consequently courses like art history, architectural theory, art, design and even energy design are far behind. Austrian architectural practices seem to be primarily focused on engineering – other competences seem unnecessary. This attitude is mirrored in Austrian job offers: offices are exclusively looking for people doing approval planning (“Einreichung”) and construction documents (“Polierplanung”).

Grand Rapids Art Museum: First LEED Gold Certified Museum
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
One of the oldest museums in the Mid-West was recently relocated to an elegant new LEED Gold certified structure, garnering accolades from art aficionados and sustainability advocates alike. Kulapat Yantrasast of wHY Architecture designed the new Grand Rapids Art Museum to be as beautiful as the artworks within, placing a premium on public space and ultra-efficient modern design. Situated downtown amid Maya Lin’s “Ecliptic” park and Alexander Calder’s “Grand Vitesse”, the museum is an impressive addition to the renowned architecture of the “sculpture city”.

Kithaus K3
sabine7 in MoCo Loco
Kithaus recently installed one of their K3 Modernist modules in Big Sur, California. Designed by Tom Sandonato and Martin Wehmann, the K3 is a 9’ x 13’ pre-wired prefab module that is made of a lot of lightweight anodized aluminium that does not require heavy equipment to get it to the installation site. Interestingly, along with the Airstream CCD, the Kithaus K3 is available through DWR.

How modern art became history
Michael Archer in Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog - art
For today's audiences, 20th-century art is old and 19th-century art - ancient. Can galleries overcome this challenge?

Ellsworth Residence
ArchitectureMNP
Designed by architect Michael P Johnson, the Ellsworth residence sits on a desert hillside in Cave Creek, Arizona. With no neighbors in site, Johnson was able to take a modernist approach - creating a long rectilinear volume resting on the hill, with two long walls made entirely of glass. These movable partitions open the house to the desert landscape, creating views to the surrounding hillside while blurring the lines between ‘in’ and ‘out’.

Escraper, Imbuing Green in Vertical Design [S2]
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
Imagine you are tasked with creating an innovative skyscraper that takes into consideration historical and social context, the existing urban fabric, human scale, and the environment.  Your skyscraper design can take any height or shape on any site in the world, but it must be technologically feasible and environmentally responsible.  Any ideas?  Evolo Architecture held a skyscraper competition with the above constraints and announced three winners and six mentions.  Of those nine, Daekwon Park has received some attention in the last week.  It's a pretty interesting concept.  I also like the escraper by Sohta Mori and Yuichiro Minato.

Tribune slams Children's Museum land grab "travesty", Germania on Landmarks agenda
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
The Chicago Tribune's Sunday editorial The Grant Park land grab capably dissects the Chicago Children's Museum's curdled campaign to deploy raw political muscle to ram a new building into Grant Park against overwhelming "public revulsion . . . Is there no voice of reason and courage in their ranks?" the Trib asks. The editorial's final paragraphs puts the situation in a clear light:

March 29th and 30th, 2008


The Nautilus House, by Arquitectura Organica
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
The Nautilus House, Mexico City, 2006 by Arquitectura Organica
Harmonic space in three dimensions where the continuous dynamic of the fourth dimension when journeying in spiral is perceived on the flight of the steps, with the sensation to float on the vegetation
This Nautilus House put together using ferrocement construction, a technique involving a frame

Solar Panels and the Quest for $1/Watt
Michelle Bennett in Green Options
If solar panels cost $1/watt, you can sell them (installation included) for $2/watt. Coal (installation included) costs $2.10/watt. To date, solar is still reaching to compete with coal, but the margins are closing. To (over)simplify how this works, you need to ignore issues like subsidies, qualitative costs, or kinks in the supply chain, and [...]

Ant Farm
Regine Debatty in WorldChanging
The Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo in Sevilla is currently running an exhibition dedicated to Ant Farm, a group of experimental architects and critical artists active mostly in the '70s. The exhibition includes videos, models, original drawings, inflatables and all the quiet you can expect in a cultural center located inside a stunning monastry on the bank of the Guadalquivir River, the Monasterio de la Cartuja de Santa María de Las Cuevas.

Angel Reprieved as Soft Market Fells First Giant
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
The increasingly unsettled real estate market has claimed its first Chicago megaproject. The Chicago Sun-Time's David Roeder is reporting today that a planned 67-story high skyscraper, Canyon Ranch Chicago, has been canceled. The rounded tower, designed by Destefano+Partners, was to have risen on the current site of Episcopal Center, a mid-rise Miesian structure at 65 E. Huron, behind the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago's St. James Cathedral on Wabash. A tightening of lending restrictions and a paucity of buyers were the reasons cited for deep-sixing Canyon.

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion
Young in Architecture
Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion in Penang should be another place of interest for visitors in Malaysia.
"Through the lavish doors to the venerable Blue Mansion were first thrown open in as early as the 19th Century, the tradition of architecture and craftsmanship applied to the building's construction dates much further back - a precipitious 3000 years to the Su Chow dynasty, to be exact. Built in the Hakka-Teochew style on sturdy foundations of Southern Chinese building typologies and materials, the Blue Mansion - commissioned by Cheong Fatt Tze in the face of a trend in the construction of modern Anglo-Indian abodes- stands today as a model of the traditional prardigm Chinese courtyard house."

Event Guide: Past, Present & Future of our Brownfields
Shawn Micallef in Spacing Toronto • understanding the urban landscape
The Toronto Society of Architects would like to invite you to join their upcoming monthly meeting, featuring a discussion on the Past, Present & Future of our Brownfields — How can we do a better job in revitalizing these critical lands?
WHEN: Tuesday 1 April, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
WHERE: Arts and Letters Club – 14 Elm St, 3rd floor studio
WHO: Ken Greenberg – Principal, Greenberg Consultants Inc * Jeffrey Seider – Principal of MKI, Senior Economic & Strategic Planning Policy Advisor * Robert Freedman – Director of Urban Design, City of Toronto * Paul Bedford – Member of Metrolinx, former Chief Planner for the City of Toronto

Expanding Green Building Elements Blogroll
Philip Proefrock in Green Options
We have a few more interesting and useful websites added to our blogroll for you to check out for more information about green building and design.  If you have come across a particularly useful or interesting site with a strong emphasis on green building and sustainable design, drop us a note about it at [...]

Philippe Starck, Designer
Harry in MoCo Loco
At MoCo Loco we don't editorialize often, ok at all, but every once in a while we gotta say something. Via PSFK and swissmiss, uber designer Philippe Starck, in an interview in Germany's Die Zeit weekly, answers a question we've been asking of designers for a while now; The world is already full of 'stuff' – as a designer, why do you choose to create more? His answer: “I was a producer of materiality and I am ashamed of this fact. Everything I designed was unnecessary. I will definitely give up in two years’ time."

March 28th, 2008

Chicago Spire: Planetarily notorious
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
The real estate section of this weekend's Financial Times carries a story by Hal Weitzman extolling the virtues of Santiago Calatrava's Chicago Spire. The puffy piece which would seem to bear the fingerprints of Savills, the firm developer Garrett Kelleher was hired to market his billion dollar project, but it's still an interesting read. We learn that a deposit has already been placed on the $40 million penthouse, but don't be totally discouraged. Savills "is still open to expressions of interest on the unit." Weitzman calls the spire "one of the most talked-about developments on the planet. As always, the Gatsby-like Kelleher insists the Spire will prove immune from the world-wide housing slump, "Everybody in the world knows about this project," he says, although no particulars are offered as to exactly how many of the nearly 1,200 units have been sold to date. Chicago is said to be underpriced compared to other World cities, with the current weak dollar an additional incentive to international buyers. Kelleher sees the Spire as rescuing Chicago's residential towers from their current mediocrity, and pairs his baby with a possible 2016 Olympics as the portents of "a new Chicago . . . There is a renaissance happening here.”

INTERVIEW: Serge Appel on One Bryant Park
Jill Danyelle in Inhabitat
One Bryant Park is the first LEED platinum “skyscraper”; what is your favorite LEED aspect of the project? Aside from LEED, what was the most interesting or exciting part of the project for you? For me, the best part of this project isn’t a single element or technology but rather the chance to work with an incredible team of dedicated professionals all driven by the same goal. Having the backing of the Bank of America and the Durst Organization has made a tremendous difference in setting the bar high in terms of sustainable design. On top of that, each consultant on the team is top notch and fully engaged with the project.

 Awesome 'Penguin House'
John Commoner in Future House Now
You know I'm a huge fan of Japanese modernist houses. This one is genius. 'Penguin House' (aka Skin House Project #2) by Yasuhiro Yamashita of Atelier Tekuto.

Fashion, Architecture, Tastefully
jimmy in Life Without Buildings
Giant globes float over the runway for a Yves Saint Laurent show in Paris' cavernous Grand Palais and my mind is completely blown. These images will haunt me all weekend. I had no idea fashion shows could be so... sublime. And this Alexander McQueen show featured an enormous web of fluorescent lighting spun menacingly around his models - who apparently need to protect themselves with fantastical headgear that remind me of Bladerunner...if it were written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. And...

PREFAB FRIDAY: ZeroHouse Shows Nothing is Everything
Cate Trotter in Inhabitat
Ever dreamed of owning a completely self-sufficient home that produces its own energy, water, and is completely customizable? New York architect Scott Specht has the answer to all of our zero-energy prefab dreams with the new ZeroHouse™. This completely self-sustaining prefabricated house generates its own power, collects its own water, processes its own waste and is 100% automatic. Versatile, durable and site-sensitive, ZeroHouse can be erected in almost any location in one day with steel frame components and a helical-anchor foundation system that requires no excavation.

Solar Technology To Be Implemented In Every Day Use Consumer Products
Angelique van Engelen in Green Options
Like this post? Subscribe to our RSS feed and stay up to date.New solar technology based on organic photoelectrochemical, dye-sensitized cells, is being implemented in hundreds of every day use consumer products ranging from clothing, smart cards, gadgets, lighting to windows and building facades. Konarka, a Lowell, MS, company pioneering the technology, says it’s ready to [...]

Green Buildings Financially Crush and Outperform Non-Green Buildings!!
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
Flat out, this news is big!  CoStar just released details of their study of LEED and Energy Star buildings, and I have to say, I was surprised by the numbers.  They analyzed roughly 1,300 LEED and Energy Star buildings representing 351 million square feet of commercial buildings.  The green buildings were compared with non-green properties of similar size, location, class, tenancy, and year built characteristics to extrapolate the economic case for green buildings.  The result:
Compared to non-LEED buildings:
LEED buildings sell for $171 more psf!!
LEED buildings command rent premiums of $11.24 psf!!
LEED buildings have 3.8% higher occupancy rates!!

Saturday 3:29, 8:9 - Put Out the Light
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
This Saturday, March 29th, from 8:00 to 9:00, Chicago Earth Hour is urging Chicagoans to turn off their nights to join "neighbors and businesses and millions of people around the world to make a bold statement about climate change." Chicago is the United States flagship city for the World Wildlife Fund's initiative, whose local partners include Leo Burnett, ComEd, and the City of Chicago. Chicago Earth Hour organizers are urging you spend the hour contemplating your energy wasting sins and making vows of penance through reducing your carbon footprint in the year ahead. They're also suggesting you use the time to "replace your old light bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs," but be careful not trip in the dark, because if you break one of those new "green" bulbs, the escaping mercury vapor will create a mini-hazmat situation right there in your living room.

Platinum LEED 19th Century Building
Philip Proefrock in Green Options
Harvard University has several firsts with the recent renovation of an old power plant into an office building. It is the first LEED Platinum certified university building renovation, as well as Harvard’s first Platinum building. More interestingly though, it is the first Platinum building built before the turn of the the century [...]

Looks Good, but would probably be a pain
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
When I first saw this coat rack, I thought, now this is the kind of design I can get excited about. I love the idea of multi-purpose design (is it art? a coat hook? a shoe rack?), and I always love design that is a good use of space. But then I started thinking a little more about the function... It would make perfect sense if hung near the door, but if you hung it above your couch like the photo... imagine the pain it would be! Who would want to lean over the sofa to get your jacket... or let your muddy shoes drip all over the couch. I realize that the image is really just a compositional exercise... but it still makes me wonder about the practicality.

March 27th, 2008


Pyramidal Housing
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
This residential area, a horizontal pyramid consisting of four houses [ Pyramidal Housing ], is located on a corner. Designed by Arquitecturaorganica in Mexico City 1983, The area corresponding to the corner of the property was turned into a garden to be used by all four houses with the idea of respecting future city ordinances and providing green area for its

Having Fun with Community Planning
Brendan in Where
Wicker Park Bucktown (WPB) is a community group here in Chicago that deals with two trendy, gentrifying neighborhoods (Wicker Park and Bucktown, natch). As part of their master planning process, WPB is holding a series of open houses about which I have received several emails over the past couple of days. Looks like there will be some pretty creative activities going on at these open houses. So, seeing as I've still not had time to write a full post, here's a look at some innovative community planning ideas from WPB's press release. They certainly sound like fun, which is the first step to getting people involved...

Chicago Children's Museum Going into Astroturf Overdrive
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Fran Spielman is reporting in today's Tribune that an "influential alderman" has told her there are at least 30 votes to override the objections of 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly and approve the Chicago Children's Museum land grab of a large tract of Grant Park on which to build a new museum. Reilly disputes the assertion. He is scheduled to appear, along with CCM CEO Jennifer Farrington, on this evenings edition of Chicago Tonight, 7 P.M. on Channel 11, WTTW. A Daley administration override of the long tradition of aldermanic veto over projects in their wards would set the stage for decimating a key aldermanic control over how future mayoral initiatives such as the 2016 Olympics will affect their constituencies.

Yearn-Worthy Yarns: UK Farm Yarns
Victoria Everman in Green Options
Bright colors and unnaturally stretchy fibers are nice, but there are times when you just want to go back to the “classics.” Sourced from Wiltshire, Devon, Somerset and surrounding counties in Britain, Farm Yarns spins some of the most exceptional alpaca and organic wool yarn available anywhere. “The yarn was developed with the idea to [...]

SMOOTH OPERATOR: The Clean Technology Tower
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
The Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill architectural firm has been busy stirring up the world’s skyline with a slew of lean, green superstructures that push the energy-neutral envelope. AS+GG recently unveiled plans for their latest oeuvre: a Clean Technology Tower in Chicago that takes a multi-generative approach to producing its own energy. Harnessing an atrium of wind turbines beneath a roof-top solar shell, the building “utilizes advanced technologies and climate-appropriate building systems to foster a symbiotic relationship with its local environment.”

primary school, francis kéré architecture
Justin in materialicious
I simply love this guy’s work: Diébédo Francis Kéré designed this school for his hometown of Gando Village in Burkino Faso, and it won The Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2004. He has a lot of stuff going on…

ORQUIDEORAMA: Stunning Sustainable Botanical Garden
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
We’re crazy about this gorgeous botanical garden in Medellin, Colombia that was recently renovated by Plan B Architects. The Orquideorama is an organically expanding wooden meshwork of modular “flower-tree” structures that weaves its way through the garden’s heart. A stunning study on structure and scale, the project unites the micro and macro worlds through an elegant synthesis of cellular and architectural forms.

High-Tech Cybertechture for Dubai Waterfront
Cate Trotter in Inhabitat
The 18-story façade of James Law Cybertecture’s new Pixel Tower in Dubai was inspired by the moving bubbles in a champagne glass and built for the young, techie and trendy. Intended for the Dubai Waterfront, Pixel Tower draws on passive solar techniques and strategic facade geometry to minimize heat gain on the structure’s south side and optimize views out over the Persian Gulf to the north.

Solar Harvest, a Positive Energy Home [NY Times]
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
There was a fantastic article in the NY Times on a positive energy home dubbed Solar Harvest.  Solar Harvest generated more electricity in 2006 than what it took from the grid, so Xcel Energy sent the owner a check for $8.45.  Nice!  Solar Harvest was built by Eric Doub and his company, EcoFutures, in Boulder, Colorado for $1.38 million, including land.

Eleven Eleven East Pike
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
Tonight C and I had the opportunity to check out Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen's new condominium project. The renderings, animations, and background information was all very interesting to check out, but it was particularly nice to listen to Tom Kundig speak about in the intent and inspiration behind the new condos. Like many cities, Seattle is rife with monotonous mixed-use developer inspired condos. Its rare to find projects designed by architects, and extremely rare to find one designed by an architect of Kundig's caliber. In fact, this idea of well done, architect designed condos was one of the driving features of the project. With a local landowner who had spent nearly all her life in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle, the intent was always to create a spectacular design that would be at once modern and yet consistent with the flavor of the neighborhood. Using a multitude of inspirations, including the historic auto dealers of the neighborhood, as well as the desire to provide housing at a cost consistent with the neighborhood's inhabitants, Kundig and his cohorts created a quite lovely project.

March 26th, 2008

Modern Furnishings No. 02
Bradley in east coast Architecture review
Featured in this post are the Swedish architects Fredrik Kjellgren, Joakim Kaminsky (formerly of UNStudio) who are in the preliminary design stages of producing a line of chairs they haved dubbed "Pirate". Here is a description in the artists own words:
"Pirate chair defines the need for change within the same concept. The seat is simply shaped out of one line, cushioned with an ocean blue fabric. The legs are made of coated turn wood and takes inspiration from whatever style it comes over such as bobbin, bowback, rococo, renaissance and so on.
We have also noticed that there aren't any good locking stackable restaurant chairs on the market, so we simply made this one."

Timber Framing
Kelly Hart in Green Home Building and Sustainable Architecture
When I initially designed www.greenhomebuilding.com I intentionally avoided advocating the use of much wood in building, because of my concern for the health of our forests and their ecosystems, with all of the over-harvesting of timber that has occurred around the globe. There is also the fact that forests help sequester CO2 (a greenhouse gas) from the atmosphere. This was a difficult choice for me, since my father was a wood worker and I grew up learning many of these skills; I love working with wood and I worked for years as a carpenter. It is certainly one of the most versatile of all building materials, and is a renewable resource, when harvested sensibly. I have finally come to realize that building with wood (at least partially) can still be a sound ecological choice. It is possible to buy wood that has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This means that the forests where the trees are harvested are carefully monitored to make sure that the health and character of the forest is maintained. Only certain trees are culled periodically, leaving the remaining trees to grow and contribute to a healthy ecosystem.

Slide
sabine7 in MoCo Loco
The Slide faucet collection by Alain Berteau for RVB evolved from Berteau’s Dose faucet. Slide has a top section that functions much the way a dimmer switch does: the more you slide, the warmer the water gets. The movement is intuitive and one-way. The continuous movement of the slide allows the user to determine the desired water temperature ergonomically with less waste. Other features include adjustable ultra-thin flow aerators, and there are bath and shower fixtures that work on the same principle. Slide will be launched in Milan next month.

Sustainable Towers in Malaysia by Studio Nicoletti Associati
Jorge Chapa in Inhabitat
Malaysia is no stranger to iconic buildings. Two of the tallest buildings in the world, the Petronas Twin Towers, are located in Kuala Lumpur, the country’s capital. So it comes as no surprise to us that a stunning new residential development is planned for the Putrajaya waterfront known as Precinct 4, just 30km south of Kuala Lumpur. The design, however, is a refreshing and original with unique, marine-inspired structures - which also draw from traditional Islamic designs - arranged in a permeable, radiating block of bioclimatic architecture.

Today's archidose #191
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
Robin Hood Gardens in London, England by Alison and Peter Smithson, nearing its 1972 completion. There's a good deal of controversy swirling around this housing block, as cries for demolition are met with resistance by many in the British architecture community, particularly bdonline and their campaign to Rescue Robin Hood Gardens.

Conde Nast Traveler Picks Their Top 7 Modern Architectural Wonders
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Jumping on the "ranking stuff" bandwagon, likely following all the press that the AIA received when they published something similar, Conde Nast Traveler magazine has published the feature "The New Seven Wonders of the Architecture World." Among the seven...

Daekwon Park’s Superstructure for Sustainable Skyscrapers
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
Now in its fourth year running, the eVolo Skyscraper Competition takes future-forward architecture to its breaking point, unveiling a stunning array of new structural concepts by architects, engineers, and designers. The latest crop of entries is up, and Daekwon Park’s Symbiotic Interlock goes far beyond the standard skyscraper to envision a total renovation of inner-city infrastructure. The pitch: it’s modular, prefabricated, and completely symbiotic on the existing vertical infrastructure of the city.

A jangling mass on the Serpentine horizon
Steve Rose in Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog - art
Frank Gehry is to design this summer's Serpentine Pavilion. Is his feted 'Bilbao effect' about to sweep through Britain? 

Heath Ceramics, California Made Tapestry Tiles
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
Check out these cool tile tapestry patterns from Heath Ceramics.  I'm partial to the flemish bond gunmetal (shown top left and below).  Heath Ceramics has a factory/kiln in Sausalito, California where they create these incredible tiles.  Their Tapestry Collection has three patterns: argyle, stitch, and flemish bond, which can be face-mounted in 12x12" squares.  Prices vary depending on the pattern, but if you're looking for a specialty application, try the overstock tiles offered at 75% off retail.

Architecture for Auction
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
While I quite like the idea of museums collecting significant architecture, much in the same manner that they would collect significant work, I'm a little bit nervous about such pieces going up for auction. We can only hope that the type of people willing to purchase a well-known piece of architecture at auction, will respect the original structure much as they would respect an original painting. We can certainly say that the auction house Wright, which is putting Louis Kahn's Esherick House up for auction is trying to attract buyers interested in the architectural value of the house. The idea that they are committed to a collection of works including art, design, and architecture shows an intent to maintain these properties for future generations. And their press release is certainly geared towards those of us interested in the architectural and historical value of the house with this to say about the property...

March 25th, 2008

Local Architects Shaping the New New Orleans
jimmy in Life Without Buildings
Contemporary architecture is making some welcome headway in post-Katrina New Orleans — at least if we look at the top four winners of this year's New Orleans AIA Awards. [Image via studiowta.com] The Rebuild Center at St. Joseph Church, designed by Wayne Troyer Architects is a community resource center built from six trailers, organized around a courtyard and joined together by wood canopies & decking, as well as translucent polycarbonate screens. Compared to a "zen fishing camp" by the...

How Solar Panels Could Power 90% of US Transportation
Clayton B. Cornell in Green Options
In January, Scientific American writers unleashed an ambitious plan to halt global warming, eliminate our dependence on petroleum and the substantial trade deficit, boost the economy and create 3 million jobs, and brighten the dismal forecasts for the mid twenty-first century. The plan is conceptually simple but would be substantial to implement: Construct a 30,000 square [...]

Miami Art Museum by Herzog & De Meuron
Jorge Chapa in Inhabitat
When the Miami Art Museum required a new headquarters they decided to hire famous Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron. They were expecting an incredible design worthy of a cosmopolitan city such as Miami. What they got from Herzog & de Meuron can only be described as the modern interpretation of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon - an imaginative structure that bridges urban spaces, climates and cultures.

Portland Center Stage Removes James Harrison Light Sculpture
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Portland Center Stage, occupant of the renovated Portland Armory (now known as the Gerding Theater), has removed the sculptural marquee it commissioned from acclaimed local artist James M. Harrison for its 2006 opening. Known as "Aiorema" after the Greek word for "God in the Machine". On his website, Harrison explains, "Originally this was a more literal concept- a crane used in ancient Greek theater for flying in the gods.  I thought this was an appropriate way to link old and new.  New Theater, Old Concept- Old Building, New Marquee, etc." The sculpture is made from stacked layers of light diffusing acrylic pieces. It's shaped like a cloud at the base, and shaped like a star against the sky.  The layers gradually transition from the one shape to the other shape.

BK Hipsters Go Green
ArchitectureMNP
This is Oulu Bar & EcoLounge in Williamsburg, home to Brooklyn’s first living wall installation. The 2,500 sf building was designed by Evangeline Dennie and it’s currently seeking LEED Gold certification. Oulu has all the green features one would expect of a project going for LEED certification, including the following: sheetrock made of post-industrial recycled material, biodegradable ceramic tiles, water-based grout sealers, natural Mica panels, FSC-certified woods, low-VOC paints with milk-based pigment, and a garage door for natural ventilation and light.

Mega-projects everywhere — except the USA
David Sucher in City Comforts
You know by now that I'm not a hugely impressed by boasts of "the biggest and best" and so it was ironic that my talk for the Economic Forum in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia was on megaprojects. (Btw, I formulated the issue as "Civiilzing the Megaproject.") But since I focussed on the topic last month I have been noticing stories on megaprojects everywhere. For example: Mexico plans big splash with new Baja port. Their dusty hamlet of about 2,500 souls will...

Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec
Kate Barnett in Lost At E Minor: Music, illustration, art, photography and more
I work from home, and as much as I like using the laptop on the sofa, my posture won’t be thanking me for it when I’m 70. If I had the finances and a place of my own I’d be furnishing it with products from French design duo, brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. (more…)

Architects Already Hurting in '08
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Something that should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, even to those oft-referenced people who live in caves and aren't privy to news or the latest trends, Architectural Record is reporting that architects' billings are way way...

Oulu Bar & EcoLounge, Brooklyn's First Living Wall
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
This is Oulu Bar & EcoLounge in Williamsburg, home to Brooklyn's first living wall installation.  The 2,500 sf building was designed by Evangeline Dennie and it's currently seeking LEED Gold certification.  You'll find a few different photos below, including a before shot, for your viewing pleasure. What do you think?  The green wall makes quite the design statement, doesn't it?  It's tough to deny the modern appeal of vertical greenery, I say. ...

Lazor Office’s FlatPak
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
Lazor Office’s FlatPak by Flatpak House ( designed to be bring better space to more people ) is a prefabricated system that allows buyers to highly customize their homes using a series of modules that create highly individual homes tailored to particular sites.


March 24th, 2008

Maine Cottage, Local + Quality = Green
Sarah Roe in JETSONGREEN.COM
Maine Cottage is a Maine-based furniture company specializing in colorful, fun furniture.  The company, which did not start out as an environment focused company, is actually quite green.  90% of their products are made by artisans in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and North Carolina.  Of course, local production means less travel and fewer harmful emissions. The majority of their furniture is delivered to you home by vans, which means they aren't using a bunch of packing materials that will land right in a dump. They primarily use maple and birch hardwoods, which are naturally regenerative species harvested from Northern temperate forests.  Their "Maine Barn Tables" are made of reclaimed barn lumber.  They chose to use water-borne paints 15 years ago because it was more healthy for the earth and their workers.

photo du jour 24.03.208
ArchitectureMNP
I received these photos of Holl’s Linked Hybrid, currently under construction, as part of the AIA NY Awards 2008 press release email and couldn’t help but toss them on the page. I can’t say how they’ll turn out in the end - but they’d sure as hell make for a great movie set, some kind of near-future post-apocalyptic thriller maybe…

Sneak Peak Inside Libeskind's New Jewish Museum
jimmy in Life Without Buildings
Over at Curbed SF this week, a sneak peek into the recently finished Contemporary Jewish Museum. Designed by Daniel Libeskind, the museum doesn't officially open until this summer so there were no crowds or installations to detract from the space. Whether or not that's a good thing is subjective, but this CJM is thankfully one of the more...shall we say "retrained" Libeskind designs. For more info, check out the Plans, Photos, and earlier construction shots. [image courtesy of the Contemporary...

Revolutionary Super-Insulating Vacuum Glass!
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
Researchers at Guardian Industries have recently unveiled a new breed of vacuum-glazed super glass with an incredible R12-R13 insulation rating. For those of you who know nothing about R-value (the standard construction measurement of how insulating a material is), this is an incredible insulation value for glass. Typical insulation brick and plaster walls usually have an R12 rating, and glass usually gets a R1 or R2. That means this new vacuum glass is as insulative as a thick insulated wall. Using the same principle as a vacuum thermos bottle, these glass panels essentially negate two principal modes of heat transfer, paving the way towards windows that actually supply thermal energy instead of leaking it.

Norman Foster’s Almaty Twin Towers in Kazakhstan
Karim Yergaliyev in Inhabitat
World-renowned architect Sir Norman Foster seems to be making a lot of friends in the former Soviet Union, with news of new Foster design proposals in Russia and Central Asia being approved almost every month. Kazakhstan’s capital city Astana already features two Foster designed marvels: a stunning Palace of Peace and Reconciliation pyramid structure and another tent-like development called Khan Shatyry Entertainment Centre soon to be completed late next year. Now, if plans are approved, Kazakhstan will soon see the development of two gigantic twin towers in Almaty, thanks to the iconic British architect.

Sitting Chairs
sabine7 in MoCo Loco
Sitting Chairs by Lucas Maassen is part of the Design and the Elastic Mind Exhibition at MoMA that explores the huge changes in technology, science and social mores and the design world’s ability to adapt and use these changes within new designs. Maassen’s “tableau vivant” of chairs that interact with each other and their setting stands as an example of how designers are choosing to work on groups of objects rather than stand alone pieces. The exhibition runs through May 12, but there is also a detailed on-line exhibition of a wide variety of designs as well.

Paint on Solar Power!
Jorge Chapa in Inhabitat
Installing solar panels on the roof of every new building in the world would go a long way towards solving our energy needs, but as we all know, solar panels are costly and often difficult to install. But what if the solar panel was an integral part of every building? What if solar cells could be painted on building products? Well, according to a team from Swansea University this type of technology will soon be coming to a hardware store near you.

Holl’s Hat Trick
ArchitectureMNP
Steven Holl has won three awards at the AIA NY 2008 Awards. Holl was awarded he Architecture Honor Award for his Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and two Building Type Awards [one for education, one for sustainability] for his NYU Department of Philosophy project, and Linked Hybrid.
We are delighted to see that two of the themes that are most important to our designs of the past decades, sustainability and inspirational architecture for education, have been recognized by the AIA New York Chapter for their quality and creativity [Steven Holl].

Popular Architecture's Mile High Eco Tower [S2]
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
This is a concept tower by Popular Architecture envisioned for Tower Hamlets in East London.  The design is a reaction, at least in part, to sprawl issues.  London is expected to need housing for 100,000 new people per year until 2016, and currently, most of housing that's being built is low-density projects in commuter towns.  Popular Architecture's Super Tower could house up to about 100,000 people with a seriously low site requirement (considering the number of people within the structure).  The 1,500 meter tall tower would have about 500 floors.  You'd find floors or sections for needs such as a university, farmer's market, pubs, a town hall, sky gardens, etc.  Anything and everything would be in the building.  There's even a fire station on the 419th floor!  Which raises the question: what do you do if there is a fire above or below the 419th floor?

Brooklyn Modern
Harry in MoCo Loco
Spotted this one over at Cool Hunting where reviewer Doug Black says it best, "There hasn't been a period of such a fervent excitement about Brooklyn homes since the advent of the brownstone more than 150 years ago.". Brooklyn Modern looks at 18 recent renovations and all-new homes in this NYC borough increasingly well known for it's thriving art and design community. Of note, essays by Brooklyn design bloggers Grace Bonney of design*sponge and Jonathan Butler of Brownstoner, who "give perspective on new ways of living as aesthetics and landscape change". Hardcover, 226 pages, well illustrated, due in April, $29.70 at Amazon.

March 22nd and 23rd, 2008


Rozelle House, a Contemporary Design Practice by Tom Ferguson
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
This type of residential project "Rozelle House" that was designed by Tom Ferguson who lived in Australia and gives their best services in Residential Architecture. This "Rozelle House" project contributes to contemporary design practice by exhibiting both an awareness of contemporary interior design trends and a willingness to reject those trends if an alternate material, form or object

CS House, Cami Ral de Barcelona By AH Asociados
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
This CS House that was designed by AH Asociados is located in an area dotted with residential buildings, Cami Ral de Barcelona, 36 - Sentmenat (Barcelona). The house has 613m2 build up area and cost 266,256 € for its construction. Building a house that creates an isolated world for its inhabitants requires a simple but determined execution. It has been necessary to make the most of the views.

Book Review: Renzo Piano Museums
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
Renzo Piano Museums (2007) by Renzo Piano, with an essay by Victoria Newhouse Monacelli Press Hardcover, 214 pages
In a piece in Bloomberg News last month, critic James S. Russell laments Italian architect Renzo Piano's dominance of museum commissions in the United States. Citing timid museum trustees and an embrace of "architecture serving art" as reasons for this phenomenon, over the quality of Piano's output, which he sees as lacking in recent projects like the Morgan Library and LACMA, Piano nevertheless has a number of museum designs for the US either on the boards or underway. While I would agree that some of his recent designs do lack the clarity or quality of the Menil Collection or the Nasher Sculpture Center, they are still highly-skilled buildings that are better than the majority of what passes for architecture these days. While Russell's argument is pretty weak (are Piano's projects really so repetitive that one loses track of one's locale, be it Bonn or Boston?), his call for variety in museum architecture is warranted as is his plea for "museums [to] undertake a deep inquiry that combines an insightful designer with [the] museum."....

CO2 Architecture - Transport.
Christoph, anArchitecture in anArchitecture
Sustainable design is not only about energy efficient buildings: Designer should also think about whether they can change people's behavior towards the environment. Can architecture do that?Instead of driving to the office, consider cycling? Reducing the amount of business air travel? The emissions of one passenger on the outward flight from Vienna to Amsterdam creates the climate impact of about 270 kg CO 2( 540 kg CO 2including the return trip) (source: www.atmosfair.de). That’s almost a quarter of one year car driving (12000 km, middle class model). But who is willing to give up air travel? We definitely need to find acceptable and comfortable alternatives to our wastefulness!

Serero Architects Win Eiffel Tower Anniversary Competition
admin in mirage.studio.7
This is last week’s news and I find it rather interesting, Paris-based Serero Architects won an open competition for the redesign of Eiffel Tower’s public reception. The deck would be temporary bolted to the slab without any new support structure, thus expanding the usable floor area from 280m square to 580m square. According to the official announcement: Since its creation the amount of visitors coming to reach its top has increased to reach its limit capacity. 6.5 millions People wait between 35 minutes to 1H10 to reach the elevators. The floor area of each level decreases with the height because of the tower geometry resulting in very long waiting lines and crowd management problems.

First LEED Certified MLB Stadium [Nationals]
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
HOK and Devrouax +Purnell teamed up to design what could be the first LEED certified Major League Baseball stadium around.*  As the new home of the Washington Nationals, the stadium has a slew of green features such as high-efficiency field lighting, a 6300 sf green roof, a state-of-the-art wastewater system that uses sand filters, and an in-house recycling center.  Originally, architects estimated an extra cost of $10-20 million for certification, but it ended up being only $2 million.  Plus, the up-front costs are expected to be returned in lower operating costs.  For a frame of reference, thought, the owners agreed to spend $611 million for the stadium.

Kamin Blogs; Casts Aqua a Valentine
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
"Everybody wants to get into the act!", Jimmy Durante used to fume, and now you can add Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin to that number. He has a new blog, The Skyline, (not to be confused with Philadelphia Inquirer's Inga Saffron's Changing Skyline). He's been posting items since Mid-March. A lot of the content is simply a republication of his own print columns and references to the work of other Trib writers on architecture and development issues, but there's a great call out to a crackerjack profile, complete with audio, from the Yale Alumni Magazine (Kamin's alma mater, as he's wont to remind you) ...

Designer Eco-Reserve in the Cotswolds, England
Cate Trotter in Inhabitat
The English Cotswolds are well-known around the world for being a place of picturesque natural beauty, and now this tourist-favorite is about to become home to stunning architectural beauty as well, with the development of Lower Mill Estate, a collection of modern eco-homes. Lower Mill Estate in Gloucestershire, England is a development of luxury waterside eco-homes featuring Britain’s biggest collection of architect-designed modern homes. Custom designs by over 22 architects, including Richard Reid, Will Alsop and Sarah Featherstone, 48 houses combine with a beautiful natural setting to create a unique living experience that is connected to nature.

werner sobek’s r128 house
Justin in materialicious
From ArchitectureWeek: The glass-and-steel R128 House is located on a steeply sloped site with panoramic views of Stuttgart, Germany. Although this house seems sterile and completely transparent, it is a home where comfort and privacy issues for the inhabitants have been met. It is a completely recyclable, emission-free, energy self-sufficient building.
The house has no interior doors, switches, or interior walls. All appliances and environmental systems are controlled by motion sensors and voice commands, while aluminum ceiling panels hide the lighting fixtures and air vents. Electric power comes from the solar photovoltaic panels on the roof.

THE FARM PROJECT by Mike Meiré for Dornbracht
Kate Andrews in Inhabitat
The sleek industrial contemporary kitchen is challenged in Mike Meiré’s The Farm Project - a brand imaging campaign for the German fixture manufacturer Dornbracht. This barn-like, “real-life” stage is charged with aromas, animals, plants and objects housed with an archetypal rural building with an outer cover made of patchwork materials. A beautiful exploration of design and living, The Farm Project shuns the “hidden” kitchen, enclosed in steel and stone, to connect people to that which sustains them.


March 21st, 2008

Eric Owen Moss Architects - 3555 Hayden
ArchitectureMNP
Eric Owen Moss - architecturally pimpin’-out Culver City, California since it was still cool to wear turtlenecks.
As with all things in life, architecture is met and conceived with entirely different vantage points. As young students, there is a tendency to veer to things that catch your creative eye, and as one’s architectural senses begin to develop, the understanding of a greater meaning behind a project begins to direct a designer’s thinking [an architectural spirit if you will]. As one further matures, gaining more insight into their projects and themselves, a certain style is achieved that bears the knowledge of continual architectural studies, trials, errors, and successes. Eric Owen Moss falls into this latter category

Kevin Cavenaugh Plans 14-Unit Housing Development By 13 Designers
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Over the last several months, one of Portland’s most accomplished designer-developers, Kevin Cavenaugh, has been at Harvard University as part of a Loeb Fellowship, just as then-Oregonian architecture critic Randy Gragg did the prior academic year. In the past, Cavenaugh has been responsible for the Rocket building on Burnside (the red one with the sunscreen panels featuring individual artworks and Rocket restaurant on top), the Ode to Rose’s mixed use building on Northeast Fremont (a local AIA award winner, with Fife restaurant on the ground floor), and another very successful mixed use project at Southeast 28th and Ankeny housing Noble Rot wine bar. Trained as an architect and previously employed at Fletcher Farr Ayotte, Kevin is not a registered architect and thus it is never his name listed as the architect of record on the documents, but they are definitely his buildings.

FLATPAK COMES TO LIFE: The Goodwin-Wise Flatpak House
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
Two years of development have found the world’s first production FlatPak house well on track to becoming a real home for the Goodwin-Wise family. Artist and owner Amy Goodwin recently posted a stunning set of photos on her website to document the construction progress of her Flatpak home, showcasing the modern design marvel in fine form. Nestled amid verdant greenery in Massachusetts, the Goodwin-Wise house has weathered some kinks in the woodwork (i.e. a two year assembly period), but by the looks of things the streamlined process and final product have been well worth the wait.

Landscape Futures @ Penn
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
Anyone in the Philadelphia area looking to hear about climate change, ruined cities, tectonic warfare, James Bond, the literal end of the earth, and a bit of Hollywood-style archaeology, consider stopping by Meyerson Hall at the University of Pennsylvania (located here), at 3:30pm today – the first Friday of Spring – to hear BLDGBLOG talk about these and other subjects. This will be a combination of my Bartlett, SCI-Arc, and AIA-Baltimore lectures, focusing specifically on long-term landscape processes – aka landscape futures.
The above image, for instance, from The Museum of Nature by Finnish photographer Ilkka Halso, will be making an appearance.

China, A Country Without Memory
admin in mirage.studio.7
Clearing of the old and making way for the new, tall, definitely soulless apartment blocks. The McDonalization of architecture is China has lead to the birth of disposable architecture, in short, a society that is disposable and not worth caring, cities that are not worth defending. Ming and Qing Dynasty neighborhood of traditional courtyard houses in Beijing being demolished to make way for luxury housing; a city razed as a result of the construction of the Three Gorges Dam, now the largest dam in the world; a new city built to accommodate the relocation of populations whose former cities will be flooded by the Yangtze River; a traditional district in Chongqing waiting to be destroyed, surrounded by new construction; anonymous construction sites marking the empty moment between the erasure of the past and the arrival of the future. - Sze Tsung Leong

James Dyson Gets the Okay to Build His Design School
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Speaking of James Dyson, as we just mentioned in that post and made a promise yesterday, it looks like the inventor and importance-of-design-pusher has won over the people of Bath in the UK and they're going to let him...

New Green Complex in China by Steven Holl
Ali Kriscenski in Inhabitat
Architect Steven Holl always appeals to our sustainable side, capturing our imagination with beautiful designs that incorporate both social and environmental responsibility. His new design for a mixed use development in China is bringing a green sensibility to the skyline of Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan. The ‘Sliced Porosity Block’ will house offices, apartments, retail, a hotel, cafes and restaurants within five towers and a multi-level plaza rivaling Rockefeller Center. This high-performance building will integrate green strategies in heating, cooling, lighting and materials to attain an LEED gold certification.

Papercut is Right
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
While I don't think the execution is perfect, Yeshop Papercut succeeds as part retail space and part sculpture. I personally prefer the top two photos, and don't necessarily think that the boolean boxes shown in the lower photo are ideally placed for aesthetic balance... however, the idea is quite nice. Using very affordable materials (cardboard and osb) as well as a laser cutter (I hope!), the joint effort by dARCH Studio and Yiorgos Eleftheriades succeeds in creating the kind of shop you'd like to visit to check out cutting edge fashion.

100K Project, Unleashing the Modern Green Virus!
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
I've been following the 100k Project since the beginning and I'm completely sucked into the process.  It's a simple concept: low cost, modern, and green -- something all houses should be.  Today, they posted all new renderings with James Hardie Vertical Panel siding in various shades of gray.  The new renderings present an entirely different look and feel that's incredible.  Chad, I'm giving you major props on this one.  Interface Studio Architects is right on with that look.  I just wish I could buy one of them!

March 20th, 2008

Eye Candy: Pod Village
architecture.MNP
Accounts vary on the origins of this complex, and indeed, as to whether it was meant to be a hotel development or a housing development. Apparently, it was constructed in the 1960s and included/was to include a dam to protect it against sea surges, floors and stairs made of marble and a small amusement park. The site was commissioned by the government and local firms and there is no named architect. Local papers at the time reported that there were numerous accidents during construction which caused the death of some workers. As news of these accidents spread, no one wanted to go there, even to visit, and the project was subsequently abandoned. The ghosts of those who died in vain are said to still linger there, unremembered and unable to pass on. The complex was left in its unfinished state because no amount of redevelopment will bring people to the area due to superstitions about ghosts, and it can’t be demolished because destroying the homes of spirits and lost souls is taboo in Asian culture

New faucet design saves energy while saving water
Carol Gulyas in Green Options
Like this post? Subscribe to our RSS feed and stay up to date.We are familiar with motion-sensing faucets that turn on when we move our hands under them, and automatically turn themselves off, so we don’t have to handle the germy handles. We like that. But Toto takes this design much further [...]

Green? Dense? Walkable?
Alex Steffen in WorldChanging
Here's a debate where none is needed: the argument about whether green building, compact communities, or transit-supportive design is a better approach to improving the world. The latest piece to kick up some dust is a report from the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, which, as reported by Reuters, says "Green" construction could cut North America's climate-warming emissions faster and more cheaply than any other measure...
Elsewhere, people reaffirm that North Americans' best bet for carbon reduction is walking and taking transit, while others (often including myself) think density is the best lever, if we have to pick one with which to start.

Boulder: The U.S.'s First Smart Grid?
Alex Steffen in WorldChanging
One of the fun things about editing a project like Worldchanging in times like these is the frequency with which our predictions and speculations get run down and overtaken by commercial realities. We've written a lot about smart grids, touting their potential benefits, from neighborhood survivability to enabling pug-in hybrid-electrics to act as a system of batteries during peak use surges.

Crystalline Fertilizer Company Headquarters in Minsk
Cate Trotter in Inhabitat
Despite being the manufacturer of chemical fertilizer (something that is not usually seen as ‘green’), the Belarusian Potash Company (BPC) has managed to incorporate green design features and employee health and well-being into their design for the new headquarters in Minsk, Belarus. Giving new meaning to the term ‘biomimicry’, (chemicalmimicry?) the colorful new fertilizer headquarter building resembles a gigantic crystalline structure.

Natural Building Network
Kelly Hart in Green Home Building and Sustainable Architecture
There is a fantastic on-line resource for all people interested in natural building: www.naturalbuildingnetwork.org. This site was initiated in 2005 by a group of people who collectively have considerable experience in the realm of natural building, which they define as "any building system which places the highest value on social and environmental sustainability. It assumes the need to minimize the environmental impact of our housing and other supporting systems while providing healthy, beautiful, comfortable and spiritually uplifting homes for everyone."

Pleated Recycled Textile Chair by Nendo
Abigail Doan in Inhabitat
It’s no secret that needless waste and heaps of scraps are part of the equation in today’s textile and garment manufacturing process. Granted there are some amazing results in terms of cutting edge fashion and eye-catching furniture designs, but this often comes at a huge cost in terms of the throw-away elements. The Cabbage Chair by Japanese designers, Nendo, defies this trend by taking waste paper from the pleated fabric industry and turning it into an organic marvel. This gorgeous recycled textile waste chair was designed for the XXIst Century Man exhibition curated by Issey Miyake. It’s no coincidence (visually) that ‘Pleats Please‘ has found a new expression in this layered demonstration of waste as upcycled renewal.

Children's Museum Battle Moves to Plan Commission - plus Germania Club, Marina City. IBM Updates
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Chicago Children's Museum
In a newsletter sent out last week, 42nd ward alderman Brendan Reilly writes that the Chicago Children's Museum's proposal to build itself a new home in Grant Park will "very likely [be] heard at the April 17th, 2007 meeting" of the Chicago Plan Commission. It could be that the Museum thinks it has the votes to muscle its way through the Commission. Heavy lobbying has been going on in the City Council, with the Sun-Times reporting that the museum continues to play the race card in smearing opposition to its land grab as racist. The photo you see here is of the current park, derisively dismissed by Mayor Richard M. Daley as "nowhere".

Like a Car Wreck, I Can't Look Away
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
I find these headless cow benches by Julia Lohmann really disturbing and yet I can't stop looking at them. They'd be really interesting scattered in a large field or placed throughout city streets... kind of like the Chicago cows, but without heads (and yet somehow not as tacky).


March 18th, 2008

A City on the Move
Chris in Brand Avenue
Narrated by then-Mayor Jerome Cavanaugh, a 1965 video touting the virtues of Detroit (both parts, below) is fascinating, not only for how dated and problematic it is. Yes, it misses large parts of a story everyone knows; one about a city in steep decline, wracked by economic loss and racial strife. It predates the riots that tore the city apart two years later, and makes little mention of how the city's dependence on its automobile industry that has and will continue to shape it, for better and worse. I am greatly simplifying here--you have to turn to the pages of Middlesex or Them to get a more qualitative, experiential sense of Detroit's modern rise and fall; and to sites like Detroitblog to understand the city's unreal physical fabric. You have to look to things like the Michigan Land Use Institute, Cool Cities, and Model D to get some hope for the area's future.

Weekly Architecture Film, Part 8, Koyaanisqatsi.
Christoph, anArchitecture in anArchitecture
Koyaanisqatsi (1982) is a film directed by Godfrey Reggio with music by Philip Glass. The film shows primarily slow motion and time-lapse photography of cities and natural landscapes across the United States. The title is a Hopi Indian word meaning "life out of balance." The film shows the collision of two worlds: urban life and technology versus the environment.

Second "Designs On Portland" Talk Features Skylab, Works Partnership
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Tomorrow night (Wednesday, March 19) brings the second installment in a new bi-monthly discussion series I've partnered on with Design With Reach called Designs On Portland. In January our first guest was Portland Spaces editor and former Oregonian architecture critic Randy Gragg. This time we'll have a trio of visitors to the DWR second floor studio to talk architecture and design: Jeff Kovel of Skylab Design Group, and Carrie Schilling and Bill Neburka of Works Partnership.  All three were part of the "Dreamers + Builders" story I wrote for The Oregonian recently on the city's top names in architecture and design. In particular, I think of Works and Skylab, along with Holst Architecture, as representing the best in local design by emerging studio-sized firms. There are many others, of course, but this will be an opportunity to learn about the inspirations, passions, and ideas behind these excellent firms and designers.

Whitehead-Elniski Residence, Green Adaptive Reuse!
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
This is a refreshing story of a another innovative green home in Chicago.  Frances Whitehead and James Elniski recently had their green home featured in NY Times.  It's a fantastic rendition of green adaptive reuse.  Check the images of the living rooftop and two twirling turbines (by Windside).  Those turbines cost about $40,000,including installation, and provide about $500 per year in savings.  Still, the owners don't mind the payback of 80 years because their perspective is guided by the realities of a carbon cluttered world.  Drastic times require drastic actions?

Speed Bumps on the Road to Utopia
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Even as we marvel at Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren's spectacular CCTV tower in Beijing, take a moment to remember that their client is CCTV, the Chinese television monopoly. So? Here is a Sunday headline from the BBC: Eighty killed' in Tibetan unrest. Here's the headline from the China People's Daily: 12 policemen gravely injured in Lhasa riot. According to Monday's Wall Street Journal, CCTV's coverage consisted of pictures of Tibetan protesters "pulling down the iron gates of a Bank of China office....

Book Review: Cost-Effective Buildings
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
Cost-Effective Building: Economic concepts and constructions (2007) edited by Christian Schittich
Birkhauser The latest in Detail Magazine's in DETAIL series presents what could be called "un-Bilbao" buildings; those commissions not blessed with the almost limitless budgets that allow for expensive materials, formal invention, and a HUGE scale. Where previous books in the series looked at building types (single-family housing) or architectural elements (building skins), this one focuses on the less-thrilling aspect of architectural production: the budget. Building types in these pages range from single- and multi-family houses to schools and factories, with the book loosely arranged where essays and interviews partition the various projects into types. In this manner the book moves from small scale to large, from timber and masonry structure to concrete and steel, from private to (quasi-)public, from individual to collective. The essays and interviews act as markers, orienting the reader to the general goal at hand: expressing ways of creating unique architectural solutions with small budgets.

Many Moons Design, Reclaimed Handcrafted Furniture
Sarah Roe in JETSONGREEN.COM
Many Moons Design is a small, craftsmanship-based company in Lexington, Kentucky.  They salvage wood and other materials to make beautiful furniture with designs ranging from rustic to modern.  They also use a beautiful selection of woods, including colored woods, walnut and white oak.  Some of the wood even comes from famous landmarks such as the Jim Beam distillery in Louisville, Kentucky.  Pretty neat!  The furniture designs are unique, especially the more modern pieces, which give such a wonderful contrast to the aged woods.  One of my favorite pieces from their website is a maple butcher-block table (pictured below) made from "reclaimed 3" attic flooring from a circa 1845 cottage in the heart of Lexington".  The top is complimented by the cylindrical, chrome legs, which were also salvaged.

Pretty Organic for Brick
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
The organic forms of both these projects (Canadian Museum of Civilization, top and St. Mary's Church, bottom) by Douglas Cardinal Architect both make wonderful use of a modular building material like brick. While many people don't expect such sensual curves to be created with bricks, DCA proves adept at pushing the usual material expectations while designing monumental structures. In practice since the 60s, this Canadian firm has got a bit of a mod look to it... and I really like it!

Cute and Useful
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
This Mr. and Mrs. coat rack available at Bodie and Fou is probably a little too cute for my taste... but its been a while since I posted a coat rack (and I know you've been anxiously waiting for a new hook!)

March 17th, 2008

Pascal Arquitectos: Da Vinci Tower
architecture.MNP
We’ve recently received an update from our ninjas at Pascal Arquitectos, letting us know about one of their most recently completed projects - the Da Vinci Residential Tower in Mexico. The tower is fit for a ninja - complete with lounge, gym, indoor lap pool, and rooftop terrace/swimming pool. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any images of the units themselves - which would have been nice to see - either way, the project [and others by Pascal Arquitectos] is worth checking out.

APRIL DESIGNATED AS NATIONAL LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MONTH
www.asla.org
 The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has proclaimed April 2008 as National Landscape Architecture Month. ASLA chapters across the country will celebrate with public outreach activities to help school-aged children and educators “Discover Careers in Landscape Architecture,” the theme for 2008. The month encompasses Earth Day on April 22 and the birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted on April 26, who founded the American landscape architecture profession.

Exploring the City of Tomorrow
Brendan in Where
A hypothetical Aura Map of Istanbul's Golden Horn. Google Transit wants your city to get on their bus. At the American Public Transportation Association's recent TransITech conference the web giant's mass trans-tracking maps app (say that five times fast) challenged every transit agency in attendance to upload their schedules and information to the site by Earth Day of 2008. If Google's effort at TransITech is successful, live, up-to-date GPS-powered transit tracking for every major city in the country (and beyond) could be a reality much sooner than one might imagine.

Social Housing, Making Small Seem Large
admin in mirage.studio.7
This semester’s design class is about social housing, before we jump into the design stage, we need to understand what is social housing? I bet 9 out of 10 people would have projected an image of a stripped-down subsidized housing. House, be it for the poor or rich must bestow on its inhabitants a sense of dignity, a sense of belonging, having said that, social housing should fits comfortably into the community, allowing it to assimilate into the surrounding community.

Super-Insulating Vacuum Glass
Philip Proefrock in Green Options
In terms of energy efficiency, windows are one of the biggest contributors to heat loss from buildings. However, a new window technology being developed by Guardian Industries could allow for windows that can provide insulation values comparable to a standard insulated 2×4 stud wall, with a new double-pane glass and a vacuum between the [...]

Civil Court for Madrid from Zaha Hadid
Ali Kriscenski in Inhabitat
It is difficult to ignore the designs of Pritzker Prize winning architect Zaha Hadid. Bold, brave, often controversial - her ambitious experiments in form always seem to stir discourse and debate. Hadid’s design for the new civil courts building in Madrid is no exception. Planned as part of the new Campus de la Justicia at Valdebebas in the Spanish capital city, Hadid’s Civil Court is expected to become a focal point among works from Norman Foster, IM Pei and others. While we are not always big fans of Hadid’s obsession with form, we are intrigued by the “intelligent” façade of this Madrid courthouse, that in addition to being extremely eye-catching, is intended to regulate the building’s indoor environment.

louis i. kahn’s esherick house for sale
Justin in materialicious
“…The Esherick House is definitely one of Kahn’s most important works which defined lessons he’d go on to use in later projects.” – David Adjaye The Esherick house stands as one of the most important houses realized by Kahn throughout his luminous career, and is the first residence to illustrate his mature architectural ideals. As one of the greatest architects of the 20th century, Kahn created a distinct style that was rigorous yet transcendent, geometric yet sensuous.
The house will be offered as a single lot Wright’s Important Design sale on May 18, 2008 in Chicago. With an estimate of $2–3 million, the Esherick House is a true collectible work of art: smart, conceptual, serene, and transcending.

High Line 23 - Critically Acclaimed, Chasing LEED [S2]
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
There's a new green project under construction in New York's West Chelsea Arts district that just so happens to be the first free-standing project for Neil M. Denari Architects.  Known as High Line 23, or HL23, the design is defined, at least in part, by the small ground floor footprint of 40' x 99'.  As you can tell from the images, the building starts small and hovers 14 floors into the air over abandoned railroad tracks (note: those tracks will soon be a thriving green park area).  The $22 million, 39,200 sf condo tower will have a private garden at the building's base and 11 condo homes -- nine full floor residences and a duplex penthouse on the top floor.  Residences range in size from 1,850 - 3,600 sf and price from $2.7 - $10.5 million.


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.


March 12th, 2008

oma in dubai
architecture.MNP
Koolhaas’s master plan for the proposed 1.5-billion-square-foot Waterfront City in Dubai would simulate the density of Manhattan on an artificial island just off the Persian Gulf. A mix of nondescript towers and occasional bold architectural statements, it would establish Dubai as a center of urban experimentation as well as one of the world’s fastest growing metropolises [click the title of this post to read the entire article at the New York Times].

Prefab for Africa
Tracey Samuelson in Lost At E Minor: Music, illustration, art, photography and more
You too can start sentences, ‘I had a farm in Africa …’ Zenkaya, an innovative architecture firm based in Johannesburg, is bringing modern design and the ease of pre-fab construction to South Africa. French architect Eric Bigot claims that his company’s studio, one and two bedroom models can go from the factory to the building site in just five to twelve weeks. It may not be the thatch-roofed Africa of Karen Blixen’s coffee plantations, but it just could be the future. [see also the Prefab houses of architectural firm Brio 54]

HGTV Green Home 2008, Handsome + LEED Gold
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
That's right, it's going to be LEED Gold, so this HGTV Green Home giveaway thing is legit.  Located in Tradition Hilton Head, South Carolina, the HGTV Green Home is only 2,000 sf big, which is incredible for a giveaway home.  Make sure to give their website a look -- you can browse hundreds of photos and videos, and possibly grab some inspiration.  Also, enter the sweepstakes if you want, but only with the EXPRESS CONDITION that you promise to give me the Yukon Hybrid if you win.  Just kidding.  Not really.  Here's what Jim Samples, HGTV President, had to say: We are proud of our commitment to the environment through the Green Home Giveaway ... we have heard from many of our viewers that they are interested in hearing more about green lifestyles.  The HGTV Green Home Giveaway provides an excellent opportunity to showcase examples of accessible and eco-friendly approaches to living and our production staff is to be commended for their efforts to be environmentally-conscious throughout the production process.

Introducing Rem Koolhaas' Dubai Death Star
Sean Dodson in Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog - art
The spherical skyscraper the architect has designed for Waterfront City looks frighteningly familliar 

The Trenches of Approach
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
A story on the BBC that I neglected to blog last week explains how the capital of Chad will soon be encircled by a gigantic trench: "A three-metre [10-foot] deep trench is being dug around Chad's capital, N'Djamena, to force vehicles through one of a few fortified gateways into the dusty city," we read.
Additionally, like some strange, new, paranoid version of Easter Island, "tree surgeons [have] cut down centuries-old trees that lined the city's main avenue for fear they could provide cover for attackers."
Prepared for war and insurgency, then, the city will strip itself bare.
"It's part of our strategy," the Interior Minister claims. These are just "initiatives to prevent attacks from rebels based in the east of the country."
It's also interesting to note, though, that, in the absence of enemy air power, basic urban design moves – like trenches and gates – can still be used as an effective tactic of defense during war.

Greenhouse Effect
sabine7 in MoCo Loco
Orca Design examines the Greenhouse Effect with a series of 10 products conceived to explore sustainable design. The goal is to go beyond “statistics, technology and sacrifices,” so that they remove emphasis from guilt that jades consumers, stats that become meaningless, lists of natural materials that may lead to a mistaken impression of harmlessness, to name but a couple of motivating factors for their work. Some of the designs include a desk with a built-in bin, a lamp that can be used as a torch, a home for newspapers and a felt vase-holder that transforms bottles.

ORDOS 100
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
I just found out about ORDOS 100, a project in Inner Mongolia to build 100 villas designed by 100 architects, to be built in 100 days. The scope of the project is to Develop 100 hundred villas in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China, for the Client, Jiang Yuan Water Engineering Ltd. FAKE Design, Ai Wei Wei studio in Beijing, has developed the masterplan for the 100 parcels of land and will curate the project, while Herzog and de Meuron have selected the 100 architects to participate. The collection of 100 Architects hail from 27 countries around the globe. The project has been divided into 2 phases. The first phase is the development of 28 parcels while the second phase will develop the remaining 72. Each architect is responsible for a 1000 square meter Villa.

Philly Goes Green with Moss Installation by Edina Tokodi
Abigail Doan in Inhabitat
One of our favorite green public artists, Edina Tokodi, is at it once again with her shape-shifting moss graffiti and urban guerrilla tactics. Tokodi was recently commissioned by SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) to encourage Philadelphia’s commuters to ‘Go Green’ with her navigable moss icons and green walls in the East Market Station’s passenger service area, ticketing area, and on the exterior of the station building and Transportation Museum. The initiative is part of SEPTA’s mission to help commuters become more aware of the positive environmental impact that they might make by using mass transit regularly.

PDC Chooses LAB Holding For Centennial Mills
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Late Tuesday afternoon has come word from the Portland Development Commission from its Centennial Mills Evaluation Committee that LAB Holding of Costa Mesa, California is the recommended development team - the winner in a three team race against developers Nitze-Stagen of Seattle and the Cordish Company of Baltimore to turn around this decaying local landmark. You can read the press release here, but it doesn't say too much yet about the decision. Before reading any comments coming up in Wednesday's papers, I'd assume the less ambitious, and therefore less costly, nature of the LAB proposal weighed in the developers' favor given the downturning economy and so forth. One would assume the Nitze-Stagen proposal finished second. I know The Oregonian's editors and numerous commenters here felt strongly that the Nitze-Stagen proposal, including a design team led by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca, was a good one. I also remember hearing more than one person say they weren't blown away by LAB's proposal in person several days ago. I'm still not completely sure which of these two I favored. Nitze-Stagen and ZGF seemed to have the highest quality plan, but maybe it was a little too ambitious. I'm not necessarily displeased to think that the original Centennial Mills buildings will seemingly be more prominent now that the LAB proposal has been chosen.

March 11th, 2008

Architectural Revision
Brendan in Where
The term "revision" means, literally, to "see again." And in a recent article for the Toronto Star, Christopher Hume inadvertently showed how revision is sorely missing from the urban design dialog today. Early in the article, which discusses the gentrification of Toronto's Liberty Village neighborhood: "Speaking of parks, there is virtually no green space anywhere here; perhaps the city should finally grapple with the issue of Lamport Stadium, which is so rarely used it could easily be demolished to make way for a park." And then, shortly thereafter: "recycling...old structures ensures a level of integrity and sustainability vital in an age of global warming." So what gives, Mr. Hume? Why no love for Lamport Stadium. Surely, if Vienna can figure out how to turn gasometers into a dazzling residential complex, Toronto can pull off the conversion of a stadium into a park without wasting all of that energy by tearing down the existing structure, no? As the urban affairs critic of the largest newspaper in one of the world's few truly global metropoli, Hume is, by default, a major voice in the current discussion on how cities should evolve. It is telling that he would so quickly dismiss a stadium that would probably be relatively simple to convert to public green space.

Work AC: Public Farm 1
architecture.MNP
This year’s winner of the P.S. 1 Young Architects courtyard installation, Work Architecture Company, is infiltrating Queens with their Public Farm 1: ‘Sur les Paves la Ferme!’ - an urban farm/green pavilion. The theme/design of the installation is partially a play on the ever popular ‘urban beach‘ - arguing instead that a public space can be created that serves as a leisure zone and as a productive, functional space serving the community as both a farm and marketplace. Since its inception, PS1 has brought together, year after year, the best of summer fun with the latest and greatest in art, music and architectural experimentation. While celebrating invention, the summer structures have provided the necessary shade, seating and water requirements - as well as spatially organizing PS1’s courtyard to create various zones of gathering and program. Every intervention has expanded upon the Warm-Up’s essential DNA (going back to Philip Johnson): the celebrated ‘Urban Beach.’

Nissan's $100 M HQ Goes Green, *Snubs* LEED
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
It's a story that I'm seeing more and more, although I'm not too sure we're seeing a good thing.  Nissan USA spends $100 M to build a brand new office building and plans for LEED Silver certification, but in the end, they decide to spend certification cash on the wetland "rather than have a plaque on the wall."#  Certification gets dropped, but we should ask ourselves a serious question:  Is LEED certification merely about the plaque?  Is that the only benefit we see from LEED?  Spending money to get a plaque? I'm a skeptical type, and you probably already know my opinion.  I think LEED is beneficial in that it forces projects to consider all aspects of the environment, including energy, water, materials, sourcing, land use, deconstruction, air quality, lighting, commissioning, etc.  LEED provides a level of comfortability that a building meets certain environmental standards in all these areas (and not just one or two).  But I'll forgo an all-out discussion of LEED for a more thoughtful article to come.

woodland cabin, robbrecht en daem architecten
Justin in materialicious
Woodland Cabin, south of Flanders, Belgium. Made from unusually stacked lumber, with a sleeping space, a seating area and a fireplace. Nice. See the rest of the photos and text at Archidose

West African Commercial Architecture
Ugo Okafor in African Architecture and Design
Commercial architecture within West Africa from Banjul to Yaounde is coming into its own style.SkyscraperCity profiles some of these projects from the conceptual to on site construction stage which are remarkable in their style and form. A lot of these buildings are featured in the West African section of Skyscraper City.However I believe it would be a great idea to see some inherited forms from Traditional African Architecture being incorporated, to form a fusion with the Neoclassical,Victorian, and modern building technology widely adopted today in Africa.

Suicidal Urbanism: The City as IED
Bryan Finoki in Subtopia
An Oxford study came out recently suggesting there are particular psychological factors that make up a ‘universal mindset of engineers,’ which may make them more predisposed towards terrorism when aligned with certain negative social conditions found, for instance, under repressive governments in parts of the Muslim World. There’s been quite a bit of research in the past showing that many terrorists and members of radical movements have been highly educated, but little investigation apparently has been made into their given background and academic discipline. Surprisingly, this study indicates a large portion of identified radicals have had engineering backgrounds.
The research looked at 404 individuals of 30 nationalities who had participated in radical Islamic groups from the 1970s to the present. Of that group, 196 had pursued higher education, and the researchers were able to identify the academic fields of 178. Those with engineering backgrounds constituted 44 percent of the group. (See "Study traces tech link to radical '70s groups")

glass igloos above the arctic circle
Justin in materialicious
Stay in a glass igloo at the Hotel & Igloo Village Kakslauttanen in far northern Finland. So surreal, and yet so cool. See more at Been-Seen

Surface Parking Lot Magnate Eyes Historic Downtown Building For Demolition
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Greg Goodman, whose City Center Parking company owns several undeveloped surface parking lots in the downtown area, has made a request to the Historic Landmarks Commission for permission to demolish a building he owns listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1917, the Auto Rest building at Southwest 10th Avenue and Salmon Street is owned by another of Goodman's companies Pegg Properties. It's the little brick building with Bee Cleaners across from the Bike Gallery and the new Northwest Film Center headquarters.

Marimekko
Kate Barnett in Lost At E Minor: Music, illustration, art, photography and more
You may already be aware of Marimekko, a leading Finnish textile and clothing design company responsible for interior decoration textiles, bags and other accessories. Chances are some of you have a throw cushion or two with their bold signature poppy print. What I never realized was the range and scale of their product collections: from collaborations with designers from all around the globe to strong and distinctive product design and high end fashion. [check out also the 2Modern interior design website]

DeZona Design
Harry in MoCo Loco
DeZona, a monthly magazine for design and architecture from Bulgaria, just posted an interview with me over here. It was fun, thanks Gergana. Here's a sampling; "Design is thought, innovation, creation crystallized in an object. We need more and better thinking in this world. We [Mocoloco] like new ideas that solve old problems with design. We believe design can make world a better place for everyone.".

Jetson Green: Portland’s First SIPs House
architecture.MNP
…Seed Architecture Studio and Kaya General Contractors [have] 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 Architecture 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.”

Housing Residents to Lord Rogers: 'You Love It So Much, You Come Live Here!'
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
In an unusual turn for the usual praise heaped upon the knighted Lord Richard Rogers, there are some in London who are pretty upset with the super-starchitect. While Rogers is trying to save the gigantic Robin Hood Gardens housing...

Jetson Green: Portland’s First SIPs House
architecture.MNP
…Seed Architecture Studio and Kaya General Contractors [have] 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 Architecture 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.”

Dwell to Launch Silicon Valley NextHouse Prefab!
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
If you're on the West Coast and want to check out modern prefab a la Dwell, the experts of modern prefab, now's your chance.  The Dwell NextHouse by Empyrean - Silicon Valley will be open for tours to the public March 29-30, 2008.  The 2,400 sf prefab was designed to accommodate natural light, solar orientation, seasonal shading from vegetation, and prevailing wind movement, and also to contribute to passive heating and cooling.

Social Housing Block,Izola, Slovenia by Ofis Arhitekti
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
This Social Housing Block project, Izola, Slovenia is a competition - winning entry to design two housing blocks for the Slovenia Housing Fund, a government-run program providing low cost apartments for young families. The proposal won largely for its excellent ratio between gross vs. saleable surface area as well as for its flexibility in design.


 

March 10th, 2008

Blogedanken: The Wishlist
Brendan in Where
Strange title, no? To explain: the term "blogedanken" is a portmanteau of "blog" and "gedanken," a German word that translates, roughly, to "thought experiment." Tonight, a blogedanken for your entertainment and mental exercise. After the first part, you'll need to highlight the text to see the next three. Resist the urge to look ahead -- go one at a time, or it won't be any fun. 1.) Spend ten minutes brainstorming every bit of urban designery that would be on your ultimate wishlist for your city. Does your city need a more efficient subway? Better street life? A giant sculpture of Chuck Norris? Go crazy. Get creative. This is the easy part. (Here's a great example featured in Weekend Reading two weeks ago, in case you need inspiration).
hhh
James Law Cybertecture’s ‘Pixel Tower’
architecture.MNP
I feel as if it’s been far too long since we had a real ‘my ninja, PLEASE‘ moment here on ArchitectureMNP - so when I saw that the ‘cybertects’ over at James Law Cybertecture, designers of the iPad Tower [I mean, they call it ‘cybertecture’, so they must be ‘cybertects’, right?] have designed another tower in Dubai - the Pixel Tower - I just couldn’t help myself. What exactly makes this ‘cybertecture’, I wonder? The neon-looking lights?

Weekly Architecture Film, Part 7, Barbapapas.
Christoph, anArchitecture in anArchitecture
When I was a kid I used to love the Barbapapas: the characters of the series were designed in the 1970s by Annette Tison (she studied architecture in Paris) and Talus Taylor long before the popularity of the so-called "blob architecture". The blob-like Barbapaps can easily change their shape by saying "Clickety Click—Barba Trick". Isn't the Barbapapas' house a brilliant homage to Friedrich Kiesler?

Rem Koolhaas’ Ras Al Khaimah’s Eco City to rival Masdar
Cate Trotter in Inhabitat
Just when you thought development in the United Arab Emirates couldn’t get any crazier, here comes a new UAE eco-city to rival Masdar. Intended to be entirely sustainable and cater to residents’ every conceivable whim within its four walls, the new Ras al Khaimah eco city development in the United Arab Emirates, design by Rem Koolhaas’s OMA office, is often likened to that of the zero-carbon, zero-waste Masdar. Cutting-edge solar technology will power the 1.2 million square meter city, built using locally-sourced Arabian materials and aesthetic styles to support the city’s overall ethos of sustainability. Leave it to Rem to design something so grand it could possibly upstage Masdar- we’ll see how it unfolds!

Zero, Now.
Alex Steffen in WorldChanging
The time has come to reconcile ourselves with a fundamental truth. Most of us were already alive when humanity went into overshoot and (sometime in the late 80's) began using up the planet faster than the planet could replenish itself. And many of us will still be alive, when, by mid-century at the latest, we have returned again to being a sustainable, one-planet civilization. Of course, we may prove ourselves to be an evil and criminally shortsighted generation. We may melt the 'caps, log the Congo, burn the Amazon, slushie the tundra, acidify the ocean, drive half of all life into extinction and needlessly cause the deaths of billions of our fellow human beings. But I don't think we will. I think enough of us are better than that, braver than that and bolder than that.

BLOXES! Modular Cardboard Building System
Emily Pilloton in Inhabitat
One part origami, one part architecture, pure genius, the brand new Bloxes system makes 2-dimensional pieces of interlocking cardboard come to life as expandable and continually adaptable structures. Because they’re so masterfully designed, Bloxes create structures strong enough to stand on, all assembled without tools. So they’re not just for room separating anymore- build a bench, a table, a wall, or even a full room!

Concourse E Projects, Super Modern and Green [ATL]
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
Concourse E broke ground on two super green projects last December in Atlanta that intend to move beyond LEED and into a greener realm of living.  Committed to the Architecture 2030 Challenge, Concourse E homes will consume roughly 60-90% less energy than comparable sized conventional homes.  Concourse E owner Jeff Demetriou instilled the company with the idea that a modern home is not truly modern unless it takes the environment into account.  Hence, Concourse E uses its own green building classification system called Greensphere.  The company rating system has three levels, 1-3, with 3 being the best.  Both of the projects you see below have descriptions from the website and are Greensphere 3 rated projects.

casa em arruda dos vinhos, plano b arquitectura
Justin in materialicious
House in Arruda dos Vinhos, Portugal. Ongoing. A tiny vineyard eco-dwelling made from eucalyptus, bamboo, adobe and polycarbonate.

Radiant Dark: Part 3
sabine7 in MoCo Loco
More spectacular pieces featured at Radiant Dark in Toronto included the Strand Chandelier by Jennifer Graham and the Origami Light-Works by Andrew Ooi. The usually peace-loving Canadians showed a darker side with Grenade Bookends by Stuart MacQuarrie and This Is A Vase by Joy Charbonneau, not to mention the mix of squirrels and axes as a motif on the Patterned Wall Panels by Andrée Wejsmann. There was a bit of flash in the Vegas Mirror by Derek McLeod Design, not to mention more oil themes in the Black Gold Coffee Table by Andrea Chin & Amrita Takhar for Standard Issue .

Anti-Smog Design with Solar Drop + Wind Tower [S2]
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
Anti-Smog is a prototype project envisioned for a post-industrial area of Paris that aims to invent a new architecture -- auto-sufficient, depolluting architecture, reactive to its environment.  The Vincent Callebaut Architectures prototype relies heavily on building-integrated, green innovation such as vertical axis wind turbines, rooftop solar panels, and living walls and greenergy.  The result is a design that not only borders on positive energy as a self-sufficient structure, but one that moves into a refreshing realm of natural architecture that can clean and replenish the surrounding air.

A Tale of Two Roofs
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
As was to be expected for an architect at the peak of his fame. power and influence, he's now getting a bit of pushback. Last month, James S. Russell led off with Renzo Piano, Favored Museum Designer, Wears Out His Welcome, where the Bloomberg architecture critic claimed that "Piano has benefited from a trend away from sculpturally expressive museums to bland designs that are invariably described as `architecture serving art.'' Now, fresh off an article in the Architectural Record on Debunking a myth about museums that pay for themselves, New York Review of Books architecture critic Martin Filler follows up with Broad-Minded Museum, a detailed account of the tangled web, and mixed results, behind Piano's new Broad Museum of Contemporary Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It was built to house the 1,800 piece collection of real estate tycoon Eli Board and his Broad Foundation, valued at $2.5 billion.

March 8th and 9th, 2008

AE2: Highway Noise Barrier
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
One product of the two main components of sprawl -- dispersed living patterns and the high-speed roads that allow access to them -- is all too often relegated to engineers and manufacturers instead of designers, and therefore is all too often an eyesore. I'm talking about highway noise barriers, those walls erected along the sides of highways where development occurs, and where those in the development do not want to hear (or see) the cars speeding by.

The Library
Andy in Lost At E Minor: Music, illustration, art, photography and more
A minimalist design hotel parked on Thailand’s Koh Samui island, The Library stole my attention as I wandered down Chewang Beach at sunset. It wasn’t the red pool contrasted with the white minimalist studios that held my gaze, but the rather well-stocked design library brimming with Warhol and architecture titles from across the globe. A collection of slick iMacs wait patiently beside the bookshelves, and minimalist lounges encourage readers to stay a while and learn the history of design. While it’s a little beyond the reach of this hostel-dwelling backpacker, The Library promises a stimulating stay for those with an appreciation of aesthetics.

Blaine Brownell @ Pop!Tech
architecture.MNP
Mr. Brownell talks about hi interest in new + emerging materials at Pop!Tech. For those of you who don’t know, here’s a little bit about Pop!Tech:
Every October, in the beautiful seaside village of Camden, Maine, at the height of the fall foliage season, there is a one-of-a-kind conference called Pop!Tech. Held in a beautifully restored, 19th-century opera house, this three-day summit explores the cutting-edge ideas, emerging technologies and new forces of change that are shaping our collective future. The conference brings together 500 visionary thinkers in the sciences, technology, business, design, the arts, education, government and culture.

Bathroom Lighting
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
Above: Talo Mini, Perch Hans Wall Sconce, El Ultimo Grito, and Lights Up! Rex. I'm having a very difficult time finding some modern, yet affordable bathroom lighting. Most of the fixtures that I like are a bit out of my price range, but I don't really want to stoop down to IKEA lighting, not because I'm particularly against IKEA, but because I don't particularly like their bathroom lighting. Besides, we are using IKEA for a fair amount of other items in the house, and I'd rather the result didn't look like a page out of their catalog. I know that Habitat in the UK also has some interesting (and relatively moderately priced fixtures), but there are no shops in the US, and they don't seem to sell their fixtures online. So, if anyone has any suggestions for great lighting, I'm all ears. I could even travel to Vancouver BC, if need be...

Blaine Brownell: Transmaterial 2
architecture.MNP
Blaine Brownell is an architect geeked off new + emerging materials. His interest in the study of these new materials stems from his self described lack of knowledge of materials outside of an architect’s standard palette [wood, metal, glass, etc] - which pushed him to investigate the various options that designers have - and will have - in the near future. This led to a weekly newsletter [subscribe here - it’s great] featuring a different material each week, delivered to your in-box. Somewhere along the way, after amassing a collection of new + innovative materials, Blaine was given the opportunity to compile a number of his favorites [something like 200 materials] into a catalog/book entitled Transmaterial - published by Princeton Architectural Press [see inside the book, thanks to google, here]. Now, roughly two years later, Brownell has published a second book continuing the Transmaterial series - Transmaterial 2.

NAUTILUS Eco-Friendly Flat-Pack Hanging Lamp
Ali Kriscenski in Inhabitat
This eco-chic hanging lamp is more than an expression of good taste. Aptly named the Nautilus, the design recently emerged from the hands of Rebecca Asquith of the sustainability-driven New Zealand outlet Unless. This whimsical fixture illuminates interiors with style and an awareness of how good design can coexist with principles of good environmental stewardship.

Hidden Valley Cabins: Australia’s First Carbon Neutral Resort That Runs on Solar Power
Mahesh Basantani in Inhabitat
Welcome to Hidden Valley Cabins! This eco friendly resort and tour operator is Australia’s first carbon neutral accommodation and tour company.


March 7th, 2008

The Governor and The Sliver
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Today on a walk downtown,  I happened upon two spruced up old buildings with goings on. The Governor Hotel on SW Tenth Avenue, across from the Galleria building, is coming upon its 100th anniversary. To celebrate, the hotel is having an open house this Sunday, March 9, from 12:30 to 4:30PM. It's a chance to see inside places you'd normally have to pay for, in the form of overnight lodging. Built in 1909, the Governor was originally called the Seward Hotel and was designed by William Knighton, who also was the first State Architect for the State of Oregon.

Hakatai Launches Ashland-e Series Recycled Glass Tile
Justin in materialicious
Hakatai Enterprises, importer and distributor of glass mosaic tile, has improved and expanded its popular Ashland series. The new Ashland-e series is comprised of between 30 and 70 percent recycled glass from bottles and/or other waste glass that would otherwise enter the solid waste stream. In addition to the new content, Hakatai has added new colors, sizes, and finishes. The new series offers architects, specifiers, designers and homeowners an environmentally-friendly glass mosaic tile option for commercial or residential projects.
Beauty and elegance combine with recycled content to give this tile a unique appeal. With a large selection of transparent and opaque colors, iridescent hues, and new matte finishes, the Ashland-e series is suitable for many applications, including interior and exterior walls, countertops, and backsplashes. The series can also be used in Hakatai’s innovative online Custom Blend and Custom Gradient tools. Hakatai has added a selection of warm and cool earth tone colors to the series, including Silver, Crystal, Darjeeling, Light Olive, Toscana Iridescent, and Sun Tea Iridescent Blend. Most colors are available in more than one finish. Opaque colors are mesh-backed; translucent colors are paper-faced.

nader khalili dies at 71
Justin in materialicious
Iranian-born Nader Khalili, architect, educator and author, passed away at the age of 71 on Wednesday, March 5th. Khalili was known for his innovation into the Geltaftan Earth-and-Fire System known as Ceramic Houses and the Earthbag Construction technique called Super Adobe. He had been involved with Earth Architecture and Third World Development since 1975, and was a U.N. consultant for Earth Architecture.

I am (not) lovin’ it
Thomas Wicks in Spacing Toronto • understanding the urban landscape
Another one bites the dust. Not that the potential loss of a McDonald’s restaurant causes me any particular heartache, but this particular McDonald’s always tugs at my heartstrings. Across from the ROM just west of Avenue road sits (in my opinion) the nicest McDonalds around, and a fine piece of 1970s retail architecture. During a closed-door session, city council voted to accept a (bargain) $3.38 million offer for the site from McDonalds who will in turn sell it to Kazakhstan-based developer Bazis International Inc. That’s the developing firm that is building the 80 storey condo at 1 Bloor Street East and already owns the property adjacent to McDonalds. There are now plans in the works for a 100-meter condo tower to be built on the site (which will include a new McDonalds restaurant).

Pasadena EcoHouse: First LEED Certified Concrete Home
Evelyn Lee in Inhabitat
Adding to the growing LEED Platinum collection of homes in southern California including Project7Ten House and the Living Homes design by Ray Kappe, the Pasadena EcoHouse designed by StudioRMA is cited to become the first concrete LEED Platinum home in the USA. Built primarily of a green SCIPs (Structural Concrete Insulated Panels) similar to Green Sandwich Bio Panel used by William McDonough + Partners and made of 60% recycled material, the designers believe this home will be a landmark project and will have a camera crew and production team on hand to document the construction process every step of the way.

Schaar's Bluff Gathering Center, a Living Building
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
I'm not going to write too much about this project because it's under construction and we'll end up doing more when it comes to life.  Here, though, is the design for a living building -- one that gives something back.  It's the kind of building that goes beyond LEED (although I think it will also get LEED certification, too).  Schaar's Bluff Gathering Center ranks within the top 1% of all sustainable structures, as compared to the USGBC's registered buildings.  How?  The structure will generate its own power, react to weather conditions, reuse rainwater, and feed the animals with a trellis planted specifically with fruit vines.  Located in Nininger Township, Minnesota, the 3,500 sf Gathering Center will also have an on-site wind turbine, operable windows linked to the HVAC system, a high performance building envelope, automated shading devices, in-floor radiant heating, and rainwater capture and treatment.

"Dreamers + Builders" In The Oregonian
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Today in The Oregonian's A&E section is a story package I wrote called "Dreamers + Builders", highlighting the key players on Portland's architecture/design scene. The piece has two principal components: an overall feature story about how the local scene has changed over the last decade, and a list (with portraits by Motoya Nakamura) of 11 people making it happen. It's actually a list of 10, but one entry on the list consists of two people: Bill Neburka and Carrie Schilling (at left) of Works Partnership Architecture.

Conspiracy Dwellings
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
"The next time a moth alights on your window sill," New Scientist warns, "watch what you say. Sure, it may look like an innocent visitor, irresistibly drawn to the light in your room, but it could actually be a spy – one of a new generation of cyborg insects with implants wired into their nerves to allow remote control of their movement." What fascinates me about this, though, much more than simply pointing out how advanced surveillance technology has become, is the fact that such statements would have been dismissed as absolute schizophrenia as little as two decades ago.
Pointing out the window at insects as you whisper: They're listening...

PREFAB FRIDAY: iPAD by Andre Hodgskin
Ali Kriscenski in Inhabitat
We’ve been waiting and hoping for more from New Zealand architect Andre Hodgskin who first wowed us with BACHKIT™, a gorgeous holiday home of prefab pavilions designed in 2000. Hodgskin’s newest design is every bit as enticing. With the iPAD™, Hodgskin brings a stylish, versatile option to the prefab world with a bevy of possible configurations, finishes and even a choice in how you’d like it to arrive – it can be manufactured off-site and transported whole or shipped as a kitset for on-site assembly.

March 6th, 2008

Piano to build at Ronchamp - WHAT?!!?!?!!
architecture.MNP
That’s right folks. Hallowed ground [both spiritual AND architectural] is about to get a bit of an overhaul…maybe. But before you take to your modern day ninja-mob weapons [throwing stars, nunchaku, bo staffs, etc.] and incite riots all over some asses, take some time to read both sides of the coin. Apparently, this isn’t far off Le Corbusier’s original ideas for the site after the initial chapel was completed in 1955.

Skyline Planning
Alanah in Spacing Montreal
This image caught my eye as I was browsing the Plan D’Urbanisme…No, it isn’t plans for the some-day domed city of Montreal. A Ville-Marie Borough regulation requires all buildings to fit within the silhouette of the downtown area, even if they surpass the height of their neighbours. The goal is to maintain the importance of Mount Royal within the urban landscape. The urban plan doesn’t make it clear whether neighbourhing boroughs are expected to squeeze new developments under the same curve.

MATERIALECOLOGY in Design News
Neri Oxman in MATERIALECOLOGY: Neri Oxman
A decorously comprised collection of the Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition at MoMA is now online from Design News.

Be "Still" For Cloepfil & Allied Works' New Denver Museum
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
As reported this week by Architectural Record magazine (and then yesterday the Port blog), local architect Brad Cloepfil and his firm, Allied Works, have unveiled their new design for the Clyfford Still museum in Denver. Devoted to the seminal painter Clyfford Still, the museum will sit in the shadow of Daniel Libeskind's massive expansion for the Denver Art Museum. But only in scale will the Allied buidling acquiesce to Libeskind's angular titanium edifice; it's quite possible the Still, with its more subtle, restrained form, will better stand the test of time. Jeff Jahn at Port makes an interesting observation about Cloepfil's work: that there is a "heavy" Brad, seen in projects like the Wieden + Kennedy headquarters, and a "light, dematerializing" Brad, evidenced in newer work like the Museum of Art and Design at New York's Columbus Circle or the 2281 Glisan building here in Portland. Jeff likes the "heavy" Brad better.

World’s First Positive Energy Building in Masdar, Abu Dhabi
Cate Trotter in Inhabitat
Not settling for mere zero-energy, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill’s Masdar Headquarters are setting new design standards for green building, with their scheme that generates more energy than it consumes. The Masdar Headquarters building outside of Abu Dhabi is also the first building in history to generate power for its own assembly, using a solar roof pier that will be built first to power the rest of the construction.

DS 2008: Fishbol
sabine7 in MoCo Loco
Fishbol is a Canadian design team that got its start in Ottawa, but is now based in Toronto. Bookseat, a bent plywood chair that combines shelving with seating was presented at IDS08 and will be available (with a felt cushion) this spring. Bookseat is only one of a selection of unusual chair designs by this young company, including the Lobster Trap Chair and the Gazebo Chair. Also of interest is Fishbol’s Wine Bottle Shelf.

Svalbard Global Seed Vault Opens in Norway

Kate Andrews in Inhabitat
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is now officially open as of last week, after nearly thirty years of planning. The facility is not only a storage space for seeds from all over the world, it’s a gorgeous structure to boot, built in the permafrost of a mountain on Spitsbergen Island in the Arctic Island Svalbard, that is part of Norway. The Global Seed Vault has been designed to store duplicates of seeds from seed collections from around the globe and from nearly every variety of food crop on the planet, such as wheat, rice or maize. So in the event of global catastrophe, we’ll be agriculturally prepared!



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.


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.


 


 

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Last Updated on Monday, 11 August 2008 08:24