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May 2nd, 2008
Renzo Piano Art Institute Bridge Begins to Take Flight
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Courtesy of Bob Johnson, we offer you these photos of the current state of the work on the Nichols Bridgeway, the Renzo Piano designed, 615-long incline designed to suck visitors from Millennium Park up into the Art Institute of Chicago's new Modern Wing, scheduled to open, along with the bridge, early next year. Piano may have missed a prime opportunity. Judging from these pictures, his structure, bent to the west, would have made a great water slide, depositing delighted passengers directly on the shallow sea of Jaume Plensa's Crown Fountain.
Looptopia, Great Chicago Places, Goldberger, Dongtan and Darwin - It's the May Calendar of Architectural Events
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
OK, there better not be any complaints now. What with Friday's allnighter Looptopia scattering theatre, music, art and spectacle all throughout the Loop, and this year's Great Chicago Places and Spaces in mid-month, there are literally hundreds of architectural events to choose from this May. Paul Golberger. Lee Bey. Leon Depres. Anthony Alofsin (Saturday night at Unity Temple). David Bahlman. Pearl River Tower. Asymptote's Lise Anne Couture. Design in the Age of Darwinism. Archeworks annual gala. The History of 'L'. The history of the Parking Garage. Restoring the world's largest Tiffany Dome. Garfield Park Conservatory. Presentations for SEOIA's excellence in engineering award. Cher.
Bringing Green Design to the Masses!
Jason Sahler in Inhabitat
2005’s Solar Decathlon blew us away, but we were particularly fascinated by a stunning Solar House from Cornell University. This team brought a beautiful zero-energy home to the mall in Washington, D.C., and had just launched ZeroEnergy Design, a home design firm focused on zero-energy design. Continuing their momentum as green home design gurus, two of the Cornell Solar Decathlon team members have just launched a new endeavor aimed at bringing custom green design to the masses through an innovative business model called FreeGreen. Started by David Wax and his partner Ben Uyeda, FreeGreen is making green home designs free to everyone!
ARX : Cascais Music Conservatory
Opening just a few weeks ago, the new home of the Cascais Music Conservatory is within a remodeled single-family residence from the early 20th century. Designed by the Portuguese architecture firm ARX, the conservatory’s classes will take place in new spaces built within the existing house - smaller rooms for teaching + practice, which also allowed the design to ‘respond to the decisive acoustic constraints’. For performances, ARX have created an addition on the back-side of the building. The new space is an extension of the stone foundation of the original building, pushing outwards towards an open palm-tree field out back. The geometry of this new space - the roof of which serves as a balcony overlooking the garden - responds to the site, creating visual connections and ‘framing’ the surrounding environment - creating what ARX describes as an ‘intense relation’ with the garden.
Rolling Gates by Edouard François.
Christoph in anArchitecture
Usually car ports are an eyesore in the city centre. The doorways banalize the street space and replace shops and pedestrian-level facades with rolling gates. Additionally, parking garage often increase inner city's traffic. A guaranteed parking-lot makes driving more attractive, doesn’t it?
But at least there are variations to the ordinary rolling gates: at the luxury Hôtel Fouquet's Barrière by architect Edouard François.
Denver_Modern - a Simple, Efficient Modern Home
Preston D K in Jetson Green
If you're like me, you like to follow what others are doing to build modern, energy efficient homes. One such home I've been following is at Denver Modern. Angelo, a local Denver designer, and his family are building their home on a narrow lot and have been blogging the progress since September 2006. As you can tell from some of the images in this post, it's cool pad with a small footprint. The Haida cedar siding is distinct and deep in character -- a modern touch I really like. I can't wait to see the interior take shape with all the materials they've been planning.
Greenworks and Ankrom Moisan-Led Team Among Metro Integrating Habitats Competition Winners
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Last month Metro held its Integrating Habitats competition, and although I’m late in writing about it, wanted to touch upon at least one of the winners. The purpose of Integrating Habitats was to generate designs that integrate built and natural environments. According to metro, winners would “redefine the current language and standards of environmental sustainability by fostering balance between conservation and development, maximizing biodiversity and safeguarding water quality for this generation and those to come."
Chamber Orchestra of Cascais
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
I posted about a previous project by ARX... so I'm not surprised that I really like this recent project by the Lisbon based firm. The design is the result of Cascais competition and has recently opened to the public. If you've been to this site before, then you know that I've got a real appreciation for modern additions to older structures. This project is quite sensitive to the original building, just barely engaging it physically while keeping a similar palette of colors and textures. By doing this, instead of flagrantly disregarding the original intent, ARX manages to celebrate both the new and the old.
May 1st, 2008
Green Opportunity Knocks in Los Angeles
Last year's Opportunity Green Sustainable Business Conference at UCLA featured presentations on everything from Live Earth and Ethos Water to sustainable branding and chair design, and so it's never too early to start thinking about this year's event (November 7-8). That's part of the idea behind Room 367, a "networking group for young, green-minded professionals" that launches with an Opportunity Green-hosted party next Tuesday evening at L.A.'s Architecture and Design Museum. Addressing the organic hors d'oeuvre-munching crowd will be Michael Danenberg, COO of GOOD Magazine; Maria Giudice, CEO of Hot Design Studio; and Scott Mattoon, Western U.S. Chief Architect for Sun Microsystems.
Persian Eco Home Building
Jennifer Lance in Green Options
These homes in the ancient city of Maymand, Shahr-e Babak, Kerman-Iran were carved into living rocks 12,000 years ago, representing the peaceful coexistence of man and nature. The underground homes protect inhabitants from extreme cold or heat in the desert. See more photos: Fars News Agency
-Edge Cardboard Interior in Greece
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
We love this beautifully sculpted cardboard mille-feuille that lines the walls of Yiorgos Eleftheriades‘ Yeshop in Athens. Dubbed “Papercut”, the project was a collaboration between the fashion designer and dARCH Studio. It takes a multidisciplinary approach to interior design, synthesizing elements of fashion and architecture into a streamlined, self-illuminated, biomorphic installation that was handmade using all eco-friendly materials.
The Storefront is getting a little 'military urbanism' makeover
Bryan Finoki in Subtopia
I’ve always loved how the Storefront for Art and Architecture looks like a subtle inner-city bunker right there in Soho, and how transformative it is by both day and night when it all zips up and innocuously reabsorbs itself into the veneer of the sidewalk corner space again. My dream home functions like this, too!
An upcoming installation at the gallery instantly makes me realize how intensely I miss New York City (in fact, I’m dying – dying – to get back there), namely because the only real time I spent there thus far was for Postopolis! where Joseph put me under a wicked spell that I hope never releases me from its urban grip. All I can say now is – I sure do miss that city, the Storefront, and just hanging out with everyone there. Man! It’s ridiculous I have not been out there since. It’s hellish, actually.
Asks "What To Do With A Shrinking City?"
ASLA.org - The Dirt
Here's a fascinating problem for the urban design crowd: Youngstown, Ohio, has lost nearly 100,000 of its citizens since the 1970s. The current city is plagued with an excess of infrastructure and does not have the tax base to pay for its upkeep. Now the city has pinned its hopes on "Youngstown 2010" a "comprehensive plan to reduce nonessential infrastructure, attract new businesses, and rehab deteriorated and abandoned spaces." Metropolis magazine covered the plan in late 2006 in "The Incredible Shrinking City." Anyone been to Youngstown recently and want to report on how the town is doing? Sound off in the comments!
Smog Eating Eco House in Cyprus
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
This striking modern structure cuts a profile every bit as sleek as it is streamlined for efficiency. It is composed of four single family units joined by a flowing fusion of glass and “smog-eating” photo-catalytic concrete, creating a series of separate yet structurally connected spaces. Italian architects Iosa Ghini Associati designed the residence to integrate seamlessly into its sweeping Mediterranean landscape, and its airy day-lit interiors benefit from a slick set of green features including adjustable solar panels, rainwater recycling, and a heat storage system.
Harry in MoCo Loco
We often get books by mail at MoCo Loco, but today we got one via email, the "First Paperless Architecture Book EVER: Piel". Piel.Skin is the culmination of two years of architectural research into dynamic facades, ventilated, high-tech or traditional composites with new features. "This book shows that currently new skins not only act as an isolating element, besides interact with the environment, optimizing energy exchange with the outside. From Germany to Australia or Korea to Colombia, there are many examples that readers can visit with this publication.". Most of the architecture is public or commercial but there are three notable residential projects including Blank Studio's Xeros Residence in Phoenix (above). Aimed at architecture students, the book is a virtual tour for google-earth travelers; "By means of clicking on the coordinates of each project begins a journey where you can jump directly to each site and visualize the project within its environment.". All of the texts are in English and Spanish.
Proximity Hotel Assumes Role as One of the Greenest Hotels in Country
Preston D K in Jetson Green
Proximity Hotel seems to have found a way to deliver a comfortable, luxury-type experience and still be one of the greenest hotels in the country. It was built to use roughly 36% less energy and 30% less water than a comparable hotel. Proximity Hotel also heats over half the building's water with roughly 4,000 sf of solar thermal panels on the roof. In the video embedded below, Dennis Quaintance, Chief Design Officer of Proximity Hotel, mentions that the savings from the solar thermal investment is about $20k per year. He also talks about the hotel's innovative elevator, which is the first Regenerative Drive Otis Gen2 elevator in North America -- it captures energy while going down and uses it while going up. Like most buildings built to a high level of certification pursuant to the LEED Rating System, Proximity incorporates several green design elements JG readers are familiar with: fly ash concrete, low-VOC paints and finishes, locally sourced furniture, post consumer recycled content steel, recycled construction waste, Plyboo tabletops, etc. In addition, Proximity Hotel is also planning on adding a green roof this year to reduce urban heat island effect and keep the building cooler overall.
SEAWEED LAMPS! Julia Lohmann’s Kelp Constructs
Antonia Halse in Inhabitat
We are enchanted by Kelp Constructs, the new work from UK-based designer Julia Lohmann who has been experimenting with kelp, and exploring its potential as a sustainable material. Following an artistic residency at S-AIR in Sapporo Japan, Lohmann was in Milan this year conducting the Kelp Constructs workshop at the Nilufar Gallery. The final products, a collection of wonderfully tactile lighting designs, were on display during the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, bringing this rapidly renewable material into a new design realm.