A disused factory becomes an office with a landscaped bamboo roof terrace

September 11, 2020 by  
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Located in Shenzhen, China, the If Factory utilizes a sustainable design that transforms an old and disused factory into a creative mix of office spaces. While the heart of the building contains a public stairway with an inclusive view of the inside, the landscaped bamboo roof terrace is an even more impressive token of the project’s combination of sustainability and community. Rather than demolish the original factory before rebuilding the office space, a project that would require extensive resources and environmental strain, the architects at MVRDV set out to renovate instead. The result is a celebration of old and new, with a simple focus on cleaning out the original building while reinventing the older components of the structure. Related: An old Brooklyn sugar refinery becomes creative office spaces For example, the architects chose to use new, transparent painting techniques to prevent the older spaces from further aging. This results in the important preservation of the original building’s history and exposed concrete frame while maintaining more modern principles of sustainability and the circular economy. New walls and balconies are made of glass. In an effort to promote exchanges between colleagues, the exterior walls are set back from the building’s frame to allow for circulation. The grand staircase is made of wood to separate the design from the surrounding concrete and glass, and it weaves its way artistically between each floor. MVRDV included windows built into the staircase so that workers can peek into other offices as a commitment to transparency and collaboration. The public roof terrace, known as “The Green House,” includes a green bamboo landscape that is arranged to form a natural maze. This unique design intentionally divides the rooftop into different sections that all contain different programming, including a dance room, a dining area and space for reading, aimed at relaxation and community. + MVRDV Via ArchDaily Images via MVRDV

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A disused factory becomes an office with a landscaped bamboo roof terrace

Safari Condo’s Alto travel trailer can be pulled by electric cars

July 24, 2020 by  
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Travel in a recreational vehicle is not necessarily an Earth-friendly activity. Big rigs hauling big toys expel large quantities of emissions and guzzle gas at an inefficient average of 4 to 8 miles per gallon. So a Canadian travel trailer manufacturer, Safari Condo, decided to focus on a streamlined design that will allow those who want to go off the beaten path to leave behind a smaller footprint.  The Alto series by Safari Condo is an assortment of lightweight and aerodynamic trailers that reduce drag while towing. Not only does that improve towing efficiency and require less gas, but the ultralight design means they can be pulled with smaller, less polluting vehicles. Hook an Alto series trailer up to a small SUV, Jeep, Subaru or even an electric car , like the Tesla Model X, which was used to test out the towability of this model.  Related: These ultra-cool, vintage-style travel trailers can go off the grid for a week “The newest Safari Condo seems perfect for anyone who wants to bring the comfort of home to the outside world while spewing fewer greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in the process,” the company said. “The wedge-shaped trailer uses 15% less energy while being towed than the company’s earlier models, in spite of being roughly 900 pounds heavier than the latter trailer.” The lighter weight is achieved by both material selection and clever design. The frame is made up of aluminum to offer support without the bulky weight. A honeycomb building structure adds additional strength. Inside, the furniture also consists largely of aluminium and composite materials with rigid and ultralight sandwich panels integrated into the bed cushions and bed structures made of aluminium extrusions. The materials are not only lightweight but, for the most part, are also recyclable. Each travel trailer model varies slightly, with one offering a retractable roof that raises and lowers in order to fit inside the garage. All models sleep three to four people and come complete with a dining area, kitchen, shower, toilet, wardrobe and plenty of storage to ensure your more environmentally friendly adventures don’t require you to sacrifice comfort. + Safari Condo Via Yanko Design Images via Safari Condo

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Safari Condo’s Alto travel trailer can be pulled by electric cars

Rooftop farm grows on award-winning Denizen Bushwick building

February 28, 2020 by  
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After five years of design and construction,  ODA New York  has completed Denizen Bushwick, a 1.2-million-square-foot rental development centered around community, art and green space. Set on the former site of Brooklyn’s historic Rheingold Brewery, Denizen offers 911 apartments — 20 percent of which are designated affordable housing — along with 15 mega-murals created by local artists and 100,000 square feet of outdoor space. Residents also have access to a rooftop farm with hydroponic gardens along with a variety of lush courtyards and corridors, many of which are open to the neighborhood. To create “a city within a city,” ODA New York broke up Denizen’s massive size with a 17,850-square-foot public park that bisects the development to create a green promenade. ODA’s in-house landscape team designed the parks, interior courtyards, and two roof gardens for a total of 100,000 square feet of outdoor space with rooftop amenities such as a dining area with four kitchens, and a mini-golf course, hammock garden, dog park and a fully staffed rooftop farm with garden plots available to residents. Over 250 native New York trees and over 1,200 species of shrubs and perennials have been planted atop the roof. The impressive collection of amenities continues inside the building, which offers a coffee shop, game rooms, a bowling alley, a rock-climbing wall, a boxing ring, a movie theater and more. Fifteen large-scale  murals  made by local artists punctuate the development and can be viewed from multiple courtyards; five murals are visible from publicly accessible parks.  Related: Awesome Airbnb Rental Lets You Go “Camping” in an Indoor Micro-Cabin in Brooklyn “We are proud of what has taken shape at  Bushwick ,” Eran Chen, Founding Principal of ODA, said. “Not only were we able to transform a dilapidated industrial building and turn it into a magnate for community, but we’re influencing how people connect, how cities are developed, and paving the way for architecture to be part of the solution.” Denizen Bushwick has received the ULI New York Award for Excellent in Development — Market-Rate Housing along with the 2019 SARA NY Design Award.  + ODA New York Images via ODA New York, Eric Laigne and Imagen Subliminal

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Rooftop farm grows on award-winning Denizen Bushwick building

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