Berlins famed brutalist Bierpinsel tower hits the market for $3.8m

October 30, 2017 by  
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You can now live in one of Berlin’s most iconic examples of brutalist architecture – for the price tag of $3.8 million. The famous Bierpinsel tower was originally built in 1972 as a restaurant, but it has sat vacant for years – and now it’s officially for sale . Soaring 150 feet over the cityscape, the tower has a whopping 12,765 square feet of space – and it could be repurposed into one very funky home or a sweet boutique hotel in the sky. Designed by architects Ralph Schüler and Ursulina Schüler-Witte, the tower holds court over Schlossstrasse – the second biggest shopping street in Berlin . It was originally a restaurant before converting into a nightclub and cafe, but it has been vacant since 2006. Related: 1970s Berlin Restaurant Transformed into Graffiti Art Tower In 2010 four street artists created vivid artwork on the Bierpinsel tower’s exterior , but it has failed to find any commercial use. Although the work has faded over the years, the art by Honest and Soyzone Gonzales is still visible. Sotheby’s Real Estate lists the tower as a “four-bedroom home”, but it could be put to many uses. Of course, potential tenants will have a large renovation on their hands. The interior of the tower has already been gutted, but it would take quite a bit of work to turn it into a home or hotel. + Sotheby’s Real Estate Via The Spaces Lead image by Jan M / Creative Commons

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Berlins famed brutalist Bierpinsel tower hits the market for $3.8m

Herzog & de Meuron are upcycling a historic gasometer into a stunning residential tower

October 23, 2017 by  
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A former industrial area in Stockholm is on its way to a stunning makeover. Several old gasometers in Hjorthagen are being  repurposed into a vibrant new residential area called Gasklockan at the hands of several talented designers. For one tower, Swiss architects, Herzog & de Meuron will convert the old brick building into a soaring residential tower, while Piet Oudolf and LOLA Architects  will create a lush green space that snakes through the development. Besides being a local landmark, the late 19th century buildings have quite a bit of historical value to the city, representing 100 years of gasworks in the area. Accordingly, the master plan for renovating the area focuses on integrating the beloved gasometers into the newly revamped residential area. Related: INTERVIEW: Walking the High Line with its garden designer Piet Oudolf The team behind Herzog & de Meuron will be converting the tallest gasometer into a 330-feet-high residential tower with 45 floors while the smallest gas holder will be turned into an art gallery (konsthall) for exhibitions. The remaining buildings will be rearranged to coexist with several new social areas around the complex, including a sculpture park, cafes and restaurants, as well as plenty of green space . Not only will the development count on amazing architecture, but will boast an equally stunning landscaping design . Led by renowned architect Piet Oudolf and LOLA Landscape Architects, the landscape design will focus on providing ample green space and a central plaza for residents and visitors to come together. According to the project description, the landscaping scheme will focus on creating a sustainable , natural environment that will enhance the climate around the complex and be accessible throughout the year, in every season. At the heart of the project will be an expansive meadow garden with a 300-feet long sun bench. Several walking paths will wrap around the meadow and snake between the buildings, creating a seamless connection between nature and the manmade. + Herzog & de Meuron + Piet Oudolf + LOLA Architects

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Herzog & de Meuron are upcycling a historic gasometer into a stunning residential tower

Shipping-container development designed for Los Angeles’ homeless population

October 3, 2017 by  
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A Los Angeles neighborhood will soon be home to a new shipping container development created for individuals transitioning out of homelessness. Designed by KTGY Architecture + Planning , the Hope on Alvarado project will repurpose several, locally-sourced shipping containers as the building’s main construction material, hopefully creating an urban design model for affordable housing in densely-packed cities around the globe. Slated for a .44-acre site at 166 Alvarado Street in L.A.’s Westlake Neighborhood, the proposed design will offer 84 units made up of studio and one bedroom apartments for tenants that are in the process of getting off the streets. Multiple shipping containers , which will be sourced locally in Los Angeles, will be stacked together to create a single, four-story building centered around a courtyard. The strategic layout is geared to providing new residents with privacy and security, as well as fostering a strong sense of community. Related: London’s Marston Court transforms shipping containers into emergency housing for the homeless The individual apartments will be created by modifying the containers into units of 400-480 square feet. Doors and portions of the containers’ metal skin will be removed to be replaced with floor-to-ceiling windows, along with various interior fixtures and finishes. The development will also house the tenant support-services office on the street-level. Parking will be provided as well as ample bike-storage. Although still in the development stage, the Hope on Alvarado project will hopefully be the first in a series of Hope developments in the Los Angeles area. Both the architects and the developer, Aedis Real Estate Group , plan to continue building more shipping container developments in other cities in an attempt to create a model for sustainable, affordable housing options . + KTGY Architecture + Planning Images via KTGY Architecture + Planning

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Bicycle highway in the Netherlands built using recycled toilet paper

October 3, 2017 by  
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People in the Netherlands use an estimated 180,000 tons of toilet paper every year. Because this amounts to a lot of trees, last Fall the Dutch province of Friesland repurposed the product to make a bicycle highway . The stretch of roadway, about 0.6-miles-long, connects the Frisian capital of Leeuwarden to the town of Stiens. It is the first bicycle lane in the world to be paved with toilet paper — but few can tell the difference. In the Netherlands , roads are typically paved with blacktop. Specifically, open-graded asphalt friction course (OGFC) is used because it is porous and water permeable. “When roads get wet, [they get] slippery, so we use this asphalt because it takes water away from the road surface quicker,” said Ernst Worrell, Professor of energy, resources, and technological change at Utrecht University. The country sees an annual rainfall of 27 to 35 inches per year, so this safety measure is important. While the method is effective, it isn’t the only way to build safe asphalt-type roads, as the province of Friesland recently proved. Last fall, a bicycle highway was built using tertiary cellulose extracted from waste streams. CirTec and KNN Cellulose developed the technology for extracting and cleaning the cellulose fibers. The process entailed sifting paper fibers out of wastewater with a 0.35-millimeter industrial sieve. The fibers were then run through a series of machines, which cleaned, sterilized, bleached and dried them. This produced a fluffy, grayish material. According to Chris Reijken, wastewater treatment advisor at Waternet, “If you look at it, you would not expect it to have originated from wastewater.” Technically, the uses for the reclaimed cellulose are endless. The product could be used in building insulation, biofuel , textiles, pulp and paper, filters — and more. But due to sanitization concerns, it cannot legally be used in products that come into direct contact with people. Related: London Unveils $1.51 Billion Bicycle Master Plan With 15-Mile Bike Highway As a result, the recycled toilet paper was used to construct a bike highway. And so far, officials are reportedly pleased with the investment said to have held up well so far. The success of the project resulted in the same mixture being used to reinforce a dyke on the West Frisian Island of Ameland and to repave a parking lot of a children’s petting zoo in Groningen. CityLab says the city of Amsterdam is now interested in using cellulose from wastewater in its roadways. “It’s a strange idea for people that there’s [toilet paper] in the road,” says Michiel Schrier, provincial governor of Friesland. “But when they cycle on it or feel it, they can see that it’s normal asphalt.” It’s still too early to say whether products from recycled toilet paper will become mainstream, but, in the Netherlands, at least, they’re off to a good start. To repair all roadways in the Netherlands, 15,000 tons of fiber would be needed. From toilet paper alone, this wouldn’t be possible. But using tertiary cellulose from other waste sources, such as diapers and beverage cartons, two million tons could be created. Greener roads are just around the bend. Via CityLab Images via Pixabay , KNN Cellulose

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Bicycle highway in the Netherlands built using recycled toilet paper

Former chicken coop transformed into a backyard artists studio in Berlin

September 25, 2017 by  
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We’ve heard of horse stables transformed into dwellings for people, but converted chicken coops are a first. Büros für Konstruktivismus turned an old henhouse into a timber-lined artist’s studio in the backyard of a Berlin villa. The adaptive reuse project, called Hühnerhaus (German for henhouse), preserves part of the original facade and completely overhauls the interior into a modern light-filled space. Constructed just after World War II in a lush garden, this former henhouse is a simple gabled structure with rustic roots. Architects Sandra Bartoli and Silvan Linden wanted to maintain the building’s slightly ruinous and overgrown appearance, while gutting and remaking the interior. Thus, the architects largely left the henhouse facade intact but transformed the interior into a single-room pine-lined space with an added mezzanine. The original chimney and steel beams were also covered in pine to create a near-seamless timber appearance. Related: Eight lucky hens live in this high-end chicken coop equipped with underfloor heating in New York Natural light pours in through large glazed surfaces. Stairs with in-built storage lead up to the mezzanine , where the attic for sheltering pigeons used to be. The door for pigeons was transformed into a triangle-shaped window that frames views of the trees and garden. + Büros für Konstruktivismus Via Dezeen Images via Büros für Konstruktivismus

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Former chicken coop transformed into a backyard artists studio in Berlin

Amsterdam is transforming a prison into a green energy-generating neighborhood

September 13, 2017 by  
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A brighter, solar-powered future is coming to Bijlmerbajes, a former prison complex in Amsterdam . The Dutch government tapped OMA to design a masterplan of the 7.5-hectare site, as well as a significant portion of the 135,000-square-meter mixed-use development. Designed in collaboration with FABRICations architects and LOLA Landscape , the new masterplan will transform the prison complex’s iconic six towers into Bajes Kwartier, an energy-neutral development powered by renewable energy and built largely from recycled materials. Built in the 1970s near the Amsterdam Amstel railways station, the Bijlmerbajes prison complex is a well-known urban landmark that permanently closed in June 2016. The former prison’s six linked towers and administrative building are located in the geographic center of Amsterdam’s new urban development, making it ripe for rebirth as a vibrant civic and cultural space. The new 7.5-hectare Bajes Kwartier development will conceptually preserve Bijlmerbajes’ “island character” and reuse building materials. Prefab elements from the existing walls will be recycled as cladding for the new residential buildings, while prison bars will be recycled into balustrades, and cell doors reused as edge panels for pedestrian bridges. Bajes Kwartier will become a mostly car-free environment and focus on elevating the pedestrian and cyclist experience. The masterplan includes approximately 1,350 residential units that include rentals and luxury condominiums, with 30 percent set aside for affordable housing. All but one of the prison towers will be demolished and the remaining building will be transformed into a “green tower” with a vertical park and urban farming . The centrally located administrative building will be turned into an arts and design center. The mixed-use development will also comprise a restaurant, health center, school, parks, water features, and underground parking lot. Related: OMA gets green light for their first major public building in the UK All the new buildings will be energy-neutral thanks to superior insulation and energy saving design, as well as hookups to solar power, wind power, and biomass power . Nearly 100 percent of the existing building material will be reused or recycled. The project is scheduled to begin in early 2018. + OMA Via ArchDaily

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Awesome new animation envisions Earth in 250 million years

September 13, 2017 by  
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Earth in 250 million years won’t be the planet we know and love today. Plate tectonics theory reveals how plates comprising Earth’s outer shell glide atop the mantle , causing continents to drift apart or come together. Business Insider put together an animation , using projections from Northwestern University adjunct professor Christopher Scotese , to envision Earth millions of years in the future. And it looks like a very different place. In fact, a whole new supercontinent could form. Scotese runs the PALEOMAP Project , which includes a YouTube channel with over 50 computer animations that show “the plate tectonic evolution of the continents and ocean basins during the last billion years.” Business Insider drew on Scotese’s projections to create a video of what Earth could look like in 250 million years. Related: How climate change could alter the environment in 100 years You can watch as some continents join together and others move away from each other, as land masses start to look like they might form a supercontinent. The final image is of a globe with an ocean filling most of one side, and land masses pushed together across the other side as the continents begin to merge. In the description of one of his videos, titled “ 240 million years ago to 250 million years in the future ,” Scotese suggested another Pangea will form 250 million years into the future. He calls it Pangea Proxima. He said in the description of another video, “ Future Plate Motions & Pangea Proxima – Scotese Animation ,” he changed the name of the supercontinent from Pangea Ultima to Pangea Proxima to reflect “the fact that plate tectonics will continue for several more billion years and that other future Pangeas are very likely.” You can see Business Insider’s animated map here . Many more animations of our changing planet can be found on Scotese’s YouTube page . In addition to how plate tectonics might change the globe, Scotese has explored how climate change might alter Earth. Via Business Insider Images via screenshot

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Atelier Space turn a 1925 nursery into a daylit solar-powered residence in the Netherlands

May 26, 2017 by  
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Smart adaptive reuse can do wonders with old, abandoned and disused buildings. Dutch firm Atelier Space breathed new life into this 1925 nursery in Leiden, the Netherlands by converting it into a beautiful, daylit residence with amenities, technology and polish worthy of a modern urban home. The architects preserved much of the original 1925 nursery, turned the former gym into an airy, open-plan living, dining, and kitchen area. They also divided a large classroom into three separate bedrooms. Related: Patalab Architects transform dank mechanics garage into light-filled London home The entire residence features 13-foot-high ceilings with restored skylights and windows that bring natural light into the interior. A guesthouse occupies the floor above the living room, and the toilet, technical area, and storage room are all placed on one side. The converted schoolhouse also includes sustainable design features such as rooftop solar panels , improved building insulation, and centrally controlled lighting, climate, shading and security systems that allow occupants to control every aspect the interior environment. To top it all off, a heat pump heats and cools the house. + Atelier Space Via Curbed Photos by Brigitte Kroone

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Atelier Space turn a 1925 nursery into a daylit solar-powered residence in the Netherlands

Decrepit freight depot reborn as industrial-chic food lovers paradise in Malm

April 25, 2017 by  
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Swedish architects Wingårdh dramatically transformed a roofless freight depot into an industrial-chic market hall in Malmö, Sweden. The adaptive reuse and expansion project combines old bricks with Corten steel for a modern look that still pays homage to the 19th century building’s industrial roots. Located on Gibraltargatan, the 1,500-square-meter Malmö Market Hall caters to 20 stalls and cafes that celebrate the city’s melting-pot culture with its diversity of food. Clients Nina Totté Karyd and Martin Karyd commissioned Wingårdh in their quest to create a “food lover’s paradise” inside an abandoned goods warehouse . The clients and architects sought to preserve the building’s historic character while imbuing modern details. “As a visitor you should be transported back in time, yet experience a modern day market, slaughterhouse and dairy,” wrote the clients. Related: MVRDV’s Gorgeous Tunnel-Shaped Market Hall Opens its Doors in Rotterdam In addition to renovating the existing structure, Wingårdh added an extension clad in weathered steel . The new addition mirrors the warehouse’s gabled form and the use of Corten steel mimics the rust-colored hues of the brick facade. A large strip of glass separates the extension from the old brick structure. Adjoining courtyards were built to host farmers markets and alfresco dining. + Wingårdh Via Dezeen Images via Wingårdh

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Decrepit freight depot reborn as industrial-chic food lovers paradise in Malm

Green walls and textured surfaces breathe new life into an abandoned row of shop offices

February 6, 2017 by  
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Singaporean firm L Architects transformed a row of abandoned half-built shop offices into a visually striking developer’s head office and gallery in Johor, Malaysia. The architects preserved the gable roofs and metal-framed structures, relying on material textures and patterns to give new life to the old buildings. The modern adaptive reuse project harmoniously combines a mix of hard concrete, metal decking lines, patterned brickwork, glass, and porous green walls. Located near the Johor Straits across from Singapore, the Series of Barns comprises eight three-story structures built on the grid facing the water. To blend the renovated buildings into the rural landscape, L Architects used natural materials to create a textured tapestry-like facade that’s both eye-catching and well matched with the surroundings. Currently half of the gabled structures are occupied. The unused four structures are kept as spares for future use with their front facades covered in green creepers grown on tensioned wires. The lobby and reception is housed in the gabled structure that protrudes slightly from the rest of the buildings and was built with a large glass curtain wall . The remaining three structures feature brick facades. Related: HHF Architects’ renovated a group of crumbling buildings to help revitalize an entire neighborhood L Architects write: “In this project, we wanted to experiment with various ways how we can use a seemingly modular material like brick to create a texturized façade. An attempt to break the monolithic flat surfaces of the barns. When the sun’s strength is mitigated it creates interesting shadows formed by the playful arrangement of the protruded bricks.” The eight gabled structures are elevated off the ground, providing space for shaded parking spaces underneath. In addition to the lobby, the Series of Barns contains exhibition areas, a small theater room, a conference room, office space , and an outdoor deck. + L Architects Via ArchDaily Images by Muhamad shafiq bin samsuri

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