The United States’ first Passive Plus House generates nearly all the energy it needs

April 23, 2018 by  
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This beautiful brownstone in Brooklyn  has been refurbished into the first Passive Plus House in the United States. Located in Carroll Gardens, 78 Third Place features an impressive array of cutting-edge renewable technologies wrapped in a thoughtful renovation that preserves the original home’s historic character. The house, remodeled by Baxt Ingui Architects , saves 80 to 90 percent of the energy needed to heat and cool the building and nearly reaches net-zero energy consumption. The Brooklyn townhouse was originally built in the early 1900s. Baxt Ingui Architects expanded the building to include a new third floor with a mansard and a modern rear addition that nearly doubles the brownstone’s original footprint. “The homeowners’ goal was to create a beautiful, open and inviting home suitable for everyday living and entertaining as well as respecting the historic character of the original house while incorporating high-performance construction,” the architects wrote. “They emphasized the need for abundant natural light throughout the home as well as an open flow when designing indoor/outdoor living spaces.” Related: Park Slope row home renovation marries historic charm with energy-conserving features The architects collaborated with a team of six contractors, three engineers, Passive House consultants and eco-conscious clients to make the upgrades. Baxt Ingui Architects installed low E and argon-filled triple-glazed windows, cellulose insulation and a 387-square-foot Brooklyn Solarworks solar canopy to help offset the home’s energy needs. The well-sealed townhouse is also equipped with a very quiet Energy Recovery Ventilation system, an air-to-air heat pump and an improved gas-condensing boiler. + Baxt Ingui Architects Via ArchDaily Images © John Muggenborg Photography

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The United States’ first Passive Plus House generates nearly all the energy it needs

Interrobang transforms historic Art Deco factory into luxury apartments in London

April 2, 2018 by  
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In west London, an iconic Art Deco landmark has been converted into 66 apartments courtesy of UK studio Interrobang . This latest renovation of the historic Hoover Building carefully preserves many period features along with a comprehensive restoration of the grand facade. Designed by Wallis, Gilbert & Partners and built in 1933, the Hoover Building is a Grade II* listed building that’s seen its fair share of renovations , from its original role as a wartime factory to later use as a Tesco supermarket . After the main structure sat unused for over a decade, IDM Properties purchased the building in 2015 with the aim of transforming the property into high-end apartments. “Key to converting the building to residential accommodation is adding additional levels between the existing floor slabs,” wrote Interrobang. “In order to achieve this, the existing and proposed loads were carefully balanced with a timber framed solution designed to shift the additional weight to locations that could support it.” Related: Flanagan Lawrence Architects transform a crumbling 1923 building into a four-star London hotel Prefabricated timber trusses were inserted to maximize space and support new floors, such as the new third level that comprises 12 loft apartments, each with its own spiral staircase. While many original features were preserved, such as the terrazzo flooring and the staircases finished in the original color scheme, the refreshed interiors are undeniably modern. Among the most eye-catching features of the loft apartments are the immense skylights installed on the sloped ceilings above the living areas and bedrooms. + Interrobang Via Dezeen Images by Morley von Sternberg

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Interrobang transforms historic Art Deco factory into luxury apartments in London

Former car factory to house Brussels "Centre Pompidou" cultural hub

March 26, 2018 by  
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A former Citroën car factory will be transformed into a major cultural hub for Brussels —the KANAL – Centre Pompidou comprising a Museum of Contemporary Art, architecture center, and other public art spaces. EM2N , noAarchitecten , and Sergison Bates won a design competition to lead the design of the €125 million adaptive reuse project. The historic 1930s building was selected for its size—an expansive 215,000 square feet—and prime location in the heart of the Brussels-Capital Region at the center of the Plan Canal. “The proposal for Kanal reflects on the position of the twenty-first century museum in society,” wrote the architects. “The building is located in the heart of the Plan Canal, the area where new developments focus on a contemporary mix of housing, working, leisure and production spaces– the activity that is historically linked to the canal area.” The Centre Pompidou scheme begins with the restoration of the former Citroën garage followed by the insertion of three volumes for the art museum , architecture center, and 400-seat auditorium. Related: A futuristic mirrored agora is landing in Brussels like a giant flying saucer Wraparound glazing and skylights create transparency and allow ample amount of natural light indoors. To reduce the building’s energy footprint, each of the three inserted volumes will be equipped with individual climate control while other energy-saving measures will be used throughout the rest of KANAL. Construction is slated to begin fall 2019 and the museum is expected to open in 2022. + Centre Pompidou Via Dezeen Images by NOA / EM2N / SBA

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Former car factory to house Brussels "Centre Pompidou" cultural hub

Industrial gasholders transformed into luxury modern residences in London

February 26, 2018 by  
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Work has officially completed on the Gasholders residential development in London’s King’s Cross , and the adaptive reuse project is as every bit as stunning as we expected. The trio of Victorian gasholders, an iconic landmark of the city’s industrial past, have been transformed into modern luxury apartments, duplexes, and penthouses under the design direction of Wilkinson Eyre , while Jonathan Tuckey Design led the interior architecture with interiors by No 12 Studio . Created for King’s Cross Central Limited Partnerships, the Gasholders development forms part of the Allies and Morrison -designed masterplan for the 27-hectare site around King’s Cross Station. The gasholder trio features cylinders of eight, nine, and 12 stories with a total of 145 units ranging from studios to penthouses housed inside the original 1860s wrought-iron frames. The Grade II-listed Victorian iron pillars and struts were dismantled, repaired, and reinstalled with the tasteful addition of aluminum and full-height glass. Related: London’s Wilkinson Eyre Architects reveal plans to refurbish three King’s Cross gasholders into mixed use buildings Skylit atriums bring natural light deep into the buildings, which are surrounded and topped by lush landscaping designed by Dan Pearson . A wide variety of amenities include a gym, spa, and roof terrace with views over Regent’s Canal. A curated selection of retail is located at the ground floor. + Wilkinson Eyre + Jonathan Tuckey Design Via Dezeen Exterior image and sketch via Wilkinson Eyre , interiors via Jonathan Tuckey Design

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Industrial gasholders transformed into luxury modern residences in London

Heritage-listed church repurposed into modern solar-powered home in Brisbane

January 16, 2018 by  
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Brisbane-based architecture studio DAHA merged old and new with the Church House, an eye-catching modern home and adaptive reuse project. The unusual combination attaches a sleek structure of concrete, steel, and glass to a brick church, known as the Church of Figuration that was built in 1924. While the church’s position wasn’t moved, the architects carefully positioned the new-build based on climatic site conditions and to optimize passive heating and cooling and conditions for a photovoltaic solar array and water harvesting. The Church of Figuration was originally purchased as part of a $2.4million AUD hillside property in Norman Park, the sale came with the condition that the heritage-listed Church of Transfiguration be preserved . Thus, the architects kept the church as the property’s focal point by retaining sight lines: the heritage building is flanked by a tennis court on one side and a manicured lawn and landscape on the other. The elevated site provides sweeping views of the neighborhood. Related: Old converted church hides gorgeous modern interiors in London “The Church House extension is a sympathetic adaptation of an existing heritage church into a unique family home,” wrote the architects, who connected the church and extension with a dark zinc tunnel. “The extension responds to the grand scale and form of the existing church through robust materiality and formal gestures, creating balance between the old and the new.” Although the church’s facade has been kept intact, the interior character was changed to serve as the family’s entertainment room with a mezzanine-level home office. The extension houses three bedrooms and bathrooms. Interior designer Georgia Cannon carried out the minimalist aesthetic of cool-toned concrete, dark timber, steel, and glass. + DAHA Via ArchDaily Photos © Cathy Schusler

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Heritage-listed church repurposed into modern solar-powered home in Brisbane

Architects squeeze an ethereal art gallery into a narrow Shanghai alleyway

January 3, 2018 by  
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Chinese studio Wutopia Lab converted a dim, dark alleyway between two buildings into a beautiful, light-filled gallery in Shanghai. Located in a terraced courtyard sheltered from the city’s chaotic streets, One Person’s Gallery is a compact space topped with a pitched roof and furnished with repurposed items found during the site cleanup. The original site of the gallery was an old storage area that had been filled with junk over the years. As the cleanup process began, YU Ting from Wutopia Lab was inspired by the raw quality of the space. He decided to use the existing arch as a motif for the gallery space, creating an open, almost chapel-like atmosphere . Related: Renzo Piano embeds modern art gallery with ‘winged’ roof into French vineyard As the space was being cleaned out, the architect was also inspired to put the “junk” to good use as well. The project turned into a kind of archaeological dig, with almost everything in decent condition put aside for use in the gallery. Old furniture that had been abandoned for years was given new life as furnishings or decorations in the library and courtyard. Some of the old doors were repurposed , while others were used in the ceiling. The finished gallery is a beautiful, open space that offers a retreat from the chaotic hustle and bustle of city life. According to the architect, the gallery will be open to artists who want to showcase any works focusing on urban design and architecture. + Wutopia Lab Images via Wutopia Lab

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Architects squeeze an ethereal art gallery into a narrow Shanghai alleyway

Iceland makes it illegal to pay women less than men in world first

January 3, 2018 by  
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Iceland has been making headlines lately – first by electing a 41-year-old environmentalist as prime minister , and now by becoming the world’s first country to legalize equal pay for men and women. Al Jazeera reports the tiny Nordic nation first introduced legislation last March to help close an existing wage gap, but the law did not come into effect until the first day of 2018. “The legislation is basically a mechanism that companies and organisations … evaluate every job that’s being done, and then they get a certification after they confirm the process if they are paying men and women equally,” Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, a board member of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association, told Al Jazeera. “It’s a mechanism to ensure women and men are being paid equally”. She adds that existing legislation designed to close the wage gap had failed to do the job, although the World Economic Forum (WEF) has consistently rated Iceland as one of the world’s most progressive countries when it comes to gender equality. Related: Iceland elects 41-year-old environmentalist as prime minister This new law will require companies that have at least 25 employees to obtain certification proving that men and women receive the same pay for their jobs. Failure to comply will result in fines. “Women have been talking about this for decades, Aradottir Pind told Al Jazeera, “and I really feel that we have managed to raise awareness, and we have managed to get to the point that people realise that the legislation we have had in place is not working, and we need to do something more”. In a WEF post , Magnea Marinósdóttir and Rósa Erlingsdóttir with the Equality Unit of Iceland’s Ministry of Welfare says their fight for gender parity did not happen by accident: “What is the secret to Iceland’s success? What are the lessons learned? In short, it is that gender equality does not come about of its own accord. It requires the collective action and solidarity of women human rights defenders, political will, and tools such as legislation, gender budgeting and quotas.” The United States failed to make it into the top 10 of WEF’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Index , which includes Nicaragua in 6th place and the Philippines, led by “The Punisher” President Rodrigo Duterte, in 10th. Via Al Jazeera Images via DepositPhotos ( 1 , 2 )

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Iceland makes it illegal to pay women less than men in world first

Chinas first magazine library is housed in a renovated Beijing hutong

December 26, 2017 by  
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Local architects Fon Studio breathed new life into a Beijing hutong , converting the historic residence into a chic neighborhood library claimed to be the nation’s first magazine library. Located next to a picturesque man-made canal, the Spring Whispers Book Club is an adaptive reuse project that preserves parts of the original structure while injecting an undeniably contemporary vibe. Nestled within Dongcheng District, Spring Whispers Book Club is set within a historic Beijing neighborhood full of winding alleys and hutongs, many of which have been converted for new commercial purposes. Spring Whispers Book Club’s original hutong structure was once a traditional three-room house that had fallen into disrepair. Fon Studio constructed a teak and steel framework based on traditional building techniques to reinforce the hutong’s decayed timber-and-brick shell. Clean lines and the use of timber, gray terrazzo, and glass gave the hutong’s facade a modern refresh. Related: ARCHSTUDIO inserts a modern teahouse into an ancient Chinese structure To provide a pleasant reading environment, the architects inserted a floor-to-ceiling window that fills the heart of the library with natural light and frames canal views. Operable timber shutters also let light into the other parts of the library . White steel framing in the interior guide the eye to the bookshelves lined with magazines. Light-colored timber used for the new internal structures and furnishings provides a beautiful contrast to the older dark-colored wood. The interior comprises a variety of seating areas and a bar. + Fon Studio Via ArchDaily Images via Fon Studio

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Chinas first magazine library is housed in a renovated Beijing hutong

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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