UNStudio completes sustainable all-in-one urban hub in Hangzhou

September 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

UNStudio has completed a stunning new LEED Gold -certified project in China that we hope will be a model for mixed-use development for years to come. Described by the Dutch studio as “a sustainable urban hub for living, working, and leisure,” the enormous complex in Hangzhou is the latest Raffles City to be erected in China. Located in the city’s new central business district in Qianjiang New Town, this nearly 400,000-square-meter development is made iconic with its pair of 250-meter-tall interconnected towers—the largest single building completed by UNStudio. UNStudio designed Raffles City Hangzhou using its ongoing research into Superliving, a set of strategies to create sustainable, healthy cities with streamlined services and amenities to provide a higher quality of life. “Raffles City Hangzhou will be a point of confluence, a hub for business conduct and a new destination for visitors and residents alike; an ‘all-in-one’ destination for working, living and leisure in a highly sustainable environment,” said Ben van Berkel , the founder and principal architect at UNStudio. Located near and oriented for views of Hangzhou’s Qiantang River, the towers derive inspiration from the waterway with its organic form. A shimmering scale-like skin of aluminum tiles clad the building and are paired with an outer layer of rotated, vertical solar shading fins . Curvilinear shapes and undulating lines are echoed in the light-filled interior as well as the landscaped plaza and podium that connect the pair of sleek, sinuous towers. Related: UNStudio and Heerim unveil lush, garden-filled development for Seoul Conceived as a “lively vertical neighborhood and transit hub,” the sixty-story high-rises comprise residential units, Grade A offices, the Conrad hotel, and a rooftop helipad. The 116,000-square-meter six-story podium includes retail, restaurants, leisure facilities, parking, and access to the metro. “The building is designed with a carefully considered mix of programmes – like those found in a good city – that bring together a wide range of users,” wrote the firm. “Besides working and living at Raffles City, people can stay at the hotel, or pick up groceries, enjoy a meal, do exercise, watch a movie or even get married there, all in one interconnected environment.” + UNStudio Images © Hufton + Crow

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UNStudio completes sustainable all-in-one urban hub in Hangzhou

Canyon-inspired research center in Phoenix clad in gorgeous recycled copper panels

September 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Green, Recycle

Los Angeles-based Co Architects  just finished work on the new Biomedical Campus Health Sciences Education Building in Phoenix, Arizona. The massive building – which has already earned a LEED Silver certification – is clad in a perforated skin made up of almost 5,000 recycled copper panels that create a resilient envelope designed to withstand the city’s extreme desert climate. Located on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, the massive 10-story building is 245,000 square feet and houses two 80-seat auditoriums, along with eight floors of laboratory space. The design of the building’s innovative cladding system was inspired by the need to create a resilient building that would withstand Arizona’s extreme dry heat while providing comfortable interior space for the large building. Related: Copper-clad chapel is a beacon of unity in one of Helsinki’s most multicultural districts To create the cladding, the architects used almost 300,000 pounds of molded recycled copper panels to create an airy, striated sunscreen that shields the interior from direct solar exposure while providing ventilated air on the inside. To create the airy facade, the architects used a Building information modeling (BIM) software to create 3D models of the exterior panels. The team then collaborated with Chandler-based Kovach Building Enclosures to form, bend and perforate some 4,800 panels to create the envelope, which includes 2-inch air space, rigid insulation, and a waterproofing membrane. The integrated system not only allows natural light to enter the building, but was also formed to create dual building wings that mimic the shape of a tall, narrow canyon-esque landscape. The copper cladding for the building is made up of 90 to 95 percent recycled material, which helped the design achieve a LEED Silver certification . + CO Architects Via Architizer

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Canyon-inspired research center in Phoenix clad in gorgeous recycled copper panels

Thomas Heatherwick unveils massive museum carved out of a historic grain silo

September 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Prolific architect Thomas Heatherwick just finished transforming an old grain silo in Cape Town into South Africa’s largest art museum – the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. The team spent years carefully renovating the silo’s 42 massive cylindrical concrete tubes into 6,000 square feet of gallery space, which will hold the world’s premier collection of African art. The grain silo has held court over Cape Town’s Table Bay harbor since 1924. Some of the building’s rough concrete walls were kept intact, while others were carved into shapes and finished with polished concrete. An 88-foot-high cathedral-like atrium sits at the heart of the museum and leads to the expansive network of 80 individual galleries. The design team preserved the silo’s bold concrete exterior while updating it with bulging glass windows that flood the interior with natural light . The renovation of the historic building was quite complicated, considering the tubular shape of the silos . Heatherwick told Dezeen, “It became like archaeology, like excavating out gallery spaces, but not wanting to obliterate the tubularity completely. We realized we needed to do something that your eye couldn’t instantly predict,” he explained. “Our role was destructing rather than constructing, but trying to destruct with a confidence and an energy, and not treating the building as a shrine.” The Zeitz Museum is just one part of the large waterfront complex that will eventually include bars and restaurants. The swanky Royal Portfolio Hotel , which was built into the silo’s grain elevators, opened earlier this year. + Thomas Heatherwick Studio Via Dezeen

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Thomas Heatherwick unveils massive museum carved out of a historic grain silo

Elevated glass-bottomed pool hovers over a second pool in the hip Wall House

September 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

An outdoor swimming pool with a glass bottom hovers above the second pool of this gorgeous residence in the Portuguese Riviera. Guedes Cruz Arquitectos designed the entire Wall House as a sprawling, open-plan house that embodies the principles of indoor-outdoor living, with so many gorgeous elements that it’s surreal. On one of its side, the residence features an expansive glass wall that can be opened to create a direct connection between the interior space, the garden and golf course. Wood slat coverings cover the concrete exterior walls and can be shut to provide complete privacy when needed. Related: Glass-bottomed sky pool will be suspended 115 feet in the air The most striking feature are the two outdoor swimming pools . The first is located on the ground level, while the second one hovers above the patio and has a glass bottom. The surreal visual effect of this bridge-like structure create unlikely visual connections between different levels of the house. + Guedes Cruz Arquitectos Via Dwell Photos by Ricardo Oliveira Alves

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Elevated glass-bottomed pool hovers over a second pool in the hip Wall House

Jean Nouvel-designed Louvre Abu Dhabi set to open in November

September 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Jean Nouvel ‘s Louvre Abu Dhabi – the first universal museum in the Arab world – will open its doors to the public on November 11th. Nestled underneath a huge porous dome, the museum galleries will house an extensive collection of artworks, artifacts and loans from France’s top museums, with a particular focus on shared human stories across civilizations and cultures. The project is part of a 2007 intergovernmental agreement between France and the United Arab Emirates . Its 8,000 square feet of exhibition space will house permanent collections and temporary exhibits, combining artifacts and artworks from France’s top museums. Related: Jean Nouvel’s Louvre Abu Dhabi is a museum that is its own work of art The museum’s most distinctive feature is its vast dome comprised of almost 8,000 unique metal stars set in a complex geometric pattern. This porous structure filters sunlight and creates a ‘rain of light’ effect reminiscent of overlapping palm trees in the UAE’s oases. Two prestigious events coproduced under the French-Emirati Cultural Program will mark the inauguration week. These events were initiated over a year ago by the two countries and supported by the creative momentum generated by the Louvre Abu Dhabi. + Jean Nouvel + Louvre Abu Dhabi Images by Muhamed Somji

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Jean Nouvel-designed Louvre Abu Dhabi set to open in November

Coal barge in London converted into a sophisticated floating home

September 14, 2017 by  
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A 1924 barge in London has been transformed into an amazing floating home . The historic Humber Keel cargo boat now functions as a comfortable two-bedroom home with two baths, open living space and terrace views. The restored houseboat maintains the original woodwork and custom midcentury furnishings. The barge, originally used for transporting steel and coal and working in shallow waters, sits in the Poplar Dock Marina of London . It offers 812 square feet of living space which includes two bedrooms, a large open-plan reception/dining area, modern galley kitchen, and a desk area. Related: Solar-Powered Bauhaus Barge Offers Luxurious Living with a Low Carbon Footprint Much of the original woodwork has been retained throughout the house, including the original Goodin wood burner in the living room. Some of the additions to the interior include a dipped terra cotta pendant light by Hand and Eye Studio London, a Saikai Kaico Japanese enamel kettle, hand-thrown dishes by David Green Ceramics, and the 1960s Greaves and Thomas Egg chair. The house is currently for sale through The Modern House. + The Modern House Via Dwell

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Coal barge in London converted into a sophisticated floating home

C.F. Mller’s stunning Low Energy Center in London showcases an innovative use of steel

September 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Europe’s largest new residential heat network – the Greenwich Peninsula Low Energy Center in London – saves over 20,000 tons of carbon every year. C.F. Møller Architects and British artist Conrad Shawcross  designed the groundbreaking facility, which is clad in hundreds of triangular panels that fold and flow across the surface of the tower. The center won this year’s coveted GAGA Architecture Award for the most innovative and effective use of galvanized steelwork. The Greenwich Peninsula Low Energy Center sits at the entrance of the peninsula next to the Blackwall Tunnel Approach. It houses boilers and CHP that provide heat energy to the businesses and homes due to be built in the coming years Its impressive appearance can be attributed to Conrad Shawcross. The artist designed the facade of the 160-foot (49 meter) high tower as a way of communicating commitment to sustainable and affordable energy for all. Related: C.F. Møller Architects designs Danish school that optimizes learning through design The perforated steel panels create a Moiré Effect , and facilitate animated patterns of light at night. Named ‘The Optic Cloak’ the structure is formed of hundreds of triangular panels – each the size of a London bus – folded across the surface of the tower forming complex geometric patterns. + C.F. Møller Architects + Conrad Shawcross Photos by Mark Hadden

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C.F. Mller’s stunning Low Energy Center in London showcases an innovative use of steel

This amazing rotating home lets you change the view with a push of a button

September 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

UK-based D*Haus has put a new “spin” on residential architecture by developing a home with a spectacular rotating roof! The newly unveiled Devon House has a glazed top floor that spins on circular platform, giving the homeowners unobstructed views of the surrounding countryside from literally every angle. The rotating home was designed to make the most of views on the sloped site. “Our client dreamt of waking up in their bed with views across this landscape and then having the ability to rotate the living room and kitchen so that they could enjoy the same view throughout the day,” explained David Ben Grunberg and Daniel Woolfson from D*Haus. Related: The Transforming D*Haus Changes Shape to Accommodate Different Seasons Building upon their Dynamic D*Haus, the architects developed a triangular swiveling roof that wouldn’t distract from the home’s rough stone base, “We took an equilateral triangle and started to rotate it around an open core, we wanted the circle to be a rotating platform that would move and change with the external climatic conditions and with the clients preferences,” said the architects. The resulting design is an equilateral volume with three elongated corners that house a bedroom, lounge, and dining room on the top floor. The home rotates in accordance with the sun’s position as well as changing seasons and weather conditions. Every room has large glazed walls that offers amazing views and tons of natural light . + The D*Haus Company Via Dezeen Images by Jason Luckett and Park Hin Yeung

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This amazing rotating home lets you change the view with a push of a button

Beautiful cedar home stands high on stilts to accommodate heavy snowfall in Japan

September 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Green, Recycle

Fukushima-based firm Life Style Koubou has embedded a beautiful vacation home in the middle of an evergreen forest with stunning mountain views. Built at the base of Mount Bandai in Japan, the One Year Project is made from locally-sourced cedar and it’s set on high stilts to allow snow to gather around its base. The two structures that make up the home are connected by a bridge and separated by use. One building holds a wet area with the kitchen and bathrooms, while a living room with a cozy fireplace is located in the dry building. The entire structure was built using cedar, but the dry building has floor-to-ceiling windows to enjoy 360-degree views of the amazing scenery. Related: Life Style Koubou’s House In Itsuura is a timber treehouse-like home in Japan The area around Mount Bandai is known to get quite a lot of snowfall in the winter, so the architects built the home on stilts to accommodate the snowfall. The white stilts, which run up through the interior of the buildings, are embedded into large rocks that sit on the ground underneath in order to reduce the building’s pressure on the land . The strategic design lets the homeowners enjoy the natural area without damaging the landscape. + Life Style Koubou Via Contemporist

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Beautiful cedar home stands high on stilts to accommodate heavy snowfall in Japan

This mind-blowing building is made from material as thin as a coin

September 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY’s giant alien-like structure is pushing the envelope for self-supporting architecture. Built of material as thin as a coin, Minima | Maxima is a 43-foot-tall organic building commissioned for the World Expo 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan. The self-supporting structure is an incredible achievement; as the studio puts it: “If an egg were scaled up to the same height as Minima | Maxima, it would be much thicker.” Like most of MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY’s projects, Minima | Maxima looks like something straight out of science fiction with its organic yet alien shape created using digital tools. The installation is as tall as a four-story building and is built from 2-millimeter-thick aluminum . The studio used their signature “Structural Stripes” material to build the self-supporting curvilinear structure, and reinforced it with multi-ply composite. Three flat strips of powder-coated aluminum—white and white sandwiching pink—are layered to create a 6-millimeter-thick anisotropic composite material comparable to fiber technology like carbon or glass fiber, yet does not need to be in tension or temporary scaffolding. Related: MARC FORNES/THEVERYMANY’s ultralight informal amphitheater in France looks like an opening chrysalis “The unprecedented structural achievement of the project lies in its geometry,” said the studio. “Minima | Maxima extends MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY’s research and development into achieving structural integrity through ultra-thin, self-supporting structures which find their strength in the double curvature of their form. In the whimsical yet durable universe the studio creates, curves win out over angles; branches, splits and recombinations make columns and beams irrelevant. A ‘networked’ surface rolls in, on and around itself, transforming into a space that obscures our preconceived notions of enclosure, entrance/exit, and threshold, while also providing its own support to stand up.” Minima | Maxima was completed in June 2017 in Astana , Kazakhstan and is a permanent installation. + MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY Images © NAARO

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This mind-blowing building is made from material as thin as a coin

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