Bjarke Ingels Group unveils plans for massive solar-powered sports complex in Austin

December 7, 2017 by  
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They say everything is bigger in Texas, but the state’s newest sports arena is going to be really BIG. Bjarke Ingels Group just unveiled plans for the new East Austin District, a solar-powered sports and entertainment center that will include the city’s first pro sports stadium and large-scale music arena. The modern complex will be topped with a series of red photovoltaic roofs in a checkerboard layout. The massive 1.3 million-square-foot complex will be located east of downtown Austin, at the current site of Rodeo Austin. Once complete, the space will host various sporting and musical events at the 40,000-seat pro-sports stadium and 15,000-seat arena. Additionally on site will be work spaces, youth centers, medical facilities, convention space and an abundance of hospitality amenities across the entire campus. Related: BIG’s looping station design in Paris turns bridge into public space The general design of the buildings is inspired by local cultural roots of Texas and Austin. Using a Jefferson Grid-style approach, the individual buildings will be arranged in a checkerboard layout, creating latticed rooftop appearance from above. Each individual roof will designate distinct functions of the space below. The rooftop will be equipped with red photovoltaic panels to provide clean energy to the complex and potentially provide energy to the city of Austin as well. BIG, who will be working in collaboration with Austin-based architects STG Design , designed the complex to be a vibrant modern space that blends into the city’s unique urban character, “Like a collective campus rather than a monolithic stadium, the East Austin District unifies all the elements of rodeo and soccer into a village of courtyards and canopies. Embracing Austin’s local character and culture, the East Austin District is a single destination composed of many smaller structures under one roof. Part architecture, part urbanism, part landscape – the East Austin District is the architectural manifestation of collective intimacy – a complex capable of making tens of thousands of fans come together and enjoy the best Austin has to offer inside and between its buildings.” explains Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, BIG. + Bjarke Ingels Group Images by Bjarke Ingels Group

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Bjarke Ingels Group unveils plans for massive solar-powered sports complex in Austin

Off-grid Lake House escapes the Texan heat with minimal landscape impact

September 21, 2017 by  
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There’s nothing quite like taking a cool dip in a lake on a hot summer’s day. The lucky owners of the Lake House get to escape the brutal Texan heat with laps in Lake Austin thanks to their off-grid boathouse. American studio Andersson-Wise Architects designed the two-story boathouse that operates off the grid and exerts minimal impact on the environment. Created as part of a residential estate, the Lake House in Austin is a boathouse set a half-mile away from the main residence across a deep ravine. The modern building is anchored atop a rock in the lake and elevated on slender steel columns. The steel-framed structure is divided into two sections: a sheltered space for a sculling dock and boat storage below, and living quarters with a grill and operable windows above. “The simple, elegant building rises above the water, resting on the surface like a water skater,” said the architects, according to https://www.dezeen.com/2017/09/19/andersson-wise-off-the-grid-boathouse-lake-austin-texas/ Dezeen . “And like the surface-skimming insect, this off-the-grid domicile exerts a minimal impact on its surroundings.” Related: Dreamy summer retreat built of salvaged materials sends eclectic vibes in Austin A natural materials palette helps blend the Lake House into its forested surroundings. Dark-stained wood clad the structure inside and out. Operable screen windows on the north and east facades swing open to let in cooling winds, natural light , and views of the lake. The screen windows can also be removed so that visitors can dive directly out of the living room into the lake. + Andersson-Wise Architects Via Dezeen Images via Andersson-Wise Architects

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Off-grid Lake House escapes the Texan heat with minimal landscape impact

Schmidt Hammer Lassen breaks ground on LEED Gold-seeking incubator in Shanghai

September 21, 2017 by  
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A striking new high-tech building in Shanghai is going for gold— LEED Gold , that is. Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects just broke ground on the new CaoHeJing Guigu Creative Headquarters, an incubator for high-tech firms designed for LEED Gold certification. Engineered for climate control, the boxy green-roofed center will mitigate Shanghai’s muggy summers and bone-chilling winters with its stacked and staggered massing. Located east of downtown Shanghai near Hongqiao Airport, the government-backed CaoHeJing Hi-Tech Park is one of Shanghai’s earliest high-tech business parks serviced by its eponymous metro station. The technological development zone covers an area of 14.5 square kilometers and is home to around 1,200 domestic and overseas high-tech companies. The CaoHeJing Guigu Creative Headquarters is Schmidt Hammer Lassen’s third project for CaoHeJing, following the firm’s transformation of an old office building into the CaoHeJing Innovation Incubator. Related: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects unveils competition-winning design for the Shanghai Library The CaoHeJing Guigu Creative Headquarters is made up of three stacked and staggered glass volumes connected with two external landscaped terraces. The divisible incubator studio spaces are located on the upper levels while the ground-floor volume comprises the main lobby, exhibition and event space, and a coffee bar. “The volumes are playfully staggered to create a combination of exposed and shaded external spaces that can be utilised at different times of the year in Shanghai’s variable weather conditions”, said Schmidt Hammer Lassen Partner, Chris Hardie. “By doing this we create a direct connection to exterior green space for the buildings occupants to use throughout the year.” Full-height glazing with operable windows maximizes access to natural light and ventilation to keep energy costs low, while deep overhangs mitigate solar heat gain in the summer. + Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

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Schmidt Hammer Lassen breaks ground on LEED Gold-seeking incubator in Shanghai

You can build one of these tiny backyard offices in less a week for under $7000

August 17, 2017 by  
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Austin-based Sett Studio designs tiny offices that take conventional workspaces to task. These micro-offices can be used for a variety of applications – and they can be set up in no time for an affordable price. The firm’s newest design, named NOVI, is perfect for those looking for a mobile outdoor workspace – and the DIY version can be built for just $6800. As the tiny living concept is gaining in popularity, an increasing number of people are taking that idea to the office with  flexible spaces that bring them closer to nature. This year, Sett Studio is launching a new concept that weds their award-winning contemporary design with an affordable price. The NOVI DIY can be built by anyone with little to no construction experience. The firm provides full sets of instructions on how to assemble the unit. Related: Tiny workplace on wheels can make each day at the office different! Users can choose to built the structure themselves or hire a contractor. Sett Studio can build the entire project on side and have the unit completed in under a week. The DIY unit costs $6800 and is currently available only in Austin , Texas. + Sett Studio

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You can build one of these tiny backyard offices in less a week for under $7000

Revolutionary glass building blocks generate their own solar energy

August 17, 2017 by  
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There’s a new building block in town, and it generates its own clean energy. Researchers from Exeter University developed new glass blocks that are embedded with small solar cells . Not only do the blocks generate energy, but they also provide thermal insulation and allow natural light to enter buildings. Called Solar Squared, the blocks are embedded during the manufacturing process with an array of optical elements that focus sunlight on tiny solar cells . The blocks are made to ensure maximum solar absorption, even in tricky urban areas. “The modular design is completely scalable, and allows for seamless architectural integration,” according to an Exeter press release . “The streamlined nature of the technology enables it to be embedded in conventional construction materials, meaning that its applications are myriad.” Professor Tapas Mallick and Dr Hasan Baig, along with IIB Research Commercialization Manager Jim Williams, hope their patent-pending design will revolutionize the construction industry . Related: Tesla’s new solar roof is actually cheaper than a regular roof “Deployment of standard solar technology is limited by the large area requirement and the negative visual impact,” said Dr Baig from the Environment and Sustainability Institute in Cornwall. “We wanted to overcome these limitations by introducing technologies that become a part of the building’s envelope. We now have the capability to build integrated, affordable, efficient, and attractive solar technologies as part of the building’s architecture, in places where energy demand is highest, whilst having minimal impact on the landscape and on quality of life.” There are challenges, though. Dr Baig says it’s difficult to communicate how the building product serves a dual purpose, and that expectations of price should reflect the same. “People tend to make comparisons with standard solar panels found on roof tops but it’s necessary to also include the value of the underlying building material in order to quantify the value proposition.” For this reason, the group aims to ensure that Solar Squared will cost less than conventional glass blocks with the added cost of electricity . They are currently seeking test sites and investors – in case you know someone who can take this to the next level. + Solar Squared, Exeter University Via New Atlas

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Revolutionary glass building blocks generate their own solar energy

Sprawling Bracketed Space House frames views of forests and rolling hills in Austin, Texas

November 28, 2016 by  
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The house is located on a sloped site in Austin, Texas. It reaches out to embrace the surrounding landscape and blur the line between the interior and the exterior spaces. The wings of the house are topped with flat roofs and are connected by a glazed volume that establishes a visual connection between the front and rear of the house. Related: Architect Miguel Rivera’s Daylit Residence in Austin is a Renovated 1917 Bungalow Open-plan interior spaces are oriented towards the c ourtyard with an infinity pool that overlooks rolling hills and forests. Cedar , steel, natural stucco , concrete and glass create a mixture of textures and colors. + Matt Fajkus Architecture Via D ezeen Photos by Charles Davis Smith, Spaces & Faces Photography

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Sprawling Bracketed Space House frames views of forests and rolling hills in Austin, Texas

Repaired sinkhole in Japan is sinking again

November 28, 2016 by  
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Earlier in November a sinkhole that ravaged a five-lane intersection in the city of Fukuoka, Japan was rapidly fixed and reopened in just a week. But now part of the repaired street has shown signs of sinking again. Around a 30 square meter, or 322 square foot, area, on the roadhttp://inhabitat.com/tag/road/”> road> sunk seven centimeters, or 2.7 inches. The sinkhole in Japan, which was near the JR Hakata Station, was repaired in around 48 hours , filled in with cement and sand. Only a week after the sinkhole closed the road, officials reopened the street. Fukuoka mayor Soichiro Takashima said the repaired road was 30 times stronger than it had been previously. Experts said new subway construction had likely led to the large sinkhole. Related: Japanese fix massive city sinkhole within 48 hours But over the weekend, officials discovered the road sunk 2.7 inches across 322 square feet. No one was injured by the newly sinking road, nor were there any gas leaks or power outages caused by the new sinking. Officials closed the road at around 1:45 AM local time, but reopened the area almost four hours later at 5:30 AM local time, according to Channel NewsAsia. Authorities determined the small sink wasn’t dangerous for people walking or driving on the road. Officials told CNN they had expected some movement after the sinkhole was fixed, and Takashima apologized on Facebook for not letting locals know that the road could sink once more. He said officials would continue to monitor the area. A government spokesperson told local news that when the cement mixed with special soil compressed, the motion could have caused the small sinking. The original sinkhole was 98 feet long, 88 feet wide, and almost 50 feet deep . No one was seriously hurt, yet the sound of a ” loud boom ” startled locals as the sinkhole opened. Fukuoka is home to around 1.5 million people, and is the fifth biggest city in Japan. Via CNN and Channel NewsAsia Images via Soichiro Takashima Facebook ( 1 , 2 )

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Artificial surfing parks expected to flood the world ahead of 2020 Olympic Games

September 6, 2016 by  
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Since the announcement of surfing being added to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games , surf parks are expected to become a growing attraction , riding the sport’s rising wave of popularity. Encouraging newbies to learn how to surf on artificial waves is similar to using manmade or maintained snowboarding and skiing slopes. And the technology just keeps getting better. Surfing is a skill which takes years to master. And not everyone has access to the ocean to practice their craft. Fernando Aguerre, president of the International Surfing Association , told The New York Times , “If you’re in the ocean for an hour, and you get six, seven waves, you’re very lucky. Learning to surf is like learning to play the guitar when you can only strum once every 30 seconds.” Related: $8M artificial floating surf park proposed for Melbourne’s waterfront Surf parks are not a new invention, but the technology behind creating the perfect waves continues to improve. Doug Coors, developer of the NLand Surf Park in Austin, Texas, told the New York Times his park utilizes a hydrofoil to make waves, a large blade that cuts through the water. He calls it “a chairlift motor with a snowplow on it.” The water is sourced from a rain catchment and filtration system, and the system overall is less energy-intensive than previous generations of wave-makers. As technology improves, companies are finding ways to fit attractions into smaller spaces in cities all over the world, increasing accessibility and ramping up interest in the sport. Coors acknowledges some surfers may be excited about the expanding attractions, but others worry it will diminish the beauty of the sport. He says, “Surfing the way it is today is fantastic and I really don’t want to get in the way of that. The idea is to introduce more people and grow the sport, but do it in a responsible manner.” Head over to The New York Times for the full story. Images via Pixabay , Wikimedia

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Artificial surfing parks expected to flood the world ahead of 2020 Olympic Games

Melbourne home is reconfigured to bring in light and emphasize privacy

July 15, 2016 by  
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Austin Maynard Architecture – formerly known as  Andrew Maynard Architects – designed the double story terraced home to add privacy and a stronger connection to its environment through a gabled roof extension facing its back alley. The redesign accommodates a bright airy living and dining room filled with colorful furniture that contrasts with its bright white backdrop. There is also a long modern kitchen, a bathroom, a garage for a motorbike and a central courtyard filled with flourishing plants and trees. Related: Playful Melbourne family home by Make Architecture has a community hub feel An indoor-outdoor space created from a little light well is accessed through sliding double glazed doors. There is also space for an all-white mezzanine office at the top level, also flooded with natural light thanks to the skylight above. North-facing glass and a perforated metal awning enables passive solar gain , while the white angled roofs reduce urban heat, making scorching Aussie summers easier to deal with. + Austin Maynard Architects Via Arch Daily Photos by Fraser Marsden

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Melbourne home is reconfigured to bring in light and emphasize privacy

Rescued 1927 Austin bungalow gets new life as a sweet new solar-powered home

February 29, 2016 by  
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