Gogoro revs up Smartscooter expansion with $300 million in new funding

September 19, 2017 by  
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Get ready Gogoro fans—the firm’s innovative electric scooters could soon be coming to a city near you. The Smartscooter maker just nabbed $300 million in new funding with an impressive list of international backers. Four new high-profile partners joining their current investors include Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management, Singapore-based Temasek, Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation, and French energy giant ENGIE. A sign of growing global support in electric vehicles, this successful round of funding will go towards Gogoro’s technology development and expansion. Launched in Taiwan in 2015, Gogoro Smartscooter quickly rose to fame and was followed by expansions in Berlin and Paris in the form of electric scooter sharing programs . The major innovation lies with how the electric vehicle is powered—instead of plugging the scooter in for charging, Smartscooter owners swap out batteries at charging stations installed throughout the city. Often described as the “Tesla of electric scooters,” the innovative Smartscooter boasts over 100 million kilometers ridden by customers, including those on their new and improved Smartscooter 2. Related: Gogoro launches Smartscooter 2 with better handling, brighter headlights, and extra storage “One of the greatest challenges of our time is transitioning our cities to a smarter and more sustainable energy and transportation infrastructure,” said Horace Luke, co- founder and CEO of Gogoro. “Gogoro provides a new approach for cities to embrace sustainable energy through a smart connected infrastructure and battery swapping system that has demonstrated success across Taiwan and Berlin. New investments from leaders like Temasek and Generation combined with investments from visionary corporations like ENGIE and Sumitomo Corporation are a strong validation of Gogoro’s business and market success.” “This is a great sign that this sustainable technology of swappable batteries is something feasible that investors with high profiles around the world see as a viable solution,” added Luke in a conversation with Inhabitat. “It shows electric is here to stay and that it’s inevitable that electric will be the dominant player in the future.” The $300 million raised will be used for further development of technology and product, such as the use of big data collected from battery swapping to optimize the network and save energy. Gogoro also has plans to expand beyond its current three cities although they haven’t yet revealed which megacity they have their eye on next. + Gogoro

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Gogoro revs up Smartscooter expansion with $300 million in new funding

This new Berlin apartment building literally purifies the city’s air

August 30, 2017 by  
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Daniel Libeskind ‘s first residential project in Berlin is a spectacular faceted building that literally purifies the air. Sapphire is clad in geometric stoneware tiles coated in a layer of titanium dioxide that breaks down dirt and grime when exposed to the sun’s UV rays. The crystalline facade of the building is dominated by angular windows and canted walls that create balconies and intimate outdoor nooks that enhance the quality of the units. Each of the apartments has a unique plan with high-performance triple-glazed windows and external louvers. Related: Daniel Libeskind’s funky metallic apartments will purify the Berlin air The team made some of the windows fixed to adapt to the irregular shape of the volume, while the operable ones all conform to a standard dimension. While the upper floors house living units, retail shops occupy the ground floor of the building, along with underground parking and common outdoor area. The remarkable facade is clad in 3,600 Casalgrande Padana tiles, 500 of which are standard-sized while the other 3,100 tiles have been custom shaped. Each tile is specifically positioned to fit the architect’s vision, and the installation of the tiles took four months to complete. The titanium dioxide coating , produced by TOTO, allows the facade to clean itself and the air when it is exposed to natural light. + Studio Libeskind + Sapphire Berlin Via The Architect’s Newspaper Lead photo via Sapphire Berlin and Jan Bitter

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This new Berlin apartment building literally purifies the city’s air

It’s raining tequila from a cloud in Berlin

March 31, 2017 by  
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Berlin winters see a lot of rain, but this is the first time it’s rained tequila. The Mexico Tourist Board wanted to lure Germans to Mexico by combining one of the things they hate most: rain , with one of the things they love best: tequila. The result is a puffy cloud of happiness that rains tequila any time it rains outside. The Mexico Tourist Board teamed up with Lapiz USA to create a cloud that rains tequila. Lapiz took ultrasonic humidifiers to turn tequila into a mist, which they shot into the air to create a tequila-based cloud. Once that mist condensed, it created droplets of tequila that you can actually collect and drink. It’s an ingenious way to turn the winter blahs in Germany into a party. Related: San Diego brewery unveils beer made from 100% recycled wastewater Unfortunately, tequila clouds won’t be filling the skies anytime soon. The exhibit is being featured in an art space in Berlin called Urban Spree, but if you can’t make it there, you can still grab a glass of tequila next time it rains and dream. Via The Daily Mail Images via Lapiz USA

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It’s raining tequila from a cloud in Berlin

Dibdo Francis Kr unveils 2017 Serpentine Pavilion with rain-gathering roof

February 21, 2017 by  
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Burkina Faso-born architect Diébédo Francis Kéré has been selected as this year’s designer of the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion —making him the first African architect of the annual pavilion. Kéré, who leads the Berlin-based practice Kéré Architecture, unveiled preliminary designs of a pavilion strongly influenced by the rural vernacular of his home country. Designed to mimic the functions and form of a large tree, the temporary pavilion will be topped by a large wooden disc that offers shelter and will help collect rainwater. Now in its 17th iteration, the annual Serpentine Pavilion commissions an international architect to build his or her first structure in London on the lawns of Kensington Gardens . Kéré draws from his experience in socially engaged and ecologically responsible design in his pavilion proposal that aims to connect visitors to nature, to Burkina Faso architecture, and with one another. The steel-framed pavilion is built mostly of wood and will be accessible via four separate entry points that lead to a central open-air courtyard. Related: BIG selected to design the 2016 Serpentine Pavilion Kéré wrote in his architect’s statement: “In Burkina Faso , the tree is a place where people gather together, where everyday activities play out under the shade of its branches. My design for the Serpentine Pavilion has a great over-hanging roof canopy made of steel and a transparent skin covering the structure, which allows sunlight to enter the space while also protecting it from the rain. Wooden shading elements line the underside of the roof to create a dynamic shadow effect on the interior spaces. This combination of features promotes a sense of freedom and community; like the shade of the tree branches, the Pavilion becomes a place where people can gather and share their daily experiences.” The pavilion’s design promotes natural ventilation for cooling in the summer. An oculus funnels collected rainwater from the roof to create a “spectacular waterfall effect” before it drains into a tank for reuse as park irrigation. The 2017 Serpentine Pavilion will be open to the public from June 23 to October 8, 2017. + Serpentine Galleries Images via Serpentine Galleries

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Dibdo Francis Kr unveils 2017 Serpentine Pavilion with rain-gathering roof

Furniture folds out of the walls in this tiny transforming apartment

January 4, 2017 by  
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In order to transform this apartment in Berlin into a comfortable environment in which to live and work, Itay Friedman Architects introduced a T-shaped, multi-functional partition that creates a subtle division of space while providing additional storage areas. With furniture that folds out of the walls to conserve space, the renovation takes a distinctly nonchalant Berlinesque approach to combining old with new. The main requirement was to preserve the original apartment’s Altbau feeling, and fit two self-sustaining but interconnected units into only 700 square feet of space. It was imperative to activate every inch and provide adequate levels of privacy to each unit. Related: Renovated Apartment in Barcelona Boasts Flexible Wooden Walls and Gorgeous Mosaic Floors The use of light tones and clean lines helped visually widen the living space. Despite budget and spatial constraints, the architects managed to create a stylish, modern apartment for a trendy urbanite. + Itay Friedman Architects Via Archdaily Photos by Boaz Arad

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Furniture folds out of the walls in this tiny transforming apartment

Prefabricated green residential building is slated for Berlin’s new ‘live-work city’

September 23, 2016 by  
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On a site in Berlin currently home to old, ugly oilfield tanks, a revitalized district called WerkBundStadt is in the works. ingenhoven architects , along with 32 other firms, are designing residential and mixed-use buildings to transform the stagnant space into one of life and activity. igenhoven’s design reinterprets the brickwork commonly seen in older city areas by adding copious amounts of plants throughout the building’s facade. WerkBundStadt will include 1,100 units, including 330 rent controlled units. Each of the 33 architectural firms involved will design one project for the new district, which ingenhoven architects describes as a ” dense, socially and functionally mixed live-work city .” ingenhoven architects’ building includes residential units ranging in size “from apartments to maisonette.” Their building will include some of the subsidized housing units. Related: India’s Magic Breeze villa will be a giant park in the sky Central to the design of the building ingenhoven architects will contribute is the concept of sustainability . The facade of the building includes terraces and balconies bursting with plant life between brickwork to create “protected outdoor areas” that create a “dialogue between residential and urban space.” The facade design also allows for energy efficiency . Facing the south, the building is staggered so more terraces can be incorporated into the design. “Recyclable, prefabricated modular construction” will grant flexibility to the sustainable building. ingenhoven architects envisions that building in this way will allow for “functional and technical changes of uses throughout the life cycle of the building.” Part of their vision is that the designs for the green building will demonstrate a new way of building housing developments that is economically and environmentally responsible. igenhoven architects’ design will be presented this weekend as part of the German Werkbund Day as Werkbund Berlin , the organization behind WerkBundStadt, announces the plans for the new district. + ingenhoven architects + WerkBundStadt + Berlin Werkbund Images via ingenhoven architects/Illustration: Alexander Schmitz, Dusseldorf and WerkBundStadt Berlin

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Prefabricated green residential building is slated for Berlin’s new ‘live-work city’

Low-cost, low-impact Neiling II house was built out of reclaimed wood

August 29, 2016 by  
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The Neiling II House is located in an area called Löwenberger Land , surrounded by agriculture, tiny villages and spread out solitary houses. It was built using materials left over from a demolished private home and was built around old brick  barn , which determined its final design. The home’s bolted wooden body stands 50 inches above ground causing minimal impact while avoiding the need for foundation. Related: Young Architect Builds Awesome Green Retirement Home for Her Mum in Uruguay The freestanding DIY furniture was custom-made by designer Thomas Poh l, who also provided the glass facade, bathroom and kitchen’s fixtures. The home’s radically open design allows a strong indoor-outdoor connection creating a sense of openness, transparency and lightness. During the warm summer months, the interiors seem to expand into the cool shaded terrace via the broad, tall glazing. + Peter Grundmann Photos by Peter Grundmann

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Low-cost, low-impact Neiling II house was built out of reclaimed wood

Gogoro launches electric scooter sharing in Berlin – teams up with Bosch’s Coup

August 3, 2016 by  
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Gogoro is on a mission to bring clean, green transportation to cities around the world – and since launching last year in Taiwan they’ve sold over 10,000 electric Smartscooters , rolled out 225 battery swapping stations, and saved 850,000 liters of gas. Today Gogoro is bringing its innovative, stylish scooters to Europe for the first time – by launching a brand new vehicle sharing service in Berlin. Developed in partnership with Bosch, Coup lets you rent one of 200 Gogoro Smartscooters in four Berlin neighborhoods for 3 euros for 30 minutes or 20 euros for the whole day. We chatted with Gogoro CEO Horace Luke to learn more – read on for the scoop! Berlin is a progressive, tech-savvy capital with a history of innovation, so it’s a good choice for Gogoro’s first global expansion. The Coup vehicle sharing network launches today with 200 Gogoro Smartscooters in the neighborhoods of Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain, and Kreuzberg. Gogoro and Coup worked together to develop a streamlined, easy to use system that allows anyone over the age of 21 with a drivers license to rent a scooter for a short trip or a full day. The scooter sharing network works via cellphone, so no keys are required – simply locate the nearest Smartscooter , use the app to unlock it, and you’re good to go – there’s even a helmet stored in the seat. The platform allows Coup to monitor its entire fleet from a central location and analyze individual vehicles for battery charge, maintenance needs, location, and performance. Unlike Gogoro’s system in Taiwan, users will not need to purchase and maintain their own vehicles – they simply rent scooters as needed and Coup takes care of the rest. The only design difference between the programs is that Gogoro’s European scooters are limited to 45 kph so that they qualify as L1 vehicles, which can be driven without a specialized motorcycle license. “Gogoro is collaborating with the new Coup sharing service because we share the same vision to realize advanced urban mobility in cities,” said Horace Luke, co-founder and CEO of Gogoro. The company is also working to bring its battery-swapping Smartscooters to Amsterdam this year. + Gogoro

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Gogoro launches electric scooter sharing in Berlin – teams up with Bosch’s Coup

Solar-powered Cabin Spacey homes tap Berlin’s unused rooftops

July 5, 2016 by  
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The project aims to utilize Berlin ‘s rooftops as an untapped spatial resource where Cabin Spacey homes can thrive. Crafted from sustainable materials and completely modular, the house is both environmentally friendly and flexible, offering a few different configurations including the standard model with two rooms, a kitchen and a bath. Related: Modern Kenjo Cabin is a solar-powered floating room for a family in Sweden CABIN SPACEY Model Zero – supported by Thoma Holz100, Green Living, and the Berlin-Mitte Housing Society, is the first model to be constructed. Its creators, Simon and Andreas, along with their extended team, hope the project will appeal to urban nomads, and anyone fed up with the restrictions imposed by traditional living. + Cabin Spacey

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Solar-powered Cabin Spacey homes tap Berlin’s unused rooftops

Portable smartflower POP solar system produces 40% more energy

July 5, 2016 by  
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Combining smart technology and clean energy generators is easily the next biggest trend in the renewable energy industry, and the developers of smartflower POP are ahead of the curve. Since its emergence in 2010, the clever solar power system has honed in on what private homeowners want from a sustainable energy source, and the latest version now promises 40 percent more energy output thanks to its ability to track the sun as well as clean and cool itself. Its creators hail it as the “world’s first all-in-one” solar power system, and they think it could take the industry by storm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Kg5RPixpPk The system consists of petal-shaped solar panels which automatically fan out each morning to create a flower-like array. To ensure efficiency, smartflower POP cleans its 18 square meters of solar cells each day at sunrise and then positions itself to face the sun so it can immediately begin generating energy. Throughout the day, the smart solar power system tracks the sun’s position on a dual axis so that the solar panels are always at an optimum angle for capturing solar energy. Related: Is this the world’s most efficient solar system? In addition to all of smartflower POP’s unique abilities, the system also comes in a variety of fashionable colors and is completely portable , making it easy to move from one home to the next when its owners relocate. Although the system does a lot of ‘thinking’ for itself, the company is quick to point out that this smart solar energy generator actually gives homeowners a lot of power, and not just the kind that runs their electronics. “For the first time, multiple intelligent solar features operate in one sophisticated product,” said Alexander Swatek, smartflower POP’s founder and managing partner. “It’s easy to use, takes only an hour to install, and owners can monitor their energy accumulation, usage, and direct it where they want it. They have full control.” Via WAN Images via smartflower POP

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Portable smartflower POP solar system produces 40% more energy

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