Fram Museum extension is dedicated to environmental education

November 25, 2020 by  
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Norway- and Denmark-based architecture firm Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter has won an invited competition for the new extension of the Fram Museum, a museum in Oslo dedicated to the stories of Norwegian polar exploration. Dubbed Framtid — Norwegian for ‘future’ — the museum extension stands out from its sharply angular neighbors with its church bell-shaped gable and fully glazed end wall that allows views into the building and out toward the water. The timber-framed building will also be engineered with environmentally friendly considerations as part of the firm’s vision “that architecture exemplifies how we care for our environment.” Inaugurated in 1936, the Fram Museum was primarily built to honor the three great Norwegian polar explorers — Fridtjof Nansen, Otto Sverdrup and Roald Amundsen — and is named after the original wooden exploration vessel Fram that sits at the heart of the museum . Although the new curved extension will be visually distinct from the museum’s A-frame buildings, the modern structure will also take cues from the existing layout with its long form set perpendicular to the water. Related: RRA unveils mountain-inspired ski resort that emphasizes nature and community The new Framtid wing will expand the footprint of the museum with gathering spaces, exhibition spaces, a café with an exterior amphitheater and an auditorium. The light-filled café and gathering spaces will be located at the north side of the building for optimal views of the water and easy access to the boat shuttle. The shore, which is currently private, will be made publicly accessible with these new spaces. Framtid’s exhibition spaces will be placed farther back into the building and be equipped with full light controls to create sensory experiences; passageways connect the new exhibition spaces to the museum’s other three wings. “An important aspect of polar expeditions was research on climate and the environment,” the architects noted. “Like the crews of Fram, Gjøa and Maud, the museum’s guests will be inspired to seek knowledge on environmental education in regard to current climate change and sustainable solutions.” + Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter Images via Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter

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Fram Museum extension is dedicated to environmental education

Modern, energy-efficient office harvests rainwater in Surat

November 13, 2020 by  
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New Delhi-based multidisciplinary firm Urbanscape Architects has recently completed the Sangini House, a mixed-use office space in the Gujarati city of Surat. Designed for flexibility, energy efficiency and user comfort, the eight-story office building breaks the urban mold with its rounded and partly perforated form, which is softened by lush plantings that drape over the balconies. The project also integrates high-performance energy, rainwater harvesting and drip irrigation systems as part of a goal to achieve the green ‘Platinum Rating’ from the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). Commissioned by construction company the Sangini group, the Sagini House in Surat consists of two floors of commercial space and four floors of office space. A site-specific solar analysis informed the orientation and design of the building to maximize access to natural light while minimizing the effects of unwanted glare. As a result, the architects clad part of the building with a jali -inspired stone facade in Red Agra. The three-dimensional perforations let in light and provide shade, while giving the building an attractive, patterned look from afar. The front facade of the building projects outward with a series of sheltered and cantilevered outdoor balconies covered with greenery. Related: A modern home in India stays naturally cool without AC Inside, column-free office spaces make the most of the building’s access to natural light. Exposed concrete is used primarily for the walls and ceilings; however, reclaimed wood and other timbers are inserted to lend a sense of warmth. Other natural materials , such as stone and glass, are also deliberately left unpainted and exposed. “The architecture and design of Sangini House explores ways in which it can respond to the context and spirit of the heritage in which it stands,” the architects explained. “The office building for the Sangini group, a leading construction firm delivering technical excellence in building design, characterizes new strategies for a flexible, column-free office space that creates a new urban venture in the city’s dense business district.” + Urbanscape Architects Photography by Noughts and Crosses via Urbanscape Architects

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Modern, energy-efficient office harvests rainwater in Surat

French housing project I Park has a double-skinned green facade

November 12, 2020 by  
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Located in Montpellier, a historic city near the south of France on the Mediterranean Sea, “I Park” is a housing project with a plant-covered facade that catches the eye even from afar. Developed across the street from the city’s new town hall, the building was designed by NBJ Architectes and completed in 2019. I Park features eight levels of variable layers and 4,000 square meters of space, constituting an urban build front in a dividing line with the busy street. Right next to the project’s site sits a public park that offers unobstructed views of green spaces and a river to the inhabitants. To allow for a distance between the public and private spaces, a landscape band adjoins the project site as well. Related: Architects envision a green, solar-powered skyscraper While the base of the building is treated with stamped concrete, the body of the project is made up on a unified double-facade . This facade consists of two skins to help air flow and support ventilation of the intermediate cavity, while also allowing adaptability to each orientation in connection with the direct environment. The designers came up with a unique composition for the urban facade, a sequence of three structures that interconnect with each other to form a single entity. Strategically placed planter boxes line the front, appearing to climb up the face of the building and scatter throughout the remaining sides sporadically. Trees and green spaces are included on the roof as well, though not as prevalent as the facade. The reflective glass on the neighboring building adds a special aspect to the project by projecting light onto the plants; the green facade and mirrored cladding seem to play off each other to represent the discrepancy between nature and the city. According to the architects, the project will also serve as a base for research and experimentation on Mediterranean climate living conditions. + NBJ Architectes Photography by photoarchitecture via v2com

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French housing project I Park has a double-skinned green facade

Smart home with AI sits above a nature reserve in Prague

November 10, 2020 by  
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Villa Sophia by COLL COLL celebrates the connection between technology and nature. A  smart home  with artificial intelligence, the house sits on the Trója hillside above a nature reserve with stunning views of Prague. The villa’s technological aspects feature blue light eliminating house lights and self-moving doors to aid in natural ventilation, while the green roof contributes to the building’s energetic balance. According to the architects, many of the structural and material construction choices are inspired by sustainability and durability. Samples of materials were tested for strength, elasticity stability, chemical stability and permanence before use. The house includes a  green roof  that is exposed from above, contributing to colorful blooms of plants and flowers throughout the seasons. This roof helps balance the building both energetically and aesthetically. Terraces around the house follow an unfolding star design that dissolves into the overgrown garden, which routinely sees a wide variety of wild animals. Related: Architecture students design and build a LEED Platinum smart home in Kansas The smart home comes completely connected, integrated with a Sysloop system platform and EMPYREUM Information Technologies  artificial intelligence . To aid healthy sleep cycles, all of the house lights operate in the full spectrum of light (RGBW) to slowly eliminate harsh blue light components. For natural air ventilation, the doors operate on linear magnets. One wing of the house is dedicated to music, with a concert room that uses A.I. to play musical pieces or unique melodies to accompany the residents’ musical performances. Apart from the house’s environmental and technological features, the property also enjoys panoramic views of  Prague’s  Dejvice Hotel International. The office looks out on the Libe? Gasholder, while the living room hosts views of the garden, and the bedroom offers a look into the treetops thanks to a descending terrain. To ensure that surrounding homes can also enjoy the panoramic city views, Villa Sophia sits at the shortest possible height. + COLL COLL Photography by BoysPlayNice

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Smart home with AI sits above a nature reserve in Prague

This Oaxacan oasis uses low-maintenance local materials

November 6, 2020 by  
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On a paradisal plot between the Pacific Ocean and the Oaxacan mountain range, Mexican architecture firm  anonimous  has completed Casa Cova, a two-family vacation home with spectacular views of the ocean. Located in the tourist destination of Puerto Escondido, Mexico, the holiday home comprises two linear compounds — one for each family — that flank a shared swimming pool, communal living area, dining space and bar in the center. A system of parallel concrete walls enclose the compounds and help frame views of the water, while a palette of locally-sourced natural materials helps tie the architecture to the landscape.  Casa Cova features a U-shaped layout, with the private bedrooms located in the “arms” of the home. Each arm comprises three pavilions: a master suite with framed views of the  Pacific Ocean , two kids’ bedrooms with private bathrooms, and a hammock area. Wooden shutters divided into three parts fold back to completely open up the interior to the outdoors. The indoor/outdoor connection is further enhanced with a series of interlocking open courtyards and breaks in the parallel concrete walls that promote natural ventilation from the ocean.  The two private wings flank a large volume in the center that contains a multipurpose area and a linear  swimming pool . The central volume also contains service spaces such as the kitchen, laundry room and a machine room that are all strategically tucked away so as not to detract from views of the Pacific Ocean. Also, the building is elevated five feet off the ground to mitigate flooding.  Related: This glamping hideout in Bali is made entirely out of bamboo To integrate the building into the landscape, the architects lined the walls and ceilings with  locally-sourced  dried palm tree leaves, used Parota wood for furnishings and chose regional low-maintenance vegetation for landscaping. Long ‘palapa’ — a regional cover made from dried palm tree leaves — tops the roofs to provide shade and natural cooling. + anonimous Images via anonimous

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Denmark to cull millions of minks to prevent spread of mutant coronavirus

November 6, 2020 by  
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The Danish government has announced plans to cull all of the minks in the country’s mink farms to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus to humans. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said that the minks are transmitting a new form of the coronavirus to humans, a situation that could spiral out of control. According to Frederiksen, a coronavirus-mapping agency has detected a mutated virus in several patients. Twelve individuals in the northern part of the country were diagnosed with a mutant form of the coronavirus, which is believed to have been contracted from the minks. Related: 1 million minks culled in Spain, the Netherlands Denmark is among the leading countries in mink farming. Its minks are used to produce fur , which is supplied to other parts of the world. These animals have been found to be a cause for concern relating to the transmission of the virus. According to Health Minister Magnus Heunicke, about half of the 783 humans infected with the coronavirus in northern Denmark have links to the mink farms. “It is very, very serious,” Frederiksen said. “Thus, the mutated virus in minks can have devastating consequences worldwide.” The government is now estimating that about $785 million will be required to cull the 15 million minks in the country. According to Mogens Gensen, Denmark’s minister for food, 207 mink farms are now infected. This number is alarming, considering that by this time last month, 41 farms were infected . Further, the virus has began spreading throughout the western peninsula. To date, Denmark has registered 50,530 confirmed coronavirus cases and 729 deaths. It is feared that if the situation is not contained, the numbers may get worse. To avoid this, Denmark started culling millions of minks last month, and the same is expected to continue for some time. Via Huffington Post Image via Jo-Anne McArthur

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Denmark to cull millions of minks to prevent spread of mutant coronavirus

A clever, garden-filled facelift revives a derelict building in Denmark

November 5, 2020 by  
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Copenhagen-based architecture firm Tegnestuen LOKAL has radically reinvented one of the “ugliest” buildings in a Frederiksberg neighborhood with an innovative facade renovation that brings residents closer to nature and each other. The project — dubbed Ørsted Gardens — is the transformation of a 1960s concrete building that was notorious for its unwelcoming and dilapidated appearance. Instead of a simple facade renovation, the architects decided to dramatically alter the building’s appearance by inserting a series of triangular glass bays that serve as semi-private decks with 50 small gardens.  What began as an ordinary facade renovation aimed at protecting the concrete balconies from water damage gradually morphed into a complete overhaul of the front facade during the design process. Instead of simply reinforcing the open balconies with glazed panels, the architects inserted triangular glass bays to create new semi-private social spaces that would encourage random meetings between residents. The addition of operable glass panels also allow the balconies to be comfortably used from spring to fall and helps to buffer the apartments from the noise of the heavily trafficked road in front of the building. Related: HHF Architects’ renovated a group of crumbling buildings to help revitalize an entire neighborhood “A central aspect of the renovation is the notion that the building should contribute positively to the experience of the street,” the architects said. “The monotonous façade of the past is broken up into smaller geometric entities creating a sense of rhythm as you pass the building signaling a residential building, comprised of many families and individuals.” In addition to introducing an attractive, geometric facade that can be appreciated from both inside the building and the street level, the architects have also infused the apartments with greenery. Each glass bay accommodates a small garden that grows across the glazed facade to blur the boundaries between inside and out. Residents are also free to use their semi-private garden plots to grow decorative plants or vegetables. + Tegnestuen LOKAL Photography by Hampus Berndtson via Tegnestuen LOKAL

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Sunderlands riverfront to house UKs first carbon-neutral community

November 5, 2020 by  
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Northern England’s post-industrial port city of Sunderland will soon welcome a major riverside regeneration as part of an eco-friendly masterplan designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects and Proctor & Matthews Architects . Developed for Sunderland City Council and developers Igloo Regeneration, the urban revitalization project will transform a 33.2-hectare site on both sides of the River Wear into the country’s first carbon-neutral urban quarter.  Designed to “reinvent the heart of Sunderland,” the masterplan design will include 1,000 new energy-efficient homes in four mixed-use residential neighborhoods for a population of 2,500. Each neighborhood will have a distinctive character and feature a mix of three housing types inspired by local and regional antecedents, from the iconic Sunderland cottage to the Wearside maisonettes. The masterplan also includes 1 million square feet of office space in a new central business district that’s expected to provide up to 10,000 new jobs. Related: PAU unveils carbon-neutral Sunnyside Yard masterplan in NYC The five urban districts — Vaux, Sheepfolds, Farringdon Row, Heart of the City and Ayre’s Quay — will be connected by a new Riverside Park that will be the main focal point of the development and account for approximately half of the project’s total site area. St. Mary’s Boulevard will also be upgraded to better connect the riverside to the city through the park, while new bridges will strengthen connections between the communities on both sides of the river. Cultural highlights will include the Culture House, a state-of-the-art library and community hub, as well as a new arts center, by Flanagan Lawrence, to be housed within a renovated 1907 fire station. “The masterplan aims to maximise the drama of ‘living on the edge’, with views of the river, the gorge and abundant green space,” the architects explained. “The restoration and re-invention of a built edge on the cliff tops overlooking the river will create a signature silhouette for the city.” Renewables and smart energy networks will be promoted throughout the masterplan to help achieve the project’s carbon-neutral status. + FaulknerBrowns Architects Images via FaulknerBrowns Architects

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The Night Ministry building is a stunning showcase of adaptive reuse

October 27, 2020 by  
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The new headquarters for Chicago’s The Night Ministry is a three-story adaptive reuse project that truly showcases what this building stands for: refuge and recovery. The design makes the most of an existing structure to become a welcoming center for the community. The Night Ministry provides housing, healthcare and help to those in the Chicago area who need it. According to the organization’s website, 86,000 people in Chicago experience homelessness every year. This organization wants to help the community, so it makes sense that the nonprofit should be housed in a building that adds to the community in itself. Related: Community First! provides affordable, permanent micro-housing Chicago-based firm Wheeler Kearns Architects designed the headquarters, which is located in the Mural Building in the Bucktown neighborhood. An old loading dock was converted into an accessible entrance, while the first floor of the building has become The Crib, an overnight shelter for young adults. This floor includes a sleeping room, administration offices, a serving kitchen, meeting rooms and a multipurpose space. The mural in the multipurpose area is actually carried through the entire building, continuing up to the next two floors. The overall design is meant to relieve stress. The glass doors and plentiful windows allow light to enter the space, creating a feeling of openness while also reducing reliance on artificial lighting during the daytime. Landscaping and trees create a natural screen to block the highway and create a peaceful atmosphere. “The Night Ministry is thrilled with its new space in Bucktown. The ability to provide guests at The Crib with modern, larger facilities has already shown several benefits, such as the guests sleeping better at night,” said Paul W. Hamann, president and CEO of The Night Ministry. “We worked with Wheeler Kearns Architects to develop adequate storage space, so that youth don’t need to worry about the security of their belongings at night. The upstairs space for administrative and program leadership functions allows us to operate more efficiently with room to grow. We couldn’t be happier.” The Night Ministry seeks to lift the community up through not just services but also beautiful design. This is adaptive reuse at its best. The new Night Ministry headquarters sets an example for others to follow. + Wheeler Kearns Architects Photography by Kendall McCaughterty and Hall + Merrick Photographers via Wheeler Kearns Architects

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The Night Ministry building is a stunning showcase of adaptive reuse

Montana Heritage Center renovation will celebrate the states history and geology

October 23, 2020 by  
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A multimillion dollar expansion and renovation project is underway in Helena, Montana for the Montana Historical Society. Led by 80-year-old architecture firm Cushing Terrell, the Montana Heritage Center renovation project includes a 66,0000-square-foot expansion and the renovation of almost 67,000 square feet of existing space. The project will focus on the local land, with expansions appearing to emerge from the earth to reference the Lewis Overthrust, a geophysical event that helped define the state’s landscape with a collision of tectonic plates that drove one plate over another. The expansion project, to be completed in 2024, is 10 years in the making and will cost $52.7 million, nearly doubling the size of the existing 1952 Veterans and Pioneers Memorial Building. Inside, the building will preserve the stories of Montana’s people as a repository for historic collections and resources. When it is completed, the center will serve as a place of learning and discovery for local residents and visitors alike. Related: LEED Platinum Stockman Bank harvests rainwater and solar power in Missoula Designers are pursuing USGBC LEED and IWBI WELL certifications in an effort to highlight sustainable architecture. Continuing to pay homage to the existing structure’s history, the design uses the space between two buildings to connect the old with the new via a dynamic entryway. “The vision for who we can be in the future really has also been built into this process, bringing together diverse voices from across our state from east and west, north and south, our tribal nations, men and women, young and old — it will be reflected right here,” said Montana Governor Steve Bullock. “Those voices will shape its architecture and landscaping the way that our mountains and our plains and those winding rivers have shaped each and every one of us. This building design also looks to the future by incorporating sustainable features that will showcase the ingenuity and the values that make Montana such a special place.” For exterior landscaping , the design includes features and plants that mimic the Montana plains, grasslands, foothills, forests and mountain landscapes on a smaller scale, with a trail linking all of the ecosystems together. Thanks to this design, visitors to the center will have an opportunity to experience and feel connected to the diverse Montana backdrop as well as those who have lived within the state’s borders for generations. + Cushing Terrell Images via Cushing Terrell

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Montana Heritage Center renovation will celebrate the states history and geology

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