German slang wraps around MVRDV-designed building for Munich

November 23, 2017 by  
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German architecture takes a playful turn in WERK12, a mixed-use building designed by MVRDV that’s just broke ground in Munich . Located in a post-industrial site in the emerging Werksviertel neighborhood, WERK12 draws inspiration from its industrial heritage and modern graffiti culture. To set the mood for the stylish spaces within, MVRDV teamed up with artists Engelmann and Engl to wrap the building in 5-meter-tall German slang lettering that light up at night. Located near Munich’s East Station, the 9,600-square-meter WERK12 was commissioned by OTEC GmbH & Co. KG as part of a 40-hectare urban regeneration masterplan that will create approximately 1,200 new homes and up to 7,000 new jobs. The mixed-use building will comprise loft-style offices, restaurants, sports facilities, a skyline swimming pool, and restaurants for nightlife and gastronomy. The façade’s use of giant German words, found in various youth and subculture groups, as public signage is a nod to the graffiti culture and extensive use of signage found around the area. “WERK12 is totally unique and entirely new for Munich and is a strong contrast to the historic centre just ten minutes away”, says Jacob van Rijs, MVRDV co-founder. “It is a flexible and completely user adaptable building with spaces that can transform over time with bold and expressive texts on the façade are visible from a distance. This transparent building becomes a new focal point on the new Plaza that will form the heart of the Werksviertel.” Related: China’s new futuristic library is unlike any we’ve seen before The five-floor building will be optimized for natural daylight and feature tall ceilings and airy, open spaces flexible enough for multiple uses. The high ceilings, all over 5 meter in height, allows for split levels to break up the space and add visual interest. MVRDV pushed the elevator shaft and fire escape stairs to the outside of the building to create the deep and flexible interiors, while turning the outdoor stairways into a focal point punctuated by 3.25-meter-wide terraces . WERK12 is slated for completion in February 2019. + MVRDV

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German slang wraps around MVRDV-designed building for Munich

Recycled bedsprings transformed into an art pavilion at Dubai Design Week

November 23, 2017 by  
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Old copper bedsprings have been transformed into a surprisingly chic exhibition space at this year’s Dubai Design Week. Fahed + Architects designed Pavilion Abwab (“doors” in Arabic) to house a curated selection of 47 designs by design talent from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia (MENASA). The cloud of mesh metal made of locally sourced materials takes inspiration from nature and showcases the firm’s commitment to environmentally friendly practices. The temporary Abwab pavilion consolidates all the designs into a single space, unlike Dubai Design Week’s former practice of commissioning independent pavilions for six MENASA countries. Designers from 15 different MENASA countries were represented this year at the exhibition that was split into eight categories: interpretation, mimicry, intersection, geometry, tactility, artisanal, nostalgia, and re-use . Related: Beautiful timber pavilion unfolds like origami Fahed + Architects sourced the used bedsprings from local waste management company bee’ah . A series of interconnected posts supported the cloud of mesh. “Set against a large mass of buildings within the d3 corridors, the structure’s silhouette will be reminiscent of impetuous ocean waves, coral clusters in a reef and clouds in the sky, referencing the practice’s environmental commitment,” reads a statement on Dubai Design Week . “The pavilion will distill daylight to create patterns on the exhibited works and on the ground.” + Fahed + Architects Via Dezeen Images by Photo Solutions

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Recycled bedsprings transformed into an art pavilion at Dubai Design Week

This prefab Escape Pod rotates to catch the suns rays

November 21, 2017 by  
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Dreaming of your very own backyard escape? The cozy Escape Pod may be just what you’re looking for. UK-based firm Podmakers designed and crafted the Escape Pod, a cedar shingle-clad prefabricated unit that can be tailored to suit a variety of uses, including garden room and writer’s studio. The spherical unit takes inspiration from nature, from its round organic shape to the extensive use of timber inside and out. Designed to meet local UK planning laws, each 7-square-meter Escape Pod is built offsite in a Gloucestershire workshop and then delivered and installed using a forklift or crane. The pod is elevated half a meter off the ground and can be rotated to optimize natural light and views through European Oak-framed windows. An aircraft-style plug door opens up to a snug adaptable interior outfitted with insulation, electrical wiring, and heating (choice of a wood-burning stove or underfloor heating). “The organic nature of the Escape Pod’s materials contrasts with the engineering employed in its design,” write Podmakers. “To achieve its curved form, the pod’s design exploits innovative CNC milling and making techniques. This enables it to be fabricated with precision in the workshop, entirely from wood. Birch plywood , chosen for its strength and aesthetic qualities, forms the structure. It is exposed internally; from the pod’s framework to the bespoke laminated door hinge.” Related: Archipod’s Spherical Garden Office Pod The base price for the Escape Pod starts at £19,800. Podmakers developed four recommended layouts—garden room, office, snug (bedroom), and work studio—however the pod can be customized to meet different needs. + Podmakers Via ArchDaily Images © Tim Brotherton

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This prefab Escape Pod rotates to catch the suns rays

Ole Scheeren unveils designs for a stunning sky forest in Vietnam

November 15, 2017 by  
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International architecture firm Buro Ole Scheeren just unveiled designs for Empire City, a greenery-infused skyscraper set to rise in Ho Chi Minh City . Expected to become Vietnam’s tallest building at 1,093 feet, the development softens its monolithic presence with sinuous, organic-inspired lines and abundant greenery that references the tropical environment. Empire City’s eye-catching highlight is the “Sky Forest,” an elevated garden that juts out of the building in a series of rice paddy-like terraces. Set on a peninsula in the Saigon River, Empire City comprises three towers that rise from a “ mountain-shaped ” podium. The buildings eschew hard corners for soft, organic shapes and landscaped terraces. Glazing wraps around the building and trees are planted inside and out of the mixed-use development, which will contain residences, a hotel, retail, offices, and public spaces. Related: Thailand’s tallest building opens with new green spaces for Bangkok Empire City will stand out from the skyline, not only because of its incredible height, but also due to the shape of the Sky Forest observation deck that breaks from the sleek columnar shape of the high-rise into a series of staggered amoeba-shaped terraces. The Sky Forest will be located on the upper half of the Empire 88 Tower, the development’s tallest structure at 88 stories and topped with a top-floor events space called Cloud Space. + Buro Ole Scheeren Via Dezeen

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Historic French building stuffed with plastic bags looks ready to explode

November 15, 2017 by  
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A shockingly large number of plastic bags appeared to fill a historic stone building to near bursting in Bordeaux last month. The eye-catching installation is the most recent work of Luzinterruptus , a design collective famous for raising environmental awareness with plastic art installations. Created for the FAB Festival de Bourdeaux, the temporary artwork, titled The Plastic We Live With, turned into a light installation at night evocative of illuminated stained glass. Inspired by France’s ban of single-use plastic bags passed last year, The Plastic We Live With draws attention to the staggering amount of plastic waste in the world. “The idea was to graphically visualize, in a way that could be understood by all, the plastic excess that is around us, a recurrent subject in our work and in life, since practically everything we consume is either made with this material or it is wrapped in it or we are eating it in small particles in the meat and the fish we ingest,” Luzinterruptus wrote. Related: PlasticWaste Labyrinth is a stunning look inside our plastic waste problem The team, aided by 30 volunteers from the Asociacion Bénévoles en Action, collected thousands of plastic bags and recycled plastic for months from the city stores and warehouses. The bags were assembled in the openings of the building’s facade and lit from behind at night. The installation was on view for four days, after which the plastic was taken down and recycled with the building returned to its original condition. + Luzinterruptus Images via Lola Martínez

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Historic French building stuffed with plastic bags looks ready to explode

This human-sized birdhouse for two is perched among the treetops

November 14, 2017 by  
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If you’ve ever wished you could make like a bird and roost in the trees, you’ll love this charming birdhouse-shaped hideaway nestled in a British Columbia forest. Calgary-based design firm Studio North recently completed Birdhut, a cozy nest for people and birds alike. Built of reclaimed pine felled by a recent fire, the tiny 100-square-foot structure uses locally scavenged materials to mimic a bird’s nest-building process. Accessible via a bridge to the hillside, the cozy one-room Birdhut sleeps two (and a dog). Salvaged lodgepodge pines were used for the cross-braced structure, while planks reclaimed from a cabin deck are used for the platform and cladding. Western Red Cedar rounded shingles clad the facade and 8-millimeter clear polycarbonate panels top the roof, letting ample natural daylight into the cabin. Two circular windows let in natural ventilation. Related: Enchanting birdhouses inspired by famous architecture Twelve smaller circular holes punctuate the facade, each designed for different native birds . “The pileated woodpecker for instance, is a larger bird that seeks out a nesting space 15 to 25 feet above ground, with a 4” entry hole and an 8”x8”x24” cavity,” wrote the designers. “The warbler, on the other hand, is a smaller bird that typically nests 9 feet above ground with a 1 1/8” hole and a 4”x4”x6” cavity. Considering both the largest and smallest varieties of local birds, the hut sits 9 feet off the ground, with its peak at 20 feet above the ground and birdhouses scattered in between.” + Studio North Images by Mark Erickson

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This human-sized birdhouse for two is perched among the treetops

MAD Architects-designed residences rise like mountains in a UNESCO Heritage site

November 14, 2017 by  
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MAD Architects just completed the Huangshan Mountain Village, their latest nature-inspired project that mimics the curves of China’s most beautiful mountains in a UNESCO World Heritage site. Located on a ridge, the developments comprise ten unique buildings that rise like individual peaks overlooking Taiping Lake. The use of nature as inspiration creates, in the architects’ words, a new type of village landscape “where architecture becomes nature, and nature dissolves into architecture.” The Huangshan Mountain Village was created as part of a larger tourism masterplan for Huangshan Taiping Lake, a landscape rich in greenery, granite peaks, and historical significance. To respect the local topography , the architects designed each building with undulating lines that respond to the mountainous terrain and nearby terraced tea fields. Each structure juts out from the forest canopy like craggy granite mountains sculpted by the natural forces of wind and water. Spacious balconies and large strips of glazing bring the outdoors in. Related: MAD Architects Unveil Mountain-Shaped Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Center “The impression we have of Taiping Lake in Huangshan is vague: each visit to this place yields different views, different impressions,” said Founder Ma Yansong . “It is a bit mysterious, like ancient Shanshui landscape paintings that are never based on realism, but rather, the imagination. This inexplicable feeling is always poetic; it is obscure and indistinct. This is the basic idea: we hope that residents will not just look at the scenery, but see themselves in relation to this environment, attention that is brought inward. In observing oneself, one perhaps begins to notice a different self than the one present in the city.” + MAD Architects Via ArchDaily Images © Laurian Ghinitoiu

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MAD Architects-designed residences rise like mountains in a UNESCO Heritage site

Zaha Hadid Architects breaks ground on Mexicos City tallest residential tower

November 10, 2017 by  
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Construction has begun on the Bora Residential Tower, a high-rise designed by Zaha Hadid Architects that, when completed, will be the tallest residential tower in Mexico City . Located in the Santa Fe business district in the west of the capital, the luxury complex features Zaha Hadid’s recognizable tapered shape at its base, where the building curves inward before flaring out into “swirling” canopies. The site-specific building optimizes access to natural light and views, while mitigating seismic conditions. Commissioned in 2015 by Nemesis Capital , the Bora Residential Tower occupies prime real estate within walking distance to schools, theaters, cafes, restaurants, and the new Santa Fe Transit Hub that will connect to the city’s metro network next year. The 28-hectare La Mexicana park lies adjacent as well as three universities and the regional offices of Fortune 500 firms including the likes of Apple , Microsoft, and Amazon. Boasting over 50 floors, the record-breaking Bora will comprise over 220 apartments of one, two, and three bedrooms designed for diverse clientele from first-time homeowners and families to retirees. To maximize access to natural light and panoramic views, each apartment features private balconies that extrude vertically. The building’s base tapers inward and then flares out into canopies to shade street-level civic spaces with restaurants and shops. Related: Beautiful co-working space takes over a former industrial factory in Mexico City “The tower’s structure has also been designed for optimum flexibility and ductility, as well as an overall reduction in its weight, to best respond in seismic conditions, with the ten-storey canopies at its base providing additional lateral stability,” wrote Zaha Hadid Architects. + Zaha Hadid Architects Images via Zaha Hadid Architects and LabTop

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Zaha Hadid Architects breaks ground on Mexicos City tallest residential tower

This swanky desert guesthouse was fashioned out of a former horse barn

November 9, 2017 by  
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This stunning modernist guest home bears little similarity to its previous form: an old concrete barn for horses. Design-build firm The Construction Zone led the adaptive reuse project, the Barn Guest House, transforming the old horse stalls into room dividers. Full-height north-facing glass gives the guesthouse an indoor-outdoor character that embraces a desert garden In Phoenix. Topped with a flat overhanging roof, the 750-square-foot guest home contains a master suite, kitchen, and living area separated by concrete walls. Timber, seen in the Douglas fir -clad roof and furnishings and cabinetry, imbue the home with much needed warmth in a predominately cool-toned palette of concrete, glass, and black steel. Related: Atelier Data Transforms an Old Horse Stable into a Simple but Stunning Home in Portugal The interior decor is kept minimal to maintain the home’s sense of lightness in the landscape, while a few pops of red hues and natural timber tones break up the gray color scheme. The Barn Guest House looks out over an outdoor entertaining patio , bocce ball court, jacuzzi, and cacti-studded gardens. + The Construction Zone Via Dezeen Images by Bill Timmerman

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This swanky desert guesthouse was fashioned out of a former horse barn

Climate change art illustrates sea level rise in Venice during COP 23

November 9, 2017 by  
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Artist Andreco has unveiled his latest art installation, Climate 04-Sea Level Rise in Venice, to raise awareness of the climate change conference COP 23 currently underway in Bonn, Germany. Introduced as a project promoting dialogue between the arts and sciences, the climate change-inspired installation calls attention to the effects of potential sea level rise in Venice. The site-specific project consists of three parts: a wall mural, a sculpture, and an academic conference. Climate 04-Sea Level Rise is the fourth iteration of Andreco’s ongoing Climate project, started in Paris in November 2015 during COP 21 . For each conference since, the artist has realized various site-specific installations that take inspiration from recent scientific research and estimates in climate studies. From the introduction of the new installation: “Andreco’s aim for this project is to underline the weaknesses of the territory where his interventions will take place. While in Bari the main theme was the accelerating desertification caused by the rising temperatures, in Venice the artist’s focus is the sea level rise.” Related: Almost 200 countries gather at COP23 to accelerate climate action Andreco’s interventions in Venice begins with a giant mural , located next to Canal Grande in Fondamenta Santa Lucia, that represents his artistic interpretation about estimates and data regarding sea level rise in the Italian city. The mural is made of long curvaceous blue lines, punctuated by equations and mathematical symbols, mimicking waves that rise high above a person’s height. A crystalline steel sculpture to the side contains native coastal plants that speak to the importance of the landscape in combating storm surges. The last part of the intervention was a series of talks by international researchers held to stimulate public discussion about climate change. + Andreco

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Climate change art illustrates sea level rise in Venice during COP 23

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