Post-earthquake home in China wins World Building of the Year 2017

November 20, 2017 by  
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A humanitarian project built with affordable, low-tech materials has won this year’s World Building of the Year at the tenth annual World Architecture Festival . Designed by The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Kunming University of Science and Technology, the award-winning Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Project is a prototype house located in China’s Guangming Village, an area devastated by the 2014 Ludian earthquake. The rammed-earth house was recognized for its innovative reconstruction strategy merging modern strategies with local building materials to create an energy-efficient, earthquake-resistant home that can be affordably built by local residents. The post-earthquake prototype home was built for an elderly couple and as a demonstration project to show villagers how rammed earth construction can be modern, economical, and earthquake resistant. After the 2014 earthquake flattened many traditional rammed-earth buildings, villagers sought brick-concrete construction as a safer alternative but found it cost-prohibitive. The designers and researchers developed an anti-seismic earth building strategy to turn the conversation back to the local building material, while introducing new construction components to reinforce building strength and thermal performance. The walls of the home are built of local materials , such as clay, sand, and grass. Steel bars and concrete belts are embedded into the walls for structural integrity, while double-glazed windows and an insulated roof improve thermal performance. The building’s emphasis on comfort, natural light, and respect for local architecture forms has presumably helped the new building strategy (built to meet local seismic codes) gain acceptance among the community. Related: Poland’s National Museum in Szczecin wins World Building of the Year 2016 “The architects succeeded in translating ‘four walls and a roof’ into something which, through architectural commitment, becomes a project that is much more profound,” WAF Programme Director Paul Finch commented. “This building is a demonstration that architecture is just as relevant in the poorest of communities as it is in the richest.” + World Architecture Festival

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Post-earthquake home in China wins World Building of the Year 2017

Glowing bamboo pavilion promotes ecological design in Hong Kong

November 22, 2016 by  
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The approximately 350-square-meter ZCB Bamboo Pavilion was built using Cantonese bamboo scaffolding techniques and made from 475 large bamboo poles bent onsite and hand-tied together with metal wire. The pavilion sits adjacent to the Zero Carbon Building (ZBC), a three-story plus-energy office building constructed in 2012 and topped with solar panels. In contrast to the ZBC’s square edges, the bamboo pavilion is curvaceous with a large diagrid shell structure that folds down into three hollow columns atop concrete footings. The geometrically complex structure is lightweight and made with digital form-finding and real-time physics simulation tools that mitigate inconsistencies in the bamboo. A tailor-made white tensile fabric is stretched over the structure and its transparent quality creates a glowing effect when the pavilion is lit from the inside. The pavilion has a seating capacity of 200 people. Related: Studio Mumbai unveils handmade pavilion crafted from seven kilometers of bamboo “Bamboo is a widely available, environmentally friendly material that grows abundantly and at remarkably high speeds in the Asia-Pacific region, Africa and the Americas,” says a statement on the Chinese University of Hong Kong School of Architecture website. “It is an excellent renewable natural resource which captures CO? and converts it into oxygen. It is strong, light and easy to process and transport. In Hong Kong, bamboo mostly appears in temporary theatres, scaffolding, or structures for religious festivals. Globally, it is usually applied as a surrogate for wood or steel, rather than in ways that utilise the material’s unique bending properties and strength. In contrast, the ZCB Bamboo Pavilion presents an alternative architectural application that maximises these latent material properties.” + Chinese University of Hong Kong’s School of Architecture + World Architecture Festival Images via Chinese University of Hong Kong’s School of Architecture

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Glowing bamboo pavilion promotes ecological design in Hong Kong

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