Studio NAB proposes rebuilding Notre Dame with a greenhouse and apiary

May 2, 2019 by  
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After a devastating blaze consumed the Cathedral of Notre Dame’s wooden roof and iconic central spire, architects around the world have been putting forth their visionary ideas for rebuilding the Parisian landmark. One such architectural firm is Paris-based Studio NAB , which has made headlines with its proposal to modernize the 13th-century cathedral with a massive educational greenhouse and apiary. Dubbed “In Green For All of Us,” the design builds on the French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe’s hopes that the cathedral rehabilitation be “adapted to issues of our time.” Rather than simply restore the Cathedral of Notre Dame back to its former state, Studio NAB has suggested recreating the original silhouette with new materials. Instead of timber-frame construction, the new roof and spire would be constructed from gold-painted steel with large glass panels. The rooftop greenhouse would be used to provide professional training for the poor and education for the general public on topics of urban agriculture , horticulture and permaculture. “On this fire and in the period of crisis that the country and the world are currently going through, we are lucky to build a place of reference where conservation, enrichment of an exceptional heritage and taking into account societal challenges in ecology and equal opportunities,” the architects explained. “Protecting the living, reintroducing biodiversity , educating consciences and being social, are all symbols, faithful to the values of France and those of the church, that we could defend and promote for this project.” Related: SUPERFARM design envisions an urban vertical farm that is energy self-sufficient Inspired by the nearly 200,000 honeybees that survived the fire on Notre Dame’s lower roof, Studio NAB wants to transform the central spire into a glass-walled apiary with a larger number of hives capable of producing honey for sale. In homage to the roof’s original framework — nicknamed “the forest” after its many ancient timbers — the architects will also reuse salvaged wood as planters and other structures within the greenhouse. + Studio NAB Renderings via Studio NAB; photos via Wikimedia ( 1 ,  2 )

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Studio NAB proposes rebuilding Notre Dame with a greenhouse and apiary

Inspiring zero-energy church in Iowa embraces nature in more ways than one

April 5, 2019 by  
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An inspiring new church in Coralville, Iowa is lifting spirits and bringing people closer to nature — while generating all the energy it needs on site . Iowa City-based firm Neumann Monson Architects designed the church for the Unitarian Universalist Society; the solar-powered building embodies the Society’s core principles with its organic architecture emphasizing sustainability, accessibility and flexibility. The energy-efficient building is currently on track to achieve Zero Energy Building (ZEB) certification from the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). Located on an existing open clearing so as to minimize the building’s impact on the forest, the Unitarian Universalist Society was built to replace an old structure that had multiple levels and many steps. In contrast, the new building was designed for greater accessibility to create more inclusive spaces, and it radiates an uplifting feel with its high ceilings and sloped roof that culminates into a peak in a far corner. The 133,592-square-foot church includes seven religious classrooms and six offices. It was also designed with input from the congregation’s 300 members. Designed for net-zero energy, the church is an all-electric building powered with a geothermal heat pump system and solar photovoltaic panels located on the building’s west side. To further reduce the building’s environmental impact, the architects installed bioretention cells for capturing and filtering all stormwater runoff. The landscaping features native grasses and woodland walking trails that engage the surroundings and are complemented with accessible food gardens. Materials from the property’s existing residence — deconstructed by volunteers — were donated to local nonprofits. Visitors also have access to charging stations. Related: Canada’s largest net-zero energy college building opens in Ontario “The Unitarian Universalist Society facility harmonizes with its natural landscape to provide reflective spaces for worship, fellowship, religious education and administration,” the architects explained. “Beyond fully-glazed walls , the forest provides dappled intimacy. The sanctuary’s prow extends south, a stone’s throw from a mature evergreen grove. Services pause respectfully as deer and woodland creatures pass.” + Neumann Monson Architects Photography by Integrated Studio via Neumann Monson Architects

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Inspiring zero-energy church in Iowa embraces nature in more ways than one

Jaden Smith launches Water Box to aid with the Flint water crisis

March 8, 2019 by  
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For the past three years, the First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church has been battling the Flint water crisis by handing out clean water to locals. Volunteers with the organization started giving out bottled water every day of the week, but as donations decreased, they now distribute water over the course of three days. To assist, rapper Jaden Smith has just donated a portable water filtration unit called the Water Box, which can supply upward of 10 gallons of filtered water every minute. During donation days, the church usually runs out of supplies within a few hours, leaving many residents without access to clean water . The situation is disheartening to the volunteers and residents alike, but all of that is about to change. Related: Clothing made from recycled water bottles highlights the ongoing crisis in Flint Smith’s family, including Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, own a company in Glens Falls, New York, called JUST Water , which use large filtration systems to produce bottled water. The Water Box is a smaller version of the filtration system used at the JUST Water plant. The system removes harmful contaminants such as lead, and it will allow residents to fill their own water receptacles throughout the week. Church officials have been testing the Water Box for several weeks and have sent samples to a nearby lab to ensure all harmful contaminants have been removed. The tests will continue to be administered as long as the Water Box is in use. Residents in Flint can also view the weekly results on the company’s website. So far, there is only one Water Box installed at First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church, although Smith’s mom, Jada, has already committed to purchasing another unit for the city. Flint’s water problems began back in 2014. Corrosion in the water lines caused lead to leach into the water supply, potentially harming thousands of residents. Although the Flint water crisis is still a major concern, state officials stopped issuing bottled water in 2018 because the lead levels were not above federally mandated limits. Via Huffington Post Images via JUST Water

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Jaden Smith launches Water Box to aid with the Flint water crisis

Former convent in Valencia is reborn as an ornate entertainment hub

October 30, 2018 by  
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In the heart of Valencia, Spain , the old convent of San José has undergone a sensitive transformation that has turned the historic site into a vibrant gathering space for civic events, a food market and a soon-to-be hotel. Barcelona-based interior design practice Francesc Rifé Studio was tapped for the adaptive reuse project and inserted modern updates while preserving the property’s architectural integrity. The renovation project was completed this year under the name of Convent Carmen. Built in the 17th century, the church has been modified into the main access point for the site and been remade into a multifunctional venue and “21st-century sculpture.” Metal framework was installed to give the space a contemporary edge and to house all new light fixtures and other elements in order to leave the original church walls untouched. New audiovisual technical elements, for instance, including an adjustable color lighting system with RGB, was fitted into the structure. The designers also took cues from the church’s layout and emphasized the dome with three metal circles, from which a sculptural light fixture hangs. “Through this element was intended to develop an obvious past-future connection, and as it happened in the Renaissance the dome takes an essential role,” the architects wrote in the project statement. “This space for the celebration of the religious rite now becomes a privileged place for musicians, lecturers and a multitude of actors, which will make this one of the main participatory focuses of the city. The simplicity of this intervention demonstrates the importance of holding back and making little noise when the context already expresses its memories with force.” Related: Architects convert old Dutch church into a gorgeous library Outside the church, the garden has been redeveloped into a “gastronomic market.”  Shipping containers were repurposed into small-scale restaurants offering different types of cuisines, from fried Andalusian to Japanese sushi, all coordinated by Michelin-star chef Miguel Ángel Mayor. The casual setting, illuminated by fairy lights, features shared and varied seating options built mainly of tubular metal and phenolic surface boards dyed black. The addition of palms and other trees give the outdoor space an oasis-like feel. + Francesc Rifé Studio Photography by David Zarzoso via Francesc Rifé Studio

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Former convent in Valencia is reborn as an ornate entertainment hub

An energy-efficient modern church references Utahs mining history

October 11, 2018 by  
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Salt Lake City-based design practice Sparano + Mooney Architecture  designed a church for West Valley City, Utah that’s strikingly modern yet sensitive to the existing site context. Located near Bingham Canyon Copper Mine, the world’s deepest open pit mine and a major employer in the area, the church pays homage to the working class community’s mining and construction past with its material palette. The award-winning, LEED Silver-targeted church — named Saint Joseph the Worker Church after the patron saint of laborers — was completed on a budget of $4.5 million and spans 23,000 square feet. In order to comfortably seat 800 people within a reasonably close distance to the altar, Sparano + Mooney Architecture designed Saint Joseph the Worker Church in a circular form with rounded and thick board-formed concrete walls. In addition to the new 800-seat church, the 10-acre site also includes an administrative building with offices and meeting rooms, indoor and outdoor community gathering and fellowship spaces, a large walled courtyard centered on a water feature and ample landscaping. After the architects salvaged parts of the original, now-demolished church that was built in 1965, they added new elements of steel, copper and handcrafted timber to reference the area’s mining and construction past. “Drawing from this lineage, a palette of materials was selected that express the transformation of the raw material by the worker, revealing the craft and method of construction,” the architects explained. Related: Historic Australian church transformed into a stunning family home for five “These materials include textural walls of board-formed concrete, constructed in the traditional method of stacking rough sawn lumber; a rainscreen of clear milled cedar; vertical grain fir boards and timbers used to create the altar reredos and interior of the Day Chapel; flat seam copper panels form the cladding for the Day Chapel and skylight structure over the altar; and glazing components requiring a highly crafted assembly of laminated glazing with color inter-layers, acid etched glazing, and clear glass insulated units with mullion-less corners,” the firm said. “The design harkens back to the mining history of the early parish, and details ordinary materials to become extraordinary.” + Sparano + Mooney Architecture Images by Dana Sohm, Jeremy Bittermann and Sparano + Mooney Architecture

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An energy-efficient modern church references Utahs mining history

Heritage-listed church repurposed into modern solar-powered home in Brisbane

January 16, 2018 by  
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Brisbane-based architecture studio DAHA merged old and new with the Church House, an eye-catching modern home and adaptive reuse project. The unusual combination attaches a sleek structure of concrete, steel, and glass to a brick church, known as the Church of Figuration that was built in 1924. While the church’s position wasn’t moved, the architects carefully positioned the new-build based on climatic site conditions and to optimize passive heating and cooling and conditions for a photovoltaic solar array and water harvesting. The Church of Figuration was originally purchased as part of a $2.4million AUD hillside property in Norman Park, the sale came with the condition that the heritage-listed Church of Transfiguration be preserved . Thus, the architects kept the church as the property’s focal point by retaining sight lines: the heritage building is flanked by a tennis court on one side and a manicured lawn and landscape on the other. The elevated site provides sweeping views of the neighborhood. Related: Old converted church hides gorgeous modern interiors in London “The Church House extension is a sympathetic adaptation of an existing heritage church into a unique family home,” wrote the architects, who connected the church and extension with a dark zinc tunnel. “The extension responds to the grand scale and form of the existing church through robust materiality and formal gestures, creating balance between the old and the new.” Although the church’s facade has been kept intact, the interior character was changed to serve as the family’s entertainment room with a mezzanine-level home office. The extension houses three bedrooms and bathrooms. Interior designer Georgia Cannon carried out the minimalist aesthetic of cool-toned concrete, dark timber, steel, and glass. + DAHA Via ArchDaily Photos © Cathy Schusler

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Heritage-listed church repurposed into modern solar-powered home in Brisbane

Stunning chapel in Japan brings a fractal forest indoors

December 13, 2017 by  
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Not all chapels need stained glass windows and soaring archways to take your breath away. This Japanese timber chapel in Nagasaki injects a stunning fractal-like forest indoors for an instant wow factor. Yu Momoeda Architecture Office designed the minimalist chapel with floor-to-ceiling windows to take in sweeping views of the surrounding views of the national park and sea. The boxy 125-square-meter Agri Chapel is a modern interpretation of Oura-Tenshudo, Japan’s oldest timber gothic chapel and national treasure that’s also located in Nagasaki. In contrast to its 19th century predecessor, the new-build chapel is a modernist temple of glass and steel. Seven-meter-tall windows on all sides of the building frame different views of the landscape including the sea, park, mountains, and hills. Related: Mexico’s gorgeous Sunset Chapel looks like a gigantic boulder The tree-like wooden units inserted into the interior are made up of three layers with varying thickness of cedar . Steel rods provide horizontal support. The timber installation’s fractal pattern is based off of 45-degree rotations. Simple wooden furnishings complement the vertical timber supports in the otherwise all-white building. + Yu Momoeda Architecture Office Via ArchDaily

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Stunning chapel in Japan brings a fractal forest indoors

Believed tomb of Jesus Christ is far older than previously thought

December 7, 2017 by  
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Scientists have discovered that the tomb in which Jesus Christ is believed to have been buried after his crucifixion is significantly older than previously known. According to results given to National Geographic , archaeologists tested a sample of mortar taken from a limestone tomb beneath the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem and found the cave dates back 345 CE. Previous evidence had indicated that the cave, the oldest architectural structure on site, was built during the Crusader period, around 1000 CE. According to historical records, the tomb is thought to have been rediscovered, after a period of obscurity, by the Romans in 326 CE. This rediscovery occurred during the reign of Constantine, the Roman leader who converted the Empire to Christianity. The recent discovery was made possible by the tomb’s opening on October 26, 2016. Within the tomb, scientists were surprised to discover an older, fractured marble slab, which rested on the original limestone surface of the “burial bed,” where it is believed that Jesus’s body was placed. Some researchers suspected that this older marble may have been placed during the Crusader Period, while others believed that the slab may have been even older. Upon further testing, it was determined that the slab dated back to Constantine-era Jerusalem. In order to determine the tomb’s age, scientists analyzed chemicals found within the slab to determine how long it is has been since they were last exposed to light. It was also discovered that a significant portion of the tomb remains sealed off. Related: Pope Francis Officially Endorses Evolution and The Big Bang Theory The Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the caves below it have undergone great changes over the millennia. Following the discovery and reconstruction of the tomb in the 4th century, the Church was completely destroyed in 1099, then subsequently rebuilt. This destruction led scientists to question whether the site could ever be conclusively identified as the location, as determined by the Constantine-era Romans, of Christ’s tomb. While there is no archaeological evidence to suggest that the historical Jesus of Nazareth was buried in the tomb, the recent discoveries help to clarify the complex history surrounding Christianity’s holiest shrine. Via National Geographic Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Believed tomb of Jesus Christ is far older than previously thought

IBUKU unveils modular bamboo homes for garbage collectors in Bali

December 7, 2017 by  
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Bali-based IBUKU explores the fantastic potential of bamboo as a sustainable building material – and we’ve featured several of their beautiful buildings in the past. The team’s most recent undertaking is a series of modular bamboo homes for garbage collectors in Denpasar, the capital of Bali and the main gateway to the island. IBUKU was commissioned to develop healthy, well organized homes that would provide a means for social transformation. The project is designed for people who earn their livelihood by collecting and selling recyclable waste . Related: Ibuku founder Elora Hardy on creating incredible buildings with bamboo The project comprises 14 housing units of 193 square feet, and it also includes bathrooms, storage, kitchens and common areas to meet the needs of its inhabitants. Each house is modular, with main living spaces on the first floor and a mezzanine sleeping area above. Room for the safe storage of recycled materials was also integrated into the design. Related: Brilliant bamboo house uses ground water for natural cooling The floors and walls are made of bamboo and prevent wind from penetrating the building. Recycled bottles and tetra pack packaging was used for the roofing and insulation . The houses are meant to provide temporary shelter so that their occupants can increase their income and return to their hometowns. + IBUKU Via Archdaily

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IBUKU unveils modular bamboo homes for garbage collectors in Bali

France is the world’s most sustainable food country

December 7, 2017 by  
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Thanks to proactive measures put in place to curb food waste, France now ranks #1 in the world when it comes to food sustainability . In 2016 , the country became the first globally to require supermarkets to donate unsold food to charity, and for restaurants to provide doggy bags when requested, or be subject to fines of up to €75,000 ($82,324) and two years in jail. The  Economist Intelligence Unit graded 34 nations based on food waste, environment-friendly agriculture, and quality nutrition as part of a newly launched Food Sustainability Index . Several other European countries broke the top five, including Germany, Spain, and Sweden, while Japan ranked second. Despite being a highly developed country (high-income countries tend to rank better) the U.S. sits in a much less desirable 21st place, thanks to its over-consumption of meat, sugar, and saturated fats. Poor management of soil and fertilizer in agriculture were additional reasons it was downgraded further. Related: Study finds that cutting food waste could feed one billion hungry people Interestingly, the very wealthy United Arab Emirates ranked last. Food waste in the country is nearly 1,000 kilos (2,205 lbs) per person per annum. The UAE is experiencing an increase in obesity rates and an agriculture sector that is straining water supplies. Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, called the waste “unethical and immoral” in a statement, especially since hundreds of millions of people go hungry each day. According to Reuters , 815 million people are afflicted by global hunger, which is more than one in 10 persons on the planet. Food waste also produces incredible amounts of greenhouse gases in landfills, making it the third largest source of emissions after China and the U.S. As Inhabitat previously reported , over 1.4 billion tons of food is thrown out across the globe each year, which the World Bank estimates to be  between one-quarter and one-third of all food produced . In France alone, 7.1 million tons were being trashed before the 2016 food waste bill was passed. Now it loses just 1.8 percent of its total food production annually, and there are plans to half that figure by 2025. Via Reuters Images via Pixbay

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France is the world’s most sustainable food country

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