Starbucks unveils store built from 29 recycled shipping containers in Taiwan

October 8, 2018 by  
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Starbucks Taiwan will debut its first Asia Pacific store that is built from recycled shipping containers in the Hualien Bay Mall. The mall has yet to be opened to the public, but it is situated in a touristic area of the city that is well known for its cuisine and features breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and neighboring mountains. The store spans two stories totaling 320 square meters (approximately 3,445 square feet) and features comfortable seating areas where guests are invited to congregate over a cup of Starbucks’ finest. Starbucks is the first retailer to claim space in the newly built mall. It does so using 29 shipping containers that have been refashioned by famous Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma, who has his name signed to two Starbucks store designs already: the Fukuoka branch in Japan and the upcoming Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Tokyo. Related: Starbucks ditches plastic straws for the environment Inspired by a combination of Chinese architecture and nature, the Taiwan edition receives patrons under traditional bucket arches connoting the overhanging foliage of coffee trees . Inside, the store features warm decor and a comfortable seating area spanning two stories that Kuma decided to stack, creating a much taller space that allows for natural sunlight to enter through skylights installed throughout. These skylights illuminate a brightly illustrated mural at one end of the store, designed as a tribute to the vibrant Hualien culture. The wall mural tames the geometric roughness of the cargo containers, creating a sociable space alongside aboriginal Amis figures whose heritage run deep within the city’s culture. At the other end of the store, visitors are invited to enjoy the beautiful mountain landscape that forms a picturesque backdrop to the port city. Related: A disused railway will become a sustainable green corridor in Taiwan The project is part of Starbucks’ recently announced “Starbucks Greener Stores.” The initiative is aimed at building sustainable stores, which will be designed and operated using reclaimed materials . The Taiwan store joins a suite of locations also built from shipping containers, 45 of which can be found in the U.S. already. The Seattle coffee-chain prefabricates the models offsite before delivery, allowing the company to occupy spaces not necessarily designed for traditional stores. By avoiding the damaging environmental effects generally output on building sites, Starbucks is committed to minimizing its environmental footprint. + Starbucks Images via Starbucks

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Starbucks unveils store built from 29 recycled shipping containers in Taiwan

MAD brings a surreal sports campus that mimics a green, martian landscape to China

October 5, 2018 by  
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Architect Ma Yansong and his Beijing-based firm MAD Architects ’ surreal designs often look as though they come from outer space — and the new masterplan for the Quzhou Sports Campus in China is no different. The massive development just broke ground in the historic Chinese city in Zhejiang province and will bring with it an undulating green landscape with mixed programming. Inspired by the traditional Chinese painting style called ‘shan shui,’ MAD Architects conceived a park-like setting with green roofs draped over buildings to mimic mountains and waterways. The first and second phases of the Quzhou Sports Campus will span a little over half of the development’s total size and include a 30,000-seat stadium , a 10,000-seat gymnasium, a 2,000-seat natatorium, a national sports complex, an outdoor sports venue, a science and technology museum, a hotel, a youth center and various retail spaces. The large heft of these buildings will be hidden under an undulating green landscape that the architects liken to an “earth-art landscape in the center of the city — a poetic landscape that falls somewhere between that of Earth and Mars.” The Quzhou Sports Campus is ringed with a dense forest that hides the martian landscape and adds to its mysterious nature. At the heart of the park is a lake that serves as a sunken garden surrounded by buildings shaped as climbable green mountains. In another example of landscape mimicry, the architects designed the stadium in the likeness of a crater that’s crowned by a translucent cloud-like “halo.” The building interiors will also reinforce a connection to the environment with ample glazing so that visitors always feel as though they are immersed in nature. Related: Futuristic “spaceship” Lucas Museum breaks ground in Los Angeles Yansong said, “We dream not only of creating an urban space about sports and ecology but also turning it into a unique land art park for the world, establishing a relationship between the city’s heritage and history of Shanshui culture.” + MAD Architects

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MAD brings a surreal sports campus that mimics a green, martian landscape to China

Elzelinde van Doleweerd transforms food waste into beautiful, 3D-printed snacks

October 5, 2018 by  
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Around a third of the world’s food is lost or thrown away every year — that’s approximately 1.6 billion tons of food annually, a statistic that’s projected to rise to over 2 billion tons by 2030. In a bid to fight the global food waste crisis, Eindhoven University of Technology graduate Elzelinde van Doleweerd teamed up with the China-based technology firm 3D Food Company to turn commonly wasted food products in China into beautiful and tasty 3D-printed snacks. Van Doleweerd recently unveiled her latest 3D-printed recipes in her Upprinting Food exhibition at 2018 Beijing Design Week (BJDW), which ran from Sept. 26 to Oct. 5, 2018. Elzelinde van Doleweerd began studying ways to sustainably upcycle food waste in the Netherlands while studying for her Industrial Design degree at Eindhoven University of Technology. In teaming up with the 3D Food Company founders Leandro Rolon and David Doepel, van Doleweerd developed two new sustainable food concepts that use leftover unspoiled food that was discarded due to excess volume, appearance or undesired texture. Because rice is a staple in China, van Doleweerd decided to base her printable food paste at BJDW off of leftover boiled rice rather than bread, which she would have used in the Netherlands. The paste was mixed with wasted fruits and vegetables, such as purple sweet potatoes, to take on vibrant colors. The colored paste is fed into a 3D printer to create 3D ramekin-like containers or flat geometric shapes reminiscent of the ancient Chinese folk art of paper cutting. The 3D-printed paste is baked and completely dehydrated to protect against bacterial activity and to meet food safety standards. Related: Fight food waste with these 11 ways to use leftover greens before they spoil Made from over 75 percent food waste , the crunchy baked treats have a cracker-like consistency and can be flavored with different herbs and spices to take on a sweet, savory or spicy flavor profile. In addition to developing new flavors, van Doleweerd is also in the process of developing a vegan version of her 3D-printed food waste snacks devoid of butter and egg. + Elzelinde van Doleweerd Via Dezeen Images via Elzelinde van Doleweerd

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Elzelinde van Doleweerd transforms food waste into beautiful, 3D-printed snacks

This staggered, residential tower is draped with greenery in Quito

October 4, 2018 by  
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Acclaimed architecture firm Safdie Architects has been tapped to design a new residential tower that’s expected to be one of the tallest in Quito , Ecuador. Rising to 24 stories, the eye-catching project — dubbed Qorner — features a staggered tower with large garden terraces on every floor. Created in collaboration with local construction firm Uribe & Schwarzkopf, the striking high-rise will also feature operable glass walls for residents to embrace indoor-outdoor living and take advantage of Quito’s year-round temperate temperatures. Oriented to face the city’s central park, La Carolina, at the corner of the popular shopping street Avenida Portugal, Qorner mirrors the neighboring park’s lush environment in its design. In addition to the double-height garden terraces on each floor, the north facade of the building is partly covered with a dramatic living wall planted with native vegetation. A tree-lined infinity-edge swimming pool and garden top the roof. The projecting terraces on the east and west faces of the tower help shield full-height glazed openings from the sun and create a variety of double-height corner terraces that boast views in multiple directions. Perimeter concrete walls and columns as well as a central stabilization core were used to create a column-free interior with maximum flexibility. Related: Nature-inspired housing mimics the curvature of the landscape in Chongqing “We pride ourselves on developing projects unique to the place and program, and at the same time, incorporating principles that have long guided our work,” Moshe Safdie said. “While our projects around the world are diverse, our principles remain steadfast for each one: access to green space , the maximization of daylight and views in each dwelling, and fostering a sense of a ‘vertical neighborhood’ wherein each apartment forms part of a greater whole.” The Qorner is slated for completion in 2020. + Safdie Architects Images via Safdie Architects

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This staggered, residential tower is draped with greenery in Quito

The ugly truth about the imperfect food movement

September 11, 2018 by  
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The imperfect food movement continues to rise in popularity as companies, like Imperfect Produce in Silicon Valley, capitalize on a growing trend to fight food waste around the country. Imperfect Produce and similar companies offer boxes of ugly and misshapen produce to customers, saving a lot of food that would otherwise be discarded. While the movement is cutting down on food waste , small farmers are worried that it might have a negative affect on their livelihoods. Origins of the imperfect food movement Startups like Imperfect Produce are not the first to sell discarded produce at a discount. Farmers around the country have been doing it for years with the support of local communities. Many farmers engage in community supported agriculture ( CSA ), selling boxes of imperfect produce on a subscription basis and providing fresh food that is locally sourced. Although trends like the imperfect food movement are on the rise, small farmers have seen a decline in their sales as larger companies and grocery stores branch out into the organic marketplace. It is estimated that small farms throughout the country have seen a 20 percent dip year over year in CSA sales ever since the imperfect food movement took off in 2014. Related: New study finds food waste will increase to 66 tons per second if left unchecked An imperfect food movement on the rise Selling ugly and misshapen produce has really taken off over the past three years, and the movement is still going strong. Imperfect Produce sells produce in a growing number of cities across America. This past summer, Imperfect Produce started another round of financing that generated upward of $30 million, a clear sign that investors are interested in the growing movement. But as companies like Imperfect Produce benefit from the imperfect food movement, small farmers are struggling to keep up. The decline in sales has even forced some smaller farmers to shut down and seek work elsewhere. How are small farmers affected? The main problem with the imperfect food movement, at least as it relates to small farms , is that the market has become too large for these farmers to compete. Imperfect Produce is doing its best to help small farms by sourcing produce from farms across the Midwest — the company currently works with 25 small farms throughout the area — but the demand is higher than what these farmers can meet. To help fill the gaps, Imperfect Produce has turned to larger farms, which supply all of the demand and do so at a cheaper price. In fact, the majority of the produce the company sells actually comes from Mexico and California , especially when winter hits the Midwest. For all of the farmers who are not associated with the company, competing with them at that scale is nearly impossible. Related: Walmart introduces line of “ugly” fruit to combat food waste The ugly side of the imperfect food movement Small farmers are not the only ones hurt by the imperfect food movement. With most of the produce coming from California and Mexico , customers outside of these regions aren’t always getting local or seasonal foods — instead, more emissions are emitted as these companies try to get enough food to customers. Critics also point out that companies like Imperfect Produce are making money from food that would normally be donated to non-profit organizations, like local food banks. This in turn hurts local communities and low-income families who have used these resources for decades. That said, Imperfect Produce has made an effort to help out food banks in cities where it operates. In Chicago , for example, the company has gifted more than 130,000 pounds of produce to the city’s food bank, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, which gives this food to homeless shelters and food outlets. Benefits of the imperfect food movement The impact on small farms aside, the imperfect food movement is cutting down on overall food waste, which is a big issue in this country. As the movement rises in popularity, more and more produce will be rescued from the trash heap, a benefit that should not be overlooked. The imperfect food movement also teaches consumers — and farmers — that produce can look imperfect but still taste amazing and have nutritional value . It can also open the door for people to look into other programs, like CSA, that offer imperfect produce at a discount. Should you support the imperfect food movement or small farmers? The imperfect food movement has created a difficult problem for small farmers throughout the country, an issue that will likely worsen in the coming years. For consumers, picking between supporting local farmers or the imperfect food movement is a tough decision. On one hand, buying imperfect produce helps cut down on food waste. On the other hand, buying that produce from larger companies hurts small farmers who cannot compete with the growing demand. As the movement continues to grow, we can only hope that companies like Imperfect Produce will partner with more small farms. After all, helping small farms not only keeps their doors open, but it also boosts local economies and provides fresh food with a smaller environmental impact. Images via Alexandr Podvalny , Gemma Evans , Rebecca Georgia , Sydney Rae , Anda Ambrosini , Caleb Stokes and Shumilov Ludmila

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Wooden skyscraper city proposed for Stockholms most eco-friendly neighborhood

September 5, 2018 by  
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When Anders Berensson Architects was tapped by the Stockholm Center Party to design a new Stockholm neighborhood that would be the densest, tallest and most environmentally friendly in the city, the Swedish architecture firm responded with Masthamnen, a skinny timber “skyscraper city” elevated atop traditional city blocks. The mixed-use proposal includes a combination of residential, office and retail spaces in a pedestrian-friendly environment integrated with public parkland that connects the new district with the surrounding hilly landscape and urban fabric. Located in a valley between three hills, Masthamnen is organized into three main parts: a lower block city on the same level as today’s dock levels; an elevated timber “ skyscraper city” on top; and a series of landscaped roofs and bridges that link the development to the hilly terrain. The lower section would comprise 19 new city blocks ranging from six to 10 floors. In total, these blocks would contain 2,500 apartments, 60,000 square meters of office space and nearly 100 shops and restaurants. The wooden skyscraper city elevated atop these blocks would consist of 31 new skinny wooden skyscrapers ranging between 25 and 35 floors to include approximately 3,000 apartments with an estimated 30 shops and restaurants. Views are prioritized in the design and layout, and each skyscraper is given sufficient clearance to avoid obstructing views. Cross-laminated timber would be used as the primarily building material. Related: Nation’s first large-scale mass timber residence hall breaks ground in Arkansas “When entering the new city area you will often be at the same height as the roofs of the new district,” Anders Berensson Architects added. “Therefore we have chosen to propose a Public Park on all roofs of the lower block city and connect them with bridges. The roofs and bridges form a large public landscape that binds together all beautiful high situated promenade trails that already exist on eastern Södermalm. This way, we also make eastern Södermalm easier and more beautiful to have a stroll on.” + Anders Berensson Architects Images via Anders Berensson Architects

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Wooden skyscraper city proposed for Stockholms most eco-friendly neighborhood

A Seattle midcentury home is restored to its original brilliance with a modern twist

September 3, 2018 by  
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When a young family reached out to Seattle-based design studio SHED Architecture & Design and interior designer Jennie Gruss for a redesign of their 1957 midcentury home in the city, the designers responded with a restoration that also integrated new, modern details. Named the Hillside Midcentury, the home saw an interior remodel that leaned heavily on a mix of natural timber and brick to create a homey atmosphere. Contemporary furnishings, clean lines and an abundance of glazing help give the home a fresh and youthful spirit. Originally designed by Pacific Northwest architect Arnold Gangnes, the existing home had a fairly open layout with an airy feel that embraced the outdoors and featured two floors with mirrored floor plans, a common architectural design in the 1950s. “[We] did not make any major structural changes but instead updated the kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms to better align with the family’s living patterns,” the team said. Outside, the firm also added a large deck, updated patio and green roof. Timber wraps the interior with the original hardwood preserved in the living room and dining room. To break up the wood motif in the kitchen, the architects inserted maroon laminate cabinets from Beech Tree Woodworks for a splash of color. The exposed ceiling beams and datum are painted black to give a strong sense of structure to the house. Related: Old horse stable transformed into a chic art studio and guesthouse In addition to the updated materials and furnishings, some of the most notable changes can be seen in the updated floor layouts. On the basement level, the spacious living room was split up into a guest bedroom, mudroom and media room. Upstairs, one of the original bedrooms was converted into a large master bath, while the existing bathrooms were modified into a walk-in closet. Perhaps most impressively, the architects turned an old tool shed into an indoor swimming pool topped with a green roof . + SHED Architecture & Design Images via Rafael Soldi, exterior via SHED

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A Seattle midcentury home is restored to its original brilliance with a modern twist

Lush greenery grows in and around this breezy Indian home

September 3, 2018 by  
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When LIJO.RENY.architects  was tapped to design a modern house for the town of Tirur in the southern Indian state of Kerala — the name of which literally translates to “land of coconut trees” — there was no doubt that the region’s lush greenery would play a large part in the design. To bring nature into the home as much as possible, the architects used a grid layout that accommodates an indoor courtyard and outdoor verandas. This layout gave rise to the building’s name, the Regimented House. Numerous openings, long overhangs and perforated weathering steel screens provide shade and natural ventilation to keep the home cool in the region’s humid, tropical climate. Located on a 2.45-acre lot flush with trees and palms, the Regimented House shares the large property with an existing house owned by the client’s brother. The residents wanted a home that would provide a degree of privacy and autonomy, but they did not want the architects to erect a wall that would separate the new house from the brother’s house. They also didn’t want to be separated from the informal pedestrian path that divides the site and provides access to the main road. Thus, the architects crafted a decidedly contemporary home spanning 6,850 square feet that differs from the existing house with its long and linear form. “The simple yet formal nature of this built form, with the extended frontyard and backyard demarcated by hard landscape grids established a notion of a boundary, subtle nonetheless potent,” the architects explained. “Moreover, the grid layout was designed to accommodate landscaped courts of various types to ensure the essential blending in with nature as well as soften the otherwise bold presence of the built mass.” Related: Tsunami House is a green retreat perched high atop its own tower Designed to embrace indoor-outdoor living , the Regimented House comprises two floors organized around a central indoor courtyard with plenty of landscaping, including a vertical green wall . A minimalist palette and mostly white surfaces, punctuated by full-height glazing or openings, help keep the focus on the outdoor environment. The rooms of the house were also laid out for optimal natural ventilation. + LIJO RENY architects Via ArchDaily Images by Praveen Mohandas, Suneesh Suresh

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Lush greenery grows in and around this breezy Indian home

Rammed earth walls tie this modern home to the Arizona desert landscape

August 21, 2018 by  
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Architect Brent Kendle of Kendle Design Collaborative married architecture with the desert landscape in Desert Wash, a site-specific home that sweeps the natural environment indoors through walls of glass and rammed earth construction. Designed for an active family of four, the 6,700-square-foot abode in Paradise Valley, Arizona takes its name from the property’s existing desert dry wash, a biome located at a drainage area prone to severe flooding events. To embrace the natural landscape and mitigate flooding, Desert Wash sports an elevated bridge that traverses the desert dry wash area—an element normally seen as a major obstacle in residential design. Designed to celebrate desert living, the Desert Wash home feels immersed in nature despite its relatively close proximity to the city. The modern house comprises a master suite with three guest bedrooms and plenty of indoor-outdoor entertaining opportunities. The garage, along with the bulk of the home, is located to the north of the dry wash, while the foyer, office and one of the guest bedrooms are located to the south and accessible via the glazed bridge . A simple material palette and neutral tones tie the sprawling residence to the desert landscape. Rammed earth walls, expansive glazing and flat steel and wood roofs with deep overhangs define the home’s construction. Predominately white interior walls help create an airy and bright indoor atmosphere while providing a perfect backdrop for the family’s extensive collection of art. Related: Unusual Kerplunk House is envisioned as a “miniature forest” in the desert “Desert wash uses the indigenous materials of the site to define the main living spaces,” explains Kendle Design Collaborative. “ Rammed earth walls brings the earth to the interior. Welcoming one into the home and unifying it with nature simultaneously. Throughout the home you experience the site sensitivity of the project through its unique pallets and how the residence respects the natural qualities of the site. The home nestles its self into the earth while also respecting the natural topography of the site by spanning over the ancient wash.” + Kendle Design Collaborative Via ArchDaily Images by Chibi Moku and Michael Woodall

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Rammed earth walls tie this modern home to the Arizona desert landscape

LEED Gold hub for artists and activists takes over an abandoned NYC firehouse

August 2, 2018 by  
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An abandoned firehouse has been reborn as the newly certified LEED Gold home for the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI) in Harlem. Developed by CSA Group NY Architects & Engineers in conjunction with real estate agency Denham Wolf , the cultural center celebrates New York City’s Afro-Caribbean and African-American populations with exhibition and performance spaces, meeting and community rooms, a media center, classrooms and offices. The adaptive reuse project respects the architectural integrity of the historic building and features a variety of sustainable elements, including a green roof and 100 percent Forest Stewardship Council-certified timbers. Located in the heart of East Harlem’s cultural district at 120 East 125th Street, the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute serves as a neighborhood anchor and catalyst for cultural and economic development. The CCCADI took over the former municipal firehouse , Engine Company Number 36, as part of the NYC Economic Development Corporation and Department of Housing Preservation’s initiative to turn decommissioned firehouses into cultural institutions. All parts of the 8,400-square-foot landmark building were preserved wherever possible, save for adjustments needed to meet the city’s current building codes, such as the addition of egress stairs. “Originally built to serve the local community , before being abandoned and becoming a symbol of blight, the firehouse has fittingly been restored for a public purpose,” said Ronzard Innocent, Director of Project Management at Denham Wolf. “As a connector to arts, culture and social justice, CCCADI brings the story of this building full circle.” Related: East Harlem celebrates opening of vibrant LEED Gold-seeking Center for Living and Learning To reach LEED Gold status, CCCADI focuses on saving energy and water while minimizing waste. Thanks to highly efficient bathroom fixtures, the project saves an estimated 37.2 percent in water use compared to standard baselines. The building also boasts an estimated 36.1 percent  energy savings from high-efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning units. Approximately 92 percent of the project’s construction waste was recycled . The team installed a high-albedo membrane on the roof along with a green roof. Low-emitting paints, coatings, flooring and agrifiber products were used throughout, and more than 20 percent of the materials used were sourced regionally. + CSA Group NY Architects & Engineers + Denham Wolf Images by Sakeenah Saleem

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