An indoor-outdoor home in Colombia is remodeled with local reclaimed wood

September 29, 2020 by  
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Located at the top of a mountain in Colombia’s Calandaíma River Valley, Casa Volcanes is a stunning home that promotes indoor-outdoor living and natural materials . Martínez Arquitectura kept the project budget low by choosing local and handmade elements in its redesign. Eighty percent of the woodwork for the home was reclaimed from demolition deposits in nearby Bogotá. Dark materials are used both for economic value and to highlight the raw sensation of the building’s relationship with its environmental surroundings. The architects chose handmade chircal brick to continue the home’s theme of blending seamlessly into the forest. Its location in Anapoima, just two hours from Bogotá, provides incredible jungle views and serene scenery that are enhanced by the locally sourced building materials. Related: This Costa Rican treehouse is built entirely out of locally sourced teak wood “Its hot tropical climate is a discovery of sensations and surprises. From time to time, you can feel the extreme humidity of the fog, the torrential rain and the blizzards that scare, as well as the dry periods of high temperatures, which suggest fires,” said Marisol, owner of Casa Volcanes. “The delight of the air and the insatiable sound of cicadas and frogs, of birds and insects inviting you to stay, are always a fundamental part of this marvelous environment.” Originally, the plot had a one-level construction, typical for a home in the Colombian coffee zone. Casa Volcanes, though it revolved around a communal space with picturesque windows surrounded by railings, had rudimentary and barely functional amenities. The owner wanted to keep the magical, organic feel of the place while updating the space to provide a more contemporary functionality. The kitchen is remodeled with a cobblestone floor, a new opening to the south and more space for social gatherings. The rooms themselves now act as semi-open spaces with mobile doors that allow them to be extended into the gardens. The designers kept the high ceilings and rustic lattices to respect the essence of the house, but painted the exterior a darker shade to create a reduction in thermal sensation and complement the stone rainwater pond. The existing railings are shortened to make their presence less obvious yet still harmonious to the property. + Martínez Arquitectura Photography by Carlos Alberto Martínez Valencia, Jesús Fiallo and Ana María Díaz Parra via Martínez Arquitectura y Fiallo Atelier

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An indoor-outdoor home in Colombia is remodeled with local reclaimed wood

Meet the urban planner responsible for San Francisco’s car-free Market Street

February 18, 2020 by  
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Downtown San Francisco is putting pedestrians first by turning the 2-mile Market Street, a major hub for the city, into a completely car-free space. Inhabitat spoke with an urban planner of the esteemed Perkins and Will for more details about the groundbreaking, pedestrian-friendly project. While the complete redesign is expected to extend into the rest of the year, January 29 marked the official ban of cars on the thoroughfare. The structural transformation will include a restriction of public cars, but it will also implement newer two-way streets, intersection safety improvements and extensions for the Muni (the city’s public transit system). Buses, as well as a fleet of vintage streetcars, will also be able to operate along the street. Related: Perkins and Will designs modular, affordable housing for the homeless Inhabitat caught up with urban planner and developer Geeti Silwal from the San Francisco branch of design firm Perkins and Will . Silwal was an integral part of the design and development of the Market Street project. Her initial design created the vision and laid the foundation for the car-free initiative, taking close to a decade to finally come to pass. Inhabitat: The plan to make San Francisco’s Market Street car-free was 10 years in the making. Can you talk a bit about how this project began? Silwal: The project was initiated primarily to take advantage of the fact that Market Street needed to replace its aging utility that would need to be dug up soon. The city agencies took this opportunity to reimagine the role and identity of the city’s premiere boulevard. Working with six key city and county agencies, Perkins and Will led a team of urban designers, transportation planners, infrastructure engineers, public realm strategists, streetscape designers and wayfinding experts to lead this exploration. We started in 2011 meeting three demanding — and sometimes competing — objectives: placemaking, enhancing transit experience and improving infrastructure. In order to meet these objectives, we expanded the scope of the study to include Mission Street to help relieve the demands on Market Street. We analyzed: What if Market Street offered seamless transit transfers and relied on Mission Street to provide safe, pleasant, dedicated and buffered bike lanes? What if we minimized space dedicated to private vehicles to provide more space for pedestrians and bicyclists ? What is the right bike infrastructure to invite the 8- to 80-year-olds to ride on Market Street? Would this achieve our shared vision of Market Street as a destination to socialize and enjoy street life and to interact with public art , nature and each other?  We saw this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a beautiful street befitting the world-class city it represented. Prioritizing and structuring the street for people and public life over movement of private vehicles was a fundamental goal that the entire team got behind. Inhabitat: How do you feel now that this vision has come to life? Silwal: It’s gratifying. If you were to walk Market Street today and compare it to walking it the week before it went car-free , you’d notice a dramatic difference. Market Street now feels peaceful, safe and comfortable — it really feels like a completely different place. There has been a positive response from the media and people in general. We’ve heard many people say, “I took transit and it was so fast and so much better!” or “I biked Market Street and it feels as though I am in Amsterdam.” And this is only the beginning. More improvements will happen in the next few years as the future phases of the Better Market Street project unfold. Inhabitat: What do you think banning cars on some of San Francisco’s streets means for the rest of the country? Are there many other environmentally minded cities following suit? Silwal: The Better Market Street project was inspired by several cities in Europe, which have streets prioritized for pedestrians, cyclists and transit. There are many examples outside of Europe as well. I come from India, and in my home city, Shimla, the main streets in the mall and lower mall area are closed to traffic and are for pedestrian use only. We need to embrace the qualities of these streets that put ‘people first’. Market Street’s new image will be instrumental in inspiring other cities to rethink their streets. It will take strong political will, persistent public agency collaboration, community support and individual behavioral change to think beyond cars. Inhabitat: What about the design do you think was most integral to the environmental benefits of the project? Silwal: By not enabling private vehicles, people are encouraged to use low-carbon modes of transportation and subsequently, greenhouse gas emissions are dramatically reduced. By making Market Street safe, inviting, comfortable and efficient for pedestrians, cyclists and public transit users, people are more likely to take these modes of transit. Related: Car-free Sundays are the norm in Colombia’s capital city, Bogotá Inhabitat: We love your motto — Designing urban centers with the fundamental organizing principle of ‘people first’ creates more humane, inclusive and socially connected cities . What is important about putting pedestrians first in the fight against climate change? Silwal: We’re in a climate crisis , and we need to base our urban planning around it. Transportation is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. By prioritizing cars, we have structured our streets to promote that. If we design streets for the low-carbon modes, we will have a different outcome. I would say that ‘pedestrians first’ is fundamentally about a ‘people first’ approach. Designing cities that allow the majority of people to navigate their city on foot, bike or transit will result in a huge reduction in carbon emissions. Providing an efficient, enjoyable and a robust network of transit system reduces single-occupancy car trips.  We know that climate change impacts will have a more severe effect on the most vulnerable population of our cities. Planning for physical and social connectedness is an important criterion in dealing with climate change. Social connectedness that is about face-to-face interaction enables people to know, understand and empathize more with their fellow beings. It facilitates social resilience. A resilient city is better prepared to fight climate change. Inhabitat: Can you talk about safety, which was the other big concern before Market Street’s car ban went into effect? Silwal: Market Street has always been a popular street for the cyclist community, but it is also infamous for 20 times more collisions than similar streets in the state. Reducing conflict among pedestrians, cyclists and drivers was a key goal for this project. This change will make it much safer for commuting pedestrians and cyclists. Further enhancements to the bike infrastructure will be rolled out in future phases of the Better Market Street project that will have a dedicated and buffered environment for cyclists — making it even safer. Inhabitat: What’s next for you? Can we look forward to any other exciting sustainability projects in the future? Silwal: Through our urban design practice, Perkins and Will is continually planning, advocating and proposing for pedestrian/bike-prioritized connectivity in existing environments and new developments. Mission Rock is a project along San Francisco’s eastern waterfront on the Giants’ 25-acre surface parking lot. Mission Rock’s Shared Public Way will offer a new street prioritized for pedestrians, with limited vehicle movement. The Shared Public Way at Mission Rock will be a dynamic space with street rooms, stormwater gardens and tree groves that will create a lively and unique environment. These design elements serve as cues to differentiate pedestrian-dedicated areas from the shared pedestrian/vehicular zone. Vehicles on the Shared Public Way will be limited to one-way travel for drop-off, pickup and deliveries only. Besides streets, Perkins and Will is currently engaged in the Living Community Challenge (LCC) pilot project in the city of Sacramento called the Sacramento Valley Station Master Plan. “LCC is a certification program that guides the design and construction of buildings and neighborhoods to be socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative. LCC projects aim to have a net-positive impact in seven petals: place, water, energy, health & happiness, materials, equity and beauty.” This project plans to be a regenerative project. It plans to be a net-positive carbon, net-positive water and net-positive energy community around the regional intermodal mobility hub in Sacramento. We are privileged to work in an industry that lays the foundation for smarter, sustainable design that has a positive impact on the places and people that inhabit it. + Perkins and Will Images via Perkins and Will

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Meet the urban planner responsible for San Francisco’s car-free Market Street

Valentine’s Day flower deliveries come at a huge cost to the environment

February 14, 2019 by  
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Americans purchase an estimated 250 million roses for Valentine’s Day every year, many of which come via flowery delivery from South America. But shipping these roses in time for the holiday comes at a heavy cost to the environment. Colombia has become a major trading center for roses because of the Andean Trade Preference Act, which was passed under President George H.W. Bush. This act encourages farmers in the region to grow roses as an alternative to coca plants. Growing these precious petals can be good for the economy of Colombia, and as many as 130,000 workers are now employed in the flower industry. Related: 9 ways to have an eco-friendly Valentine’s Day The biggest issue, unfortunately, is with flower delivery. According to TreeHugger , Colombian growers send out 30 cargo planes loaded with roses every day in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, and by the time the holiday rolls around, these planes will have burned about 360,000 tons of carbon dioxide. Those numbers do not factor in the weight of the packaging, which adds an even greater carbon footprint to the equation. That’s only the start of the problem. Once the flowers reach the U.S., hundreds of refrigerated trucks deliver the roses to various locations. Some of the flowers are also loaded on planes and shipped a second time to cities across the country. Once the flowers reach local businesses, they are wrapped in cellophane and given plastic stem tubes, all of which end up in landfills across the U.S. One way to fight this growing problem is to purchase roses that feature a Florverde Sustainable Flower label. These varieties of roses, while still shipped via airplanes, are grown using ethical, sustainable practices and are better for the environment. If you really want to help cut carbon emissions on Valentine’s Day, then consider buying seasonal flowers from local growers in your area. Via TreeHugger Image via Emily Fletke

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Valentine’s Day flower deliveries come at a huge cost to the environment

Triangular windows bring light and drama to a stunning Bogota bakery

December 26, 2018 by  
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The site of a former house in Bogota has been reborn into a gorgeous bakery and cafe that respects the surrounding residential context. Designed by New York City-based Studio Cadena , the sculptural building draws the eye with oversized triangular windows, a monolithic concrete envelope and contemporary interiors featuring playful terrazzo floors, timber furnishings and pops of greenery. With an area of 7,500 square feet, the restaurant marks Studio Cadena’s second and largest commission for Masa, a popular bakery chain in Colombia. Inside, the building comprises a cafe and bakery along with a dining area and separate retail space. Outdoor seating can be found along a street-facing patio as well as in the rear garden area that overlooks the kitchen through a large circular window. To achieve an airy and open feel, the architects used an open-plan layout and delineated spaces with strategically placed elements such as a long concrete bar, cylindrical wood-clad service station and multi-tiered seating platform at the entrance. “The idea is that everything is connected, but the spaces remain fragmented for intimacy,” explained Studio Cadena founder and principal Benjamin Cadena. “In any space in the restaurant , you might hear or smell things that give a sense of the adjacent spaces, but it isn’t completely open. The design defines distinct spatial volumes yet allows you to move through them with the freedom of an open plan.” Studio Cadena designed all of the surfaces, fixtures and furniture. The variety of lighting designs also distinguish the different spaces, from the large paper globes in the corner cafe to the hand-painted metal mesh that hangs down in the middle of the building. Related: An ancient Jaipur palace property is transformed into a modern restaurant The building volume is built with textured cast-in-place concrete walls inside and out. Triangular windows of different sizes punctuate the concrete envelope and open the restaurant up to natural light while establishing a connection between the street and the interior. + Studio Cadena Photography by Benjamin Cadena and Naho Kubota via Studio Cadena

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Modular WonderFrame sun shade structure turns this building into an energy efficient marvel

September 6, 2017 by  
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Students will learn sustainable building principles at a seriously green new academic building at Universidad EAN . The 215,278 square foot building in Bogotá, Colombia will feature the endlessly reusable and recyclable WonderFrame shade structure, designed by Cradle to Cradle founder William McDonough . The modular system includes perforated panels that can both shade and allow daylight to filter through, almost like tree leaves. Inhabitat spoke with McDonough and lead architect Roger Schickedantz about the building, called Project Legacy, which is McDonough’s first Cradle to Cradle-inspired signature building in Latin America. McDonough originally designed the WonderFrame as a temporary structure at the 2016 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Schickedantz said at Universidad EAN, 11.5 by 8.6 foot modules will be anchored to the facade of Project Legacy. Each module includes around 30 perforated, painted steel sheet triangles. While this WonderFrame is intended to be permanent, Schickedantz said it could be deconstructed and put together somewhere else as the WonderFrame is put together with bolts. Shade panels can also be moved around in the frame to change the way light enters the building. Related: INHABITAT INTERVIEW: Green Architect & Cradle to Cradle Founder William McDonough “WonderFrame is based on experiments we’ve been doing for inexpensive structural solutions for roofs and floors that are invisible,” McDonough told Inhabitat. “Here, it is used as a delightful skin of human expression. It allows for flexible adaptation for color, for solar collectors, for light and shade. Someday, perhaps even for planters .” The WonderFrame will blanket roughly 85 percent of the building’s facade, making it the largest installation of the system so far. And the design is meant to reflect Colombian culture. Schickedantz told Inhabitat, “Colombia has a rich indigenous culture which celebrates color and pattern. The shade pattern designed for the WonderFrame provides a modern, graphically expressive interpretation… The WonderFrame establishes a dialogue with a 2011 building designed by Daniel Bonilla, which anchors the campus block. The Bonilla building is covered in multi-hued green ribbon sunshades. The William McDonough + Partners building generates a new complementary and contrasting composition which joins the two buildings in a unified whole.” The WonderFrame is just the start of the building’s sustainability . The LEED Gold -seeking building will include solar chimneys to allow for natural ventilation. Rooftop solar will help power the building. Cradle to Cradle certified fabric and auditorium seating will comprise some of the building materials. Universidad EAN students will accompany the design team in interviews with vendors, according to Schickedantz, for the building where they will one day learn Cradle to Cradle Concepts. He told Inhabitat, “Ultimately, the intent is to inspire students to develop and market their own products. We envision a new generation of products which incorporate circular economy concepts and improve the world.” Groundbreaking is expected later this year. + William McDonough + Partners Images courtesy of William McDonough + Partners

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Modular WonderFrame sun shade structure turns this building into an energy efficient marvel

The world’s largest vertical garden blooms with 85,000 plants in the heart of Bogota

May 11, 2017 by  
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Behold: the largest vertical garden in the world. Located in Bogota, Colombia, the Santalaia building is completely covered with a lush layer of 85,000 plants that span 3,100 square meters (33,368 square feet). A vertical garden of this size can produce enough oxygen for more than 3,100 people every year, process 1,708 pounds of heavy metals, filter more than 2,000 tons of harmful gases and catch more than 881 pounds of dust. The record-setting vertical garden in Bogota was completed in 2015 after over a year of planning. Paisajismo Urbano ‘s Colombia-based franchise Groncol designed and installed the vertical garden using the innovative F+P system, patented by Ignacio Solano. Related: Posh new Vietnamese hotel with a lush green facade brings guests closer to nature This system is based on a series of pillars – each with its own vegetal cover – installed vertically over the facade . Various endemic species were included in the design of the vertical garden to boost biodiversity . + Paisajismo Urbano + Groncol

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The world’s largest vertical garden blooms with 85,000 plants in the heart of Bogota

Buried Buddhist shrine unites man and nature in harmony

May 11, 2017 by  
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You don’t need to be a Zen master to appreciate this green-roofed Buddhist shrine in rural China. Designed by Arch Studio , the contemporary shrine is partially buried to minimize site disruption and to blend into the landscape. The building emphasizes connection with nature through its design and framed views of the woods and river beyond. Located in the outskirts of Tangshan by the riverbank, the Buddhist shrine serves as a space for meditation and contemplation. The concrete building is mostly buried underground and is embedded between seven mature trees. The shrine’s various rooms splay out like branches from a large central space and include the entrance, meditation room, tea room , living room, and bathroom. “The design started from the connection between the building and nature and adopts the method of earthing to hide the building under the earth mound while presenting the divine temperament of nature with flowing interior space,” said Arch Studio. “A place with power of perception where trees, water, Buddha and human coexist is thus created.” Related: ARCHSTUDIO inserts a modern teahouse into an ancient Chinese structure The concrete surfaces are textured with the natural grain patterns from the pine formwork. Furnishings are constructed from gray-toned timber to match the concrete walls while the smooth terrazzo interior flooring contrasts with the outdoor white gravel. Skylights and large windows let in natural light and framed views. Courtyards with trees and bamboo punctuate the building. + Arch Studio Via Dezeen

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Buried Buddhist shrine unites man and nature in harmony

Zika is no longer an international public health emergency, says WHO

November 22, 2016 by  
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The World Health Organization (WHO) declared on Friday that Zika virus is no longer a global public health emergency . The mosquito-borne illness, which has also proven to be sexually transmitted, causes a severe birth defect called microcephaly and thousands of cases have been reported in South and Central America. Although WHO is downgrading the severity of the Zika threat, the agency also warned the virus is not going away. With this update, the WHO ends the warning originally issued in February 2016 , which identified Zika as an international public health emergency. That acknowledgment came after Zika cases were reported in Central America, following ongoing large outbreaks in Brazil and Colombia throughout 2015. As the end of mosquito season draws near in many parts of the world, WHO recognizes a reduction in transmission. However, when the weather warms again and the Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes that carry Zika begin reproducing faster in the spring, the Zika cases could increase once more. Related: Brazil unleashes millions of genetically modified mosquitoes to combat Zika The WHO “should be prepared to re-examine the decision if, in fact, we have a resurgence of Zika in South America as we enter into the summer months of January and February in the Southern Hemisphere,” according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Despite the WHO declaration, health agencies need to continue research and efforts to control the virus. “It remains crucially important that pregnant women avoid traveling to areas with local transmission of Zika, because of the devastating complications that can occur in fetuses that become infected during pregnancy,” said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a statement. Via NYT Images via Wikipedia and  PAHO/Flickr

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Zika is no longer an international public health emergency, says WHO

This Inspiring Multicolored Community Center is Made From Over 40,000 Recycled Plastic Bottles

October 23, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of This Inspiring Multicolored Community Center is Made From Over 40,000 Recycled Plastic Bottles Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Bogota architecture , Bogotá , colombia , eco-friendly community center , Nukanti Foundation , Recycled Materials , recycled PET , recycled plastic PET bottles , Weaving Cazucá

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This Inspiring Multicolored Community Center is Made From Over 40,000 Recycled Plastic Bottles

Starbucks’ First Store in Colombia Serves 100% Locally-Sourced Coffee

July 18, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Starbucks’ First Store in Colombia Serves 100% Locally-Sourced Coffee Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , bogota starbucks , Bogotá , bret lewis , coffee shop , colombia , colombian coffee , eco coffee shop , eco design , green architecture , Green Building , green coffee shop , green design , local food , local materials , locally-sourced coffee , locally-sourced food , starbucks , startbucks store , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , sustainable food

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Starbucks’ First Store in Colombia Serves 100% Locally-Sourced Coffee

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