Modular, affordable housing project opens in Portland

July 8, 2020 by  
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Argyle Gardens, a newly-opened modular co-housing development, is providing affordable housing for individuals who formerly experienced homelessness and are greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Portland, Oregon. Opened at the beginning of April 2020, the project houses 72 residents in studio and SRO-style units. Because of the offsite modular construction, development costs for the units were 31% lower than typical affordable housing projects and the construction schedule was shortened by four months. Argyle Gardens is located in the Kenton area of north Portland and features a modular design brought to the area by Transition Projects specifically to address the current times of hardship for those who need the most support. Related: Passive House-certified development offers affordable housing in South Bronx There are four buildings in total, the largest of which contains 36 apartments. The buildings are positioned around a large, central community space that includes laundry facilities and support service offices. In addition to the main apartment building, there are three co-housing structures, which each contain two six-bedroom pods, two shared bathrooms and a kitchen. Argyle Gardens is near the light rail, a public park, bus lines and the downtown and commercial shopping areas. By June 1, over half of the units have already been filled by low-income residents and people who formerly experienced homelessness. Going a step further, community-building programming and supportive services have already been implemented on the property. Residential activities such as a gardening club and cooking demonstrations have started as well. The project was designed by Portland firm Holst Architecture and features gable roof trusses and translucent polycarbonate panels. The modules can adapt to any area that allows duplexes while still working within the existing zoning codes for Portland. Despite the site’s steep and vegetated topography, the design team accomplished balance in the environmental considerations required for modular construction. The high-efficiency housing model can be replicated and modified by other modular builders around the country. + Holst Architecture Photography by Josh Partee and Portlandrone via Holst Architecture

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Modular, affordable housing project opens in Portland

Victory at Standing Rock as Dakota Access pipeline shut down

July 8, 2020 by  
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The Standing Rock Sioux tribe won a reprieve after the Monday decision by a U.S. District Court judge to suspend the Dakota Access pipeline pending further environmental review. The highly controversial  pipeline  has operated for three years. Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered both sides to submit briefs on whether the pipeline should continue operations. In March, Boasberg ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the National Environmental Policy Act when it permitted the pipeline and failed to acknowledge the devastating consequences of potential oil spills in the area. Related: Dakota Access Pipeline placed under environmental review The 1,172-mile pipeline transports oil underground from North Dakota to Illinois, passing through South Dakota and Iowa on its way. Standing Rock Reservation straddles the Dakotas’ state line and draws its water from the Missouri River. The tribe alleges the pipeline, which crosses beneath the river, pollutes their water . Energy Transfer, a Texas-based gas and oil company that owns the biggest share in the project, disagrees and claims the pipeline is safe. The $3.8 billion pipeline brought trouble from the start. During its construction in 2016-2017, tribal members began a protest campaign that drew international support. Activists from around the country stood with Standing Rock. Some clashes at the site grew violent, with police and security officers using attack dogs, water cannons and military equipment to clear protesters and their encampments. Political action persisted, with David Archambault II, then-Chairman for Standing Rock , addressing the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva in September 2016. Senator and former Democratic presidential nominee Bernie Sanders also supported the protests, and then-President Barack Obama spoke with tribal leaders.  In December 2016, before leaving office, the Obama administration ordered a full environmental review of the project, including analysis of the tribe’s treaty rights, and denied permits allowing the pipeline to cross the Missouri River. President Donald  Trump  signed an executive order expediting construction during his first week in office. But for now, the tribal  water  supply is safe. “Today is a historic day for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the many people who have supported us in the fight against the pipeline,” Mike Faith, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman, said in a statement. “This pipeline should have never been built here. We told them that from the beginning.” + The Guardian Via Earth Justice Images via Indrid Cold , Fibonacci Blue and John Duffy

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Dumping ground reborn as beautiful bamboo and rammed-earth community space

January 26, 2018 by  
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H&P Architects dramatically transformed an informal dumping ground in Mao Khe, Vietnam into a beautiful pavilion built mainly of locally sourced bamboo and earth. Named BE (bamboo & earth) friendly space, the structure comprises a zigzagging rammed-earth wall punctuated with multiple openings and topped with bamboo roofing. The project was created as part of a series of projects to create a “friendly space in suffocating urban areas” increasingly dominated by concrete. Located in the center of the populous Vietnamese town of Mao Khe, BE friendly space is a 220-square-meter pavilion made of local natural materials and constructed by local labor. “The objective of BE friendly space is to help raise social awareness of the need for friendly spaces for community in the context of urbanization and concretization which is gradually suffocating Mao Khe – one of the most populous towns in Vietnam, thereby making contributions to shaping actions of community in the process of creating sustainable spaces for the future immediately from today’s friendliness,” said H&P Architects in a design statement. Related: Plant-covered bamboo structure in Vietnam offers low-cost sanitation and food A 40-centimeter-thick zigzagging rammed-earth wall forms the spine of the project and its short, asymmetric form stands out from the skinny modern apartments that surround it. Randomly placed windows connect the various spaces enclosed by the wall and promote natural ventilation . BE friendly space comprises several multifunctional open areas, while the service room, kitchen, and toilets are located in the fully enclosed rammed-earth building on the east side of the site. + H&P Architects Images by Nguyen Tien Thanh, Doan Thanh Ha

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Dumping ground reborn as beautiful bamboo and rammed-earth community space

Woven "Totora Cube" in Ecuador explores new materials for indigenous architecture

December 27, 2016 by  
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We love experiments in vernacular design and sustainable materials, including this fascinating project from Ecuador. Artisans and architects with the Archquid think-act tank teamed up to design and build a colorful, inhabitable cube using Totora, a fibrous plant native to South America. Working with the indigenous community of San Rafael de La Laguna parish, the architects played with different weaving techniques for the panels, creating a multifunctional structure installed along a busy road in the Otavalo province of Imbabura. For centuries, the Totora plant has been used to make floats, mats, fans and baskets throughout South America. The art of weaving this abundant vegetable fiber has been a part of Ecuador ‘s cultural vernacular since pre-Incan times. Related: Nikolay Polissky Creates Massive ‘Beaubourg’ Sculpture Using Traditional Basket Weaving Techniques Inspired by these ancient practices, which are deeply rooted in the local community, the architects set out to explore the Totora’s architectural potential. The resulting cubic volume features a wooden structure formed by two beams with support strips and joints, and nine panels on each side handcrafted using different weaving techniques. The project has been recently honored in the Twentieth Pan-American Biennial of Architecture in Quito, with the International Award in the “Habitat and Development” category. + Archquid think-act tank Via Plataforma Arquitectura Photos by Federico Lerner and Archquid

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Woven "Totora Cube" in Ecuador explores new materials for indigenous architecture

Zigzagging Het Anker community center in the Netherlands is partially buried underground

December 22, 2015 by  
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Artists fill the vaults of a dilapidated 1923 bank in Chicago with books and artwork

October 23, 2015 by  
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Open Air Gjennomsikte Pavilion Doubles as a Lakeside Retreat and Theater Stage

November 28, 2013 by  
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This project was built in connection with the walkabout project (Breddelangs), which is a local initiative organized to bring awareness to the Lahelle river area. The green park surrounding the pavilion has become quite a popular place for local families despite the fact that the lot was formerly labeled as a  toxic, polluted space. The area has been transformed quite a bit recently in order to erase traces of its former industrial past: new real estate projects have been approved and a community arts center has opened recently. To further enhance the area along the riverbanks, local municipalities have plans to develop a large network of pedestrian and bicycle connections . + Kollaboratoriet Via Arch Daily Photos by Feileacán McCormick and Anna Andrea Vik Aniksdal Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , Architecture , community space , Eco Architecture , eco building , Gjennomsikte Pavilion , green architecture , Kollaboratoriet , norway , Norway Architecture , Norwegian , Porsgrunn , public buildings , public space , riverside , skien , Sustainable Materials , theater , theatre , theatre space , timber structures , urban development        

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Miller Hull’s Powell River Library to Become Social, Cultural Hub for Canadian Town

June 17, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Miller Hull’s Powell River Library to Become Social, Cultural Hub for Canadian Town Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: british columbia , canada , community space , Daylighting , green roof , mill town , Miller Hull , Powell River , Powell River Library , public space , Public: Architecture + Communication , revitalization , Seattle , Sustainable , ventilation , views        

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IEA Report Shows Global Carbon Emissions Reached a Record High in 2012

June 17, 2013 by  
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Despite major advances in clean energy , the world’s carbon emissions reached an all-time high in 2012. Overall, emissions grew 1.4 percent, reaching 31.6 gigatons a year. The good news is that the US reduced emissions – but the bad news is that growing China produced the biggest increase. Read the rest of IEA Report Shows Global Carbon Emissions Reached a Record High in 2012 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: carbon emissions 2012 , carbon emissions report , China carbon emissions 2012 , China increase emissions , Climate change 2012 , Climate change report , Global Warming 2012 , Global Warming report , global warming temperatures , Global Warming Trends , IEA 2012 report , IEA recommendations , iea report , International Energy Agency , recommendations to reduce warming , US carbon emissions 2012 , US reduced emissions        

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Miller Hull’s Powell River Library to Become Social, Cultural Hub for Canadian Town

April 8, 2013 by  
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