Nature and art overlap in this sinuous pavilion in Taipei City

January 19, 2017 by  
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Indoor and outdoor scenery overlap in this sinuous pavilion by Emerge Architects . The SINICA Eco-Pavilion was tailored to the existing trees on the site, and meanders in-between them to create an organic space where nature is as much on display as the exhibition housed inside the building. The building, located within a restoration area of Taipei ‘s leading academic institution, Academia Sinica, features long stretches of curved glass surfaces that facilitate ambiguous spatial perception for visitors. The line between the inside and outside disappears as one navigates the interior space and explores different exhibitions. Different spatial pockets such as the lobby, screening room and exhibition areas create fluid transitions. Related: Sinuous concrete pavilion is a spiritual oasis at the City of Hope research and treatment center Through interdisciplinary integration and collaboration between curators and architects, the pavilion establishes a strong dialogue with its surroundings. This diminished the distinction between architecture, landscape and art, merging them all into a single, unified experience. + Emerge Architects Via Architizer Photos by Kyle Yu, Sam Yang, WK Chou

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Nature and art overlap in this sinuous pavilion in Taipei City

Friends and family help repurpose a concrete carport into an inspiring home for an ALS patient

December 6, 2016 by  
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This temporary residence facilitates both physical and mental accessibility for a client diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). With the help of more than a 100 friends and family of the client, design studio Wim Goes Architectuur repurposed an existing concrete carport, which proved to be more suitable than the existing house, and created an environment that focuses on hope instead of sickness. Once the client no longer needs the space, most of the construction materials can be recycled or reused, celebrating the circle of life. The architects met with the client’s ergotherapist to figure out a solution that would work best for the client’s limiting circumstances. They converted the existing concrete carport into a barrier-free space built with the help of more than 100 friends and family members, and tutoring from professionals experienced with sustainable heating , ventilation, and home automation . Related: Assisted living home replicates a friendly American neighborhood to help treat patient memory loss After demolition, 83% of the project – straw and loam – will be used for fertilizing the landscape. All the technical equipment is returnable, while glass, metal and wood elements can be recycled . The entire project, including its construction, was designed to celebrate the circle of life. + Wim Goes Architectuur Via Archdaily Photos by Filip Dujardin

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Friends and family help repurpose a concrete carport into an inspiring home for an ALS patient

Heres every bank funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, and how to switch

December 6, 2016 by  
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People around the world are celebrating the U.S. Army Corps’ decision to block the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, but that doesn’t mean the project is not forging forward in other areas. Locals at Standing Rock fear that this move is just a foil and a way to avoid protesters at the build site. Although many of us can’t join in the fight for tribal rights and clean water, we can make a powerful statement – by switching financial institutions away from banks funding the 1,172-mile-long underground pipeline set to transport crude oil across four states from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota to an oil tank farm near Patoka, Illinois. Norway’s biggest bank, DNB, recently announced that it had sold its assets in the Dakota Access Pipeline and that it is reconsidering its loan, accounting for 10 percent of the total funding for the project. There are 17 banks directly funding the pipeline project, according to Food & Water Watch. They are: Wells Fargo BNP Paribas SunTrust The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Mizuho Bank Citibank (CitiGroup) TD Securities Credit Agricole Intesa SanPaolo ING Bank Natixis BayernLB BBVA Securities DBN Capital ICBC London SMBC Nikko Securities Societe General Related: Sign this petition to stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline Switching banks is not just a form of protest at this point. While a long shot, a massive movement of money out of the project’s primary lenders could convince these banks to back out. The financial institutions are holding on to the remaining $1.4 billion that is needed to complete the pipeline, pending approval of final permits by the Army Corps of Engineers. After closing your account, you will of course want to open an account at a bank that isn’t financing environmental destruction and the trampling of Indigenous rights. Options include banks that fund renewable energy projects, community banks and credit unions. Related: 8 ways to help the water protectors at the Standing Rock Reservation Banks supporting renewable energy Since the Connecticut Green Bank was founded in 2011 as the first green bank in the United States, green banks have expanded to New York, California and other states. Green banks are great tools for accelerating financing of clean energy projects by using public funds to leverage private capital investment. While green banks should be encouraged at every level of government, you will need a checking account from a commercial bank that invests in clean energy after switching out of one of the 17 banks financing DAPL. A 2014 Bloomberg Markets’ ranking of the world’s greenest banks includes Royal Bank of Canada, Goldman Sachs, Spain’s Banco Santander SA, UniCredit SpA of Italy, HSBC Holdings Plc of the UK, SEB AB of Sweden, Credit Suisse Group AG of Switzerland and JPMorgan Chase. However, it is important to keep in mind that in addition to renewables many of these financial institutions also invest in dirty energy projects. Community banks After big banks brought the economy to its knees during the 2008 Wall Street crash, many Americans rediscovered independent, locally owned and operated financial institutions, otherwise known as community banks . These old-fashioned neighborhood banks are a great way to go. Instead of investing in megaprojects like DAPL, community banks typically finance local projects that benefit the community they are located in. Credit Unions Switching to a credit union is another option. Credit unions are democratically controlled by members, not shareholders. They are not-for-profit institutions funded mostly by voluntary member deposits. Credit unions can also finance community and residential renewable energy projects such as solar PV, solar hot water, geothermal energy and energy efficiency sealing and insulation. Images via Sacred Stone Camp and Rob Wilson , Wikimedia Commons , Duncan Smith/Corbis , and The Street

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Heres every bank funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, and how to switch

Luxembourg bar renovation mimics Japanese origami for a low footprint

November 25, 2016 by  
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The new structure that envelops the existing building looks like a folded sheet of paper that allows the interior to open up to the natural surroundings. Lightweight and self-supporting, the wooden structure helps orientate the bar and eating areas toward the outside and guides views to the tall tree stalks, while allowing the possibility of changing the project in the future. Related: Reclaimed Wood Clads This Japanese Izakaya’s Origami-Like Interior in Montreal The architects also refurbished the existing kitchen and eating area on the ground floor and formed a smoking area with a fireplace and small dining area. They partly removed the lateral outdoor terrace and replaced it with a white sand beach. + Metaform architects Via v2com Photos by Steve Troes Fotodesign

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Luxembourg bar renovation mimics Japanese origami for a low footprint

A beautiful perforated facade filters natural light into this office building in Rio de Janeiro

November 4, 2016 by  
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The open-plan floors of the building are supported by concrete waffle slabs, peripheral columns and load-bearing walls. All the installations and structural elements are distributed along the perimeter of the building. Related: Tivoli Eco Residences Leave a Light Footprint on the Coast of Northern Brazil The facade of the building comprises three different layers-a lattice of perforated aluminium, a green buffer and soundproof windows. It semi-transparent quality allows natural light into the interior and is aided by a large skylight . The library is separated by glass partitions that filter in daylight. + Bernardes Arquitetura Via Archdaily Photos by Leonardo Finotti

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A beautiful perforated facade filters natural light into this office building in Rio de Janeiro

Branching addition cuts through existing Swiss farmhouse to increase structural integrity

July 28, 2016 by  
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The concrete structure branches inside the old barn, allowing it to be easily converted into two residential units. Made up from board-marked concrete and extending across all three floors of the building, the addition forms doorway arches, service islands, and holds all the bathroom and kitchen accommodations and storage spaces . Related: Stacked timber beams act as multi-use office furniture in this renovated barn in Belgium Birch plywood and concrete dominate both the exterior and interior of the building, with patchwork patterns of stone, brick and timber marking the original walls deliberately left exposed to accentuate the rustic quality of the space. + Freiluft Architektur Via  Plataforma Arquitectura Photos by David Aebi

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Branching addition cuts through existing Swiss farmhouse to increase structural integrity

Stunning Seashore Chapel in China appears to float at high tide

July 7, 2016 by  
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Located on the beach next to China’s Bohai Sea, the Seashore Chapel serves the resort community as both a religious space and a community gathering space for public events. The chapel was created in a similar fashion to Vector Architects’ Seashore Library, a nearby concrete building completed last year at Nandaihe. Unlike its sandy-colored predecessor, the Seashore Chapel is covered in brilliant white stucco with laminated bamboo slate and glass curtain walls . The 270-square-meter Seashore Chapel is divided into two main areas. The first is a covered, sea-facing outdoor space that, as the architects describe it, connects the “religious space to the mundane life,” and is submerged by water at high tide. The second space is the elevated chapel with its steep gable roof accessed via a 30-meter-long staircase. The ascent leads visitors to a panoramic view of the sea through a large horizontal window on the east facade. Related: Elegant Japanese wedding chapel mimics curved leaves Windows are strategically placed to limit the amount of harsh light to the interior, while allowing diffused natural light to stream in and highlight the textures of the stucco walls. Hidden windows allow for natural ventilation to flow through the building. “Together with Seashore Library, [the Seashore Chapel] provides spiritual spaces at ocean front, where people can slow down their pace, experience the nature and examine their inner state,” write the architects. + Vector Architects Images via Vector Architects

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Stunning Seashore Chapel in China appears to float at high tide

This 55-foot-tall residential green wall will be the largest of its kind in New York

June 28, 2016 by  
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The 32,000-square-foot building will house seven residences with prices ranging from $5.75 million for a half-floor unit to full-floor apartments that start at $14.8 million. Each unit will have a flexible layout , with minimal interior walls. The residences were individually configured to be easily adapted to successive owners. Ando’s signature material palette- concrete , metal and glass will dominate the spaces, with the exterior green wall as the highlight of the exterior. Related: How The Clark Art Institute’s Renovation Saved a Whopping 1,000,000 Gallons of Water Upon completion, the wall will be 55 feet tall and 99 feet wide, and will be planted with a combination of vines , including English Ivy, Boston Ivy, Virginia Creepers, Jasmine Clematis and climbing Hydrangeas. This variety will allow the living structure to change appearance throughout the year and feature different textures and vibrant colors. + 152 Elizabeth Street + Tadao Ando + M. Paul Friedberg and Partners Images via Tadao Ando and 152 Elizabeth Street

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This 55-foot-tall residential green wall will be the largest of its kind in New York

Cleveland offshore wind farm project awarded $40 million DOE grant

June 28, 2016 by  
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Could the Rust Belt turn into the Wind Belt? The Great Lakes represent 20 percent of the United States’ total offshore wind energy capacity, but not a single wind turbine has yet to be seen. That could start to change soon thanks to a $40 million grant from the Department of Energy for North America’s first offshore freshwater wind farm, located on Lake Erie about eight to 10 miles northwest of downtown Cleveland, Ohio. The funding was awarded to Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) for its “Icebreaker” project that will consist of six 3.45 megawatt turbines (20.7 MW). “Lake Erie is the Saudi Arabia of wind, and today’s award should be a gusher for northern Ohio,” Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) said in a recent statement . “This wind power project will begin to unleash Lake Erie’s full renewable power potential and contribute to creating a more competitive energy marketplace. LEEDCo’s innovative vision can help transform energy production and distribution for northern Ohio’s residents and thousands of businesses. Because Lake Erie serves both the U.S. and Canada this development also harkens toward a future that could link Ohio and Ontario in a new energy partnership.” Related: The world’s largest floating wind farm will be operational next year Acccording to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, LEEDCo’s decision to adopt the European-designed “Mono Bucket” foundation, which “eliminates pile driving in the bedrock below the lake bed,” might have played a role in DOE’s decision to fully fund the project. The total cost of the project is estimated to be around $120 million. In addition to previous federal grants totalling $10 million, Fred Olsen Renewables, the largest independent power producer in the United Kingdom, is expected to raise the remaining $70 million. The nation’s first offshore wind farm is on schedule for completion later this year. The Block Island Wind Farm is located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Rhode Island. The 30-megawatt, five-turbine project is expected to produce more than 125,000 megawatt hours annually. The Lake Erie offshore wind farm is expected to be completed and operational by the end of 2018. + Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation Via Renewable Energy World Images via Flickr and Wikimedia

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Cleveland offshore wind farm project awarded $40 million DOE grant

3D-printed house in China can withstand an 8.0 earthquake

June 28, 2016 by  
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3D printers started small, but now companies are printing entire homes – and a Chinese company just created an entire mansion in 45 days! Beijing-based HuaShang Tengda printed a two story villa that measures about 4,305 square feet – and they say it’s durable enough to withstand an earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale. HuaShang Tenda is not the first company to claime they’ve 3D-printed a house . But they might be the first to have 3D-printed the entire thing at once, rather than printing and then assembling pieces. First the company erected the home’s frame, including plumbing pipes. Then they used a huge 3D printer they’ve been developing for many years to construct the house. They controlled the process via a computer program. The software includes four systems: one for ” electronic ingredient formulating ,” one for mixing the concrete, one for transmission, and the last to 3D-print the structure. The ambitious company printed the house using 20 tons of strong but inexpensive concrete , although they say that any type of cement could be utilized in their process. The walls are about eight feet thick, and once they were printed workers painted and decorated the house. According to HuaShang Tenda , “[This technology] will have immeasurable social benefits…because of its speed, low cost, simple and environmentally friendly raw materials, [it can] generally improve the quality of people’s lives.” Related: Chinese company ‘builds’ 3D-printed villa in less than 3 hours The company envisions their technology being used to build everything from homes for farmers in rural areas to high-rise buildings to houses in developing countries. They believe the new technology could spark a revolution in the housing industry as their 3D-printed homes can be built faster, and for less money than traditional dwellings. + HuaShang Tengda Via 3Dprint.com Images via HuaShang Tenda

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3D-printed house in China can withstand an 8.0 earthquake

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