Henning Larsen unveils plans for Copenhagens first all-timber community

January 23, 2020 by  
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A sustainable, nature-filled neighborhood unlike any other in Denmark could soon take root just beyond Copenhagen’s city center. Scandinavian architecture firm Henning Larsen has collaborated with biologists and environmental engineers from MOE to design the Fælledby community, a proposal for Copenhagen’s first all-timber neighborhood. Proposed for a former dumping ground site, the development promotes sustainable living, a reduced carbon footprint and a harmonious relationship with nature. Designed to accommodate 7,000 residents on an 18.1-hectare project site, the Fælledby community features a hybrid architectural design that merges traditional Danish urban design with rural typologies and includes a mix of housing types. The development, which would be about the size of Billund, would be built in phases and comprise three radial village-like “cores” that accommodate about 2,300 people each. These cores are connected via a series of native-planted green corridors, thereby maximizing access to nature and ensuring free movement for local wildlife . For any given residence, nature will be less than a 2-minute walk away. Related: Henning Larsen completes award-winning Wave apartments in Denmark The green corridors will be part of the undeveloped habitat for local flora and fauna, which make up 40% of the development. Nature will also be integrated into the built environment with nests for songbirds and bats built into the walls of the houses. A pond that occupies the center of each of the three Fælledby “villages” will offer a habitat for frogs and salamanders, while community gardens would attract other local species and encourage neighborly relations. “Deciding to build the natural landscape around Fælledby comes with a commitment to balance people with nature,” said Signe Kongebro, partner at Henning Larsen. “Specifically, this means that our new district will be Copenhagen’s first built fully in wood and incorporating natural habitats that encourage richer growth for plants and animals. With the rural village as an archetype, we’re creating a city where biodiversity and active recreation define a sustainable pact between people and nature.” + Henning Larsen Images via Henning Larsen

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Henning Larsen unveils plans for Copenhagens first all-timber community

A nearly century-old Copenhagen school gets an eco-friendly makeover

January 14, 2020 by  
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Danish architectural practice JJW Architects has used recycled bricks and Cradle-to-Cradle certified mortar to renovate Copenhagen’s Grøndalsvængets School. Originally built in 1929, the building had long been hidden away from the surrounding neighborhood; this comprehensive transformation, completed in 2019, has now integrated the structure into the urban fabric. The school has also been expanded to support modern principles of learning and a larger educational program.  The Grøndalsvængets School renovation project targeted three main objectives: an improved connection with the neighborhood, new differentiated learning environments and sustainable building practices. To better integrate the school with its surroundings, the architects first took down the tall hedge that had visually separated the school from the city. The pair of two-story buildings that were added on the outer corners of the site are topped with gabled roofs in a nod to the pitched rooflines of the area. Related: A massive pollution-fighting green wall engulfs this Dutch city hall The two new buildings were built for teaching, sports and music and are part of a greater plan to cultivate a campus-like environment within the school. In addition to the renovation of the main building, the Grøndalsvængets School’s expansion focuses on creating a flexible and differentiated learning environment that can support the needs of its students. The two new buildings were built with recycled bricks from a nearby hospital and assembled with Cradle-to-Cradle certified mortar to ensure that those bricks can be reused again in the future as part of a long-term circular economy strategy. “The old school building becomes new and the new school buildings carry on an old story from the beginning,” the architects explained in a project statement. “ New and old meet each other in respect and create a school that is cohesive and interlinked with the surrounding neighborhood.” + JJW Architects Photography by Torben Eskerod via JJW Architects

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A nearly century-old Copenhagen school gets an eco-friendly makeover

A hotel suite inside a shipping container hovers over the landscape in Brazil

October 16, 2019 by  
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Brazilian architecture firm Bruno Zaitter arquiteto has once again given new life to a shipping container with the Bosque Refuge, one of the Hotel Fazenda Cainã suites in Balsa Nova, Brazil. Fitted with massive walls of glass to blur the line between indoors and out, the modern suite immerses guests into nature with breathtaking views and a natural materials palette. The recycled container is elevated on stilts and carefully sited to minimize landscape impact. Nicknamed Baruch Spinoza after the famous 17th-century Dutch philosopher, the compact hotel suite measures 58 square meters and features an open floor plan. The building was strategically placed for both privacy and views — the suite backs into a large native forest in the southwest and opens up to dramatic mountain views on the northeast side. The 12-meter-long container was modified to include the washroom facilities on one end, the kitchen on the other and the bedroom and living area in the middle. The container footprint was expanded with a precast metal structure to make room for the living space, entrance and an outdoor seating area. Related: 3 stacked shipping containers create a diving tower in Denmark “The outer connection — nature — and interior — refuge — forms the main inducing element of the design process of the refuge,” explained Bruno Zaitter in a project statement. “The concept of causing minimal impact to the natural environment made it possible to reach the formal architectural party where the purity of the right angles of volumetry and the facades with few elements further value the living and dynamic atmosphere of the environment.” To soften the building’s appearance and to create a cozy atmosphere, timber was used to the line the interiors and exteriors. The green wash on the exterior facade helps the building blend into the forested landscape. + Bruno Zaitter arquiteto Via ArchDaily Photography by Sergio Mendonca and Ale Carnieri via Bruno Zaitter arquiteto

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A hotel suite inside a shipping container hovers over the landscape in Brazil

A striking new gateway to Copenhagen celebrates green transit and Danish design

October 14, 2019 by  
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Earlier this summer, Copenhagen officially opened Køge Nord Station, a stunning new transportation landmark that raises the bar for beautiful urban infrastructure. Designed by COBE and DISSING+WEITLING architecture , the transit hub features a futuristic 225-meter-long covered footbridge that connects the new double-track high-speed rail line between Copenhagen and the city of Ringsted with the existing commuter urban-suburban S-train line. The 9-meter-wide footbridge spans the width of the Køge Bugt Highway and is punctuated with multiple windows to provide 180-degree panoramic views of the highway and the cultural landscape. Completed in less than three years after its groundbreaking, the Køge Nord Station is the result of an international competition that drew 38 submissions from around the world. Described by COBE and DISSING+WEITLING architecture as a “unique example of Danish architecture and engineering,” the firms’ winning design includes a vision plan, a train station, parking and transit facilities and the project’s crown jewel — the eye-catching covered footbridge . Installed in six sections, the footbridge is clad in 48,000 square meters of anodized aluminum panels and can carry up to 1,800 people. Related: Curvaceous bicycle bridge brings new life to Copenhagen’s harbor To provide a comfortable and attractive commuter experience for the 8,000 passengers expected to use the station daily, the interior of the covered bridge is lined with cozy timber and emphasizes a sense of continuous flow with curvaceous lines and open views to the north as well as with smaller south-facing apertures in the interior wood panels.  ”People spend many hours of their life in transit ,” said Jesper B. Henriksen, architect and partner at DISSING+WEITLING architecture. “That’s why we sought to give the footbridge a quality that goes beyond the purely functional and practical. The interior space is covered with wooden slats that provide a warm, tactile experience in transit and waiting situations. It is, quite simply, a welcoming and inviting space, unlike what you often see in stations and transport facilities. The interior space is contrasted by the smooth, cool aluminum exterior that enters into a dialogue with the infrastructural expression of the place.” + COBE + DISSING+WEITLING architecture Photography by Rasmus Hjortshøj – COAST via COBE

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A striking new gateway to Copenhagen celebrates green transit and Danish design

This self-sustaining planter doesn’t require sunlight for plants to thrive

August 27, 2019 by  
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Every gardener and plant enthusiast knows that plants grow best with access to sunlight, either direct or indirect. But one German company has expanded the options for people and places that don’t have access to plenty of light with the Mygdal Plantlight. Nui Studio designed the vessel to provide all the moisture and light a plant needs — it can successfully grow plants in a sunless urban basement or even in the long dark days of northern winter. With temperature control and easy setting adjustments, the Mygdal Plantlight is an option for every home or office. The combination of design and technology means plants receive optimal water and light for the perfect growing conditions. The glass-enclosed hanging pendant is hermetically sealed, creating a circular ecosystem so plants do not require watering. The cycle of condensation and evaporation provides enough moisture for the plants to thrive. Related: Rotating indoor garden grows up to 100 herbs and vegetables every month LED lights provide both light and adequate warmth to feed the environment and the plants. Schedule when and how long you want your plant to receive light. Plus, the Mygdal Plantlight serves as an attractive, additional source of light for any room. Adjustments for length of sunlight, intensity and even the color is controlled by a smartphone or tablet without the need to open the vessel. If you do need to access the plants, the pendant’s aluminum disc bottom is easy to remove. The Mygdal Plantlight offers versatility with a variety of plants ranging from lush to jungle to zen styles. The unit comes in two sizes for visual and spacial variety, and plants can easily be replaced when you’re ready for a change. The studio said, “The combination of plants and light inside Mygdal’s mouth-blown, hand-finished glass shade creates a soothing atmosphere. Its name is a tribute to glassmaker Peter Kuchinke from Mygdal in northern Denmark and means, loosely translated, ‘fertile soil.’” Nui Studio maintains a philosophy that a marriage between traditional craft and modern technology combined with regional manufacturing produces timeless and multifunctional furniture for everyone to enjoy. + Nui Studio Via Yanko Design Images via Nui Studio

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This self-sustaining planter doesn’t require sunlight for plants to thrive

Casa I combines traditional courtyard typology with modern construction in Chile

August 27, 2019 by  
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Santiago-based architects Alfredo Thiermann and Sebastián Cruz of architecture office Thiermann Cruz Arquitectos have completed a home that celebrates Chile’s once-popular courtyard housing typology — a residential style that has faded away in popularity since the second half of the 19th century. Rooted in a tradition of embracing outdoor space, the residence — simply dubbed Casa I — is also decidedly modern in design and construction and makes use of prefabricated elements such as cross-laminated timber and precast concrete panels. Spanning an area of 300 square meters, Casa I is located in a former suburb of Santiago on a lot that has been subdivided into three smaller pieces due to the pressures of urban densification. To make the most of its 20-by-40-meter site, the residence was conceived as a long and rectangular volume that, unlike its more conventionally designed neighbors, is flanked by usable outdoor space on all sides.  Related: A 1970 home gets a modern, light-filled revamp in Santiago Sliding and pivoting glazed doors blur the line between the indoors and outdoors and create a seamless connection to the courtyards to make the home feel much larger than its footprint suggests. The open-plan living room, dining area and kitchen also features sliding doors for a flexible layout. In contrast to its exposed concrete base and prefabricated black concrete paneling, the interior of the light-filled home feels warm and inviting thanks to the use of timber throughout. “Each interior space is connected, at least, with two exteriors, which are treated simultaneously as interiors though their large built furniture and materiality,” the architects explained. “Negotiating the irregular shape of the plot with the regular geometry of the house, its limit is set back a few meters behind the property line, and a walled courtyard elbows out from the continuous line defining the sidewalk. Overcoming the regulations promoting a garden city, the facade becomes a walled courtyard, bringing life to the edge of the otherwise lifeless suburban street.” + Thiermann Cruz Arquitectos Photography by Erieta Attali and William Rojas via Thiermann Cruz Arquitectos

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Casa I combines traditional courtyard typology with modern construction in Chile

Glowing, celestial-inspired shelter communes with nature in Denmark

August 8, 2019 by  
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The Munkeruphus Art Museum on the coast of Denmark has recently gained a striking new addition — the Observatory, an organic pavilion by Danish designer Simon Hjermind Jensen . The commission, which was supported by the Danish Arts Foundation and Knud Højgaards Fond, marks the start of the museum’s long-term vision for integrating art and nature-related projects on its grounds. Crafted with 3D modeling and CNC technology, the curvaceous pavilion has a cave-like interior that encourages visitors to gather within and reconnect with nature. When Jensen received the commission for the project, he started the design process with a 24-hour stay on the site to observe the landscape conditions from dawn to dusk as well as the trajectories of the sun and the moon. The site-specific study inspired the placement of the Observatory as well as the architectural design, which began with a ceramic model he crafted on-site. Related: A mountain refuge in Spain is brought back to life with brickwork Back at his studio, Jensen refined his concept with additional ceramic models before overlaying a construction pattern on top that was 3D-scanned for computer modeling . Finally, the pavilion shell was CNC-cut from plywood and polycarbonate, bent into place and fastened together with custom, leaf-inspired joinery. Thanks to parametric modeling, the Observatory is optimized for strength and material use. Measuring nearly 19 feet in height, the Observatory features an asymmetrical teardrop shape topped with an oculus angled toward the south, framing views of the moon and creating more access to natural light . Inside, the curved interior is weighed down by a gravel floor and includes a built-in wooden bench that accommodates 25 people as well as a concrete podium. The central fire pit, when lit, makes the pavilion glow at night. “Like the characters of our surroundings changes and shift from day to night, the Observatory changes too, especially when a bonfire is lit after nightfall.” Jensen said. “The inside spatial experience changes with the light coming from the ground and, seen from the outside, the upper part glows in a pink color created from the light from the flames.” + Simon Hjermind Jensen Images via Simon Hjermind Jensen

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Glowing, celestial-inspired shelter communes with nature in Denmark

Beautiful, solar-powered EV charging stations promise to charge a vehicle in 15 minutes

June 21, 2019 by  
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Copenhagen-based architectural firm COBE has just unveiled what are possibly the most beautiful and sustainable electric vehicle charging stations in the world. Built entirely from recyclable materials and powered by solar energy, these ultra-fast charging stations not only recharge a vehicle in just 15 minutes but also offer drivers a welcoming place to rest and relax. The first COBE-designed EV charging station was installed on the E20 motorway in the Danish city of Fredericia, with 47 more planned along Scandinavian highways: seven more in Denmark, 20 in Sweden and 20 in Norway. Created in partnership with Powered by E.ON Drive & Clever, the COBE-designed EV charging station consists of a series of “trees” made primarily from certified wood. The tree-inspired structures feature a canopy that provides shade and protection from the elements, while also providing space for a green roof and solar panels. The modular structures are scalable so that multiple “tree” structures can be combined into a “grove.” The Fredericia charging station features a “grove” of 12 “trees” with a 400-square-meter canopy. The Danish Society for Nature Conservation helped select the plantings that surround the charging station to enhance biodiversity and create a calming, “zen-like” atmosphere radically different from a traditional gas station setting. Related: World’s first electric road that charges moving vehicles debuts in Sweden “ Electric vehicles are the way of the future,” said Dan Stubbergaard, architect and founder of COBE. “With our design, we offer EV drivers a time-out and an opportunity to mentally recharge in a green oasis. The energy and the technology are green, so we wanted the architecture, the materials and the concept to reflect that. So, we designed a charging station in sustainable materials placed in a clean, calm setting with trees and plantings that offer people a dose of mindfulness on the highway.” The firm’s design of the ultra-fast EV charging station won the infrastructure award of the 2018 Danish Building Awards and is being implemented across Scandinavia with support from EU Commission projects Connecting Europe Facility and High Speed Electric Mobility Across Europe. + COBE Images via COBE and Rasmus Hjortshøj – COAST

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TREDJE NATUR proposes angled timber housing that meets UNs sustainability goals

June 13, 2019 by  
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Copenhagen-based architectural firm TREDJE NATUR has unveiled an urban housing proposal that ticks all the right boxes for beautiful and sustainable design. Created to follow the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals — a blueprint of 17 goals ranging from affordable and clean energy to responsible consumption and production — TREDJE NATUR’s proposed mixed-use development is estimated to save 30 to 50 percent of carbon emissions compared to conventional housing construction. Named “New Angle” after the timber townhouses’ sharply pitched rooflines, the site-specific housing development emphasizes safe and low-carbon community living, biodiversity, flexibility and protection from the elements and traffic noise. Created as part of a feasibility study for the Copenhagen Metropolitan Area, New Angle comprises nearly 130,000 square feet of housing and a little over 160,000 square feet of office space. The development has been proposed for a commercial site sandwiched between two different motorways and a ring road. TREDJE NATUR’s design is a direct response to the site conditions, particularly the noise nuisances from surrounding traffic. The layout and shape of the houses create an inward-looking development that ensures optimized daylighting for all residents, ample green space and protection from traffic noise. Set on a parking plinth, the townhouses are arranged in an L-shaped ring with steeply sloped roofs angled toward the central common green space that can be used for urban gardening and recreation. The angle of the roof profiles not only shields residents from traffic noise, but also allows for integrated solar panels with maximum performance and rainwater collection systems. The renderings show the housing would be built primarily from timber with a strong emphasis on the outdoors and neighborly connection. Related: World’s first upcycled high-rise is proposed for Copenhagen “The CO2 savings happen through the building design, choice of materials, systematic solutions, focus on climate and biodiversity and overall by creating a framework for a strong community and a sustainable lifestyle,” explained the architects, who said the design is a more sustainable alternative to the conventional multistory building. “Apart from significant CO2 savings, calculations also show that the project is economically sustainable and can be constructed with low establishment costs compared to similar housing units.” + TREDJE NATUR Images via TREDJE NATUR

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TREDJE NATUR proposes angled timber housing that meets UNs sustainability goals

Free at last: Canada passes Act to prohibit dolphin and whale captivity

June 13, 2019 by  
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This week, Canada’s parliament passed a long awaited Act that will prohibits whales, dolphins and porpoises from being bred or contained in captivity. Originally proposed in 2015 by then Senator Wilfred Moore from Nova Scotia, the legislation received broad support from the public and considerable pressure from animal rights groups. “Nothing fantastic ever happens in a hurry. But today we celebrate that we have ended the captivity and breeding of whales and dolphins. This is news to splash a fin at,” Humane Canada said in a tweet. The Senate voted to pass the “Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act” last year, and on Monday the House of Commons finally approved the legislation. The fine for breaking the new law is about $150,000. Related: German circus goes cruelty gree by replacing animals with holograms The legislation does contain exceptions, including mammals that are already held in captivity, those contained for injury rehabilitation and those held for licensed scientific research. Hopefully, these exceptions will have effective oversight that will not lead the way for companies to exploit as loopholes. The legislation will impact a few sites in Canada, including Marineland, which currently has 61 whales, dolphins and an orca. Marineland originally opposed the Act but has since agreed to go along with the legislation. The Act will also impact the Niagara Falls Amusement Park and a zoo . The Vancouver Aquarium also announced last year that it would no longer display dolphins and whales after public pressure. “The public told us they believed the continuing importation and display of these intelligent and sociable mammals was unethical and incompatible with evolving public opinion and we amended our bylaws accordingly,” said the Vancouver Park Board in a statement. In the U.S., amusement parks like SeaWorld continue to host dolphin shows despite protests . Animal rights activists have been campaigning for this change in Canada and throughout the world under the hashtags #freewilly and #emptythetanks. Via NPR Image via skeeze

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Free at last: Canada passes Act to prohibit dolphin and whale captivity

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