LAVA designs carbon-neutral LIFE Hamburg with an edible green roof

November 12, 2019 by  
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LAVA (Laboratory for Visionary Architecture) has teamed up with urban agricultural collective Cityplot to design LIFE Hamburg, a new energy self-sufficient educational campus that will “reinvent learning” for 1,600 students. Created in the shape of an infinity loop, the nature-inspired learning landscape encapsulates the educational paradigms of Learnlife (purpose-inspired and personal learning) as well as the spatial typology concepts of American futurist David Thornburg. Slated to open 2023, the solar-powered sustainable building will feature a carbon dioxide-absorbing green facade and an organic rooftop garden. Proposed for Hamburg , Germany, LAVA’s design of the LIFE Hamburg was crowned the winner of a 2019 invited competition earlier this year. The project will span an area of 12,000 square meters and will use natural materials and greenery to knit together the built environment and the surroundings into one continuous landscape. The organic architecture is inspired by five elements in nature — waves, spirals, cells, branches and nests — which can be seen throughout the building from the wave-shaped balconies and spiral terrace layouts to the branching structural systems and honeycomb ceilings. Related: Sustainable Central Park with energy-producing trees unveiled for Ho Chi Minh City LIFE Hamburg will cater to 800 children and 800 adults with a variety of spaces designed to stimulate creative learning for all ages. “We combined the differentiated learning spaces of Thornburg with our nature-inspired design approach,” the architects explained. “Instead of homogeneous rooms, there are spaces with different levels of brightness, openness, plantings and connections to the exterior. Based on Thornburg’s concepts, they include expressive spaces (mountain top) for groups; open communicative environments (watering hole) for conversations with peers; hands-on spaces (sandpit) for workshops and manual experiments; group spaces (campfire) meeting areas and lectures; introverted spaces (cave) for individual quiet reflection.” For energy efficiency, the architects have designed the three-story building with a load-bearing wood structure and a highly insulated glazed shell that will bring natural light inside. The accessible roof will be partly covered with enough solar panels to meet all of the building’s energy needs as well as outdoor learning spaces and edible gardens. + LAVA Images via LAVA

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LAVA designs carbon-neutral LIFE Hamburg with an edible green roof

Look inside BIGs yin and yang-shaped Panda House in Copenhagen

November 12, 2019 by  
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With their cutest new inhabitants comfortably settled in, the Copenhagen Zoo and Bjarke Ingels Group have shared new pictures of the recently completed yin and yang-shaped Panda House, a new home for giant pandas Mao Sun and Xing Er. Designed to mimic the pandas’ natural habitat, the BIG-designed enclosure blurs the line between indoors and out so that visitors feel immersed in the habitat without encroaching on the pandas’ sense of safety. Created in collaboration with Schønherr Landscape Architects and consulting engineers from MOE, Panda House includes a variety of naturalistic landscapes informed by workshops with panda experts, zoologists and veterinarians. Introduced to Copenhagen Zoo from Chengdu, China earlier this spring, the pair of giant pandas can freely explore a state-of-the-art, 4,950-square-meter panda facility that includes both a dense, mist forest and a light, green bamboo forest. The designers have worked closely with Chinese specialists since 2010 to create the ideal conditions for mating, one of the major challenges for pandas in captivity. Per the solitary nature of giant pandas, the enclosure has been divided into two similar yet separate areas — organized in the shape of the yin and yang symbol — so that the pandas can stay apart outside of the mating season. Related: Sasaki designs Chengdu Panda Reserve to protect the giant panda To make the separation hardly noticeable by both pandas and guests, the architects elevated the enclosure and tucked the stables and other facilities partly underground to integrate them into the landscape. The lifted sections of earth at both ends of the yin and yang symbol give visitors direct views into the pandas’ habitat as they walk around the perimeter of the round enclosure. Visitors can also observe the pandas — and the elephants in the adjacent enclosure — from the ground-floor, French-Asian bistro PanPan, which is topped with an upper floor landscaped with native Nordic plants.  “We studied the social and behavioral needs of the giant pandas: apart from mating season, pandas are loners by nature — male and female pandas need to be separated from each other such that they can’t smell, hear or have physical contact,” said David Zahle, partner at BIG. “Taking the literal interpretation of the yin and yang symbol, we divided the circular site to create separate yet harmonious homes for the male and female pandas, which can be flexibly merged during dating season. Overall, the Panda House is designed to feel like humans are the visitors in the pandas’ home, rather than pandas being the exotic guests from faraway lands.” + BIG Photography by Rasmus Hjortshoj via BIG

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Look inside BIGs yin and yang-shaped Panda House in Copenhagen

Time to Stop Waiting For Others to Teach Our Kids Eco Literacy

June 1, 2010 by  
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It seems not a day goes by when you hear about school budgets being radically cut, or even closed, and as a result the educational future of our next generation in uncertainty, lacking in depth & breadth. Theater, music, even the always preserved sports are being left to the side, in favor of focusing on how to train good test takers, to better secure funding….

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Time to Stop Waiting For Others to Teach Our Kids Eco Literacy

Spill In ‘Gulf Of BP’ Affecting Maryland Gubernatorial Politics: Where Next?

June 1, 2010 by  
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Seascape from Virginia Beach VA.

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Spill In ‘Gulf Of BP’ Affecting Maryland Gubernatorial Politics: Where Next?

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