World’s largest botanical garden to bloom in the desert of Oman

November 15, 2017 by  
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Perhaps the dry desert landscape of Oman may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of lush forests, but the Arabian nation is getting a massive infusion of greenery with the world’s largest botanical garden . Showcasing the country’s rich bio-diversity, the Oman Botanic Garden – designed by Arup, Grimshaw and Haley Sharpe Design – will be a whopping 1,037 acres of land filled with native flora, with two beautiful biomes housing the country’s most unique plant species. Located in the foothills of the Al Hajar Mountains in the Sultanate of Oman, the botanical garden’s site is one of the few locations in the world where the ancient sea bed is still visible after the landscape was elevated by tectonic activity. Working with this unique landscape, the architects designed a complex that would blend into the Mars-esque environment. Related: INFOGRAPHIC: 7 best botanical gardens from around the world Visitors to the gardens will enjoy open walkways that run through the undulating landscape, winding through the wadis, mountains and desert plains as they enjoy the impressive botanic diversity. Inside the two biomes, which house the most unique or sensitive flora, the interior environments were carefully designed to mimic the natural temperature and humidity of the plants’ native climate. Along with the visitors center, the complex will have additional spaces for education and research facilities dedicated to protecting the region’s ample bio-diversity. The garden’s buildings and the landscape architecture were all designed to meet the standards of LEED Platinum . Making the design sustainable was quite a challenge given the region’s water scarcity. Thanks to advanced systems, the entire complex will operate with a grey water irrigation system that works in collaboration with sustainably-sourced water. + Arup + Grimshaw + Haley Sharpe Design Via World Architecture News

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World’s largest botanical garden to bloom in the desert of Oman

Spectacular mountain-like Valley breaks ground in Amsterdam

September 6, 2017 by  
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A jagged mountain-like mass is turning up on Amsterdam’s pancake-flat landscape. MVRDV recently broke ground on Valley, a 75,000-square-meter mixed-use development that looks like a cluster of mountain peaks covered in greenery. Located in Amsterdam’s Central Business District Zuidas, the competition-winning design for OVG Real Estate will aim for BREEAM-NL Excellent rating and comprise apartments, offices, underground parking, a sky bar, and various retail and cultural facilities. Selected as the competition winner by the Municipality of Amsterdam in 2015, the stunning Valley project seeks to transform the quickly developing Zuidas area into a more livable and complete urban quarter. The green-terraced towers are designed as three mountain-like peaks of varied heights that soar to a maximum of 100 meters. The Valley will include 196 apartments, seven stories of office space, a three-story underground parking garage with 375 parking spots, and a variety of retail and cultural options on the lower floors. The publicly accessible Sky bar, which spans two stories, will offer panoramic views across the city. “Valley combines residential apartments with a green environment that offers panoramic views of Amsterdam”, says Winy Maas, MVRDV co-founder. “A lively plinth offering a range of commercial activities has some offices above and is topped finally with residences. The carving out of the resulting block ensures that it becomes less introverted than existing buildings in the Zuidas. There will be many terraces, both private and public, filled with people, flowers, plants and outdoor seating.” Related: BIG unveils lush mountain-like terraced building infused with nature The jagged building will be clad in natural stone and the layout informed by digital tools to optimize access to natural daylight and views, while preserving privacy. Due to the unique layout, no two apartments will be alike. MVRDV collaborated with award-winning garden designer Piet Oudolf and Deltavormgroep on the landscape design, which features an abundance of outdoor space and landscaped terraces. The publicly accessible central valley-area—from which the project derives its name—spreads across the fourth and fifth floor between the towers’ residential and commercial areas and will have an attractive year-round green appearance. + MVRDV Images via MVRDV

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Spectacular mountain-like Valley breaks ground in Amsterdam

Man creates spectacular topiary garden with plants saved from a compost pile

May 4, 2017 by  
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When Pearl Fryar bought his home in Bishopville, South Carolina forty years ago, his neighbors worried he wouldn’t be able to maintain the expansive grounds. Since then, Fryar’s gardening skills have put those fears to rest – he’s created a stunning topiary garden made up of plants rescued from a local compost pile . When Fryar was looking to buy his current house, he was met with resistance because some neighbors assumed that, as a black man, he wouldn’t be able to keep up the yard. Fryar took those words as a challenge, aiming to disprove the local racists with his talented green thumb, “I figured that if I won Yard of the Month, then the person who made that statement could understand that you can’t judge people by one person.” Related: This mobile transforming prep station helps urban foragers turn weeds into tasty meals Recently featured on CNN’s Great Big Story , Fryar began to collect his plants from the compost pile of a local nursery. Over the years, he has rescued over 300 trees and shrubbery – including a few trees that were over 30 feet high. The ambitious man tends to his garden every day, but he doesn’t use fertilizer, sprays, or any type of chemical in the upkeep. In fact, he doesn’t even use water. He says that the plants are all natural and grow organically. The amazing home garden became so popular, that Fyar opened it up to the public in 2006. Today, the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden sees an estimated 10,000 visitors a year from all over the world. Fryar enjoys the attention, explaining that his garden is all about love. In fact, the last thing visitors see as they leave the grounds are the words “love, peace, and goodwill” mowed into the lawn. + Pearl Fryar garden + Great Big Story Via Boing Boing Images via CNN video

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Man creates spectacular topiary garden with plants saved from a compost pile

Penda designs beautiful Indian garden with water mazes and stepwells

May 20, 2016 by  
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Developed by Pooja Crafted Homes , the 8,000-square-meter garden is part of the Magic Breeze residential project, also designed by Penda. The garden will serve as a communal space for the residents of the 127 apartments and offer a mix of active and passive spaces so that groups of different sizes can use the park at the same time. The circulation paths also cater to different user groups and comprise three main routes that accommodate walkers of different speeds, from runners to casual strollers. Related: Penda’s winding green pathway at the 2015 Garden Expo lets visitors experience life as a river The inclusion of stepwells, an ancient Indian architectural feature that comprises wells or ponds set at the bottom of a series of steps, led to the creation of the terraced gardens. “We were always inspired by Indian stepwells,” said Penda. “It is very rare to find an architectural typology where function and beauty are so intertwined, and a harmony of human needs and environmental impact is so in balance.” The project is slated to begin construction this summer. + Penda Via Dezeen Images via Penda

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Penda designs beautiful Indian garden with water mazes and stepwells

Cyborg artist can sense earthquakes around the world as they are happening

May 20, 2016 by  
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Some artists play to the beat of their own drum – but Moon Ribas plays to the beat of the Earth’s constant seismic movement. A self-proclaimed “ cyborg artist,” Ribas feels the vibrations of earthquakes through a subdermal implant and expresses what she feels through a unique interpretive dance called “Waiting for Earthquakes.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Un4MFR-vNI Dubbing her vibrational sensitivities a sixth sense, Ribas interprets the planet’s moving and shaking in her own artistic way. She decided to have a small magnet implanted under her skin near her elbow, which is connected to a personalized iPhone app. The app tracks the Earth’s seismic activity by aggregating geological data from all over the world, giving her a buzz akin to a phone vibrating in her pocket whenever the device is turned on and an earthquake is rumbling. She calls the phenomenon her second heartbeat, or “Earthbeat.” Related: The mega-earthquake that will probably someday wipe Seattle off the map Ribas has a certain affinity for the Earth’s rumblings. She told Quartz , “I think it’s unfair that our perception of earthquakes are all bad. Earthquakes are part of the evolution of our planet. The bad thing is that humans haven’t adapted to this natural phenomenon.” She is considering adding more implants to fine tune the sensations and, in the end, her performance art . She explains, “Maybe I’ll use each toe to define each continent, but that’s still in process.” +Moon Ribas Via Quartz Images via Moon Ribas

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Cyborg artist can sense earthquakes around the world as they are happening

Taipeis gorgeous Daan Park MRT raises the bar for metro stations everywhere

May 20, 2016 by  
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Located in the verdant and sprawling Daan Forest Park, the Daan Park MRT Station was completed in November 2013 as part of the Red Line extension. Rather than install another boring and common “matchbox”-like subway entrance, the government commissioned Che Fu Chang Architects to design a station that blends the built environment into nature and serves as a transitional space between the underground subway and the aboveground park. Wrapped in full-height glazing and punctuated by greenery both inside and out, the light-filled station has turned into a vibrant civic hub with a sunken garden that’s also helped to increase foot traffic to Daan Forest Park. Related: Beautiful Mashrabiya-Like Metal Facade Transforms Metro Station into a Glowing Lantern in Amsterdam Curved forms dominate the design, from the tall, arched ceilings and curved glass curtain walls to the sunken semi-circular courtyard and garden that extends the footprint of the underground platform to the outdoors. A raised plaza and beautiful water features, including a pool, fountain, and waterfall that dampen traffic noise, ring the courtyard. “While travelers alight at the station, they will be driven by their biological instinct, seeking sunlight and breeze to lead their way to the park,” write the architects. “The transition between inside and outside brings the joy of nature and ultimately, turning the daily commute into a wonderful journey.” + Che Fu Chang Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Che Fu Chang Architects

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Taipeis gorgeous Daan Park MRT raises the bar for metro stations everywhere

Solar-powered KontererART city in Poland is made of reused shipping containers

May 20, 2016 by  
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Instead of designing several freestanding pavilions , the architects created a single big building with interconnected containers housing different activities and spaces. The Bar and Carbo Gallery, which was left over from last year’s event, was converted into a base. The surrounding containers house the music workshop, Aktywator office, scene, food, toilets and warehouses . These were attached to the bar and gallery at a 90-degree angle, creating a U-shaped composition. The exterior of the north and south facades was painted orange to mark the entrances and the make the structure stand out. Related: Cargotecture transforms a San Francisco parking lot into a lively village The complex shelters a sandy beach with deck chairs and a big island made of pallets . Located near the river, the project includes a terrace and a rooftop bar that provides views of the surroundings. In order to provide clean energy for the project, the architects placed solar collectors on the rooftops and designed a green wall that supplies the bar and catering with fresh herbs. + Adam Wiercinski + Borys Wrzeszcz + Agnieszka Owsiany + KontenerART Photos by Przemys?aw Turlej , Skyphoto.pro

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Solar-powered KontererART city in Poland is made of reused shipping containers

Plant and geotag free pine and cedar seeds with the "Notes on a Tree" project

May 19, 2016 by  
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On May 28, Beirut-based firm 109 Architectes will unveil “Notes on a Tree” at the 2016 Venice Biennale of Architecture . The interactive installation is part of the GAA Foundation’s annual “Time – Space – Existence” exhibition and will commemorate Lebanon’s lost public spaces. “Notes on a Tree” tackles the role of the architect in countries like Lebanon , where developers often dictate urban planning. The firm uses its own projects as examples of successes and disappointments in preserving public space, which is symbolized by specific trees. Some trees were saved and some were lost, but each one represents a community’s history and collective memory. The installation is a response to a call from Alejandro Aravenas, director of this year’s Biennale, who said, “[ Venice Biennale ] will present cases and practices where creativity was used to take the risk to go even for a tiny victory, because when the problem is big, just a one-millimeter improvement is relevant.” Guests at the exhibition will be offered cedar and pine seeds and invited to plant them anywhere in the world. They will then be asked to visit notesonatree.com and pin their tree’s location on a map. The map will be projected in real-time back to the installation at the Venice Biennale, along with a live feed of social media posts tagged #notesonatree. 109 Architectes will use the level of visitor interaction to gauge the question that sparked the project: “How important is a tree?” In keeping with an eco-conscious approach, the exhibit will produce minimal waste and nearly all material is recycled, recyclable or reusable. If you are interested in participating, please send a message to info@109architectes.com to request your seed. “Notes on a Tree” will run until November 27, 2016 at Palazzo Bembo, second Floor, San Marco, Riva del Carbon 4793, 30124 Venice, Italy. + Notes on a Tree + 109 Architectes The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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Plant and geotag free pine and cedar seeds with the "Notes on a Tree" project

Create the perfect minimalist garden with these circular wall planters

November 3, 2015 by  
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Looking for a unique way to bring a little greenery to your home? Floral designer and gardner Kim Fisher has created circular wall planters that will spruce up any living space. Lightweight and easy to hang, the minimalist wall planters add a gorgeous touch to any interior. Read the rest of Create the perfect minimalist garden with these circular wall planters

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Create the perfect minimalist garden with these circular wall planters

Statoil’s Hywind off Scotland’s coast set to be world’s largest floating wind farm

November 3, 2015 by  
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Offshore wind power is booming in Europe. And when it’s completed, the Hywind project will be the largest floating wind farm development in the world, producing enough power to light up nearly 20,000 homes. Owned by Norway’s Statoil, Hywind just got its marine license from the Scottish government – giving it the go-ahead for installation about 25 kilometers off the coast of Peterhead, Scotland. The pilot project proposed by Statoil will feature five floating turbines capable of producing 6 Megawatts each, for a total annual generating capacity of 135 Gigawatt hours. Read the rest of Statoil’s Hywind off Scotland’s coast set to be world’s largest floating wind farm

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Statoil’s Hywind off Scotland’s coast set to be world’s largest floating wind farm

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